Wednesday, May 30, 2012

SUPERMANIA!

I'm sitting here thinking about one of my biggest regrets. I have never had the chance to call a wrestling match. By call, I of course mean commentate. I always thought that would be such an exciting opportunity; describing the match move for move, getting the fans all pumped up with my enthusiasm and excitement. I guess that dream is dead.

Anyway, back to comics. I recently read DC Comics The Death of Superman. It's a thrilling story about... wait a minute. This is it. This is my moment. This is what I have been waiting for my entire life. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it right.

WELCOME TO SUPERMANIA!


Tonight's main event is "The Man of Steel", Superman vs. "The Ultimate Destroyer", Doomsday! Get ready for a slobberknocker!


Superman gets Doomsday in a headlock!

Doomsday counters with a chokeslam!

Full Nelson! Full Nelson! Full Nelson!

It's the feats of strength! Superman has the upper hand! 

It looks like Superman is about to go for a double axe handle! 

Both competitors land a devastating blow!

Double knockout! It's over! My God what a tremendous display we have seen here today!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Green Lantern: New Guardians #9

*This post contains spoilers*

I have been enjoying DC Comics Green Lantern: New Guardians more than most comic book series that I've read. Green Lantern: New Guardians #9 features a crossover between the New Guardians and the Blue Beetles. Haven't read the series or need a refresher? Check out my Green Lantern: New Guardians #1-8 RECAP, Blue Beetle #1-8 RECAP, and Blue Beetle #9 review.

Green Lantern: New Guardians #9 was published on May 23, 2012, written by Tony Bedard, and illustrated by Tyler Kirkham and Batt. The story starts on Odym, home of the Blue Lantern Corps. Blue Lantern Saint Walker has returned to recharge his ring at the blue central power battery. The Blue Lanterns couldn't be happier to see him. The first Lantern to greet him is Brother Warth, the elephant man with a body piercing addiction.

Brother Warth and Saint Walker
Saint Walker informs the Blue Lanterns that the Guardians of the universe turned Ganthet into a shell of his former self and Larfleeze turned Sayd into his minion. Ganthet and Sayd formed the Blue Lantern Corps at the end of the Sinestro Corps War. Sure, the Blue Lanterns are a somewhat passive group, but even these softies have to draw the line somewhere.

Lu-Kreeza
Just when they're about to take action, The Reach arrives. The Reach is a group of aliens that travel the universe using the Blue Beetle scarabs to seize planets. Lead by Lu-Kreeza, The Reach is on Odym to conquer the planet and harness energy from the blue central power battery. As The Reach descends upon Odym, the Blue Lanterns prepare for a blue showdown.

At the core of the galaxy, we see Star Sapphire Corps member Fatality analyzing a white hole. This hole is the doorway that Invictus used to re-enter the universe. Fatality consults with her fellow Corps members and they come to the conclusion that Invictus was sent to kill Larfleeze and put an end to the Orange Lantern Corps.

Fatality finds out that Odym is being invaded and she drops everything and heads right for it. Elsewhere, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner contacts Red Lantern Bleez, Indigo Tribesman Munk, and Sinestro Corps member Arkillo to inform them of the horrors occurring on Odym. Like Fatality, they all immediately head to Odym. None of the New Guardians hesitate for a second. Can it be that these different colored Lanterns who were once loyal only to their Corps are now working together and becoming a team? It sure looks like it! Not only are they saving each other's lives, but they're caring for the well-being of each other's Corps and people. Hope is a powerful emotion...

Back on Odym, Saint Walker is guiding a much more naive Blue Lantern named Shon in the middle of battle. Blue Beetle Khaji-Kai sneaks up behind them to attack, but it is for naught. Saint Walker uses his power ring to expose the man in the Blue Beetle suit. It shows the horrible acts that the man was forced to commit due to the Blue Beetle scarab.

Just as Saint Walker is about to heal Khaji-Kai, the other Blue Beetles attack him. Seeing that the Blue Lanterns are outnumbered, Saint Walker assembles the Corps to protect the central power battery and sends Shon to find a Green Lantern. In order for a blue ring to function at maximum capacity, it needs to harness the power from a green power ring.

Shon finds out that the Blue Beetles were only a distraction to lower the planet's defenses until cocooners could suck the planet dry of energy. Shon admits defeat, loses hope, and his blue ring flies right off of his hand. Realizing that they don't have time to wait, Saint Walker commands the Corps to follow him and defense quickly turns to offense. The Blue Lanterns are pissed and read to kick some scarab ass.



I think what makes Green Lantern: New Guardians #9 an important issue is that it showcases the Blue Lanterns and allows us to see the dynamics of the group. Although they may not be as aggressive as the other Corps, we see that the Blue Lanterns will fight against all odds when backed into a corner.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Green Lantern: New Guardians #1-8 RECAP


Green Lanterns are enough to keep me locked into a comic book. Add different colored Lanterns and I'm completely engulfed. That is exactly what DC Comics Green Lantern: New Guardians does.

So far, we've seen writer Tony Bedard and illustrators Tyler Kirkham and Batt depict a range of colors from the emotional spectrum. Before I continue with the recap, let's review the emotional spectrum:
  • White: Life
  • Red: Anger
  • Orange: Avarice
  • Yellow: Fear
  • Green: Willpower
  • Blue: Hope
  • Indigo: Compassion
  • Violet: Love
  • Black: Death
Green Lantern: New Guardians starts with a flashback of Kyle Rayner becoming a member of the Green Lantern Corps. In the present, we see Lanterns of various colors being decommissioned. Basically, their rings fly off their hands. For some reason, one of every color ring (except black and white) gets sent to Kyle. These rings are followed by Sinestro Corps member Arkillo (yellow), Indigo Tribe member Munk, Star Sapphire Corps member Fatality (violet), and Red Lantern Corps member Bleeze.

As they fight, Blue Lantern Saint Walker arrives to help Kyle escape. Kyle and Saint Walker discuss how Ganthet (and Sayd in Saint Walker's case - both Guardians of the universe) hand picked them to be Lanterns. Kyle decides to visit Ganthet and the Guardians to find out what's going on. When he confronts Ganthet, the lights are on but no one's home. The Guardians lobotomized Ganthet. The Guardians try to seize the rings from Kyle but the rings all fly on his fingers at once. Kyle fights the Guardians harnessing the power of 7 colors of the emotional spectrum.

Kyle quickly loses power of each ring and they disengage. The Guardians are about to strip him of his Green Lantern ring but it fights back and doesn’t allow them to. The rings are destroyed except the green and orange. The orange turns out to be an orange ring construct, Glomulus. There can be only 1 orange ring bearer but there can be many constructs. The constructs do, however, think for themselves.

As a side note, previously we saw Mongul rip out Arkillo's tongue. In Green Lantern: New Guardians, Saint Walker heals Arkillo and gives him his tongue back. I guess there is hope, even for Arkillo.

A fight between the Guardians of the universe and the Lanterns breaks out and Orange Lantern Larfleeze crashes the party. He’s riding in on Sayd. Things get heated so Kyle has Munk transport them to Okaara, space sector 2828. It turns out that Larfleeze's ring never left him because he holds his battery. He disguised Glomulus as an orange ring to follow the other rings. Sayd sensed the power drawing the rings to Kyle coming from a space vessel known as the Orrery.

The Lanterns go to the Orrery to find who stole the rings. They decide to team up to search the thing (Kyle and Glomulus, Saint Walker and Arkillo, Munk and Fatality). Bleez heads off to Ysamault, home of the Red Lantern corps. Atrocitus, leader of the Red Lantern Corps, wants to know what's going on but Bleez can’t really talk in full sentences. He gives her a blood bath, literally, which grants her the ability to fully speak.

The Orrery is huge and contains a number of planets. Each team is on a separate planet. On Kyle and Glomulus’ planet, the people inhabiting it notice the Orange Lantern symbol on Glomulus. Apparently, Larfleeze is a villain to them and the enemy of their protector, the archangel Invictus. Invictus shows up and thinks Larfleeze is running the show. The Lanterns get into an all out brawl with Invictus.

You're probably wondering "Who is Invictus?" Invictus was part of a race of archangels in the Vega system. When Larfleeze kills, he can take the soul of his victims and use them as constructs. The archangels can evade that. Frustrated that he could not take the archangels, Larfleeze exterminated all of the them except Invictus. Invictus ripped a whole in the universe and was going to send Larfleeze there, but Larfleeze at the last second blasted Invictus into another universe.

Kyle talks some sense into Invictus, showing him that he and the New Guardians aren’t heartless. The proof? All of these Lanterns who started at each other's throats are now working together and saving each other's lives. Invictus sees this, and says that he’ll believe Kyle if the New Guardians kill Larfleeze. Kyle agrees, but only to get the heck out of there.

All of the Lanterns are running low on power except Bleez, who re-powered her ring when she was on Ysamault, and Munk, who brings his lantern with him. Their rings tell them that the Sinestro Corps is no more and the power battery is offline. Arkillo gets pissed and runs off to Korugar, home of the Sinestro Corps. On Korugar, we see a guy being sentenced for making Sinestro’s power ring. Arkillo runs in and saves him. He tells Arkillo that Sinestro took out the Sinestro Corps as a Green Lantern. Arkillo can’t believe it. He gives Arkillo new yellow ring and a yellow power battery that he forged personally that has not been used by Sinestro.

Munk leaves (story continues in Green Lantern #9) and Kyle Rayner, Bleez, and Glomulus head off to New York City to get Kyle’s power battery (continued in Blue Beetle #8 and Blue Beetle #9).

I highly recommend you pick up these 8 issues. It's a great series and I left out some minor details to give you the broad strokes of what has happened so far. Now you're all caught up and ready for my review of Green Lantern: New Guardians #9 tomorrow!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ultimate Galactus Trilogy "Review"

Ultimate Galactus Trilogy, 2009
The story starts off with a bunch of superheroes peeing their pants in anticipation of Galactus coming to destroy the universe. After about 14 issues of that, Reed Richards launches a nuclear weapon at Galactus which barely does any damage, and Galactus runs away like a little kid who just got a boo-boo on the playground.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Even More Fat Characters

It's no secret that I am obsessed with fat versions of all sorts of characters. As we've seen, it can be in comics, movies, and art. But, let's not forget TV.

A TV show that I have become quite fond of is the 2004 remake of Battlestar Galactica. I can dedicate an entire site to why I love Battlestar Galactica. Instead, I'm going to boil it down to 1 reason. Allow me to illustrate.

Lee "Apollo" Adama, portrayed by Jamie Bamber, plays a major role throughout the show. In the first 2 seasons, he's Captain of the ship and kicking ass left and right. Let's meet Apollo:

Lean and mean.
Why am I focusing on this one character? Because he is the key to why this show couldn't be more up my alley. In the third season, the writers of the show decided that Apollo was going to let himself go and put on a few pounds. Ladies and gentlemen, FAT APOLLO:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Blue Beetle #9

*This post contains spoilers*

I have been looking forward to DC Comics Blue Beetle #9 ever since I heard that it would feature the stars of Green Lantern: New Guardians. I read this issue and I was not disappointed one bit.

Published on May 16, 2012, written by Tony Bedard, and illustrated by Marcio Takara, Pete Pantazis, Rob Leigh, and Paul Renaud, Blue Beetle #9 continues the adventures of The New 52 Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes (I encourage you to catch up on Blue Beetle with my Blue Beetle recap!) 

At the end of Blue Beetle #8, we were left with a confrontation between Jaime and Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, Red Lantern Bleez, and Orange Lantern construct Glomulus in New York City. Khaji-da, Jaime's Blue Beetle scarab, recognizes the Lanterns as a threat, so it immediately goes into defense mode. Bleez is ready to tear Blue Beetle's head off, while Kyle is more curious about what the hell is going on.

As the situation heats up, Kyle gets shot in mid-air by a mysterious sniper and his power ring immediately loses charge. Jaime catches Kyle as he's falling and saves him. Considering the fact that Jaime came to New York City to find superheroes that he can befriend, letting Kyle fall would be a real dick move.

Bleez immediately jumps on Jaime but Jaime tries to fight her off. He's pleading with her, trying to get her to understand that he's a good guy. At this point, the suit... detects something. You almost don't realize it but Khaji-da keeps informing Jaime that it detects metabolic arousal. Now what happens next, I will not sugar coat. Blue Beetle gets a boner:


Hey! Cut Jaime some slack. He's a young man and Bleez is hot (if you take away the blood spewing from her mouth and constant uncontrollable anger). Ok enough of the sexy stuff. Let's get back on track.

In Jaime's hometown of El Paso, Texas, we find out that Jaime's friend Brenda's Aunt, who previously disappeared during a scuffle with Blue Beetle, left Brenda a huge amount of money in the event of her death. I have no idea where that part of the story is going, but I'm sure we'll find out soon.

Back in New York City, Kyle's ring is completely out of power. Just as he realizes that he needs his power battery, Glomulus gets hit by the unknown sniper and vanishes. We immediately find out that this ugly jerk that has the ability to drain power rings of their juice was sent by the Guardians of Oa! He grabs Kyle and wants to bring him back to the Guardians, but Bleez won't let him. As she distracts the kidnapper, Jaime brings Kyle his power battery and we see the coolest Green Lantern oath to date:


Kyle powers up his ring and detains that ugly bastard. Jaime then explains to Kyle and Bleez that he came to New York City to look for people who could understand his situation and to protect his family and friends. Kyle lets him know that he understands what it's like to experience the tragedy that such awesome powers can lead to. Specifically, Kyle recounts a horrific scene from his past where his girlfriend was murdered and stuffed in a refrigerator (Yes, this happened in Green Lantern #54, 1994.)

Blue Beetle is about to tell Kyle everything but Khaji-da freaks out and Kyle interjects. Kyle tells Jaime that in order to protect those close to him, he should preserve his identity. Kyle then scans Jaime's suit and his ring informs him that the suit is from a group called The Reach. It also notifies Kyle that The Reach is currently attacking the planet Odym, homeworld of the Blue Lantern Corps. It's Khaji-kai and Lu-kreeza! Those jerks turned their attention toward Odym to take down the Blue Lantern Corps in Blue Beetle #5. We saw this coming. But now, there's hope. Kyle immediately flies off to go help the Blue Lanterns. Bleez goes her own way to see her leader, Atrocitus. Jaime is once again left alone in New York City.


Blue Beetle #9 delivers big time. As a Green Lantern fan, I appreciate how it incorporates some familiar characters and even gives a bit of history. As a Blue Beetle fan, I love how it features the other Lanterns not only as a fun cameo, but also to add depth to the ongoing story in both Blue Beetle and Green Lantern: New Guardians.

Want more Green Lantern: New Guardians? A recap of Green Lantern: New Guardians #1-8 and a review of Green Lantern: New Guardians #9 is coming soon. Stay tuned!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Let's Put a Smirk On That Face! (5-21-12)

What does the Joker call a six-pack of root beer?


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

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

Friday, May 18, 2012

Caption Figures #18

"So you just got kicked in the balls... any fun weekend plans?"

Please comment with your own captions!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Blue Beetle #1-8 RECAP

One of my favorite DC Comics New 52 titles is Green Lantern: New Guardians. Why mention that when I'm about to give you a recap of Blue Beetle #1-8? Because starting today (in Blue Beetle #9), there will be a Green Lantern: New Guardians/Blue Beetle crossover! Both titles are written by Tony Bedard who has been on fire in my opinion, so I think the crossover is going to offer us a fun and interesting story. I'm planning on giving in depth reviews of each comic book in the crossover starting next week with Blue Beetle #9. Here, I am going to give you a brief summary of what has happened so far in Blue Beetle to prepare for what's to come.

Jaime Reyes is a young man in El Paso, Texas. Jaime and his friend, Paco, are on their way to their friend Brenda's Quincea├▒era party. Jaime sees some hoodlums fighting over a backpack. They notice Jaime and chase after him. Jaime grabs the backpack, throws it on his back, and makes a run for it. The backpack contains a scarab that gets activated on Jaime's back. It digs into Jaime's spine and he becomes Blue Beetle.

The scarab's name is Khaji-da and it is trying to have complete control over Jaime. However, there is a struggle between Jaime and Khaji-da. Every time someone is about to find out Blue Beetle's identity or threaten Jaime, Khaji-da reacts and attempts to kill that person. Jaime's a good-hearted guy so he fights this as hard as he possibly can. He doesn't want to go around killing everyone like some kind of animal. The kid has class. Another negative aspect of the Blue Beetle suit is that transforming into Blue Beetle really hurts Jaime. Since the scarab is in his spine, when the suit gets released it causes Jaime a tremendous amount of pain. As a reader, this is great because it's not like he becomes the Blue Beetle and all is well. There's a real struggle here and it's interesting to see and read.

Not everything is a conflict for Blue Beetle. Here are some of Blue Beetle's powers when Jaime and Khaji-da are in sync:
  • Enhanced vision
  • Flight
  • Jaime can command Khaji-da telepathically
  • Protective metal suit
  • Automatically transforms when threatened (also a flaw)
  • Hacks electronics
The scarab belonged to Jaime's friend Brenda's Aunt. She purchased it and those thugs were on their way to delivering it to her when Jaime spotted them. She eventually confronts Jaime in her mansion and traps him. She tries to kill him to get the scarab but he escapes. When he does, the mansion mysteriously disappears. What happened? No clue. But I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.

At one point, Khaji-da sees Jaime's friend Paco as a threat and forces Jaime, as Blue Beetle, to stab Paco in the chest. That was one of those out-of-sync moments between Jaime and Khaji-da. Jaime commands Khaji-da to heal Paco, so Khaji-da releases a transbiotic antitrauma unit (looks like a small blue bug) into Paco. The transbiotic antitrauma unit sensed that Khaji-da was not completely controlling Jaime (since he has been struggling to completely comply with his scarab), so it took control of Paco as backup. Now, the Paco beetle wants to destroy Khaji-da because a defective scarab must be destroyed. To defeat Paco’s scarab, Jaime completely surrenders to Khaji-da, even though it means smacking Brenda in the process. Paco’s scarab detects that he has surrendered completely and aborts the mission to destroy Khaji-da.

Thankfully, that threat is neutralized. However, the video of Blue Beetle smacking Brenda circulates and everyone sees him as a villain. Jaime, not being able to handle Khaji-da in his hometown, runs off to New York City to get away and try to find other superheroes to bond with.

We find out that there are other Blue Beetles. Khaji-kai is Blue Beetle of space sector 2809. Khaji-kai detects that Khaji-da is in space sector 2814 (earth) and wants to go after it. This is a bad guy. They allude to the fact that he killed all the superheroes on his planet. Khaji-kai and Lu-kreeza, another alien, get intel on the location of the Blue Lantern Corps. They want to take down the Corps for energy. As a side note, Blue Beetles and Green Lanterns do not get along. They take their attention away from finding the scarab (for now) and head for the Blue Lantern Corps on the planet Odym.

While in New York City, Jaime runs into this crazy scientist named Stopwatch. Years ago, Stopwatch was working on time travel. There was an explosion and shrapnel went through his body. Time stopped, but only in his body so it didn’t kill him, but the shrapnel remained imbedded in his body.

Jaime finds a shelter for runaways where Stopwatch just so happens to work his lab out of. Stopwatch uses the runaways to steal funds for his experiments. He wants to make the world's first functional time machine so that he can go back in time and stop his accident. Blue Beetle destroys his progress and Stopwatch escapes. 

The story leaves off with Khaji-da leading Jaime to an apartment with a Green Lantern power battery in it. Blue Beetle is confronted by Red Lantern Bleez, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, and Orange Lantern Glomulus! Here we go, it's crossover time!

I want to reiterate that this is a brief summation of what has happened so far. I highly recommend you read the issues. Stay tuned for my Green Lantern: New Guardians/Blue Beetle crossover reviews starting next week!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Meeting Jim Lee & Geoff Johns


Living in New York City has given me access to some great activities. Broadway shows, live music, great food, and some of the best comic book shops I've ever seen. I never loved living in Manhattan more than I did last Friday night.

Early last week, Midtown Comics announced on Twitter that Geoff Johns and Jim Lee were going to be in town for a comic book signing on Friday, May 11th. This immediately filled me with excitement and disappointment. I was excited because I am such a huge fan of both of them. Geoff Johns is one of my favorite comic book writers and the reason why I am such a die-hard Green Lantern fan. I have more Geoff Johns books on my shelf and in my comic boxes than anything else. His utilization of the emotional spectrum in Green Lantern comics made me a fan of all things Green Lantern. Jim Lee has illustrated some of the best looking comics ever published. In my opinion, no one draws Batman like Jim Lee.

I was disappointed because in August of 2011, when Justice League #1 was released, Geoff Johns and Jim Lee came to Midtown Comics for a signing. So many people showed up that I got shut out. Fear. I felt it engulfing me. I had to fight it. This was too important. I was determined to harness the power of Hope and Will! And that's what I did.

I got out of work, rushed to the subway, and was on my way downtown to Midtown comics. I was trying not to get my hopes up, but I just couldn't help feeling totally pumped up. Avarice. I wanted those autographs so badly. Again, I had to fight it and stay focused.

I got to the Times Square stop, ran out of the subway station, and bolted for Midtown Comics. "Hm, no line? Last time, a line formed spanning multiple city blocks. Something's wrong." Something was wrong. I was at the wrong Midtown Comics! They were signing at the branch further downtown! Anger! I couldn't let it affect me. Back to the subway! At this point I was in a total panic, drenched in sweat.

I got downtown, ran into the store, and purchased a hardcover copy of DC Comics Justice League Vol. 1: Origin. The employee at the counter helped me calm down by reassuring me that I made it in time to be able to meet Jim Lee and Geoff Johns. How Compassionate. I got in line and waited with the biggest smile on my face that I still can't wipe off.

Standing in line.
The wait was pretty great. The fine people of Midtown Comics were giving updates and passing out some cool DC-themed buttons. My lovely fianc├ę stopped by and gave me a kickass Green Lantern PEZ dispenser. Love. How appropriate!

I cannot describe how nice and appreciative Geoff Johns and Jim Lee were. I gave them my copy of Justice League Vol. 1 to sign. I told Jim Lee that Hush contains the greatest art that I've ever see in a comic book.


I had Geoff Johns sign my copy of Green Lantern: Agent Orange. I reviewed this trade earlier this year and it really is one of my favorite Green Lantern stories. He not only signed it, but he personalized it (How cool is that?):



Oh, I know something just as cool. He recognized me from a tweet I mentioned him in earlier in the week. I know, right!?

Thank you to everyone at Midtown comics, Geoff Johns, and Jim Lee. Getting to meet Jim Lee and Geoff Johns is one of the coolest experiences of my life. It was surreal, amazing, and I am totally bragging.