Monthly Archives: December 2007

Top 5 Comic Book Fights of 2007

For the final post of 2007, Your Comic Relief is bringing you my personal opinions (also known as fact) on the top five comic book fights of two thousand and seven. This list is not all inclusive as I have not read every comic from 2007, but from what I’ve read, and what I remember from the beginning of the year (I think these are all from more recent memory, but I gave it a good think), I present you with The Top 5 Comic Book Fights from 2007!

5 – “Patches Malone” vs would be assassins

 

Seen in Gotham Underground #2, this one sneaks in at slot number five because it shows just how amazing Bruce Wayne is. Many comic book fight scenes are drawn out, so that the reader can see each individual motion that the characters are performing. While this is often a good tactic on the part of the writer/artist, this one is awesome by virtue of its exceptionally short length. Weighing in at one page, of which only three panels are of fighting, Bruce beats the snot out of some hired prison goons, in Blackgate Prison. The thugs get the drop on him, and Patches takes them down, with one hand, while holding his food tray, informing them he would greatly appreciate being allowed to eat in peace. Not many fighters from Marvel, DC, or any other publisher could manage to pull this off, and he has them on the floor within one to two hits each. Well done Bruce Wayne.

4 – Iron Man vs The Incredible Hulk

 

Brought to us through the Iron Man – World War Hulk tie in, in Iron Man #19, this fight would have been mediocre at best without the commentary in nearly every panel. As Tony Stark dons the Hulkbuster armour, a speech is being given during the fight, if we allow ourselves to suspend our disbelief that Stark could come up with this while getting pounded by the Hulk, or perhaps believe that it is pre-recorded, the words actually manage to elevate this fight from decent to outstanding. Good enough to send shivers down most people’s spines, as Tony explains his reasoning behind his decisions, and suits up to fight what could potentially be his final battle. Usually we don’t consider the text to be important to the fighting, but in this case, Christos N. Gage has shown us exactly what can be achieved through a proper combination of the two.

3 – Deadpool vs Sabertooth

 

Located in Cable & Deadpool #41, this has all the hallmarks of a hilarious encounter with Deadpool. Starting from the beginning however, there is an amazing lead up to the fight with Domino’s line “Even if I did, I won’t be getting a word in edgewise…” As Deadpool parachutes in and does what he does (or what Wolverine does, but not quite as well, we can never be sure). There were two main selling points on this, the first was that it was an entirely selfless act by Deadpool, and the second was the full page of Wade Wilson unloading round after round, and clip after clip into Sabertooth, while singing, ending with “Hey, look at that. No mo’ buwwets.” To humiliate him even further, he was laughing at Sabertooth while he shuffled around with his tendons shot to pieces, like “Taylor Hicks trying to do Swan Lake.” As great as it was, and as hilarious as Deadpool can be, it ends with Cable telekinetically throwing him in a direction picket at random, ending the issue with a laugh.

2 – Obi-wan Kenobi vs Darth Krayt

Dark Horse makes it into the top 5, and before I get any nitpicking comments, he wasn’t Darth Krayt yet when he fought Obi-wan, he was still simply A’sharad Hett. Carrying on, this one can be found in Star Wars: Legacy #16, and could deserve to be on this list simply by virtue of having lightsabers, or by featuring Obi-wan, one of my favourite Star Wars characters of all time, and I know quite a few of them. The fight is set on Tatooine, and tells the story of Obi-wan’s secret mission to protect Luke Skywalker as he grew up on the remote planet. This assumed, but previously untold story of Obi-wan’s duty is a great revelation, and it is phenomenal to see it represented graphically in a comic book. Simply put, the artist Jan Duursema, manages to give this fight a sense of speed and urgency that is merely attempted by other artists. This is no mere feat in and of itself, but he keeps it up for just over four pages with no dialogue save some “oof” speech bubbles. Obi-wan exiles the shamed Master Hett, and he swears to leave Tatooine and never return.

 

1 – Thor vs Iron Man

 

Thor #3; in my opinion possibly the best comic released this year. During Civil War, Tony Stark used Thor’s genetic code to create a Thor clone, which killed Goliath. Now Thor has returned, and needless to say, Thor is pissed. Thor once said that he never used more than 1/3 of his Asgardian might fighting any mortal, for fear of killing them, but right now, he’s pretty freaking pissed, and it doesn’t help that Iron Man has appeared on SHIELD business, and is upset about Thor basically stealing American Soil, and making a new Asgard on it (see Thor 1 & 2). To quote Thor himself “You defiled my body, desecrated my trust, violated everything that I am. Is this how you define friendship? Is it?” He then uses the mighty Mjolnir to produce a substantial throbbing in Tony Stark’s chest. Similar to how the Patches Malone fight was awesome because they couldn’t touch him, Iron Man throws everything he has at Thor, and he never stands a chance. He tells Iron Man what’s up, and notes that they will finish “discussing” the violation of his person.

 

 

 

That’s it for the Top 5 Fights of 2007, other fights that were considered were Iron Man & Captain America vs mecha-Thor in What If? Civil War, Amadeus Cho vs just about anything in the recent World War Hulk, also from WWH was Ghost Rider vs Hulk in Ghost Rider #13, and lastly Namor vs either Wolverine or Venom in Sub-Mariner: The Initiative issues #4 and 5 respectively. I look forward to hearing your input, and have a safe and happy new year! I will see you all again in 2008!

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Filed under Comics, Dark Horse, DC, Marvel

Occupying Time Off

Mike over at Panels of Awesome, which btw have recently changed sites, so update your bookmarks, posted today on what to do while you’ve got downtime, be it from work or school.  I thought it was a very interesting topic, and to occupy my downtime, I figured I’d blog about it.  I left a comment saying that I tend to read old comics, but I do other stuff too; I read other’s blogs fanatically.  I figured I’d take some time and spotlight on some great blog posts of late by other bloggers.   Rokk’s Comic Revolution writes some great reviews that I often don’t really get to appreciate during the busy times of the year.  I’ve been reading them over the last few days and as someone who puts a lot of time and thought into writing reviews, I really appreciate what he’s doing there.  On the topic of reviews, Faust’s website, entitled Faust’s Fantastically Fantasmagoric Forum, writes on a wide variety of topics, including television and movies, but he also does a weekly comic review, focusing mainly on DC stuff.  I mainly read Marvel, Dark Horse, and BOOM! Studios comics, and I’d read more DC if it were financially feasible, so I enjoy the chance to read up on what’s happening in DC.

I would be mistaken to not mention Comics Daily, written by J. Hunt, a regular commenter on this site.  He recently wrote a post about the One More Day debacle, and wrote a very well worded opinion, which which I absolutely agree.  He writes very detailed blog posts, and always seems to be able to get to the heart of the issue.  Much of the comic book community is refusing to tangent from OMD, and to link you to all of the posts that have been created about it would be an act of futility.  One that does deserve mentioning is No More Days posted over at the Fortress of Solitude.  This post tackles the argument from a slightly different, and a little more cynical perspective.

Comics don’t always have to be taken seriously, a blog entitled Comics Make No Sense takes a look at comics that well, make no sense.  Taking them out of context, or even in general, and pointing out just how ridiculous they are.  I thought the one he did about some guy with a Q on his chest (I’m told it stands for Quiet Plea for Help), who appeared in Dial H for Hero.  Some blogs have been quite silent, such as Merc With A Mouth, who’s last entry was simply a list of links, which I am quickly realizing is what this is amounting to, I will probably do more indepth writing on each one in the coming future however.  As well as For the Love of Comics, who will be thankfully returning in the new year, because his is one of the ones I read most frequently.

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Review: Thor #5

            Big issue of the week for me is Thor.  As many of you know (or could guess from the banner at the top of the page, or my avatar), I am a big Thor fan.  Thor #5 was released this week, and I actually had a request to post my thoughts about it.  So for the first time I can say “by request” I have reviewed Thor #5.  No big spoilers here even though I do go through the plot in depth, but be warned, in order to really review this comic, I gotta give away the ending.  If you have doubts, as always, feel free to skip to the Is it Worth Buying section.

 

Lead up to story

            It is official, Thor is back.  I’m going to give you some background info on what has happened in the previous three issues, but if you haven’t read them, stop whatever you are doing and go read them by whatever means necessary, I’m serious, they’re that good, especially issue #3.  Essentially, Thor has returned, and he is seeking out his fellow Asgardians that are trapped in mortal bodies.

 

Plot Synopsis and Evaluation

           Thor is written by Joseph Michael Straczynski, and this issue opens with a man putting in a mailbox in front of the floating Asgard, and he makes it look way easier than it really is, anyone who’s had to install a mailbox themselves will know what I’m talking about.  Inside the mailbox, he puts a letter to the local town meeting, promising cakes and ice cream, entirely nonessential, but very humorous.  Moving on to the main plot; so far, Thor has found few of his fellow deities, and Heimdall informs him that the trapped Asgardians are disappearing, and these disappearances are related to a growing darkness to the west.  Fearing that his lady Sif may be among those disappearing, for Heimdall has not yet found her, Thor flies off to investigate. 
Upon arrival, Thor finds someplace underground that is ambiguously undescribed and must be assumed to be some sort of jail (that’s what it looks like at least).  Before Thor can even get down to freeing the prisoners, one of whom has the potential to be Sif, the destroyer appears, and does battle with the mighty Thor.  Thor is victorious (are we really surprised?), and the destroyer was manned by, of all people, Balder, the one who triggered Ragnarok and ended Asgard.  Returning to the jail-thing, Thor finds that the beautiful woman that waits there is not Sif, but Loki!  Loki is now female, but Thor offers him/her solace, and a second chance, he/she vows to repent, and we, the reader, do not believe him/her at all.  The issue ends with Loki making deals with Dr. Doom.
            On the whole, I am a little disappointed in this issue, but then again, one can not appreciate Thor’s greatness without some mediocre issues.  It isn’t bad by any means, but I did not find myself in love with the issue.  My main problem with this issue is that not much happens, and frankly, as I will elaborate on in the art section, the fight scene was boring.  I am not so sure how I feel about Loki being female either, I have enough faith is Starcynski that I will wait it out and see how it goes.  I will say though that at least they are bringing in the villains.  I do very much appreciate the mini subplot about the town meeting, with the Asgardian gods showing up looking for cake.

 

Art Critique

            Thor is drawn by Oliver Coipel, and I am generally pleased with his work.  He draws Thor to be an outrageously huge.  I’m ok with this, he’s an Asgardian god, and he can be as big as he wants to be.  Coipel has also given Thor a much blockier face than we were used to, but this also seems to suit him.  Overall, I would say that I am very impressed not only by the overall quality of the art that Oliver is putting out, but also by his representations of the characters.  He really seems to be able to capture their essence, and picture them just as I would imagine them, especially Thor.  Broad shoulders, freaking huge arms, and a huge cape, topped off with shining armor.  The only critique I would have is that he seems to be puzzled with how to draw faces, but even this is some of the time.  I think it may be the eyes that throw him off, as Thor is often depicted as having his eyes shadowed by his helmet.  In theory, I’m ok with this, but in one panel Thor is drawn with one eye shown, and one eye shadowed, and it gives a very odd look to the panel, and draws away from the flow of the comic, as I was distracted by the eye (singular), it made be exceptionally uncomfortable.

 

Is it Worth Buying?

            I would say yes, Thor #5 is worth buying especially if you own the first four, and given that you should own those, logically, it follows that you should buy this one too.  Yes, by Thor standards this was mediocre, but by current standards, it’s still a great comic.  Also, it is important to note that this comic is to set up for the coming series, the story could not have continued much longer with Thor wandering the world seeking out his fellow Asgardians, bringing in the villains is a very good way of bringing some additional plot into the story.  Also, why does Microsoft Word not have Asgard or Ragnarok in the dictionary?  Closest thing it’s giving me to Ragnarok is Kangaroo, and that can’t be right…  

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Filed under Comics, Marvel, Reviews

End of Year Comic Pull List Reshuffling

So, 2007 is nearing an end, and I figured I’d poll anyone who visits this site on what they’ll be changing in their pull list. I find this time of the year is a good time to sort that stuff out, and while I’ll tweak my pull list throughout the year, this is the time of the year in which I make larger changes.

Daredevil: dropped

I feel like nothing has been happening too much, it’s all been more of the same false leads following up on them for nothing. Daredevil has never been one of the fastest paced comics out there, but not I feel that Murdock could sneeze and that’d be enough for the editors. The annual was amazing, I was a huge fan of that, but the lead up to issue #100 was so big, and in the end that flopped. It pains me to drop this title, especially considering that he is one of my favourite characters in the Marvel universe.

The Order: dropped

Yeah, not much has been happening in The Order either, well, no, that’s a lie. Things have been happening, and they’ve been reasonably interesting, but to be honest it just feels so disconnected from everything else Marvel. I like it when stories at intertwined, and figuring out how everything fits together, like a giant puzzle, and The Order just doesn’t have any relation to anything else. Also, I find the characters to be very stereotypical and shallow, and that makes it very hard to me to like them, or become invested in their interests and well being.

Heroes for Hire: dropped

I started reading this during World War Hulk, and decided I’d give it a chance to grow on me. It hasn’t, I’m not really sure why, I like the characters, the stories aren’t bad, I’m just not enjoying reading it.

Amazing Spider-man: dropped

There has been a lot of hype about this recently. While I DO have a major issue with what they have done to Spider-man, my reasons for dropping this title are slightly more shallow than that. I don’t want to pick it up three times a month, for a couple reasons. It’ll get too expensive, that’s an extra two issues a month I’ll have to pick up to keep on top of the story, and also, I don’t trust Marvel (or any publisher) to bring out GOOD issues almost weekly. I mentioned Daredevil’s attitude of “sneeze and the comic is over,” and they have a month to bring each one out.

Cable & Deadpool: dropped

Sadly, it’s ending. So I really don’t have a choice about this, but I will be picking up Cable, and if there’s any Deadpool titles coming up, you can bet I’ll be picking them up too.

Incredible Hulk: added

For better or worse, I really like Amadeus Cho. Probably because I like math, but hey, as long as he’s continuing to be in it, I’m going to keep reading it. I even like his character most of the time. Something about the boy that can stop a train with a pebble really intrigues me

Anything Conan: added

I read a single issue of Conan, and let me tell you, I loved it. Everything about it. I’m working on a review of it which will be posted in a day or two once I’ve had a chance to proof read it (I put a significant amount of effort into these reviews)

That’s it for me, how about you guys, what will you be picking up, and what issues are getting left on the shelves?  Not a WordPress subscriber? It’s cool, I allow unsubscribed comments.

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Review: Sub-Mariner: The Initiative

Prologue: my apologies for the recent radio silence from Your Comic Relief, I have been wrapped up in things relating to Christmas and New Years, I should be able to update frequently between now and New Years, and daily updates will officially resume on the 2nd of January. Just giving myself some room to breath if necessary during this hectic time of year. Now, on with the review!

 

Lead-up to the Story

This storyline takes place after Civil War has ended, and is a continuation of Wolverine’s Civil War tie in. His tie in was focused around finding Nitro, and the discovery of Atlantian sleeper cells in the United States, which were eventually recalled. Essentially, Namor had placed a number of these cells around the country to monitor the populace and government, and to act if necessary. The other important outcome of the story arc is that Nitro, the one responsible for the attacks in Stamford, Connecticut, is the custody of Atlantis.

 

Plot Synopsis and Evaluation

The story itself is a six part mini, written by Matt Cherniss and Peter Johnson. They have done an incredible job with this series, the characters are likeable, the story moves at a good pace without becoming too sporadic, and the ending is great. The full story is far too long and expansive to examine in the scope of this post, there are some main points. After Civil War, Namor was pressured to recall all of the sleeper cells back from the United States, and he did so. Suddenly however, attacks are being preformed by Atlantians on American soil, and SHIELD is brought in to investigate. Naturally, SHIELD believes that Namor had not recalled all of his sleeper cells. Sub-Mariner: The Initiative is the story of Namor’s quest to clear Atlantis’s name, and alone the way he has confrontations with Atlantians (isn’t there always political unrest in Atlantis?), Wolverine and Venom, among a few others. The story hooked me almost instantly, and while it dragged its feet a little during issues 4 and 5, issue #6 has the potential to chance the Marvel universe.

 

Art Critique

The pencils are done by Phil Briones, and while some of the characters are not drawn the way we may be used to them – Tony Stark looks somewhat Asian – everything looks commendable. While it does look commendable, nothing really looks exemplary. Like I said, everyone tends to look slightly more Asian than you would expect, this makes Namor resemble some poor bastard child of Spock and The Mandarin. While I was reading through the series however, I was actually too wrapped up in the story to notice it. Two possible conclusions can be drawn from this; the story is so amazing that anyone could have drawn it and I’d have been ok with it, or, that the art really isn’t poor enough to make an impact on my appreciation of the comic. Both are true, although perhaps I’m just oblivious, but I like to think that’s untrue. Perhaps I am being harsh; the art may feel a little rushed at times, and the characters may not be drawn the way we have come to expect them, but the art is not bad by any means. It’s just different.

 

Is it Worth Buying?

Absolutely. As poorly as many believe Marvel has handled many situations, and I agree with several of these accusations, I have been in love with this series, and I feel it exemplifies everything Marvel is capable of. Also, the end of issue #6 has, as I have said, the potential to chance the Marvel universe just as much as Civil War did, see the following spoilers section for more details.

 

SPOILERS:

At the end of Sub-Mariner: The Initiative, all of Atlantis evacuates using the previously thought mythological secret tunnels, and essentially diffuse into millions of sleeper cells throughout the world. Namor takes the Atlantian army to “[his] only ally in recent days,” in Latveria, Dr. Doom. Also, Namor has a son.

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Filed under Comics, Marvel, Reviews

Comics for Friday December 28th

DARK HORSE:

Conan #47
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #24
Osagi Yojimbo #108
DC COMICS:

52 Aftermath: Four Horsemen #5 (of 6)
Action Comics #860
Batman #672
Blue Beetle #22
Brave and the Bold #9
Countdown: Arena #4 (of 4)
Countdown to Adventure #5 (of 8)
Countdown to Final Crisis #18
Crime Bible #3 (of 5)
Death of the New Gods #4 (of 8)
Flash #235
Gotham Underground #3 (of 9)
Green Lantern #26
Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps Secret Files #1
JLA Classified #49
JSA Classified #33
Legion of Superheroes #37
Teen Titans #54
Uncle Sam & The Freedom Fighters #4 (of 8)
IMAGE COMICS:

Bomb Queen IV #4 (of 4)
Brawn #3 (of 3)
Drawing From Life #2
Invincible Presents Atom Eve #1 (of 2)
Pax Romana #1 (of 4)
Proof #5 (of 5)
Witchblade #112
MARVEL COMICS:

Amazing Spider-man #545
Avengers: The Initiative #8
Black Panther #33
Captain America #33
Captain Marvel #2 (of 5)
Fantastic Four Isla De La Muerta One Shot (English and Spanish)
Giant Size Avengers Special #1
House of M Avengers #3 (of 5)
Hulk vs Fin Fang Foom One Shot
Iron Man #24
Marvel Adventures Iron Man #8
Marvel Spotlight: One More Brand New Day
Marvel Spotlight: Messiah Complex
Marvel Zombies 2 #3
Punisher MAX #53
Red Prophet Tales of Alvin Maker #11
Thor #5
Ultimate Fantastic Four #49
Ultimate Power #9 (of 9)
Ultimate Spider-man #117
X-Men: Emperor Vulvan #4 (of 5)
X-Men: First Class #7
X-Men: Messiah Complex Mutant Files
X-Men #206
Zombie Simon Garth #2
OTHER PUBLISHERS:

Archie & Friends #117
Badger Saves the World #1 (of 4)
Bart Simpson Comics #39
Berlin #14
Betty & Veronica Double Digest #157
Drafted #4
GI Joe Storm Shadow #7
Knights of the Dinner Table #134
Shrugged #7
Snaked #1 (of 5)

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Comic Book Shipment Reminder and Christmas Update

Just a quick reminder to everyone, no comics are shipping to purchase tomorrow, for the next two weeks Friday is comic book day.  And with that out of the way, GO SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY?  What are you doing on the internet???

Happy Christmas Everyone (Merry Christmas to all my American friends), I hope today brings you much joy, regardless of faith.

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Filed under General, Holiday, Shipping List