Thursday, August 30, 2007


*sigh* Oh, Shatterstar, Shatterstar. Why have they forsaken you? Here's a case of when good(ish) characters go wrong - Shatterstar. He started off with a gay white costume but was cool, then he got a badass costume and became gay. I mean gay as in lame, but also perhaps literally because we're still not sure about his orientation. He allegedly had had a fling with Rictor in the mountains. If he would have said, "I can't quit you, Rictor" that would have been awesome, but alas, the whole thing has never been confirmed. OR denied!

So, Shatterstar was introduced at the end of the New Mutants run, and became a founding member of X-Force. He was created by Rob Liefeld so of course he has useless pouches and headgear for no reason, and a name created by mashing two words together - two of Liefeld's specialties. He was from another dimension and had a scar around his eye. Plus he had two badass double-bladed swords making for Four Blades of Fury!!! Okay, so they never used that terminology in the comics but they totally should have.

He learned Spanish from watching TV and during any early issue of X-Force, he stabbed himself through the stomach in order to kill someone behind him. I think it was a member of the Mutant Liberation Front but Google searches are proving fruitless. There was nothing he couldn't do!

Except have an easy backstory. It was hinted early on that he was the child of Longshot and Dazzler which would have been awesome. But then they introduced a guy in a coma by the name of Benjamin Russell who looked exactly like Shatterstar. Shatterstar was wounded, so their souls were merged or some shit and now he's both Shatterstar and Benjamin Russell. I don't know, it's something ridiculous like that. I think Marvel gave up after plodding through that origin story they haven't bothered to explain anything further. At some point, though, he got a much better costume even though now he's got pill pouches on his biceps. Because even superheroes have to remember to take their vitamins.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The King.

Here's a really cool link on Marvel's site about Jack Kirby. He would have been 90 years old yesterday.

The article has a ton of covers, just keep scrolling down. Man that guy was just awesome. I loved his early X-Men covers as well as all of those Avengers issues with Cap on the cover, but one of my favorites was always that What If... cover of the original Marvel Bullpen as the FF. Rest In Peace Mr. Kirby, you deserve it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Justice League Unlimited.

So for the last couple of months, I've been watching Justice League Unlimited at 8pm on the Boom! Network. I think I've watched all of them and I think they're starting to replay the series again. It's pretty good, you should check it out if you get the chance. For example, check out the intro to the show, it's pretty rockin':

See? That was pretty rad, wasn't it?

I do have a couple of complaints about the series though. First, they never play the original series (I just it was just called "Justice League") and there are a whole bunch of callbacks to it. I guess I should sign up for a free trial to Netflix and rent the first series on DVD.

Second, there are way too many Super Heroes in the mix. Half of them I had never heard of before I started watching the series. It centers around the seven founding members, but there are a whole bunch of other guys just wondering around. And during the episodes where there's an unstoppable Super Villain and all of the Super Heroes come out of the woodwork to battle him, it can get a little out of hand.

Third, the amount of collateral damage in some of the episodes borders on comical. No one ever dies, especially civilians, no matter how many buildings are destroyed. In one episode, Lex Luthor gets ahold of the Watchtower (the JLU's HQ in outerspace) and uses it's superlaser to destroy about ten city blocks. The heroes get down there and after a few minutes of helping people evacuate, they report that there were no casualties. Dude, it took out ten city blocks! How are there no casualties? Seriously? None? Zero? Zilch?

In another episode, Superman and Captain Marvel (aka: Shazam!) have a no holds bared brawl in the city and for about five minutes they trash entire city blocks. Superman would hit Captain Marvel and he'd go flying into a building and then the building would collapse on top of him. Then Captain Marvel would get up and punch Superman and he'd go flying into another building and it would collapse on top of him. They did this for about five minutes, I swear to God. It was getting ridiculous after awhile. Later, the rest of the founding members of the JLU were taking Superman to task and were scolding him for getting in such a destructive fight, and then one of them said something like, "You're lucky no one was hurt". What? They showed ENTIRE buildings getting destroyed, where were all of the people in those buildings? They're all out getting dinner? ALL of them? I don't think so. Personally, I don't think there's enough concrete and construction workers to keep up with the amount of rebuilding that has to take place on a daily basis. Metropolis has to have like .0000001% unemployment. Lose your job? Just go get a construction job. It's a union gig which means good pay and great benefits. I guess the Super Heroes help out with some of that, but they never show any of that. And they never show things like the Martian Manhunter writing checks to the city to pay for damages or talking to their lawyer or even filling out a duty roster. That's kind of boring stuff, but at least they could have made an effort there. They don't just beat the crap out of bad guys and robots all day. I'm just sayin'.

All in all, JLU is a pretty good series though. I highly suggest it. If you've got a DVR, just set it and forget it. Boom! runs it without commercials, so they end up being like 18-20 minutes episodes, which you can plow through pretty quickly. So check it out if you get a chance.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Invincible Iron Man DVD Review

I watched this movie over the weekend for free thanks to my local library. Good thing, too, 'cause I would've been bummed if I actually bought it. I got the two Ultimate Avengers animated movies and those are decent but I didn't really care for this one. The animation is good, but I think they messed with Iron Man's origin a little too much.

Tony Stark's father is still alive in this version, and Tony gets kicked off the board of directors at Stark Industries. There's some mystical stuff going down in China where Jim Rhodes was heading up an assignment to raise a sunken, ancient temple. According to some prophecy, if the temple gets raised, then the Mandarin will return and kill a bunch of people or something. Oh, and also according the prophecy, the "Iron Knight" will come to fight the Mandarin, and one...will...die.

Tony ends up in China with a metal shard in his chest, but his life is saved by Rhodes and some Chinese monk. He is forced to build a suit of armor in order to get the temple back to its original sunken condition. Too late, 'cause the Four Elementals of Mandarin have been let loose and are looking for the remaining rings necessary to bring the Mandarin back. Tony dons a suit of aqua armor in order to retrieve one of the rings, but it doesn't really work and the Mandarin is summoned and takes over the body of the girl who has been helping Tony all along. She's the last remaining descendant. Tony puts on the old school armor he built early on in the movie and defeats the Mandarin, along with the help of the girl's resistance.

All in all, it was somewhat entertaining, but I didn't like all of the mystical stuff they added to Stark's origins. The movie ends with Tony buying back controlling interest in Stark Industries, promoting Jim Rhodes and turning the company over to his father. A little too Batman Begins, if you ask me.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Avengers #239, 1984

Beware! It's Assistant Editor's Month. I guess that basically meant you weren't going to get your typical story and they were just going to do whatever the hell they felt like. This particular issue of Avengers features the first appearance of David Letterman. They could have just stopped right there, but they actually paid someone to come up with a script and do the art, so here's a recap:

As for the story - Simon "Wonder Man" Williams decides his acting career is going into the crapper. Since he's a reserve Avenger, I guess he's got some clout so he books himself an appearance on Letterman. He needs fellow Avengers to join him so he gets Vision to round up anyone he can find and the Vision pulls together Hawkeye, Black Panther, Black Widow and Beast. I guess Quasar was too busy primping his hair, so that's not too bad for last minute notice. Thank goodness the Black Panther was at the Wakanda Consulate because if the government had flown him in from Africa just for a talk show appearance, tax payers would have been pissed.

Good ol' Fabian "Mechano Maruader" Stankowicz is out to start some shit, though. (No one was more surprised than me that he has his own Wikipedia entry.) First he sneaks into the building with the oh-so clever repairman / fake mustache disguise, then gets himself a seat in the audience.

Hawkeye is partially deaf but too cool to wear a hearing aid, so he gets a copy of the questions Letterman is going to ask. Hawkeye just gives an answer once Letterman stops talking, leading him to believe Hawkeye may have psychic abilities. Stankowicz is getting bored by now and decides it's time to unleash the lasers he's put into the TV cameras. The Avengers scramble into action fighting against grenades, missiles, giant rollers and other stuff Stankowicz rigged up. He uses the opportunity to run down to Dave's desk and book himself an appearance. So remember, kids, if you want to get on Letterman just be a reserve Avenger, or attack the Avengers when they're on. Of course, he reveals his villainous motivation for doing all this - just to show what one person can accomplish.

In the end, it's Letterman himself that comes to the rescue of the Avengers and the studio audience. Stankowicz has clearly underestimated Letterman's ass-kicking ablities - while he and Dave are safe under his force field, he never suspects that Dave will knock him out cold - with a huge doorknob! I don't remember a giant doorknob being part of Dave's set but it serves its purpose. Dave swings at him and yells out, "It's clobberin' time!" Okay, not really, but that would have been dope. He gives him a ringer, then takes the battery pack and releases the force field. The Avengers have their shit together by this point and the crowd erupts for Dave's heroics. I'm kind of sad Paul Shaffer didn't get his ass kicked because if anyone deserves it, it's him.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Shocker.

Whenever I think of The Shocker, I am reminded of a quote from Happy Gilmore:

"If I saw myself dressed like that, I'd have to kick my own ass".

So that pretty much sums up my thoughts about The Shocker, he's got costume that causes people to go into epileptic shock when they see him. Let's see, what else do we have know what? I don't even know why he's called The Shocker, because his "power" is that he can "project a concentrated blast of air that vibrates at an intense frequency". And I had to use "power" in quotes because he is just a normal dude; he built some gloves that shoot air out of them whenever he holds down a thumb trigger. Apparently, the feedback from these gloves can get pretty intense so he made a costume with a heavy amount of insulation to protect himself from the shock. Hence the name, The Shocker. Pretty lame explanation if you ask me. You kind of expect a dude with a name like The Shocker to have some kind of powers that involve electricity, but since he mainly fought Spider-Man, that idea probably got thrown out the window, because by the time his character was introduced, Spidey was already spending a lot of his time kicking Electro's ass on a regular basis. And I guess having two villains that have electrical powers would just end up confusing the readers, and "Wind Guy" just doesn't have a good ring to it, so they named him The Shocker. I think it's actually a cool name, but then they gave him the ugliest costume they could come up with, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, because with a name as cool as The Shocker, you'd think he'd also have a super cool costume. I guess there's a reason I don't work at Marvel.

Anyways, so the one thing that really annoys me about some of these super-villains from the Sixties is the amount of times they went to jail and the fact that they kept getting paroled. I mean, I know this is comic book logic we're dealing with, but The Shocker went to jail like three or four times and got paroled each time and went right back to super-villainy. And he didn't even bother to change his horrible costume each time, he'd just go out and commit crimes. I mean, once Spider-Man or the police noticed that The Shocker was going around committing crimes, wouldn't they just contact Herman Schultz's parole officer and have him sent back to jail?

You can read about the rest of The Shocker's bio on Wikipedia. Apparently for some reason, they even bothered to make an Ultimate version of The Shocker. I am going to ask a simple question: does the world really need an Ultimate Shocker? My answer is no. Marvel needs to really stop the madness sometimes.

So to wrap this thing up, we salute you The Shocker (and I guess you too, Ultimate Shocker) for your ability to suck while wearing a costume that looks like you bought it from a Stryper estate sale. Bravo, sir.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Comic Book Ads #6 - ZORCOM SPACE SHIP.

Man, I hope someone remembers this one. I almost saved up the $12.95 (Plus $3 shipping) to get one of these things, I thought they were pretty rad. I know it's a bad scan, all of the ads I found were in pre-1980s comics, and all of them weren't printed very well and aged rather badly (just the ad, for some reason it wasn't printed all that great in any comic I found it in). I also didn't really feel like spending $6.95 to buy a copy of the ad off of eBay (which has to be from the original paste-up because the quality looks like it's pretty good). Anyways, I thought that this was pretty cool when I was a kid, and if I got one, I would have played with it until it was useless. I think my Dad made me one out of a cardboard box and I decorated it, but it wasn't as cool as an actual Zorcom. You could store it under your bed, and it could be set up two different ways: upright in blastoff mode, or horizontally in flying mode. Pretty dope.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Incredible Sheriff.

I was reading Make Mine Marvel this morning (which is an excellent blog by the way), and there was a link about Lou Ferrigno becoming a Los Angeles Reserve Deputy Sheriff. Crazy. I couldn't imagine getting pulled over by the Hulk. This is going to scare me into obeying all traffic laws (even though that's not where he's going to be utilized) because I don't want him to pull me over, then Hulk out and end up throwing my car with me in it all the way to San Bernardino after I smart off to him. Crash landing in the 909 without a way to get back home would not be a whole lot of fun.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Iron Man, The Movie #2.

So this morning I was reading Marvel's newsletter The Pulse (does DC have a newsletter? I wonder what it's called. I think my College's newsletter was also called "The Pulse", but it was super lame.) and they had an article article about the Iron Man panel at the SD Comic Con. So I hopped on Flickr and stole some guy's picture of the suit that they shipped to the Comic Con.

Chris and I had plans to go, but there were a whole bunch of logistical problems, and I know we haven't posted a whole lot lately, but I think that's because we're all busy. Chris was on vacation and started a new job, and I really don't know what Rich has got going on, but he's probably got a whole bunch of projects going on all at the same time. For me, work has been kicking my ass. That was the main reason I couldn't go. I was planning on going on Thursday and/or Friday, but then a whole bunch of stuff happened at work and I had to meet a deadline on Friday. I also will be out of the country next Tuesday-Thursday (I'll be in Utah for a tradeshow for work. And yes, I consider Utah to be a different country). So some other people around here are going to have to pick it up. But it's not like anyone's paying attention to this thing anyway, I think that lately the #1 reason people are coming to the site is from google image searches for the cover to The Amazing Spider-Man #282.

ANYWAYS, I am still super jacked for this Iron Man movie to come out. And Chris told me the other day that they've got a Moon Knight TV series in development right now. I cannot tell you how awesome that is. At some point we WILL do a Moon Knight week. For some reason he's one of my favorite characters that I didn't collect enough comics of. I think a lot of that was because he didn't have a constant regular title going. He always had something that was started, then changed writers or artists and then scrapped entirely, only to be restarted a few years later. And I think he's been retconned or had a character change a few times. He's basically Marvel's Hawkman, only he looks like Batman, but in white clothes. Anyways, Moon Knight week is coming. Maybe not today, maybe not next month, but sometime. In the future. I promise.