Monday, October 29, 2007

What Were They (Almost) Thinking?

What the hell was Marvel thinking accepting this as a submission? Before that even, what was Michael Golden even thinking when he drew this? Sure, Shadowcat hasn't had the best costumes but this?!! This is a design from the 1980s...I can't quite put into words what's going on here and why it sucks so much, but it clearly does. She looks like a french fry with random ketchup patterns on her. She looks like she lost a bet and had to have her costume designed by a mentally challenged third grader. Thank goodness Marvel didn't roll with this one.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

X-Men #145, 1985.

So judging by the cover, you're thinking that this book is totally gonna kick some ass, right? I mean, it's got Doctor Doom, he's just destroyed the entire X-Men crew and he's doing his best Captain Morgan impression while holding Storm and standing on top of a defeated Colussus. Totally awesome cover. So right about now, you're asking yourself, "Tyler, how does this comic not suck?" Well, slow your roll there, compadre, because while this one does feature the X-Men's first clash with Victor Von Doom, it also features an appearance by Arcade.

Just to get some administration stuff out of the way, this issue was written by the almighty Chris Claremont, and penciled by the combo of Dave Cockrum and Joe Rubinstein.

So, one night while Storm is at an operahouse, Miss Locke (yum) confronts her in her box seat. Storm's first instinct is to electrocute the crap out of her, so after she recovers, Miss Locke tells Storm that Dr. Doom kidnapped Arcade after the two had a falling out. Storm basically says, "And I should care because..." and then Miss Locke reveals that she wants the X-Men to go and rescue him.

So Storm reports back to the X-Men with the info, and the Professor calls the Beast because he's got the hookup over at the Avengers mansion. And he's actually faced the man they call Victor Von Doom, which is something that the X-Men have not. He gives them some pointers, but some of the team aren't really too fired up to go and save Arcade's uesless ass. Wolverine in particular is not a happy camper.

And I guess this is the first time the X-Men have every gone against Doom, because they have no clue who he is. Storm even asks Beast, "Is he that formidable a foe?" Is he a formidable foe? He's Doctor Doom! Hello? Seriously? Wow, Storm. I mean, wow.

Anyways, apparently they're down on membership, because Professor X has to call in some backup. He contacts reserve members Havoc and Polaris (who is looking pretty fine in her old costume if you ask me) and Iceman and Banshee to help out.

It then cuts to a backup story about Cyclops. He washes up on the shore of some island without his visor or glasses and meets some chick not named Madelyne Pryor. I kind of sort of remember this part of the storyline, but in this issue it was only one page long.

So back at the ranch and after a quick briefing so that everyone is on the same page, the X-Men hop in the Blackbird and head over to Arcade's Murderworld. We find out that the reason why Doom is pissed at Arcade is because Arcade turned one of his castles into an amusement park. Yeah. Anyways, so the first team infiltrates the castle and Angel, NIghtcrawler, Collosus and Wolverine take out the cronies, while Storm calmly negotiates with Doom.

Then, suddenly, robots start attacking the X-Men while Storm sits down for dinner with the Doctor. I don't really know how all that happened, but Storm ends up sitting down and is eating and drinking with Dr. Doom, while the rest of the team is getting pummeled. Then the twist ending is revealed. Arcade was never a prisoner, it was just a ploy to get the X-Men to Murderworld! Diabolical!

It ends in a cliff hanger with Doom subduing the entire X-Men squad while Arcade stands there with his thumb up his ass. He can't even capture the X-Men, he has to get Doom to do his dirty work for him. And you know that he's just going to bungle things and they're going to escape. Wow is he lame. So this is a two-parter, but to tell you the truth, if I remember correctly, the second part is a heavy dose of Arcade. I will see if I have the strength to review that one or not.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I've been threatening to write this post for awhile now, so I guess now is as good of a time as any to talk about the crapfactory that is Arcade. My personal first-hand introduction to the character occurred in approximately 1988, when I finally tracked down a backissue of X-Men #204, which had been a giant hole in my X-Men collection for a long time. When I finally bought a copy, I was severely disappointed. Months later, Arcade was featured in a couple of the early issues of Excalibur and that pretty much sealed the deal for me. God, I hate Arcade. He serves no purpose, other than to fill a back up story, which is used when they change creative teams or if they're behind on the production schedule and need a filler issue. Every time I would crack open an issue and see his stupid face and his stupid red hair, I would become immediately depressed that I just blew a $1 to $1.50 on a crappy comic. What a waste of newsprint.

Anyways, so a little backstory, and I had to do some research on Arcade because I had zero inclination to do so before this, but I was not surprised to find out that he was a spoiled rich kid. I was very annoyed to find that several different references referred to him as a "supervillian" and an "evil genius" (the next paragraph will go a little more into detail as why he's neither of those two things). Much of his history is clouded, but at one point Arcade did divulge some information. At one point his father cut off his allowance and he killed him. He then became a hitman, even thought he really didn't need the money. Then he developed "Murderworld". Kind of a boring backstory if you ask me.

The thing that really annoys me about him is that every time he's in a book, the plot always follows the exact same formula. He kidnaps someone, they have to survive his "Murderworld" park, which includes lifelike robots that look like various superheroes. So, chaos ensues, the kidnapped character has to "kill" someone they know (only to find out that it was a robot) so then they get mad and fight their way through to the control room and end up "killing" Arcade. Which would be awesome, BUT, every time he gets killed, we find out that it was an Arcade robot and that he somehow escaped. This is totally frustrating because he never, ever dies. AND he never actually kills anyone, which is his whole stated purpose. So, when you think about, no one ever gets killed or murdered, which, in my opinion, kind of defeats the whole purpose of calling your joint "Murderworld". Thinking about this annoys me to no end.

The only thing that is remotely redeeming about an Arcade story is that you're pretty much guaranteed an appearance by Miss Locke. Wow, she was smokin' hot. I had a huge crush on her and would flip through pages of annoying dialogue just to get to a panel that featured her. A very underrated and underused character, in my opinion.

Apparently, it is not known if he is alive or not (I vote for not), as in his last known appearance, he was transported to the Savage Land. Hopefully, he made a nice meal for a Tyrannosaurus Rex there. A guy can dream, can't he?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cap is Back!

So the big news that Marvel announced on Thursday was that Captain America is back. No, they're not bringing Steve Rodgers back from the dead, there's going to be a new Cap with a new uniform. And from the sketches, it looks like he's going to be packin' some heat. I don't really know where I stand on the new uni yet, but I do know that I don't like my Captain American using a gat. I know it's kind of a throwback to the WWII era Cap, but I mean, that's pretty much why you people buy Punisher (or Cable) comics. Am I right? Cap's got the shield, he doesn't need to blast on people. And supposedly, the new Cap is going to be more conservative than the old, more liberal Cap was. Wait, didn't they already do this storyline way back inthe eighties when they fired Steve and replaced him with The Super Patriot (now U.S. Agent)? Man, sometimes comic books frustrate me...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Iron Man, The Movie: Poster Update.

Mavel released the first one sheet for the Iron Man movie. It's a teaser of Shellhead's helmet. Click on the picture off to the left to enlarge it. Again, I cannot wait for this movie to come out.

They also apparently have something big planned for Thursday. It's very cryptic. I just we only have to wait a day or two to find out, but it's still annoying that they just don't announce whatever they have to announce right now.

We're working on some content, I know we've fallen off of the wagon again, but the good thing is that since no one really reads this thing, then there's really no complaints. We'll be back soon.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Big Pun.

Marvel has announced casting for the Punisher sequel. It will be called, "Punisher: War Zone". Dominic West (from "The Wire") is set to play Jigsaw, T.J. Storm will portray Maginty, and Wayne Knight will serve as the Pun's sidekick, Microchip.

I've got a confession to make, I haven't seen the first movie yet, but I'm kind of excited about this news. I love The Wire and Dominic West is amazing on that show (he also played the corrupt senator in "300"). I'm not so sure of the Wayne Knight casting, but obviously he's there for the comic relief. I also like the move to the "War Zone" franchise, hopefully it will be as violent as the comics are. You know, in a good way. In a previous update, they announced that Ray Stevenson (from HBO's "Rome") will play Frank Castle. Interesting HBO connection and a very interesting choice to play the lead role. Filming is supposed to start this month in Montreal, so we'll see what happens.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Uncanny X-Men #311

Ah, UXM issue 311. At one point, this issue held a special place in my heart. I just read it again ten minutes ago and I don't know why I always thought it was so badass, but let's take another look at it. This story takes place after the wedding of Cyclops and Jean Grey over in X-Men #25 and they have a little bit of downtime. The ever-annoying Jubliee is dying to go see the Rocky Horror Picture Show but Beast is busy fixing the X-Mansion's power core and Iceman is busy watching over Emma Frost. Meanwhile, Bishop is outside in the snow having some fond memories, talks to Storm and then throws a snowball at her as she flies away.

Beast seriously does something wrong and the power to the entire X-Mansion goes out. No big deal, except - the X-Men were holding Sabretooth at this time trying to rehabilitate him! With no power to keep 'tooth in his cage, he's free to let the animal loose and stalk some prey. And prey, in this case, means going after Jubliee! Yes, please kill her Sabretooth!

For some reason, Bishop decides to save the day. Dammit, Bishop. He comes in from the cold, uses what little bio-energy he has to blast Sabretooth through a wall which is pretty cool. He blasts him again in a page pretty much the same as the cover, then Sabretooth gets the advantage. Jubliee saves the day by finding a taser gun in the emergency locker. Damn you, emergency locker!!

On the plus side, the power outage caused Emma Frost to take over Iceman's body and eventually push his powers further than he'd ever used them before, which led to Iceman at least looking way cooler than he had in years. I think I remember being kind of creeped out by this story when I first read it because come on, Jubilee vs. Sabretooth is no match, and I geniunely feared for Jubliee's life. Oh well, still a somewhat enjoyable read all these years later.