Monday, February 23, 2009

Youngblood #8.

Speaking of Rob Liefeld, I was on Image's website this morning and noticed the cover to Youngblood #8. Apparently, Rob couldn't stay away from the newest comic book trend; shamelessly trying to drive up sales by putting an image of Obama on the cover. Apparently, Rob thinks that even the 44th Prez needs some cross-hatched shading on his face to really bring him to life. Where is the light source coming from in that cover? He's got shadows on both sides of his face but then the background is pretty flat. The result is; it looks like he hasn't shaved in a couple of days. And that his facial hair grows in cross-hatched. Nice job there. I can imagine Rob sitting at his drawing table saying, "A little shading on the face...and...done. Time to cash some checks."

I also like how their "variants" are the exact same cover, just in a slightly different color scheme. You'd think that because it's Rob Liefeld, the variant would be a chromium, gold-foil, hologram, die-cut cover, selling for $8.99. But nope, instead of all of that awesomeness, they decided to just make it gray. Probably because of the economy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rob Liefeld.

I came across this list of why Rob Liefeld sucks, and it's pretty darn entertaining. I had forgotten that he had his own Levi's 501 commercial directed by Spike Lee. My favorite part of that video is: "Rob, have you had any formal art training?", and the answer is, "No, just a lot of imagination". Right. Goddamn the '90s.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wolverine and the X-Men: First Impressions.

I've watched the first four or five episodes of Wolverine and the X-Men and it's pretty decent. It's kind of cross between the X-Men series on FOX in the '90s and the X-Men: Evolution series from a couple of years ago, in that it's faithful to a lot of elements of the comic book, but they have also made a lot of the characters younger and they are trying to develop their own stories.

Yes, it is strange to see Wolverine in a leadership position, and there is at least one episode so far where his is the only "X-Man" featured (Gambit was also in that episode, but he hasn't officially joined the team yet). There is an attack targeted against telepaths, and Professor X and Jean Grey go missing. Cyke is despondent after losing Jean, so he really isn't in the frame of mind to pull the team together, and after a visit from Professor X from the future, he tells Wolverine he has to put the team back together.

The animation is alright, it is obviously a kids show, because Wolverine doesn't get his costume trashed every time he fights like he does in the comics, even when he gets hit square in the chest with a laser. There was also a car chase involving the Blob that was kind of awkward.

But overall, I like it. It's entertaining, I'm probably not going to go out and buy it on DVD, but I will certainly make sure that my DVR is recording every episode.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spider-Man #583, 5th Print.

I was cruising through the new releases for tomorrow and getting a list together and saw that Marvel is going to ship a fifth printing of the Spider-Man issue featuring President Obama. Crazy. Somehow, I got a second printing from a guy at work. They are also shipping a second printing of Thunderbolts #128, so I'll be picking that one up for sure and then I'll buy a first-print off of eBay in six years when all of the hype is over.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Marvel Toys

Damn you, Marvel! They just announced that Hasbro will be producing a line of 3 3/4" figures to celebrate Marvel's 70th anniversary. I thought that size would be too small to get any good measure of detail in there but those photos at the bottom look amazing!

Looks like it's just going to be a general Marvel line which sounds incredibly awesome. If I was still in my toy collecting frenzy days, I'd probably try to get them all but I'll probably just pick up my favorites.

Even better, Hasbro is letting you choose five figures to be included in the line. Yeah, I admit - I voted for Vance Astrovik. So what about it?

Monday, February 2, 2009


Thanks to the wonder that is Netflix, I've been watching Smallville at a rapid pace. We're in the middle of Season Four right now and overall, it's been pretty good. I've never been a fan of Superman. In fact, I would say at certain times I've outright hated the character. He always seemed too invincible to me and he never really had any villains in the comics that seemed like a threat.

But alas - Smallville is about Clark Kent, not Superman. And that's where its strength lies. Clark wants to be a normal teenager but he is discovering his powers along with the viewer. Over the first four seasons, he's had to figure out how to control his heat vision and super hearing. The series starts off with the meteor shower that brought Clark to Smallville. The story is that the meteorite rocks have special powers, so one week there was a dude with fire powers, one girl could teleport, etc. At times, the show falls into the X-Files / Buffy "Villain of the Week" scenario, but even some of those episodes are good.

The main crux of the series lies with Clark's friendship with Lex Luthor. You can tell that Lex really wants to be a good guy, but something always seems to go wrong. Clark and Lex maintain a friendship (for how many more seasons?) that has its ups and downs so it's really cool to see the bond that's developing between them. I'm very curious to see when that bond will be shattered permanently and they become enemies.

I think the strongest episodes are the ones where there isn't a Kryptonite-inspired villain. The ones where it's just a human out for his own gain by trying to reveal Clark's secret. He won't kill anyone and yet he has to take someone down without resorting to physical means.

Also cool are the times when they introduce elements from the comics - Lois Lane and The Flash have already made appearances, and also a random appearance from Mr. Mxyzptlk. Awesome. It's nice to see John Schneider (from Dukes of Hazzard) in a pretty strong role as Clark's Dad, too. I haven't really read ahead for what's coming in the next few seasons but we're definitely hooked.

Bottom line - some episodes are better than others but overall a strong show and a great take on the Superman mythos.