Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I sometimes spend too much time complaining about how corporate-driven supercomics are currently rotting in a sewer of their own making, but I also want to draw your attention to the good stuff - the stuff worth your time and money. And the best part? The good creators are putting out their stuff FOR FREE FOR YOU TO TRY!

I'm just going to point you off to three of my favorites today, and I hope you give them a shot and actually pick up the real thing. Trust me, they are totally worth your time and money.

Atomic Robo - Meet Robo, built by Nikola Tesla in the 1920s. He's a tough, clever, sardonic character who's had to deal with weird science and unusual phenomena (He's reluctant to start believing in magic, or to acknowledge the existence of such) for over 8 years. These free comics should give you a good sample of what you're in for.

PS238 - Is the story of a school for super-powered children. Except that unlike other properties, they act like kids. And they are fun and real in the way kids are. There's an absolute TON of material here - more than half of the PS238 series to date - so take a nice long sit-in and enjoy.

Love and Capes - It's a witty, classy, and ultimately, very funny romantic comedy. But with superpowers. The characters aren't a cookie cutter collection of analogues (although they may sometimes look like it - but that's only at the surface) the drama is driven more by the depiction of a more realized relationship than anything you'll see from Marvel/DC. Give it a try - you'll like it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Superman and Captain America - Contrasts

It's interesting to me that Captain America and Superman are often considered synonymous with America, given the contrasts in their back stories, and how that reflects on their characters.

First, when you think about it, Clark's experiences growing up exposed him to possibly the best features of America - granted, farming isn't exactly the most prosperous lifestyle, but it's hard not to see some of the most idealized aspects of the American immigrant story in Superman's upbringing. He starts out on a small farm in the middle of nowhere in a Norman Rockwell conception of America, and then climbs out of that to a more middle-class urban existence as a crusading reporter in the big city. That's the stuff the American Dream of social mobility is all about.

By comparison, Steve Rogers? He got to see some of the worst times in American history - his parents dying not because of crime, but because of the horrors of disease and the Great Depression. His upbringing was one of isolation and struggle to survive, and he did. He had to rise above it, he had to...well, he had to transform himself so he wouldn't become bitter and cynical. He had to believe in something more than what his experiences told him life had to offer.

What's also interesting is comparing the methods both take in their particular version of the American Dream. Captain America is all about defending the platonic Ideal of the DREAM - his weapon is a shield for a reason - he's all about DEFENCE - from external threats, from twisted versions of the dream (which is why there are so many "evil versions" of Cap out there), etc. Captain America focuses on the big picture. Superman, or at least, Superman at his very best, is more about the details. He focuses on the more immediate issues of security - preventing a robbery, stopping/relieving disasters, helping people when there are no other systems left to turn to. Superman is there to help, but its in those small moments of heroics that you see Clark Kent, the farmboy and the pragmatist, trying to make life just a little more tolerable by sharing the amazing gifts as a way for saying "thanks". If Cap is all about being the top cop protecting the community, Superman is all about giving back to the community, and defending it is just one part of that.

Or at least, that's how I see it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Coldest Blood

My good friend Jens H. Altmann has released his latest work, THE COLDEST BLOOD, for the Kindle at Amazon and Amazon.uk. Worth your time - get it.

EDITED TO ADD: Sorry about the link problems from earlier this morning - fixing them now.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Proof Continuity Does Not Matter

Here's why:

Because you have people watching Smallville, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Dark Knight at the same time.

Because there are people who will play Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: the Brave and the Bold.

Do people get confused by all this? NO.

So, this is why I think less continuity could end up being a good thing - you pick and choose what matters to you. So say, Superman: Earth One isn't your cup of tea (it certainly isn't for me) - that's fine; there's still every other version of the origin and the coming of age out there. So pick what you like, support it with your dollars, and that becomes the only "canon" that matters.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So...what to talk about?

I admit to having very little to talk about the last little while - with the cosmic branch of Marvel shutting down, the "Incredible Hercules Saga" about to wrap up, and the JMS-led Superman books continuing to bore me to tears, there isn't much to talk about.

Well, except for PS238, Atomic Robo, Farscape and Love and Capes. And maybe I'll do some stuff on them.
Your input would be appreciated. And until then, I'll probably be throwing up a short posts on various topics.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Last Word

Seriously people, is there a trope anywhere that is sweeter than the Gunslinger Walk?

I think not.


Friday, November 19, 2010

More Cosmic! MORE!

Man, I'm gonna miss this series - and of course, the unanswered questions we're left with:

1) Jack Flag has a cosmic destiny? Really? REALLY? What's up with that?

2) Cosmo...look, we all love Cosmo, but how did he come to be? Damn if there isn't a good story there.

3) We're never gonna get Phyla and Hulkling to meet, are we? Dammit!

4) We're also never going to find out what happened to that little girl Drax hung around with - double dammit!

6) The whole multiple Guardians timeline chicanery - that also would be interesting to see.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cosmic Posters - NOVA

And really, anything I would have to say here is redundant.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pick the Best Caption

I've still got a lot of Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova based posters if you want to see them. Do I hear a call for that?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cosmic Retrospective: THANOS

Thanos is great, probably because unlike some villains, he doesn't show up very often (usually he's dead between appearances, which helps with this sort of thing) so he's not as overexposed as say, Doom or Magneto.

And with Thanos, it's never a question of "is he really dead this time?" as much as "How long before he's back?"

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cosmic Retrospective: NOVA

Yeah, this pretty much says it all - they took the hybrid of two of the most successful Silver Age franchises (Green Lantern and Spider-Man) to make Nova to start with. A character who's had momentary successes, but never really actualized his potential.

At least not until this - and he became the biggest badass in the Marvel Cosmic line up. Really, anything I have to say is redundant at this point - just enjoy the posters.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cosmic Retrospective: STARLORD

It's one thing to take a character who had a moderate amount of popularity (say, enough to sustain a series ever decade or so) and bring that character into the limelight again. It's an altogther astonishing thing to take a character that was NEVER popular and make them the centerpiece of an ensemble cast. And yet, that's exactly what happened with Peter Quill, the once and reluctantly-yet-again Starlord.

And let's face facts - as a leader, he wasn't all that great. He got by more on seat of his pants than any kind of real planning. He was an adaptive, not proactive thinker. More of an everyman reluctantly put into the role of cosmic wariror. Grounded, down-to-earth, and self-depricating. Pretty much the perfect point of view character.

And let's face it, he was funny as hell. Not just funny the way Deadpool is funny, but actually, you know, witty and clever and thoughtful. A rare feat.