Sunday, March 04, 2012

Beware the ides of March

Today´s ( and in fact the next few days ) post is going to be another post where I cram various topics into one post like I have done in the past. And I guess I´m still doing so I´m not sure why I deemed this intro necessary. So let´s get on with it.


So, Today I bought another german comic, X - MEN SONDERHEFT SCHISMA : GETRENNTE WEGE which is not ( as the cover suggests ) the brilliant X - MEN SCHISM miniseries but rather the german edition of X - MEN PRELUDE TO SCHISM. I can pretty much understand why they went with the cover by Alan Davis since I myself wouldn´t slap any of the original covers of the prelude miniseries on a comic I wanted to sell.

The german comic has 100 pages for 6.95 EUROS which is a good price but unless you are a really dedicated hardcore fan of the X - Men or the ultimate completist you really don´t need this comic. According to Marvel this is The prelude to the X - Men Event of 2011 ! What does it mean to be a leader ? What does it do to a person ? What do the choices you make mean about the person you are ? This is a story that delves into these issues and will give an X-Men reader what they need to know about their favorite mutants - before everything changes !

Sadly the comic doesn´t deliver on any of those counts. The story doesn´t have anything to do with SCHISM and rather feels like one of those " shelved " issues Marvel used to have ( and probably still has ) for the event an issue was delayed. Then there were finished comics in a drawer that had nothing to do with current continuity and could be inserted anytime. Like those shelved comics the PRELUDE TO SCHISM doesn´t have anything to do with it and really is only a waste of time.

If you are one of those guys who likes the parts in an action movie best where people are just standing around and talking a lot then this is a comic for you. Because that´s what you get here. A lot of standing around, a lot of talking and a lot of recap of ancient X - Men history. During the whole story some undisclosed threat is approaching but it never is specified which threat that is and it´s not like there is something coming in SCHISM that you could foretell or forsee from this miniseries.

The whole premise of the story doesn´t make any sense like Paul Jenkins wrote it without knowing what is going to happen in the big event it´s leading up to. The recapping of X - Me history is rather sketchy and arbitrary and not very well done. Another thing that bothers me is that in almost every story involving Magneto they come up with a different name for him. His name is Erik Lensherr, dammit. Can´t writers do their homework ?

Now this could be saved by good art but like the writing it´s subpar, mediocre at best. Even though it´s cheaper than the US trade your money is better spent by getting the hardcover from amazon which is now sold for the same price as the trade 14.95 EUROS. And you have Carlos Pacheco, Frank Cho, Alan Davis, Daniel Acuna and Adam Kubert on one of the best x - events of the past years. Highest recommendation.


In my last post I mentioned DC sexing up Catwoman ( yes, in the all butt edition ) and I wanted to illustrate the point a little further. Of course at this point everybody knows about Catwoman´s on - panel sex acts with Batman in the first issue of the New 52 series in which she didn´t wear much clothes either. DC seems to be bent on playing her character in that way for the time being which you can see on one side by her depiction on some of the covers that really needs no further explanations.

And for everyone who wants more than just some nice pictures there´s the Bishoujo Catwoman figure that really empahsizes her most prominent features.

You can find an in - depth ( no pun intended ) analysis of the figure on this post . Now don´t get me wrong, I´m all for superheroines strutting their stuff but I´m getting some weird vibrations from DC´s mixed signals to fans. One hand is teasing me with pin up Catwoman, the other hand is covering up my Power Girl from head to toe. It´s either totally scizophrenic or DC is trying to cover all the bases while feeling the desperate need to do things different.

I´m not reading the new CATWOMAN book so it´s only speculation but maybe they want to go back to her past as a prostitute which wouldn´t be the first time they go back to it as chronicled by Comicbook Resources Abandoned and Forsaken entry on it . It´s really an interesting read and you can find many other fascinating storylines that were nixxed like Magneto being Xorn, the death of Aunt May or Prometheus going from majorly brilliant and unbeatable supervillain mastermind to pushover milksop and back again in their archive .


Speaking about weird stories and archives, I already mentioned in one of my posts that I was kind of hoping that now as DC seems so desperate that it restarts all titles with a new number 1 and is rehashing old storylines ( not to speak of old 90´s Image Comics art ) they would also return to the whacky stories of the Golden Age. As an example I cited one article of the I LOVE YA BUT YOU´RE STRANGE series about Golden Age Superman´s inaproppiate sexual fixation on his cousin Supergirl.

Well, Supergirl was of course not exempt of some inaproppiate stories with weird sexual implications like ANOTHER STORY WHERE SHE DISGUISES HER SO SUPERMAN CAN PLANT A WET ONE ON HER , HER AND WONDER WOMAN GIVING UP BEING SUPERHEROINES BECAUSE IT WAS TOO MANLY and THAT TIME SUPERGIRL MADE OUT WITH HER HORSE . So I guess DC can only blame themselves for all the jokes about Supergirl and her horse. By the way, the horse ALSO MADE OUT WITH LOIS LANE in another story. You can find the full extend of depraved and weird comicbook stories of Yesterday ( and maybe Tomorrow ) in their archive .


Today I went over the latest solicitations for Marvel and DC ( yes, I know I´m way behind with it ) when I came across this DEFENDERS cover.

And looking at it I had the idea that Pam Grier would have been a cool choice for Misty Knight in an HEROES FOR HIRE movie. She played the tough cop / private eye in COFFY and cult classic FOXY BROWN and she could deliver the action sequences. As a bonus she´s really hot and she has taken off her clothes a few times in her movies.

Of course that would mean that you would cast Richard Roundtree, Mr. Shaft himself for Luke Cage. I mean is there anyone cooler than Shaft ? I don´t know how much getting rid of the stache would affect his performance ( maybe we could keep the stache since they made Kingpin black in the Daredevil movie ) but I can just see him as the hero from the hood who ends up behind bars, unjustly convicted for a crime he didn´t commit. Now that I think of it HERO FROM THE HOOD does have a certain ring to it. I think I better copyright that before somebody else turns it into a comic or movie.

So the next question who is going to play Iron Fist. Keeping with the time period and the talent available I would like to say Bruce Lee but since Daniel Rand is not really asian looking Bruce Lee would have to play Shang Chi ( in a guest appearance of course ).

As Iron Fist we could either take David Carradine who took over Bruce Lee´s part in the original KUNG FU series or one of Bruce Lee´s pupils, the young Chuck Norris.

Then we also need somebody to play Daniel´s father for which Steve McQueen would be great. He could be the overarching father figure and he would only appear in the first part of the movie and then die a tragic death. So you wouldn´t have to pay him that much money and actors just love to play a great death scene. Dying in a movie is one sure way to get an Oscar.

As for Coleen Wing I would probably go for Raquel Welch. Not really original you might say ( especially coming from me ) but she looks good, is athletic enough to do the action parts and I don´t see somebody like Sophia Loren or Doris Day playing the part of swordwielding dragonlady.

You know, for the life of me I can´t understand why, with all the comic movies Marvel is doing they haven´t done a HEROES FOR HIRE, IRON FIST or THE DEADLY HANDS OF SHANG - CHI MASTER OF KUNG FU movie.

They are doing all these expensive movies where you need tons of special effects instead of doing a martial arts movie that would be much easier to do. And don´t tell me martial arts wouldn´t rock in 3D. We´re talking about IN YOUR FACE KUNG FU, dude ! On the other side, now that Disney has made Marvel their bitch they wouldn´t do a decent fight movie anyway. The end product would be something like " The greatest fighter is the one who can defeat himself ! " B.S. or worse.

Still, if it was up to me just take IP MAN´s Donnie Yen as Shang Chi, GREEN HORNET´s Jay Chou as The Cat, Beyonce as Misty Knight ( definitely with the afro ), TEKKEN´s Christine Monteiro Kelly Overton as Coleen Wing, Michael J White as Luke Cage, SMALLVILLE´s Green Arrow Justin Hartley as Daniel Rand, Russel Crowe as Papa Rand, Tony Yah as Steel Serpent, Ken Watanabe as Lei Kung the Thunderer and Mark Dacascos as Yü Ti and make the damn movie.

You know, apart from Steve McQueen and Bruce Lee you could even take my cast from above and make a HEROES FOR HIRE movie that takes part 20 years later. Of course this is only a mental exercise. So, if it was up to you, who would you cast ?


I was just catching up on my reading of the excellent blog COMICBITS ONLINE when I found this interesting article on The Improbability of the British Super Hero .

Now, european superhero comics are something that interests me very much and not only because I published one of the few german superheo comics to this very day.

If this doesn´t interest you you might better skip this whole part. I never understood the idea that " only american creators can do superhero comics " that is propagised not only by american people but also by people in Europe, most often when asked why they don´t make superhero comics. There is this idea that superheroes MUST always be skyscrapers and always be in America. That european creators can´t do good superheroes.

Well, this is the greatest piece of s - word on a stick I have ever heard. What about the british invasion ? Not to bring the big guns but maybe you´ve heard about this little comic called WATCHMEN that´s only ..... well, possibly the best superhero comic there is. And it was done by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Who surprisingly are not american. I mean where would the comic industry be Today without the works of Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, ( to some extent Garth Ennis ) or the art of Brian Bolland, Alan Davis, Brian Hitch, without such works like WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MAN OF TOMORROW, FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING, THE KILLING JOKE, V FOR VENDETTA, ANIMAL MAN, SWAMP THING, PREACHER ?

And that´s just those british guys. As a paisano form Spain I´m always happy to see some spanish artists dab in the superhero pool and I even got the book with all the spanish artists working on superheroes. Carlos Pacheco, Jesus Merino, Salvador Larocca, Ramon Bachs, I could be name dropping like crazy. But you get my point.

American comics have always had european creators or creators who don´t come from America and even when you get to the Who´s Who list there are a lot of gys from abroad on it : Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, George Perez, Mike Deodato Jr, hell, we even got people like Jordi Bernet or Jose Ladronn doing superheroes. Heck, John Byrne and Dale Keown are from Canada, Canada I say !

So where do people get the idea that superheroes can only be done by american creators ?

I don´t know. When we began the long odyssey that future generations would come to know as POWER FREAKS we heard the same thing over and over again. It´s impossible to do german superhero comics. Now it´s more like : It´s impossible to do more than one issue of a german superhero comic. And I´m sure if our number two had ever come out it would now be it´s impossible to do more than two issues of a german superhero comic. But the thing remains that most everybody we encountered thought it was impossible to do a german superhero comic and take the comic seriously. Not make a gag comic or a parody or a funny superhero comic.

And the thing is most people couldn´t really explain why they thought it was impossible. Most people just accepted it as fact and never bothered to try if it really was impossible. Well, now that POWER FREAKS didn´t go as planned people took that as proof that it was impossible from the start but they also can´t deny that the impossible happened. We published a german superhero comic that was a serious comic and the universe stopped. The laws of physics were negated and for that point in time we had bested fate. Which are the moments an artist lives for.

Okay, end of my longwinded rant but you see I don´t give much credit to this urban comic legend that superhero comics can only be made by american creators / people / comic companies. For years I´ve been a huge fan of Paul Grist´s JACK STAFF ( who also worked on an issue of CAPTAIN AMERICA, and that as a british artist ) and I especially love JACK STAFF because it´s NOT an american comic.

I love it for the british setting but also for the rich history of british comics that are part of this universe with Paul´s own versions of MYTEK, ROBOT ARCHIE, EYE OF KELLY, STEEL CLAW or SPIDER. Those were british comics but they also appeared in the german KOBRA magazine so I guess the nationality of the product was not that specific if german readers could also enjoy it. So what´s my point ? Don´t let people tell you what´s possible and what isn´t. Especially when it comes to superheroes there are a lot of things that are taken as facts but which have no real evidence to back it up. And if you want to do superhero comics, no matter if you´re from England, Spain, Australia, India, Afrika or the planet Krypton just do it.

By the way, one thing that I´m still hoping for in JACK STAFF is one of my dream crossovers : SPIDER vs SPIDER - MAN. Paul Grist already has a SPIDER - like character in the books so it´s not impossible to do his version of the wallcrawler and let those two butt webheads. Although it would be a bit confusing in the german version since The Spider was called Spiderman ( without the hyphen, that´s why the distinction is so important ) in Germany.


Here´s something else from COMICBITS ONLINE, this time it´s a clip about the local comic scene of Portland which seems to be a fertile ground for independent comic companies like Dark Horse or Top Shelf or small press comics in general. Maybe a nice town to visit, it´s got good public transportation but don´t forget to bring your umbrella.

And speaking about the comic industry, this sums it up really nice ( also found on COMICBITS ONLINE thus making it a perfect hattrick ).

Last but not least, here´s a funny strip and I can´t remember where I found it :

As one of the few blogs that travels in time - since I´m probably writing this after most people have read this post - I can´t end the post without a Doctor Who related clip ( I´ve currently made my way to the second season ) so here´s the Tardis taking off for the first time. Next time we´ll be going over some comic news that have piled up in the meantime.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest


Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

I hate to break it to you but Steve McQueen did a couple decades back.

SUBZERO said...

I know. Like I wrote : " You know, apart from Steve McQueen and Bruce Lee you could even take my cast from above and make a HEROES FOR HIRE movie that takes part 20 years later. "

Because they are both dead. Sorry if I didn´t make that clear.

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

Actually, I was trying to be funny by not mentioning Lee was dead, too. It seemed soooooo funny in my head at the time!!:-/

SUBZERO said...

It probably was but since I read it after midnght I didn´t catch it. Sometimes I´m slow with these kind of things.

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

No. It IS pretty lame. I was chuckling to myself at the time but as I had a major blood sugar crash...Monday(?) I was not using my rather Einsteinean brain (as in Einsteins brain post autopsy).