Sunday, October 26, 2008

Solicitations - the return

After working on my KRABAT post for three days I'm taking a break this weekend for a well earned dosis of R & R. So to pass the time till my batteries are reloaded I'm watching the LEGION OF SUPERHEROES cartoon and going through my bookmarks.

The last time my internet explorer crashed he put all my bookmarks in alphabetical order instead of the chronological order I had it so I have to find some way to bring some sense of order into the system. I'm checking all the download links to save them on my other blog so I have them when I need them getting rid of as many bookmarks on the laptop as possible. Soon I will have to get back to Germany and who knows how much time I willl have ( if any at all ) for writing this blog.

As I said I'm watching the LEGION cartoon but I thought to pass the time while the episoeds are loading I could do one of my old SOLICITATION posts. Normally I just offer my personal thoughts on the new releases from a well informed perspective.

But since I have gone to Spain I'm out of the loop for most of the series in great part because I can't read the comics that my brother has on his pull list. Of course I don't have access to the comics on my own pull list which makes matter even worse. The only comic books I'm halfway still informed about are the comics that I ordered from Germany - but that is the topic for it's own post. Suffice it to say that the reason why I'm having the comics shipped from Germany is that I still haven't found a decent online comic store in Spain that has a good repertoir of american comics.

That may be because they have enough business with the american comics that are translated to spanish or that there are not enough people interested in the original version - or I'm just too stupid to find a good store. Another reason to order the comics from Germany is that at the moment I only have access to the money in my german bank account which means that it's pretty easy to pay a company in Germany but almost impossible to pay a comic shop in Spain. But like I said that's not what this post is about.

The next episode of LEGION OF SUPER HEROES has almost finished loading so let's get right to the solicitations. I hope this edition is as interesting as the last ones or even more since I have to guess what happened while I was away. Like usual I'll start with the DC part :


At the moment the only Battitle I'm reading is ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN and not only because it pisses off so many readers. Well, being in Spain I'm not really reading it right now but you know what I mean. And at the pace the issues are coming out I can be sure that it won't finish before I come back. I read a few issues of the new R.I.P. storyline but the idea to get rid of Bruce Wayne as Batman sounds absurd to me. Bruce Wayne is Batman - the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. Anyone else will be just a guy in Batman's costume.

Beautiful Alex Ross cover by the way but I don't know. Am I the only one who thinks this is the worst Catwoman costume in a long time ? Compared to that I really prefer the costume of the Halle Berry movie ( with Halle Berry in it ) .

You can say a lot about the quality of the movie but at least they understood what a character like CATWOMAN is all about. Now at least they put a zipper on the costume so there are some possibilities......but still.


It's just soo god to have Kelley Jones back on the batfranchise. As unbelievable as it sounds but back when he was on the regular Batbook most people in Germany didn't like it. We all believe that comic readers are an openminded bunch but sometimes they have their strict rules how comics should look. Now being a fan of his work on the DEADMAN minis and the ELSEWHERE Batman vampire stories I was all stoked up when Kelley Jones came to the Batman book. For me there have always been more than one aspects to the character of Batman and an artist like Jones just fits the horror aspects of the book like a glove. Because make no mistake about it, yes, it's also a superhero book and a detective story but it has clear horror aspects.

The story of a boy whose parents are killed before his eyes and who dresses like a giant bat to strike fear into the hearts of evildoers - sounds like a typical horror story to me. Add monsters like the Scarecrow, Joker, Killer Croc, Two Face and other insane psychos to the mix and it's hard to covince anybody that this is NOT a horror book. So for me artists like Kelley Jones or Norm Breyfogle who put their own expressionistic spin on the title are two of the best Batartists.

So far I have only read the second issue but judging from the art Mr. Jones is back. The only story where his art seemed kind of weird and wonky was HAUNTED GOTHAM but this here looks promising. Just a scary story full of dark alleys, ugly monsters, dark chambers and stinky sewers - did I mention that sewers are cool ? It's frightening, it's dark and there are monster alligators and whatnots living down there. I hope there are some sewer scenes in the book. Now Issues 1 and 3 to 5 were in the order that arrived this week but so far I haven't gotten the chance to read them. Maybe I'll do it in one sitting on Halloween.


At first I was shocked how the new comic of THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD looks like but after reading that it's based on a new tv cartoon show I was relieved. So it seems that all my posts about how awesome Jim Aparo was on the title have finally paid of. Seems my constant praise has reminded some people how much potential lies in the stories and they have turned it into a tv series.

And we really need more super hero cartoon shows like JUSTICE LEAGUE or LEGION OF SUPER HEROES. Since kids don't read comics anymore they have to learn about the improtant stuff like super heroes from somewhere. Okay, there is stuff out there I wouldn't let my kid watch like the new THE BATMAN cartoon but there are a lot of shows out there that capture the coolness of super heroes. And from what I have seen so far LEGION OF SUPER HEROES is pretty cool. So maybe they can achieve a part of the awesomeness of JUSTICE LEAGUE. The team up episodes were always the best and there is no better character for others to bounce of than Batman. As long as they stay true to the character. But I will wait with my judgement till I have seen an episode - or read an issue.


So another YEAR ONE series. I've got nothing against these kind of stories as long as they show new aspects of a hero's formative years or at least show them in a different light. As long as they don't feel they have to f - up the existing continuity to please the egos of an artist like BATGIRL : YEAR ONE that's fine by me. Yes, I'm still bitching about it and as a customer who paid full price for it that's my right. If, for instance, DC comics would have send me a free review copy ( which they didn't ) or if I had found it at some con for half price ( which didn't happen ) it might have been different. But I paid full price for it and I was reamed like a cheap five dollar rhymes - with - snore. So I'm gonna bitch and I'm gonna moan and I'm going to whine and cry as long as I want. And as often as I want. Because as long as I have to pay for everything myself I'm not doing anybody any favors and sugarcoat it. If I think it's crap I'm gonna say it.

Not much to say about Black Lightning apart from the fact that Will Smith totally swiped his costume.

At least HANCOCK had different powers than Black Lightning. That way they can still make a Black Lightning movie. You know what Hollywood should do ? They should let Quentin Tarantino do Black Lightning but as a total 70s blacksploitation movie. With Beyonce in the title role doing a Cleopatra Jones kind of character but with the huge afro and all. That would totally rock.


When the series was first announced I hated the whole idea of a new Blue Beetle but this book has grown on me. Since it's on my brother's pull list I have no idea what they are currently up to but maybe I'll read a few issues on the internet once I have more free space on the laptop. But it looks to me that Blue Beetle has either found some new friends or this is the beginning of the BLUE BEETLE CORPS WAR storyline.

You know all the stuff Joe Quesada was trying to achieve with BRAND NEW DAY but failed miserably - they pulled it off with BLUE BEETLE. After INVINCIBLE this is the new Spider - Man for future generations. The idea of the new hero who has to learn the ropes is not exactly new but while there are characters who totally blow in this departement like Kyle Rayner this new Blue Beetle is totally awesome. If you are not reading this book you should definitely give it a try.

By the way, I still think the death of Blue Beetle was unnecessary just to pass the mantle to a new guy. Whatever happened to old superheroes just retiring ? In the past it somehow became standard to rather kill a character than let him hang up the cape and lead a normal life. Seems the new rule is : when in doubt - KILL ! I can't say this new politic really appeals to me since so many characters that had a lot of potential like THUNDERSTRIKE had to go before their time. Just because some writer couldn't think of something better than killing them.


Since I was speaking about origin years aerlier the one DC character who's in desperate need for an overhaul is Deathstroke. I always cringe when comic character's origin is based ob facts that our current science has proven to be untrue. Normally comic companies go total overkill and even make twelve issue mini series to explain why one comic character had a different belt buckle from ome issue to the next. But when it's desperately neeeded they don't even bother.

You remember those DIANETIK ads back when scientology was something virtually nobody knew anything about and L. Ron Hubbard was this harmless science fiction guy ? Well, back then their slogan was : did you know that you're only using ten percent of your brain ? Back then that was what science believed and then somebody came up with the idea of Deathstroke who can use one hundred percent of his brain. Was a good idea. The only problem is that we now know that we don't use ten percent of our brain. We use one hundred percent but - not at the same time.

Science has discovered that certain areas of the brain have certain functions and we don't need to use them all all the time. It's like driving with your car. You don't have the light on AND the wipers AND the heating AND the windshield cleaner. Nobody can drive that way. And no brain can work this way. What's even worse is that science also has discovered that the brain needs to rest and that somebody who could use one hundred percent off the brain ( even if that meant running, jumping, kicking, hopping, rolling, sleeping, singing, swimming, dancing and doing all other motor functions at once ) would inevitably go insane.

Still DC never felt the need to adress this in any comic. Another thing that totally destroys Deathstroke's credibility as a character are such scenes like in IDENTITY CRISIS when he outmanouvers someone like Flash. I mean Flash moves with the speed of light and beyond. To him we all move in ultraslow motion. It's impossible that somebody that fast would be outsmarted and impaled by someone and then impaled. With the speed the Flash moves the molecules of the sword would be somewhere between gas and liquid meaning the sword would just sprinkle down his costume.

Man, Mike Zeck sure did some sweet covers for the Deathstroke series. Makes me wish he did more comic work...he's still got it.

And that's all I've got time for today. I'm just finishing the actual download and then I'm turning the computer off. I would love to watch the second part of the suneater episode of Legion of Super Heroes but in a few minutes GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK starts on the german television network and I haven't seen the movie yet. So as always we will be back to the rest of the DC solicitations tomorrow.

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