Thursday, February 09, 2012

Ach du lieber ! Meine german comic reads

For my readers it´s been four days since my last post, for me I just finished it Today. Since it says in the blog header that this blog is about the translated version of american comics I thought it´s about time that I did a post on the stuff I´m reading in german.

And with this I don´t mean german comics by german creators since I cover most of that in my posts from Erlangen or the Stuttgarter Comicbörse. Here I want to write about american comics in the translated german version that I´m reading besides my regular pull list.

Which is mostly stuff I read on the bus or on the train and that I buy at the newsstands instead of the comicshop and that´s on my desk right now. First up is SIMPSONS SPECIAL PRÄSENTIERT : SIMPSONS SUPER SPEKTAKEL 5, 68 pages for 3,30 EUROS.

When BONGO COMICS first started publishing Simpson comics I was pretty excited since almost everybody I know is a fan of the series. I got all the number ones but after a while I kind of lost interest. I still bought the first four issues of every series and still have them somewhere. I bought the odd issue here or there, like when I was on vacation in Spain and I already had all the other american comics but I don´t really follow it anymore.

The only issues I still buy are the BART SIMPSON´S TREEHOUSE OF TERROR issues and anything that has new stuff with Radioactive Man, one of Matt Groening´s most brilliant creations. This issue offers 3 Radioactive Man stories, 1 Bartman tale, another story with The Legion of Superpets and one story of Senor Ding Dong. As with most Radioactive Man stories they are just full of little Easter Eggs for comic readers and spoof every comic cliche there is. What I really appreciate about the german version ( of this and the following FUTURAMA issues ) are the cheat sheets that explain the little nuggets hidden in the story. Since most german readers are not as familiar as somebody like me with american pop culture a lot of the inside jokes have to be explained. But I must confess there are some things even I don´t know or forget so it´s always interesting to read that part. The Simpsons are still pretty popular here in Germany and the comics sell ten times what they sell in America.

Now I don´t know what the sales numbers for FUTURAMA are but I know that although it only comes out every three months they still have a cover price of 2 EUROS 90 which is pretty low. There are very few comics in Germany that can afford the luxury to be published in the single issues format so they can´t sell too bad. Most comics that are translated from other languages to german have at least two regular issues per number and I think german comic publishers are the inventors of the back up story. This goes probably back to the old MV Comix and even before.

Lately I have gotten quite a few issues of FUTURAMA since I also like the tv show. Here in Germany it´s currently shown on the music channel VIVA which shows all kinds of tv and anime shows like CASE CLOSED, NARUTO or ONE PIECE. Now that Mtv has gone off the air here ( you only get it over satellite or digitally ) VIVA has inherited all its shows like I USED TO HAVE A BRAIN or DATE MY MILF and they play even less music videos. I just whish they would show BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD again, those two are cool. And like I said, they show cartoon shows like FAMILY GUY or FUTURAMA. It seems despite the fact that FUTURAMA never did get the big following it got im America it still is shown on at least two tv stations.

Normally I only buy the issues that are related to superhero comics I know but issue 42 had such a cool Jack Kirby inspired cover that I just had to get it. As usual there are the articles in the back explaining the finer points of the issue, but as somebody who hasn´t seen all the episodes ( and doesn´t remember the ones I saw too well ) it is really appreciated. Especially where the history of the characters is involved. And you can´t beat evil robots, especially evil, murdering robot Santas. Hmm, now that I think of it, does Bender qualify as evil robot ? That would explain Futurama´s success.

Okay, I admit that I only bought issue 45 for two reasons. Number 1 : Amy appears in a superhero costume, even if it´s only a dream. But almost the whole comic takes place in people´s dreams. So it´s semi - real. Number 2 : one of the characters in the story looks like Neil Gaiman´s Dream from the Endless. And I´m always a sucker for SANDMAN tie - ins even the most vague ones.

Speaking of Neil Gaiman and Matt Groening cartoon shows it seems Neil Gaiman appeared in an episode of THE SIMPSONS . I guess some day they will show it on german tv but with my luck I will probably miss it.

As for issue 46 of FUTURAMA I have no idea why I bought that since I´m not much into racing stuff. And the FAST AND FURIOUS jokes ( fast means almost in german ) were old when the second part of the franchise came out. Another hint that I may not be the intended audience is that I had to read the database articles in the back to find out which videogames were mentioned in the comic. I guess except for RIDGE RACER ( imagine intro yelling Ridge Race here ) or SUPER HANG ON I never played many racing games. While I could appreciate the graphics of games like Grand Theft I always crashed the car too soon or ended up going in the wrong direction with these kind of games. Which is why I was always more into fighting games like STREET FIGHTER or TEKKEN.

Which reminds me that one of these days I have to get the TEKKEN movie ( probably from Spain where I can get an uncut version ) for the home cinema since it´s not half bad. There are some good fight scenes in it, the actors really bring the game characters alive ( especially the Williams twin sisters, massita ) but the main reason for buying the movie is Kelly Overton who plays Christine Monteiro.

I just like her fashion sense and her butt cleavage is one of the highlights of the movie. In fact it carries a big part of the film.

One brilliant piece of casting in Tekken was Christie Monteiro ( Kelly Overton ). She is the only reason for a heterosexual male to see this film since extraordinarily superior martial artists films like Fearless and Ip Man exist. Every outfit she wears – except for the first one – shows her ass crack and it’s obvious she isn’t wearing any underwear.

Not since Rebecca Romijn’s Mystique has the separation in the Gluteus Maximus muscle been on display in an adaptation so salaciously and audaciously. The costume designers on Tekken had no shame . . . bless them. There is one scene where Jin Kazama ( Jon Foo ) is staring down Monteiro´s crack at her ass. Monteiro is aware of it, comments, and then the viewer is shown just what captured his attention so fastidiously.

There is even an article deicated to Kelly Overton´s gluteus maximus on TEKKEN .

click here for the fullsize version of Kelly Overton´s butt cleavage

And her dancing moves are not half bad either. I´d love to see what she can do with a wet t - shirt and a pole.

Speaking about movies I have to admit I have seen at least four of THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS movies and the last one was pretty good. Even if the trailer gives away most of the plot. I think there´s an even longer version that goes five minutes. Here´s the trailer that has a spanglish intro ( and goodbye ) by Big V himslef.

One of the things related to THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS I never understood was thw whole TOKYO DRIFT thing. They sent a delinquent to Tokyo like what´s up with that ? Couldn´t they find a city with a higher crime rate ? Or were they hoping he wouldn´t survive it ?

Okay, back to issue 46 of FUTURAMA, even if I´m not part of the intended target audience I have to admit I did enjoy the comic. The only downside is that now that I have finally started reading the series regularly I have to wait until April for the next issue to come out.

Dang, the same thing happened with the DEAD ZONE tv show. Every time I had started to watch the show regularly and had finally memorized when it´s on they took it off the air.

Okay, next on the list is X- MEN and the german versions are the only x - related comic I read on a regular basis. I had given up on the whole X - Men related stuff because it had become too confusing. The first x - book I read in a long time was Chris Claremont´s X - MEN FOREVER and though I really was x - cited to read the X - Men I knew the series was canceled and I switched to the trades. If I had sticked to the single issues I would have probably only bought the issues by Tom Grummet and they are very few. I still have to get the last two trades of the second season but right now they are too expensive at amazon or other comicshops.

Lately I had thought about getting back to the X - Men universe proper since I have read X - MEN SCHISM which I really enjoyed despite my initial negative reaction to the premise. After Carlos Pacheco´s superb Point One issue and his also great part in the SCHISM storyline I was really stoked about the new UNCANNY X - MEN series that he was to draw. But after he only did the full art on the first issue and did less and less pages in the subsequent two issues I think the book will not make it´s way to my pull list. Issue 10 is in the new PREVIEWS and it seems after issues done by Brandon Peterson and Greg Land Carlos Pacheco will be back but I guess it depends on if he does the full issue if I buy it or not.

So the first german X - Men issue on my desk is issue 131, 124 pages for 5.95 EUROS that includes a big poster and contains the complete QUARANTINE storyline.

Five issues for 5.95 is not a bad deal even if I already bought the final issue in the original version because it also had the first issue of AVENGERS ACADEMY ( another series like X - MEN FOREVER, THUNDERBOLTS and SECRET WARRIORS where I still have to catch up at least two trades ).

I have to say I really prefer the issues that have one story instead of the normal issues that have different stories from four or five different series. They are like a trade that´s stapled but in the past there had only been one other that collected a stroyline and that was a four part story with art by Terry Dodson. That was really cool.

When I started reading the german X - Men again ( man, I guess I´m really the only one in Germany who would prefer a german title for the comic like GRUPPE X or X - MENSCHEN ) it was right after the Messiah Complex storyline which was probably the best moment. Not that Messiah Complex was a bad story which I don´t know since I never read it. But the best moments to start reading series are normally after a big event has taken place. New Status Quo, new alliances, new teams, new members and so on. Meaning that you can come and just enjoy reading since it´s a clean slate for old readers as well.

I could get reacquainted with the X - Men even if the issues were always a bit of a jumble tumble patchwork offering a lot of cheap filler stuff.

But lately PANINI is publishing more complete storylines which was a blessing for me since I could skip issue 132 which contained the SPIDER - MAN AND THE X - MEN story and was entirely drawn by Chris Bachalo.

Since I have already gone over the reasons why I don´t like his art anymore in detail a few times so I won´t bore you with it again. Let it suffice to say that I was a huge fan of him during his GENERATION X run and that it changed with STEAMPUNK.

I did however buy the next issue of the german X - Men which contained the complete BREAKING POINT saga. Which brings us to one of the shortcoming of the german versions, namely the translation. I have already mentioned ad nausea how bad the translation is in some cases but I never tire to point out if it could have been done better.

And sorry if this sounds bitter but is BRUCHSTELLE really the best you can come up with ? Because believe it or not, a title also has to sell the comic. And in my opinon BREAKING POINT is not the same as BREAKPOINT or BREAKAGE. Okay, it has similar meaning but I think the term BREAKING POINT is a bit stronger and is to be taken more literally here. It´s not about a thing breaking but rather the main characters being brought to the point where they snap, where they have to go beyond their limits and fail, the point where they break. So I think something like BELASTUNGSGRENZE or ZERREISSGRENZE would have been waaaay better. As for the plot, it´s a sequel to the BREAKWORLD saga from Joss Whedon´s ASTONISHING X - MEN run and it´s a bit difficult to follow all the turns and curveballs that the writer throws at the reader. But the Dodson´s art helps a great deal.

And speaking about bad translations of titles I think the best ( or worst in this case ) translation in a long time is for YOUNG AVENGERS - THE CHILDREN´S CRUSADE which originally was supposed to be called YOUNG AVENGERS - DIE KREUZFAHRT ( Young Avengers - The Cruise ).

But it seems even the guys at PANINI realized that there´s a little difference between a cruise ( a nice leisure trip on a yacht or boat ) and a crusade ( a holy war or mission most often associated with killing as many infidels as possible ). Although I have to admit the new title YOUNG AVENGERS - DER KINDERKREUZZUG still leaves a lot to be desired. For me Kinderkreuzzug sounds a lot like Kindergarten, like it´s not a serious crusade. And if you have read the series ( which I strongly recommend and not only because it´s probably the lead - in for the upcoming AVENGERS VS X - MEN megaevent ) you know that it´s anything but. The stakes are very real and very high. So, like in most cases I have no idea why they went to all the trouble instead of choosing the easier and far more obvious translation of KREUZZUG DER KINDER which also explains it better.

But maybe that´s just me and nobody else cares about that.

And with that we have officially reached the part where I start bitching and whining and cursing the evil comicgods callled Quesada and the likes and maybe even spit and scratch. In other words : Spider - Man after BRAND NEW DAY.

Yes, I´m still reading the occasional Spider - Man even after BRAND NEW DAY which in my opinion completely destroyed the franchise. But there were still some artists associated with old webhead that I liked most importantly John Romita Jr who illustrated the brilliant NEW WAYS TO DIE story. After that I mostly picked the issues with artists I liked like Marcos Martin and Javier Pulido who have kind of a similar style. for the most parts the stories are not that captivating and for a Spideyfan who has been around the block as many times as me it´s just a rehashing of old storylines that have been done before by better artists and writers. They just add the internet and i phones.

Especially the whole THE GAUNTLET deal was kind of a big joke. Spider - Man being attacked by one villain after another, first the Rhino then Mysterio then somebody else and so on ? Back when I was reading Spider - Man in the 80s we called that Wednesday and Spidey did that while having a serious cold or a broken shoulder. The gauntlet. A mere child´s game. And thank god we have returned to Peter´s women hunting days that was so much fun ( which is sarcasm ). Even the gangwar storyline with cyborg Silvermane has been done ad nauseum.

But I don´t want to turn this into one of my usual bitching rants although there will be one minor thing I will mention later on. It´s not like anybody is forcing me to buy Spider - Man and i know that BRAND NEW DAY crashed and burned Spider - Man so it´s my own fault.

There are also a few good spiderrelated comics out there. There is NEW AVENGERS where Spider - Man is a member and where he has great moments, there is FF and FANTASTIC FOUR and at PANINI there is IM NETZ VON SPIDER - MAN ( In Spider - Man´s web ). I don´t know who came up with that title but knowing PANINI he probably got a raise for that. IM NETZ VON SPIDER - MAN is the title where PANINI dumps all the spiderstuff that can´t support an ongoing series but which probably they had to buy to get the regular spider - Man series. As the source material varies the quality of the issues go from brilliant to utter crap and which sometimes has such great issues like the one that collected the complete SPIDER - MAN / HUMAN TORCH series.

The latest two I bought are issues 30 and 34. Both are 100 pages or more for 5.95 EUROS and issue 30 contains a three part story by Lee Weeks featuring CAPTAIN UNIVERSE.

For a big part of his career Lee Weeks has been considered as the go - to - guy whenever John Romita Jr was not available ( like Terry Dodson started out as the go - to - guy whenever Adam Hughes was not available or not fast enough ) but i always liked his art and I think he has managed to carve his own niche.

He did a great run on DAREDEVIL right after John Romita Jr left the title but i´m not sure if I still have the issues or where they are if I do still have them. I remember buying the issues as they came out but I might have sold them or they may have been lost in one of the many moves from room to different room. Which is a real bummer because, boy, I really would love to read that Daredevil story again. Back to NET, for those not familiar with the Captain Universe character, Captain Universe is not a specific person, it´s rather the power of Captain Universe which always seeks a different host granting them almost infinite power. Talk about Spider - Man´s mantra With great power comes great responsibility amped to the Nth level. In this story somebody gets the power who has a bone to pick with the Juggernaut and Peter is the one who throws himself in the middle against better judgement even if he´s totally outclassed. But that never stopped him before when the Juggernaut is concerned. A really good story by Roger Stern and although the following story from issue 47 of MS MARVEL ( the date with Spider - Man ) is not as good all in all it doesn´t hurt.

What really hurt me was issue 34 of NET. And for that I have to post the cover.

Now judging by the cover you might think that the main story of the issue is the New Venom. It is not. The Venom story only makes up one fourth of the issue and it´s in the back, the last story.

You might think that the guys Van Lente, Wells, Kesel and Gale contributed to the issue. They did not. Who DID contribute to the issue and in fact is the sole reason I bought the issue ( and not this ridiculous new Venom guy ) is Stefano Caselli who draws the first three issues in this comic. And he´s not even mentioned on the cover. Now I don´t if that was a last minute thing, that they wanted to do a Venom special and decided at the last moment against it but that´s just poor form. They are totally dissing Stefano Caselli, man. Is there nobody who proof reads the stuff before they go to the printer or at least gives it a final look - over ? This really should not happen with such a company like PANINI. Or at least not so damn often.

Okay, that was my one major gripe with the issue, apart from that Dan Slott writes a terriffic story ( boy, does he have changes in quality or what ? ) and Stefano Caselli draws the heck out of it. I´m still miffed that he left SECRET WARRIORS to enter the doomed ship that is Spider - Man but he´s one heck of a talented artist.

Which brings us to the last spiderissue on my pile ( at least for now ) SPIDER - MAN 93 by Dan Slott and another great artist : Marcos Martin.

The two part story deals from the fallout of NET 34 and without spoiling too much Spider - Man decides that from now one nobody is going to die while he is around. Not a bad story but it brought us the gay - black latex - disco meets Lady Gaga - Spider - Man that is going to debut in the next issue so I´m going to skip that one. And because I already have the second issue that´s going to be in Spider - Man 94 which is a brilliant story by Dan Slott in which Pete reminescences about his pal Johnny Storm who passed away recently. If you are not intimidated by ugly sadomaso costumes you should get the issue because the second story alone is worth the price of admission.

Now we have spent a lot of time with the Marvel section of PANINI but I also want to mention the DC section of PANINI before wrapping things up ( it´s once again half past one after midnight ) which means BATMAN.

Yup, here in Germany PANINI publishes SIMPSONS, FUTURAMA, STAR WARS, BUFFY, BOMB QUEEN, CONAN, RED SONYA, MORNING GLORIES, SCOTT PILGRIM, SPONGEBOB, THE BOYS, DARK TOWER, THE STAND and MARVEL and DC. And they still say their sales numbers are not good. What the hell else do they want ? If you can´t make a profit with those franchises - forget it.

So, most of the DC series that did interest me ( after FLASHPOINT I have to remind myself to keep talking in the past tense ) I used to read in the original version so apart from the occasional MONSTEREDITION the only thing from DC that I did read in the german version was BATMAN. Or rather BATMAN & ROBIN now that Grant Morrison has ended his megasaga which ran through all battitles.

I have to say I didn´t read R.I.P. and I don´t know if I ever will since most of the people who read it didn´t understand it. But reading the batstories was more fun when all the issues were just pieces in Grant´s metapuzzle. I have read a few issues of the Batman book by Tony Daniel but there´s nothing there that really makes this a must buy. So I´m sticking to the issues that have parts of BATMAN & ROBIN which is much more entertaining. And although Frank Quitely left the book with issue three the latest issues by Patrick Gleason have been pretty solid. I rather liked his art on GREEN LANTERN CORPS and I hope they can keep him around a while and finally give the book a consistent look.

And that´s finally the last word on that matter and I hope this post wasn´t too boring. Next time we´ll get to a topic that´s more fun and who knows ? I might even get to do my top ten of Power Girl cosplay.

Since it might be a while before I get to do it I wanted to post this link which is the flicker photostream of lady_wolf_star my actual number 1. She really has the goods.

Before closing I have to give the update on the DOCTOR WHO WATCH. I know I have decided to start with the first Doctor but before going to the black and white version I have picked one last color episode to watch, namely THE FIVE DOCTORS. As the title implies in the episode all the five Doctors up to the Tom Baker one ( who probably was the current Doctor at that time ) meet up. Although they don´t interact as much as I hoped it´s interesting to see these different versions of the Doctor and his companions together. As Tom Baker doesn´t do much in the episode I´m guessing this was another brilliant filler while he was busy filming other episodes. I think I will rewatch it when I have finished David Hartnell´s stint as the Doctor before beginning with the next Doctor.

Since Today´s post is all about german comics the video is also a german video, in this case the first part of BROT IM ORIENT EXPRESS ( Bread on the Orient Express ). You may remember Bernd from the DINNER FOR ONE spoof I posted in an earlier post.

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

Good...then I´ll have spent Doctor Doom´s own money to destroy him.

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