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Comics: The Commentary Track for the December 15th Buy Pile

Posted in 104, awesomeness, bad ideas, black panther, blame society, buy pile, cheap publicity, cobra, comics, comics reviews, dc, g.i. joe, norse, ranting, review, shameless pandering, wakanda on December 16th, 2010 by Hannibal Tabu
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Every week I do a column full of comic book reviews as I’ve done since March 2003 and currently published at Comic Book Resources. Then, after the reviews post, I try to come over to my blog and expand on the thoughts and ideas listed there. Sometimes it’s profound, sometimes it’s gibberish, but it’s always about comics … let’s see what we get this week!

What? This week’s reviews

THOUGH THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL: Before we get started, my pals over at Stranger Comics are doing some cool stuff with the release of their new project, Ruining Christmas. When that leads to madness like this …

Do we really want to know what's happening here?

Do we really want to know what's happening here?

… well, you know something wonderful is going on.

As well, comics artist Afua Richardson (in her alter ego as “Candie Canes”) rocked a version of “Winter Wonderland” (purchase MP3) described thusly: “It is raspy. It is sexy. Let’s hope the elves, who sit upon red velvet couches, sucking on her namesake, appreciate all of her talents. For they are many.” Nice! Even Warren Ellis liked it.

She also did the art …

Candie Canes sings 'Winter Wonderland'

Candie Canes sings 'Winter Wonderland'

… as she should, as she should. A very talented young woman, and a very fun project from the upstart company that’s working on their first big screen movie for The Untamed with Watchmen producer Lloyd Levin, Shopgirl producer Andrew Sugerman and Eureka creator Andrew Cosby.

WE SHALL OVERTHROW: I’m not gonna lie like I haven’t been waiting for more answers from DMZ for some time, and this issue finally whetted my appetite. I’m a real deep continuity guy, so getting into the nuts and bolts of building the world matters to me. The fact that civil war could happen in the United States is not hard to believe — there’s a lot of weapons out there, there’s a lot of frustration, and everybody won’t be satisfied by some nutjob candidates getting junior legislative positions. I’ll never rule it out as a possibility.

Anyhoo, so I liked getting a look inside the mechanism of the Free States here, their Tea Party-esque origins (and yes, those parallels are interesting/frightening to me) for instructive purposes as well as entertainment ones.

JORMUNGANDR: The visuals needed to grow on me, but I gotta say I am loving the subtle understatedness of IDW’s Cobra Commander. His seduction of Chuckles (and it is a seduction, despite the fact that technically Chuckles hasn’t done anything outside of his mandate as a Joe, and killing people isn’t a big deal) is a thing of beauty, especially when you consider all the other plates Cobra keeps spinning (their Scientology-styled cult The Coil, sucking in cash like crazy, Crimson Guardsmen in politics and banking, military forces deployed all over the world, secret antarctic bases and huge submarines). How could such a huge organization ever really be beaten, permanently? I love that, and could honestly make with seeing a lot more of it. Not that I don’t love the Joes — I do, Stalker is my dawg, I love the possibilities in Sci Fi and Flash, and even Cover Girl has developed into an actual character — but Cobra is just so … much … yummier.

HERE BE SPOILERS: Sorry, need to go off the deep end past this point. You’re welcome to step out …

… or not. Here we go.

THE ONGOING INSULT: I just can’t get over how angry I am about T’Challa.

I gave a friend of mine the TPB of Enemy of the State for Kwanzaa (since I found out that The Client is out of print — thanks Mouse House of Ideas!) and, in rereading it, remembered how much I came to love the character despite his flaws. He was A Man Called Hawk, James Bond, Captain America, Batman and Barack Obama all rolled up into one vibranium-encased bundle of whup ass.

Now? How could he ever be called anything buy T’Challa the Weak, T’Challa the Failure, T’Challa the Foolish? Under Jonathan Maberry’s direction, T’Challa did what no Black Panther ever did — let Wakanda be conquered from without. Not just like his rope-a-dope with Reverend Doctor Michael Ibn al-Hajj Achebe, which was actually a move of strategy that could have been considered brilliant despite the chaos that ensued. No, in his struggle with Doom (and if you’re gonna lose to somebody, Doom’s the one, I’ll admit), he destroyed everything that made Wakanda — and by extension him — wonderful, all the gifts that Stan somehow created.

Now? On the word of a man who he has a passing acquaintance with (Daredevil? Really?), he abandons his wife, his shame, his company, his nation in need, his family, his responsibilities, his people and his friends … to “test” himself? T’challa was never so selfish, he was never so stupid, he was never so self-involved. What Marvel is doing with “Black Panther: Man Without Fear” is wrong politically, from a creative and narrative standpoint, culturally and intellectually. It makes no sense, and I could not stand more strongly against it.

REALLY? So Chaos War: Thor expects me to go for the following …

  • Thor can combine more than one mortal into himself, Firestorm style, to share the power.
  • Thor, in his hour of darkest need, would pray to a non-Norse god that he’s never met … and it would work.

Get the hell out of my office. Get that garbage out of here. That’s disgusting.

TABU OUT: That should hold you for a while, my little sandwich spreads. I’m on vacation days from my job at MIMCO, my first paid vacation in my entire adult life. I hope to finish my latest novel by year’s end and have some other fun stuff to drop on your brain in 2011.

Playing (Music): “I Need A Doctor” by Eminem feat. Dr. Dre

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Commentary Track for The Buy Pile that was due on July 22, 2010

Posted in 104, awesomeness, bad ideas, blame society, comics, comics reviews, daughter, driving, failure, family, happiness, movie, norse, whimsy on July 25th, 2010 by Hannibal Tabu

buy pile commentary track header image
Every week I do a column full of comic book reviews as I’ve done since March 2003 and currently published at Comic Book Resources. Then, after the reviews post, I try to come over to my blog and expand on the thoughts and ideas listed there. Sometimes it’s profound, sometimes it’s gibberish, but it’s always about comics … let’s see what we get this week!

The hustle and bustle of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con is likely the root cause of why, days after writing it, my reviews have yet to be posted online. On one hand, this is a huge annoyance to me, because I have a fairly regimented life and when one thing falls off the wagon, it can make other elements go awry. No Buy Pile, no Commentary Track, cats lying down with moose, the world gone mad.

However, I need to move on. I won’t go any farther to spoil what I bought (and therefore didn’t) than I did in both of my mobile blogs, so I can’t go into much detail without spoiling the column for whenever it does see print …

Oh, yeah, I’ll still need to be paid for it, regardless. I was on time.

What can we talk about instead? What else is happening in comics? Oh, right … ‘Con itself (since I am #notatcomicon)! First big announcement that strikes home is the big announcement from Stranger Comics about their debut property The Untamed heading for the silver screen courtesy of Watchmen producer Lloyd Levin and Shopgirl producer Andrew Sugerman, with Eureka creator and Boom! Studios co-founder Andrew Cosby and already has visual effects covered from Ken Locsmandi, who did Fight Club and The Matrix. Quite a line up of talent for a story from tyro writer Sebastian A. Jones, even if he did have art from Harry Potter vet Peter Bergting.

In all fairness, I will note that I’ve been friends with Sebastian for more than ten years, and have pitched in on some light marketing duties for Stranger Comics, based in the same west LA special effects house where Stealth, The Dark Knight and many other cinematic wonders got their visual “wow.” I remember when his son was too young to walk, I’ve seen his make his way from the music biz through club promotion and acting to his true passion. The Untamed is the vanguard movement for twenty years of story development, and since I’ve read the original screenplay, there’s lots of scenes I’m psyched to see played out on a big screen.

I won’t pretend like the announcement of CrossGen coming back through Marvel is a huge surprise, since Disney bought their whole universe for pennies on the parsec, but I didn’t expect them to return to print, which is what I’m sensing from the little I read. CrossGen had a much stronger magical underpinning, and (The First notwithstanding) I felt they did mysticism a little better. How this’ll work — other worlds scattered through Marvel’s cosmic realm (easier) or somehow jammed into Earth, via present or past (less optimal) or just a separate shtick a la Ultimates and Zombies (likely easiest) — is anybody’s guess. The one thing I do hope for is that if Marc Alessi was honest in one overarching story through all the properties that we’ll see some resolution to it.

Re: the stabbing in Hall H? Given the annual preponderance of bladed weapons and people easily given to making bad decisions (almost linked to any ridiculous con photo I’ve ever seen, decided it was too easy), I’m honestly surprised there’s not more of this. Hall H is too amok, it’s time to broadcast the panels out from an undisclosed location already. My biggest beef? Did the suspect have to be a Black guy? Come on, people, don’t we have enough problems getting in and being okay? Sheesh.

While the visual excited me, the storyteller in is has some worries about tossing the Infinity Gauntlet into Kenneth Branagh’s Thor — feels like it’s either too ambitious for this tale (took dozens of entities to beat Thanos) or too belittling for such an item (i.e. if it’s just another trophy in Odin’s shiny Valhalla like The Destroyer), but it’s too early to render a real judgement.

Sadly, seeing this tweet from Dwayne McDuffie is the most interesting thing out of DC. I never liked the uniform on Ryan Reynolds and the corpse of Abin Sur didn’t do much for me. Creepy.

That said, Whedon on Avengers is vaguely interesting, the cast, not so much. I also have some interest in the trailer for Red (even as far from the Warren Ellis as it is). I didn’t really see much I got super excited about, honestly, and I did more business in Los Angeles than I did in the last two times I was at SDCC, so being #notatcomicon meant driving my six-year-old and her best friend to Disneyland … and leaving them there with the best friend’s dad and our babysitter. It also meant watching my six-month-old learn to bounce, tons of laughs with my wife and I got to see Inception, which — in terms of craft and skill at storytelling — was Matrix good. Like, the first Matrix. I would review it, but there’s little I could say that wouldn’t be a spoiler. I highly recommend it, though.

That said, I hope whatever you love brought you joy, no matter whether you were in San Diego or not. Auf wiedersen!

Playing (Music): “Our Generation” by John Legend and The Roots

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Four hours late and a dollar short (National Poetry Writing Month)

Posted in comics, god, haiku, loki, marvel, napowrimo, norse, poetry, writing on April 29th, 2010 by Hannibal Tabu
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Crap crap crap crap crap!

After all that big talk, I stumbled this close to the finish line. Wednesday just ran away from me, sorry, here’s a haiku to hold you over while I get it together for Friday, which will likely be two poems to finish strong and stick the landing.

Mischief is reward
Never mind why I do it
Know I am the fire that burns

By Hannibal Tabu

Yes, he’s the Michael Rosenbaum of Siege, so what? Bye!

Playing (Music): “Feelin’ Good” by Nina Simone

NOTE: Since this blog is automatically imported into my Facebook page, I apologize if you comment on it and I don’t respond, as I am taking a sabbatical from social networking for 2010. So me not responding is not personal, I just won’t see the comments … until 2011. Maybe. Also including this disclaimer on blogs, but you’re welcome to go to the blog itself and speak your mind, as I may look there …

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