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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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Comics: Commentary Track for the September 15th Buy Pile

Posted in 104, awesomeness, bad ideas, black panther, blame society, buy pile, comics, comics reviews, dc, entertainment, g.i. joe, wackness, wakanda on September 16th, 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!

What? This week’s reviews

Okay, what do we have here …

CRIMSON: I’ve gotta say, I’m officially interested in the movie adaptation of Red.

I can’t find my original reviews (“Red” is too common a term, even with my name, to Google properly on the amount of sleep I’ve had), but suffice it to say that the humorous tone here is a far cry from the gritty, murderous Jack Bauer-ishness of the original miniseries with Cully Hamner on art. While I would have enjoyed seeing that, I could just watch The Bourne Ultimatum or something for fast chases and close cropped action and what not. This takes Warren’s original idea and makes it a whole different thing, which I’m interested in too without taking anything away from the original work (unlike, say, V for Vendetta which was one of comics’ finest accomplishments and such an abomination on the silver screen that we shall never speak of it again). This makes an arguably new idea.

“Are you mad that Warren didn’t do it that way?” Heck no. Why? I’ve already got more Red comics on stands than the original run of the mini, and two of ‘em are excellent (one is virtually sublime, the “Joe” special I bought this week). Warren Ellis doesn’t do funny that way — if Giffen and DeMatteis had showed up for it, well, that might do. Honestly, I think Greg Rucka, Christopher J. Priest or Gail Simone could have done okay too.

That said, these books have me hyped for the movie, which could only be more excellent if it had some ridiculous level of “blow ‘em up” added to the already amusing concept. I just hope the script and on screen chemistry doesn’t fall apart.

WHAT’S THE STORY, MORNING GLORIES? I can see the appeal of Morning Glories, can see certain types of readers (Runaways fans, I’d wager, but maybe some Phonogram or Blue Monday types too … what, I’m not just some superhero fanboy, I am aware of other stuff) who could glom on to this. I am almost there, but I need either a stronger sense of the characters (maybe too many of ‘em) or much tighter plotting. I like the expanding of the media and opening up to stories of this sort, but I think an editor could tighten the story a bit. To be honest, I feel the same about Mystery Society, which I’d love to love rather than just have a passing interest in, as I do now.

CHOOSE JOY: I’m trying to avoid talking about some of the crappy comics this week — really, Black Manta and “Deathstorm?” — because life’s too short. I will make one note from my mobile blog that’s been irking me since I saw the announcement that T’Challa would become “Black Panther: The Man Without Fear” …

For thousands of years, through the entirety of the colonial period, Wakanda remained isolated, strong, advanced and free. T’chaka gets friendly with Steve Rogers, his son opens the nation to the world … and down goes the greatest civilization in Marvel history, now dependent on “foreign aid” and charity to maintain their society after throwing away their greatest cultural heritage to try and toughen the nation up. Reminder: never been conquered (and not for lack of trying). It’s like Chuck Norris saying, “You know, I’ve had it too easy … I’m gonna chop off my hands and feet, so I can find out how to really be tough.” OR YOU COULD KEEP YOUR ADVANTAGES YOU WORKED SO HARD TO MAINTAIN, MORON!

I’m so upset about this … until I remember it was a creation of one white man and torn down by another (not just Doom, I’m looking at Jonathan Maberry too). Screw this noise …

They have no idea they’ve even taken anything from anyone. Amazing.

So there’s that (and the jury’s still out). Back to the good stuff …

ODDS AND ENDS: Let’s close this down, stuff to do …

  • I think the recent Rawhide Kid series would have made a great novella. I can see it opening up the western genre in a whole different way. As pamphlets it felt thin and ended weakly, maybe a collected read will go better. Not like I’ll ever know, but still …
  • I think X-Factor needs more Vegas. I liked Deadpool’s recent trip there, I kind of liked when the Initiative runaway was hyping Hydra there, Bruce Banner had a fine old time there for a while … heck, I think Vegas would be a good town for Madrox and his gang. Besides, how many ongoing comics are focused on Vegas? (I seriously don’t know) How awesome would that be? Who’s with me? Vegas or bust for X-factor, which was getting a little emo in New York (which is too jam packed with capes and masks anyway)!
  • Drifting a little there, G.I. Joe: Cobra 2. Let’s stay on target, y’all.
  • Yes, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors answered some questions … but not in a way that made the story compelling. Sorry.
  • We discovered that if the Hulk just calmly said things, it was pretty funny. We somehow envisioned Hiro-Kala, Skaar and Hulk running into Logan, Daken and X-23 at a park or something, and things went downhill from there between store clerk Quislet and Tax Hitler (also known as Senor Sidekick). The phrases, “Hulk not best father” (admitting that his three marriages and two instances of being a deadbeat dad were proven) and “Hulk have talk” (when finding out that Hiro-Kala tried to defile X-23) are still cracking me up today. Made me miss Hulk’s blog to be honest (written by CBR reviewer and all around bon vivant Kevin Church).

Tabu out. Keep it movin’, y’all …

Playing (Music): “Airplanes” by B.O.B. feat. Hayley Williams

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