Monday, November 28, 2005

Results Are In!


And here are the results of the "Vote For the Next JLA" poll!

The League that you made:

Seven member team:
Martian Manhunter
Flash -Wally West
Wonder Woman -Diana
Zatanna
Green Arrow -Oliver Queen
Aquaman
Nightwing


Nine member team:
Add
Red Tornado
Green Lantern -John Stewart


Rest of the top twelve:
Superman
Booster Gold
Supergirl


Thanks to everyone who participated. And hopefully the DC brass took notice of the votes, as well.

Now we just gotta sit back and see what team does rise out of the ashes of Infinite Crisis.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Vote for the Next JLA


I started a poll of sorts on the Comic Book Resources forums to find out who exactly it is that people want in the new JLA.

Feel free to hop over and put in your two-cents.

Since I'm off Sunday, I'll be tallying the votes then. Providing that the voting has slowed.
And I'll be posting the results here that night.

Friday, November 25, 2005

My Life- Rated!

This Is My Life, Rated
Life:
5.8
Mind:
6.6
Body:
5.5
Spirit:
6.7
Friends/Family:
4.2
Love:
2.9
Finance:
5.9
Take the Rate My Life Quiz


Bah!

Discovered this quiz over at And Plus.

The Annual Wal-Mart Whammies

Yay! The annual hostility and fighting at Wal-Marts across the country began this morning. I was going to try to be there to watch idiots fight over the last dvd player or the last boob-increased Barbies but I had stayed up too late last night and have to work today.

Meanwhile, I was reading Yahoo news and came across ".. so-and-so who was shopping at a local Wal-Mart, said she plans to spend about $1,000 this year on Christmas gifts, half of what she spent last year."

WTF??

She spent $2,000 last year on gifts? And she's only spending $1,000 this year?

Hell, I'd be doin' good to spend $300. And that's on everybody. I just can't afford to spend more than that. And I'm an Assistant Manager.

Also...
"The couple bought a pair of the computers as gifts for a niece and nephew entering college."

WTF?

I'd be sending them both hardcover-bound journals with a fancy pen assortment...

Nice to see that Yahoo mentioned the more upper-class experience of the holiday season's start, but what about those people in rural towns with lower income?

Well... Happy Thanksgiving!

I spent mine cooking for my family and playing pool with friends.

Meanwhile, I've been dealing with a bout of food poisoning that I picked up Monday, well it started Monday, anyway.

I'm now trying to determine when and where I contracted it.

Using this chart, I think I may have narrowed the type of poisoning I had/have...

And, yes, I did take good care not to spread it to my family...
I'm not that evil.

Let's see... I had nausea, vomiting and diarrhea... And maybe a slight fever at one time... Maybe a headache... And a lot of gas...
No cramps, no chills, no vision problems, no pain...

That puts me with: Staphylococcus aureus or Bacillus cereus.

Which would put the minimum time of contact at four hours and the maximimum at 24.
Symptoms started at approximately just before I went to bed Monday night so...

I ate fast food the day before at about 8PM which puts that out of the time-frame. I had tacos for lunch Monday, which could be the source...
I think I had a cream of mushroom soup Monday night before I went back to work, but I remember I was already feeling bad. But it coulda been the milk.

Of course, I had just had a busy weekend, going out Saturday night, my birthday on Sunday, then opening the store Monday, going back at 10PM for the X-Box 360 launch, then opening again the next morning...
Plus putting in an application elsewhere between shifts.

I had attributed it all to stress. I know my blood pressure was up Tuesday night at the height of it all.

So here I am waiting for it to pass and I wasn't going to let it get me down. I was gonna eat, dammit.

And I did pretty good considering everything I ate Tuesday came back up.

I made a big meal, including cajun rice, chicken noodle casserole, green beans and stuffing.
I even got us a bottle of wine and found out how I'm the only one in my family that can drink it. Guess that's cause I drink and they don't.

Hope your Thanksgiving was as good or better.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Marvel "Let's You Decide"

What's Chris Claremont's next book? Well... if it's got mutants in it, does it really matter?

Regardless, Marvel thinks that the name of the book makes a difference and is letting you, the assumed reader, decide what it's called.

The choices are:

Days of Future Past – This series would pick up the moment after Kitty Pryde sent Rachel Grey into the past from the original story. The world is under the rule of Sentinels, most mutants are either killed or in camps, and only a strange alliance of outlaws stand a chance at changing this dark future.

Asgardian War Stories – During the Asgardian War, the X-Men, Alpha Flight, and the New Mutants all fought alongside the Norse Gods. But what would have happened if they never returned to Earth and stayed in Asgard?

NEXT – Witness today’s generation of X-Men if the Marvel Universe aged in real-time. Both the first and second teams of X-Men are approaching 50 and the New Mutants are now in their thirties. This series will follow this new generation of X-Men and the new reality they find themselves in.

What If? X-Men - Continuing from 2004’s What If Magneto and Professor X Had Formed the X-Men Together?, this series would be a re-imagining of the X-Men in contemporary times from an entirely all-new perspective. Because of Magneto helping found the X-Men, not only has the history of the X-Men changed, but that of the entire world. Every character’s life and future is up for grabs here.

I voted for the Asgardian Wars, but that's mostly due to my current interest in the Thor books. I'm betting that the ballot is rigged and they've already got the winning book ready, but it doesn't hurt to make the fans feel important. Does it?

Warlord #1 Preview

Click here to see five pages of the new Warlord series by Bruce Jones and Bart Sears.

Congratulations to Maddie

Another #1.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Another Daughters of the Dragon Preview

Eight more pages of art and a hefty interview...
Go here.



Here's a collection of other previews and interviews:
Design sketches from August -with an interview with Khari Evans, penciller.
Another preview.
The first five pages.

20 Years Later...



From an old interview with Jim Shooter:

MDT: I'm sure this is one you get all time: the New Universe. How did that start and why did it ultimately become a comics casualty?

JS: Well, the way it started, about 2 1/2 years before our 25th anniversary, we had a staff meeting of all the vice presidents to talk about what we were going to do for it. Some ideas were bandied around.

So somebody said, "Look, this is an anniversary of a publishing event." "Well," I said, "there are two possibilities. You could start everything over from number one, like the Marvel universe reborn. Like the anniversary in May or June, all the titles wrap up the month before and start again the next month. Sort of like Marvel, 2nd edition, do it right and really make that spectacular." ... We were selling incredibly well so it wouldn't be a good idea to derail the train.

So I said, "Then let's celebrate the birth of a universe with the birth of another universe."

I walked out of there with a development budget of about $120,000 and I'd create eight titles. It was money to spend on research, sketches, things like that.

...[Tom] DeFalco came to me -- he was sort of my head editor, my assistant you might say -- he said let this be mine. This'll be my chance, he said. He said, I'll be like Archie, I'll have my own group of books. I said, you think you can handle this, here's your budget.

Months go by. Many months go by. I kept telling Tom, I want reports. I want to know what you have. I want to know what it's about. It was like almost a year and he had almost nothing. He'd come up with a couple of fairly lame characters... There was no point of difference. They were Marvel, but worse.

He hadn't spent much of the money, so we still had the money. I got together with him and Eliot Brown and we spent the day [pitching ideas]. I said, you know, the original Marvel Universe -- Stan's conception of it -- instead of doing something Superman or Green Lantern, he was really trying to do science fiction. The Fantastic Four didn't have costumes in the first issue. He was trying to be down to Earth.

The problem is Stan doesn't have any science background and the minute you start working with Kirby, you're going to get Atlantis under the ocean, the Blue Area on the Moon, a repulsor ray. It's like Kirby does fantasy, period. He wasn't a science guy either. I said, so Stan's concept was why don't we do this more realistic? ... [W]hat if we went back to that moment in time where Stan said, let's do this more realistic. We have some science background. Let's do a science fiction comic book universe, where things are based more on real science, try to make it more real. We don't have Atlantis under the ocean and the Blue Area of the Moon.

I wrote a page and presented it to the staff VPs. To Stan. This is hailed as the greatest genius since sliced bread. Stan just marveled at it. Thought it was wonderful.

Right after that, this is about the time the company had been taken private and put on the block to be sold. I'm called up to Galton's office and he says "What's your budget for the New Universe?" I said, "$120,000." He said, "How much of it have you spent?" I said, "Not much, we just got started really." He said, "We have to cut your budget." I said, "What? We have to create these titles out of thin air." He said, "You'll have to do it with $80,000." Son of a bitch!

I get a call and he says "We're cutting your budget to $40,000." I said, "What?"

The next day, he calls up and said "How much have you spent?" I said, "About $20,000." He said, "Don't spend any more."

So if you will check, the New Universe books were done volunteer by assistant editors, practically every book in that line was done by me, Archie Goodwin and an assistant editor. For free. Because we didn't have any money.

...One of the things in my business plan is that we were going to guarantee royalties or pay higher rates in order to get the big name artists to do this stuff. What artist is going to leave Iron Man to go do Potato Man unless he knows he's going to make good money to do Potato Man?

All that stuff got scrubbed. I was told, you can pay people their page rate, that's it. ... So basically, if you check the New Universe, the artists you'll find were people who couldn't get any other work. There were exceptions. Some of these guys who grew up to be contenders, like Mark Texeira and Whilce Portacio. But they were brand new. They didn't know what they doing. These kids came along and needed work.

The two people who were contenders [at the time] were John Romita, Jr. and Al Williamson, both of whom worked with me on Star Brand. They volunteered. They came to me and said, we want to work with you.

Other than that, it was me, Archie, assistant editors and anyone who couldn't get work. So, that stuff was awful. It was horrible. They didn't spend any money on promotion. I don't blame them. There was nothing to promote. The stuff was shit. Ask Stan. "Oh, I always thought it was a bad idea." He loved it, raved about it. But when the wheels came off, it was all Jim Shooter's fault.

And it probably was. If I was smarter, I probably wouldn't have gotten myself into that mess. In any case, it was a disaster, but I had help. A couple of the ideas were pretty good. A couple of the issues of Star Brand were pretty good. It was kind of a shame. It could have worked. In essence, we did the same thing with the Valiant universe. I took that same idea and did it there.


Read the rest of the interview here.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Marvel Comics for February 2006

From the official solicits.


ARES #2 (of 5)
Written by MICHAEL OEMING
Pencils & Cover by TRAVEL FOREMAN
Ares - The God of War -- is missing. The Norse gods are dead. And now, Zeus, surveying his kingdom from the bloodstained walls of Olympus, finds the great warrior Mikabusi and his forces gathered below, swords drawn, bows flexed, vengeance in the air. The siege of Olympus has begun. And Zeus knows that if his kingdom is to survive, his greatest warrior - Ares - must return. At any cost. Even if it means kidnapping his grandson and lying to his son. You haven't seen wrath until you're standing between the God of War and his only child.
32 PGS./PARENTAL ADVISORY ...$2.99


The current Thor related book. I wonder how good it's going to be...


BLACK WIDOW 2: THE THINGS THEY SAY ABOUT HER #6 (of 6)
Written by RICHARD K. MORGAN
Breakdowns by SEAN PHILLIPS
Finishes by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
Cover by SEAN PHILLIPS
It's the action-packed endgame in La Havana between the Black Widow and the agents of North! Will Natasha, branded public enemy number one, by the United States government itself, be able to make it out alive and redeem her name? And even if she can find redemption, will she want to?
32 PGS./PARENTAL ADVISORY ...$2.99


Black Widow 2 comes to an end. I have to admit that the second run wasn't as good as the first but still it was a nice read.



DAREDEVIL #82
Written by ED BRUBAKER
Penciled by MICHAEL LARK
Cover by TOMMY LEE EDWARDS
Variant Cover by STEVE MCNIVEN
The critically-acclaimed, award-winning new creative team of Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark make their explosive debut in a storyline that Daredevil fans will not be able to put down! For the past few years, Matt Murdock's life has been teetering on the edge of destruction. Now, pushed beyond the limit, Matt finds himself behind the eight ball with no clear way out, the people he calls friends slowly deserting him, and Hell's Kitchen slowly slipping out of control. The question is, when his back is against the wall, just how far will Daredevil go to get back what is his? Spinning out of the stunning finale of Bendis and Maleev's ground-breaking run, Brubaker and Lark pick up the billy club and run as hard and as fast as they can to leave their own mark on one of comics' most enduring legends. Long-time DD fans will not be disappointed! This extra-length first issue will have readers talking for years to come!
40 PGS. NO ADS/T+ SUGGESTED FOR TEENS AND UP ...$2.99
RETAILER NOTE: Incentive Variant 1 for 20 by Steve McNiven


Well... Here's the new team on Daredevil. The old team from Gotham Central. Guess Marvel thought they were doing something right, too.
Just gonna be kinda hard following Bendis and Maleev.


AMAZING FANTASY #18
Written by SIMON FURMAN & TONY LEE
Penciled by JAMES RAIZ & LEONARD KIRK
Cover by LUCIO PARILLO
"UNNATURAL SELECTION" part 3
The Geneva treaty between the U.N. and A.I.M. is only hours away, paving the road to peace between the former techno-terrost organization and the world, but the newly activated cybernetic entity known as Death's Head threatens to change those plans. ALSO: In anticipation of next month's NEW UNIVERSE event, a bonus 8-page story featuring Mark Hazzard, MERC!
32 PGS./T+ SUGGESTED FOR TEENS AND UP ...$2.99


The New Universe?
Wow... time for more '80s flashbacks!
Count me in!


DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON #2 (of 6)
Written by JUSTIN GRAY AND JIMMY PALMIOTTI
Penciled by KHARI EVANS
Inked by JIMMY PALMIOTTI
Cover by EVANS AND PALMIOTTI
The non-stop action continues as Colleen goes blade to blade with Razorfist, an assassin so ruthless he's willing to use an infant as a human shield. As Misty and Colleen close in on their bail jumpers, Humbug, 8-ball and Whirlwind make an unsuccessful attempt to fence the goods they stole from wealthy publisher Ricadonna. The three hapless costumed criminals soon discover they've made a deadly mistake. Guest starring Orka, scourge of the seven seas!
32 PGS./PARENTAL ADVISORY ...$2.99


Looking forward to this series. From what I've seen it's more exciting and energetic than most everything on the shelf.


MARVEL LEGACY: THE 1960s HANDBOOK
WRITTEN BY JEFF "THE REF" CHRISTIANSEN, "METICULOUS" MICHAEL HOSKIN, "SUREFIRE" SEAN MCQUAID, "ALLEGORICAL" AL SJOERDSMA, "RETRO" RONALD BYRD, "MADCAP" MARK O'ENGLISH, "STALWART" STUART VANDAL, "MYSTICAL" MIKE FICHERA, "BOMBASTIC" BARRY REESE, "EXUBERENT" ERIC MOREELS & "ANTAGONISTIC" ANTHONY FLAMINI
Cover by "OUR PAL" SAL BUSCEMA
Here it is, True Believers! You knew we'd do it sooner or later! From the Venerable Vaults of Marveldom, it's the Mighty Marvel Handbook -- 1960s style! Just what is the 1960s Handbook, you ask? Imagine a Handbook written at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31, 1969. The profiles within cover everything published by the hallowed House of Ideas up until that point. So if it's from a comic that has a December 1969 cover date or earlier, you'll find it in this magnificent mag! From the Acrobat to Zota -- with the Avengers, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, the Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, the Sub-Mariner, Thor and the X-Men as they were in the 1960s, as well as '60s-era characters such as Factor Three, the Beasts of Berlin, Chili, the Infant Terrible, Mogul of the Mystic Mountain, the Painter of 1000 Perils, the Living Brain, Patsy Walker, the Blackie Drago Vulture, the Ringo Kid and more!
64 PGS. NO ADS/RATED T+ ...$4.99


Quite possibly the coolest thing coming out in February!
Anybody who collects the Essentials will want this.


NEXTWAVE #2
Written by WARREN ELLIS
Pencils & Cover by STUART IMMONEN
This Wednesday, WEDNESDAY, Wednesday!! Witness the fight to end all fights!!! (Well, until next issue.) Aaron Stack (just don't call him Machine Man) takes on Fin Fang Foom in a knock-down drag-out slug-fest! While his robotic body digests in Fin's belly, the rest of the NEXTWAVE squad has to defeat the deadly Human Resource Department of their former bosses, the Highest Anti-Terroism Effort (H.A.T.E.)! PLUS: Things explode!! Pick up the comic that had Albert Einstein saying, "I haven't had this much fun since my college days at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule!"
32 PGS./PARENTAL ADVISORY ...$2.99


I ordered #1 because I read a lot of good things about it. The writing sounds great, while it may take me a while to warm up to the art.
We'll see.


SABLE & FORTUNE #2 (of 6)
Written by BRENDAN CAHILL
Painted Art & Cover by JOHN BURNS
Mercenary Silver Sable and dashing rogue Dominic Fortune get along like oil and fire...but when they find themselves plunged into dangerous international conspiracy, they'd better learn to put aside their differences-or this is going to be a short series! As Sable confronts the man who usurped her Wild Pack mercenaries, Fortune finds himself out of his league in the spy game! Will he rise to the occasion? Up and coming writer Brendan Cahill and British comics legend John Burns provide the answer!
32 PGS./T+ SUGGESTED FOR TEENS AND UP ...$2.99


Dream book. Art looks great in a Gulacy kinda way...
Which means greatly detailed characters and emotions but stiff action.
See the previews for Daughters of the Dragon and compare.


UNDERWORLD #1 (of 5)
Written by FRANK TIERI
Penciled by STAZ JOHNSON
Cover by SEAN SCOFFIELD
Career criminal Jackie Dio is fresh out of the Cage and looking for trouble. When he tracks down some of his old crime contacts, he discovers a lot has changed in the New York underworld-and finds more trouble than he bargained for. If he's going to have a shot at surviving, he may have to get acquainted with the shadowy figure known only as "The Consultant" - that is, if he even exists. Frank Tieri (Weapon X, Hercules) combines humor with dark urban grit in this limited series!
32 PGS./T+ SUGGESTED FOR TEENS AND UP ...$2.99


It's a hardboiled comic.
Hooked.


AVENGERS: GALACTIC STORM VOL. 1 TPB
Written by BOB HARRAS, TOM DEFALCO, MARK GRUENWALD, GERARD JONES, LEN KAMINSKI & ROY THOMAS
Penciled by GREG CAPULLO, STEVE EPTING, JEFF JOHNSON, STEPHEN B. JONES, RIK LEVINS, DAVE ROSS, PAUL RYAN & RURIK TYLER
Cover by STEVE EPTING
The Kree are one of the Fantastic Four's oldest enemies; the Shi'ar, one of the X-Men's oldest allies. But it's the Avengers who are caught in the middle when the two alien races wage a war to re-write Marvel's map of the universe! As two-legged WMDs land on Earth, the Avengers end up as alien invaders on wartorn worlds of wonder, both as a unit and individually! Featuring the Imperial Guard! Starforce! Deathbird! Thor vs. Gladiator! Super heroes from three galaxies and more clash in the first half of the story that shook the team to its foundations! Collects CAPTAIN AMERICA #398-399, AVENGERS WEST COAST #80-81, QUASAR #32-33, WONDER MAN #7-8, AVENGERS #345-346, IRON MAN #278 and THOR #445.
280 PGS./RATED T+ ...$29.99


I was there the first time but couldn't get them all and it's been years since I even thought about it.
Would be nice to read them again.


ESSENTIAL MOON KNIGHT VOL. 1 TPB
Written by DOUG MOENCH, BILL MANTLO, STEVEN GRANT & FRANK MILLER
Penciled by DON PERLIN, MIKE ZECK, JIM MOONEY, JIM CRAIG, PABLO MARCUS, GENE COLAN, KEITH POLLARD, BILL SIENKIEWICZ, HERB TRIMPE & MIKE ESPOSITO
Cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
Debuting as both enemy and ally of the Werewolf by Night, Moon Knight's three personalities equaled one eerie adventure after another by Moench, Miller and more! Earning enemies like the brutal Bushman and the macabre Morpheus early in his career, Moon Knight also teamed up with Spider-Man, the Thing, and others against well-known and forgotten villains alike! Spun by Cyclone! Caught by Crossfire! Plus: an early fight with the Purple Man alongside Luke Cage! Featuring Topaz from WITCHES and the original White Tiger! Includes black-and-white stories not reprinted in more than two decades! Collects WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #32-33, MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #28-29, PETER PARKER, SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #22-23, MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #52, HULK MAGAZINE #11-15, 17-18 & 20, MARVEL PREVIEW #21, MOON KNIGHT #1-12 and MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL #4.
528 PGS./RATED T+ ...$16.99


I already have most of these books. Just thought I'd mention it, though, for you less fortunate.
The highlight of course is #s 1-12 of the regular series with art by Sienkewicz. Of course, he doesn't really bust out until MK's third year.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

My First Birthday Present

And it took a lot of whining...



And I just re-bought my Alias Season 3 that was stolen from a friend's house.

Lots of DVDs to watch now...

Go Go DVD!


According to Comics Continuum, Warner Home Video is releasing both Teen Titans: The Complete First Season and The Batman: The Complete First Season DVDs on February 7.

Both will retail for $19.98.


I know I'll at least be getting the Titans one.

Daughters of the Dragon #1 Preview

Go here to see a five page preview of Daughters of the Dragon #1, shipping in January from Marvel.

Meanwhile, here's a few more previews of books coming out next week:

Black Widow: The Things They Say About Her #3
Daredevil #79
Loveless #2

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Marvel Previews

Preview Link
Captain America #12
Daredevil #79
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos #2
Uncanny X-Men #466
Young Avengers #9
Arana #11
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Amazing Spider-Man #526
Captain Universe/Invisible Woman
Punisher vs. Bullseye #1
(Comics Continuum)

January Order

Making my first order through DCBS this month and here's what I picked out:

GREEN LANTERN #8
GREEN LANTERN CORPS RECHARGE #5
HAWKMAN #48
INFINITE CRISIS #4
JONAH HEX #3
LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #14
SEVEN SOLDIERS FRANKENSTEIN #2
SEVEN SOLDIERS MISTER MIRACLE #3
SGT ROCK THE PROPHECY #1
100 BULLETS #68
EXTERMINATORS #1
ARES #1
BLACK WIDOW 2 #5
DAREDEVIL #81
DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON #1
NEXT WAVE #1
SABLE & FORTUNE #1
SENTINEL SQUAD ONE #1
ULTIMATE EXTINCTION #1
ESSENTIAL OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE VOL 1 TP

Great way to start off the new year.

Thor Index

Starting with Ragnarok...


THOR #80 & #81
Written by Mike Avon Oeming, art by Andrea DiVito, covers by Steve Epting.

It's the beginning of the end of the world for the Gods of Asgard, and only Thor and his Avengers allies might be able to stave off that fate -- but does the God of Thunder even want to? The groundwork is laid here for this summer's Avengers event, beginning next month in Avengers #500.
32 pages, $2.99, in store on June 2 and June 16



THOR #82
Written by Mike Avon Oeming, art by Andrea DiVito, cover by Steve Epting.

Avengers Disassembled tie-in. Ragnarok appears to have come for the gods of Asgard -- but will Thor be their savior, or its architect? In search of new wisdom, the Thunder God must repeat the ordeals of Odin -- and the price may be too terrible for even an immortal to pay.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores in July.



THOR #83
Written by Michael Oeming, penciled by Andrea Di Vito, cover by Steve Epting.

Avengers Disassembled tie-in. "Ragnarok," part 3 of 6. Beset on all sides by treacherous foes from his past, the God of Thunder leads the tattered remnants of the forces of Asgard on a desperate quest, as the Realm Eternal burns...
32 pages, $2.99, in stores in Aug.



THOR #84
Written by Michael Oeming, art by Andrea Di Vito, cover by Steve Epting.

Avengers Disassembled tie-in. "Ragnarok," part 4 of 6. What makes a god? Is it birthright, is it happenstance, or is it in the making? Thor finds out the hard way as he seeks answers on how to face the coming end of his people. Thor struggles with the knowledge that his father knew these end-times would come--and yet did nothing to prepare for it. Does that mean Thor should embrace this ultimate doom he and the gods of Asgard were born to face, or like a true warrior, fight against it to the bitter end? To find his answers, Thor must walk the path of his father and embark on the hero's journey -- the journey into mystery! He must surpass his father's deeds in the search for knowledge and pay the ultimate price.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Sept. 1.



THOR #85
Written by Michael Avon Oeming, art by Andrea Di Vito, cover by Steve Epting.

Avengers Disassembled tie-in. "Ragnarok," part 6 of 6. It's the end of all that is, and you've got a ringside seat for the last day of the Norse Gods, as Thor struggles to break the god cycle once and for all. You must read this -- and here¹s a hint as to why: there¹s no Thor #86 next month...
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 6.



AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED: THOR TPB
Written by Michael Avon Oeming, art by Andrea Di Vito

Ragnarok appears to have come for the gods of Asgard, and only Thor and his Avengers allies might be able to stave off that fate – but will the Thunder God be Asgard’s savior, or the architect of its downfall? In search of new wisdom, Thor must repeat the ordeals of Odin – and the price may be too terrible for even an immortal to pay! Beset on all sides by treacherous foes from his past, the God of Thunder leads the tattered remnants of the forces of Asgard on a desperate quest, as the Realm Eternal burns. Collects Thor #80-85.
144 pages, $14.99. in stores in Dec.



STORMBREAKER: THE SAGA OF BETA RAY BILL #1 (of 6)
Written by Michael Avon Oeming and Daniel Berman, pencils and cover by Andrea Di Vito.

Beta Ray Bill jumps out of the pages of the now classic Thor series and finds himself the sole survivor of all that was Asgard. Will Beta Ray Bill escape the end of one world only to face his own end?
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 12.



STORMBREAKER: THE SAGA OF BETA RAY BILL #2 (of 6)
Written by Michael Oeming, pencils and cover by Andrea Di Vito.

Beta Ray Bill is mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore! On the heels of watching his best friends die (Thor Disassembled), Beta Ray finds himself pitted against an enemy greater then any he has faced before. Introducing Stardust, a creature of cosmic power who turns his enemies to dust to fuel the stars. And that's just what he intends to do to Beta Ray BillŠ and the Korbinite people... but he¹s only following orders...But from whom? The answer is big. Part 2 of 6.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Feb. 16.



STORMBREAKER: THE SAGA OF BETA RAY BILL #3 (of 6)
Written by Michael Oeming, pencils and cover by Andrea Di Vito.

Beta Ray Bill and Stardust clash like the titans they are, shaking the very heavens. Stardust fights with an almost religious zeal and brings to bear all of his cosmic powers. Beta Ray Bill is able to hold his own, surprising Stardust with his power and his strength! Determined not to be thwarted Stardust calls upon powers which he should not use. Unwittingly he unleashes something dark, something powerful, something evil.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores in March.



STORMBREAKER: THE SAGA OF BETA RAY BILL #4 (of 6)
Written by Michael Avon Oeming and Dan Berlan, pencils and cover by Andrea Di Vito.

Beta Ray Bill and Stardust are locked in an epic battle that will rock the heavens and shake the very firmament of the universe, dimming stars and knocking planets from their orbits. In a fit of desperation, Stardust took a gamble that unleashed a terrible evil into the universe. An evil so great that it may destroy everything.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on April 20.



STORMBREAKER: THE SAGA OF BETA RAY BILL #5 (of 6)
Written by Michael Avon Oeming and Dan Berman, art and cover by Andrea Di Vito.

Return to Asgard. This is the issue that anyone who read Thor Disassembled must have. As Beta Ray Bill returns to Asgard he finds himself in the company of celestial beings and the remnants of Asgard. What has Ragnarok done to the land of the gods? What will he find there? Will he find a final home for his people, or a burning hell!
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on May 18.



STORMBREAKER: THE SAGA OF BETA RAY BILL #6 (of 6)
Written by Michael Avon Oeming and Dan Berman, pencils and cover by Andrea Di Vito.

What more can Beta Ray Bill suffer? He's seen the end of two worlds, both of which he called home. Is Bill the last of the Korbinites? What new twist of fate will he have to endure? Time to say goodbye to the old and make way for the new. With a new body and face, old horse-skull finds he has to make his way through a new world ­ Earth! Starting over is never easy, and for Beta Ray Bill it means a new worldŠ and a new fightŠ That's right, Beta Ray Bill vs. Spider-Man!
32 pages, $2.99, in stores in June.



STORMBREAKER: THE SAGA OF BETA RAY BILL TPB
Written by Michael Avon Oeming and Dan Berman, pencils and cover by Andrea Di Vito.

The sole survivor of all that was Asgard, will Beta Ray Bill escape the end of one world only to face his own end in the form of an enemy greater than any he has battled before? Introducing Stardust, a creature of cosmic power who turns his enemies to dust to fuel the stars. And that's just what he intends to do to Beta Ray Bill - and the Korbinite people - but he's only following orders. The question is: from whom? The answer is big, and we mean BIG! Collects Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Rra Bill #1-6.
144 pages, $16.99, in stores in Aug.



THOR: BLOOD OATH #1 (of 6)
Written by Mike Avon Oeming, Pencils & Cover by Scott Kolins

Following the wrap-up of Marvel's legendary Mighty Thor series, Oeming and Kolins travel back in Marvel history to bring you a classic Thor adventure! Stepping out of the past of the glorious days of Kirby, Lee, and Buscema, Thor: Blood Oath presents Thor in his prime, with your favorite cast, including Odin, Balder, The Warriors Three and more! The Warriors Three are put on trial for murder. Standing besides his brothers-in-arms, Thor ties himself to their fate, as they are sent on an impossible journey by the Giants to pay their "weird" a blood price for the killing of a Giant's son. Thor and his three allies will journey across the lands, through Greece, Midgard, Asia and Africa, clash with gods, monsters, the dead, and occasionally each other!
32 pages, $2.99, in stores in Sept.



THOR: BLOOD OATH #2 & 3 (of 6)
Written by Mike Avon Oeming, Pencils & Cover by Scott Kolins

Thor and the Warriors Three take the long way around to the World Tree to begin their journey to recover the first of several mystical items only to find signs of the beginning of the Asgardian world and the end of it! Then, in issue 3: THOR FIGHTS HERCULES FOR THE ENTIRE ISSUE! THOR VS. HERCULES! HERCULES VS. THOR! FIGHTS GALORE! Drawn by the amazing pen of Scott Kolins and Thor Dissasembled writer Mike Avon Oeming, this is but the beginning of a long journey full of action, fights and classic Marvel Thor.
32 pages, $2.99 (each), in stores in Oct.



THOR: BLOOD OATH #4 (of 6)
Written by Mike Avon Oeming, Pencils & Cover by Scott Kolins

After the earth's mightiest heroes - Hercules, son of Zeus and Thor, Son of Odin - clash as only gods can, Thor and the Warriors Three move on to recover the next magical item on their list: the spear of Chulain, the great Celtic hero. His spear is hidden deep within a forgotten land where it boils in a cauldron of blood! Can anyone control this weapon that overheats with anger and the need for battle? One of our heroes will die before this series ends-- so don't you miss it!
32 pages, $2.99 (each), in stores in Nov.



THOR: BLOOD OATH #5 & 6 (of 6)
Written by Mike Avon Oeming, Pencils & Cover by Scott Kolins

Thor and his oath brothers, Fandral, Volstagg and Hogun, collectively known as the Warriors Three, have trod across Asgard, Jotenheim, Ireland, Japan and now Egypt in search of impossibly magical items- and now they have come to the end of that journey for what may be their greatest testing of all! This is the conclusion of Blood Oath, a final "classic style" Thor story told in the tradition of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee- see the final appearance of Donald Blake, Asgard and Thor as you have known him for the last 40 years in this exciting conclusion to Thor: BLOOD OATH!
32 pages, $2.99 (each), in stores in Dec.



ARES #1 (of 5)
Written by Mike Avon Oeming, Pencils & Cover by Travel Foreman

For thousands of years, Ares, The God of War, has been the most violent and ruthlessly efficient killer in Zeus's stable. The Nuclear Option to be sent in when absolutely, positively, need to kill everything in sight. Now, Ares -- who has invaded Olympus, attempted to take over earth, stood at the walls of Troy, and fought toe to toe with and against Earth's greatest heroes - has turned his back on Olympus and centuries of brutal warfare to begin life anew on Earth with one goal: to raise his child. But what happens when Olympus - under siege and in danger of falling - calls on its most violent son to come to its rescue? And what happens if Ares refuses? Will Zeus destroy his son...and his grandson...to save his city? This five issues miniseries, illustrated by Travel Foreman and written by Mike Oeming, brings together heroes new and old, uniting Hercules and the Greek Pantheon with the Marvel Universe. Ares is the God of War, so we promise this is like no heroic book Marvel has done before. Heads will fly and blood will flow between Ares and anyone who stands in the way of his son.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores in Jan.



ARES #2 (of 5)
Written by Mike Avon Oeming, Pencils & Cover by Travel Foreman

Ares - The God of War -- is missing. The Norse gods are dead. And now, Zeus, surveying his kingdom from the bloodstained walls of Olympus, finds the great warrior Mikabusi and his forces gathered below, swords drawn, bows flexed, vengeance in the air. The siege of Olympus has begun. And Zeus knows that if his kingdom is to survive, his greatest warrior - Ares - must return. At any cost. Even if it means kidnapping his grandson and lying to his son. You haven't seen wrath until you're standing between the God of War and his only child.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores in Feb.

A Few More Previews

These are from DC's official site and are in pdf format:

Jonah Hex #1
Batman and the Monster Men #1
DMZ #1
Hard Time Season Two #1
JLA Classified: Cold Steel #1
Testament #1
Team Zero #1
Day of Vengeance: Infinite Crisis Special
Elfquest: The Discovery #1
Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy #1
JLA Classified #16
The Exterminators #1

New Comics Previews

I love to see what a book has in store for me before I get it. Especially in this day of celebrity cover artists.

So beginning today, I'm going to link to as many comic previews as I discover.

On our first outing we shall try to play catch-up with the last couple weeks worth of previews...
I'll also be listing the source of each set.

Here goes.

Preview Link
Batman Gotham County Line #2
Desolation Jones #4
Jonah Hex #1
Seven Soldiers The Bulleteer #1
Swamp Thing #21
Winter Men #3
Captain Universe/Hulk #1
Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #9
Marvel Team-Up #14
Nightcrawler #11
Sentinel #1
Spider-Girl #92
Spider-Man House of M #5
Spider-Man Unlimited #12
X-Men Colossus Bloodline #3
-4 pgs each, all in stores Nov. 2nd.
(Mile High Comics)

Preview Link
100 Bullets #66
ABC: A-Z Greyshirt and Cobweb
DMZ #1
Hawkman #46
Wildcats: Nemesis #3
Cable Deadpool #22
Decimation: House of M - The Day After
Drax The Destroyer #3
Exiles #72
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #2
Incredible Hulk #88
Marvel Knights 4 #24
New Excalibur #1
New Thunderbolts #15
Pulse #12
-4 pgs each, all in stores Nov. 9th.
(Mile High Comics)

Preview Link
Books of Doom #1
Captain Universe X-23 #1
Daredevil vs. Punisher #6
Fantastic Four #532
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #20
Mutopia X #5
Runaways #10
Thing #1
Weapon X Days of Future Now #5
X-Men #177
-4 pgs each, all in stores Nov. 16th.
(Mile High Comics)

Preview Link
Amazing Spider-Man #526 (6 pgs)
Captain Universe/Invisible Woman (7 pgs)
Punisher Vs. Bullseye #1 (3 pgs)
-All books in stores Nov. 23rd.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
The 10th Muse #7 (4 pgs)
Legend of Isis #7 (5 pgs)
-Both in stores sometime in November.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Ghost Rider #3 (6 pgs)
New Excalibur #1 (6 pgs)
Incredible Hulk #88 (6 pgs)
-All books in stores Nov. 9th.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Mora #4 (5 pgs)
Rex Mundi #15 (5 pgs) -Nov. 9th.
Walking Dead #23 (5 pgs) -Nov. 9th.
Dragonlance: The Legend of Huma #6 (5 pgs) -Nov. 9th.
Dead Men Tell No Tales #3 (5 pgs) -Nov. 30th.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
What If: Captain America (5 pgs) -Dec. 9th.
Super Teen*Topia #0 (8 pgs) -Sometime in January
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Star Wars: Republic #79 (4 pgs) -Nov. 9th.
Star Wars: Empire #37 (4 pgs) -Nov. 9th.
Ares #1 (3 pgs) -Sometime in January.

Preview Link
Batman and the Monster Man #1 (4 pgs)
Captain Atom: Armageddon #2 (3 pgs)
Fables #43 (4 pgs)
Batman: Journey into Knight #4 (3 pgs)
-All books in stores Nov. 16th.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Generation M #1 (5 pgs)
Incredible Hulk #89 (4 pgs)
Giant-Size Invaders #2 (4 pgs)
Captain Universe/Silver Surfer (6 pgs)
-All books in stores Nov. 30th.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Aspen Seasons 2005: Fall #1 (5 pgs) -Nov. 16th.
Vampirella Relevations #1 (5 pgs) -Nov. 16th.
Free Fall #1 (2 pgs) -Sometime in November.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Books of Doom #1 (6 pgs)
The Thing #1 (7 pgs)
Ultimate Spider-Man #86 (6 pgs)
-All books in stores Nov. 16th.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Black Panther #10
X-Men and Power Pack #2
-6 pgs each, both in stores Nov. 30th.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
BMW Films: The Hire #4 -Nov. 16th.
Conan #22 -Nov. 23rd.
The Perhapanuats #1 -Nov. 23rd.
B.P.R.D.: The Black Flame #4 -Nov. 30th.
Revelations #4 -Nov. 30th.
-4 pgs each.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Amazing Joy Buzzards Vol. 2 #2
Godland #5
PvP #20
Waterloo Sunset #4
-5 pgs each, all books in stores Nov. 16th.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Marvel Holiday Special 2005 (5 pgs) -Nov. 30th.
GLX-Mas Special (4 pgs) -Dec. 7th.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Black Harvest #1 (5 pgs)
Sonic X #3 (3 pgs)
Daredevil vs. Punisher #6 (4 pgs)
Mutopia X #5 (4 pgs)
Weapon X: Days of Future Now #5 (4 pgs)
-All books in stores Nov. 16th.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Usagi Yojimbo #89 (4 pgs) -Nov. 30th.
Samurai: Heaven and Earth #5 (4 pgs) -Dec. 7th.
Hard Time Season Two #1 (5 pgs) -Dec. 7th.
Sable & Fortune #1 (3 pgs) -Jan. 4th.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Batman: Gotham Knights #71
Lucifer #68
Jack Cross #4
Ex Machina #16
Loveless #2
Wraithborn #3
The Authority: The Magnificent Kevin #4
Vigilante #3
-3 pgs each, all books in stores Nov. 23rd.
(Comics Continuum)

Preview Link
Marvel Team-Up #15 (5 pgs)
Marvel Zombies #1 (11 pgs)
-both books in stores Dec. 7th.
(Comics Continuum)

There. That should catch us up now...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Short Note

Getting into the Thanksgiving spirit early, I thought I'd take a moment to thank those oh-so important people who visit my site and list it on their own.

First, is Psychbloke, who's almost as ate up with pop-art as I am.
Johnny Bacardi, who's currently trying to balance a new job with his internet popularity. I think he's doin' fine.
Chris Mills, from Atomic Pulp, who stops by regularly.
Dial B For Blog if only because they link to me on their truly incredible site.
Newcomer, Roscoe, who looks to be a contender in the comic-bloggin' field.
And Enter the Tainment, a site I just recently discovered linking to me. Has a link to a trippy Lost commercial, too.
Also, my friend Barlitok, who I force to read my stuff constantly.

If I missed someone, I'm sorry. Just let me know if you're linking to me and I'll give thanks to you, as well.
Most of the ones listed above have been here since the beginning (especially Psych) and truly deserve my appreciation.

Reading Oeming's Thor


Okay. I gotta start off by saying that there are two basic types of characters that interest me the most.

The first is the unpowered, street vigilante type. This includes hardboiled detectives, secret agents, 1930s mystery men, mercenaries-for-hire and martial artists. Provided the characters in question have no powers or very minor (subtle) powers.

Sample characters that fall into this description are Iron Fist, Luke Cage, John Steed, Emma Peel, Moon Knight, Nightwing, Daredevil, Black Widow, #6 (Prisoner), Golden Age Sandman, James Bond, Modesty Blaise and Green Arrow.

The second type is from far on the other side of the spectrum and consists of Gods and way overpowered characters. These are the ones that myths are made from. Cosmic beings, even.

Sample characters include Dr. Strange, Dr. Fate, Thor, Silver Surfer, Hercules, the First (Crossgen) and the New Gods.

It's not very often that you'll come across a good, well-written cosmic-type character. Mostly because it's hard to set up a conflict for someone so powerful.

However, Michael Avon Oeming's Thor, starting with #80, did a good job.

I originally passed on his "Raganrok" story because I saw it as a gimmicky story tied in with the commercial "Avengers Disassembled!" crossover. But after picking up the trade paperback, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Actually... I was very impressed!
The story was simply brilliant. And the art, by Andrea Di Vito, was fantastic!
They both gave the book a truly epic feel and wrapped it up perfectly with an ending that was very fitting. And original.

And yes, it definitely is Ragnarok as everything comes to an end in #85, the last issue of Thor.

Meanwhile, instead of having everything end and then back the next day, which is normal in comics, they have several mini-series bridging the gap, setting up the background for a relaunch next year.
I feel that this is a much better approach.

But then Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill, Oeming and Di Vito's followup to "Ragnarok", couldn't compare to the first story as I felt Oeming kept getting distracted.
He shoulda stopped with one conflict somewhere along the story and continued it from there.
I thought it was just way too disjointed.

After reading it, I was like, "What the..? That's it..? Errr???" (with a dumb look on my face).

Who was the cosmic being that was talking to Beta Ray?
What's up with Alpha Ray and Omega Ray? Were they even necessary?
Asteroth? ???
What was with the needless flashbacks?
The last issue, even? WTF?

Everything seemed to come out of leftfield. Constantly.

However, the brief glimpse of Asgard when Beta Ray returned was very welcome.
And it was nice seeing Galactus and his new herald, Stardust.
Di Vito's art was still just as amazing, too.

But I feel that Oeming dropped the ball on this one. It seemed like he was trying to surprise the reader at every opportunity and at the expense of the story.

I just started reading Thor: Blood Oath and I'm hoping he can redeem himself with this one.
And I'm definitely looking forward to Ares in January. Too bad Di Vito isn't doing the art on either of these, though.

I do hope that the rumors about Thor's return next year as a farm boy youth who changes into Thor (ala Donald Blake/Thor or (more appropriately) Billy Batson/Captain Marvel) is not true. But we'll just have to wait and see.

I give Thor 9 out of 10. Stormbreaker gets 6 out of 10.

BTW, Amazon has a deal if you buy Avengers Disassembled: Thor and Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill together.