Saturday, December 31, 2005

Eye Candy

Alex Maleev










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2005: A Replicant's Recap - Part Three

For Part Two, which covered May thru August, go here.

SEPTEMBER:

I explained away my absence here and began posting again.

I did a movie quiz thing and didn't quite stump as many people as I thought I would.

Gas prices jumped because of the hurricanes and I bought a lock for my gas tank.

I dug up a couple links to annotatiuons for the Seven Soldiers books.

I actually sat down and watched the Teen Titans cartoon and liked it.

I watched Hellboy again.

And we got a sneak peek at Bendis and Maleev's upcoming Spider-Woman.

OCTOBER:

I went to see Serenity and should've posted more than I did, but couldn't find a way without giving away some really big spoilers.

I mentioned my favorite comic artists and why I like them.

I began a section for my art. More coming there next year.

DC decided to publish a book that includes every non-Swamp Thing story that Alan Moore has written for them.

Marvel announced the returns of Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, Silver sable and Dominic Fortune as they trimmed back the mutants.

NOVEMBER:

Information was released about the Serenity DVD, which I still need to get.

I started to clean out my bookmarks. It was originally take several posts to do it, but my browser crashed the next day and I lost all of them.

I recovered from my yearly trip to Wizard World and the Renaissance Festival.

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge got it's own index.

General Zod (from Superman II) began his bid for Presidency.

Doom Patrol co-creator Arnold Drake spoke out about his career.

I salivated over this.

I read and reviewed Michael Avon Oeming's Thor comics that I picked up at Wizard World, which led to me doing a Thor index, as well.

After Marvel announced a return to their ill-fated "New Universe" of the '80s, I unearthed an interview with Jim Shooter that detailed what went wrong with the original.

I got all crazy over the Daughters of the Dragon.

Marvel ran a poll to see what book the readers wanted to see published. Of course, they pretty much all deal with mutants...

We celebrated Thanksgiving, even though I did most of the cooking and I had just gotten over food poisoning at a fast food restaraunt.

I tried to restrain myself after reading how much money people were spending for Christmas. What was bad was they were complaining that they still couldn't spend as much as they did the year before because of gas prices. And I couldn't afford a fraction of what they were putting out this year!

I did a quiz-thingy and found out I need more lovin'.

I started a poll to see who people wanted in the next JLA series. It was pretty successful and the results were pretty balanced.

DECEMBER:

I got a big kick out of Solo #7, especially the "Batman-A-Go-Go" story.

I began the Eye Candy feature, which was well received it seems. BTW, you're getting three doses today to break up the Year End Recaps.

The voting for the JLA members kept going after the poll was closed, so I did one final recount.

I got me a PSP.

Following in DC's footsteps, Marvel announced a big epic crossover for next year that would include a prologue, several lead-in mini-series and a final mini-series (much like DC's Infinite Crisis).

I posted the links from my old web site and found that the Dave Sim editorials had moved.

I discovered more comics for the PSP. And then some more.

Enjoying my PSP for a while now, I felt it was time to comment on what I think it needed to improve on.

I began a new feature, called Ear Candy, to bring some music back to the blog.

After talking to the editor of DCU, I posted my Doom Patrol article that was printed in the first issue.

Warren Ellis' Nextwave became the first comic to get it's own theme song to promote it's debut.

And that just about wraps it up.

Looking forward to a spectacular new year!

Eye Candy

Gabriele Dell'Otto










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2005: A Replicant's Recap - Part Two

For Part One, which covered January thru April, go here.

MAY:

At the beginning of May, I started playing online card games over at CCG Workshop.

DC's Infinite Crisis finally started to sway me as I learned of their plans for their sci-fi characters.

I participated in my first meme.

I tried to figure out the reason for casting Charlise Theron as Aeon Flux.

DC Comics got a new logo.

Someone stole my Alias Season 3 set from my friend's house and brought it to my work to sell it. My friend never did file a police report and I ended up buying the set back from the store.

PSP comics made their first appearance here. Unfortunately, PSPCmx never did anything else. However, Heroic Publishing is still going strong.

I started reading Legend of the Five Rings fiction.

Psychbloke orchaestrated a web-wide Mexican wave and I participated.

I read Rann/Thanagar War #1 and was so enthralled that I went and started reading Adam Strange, Green Lantern and Hawkman.
The books received their own spot on my blog as I started indexing each one. Even Rann/Thanagar got it's own index.

Alan Moore withdrew from DC Comics and movies.

We learned a little about Sin City 2.

Firefly was getting it's own movie, called Serenity, and we checked out the comic prelude.

I started a new feature, Indie Attack, to focus on new Indie music. Strangely, I only did it once...

JUNE:

DC Comics announced their answer to Marvel's Essentials. I just wished they came out faster.

We found out for the first time about DC jumping ahead a year in all their books.

Rich Johnston created his own excitement when he decided to change the format of his highly popular rumor column. He eventually changed it back. Mostly.

I started an index for DC's Showcase Presents. And I found what I thought was the best resource out there for info on Marvel's Essentials.

I began my Mad Mad Movie Marathon, which actually lasted a while before I got too busy to continue.

JULY:

We found out about Brian Azzarello's new western comic.

Live 8 happened. Damn, that was an awesome event. We even got to see Madonna prove that she can still move at her age.

I posted another mixed set of music and then created another, but never got that one uploaded.

I tried to figure out how I ended up liking electronica music so much.

As a result, I picked up Verve Remixed and Mushroom Jazz during a trip to the bigger city.

AUGUST:

I must have found something else to keep me busy as I didn't post squat the whole month!

Up next: September thru December. And I promise... I did post something in September!

Eye Candy

Bill Sienkiewicz










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2005: A Replicant's Recap - Part One

JANUARY:

We started the year off on a tragic note as Will Eisner passed away.

While Jennifer Garner wowed us in Alias, Elektra made us wish someone else wrote it.

Christopher Mills' superb web-comic strip, Gravedigger, got reprinted (or rather, printed) in comic form.

Replicant #1 revealed his true identity to the world.

Frank Cho learned that having a big name means he can do some pretty risque stuff in a Marvel comic. The resulting controversy and publicity created by the stunt would lead to such things as Tony Harris' nude Conan cover for Dark Horse Comics later in the year.

My first article, "The Doom Patrol: The Original Hard-Luck Heroes", was printed in DCU #1, a fanzine focusing mostly on the silver age of DC. Actually published around the end of 2004, I had just discovered that it was actually printed.

I really started to get into comic strips, which would eventually lead me to subscribe to Comics Revue.

FEBRUARY:

I read some pulp stories and learned how to talk to a dame.

I rambled about my fascination with wuxia and Hong Kong cinema.

Keeping with the obscure genre weirdness, I conveyed my love for B-films and schlock.

Marvel's updated rating system got a good look-over.

And we began keeping track of comic God Grant Morrison's new baby, Seven Soldiers of Victory. It was a breath of fresh air for me as my monthly comics list was dwindling at the start of the year.
The review would become the first of several comic indexes focusing on the comics I read.

I posted a review of 100 Bullets and tried to turn more people on to this awesome series.

MARCH:

John Travolta and Uma Thurman sashayed across the screen trying to re-ignite their Pulp Fiction chemistry, while the Rock showed us his soft side and spanked his ass in Be Cool.

In a search for new music, I discovered Arcade Fire.

Funky Winkerbean took on comic shop legal issues.

The Israeli Defense Force felt that D&D players were "detached from reality and susceptible to influence" and would give them nothing more than a low-security clearance.

Shining Knight #1 kicked off Morrison's Seven Soldiers epic.

Shadowrun got a fourth edition, which led everyone to go back to the previous ones.

I went and saw The Ring Two and found it to be a bit creepy but still flawed.

My newly re-grown tonsils interrupted my blog for a bit.

Free comics started appearing all over the web.

My indie music excursion continued with Robbers on High Street.

Podcasts made a big splash in my world.

Morrison's Seven Soldiers continued with Guardian #1

APRIL:

Sin City rocked the house!

DC killed the "Bwa-ha-ha!" of comics with a special comic that would lead into the biggest comic event since... well, Crisis.

I slammed my thumb in my truck door. And I'm still waiting for the nail to completely heal...

In light of the events of Marvel's Dis-Assembled and DC's Identity/Infinite Crisis, I took a look at what Gilligan's Island would be like if it was made to appeal to the same audience.

Zatanna #1, continuing Morrison's Seven Soldiers tale, brought us a more down to earth version of Zee.

More indie music found it's way into my ears through Iron & Wine.

And I found more cool music over at Hellthy.

I found out that in an alternate reality, there's another Lee Stone that's a porn star.

I contemplated on who the comic audience is and how to reach them.

Everybody began to become more aware of how broke we really are.

Marvel started to sell comics through 7-Elevens again.

I displayed my goodies from Wizard World and Aggie Con.

Marvel announced a new line of "dollar digests", which I don't think I ever saw get released.

Marvel also revived the Annual, something that DC would eventually do, as well.

The fourth book from Morrison's Seven Soldiers of Victory, Klarion began.

Next up: May thru August!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Eye Candy

Alex Maleev










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And Now For Something Completely Different...


I still don't know what to make of Warren Ellis' Nextwave.
It looks like it could be fun.

But something in me is resisting it.

Could be because my comic plate has been pretty full these last few months. Or it could be that I'm just not being grabbed by the characters or the art.

Newsarama just posted a color preview of several pages if you want to take a glimpse at it.

What has impressed me, however, is the way they're pushing the book. They even gave it it's own theme song (available at the above linked preview)!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Eye Candy

Gabriele Dell'Otto










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PSP Listed as C-Net's #1 Must Have Gadget

From C-Net:

If you're going to unseat the top dog on our must-have gadgets list, you'd better bring your A-game. Just ask Xbox 360: after only two weeks at the top of the chart, defects, overheating, and crashing problems pushed it down to number two. And that means Sony's PSP has climbed back to the top of must-have mountain.

1. Sony PSP
The Sony PlayStation Portable is the portable gadget of 2005. If you haven't gotten one already, you must not have seen one in action. The screen alone will make you salivate. So much more than a portable gaming console, it also plays music and movies. Not only does it look hot, it also has outstanding sound and graphics, a built-in Memory Stick Duo slot, and Wi-Fi. And if you already have one, read our PSP megafeature to unleash your PSP's full potential.


Whoo-hoo!
Congrats, Sony.

I'm really loving my PSP.
Although there are a few things I'd like to see, it's a remarkable hand-held device.
Highly reccomended.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Doom Patrol: The Original Hard-Luck Heroes



"You three are victims of a cruel and fantastic fate! I have summoned you here to give you the opportunity to cheat fate by offering you the chance to experience adventures more incredible than any humans have ever known!"

The wheelchair bound Niles Caulder, one of the most brilliant scientists of the 20th Century, issued that statement to three individuals who had been victims of unfortunate accidents. Accidents that should have killed them, but instead left them with changed lives. They found that they had each gained abilities and powers from their seperate catastrophes -but at a price. They were now considered misfits, no longer accepted in society.

Regarding themselves as freaks and outcasts, the three people shed their old lives and became known as Negative Man, Elasti-Girl and Robotman. Calling himself the Chief, Caulder brought them together in his mansion in Midway City to form the original Doom Patrol. First appearing in My Greatest Adventure #80 (June 1963), they would battle and defeat various menaces to humanity.

Larry Trainor, the Negative Man, was a test pilot who accidently flew through an area of radiation. After recovering from the experience, he found his skeleton now glowed through his skin and he could release a being of pure energy from his body. This being, which would do whatever Larry willed it to, was able to fly at light speed, pass through all objects and materials (except lead) and had super-strength. Although if the energy being remained outside of his body longer than sixty seconds, Larry would begin to die. Caulder had to design special bandages that would shield those around him from the radiation that now pulsed in his body.

Rita Farr, the Elasti-Girl, was an actress who insisted on doing her own stunts. While on a shoot in Africa, she ended up going off a waterfall. Making it back out of the water, she found herself near some strange craters that expelled noxious gases. Inhaling some of the fumes, Rita got sick. While recovering, she discovered that her body would grow and shrink uncontrollably. Scared, and sure that her career would be ruined, she disappeared from the public. She was eventually found by Niles, who offered to help her control her powers

Cliffe Steele, the Robotman, was a race car driver who had been in a severe crash. His body was destroyed beyond repair with only his brain surviving. Niles, himself, took his brain and placed it into the body of a robot. A running gag throughout the first series was to have Cliff's body destroyed in some new and interesting fashion, since it was expendable.

Later in their career they would be joined by two allies:
Garfield Logan, better known as Beast Boy, who could change his body into that of any animal but had a permanent green skin tone that stayed with him.
And Steve Dayton, a billionaire scientist that called himself Mento, who had telekinesis and illusion powers while wearing a special helmet that he had created.
Over the years, Dayton would end up marrying Rita Farr, with Gar Logan becoming their adopted son.


The Doom Patrol was a product of the winding down Atomic Age. During that era, comics were full of weird-menace and B-Horror film inspirations. Because of such trappings, they would become one of the defining symbols of the Silver Age of comics.

Through the course of their adventures, the Doom Patrol would meet and battle several different villains.
Foes like-
Mr. 104 -a molecular engineer who had total control over almost the entire range of the periodic chart of elements as well as the ability to turn his body into any one of those elements
Gargaux -an alien from another planet who came to Earth to enslave the humans.
Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man -a scientist who had discovered a way to change his body into any form of animal, vegetable or mineral.
And many others.
But the most vile of their enemies were General Immortus and the Brotherhood of Evil.

General Immortus, a criminal who desired the secret to immortality, was the indirect cause for Niles Caulder's creation of the Doom Patrol. Originally, Caulder was working for him as a scientist to help him find immortality. But once he discovered he was working for Immortus and what his plans were, Niles tried to break ties. It was during this time that Caulder was confined to a wheelchair due to a bullet he sustained in an attept to de-activate a bomb that Immortus had planted in his chest.

While General Immortus was the cause for the Doom Patrol's creation, the Brotherhood of Evil would be the cause for their end.


The Brotherhood consisted of the Brain (a mastermind with a supreme intellect who, like Robotman, was a disembodied brain), Monsieur Mallah (a super-intelligent ape -think "gorilla warfare", but literally) and Laura DeMille, also known as Madame Rouge (a French actress who, after a car accident, suffered schizophrenia with one persona of good and one of hate). The Brain performed several operations on DeMille. One of those operations removed her good persona, leaving her a being of pure hate. And another later gave her the ability to stretch her body and change her features so she could disguise herself as anybody she wanted. During their career, the Brotherhood was joined by General Immortus and Gargaux to confront the Doom Patrol.

Madame Rouge eventually started to have feelings for Caulder, who attempted to restore her good side. Even though he made progress and she had a brief respite, the Brain's hold on her was too powerful and she had a nervous breakdown which reversed all the work Niles had done.

It was then that the evil-consumed Rouge met Colonel Zahl, a former Nazi butcher and they seemingly killed her Brotherhood teammates, Brain and Mallah. Together with Zahl, she captured the Chief, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl and Robotman, giving them an ultimatum: to sacrifice themselves or have a small fishing village destroyed. The Doom Patrol agreed to let themselves be killed for the sake of the village of fourteen. In the final issue of the Doom Patrol's original run (#121 -Sept/Oct, 1968) Zahl blew up the land where they stood, killing them.

The only survivor was Cliff Steele (at the time), who's head was found later floating ashore. Together with Beast Boy, who was now a member of the New Teen Titans as Changeling, he avenged their deaths when they found and fought Madame Rouge and Zahl. Robotman and Changeling were aided by the Brain and Mallah, as well, since it was revealed that they hadn't died and also seeked revenge on Rouge. During the course of the battle, Madame Rouge was electrocuted and the resulting shock finally restored her good personality. Dying happily, she said she was going to finally be with Niles.


The legacy of the Doom Patrol continued on, although it never attained the same feel or following as the original. Robotman went through all the various incarnations of the team, joined at first by Arani Caulder (a woman, also called Celsius, who claimed to be Nile's wife and had the ability to shoot fire from one hand and ice from the other), Valentina Vostok (a Russian astronaut who acquired an energy being similar to Larry Trainor's and called herself Negative Woman) and Joshua Clay (also known as Tempest, who could fire energy bolts from his body and fly). This first group's main objective was to find Niles Caulder because Arani did not believe he had really died.

But she, herself, would be killed before the truth was found that Niles indeed had not been killed. And when Cliff found him he also discovered that Caulder had caused the accidents that had created the original Doom Patrol.

The Doom Patrol would have one more day of glory in the hands of Grant Morrison, but it would not be fair to either version to draw comparisons or even treat them as the same entity.

DC then launched two more Doom Patrol series, the first with Robotman being the only staying character. He was joined by several new teen characters as he tried to coach them in super-hero life.

The most recent series was completely done by John Byrne who stripped the history away from the group and started fresh with the original team.
Unfortunately, with a much too long intro to the series and no connection to the old stories it alienated many Doom Patrol fans.


Quite possibly the Doom Patrol left so much of a mark at one time that it can never reach that height again. The stories of the '6os are now considered classics and can be found reprinted in DC's Archive series. And although the original team is no longer being published, they did pave the way for another group of super-powered freaks led by a wheelchair-bound professor...

So maybe there is hope.


(The above is a slightly updated version of the article I did for DCU #1. It's a special all-Doom Patrol issue and copies may still be available from Excalibur Press.)

Essential reading:
Doom Patrol Archives Volume 1 -reprints My Greatest Adventure #80 thru Doom Patrol #89.
Doom Patrol Archives Volume 2 -reprints Doom Patrol #90 thru #97.
Doom Patrol Archives Volume 3 -reprints Doom Patrol #98 thru #105, plus Challengers of the Unknown #48.
Crawling from the Wreckage -reprints Doom Patrol v2 #19 thru #25 (the beginning of Grant Morrison's run).
The Painting that Ate Paris -reprints Doom Patrol v2 #26 thru #34.
Down Paradise Way -reprints Doom Patrol v.2 #35 thru #41.
Doom Patrol Article from Best of Amazing Heroes #1
Newsarama's interview with Doom Patrol co-creator Arnold Drake

Eye Candy

Bob Smith/Terry Beatty





Jeff Parker



Cameron Stewart



John Delaney/Rob Leigh


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Monday, December 26, 2005

Chain-Chain-Chain...

I just went through and edited the Eye Candy posts to link them all together.
If you start with the latest one and click the "Click here for more Eye Candy!" link, it'll take you to the previous one. And again at the bottom of that one.

You may have to refresh your page for the link to appear if you've been there before.

I was afraid that the posts would be lost in the great blogosphere. And I think it'll be nice for those just now catching them.

Eye Candy

Gabriele Dell'Otto










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