Friday, 30 November 2007

A reader writes

Another rant from my good friend, antique dealer and semi professional cage fighter, Dave F has landed in my electronic mail box. Oh happy day.

I reproduce the text in it's entirety, although I must apologise to Dave for the fact that not all of his scans feature. They wouldn't open properly mate, but no matter, I think folks can get the gist of what you're saying without the pics.

Over to Mr F...

"Ok. Its over.

Well… as over as anything can be in the Marvel Universe. Hulk turned into Banner and got taken away by General Ross. All of Hulks partners in crime were rounded up, probably destined to be recycled as z-listers and eek out the rest of their comic existence playing cameos in some Marvel backwater. No-one got killed…. Hmmm… Hang on, I think Rick Jones got killed right at the end but… okay, no-one that really matters got killed, and if his services are ever needed again they’ll bring him back conveniently stating ‘he never really died’.

Oh, in case you wondered. Im off on a rant about World War Hulk of course. (what else did you expect from the Big D?)

Was it an emotional experience..? Well, yes. During the whole course of this World War Hulk business (and all its tie-ins) it’s been somewhat of an emotional roller coaster. But now it's over, is it one of those fairground rides I just wanna run back to and have another go on? Nah, not really. The best written and best drawn stories no matter how masterfully told or how artistically expressed cannot withstand an anti-climax. Which is really what World War Hulk was. But saying that I think everyone knew a story like this was destined to have an anti-climax; there was no other way to tie it all up and more importantly, to tie it up in the Marvel Way.

So all I wanted to see before this inevitable anti-climax was Hulk smash as many people as possible. There’s a fantastic panel of Hulk, properly smashing a possessed Dr. Strange in the face in WWH 4. Lavly!

Halfway through the Quintology I bought Planet Hulk, the collected exploits of the Hulk in exile and of course the springboard for the World War Hulk Story.

Yes it was fun, but for all its grand scale and seeming importance, it somehow came across as a supremely pedestrian epic, much like the walk I take my dogs on, on my day off. At the end I found I didn’t really care that most of the planet was destroyed and millions had died. Much as I wouldn’t care if most of the people I met while I walked my dogs, had died.

But the most important issue addressed for me during this whole series? Can Hulk beat everyone? ‘Course he can, and ‘course he did… Amen.

My recent adventures at Forbidden Planet had me returning The Caves of Androzani.

It was a Dr Who story I heard Dom flippantly mention during our last meeting. I gotta admit as a kid I sorta lost interest after Tom Baker. It all seemed to get very colourful, very camp, and very contrived, or maybe I was just a cunt. But Dom is pure gold and has always given me dead certs. So I bought the fuckin' thing. I settled down for an evening of Whovian enjoyment and perhaps when the wife had slipped off to bed, some serious leering at Peri’s tits.

Peri's breasts

Alas & Alack, it was not meant to be. The fuckers at Forbidden Planet had overlooked their security device, which clamps the DVD case together and holds it in place. I spent minutes with carving knife and fingernail trying to get the bastard out but to no avail. I had been bested. I collapsed exhausted, but you should have seen the DVD and case... It was fucked!

With my wrath not quenched by a nights sleep, I raced to Forbidden Planet at 10.00 to wait with simpering nerds while the staff laughed at us from within. I took comfort in the fact that I could’a beaten all the nerds up had they started anything…

I gotta admit though once inside, the shop assistant was very, very helpful and even smiled when I quipped: ‘If Id had a fuckin sonic screwdriver I might have got it open…’

A rare thing from a Forbidden Planet employee as I heard a rumour that they are injected daily with a solution that stops their lips from curling into anything outwardly resembling an expression of happiness. I also finished my MODOKS 11 series. (Im surprised Dom hasn’t mentioned it being the one put me on to it). Thoroughly enjoyable romp. Essential Defenders 3 (Bargain Bucket of the comic world as Dom puts it) and the newest edition of the Marvel figurine series….Wait for it…… FUCKIN GALACTUS! EAT SHIT AND DIE SKRULLS!!

Im now buying old VHS episodes of Dr. Who at a rate of knots and recently bought those old top trump horror cards that everyone used to play at school.

Of course its all Dom's fault. BASTARD! He has turned me into a fuckin’ BODOC (Biological Organism Designed Only for Collecting). Much to the chagrin of my long suffering wife. Sausage-sucking Hun that she is."

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Shopping list

And lo it came to pass, another new comic day!

I'm looking forward to this one, chiefly because of this...

Dan Dare #1 of #7
Garth Ennis gets his bloodsoaked mitts on a British icon and, as you can see, our friends across the pond are so underwhelmed that it doesn't even rate a clickable link on comiclist. For shame.

No matter, I'm sure enough of them will be attracted by Ennis's name to pick it up. Hopefully it'll be worth buying.

With Ennis at the helm I predict Digby will have been buggered by issue #5 and that Dare will have ripped the Mekon's head off and pissed down his neckhole in time for issue #7.


Fear Agent Hatchet Job #1 (Of 4)

More Sci-Fi shenanigans. Doesn't quite feel like the genuine article without Tony Moore on pencils, but still likely to be a cut above 90% of the other comics out there.

Green Lantern Corps #18

OK, so the Sinestro War is running out of steam. And yes, the last issue of Corps was a bit of a wet fart, but when cosmic push comes to shove it's still going to packed full of aliens punching holes in each other's heads, and that my comic loving chums is enough to keep this emotional retard happy.

Marvel Atlas #1 (of 2)

Nyahhh. Detailed surveys of Latveria, floorplans of Castle Doom and geographical titbits concerning Wakanda. Utterly, utterly pointless. But I love this sort of nonsense.

Ultimate Spider-Man #116

The Goblin v Spidey smackdown in #115, proved that Immonen was an inspired choice to take over from Bagley on pencils. He's perfect for Spidey and has freshened things up considerably. Perhaps it's also time to start thinking about giving someone else a shot at writing the book. Kirkman anyone?

Back Issue #25

Love the idea of this magazine, but am usually disappointed by the articles themselves. Still worth it for the odd flashes of inspiration and nuggets of trivia lurking amongst the sludge.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Gee Reed what's that on your head?

Yeah? Well it makes you look like a dick, take it off.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007


The Watchmen site has been updated with some spectacular shots.

I'm feeling much better about everything after seeing those.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Three things I liked about Cap #32

Captain America #32 rocks!

It's got telepathic falcons...

"weet weet Redwing want millet"

It's got RAID!...

And best of all it's got Bucky kicking shit in a straitjacket


What more do you want from a superhero comic?*

*The correct answer is Nazis

Friday, 23 November 2007

World War Hulk sound effects Part Two

So you know how I was complaining about the sound effect overload in World War Hulk the other day? Well it turns out that there is method behind the madness of some of the more ridiculous ones.

The book's letterer, Chris Eliopoulos, has been explaining that... in fact code for the book's artists John Romita JR, Klaus Janson, Christina Strain.

Respect to him for that little Easter egg. The fun doesn't stop there though, after all why bother with acronyms when you can make sound effects out of full names?

Yes folks, Hulk scribe Greg Pak is more than a comic book writer, he's the sound of a forearm smash from the Jade Giant himself!


I'm grateful to Ifanboy for drawing my attention to the secrets behind the sound effects in WWH.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Warren Ellis makes me sick

Actually he doesn't, but this link from his website does.

Don't click on the link contained within that link unless you can cope with extremely disturbing nastiness. Definitely don't click it at work.

If it depresses you as much as it did me, content yourself with the knowledge that the folks within are almost certainly headed to Hell.

Shopping list

Not much of any interest to me on the comics front this week. I'm probably skipping Detective Comics because it seems to be some tie in with Morrison's Batman which has bored me thus far. I might pick up the new Back Issue, and I'll definitely throw these four in the old nerd sack...

Umbrella Academy Apocalypse Suite #3 (Of 6)
Obviously this is a bit of a Mignola rip off, but it's done really well nonetheless. I'll fight it out with all the Gerard Way loving goth girls to grab my copy before it sells out.

Checkmate #20
I'm still amazed that Checkmate hasn't been cancelled. It's an espionage heavy book that demands a certain degree of concentration to follow and doesn't feature Batman or Superman. Someone up there must like it, or maybe they just value Greg Rucka too much to kill off his baby. Whatever the case I'll keep lapping this genre crossing little beauty up.

Boys #12
Issue #11 was a bit weak. I'm sure it'll pick up.

Captain America #32
Still no Cap. Still doesn't matter. Top mainstream superhero action from a writer who clearly loves Cap's supporting cast and who's relishing having the chance to give them all their chance in the spotlight. Must read stuff for me.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

The original Marvel Zombies

Another panel from the magnificent All Winner Comics #1 (Summer 1941)
reprinted in The Golden Age of Marvel Comics Vol#2

Monday, 19 November 2007

Golden age crank calls

Evil Adolf Hitler is expecting an important call from his pal The Lord of Death.

The phone rings...

Panels from All Winner Comics #1 (Summer 1941)
reprinted in The Golden Age of Marvel Comics Vol#2

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Nazis, comic reviews and Elven beaver

Look, I don't want anyone out there thinking I'm a Nazi because, well, I'm not. Don't even think that I think they're cool or anything, because I don't (well not really). BUT, the truth is that by dint of the fact they're an inherently nasty bunch who happen to wear pretty amazing costumes, they do make FANTASTIC comic book villains.

I mean whether we're talking the Red Skull, the green Swastika robot in my new pretty banner (hope you like that by the way) or even old Adolf himself, I maintain that any comic book can be made AT LEAST 25% better by the inclusion of a Nazi or two.

The only group that comes anywhere close to being as good at comic book villainy are apes. They might not be as obviously nasty as Nazis and they do lack a little in the costume department, but for sheer destructive silliness you can't beat a good ape.

On rare occasions, such as in DC's magical Doctor 13 you get Nazi apes...

Obviously this sort of thing ramps up a comic's excellence by an insane amount and makes it an automatic candidate for CGC'ing.

Sadly apart from the aforementioned Doctor 13 and Hellboy, which has featured one or two SS sympathising simians, Nazi monkeys are all to rare. Which makes Wonder Woman #14 a treat. Alright, so there aren't exactly any Nazi apes in WW#14, but there are still apes AND Nazis. Huzzah!

What's more, the apes talk and wear armour while the Nazis are led by none other than Golden age great Captain Nazi who's put together some squad of super teched up Nazis and is launching an invasion of WW's homeland Themyscira. Wow! Great comic, my second favourite of the week in fact.

Which says a lot for All Star Superman #9, a comic that features neither Nazis or apes and therefore starts at a disadvantage to Wonder Woman but wins the day because in all other respects it's damn near perfect. The best issue of the run so far in fact. I dug everything about it from the calculating Kryptonians who break the moon in half in this awesome little nod to Superman II... the Phantom Zone and Jimmy Olsen wearing his Kryptonian overpants in a doomed effort to look cool, it's just chocful of great moments. I've already read it twice and looked at a bunch of the panels until my eyeballs hurt. It glows you know? Really. What's more it doesn't have a single gratuitous sound effect. Not one. It doesn't need any.

If only the same could be said for World War Hulk #5. Like All Star Superman it's got a superstar artist who draws pictures good enough to speak for themselves, and yet it's plastered with...






and most ridiculously of all...


Perleaseeee! I get it OK! This is a Hulk comic. It's meant to be loud, but JRJRKJCSSSSS?! What the fuck is that meant to sound like? A drunk trying to shout "JERKS!"?

It's just a distracting mess. Which is a shame because while it wasn't brilliant (no comic featuring the Sentry could be) WWH5 was a nice end to what's been a decent little mini series. Silly sound effects aside Romita's fight scenes have had a classic energy to them which make for a great looking comic. All things considered I enjoyed it a lot.

I shouldn't moan about the sound effects too much anyway. I seem to remember that Walt Simonson's classic run on Thor was heavy on the old KRAKOOM!'s and THRAKADOOM!'s and I enjoyed that plenty. Talking of which (is that a segue I see before me?) old Walt's back in action on World of Warcraft #1 and errm, what can I say? It ain't Thor.

Nope, in fact it's not even much like World of Warcraft. If Walt had wanted to make it like the game he would just have scripted 10 issues of a little man running around the countryside killing wild boar until he reached level 10, breaking up the tedium with the odd fight against lippy 14 year olds who are far too fucking good at the game for their own good and who delight in making my fucking life misery by endlessly killing me! GAAAAAAAAAHHHH! FUCK YOU!

Ahhem! Sorry. Flashback, flashback.

Anyway, yes errm the comic: Some orc dude travels around Durotar enslaving elves and humans and training them up to be super hard gladiators. He finds some human guy on the shore who impresses him by killing a giant crocodile. Said human guy doesn't remember who he is or where he came from blah de blah de blah whatever. It's pretty lame and looks a lot like Streetfighter and is notable for very little apart from this gratuitous Elven crotch shot...


Wank away fanboys!

Until tomorrow...


Thanks to Mr Wheatley (Check his blog out in Linkorama kids!) for these newly unearthed shots of the Nazi war machine...


Friday, 16 November 2007


A super duper giant robot drawn by Jack Kirby.

One of a host of hard to find images from this website.

I'd love to say I found it myself, but the link comes from the excellent Newsarama blog.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Shopping list

Heavens to Mergatroid! I've barely started reading last week's pile of nerdrature and already a new stack of overpriced sequential art is about to clog up my life. I tell you, at the moment I'm finding it a hell of a lot easier to buy my comics than read them. Such is the power of a new baby. They sap your energy and take control of your life, a bit like Venom I suppose only with a toothless smile. Bless.

Anyway. When I can stay awake long enough to actually put some constructive thoughts together I'll return to the reviews, for now these little shopping lists will have to do you.

Sooooooo here's what'll be taking up space in my bulging nerd sack this week...

Mark Millar Unfunnies #3 (of 4)(resolicited)
Mark Millar Unfunnies #4 (of 4)(resolicited)

Oh my, this is finally going to wrap up?! Even by Millar standards the delay on this has been REEDECULOUS! I can't even remember when the last one came out (two, three years ago? Something like that). Anyway the first couple of issues were superb, tasteless and totally unlike anything else Millar's ever done. Really funny, pretty disturbing and horribly sick. Love it and very happy to see it!

All Star Superman #9
OK so you know I said I have a love hate relationship with Grant Morrison's comics? Well this is one for the love pile baby. When he's on it, the boy is on it. Of course having Frank Quitley on pencils and the spectacular digital colouring of Jamie Grant helps. A proper comic.

Suicide Squad Raise The Flag #3 (of 8)
Oh crikey, Look I really liked issue #1, but right about the time I started reading issue #2 baby Jack puked or pooed or something and I never quite got round to finishing it. Still I'm sure it's good and I'll get round to reading it one day. Dear, dear. I am weak.

Un-Men #4
Ermm see above.

Wonder Woman #14
Hmm. I might pick this up because it marks the start of Gail Simone's tenure on the title. Now I'm not about to unleash my man boobs and go burning my bra or anything, but I like that Wonder Woman's going to be written by you know...a woman. Right on sister, I'll give it a shot.

World Of Warcraft #1
The solicitation notes for this sum up how I felt after two solid months of playing WOW 12 hours a day, seven days a week...

"A human is found unconscious on the shores of Kalimdor, with no memory of who he is or how he arrived there."

Oh dear. I don't want to go back.

It's by Walt Simonson though. Does that make it OK?

Official Handbook Of The Invincible Universe TP
Part of me really wants this. You see I own MINT condition copies of all but three of the 1980's run of the Deluxe Handbook of the Marvel Universe and I won't add the missing three issues until I find them in similarly pristine condition. Mmmm, purty super-hero encyclopedias.

On the other hand I think, hang on Invincible's only been going five minutes. Yes, it is probably the best super-hero title out there right now, but do I really need a handbook for it? I mean if I want to know about Angstrom Levy I can just read the back issues. Plus it's all on the internet these days anyway.

Hmm I'll probably buy it.

World War Hulk #5 (of 5) WWH
RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! This has been really quite good. I hope they don't mess it up right at the end.

That's it..............

Yes I know. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Black Dossier and all that.

I'm waiting, it gives my girlfriend something to buy me for Christmas.

Pip, Pip!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Night turns to day turns to night...

...all in the space of 27 minutes

Someone needs to have a word.

Panels from Strange Cases #2

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Spock lives!

Look, it's that fella who plays Sylar dressed up as an alien...

more shots from the Star Trek set here

Monday, 12 November 2007


Is it just me, or does this movie look like a cut scene from a Playstation Two game?

Oh, and Ray Winston? You're 'avin a farkin larf intcha!?

Early signs of mental illness

What a fucking basket case. Wonder what happened to him.

Reproduced from the 2000AD 1982 Annual

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Saturday shorts

I've spent most of today trying to read the Brubaker and Fraction Immortal Iron Fist trade, not always easy when you've got a little baby who pukes or shits every five minutes. Still, I've gotten about half way through. It's every bit as good as I knew it would be AND THEN SOME!

Part of the joy comes in guessing where Fraction ends and Brubaker begins. I'm 90% convinced that Fraction is responsible for mechagorgon and the two coolest words I've seen in a comic this year...


Whatever, the two complement each other perfectly to produce a quite fantastic martial arts book. Well worth picking up.

Spilt a cup of tea on my Tom Baker Robot DVD and have been forced to try and make a new DVD cover as a result. Unfortunately my crappy old printer can't cope with all the colours. So, marvel if you will at pink Tom and the bubblegum robot...

From a beat up old copy of World's Finest #147 that I picked up for a bargain £1.25, here's a picture of a walrus beating shit out of an octopus...

Those are tears of joy you're weeping kids. Tears of joy.


An Indian man wearing a t-shirt of a black man doing Kung Fu.

Oh well, I thought it made for an interesting camera phone pic.


Because the mighty Dave F keeps telling me that Avengers Illuminati is so good, I picked up the final issue. Meh. We'll have to agree to disagree on this one Dave.

Looks like another rush job from Brian "I wrote 50 comics this week" Bendis.

Not to knock the man (the last ish of Ultimate Spidey was top drawer) but Illumnati #5 is a bit clunky...

Bwahahahaha! Oh dear.

No work today!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Special Forces #1

You know, as much as I love mutants and genetically altered musclemen, sometimes it's nice to read a spandex free comic.

With a dearth of decent titles on offer last week I picked up a couple of random new non-superpowered books, the best of which was Special Forces #1 by Kyle Baker.

Based on the true story of an autistic man who was recruited to fight in the Iraq war, this is an action packed tale which draws on influences as varied as M*A*S*H and EC's legendary war comic Two Fisted Tales to tell a grim story about a war which has received scant attention elsewhere in the comics world.

Narrated by Felon, a 21st century Hotlips Houlihan with classic comic book cheesecake looks, Special Forces parachutes the reader right into the middle of the Iraqi warzone. It's a tough book focusing on one day in the life of an unlikely band of degenerates and misfits hastily enlisted by a desperate US military.

They're more like the cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest than the Dirty Dozen and, with the exception of Felon, none of them are fit to fight. While it might stretch the imagination to believe that such a rag tag crew could really end up in Iraq, Baker provides a couple of clippings in the back of the book which suggest that the US military are actually desperate enough to enlist anyone.

Whether you believe in them or not, the characters are easy to sympathise with, which makes it all the more disturbing that most of them don't make it out of issue #1 alive. These soldiers don't die easy deaths either, they shit their pants in fear before being blown up by IEDs. This is a particularly bloody war, and Baker wants us to know it.

His art is superb, I've already made the comparison to the classic work on Two Fisted Tales, but there's also more than a hint of MAD magazine legend Mort Drucker about the book. I kept thinking about this cover as I read Special Forces...

It's a great comic. Perhaps I was a little uncomfortable with some of the cheesecake in the panels where Felon's butt is juxtaposed against a recently decapitated soldier. But she's a strong enough character for me to put any reservations to one side - besides I'm sure Baker is making some clever point about sex and violence that I'm just not savvy enough to get!

Overall I'd give Special Forces a 9 out of 10. From the pencils to the lettering, everything about it looks different. It feels relevant in a way that a lot of comics don't at the moment. I look forward to issue #2 with real anticipation. If you get the chance, check it out.

Shopping list

After the paucity of last week's shop, I'm actually going to have a fairly weighty nerd sack to drag home this time out. Here (in interactive clickable format!) is what I'll be bagging and boarding over the weekend...

Midnighter #13
I'm three issues behind on this, but continue to buy it anyway. I'm not sure whether I liked Giffen's first issue so I probably should have read his second before ploughing on. Oh well.

Steve Niles Strange Cases #2
Hmmm, wasn't exactly bowled over by the first issue, but I'm so desperate for a good regular horror comic that I'm willing to give issue #2 a shot. I realise that this is horror with tongue firmly in cheek, but I still need convincing that the cheery artwork is right for the genre.

Astonishing X-Men #23
After reading the entire run from #1-#22 while I was flat on my back and unable to move a couple of months ago, I'm up to speed and looking forward to #23. Whedon and Cassaday are a great team who seem to have recaptured a lot of the magic of the classic Byrne/Claremont run while stamping their own identity on the book. Astonishing is slick and exciting. Any sadness about Whedon leaving the title is tempered by the knowledge that Warren Ellis will be taking over. Oh, and that's a PROPER Wolverine cover.

Criminal #10
Another title I've fallen behind on. In situations like this I often curse myself for continuing to buy the single issues instead of waiting for the trade, but Criminal is worth buying in single issue because of the excellent back matter that doesn't get reproduced in the collected format.

Which reminds me, I must watch The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, which I picked up on DVD after reading a great reader review in Criminal.

Marvel Legacy 1960s To 1990s Handbook TP
Gahhh. I'm a sucker for this type of thing. It just looks nice. Stupid unnecessary purchase, but it's the sort of thing I can see myself reading on the loo.

Super Villain Team Up Modoks 11 #5 (of 5)
Started off strong, weakened as it's gone on. Still a decent little mini, but there hasn't been enough MODOK for my liking.

The Order #4 CWI
Savvy stuff from Matt Fraction. Superheroes for the reality TV generation. I like it.

Monster #4
I'm sticking to one volume of this a week. It continues to be an excellent read. Sadly it prompted me to buy some more manga: Naruto vol #1 which I understand is very popular with the kids these days. Blerghh, seemed like a load of old bollocks to me - a badly executed rip-off of an early 90's cartoon. Chuff.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Charity shop comics: The Crunch

How on earth did I get to 35 without ever hearing of or reading The Crunch?

I found two yellowing issues of this late 70s British boys comic in Hackney OXFAM last week and I am now on a mission to buy the entire run. It is without doubt one of the finest comics I have ever read.

The covers are superb...

but the stories inside are even better; crazed, violent, amphetamine fuelled tales from a time when The Wild Geese was playing to packed houses, cold war paranoia ruled the world and American violence, Dirty Harry style was just coming into vogue on this side of the pond.

All the bogeymen are here.

Idi Amin gets speared through the back by mercenaries...

Before being fed to MAN-EATING MARIBOU STORKS!!!


That damp feeling in your trousers is a nerdgasm.

The Kennedy assassination and Watergate are mashed up in a tale of Mafia/CIA conspiracy called "Who killed Cassidy?", while the nationwide obsession with World War Two and the Nazis is still going strong in a fantastic little strip entitled...

Nuff said.

But the pulse pounding Nazi action doesn't stop on earth. Check this synopsis out...

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to suit up and pitch that word for word to Hollywood. In fact every single story in The Crunch deserves to be made into a movie. They all have blockbuster stamped large on them, which is more than can be said for the bleak, but nonetheless fantastic, readers letters page...

Brilliant, brilliant stuff.

I want more! More letters and more insane stories. The Crunch has me hooked with lines like this...

I will not rest until I have the entire run.