Friday, 29 February 2008

This and that

As some of the more grizzled old hacks in my office say when they fancy a trip to the pub: "Much to discuss!"

So where to begin? Well, how about we take a look at what Mr Robert Kirkman has to say about the current state of the ultimate universe...

"I feel compelled to admit that I'm really enjoying ULTIMATE HUMAN. It's a series by Warren Ellis, Cary Nord and Dave Stewart. The art is superb and for a book that's really only about Iron Man and Hulk fighting--and done only to play off the two movies being released this year--it's really just written superbly. The characters are so well defined and well acted it's just a joy to watch Tony Stark and Bruce Banner react. I can only hope that after Jeph Loeb is done with THE ULTIMATES, Warren Ellis is given a shot on the book... he really does get the characters and the tone of the book. I recommend it to anyone who's not thrilled with Ultimates 3"

Now you may think it's pretty rich of Kirkman to be taking a swipe (all be it a veiled one) at Loeb's Ultimates when his own tenure on Ultimate X-Men has been such a let down, but he's right about Warren Ellis getting the tone of the Ultimates. I said so HERE!

If you want to read more of Kirkman's thoughts on comics and pop culture then I suggest you subscribe to his KIRKSPAM mailing list HERE


Talking of Warren Ellis, the third part of his webcomic FREAKANGELS has just gone up. It's been interesting so far. Nice art and subdued colours from Paul Duffield too. I like the little rainbow in the water coming out of the hosepipe in this panel...

Very pretty.

Finally got round to reading Crawl Space XXX Zombies #3 and errrm well, shit, I don't want to sound like Mary Whitehouse or anything but it was all rather nasty.

Zombie porn stars biting off cocks I can take, but splash pages of zombie nurses eating newborn babies!?! Whoa there! That's a step too far for my tastes, and one that felt out of place with the humour which ran so strongly through the first couple of issues.

Shame really as up until that point I'd been enjoying Crawl Space a lot. I won't be dropping it (hey I'm not that much of a prude) but I really hope we don't see any more baby munching in issue #4.


I was tempted to give Kick-Ass a miss, but the lure of a new Mark Millar/John Romita JR. book sitting on the comic shop shelf was just to great to resist. And, you know, it's not half bad. As with most of Millar's work we're on familiar ground: the cult of instant celebrity, alienation, violence, sexual frustration etc etc. We've seen it all before in The Chosen, Wanted and The Ultimates.

As such, reading Kick-Ass you feel that Millar isn't really extending himself here. But, you know he still knows how to write a funny superhero comic even if he is basically writing the same one over and over again.


Sad news re Checkmate; Marvel bound Greg Rucka is leaving as of issue #25.

I think it's safe to say that the book will be canceled soon after. Sales on the title are poor and DC were probably only keeping it going because binning it would have pissed Rucka off BIG TIME.

Whatever, I'd be shocked if it makes issue 40 now that Rucka's going, which is a bummer as it's one of the best books on the stand.



I've just realised, I've been writing this bollocks for over a year now. Ha Ha. I never thought I'd manage that when I sat down and spewed out a pissed rant about Ultimate X-Men.

I'm not sure why I'm still doing it given that the only people who seem to read it are blokes who accidentally stumble on THIS and THIS while googling for spandex based wank sites and huge cock comics.

Oh well, happy birthday to my blog!

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Anglo-American relations

Someone posted this image in the comments section of Mike Sterling's blog

I don't remember this title, but I do love the attempt to marry glitzy American heroes with something as British as an Inter City 125 train.

Back in the early 8os I imagine this cover would have struck a chord with quite a few British kids. The 125 was considered vaguely exciting and very, very fast in those days. It doesn't look quite so impressive now of course, but at the time the thought of the Flash and Superman racing each other AND a 125 would have made this mag a solid seller, especially in stations.

From the same publication comes this extraordinary attempt to anglocise (if that's the correct term) DC superheroes by giving them the faces of familiar British celebrities....

The Creeper is Albert Finney, Raven is Joanna Lumley, Starfire is Rula Lenska and Green Lantern appears to be Sean Connery. I think Manbat is Ozzy Osborne, but I could be wrong.

Greg Land and Salvador Larroca eat your hearts out

Wednesday, 27 February 2008


I wish I'd thought of THIS

Nerd girls

Yeah, yeah, so I lifted this off the front page of YouTube. It's good!

Monday, 25 February 2008

Saturday, 23 February 2008

An early Marvel Zombie

From the 50p bins of Orbital Comics comes this 1991 copy of Marvel Age #98. Could it feature the first ever use of the term "Marvel Zombie"?

I'm guessing the banner at the top refers to The Toxic Avenger, the Troma Films character who Marvel had just acquired the rights to. Yet the Toxic Avenger wasn't really a zombie was he?

Incidentally, The Toxic Avenger wasn't the success that Marvel hoped it would be, running for just 11 issues between April 1991 and February 1992.

Clearly Marvel had high hopes for the property at the time though, trotting out Smilin' Stan the Man for these publicity shots..

Those blokes in the costumes really had to earn their money didn't they?

Kick-Ass #1 preview pages

Mark Millar and John Romita Jr, the team who brought you the the brilliant Wolverine:Enemy of the State are back with Kick-Ass. Preview pages HERE

First thoughts: Looks like WANTED all over again.

The Call - online!

One of my favourite comics last year was The Call. I talked about it HERE in case you missed it.

Well good news, The Call is now online.

Go forth, interact and ponder what it all means HERE

Friday, 22 February 2008

LLC does NOT recommend

Jenna Jameson's Shadow Hunter is something of a disappointment.

"No fucking shit Sherlock" I hear you cry "What were you expecting?"

Well errm, porn would have been nice. Honestly if you're going to put Jenna Jameson's name on a comic, then you should at least have the decency to include a hand job or at the very least the odd crotch shot. I mean come on, that's what your average Jenna Jameson fan is looking for isn't it?!

Sadly the only reason your going to need tissues after buying Shadow Hunter is to wipe away the tears of frustration at having wasted £2 on a seriously shit comic. The plot (as far as there is one) centres on a young woman (the eerily familiar sounding Jezeree Jaden) who sees demons. She goes to visit some past life regression hypno prof, fights a load of badly drawn monsters with a sword that pops out of her arm, gets covered in blood (not quite the warm sticky substance Jenna fans were hoping for) and finds out she's the daughter of some high ranking demon or other.

What a load of old bollocks.

The mystery of the whole thing is how the endless succession of classic porno set-up scenes don't end with our heroine getting down to some REAL business. Take this moment for example...

Ahhh yeah! Alternative methods of payment Jenna Jameson style. Crack open the Kleenex right? Sadly not. Desperate looking old landlord man just takes Jenna...sorry, Jezzarie to some nightclub where she spots her boyfriend frittering the rent money on cocktails and hos.


Then there's the scene where Jezzarie is wired up to some sci-fi hypno table by the mysterious Dr Ingersoll...

Yes another filthy old bespectacled man in a position to take advantage of our heroine: "Look into my eyes. Not around the eyes. Into the eyes" etc etc and yet NOTHING!

Gahh! Curse you Virgin comics, that's not good enough from a comic carrying Jenna Jameson's name. Can you imagine putting out a comic called Evel Knievel's Moto Devils without any stunts on bikes? How about Hulk Hogan's Fight Lords with no wrestling? Wouldn't happen. You put Jenna Jameson's moniker on your comic and I want porn!

If you can't give me a wank mag, at least give me a decent read, not this bag of old balls. The art's not bad, but the story, such as it is, reads like a hastily cobbled together stream of consciousness. I could have forgiven that if Jenna Jameson had written it herself, but she didn't. It's penned by someone called Christina Z. Sounds like another porn star, but apparently she's the co-creator of Witchblade. That's hardly a surprise as Shadow Hunter is essentially a very bad Witchblade rip-off.

I'm guessing that it won't be around for long. If Virgin keeps churning out toss like this instead of the excellent Dan Dare then I reckon they won't be in the comics biz much longer either.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The Merry month of May

In amongst all the Secret Invasion tie-ins and Iron Man hype books, there are a few interesting bits and bobs in Marvel's solicitations for May which can be found here.

Nicest surprise is the return of
New Universal. Strangely it seems to be coming back as a six issue mini-series. Whether that means it will pick up from the same point it was at when it just disappeared off the radar, I don't know. At least Warren Ellis is still writing it.

LLC favourites,
The Invaders return in the first part of a 12 issue series. Sadly the book will see them transported through time to the current day where they meet the Avengers blah de blah de blah!

Me? I want to read an Invaders comic set during the Second World War. This maxi-series madness sounds more like a convenient way to bring Steve Rogers back into the Marvel Universe than a good Invaders tale. We'll see.

Captain America #38 should be good. Looks like the Red Skull is going to run for President in some kind of Weird Third Reich/West Wing piece of Brubaker brilliance. Woo Hoo!


And while we're talking odd ideas, how about Iron Man meets Swingers in a John Favreau penned tale IRON MAN: VIVA LAS VEGAS #1 (of 4). Favreau seems like an unlikely choice to direct the Iron Man film. I'm even more surprised to see him writing Iron Man comics though.

Mark Millar is knocking out some odd love letter to 1985 in the appropriately titled
MARVEL 1985 #1 (of 6). The solicitation notes promise a tale where "the fate of the planet rests in the hands of one person: Toby, a 13-year-old boy who holds the key to uniting his comic-book idols, the Marvel Heroes!"

Sounds fucking terrible. Still, it's by Millar so you never know.

For their part, DC are hitting us with a whole raft of Final (yeah right!) Crisis gubbins. But (as you'll see here) they are also giving us the second volume of Showcase Presents The Flash, a new ongoing House of Mystery co-written by Bill Willingham, and strange new versions of Tor and The War that Time forgot (those copyrights must be about to lapse) .

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Shopping list

I have piles of comics to read at the moment, but that won't stop me buying more this Thursday. Here's what I'll be shoveling into the old nerd sack..

Umbrella Academy Apocalypse Suite #6 (Of 6)
The first couple of issues in this series were excellent, but #3 and #4 were garbled and poorly paced. I haven't read #5 yet, but perhaps the whole thing will work when read as a whole. If not I can still get a few quid selling the set + Free comic book day prelude to some EMO kid on e-bay.

Checkmate #23
Reading Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps from start to finish has been rewarding, I get the feeling that sitting down and doing the same with Checkmate would be a good idea too. This is one of my favourite books, but there's so much going on that digesting it in short monthly bursts can be difficult. I want to support the book though, so I'll keep buying the floppies instead of the trades.

Amazing Spider-Man #551
After two ssues of the Guggenheim/Larocca triptic, it's clear that they aren't as good a match for this title as Slott and McNiven. I'm still enjoying the book though. It's a better read than Ultimate Spider-Man at the moment and I may drop the latter as a result, after all who needs two regular Spider titles in their life?

The Order #8

I'm a few issues behind on this, but I know it's good. Sadly it's also been cancelled. Baw bags.

Ultimate Human #2 (of 4)

OK so this is only there to be released in trade paperback format in time for the new Hulk and Iron Man movies, but unlike other blatant movie cash-ins (I'm looking at you Spider-Man v Doc Oc and Silver Surfer Requiem) this is actually good. Warren Ellis and Cary Nord are a shit hot team who, if issue #1 is anyhting to go by, are going to serve us up some good wholesome gamma on iron action.

Jenna Jamesons Shadow Hunter #1

Porno sword and sorcery shenanigans. KERCHING! No lame jokes about the fact that it's being published by Virgin, I promise.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Films to watch with your granny

Look at this, please. It's probably the best trailer EVER!

Sunday, 17 February 2008


Sylvester Stallone will soon melt.

It's a shame.

Seeing that he's seen fit to do another Rocky film and another Rambo film, I think it's only fair that he be allowed to reprise his greatest screen role before he dies...

Friday, 15 February 2008

Short bits about comics I've been reading

Time's at a premium for me at the moment. I'm reading comics inbetween other more important real life stuff and updating the blog as and when I can grab five minutes. Fact is I'm too knackered to put any real thought into anything but changing nappies and dealing with family stuff. BUT I am still ploughing through the comic backlog, so here are some SHORT strem of conciousness styleeee reviews of what I've been reading...

Green Lantern/Green Lantern Corps

Nearly hit the Sinestro War now. Seems the whole Empire of Tears, Alan Moore thing was cropping up even earlier in the run than I'd thought. Ranx and The Children of The White Lobe both appear in the Corps. Wish I'd been reading them at the time.

And the other day when I said it would be really cool to see Batman as a Sinestro Corps. Well fuck the ducks, for one glorious splashpage it actually happens. NERDGASM!

Green Lantern is a great run. I did raise an eyebrow when Hal Jordan started quoting John McCain and creating pissed off US soldiers instead of big green mallets to take down Chechen terrorists, but hey I guess that's the kind of shit Hal would do. On the other hand maybe Geoff Johns is a raging republican hawk. Oh well, I still like his comics.

Fantastic Four #554

Superheroes as celebrities. Savvy cynicism. Pop culture references. Bryan Hitch on pencils. Basically Mark Millar is still writing The Ultimates. That's alright by me.

I liked the Back to the Future III beginning, The cheeky Miracle Man T-shirt (Copyright! Copyright!), the obscure Chris Claremont character dredged up to be Reed's ex, Sue Storm's Spice Girl style charity gig and the Doombots serving cocktails.

We've read it all before of course, but Millar and Hitch do it so well that it's still worth picking up.

Northlanders #3

I like the pencils and colours on this a lot. It's got a stark look to it. Brutal. Cold. Grim. The kind of art that fits the grimy paper Vertigo use to a tee.

The Orkney Islands in the 10th Century look like a shitter of a place.

The story is good too. Sven is like a skinny whiny Conan.

The coolest/only viking comic I've ever read (Thor doesn't count)

Amazing Spider-Man #549/#550

I'm not mad aout Salvador Larocca's art. It's not horrible, it just doesn't seem like the best fit for Spidey. His Jonah Jameson is all wrong.

Guggenheim's words are good, not Dan Slott good, but good all the same.

I'll keep reading, but I'd still rather be reading Slott/McNiven Spidey once a month.

Teen Titans Year One #1/#2

I like the idea behind this one, and it's entertaining enough comic tomfoolery but really, I could use a few more words. Seriously, it pisses me off to spend £2 on a comic that takes 1 minute to read.

I get that the writers are aiming at a younger audience, but when I were a lad I was drooling over Daredevil and Watchmen. Lot of words in those buggers I tell you. Lot of words.

The covers are ace though.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Free Warren Ellis

No, he's not been locked up (yet), he's got a free web comic in the offing...

Another action figure ad

Mego Magic!

Ahh, this is the stuff!

I had the Batman Exploding Bridge and Batmobile. I would never have taken it to the park though.

Spider-Man and the Exploding Skyscraper is notable for Spidey's cowardice: "Too late I'm bailing out!"


If that's not enough Mego magic for ya then check out this roll call...

"The Falcon, that great black superhero!"

Oh dear. That's almost as embarassing as saying Mr Fantastic has the power of invisibility.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

rubber pants

Since a good number of the people who arrive at this site do so through googling terms like spandex fuck and fuck+guys+spandex, I figure it's about time I did something to cater to their tastes.

Here you are then lads, a shot of some friendly neighbourhood spider-pants...

Not strictly spandex I know, but I'm guessing rubber does the trick for you boys as well.


Pic courtesy of Warren Ellis' website

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Millar & Hitch preview pages

So after pissing off plenty of people by fucking about with Spidey's continuity, Joe Quesada is risking yet more nerd ire by entrusting the world's greatest comic book to a duo who are notoriously bad at meeting deadlines.

I say good on him! The new Spidey is ace and Millar and Hitch doing the Fantastic Four is gonna be grrrrrrrreat!

If you haven't already, check out the first few pages of next week's big event HERE

and for a hint of what's to come in future issues have a gander at these great Hitch pencils and inks...

How good is that Doom?! If anyone wants to buy it for me, it's going for $4,000 HERE

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Brief thoughts on Geoff Johns

His run on the Flash is one of my favourites in recent years and I'm currently so into rereading his Green Lantern that I haven't even touched this week's new books. But the more I read of Geoff Johns' comics, the more I understand why he pisses people off.

Even though he references Alan Moore several times, Johns' work is more influenced by the comic books that Moore and Frank Miller tried to sweep away in the mid 1980s. His love of that stuff and the fact that he's writing no frills superhero comics is always going to get him accused of taking comics backwards.

He certainly isn't writing the kind of books that are going to persuade mature, non-comic reading adults to walk into a comic shop. Nope, Geoff Johns comics are there for fan boys; sad men like me who like low brow books full of people in brightly coloured spandex punching each other's heads off. Exactly the type of people who give comics a bad name, the type of people who crowd into grubby little shops and talk about who would win in a fight between Thor and the Hulk.

For that reason Johns' comics probably irritate the casual comic fan too. I mean there might not be anything intellectually taxing about his books, but the man is a hardcore student of the DC universe. If you don't know that universe and the characters and events that have shaped it, then you're going to need to have Wikipedia fired up to understand what the hell is going on in his stories.

For me that's part of the fun. I get a nerdy kick out of discovering the history behind Hector Hammond, Black Hand, the Lost Lanterns, Hank Henshaw, Superman Prime, Coast City and The Manhunters. It presses some of the buttons that got me interested in comics as a kid and reminds me how cool it can be to immerse yourself in the minutiae of a comic book universe.

Few comics that I've picked up since I went back to reading them after a long hiatus have given me that kind of buzz. I've read a lot of stuff that was better in that time, stuff that is more accesible and acceptable to people who grew out of superheroes, but nothing that is as enjoyable on such a basic level.

Fact is, Johns is a master of straight up spandex comics, and I still have a big place in my nerd sack for that kind of thing. It's not the kind of stuff that is necessarily going to take comics forward as an art form, but it's a lot of fun to read.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Black Hand = Black Lantern?

Apologies to non Green Lantern fans. L L C is about to get nerdy on the current run...

The Black Hand is a dude. He knows that dullards who insist on making tedious small talk on long haul flights are a pain in the arse, and he knows how to shut them up...

No more boring anecdotes from Jerry on that flight. Which gives the Black Hand plenty of time to contemplate revenge. He moves to Coast City purely to be close to Hal Jordan so that he can have multiple cracks at taking his revenge on the man who cut off his hand.

Augmented by alien experments which give him the power to regrow his severed hand by sucking the life force out of the living, this fella is pretty mean. Sadly he can't kill people when he's grown that limb back, and is no match for Green Lantern Jordan who severs his hand again and buries him alive before he has the chance to start growing a new one...

But The Black Hand isn't bothered. As the grave is filled in and the light dims he utters a grim warning...

Black Hand welcomes death. Which is kind of interesting, given that Green Lantern and the DC Universe will soon be building up to 2009's zombieriffic event...

Nice power ring that....

The logo looks familiar...

Seems like Black Hand is going to have a big role to play in The Blackest Night. Will he be the boss Black Lantern? Will his powers to drain the life out of the living be amplified by a battery powered by the imprisoned anti monitor? Looks increasingly likely.

I only started considering all of this because I'm rereading Geoff Johns' run on Green Lantern from the beginning. The motif stood out like a sore thumb the second time round and coupled with Black Hand's obsession with death really hints at a future for the character.

It's all testament to the skills of Geoff Johns. The panels featuring Black Hand which I've scanned in are from issues 5 and 6. He was laying the groundwork for the Sinestro Corps war back in those early issues, but it looks like he was also mapping things out well beyond that as well.

It's a run that definitely rewards another look.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Geeks of the week

Take a look at this dynamic duo...

A father and son team who I've seen at every comic mart I've attended in the past three years and to be frank, a right pair of fucksters.

They come to every show armed with a wad of dirty old index cards and ALWAYS seem to be after the same stuff as me. Many's the Sunday afternoon I've been forced to stand behind them watching angrily as they shovel huge runs of The Teen Titans, Night Force or Rom into that nerd sack you can see strapped to the youngling's back.

The worst thing is that they seem to buy the same stuff over and over again. They must have at least 10 full runs of The Teen Titans by now.

Gahhhhh! Curse their stinking hides.

This has been number #5 in a series of LLC stalkathons. For previous geeks clickee

Monday, 4 February 2008


A successful visit to the comic mart yesterday. Managed to get a few missing Titans issues, one of the two issues of Nightforce I was looking for and all of the remaining issues of Geoff Johns' run on Green Lantern for £1 each.

Sadly there was no sign of The Crunch, Dice Man or Warlock.

Next time.


So now I have those missing Green Lantern issues, I've started reading the Johns run from the beginning again. That means going back to Green Lantern Rebirth, a story which I finished today. Great art from van Sciver (He makes Batman look like a real bat) and interesting to see Johns laying the groundwork for Sinestro Corps two years before the event itself.

I read rebirth when it came out, but it's much more enjoyable to read in hindsight. The moment where Parallax senses a disciple of fear in Batman was great. What a top Sinestro Corps member he'd have made. Might yet happen.


For anyone enjoying Ed Brubaker's run on Captain America, I strongly recommend listening to his recent interview with John Siuntres HERE. He also chats about Criminal.


More action figure based shenanigans from Will and Ben...

If you missed the first part, you can see it HERE

Top stuff.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

yellowing old comics aplenty

Calling all oily stinkers, fat oafs, greasy swine, spotty lads and manky anoraks. Come one, come all. Today, Sunday, February 3rd is comic mart day in foggy old London taarn! Glory be!

I plan a short, focused attack with the following targets high on my list...

Missing issues in my Geoff Johns run on Green Lantern

Missing issues in my run of Night Force

Missing issues in my Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans run

Missing issues in my run of 2000AD Extreme

Any issues of The Crunch

Issue 3 of Dice Man

Any issues of 1980's Fighting Fantasy magazine Warlock

I will be armed with cash, nerd sack and camera phone.

Message ends.

Friday, 1 February 2008


I can't make the West End tomorrow, but if you're there


Not only is porn peddling magician Alan Moore in town...

but the Fifth Doctor, Leela and the mother fucking voice of the goddamned Daleks are earth side...

Attend both events and your brain will probably explode!

I'd be there, but I'll be hanging out with this little fella instead...

Beam us up Scotty!

Have a good weekend.