Dialogue by Roy Thomas â€¢ Art by Herb Trimpe
From The Incredible Hulk #124.
For the record, here’s some numbers statistics according to The Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe:
The Rhino has a height of 6’5″ and weighs 710 lbs.
The Leader has a height of 5’4″ and weighs 140 lbs.
Methinks that this panel’s some dodgy perspective, to say the very least.
I’m with SpellCheck.
Here’s how to read Batman/The Spirit in two easy steps.
- Ignore the clumsy dialogue (yes, I get it’s a homage, but it’s a poorly-executed one) and captions like this (which is unfortunately the very first thing in the story):
“Some stories are meant to be told over and over…
…others, for obvious reasons, are kept secret and known only to those who were there…
This, then would be one of those that up until now have remained…untold.”
- Treat it like the most gorgeous storyboard ever.
I really came to enjoy Guy Gardener: Collateral Damage after realizing that its original title was Reuben Flagg Gets A Magical Goddamn Wishing Ring, You Commie Bastards. Some hardcore Green Lantern fan needs to update me: is this portrayal of G’Nort remotely accurate? All I’ve known is the Justice League International version of the character, which is, you know, a decade-and-a-half out of date.
Catching up with Batman in 52? Yeah, didn’t enjoy that. In fact, I really kind of hated it. The math works as follows: Unnecessary Nightwing Exposure + Stupid Ten-Eyed Men Demon Killers Helping Batman Work Through His Issues = Rage-Induced Priapism.
The latest issue of The ACME Novelty Library could have cost twice as much and I’d not have blinked at all when handing over my shekels. Goddamn, what a beautiful thing this is. Part of me (a very, very nerdy, design fetishist part) really wants Ware to re-release the similarly-laid-out, non-Jimmy Corrigan material from earlier issues in the same hardcover format.
JKrach: You’ve seen the NBC “You’ll know when to laugh” promos?
JKrach: For a big 3 network, that’s a sea change.
BeaucoupKevin: Wasn’t SCRUBS their first to drop it?
BeaucoupKevin: I’m trying to think of an earlier one for NBC.
BeaucoupKevin: Unless you count LA LAW
BeaucoupKevin: I like LA LAW.
BeaucoupKevin: Without it, no David Kelley.
JKrach: And yeah, all his shows since have been iterations on his LA LAW, haven’t they? Except maybe BOSTON PUBLIC.
BeaucoupKevin: And that’s a Workplace Dramedy.
JKrach: Even PICKET FENCES had extensive courtroom scenes.
BeaucoupKevin: PICKET FENCES seemed to be BUILT for those scenes.
BeaucoupKevin: I wonder if that’s on DVD. I never saw more than a couple episodes.
JKrach: Netflix doesn’t have it.
JKrach: I remember enjoying some of the early stuff especially. Young Don Cheadle!
BeaucoupKevin: YOUNG DON CHEADLE’s a show I’m pitching to the CW for a Summer pickup.
JKrach: All about him practicing accents while having multiple affairs and, I dunno, solving crimes?
BeaucoupKevin: Solving crimes and staying out of jail for a crime he didn’t commit.
JKrach: In high school.
BeaucoupKevin: I figure we can get a solid 13-episode commitment if Keenan drops 120 lbs.
JKrach: You want Keenan Ivory Wayans. To play Young Don Cheadle. Though he’s six years older.
BeaucoupKevin: No, Keenan THOMPSON.
BeaucoupKevin: Christ, all black people are the SAME TO YOU.
JKrach: ALL BLACK PEOPLE NAMED KEENAN
BeaucoupKevin: ALL BLACK PEOPLE NAMED KEENAN THAT ARE COMEDIANS
JKrach: (I forgot Thompson existed. *sob*)
BeaucoupKevin: Jane Doe weighs on on the Keenan thing:
JaneDoeIM: nooooo! i love keenan the way he is! just say that cheedle lost the weight as he got older. jeez!
JaneDoeIM: everyone loves a fat black detective anyway.
JaneDoeIM: see: that dude in “die hard” and the urkel tv show.
Superman II has long been held up by many as the best of the series, no doubt because it finally gave viewers the chance to see Superman in actual combat instead of the stunts and shenanigans he spent the first movie performing. Outside of the combat and the masterful performance of Terence Stamp as General Zod, however, there are notable flaws in the movie as originally presented: camp humor frequently is played up to the detriment of characters and stupid new superpowers1 are created as needed by the plot. Richard Donner’s always hated the way the movie turned out after he was fired from the proceedings and Warner Brothers decided to let him get the chance to make it his way.
Donner’s excised all of replacement Richard Lester’s contributions and created a slightly more serious movie that’s leaner while managing to provide fans with long, loving glimpses of what might have been had he had the chance to actually finish the job he started at the time. Gone is the opening sequence featuring Lois Lane doing spectacularly stupid things to get closer to terrorists threatening the Eiffel Tower, replaced with a montage that recaps the first film and directly links Superman’s diversion of a missle to the release of the three Phantom Zone criminals. Now, the first glimpse of Lois and Clark takes place at the Daily Planet, where a sequence right out of the Silver Age occurs: Lois draws a suit, glasses, and hat on a photograph on Superman, makes the Clark Kent Connection, and promptly jumps out of a window to prove he’s Superman2. Whether this is less appalling than riding the underside of an elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower in order to chat with crazed people with guns is up to you, but I certainly found it more entertaining. While I’m ambivalent about the need for this particular change, there’s also the inclusion of Marlon Brando’s Jor-El, taking Lara’s place in the script and filling the movie with more of the father/son relationship that Donner3 feels is essential to the mythology. How the Floating Head Of Jor-El can answer questions and interact with Superman is something that could do with a bit of explanation, but Kryptonian technology as presented in the movies has always smacked a bit of magic.
Less successful is the use of Lois/Clark-honeymoon-expose footage from a (very good) screen test, replacing the horrible, horrible bit where Superman (as Clark) catches a case of The Stupid And Clumsy and falls into a fireplace. While this new scene is certainly more sensible in how it handles Superman’s big reveal to Lois, it has dialogue from an earlier draft of the script that comes close to making no sense at all in the context of the movie as a whole. There’s also the matter of the denoument. Viewers lose the idiocy of “repair-o-vision” being used on the Washington Monument, but it’s replaced with a rerun of the first film’s ending, complete with footage of things going backwards, a dramatically unsatisfying choice. Perhaps most surprisingly, Donner has chosen to include Clark Kent’s return to the diner where he was beaten by the trucker, making Superman look supremely petty in a way I’ve never liked. I understand the need to tie up that one cinematic loose end (it’s at this diner Superman discovers the existence of Zod and Pals), but I wonder if there couldn’t have been a way to edit it where Superman’s not just wailing on some local asshole for the sake of closure.
In getting a chance to remove all of Lester’s contributions to the followup to his original Superman movie, Richard Donner may have created the perfect Silver Age superhero movie, complete with strange logic and an overused resolution named “Time Travel.” Its value ranks higher on the “curiousity” scale than as a piece to be judged on its own merits. The changes are a bit too glaring on occasion, and the movie never quite finds the balance it seems Donner wanted to achieve.
1Superman threw his symbol! I still think that’s about the stupidest thing ever done with the character, and I’ve read a lot of Silver Age Superman books and own the first appearance of Terra-Man.
2You can view videos of this (and some of the other changes) here.
3And now, Singer.
Hey, kids! This week’s Nitroglycerin is currently up on the BOOM! Studios website and will soon be up on Birdie’s WebComicsNation page in a larger format. Follow the fairly obvious clues, decode the dialogue, be the first mail it to me at beaucoupkevin[AT]gmail(DOT)com, and get a copy of What Were They Thinking: Monster Mash-Up that I’ve scribbled my name on. Or I can just send you the comic without said autograph – that’s up to you. I may find other valuable BOOM!-related prizes around the house that I can include in the prize package. Hooray! Prizes!
No, you can’t enter this contest if your name is Benjamin Birdie, who drew himself baking in the strip whereas I was indulging in healthy bourbon abuse. Tsk.
Shane Bailey won, but I’m not going to ruin anyone’s fun by posting the contents until next week. I think it’s a fun little exercise.
A Note To The Press As Well As Many Companies With Whom Marvel Has Set Up Marketing Relationships Where The Character’s Name Comes Up Quite A Bit.Comments Off | Posted: November 28th, 2006 | Filed under: Uncategorized
Dammit, It’s “Spider-Man.”
SPIDER DASH MAN. Done in this manner to differentiate him from Superman when you people do your silly news stories about “Bang! Pow! Comics Aren’t Just For Kids.”
- “Moving On Up” by M-People. Big, cheesy handbag house. Heather Small’s got a fantastic voice, though, and Mike Pickering and the rest do what they do very well. I love the swoop on the chorus. This is the version that came from Deconstruction compilation or another. My god, I did love Deconstruction Records back when.
- “Sun in the Morning” by Saint Etienne. This is from their last album, Tales from the Turnpike House, which I keep forgetting I love as much as I do. This tune merges the band’s restrained British pop aesthetic with some seriously Pet Sounds treatment on the background vocals. Sarah Cracknell is the singer I write songs for in my head, including “Kevin, I’m Madly In Love With You.”
- “A Pretty Girl Is Like…” by The Magnetic Fields. Stephin Merritt is one of my four favorite songwriters. This is pure Tinpan Alley, and it’s about what a pretty girl is like. If you don’t own 69 Love Songs, go buy it. I’ll wait.
- “Fugitive” (Richard X Extended Mix) by Pet Shop Boys. This song (so far) only appears on Fundamentalism, the extra CD included with some versions of their latest album. Go check out what superfan Wayne Studer says. He speaks smart. (For the record, I go with the second, equally depressing interpretation.)
- “The Golden Horn” by Count Basie and his Orchestra. From the agreeable bit of froth, Basie Meets Bond. Completely inessential, but there’s something about that big-ish band soundtrack jazz sound I just love.
- “Recovery” by Curve. Ah, the remnants of the shoegazer sound, when Toni Halliday and Dean Garcia were kind of stretching out, gathering different bits and pieces of whatever genre they thought they could use. Curve is caput, which may be for the best considering the overall weakness of their material from Gift onwards.
- “Babylon Medicine” by Roots Manuva. Roots Manuva is my favorite rapper. Lots of heavy, heavy dub influence in this, and I love Manuva’s “pick it up / put it down” delivery.
- “Spacehopper” by A Positive Life. Speaking of dub, this is some great, great, great ambient dub work music. I wonder how much Enigma paid these guys for that big ol’ sample from “The Calling.”
- “Dark Center of the Universe” by Modest Mouse. Yes, I jumped on their bandwagon in 2004 and you know what? I think they’re fantastic. Can’t beat a chorus that includes the phrase “I’m pretty damn sure that anyone can easily, equally fuck you over.”
- “Sit Down, Stand Up (Snakes And Ladders)” by Radiohead. I get into this argument about once a month: I think their newer material is far, far more interesting than “Creep.” No, I don’t care if you can’t sing along with it on MIKE or FRANK or whatever your local giant-hard-drive-on-shuffle radio station is called.
- “Interzone” (RCA Demo Version) by Joy Division. Spiky, punky, near-perfect. It’s from the band’s first attempt to record for a label. It didn’t go that well, but the few bits that remain from those sessions are very nice indeed.
- “Redemption Song” by Moodswings. I will defend to the death my love of this Ibiza-sunset version of Bob Marley’s biggest song. Poor Moodswings – they came off as a gimmick act thanks to this and “Spiritual High,” but their production really was top-notch.
Bonus Music Links
- The Torontoist talks about cover versions
- There’s a new Joy Division documentary on DVD
- Make your own New Age Music at work
- Erasure’s producer is blogging the recording of the new album
- eMusic has a spotlight article on Underworld
My picks, below.
Dark Horse Comics
AUG060036 GOON WICKED INCLINATIONS VOL 5 TPB (MR) $14.95
I love The Goon. The idea of a working-class Hellboy appeals to me on a basic, perhaps genetic level. It doesn’t hurt that I think Powell’s one of the best artists doing sequential work right now and Frankie is my Platonic ideal of a sidekick.
SEP060191 BATMAN #659 $2.99
Not by Morrison. Ostrander and Mandrake, though? That’s an acceptable substitute.
SEP060190 BATMAN THE SPIRIT $4.99
I will buy this and love it, despite my suspicions that Jeph Loeb’s writing will make my head explode. That Darwyn Cooke/J. Bone art is just too lovely.
SEP060228 GUY GARDNER COLLATERAL DAMAGE #1 (OF 2) $5.99
Chaykin, Gardner, G’nort. Questions?
JUL060188 RUSH CITY #3 (OF 6) $2.99
Included only so I can link to this review.
MAR061821 ART OF BRIAN BOLLAND HC $49.99
I really want this. Just putting that out there.
Also: it’s very late, isn’t it? Or was it solicited early?
SEP062179 AVENGERS GALACTIC STORM VOL 2 TP $29.99
I enjoyed the first one thoroughly because it managed to tell a coherent story featuring superheroes having huge adventures (in space, even!) without insulting me too badly. This Marvel story has an element that is seemingly difficult for the publisher to replicate now: entertainment value.
SEP062186 ESSENTIAL MAN-THING VOL 1 TP $16.99
I kind of hope I didn’t order this because it’s turning out to be one of those weeks.
SEP062119 NEXTWAVE AGENTS OF HATE #10 $2.99
I saw the ending of this comic coming by page 4 or 5. That did not stop me from having my head explode with glee over the entire thing. Forbush Man’s powers, when used, allow Immonen get to stretch his artistic wings a bit. The Captain Marvel section in particular is done a lovely style I’d like to see him use again.
SEP062129 ONSLAUGHT REBORN #1 (OF 5) $2.99
I looked at the preview copy of this in the shop. There was one panel that showed Ben Grimm’s back that I said “isn’t that bad – reminds me a bit of Wieringo.” I was roundly (and rightly) mocked for even trying to praise the art that much.
SEP062183 PUNISHER MAX VOL 6 BARRACUDA TP (MR) $15.99
I’m really eager to get into this, as a lot of people I know that read the monthly said this was one of Ennis’s stronger stories in a series that’s well-regarded, even if there’s a medically dodgy bit. (SPOILERS!)
AUG063267 ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY VOL 17 HC (MR) $16.95
Oof. I’m sure it’ll be worth it, as the last one was just a thing of utter beauty, but $17 is a bit something, innit?
OCT063401 ACTION PHILOSOPHERS VOL 1 GIANT SIZED THING TP (O/A) $6.95
If you’ve not, do.
SEP063296 CASTLE WAITING VOL II #3 $3.95
Don’t get me wrong – I’m buying and really enjoying this in issue form, but I just want the second damned hardcover now.
SEP063869 LED ZEPPELIN IV HC $16.95
I’d rather undergo knee surgery without anesthetics than listen to this record, but this sounds like the perfect gift for some lucky classic rock fan:
The music contained in Led Zeppelin IV is part of the soundtrack to a generation. Released in 1971, it rocks, stomps, glides, and shimmers as it covers all the bases the band had mastered: heavy blues, barroom rock and roll, mandolin-driven folk, epic Tolkien-infused mysticism, acoustic Americana, and more. Certified gold one week after its release, the album went to #2 on the U.S. charts and #1 in the U.K. It remained on U.S. charts for 259 weeks. To this day there is confusion about what is the actual title of the album and the use of the mysterious symbols. Barney Hoskyns pierces those veils and more as he tells the fascinating story of the evocative set that cemented Led Zeppelin’s standing as the biggest, baddest, loudest band in the world-and that remains today the apex of their art.
Why this is listed with the comics is beyond me, because Hoskyns, as far as I know, is only a writer and no artist is mentioned anywhere. There’s also Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs by Jan Reid, which tells the Derek and the Dominos story.
SEP063340 PERFECT STORM #1 $2.99
[INSERT GEORGE CLOONEY / MARK WAHLBERG JOKE HERE]
AUG063139 TALENT #4 (OF 4) $3.99
You know, I get freebies of this from the publisher and I’m going to still end up buying it because, dammit, I want to know what happens tout suite.
PvP: The Animated Series is going to debut February 1, 2007. Unlike the strip site, users are going to have to pay subscribe to the animated material – $20 buys you the first season of 5-6 minute animated episodes. This is an interesting gamble for Kurtz – his audience has gotten material with these characters at no cost for years, and I’m curious to see if they’ll switch to a pay model for an in-motion version of the strip.
It looks fairly slick and the voice work is certainly professional (I think they nailed Brent,) but I’m going to wait for the inevitable DVD release, much like I do with Adult Swim programs. I’m part of the old guard in this way; if I spend money on entertainment, I want a physical product. Emusic skates by with a clause that allows companies that offer non-DRM’d, high-quality MP3s that I can do whatever I want with to get special dispensation.
In list form, because that’s how I sketch out my notes more and more lately.
- I really love the format in some of the early stories presented in the Showcase Presents: The Unknown Soldier collection that came out this week. There’s an opening splash, sometimes using photos as a backdrop, that effectively brings you up to speed on the story…
The lives of ten thousand fighting men sit in the hands of this one man…as he floats down over Nazi-occupied Holland.
…and after that, a double-page spread that gets right into the action of the piece. It’s not like any other war comic from the period and those stories start with with an immediacy that’s gripping. I wonder how much of that is Haney and how much is Kubert, but I really love the idea of just diving in. They had twelve pages, and by god, they were going to use them.
- Warren Ellis’s Stormwatch is a near-perfect superhero comic template. Introduce threat, use team, add character bits that build from issue to issue, get stories done quickly. Most of his run consists of single issue or two-issue arcs, and I really like the compactness of the format. He’s carried over a streamlined version of this to Nextwave, where format greatly informs how his plots work. Most of the first parts end with the Nextwave team meeting their enemy face to face for the first time after engaged in combat with lesser minions, and the second part consists entirely of brutal combat.
- Story is almost nonexistent in Nextwave, using the McKee or Rogers definition of the term. In fact, when given the chance to learn lessons or experience personal growth, the characters specifically shun such actions. This is a very, very tricky thing to pull off. Outside of Nextwave, the only title this can really work with is Ennis’s Punisher book on the MAX imprint, as his version of Frank Castle is an engine of destruction more than a man. Both titles mentioned are comic in their own way, the latter operating with a blackly funny streak that’s buried most of the time.
- Ennis’s deliberate pacing in his series is a very distinct thing compared to people working with arcs of a similar length. While his first issues are almost entirely setup, they’re information-dense to the point where the rest of the story can domino from that point perfectly. The best example of this is the brilliant, brutal Up Is Down And Black Is White, where Castle doesn’t discover the awful, awful thing that Nicky Cavella does until the last page of the first issue and the rest of the arc is his cold disassembly of Cavella’s organization.
- Modern storytelling dictates that the reader wants more information and “depth” to begin with, but using the first issue to tell the first 10-20% of a story actually goes back to the 12-page story format Haney and Kubert used on The Unknown Soldier. Inside the rest of the story, there may have been brief flashbacks to flesh out incidents a bit more, but the formula was adhered to pretty rigidly, to good results. Working with a set structure really succeeded for them, unlike most of the Gardner Fox JLA stories from roughly the same period, where the prefab structure became formula in the worst sense of the word.
November 11, 1943 – November 26, 2006
And that, I think, was the handle, that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark – that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Filling oneself up with quality liquor and watching Midnight Cowboy, bits of Sam Peckinpah movies, and then Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas before thinking about the idea of an America depleted by a second space race in the mid 21st century?
Seriously full of potential. Notes are being made. Even if nothing comes of it, what an exercise this is proving to be.
- Where is the rest of Mister Fantastic? (Do not say “the trunk.”)
- What is Iceman’s slide resting on?
- Who the fuck at Marvel or Dodge thought it was appropriate to have the man who murdered Spider-Man’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy after impregnating her and creating Goblin super-babies and then training those super-babies to hate Spider-Man a whole lot serve as the endorser of the Dodge Caliber, starting at $14,135?
From Amazing Adventures (Volume 2) #1
It’s in the current Previews, so I guess I can talk about it now. Andrew Cosby plots, I script. The artist is TBC, but considering BOOM!’s track record on the graphic end of things, I’m about 99.995% sure the readers are sure to enjoy their work. Here’s the solicitation:
When the world’s biggest action movie star discovers someone’s trying to kill him, he has to keep his adoring public in the dark about the fact that he’s the world’s biggest wimp. So he hires a bodyguard – a Cover Girl who kicks ass and cleans up well for movie premieres! In the vein of Lethal Weapon comes an action-comedy that flips all the gender stereotypes on its head…
It’s going to be fun. The Diamond Order Code is DEC63425. Here’s the cover by Rafael Albuquerque, who just completely rocks.
From the Marvel Holiday Special digest that
came out this week. Art by Reilly Brown.