Tagged: Wolverine

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Creative Conversation: Ibrahim Moustafa

Welcome to a Creative Conversation with creator Ibrahim Moustafa. Here we give you a chance to get inside the mind, learn some in depth background, and discuss the creative process of some of comics’ best writers and artists. In our first Creative Conversation I had the opportunity to speak with the artist behind Vertigo’s smashingly good new series, “Savage Things.” If the Bourne franchise went down the horror route, you have an inkling of what’s in store for you with this book. Ibrahim gives a better sum up a little further down. We talked about first comics, must reads, stories that stick with us as young comic fans, how this new series came about and who would be on Ibrahim’s own personal Mount Rushmore of comic book artists. Agree? Disagree? Find out!

MK: So let’s start with a little background because in all our conversations I’m not sure I know this: How did your journey lead you to working in comics?

IM: I was always drawing as a kid, and some of my earliest memories are of watching the Christopher Reeve “Superman” movies. Not long after that I discovered the Ninja Turtles and Batman 66 TV shows, and was obsessed with them all. I had and read a few comics as a kid and was always drawing the aforementioned. I got much more into collecting and reading comics when I discovered the X-Men cartoon in the early 90s, and I would hoard those Fleer Ultra 93 and 94 X-Men cards sets as a kid.

I fell out of comics for a long time as I got into sports a bit. And then in high school I was heavily into drawing graffiti art and breakdancing. When I was a Junior, “Smallville” had come out and rekindled my love of Superman. Someone gave me a book called “The Complete History Of Superman” and it had a few Alex Ross paintings in it, which completely blew my mind. I had no idea you could do *that* with superheroes.

That sent me down the rabbit hole of “Who is this guy? How is he doing this? What is he painting with? What else has he done?” From there I found “Kingdome Come” and started going to the comic shop, and that ignited my interest in drawing superheroes again. After a short while I realized that people were drawing comics for a living, and I began a very disciplined, regimented plan to make that my reality as well.

It worked (laughs)!

MK: That’s epic! What was your local comic shop when you were getting heavily into it?

IM:The first one I wandered into was a small one-off called Hidden Treasures or something to that effect, but they closed down shortly after. Then a friend that I worked with told me that there was a place called Things From Another World that was literally blocks away from our job. And they became my regular supplier in the formative era of my comics addiction, haha.

MK:They’re a great operation out in the Portland area. Other than Alex Ross, who were some other artists that got you jazzed into drawing superheroes and comics again?

IM: There have been SO many, but the ones that have stayed an influence/inspiration regardless of my changing interests are probably Stuart Immonen, David Mazzucchelli, and Lee Bermejo. As I’ve burrowed deeper into comics and it’s artistic masters, I’d say my Mount Rushmore consists Alex Ross, Stuart Immonen, Alex Toth, and Jorge Zaffino.

MK: That’s an eclectic looking Mount Rushmore.

IM: It is!

MK:I dig it. Before we go too far off topic: Favorite X-Men character?

IM: Cyclops (I know), Wolverine is a close second, though. You?

MK: I feel like Wolverine is everybody’s top one or two but personally, especially since Grant Morrison brought her into the mix I’m an Emma Frost man. Which doesn’t make me a “real” X-Men fan in most folks’ eyes but it is what it is. What is it about Cyclops for you?

IM: 1) You can like whichever X-Person you want and damn anyone who tells you otherwise!

MK: Thank you!

IM: 2) Honestly, I think Cyclops was the most like Superman, aesthetically, and that really appealed to seven year-old me when I discovered the show; he was the do-good leader, he had red blasts from his eyes, and he wore all blue with yellow and red (laughs).

But there was something about the idea that he was encumbered by his power that really hit me as a kid. The fact that this thing he could do made him an outcast and made his life difficult, but he used it to help people anyway…That always got me.

Also, his mutation didn’t cause him to have a drastically different outward appearance, but it was enough to make him an other. And growing up half-Egyptian, I experienced a lot of cultural differences from the kids around me. Questions like, “Why can’t you eat pork?” are a lot like, “Why are you always wearing sunglasses?” So, I think that appealed to me about Cyclops as well.

MK: Take that Cyclops haters! That’s really inspiring how you were able to have that relation to Cyclops. For you, do you think comics has a special place as far as storytelling in a way that movies, TV, theatre, or other mediums don’t quite?

IM: I do, absolutely. I think that there are more opportunities to play with the passage of time visually on a comics page than with other mediums. In comics, for example, you can have a splash page of a scene that is split into four different panels across a single image of say, a park. And each panel can represent the four seasons in a year.

Comics also allow for opportunities to echo imagery from one page or one sequence to another. So let’s say you have a page where a character is a child, and they’re playing, and they fall down and scrape up their knee. Then, you cut to them as an adult in a few chapters and they’re in a completely different scenario, but they go through a similar accident, and you’re establishing that they’re prone to this kind of thing in their life.

In comics, seeing all of those panels in one page as a whole creates a different experience than film or TV where you would see that happen one shot at a time. You’re taking in the gestalt of the moment on a page rather than the disparate parts that make the whole. Symbolism, the efficiency afforded by narration paired with a parallel image to the text, the pacing of a page-turn into a splash. There are tons of cool ways to deliver a moment in a comics page that are unique to the medium, and that’s probably what I love about it the most.

MK: That’s an amazing answer. Thank you for that. To switch gears a little, let’s talk about your new series out which I think definitely displays some of those elements you’ve so eloquently discussed. “Savage Things” which you draw, and is written by the one and only Justin Jordan, hit shelves on March 1st. Did you and Justin know each other much prior to working on the book? Was it an arranged marriage by Vertigo? How did your collaboration come about?

Savaeg_Things_1
Savage Things #1

IM: Justin and I had met here in Portland back in 2012 or so at a great indy comics show we used to have here called Stumptown. We’ve bumped into each other a few times since then on Twitter, and I’ve been a fan of his work since I first read “Luthor Strode” but when our editor Jamie S. Rich reached out to me to draw the book he facilitated a wonderful reunion for the two of us. So, pretty much an arranged marriage and the dowry was a super-dope book that I get to draw

MK: I love it when an arranged marriage blossoms into true love and kick ass action sequences.

IM: (Laughs)

MK: If someone asks you to describe “Savage Things,” what’s been your favorite answer to give?

IM: “Savage Things” is what you get when a bunch of Dexters are kidnapped and raised by the government to be Jason Bourne.

MK: That’s maybe the most badass way of summing up a book I’ve ever heard. Here’s a two-parter: What’s been one of the most challenging and what’s been your favorite thing to draw so far for the series?

IM: The book is full of excellent opportunities to create cool action sequences, and I think that’s been my favorite part so far. There have also been a few types of locations I’ve never never drawn before (a hospital, a power plant, a few others) so that’s been a fun challenge.

The most difficult thing has been figuring out how to draw expressive faces on sociopaths (laughs).

MK: That seems like a challenge on several levels (laughs). Can you perhaps tease us about something readers should be super excited to discover in issue two and beyond?

IM: Yes! The next few issues pitt our lead character, Abel, against six of the other sociopathic, trained murderers that he grew up with. So as you can imagine, issue one was just a tease at some of the brutality that these guys are capable of, especially toward each other. By the end of issue three, we pull back the lens and broaden the scope of the battle quite a bit. I’m very excited!

MK: Man, I can’t wait to see how you and Justin up the ante! Final two questions before our time’s up:

1) For someone new to comics, what are five essential must reads you’d recommend?

2) For all things Ibrahim Moustafa, “Savage Things,” and your ridiculously amazing James Bond posters, where can fans keep up with you on social media and the web? (Seriously, his James Bond posters kind of cray cray. Don’t believe me, click here!)

IM: 1) This is a tough one! These are certainly slanted toward things that I love, so your mileage may certainly vary.

Scalped” is my favorite book of all-time. It’s a crime drama a la “Breaking Bad” or “The Wire.” Anyone can dive right into it.

“Kingdom Come”: I read this pretty early on and loved it. There are a ton of references and characters in it, but as long as you know who Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Shazaam are, the rest falls into place.

The Losers” is a great book if you love action movies with fun characters, a cool story/lots of intrigue.

Old Man Logan” is almost a companion piece to “Kingdom Come” in that it’s a look at a possible future, full of cool stuff and references but mainly if you know the X-Men and the Avengers, you’re solid.

Batman: Year One.” One of the greatest comics ever made and a perfect primer for Batman fans looking to give the comics a try.

2) I’m on twitter at: @Ibrahim_M_ and my official site is http://theartofibrahimmoustafa.blogspot.com/

MK: Ibrahim, you’re a class act, thank you for being so generous and gracious with your time in joining me in our first Creative Conversation.

Check out “Savage Things #1” now and get ready for “Savage Things #2,” on shelves Wednesday, April 5th, 2017. Stay tuned for our next…Creative Conversation.

Please send love/hate messages to Matthew via Twitter @matthewklein316 and on Instagram. Matthew loves all things Batman, Valiant, and pro-wrestling related. He’s also pretty sure that it’s not recommended to spend more waking hours watching reruns of “Chuck” than sleeping but hasn’t been able to prove this theory.

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An X-MAS Tale!

The portal opened five feet from his left, and Wolverine watched the lanky, muscled frame of his former teammate and friend step out onto the snowy grounds of the Jean Gray School for Gifted Students. Cyclops looked grim as usual, and travelled with a dusty satchel. Wolverine couldn’t remember the last time he had seen Scott Summers smile.

Wolverine Cyclops X-Men cartoon

“I’m here, Logan.” Cyclops said, looking around for traps. “What is it you needed? Make it quick, I’m a wanted man.”

Wolverine uncrossed his arms and stepped forward. “I’ve been one too, Cyke, many times. After awhile, being out in the cold gets to ya’.” Scott just nodded, and so Wolverine continued. “Remember that first Christmas back at the Mansion with Chucky, Kitty, Peter and Kurt? We all laughed watchin’ Storm give the Professor Snow-Fros?”

“That was a long time ago,” Cyclops said, and instantly struggled with a thought. How long ago was that? Sometimes it feels like it was Thirty years ago, but it may have been only Five.

“If there’s one thing you learn while being an X-Man, it’s that time can always be changed.” Wolverine half smiled, and reached behind a nearby statue. He pulled out a box, brightly wrapped in red and green candy cane printed paper.

It was an X-Mas present from one X-Man to an Ex-X-Man.

Cyclops opened the box with hesitant hands. Years of battle hardened ambushes had trained him to be wary of gifts. What lay inside the present surprised him more than any bomb, alien parasite or severed head of a beloved comrade.

Inside the box was a case of custom made, ruby quartz contact lenses. Enough to last an entire year.

“Merry X-Mas, Slim.” growled Wolverine. “Hank helped with the design. I wonder why we’ve never thought of this before.”

“Logan,” choked Scott, “It’s-. I don’t know what to say.” Embarrassed, he turned and reached into his travel bag, taking out a brightly wrapped box of his own. Wolverine was stunned. He did not expect this…because this story takes place now. If this was the 80’s or 90’s, they would have said Wolverine could pre-smell the present with his heightened senses, but nobody remembers that power set anymore.

“I had hoped your message was sincere, so I came prepared. Thanks for forgiving me for killing Professor X. Again.” Cyclops laughed.

“Ah, heck, Slim. Who hasn’t killed that bald S.O.B. once or twice. Now what have we here,” Wolverine asked, opening the gift. He, too, was surprised because again- no heightened sense of smell.

Rogue, Jubilee, X-Men cartoon

Inside was an Adamantium claw sharpener with a jar of Adamantium claw polish. Wolverine smiled. Cyclops did the same. Somewhere a jolly, fat elf was Ho-Hoed. They both started to laugh.

“You know, Scott, this gift is the most thoughtful thing anyone’s ever given me,” Wolvie sighed, “And as useless as a Metrocard for Nightcrawler. You see-” and what followed was a sickening SHLACK sound, as the bloody stumps of bones broke through Wolverine’s hands. “I sold my Adamantium claws and skeleton to a scrap dealer in order to afford the Ruby Quartz Contacts.”

Tears started to swell in Scott Summers’ eyes, as he broke into a silly grin. “Of course. That seems like our luck, Logan, because you see-” He paused. Red streaks started to roll down his cheeks. Tears of blood were flowing fast now, as Cyclops removed his visor, revealing the ruined cavities of his former weapons. “I sold my eyes to a mutant organ harvester in order to afford the Adamantium claw sharpener.”

They laughed, cried, hugged and bled all over each other there in the snow, both laughing at the magic of Christmas. They soon both passed out from blood loss and died of exposure.

MERRY X-MAS!

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Just Kill Me

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover…somebody should tell that to Clown Fatale #1 from Dark Horse. I don’t WANT to think that this may be the stupidest human creation of all time, but I don’t want to spend the money in order to make an informed decision. LOOK at this monstrosity!

 

I always envision every comic book taking place in an alternate universe… it helps with the suspension of disbelief. What we have here is an alternate universe in which there are still roving circuses. In one of these, the clowns are a drop dead gorgeous troupe of multi-ethnic ladies who dress like strippers. Our story transpires when criminals, due to a wacky misunderstanding, hire these sexy lady clowns in full make-up to kill, mistaking them for assassins. The clowns naturally accept.

 

I’m not sure if my suspension of disbelief stretches this far.

 

I’ll rationalize it, however, by reminding myself of the strange universe we DO inhabit; We live in a world where someone at a highly successful comic book publisher rationalized that A) People LIKE clowns (hint: They don’t) and that B) People like sexy women, so logically people will like sexy women clowns. I’m sure this creative genius then spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out whether the clowns should be Vampires, Assassins or Crime Scene Investigators.

 

Maybe they figured that Harley Quin was popular, and wanted in on some of that action. Regardless of motives, Clown Fatales #1 seems an affront to all art, past, present and future, as well as a finger in the eye to the indomitable human spirit. A veritable raspberry in the face of taste and sense, this.

 

But I will buy it. And I will read it. And I will judge this erotic, tightly paced crime clown drama on its own merits. And I will write a review. And I will weep at the funeral of my artistic credibility, and I will morn my dignity as I bury the last shreds of my self respect.

 

NOT TO SPOIL THE FUN

And you’ll weep, too, if you miss out on Wolverine #11 this week! SOMETHING huge and crazy is going to happen…but WHAT?! There’s much to suggest this issue will be a massive milestone, a sales bonanza to rival Spider-Man’s wedding or the death of Captain America. I’d guess Wolverine is going to die (again,) but the maybe we’re in for something stranger?

 

Marvel, a Disney Entertainment company, wants to make movies off of the Avengers as a step in the process of making money off the toys and merchandise from Marvel comics. A fly in their ointment, however, is the prior business deal wherein Fox owns the motion picture rights to the X-Men franchise and Sony own the Spidey movies.

 

Spidey and Wolvie fighting alongside the Hulk, Thor and Scarlet Johanson would sure sell some lunchboxes.

 

Here’s Unkiedev’s crazy prediction for Wolverine #11…it’s a doozy. It will be revealed that Wolverine is actually AN ALIEN, the last son of a distant planet called Canadaton, which blew up after his parents messed up an experiment. To cover up their mistake, they sent their only son in a small spaceship to a planet where he would have fantastic superpowers…and brain washed him through pre-recorded messages to tell anyone who ever asked that THEY didn’t destroy the planet, they were the only ones trying to stop it from blowing up the whole time!

 

See what this does? Wolverine is no longer a mutant, and no longer tied to the X-Men continuity. That’s why the big Marvel movie coming up is Guardians of the Galaxy! Wolverine #11 will plant these seeds when alien warriors from beyond the stars come to the long ignored planet Earth to bring Wolverine to justice for his parent’s crimes!

 

Or he might just die. I’ll never know. I’ll probably be so traumatized after reading Clown Fatales #1 that I’ll wander into traffic and get hit by a semi. If I see Wolverine in Hell, I’ll send you kids an e-mail.

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The Unbearable Lightness of X-Being

One of the biggest themes in the Marvel X-Men universe at the moment is the rift between founding member Cyclops and best selling Canadian bad-boy Wolverine. Their rivalry, previously limited to girls and respect, changed tone under the X-Men “Schism” storyline. Cyclops, an X-man since his teenage years, believed that students at the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters were defacto soldiers in the X-Men army, and further argued that this was always Xavier’s intention. Wolverine felt otherwise.

Fighting ensued. As happens in an X-Story, Cyclops goes crazy with the power of the Phoenix and kills Professor X before freeing himself from the Phoenix’s corrupting influence. Even though they have all seen Xavier die and come back at least three times, and even though it could have been worse (I mean, Jean Gray killed a whole planet while possessed by Phoenix, so I’d say Earth got off pretty easy there,) Scott’s actions put him in dutch with his fellow mutants. NOW…

 

The coinage of mainstream comic books is violence, which has an ultimate resolution. The problem with this, from a dramatic standpoint, appears when the finale isn’t as final as you would have like. In other words, “Why should I care about who dies in a comic book when they’re just going to come back again?”

 

HMMMMM…

 

Amazing X-Men #1 hits the stands this week, and we should all be excited for multiple reasons. A brand new, spanking “#1” issue of an X-Title! Ed McGuinness is drawing the X-men again! Nightcrawler is making his come back to the good ole’ Marvel 616! Thrills, chills, spills, big time action and top shelf fun!

 

Ah, but here’s the rub; Amazing X-Men will reintroduce Nightcrawler, arguable one of the more iconic and popular current Ex-X-Men, back into the story…after being dead for only three years. Keep in mind that comics, especially Marvel comics, do NOT take place on any real timeline. Kurt Wagner has been dead since 2010, but it might have only been a year, maybe less to the people living in the stories.

 

HOW did Kurt die? He died teleporting Hope Summer to safety in a noble sacrifice…which ultimately meant nothing as two (real-time) years later Wolverine did his best to kill her in order to stop her from merging with the Phoenix. Yes, the same Wolverine who had a falling out with Cyclops because he thought putting children in harms way, even when serving a greater good, was morally wrong.

 

The theme of “Noble death” should sound familiar to long time X-Readers. Colossus died, sacrificing himself to destroy the Legacy Virus, only to come back from death at the beginning of Joss Whedon’s X-Run. Ironic, really, as Whedon himself kills Kitty Pryde, the X-Woman known as Shadowcat, in a self sacrificing gesture. Needless to say, she’s alive right now, too.

 

TEETER TOTTER

 

Currently Cyclops is on a mission to punish those who would dare hurt Mutant kind…which often takes the form of him hurting other Mutants trying to stop him from hurting other Mutants. The big sticking point is what to do with the time traveling, alternate reality versions of the founding X-Men, who want to go back in time and prevent our timeline from ever happening. Let’s review:

 

Every member of the X-Men, a group which believes they are genetically superior to humans, though philosophically dedicated to living with them equally, has either died, returned from death or has seen a team member or loved one reborn. They are currently split into factions, fighting with each other, trying to figure out the best way to stop each other from dying and creating world threatening apocalypses. Got it? GOOD! HERE comes the important part…

 

Amazing X-Men is going to be just that…Amazing. It will be Amazing for all the reasons I mentioned previously, and for all of the blatant, mind hurting logical flaws the X-Tales continue to propagate.

 

X-Men comics are not based on “Making Sense.” The X-Men are the greatest comic book soap opera going, with a history spanning multiple realities and endless timelines. I hope Kurt Wagner, a staunch Catholic, comes back to life through Buddhist reincarnation, mistakenly marries his own dimension hopping daughter from an alternate timeline (Yes, she exists) and they both fall back in time while giving birth to their new son…WOLVERINE!

 

Pick up Amazing X-Men, and let your mind go. You don’t buy an X-Book for logic, kids. You buy an X-book to watch brightly clad weirdoes make the least amount of sense they possibly can.

 

 

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A Correction

Occasionally, we here at the Forbidden Planet do make mistakes. Worse, we might not realize our mistake and publish it online or in the pages of the Daily Planet even after (ha) an extremely (HA HA) rigorous (HA HA HA) round of fact checking (BWAA-HA HA!) We would therefore like to take this opportunity to apologize and print a correction.

LAST WEEK, and indeed in many of the previous installments of Unkiedev’s Amazing Stuff, Unkiedev did not mention nor heap any praise onto cartoonist Cameron Stewart. This was completely in error and we’d like to rectify that slip up now.

Cameron Stewart is incredible, a sensational  artist of such dramatic talent and skill that one wonders how he could go unnoticed. His framing, pacing and timing, along with his work ethic and humor belie a top notch professional deserving of greater attention. Again, we apologize for the mistake.

How could I have missed this guy?! As the artist on Sea Guy, Batman and Robin, B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth and a longbox full of other swell comics (Most of which I own) Stewart turned in such clear, dependable work it was hard to see the forest through the trees. NO, his style isn’t flashy, nor is it overly cartoony. It has a quiet movement, and a clear design.

The best magic tricks go completely unnoticed. I can only think I’ve overlooked Mr. Stewart this long because I’m an idiot and he’s one of those artists who makes it all seem so effortless you hardly notice his genius till it hits you like a brick.

Check out his work for yourself and see what I mean: http://cameron-stewart.tumblr.com/

We may never be able to fully repair the damage done with this slip up, but we can plug Cameron’s moody webcomic Sin Titulo, published for the first time this week by Dark Horse. Sin Titulo is a creepy son-of-a-bitch, a windy little dream of a Graphic Novel more akin to a Philip K. Dick story than most of the film adaptations of the same.

It’s hard to sum Sin Titulo up, and it is easier to describe than review. It reads like a Richard Sala story, but a bit more Craig Thompson-y. For those who DON’T read the Comics Journal, a more effective description would be “It’s spooky and weird, but not in cheesy horror way.”

In Sin Titulo a young gentlemen quickly loses his girl, car and job investigating a strange photo he finds in his dead grandfather’s effects. What he finds is a world of violence, loneliness and lies, as well as the path to unlocking the secrets of his own mind.

I’m going on record with Sin Titulo as the best gift for folks on your holiday shopping list who like the idea of comics but who have never read anything before. I GUARANTEE you this will be made into a feature film in the next 10 years, adding another “Cool” level of cache to this gift.

NO it is not too early to start your holiday shopping! Hanukah is on Thanksgiving this year, for crying out loud, which surely seems a sign of the End Times. Maybe the Mayans were off by a year or two.

SKILLS TO PAY BILLS

There. I feel better printing that correction. Dark Horse also has a new Empowered special out this week called Empowered Special #5, A Drink With Ninjette. Empowered in a personal favorite, and these stand alone issues are great ways to get acquainted with this strange, sexy title.

DC has more cool 3D villain books, Including The Joker’s Daughter in Batman The Dark Knight #23. IDW has the first issue of their new Power Puff Girls license, as well as their already impressive roster of GI Joe, Transformers,  and the TMNT. Image doesn’t have a leg to stand on this week, just two small books you probably aren’t interested in called Saga#14 and Sex #7. Marvel is also light this week. I mean, you don’t really want to read Guardians of the Galaxy #6, Avengers #20, Deadpool, Wolverine and the X-Men or the always surprising FF, do you?

Nah, I thought not. Get it together, comic book industry. Sheesh.

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Cats Love Mini Comics

My cat would like to say a few words, “dkjleraiuhvcjbk.” I think that translates into “You should be at SPX this week”. Man, my cat is so smart. I couldn’t go because, among other things, I had to write this article, which is the most important thing to me in the world. But if you were lucky enough to head to Maryland this weekend, you would have seen some amazing artists and exhibitors in the small press world, including: Peter Bagge (Hate), Reina Telgemeier (Drama), Gary Panter (Dal Tokyo), and Congressman John Lewis (?!) who was there to discuss his autobiographical release of March, illustrated by Nate Powell.

In addition to mingling with some top-notch artists and writers, SPX also hosts the annual Ignatz Awards for outstanding achievements in the small publication world. In addition to my suggested singles, be sure to pick up some of the nominations and winners from this year! (And if Forbidden Planet doesn’t have them in stock, badger Jeff until they do):

Lose and Very Casual by Michael DeForge

Today is the Last Day of Your Life by Uli Lust

Prison Pit by Johnny Ryan

The End of the F*cking World by Charles Forsman

Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré

 

And now, the rest of the story:

 

Buzzkill #1

This is the most recent number one issue of a continuing trend of titles that like to imagine superheroes as maybe a little less than super. Sure, your classic characters have also dealt with some personal dramas like girl problems, being too good looking, and having too much money. But in “Buzzkill”, our main hero is dealing with alcoholism. Though Ruben derives his superhero powers from imbibing large quantities of booze, his home life sees similar ramifications as a non-super might when struggling with addiction. Ruben has decided to give up the drink in order to salvage his personal life; but at what cost to the city he’s leaving behind? This everyday-man hero is out on Dark Horse, who’s putting out more (welcomed) original titles every year.

 

Five Ghosts TP Vol 1

If you didn’t read Five Ghosts by Frank Barbiere in single-issue form, you’re an idiot. But I’ll forgive you once you buy the TP that’s out this week. This ass-kicking pulp adventure comic follows treasure hunter Fabian Gray across the world seeking mysterious artifacts, all while he struggles with the possession of his body by five ghosts from the literary world. The inky, and dark art by Chris Mooneyham sets a mood better than any first date I’ve been on, and Barbiere writes with so much energy, you can’t help but feel your heart pound right along with Fabian’s. I think I’m saying if this comic was a dude, I’d date this comic. These issues have been sold-out and reprinted more times than I can remember, and now is the time to start reading if you haven’t because this is going to become an on-going series, picking back up with the 6th issue that’s set to be released at the end of October. Seriously, don’t wait any longer to read this.

 

Half Past Danger #5

Long-time IDW artist, Stephen Mooney, is finally drawing the comic he’s always wanted to see on shelves: dinosaurs, dames, and danger. Amidst WWII, Sergeant Tommy Flynn experiences a threat long thought dead, and enlists a supporting cast that’s both intelligent and sexy. The pulp and cheesecake factor of this book makes it fun and easy to pick up, but the successful art and actually intelligent dialogue make it easy to keep reading. Mooney makes witty banter that isn’t seen in many modern comic books, but mixes it with old-school adventure that is inspired by comics like Tintin, Asterix, and Terry and the Pirates, but all grown up.

 

Zero #1

World, meet Ales Kot; Ales Kot, meet the world. It’s understandable if you haven’t been very aware of him up until this point, but you have no more excuses left. He did a successful stint on Suicide Squad, wrote the acclaimed series Wild Children and Change, and just announced that he’ll be working with Nick Spencer on Secret Avengers starting this December. So it should be no surprise that his latest Image series, Zero, has everyone all a twitter. The title character, Edward Zero, is a relentless spy who stops at nothing to get a job done. Ales dips his hand into the war genre when Zero’s newest job has him retrieving a device that is now at the center of a military conflict. When the device turns out to be a living, bio-modified terrorist, Zero gets his hands full of military action. Keeping the series fresh, every issue features a different story line, with a different artist every time. Each issue can be read as a standalone, with an overarching story spanning 20 years. Having a new artist on every issue smartly allows the artwork to shine through, as each artist selected for a story line that brings out their best qualities. Expect future work on this title from Michael Walsh, Mateus Santolouco, Morgan Jeske, and Tradd Moore.

 

Savage Wolverine #8

Snarly, spit-filled, and yes, savage. Wolverine under the careful pencil of Joe Mad is insatiable. I’d hate to use the cliché action-packed, but that’s exactly what this latest arc with Madureira and Wells feels like. Wolverine and Elektra finally square off with the Kingpin and let themselves lose on a bunch of ninjas, and a bunch of people are likely to get stabbed in the process. You should be getting yourselves warmed up on Joe Mad’s art as he prepares to take on the Inhuman series with Matt Fraction that’s set to be released at the end of the year in what will be Marvel’s second big tie-in/crossover event of the year. “Too much Marvel?” you ask? “Nay”, say I.

 

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GET THERE FROM HERE

One time I stopped for directions at an old lighthouse in Maine. I was on vacation and had lost my way. The kindly old lighthouse keeper, who admittedly was transparent below the waist, gave me directions that wound and rambled and terminated in me climbing down a ladder on an abandoned pier to discover a skeleton crushed under a rotting boat. Turns out the Lighthouse keeper died in a hurricane 20 years ago and just wanted me to bury his body.

When his directions started with “Do yea’ have a shovel abouts ya’?,” I should have known something was up. I never did get to the dang beach.

OKAY?

You and I and everybody we know will probably buy Marvel Infinity #2 this week, but I sure do hope it’s a bit more cohesive and action packed than that sprawling first issue. Let’s cleanse the pallet from that tepid Marvel Infinity cross-over.  I’m going to recommend X-Men Battle for the Atom #1 this week. It seems like some good freaky X-fun with lots of twists, turns and excitement. Needless to say, you’ll have to pick up All New X-Men #16 as well to continue the story. Two things the X-folks do well is hook up and fight, and with multiple X-realities merging throughout this storyline, this should be wilder than a booze fueled prom night!

Dark Horse (finally) have The Star Wars #1 out this week, and I can’t be happier! For those not in the know, The Star Wars is an alternate take on the original Star Wars film based entirely on early stage concept art and scripts. There is no Millenium Falcon, No Tattoine, and no Obi Wan Kenobi. Thrill to the adventures of Kane Starkiller, his children/padawans Deak and Annikin and a cast both familiar yet strange.

This week also kicks off DC’s Villain Month, a whole month of villain based stories with fantastically evil new covers! Start with Forever Evil #1, then continue with your favorite baddies throughout whichever titles you chose. For more DC #1 fun, we also get DC vs The Masters of the Universe #1! Two “Can’t miss” books from a company that is doing some impressive stories to match their gimmicks.

WHAT ABOUT THAT GHOST?


Now I just recommended five fun comics to ya’ll, and I do hope you read them. Heck, I’ll recommend two more, while I’m at it. Batman Black and White #1 and Superior Spider Man #17 should be great reads. As should the Harry Potter Series, which if you haven’t read them you really should. OOh! Catch-22 is a fun book! It has lots of neat depressing bits. If you like depressing but impressive reads, you should check out some Kurt Vonnegut. Maybe Slaughterhouse 5?

Recommending is fun!

Right. What about the ghost? Whenever anybody gives you advice, directions, insights or commands: Consider the Source! Why did I listen do that stupid ghost? Probably because I had been snorting pixie stix like a madman…it was vacation after all. IF you want to read any of the above recommendations, you should think about whether I am a reliable taste maker or not.

The answer is yes I am. Do as your told. As Humpty says, “If a doo-doo punk chump points a finger like a stump, you tell them ‘STEP OFF, I’m doing the HUMP.”

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YOU put the I in “COMIC.”

The comic book hits of tomorrow are written and drawn by the genius’ of today! I hope each and every one of you out there is creating your own amazing stories to thrill and entertain. Forbidden Planet has an excellent small press section, and there is no reason you books cannot be amongst them.
Until then, dear reader, maybe you’ll check out these other titels?
DREAM TEAM
Image has a brand new title out this week called The Dream Merchant #1, and Dark Horse has The Dream Thief #1 (of 5). Listen, we have GOT to get these two characters together! They might work out a plt for Inception 2.
Joking aside, both look like interesting sci/fi supernatural thrillers. In the Dream Merchant, a young boy has haunting dreams of an alternate timeline which has been erased by sinister forces. His dreams unlock the secrets to getting that reality back, but should he follow them or go back to sleep?
In the Dream Thief, an ancient mask worn by our hero once makes him the conduit for vengeful spirits while he slumbers. Think Poltergeist meets the Mask.
Here’s a helpful piece of advice: If you’re in a comic book and you should find a strange, creepy mask? JUST LEAVE IT ALONE! Same goes for drinking serums in laboratories, or flying in space or trying on any jewelry you find in a treasure chest or tomb.
Speaking of tombs,
MASTER OF HORROR
Edgar Allen Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher #1 (of 2) is a new horror comic out from Richard Corbin and Dark Horse. I don’t know much about the writer on this book…Edgar Allen Poe? What comics has he worked on before? Can anyone tell me if this guy has done any superhero stuff, I’d like to read more of his work. Still, Richard Corbin is one of the best in horror books. If you’ve seen Corbin’s work then you know he’s both cartoony and horrifying, grotesque and fun all at once!
Kinda’ like this next book; John K. Presents Spumco Comic Book HC (34.99) is my NUMBER ONE pick this week! IDW continues their fine work reprinting in large format print classic material from hard to find sources. Spumco Comics is a collection (plus new material!) of the comic works of John K., the animation super star behind Ren and Stimpy. John K. has a unique style, and humor so low-brow people will wonder if you have any brows at all.
THE BIG TWO
DC has the second issue of their He-Man relaunch title (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #2) as well as Justice League #20, and the 30 page, final issue of Sword and Sorcery #8. DC is gearing up for their big summer specials, as well as a few surprises for our pal He-Man!
Marvel is swinging back with Age of Ultron #8, FF#7, and Wolverine and the X-Men #29 amongst others. Both Age of Ultron #8 and the latest Wolvie title are alternate future versions of the current Marvel Universe. Alternate titles are always fun! I suggest you read these now, so when you pick up the Return to the Age of Ultron Universe title Marvel will be publishing in 10 years, you’ll know what’s going on.
STILL DRAWING?
How’s your comic going…you know, the one you’r working on? WHAT? You haven’t started it yet, you’ve been reading my column?! DUDE/M’AME, drop this thing like your butt in a bouncy castle and get working on new comic books!
Don’t forget to clip all the pages of your comic book together with staples. Comics without staples is just a series of nonsensical leaflets which won’t stay together.

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SIMPLY THE BEST

All of the Forbidden Planet crew had an excellent time this past weekend on Free Comic Books Day! I’m sorry I couldn’t make it out in person to see everybody, but I unfortunately don’t exist anymore since Wolverine and Sue Storm went back in time to “take care of some business” in Age of Ultron #6. That’s right, I’ve been retconned out of existence.
STILL LUCKY
I still consider myself lucky, really. I’m sure the Avengers or whoever will work the problem out. Reading the LA Times in Limbo, a crazy story caught my eye! Apparently a dangerous suspect was arrested by police after a foiled hit-and-run assault which culminated in the perp trying to muscle her way into a Free Comic Book Day event at a Los Angeles comic shop! Comic book fans, some in costume, gazed in amazement as the suspect forcibly tried to hide in the shop after smashing her get away vehicle through a nearby street sign, only to have the car coast into the wall where the fans had JUST been standing.
The arrest was made possible by the shop owner who held the doors fast when he realized something was amiss.
Comic book retailers working hand in sweaty hand with the LAPD to arrest criminals usually left to Spidey, Nightwing and other fictional (street level) do-gooders. This sort of activity reminds me who the REAL super-heroes are…you know who?
THAT’S RIGHT
YOU! You are the greatest, bravest heroes we have! On behalf of Forbidden Planet, I want to thank you, the readers, fans and supporters for giving us a reason to open our doors! Retail is tough, comic book retail is FREAKIN’ tough, but not half as tough as you folks and your unswerving loyalty to comics.
Thank you for choosing Forbidden Planet as your watering trough for refreshing comics! If there’s every anything more we could be doing, a book you’d like us to carry or material you’d like to see, please be sure you let us know. We exist to serve…well, the rest of the staff does. I don’t (currently) exist at all. Stupid Wolverine.
IF I DID
When I do come back, hopefully with an eyepatch and some crazy new powers, I’ll have to hunt down the back issues of this week’s hot books! The Walking Dead #110, Batman (and Batman and Robin ) #20, Bravest Warriors #8, and some new Richard Corbin horror material from Dark Horse and Creepy Comics #12 all have to be mine!
The main Star Wars book has been a fun read, and Star Wars #5 hits this week, too! Plenty of back issues to scoop up if you haven’t been following it yet. SPEAKING of “star” properties, Star Trek Into Darkness drops this week, and the latest issue of IDW’s Star Trek Ongoing #21 picks up RIGHT after the movie ends! I repeat: DO NOT read Star Trek Ongoing #21 on Wednesday, but do read it Friday after you’ve seen the movie! I can’t wait!
Deadpool #9, Thor #8 and Avengers #11 round out a decent roster of Marvel Must Haves, and with that I lay another column to a close.
At the end of the day, the Forbidden Planet stays open because of you. We are gracious for your business and we hope you come back, soon. As long as you’re there to help, The Forbidden Planet will be there with all your comics, sci-fi, horror, Manga, and various plastic objet d’art you need.
Be good, stay safe, and see you next time!

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HAM FISTED

The other day I was about to eat a ham sandwich when I suddenly realized I wasn’t hungry. No sooner had I put the thing down that it started to talk, telling me how it was a magical sandwich, that it was the prince of Hamsandwichia and how thankful it was that I spared its life and yadda yadda yadda.

Long story short: I’m now the king of the magical land of Ham Sandwiches. This realm is its own, separate reality. I have no idea how to get back to our time, and the absolute worst part of it all is there are NO comic books in Hamsandwichia.  

GOOD READS


Great books out this week, and I can’t read a dang one of em’ because I’m the frickin’ “chosen-one” for an entire stupid kingdom of lunchmeat. Have fun finishing up the latest storyline in Adventure Time #14 with out me, everybody. Tell me how it freaking ends if I ever get back to Earth.   Then there’s All New X-Men #9 (new x-costumes!), Deadpool #6 (wrapping up one of the best runs on Deadpool ever) Superior Spider-Man #6 and the premier of X-Termination #1.   X-Termination is a two issue series written by David Lapham where a bunch of alternative X-folks from many divergent X-Futures throw down like dominoes over the survival of their time lines. Too bad I can’t enjoy that.   DC alone has, like, 18 incredible books out which is apropos as the great “New 52” Experiment is up to issue 18. Action Comics, Catwoman and a bunch more all get #18’s, plus the second issue of Justice League of America and the FIRST new issue of Constantine. As speculative numbers go, these are all pretty impressive…though the most impressive numbered book this week belongs to Simpsons Comic #200 from Bongo! Not impressed? Bongo is a third party comic celebrating its #200th issue of a full color monthly title. Not too many publishers outside of Image and Dark Horse have pulled that off.   Sure, it has Simpson’s money behind it…those still aren’t numbers to scoff at.  

HOLD THE RYE-OT

Wait up, crew. The Ham Sandwich equivalent of my Major Domo has approached the throne asking me to sign some edicts. All royal decrees in Hamsandwichia have to be signed in French’s Mustard on white bread with the laws toasted onto them using special techniques. It sounds delicious except A) I hate French’s and B) I’m not allowed to eat any of them. I’m not allowed to eat anything.   I have to secretly sneak out of the palace at night and eat my subjects in their sleep. It’s only a matter of time before they figure it out and try to kill me. I’d be more worried if the toughest weapon in the land weren’t a butter knife, but still…   Constantine #1 is a spiffy title, but I’m more enticed by Star Wars Legacy #1, the new Star Wars book from Dark Horse. Legacy follows the adventures of Han Solo’s great-great-granddaughter as she lasers her way though a familiar, yet hostile, galaxy of betrayal and conflict.   Then there’s Invincible #101 (What the heck is going to happen next?!) as well as an amazing deluxe Hard Cover collection of Bob Fingerman’s impressive working class comedy Maximum Minimum Wage. Funny, sad and worth every penny.  

SANS SANDWICH

I’m hungry, I’m surrounded by idiotic talking sandwiches and I can’t publicly eat a single one. This must be how Edward Cullen feels. Until next week, this is Unkiedev, the King of the magical land of Sandwichia urging you to eat every sandwich you see. The life you save could be your own.

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FIGHT!

Logic assures that there can be Good comic books which do not contain fight scenes, but emotion would remind you that fight scenes are incredible awesome. Here at Forbidden Planet we want you, the comic book buying populous, to get in on all that the genre has to offer. Today we shall recommend a few tantalizing comics of the FIGHTING genre to whet the appetite for violence.

If these books inspire the youth of America to disassemble into full scale riot, then we have all done our jobs.

FIGHT!

I recommend you start off slowly. Pick up some almost ANYTHING by old Jack Kirby, especially his early Fantastic Four. As an appetizer, try some Savage Dragon, Invincible. Then start spiking your violence intake with some horror, maybe Hack/Slash. Now let’s begin in earnest to learn the art of fighting.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a catchy, yet descriptive, name for a comic which hid some of the best fight sequences of the eighties. While Marvel and DC where still just showing buffoons punching each other in the face or gut, the turtles were choreographing fight sequences detailed to feints and blocks. Pick up some of the classic Turtle books, ESPECIALLY the Return to New York saga.

DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, Frank Miller (W/A), DC

When picking the single greatest fight in comics, Dark Knight Returns Batman vs Superman is a strong contender.  If you haven’t read this book, do so now. Frank Miller may be a crazy misogynist homophobe who believes that “Might Makes Right,” but that is precisely the kind of kook you want writing violent comic books. Don’t get me wrong, Miller is as bad as his worst critics say, but his twisted belief in his limited moral compass makes for spectacular fights. Sin City, Wolverine, 300, Holy Terror, all flawed masterworks of brilliant brutality. Speaking of Miller’s other works:

HARD BOILED, Frank Miller (W), Geof Darrow (A), Dark Horse

Miller and Darrow won the 1991 Best writer/artist team Eisner for this baby, and I think that was a very nice bone for the committee to throw Frank’s way. It’s like saying Dolly Parton had nice ankles.

There is a plot to Hard Boiled, something about robots and insurance, but I can’t remember it to save my life. I do remember pages of gut churning fights between robots, humans and mutant freaks the likes of which have never been topped.

Hard Boiled is the most brutal fighting in comics, and Geof Darrow is the most brutal artist in comics. Darrow can draw metal squishing human face flesh into hamburger meat better than any man alive, which is why he was picked as the lead designer on the Matrix films.

Start here to see the craziest, grossest fights you can, and then if you ain’t sickened, go grab Darrow’s other works such as Shaolin Cowboy and Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot.

MORE MORE!

Ah Crap, I’m running out of room. Kick-Ass is a great punch em’ up, as are its sequels and spin offs. Michael Avon Oeming draws some pretty fair dust ups in the pages of Powers. Both Civil War and Secret Invasion have some nice full-scale skirmishes.

Although, really, so does most of the stuff you can buy here. GO VIOLENCE!

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Toy Fair 2013: SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

Toy Fair has happen and  me start this article by thanking whatever Hasbro employee is reading this site on the regular, or stalking me elsewhere, internet or in real life. The fruits of your research are something I’m willing to throw some serious cash at this year, and since my wife is out of town for the next few days, you can be my Valentine this year

The company has done me a solid by releasing not one, but 2 modern Cyclops figures this year, both in a box set in the Universe line (Marvel’s Greatest Teams, packaged with Emma Frost and the Juggernaut possessed Colossus) and a 6″ figure apart of the Wolverine Legends line (which also has a Emma Frost figure!), as well as a modern HAWKGUY (or Hawkeye as he’s more commonly known as). You’ll also see at least another 2-3 waves in the main Marvel Legends line, 2 in the Universe line (until SDCC reveals more), and both 6″ and 3.75″ figures based on upcoming movies like “Iron Man 3” and “Thor 2”, and animated stuff like “Ultimate Spider-Man” and the new “Avengers Assemble” show. Good showing all around from Hasbro/Marvel.

So my Marvel boner aside, what else did Toy Fair 2013 have to offer you ask? Shut up and I’ll tell you stupid! There was Batman merchandise everywhere (no one is surprised by this), but Mattel got a ton of hype thanks to securing the rights to make figures based on the classic live action Batman series from the 1960s. Expect to see both 6″ and Barbie-sized releases this year, amongst others. Square Enix is also going DC Comics crazy as well, with figures based on the Nolan Bat-films, the upcoming Man of Steel film, and giving their own spin to the DCU with the DC Universe Square Enix Variant line. Heroes announced so far were obviously the Bat, Green Lanetern, Batgirl, Flash and Wonder Woman. And not to be out done, DC Collectible showed off a ton of figures based on the Injustice game, The Flash, the Death of Family arc, and the upcoming Justice League of America series.

Mezco, as I reported last time, scored 2 unique licenses, with the hit drama Breaking Bad, and the hit insane webcomic- turn actual comics-turn upcoming animated Fox TV series Axe Cop. They’re going all out with these properties, putting out a variety of different sized figurs/figurines, dolls and plushies. Also joining the 6″ figure arms race is Kenner, with The Star Wars Black series! These 6″ figures will focus on the classic trilogy, so expect the likes or R2-D2, Luke Skywalker, a Sand Trooper and….Darth Maul. Um, I guess they’re focusing MOSTLY on the classic trilogy, not entirely!

There are several other announcements of note too, like McFarlane making toys based on Assassin’s Creed 3 in the same vein of their Halo line, Square Enix branching out and making figures based on Namco, EA and Capcom games, of ton of new and old G.I. Joe stuff, but I’m going to end this focusing on the MASSIVE  2 foot tall Transformers Generation Titan Metroplex. He’s based on his aaperance in last year’s Transformers: Fall of Cyberton game, and yeah, it’s kind of friggin awesome. Aside from the 2 foot robot, he can also transform into a city, and mobile battle station. Not sure  when it will drop, but it will this year and not be cheap.

Gonna end the look at Toy Fair here. I can only tease so much, but fear not, everything big and cool announced at the show will eventually be for sale at Forbidden Planet this coming year, and we’ll be getting better looks at them as they’re released.

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A return to form

What’s this? An article where I can get by without talking about Square Enix releases?!? Why yes, yes it is! Of course that means returning to the old hotness, talking about comic book related merch, so please deal with this return accordingly.

Long time FPNYC readers know I’ve poked plenty of fun of DC in the past, be it related to their non-Batman comics or action figures. However, I have to give props when they’re due when it comes to three new DC statues released by Kotobukiya, as they’re kind of great!

The Bishoujio line is no stranger to these parts, and I’m really digging the the newest addition to the line, the Huntress (of Birds of Prey and World’s Finest fame). The costume is obviously based on the one Jim Lee drew her in during the Jeph Loeb-penned “Hush” arc, which to be honest, I’m not that big of a fan of . And to be a nit-picky nerd, I would have preferred to see her armed with a crossbow rather than a staff. But those are simply a matter of preference, the statue itself is great, and if your a fan of the character and the line I advise you to pick it up. You can do a lot worse for $50-60.

Kotobukiya has also started releasing statues based on the new 52 Justice League and I’m really digging them. While not as impressive as some of the more high-end releases, the Superman and Green Lantern ArtFX+Statues are still really cool. Basically a high end figurine, each statue is a sensible take on Jim Lee’s redesigns for the League, and the end product looks really sharp with the metallic paint jobs for the character’s costume. Considering these are 7″ statues with magnetic stands, the $40 retail price makes these statues quite the bargain too. Wonder Woman is the next monthly release, so get on that kids.

Oh look, I made it 300 words without mentioning a Marvel product. Time for that to change!

I was kind of harsh on the last wave of Marvel Legends releases, but Hasbro has definitely rebounded with the first wave of the 2013 series. It’s another 5 basic figure set (with 3 variants) but it’s a lot more diverse this time around, and a lot more original content…sort of. X-Force Wolverine was originally a part of a SDCC X-Force box set, and I’m fairly certain he’s just a retooled Daken (not sure if ironic or creepy). But the rest of the line is pretty solid, even though the She-Hulk variants are kind of lazy (Red Shulkie is the standard, Thundra is the variant). In addition to the 3 I’ve mention so far, there’s Ultimate Captain America, the newest Avenger Hyperion( with deceased Avengers the Sentry as his variant),  and former Avenger/now Young Avenger the Protector with Iron First as his variant. The Build a Figure this time around is Deadpool arch-nemesis Hit Monkey, which is pretty awesome if you ask me. I’m a fan of gun-toting monkeys, and you should be to. Each figure will set you back $20, which sadly is the standard for highly articulated 6″ figures.

As I wrap this article up, I just want to once again mention Hawkeye #7, the issue where HAWKGUYS Kate and Clint deal with Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York respectively. You should be buying the comic I gave my 2012 pick of the year for as is, BUT with this special issue, Fraction is donating all his royalties from it to the Red Cross. Considering this is more or less a $3 donation to the Red Cross with instant gratification, it worth’s picking up. So do so!

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EYE’M WITH STUPID

I’m on hold with tech support. Recently I upgraded my TV to an HD and my DVD to a Blu Ray. After I upgraded my cable to HDTV, I realized that the problem this entire time was ME. I’m still watching TV with the same eyes.

I’d like to tell you had my eyes removed and replaced with new, high definition 3D eyes, but instead I had my eyes removed and replaced with two pieces of equipment which don’t seem to be installed right…hence the tech support.

This all makes me think of Cyclops.

ESSENTIAL UNCANNY X-MEN Vol. 1, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Marvel

Meet Scott Summers, a troubled teen who grew up in an orphanage and, due to a genetic mutation coupled with a plane crash, cannot willingly control the destructive beams of red light that shine from his eyes. Only the ruby quarts lenses of his titular, monocular visor and the calm influence of his father figure, Professor X. keep him on the straight and narrow as the X-Man known as CYCLOPS!

Cyclops is a square peg trying to fit into the round hole of society, always playing the good boy and fighting for equal rights. He loves his teammate, Jean Grey, from afar. He’s a nice mutant boy in a world gone mad, but still believes in a brighter future.

He’s also boring as Hal Jordan, a cookie cutter “Good Guy” who only shines due to the briefly novel addition of teen angst.

X-MEN OMNIBUS VOL. 1 + 2, Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Marvel

Meet Scott Summers, embittered war veteran of the never-ending fight for mutant survival. In these Claremont/Lee stories we see the emergence of the “Scott as General” Cyclops, the mutant who has fought every battle and is best prepared to lead the troops. Scott has grown increasingly quiet, isolated, and struggles to find peace even within his own adopted family.

Having fought every day of his young adult life we meet a Scott Summers who no longer can identify himself, his goals or his friends…just the fight. He has loved Jean, married Jean, lost Jean, loved clones of Jean and has fathered several children of alternate timelines with Jean.

This Scott is an unlikeable boy scout, always stuffy and square…but it’s not his fault. Wolverine is Marvel’s biggest bad boy, and Scott exists almost solely to contrast Wolvie’s lethal spirit.

CY TO THE CLIZZOPS

In Grant Morrison’s NEW X-MEN and Joss Wheedon’s Astonishing X-Men the plaster on Cyclops REALLY starts to chip. We learn that Cycs has been getting his mental swerve on with the White Queen through Psychic hook-ups behind Jean’s back. We see Cyclops place mutant survival as the surpassing priority. We see Cyclops begin to employ backroom tactics, while pushing Xavier away for employing the same.Grant Morrison

By the time Cyclops decides on the necessity of X-Force, the clandestine group of X-Men charged with the assassination of top-level threats to mutant kind, the natural progression is complete. Cyclops adopts the perfect blending of Magneto’s violence and Xavier’s message in an effort to stop the mutant violence by whatever means he can.

This tired, amoral and sociopathic Scott is also the most likeable Cyclops in years!

In a world where most of your fiends have died and come back to life, where you discover your family members are all space pirates, ancient freaks or alternate timeline versions of yourself, and where, no matter how many times you PERSONALLY save the world you will still be hated and feared, Scott Summers is the believable result of one man fighting his entire life for an unobtainable goal.

I can’t wait to see what happens next…but I will have to wait. Stupid tech support. Stupid broken mechanical high definition eyes­­­.

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Large headed Heroes, Ponies and a brief, belated Toy Fair 2012 Recap

by Chris Troy.

I really hate typing out cliche stuff like “a dollar doesn’t buy you much these days, especially in NYC”,  but considering how much it costs to ride the subway these days, it’s kind of true. HOWEVER, for a mere $1, you can pick one of the new Marvel Heroes Buildable Figurines from the line’s 2nd wave at FPNYC!  Cyclops, Daredevil, Wolverine, Dr. Doom, the Thing, and Venom make up the set, and it’s one of the FEW toy lines you can buy the entire line for less than $10, if not the only one. Oh sure they have zero points of articulation, but they look cool as hell on your desk or bookcase in my anything-but-humble-opinion. And if you’re not a Marvel person (BOOOO!), we also have blind-bag My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic figurines in stock as of the time of writing. Those go for about $3 a pop, and offer a ton more variety in terms of Ponies (articulation, not so much). I’ve laughed at the Brony movement last year, but we keep selling out of the toys, so there was a slight chance I had no idea what I was getting into at the time. That and I’ve actually watched the show since and it’s cute. It also helps that Fluttershy is adorable, and yes, it pains me to type that out. Denial is magical.

So Toy Fair happened this month and I never bothered applying for a badge because I was busy as hell being dissappointed by Soul Calibur 5. However, my good friend and internet medicine man Dr_Teng of What’s Your Obsession did go, and is cool enough to share some photos with us. Loran has already covered the Transformers and GI Joe stuff, and I’m sure I’ve talked enough about Marvel/DC stuff to drive most people insane, so I’ll save those releases for when they’re actually on our shelves. So that leaves me to discuss video game figures, which I assure you is not a problem. Continue reading

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