Tagged: Human Torch

Chris’ Comics: Howard the Duck #5

4730614-howard2015005_dc11-page-001Howard the Duck #5

Chip Zdarsky, Joe Quinones, Joe and Paolo Rivera, Rico Renzi

Marvel $3.99

Oh Howard A Duck, you are a gift.

Chip Zdarsky, Joe Quinones and Rico Renzi’s first arc/volume (NEW HAT THOUGH!) wraps up with a massive super hero fight in Manhattan for the fate of the world, a concept Chip and Joe claim they were the first to come up with. In case you don’t know how #JOKES work, that is one and an example the A+ comedy one gets from a Chip Zdarsky penned comics.

tumblr_nt0y86mP6j1qeeerco2_1280There’s a lot to like in Howard the Duck #5. First and foremost is Joe Quinones drawing a massive amount of of Marvel’s NYC-based heroes, and them looking fantastic/amazing/marvelous/other puns. Quinones’ style is clean and detailed, and his takes on all these characters comes across as looking quite iconic. His commitment to to his craft results in some fine looking lay outs, mashing up some of Marvel most beloved, as well as some of their newer, heroes up against the ridiculous threats he and Chip Zdarsky have conceived. I like what Joe does with facial expressions, as several maskless character perfectly express the absurdity of the whole scenario, especially on the final page with has arguably the best drawing of the Human Torch and Spider-Man in some time. Assisting Quinones on art duties is the brilliant father and son inking team of Paolo & Joe Rivera, giving Quinones’ work the clean, thin lines it deserves. Rico Renzi’s colors pop off the page, completing the art package, and giving Howard a high quality look you wouldn’t expect coming from a comedic book.

Earlier this year writer Chip Zdarsky joked that he was cramming in a lot of content and guest appearances in Howard the Duck as he was expecting to be fire after every issue came out. Howard #5 won’t be Chip’s last ride with the character, but you’ll definitely get you 4 dollars worth from it. This issue wraps up the arch, reveals a supporting character’s secret, and makes several intriguing hints regarding the future of the this book. Oh and is absolutely hilarious as well. We get more “Inconsolable Spider-Man” jokes, editor notes for hilariously titled comics that never existed, several deep cut Marvel jokes and a subplot involving a rather obscure Marvel book that results in Howard freaking out. It’s not all jokes either, as Chip and Joe do some cool stuff with the Howard and Tracy relationship, injecting some heart warming material into the book. Again, a lot of stuff goes down in this book, but it never feels over crowded or bloated.

tumblr_nsznomBLdn1sajkn0o1_400Howard the Duck #5 is a great ending for a fantastic first arc. Howard is easily up there with Superior Foes of Spider-Man and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl in terms of being some of the best modern Marvel humor books, and the star power behind it should hopefully ensure that it sticks around for quite awhile. You can tell Zdarsky & Quinones definitely love or at least heavily appreciate the classic Steve Gerber era Howard, and embrace it while pushing the character forward. Howard the Duck is book I’ll continue to buy when it returns later this year, especially if the creative teams continues to put out this level of quality comic month after month.


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Shoot First, Apologize Later

NOBODY is omniscient, and we all make mistakes. Think I’m joking? WHO YA’ GOT? “God?” Is God a perfect, omniscient being that never makes mistakes? Really?

You think God would’ve created life on Earth if IT was omniscient enough to foresee “Bronies,” or the Star Wars prequels? IT doesn’t make mistakes? Have you ever SEEN a tongue louse, or Ceratothoa imbricata? The Coconut crab? ” You gonna’ tell me GOD wasn’t stupid crunk on ambrosia when IT created the naked mole rat?

The key to forgiveness is admitting to the mistakes. I, Unkiedev, would like to print some apologies.

I apologize to BOOM! Studio’s groovy comic book Adventure Time for not buying it earlier…I was not an early adopter to the TV show and have to come back, tail between legs to beg for a pardon. Luckily, BOOM! Has forgiven me with a 2nd edition reprint of Adventure Time #1 this week.

I’m sorry to everybody that I didn’t recommend the ground-breaking and headline grabbing Life With Archie #16 last week. I can’t say I’m a regular Archie reader, and I rarely recommend comic books for speculation purposes, but no matter how you want to view the politics of the dang thing, a same sex marriage in such a mainstream comics is a positive sign for changing times…not to mention that copies are selling on ebay right now for $15 bucks and more.

That wasn’t so hard, was it? I feel much better. Continue reading

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Robot Super Heroes

Robots make for crap super heroes. We want robots as friends, pets and secret lovers, but NOT as replacements to our own lives. In a medium all about projecting our own wants onto fictional characters there is a gigantic flaw to robots as super-heroes:


One need only to look at a few mainstream comic book robots to realize that the robot super hero does not compute.


One of Marvel’s very first super heroes was a robot named Jim who could control flames to melt tanks while flying. If you were a flaming android, wouldn’t you chose the name “Human Torch,” too?  NOTHING says “Robot in the closet” like the name Human Torch.

Torchy had a buddy robot, a slew of appearances in the War era and a recent resurgence at Marvel due to the recent Invaders series. Still, he was never as popular as Captain America, nor his other Invaders team-mate the Sub-Mariner, probably due to being a soulless, stinktastic robo-doofus.

If after Seventy years in this business you are still less popular than Namor, you need to seriously go to 10 and rethink your future in the cape biz.


A great and beloved team of robots from DC, the Metal Men (and lady) are robots each build predominantly from certain metals which give each fantastic powers! Gold was shiny and smart and could stretch his metal body, Iron was strong, Lead could shield you from radiation, naturally, Platinum was a sex-robot…you know, the  common traits of each of their respective metals. I don’t think I need to explain this further.

The Metal Men stories were gentle, sweet and fun silver age stuff. The robots often struggled with their robot natures, but if it was used for pathos it was resolved quickly.

WHY the Metal Men worked was the times. People could read about a robot super team in 1962 and NOT need it to be a metaphor for our own insecurities as people, or our lack of ability to connect to others.

The number one reason robots make lousy super heroes is about projection. We just can’t project onto a machine. The Metal Men walked a fine line, but they were always entertaining and they never veered too far down the second pitfall of robot characters: They’re too dang preachy. Continue reading

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Cliff Chiang Signing at Forbidden Planet NYC

Been a hectic past few days for FPNYC’s intrepid store manager/buyer, gang, so forgive me if the Daily Planet hasn’t been daily.

Regardless, I’ve got a neat little goody to announce… Rising star artist Cliff Chiang is confirmed to appear at FP on Friday, April 30th at 6:30pm.
Chiang Batgirl flyer2

Cliff is the talented artist of Doctor 13: Architecture and Morality (with Brian Azzarello), the forthcoming Vertigo graphic novel Greendale (based on the Neil Young album), Green Arrow/Black Canary, Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre, The Human Torch, and numerous other projects.  His complete bibliography can be seen here.

He’ll be coming to the shop fresh off the release of Brave & Bold #33 (in which he illustrates a story starring Batgirl, Wonder Woman and Zatanna, written by J. Micheal Straczynski) a few days prior to the event, and will be signing copies of that and whatever other selections from his oeuvre ya put in front of him.

Some more illustrations by Mr. Chiang (click to enlarge):



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