Monday, December 28, 2009

Good Comic Hunting Week - Part Three

I totally forgot to post the final part of my last comic hunting trip, but I do have good reason. I'm going to be a daddy :-) So pardon the lateness of this conclusion, since I've been a little absent-minded and with the holiday season, haven't had a whole lot of time. More information on the baby is coming soon, including the continuing saga of me wearing my wife down to accept the name of Bruce Wayne Manger for a boy.

Anyway, on with the final stop in the hunt....Downtown Books.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Good Comic Hunting Week - Part Two

So as I was getting ready to leave Half Price Books, I saw that under the comic section they had bundled packs of random comics for $5. I decided to pick one up and see what was inside. Click below for more.

There were about 8 bundles where you could only see the front and back comic. The one I grabbed had an issue of X-Men with a Jim Lee cover on one side (who I’m a big fan of) and an old Suicide Squad issue on the other. I figured that I couldn’t really lose since I’m a fan of Lee and the Squad and I’d probably buy those books alone anyway.

After getting home and opening the pack, it turns out there were 41 comics inside. Unfortunately there was not a random Detective Comics ##27 or Action Comics #1 floating around in the pack but there were some fun issues, and not one duplicate of something that I already had. Here are some of the highlights :

The Infinity Gauntlet #1 and #6 : A Marvel story that I always meant to read, and I always like having something to hunt for so now I can track down the rest of the issues. Some George Perez art never hurts either.

Suicide Squad #34 : From the old John Ostrander run, the cover features Granny Goodness and the Female Furies causing their patented brand of destruction.

The Ultimates #8 : I love this story by Mark Millar. This is the issue right before Steve Rogers beats the hell out of Hank Pym for abusing Janet (aka Wasp). I have these in trade but am slowly gathering the individual issues.

X-Men #2 : Jim Lee. Magneto. Sold.

Amazing Spider-Man #330 : Sweet cover featuring Spidey and the Punisher by Erik Larsen.

Gambit and the Xternals #2 : Written by Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Tony Daniel, two creators that I’m a fan of currently in the DC Universe when they did work for Marvel.

Marvel Two-In-One #38 : The oldest comic in the pack (1978) features a story with Daredevil and Thing.

Spider-Man #1 : Todd McFarlane story and art.

I’ll finish up with Part 3 later where I head to the comic hunter’s Mecca in Milwaukee…Downtown Books.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Good Comic Hunting Week – Part One

Not sure what got into me this week but it worked out that I happened to be at used bookstores twice and walked out with a massive amount of comics for around $30 total. All in all, some fun finds, and a gamble on a “grab bag” for $5. Click below for some of the highlights from stop numer one :

First Stop : Half Price Books : Northridge

This was my first time at this particular HPB. We have 3 locations in the Milwaukee area and I’m rarely at this one, but my wife (being a pre-school teacher) needed a last minute run to Michael’s for some craft supplies and it was down the street. I was unimpressed with the size of their comic section compared to the other two at first, but then I started coming up with some decent finds.

There are good and bad things about hunting at Half Price Books. The good thing is that they don’t really seem to look at the value of the books and just randomly price everything at $1.00, or less in the case of the locations that have markdown bins (which this one did not). The bad thing is that the organization is not as good as other locations that I hunt at so you pretty much have to look through the entire section, because I’ve found good comics in the wrong sections. Although this could be due to the fact that people don’t put things back in the right place too.

First set are books that I found in the main area :

The Flash #142 : The issue with the wedding of Linda and Wally.

The Flash #208 : Michael Turner cover featuring Jay, Wally and Bart.

The Flash #219 : Wonder Woman teams up with Flash to battle Zoom and Cheetah. Great cover too.

Danger Girl #3 : Adam Hughes variant cover AND J. Scott Campbell interior work?? Sold!

Green Lantern #151 : Jim Lee cover featuring Kyle Rayner. I think I’m one of the few people that like the “cyber-punk” look that GL had during this period.

Superman #205 : Michael Turner variant cover

Superman #223 : Ed Benes cover featuring Supergirl right after her re-introduction to the DC Universe

Wonder Woman #176 : Adding to my collection of Adam Hughes Wonder Woman covers.

Check back later for Part Two where I pick up a random “brick” of comics for $5.00 with some fun treasures.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jason (finally) reviews GI Joe : The Rise of Cobra

It took a long time for me to see this movie, and for many good reasons. First, I was at Chicago Comic-Con the weekend it came out. Then I was kind of broke for a little while (mainly due to Chicago Comic-Con). Then I started hearing horrific reviews about people's eyes bleeding and brains exploding as they watched the movie. And last but not least....I abso-freaking-lutely loved the GI Joe cartoon as a kid, so I was protecting my own childhood memories by procrastinating.

So, how was it? Not that bad. Spoilers ahead.

Click below for more :

Since I planned on being around the house for a few hours today taking care of some things, I picked it up on Pay Per View. That way, if it’s horrible, I’ve only wasted like 5 bucks.

The movie starts out with the action pretty much right away and keeps it up for the most part. Cartoon references begin quickly and we meet the Baroness, James McCullen (pre-metal mask and big medallion), Hawk and Ripcord. Some nice touches include having the sound effects from the cartoon guns laced into the real firing sounds.

Baroness holds a special place in my heart and drove me to seek out dominant, Germanic hotties who wear glasses. Anyone who knows my wife will see how deep this fascination ran. The other regulars fall in and really, at no time, was I really disappointed in any of the main characters.

Action sequences are extremely over the top but guess’s supposed to be! If you can turn on your action movie brain, which is essentially a mode of your brain that operates at minimal thinking capacity in order to process shooting, explosions and hot women (aka MBM or Michael Bay Mode) it’s an enjoyable action film that references many things that I remember loving from my childhood.

The rest of the review I’ll break down into some Pros and Cons, just easier that way. By the way, my eyes did not bleed nor did my brain explode. That’s why you activate MBM, so you don’t constantly scream “Oh come on!!!!” at the screen.


The little backstory involving James McCullen I in 1641 France was a nice touch to give Destro some weight and lineage.

Storm Shadow, always one of my favorites, was portrayed well by Byung-hun Lee and the martial arts fight scenes were pretty sweet.

I actually enjoyed the progression of Cobra Commander in the film. Although I would have liked to have seen something sticking closer to the Cobra : Reborn origin, it was a decent background.

Baroness (up until the end) was handled nicely by Sienna Miller (though I felt there were some script issues regarding her part of the movie, the performance was decent). There is a scene where she forces a woman out of an elevator at gunpoint, then comments “Nice shoes”. To me, this is something the character would do, even in the middle of running from Joes, she can appreciate the finer things. Miss the Eastern European accent though. Oh well.

The weaponry is all high tech but not TOO high tech. These are clearly advanced troops but the equipment they use seems possible in the near future.

Scarlett. Awesome. That is all.

For as much as people bitched about the Accelerator Suits, they were used well in a very exciting action sequence. I think people expected them to be used through the whole movie.

Brendan Fraser is in it. I mean, who doesn’t love a cameo by Brendan Fraser?

Snake Eyes was impressive, except for one...little...thing...


...why does Snake Eyes’ costume have a mouth in it????? His costume was so cool and the mouth ruins it. It honestly makes him look like some sort of android.

The Duke / Baroness backstory was pretty unnecessary and leads to a painful series of scenes toward the end that cause you to think “Which writer thought this was a good idea and why did no one stop them with deadly force?”

The whole injecting Destro with nanites that cause him to have a metal face conceit was a bit much. I guess I understand that a man in a static metal mask doesn’t translate as well into film, but I think it could work. The ending effect here just looks cheesy.


So that’s about it. I’ll definitely be picking it up on BluRay and I’d recommend it to those that can appreciate a good action flick. For those that look for Oscar nominations in every movie, you won’t find any here so skip it. What you will find is lots of fun and over the top action.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Superhero Temp Services Blog is now up!

Hey everyone! Just a quick update to tell everyone about my new blog : which will focus on news and previews of my comic book project called Superhero Temp Services. Please check it out and make sure to click on the Follow link to be notified of any new information.

Clever Name Blog will of course continue with Jeffrey handling the majority of the updating and I'll still pop in from time to time :-)

- Jason