Friday, May 30, 2014

Secret Origins 01 - Spoiler-Free Review

Now, this was quite refreshing!

After getting burned with Forever Evil and it's underwhelming outcome, and getting deeply bored by Future's End, I decided to try yet another DC book and see if I could finally stick with at least one.  This was actually a kiss goodbye, like the last chance to be impressed--  And did I get impressed!

It's no secret that I don't embrace the New 52 at all.  They destroyed their entire history just to be all the hype for a couple of months.  But then again, stories can always be told in a compelling way if the talent is there and if editorial doesn't interfere too much (meaning, keeping DiDio under chains).  This is a good example of great storytelling, at least for me.

I have never been a fan of anthology books, but for a change, these short stories seem to have more heart than these huge crossovers that go on and on and on and have no ending nor relevant outcome.

This particular issue told origins with a "twist".  Either because of the perspective in which they were told, or who told them, or the lingering theme in each one of these short stories.  All I have to say is that they were endearing and I deeply missed that in DC Comics in particular.  I sincerely hope they can keep it up.  I'm so done with their books being actual dead ends.

So, I would suggest you give this new series a try.  Issue 1 told stories for Superman, Dick Grayson and Supergirl and, yes, it was worth it.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

No more New 52

I've read posts on this subject for years since this New 52 DC Universe got launched back in September, 2011; so this isn't anything you haven't read before, nor more heart-felt, not even original.  I've seen a lot of people speak up on this subject.  Some fans (because deep down we all are -or used to be- just fans) were furious, some were deeply sad, some were frustrated and there were still the hopeful ones who gave up and still wanted things to change for the better, sometime down the line.

Their message never got through and I highly doubt mine will, either.

So, here's this rant, sent into the digital universe more as a cathartic cry, not really asking for anything to happen, just to speak up my mind.

I've been a DC Comics fan for my entire life (see?, I told you I wasn't going to be of the original kind); I went through a lot of changes and rolled with the punches, some were good, some not so much and then, there was the New 52.  I set the New 52 apart because it was a different kind of creature.  It undid everything that was done before.  But unlike the famous Crisis on Infinite Earths, the outcome was rushed and the essence of the characters got dropped along with their history.  Superman was no longer the hero everyone looked up, no, now he was this troubled alien who felt out of place among humans, which is beyond odd since he was always supposed to be the most human of them all--  Then, Wonder Woman stopped being an all female character and became the daughter of Zeus; and the essence of her character got thrown out of the window.  And these are just two examples of what the New 52 meant to the rich universe that was the DC Universe.  From a group of Teen Titans that were never side-kicks, to a Flash family that never existed, the richest side of their characters got undone, up to a point that they were no longer recognizable.

I work in the advertising field, I know the meaning of keeping a brand fresh.  A brand shouldn't age or it would grow obsolete, I completely get that.  But then, dropping an entire fan base while searching a new one doesn't look like good business to me.  What about keeping them both?  Sounds a bit absurd, uh?  Well, with the richness of the DC Universe that could have been done, but they chose a different venue.  Starting fresh could have meant a lot of things and not just dropping everything they were.  Moving forward, for instance, could have been a great choice.  They could have redesigned the characters to look like 2011 characters, instead of going retro with their 90's designs.  They could have moved forward with guidelines like:  "Don't revisit past storylines, move always forward", that would have made sense.  Comics in general and DC and Marvel in particular, were a bit incestuous with theirs pasts and never stopped revisiting.  Anyway, moving forward could have been the move to pull; and it's not as if the big shots couldn't have considered it, they must have, they just didn't think it would be wild enough to make the headlines.  And they did hit the headlines!  But then again, at this point, the negativity surrounding them is huge as well.  A big chunk of their fan base left, their numbers aren't that big anymore, or even bigger than they were before that infamous and extremely rushed "Flashpoint".

And they keep pulling their New 52 tricks again.  Wally West will be coming back as someone you never knew.  I heard that line before.  Sorry, but no.  I got burnt once, twice, a trillion times and I'm finally done.

It took me a while, a few years actually, but I finally gave up.  Not with a "bang", but with a "whimper", like most of us left.  Unnoticed and uncared for.  We're not the demographics they're looking for, so, we're worthless.

Somewhere in the DC offices, someone must have thought at one point, "shouldn't we throw them (old fans) a bone?"  Maybe the response wasn't a resonant "no", but it did feel that way.  In the end, we weren't that important to them.  And well, a brand that doesn't care about its audience, will eventually get the short end of the stick.

Friday, November 29, 2013

There's something about the Silver Surfer--

The Silver Surfer is an interesting character, in the way that he kind of sums up the cosmic philosophies of the 60's and 70's, or so it seems to me.  While I'm no expert in all things Silver Surfer, his constant rants, epiphanies and drama, always hit me in a weird way.  I mean, we all know he suffers.  He actually suffers a lot.  No place to call home, a growing guilt that could easily hold a pocket universe, and such a huge sense of loneliness.  I mean, these things can mess up a guy--

But still--  C'mon, dude, lighten up!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A very "flighty" Aquaman

From the pages of Justice League of America 09, 2013.

Pick up your jaw, this is from a "different" reality sequence from the latest Justice League of America.  Still, it was fun to see Aquaman fly for once.  He also looks kinda funny, with that trident ahead of him as if it was the Mjolnir, and those disjointed legs aren't doing him any favor.

The Aquaman jokes kinda faded away after Geoff Johns' terrific run in his title gave him a bigger sense of dignity, but we can always have a little fun with him, can't we?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Captain America, fresh as new!

A while back I started telling Cap's Adventures in my Desk over at the Facebook page; it was a one panel thing telling funny things, well not all of them were really that funny but it was nothing pretentious to begin with, so I kept it going.  A lot of things happened ever since.  At work, we moved into a new building a really nice one, I had to pack my things and get them home since no personal stuff was now allowed (don't ask), and then I had to pack my little buddy, Captain America.  He really looked dead inside of that bag, but the thing is he wasn't, there was a little spark of life living within this very light coat of plastic, so, I cheated a bit and didn't send him home.

Thing is I still have my little buddy hidden within my personal bag.  Like a spirit who's always with me, or a schizophrenic voice that tells me things, not all of them good, but who am I to judge.

Anyway, the result is still the same.  Cap is here and he will stay here, even if hidden, but he will come out and will shine in all of his glory, fighting against oppression, one desk at a time.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fan Art Friday, Session November 22, 2013

Every Friday is Fan Art Friday over at the Facebook fanpage, this means that everyone can send in their art and it gets published in the page.  It as a little something that I want to share with everyone because people love their characters and they love even more giving them a touch of themselves.

The blog may not be as "social" as Facebook, but it does have its own resonance.  I think the artists might eventually run into this post and get blown away by seeing their art elsewhere.

It's a labour of love and I just can't help it but to love the spirit behind it.

Cristina Escobar gives us a dark and cute knight! Batman!

Batman and the Joker in a never ending rivalry, courtesy of Eli Ramos.

Alonso Cordero León gives us two warriors enjoying the battlefield. 

Will Mitchell gives us a defiant Green Lantern!
Fear Sinestro! By Brian Sprau - Scratch The Surface Artworks.

Captain America lives with a fantastic retro feel. Pen & Ink Illustration by Thomas Muzzell.

Rodney Ulibarri breathes new life into the Doom Patrol!

Rodney Ulibarri features Celsius from the Doom Patrol.

Rodney Ulibarri gives us tragic movie star Rita Farr from the Doom Patrol.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Martian Manhunter's Puppy Eyes

How do you say "puppy eyes" in Martian?  That's easy!  It's "J'onn J'onzz"!

The Martian Manhunter took a complete turnaround when he got revamped with DC's New 52.  He no longer was part of the original Justice League and he got stripped out of all the softness that grew around him in the 80's, 90's and the first decade of the millennium, and he got turned into a two-dimensional Wildstorm fighting machine as part of the new Stormwatch.

As many characters that got reinvented with the relaunch, he slowly started to get back to his senses…  well, at least back to who he used to be.  He joined the new Justice League of America for the first time in this continuity and from there he started to mellow down until he reached a new level of cuteness and mellowness, as seen in the latest issue of this JL book (that would be Justice League of America #9, 2013).  

Once again he cared for his teammates as if he knew them for his entire life, showing a sense of humanity that many human beings lack.  All of a sudden, I saw him like the father figure he used to be at the Bwah-haha League as he interacted with Stargirl.

Yes, the Martian Manhunter seems to have come back.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thought balloons are back!

"Thought balloons are too old-school", "thought balloons are annoying", "there's no need to tell what they're thinking when you can see it in their actions", well, thought balloons were demonized beyond belief, and guess what?  They're back!

As I was reading All-New X-Men 18, I ran into this page where everyone was having just so many thoughts.  Many, as in an overwhelming amount of thoughts.  At first I didn't notice since I usually read as many old books as I do new ones, but then it hit me.  Apparently the ban for thought balloons had been either lifted at Marvel, or someone just decided to bend the rules.  Either way, I was happy.

Removing thought balloons from comic book storytelling was an odd move.  They were a tool and they weren't good or bad per se, everything depended on the storytelling; it's as if someone told you that you can no longer write down question marks.  Maybe someone realized that they were needed, or that the "old" X-Men coming back to present time, would be the perfect excuse to play with the old tools.

Monday, November 18, 2013

It smells like a revolution

If victory has a smell, why revolution couldn't have one?

It should smell real good.

And should also have a great ad!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Catwoman's Anatomy

If there's one thing that's true about Catwoman is that she's consistent.

This image was taken from the pages of Justice League of America and it depicts yet another Catwoman picture that tells us that it is possible to show T&A all at once!  There should be a challenge out there for people to try to photograph this way.  I mean, ouch!  On the other hand, don't try this at home, I don't want to get sued!

Remember the cover of Catwoman #0?  If it taught us anything it's that a woman can bend her shape at will, mostly considering that she has catlike abilities.

I still think Catwoman must have a mutant gene somewhere...  Or she should be renamed Miss Fantastic.

The poor girl has been through heaven and hell and her sexiness, being one of her catlike abilities, has defied all sense of logic.

Still, I would like you to take a look at yet another picture of Catwoman that shows you another perspective of this same #0 shot.  I found it at and I just couldn't stop looking at it.  I mean, it's hypnotic!