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Wednesday, 16 November 2011 12:03
Students of the comic book art form the world over, it is my great honor and pleasure to write a full lecture on the very concept that inspired my namesake as well as yours, Gifted Readers. Marvel's original X-Men comic series, created in 1963, and the very storied franchise it spawned,  is perhaps the one most near and dear to me, particularly if you consider that much of comic book fandom is – whether good or bad – built largely upon the nostalgia for a bygone time period, often one of youth for most readers. Transformers and G.I. Joe comics aside, the Uncanny X-Men, written and trail-blazed by legendary writer Chris Claremont for, all told, well over two full decades, is where my comic book fandom truly began in earnest as an unsuspecting 13-year old in 1986. In light of recent changes to the X-Franchise, I thought it would be a good time to do a quick study of how the X-Men’s misadventures have progressed to the point of where they’re at now, spitting into two distinct factions. This is an examination of how and why things are they way they are now. We could begin this feature at any one of numerous different junctures in the grand scheme of the X-Men's 48-year history, but it's probably best to start about six years back when former Marvel Executive Editor – one-time Senior Editor of the X-Franchise and now Marvel Editor-in-Chief – Axel Alonso, along with then E-i-C Joe Quesada, put into place a broad vision of how they believed the corner that Marvel's not-so-merry mutants inhabit should be.  The mutant ranks had increased most notably under innovative writer Grant Morrison’s hand during his run on the re-titled New X-Men (2001-2004), who had recently departed due some not fully disclosed acrimony with Marvel editorial. Morrison groundbreaking run had ushered in secondary mutations and exploited the mutant minority becomes the majority aspect. Ultimately the powers-that-be wanted to decrease the amount of mutants that had been running rampant in the Marvel Universe for the past decade. That vision first manifested itself in the central House of M event storyline. House of M (2005) Key events: An unstable Wanda “Scarlet Witch” Maximoff distraught with daddy issues in regards to Erik “Magnus/Magneto” Lehnsherr. She declares that mutants are NOT the next step in human evolution and that they are freaks. She blames her father for choosing the whole supremacy quest over her and her brother Pietro “Quicksiver” Maximoff. And then with the utterance of three fateful words working in concert with her reality-altering powers… “No more mutants.”   Decimation / The 198 (2006) As a result of the Scarlet Witch’s decree, Earth’s roughly 16 million mutants are reduced to the rough estimated number of a mere 198. Hardly a sustainable population for a sub-race of humans. This renders the mutants effectively extinct, especially when you consider that some years pass before the mutant x-factor gene was also rendered dormant by the “No more mutants” hex on the world. Most of the key X-Men retain their powers, but a great deal of second tier and virtually third and fourth tier mutant characters have been depowered. Many of them descend upon the X-Mansion property as a safe haven, but naturally desperate situations lead to a bit of unrest. I believe that following writer Grant Morrison’s run on New X-Men where he maximized the whole concept of mutants evolving as the dominant species by exploiting the fact that mutant populations had actually rivaled the population of entire nations, Marvel editorial chose to significantly scale this back as a way to get back to mutants being more of a minority. By extension that made their struggle for survival a more vital part of their concept and reestablished the core essence of the X-franchise of comics. Or so that seemed to be the idea they were selling at the time. More on this in a bit.   Endangered Species / Messiah Complex (2007), Messiah War (2009) Key events:Following the decimation of their species, the X-Men’s resident scientist, Dr. Hank “Beast” McCoy, begins the search clues, answers and a possible reversal/cure to the Scarlett Witch’s alteration of a reality where mutation in humans is a natural occurrence. McCoy and fellow scientist, the Avenger named Hank “Ant-Man” Pym, come to surmise that the energy that certain mutants controlled could not have just simply vanished into nothingness, that it had to go somewhere (note: it did, all that energy and those super powers manifested into the villainous entity called “The Collective”, whom the Avengers battled to defeat). It’s a long and nearly fruitless journey, but McCoy does discover why some mutants were actually able to retain their mutant abilities, while the majority of others became depowered. So after a brief an undetermined era of time during which the X-Men and their few fellow remaining mutants have given up hope on a resolution, the first mutant birth occurs – an event that is considered a miracle (to mutants, anyway) considering the apparent extinction of the x-factor gene that causes mutants to manifest biologically. This event, detected by Charles “Professor X” Xavier via his Cerebra interface, gives “rebirth to hope.” Unfortunately the X-Men are not the only ones aware of this child’s birth, for Mr. Sinister and his Marauders were in hot pursuit to acquire this special child as well as the anti-mutant, genocidal, pseudo religious cult group known as the Purifiers. After several epic battles, events and fatalities – including the death of Professor X, Nathan “Cable” Summers takes the baby, appropriately named Hope, into the future where he intends to safely raise. However, someone else has a different plan for the child, one that involves infanticide.   Key events from “Messiah War” include the time-displaced X-Man known as Lucas Bishop, who believes Hope to be the doom-bringer of all of mutantkind in his native future timeline, in a murderous pursuit of Cable and Hope (who has been given the last name of Summers), even going so far as to enlist the help of X-Men nemesis Stryfe, a clone of Cable, and others for help.  Cyclops’ black ops X-Force team lead by Wolverine is sent to the future to locate, defend and ensure the safe return of Cable and the mutant messiah, Hope, who due to being in the timestream has grown up considerably. X-Force also has explicit orders to execute the murderous Bishop for obvious reasons. In the end, X-Force fails to follow through on returning Cable and Hope, nor do they execute Bishop. Cable & Hope remain in the timestream against her wishes. Bishop lives on to regroup and continue his plot against Hope. This trilogy, which began with Messiah Complex, is not yet over. Fast-forward a bit to… Second Coming (2010) Cable and Hope have finally returned from the future to the present after sixteen years there. As they had discovered that the future proved to be just as dangerous as the present, Cable trained Hope to be a hardened soldier and survivor like him. But she really wanted to be reunited with her new family, the X-Men, in the present and so Cable granted that requests. However, upon returning they set in motion actions from various anit-mutant people like Bastion, Boliver Trask, William Stryker and those pesky, zealot Purifiers. By the end of this storyline, Nightcrawler is killed by the human sentinel Bastion, Cable sacrifices himself to (apparent) death in order to guarantee everyone’s survival, and Cerebra displays “five lights”, signifying that five young mutants have manifested and have been discovered. Eventually those five along with Hope become Generation Hope. Oh, and Cyclops’ Wolverine-led black ops team X-Force was disbanded but only publically (see the phenomenal Uncanny X-Force series for the scoop).  Schism (2011) At the start of Schism, the X-Men are “more united than ever” thanks to events that occurred in the Marvel event storyline Dark Reign in 2009, and most previously the Second Coming storyline a year later. However, in this storyline a rift that has been slowly widening finally comes to the surface between two key members of the X-Men’s leadership: Cyclops and Wolverine. Cyclops believes that mutant children are born into a war of survival in a world that hates and fears them, and that those mutant kids should be prepared for that hard battle of survival.  Wolverine believes that kids, mutant or otherwise, should not be preparing for war, they should simply be allowed to live as normal a life possible as a child. This was especially a concern for him when his female clone & "daughter" (it’s complicated) Laura “X-23” Kinney was on his X-Force squad and nearly tasted death several times, particularly during the Second Coming storyline. He also wanted her to be independent for once instead of following orders as a weapon and soldier all her young life.   In this Schism story, Generation Hope member Idie “Oya” Okonkwo unwittingly becomes a “murderer” when, at the request of Cyclops, uses whatever means necessary to stop the Hellfire Club minions from setting off a bomb at the Mutant History Museum. This is one of the last straws for Wolverine as he and Cyclops argue about their differences. Concerning the battle with a sentinel, Wolverine says, “Get these kids the hell outta here, Scott”. Cyclops says, “We can fight it.”. Wolverine: “Not with children we can’t.” Cyclops: “You see children, I see X-Men.” Wolverine: “They’re kids, and they’re gonna get themselves killed!” Cyclops: “You’re scaring them.” Wolverine: “Good! They damn well oughtta be scared!” Another key point in their argument refers to the deceased Jean “Marvel Girl/Phoenix” Grey whom Cyclops was married to but both men loved. Cyclops: “She never loved you, you know. You always frightened her.” Wolverine: “If she was here right now who do you think she’d be more frightened of?” After this the boys engage in quite the two-man brawl to finally release this pent-up frustration with each other.  The argument Cyclops and Wolverine have in this story is a classic fundamental one and makes for great drama. Question is: Who’s right? Who’s wrong? My take? Both. And neither. And that is the crux of Schism. And now... Regenesis Still all in the Family? Not quite. After the schism, Marvel’s merry mutants are certainly a house divided with two headmasters in place, rather than one, with each leading a group of followers with Cyclops on Utopia and Wolverine back in Westchester County in upstate New York.  The X-universe of heroes are once again divided into two distinct factions, the gold and the blue, although they’re not literally named or dressed as either color. Two new titles spin out of all of this in the form of a re-launched Uncanny X-Men series and an all-new Wolverine and the X-Men.    Cyclops with his team or powerhouses (key players: Storm, Emma Frost, Magneto, Colossus, Magik, Danger, Namor, Psyocke, Dani Moonstar, Sebastian Shaw, Hope Summers etc.) will continue on business as usual with being prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best as a peacekeeping task force. Wolverine’s team (key players: Beast, Iceman, Rogue, double-agent Psylocke, Rogue, Rachel “Marvel Girl” Grey, Havok, Fantomex, Deadpool, plus Age of Apocalypse crossover Nightcrawler and a host of young mutants as the student body) will go with a back-to-basics approach of schooling and training young mutants while also keeping them out of harm’s and protected as well as possible. Dude's serious enough that he had the stones to call his school... One could argue, though, that it would seem that given the current lineup of mutant-related series that Marvel is sending a mixed message. That vision I mentioned at the top for fewer mutants? Well, that is somewhat contradicted literally with a plethora of mutant related series. So less mutants running around in the books, yet they publish eight regular ongoing team books for their X-franchise featuring multiple characters in: X-Factor, X-Men Legacy, New Mutants, Generation Hope, the adjective-less X-Men, the best-selling Uncanny X-Force, and now the all-new Wolverine & the X-Men and the re-launched Uncanny X-Men. Perhaps this current status quo will work out, at least creatively if not commercially (titles like Generation Hope and X-Factor are on life-support in terms of the dreaded 20k sales minimum mark). I try to be an optimistic fan despite my criticism and preferences, so I’m going to give at least four of these titles my support. If any of you have been following my work here, then you know I already hold Uncanny X-Men as the best X-book since Chris Claremont and Jim Lee launched the adjective-less X-Men title twenty years ago. Next Issue: Coming up in PBX #7 is The List – Part 2. Wonder what’s on that list? Will it be as controversial as The List – Part 1? Unlikely, but there’s a certain, special batch of comic book writers on that list. Until then, X out! ©2011 | Professor Brand-X Read more...
Sunday, 13 November 2011 00:43
IT’S RAINING FREE DIGITAL COMICS!!!! In what basically amounts to my love of new comics I decided I would start dropping small article format tidbits of previews and reviews as suits my fancy. It is not my usual in depth break downs or opinions. It is just some passing along of information and stuff I think is cool. Plus a lot lighter in tone. Let’s get this porpoise leaping. As you know I was born and raised a Marvelite and these days there is plenty going on over there. So much you might miss some interesting things not named X-Men or Avengers…or Silvestri. A few days ago Professor Brand X talked about the same day digital release announcement from Marvel and the app as well. Well here is a great way to get into the Marvel digital swing of things. Just announced on 11-11-11 you can get yourself a free digital graphic novel with purchase of a hard copy graphic novel. Here is the official release information. First up is Season one the “updating” of the first year of some classic heroes. These were very well received as they were done by Marvel’s up and coming generation like David Marquez.       Marvel: Season One Graphic Novels Arrive With Code For Free Digital Copy This February, the world’s greatest super heroes star in the highly-anticipated all-new Marvel: Season One graphic novels—and make digital comics history! Each Marvel: Season One graphic novel will be shrink-wrapped with a code for a FREE digital copy of the story—a first for the comic industry—on the Marvel Comics app, at no additional cost to fans or retailers. Aimed at new and old readers alike, Marvel Season One modernizes the seminal origins of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil and The X-Men in complete stories while also offering new revelations for long-time fans.   “We’re committed to attracting new readers by providing compelling original stories about our top heroes from our most exciting creators, all packaged at an unbeatable value. I can’t think of any comic initiative that embodies this more than Marvel Season One,” said David Gabriel, Senior Vice-President of Marvel Entertainment. “The response to Marvel: Season One from fans, retailers and press has been so incredible that have a second wave of graphic novels in development for later this year.”   The complete first wave of Season One graphic novels includes:   Fantastic Four: Season One by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Stephen King’s The Stand, Television’s Glee) and David Marquez (Secret Warriors), on-sale in February 2012 X-Men: Season One by Dennis Hopeless (Legion Of Monsters, Lovestruck) and Jamie McKelvie (Generation Hope, Phonogram), on-sale in March 2012 Daredevil: Season One by Antony Johnston (Daredevil) and Wellinton Alves (Nova), on-sale in April 2012 Spider-Man: Season One by Cullen Bunn (Fear Itself: The Fearless, Sixth Gun) and Neil Edwards (Fantastic Four), on-sale in May 2012   It’s time to discover the world’s greatest super heroes all over again in the all-new Marvel: Season One graphic novels, now shrink-wrapped with a code for a FREE digital copy on the Marvel Comics app.   THIS JUST IN!!!!!           Marvel has announced that, due to overwhelming response to including a digital copy download with Avenging Spider-Man, it is extending this initiative to encompass the Ultimate Comics Universe. Beginning with Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #6 in January, all Ultimate Comics print issues will be be polybagged with a code for a free digital copy of the issue redeemable on the Marvel App for iOS and Android. In February, these codes (redeemable for the same print issue as purchased) expand to the rest of the Ultimate Comics Universe, as new arcs begin with Ultimate Comics Ultimates #7 and Ultimate Comics X-Men #7. Diamond has added "WITH FREE DIGITAL CODE" to all three titles in its database to reflect this change. “The ground breaking stories told each month in the Ultimate Comics Universe are some of the best comics being published today,” said David Gabriel, Senior Vice-President of Sales, Marvel Entertainment. “Looking at the tremendous response to our digital copy code offer with Avenging Spider-Man #1, it’s clear that this is something fans want to see more of and we’re delivering it on a scale never seen before, with no extra cost to retailers or fans—and historic benefits for our retail partners.” ______________________________________________________ ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ So that is a great way to look at art in a whole new way. In fact I have really enjoyed my Comixology account despite the stupid lack of Canadian digital storefronts. Ha! The movie mode with a panel by panel in close-up sequential surprise is good too. Not only, not instead of, but too. So as I was perusing what was coming up for Marvel I also noticed this and went wow OK now there are some happy fans!  In 2012 The Twelve return!! So fans feast your eyes on this…I love the Laughing Mask and Mister E and the combination of these Golden Age Timely Comics characters has me aflutter.      THE TWELVE – IN ‘12!   The Twelve, one of the most critically-acclaimed comic series in years, makes its dramatic return this January, taking comic shops everywhere by storm once more! Superstar creators J Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston kick the new year off in style as the two conclude their pulse-pounding story of World War IIs super heroes awakened in the modern day and struggle to adapt. Except they’ll have to work fast as a threat hurdles their way that could destroy them all!   “It’s taken a long while, but finally, FINALLY, the balance of The Twelve has been completed and we’re ready to ship it all to our long-suffering fans,” said Tom Brevoort, SVP/Executive Editor. “We appreciate everybody’s patience, and both hope and expect that the conclusion will live up to the wait. And for folks who missed out the first time, we’re making it easy to get back on board no matter how much or how little of the previous 8 issues you may have already read, though the release of the softcover TPB of the first six issues, and a Marvel Must-Have containing #7 & 8. So you’ve got no excuse not to experience one of the best reviewed, best beloved and long-awaited series Marvel has ever produced as it reaches its ultimate climax.”   No fan can miss any of Marvel’s Twelve in 2012, including these releases: The Twelve Vol.1 TPB—on-sale in January 2012 The Twelve: Marvel Must Have #1—on-sale in February 2012 The Twelve #9—on-sale in February 2012 The Twelve #10—on-sale in February 2012 The Twelve #11- March 2012 The Twelve #12—April 2012 Now, the Twelve must survive the greatest enemy they’ve ever faced—one of their own. But how—and why—has this happened? Don’t miss the return of The Twelve, beginning in January 2012! THE TWELVE VOL. 1 TPB (NOV110641) Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI Art by CHRIS WESTON Cover by KAARE ANDREWS ON SALE JANUARY 2012 __________________________________________________ I love the art of Humberto Ramos. He is doing some variant covers for Carnage U.S.A. and so I need them. I also am a fan of the symbiotes in the Marvel U though the whole five or six colored ones like ghosts in a Pac-Man cartoon was to much a decade ago. I am intrigued by this after the quality and success of Venom and think it is worth a look. Clayton Crain is a perfect choice for Zeb Wells who is also writing Avenging Spider-Man.        Your First Look At CARNAGE U.S.A. #1!   Prepare for a whole new brand of terror as the critically acclaimed creative team of Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain let Cletus Kasady loose on America’s heartland in Carnage U.S.A. #1! Leaving a wake of bloodshed, no one is safe from Carnage’s lunacy – even the Avengers! Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man and more of Earth’s Mightiest must go on a brutal hunt to capture Cletus Kasady before the American heartland falls under his mass-murdering spell. Buckle in for the most mind-blowing cross country tour fans have ever taken in Carnage U.S.A. #1, this December!     CARNAGE U.S.A. #1 (OCT110632) CARNAGE U.S.A. #1 RAMOS VARIANT (OCT110633) Written by ZEB WELLS Pencils and Cover by CLAYTON CRAIN Variant Cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS FOC – 11/14/11, ON SALE – 12/7/11     That’s it for the first Quick Fire Hits…All in All I am Lucky - eXpect eXcellence. eXpertComics. I am eXPress. Read more...
Friday, 11 November 2011 03:57
Welcome Bleederz to the 10th episode of Full Page Bleed! It feels kinda special, doesn’t it? Like I should have clowns and balloons and that cold cheeseless pizza (or is that just a Canadian thing?!)...truth is, all I have is a return to basics here. And by basics I mean, I am all out of pictures and interviews of pretty girls in tight latex or spandex. Or anything ending in ex. I’m sorry!! (I’m pretty sure if I post anymore pics of Green Lantern Girl, I think I would be legally a stalker) It is only temporary, I promise. I am currently in talks to have more awkward moments involving me and professional super hero costume wearers. I’m sure I’ll have more of those coming in a very short time. Read more...
Published in Let's Talk Comics
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 19:54
Hello, Bleederz and Bleedettes! Welcome to many is this?! Let’s say 204th Montreal Comic Con Interview. This is sadly my last one...I ran out of interviews! It’s a sad day. I really should’ve interviewed a certain Green Lantern cosplayer at the convention and talked about...y’know. Stuff. I think she deserves to have her pic posted twice.I think she deserves to have her pic posted twice. *ahem* So, this week I present to you my interview with the creator, writer and penciller of Lady Mechanika, Joe Benitez. Joe has been working in the comic book industry as an artist for several years. He has worked on many titles for DC, Marvel, Top Cow and Aspen, on titles including 52, The Darkness, Superman/Batman, Magdelena and The Hulk. However, this is his first time penning a story completely solo. I was happy to have a few minutes to talk to him about his steampunk epic. Enjoy! Read more...
Published in Interviews
Thursday, 06 October 2011 03:28
ARLEN SCHUMER STORMS LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK IN A BI-COASTAL BLITZ OF COMIC BOOK EXPERTISE! BUT CAN L.A. GO TO SCHOOL AND CAN NYCC HANDLE THE KING’S GOLD? By DAMM Images by Arlen Schumer LOS ANGELES IS LEARNING: 10/6 and 10/7 He is at it again. With an all infecting passion and a head full of more knowledge than a wing of the Smithsonian, Silver Age art expert and Twilight Zone authority, Arlen Schumer is giving the people of the Los Angeles area rare and potentially life changing opportunity. Who is Arlen Schumer? Well, he is just about the most knowledgeable man on Silver Age art and artists on the planet yes, is an artist of renown and creator of Captain Israel a defender of the Hebrew people, yes but he is also recognized as a prominent authority on Bruce Springsteen, Flintstones, Superman and Mort Weisinger. I have not even started talking about his newest projects. He is also one of the most well researched and opinionated men on the planet when it comes to the understanding of comic art and its relation to graphic design. A brief introduction for the still unfamiliar: Arlen Schumer, award-winning comic book-style illustrator and one of the foremost historians of comic book art—Comic Book Artist magazine named him “one of the more articulate and enthusiastic advocates of comic book art in America,” and his coffee table art book THE SILVER AGE OF COMIC BOOK ART won the Independent Publishers Award for Best Popular Culture Book of 2003—presents an overview and retrospective of his works that continue to bridge the gap between two different yet similar verbal/visual artistic disciplines: comic book art and graphic design (which he majored in at Rhode Island School of Design), from his landmark special issue of PRINT Magazine devoted to comics in 1988, to his forthcoming presentation at the New York Comic Con, “The Auteur Theory of Comics.” Schumer’s other books are VISIONS FROM THE TWILIGHT ZONE (Chronicle Books) and THE NEAL ADAMS SKETCHBOOK (Vanguard), and he has lectured at universities and cultural institutions across the country; for more, go to NOW YOU CAN SEE HIM LIVE AND IN PERSON FOR FREE Schumer has been asked for his expertise at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles! This is free to the public so this is a fantastic opportunity for every fan of comics to get in and see this one opportunity in a lifetime lecture from a growing legend and true aficionado of comic book art and graphic design. At 11 A.M. in the Burns building room 211 Schumer will give a lecture and demonstration of his incredibly keen mind and discerning eyes. As he talks about the “Graphic Design of Comic Book Art” you will be riveted by the passionate and entertaining delivery and find a new appreciation for the world of comics as a fine and illustrated art. This lecture cannot be missed, as it is his only scheduled lecture appearance on the West Coast! What you did not know was that Schumer is also a stand-up comedian and sketch comedy performer as well and the night before the lecture at Flappers comedy club he will perform Wesley Willis’ “I Whupped Batman’s Ass” on October 6th at 6 P.M. the humor comes free. Tickets available here - He is bold and unafraid. I highly recommend getting to both events if you are in Southern California – heck the western U.S.! Just go to where you know the knowledge is accurate, researched and laid out like only Schumer can. No one else can give you what Schumer can on this subject. Do your fanboy (or girl) self an extreme courtesy and learn WHY good art is good art. BACK IN THE NEW YORK TRUTH: On 10/15 Comic Lore Turns Truth As soon as Schumer touches ground back on the East Coast he will head for the King of East Coast Cons the New York Comic Con. For two hours he will blow preconception to smithereens and fallacies previously accepted as truth will fall in the wake of the two CANT MISS panels from the Con, and they are BACK TO BACK! Can any Con even the daunted NYCC handle two hour of Schumer and friends, First at 12 O’clock high on Saturday the most revolutionary theory in comic creator and ownership to ever be presented will light up the phones and overload the message boards as the Auteur Theory of Comics Panel presented by the Comics Studies Conference bursts on to the scene in a Jack Kirby Defense and discussion on who is the actual creator of a comic book and character.  It is the first of two once in a lifetime chance to see history happen in front of you! THE AUTEUR THEORY OF COMICS: Comic book historian Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) and Randolph Hoppe (Director of The Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center) present their theory that, just like a film’s director, not its screenwriter, is considered its true author (auteur in French), so should a comic book artist be considered the auteur of any comic book work done in collaboration with a writer (or a script in any verbal form), and is therefore a de facto co-creator and co-author, with the credited writer, of that work. Joining them will be editor/publisher John Morrow (The Jack Kirby Collector), publisher J. David Spurlock (Vanguard), Michael Bonesteel (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and others to be announced. Saturday, October 15th, 12:00-1:00pm Rm. 1B03,, SCHUMER: THE SEQUEL The second hour also presented by the Comic Studies Conference is a clinic on the man who truly defined the Man of Steel, Mort Weisinger and if you miss Superman like I miss Superman in light of all this bastardization and darkening of the S-Crest then this panel is for you too! If you do not know who Mort Weisinger is and consider yourself a fan of Superman or consider the history of the DCU important, (or like me sacred to a certain degree) then it is imperative you see this. I will be at both of these New York Comic Con panels with extended in-depth coverage, but not even I can capture what is sure to be the best 2 hours of the New York Comic Con!! REQUIEM FOR WEISINGER: Comic book historian & illustrator Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) presents the whit, whimsy and wisdom of Mort Weisinger, editor of theSuperman line for 30 years (1940-70), through Weisinger's own words and artist Curt Swan's images. Mort's son, Dr. Hank Weisinger, participates in the presentation and discussion that follows. Saturday, October 15th, 1:00-2:00pm  Rm. 1B03, See you there! All in All I am Lucky eXpect eXcellence. eXforceColumns on ©2011 | DAMM Read more...
Sunday, 28 August 2011 17:38
Hawkeye has probably shot his cupid’s arrow into almost every female member of Avengers ever! His track record is pretty impressive, check this out! This proves that any self-respecting pimp wears purple! Read more...
Published in Marvel Comics
Sunday, 24 July 2011 16:11
Is this thing on? Kay, here goes! Hello, fans of comics, toys, movies, video games, short shorts, bubble wrap, and everything else awesome, as this is my very first blog on gentle! I would first like to thank all the fine folks at eXpertComics for hooking me up with this lil gig, there’s nothing I love more than talking peoples ears off about comics.  I’m sure after all these years my friends and family do everything in their power to NOT bring up superheroes or anything of the comic book genre, so I finally have a captive audience!! OH YOU WILL LEARN TO LOVE ME!!! HAHAHA! But first, let me tell you a bit about myself. My name’s Dave Michaels, I’m a disabled (yet dashing, if I say so for myself) young guy from Montreal, Canada and I’ve had an unhealthy love affair with comics ever since I was oh....FOREVER. Something like that... It all began when my dad used to take me and my brother to the comic book store after we visited our grandparents on weekends. My earliest recollection of the comic book store was my dad holding me and seeing the classic issue of Detective Comics #575 on the shelves and the startling image of a grim Batman holding a gun...and NEEDING to own it. I think I had only known Batman as Adam West or what I saw on Super Friends...and seeing him there in full Alan Davis drawn badass glory changed my life forever. I had discovered what was awesome about the comic book genre. Where I was born with a few limits, in the world (or infinite earths, if you will) of comics, ANYTHING was POSSIBLE. (CORNY!!!) Within these 20 or so pages you could see your childhood heroes shoot guns, take their powers to the limit, bleed, cry, love, turn evil, turn good again, die, even wear short shorts (shout out to young Dick Grayson and his creepy little shorts! How were his legs never cold running around Gotham rooftops like that!?). It was just a whole different place to find out EVERYTHING about them (this was before you could just google stuff on your fact , back then, that sentence meant something totally different and wrong!). Since that day, I had not gone a day without a comic book in my hand at least once. I eventually inherited my brother’s collection and our combined collections have now become something more like an archive. It doesn’t stop there, for  the past years I’ve been honing my drawing skills and I one day hope to BE the guy drawing covers like the one on that phenomenal Batman issue. Who knows, maybe some other weird little kid will be inspired by one of my drawings like that.*tear* Kay, nuff about me.  Gather ‘round children! I was thinking of helping y’all out with your comic purchases and do non-spoiler recommendations to my favourite comics of the past month, ending with my favourite comic of the month. BEHOLD! The first edition of *deep breath* DAVE’S FAVEZeses...that title is SO a work in progress. Do not pelt me with rocks and boogers, children. I am new at this. First, since I got them at the same time, we got both Wolverine #10 and 11 both written by Jason Aaron, Pencils by Renato Guedes, inks by Jose Wilson Magalhae These issues had Wolverine hunting down a cult that’s very existence is dedicated to the members getting revenge on Wolverine for killing their loved ones. That’s right, Wolverine is so old and done so many horrible things that it literally spawned a CULT dedicated to destroying him. And they got a guy named Cannonfoot, whose powers are to throw stuff with his FEET. He wears funky curled shoes...why wouldn’t you wanna see that. You know you do. Go buy them. New Avengers #13 written by Brian Michael Bendis (Just Bendis from now on, kay?) art by Mike Deodato & Howard Chaykin. Bendis & Deodato bring their badassery to another awesome edition of New Avengers, where the gang wages revenge on Superia for putting Mockingbird in the hospital...we got Wolvie & Hawkeye doing a bad cop and bad cop with claws routine with a H.A.M.M.E.R. agent and some awesome foreshadowing of what’s to come!! While I’m not a big fan of Howard Chaykin’s artwork, the backstory of the really real original Avengers team has been super fun. I mean, we get to see Sabretooth meet Kraven The Hunter with hints of a history! Daaaamn, kid! And my FAVEST comic of the month IS.... Mighty Thor #3 written by Matt Fraction, pencils by Olivier Coipel, inks by Mark Morales I have been loving this comic!!! Now before you think I’m on the big Thor movie bandwagon...well, you’re right...I loved that flick and this book is even BETTER! Honestly, I never really read Thor growing up and I decided to brush up on my Asgardian lore for the movie and have been pleasantly entertained, especially with this series. Coipel’s artwork is just mesmerizing and I could look at his Silver Surfer pages all day long. I have no idea how or why Marvel retconned the Surfer to be Galactus’ herald again (as a matter of fact, I think I last saw The Big G being in pretty bad shape in Millar’s FF run) but it was smart. The character has more depth and relevance as a harbinger of a planet eater...I mean, anyone would!  In this issue, there is a fight between Surfer and Thor that completely reeks of awesome, and in Thor and Odin’s reaction to Surfer and Galactus we see just how brash and arrogant the Asgardians are. Also, Loki in this little kid incarnation has been so interesting too. Can’t wait to see where they go with it. The biggest highlight artwise is a beautiful page with Galactus sitting on the moon that had me looking at it for like 5 minutes in awe. Probably one of the coolest comic book pages I’ve seen in a while. Pick up these books, especially if you dug the Thor movie. You won’t be disappointed. Now, of course you can find all these comics and more on THIS here fine website and they’ll actually send them to your door! Fancy!!!! If they’re all sold out, I’m sure the folks at eXpertcomics will order them for ya!!!  Especially if you give them candy. Well, that looks to be all for the week and I hope my creepy fascination with Robin’s tiny shorts hasn't scared you all off and you come back next week with my next fun-filled installment! Later, Bleeders!   Read more...
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