Saturday, July 07, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
Parenting Tips From Jack Monroe: Nomad!
When last we left Jack he was trying to figure out the meaning of behind his existence. When philosophy didn’t work out he tried fatherhood. After all what brings more significance than having a child? So armed with parenting manual, our wayward Nomad set out to follow rules to the letter.
Tip #1: There are many people who have experience with children. Listen to their advice.
Tip #2: Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Make sure to change your child when he or she needs it.
…Even if it is the table at a bar.
Tip #3: It is important your child learns to resolve fights without fists.
Tip #4: However, if an altercation is unavoidable it is important that you think of the baby’s safety first.
Tip #5: It is important that your child meets many people, to visit many places.
Tip #6: Sometimes you will not be able pick your child up from daycare or whatnot. Make sure to have a good group of friends you can count on…
Just make sure that to iron out all the logistics so there is no confusion.
Tip #7: In this day and age custody disputes are common. Try to keep an a level head when these situations occur.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Top 10 Reasons You Should Be Reading…
I’m going to attempt something with this post that has never been done – well done on this blog at least. I’m going to give you ten reasons why Blue Beetle is amazing using only examples from the most recent issue. Here they are in no particular order.
10) Rafael Albuquerque’s Art
Now I really loved Hamner’s art and when he left I had some major worries. However, there was nothing to fear. Albuquerque’s art is stylized so that it smacks of originality but isn’t so far out that that is distracts from the story or the takes away from the human traits of the characters. It fits just right.
9) Action Galore
Now a deep story, dealing with everything that it means to be a hero is pivotal, no doubt about it. If it isn’t backed by a good knock down, drag out fight every now and then the comic can fall flat. Not an issue goes by without Jamie Reyes using the scarab to take it to someone.
8) Evil Villains
I’ve always said that a hero is only as good as the enemies he or she faces and Blue Beetle is no slouch in that department. Not only is he fighting bad guys and gals original to his series, like the magician crime boss La Dama and the world conquering Reach, but he is important enough in the DCU for heavy hitters like Ultra-Humanite and Eclipso to be thrown in.
7) Super Guest Stars
There are very few things I like seeing in my comics more than a good cameo. Blue Beetle has had run-ins with Superman, Guy Gardner (in the very first issue), the New Gods, The Phantom Stranger and now Traci Thirteen.
6) A Strong Supporting Cast
While the adventures of Jamie Reyes and his suit of armor are the crux of the comic, the heart is in Jamie’s interactions with the supporting cast. Dealing with his family and friends, learning what it means to be a superhero while still keeping everyday relationships going, it is everything that was good with early Spider-man comics done today.
Rogers never lets the opportunity for a joke to pass. He infuses every page with such lightheartedness that you can’t help but chuckle even while Jamie is off fighting the good fight.
4) The Unexpected
More often than not we, as readers, know what is coming next in a comic. We’ve seen it all before. Blue Beetle has proven itself time and time again to be a comic that keeps me guessing.
3) Real Coming of Age Issues
Superhero stuff is great, all the villain hitting, the reoccurring crises. However, Jamie is a young man trying to fit in all those things that a normal teenager has to deal with into his already crazy life.
2) Real Emotional Weight
As a reader of anything we need to be able to connect with the protagonist. This can be hard to do when they are flying around fighting asteroids or whatnot. A key way to get us to empathize is by throwing in emotions we can understand: love, loss, regret and so on. Blue Beetle never fails at this.
1) A Great Hero
No matter how great all your other components are if your hero does not hold his or her own then the comic drags. Jamie Reyes is a hero’s hero. He is always going that extra yard, putting everyone else before himself. He is human and likable and it is worth $2.99 every month to see his continuing adventures.
There, ten reasons to read Blue Beetle. If I can get all that from one issue just imagine what the series is like.
On a completely different tangent, we are recording the fourth Big Monkey Podcast tonight. If you have any questions for the Lightning Round send them to Thosewednesdays@gmail.com. Get them to me by 6:00 pm EST. Thanks.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
If you haven’t read the Sinestro Corps (but you are intending to) you should stop reading this post because there will be SPOILERS. I’m sorry to for two posts in a row talking about reveals but yesterday was catch up and today I just had to write about the Sinestro Corps #1, had to. Tomorrow there will be a post that doesn’t give so much away – promise.
So just a day shy of being a week behind, I read finally read the comic. Whoah. There was so much there, so much that guides and explains and reveals, that I’m having trouble getting my head around it. So let’s start from the very beginning.
Remember back in Brave New World when the newly revealed Monitor said this?
I sure do and for months I’ve been questioning what he meant, why New Earth was so important. Well, now Geoff Johns has showed us why.
New Earth is the linchpin around which the other 51 survive. If it goes so does everything else. It’s kind of great the layers of importance that DC is building into this new crisis. The universe needs New Earth and New Earth needs Ray Palmer and Ray Palmer needs to be found by the very anomalies that are threatening the existence of everything. Layers upon layers.
Next we come to this panel.
A boy lost in a field. In a Newsarama interview the other day Ron Marz was quoted as such when talking about the Parralax one-shot:
“Yeah it’s a very internal story…yeah. I guess I’ll leave it at that—it’s there for the audience to see what Kyle is going through. By that extension it’s kind of what Hal went through as well when he was Parallax. I kind of liken it to being on a trip that’s entirely on auto-pilot. Kyle isn’t in control of where he is going or what is happening—all he can do is watch… The Parallax one shot is really more of a chance, very literally, to be inside Kyle’s mind as he’s going through all this stuff.”
Five dollars says his mind takes the form of a boy lost in a field. Now, I did my whole Internet searching thing for the painting that might have been the impetus for the painting that Kyle was talking about. I came up with this painting by Monet.
A boy lost in a field, waving to someone unseen. The essay I was reading about it described the painting as “whimsical” but I’m not sure that is right. The kid looks really lonely to me and for all we know he is waving at nothing. There is another painting by Monet with a similar title as this one.
Now a new boy in a new field has a mother. Here is my second five-dollar bet. Kyle Rayner, lost in his own subconscious, will be freed by his mother. Her appearance will give him the willpower to reject the Parralax parasite, to take that floating space whale back into his body, become Ion and whoop some yellow ring powered ass.
At least I hope so. With Bart Allen’s death, DC might be starting on the path of killing the third generation heroes. Once you get started on that path it seems pretty easy to keep it going. I like Kyle; I hope he sticks around.
Next we get to the big splash page of all the Sinestro Corps. Van Sciver did a freaking number on this one; let me tell you. It is just awesome, all the aliens standing around, looking mean. But then in the corner there is this guy.
Oh man! Santa Claus went and got ripped. Ho Ho Ho.
Finally, we get to this page, the biggest reveal of them all.
The Anti-Monitor, Guardian of the Sinestro Corp. There have been a few people who have scoffed at my claim that since the Monitors are back so must be the Anti-Monitor. To those people I say:
Told you so.
Even though it felt like every panel put me on my ass, there was one sequence that totally knocked me out. It was like in Die Hard when Bruce Willis wraps that chain around a chain around Karl (the Fabio looking dude) and slams him into a wall. You just kind of jump out of your chair.
John Stewart. Yippie-Kay-Yay Motherfucker.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
She Kind Of Looks Like
O.k. so it’s been a few week since the big reveal at the end of New Avengers #31 and just in case you haven’t read the issue I want to preface this post with I will be talking about it. So this is my SPOILER WARNING.
Elektra is a Skrull. I’m not sure when this happened because back when Millar was doing the “Wolverine: Enemy of the State” storyline and had her take the pointy end of a sword (how many times can this woman be stabbed) she was still a normal person. Well, a person at least.
We should have this coming. In fact some people did. More than one customer and as well as a co-worker (Devon of Seven Hells fame) pointed to the end of Illuminati #1 where the Skrull king vows revenge for the destruction of his city and said to me, “The Skrulls have replaced heroes.” As that comic took place chronologically decades ago, the Skrulls could have been infiltrating for a very long time.
Of course this leads us to ask which other heroes and villains have been replaced by a green, wrinkly imposter. Was it Iron Man and that is why he was so eager to kill fellow heroes, to imprison them, to get rid of their inalienable rights? Was it Captain America and that is why he so quickly rejected the notion of the Registration Act, creating the schism in the hero community? We did see the body shrinking and shriveling in the last issue of his comic. Maybe he is not dead, just on some spaceship somewhere.
God, I hope not.
This sort of thing would be an easy out and would cheapen what Marvel is attempting to do with their comics. It would be bad writing. What I would rather see is Skrulls impersonating characters that have now have influences over key players. Maria Hill is a great example.
But I have one guess, one crazy speculation as to who is a Skrull. This woman:
Mrs. Sharpe. The crying mother who came out of the crowd to spit in Tony Stark’s face, to push him towards Registration. She still has his ear at the end of the series. She walks the Helicarrier as his guest. She would be an awesome Skrull.
I'm a pretty big fan of this development. It raises suspense and tension in the Marvel Universe, where, thanks to the Hulk's invasion, things are already pretty crazy. I could only find one panel that really sums up my feelings over this revelation.
I couldn’t have put it better myself, Tony.
Monday, July 02, 2007
So I've been in Boston for the last ten days where I spent the time honing my craft as a writer (I'm in a Low-Residency MFA Program.) Sorry, the class schedule didn't allow me to update at all. But now I'm back. So this week you can look forward to:
- What's A Monitor With You Part II
- A Reaction to Sinestro Corps (once I get to read it)
- Parenting Tips From Nomad
- And many more aluminum hat conspiracy posts!
Since I’ve been out of the loop for a little bit I’ve got a couple outdated questions but here they are.
1) What did you guys and gals think of Big Monkey Podcast Three? After a month and half of listening what changes or improvements would you like to see? What are we doing right? What topics would you like discussed?
2) Who the heck is this person running with Karate Kid?
Is it Sensor Girl who leapt out of the shrinking portal? Or a new Legion member that Brainiac sent back to aid Val?