Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday's Rant

So, Girl Friday K (I think that's her rap name)(mine being "Mo JF Master Cube a.k.a. Funky Rage") ranted a bit last week about returning characters from the dead, specifically Stephanie Brown aka Spoiler (rap name: "Slim Stephie").

While I'm not particularly knowledgeable about this specific character, I think the matter of resurrecting dead characters is a good topic of discussion. On one hand, yes, it is cheesier to recycle a deceased character than create a new one out of whole cloth, however, there are benefits as well.

1) Bowing to fan pressure. Bringing back the dead is usually a fan pleaser, and can get you a small sales spike. Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle now appearing in Booster Gold is a good example of this. Warlock, now appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy, may not be a good example.

2) Dead characters come with baggage. A benefit of bringing back an established character who seemingly passed away are that these characters already have their characteristics set. Fans already know who they are, what their motivations are. New characters are a blank slate that have to be filled in over time. It takes a real master to fully bring out the characteristics of a character in a 30 page comic. A recent good example of masterful character building from a blank slate can be seen in Avengers Initiative #13, with the introduction of "Butterball". However, this character building takes a lot of room, leading to...

2a) Resurrecting secondary characters keeps the attention on the main character. In the case of the above example, Butterball takes over the entire comic. It takes a lot of room and time to establish a new character. You aren't just informing the reader about how they think and react to the environment, you are showing how the environment reacts to them. Introducing a resurrected character reduces that need for space, allowing the writer to concentrate on the character the reader bought the comic for, whose reactions to the newly undead lead to...

2b) Following 2a, resurrecting a secondary character can show the emotional depth of the primary character. A good recent example of this is bringing Mockingbird back from the dead to show the emotional depth of Ronin aka Hawkeye in Secret Invasion #2. Bringing in a new character to do this (she was my wife...once) always falls flat.

In any case, this is a good topic for discussion. Superhero comics are basically soap operas for adolescent boys, and use the tropes of that genre extensively, so we should never be surprised by the bringing back of a dead character (though it is interesting that bringing back a hero involves much more controversy than bringing back a villain). What we should be concerned about, as Friday says, is the use of this trick out of laziness or bad storytelling.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Batman: Gotham Knights

Batman Gotham Knight - Official Trailer

Ah, excuse me. I just had a Bat-gasm. I need to go clean up.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Grendel: Devil Child

I just finished reading Grendel: Devil Child last night.

In a word: CREEPY... but in a good way.

This isn't your typical Grendel comic where the character is going around killing his adversaries and raising all kinds of Hell.
This is the story about his adopted daughter and how she's coping (not very well, as evidenced in this story) with being the "daughter of the Grendel".

The Tim Sale art is very appropriate to the story and Diana Schutz's writing moves along quite smoothly. Not too slowly, that you'll be wanting to skip ahead. And not too quickly, that you'll be thinking you missed anything.

A word of warning, though. This is NOT a book for children.
The main character, Stacy Palumbo, recounts her life as Hunter Rose's adopted daughter and her relationship with men in general. Up to (and including) sessions with bondage and dominate male fantasies, which all relates to how she became so unstable as she grew older and why she was never really connected to her own Daughter, Christine Spar (who also becomes an incarnation of Grendel).

It's good reading if you like Matt Wagner's Grendel character, but it's definitely a different take on one of the supporting cast of that series.

The Comic Stop just got a few copies in this week.
If you want to pick it up, now's a good time. (But I'm sure the guys... and gal... would be happy to order one for you if they are out.)

Did You Hear Something?

Spoiler Warning if you haven't seen Iron Man yet. All of it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

DC vs MK: Superman

Nice render of Superman. That's one heck of a strong jaw.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mr. and Mr. Sulu

Takei's getting hitched!

Here's hoping we get an invite. Congrats to George and Brad!


So, if you are a fan of the Mark Millar/JG Jones book Wanted you have no doubt been nervous about the upcoming film adaptation. I mean, how could they possibly take that book and make a movie with the same attitude and story. Impossible. And the previews only heightened that fear. Don't get me wrong. I think it looks like a fun movie but the previews don't resemble the book much. Well, here is Mark Millar to lay those fears to rest.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Show me the money Spokane!

Christian Slater and Cuba Gooding Jr. are joining the action/comedy "Lies & Illusions" says Variety.

The story centers on a novelist being hunted by a spy who believes the writer holds millions of dollars in diamonds stolen by his dead fiancee. Sarah Ann Schultz, Christa Campbell, Al Madrigal and Lochlyn Munro also star.

Shooting begins this week in Spokane, Washington.

Arkham Asylum - Coming Soon!

This has been around for a while but the last time I looked this up it was still only in Spanish. Somebody has kindly put in subtitles. I love how Batman looks exactly like Dave McKean's art!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thanks for all the help!

The staff of The Comic Stop would like to say thank you to all of the Senior Staff and Henchmen that made our 6th year a huge success! You guys (and you know who are!) all brought your A-Game and made the transition to the new venue as smooth as humanly possible.

Thanks again!

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Good job, guys! The new space was great. A lot more intimate, yet still plenty of space. Much better that the "con in a high school gymnasium" feel of the last place. The panel rooms were especially nice.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Two Face Spoiler Picture

So, I am going to assume this is a real picture of Two Face since most all the sites that originally had it up have been asked by Warner Brothers to take it down. Click here is you are interested. If not, move along. Nothing to see here. :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Catwoman Whipped

Catwoman ending with issue #82.

One of my favorite titles...a casualty of low sales, or Final Crisis?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

As reported by Garth Franklin on Dark Horizons

Matthew McConaughey is rumored to be the front runner for Marvel's early 2011 superhero project "The First Avenger: Captain America" reports Cinema Blend.

The character's real name is Steve Rogers, a sickly young man who was enhanced to the peak of human perfection by an experimental serum in order to aid the United States war effort during the Second World War.

The character remains one of the few of Marvel's most popular characters yet to have been turned into a feature film. In many ways it still faces much difficulty due to the nature of the uber-patriotic character in a modern world which has become more critical of American imperialism than before.

The solution seems to be repositioning the character and placing the emphasis on his role as the leader of 'The Avengers'. The character will team up with Iron Man, Hulk and Thor in that film opening a few weeks later in July 2011.

ECCC in the News!

Extra Extra! Read all about it!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Gotham City. Always brings a smile to my face.

Interesting comparison of the trailers for 1989's Batman, and the upcoming Dark Knight.