Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Samhain everyone!

I'm not dressing up, or drinking - if i'm honest, too much of that was done last night - I am however going to prepare a proper feast to mark the day, with recipes culled from my book of Pagan feasts.  I will also take stock of the beautiful leaves out at this time of year, the trees in our garden look gorgeous!  I don't have a pumpkin though :(

Enjoy your holiday everyone!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A question for the non comics readers out there

I'm sure there's *some* of you that don't read comics!

A question to you all..why don't you read them?  Is there something that puts you off them?  Is it the reputation? Do you think they're juvenile and/or sexist? Is it you don't know where to start?  Have you never thought about it before?  Do you not know *how* to read comics?  (One of my friends doesn't, she finds the layout and panel flow really tough going)
If you read regular novels what is it you tend to read and have you ever looked for similar things in a comic?

For those of you that do read comics but don't read the DC/Marvel superhero stuff, why don't you read the spandex and capes crowd?

No one will be laughed at and no one will be insulted by what you say, I am genuinely interested why more folks don't read comics.  And I have some sort of plans that may come afoot if I can get enough responses.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hollaback UK

There is now a Hollaback UK site.  You can find it here.  In addition to that particular resource I urge you to go take a look at this thread located at The F Word, which invites women to post their experiences on street harassment, and this post from the Black Cat.  Street harassment is not to be tolerated.  Visit the links, read, learn, quit harassing women.  What you may think is a compliment is often threatening or just downright rude.  And don't deliberately threaten women.

While we're on the subject, here's an article explaining how to respond to those viral 'rape prevention' emails.  My personal preferential response would be to educate people not to rape other people.  But when I mention that I tend to get withering looks.

Here are sexual assualt prevention tips guruanteed to work.
Here is a guy's guide to approaching strange women without being maced.

Lastly, here is a link to a survey by the Campaign to End Rape which is asking for women's responses to rape (whether you have been attacked or not).

Now, go read.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Superheroes at Halloween (mostly)

Herein lies spoilers for Supergirl #46, Power Girl #6, Superman/Batman #65, Blackest Night: Superman #3 and the DCU Halloween Special.  In my efforts to improve my writing (and my discipline) I shall try to keep them succinct and not ramble too much.
Supergirl #46
The finale to The Hunt for Reactron crossover.  This issue was an outstanding end to a crossover I did not initially care for.  Chris’ tactile telekinesis is not affected by Red sunlight, Reactron is defeated by the Flamebird entity, Lois gets her story, Kara and Thara make up and Kara finds out about Lana’s illness (and is singularly unimpressed with her deceit).  The only quibble I have is about Chris’ power – he didn’t seem to have to be touching things to affect them, so why is it called tactile telekinesis?  Aside from that the artist’s depiction of his power (flat looking purple discs) worked really well.

I have now read this twice and each time it brought me to tears, specifically, at the scene where Kara and Thara discuss their father.  Excellent, excellent end to this arc.

Power Girl #6
I feel somewhat similar to Sam at Retconning My Brain about the Power Girl title.  I feel that my feminist sensibilities should be offended by the overt cheesecakeyness of it all, but I just can’t seem to let it bother me too much!  Amanda Connor gives her characters facial expressions and body language, they aren’t just lifeless dolls, unlike say, Michael Turner’s art.  Because of this, and because Power Girl’s physique is acknowledged in text, and we see her interactions with the drooling menfolk, I don’t really care about the needless cheesecake.  Even with the 3 spacegirls gone wild.  Exclamation mark.  All 3 of whom get more fleshed out and less 2D in this issue.

I particularly enjoyed Terra’s dislike of Chinese food, and Peej’s kitty stealing some prawns.  There is another femme slashy moment when 2 of the spacegirls hug Peej, and of course the Hollywood joke was funny. Terra remains adorable.

Superman/Batman #65
A Halloween themed issue.  The scarecrow has captured Superman, Batman, the Joker and Lex Luthor.  He subjects them each to his far gas and each dreams their own worst fear.  For Superman it’s that he can’t save his loved ones.  For Lex Luthor it’s that he has no power.  The Joker becomes the joke and Batman kills his parents.  There is a different artist for each story and I would say that they have been selected particularly well as the art conveys the mood and themes and associated with each hero and villain, as well as the feelings within each story.

Batman saves the day by pulling himself out of his trance.  I’m getting a bit sick of Batman always being able to do this.  He’s not superhuman and it would be nice to see him fallible more often.  Having said that, it is a team effort to defeat the Scarecrow, who is then placed into his own nightmare.  He becomes the scarecrow in Dorothy, but without a brain in his head, Dorothy declares him not very scary and decides to leave him where he is.  She then gives permission for Toto to pee on him.  Nope, that’s not what I’d expected either!

Why don't more people buy this title?  It is consistently good, yet out of all the comic blogs I read, I'm the only one reviews this.

Blackest Night: Superman #3

The final of the miniseries.  We see Kal, Connor and Krypto defeat the Black Lanterns in a manner I had not expected, and on New Krypton Kara, Alura and the Krptonians put on a joint effort to repel Black Lantern Zor El.
I love the inclusion of Krypto.  I had previously thought him a cheap gimmick, something cheesey, crap and a relic of the corny silver age of comics.  My opinion of him has now changed and now I think he’s earned the right to be included as a character in his own right next to the humanoid Kryptonians.  He certainly does well in this issue, flying to the rescue of Ma Kent.  Not that she needed much rescuing, she’s a tough old cookie.  Course she is – she’s a farmer’s wife.
Krypto takes the hand with the ring from Black Lantern Lois and the ring reconstitutes Lois around him.  He then blasts the revenant body with heat vision.  I’m surprised the Black Lanterns aren’t going for Krypto’s heart – he’s all emotion and feeling, mostly rage and love I’d wager, and he’s not too far from being a person.  A dog shaped person, yes, but a person.

The scene of the Smallville folks looking up to Connor in the sky is lovely.  He defeats the Black Lantern Kal-L with the use of the Psycho Pirate’s mask – it overloads the rings.  Then it breaks, so it’s kind of a one off solution, but it did the trick.  I assume that he Psycho Pirate is still down in Smallville but without his mask he’s powerless and he can’t control anyone.

I can’t wait to see how this all plays out in the next issue of Blackest Night!  ( I say that at every Blackest night review don't I?)

DCU Halloween Special 2009
Not as good as last year, but a few enjoyable stories.  I didn’t much care for Guy’s party on Oa, Bizzaro’s commentary, the Creeper or the Outsiders.  Is that the current Outsiders team?  How D list.  Both the Batman and the Robin stories left me cold.  Red Robin was interesting with good art, if a little heavy on the inks.  The Ravager story tickled me, she’s so wicked!  The Kid Flash story was reasonable with special kudos going to the kids dressed up as the zombie trinity.  I loved the Wonder Woman/Teen Titans one.  I don’t think Di is too out of character and I don’t think it’s weird she was at the tower.  She’d probably popped in to visit Cassie, or was dropping Cassie off.  Superman vs the Flash was adorable, as always with little kids involved, but the main Superman story was also neither here nor there.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

That's not how Legion rings work! (Smallville Se08 overview)

They're called FLIGHT rings for a reason, dammit.

Yep, I'm watching season 8 of Smallville.  Well, I'm watching from episode 12: Bulletproof on anyway.  I got sick of watching it on the computer and succumbed to the box set.  £40!! But worth it.

More notable is the fact that it took me EIGHT seasons, and the episode Infamous, to get me to shout at the telly in anger at the show's interpretation of events.

For those of you that don't watch it, (so, pretty much all of you then), Clark puts on a flight ring and it magically transports him back in time.  Presumably by willpower as there sure as hell wasn't anything else that could have affected it.  Gah.

Anyway, I started by watching Power, because I'd forgotten I'd watched them before.  It was neither here nor there.

Next up is Requim.  This includes a battle damaged topless Green Arrow, the Toymaker (surprisingly good), and Clarj and Lana being split up.  You want to know how they got split up you say?  You're sure?  Ok.  Umm, well she's got her power suit on, from the previous episode, (it's an invisibile power suit, naturally) and there was a bomb constructed of Kryptonite, made by the Toymaker, placed at the top pf the Daily Planet.
Clark can defuse it, for obvious reasons, so Lana does the job.  Instead of actually defusing it, or using her new found super strength to hurl it into space or something sensible, she sucks the Kryptonite out of it and asorbs it into her body.  Now she's poisonous to Clark and oh so conveniently disposed of.


Then there's Infamous, menioned above.  Then Turbulence, notable only for Clark having to save Tess Mercer from an impending plane explosion.  He does this by knocking her unconscious by depriving her of oxygen in the plane, then jumping out with her in his arms.  The jumping out the plane bit was heroic, and made me go a little gooey inside.

Next is Hex.  With Zatanna!  I had been looking forward to this.  Zatanna wasn't particularly likeable but I'll forgive her as she's consumed with grief over the death of her dad.  She has the power to grant one wish to every person she meets, so she grants Chloe's and Clark's.  Chloe wakes up in Lois' body (as she's jealous of Lois' journalistic achievements).  This works out well for the viewer as we get to see how everyone else sees Lois - we see evidence of her charm, her achivements, and how damn hard she's worked.  It's nice to see her get some credit.
Clark wishes that he doens't have to lead a double life anymore, so his wish manifests as him forgotting all his powers whilst ChloeinLois tries to get him to remember.  It's played for laughs and it is very funny.  Even
 the boyfriend who hates Smallville found it entertaining.

They got the casting exactly right for Zatanna, check her out:

How perfect is she?

And and and and!  At the end Chloe has a career change and ends up taking an Oracle type role at  the JLA Watchtower!  Awesome beans.  I squee'd so hard.

Eternal will really upset the purists.  It is revealed that when Clark landed in Kansas he was not alone.  The boy that would grow up to become Doomsday also landed with him.  Because Doomsday is Kryptonian.  naturally.  If I cared about the continuity of the show I would wonder if this retcon was done successfully, but I don't.

Stiletto is Lois faking being a superhero to get a story.  She makes a costume out of PVC and realises that squeaky rubber isn't too stealthy when you're trying to fight crime at night.  And the point is made that stiletto's aren't practical fight wear.  The episodes ends with her getting her first interview with the RedBlueBlur.  Over the telephone with Clark using a voice changer thing.  Of course.

Beast has Chloe harbouring Doomsday (in his human form)  in the Talon's basement.  There's some soul searching and arguments and Clark wants to chuck Davis (Doomsday) in the Phantom Zone, and Chloe won't let him, and Jimmy is still massively pissed off that Chloe didn't support him, and Green Arrow wants Clark to murder Davis.

I've got two more to go and I'll watch them tonight.  Then I'll probably go back and rewatch season 6.  then buy and rewatch seasons 5 and 7.  I am mostly looking forward to Clark's costume being revealed at the this season.

Watching season 8 it's struck me how, well, silver agey it is.  Ludicrous plots, 2d characters, convenient forgetting of powers and rules, (or temporary creation of new ones) and some very stupid and unobservant people around.  Particularly Clark.  Not only is he rather dumb he doesn't actually have much of a moral compass.  He's petty, can be immature, occasionly stalkerish and ready to knock people out on a whim.  Without Chloe around he'd be in the shit by now. 

I know it's veered way way off from canon, but that's not really the point of the show.  Honestly, they should have called it Smallville: Elseworlds.  Then canon purists wouldn't be so hacked off with it.  Although the use of the Legion ring will be just plain wrong.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I knew it

BNP claims 3000 new members after Question Time
15% of people say they might vote BNP in a local, European or General election

Does anyone else note the hypocrisy in Grifin claiming he was a victim of a lynch mob?

There were questions about things other than Griffin's racism, so Griffin's complaints of those grounds are worthless.  In addition, when the questions come from the audience it's entirely reasonable to expect that the panelists will be questioned on controversial views.

It also turns out that the BBC feared they would be taken to the high court if they disallowed the BNP on Question time.  Fair point.  I still ask, how is the party even legal?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nick Griffin thinks London has undergone an ethnic cleansing. Has it bollocks.

The British National Party, or BNP (fascist right wing racist organisation) was on Question Time last night.
Question Time is a UK show put on by the BBC where politicians from varying parties are invited on to debate the issues of the day.  Since the BNP have an MEP they were invited on.  More on the ethics of this later.  I am watching it a day late on the iplayer, and having read stuff about it earlier today I am rather revulsed.  Apparently Mr Griffin (BNP leader) thinks that London has been subjected to ethnic cleansing, presumably because it's not all white and he has to see asian, indian and black faces when he leaves his house.  I rather think he should look up the meaning of the phrase.  Make no mistake, he is a racist fascist following nazi ideals and the BNP are a very dangerous party.
I assume my UK readers are all well aware of this event, but I feel my foreign readers should also be made aware.

Here follows a live blogpost of his appearence on Question Time.

Jack straw (Labour) states first of all that the BNP is a party based on race.  Good for him
I love Jack Straw.
If Churchill didn't like immigrants or muslims that doesn't make the BNP OK.
I like the audience.  A lot.
Saying you don't have a conviction for holocaust denial doesn't mean you never denied it.  Prick
I love Bonnie Greer.
And Chris Hulne.
I really don't understand how people can hate others that much - how can you loathe someone based on their skin colour?  It's inconceivable to me.  I (unfortunately) understand unintentional racism, it's tied up with privilege, it's tied up with being part of an overwhelmingly white and racist society.  Now that don't make it right, which is why I try damn hard to overcome any internalised prejudice I have.  But I really don't understand this vicious hate people have.
Saying Nazis hate you doesn't prove you aint one.  Ugh, you were on a video with the had of the KKK.  Apparently the head of a 'non violent one'.  Ugh Ugh Ugh.
Oh god, I'm sickened.  He won't explain why he's allegedly changed his mind about holocaust denial.
Have you guys ever been to Auschwitz or the other holding or concentration camps?  They're hideous.
Don't you dare pull the women's rights crap.
There is nothing Christian about his values.
OK I like tory lady now.  A lot.
Shit, this audience is good.
OK, now Jack Straw is being a bit of a prat over an immigration questioon.  So's the tory lady.
Tory lady is Sayeeda Warsi.  Maybe she's not a prat.
One lady has made a distinction between Afro-Carribean and African-Carribean.  I'm ashamed to say i;ve never thought of the use of the Afro-Carribean before.  Mind you, in my work sector we tend to use the phrase BME communities - Black and minority ethnic communities.  When we break down ethnicity we use Black British, Black African, Black Carribean etc.  That's dictated to us by the requirements of our funding bodies, usually local government or regional authorities.
Bollocks you think skin colour is irrelevant.
Shit, you just said America Red Indian.  Prick.
Ahh my god white people are not discriminated against in this country!  There is no black conspiracy.  You fucker.
Us white folks are not subject to an ethnic genocide.  Fucker.
Oh gods I love Bonnie Greer.  Giving Griffin a history lesson, hurrah!  She's deputy chair of the British Museum and has invited him along to have a lesson or two.
Yep, send Griffin to the colourless landscape of the South Pole.  I wholeheartedly concur.
Yep, go tory lady.  Too right there's no such thing as a bogus asylum seeker.
What the fuck is wrong with change?
A ha! A question on whether Jan Moir's article should have been published.
Bonnie Greer reminds me of BSG President lady.
Oh there's a surprise.  Tory lady is homophobic.  And a liar.  Don't like her anymore.  And she's the shadow minister for community cohesion!!  What, are non hetero folks not part of the community?
Oh Fuck You Nick Griffin.  Fuck you.
Being homophobic is not 'the way it is'.  Oh, the militant gays can't preach homosexuality to schoolchildren can they?  It's perverse is it?  Fuck you.
The Labour party has done more for gay rights than any other party.  They may have a lot of other things wrong with them, but they have done a lot for the likes of me.
Oh.  He thinks the BBC is an unpleasent ultra leftist institution.  And he's shaking. Good.
Oooh, Jacqui Smith is on next week.

Oh my god he's such a total cunt.  And there's not a signed version of the show???**

Arggh.  Now I feel unclean.  As to whether he should have been allowed on it or not.
Unfortunately the BNP do have a member of the European Parliament in place.  Which menas they have a 'right' to be on Question Time. Because they are a 'legitimate' political party.  I don't understand how they are legal, and I think it's very well saying that oh well Griffin has now shown himself up, but we can say that because we're all naturally left wingers anyway. 
I did have some more in depth thoughts about this, but my recall and brain power has now failed.  So instead, visit Deeplyflawedbuttrying.  She says it much better than I could.

If you want to view the programme you can find it here.  It will be available for the next 7 days.

**I take it back.  It maybe be available later, but it needs to be broadcast and signed first

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday Comics!

Finally, finally I get around to reviewing this!  It’s been a busy few months for me, but now I finally have a new job (!!!) I should have lots more free time.  So I reckon I will use it to blog.

What did I think of Wednesday Comics?  Well, the Supergirl and Wonder Woman strips were far and away the best, I think.

I really enjoyed the layout, colours, lettering and dreamlike quality of WW.  Not to mention that Etta Candy was fantastic and the portrayal of Diana herself excelled all expectations.  Fans of the silver age Wondy should have loved this strip as so far as I can tell it’s got all the components of that era’s work.

As I’ve said in previous reviews, I loved the Supergirl strip.  Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti did really really well.  Connor’s simplistic art worked very effectively, (she draws very good cats) and with only a few lines she creates a wonderful sense of mood.  As to the last strip, I thought it very dull and a bit of a let down until I got to the twist.  This is a somewhat overused twist but it worked and left us with a feeling of fun.  Great stuff.  I also feel somewhat vindicated over my love of Kara, in that she got headline status on the last issue.

Honourable mention goes to the Hawkman strip, which has to be the manliest thing I’ve read this year, and possibly the manliest thing I’ve ever read.  He taunts a T-rex then takes it on single-handedly.  He nearly yells that he’s the goddamn Hawkman.  He dives into the mouth of the aforementioned T-Rex and cuts his way to the reptile’s brain with a handy knife he had stashed away, in order to kill it.
Now if you’ve ever read anything more manly I’d like to know!

So, apart from Supergirl, Wonder Woman and Hawkman I wasn’t really impressed with Wednesday Comics.   I won’t be buying the hardcover, and until they reprint the 3 strips I do like in a cheaper and more collectible format, I think I shall be sticking with the weeklies.  This is unfortunate, as I have a space problem.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So it's true, scythe matters

I've FINALLY done it.  I've watched all Buffy episodes, in order, in one go.  A very long go, I admit, but I've done it.  I started over a year ago, probably early 2008.  I've had a lot of breaks.  Partly due to the 6 month job hunt, but that's all dusted now.

Anyway, there is SO much to love about the finale.  To be fair, there's a quite a bit to dislike as well - the first time I saw it I thought it would have been better as a 1.5 hr episode.  Now, I think it works.
What is the good?
The slayerettes.  the slayerettes are brilliant.  My favourites are Vi, Amanda, Kennedy and the girl with the acecnt who Xander dreams about seducing.
Kennedy in her white t-shirt and braces.
The inspiring speech - i'm a sucker for schmaltz sometimes.
Giles saying - 'the earth is definitely doomed'
Angel being petty - the only time he's bearable is when he's being a dick like this.
Dawn kicking Buffy in the shin
Spike being jealous - Buffy being open about her feelings.  For once.
Faith challenging Robin to a sex off to prove she's awesome in bed - this is ace!  Part of the reason I dislike Buffy is cos she's got stupid ideas about sex.  Faith doesn't, Faith just likes sex.  I love the idea that she is so enraged by the idea that she's not a hot lay, she demands a retrial.
The D and D game.
The whole giving the slayerettes the power thing.  No way is that ever going to be not unbelievably awesome.
The baseball girl.  Hell all the other girls.

Incidentally, here's a link to a slightly tweaked script for Chosen.  There's something saying about how when Buffy died the second time no new slayer was called because part of her is in dawn, so Dawn would have to die too.  Makes sense.

Here is a pretty good spoof of the episode.

Here is a link to the Buffy vs Twilight remix that has been doing the rounds.  It's pretty good.  Is Edward really that stalkerish in the film/books?  Buffy doesn't put with any shit, that's for sure.

Here is a link to a song from Dr Horrible's Sing aling blog.  Which I really really need to buy and then watch.  And I call myself a Whedon, fan, pshaw.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Buffy Omnibus volume 6

Set in season 4 and 5
Various writers and artists

Another mixed one. The volume starts with some short stories, which are generally enjoyable, even with the inclusion of Angel.  Of note is the Jonathan story, set during that time period when he was uber cool leader of Sunnydale and possibly the world.

Punish me with Kisses is a Willow and Tara story with some adorable art - Willow becomes sort of pixie like.  They have to banish an argumentative old ghost couple from a hotel.  It’s sweet, and similar in feel to the story in volume 7 where they take Dawn on a tour of magic sites of America.  Tara makes the most beautiful and suave butch!

Next story features the return of a typical comic book female villain.  By typical I mean a horrifically, clichéd and sexist interpretation.  She has pointy heeled stripper shoes*, pvc trousers with buckles on, lots of weapons (including mini arrows strapped to her legs), corset style lacing over her crotch**, bare shoulders but covered arms, and a cross shaped section missing from the front of her costume so we conveniently get a hint of boobs.   I have no idea why her boobs aren’t making friends with gravity.  Because usually bras are the only items of clothing that prevent that.

So, that ruins an otherwise good story.  I mean, if I have to include a ‘misogyny’ tag to any posts concerning the Buffyverse the creators are doing something wrong.

Next up is a ghost/bugs/Giles on a date story which is pretty forgettable.

Then another Willow and Tara story, where the cover painting looks eerily like Willow and Amy.  Another witch in the college coven wants to do real magic and inadvertently summons the Morrigan.  I have some issues with how the Morrigan is portrayed, but other than that this story is good and the art is pleasing.  Simple and uncomplicated, and the colours match the feel of the scenes really well.

Then there’s a 2 page story about evil video games.  It’s not really worth mentioning.  So, onto the Dawn story.  This takes place shortly after Dawn has arrived and Buffy is agonising over what is real and what isn’t.  We also see how Dawn fits into key events in Buffy’s past, like her first death.  Dawn proves she’s got brains and identifies that there is a missing slayer from the Council’s archives.  It turns out that the slayer was turned into a vampire.  Since I’ve always wanted to know if this had ever occurred, and if not, why not, I was very pleased to see this development.  And this slayer as vampire wants to resurrect the master.  This is a brilliant thing to end the volume on.

Should you buy this omnibus?  I’d say buy the last story in single issue format.  It’s called False Memories.  The rest isn’t too special.

*not a derogatory comment.  I love stripper shoes but I don’t have any as I a) have nowhere to wear them, and b) probably wouldn’t be able to walk in them.  More's the pity.

** which sometimes I like.  Christina Aguilera had some trousers like that.  But there's a world of difference between a rl woman picking out an outfit like that, and a comic character being deliberately given an outfit like that.  Context, folks, context.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Buffy Omnibus volume 5

Writers: Various
Artists: Various
Set the summer after season 3 and also season 4.

Overall, this wasn't bad.  One story I heart so much, and we will come to that, and others that are fairly enjoyable.

First up is Haunted.  The Mayor has become a disembodied spirit and starts taking over dead bodies in order to haunt Buffy and kill her.  Of course.  She injured his Faith.  The writer has captured his voice surprisingly well, so even before he introduces himself you know it's the Mayor.  I've always found him an interesting character.

He is evil, obviously, but he also has old fashioned standards.  He doesn't put up with Faith being rude, he likes manners and cleanliness and he wants the young around him to learn and be educated and fill their minds.  He loves Faith.  Really loves her.  He may be immoral but he is (not yet) inhuman.  He just so happens to also want to be turned into a giant demon so he gain lots of power.  For the non Buffy fans out there, this may seem familiar, maybe it's been done before.  If it has, fine, but the particular execution of this character within Buffy is pretty unique.  Mayor Wilkins has his own flavour.

There's some great bits in this story where the Mayor takes over a dead crow and investigates other bodies.  Buffy has to deal with regular humans coming to her for advice on how to cope with death.  She also has to deal with prophetic dreams involving Faith and their relationship with each other.  We see the initiative for the first time and learn the origins of Adam.  I loathe the initiative, but this made me care more.  So, I say good job.

We'll come to Take Back the Night at the end.

Killing Time is about soriety girls initiating the new girl into the group by summoning Ragginor the Destructor.  Therets some cute dialogue and the demon is dispatched.  Now, I can't work out if Buffy is particularly bright or just average.  Historically, I think Slayers generally rely on their strength rather than their cunning, and Buffy has no time to do academic study, which is the reason she fails her classes.  She did get a higher grade than Willow once, which is pretty darn good, but in season 7 Willow tells Kennedy that Buffy is "a sweet girl, but not so bright".  She does think 'outside the box' (hate the phrase), and she does use her surroundings, assets and friends to best advantage, but I can't work out if she's clever or not.  What do y'all think?

Next is The Blood of Carthage'.  This is good.  It has lots of flashbacks to Willow and Xander's childhood, the art in which is adorable.  Willow is revealed to be far braver than previously thought and saved Xander's life when they were little.  In the present day, things get misunderstood, mistakes are made and the apocalypse has to be averted again.  At the start of the story Buffy feels out of sync with college life, she's totally apathetic.  By the end she's got her motivation back.  There are also Spike and Dru flashbacks and thousand year old Romans.  And a ghost slayer.  Which is awesome - I love other slayer stories.
One of the bad things about the story is the 2 vampire twins dressed in spandex.  Awful superhero costumes shouldn't be allowed near the Buffyverse.  It's demeaning, disrespectful and completely out of place.

The Heart of a Slayer features yet another slayer!  Oh, how they spoil me.  This is an eleventh century armoured slayer chasing a demon through time.  I cannot give away any more or it will spoil it, so just believe me when I say that this story is fantastic.  It adds more to the slayer mythology, it adds depth to Buffy's character and Giles' role as Buffy's Watcher and it complicates the relationship between them.

Cemetary of Lost Love has Baron Samedi.and a quite effective skeleton outfit.

Oz is about what Oz got up to in the himialyas, learnign to control the beast.  The art doesn't look like Oz but he does have a flame haired lady friend on his travels, who is mostly cool, apart from the abundant breasts.  There's a twist I didn't see coming.  It's not a bad story.

Now, Take Back the Night.  Oh I heart this!  There's horrible frat boys leching on the women and declaring them lesbians when they don't respond.  There is Maggie Walsh compering a Reclaim the Night rally!  She declares, and I quote:
'Rape is an act of violence and power.  Never of sex...Together we will show these beasts that the night belongs to us'.

Damn right!  How often do you see popular culture actually getting this right?  How often do you see the media stating that rape is about power, and not sex?  Fuck all is how often.  I am so pleased that the comic stated this.  The more people that understand this, the closer we will be to stopping it.

Then there is some demon fighting, and Buffy kills the demon, while army boys are a bit frazzled I might add, and the last panel is this:

Oh she is my hero!  Isn't one of the appeals of Buffy, that she's an ordinary slip of a girl but she's not threatened by anybody and she can't beat anyone up?  That just cause we're female doens't mean  we have to be at threat of attack by the rest of the world?  This is one of the few popular culture things which has women taking care of themselves.  We're not delicate, we don't get attacked as soon as we step outside of our house, and we're not gonna be framed as victims anymore, dammit.
Heart heart HEART!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Where yet again I feel love (and some rage) for comics

Spoilers ahead for Action Comics #882, Green Arrow/Black Canary #25, Red Robin #5, Adventure Comics #3, Blackest Night: Batman #3 and Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps #41.

Action Comics #882
Part 3 of the Hunt for Reacton, and so much better than the Codename Patriot crossover.  Maybe because this directly concerns Kara, Thara and Chris.  Anyway, this is exciting, fast paced, has good characterisation and the plot is moved along well.  So, everything that is needed for a good story.  And Kara is pretty near centre stage again, so I’m happy.

Has anyone else noted the preponderence of the El family colours on the cover?  A family effort to defeat the evil, and very good to look at.

As for the second feature, well!  Now I’m sold on this and I won’t be dropping the title, because Natasha Irons has turned up!  She is on Mirabai and involved in espionage work, for both sides.  I like Natasha.  I first came across her in 52 and I find her a really interesting and compelling character.

Green Arrow/Black Canary #25
Ollie gets naked, we learn more about Cupid’s backstory and yet again rape is used as a device to show how evil someone is.  Except this time it’s to show Cupid’s evilness, and it doesn’t feel gratuitous, it feels like it fits in with what we’ve be shown of her so far.  It also isn’t glamourised, or sexed up, or presented as anything other than what it is.  Yes, Cupid is wearing a see through negligee, but that because in her head she’s about to make love to Green Arrow.

Mia and Dinah have to conceal the loss of Ollie from the cops, and I really want to see where Mia’s new suit came from.  At the end of the story we see another Olllie, this time with clothes and arrows.  I’m thinking a little splitting spell, a la Xander’s experience in Buffy.  I’m probably wrong though.

The blurb does say get the rest of the story on the next page, e.g. in the back up bit, but that’s a little misleading.  What we actually get is Mia babysitting Lian.  The story is pretty good and is all about how a strong princess (Dinah) doesn’t need to rescued by the prince (Ollie).  Except throughout this Dinah’s boobs are defying the laws of physics, so what I get from this story is it’s ok to be a kick ass ninja and rescue the prince, but you can only do that if you’ve got your boobs out.  Because damn, what are the ladies for unless they look hawt?
I appreciate Dinah likes to be sexy an’ all, but for the majority of BoP her suit was zipped up to her neck.  BoP, especially Simone’s run is pretty much the definitive Dinah.  So don’t fuck about with this.

Red Robin #5
Still good, gorgeous cover and setting up for some really exciting stuff.

Adventure Comics #3
It’s Connor and Tin’s reunion :D  Just wonderful.  I hope Bart gets a look in soon.

Blackest Night: Batman #3
Tim and Dick get well and truly manipulated by the Black Lanterns and work out what other folks have already worked out in another title.  Dick has a brilliant method of getting through and ending the melee.

Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps #41
A good instalment but mostly fighting.  Not a huge amount extra is revealed, but there’s a good set up for the next issue.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

They found Atlantis! (And the Daily Hate Mail indulges in more gay bashing)

Holy crap this is awesome!
Some choice quotes:

The sunken settlement dates back some 5,000 years to the time of Homer's heroes and in terms of size and wealth of detail is unprecedented

Thanks to shifting sands and the settlement's enclosure in a protected bay, the exploration revealed a world of buildings, courtyards, main streets, rock-cut tombs and religious structures. In addition, the seabed was replete with thousands of shards of pottery.

Our investigations also revealed over 9,000 square meters of new buildings. But what really took us by surprise was the discovery of a possible megaron, a monumental structure with a large rectangular hall, which also suggests that the town had been used by an elite, and automatically raised the status of the settlement.


In somewhat sadder news,  the Daily Mail really are a bunch of hate filled wankers.  Jan Moir wrote a vicious horrible piece about Stephen Gately's death, which I understand has now been amended somewhat, and Charlie Brooker and The F Word have taken her to task for it.  I reccomend you read the pieces and if you are reside in Britain you make a cplaint to the Press Complaints Commission.  Brooker has information on how to do this.
The rest of Moir's article is equally vile.

Friday, October 16, 2009

New job!

I have a new job :D  It involves using BSL on a daily basis :D    So no real post tonight, I'm off to the pub for a celebratory bevvy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Green Lantern costarring Green Arrow is so much fun

So much fun that I can't decide on just one theme.  Enjoy.

First up, here are two covers that make me smile: 

Next, after seeing this:

Who wouldn't be thinking like this:

In unexpected news, since when has Spock been part of the DCU:

 And finally, we haven't yet found out if Sinestro is evil enough, (will we ever?  I do hope so), but surely this will help tip the scales:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Comic book covers I particularly like

A selection of comic book goodness for you to admire:


It may not be a cove,r but everybody likes flying horses:


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hal reveals himself and has some thoughts on the nature of Justice

I've just come across the scenes where Hal unmasks in front of Carol and it's so sweet I thought I'd post it.
The backstory is that Ollie has risked his life to save Dinah from angry wasps (and the villian) and the seemingly evil but is really just manipulated and innocent child has just been buried alive (accidentally) in a burning house.


From Green Lantern/Green Arrow 83 and 84.

For bonus fun, here's Hal ruminating on his role as regarding that elusive concept, Justice:


I wish he'd remember that..

Monday, October 12, 2009

Some feminist photos for you

Taken from the 'This is what a feminist looks like' group on facebook.


I especially like the last one.  I have what some may call complex views on abortion, but I think it really does boil down to, if you don't want one, don't have one.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coming out in comics 5: Amazons

Edit:  Apparently it's national coming out day!  How apt that I posted this today!
For all of you first time visitors, I'm doing a series where I post scans of non hetero folks in comics, to highlight what is out there.  Us queer folk need to take what we can get.

2nd edit:  Oh, and Stephen Gately has died in his sleep.  He was in Boyzone and he was the first member of a (current and touring and having hits) boyband to come out.  This was important.  It was even more important that no one then cared and his career was not affected.  Think of below's post as a lil commemoration towards him.

This is concerning the Amazons.
The scans are taken from the Paradise Lost trade.  The story is that both tribes of Amazons, the Themyscirans and the Bana Migdall are being tricked into having a war.  However to start, nothing is known of this and Donna is chatting to some of the Bana tribe:

Bit of a letch isn't she?

Later on, it is discovered that the war is based on plots and betrayls.  Iphthime of Themyscira has sold out her tribe to the Bana's.  Her lover, Anaya, has been hurt in the carnage.  Iphthime is now distraught and guilty.  The following scans deal with this:

The words 'I love you' are only uttered once yet it's still obvious that they are lovers and not just friends, and there is no sexual contact (apart from th smack on the arse).  So, it is not as subtle as the Rampage story.  I wonder if this is because it concerns the Amazons who have always had subtext?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Superhero sign names - as part of Learn to Sign week

As it's Learn to Sign week I thought now would be a good time for a post combining comics and signing.  Here we go.

In British Sign Language we have something called sign names.  They are basically nick names and are a short hand way to refer to someone, as an alternative to fingerspelling their name.  One of my friends likes cake, so her sign name is the sign for cake with the lip pattern of her name.  My sign name is the sign for reading, (flat open palms with fingers together, palms face up, fingers slightly overlapping and move the hands round in one circular motion), with the lip pattern of my name, because I read all day, every day.  One of my old teachers name was based on his hairstyle, so it;s been a pony tail or a mohawk with his name.  You get the idea.

So I got to thinking what would the sign names of the superheroes be?  Signingtime, an American site has a forum which asks this very question.  That is however the only site I can find that deals with this issue.  If anyone knows of any others, please let me know in the comments.

In the UK, the sign for superhero in general is your right arm stuck out in a fist, a la flying.  That also works for Superman, and Supergirl would be the main sign + girl. I expect that Batman is Bat plus Man.  Buffy the vampire slayer is 'B+vampirefangs+a staking action'.  I expect Wonder Woman has her own sign.

As I don't know any Deaf comics fans I cannot ask them what signs they use, so I will speculate.  Sign names are never official anyway, they are given by those who know you, or you give one to yourself.  I will approach this from the point of view of what will those people who know and love the heros, e.g. friends and family, use.

Let us start with Bart Allen.

We cannot simply give him the multichannel sign of speeding-off-into-the-distance, because that could be used for all speedsters.  We shouldn't really use Impulse or Kid Flash as that's his actual code name.  I suppose the general public could trace the lightening logo on their chest, to mean Flash, and Kid Flash could be Flash+kid, but that isn't distinctive enough to mean Bart.  I would be tempted to go with his big feet or his hair.  No one else in the DCU has feet and hair quite like him, and I don't think he would be offended by it.  You could sign big-feet-racing-forward and provide the lip pattern for Bart.  I think that's fairly apt.

How about Speedy (Mia)?

Well, you can't simply sign speedy, or fast, because in all honesty that is far more likely to be associated with the Flash type heroes in the DCU.  Speedy's hero thing is her arrow shooting, but I find the sign for bow and arrow rather unwieldy, so would prefer not to use it.  I also would prefer to choose something that would be distinct from RoySpeedy, so it needs to be feminised or be something completely different.  Considering Mia's cocky personality I think I will go with the sign for Cheeky.  I'm sure Ollie would agree.

Black Canary.

 For her public name, I'd go with black+canary.  Black is a thumbs up hand shape swiped along your cheek from near your ear to off your face by your mouth.  Canary is a local sign in Norfolk, our football team is nicknamed the Canaries (these birds have a long association with the city, due to the influx of Dutch traders in earlier centuries).  As such, both Canary and Norwich are the same - the bird sign over your left breast where the football logo is on a shirt.
As for her private name, for 80s hero Dinah we could trace the headband shape+name.  For florist Dinah we could do flower+name.  For a joke we could do computer+name.  Although that might be best for Barbara.  As a really boring sign we could do blonde+name, or martial arts+name.

Guy gets the bowl haircut sign, no question and no matter how long he's had a new style for.  Batman has his own special sign for Guy though -  falling over (as in being knocked out)+name.

The possibilities are endless!

Friday, October 09, 2009

There's a reason no one's written a suspense novel where the conflict is wolves vs tank

Except now they have!  Oh hooo-rah!
Spoilers ahead for Buffy #29 (rather damn good), Superman: World of New Krypton #8 (also pretty special) and Justice league: Cry for Justice #4 (sadly lacking in laughter).
Buffy #29
This series can be so hit and miss, but this week it's definitley a hit.  I recognised Kennedy several times throughout, without having her mentioned by name, (I do hope it actually is Kennedy).  Willow gets angry and has some wonderful scenes dealing with her anger over her magic being put into the earth, including a very acerbic (?) comment about her black of black eyes.  Xander and Willow continue to be close and Buffy is finding it difficult to deal with.  The slayers have to fight with radars, guns, ammos and torpedos because they've given their magic powers up.  They have to learn how to be normal.
 There are wolves versus tanks.
There is fake magic.
And then, after all this awesomeness, there are wrathful goddesses rising from the earth.  Which, incidentally, happen to be beautifully coloured and completely un booby.

This issue is written by Jane Espenson, and when she's good, she's very very good.

Superman: World of New Krypton #8
This is also a corker. (That means good).
The Thangarians are fighting the Kryptonians.  The Thanagarians are now what I expected.  They are led by a woman, have their own jargon and rather battle heavy.  By that I mean quite gung ho on slaughter and sacrificing their pawns.  Despite this they also listen to the Kryptonians, show great diplomacy, gallantry and respect (if mingled with distrust), and are quite intelligent about the whole thing.
We still don't know exactly why they attacked, but they nonetheless helped deal with the errant moon, Callisto, and got it into a position where the Kryptonians could deal with it themselves.

My favourite scenes were with the Kryptonian army trying to slow the speeding moon down by pushing on it, (this didn't work and is where the Thanagarians intervened, despite the fact if meant they lost lots of power themselves), and the scene where the rest of New Krypton (I assume it was the rest), flew up to help with the final restoration of the moon.  The whole planet working together to help the whole planet.

Honourable mentions must go firstly to the scene in which the Thanagarian leader is meeting with the council.  I just love the council heads as holograms approach.  I am a massive, massive fan of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies.  Second mention goes to the final page.  Who are these new aliens?  What is their beef with Krypton?  I shall have to wait and see.  Or someone can tell me in the comments.  Or Supergirl Comic Box Commentary will tell me.

Oh one last thing, the cover.  I love how the steps look like a spine, I think that's a wonderful touch.  In fact, I love the whole layout of the cover. It is very very good.  I do not love how the main guy on the cover is, well a guy.  The Thanagarian leader is female in this issue, wouldn't it have made more sense to have a lady leader on the front.  I'm not suggesting this was done on purpose, I can easily see how a vague cover desciption was given to the artist, who just happened to draw a male leader, because hey, male is the default on society.  I call it sexist.
If this leader dude is important in Thanagarian society or stories, there is no indication of it in the book.  So I still call sexist, because it's ignoring the role of the woman in the story inside, for a default, nameless other male entity.
This could probably be explained better, but it's late and I'm tired.

Justice League: Cry for Justice #4
Sadly, no lols for this one.  This meant it was a rather boring issue.  Congo Bill and Starman are beating up bad guys and are on the trail of Prometheus, sort of.  The rest of the bunch are torturing other bad guys via the Atom, and have no idea where Prometheus is.  Ollie then has a face off with Hal about the torture methods (about bloody time), which felt rather forced and the JLA turn up and demand to know what is going on.
Memorable points -
Bill and Starman debating the nature of Justice.  snore.
Kara badly crushing on Freddie.  Very sweet.  Ollie thinking he's being clever, and her 'no shit sherlock' response.
Jay Garrick running around the world talking to heroes - could he be the speedster in the new league?
The godawful version of Zatanna's costume on the last page.  I can practically see her labia.
Kara's ridiculous pose on the front cover.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Anti cervical cancer jab available at Boots

I think this is fantastic.  Ok so it's £405, not so fantastic, and I believe that if you are over 25 and/or have had multiple sexual partners (or if your partner has) then it may not be worth getting as the chances are you will already have the virus, but still.  As it turns out, I'm eligible, so yes, I will be first in line.

I doubt the NHS is gonna pay for anyone out of school to have the jab and if they really do have something that can give you a 70% chance of immunity against the virus, then that is something to celebrate.

One of my colleauge's daughters has just had it done in school, but before she went in she was extremely worried that she would die from it.  This was all brought about from the media's ridiculous coverage of one girl, very sad that she died, but it had nothing to do with the vaccination.  Some (lots?) of my colleague's daughter's friends have chosen not to have it.  This is so sad and makes me so angry - it's something that may stop you getting cancer!  How is there even any question about whether or not to have it done?

And to all those folks who think giving 12 year olds the jab will lead to an increase in teenage sex -

If the threat of AIDs, genital warts and pregnancy doesn't put young folks off, the threat of cancer sure has hell won't.

A vaccination against cancer.  I never thought I'd see the day.

More info on the Boots jab here:

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

For notintheface

As requested, Hal's outburst:

If you need a cropped version uploaded let me know.
For the rest of you, this is from Green Arrow /20.  They should def collect this in trade.

Gotham City Sirens #4/Teen Titans #75/Blackest Night Titans #2 + GL #46

First of two posts for today.  There will be a Green Arrow scan going up later, as requested by notintheface over at Stars and Garters.
I’ve upped lowered (?) the ante to 4 sentence reviews.  Spoilers ahead.
Gotham City Sirens #4
Still full of cheesecake, still great.  This is a lot of fun, helped enormously by the fact I have a soft spot for Harley, as I do for any bonkers female villain in love (why hellooo there Cupid!).  In this issue both Hush and the Joker try to kill Harley, but are foiled by Selina and Ivy.  The art is great.

Teen Titans #75
New (black, female) writer Felicia D Henderson is on board.  Diversity in writers is great, and the dialogue was fast paced, but ultimately I’d forgotten that I’d read the issue by the next day.  The cover is particularly boring and the plot was so-so.  I won’t be able to judge Henderson’s writing for a few more issues, and as I don’t think I’m capable of dropping TT that will work out fine.

Blackest Night: Titans #2

Hey, it looks like Dove doesn’t exhibit any emotional aura, despite the fact she’s quite clearly full of rage, anguish and love.  Could this be connected to her being the avatar of Peace?  Oh I do hope she has a big role to play in Blackest Night, I love the Hawk and Dove team.  The other thing that excited me about this is the return of Tempest, Dolphin (who I heart so much) and who I presume is Aquagirl (who I have no feelings towards either way).

Blackest Night: Green Lantern #46

Oh my, so much to love in this issue.  Sod my previous 4 sentence rule, I’m going to gush via the medium of a list:
  • The conversations between Sinestro and Carol. Carol and Hal, and Hal and Sinestro.
  • Indigo-1 mocking Hal.
  • Indigo-1 in general.
  • Khufu and Chay-ara being the beings that power the Star Sapphires power battery.  I may be a cynical git but I love the Hawkman/woman reincarnation through love deal, almost as much as I love Wally being anchored to earth through Linda and his’ love for each other.
  • The panel of the black Guardian telling all unengaged Black Lanterns to follow the Indigo light.  Not only is it a very scary image you are now terrified for what that will mean for the inhabitants of the Indigo bubble.
  • Xanshi.
  • The last page, specifically Hal’s indignant outburst.
Things I don’t love:
The fact I know nothing about Slushh (good name for a mucous-y being) and so didn’t understand what the hell happened with him.

And that’s all my recent purchases covered, barring my trips to the back issue box.  Sadly there are no more Warrior ones to pick up but I have purchased all the Impulse ones they had.  General thoughts on Impulse coming up later in the month.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Blackest Night + BN Superman reviews

I've got one more review post already written and scheduled to go up this week, then I'll be up to date on the recent releases.  At least I will be once I've finished reading Wednesday Comics, had a think about it, and written something.  I hope to start posting stuff over than straightforward reviews at some point soon.  Mind you, I've still got some Buffy omnibuses to talk about...

Possibly not 3 sentence ones as this time up it’s Blackest Night and I tend to want to gush.

Contains spoilers for Blackest Night #3, Blackest Night: Superman #1 and #2 (Yep, #1 finally got delivered to my store, hurrah!), in which I discuss horror movies, diversity, the importance of compassion and somehow manage to keep 2 out of 3 reviews shortish.
Blackest Night #3
I finally understand why people are saying this series is following the conventions of the horror film genre, and that it is basically a horror movie produced panel by panel in comic book form.  I like horror movies, but I have mostly seen just the more obvious 80s slasher flicks – Nightmare on elm street, Friday the 13th, the  Evil Dead series, etc.  I have a special place in my heart for the idea of old style horror movies but I haven’t sent that many.  The Blob, The Birds, Tarantula and the Living Dead films are exceptions.

Nowadays, I very rarely have the inclination or the time to watch films so I’m unlikely to up my knowledge.  In a longwinded and roundabout fashion I’m trying to say that much as I wish otherwise, I don’t have a good knowledge of the structure, pacing and conventions of horror movies.

Back on topic and back to the comic.  Did I like it? Well yeah.  This is the first time I’ve seen or heard of the new Firestorm duo.  They were introduced in such a way that I had no problem working out how they operate and so no problem making sense of their space in the story.  And hey look, they ain’t white!  DC is trying to bring some diversity in.  It’s always going to be a problem to introduce diversity when you’ve got a universe that is peopled with characters created mainly between 80 and 30 years ago, when these same characters are still alive.  DC won’t want to introduce too many new folks because they need to keep the Universe fairly tight, plus there is probably a limit to the number of stories that can be told that will also allow DC to make a profit.  So, when they do bring in new characters, and make them break the mould, they should be applauded for it.

Again back to the story, Mera meets the new Firestorm and reveals that the Black Lanterns home in on emotions.  To get away from them you must completely calm and centre yourself.  Then Mera and Firestorm meet up with Flash/GL/The Atom etc.

It’s good to see the Atom is still alive – imagine the damage he would do as a black lantern, shrinking into the brains and hearts of the living people.  Soon after he comes back the Indigo Corps arrive.  This I love – an entire corps made up of compassion.  I desperately want compassion to exist in the real world.  I am convinced that if people only felt compassion and had respect for each other a lot of the world’s ill would be avoided.

The double splash page if Indigo-1 explaining the origin of the Universe as seen through the emotional spectrum is magnificent.  If I haven’t said so before the colourist on this book is in his element.  Ray suggests that the rings are wearing the dead and Indigo-1 reveals how to destroy the Black Lanterns – a ha, I see an end in sight!

Finally, the dead Firestorm forces Jason and Gen to swap roles, Gen is turned to a pillar of salt and the dead bad guys stored in JLA HQ are given black rings.

In conclusion, lots of reveals to move the story forward and some superb art.  Cracking.

Blackest Night: Superman #1
Anj over at Supergirl Comic Box Commentary was correct, I did like this book.  Considering James Robinson, who appears to be doing cliché hack duties over on Cry for Justice writes it, I’m surprised by the quality of this issue.  I probably shouldn’t be - I’m really enjoying Superman: World of New Krypton (co written by Greg Rucka), Superman (the main title) isn’t a bad book in itself, and the one issue of Robinson’s Starman I’ve read was really very very good.  It’s just that Cry for Justice is very soap opera esque and not serious, which is what I expected from Robinson.

Blackest Night: Superman #1 was none of these things.  What we got is a tightly plotted, chilling look at what happens when a revenant Kal-L comes to Smallville and when a revenant Zor-El rises.  Sure, the illustrations of hometown Smallville life were a bit schmaltzy, but that fits in well with the horror movie themes and serves to highlight the monstrosity of Kal-L’s actions.

My absolute favourite parts of this was the colourist’s work, showing the emotional spectrum of the living.

Blackest Night: Superman #2
More wonderful snapshots of the emotional spectrum and only one silly soap opera moment – last page, Ma Kent declaring ‘It’s on!’.  How ridiculous.  I don’t care if Connor says it, Ma Kent shouldn’t.  I’m sure she has her own method of vocalising anger and determination.

The introduction of the Psycho Pirate is an interesting one and has certainly led to some good developments.  Lastly, the cover is very effective.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Buffy Omnibus volume 4

Various writers and art teams
Set in season 3

There's a lot of Angel in this run, you all choose whether that's a good or bad thing.  The first story is about Buffy becoming a model, and sees the return of Selke, a villain from an earlier collection.  She obviously wasn't very memorable as I couldn't quite place her.  The art is very average with some of the characters unrecogniseable at times. and the vampires are green and bat like.  Oh and Spike and Dru feature.  On the whole though, it's not a very good story.

And then we are on to the short stories.  Bad Dog, where the inker went a bit nuts, yet does provide good atmosphere, and Oz escapes from his cage.  Hello Moon features a non-monsterific monster and is a bit trite.  Cursed tells us of Angelus back when he was newly turned.  Dead Love sees Buffy reading an old watcher diary and realising her life ain't so bad.  Stinger is a demon who feeds on fear.  Mall Rats is a two page simply drawn wonderment!  Y'all need to find the comic this was originally published in and buy it up.

Then there's a Spike and Dru story titled Who Made Who? covering the period where the mad couple broke up because Drusilla boinked another demon.  It's evil and far too heavy on Dru associating pain with sex.  She's more complex than that and reducing her to a caricature is not good writing.

Next up is the Hollower.  More crap art and flashbacks to Angelus.  Back to the present day and there's a big demon draining all the vampires and about to wreck Sunnydale.  It's ok but too Angel heavy for my tastes.

Lastly is Graduation day.  Featuring a bat winged Alien type demon, focusing on the Angel/Buffy break up.

Overall opinion?  Find the comics with the short stories in and buy them off ebay.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Buffy Omnibus volume 1

Writers and artists various.
Set pre season 1.

This provides a number of stories, all pretty well done.  The first is a comic adaption of Joss Whedon's original screenplay for the Buffy movie.  The studio made him change ithe screenplay, but then again I don't know how much the comic version has lost in it's adapation, especially as it isn't too dissimilar.  At any rate, it's a good introduction to Whedon's vision of the Buffyverse.  My only complaint is that, sadly, there is no disgusting yellow jacket.

Story number 2, Viva Las Buffy, features a more history.  There's some Dawn, which I think is a nice touch, a small bit of Giles on his way to becoming Buffy's official watcher, Angel (who is very creepy and stalker like in all his pre first meeting appearences) and Buffy taking a trip to Las Vegas with Pike.
The bad guy is actually 2 people - conjoined twins, 1 of whom is a vampire.  It's a great idea, both in theory and practice.

Next up is Dawn and Hoopy the Bear.  I won't spoil any of this, just trust me, it's wonderful.  And Dawn's not remotely annoying.

Last is Slayer, Interrupted.  This was good and a bit emotional - although how much of that is down to my personal history i'm not sure.  In this we see how Buffy gets to be hospitalised.  It comes about becasue Dawn has read her diary and tells their folks.  Within the asylum Buffy has to work out what's real and establish which world she wants to live in.  It's a nice prequel to the season 6 episode where she thinks she's back in there and needs to work out whats real.

Overall, this is a good omnibus.

Friday, October 02, 2009

3 sentence reviews

In an effort to catch up with my backlog of reviews I am now going to implement 3 sentence reviews.  They shall be short, sharp, succinct, possibly with some wit worked in, and to the point.  So, mini spoilers ahead for Green Arrow/Black Canary #24, Supeman/Batman #64, Power Girl #5, Adventure Comics #2, Supergirl #45 and Action Comics # 881.
Green Arrow/Black Canary #24
A positive, normalised portrayal of a lesbian couple, Dinah and Cupid working together (in a believable way) and the return of Mia.  What's not to like?  It appears that Ollie and Dinah will have rotating duties as the back up feature - this makes sense.

Supeman/Batman #64
Inked and pencilled by one guy - Scott Kolins.  He has done a stunning job on this and deserves high praise,  recognition and accolades.  The art made a boring story well worth the cover price, I could just drink this in.

Power Girl #5
Amanda Connor should be forced to draw cats every issue and Palmiotti should write Peej's everyday life in every issue.  Karen is at her most interesting when she's being herself, chatting to normal folks and doing everyday stuff.  This book is coming on very well.

Adventure Comics #2
This week Connor reunites with Cassie, next week it's Tim.  The art is perfectly suited to the romantic scenes in the book and even Krypto is worked in well.  Regarding the legion back up - I dislike twin stories.

Action Comics #881
I have nothing to say that Anj hasn't already, so go read his review.  I really don't understand why Captain Atom is the backup to this.  Does he have history with the Super family, or Action Comics?

Supergirl #45
Lois takes charge, Streaky the cat is at Kara's appartment and Thara and Kara continue to misuunderstand each other.  This Kara is a far cry from the simpering, posing idiot on the cover preview to Cry for Justice #4.  Why is she on all fours when the other heroes are dynamic or at least standing up?

Hmm.  OK so no wit there, but that was a fun exercise.  I must remember to do it again sometime.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

One way to fight against the BNP

They have a freephone number -

0800 008 6191

They have financial problems.
Every call costs them.
Call from a payphone and leave it off the hook!

spread the word