Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Comic reviews for early july

Konnichiwa friends,  I am here pondering today, pondering if the writers and editors of comic books of the current era are complete fools.  I have talked about the changing of personalities and the renumbering and "restart" of DC comics in previous posts but I just read through all of my comics for the last few weeks and I was sorely disappointed. I won't review individual issues all the time but I felt this batch required special attention. Lets start out with the best of what I picked up first.

Warlord of Mars #8 (Dynamite Entertainment): A retelling of the original Edgar Rice Burroughs Story "A Princess of Mars" and starring John Carter, I had high hopes for this series and I was pleasently rewarded.  Issue 8 continues the quality art and excellent storytelling from the previous issues.  I didn't care for the covers for this issue but that doesn't at all effect my rating of the issue itself.  Granted this is just a retelling of previously written story, however the storyboarding was chosen well and action sequences are spot on.  I have no complains about this book thus far.  If you have yet to experience any of Burroughs works,  this would be one that is the most easily accessible and would be a great intro into his writings.

Zatanna #15 (DC Comics):  I actually enjoyed this issue.  It was a fast paced oneshot which had Zatanna on the run from a hit squad who had gotten the better of her.  It wrapped up quickly without loose ends.  My only two complaints are, first, I didn't really understand the portion once she had won the battle.  Does she have the power to jump through time? If so, she's never had that ability before.  If not, then that was an extremely impressive illusion.  The second,  if you're going to quote something, as a writer and an editor, make sure you quote it correctly.  Especially if you're quoting something as important as the bible.  It is written in the issue as "Judge not, that ye be judged" which doesn't make any sense, the actual quote is "Judge not, lest ye be judged."

Power Girl #26 (DC Comics):  I read an interview with the writer Matthew Sturges where he talked about writing this issue.  I was on the fence at first but I had to read it because it was a Power Girl fan convention and everyone was dressed as Power Girl  I thought "Oh, this could be pretty fun."  Good grief was I wrong.  Matthew Sturges wrote the most boring story I've read in a long time.  I can deal with bad, but bad and boring? Sturges has earned a big strike on my writer's list.  He tries to create a story of female empowerment which fell flatter than fois gras under a steam press.  Powergirl's personality was completely dull and lifeless, not only that but throughout the entirety of the comic Sturges gives her this air of a complete snob who gives less than a damn about people she comes off as snubbing everyone and being completely stuck up.  The secondary characters weren't believable nor were they likeable.  The powergirl cosplayers were written as toned down cliches of fangirl cosplayers with dialogue that came straight out of the movie clueless (which apparently is apropos for this writer) and the villian was a complete joke that inevitably had no real believable motivation.  Sturges was so proud of himself for writing a "girl-power" story but he just ended up making Kara look at worst completely lifeless and at best completely unlikable and it shows that Sturges has no talent as a writer.  I was at a fundraiser recently and won a copy of "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back" and honestly, its has better writing than this issue of Power Girl.  Also, don't get me wrong, I love PG, she's my favorite DC comics female and I hate that she's losing her solo series.  However, I also hate that this is the best I get in her solo series,  almost everything past Conner and Palmiotti has been kind of a let down but that's a discussion for another day.

X-men #14 & #15 and Uncanny X-men #540 & #541 (Marvel Comics):  I'm So unhappy with the X-men title right now, it started with vampires, moved to a Dark Beast saga which was fairly weak but I will grant that it was better than the vampire thing, and now this evolutionary story which has made no sense and decided to randomly put Emma Frost in a Psyche Ward.  My memory may be fuzzy but I don't recall her ever being in a Psyche Ward.  The only good thing I will say about this Title is it really shows that Cyclops is one hell of a tactician even in the most unusual circumstances.  The problem being that few of the stories have made much sense.  Especially this evolutionary one which has loads of flashbacks and lots of movement in few panels and even if you were to fix these problems you would still be left with a sub par plot that seems awfully weak.  Super monkey's want to kill all humans and we must stop them! Oh No!  As for Uncanny,  I don't actually have a problem with a good portion of this, the only problem I have to point out is that I hate the "Fear Itself" company crossover.  "Lets give every badguy we can think of a Mjolnir That will perk things up. I don't like it at all and thus far the stories have proved rather lackluster.  The other thing that happened is they talked alot about Magik and she doesn't appear much in uncanny, I believe she mostly shows up in new mutants so I can only assume they were referencing something that happened in another series such as that and I had no idea what they were talking about unless it had to do with the big hope arch that appeared last year where she went AWOL....again. The absolute best moment of the two comics was when they let the mayor into emma's psychic confrence room and the mayor asks why Emma gets a throne, emma casually and haughtily replys that she created the room and she can sit in whatever she wants.  I snickered.  Also, Emma looks hot in a cowboy hat.

Well boys and girls, I hope you've finished off your drinks because it is time for me to continue my philanthropic duties in the world.  I hope you leave just a little bit more enlightened than when you entered.


Dr Elitist Von Nerddenkaiser.  PhD, MD, RSVP CSI and MS Corps

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DC can't stay consistent!

Dr. Nerddenkaiser here,  I'm sure you've missed me, but I have returned to explain a few more things to you.  I just finished a trip to the coast, per my usual luck it rained most of the time.  I don't particularly mind rain, but I had not packed gear as such that I could be out in it a great deal. Thus, it was inconviniant. However, if there was anything good that came out of it, it was that I was able to go to a wonderful wine tasting where I found an Australian Cabernet that I'm actually quite fond of.  At any rate I am home now drinking another delicious glass of wine and I'm thinking about characters in comics.

One thing that you can say about the Marvel comics company is that even if their stories are often confusing or jaw-droppingly retarded at least their characters have consistency.  They will always run by the same archetypes and the same maxims and are relatively predictable in the choices they will make almost to the point of annoyance.  DC comics however seems to have a habit of changing a character's personality at the drop of a.... writer? no its quicker than that.... Artist? no no that's not right either.....  Basically they change people's personalities every time someone even sneezes. 

Its not that hard to keep a character relatively consistent.  You look at how the character has developed and you say, "okay who is this person?  what do they strive to do? what are they good at? what are they bad at?"  you take all these questions and you solidify them into a solid character and you stick to that character.  You can make them grow, you can make them step outside their comfort zone from time to time, but all in all they stay generally the same.  The only character who should ever go outside of this guide set is Joker, because, well, he's psychotic. 

Unfortunately even though this sounds simple DC continually finds ways to get it wrong.  I guess they call "getting it wrong" "mixing it up now"  you can put a little umbrella and some cream on top of muddy water and call it khalua but when you drink it, it will still be muddy water.  The only character they can ever seem to keep continuously solid is Superman and really, how hard is that?  Superman is the biggest boyscout in the universe.  He's almost more predictable than Spider-man.  Almost.  Its sad that they can't stick to their guns on anything else.  The new Harley which I talked about in a previous post being an example.  Dick Grayson being another.

Lets talk about Dick Grayson for a second.  Here we have Bruce Wayne's first protege.  Who has more speed and athletic ability than all but the meta-human characters. who is strong, smart, keeps his head in a fight and is the 3rd best detective on team batman (Bruce and Tim being at the top) and yet somehow he getss schooled by the most infantile of characters, continually falls into the most obvious of traps and continually has to be saved by Damian and Stephanie.  Stephanie for (insert etherial faith based diety here) sakes! The girl who started the freaking gang wars and basically screws up anything she touches.  This didn't just start when he became batman either, though it was a bit more noticeable when you're getting roasted by Edward Nigma's supposed daughter.  It happened when he was Nightwing too.  he'd fall into the most basic of traps and would say something like "oh no how could I have fallen for this?" and then later he ends up decripting Ra's Al Ghul's plan's avoiding all his traps and defeating him.  ARE YOU SERIOUS??!!  How can you expect me to believe that he's gonna fall into a net or a trash compactor one minute, and defeat one of the smartest terrorists on the planet the next?  What the hell DC?  Its like no one understands what the word 'consistent' means.  Its mind boggling. He was the leader of the Titans for freaking ever for a reason he's literally batman jr. and you treat him as second fiddle to Damian Wayne who, lets face it people, is one of the
dumbest most boring and pathetic characters in comics today.

Moving away from Damian and Dick which I could easily write pages and pages about, lets consider a few other characters that are completely muddled with no real personality or one that changes at the flip of a hat.  Supergirl is an instance of this (the 2005 version).  What a useless character.  I guess the original thinking was "lets make a fanservice but with the teenager story of 'its hard being a teen and even harder when you have superpowers, oh woah is me'"  because that seems like that was the original intent the whole "do I wanna follow in superman's footsteps or do I wanna be normal. should I, shouldn't I" sort of principle  that combined with the whole body of a girl that looks like she could be on the cover of oxygen magazine for the next 30 years.  And from there her personality exploded from will I won't I to angsty kinda slutty useless whiney no sense of obligation girl with an attitude, a bull head and god knows what else, which then somehow changed to meek and mild which proceeded to "sense of responsibility" and on and on and on.  Truth be told I don't know what her current logic is since its changed so many times, her story has never made any sense at all and always seems to tie in with Superman crossovers so that you really can't figure out what is happening and somehow the only thing that anyone has taken from the whole ordeal is that supergirl should wear boyshorts instead of panties under the skirt. Which seriously, if you're worried about that, then just put her in a "super nun super girl" costume or a snow suit and shut up.  Seriously, at this point if she could expose any more midsection she'd either be stretch armstrong or naked. 

The point being, stop changing the costumes and worry more about your stories and your character personalities dimwits.  Every time you change the costume everyone hates you anyway.  So just don't touch them.  They changed powergirl's costume four times or more.  You know what it looks like now? it looks the exact same as it did when she was introduced back in the 70's.  Why?  because that first costume was the best and the cutest.

Whoop.  It looks like my glass is getting low.  Looks like I'll have to remove myself from the study or chime for the maid.  Either way I should rap this up.  I hope you all have a wonderful day.  Until next time.  Stay away from the plebian liquors.  Remember if you drink Budweiser and wine-in-a-box your children will end up making a living as carnies.  I recommend something a bit more upper crust.  I've found Schlafly to be quite good and even a simple yellow tail or gallo will make you out to not be complete trash.  You should try that.


Dr. Nerddenkaiser, MD.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

X-men First Class

Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,

Have you all gotten comfortable? Do you have a nice warm brandy next to you to enjoy over the course of this post?  Excellent.  As you may of may not know,  I am Dr. Elitist Von Nerddenkaiser PhD, MD, DDS, RN, NCIS and LLC, Licensed high classed patron of the nerd arts.

Today we will be discussing X-men: First Class.  Now I have been a fan of the X-men for a very long time and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at how not completely terrible this movie was.  Some would say it was downright good.  It was certainly and undoubtedly better than any of its mutant feature film predecessors at any rate.  Some might question the overall theme that Mutants were the cause of and solution to the Cuban Missile Crisis,  I always thought that was blamed on cheap lagers.  But plot out of the way, most of the acting was spot on, and the movie was by all rights entertaining.  Kevin Bacon makes a fantastic villain if nothing else.  I have heard that this movie has a mistake list a mile long however, poor show on that aspect production team.

For me personally, I was able to set aside my knowledge of the X-men as a fan and was able to enjoy the film as a Film go-er aside from one or two things that I was not able to get past that I will mention in a moment or two.  First things first I would like to point out a few of the inconsistencies in this movie that a fan would notice and a few things that I generally just did not agree with. The most noticeable gaff in the film as a fan were the power sets.  Namely, Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, and Havok as the most noticeable.  I understand why Sebastian Shaw was altered for the movie for the sake of the plot however for those of you who do not know, in the film his mutant abilities were somewhat exaggerated.  In the source material (The comics) Shaw's power is that he is able to absorb any kinetically forced impact and then channel it into his own kinetic attack.  For example if Shaw was punched by you or me, he would receive little to no impact or injury from the punch and then would be able to punch whomever had punched him (or some other person in the area) with the force of his punch plus the original punch.  So if Colossus punched him he would have his punch plus Colossus's punch, if he was dropped from a plane, he would have the power of his own muscles combined with the kinetic force of the impact from when he hit the ground from the drop.  Simple right?  Now, the way that they portrayed his power in the film was that he could absorb ANY kind of energy instead of just kinetic, and would be able to redirect it in whatever form he chose.  So in other words he was almost invincible and he could basically create other peoples powers, such as the moment when he took Havok's power and shoved it down Darwin's throat (incidentally I found it quite amusing when someone mentioned to me that he was the only black character in the film and he was the only heroic character to die, and one of the few lead characters to perish,  I didn't think about it until it was mentioned but from what I heard, there were a fair amount of people who were understandably annoyed by this).  Since I just mentioned havok I will go into his power next.  Havok's power is the ability to shoot concussive force blasts from his body (originally his chest but eventually his hands).  that basically means that if you are hit by one of havok's blasts, depending on the intensity, it will feel like you had just been hit by anything from a soccer ball knocking the wind out of you, to a freight train ramming straight into you.  Havok's blasts however, do not 1: set people or things on fire, nor do they 2: explode. Many people fail to understand the power set of the Summers family but its really not terribly difficult once you think about it.  Finally we come to Emma's power set,  ignoring the fact that in continuity she should not even have her diamond form and the fact that she should neither be anywhere near the same age as Xavier (she's probably about 15 to 20 years younger) nor the same strength level as he in matters of telepathy we focus specifically on her diamond form.  I don't recall how the movie portrayed this but Emma Frost's Diamond form is able to block all telepathy attempting to penetrate her, however she cannot protect anyone else with this ability, also she has no telepathic abilities when she is in the diamond state, however she is gifted with greater strength, stamina and defense than she would have if she were in human form.  She also is incapable of feeling any emotion when she is in that state.  So the biggest mistake they movie made for me when dealing with her diamond form was when Magneto wrapped the metal bed frame around her body.  That bed frame was at best bronze, so first Emma would have been able to rip out of it without even breaking the proverbial sweat and second there is no way that the frame would have had the tensile strength to crack her diamond from no matter how tightly it would have wrapped around her.  That really did irritate me.

Having set the powers aside I'd like to quickly gripe about a few other inconsistencies.  Firstly, the team very much irritated me.  Xavier and beast and Havok all on the same team?  you movie producers and directors really do hate Cyclops don't you? I can understand you not putting him on Xavier's team because he was Xavier was his first real student but then to have the gall to put his younger brother on the team instead and to put beast on the team? You have just voided any logical explanation for not having Cyclops on the team. You truly sicken me.  Also stop using the first movie's version of Mystique.  Rebbecca was able to pull it off because she is extremely sexy but the truth is that its stupid looking, it was stupid looking then and its stupid looking now, but now you don't have an actress who can make it work, so it looks completely stupid. just make her blue and put some clothes on her so the film isn't rated R.  Its not that hard.  It worked for the green animal women in Star Trek it will work here too.  Fools.  And what the hell was with that stupid girl with dragonfly wings?  You name her angel but that obviously isn't true, you give her a completely weak character type and then you expect us to care about her when she turns evil? no so much.  And when the hell did she get flaming loogy powers? did I miss the email that came out before the film that explained "oh even though we're going to have an entire scene about the young mutants showing each other their abilities you the viewer should already know this power exists because she's not going to show it off until the end of the film so that we can have a flying projectile fight.  Finally, I hope you film makers don't expect to explain how this movie can fit with wolverine origins can fit with the first three movies.  You've painted yourself into a corner using Emma Frost in both movies and having Xavier standing in origins.  Several of my friends still think you can explain it, but then again, several of my friends have IQ's that could almost rival that of a pigeon's  (I'm saying they're stupid if you happen to have missed that).

Now we come to my big gripe of the film. and it is this:

here we have January Jones playing the role of Emma Frost

and this:

This is the source material. Comic rendering of Emma frost.

 I know this might sound a bit sexist but seriously, you couldn't find anyone better than January Jones? Come on guys, out of all the thousands of blond actresses that are already established and those that are up and coming she's what you give us for Emma Frost?  At best Jones is a mediocre actress at worst she's boring and pathetic, and to compound on to her lack of acting abilities the only real resemblance she has to Emma is that she has blond hair.  Jones is soft looking she has little to no curves what so ever, she has complete chicken legs and ok boobs.  But this is Emma we're talking about, the rich mega snob who has gone under the knife and exercised to make herself practically perfect because her ego would accept nothing less.  he has a tapered waist flaring hips semi muscular thighs and calves, a tight stomach and good sized implants. I mean they even say in the comics that Emma had a boob job and for this you give us Jones?!  it worked in origins when you basically stated that she was 14, but in this movie you have no kind of excuse for why she looks like Twiggy (yes some of you will have to go look up who that is, go have fun). I absolutely do not understand what the higher ups are thinking lately.  Especially when Thor has completely perfect casting.  Which means I know its possible. You people just hate doing it for X-men movies I suppose.

Well my Cabernet is almost empty so I must bid the rest of you lovely socialites adieu.  I hope that we may chat again soon.  Perhaps over a game of Croquet. 


~ Dr. Nerddenkaiser ~

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence day!

Just wanted to post that even though its about an hour late.  I hope everyone was able to eat good food and enjoy good company.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Welcome Welcome.

Alright well as you can see this blog is very bare bones at the moment, I'm not the most trained web designer in the world but things will begin to look nicer.....eventually.  Anyway, as you might have ascertained, I get annoyed with many a thing, some of those are real world some of those are fantasy world.  What can I say, I'm picky.  I will post my thoughts as they occur.  I am not, however, someone who only deals in negatives.  I would like to think I'm a generally positive person and will give credit where credit is due.

That being said lets begin today with the DC "reboot" as it were.

Now there's a concept for you, I wonder how that went down exactly?  One idiotic DC executive turns to another DC executive and says "what should we do to up readership and make things new and exciting?" then he punches that executive in the face! The other executive bewildered and confused, his nose bleeding says "We should restart everything!" I mean this is one of the only halfway plausible ways that this could have gone down.  I mean after all there are very few people who would be so stupid as to completely shit on 70 years worth of comic history.  Now I grant you, it is plausible that the current "Flashpoint" storyline will inevitably be the impact point for the DC restart and that it will be a temporary side show carnival stunt that the heads of DC think will be a great idea, but you know what else came from DC's "Good Ideas"?  Superboy Prime punching the universe that's what.  It always turns out stupid.  All I can do is hope that this is a temporary stunt that will only last a year at most.  Don't get me wrong, I love Babs as Batgirl and I'll never turn down an Adams Hughes cover. But I'd rather her get legs healed over the whole "suddenly back with no explanation. 

Now if they were smart, here's what they would have done, they would have said, "oh, hey, to get some new readership we'll make a secondary universe line that can help get new readers, and possibly young readers to to be able to enter the comic universe with less confusion but all you are going to do by attempting it in the main universe is just piss people off.

Here's  prime example

Seriously guys? this is supposed to be Harley? are you really serious?  Tira from Soul Calibur maybe, but not Harley.  And I know some of you are saying "what's wrong with it? Its Sexy!" That's not the point, I actually think its kinda hot too. My point is its not harley!  I'm all for goth multicolored corsets and hot red and black hair but she's a gymnast for frick sake, if she wears that they're gonna have to give her comic a mature rating (for those of you who don't get the joke I'm saying if she uses her any of her abilities her tits will flop out).  And Knives? Sledgehammers? what the hell is that?! They're completely changing her personality which I'm not ok with.  Harley is a happy go lucky goofball who likes toys and plushies and make-up and being girly but isn't above manipulations, coercion and violence to get her way.  She's a clown not a psychotic goth. If you want to make a dark female to give to joker, a more sadistic figure then create a different character with those traits to vie for joker's affections.  THAT would make sense. It would also be more interesting to read.  A love triangle with crazy people?  That would get my attention.  This kind of crap seriously irritates me and makes me a sad panda.