Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mystery Solved!

The identity of The Outsiders' newest member revealed...



SPOILERS!!!!!!!

Talk amongst yourselves.

(Thanks to Big Monkey Comics subscriber C. Mah for providing the insight.)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Friday, February 24, 2006

We'll Always Have Paris



Yesterday, the patrons and staff of Big Monkey Comics somehow got onto the topic of Joe Madureira's return to comics with the upcoming release of Ultimates Vol. 3. Everyone was praising or poo-poo-ing how he revolutionized American comics by infusing them with a "cartoony" Manga/Anime sensibility.

"Awww," I said, "Paris Cullins was doing that and doing it right over twenty years ago."

Nothing but blank stares.

In the early 80's, new artists weren't necessarily known for their innovation. To be honest, you either drew like Curt Swan, Jack Kirby or someone in-between. Basically, you drew "classically" or you didn't. In the 80's, you certainly didn't draw "cartoony" and you certainly weren't chosen to launch a title if you did.

That was until Paris Cullins did so with Blue Devil.




I'd never seen like it before. Cullins' art perfectly captured the chaotic, kinetic pace of a Saturday adventure morning cartoon, only on paper. His characters, also, did something that many DC Comics never did. They smiled... alot, as if they actually enjoyed being on the page. Matter of fact, Cullins' people showed wide ranges of emotion on their faces, unlike many "Manga" influenced artists who seem to think "gnashing of teeth" and grimacing somehow equates with emotion. In short, Cullins' set up our minds to "accept" the work of guys like Mike Wieringo, Humberto Ramos and dare I say, Bruce Timm.



So when you're sitting down to read the rollicking adventures of "Super Grimacing Manga Influenced Man," just remember it all had to start from somewhere. For me, it started with Paris.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

"Your Moment Of Glory" Featuring Crazy Quilt


Crazy Quilt (or as he likes to be called, “David”), has done a lot in his nearly 70-year criminal career. Formerly, a noted artist, Quilt turned to crime, masterfully giving secret instructions to his henchmen through his paintings! After a rival got wind of the plot, Quilt was gunned down and though the bullet did not kill him, it left him blind. Wanting to see again, he did what gangsters did back then: he kidnapped a surgeon and forced him to operate on him. The operation was a bittersweet success, as "David" was no longer blind but could only see in fluorescent, vivid color. This was the first time he went crazy. Quilt went on to become the arch-villain to The Boy Commandos. Years later, S.TA.R. Labs was working on a cure for certain types of blindness and the man known as Crazy Quilt did what gangsters did: kidnapping another surgeon. This time, the surgery was a total success until Dick Grayson as Robin blinded him again. He, again, went crazy, this time luring a pre-Crisis Jason Todd into an alley, not realizing this Robin wasn’t Dick Grayson, he proceeded to “whup his ass.”

Following “The Crisis On Infinite Earths,” others have followed the path "David" blazed, among them, Black Mask, The Joker and most prominently, Dr. Leslie Thompkins. Over the years, we haven’t heard much from this unsung “Whupper of Robin Ass.” Now, “Seven Hells!” is proud to bring you his first and only interview.



DS: What exactly have you been doing with yourself since "The Crisis On Infinite Earths?"

CQ: First, I’d like to give a shout out to my boys, Tweedle-Dee & Tweetle-Dum, Black Spider, The Cavalier and Catwoman. I miss you, baby.

Man, what haven't I been doing would be the better question. I just recently quit my job as a writer and went to work running a successful dog care center. Learned some Latin along the way there, too. Oh! I also do alot of work with The Special Olympics.



DS: Huh?!? Really?!?


CQ: Yeah, really. (sneering) Crazy Quilt can't love the kids, man?!?



DS: So, what goes through your mind when the bulk of the world credits The Joker as being "The First Man To Whup Jason Todd's Ass?"

CQ: *phhpht* Hell, man. [Whupping Jason's ass] was just something I just did. DC Comics didn't have to go and make no "telethon" to encourage me to beat that kid's ass. You gotta understand this was Pre-Crisis, man, we just went out and did stuff like that back then. We took initiative. That's America working right there, man.

Anyway, we're talking about The Joker here! How can I win against his press? I mean... Me? I go out there, all blind and sh*t, with my little light helmet. Not exactly headline news when The Joker's out there with a sniper rifle shooting at police, y'know. Kid, despite my first name, I'm just mean. That...that Joker motherf*****'s evil. Biiiig freakin' difference in the eyes of The Lord, man.


DS: How do you feel about Jason Todd's recent re-emergence as The Red Hood in the pages of Batman?

CQ: How do I feel? How do I feel?!? Proud, mostly. I feel like my whupping his ass, somehow, played a small part in his becoming the man he is today.

DS: OK, but how could you not know that it was Jason Todd's ass you were kicking, not Dick's?

CQ: Dude...(chuckles)...I'm f*cking blind.


DS: I hear ya. Recently, we saw you make a brief comeback in Villains United #2...

CQ: That wasn't me.



DS: Really...

CQ: Yeah, really! I wish I could tell you what the f*** happened! I don't know who the hell that was, man. It all started out beautifully, Gail Simone called me and told me that she was a fan of my work. I wasn't quite buying it, though. Honestly, after reading the internet about how Catman got played by that Meltzer guy, who wouldn't be a little leery of DC's writers, y'know? Initially, I said, "No, thanks," but Gail, she had Catman call me and at first, I was all like, "Catman, last I saw you, you was getting your ass whupped by Ollie Queen. Youse dead to me, bitch," but then he started talking about her plans for him and how if she liked my work, she might be willing to do a little something for me in Birds of Prey. I mean, I'd always had wanted to work with (snapping fingers) Batgirl, on something but our schedules just never quite synched up, y'know. So I asked him to give me a day or two to think about it and the next thing I know, some chick's breasts are in my costume, man!



DS: Did you and Gail have some kind of falling out?


CQ: *phpppht* I couldn’t tell you. You'd have to ask Gail, man.

DS: Think Catman might have said something to her about the re-casting?


CQ: Again, I don't know. I don’t know how to play the politics at DC anymore. It just hurt a little bit, o.k.? I mean, I was perfectly willing to come back. I’m still mean. I really think I could have brought something great to the Villains United table. I just wasn’t even given a chance. That... that's what hurts the most.


DS: I'm sorry.

CQ: Yeah, well, "Sorry," don't get you five minutes in Gorilla City, cuz.


(Storms out.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

"Now We're Really Even."



I knew it! Hal's a "bottom!"

Oh! By the way...who's that yelling at Batman and Hal off-panel?

Doctor Light.

Kyle Rayner: Adult!

OK, OK, it's late so...let's just get it out of the way. Look for the ongoing saga of Kyle Rayner: Adult! on Wednesdays from here on out.

Now back the thrilling adventures of our boy, Kyle...

We all do it, the telling of little white lies. I've done it. I've had it done to me. The reasons may have been to save face or to spare someone embarrassment but usually, we do it just to keep the peace. Some lies are little like, "Nah, that was Rambo on the phone." (It wasn't. Long story.)

Some lies are big, ugly, hairy, sweaty, smelly dangling ones like what Kyle Rayner: Adult! likes to tell...

"Oh, my mom's dead."



Now, I've told some sh*t in my lifetime but...

DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN!!!!!!!!!!!!

What I love about it all, is Kyle's justification, "It's just easier that way. In a lot of ways, she is dead to me." I've gotta remember that one. Sooooo, what does his girlfriend Donna Troy have to say about this? The being lied to, the lack of trust Kyle has in her, the disrespect? Next panel, please.



I want Donna Troy for girlfriend. What absolutely kills me about Kyle is that like Archie is a child's idea of what being a teenager is like, Kyle is an adult's idea of what it must be like to be "cool." Trust me, I know people like this guy. They're not cool. They do get their asses kicked alot, though.

Oh, and by the way, Donna, that itch between your legs. Not your fault.

Kyle's.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Far From A Perfect Storm


In the service of "CHUD: Thor's Comic Column" again. What got reviewed? Why Storm #1! As usual, here's your first paragraphto get you started...

She is everything, a goddess, a queen, a superhero, redeemed, a leader. She has tamed the wild, the feral. She is literally, become a force of nature. She is every Black woman I have ever known. She is Storm, the black super-heroine, bar none. She was my mother’s favorite superhero and I keep a statue of Storm in my apartment in honor of my mother. I asked to review this comic. After reading Storm #1, I walk away with mixed emotions, as it began with promise and literally, ended with a cliché.


If you want to read more, here's the link (It should be up soon), and be here tomorrow for your weekly dosage of the ongoing saga of Kyle Rayner: Adult!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Let It Bleed.


Multiverse. Multiverse. Multiverse.

Everyone's talking about The Multiverse. What characters are to be absorbed into it? Will we lose our beloved JSA to it? Will Black Adam, who after gaining unprecedented popularity by staying away from The Marvel Family mythos, be brought low by a return to the "Tawky Tawny" ridiculousness of Earth S?

Will the heroes still have the ability to "crossover?" I wonder about these things. I worried about these things... until I read Captain Atom: Armageddon #5.

Could it be the key to crossing dimensions was shown to us in this issue? In it, Capt. Atom's been trapped in The Wildstorm Universe, unable to tap into the quantum field and unable to make the "leap" home to The DC Universe. When all hope looks lost for Atom, The Authority's Engineer whisks him away to their ship, The Carrier, which houses "The Bleed," a "door" that opens up to various worlds or parallel universes. "The Bleed" is, effectively, is the Wildstorm Universe's version of The Cosmic Treadmill.

Have we finally found DC's reason for spiriting Captain Atom off to The Wildstorm Universe, to show us a new "doorway" to The Multiverse? I guess we'll find out soon enough, won't we?

So, Let Me Get This Straight...


...if Lois got with Jor-El and had a baby, would that baby go on to become Superman? So, would that mean that Lois would have been trying to get with her own son for like, the past 80 years?!?!

Lois, you need prayer.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Is This Anything?


While watching Batman Begins, I noticed a scene where a young blonde boy speaks to Batman. Batman eventually gives the young boy a piece of Bat-equipment to let him know that he's a real human being...or something.

Well, later on in the movie the child is seperated from his mom and during the riot preceding the final scene, he's dosed by Scarecrow's fear gas and keeps repeating something to the effect of "I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid." Does he ever find his mom or does he become another Gotham orphan?

Were we looking at nothing there. Was it all "throw-away?" Or as Scip pointed out to me, "Jason Todd was originally a blonde boy who had to dye his hair to become Robin."

Was it anything? What do you think?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Big Monkey Comics: Jimmy Palmiotti Interview


Recently, I had the chance to interview writer/inker Jimmy (Jonah Hex, Daughters of The Dragon, Painkiller Jane) Palmiotti. The interview can be found exclusively on my store's website, Big Monkey Comics. In it Jimmy speaks on his role in Marvel's late 90's financial and creative turnaround, his feelings on ex-Marvel exec Bill Jemas, speaks on the upcoming DC mini-series Crisis Aftermath: The Battle For Bludhaven and even finds the time to lay down hints about a couple of exciting new DC and Marvel projects.

This will be the first in what I hope to be many interviews and what better way to start than one of comics' hottest creators.

Also over at COMICBOOKRESOURCES.COM, Chuck Austen defends himself.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Kyle Rayner, Adult

It’s Tuesday, so you know what time it is! It’s time for Kyle Rayner: Adult!

Seeing that it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d use our boy in showing you how not to woo a divorcee.



One: When you take her to The Moon, don’t let your first romantic gesture be conjuring up a blonde in a maid’s outfit. You will wind up playing palm hockey no matter how clever you might believe yourself to be.

Two: Umm…there is no two. Kyle’s an ass-clown. Just don’t be a frickin’ insensitive clown to your significant other like our boy, Kyle Rayner: Adult!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Just Terrific!

I was asked the other day who my favorite Black DC character was. People ask me that alot, I guess, because...well...I'm Black.

The choices, surprisingly, were vast. Was it Cyborg, current leader of The Teen Titans? It could have been Lucius Fox for business acumen, alone but also because we share a common thread. We both run businesses,allowing crazy White guys to do other things. ;-)

Black Lightning?

Was it Vixen for her beauty.

No. Though, I adore each and every character I've mentioned, it's not one of them. No, my favorite DC character of color is Michael Holt, Mr. Terrific. Why? He reminds me of someone and and for the longest time I couldn't remember who it was.



One of the most interesting men alive is world renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson is everything I am not. Soft-spoken, brilliant, humble, a father, a man of faith. These are qualities I admire but don't necessarily wish for myself. I admire them in others, though. Mr. Terrific possesses the same attributes. Dr. Carson is a real-life Mr. Terrific...just minus the kick-ass leather jacket and the backflips.

Mr. Terrific came to mean something to me for one simple reason: When The Justice Society needed to appoint a new chairman, the job went to Mr. Terrific. Why? He was simply the best man for the job. Not the best Black man for the job. The best man for the job. Most people who share my history strive for that everyday in smaller but just as significant ways.

Mr. Terrific is written to be a man of dignity, the best there is at what he does. It makes proud to know that a man such as this can be found in our world and on the pages of a simple comic book.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

In Defense Of ...Chuck Austen?!? Vol.2

Chuck Austen has been many things: Writer, director, voice actor...vilified.

One thing many forget or just don't know is that Chuck Austen is (was) a very talented artist. While I was going through old issues of "Who's Who In The DC Universe," I took note of one of my favorite entries: Midnight. I remembered loving the entry for its' drawing's sense of whimsy and the exuberence shown in the artist's linework. I proceeded to look in the bottom left hand of the page to see who the artist was and to my surprise, it was none other than...



Chuck Austen.

Ladies and gentleman, Chuck Austen: Writer, director, actor and pretty damned good artist.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Kyle Rayner, Adult

It's Tuesday...no, it's actually Wednesday this week...so you know what time it is! It time for...

KYLE RAYNER, ADULT!



"Had to listen to people screaming in the alley next to my building at all hours."

Why one must loathe/love Kyle Rayner, Adult?

Not once, not once, did it ever occur to him that maybe one person in that alley could have been screaming for help.

Past generations of Rayners have held the following jobs:

Head of security at Arkham Asylum, Nero's fiddle teacher and Army Intelligence Officer stationed just outside of Germany circa 1939...

...and as usual, Kyle Rayner, Adult is sponsored by "Kyle Rayner's Miracle Self-Esteem Accesories."



They're "Kyle-approved!"

Friday, February 03, 2006

In Defense Of...Chuck Austen?!? Vol. 1

Say what you will about the man and yes, you will but you have to give credit where credit is due...

when someone asked me, "Who's out there who can write a good Martian Manhunter story?" My first thought was, of course, John Ostrander from his days on the criminally underappreciated 90's series and then my second thought was, "and Chuck Austen."

Chuck Austen? Yes, Chuck Austen. Why? Because Austen captured, with one simple page (and a lot of help from artist, Ron Garney), J'onn J'onzz's loner status to a tee...



...and it really got to me. Note his apartment: there are no decorations, no pictures of loved ones. There is no need for a phone because no one calls on him socially. J'onn lives totally alone, except for his memories.

He has no furniture, save the one chair, because he knows no one will visit. The one chair in the apartment is positioned in front of the one thing that seems to take his mind away from it all: the television. The television offers him everything he could need: information and occasionally, companionship. The television tells him where The Martian Manhunter may be needed next. The television helps J'onn keep his mind off of how un-needed he may feel.

Perched atop his television, the one thing that brings him absolute joy: The beloved Oreos. When I think of J'onn, eating his Oreos, I know that he is happy, so I am happy for him.

One little scene saying so much. With that, Austen became kinda alright in my book.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Johhny Thunder: RAW! or "Don't Invite Johnny Thunder To Your Black Family Reunion"

Despite what you may have heard...


...even an Amazon enjoys a good d*** joke every once in a while.