Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thank You, Mr. Chaykin...

...for showing Hawkgirl new uses for old prom dresses...

...for showing Hawkgirl where to shop for frilly lace brasierres that, I assume, share the same properties as a sports bra...

...for introducing "The Galactic Space Vagina" to The DC Universe.


Thank you, Mr. Chaykin for making your Hawkgirl run just so damned... awkwardly appealing.

Godspeed, Mr Chaykin!

Godspeed.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mad Love(d.)


A strong female lead, Terry Dodson on art, a writer willing to try new things, you'd think that would be enough to sell a comic, huh?

What comic do I speak of? The mercifully defunct DC series, Harley Quinn.

It started out promising: Harley, fresh from emancipating herself from her boyfriend, The Joker, puts together her own group, The Quintets (So far, so good.) liberates her "babies" (Her two hyenas) and then proceeds to find her own way in The DC Universe. Sounds good, yes?

Throw in Big Barda acting as an agent of Oracle, a slumber party featuring Harley's gal-pal, Poison Ivy, Catwoman and a drunken Jewelee of Punch & Jewelee fame and our asses should have fallen off from laughing so hard. Not so.

What comics got was a calculating, deceitful woman who truly, truly had no need for her "Mr. J." or much less anyone else for that matter, as she proceeded to kill of the henchmen, one-by-one, who'd gotten close to her.

That's when it dawned on me why I didn't care for this Harley.

Series writer Karl Kesel hardened her heart and had her become her man. He turned her into The Joker.

Gone was the Harley of The Batman: The Animated Series, the one who delighted in the sheer randomness of her and The Joker's crimes. The Harley of the B:TAS adored her man and we, the watchers, absolutely loved her & hated her for it. We, as sane folk, could never forgive her for constantly going back to a man who hated her but I think we all secretly marveled at how hard this character could love. Absolutely. Unconditionally. She was willing to give her man all the things, he in his crazy heart wouldn't willingly give her. Harley Quinn was the embodiment of unconditional (mad) love. Harley had hope. Despite myself and knowing how wrong it is, I loved that about her.

By hardening her heart within the comics page, that which made her unique was taken away and that just may be the saddest part of Harley's all-too-brief comic book life.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Brad Meltzer's Justice League Vs. Scip And A Guy Named Glen


Monday afternoon, I found myself, once again, in the company of friends playing a game of Heroclix. Woozy from Monday's revelation of Brad's Justice League of America line-up, I decided to field a team comprised of a rookie Black Lightning, a veteran Vixen, a veteran Red Tornado, an experienced Hal Jordan, an experienced Black Canary, a veteran Hawkgirl and a veteran Arsenal.

This team comes out to a perfect 400 points.

Scip fielded a team comprised of Flash villains that somehow included a veteran Blockbuster (Don't ask. It's Scip, for Jeebus' sake.) and A Guy Named Glen played a team in search of Prozac (Obsidian, Atom-Smasher, Batman, Dr. Mid-Nite & Raven).

Scip quaked and hemmed and hawed at the assembled might of The Justice League and proceeded to hide in a corner as Hal Jordan took out Scip's monkey (Gorilla Grodd) without moving one single square.

That's when things got weird. A Guy Named Glen's team was full of healers. This dark, dark team started to help one another, heal one another. It was oddly beautiful. Before I knew what had happened, Black Lightning was dead. (A cliche if I ever saw one.)

Next AGNG's team swarmed upon The JLofA's womenfolk. Next to fall was Black Canary and then Vixen. Hal tried to help but he hurt his hair or as you may call it "rolling double ones." Then, Scip and AMNG teamed up on Hal (Make your own joke.) and proceeded to kill him, slowly. Hawkgirl quickly retreated and was soon overtaken by Captain Boomerang. AMNG's "Gloom Patrol" rapidly collected the remnants of Scip's folly.

The League was left with one man standing: The Red Tornado!

I forfeited as even The Red Tornado couldn't single-handedly stand against the assembled might of untouched an Doc Mid-Nite, Raven & Obsidian and a fully healed Batman.

So, how does this game of Heroclix bode well for Brad Meltzer's Justice League of America?

I don't know.

It was just a game of Heroclix, after all.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!


Logos don't lie.

Ah, "New Earth..." What's not to love about you? You erase Batman "Hush" inspired rememberances from The Riddler's mind. You restore Wonder Woman as a fully-founding member of The Justice League of America and then you give us fresh from ditching the shoulderpads and slaying The Nemedian Lion, Hercules Unbound? Yes, people, after a thirty-one year absence from the DC Universe proper, Hercules Unbound has returned, replacing wet-mop, serial rapist and Greek God Heracles.

The Hecules Unbound at the end of Wonder Woman #2 had a short-lived twelve issue series featuring beautiful interiors by future comics legends Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Walt Simonson with inks by EC Comics legend Wally Wood.

Hercules of Unbound fame existed in a post-apocalyptic world occupied by the likes of OMAC, Kamandi and The Atomic Knights. With OMAC appearing in his own comic and The Atomic Knights coming across The Command-D Bunker are we witnessing the re-weaving of Bronze Age threads or does Wonder Woman writer Alan Heinberg just think 1975's Hercules Unbound just kicked ass?

Also, your intrepid Devon wrote a review of Wonder Woman #2 over at CHUD: Thor's Comic Column. If you somehow could not make up your mind about your feelings on Wonder Woman #2, feel free to let my review act as your opinion.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Private Dick


It happened and we didn't know it. Somewhere, somehow, Dick Grayson became almost irrelevant.

I've been thinking about this so please bear with me.

Recently, DC Comics' Dan Didio made an announcement that Dick Grayson (Nightwing) was to die within Infinite Crisis' pages. The internet clutched its' collective heart and like a pod of Fred Sandfords tried its best to die of proverbial shock. Did DC really want to kill Nightwing for shock value alone or was it something more?

I think Didio realized something we've all known but just ccouldn't admit to ourselves.

The DC Universe, as it stands, really doesn't need Dick Grayson anymore.

It's taken 17 years but Tim Drake, the current Robin (Yes, Tim's been around for SEVENTEEN YEARS!), has eclipsed Dick Grayson in every way, shape and form. Quietly, under the guidance of writer Chuck Dixon, Tim Drake became his own man while simultaneously becoming the ideal partner for Batman. We saw Tim as resourceful, clever. Within the pages of Young Justice and Teen Titans, we saw Tim got to see Tim as a natural born leader. All aspects Dick Grayson once possessed but the writers of The Titans & The Outsiders chose to ignore in the name of "plot development."

Dick Grayson died just that much more, off-panel, during Identity Crisis. During the comics event of 2004, Tim Drake had to helplessly listen to his father die. All Tim could do was collapse, weeping into the waiting arms of Batman... and that sealed the deal right there.

How was Dick ever going to "top" Tim's story.

Tim Drake, through his tragedy, became a character anyone who had suffered any kind of loss could identify with. Through not giving up on himself or those around him despite the crushing deaths, within two years of each other, of his dad, his girlfriend and his best friend, Superboy, Tim Drake became the ultimate Robin.

His reward for walking through hell? Batman immediately did what he could not do for Dick. Batman adopted Robin, giving us what we'd been missing for too long: a Robin who wasn't afraid to smile again. We got a Robin who lives in Wayne Manor, ready to trade quips with Alfred at a moment's notice, a Robin who wants to stand side-by-side with Batman on a Gotham City rooftop. We got a Robin who wants to be a part of a family again.

Meanwhile, Dick Grayson is alone, by himself, in Marvel's New York, being antgsty. That is not Dick Grayson.

Somewhere, along the line Tim Drake became "Dick Grayson" and fulfilled the promise Dick Grayson's writers chose to abandon upon his graduation to Nightwing.

The DCU wants a Dick Grayson but needs a Robin. The public-at-large really doesn't know or care who occupies the costume. They just want to be secure in knowing that there's a Batman & Robin out there for them to rediscover. Unfortunately, somewhere, caught between Batman & Robin is Nightwing. Didio realizes Dick Grayson's dilemma. Hopefully, Marv Wolfman, the upcoming writer of Nightwing and the man who created Tim Drake and Nightwing realizes this and will bring Dick Grayson back to the Batman mythos.

I really, really hope so but I'm not holding out any hope. It's kind of like reading a Nightwing comic all over again.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Spoiled Sport

SPOILERS AHEAD....



I'm not kidding...



I like this team. I do. What do I like about it?

One? It has The Big Three of Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman. You can't have a Justice League of America without them. You can have one without The Martian Manhunter though.

Two? Knowing Brad Meltzer who is in love with all things 70's DC, with the inclusion of Black Lightning (Black Vulcan), he gets just that much closer to The Super Friends roster he always wanted to see.

Three? With the inclusion of Hawkgirl & Vixen, we get just that much closer to a Justice League Unlimited roster.

Four? A sixty-forty split of men to women. There should be no reason for anyone to find fault with that.

Five? Yeah, there are two people who look like me on the team. Yeah, I'm talking about Black Lightning... and Red Tornado. Bald guys.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Part Deux: "Seven Hells!" New Earth Theatre Starring Hawkman & Daniel


When last we saw Hawkman and Daniel, Hawkman tried to flatten his grandson with a mace.

Hawkman: (Swinging mace) Sweet Jes...

Daniel: I'm actually behind you now, grandfather.

Hawkman: (Snarling) Trust me, that's not a good place to be, boy.

Daniel: I have no idea what you mean. Sooo... what are we to do today? Shall we dream of a candy store?

Hawkman: No. I was thinking we could stay here and look through The JSA Archives and look up the exploits of Wesley Dodds. I'd think you'd like that. (Smiling)

Daniel: Hmmm.... not my thing, really.

Hawkman: (Snarling) What do you want to do then, boy?

Daniel: I... don't... know.
(Hours pass in utter silence.)

Hawkman: Look. Daniel? I just don't think this is going to work out. We're just too different. You're young. Why don't you go and do the things that young folks do. Just go and be happy. I have to go into Metropolis and look into the authenticity of a old brooch Green Lantern wants for his wife...

Daniel: YOU'RE GOING ANTIQUING?!? I LOVE ANTIQUING! Why, once I worked with The Justice League and I retrived this artifact. A memory, actually...

Hawkman: YOU worked with The Justice League?

Daniel: I worked with The Justice League.

Hawkman: Heh. Daniel, how would you like to accompany me to Metropolis? You can tell your grandfather a story.

...and so ends another episode of "Seven Hells!" New Earth Theatre. Be here next week for SHNET when Nightwing realizes he sucks.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Seven Hells!" New Earth Theatre Starring Hawkman & Daniel


Due to The DC Universe's re-tooling during Infinite Crisis, many future possibilities have been eliminated in favor of a "New Earth."

We at "Seven Hells!" (Me and that guy standing over there.) have decided to show you, the reader, one of the many opportunities missed in favor of a "New Earth" in a little feature we've title "Seven Hells" New Earth Theatre.

Wildcat (Eating a sweet-ass oatmeal raisin cookie) : SAY HEY, Carter! What're you up to?

Hawkman: (Scratching his chest hair with his mace) : Hmm? Oh, hello, Ted. I'm waiting.

Wildcat: (Still munching on that sweet-ass oatmeal raisin cookie) : For...?

Hawkman: *sigh* The grandchild.

Wildcat: Wha...? Say again?

Hawkman: The grandchild, Ted. I'm waiting for my grandchild.

Wildcat (shrugs shoulders)

Hawkman: I recently found out I have a grandson, Ted. His name is Daniel, he was born the Lord of Dreams.

Wildcat: You mean that sick looking kid I saw Jakeem trying to... he's yours?

Hawkman: That would be him. The pale, pale boy. His mother, Lyta, wants me to spend some... "quality time" with the boy. I don't know what she expects from me. For God's sake! Look at me, I'm Hawkman, damn it and he just so... not.

(Suddenly, Daniel materializes in the JSA foyer.)

Daniel: Hello, grandfather. I think I just dreamt a little Black child out of existence.

Wildcat: *sigh* I'm going to go see if The Red Bee's around. Good luck with that, Carter.

Daniel: It's good to see you grandfather. (Daniel leans in to kiss Hawkman on the cheek.)

Hawkman: (Swinging mace) Sweet Jes...

How does it all end? Tune in tomorrow for more "Seven Hells!" New Earth Theatre...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Manhunter #25



Never, ever have I seen the final page of a comic's final issue pay off so well.

If the last page is what I think it is, then it's like a kiss on the forehead to everyone who read all 25 issues of Manhunter.

Trust me, very soon you all will be clamoring for more Manhunter.

Buy this week's MANHUNTER!!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

June Previews

While cleaning out my office today, I came across June's Previews catalog. Normally, I toss the old ones out once I'm done placing an order so for the life of me, I couldn't remember why I was keeping this one.

After thumbing through it, I suddenly remembered why I'd kept this one particular Previews...

WHITE POWER!

Probably not the wording most would use to sell a Superman t-shirt but I guess Diamond knows better than I.

I'll bookend the tee with my Red Skull statue.

(All said with tongue firmly planted in cheek.)

Monday, August 14, 2006

In Awe...


I have finally discovered the true meaning of "awesome."

About two months ago, DC Comics announced that due to low sales, they were going to cancel one of my favorite titles, Manhunter.

Due to overwhelming fan feedback, DC made the unprecedented move giving Manhunter a five-issue reprieve in order to get its' sales up and give new readers a chance to discover what the buzz is all about.

The day after said announcement, I received a new subscriber form with with one lone title checked off upon its page. That title?

Manhunter.

For the past two months, he's come in, bought a few random other titles and his comics pull, Manhunter.

Last month, I overheard one of my employees talking up Manhunter to a customer and I watched him slip in a copy, free of charge, into the customer's bag.

What's that you ask, "Is every day Free Comic Book Day at Big Monkey Comics?"

No.

What it is is this guy... this awesome customer guy... comes in buys his comics, read his Manhunter with us and asks us to pass it onto any customer, free of charge, to anyone else looking for something new, fresh and different.

That, my friends, is a true comics fan and one of the many I'm proud to have as customers at Big Monkey Comics.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Get Behind Me, Satan!


Lord, help me but I just cannot stop looking at Plastic Man's ass!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Trust Me On This One...


Ladies and gentlemen...

THE GREATEST BLACK CANARY PAGE IN COMICS!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What's Right With This Picture?


A lot, actually.

Yes, out of the 17 members of the Justice Society of America pictured, only four are women. And yes, I also see that out of the 17, none of the women happen to have a seat at the table.

Here's a different perspective on this picture...

You see the women, all four of them. You pretty much always have.

Allow me to clarify a bit:

These four women, like the two Black men, the gay man and a Jew who also happen to be there, are there because of what they're going to bring to the table, whether they have a seat at it or not.

I've often said that if you want to imagine being a Black man, you have to imagine being underestimated every time you walk through a new door. I imagine this is a bit like what it is to be a woman.

That said, I find it more incredible that I never once viewed the cover in those terms. It just never occured to me. All I saw was the Justice Society of America. Keep in mind, it was a society where a mere forty years ago, it didn't have a place at its table for Mr. Terrific.

In this new Justice Society of America, actions and abilities are valued above anything else.

This cover has four women on it. Four women who're just as valuable to this team as any four of the men.

When viewed on those terms, there seems to be a lot more right than wrong with this picture.

Just my opinion.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Kyle Rayner: ADULT! Week!: Day Four


Sorry for the lateness. I lost track of the comic before scanning it all in. Yep, I'm a genius.

Anyway, when we last left our hero Kyle he was inside an Irish bar with Tommy "Hitman" Monaghan...

...after being lied to by a FBI agent...

(Imagine that.)

She left one thing out, though.


Tommy really is a hitman?!? I don't know what's more shocking: Tommy's nonchalance about The FBI's file on him or Kyle's finally realizing Tommy's a hitman after having a gun shoved down his throat.

Aww, man! I guess that means they won't be teaming up. Oh, the slash fic that could've come from that!

It's good to know that the concept of the "broke-ass m%*$@f*^&@" is a universal one.

From what I've heard, many of Kyle's girlfriends also called him "The Green Tightwad" but for... *heh*heh*... many... many... different reasons.

And so ends Kyle Rayner: ADULT! Week!

Later!


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Monkey-She, Monkey Do

Run, don't walk and to your local comic book shop and grab yourself a copy of She-Dragon #1 drawn by and friend of the Big Monkey, Franchesco! Franchesco's not only an incredible artist but also one of the nicest guys I've ever had the pleasure to meet. How could he any cooler?

Well, he also happens to be one heck of a snazzy dresser! What was his attire of choice while attending San Diego Comic Con?


A snazzy Big Monkey Comics ringer tee, that's what!

Wearing of a Big Monkey Comics tee may cause women dressed as Slavegirl Princess Leia to swarm upon your person! Ask Franchesco!

Wearing of a Big Monkey Comics may result in comics legends such as George Perez desiring to come up and hug you. Ask Franchesco!

Is it that people naturally gravitate towards genuinely talented guys at conventions or the simple wearing of a BMC t-shirt? I do not know but I'm happy to know that my little shop somehow played a part in it all.

Thanks again Franchesco!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Wonderfully Random


I just got done watching the first episode of "Who Wants To Be A Superhero" on Itunes and I must say, it really, really enjoyed it.

At first, I thought it was designed to make fun of geeks and our love for eccentricity but almost from the very start, I came to realize WWTBAS was a show about achieving a greater ideal.

Wonderful thing that.

How cool was Monkey Woman's tree climb and monkey-flip exit from that tree?

How ironic was it that the first two eliminations were the guy who makes custom action figures and the guy who works in a comic book shop? So much for practicing what you preach.

Anyway, as the show came to an end and I forgot that I had my Itunes on "Random" and you'll never guess what song started to play after the show's end.

"Wonderboy" by Tenacious D.

It's random moments like this that make me love this geek world we all live in just that much more.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Kyle Rayner: ADULT! Week!: Day Three

When last we left our kid Kyle he was gonna get his head blown off his shoulders...

What the @#&% is this $#!%? They're talking it out? Lowering their weapons?!? Reasoning? This was the Nineties? Who went and replaced the Alice In Chains soundtrack with this Rusted Root sh*t?

Alright!!! Lobo's here and standing in front of Tommy's favorite Irish bar, Noonan's! Now, we're getting somewhere! Only an apperance by Superfriends member El Dorado showing up at my front door, asking me to share his cerzeva, could make life any sweeter.

Oddly enough, this was the same reaction Kyle got at his Teen Titans meetings.

Turned down by a lush for induction onto a superteam? This would never happens in The Avengers.

Tune in tomorrow as we find out Kyle has no pockets.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Kyle Rayner: ADULT! Week!: Day Two


That cat Tommy's in the ceiling ready to shoot Kyle in the head. Elsewhere in the world...

I really can't add anything to that.

Kyle "fists" Tommy.

Something kind of sad about The way that things have come to be Desensitized to everything What became of subtlety?

How can it really mean anything to me
If I really don't feel anything at all?

I'll keep digging till,
I feel something.

Taken from Tool's Stinkfist, a song about...you guessed it... fisting.

It also happens to be the official love song of Master of the Universe Fisto.

Could you imagine a Justice League with these two on it?

Kyle: "Anyone want some of my bratwurst?"

Hitman: (Shoots Kyle)

Kyle: "Ow! My ass!"

The "BWAHAHA!" Justice League 90's Style!

GASP!!!! Kyle's secret identity's been compromised!!!!

Oh...
yeah.

*heh*

I think the guy who runs Kyle's neighborhood coffee shop knows his secret identity too.

It's really not that big of a deal.

Moving on...

Tune in tomorrow as Kyle can't get into THE JUSTICE CLUB!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Kyle Rayner: ADULT! Week!: Day One


The Nineties were a cruel mistresss to DC Comics. Seemingly fresh out of ideas after the early 90's success of "The Death of Superman," DC went on a creative hiatus and decided that in order to stay in the game, they had to change with the times. Gone was the reverence afforded a gorilla in a wedding dress, enter a somewhat Marvel/Image-esque "grim 'n gritty" approach in producing their comics. DC Comics went "dark."

Gone from the comics racks were books such as DC Comics Presents and The Brave and The Bold, where DC's heroes would team-up just to fight the good fight.

Comics such as Gunfire, Lobo, Deathstroke The Terminator, The Butcher & Exteme Justice were rapidly becoming the norm rather than exception. Among them was a character borrowing very much from this ethos but at the same time, shunning & skewering it. One of 90's DC's few bright spots, the Garth Ennis (Preacher) scripted title, Hitman.

Elsewhere, long-standing heroes such as Batman, Superman & Hal Jordan were being broken and killed and replaced by younger, fresher characters. Among this new breed of character was one Kyle Rayner, the last & littlest Green Lantern.

So for those who ever wondered what would happen when 90's most juvenile superhero meets absurdist, 90's "grim 'n gritty?"

The pure magic that is Hitman #11.


How wonderful is it that a killer who barely made it out of high school is teaching college grad, Kyle, the power of rhetoric. Tommy Monaghan: hitman, Greek scholar, master of trivium.

For those not in the know, Hitman has a low-level forms of telepathy. Tommy knows that at any given moment all Kyle ever wants in life is a chance to prove himself and a fried bratwurst with curly fries.

Well, at least now we know that Kyle doesn't catch like a girl. Because most girls wouldn't try and CATCH A GRENADE THROWN BY A HITMAN!!!

How could you not love Kyle's dialogue? Cliches, idle threats and all. Kyle Rayner equals shorthand for "90's superhero."

Well, it looks like Kyle gets shot in the head and none of his girlfriends (Jade, Donna Troy, that green alien chick with the penis Kyle never got to discover) ever meet him so no woman need fear death at the the touch of Kyle ever again. Tommy Monaghan: patron saint of Donna Troy.

It looks like Kyle Rayner: ADULT! Week's already over.

I'd like to thank Brooklyn, my baby's momma... What? Oh, it's not over? Kyle lives to see another day?

Well, then... tune in tomorrow as Kyle "fists" Tommy.