Fighting over the drumstick

Well Chris is working his way steadily through issue 4 of MERE MORTAL, so now we look forward towards issue 5. As per out tradition he'll be over at my house for some good eatin'. This time instead of enjoying the onset of a turkey coma we'll be getting a bit done. The issue 5 script is ready to go and I'm hoping to address on thing that our critics have knocked us on: fight scenes.

We've gotten a couple of reviews, and while both have been favorable they both did not like how we handled the fight scenes. Well, we could tell those reviewers to go sod off, however we're not 12 year olds. These were objective observations and if both saw a need for improvement in that one area then we're going to show them what we're made of.

I've choreographed fights for karate demos. I also have an extensive collection of fight footage and somewhat rare martial arts films. We're going to be drawing from a lot of sources for this one. So expect a big fight coming up, and expect it to be our best one yet.


The following is completely true, except for the parts that aren't.

With our troubling economic times it seems like everyone is taking a hit. The comic industry is no exception.

"We're pretty sure that the country's economic woes are the real reason COUNTDOWN didn't sell as well as we hoped." said Dan DiDio, DC Comics editor-in-chief.

The problems did not stop there, as Marvel was having it's own troubles making sales. "I don't get it." cried Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, "Three movies, a cartoon series, and his likeness on everything and SPIDER-MAN just isn't selling? What the hell?"

"The government has to do something." Remarked DiDio. "We're too big to fail. What would the world be without Superman?" Despite the fact that this question was answered by the storyline following the "Death of Superman", DiDio remained adamant that society is not ready to face this possibility. To try to get in the good graces of the folks on Capital Hill, DiDio and Quesada both are looking to whatever it takes to try to get a piece of the bailout pie.

"We're going green!" announced DiDio. "We'll only be using recycled storylines from now on! In fact, expect Clark and Lois to get a visit Neron next year."

"You can't do that!" cried Quesada.

"Why not?"

"Because we ripped off 'One More Day' from the storyline where Neron tried to steal the love between Wally and Linda West... I mean... nuthin'..." Quesada said and them promptly left the room for a potty break. He returned moments later much more composed. "We've already gone green over at Marvel!" he proclaimed, but then asked to retract that proclamation upon being informed that having Skrulls all over the place doesn't count.

They did meet with some opposition at getting bail out funds from the Government as President-elect Obama felt that money should be taken from them and given to smaller companies, because 'spreading the wealth is a good thing'. The President-elect quickly changed his mind after DiDio and Quesada offered to create a massive crossover event revealing that Lex Luthor and Doctor Doom both receive orders from radio talk show host, and TV personality Sean Hannity. Obama did seem a bit more cozy with the Marvel contingent.

"I don't know why." said Quesada. "He just seemed more comfortable with people willing to deny the existence of twenty year long relationships."

Only time will tell if any bail out money goes to either of the companies. It's my hope that these companies do make it because should they fall Lord only knows what Geoff Johns and Brian Bendis would do with all that time on their hands.

Heroes (not the TV show)

I've always been a superhero fan. I can't remember a time when I wasn't. Everyone has a hero, whether they run around in spandex or not. One of my heroes had a pretty tough weekend.

At UFC 91 Randy Couture lost his heavyweight championship to Brock Lesnar. It was a hell of a fight. I'm saddened by the outcome, after all Couture even as the champ was coming into this as an underdog and like most folks I love seeing an underdog come out on top. My friends and I have said it all before. "Man, he's getting kinda old." "Wow, that other guy is so big and strong." Over and over we've seen Couture defy the odds. It didn't happen this time.

It wasn't for lack of trying. Despite being 14 years older than his opponent and being 45 pounds lighter, Couture gave Lesnar a hell of a fight. Clearly Lesnar's greatest test since entering mixed martial arts. Lesnar deserves all the credit for passing the test. It wasn't luck, or a fluke. It was a solid combination and good follow up.

It would be so easy to vilify Lesnar. With his size advantage, he could easily fit the role of 'big bully'. But it's not the case. He was gracious with his victory, just as Couture was gracious in his defeat. Couture doesn't fight villains like the characters I usually write about. He fights the odds. He faces opponents in the ring and puts his skills and hard work to the test. He doesn't ramble on about kicking people's asses. He talks about 'imposing his will' upon them. He's a sportsman.

Athletes are easy to see as heroes. They inspire us with their feats and victories. They often don't ask for the title of 'hero', but the onslaught of fandom gives it to them.

So, Randy Couture is one of my heroes. I'd love to be as tough and skilled as he is, even though that'll likely never happen, it's good to try. They call him 'Captain America' which honestly if I was going to equate him to any comic book character I can't think of one better. I admire many of the the same attribute in Couture as I do in Cap: perseverance, skill, graciousness. My favorite super-heroes, like my favorite fighters all have something going for them besides their powers or fighting skills. They have heart.

So, Couture right now is going to figure out which direction he wants to go in after losing the belt. Honestly, if he retired from the game and went of to run his gym and train fighters, I wouldn't blame him. He's done plenty for the sport and for the fans, and I'd be happy with whatever he decides. But would I like to see a re-match?

Hell yes.

Not because of anything against the new champ, but because I'd like to see my hero beat the odds and inspire us all one more time.

Well, now the pressure is off...

So I've said in the past that I feel some pressure to write about BLUE BEETLE since Boxxet said to come here for more information about Blue Beetle. Well, I don't have to worry about that anymore since BLUE BEETLE is the latest title from DC getting the axe. I tell ya, I'm going to be having a lot more spending money soon. DC seems to have targeted my pull list, so I figure that's another three bucks I won't be spending on comics per month. Thanks to DC chopping so much stuff I'm up about twenty dollars a month.

The only problem is it's BLUE BEETLE getting the axe. This has been a favorite book of mine and quite a few other people. The main character, Jamie Reyes, is great. He's Latino, which is a really under-represented minority in comics. He's also a testament to how far DC had come. Anyone else remember Vibe? He was the break dancing member of the Justice League with the power to not only generate and control vibrations but also to be every stereotype imaginable. Fortunately, he'd dead now, and unlike Hal Jordan and Barry Allen I doubt he'll be back any time soon.

Reyes will still be around as a member of the TEEN TITANS which his presence may be the only thing keeping me on that title. BLUE BEETLE is a gem, and even though it's not quite as strong as it was with John Rogers at the helm, think it deserves a chance. At the very least, I'd like to get some trades.

I am wondering when the title chopping will stop.

Deadwood... with pirates?

Galveston #1
Let me just make one thing clear before we dive in here: I hate pirates. How a bunch of murders and rapists have been so over-glorified is beyond me. So why am I even reading this book? Because if you take multiple genres and shove them in a blender that usually makes me perk up.

Quick history lesson. Jean Lafitte was a famous pirate in the early 1800. If you're awake in your high school history class you may have seen his name pop up here and there. Well, his final years weren't spent out on the high seas. They were spent somewhere much more dangerous: Texas. There he was good buddies with one Jim Bowie. Name sound familiar? Bowie knives anyone?

Now this comic doesn't claim to be historically accurate, but with a set up like that, someone has to jump in and have some fun with it. Johanna Stokes does just that and serves up a pirate/cowboy/buddy flick of a comic. Lafitte is smooth-talking smart-ass. Bowie is a hard fightin' tough guy who looks like he'd give Jonah Hex a run for his money. The first issue gives us fun by way of mutiny. It's mostly set up, and there's not much by way of a strong hook; but the set up is interesting and it's enough to warrant my further attention.

Two different artists worked this one. Todd Herman hits us head on with brutal fight scene. I like his stuff. It's loaded with atmosphere and he really has a keen eye. Greg Scott comes in to bat clean up on the second half of the book. He gets the job done, but Herman's work overpowers his. Still, it's solid, and tell the story.

This book hits the shelves Wednesday, so if you can, keep an eye out for it.

My Stepmother's Curse

I'm reminded of one of my favorite comic series, HITMAN by Garth Ennis and John McCrea. I loved that book. Loved every last issue of it. Strangely enough, my step-mother loved it too. You see, once you got past the over the top violence in the book you had these extraordinary characters. Even though they were killers they seemed more decent than a lot of folks I've run across. The book spoke more eloquently of honor, family and friendship than anything else I've read.

My step-mother is a very sweet and kind woman, not the type you would imagine would read HITMAN. She did have one problem. Whenever she would declare any character in that comic to be her favorite, they would die. "I love Ringo." Gunned down by five guys with assault rifles. "I love Sean." Stabbed by a mob hitter. It finally just kept going until she declared Tommy and Natt, the main characters, were her favorites.

That was the end of the series.

And now it seems I've inherited it. Problem is, that it's evolved. Now whenever I start following a comic at DC it's set to be canceled. BIRDS OF PREY and NIGHTWING are next on the list. I have the urge to delete all my praise for WONDER WOMAN from this blog for fear Dan DiDio will read it and target it for cancellation. DC seriously needs a new editor-in-chief. It's like he wants the readers to go away, or at least me at any rate.