Done with DC

Its Wednesday, June 1, 2011, and this is The Side. It really sucks when you realize that something you've really enjoyed for over a decade has jumped the shark.


I've been a solid DC reader since 1996. I've read a lot of their titles. I've been cautiously optimistic about the company and the direction its taken over the years. Sure there's been plenty of missteps and stupid moves, but I've always felt overall that they were a solid company and despite the missteps they would come through. lately there's been rumors of renumbering all their titles back to #1. I called it an aggressively stupid idea. I figured with a recent letter writing campaign that got WONDER WOMAN back up to its proper numbering that we had taken a step to move past the constant relaunching to titles.

Guess I was wrong.

I actually had a bit of hope when they said there was going to be an announcement coming from Geoff Johns, DC's creative director, and Jim Lee, DC's co-editor-in-chief. But the announcement was that they're going to be doing JUSTICE LEAGUE?

This is one of those times in which I'm trying very hard not to just type the word "fuckers" about a thousand times. I've just lost what faith I had in DC. So when they do their relaunch I won't be onboard. I just can't support something this dumb coming off of this stupid FLASHPOINT event. Honestly, I feel a bit betrayed by a company I put such an investment of time and interest in. I'm typing this wearing my favorite t-shirt. Its a Wal-Mart shirt with the Silver Age Justice League on it, and I feel like a fucking tool wearing it.

So where does that leave me? I'm getting away from DC. Marvel's got nothing that I'm interested in. I still get HELLBOY and few odds and ends from other companies. So I guess I'll be exploring a bit more of the stuff from Dark Horse and other companies.

I feel like its 1996 all over. That's when I dumped Marvel entirely due to their going exclusive with Diamond. I'm dropping the vast majority of my reading list. But now there's a lot more webcomics so I may very well just read more of those.

I'm going to miss superheroes.


Four guys who don't need electricity to make awesome music.

That's it for me today. I'm going to go and try to deal with the fact I'm going to be one of those guys who only reads independent comics. I promise not to be as pretentious as most of those tools.

Vulcan Doomsday!!

Hey there, sports fans. Its Sunday, May 29, 2011, I'm needing more coffee, and this is The Side. Typically, this is when I'd start talking UFC as there was card last night. Unfortunately, I didn't get my kitchen pass, so I wasn't able to go watch it. More unfortunate was how the card shaped up in light of the number of injuries going around.

The scheduled main event was Frankie Edgar in his rematch title defense against Gray Maynard. Their last fight was a war that went to a draw. Unfortunately, Edgar has a couple of bulging disks in his back and can't fight right now. He's probably going to need surgery and I wish him well. This put the Jackson-Hammill fight in the main event, and Jackson had a broken hand going into it, so he wasn't able to throw his big bomb punches. Didn't make for an exciting card.

Injuries happen. It seems sometimes that I'm always injured, either with something new, or an old injury flaring up. When you're not training competitively, you can train around it. However, if you try to do that when you're looking to keep your championship you're either going to lose that championship, get hurt worse, or most likely both. I respect the heart of a fighter who wants to step in the ring even though they aren't 100%, but I'd rather these guys take care of themselves and be healthy. That's how sports like MMA keep going strong.


My books didn't get in until Friday, which would make posting my reviews Friday morning rather difficult. So, here we go.

A massive object is heading for Earth at near lightspeed that'll wipe out all life on the planet upon impact. Inside it are a bunch of homicidal Doomsday clones. This looks like a job for Superman. ACTION COMICS #901 gave me what I've been waiting for: Superman and his allies up against incredible odds with world at stake. Its a cat-and-mouse game as the heroes race to figure out how they can possibly stop a bunch of Doomsdays, and it gets worse when they learn that giant space station thingamahoozits they're on is heading straight for Earth and not in a good way. Forget the whole Superman walking around and being a douche. Paul Cornell serves up tight action with Superman in what feels like a space horror story. Kenneth Rocafort and Jesus Merino are definitely up to the task of bringing the tension and action to the page. It was weird to see an Obama analog for the President in the issue. I do like that DC had a history of having a fictitious government type folk. That was one of my gripes about the JMS stuff. I don't read comics for diatribes about "real world" stuff. I want escapism and a good story. That's what I got here. Kind of funny that there was that flap over the idiotic Superman story in the last issue about Superman renouncing his United States citizenship and in this issue we get "Superman, your country needs you now!" Love it!

Also this week DETECTIVE COMICS #877 continues "Hungry City". Scott Snyder and Jock continue to deliver with this book. Dick Grayson is trying to help a business owner who is being pressured by criminals to launder money. That businesswoman also happens to be the daughter of the thug who murdered his parents. Oh, and there was that whole whale inside of a building thingie to figure out. Snyder really has Dick Grayson-Batman figured out. He plays the Dark Knight role very well when battling thugs and tracking down leads, but he's still the Grayson we know and love when Tim is giving him grief. The story itself is revealing slowly. We're fully on-board with Dick as he tracks down leads and presses for information. We don't see what's coming, and this is so important for detective fiction. We're having to put the pieces together right along with Batman, and it keeps us engaged. This isn't so much a "Sherlock Holmes" Batman in which he's five steps ahead of everyone in the story as well as the audience, with the reveal of how he figured everything out later. This is the audience righting shotgun on a mystery, and I'm loving the ride.

One last thing. There's a lot of rumors going around about a big announcement that's going to be coming out from DC. A lot of it seems to be that they're going to re-set all their comics back to #1 to try to get more readers. That's just rumors at this point, but let's remember that we just had three big centennial issues, with the fans voting to have WONDER WOMAN renumbered so that she could get the centennial issue she deserved. DETECTIVE COMICS is about a year out from hitting #900. Not saying that's ruling out a re-set stunt, but doing so would be aggressively stupid.


Because when you're Mister Spock everyone else and sod off.

That's it for me today. If you see someone who served our country, tell 'em "thanks". We'll see y'all Wednesday.

Body movin'!

Boogie woogie! Its Friday, May 27, 2011, I'm feeling well rested and this is The Side. It seems that I've started snoring and really badly too. Its to the point where I've taken to the couch just so the Missus can get some shut eye. Fortunately its a very comfy couch. So I grabbed some of those nose strips yesterday. Not sure how much it effected my snoring, but slept like a stone.


SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE has kicked off its eighth season. Still maintaining a really great standard and still looking to keep the bar or barre very high. I know there's a lot of people, including many in my family who prefer DANCING WITH THE STARS, but really there's no comparison. I only caught half of the premier and the performances blew away anything DANCING WITH THE STARS had to offer.

Let's face it. The talent is better. The choreographers are amazing and have won Emmy Awards for their work. The genres of dance represented are broader. Over the seasons of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE the Hip Hop dance genre has been pushed to new heights, and depths with Lyrical Hip Hop emerging as an exciting new sub-genre. This week's auditions introduced us to the "Turfing" sub-genre that it specific to the San Francisco area.

DANCING WITH THE STARS wants you to look at the people they get on the show. SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE wants you to look at the people on their show creating magnificent displays of art.


When you teach you often don't do as much. You're having to keep an eye on the class and make sure everyone is doing what they're supposed to be doing. This is especially important when teaching martial arts because people can get hurt and it can happen pretty quickly. So over the years I haven't put on the gloves nearly as much as I used to. I retired from tournament fighting a while back. Really there wasn't much reason for me to put on the gloves aside from a few students who hadn't fought me that were curious about the experience.

Getting soft can creep up on you. You start to realize you don't have the gas tank that you used to. Firing off kicks at opponents' heads isn't as easy as it used to be. Timing and distancing start to get rusty. Here's a secret for you non-fighters: its all about timing and distancing. You just don't move like you used to. Its one thing if you're having to make adjustments because of Father Time. Its another if you have to make them because you haven't been training like you used to.

No instructor wants to me waddling around the dojo barking orders and hoping he tied his belt evenly because he can't see it to figure it out.

So with the Battle of the 7 Cities tournament looming close I had to put on the gloves to help get some of the guys ready. I'm not as quick as I used to be. I've passed most of my tricks on to them. I was breathing through my mouth. Still, I managed to push them. And that's what's important. You don't let them win (unless its a white belt and they're still learning the ropes), but you don't want to completely overwhelm them either. The guys there last night and very slick fighters. I wasn't holding back much, because if I did, they'd whup me something fierce.

Two good things came out of this week. First, I've got some fighters that are ready for a tournament. Second, I'm feeling a lot better without all the ring rust I was carrying around.


This tune kept popping up is commercials for a TV show. Not too shabby for a gal who started out doing hip hop.

That's it for today. Y'all enjoy the holiday weekend. Stay safe. Eat some good food. We'll see ya back here Sunday.

Hit and I'm runnin'.

Y HALO THAR! Its Wednesday, May 25, 2011, everything's a tad soggy, and this is The Side. This one's gonna be pretty short. The power was out all last evening. I nasty thunderstorm blew through the area. Winds kicked up to about 70 miles per hour. A funnel cloud did a little touchdown in the neighbor's yard, busting up a bunch of trees. No power. No internet. No cell phone service for the most part. Pretty much sucked. Everyone is fine though, so I can't complain too much.


*Old Rapture Dude is now saying that the Apocalypse won't be until October 21 now. Happy birthday, Mom! Hopefully it won't hit until after the cake.

*Paddy Obama? The Pop Star-in-Chief is in the UK today and stopped into a school in Ireland saying he felt like "he's come home", tossing out a bit of Gaelic, and saying that there's an apostrophe missing from his last name. Cripes. He really is in campaign mode now.

*Anna Kornakova will be a new trainer on The Biggest Loser. The trainers they introduced this season won't be returning. I'm imagining the next season now. The contestants who really want to lose weight will train with Bob Harper. The one who want to check out a hot, Russian girl will train with Anna.

*This week's comic reviews will be delayed. Just got word from Mike at Comic Kings that there's been a little shipping delay. That's OK because Barry Allen will fix it somehow.


Joe Arnold - How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?

T consulted Mister Owl on this and the answer according to him is "three". If you are myself or Gene Simmons it only takes one. I couldn't even get a straight answer from the company of this one. Bastards.


In honor of crappy weather.

Alrighty, I'm off to work, because that deck won't stain itself. See y'all Friday.

End of Days!! (Not the Schwartzenegger movie)

Crap. I'm still here.

I had hoped to be off world by now kicking back and dining pleasantly on Hell roasted sinner's ass with fried apples and nice light beer. But it seems I got passed on by this go around. I took a nap and must have missed the big earthquake. I do that sometimes. Used to sleep through earthquakes all the time as a kid. No damage to the property, but I'm still here.

The family is still here too. I suppose that's my fault for not getting us to church more often. The neighbors are still about too, but they're a scandalous lot, so no Rapture for them.

Can't imagine why I didn't get yanked on up. Ah well, can't dwell on such things now. The dead should be rising pretty soon, so I'd best get ready.

That's right, true believers, its Sunday, May 22, 2011, we're a day into the End of Days, and this is The Side.


Hurricane season is coming up. It starts June 1. This is of course the annual event when the local weather forecasting type folks get the squeals because they may just get to justify their existences. We get PSAs all summer long telling us to be prepared. There'll be pamphlets in the grocery stores with their pictures on them superimposed over scary looking storm pictures with instructions inside letting us know what to do if a hurricane heads this way. That's the typical procedure.

However, this is the End of Days Hurricane Season. Already the National Weather Service has predicted bunches of named storms and a few of them are sure to be major. Normally when they say that we just roll our eyes because its business as usual, but what with the apocalypse and all, I'd best be taking this seriously.

Fortunately, preparing for a hurricane is a lot like preparing for zombies. Your best bet it still get as far away from them as possible. However, doing things like getting plenty of supplies in the house and boarding up your windows is still a good idea. I'll be putting up the boards later today. I even painted "The End is Upon Us!" on one that's going to face the neighbors across the street. Figure, its best to warn them, that and now I won't have to looks at their house.

I do wonder if the zombies are prepared for a hurricane. I don't imagine the shambling dead being overly concerned with anything that doesn't directly involve the flesh of the living. However the thought of 50 to 60 mile per hour winds knocking zombies over the street is a pretty amusing mental image. The wet pavement under them making them slip would make for extra hilarity. Unfortunately, I'll never get to see it, what with my windows boarded up and all.


The NWA (Neighborhood Watch Association) has made its preparations for the End of Days. Of course, by preparations I mean the guys made a beer run. We're not terribly worried about supplies since we have an armored personnel carrier and can fit plenty of beer in the back. It served us well during Snowpocalypse last winter. Yesterday was quiet in the court. We fed the chickens. Fed the fish. Fed the resident wiener dog. There was a bar-b-que. The steaks combusted. This was a bad omen.

Y'know, I try to keep up with these here bad omens, but steaks combusting if a pretty nefarious one. I like steak! Stupid End of Days is trying to deprive my of my favorite noms! Now I'm scared to open up the bag of Cheetos in the pantry.

Then there was the cornholing. Because if its all over there's not better way to wait for the end than to cornhole.

You know, that game with the board with hole in it. You try to toss the beanbags in. Kinda like a sissy version of pitchin' horseshoes.

What were you people thinking?

I didn't take part in it. I was pretty tired what with all the doom approaching. Doom approaching will indeed wear a fella out. So I went to bed early. Figured it would be a pretty peaceful way to go, but sure enough I had to go and wake up this morning.


Just a little uplifting number to get your End of Days started.

Y'know, I saw an article that read "Sarah Palin buys house in Arizona, reignites 2012 talk" and wondered to myself how she factored into that Mayan prophecy. Imagine how silly I felt once I clicked the link and saw it was just about an election. That's going to do it for me. If you don't here from me again, when the zombies have risen up, and we lost power so I can't blog about zombies rising up. Pesky zombies.

The Last Comic Review

ITS HEADED RIGHT FOR US!!! Its Friday, May 20, 2011, we're all gonna die, sooner or later, and this is the Side. Yep, that pesky old time of prophecy is upon us again. Judgement Day is scheduled for tomorrow, so with such big stuff happening I hope you appreciate my dedication in getting this week's comic reviews to you.

I'm taking the Buffy approach to this whole thing.

"Its the end of the world."


Yeah, so guy claimed that the Judgement day was gonna be Saturday. Massive earthquake to be followed promptly by the Rapture and the Almighty laughing at those silly Mayans and their silly calendar.

Screw this. Time to discuss matters with a bit more realism.


This was kinda a weird wee in that I got three comics and while all three were really solid, none of them really jumped up and made me want to read them again immediately. Kinda weird since all three book have really good creative teams. I do know why though, and I'll hit on those individually.

ZATANNA #13 had Paul Dini back on the reigns and Jamal Igle serving up the hotness. Love these guys. So why wasn't I super-amped on this book? Now, I really dig this series, and this was a good issue, but this is a set up issue. Its one of those books in which we're shown that big stuff is coming, and in this case we're shown by a mystic kitty cat. There is no shortage of action, but that comes from Detective Colton trying to stop brother Night from escaping prison. So while we do have Zee interacting with mystic kitteh and having a tete-a-tete with the Spectre, the action isn't on her. I do understand that. Its got to happen sometimes, and I have to say I'm a lot more interested in Colton now than I was before. So its a good comic, but spends more time building our villain and a key supporting cast member. If you've been curious about the book, you might want to pick it up as i think this issue is heavy on the foreshadowing.

TEEN TITANS #95 has the team going up again Rankor, and its not going very well. In fact they've been getting picked off a few at a time and taken prisoner. JT Krul seems to be taking this old school. I remember quite a few team books from when I was a kid in which you'd have them up against a big bad and the villain and his crew would manage to pick them off one at a time. Typically the last hero would free the others and a giant beatdown would ensue. So its pretty familiar territory, but I'm OK with it. I may have a good idea where this is going, but I'm curious as to how they're going to pull it off. Nicola Scott's art is as always a delight. JT Krul is still turning our a decent story. The only problem is that I'm hitting the same notes here that I've seen many times before. Its done well, but its pretty familiar. We'll see how things pan out next issue.

TINY TITANS #40 this week is all about Kroc. Kroc rocks! Its a Krocapalooza! Its Krocaggedon! Its... its... a whole lot of Kroc. Kroc follows the gang to school. Chaos ensues. Not much for DCU continuity gags here this time around. The book is always really cute, but but when it does stuff like "Finals Crisis" or "Mister Johns Comic Shops" I usually get a bigger chuckle. My kids will probably dig it though.


Going with the obvious song choice, but a very cool version of it.

That's it for me FOREVER!!! Unless the world doesn't end tomorrow in which which, we'll see yeah back here Sunday.

Racism, or just needing to try harder?

Its Wednesday, May 18, 2011, all's fair in love and way, and if its not you can always get a lawyer, and this is The Side. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just really, really naive. I understand that life is not fair. There's people out there stronger, smarter, faster, and more skilled than me. But I do try to give myself what advantages I can. I try to pay attention. I try to implement tactics that play to my strengths. I identify my strengths so I know what tactics will work best for me. I identify my weaknesses so I can try to fix them, or at least have a back up plan in case those weaknesses get preyed upon.

So it does kinda tick me off to hear people whine about something not being fair. Of course there is injustice in the world, but it gets hard to spot sometimes amidst all the claims of injustice. If you want fair, play "Chutes and Ladders". That's about as fair as the world is gonna get.

But you can't tell some people that.


So let me get this straight, Chicago has to hire 111 black firefighters and pay out buckets of money because of racist hiring practices? A bunch of people take a test. 64% is considered passing. They have a limited number of positions to fill. They randomly select the number of people they need from those scoring 89% on the test or higher. Now because most of the people that scored 89% or higher weren't black the hiring process must be racist and the city has to stroke out checks?

Just when you think society had a prayer.

Screw this. Screw this on every level. This is the most idiotic, patronizing thing I've seen in a long time. People keep saying its what's on the inside that counts, and we're all the same under our skin, but when there's a check to cashed from accusations of racism folks still line right up. Was there a question on that test anywhere asking "Hey, are you a black guy?" that if answered "yes" knocked their score down a few points? I kinda doubt it. But this isn't the first story of "test bias" that I'm heard. There was a case in Florida back in 04 where the police department was accused of having their hiring practices being biased. It was the swimming test of all things. They said the black candidates were having trouble with the swimming test, so they dropped that test as a requirement. So, for those of you in North Miami, ya better be wearing your floaties.

Now, this differs significantly from the Chicago case. The Miami case happened because they were understaffed and couldn't get people through the test. That's kinda scary that the lack of qualified people was to the point where they had to lower the qualifications. The Chicago case is really different in that the Chicago Fire Department had plenty of qualified applicants. More than enough people passed the test. More than enough people did so well on the test that they were able to hire strictly from high scorers. And that's what they did. They hired the amount of the people that they needed randomly from the pool of high scorers. They didn't factor in skin color.

Which is why they're getting sued.

I'm a white guy. If I was told that standards didn't apply to me because of my skin color I'd a be pretty damn insulted. If I come up short on a level playing field, that's how it goes. I shouldn't get special considerations over people who perform better than me based solely on race. How does that work? "Oh, you're white. You don't have to do as good on this test. We understand you're not as good as other people who aren't white. Have a cookie."

Even worse, imagine being a citizen of Chicago! If there's a fire or emergency, you aren't getting the best qualified people coming to your aid! But you better not have a problem with that or someone might call you a racist.

I thought we were past this. I thought it was supposed to be all about doing your best and trying to better yourself. You didn't get a good enough score on the test? Study harder and try again. My cousin didn't whine about his SAT scores when he knew what college he wanted to go to. He didn't demand that the college lower their expectations. He kept retaking the test until the score was good enough. That college was Harvard, so it wasn't a walk in the park.

But the case in Chicago is going forward. I guess there's a lesson here. You don't have to man up when you can lawyer up. Hope no cows get near any lanterns any time soon.


Ironically, these guys seem a lot more realistic than Lady Gaga.

That's my bit for today. See y'all Friday. Hope you don't have to take any racist tests.

Geek Overload!

Hang on, I'm comin'. Its Sunday, May 15, 2011, I'm limpin' like a pimp with polio, and this is The Side. Blogger was down for most of Thursday and Friday, so I'm making up for that today. As for the limp, I'm pretty sure I aggravated an old injury. I came off a roof years ago and broke my heel. Taking the down time necessary to let it heal right wasn't an option, so I kept going on with things, and typically its fine. However, work this week involved jumping over some railing repeatedly, and eventually I landed wrong.

Guess its time to put my feet up and talk some comics.


Well, I said the Wonder Woman TV show was looking and sounding pretty bad, and it seems that upon seeing the pilot episode NBC agreed with me. I've followed this story and read a bunch of articles about it and I've looked at comments attached to the articles. No one had much of anything nice to say about it.

Look, the girl was pretty, and she might be a pretty good actress, but she looked either freaked out or constipated whenever she was photographed doing any stunts. The costume was redesigned three times based off the latest Jim lee design which no one really cares for. It doesn't look like Wonder Woman, plain and simple. Word is the script was atrocious. I heard there was a seen with Wonder Woman crying over her ice cream with Etta Candy over the stress of being Wonder Woman and running a business, which wouldn't surprise me one bit since David Kelley was behind this.

This thing didn't have a prayer.

Fans keep bitching and moaning about the lack of a live action Wonder Woman project. I still say be happy with the awesome animated feature from a few years ago. But, if you want to do this right you put Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, and Eric Kripke in a room together, and you let them have it out. Rucka and Simone understand what is great about the character of Wonder Woman and Kripke knows how to make epic TV and still ground it. You let them get the ball rolling. You then find an actress who is athletic, and preferably with a strong background in dance. Dancers perform incredible physical feats while making it look graceful and easy. Wonder Woman is as tough as they come, but she's incredibly graceful. This is important, just as much as having the acting chops to pull off a character who is elegant and caring and very compelling.

This can be done right.


This week FLASHPOINT #1 came out in which DC let's us all know that Barry Allen is the greatest hero ever and without him the DC Universe would be doomed, but not in a way that made sense like "Chain Lightning". The effects of this story will be felt through out comics everywhere. In fact, Marvel's "Fear Itself" storyline concludes with Barry Allen telling everyone that 'everything will be alright' and then resurrecting Johnny Storm with the power of his awesomeness.

Let's light this candle with BATMAN INCORPORATED #6 in which we discover quite a few things, but foremost is Chris Burnham is one hell of an artist. Love his work here, right down to him drawing Bruce Wayne's eyebrows to suggest little bat wings. These previous issues have been a lot of build up. We've got an idea of what's going on. If you haven't been following but were thinking about maybe trying to jump on this train, this is the issue to do it. I've talked a lot about how Bruce Wayne is structuring this thing and here it all is laid out pretty for us. We also get a good taste of how this organization is going to operate. There's a couple of new members including a mysterious new Wingman who will be Bruce's ace-in-the-hole in the upcoming fight with Leviathan (Its Barry Allen, because Barry Allen is the awesome-est hero ever). This new foe has been creeping me out. He weaponizes children and its revealed that the youngest one is 18 months old. That pushes all the buttons I need to make me want Bruce Wayne to take this guy out. This book is flat out cool.

Moving it on over to R.E.B.E.L.S. #28. This is the book's final issue. They've had a great run. This was definitely a sleeper book which I don't think had a huge following, but everyone who got onboard really dug it. Word is this book got axed to make room for all the FLASHPOINT stuff, because Barry Allen is so awesome that there's just not enough room for all of the existing DC titles and the amount of awesomeness Barry Allen possesses. We get the conclusion of the battle with Starro. There wasn't a ton of loose ends to get wrapped up, so this book is nice and tight. Thank you Tony Bedard, Claude St. Rubin, and the rest of the creative team for a really fun ride.

In RED ROBIN #23, Time is up against assassins who are in competition to kill important people and he's got to stop them before they get to Barry Allen thus depriving the world of his awesomeness. Tim's running a nasty risk trying to get the inside track to take this group on, and its one that Commissioner Gordon and Batman don't quite approve of. Marcus To is back on pencils, and thank goodness for that. The story is pretty good. Tim's walking a fine line, and I'm hoping to see this pay off.

Things are getting thick in BATGIRL #21 as the Reapers send their latest agent, Harmony, on missiony types things which our gal Steph has to stop, which she does with a "huzzah", thus validating me for bringing back "huzzah". She also has to deal with her stalker, The Grey Ghost, who turns from annoying to creepy to jerk. I've enjoyed the dynamic in this book with Steph and Wendy, but its looking like that's coming to an end as Wendy is leaving to go to Nanda Parbat to try heal herself and start a church devoted to the Awesomeness of Barry Allen. This book continues to be consistently entertaining.

BIRDS OF PREY #12 has Jesus Saiz joining Gail Simone in this new storyline, and I'm one happy little nerd. I totally dig Saiz. I loved his stuff on the old CHECKMATE series and hes true to form here. The Birds latest case connects with one of The Questions, so we get a Question/Huntress team-up which is always a blast. We have the Birds working an infiltration, which makes it so fitting that Saiz is onboard with a superhero/espionage angle. I'm going to be honest, this felt like a Greg Rucka book. This is what I think it would be like if Rucka took a turn writing BoP. I mean this as a complete compliment to Gail Simone, as Rucka is in my eyes one of the top espionage story writers working today. I loved this. I loved this so much that I can't even slip a Barry Allen awesomeness line in here.

In HELLBOY: BEING HUMAN, HB and Roger the Homunculus head to South Carolina to investigate a weird grave robbing that takes a nasty twist. Its a nasty case with some bad voodoo involved. Roger is forced into action which he's not very comfortable with. He's not the violent sort. Fortunately, Barry Allen shows up to tell him that everything is alright. This is a fun little one-shot. If you haven't gotten a good, creepy Hellboy fix in a while, then this should be just what you need.

This has been the word of Barry Allen for the people of Barry Allen. Praise be to Barry. Allen.


Mike Federali wanted to know, so here we go. These are my favorites, and not based of critical reviews or how much money they made. These are also strictly live action movies, because if I start factoring in animated movies this list changes entirely.

10: The Phantom The first hero to wear tights, and purple ones at that! Billy Zane hit the weights like a champ because he refused to wear a padded costume. Same writer as INDIANA JONES AND LAST CRUSADE. Its a family friendly adventure and a great popcorn flick.

9: The Crow This movie pretty much hit cult status upon release. This was going to be Brandon Lee's star maker, but ended up his swan song. Great film with an awesome soundtrack.

8: Spider-man Tobey Maguire and Willam Defoe really brought their a games. While I'm not a big fan of Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane I'm willing to look past that for the many great scenes in this film.

7: Sin City They filmed a comic and did it well. Brilliant cast. Robert Rodriguez brought Frank miller's comic to the big screen in a way no one was really ready for. This was the big comeback for Mickey Rourke and he played Marv to the hilt.

6: Ironman 2 Speaking of Rourke, notice how the first Ironman flick ain't here? Its because Mickey Rourke drove this film like a champ. Robert Downey Jr. did his thing, but the rest of the cast were just as stellar.

5: Hellboy If you want to talk about great casting, Ron Perlman as Hellboy is spot on. This movie is a blast. Del Toro brought us right into the Hellboy world and mythos without a cop out or apology.

4: Batman Begins This is the best Batman film to date. Christian Bale is a great Bruce Wayne. And just when things got too heavy you have Michael Caine with every bit of charm you'd expect from Alfred Pennyworth. That's exactly what was missing from THE DARK KNIGHT: charm.

3: 300 No prisoners! No Mercy! This movie kicks ass on a primal level. They expanded on the comic quite a bit, but it was done so very well. This movie is one to watch when you need to get fired up to do what you've got to do.

2: Spider-man 2 Alfred Molina was remarkable here. Tobey Maguire again played an excellent Peter Parker. The train fight was remarkable. We really felt horrible for poor old Spidey making cheering him on as he saves the day that much more satisfying.

1: Thor That's right, I'm going there. Like I said when I reviewed it, this movie was a blast. Just a whole lot of fun. Good action. Funny as hell in parts. And it had a very solid plot and story. Top notch work and wasn't afraid to pull us straight into a fantasy world which it showed off gloriously.


Been a bit stressed this week. Missing Friday's post due to technical problems didn't help. Still, when you feel down, and Barry Allen is busy saving the world, there's only one thing to do.

That's my load for today. No numbers jump after the Pocoyopocalypse, but I'm keeping an eye on it. I'll see y'all Wednesday. My Barry Allen bless you and keep you.

The Nozz Sells Out

Hello, Gorgeous. Welcome to my party. Its Wednesday, May 10, 2011, I'm a whore for the masses, and this is The Side. Internet popularity is a numbers games, and yes, that's kinda dumb, but we're all playing it.


Here on Blogger there's pretty cool features that allow me to see what kind of traffic I'm getting on here. I can see how many pageviews I've gotten. I can see about what time those pageviews happen. I can see what operating system is used, which I thought it was pretty cool that especially since I discovered that some folks check this stuff out using their Nintendo Wii. I can also see what part of the world people are viewing this from broken down by country. Don't worry I can't tell exactly where individual people are or stuff like that. I can also see key words they used that brought them here, or links that brought them here.

Now then, last month I had the most pageviews ever in one month since they started keeping track with 4,251. First time I broke the 4,000 mark and I was pretty excited about it. yes, I know its not terribly much compared to big sites or big name bloggers, but having over a hundred people per day coming through here made me a happy camper.

Then May came around and numbers just absolutely tanked. I'm getting less than half the traffic than I did last month. That's enough to make me wonder what on earth did I do to tick off my readers. However, I do have the tools I mentioned before and I decent analytical mind. I know exactly was happened.

My numbers tanked because of this image.

For whatever reason its fallen off the Google Search map. I was getting a lot of traffic from Brazil and Portugal. Now I'm not. I also saw that the search links had changed a bit. Did a little digging and I found that dozens of people would come through here regularly because of that image.

If you don't know what that image is, its Pocoyo. I was blogging about random thoughts I had about PBS Kids programming. When you've got kids and no cable you end up watching a lot of it. And I like Pocoyo. Stephen Fry narrates it, so it must be educational, right? He is British after all.

So, is their a sudden complete lack of interest in Pocoyo? Is there a Pocoyo scandal of some sort? Kind of doubt it. Its probably just that the image from this blog doesn't appear near to top of searches for Pocoyo pictures anymore. Not sure, why but that's just how it rolls. I did lose a follower when all this happened, but I don't know if those two things were related.

So really what I have now is the numbers my traffic would be minus the Pocoyo factor. These are the people that come here moreso for the content I put in, and my opinions on it. So are mere numbers worth flooding a post with pictures of a cute cartoon show? How shallow would that make me?

Yeah, like I ever claimed to be deep.

Who loves Pocoyo?

This guy right here!!!

Greatest cartoon ever!!!

(That's not counting anything Bruce Timm did.)


I'm just giving the people what they want, and they want Pocoyo.


Sell out? Me? Naaaaawwwwwww....

That's me selling my soul to the Google search engine for today. I'm going to keep my eye on the numbers to see if they go up. Will Portugal and Brazil love me again? Guess we'll find out Friday.

For Now I Shall Smite Fed-Ex!!

FOR ASGARD!! Its Sunday, May 8, 2011, I'm one happy nerd, and this is The Side. Spent the day cleaning up around the house, so no Free Comic Book Day for me, but last night I was totally getting my geek on.


Marvel's first movie of the year opened this weekend. Chris Hemsworth plays Marvel's Norse god of thunder with Natalie Portman playing love interest Jane Foster. So, right off the bat: is this movie any good? Well, now we've got so many superhero movies out there that I, as an avid comic book reader and lover of movies, can be discerning about what I think about superhero flicks. I don't feel any need to try to defend a superhero movie like I'm circling the nerd wagon from those who like to mock geekdom. In fact geek chic is currently hanging in pretty well in pop culture. So, that said: THIS MOVIE WAS FREAKING AWESOME!!! This is easily, EASILY the best comic book movie I have ever seen.

The scale and magnitude of this movie can only be described as epic. The effects in this movie were remarkable. This is one of those movies in which you have to use CGI to pull off what the vision of this movie is. I'm not a fan of CGI, but they used it so well here. As good as the effects were, the acting was better. Hemsworth is amazing as Thor. You see such amazing character growth in him through this movie. People were a bit surprised by the folks signing on to this project. Anthony Hopkins playing Odin? Believe it. He completely owns the role. There's been a bit of guff towards Portman as Jane Foster, but I thought she was great. She was fun, feisty, and pretty sharp. There's been a bit of controversy over some of racial casting in the movie, specifically Heimdall being played by a black guy when the character in the comics and in the mythology is white. Many were saying its a bit of forced diversity, but damn was this guy good!

The story is a bit different from the classic comic stories. Jane isn't a nurse here, but a scientist studying a strange phenomenon in the desert and (literally) runs into Thor who has been banished by his father from Asgard for his arrogance. She's not sure what to think of him, but he's a big, charming stud so she's digging him. Meanwhile, Thor's brother Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston) is up to no good and making a play for power. Hiddleston is so brilliant here that I could tell whether whether Loki was being portrayed as a jealous brother questioning his own origins, or just a completely manipulative bastard. The answer is somewhere in the middle, but he's so good at this role its nearly impossible to nail it down. Thor does a lot of growing up on Earth as Loki makes his play in Asgard. There's huge battles and great fight scenes. We get to see a really powerful guy become a really great, and likable hero.

SPOILERS! Hawkeye makes an appearance. He doesn't do a whole lot, but its pretty damn sweet that he showed up. Lots of SHIELD stuff going on. Stan Lee's obligatory cameo was hilarious and a good old boy who tries to move Thor's hammer with his truck. Sif and the Warriors Three are there in full force, well maybe not full force as it looks like Volstagg did a stint on The Biggest Loser. Make sure you sit through the credits!!! Marvel has been putting in little scenes after the credits to get folks hyped for their next movie. Its always been something kinda cool, like Sam Jackson showing up in IRONMAN or seeing Thor's Hammer in IRONMAN 2. Not this time! This was major!! This has me wanting to time travel into next year and see THE AVENGERS right now! Nick Fury has the Cosmic Cube! Holy crap!!!

END SPOILERS. The wrap up? Best movie I've seen in a long time. I'd go see it again today if I could. Flat out great from start to finish.


I draw things from time to time. Haven't done it lately, but I probably should be getting back to it. I have drawn one thing lately and that's a picture for a vlogger I follow to put on his wall. Right now there's not much behind him when he shoots his videos, and some folks have complained about it, and I've chatted with the fellow a bit and told him I'd draw him something. I finished the picture and got his address, and he's in the UK, which I already knew because he has a little bit of an accent.

Now, I've done artwork for people and sent it to a few places. I usually use Pak Mail, and have had nothing but great results. Well, its been a while since I've send anything and they're now closed. Crap. But there was a Fed Ex/Kinko's right by there so I went in. Sure they could send it. It would get there Wednesday. The price?


I thought they were joking. Its basically a large envelope they're sending. I've sent bigger stuff to Hawaii, which is further away from me, for a fraction of that. So I walked out, obviously.

Lee will be getting that picture one way or another even if I have to find the biggest, baddest carrier pigeon in existence. Moral of the story? Fed Ex: you suck.


The Nozz Compound fell on a bit of hard times last year. The Missus lost her job, and I was scrambling to make up for it. We contacted our mortgage company to see about getting a loan modification, because we could pay our principle, but the interest rate was a bit high. We were told that there were programs just for people in our situation who have hit a bit of a rough patch, and we would be put through for a loan modification. The process would take about three months, and we were told not to make a payment until its put through, which was great because we would need to bank whatever we could.

Couple of months later we were told we were not approved for the modification and they wanted their money. You see, even though we were hoping to get a modification because were were in a rough spot, we didn't make enough money to get a modification. Since then we haven't missed a payment. We wouldn't have missed the ones we did if they hadn't told us not to pay them. Of course now they say that they never said that.

There's law firms of course to help with these matters. They're all useless. Most of them are scammers anyhow.

So Suntrust Mortgage: you suck. Thanks for lying to us and putting us behind the eightball. Jerks.


Theme song from THOR by the Foo Fighters!

That's it for me. I'm going to out and get some breakfast for one hard working mom. Happy Mother's Day to to all the Mom's out there! See y'all Wednesday.

I choose YOU, King Shark!!

Worlds collide! Its Friday, May 6, 2011, everything is connected, except for my TV to cable, and this is The Side. Every so often you have something that crosses pop culture boundaries. Other time time you have those boundaries obliterated what everything just monkey piles onto something. For a long time manga and western comics have had a firm divide that has been crossed tentatively by creators with mixed reviews from readers and often raves from weeaboos.

But now we have an brave author standing proudly to destroy this divide. Gail Simone has married East and West into one comic!


It is Secret Six week this week, meaning that the only comic out on the shelves in the known universe is SECRET SIX #33 ,and a bunch of other stuff that I don't read. So, the Secret Six are still where we left them last time: in Hell. I mean really Hell, I'm not making fun of Topeka, Kansas this time. Yep, Hell. And many of the residents seems to look like something from the SILENT HILL video games. Maybe with the splash of RESIDENT EVIL in there somewhere. Bane was kinda looking like the Tyrant from RE in his "Hell Costume". That's right, surviving the first level of Hell unlocks new outfits for your characters. Usually you have to beat Hell and then replay Hell for that option, but Gail Simone is a living, breathing cheat code. The team is in Hell because Ragdoll got the "Get out of Hell free" card and then kinda died. I'm not kidding about that part, there really is a card involved. We get to see some of the team's previous members who had a bad case of getting killed. Catman has a family reunion. There's big fights and such. The team each experiences a taste of personal torment. So, as you can surmise, its a kid's comic that you'll be able to find in between BETTY AND VERONICA and TINY TITANS. It is a good issue. Not loving the art, but Gail Simone's writing keeps me on board month after month, especially with good old King Shark.


If you haven't been reading SECRET SIX, and shame on you if you haven't, there's a few things you need to know about their newest team member.

* You have to have your Prince Guppy hold a King's Rock and trade it to get it to evolve into a King Shark.

* If you breed your King Shark even the egg knows Bite.

* As a water/fighting type it is strong again fire, bug, normal, and rock types but surprisingly resistant to psychic types to due low IQ.

* King Shark's version of Hydro Pump is rated "M" for Mature.

* If you don't have all of your trainer badges and attempt to use King Shark in your party it will chew your arm off.

* You can't find King Shark in any of the Pokémon games, but it can certainly find you.

* Giving King Shark Protein items will raise its stats, but not its happiness level as King Shark prefers its protein to be still twitching when it eats it.

* If you try to teach King Shark a move from a TM or a HM you'll likely receive a FU.

* If you are trying to catch them all, but feel like skipping King Shark, no one will really blame you.


Sometimes you have a song playing in the back of your mind and you're barely aware of your life's soundtrack being played. Then you're sitting at the end of the day and you get get the volume turned up on your personal cosmic stereo.

That's it for today. If you're on Twitter, please comment at #kingsharkisapokemon with all your King Shark love. Gail Simone will totally approve. Totally.

See y'all Friday.

Bin Ladin is dead.

Got' em! Its Wednesday, May 4, 2011, there's one less evil bastard in the world, and this is The Side. By now, everyone's probably heard the news: Osama bin Laden is dead. Its not the only news right now, but its the only thing people are talking about, and today, its what I'm talking about.

Here's how it went down. The C.I.A. had gathered intel and gotten a lead. There was a 50 to 80% chance that bin Laden was in a compound in Pakistan. This was presented to the President and he was given three options: wait and see, bomb the place, or send in a team. Fortunately about half the advisers present had their heads screwed on straight and Obama listened to them. The wait and see bit would accomplish nothing, and likely lose a chance at getting him. Bombing the place would have resulted in a lot of casualties and would have left a lot of doubt in everyone's minds. The correct option was clear: send in a team and make sure we get him.

Once this option was chosen, it was out of Obama's hands and into the hands of mission planning. It took about a month to put this together, complete with two rehearsals. This was a joint operation with our locals boys of Team Six going in.

Once Obama got word that the mission was set to go, he cut his golf game short and headed to the Situation Room watch things unfold. (This isn't me joking. He was out playing golf when he got word. There was a message that he was cutting his game short to go to the practice range.) There was a problem with one of the four helicopters going in and it had to be ditched and destroyed. No one was injured. The rest of the mission was carried out. They tried to take bin Laden alive, but that wasn't going to happen so he got shot in the face. None of our troops were killed. The mission was a success.

For the doubters: this is real. There were photos taken, and DNA evidence gathered. They got him. 100% certainty. According to Muslim tradition the body needed to be buried within 24 hours. No country wanted the body buried in their country so they did a burial at sea. I understand why no country wanted bin Laden's body buried there as the burial site could have turned into a place of interest for future terrorists.

There are doubters who think this might be part of an elaborate hoax. Obama has begun his re-election campaign and needs something to stand on. Frankly, there's some things you just can't fake. For this to be a hoax everyone involved from the president to the Team Six members to bin Laden himself would have to be in on it. I understand why people doubt this since the administration has lied repeatedly about things, and I've been one of their many detractors. This time though, they did it right.

Will there be repercussions for Al Queda? Probably. The threat isn't over, but message is clear. We don't let this stuff go. If you attack this country we're not going to let you get away with it. It may take a while, but you will answer for it. Bin Laden has been a threat to this country for a long time. Bill Clinton didn't do anything about him, even though he had an opportunity. Because of this it fell to George W. Bush to set policy that would take on bin Laden and his ilk. Obama reaped the fruits of this policy, and fortunately he had a bigger set of stones than Clinton. There's a new head of Al Queda now, and if he's smart he'll bail on that gig and go do something else with his life. This is a long game we're involved in. Whenever you take on bad religion like this, it takes a lot of time defeat it. We had a big step in that direction this week.

So kudos to the Intelligence Agents particularly the C.I.A. for finding the bastard. Big kudos to our local boys in Team Six for going in and getting him. Bin Laden was behind the attack on the U.S.S. Cole, and I do remember that day as the Cole was based here. It does feel like the Hampton Roads area has delivered the receipt for that attack. But this isn't a Hampton Roads victory. Its not even an Obama victory. Its an American victory.

Yes I did have a break from my typical format today, but I felt it was called for. Before I bail for today I'd like to wish The Missus a happy birthday. She turned 29 again. Love ya, baby! Back to business on Friday with some comic reviews. See y'all then.