Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Night Drive-In

I'm borrowing this suggestion from the wonderful Basement of Ghoulish Decadence, as before this morning I had never seen it. I've seen it now though, and The Mutilator is 100% 1985 slashery goodness. A group of college kids head to the beach to close a condo owned by the father of one of the group. Of course it's the one with the really fucked up past, whose father is a "trophy hunter" and also completely insane. I'm sure I don't need to tell you where this is going.

"Happy birthday Dad. All cleaned, from me."

What I can tell you though, is that this movie has plenty of over the top glorious 80's gore, the killer isn't Darth Vader but you'd swear it was based on his breathing in the "first person" shots where he's lurking, the soundtrack is fantastic, and you haven't seen overacting until you've seen the kill sequence at the 39:30 mark. Seriously, if you don't watch anything else, check that scene out, I lol'd. I also cringed once, and not because of the acting, all I'll say is...the gaff! Enjoy The Mutilator!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The New 52 Week Four

It's the final week of new #1's from DC, and they definitely saved a couple of the best for last. Let's get right to it.

Over the years I've given several writers the opportunity to make Aquaman the badass I know he can be, and almost every time I've been let down. Sure there was the occasional arc or story that wasn't half bad, but I've never been like "New Aquaman issue, fuck yes!" All that is poised to change this week though, as DC's best superhero writer, Geoff Johns, takes the...*ahem* fins , and attempts to make Arthur one of DC's premiere characters. If anybody can do it, it's Geoff Johns. As I mentioned in my week one post, he fixed Flash, Hawkman, and Green Lantern, I have every confidence that this will be THE defining Aquaman book. Joining Geoff is his long-time Green Lantern artist Ivan Reis. I'd almost buy this book just for his art, he's an extremely talented individual. Aside from the regular GL series, he also pencilled the Blackest Night series last year. Super stoked for this book.

Dave Finch's Dark Knight book is one that had only just really started when it was announced that all of DC's regular series would be ending. Honestly why this comic exists, I'm not entirely sure. Before the relaunch it sort of existed all on it's own, with no ties to anything going on is the other Bat books. I'm expecting that to continue to be the case, just as I'm also expecting this book to continue to be late as hell. Finch is a very good artist, not much of a writer, and extremely SLOW at both. The Batman completist in me is the biggest factor in my buying this comic. That and the pretty pictures. It's solicited as a monthly, but take my word for it, it will be a minor miracle if we get this in even a bi-monthly format.

This truly is a brand new book, not a restart, not a revamp, a new book. That being said, if not for the writer, I wouldn't be interested at all. In fact, I almost didn't put myself down for it. Josh Fialkov is a genius when it comes to comic book writing, anybody who read Elks Run will tell you that. Since that comic, I've followed wherever Mr. Fialkov has lead. Still, this is a vampire book, and I'm pretty damn sick and tired of vampires. Eventually my resolve gave way and I signed up for it. If the buzz from the internet is any indication, I'll be glad I did. I'm reading a LOT of "sleeper hit of the DCnU" and the like. Hoping this turns out to be a really great read. Joining  Josh is artist Andrea Sorrentino, which isn't ringing any bells whatsoever with me. If I've ever seen his/her art before I don't remember it. If the writing's good enough, and it should be, then I won't be all that concerned with the interior art anyway.

This is the last of the new Green Lantern comics, The New Guardians. In all seriousness, this book may not make it past three issues with me, or anybody else for that matter. I'm not thrilled with Tony Bedard's writing, and I'm not a big fan of Tyler Kirkham's art either. In fact about the only person working on this book that I even care for much at all is the inker, Batt. Then there's the premise, and characters involved. Members from each spectrum of ring joined together to be the new Guardians of the Universe, meh. Kyle Rayner, Saint Walker, double meh. I do like Larfleeze though, and Laira from the Red Lantern Corps. I can't see them being great together as a team though. Their interaction with each other is guaranteed to get on my nerves. Technically it's a Green Lantern title, so I'm giving it a shot anyway.

And that's week four. The only book left on the list from this week that I'm planning on making a decision after taking a look is All-Star Western. It's got a good creative team, great artist in Moritat, and it's even set in "Old Gotham", all of which make me interested. What makes me hesitant is that it's a western, and I don't really dig westerns. We'll see though. No interest in new Teen Titans, Hawkman, or Flash, due to either not caring about the characters, creative teams, or both.

After I get all caught up reading, my plan is to do a Top 5 post highlighting my five favorite titles from the new 52, I should hopefully have that ready to post by the weekend. In fact my mind is almost made up, I just need to read this week's books just to see if anything really surprises. Until then, happy reading.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


So I went to see what is being heralded by many as the "movie of the year" because despite having only a mild interest in seeing it, I accepted the word of my fellow man as truth, and expected to be blown away. While there's no arguing that Drive is a decent movie, it's certainly not the best I've seen this year, not even in my top 10, and once again the hype engine has failed me. I can only imagine that the people who are calling this the year's best either don't get out to the movies very much, or simply have far different taste than I do. Probably the latter.

As a matter of fact I found Drive to be a bit of a bore. If you read many of my reviews here, they follow a pretty basic formula for the most part, and this second paragraph is where I talk about the plot. Well, here's the plot to Drive: A driver for hire who drives getaway cars for criminals by night and works in a garage/does stunt driving for movies by day falls in love with his neighbor and her young son. Things are going swimmingly for them until the child's father is released from prison and gets them stirred up into all kinds of trouble when he returns to his criminal ways. That's it, the end. Trust me that may sound vague, but that's literally all there is to it.

Here are my main problems with Drive, aside from the fact that it's fairly boring, I can't stand movies with lead characters like this. The loner, tough guy, ex-whatever the fuck, with a mysterious past, who adheres to an extremely strict code of conduct when it comes to handling his business all of a sudden completely changes how he's apparently done things for years for some ridiculous reason or another (suddenly falling for a neighbor with a small child in this case) and gets himself into a world of shit. The guy in this movie even ends up risking his life along with absolutely everything else to make sure that this woman and her child are safe from all the bad guys. Would this guy really be stupid enough to get involved in something like this?

Also, I've never seen Ryan Gosling in anything before, and after his performance here, I won't be going out of my way to see him again. I suppose he was attempting to play a quiet, mysterious badass type, but to me he just looked and sounded silly, save for one or two scenes after the shit hits the fan toward the end. I absolutely hated him for the first hour or so. Basiscally, he annoyingly played an annoying character, not a good combination for me.  Lastly, it's a movie called "Drive" and there ain't a whole lotta driving going on here. There's a pretty good scene at the beginning, where he drives getaway from a heist, then a whole lot of no driving from then on. There's more driving in movies that aren't particularly about any sort of driving than there is in Drive. I'm not a car enthusiast in the least, but still I enjoy the occasional chase sequence, like in Death Proof or Gone in 60 Seconds. Those movies promised driving and delivered, Drive doesn't.

What Drive does manage to do well is some gratuitous violence. There's a bit of gunplay, some knife wounds, etc. I have to admit I was a bit shocked at the graphic brutality, although sadly it was much too little, much too late. By the time it got to the good stuff I couldn't wait for the movie to be over. The story also picks up a little when everything goes down at the end, but just when it seemed like things were going to be getting really interesting, the credits started rollling. The ending is about as anti-climactic as endings come.

There are obviously people who will disagree with me about this one, and I suppose people who enjoy movies like "The Town" may really dig Drive. You really, really don't want to get me started on The Town, trust me. But as for me, I was extremely bored and just when it started to get good it was over. Big, big disappointment here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Infinite Playlist - Your Last Few Hells

If you follow me on Twitter or are one of the 100 or so people who survived the "Great Facebook Friend Culling of 2010" you're probably tired of me going on and on about this song here lately. Sorry friend, I'm pimping it one more time, as it certainly belongs on my Infinite Playlist. Your Last Few Hells is an absolutely beautiful song from Zeppo, or CJ Wallis whom you may remember as the hilarious Goody Two-Shoes in Dead Hooker in a Trunk. He also did the music for that movie along with playing one of the lead roles. Clearly this is one extremely talented individual.

If you like what you hear in the video below, you can pre-order Zeppo's upcoming EP "Electroconvulsion" for only $2.50 right here. Of course I've already pre-ordered mine, it comes highly recommended from yours truly. Enjoy Your Last Few Hells.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

DVD Shelf Project Complete!

I suppose at some point or another every movie blogger eventually will do a post showing off their movie collection. Mine is still a work in progress, as being married with kids kept me from buying a lot of movies for years. Since regaining my independence though, I've done quite a bit of catching up, thanks largely to my local Hastings in Auburn, and their wonderful buy 2 get 1 for $1, and occasional buy 1 get 1 for $1 sales on used dvds and bluray. So my collection has seen a pretty healthy growth spurt over the last couple of years, however this posed a new problem, where the hell I was going to put all these dvds.

I've been in my house for just a little over a year now, and while the single dad life may allow me the occasional dvd or three, it certainly doesn't allow for the purchase of lots of furniture and the like. I'm getting there though. Over the summer, my dad and I have been working on a couple of projects, a new entertainment center for my living room and a dvd shelf for all of my babies. My dad is a carpenter/cabinet maker, and I've been working with him since I was 13 years old, so I've managed to pick up a little bit here and there. I found pictures of what I was looking for online, and asked him to help me build them. Being that I live about 30 minutes away from my home town now, basically I've only been able to work on them on the weekends, so it's been a slow go.

The entertainment center has been done and moved in my house for about a month now, and yesterday I finally got the dvd shelf here and set up. Being as I'm pretty proud of it, and it's pretty special to me because I worked on it with my dad, I wanted to post some pics here in the Batcave. As you can see from the pics, it's nearly full already, but worry not, I have lots of ideas and even more free time on the weekends being that I have no life to speak of, so another dvd shelf will probably be on the workbench in the next few weeks.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Night Drive-In

Those damn Martians, always with the invading! This week's Drive-In movie is a classic from my youth, I was really excited when I found it. I've probably seen Invaders from Mars somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 times. In fact I remember watching the vhs copy we had so many times that it eventually broke. Of course we recorded it again, as my 8 year old self refused to live life without it.

Tobe "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" Hooper directs this remake of the 1953 original about a young boy whose town is invaded by Martians. At first of course no one will believe him, but eventually he convinces the school nurse that he's telling the truth and Martians are in fact invading and taking over the minds of all the adults in town.

"You're a lucky boy, David Gardner. Not everybody gets to meet the Supreme Martian Intelligence."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kiss the Wook

Another winner from Nowhere Bad, Kiss the Wook by artist Brave Anderson. I'm really digging Nowhere Bad's designs lately, and like that you can order not only t-shirts but if you like a design but don't necessarily want it on a shit, they also have prints available. That's really cool if you're like me and are more interested in the art than actually owning another t-shirt.

As always, shirts stay up for a week, and are $12. Prints are available for $10, or you can get both for $20. I still haven't ordered a print from them, but I'm very interested in the idea, just need the right design to come along. Kiss the Wook is something that seems more t-shirt appropriate. But with Halloween right around the corner, I'm hoping something comes along soon that catches my eye and might look good framed on my wall. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The New 52 Week Three

Here's what I'm looking forward to for week 3 of the big DC relaunch...

Remember that Detective Comics arc that I went on and on about written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Jock? Well at least half of that creative team is returning to the character, Scott Snyder is writing the Batman reboot. Unfortunately Jock isn't joining him, but the book is still in good hands with long-time Spawn artist Greg Capullo. It's going to be weird seeing Greg do anything other than Spawn, as he drew that book for what seemed like an eternity. I've always liked his art though, so I'm looking forward to this. Scott Snyder has already proven himself perfectly capable of delivering the goods when it comes to Batman story telling. The aforementioned Detective arc, as well as The Gates of Gotham mini-series he co-wrote with Kyle Higgins were both excellent. I've felt all along like this one was going to be my favorite of all the new books, there's no way it will disappoint.

I was a big, big fan of the last Catwoman series from Will Pfeiffer. When it got cancelled I honestly felt like DC was ending the best book they had on the shelves every month. That being said, Judd Winick has some big shoes to fill, and high expectations to live up to. Again, Winick is a guy that a lot of fanboys love to hate, but I like the guy. He tends to write female characters well too, so I think he's going to shine on Catwoman. Handling the art chores is Guillem March, who has a different style but knows his way around the character of Selina. He drew her along with Poison Ivy and Harley in Gotham City Sirens. He eventually went on to work on Batman and Azrael, and was solid on both. Really looking forward to this one.

I've always liked anthology and spotlight series, as they tend to be the only way some of the more obscure characters (like Deadman there) get any exposure other than guest spots. DC Universe Presents is another spotlight book, which will feature a different character for each story, with those stories being of varying length. It will also have rotating creative teams, which will change with each arc/character. Starting things off is a five-issue Deadman story by long-time DC writer Paul Jenkins and artist Bernard Chang. Jenkins has written a decent book or two over the years, I'm looking forward to what he has in store for Boston Brand. Chang I've never really been a huge fan of. There's just something about his minimalistic style that I don't dig too much. Maybe this will be the book that changes my mind. I will say this, even if the interior art sucks, this book is going to have some beautiful covers on it, Ryan Sook is fantastic.

Once again, I read all the Green Lantern books. ALL of them. Corps was actually a pretty decent book under Peter Tomasi, and he's still writing it after the relaunch. No reason to think this one won't continue to be a solid read. Peter will also have Fernando Pasarin on pencils again, and he's ok I guess. He replaced Patrick Gleason originally on Green Lantern Corps, and that really isn't fair to ask of anybody. I got used to him though. Basically this book will be the same as it was before, no arguments from me there.

This is another book I'm really excited about, Dick Grayson is FINALLY Nightwing again! Woo HOO! I liked him taking over as Batman while Bruce was gone post-Final Crisis, but I wanted Nightwing back after the return, not two Batmen. Stupid Morrison. I still think I like the blue costume better though, the red isn't really growing on me yet. That's a minor nitpick though, and I'll take it if it means I get to read Nightwing again. I'm also really stoked about Kyle Higgins, who I previously mentioned co-wrote Gates of Gotham with Scott Snyder, writing the book. The other good news is Eddy Barrows is going to be drawing. He originally caught my eye on the Blackest Night Batman tie-in series. He's done a couple of other good things, the latest of which being "Grounded" which ran in Superman, written by J. Michael Straczynski. I don't think it's unfair to say that this is the best creative team Nightwing's ever had, I'm really expecting this to be good.

Here's another book that really tests my loyalty to the Bat-titles. I'm only buying this book because Red Hood (former dead Robin Jason Todd) is in it. I have only a mild interest in the character as it is, throw in two other characters I don't care about (Arsenal ugh, and Starfire meh) and then let Scott Lobdell write it, and you've got yourself a title that almost puts me to sleep just thinking about it. Then there's artist Kenneth Rocafort who is pretty new to comics, and while I've liked some of what I've seen from him, I would hardly buy a series based solely on his art. This is definitely the "chopping block" book for week three. We'll see how it goes, but I'm not expecting much.

There's week three kids. I have a tiny bit of interest in Wonder Woman because I like Cliff Chiang's art, but Brian Azzarello is one of the most hit or miss writers I've ever read. I will be taking a look at that one before making a decision. For those following along with these posts, I mentioned I was going to look at Resurrection Man last week, and I did. Turns out it was really good! I was pleasantly surprised, and added it to my pull list, definitely worth checking out. Look for the final week's picks next Wednesday. Until then, happy reading!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why Won't You Die...Mrs. Carmody?

A brand new segment here in the Batcave! A while back I had an idea for a "death of the week" post where I would pick a favorite death scene every week and post about it. Well, the week I had planned to roll out the first post, J. Astro of Screen Grab! fame began his wonderful "People Who Died" posts, and thinking it might be a bit too similar and look like I was stepping on the proverbial toes of Mr. Astro, I decided not to go through with it.

It's been a while now, and I've had another idea, in the same vein but with more of a purpose. Instead of posting a random death scene, I'm removing the "random" part and posting about a character that I hated so much that I couldn't wait for them to get theirs. Note that I don't wish any harm to come upon the actors/actresses who played these characters, just the characters themselves. The point was to make me hate these people, and I give full credit to the actors and actresses who were skilled enough to make that happen. Being that I don't want to do any major spoiling, I'll be sticking with slightly older stuff as much as possible. This should be fun, and I hate lots of people, so I have plenty of ammunition to work with.

Boy nothing gets me all riled up and hate filled like a bunch of Jesus freaks. These "holier than though" Jesus juice drinkers get under my skin with a quickness. Their incessant preaching, misinterpreted spewing of scripture, and constant threats of God almighty himself bringing the pain "Old Testament" style down upon the heads of all the other sinners, unless of course they join their cause, is like nails on a chalkboard for me. Enter Mrs. Carmody from The Mist.

The survivors end up having way more to fear from Mrs. Carmody than they ever would anything else in the mist. At first she seems like just any other religious kook, and while she annoyed me she didn't really bother me much. Eventually she becomes more and more of a nuisance with all her talk of the Lord and his wrathful vengeance and such, and begins to convert the other survivors over to her side. This is when she began to get under my skin. When her lunacy led to her group throwing private Jessup outside to the creatures in the mist, this bitch had to go. Thankfully when she's attempting to have David's son and Amanda used as human sacrifices to God, Mrs. Carmody finally gets what's been coming to her from the business end of Ollie's pistol. Truly the shot heard around my house as I cheer out loud every time I watch this scene. Sure, I would rather one of the creatures outside gotten her, but dead is dead I guess. Burn in Hell, Mrs. Carmody!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Captain Rogers

Yesterday RIPT hit a home run with the newest from Ninjaink! Seriously, I could fill my closet with nothing but designs from Timothy Lim, especially his vinatge style movie poster designs. Drool.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


You have officially fucked with the WRONG cat.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Night Drive-In

Watch this one along with me! I've never seen it, haven't heard a lot of good things about it either, but I'm interested enough in the subject matter to give it a go. Short and sweet tonight as I'm pressed for time, enjoy Death of a Ghost Hunter!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The New 52 Week Two

The books from week 2 of the New 52 hit yesterday, and just like last week, here's a look at what I'm reading.

When Grant Morrison gave this book up and let Peter Tomasi take the reigns pre-new 52, the book definitely took on a bit of a different tone. No secret, I didn't really like Morrison's Batman stuff and I was happy to see Tomasi come on board and get the book back to the kind of Batman stories I like to read. I'm expecting no less from this relaunch of the series. Joining Mr. Tomasi on art duty is once again Patrick Gleason. I always loved his art on Green Lantern Corps, glad to see him drawing a Bat book.

Boy this book has been in development Hell for a while, it's been delayed almost as many times as Duke Nukem Forever was. here's hoping this doesn't turn out to be the comic book equivalent of that monumental letdown. My guess is the book has been pushed back so many times to accomodate the super slow art of JH Williams. While I totally love his art, and feel like it's worth the wait, at the same time I'm ready to read this book, and maybe since he can't maintain a monthly schedule, then maybe we shouldn't give him a monthly book to draw. Enough of the negative Nelly shit though, this book is guaranteed to be amazing. Adding a helping hand on the writing part of the book is W. Haden Blackman, which is a name I don't recognize. Don't know exactly how much he'll contribute, but as long as Williams is on board, then so am I.

This one is the epitome of a no-brainer for yours truly. It's a book about Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos. I'm there. That's all I need to know. The fact that Jeff Lemire is writing it, and as I've mentioned I'm a fan of his, is just icing on the cake. I love Sweet Tooth, I loved the Flashpoint Frankenstein series that Jeff wrote, and I fully expect to love this series. Interior art is being done by Alberto Ponticelli, and this is another of those names that I recognize but his work obviously didn't do a whole lot to impress me as I can't really remember anything he's drawn off the top of my head. As long as I can kinda tell that it's Frankenstein, I'll be ok. More importantly, one of the greatest cover artists in all of comicdom, JG Jones, is working cover magic on this one. Not sure how long he'll be on board, but as long as he is, we're in for a treat.

Another easy one, it was one of the best comics on the racks before the relaunch, and it's back now with the same creative team, writer Geoff Johns and artist Doug Mahnke. The characters are a little different though, as Sinestro steps in as the book's main character instead of Hal Jordan. With this being a relaunch, I'm not entirely sure exactly what's going on here, as when the War of the Green Lanterns ended, Hal had lost his ring and Sinestro was a Green Lantern again, which is exactly where we stand here at the beginning of this series. Seems to me this one's picking up where the last series ended, even though it's supposed to be a fresh start. We'll see I guess, this book is in more than capable hands with Geoff Johns, and no matter what happens, it's going to be good.

Basically I'm only reading this book because I read all the Green Lantern titles. Truth be told I'm not all that excited about a book centered around GL villains. Add to that the fact that Peter Milligan is writing it, and he's always been hit or miss for me. I do kinda like Ed Benes though, his art style is a little bit Jim Lee but different, and I dig it. This one's probably going to be one of the first on the chopping block for me if it doesn't impress right out of the gates. I'll give it a shot, but honestly I'm not expecting much here.

This is a weird one. The goth chick on the cover there? That's supposed to be Harley Quinn. I'm going on record now stating that I don't care for this new look for her. Suicide Squad is a book that I've read on and off throughout pretty much every iteration over the years. Despite it being a pretty interesting idea, taking death row supervillain inmates and sending them on missions deemed to dangerous they're suicide, it's never really found it's footing. The creative team is entirely new to me, which also doesn't give me a lot of confidence. Adam Glass is writing alongside artist Marco Rudy. If I'm supposed to know who either of them are, I don't. Still, as long as Harley, or what is passing for Harley in the New 52 is in it, I'll read it. As soon as she's out, I likely will be too.

That's week two! I'm still on the fence about Resurrection Man, never read him before despite it sounding like an interesting idea. But I'm already reading a lot, and I'm not thrilled with the creative team there, so I'll give it a look but I'm not planning on picking it up as of now. Expect week 3's picks next Wednesday or Thursday! Until then, happy reading.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Early Goon Film Test

Seriously, how is this movie having a hard time getting funding? They've pretty much already got my money on lockdown, I just need to know when and where to give it to them.  A Goon and Franky movie NEEDS to happen, soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chillerama Trailer

You've probably already seen it elsewhere by now, but what the hell kind of "horror blog" would this be if I didn't post it? Enjoy the trailer kiddies.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I'm not really sure how a movie with Sid Haig about a were-gator managed to escape my attention for so long, but I literally had heard/read nothing about it until I saw a banner on IMDB a couple of weeks before it's theatrical release. Not your regular theatrical release either, but a wide release, which is unheard of for this kind of movie, especially in a month that isn't October. I got a chance to see it this past weekend, hoping for nothing more than an entertaining creature feature. Turns out they only got one part of that right.

Creature doesn't have much of a plot to talk about, it's fairly generic monster movie fare. A group college kids together on a camping trip head out to the swamp (the fuck?) and get slaughtered by the local legend, a half man, half alligator who roams swamp searching for his bride. Honestly the whole thing is just a little bit silly. As per usual, one of these kids knows the legend, and shares with the rest of the group, who just laugh and blow it off. I couldn't help but wonder how this genius got his information about the legend though, as he seems to know the family history of said weregator and has a photographic memory of the events that led to his transformation from an incestuous swamp dweller to the titular Creature.

It's a monster movie though right? Silly nonsense is a staple of the genre, as long as it delivers on the creature and some nice kills, all will be forgiven. Unfortunately Creature misses the mark here too, and turns out to be it's most unforgivable sin. We never get a really good look at the monster, aside from a couple of shots of him brooding around the woods in the dark. When he is shown, particularly up close, you almost wish he had stayed back in the woods off camera. You can actually see the actor's eyes through the mask, like the skin surrounding them and all. The mask looks like a small step above what you find at Wal-mart around Halloween. This is absolutely ridiculous for a movie like this, especially one that somehow managed to get released theatrically. Almost every kill happens off camera, and none of them are in any way memorable. There's a little gore, a severed head or limb here and there, but most of it looks just as lazy and poorly done as the creature himself. I'm fairly easy to please when it comes to these things, hell I even like most of the stuff that airs on Saturday nights on SyFy. Creature is a bit of an insult to the hard work that people put into the SyFy Saturday fare, especially the slap in the face that is a theatrical release. I would much rather have seen Sharktopus on the big screen than this thing.

I really don't have anything positive to say about this one. I suppose Sid Haig die-hards will enjoy his performance as the local yokel owner of the swamp gas station (which has no gas), but even Capt. Spaulding himself couldn't save this one for me. While I'm glad that there are studios out there who are still willing to take a chance on a small horror movie like this, I can't help but wonder if anybody actually watched Creature before giving it the green light for release. It's hard to think of any reason why I would recommend watching this one, nothing really here works well. It almost felt like Creature was unfinished, especially in the effects department. I don't know if that's the case or not, but I do know that what we ended up with was a mess and not one that I ever intend to watch again.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The New 52 Week One

I had originally planned to do this much earlier in the week, Wednesday or so, but never got around to it. If you follow comics, or use the internet, at all you've probably already heard that DC Comics ended all of their current running titles in August. Beginning this month their entire line is relaunching with all new #1's. Everything, including Batman, Superman, Justice League, all starting over. It's definitely a bold move to say the least, but if nothing else it's gotten a whole lot of people excited about DC Comics, some for the first time ever, and regardless of what else I may think about a complete relaunch, I'm definitely down for anything that gets people reading DC.

September will see 52 brand new books released, roughly 12 or 13 a week. Being that not everybody will be familiar with some of these characters, let alone the creative teams working on the books, I thought I'd highlight the ones that I'm reading from each week as they ship. Not that my opinion matters in the least, but what the hell I'm excited about some of these books and I want to post about them. First post will include everything from the first week of September, along with the single book that kicked the relaunch off on the last Wednesday in August.

Justice League #1 from writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee started things off with a bang. I'm really excited about Johns finally writing the League, as he's definitely shown over the years that he just plain knows how to write DC characters. He's the man responsible for fixing the convoluted histories of both The Flash and Hawkman, he fixed the mess that Ron Marz made of Hal Jordan's legacy in Green Lantern by writing Rebirth and returning Hal to his deserved glory, and he also wrote one of the greatest Green Lantern stories of all time, Blackest Night. Jim Lee is known to Marvel fanboys the world over as the quintessential X-Men artist, he also handled the art on Jeph Loeb's Hush arc in Batman, and countless other projects for Marvel and DC, and is also one of the founding father's of Image Comics, and created WildCats among other projects. Jim's always been a favorite of mine, I generally buy anything he's drawing. Justice League is a no-brainer.

Action Comics is probably the book I was the most excited about from week one. I may not enjoy Grant Morrison's vision for Batman, but there's no denying the guy is more than capable of writing Superman. In fact, truth be told I've never been a big Superman fan and it takes a special writer to make me care about the character. Morrison's All-Star Superman pretty much assured that anytime he writes big blue, I'll be the first to sign up. Another of my favorite artists, Rags Morales, is handling art duties on this one. Again, I would've bought this book just for his art, the fact that Morrison is writing is just icing on the cake. Rags had a good run on Adventures of Superman a few years ago, he also did art on the criminally underrated Hourman series from the early 00's, but he really made his case for one of the best ever with Identity Crisis. The scene where Tim Drake finds his father's body is one that I'll never forget.

I've never read much Animal Man. I know Grant Morrison had a pretty acclaimed run back in the 90's but I've never bothered to read it. As a character, Buddy Baker is pretty cool, he can channel the power of different animals. Things like eagle vision, bear-like strength, rhinoceros hide to deflect bullets and shit, it's not the flashiest super power to have, but I wouldn't kick it out of bed. The reason I'm stoked for this new Animal Man series is writer Jeff Lemire. I've just recently discovered his work on the currently running Vertigo series Sweet Tooth. I followed him on to Superboy, a character I couldn't possibly be less interested in, and I liked that series too. So yeah, basically if he can make me enjoy Superboy, he can pretty much make me enjoy anything. The artist on this book is another story, I'm not a Travel Foreman fan at all. Sure this cover looks pretty cool, but cover art, and sequential interior art are two entirely different things. I have hope that his art won't detract too much from my enjoyment of the story, but the jury is most definitely still out on this one.

I read all the Bat books. ALL of them. Still even if I were to pick and choose, there's absolutely no way I wouldn't be reading Barbara Gordon as Batgirl again. She's one of my favorite characters of all time, and even though I liked her as Oracle, she'll always be Batgirl to me. Writer Gail Simone has always been hit or miss for me, I liked Secret Six, but hated her Birds of Prey run. She writes female characters pretty well most of the time though, and I'm really hoping that this turns out to be her best work to date. Barbara certainly deserves it. Ardian Syaf is a-ok as artist on this one in my book. His style is a little bit Jim Lee and a little bit Travis Charest, but even with that, his art almost jumps off the page. He particularly does action sequences very well. Can't wait to see what he does on Batgirl.

Got to be honest here, even though I read all the Bat books, this one I would almost consider skipping. I'm not going to of course, but I'd consider it. I'm not a huge fan of Grant Morrison's whole "Batman Inc." thing, and the idea of a flying armored "Bat" character in Africa doesn't particularly excite me. I'm a Judd Winick fan though, I thought his Generation Lost was the best Justice League series in years, and he's written other things I didn't hate. I'm not really familiar with Ben Oliver's art. I know I've read things he's drawn before, but I guess his art didn't really blow me away, because I can't really think of anything off the top of my head. Winick's really going to have to do something special with this one to keep it going much longer than a year, and honestly I don't see it going much farther than that, especially for readers who don't buy everything "Bat" like I do.

I'm a big, big, big fan of the old Justice League International series from DeMatteis, Giffen, and Maguire back in the 80's. It's still to this day one of my favorite Justice League runs. Then Winick brought the magic back in Generation Lost last year. When I originally read that JLI was going to be back as one of the new 52, I just assumed that Winick would be writing. Unfortunately he isn't, Dan Jurgens has taken over. Dan's been around for a long time, and while he's a perfectly capable writer, he's never really done much that I just loved. Aaron Lopresti is on art here, and again, he's a solid artist but not somebody who's really going to blow anybody away. Still I love these characters enough to hope that these two guys will be able to recapture a little bit of the magic that Winick rekindled earlier this year in Generation Lost. Plus, Batman's in it, and as long as Batman's in it, I'm going to be reading it.

Another character that I don't particularly care about. In fact, other than the mini-series right before Infinite Crisis, I'd never read any Omac at all. I'm reading this one based off of the preview I read in the freebie book that DC released prior to the new 52. Keith Giffen is another old timer who was around a lot while I was cutting my comic book teeth many years ago. His is not a name that I'll follow onto any book, but I do like his art. On Omac he looks to be channeling his inner-Jack Kirby, and I'm willing to give the book a shot based solely on the preview art I've seen. Dan Didio, the head honcho at DC is writing this one along with Giffen. He's still new to the whole writing thing, and I skipped his Metal Men series as well as his run on The Outsiders earlier in the year. This one will likely be the first one I drop, unless it ends up being really, really good.

 I've only ever read one Swamp Thing run that did anything for me, and that was Alan Moore's legendary run. Again, Swampy isn't a character that I'm particularly interested in, unless a creative team is on board that I really dig. I gave Andy Diggle a shot a couple of years ago and the book was horrible. This time Scott Snyder takes the reigns, and believe me when I tell you I have every confidence that this will be the next legendary run for Swamp Thing. Scott could write a book about a gay Nascar driver who loved Paramore and Nicolas Cage and I would sign up for it on day one. He's currently writing the book that introduced me to him, American Vampire, and also just ended the best Detective run since Englehart/Rogers. If Scott Snyder writes it, I read it. The art is being done by Yanick Paquette who in my opinion is good, not great. He most recently worked with Grant Morrison on Batman, Inc.

Again, I read every Bat title, always have, always will. Sadly, one of the main Batman titles, Detective Comics, is one that I'm not really all that jazzed about. Tony Daniel is given the honor of relaunching DC's original flagship comic, Detective, the book that fist gave us Batman way back in 1939. The thing about Daniel is, he's a decent artist although not consistently so, but he's not much of a writer. I didn't like him as writer on Batman post-Morrison, and I doubt very much that I'm going to like him as writer of the Detective relaunch. At least some of the pictures will be pretty to look at, and Joker's in it, so that's something to look forward to. Don't want to completely pass judgment before I get to read the book, but I'd like to see somebody else writing 'Tec before too much longer.

That's a wrap on what I'm looking forward to from week one. I'm hoping week two will be done and ready to post for Wednesday. If not, look for it later in the week at some point. I'm sure you'll be holding your breath.