Archive for March, 2011

Straight Shooter

March 31, 2011

When I say, “name a Marvel editor-in-chief,” certain people may immediately come to mind. Stan Lee, no doubt. Joe Quesada. Roy Thomas.

And of course, Jim Shooter. One of the most famous and controversial editors Marvel has had. Some of the company’s most successful comic book runs occurred during his tenure, including Walt Simonson’s Thor, Claremont’s X-Men, Frank Miller’s Daredevil and John Byrne’s Fantastic Four (huh, interesting how three out of four of those guys wrote AND pencilled their own comics). He created the New Universe (still fondly remembered by many and “remixed” in Warren Ellis’ “newuniversal”) and the Epic imprint for creator-owned work. He also wrote Marvel’s most famous crossover of all, Secret Wars. And let’s not forget about his early days at DC, where he created several famous Legion of Superheroes and Superman characters… including Duo Damsel and the Parasite!

Anyway, now you can read about Jim’s career– both the good and the bad– at his blog. Did you know that an artist error made Hank Pym a wife beater? Or that Jim wrote and sold his first comic script during his summer vacation at age 13? It would explain why he based certain Legionnaires off of his classmates.

There’s all sorts of interesting facts in Jim’s posts. The best part of all, however, is that it gives us a more personal look at Jim’s life in comics, like when he first met Stan Lee. While most of Jim’s entries have been about his time at Marvel and early DC career so far, I have little doubt we’ll be hearing about Valiant Comics and his most recent Legion of Superheroes run soon. So definitely keep your eyes peeled.


Deadpool fights Fear Itself… ninja style

March 28, 2011

Wow, I can’t believed I overlooked this. So you probably know that Marvel’s upcoming “Fear Itself” story is gonna have a lot of tie-ins. One of them, unsurprisingly, is “Fear Itself: Deadpool.” You know who’s writing it?

Chris Hastings. A.k.a. the creator of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, one of the funniest ninja doctor comics around (and we all know how many of THOSE are out there). Hastings’ interview about the mini that strongly implies that the Merc With A Mouth may be one of the Worthy, a.k.a. one of the Marvel characters capable of wielding the power of one of the eight new Mjolnir-like hammers introduced in “Fear Itself.” If not, we know he’ll at least be using SOME kind of magical hammer!

Whether or not you’re interested in “Fear Itself,” I highly recommend you give “Fear Itself: Deadpool” a try. The only thing you need to fear from that comic is busting a gut from laughter. And if that happens, don’t worry, there are hospitals for that.

Also, you owe it to yourself to check out The Adventures of Dr. McNinja. It’s awesome, hilarious and FREE. Head over to the archives and start catching up. Once you’re done, head over to the home page to read the current issue. That’s web navigation made easy, kids!

Superman movie news

March 27, 2011

The LA Times is reporting today that the part of Lois Lane has been cast in the new Superman movie project … and it’s Amy Adams.

Adams becomes the fourth member of the cast, joining Henry Cavill, who dons the red and blue as Superman, and Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, the somewhat surprising choices to to play Ma and Pa Kent. Zack Snyder, of 300 and Watchmen fame, will direct, with David S. Goyer (co-writer of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and former comic book co-writer of JSA) handling the script. Christopher Nolan is a producer.

Adams has become a favorite of mine, from her delightful role in Enchanted to her grittier performances in Sunshine Cleaning and especially her Oscar-nominated role in The Fighter. She’s shown excellent range, and her beauty certainly doesn’t hurt. I love the casting choice here.

What do you think, readers?

Good books’ bad flaws

March 27, 2011

Comic book writing isn’t an exact science. You can be one of the best in the business and still suffer from annoying tendencies every now and then. Even among my favorite books, I’ve noticed some recurring weaknesses. How big of a deal those weaknesses are tend to be relative to each reader. For instance, I grew to absolutely hate Brian Michael Bendis’ writing because of his incredibly slow pacing, redundancies, simplistic characterizations, and over-reliance on certain characters and on deus ex machinas. But judging from Bendis’ enduring popularity, others view those as mere speedbumps in otherwise good storytelling. Meanwhile, Peter David’s tendency to sometimes needlessly inject sex into stories can probably disrupt his writing for some, but with the exception of his old Captain Marvel title (where the random sex really did go overboard sometimes), it hasn’t interfered with his stories for me.

So here is a look at some flaws I’ve noticed popping up. Finding a weakness in a weak book is easy, but these are all ones in titles that are nevertheless mostly enjoyable. Most of these are more on the minor side, but some threaten to become bigger and more disruptive if not reined in.


Read Marvel Comics free online… at Starbucks

March 24, 2011

If you’ve been on the fence over joining Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited because of the yearly subscription fee ($4.99 a month nowadays), then head on over to Starbucks start April 23 to access it for free via the Starbucks Digital Network.

Looks like I’ll be heading to Starbucks a lot more often! I kind of wonder how this’ll change the coffee shop’s culture. Probably not in any significant way, but maybe we’ll see more folks getting together and talking comics over coffee (while READING said comics online). Starbucks could become a trendy place to meet and make friends with fellow fans!