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Tag Archives: Comics

Red Cape, Blue Tights

I’ve never been a huge fan of DC Comics in general, but in particular I’ve always found their lead character Superman to be especially uninspiring. In recent years, Superman has been eclipsed in the popular media by Batman, partly due to the successful movie franchise and partly because he’s a more complex and therefore interesting character. I don’t think Batman succeeds because the audience empathises with him, that’s something that creates Spider Man’s appeal. More people can relate to Peter Parker’s plucky underdog persona than Batman as a revenge driven vigilante or the invincible Christ figure that is Superman.

With yet another comic adaptation waiting in the wings in the form of Man of Steel, I have to wonder what story is left to tell that needs to be digitised and projected onto the silver screen? I think the reason Mr. Kent has never caught on with me is that you always know the ending with a Superman story – one way or another, he will prevail, it’s just a question of how many bystanders will be caught up along the way. They’re the only ones at risk from the villain of the week in every issue, Clark can’t be stopped (even death didn’t defeat him) so I find it hard to get excited when there’s no sense of peril and nothing for our hero to strive against. Maybe if he wasn’t as super, like in the old TV show when he couldn’t even fly, the spate of ever taller buildings being constructed might make it harder for him to leap over them in a single bound.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2012 in Books, TV

 

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Recent Reads

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I’m still using the Comixology app to keep up with my comic book habit and as such I’m flitting between current issues and classic back issues.  These are some of the storylines that have been getting virtual ink on my fingers.

 

All Hail Megatron

I’ve been meaning to read this story for a while, but the price of the collected comics has been off putting.  Luckily, going digital solves that problem.  Here, the bad guys win – Megatron conquers all and the good guys have to find how to claw their way up from the rubble.  This a great take on the long running giant-robot series, it works so well because it makes the bad guys really bad.  The inevitable return of Optimus Prime seemed a little rushed, but he had to be thrown in at some point to save the day.

Vampirella #19

The otherworldy heroine with a dress sense that’s somewhere between 1980s hair metal band Vixen and the WWE Divas is fighting the armies of Hell again.  Long running villain Vlad Dracula returns, having gained new powers after doing a dastardly deal with some dark gods who are older than order and chaos themselves.  Luckily Vampirella has a Vatican sanctioned SWAT team to back her up as they fight worm-like Lovecraftian monsters from the pit.

Captain Britain Annual #1

Sitting in the middle of the MI:13 series, this is split into two halves – the first is the story of what the Captain’s wife Meggan got up to whilst she was trapped in Hell.  The second is the MI:13 team playing cricket, in which Blade proves himself to be a competent bowler.  The artwork in the first half is a little ropey, but it’s good to see how Meggan raised a rebellion in Hell and that ties up nicely with her eventual return during the war with Dracula (that man again) and his vampire army.  The second story looks much better and shows how the Captain’s powers are amplified by his own self confidence.  Told through a series of flashbacks, he recalls his life with Meggan but only once he has cleared his mind does his batting sort itself out.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Books, Inspiration, Monsters

 

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What, Me Worry?

In my younger days I was a regular reader of Mad magazine. It wasn’t always easy to find in the UK as many newsagents didn’t stock niche titles. When I could find a copy, I loved the cartoons, the parodies (even if some of them went over my head) and of course the back-page fold ins. I always had an assorted pile of comic compilations on my book shelf or beside my bed for many years. Usually they’d be collections of Don Martin or Spy vs. Spy or snappy answers to stupid questions. I haven’t picked up a physical copy of Mad magazine for a long time now. Though I’d happily thumb through an old dog-eared back issue if I stumbled across one whilst clearing out the garage.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Socks

 

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Comic Books (The Year So Far)

Since using Comixology to get my comics digitally, I’ve found myself experimenting with titles I wouldn’t normally pick up off the shelf. I’ve also been dipping into books that I’ve missed first time round. With that in mind, there are my top 3 most enjoyed comics of this year (in no particular order).

The Stuff of Legend

Fabulous fantasy tale set during WWII. A small boy is kidnapped and taken to the dark world that lies beyond the back of his cupboard. His toys set off on a quest to rescue him. Gorgeous artwork, worth reading before Disney turn it into Toy Story 4.

Strikeforce Morituri

I read the first 6 issues in the 80s then my local store stopped stocking it. In the near future aliens invade the earth and a Captain America style treatment is developed to give people super powers to fight the monsters. The catch; if you take the treatment, you only have a year to live. For those who are about to die, we salute you!

Assimilate2

Pure fan service! Doctor Who appears onboard the USS Enterprise D, just as The Borg and The Cybermen form an alliance. True to all the characters involved and the 5th Doctor gets to meet Kirk. Great fun!

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Socks

 

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Reboot

As I write this I’m listening to the Tron Legacy soundtrack, having just watched the teaser trailer for the new Robocop movie remake. Both of the original films were favourites of mine in the 80s and in different ways they still stand up pretty well to this day.

When Tron was first released it was an exciting fantasy that gave an interpretation of what a digital world could actually look like. We now live in a digital world and there are less turbocycles and discus battles but the principals of the MCP live on in The Cloud.

Robocop always reminded me of the stark authoritarian world of the Judge Dredd comics. When Dredd finally did get his own film years later, it was a far cry from the violent satire of Robocop. However, Mega City One will be back on the big screen soon enough, so hopefully it will deserve a second bite of the cherry.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Socks

 

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Bark at the Moon

Werewolves are an interesting breed of monster (and I don’t just say that because I’m a dog-person rather than a cat-person). The idea of an uncontrollable beast within makes for a captivating hook to hang a story from. The notion that unnatural powers can be like an affliction that the bearer may not even be aware of.

A werewolf that can change at will is less appealing to me as a reader or movie watcher. Just like The Incredible Hulk comics lose their excitement if Doctor Banner can change whenever he chooses – there’s just no tension.

Unlike vampires, which have steadily lost all their traditional weakness in modern fiction, werewolves are still typically stopped in their tracks by silver bullets. Whether this kills just the beast or also the man is up to the teller of the tale. When the moon is full in the sky, I still keep an ear out for distant howls. Just in case.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Socks

 

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Worlds Collide

I’ve just finished reading the first issue of the new Doctor Who/Star Trek : The Next Generation crossover comic series “Assimilated2.” Whilst there hasn’t been much time for our space and time travelling heroes to interact with each other, the alliance between The Borg and The Cybermen seems to work very well.

Whilst it may seem obvious to pair up the two villainous cyborg races, I’m really glad The Daleks weren’t chosen for this storyline. I’ve always found Cybermen to be more scary than Daleks anyway. Daleks either enslave you or disintegrate you. Cybermen make you one of them.

In that respect, The Borg are much the same so as long as they are running on compatible software to The Cybermen, the alliance should work well for them. As for how The Doctor will get on with Picard and his crew… it’s too early to tell.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Socks

 

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