Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Titan #4 Preview

Okay, so the preview thing didn't work out quite as well as I'd hoped. Obviously there's a couple of bugs on my end that need to be checked over. In the meantime, today was new comic book day and the release of a movie I've been waiting a REALLY long time to see.

First the comics. Wasn't a big lot for me this week, Countdown 44, The Immortal Iron Fist #6, Thunderbolts #115 and The Collected Tales of the TMNT Volume 3.

Countdown #44
I'm pretty sure most of you know about Countdown. It's the follow up to DC's weekly 52 event. Now, I didn't read every single part of 52 (I'd decided to go balls-out on Civil War) but did pick up the Bat-centric issues. Countdown wouldn't normally interest me in the slightest, however, there are two things about the event grabbed me. The first, Red Hood. I started going all out and picking up both Batman and Detective Comics on a regular basis when The Red Hood aka Jason Todd (formerly Robin, also formerly dead in one of the most controversial character deaths in comic history) came back. The outcry regarding the retconning of his death and how it was handled was pretty big. Personally, I really liked the arc up until they revealed HOW he came back - Superboy "Prime" punched reality, which sent aftershocks across the universe and resulted in Jason Todd's death being undone. Not being a huge DC reader beyond the Bat, this made little sense to me at the time, and now that I am a little wiser to the history of the DC universe, it makes perfect sense, but it doesn't stop it from being a pretty weak resurrection.
See, I'm a big sucker for characters coming back from the dead. The Green Goblin was well handled, it all made sense in the Marvel universe and you didn't have to know the entire Marvel U to understand it. Jason Todd could've been handled a lot better. As I said, I didn't mind it, and enjoyed reading the whole saga, but it could've been better and it should've been something that stayed within the confines of the Batman universe.

Anyway, getting back on track... Countdown deals with the Red Hood. He's one of the leads. The whole thing though, seems to be dealing with all these alternate universes and such and such a character from such and such a dimension going about their business in a dimension that isn't their own. In other words, it's dealing with a lot of the mess DC seems to bring upon itself with having the intertwining universes, and Jason Todd is one of them.

The second reason this book has me is because of Paul Dini, who is hands down, one of my favourite writers around. He's the dude responsible for the Batman animated series that ran through the 90's and the current Detective Comics (which is easily one of the best books on the market at the moment).

So far, Countdown has been interesting, but not enthralling. Whether or not it pulls a controversy card like 52 did with it's lesbian Batwoman remains to be seen, and admittedly it is only early in the series, so there are a lot of things still up in the air. I'm sticking with it, but I've got a feeling that, come the finale, I'm not going to be blown that far away.

The Immortal Iron Fist #6
I'm loving this book. When I first started picking it up, it was either this or Daredevil. I love Brubaker's work, and Matt Fraction's recent works (Casanova and Punisher War Journal) have been great fun, and wanting something that wasn't going to have me dredging through back issues to catch up, I decided to go with Fist. Still in it's first arc, it's a Hell of a lot of fun and some very clever writing. At the moment, it's dealing with the Iron Fist being a 'mantle' power, and the current Iron Fist (Danny Rand) has teamed up with the previous title holder in a battle against Hydra. While this is going on, The Powers That Be have called on the Iron Fist to take part in a supernatural tournament to protect the honor of K'un-Lun(think Mortal Kombat or the Battlenexus for all you Turtle fans), which looks like it'll start happening in the next few months and should be very cool indeed.

Anyway, the issue itself is a nice little cap to the first six issues, finishing the Hydra story but also propelling the build up to the Tournament of the Seven Heavenly Cities (Battlenexus). It's not as memorable as #5, which I really loved (the last page with Luke Cage was awesome), but seeing the old school Heroes for Hire gang kicking arse was pretty neat. If you're into wicked Kung Fu action, you really should be reading this. It'd be sweet to see Iron Fist cross the TMNT someday (wishful thinking!).

Thunderbolts #115
I read this one as a Spidey fan. It's the only Initiative title from Marvel (besides New Avengers) I'm reading, and as soon as the Spiderman connections are severed, chances are my purchasing of this book will be too.

Written by Warren Ellis, with art by Mike Deodato, Thunderbolts is essentially a team of some of the most lethal supervillains from the Marvel U given a second chance by serving the government as a team and rounding up any unregistered superheros still actively using their powers. The team is run by Norman Osborn (aka, the Green Goblin) and is made up of Penance (aka Robbie Baldwin, aka Speedball), Venom, Moonstone, Songbird, Swordsman, Radioactive Man and Bullseye. So far it's been pretty fun reading, but this issue just felt kind of average. Beware spoilers about Bullseye...






Spoilers ahoy! Bullseye winding up paralyzed was a nice little touch, though I don't think it's going to have the title spanning reverberations it probably deserves, and to have come (partially at least) from a B-List hero, it just feels kind of underwhelming. Actually, that's probably the best way to describe this whole issue. However, it's one of those issues where the pay off could be awesome a few issues down the track. Usually, each issue finishes with Norman losing it a little more, and they're great little moments. Unfortunately, such a moment never occurs here. All in all, pretty average, but the consequences should be interesting.

My brother and I also went to see Transformers this morning. Everything I could have hoped for! It's EASILY Bay's best work, and probably ILM's best work since Jurassic Park. Great fun, awesome effects and the action is intense! However (and I had a feeling something like this was going to happen), during the final reel of the film - probably no more than 15 minutes to the end and smack bang in the middle of an awesome fight sequence - the film cuts out! Bang! Nothing for twenty minutes! TWENTY MINUTES!! I was told this had happened in three other movies that had played in the cinema that week. Kinda ruined the experience a little (but I'm a big T'formers fan - even had my Autobot shirt on!) but the film is probably my favourite movie since Batman Begins. If you haven't seen it yet, but know the cartoons, it feels like a modernization of the first big story arc that introduced the robots in disguise (the first three episodes in other words). It's like what Ultimate Spiderman is to the original Spiderman. Some of the voices are a little jarring at first, but Peter Cullen is excellent as Prime (as if he wouldn't be!), Starscream - although not in the film that much - is definitely himself, and Megatron is the shiznit! You'd never pick Hugo Weaving for the voice and it's definitely a different, but still very appropriate interpretation of the character. It would've been a dream come true to have Frank Welker voice Megs, but what's done is done and it's all good in the end!

Anyway, that's all I've got on me for now! Gotta get back to work!

Peace out!


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