Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pip's Pick Ups - 23 March 2011

Just four issues this week.  Still haven't had a chance to read any yet since my job is kind of kicking my @$$ lately.  I wasn't planning on buying Captain America 615.1 but the phenomenal cover and the recommendation from Vaughn my LCS guy changed my mind.

Captain America #615.1
Justice League: Generation Lost #22
Uncanny X-Men #534
Uncanny X-Force #6

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review - Twilight Guardian #3

Cover, Jeffrey Spokes
Let me start off by saying that you might be offended while reading this issue.  At first glance, I was.  There are no four letter words or sexist or racist remarks, but as a comic book reader, you or the books you read might be a target of Troy Hickman.

In this issue, TG has returned from her "adventure" to the comic book convention and picks up with her regular patrols.  She also receives advance pages of comics from a publisher that wants to use her as a model for a comic book character.  It's here that you might be offended.  Hickman pokes some fun at several styles of comics you can find on the shelves these days.  One skewers some of the high brow British writers with some steampunk thrown in for good measure while another jests with the ideas of big, cosmic, all-out battles.  These made me laugh.  Especially, the Brit comic, where TG has only suspenders covering her breasts.

The first sample pages she receives turn TG into a Punisher style hero complete with a pet monkey throwing bombs from a helicopter.  When I first read it, I thought, "This is awesome!"  Then I realized that Hickman was pointing out the idiocy of some of the comics I actually read.  Some of the references will be too old I think for some readers like the villain named Jart.  That may be one of the reasons for some of the poor reviews I've seen for TG #3.  Those reviewers may not be old enough to know what Hickman is referencing.

Before I get to the main story, let's talk about the art.  Sid Kotian's art is beautiful.  His abilitiy to jump from style to style between the comic book parodies and homages and the main story art is amazing.  I can't believe this guy is not working for Marvel or DC right now.  Bill Farmer's colors are fantastic as well.

Now back to the main story.  I mentioned in my review of TG #2 that I was afraid that the hints of actual danger would never materialize.  In TG #3 we learn that TG's "missing" ex-boyfriend is dating someone else.  Is he truly missing or just avoiding TG?  I still fear that there is no real danger except maybe TG as a danger to herself, though Hickman has diluted it a bit with the reveal on the last page of the book.  Now that I think I understand what this is all about, I'm starting to enjoy TG.  If you're not afraid of thinking a little beyond costumes and continuity, I suggest you pick it up.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sqweasel Picks the Best Irish Joke He Received In His Inbox Yesterday

A young Irishman goes into confession and says, "Bless me Father, for I  have sinned. I have been with a loose woman."
The priest asks, "Is that you, Timmy Shaughnessy?"
"Yes, Father, it is."
"And, who was the woman  you were with?"
"I can't be tellin' you, Father. I don't want to ruin her reputation."
"Well, Timmy, I'm sure to find out sooner or later, so you may as well tell me now. Was it Brenda O'Malley?"
"I cannot say."
"Was  it Patricia Kelly?"
"I'll never tell."
"Was it Sheilah O'Brien?"
"I'm sorry Father, but I cannot name her.  My lips are sealed."
The priest sighs in  frustration and says, "You're a steadfast lad, Timmy Shaughnessy, and I admire that.  But you've sinned, and you must atone. You may not attend church mass for three months. Be off with you now."
Timmy walks back to his pew. His  friend Sean slides over and whispers, "What'd you get?"
"Three month's  vacation and three good leads."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pip's Pick Ups - March 16, 2011

Just a few this week as I've been buying lots of back issues recently.  Most of these will be reviewed elsewhere so I'll have a review of Twilight Guardian #3 up in the next day or so.  Here's what I picked up:

Generation Hope #5
Twilight Guardian #3
Uncanny X-Force #5.1
X-Factor #217

Monday, March 14, 2011

X-Men: First Class - 1st Appearances

The X-Men #1, Cover by Jack Kirby and Sol Brodsky
I knew I'd have to post something like this sooner or later.  I was waiting to put this together a little closer to the movie release date.  However, I've already noticed a few people have made it to my site searching for comic book issues related to the movie.  Well, so far the only thing I can come up with is a list of first appearances for the characters that will be in the movie.  It's virtually impossible to come up with a list of issues relating to events in the story.  This story is in it's own continuity.  It's not Marvel 616 and I'm guessing that when Marvel gets the film rights back that it won't be Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) either.  This story is...Fox X-Men Universe.  I think I just coined that term.  We can abbreviate it FXU.  I'm sure all the fanboys that hate this movie will love it.  Feel free to use it.  You don't even have to pay me royalties.

Alright, on to the list of 1st appearances.  First, the bad news.  If you're trying to collect all of these comics in near mint condition it will cost you about $27,000.  The good news, about $26,000 of that amount is all in one book, The (Uncanny) X-Men #1.  You could likely pick up all the others for around $900 bucks or so.

The (Uncanny) X-Men #1:  1st Appearance of Professor Xavier, Magneto, Beast 

The (Uncanny) X-Men #28:  1st Appearance of Banshee

The (Uncanny) X-Men #54:  1st Appearance of Havok

The (Uncanny) X-Men #96:  1st Appearance of Moira McTaggert

The (Uncanny) X-Men #129:  1st Appearance of Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw

The Uncanny X-Men #210:  1st Appearance of Riptide

Uncanny X-Men #428:  1st Appearance of Azazel

Ms. Marvel #18:  1st full Appearance of Mystique

New X-Men #118:  1st Appearance of Angel Salvadore

X-Men: Deadly Genesis #2:  1st Appearance of Darwin

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Create Your Own Comic Book Character

I was reading ComicsAlliance the other day and came across a link to an article at io9 called "How to create your own original supehero from scratch."  It discusses naming your character, coming up with an origin story, deciding which superpowers he or she should have, and what are their motivations.  The best part, some of our favorite comic writers like Kurt Busiek and Gail Simone are the ones giving the advice.  After reading the article, I feel like I've done a pretty good job with my own character, Sqweasel, who you can see in  the wonderful logo for this site done by my friend Gene Dodge.  As far as his powers and origin story, keep reading as bits and pieces of it will trickle out over time.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Won't Buy "Fear Itself" Comics Except These 3

Fear Itself: Deadpool cover, Ryan Stegman
At this point Marvel hasn't done a good enough marketing job to persuade me to buy any of the comics related to this year's Fear Itself event. Then they issued this press release.  Chris Hastings, the creator of Dr. McNinja, will write Fear Itself: Deadpool.  Whether or not you're a regular, occasional, or never have reader of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, this article over at ComicsAlliance clearly demonstrates why this guy should write a Deadpool story.  Maybe not key issues, but it's always nice to see a fan/writers picking their favorite stories.

Christopher Hastings Picks Deadpool's 5 Most Awesome Moments

Pip's Pick Ups - March 9, 2011

I can't remeber the last time this happened.  I didn't buy any Marvel books this week.  Very strange.  How is it that Marvel put nothing on the shelf that seemed interesting to me?  Anyway, here's what I picked up:

Birds of Prey #10
Weird Worlds #3
Wonder Woman #608

And one from last week:

All New Batman: Brave and the Bold #4

Monday, March 7, 2011

Key Issues - Wonder Woman Volume 2

Wonder Woman #152, Adam Hughes
I didn't start reading comic books until around 1989 or 1990.  Before that my exposure to superheroes was through cartoons like Super Friends and live action TV shows like The Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman.  While they could be dismissed as just TV shows, I think they were pretty important to my childhood development.  In fact, outside of the 18 plus years I spent in Sunday school at church, I'm guessing that shows like Super Friends and G.I. Joe contributed quite a bit to my moral and ethical code.  I also think that Wonder Woman starring Lynda Carter probably also played a part in my image of the ideal woman.  I don't believe it's a coincidence that I married a woman who is just as smart, sexy, strong, and independent as Wonder Woman.  Anyway, here's the list of key issues I came up with for Wonder Woman Volume 2.  The first volume I've tackled with over 200 issues.  I've undoubtedly missed something so please let me know and I'll remedy it.  For all things Wonder Woman, you can check out these two great sites, Wonder Woman Network  and Amazon Archives.  Click the jump for the key issues.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #1

Axe Cop BGE #1, Ethan Nicolle
I think most people who write about comics would actually prefer to write comics.  I would.  I have begun writing some scripts that hopefully someday will make it into a graphic format.  Though, after reading Axe Cop, I'm considering giving it up.  Unless I concentrate on writing something thought provoking or self examining, I'm pretty sure I couldn't come up with anything as awesome as Axe Cop.

If you're not familiar with Axe Cop, it's been published online since early last year at  The comic is about a cop who uses an axe instead of a gun.  He also has a dinosaur partner who is aptly named Dinosaur Soldier.  It's written by Malachai Nicolle and drawn by his brother, Ethan.  Malachai Nicolle is six years old and his brother is 30.  If you've ever been around young kids, you'll understand how truly fantastic that is.   When they create stories, their stories are based on kid logic not adult logic.  The story progression is one or two steps above stream of consciousness.  It makes for a great comic book.

By itself, the story might be a bit hard to follow so it's fortunate that Ethan is such a great artist.  His artwork is what enables those of us over the age of 6 to understand what the hell is going on.  I'm sure this is no easy feat.  In fact, it should probably be required training for comic book artists to go through some type of course where they are forced to draw stories created by children.  We might see a little better pacing in mainstream comic books.

The Newsarama quote on the cover says, "Best comic ever!"  I'm not sure I would go that far.  Instead, I would probably go with, "Most awesome comic ever!"

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pip's Pick Ups - March 2, 2011

A little late this week but here's what I picked up:

5 Ronin #1
Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #1
Heroes For Hire #4
X-Factor #216

And one back issue:

X-Factor Vol 2 #43

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Key Issues - Black Tom Cassidy

Cover, Michael Ryan and Rick Ketcham
Do you like Juggernaut?  Most people do.  He's unstoppable and that has created some fantastic battle scenes against heroes like Thor, Colossus, and the Hulk.  In this post I'd like to give a little recognition to the man who is responsible for many of those battles, Black Tom Cassidy.  Tom was created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum back in 1976.  He and Juggernaut first fought the X-Men at Cassidy Keep in X-Men #101 - 103.  Unfortunately, we only get to see Tom in issues involving either his cousins, Banshee and Siryn, or the man I can't believe is still is friend, Cain Marko.  He's primarily portrayed as a killer for hire, usually as the brains behind some plan that unleashes Juggernaut.  He hasn't shown up, except for flashbacks, since New Excalibur #13 back in 2007.  I believe there is more to Tom that would make a very interesting story and hopefully someone at Marvel will figure that out.  If you work for Marvel and you're still reading this, take a look after the list of key issues to see what you could potentially do with the character.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I just finished Daytripper, the graphic novel from Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon.  It's hard to describe.  My wife came upstairs just as I finished reading it and asked,  "Are you alright?"  That's likely because she has probably only seen me cry a few times in the twelve plus years we've known each other.

I'm not going to write a wordy review on this one.  You can check out lots of other sites if that's what you're looking for.  Even if you don't read comics, just buy this book.  You won't regret it.