This blog is essentially a collection of posts I used to write on Facebook combined with my travel blog and expanded to make a very public forum of my thoughts regarding Pop Culture, The Interweb, Cartoons, Comics, Ultimate Frisbee, Absurdity, Life, Travel and whatever else captures my attention long enough to write about it...

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27 June 2011

Comics, part 2

The "mainstream"

So continuing from last time I figured I'd write about other comics, only this time just focus on the main marvel and DC lines. Of course rather than talking about individual comics like last time I'll be talking about characters in these "universes" on top of specific story arcs...

Starting with Marvel and their more commonly recognised stuff that I like... The Xmen... Who I like particular individuals in but tend to avoid the whole group just because it's confusing and to much happens. I never liked Spiderman, Ironman is a douche, Captain America is a SUPER douche and the Hulk just sucks (so I won't talk about them). I do like Mister Fantastic from the Fantastic Four, mainly because his advantage is being smart and not his power of being stretchy (on that note did we all notice the Incredibles basically just had the Fantastic Four's powers with speed instead of fire?). Another cool thing from the F4 is they introduced Galactus and the Silver Surfer. The surfer rocks, even if his comic is a bit "woe is me I'm marooned on a planet of savages etc"

So Xmen I like are Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde and Archangel (interestingly 2 of those 3 where in Xcaliber). Nightcrawler is just a good character, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't like him (a blue skinned swashbuckler who can teleport was never going to fail), similar to Kitty Pryde (but with WAY cooler powers). Archangel however is up there with the coolest powers around, true he's kinda rubbish in a fight compared to most of them, but he's super fit (without any effort) and can FLY... Everyone would like that power. There are other Xmen I don't mind (Beast, Iceman, Psylocke etc) also but more important are the ones that are annoying... I won't go Wolverine bashing (it's not his fault he's over exposed), he was a good idea when he started, it's just the fact that every second character SINCE has been just a copy of him. Cyclops is a douche, 'nuff said there. Jean Gray is/was also annoying. Storm shits me to tears and wtf is the point of Jubilee?

Stretching from Xmen you get Exiles, I picked up a whole collection of their books from a mate when he moved back to the states. I probably wouldn't have bought them myself but they were a decent price and turned out to be none to shabby. Somewhat standard "traveling through alternate dimensions and trying to get home" plot that included Nightcrawler's daughter from another dimension, the good Sabertooth from Age of Apocalypse and Blink.
Funnily enough it was supposed to be a story removed from the main Marvel universe, but of course when any character begins to gain popularity they need to find themselves relocated to the main universe (as happened with Nocturne). It did provide Marvel another outlet for "alternate universe" versions of popular characters too, like the evil Daredevil and whatnot on the Weapon X team. All without having to go to that "what if" comic they used to do... plus if they proved popular *zip* over to the main universe...

Another "alternate universe" marvel story that's worth looking at is Marvel 1602, basically it's the base marvel universe in the 1600s, weird idea but works pretty well. But I think the main reason it works is NEIL GAIMAN wrote it (more on that later).

The Earth/Universe/Paradise X series is also more of the same "alternate timeline/universe" stuff that Marvel do so often (you think the terminator timeline is complicated, you should look at the marvel universe). Anyway in this one everyone has superpower (cool!) but noone can have kids (???) and there's captain marvel and the avengers are dead and the xmen have scattered and Peter Parker is exposed as Spiderman and blah blah blah... Interesting idea, just draws out for to long and gets way to complicated. Killing death and Galactus and all these other key godlike characters gets tricky but Fat Wolverine (how?), Deadpool/Daredevil, Female Thor and Loki being the only Asgardian who understands what is happening are all amusing though.

Finally we have my favourite character from Marvel... Deadpool... Now I hate to say it but I totally liked Deadpool before it was cool (I've even got one of his standalone comics from the 90s still... It was in a showbag). Essentially he started as a copy of Deathstroke from DC (costume, skills even weapons) but he slowly warped into a pisstake of the 90s "violent antihero" schtick (think Wolverine, Punisher and even more Wolverine). Basically he was in the same Weapon X program that Wolverine was in where he got given the stock  standard super healing power, but he had cancer and something went funny and etc etc... Basically he's covered in horrible scars and it's fucked his brain so he's batshit insane. The most obvious part of this is he knows he's in a comic and noone else does (he even answers his own letters page), so all the other characters think he's an idiot and don't understand him. He doesn't know what he's going to do next, so noone else can predict him and in the last few years (powered by the interweb) he's shot up in popularity to the point where he's basically in every comic Marvel do and his refreshing differences are now annoyingly everywhere... He's still funny, just over exposed (much like Family Guy).

Connected to Deadpool comes a comic character I've never actually read a comic of, but have read about and seriously wish I could get copies of their stuff... Squirrel Girl and the rest of the Great Lakes Avengers... I hate the Avengers, and the spin off West Coast Avengers just seem even more pathetic... But the spin off spin off Great Lakes Avengers seem quite amusing, someone dies in every issue and at one stage they met Deadpool and he moved into their HQ and wouldn't leave. He killed one of them for the remote. Google them for the full story.
Squirrel Girl is probably their most famous member, however she's a little bit all over the shop, her power is she can talk to/control squirrels and she has claws a tail and climbing skills and most importantly hazelnut flavoured lips. She also has an entire collection of "Iron Man Vs" collector cards, giving her background info on bad guys... using these abilities she's managed to bring down some of the biggest bad guys in the marvel universe... Apparently some writers hate her and keep trying to "but no" her accomplishments and others love her and keep making her beat bigger and badder people... Much more amusing than Spiderman or the Captain America.

Providing a lovely segue is the Marvel Vs DC collection I have, average kinda comic but interesting in that they used reader votes to determine the winners. Batman vs Captain America, Superman vs Hulk, Spiderman vs Superboy, Flash vs Thor, Silver Surfer vs Green Lantern etc... The coolest part of this clearly being the weird amalgam universe, a Batman/Wolverine Hybrid chasing a Sabertooth/Joker Hybrid with an incredibly annoying Captain America/Superman hybrid etc...
Comics being comics and Marvel/DC being Marvel/DC nothing that is even remotely popular is let go, so that means Amalgam Comics was setup to do 24 comic run of stories about the heroes/villains from the merged universe (never let storyline get in the way of potential profit). A list of comics to think from this would include
  • Legends of the Dark Claw (Wolverine/Batman)
  • Bruce Wayne, Agent of Shield (Bruce Wayne/Nick Fury)
  • Iron Lantern (Iron Man/Green Lantern)
  • Lobo the Duck (Lobo/Howard the Duck... WTF is right)
Now we move into DC land... As mention previously I was never into DC as much as Marvel (although Watchmen is officially DC, and V for Vendetta is Vertigo which is a DC imprint)... Basically I HATE Superman and Batman, I really really hate the pair of them. The Joker is an awesome villain, but Batman sucks, so unsurprisingly the coolest DC comic I own is a Batman story with no Batman in it till the last couple of pages. It's just the Joker leaving Arkham and going on a bit of a rampage, then finishes with Batman coming from nowhere and kicking the fuck out of him.

But that does mean we can segue straight to Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic, initially DC and later Vertigo this is one of the most awesome comics you can ever read. Neil Gaiman would have to be one of my favourite writers (of anything... yes there is man crush there) so his most kick ass of kick ass comics is pretty freaking awesome. I've read his short stories, kids stories, comics, novels and watched the damn movies and they're all awesome. I won't bother trying to summarise the series, just read it... read it all.

So that's the two big publishing houses covered, next up is the smaller stuff...

Love, Hugs and Kisses


  1. Have you read the Cable and Deadpool mini series?

  2. Yes I've read parts of it...