continuing with the DDv2 romp.
with a shake-up occurring at the highest levels of the NY mob, the Kingpin is taken out (almost), the perpetrators ditto (for real), and Matt is about to be blindsided when his secret ID falls into the hands of those competent protectors of our domestic freedoms, the Federal Bureau of Investigation ...
Brian Michael Bendis/Alex Maleev
picture an FBI interrogation room. picture yourself as a citizen being investigated by FBI agents. still being investigated, mind you; they don't have anything on you yet. would you feel confident at all if they were making fun of you, knowing that its your word against theirs, and they could label you a terrorist or make you disappear for life?
now, you'd better be really innocent, because it would be worse if you were really guilty. so, there's a neat moral lesson from Brian, kids: if you can't do the time, then don't do the crime. take it from Sammy Silke. (formerly of the Chicago Ripa family, whose other prominent members include this one and this one).
this summer's big top event, World War Hulk, comes to Westchester!
the Hulk wants an audience with Professior Xavier, who was interestingly absent, when they sent Hulk to outer space. as is with costumed super types, there has to be some fighting first.
after the New X-Men's asses get handed to them, the senior team comes to the rescue. we're tired of waiting for the resumption of the Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk series, that we're glad we are treated to this:
too bad, because that's as far as it goes, and Prof. X shows up for his appointment. if he arrived a few minutes earlier, there'd be less broken bones and hurt feelings.
now the big question is ...
remember when you used to slap your bald friend upside the head? who wants to put down bets on which state while Chuck end up? Florida? Louisiana? Illinois? Arkansas? Texas, do i hear Texas?
World War Hulk: X-Men #1
Christos N. Gage/Andrea DiVito
so where were we? okay, Daredevil's career is on the upswing, Matt and Foggy are raking money and still keeping it clean, and the Kingpin's blind. Matt just needs a broad, and everything's peachy.
well, not so fast ...
Brian Michael Bendis/Alex Maleev
with that Leap-Frog thing still fresh on the readers' minds, they were unprepared for the sledgehammer blow that Bendis hit them with in the beginning of 2002. "Underboss", a six-part tornado that took Daredevil where it is today, at least in tone, with a huge nod to yesterday (hello, Frank Miller), heralded the arrival of Bendis to the mainstream (at least to casual fans). not to mention enabling him to win two Eisner writing awards (plus Continuing Series honors with Alex Maleev the next year.
did i mention the series opens with the Kingpin being stabbed by his underlings, a-la Julius Caesar on the steps of the forum (you mean he wasn't killed by Asterix?)? i actually have a better reference: the death of Admiral Bill Adama in American Me. well, if that doesn't grab your attention, you're either not a comic fan, or dead. i know, we've seen Wilson Fisk 'die' a million times, and what's another one? but it does merit an "oh, shit!", with the way Bendis does his pacing, interspersed with flashbacks. by the way, there is a secret revealed here ... i won't tell you where ... Fisk's middle name is Theodore. that's why out of earshot, his flunkies derisively refer to him as WTF.
since this blog has fewer readers than humans on Mars, i am quite honored that some superstars out there trawl the web for references to themselves (i can't fault them, i'd do it myself if i was even sixteenth-famous). well, at least those who care enough what the world is thinking about them. even when the world is thinking nasty thoughts. wait, did i write anything nasty? if so, David Mack (or his "handlers" *lol*) would not link my Daredevil posts to his site. so let's give it up for the Mackster!
i'll see you at the next NYC Comic Con, David (if you're gonna be there). but for now, let me check out the last two threads, starting with "Modestly Endowed Superheroines?" ...
possible wrap-around cover to JLA #13, written by Dwayne McDuffie and drawn by Joe Benitez, after the departure of (sigh) Brad Meltzer.
so who's gonna be still up and about to fight this new 40-odd strong Injustice League, after all the festivities on the horizon?
yep, Dinah just bagged Ollie. how long that's gonna last, your bet is as good as mine.
continuing my ruminations on the Daredevil v2.0 ...
Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack, Mark Morales, Pond Scum
this story arc marks the entry of critically-acclaimed and fan favorite writer Brian Michael Bendis into the DD mythos. nimble enough to offer varied fare like crime noir (Jinx/Goldfish) and its superhero equivalent (Powers), as well as straight-up capes (Ultimate Spider-Man), Bendis seemed a perfect fit for a title like DD, whose themes of justice and sanctity of the law coupled with superheroing was right up his alley.
for his debut, Bendis throws everyone for a loop when he makes intrepid Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich (Joey Pants in the movie) the central character and shows events from his POV. in fact, DD barely even makes an appearance in the first 3 issues, except in one young boy's fantasies. the premise is that the boy, Timmy, has withdrawn into himself after witnessing a confrontation between Daredevil and Timmy's father, the low-rent lameass villain Leap-Frog. something happened there, and with an abusive mother, Timmy just doodles and draws and narrates the story in his mind over and over. his classmates think he has a cool comic collection but finds him weird (aren't they all).
Ben risks being yelled at by notorious blowhard Bugle chief J. Jonah Jameson, because he's supposed to be covering the Kingpin trial (a retroactive story, we see). see, wouldn't it be cool to have supporting characters refer to each other in the movie equivalents?
Jonah: "the X-Men? a menace! if they sue us, give that shyster Murdock a call!"
Robbie: "they already did. and Murdock just turned us down. something about a conflict of interest."
Jonah: "why, that myopic sonofa-!"
Thor vol.2 #58, Iron Man vol.3 #64, Avengers vol.3 #63
Dan Jurgens/Mike Grell/Alan Davis/Robin Riggs/Mark Farmer
this is how the Steve Rogers' death in Civil War could have been prevented, or how to stop World War Hulk. but that's not gonna happen, 'cause some people need to pay mortgages.
quick recap: this story arc revolves around a certain segment of a country's ("Slokovia") population worshipping Thor (who parked Asgard right above Manhattan - i must've missed the NBC special on that one). Slokovia's dictator doesn't condone religious tolerance and whacks the dissenters. Thor hears about it and righteously kicks the Slokovian military's ass. the US, not wanting to agitate Slokovia's bordering country, Latveria (Dr. Doom's little slice of heaven, for those not in the know), wants Iron Man to rein in his fellow Avenger, or else.
so finding its way to news sites and blogosphere is the (alleged) cast photo for the upcoming Iron Man movie.
i don't care what fanboys say: this is a casting coup. who better to suit up as Tony Stark than Robert "Got Demons?" Downey Jr.? if he had his head on straight, we'd be calling him an Oscar winner. Gwyneth "Why Do They Call Me Fishticks" Paltrow already has one. Terrence Howard is just one more breakthrough performance from winning one. and if Jeff Bridges never wins one, he will always be The Dude in our hearts.
now, where's Happy Hogan? i guess Rumiko will make an appearance in the sequel, if the numbers warrant it. i see it makes sense (to the ordinary clueless moviegoers) for Tony to go up against corporate rival Obadiah Stane rather an old Asian geezer with 10 magic rings.
don't blow this, Jon Favreau!
World War Hulk sightings:
overall, DC does a better job coordinating multi-titled crossover events, but Marvel earns some brownie points this time (yeah, yeah, its just the first month!).
Humbug decapitates a Miek-ling
Heroes for Hire #14, by Zeb Wells, Clay Mann, Terry Pallot
is there some kind of 90's decute-ification revival going on? y'know, fun hero morphs into tough, dark persona (Speedball = Penance; mutant postman = The Collective). to be fair, Humbug was like a Wonder Twin of H4H. now, he's ... badass. but we are now skeptical of the company Hulk keeps.
first of all, here's a solemn sendoff to Bart Allen, the newest Flash, who wears the mantle and holds the title of the fastest man alive for 13 issues. and since there can be only one official Flash in any given era, i'm sorry to spoil your day because Bart just bit the dust (heh) ...
Bart, as Flash, loses the Speed Force (the thing that powers all Flashes, except Jay Garrick), and proceeded to get a royal beating courtesy of his Rogues' Gallery. but he went out like a hero, buying enough time (with some help from his grandma Iris, wife of the greatest Flash, Barry Allen) for his love Valerie Perez to prevent a Speed Force backlash that would destroy the West Coast (there goes the Oden/Durant sweepstakes - wait, so that's why Kobe was trying to get traded!).
recently, i finally got to update myself on Daredevil, an iconic character that didn't translate well on the big screen. really, i'd be scared more of Batman skulking around dark alleyways, although DD could probably find me a lot faster and know a lot more about me. and i would hire him as my lawyer in case i have to sue Batman. not that we would win, but am sure Bruce would rather settle out of court.
i remember the Daredevil reboot back in 1998 (when i started semi-collecting again back in Orlando) and it was such a big deal because they were getting Kevin Smith to write it. Frank Miller raised the bar so high that the succeeding writers had to make it work (Ann Nocenti) or else (D.G. Chichester's 2nd run, anyone? but i confess to liking "Tree of Knowledge").
that being said, let's take a walk in the park that is Daredevil version 2.0.
World War Hulk #1
Greg Pak/John Romita Jr./Klaus Janson
not even Captain America can talk down that one.
in the Hulk's mind, these puny humans are laughing at him. i mean, even Iron Man's armor is malleable enough to show an evil grin.
and to help Joe Q. Public (and the readers) understand, Hulk also runs his own propaganda tape. kinda like a terrorist.
a terrorist, of course, has to have demands. and if you're the kind of terrorist who can beat up a guy whose whisper can level mountain ranges, your demands merit a lot of attention.
ever since the inception of comics, most of the events (and where the superheroes are) are based in NYC. so, with the Hulk threatening to level Manhattan in 24 hours, speedy mass evacuations need to happen. imagine the sighs of relief in Des Moines or Boise.
and despite the catastrophic threat, New Jersey is still not a preferred destination.
caught unaware, Tony Stark issues his last will and testament and his teary-eyed farewell letter to the public, and goes to eat his broccoli.
i guess these guys will never work at the lab again
and we all know where that's going.
two down, two to go. i can't wait.
did you guys see the checklist? its not as extensive as Civil War was, but 37 issues/tie-ins? not a problem for richie-rich fanboys who still live under their mommy's skirt.
J Michael Straczynski/Gary Frank/Jon Sibal/Juan Barranco/Vicente Cifuentes
being a fan of the Squadron Supreme, a middle-class version of the Justice League, from its formative years thru pinnacle during the Mark Gruenwald years, i eagerly followed its critically-acclaimed reboot (Supreme Power) 4 years ago, courtesy of Babylon 5 creator Straczynski. my respect for Mr. Straczynski more than doubled when, even though his autograph-signing session for last February's NY Comic Con was a ticketed event (which of course, i lost out on), he stayed behind much longer than necessary to accommodate stragglers like me. as a result, all three Supreme Power TPBs i had bear his Hancock.
just to recap, let's have a quick roll call of the (rebooted) team:
and no "job" jokes. at the least, you can ogle.
things that made me go Colin Cowherd-whoa! for the week.
1) the return of ... Night Thrasher?!
right. this is why i don't read Wizard or other solicitation publications much. i like being surprised once in a while. that better not be Dwayne Taylor underneath that mask. oh i know ... its Dwyane Wade!!!
New Warriors #1
Kevin Grievoux, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco
may contain comic-like substance. spoilers guaranteed. getting offended, optional.