Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Five Worst Batman Covers (so far)

As I’ve been keeping up with this blog, I’ve had to do more research than I previously thought. At first, I thought this was a lark, and I’d be able to make silly comments about comics “on the fly” as the kids say. However, I’ve spent way more time than I thought poking through the internet searching for references and/or just the right image for a blog post. Believe it or not, I’ve spent hours to create a single post. And, having re-read some of them, I wouldn’t blame you for not believing it.

One valuable insight emerged from this journey of self-discovery. I finally figured out why I always liked Marvel much better than DC. The older DC comics are just too darn stupid. I’m not saying that you won’t find silly, crazy, or dumb Marvel Comics. They just never sunk this low.

To illustrate my point, here are the five worst Batman comic covers I’ve come across in my year-and-a-half of blogging (casually) about comics.

5: Batman and Robin ride bucking broncos (for no apparent reason)

batman-comic-cover-1

What in the name of sam hill is going on here? Have Batman and Robin joined a rodeo with a dual ride event? Have they traveled back in time and they’re trying to tame the last of the wild horses? The hot red background that is currently blistering my retinas gives me no context.

4. Batman, Fashion Maven

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Why does Batman have a costume in every color imaginable? What is that weird looking TV mounted on the wall behind him? Is the Dark Knight really checking himself out in that mirror? The look on his face tells me he really wants to ask “Does this cape make my butt look big?”

3. Penny Farthing Race Day

 

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Was this a common thing in the early days of Detective Comics? Just having Batman and Robin riding stuff over a glowing-hot splash of color? What is Batman so mad about? He seems like kind of a spoil-sport. Just because Robin won this unofficial race (I don’t see a finish line, so I imagine they were just racing down the Bat-driveway to the Bat-curb) he’s all peeved. You don’t have to be the best at everything Batman. You can forgive yourself for not spending several years honing your body into the ultimate penny farthing racing engine.

2. Worst Disguise Ever…

 

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I’m with the lady in the red dress. Wait a minute… Maybe we’re in the Matrix. They’re not tricking the bad guys into thinking they’re mummies. But why is Robin wearing his domino mask under the bandages. That’s just not practical. This is actually an issue I might look up at some point. The nonsense quotient is strong with this one.

1. Worst heroes ever

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I know that The Penguin is a villain, but really… There’s a human being getting electrocuted right in front of you. If he doesn’t fry from the power lines, he’ll probably plunge to his death.

Does his grisly death give you a chuckle, fellas? Try not to find it so hilarious, dynamic duo.

Anyone else got any terrible Batman covers to share?

 

– CCG

 

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Casual Comics Guy Hot Picks of the Week (October 22, 2014)

Still spooky time here in the Casual Comics Corner of the universe. I’m on the prowl for scary, weird, or otherwise holiday-themed books. I’m sure I won’t find anything this brilliant…

Why are his pants ripped? His calves aren’t THAT big…

Memetic #1 (of 3)

Memetic #1. Boom! Studios: October 22, 2014 Writer: James TynionIV Art: Eryk Donovan Cover: Eryk Donovan

Bingo! I love getting in on the ground floor of a limited series. No crazy continuity to try and follow. And, I should be able to read it through to the end without too much trouble. Especially since it’s coming out as three super-size (48 page) issues instead of six regular sized monthly books.

Why it’s spooky: Just read the solicit…

” Meme is an idea that starts with an individual, and then spreads throughout multiple persons and potentially entire societies. Richard Dawkins suggests a meme’s success comes from its effectiveness to the host. But history shows that destructive memes can spread just as rapidly through society. MEMETIC shows the progression of a weaponized meme that leads to the utter annihilation of the human race within 72 hours. The root of this apocalypse is a single image on the internet, a ‘meme’ in the popular sense. A meme that changes everything.”

 

Arkham Manor #1

Arkham Manor #1. DC Comics: October 22, 2014 Writer: Gerry Duggan Art: Shawn Crystal Cover: Shawn Crystal

What? Wayne Manor getting overrun by some of the scariest Batman villains of all time. And apparently, they’re vandalizing Bruce’s property.

Why it’s spooky: Just look at the cover. It’s got all the weirdest members of Batman’s rogues gallery. There’s Scarecrow…Mad Hatter… Guy who draws on his own face that looks like he’s just seen The Silence from Doctor Who. Actually, if The Silence are in this book, it rockets to number one on the must-read list. It’s much more likely that it’s just some other dude I don’t know because I haven”t read a Batman comic in ages.

 

Last Unicorn TPB

 

 

Last Unicorn TPB. By: Peter S. Beagle, Renae De Liz

I love this movie. I had no idea that they were releasing a trade paperback and then – like magic – I just ran across a copy of the hardback at Barnes and Noble tonight. And, if you’ve never seen it, you should definitely watch it. It used to be streaming online for free, but now I think you’re going to have to pay to stream it on Amazon.

Why it’s spooky: The Red Bull in the story still gives me nightmares.

She-Hulk #9

She-hulk #9. By: Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, Kevin Wada

She-Hulk is such a great book.  Charles Soule is knocking it out of the park. Some people aren’t a big fan of Javier Pulido’s idiosyncratic art, but I’ve always found it endearing. I’m glad that the title doesn’t have the hyper-detailed art that most Marvel titles employ. Getting something a little more abstract reminds one that you don’t need a She-Hulk you can ogle, so much as you need one with heart (and brains).

A welcome relief from the normal overly-sexualized heroine we get in the books.

And for those of you who don’t like Pulido… at least Ron Wimberly isn’t drawing the book any more.

AHHHHHHH!!!! MY EYES!!!!!

Why it’s spooky: Because even though this is probably one of the best titles Marvel is publishing right now, I just found out they’re pulling the plug after issue #12. Boooo!

 

In almost any other week, She-Hulk would easily nail down the top spot. But… guess what I just found!

Borderland’s: Fall of Fyrestone #3

Borderlands Fall Of Fyrestone #3. By: Mike Neumann, Agustin Padilla.

A Borderlands comic? I know IDW licences a bunch of properties, but this is one of the few where I think it’s a GREAT idea.

Borderlands has to be the funniest, most surreal games I’ve ever played. If Neumann can bring half the humor to this book from the game series, this will be well worth checking out.

Why it’s spooky: This issue features one of my favorite bad guys from the first Borderlands – Nine Toes. (That’s not the only appendage he’s got an odd number of)

Between the comic and the release of the new video game, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, it’s a Vault Hunter’s life for me. That’s why  Borderland’s: Fall of Fyrestone #3 is my Official Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week.

Until next time, support your local comic book shop.

Cheers!

CCG

 

Powers Trailer Debuts at NYCC

For those of you who don’t know, Powers is a comic series written by Brian Michael Bendis. The book is pretty popular, and has been going strong for 14 years.

It’s been long-rumored that the book would be coming to TV. FX was going to produce the series, but that fell through a couple of years back. Earlier this year, Sony announces that they would be producing a 10 episode series for the Playstation Network. I was skeptical at the time, but based on the trailer that just debuted at NYCC, I’d say that it’s going to be worth checking out. Very dark and noir, they really captured the feel of the book. (Warning, lots of bad language in the trailer).

If the lead actor looks familiar, that’s Sharlto Copley (District 9) playing Powers Detective, Christian. The series also features Eddie Izzard, so they’re lining up some decent talent – which will be nice because it’s pretty obvious they’re making this on a low budget.

So (assuming they have access to Playstation Network), Powers fans are finally getting the show they’ve been waiting for.

– CCG

The New (Netflix) Daredevil Costume

Are you kidding me?

At New York Comic Con, Marvel released the first official images of Charlie Cox from the upcoming Daredevil Series. You gotta be kidding me. I just have one question:

New Daredevil

This is not a joke, by the way. Marvel claims the costume was inspired by the Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr. run Daredevil: The Man Without Fear.

I was so psyched for this series. Bad call, people. Fix it… please…

– CCG

 

Incomprehensible Ideas: “Archie vs. Predator”

So, I don’t know if this is the first in a series. After all, the comics world seems filled with incomprehensible ideas.

For instance, the Punisher was once transformed into a creature like Frankenstein’s monster after being killed and dismembered.

The first question many super-casual comic fans might be asking is “They’re really still publishing Archie comics?” They sure are. And apparently, the tremendous success of Afterlife with Archie (which I adore) has made them a little cocky. The newest title (as far as I know) is an Archie/Predator crossover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jughead seems mildly concerned, at best.

This isn’t the first time Archie’s had an insane crossover. In fact, I’m glad I put that picture of Frankencastle up there. You’ll never guess who Archie and the gang met previously:

This is the least weird page from the comic I could find.

Maybe I need to do some more research… Maybe an Archie/Predator crossover is one of the more SANE crossovers they’ve done in the Archie Universe.

Stay tuned, when this one hits the shelves, I’ll definitely let you know in the weekly picks. It can’t be worse than Kiss Kids, after all.

– CCG

 

Casual Comics Guy – Hot Comic Picks (Week of October 8, 2014)

It’s finally October. Well, I guess last week was technically October, too, but it’s finally cooling off and starting to feel like fall. I’m starting to feel the urge for scary movies and moody comics. Let’s see what this week holds for us.

The October Faction #1

The October Faction #1. Idw Publishing: October 22, 2014 Writer: Steve Niles Art: Damien Worm Cover: Damien Worm .

So, Steve Niles. That guy is pretty well respected. I mean, 30 Days of Night had a great story. Even though the art was unbearably terrible, it was still worth reading just for the cool concept. So what does Niles have in store for us this time:

“The creative team behind Monster & Madman would like to introduce you to the ongoing adventures of retired monster-hunter Frederick Allan and his family? which include a thrill-killer, a witch, and a warlock. Because sometimes crazy is the glue that binds a family together.”

All right… I’ll check it out. The art can’t be worse than 30 Days of Night….

 

 

Doctor Who 10th #3

Doctor Who 10th #3. By: Nick Abadzis, Elena Casagrande, Verity Glass. Titan.

The Doctor is back.

The Tenth Doctor is back.

To paraphrase “The Man”… “I’ve said enough.”

Also, I’d love to frame this cover and hang it on the wall.

Bad Dreams #5 (of 5)

Bad Dreams #5 (of 5). By: Gary Winnick. Red 5 Comics.

This is an unbearably beautiful cover for a very interesting book. I featured the first issue in a previous “Hot Picks of the Week” column. Now that the mini-series is winding down, I feel compelled to pick them all up. You can be ceratain that you’ll see the trade paperback (best friend of casual comics fans everywhere) featured soon.

 “Using an enchanted potion Mary frees her companions from the Dream Queen’s spell. But time is running out for them, they must find the talisman they’ve been searching for to release Mother Night and discover their true nature.

As an all out assault on the palace ensues, their final confrontation between light and dark will ultimately reveal all. “

Well, if it’s the last issue, I’d certainly hope they would “ultimately reveal all”. Thanks for nothing lazy solicitation writer…

 Worst Comic of the Week:

Mighty Titan #3

Mighty Titan #3. By: Joe Martino, Luca Cicchitti, Steve Lightle. Rare Bird Books.

This may or may not be a new category. I honestly can’t recall. It’s late. I’m on Eastern Time now. And I’ve been browsing more than my recommended daily allowance of comics.

One thing is for sure. This is the WORST comic of the week. It’s trying so hard to be “hot” that it’s the complete opposite. Let’s set aside the horrifyingly non-functional costume on the woman here. Let’s set aside the terrifyingly poor costume design on the guy. They both look like far too stiff action figures, And, I think she’s supposed to look seductive, but instead she looks like she’s going to plunge her claws into his chest Mola Ram-style.

Then there’s the hilariously bad cyclops behind them. Everything about the cover to this issue amplifies the argument that comics are for stunted pre-teens whose brains are damaged by heavy metal music.

But let’s be fair and find out what the plot of this comic is:

“The Mighty Titan is now aware of his cancer diagnosis. A surprise meeting with a super-powered woman, Caress, sends him reeling into a sea of anger and doubt. Joe Martino’s The Mighty Titan wraps his experiences as a cancer survivor in a super-hero shell.”

Actual real-time reaction?

*groan*… Caress? *sigh* cancer again..stop already… super-hero shell… *groooooaaaaan*

This is the worst thing I’ve seen in a long time. And I just saw a skunk run over on the highway a few weeks back.

Miracleman #12

Miracleman #12. By: The Original Writer, John Totleben, Adam Hughes. Marvel Comics.

I still count it as a miracle that Marvel is finally reprinting this classic series. For those of you who don’t know, issues 11-15 are the hardest back issues to find. Which is weird, because they are the climax of this first story arc. Reading the apex of this story arc changed my view of comics forever.

As you can see, Alan Moore still continues to be a jack-hole about the credits to the comic. But, if you want to see the best work Alan Moore ever did, you’ll be reading (or re-reading) this classic series. The continuing revelation of the true source of Mike Moran’s powers, plus the introduction to Miraclewoman would normally be enough. But, this issue also slips in the re-introduction to the super-evil Kid Miracelman. It might sound silly, but that’s the point. Moore creates one of the best, most tragic story arcs in all of comics and this is smack in the middle of it.

That’s why Miracleman #12  is the Official Casual Comics Hot Comic Book of the Week.

(Also, be prepared for #13-15 to be the hot picks, regardless of what else comes out those weeks…) In the meantime, support your local comic book shop.

Cheers!

– CCG

Alex PLUS Ada or Alex AND Ada – Jonathan Luna Provides an Answer

So, yesterday I posted that yet again Alex + Ada is the comic book pick of the week. Jonathan Luna and Sara Vaughn are really knocking it out of the park with this series.

A thought-provoking story with heart and magnificent artwork.

I’ve always wondered, though, whether I should be asking the local comic shop for “Alex AND Ada” or “Alex PLUS Ada”. I always favored the latter…

Fortunately, Mr. Luna is quite active on Twitter and is very responsive to fans. I asked, and he answered.

Screenshot 2014-10-03 18

Dang it… I was wrong. Guess I’ll console myself with the latest issue of Alex AND Ada…

Cheers!

– CCG

Casual Comics Hot Comic Book Picks of the Week – October 1, 2014

October is upon us. It’s finally spooky season. Let’s tremble together as we try and figure out what comic publishers are up to this week. I’m so out of it, comics-wise, that this is going to be scary.

Sing No Evil: Graphic Novel

Sing No Evil. By: JP Ahonen, KP Alare. Abrams Comicarts.

This is listed in the promotional materials under “Horror”. The cover isn’t particularly spooky. Let’s see what the solicit says:

“Twenty-something guitarist Aksel stutters when he sings, and the latest reviews say he has the voice of a crow with throat plague. That’s not a compliment, even for the avant-garde music his band Perkeros plays. Aksel is having a hard time keeping the band together, stopping his girlfriend from kicking him out, and not getting eaten by his drummer (who happens to be a cranky brown bear). There are also the rival bands that Perkeros find themselves in battle with to save the city from supernatural forces set loose by ancient music. The key to it all could be in the music Aksel hears in his dreams – if it doesn’t drive him mad first.”

Hmmm… I might just go ahead and watch “Rock and Rule” again instead of reading this one.

Rock and Rule is awesome….

Critical Hit #1

Critical Hit #1. By: Matt Miner, Jonathan Brandon Sawyer. Black Mask Comics

This seems a bit more like a horror comic I can get on board with.

“Matt Miner rallies a brand new art team and launches Liberator fan-favorites Jeanette and Sarah in a bold new direction with their own gritty mission to stop a rogue gang of hunters – but the girls learn to their horror that these hunters have developed a new hobby: hunting people… and suddenly the rescuers become the prey.”

OK – So I don’t know who Jeanette and Sarah are, but they’re apparently on a “gritty” mission. I’ll give the comic props for having both of the female leads wearing sensible clothing while fighting evil. Don’t know why there’s a cat on the cover, but I guess I’ll find out. Hopefully I’m not too far behind on continuity, because this one sounds good.

Garfield #30

 

Garfield #30. By: Mark Evanier, Andy Hirsch. Boom! Studios.

Mark Evanier is writing Garfield now?!? This is less horror than existential dread.

Gotham Academy #1

Gotham Academy #1. By: Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl. DC Comics.

It’s been a long while (since the debut of Batman ’66, in fact) since I’ve been interested in any DC Comics offerings. This one has promise, though. I already love it – simply based on the cover. Let’s see if this one can live up to the promise:

“WELCOME TO GOTHAM ACADEMY! Gotham City’s most prestigious prep school is a very weird place. It’s got a spooky campus, oddball teachers, and rich benefactors always dropping by…like that weirdo Bruce Wayne. But nothing is as strange is the students!

Like, what’s up with Olive Silverlock? Is she crazy or what? Where did she go last summer? And what’s the deal with her creepy mom? And how come that Freshman MAPS is always following her around? And is she still going out with Kyle? P.S. Did you hear the rumor about the ghost in the North Hall?!

GOTHAM ACADEMY is a new, monthly teen drama set in the shadow of Batman and the craziness of Gotham City, with new characters and old plus a secret tie to Gotham’s past…”

Seems like the folks at DC have finally realized that their actual heroes are a little tired and they’re OK putting them on the sidelines while someone tells actual stories. Good for you, DC!

Alex  + Ada #9

 

Alex + Ada #9. By: Jonathan Luna. Image Comics.

I don’t care that (because of my move to Ohio) I’ve missed issues 7 and 8. This is the best series I’ve read in a looooooong time. Seeing issue #9 just reminds me that I’ve got to get out and get 7 and 8 ASAP.

As always, when there’s an issue of Alex + Ada out, it’s obviously The Official Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week.

I just wish Jonathan Luna would tell me if it’s “Alex and Ada” or “Alex Plus Ada”. (I prefer the latter). Think he’ll tell me if I hit him up on Twitter? Let’s find out – shall we?

Tweet

While you’re waiting, you can watch the finale from “Rock and Rule”. Enjoy!

And, as always – support your local Comic Book Shop!

Cheers!

– CCG

PS – I’ll let you know what Mr. Luna says about the title of his book…