Book Report: The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba

December 31, 2008 at 1:14 am (Comics Issue #427) (, , )

The Umbrella Academy is about a group of superheroes who have disbanded. They are brought back together by the death of the man who gathered and raised them, their “father” the Monocle. It becomes clear that there is much history between the members of the group, most of it unpleasant. During their awkward reunion, one of the Umbrella Academy’s missing members, number 00.05 or the Boy, returns from having run away from home — to the future. The Boy brings back news from the future: three days after the Monocle’s death, the apocalypse will come.

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Guessing Game

October 28, 2008 at 2:30 pm (Comics Issue #427)

Hands up whoever thinks Mutant Zero is Jean Grey (or her clone.).

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No Solicitation Allowed – September 2008 (DC Edition)

June 17, 2008 at 3:32 pm (Comics Issue #427) (, )

I guess this means Nonessential Codex has basically been in existence for a month! Yay! I basically started this blog half as an experiment–to see what WordPress could do–and half because, I dunno, I just wanted a place to meta. Either way, Nonessential Codex is still here! Whee!

Let the cover commenting begin!

Trinity #14-17: It’s terrible of me but while I like the Big Three in concept, I have little desire to follow any of their adventures–I’m a young fan, I like the newer stuff or stuff I have context for due to adaptations outside of comics (ie. Teen Titans via the cartoon). Anyway, on to the cover! Batman’s pose is basically the inversion of Wonder Woman and Superman’s, which is weird; perhaps indicating his difference from them–relying on external sources for his power and his loner nature. I note that they gave Wonder Woman a cape, perhaps to balance her out with her caped companions. She also has weapons–I’m inclined to say it’s because of Gail Simone’s work on the Wonder Woman title, but it’s interesting that Wonder Woman, who is similarly powerful to Superman, should need a regular sword and shield in order to fight on par with her peers. I’d really more expect Batman to have those things, except maybe not the sword because the sword, like the gun, is a weapon designed almost exclusively to kill.

The overlapping of the capes suggests that Wonder Woman is also the further back of the three figures in the image.

Final Crisis #4: The title is striking; it’s entirely in teal which is unusual and furthermore has this blast of magenta in the middle. So it clashes, but at least it’s eyecatching. But it feels kind of sloppy to me–symmetrical compositions are boring, so generally symmetrical drawings are just slightly asymmetrical to spice it up a little; I can see that’d be necessary for this cover of Darkseid. But his head is too off-center to me, it throws the whole image off and makes it look sloppy and, well, wrong anatomically speaking. Same with the omega symbols–they’re a little too asymmetrical, which I think lessens the impact of their placement.

Final Crisis: Revelations #2: I really like the background to this. Though I think outlining Montoya’s mouth with her mask detracts from its impact and purpose, which is that that there should be a discernible face on the Question, whatever iteration.

Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #3: The cover is very striking, but somehow I think it might be better if the blood wasn’t tinted a shade of pink. Though I guess I can see how red blood might make it hard to pick out the hand from the pool.

Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2: Presumably this will ship in color? I like how I can tell apart the two other Saturn Girl’s by just the hairstyles in their profiles. The one of the left’s threeboot Saturn Girl, I bet.

Reign in Hell #3: All the detail makes this cover too busy, I think. And I don’t like the colors at all. Too saturated or something, I guess. Plus, Etrigan (I’m guessing the horned dude is he) clashes with himself.

Adam Strange Special #1: You’d think that given the guy is, you know, floating in space using a rocketpack that this image would have a sense of movement to it. But no. It’s so static. Also, still don’t like the color chosen. I don’t know why–something about the shades chosen rub me wrong.

Titans #5: This is really supposed to focus more on the covers than anything else, but OH FOR THE LOVE OF FREAKING GOD COME ONE. What kind of storyline is that for Raven? I think it’s been pretty well established by now that she has and will continue to reject Trigon and her demon blood, random half-brothers notwithstanding–it’s already been made clear that the Titans have become her family. What the fuck is up with reviving a half-assed storyline like this? What can possibly be said that could elaborate on what’s already been said? Random brothers aren’t going to bind her any tighter to Trigon because she never even knew they existed until now; extra sibs beg the question why Trigon didn’t just use them to return to Earth rather than going for the daughter that, you know, utterly hates and rejects his very presence (perverse demonity, most likely. But still.). We can already guess which way Raven’s going to choose because we, you know, already have her entire history to back up her ultimately choosing the Titans; the only way to make this fresh and new is to have her pick Trigon and I guarantee that if that happens fans will come out in full force because what the shit is this.

*deep breath* Okay, back to the cover. I liked Garth’s white-and-purple ensemble more than white-and-red. The red and the green make him look like a Christmas ornament. Also, having his actual hair be the same color as his fur is perhaps more anatomically correct (hah!) but also makes it harder to tell where his hairline and eyebrows end and begin, and the lack of eyebrows makes it hard to give him expression. Please tell me his white-out eyes aren’t permanent and are rather the result of being enraged at someone/thing. Raven’s anatomy is so screwed up; where are her hips, how is her waist that tiny? She’s supposed to have a dancer-esque build, and while I’m not an expert on dancer anatomy, I’m guessing that means less emphasis on the curves and bust. I’ll give a grudging pass on her clothing’s color, but not on how this cover basically looked like someone slapped color on a sketch. Sloppy.

While I like that Raven and Garth are holding hands, it kind of makes no rational sense and also ties up their hands, which both need to actually, you know, fight. I will say that the composition is interesting, even if the bottom half is a little confusing at first glance.

Teen Titans #63: Note how Megan looks like she’s about to beg for it right here, right now, while Robin genuinely looks like he was knocked out on his ass.

DC Special: Cyborg #5: Why is Cyborg fighting his Titans of Tomorrow self? I do like the detail put into the glowy blue parts, as opposed to just making them glowy and blue.

Superman #680: Yay Krypto! I absolutely love this cover. I shouldn’t be possible to make a dog look noble and heroic, but Alex Ross managed it. *cuddles the doggie*

Tangent Comics: Superman’s Reign #7: If this issue is ostensibly about Batman(s), what’s with the lack of Batman(s) on the cover?

Joker HC: Gorgeous and terrifying in its detail. It feels very Batman Returns-esque–maybe it’s meant as a homage. The Joker’s make-up is more prominent as make-up in this painting.

Batgirl #3: I’m surprised by how static this cover feels. Batgirl’s in the midst of fighting off five masked assailants! Why does it feel like a scene in Madame Tussaud’s?

If I had my way I’d rather have Batgirl’s bat-symbol be either entirely yellow or better yet hollow, not…white outlined in yellow. It’s so fussy looking; part of her costume’s appeal is it’s simplicity; it makes the yellow bat symbol pop so much more against the field of black. It’s very…visceral? I guess is the word.

I’d have liked to see Cassandra become her own hero, or maybe more about her relationship with Shiva (does she even know Shiva’s been revived?) but at least I’m glad she’s a hero again. Though the whole drug explanation of her evil was sort of really weak. I suspect the intent was to make her totally evil and keep it that way, except fans raised too much of a fuss over the character-rape. Enter deus ex machina drug that makes her evil!

Batman: Gotham After Midnight #5: Fugly. Next.

Batman and the Outsiders #11: Now this is a neat cover, with all the character’s shadows being Batman. I really like all the color choices, which is pretty tough, given how many colors the characters have in their costumes together. I thing they collectively cover the entire rainbow!

Batman Confidential #21: You would think having her costume so ripped up would leave her with the wounds that’d result from her costume being torn up, but.

Note: all the villains she’s crouching in apprehension of are male; Barbara the female character is given a connotation of weakness/vulnerability due to her lack of adequate and whole clothing–something that direct contrasts the bat symbol she wears so proudly on her chest.

Detective Comics #848: I really like the painterly/collage effect of this cover, though the stylization of Batman’s face looks odd compared to the more realistic faces of Catwoman and that other dude (I assume it’s Hush).

Nightwing #148: Now how’s that for a dramatic cover! Especially with the shape of the blood pool (I assume it’s blood, even though I don’t think any human could lose that much blood and survive, and furthermore Nightwing doesn’t have any visible wounds) and the bats circling overhead among the stalactites. His posture is interesting; it has that hip-turned-to-the-side thing that so often happens to unconscious female characters. Is it done to enhance his vulnerability from his unconsciousness? In which case it would seem that the typical female posture is used to draw a direct link to weakness, therefore linking female characters and weakness. Or is it done to subvert the type; men are just as weak/vulnerable as women are portrayed? Is it done to enhance the feeling of “wrong” through the unnatural posture? Am I reading too much into this? WHO CAN SAY?

Robin #178: Love this cover. It uses the strip-of-color-amidst-black composition, but mixes it up by making the black part of the environment. How cool is that?

Simon Dark #12: Don’t know who Simon Dark is but I love his cover, despite its scribblyness. I especially like the stitches holding the sections of light and dark together.

Supergirl #33: Like this cover. The red tone to it all matches the vaguely menacing description of the issue and recalls Empress’ outfit. It unifies the cover without obscuring the textures of their costumes and the clearly conflicting colors of Supergirl’s outfit. Empress’ position behind Supergirl suggests that she has Supergirl’s ear, that she’s influencing and pulling her strings. Really nice all around.

Also, I’d like to note that they’re basically standing still and we’re just seeing their shoulders and heads and yet, the whole image has more movement to it than covers where we have people flying with rocketpacks or fighting off masked assailants.

Birds of Prey #122: I really like this cover. I smiled at Misfit’s face; it really emphasizes her relative youth and lack of experience next to Huntress and Zinda.

The Flash #244: How awesome is that cover? I mean, seriously. For once red and green isn’t putting me in mind of Christmas!

Green Arrow/Black Canary #12: Another awesome cover. I like how it highlights Black Canary and how it represents her scream.

how do those arrows stay in Green Arrow’s quiver? I mean, seriously. That thing’s huge! And look how he’s tipped forward over like that! How?

Green Lantern #35: Awesome cover, really nice cel-shading. I didn’t spot the reflections in the Guardian’s eyes, but once I did, wow. How’s that for detail?

Justice Society of America #19: While I initially liked the cover, once I realized it was actually depicting the JSA splitting and fighting each other, I wasn’t so sure. The color scheme’s really nice, really pretty, but I think it’s too peaceful for what’s actually happening on it.

The Spirit #21: Oh no! How’s that cover for suspense? Not only getting kicked in the face, but getting kicked in the face right as the ladder step breaks off! What will happen to our hero? STAY TUNED!

Wonder Woman #24: I smell parody and what a way to do it! I just love how fed up she looks with the media circus. And while I like that her outfit is no longer going the way of the thong, I wonder where her boots have gone…

Not so sure I like the white outline to her flat black hair

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BLEH

June 2, 2008 at 11:40 pm (Animanga, Comics Issue #427) ()

I don’t know what they’re trying to do with Ultimate Alpha Flight popping by Xavier’s to kidnap Northstar while going “Teehee we know what’s good for you better than you do! Why don’t you join a team of drug-popping addicts instead of trying to enjoy as normal a life as possible? It’s not like what you want even matters! <3” but man, does it leave a bad taste in my mouth.

I don’t know why but it seems like I’m seeing arrogant villains all over the place. I guess this is why I’m lending my brain to Naruto right now–even if Madara is arrogant as hell, at least we only had to endure for like, a few panels of it in three chapters.

As opposed to the preview of Ultimate X-Men #94 and KHR–god KHR annoys me so much it’s all arrogance all the time when it comes to villains, and yet I continue to read it, because I want to know for sure if Mukuro is dead.

BLEH, I say.

ADDED: Property of the Canadian government? What the freaking shit in hell.

…I don’t know why this is getting under my skin so much. BUT IT IS.

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X-23!

May 23, 2008 at 4:01 pm (Comics Issue #427) (, )

Guys, guys I am like. I do not even know how excited I am! It was the X-Force preview that did me in this time. Check it out on ComicsContinuum.com (or wherever you check this kind of stuff out). I can wait.

Wait, no I can’t.

See, when Yost & Kyle (or whoever did that Newsarama interview) said they wanted Warpath and Wolverine to have a father-son relationship, I was upset, because I kind of wanted that for X-23–she’s long been one of my favorite characters, and I really wanted to see her interact a little with Wolverine on a family level, since…they kind of are, at least genetically. So when it looked like they were leaving out X-23 my hopes for the title (and her!) plummeted.

And then I read this preview. And my fears were washed away, because–in those six pages, I swear I am so an X-23 fangirl again, omg, and and and I can’t wait until I’m in a place where I can buy comics regularly!

See, in my view of X-23 the central conflict to her is between X-23–and Laura. What I mean is, it’s between how she’s been raised to be a weapon, how being a weapon is in her very nature, versus her desire (or people pushing her to be) a normal person. To be Laura Kinney. And she’s been trying to do it, she has, what with her making tentative friends with Mercury and her crushing on Hellion, but X-Force really felt like a step back for her, in terms of that conflict–like she was embracing her inhuman side, rather than straining for her humanity. I thought it was kind of like her giving up on trying to be normal, that it was too hard so she fell back on something familiar–being a weapon and a killer. I hoped to see a little of Wolverine struggle with that, because she’s a living reminder of his own past, so how does he deal with trying to push her in the direction to becoming more like him–savage, a fighter and a killer, but not one without conscience, compassion, and emotion.

I’m projecting a lot onto these six pages and I hope it lives up to my hype (AND I HOPE I CAN READ IT SOME DAY A;DLFJAD PLEASE) but anyway. So, that was my view. The X-23 I had seen so far in the preview for X-Force didn’t seem to be holding up to it–well, holding up to the “she’s a weapon again whoo” side, but not really…the complexity I wanted to see, between her and Wolverine. I wondered why he didn’t fight harder for her to not be on X-Force, even if she was one of the best candidates (I mean, if he’s the best, she’s gotta be second best only to him.). So I was a little disappointed but hoping for something better. This preview? Was that something better.

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I C WAT U DID THAR

May 23, 2008 at 1:57 pm (Comics Issue #427) ()

I was looking at the preview of Wolverine: First Class #3 and and and anyway somehow Wolverine is mutated through many story-tellings into Gulo, the weasel squire?

Some would say that that’s a mistake.

But you see.

There’s a Redwall character whose name is Gulo–and he’s a wolverine.

Fred Van Lente, you are a total geek and that is the best and subtlest allusion I have seen yet in comics. Mad hearts, man. Mad hearts.

ETA: and then I remembered that the wolverine’s scientific name is gulo gulo. *headdesk*

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No Solicitation Allowed – August 2008 (DC Edition)

May 21, 2008 at 8:11 pm (Comics Issue #427, Solicitation Rumination) (, )

On to DC! I figured doing ’em as separate posts was easier than doing ’em all together.

DC Universe: Last Will and Testament #1 How freaking cool is that cover concept? Kudos to the artist and colorist! It’s pretty neat the the faces that’re split are split into connected people–Nightwing and Batman, Donna Troy and Wonder Woman, Geo-Force (I think) and Terra (the traitorous one), Red and Green Arrows, Wildcat and his SURPRISE UNKNOWN SON…trying to find a consistent connection, but I’m not finding any. Maybe someone with a deeper knowledge of comics will know better than I do?

Final Crisis #1: Director’s Cut Special Should I ever get a chance to buy comics regularly, I probably would not be overly inclined to buy Final Crisis. But I am kind of a sucker for this sort of “behind-the-scenes” stuff. Hell, I’m all about behind-the-scenes: I do tech for theatre; I’m not exactly interested in being put up on the stage and spotlighted. And a chance to look at how to write or draw for comics? I’m there. Though I suspect this won’t be as in-depth as I’d like it to be.

Tor #4: “female companion” is to “eventual screw” as “Tor” is to…?

DC Special: Cyborg #4 I really want to take issue with Starfire’s costume. But at this point the only thing I feel like I can articulate is that she and Darkfire has an interesting inversion–in that the evil sister is the one that’s wearing more.

Teen Titans #62 Since when has Robin’s cape had that weird feather patterning? His upper chest also looks totally out of proportion to the rest of his torso, too, though that might just be the shadows?

Titans #5 made me believe that yes, Starfire’s costume could indeed get worse, though I do like that she’s got a bit of muscle on her here. I kind of wish either Starfire or Oracle would just tell Nightwing to quit jerking the both of them around and pick one or even neither. God knows he deserves it–it’s like he gets paired with whichever of the two is more convenient for the title he’s in. I do like how they’re all blue-lit by the waters they’re in, though. …I just realized that this cover’s pretty racy, isn’t it? I mean, she’s straddling his lap/legs, he’s about to grab her breasts…she’s nearly undressed as it is…whoo.

Batgirl #2 I’ve already talked about why I don’t like Annalea/think she’s unnecessary–presumably this new young woman raised by David Cain is she. If it’s a whole new character I may–not cry, exactly, but possibly rant some more. The Patterns on her outfit look vaguely like Chinese decorations from the new year; those weird geometric shapes that at first look like a random bunch of symmetrical lines but are actually the character for, say, happiness (x2). I’d say it was cool, if I thought that whoever designed her outfit was even thinking in that direction. I’d say that probably-Annalea wearing red was amusingly ironic, given that red is traditionally a color of auspiciousness and good luck, except I suspect the designer just wanted “vaguely threatening” and picked some color-shorthand to do it in. Oh, whatever. I’m all talked about about her (maybe there can be something with Shiva? About family and Cass’ dysfunctional one?). Moving right along…

All-Star Superman #12 Hate the colors, but I like the sight of Luthor casually strolling through the air while he nonchalantly burns some luckless peon to a scorched husk with his laser vision. I keep feeling like this whole composition is like a homage to something, but I’m not sure what. Nice chin, Supes.

Supergirl #32 The idea of Supergirl telling a little kid that she’ll cure his cancer is a really good one, storytelling wise. It emphasizes her heroism, compassion, and desire to do good–but also her naivete about her limits, the limits of those around her, and also how much she doesn’t yet know about Earth (and its medicine). I wonder how this storyline will turn out? Also, I see she has some noticeable muscle. Good for her! (No, I don’t know why I’m fixating on that right now.)

Batman and the Outsiders #10 When did Thunder get electrical powers?

Birds of Prey #121 GOD that’s a freaky cover. From the Joker’s laughter (to the point of tears how freaky is that?) to the gun–is it going through the boy’s head or is it just in front or behind him? You cannot tell! Kudos to…ah yes, Stephane Roux. For a moment I thought it said Stephanie and made :D! face. Oh well.

The Brave and the Bold #16 Ooooh Lois ain’t gonna like that.

The Flash #243 What I like about this cover is that your eye focuses on the Flash. And then you start following his trail and then you realize holy shit it goes all over all the buildings in the background and then your eye gets pulled back to him and that just makes the impact of the abruptness of his stop before you, the viewer, that much more powerful.

Green Arrow/Black Canary #11 Hey Mia, nice to see you’re not in limbo anymore! …also, why isn’t Black Canary billed first? What happened to alphabetical order? To aesthetics of sound? I say Black Canary/Green Arrow rolls off the tongue better.

Infinity Inc. #12 I like their uniforms quite a bit, actually, even if they’re a bit dull compared to the rainbow that is the rest of the DCverse. Though I am wondering why that be-goggled chick requires a corset to fight crime. It doesn’t even offer any support!

Legion of Super-Heroes #45 O HAI BRAINY. I like how you can’t tell whether he’s shouting orders or screaming in pain. Also, notice how the arrangement of the planets curves just right so your eye hits upon Brainy’s head as last in the sequence? And at the other end– Star Boy’s! How cool is that?

And that’s all she wrote!

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No Solicitation Allowed – August 2008 (Marvel Edition)

May 21, 2008 at 7:32 pm (Comics Issue #427) (, )

So, August solicits are out. I have things to say! Thus, I shall say them. Let’s start with Marvel, shall we?

Marvel Illustrated: the Three Musketeers #3 (of 6) has a reeeeally nice cover. Gorgeous shades of purple, nice textures to the lady’s clothing, all very distinct. The fan and the cane make a nice contrast between delicacy and power–canes are normally used by men, yes? The muted colors of the blood are really nice, almost blending into the shadows. You only notice it when your taking in the lady’s clothes and skirt train, and then…wait, why’s that bit red? And that bit? And that bit? And…yeah. Nice and subtle. Thumbs up!

Ultimate Spider-Man #125 has a cover that is for some reason disturbingly sexual. I think I’ve hung around slashers too much; I’m seeing it EVERYWHERE now argh argh argh. Venom was made for tentacle-rape fics. I mean, Spidey doesn’t look like he’s fighting too hard, does he? It’s tough to tell if he’s panicked, what with the mask…

Amazing Spider-Man #567 looks like it’s time for a new characters! The assassin lady–the Brand New, it looks like her name is–has an awesome design. She’s an assassin who’s after Spidey (and DD) but she’s not dressed like a whore? SCORE! I can even believe she’s got some armor on with that jacket! The animals around her seem to insinuate that she’s a big game hunter of a sort, and yeah the whole big-game-hunter-moving-on-to-better-prey-which-is-(super)humans has been done before, but come on. She looks cool. Let’s see what the Brand New has to bring to the table. First tentacles and now bondage? Tsk tsk, Petey.

Amazing Spider-Man Family #1 has a cover by Adi Granov (nice to know his name now). I like how the title’s incorporated into the cinema marquee, but the cover…well, it’s really nice art, gorgeously detailed and rendered in moody colors that I like, but…for all its technical perfection, his covers never seem to have enough movement. I mean, I see the webbing and the twisting of his costume and the implication of Spidey swinging through the air, but…it feels like I’m looking at a wax statue. A static figure that’s shaped to look like it ought to be moving, but isn’t really.

Spider-Man Summer Special has a few impending wardrobe malfunctions it seems. It is really necessary to have nipples showing on a comic book cover? These are supposed to be heroines worthy of respect, after all. Nipples through the fabric means no bra means breasts flying all over the place. Not very practical. I do like how they used Jean Grey’s X-Men: First Class outfit, though.

True Believers #2 (of 5) has Richard Reed looking like he was drugged on the way to the police station. Um. Okay.

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #42 has Puma! …who looks suspiciously like Sabretooth, who was recently killed. HMM. Oh, and it’s by Michael Ryan! I like his art, yes I do. You can really see the differences in build between Spidey and Puma; Puma’s all huge and built and more for brute strength but Spidey’s lean and lithe and obviously meant to lean more towards speed and agility.

Secret Invasion: Inhumans #1 (of 4) HI STEPHEN SEIJIC I think you might be my new favorite painterly artist for covers. This is such a cool concept; having Medusa’s hair flowing all around her almost like mounds of silk as she holds her husband’s suit really emphasizes the intimacy of the moment and WHOO DAMN how can anyone paint that much hair and have it look so consistently gorgeous? It’s speaks a lot to her struggling to hold on to what she has left of Black Bolt and the way she’s almost cradling the suit–her arms make it look like she’s almost holding a baby. Like the suit is an unformed piece of Black Bolt, waiting to blossom into the real deal. HOWEVER. I’m wondering why she has to be naked. I mean, it does make her limbs pop even more against the rich red of her hair, but…I’m wondering whether or not the same cover could have been done with her dressed. Also, if she’s supposed to be out looking for Black Bolt, then shouldn’t the cover give her a more…active role? I mean, having her hold his suit is a really nice effect, but I dunno, I’d kind of think that having her marching off to find some answers as to his whereabouts would be really effective and more fitting. Not that the cover’s not great, artistically, but thematically…I’m having some wonderings about it.

Secret Invasion: X-Men #1 (of 4) O HAI X-23 you sure look a lot older than teenaged. What’s with her bad fighting stance? Also, why is her outfit basically a feminized version of Wolverine’s? She does have an identity as a separate character, you know! She’s not just a chick with Wolverine’s powers (and they’re not even identical; she doesn’t have the skeleton, just the adamantium claws). *dark mutters* Oh, and can we just settle on a costume for Emma Frost already? The X-symbol is kind of an eyesore against the white of her costume and OH LOOKIE HERE it draws attentions to her chest, not the mention the lacing–lacing, I ask you, WHY? She’s not a hired dancer or member of the Hellfire Club anymore. Her Astonishing outfit was revealing, true, but it was also revealing in a classier way and definitely a step up from her New X-Men outfit. I liked it as is! What’s with the changes?

Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers #3 (of 3) All I can say is that this triptych cover is pretty freakin’ cool. Michael Ryan has a style I really like; I think he’s improved since his Academy X days! Certainly I have less trouble believing his teenaged guys (aka Chase) are actually teenaged. I see Chase has Fistigons again! I wonder why? And how?

Nova #16 OMG NOVA WHERE ARE YOU LEGS?

Ms. Marvel #30 Like Adi Granov, Greg Horn’s covers are detailed, realistic, and well rendered. But they have the same lack of movement and aren’t quite as good. Also, I’m pretty sure spandex wouldn’t really stretch that way across a woman’s breasts. Just sayin’.

Captain Britain and MI:13 #4 Yes Brian, I am looking at your crotch; no I didn’t need the arrow pointing the way. But thanks anyway.

X-Factor #34 Could you cut She-Hulk’s leotard any higher? I mean, wtf, they’re going even higher than her hips. How the fuck does she fight in that thing?

She-Hulk #32 makes me wish there was a cover with an unconscious man about to be crushed by the title of his cover, because I’m pretty damn sure if there was they wouldn’t be lying around like they’re in the throes of passion the way she is. Also, I see she now has pants. Hooray.

Skrulls vs. Power Pack #2 (of 4) W. T. F.

Runaways #1 happened already, didn’t it? Whatever. HEY RAMOS XAVIN’S ACTUALLY A GIRL, OKAY? Just makin’ sure you got the memo! I really want to like this cover at least a little bit the fact that MOLLY is flashing a little underwear is kind of ruining it. Also, Xavin should not be a guy here! XAVIN SHOULD NOT BE A GUY HERE.

NYX: No Way Home #1 (of 6) has my favorite cover so far, hands down. The washed out blue tint of it all is just gorgeous and really brings the feel of desolation, of isolation, of being down–but the colors of their clothing and Kiden’s face say they’re not out yet and never will be if she has her way. I gotta find the original NYX! We can has X-23 cameo? Please? :D

Patsy Walker: Hellcat #2 (of 5) Yes, Iron Man, sending one person to police an entire state was a super good idea.

Astonishing X-Men #26 features Logan as he takes on his new codename. No longer Wolverine–now, he is…the Crimson Chin! With Cleft, the Boy Chin Wonder!

Uncanny X-Men #501 Memo to Greg Land: PIXIE’S HAIR IS NOW MOSTLY BLACK. ALSO, IT IS NOT STYLED THAT WAY. I’d add more asking why is she so helpless looking, what with her pixie dust (which could take care of the thugs right there) and her Soul Knife and her handy-dandy teleportation spell, but I’m beginning to realize that which the entire world probably already knows.

Cable #6 That is one small baby.

New Exiles #9 & 10 has a badass picture of Psylocke. Or her AU self. Whatever.

GeNext #4 (of 5) The plushie is kinda cute, though her buns looks totally unrealistic. Also, one of my pet peeves: female heroes in skirts. Especially if they can fly.

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Batgirl’s Sister?

May 20, 2008 at 10:09 am (Comics Issue #427) (, )

May I just say that the development of Batgirl (Cassandra Cain version) having a sister (Annalea, was it?) is sort of…crap?

Perhaps I should explain myself. Cass was the first version of Batgirl I really followed–I like Barbara Gordon just fine, but I like her as Oracle. Let’s face it, the heroes of DC could use an information hub like her. Anyway, I’ve always liked Cass, because one of my two character type weaknesses is the “raised to be inhuman but struggling to be human anyway” type. And Cass fit that one perfectly–raised to be a weapon and tool, escaping through her own empathy for human life and embarking on a journey to becoming a hero.

But her story has the added dimension of the fact that David Cain may be justifiably said to have had some kind of genuine paternal affection for her. At the time, Cass was his only (biological) child; his failures he had already disowned. So that adds an uneasy familial element to their relationship: yeah, his treatment of her was horrific and abusive and he deserves punishment for it. But they he is still her father, she is still his daughter; they are bound to each other by their solitude, by years of harsh training in the middle of nowhere, by stargazing on the roof, by hesitant and uncertain gifts. It’s a strange relationship, awkward for both and difficult to define, it interferes with what both had chosen as their life’s calling (heroism for Cass, hitman for Cain) and yet neither can quite make themselves ignore the bond completely.

And then you have Annalea? Why? Why is she necessary to Cass’ life? Cass has already faced and overcome an ex-child of Cain, when she killed Mad Dog during her solo series. Having an extra daughter for Cain to hang around with dilutes the complexity of their family bond because it takes away the element of it being an anomaly in both of their solitudes; how can Cain claim uneasy genuine bond to his only daughter when he has Annalea to train on the side? Plus, it’s already been established that Cass was Cain’s single and greatest success, that she fulfilled all the expectations Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins had for the One Who is All. Why do they need another girl who’s just like her?

I mean I guess I can see some justification for it–covering all bases (as Cain is famous for) just in case Cass is a failure…but if the concept of Cain having another daughter is going to work I’d have thought he’d train another kid because Cass left him. I mean, Annalea does look an awful lot like Cass, and maybe Cain wanted a replacement–maybe he wanted to make up for his failure to keep Cass in line. Except Annalea’s too old to have be Cain’s biological kid like Cass, so then I guess I’d have to say he just picked up some kid and trained them from there, like Shiva’s going to with the Crime Doctor’s daughter. But that doesn’t work because Cain’s modus operandi is to train the kids from birth.  Even so, that’s irrelevant if he tried training her as a replacement-Cass. No matter what you’d have to throw in some fighting over who is Cain’s “true” daughter (likely, it’s a pretty obvious storyline).

Possibility aside (and just ’cause it’s possible doesn’t mean you have to do it), I just don’t like Annalea because I’d rather see Cass embark on a campaign to make up for what she did under the influence of Slade’s serum than see her duke it out with her “sister” when she’s already defeated a “brother.” If she needs a nemesis I’d rather it be Shiva (and Bethany) than some random new girl made up while Cass was (literally) off her head on drugs. Annalea could work, but I don’t have to like it.

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