Roman Holiday

(ed. note: Intrepid contributor ViciousPjuraHead is spending the summer in Italy and will be filing dispatches of a gaming or comic related nature, when he gets around to it. This is the first.)

Due to my traveling schedule, my comic book thoughts have been delayed.  The best part of traveling is spending all those  hours on planes and trains (and automobiles?). Since I’m always on the move, I save all the comics I want to read for just those occasions. I’ve  just touched down in Rome to teach English at a day camp, which hopefully won’t take up my entire days, leaving me ample opportunities to get the goods, sit in a nice piazza and read away.

The beginning of my trip was fairly auspicious, what with the airline losing my luggage and me being stuck wearing the same thing for three days in the Roman heat.  Ignore anyone who says different, the heat is what caused the downfall of the Roman Empire. After watching 21 Jump street many,many times (ed. note: C-Tates!!) to pass the time but I am now settled with comics in hand!!!  When in Italy….start with the comic that deals with Italians…….

Dancer #2 – Still enjoying the story but for some reason I cannot get into the art work.

Astonishing X-Men #51 – For a comic book issue that is supposed to touch on one of the hottest topics in society, this issue was not as nearly as exciting or edge of your seat as I’d have thought.  I understand that a wedding is much more different from a huge battle among superheros but the writing seemed a bit too “do it for the sake of doing it to get it over”.  The art was not very captivating (Is Wolverine supposed to look like Elvis?) and what was the deal with Warbird? Has she always had these feelings or is this something they just threw in to cover all sides of the gay marriage spectrum.  Just seemed a little out-of-place.  This book did very little to keep me entertained and interested.

The Crow #1 – As a kid, there wasn’t a movie I was more obsessed with than The Crow.  Brandon Lee’s death, the soundtrack, the story, something about all of that just hit me at the right time and it  just became my everything.   God only knows the amount of posters and pictures I had on my wall (God: You had 36). I don’t think I ever saw City of Angels,  nor did I ever really care to.  However, sic transit gloria. The obsession was gone…until I saw this comic at which point all of those memories came roaring back.  I think this is a great opportunity to go back, revisit the comics and maybe look at these comics & the movie from a different perspective, maybe try to figure out why they had such a hold on me as a teenager.  As I started reading this I was trying to compare every page and every panel to the movie, which was ultimately frustrating because almost nothing was similar.  It wasn’t until the last two pages where the connection happened and the AAAHHH moment hit me.  The main character is in the wrong place, wrong time scenario and the quest for revenge begins.  I’m definitely going to read the next issue and am honestly hoping that it continues to hold my interest.

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Haul Thoughts: An Excellent Week

Crazy week; no time for jibba-jabba though, let’s dive right in with this week’s Haul Thoughts:

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century #03Best book of the week. It’s going to take forever to unpack this. This, plus the other two entries in the Century series require another, closer read.  In fact, I think it deserves it’s own post. There’s just so many bits to unravel & think about; it feels like I’d need to team up with a historian and a someone with a 20th Century Lit background.

Hit Girl #01– This series wil serve as a bridge between the events of Kick-Ass 1 Kick-Ass 2. I can’t tell if I’m interested in the Hit-Girl vs. Mean Girls thing it seems to be shaping up to be.

Manhattan Projects #04- There seems to be a re-occuring dualities (or at least multiples) trend in MP; you have the multiple Openheimers inhabiting one body and now you have twin Einsteins.  Hickman’s doing wonderful things with this series and it should be added to your pull ist post haste.

Batman Inc #02 – Still really liking this book, even though a)it’s most about Talia Al’Ghul (I don’t care) and b)it seems to only be somewhat concerned with the events of the last issue, instead spending the vast majority of time going over Talia’s upbringing and the ongoing chess match she has going with her father.

Dark Knight #10 – I enjoy the move in recent years (Batman Begins, Arkham Asylum, this) to make the Scarecrow super f’n creepy.  If it’s not sewing his own lips shut then bloodily mumbling, it’s wearing a burlap sack over his head (which we all know is the scariest thing one can wear) and ditching the stupid farmers hat.  One question though: Com. Gordon makes mention of the events from The Killing Joke; how/where does that fit into a post-52 world?  When did it happen? Will it be addressd?

Before Watchmen: Nite-owl #01– What’s with the catchphrases ad cheers after Mason (original Nite-Owl) stops some perps? It was embarrassing. Stop it. I did like Rorschach busting balls though.  Who knew a mentally scared quasi-midget had jokes?  Though I guess he does show his funny side periodically in Watchmen, what with his “human bean juice” and “Big Figure. Small problem” lines. I also enjoyed the aftermath of the Crimebusters meeting which is only shown from in the original series to move the Comedian/Laurie story further.

FF # 19 – Kids adventure hour. Don’t care, though CBR gave it 5-stars.

Incredible Hulk #10– I really should stop reading this as it’s gotten quite bad in the last few issues.  But every time I say that, an interesting line pops up that makes we ant to keep reading, like in this issue when the villain of the week says that after he kills the Hulk he’ll “eat grilled American & make love to many bears” which is just funny enough to get my money next month.

Justice League #10- Nothing much happening here. Or did I completely miss something?

Ultimate Comics Ultimates #12– I enjoyed Reed’s brief homage to John Turturro’s character in Miller’s Crossing,   “…When you smart off to me it ruins it”.  What’s up with Ghost Kid Stark? How could Reed have injected the Hulk with a needle? Isn’t the Hulk’s skin supposed to be SOMEWHAT more durable than your average humans? If so, wouldn’t the needle shatter? C’mon, this is brain science. The ending though was ultimately (ha!) satisfying, if a bit drawn out.  This arc could’ve cut a few issues and been much better.  Still, ya takes what you can get.

Wolverine & The X-men #12Second best book of the week. Even the AvX tie-in couldn’t ruin this. By the way, I love Kid Gladiator as a character, even more so after he smashed Giant Man (screw you, Pym!) right in the eyeball to which Pym exclaimed ” YOU PUNCHED ME IN MY EYEBALL!” Glad that original X-men fighting each other is raised, as  when Ice man and Beast square off.   Oh, and Thor basically calls Namor a fag.  Really.  Spider-Woman calling out Kid Gladiators new power with a “Stop making me feel creepy” was a fun throw away line. I hat ethe name the Phoenix Five, makes them sound like a boy band as opposed to the most powerful force on Earth. Another clever line from now-outed gay bigot Thor to Rachel grey”On your feet mind witch. Thor would have words with thee”. Hank McCoy tells Bobby Drake his little Ice-Man clones don’t taste half bad; Drake commands McCoy to “stop eating me!” However, you’re telling em that Rachel Grey can sneak up on Black Widow, super-spy? Nyet.  WHEW. Then the book closes with an excellent line from Kid Gladiator as his dad & Warbird show up.  Ok, so I clearly really liked this issue and was determined to give you a page-by-page description.  You’re welcome.

Justice League Dark #10 – interesting enough but I’m losing focus. Don’t know who these people are. Argus? Wha?

Spider-Men #02 – Why are they fighting? Oh right, because it’s a crossover and they have to initially. This isn’t really all that interesting. I’m not going to miss anything by not continuing to read this.

Fatale #06 – Woody Allen appears at a decadent Hollywood sex party! Brubaker is good at drawing you in then stringing out a story. Some sort of cult/Scientology parable here, along with something terrifying on film. 

American Vampire #28 – a very unexpected return. Why aren’t you reading this?