Funnybook Babylon

August 1, 2010

A Letter from Superboy #26: Fandom Still Pays

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , — David Uzumeri @ 2:00 am
From Superboy #26

From Superboy #26

And they say Geoff Johns doesn’t do long-range planning.

July 26, 2010

Batman and Robin #13 – “Batman and Robin Must Die! Part 1: The Garden of Death”

Filed under: Annotations — Tags: , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 10:14 am
Brief Bloom.

Brief Bloom.

Batman and Robin continues, beginning the “Batman and Robin Must Die!” arc, which Morrison has stated is “R.I.P. as farce.” Each issue is named after a classic gothic painting; this one is “The Garden of Death” by Hugo Simberg, pictured above. Many shots and events in this book are deliberate evocations of events in “R.I.P.”, so I recommend a rereading before engaging in any close analysis of this story.

And, as usual, the links to my other annotations:

Stuff here (original Batman run, current Batman and Robin)

Stuff at Comics Alliance (Return of Bruce Wayne #1, #2, #3; Batman #700)
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May 17, 2010

Batmannotations: Batman and Robin #10-12 – “Batman vs. Robin”

Filed under: Annotations — Tags: , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 8:54 pm

For those of you who missed it, I already annotated Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1 over at Comics Alliance. You’ll continue to find those annotations there, while Batman and Robin will remain here.

It’s been a while and there’ s a lot to talk about, so let’s get into it.
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March 15, 2010

Batman and Robin #s 8 and 9 – “Blackest Knight” Parts 2 and 3: “Batman vs. Batman” and “Broken”

Filed under: Annotations — Tags: , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 2:56 pm
Batman and Robin #8

Batman and Robin #8
Batman and Robin #9

Batman and Robin #9

After the extensive infodump of last issue, these two issues are FAR more streamlined as we ramp up to “Batman vs. Batman” and the return of Bruce Wayne. In this installment: The Bug Black Voice of Gotham City! The Bible of Crime! And… Batwoman! Come back soon for Batman and Robin #10, and a look into the Wayne family’s lineage, but until then let’s see what further clues we can divine from “Blackest Knight.”

Additionally, I’d like to give a shout-out to the superb amypoodle at the always-sublime Mindless Ones, who put together an insanely compelling counter-theory to mine about Simon Hurt. It’s great stuff, and you should really check it out, as I’ll certainly be keeping it in mind in the months ahead.
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January 28, 2010

Batman and Robin #6 and #7

Filed under: Annotations — Tags: , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 9:07 am
Batman and Robin #6

Batman and Robin #6
Batman and Robin #7

Batman and Robin #7

The #6 annotations are so late partly because the issue seemed rather sparse to me and partly because Gavok over at 4thletter! just completely demolished the landscape of any of my commentary, so what’s below regarding that issue is heavily indebted to his realization about the nature of the story. Then, below, commentary on today’s #7, which is detailed and byzantine and littered with references and basically my wet dream as an annotator.
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January 26, 2010

Please Just Tell Us

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , — David Uzumeri @ 10:04 pm

DC Comics creative changes on stories from solicitation to publication for the month of January 2010, not including material released tomorrow morning (January 27) that has not had the credits page released in preview form.

Let me know if I missed any announcements that weren’t postings of preview pages.

Catwoman #83 – Fabian Nicieza & Julian Lopez replaced with Tony Bedard, Fabrizio Fiorentino, Ibraim Roberson and Marcos Marz
Batman: Streets of Gotham #8 – writer Paul Dini replaced with Mike Benson
Gotham City Sirens #8 – writer Paul Dini replaced with plot by Guillem March and script by Marc Andreyko
Blackest Night: JSA #2 – Tony Bedard added as co-writer with solicited James Robinson; Marcos Marz added as co-penciller with solicited Eddy Barrows
The Question #37 – Denny O’Neil added as co-writer with solicited Greg Rucka (announced)
R.E.B.E.L.S. #12 – artist Claude St. Aubin replaced with Geraldo Borges
Warlord #10 – artist Mike Grell only does two pages; bulk done by unsolicited Chad Hardin
Justice League: Cry for Justice #6 – artist Mauro Cascioli replaced with Scott Clark
The Web #5 – artist Roger Robinson replaced with Talent Caldwell (announced)
The Brave and the Bold #31 -artist Jesus Saiz replaced by Chad Hardin and Justiniano
Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2 – Eduardo Pansica added as co-penciller alongside solicited Nicola Scott
The Atom and Hawkman #46 – Fernando Pasarin added as co-artist alongside solicited Ryan Sook
Titans #21 – Chris Batista added as co-artist alongside solicited Angel Unzueta
Superman: World of New Krypton #11 – Ron Randall added as co-artist alongside solicited Pete Woods
The Outsiders #26 – Don Kramer added as co-artist alongside solicited Philip Tan

Edited to add: For the sake of comparison – I don’t mean to turn it into a DC/Marvel shitfight, but it’s worth noting – here’s Marvel’s track record for January 2010 solicited titles. It’s better, but it’s far from perfect, and Previews apparently taking down their Product Changes archive (why would they do this? who does that knowledge hurt?) has made tracking down the announcements a bit more difficult than I expected. As above, let me know if I missed any announcements.

New Avengers #61 – Daniel Acuna added as co-artist alongside solicited Stuart Immonen (announced unofficially on Twitter)
Avengers: The Initiative #32 – artist Rafa Sandoval replaced by Mahmud Asrar (announced)
Amazing Spider-Man #617 – artist Javier Pulido does unsolicited backup (unannounced)
Web of Spider-Man #4 – Eric Canete draws third story originally solicited as “More” (announced)
Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural #4 – Alessandro Vitti added as co-artist alongside solicited Jefte Palo (unannounced)
Iron Man vs. Whiplash #3 – Andrea Mutti added as co-artist alongside solicited Phil Briones (unannounced)
Incredible Hulk #606 – unsolicited Red She-Hulk backup by Harrison Wilcox & Ryan Stegman; solicited for 607 on (unannounced)
Ms. Marvel #49 – Ben Oliver added as co-artist alongside solicited Sana Takeda (announced)
Avengers vs. Atlas #1 – artist Takeshi Miyazawa does unsolicited backup (unannounced)
Punisher #13 – Mike Hawthorne added as co-artist alongside solicited Tony Moore (unannounced)
Thunderbolts #140 – Sergio Arino added as co-artist alongside solicited Miguel Sepulveda (announced)
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 – artist Pablo Raimondi replaced by Wellinton Alves (announced)
X-Men Forever #16 – solicited mystery artist is Graham Nolan (unannounced)

January 15, 2010

Final Crisis Annotations Epilogue: The Hardcover

Filed under: Annotations — Tags: , , — David Uzumeri @ 2:13 pm

Yeah, this is incredibly anal, but after the ridiculous amount of time I spent studying this book, I’d be remiss not to cap this off with a look at the collected edition.

But first, since I don’t think I’ve ever linked them at once like this: here are all of the original annotations/articles I wrote upon the book’s initial release.
Final Crisis #1
Final Crisis #2
Final Crisis #3
Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1
Final Crisis #4
Final Crisis #5
Final Crisis #6
Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2
Final Crisis: Superman Beyond – On Mandrakk
Final Crisis #7

So: a catalogue of, as far as I can tell, every single change made to Final Crisis from single issue to collected edition. A lot of them are pretty interesting, and clear up stuff that I remember myself or other annotators pointing out. I’ve bolded the ones that are major, or of special interest (the one about the Anthro painting being in Gotham rather than NYC has rather interesting potential repercussions for the Return of Bruce Wayne storyline).
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January 3, 2010

Bruce Wayne: A Man of Wealth and Taste (Batmannotations Gaiden)

Filed under: Annotations — Tags: , — David Uzumeri @ 8:25 pm

What if there were an ultimate villain out there, unseen? An absolute mastermind, closing in for the kill? What if there existed an invisible, implacable foe who’d calculated my every weakness? Who had access to allies, weapons and tactics I couldn’t imagine. An adversary whose plots and grand designs were so vast, so elaborate, that they went unnoticed… until it was too late. How could I prepare for a challenge like that? Would I have the resources to deal with it? I’ve often wondered. If my hypothetical ultimate enemy can be imagined, I can’t help considering the possibility that he actually exists. Breathing… feels like drowning. And if he exists… if the king of crime is real… is he telling me his name?

– Bruce Wayne, Batman #674

From Batman #666

From Batman #666

By the time we were about halfway through Batman R.I.P., and our esteemed British colleagues the Mindless Ones were divining hints from ancient Chinese wisdom, and I was still rambling on and on and on about goddammit no seriously they WILL reveal Alfred as the villain, there’s one thing we all agreed on: whether or not Simon Hurt was actually supposed to be the literal Devil, he certainly was a metaphorical one.

The question is – what’s the significance of that? If Simon Hurt is the Devil – or, as our li’l buddy Damian states there to the left, “may as well be” the Devil – then what does that mean? What, for all practical purposes, is the Devil?
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October 7, 2009

Batman and Robin #5 – “Revenge of the Red Hood Part Two: Scarlet”

Filed under: Annotations — Tags: , , , — David Uzumeri @ 6:50 pm
Batman and Robin #5

Batman and Robin #5

As suspected by a few people in last month’s comment thread, the Red Hood is in fact the obvious option, Jason Todd. So that entire mystery’s away from us, although the domino killer and Man-On-Gargoyle are still milling around, not to mention Oberon Sexton.

Philip Tan’s art in this issue is rather confusing and unclear with regards to the storytelling, especially on the fifth page, so I’ll try to disentangle some of those things as we go.
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September 24, 2009

FBB Swipe File: Hey, Legends Comics & Books from Victoria, B.C.!

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , — David Uzumeri @ 2:40 pm

From this week’s Incredible Hulk #602, by Greg Pak and Ariel Olivetti:

Incredible Hulk #602

Incredible Hulk #602

versus

Legends Comics & Books

Legends Comics & Books

You know, if they just had Greg Land doing Ariel Olivetti’s backgrounds and Olivetti doing Land’s, at least then we’d get one readable comic and one hilariously horrific piece of shit rather than two painful comics.

September 18, 2009

David Reviews The Shield #1

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 2:00 pm

The Shield #1 cover
The Shield #1
“Kicking Down the Door pt. 1”
by Eric Trautmann & Marco Rudy
“Burning Inside pt. 1”
by Brandon Jerwa & Greg Scott

The first thing that struck me about this was how much it differed – in a good way – from J. Michael Straczynski’s lead-in that capped off his Red Circle series of one-shots. Where Straczynski combined the traditional Captain America super-soldier origin with stock scenes heavily inspired by Generation Kill and added on a layer of military conspiracy to tie it in with the other Red Circle stories, Trautmann creates an early-career super-soldier who isn’t fighting as morally convincing a war as Captain America was, and as a result, is forced to operate a bit more cynically.
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September 16, 2009

Batman and Robin #4 – “Revenge of the Red Hood Part One: Red Right Hand”

Filed under: Annotations — Tags: , , , — David Uzumeri @ 6:04 pm
Batman and Robin #4

Batman and Robin #4

Again, a link to what’s come before.

The immediate interpretation of the issue title is the Nick Cave song of the same name, but its use within the issue makes it pretty clear that while that may have been an inspirational source, the context in which it’s used in the issue relates more to Milton’s “Paradise Lost” – which isn’t to say the song doesn’t eerily parallel the promises Red Hood is trying to sell Scarlet.

Philip Tan comes on as artist for this arc, and it’s certainly very different from Frank Quitely; losing Alex Sinclair as colorist gets rid of the posterized sky effects, and Tan’s art style owes way more to his time on Spawn than any precedent Quitely set, all stark shadows and straightforward panel layouts. This is a much darker look than what Quitely offered.

But anyway: new story, new start. Let’s go!
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September 15, 2009

Batmannotation Catch-Up: Batman and Robin #2-3

First off, a link to what’s come before.

With #4 hitting this Wednesday, I figured it was high time to get back into the game and take a look at the latest two issues of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s Batman and Robin. I just reread Morrison’s entire Batman run to refresh my memory, so I’m good and ready – here goes!

Well, maybe I *do*, asshole!

Well, maybe I *do*, asshole!

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August 28, 2009

Liveblogging Toronto Fan Expo 2009!

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , — David Uzumeri @ 1:16 pm

The title speaks for itself. I’m here, and I’m going to be trying my hand at Newsrama/CBR-style liveblogging of all of the Big Two’s panels I can make it to. Wish me luck!


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July 23, 2009

Fanboy, Twihard, Otaku: Obsession is Never Good

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , — David Uzumeri @ 1:43 pm
Camp Twilight (from movieset.com)

Camp Twilight (from movieset.com)

I just read an editorial by Sarah Jaffe of Blog@Newsarama that largely centered around the negative reaction we’re seeing to the Twilight fans practically storming San Diego as we speak. I don’t disagree that a lot of the negative reaction to their presence this year is instigated by either overt or covert sexism, nor do I disagree that, say, G.I. Joe fans should probably not be throwing stones about literary merit in their glass house. There’s certainly a segment of the commenting population that’s pissed off that girls are invading their boys’ club. I don’t deny that.
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