Funnybook Babylon

January 6, 2012

FBBP #137 – New Year, Same Old New 52

Welcome to 2012! Back in the dying days of 2011, we sat down and looked at some of DC’s “New 52” titles a few issues in. Titles discussed include:

  • Action Comics by Grant Morrison, Rags Morales and others
  • Batman & Robin by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
  • Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
  • Batwoman by JH Williams III and Haden Blackman
  • Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang

We also talked about the overall “success” of The New 52, how we as readers should judge the success, how much digital comics should cost, and how Apple should really sell Chris an iPad for ten dollars. Seriously. It would be great PR.

What New 52 books are we sleeping on? What books are we insane to enjoy? Why aren’t we reading something not published by DC? All good questions, and it’s up to you, the FBBArmy, to tell us!

COMING IN 2012: More Avenging the Week, more Girl Talk, more podcasts, and A Cavalcade of Davids!

July 15, 2010

FBB EXCLUSIVE! DC Announces New Title Spinning Out of Superman #701

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , , — Chris Eckert @ 12:27 am

superjaffe

Amazingly enough, I don’t think this sequence even cracked the Top Three for things that bothered me about this issue!

February 14, 2009

FBB Valentine’s Day Weekend: 25 Things Pedro Loves about Comics

On the worst day of the year for single people and absent-minded married men, Team FBB stood back and thought of the things that we love about comics. We capped it at 25 so that this series of articles would be completed sometime this year. One interesting thing that I came across while compiling my list was how many of these selections were based on visual storytelling moments. I’m starting to realize that I enjoy the art side of comics more than the writing.
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January 28, 2009

Final Crisis #7 – “New Heaven, New Earth”

Final Crisis #7

Final Crisis #7

Not much preamble to make here – it’s the last issue, I enjoyed it a lot, a lot of people probably think it’s confusing drivel. Maybe I can help you out.
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January 24, 2009

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond – Annotations Epilogue: Mandrakk: A Brief History

For me Final Crisis, is about the type of guilt-ridden, self-loathing stories we insist on telling ourselves and, especially, our children—about the damage those stories do and about the good they could do if we took more responsibility for the power and influence of our words.

Grant Morrison

Before we move on to #7 this week, I just want to take a final look at Superman Beyond and what it meant – and see if I can disentangle the timeline of events, causes and effects Morrison is setting up here.

At this point, how it fits into the larger story is fairly clear – the entire adventure takes place between Lois’s heartbeats on New Earth, due to what’s likely a time dilation between Earth-0 and the rest of the multiverse. The vampire army that Mandrakk will doubtlessly invade Earth-0 with in Final Crisis #7 has its first conscript in the form of Ultraman; I assume Mandrakk has, in his relative timeline, hundreds if not thousands of years to get together his crew.

Zillo Valla

But who is Mandrakk? Let me see if I can figure it out.
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January 21, 2009

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2

When last we left our intrepid heroes back at the end of August(!), Superman and Captain Allen Adam were facing down Ultraman in Limbo as Ultraman hoisted the Infinite Book and Mandrakk’s Monitor nanomachinery cracked through the sky into Limbo. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel got knocked back to being Billy by the feedback of the end of the Infinite Book, but not before leaving a riddle: “Ultimate evil is ultimate good. The most despised will save the most beloved.” Zillo Valla, their Monitor guide, ends up getting all vampiric and sucking Overman’s blood to power the Ultima Thule, the ship.

So let’s take a look at pages 31-62 of the Final Crisis: Superman Beyond one-shot, which would have eliminated a lot of confusion about the FC timeline if it’d come out in one piece as planned.
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January 14, 2009

Final Crisis #6 – “How to Murder the Earth”

They used the title! Yay!

Final Crisis #6

Final Crisis #6

Reaction to this issue:
Oh Shit!
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December 7, 2008

Alex Ross and Paolo Rivera: Painters Turned Pencillers and Storytellers

This is some stuff I started writing a few weeks ago, when Amazing Spider-Man #577 and JSA Kingdom Come Special: Superman had just hit. It’s a bit late now, but I sort of like where I was going with it, so I’m gonna finish it off anyway.

The week of November 12 was pretty lackluster, but there’s one thing I noticed that I think is worth talking about: we had not one but two painters making their debut with traditional pencil & ink comic book art, which is a significant shift in style for one and… well… we’ll talk later about the other.

Alex Ross wrote, pencilled, and sort-of-inked-but-really-washed-and-shaded the interminably-named Justice Society of America Kingdom Come Special: Superman. I was actually pretty surprised by how decent the scripting and dialogue were; Ross certainly has a huge leg up on Dan DiDio in that department. However, to be completely honest, it’s really only through realizing the story-based context (painted pages are Earth-22, other pages are Earth-0) that I can tell which parts are painted and which parts are colored by Alex Sinclair; while his work here is certainly more kinetic than his work on Marvels and the original Kingdom Come, I don’t know if that’s a function of the switch to pencil & ink as much as it is the passage of time and perhaps him learning from painting over Doug Braithwaite’s dynamic pencils for Justice. (As a side note, I actually like his non-photo-referenced faces in the back thumbnails more than the photoreferenced finished work; the faces are more expressive, and Ross clearly has the chops to be an above-average penciller if he ever wanted to drop the painting and reference and go that route.)

On the other hand, we got Paolo Rivera on Amazing Spider-Man #577. And, uh, damn.
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October 28, 2008

Pull List Analysis for October 29, 2008

Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3 by Brian Michael Bendis & David Lafuente (Marvel Comics): There comes a time in every young superhero’s life when someone decides to do an issue about their sex life. These “very special” issues have come with a range of tasteful comments from the creators:

static25

I understand that teenage sexuality is a difficult subject for a lot of people. And, as is the custom, I won’t even mention black sexuality. But I don’t think that the people who read Static are afraid to explore storylines ground in the issues of contemporary life.

Dwayne McDuffie on the publication of Static #25

petenkitty

I called Bob Harras and said, “Excalibur #90, Kitty Pryde gets fucked.” He went deadly silent, then he said, “Just try and keep it tasteful.”

Warren Ellis on the publication of Excalibur #90

eab1 1 sbl

Where will USM Annual #3 fall along the axis? Who knows, though it has the “added bonus” of being part of the MARCH ON ULTIMATUM, though I’m still not entirely sure what that means besides having a really ugly banner along the top.

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October 14, 2008

Pull List Analysis for October 15, 2008

Going to try to skip past the obvious “big books” this week — if you’re following Astonishing X-Men, Final Crisis tie-ins or Amazing Spider-Man I bet you’ll notice the big stacks of them at your local shop tomorrow. Here are some things that might not be so well-stocked:

Are you excited for Halloween? Publishers sure are! Marvel’s gearing up for round eighty-two of ZOMBIE COVER VARIANTS, and DC is putting out the ridiculously titled Superman & Batman vs. Werewolves & Vampires mini-series, and I’m going to be uncharitable and assume the title is the first and last thing you need to read about that book. Here are two slightly more palatable haunts:

monster-hulkHulk Monster-Size Special by Jeff Parker & Gabriel Hardman (Marvel Comics): Yes, this is Superhero Property vs. Universal Monster Property, just like S/BvW/V. But HMSS is a standalone one-shot rather than a six issue mini-series, which gives me hope for a punchy fun story light on exposition and high on goofy slugfests. It also helps that it’s written by Jeff Parker, who has shown a knack for big goofy fun in various Marvel Adventures books. Hopefully everyone will overlook the lack of Red Hulk, who according to Jeph Loeb is “the most popular character since Wolverine”!

Dear Dracula by Joshua Williamson and Vinny Navarrete (Image Comics): Image/Shadowline is rolling out a series of all-ages/children’s graphic novels, starting with Dear Dracula. Everything I know about the book and its creators can be found alongside a preview of the book at Newsarama. Looks cute, and the timing of the release is right.

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September 30, 2008

Pull List Analysis for October 1, 2008

I figured we might try doing these again. Here are some potentially interesting books hitting the shelves tomorrow!

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September 2, 2008

FBBP #70 – The Last Will and Testament of the Third Dimension

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 11:25 pm

For the second week running, we’re missing Jamaal. We miss Jamaal so much that we want to remind everyone that we’re still taking suggestions for what we should make him sing on next week’s podcast. A BET IS A BET!

Two books of the week this time out: one for its importance, and another for its je ne sais quoi:
Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1 by Grant Morrison & Doug Mahnke (annotated here!)
DC Universe: Last Will & Testament by Brad Meltzer & Adam Kubert

Speaking of Last Wills, Virgin Comics has joined the dustbin of comics history alongside CrossGen, Tekno Comix and countless others. What lessons can be learned? What went wrong? Just how many different things has Richard Branson slapped “Virgin” on?

We also begin our discussion on Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Most of the discussion is Joe introducing the Nausicaa and its creator Hayao Miyazaki, so anyone wanting to catch up still has time. We’ll be doing the second (and final) Nausicaa book club discussion in a couple weeks.

The whole series is translated in seven volumes (Volumes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) and you can buy them through Amazon for $10, supporting the site at the same time.

July 28, 2008

Superman/Batman FIFTIETH ISSUE SPECIAL! Or, How to Make Money off Art You Already Paid For

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 4:23 pm

I understand DC’s sitting on this artwork, but if I were doing the 50th issue of Superman/Batman, I’d be kind of annoyed if this was the cover treatment the issue got:

Superman/Batman #50 covers

Superman/Batman #50 covers

Hey, these look famili–

Superman/Batman #23 solicited cover

Superman/Batman #27 cover given at announcement of Verheiden/Van Sciver taking over the book

Oh. (Note: Neither of these covers ended up actually being used, hence this.)

May 16, 2008

“Last Son” – A Sentimental Journey

A little over two years ago, DC launched their “One Year Later” revamp/relaunch, with a year-long weekly series 52 as its centerpiece. Layout artist Keith Giffen described the book’s appeal to fans:

I call [it] the NASCAR book, because nobody goes to a NASCAR race to watch the cars go around in circles. You go for the crash. You hope for that blistering, horrifying crash. People are going to be watching 52, waiting for us to screw up… it’s not going to happen.

And he was right; people came to 52 looking for blood, but the series never “crashed” off its weekly schedule and was generally well-liked. Its weekly successor, Countdown [to Final Crisis] may have not been as successful or well-liked, but no one could argue that it wasn’t on time! But while both 52 and Countdown kept running on time, these bastions of punctuality served as a smokescreen for the fiery wreckage that was DC’s Demolition Derby of Scheduling, a/k/a “Pretty Much Every Non-Weekly Book DC Published”. A lot of books have had production problems in the past two years, but when the history books are written the “Last Son” storyline in Action Comics will likely go down as The Didio Era’s biggest disaster. And trust me, there have been plenty of other candidates.
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April 16, 2008

FBBP #53 – Superman’s Foreign Policy Regarding Tensions between Tehran and Kandor

This week we talk Criminal #2, The new Howard Zinn comic book, and Pedro comes clean about JSA. Chris got his hands on some preview copies of some Minx Books, and relates his experiences.

We also have a deeper conversation of the about the ign Geoff Johns interview, and I ask “Why should we care?” This inevitably goes into the continuous continuity conversation.

Bringing in a topic that me and Jamaal usually have everyday over beers, this Superman foreign policy article made the rounds of the podcast.

Finally we wrapped up with a discussion of Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker’s decision to leave Iron Fist, and the implications of short vs. long runs on title characters.

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