Funnybook Babylon

August 30, 2007

Autopsy Report – The Immortal Iron Fist: The Last Iron Fist Story

Filed under: Reviews — Matt Jett @ 2:09 am

Ladies and Gentlemen, Danny Rand

Written by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction
Drawn by David Aja
Collects The Immortal Iron Fist 1 – 6.

The Last Iron Fist Story is not about the Iron Fist, nor Danny Rand. Rand may be the protagonist but the story, and the series to date, is about the rich legacy of the Iron Fist itself, not simply about those who have wielded it. The name, passed from warrior to warrior, generation to generation, is brought fully to the fore and given a rich character and history all its own.

The genius part about this is that for the first thirty-plus years of the character’s existence, there was no grand Iron Fist history. Danny Rand existed, K’un L’un was there, but everything else about the Iron Fist concept was a fairly bland mish-mash of martial arts genre tropes and ill-thought out attempts at character development. Once the Brubaker/Fraction team took over and launched The Immortal Iron Fist, that all changed.


August 28, 2007

Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus – Blowing your Mind since ’71

Filed under: Reviews — Pedro Tejeda @ 5:15 pm

All these creators start realizing, That Jack’s got that shit, that’ll keep you vibing, Kirby is here to bring, you funnybook’s finest, But if your comics are weak, you better step behind him

Before picking up the omnibus, I have to say I have never read Jack Kirby at all. I know of him only though a second or third party. It’s always been Waid or Morrison’s interpretation of Kirby concepts that I end up reading. Even as engaging as their spin was on the characters, the energy of Kirby’s original work still cackled through. I sometimes found myself loving the details that you could tell were pure Kirby, especially in regards to the New Gods, more than the new added bits.

My first introduction to the New Gods was from a stack of JLI/JLA/JLE comics I received as a Christmas present. It was nearly every Giffen/De Matteis issue and it even had a bunch of Mister Miracle comics penned by those guys. I love the design of Mr. Miracle and his wife Barda’s costumes. The whole concept of a superhero, whose power was to escape, being besieged by a group of people who did not want traditional super-villain desires but just the hero’s subjugation was mind blowing for my little 13 year old mind. I still find it incredibly poetic. Dematteis and Giffen’s spin of Mister Miracle and Barda trying to live a simple life in a small town was great, but it only worked because of the great premise and characters Kirby had created.

It was announced a while back that they were planning to reprint almost all of Jack Kirby’s New Gods work in a series of hardcover collections. Upon hearing this, I knew this was my chance to finally experience Jack Kirby straight from the source, no filters and no reimagings. It was almost a hard choice considering the Omnibus runs 50 dollars retail, but I knew that this was something I had to finally read first hand… (more…)

FBBP #26 – Page 6 -or- “Today on Maury”

Filed under: Podcasts — Joseph Mastantuono @ 12:02 am

greenarrow.jpgCould this Masked Man be the father of your child?

Will Agatha Christie Comics, save the comic book industry (Or find Ray Palmer)?

Former Runaways Artist runs away to Spider-man Loves Mary Jane! Will this creative team ‘swapping’ become rampant in Marvel?

And will Superboy Someone special be punching Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan into an arena with Vampire Batman???

Find out the answers to these questions in the funnybook podcast version of the Posts’ Page 6!!!!

August 27, 2007

Pull List Analysis for August 29, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 10:03 pm

DAVID: Man, this is the smallest week ever.
CHRIS: Agreed, New Comics Day Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody‘s wallet, although there are a lot of interesting products coming from without the Big Two for people who have a big Labor Day bonus burning a hole in their pocket.

7782_400×600.jpg52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen #1 (of 6)
Keith Giffen & Pat Olliffe

DAVID: This is a particularly interesting project because Giffen is such a luminary amongst the comics world — or at least, was — that it’s kind of surprising he’s rolling with an epilogue miniseries to the weekly event of the, well, decade. However, considering his role in the plot’s original production and his relationship with the four maestros who masterminded the event, it makes perfect sense as a method for following up on some loose ends and also allowing the talented Mr. Giffen some space to write an awesome DC Universe miniseries. Given last year’s Annihilation I don’t think he’s lost his edge.
CHRIS: Big fan of Giffen’s, and while I was initially skeptical about this project — why focus on some boring-ass AVATARS OF DOOM when you’ve got the far more interesting Oolong Island Crew lurking in the background? — Giffen’s Newsarama interview has convinced me that this might actually be an interesting book. Cautiously optimistic.

Batman Annual 26Batman Annual #26: Head of the Demon
Peter Milligan & David Lopez

CHRIS: This is apparently the “definitive” NEW EARF origin of Ra’s al Ghul, leading into this fall’s “Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul” Bat-event. This has two strikes going against it from the outset: I don’t think anyone wants another big Bat-Event, and Peter Milligan’s got a pretty shaky history on big work-for-hire books (check out his runs on X-Men and Elektra if you don’t believe me; better yet, don’t). On the plus side, it’s a big Bat-Event masterminded by Grant Morrison, who managed to run a tight ship and make the behemoth DC One Million more coherently and enjoyably than it ever should have been, and it’s a Bat-Event written by Morrison, Milligan and Fabian Nicieza, who can all write a good superhero story. Plus, it’s written by Peter Milligan, who missteps aside, also wrote X-Statix, Human Target, Enigma, Shade the Changing Man, and even a series of pretty enjoyable Batman stories for DC back in the early 1990s. If there was any way to make this sort of thing work, DC has put together the proper scenario for this occurrence.

7843_400×600.jpgTeen Titans #50
A Whole Bunch Of Dudes Including Sean McKeever & Randy Green

DAVID: This is an interesting issue because although the main creative team is Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane alumnus Sean McKeever, the major plotline will deal with 2004’s Titans Tomorrow story by Johns & McKone and probably involve the standard DCU continuity fanwank. This issue is supposed to be a gravestone for Bart Allen, recently killed off in Flash: TFMA #13 and now Official Martyr of the DC Universe(TM). Given the guest teams — Johns & McKone, Wolfman & Perez (who are these dorks?) and Dezago/Nauck, it’ll hopefully be a celebration of his life and a solid launch into a good TT run.

ff549.jpgFantastic Four #549
Dwayne McDuffie & Paul Pelletier

DAVID: Dwayne and Paul still have a few more issues after that before those two guys with funny accents (Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch) take over. And honestly,given considering the inarguable creative synergy of the latter talent pool, I’ll be sad to see McDuffie go. I loved his work on the brilliant JLU cartoon, and he really seemd to be hitting his FF stride just as it’s revealed he’s a placeholder for two unintelligible white dudes. But shit, it’ll probably be good comics, so bring it on — and I’m still very excited for McDuffie bringing me a JLA book that has some goddamn fisticuffs in it.

Punks the Comic #1Punks the Summer Comics Special
Joshua Hale Fialkov & Kody Chamberlain

CHRIS: I know almost nothing about this comic, but someone sent me an unsolicited message about this comic, correctly pegging my love of funnybooks, The Young Ones and Abraham Lincoln. There’s a preview up on their website, and it looks like a lot of fun.

Stephen “Ribs” Weissman

CHRIS: This is a compilation of the early “Yikes” work of one Stephen Weissman, who has been cartooning the adventures of Pull Apart Boy, Lil Bloody, Kid Firechief, Sweet Chubby Cheeks and other characters for quite some time now. The “Yikes” series chronicles the adventures of a bunch of kids who happen to also be firechiefs, vampires, zombies, big wheel racecar drivers, and other things that generally come off as a charming sci-fi/David Lynch reinvention of Peanuts/Our Gang/etc. There are some sample strips up on the Fantagraphics site if you’re not familiar with his work. It’s fucking adorable.

Incedible Change-BotsIncredible Change-Bots
Jeffrey Brown

CHRIS: Jeffrey Brown is probably best known for his series of “girlfriend” books, autobiographical recaps of his various relationships. But he’s also done projects like Be a Man and Bighead that reveal a propensity for MAD-style zany parodies/comedy (and I mean that in a positive, olden days MAD, not [insert bad era of MAD here] style. This is obviously the Transformers pastiche. The preview looks kind of funny, hopefully the rest of the book runs with it.

Small-ass week. Hit da jump. (more…)

August 26, 2007

Downcounting – A Guide for the Perplexed: Countdown #36, “Magical Mystery Tour”

Filed under: Downcounting — Chris Eckert @ 9:39 pm

Forty years ago, the Beatles released a series of products called “Magical Mystery Tour”. Drunk on the success of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts’ Club Band album, Paul McCartney wanted to do another concept album, this time incorporating other media, such as a film. The film would have no set script, and would be their first produced without the guiding hand of recently deceased manager Brian Epstein. The plot, such as it was, would involve a diverse cast of characters wandering around while, in the words of McCartney, “strange things begin to happen at the whim of four or five magicians”. The film received widespread negative reviews after it aired on the BBC, and the accompanying album, while full of pretty great songs, was really an EP padded out with a bunch of singles that had already been released. While the Beatles are an enduring and beloved fixture in popular culture, Magical Mystery Tour was a definite misstep, and the film is largely forgotten, one of the only pieces of their output that no one really seems to care is unavailable for purchase forty years later.Oh shit, Countdown Arena is READY TO ROCK!

And I like to think that is why someone with really frank self-assessment skills named this week’s issue thusly.

August 23, 2007

FBBP #25.5 – FBBLaw Bonus: Superboy in Court!

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , — Funnybook Babylon @ 9:50 am

Hey, Jamaal came over the other night, started to talk about what is going on with the Superboy litigation, and I put microphones in front of us. I hope you enjoy.

This had to be the most disturbing superboy cover I could find. Although I maybe I didn’t try hard enough

August 21, 2007

The War Zone is Everywhere

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , — Jamaal Thomas @ 1:19 pm

Notes of a War Story
Notes of a War Story, produced by Gipi, and translated by Spectrum. Notes is published by First Second Publishing, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, and was originally published as Appunti per una storia di guerra in 2004 by Coconino Press.

Gipi doesn’t tell the kinds of stories that I usually enjoy in comic books. I tend to be a reader obsessed with information and detail, but that is not Gipi’s concern. Garage Band, the first book of his that I read, focused on atmospherics and minor character moments that were used to propel a plot that barely existed. At the same time, it was a revelatory experience. Gipi provided an insight into the interior lives of the characters in a way that I was unused to in comic books. With that experience, I highly anticipated his next work. As expected, the art is brilliant. Gipi’s work is deceptively simple, using relatively few strokes to create distinct and expressive characters.

Notes of a War Story is ostensibly the story of a group of friends coming of age in the midst of an unnamed European war taking place in an anonymous Balkan nation. The lack of specificity, in time or place, gives the book a allegorical, dream-like quality. The group of three boys is broken down into some familiar archetypes: the sycophant (Christian), the overly aggressive proto-criminal (Stefano, the Little Killer), and the bourgeoisie wayward one (Giuliano), who is our protagonist. The first two are representative of the lower class, both poor, one subjected to emotional (and probably physical) abuse. The third illustrates the middle class, the kid who grows up with a lawn and a bed. Of course, the crazy one is the leader, which sets in motion a series of events that culminate in a set of life changing choices for all three.

August 20, 2007

FBBP #25 – Spoilers & Arguments

Filed under: Podcasts — Joseph Mastantuono @ 6:29 pm

This Week.

Alex Ross teases, Dan Didio Spoils, Puckett and Johnson take over Supergirl. Somehow a Cap argument ensues.

August 19, 2007

Pull List Analysis for August 22, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Tags: — David Uzumeri @ 10:52 pm

Special Interference Note from Chris: David said pretty much anything I’d want to say about the books he’s spotlighted this week, so rather than going all Tag Team for y’all, we are going to play it like the originators, 95 South, and bring you a double a-side of metaphorical Miami Bass comics previewing!

7809_400×600.jpgBlue Beetle #18
John Rogers & Rafael Albuquerque

In this issue, Jaime Reyes teams up with the Teen Titans to fight Lobo. Apparently, this story is also going to cross over into next week’s Teen Titans #50 and explain Jaime’s presence there. Blue Beetle has been a relentlessly consistent book (barring a single fill-in) that’s kind of been a textbook example of how to introduce a new character into a shared universe that, unfortunately, nobody really seems to be paying attention to, and the occasional tie-ins this book has never feel like distractions from the plot. DC needs to give this series the promotion and care it deserves.

7788_400×600.jpgOutsiders: Five of a Kind – Aquaman/Metamorpho
G. Willow Wilson, Tony Bedard & Joshua Middleton

This is the funnybook debut of G. Willow Wilson, an expatriate American journalist from Cairo who got her foot in the door with a much-hyped Vertigo OGN called, well, Cairo. The fact that she broke into superhero comics with a crossover tie-in at the same time is very unorthodox given most new Vertigo finds, and God knows superhero comics need more female voices – especially good ones. I’m really, really curious to see how this reads, considering most writers seem to be getting carte blanche to do what they want within a thin Bedard-written framework to justify the adventure within the framework of the overall story.

August 18, 2007

Downcounting – A Guide for the Perplexed: Countdown #37, “Forbidden Fruit”

Filed under: Articles,Downcounting — Chris Eckert @ 3:22 am

There are a lot of numbercrunching things to talk about, and a lot of things to talk about regarding Dan Didio’s latest interview — but this is already late thanks to a delay in getting to the comic shop, and it seems like people are actually reading this (instead of Countdown I hope!), which is a pleasant surprise. So let’s skip the formalities and take a nice close look at the NARRATIVE SPINE OF THE DC UNIVERSE


August 16, 2007

Autopsy Report – Essential Dazzler

Filed under: Reviews — Matt Jett @ 3:51 am

Even the cover has guest stars
Reprints: X-Men 130-131, Amazing Spider-Man 203, and Dazzler 1-21 Creative Teams include: Chris Claremont/John Byrne, Marv Wolfman/Keith Pollard, Tom DeFalco/John Romita Jr. and Frank Springer, and Danny Fingeroth/Frank Springer. Fingeroth/Springer are responsible for the bulk of the work in the TPB.

Yes, they’ve printed an Essential volume staring Dazzler. Not a dream, not a hoax, not an imaginary solicitation.

Dazzler is an interesting character not only because of her exploits on the printed page, but also because of her origins in the Marvel offices. Introduced to comics in 1980, she was created as a cross-promotional tie-in between Marvel and Casablanca Records by a committee of Marvel staffers, most notably Tom DeFalco and John Romita Jr. Approached by the Casablanca record company in the late 70’s, the Marvel staffers were basically asked to come up with a singing character, who Casablanca would then use as an identity for one of their artists. Dazzler isn’t the first example of this cross-marketing focus at Marvel, joining luminaries such as ROM Spaceknight, the Micronauts, and eventually, NFL Superpro. The difference between Dazzler and those characters is that Casablanca pulled out of the deal before she was introduced in her solo title, leaving Marvel with a character that had little reason to exist. (more…)

August 15, 2007

Remembering Ringo

Filed under: Blurbs — Pedro Tejeda @ 10:19 pm

Self portrait of Mike

This Sunday, Mike Wieringo passed away at the age of 44. Mike was an artist on a number of books, but he was mostly known for his runs on Impulse, Spider-man, and Fantastic Four.

There are tons of fantastic tributes out there from friends and co-workers of Mike Wieringo that let you know more about him than his work could ever do. As a fan of his work, I wanted to write a little about how what I enjoyed about his art. It’s a conversation I’ve had a few times with people who weren’t familiar with Ringo, who wanted to known why I mourn his loss.


FBBP #24.5 – Fun Home Review

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , — Funnybook Babylon @ 3:47 pm

Our review of the critically acclaimed Fun Home.

I’ve spent the morning dealing with, the post office, my landlord, and the housing commission so I don’t really have any smart quips for you all, they’ve stolen a bit of my soul.

So, here you go…

The file is back up…

August 14, 2007

Pull List Analysis for August 15, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 11:31 am

CHRIS ECKERT: Whoomp, there it is — a Tag Team Pull List Analysis! Sadly, this is not a day simply for Miami Bass nostalgia…

DAVID UZUMERI: Rest in peace, Mike Wieringo. Your work is going to influence generations of writers and artists to come. From everything I’ve read, you were too humble to realize your own influence — I think now it’s too obvious to deny.

7820_400×600.jpgBlack Canary #4
Tony Bedard & Paulo Siqueira

DAVID: This issue is either going to be boring or incredibly, incredibly creepy. The last issue ended in a cliffhanger with Sin, Dinah’s adopted daughter/sister, seemingly dead. The cover of #4 is Sin’s gravestone. Now, this could be a gigantic fakeout — or they actually could be killing off a six year old kid to facilitate Dinah and Ollie’s marriage, making it the funniest/meanest/most unnecessary Didio Wall of Death addition ever.

7778_400×600.jpgBooster Gold #1
Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz & Dan Jurgens

DAVID: Creator Dan Jurgens draws the triumphant return of Booster Gold to, well, I guess pi-list status? I don’t even know what to call him anymore. Either way, this looks to be a pivotal book that reintroduces something long gone from the DCU (outside of a Gail Simone or John Rogers book): fun.

CHRIS: I’m not sure why it has taken DC so long to capitalize on the success of 52 with genuine follow-ups to the series’s concepts (as opposed to just making another weekly comic), but after last week’s Black Adam: The Dark Age here is another one, The whole “Hero of the Timeline/Multiverse” angle they’re pitching in interviews sounds like it could be ripping fun, or it could be a string of fan-service guest appearances and silly retcons. I am hoping for the former, but with comics newcomer Jeff “I still admit to producing Snakes on a Plane” Katz on board, I fear it will veer into the latter. But then again John Rogers went from Crappy Movies to Fun Comics, so maybe there are a bunch of talented young souls out there in California, getting their souls ground down by The Hollywood Machine, and funnybooks are a window into their heartlights.

August 13, 2007

FBBP #24 – What We Would’ve Read this Week if not for Picross DS

Filed under: Podcasts — Joseph Mastantuono @ 4:34 pm

This week on the podcast: Wizard World news, and some discussions.

Pedro asks – “Are there really 3 versions of Nightshade that people care about?”
Joe asks – “Why would you want to go to Disneyland if you’re Reed Richards?”
Chris asks “How many Batman is a Vampire and everyone is dead stories can you do?”
Jamaal asks “Do we really want another Luke Cage, ‘Sweet Christmas’ stereotypical miniseries?”

Find out the answers to these and other fascinating questions in this weeks FUNNYBOOK BABYLON PODCAST!

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress