Friday, October 31, 2014

Scary

We take a slight detour today to bring you this year's Halloween Sunday strip.
Have no fear, we'll get back to the "Weird New Jersey" storyline on Monday.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Not so New Comic Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (1991) #52

                If you will remember, last issue ended with Talon becoming a werewolf version of himself.  We are not yet sure how this affected his personality though (a personality that was shitty at best anyway).  One thing we do know is that that transformation set off alarm bells that have the rest of the Guardians awoken from their slumber and running to see what the problem is.  The choice of sleep attire is odd for the Guardians as Yondu wears a skirt and boots, Yellowjacket wears a long button down t-shirt and what look like high heels, and Nikki wears a half shirt, bunny slippers and the weirdest looking underwear I have ever seen (are they really supposed to go that high?)

                They get to the medbay (I’m assuming that’s where Talon is) in time to see Talon throw Cuchulain through the wall.  Talon comes strolling out of the hole in the wall and is immediately reprimanded by Vance, who he proceeds to backhand, something we’ve all wanted to do to Vance for the better part of a year.  Yondu breaks up the squabble and removes Talon from the room before any more damage can be done.

                It’s new costume time!  Aleta couldn’t let Talon have all the fun when it came to a new costume, so she decided to get one of her own.  Unfortunately, Aleta’s fashion sense is right in line with her taste in boyfriends as her new costume is silly and downright ugly.  I like that Gallagher has given her the new suit because the black suit she had before reminds her too much of the containment suit that Vance wears.  This is a sound reason for changing costumes that most heroes rarely possess.  The fact that she comes right out and says that to Vance shows a distinct lack of tact, however it seems like all of the characters that Gallagher writes have that trait, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

                Back on Stockade, Charlie has got his ass kicked by Tork and his jailers, and is near death.  Luckily, the psychopath that is his roommate, Diablo, has something for Charlie that will apparently make him “good as new”.  We stay on Stockade as the warden of the prison planet speaks to the Guardians.  They try to get Charlie released, stating that he is not Ripjak.  The warden agrees to meet with a delegation of the Guardians, as long as there are no women involved (apparently no women are allowed on Stockade because Gallagher already wrote one rape scene and doesn’t feel like writing another).  Vance and Cuchulain head down to Stockade while the women handle things on the ship, including manning the torpedoes in case something goes wrong down on the prison planet (what could go wrong, seriously?)

                We check in on Talon who is resisting any attempt by Yondu to tame the savage beast.  Yellowjacket attempts to give Talon’s amulet back to him, but Krugarr, the Sorcerer Supreme will not allow it.  He takes the amulet and knocks Talon out in the process, claiming that Talon is no longer “worthy” (kind of a Thor-Mjolnir relationship I guess).  Yellowjacket then uses her Pym particles to shrink Talon down to a more manageable size. 

                We cut to Nikki in the torpedo bay, who is visited by the mutant Sidestep.  She tells Nikki about how she is becoming disenchanted with Rancor’s rule and she offers a clue to help Nikki down the road in the form of a riddle.  “Think of the scar” she says.  It’s an ominous warning that you can’t really make much out of at this point, but will be revealed in due time I’m sure.  She then disappears.

                On Stockade, Vance and Cuchulain are treated to the evidence that the Warden has of Charlie’s guilt, including a video and dna evidence.  Cuchulain decides he’s going to start a fight in the face of overwhelming evidence, one that spills out into the halls as more prison guards join the fracas.  The warden decides to use his backup plan, to unleash Drax the Destroyer on Cuchulain.  How does he do this, you ask?  By turning off Drax’s cartoons of course! 


Next Issue: Drax vs. Cuchulain, and the winner gets to watch Ren and Stimpy (this was the 90’s after all)!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Unexpected Logic

I think the jury is still out on whether they would even notice, but it's a valid argument.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Album Review: AC/DC – Highway to Hell (1979)

Overview: 
This is by far the best album of the Bon Scott era in my opinion.  Everything just feels like it’s hitting on all cylinders with the music and the vocals.  Scott is not as smarmy as he was in the previous albums and the music is a tad more accessible because of it.  Angus is just Angus.

Tracks you may know: 
High way to Hell – You can’t get any better than this for a Bon Scott track.  The chorus, the guitar solo, it’s AC/DC at their best, and a spiritual successor to the entire Back in Black album.

Girls Got Rhythm – Just a great groove, one of the best songs on the album.

Tracks you should know:
Night Prowler – This is just a creepy, heavy way to end the album, and it’s something you should definitely listen to on the regular.

Touch Too Much – It’s a fun track with a good “Highway to Hell” kind of beat (as do a lot of the songs on this album) but it’s still clean and solid all around.

My personal favorite:
Girls Got Rhythm – Such a good track with a great beat.  The guitar work is still as good as ever, and it’s one of the tracks that doesn’t sound like a tweaked “Highway to Hell”.

Album rating: 
The best of the Bon Scott era for sure.


9/10

Monday, October 27, 2014

Lineage

It's like an after school special...kind of...in a way...okay, not really. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Not so New Comic Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (1991) #51

                Who’s that on the cover?  Could it be?  The return of Cuchulain?  Thank Kirby, I’ve been waiting for this since the third annual…

                Okay, now that we got the sarcasm out of the way, this issue opens with the Guardians’ ship appearing above a village on Earth, one that just happens to be the home of Shamrock and Cuchulain (who made their first appearance in this book in the third annual issue).  While I give Michael Gallagher a lot of crap for his lazy writing, and terrible characterizations, the fact that he is treating the Annuals as if they are an important part of the overarching story is great to see.  Many writers use these issues for giant throwaways, or at the very least, a filler tale that has little significance on the overall story.  Gallagher has not only introduced characters that he brought back into the comic (the aforementioned Cuchulain and Shamrock) but he has also introduced big, overarching plot devices that need to be addressed in the regular series (talon’s impending forced fatherhood and Charlie’s disappearance).  This makes the annual more of an issue 50.5 than a regular annual, and for someone that loves collecting the complete story, I appreciate that.

                Back to the issue at hand.  When the ship appears above the village, it is not known by the inhabitants that the Guardians come in peace.  In fact, even those that have dealt with the Guardians before are unaware of the fact that they are the inhabitants of that spacecraft.  It doesn’t help matters that Vance, in his new black suit, is the first one to touch down on Earth.  His is unrecognizable in his new getup and everyone reacts as you would expect they would, including Cuchulain going on the offensive and outright attacking him.  The rest of the Guardians make their way down to the surface, after letting Vance and Cuchulain duke it out for awhile.  This seems like a silly re-introduction to the characters but I have a feeling at this point Marvel was just letting Gallagher do whatever he wanted.

                After some more mistaken identities, where Talon gets manhandled by Cuchulain (causing him to complain about his back…again) we cut to the heavy exposition portion of the program.  The Guardians then learn that Charlie’s whereabouts are actually on the prison planet known as Stockade, as he is being accused of being the interplanetary serial killer known as Ripjak. 

                Right on schedule, we head out to stockade, where Charlie is getting some pretty poor treatment from the guards, which only gets worse when he refuses to sign a confession.  He is then thrown into General Population (which is akin to a cop being placed in the same circumstance nowadays) with the insane villain known as Diablo.  It doesn’t take long for Charlie’s presence to be noticed though as Tork, the Tokka clone comes in and makes his presence known.  He apparently “runs” the floor and is hell-bent on making Charlie’s stay a painful one.

                Back on Earth there is more exposition as Cuchulain says goodbye to Shamrock (he has been asked to join the Guardians for this mission given the fact that their “heavy hitter” is the one they are rescuing).  They all get onboard the ship and Cuchulain freaks out because he has never seen anything like this before (remember, he is a medieval character who is now in the future).  While the ladies are calming him down, Vance and Talon fight once again over command of the Guardians.  That is broken up by request for aid from Nikki to help control Cuchulain. 

                After they deal with that mess, Vance sits down with Aleta to rekindle his romance.  He pulls back the symbiote around his mouth to reveal his old man face, which Aleta finds appealing for some reason, and they begin to kiss, until the symbiote gets an alien boner and tries to latch on to Aleta.  She runs in fear and Vance begins to cry.

                We cut to Talon and Trans-Molecular Reconstitutor, which has helped save Martinex and Charlie in the past, both times not only saving their lives but augmenting their existing powers.  Talon wants to use it to help his ailing back but he know that no one else will assist him in doing so.  He then drafts Cuchulain to do this for him because he knows no better.  After the machine does its job, Talon comes out looking more like a werewolf and less like a kitty-cat. 

Next Issue: we see if Talon’s latest hairstyle sticks and Vance gets all emo.