Thursday, April 30, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Earth X #11

                One of the final origin stories is an odd one.  This origin is very Fantastic Four-centric as X-51 is not involved in retelling, it is solely up to a conversation between Reed Richards and Uatu.  Yes, we already had the origin of the Fantastic Four, but that is why this one is so odd.  It focuses on the supporting characters, villains like the Puppet-Master and Galactus, as well as the Silver Surfer.  This ends with the realization that Galactus is the sworn enemy of the Celestials.  He is not the destroyer of worlds, he is the destroyer of the Celestial embryo within those worlds (coincidentally, that also destroys the world, but Galactus can’t be worried about schematics).

                This brings us back to New York, where the Skull has taken over.  Iron Man has decided not to intervene as his fortress cannot be penetrated, while Vision worries about the well being of those outside the fortress walls (the android having more compassion than the human, that trope never gets old, while Wolverine has decided against helping either, because he’s lazy.  We also find out that who everyone thought was Jean Grey living with Logan, turned out to be Madelyne Pryor the whole time.  Outside, we see Cap waking up in an alleyway.  Apparently Spiderman saved him as seeing May in the clutches of the Skull was just what Peter needed to don the old costume (an actual costume from a costume shop this time).  They teleport back to Ben Grimm, and set up the plan using the clay versions of the Marvel Heroes that Alicia, Ben’s Wife, created. 

                We head into space to see Black Bolt give his life against the Celestials.  Did he go out there single-handed on a suicide mission though?  Nope, he apparently went out there to call someone to aid him and the Earth with the only voice that could span the entirety of space (even without oxygen I guess). 

                Back on Earth, the Clay heroes and the regular heroes are fighting the Skull’s minions.  We see the battle progress until a Cap version of the Clay Avengers makes it through the fray and grabs the Skull.  The Skull grabs at him, removing some of the clay to show that it’s the real Cap underneath, who promptly kills the Skull.  Seriously.  Cap straight-up murdered the kid.  That ends the threat of the Skull, but right as everyone breathes a sigh of relief, we jump right in to the bigger threat, the Celestials.  Reed contacts Iron Man and explains the situation, and Iron Man, finally realizing he may have to get his hands dirty, sends Vision away and rockets into space in a giant Iron Man suit.  Apparently the impenetrable fortress he had holed himself up in was a giant Iron Man suit all along. 

                Again, the Appendix is very dense but it offers some very cool insights into the true history of the Marvel universe, I’ll try and touch on all the good bits. Apparently, the Celestials mutate the populace of a world until they all have the same power set, such as the Skrulls, that can change their shape.  The Kree, the Skrull’s mortal enemies, were pissed that the Celestials gave them this advantage, so they created the Inhuman race as an equalizer, their secret weapon against the Skrulls and the Celestials.  The Skull was put on earth to prevent the overpowered population from destroying everything and killing the Celestial inside.  With the death of the Skull, the Celestials have given up hope when it comes to Earth and are coming to wipe out the entire global population so that nothing can disturb their seedling.


Next Issue:  That’s some pretty grim shit.  Will Iron Man make a difference?  Will the Celestials be stopped?  With two issues left, what is the fate of the planet?



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

No More

Week Eleven-

Standings:
Shrimp:

Assorted Freaks:





The Masked Shrimp
7-3
The Slugomatic
4-6
Fred
7-3
The Wormy Guy
4-6
The Masked Shrimpette
4-6
Mr. Happee
4-6

Schedule:
The Masked Shrimp v. The Wormy Guy
The Slugomatic v. Mr. Happee

Fred v. The Masked Shrimpette

This has been an Eat @ Shrimpy's public service announcement.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Portfolio: March

March:
Mass Effect


Mass Effect might be one of my favorite gaming franchises of all time.  The characters, the depth of story, it's one of those games you can really just lose yourself in for hours at a time.  Even though I haven't chosen subject matter that is totally realistic, I think that this shows that I can draw more than just "cartoon" characters, and as the months go on, there will be more of these kinds of samples as opposed to the more cartoony subject matter, if for no other reason than to hopefully highlight my versatility.  As always, let me know what you think.  Is there something I could have done better, something that you think I did well and/or should do more of for future samples?  I want to know!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Drawing the Line

A couple things: Philly's defense did make Sanchez look good for awhile, but we all know how that turned out.
Brandon Weeden is horrible, and Seattle's defense couldn't make him look competent.
And how about a fine art shoutout to Rene Magritte to start your Monday off right!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Earth X #10

                We are nearing the end of the story and it’s fitting that one of the final origin stories is that of Machine Man/Aaron Stack/X-51 himself.  After learning about X-51’s origin, we join him on Earth where Reed has apparently informed Ben Grimm of the very grim future ahead of them all.  To save his family from  the impending Doom, Ben has decided to send them into space, to the moon to be exact, using the technology that brought X-51 to Earth. 

                Cap continues his recruitment drive by going to Wakanda to try and get Black Panther on his side.  T’Challa, being the douche that he is, not only refuses to help Cap (who did wind up recruiting Captain Britain after all) but also refuses to give him the cosmic cube, which Cap left to T’Challa for safekeeping. 

                Back in New York, Reed finds out that Black Bolt released the mists that mutated the human race, that this predicament was not his fault after all.  Reed then asks Black Bolt to do something for him, but we don’t hear what it is, then Medusa confronts Black Bolt and sees something when she takes off his mask, but we are not privy to that either.  What are these stunning revelations?  We only have a few issues left to find out.  In another part of New York, we find out that The Wizard, one of the Skull’s minions has gone crazy, literally crazy, and therefore the skull is unable to control him anymore.  With that info in mind, he has the Wizard killed.  We also get to learn the true extent of the Skull’s power.  He doesn’t control his victims as much as he has command of them.  Their minds are their own, as evidenced by the fact that Iron Maiden gets all sassy, but they will literally do anything and everything that he asks. 

                We then get the full-court press from Cap as everyone in the army he has amassed so far attacks at once.  None of the Skull’s army fights back though as he is mad at Iron Maiden for saying that she would rather be insane than under his control, a true indication that he is still just a petulant child, one with immense power, but nothing more.  Eventually, conveniently just as Hulk enters the fray, he decides to take command of his army again.  He makes short work of everyone and finally, Cap is bowing in front of him. 

                We then get the big reveal that Black Bolt is the one who blinded Uatu, preventing him from seeing the release of the mists on earth, all part of a giant plan to thwart the Celestials’ plan for Earth.  The short explanation goes like this:  The Kree hate the Celestials, for whatever reason, and they also know of the alliance that the Celestials have with the Watchers.  The Kree are who provided the Terrigen Mists that are the reason Inhumans exist at all.  Black Bolt, feeling a sense of duty to his people, blinded Uatu in order to help stop the Celestials, and he is one of the only beings with the power to do so.  We learn this as we see him flying to space to confront the Celestials.

                In the appendix to this issue, Reed and Uatu argue about Black Bolt’s true motivations, and Uatu has turned into a little bitch lately, that’s for sure.  Reed believes that Black Bolt knew about the Celestial within the planet and has set a plan in motion to not only destroy that Celestial, thereby saving the planet, but all Celestials.  We’ll see how well that goes.


Next Issue: It’s a showdown between Black Bolt and the Celestials, and what about Cap versus the Skull, is there any way for Cap to win? 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

One-Upped

Sometimes all it takes is a two game winning streak to vault you back into contention.  
Of course, sometimes you're playing the Wormy Guy and your victories don't feel that great.  
Like beating Stephen Hawking in dodgeball.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Don't Draw that Derriere

                A few months ago, Milo Manara drew a Spiderwoman cover and the internet exploded.  Some feel that the explosion was justified.  Personally, I think it was bullshit. Well, just recently, Frank Cho, creator of Liberty Meadows and all-around exceptionally talented artist payed homage that Manara Spiderwoman cover in his own humorous way.  Well, the internet blew up yet again. 

                Here is the cover in question:


                Please note, this is a sketch cover.  It is not sanctioned by Marvel and it’s not in circulation.  Cho did this for a fan, the same as if someone had asked him to draw a picture on a regular piece of paper at a convention.  The problem, apparently, is that Cho posted this on his website, which drew attention from outside sources. 

                Personally, I had no problem with the Manara cover, aside from it just being a weird drawing that wasn’t quite anatomically accurate.  Therefore, I also have no problem with the Cho homage, which is a better drawn interpretation in my opinion.  The fact that Cho is a funny guy, that is his stock in trade, maybe even more so than being a “hot girl” artist, shows that this was a joke, poking fun at those people that got so bent out of shape in the first place.  Apparently, Spider-Gwen, as she’s called (and seriously, Spider-Gwen? Have we just run out of ideas at Marvel?) is a teenager, which I honestly did not know until this outrage started.  While this might be something else for people to complain about, let’s realize that:

a)      While the pose is provocative, the character is completely covered up, much more so than actual real life teenagers that post half naked pictures all over the internet (Kendall Jenner, please raise your hand, not too high though, your tits will fall out).

b)      It’s a goddamn drawing.  While it’s a good drawing in terms of technical proficiency, and a humorous one as well, I will say that Cho really messed up in the fact that the character is not on model.  Spider-Gwen actually looks like Jen, the blonde adversary of heroine Brandy in Liberty Meadows.  She is not drawn as a teenager, at least no teenager I have ever seen, and while that is small consolation, it should be consolation enough because, you know, it’s just a goddamn drawing.

Of course, none of that matters because Robbi Rodriguez got wind of this and posted one of the dumbest tweets I may have ever read:


Yes, his response to someone drawing a picture of a character that he draws is that he wants to beat him up.  Not only that, but he also calls Spider-Gwen (God, I just feel stupid typing that name) one of “his kids”.  His surname, mind you, is neither Lee or Ditko, the people that created Gwen Stacy, nor is he Dan Slott, the current writer who brought her back from the dead or some such nonsense.  Rodriguez was, at best, in the right place at the right time.  This gives him no ownership over the character, and while he may not enjoy a character he draws regularly depicted in a sexualized manner, he should realize that not only does this shit happen all the time, I guarantee if you Google “Spider-Gwen erotica” (just not at work, you weirdo) you will find much worse than an homage to a cover.  The fact that Rodriguez stated in a later Facebook post that Spider-Gwen is a gateway book for younger readers, while true, really holds no bearing on the current situation.  It would be one thing if Cho had been commissioned by Marvel to draw a variant cover for the book, which, I would assume, would not be a humorous homage to a cover Marvel pulled from rotation months ago, and it was in regular rotation for his younger readers to see, I get that to a point.  But being pissed off, to the point of wanting to fight someone, anyone, much less a comic superstar like Cho, over a drawing, is asinine.  You know what it did though?  Now more people know who Robbi Rodriquez is.  I had never heard of the guy before, and I sure as shit won’t ever read a book he draws, but I at least know who he is.  Plus, what’s worse, a random drawing by someone not associated with the character at all, or a profanity-laced facebook rant by the artist primarily responsible for drawing the character?

Cho’s response to Rodriguez (which further cements the fact that he is a humorist first and foremost):


Seriously, he could have let it go.  He could have said nothing, or issued an apology to those that he offended (though I, and many people would have lost a lot of respect for him I assume) and just carried on.  Instead, Cho did what funny people do when a joke riles up a group of people, he made another joke.  Twist the knife, Frank.  Twist it good.

Rodriguez was not the only person that took offense to a drawing.  First, and almost immediately, Sam Maggs at The Mary Sue made a big deal over what is essentially nothing.  First, Maggs made it a point, when referencing Manara, that he was an “erotic artist”.  First, Manara is an artist, not an erotic artist.  Does he have erotic work in is portfolio?  Absolutely.  Does that have any bearing on his superhero cover that he was commissioned to draw by one of the largest (if not the largest, I’m not sure how the big two rank) comic companies in the world.  All this does is show me that Maggs is already reaching and trying to get her readers to cast judgment before she even gets to the third paragraph.

Then, Maggs makes mention of the fact that Cho has drawn some cheescakey stuff in the past, and links to humorous sketch covers he has posted in the past, showing a pattern that Cho has followed his entire career.  She then explains, well, I’ll just let you read it:

But by taking a shot at this particular cover, one that caused so much discomfort among lots of comic book readers, it shows a clear disregard for the perfectly valid outrage over Manara’s original Spider-Woman variant; an incident that, we should note, made our list of the “Worst Moments in Female Fandom in 2014.”  

First of all, maybe Cho, like a lot of other people, thought your outrage was silly to begin with.  Why should he validate how you feel with something he draws, especially if it is a humorous depiction?  Second of all, the fact that you have a list with that title should be a black eye for your cause, and shows me that all you’re doing at The Mary Sue, is the same thing everyone else on the internet is doing, looking for pageviews. 

Of course, after that we get this gem:

Aside from being an obvious poke at “those angry feminists” who “overreact” to things, the cover is also an unfortunate but elucidating look at what some men think about women who are trying to carve out a space for themselves in the frequently misogynist world of comics – where they feel objectified and overly-sexualized on a regular basis. What makes this sketch even more inappropriate is that the Spider-Gwen book is clearly aimed at a teen audience, meant to entice new, younger female readers to Marvel comics. Plus, Gwen herself is a teenager.

If this was a poke at those angry feminists, then you took the bait, hook line and sinker.  I’m not even saying it wasn’t.  It’s fun to poke special interest groups that think they are high and mighty and deserve special treatment, and yes, feminists fall into that category.  I would like a little more clarification as to how a drawing, a private drawing that was shared via an artist’s personal website, is doing anything to hinder the talented women in the comics industry today.  Please, elaborate on that.  Finally, I already covered how asinine the fact that we are bringing up the age of a fictional character in regards to her fully clothed pose in a drawing is.

This is my favorite part of the article though, hands down:
And before anyone tries to tell you that “it’s just a joke,” it would be helpful to remember that jokes can cause real hurt and real harm to marginalized communities, and that is absolutely something worth critiquing.
Please note that every passage I have copied and pasted also included links to other The Mary Sue articles because, you know, page views.  To this I would say, put on your big boy/girl pants and fucking deal with it.  We are not put on this earth to make everyone around us feel warm and fuzzy.  If you don’t like a joke, get over it.  It’s a joke.  People have been telling jokes and making fun of others since the dawn of time (you know Eve’s first reaction to a naked Adam was to point and laugh, right?).  I know that feminists hate the “get a sense of humor” argument, but if you are dealing with someone that makes jokes on a regular basis, as Cho does (he wrote a comic strip for Christ’s sake, and a successful one at that) then realize that that’s all they are, jokes

To those at The Mary Sue that are concerned about random erotic pictures of cartoon characters, I don’t see you taking individuals to task for Kim Possible or Powerpuff Girls erotica, or whatever other creepy shit like that is out there.  Why, though?  Because it won’t engender as many pageviews as calling out a comic book heavyweight like Frank Cho over a “scandalous” depiction of a comic book character, that’s why.  This doesn’t even take into account that this cover just follows the same pattern Cho has made a career out of, beautiful women and funny jokes.  If you want to start a dialogue for the right reasons, then start that dialogue.  If you want to act mad and take someone who, by all accounts is one of the nicest guys in the business, to task so people read your article and visit your website, go fuck yourself.

Of course, after this, Janelle Asselin from Comics Alliance threw her hat in the ring, and she started out fine, saying that she “didn’t really care” about the cover and it was not her “sort of art”, even echoing some of my points, like the fact that this was just a picture, not a company commissioned cover.  Then, she loses me completely by saying that this cover, and Cho’s response that people “grow a sense of humor and relax” basically dehumanizes women.  Please.  I have seen more strong women characters in Frank Cho comic books than any single male cartoonist, maybe ever.  Are they drawn kind of cheesecakey?  Sure.  But not only are they not twigs, representing a positive body image for women, but they have strong personalities, also positive role models.  Are you going to tell me that Cho making jokes at those that are easily riled up (and this proves that they are) removes all of that?  Cho telling people to chill out, it’s just a joke is the exact right response, because he’s correct. 

What exactly is it about a drawing that everyone sees it as a personal attack on their ideology?  I would like to know how Asselin and Maggs (hell, anyone that feels like Cho’s drawing is this abomination because it apes a cover that they didn’t like) feel about the Charlie Hebdo attacks from a few months back in France. I am not calling these women, or feminists in general, terrorists, no one compares to terrorists in my book.  What I am saying is that those individuals were opposed to cartoonists drawing certain cartoons because something they believed in, an ideology directed them to feel that way.  How is it this way of thinking any different?  Unless you are getting a paper cut from these drawings, they are hurting no one, and if your feelings are that hurt over something a middle aged Asian guy draws for a fan (or even for himself, who cares) then maybe a look in the mirror is in order for you.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Boom

Week Ten-

Standings:
Shrimp:

Assorted Freaks:





The Masked Shrimp
6-3
The Slugomatic
3-6
Fred
7-2
The Wormy Guy
4-5
The Masked Shrimpette
4-5
Mr. Happee
3-6

Schedule:
The Masked Shrimp v. The Masked Shrimpette
The Slugomatic v. Fred

The Wormy Guy v. Mr. Happee

Sluggy will take it where he can get it (with only four wins, he kind of has to).

Friday, April 17, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Earth X #9

                Everything seems to revolving around the Inhumans, who, coincidentally, are the subject of this issue origin spotlight.  Please note, this was years before the Inhumans became the new Disney-controlled Mutants of the Marvel Universe.  Ross and Krueger must have had a crystal ball or something, right?

                After the opening conversation and the Inhumans’ origin, we see that the Celestials have arrived, towering over all of the planets, looking as though they are going to pass judgment over Earth and all of its inhabitants.  The scope of these “Gods” is well sculpted by Leon, who shows the slightest sliver of a moon behind them in order to relay their size, and in this case, importance to the reader. 

                Back on Earth, Cap is still trying to recruit other heroes, taking his “World Tour” to Britain to attempt to recruit Captain Britain and those under his protection.  We find out that the Grey Gargoyle had turned the super team Excalibur to stone, which depressed Captain Britain and caused him to sequester his kingdom.  As it stands, Captain Britain is still against helping Cap, but we’ll see if he shows up things get crazy in America. 

                Speaking of America, we head back there, to the office of Norman Osborn, where The Skull and his entourage have cornered the President and his henchmen.  Spiders-Man, with his ability to cause people to hallucinate, uses his powers on Osborn, causing him to see Gwen Stacey.  She winds up pushing him off a cliff in his “dream” while in real life, the Skull actually pushes him out a window, where he falls until his foot gets caught in an American flag flying on the side of the building and his neck snaps, much like Gwen Stacey’s did.  Talk about coming full circle.

                In another part of New York, X-51 appears from the moon and confronts Reed Richards, showing him what the purpose of humanity is.  His foreboding “we’re antibodies” shows a much bigger game in play, something that the Celestials have had a hand in from day one.  We then switch to the Inhumans, where Karnak is still convinced that Maximus released the Terrigen Mists on the world.  Medusa uses her thinking cap though and figures out that it was actually Black Bolt that did it.  She thinks  that he did it, mutating the entire populace of Earth in order to prevent the Inhumans from dying when they moved outside of the hidden city where they lived.  Apparently, the regular Earth atmosphere was just different enough without the Terrigen Mists in it, that it was poisonous to Inhumans. 

                We finish on Reed and X-51 and the revelation that Celestials lay their egg inside the core of planets (Earth included), and superheroes are there to prevent destruction of the planet until the Celestial is ready to be born and…destroy the planet.  Now, it looks like the Celestial is ready to hatch, and all of Earth is doomed because of it.


Next Issue: And you thought the Skull was bad news, what happens when word gets out that the world is going to end because of a hatchling Celestial?  Does Cap recruit anyone else for what is turning out to be a pretty pointless mission of stopping the Skull?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Slump

Sometimes, that's all it takes to suffer a losing streak, a little bad luck.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Portfolio: February

The Asshole Bracket consumed the last month or so of Tuesdays, so this has been sitting in the hopper for awhile.  
Next week, I'll post March's contribution.
I also updated the original portfolio post, so you can see all of the work as the months progress.

February:
Mega Man


Mega Man was one of my favorite characters and games when I was young.  When I found out that Archie Comics was doing a Mega Man series, I was excited, to say the least.  I would like to think that my passion for  the source material and my ability to tell a story involving cartoon robots not only shines through here, but would also make me a good candidate for a job penciling the blue bomber's monthly book.

Monday, April 13, 2015

It's That Time

As someone that lives with an Eagles fan, I can say that Sluggy's comments were pretty spot-on. 
Wormy lucked out, no re-occurrence of the butt-fumble...yet.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Earth X #8

                We open with yet another conversation between Uatu and X-51 regarding his deletion of his personality circuits.  This one ends ominously though as Uatu pledges to explain to X-51 what the Celestials are actually doing, and why the Watchers watch.

                While X-51 downloads that information, we see the origin of Spiderman.  That’s pretty mundane though and doesn’t offer much else until the end when the conversation between Uatu and X-51 turns contentious.  You see, X-51 failed to actually delete his personality circuits, lying to Uatu and pretending that he was a mere robot.  As they are fighting though, John Jameson comes in and asks for X-51’s help to warn the Earth.

                With that we head back down to the blue marble, where Cap uses Lockjaw’s (pour one out for poor Lockjaw, who died of mange too young) teleportation device to enter Iron Man’s impenetrable fortress.  Iron Man immediately goes all crazy germaphobe, vaulting himself to the ceiling and encasing himself in a clear Iron Man suit to escape the germs.  Another theory is the fact that Cap wore the same “costume” across country in a train, that thing has got to be smelling a little ripe right now.  Cap is trying to get Tony to help against the Skull, but Tony brushes him off, telling him that the Iron Avengers probably have it all taken care of already.  We then cut to the streets of New York, where the Skull’s forces have overcome and dismantled the Iron Avengers and are now attacking Hydra.  The people of New York can’t catch a break.  When the cops try to stop the Skull, the Luke Cage led team is met with the Skull’s mind control powers as he commands the officers to shoot Cage.  Cage cannot be harmed, however, and the ricochet kills those around him.  The Skull is just playing with everyone now.  Instead of growing his army, he has turned to mass murder. 

On top of a building, we get another quarrel between Spiderman and his daughter, May.  Spidey doesn’t want May to be a superhero, and May, rightfully so, sees that with great power, like a symbiotic super suit, comes great responsibility.  Down on the ground, Reed is finding out that the Vibranium explosion that he thought mutated the population, was not the culprit after all.  Apparently everyone on Earth is now Inhuman.  The Terrigen mists were released on the world, transforming everyone.  This is also evident because Luna, upon exposure to Earth’s atmosphere, has begun to transform as well.  This, of course, brings to mind the Marvel event of 2013, Infinity, where the Terrigen mists were released on the world, mutating the Inhumans that were hiding there.  Karnak initially blames the release of the mists on Maximus, Black Bolt’s crazy brother, but it turns out that Maximus is dead.  Who released the mists on Earth then?  That’s a mystery we will soon uncover.

In Dr. Strange’s humble abode, Hulk and Thor come rocketing out of the land of the dead, apparently impervious to Clea’s candle trick.  This isn’t really explained, though the buildup to their emergence is masterfully done by John Paul Leon.  A fight ensues, one in which Loki stays out of even though Clea requests his aid.  The skirmish does wind up in the death of both Clea and Thor though, if you are to believe Loki, that is.  I will withhold my judgment. 

We now travel to Russia, as Cap goes on his recruitment drive to try and gain the help of Colossus and his awesome mustache.  Colossus reluctantly agrees to help and we then travel back to New York, where May is battling Iron Maiden in the skies above New York.  While this is happening, we see Peter, May’s father, mind you, taking pictures.  Spiderman has turned into the least likable character in the Marvel Universe.  May defeats Iron Maiden and lands in front of the Skull, who immediately takes control of her mind.  Peter, dumbfounded at his lot in life, doesn’t know what to do next, so he just walks home.  We end the action with the Skull and his posse showing up to say hello to Norman Osborn, the President of the United States, who has an office in New York City. 

The Appendix for this issue is dense, but important, so I’ll try to summarize the best I can.  The Terrigen mists were brought to Earth by the Kree, an alien race that loves to mess with the Celestials plans.  Apparently there is the ability for everyone to have superpowers embedded within every person, they just need a catalyst to bring them forth.  Sometimes that’s a spider bite, the detonation of a gamma bomb, or the disbursement of the Terrigen mists.  The real reason everyone has powers, why the Celestials gave them to the population will be reveled next issue.


Next Issue:  What is the grand Celestial plan?  Can it be stopped?  Should it be stopped?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Churning

Week Nine-

Standings:
Shrimp:

Assorted Freaks:





The Masked Shrimp
6-2
The Slugomatic
3-5
Fred
6-2
The Wormy Guy
4-4
The Masked Shrimpette
3-5
Mr. Happee
2-6

Schedule:
The Masked Shrimp v. Mr. Happee
The Slugomatic v. The Masked Shrimpette

Fred v. The Wormy Guy

This was a pretty widely-used strategy in my league last season.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Asshole Bracket Grand Finale

I decided to do something a little different for this year's results.  Read on to see who was crowned the biggest asshole!



Thursday, April 2, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Earth X #7

                We begin this issue, as with all issues, with a conversation between Uatu and X-51.  This time around though, it’s not much of a conversation as X-51 has apparently deleted his personality circuits as Uatu requested of him.  The focus of this issue then becomes clear as the origin of The Hulk presents itself, all expertly rendered by John Paul Leon and muddied up with colors from Matt Hollingsworth.  Before we head back down to Earth, which is pretty customary after these origin stories, we stay on the moon and see that John Jameson has been exiled there, and as he transforms into a werewolf, we get an indication as to why.  Apparently, John has been monitoring space and sees something large heading toward the Earth. Not being a Watcher, he feels it is his duty to warn Earth about this coming threat.

                Down on Earth, Reed has teleported from the X-Mansion to Ben Grimm’s doorstep, surprising him in the middle of the night.  Ben doesn’t mind as it seems like it’s been awhile since the two have seen each other.  Leon does a good job through the acting of the characters to show Ben going from sleepy-eyed annoyance to excitement in a couple panels.  Reed is not just making a friendly visit though as he requests some schematics that he left with Ben for safe keeping.  What are these schematics, you ask?  Oh, just the schematics of Charles Xavier’s brain, that’s all.  So what does Reed do?  He stretches his brain so that it resembles Xavier’s, giving him Xavier’s telepathic abilities.  This is odd as it makes mutation into a physical, not necessarily chromosomal “gift”, but it fits the story and doesn’t stretch things too much.

                Back at Clea’s Sanctum Sanctorum, Hulk is about to journey to the land of the dead.  He begins his descent and we eventually see all of the Marvel heroes that have died, and they are fighting all of the villains that have died.  The crazy thing is that the heroes and villains not only do not realize that they are dead, but they think that the living heroes and villains have perished.  Within the realm of the dead, Hulk encounters the spectre of Dr. Strange, who is neither alive nor dead in either reality.  Strange tells Hulk that Loki has allied himself with the being that killed Strange.  Back in the land of the living, we learn that if the candles burn out, that Hulk will be stuck in the land of the dead (it’s a magic thing, I guess).  To prevent that from happening, Thor travels into the land of the dead to bring Hulk back, leaving little Bruce all alone with Clea, who turns out to be the individual that killed Strange and allied herself with Loki.
 
                We end with Cap and Daredevil arriving in New York along with the Skull’s forces.  He shows up at Ben’s door with the X-Men, to recruit him to the cause.

                The appendix in this issue deals with member’s of Hulk’s extended family/rogue’s gallery.  There’s not much to be said about them really, but Alex Ross’s pencil illustrations that accompany the text are as beautiful as you would expect.


Next Issue:  Cap’s recruitment drive continues, does it include a bake sale?  I hope it includes a bake sale.  We learn more about the fun little relationship that Loki and CLea share, and what happens to Hulk and Thor?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

On the Bench

I have to admit, before this storyline, Shrimpette was not much more than a cookie-cutter girlfriend.  Her personality was so undeveloped, even though she has been in existence pretty much from the start.  Thanks to my finacee, the lovely Lisa Seeley, I have been able to find that perfect mix of smart-ass that makes her who she is now.  She may be one of my favorite characters at this point, and she is definitely now a joy to write as opposed to a chore.