Something sorely needed recently popped up in Launceston. We got a comic shop! With actual new comics!
It’s called Alternate Dimensions and it’s very good. If you are a Lonny local or just in town go check it out. Tell Ron I sent you, maybe I’ll get an extra stamp on my free comics card.
A byproduct of this is I am reading a lot more new comics so I thought I would do a few mini reviews. I’ll try to avoid anything spoilery, but will be mentioning some prior stories so be aware.
Superior Spider-Man #1-6
The one that started it all! Originally this was the only new book I was subscribing to. Spider-man was one of the books relaunched in the recent Marvel NOW initiative, and I had been reading Amazing Spider-Man digitally so I figured this was a great way to jump into the brave old world of physical issues.
In Amazing Spider-Man #700 a big shakeup occurred. I won’t go into all the details but what you need to know is that Dr. Octopus transferred his mind into the body of Peter Parker. Parker seemingly died in the body of Doc Ock. Octo-Spidey is the star of Superior Spider-Man, and the comic shows what happens when a super-villain plays hero.
Dan Slott has been a love him or hate him writer on Spidey, and Superior isn’t likely to change your mind. His Spidey is lighter, a bit goofy and he favours narration. However I definitely fall into the love camp. I find this Spider-Man a lot of fun, and I think Superior has just gotten better. Seeing Otto using his super-villain logic to solve superhero problems is both exciting, and often hilarious. Often times he is a far more successful hero than Peter ever was, but given the route he takes (his violence threshold is a little… different) it’s interesting to debate whether he truly is the Superior Spider-Man.
The art is similarly divisive. I have heard a lot of hate for Humberto Ramos’ “cartoony” style, but I really think it suits the light style. Plus, when it gets dark (and it does) the contrast has that much more impact. The end of #6 was really quite confronting.
I recommend this book, and with 6 issues out that must mean a trade is just around the corner. Give this very different Spidey a try, you might just like it.
Avenging Spider-Man #16-18
This book is basically the new Marvel Team-Up. In each issue Spidey teams up with a new hero for an issue or two of light hearted adventuring. It’s always been a pretty easy book to jump onboard as it’s light on continuity and many issues are done in one. This has continued since the introduction of Octo-Spidey with every issue so far featuring him teaming up and clashing with a different hero. We have seen X-Men, the Future Foundation and Thor and it’s great to see how they react to Spidey’s recent attitude change. Especially Wolverine… it’s so good.
Artists on this book vary, but they are generally of high quality. The writers used to change too, but since Octo-Spidey came along Chris Yost has taken over. So far, so very good. In many ways this is the better (of 2 good) Spider-Man books. It’s super easy to jump on board, so maybe next time you get a free comic on your loyalty card you should check this out.
Young Avengers #1-2
I love Young Avengers almost as much as I love Runaways. I love Runaways… a lot!
So when I saw this is mostly a new team, featuring only Wiccan, Hulkling and Hawkeye (the girl one), and adding in young Loki, (haven’t read Journey into Mysery, but I may have to) Miss America, (don’t really know who she is) and Marvel Boy/Protector/that not very popular avenger I was a bit skeptical. I still am a little bit, but I suspect this may be good.
Kieron Miller writes amazing dialogue, capably following up Allan Heinberg. These teens are cooler than I’ll ever be, but their dialogue is very real. However this is one slow moving comic, 2 issues in and nothing much has happened. Being monthly this could be a negative, and may be worth waiting on trades if you aren’t sure.
Onto the art, and boy, is this one perty book. I mean look at this!
Gorgeous! Does it cover up story issues? Depends how into art you are. For now I’m sticking with this book, as it’s a very unique thing. Hopefully the story gets moving though.
Daredevil #23 – 24
I heard issue 23 was a great jumping on point for this book. You can’t read a single article on comics without someone raving about Mark Waid’s Daredevil. It deserves it. All of it.
After a long period of darkness for Daredevil, the old swashbuckling hero is back. Mark Waid’s Daredevil has been through it all, and finally just says fuck it. He’s enjoying being a hero again. That said, he’s still getting put through the ringer. A new villain is targeting him, and in two issues he has fought crazy guys with the same super senses as him and even dogs with super senses. The flip side is his personal life, which as usual is possibly even more interesting than his super one.
The art on this book has a classic, clean kind of look. It works really well with this optimistic take on Daredevil. Look how nice it is!
On a sidenote, I love how this book embraces Daredevil’s outside the norm powers. It’s great to see him struggling in noisy situations, and really working to win a fight. Daredevil is an inspirational hero, and this book really does him justice.
Age of Ultron #1-2
This book only started a fortnight ago, and we are already 2 issues in. This is a very good thing. There is nothing worse than when these big events out stay their welcome.
But is it any good?
I mean I liked the foil cover.
You see a lot of the plot is yet to be revealed. What we know is Ultron has taken over. There are very few heroes left, and they are changed by surviving in this post apocalyptic world. I mean, the first issue features a lot of Hawkeye headhunting bad dudes (and winging hookers). This book has potential, but we’ll have to wait and see if it’s more than just the Avengers version of Age of Apocalypse. Stay tuned on this one.
There you go kids. I’m just about to start getting Guardians of the Galaxy, and if there is interest I’ll follow-up some of these. Any questions, comments, complaints pop ’em below.
There has been some damn neat little comic videos popping up on Youtube lately, check them out. Also, here is a picture of me turning into Ironman.
DC Comics Robot Chicken
Great show, with many of its best sketches being comic ones. Now they are doing a special, and it looks pretty great.
Punisher: Dirty Laundry
Thomas Jane did a Punisher short, and it’s really cool. Possibly trying to win back the role now it has reverted to Marvel?
Carnahan’s Daredevil Sizzle Reel
Speaking of reverting to Marvel, it appears that’s what is happening with Daredevil. Which is kind of great, except now we’ll probably never see what could have potentially been an amazing film.
All Winners Squad
This is weird, an awesome and weird and I love it.
Enjoy em dudes, and let me know if you find any cool ones too.
Just a quick post to let you know about my friend from Taiwans new podcast. It’s pretty cool, they talk about a lot of similar things to what I do here, give it a listen if you have a free hour to kill. Check it out here.
I’m back again doing another of the posts my friend Matt requested. And first, one I didn’t even mention last time.
- Funniest kids on Earth
School of Comedy. This is the funniest sketch comedy currently on TV. It’s crazy, crude, awkward and entirely performed by teenagers. You might recognise the kid from Narnia 3 and Son of Rambow (also well worth watching) and he is the best actor on the show, but the other kids are great too. It’s currently on ABC so you have no excuse to be missing this.
- Two brothers in a muscle car with guns in the back!
Supernatural. I know I had that list last post that I was gonna work through, but I have just thought of another show I didn’t even mention. This is basically the story of two brothers reconnecting on a road trip across America. And killing monsters. This show is action packed, has pretty good effects for TV, has a sense of humour (often making fun of itself) and is suprisingly scary/gory at times. The first 3 seasons are best in my opinion, but it’s still great fun to this day. Watch it on Eleven.
- Very funny guy
Might as well go three for three, and give you another new show, Lawrence Leung’s Unbelievable. This just recently finished but is on DVD and bound to be repeated. Skeptical Lawrence travels around proving that a lot of unbelievable things (UFO’s, Ghosts, Psychics etc) are probably just that. He then puts these various ideas to the test in elaborate pranks. But even better is the final episode, where he tries to convince a huge skeptic, that he might in fact have amazing psychic abilities (the skeptic not Lawrence).
So there you go, 3 shows should check out!
My mate Matt suggested I do an entry on what TV shows I watch, as he is currently enjoying some of my recommendations. So here you go Matt.
First on the list is Skins. Basically it’s a bunch of kids in the UK getting drunk and stoned, but it’s deeper than you would think. Great acting from mostly unknown actors (though they don’t always stay that way, the first season spawned a certain Slumdog Millionaire). It has excellent music, and great stories that range from funny, to scary, to bizarre, to moving. They also change the cast every 2 seasons as the kids age, and they also change the writers when they get too old. Finally, if you are a fan of classic British comedy, keep an eye out for some classic actors from shows such as The Fast Show, Black Books and The Mighty Boosh playing the shows adults.
It shows in Australia on SBS, and is available on DVD. There are 5 seasons, but considering there are only like 6-10 episodes per series (like most UK series) it won’t too take long to catch up. And then you’ll be like me waiting for Season 6 and also the upcoming movie.
Second on the list is Inbetweeners. Basically it’s a bunch of kids in the UK getting drunk and stoned, wait this sounds familiar. The difference between this and Skins is that these kids are definitely not cool and are absolutely hilarious. This is seriously one of the funniest shows I have ever seen. It follows the nerdy Will(aka. briefcase wanker) as he tries to fit in with his new friends Simon (an awkward boy who just wants to pull) Jay (a compulsive liar) and Neil (the dumbest kid on TV).
Great show that currently pops up on GO! every now and then, and I believe is on DVD here. New movie soon too.
This show is really excellent (and largely unknown in Australia). It is kind of like Skins crossed with the X-men. 6 kids on community service are hit by a strange storm that gives them (and many others) superpowers. Unfortunately it also turns their probation worker into a raging psycho. They are forced to kill him and spend the rest of the season covering it up, while fighting other superpowered enemies.
I can’t recommend this enough, and it recently started on ABC 2. The first 2 series are available on DVD (or as a pack with both seasons) and season 3 is starting toward the end of the year.
This post is getting bigger than expected, so I will continue it soon. However if you have seen the above shows already here’s a quick list you can’t go wrong with. I’ll look at them in a more detailed way at a later date.
- Gavin and Stacey (finished now, pick up the complete DVD set)
- The Mighty Boosh (not to everyone’s taste, but if you enjoy the bizarre it’s great)
- Being Human (UK, not US, as usual)
- Teachers (an oldie, but way to many people haven’t seen this hilarious show)
- Destination Truth (very entertaining search for monsters such as bigfoot, and sea monsters)
- Fact or Faked (basically Mythbusters for paranormal videos)
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold (most hilarious Batman show ever)
- Avengers: Earth Mightiest Heroes (featuring Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America. get ready for next years movie)
- Teen Wolf (so far so good, quite funny. Hopefully it can keep it up)
- Southpark (still one of the greatest shows on TV)
- Top Gear (doubt anyone who is vaguely interested hasn’t seen it, but it’s still excellent)
- Angry Boys ( not quite as good as Summer Heights High, but still great fun)
Let me know what you watch in the comments below, and I’ll try and check it out.