Thursday, May 26, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Action Comics 901

Action Comics 901
Reign of the Doomsdays - Part 7
Writer:  Paul Cornell
Artist (pg: 1-10, 18-20): Kenneth Rocafort
Artist (pg: 11-17):  Jesus Merino
Colorist:  Brad Anderson
Letterer:  Rob Leigh
Associate Editor:  Wil Moss
Editor:  Matt Idleson


Look, this is a chapter in the multi-multi-part story we started talking about when it was still called Reign of Doomsday.  I didn't like the first several chapters, and I'll stick with my story that the first several chapters could have been done in about 1 issue instead of spread out all over creation.  But with issue #900, DC handed the story to Cornell, and from there this thing has taken off like gangbusters.

It's also very hard to talk about as a complete story as this issue represents more or less a sequence in a much larger story.  Fair warning, I suppose.

NathanC takes it to TV to promote classic film in San Antonio

Let me be clear: I am totally jealous of Nathan's gig as one of the voices of film in San Antonio, Texas. He's been working with the Bijou Theater and using his voice as part of San Antonio's public radio network to bring all kinds of films to The Alamo City for over a decade.

Here's Nathan appearing on local TV to promote the start of the TPR summer cinema series.

I'm heading down there for a picture or two, but I need to square with Jamie and figure out what we're going to go see.  I think Nathan represents my sole San Antonio reader, but if you want to go down there, lemme know.

I have to apologize to Nathan, because his choice to run my review of Santa Buddies may have tarnished his relationship with the Walt Disney Company.  One hopes that hasn't slowed him down too much.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Supergirl 64

Supergirl #64
"Good Looking Corpse - Finale"
Writer - James Peaty
Artist - Bernard Chang
Colorist - Blond
Letterer - Travis Lanham
Cover - Mahmud Asrar & Guy Major
Associate Editor - Wil Moss
Editor - Matt Idleson

Supergirl is in a bit of flux until the conclusion of Flashpoint the last week of August. After the pretty-terrific run by Sterling Gates, and only a short run post-New Krytpon, the series was to be handed off to current darling of comics, Nick Spencer. However, after one issue (Supergirl #60), Spencer and DC parted ways and the storyline was handed over to James Peaty, while Bernard Chang stayed on with art chores.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Noir Watch: Detour (1945)

I'd read a bit about Detour in Eddie Muller's history of noir, Dark City,a great handbook for growing an appreciation or understanding of noir.  Detour was extremely low-budget, shot in about a week, and shows its rough edges pretty much everywhere in the film.  But after one viewing I can see why folks come back to this movie again and again.  Its not always about the professionalism of the product when you've got story and actors that make it work. 

So, Wonder Woman to be on "Batman Brave and the Bold" (briefly)

Dear lord, its not nearly enough, and I could watch this all day... but Wonder Woman is our partnered-up hero in the opening section of this week's coming Batman: Brave and the Bold on Cartoon Network. 

The main segment is Green Lantern Hal Jordan, which is cool, too, but...  Wonder Woman, ya'll.

See, I haven't seen the Adriane Palicki Wonder Woman, but could it have been anywhere near as much fun as this?  This is a pretty darn good take on the Lynda Carter-infused, retro-40's-60's version of the character.  It's a few degrees away from my George Perez/ Phil Jimenez/ Greg Rucka/ Gail Simone take, but this is pretty great.

By the way, this season's Batman: The Brave and the Bold has been non-stop greatness.  The show was good before, but this year it really came into its own as a fantastic world of DC that's perfect both for kids and adults and just reminds you not just why superheroes are great, but why the DCU is so much fun.

Red Cross is a Good Idea Today

This Spring has seen its fair share of tragedy due to horrendous storms which cost hundreds of lives.  The pictures coming out of Joplin today are every bit as heartbreaking as those from Alabama a few weeks back.  At The Signal Watch we're regular donors to The Red Cross, and we like to encourage you to join us in chipping in a bit more when the need is sudden and great.

You don't have to be from Alabama or Missouri to want to help.  And you don't even need to get up from your computer.  Please visit today and consider a donation.  Its a super sort of thing to do.

10 things I currently like

As I went on and on about things I didn't like in a few recent posts, I thought I'd share a few things that I have enjoyed of late.

1. Game of Thrones - This show got off to a rocky start with an all-exposition pilot, and I wasn't sure I was going to care all that much about a fictional history of a fictional land when there are very real histories to care about.  But it did have a certain je ne sais quoi, and by the end of the 3rd episode, I was in for the full season.  I can't spell anybody's name, or remember half the names, but its still a really well produced show.  And Peter Dinklage's character is my new hero.

2.  Batman Inc.  - Yesterday I read Batman Inc. # 2-5.  There's not a lot of emotional depth to this one that I enjoyed in prior Morrison Batman work, but its a compelling story and epic mystery. I think he does a great job of picking up Rucka's vibe with Batwoman, and I would likely pick up an El Gaucho series all on its own (which...  probably just me on that one, I guess).

3.  Batman Beyond - I did read Adam Beechen and Ryan Benjamin's first few issues in the collection entitled Hush Beyond, and I quite liked it.  I was a big fan of the TV series and straight-to-video movie, and I wasn't tired of the universe that was developed for the show and the JLU cartoon.  Beechen and Benjamin clearly were both familiar with the series, and its a fun read.  Very glad this series is ongoing and they they're giving Superman Beyond a One Shot to see how that goes. 

4.  Treme - I haven't made it through The Wire*, so don't start on me that this isn't as good as The Wire.  Its a damn good show, although parts have gotten a bit cute for my taste this season.  And its a good reminder of what happened and is still happening in our backyard.  Great ensemble cast, amazing ability to weave in culture and music, and it has Khandi Alexander outside of a CSI show that I can watch without feeling my eyes burn.  It is also job #87 or so that Kim Dickens has had in the last few years (JimD is right, Kim Dickens is pretty great).

5.  Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - A co-worker turned me onto this band, and they're much more listenable than  I would have guessed.  I particularly like the cut "I Love Creedence". 

6.  Friday Night Lights - yeah, I know its already been canceled, but I love this damn show.  And its so sad so many people bring their baggage from high school and apply it to missing one of the best shows on network TV.  The one downside is that I'm not sure the show ever got better than its pilot, which was one of the best hours of TV I've ever seen.  Also:  Connie Britton I could watch doing crossword puzzles or delinting sweaters.

7.  American Gods - is pretty good.  I need to just block out some time to finish it.

8.  Edamame - why nobody told me about this stuff before is mindblowing.  You are all on notice for not alerting me to edamame before now.

9.  The ACL Fest Lineup - Go figure, the one year I don't buy a 3-day pass, its a great line-up.  I'm only going Sunday. 

10.  My goofy gym - I love places with goofy names, and that includes my new gym:  Planet Fitness.  It just seems sort of half-baked, like they decided "eh, that's good enough" and called it a day.  Inside, the gym proudly declares itself "The No Judgement Zone" in four foot letters, which isn't a misspelling of "Judgement", but its also not how you see it usually spelled (ie: judgment).  And for that, I JUDGE THEM.  Also, literally everything in the gym is purple, yellow or black.  I can only guess this is seriously screwing up the rods and cones within the eyeballs of the employees.

*park it.  I will watch it eventually.

So on Sunday I'm watching, like, 10 hours worth of Apes movies

A while back I mentioned that The Alamo Drafthouse is having an all-day Planet of the Apes Movie Marathon.  Man, no, I don't know what is wrong with me, but whatever it is, Simon's got it, too, because we're spending all day at The Alamo Ritz taking in 5 (count 'em!  FIVE) Planet of the Planet of the Apes movies.

I've never actually done a movie marathon in this manner.  Usually watching two movies is a row is a bit taxing, and I recall being utterly worn out at the end of my "Let's watch the first two Lord of the Rings movies, and then go see Return of the King in the theater!" brainstorm.  Of course, all that LOTR's was actually more movie than a POTA marathon as we watched those extended, 4 hour versions on DVD.

That said, I am aware:  Its just so much damn Apes.

I like to think, however, that if anyone is man enough to just sit there for 10 hours in the dark eating pizza and slowly getting drunk starting at 10:00 AM and then slowly getting sober so he can get home, I AM THAT MAN.

And I am aware that this is sort of a stupid thing to do.  So, I am also trying to think of what I can do to tip the cosmic scales a bit back into balance.  More on that after Ape Weekend gives me time to ponder my karmic accounting.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

So, apparently Wonder Woman was going to be in the traditional outfit in the new show

See, if I were that fellow, I'd be smiling
Huh.  Well, what do you know?  Apparently Palicki was going to shed the pants and go full-on Wondy on us.

I don't see the internets not keeping up their complaints about the shininess of the suit, that it looks like a Halloween costume, etc...  but its pretty identifiable as Wonder Woman and its mostly comics accurate, right down to the enormous golden belt.  But someone will have to tell me how much tape is involved in running in that outfit and staying inside the outfit.

What a shame.  Too bad it didn't work out.

Still, the approach I'd like best looks a bit more like this:

yes, that's WW fighting Medusa in a baseball stadium

You guys have no idea I watch my own traffic

...and despite that fact, I keep posting on the things upon which I (and, apparently, only I) care to discuss.

But this may be my favorite new hit.

I can see search terms people use to find my blog, and unlike some classics we had in the League of Melbotis days, I get very few people looking for nude images of superheroes at this site.  However, I did note that someone was looking for:  Scott Pilgrim "youth culture"

Someone in the University of California at Santa Barbara is either trying to write a Thesis on Scott Pilgrim and Youth Culture, or... more interesting, its from the President's Office, you may notice, and perhaps its the Crusty Old Dean.  I'd like to think s/he accidentally caught Scott Pilgrim on HBO in a hotel room last week and is now trying to decipher the movie in a vein attempt to hip themself up and understand the lingo of the youth they're supposed to be serving.

That would be awesome.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I totally did not get the point of "Time Masters: Vanishing Point" (also: "Tales of the GL Corps Vol. 3")

En route to Florida and then in Florida, I read a few trades I'd had stacked up.  I purchased last year's Time Masters: Vanishing Point as solicitation copy suggested it filled in some gaps from Grant Morrison's Batman opus from Final Crisis to The Return of Bruce Wayne.  Moreover, it featured Booster Gold, Green Lantern, and Superman, and that's like DC insisting I give them money.

Ostensibly, this is a series about Superman and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) teaming up with known time-traveler Rip Hunter and unknown-time-traveler Booster Gold to find Batman, whom they have realized isn't dead as believed, but lost in time.  Except that...  absolutely no Batman searching occurs after the first few pages of the series, and the rest is an odd-mish-mash of updating copyright placeholders on unpopular DC characters and reminding you that you're not reading other, better comics, including Booster Gold

Forward!  To utter nonsense and disappointment!