Infinity #3: That, My Friends, is Why You Call Him Captain. SPOILERS

Infinity #3 did not spend much time atop the pile. As soon as the kid was in bed, I crept off to my reading chair to dig in. Wow. The Alliance of Galactic Badasses is licking its wounds and they are  ready: some are ready  to surrender and others are ready to die.  The Avengers don’t like those options, and Cap has a plan. Of course he does. He’s Captain America.

The Kree and the Spartax are a bunch of weenies. The Skrull and Gladiator-led Shi’ar are ready to die. Cap is ready to win. He lays out a plan, and it doesn’t go strictly by the numbers, but “Surrender” isn’t in the man’s vocabulary, except in its imperative form. Here’s my favorite panel from the book:

Screenshot 2013-09-19 at 9.34.30 AM

And that, my friends, is why you call the man “Captain.” Shortly hereafter he hands the Builders their first serious Ass-Whupping, probably, well, ever.

Here’s my second favorite frame from Infinity #3:
Screenshot 2013-09-19 at 9.33.01 AMLook! It’s the Kymellians! From Power Pack! Yay! Is Hickman pulling out all the stops or isn’t he? Too much awesome. Here’s a refresher for you…Lord Kofi Whitemane himself from, oh it’s gotta be around 1986 or 87. I’m too lazy to go downstairs in and look in the box right now. 


Love it. Leave a Comment. Later.

Infinity #2: Is there a King Here?

Infinity #2 hit the shelves and my pile this week.  We get to see the Attilan Throne Room!  Here sits in quiet counsel the mighty Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans. I like Black Bolt’s decorative style, as exemplified by the large, illuminated arrow pointing to his throne, as if to say, “King Sits Here.” You know, just in case you weren’t sure where the King sits. It’s definitely here, by the arrow. So you know.

King Sits Here.

King Sits Here.

Battle of the Atom #1: A Frank Cho Homage to John Byrne

Didja catch it? X-Men ‘Battle of the Atom’ #1 came out this week, and despite my facebook assertion that I was “Giving This One a Pass” it somehow ended up on top of the Pile last night. As I read through the compelling story, I scanned down the page and actually gasped–not loudly, or in an overly dramatic way, but I definitely gasped…at the wonderful frame at the bottom of page 22. Here it is:

Screen shot 2013-09-05 at 9.18.07 AM

As ’60s’ Scott is nearly taken out by a not-quite-destroyed Sentinel, Jean calls his name. Now, let’s jump in the Wayback Machine to Uncanny X-Men #137, which I read with baited breath and wide eyes back in the day:

Screen shot 2013-09-05 at 9.19.31 AM

Here of course, is the epic moment when Jean/Dark Phoenix took her own life after the Battle in the Blue Area of the Moon against the Imperial Guard. Knowing that her power was roiling out of control, Jean sacrificed herself that a Universe might live. A beautiful, powerful and touching homage’ to X-Men Canon. Thank you, Mr. Cho.

Infinite Howard the Duck

“Greetings, culture lovers.” Have you been reading the Infinity Event? I have, and it’s shaping up to be the biggest interdimensional cross rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909! I’m digging Mr. HIckman’s Opus, to say the least. I just finished reading Avengers #18, which made its way to the top of the pile via my Avengers subscription. New Avengers #9, which I picked up at Annex Comics,  is waiting downstairs, but there were just a couple of things I wanted to point out about the first Avengers full-on installment in Infinity.

1. Still the worst Iron Man mask ever. 

Screenshot 2013-08-28 at 9.13.22 PM

2. Shang Chi has a mini-statue of Howard the Duck on his dashboard.

Screenshot 2013-08-28 at 9.16.57 PM

There’s a lot more going on with this issue (like Cannonball hitting on Smasher), but it’s not my job to spoil the read for you.

The Kurgan: An Intelligent Savage

"Tonight you sleep in Hell. There can be only ONE!"

“Tonight you sleep in Hell. There can be only ONE!”

For your consideration: The Kurgan. Savage? Yes. Uncouth? Without question. Took some liberties with the ladies? Absolutely. But unintelligent? No sir. Listen to him speak, and his level of intelligence is subtly revealed.

I am the stronger–you will ALWAYS be weaker than I.”

Most people would probably say “you will always be weaker than me”, which is grammatically incorrect. The Kurgan knows his grammar. He also uses the more appropriate comparative form “stronger”–though “strongest” would not be incorrect (if one assumed that he was referring to his strength compared to that of all the immortals), his use of “stronger” indicates that he is referring specifically to his strength compared to that of MacCleod, to whom he is speaking.

“Ramirez was an effete snob! I took his head, and raped his woman before his blood was cold!”

Yes, he is coarse, but not a lot of people go around using the word ‘effete’ in day-to-day conversation.

“Happy Halloween ladies!!” 

No real point here; it’s just really funny when he says this and makes licking motions at a couple of passing nuns.

What do you think of the Kurgan, Kastigir, MacCleod and the other immortals? Who is your favorite mortal character from Highlander?

Despicable Me 2: MAJOR SPOILERS: Do not Read if you have not seen!

I saw Despicable Me 2 with my daughter  yesterday and wanted to share some thoughts. I was “good but not great”, with some really hilarious moments and a lot of downtime. I think the writers/director  missed one story point hook that really could’ve made a huge emotional impact on the end.


We saw the little girl struggling to read her “Mom” poem because she doesn’t have a mom. Then at the end, she reads it, but I didn’t feel that there was ANY real connection at all between the woman Groo marries and the little girls.

In order to sell the plot point of the “new mommy” at the end, the movie needed ONE scene where the Secret Agent lady rescues the girls or makes a SERIOUS CHOICE that saves them; some kind of bonding between the girls and the Agent instead of just bonding between Groo and the Agent. Here’s what I think should’ve happened.

Since Dr. Nefario brought the girls to El Macho’s HQ (why? there was no real pay off for him doing this–they were just extra jelly shooters, a task that could’ve easily been handled by Minions), somehow the GIRLS should’ve ended up tied to the rocket. Groo gets taken out–overwhelmed by purple minions, knocked out by El Macho, whatever. The rocket takes off with the girls on it. The Secret Agent lady LEAPS onto the rocket and it is SHE who saves the girls. They splash down in the ocean or wherever and she hugs them, then asks, “Are you all OK??” and the little one shows her her finger–with a boo boo on it. Secret Agent Lady looks puzzled for a moment and then KISSES THE BOO BOO. BAM!! Every adult in the theater would immediately get it and probably be in tears at the end when the little girl reads for the second time, “She kisses my boo boos”.

Also they should’ve done a montage of the 147 dates (like at the end of “UP”) where it shows the lady braiding their hair etc, doing GIRL STUFF to really bond the new mommy to her new daughters.

Without any of that, I just didn’t buy their relationship. Not that they didn’t like each other–there was just no reason that the audience is given as to why they should really , really love each other.  The movie was ok, but not emotionally satisfying for me as a parent. My daughter loved it. I mean, the fart gun? Please. And I love that Groo still has villainous tendencies, like smashing his car right through all the other cars parked at El Macho’s house, and Freeze-Raying the punky kid who dissed Margot.

Overall I give it a B and a mild recommend (to blatantly steal a the rating system from the fellas over at NowPlayingPodcast.


OK, I’ve Got a Beef with Avengers Assemble #16. And 15, sorta, but not as much.

OK, so, if you read a few of Marvel’s titles, it’s pretty clear that continuity is….spread pretty thin. For example, Captain America is in Dimension Z in his own mag, Avengers, New Avengers, Avengers Assemble, Uncanny X Men…..and doing different things at different times in all of ’em.

I’m OK with that.

There are a lot of crossovers and “big picture” stories that will perhaps enrich your experience of the Marvel Universe if you read them all. Age of Ultron, I’m looking at you.

But I’m OK with that too.

What I’m not OK with is making a single Title impossible to follow by requiring that crossover issues of other titles be read. If somebody wants to read only one title per month, they should be able to do that with a reasonable expectation of not getting “lost” or having story-critical information be missed because it happened in another title.

Captain Marvel’s Brain Lesion, I’m looking at you.


In Avengers Assemble 15, Captain Marvel battled alongside the heroes of Britain against the Ultrons. She mentions the brain lesion that makes flying a health risk for her. As I’m reading, I’m thinking, “OK, that didn’t happen in Avengers Assemble. That’s slightly douche, but I’ll give them a pass.” At the end of #15, Captain Marvel is inside Ultron Brittania’s HQ when it explodes. Nice cliffhanger! Neato-Keen! Can’t wait for the next issue!

In #16, Captain Marvel is in her apartment. In New York. Yes, still with a brain lesion, but dude…what if the only title you read was Avengers Assemble? I still don’t know why, when or how Captain Marvel got the lesion, or escaped the exploding building or GOT FROM LONDON TO NEW YORK. I’m assuming the answers are in Age of Ultron, or Captain Marvel, or Avengers Enemy Within, but story arcs shouldn’t be crafted such that one MUST read other issues to “get it”. Reading other arcs/titles should enhance the experience, but not be required just for a basic understanding of the story.

Not cool, Marvel. A fan of 35 years and change has lost a lot of respect for you with this tactic.

Avengers Assemble was put out to capitalize on the fever-pitched excitement surrounding the Avengers Film–it’s “Avengers Light”. Suppose some young fan collects that title, and only that title–which, at $3.99 a whack is completely feasible. You have done this young reader a great disservice with the complete discontinuity between issues 15 and 16 of Avengers Assemble.