Monday, December 29, 2008

Heather Hudson

Heather McNeil Hudson is one of the best female superheroes ever created. Newer readers will not even realize the character exist or think of her as anything special. For me it is very different. I began on a diet of Heather as the almost leader of ALPHA FLIGHT to full fledged commander during an alien invasion of Canada. She has always been one of the plain looking women for most of her character runs. Early own she was downright upstaged in the looks department by Aurora, Snowbird, and Elizabeth Twoyoungman. So just who is Heather Hudson?

We first see her as the supportive wife of Canada's version of Captain America, Guardian, James "Mac" McDonald Hudson. When an alert is given for trouble way up North in the Canadian wilds, it is Heather that uses
Mac's computer and discs to summon him aid in the form of the disbanded Alpha Flight. So in a way she is the person that brought the original members together to handle threats against her nation. It was a good thing she did all that as Guardian faced one of the Great Beasts, Tundra.

As the
back up stories told us about each member and their origins we learn that Mac was working for a company that was going to weaponize his work. He bumps into the Secretary Heather McNeil and learns she quit her job because of what they did to him. Later after he steals and disables his work it is Heather who takes him to a family friend that arranges for Hudson to become a government agent under the Canadian flag and thus created the way for Department H and Alpha Flight.

From there Heather ends up married to Hudson and the two discover Wolverine on their Honeymoon. It is Heather left alone with the wounded and primal Logan that soothes and tames the savage mutant. Yes, she was the first red head to capture his heart.
So Jean Grey, sorry, but the mousy girl was there first. Later we would learn that knowing he could never really love Heather lead him to make his decision to leave and join the X-Men.

Den mother was the next role as she made sure people were fed and taken care of when they met
in the small Hudson Apartment. Soon though the man ruined by Hudson leaving the company that he worked for wanted revenge. It lead Heather and Mac into a trap in New York that was a battle to test the Guardian battle suit to its limits. Damaged, the suit was overheating and Mac was trying to disconnect all the power leads when Heather walked in on him. Whether out of time, distracted by Heather, or pulling so stunt to ensure her safety, James Hudson exploded in so much burnt ash, presumed Dead.

It wasn't long before the widow of James Hudson found herself named leader of Alpha Flight. Like Northstar liked to suggest, it was probably meant to be symbolic in nature. The thing is that Heather never got that memo and too k the task seriously. She lead admirably, but soon
realized a mere human woman among the likes of goddesses and mutants facing threats similar and tougher was in danger and would lose the respect of her team. Thanks to Madison Jefferies and Roger Boches, the Guardian suit was rebuilt and Heather took the name James had once used early on, Vindicator. She sought out Wolverine to train her and really did a great deal of on the job learning. Once she had the power, Heather Hudson grew into the role and surpassed her husband in every way. This woman lead and held together one of the quirkiest and strangest assemblies of heroes ever conceived. She often realized Alpha spent as much time fighting each other as they did menaces.

What really has always struck me is that for the majority of the book no artist ever felt the need to tramp her up. She had those gigantic glasses and really was kinda frumpy dressing the few times she was out of the battle suit. It actually makes her more attractive I think. There was a great deal of focus on the will and spirit of the woman and the leader as on her curves. Yet, she had some very real weaknesses. Having her dead husband constantly return from the dead and die. Holding a team together through betrayals and government manipulations. Falling for and becoming engaged to Madison Jefferies only to have him go back to Diamond Lil who had a hand in her husband's first death. She later would help Lil through her breast cancer scare. The smallest Alphan, Puck was always in love with her. Still, this never diminished the fact that she was the toughest in the Flight and never asked her team to face something she was not willing to face.

She will always be one of my favorite characters. Since the first volume of Alpha Flight has ended no one has ever really gotten that she is the leader, they always want Mac
back. That is sad, because anyone who has read the entire run can see Alpha Flight is as much a team book as it is a solo series for the one and only Guardian to me, Heather Hudson.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Whenever things seem bleak.....I turn to the Flight.

I have never really understood why, but reading my run of the first volume of ALPHA FLIGHT just feels good. I love this super team. They were always a varied and eclectic groups of heroes. I own the entire run of that first volume. I only ever bought one issue brand new. Issue #106, and I bet some of you know the issue I speak of. The Jim Lee work is the only ones I purchased at any great expense. I bought the rest over about a twenty year period. My Mom bought me my first two issues at the first ever "Just A Dollar" store in our area. I got three comics for one dollar and two of those were Issue #23 and Issue #98 of Alpha Flight. From that day on it was a yard sale and flea market hunt with some three for a buck collections thrown in. It all ended in 2007 at HeroesCon when I at last found Issue #74 and paid the fifty cents it cost. So now it is one of those old comforts I reread from start to finish and just enjoy. It really is better than anything Marvel is publishing currently in my opinion. I will have a more detailed look at the Flight soon.


P.S. I really like Heather Hudson the best, but there are not many good online pics I have found yet.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The end of buying new Marvel?

Well the time has come for some hard decisions. Finances are just too tight and dwindling in this economy. I read only one Marvel comic currently. That book is NOVA. I have enjoyed the book, yet it is at the top of the cut list. Why? Well why read a book that will be drawn into a Universe I have come not to care about anymore?

As I usually do when life sucks I turn to my older comics to read and I guess try to feel better. So I am right now reading ALPHA FLIGHT. It is nice to read an entire run
of a book and to remember a time when Marvel was a company that I could find heroism and enjoyment. Over the years I have grown as a reader. I branched out and tried other things, but the core of my comic love was always founded in Marvel Comics.

I remember the gift of comics I received when a cousin gave me those her son was finished reading. There was DC and Marvel comics there, but it was the MARVEL TWO IN ONE starring the Thing and Iron Fist that drew me in as a child. I have loved the Thing as a character ever since. The door was opened to Iron Man and then the best of all Spider-Man of whom I watched on TV.

From that first taste I was hooked. I lived in an area without a comic shop in the area. I had to beg
from the occasional spinner racks and then get them at yard sales and flea markets. It was a different type of collecting. I have noticed that it does make a difference now in my collecting habits. I was never really about the creators and stuff. It was the stories and finding number runs and characters I liked.

My collection grew and there was the time when I would buy a DC book when they looked interesting or had Green Lantern on the cover, but Marvel ruled. When in High School our local grocery started selling comics in the newstand section. I discovered THE NEW WARRIORS and was able to read THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN yet again. IRON MAN and AVENGERS came to me in all the glory of a rising comic industry. I went to college and found a shop and have been steady in my collecting ever since. I was still a loyal Marvel only reader. I even passed up the biggest speculating possibility of that day.

THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN came out while I was in college. I waited in a stupid line for my weekly books as people from hundreds of miles away tried to find a copy. I was just annoyed. I wanted my Marvel comics for the week.

There came a day when I started adding different comics to my reading. I branched out into different companies. I still scoured the flea markets and back issue boxes for many old Marvels. I have the entire run of ALPHA FLIGHT and I only purchased one of those issues new. It was the issue where Northstar comes out. All the rest were bought at flea markets our cheap sale boxes. Well, the Jim Lee first artwork ones cost a bit more, but still, I count it a neat feat.

I do not like spending a great deal on my books. I see the decision of Marvel to increase the price of their
product and not improve quality as a bad thing. Now for me quality is the basic writing partially. Still, to do what podcast and articles I read have said and increase price while only giving about eight pages of new content is suspect. Why pay $3.99 for a reprint with a bit of extra when the original probably is less in a shop's back issue box? I purchase some $3.99 books, not many. They are IDW books and they have in house ads and harder stock covers and the glossy paper that holds up better over the years. Marvel is still giving the old 22 page story count and the other ten doesn't even include a letters page anymore. It is coming down to a matter of content and Marvel may lose as even the die hard sheep lose jobs and income.

They made it easy at Marvel for us to leave. I stayed through the banckrupcy. I bought books and I am one of those die hards that kept the numbers up back then. I cared about the characters and I loved the stories
and face it, I bought almost every 2099 book in the Marvel line. I was a bit miffed when the man that was suppose to be one of us, a comic geek, said that if I didn't like the new Marvel I could go and read the old issues. OK Joe Quesada, I did. Slowly I have divested myself from buying new Marvel comics. I even look at the trades and think, maybe, then I see a cheaper DC book and know I probably will like that trade more, so you can guess where my money goes.

The conspiracy theorist in me thinks Marvel wants the industry to fold in publishing tangible comics and turn to digital only. That would be silly though, but it is as valid as the crap they write. Am I bitter? Maybe. I miss the continuing stories of my favorite characters. I am enjoying learning a freat deal about DC characters.

So soon I may drop the last Marvel title I am reading. I wonder if I am the only one? Well I know I am not. Check this out; Comic Overloadhas a dropping of both companies. This could be the start of a sad time for our beloved industry.

So can I live without new Marvel comics? I think so. Can I live without any comics at all? Let us not go there. I do not want to find that


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

So The Reason Geek Gets Has Dwindled

Much like the rest of America I find the economy impacting my comic book addiction. I passed up going to the shop after Thanksgiving and a sale that had 5 for $1 comics. I know, I am an idiot. Yet, I looked at the wallet and the knowing of a $50 bottle of meds coming up and realized I was not wise to go and face temptation. I have some cash now and soon will get another round and again think on what is a must read. I have to make cuts and I have to be harsh I think.

I might soon have to window shop. Marvel is going to make it easy and so will DC if they blindly follow Marvel's lead. $3.99 is too much. I purchase Fallen Angel from IDW and have purchased other limited series from IDW. I also purchase Echo ($3.50). Each of these has their higher quality covers and paper as well as in house ads. I have one Marvel title and for sure will cancel if it goes to $3.99. The title is Nova.

$3.99 is too much to pay for 22 pages of story. Not to mention 22 pages of the drivel and low quality Marvel is to me personally currently. DC has fared better and
I have always admired the tiered pricing from them. They have fewer titles on the cut list because they are cancelling books I read. So they in some ways are ahead of the game. I will most likely cut Nova. With it going I will have stopped purchasing Marvel Comics consistently since being able to in 1990. Back then all I purchased was Marvel. How times have changed.

I might end up just window shopping.
I did switch to trades sometime back on many books. I will buy Secret Six that way. I have been buying Blue Beetle and Green Lantern Corps that way as well. Many may have to be bought that way. One funny and real clear reason I avoided that sale was the fact my comic book shop places issues of current titles from the past six to eight months in those $1 boxes that were on sale. I would have found much to buy. I do hope that soon my fortunes will turn around and I can be back buying comics again. For now I am reading my run of Alpha Flight. Never bought an issue new except one, issue #106, the one where Northstar comes out. So you might get a bit of Alpha musings soon. I could just do an in depth look at the old Nightwatch limited series from Marvel. Hey, Joey Q said if I didn't like the crap he was putting out I could read back issues as an old time fan, so I am reading back when continuity meant something and Marvel was the House of Ideas.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Doctor Strange Master of the Mystic Arts #61 - 63

The Ghost seriously apologizes for the lack of postings lately. My haunting abilities have been seriously hampered by the world of the living. Way back in September I made an interesting find at my local shop's $1 boxes. Three issues of Doctor Strange back when Marvel was not bound by the corporate restraints of the Trade or lack of continuity. I promised a treat of a post and here it is. These issues are the final three parts to a story that was the end of Dracula in the Marvel Universe. If you don't know that at one point Dracula was a staple in the MU and he was ultimately defeated, then boo hoo if you feel I spoiled something you never would have read.

I confess that I have very few Doctor Strange comics in my collection. Any issues I have purchased on purpose have been less than one buck or included in a 3 for 1 deal and I wanted something else that was part of the combo. Here I was drawn to issue #60 when looking through the box by the lovely form of Scarlet Witch. Before I could really read, I confess to having two little boy crushes. One was Jamie Somers, the Bionic
Woman and the other was the Scarlet Witch. I had these Marvel matching game cards and she was on there. I had never even read or seen a comic with her in it, by I was in love. Ever since I have had a fondness for Wanda. So I was made to pause and see what this issue was all about.

Seems the enigmatic book known as the Darkhold was once again loose in the Marvel Universe. This is a magic book that goes all the way back to the lost City of Atlantis. It is pure EVIL and cannot be destroyed. It can corrupt the soul of any who use it, so good people are in danger when around it. It also can aid Dracula to become the complete ruler of Earth. The cult that follows and worships the Darkhold are aiding the Lord of Vampires and of course Dr.Strange is standing in their way. The Darkhold is soon to be held secure the Avenger's Mansion with Scarlet Witch and Captain Marvel helping protect it. Captain Marvel being Monica and not the one who died of Cancer only to recently be brought back in a horrible attempt to be "cool" and edgy.

My decision to buy the book came with the two that followed. The next two issues and the end of the story. It was like divine destiny that I should buy these books. When being a cheap and avid hunter of back issues at low prices the best
thing that can happen is to have the issue that resolves a story. Here I had it and loads of Marvel guest appearances included as well. The following issues contained the Doctor's man servant Wong and he actually does more than answer the door in the tale. Hannibal King is present along with Blade. It is a battle that highlights all characters and shows some magical might as the Doctor battles Dracula on the Astral landscape inside the Darkhold. Really awesome conflict and a sacrifice of an infected Vampire.

Doctor Strange has one last trick up his sleeve and the character sees the sunrise
for the first time in years. This is what Marvel used to excel at in storytelling. We had tension and conflict that is made of stern material. Yet, we end on the high and happy note of good squashing evil and all pausing to relish a moment of a big victory in the never ending battle.

So I am at last keeping my promise of telling a tale of my excellent find in the back issue box. A story of mystical forces and horrific beings. It also had Scarlet Witch goodness. If you read this far, then I hope you enjoy this rambling.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Almost back

I am so close to being back it is scary. I am upset because Blue Beetle is being canceled. Tragedy. just terrible. I am sad. So as I am working to get back enjoy this cute Secret Six picture. Hmmm, maybe Blue Beetle can become a rolling group of mini series stories.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't forget me

Life has felt like a Jungle adventure the last few weeks. I have gotten some awesome books and read some cool stuff, but haven't had the Blogging feel because of some stuff. I am working on it and I will be up an running soon. Don't forget me as I work through the jungle and get back to my regular crazy comic book love.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Geek Gets 10/01/08

A very light week for new Gets this week as only three things I am collecting came out. In honor of one of these Gets we will have a Blue text throughout. I did find some interesting things in the $1 boxes. But they will come later. Yes, I still have that old Marvel post to put up that also came from the $1 boxes as well.

On to the discussion of what I did get today. The first I will discuss will be Justice League of America #25. It is a double sized issue that comes in at $3.99. I have read some hesitation and dissatisfaction with this title, but I like it and really think we are seeing a turn with this very issue. It has finally wrapped up the tedious stuff that was placed here from One Year Later. Vixen is a character I first came to know in Birds of Prey. Otherwise she is very new to me. Here we see her take a central role and matching wits with the African version of the Trickster god, Anansi.

The funniest thing about the issue might go over the heads of many casual comic book readers. Anasi keeps telling Vixen that this is his story, that he owns all the stories. Now one might take this as just a bit of plot development and foreshadowing. What was funny was Anasi lecturing Vixen about not letting a story develop. The way other heroes are taken out simply by Anasi changing the story was unusual and intriguing. Seeing Red Arrow shoot Black Canary in the back and her death cry shatter his eardrums was shocking. Are they dead? Probably not, Anasi said that they might come back if he decides to tell the story to have them do so.

Really think that if McDuffie is kept on the title and allowed to write his tales we might see even better from the book. I think he has taken full ownership and cleaned the deck in a respectful way as to what came before. Will enjoy the price dropping back to regular cost next month though.

Next we have what was the best payoff I have read in a good while. My cover is not the same as the one I found at the DC website. (Need to either get my scanner working or a new one.) Blue Beetle End Game is the fourth collection of the current Blue Beetle title. It collects Blue Beetle Issues #20 - 26. Issue #20 is the Sinestro Corps War crossover and #26 is the all Spanish issue. What come in the middle is the big payoff. We see a hero take control and understand that Jamie has been studying the two men that came before and had learned from them. His battle with the Reach comes to a violent conclusion.

Blue Beetle I find is best read as a Trade. I collected the first story arc in monthly fashion. Then I got the next part in Trade format. I liked reading the complete tale all at once. It works better this way for me. Here we watched all the supporting characters play a part in the final confrontation. We also see the connections Jamie has made in the super hero community come to his aid. Guy Gardner has an awesome scene with Jamie's little sis. Traci 13 is back numerous times. Paco and Brenda have an encounter involving lips. Just an awesome bringing together of all the story points.

The last thing I got was Witchblade #121. I am here for the awesome story, but each month the art is just a feast for the eyes. This is where I get my grown up stories. Give me heroics in my classic character universes. I will have my supernatural crime drama here. What also is neat is how the history of the creature known as a Golem is laid out at the end of the book. No, I do not feel that is a spoiler. If a cop gets called to a Jewish neighborhood in a supernatural book, Golem is gonna cross your mind. Well worth the price of admission and a book I am still liking because of the way Ron Marz is telling the story.

Well, I guess that is it for now. Better get to haunting the castle.

Comic Book Ghost

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Geek Gets 9/24/08

OK, so this was a small two weeks. But that is not a bad thing when one of the books was a $3.50 cost. It was a small but satisfying week of comics for this reader. A variety of reads were present as well. Seems to be a Girl Power theme going on with these books. There is a bit of telling of an old Marvel story that has been placed on hold. Wanted to have it up before now, but things have held it up. For now just enjoy reading about the buys the Comic Book Ghost absconded with today.

The best read was a hard decision with this group. Really all had their strong points, BUT, if forced to pick I would say Birds of Prey #122 was the one I enjoyed the most.
Tony Bedard has always been a writer that I really liked and here he just gives a great story that is a build up to a long waited for one on one fight in the DCU. In case you are clueless the Birds have been restructuring. Manhunter has been present and here we have a cool cameo by Zatanna. Kate got her head scrambled pretty bad when the Birds came to roost in Platinum Flats. So she is part of the team but not I guess since she commutes.

Infinity is a character that I am not sure if she is new or some obscure character that is being used now. Either way, she is so cool. We get a Misfit impressing Oracle and a big look at the newest player in the town, Joker. That is correct. He is in the town and now on a collision course with the woman he crippled. I can say no more but it really did make me think of the now gone CrossGen book The Negation. Bedard rocked the intensity there and has carried into this comic. The last few pages are the best set up I have seen in a long while.

Wildstorm has been running a little gem that might have slipped under many people's
radar screens. Casey Blue Beyond Tomorrow #5 is the next to last issue of the series that started around the time of the Convention Season. It is the basic invasion scenario, well, except the element of time travel and an infection that creates hybrids is involved. Casey is the typical high school student who is now a secret weapon against these seeded agents from the future to destroy mankind. She is just really learning about her abilities and how they work. A nice woman from the future is now training and explaining things to her. Her family doesn't know and she is settling into her new duality.

Did I mention she can kill with her bare hands? She can take down full grown men with their own weapons and really only look like she was rolling on the ground. Well, this has and is a good read. I can tell you that the last page is absolutely unbelievable. A true hook into the last part of this story. So I guess now you either track them down or ask
for the Trade. I like it.

I never read Strangers in Paradise but after hearing a bit of a trade recap on Just Bill:
Comic Drawer Box I am interested in getting the trades. Terry Moore has finished that comics work and now is on Issue #6 of Echo. It is a strange bit of fiction about a woman who basically was in the wrong part of the desert at the wrong time. She witnesses what really is a murder of a woman testing an experimental battle suit and then radioactive fallout of the metal rained down upon her.

Julie now has a shiny metal cover over her breast and part of her shoulders. Threaten her and touch it a person gets zapped in a bad way. She is joined by a Park Ranger who it seems was the murdered woman's fiancee. They have had a rough go of it and the first five issues have been collected and should be on sale now. I believe they are calling it Moon Lake. So this is a good story with that soap opera feel. Conspiracies and stuff abound as the tale of Julie rolls on.

The last book is my only Marvel read of the moment and I must say I was not really
looking forward to this story as SECRET INVASION had infected Nova. So here I looked at Nova #17 and see Darkhawk included on the cover. I thought he was part of a group of recovering superheroes? So what? Well seems Rich finds Mom And Dad OK and his little Brother stuck at work. Oh, he works at Project: Pegasus the energy research place of the Marvel U.

It was alright. I think I see how when all this is over Earth will have Skrulls living among humans in some way, shape, or form. That will be the next big thing about the ever stupid conflagration that is Marvel these days. They did a good story despite the cross seeding of the latest gimmick massive event. I big return is present and the Worldmind is still around it appears. So that is about it though for Nova.

Really all there was for me. Did grab a copy of Matt Fraction's The Invincible Iron Man #2 for the awesome price of $1.00. Picked the Brandon Peterson cover as well. So hopefully I can get the special look back at some of the magical Marvel of yesterday. It is a great and important tale of one of fiction's greatest evils and how the Marvel U. was rid of him.

Comic Book Ghost

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Geek Gets 9/10/08

The First and always top of the list read when it comes home is Buffy The Vampire Slayer. This time it is Issue #18. Now, those wanting to complain might think the fan fiction writers on the Net have taken control of the subject matter. In reality it is just the standard layered plot that fans have come to understand. More goes on than just Willow having a friend that she feels guilty letting Kennedy know about. Seems that access comes through means that reading between the lines shows how Kennedy was being intimate with Willow, but really giving this being access. Even this is complicated as we can read the creature has betrayed Willow, to uhm, future Dark Willow, but she also cares. It is this excellent characterization that makes this a top read for me.

The idea of Dawn as a centaur is so funny. Her innocent remark and Xander's mind in the gutter is just good Whedon dialogue. This is Whedon by the way. Who else could do such a good job with the future Slayer Meleka Fray? Well, maybe Christopher Golden. Still this story is lite in many ways, but so much is shown that leads from and to the meat of the story. A great continuing story Time of Your Life is becoming.

Thanks to the awesome podcast About Heroes I was alerted to an awesome chase scene between Catwoman and Batgirl from early in Batgirl's career. It happened in Issue #17 of Batman Confidential. That kicked off a Five Part story The Cat and the Bat. Fabian Nicieza penned this excellent story of a stolen notebook that belongs to Commissioner Gordon. Issue # 21 is the concluding part of the tale. It ends with Batgirl running a gauntlet through Arkham Asylum. Her cotume is in tatters and she faces the Batman family of freaks as the Riddler sits in a control room playing maze guide. The ways and characters she faces is just priceless. The twist at the end is nice as well.

Issue #18 is worth mentioning. After that excellent chase that kicks this adventure off, Catwoman enters a club where masks are OK, but clothes are not. This was a hilarious bit of action. Later on we get the reason Catwoman wanted the notebook. Batman gets involved and Batgirl just has one very long night. The wrap up between Batman and Catwoman is very well done and has a cute bit of dialogue.

Rolling right along we have Witchblade #120. It feels good being able to speak about this title. It started as a clear book of scantily clad women. That is a far cry from the book now. Amazing that a fully clothed painted woman can be hot and sexy in a book dealing with supernatural stuff. This is a female driven story that has more to do with feelings than the powers of the Witchblade. It is these excellent moments that make the battles and outlandish mystical stuff seem so important. The two bearers have an important heart to heart. Sara gets to punch a guys teeth out, literally. What is most amazing is the art.

Stjepan Sejic is the artist and will be for the next few years. That is right, years. His style is a painted look that has softness and and beauty. Dani looks especially awesome in this issue. Her dancing poses are very well done. The idea to frame her movements while dancing was a stroke of genius really. It brings that to life. This is now a book you both enjoy the art AND read for the suspense and story.

Geoff Johns is arguably one of the best ever comic book writers. He has a grasp and respect for continuity even as he basically writes a new history for long time hero Hal Jordan. Green Lantern Issue #34 is the sixth and next to the last part of the Secret Origin story that has been running through the book. It basically shows us the inbetweens of what happened as Abin Sur crashed and died on Earth and Hal being trained by a fellow we know as Sinestro. Little nuggets about the upcoming Blackest Night have been sprinkled throughout the story. It will be neat when all these that have not understood this story have to go back and reread to see how the events to come have been laid bare. It is not obvious, yet somehow things just seem to have an importance that we cannot understand.

Green Lantern was a favorite character growing up and it feels good to reconnect. This has been nostalgic in a way as I read the story. It provided a reminder of the early Hal and why he was so cocky. Moments of what will happen are there and you can just feel sad that each character will have to endure the journey we know they will take. Seeing a young Hal come to terms with his father's death and finding Carol Ferris in the process was a nice scene. Really nice.

OK, I will admit I am totally confused with Gail Simone's story. I will not abandon her though. She has something she is building to and I see how she is trying to incorporate all that has come before with the restart of Wonder Woman. Here is Issue #24 we get to see an Amazon mating ritual of sorts. Nemesis is now an Amazon and free to be Diana's mate. Some weird stuff happens in Hollywood. Even the Gorillas could not provide a break from the confusion. I am unfamiliar with this Queen of Fables. that is adding to my confusion.

Still, it is Simone and it is better than the stuff that caused me to drop Supergirl. I guess Simone would have to write Diana making a deal with the devil to erase her love and all to really stop me reading. I am confused though. My hope is that clears as this story progresses.

Well that ends the report of my Geek Retreat today. Did you pick up anything neat. Tell me about it. What are you reading?

Comic Book Ghost

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hawkgirl by Renae De Liz

The Ghost is busy haunting some people currently. I thought I would share this snagged bit of art from Comicspace by the awesome Renae De Liz. She rocks the art side of comics. Her work can be seen in the IDW book Rogue Angel The Teller of Tall Tales and other places. One could just check out her Comicspace page for more of her links and work.

The Comic Book Ghost

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Trades & Graphic Novels: JLA A League Of One

What if an Oracle of Old foretold that your friends, those as close to you as family, would die in a battle? What if the only choice was to betray them and fight alone? That is the main theme behind JLA A LEAGUE OF ONE. Wonder Woman has been told of the return of an ancient evil. A dragon of old has been awakened deep within the Earth. Wonder Woman is told that if the Justice League fights as a team they will all die. So Diana makes a decision.

In this Graphic Novel we see the character of Wonder Woman in a variety of ways. She is the devoted spiritual Princess of the Amazons and a powerful member of The Justice League. We see a fun loving Diana who is friend of nymphs and mere maidens. It is also a book that shows the Warrior who will do what she must to protect those she loves and honor her duty to the Earth. It has heart and emotion displayed in the wonderful character of Diana.

The artwork is outstanding. A true vision of painted images. Christopher Moeller is artist and writer of this Graphic Novel. the dragon is beautiful as a horrific evil being that is ruthless and cruel. The backgrounds are just amazing and the balance between both fairy tale type stuff and real world creations are expertly melded. Just a great synthesis of word and pictures.

In the tale Diana, to protect her teammates, must take them down. Her strategic mind is displayed and only Batman catches on to what is happening. One by one she dismantles each member of the Justice League while hurting from having to betray them. The pain is written without ever really saying she is right or wrong. At times we even are lead to question the actions she is taking. That is a sign of great writing.

The battle with the Dragon is what really takes the action up a notch. There are moments the reader my even question if Wonder Woman can accomplish this
feat. One might think the League will assemble and we would learn the team is strongest. The way her lasso and the Dragon's flame represent different things is an interesting way to contrast her main strength as a heroine.

A LEAGUE OF ONE is worth the price. it may be able to be found a bit cheaper
than the original $14.95 price for the Softcover. A Hardcover was produced as well. Seek it out, it is a great book for any collection.

Comic Book Ghost

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Casey Blue Beyond Tomorrow

So Casey Blue is an enjoyable read. It reminds one of the animated TV movie Invasion USA. It had a male alien raised as a human who finds he is more than it appears and soon is the only hope in an interstellar war. Seems close to what Casey Blue is showing its self to be. Casey is a young girl who is a volleyball player, sister, and loving daughter. Thing is she is starting to be able to do amazing feats of strength and agility. She also is waking up covered in blood, not her own blood either.

The art is typical male fantasy. Casey and all the women defy the bounds of normal physical realities. That becoming a given, the art is really nice and clean. The subtle combing of a stylish animated look for the settings compliments the human figures well. We get a mystery and a sharp sci fi feel to this almost horrific tale. Casey herself lends humanity to the story as she feels the remorse a normal human would at killing and doing so in a manner that defies conventional wisdom. She also describes the feelings of not caring, a primal responds that the ones she killed were just for lack of a better word, deserving of it. They did attack and try and do her harm. Or they posed a threat she perceives yet doesn't quite understand . So or heroine is a figure of a human losing control of herself and trying to hold to her morality and humanity.
This is a series that has been running a bit late. It is four issues into a six issue run. The series is to be the first chapter of the longer story. The problem may be that Casey Blue will start out and we may never have any conclusion to the mystery laid out. Hopefully, that will not be the case and we will get a long run of chapter series to enjoy as the tale is worthy of attention to those with a love of alien invasion tales. The secret invasion genre is not reinventing wheel. It happens many times like this book does. Take young person, have them discover alien heritage, have them stop Earth from being taken over or destroyed, and save home race from the evil aliens that are fighting the good aliens. It is a formula.
What can be fun and enjoyable is the journey of the characters. The little interactions that make up the larger framework of the story. These are what makes or breaks this genre. In Casey we have a heroine that has a family and friends that anchor her and will be of great use to add emotion to a sci fi tale of death and alien invasion. This is a book that might be hard to find. It probably flew under the radar of many readers. Seek it out if you like this type of story. You just might find a gem worth reading.
The Ghost