Random Comics Review: Alpha Flight #22, 1985

This issue of Alpha Flight was originally published by Marvel comics  in 1985. It was written and drawn by John Byrne with inks by Bob Wiacek. The basic premise of the book is that Alpha Flight are Canada’s premiere super team, however for most of his run Bryne rarely featured the adventures of the entire team at once. He mainly preferred to focus on only two or three characters  at a time.

This issue mostly focuses on the tribulations of Northstar and his sister Aurora. Northstar had previously drifted from the team, but Aurora turned to him for help with her multiple personality problems and blackouts. Northstar brings his sister along as he answers a request for help from an old friend that owns a circus.  Apparently the villian is Pink Pearl, a super strong fat lady who’s causing disappearances as part of a larger plan to attack the leaders of Canada and the US and to frame the sepratiste  movement which Northstar and the circus owner were former members of. There’s also a few pages devoted to setting up a sub-plot where Heather, the wife of former Alpha Flight leader Guardian, glipses a man that looks like her dead husband and Bosh creating a new robot body of Box so he can track down the killer of Guardian.

It’s interesting how much Byrne was able to cram into 22 pages of story. This issue is obviously part of a larger arc, but there’s enough plot here to  enjoy  as a self contained story. Also  fascinating is the amount of dialogue and exposition here. At first glance it looks like a novella compared to many modern comics, but none of it feels like small talk for the sake of small talk. I’m a fan of Byrne’s old artwork. There’s nothing dazzling here, but it’s slick and professional enough to hold my interest.

One curious item is a message for Marvel on the inside back cover asking what kind of advertisements the readers would prefer to see. This is partly done by means of a comic strip featuring Spiderman. Spidey’s swinging through the city carrying a briefcase. He crashes through the widow of an office , sits behind a desk, and throws ads toward the reader. At the bottom of the page is a questionnaire for the reader to fill out and send in to Marvel. I’m just like, was it really necessary to break some poor guy’s window just to tell us management wants to target the demographic a little better?

Non-Sequitur #4.2 :Update

Lots of people in Chicago out today trying to get signatures so they can run for Mayor. It’s starting to heat up!

I went to get my mail. Received a few interesting things. I’ll probably do some more reviews in the upcoming week.

I went to a different comics shop and got Hit Monkey #2. Hit Monkey #2! FTW! YEAH!

I have Clam Chowder. And that’s chowder…not chowder.

Non-Sequitur #4: Where’s Ernie C ?


Jean grey uses her powers to survey some new comics


I saw a couple of teenage girls in the comic book store yesterday. The bigger one was trying to school the smaller one about comics. Neat. It’s always cool when actual young people are into comics as opposed to just cranky old guys.

I thought about maybe going to the movie Red this weekend. I changed my mind when I saw a couple of the reviews.

I don’t think everyone knows but Lance Briggs, linebacker for the Chicago Bears has a comic book website. http://www.lancescomicworld.com/

I bought a HK action movie called Dog Bite Dog. I probably wont get chance to watch it until next week, but if anyone has an opinion of it please let me know.

New Avengers #5: Ok, NOW this title is starting to bug me. First, HOW DO YOU PUT THE LAST PAGE CLIFFHANGER ON THE FUGGIN’ COVER? There’s a two scene with Hawkeye that just felt out of place. This issue is basically superheroes standing around in a wrecked house chit-chatting. On the plus side, I’m still loving the Immonen art and we do get a couple of answers.

Superman #703: Not great but not terrible. Dick Grayson Batman shows up and tells Supes that he’s putting ordinary people at risk by walking down Main St USA. Later there’s a fight destroys a section of Cleveland,OH and some folks grumble  about it. My problem with the story is this, JMS treats this event as if it were a rare occurrence. Thing is, this exact thing happens every other month in every other comic and has been for the last several decades. Dick’s like, “What if the bad guys attack you and the average people are put in harms way?” Don’t you mean “when”? And how about all those stories where the villian can’t find the hero so he starts destroying things to draw the hero out? Having to face the consequences of all the property damage caused by superhero battles is not a bad idea for a story, but I thought it could have been executed a little better.

There a preview for Superman:Earth One. One thing I left out of my DC Rant post is..ENUFF WITH RE-TELLING  SUPERMAN’S FRIGGIN’ ORIGIN! Every 2 years someone wants to update Supes origin, we get it! I know some people are excited about it ,but I can live w/o it. The new twist is what…Clark wears a hoodie? Let’s move on!

Ultimate Thor #1: Lots of  fun.Very cool art from Carlos Pacheco and an intriguing set up by Jonathan Hickman. The first issue combines history, mysticism, and (possibly) science in way that has you asking questions, but doesn’t frustrate you.

Hit Monkey #2: The store didn’t have Hit Monkey #2! I wanna read Hit Monkey #2! I’ll have to look for it at another store. Hit Monkey!

The dinner plans are pork chops, black beans and veggies, and apple sauce! Say it with me…pork chops and apple sauce!

Ice-T almost got run out of the country when that album first came out, then he played a cop on TV for like 10 years. I’m not making a judgement, I’m  just saying.

Non-Sequitur #3.5: Your “What” Hurts?

NS #3 is on my “Well,uh” blog over at blogspot cuz I can’t  upload the video here. Dammit.

A nice day out today. Sunny and warm.

Deadpool Max#1: I know, I know…and I rag about the over-exposure of Deadpool as much as anyone else, but I was curious as to how the Max title might differ from the other titles.  It’s not bad, just kinda “meh”. The story by David Lapham  is told from the point of view of govt. agent Bob. Something about  infiltrating the mob and trying to assasinate crimminal boss Hammerhead using insane mercenary Deadpool.The art is by Kyle Baker who has been doing satire and humor for years in various commercial and alternative formats.  It wasn’t as funny as it could’ve been nor as over the top as I expected. Sure, there’s some mild sexual content and a bit of profanity, but I guess I thought they’d use the freedom to really go crazy.

What I’d really like to see from a title like this is perhaps more surreal off-the-wall satire. Instead of just another adventure only with swearing, why not have Deadpool unleash his fury at the DMV?  Or the long lines at the post office? Or a fancy White House meeting? Or dispute a traffic ticket? Since this isn’t part of regular continuity, you could have him blow up the X-Mansion by accident. Maybe kill some well know Marvel character over some imagined slight. If it were me, I’d give Deadpool Max a real funky 70’s underground comix FTW vibe.

But of course, I’m not writing it, so “eff” me…

Hit Monkey#1: Here’s a comic that I enjoyed alot more than I thought I would. The story is by Daniel Way and the art is  by Dalibor Talsjic. It seems to be about a monkey who’s out to get revenge on the the dictator and criminals that killed his tribe and he’s guided by the ghost of a slain assassin. I know I’m late to this one, but I had nothing  but fun reading this thing…and isn’t that what you want out of a comic book? Hit Monkey!

Neonomicon #2: By Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows, I’m still on board. In  way I kinda wish Marvel would use their Max titles to publish work like this. It’s a horror story of FBI agents investigating murders that are somehow related to the writings of H P Lovecraft. Very strange and disturbing and adult in a non-sensationalistic way. There’s no parental advisory on this comic which may or may not be a mistake, but it hardly looks like something that would be attractive to a child anyway. There’s little violence, but some non-prurient nudity and a very over-all creepy tone.   This is the first thing that referenced Lovecraft that actually made me want to read his work.

I’m not a big Modonna fan, but I like this song

As usual there’s no real theme, but guns appear in each of these comics and I’m sure Madonna knows what a gun looks like so HA!

More popcorn chicken and beer tonite. I’ll eat a real meal tomorrow.

DC Comics Rant

Shout out to J44!

Bob Harras at DC…I don’t know. My initial thought is that it won’t make TOO much of a difference. It’s still gonna be Geoff John’s and Dan Didio’s show.

Wildstorm ending…let’s wait and see. They’re still going to use these characters, but these were the characters who where CREATED to be EDGY. I hope DC doesn’t end up in some weird muddled middle ground where the hip edgy guys are watered down and wholesome guys are all pricks.

How can DC compete better with Marvel…I think DC’s biggest problem has to do perception. There’s still people, even folks who are like teenagers now, who say Marvel characters are more “realistic” than DC characters. Personally, I think that haven’t been true for at least 20 years. DC needs to have a massive ad/internet campaign similar to the Rolling Stone magazine ads from the 80’s. Perception vs Reality.  They need to let folks know that they aren’t the stiff stodgy company they were in the mid-70’s.

If I were Editor in Chief at DC? I don’t know. I’m not presumptuous enough to think I can run a successful comic book better than the folks that have been doing it for years ( otherwise I would be running my own company), but I do know I  WOULDN’T copy what Marvel seems to be doing right now. I wouldn’t fill my pg-13 superhero comics with gore and in appropriate T&A. And I wouldn’t flood the market with endless spin-offs and tie-ins that no one wants. I WOULD try to keep Vertigo going. I’d try to push the children’s line more. I’d also give the Minx line another try to bring in girls and young women who aren’t into superheroes. AND I’d have the JLA go on some adventures and fight some evil! It’s probably the most friggin’ BORING super team comic out right now! It’s like JLA is the bench warmers while the DC events are going on! Like what the hell? And stop trying to make Hal Jordan seem like some kinda lady’s man. He’s a guy in green and black tights! In real real life he looks like he’s on his way to the modern dance class! I LIKE Hal, but you cain’t be a pimp dressed like that!

More special projects. Maybe try to woo Todd McFarland over to team DC? I dunno maybe sports comics? There are more Payton Manning fans out there than Doom Patrol fans, so it couldn’t hurt.

Also, a comic about Bootsy Collins. Not cuz it would help DC Comics or the comics industry as a whole,but just cuz  I think it would be cool. Continue reading

Non-Sequitur #2: Slack Mutha F**ker

The accompanying  image I found on the Giant Size Marvel website http://www.giantsizemarvel.com/

Ok, I’ve accidentally stumbled on a new hobby. Collecting books given away by neighbors that I’m too lazy to actually read. This month I’ve acquired Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz, The Eight by Katherine Neville, and Marry Me  Cowboy which is some sort of anthology. I still have books from last year about theology and career hunting that I haven’t read yet, but somehow I’m able to make time for stupid comic books.  And so…

Secret Avengers #5: Still enjoying this book so far. This issue explains what going on with “Nick Fury”. However, I gotta say this, last arc had to do with the serpent crown and this issue *SPOILER* is the Fury LMD from the Defenders. This makes me wonder, is Ed Brubaker watching my old You Tube vids or (gasp!) actually sneaking into my home and reading my old comics from the 70’s? If in the next arc King Solomon’s Frog  from Kirby’s Black Panther or the Silver Dagger from Brunner’s Dr Strange appears then I’ll know!

Team America:World Police : Kay, I was going to do a You Tube vid about this movie by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, but I couldn’t think of more than 5 minutes of decent material. It’s rude, politically incorrect and kinda funny. Blah, blah, blah…at this point you know what you’re getting into with Parker and Stone. I will say this, I found out that this movie is on a National Review list of top conservative films. You gotta be all types of high to consider this a “conservative” film. Just because they make fun of liberal actors doesn’t automatically make the movie’s point of view conservative. Do you really think *SPOILERS* that Sarah Palin would approve of the explicit puppet sex scene? That Rick Warren would cheer the scene where a man has to prove his patriotism by having oral sex with another man? That Bill O’Reiley would chuckle at the part when someone repeatedly projectile vomits? I don’t have a big problem with this stuff, I’m just saying it ain’t a movie that promotes family values.

I had chicken salad and crackers with St Ides for dinner. Hmm, it’s cool having friends with benefits, but maybe

I need to get me another woman who’ll cook for me.