BENDING CARDS

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Archive for April, 2008

BENDING STEEL REVIEW: Death of the New Gods #8

Posted by jadecanary on April 27, 2008

Previously in “Death of the New Gods”…

The Source, the “god” of the New Gods, decided that it was time to end his fourth flawed creation, and give it anoher shot. Learning from the concept of the Infinity Man, a being created by the Forever People merging together, that mixing souls of the gods amp up there power. So the Source’s idea was to collect the souls of the residents of New Genesis and Apokolips, mix them up, and make new, new gods to populate his fifth world.

Darkseid didn’t agree.

After the death of Mr. Miracle, the Source had merged with his “bad half”, the Anti-Life, And took care of all his business, save for Darkseid. So he heads off for Apokolips to finish up.

Darkseid still didn’t agree.

So Darkseid and the Source start to fight, and the Source becomes a little worried. You see, Darkseid knew what the Source was up to and started tapping into the collected souls of the New Gods. He had become the Source’s equal. Darkseid decides to imprison the gods god, so that he could continue to tap this power.

But the Source didn’t agree.

“There was something in the air I found disquieting. And though I could not pinpoint this subtile disturbance’s cause… I took a certain precautionary measure. Darkseid, meet my fallback position. Orion.”

Darkseid and Orion fight. Then Darkseid bolts for parts unknown (see Countdown #2). The Source then slams Apokolips and New Genesis together and calls the new planet form by the two the Fifth World. And then it’s over.

What the hell was that?

A several months back, I had read an interview with Jim Starlin about “Death of the New Gods”. I was soooo freaking excited. For years, writers have had their shot at Jack Kirby’s New Gods, only to leave it statis quo. It seemed that each creator was scared to change, alter or skew the vision of the legendary Jack Kirby. And that’s why any book featuring the New Gods sucked.

Death wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. The story features a number of gods standing around and postulating, “Who’s killing us?” It featured Darkseid sitting on his bum and telling Metron, Superman and Mr. Miracle, “I know something you don’t know!”. I felt there was so little action. Hell, the fight between Orion and The Source was just a big blast of light. That’s it.

Then Darkseid fought The Source. I have been waiting for this book with bated breath for a month. The final battle. And it read like to kids in a playground arguing which one of them is more powerful in their imagination.

“I’ve got all the souls of the gods, I’m gonna get you too.”

“No you’re not, cause I’ve stolen your god souls and now I’m more powerful then you. I’m gonna make you my prisoner.”

“Nuh-uhh! You didn’t get all the souls. I have Orion and cause he’s your son he has all the powers you got!”

“I’m not playing anymore.”

I have to say this, I didn’t feel the continuity between this book and Countdown to Final Crisis. Darkseid has been playing games with Solomon the Monitor and Darkseid’s Elite have been screwing around with the heroes of the Countdown. None of this played a part in the Death. And the final battle between Darkseid and Orion seemed forced into Countdown. It looked to me like the intention was for Starlin to finish the mass murdering in Death but the decision was taken out of his hands. Seeing how Countdown ended, it need some sort of climax.

BENDING STEEL REVIEW: The gods are dead. There is no getting back to Kirby from here. For that, I’ll give you a couple of points. Other than that, the lack of DC Universal continuity (I blame Dini nad Didio), The fact that most of the Gods stood around and waited to die weakened this book. But at least Orion killed Darkseid. But that happened in another book.

Death of the New Gods #8: 2/5, The entire miniseries: 2/5

PICK OF THE WEEK: Batman #675

“Bruce Wayne is Batman.”

Oh Bruce. The prolouge to Batman RIP was good, very good. Bruce Wayne goes out with his girlfriend and she proceeds to rip (no pun intended) into him…

“…why do I feel as though all I ever see is…is the mask of a man, Bruce? Yes, you’re witty and charming and clever, but underneath there’s something deep and dark and terrible, isn’t there? Something you can’t bring yourself to say or tell me. …there’s something underneath that wit and charm…something so cruel.”

“Are you into S&M, Bruce?”

BWAH-HA-HA-HA! I love it!. Grant Morrison has had a crazy run on this book, and expect Batman RIP to contune to amaze. 5/5

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THE AMERICAN WAY: Earth Day

Posted by jadecanary on April 23, 2008

I was sooo ready to go on an Earth Day rampage against the Global Warming crowd, and then I got bummed out. http://entertainment.upperdeck.com/vs/en/news/article.aspx?aid=4142

If you’re a VS dork, you know what I’m talking about. No DC set this year. No Sinestro Corps, no multiverse, nuthin’. That sucks. When I can elaborat my feelings on the subject more, I’ll blog it up.

As for Earth Day, http://schnittshow.970wfla.com/globalwarming.html This site has everything it will take to point out that man-made global warming is less then a theory, it’s a down-right lie. And until the light of day is shined on these slime balls who push this bs, you will pay more to fill up your gas tank, to buy milk and bread, to air condition you house, and to buy a measly lightbulb. See, i told ya you wouldn’t like these “THE AMERICAN WAY” topics up on my new Topics page.

Toodles

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INSIGHT: I am Blue Beetle

Posted by jadecanary on April 23, 2008

I don’t get it. You love Superman. Your blog reflects your Kryptonian passion. Hell, you named your kid Kal-el. What do you mean “I am Blue Beetle”?

In early 1990, my facination with comic books began. ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #463, Superman races The Flash. I was 12. Superman was big for me while I was growing up. I used to watch the George Reeves TV show on reruns on Sundays. Whenever the movies re-ran on TV, I was there. But there, before me, was an honest to God race between the two fastest heroes I’ve ever seen. After that, I was hooked. I bought a Superman comic every week my mom took me to the store. SUPERMAN, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, and ACTION COMICS. Every now and again, I’d flip through the other books there. I’d get familiar with some of the characters. I knew who the “Superfriends” were, but not much about current continuity. I bought JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #40, because Mr. Miracle died. I had no idea who he was, but he was dead. And Superman made a 3-panel appearance.

JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #52 came out in the summer of 1991. I was 13, the start of the rough road that was my teenage years. The cover featured Guy “Grinder” Gardner vs. Blue “Battling” Beetle in a boxing match. Then I flipped through it and saw this…

“Omigod. I’m Blue Beetle.”

A super-hero… that is fat. And unhappy about it.

Guy Gardner (of course) filled the roll of the bully, picking on Ted about his weight. The rest of the issue is unimportant, but I’ll tell you about it. General Glory tells Beetle and Guy to settle their issues in the boxing ring. In a book where the only villian was a friend being a bully, the hero did his best. He put Guy on his ass in one punch (“ONE PUCH AGAIN, BWAH-HA-HA”). Guy didn’t take kindly to that and tackled Ted and started to “kick” the crap out of him. Guy was immediatly expelled from the Justice League (a tragedy brought him right back in less then an issue later).

Ted later got himself back into shape by training under General Glory, but that’s not the point. Ted Kord was a comedian. Ted Kord was a nice guy. And Ted Kord was a dork and a fatty. I related to him at 13 and even now at 30. To see him beat up on himself for putting back on the pounds, for bring back all those forgotten demons, connected to me. I’m Blue Beetle. And I didn’t feel so alone anymore.

I’ve been a Ted Kord/Blue Beetle fan ever since. Right up until the day Max Lord blew his brains out. I was sad, but I felt vindicated. Max Lord was pimped up to be this powerful man. He had money, he controlled the Justice League, and he ran Checkmate. He even stole Batman’s super-hero spy satelite. But he had to kill Blue Beetle, because he was dangerous. The lame-ass, fat-boy dork was a threat to everything Lord had built. Ted Kord died a hero.

And then BOOSTER GOLD writers Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz brought him back. I know Beetle is only going to be around for this storyline, but I’m glad to see him back in action, one last time. I’ll have a BENDING STEEL REVIEW of the “Blue and Gold” story-arc from BOOSTER GOLD when it is completed.

I love Superman. I love his character, I love his personality, I love.. well, everything about the guy. But he’s no Blue Beetle. He couldn’t be. I thank Seigel and Shuster for giving me someone to look up in the sky for, but I thank even more Gerard Jones and JM DeMatteis for JLA 52. They made a little boy not feel so ashamed.

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THE FLAVOR OF: Guy Gardner

Posted by jadecanary on April 22, 2008

Guy Gardner. The greatest of the Green Lanterns.

Uhh, Ster. It’s Hal Jordan. Or maybe Kyle Rayner.

No. It’s Guy. Guy Gardner is a jerk. Guy Gardner is an ass. Guy Gardner is a bully. But despite his attitude, he is a hero. He fights thegood fight, and he does it with confidence. Nothing can stop Guy Gardner. Not Batman, not Hal or the Guardians of the Universe, not even Lobo. And as well known as he is with the Green Lantern ring, he has proven he doesn’t need it.

I’ll let Wiki give you Guy’s background. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Gardner_(comics)

I’ve recently re-read GREEN LANTERN CORPS RECHARGE mini-series, and it made me want to take a closer look at the character. I grew up with Guy in the JLI. I remember him written as the instigator. He was always starting something, like challenging Batman, then later Superman, for leadership of the Justice League, even though noone would ever follow his lead. Keith Giffen and JM DeMatteis defined Guy as arrogant. He was never wrong and wouldn’t put up with anyone standing up to him. Then they gave us two characters that would round him out: Ice and General Glory. Ice could melt Guy’s heart. He would do anything for that girl, even attend the Ice Cappades. General Glory is one of those classic “DC rips off Marvel/Marvel rips off DC” things (he basicly has Captain America’s origin). Guy grew up reading General Glory’s comic adventures and highly respects the man. When General Glory tells Guy to do something, he would say, without hesitating, “YESSIR!”.

Later, in Guy’s own book, Chuck Dixon gave Guy a definitive origin, with an abusive father and a life is the shadow of a brother who could do no wrong. Guy quickly became more human.

Then Beau Smith got his hands on Gardner and turned him into “The Warrior”. >smaking my head with my hand< The only good thing that came out of the run was Guy’s bar, “Warriors”.

Green Lantern: Rebirth put Guy back where he belongs… and more. He is a Green Lantern again. And not just a GL, but THE GL. Number one of the Lantern Honor Guard. Of course this hasn’t stopped Guy from breaking rules (when necessary).

THE FLAVOR OF GUY GARDNER

“The Flavor Of:” takes a look at VS cards and fits them back into the continuity that they are a snapshot of. Today, I’ll focus on Guy’s character cards.

(My scanning sucks)

I’ll start with Guy Gardner, Egomaniac, because he is dual-affiliated with the JLI. Guy gives Willpower to other characters you control. He also increases the defense of JLIers and Green Lanterns by their respective Willpowers. The card is a good one in a GL deck, but this is not what is article (or blog) is about. The sharing of Willpower is very much like the Guy at the end of GLC:Recharge. This card shows Guy as influential and reliable. Guy will “get your back” with his defense boost. I wish he fit better with the JLI. I’ve always seen this card as more legacy for the Green Lanterns and less as a playable character for a JLI build. And the art sucks (Guy wears his ring on his middle finger, Tom Feister) Flavor Rate: GL 5/5, JLI 1/5

The new Guy Gardner, Hero With Attitude is next. I had to change my pants when I saw this card. Well, actually, I never got past the fact it was Guy with a yellow ring. He is single affiliated with the JLI, which makes sense because he was kicked out of the Corps. His “Reservist” is good for the JLI “4 and under” deck, but is not up to flavor because he was a regular on the team (except for 2 1/2 issues, when he quit) the entire run that he had Sinestro’s ring. The power doesn’t really have flavor, but I guess you could say that he can pop the little guys without breaking a sweat. The art is okay, but it really doesn’t show Guy in all his glory… and his stylish G on his jacket (and where is his scar?). Flavor Rate: JLI 3/5

Guy Gardner, Warrior is up next. The 3-drop Guy came out in the Justice League set, along with his 7-drop. Guy supports the unaffiliated build DJL printed in this set. But most of those characters were bad guys, and Warrior was a hero. The “flight” doesn’t make sense because Guy couldn’t fly in this form. I like his 6/3 stats, showing that Warrior is a fighter, not a lover. His power is splashable in any unaffiliated deck, but most of the characters you would use this power with are villians. The art features a bar, but it doesn’t look like Warriors. He could have been morphing out some guns or something. Flavor Rate: 1/5

I finish this look with the first Guy Gardner card, Guy Gardner, Strong Arm of the Corps. First, the art sucks. C’mon, how ’bout some decent art? This Guy is so rarly played, Katma Tui is the Lantern I regularly see at 5. Where “Strong Arm” lacks in playablity, he makes up with flavor. Guy’s 10/7 stats and +X while attacking show Guy to be an offensive force. His Boost once again reflects Guy influence on his teammates. I like this Guy and I’m sorry he doesn’t get the deck love he deserves. Flavor Rate: GL 4/5

FUTURE FLAVOR

The Green Lantern Corps deserves a refeature. UDE got ahold of the team before the GLC book got running. Characters like Isamot Kol, Vath Sarn, and Soranik Natu deserve the VS treatment. And Guy needs to be a Legend. No doubt about it, he’s deserved it. Hell, I’d like to see the four Earth Lanterns each get Legend treatment. The comics are building toward a 2009 story epic and VS can get in the flavor by giving us a future set of Green Lanterns… and the Legend of Guy Gardner, Asskicker!

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BENDING STEEL REVIEW: Countdown #2

Posted by jadecanary on April 21, 2008

HOLY CRAP!

This is the way the Fourth World should end.

But I’m sure it’s not. I will be excitedly awaiting DEATH OF THE NEW GODS #8.

5/5

PICK OF THE WEEK 4/16: BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #6

CHUCK DIXON is one of the best writers in comics and I don’t think he gets the credit for it. If you’re not reading BATO, I highly recommend you pick up the TPB whhen it comes out. BATMAN’S team consists of old members GEO-FORCE (in a trade from the JLA, I loved that!), KATANA, METAMORPHO, from JUDD WINICK’s team: GRACE (and THUNDER is in the book, but Bats won’t let her on the team) and Dixon additions: BATGIRL and GREEN ARROW. Last ish featured the return of RALPH and SUE DIBNY!

This team has been on one hell of a run and I really don’t want to review it, I just want you to read it, so check it out!

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