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Monday, July 29, 2013

"Life Events"


I haven't made a post about me in a while. Just on comics but not on stuff I've been up to or other things. I guess the first thing to talk about is the next convention I will be going to. In about a month and a half, I'll be going to the third annual Ramencon in Merrilville, IN. I went the past two years, in fact you can read my impressions of it in an earlier (MUCH earlier, like two years ago) post on this blog for the very first Ramencon. This con is very special to me since it was my first convention and really expanded my group of friends and began my journey into con-going fandom.

I have two cosplays in mind for it. Sanji from One Piece (above), and Castiel from Supernatural. Cass will be easy because I've done him before, and I'll let my 5 o'clock shadow get all good for him Friday of the con. Saturday will be Sanji (freshly shaved of course, with "sharpie" goatee marks and eyebrow curl). I just don't know which version of him to do yet. It'll depend on what kind of shirt I find at thrift stores I guess. Kinda want to do either the middle or right version, but if I can't find striped shirts for cheap I'll have to go with the one on the left. BUT! What I really wanna do is fashion a heart-shaped prop that I can easily affix to my face for photos and remove as easily (because One Piece fans will know that Sanji falls in love every five minutes, like below).

I am very excited for Ramencon if I can pull that off. I just need a good double-breasted suit jacket, a good shirt, and his wig. Tie, shoes, and pants are all already owned.

Otherwise my life has been eventfully uneventful. I recently began rekindling my love of Star Wars, so I got my hands on some expanded universe comics like Knight Errant and Legacy (to re-read/catch up on). I dived into Valiant's new catalog of books, including Harbinger, X-O Manowar, and Bloodshot. Those three, along with Shadowman, are solid titles. "X-O" in particular is quite interesting, starring a Visigoth warrior who is captured by an alien race called The Vine and hijacks a sacred armor called the Manowar and travels through time to fight against his captors. Whacky 90's plots re-done for a new generation with hot new writers is Valiant's new bread-and-butter and it's doing pretty well.

To catch up with the rest of the world, and some rad friends, I have also started watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. I've seen bits and pieces of it on TV but my brother had the DVDs so I have no excuse anymore not to watch it. I wanna get caught up and watch the first season of The Legend of Korra, its sequel, as well by September when its second season airs. It's just as good as I remember from what I've seen already and I look forward to powering through it at a blinding speed.

And finally, in the past few weeks, I've discovered my taste for real German beer. Danke, Bierstube.

With eyes so dilated I become your pupil.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hungry for Comics

Greetings again. My comic list this week was smaller than usual, and not much really jumped out at me so far. On top of actually having decent hours at work, I haven't had time to get through this week's comics, but what I did read I'll go over. So I'll just have a look at one of the titles this week that could shape up to be important.

Today I read the first issue of Marvel's four-part miniseries called Hunger, written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and art by Leonard Kirk. Like with any modern comic from the big two publishers, there is a chunk of backstory to address. Hunger is the follow up to Brian Michael Bendis' 10-part event Age of Ultron. In this overdrawn story, the evil artificial intelligence Ultron created by Hank Pym, the hero Ant-Man (or Goliath, or Yellowjacket, or Wasp, or whatevethehell), somehow takes over the Marvel Universe and a small group of resistance fighters have to take him down. Time travel is a big part of this, and one aim of the heroes is to go back in time to off Pym before he can create Ultron. This leads to a lot of timey-wimey nonsense and at the end of the day, reality is getting tired of being messed with all the time. Marvel has a thing with time travel and dimension-hopping. The events of "AoU" are basically the last straw and the fabric of reality begins to tear, which is where this mini begins. It tells the reader basically what I just did in the first page. 

This book picks up in the Ultimate Universe, an imprint of Marvel books that have a modern continuity as if all the heroes got their powers in the past decade instead of over the past century like the main Marvel 'verse. This continuity has some excellent books like Ultimate Spider-Man and some not so great things like the Ultimatum event, a huge point of it all being that it is a "real" world with real consequences (ie, you die, you stay dead. No resurrections like other comics). This first issue focuses on the Ultimate version of Rick Jones (in the core universe, he is a friend of Bruce Banner and has made his way all around the galaxy and is currently the Hulk-like being called A-Bomb), who in this universe has been given cosmic powers by the intergalactic totems called The Watchers, essentially this universe's Nova. He tries to find a moment of normalcy from his star-hopping on Earth but is interrupted by the Watcher in his head. He is transported to the galactic battleground between Kree and Chitauri warships (these two are classically warring species, like the main Marvel U's Kree/Skrull war), where he is told something BIG will occur; the arrival of the Gah Lak Tus swarm.

Gah Lak Tus is a swarm of alien robot/warships that destroy planets through the use of a flesh-eating virus. This may seem familiar, since we then see the Watcher in Rick's head basically say that, no, something BIGGER is coming. Cut to a patch of space with a glowing crack in it. The crack expands, and two purple hands grasp each side of the fissure and pull itself through as Galactus, the core Marvel U's near-omnipotent world-eater. The GLT swarm then reconfigures its programming and merges with Galactus into a new super-being. Not much is given to the reader other than being told that reality is tearing because of the previously mentioned Age of Ultron

This issue is well-written by Fialkov, who has done some stuff for DC, namely I, Vampire. His writing has some good dialogue, but there are some pacing issues with liberal use of Rick's teleportation power. Then again, it might be because Marvel is attempting a crossover between their core universe and the Ultimate Universe in four issues. The art is crisp and vibrant thanks to Kirk, who has done work with both DC and Marvel but nothing of his immediately rings a bell to me. All in all, this is an alright issue of what it is, but what it is is steeped in continuity. It's not a book to jump right into unless you have some familiarity of the Ultimate Universe and Age of Ultron. It could be a promising payoff to see Super Galactus take on the Ultimate U's heroes. But this also may be a hollow set-up to the Ultimate U's next big event "Cataclysm". Good thing is there are only three more issues to see what it turns into.

Other points this week:
 - Justice League Dark #22 is Part 3 of DC's "Trinity War" event. It could be just me, but Jeff Lemire's "JLD" is getting too wordy for me. His writing works for the character-focused book Animal Man, but for a whole team of sarcastic magic-users it just gets a little tiring. BUT! But this book sets up the real "War" now that the heroes have split amongst themselves, with Wonder Woman leading a group that wants to go after Pandora and her box, Batman heading the group that thinks that is a BAAAD idea, and Superman led by The Question to see if there is something else behind all of this. This event could still prove interesting, and I may have to give it a re-read once all six parts are out.
 - Geoff Johns is basically the top of the totem pole at the DC offices (if that totem pole was still the bottom of the barrel that Editorial is shitting in), and I have said a few times that he is up top for good reasons. He's got ideas that shake things up and cause controversy. Some are great, some are not, like any writer. But I will say this. He has made me care about Aquaman. His writing in Aquaman  has poked fun at the joke that the character is with many people and establishes him as a hero who aims to be taken seriously. He introduces new aspects to his mythology much like he did with the Green Lantern mythos. Issue 22 continues the arc about Atlantis' "First King" and how his throne was actually usurped by Aquaman's ancestors. It is an interesting book about a person's legacy and ghosts from the past. I would wholeheartedly recommend giving Aquaman a shot, especially if you were dubious of his status as a hero like many are these days.

Or swim with the fishes.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Carnage is back... again. Again.

This week in comics, I picked up the first issue of Marvel's five-part miniseries called Superior Carnage. The book is wrriten by Kevin Shinick and Stephen Segovia. This is the fourth in a chain of miniseries and events that star Cletus Kasaday, the homicidal killer possessed by the even more homicidal alien symbiote named Carnage. There isn't a strict continuity from one miniseries to the next other than that this guy cannot be gotten rid of so easily. In roughly the past decade, Carnage hasn't seen much action outside of the mentioned miniseries, so I'll give a brief overview of what he's been up to these past few years.

Back in around 2005, a little after the Civil War crossover event, there was a newly created character called The Sentry. He was a purposefully unambiguous Superman analog for Marvel whose main gimmick was that he has been around since the Golden Age, but nobody except he and his arch-nemesis, The Void, remembers it. He had many Superman-esque powers, and one of the big things Marvel did to establish his not-to-be-fucked-with status was to have him tackle the many villains escaping from the maximum security prison The Raft. The highlight of which was to effortlessly grab the murderous symbiote Carnage, fly him out to the vacuum of space, and tear him in half, leaving him to die. Up until then, Carnage was one of Spider-Man's deadliest enemies, and one of the crazier villains of the Marvel Universe. 

Fast forward to 2010. A rival technology company to Stark Industries releases the prototype for a new prosthetic limb. It is a merging of biological and computer technology that they used a "mysterious" substance that crashed to Earth to help create. Three guesses what this substance was. Using bits and pieces of Carnage's symbiote body to create new technology, they eventually gain sentience once again to seek out the preserved body of Kasaday who also returned to Earth. With Carnage back to full strength, it takes the combined efforts of Spider-Man and Iron Man to defeat him once again, in the miniseries Carnage - Family Feud. Later, in Carnage U.S.A., a regenerated Kasaday turns up in middle America, taking over an entire town with his symbiote. Fighting the main team of Avengers, he is, once again, eventually subdued. Most recently, Carnage was transported to the microverse to wreak havok among two rival factions of microverse dwellers. He is put down by Venom and the new Scarlet Spider, during the crossover event of their respective books called "Minimum Carnage". 

Carnage's fight with the Scarlet Spider left Kasaday near catatonic, as we are told in the early pages of Superior Carnage #1. He is being handled by a maximum security prison for supervillains, and we are told this by the narration of an inmate who doesn't really belong there (being only convicted of insider trading). But, of course, something goes wrong, and the alien inside Kasaday is allowed to once again take over the killer's body, slaughtering many inmates and guards. But it turns out, this was the doing of The Wizard, a super-genius nemesis of the Fantastic Four. His aim is to control the symbiote as the cornerstone of the new incarnation of his villainous super team, the Frightful Four. When Carnage predictably doesn't want to play by his rules, The Wizard reveals his contingency plan in the last panel of this issue, which I did not expect.
So, for this first issue I was kind of impressed. But only because of my expectations being rather low. The first two minis, Carnage - Family Feud, and Carnage U.S.A., were written by Zeb Wells and illustrated by Clayton Crain. Both of these were pretty good books that showed how Carnage has shaped up to be a force of chaos closer to home than the many cosmic villains that the contemporary Marvel heroes are tackling these days. The "Minimum Carnage" crossover, however, was a disappointment. Being a crossover, it was written by both Cullen Bunn (from Venom), and Chris Yost (from Scarlet Spider). It was kind of a mess to me, and I just never cared about the microverse. So the first issue of Superior Carnage is not bad. It is competently written by Kevin Shinick, whom I cannot recall reading anything of previously. So far, the only character we get any real characterization from is The Wizard, as well as the inmate from the early pages of the book, both done pretty well to establish things. Carnage himself has never really had much character besides being crazy and having daddy issues (being born from the Venom symbiote). The art by Stephen Segovia is pretty good at points, such as the splash page below, but otherwise your basic comic fare. Again, I compare this to the previous minis, the first two of which were done by Clayton Crain, who has become one of my favorite comic artists. His digital work is remarkable and does dark stories a lot of justice, having worked on Ghost Rider and the bloody X-Force book from the later '00's (although he is doing the cover art for this mini, as you can see on the cover image at the top of this page). The art for "Minimum Carnage" was fairly unremarkable, however. 

So this first issue seems promising to give us another five issue story about Carnage trying to be incorporated into a supervillain team instead of being the solitary killer he has been in the past. So we get a change up that could be an interesting read. It seems like this could be a story about how other villains deal with his insanity as opposed to another story about what kind of crazy thing Carnage will do next. So I hope this proves to be an interesting new take on the character, so we'll just have to wait and see.

I haven't read much else of note this week, but here are some blurbs:
 - The second part of DC's "Trinity War" arc was released in Justice League of America #6. The throw down between the JLA and the original Justice League that started in Part 1 was quickly ended. Many heroes on both sides start questioning things, with a focus on Superman and his confusion at having committed the act from Part 1 that I won't spoil yet, as well as Wonder Woman digging around to find out Pandora's secrets. We are given a bigger glimpse into The Question and his stake in all of this, but Geoff Johns doesn't seem to be writing him as anything more than a paint-by-numbers conspiracy theorist, albeit a mysterious possibly-immortal one. I hope this crossover does big things, but so far I haven't been impressed. But I trust Geoff Johns to make it good, at least.

 - Batman and Robin #22 by Peter Tomasi and Pat Gleason continues the 5 Stages of Grief metaphor that Batman is going through after the death of his son Damian. He teams up with Catwoman in this issue to help her rescue a hostage from the Chinese Embassy. It doesn't quite communicate the "Despair" stage of grief it is titled after, but serves more to establish the New52 version of Carrie Kelly, the Robin from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. It just confuses me a little since in the other Batman books they have been toying with a brand new character to take over the Robin mantle named Harper Row. So who knows if they'll even use either character.

That's all I've got this week. But I'll be back next week with something, so watch for that.

Good night, all.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Trinity War and More

This week I'll be taking a look at DC's Justice League #22, the first part of the big crossover "Trinity War". Part 1 is written by Geoff Johns, the creative head honcho of the New52, and illustrated by Ivan Reis. DC has been forcing its many books into crossovers since the beginning of the reboot, allowing a 5 or 6 issue arc to establish the various titles, then shoehorning in an event or crossover between many titles. Some were good, some were not. For example, the forerunner seemed to be the "Night of the Owls" event that ran through the core Batman title with tie-ins throughout the other Bat-family books like Nightwing, Batman and Robin, and the rest. This event was well done by Scott Snyder with minimal intrusion into other titles by the tie in issues. Then you've got "The Culling", and event throughout the majority of issues of Teen Titans and Superboy. These two books were supposed to overlap but were just one big ham-fisted headache penned by Scott Lobdell, a guy who forgets that it's not the 90's anymore.

"Trinity War" could turn out to follow either of those. It has a structure similar to "The Culling" and Justice League's previous crossover "Throne of Atlantis" (which I actually enjoyed and was pretty simply executed thanks to both JL and Aquaman being written by Mr. Johns), where you start with JL #22 as Part 1, then pick up Part 2 in Justice League of America #6, and Part 3 in Justice League Dark, etc etc. This is a simple structure that allows the story to move on quick, as opposed to the "Court of Owls" story which only took place in Batman which, like every other title, is a monthly book. This allows Johns to get Trinity War out of the way quickly so he can then move on to his 7-part "Forever Evil" (pfhahaha) story and DC's latest mistake, Villains Month. But anyway, on to the book itself.

In the New52 universe, there are three mysterious entities that may or may not have something to do with why the DC 'verse was rebooted in the first place, if they decide to even address that. They are Pandora, The Phantom Stranger, and The Question. We don't know much about them, since Pandora only just had her first issue released last week, while Phantom Stranger has had a short and as I hear it mediocre run of around 10 issues. While we don't know much about them, other than Pandora releasing the 7 Deadly Sins on humanity, there have been tensions among the world's superhuman crowd. America's secret organization ARGUS has formed a team of heroes and anti-heroes to take down the Justice League if they should go bad. This is their "Justice League of America". There's also the magic-using Justice League Dark which didn't do much in this issue but they have been burned by ARGUS in the past. This first part focuses on the hero Shazam traveling to the nation of Kahndaq which has banned any superhuman fly-bys. Both the Justice League and the JLA want to keep this from happening but for different reasons, which brings them both into a conflict.

As the first issue of this event, we get the deft writing of Geoff Johns. He establishes a little bit of needed info if you've just been reading JL. Otherwise he flies right into the two teams and their various concerns. Johns and JL are basically the core of the new DC universe as far as I can see, and he definitely wants this to be their first BIG event. You know, besides all the other ones editorial wants their writers to interrupt their individual stories for. Johns has been writing for DC for a while. You love him or you don't. I loved his run on Green Lantern, and what other stuff I've read (such as old DC's Justice Society) has been pretty good. He does good team books as well as decently-focused individual character books like Aquaman. Ivan Reis draws this book as well as his other work from earlier Green Lantern and the previous issues of JL. As you can see from the spread above, this event will allow him to make some dynamic pieces, of which this first issue has a few.

This first issue establishes what the main problem is without getting too much into it. It could have been a stronger hook, but with comics how they are, we had a bunch of titles serving as a "prelude" to it and comic solicits saying "read this pleasepleaseplease". Some of the dialogue is iffy, as you can see The Question to the right talking about EEEEVVVVIIILLL, which there is a lot of in this issue. But maybe that's just how The Question talks in the New52, and I'm kinda looking forward cautiously to how Johns treats the character. Since the JL books keep their fingers on the pulse of the new DC universe, this is really their first "big" event, so I want to see where it goes. If you've been reading Justice League since the beginning of the reboot, this should shape up to be bigger than "Throne of Atlantis" and worth following. The only wild card is how Justice League Dark, the one of the three titles not written by Johns (instead by Animal Man's Jeff Lemire), fits into his story. Luckily we've got two weeks (I think) to find out instead of two months.

Some other comic highlights:
 - Superman Unchained #2 by Scott Snyder looks to be interesting, introducing a new character from Supes' past into the mix of hidden terrorist plots by the group Ascension. Snyder is known for his writing in Batman focusing on Bruce Wayne's inner thoughts and is very personal and kinda dark. He brings that to Unchained with some good insight into Supes' mind and that he doesn't ALWAYS know what to do. I haven't read a lot of Superman books, so maybe this isn't all that great a job, but I'm liking it so far. At least, it's better than the core Superman book launched for the New52.

 - I recently picked up the first trade of Irredeemable by Mark Waid. It is about a Superman-esque superhero who "goes bad". But not like sudden mind control or evil clone, but a slow erosion of his principles and personality over time. Waid poses the possibility that not all heroes are emotionally equipped to deal with the praise and criticism of being a hero, and shows what could happen if a god-like being just can't take the pressure and stress anymore. The first volume brings in some classic hero tropes and makes them go wrong, such as revealing his secret identity costs him a possible marriage. It's an interesting idea that I think I'll keep going on with for its run of 37 issues.

 - Having seen some of their books pop up in my Amazon recommendations, I looked into Valiant and their heroes like Shadowman, X-O Manowar, and Bloodshot, some popular comics from the 90's that weren't from the big two publishers. They recently did their own little reboot by launching four (I believe, more have been added) titles that have all received relative praise. So I picked up the bargain-priced first volume of their rebooted Shadowman ($9.99 for a trade with 4 issues, an incentive to give the first story a shot, something more publishers are doing now it seems). Having only read the first issue of it, it seems it's right up my alley. It's got themes of family and powers passed down through generations with a horror vibe. Sounds like Animal Man. I'll be looking into the other reboots too because I already like this book.

So that's it for now. Back next week with another comic review.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Bit About Anime Midwest

This past weekend I went to Anime Midwest at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Rosemont, IL. It's a big anime convention, naturally. But with this one there has been some drama behind the scenes involving people behind the convention and things I won't get into other than my opinion that I didn't quite care if the con was ran smoothly and I didn't have to be witness to any of it. Like almost all cons, I spent the whole weekend there; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was the first convention that I'd be bringing two of my hometown friends who normally don't hang with my con-going friends.

I was anxious to say the least. As Jim Gaffigan has said, mixing two groups of friends is stressful ("Yeah, these people don't know I drink. And don't be thrown by my British accent"). Would they get along? Would they behave themselves? My groups of friends do vastly different things on their downtime, mind you, and I didn't know how it would go. Minus the joking at my expense of torching the place, my doubts were unfounded and things went smoothly and they all made friends which was cool.

Friday my carpool of friends TJ, Melysa, and Caleb hit the road to Rosemont. I didn't get the best sleep so I had a nice headache most of the day. Waiting for other friends to show up, we scoped out the hotel and where the various event rooms were. There was a dealer room with all kinds of junk to spend money on, a game room, tabletop rooms, panel rooms, and the main ballroom. I actually attended some panels that day. The first one was "Breaking Into Comics" which was run by Russel Lissau and Steve Horton, two comic writers who have been around the industry. These two guys I have seen at other conventions around the midwest area, but I never much paid attention to them. The panel was interesting, but was mostly just people asking questions without a WHOLE lot of actual ins and outs of the comic industry. It was good insight, however. Also, I walked away with their main piece of advice; DO THE WORK. Just DO IT. If you want to be a writer, don't want to. Go be it. It's a strange thing to grasp, because if only things were that simple. But maybe it is. I need to get on that. Actually try my hand at writing something out like a comic script or a page layout or some characters sketches and see what I feel best with right away and work from there. I'd love to do it all but who knows. Much like the last panel, I went to "Making Webcomics Part 1", the first in a trilogy of panels all weekend about, naturally, making webcomics. It was interesting but didn't give me much more than the previous panel. Both were well done though, without any problems with guests or attendees.

The night ended by my showing my two friends around the con area and giving them the low down about where they could go and a bit about etiquette, since they missed the deadline to pick up badges that night. Late that night around 11pm, my friends Brock, Evan, Matt, and I went to the karaoke room to sing "Rocky Road to Dublin" as done by the Irish Descendants. We got the whole room clapping around and most of them joined in the merry jig that ensued. It was amazing and we will be doing it at any con we can and I can't wait.

Saturday was equally eventful, but my stress levels were all over the place that day so I didn't really do much convention stuff besides wander around. My good friend Brock presented his panel "A Primer to Doctor Who" which went over fantastically, much like the first time he did it at Kitsunekon a few months ago. The Masquerade, the costume contest, was that evening. It was... far from amazing. It was the least organized part of the con I could tell of. The line for it basically filled up the whole of the lobby in a horrible mass and was delayed by a good half an hour. Even after that delay the contest itself lasted maybe 40 minutes, most of it being the MC's rather unprofessional commentary. I asked myself if the contestants found him rude at all that he kept interjecting into their walk-ons. Whenever I could actually hear what he was saying (the tech crew had an off night it seemed), he was always doing the same joke of asking female contestants for their numbers. It wasn't funny the first time, nor the subsequent twelve times. But that may be harsh since the whole thing was a disappointment. I wasn't wowed by any of the costumes. Maybe I'm just to expectant of cosplay contests being a way for the best costumes to show off. Good work to all of the contestants though, I don't want to put any of them down because I know costumes are difficult regardless of what they are. But few of them really stood out. There was a group of Silent Hill cosplayers that did pretty well though.

That night, my friends and I actually went to an 18+ panel, one naturally for adults only. We had never been, so it was... an experience for all of us. The panel was taking volunteers to dub over Hentai games based on improv topics provided by the audience. It started out pretty hilarious but devolved into ear-piercing screeches of god knows what that lost any humor. To me anyway. Other people found it hilarious. After that we all lined up for the rave, the Saturday night party of lights, noise, and sweaty people gyrating and bouncing around to the beats of the music. I was there with my friends pretty much all night, on and off with breaks from the chaos. The night ended and the morning began sitting in my room discussing many things with friends Aaron, Kristen, Autumn, and Cody. Then I got about three hours of sleep. Maybe.

Sunday was a headache trying to get shit out of the room before noon. It all worked out in the end though. The day consisted of one last lap around the dealer room to buy stuff (I nabbed a Doctor Who licence plate border, One Piece figurine, and some comics signed by the aforementioned panelists). The afternoon was spent with our big group splayed out in the chairs in the lobby just talking about life, the universe, and everything, which is one of my favorite parts of conventions. Just as an aside, talking out loud about things just helps compartmentalize all the stuff that goes on up in your head, which I had a lot of.

The drive home was to the music of the Digimon Movie soundtrack. A mix of music from the TV show and hits of the late 90's and early 00's. Nostalgia up the wazoo.

It was overall a good weekend in terms of the convention itself. I avoided any drama and had a good time with friends. Personal anxieties of this particular weekend convention were for the most part unfounded. So I'll put this down as a win. I likely won't go next year however. It's mostly due to it being over the 4th of July weekend, but a little to do with the drama that I heard so much about that I just wanna be as far away from as I can. Neither I nor anyone I know personally is involved, but I just don't need to hear it; I just want to have a good time.

So with that I eagerly await this year's Ramencon in Indiana in September.

So everything's not perfect
Don't matter 'cause you'll rework it
Nothings holding you
Never stopping, never stopping, never stopping now

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Everybody Read Animal Man

...and Swamp Thing.

I mentioned them a few days ago and how great they were. It's been a busy week with the 4th of July and working at a grocery store, it's a big week for people who eat food. I've not had time to read all the floppies this week, but so far DC's stuff was pretty good. Batman Inc, is winding down to the final issue (at least of Grant Morrison's years-long story arc), Detective Comics is re-introducing Wrath into the Batman corner of the New52, and Green Lantern is still showing some promise two issues into the new writer's run.

But I did manage to finish the second volume of DC's Animal Man of the New52. I can't recommend it enough. Swamp Thing is very much related to the concepts of Animal Man, as I wrote a few days ago, but if I HAD to pick which of the two is the better book, it would be Animal Man, but by just a hair. If you don't read it for the art (gruesome as it may often be), or the story of primordial forces destroying the balance of the world, read it for the following:

At it's core, Animal Man is about a family where the father has abilities beyond imagination. The book shows the effect of Buddy Baker's place in the world on the family. And it gets better from there.

So yeah.

Anywho, tomorrow morning I head out for Anime Midwest in Rosemont, IL. I'm quite excited but also anxious as always because people. But I won't have anything more for here until Monday at the earliest with details of the con experience.

That is all.

(Read Animal Man)