Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A city on the brink

Thanks to Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times for this insightful view of the Windy City.

In the latest Best Shots @ Newsarama.com, I take a look at the latest chapter in Alex Ross' ode to the JLA, JUSTICE. Great stuff so far.

Remember to set your clocks an hour back this Saturday night, kids!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Party Like It's 1959!

Well, it was good enough for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, the Tacoma News Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, the Myrtle Beach Sun News, MSNBC, and USA Today, shoot, it's a good enough headline for me.

Congratulations to the 2005 American League Champion Chicago White Sox. It's a blast being in the same town as a World Series contender, and you have to like this team's chances after how they easily dispatched the defending world champ
Boston Red Sox, and then to grab 3 straight on the road in Anaheim without even making a call to the bullpen. Wow. This is what you call a team that's for real.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I think the hardest thing to do Wednesday night was find a replay that actually made the umpire look remotely accurate. So he called strike 3 and even gestured to confirm it, yet it was still a live play?? Huh. It's not any surprise that this happened in Chicago, home of The Curse (I use that term broadly because there are too many Windy City curses to go around), but when a freak occurrence like a controversial call happens here, it's typically at the expense of the home team. Not this time.

Should be an interesting weekend in Anaheim.

So we're 24 hours removed from the DC event of the decade, and I am intrigued and excited with a tinge of melancholy. The first issue of the seven-part INFINITE CRISIS is in stores now, and it's been a fucking howl so far. Theories have been espoused for months as to what will go down in this universe-shattering series. For one, it does act as a sequel to the legendary maxi-series CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS which in 1985 served as a 50th anniversary celebration as well as a means to clean house and start from scratch with its most iconic characters. Back in the 1960s going into the 1980s, DC creatively explained that each generation's version of Superman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman & Robin, etc. were all, along with acquired properties from the defunct publishers of Shazam! and Blue Beetle & Captain Atom, functioning on separate universes. The Crisis served as a cataclymic event that allowed all the characters in DC's stable to operate in one distinct universe with fresh integrated histories. With INFINITE CRISIS, a sequel of sorts is being produced twenty years later, and the editorial ramifications promise to be spectacular if not altogether controversial.

An epic of this nature is usually accompanied by a high body count, and so far the creative team behind INFINITE CRISIS is off to a rollicking start. The current version of the super-team, the Freedom Fighters, is decimated in a gruesome fashion. For sure, we know that Black Condor is ruthlessly and abruptly taken out by Green Lantern foe Sinestro, Human Bomb is pounded into mush by a particularly vicious Bizarro, and Phantom Lady gets torn apart by the Cheetah and Deathstroke the Terminator.

Far be it from me to complain about well written, well drawn material that doesn't let up, but it never hurts less as a fan when you see characters you've grown attached to take one for the team. Writer Geoff Johns and artists Phil Jimenez & Andy Lanning I'm sure would appreciate that this first issue of INFINITE CRISIS has me hankerin' for more big time. If you read the first CRISIS series, especially if you read it when it first came out, I would never believe you if you told me the very last page of the first chapter didn't move you.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Ad Hawk

In my lead contribution to this week's Best Shots @ Newsarama, I was given a major reason to bitch when all I wanted to do was praise the exceptional Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big In Japan #1. This book was off the hook (and not in a good way) with an embarrassingly excessive ad count. Every other page in the book was an advertisement, and the ads ended up exceeding the pages of actual content. Marvel isn't exactly near and dear to my heart with some of their business decisions anyway, but I'm calling bullshit when they charge $3.50 per issue. Piss poor. It was too bad, too, because artist Seth Fisher provided some funky-ass visuals to an old school Japanese monster mash.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Fluff Piece...

I'm not going to profess to have the slightest fucking clue about Harriet Miers, but The Chimp doesn't exactly have a stellar track record when hiring personal associates now, does he? If it was within the parameters of his job description, I wouldn't put it past Bush to appoint Rafael Palmiero as commissioner of Major League Baseball.

In this week's Best Shots @ Newsarama.com, I covered JLA #119, Adventures of Superman #644, Batman #645, and Superman/Batman #22. I personally had a lot of fun with the latest story arc in JLA, because it brought back the better part of the League that I hold near and dear to my heart, from Justice League of America #200. Superman/Batman has been pretty bananas too. The World's Finest team has been hunted down by a superteam from a parallel universe that's intentionally supposed to be a dead ringer for Marvel Comics' Avengers. The two heroes have been all over the place, and for some nutty unexplained reason the story involves Bizarro and his new partner Batzarro. It's been some loopy shit, to be sure. And then on top of that when the "World's Worst" team uses the JLA's transporters to follow Superman and Batman, one ends up confronting the Elseworlds Superman from RED SON, while the other meets up with the Caped Crusader from Batman Beyond. That last one is especially significant as that animated version of Batman has never been integrated into the DC comic book world. Not sure how far they plan on taking that, but we'll see.