Spider-Man Noir

Posted: May 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Spider-Man Noir: Eyes Without A Face, written by David Hine and Fabrice Sapolsky and illustrated by Carmine Di Giandomenico. (wow that’s a mouthful!)

Spider-man is one of my all time favorite super heroes. everything about him is just cool. awesome powers, great personality and story, the comic worlds best catch phrases and one liners, and a well developed alter ego. the fact that he started off as a skinny nerd who got beat up a lot probably brought the story home for me. however one of the more interesting things about Spider-Man is all the different forms he has taken over the years. there is; spectacular, ultimate, crimson spider, iron spider, 2099, man-spider, captain universe, and spider man 1602, just to name a few. but my favorite out of all the different timelines and back stories and alternate universes has got to be Spider-Man Noir.

This version of the classic spidey story takes place during the 1930’s. the great depression is in full swing and there are plenty of mobsters running around new york with fedoras and tommy guns. this time around uncle Ben gets bumped off by the local mob boss, Norman Osborne, who then tries to frame peter for murder. In an accidental run in with smugglers, peter gets bitten by a spider endowed with magical powers by a mysterious spider god. the Noir spidey is very different from what we are used to seeing. rather then a brightly colored skin tight suit, Noir wears; average clothes, combat boots, a trench coat, a ski mask with goggles, and sometimes a fedora. he doesn’t swing gracefully over Manhattan on webs but sneaks through shadowed alleys and leaps over rooftops like a ninja. hes got all the regular spider man powers except his webs are black and just kinda splatter everywhere rather then forming perfect strands for him to swing on. oh, and one more thing, Noir get pissed off easily and carries a very large revolver tucked in his coat.

Magical spiders aside, the rest of the spider-man Noir characters are more realistic then they usually are. Doctor Octopus is wheelchair bound and has ties to the nazis, Sandman is a thick necked knee-breaker for the mob, the Goblin is a circus freak with a rare skin disorder, and so on. they all seem a little more plausible and in the end feel like richer and more developed characters then their original versions.

when all is said and done Spider-Man Noir is just the same old spidey story covered in grime and set right around WW2. but this is not a bad thing at all. being a fan of old film noir movies and a major spider-man fan I couldn’t help but love this series. Mobsters, tough guy cops, jazz clubs, tommy gun drive-bys, and everyone’s favorite web slinger right in the thick of it! beating the crap out of the bad guys and romancing the dames. whats not to love?

later.

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Lenore

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

((1 Week late. sorry about that!))

Lenore by Roman Dirge

There are few things in this world more terrifying then nursery rhymes. when you stop and really think about the context of what is going on in those stories you reveal some really twisted stuff. Roman Dirge understands this. Lenore is the story of a wonderful little girl who one day got very sick and tragically passed away, only to wake up again halfway through the embalming process. Yes that is correct my friends, Lenore is one of those “Gothic, horror, comedy” kind of comics, much like Squee and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. (if you aren’t familiar with them, don’t worry, Ill be writing later installments on their epicness!) So going into this one you’re gonna need a dark sense of humor and an appreciation for alternative art. If you think you qualify then this is totally the comic for you!

A quick rundown of the kind of things you will encounter in Lenore; disturbing re-visitations of childhood nursery rhymes, Lenore’s creepy stalker boyfriend Mr. Gosh who is murdered over and over again, limbless cannibals, an all powerful vampire whose soul is trapped in Lenore’s teddy bear, and (my favorite) the strange undead moose thing named Taxidermy that lives in the woods behind Lenore’s house. The first couple of comics are kind of random and don’t really develop much story but eventually something like a storyline is formed. You will laugh, you will cringe, you might even catch yourself checking your basement for Taxidermy’s horrible pet not dead thing Malakai. (something that still worries me to this day)

There is just one problem I have with Lenore. The fact that I can never really find any copies of it. The big re-release graphic novels are kind of obscure and the individual comics are next to impossible to get. My advice to you is if you ever find one floating around somewhere BUY IT! Even if they aren’t really your cup of tea exactly I’m sure you could find some one *cough cough* who would be more then willing to buy em off of ya (perhaps a long haired pale dude in a leather jacket?). Well maybe they aren’t THAT difficult to find. I just simply refuse to enter a Hot Topic anymore. I have my reasons, don’t ask.

later.

Deadline

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Deadline, written by Bill Rosemann drawn by Guy Davis

One of the great things about Marvel comics is that all of their characters exist in the same world. Not only that, but they actually interact with one another and have relationships beyond team members or arch rivals. The Marvel universe has changed from cliched good guy bad guy superhero stuff to real stories in which their characters have real lives, and have to deal with normal stuff as well as the fantastic. Sure, the Human torch flew around and shot down the bad guys with blasts of fire, but he also had to apprehend them, wait for the cops, help the fire department manage the flames, and deal with the press. They deal with the real problems as well as the amazing ones. This is where Deadline really shines.

Deadline follows Katherine Farrell, a reporter for the Daily Bugle. Yes, the very same paper that our beloved Peter Parker works for. Kats job isnt glamorous or prestigious. She reports on the “capes”. And boy does she hate the capes. In the Marvel world, reporting on the latest super battle is a lot like reporting on the weather, or at least it is to Kat. She would much rather be investigating corrupt congressman, warzones, or other world changing events, but alas she is stuck with “rookie work” such as following around self important pretty boys in tights. I wont (and never will) ruin the story for you, but as she investigates a string of murders involving super humans, Kat finds herself dragged deeper and deeper into the fantastic and dangerous world of super heroes.

One of the things Deadline has perfected is the art of the cameo. some of our favorite heroes and villains jump in and out of the story seamlessly and really gives you a feel for the world of Marvel. The Leaper gets tagged by Hawkeye and has to go get the arrow removed, Bullseye chats up our leading lady at a dive bar, Tombstone makes some veiled threats on behalf of the Kingpin, and so on. There are even a few minor bad guys from way back in the day like Third rail or Carjack that come into the story. By far the best part of the story is a new hero that is introduced, The Judge, a pale man dressed in black robes who fade in and out of existence.

All in all, Deadline is one of those “unknown” comics that I think did not get quite the degree of attention it deserved. This is defiantly one of those comics to look out for when browsing your local comic shop or bookstore.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Posted: April 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

Batman: Arkham Asylum, A Serious House on Serious Earth. written by Grant Morrison and beautifully drawn and painted by Dave McKean.

The Boarders down by my house is closing. upon hearing this (after my girlfriend got me to calm down and stop screaming obscenities) I went down and took advantage of the 40% discount before my favorite and most convenient book store went under. while browsing the thoroughly molested shelves I stumbled across a copy of the 15th anniversary edition of Batman: Arkham Asylum. It had to be mine.

Right off the bat (pun totally intended) Arkham Asylum strikes the viewer as something very different then your average comic. This is due primarily to the fact that every page is a beautiful mix of paint, pencil sketches, and photography. The artwork is done in a strange surrealist/realistic style that mimics the madness inherent in the asylum and its inmates. Throughout the book, Batman finds himself lost in long black hallways with twisting corners, brightly colored rooms filled with babbling maniacs, or lightning bolt lit rooftops. bottom line, if you have a macabre sense of humor and can stomach some of the creepier bits, this is one of the most visually stunning comics you could ever pic up.

Now to the story. Anyone who played the game based after this comic knows it, but Ill give a run-down. Arkham Asylum is the legendary madhouse where all of Batmans most dangerous enemies are kept. Every time Batman puts the smack down on Joker, Two-face, or Scarecrow, this is where they get dumped. Our story begins with an uprising. Something horrible has happened at the asylum and now the inmates are running the show, lead of course, by The Joker. but the real meat of the story isn’t  in Batmans daring rescue. In this story we get a peek into the inner workings of our beloved lunatic villains. not only that, but we find out exactly how Arkham Asylum was built, and a detailed accounting of its builder Dr. Amadeus Arkham. I wont ruin the story for you, but if you can deal with a mature story involving; murder, insanity, dark humor, and more creepy blurry text then you can shake a stick at, then this book is for you!

later.

Hello Everyone!

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

My name is Joel and I am writing this blog for a class of mine. for the next 11 weeks I will be posting my views on various comic books and graphic novels. each week Ill post an update on what I am reading or have read in the past. some of them you have read before, maybe some you never even heard about before, either way Ill give you a piece of my mind and a few fun facts.

keep in mind Im just a film student and am in no way a professional anything. my grammar will suck and I will not apologize for it. ha!

feedback is always good, and who knows? I might even keep this going after the project is done. If I feel like it.

later.