Revenge of the BLOG

Monday, February 28, 2005

Well, that didn't last long

So, I know I haven't been posting a lot lately. It's actually very disappointing to me that I haven't been able to do what I thought I'd do, but sometimes other stuff is just a higher priority. That being said, I'm gonna try to update this thing more often. A real effort to do what I intended to do. Obviously, with my school workload being what it is, I can't update this thing every day, so I'm gonna try to do regular 24 reviews and comic reviews, as well as cd reviews when I get them.

Tomorrow (today, actually) I'll post a 24 review. Tuesday will be last weeks comic reviews. Wednesday will be this weeks.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

FUCK

Doing an all-nighter/essay writing.

I took notes for this weeks comic reviews, but they'll have to wait til tomorrow.

In the meantime, look at this:

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Comic Reviews for February 16th

Astonishing X-Men #8
So, this was a good issue. Probably my favorite issue to date of this series. Now, this may sound surprising because general fanboy reaction to this issue is the most negative out of all the reactions to the series. Why is this my favorite issue so far? Absolutely no fanboy pandering. There are no fastball specials, there’s no Emma bashing, there’s no fan favorite characters returning from the dead, there’s no “here nerds, have exactly what you’ve been asking for!” Just all relatively new ideas and some very straightforward action. John Cassaday once again proves why he’s one of the best artists in the business, and Laura Martin proves that she is without a doubt the best colorist working in comics today. Whedon’s dialogue doesn’t draw as much attention to its self as it used to, which is a good thing. He’s really learned to shut up and let Cassaday draw. Great issue.

The Authority: Revolution #5
Normally, I dislike when another writer’s run is dismantled or ret conned, normally I’d prefer the new writer to move forward instead of resetting the clock. In this case, however, I find it to be really tastefully done. Brubaker basically dismantles Robbie Morrison’s run, including Coup D’etat. Instead of just ham-fistingly re-writing history, Brubaker simply concludes the ideas Morrison brought to the series. The team discovers that they simply aren’t cut out for running a country, as the nuclear blast in Washington DC proved. Also, the Midnighter quits the team, as he was told to by the future Apollo, which gives us a touching scene between him and Jenny Quantum. It appears that after all this, the Authority breaks up, making way for a truly shocking ending that really shouldn’t be spoiled. It was actually a surprise to me.

Daredevil #70
Well, this was a fine little comic. “The Golden Age” concludes, and all the fractured plots come to an end, which is a pretty cool storytelling devise. By the end of it, we get a new White Tiger, and life is basically back to the recent status quo for Daredevil. I don’t really have much to say about it other than I thought it was a satisfying end to the story.

Ex Machina #8
Such a great series. I’m honestly surprised that this fractured narrative storytelling devise can still be cool 8 issues in, but it really works for the series. The subway animal killings plot gets a little deeper, and we’re reminded that the “mature readers” label isn’t just for the language. Some surprisingly graphic violence happens, which almost seems over the top and out of place here, but I’ll go with it for now. Again, not much to add other than this is a deeply involving comic that is criminally underappreciated.

Green Lantern: Rebirth #4
Earlier I was praising this month’s Astonishing X-Men for not pandering to fanboys. This is the opposite end of the spectrum. This is fanboy pandering at it’s worst. The main selling point of this series for H.E.A.T. members is that it completely absolves Hal of any responsibility for Emerald Twilight. Turns out that Sinestro drove him insane, and Parallax, the yellow fear monster made him kill the corps. I hate this revisionist history bullshit, and I hate the beatification of Hal Jordan. They even erase his grey temples. The issue ends with a lame sequence where Hal “goes to the light” except at the last moment, Ganthet makes him go to a different light, and ends back up in his old body. I’m sure a thousand nerds just came in their pants, but this just make me throw up in my mouth a little bit. This isn’t the worst miniseries in recent memory, that dishonor goes to X-Force, but this is certainly the nerdiest.

Runaways #1
So, I missed the boat on the first series, and I’ve come to discover that this is a pretty well written, expertly illustrated series. And it’s got that going for it. What it has going against it is the pretty blah characters. I find myself more attracted to the superhero support group than the Runaways themselves. This could be because this is my first exposure to the kids, but in truth I’m just as unfamiliar with Excelsior as I am with the Runaways. Either way, the book is good enough for me get to know them better with future issues. Thumbs up.

Wolverine #25
Enemy of the State ends in an anti-climax as Wolverine kills Northstar. This wasn’t the huge death that Mark Millar led us to believe it would be in interviews, but probably is the biggest death the x-office would allow. Ultimately, it’s meaningless because as you can see with the cover to #28, the Hand will revive Northstar anyways. All in all, a decent issue, with some great art by JRJR, but I’m just so over the regular Marvel Universe X-Men that I can’t wait for him to break away from them.

Monday, February 21, 2005

24, Day 4: 4:00pm-5:00pm

A transition episode. It was basically the ending of last episode and the begining of the next one, which normally wouldn't make for a good show, but because this is 24, it's still very worth watching. It has a lot of content, but still feels incomplete somehow. Anyway, here's how it went down.

Jack faces off with Berus' father, kicks some ass, but then Berus kills him. Fine, its all good, because Berus is safe, and his mom will talk. She doesn't have much to say, it turns out, she just knows the location of where they got their mission information. Not a whole lot to go on, but just enough to keep the plot moving, so I accept it.

Her info leads to a building where it appears the terrorists planned their strike. Back at CTU, they learn that the owner of the building is complicated, but at least partially owned by Audrey's husband, whether he's aware of it is another story. This leads to an incredibly dumb scene where Audrey thinks she can stall him before Jack gets there to interrogate him. I'm really hating this Audrey chick. Anyway, Jack shows up and punches him in the face, and the show ends.

Obviously, that's not the only thing that happens in the show, but thats all that involves Jack. What else happens? There's a plot involving Curtis (who I originally called black Tony) leads talk soup girl to where she thinks white terrorist kept his computer files. This is ultimately meaningless, because some nondescript terrorists show up under the command of some American dude and they kill talk soup girl. Curtis talks tough, but they knock him out for an interrogation next episode.

Tony gets reinstated really fast, basically erasing last seasons's "traitor" plot, and he gets to head up the interrogations of Berus and his mother. It seems that Tony's story and the Araz family's are wrapping up. I really hope the writers figure out what to do with Tony that doesn't push him to the background or end up with him getting killed. I kinda liked him as a partner for Jack.

All in all, not the best episode, but reasonably good. More of a pallette cleanser for next episode.

Tomorrow I'll post last week's comic reviews, just in time for Wednesday's comic reviews.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A bizarre day

Well, this was quite a weird day in media terms. Three things happened that have a personal effect on me.

First, two new Nine Inch Nails songs got leaked. The Hand That Feeds was leaked as a really shitty quality radio rip. Apparently, someone stole a shitty quality copy of the song from a video shoot and then sent it to various radio stations, and then someone taped what was played on the radio. The song its self sounds good, but the quality is terrible. A really obvious single that will probably guarantee them a lot of radio exposure. The second song is of much better quality but isn't the radio-friendly single the Hand That Feeds is. The Line Begins To Blur is a very high-quality copy and still very good. Thumbs up for both songs.

Second, on a more amusing note, someone hacked Paris Hilton's cell phone and released all her personal information onto the internet. Naked pictures of herself, ALL her stored phone numbers and some notes. I have Chrstina Aguilera's phone number. I can call Lindsay Lohan if I want.... though I don't really have anything to say to her.

Finally, the most depressing thing to happen today is that Hunter S Thompson died. It still isn't clear if he really meant to shoot himself or it was a drug-fueled accident. Ugh, this is depressing.

Regular updates will happen this week. Sorry about the downtime. I had homework to do.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Hand That Feeds

you're keeping in step
in the line
got your chin held high and you feel just fine
because you do
what you're told
but inside your heart it is black and it's hollow and it's cold

just how deep do you believe?
will you bite the hand that feeds?
will you chew until it bleeds?
can you get up off your knees?
are you brave enough to see?
do you want to change it?

what if this whole crusade's
a charade
and behind it all there's a price to be paid
for the blood
on which we dine
justified in the name of the holy and the divine

just how deep do you believe?
will you bite the hand that feeds?
will you chew until it bleeds?
can you get up off your knees?
are you brave enough to see?
do you want to change it?

so naïve
to keep holding on to what I want to believe
i can see
but i keep holding on and on and on and on

will you bite the hand that feeds you?
will you stay down on your knees?

Temporary downtime

So, when I thought up doing a blog, of all the possibile problems I could forsee that would prevent me from doing it daily, I overlooked my homework load. I thought I could hack both.

I'm getting more homework, tests and essays all at once than I thought I would, and it's cutting into my blogging time. I'm sure like 3 people will notice, but I'm gonna have to take the rest of the week off. I shall return sunday or monday with this past weeks comic reviews or a new 24 review.

Education comes first, unfortunately. I wish I could find employment simply through blogging, but I've gotta get one of these degrees, it turns out.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Technical Difficulties

No entry today because I've been upgrading my OS to OSX 10.3.8 from 10.2.8 and it nearly made me lose everything, which might have made me kill myself. All those essays gone. Not a pretty site.

I'll return to regular programming tomorrow with some new comic reviews.

Monday, February 14, 2005

24 day four, 3:00pm-4:00pm

Sweet jesus, it was more like the Berus power hour this week.

The 2 main plots finally come together when Jack traces where dead white terrorist made his last few calls. Turns out that the person he called was Berus' Mom! So, the episode is mostly spent on somehow getting Jack and Berus in the same room together.

There is some other stuff, including a genuinely emotional scene between Edgar and his Mother, and another one where Driscoll talks some sense into a freaked-out Edgar, which was all very good, but the show is mostly about Jack.

So, as Berus goes to a local hospital to find pain medication for his wounded mom, Jack and Tony figure out where the mother is staying. Them and some CTU SWAT guys storm in, and they capture the Mom.

Meanwhile, back in the hospital, Berus asks his Uncle, who is conveniently a Doctor there, for the meds. The uncle, sencing something is wrong, calls Berus' father, who in turn convinced the Uncle to make Berus stay there.

Over in the hotel, Jack and Tony convince the mother to help them find the override device in exchange for the safety and freedom of Berus, she goes along with it and calls Berus and tells him to wait in the Emergency so Jack can pick him up.

Unfortunately, as Berus is trying to leave, his father shows up, with gun in hand. The Father blows away the Uncle, grabs Berus and heads to the stairwell.

Madness ensues, as Jack shows up, and yells a lot, the father manages to pull Berus into a basement where a tense standoff will begin next episode.



What a great episode, it hit all the right notes, and wonderfully managed to pull these 2 main stories together in a gripping, believable way. It reestablished that Tony is technically still a traitor, and people are aware of it. It gave Edgar a new depth which made him even more likeable. Jack reminded the audience that the last 3 seasons really did happen, and he's got the emotional scars to prove it. And there was even a moment of bad cell phone coverage, probably there to throw a bone to people who've been knocking how everyone has perfect cell coverage.

On the reusing old scenes front, the scene between Edgar and his Mother recalled the scene in season 2 where Jack had to say "goodbye" to Kim, but given the sort of situation they were in, the similarity is kind of unavoidable.

Great episode.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Fuck the Grammys

I'm writing this as I'm watching the Jennifer Lopez/Marc Anthony performance and I've decided that I'm never watching this shit again.

Plus, I learned earlier that the Grammys NEVER gave Led Zeppelin any award.

What a fucking joke.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

More NIN news!

As if my life wasn't consumed with it already, here is more news from www.nin.com

They released a tracklisting. It goes like this.

All The Love In The World
You Know What You Are?
The Collector
The Hand That Feeds
Love Is Not Enough
Every Day Is Exactly The Same
With Teeth
Only
Getting Smaller
Sunspots
The Line Begins To Blur
Beside You In Time
Right Where It Belongs


Sounds very cool, I mean, as cool as song titles can sound.

Additionally, they gave a little teaser as well.

May 3rd can't come soon enough. And I get a preview at Coachella.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Nine Inch Nails: Coming to a shithole near you!

So, Nine Inch Nails has added three new concert dates, and two of them are in California! The problem? They are in the middle of fucking nowhere.

Now, I realize that these dates are simply warm-up dates. They're meant to get the new band to work better toghether and get used to the stage show, lighting, etc, but COME ON! Fucking Fresno? UC Davis? I've got a choice between flat boring central Cali and... flat, boring central cali with cows.

Sheesh..

At least I have Coachella to look forward to.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Why do comic book shirts generally suck?

Something I've noticed as I make my weekly trip to the comic book store. The shirts they get from Diamond are usually hideous. I mean, when it comes to comic book heroes, the shirts they make should generally be no-brainers. If the character has an iconic symbol, PUT THE FUCKING SYMBOL ON THE FRONT OF THE SHIRT. How hard is that? You want to make a Captain America shirt? Put a white star on a blue background! A Flash shirt? put the lightning bolt symbol on a red shirt! Batman? the Bat symbol on a grey shirt! Instead, we get these retarded HUGE collages of Spider-Man with this intricate web design, or some stupid bastardization of the Superman S. Stop it comic companies! Do you want your fans to be spotted a mile away as walking eyesores?

It should go like this:
Superman: S symbol on blue
Batman: Bat symbol on grey
Spider-Man: Black spider on red
Captain America: White star on blue
Fantastic Four: The 4 symbol on blue
Green Lantern: Green Lantern symbol on green
The Flash: Lightning bolt symbol on red
X-Men: A red X on blue... actually, this could work a few ways, but the X is generally red.
The Punisher: White skull on black
Thor: Those 4 blue circles on black

Sorry Wolverine, you don't have a symbol, you don't get to be on a shirt. Sorry Gambit, you're lame, no one wants you on their chest. Sorry Iron Man, a red/yellow circle is too generic.

This is the way it should be. Comic fans could be slightly cooler if they were simply supplied with simple and direct superhero shirts. Unfotunately we're offered the Superman S made of fire, or a 2 foot long picture of fucking Venom jumping or something. These are the reasons that it's tough being a comic book fan.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Comic reviews, February 9th

A whopping ten comics that I give a shit about came out today, luckily, four of them were released on the internet a few weeks ago, so I'll just re-post my old reviews and maybe make a few new observations.


Starting off the week is Captain America #3
I'm thinking that this is the best book Marvel puts out. A while ago, I said that Brubaker is becoming one of my favorite writers; today he cracked the top 3. International forces begin to take down the other WMD's that the Red Skull planned on setting off to fuel the cosmic cube. Union Jack discovers AIM agents have already taken out the London site, and Cap shows up just in time to catch them as they were escaping. This makes for a very cool CAP BEATING ASS scene, where he actually uses something in his utility belt (!!!) and then kicks ass some more. Afterwards, Cap and Sharon Carter enjoy some time off in Paris, while S.H.I.E.L.D. searches for the other bomb. Cap has been noticing lately that his memories are getting jumbled together; he isn't remembering things like he used to, and is having false memories pop up at weird times. I'm sure this will all eventually go somewhere important, but now it’s just something intriguing going on the background. Finally, an ending that is perhaps more shocking than #1, because it has almost no set-up, but it works because it is so shocking. Remember Nomad? Jack Monroe? He gets capped like a pussy this issue, and the plot thickens...


Resurrecting its self on my care-o-meter is Gotham Central #28
I dunno what it was with the last few issues, maybe the art just wasn't working for me, but I really dig this issue. No, Michael Lark hasn't returned, but someone doing a very good Lark impersonation is on art duties, and the book is suddenly good again. So, some fighting kids stumble upon some chemicals in some vacant basement, and the chemicals spill and hijinks ensue. Actually, a police officer gets burned alive by the end of it, but it's intriguing either way. All signs point to one of the Flash's rogues concerning who owns the chemicals, so it's off to Keystone city next issue. The staying power of this book is seriously in question. With Lark gone and Brubaker now Marvel exclusive, my two biggest reasons to buy the book are now gone, but if Rucka and this new guy can keep the quality of this issue up, I'll stick with the book until it gets cancelled.


Also surprisingly good is The Incredible Hulk #78
This wasn't good in the "boy, that was really thought provoking" way, but in the "it's cool to see Hulk smash things" way. Hulk fights something that looks like the classic grey Hulk, but kills him and it turns out to be... something else. Maybe a guy in a suit. All the while, he's watched by someone sitting behind a bank of monitors, sorta creepy, but haven't we just been through this with Bruce Jones' tedious mega-arc?


In keeping with the theme of big fights is JLA #111
So, the JLA and the CSA finally go at it, but they prove to be a little more capable than they were in JLA: Earth 2, and they actually win the fight. Busiek does give an explanation for why Ultraman can put up a fight, but the JLA (with more members) should have been able to take them. I dunno, maybe the CSA just had more time to prepare. Anyway, there is a sub plot with the quardians which only serves to complicate things, and Ron Garney just ain't my cup of tea. While reading this, I couldn't help but have flashbacks to the brilliant JLA: Earth 2 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, and I lament about how great this series would be if those two were back on it. Oh well, it's still an alright book.


Getting a little darker is The Punisher MAX #17
So, we find out what the deal was with the terrorist sub plot. Lots of people won't be happy with it, and although I think it stretches plausibility, I still buy it. In the world of the Punisher, the government is run by fuck ups, I can live with it. Anyway, after getting his ass handed to him by the Mongolian last issue, Frank gets a second wind courtesy of a well-timed flashback about how his family got killed. Frank freaks out and literally swings the Mongolian by his foot until his leg comes off. Sick stuff. At the end, Frank devises a plan to get out of the silo with the girl, it's risky and it shows that Frank has incredible balls, but it might just work. I'm loving this book.


Also out this week is MK Spider-Man #11
Remember when I said that shit was really gonna get good with this issue? Well, I was only semi-right. There is an excellent fight scene in the book, but it's not the HUGE fight against the sinister twelve that I thought would be there. Spidey finally gets some support, as the Avengers (pre-disassembled), Fantastic Four, and Daredevil show up to kick the shit out of the baddies. This leaves Spidey with an opportunity to go after the Goblin. What slows him down is Mac Gargan AKA the Scorpion in the Venom costume. I'm not entirely sure what to call him, but they have a big ol' fight, and Spidey drops a building on him. Finally, Spidey confronts the Goblin on the top of the same bridge where he killed Gwen Stacy (and the same bridge where he confronted Gwen's kids, but continuity is screwy these days, so I don't mind) except this time he's got Mary Jane. Next issue promises a big Spidey/Goblin fight that should be very cool. I like.


Millar continues to deliver some good reading with The Ultimates 2 #3
This book keeps getting better with every issue. The whole issue is devoted to the Trial of the Hulk, and it moves at a pretty brisk pace. Matt Murdock is his attorney, and does the best job he can to save the life of Bruce Banner, but it just isn't enough. The jury wants to punish the monster that killed those hundreds of people, so an elaborate execution is set up. Banner is drugged by Pym to sleep through the NUCLEAR BLAST designed to kill him while he's left on an abandoned aircraft carrier somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. When you think the deed is done, Pym gets a call from a scruffy haired drifter, somewhere in Miami or LA, it seems, thanking him. So, HOORAY! The Hulk lives! So, I really liked this issue. It reads better while holding it as opposed to reading it off a computer screen. Just a solid one-issue story with a very satisfying ending. This is the reason I love comics.


The Ultimate universe continues with Ultimate X-Men #56
So, while Millar used shock, and Bendis used introspection, they were both new takes on the X-Men, they both were about a team that was different than how you've seen the X-Men before. Brian K Vaughan, on the other hand, delivers an X-Men team that is very classic and familiar. He's basically doing a straight X-Men book, which might be why I find it so pedestrian, but by virtue of the fact that it's Vaughan who's writing it, it manages to be the best X-Men book on the stands currently. Yes, better than the very pretty but far too fanboy-pandering Astonishing X-Men. So, in this issue the Longshot story continues. The Spiral fight is cut short by the Phoenix making an appearance, and the "is Colossus gay?" sub plot rears it's head again, and takes Longshot along for the ride. A fun book.


Moving on, it's the third of the Grant Morrison Vertigo mini's, Vimanarama #1
Wow, this is a fun and fast paced book. Like a lot of other Morrison books, it just moves like a bat out of hell, never bothers with that exposition bullshit, and only bothers to give you the information you'll need at that moment. So, the book's about Ali, an Indian teen/twenty something that is facing down an arranged marriage. Before he can meet his intended bride, he helps his uncle out of a hole he fell in. Upon investigating the hole and looking for his brother, he discovers a hidden city underground, with some hibernating aliens that his brother accidentally awakens. A very fun ride, even if I have to re-read it a few times.


And finally, last but certainly not least is Young Avengers #1
So, I really liked this book. I appreciated that they skipped the "lets get the team together" thing that is currently taking six issues in New Avengers. When the book starts, the team is already formed and has already gotten some press. Now, the press part is the one thing that irks me. Ten pages of Jessica Jones before we see the actual team is a bit much. Yeah, I like Jessica Jones, and the ten pages were spent talking about the Young Avengers, but the whole Jessica and J Jonah Jameson and Kat Farrel could have been accomplished in maybe 5 pages, we would have got more Young Avengers action that way. What I dig about the team is they have a clear goal, the book is about something more specific than "lets just watch the team do what the do" which is really gonna come in handy if the book's sales slide and they need to wrap it up, but really, the book is so good that I doubt that'll happen any time soon (then again, the comic industry is really good at canceling good books, so I dunno). So, what is the book about? What's its clear goal? Well, it all hasn't been revealed yet, but it seems Iron Lad (yes, it's a lame name, something they point out in the book, so there has to be a point to it) is convinced that Kang the conqueror is gonna strike some time, and only this team is gonna be able to take him. What is so special about this team? Well, we don't know what secrets Patriot, Hulkling, and Asgardian hold, but Iron Lad has a doozy. He's really from the 30th century, and his name is Kang. Cool, huh? Can't wait for the next issue to see what the next secret is.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

DEMO #1: NYC

I've got the mother of all colds, so I'm writing this before the cold medicine has the chance to knock me out.

For the next few weeks, I'll be reviewing or just talking about one of the issues of Brian Wood's DEMO series. I'll try to go in order, but I don't have all the issues yet, so I'll just go through what I have.

First, the series is in high contrast black and white, and the art is in a pseudo-Manga style that I normally wouldn't be a fan of. The art works though, and doesn't devolve into some of the classic Manga trappings, but instead opts for a simplistic and expressive style that fits the stories perfectly.

The series is about superpowers, but not in the "use them to kick the bad guy's ass" definition. The series explores what it would be like to have them, but the focus of the series isn't necessarily on the powers themselves, but on the characters that have them. This is what the ill-fated Marvel series NYX was supposed to be, but for whatever reason never panned out. This series works much better.

"NYC" is about a couple and their journey to New York City. Marie and Mike are both around 18, and they're on their way to escape their suburban existence and live in New York. They're just like a lot of other kids, except one of them is different; Marie has this condition. While her mother thinks the condition can be corrected with pills, Marie has turned her mother's concern into a reason to run away from home, although going off her meds might not be the best idea.

Marie's condition has to do with her brain, her brainwaves to be specific. They flow out of her head much like telepathy, except completely unfocused and much more destructive. Mike tries as hard as he can to be supportive as they make her sick, but as she begins to vomit uncontrollably along with cold sweat and shaking, he reveals himself to be just as scared as she is.

Finally, she decides to stop suppressing it and let the brainwaves do what they will. They explode everything surround them, yet they spare Mike, possibly a symbol of her love for him. The brainwaves eventually die down and they abandon their smashed car to make for a bus to the city. The story ends as they finally make it to New York.

I really dig this book. I knew kids like that, these hopelessly in love teens who never left their partners side. To a certain extent, I was envious of what they shared back when I was younger, but at the same time, I took comfort in knowing I had something to live for other than just one other person. As the years went by, I found that my life had changed for the better, advancing through school, getting promoted, finding success. While the couples I was envious of remained together, with little change concerning anything else. I have to wonder if this is an even trade-off. While I had material success, I find that each successive relationship I begin never gets to the level Mike and Marie had shown at age 18. Would I trade it all? I can’t really say, though I sometimes really wonder who is really better off.

Monday, February 07, 2005

24 day four, 2:00pm-3:00pm

Well then. Not the most action-heavy episode, but some major plot points get resolved.

The excitement of Tony returning is tempered with the realization of what exactly happened to him after season 3. Life has not been kind to Tony, after getting pardoned by Palmer, he couldn't ever find work after being branded a traitor, he turned to alcohol, and eventually Michelle left him. We find out that Michelle is now an assistant director at Division, so the likelihood of her returning is very high. Anyway, Tony lives in a shitty house with a new girlfriend that doesn't hold a candle to Michelle, but that's the life you might lead if you were branded a traitor to your country. Beats federal prison. I did like Tony pouring the beer in the Cubs mug, an inside joke you would only get if you paid attention to the first 3 seasons.

Meanwhile back at CTU, Talk Soup girl has framed the way-too-hot-to-be-working-for-the-government Sarah for her own leaking of information. Sarah is taken to holding so they can make with the torture (because it's been what, 2 hours since the last torture sequence?) Edgar, the good guy who is also a geek, does some clever digging to reveal that Talk Soup girl is the real mole. The scene was very reminiscent of when Gaiel was being tortured and Tony had to practically rise from the dead for them to stop it. I really like edgar, annoying accent and all.

Berus' metamorphosis into a competent action hero continues as he takes charge in the hospital after a doctor with good intentions called the cops concerning the mother's gunshot wound. Meanwhile, across town, the father acts like an ineffective pussy and just sits around while the Mummy won't let him help with the terrorism. The father has to "clean up his mess" as the Mummy puts it, so I predict that Berus will kill his dad sometime this season. This Araz family subplot has to be going somewhere because they've been dropping or resolving a lot of subplots recently. I predict good things when Berus and Jack's paths eventually cross.

Finally, Jack has the secret service take Audrey away to spare the audience the stress of having her tag along with Jack any longer. Talk Soup girl is exposed, and makes an escape attempt that gets foiled by the black guy who is obviously "Black Tony" I haven't caught his name yet, so I'll call him black Tony until I figure it out. Talk Soup girl's car blows up, and she bonks her head, so I expect either memory loss or a death coming up in order to complicate things. The white terrorist guy tries to make a helicopter escape, but Jack and Tony (in action hero mode!) stop him just in time.... When out of NOWHERE, he gets shot by some sniper, so they've got nothing as of now. I guess they could find the sniper, but I doubt he'd know anything.

All in all, a solid episode that got really good at the end. But maybe my judgment is clouded now that Tony is back.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Batman Begins super bowl spot

So, the game was good, even if the team I liked didn't win. I enjoyed the game.

The highlight however, was the Batman Begins trailer.

Don't read what I have to say, click here, and see it for yourself.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Stores that suck

I had a full day, taking my brother out to have some fun, we went to a lot of stores all over the place, and I feel as though I need to caution against a few stores.

Hot Topic: My brother wanted a Green Day t-shirt, so this was basically our only choice. What a shitty store, you know that weird feeling you got in high school from those ugly kids who wern't quite goth because they laughed and actually had some social interaction? This store is the nexus of that feeling. For a store that tries so hard to be rebellious and edgy, this is the nerdiest place on earth this side of Comp USA. The worst clothes in the world, the worst music in the world, and the dumbest staff I've ever come accross. Not quite hell on earth, but close.

Manga House: Yeah, this might be all that familliar to some of you, I think it could be a SoCal only sort of deal, but this place blows. This is the where nerds buy their porn. This is where little bastard children buy their dumb cards. It's just an awful place, but my brother digs manga, so this is where he wanted to go. He never actually bought anything because it's all overpriced, but it was quite an experience. At least the cashier guy never acknowleged my presence.

K-Mart: Truly the worlds shittiest store. Hell on earth. the 99 cent store beats this only because the stuff is so cheap, but barely. K-Mart is in the tradition of big stores like Wal-Mart and Target, and it's set up exactly like the latter, except the aisles are a lot wider and the shelves are a lot emptier. Lots of open space in here, not a lot of customers. My brother and I went in as a goof, and were thoroughly creeped out by what we saw. The scum of the earth shop there and the employees hate them. Still, it's the only place on earth you can find a Little Ceasars. Not that I'd eat there or anything.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Your Mind is a Weapon: Channel Zero



Channel Zero will change the way you look at comics.

Honestly, I'm still processing it right now, and I've only read it twice. The style is so unorthodox that it might be a bit jarring when reading the first say, 5 pages, but then you go back and re-read those first 5 pages and it reads better and clearer than any comic in recent memory. I don't know how Brian Wood does it, but he's invented a way of comic storytelling that is direct and urgent and unbelieveably compelling. Go out and buy this comic. If your local shop is worth a damn, they'll have a copy or at least will be able to order one. If they have no way of getting this piece of comic genius in your hands, you should kick them in the nuts or something. Bastards.

I'm on a Brian Wood kick currently, I've bought as many issues of DEMO as my store had, and the rest I've ordered. I have no idea how this guy's work escaped my notice for so long, but I intend to correct matters in the future. Tomorrow or the next day, I'll put up reviews of maybe half of the books I have, with more to come later.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

What the hell is up with Michael Jackson?

So, the guy's trial is starting up, and I feel a profound sense of sadness. Not because people are out to get Micheal, but I'm sad that Michael's life has devolved to the point where he has no idea that what he did was wrong.

When I was 8 or 9 years old, I was a HUGE Michael Jackson fan. This was the post "Bad" pre "Dangerous" portion of his career, when things really began to fall apart. I was oblivious to it, I knew something was happening with him, and it wasn't music related, but I never really knew what it was. Later on, it became aparent to me that Michael wasn't right in the head, and it disappointed me. There was still some doubt, however about whether or not he really molested the kid, maybe some parents were taking advantage of his kindness and making things up? As I got older though, and I prefered other kinds of music, Michael became even weirder, and I became sure that he was a child molester.

It became harder to think anything but that once all the new allegations began coming out about the jesus juice and the sleepovers and all that crap. It also became apparent to me that he has no idea that it ain't right to molest kids. He thinks he's showing them love, which makes it less outragous and more sad. Sure, these kids are fucked for life and it's tragic and Michael should be punished, but in a way, so is Michael. He's been fucked for life for a long time, he just doesn't know it. This is an example of what happens when you allow a crazy person to do whatever they want, and give them unlimited money. The real criminals here are his parents, because who do you blame? Frankenstein or his monster? The monster doesn't know any better, he's working with the tools he recieved and using only the brain that was formed for him, it was Frankenstein that created him, that unleashed the monster on the world.

According to the law, yes, Michael needs to be punished for his crimes. He's an adult, he's a grown man. But it is sad and unfortunate that his parent's can't be charged with something. It is sad and unfortunate that there aren't any laws against creating monsters.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Comic reviews, February 2nd

One big release and some more mid-sized books are put out today. Here goes...


David Lapham's "City of crime" continues with Detective Comics #803
Honestly, I'm not completely sure what's going on here. There is really so much text here that it requires multiple readings. Apparently, there is a missing girl or possibly many missing girls. It has something to do with a black market baby market that the Penguin is involved with, Mr Freeze, an apartment building fire, and something Bruce Wayne said to a rich heiress. I'll read all these issues in one sitting when they all come out, but right now it just seems like awful things happening to awful people. And Batman is in there somewhere.


On a less depressing note is The Intimates #4
I'm still not sure what to make of this book. As far as I can tell, it's basically Saved By The Bell with superpowers. An episodic series about unrelatable yet relatable characters in disjointed stories about living in a superhero high school. It's the school dance issue, and all the characters are their usual selves. Punchy is annoying, Destra is rebellious, Duke is aloof, Empty Vee is fat. Destra ends up dancing with Duke, which annoys Punchy who is unable to admit to having feelings for anyone. What this series needs is a character the reader can latch onto which takes us INTO the school. As of now, I just feel like an outsider looking in, but perhaps that was the intention.


The best book of the week was (surprise!) The New Avengers #3
The prison break is over, but the task of tracking down the escapees remains. Captain America decides that its time for a new team to form to finish the job, and goes about recruiting the heroes who helped with the breakout. Unsurprisingly, Spider-Man is the first to be recruited. Looking beaten up, Spidey is reluctant to join up with Cap, but finally comes around when Cap gives him the out. I really liked this element, Spidey has always been reluctant to join a team, and remains this way. The wording in which he joined, how he can leave whenever he wants to, really rings true for the character, and the comedy when he asks if he's gonna get payed is very well done. Luke Cage is next, and joins in a touching scene where he wants his future daughter to know that her father was an Avenger. Daredevil turns down the invitation, understandably, what role he'll play in the future is still unknown. Finally, Cap invites Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman in a simply stunning scene. Normally I don't find female comic characters to be attractive, but something about how she is drawn is just absolutely gorgeous... Yes, I admit to being a huge geek for saying that. What's curious about the issue is the fact that aside from being on the cover and one splash page, the Sentry isn't mentioned ONCE. This may stem from whatever mental block everyone has concerning the Sentry left over from his miniseries. And finally, the plot thickens with the last page.

The letters page is also worth mentioning, only for the letter from the crazy fan demanding an apology for the tone this other letter got in the last issue, only to be followed up with a letter from Stan Lee himself. Very cool stuff, but it also serves to illustrate my point from a few days ago about how old school avengers fans are fucking creeps.


Also great this week was Phoenix: Endsong #2
The recap page helps a lot in understanding what exactly happened last issue, so the Phoenix was awakened prematurely and is insane, looking for Cyclops because that part of Jean's mind is imprinted on the Phoenix consciousness. So the team hangs out and looks pretty thanks to Greg Land's art, and somehow Quentin Quire reforms and escapes, looking for Sophie, one of Emma's Stepford Cuckoos, the one who died back in "Riot at Xavier's" Having an insane Phoenix and Quentin Quire roaming the mansion grounds is a bad thing, and it seems that in the next issue, the two will meet. Probably the thing about this book that I like the most is how Greg Pak continues a thread that was created back in Grant Morrison's historic New X-Men run. Not only does Pak respect Morrison's run, he understands it, which is something I can't say for the X-Men editors. Either way, I'm excited to see how this ends up, whether or not Jean ends up alive again by the end of it.

On a more confusing note is Superman #213
10 issues in and I still have no idea what the fuck is going on. It has something to do with the Phantom Zone, and some middle-eastern people, but everyone is talking so fucking cryptically, that I can't get into it upon its intitial reading. Like Detective Comics, I plan on reading each issue all at the same time when I get them all, some understanding might be reached them, but right now it just reads like a criminal misuse of Jim Lee's talents.
*I couldn't find a cover for this issue online anywhere


Keeping up the Superman analogue this week is Supreme Power #15
Man, all the characters in this book are really fucked up. Just when you think Hyperion is a good guy, he pulls some shit like he did in the restaurant. He's the most powerful man on the planet, and he sure is acting like it. The only redeemable character is the super-fast one, but I don't think he's called the whizzer here. Aside from that, the super-powered serial killer is locked up and then put to good use, as a killing soldier that operates in foreign countries, killing government leaders until one that the United States likes comes into power. There really don't seem to be too many heroes in this book, and it's becoming quite dark, but I like it for being the most realistic depiction of super-powers I've ever seen.


Finally this week is Ultimate Spider-Man #72
Harry Osborn comes back into Peter's life, and we gain some insight into how things were before Peter got bit by that spider. Turns out that Harry and MJ were dating back then, but he would never be public about their relationship, so she eventually moved on to Peter. Harry also reveals that he still knows that Peter is Spider-Man, and isn't very happy about it at all. Filling in the superhero quota this issue is Spidey kicking the crap out of someone who I believe is Killer Shrike, though it really isn't important. This "Hobogolin" arc seems pretty good so far.


So, that does it for this week's books. Later this week I'll be getting into Brian Wood's DEMO series, that I just started picking up back-issues of. I'll try to review the first 6 issues, and leave the last 6 for next week.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

One month down...

So, this is harder than I thought.

I like having a set time certain posts get made, I figure that Monday and Wednesdays are covered for a while, but coming up with something (semi) new to say every day is not easy.

That being said, this is a lot of fun. You wouldn't believe how much this relieves stress once an entry is finished. Like, whatever thoughts I keep in my head are excised every night, it's therapudic.

Is this making my writing any better? I'm not sure. Maybe the classes I'm taking will begin to pay off here, or they'll just pay off in my homework. I will say though, that a 10 page report isn't as daunting now as it was last year.

One month down, 11 to go.