I’ve talked before about sex and power. I have explained that sometimes, rulers must also be in charge of what happens in the bedchamber. In the first Caligula miniseries, the emperor of Rome was the epitome of power, which was expressed in every possible facet: politics, sexuality and supernatural abilities. Writer David Lapham returns to the Roman Empire during the era of Claudius. Caligula is long gone but his phantasm remains. In order to kill Caligula, Junius and centurion Laurentius found a weakness in the demonic creature that possessed the ruler of Rome. However, this demon has returned. Only those who were close to Caligula can detect the presence of this evil. And thus, it’s time for a rendezvous between Laurentius and Agrippina, mother of Nero. The woman is concerned about his incestuous relationships with the deceased emperor, and she fears some of that evil seed has been passed onto her son, the young Nero. Laurentius and his mutilated wife / Laurentius y su esposa mutilada There is also a tête-à-tête between Junius and Laurentius. Junius is no longer the innocent boy that was sodomized by Caligula on a regular basis. Now that he has power enough over a company of gladiators he repeats the same patterns, he does what the emperor did to him. Power and sex come together. Junius is the one dominating, and his gladiator is the one being dominated. Sex between these two men is not an act of consent but of domination. Once again, we have German Nobile as the penciler, inker and colorist of the series. And it’s such a joy to look at his pages. From the brutal dismemberment of Laurentius’s wife to the savagery and violence on the Coliseum, from the strong, unapologetic sexual scenes (particularly the sequence in which Agrippina remembers how she was raped by her own brother) to the brilliant design of a new demonic presence in the court of Rome, a man with teeth in the abdomen, a child’s hand instead of a penis, and a sexual organ that comes out of the abdomen. This is the kind of monsters that really impress me, clearly German has put a lot of thought into this. Let’s not forget the darkness and almost palpable dirtiness that we can observe in the scene in which Junius is about to subjugate one of his gladiators. Congratulations to the creative team for another captivating opening chapter. Caligula raping his sister Agrippina / Calígula violando a su hermana Agripina _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ Rome's new demon / el nuevo demonio de Roma He hablado antes sobre el sexo y el poder. He explicado que, a veces, los gobernantes también deben estar a cargo de lo que sucede en la alcoba. En la primera miniserie de Calígula, el emperador de Roma era el epítome del poder, expresado en cada faceta posible: política, sexualidad y habilidades sobre-naturales. El escritor David Lapham regresa al Imperio Romano durante la era de Claudio. Calígula ha muerto hace mucho pero su fantasma permanece. Para matar a Calígula, Junius y el centurión Laurentius encontraron una debilidad en la criatura demoníaca que había poseído al amo de Roma. Sin embargo, este demonio ha regresado. Sólo aquellos que fueron cercanos a Calígula pueden detectar la presencia de este mal. Y así, llega el momento para un encuentro entre Laurentius y Agripina, madre de Nerón. La mujer está preocupada por su relación incestuosa con el fallecido emperador, y teme que algo de esa semilla maligna resida en su hijo, el joven Nerón. Junius taking (sexual) advantage of his gladiator / Junius aprovechándose (sexualmente) de su gladiador También hay un tête-à-tête entre Junius y Laurentius. Junius ya no es el chico inocente que era sodomizado con frecuencia por Calígula. Ahora que tiene suficiente poder sobre una compañía de gladiadores repite los mismos patrones, hace lo que el emperador le hacía a él. El poder y el sexo van juntos. Junius es el dominante, y su gladiador es el dominado. El sexo entre estos dos hombres no es un acto de consenso sino de dominación. Una vez más, tenemos a German Nobile como dibujante a lápiz, entintador y colorista de la miniserie. Y uno disfruta mucho viendo sus páginas. Desde el brutal desmembramiento de la esposa de Laurentius hasta el salvajismo y la violencia del Coliseo, desde las fuertes y explícitas escenas sexuales (en particular, la secuencia en la que Agripina recuerda cómo era violada por su propio hermano) hasta el brillante diseño de una nueva presencia demoníaca en la corte de Roma, un hombre con dientes en el abdomen, una mano de niño en vez de pene, y un órgano sexual que sale del abdomen. Esta es la clase de monstruos que realmente me impresiona, es obvio que German se ha tomado su tiempo para hacer estos diseños. No olvidemos la oscuridad y la suciedad casi palpable que podemos observar en la escena en la que Junius está a punto de subyugar a uno de sus gladiadores. Felicitaciones al equipo creativo por otro cautivador primer capítulo. Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/01/caligula-heart-of-rome-1-david-lapham.html
Batman has discovered a trail of bodies but no leads as he realizes that this is unlike any Mad Hatter case he’s seen before.
As battle lines are drawn, Atrocitus raises an army of unimaginable power…and it’s not the Red Lanterns!
Sometimes there's a reason sidekicks are sidekicks.
It's not J.J. Abrams.
Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Blood, Vol. 2: Guts Published by DC Comics, 2012, 2013 respectively Written by Brian Azzarello; Art by Cliff Chiang and Tony Akins; Coloured by Matthew Wilson; Lettering by Jared K. Fletcher; Additional Ink and Art by Dan Green and Kano I finally sat down and read the New 52 Wonder Woman trades, Blood and Guts. Together they include the first twelve issues of the series. As I’ve said before, I haven’t been reading a lot of DC’s new titles (mostly the odd trade here and there) and I’ve never been a regular Woman Wonder reader. I’ve caught some feedback on this series, but I went in with very little in the way expectations. Expectations have always been a burden for Wonder Woman. When Marston created her, he described her as, “psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world.” Every couple of years, it seems, some new writer has to try his hand—it’s almost always a guy—at what that means exactly. And that’s too bad. Diana is an iconic character, one of the few genuinely iconic characters, and she can’t be forced into any given mold. I wouldn’t be the first to suggest they just stick to writing good stories and allow her to develop out of her own strengths. Looking at Azzarello, Chiang, and Akins’ version, the first you notice about this Wonder Woman is that this is the Vertigo version of the character. Of course, Azzarello has a long history with that imprint. Reading these books I was impressed with how deftly it ties the supernatural and mythological together with the superhero genre. Of course, the supernatural and mythological aren’t new to superhero comics, but like Sandman and its spin offs, Azzarello’s Wonder Woman really feels like it’s another world. A world of magic and dark forces. The story begins with Zeus. After knocking up yet another mortal, he disappears, deserting his throne and precipitating a war of succession. Diana is drawn into the center of the conflict when she chooses to defend the pregnant women, Zola, against Hera (true to mythological form, Hera takes out her anger at her husband’s infidelities on the women and their offspring). The story quickly moves from the modern world, to Paradise Island, Hades, and the throne of Olympus and the cast grows to include Hermes, Eris (Strife), Ares, Hades, Poseidon, Hephaestus, and more, with Diana making allies and enemies at every turn. I like Chiang’s character designs with one exception: Aphrodite. She is presented as a nude woman, but we never actually see what she looks like—and that’s somewhat predictable as you can’t really have blatant nudity in a comic pitched at a general audience—and in their effort to obscure her appearance, they keep placing her head out of panel. Instead of thinking ‘goddess of love,’ I reminded of Ms Bellum from the Powerpuff Girls. Put something on her and stop being coy. There were a couple of other things I didn’t like. First, Chiang is the principle artist for the title, but Akins was bought in to do about a third of these issues. Recently Brandon Graham made the point that, while there are artists who can get an issue out each month, when you know the artist you want on a title can’t, maybe the title’s schedule should be changed to accommodate that artist. Second, this Diana is a little naïve. She is brave, skillful, a woman of integrity, and I get that she’s young and learning, but she doesn’t seem to understand, well, where babies come from. One issue describes how Amazons reproduce, and the consequences of producing a male child. This turned off some readers, but the idea actually draws on Greek Amazon myths so I’m okay with it. Azzarello is looking to the origin source matter after all. Still, Diana is as surprised to learn this as the readers are, and that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Azzarello may have a perfectly good explanation for why a 23 year old wouldn’t know this, but he really needs to share it with his readers. The third problem I had isn’t really the story’s problem as much as it’s mine, but I bring it up because of the importance this version of Wonder Woman places in going back to the character’s mythological roots: Amazon’s aren’t Greeks. They’re a part of Greek myth, but in Greek myth they are a barbarian people, typically at war with the Greeks. And by ‘barbarian’ I mean foreigners. I have long had an interest in the history, and social history, in ancient Greece. While the Greek’s are rightfully praised for many things, they were also a bunch of xenophobic misogynists. Most of the places they listed as homes for the Amazons coincide with the territory of a very real people, the Sarmatians. The Sarmatians lived around the Black Sea and their women actually did go into battle with their men. Archeologists have found weapons in many of their women’s graves. In the eyes of their Greek neighbors this was a terrible inversion of the natural order. But in the DC Universe Amazons are Greeks, and in this latest incarnation of Wonder Women they still are. It would be interesting to have a version of Amazons drawn from what we know of Sarmatian history and mythology. (By the way, the modern Ossetians are direct descendants of the Sarmatians. If you want to see what a Greek was probably thinking when he thought ‘Amazon,’ google ‘Ossetian.’) My little rant (thank you for your patience) notwithstanding, this book has a lot of promise. If these stories are left to develop out of Diana’s strengths we could have the beginnings of a true hero’s journey. I am skeptical that DC will do that, they seem intent on rebooting everything every two or three years, but the potential for something great is here. Originally Published at Power Honor Grace http://powerhonorgrace.tumblr.com/post/41498706390
The villains come knocking in Valiant's Shadowman #4!
We all laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.
Cover Ben Day lives in a world where Super-Heroes came to be a generation ago. Ben is the son of war hero Daniel Day. Ben goes to the best University available. The University where all the super-powered youth studies, has loving parents but he's still only a teenager. As such Ben is still searching for his place in the world. One day Ben gets a visit from three super-powered teenage girls that came to protect him. Turns out that someone is killing all the Ben Days in the multiverse for an unknown reason and this Ben is one of the last ones alive. Welcome to the worth day of Ben's life. How is it? Hell Yeah Volume 1 is all about fast pace action and quick shock reveals. In Hell Yeah the multiverse is a reality. While travelling between dimension is forbidden, it occasionally happens. One day Cosmonaut, DieDieDie and I Heart Lasers come into Ben Day's dimension to protect him from a mysterious killer that is assassinating the Ben Day's of every dimension. The first wave of super-heores Joe Keatinge goes right to the point and the main plot is established early on. I feel Joe lost a couple of opportunities by not fleshing out more the "main" Ben Day's world or even some other reality Ben's. The killer's identity is soon revealed and the potential shock somewhat lost because it comes too early in the story. If Joe had took the time to have the reader bond more with the characters this reveal would have a much bigger impact. Halfway in we're introduced to Benoite, a female version of Ben Day. She is the only other Ben that gets a backstory. Benoite's role in this story is not as pivotal as I initial hoped. But I believe she will come back in future story arcs. Benoite's family Side note, in Portuguese noite means night, so we have a male Ben Day and a female Ben Night. This probably is just a coincidence, but I still found it funny. Please do Andre Skymanowicz is in charge of the art in Hell Yeah. And does a good job. The permutations of Ben Days are nice to see. I liked the old man in the trenchant and the killer in armor the best. These two characters are very distinct from the rest and always a joy to see. Andre's art would benefit from a higher degree of detain in the character models and the backgrounds. The only thing I didn't like was the way he represented the gore. Andre showed promise in this book, I believe the next volumes will show an increase in the quality of his work. Verdict? Hell Yeah Volume 1 is a nice book. Good concept thus far and the ending leaves some very interesting doors open. However the execution could be better. The instant and primal gratification is searched a little more than desired. A little less punching and a bit more fleshing out of the characters and the next volume could be great. Still, this is a fun book with new twists on old sci-fi favorite themes, interesting art and a action packed plot. If you're into these action packed super-hero type books then this is for you. If you prefer more depth in your comics, then give it a pass. Publisher: Image Comics Year: 2012 Pages: 128 Authors: Joe Keatinge, Andre Szymanowicz ISBN: 1607066076 Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/01/review-hell-yeah-volume-1-last-day-on.html
Pro Wrestling Regains Stupidity Championship from Comics Industry as WWE Plans to Reboot Leprecaun FranchiseBy Jude Terror in News with Benefits on January 24, 2013
The new movie will star midget wrestler Hornswaggle.
Deadline is reporting that J.J. Abrams is directing the new film.
Justice League Movie to be Filmed on Moon, Stars Jesus, the Tooth Fairy, and Heath Ledger's Reanimated CorpseBy Jude Terror in News with Benefits on January 24, 2013
More rumors have surfaced about the possibly fictional Justice League movie.
Despite an attempt to cover it up by adding molded muscles to the Iron Man suit, Tony Stark has added at least 25 pounds per thigh in the latest Age of Ultron teaser.
A look at Easter eggs from this week's episode of Arrow.
It's all-out action in the Valiant manner! X-O Manowar #9 starts the prelude to "Planet Death!"
Cover The Goon and Frankie welcome you to the Milking-It-For-All-It's-Worth-Edition of this earlier work by Eric Powell. This book collects the first three issues of The Goon (before Dark Horse), some comic strips, sketches and unpublished drafts of some of the early stories. Learn all about The Goon's origin and his first encounters with the Zombie mob and the Zombie Priest, Fishy Pete and others. How is it? Short version Really good. Read it. Not so short version Eric Powell is the mind behind The Goon. This is his love child and it shows. From the introductions (plural) to the extras of the book the emotional investment done is palpable. Rough Stuff collects the early work Powell did for The Goon. For some reason, right up front, Powell makes sure to lower the expectation for this book stating that its sub-par of his more recent work on The Goon. To be fair this is my first Goon book so I don't have a Goon benchmark setup, but judging from this one Powell was overzealous. While this book is a bit too short to be a great collection it still manages to be really good at its job. To entertain. In that light this is an good book. I couldn't help but to end each chapter with a smile on my face. Welcome For those unfamiliar with The Goon, he and his pall Frankie are mob enforcers. Actually they're the only ones that stand up to the Zombie Mob and prevent the Zombie Priest's rule over the city. They work for Labrazio. A ruthless bad man with a reputation that puts fear into everyone’s heart. However The Goon is the only one that’s had any type of contact with contact with Labrazio for the last 20 years. His relationship with Labrazio is the foundation for his origin story. I loved the dynamic between The Goon and Frankie. One is somewhat calm, big and powerful, the other is violent, little, psychopath and very vocal. They complement each other very well. Powell complemented these traits with a fantastic visual representation. The Goon and Frankie are drawn is very different styles highlighting the differences between them. Art wise this is a good book. Powell says "Its called Rough Stuff for a reason", however I won't go as far as Powell went with his self criticism. This is not bad work be any means. While it won't win any art awards it is very enjoyable. This was Powell's earlier work, he hadn't yet establish is award winning style, but it already show high potential. Mister Powell might not love this earlier work, but I sure enjoyed watching it. You heard the man Lazlo! Getting that demon out Plot and art aside, this book is a humorous one. Its present in every page and every panel. Not all of it is brilliant, but there are many good moments. I particularly love the Vampire joke (not going to spoil it). Verdict? The Goon gained a new follower with this Rough Stuff. Its a funny book that is guaranteed to put you in a good mood. Highly Recommended. On a side note I want to thank my e-buddy Tim for this awesome gift. I liked it very much. Publisher: Dark Horse Year: 2010 Pages: 104 Authors: Eric Powell ISBN: 1595824685 Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/01/review-goon-volume-0-rough-stuff.html
The American Born Chinese creator's next effort, entitled Boxers & Saints, is due out from First Second this fall!
Frankenstein, Former Agent of S.H.A.D.E., and MoJo JoJo team up to review comics. This time, Batman #16 (Death Of The Family tie-in)
On this episode of the podcast, I caught up with awesome writer and all around cool creator Greg Rucka!
Superheroes always operate on the outskirts of legality. They may capture criminals, but by doing so they’re also infringing the law, after all, no citizen can take justice into their own hands. Unless, of course, doing that becomes absolutely necessary. Chris Roberson reunites in the same city a group of masked vigilantes that existed way before Batman or Captain America. We are talking about classic pulp heroes from the 20s and 30s such as The Shadow, The Spider, Zorro, The Green Hornet and Kato. And Roberson cleverly poses a question of significant philosophical depths: what is the difference between law and justice? Which one of those should prevail? And what should be done in case justice is threatened by the law? Green Hornet & Kato / el Avispón Verde y Kato In a corrupted city, the major is hiring criminals as cops and instituting laws that will only make the mobsters and contra-bandists richer. The Green Hornet and Kato have problems dealing with this new status quo, they have always operated within the confine-ments of the law, and they had always associated law with justice, like so many people do. That’s when The Shadow appears. And he shows them that law and justice are very different things, and that injustice can often be found in the world of legality. With the help of Zorro and The Spider this group of gentlemen will declare war against a new fascist regimen unlike anything America has ever seen. What can I say? I’m not really a fan of these classic pulp heroes, but I really liked this first issue. I think Roberson has found a way to make the most out of this group of characters. Clearly there has been a lot of thought put into this project. now the enemy is the law / ahora el enemigo es la ley Another major surprise was seeing Alex Ross doing interior art again. He does covers every month, mostly for Dynamite titles, but I really missed his sequential art. Looks like this year I’ve started buying more comics thanks to extraordinary artists such as John Cassaday (who after years of dedicating his talent exclusively to covers has returned as full penciler and inker) and now Alex Ross. I’ve been a Ross fan since Marvels and Kingdom Come. Surely, his style demands time. He uses models to get the level of photorealism that made him one of the most respected painters of the industry. He’s always meticulously careful with the designs he creates, and that is very time-consuming. Consequently, he wouldn’t be able to do a monthly series, so every new project from him is always welcome. I was thrilled looking at his pages, this first issue sure reminded me of what I have always loved about Ross. It’s official, this is Dynamite’s best miniseries of the year. _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ The Shadow / La Sombra Los súper-héroes siempre operan al margen de la legalidad. Puede ser que capturen criminales, pero al hacerlo también infringen la ley, después de todo, ningún ciudadano puede actuar como justiciero. A menos, claro está, que hacerlo sea absoluta-mente necesario. Chris Roberson reúne en la misma ciudad a un grupo de vigilantes enmas-carados que existieron mucho antes que Batman o el Capitán América. Estamos hablando de los clásicos héroes de los 'pulp' de los años 20 y 30 como La Sombra, La Araña, el Zorro, el Avispón Verde y Kato. Y Roberson coloca con astucia una pregunta de profundad filosófica: ¿cuál es la diferencia entre la ley y la justicia? ¿Cuál debería prevalecer? ¿Y qué debería hacerse en caso que la justicia sea amenazada por la ley? En una ciudad corrupta, el alcalde contrata a criminales como policías, e instaura leyes que sólo enriquecen a los mafiosos y a los contrabandistas. Al Avispón Verde y a Kato les cuesta entender este nuevo status quo, y es que ellos siempre han operado dentro de los confines de la ley, y siempre han asociado la ley con la justicia, al igual que mucha gente. Entonces, La Sombra aparece. Y él les muestra que ley y justicia son dos cosas distintas, y la injusticia a menudo se encuentra en el mundo de la legalidad. Con la ayuda del Zorro y la Araña, este grupo de caballeros declarará la guerra contra el régimen más fascista que Estados Unidos ha visto alguna vez. The Spider / La Araña ¿Qué puedo decir? En realidad no soy fan de esos clásicos héroes pulp, pero realmente me gustó el primer número. Creo que Roberson ha encontrado la manera de aprovechar a este grupo de personajes. Se nota que ha pensado bien en cómo hacer este proyecto. Otra gran sorpresa fue ver a Alex Ross dibujando. Él hace portadas cada mes, sobre todo para Dynamite, pero yo realmente echaba de menos su arte secuencial. Parece que este año he comprado más cómics gracias a artistas extraordinarios como John Cassaday (quien se había dedicado años exclusivamente a las portadas) y ahora Alex Ross. He sido fan de Ross desde los días de "Marvels" y "Kingdom Come". Sin duda, su estilo demanda tiempo. Usa modelos para obtener el nivel de foto-realismo que lo convirtió en uno de los más respetados ilustradores de la industria. Siempre es meticulosamente cuidadoso con los diseños que crea, y eso consume tiempo. En consecuencia, no sería capaz de dibujar una serie mensual, así que cada nuevo proyecto suyo es siempre bienvenido. Quedé encantado mirando sus páginas, este primer número me recordó por qué amo el arte de Ross. Es oficial, esta es la mejor miniserie de Dynamite del año. Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/01/masks-1-chris-roberson-alex-ross.html
Want some ninja on ninja action? Well this clip from GI Joe: Retaliation will feed that need.
Tom Morello's "Orchid" concludes, I saw one DC annual, at least 9 versions of "Invincible" #100, and the Superior Spider-Man doesn't trick Mary Jane into doin' stuff
WINNER: Cover Of The Week - 1/23/2013: Harbinger Vol 2 #8 Incentive Jeff Lemire Line-Wide Variant CoverBy GHERU in Features on January 23, 2013
WINNER: Cover Of The Week - 1/23/2013: Harbinger Vol 2 #8 Incentive Jeff Lemire Line-Wide Variant Cover
WINNER: Comic Of The Week - 1/23/2013: Wolverine And The X-Men #24 by Jason Aaron & David Lopez
A new teaser for Marvel's Age of Ultron event features conservative pundit Ann Coulter in her first comic book appearance.
The former The Walking Dead show-runner talks on what he's doing to the script for the Legendary Pictures Godzilla movie.
Vibe takes on his new task guarding the gateway to the DC multiverse
Will this version of Soundwave prove SUPERIOR? Or will it be INFERIOR?
Blogger Threatens Violence in Response to ABC's Cancellation of Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23By Jude Terror in News with Benefits on January 23, 2013
Shocking and disturbing comments marked the response of one blogger and fan of the recently canceled sitcom.
Before you boycott Dragon-Con, take note that he hasn't been involved in the show since 2000.
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