I’m a little behind on this one, but I was out of town on that legendary first Saturday in May, I didn’t get to make it to the comic shop till just last week to pick up my stuff, including the FCBD offerings (my comic retailer of choice is located some thirty miles from my place of residence, so I can’t just drop by on a whim, or justify the gasoline expenditure on a comics run if I don’t have some other business to attend to in the same neck of the woods), and I only got around to actually reading any of those offerings yesterday. Not that they aren’t a priority; I’ve just been busy. Writing articles before pleasure, right? That doesn’t mean I wasn’t looking forward to digging into the funnybooks first chance that presented itself. Was it worth the wait? Did the selections meet or exceed my expectations, or did they leave me disappointed?

I only grabbed the books being offered by Marvel and DC this year, with particular interest being paid to the Marvel books, as they set the stage for the next big Marvel “event” story, CIVIL WAR 2. I was a tad disappointed that DC didn’t do more to promote their own “event,” the REBIRTH going on over there this summer. As for Marvel, though, I was suitably wowed. THIS, I said to myself, is how you do FCBD right! Did you get YOUR free comic book this year?

A few years ago, I wrote and directed a play entitled THE AXE, a Horror/Comedy with a strong female lead and a heavy feminist bent. One of the nicest compliments I received afterwards was from an older lady who told me, “I can’t believe that was written by a MAN!” If it is possible, then, for a heterosexual male to be a feminist, I guess I am one. So it is as a feminist I want to speak to the ladies out there, the female geeks, who are upset over the “objectification” of Harley Quinn. I know that scene in the trailer where Harley’s bending over and the camera all but zooms-in on her ass has got plenty of you steamed. Unfortunately, the sexual objectification of women has been going on for as long as there have been women, and men to lust after them.

All those Renaissance paintings of nude females? That’s objectification. Hell, when that Cro-Magnon was carving the Venus of Willendorf, HE was objectifying the female body! Men are ALWAYS going to look at women as sex objects. It’s simple biological programming. As I have said before, all men are pigs. Some are just domesticated and make nice pets. And just because we like looking at Harley in hotpants doesn’t mean we can’t also respect her. If, that is, she deserved respect. Since she’s a serial killer, she probably doesn’t. Now Black Widow on the other hand, in her skintight black leather… What was I saying?

source: www.flickeringmyth.com

And here, brothers and sisters, is tangible proof, not that anyone should need any by this point, that you should never accept ANYthing you read on the Internet at face value. Anything can be spun in just the right way to make it say, or seem to say, whatever the “poster” wants it to say. In a world where everything is clickbait and there is no moral compunction, at all, towards honesty or even journalistic integrity, even from the “professional” news sites, you need much more than a grain of salt to take with your daily dosage of “news” or “facts.” Check out this article at the link below. It announces that CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR opened to lower numbers than did BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, and goes on to extrapolate from that how CIVIL WAR was destined to be a failure. This was on Friday last.

Was the article correct? CIVIL WAR had the fifth biggest opening in box office history, the biggest by far of any movie this year, bigger than IRON MAN 3, way bigger than the previous two Captain America films, and is tracking to be the first movie this year to top the billion dollar mark during its theatrical run, something few films EVER manage, so what do you think? What’s the lesson to be learned from this? Numbers don’t lie, but numbers can be MADE to lie. Or, to put it another way, the spin masters are so insidious that they can shovel bullshit with such effectiveness that only the truly astute will even smell it. Or, in more succinct terms, if it’s on the Internet, it’s probably a lie.

Now somebody tell me again how BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN was a box office “failure” or all the ways in which the new take on Spider-Man gets it wrong.

source: www.showbiz411.com

Let me be clear: I am not calling DC bigwig editor Eddie Berganza a pervert. I do not know the man and have never worked with him, nor do I know personally anyone else who has or does. I’ve never even met him. What I am reporting here is fact, namely that OTHER people have and are calling him a pervert. Until such time as proof is offered, and thus far none has been, at all, these allegations must remain classified as rumors only. I am sharpening no personal axes here for use on Mr. Berganza’s neck. I have no stake in this one, or steak, either, as no one involved is offering to buy me dinner. Got it? Good. Proceed.

It is fact that there are rumors, and a growing number of them, that accuse Eddie Berganza of sexual harassment. The recent move by DC to fire popular VERTIGO overseer Shelly Bond has had unforeseen consequences—although perhaps DC should have foreseen them; if the rumors are true, the company had to know they were sitting on a pressure cooker and anything provocative could blow the lid off the whole thing. The result is that now creators and others working with the company are naming names, and the name they keep mentioning is Berganza. Why fire Bond, they collectively ask, but keep Berganza, when the guy’s a notorious lecher? Again, these are only rumors. But if Berganza IS a repeat-offender pervert, grabbing, groping, and harassing female employees, why IS he still there? Superman would not approve.

source: www.theouthousers.com

I’m started to get excited about Marvel Comics again. Finding the ALLNEW! ALL DIFFERENT! Version(s) of the Avengers lackluster compared to the epic, hell, downright TITANIC storyline concocted by Jonathan Hickman, which led up to the mega-event SECRET WARS and the creation of a new Marvel Universe, I stuck with stalwart offerings like INVINCIBLE IRON MAN, written by Brian Michael Bendis, and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN by Dan Slott. Gone were the days, I feared, of the company wide “event” events that so captivated me in years past, stories like SIEGE, WORLD WAR HULK, and SECRET INVASION. I simply didn’t, and don’t, care about Marvel’s new batch of teenybopper superheroes like Ms. Marvel and Miles NOT Spider-Man Morales. To me, Marvel was sacrificing the kind of fare preferred by its long-term readers to try to woo new, younger ones—and to be politically correct. (When the latter comprises the primary reason for doing ANYthing the results usually range from disappointing to disastrous.)

Now here comes CIVIL WAR 2, one of those across-the-board “event” events like I have so enjoyed. And it’s written by Bendis, the same guy who spearheaded so many of those previous high-concept event-events (how about “E-vents”?). I know the teenyboppers will play a part in it. I can tolerate them, if we get enough of that old-school Marvel magic in the process.

source: www.comicbookresources.com

Here is some news to get excited about. ROM is returning to the world of comics. That is, if you were a comic book-reading kid in the 80s, like I was, it’s a cause to get excited. ROM was a fixture in the Marvel Comics universe, running from December of 1979 (I remember buying that first issue off the newsstand at the local convenience store) to February of 1986, a solid stretch of seven years and 75 issues. None too shabby considering the comic should have never worked at all. Based on an obscure toy robot from Parker Brothers, a toy that didn’t sell worth a flip, to be honest, how could the adventures of this “Spaceknight” chronicled in the funny books possibly succeed? That it DID succeed can be attributed to the stellar work (you see what I did, there?) of writer Bill Mantlo and artist Sal Buscema. It was, simply put, a damn good comic book.

While I am thrilled to see ROM returning, I am disappointed that he will no longer be a Marvel property; the new series will be published by IDW. This means that everything from the Marvel series will have to be resigned to a “parallel universe” and any attempts to revisit some of those stories will have to be heavily altered. Likewise none of the characters from the earlier series will appear in the new one, save for ROM himself.Bummer.

source: io9.gizmodo.com

Initially excited about DC Comics’ planned REBIRTH event, I’m starting, as we inch closer to it happening, to get a little apprehensive. Details are being provided; the pieces are coming together; little by little the coloring is being applied to the tapestry, and I’m not at all certain I’m digging what I’m starting to see, if you can dig it. I’m still hopeful, but now I’m also skeptical. A return to the pre-New 52 DC Universe sounded so promising, then this morphed into more of a “let’s keep what’s working from the New 52 but go back to old school with the rest” sort of thing, which seemed even better, in my opinion. The best of both worlds. But can those two worlds really coexist?

How will DC get Superman back to his old, pre-New 52 self? A simple time jump? No, not according to the latest hints. They’re gonna kill the New 52 Superman and bring the old Superman back to replace him. Only they may split Clark Kent and Superman into two different people. This latter sounds, well, stupid, if I’m honest. But what if the Clark sans Superman being teased is really the New 52 Clark, stripped of his powers? That MIGHT be interesting, if handled right. Still, is it really that hard to give us a straight-up Superman story featuring the Superman we’re all familiar with, the one with all his powers intact, in love with Lois Lane, not Wonder Woman, and with his secret identity still a secret?

source: www.yahoo.com

Skip the Spin. Think for Yourselves. Here’s a little something that is much needed right now, a healthy dose of TRUTH. Facts can be spun any whichyway but they remain immutable. They are still facts whether or not a person exaggerates them or tries to minimalise them. It is a fact that BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN has been a HUGE hit for Warner Brothers, despite the unprecedented vitriol from commoner critics and a highly vocal percentage (I’d estimate this latter at around 30% at most) of fanboys. Did the movie suffer the biggest second weekend drop in history, as the headlines proclaim with such glee? Yes—barely. The FACT is, this drop off in numbers is comparable to the drop experienced by both THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and THE HUNGER GAMES; their ticket sales fell almost as much in their respective second weekends. Also, this drop fails to take into account that the opening weekend figures included Thursday as well, which further distorts the numbers. The clickbaiters are making much ado out of all this, but there really is no story here.

The linked-to article dismisses the suggestion that there might in fact exist some bias against the film, but then goes on to inform the reader that a lot of those “rotten” reviews aren’t rotten at all. It’s spin, pure and simple. I would tend to blame this more on the “pile-on effect” than on any organized conspiracy—but is IS a FACT that Rotten Tomatoes is owned by Disney. Just sayin’.

By the way, BVS has a B+ overall score from viewers and has already made more money than MAN OF STEEL made during its ENTIRE theatrical run. Also just sayin’.

source: www.yahoo.com

Just got in from seeing this film, and it pleases me to no end to announce that my worries concerning its failure were unfounded. Don’t pay any attention to the commoner critics. This is a damn good movie, period. I’ve stated many times that “mainstream” critics are woefully unqualified to judge genre movies, and this case just proves my point. The fact that so many commoners have lambasted the picture while so many fanboys are lovin’ on it has prompted some to suspect an actual conspiracy to squelch its box office. (Not that it worked; BVS is breaking all sorts of records, critics be damned.) I don’t REALLY believe the conspiracy theories, but there’s enough there to make you wonder. Did you all know that ROTTEN TOMATOES is owned by Disney, which of course owns MARVEL? Curious, no?

Here’s what some folks can’t seem to wrap their brains around: This is NOT the DC Comics universe—key word being COMICS. As I grudgingly came to understand, Ben Affleck is not portraying the Batman from the comics. He is playing the Batman from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS graphic novel, only a younger version. Realizing that Ezra Miller is not in any way supposed to be the Barry Allen from the comics makes me feel a lot better about his casting, too. Same with Momoa as Aquaman. The DC cinematic universe is a whole ‘nother animal, way more different from their comics than Marvel’s movies are from their source material—and that’s okay. Beautiful to look at, and well acted (Jesse Eisenberg—holy f*cking $h!t!!!), the movie is, let us say, COMPACT. Every second of its 2 ½ hour running time is stuffed to bursting with plot (The commoners are saying that it is “convoluted,” but I had no problem following it.) and wrings out as much characterization as possible for a film with so many characters. DC wanted to catch up to Marvel. They had a LOT of ground to cover with one movie. Despite the odds, they pulled it off. I am gleefully surprised. F*ck the commoners. Again I say, F*CK ‘EM. Every last one of ‘em. This movie ROCKS.

[NOTE: This article was written on Monday, March 21st.]

I’ve been saying all along that if I was wrong I would gladly admit it. I’m talking about BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN. I’ve been predicting failure for the movie, for numerous reasons. While it’s still too early to say one way or the other—there will be no conclusive answer until I’ve seen the film for myself—the early reviews from fellow geeks coming in are overwhelmingly positive. Even some of the commoner critics, those who don’t “get” genre cinema and are thus unqualified to critique it—not that this ever stops them from doing so—are saying that it’s good; their grousing is limited to the things one would expect, the sorts of things that people who don’t much care for comic book movies would be expected to say. Too action-heavy, too dark, non-comics fans may have a hard time figuring out who’s who, yadda yadda yadda. Not many have said the acting, directing, cinematography or storyline were sub par. In fact several have grudgingly admitted that they were impressed by these. And while many *cough* “professional” critics have grudgingly conceded the films’ quality, the average fan on the street has thus far been shouting with glee from the rooftops.

I was worried that WB was rushing it. I was worried that they were including too many characters, too fast. I questioned their casting choices. (Affleck, Momoa, Miller.) But I’m starting to have hope. Maybe I WAS wrong. I damn sure hope so.

I will have a definitive answer for you, and a full review, next week.