One of the critiques to one of my previous piece was that the background was not exciting enough, so decided to try my hand at doing some background work… a shambled down Gotham with a Bat/Joke signal in the background…
I thrashed the last three pieces that I did because they are too horrible to show. Hours down the drain there…
This is the only halfway decent piece that I did recently… it’s also my first ensemble piece… Took hours just to render… then more hours on Photoshop… I really should get a faster comp..
Not completely satisfied with Superman, might redo him one day in the distant future..
Still trying to find my “style” so C&C most welcome.
A new piece of mine featuring the Superman and Wonder Woman. (More Wonder Woman than Superman, actually)
I’m trying to recreate the feel of old style bleached treated photography with a bit of overexposure. Another thing I was trying out on this piece was the use of white space. Hence the huge amount of white over the head of WW.
Instead of an all American Wonder Woman, I was going for one with a more sinister feel, contrasting her darkness with the overall brightness of the piece.
I’m trying for a more pastel-y tone in this piece featuring Black Canary…
Definitely not one of my more stellar work but in my defense, I did it in the name of experimentation and working out of my comfort zone… Somehow I’ve never been very comfortable working with pastels, so on the quest of finding my “style”, I decided to give it a try.
To be honest, I am slightly under-whelmed by the results, but I hope that on some level, it worked…
In the meantime, I’ll be staying off pink for a while…
Or how Marvel is kicking DC’s bloated ass in the cinemas when it comes to earning brownie points from fan boys’.
To be honest, out of all the summer comic book based blockbusters, Green Lantern was the one that I was most eagerly anticipating.
And what do I get? An overly loud, grossly pointless, highly forgettable and obscenely disappointing run-of-the-mill Hollywood swill.
Looking over at exhibit B… We have X-Men: First Class that I expected to Suck. I mean, come on… They destroyed all notions of conformance with the comic books by putting Havok, Banshee and Darwin(??!!!) on Xavier’s first team; they mixed and matched (what they think are) the coolest mutants to put in the show, changing the gender and race (Angel) or color and name (Azazel/Nightcrawler) when they have to; worst of all, we have a non-bald Prof X…and that is just wrong.
Yet… in spite of all that, First Class appeared to be stronger of the two films. At the very least. it was the one that I enjoyed more…
So what happened?
I put it down to one word: Simplicity…
I believe DC’s characters have the richer history (or non history) when compared to Marvel’s…
Probably because of this, they tried to dump EVERY Obscure Comic Book History Info into this one film, sowing seeds for what they hope would be taken up in the inevitable sequel (Hello Sinestro). But since it is impossible to cram 50 years of history into one two hour film, they started taking creative “liberties” and changing comic book canon. The alternative explanation is that the writers are too lazy to read through all 50 years of comic and came up with a script based on their own understanding.
In spite of all this, they seem to expect:
A) non fans to follow
B) fans to not complain that they got the history wrong
C) everyone else to not be confused to a point where they give up
Case in point… The villains.
For First Class, we have ex Nazi Kevin Bacon, I mean Sebastian Shaw leading a bunch of evil mutant to incite a nuclear war to hasten the growth of mutanity. There are side plots.. But they are simple and does not distract from the main storyline
For Green Lantern… We have *drum roll* PARALLAX that is possessed by Krona (???!!! Or is it the other way round?) and Hector Hammond. I am a Green Lantern fan and I am hard-pressed if you want me to tell you the whole history of Parallax and Krona in two hours. It is simply too complicated and you reeeeaaally have to follow canon to understand it. YET DC tried VERY unsuccessfully to do that amidst the narrative to flesh out Hal Jordan and the rest of the Corp in that same time frame. Tall order… Is it any wonder they crashed and burned?
Also, a bit of fan service doesn’t hurt either…
Even if it is to tell people to go f*ck themselves…
It’s New Comics Day again!
Really excited about the latest installments of Flashpoint, in spite of myself…
Decided to do up a piece on The Flash….
Slightly different from what I’ve done previously…
The thing about the Flash is all about his speed… Trying very hard to capture his kinetic nature.
It’s also one of my first time experimenting with a non black background. There’s a lot more to consider with regard to the color scheme to make sure that everything “goes”…
There’s also a lot more modeling to be done then the usual works…
WARNING: Images contained in this post contain MAJOR spoilers for Flashpoint and Fear Itself!!
The last comic week saw the release of the latest issues in the Big 2′s tent-pole summer events.
Flashpoint #2 for DC – which sees Barry Allen making sense of Thomas Wayne Batman (AKA Red Eyed Casino Bats), and trying to kickstart his Flash powers by means of… ermm… electric chair suicide?
Fear Itself #3 for Marvel – which sees Bucky Cap and the Avengers FINALLY confronting Sin and Blitzkreig USA after THREE months of hemming, emoting and hawing…
The result of all these events?
Is it me? Or is there something oddly similar about the two images above?
And… how misleading would these pictures be?
Barry Allen – Being one of only two people aware of the “original” DC universe, it’s unlikely that DC will kill him off… Unless Booster Gold suddenly acquire Flash like super speed and becomes the surprise Protagonist of Flashpoint, Barry will probably have a “rebirth” with speed powers returned at the start of Flashpoint #3
Bucky Cap: Here’s the dootzy. We’ve seen Steve Cap getting ready to leave the command post and take his place “as a soldier in the battlefield” in Fear Itself #3. It seems the perfect opportunity for Marvel to reinstate him as the ONE Captain America in the Marvelverse after trying Bucky out for a year. It would also be just in time for the movie release of Captain America: The First Avenger. Newcomers to the Marvelverse via the movie would not be confused by a different Cap than the one featured in the movie. Also, the crossover is not called Fear BUCKY itself…
There is one small problem though… People LOVE Bucky Cap.
Ok, I LOVE Bucky Cap. Guns, metal suit with American Flag pointing towards his crotch and all… He’s conflicted and flawed, with a hazy and mysterious past that had not fully been explored yet. He’s not the perfect, blond, all-American Blue eyed Captain America that Steve Rogers was. In other words.. he is more INTERESTING.
So, if you are listening to me, Marvel… PLEASE DON’T KILL OFF BUCKY CAP!!
I’ve been raving about “Blackest Night” a fair bit on this site, so it’s not a surprise that I am a big fan. What’s not to like? Zombie meta humans smacking each other around.
I particularly like the bit where Hal Jordan’s New Guardians faced off against Black Lantern-ed version of heroes who have died and “cheated death” before. Seeing as how characters are moving through the revolving door of comic book death so fast these days, that is A LOT of Black Lantern powerhouses, including Superman, Wonder woman, Impulse, Green Arrow and one of my personal favorites – Superboy.
Conner Kent started out as a bit of a joke after the (*irony alert*) “Death of Superman” event.
What we initially know was that he was created by Project Cadmus to replace Superman. He was artificially aged to mid-teens and implanted with the necessary knowledge of someone his biological age (in regards to general studies, such as math, reading, etc). When Superboy arrived in Metropolis, he went by “Superman” and had no real name. While glibly asserting he was the original Superman, he quickly rebuked any insinuation he was the original Superman. In fact, he told anyone who’d listen that he was a clone of Superman.
This clone thing went on for quite a while in an age where “cloning” was a considerably dirty word, thanks to the whole Spider Man “Clone Saga”.
It was later on in his life that it was revealed that Conner Kent was a part of Project 13. Project Cadmus did a total of twelve failed experiments. They grafted what they could of Superman’s DNA onto human DNA and that process stabilized the extraterrestrial genes-thus Superboy was born, fifty percent Kryptonian and fifty percent human.
It got more interesting when the fifty percent human DNA was found to belong to one Lex Luthor.
This evolved Conner Kent into an interesting figurehead for storylines about “Nature vs Nurture” dichotomy.
Anyway, I was quite disappointed that Conner didn’t get to lay the smackdown on anyone in the Rainbow Brigade. So here’s my latest render – Black Lantern Superboy!
Ok. Fine, I am not really such a big fan of grotesque re-presentations of Norse legends.
But I thought I should give Marvel a chance after my uncharacteristic raving at the trailer for the Green Lantern movie.
Right now, there are at least 3 wars raging in the big 2 universe. And I am just talking about the “regular” universe and not the various multiverses that they have.
War is one of the ultimate story telling techniques for companies with big and recognizable rosters. It is a wonderful excuse to bring together their biggest names in a big showdown and milk the feel good (and cash) factor of the various brands for all they are worth. Kind of like WWE’s annual Royal Rumble.
Over the past few years we’ve seen lots of wars being raged. Civil War, Skrull Invasion, War of Kings, Annihilation War, Secret War, Secret War 2, Kree Skrull War, Sinestro Corp War, The Invisible War, Doom War, World War Hulk, Siege just to name a few. Even events like House of M, Blackest Night and Final Crisis though technically not wars, have the same factors as all the above mentioned storylines.
Comic War veterans (like myself) have come to realize that not all wars are created equal. For every Blackest Night, there is a World War Hulks. And we have probably come to a realization of what makes a “war” work and what doesn’t.
2 factors which make or break a “war” storyline for me are:
- the “time between installments” factor
- the “does anything that happen here matters” factor
Regular readers here will know that I think “Blackest Night” is the most awesome storyline since Huckleberry Finn, but it reaaaaaaally irks me that we can go weeks, even up to a month without any progress in the main story. I understand that is probably the publisher’s attempt to cash more out of this mega event, but having to wait so long for a fast and furious war just seemed wrong. This is what I think is the primary reason for the failure of “Siege” as well.
“War of the Supermen” certainly fixed the timeliness factor well. It is essentially a 100 minutes (yup you read it right, MINUTES) war and the whole story is over in 4 issues that comes out weekly. Pretty awesome, except for the fact that it does not pass the “does it matter” test. Sure the whole New Krypton concept has gone down the toilet and the fatalities were high, but New Krypton was a concept that is like the proverbial fish and overstaying guest. It stank because it has hung around beyond its welcome period. And at the end of the day, no matter how many Kryptonians die, we know that the primary ones (Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, Krypto the Super Dog) and even the sub primary ones (Zod and gang) will live on. PLUS: the action sequences were quite crappy. They should have taken a peek at what the Green Lanterns were doing in Blackest Night.
Which brings us to the mess that is World War Hulks… or Fall of the Hulks… or whateveryouwanttocallit.
It is… in every sense of the word, a HUGE mess. Beside the awful story telling and horrible characterizations, it does not even have the decency to end its run early. The whole fiasco with Red Hulk and the Intelligencia started even before Siege and it is still ongoing. The gaps between each inconsequential installment of the series is painstaking and furthermore, the creators seemed to be under the pompous delusion that whatever happened here matter. I mean… Hulked out marines and… Hulked out heroes????? The Hulk brand can do A LOT better.
Anyone still intending to do a “War” story should really look at how Marvel is kicking ass in “Second Coming” for the X Men.
The action is fast and superbly furious. There is AT LEAST one installment of “Second Coming” every week and each installment progresses the story with new plot twists and casualties from the war. And the best part? They did all this without sacrificing the quality of the storytelling and the art.
The casualty rate in Second Coming is high and we have already seen the death of an instantaneously recognizable X Men, with numerous others suffering potentially career ending injuries.
And the best part? Marvel does not seem like it is going to let up on the body count any time soon.
Say what you want about the overexposure and brand exploitation of the X-Men, but Marvel certainly knows how to protect the brand integrity of the X-Men. By telling stories of the highest standards when it comes to mega events like “Second Coming”. (Childish sidenote: I still can’t help sniggering at the title)
THIS is the way War should be done.
A special mention this week should go to The Amazing Spider Man. Almost 2 years ago, I was doing some serious bitching about the concept of Brand New Day. I am still not happy with the deus ex machina they used to annul the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson, but I have to admit that much good came out of it. The whole “Gauntlet” mega storyline and its various mini components have worked superbly so far, and they would not have happened if Peter Parker was still happily, or unhappily married. I love the fact that they never let the “Spider Man” concept grow old and so far, managed to reinvent some of his older rogue gallery to make them more than the goofy concepts they were 30 years back.
My favorite panel of the week, however has to be this….
I mean, seriously…
“Lobo PUNCHES PEOPLE WITH RINGS… hard”
Comics does not get better than this. *Excite*
We’ve known for some time now that DC will be following up on the year long “Blackest Night” Saga with another year long Saga entitled “Brightest Day”.
This would be a reference to the Green Lantern Oath of “In Brightest Day, In Darkest Night…”
The funny thing is that now, Marvel are announcing their next big event after Dark Reign. It’s entitled “The Heroic Age”
Hmmm… Just some food for thought, but…
BLACKEST Night – DARK Reign
BRIGHTEST Day – HEROIC Age
Is it me, or does someone else see a strange similarity here?
Smallville used to be a guilty pleasure of mine.
The plotlines were incredibly contrived, the lines – painfully cheesy, the acting – decidedly atrocious and the CGI… not exactly top notch.
But if anything, Smallville had one great thing going for it… Lana Lang. Haha, I kid. The show was rife with awesome fan references to obscure characters and storylines from the DCU – some of which actually involves Lana Lang!
I was lulled back to the show by the much advertised Geoff Johns (lead creator of Blackest Night) penned episode of Smallville which will feature *gasp* The Justice Society!
The Justice Society is a big thing on my comics shopping list, especially the Geoff Johns penned ones. The JSA is different from most superhero teams. With the motto of “The world need better good guys”, the JSA went about “collecting” the heirs of superheroes past and go through the 101 of “How to be a Superhero” with them…. Kinda like the X-Men, but cooler. You cannot go wrong with a bunch of old fogies like Wild Cat, Green Lantern (Alan Scott) and the Flash (Jay Gerrick) leading the team.
Because of its premise, the recent roster of the JSA has more than 20 members (or about 1% when compared to the cast of the X-Men) , but Geoff managed to create a personal touch for each of them. He made me care about B-Listers like (these are real superhero code names) the Atom Smasher, Power Girl, Mr Terrific, Citizen Steel, Sandy, etc…. but more importantly, he made it seemed like they care for each other too. There’s a warm and fuzzy feeling I get when reading them.
The original creators of Smallville had a strict “No Tights No Flights” policy. Think it worked in favor of the series as it kept a measure of suspense to the series. It explored possible “influences” that made Clark Kent Superman and hints at the possible future of Clark. There was an aura of suspense in the show… much like the “is it there/is it not” relationship of Agent Mulder and Scully in the X Files.
Besides this, there was another huge factor that made this code works – Tights just look ridiculous on normal human beings… eeeesh…
Anyway, a lot has apparently happened since Kristin Kreuk left the series. Besides using star writers like Geoff Johns to continue to lull fanboys in, the creators of Smallville had been using lots of guest stars and super heroes appearances to boost ratings.
They were apparently so desperate, they recently resorted to the use of… The Wonder Twins…. ooooooh….
Back to this episode of Clark Kent…. to summarize it in 2 words – IT SUCKS!
It seems even Geoff Johns cannot make comic book dialogue work in real life. Some decidedly witty one liners just does not come across right… Perhaps it’s the comic book to video conversion, or maybe… just maybe, the producers should channel their funding to acting classes for the cast. The plot for the episode was ok, but the acting made the show a pain to watch.
Actual lines from the show include such gems as:
Jo’hn Jonzz (aka: Martian Manhunter): I hope it’s not too late to say, “We come in peace.”
Green Arrow: Drop the mace, Conan.
Hawkman: I will… on your head.
Green Arrow: Bring it, big bird. Just for the record, you started it.
Hawkman: I’ll finish it
Oliver: What are you–my chaperone?
Hawkman: Think of me as your parole officer but with a mace.
Green Arrow: I’m thinking we should regroup with the others before we go after Icicle Junior.
Hawkman: You go back to Sherwood, Robin Hood. I’ll turn the Icicle into slush myself.
TOTAL Schumacher’s “Batman and Robin” Deja vu.
Hmm… maybe I shouldn’t be that hard on the actors… It seems impossible to deliver lines like these with a straight face… unless you’re Kristin.
I am sensing a conspiracy…. or very brilliant marketing people.
Marvel kickstarted their new mega event on the rare week when there is not much activity from DC’s Blackest Night.
Siege, like all Mega events promised to have far and long reaching consequences in the Marvel Universe, much like the Skrull (I mean Secret) Invasion last year, World War Hulk the year before that, Civil War the year before and the House of M nonsense the year before that. The list goes on…
The series will (presumably) chart Norman Osborne’s descent into madness (again) and possible fall from grace. Much as I want to see the series crash (I am very fatigued by these Mega Events, especially when this seems to be an extension of Secret Invasion), it is actually off to a good start. The main books for Siege is promised to be limited to only 4 books, so the actions come fast and furious.
Just check out them apples.
All this within the first issue!! Good break from the trend of Mega Events building up for 2 to 3 issues before the action starts flying. Naysayers might say that the whole Dark Reign of last year was ALREADY the buildup to this event, but I say Nay. I mean you’ve got to love Brian Michael Bendis. He seems to write action sequences as well as he does Tarentino-esque dialogue sequences.
The sad fact is, good though Siege might be, I sense that it would continue to live in the shadows of Blackest Night. Pun fully intended, baby.
I have to admit, the spin off series from Blackest Night are starting to… lose their novelty and charm. It reached a point where they are mainly issues in and issues out of DC heroes getting shocked at their closest friends and family members coming back from the dead, they get mocked, they get taunted, they get into a fight, DC heroes win. Wash, rinse, repeat.
The main series and the 2 core Green Lantern titles however, are going VERY strong, and… I didn’t think this was possible, picking up the pace and growing deeper than I could possibly fathom at the start of the event. I am genuinely excited to see what comes next after each and every issue. Geoff Johns has this ability to sweep the rug from under my feet with every twist that he introduce.
Case in point… *SPOILER ALERT*…
That has got to be one of the biggest “HOLY CRAP” moment I’ve had in a long time. Simply awesome.
Couple that with the fact that the mainstream media is piling on the coverage and upping the profile of Green Lantern (prob as a build up to the movie) (Did I mention they seemed to have very good marketing people?), GL seems poised to be the next Dark Knight.
For one thing, I want to have a limited edition Green Lantern lantern (LEGLL), like Sheldon does.
While Big Bang Theory has always been full of comic references, they went all out this week. Sheldon actually managed to SCORE a not bad looking girl with this LEGLL.
Before I go on any further, I must make a disclaimer..
I Trade wait.
And I suppose this is the only reason why Fables and Ex Machina had not made their appearances on this list yet. I try very hard not to get any spoilers, so yes, I don’t read the individual issues.
Having said that, brilliant though Fables and Ex Machina might be, I’m wondering if they would be good enough to unseat the best books the awesome Blackest Night and the sometimes brilliant Dark Reign had been serving up so far.
Blackest Night has yet to hit a false note (discounting Blackest Night: Teen Titans, but Teen Titans had not been a heavyweight contender for a very long time), serving up suspense, horror, mystery and superb story telling in fell swoop.
Dark Reign, no matter what critics had been saying, managed to massively shake up the status quo in the Mar-verse. The sheer volume of work and the number of characters shaken up by the mega event is truly mind blowing.
True, some of the not so good (ok, horrible) issues of this mega cross over stinks strongly of geek-xploitation, but even the staunchest critics have to admit that the best issues of Dark Reign features some of the best story telling and intriguing character development in the medium for a very long time.
Which brings us to the 2 contenders for the Comic of the week for the week of 17 Sep.
First up, we have Dark Avengers #9. Nick Fury and his “Caterpillars” seems to be everywhere this month.And in Dark Avengers #9, they had a confrontation with Phobos’ Dad, Ares, the @#$% God of War with his “No @#$%” Axe given by Zeus.
By all accounts, it is an inevitable face off. I mean, Nick Fury all but kidnapped his @#$% kid and pitted him against the Dad. What would’ve turned out to be a mindless slugfest in lesser hands became a real character exploration of the various (ok, Ares and Phobos) characters featured in the issue.
Quite a lot of people had been complaining about how the Dark Avengers series had been missing one crucial ingredient, namely…. The Dark Avengers. The Dark Avengers rarely feature in their own monthly, preferring to pop up in other Dark Reign Titles – to the extend of seeming to have the ability to be at multiple places at the same time ( I am looking at you, Dakan). But I prefer to think of each issue so far as Bendis adding layers to each of the Dark Avengers individually.
Dark Avengers #9 certainly shows Ares to be more than a mindless war mongering piece of meat at Norman Orsbornes’ beck and call.
Contender 2 for this week, is of course, Blackest Night #3. Besides continuing the slug fest between the Black Lanterns with Hal Jordan and Barry Allen, (adding the Ray and Firestorm to the lineup for good measures), this issue shows the first movement of the mysterious Indigo Lanterns.
Below is the cover for Blackest Night #3.
With this, I declare Blackest Night #3 the winner of the Comic of the Week for the week of 17 Sep.
No, you did not miss any paragraphs.
The cover is that Awesome.