Let’s Go Boys

Going through a bit of a dry spell..

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.. šŸ˜€

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.

Thanks!

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I am this close to saying… Flashpoint Sucks

Don’t get me wrong.. I think the main Flashpoint ROCKS. I’m having fun with the shock reveals that comes with every issue. It’s just the rest of the “companions” to Flashpoint that is getting to me. I am referring to the 101 tie ins that come with Flashpoint

They’re all suffering from what I term “alternateuniverseseventisvitis”.

The main Flashpoint book is an interesting foray into an Elseworld where things are familiar but not totally so, these so called tie ins just dance around the central “world”, while accomplishing almost nothing else.

B and C list characters are dying like mayflies in the Flashpoint world, but there’s this feeling that all these will not be of any consequences when we shift back to regular programming. This would not be so bad if the tie ins manage to tell an engaging story that is coherent with these “deaths”.

We’re more than half way through Flashpoint, and almost none of the tie ins seemed to be adding any value to the Flashpoint-verse other than to expand on things that we’ve already known since the beginning of Flashpoint. It took 2 issues of “Emperor Aquaman” to bring us on a huge roundabout to reach THIS point:

The Flashpoint one shots are the worst offenders of this. I am especially disappointed with titles such as “Flashpoint: Reverse Flash”. Contrary to my initial beliefs that it would contain new insights and add twists to the world of Flashpoint, it just told us that the Reverse Flash used his “time altering” powers to change the past of Barry Allen and that he was the one responsible for the death of Barry’s mum. It took one (not very cheap) issue to tell us a tale that had been established from the start of Flashpoint. WTF??!!!

This is made more apparent when the “event” is compared to one such as “War of the Green Lanterns” that contained more “HOLY SHIT” moments than you can shake a roll of toilet paper at. On top of that, “War of the Green Lanterns” was intriguing, smart and funny. Even with the impending DCU revamp threatening to make the whole crossover event obsolete and redundant, it managed to set up a final panel that makes you go “NO WAAAAAAAAY….”

Now, that is what I call a stellar event.

Go Team Green Lantern!

Green Lantern SUCKS!!!

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 allĀ  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…

Brightest Day, Blackest Night

Still having trouble with the full body modeling of Hal Jordan.

Making progress with the boots though.

Decided to do a close up of GL winding up for a punch.

Did I mention I really enjoy rendering the lights because of his power ring? Decided to dial down a notch on the greenest though…

Greenest Lantern

I’ve raved about his movie.

I’ve raved about his mega event.

I’ve even raved about his merchandises.

And so I decided to put my act together and start modeling my own Hal Jordan.

I’m still deciding on a final “look”, and his bottom half (specifically the boots) are a bitch to model.

But here’s a sneak peak of my Green Lantern model.

Love the number of ways I can play with the lighting due to the Green Lantern ring. This one is supposed to give a “noir-ish” feel. It’s very much inspired by Alex Ross’ portraits of superheroes.

Quick question: For the glowing power ring… Lens flare or no?

It’s all about WAR(s)!

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.Ā  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 endingĀ  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….

If only for the preview tagline.

I mean, seriously…

“Lobo PUNCHES PEOPLE WITH RINGS… hard”

Comics does not get better than this. *Excite*