Happy Halloween!!

One of my favorite ongoing comics for the moment has got to be the Walking Dead.

Besides being a comic about Zombies (and EVERYBODY loves zombies, right?), it’s a comic with a lot of heart and plot twists that knee you in the balls till it blows out your brains. I had been hooked on the series since I first saw the tagline (if you can still call this a line)

“How many hours are in a day
when you don’t spend
half of them watching television?

When is the last time
any of us
REALLY
worked to get something that we wanted?

How long has it been
since any of us really
NEEDED
something that we WANTED?

The world we knew is gone.

The world of commerce and frivolous necessity has been
replaced by a world of survival and responsibility.

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept
the globe causing the dead to rise and feed on the living.

In a matter of months society has crumbled,
no government,
no grocery stores,
no mail delivery,
no cable TV.

In a world ruled by the dead,
we are forced to finally start living.”

Which self respecting arts student would not love a pseudo intellectual prose like that??

Seriously, Robert Kirkman (creator/writer/Overlord Supreme) of the series ensured that the Zombies are the least frightening thing in the entire series. To me, it’s a study of the human condition – how disgustingly degenerate and how surprisingly noble when we are forced to our extremes.

So now, on Halloween (days of all days), they are launching the Walking Dead TV Series!!

The arts student in me is inclined to point out the irony of how they fly in the face of line one of the tagline (“How many hours are in a day when you don’t spend half of them watching television?), and I probably would have if they put some two bit director/writer into the project.

I am still skeptical about how well they can translate the comic I love onto the small screen, but putting Frank Darabont (Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption, two awesome character drama) at the helms seems like a pretty damn fine start.

Plus, the trailer looks so darn cool!

I might be jumping my guns but if Darabont can match Kirkman’s flair for characterizing the ragtag band of survivors, putting them through the rollercoaster extremes of hope and hopelessness, this just MIGHT be THE TV series of 2010 and beyond.

Most.Awesome.Halloween.Treat!

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Comic of the Week – Week of 17 Sep

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.

Dark Avengers

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.

Dark Avengers

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.

Blackest Night #3 Cover

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.

Out.

Comic of the Week – Week of 27 Aug 09

No, I’ve not slacked off for the past 3 weeks. I was away for work.

I’ve been catching up on the previous few weeks of comics and not surprisingly, Blackest Night continues to be brilliant.

Even the side series such as Blackest Night: Superman and Blackest Night: Batman impressed, which is much more than what can be said for the side series of other Mega Crossover events these days.

The inclusion of the crap talking Deadman to the  uneasy alliance between the new Batman and Robin is simply… awesome. I was going to complain that too many of the classic Batman Rogue Gallery seemed to be dead, maimed or rendered lame these days, then along came this little ditty…

Blackest Night Batman, rogue gallery, ventriloquist, batman rogue gallery

Brrrr…. what is it? Chills running down my spines is what it is.

Blackest Night: Superman took a very different direction from the other Blackest Night books so far. At the core of it all, Blackest Night is a book about zombies, and conventional wisdom dictates that zombies are commonly associated with… slasher flicks. And what would be a better place to base a slasher flick than the small American cornfield town of Smallville?

blackest night, Superman, it's a bird

Also, it’s the first time I’ve seen an individual running so many colors on the emotional spectrum as seen by Black Lantern Kal L.

Blackest Night Superman, color spectrum, superman

As for this week’s entry… to be honest, I am still waiting for my Secret Warriors to come in. I was very sure that THAT or Green Lantern #45 (being a Blackest Night book. Did I mention I adore the series right now) would be the books to top the charts this week. So before, I procrastinate any longer with this week’s entry, I decided that we should just move on.

Green Lantern #45, while good, focused too much on the War of the Lights in space. While it fleshes out Sinestro even more (if you can believe it. The guy has a Corp named after him) as a character, not much happened on Earth, which I felt was where the real fun is.

My problem with the War of the Lights is that there is too much baggage. Too many characters running around that is simply over the head for casual (really) fans like myself. There is too much history to catch up on that I simply cannot be bothered for the moment.

Ditto for Batman and Superman. I just know that the new Batman *spoiler alert?* is Dick Grayson and the new Robin, Damien Wayne. Superman’s New Krypton is a story line that I have not even begin to wrap my brain around.

Don’t even get me started on the X family of books. I cannot get who’s dead and who’s not anymore.

That is the reason why those books have not been on the Comic of the Week list so far. Though to be fair, Detective Comics this week is kind of  brilliant. Like the continuation of the Dark Prophecy for Batwoman.

That is why I’ve decided to cheat a bit and put a Trade Paperback as my Comic of the Week.

Presenting Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead.

Walking dead, Vol 10, kirkman, rick, zombies, what we become

Yes, it’s another zombie book but an uber brilliant one. It is not so much the brain eating brain-dead-guys or the hack-slash gore (I hate gore) that are cool, as the interactions between the various survivors of the zombie apocalypse. Kirkman just uses the scenario his exploration into the (sometimes dark, somewhat hopeful, always… human?) human psyche in this ongoing soap opera series.

The TPB is at its 10th volume right now, and I think we have just began to comprehend how far this rabbit hole really goes.  By this volume, the main protagonist, Rick is not so much an anti hero anymore. He is just a Survivor like everyone in the book. Nothing more. Nothing less. As the world continues to trudge around knee deep in zombies, we began to see, through Rick’s interactions with new found Survivors and his current crew, what being a Survivor truly entails. It is not a pretty sight. But one you cannot stop starring at.

Highly recommended for… well… EVERYONE. Even those that don’t normally like zombies. Trust me, it’s worth it.

And yes, I trade wait for this series. For one thing, I cannot justify the money output for a black and white series every month. For another, I am pretty sure the anticipation from the month to month cliff hangers will kill me.

Speaking of zombies, apparently Marvel decided to hop onto the bandwagon with this as well.

X men, Dead will rise

Apparently Dead Mutants will rise.

Wish we could say the same about originality…