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
worked to get something that we wanted?

How long has it been
since any of us really
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The world of commerce and frivolous necessity has been
replaced by a world of survival and responsibility.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.



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…

Black as Night and Sweet as Sin

The blockbuster event of this summer.

2 years in the making and featuring a cast numbering in the thousands.

It’s darker. It’s more mature. It’s edgier.

It’s not Harry Potter and the half blood prince.

It is way cooler than HP for the pure and simple reason that it contains zombies!

At least that’s what I think they are…

For a storyline that’s been set up for 2 years and 2 books into the saga, I honestly still can’t tell you exactly what a Black Lantern is.

All I know is that they scare the hell outta me and they are cool as hell.

Black Lanterns RISE, green lantern, blackest night, black lanterns

Geoff Johns is a VERY strong writer for character comics. He single-handedly sparked my interest in the Justice Society of America, a team comprising of relatively old, silver age heroes which should have no business in today’s world whatsoever. They represent a generation of values that just does not make sense anymore. Somehow, he managed to make these old foggies relevant and develop these characters into ones that the reader can care about. No mean feat, considering the membership of the Society is dynamic (at best) and said membership consists of anything from 5 to 50 characters.

He is also really good at rejuvenating old concepts and retelling the mythos of  over powered, over exposed characters like Superman and Green Lantern to make them interesting again. He lifted these characters  from the “fight with the monster of the month” monotonous storylines to something else altogether. Cue the Sinestro Corp War, the War of the Light and New Krypton.

One genre which he never really touched so far is that of Horror and Gore, normally more the niche of writers like Garth Ennis and Jason Aaron.

Geoff Johns’ tales till now might be a little dark and slightly angsty, but they normally end with a message of hope. He’ll even try to show the more humane side of “evil” characters such as Black Adam and even Brainiac, which adds another dimension to their characterization and make them more compelling characters. I don’t think he really believes in Evil for Evil’s sake. Green Lantern #43 and Blackest Night #1 seemed to be proving me wrong as he shows he can out evil and out gore the best of them. Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis was supposed to depict a scenario where evil won and all hope is lost. But seriously, the final scenes of Blackest Night #1 were one of the most “f%& me blind” scenes I’ve seen in a comic for a very long time. It shows how absolute the Black Lanterns’ potential for mischief could be, and Johns is milking it for all that it is worth.

He paints a scenario that seems totally hopeless for the heroes to overcome. Case in point: the scene below.

Which I should probably mention: Spoiler Alert!

Elongated Man, Sue, ralph dibny, hawkman, black lanterns, blackest night

Sidenote: Is it me? Or is this Dark/Black theme the “in” thing for the moment? I mean… Marvel is having their Dark Reign event going on too… Certainly makes one wonder about the ideas are coming from…