Efficiency, sarcasm, and natty fur!

This monkey and this robot once had a system: three blogs for three subjects. But it was complicated and vague and usually ended in feces throwing. So we have combined all three into a melange of media reviews and links and excessive blather, so as to reduce the burden on your short attention span.

In the right column, Monkey + Robot have compiled for you a compendium of sassy, savvy and in the know media reviews and tidbits, for your time-wasting pleasure. And lest you poke at us with sticks or cut off our power supply, the reviews are now selectable through those perky drop-down menus. Monkey + Robot Film and TV reviews, Wrongrobot's Comic Stash, and more.

Grab a chunk of melon and some Demoral, because in the left column, we have accumulated for you every snappy link we found amusing, entertaining, provocatively witty, or frankly, just colorful, with easy to understand small words so monkeybites can follow along. Such is Robotic Root!

Entertainment Media Ratings System:

Wrongrobot's Robot Rating: 1-10 Clicks, more indicating a happier robot!

Monkeybites' Monkey Rating: 1-10 Ooks! More indicating a mouthful of rotting simian teeth and lips curled in monkey pleasure!

IronLung's Robot Rating: 1-10 Clanks! More indicating a red-eyed, slack-jawed, blissed-out, ride-pimped dizzy droid! [this is good]

Vicbot's Robot Rating: 1-10 Whirrs! More indicating data that computes well with others.

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WWW http://monkey-plus-robot-reviews.blogspot.com
Wrongrobot's Fantasy Film Casting:
Casting Batman: Year One
Casting The Losers
Casting Richard Zach's Pirate Hunter

:::

Film Reviews [M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks]

Adventures of Baron Munchausen: 8 Clicks
Aliens Vs. Predator: 1 Clank
Bad Santa: 9 Clicks
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever: 2 Clicks
Bend it Like Beckham: 8 Clicks
Bourne Supremacy: 10 Clicks
Bowling for Columbine: 8 Clicks
Bubba Ho-Tep: 8 Clanks
Cirque du Soleil- Allegria [stage]: 10 Clicks
Cold Mountain: 7 Clicks
Cutthroat Island: 2 Clicks
Elf: 8 Clicks
Equilibrium: 6 Clicks
Escape From Alcatraz: 7 Clicks
Finding Nemo: 10 Clicks
Girl With a Pearl Earring: 7 Clicks
The Graduate [stage]: 7 Clicks
Hero: 7 Clanks
House of 1000 Corpses: 5 Clanks
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: 5 Clicks
Hudson Hawk: 6 Clanks
The Hulk: 7 Clicks
Identity: 3 Clicks
Igby Goes Down: 5 Clicks
Intolerable Cruelty: 6 Clicks
I, Robot [trailer commentary][IronLung]
I, Robot [trailer commentary][Wrongrobot]
Kill Bill Vol.1: 10 Clicks
Kill Bill Vol.2 [IronLung]: 9 Clanks
Kill Bill Vol.2 [Wrongrobot]: 10 Clicks
The Last Samurai: 8 Clicks
LotR: Return of the King: 7 Clicks
My Architect: 9 Clicks
Original Kings of Comedy: 7 Clicks
The Phantom: 1 Click
Pirates of the Caribbean: 9 Clicks
The Punisher: 5 Clanks
Secretary: 9 Clicks
Shanghai Knights: 4 Clicks
Spellbound: 7 Clicks
Spider-Man 2: 8 Clanks/ 8 Clicks
Starsky & Hutch: 8 Clicks
Star Trek- Nemesis: 6.5 Clicks
Terminator 3: 5 Clicks, 2 Ooks
The Thin Red Line: 7 Clicks
To Live and Die in LA: 10 Clicks
Troy: n/a
Van Helsing: 4 Clicks, 0 Clanks!
Whale Rider: 8 Clicks

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Comic Film Adaptations News [Film and TV]:

Appleseed OAV 2004 6/18/04
Aeon Flux: 2/27/04
9/1/04
9/10/04
Akira Live-Action Film 9/29/04
Animated Batman 2004 9/2/04
Batman Begins: 2/12/04 2/19/04 2/24/04 3/02/04 3/03/04 3/04/04 3/08/04 3/9/04 3/17/04 3/19/04 3/31/04 TRDL Concept Illustration 4/3/04 4/5/04 4/12/04 TRDL Concept Illustration Part 2 4/12/04 4/21/04 4/22/04 4/23/04 4/23/04 4/29/04 5/4/04 Costume Critique 5/4/04 Script Excerpts 5/7/04 6/01/04 6/04/04 6/09/04 6/10/04 6/15/04 6/16/04 7/6/04 7/13/04 7/20/04 7/26/04 7/28/04 Trailer 7/29/04 7/31/04 8/2/04 8/3/04 8/4/04 8/5/04 8/8/04 8/10/04 8/12/04 8/17/04 8/20/04 8/24/04 8/30/04 10/19/04
Battle Angel Alita: 9/10/04
Black Widow 4/29/04
Blade 3: Trinity: 5/4/04 6/11/04
Catwoman: 2/18/04 5/21/04 Game Concept Art 5/21/04 6/11/04 Suckage! 7/29/04
Comic Adaptations 10/13/03
Constantine: 3/08/04 5/14/04
Dazzler?!? 7/7/04
Elektra: 2/19/04 3/29/04 4/23/04 5/14/04 4/29/04 5/4/04 6/10/04 6/18/04 7/1/04 7/2/04 7/6/04 7/29/04 9/20/04 10/13/04
Fantastic Four: 6/16/04 7/8/04 7/14/04 7/15/04 8/3/04 9/20/04
Ghost in the Shell 2: 9/18/04
Global Frequency: 6/15/04 7/16/04 8/17/04
Good Time For Comic Films! 5/14/04
Green Lantern?!?: 7/24/04 Koboshed 8/8/04
Hawaiian Dick: 4/21/04 Interview 4/22/04
He-Man: 10/11/04
Hellboy: 2/12/04 Interview: Del Toro 2/20/04
3/03/04 3/9/04 3/17/04 Personality Test 3/17/04 Figures Released 3/29/04 Toys Addendum 3/30/04 Choose the Next Figures! 4/21/04 Hellboy: An Introduction 3/30/04 Interview: Selma Blair 3/30/04
Interview: Spectral Motion 4/5/04 Caught On Film in '62! 4/21/04 Interview: Selma Blair, CafeFX 4/28/04 Hellboy Collaborator Medical Fund Auction! 5/4/04 DVDs 7/7/04 7/28/04 8/3/04 8/5/04 8/25/04 8/31/04 Hellboy 2: 3/29/04 4/8/04 6/03/04 8/27/04 9/1/04
9/14/04
Hulk 2? 5/4/04 9/7/04

Hulk Op-Ed 7/14/04
Iron Man: 3/03/04 4/23/04 6/10/04 6/28/04 9/14/04
8/2/04 8/10/04
Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD 9/8/04
Preacher FX 4/29/04
Sin City: 3/19/04 4/04/21 4/04/29 4/05/19 5/21/04 6/01/04 6/11/04 7/1/04 7/26/04 7/28/04 7/20/04 8/11/04 9/15/04
Spider-Man 2: 2/18/04 3/29/04
Spider-Man 3: 5/4/04 5/14/04 6/10/04 7/13/04 Spider-Man 2 Game Screenshots 6/8/04 Spider-Man 2 [trailer commentary]
Superman: 5/21/04 6/03/04 6/09/04 6/10/04 6/28/04 7/1/04 7/13/04 7/14/04 7/20/04 8/5/04 8/10/04 8/27/04 8/31/04 9/10/04 9/15/04 10/19/04 [2] 10/19/04
Transformers: 9/10/04
Wanted 3/03/04
Watchmen: 4/4/23 4/7/24 7/24/24 8/12/04 9/10/04
Wolverine: 10/13/04
X-Men 3: 7/20/04 5/4/04 6/18/04 7/7/04 7/8/04 7/14/04 7/15/04 7/20/04 8/27/04 Aborted Sentinel? 9/2/04 9/7/04 9/15/04

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Film News, General:

A Scanner Darkly Film Adaptation
Akira: Kaneda's Bike in Production? 8/28/04
Aliens Vs. Predator: 6/2/04 Chess Set 5/26/04 6/8/04 Trailor 6/11/04 6/28/04 7/8/04 [trailer commentary] 8/5/04 8/8/04 7/15/04 8/12/04
Anchorman 7/13/04
Big Lebowski Day! 5/5/04
Bloodrayne 8/10/04
Bond? Who Bond? 8/3/04
Bourne Supremacy: 1/6/04 Trailer: 5/4/04 7/8/04
Cage Deserves Happiness 7/31/04
Clooney/ Tarantino in the News 10/15/03
Dodgeball 6/01/04
Domino 8/3/04
HEAT vs. R:HD: Dialog Analysis 10/22/03
Heat/ GTA III: Lawsuits Imitate Life 10/23/03
Incredibles 8/23/04
Jim White Documentary 3/23/04
Kill Bill 2 Poster 2/18/04
Kill Bill Interview: Uma Thurman 4/8/04
Kill Bill Vol. 3?! 4/12/04
The Life Aquatic 1/15/04
Matrix Explained? 8/31/04
National Treasure 8/4/04
Nowhere Man 7/26/04
Pierce is Bond No More 7/27/04
Sky Captain 7/15/04
Sky High 8/17/04
Soderberg Joins Che 4/5/04
Speed Racer: Vince Vaughn 6/25/04
Stealth 7/8/04
Summer 04 Films to Watch 4/22/04
Team America Puppet Porn 8/25/04
Transporter 2 6/16/04
Van Helsing: Van Helsing WHO? 3/16/04 Interview: ILM 5/5/04 Penny Arcade 5/18/04
Underworld 2 9/7/04
WB Kills ESC F/X 8/18/04
Will Smith Lexicon 5/18/04
Zatoichi: Blind Swordsman 6/25/04
No Mas James Bond
Miami Vice on the Big Screen

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TV Reviews, and the M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks

24 Season 3: 10/29/03: 8 Whirrs 11/5/03: 6 Whirrs 2/08/04: 7 Whirrs 2/12/04: 8 Whirrs 2/18/04: 8 Whirrs 2/24/04: 9 Whirrs 4/06/04: 7 Whirrs 4/26/04: 6 Whirrs 5/03/04: 3 Whirrs 5/11/04: 9 Whirrs 5/18/04: 8 Whirrs Finale 7/8/04: 3 Whirrs
Apprentice: Robin and Carolyn 4/16/04
ATHF and Space Ghost Links 2/25/04
ATHF: Revenge of the Trees 10/13/03: 8 Clicks The Shaving 10/27/03: 7 Clicks Super Trivia 9/22/03: 8 Clicks Battlestar Galactica 1/13/04: 3 Clicks
Carnivale: 9/22/03: 10 Clicks 9/30/03: 9 Clicks
Christopher Columbus: Secrets From the Grave: 3 Clicks
CSI: 8/11/03: 1 Ook 9/26/03: 5 Clicks CSI: Miami: 7/30/03: 1 Ook 7/31/03: 6 Clicks 9/26/03: 7 Clicks
Deadwood 3/24/04: 8 Clicks
Dinner for Five: 9/26/03: 7 Clicks 9/30/03: 7 Clicks
Ed: 9/26/03: 3 Clicks Series Finale 2/12/04: 7 Clicks
Emmy Nominations 04 7/15/04: 7 Clicks
Enterprise 10/13/03: 6 Clicks
Everybody Loves Raymond 9/26/03: 6 Clicks
Friends 9/26/03: 7 Clicks
Grammys: Outkast's Andre 3000 2/9/04: 10 Clicks
Law and Order Family: 9/30/03: 8 Clicks
Law and Order: 10/13/03
Law and Order: CI: 1/12/04: 8 Clicks
Marvel Comics Guide to NYC: 10 Clicks
Method and Red: 9 Clicks
MI-5 10/28/03: 10 Clicks
Mix It Up 1/12/04: 8 Clicks
Mr. Show: What to Think 9/10/03: 10 Clicks
Penn & Teller's Bullshit: 9 Clanks
Reno 911!: 9 Clicks 9/7/03
Space Ghost C2C: Baffler Meal: 11 Clicks! Flipmode 2/25/04:20 Clicks Survivor 7 9/19/03: 8 Clicks
Survivor All-Stars: 2/12/04: 8 Clicks 2/13/04: 7 Clicks Tour de France 2003 8/4/03: 8 Clicks
Will & Grace 9/26/03: 7 Clicks

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TV News

24/Law and Order/CSI "That Guy" Character Actor Tracker
24: Comic Adaption 3/25/04 Season 4 Casting 8/9/04
Amazing Screw-On Head Cartoon 4/8/04
Cigarette Smoking Man Action Figure 5/26/04
CSI: CSI in Comedy Culture 6/24/04 CSI's Peterson 2/18/04 Sick outs Everywhere 7/27/04
CSI: Miami Drinking Game 2/27/04 No Mas Rory Cochrane 8/9/04
CSI:NY: 3/8/04 3/16/04 Drawn Together 8/20/04
HDTV ScreenCap Archive 8/25/04
Jessica Simpson 10/21/03
Mastershake Speaks 9/7/04
Nike's Lance Commercial: Magnet 8/18/04
Law and Order: Trial by Jury Casting 6/04/04
NBC Hijacks TiVo 1/15/04
Simpsons' Shearer Balks 8/12/04
Survivor All-Stars Cast 1/12/04
Survivor 9 8/18/04
Robbery: Homicide Division Music 9/30/03

French Connection Made for TV


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Wrongrobot's Comics Stash- Comics and Sequential Art Reviews

Comic Reviews, and the M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks

Comics Reviews Intro
100 Bullets: 48: 7 Clicks
52, 53: 8 Clicks
9-11, Artists Respond Collections
Alias: 24-25: 10 Clicks 26-27: 10 Clicks 28: 9 Clicks
Astonishing X-Men: 2: 8 Clicks 3,4: 9,10 Clicks
Avengers: 500: 8 Clicks 502: 7 Clicks
Batgirl Year One TPB: 10 Clicks
Batman: 620: 5 Clicks 621: 7 Clicks
Batman: Long Halloween: 7 Clanks
Bloodstream 1: 1 Click
BPRD One Shots: 9/7 Clicks
Cla$$War: 4: 8 Clicks 5: 10 Clicks
Daredevil: 50-52: 9/3/5 Clicks 54: 4 Clicks 56: 9 Clicks 57: 7 Clicks
65: 6 Clicks
Domino:Perfect Weapon: 8 Clicks
Exiles: 30-33: 6/4/4 Clicks 36-37: 3/6 Clicks
Ex Machina: 2, 3: 7 Clicks
Global Frequency 11: 10 Clicks
Gotham Central: 10-11: 9 Clicks 13: 9 Clicks 16-18: 9 Clicks
Hellhounds 1-3: 7 Clicks
Human Target: 4: 9 Clicks 5-6: 8 Clicks 7: 8 Clicks
12, 13: 9 Clicks
Iron Man: 73-75: 8 Clicks 76: 2 Clicks 77: 5 Clicks 86: 9 Clicks
JSA: 51-52: 7/8 Clicks 53: 8 Clicks 54: 4 Clicks 56-57: 7 Clicks 58: 3 Clicks
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2: 3 Clanks, 8 Clicks
The Losers: Ante Up TPB: 9 Clanks 6: 10 Clicks 10-11: 8/10 Clicks
16: 10 Clicks
New Invaders 0: 3 Clicks
New X-Men: 144-146: 5 Clicks 149: 3 Clicks 151-152: 2 Clicks 153: 3 Clicks
[Renamed X-Men] 159-162: 4 Clicks
Paradise X: A: 9 Clicks
Planetary: TPBs (1-12): 8 Clicks 16: 5 Clicks : 8 Clicks 18: 9 Clicks
Powers: 33: 8 Clicks 36: 9 Clicks 37: 10 Clicks V2, 1: 10 Clicks
2-4: 10 Clicks
Pulse: 5: 7 Clicks
Queen and Country: 20: 10 Clicks 21: 10 Clicks 25: 8 Clicks
The Ride 1: 9 Clicks
Secret War 1: 8 Clicks
Sleeper: 8: 10 Clicks 11: 10 Clicks 12: 10 Clicks Sleeper Season Two: 1: 10 Clicks
Supreme Power: 1-2: 10 Clicks 4: 10 Clicks 7: 10 Clicks 8: 9 Clicks 11: 8 Clicks
Tokyo Storm Warning TPB: 5 Clicks
Ultimates: 12: 10 Clicks 13: 10 Clicks
Ultimate Fantastic Four 1-2: 7 Clicks 3: 8 Clicks
Ultimate Nightmare: 1: 10 Clicks
2: 8 Clicks
Ultimate Six: 1: 10 Clicks 4: 10 Clicks 6: 9 Clicks Ultimate X-Men: 36-37: 2 Clicks
Ultra: 2: 9 Clicks
Uncanny X-Men: 429-431: 4 Clicks 433: 2 Clicks 437-441: 1 Click 444-445: 5 Clicks 446: 6 Clicks
Wanted 2: 10 Clicks
We3: 1: 10 Clicks
Wildcats 3.0: 13: 7 Clicks 16: 7 Clicks 18: 7 Clicks
X-Statix : 2: 4 Clicks 13-15: 6 Clicks 18: 4 Clicks 19: 3 Clicks

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Friends of Robot: Artists:

FoR: 36Oh.net FofR: Enrico Casarosa
FoR: Terra Major's Horns of Hattin
FoR: Losstarot
FoR: Prometheus
FoR: Studio Kosen

Comic News:

Check the Film News section for updates on comic-related film adaptations! 100 Bullets FPS Game 4/2/04
Ale Garza on Batgirl 8/5/04
Amazing Screw-On Head Cartoon 4/8/04
Apparat Line: Warren Ellis 8/25/04
The Atomic Revolution Comic 3/23/04
Authority: Nguyen Interview 5/14/04
Authority OGN 7/20/04
Avengers 500 Preview 7/1/04
Brent Anderson on Pulse, Astro City 3/25/04
Batman Begins Costume Illustration [Wrongrobot]4/3/04
Batman: War on Crime 8/31/04
Bullseye Origin Series 6/28/04
Comics For Intellectuals 9/1/04
Decompression and Pacing 9/23/03
Dillon on Bullseye 9/7/04
Doc Frankenstein by Burlyman 9/2/04
Doc Ock Year One 6/16/04
Earth's Mightiest Mini 9/3/04
Ellis and Granov on Iron Man 5/25/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Iron Man 7/31/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Explodo 8/2/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Bad Kids 8/27/04
Fox Sued over LoEG Script 9/26/03
Hawaiian Dick Bk 2 8/23/04
Hack/Slash book 2 6/18/04
Hal Jordon and Copyrights 8/20/04
Hellboy: An Introduction 3/30/04
IDW's 24 Comic 3/25/04
Iron Man Facelift 9/12/03
Iron Man 87 Outtakes 8/27/04
Joss Whedon Interview: Astonishing X-Men 8/10/04
JSA vs. JSA 8/12/04
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 3 6/1/04
Marvel Vs. DC 8/31/04
Masamune Shirow 10/15/03
Micro-Heros Animated GIFs 4/6/04
Morrison on JLA: Hyperclan and Superman 6/1/04
Morrison's WE3 9/1/04
New Avengers 8/18/04
Nguyen Confirmed on Authority Vol.3 5/14/04
Nouvelle Manga Manifesto 6/11/03
Ocean 8/9/04
Orson Welles as Batman? 9/26/03
Phoenix Mini-Series 8/20/04
Poorly Drawn Animals 8/2/04
Remains: Niles/Dwyer Interview 3/12/04
Scurvy Dog: Yount Interview 1/15/04
SD Comicon Visual Oddities 7/31/04
Space Ghost 7/31/04
Spandex vs Leather 4/6/04
Steven Grant on 'Literature of Ethics'
The Losers: Diggle/Jock Interview 3/11/04
The Picture of Everything 1/15/04
The Question: Rick Veitch 9/1/04
The Question: Tommy Lee Edwards 9/2/04
Teddy Roosevelt From Mars 8/20/04
Tom Coker: Batman in Monolith 8/30/04
Tony Harris Pages from new Iron Man Arc
Ultimates: Bryan Hitch Interview 9/12/03
Ultra 8/18/04
Watchmen Remembered 8/12/04
WizardWorld LA Promo Art 3/22/04
WonderCon 2004 Buzz 8/13/04
WonderCon 2004 Buzz 2 8/17/04
WonderCon 2004 Dance-Off 8/18/04
Worlds Finest Film 7/26/04
World's Finest Interview 8/4/04
Young Avengers 8/20/04
Identity Crisis Covers
Honey Moon, The Ride, Rex Steele, Shirow, Megacity909
Comic Preview: Intimates, Iron Man
TSR Illustrator Terminally ill
Twinkie Comics, Avengers Dissembled Toy-style
Interview: Mark Millar of Ultimates
Interview: Cliff Chiang of Human Target
Star Trek Manga Anthology from Tokyopop
Pop Mahn to TokyoPop
Granov Iron Man Preview Pages
Image Comics Moves to Berkeley

Comic Reviews: Bloodstream 1, Powers 36, JSA 56-57, X-Statix 18, Sleeper 12, Daredevil 56
2/4/2004



Bloodstream 1: I picked up this book based on some preview pages posted to one of the major comic industry preview sites (Newsarama, CBR, I don't remember) which looked interesting. Unfortunately, having read the first issue, I'm grasping at straws to understand how this book was published. I know Image's publishing deal allows for smaller independents to rely on the company's printing, distribution and marketing machine to release products with little or no front end returns, but with the hope of receiving a back end cut of profits, and at the very least, exposure. So I understand why Adam Shaw would want to have it published. It appears to be a labor of love, so what's the worst that can happen, right? Negative reviews? Book doesn't sell? No loss to him, and frankly, since the cover has full frontal nudity all over it, doesn't seem much of a chance o of being a complete failure anyway. But why did Image publish it? Because of the naked woman on the cover and her strip-club/lap dance/bondage and spitting scenes? I understand that the market remains such that if you put gratuitous sex and flesh in a book, and especially ON the book, it's going to sell. The 90's were not that long ago. And even so, I have no problem with sex and nudity in a comic if it isn't in the hands of little Timmy. However, this isn't really one of those books. I'm vexed. The imagery isn't particularly tantalizing, the main character isn't very sexed out or compelling in any way, the strip-club/exotic dancer business in the plot is half-baked and un-erotic to say the least, and the presumed target market (boys in their late teens if it's legal, mid-teens if retailers have been lazy with security) would be much more overstimulated reading a typical issue of Danger Girls or Witchblade or even some of the softporn mangaesque titles Marvel has been releasing. This book just isn't sexy. But it's not artful either, and that's what stumps me. The pacing plods along desperately slow, the fully-painted panels are compositionally dull and clearly reflect, at best, uninspired photo-reference, and the premise of an exotic dancer being kidnapped by Bill Gates and some thuggies to be experimented on for a super-soldier program just doesn't compute. I mean...why?! I've read some comments online that the author's issues with women are rampant in the subtext (sluttery, bondage, emotional isolation, implied filthiness, etc) but I think that's a stretch. Plus, we've got Penny Register as a co-writer, so one hopes the female mind, and self-respect, worked it's way into the process. Instead of all that drama, I propose that this book isn't smearing wired kink sbtexts all over the reader, but rather represents an attempt by the creator to realize what was fantasized to be an edgy, sexy adventure story. I can imagine some of this could be visualized a lot more effectively as a movie premise than it was executed as a comic with the skillset of this particular individual. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me at all if this material transitions to another medium. But as a comic, it failed for me.

1/10 Clicks




Powers 36: The long-running origin of Walker semi-climaxes in this issue. If you can stop the involuntary wretching from the insidious 80's Nagel-inspired cover, and move to the interior panels which are thankfully devoid of period context, you get several pages of pure action movie. Things come to a head between Walker and his mysterious immortal nemesis in the midst of the super-villain Burly Brawl, and the climactic scene involves both a Gun on the mantelpiece element from an earlier issue, and a questionable choice made by our unstylishly costumed hero that further calls into question whether his subsequent de-Powering was an accident after all. The script is unusually concise for Bendis, though obviously not as concise as the wired monkey-sex issue, and Oeming's panels are dynamic. It took me a few issues to adapt to the new colorist (not new anymore I guess) but now I can't imagine the book looking any different. A nice touch in the Burly Brawl is seeing the members of Walker's team getting slapped around about the same amount as the villains, and by the look of things (and the flying goggles here and there) it hurt. This title continues to redefine super-hero stories from the human perspective, and this issue, and the arc in general, provide the glimpse into the insane, high-intensity and ultra-violent world of the Powers that otherwise are viewed from an isolated perspective. The dichotomy works well, and the upcoming last issue in the arc should be a nice, solid cooldown to segue into Walker's present. With luck, we'll see Pilgrim's introduction as well. Continually one of the best reads of the month.

9/10 Clicks




JSA 56- 57: New penciller Don Kramer has integrated his style well enough with his predecessors that I don't have the same complaints that some have had over the art chores changing on this otherwise stylistically consistent title. It has been one of the biggest strengths of the book, to have a similar somewhat-realistic style shared by all creators involved, and while the loss of Steve Dadowski and Rags Morales over the title's run has been disappointing, I have to give credit to Editorial for matching like-styled artists to the series as a whole, a technique sorely missed over in the X-books. Keith Champaigne's inks continue to be clean and detailed, and I think his work is underrated in an underrated job. Plotwise, Geoff Johns introduces the long-hinted at 'Black Reign' arc as Black Adam launches his own team of costumed yahoos and invades Kahndaq, quote-unquote liberating the populace from an evil dictator. The topical choice of an Iraqi/Libyan/Egyptian fictitious nation being invaded is interesting here, as is John's larger effort to integrate Shazam, Black Adam and Hawkman into Egyptian history, beyond simple references to the Pharoahs. It isn't common for comics to tread on historical and political themes of the past century (and notable exceptions, like Byrne's Hitler Hunting in Fantastic Four in the 80's, have been embarrassing over-simplifications of the complexities of contemporary international affairs) and the current incarnation of JSA has spent a good deal of time outside of DC's America, which lends it the flavor that Marvel has always tried to give the Avengers, of a UN-style super-team. So, we see indications that Black Adam believes and intends his followers to be doing so of free will, but the red flag is up with Brainwave lurking around. Mind-control characters in bad costumes invariably have something to do with something, though his psychological attacks on the Kahndaq military were clever and creative. Johns portrays Black Adam the same as he has since he joined the JSA in a tentative alliance-of-convenience in the first place: complex and ethically murky. I like it. I'm growing annoyed at all the Hawkman revamp terminology [Feitherians?!?] but I sure as hell enjoyed the power struggle at the beginning of the latter issue in which Hawkman swipes temporary command of the team from an obliging Mr. Terrific. The contrasting interests of the older and newer members make this multi-generational book an interesting read, and the character of Star I sprobably my favorite currently, despite having a shaky start with the dumb-ass S.T.R.I.P.E. robot cohort and whatever that was all about. Her realistic dialog conveys an ambitious, ideological yet inexperienced teenager without resorting to the brash, head-strong stereotype. She's capable, but fallible, and I enjoy her expanding role in the book.

8/10 Clicks




X-Statix 18: The Pricess Diana debacle finally comes to an end this issue. I haven't seen the Ring, or Ringu either, but I get the joke. The attempt to wipe away the Diana references with a clumsy pop star whitewash is miserable and ineffective, and I feel for Milligan and Allred. Reading this entire arc as it was intended, mentally substituting Diana back into the role, the story has the irreverent, scathing skewer on the shallowness of vapid pop celebrity deification, and to play in the Crown's toybox was a bold, if obvious, move. Comic references to pop culture tend to be dated and creepy when done poorly (David Letterman or SNL in Marvel Comics back in the day, George W. In most comics today) but they hit the idiocy of 'pop royalty' on the head with this arc, and it's been unfortunate that the whitewash has been so distracting, as the story as a result seems blatant protracted. This issue, the ghost of Whatsername is whacking anyone who gets her pop tune stuck in their head, and this gimmick is used to serve some just desserts to several players in the story, as well as a welcome return to the rotating cast of dead X-Statix members. At it's inception, this book was interesting not only from the pop culture farce that Milligan was writing, but also the character changes that were reminiscent of Strikeforce: Morituri. However, like Exiles, X-Statix has been too...static, with regards to it's members, so losing both Phat and Guapo this issue was a welcome turn. Bestmoment of the book: Dead Girl getting brained, literally, by Phat's foot reintering the atmosphere (and not incinerating, but whatever).

4/10 Clicks




Sleeper 12: This is the end of Book 1, and to my pleasant surprise, we're back to square one again: After being outed by the Feds to Tao, and outed by Tao to the Feds, tracked all over the world, slapped around, shot at, captured, tortured, tested with Miss Misery watching, fleeing again, and now knocked into submission by Tao's goons, Holden gets a nice summary of Tao's origin, with some clever retroactive continuity on Tao's appearances in earlier Wildstorm books. It was kind of a treat. We're not shown Miss Misery in this issue, the best character of the series and a question mark after the events of the last few issues, but we do meet a new underworld enforcer who makes the immune-to-pain Holden feel something for the first time in forever, and in a bad way. We discover that Tao is, in fact, as smart as he has been described, and that he's been onto Holden for much of the run so far. Tao makes a Darth Vaderesque attempt at calling Holden's values and interests into questions, highlighting a few of the many ethically shaky or downright nasty things Holden has had to do in the Sleeper role, combined with evidence of his unwillingness to let go of his deep cover persona. As the book ends, and we prepare for the second chapter in this compelling tale, one variable has changed, the one element that created Holden's nightmare in the first place and could have ended it long ago, brought back to life in the cliff-hanger: Lynch, comics' most boring grizzled soldier since Sgts. Fury and Rock. So, we'll see what happens in the coming months. One hopes that the second trade will now be released shortly. A must-read.

10/10 Clicks!




Daredevil 56: The long-awaited return to sanity for this title has arrived. I didn't even pick up the last few issues of that Mack/Echo love affair of high-school art class collage work, which I know was well done and everything but I just couldn't get through it. Bendis and Maleev are back, and Hell's Kitchen is much changed while we've been in hippie scribbly peyote land. Let's hope they bring Echo back in a way that will allow us to re-appreciate this awesome character and forget the recent unpleasantness. Matt Murdoch is running Hell's Kitchen now, figuratively and literally the new Kingpin. He's got a devil beard. Other 60's mainstay Marvel heroes show up in SoHo wear to talk some sense into him led by Luke Cage, who, in Bendis' Marvel, actually speaks for Reed Richards (!?). Doctor Strange wears shades. Everyone stands around in a park that looks just like Pioneer Square in Seattle and does a little intervention, which Matt Murdoch ain't buying, and the results are very curious. Has he gone over the edge? Is this such an insane solution? I'm just so satisfied that these guys are back and have given us a Daredevil who, to paraphrase both Al Pacino AND George Clooney: "... [is] tired, and not taking it anymore!" You get the idea. Heads are rolling.

9/10 Clicks


self is: wrongrobot #

Film Review: The Original Kings of Comedy



This robot missed the show in theaters, but caught in a recent dragnet of films on cable, thanks to about two hours of TiVo browsing using the movie filter, alphabetically. It was a nervous-system numbing task, but worth it. I was intending to jump in at the end of the film to catch Bernie Mac's set, a comedian with a visual intensity, raw and sometimes paranoid humor, and addictive slurred speech patterns which I've loved since his first Def Comedy Jam appearance that I can remember. (typical sniper-shot joke: "I'm in the club, acting cool, like I am, chillin, and this _____ walks up to me and says 'Bernie Mac, will you answer me a question? Does _______ taste like pumpkin pie?' and I said 'I don't know I NEVER HAD NO PUMPKIN PIE! Loud music, roaring audience, etc) By the time this film was recorded, Mac's humor began veering from simple, yet accurate, sex banter to the subject of family and relationship issues, more uniquely specifically targeting dealing with young children. His performance in this film would cover this material thoroughly. Despite not caring much for Steve Harvey or DL Hughley, I was compelled to watch the entire thing, based upon a couple of factors: Spike Lee shot extensive footage of the back stage conversation and prep before each act, and peppered the onstage performances with shots from within the audience, of different viewers interacting dynamically with the performances they watched, in the participatory style that was culturally profound in this venue in Charlotte, North Carolina. This was an excellent choice, because he captured the spirit of these venues, the dynamic between performer and audience and the collective agreement over the personal experiences described in each set. The material was very astute from the majority of the performances, skewering ethnic stereotypes as well as cultural behavior in a broad sense, and each comedian's style reflected their own take on life, dealing with people, etc. Harvey was far more charismatic and confrontational with members of the audience than I anticipated, and his between-set monologues were spontaneous and creative, particularly his reaction to some men leaving the front row despite his chastisement, in which he plucked a forgotten jacket from one of the seats and began parading around in it, and later subjected the owner to ridicule before giving it back. It was a refreshing stab at audience disrespect of a performance, at a time when this type of exchange seems limited to a few "get off the cell phone!" comments here and there. Hughley's act was stale for my tastes, though clever enough to warrant inclusion in this group. Cedric the Entertainer has always been funny, but until now I hadn't realized how much his physical comedy reflects the tone of his act. His was an overall positive, playful and irreverent set, incorporating music, dance, impersonation and mimicry. It was very well done, and cohesive. By the time Bernie Mac crossed the stage, the crowd had been whipped into a frenzy. He came on instantly on the attack, aggressive and bug-eyed and dynamic, and the energy was maintained throughout the 15 minute set, both him and the audience sharing an energy that's hard to describe. His form is polar opposite to Eddie Murphy's laid back style in Raw, despite covering some similar ground. Mac's weird, paranoid and pessimistic over-reaction to everyday nuisances is hilarious to watch, and the same flavor he brings to mainstream movie roles is unleashed in his live act with abandon. His material about sex and age was dead-on, but when he veered into a tirade about how much kid need a good whacking these days, I was initially disappointed by the tone of the material, but soon got caught up in it. His impersonations of his cousin's children in he house sneaking snacks in the middle of the night had me losing it. The wait was well worth it, and his set was over too soon. I would have sat through three hours of straight, slurry Bernie Mac. Overall, despite some critics naysaying Spike Lee's blanketing involvement in the recording, I thought his frequent cuts to audience reaction to the show, including singing, dancing, responding aloud and general carrying on, brought the viewer right into the experience of being in the theater that night, and also presented a positive communal feeling to what was, in this community at the very least, an extremely interactive performance.

7/10 Clicks



self is: wrongrobot #

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