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.

Google
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

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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

Wizard World LA Preview Observations- Because Cover Art and Promos Are Never Misleading
3/22/2004

Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of convention news from over the weekend. I didn't go. I'm kind of scared of conventions, though my recent experience at the APE (Alternative Press Expo) wasn't too bad. But anyway, I'll sort through some of the Wizard World announcements that appeal to Monkey+ Robot...

Item: Cover Art and Promo Pages: I love looking at this stuff. There are a few titles I will avoid promos for where possible, when the content of the cover art might just have something technically in common with the interior story, god forbid, and I don't want any mild surprises ruined (Losers, Queen & Country, Ultimates, etc.) but otherwise, taking a peak at promo art can be interesting. When creator teams are bouncing between books (and imprints) as often as they are, and hype-inducing material is released to the Internet early enough to spawn, and study, fanboy and retailer responses, the process is analagous to movie pre-screeners, where the viewer's comments can have an impact on the final product. The line-ups of characters, and creators, on high-profle team books may change several times before the book hits the stands, and it's somewhat entertaining to see how the proposed material being hyped actually changes in the course of development. I think early hyping is ugly business, personally, an wouldn't want to hang myself with it as a creator, but listen, if they want to 'leak' pretty pictures, i'm going to look at them, and probably, i'm going to make an uninformed snap judgment on the project's merit. Which they want me to do if it's positive, and backpeddle their way out of if not. So, let's get to it. X-Men, as uneven as it's been in recent years, still illicits in me a visceral fanboy response to the morphologies of artists, characters and costumes, so let's start there.



Uncanny X-Men: This project boasts the return of Alan Davis (probably good) and Chris Claremont (probably Grade A Ding Dong material) to the flagship book of the flagship suite of X-books. I have maybe 1% interest in Claremont's umpteenth attempt at starting fire (lots and lots and lots of Survivor imagery here, namely Naked Hatch) on this book, which rivals my 0.5% interest in John Byrne's unpleasant attempts at returning to some of his familiar haunts (since this slipped below my minimum 1% interest threshold, I won't even talk about Byrne's work materializing over at DC, with JLA and I guess Doom Patrol or something...) but I still have a spot in my nostalgic memory for Alan Davis' earlier work. He helped Bryan Hitch find his own style (which soon blew Davis out of the water, I proudly posit), he drew the Brood really, really mean, and frankly, he, along with Bret Blevins, taught me how to draw curvy super-females in sexy form but without the later obsessions with ultra-thin, busty supermodels like the market was flooded with in the 90s...so, for the most part, I follow his current work when I can. Not Killraven. Too 70s and scary for me. The Nail was OK. But I have hope he can produce some pleasant pages on UXM this year. From the cover above, he's off to a decent start. I'm not happy about the return to costumes, but I have faith, from a comment online by Joss Whedon, that there's a point to it. But I sure do still enjoy the post-post-post modern leather look Quitely developed for the team. Anyway, in this image Bishop bores me to tears, as the character does regardless. I see someone curious in the corner, maybe Cannonball, though I think he's been tapped by Fabe and Liefield in X-Force ("Mommy! It huuuurts..."). Sage looks OK I suppose, sort of a half-assed approximation of her techie-sexy look in the aborted Xtreme X-Men book (Lorocca can do some good character design, and then sometimes, he can just go off the deep end with a certain look, as he did with Xtreme, and FF before it, where the costumes are nearly indistinguishable from one another, yet to overdone and busy to be interesting on their own, which Quitely avoided on the main books) and Nightcrawler again benefits from very little tinkering with his Cockrum costume which always looked the best. I did like him better with the shaved head, in those Excalibur days...now, Wolverine's return to costume is disappointing. I know the fanboys love it, but I think he's most dramatic when his weathered, smoldering visage is on display. And anyway, his hair and the mask's patentedly difficult-to-draw swoopy ears are so similar, what's the point. That said, this looks like a decent homage to his old blue and yellow duds, particularly with the early ribcage striping. However, the brown and yellow I always did like better, and there are several inconsistencies between this, and what Larocca is showing on the next cover below. Bad enough they share the character, but at least let' have SOMETHING be consistent in the X-Books...Lastly, Pryde looks pretty decent here. A character with so much potential and so badly squandered in the last decade. Claremont has had such a hard on for her that her various revamps have been almst as indulgent and trite as her first half-dozen costumed incarnations in the old UXM days...I always felt that as a young woman, especially after Petey died, that she should be molded as a cross between Terminator 2-era Sarah Conner self-sufficiency, and Moira MacTaggert stlye wisdom and comfort in the X-Men world, just isolated enough to be removed from the power plays, but emotionally mature enough to understand her place in it. That said, she's wearing something that looks a bit like Jean's first outfit, and I think if they can pull off the miniskirt and go-go boots look, then power to them. Let's also not forget Storm: this is the best the character has looked since my favorite version, the Joe Mad-induced short bob with the long locks in front purple costume he gave her. That was a great look. Other than that, i've always liked her first costume the best, and this shows us the return of her headband thingie, and a general similarity to the original look, which is completely successful. I'll grant them a few issues to sort it out. Overall, a good look for the team, great linework and grace by Davis, and hell, it could have been MUCH worse.



[New] X-Men: Very little has been done with the look of these characters. First, Larocca has turned in a very dynamic drawing, with a warm's-eye view and forced perspective of the team that's very hard to pull off. It looks great. The inking is sketchy- not too pleased with that, and the problem here may be the use of digital inking by Liquid. Not sure, and let's hope they don't do that on the interior pencils, as this was what scared me off of Xtreme X-Men when it first launched (even before Claremont's exposition got to me) but as far as the look of the art, he's in top form on this illustration. Very impressive. As far as choices, we see mostly current X-Men team members here, since Claremont stuffed his beloved Xtreme characters into Uncanny for whatever reason. Costume-wise, a little disappointing: a return to Rogue's worst look to date. I'd have liked to see her return to her old Green hoodie just for kicks. When Bachalo did that a few years back I was ecstatic. What a great look that was. Anyway, so this is a snore on Rogue. Same with Gambit: I can feel my blood pressure dropping as I look at it. Wolverine's gear looks different than Davis' design above, with some telltale Larocca nonsense-tech badging present on the gloves. Iffy. Juggernaut is in the background here, wearing his old maroon helmet and armor, which is a good thing since the version he has been wearing during the latest Chuck Austen disaster looked ludicrous. I mean, who MADE a blue and gold version of both his tacky outfit and his magical helm, anyway. This also begs the question: why is he shown here and also later in a MArvel mini-series a la Ultimate Six? Is this a continuity Snafu, or just Marvel not really bothering to address it at all? I see Polaris up there in that admittedly cool costume revamp form the last few years, which i do like, though I can't fathom why she's still on the team after trying to kill everyone and wigging out at her lame-ass Chuck Austen irrational wedding, but you can ask the same thing about virtually every re-tread character in the X-Men's pantheon, so whatever. Looks good. Best of all is Havok, who's still sporting the glowing power what-have-yous lacing around his classic costume. It does look like he has some of that unnecessary armor plating shown, but it looks better inthis incarnation than the last. Iceman's the same as usual, and at least doesn't have that wierd anima trenchcoat and glasses anymore. Ick. So, not too bad all around.




The Identity Disc: The what? OK, I'll take a Tony Harris cover whenever possible, but is this supposed to be Ultimates Six done mainstream Marvel? More importantly, will it suck royally? It's looking lame already: Bullseye back in costume, Deadpool for no reason (who's been deconstructed into a cartoon inthe last decade) Juggernaut back in mysterious Blue Helmet mode in contrast to the cover above, Vulture looking like one of those old claimjumpers from the Gold Rush in their undie skivvy bodysuits, Sabretooth looking less scary and more drooly, and then, inexplicably, we have Sandman, back in the comfortable sweater, no longer apparently a Force For Good, and making sloppy oatmeal-looking weaponry. And a dribble chin. How about I pay Marvel NOT to let me read it?




Spider-Girl: I don't read these books, I haven't ever read them, and frankly, I doubt I ever will. That said, the concept of a teenage non-Peter Parker Spider-Girl swinging around was a captivating one when first revealed years back. I only became vaguely familiar with the character through other appearances, like Universe X and Bendis' memorable Alias arc that introduced a Spider-Girl Junkie (and JJJ daughter?) and had her laying around high all the time like something out of Kids. But I like the premise, and the costume always looks cool when on a female form. That all said, despite a strong dislike for Ron Frenz's artwork, I noted this promo art for Spider-Girl because they've brought back the black costume, hopefully devoid of any abysmal Venom continuity, and I've ALWAYS loved this costume, having read Secret Wars when I was young and impressionable and not swayed by Mike Zecks creepy inability to draw feet.

Next up: Promos from other imprints.

DC has a few tidbits that intrigued me, but only a few, because everything they've been doing to their mainstream books has been pushing me away again. Even JSA got a bit much during the Black Rein thing. Batman's gone down a long, lonely wrong path this year as far as I'm concerned (yes, I'm pissed they ended the revolutionary branding and coloring experiment on Detective, with those awesome Johnson covers) and SUperman has been as boring as soy milk to me for as long as I can remember. So I was a little interested in this:



Majestic: Before Wildstorm merged with the Infinite, I liked the Majestic Superman-mimic because he was written so as to capture the power, and inaccessibility, of an alien invincible immortal. His weaknesses were psychological- isolation, intellectual distraction, indifference. It was interesting to me, and since I hadn't yet begun to burn out o Ed MacGuinness' (sp) now patented over-muscled style of illustration, I thought he was neat to look at. The Majestic one-shot involving the character at the end of time ( I think it was a Wildstorm Presents type of thing) was brilliant, and even his uncomfortable involvement in the WildCats books was amusing. Now that Ed is off over-muscling Superman and Batman, this character has apparently been inserted into DC continuity somehow, and now, for whatever reason all that has occured, I raise my glass to this project, because it was what it took to bring Karl Kerschl back into monthly art chores. Just look at that image. I love this artist.




Batman Order of the Beasts: Eddie Campbell and Darren White’s book I know nothing about. However, I get the same stomach-inverting feeling looking at this image that I had viewing those covers for Batman: City of Light, or whatever it was, from the Panzer Brothers. Yiiikes. Please let it be Elseworlds. OK, I do like the fold-out Batwing, and I'm amused that little ole Robin up there is holding onto the rope. Maybe it's more EPO doping...




Vigilante: Something about this Stormwatch-esque illustration is vaguely familiar to me. It has the grit of the former book, or perhaps Phillips' Sleeper imagery, combined with the promise of either a DC Punisher or maybe even that guy Marvel used as an excuse to kill off a lot of lame 70s characters. He had a white suit and a mask and alot of guns. Who was that. Plague? Scourge? Something. He would go into super-villain bars and wipe everybody out. A novel concept at a time in the 80s when all we'd seen like that from Marvel was Ellis' Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe, which at the time I didn't read because I hated the Punisher anyway. But as far as this graphic goes, it's duochrome and kind of grimy and I like it, though I doubt i'll pick it up.


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