Thursday, August 30, 2012

Whedon Brings S.H.I.E.L.D. to TV

Confirming most people's beliefs (my money was on D-Man) it was recently announced that Joss Whedon's deal with Marvel to helm Avengers 2 as well as bring one of their properties to television will be focusing on bringing the super secrety spy organization to the small screen.

When you think about it, this is a project with nearly limitless potential. The lack of a central hero, instead of being a handicap, could open this to so many different things. Not only does Disney/Marvel have all their stars under contract, and thus are able to drop by for season finales or be featured for story arcs during sweeps, but it's the perfect testing ground for new B and C list heroes (and villains), individual S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, both canon and original, and science-fiction helicarrier office politics and monster of the week mash-up stories that not even the craziest Whedon fanfic writer has come up with.

Monday, August 27, 2012

AvX: From Bad to Worse

Despite the fact that at least two chapters remain, I think it's safe to say that AvX has been a failure. I'm sure it's done well in sales and it has certainly  monopolized the comic world's attention, but as far as the story goes and the quality of writing it's really rather embarrassing for such a grand, heavily marketed event. I resisted this admission, willfully choosing to enjoy it for what it was, but that in itself was an admission of this story's lack of substance. It's a shame because with such a basic, primal, fanboy premise I had high hopes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bunheads Season Finale

Summer truly must be ending if the season's best TV show aired its finale last night. (It's possible I need a better yard stick with which to measure the passage of life.)

Bunheads, in my humbly infallible opinion, marked Amy Sherman-Palladino's triumphant return to the small screen. The story of a discontented, quick-witted, eternally stuck Las Vegas dancer named Michelle who, through the combined efforts of a good man's boundless adoration and several martinis, ends up married and living with her mother-in-law in a town so small it's practically off the map, was not a revelation. But that was only due to my prior experience of Sherman's writing.

An almost perverse premise remarkably came off all sweetness and guffaws right from the pilot, and did not stop pleasing until the credits rolled last night. Critics, and there appear to be a good amount, abuse the lack of plot developments, the almost sleepy, pastoral scenes going on for minutes, the unexpected end of an episode where no horrible conflict reared its head and no plane crashed in the middle of the ballet studio, leaving teenage girls to pirouette perfectly to safety or perish in a shaky Hunger Games close-up.

But that's not the kind of show Sherman makes. (Suck it Shonda.) Gilmore Girls lasted for 7 seasons of  22 episodes, not by a cliffhanger every week, or seasonal deaths of major characters, pregnancies, affairs, secrets, etc., but by the intricacies of human interaction. Sherman likes to take the time to focus on actual life, showing us events that truly transpire, albeit made significantly more interesting by language that flows almost too fast for comprehension laden with enough wit and intelligence and humor to keep you completely engrossed in the communication between barista and customer, teenage brother and sister, playwright and  audience, realtor and homeowner.

She doesn't have demons and mystical forces and monsters to overcome, symbols of the battles inherent in life and maturation a la Whedon, though she can give even him a run for his money with recognizable, effortless dialogue heavily peppered with pop/culture references. Instead she illustrates, over a season of ten episodes in which one assumes several months have passed, the subtle changes of human relationships. The main one, between Michelle and her mother-in-law Fanny, is the most essential to the show.

As one could fairly easily predict, Michelle being a dancer and ending up in a home with a dancing school, last nights finale showed her heavily involved in all aspects of running Fanny's school, and in fact preparing to take over for Fanny for the summer. There is considerable pleasure in seeing the two of them bantering with the complete absence of any of the sarcasm or bitterness that had colored their first few episodes together (natural enough what with their meetcute being the blink-and-you'll miss it marriage to Michelle followed by the untimely death of her son.) Michelle's input is not only active and welcomed by the end of the season, but heartily approved as she takes a hand in the choreography of the schools most important performance.

The brilliance of Sherman is not in showing merely that they have bonded. After all they are fairly similar; dancers whose passion never dissipated despite the unexpected, uncontrollable twists of life, women who cared deeply for a man they expected to have around for the rest of their lives, women of independence and pride. No, the real fun comes when she reveals everything they have hidden and ignored and brushed aside and denied in all the past episodes where seemingly "nothing happened."

As the show progresses perfectly, Michelle makes the innocent, horrendous, hilarious mistake, when misting the dancers backstage to cool them off, of using her pretty can of pepper spray instead of the water, thus maiming all the students as well as herself, ending the performance and enraging the stereotypes of overprotective suburban parents who like to pay a lot of money for special services if only for the right to complain and threaten (I've met a few, and while I like to think they aren't as prevalent as TV would lead me to believe, they are a convenient shadowy background ensemble character here.)

Michelle's mistake, though she clearly repents and blindly (literally) puts the dancers' welfare before her own, is met with an appropriate level of anger and disappointment by Fanny, who has to cancel their most lucrative event as well as appease the rabid progenitors. However when it comes out in the same conversation that Michelle, who had been flush the previous evening with her newfound importance, respect and success, and consequently spreading her advice and wisdom all over the place, also interfered in Fanny's love life to the complete detriment of it, Fanny loses her filter, or rather breaks the rose-colored glasses she had been recently seeing Michelle through.

The interference of this woman, her meddling and snark, her unasked for existence, the blame she should bear for her son's death and disappearance, all come out. Not with tears and screams and guns and a psychotic break, but with control, and astonishment, and such brief, pointed disappointment that you know, even if Michelle were not the kind of woman who always ran from conflict and never grew roots, you just know she can't stay in Paradise anymore. (Major props to the versatile and talented Kelly Bishop, one of many Sherman-Palladino players that she brought back in this show.)

This conflict (yes, something happened; Sherman, while maybe more interested in filling her seasons with small town life and first world problems, surely knows how to make memorable finales and premieres) is followed by a dream sequence. While I had been longing to see Michelle sing and dance again, as well as some reunion of her and Hubbel and their unresolved romance, this wasn't my favorite part of the show.

First of all, I'm pretty sure Sutton Foster could do a better version of Maybe This Time than she gave us. Yes, she was a Vegas, Broadway dancer, but she's also well trained and clearly a good actor, so aside from mimicking past dream performances as well as her catastrophic non-audition in the pilot, the table-gyrating and leg crossing didn't seem to fit the song. An erect, minimal cocktail lounge type of performance would have been better. But I understand that she's a dancer and can accept the routine. The singing one loves that song more than me, and since it's often repeated a more thrilling version would be expected. (If Kristin Chenowith can kill it on Glee, I don't think Sutton should have any trouble--a comparison I'm sure she'd want to win.)

Regardless, the intent was clear and hit the appropriate nerve, and despite a couple clunky dream-dialogue-lines, seeing Hubbel was poignant and illustrated how much more positive and hopeful Michelle had become, only to see the old&new self-doubt more sharply, starkly, crushingly felt by her in comparison.

Her inevitable slinking departure occurred after waking from this dream, and the O Captain, My Captain of the girls was just like the show: funny, referential, sweet, and sad. Michelle grew to love them, and they her. With her in their lives the girls had changed; Sasha got through a dark time (and might have found a male counterpart in her identity struggle who happens to be cute.) Boo overcame diffidence and immature fantasy for a self-possession and an actually affectionate romance. Ginny began living life rather than following a routine, despite the inevitable unexpected pain that brings. And Melanie...well Melanie became a better friend, and no doubt feels more comfortable as a tall woman with Michelle around.

In their great wisdom, ABC Family has ordered more episodes, likely to air during Spring of next year. The fun part will be seeing where Michelle goes after leaving (back to Vegas? staying with the playwright? hopefully NYC) and how she'll find her way back to Paradise (Fanny tracks her down? the girls do? the unalterable fact that she owns the school and the house?) There's a lot to work with, and I have no doubt Sherman has some good ideas.

But it's not just her long-term plotting that makes her shows such pleasant experiences. It's that she focuses on the experience more than the plot. If you haven't seen this show, pre-order that DVD, decant some wine (it takes awhile) and let the story wash over you.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Barrowman and Abs Increase 'Arrow' Hype

It was recently announced that John Barrowman, he of Torchwood and Doctor Who fame, will be joining the cast of CW's 'Arrow' as a recurring character in this, its pilot season. (His character was not revealed, but let's be honest, he'd be a pretty good villain.)

'Arrow' stars Canadian actor Stephen Amell, whom I most emphatically DO NOT know from such work as Dante's Cove and Queer as Folk, as Oliver Queen, that lesser known vigilante hero of the DC universe who fights crime anonymously with the help of his large personal fortune. Known for his politics, archery prowess, bad temper and bizarre facial hair, one can assume that the CW is taking quite a different approach.

According to reports from San Diego Comic Con, where the pilot episode was screened, their approach has worked. People have raved and the interest in the show is escalating. The casting of John Barrowman is a brilliant move; it will guarantee the attention of sci/fi fans who were watching the Doctor Who reboot even before Matt Smith showed up on all the NYC buses. (Never underestimate that demographic.) Besides, if Barrowman's fans still consider themselves fans, after all those terrible Torchwood episodes, then they'll definitely tune into CW (a network that is clearly targeting the loyal cult fan base by airing Joss Whedon's Internet hit Dr. Horrible on primetime this fall.)

It's also exciting for Barrowman personally who, after literally bringing the Torchwood team to America, is still trying to break into the US market (like most British actors, though he spent many young years in Illinois.) His biggest news was his starring role in Gilded Lilys, a series I thought had much promise, despite the producer credit belonging to Shonda Rhimes, a woman who can turn a good idea into an insufferably dated, sentimental, cheesy, badly written schlockfest, when she's not picking righteous, hypocritical, racist fights with Amy Sherman-Palladino, a woman who actually knows how to write a television show.

OK, mini-rant over, sorry. Gilded Lilys was about a family of aspiring hoteliers in NYC in the early 1900s. I had the same idea of a grand period show after reading the fantastic book When The Astors Owned New York. To watch not only the remarkable development of Manhattan, but the advent of luxury, the maneuverings of business, the political and social events that were centered in those enormous hotels (from presidential campaigns to salons) all amidst the personal upheavals of an upper-class family and their upstairs/downstairs relations with hotel staff and servants would be overflowing with episodic opportunity.

Unfortunately ABC passed on the pilot. (I blame Shonda, natch.) I suppose it's possible another network could pick it up still, but it's already a bit late in the year marketing wise. Hence it's Barrowman's good fortune to still find himself with a place of some prominence when USA's primetime TV season comes around. And CW's smart move to see his talent, good looks, and loyal fan base.

Judging from initial reactions, DC should really pursue this TV show thing. (Might I suggest/plead for CW to revisit a Gotham Central series? I'm sure Rucka and Brubaker are capable of writing a TV script.) They're clearly skilled when it comes to rebooting entirely or tweaking slightly their characters for new audiences and demographics, and they have a wealth of B or C list street level characters who would flourish on the small screen. Ostensibly 'Arrow' is their test run, their foot in the water as it were, and judging from their marketing plans, it's gonna be a success:

Seriously DC, have I mentioned how brilliant you are? Cause you are. And I love you. Hey Human Resources, call me already. (Too much?)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Return of the Joker

Fans and insiders alike have known about the Joker's impending return this fall, starting with Batman #13, as the five-part Scott Snyder-penned "Death of a Family" story arc kicks into gear. This is Joker's first true starring appearance in The New 52 (an impressive feat to think about; not using the most iconic villain in history for an entire year of an important initiative) and as a result of his initial cameo in Detective Comics #1, where his face happened to be cut off, a new look was designed for him by Snyder's artist Greg Capullo.

Naturally Capullo wanted to keep the new look under wraps until the issue came out, but between the recently released solicitations and teasers, we have a fairly complete picture. Capullo expressed his dissatisfaction with the DC Powers that Be in typical fashion, claiming he is mature enough by now to not inflict property damage with his rage, and hinting at a marketing/editorial conspiracy where they decided to in effect inoculate the public to the massive impending horror the story will bring. This is perfectly in line with the man I saw at the Batman panel of NY Comic Con last year, as well as the one who in an interview, when asked about his reaction to getting to draw Joker, explained that "Well, as soon as I heard, my pants got very tight and my nipples stiffened." Thus confirming my theory that artists should generally not be interviewed (and Germany loves David Hasselhoff.)

In truth the new Joker is rather disturbing. He was not terribly comforting or aesthetically pleasing before, but the childlike aspect of his image, the purple suit and the flower (when you overlook that it shoots acid) felt familiar, somewhat comforting, and even enhanced the surprising nature of his psychopathy. Now with his face cut off, and him forced to quite literally hold his deviant smile in place, he has become physically separated from his familiar iconic deformities. A villain who already had considerable personality issues before he was able to remove his face was scary enough.

"Death of the Family" is obviously a twist on the Batman story "Death in the Family" in which the Joker famously takes a crowbar to Jason Todd and ends his tenure as Robin (by popular consent.) While I know no details, it seems Mr.s Snyder and Capullo have committed themselves entirely to a pure injection of the horror genre into the flagship Batman title. While the Court of Owls story that preceded it gave us a long elaborate plot with re-imaginings of Batman's very role and Gotham's past, not to mention the history and humanity of Bruce Wayne himself along with some pleasing superheroics, "Death" is shaping up to be a short, quick, intense dive into the horrific. According to Snyder Joker is a villain with a plan, armed with knives and traps, looking to shock and with a deliberate mission. The title of the arc implies that not everyone is making it out alive (look for great Robin and Batgirl confrontations) but Snyder is also comparing it to Killing Joke and Arkham Asylum, making it his definitive take on Joker and attempt to make us remember his capacity for evil. Combining the unsettling, moody manipulations of Hitchcock with the gore and violence and malevolence of modern grindhouse and torture blockbusters, I can quite honestly see Snyder scaring the bejeezus out of me. And as glad as I am Capullo has no hand in the dialogue, the idea of his newly redesigned Joker showing up in my apartment has a completely different effect on the state of my pants.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This Week's Comics - 6/13/12

Pick of the Week is Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #10, cause the premise is rather cool (Buffy's soul in buffybot body vs. Buffy's body with new rebellious independent soul,) Xander and Dawn get some action (helping the SFPD fight zompires,) and who knows how long Season 9 will continue being enjoyable.

Other than the Buffster we've got mostly Marvel as per usual, with a couple AvX tie-ins (including the strangely ahead-of-the-game X-Men Legacy which gives us a good idea what the Phoenix Five are up to...hint: it's disturbing) and one of the few DC comics I still pick up regularly (hint: Scott Snyder's a pretty incredible writer.)

Jump for pull. Or don't. But its new comic book day, so have a good one either way.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bunheads Review

I really liked it.

I should admit right off the bat that I am a pretty diehard Gilmore Girls fan. I'm also a fan of any ballet-related stories. I've long awaited something new from Amy Sherman-Palladino that I could get behind (do NOT mention, or even think about, The Return of Jezebel James)so when I first heard about Bunheads I was naturally excited.

Sure there was some hesitation; ABC Family has a way of making everything they're airing sound horrendously cheesy in their advertisements. (Either tell your voiceover guy to stop fake grinning while he speaks or hire a classy female voice.) Also the typical ABCFam schedule generally resemble shows MTV would have rejected whose writing makes Rizzoli & Isles look like Mamet.

So I went in to last night's Bunheads premier with no expectations, just the desire to be pleased and feel some of that rhythm, and comfort and fun that has been missing since Gilmore Girls retired.

And I liked it. A lot. (Spoilers follow)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

This Week's Comics - 6/6/12

A very light week, always a good opportunity to save some money, or else a good opportunity to plunge into the back issue boxes. There are only four comics I'm definitely picking up today, probably at lunch unless there's some good tennis to watch (yesterdays matches were amazing, and the only thing I want to see today is Ferrer beat Murray) and they're all Marvel.

However, they're some big ones, including the Pick of the Week, AvX #5 in which the first "act" comes to a "fiery" conclusion.

Jump for Pull.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Captain Elias' Favorite Things

The ol' birthday is comin' up, and coupled with the new social attempts, street fairs, Pride and French Open, and a strange lack of any comic/tv news that is remotely interesting, my writing material feels downright gossamer.

So I shall opine on trivialities, which is a blogger's rightful resource, starting with this thing that I love very much and want to cherish in person: The Super Pint Glass.

Frothy foamy fun wrapped in a cape never looked so tasty. Click onward for more favorite things, including the return of To Wong Foo into my life and the magic of the red clay.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Official: DC Turns Original Green Lantern Gay

So Bleeding Cool had it right, the New DC character who has been rebooted as a Super 'Mo is Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.

I was hoping this wasn't the case despite the persistent rumors. Mostly because I've never had any interest at all in Alan Scott, or most of the JSA for that matter, even if they DO predate the Justice League. There are too many of them, all obscure and mostly irrelevant, who are written as afterthoughts or with dialogue from decades past (not in a good way.)

James Robinson and DC claim this was not a PR move and are utterly shocked by the amount of media coverage it is getting. And Marvel didn't think Northstar's gay Central Park wedding would get attention either, they're just so glad someone thought to print out 2 million Save the Date promotional cards and send them to all major news publications.

(The rant continues after the jump as I get myself increasingly angry about this.)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Avengers' Ending and Iron Patriot

Not sure how I didn't know about this site until now, but I'm just glad it was pointed out to me. The mission statement is simple: animating the gist and presenting a preferable alternate finale of a movie. In a flarking funny way, of course. Enjoy.

And in case you haven't heard, there may be a new villain, or at least a familiar character, in Iron Man 3 which began shooting this month. Spoilers after the jump (sorry Simon Pegg, I don't love the culture either, but I live in it.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This Week's Comics - 5/30/12

Hopefully this isn't one of those weeks with a Monday holiday that leads to new comics arriving on Thursday. Few blows are harsher than showing up at your comic shop with your pull list in hand to find you must wait another four and twenty hours. Often in my rage and frustration at the comic book industry and thirst for vengeance against publishers and distributors, I just buy something anyway, be it action figure or back issue.

What can I say, rage makes me stupid. But it IS leading to an increasingly impressive random collection.

Regardless, I'm heading to the shop today with high hopes. Pick of the Week is, quite naturally, X-Men Legacy 'cause Rogue is done waxing poetic and being self-analytical, and has moved on to kicking ass. And I would really, really enjoy watching her execute a creative takedown of Mr. Tony Stark, the only A-list Avenger to bother showing up at the Jean Grey School.

You know the drill, Jump for Pull.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

A time to honor and mourn those who have fallen in defense of our great nation.

And also to feel the full tragedy of Steve Rogers; to outlive all his allies, friends, loved ones, and even his own war.
Not just a symbol of America and its values, but a way to remember the glorious, harrowing, essential past.

These images are by artist Dan Hipp, whose tumblr is truly beautiful, and who I found via Comics Alliance. There's a funny one after the jump that is non-Memorial Day related, but you should really check out his tumblr.

God bless.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Round-Up: X-Men Previews, Thanos Explained, Marvel's Mint Silver Age On Sale, and Dean Pelton Dresses Up

It's Memorial Day Weekend, and Fleet Week in NYC, which can explain any and all emotional tumult or fluctuations in this humble blogger's usually remarkable work ethic. So I'm resorting to that most often used lifeline for internet writers hamstrung by frustration and fatigue; the Round-Up, a collection of mildly interesting links that, aside from being shiny and distracting, have the added bonus of filling up an entire post.

We start at Comic Book Resources where Mr. Matt Adler provides us with a comprehensive and seemingly intelligent (I'm not done reading it) biography of Thanos the Mad Titan, whose recent big screen appearance has generated a lot of new interest in the classic character. From his Freudian and mythical origins at the hands of creator Jim Starlin to his more recent turn in the cosmic Annihilation War, a complete and intricate tapestry is woven, and it's much fun for both continuity geeks and new fans who want to speculate on what's to come in Marvel cinema. 

Then we have a nearly complete Silver Age collection of Marvel comics going on sale in an auction in California, and the estimated prices for some of the issues (hold on to your *&^!@ing hats,) Dennis Culver's "Deanfinity" featuring all the crazy unambiguous costumes Dean Pelton of Community has shown up in, and three previews for next week's all-new X-titles, including the highly anticipated (for me) Rogue vs. Iron Man fight.

Read on for linkage, and happy Friday.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This Week's Comics - 5/23/12

A fairly light week, especially in the Marvel area with only one AvX related title shipping, which should make deciding the Pick of the Week easier, but anytime a new Unwritten issue comes out, it's hard not to choose that.

However, while I'm probably most excited to read Unwritten and the aftermath of War of the Words finally, there's another more momentous milestone comic today: the final issue of Mark Waid's Irredeemable. Will Plutonian get the punishment he deserves, or a 2nd chance at life? Will Qubit survive the final confrontation, or be outwitted himself by Modeus? Can the Earth recover from the ravages of recent years and reclaim a new future?

Beats me, but Waid's the guy to trust when you're buying comics. Empire, FF, Daredevil, Kingdom Come--the guy rarely missteps. And while I wandered away from Irredeemable for awhile there, it was mighty entertaining, especially the first year. Here's to you, Mr. Waid, and your delightfully twisted takes on the iconic heroes we all know and love.

Jump for Pull.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Job References for Captain Elias' Civilian Identity

All quotes are entirely accurate and true.*

"I curse the day he was born."
       -Thanos the Mad Titan

"He's an incredibly fast learner with great ideas, a big heart and...what was that last thing?"
        -11th grade English teacher, kept on retainer.

"His shape is comely and pleaseth mine eyes."
        -Thor action figure at 2am

"He knows who I am."
        -George Eliot

"I wish I had his creative instincts and grasp of cultural trends."
        -Joss Whedon


"He is the chosen one."

*Except for those that aren't.

Joss Whedon's Musical Commentary

This is from a couple years back already (pre-Avengers, since he still had a full head o' hair) but in light of yesterday's news that Joss will be the sole voice providing commentary on The Avengers DVD, it seems a timely discovery.

Not being a fan of Doctor Horrible where this song first appeared as a bonus item, or This American Life for that matter, I had never heard of this before. Whedonesque really let me down. Or else there must have been a day I didn't check their site (impossible!)

Either way it's worth a listen, and honestly makes me even more excited for the extra features of Avengers, though I could live without them, I swear. I just have to buy a Blu-Ray player first.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mark Waid's Irredeemable Finale, The Avengers DVD and DC Gets Super Gay

Bleeding Cool has two articles of interest to me this morning, one being the news that DC has back-tracked from their policy of not altering characters' sexuality in the new 52 just because retarded (yeah, that word's still in use, deal with it PC police) people demand more "diversity" for diversity's sake:

Surprisingly, DiDio stated that they had changed DC’s policy in this regard. And they are about to reintroduce a previously existing DC character who was previously straight and now will be “one of our most prominent gay characters.”

What are we thinking? While Clark show up with a bedazzled S logo? Are they taking Grant Morrison's Playboy article about how ridiculously gay Batman is to heart? Or are they gonna give a C-list hero a chance at the big leagues just because of who they sleep with? Probably the latter. My money's on Booster Gold. I mean just look at the guy. Plus he's from the future, and writers are always telling us how sexually enlightened the future is, where we'll all live with Captain Jack and River Song in healthy open group relationships. Perhaps we could start looking backwards--Ancient Greece was pretty open-minded, maybe Wonder Woman could snap stigma's neck once and for all. She did grow up on an exclusively female-warrior island after all.

The other article was about the Avengers Blu-Ray/DVD, out in September, the details about which  have been released. Read on for that and preview of Mark Waid's final Irredeemable issue.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Trailer for Elementary, the CBS Sherlock (Oh, and River Song Gets Booted Out of the Closet)

I'm a fan of Sherlock Holmes. Namely, the Conan Doyle canonical source material. With my sister being as fervently in love with the volumes as possible, rereading them on an annual basis, it was pretty much inevitable that I read them myself. And I can say with zero falsity or pretension (feel free to disagree on that last one) that the stories are better than any of the dozens of adaptations that have been made.

To be fair, let's take a look at all the recent versions of Sherlock that have been produced, along with trailer for the new upcoming CBS take, Elementary

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Guardians of the Galaxy Return!

Between comments from Kevin Feige about bringing Guardians of the Galaxy to the big screen and the uber-cool post-Avengers credits reveal, it was clear to me that the franchise is leaning in a deliciously cosmic direction. But I really had no idea just how synergistic (calm down Jack Donaghee) the overall Marvel plan was. Considering what they've done with their films I shouldn't be surprised, but they have given me yet another joyous announcement.

Over at Comic Book Resources, Marvel publishing bigwig Tom Breevort shared some big news. Avengers Assemble, the limited series written by Avengers scribe Brian Michael Bendis in his final year as the architect of that team, as a comic I didn't really consider canon, just a throw away 12 issues meant to pander to the Marvel movie fan who doesn't read comics (but after seeing Joss' fantastic movie wants to start.) They used the cinematic team line-up and brought in some old villains and I just really thought it wouldn't count in the main universe, so I didn't pick it up.

But lo and behold, not only does it count, they are using it as a platform to not only set-up the future plots of the Marvel Avengers movies, but to return the personal favorite characters who recently comprised the cast of the Guardians of The Galaxy.

This Week's Comics - 5/16/12

New Comic Book Day falls on a very auspicious date this week. Namely, the birthday of the incomparably beautiful and wise mother of this humble blogger. And while festivities have been pushed back to this upcoming weekend, I would like to take this opportunity to wish her a truly spectacular day and express a mere sliver of my infinite love and appreciation and respect and awe. You'll never find a better woman than her, of that you can be sure.

As for the comics lucky enough to be released on such a memorable occasion, I must first admit that Marvel is the only company receiving my funds this week, and Pick of the Week was a tough choice, until I eliminated all AvX related titles, not necessarily due to performance or saturation levels, but just to make things a bit easier for me. And even IF Daredevil #13 isn't my most anticipated or inevitably enjoyable book this week, it's definitely the greatest color. And Waid will doubtless please again.

Read on for the full pull. And Happy Birthday Momma.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Avengers Breaks More Records & Shares Some Concept Art

The numbers have come in for The Avengers' second weekend box office, and the previous 2nd weekend record ($75M for Avatar) is utterly destroyed with a whopping $103.2M.  This will push the global gross of Avengers past the 1 Billion mark.

For more information check out Nikki Finke's professional expertise and constant attention to the numbers, include the painful pummeling received by Burton's Dark Shadows. Now one wonders what will happen with the upcoming release of Battleship and The Dictator.

I have faith that Avengers will keep the top spot. Sure, they're probably all exhausted by now, but an Avenger never gives up. They just need a little meal break is all. And without Jarvis, might as well grab some NYC grub.

There's also been some concept art released, done prior to filming based on Whedon's script by Steven Jung and Nathan Schroeder. Both of these men worked on Thor, which is why both movies are so stunningly beautiful at moments. See the first images of the helicarrier, Tony's eco-skyscraper, and share my desire to see Thor on the real Chrysler Building. Kudos gentlemen.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A New Avengers Theory Regarding Agent Coulson

So I was at my local comic shop (Chameleon Comics shout-out,) as per every Wednesday lunch break ever, and having a delightful chat with my comic shop employee buddy about the magnificence that was The Avengers.

However he expressed some chagrin at certain plot developments, and in his eagerness to find a loophole presented a potential...well, loophole. I joined in the theorizing with excitement and together we may just have stumbled upon a beautiful secret, or at least a good idea for Joss when he writes Avengers 2 (they WILL ask him back, won't they?)

Spoilers follow (like, duh.)

Joss Thanks His Fans (And Says 'I Told You So' For Me)

Over on Whedonesque, the wonderful Whedon-centric website of Whedon-related links that I have Whedon-checked (stretch?) daily for years, Whedon Himself submitted a post directed at his lifelong loyal fans in the wake of this stupendously succesfull record-breaking weekend.

I have in fact been terribly curious what Joss has been feeling after the monstrous numbers and glowing reviews kept coming in, and wished we were personal friends so that I could shoot an email of congratulations and the unbridled joy (and, yes, pride) I felt while watching The Avengers. Turns out I didn't have to. As usual, Joss knew how I felt and has responded, as usual, with humor, gratitude and damn fine prose. The link is here (it also links to a silly funny vid the great man did with famous viral comedy team BriTANick) but I copy/pasted it in its entirety because it's so terrific and hilarious and I'm pretty sure he meant to address it specifically to me (and, I grudgingly admit, my fellow Whedonites.)

--Kitty Pryde

Dear Friends,

Well, it's been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can't wait! But before I become blinded by this "emotion" experience, there's a few things I'd like to say. Well, type.

People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good -- change is exciting. I think -- not to jinx it -- that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon. Imagine! Also, with my percentage of "the Avengers" gross, I can afford to buy... [gets call from agent. Weeps manfully. Resumes typing.] ...a fine meal. But REALLY fine, with truffles and s#!+. And I can get a studio to finance my dream project, the reboot of "Air Bud" that we all feel is so long overdue. (He could play Jai Alai! Think of the emotional ramifications of JAI ALAI!!!!)

What doesn't change is anything that matters. What doesn't change is that I've had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of -- I'm not even gonna say fans. I'm going with "peeps" -- that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of. When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have STOPPED watching, I've had three constants: my family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y'all. A lot of stories have come out about my "dark years", and how I'm "unrecognized"... I love these stories, because they make me seem super-important, but I have never felt the darkness (and I'm ALL about my darkness) that they described. Because I have so much. I have people, in my life, on this site, in places I've yet to discover, that always made me feel the truth of success: an artist and an audience communicating. Communicating to the point of collaborating. I've thought, "maybe I'm over; maybe I've said my piece". But never with fear. Never with rancor. Because of y'all. Because you knew me when. If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you're probably new here. (For the record, and despite my inhuman distance from the joy-joy of it: topping a box office record is super-dope. I'm an alien, not a robot.) So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You've taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this our time of streaming into the main, to crow. To glow. To crow and go "I told you so", to those Joe Blows not in the know. (LAST time I hire Dr. Seuss to punch my posts up. Yeesh!) Point being, you deserve some honor, AND you deserves some FAQs answered. So please welcome my old friend and certainly not-on-my-payroll reporter/flunky, Rutherford D. Actualperson!

RDA: So good to see you, young Joss! is it possible you've gotten more attractive since we last spoke, and less fungal in odor?

JW: Thanks for noticing. Let's talk.

RDA: "the Scavengers" is a huge success! Does this mean you have changed the very fabric of existence?

JW: Dude, it's just a movie. Also, yes.

RDA: I've seen a lot of a talk about "the Availers" vs "the Dark Knight Rises". How will you feel if you're eclipsed by Nolan?

JW: I'm glad I made you ask that. I will feel sad. But let's look at the bigger picture, and I can't say this enough: THIS IS NOT A ZERO SUM GAME. Our successes, whoever has the mostest, are a boon to each other. We're in the business of proving that superhero movies aren't just eye-candy (they're eye-TRUFFLES!). People seem intent on setting us against each other, and though I'm proud to be Woody Strode to Nolan's Kirk Douglas, I think they're missing the point. Whatever TDKR does on its first weekend, the only stat that matters to me is the ticket I'M definitely buying. Nolan and Raimi INVENTED the true superhero flick, yo. (Special mention to Jon Favreau and James Gunn.) Happy to be in the mix.

RDA: What does this mean for your upcoming slate of tiny independent films/Internet shenanigans? Will they fall by the wayside?

JW: There may be new ideas realized -- I always leave myself open to that -- but my commitment to Wastelanders and Dr H.2 does not waver. Those stories bubble on my stove.

RDA: And TV?

JW: TV is my great love. To tell stories with that alacrity, intensity, and immediacy... Nothing quite like it. I imagine it's not dissimilar to the feeling great poker players have: "Here's what I got, here's where I'm going... How to trick everybody into thinking I know what I'm doing?" [Full disclosure : Joss hates poker. He is probably talking about bridge. But it should apply nonetheless.].

RDA: What message would you give fans of "the Lavenders" who are not so familiar with your previous work?

JW: "Cabin In the Woods": still in (some) theaters!

RDA: Is 'the Ravengers" a perfect movie? It did get an A+ cinemascore...

JW: There are very few perfect movies. "The Court Jester", "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "Godfather" I & II... The list does not go on and on. "The Avengers" is notably IMperfect, which makes its success mean so much more to me -- because it's striking a chord that matters MORE than its obvious flaws. Like the team, it appears to be more than the sun of its parts. Boo-yah!

RDA: What do you feel is the greatest achievement of "the Avoiders"?

JW: Getting "mewling quim" out there to the masses. Also, Hulk.

RDA: Anyone in particular you'd like to thank?

JW: [Reads from notecard]. I couldn't have done this myself. Part of this Saturn Award belongs to Jeremy Latcham, Kevin Feige, and the fine Marvel folk... But the secret ingredient is my closest peeps: J-Mo, who did uncredited punch-up work (carrier battle, yo!), Z-bro, Drew "I am Loki only taller and foppier" Goddard, and Kai, all of whom worked the story with me. Without them (and Jeremy), I'd still be figuring out how the Wasp fits in to this, and where to put Red Hulk.

RDA: What's next for Joss "finally got it right for a change" Whedon?
JW: Can we not call me that?

RDA: Just deal. Whut up?

JW: I really think we should discuss that nickname, but I'm finishing "Much Ado About Nothing" this month. If you liked "the Avengers", you'll love... I can't. It's Shakespeare. And not in the park. I hope it gets watched.

RDA: Any message to your precious "Whedonesk?"

JW: Whedonettes?

RDA: Weeble-eque?

JW: I'm not aware of that group.

RDA: Didn't they know you when?

JW: I'm not sure who you mean. I'm discarding my old fans so I can concentrate on fame, Euro-trash guy-jewelry and my precious "Air Bud" reboot. But, dude, don't print that!

RDA: You have my word.

So, that's our post! Hope you enjoyed it . Hope you'll continue to carry the banner even though other people may have joined the parade. (Kind of a gay pride/Newsies vibe: sentence accomplished!) Hope you understand how I feel. Cliff notes: grateful.

"Here's to us. Who's like us? Damn few"

-- Stephen Sondheim, "Merrily We Roll Along".
"It took a dog playing Jai Alai to teach us humanity!"

--Me, in that awesome film I'm gonna make.

-j., 5/9/12

[ edited by joss on 2012-05-09 15:26 ]

Thanks to Whedonesque and Joss. God bless 'em both.

This Week's Comics - 5/9/12

Happy New Comic Day, one and all. Last week the biggest movie opener in history was the final Harry Potter. O how the world has changed, and only for the better.

But superhero movies, while fantastic, take some planning to go see and generally don't get enjoyed between the hours of 9 and 5. Their source material, however, is a different matter, so it's time to get back to the basics and buy some new comics over lunch.

Pick of the Week is a tie. AvX has been kind of letting me down so far, and I'm pretty happy we're getting away from Utopia and finally setting the scene in Westchester, at Wolverine's school. The tie comes from the fact that both Wolverine & The X-Men #10 and X-Men Legacy #266 feature this storyline, and between Gage and Aaron it's just too tough to tell which will be better. So I picked both. (Honorable mentions include the new Buffy, X-Force and even Batman.)


Read on for full listage.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

On The Avengers' Post-Credits Surprise

In classic Marvel Studios form, The Avengers gave us a post-credits surprise, and it was better than anything that's come before.

Aside from the involuntary shriek that I had to muffle upon viewing (I really hadn't seen it coming) there wasn't much to report, but now it turns out that not only has it been in the works for awhile, it was all Joss' idea.

Unfortunately no footage is yet up, nor are any of the screen grab images online worth posting, but there's a great look at the end-credits of the film over here. The surprise scene isn't there, but it's still a beautiful sequence.

Spoilers, obviously, when you hit the jump and see what Joss and Kevin Feige had to say about their shocker.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Avengers is the Biggest Movie Ever

Update: The final weekend number is $207.4 Million. :-D

It is now official. The Avengers' opening weekend is over, and the final number is a whopping $200.3 million. (And that's just the estimate--the actual number, to be reported later this afternoon, could be even higher.)

This completely destroys the opening weekend record held by the final Harry Potter movie ($169 mill), not to mention The Dark Knight ($158 mill.) Worldwide gross is already $641.8M since it was released internationally about 12 days ago.

And not only that, the movie has incurred amazing and well-deserved reviews, with a 94% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and an A+ grade from CinemaScore. This kind of acclaim puts Avengers well on track to break the billion dollar mark, joining such films as Avatar and Titanic, and possible exceeding even those to become the biggest movie ever.

Dear old Joss must be riding high.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Avengers Movie Review

Holy Moses.

If for some reason I had been unfamiliar with the works of Joss Whedon (an alternate universe in which I endured a joyless adolescence, no doubt) after seeing The Avengers he would indeed be My Master Now.

I hardly know where to begin. It's far easier to be articulate about the things one dislikes in a film review, but since there was nothing I disliked, this review shall be a disjointed affair. (I could blame that on the fact that it is currently 4am, but to be honest I'm still so buzzed from the movie sleep is not an option.)

For starters, I shall bestow the official Superpowers That Be grade: A+

Holy Joss.

(Spoiler Warning, cause how else can I geek out without going into details?)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tonight's the Night

The Avengers. Joss Whedon. 11:45. In Theatres Only. Assemble. 'Nuff said.

Happy weekend heroes!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday, and while I've never really understood the hype and joy surrounding the event (I find individual comic stores to be remarkably stingy with their free, gratis and for nothing products, and one has to go all over NYC to get the freebies one wants) I still thought it was time to take a look at what was being offered this year.

It seems fanboy universe crossovers is the theme of this year. Sure it's fun to think of those things idly, or in fanfiction, but I'm not sure how I feel about it in comic form. (It's not canon right?) And besides, Firefly/Star Wars crossover? That implies that Star Wars is NOT the most overrated, unoriginal, clunky and uninteresting sci fi story ever, and somehow deserves to be associated with Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his crew. Also it's written by a Whedon brother, and that inevitably ends in the terrible mangling of a once beloved, or at least highly anticipated, world.

This, after all, is the Weekend of Joss. Avengers comes out tomorrow and we don't need any more examples of his faulty nepotism to taint his glory.

Regardless, read on for a list of the free comics I want to snag this Satuday. (I'm particularly excited about a new comic from writing team Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

This Week's Comics - 5/2/12

A light week, always a blessing to the budget, though it does incline one to start looking at some trade paperbacks or back issues on sale, thus rendering all previous savings moot. Still, despite being thin, it's far from quiet, as Avengers vs. X-Men keeps moving forward, and a new crossover between Mutants and Asgardians (who have a nice long history of crossovers, come to think of it) begins.

No DC has made the list, a not uncommon occurrence, though to be honest I believe I will flip through some of the Night of the Owls tie-ins, perhaps see what Dick Grayson is up to as the Owls attack Gotham (not interested in the all-new Barbara Gordon, and I've grown quite tired of Damian.) The Pick of the Week is none other than Mark Waid's consistently brilliant and enjoyable Daredevil, as this month we see Matt Murdock making time for romance, and judging by the cover things get a bit steamy.

Read on for full listage.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Real Stars Hollow

I had a dream this weekend that I went to a party thrown and hosted by Lorelai Gilmore, who in her kindness encouraged me to come move to Stars Hollow. If you've never seen Gilmore Girls, Stars Hollow is the fictional Connecticut town where the titular girls live, a mostly ideal small town with beautiful sights, some historical significance, quirky characters, and a general feeling of peace and security.

Naturally one can't ignore a dream of such prophetic magnitude (pop-pop), so I did some research and google told me that the main town Stars Hollow was based upon is called Essex, Connecticut. AKA "The best small town in America."

And I very much want to go to there.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fringe Renewed!

All hail the executives of Fox (I know, I know, can't believe it either) who in their brilliance and generosity of spirit have renewed Fringe for a Fifth, albeit final, season!

The announcement comes near the end of the fourth season which has suffered from ratings lows as well as the typical rumors of imminent cancellation. In a gratifying and surprising move Fox has commissioned a final Fifth season for next year to last 13 episodes.

“Fringe is a remarkably creative series that has set the bar as one of television’s most imaginative dramas,” said Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly. “Bringing it back for a final 13 allows us to provide the climactic conclusion that its passionate and loyal fans deserve. The amazing work the producers, writers and the incredibly talented cast and crew have delivered the last four seasons has literally been out of this world. Although the end is bittersweet, it’s going to be a very exciting final chapter.”

While that is a truncated season it will allow Fringe to hit the 100 episode mark, a huge feat for the over-looked show which means it will now be eligible for syndication.

Not only is this news heartening, but as the season finale approaches it gets the fan in me (no small part) very excited, not only about the climax of this season but the inevitably breakneck, no-holds-barred material to be expected next year.

Well done Fox, and congrats to the cast and crew of Fringe.

In other news, a hearty congratulations to Sarah Michelle Geller and her hubbie for their recently announced second pregnancy. (Let's stick to good news today.)

Happy Friday everyone.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This Week's Comics - 4/25/12

We're still in the first month of Avengers vs. X-Men so all judgments remain reserved, and I'm still pretty excited to see what develops. In fact the slew of AvX titles makes the Pick of the Week a tough choice, what with the first issue of Vs. and Remender's space team face the Phoenix head-on, until I decided to just take them out of the equation and go a different PotW route entirely:

Read on for the full list. And happy new comics day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Best Gay Webcomics and Other Links

Awhile back I wrote about the enjoyable sci/fi gay webcomic Artifice, which has since been completed and is available to be read in its entirety. Alex Woolfson, the writer and seemingly owner/designer of the website, has another one up called the Young Protectors, which is also gay but a superhero ongoing instead of a science fiction one. It's pretty fun already, and has some great art:

As opposed to, say, doing work, I recently made a tour of some of the more highly recommended gay webcomics. Hit the jump for a couple links, pictures, and brief summaries. And to be clear, these are NSFW types of webcomics, though they're well written and with engaging stories, so if that's not your thing...well scroll down really fast for the news link about Jessica Chastain joining Iron Man 3.

Monday, April 23, 2012

New Doctor Who Set Photos

After the recent shots of Doctor Who filming in Central Park, some new ones have come online. The TARDIS has gone back to England, and while it's still possible Amy Pond's final episode(s) take place in NYC, she's still his companion, and River Song has joined company as well.

The new photos see the gang in a cemetery, with Rory's absence being a bit conspicuous. Also, Amy is reading a book by Melody Malone, apparently another alias of River Song/Melody Pond. Where does she find the time?  

Few more pics after the jump off.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Comic Previews

Happy Friday! Like most Fridays, this one brings us a slew of Marvel previews for comics coming out next week, posted around the internet but conveniently in one place on CBR. So this is me getting up early in the morning, reading them, downloading them, and re-posting whichever ones will undoubtedly make next week's Pull List.

Some things to look forward to: The first issue of AvX Vs., the comic solely devoted to the one-on-one fights. Namor pontificating about why he admires Scott Summers. Danny Rand becoming a Phoenix host, or else just its newest biographer. And Beast being nostalgic for the bad old times, while Valkyrie seems to abandon her feminist principles after one gallon of mead and act coquettish and seductive around Thor. Should be fun.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This Week's Comics - 4/18/12

This week brings us a pretty star-studded Pull List, including several flagship titles from big publications. Marvel not only has the second chapter of Avengers vs. X-Men on the stands, but a main Avengers title and no less than five X-titles, whereas DC has their adjectiveless Batman, the only readable superhero comic they release. Despite the amount of marquis comics, none of have been as heavily marketed nor as highly anticipated as the Pick of the Week.

Read on, disagree, advise, encourage, and buy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Captain Mal Meets Tony Stark: A Sign of Things To Come?

I haven't been watching Castle for a couple seasons now, though my love for Nathan Fillion continues undiluted. However today, thanks to Whedonesque, I found this clip that supposedly aired after last night's Castle episode:

Aside from being just plain super cool and funny, it begs the question: What on Earth is Robert Downey Jr. doing with Nathan Fillion? Aside from the Joss connection, why would he go to ABC and Castle to help promote The Avengers? Doubtless you and the internet will speculate a'plenty, but here's my theory.

As most people know, after The Avengers' exclusive movie premiere last week, several if not all members of the cast re-formed to shoot an extra scene. Apparently the film already bore the trademark Marvel bonus-scene-during-the-credits, yet this could well have been the elongated final scene at the end of the credits.

Bearing that in mind, and the sudden proximity of Nathan Fillion to the debatable star of The Avengers, it seems to me that all the many years of rumors (some egged on by Joss himself at SDCC last year) and fervent fan prayers have come true: Nathan Fillion is Ant-Man!! And he will be introduced to the team after their first cinematic adventure.

Lending some credence to this theory are the recent remarks of Marvel Film Master Kevin Feige, who spoke about the long discussed Ant-Man film project saying "...we are now closer than we've ever been." as well as a tweet from Edgar Wright, the projected co-writer and director of the movie that went as follows: "Was just back behind the camera for the first time in nearly two years. Can't say on what, but it was cool..."

Obviously there's no certainty here, and doubtless there are currents of cross-promotion I know nothing about that would explain the Downey Jr. promo, but still this seems to be the most definitive grouping of evidence to back up the Captain Tightpants is Ant Man theory ever. And O, what a wonderful development that would be.

All that remains, after the inevitable announcement sometime this summer, is the casting of Morena Baccarin as the Wasp, who, as you will recall, did her research and lobbied hard for the part.

God Bless Joss and his occasionally delightful nepotism.

The Star Trek Sequel

As yet Untitled (it's believed they wish to avoid confusion with Wrath of Khan as well as the complex Star Trek continuity, and it will not be Star Trek 2 but Star Trek: Insert Subtitle Here) the production and filming of the follow-up movie began in January. Despite the great success and acclaim of the reboot, there hasn't been much news about this sequel, perhaps due to the slow process and several years it took to finally get made, not to mention Abrams' notorious secrecy.

However some photos have begun to leak from set, and I for one am very excited. I was never in life a Trekkie, though in principal I chose Star Trek over Star Wars as inevitably having more depth and interest (the latter being the most overrated sci/fi in history) but the movie blew me away. Even now I can rewatch it time and again, the first 5 minutes making me cry without fail, never being bored or anything less than entertained.

(Hit the jump drive, thrusters on full, warp speed to see the photos.)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Round-Up

Space warriors, mutant thieves, Slayers vs. Spies, geek Messiah writer/Directors, and Timelords. Hit the jump for an informative and entertaining news/link roundup.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Big C Season 3 Review

*Warning: Spoilers for the new season.*

The Big C started off as such a promising show. Laura Linney, a proven actress, versatile and engaging, playing a slightly repressed, good-hearted Midwestern wife and mother confronting her mortality after a Cancer diagnosis. It's maybe not the most original premise, but it's a showcase for an eminently watchable actor that you would expect to find in some one-woman off-Broadway show, only now with the benefit of good production values and famous guest stars.

The idea that each season of the show would be a season in the life of Cathy Jamison, complete with a seasonal theme taken from whatever Kubler-Ross stage seemed most interesting, was certainly hokey and facile, but at least it indicated a more focused, long-term story arc that most serial dramas lack. And in the beginning it was successful; Jamison fairly glowed with humanity as she kept the disease a secret, exploring new experiences, examining the different ways one can approach life when before she thought there was just the one, digging deep for old memories and for the strength to fight for new ones. The plot and pacing kept things interesting, forcing a Jamison focused on her own existence to confront the unexpected mortality of those around her.

Unfortunately, despite all her struggle and progress and moments of epiphany and joy, the new season has presented a different woman and a different show entirely. Frankly both are shameful.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This Week's Comics - 4/11/12

Despite last week's "optic blast heard round the world" which started the juvenile and enjoyable Avengers vs. X-Men, this week we only see one superhero comic that ties into that heavily marketed war. That would be New Avengers #24, which shall be interesting if only to see what side Wolverine chooses to fight for (my money's on his X-family) but not interesting enough to be Pick of the Week.

Nor is the Pick of the Week the newest Buffy comic, continuing last month's revelation that the Buffy we've been following all season is actually a robot, which swept away the previous' month's revelation that Buffy(bot) was pregnant and going to get that lil' slayer aborted but fast. A) it all feels gimmicky and fake, two adjectives never used when describing a good Buffy episode and B) it's just not written that well. I'm not sure if it's the trying-too-hard dialogue or the pace, but despite the improvement over Season 8, Buffy has yet to convincingly translate to comics. So instead, we have a Pick of the Week that is the most skillful comic being published, and that I wish would translate into new mediums (I want to read all the Tommy Taylor novels.)

Read on for the rest of the Pull list.