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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

3D Models by David Munoz Velazquez

I don't who David is, but I really applaud him for his wonderful 3D model of the Man of Steel. And what makes it even better is that he used Christopher Reeves! Its old school meets modern Superman... and its good... real good.  (See more of his mouthwatering art in his gfx site here.)

He's got other works such as paintings, drawings and more 3D models featuring Batman, Dragonball's Freeza, and a Star Wars Storm Trooper. Gotta love 'em.

This is how Superman should be done. Man, I want this as a poster!

Green Arrow Year One

Green Arrow: Year One
Writer: Andy Diggle
Artist: Jock
Published By DC Comics

I have never been a fan of Green Arrow and never read a single GA comic book. But since I see the character in CW's "Smallville" every week, I kinda got interested in looking out for a good GA title. And thank God for Andy Diggle and Jock for creating Green Arrow: Year One.

The story tells us how Star City's resident billionaire playboy Oliver Queen changed his ways from a happy-go-lucky and reckless guy with no sense of direction, to a Robin Hood-esque hero who fights for the oppressed after being stranded in a deserted island for two years where he learns how to hunt  for himself using his wit, resourcefulness, and archery skills. Things were looking good for Ollie until he discovers that the island is not really deserted as he initially thought, and from that point on, we get to see his character develop to the hero that he is destined to become. 

Diggle is absolutely masterful on his writing and I really liked the way he gave emphasis to the Oliver Queen's transformation to Green Arrow. His storytelling and pacing is great, and combined with good characterization, i can't really say anything else but praise for doing such a great job. Same thing with Jock who just killed the whole book with his impressive illustrations and panels, backing up Diggle's writing while providing action-packed art that will surely make you wishing a Green Arrow movie soon.
I would recommend this comic book to anyone even to those who aren't familiar with Green Arrow. Diggle makes it easy for everyone by creating a story that is easy pick-up and understand even by new readers. You won't need a comic book background or GA history lessons to enjoy this book because the whole thing is just that plain and simple. Its Robin Hood meets Robinson Crusoe with high-octane action sequences ala-Die Hard. A definite four-star blockbuster from DC.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Comic Book Review: The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artists: Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard 
Issues: 78
Published by Image Comics

Zombies. Death.

That's what you think when you talk about the living dead: walking carcasses that roam around looking for flesh and ready to devour.

But that's not what The Walking Dead comic is all about. It is more than just zombies and death itself. Actually, it is the opposite of all that. It is a story about life.

The whole story is centered around Rick Grimes, husband, a father of one and a police officer from Kentucky who wakes up in a hospital from a semi-coma after getting himself shot in a middle of a gunfight together with his friend, Shane. He finds out quickly that nobody is around at the hospital, only to learn that the whole world has been stricken by a zombie apocalypse. He then begins his journey and hopes to find his wife Lori and son Carl, and other possible survivors while trying to set-up a peaceful and normal life in an otherwise abnormal world.

The walking corpses aren't the ones who are making the noise here.What makes the whole thing so good are the interactions between the characters in the story and how their characters develop as they go into different emotional and mental challenges. Each and every character has a different personality that complements the main character and all others, and combined with a great story filled with topsy-turvy turns, surprises, betrayals and "oh shit" moments, The Walking Dead gives you a perfect balance of just about everything in the emotional spectrum.

When it comes to the art, it is good and definitely gives off such emotion from the characters. It was a nice thing that they did the black-and-white colors on the whole book. I can't imagine it being colored, due to the fact that there are a lot of gory scenes that some people might not be able to take.

To wrap up, The Walking Dead gives us a glimpse of how a zombie apocalypse looks like, and how would human beings think and react in that environment. You will wonder how possibly you can survive in such a stressful and terror-filled world, where death is just always one wrong move away. 

But more than surviving the zombies themselves, The Walking Dead shows that the real fight for survival is not against the dead - but with the living, yourself...and your sanity.

Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Francis Manapul Does "The Flash" Like No Other

Filipino-Canadian comic book artist Francis Manapul was given the opportunity to work with DC's Chief Creative Office and big time comic book writer Geoff Johns on a new Flash comic book series and he sure embraced it and took on the challenge of bringing the speedster back to the comic book mainstream.. Manapul has been working with DC for almost 3 years now and to have his own monthly series is a sure testament to his artistry and talent.

The guy has really upped his game by taking our beloved speedster to life with great attention to detail and clean lines. And asides from working with The Flash, he also works as an illustrator in Adventure Comics (which stars Superboy and the Teen Titans) and Superman/Batman. And be sure to check out his devianArt page and website  - which are full of really nice sketches and inks. For the meantime, we have some of  Manapul's Flash preview and cover sketches, as well as some Superboy and Krypto moments, and a classic Joe Shuster Superman take.

Check some of his works:

 [images via Francis Manapul's devianArt page]

Captain America : A First Look At The Movie

Chris Evans (who played the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies) was chosen to become the new Captain America in a film titled Captain America: The First Avenger to be released on July 22, 2012. The story is set in the 1940's and tells us how a frail young man named Steve Rogers volunteered  in the Super Soldier program during World War I and  became the hero that we all knew and loved.

Cap is one of my favorite Marvel characters and I've always played him in video games because he's got such cool combos and special attacks. And to have this new live-action film is a great idea by Marvel  to revive the character because obviously the first Captain America movie in the 1990's just sucked. It was horrible. I'm just glad that they are finally going to give Cap some justice this time.

Check out the preview pics after the jump.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Smallville's Mera

10 years. That's how long Smallville has been going on in telling a young Clark Kent's journey before he becomes you know, the Big Blue Boy Scout - Superman. Yeah, its that damn long. It should've been ended 2 or 3 years ago, but hell, we're here in the 10th and final season. 

Just watched episode 9 titled "Patriot" and basically we see with some of Smallville's Justice League (Clark (Superman), Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), and Aquaman (Arthur Curry or A.C for short) )deal with the government and their Anti-Vigilante Registration act, lead by Col. Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke).They government is basically hunting down vigilantes, both superpowered and non-powered, to be tortured and maybe killed.

But the hell with the story, I'm not making the entry for that.

Back to the Justice League. So we got Aquaman, but little did I know that his wife in the comics, Mera is actually showing up!  And boy did she show up. Only downside is, we get to see her hooked up with AC already without knowing how it all happened. But that's Smallville, you know. You get loopholes in the storyline as big as a zeppelin.

Anyway, there's this one particular scene where Lois (played by Erica Durance) goes to a Miami Water Park (which happens to be AC and Mera's hideout) to find our hero Clark. Then the ridiculously hot Mera (played by Elena Satine) shows up in skimpy clothes, wet and all...and what do we get? This:

Click on the image to see the actual .gif

That's 100%, A-grade primetime TV hotness right there (if you want the full Mera/Lois scene on Youtube, just click on the orange link). I wish the producers would insert more women and scenes like this one in the future episodes.We all love Smallville to get crazier.

And thank you Smallville for bringing Elena Satine (try googling her name) to our attention. She deserves to be Mary Jane in the next Spiderman movie.

[images via Comics Alliance, Smallville Wiki and Google Images]

Green Hornet Theatrical Trailer

We have a lot of "Greens" in movies nowadays. First we got DC's The Green Lantern featuring Ryan Reynolds on the lead role, scheduled to be released sometime next year, and now, we have The Green Hornet. Greeny 2011 huh?

For those of you who don't know who in the blue hell this Hornet guy is... he is a masked crimefighter.. Well, a wealthy newspaper publisher by day who decides to become a vigilante at night, trying to get rid of the bad guys (sounds familiar). Together with his sidekick Kato (who happens to be his employee), they go on to thwart and fight crime, taking the identity of The Green Hornet

The roles were played by Van Williams as the Green Hornet/Britt Reid and Bruce Lee as Kato in the 1970 TV series which lasted only for one season. That was Bruce Lee's first time exposure to the American audience, and we very well know what happened next after that. 

Anyway, this 2011 action-comedy film is directed by Michel Gondry, the film stars Seth Rogen in the title role, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Evan Goldberg. Supporting actors include Jay Chou as Kato, Christoph Waltz, Cameron Diaz, Edward James Olmos, David Harbour and Tom Wilkinson. (Wooohoo!! Cameron Diazzzzz FTW!) Coming on January 2011.

Check out the trailer after the jump. Looks promising, and I have to say it... the trailer looks better than Green Lantern's. Damn you, DC.

Friday, November 19, 2010

'Thor' Movie Stills Leaked!

Its gonna be a crazy next year for both movie and comic book fans alike, because not only that we're getting a Green Lantern movie, but also Captain America and Thor films! Wow, Marvel and DC is really getting at it. Putting their greatest comic book characters onto the big screen. I'm damn excited.

Thor is up on our preview list now, and I've got some exclusive screenshots from you coming from Comicbookmovie. The film will star Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Jaimie Alexander and Anthony Hopkins with Kenneth Branagh directing a script by Mark Protosevich, Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz and Don Payne. There is a video as well for this but apparently its not longer up, so im sorry for that. Anyway,  we still got some good teasers here, so go check it out!

(images via Comicbookmovie and Comics Alliance)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Official Green Lantern Trailer!!!

Alright folks, the official GL trailer is out! I had posted a preview of the movie trailer yesterday and was a little bit skeptical about the costumes and everything, but after seeing this wonderful trailer, i think the costume would work and does make sense even without the white gloves.Yep, you heard it, I think the trailer is great and got me hyped up for next summer.

Ryan Reynolds looks good in the costume and he captures Hal Jordan's cockiness and over confidence. And Blake Lively looks gorgeous as Hal Jordan's love interest, Carol Ferris. Just gorgeous.

One thing of note though, it looks to me that the story is lighthearted based on the trailer, but hopefully I'm wrong. GL isn't supposed to be lighthearted.

But that's another story. So guys, go and check out the trailer and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Leinil Yu and Gerry Alanguilan on Superman: Birthright

I have been reading comics for a long time now, and i just came by and re-read Mark Waid's Superman: Birthright (2004) - another origin tale for our Man of Steel, meant to the be official origin story, but was replaced by Geoff Johns' Superman: Secret Origin (2009). I won't review these one shot origin tales because you all know how Superman came to be and they get pretty boring sometimes.

Anyway, i didn't notice not until a couple of weeks that the artists behind the wonderful artwork of this comic book are Filipinos! I'm not talking about half-baked ones, but full-blooded pinoys! How could I miss their names at the cover the book!? I had to google their names and I was totally surprised. I thought Pinoy comic book artists didn't try to draw popular characters, especially my favorite.

Leinil Francis Yu served as the main artist and sketcher for the whole book, while Gerry Alanguilan inked the former's work and brought vibrance and life to it, making a spectacular one-shot epic that is considered to be one of the best Superman origin stories of all time. 

And be sure to check out their deviantART pages by clicking on their names above or a dose of mouthwatering art. These guys are incredible.

So kudos to all Pinoy comic book artists! Mabuhay kayo! 

I'll be leaving you with some panels from Superman: Birthright.

 Cover-art (see their names at the right hand corner. 
i missed them the first time lol)

 The iconic shirt-rip shot!

 Yu and Alanguilan did a great job on reimagining this
iconic helicopter scene from Superman: The Movie (video)

 Superman, Lex Luthor and Lois Lane

Of course no Superman comic book will be complete 
without a panel with Lois and Clark.

Green Lantern Movie - ET Preview

A sneak preview of the 2011 Green Lantern movie (courtesy of Entertainment Tonight) hit the web yesterday and quickly posted 900,000 + views. 

I'm seriously not excited about the fact that the Green Lantern uniform is entirely in CGI, and that they didn't use the white gloves this time. I looks like the symbiote that possessed Peter Parker in the Spiderman movies... only in green. 

The preview certainly didn't showcase this classic GL costume
(portrait my Alex Ross)

Hope this is just a crappy preview and hopefully they will change it before releasing the movie.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

More of The Walking Dead!!! + Links for Issues 1-50

All right, i'm still on my reading journey. Currently finished issue # 30 and the story just gets better and better... Its fucking crazy! I mean, everything is a mess sometimes (and I meant messy in a good way), and then you flip the next page, you get to see something violent and sick. You just won't know what you'll get from this comic, and I effin' love it. 

And I just get to see one of the greatest comic book villains of all time in just 2 issues down the end of number 30. That character is just so damn great. Makes the story more interesting and unpredictable.

For the mean time, I'll grant the request of the people who wanted me to post some links for this great read, and I got 'em! Yey! *claps* Unfortunately, its just issues 1-50 for the mean time since I can't find a collection of issues 51-75 or whatever the last issue number is, but I think these links will do for the moment Thanks to the original scanloaders for their efforts and giving us a FREE effin' read. Woohooo! Enjoy!  

*All files are in .rar file to be sure to download  and install Winrar first to extract them.

*Scanned comic books are in .cbz and cbr files so you would need to download and install Comical to open them. Download it here.

*These copies are purely for ENTERTAINMENT and READING PURPOSES ONLY. Strictly not for sale

The Walking Dead 41-50

Don't forget to say thanks. We got a big comment box down there.

- Gee

Friday, November 5, 2010

Time for some Walking Dead!

I know there's already a hit TV series under the same title, so I thought before watching it, why don't I read the comic book itself? I heard a lot about this graphic novel and maybe its time for me to grab those copies, drown myself with some zombies, and see what the fuss is all about.

Currently read issues 1-10 in a span of an hour and a half before going to work. Yeah, i read ten copies that fast, because when you got something this good, you just get hooked and flip the pages till you get to the next issue. (Damn those cliffhanger endings, they just keep you coming back for more. )

And believe me when I say that it is not your ordinary zombie story. It has that George Romero (yeah, the Night of the Living Dead guy) taste, but better.

I've still got 60 or more issues to go, so I may not be doing any comic book reviews this week - unless I remember any of the titles I've read eons ago.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Comic Book Review: Superman: Earth One

Superman: Earth One
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Shane Davis
Pages: 127
Release Date: October 2010
Publisher: DC Comics

A modern Superman for a modern audience. A 70-year old hero making his presence felt in a new world of Bieber acts and Twilight fangirls.

The first project in DC's line of "Earth One" novels, this re-imagining of the Superman mythology took me by surprise - and with plenty of good reasons behind it.


21-year old Clark Kent goes out and steps into the real world for the first time. He isn't Superman yet, and not quite Superboy. A big question lingers in his mind: Why the hell should he become a superhero when he can become anybody that he wants to? Like being a successful star athlete. A business man maybe? Or even a scientist, and be able to generate tons of money that will support him for a life time.
 But when otherworldly forces threaten to destroy his adoptive home world (Earth), Clark must make the biggest decision in his life and choose: to ignore the impending death of billions of people and the planet that adopted him, or embrace his inner strength and become 
the hero that he was destined to be. 

I felt that the idea was absurd at first and that it might not work, but man I was wrong. This is  exactly how Superman would be if he ever debuted in the 21st century. Targeting old  fans and a new audience, I would say  J. Michael Straczynski (writer) and Shane Davis (artist) did a hell of job bringing a new flavor to the mythos and origin of the Man of Steel. They just kept me flipping the pages up to the last.

Elements of the character are still the same, with the only difference this one being more brooding, dark and angry. Clark Kent in here is a 21 year old guy who steps for the first time in the real world and he doesn't know what to do with his life - what kind of job would he take and what is the best for him. And I was able to relate to it  because this is what every young adult feels/felt in this stage of his/her life: undecided, fickle-minded, selfish, and just can't quite figure out what it is that he/she wants. It was the perfect emotional illustration.

 Clark visiting his foster father's grave. 
Probably my favorite panel in this comic.

JMS and team captured the Daily Planet and its characters well too.. great characterization for the supporting cast like Perry White and Lois Lane. Oh I forgot, Jimmy Olsen... he gets an upgrade in the book. He's kind of a bad-ass now. Read it and you'll know why. 

The origin of Superman was also changed a little bit - I mean, it is still the same, with the planet Krypton on the brink of destruction, Jor-El and Lara (Superman's real parents) putting the baby Kal-El (Superman) on a rocket ship to escape towards earth and all that... - with the cause of Krypton's destruction explained, and it does make sense. 

Davis' art is fresh and he gave the whole thing a kind of "manganized" feel (anime style illustrations),  new hairstyles and fashions, and even gave Metropolis more life and light than ever, without disrespecting the whole mythos. His take on the iconic Superman suit was great which I think should be used in the next Superman movies. Shane took his game to the next level here and was able to breathe new perspective in terms of the artistic side, which Superman comic books need nowadays.

Decisions... decisions... decisions...

Ah... finally!!!

Now on to the ONLY negative: the villain. I felt that the new villain is weak. He leads a legion of high tech aliens that actually looks like a cross between Gundam and Neon Genesis Evangelion. And the villain itself looks like Sting (the professional wrestler)! I still can't fathom how can they put Sting in there flying around like X-Men's Archangel. I thought it was funny.

But still, hats off to Davis and JMS for coming up with the idea of a new villain for this modern Man of Steel. 

 Supes' first fight.
See that chalk-white guy at the bottom right?

But other than that, it was a good book. Not as great as every one wanted it to be, but it was damn good and worthy of your precious time. Do yourself a favor... get this graphic novel and read it ( I have the damn link below!!!). Recommend it to others. It was written for fans and non-fans alike and for sure you will not be disappointed.

Rating: 4/5

Monday, November 1, 2010

Comic Book Review: Superman Secret Identity

Probably my favorite Superman comic book... for now... ( I haven't finished the newly released Superman: Earth One yet), this book explores the life of a teen named Clark Kent. Yes, I know the names are the same, and you might be thinking that it will be the same old song, same old dance. How many reincarnations of the Superman origin have we read/heard anyway?


Clark Kent is a young boy living in Picketsville, Kansas, in a world where superheroes only exists in comics (just like the real world).  He is not totally giddy about having the name of the fictional superhero, because he only receives Superman-related gifts during Christmas, and he is getting tired of getting the same gifts all over again. Not to mention that he always puts up with being the target of many Superman jokes and is bullied often at school. One day, after awaking from a bad dream while on camping, he realizes that he is floating... no flying! Realizing that he has the same powers as Superman, (you know, x ray vision, super breath, super speed, invulnerability - the whole shebang) he goes on to save and protect people during the weekends while keeping his secret identity. 

That's just he beginning of the story. He eventually becomes Superman and gets to marry a woman named Lois. (not the Lois Lane of DC continuity). There are a lot of adventures featuring him and the US government, who is tracking him down, trying to pin him to get to know his real identity and to use him as a weapon. 

From that point onward, the story of our hero just becomes as complicated as ever. How will he fend off these guys? Can he survive their relentless onslaught without his loved ones getting hurt? How would he protect everybody? What about his dreams, his career and his plans of probably... having his own family?

Superman: Secret Identity is a well-written story that transcends any Superman titles or story arcs ever. It presents a very realistic view on the life of the Man of Steel, of what he would look like if he had the same problems as ours and also shows the kind of resolution that he would have to do given those circumstances. Everybody could relate to this story, because the writer "humanized" Superman to the point that he is as confused, angry, and frustrated - just like any of us would be - in some parts of the story. The Last Son of Krypton has never been this vulnerable.

If you are tired of the current flow of Superman titles you've been reading lately, sick of the usual origin story and villains, try this book. It will give you a whole new perspective on our hero while getting the romance, suspense and  that down-to-earth Superman story that has never been told before. Of course, it is also hopeful and touching down to the very last pages which should be a fitting end to any Superman saga they plan on putting in the movies. The illustrations nice and fluid and is a perfect complement to the story. You would really get to feel "Superman in the real world".

Superman: Secret Identity is as good as any comic that I have read for a while and reading it was fun. Definite read. 

Superman: Secret Identity is written by Kurt Busiek with illustraions by Stuart Immonen. Published by DC Comics.

Comic Book Review: The Dark Knight Returns

The Dark Knight Returns
Writer: Frank Miller
Penciller: Frank Miller
No of Issues: 4
Published by DC Comics

DKR is set in the future DC universe (year was never specified), where costumed superheroes and vigilantes (except for Superman) were either forced to retire or driven away by leery citizens. It has been 10 years since the last sighting of Batman due to the death of Jason Todd (the second Robin), and a new group called "Mutants" runs rampant and is instigating terror Gotham City. To add  to the injury, an old nemesis again comes back and a middle-aged Bruce Wayne is forced to don the costume once more.

Its a story of an old Batman trying to make himself relevant in a dystopian world, and because of his vigilantism, he finds himself at odds with the United States government who stops at nothing to apprehend him. Superman is also here, but more of just a supporting character, and merely acts as a puppet for the US Government, as he believes that it is the only way for him to do some good.

 (Batman was inspired from the likes of Zorro, 
and he certainly looks like him. Just change the cowl to the Zorro mask.)

Now for the following paragraphs... I'm veering away from the consensus. And I think I'm gonna get murdered for it, but what the hell...

The Dark Knight Returns (written by Frank Miller - yeah, the same guy who created 300) was not as good as it was advertised. Not as great as it was described by critics. It didn't deserve to be in that no.2  spot as one of the greatest Batman books of all time and I'm just clueless as to why people are raved about it for so long.

Let's face it: every great comic book is packed with great art. And this is where this graphic novel truly fails miserably.

The storyline is hard to follow and it gets even worse because of too much text crammed in the pages.  I had a hard time reading the book really, and there were times where I had to stop reading because I got tired of reading cluttered texts and pictures. Images we're too crammed in, making it look awfully unorganized and rubbish. The art wasn't too pleasing either. Its horrible - Bats and Supes being too muscular and bulky in this book was probably the worst rendition I've ever seen. It was putrid. Graphic novels should be easy to the eye, not otherwise.

 (the first time i saw this on Google Images, 
i thought it was a fan artwork.)

But I have to give credit where credit is due here: Frank Miller made an outstanding Batman story. One that has never been written before and one that truly epitomizes the true essence of the "dark and gritty" essence of the Caped Crusader and Gotham City.

Here is Gotham's protector, trying to defy Father Time while trying to save his beloved city from all the evil that he swore to eradicate since childhood, taking him to the extreme limits of his physical and mental capabilities. Even coming face to face with the most  sinister of villains of years past, plus standing toe to toe against the Big Blue Boy Scout in one climactic a fist fight just to get his job done.

His characterization is very humanized, and I like how he made Superman so humanly real rather than the almost- Godlike character we used to see. And Batman is as brooding, twisted minded and bad-ass as ever even at a very old age. And with that I give both the story and the character-build up 4 stars.

All in all, I was disappointed with the book mainly because of the art. It wasn't  that bad though because Miller delivered a classic Batman story that would eventually redefine both the Dark Knight and "graphic novels" for good. But then again, this could have been better had Miller got a bona-fide artist to do that other side of the equation. That would have made it the greatest Batman graphic novel ever in my book.