I got a decent sized stack of comics Monday. Here’s a few micro-reviews:
- PunisherMAX #20 & 21 - I feel bad for anyone who dug Garth Ennis‘ run and have slept on what Jason Aaron is doing with Frank Castle. It pretty much is a direct sequel, the way Joss Whedon‘s X-Men run was a sequel to Grant Morrison‘s. I just dropped way too many names. Issue 20 ramps up to 21 which sees the final conflict between Fisk and Castle outside “the tower”, Fisk’s impenetrable piece of skyscraper property somewhere on the West side. #21 is something special though, as it reads like a flash-before-your eyes moment before death: images of Frank’s time in Vietnam abound, the first time he killed a man (charlie was taking a shit, literally), when his father died, when he bought his first house, fishing with his son, etc. The last few pages remind you how devout of a life the man has lived since that day in Central Park, since the war. There’s simply no rest. Ever.
- Scalped #55 - This book is essentially one long, twisted, manic, dirty, brutal fight between two of the main characters, then a brief, one page ending that I’ve been waiting for for some time. The secret is out. Now it’s just a matter of how the chips will fall. With 5 issues left, one arc, I’m sad to see this book go; but I’m glad it’s ending on its own terms, not some publisher or CEO’s. There’s still some ends that need tying, or cutting off.
- Secret Avengers #21 - As if I needed a reminder of how much it sucks that Warren Ellis is perpetually out of the comics game in 2012. Damn. Not that he doesn’t write awesome novels. His first was a trip, and I’m sure Gun Machine will continue that tradition; but Jesus the guy sure knows how to write a save-the-world story. This is black-ops meets spy meets superhero stuff at its best. And quite the throwback to the one-and-done comics of yesteryear. Steve Rodgers is a master interrogator, Moon Knight is insane, and Beast is the best tech-support imaginable. A rooftop escape jump, bio-alien invasion, and something called the “Shadow Council”. All this, yet it remains incredibly grounded somehow.
- Northlanders #47 – Part 6 of the “Icelandic Trilogy” sees the last remaining blood of the Hauksson family taking the last resort to ensure their own safety, and that the name lives on: by converting to Christianity. Since the Christians came to Iceland, the ongoing power struggle between the Hauksson and Belgarsson clans has shifted: the Belgarssons have joined the new religion, the Haukssons have tried to hold onto their pagan roots. There’s a problem though. The specter of Christianity runs so deep through the land, in the year 1000 A.D., its influence so powerful, there’s simply no choice. You either succumb to it, take its protection in exchange for donations to the church, or you die. Sounds a lot like the mafia.
(I just realized I didn’t mention anything about any of the art these books; SHAME ON ME)
- A friend of mine has started a sports-based website. Specifically it targets Minnesota sports (what a pack of losers!). It’s called the “SportsChef”. He knows his stuff, and pretty regularly posts. Check it out. Also, he’s apparently made an Android App for his site, which is a lot more than I can say. Ha. Again, THE LINK.
- More on PIPA/SOPA, this time from the Topless Robot editor:
“SOPA and PIPA are both awful, absurd laws, and if either of them come to pass Topless Robot will be shut down and I will be immediately out of my job. Based on the laws as they currently stand, every single article I wrote today — because of a quote, picture or video I ran — would be an illegal use of copyrighted material. Yet shutting Topless Robot and sites like it down does nothing to stop actual online piracy, which is what these bills are purportedly trying to stop.“
Just recently, I pointed out how asinine it would be for an artist to sue me for promoting his work and site. Yes, of course un-marked, non-referenced copyright infringement is shitty… but when you’re referencing the work and linking to where it’s being sold or shown, all that can do is help. This isn’t piracy, far from; it is marketing. Piracy is torrenting.
- Super Mario Crossover is a brilliant idea. Playing along through the original Super Mario Bros. games but with a massive cast of classic, NES characters: