The Creative Desert Of Mainstream Comics

August 16th, 2011 by Kyle

Kyle here;

I have an admission to make. I don’t read comics. I haven’t for years.

It wasn’t always that way. I used to read them – a lot. In the 80s, the comics I read were The Nam, GI Joe, and Groo – all of them mainstream Marvel comics, and none of them superhero stories. Later I graduated to Vietnam Journal and Spawn, before finally discovering manga and leaving American comics more or less entirely. I’m one of those readers that the mainstream comics industry lost through its failure to expand the kinds of stories they tell. The circulation figures show that there’s a lot of people like me out there.

So what happened? Total artistic and creative stagnation at the Big Two. The base of the problem is that for many reasons, the Big Two have come to believe that they can skate by by continuing to to write the same basic stories about the same set of a couple dozen or so half-century-old characters forever.

Part of this is the fault of the companies for refusing to take chances and because of their fear of dealing with with creator-owned characters – but part is the fault of the fans. Well, not all of the fans – but a certain segment of the fans that is becoming an increasingly large percentage of a shrinking market. This is a segment that wants comics to be, better art aside, basically exactly the same as they were when these (now early middle-aged) fans were kids, and to never, ever change. Look, for example, at the negative reaction many fans had to Peter Parker and Mary Jane finally getting married after – what – 40 years? Plenty of people bitched and groaned that “Peter Parker should always be the lovable loser!”. In other words, that the character should never grow, change, mature, or even find himself in different circumstances. That’s the kind of attitude you’ll find in a lot of the hardcore base of comics fans.

The thing is, this becomes a vicious cycle. The more that comics sales shrink, the more that the comics companies listen to their remaining fans, and the more the comics they produce are written to appeal to – and often only to – those hardcore fans. Thus comics goes from an industry (and I’m talking about the comics themselves, not the related movies) with broad appeal to a large audience to increasingly being a niche market that appeals to a small but loud group of hardcore fans.

At very least, this feeds into the mentality of the current crop of editors at the Big Two, who simply can’t get over their own personal Silver Age fetish. You’d think that they might have taken a hint from the rise of manga (at least before that market got destroyed by piracy). If you want to attract new readers, you need to appeal to more people than simply your base of hardcore fans. You need to get new characters in new situations, and to expand the kinds of stories you do. I mean, when was the last time there was even a noteworthy war comic from the Big Two, or a science fiction story that wasn’t based on an already-existing property (Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, etc.)? The Nam, maybe?

In the end, deciding never to take any risks is in itself taking a risk. Yes, the Big Two can coast for a long time on their hardcore fans and on being intellectual property outlets for movies and animated TV shows. But they can never really grow or be what they were like that.

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Categories: comics

Caving In

June 23rd, 2011 by Dave

Hey folks,

 

So, three things here: an explanation, a mea culpa, and a DaveRant (can we get that trademarked?).

 

So, like Kyle said, we’re backlogged because we’re putting the finishing touches on the new NPC Comics secret lair. And frankly, the bureaucracy of getting things up and running is really honking us all off. I mean, we’ve got the rottweilers, we’ve got the particle beam guns, and we’re still waiting for FDA approval to finish our ‘enhanced security corps’? Damn government paperwork. I thought this was America, not Stalinist Russia.

 

Second, yes, I did cave in and went to see Green Lantern with everyone else. So, I did prove the old adage about nerd rage being impotent. In my defense though, I went to go see it out of a sense of vindication and schadenfreude after reading the initial reviews. And really, I don’t have anything more to add other than what Kyle’s written and what reviewers have already said. Other than that Green Lantern dropped 21% between Friday and Saturday opening weekend, forcing Warner Brothers to grin and bear it while saying they were happy that it’s the 4th highest weekend opening for a DC film. But when one of the top 3 happens to be ‘Batman Forever’…

 

And now we come to the part you’re all here for, the DaveRant (seriously, why aren’t we trademarking this?). We were going to save this for the show recording this weekend, but this just needs to be said.

 

So, on Wednesday, July 22, Superman #712 hit the stands. Or, should we say, Superman #712b hit the stands. As Comics Alliance reports, DC pulled a last minute switch, so #712 is now a ‘lost classic’ about Krypto looking for Superboy in the aftermath of ‘Final Crisis’. Instead of the submitted, approved, written, drawn, inked, colored and fully completed  story about Superman teaming with a Muslim superhero to fight intolerance.

 

Just…wow.

 

Chris Sims did a masterful job at deconstructing the deal in his article. And I agree with his assessment that this switch was done in response to the criticism DC faced from the extreme Right Wing (and certain comics fans, such as yours truly, who are far less pants-crapping insane than the extreme Right Wing), when Superman renounced his American citizenship. More than that, though, I think this is a sign of DC starting to enter panic mode.

 

This has been a rough year for DC. They’ve faced criticism for Batman and Superman from conservative outlets. The first month of Flashpoint has seen them loose market share. Apathy from comics fans abounds regarding the reboot in August. And their big ‘crown jewel’ this year, the Green Lantern movie, had to endure a lot of criticism from comics fans based on the trailers and the convention clip showings.

 

Like Chris Sims wrote, everything about Chris Roberson’s 712 was good up until the crap-storm over Action Comics 900 hit. Everything that was acceptable and worked within the ‘Grounded’ storyline from November through April was suddenly unacceptable in May. The switch was so sudden, DC didn’t even correct the synopsis of the issue on their own website by the day 712 was released. To me, this doesn’t seem like a planned decision; this was a gut ‘oh crap!’ reaction in an attempt to do damage control. Whether the decision came from WB or from the editorial council at DC remains to be seen.

 

Ultimately, I think this is going to further damage DC’s reputation among comics fans. A sudden switch like this to appease a lunatic right-wing fringe that doesn’t buy comics in the first place only further alienates a core audience that’s pretty much tired of DC’s antics. This has all the earmarks of a decision made by businessmen rather than creators. Loss of market share and fan apathy? Must be because those loud mouths that don’t buy our comics anyways are right; kill the feel-good Muslim story.

 

Beyond the fan alienation, this is going to hurt DC’s relationship with comics professionals as well. There will probably be some undeserved fan backlash at Kurt Busiek, since he wrote the Krypto story that is now 712. I say undeserved because a) Kurt is a generous, cool person, based on the times I’ve talked with him, and b) he probably wrote that story for a filler either during or right after ‘Final Crisis’ and DC sat on it; it’s not like Geoff Johns called up Kurt right after the decision was made to can 712 and asked him to fully script a comic within a week, so that there’s another week for art before going to press.

 

Also, DC has royally pissed off George Perez, a certified comics legend. Perez is scheduled to write Superman post-reboot and had drawn a variant cover to the original 712. The variant cover apparently was done in honor of a friend of George’s, and DC didn’t tell him that the issue (and thus the variant cover) was going to be scrapped. He found out once 712 hit the shelves. This is not making for a harmonious environment at DC when you treat the co-creator of Teen Titans and the writer you’re placing in charge of your corporate flagship like he’s some expendable fanboy artist. Make no mistake, George is a true professional, and he’ll devote 100% to Superman, personal feelings aside; but I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes his run as writer for Superman shorter than DC wants.

 

Then there’s this: the comics world is still dealing with the sudden death of Dwayne McDuffie earlier this year. This is a man who did more to bring true equality and diversity to comics than anyone else. At the WonderCon tribute panel a month or so after his death, people were not just morning the loss of Dwayne, but the loss of what he represents. Bruce Timm was asked what would happen to all the Milestone characters Dwayne had created and now being integrated into the DC Universe; he responded ‘I think the better question is what’s going to happen to diversity in the comics industry, since there are so few non-white professionals in the mainstream companies’. And now DC, a company Dwayne helped to diversify, helped remove the stigma of Sinbad’s Black Lighting joke bit from Saturday Night Live, helped change Vibe from a bad Rico Suave clone with powers into a three dimensional hero, and gave DC such an incredible and relatable hero in Static; now DC wants to bury a story about a Muslim hero facing prejudice in the name of quieting vocal criticism from people that don’t buy their product anyways.

 

The irony is so thick, not even Kryptonian heat vision can cut through it.

 

Ultimately, DC is sending a message with their handling of 712. And that message is ‘The CCA and the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency have not died’. We all thought that once Marvel and DC dropped the CCA and went to self-distribution, such censorship in the name of grandstanding ‘think of the children’ politics was gone forever. Of course, in comics, no villain ever dies, especially when there’s no body left behind. Like some master villain revealed to be alive in a splash page at the end of an issue, comics censorship is alive and well in the 21st Century.

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Categories: Announcements, comics

Renouncing Citizenship in the DC Nation

April 28th, 2011 by Dave

Let’s get a few things out of the way, right off the bat.

This is not me being jingoistic. I do not subscribe to the ‘America, Love It or Leave It’ philosophy.

This is not me agreeing, except in the most broad terms, with certain news sources and media personalities. In many ways, they are a big part of the problems facing this nation.

This is not me trying to jump onto a controversy, manufactured or otherwise, in order to increase listenership, readership, or any other kind of publicity.

This is about the destruction of an American icon in the name of greater profits and publicity. Something that, left or right, natural born or migrant, American or other nationality, can all agree is the complete antithesis of Superman.

If you are just waking up from a coma, Action Comics #900 has hit the stands. It is a milestone in comics not just in it’s numerological sense, but also in a more philosophically vital sense. This is the issue where Superman renounces his US citizenship.

Of course, as the current creative team would like to kick John Byrne’s ‘natural born citizen because of the birthing chamber’ bit of canon to the curb, Superman is an alien. Yet, he has always been a symbol for America. Acceptance for others. Respect for those who may be different than you. Those with great power using it towards the good of society. Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Only, it’s that last bit that DC Comics feels needs to go in order to boost sales globally.

What is the American Way? For better or for worse, it is up to each person, American or otherwise, to decide for themselves what those two words mean. For myself, and hopefully many more rational and moderate people, it means the one of the most famous, and seemingly most ignored by some, sentence from the American Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. It is the belief that we are stronger as a society when we respect each other and compromise for the common good. It is a belief that those with gifts have a responsibility to use those gifts to better themselves as well as society; that the strong should help the weak, should the ask for aid, to become stronger in their own right.

What is wrong with these ideals? Why is it so unmarketable to believe and stand for those ideas? It is not the core that Superman evolved into in the Golden and Silver Age that is unmarketable, but what many see as ‘The American Way’ today. For over 200 years, America was seen as the guiding light and promise of freedom and tolerance. If today, that is no longer the case, I submit that the fault lies not in the promise, but that we American have slowly failed to uphold that promise.

I love my country; I’m proud of my country. Yet I see the flaws in it and the widening divide as mutual respect is lessening in our national debate. Xenophobia is on an upswing cycle, as it is from time to time. But these things can and will be overcome. It won’t be an easy struggle to bring civility back and once again become the guiding light and promise we once were, but it is worth the effort. And the last thing we need is for a symbol as great as Superman to walk away from that struggle. Of course, DC will have us believe that Superman is just expanding his own directive to try and do more good; that he is (understandably) tired of being a political tool. This is so much nonsense on so many levels.

First of all, over the 70+ years of publication, Superman is an indelible icon of America, every bit as important as the Statue of Liberty or the Liberty Bell. Even though he is a fictional character, divorcing Superman from America is the same as divorcing those historic symbols from America.

Second, even Superman saying saying that he is no longer an American in order to be used as a political tool, doesn’t mean that he won’t be still used as a political tool. As we are already seeing, Superman walking away is being used by certain pundits to further their own goals. And these goals are far from the ideals that Superman represents. All this is doing is stripping Superman’s ability to argue against these people.

Third, as some people have already pointed out, this whole stunt is predicated on the idea that with Superman no longer being an American, kids in Europe, Japan, and other places will all of a sudden say ‘Hey, Superman was a douche when he was an American, but now he’s awesome!’

Fourth, and most disturbing to me, is that it turns Superman, epitome of idealism, into a hypocrite. Is Clark Kent going to renounce his citizenship as well? Will Clark stop writing articles that can be construed as politically biased in any way (i.e. ‘a tool of the liberal media’)? Will Clark pay his taxes to support a US Government that he dosen’t agree with?

In so many ways, Superman is a representation of all that is good and right about the potential of America. Both are at their best wen they act as the elder statesman or brother figure; not controlling, manipulating, or domineering others into their philosophy, but leading by example and holding true to their principals. Superman walking away doesn’t solve any of the problems that are causing this crisis; it only makes them worse. America needs the symbol of Superman more than ever to show us how great we can be if we try. Instead he will be used to strengthen the ideals that are an anathema to him.

This is literally the straw that broke the camel’s back here. Although I’m sure I will get lumped in with people and organizations that I do not agree with ideologically, I am going to be boycotting all DC and Warner Brothers productions until this situation is resolved. I’ll also be boycotting all products advertised through Warner Brothers media. No Green Lantern film. No Harry Potter. No Cartoon Network. No CNN (I’ll be using MSNBC to balance out Fox). No reviews of any of the films or shows. If you agree with the points I’ve made and feel the same, I encourage you to join in the boycott and make your voice heard. If you don’t agree, that’s fine, I respect your opinion. After all, isn’t that really the American Way?

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Categories: Announcements, comics

Fear: The Great Motivator

November 1st, 2010 by Dave

The Punisher is hunting me.

Let me clarify a bit. This weekend, I went down to Long Beach ComiCon with Jamiel & Ladon to spread the word about NPC Comics in the Southland. I was just there for Friday and the first hour of Saturday, since I had to fly back up to the Bay Area for the Gorillaz concert in the Coliseum Saturday night. But that Friday night….

Friday night I went to the Hero Initiative get-together and got to hang out with Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Tim Bradstreet, Dave Johnson, and…Thomas Jane.

Yes, Thomas Jane of ‘The Punisher’ and now ‘Hung’ as well as a slew of other great movie and comic projects. So I got up the nerve to ask him and Tim Bradstreet for an interview the next morning, figuring I’d be able to get it in before I had to go catch my flight.

Now, I’d done my homework on Thomas Jane, the actor, but I was sorely lacking info on Thomas Jane, comic-book writer. That was all my fault and you’ll read my mea culpa later. But we got a great interview with Messers Jane and Bradstreet about Raw Studios, Dark Country 3D, and their upcoming projects that will be included in the podcast or put up on the blog as soon as possible.

So, a bit shamed faced, I picked up the ‘Bad Planet’ collected edition and promised Mr. Jane that I’d read it and give it a review as soon as possible. I read through it on the flight back to Oakland and was planning on posting the review on Tuesday to go with this weeks podcast. Saturday night was Gorillaz at the Coliseum, Sunday was recovering from travel and hearing loss as well as work in the evening. Then I called Jamiel Sunday evening on my way home from work to see how the rest of Saturday and Sunday went at the con. And he uttered the words: ‘Yeah, Thomas Jane stopped by and was looking for you.’

When The Punisher starts looking for you, time to get things taken care of, pronto.

So, without further delay, here’s my review of ‘Bad Planet’.

Overall, I liked it: it’s well written by Thomas Jane & Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and has excellent artwork by James Daly, Lewis LaRosa, & Dave Kendal. At the core you have an invasion of Earth by a seemingly unstoppable alien horde, with only an escaped alien convict able to stop them. The Convict (the closest thing to a name he/she/it has) has personal reasons for wanting to stop the onslaught, warrior’s pride that eventual changes into the desire to prevent Earth from earning the designation of ‘Bad Planet’, basically turning it into a no contact planet for Galactic civilization at large for the rest of time.

The artwork from the assembled team, under the art direction of Tim Bradstreet, is a nice change of pace from the usual fare from the Big Two. Bradstreet’s stylistic use of light and shadows is very clear throughout much of the series, but the artist pool also brings their own individual styles to the panels, producing a nice mix like when you have a master cinematographer working with a master director.

Story is always my big draw for a comic, and ‘Bad Planet’ certainly does have a solid story and good pacing. When I interviewed him, Thomas Jane proudly proclaimed that this was the only ‘true science-fiction comic’ out on the market, and I can agree with him to some extent. It’s definitely an homage to the days of EC Comics and 50’s sci-fi popcorn flicks, which isn’t really a bad thing. ‘Bad Planet’ brings back a different kind of sci-fi storytelling that’s been missing recently even from the text scene: simple, direct, and genuinely fun. It’s not social application of science/tech gone amok like Corey Doctorow, and it’s not military fiction with a garnish of sci-fi like Dan Abnett. It’s not the pseudo-science of Reed Richards or Star Trek, instead, it’s got enough moderately advanced science in there to help frame and shape the story, but not totally define it.

As further proof that ‘Bad Planet’ falls into the ‘science fiction can be fun and not serious commentary’ category, quite a few sections are done in 3D full color art, which, kitch factor aside, does look awesome. It really is a modern version of a 50’s ‘Terror From Beyond the Stars’ movie done as a comic. And just like ‘Machete’ shows just how fun camp films can be when made with real talent, ‘Bad Planet’ shows just how great the style of those 50’s comics and films can be today.

So, a sincere thanks to Thomas Jane, Tim Bradstreet, and everyone at Raw Studios for showing me patience and turning me on to ‘Bad Planet’. And an even bigger thanks to you guys for doing something that I’ve long been complaining about: putting fun back into comics.

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Categories: comics, Interviews

What Dreams May Come

September 2nd, 2010 by Dave

Before I head out to work in the mornings, I usually do a quick search of news aggrigate sites to see if anything interesting has popped up while I slept. And It’s really hard to describe the range of emotions that went though my half-awake mind when I read this.

Yes. You read that right. Sandman is finally getting a mass media adaptation. On television.

Let me be clear on one thing, my respect and near worship of Neil Gaiman knows almost no bounds. There is no doubt in my mind that hundreds of years from now, Gaiman and his works will be discussed and held in the same universal high regard as Shakespeare, Homer, Chaucer, ect. The man has such an astounding gift for writing and creating that it makes me pause in attempts to write fiction becaue I know that nothing I can do will ever be a fraction as good. Sandman is a triumph for the comics medium, proof that you can have a comic book that is both highly relevant to the literary world as well as comercially successful. Millions of fans like me have been waiting a long time for an anouncement like this.

Waiting for it and dreading it.

We want to see Sandman given it’s just due. We want to see it brought to a larger audience. But at the same time, we know that an adaptation could never be and will never be as good as the source material. The only question of an adaptation is: how bad is it going to be? Call it Schrodinger’s Adaptation: you know that there’s something inside the box, but you don’t know how good or bad it will be until the box is opened.

We’ve always known that a TV adaptation was a possibility; and to be honest, TV is probably the better way to do Sandman than a movie series. Given the quality of it’s programing, cable was the best of all options, considering the willingness of cable networks to fully invest in a risky show and consitantly turn out the best programming over the past decade. I think that I can safely speak for all Gaiman fans that on the list for networks to end up with Sandman, the CW ranked dead last, at the very bottom with Univision and Telemundo tied for next to last (edit: only for the fact that it’s be hard for non-Spanish speakers to keep up with without sub-titles. The overly melodramatic telenovela storytelling would be pretty awesome for the infighting among the Endless).

This is all wrong. This is Paris Hilton starring in a remake of ‘Wizard of Oz’ wrong. This is ‘BET Presents Othello’ wrong. The programming culture at CW is the very antithesis of the quality and majesty of Sandman. Moreover, the average CW veiwer, most Smallville fans notwithstanding, will require the stories to be dumbed down to such a degree that it would be like Tolstoy re-written for kindergarteners.

Do I hope this series will be good? Of course I do. There are the seeds of greatness here in that Eric Kripke has shown that he understands and appreciates Gaiman’s works in his own show Supernatural. I’m sure that the casting of the Endless will casue the internet forums to blaze with the light of a thousand supernovae, which will be entertaining in it’s own right to watch. Where the hope breaks down is at the corporate level. For Sandman to succeed, those in power need to take risks, allow the narritive to take it’s course realtively intact, and give the show time to establish it’s footing. In other words: the network execs at CW need to do the exact opposite of what network execs from non-cable networks do.

It has happened before. Sandman itself was a huge risk for DC. It broke all the rules for the culture at DC for the time. For a major player like DC to invest the time and money to see something so radical and experimental as Sandman through to the end speaks volumes of the faith the was placed in Gaiman’s skills as a storyteller. Hopefully, the CW’s execs will follow the example set and let Sandman be what it is.

We hope and we dream of better things. And somewhere, Morpheus is smiling on us

Categories: comics

Coming Soon…An Epic Tale…That Will Change The Universe…Hey, where are you going?

August 31st, 2010 by Dave

So, I just read this article about the major story arc this fall in Fantastic Four where *gasp!* someone gonna DIEEE!!!!111!!!!!11!!!1

Seemed like a good time to pull this gif out…

Seriously, Marvel. WTH? I thought Heroic Age was all about getting back to basics and leaving these stunts behind. How many times have we seen this before in Marvel? We’ve seen it before in the Fantastic Four before for crying out loud. You’re going to inflate sales artificially with a big event story, when when the sales drop back down again, you’re going to bring back the dead character, probably by reality breaking using Franklin or Valarie, to create another artificial rise in sales. It’s more than just a continuing cycle that you’re locked in where you have to create bigger and more shocking stories, it’s flat out lazy writing.

This is why I don’t shell out money for mainstream comics anymore. It seems these death stories are all they do anymore, and It’s anti-climatic. Can someone please tell me one good reason why I should get emotionally invested in the heroic death of a beloved character to save his/her team/planet/universe when the character is going to be brought back to life a few months to a year later? We’ve taken this journey so many times with both Marvel and DC that we know the route by heart. So, while Marvel wears some more wheel-ruts into the road, I’m going to go over hear and look at this unexplored path. Because that’s how you make the memorable experiences: by going down new roads and new paths.

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Categories: comics

It’s Fat Tuesday!

February 16th, 2010 by Kyle

…insert the Kevin Smith joke of your choice here.

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Categories: comics, Movies

Badly Played, Marvel

February 10th, 2010 by Kyle

Kyle here;

So I’m really dreading this topic. It’s the biggest comics story of the week, and yet I hate the idea of talking about it. Geek Tragedy is not a political podcast – and in fact, we take pride in not being one. We like being a place where people can get away from all the bad news and divisive politics out there.

And then Marvel had to go and do this to us.

For those of you who don’t know, the just-released Captain America Issue #602 contains Cap (Bucky) and The Falcon, hot on the trail of some violent white supremacists, ending up in Idaho and encountering a group of protesters who bear a more than passing resemblance to the “Tea Party” protesters who have been in the news so much lately. I think it would be pretty objectively fair to say that the thinly-veiled Tea Party protesters are not shown in a flattering light.

The real-life Tea Party people got pissed. And Marvel is now backpedaling as fast as they can on this, in a manner that’s not particularly convincing. Joe Quesada says that “there was zero discussion to include a group that looked like a Tea Party demonstration”, and “There was no thought that it represented a particular group”.

That’s a load of crap, Joe, and you know it. Anybody who looks at the art in that issue can tell that it was supposed to be the Tea Party protesters.

Joe says that the thinly-veiled Tea Party protesters don’t have any connection to the white supremacist militia types that are the bad guys in the current storyline. Oh, really, Joe? Then why are they in the comic at all? Do Marvel writers make a habit of dropping random stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with anything into their stories?

So one issue here is Marvel’s unsavory attempts to weasel out of responsibility for its editorial decisions. And when I say “Marvel’s editorial decisions”, I pretty much mean Joe’s. Being EIC means that the buck stops with him.

The second is about Captain America. Captain America is supposed to be the embodiment of “truth, justice, and the American Way”. Well, he, or at least his comic, wasn’t in this case.

Whether you agree with them or disagree with them, the Tea Party protesters are American citizens peaceably exercising their rights of free speech and free assembly to express their views on policies of their government and to transmit those views to the people in power. The right to do exactly that is the essence of American freedom. The defense of those freedoms, even when exercised by people that one might disagree with, is what Captain America is supposed to stand for. And if he doesn’t stand for them, then he’s just another buff dude in blue tights.

Demonizing people for peaceably exercising their Constitutional rights is most definitely not what Captain America stands for. And that’s what you did, Joe. Any denials or BS aside, that’s what you did. In a Captain America comic. Not in Punisher. Not in Avengers. Not in X-Men. In Captain America.

I would suggest that this means that some people at Marvel really just fundamentally don’t understand what Captain America is all about.

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Categories: comics

Free (Mass Effect) Comics Tomorrow!

February 2nd, 2010 by Kyle

Kyle here;

So according to IGN, Dark Horse is bringing a Mass Effect comic to iTunes. Not only that, but for one day; Wednesday, January 3rd (which is tomorrow, as of this posting), the first issue will be free to download.

Here’s what Dark Horse says the storyline will be:

Liara T’Soni searches Omega – the most dangerous space station in the galaxy – for clues that could save Commander Shepard, humanity’s greatest hero! A compelling adventure for any fan of smart science fiction, Mass Effect: Redemption exclusively tells a pivotal chapter in the story of Mass Effect 2.

But who cares? It’s free to check out, so even if you don’t like it, you’re not out anything.

And… comics on iTunes, eh? Being pushed with a promotion? Right after the iPad announcement? Hmmm…

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Categories: comics