The Plot Thickens

This “Troopergate” scandal just keeps getting more and more convoluted.  Today’s latest is just adding fuel to the fires.  Some people, some offices, and some newspapers just don’t know when to shut up and fact check before going public with statements.

So here’s what’s transpired today.  First off, the Albany Times-Union has a banner headline on the front page telling us that the Albany DA’s office found no wrong doing by anyone in the governor’s office conerning the use of State Police to gather dirt on Joe Bruno.  Top third of the front page was dedicated to this.  Now, they claimed this was an “exclusive,” which is why no other paper or news outlet in the area had any incling of this.  Case in point, the Schenectady Gazette has no mention of this at all, in any section.

But the story doesn’t end there.  Seems that David Soares, the DA, has determined no such thing.  In fact, he’s released statements repudiating the “facts” in the TU article.  Uh-oh.  This is where things get interesting.  There are two possibilities here.  One, an overzealous employee of the DA’s office doesn’t know when to shut up, or has an agenda.  Two, someone in the TU, not only the reporter but the editorial staff, are more concerned with causing damage to Joe Bruno than in reporting facts, and going where the story leads rather than where they want it to.

What Soares has said is that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s investigation was incomplete.  No kidding.  Between the governor’s counsel advising those under suspicion not to cooperate with the AG’s investigation, and the Inspector General’s conflict of interest, the AG was never going to get the full story.  Which is why the State Senate is launching an inquiry.  And though there is tepid Democratic upityness over it, I suspect they will all participate.

Side note here.  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been awfully quiet on this whole matter.  Sure, he’s feuding with Spitzer, and Eliot is still smarting over his defeat in replacing the disgraced Alan Hevesi.  Still, I would have expected a political opportunist like Silver to take as advantage as he could.  He could be a very important wild card in whatever is about to transpire.

Meanwhile, Spitzer is getting flak from some powerful or at least influential supporters.  Mainly, and most importantly, both Mario Cuomo (ex-governor) and Ed Koch (former mayor of NYC), have both stated that Spitzer should testify under oath on this matter.  Prior to this, Spitzer was refusing to do so under any circumstances.  But since this “advice” from Cuomo and Koch, Spitzer has changed his tune. 

So where does this leave us?  A governor who is disgracing himself at every turn, a previously worthy paper has fallen into tabloid “journalism” (more like rumor mongering), a State Legislature that will be caught up in investigating this, and the people of NY sighing “here we go again,” while pundits around the nation have a good chuckle at us.

New Comics Review (8-19-07)

Has it been that long already?  Well, another large pull list this time around.  Getting to be there are so many minseries out there, that it’s getting harder to keep up with things in a timely fashion…

Dark Tower: Gunslinger’s Guidebook- A nice little reference title for those unfamiliar with Stephen King’s series of books.  Biographies of all the characters involved with the short series are detailed, as are some of the language and background.  A worth while pick up for fans of Stephen King, and those who want more details on the charcters from the comic adaptation.

The Marvel Tarot -A mediocre one shot IMO.  Not enough art work of the major tarot arcana using Marvel characters.  The text accompanying the art is lack luster at best, and outright boring most of the time.  This one could have been a lot better.

Outsiders: Five of a Kind (Martian Manhunter and Thunder)- This is an OK story.  You really do need to be up on what’s going on in Countdown, and the other one shots of this series to get the full meaning.  Koi Turnbull’s art is OK, but I really don’t like what was done to the Martian Manhunter.  Best reason to get this is for the last two pages.

Countdown #38, 37- More Jimmy Olsen, now aka Mr.Action, and the Rougues on the run.  Mary Marvel still has identity and power issues, and seeks help from Zatana. 

Amazon’s Attack #5- We’re getting closer to solving some of the mysteries behind this attack.   Circe’s machinations get upset a little by Batman, but will it be enough to stop the combined forces of the Amazons and the Bana?  Somehow, I think that the combined efforts of the JLA and JSA will prevail in the end.  Call it a hunch.  😉

Brave and the Bold #6- The conclusion of the opening story arc the Lords of Luck.  Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Super Girl, Adam Strange, Batman, and the Challengers of the Unknown team up to save the Book of Destiny.  More than a few hints of what’s in store for the future of the DCU are dropped here.  Astute readers take notes!

Green Lantern #22 – The Sinestro War continues.  Hal battles Parallax once again, and this time gets “rescued” by the “lost lanterns.”  Guy and John Stewart are held prisoner somewhere on Qward, as is Ion, though Kyle Rayner is possessed by Parallax.  Plus some exoanded cameos by the likes of the Antimonitor, Hank Henshaw, and Superboy Prime.  This has to be one of the best, if not the nest story lines out there at the moment. 

Justice League of America #12- The last issue with writer Brad Meltzer onboard.  Some people are complaining that the issue was boring.  Or that this si not the way to leave a series.  I disagree.  It covers an overlooked and ignored aspect of life in the JLA, monitor duty.  While not exciting in a comic book or super hero way, it’s a nice departure, and allows for some good character development.

Black Canary #4- The conclusion of the lead up to the biggest DC wedding since Clark and Lois.  The answer to Ollie’s question wasn’t in doubt, but the why behind the answer did surprise me a bit.  Can’t wait to see who crashes the wedding.

Green Arrow: Year One #3- Ollie’s island life gets far more complicated.  I’m thinking that there’s something long term being set up here.  Otherwise, this may not have been all that worh while a series, enjoyable as it is.

Flash #231 – Returning to the Vol.2 numbering with the return of Wally West and family.  Not sure how long Wally may be around, but his kids seemingly will play a huge role in something in the future.  DC has learned to drop hints and references to future events so well, that it’s become a game of sorts to find them all.  A literary Where’s Waldo of sorts.

Black Adam #1- Now here’s a character who has been brought back into mainstream focus.  DC’s bad boy is off on a journey, one which will probably end up having large scale repercussions.  A depowered Teth-Adam is something to watch.  For those who like the Cpatain Marvel/Shazam stories, or those who are intrigued from Black Adam’s role in 52, pick this one up.

Booster Gold #1- Speaking of bringing back heros, this has to be one of the biggest reclaimation projects in comic history.  Booster has always been the guy in it for glory and cash.  Perhaps not so anymore.  This new ongoing series from DC, and another gem from Geoff Johns, starts off extremely well.  Not only do we get a “new” Booster Gold, but Rip Hunter is back and active.  The way Johns uses Rip to frop story line hints and previews is well worth while.

Shadowpact #16- Part two of the confrontation with Dr.Gotham in Chicago.  Some nice heroics in this one, and from some unexpected quarters.  With some JLA guest appearances, a few good expositions, this is a good way to end this battle.  Plus Blue Demon starts a new road to redemption since his lawyer got out maneuvered in Hell.

Checkmate #17- I find that Greg Rucka scribes this series fairly well.  Though this one is mainly a set up issue for forthcoming story lines (and not just for Checkmate), it’s a solid single character focused story.  Plus we get some more technical details about Checkmate, it’s organization and set up.

Batman Confidential #8- More from everyone’s favorite psychopath, before he got the grin.  And just how does a billionaire playboy balance crime fighting and a personal life?  Not very well, even with a nagging butler.

Army>at<Love #6- Forget the titilation in this series, though I’m sure that’s what draws many to buy it initially.  The subtleties in the writing are something else.  Lots of political undertones, and some interesting, if impractical ideas get floated here.  Plus the story itself, beyond the Desperate Housewives rips. is engaging, and has some real entertaining aspects to it.

Captain America #29- Yes folks, Cap’s still dead, but maybe not for all that long.  But that has nothing to do with this issue.  Bucky is still tracking down the Red Skull, and gets someting of a rude intrusion from his past.  All while the Black Widow tracks the Buckster, and finds Falcon and Sharon Carter doing the same.  I think this story arc is drawing near to a dramatic conclusion.  At least it better, as if they drag it on too much longer, it will lose all the impact it should have.

Sub-Mariner: The Initiative #3-  Namor and Wolverine have a bit of a bout when Namor arrives at the X-Mansion looking for some help in tracking down his renegade countrymen.  Perhaps to make up for Namor’s “clean” image in Illuminati, they’re giving him his “sin” in this minseries. 

Wolverine Origins #16- While I generally dislike rehashing old stories, this time around it’s timely, and has a point.  Supposedly this is a retelling of the first meetimg between Wolverine and Captain America in Madripoor in 1941.  This story had already been told in X-Men #268, which is reprinted in this issue.  But with Cap’s recent assassination, and Wolvie’s second thoughts about how th civil war ended, this was a good way to recap that older story with some new elements.  Not a perfect story by any means, but a good break from the regular story arc.

Avengers Classic #3- Avengers vs Namor and the Hulk.  As I’ve said previously, this one is worth it for the reprint of Avengers #3 alone.  This time around the back story actually is good, and has a purpose, escpecially the last panel. 

World War Hulk: Frontline #3- Ben and Sally, just like any good reporters, find themselves going places they have no business going into.  The US Military launches a counter attack against the Hulk and his cohorts with predictable results.  Meanwhile, Detective Danny and his alien compadre continue to investigate the death of one of the Hulk’s warbound allies. 

Blade #12- End of the line for this title.  While it was certainly interesting, and entertaining, it just didn’t have enough to carry it.  Chaykin’s art was sub-par for him, and it just didn’t work all that well with the story line.  The guest art of Gene Colan at the end was a nice touch.  Could be some solid spin offs from this if Marvel doesn’t screw it up.  I mean they just resurrected every vampire ever in the Marvel U in one fell swoop, including Dracula.  How can they just leave it at that?

Terror Inc #1- This MAX title has a lot of potential going for it.  One of the few characters from the abysmal 90’s was Terror Inc.  This quai-immortal Vandal (as in the tribe) is one of the more unique and intriguing characters Marvel has created in the past 15-20 years.  This six issue miniseries promises to be intense and fast paced, if David Lapham and Patrick Zircher can keep it up.

Ghost Rider #14- Having begged off from confronting the Hulk, Johnny Blaze and Zarathos reach an agreement on how to go after Satan’s minions and fragments.  I’m a bit worried about the “Dogma” story line being introduced with two out of favor angels appearing.  I have a feeling that this aspect will hurt an otherwise excellent title.

DMZ #22- Conclusion of the Day 204 story arc.  Everything looks like it will start anew for Matty in Manhattan.  The politics and philosophy behind this story arc come into focus with this issue, and it does raise some interesting questions, particularly when it comes to the “mob mentality.”

The Programme #2 – This is still an intriguing concept, if a bit slow in developing.  All sorts of political drama and conspiracy in this series.  From the US using Nazi scientists, to a Soviet counter-program, to LSD experiments, to brain washing and reprogramming, to modern geopolitics.  But it does need to pick up on the action end of things if this one is to carry on as it should.

Also picked up the TPB of the Sgt.Rock story “Between Hell & a Hard Place.”  Joe Kubert did the artwork with a Brian Azzarello (Constantine/100 Bullets) script.  There’s a nice forward by Kubert, detailing a bit of his relationship and history with Rock.  The story itself takes place in the Hurtgen Forrest in 1944, and is a combination of war story and murder mystery.  The key Easy Co players are all here, and for this first time in a long time, we see them as more than just the happy Joes of old.  A solid read, and not just for fans of Sgt.Rock.

Well, that’s it for now.  More in two weeks time…

Sound Bite Musings

Lots of a bits and pieces to comment on of late, and I’m just catching up with it all.  No great in depth analyses here, just comments…

 Even the NY Daily News is coming down on Eliot Spitzer and “Troopergate.”  One editorial referred to the Governor as “Eliot Mess” a few days ago.  That’s pretty bad for a Democratic leader in NY when the Daily News turns against you.  This whole drama just keeps expanding, and getting worse for the Governor.  Now it seems that the NY Inspector General, who supposedly investigated this whole affair, stopped doing so due to a “conflict of interest.”  The conflict in question is that the IG reports to the Governor’s chief of staff, who was implicated in the scandal.  The funny thing here is that the IG is charged with doing exactly what she failed to do, investigate abuses of governmental power and corruption.  So, instead of using the supoena powers of the office, she just signed off on AG Cuomo’s report.  Now, it comes out that she may have interfered with the AG’s investigation by encouraging people not to cooperate with his office.  Then there are the growing feud between Spitzer and Shelly Silver, which began with the replacing of Alan Hevesi as comptroller.  The people of NY got exactly what they deserve for electing this school yard bully to be Governor.  Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for him.

RyanAir, the discount Irish airline has created a but of a kerfuffle with its latest ad campaign.  To help promote the airline’s discount fares, and new expanded service to Belfast, they put out a new ad campaign: “RyanAir fares are so low, even the British Army flew home.”  Now I found this to be rather humorous, albeit from this side of the pond.  Almost needless to say, some members of the DUP, mainly Jeffrey Donaldson, are taking great umbrage at this.  He (and others) find it insulting and demeaning.  Now, I will venture that he has a point, but Donaldson and his ilk are blowing this way out of proportion.  Like many hard line politicians around the globe, Donaldson needs to get a sense of humor, and look at things like this in the proper light.  But then again, dinosaurs do tend to take a while for messages to reach the brain.

More sensationalism from Iraq through “legitimate media outlets.”  The Scott Thomas Beauchamp thing is just plain disgusting.  And why can’t the New Republic just own to being had?  Or is it that message trumps fact?  Has the twenty four hour news cycle, and the decline of print media driven us to accept any and all rumor and innuendo as fact?  What ever happened to integrity and honesty?

“It’s all a question of bridges.” -Gen. Browning 1944 prior to Market-Garden

The Minnesota bridge collapse was tragedy.  It’s not the first such in the US, and in all probability will not be the last.  Those of us in NY, and are old enough, can recall the Schoharie bridge collapse on the Thruway.  More recently the 787 fly-over partial collapse in Albany earlier this year, or the I-88 wash out.  Were all these preventable?  Yes, but there is no “good solution” to the problem of our aging bridges.  It’s about more than just spending the money to repair/replace these structures and roadways.  Certainly the cash needed to do so is a major factor, we’re talking trillions of dollars nation wide, many in impoverished communities, but it’s not the only factor.  Think about it for a second.  What sort of impact would there be if say, the George Washington Bridge in NYC was closed down to repair/replace it?  Or the Lincoln Tunnel?  What about the Golden Gate Bridge in SF?  Think not just about the traffic congestion that would arise (which would be horrific in NYC), but think about all the additional costs involved, from time to gas/diesel, to increased stress on these alternate routes.  Now, this doesn’t mean do nothing, but it means that major projects on key points will require extensive planning before hand so as to minimize any adverse impact on the economy, as well as to alleviate the increased traffic issues.

For all you “Global Warming” nuts out there, get over it.  Climate change has been going on on the planet since it first formed.  Millions of species have come and gone, all long before man ever crawled out of the ocean.  Greenland was once tropical rain forest, maybe the planet wants it to be so again.  What the nutters shouting the end of the world want to do is play God.  They want to arrest the planet as it is, no more evolution, no more natural selection.  I’d love to be around when the climate changes inspite of everything they do.  Besides, this is just the “hot” cycle.  In another ten to fifteen years it will be back in the “cold” cycle, and people will be screaming that we’re heading for another ice age again.  This runs in fifty years cycles (just check back through the papers), alternating between “global cooling” and “global warming.”  I’m not even going to go into the bad data and modeling issues.

Phil Rizzuto passed away recently.  Now I’m going to tick off a lot of Yankee fans by stating unequivably that Rizzuto doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame as a player.  I have no objection to his being in the broadcaster wing, as his tenure as the Yankee broadcaster was in general excellent (we’ll ignore those last few years).  But as a player, he just doesn’t stack up.  He wasn’t a wiz defensively, nor did his offense really amount to much.  His post season numbers and such don’t generate much enthusiasm for his HOF qualifications either.  The only reason he’s in is that so many others on those Yankee teams are in.  I mean, Rizzuto is in, but Blyleven, Rice, Dale Murphy, Graig Nettles, and Steve Garvey are not. 

It looks like what’s old is new again in world politics.  Third world dictators and strongmen, once thought to be a dying species, are back with thunderous rantings.  The doyen of this crowd is now Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.  Once a promising bright spot in Southern Africa, he has now reverted to type, and will crush his own nation thorugh his arrogance and stupidity.  Comparison’s to Idiot Amin may soon become all too real.  Then there’s Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.  Now he’s seeking “unlimited terms” as President.  Not content with attempting to silence the opposition, and bring all media outlets under government control, “nationalize” industries (replacing competent corrupt officials with inept corrupt officials), and criminalize anyone or anything opposed to him, he now wants to stay in power for life effectively.  Hey Patrick Kennedy, I thought you said this guy was pro-democracy?

I’m sure there’s something of earth shattering importance that I’ve neglected to comment on.  If I ever remember what they are, I’ll be sure to try and remember to comment on them…

Rex Hudler is an idiot

I mean that with all my heart.  He’s an idiot.  He’s annoying, ignorant, loud, obnoxious, and most of the time has no clue what he’s talking about.  He likes to drop names, remind everyone he played for the Angels and Yankees, and that’s about it.  He doesn’t add anything to a telecast, and certainly can’t make up for his own mistakes let alone Steve Physioc’s (his on air partner).

Now I thought being forced to listen to Michael Kay on Yankee broadcasts was bad enough.  Not quite the torture that listening to Susan Waldman is, but bad.  Then, over the past two days, I’ve been subjected to the Hudler-Physioc combo, as that’s the feed for the Angels-Red Sox series.  UGH.

For the past two days, I have been wondering if Rex Hudler has been watching the same game I was.  Many of his “calls,” were Rizutto-esque, completely wrong, and obviously so.  There was a play at the plate on the Monday night game which Hudler said was “clearly an out,” when in fact, as seen live, was not even close.

I watch a lot of baseball, and have a good feel for alot of the various television teams broadcasting games.  I used to rate the Yankee broadcasters (OK, mainly Michael Kay) as the worst.  Well, the Physioc-Hudler combo now holds that spot IMO.  Others among the bottom feeders would be Ken Harrelson in Chicago (White Sox), Dave Simms-Mike Blowers for the Mariners (these guys just put me to sleep, not that they make bone head calls), and as much as I like Ray Fosse, his voice grates on me like a rasp on an open wound. 

This is not to say there aren’t good teams out there.  Jon Miller for the Giants, the immortal Vin Scully for the Dodgers, and the Underwood-Manning team for the Indians, are at the tops IMO.  The rest range from good to average to mediocre.  It’s hard at times becuase one half of a team can be a complete nimrod while the other half is excellent. 

Ah well, I can always turn down the sound and listen on the radio…

Bonds did it

Well, it’s all over except the talk now.  Barry Bonds has hit home run #756.  Whoop-de-doo.  And Bud Selig was not there to witness it.  Sure his “agent,” Frank Robinson was, but Bud wasn’t.  He couldn’t have timed it any better.  I’m quite sure all the morning shows, sports and MSM will be breaking it all down ad nauseum tomorrow. 

I am confident that they will all focus on Robinson’s facial expression and body reaction to the moment.  We will see a bazillion replays and slo-mo shots of him as Barry hits it out.  I’m also quite sure that they will analyze to death whatever response Selig issues to the event.  This will dominate the talk shows until the next bug thing comes along, probably Friday.

I’m not sure that I like how this has all played out.  Forget the steroids, the perjury, and Barry’s insanity and attitude.  I’m talking about how the Giants, probably with Barry’s insistence and assitance, engineered this event to happen in San Fransisco. 

In general, I can understand Barry taking every third day or so off.  He’s “old” in Baseball terms, and what he’s done to his body is taking its toll.  But what transpired after he hit #’s 754 and 755 can only be ascribed to making sure that Barry got the best possible reception to the home run.  They did everything possible to insure that it happened at home, where people support Barry with an almost religious zeal.

I would have loved to have seen Barry hit #756 in Los Angeles.  That would have been fun.  The boo’s, needing a security escort around the bases, fans turning their backs to him.  It would have punctuated the whole moment nicely.  Not to mention he would probably have gotten drilled in his next AB.

But no, we get the “fairy tale” ending instead.  Blah.  Here’s to hoping Barry just goes away after this.  Just shut up and fade away for 5 years until he becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame.  This way, as much as it pains me to do, we can root for A-Rod to break Barry’s record, and blow it out of the water.  That is if his wife doesn’t kill him first, or the Yankee fans and beat writers don’t drive him insane.

New Comics Review (8-7-07)

I’ve been trying to write this and get it posted since Saturday (8-4), but something has managed to screw it up for me each and every time.  Be it a connection snafu, or a faulty touch pad, or whatever, something has denied me posting this.  So, once again into the breech!

Brave and the Bold #5 – Bats ends up in the 31st century, and shows the Legion that high tech isn’t all that.  I bet Batman was a champion hide and seek player, and won a lot at Tag.  Meanwhile, Supergirl hooks up with Hal Jordan and Adam Strange on Rann (and NOT in that way).  The Book of Destiny looks to be a key component of what ever is to happen in the DCU.

Countdown #40, 39- The weekly series heats up a bit.  Super Jimmy Olsen.  Mary Marvel with attitude issues.  Trickster and the Pied Piper on the run from the Suicide Squad and Checkmate.  So, what’s the Question want with them?  For a collaboration series, on a weekly production schedule, this is awesome.

Green Arrow: Year One #2- Olliver Queen washed up on a deserted island.  As I’ve said previously, this is just a retelling of Green Arrow’s origin tale.  Not much new to be told here, but the telling is better, a bit more “realistic,” as evidenced by the way the physical and mental aspects of exposure are given.  It’s laso a bit harsher in the details, with the evidence of a massacre, and the amoral criminals behind it.

Black Canary #3- Dinah and Ollie have a spat, and Speedy wisely stays out of it.  The duo catches up with Merlyn and the League of Assassins on a freighter, but the outcome may be tragic.  This series would have more dramatic impact if I didn’t know where it was going, thanks to reading Previews.  Still a good read for fans of the characters.

Green Lanter Corps #14- Sinestro goes home while his Corps continue their assaults on the GLC.  Soranik Natu tries to defend her home from Sinestro’s return, and may end up advancing his plans.  Plus, the ring shows a “weakness,” the inability to kill.  Oh, and Mogo gets a surprise visitor with a certain yellow symbol on it.  Perhpas the best story arc in the DCU right now, adding to the growing legend of Geoff Johns.

Justice Society of America #8- How to describe this issue?  A day in the life?  Or perhpas just Family matters?  Despite all the action, the story itself is about the personal relationships between JSA members, focusing in on Liberty Belle. 

Wonder Woman #11- Unlike some, I’m thoroughly enjoying Jodi Picault’s run as writer.  Sure, it’s less wham-bam-than you ma’am than typical, but I think it works.  In this issue, Diana goes back to Themyscira to get the cure for the bee poison, and ends up having a bit of a tete-a-tete with Athena herself.  Something ain’t right in Olympus, or in Themyscira.

Jonah Hex #22- Palmiotti and Gray continue their tour de force in the old west.  This time around, Hex gets to deal with futurists, angry townsfolk, electric lights, and steam powered robots.  And a nifty conversation with Thomas Edison.

All Star Batman and Robin #6- I really wish this would come out on a more regular schedule, as it is a very solid read.  While some dislike what Frank Miller does with Bats and company, I find I like his take on the character, but only outside of regular continuity.  The combination of Jim Lee’s art and Miller’s scripts I think gives this title the grungy feeling it needs.  In this installment, we get Bats more as an observer, with Black Canary going solo, and the appearance of Batgirl.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #18- Jedi conspiracies, Jedi secret societies, corporate madmen, genocidal maniacs, and a Mandalorian witha past.  What more could you ask for? We get more background on Camper’s past, Zayne still can’t catch a break, and Jarel may be in the clutches of a nutter.  Oh, and space slugs too. 

Conan and the Midnight God #5- The conclusion of this miniseries.  Conan confronts Ra-Sidh at the heart of the Stygian Empire.  This one has a bit of a soft ending for a Conan saga, but given what all has happened to our intrepid Cimmerian, it’s a nice change of pace. 

Illuminati #4- OK, this one is worth it for the dialogue alone.  The exchanges between the Illuminati members about their women is priceless.  The main story about Marvel Boy is weak, though seeing Namor get medival on him is fun.  I do like the concept of this series, but its execution has been hit or miss.  I must say that this is some what characteristic of Bendis’ writing style.

The Mighty Avengers #4- Feh.  Does continuity even matter anymore at Marvel?  It’s not that the Ultron story line is bad or anything, but just when is this supposed to take place?  With World War Hulk domninating the scene, this is so out of place, that it makes it unworthy to follow. Add to this the crap interactions between the characters, and it’s a failing series.

Thor #2- Ugh.  This title is in serious trouble.  Straczynski just can’t get this story  line going fast enough.  Far too much existential philosophy, and not enough bad guy bashing.  I really can’t see this title surviving much beyond six issues at this rate.  Like I should have expected any better from JMS.

World War Hulk #3- aka Hulk takes Manhattan part 3.  A few more pieces from the Hulk’s past show up and take their hits.  Thunderbolt Ross, Doc Strange, and Rick Jones.  This is all building up to a grand arena battle between all the Hulk’s enemies.  And mark my words, Rick Jones will defeat the Hulk and save the day.

Iron Man #20- Worth it just to see Dum-Dum Dugan and the Hulk face off in a staring contest.  Otherwise, I think they mischaracterize old Dum-Dum.  He should not be that wishy-washy or indecisive.  I can’t wait for SHIELD to get back to what it should be.

Super-Villain Team up/MODOK’s 11 #1- Yuck.  If you have Super-Villain Team Up in the title, you should have more than one super villain in it.  This has a moment in the lead up to MODOK’s creation, but otherwise just doesn’t work.  A bunch of C and D listers, with a single B-List villain, Mentalo, does not a super villain team up make.  I probably won’t get issue #2.

I also picked up three TPBs.  Two JLA stories, The Nail, and Another Nail, and Volume 2 of 52.  The two JLA stories are compilations of Mark Waid scripted miniseries from a few years back, and are worth while for fans of either Waid or the JLA.  The 52 compilation, covering weeks 14-26, have some nice additions, from sketches to creator commentaries.  A great pick up for those who followed 52, or those who need to catch up.

Until next time!

Beantown Bonanza

A big day in the Boston sports world.  Lots of trades, and a bit of excitement for the fans.

First off, the Boston Celtics.  They finally landed Kevin Garnett, aka “The Big Ticket.”  He joins long suffering Celtic Paul Pierce, and the newly acquired Ray Allen.  Danny Ainge for once manages to make the big deal.  KG adds a lot to the Celtics, especially in the low post positions.  Even so, I’m a bit hesitant because of what the C’s had to give up to get KG.  What will be a total of 7 players, 5 current (including Al Jefferson), and two first round draft picks.  While this all looks great on paper, only once the season is over will we be able to make a proper determination.

Meanwhile, over in the Fens, one Theo Epstein was busy running up his various phone bills.  With the way rumors and information was flying today (I watched the ESPN coverage), I would venture to say that no stone was left unturned.  I was surprised that the Sox landed Eric Gagne, with his no-trade to Boston clause (which he waived).  I was also surprised that the Sox weren’t able to complete a deal for Jermaine Dye, more so as they got Gagne, which makes DelCarmen expendable.  And with Joel Piniero gone, a roster spot shouldn’t have been a problem, though playing time may have. 

Some will wonder why the Sox didn’t go for another starting pitcher, more so with Kason Gabbard being traded to Texas.  Well, they don’t need one really.  Lester is back and pitching well.  Schilling is looking outstanding in his rehab starts, and says he’s feeling the best he has in years.  And there’s still Beckett, Wakefield, and Tavarez could be recalled from the pen.  No, the acquisition of Gagne should turn just about every game into a 6 inning affair, much like those Yankee teams of the mid 90’s, when they had Rivera in the set up role with Nelson and Wettland.

So, here’s to a fun year in Beantown.  Between the Red Sox, Patriots (Randy Moss being nice?), Celtics (depth is the question), there’s a lot to be excited about.  Now they just need Harry Sinden to return to the Bruins.