Monday, September 1, 2008

PopFUZE #39

Not much going on with me and the world of pop culture at the moment. Let's see... I am re-reading the Invincible HC Vol 2 for, like, the seventh or eighth time; I love this comic so much! I am hanging for the Vol 4 HC which I think has just come out, or is coming out soon, so I will definitely nab that one!

Hmmm... I wish the Australian dollar hadn't crashed so badly against the Greenback (it did get up to $US .98 a few months back, but has now crashed to $US .85). The drop in value does make a difference to my spending so, depending on how cheaply I can pick this up online (and also after factoring in shipping costs), I may end up just buying the new HC from my LCS, Alternate Worlds.

So, that's definitely a buzz on the horizon for me and the world of comic book collecting. I am still somewhat excited by the re-launched Youngblood over at Image Comics. Joe Casey is doing a decent job on the story, but I am not really into Derec Donovan's pencils. Here's Derec's cover for #6.

Yes, there have been other artists who have worked on Youngblood including Steve Skroce, Marat Mychaels, Roger Cruz... But, in my mind, none of them measure up to the man himself, the Big Daddy of the mighty 'blood, Rob Liefeld. Here''s Rob's variant for #5.

To me, that POPS! Plus Fire Girl (no one knows who these characters are until #5 actually comes out with the big reveal) is smokin' hot (pardon the pun). Oh, yes, I want to see Rob back drawing the 'blood so badly that I even want to read Mark Millar's horrid take in Youngblood: Bloodsport.

However, I do understand why Derec Donovan got the job. His style pretty closely mirrors the look of a couple of existing Image titles, so I guess that Rob and Eric Stephenson felt that the look of Youngblood should be closely tied to, for example the look of Invincible or The Astounding Wolfman. Back in the day, Youngblood set trends and paved the way for other comic books. Now, the 'blood is playing follow the leader. Stange days indeed, most peculiar...

So, what else is jazzing me in the world of snap, crackle and pop culture? Well, I enjoyed The Dark Knight so much that I went out and bought Batman Begins on DVD.

I love this movie, the character work is superior to that of any other recent comic book movie. Bruce Wayne becomes real and his motivation for becoming the Batman, and the steps that he takes to do so, are well fleshed out. Awesome movie. Watching all the extras has been really interesting too. There was no move to make a Batman movie until Christopher Nolan just decided he was going to do one and then hooked up with David S. Goyer (hope I got his name right!). Yeah, it's an awesome movie. I have only re-watched the first hour or so (having a nearly one year old boy doesn't leave too much time for watching movies), but what I love so much about this movie, over The Dark Knight, is the slow and deliberate path we walk through Bruce's psyche as he becomes the Batman.

In this movie Bats is more of a supernatural force of fear and retribution than in the second; and that's the part of this character I love. I really enjoy the smoke and mirrors of Batman seemingly appearing out of shadows. The scene where the Batman first appears, flitting in and out of darkness, is awesome. My favourite part of the movie so far (based on re-watching) is in that scene where the crim screams out "Where are you?!" and Batman suddenly emerges from the shadows, all gruff voiced, and simply declares "Here". Now, that's awesome.

But, what I have been enjoying more than anything else is 8:15 am on Sunday morning when Storm Hawks bursts onto my TV screen.

I may have only seen two episodes, but this cartoon is shaping up to be my favourite since the days of the Roadrunner, The Blue Falcon and Dyno-mutt and Star Blazers. The show is full of cool tech/ mecha and high speed visuals. The team are constantly fighting the evil Cyclonians, but this is cartoon violence with the odd laser bolt and explosion rather than blood and guts. The two episodes I have seen emphasised team work and self confidence, which I think are cool values for kids to pick up on.

Plus, Storm Hawks keeps my young boys eyes glued to the screen for a few minutes. He is 11 months old, so his attention span is pretty short, yet he is attracted to the bright colors and quick moving images of this show. So, that's a win for the creators in my book.

All in all, that's my take on the world of pop culture right now...



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