You Doctor Strange fans will get a kick out of this. My team for Fantasy Baseball this year is the Agamotto Eyes. I whipped up a mascot in Photoshop based on Mr. Met. My girlfriend finds him hilarious yet creepy. Go Eyes!
Posted 28 March 02002 - Link
Review of The Order #2 (Spoilers)
The Story. The Order's pacing and escalation so far has been excellent. First they attack the United Nations, then make a headquarters for themselves using Red Raven's flying island city, then the Little Three get another shot, ending with an Avengers teaser. The Little Three (and their parents) are used well as comic relief. The cover indicts Papa Hagg but the story inside does not?
There's been some discussion online about whether the Big Four are being mind-controlled or are choosing their evil ways, or somewhere in between, and how satisfying or not whatever explanation might be. I don't think the explanation in #2 satisfies. Given the Order's actions, the Curse must have more to it. Although the Big Four going bad by choice is compelling, they are ultimately heroes- mind control is not that bad a cop-out and it saves their long-term prospects as properties.
The Art. The art is excellent. The faces have a long, lippy-pouty look like Quitely and great facial expressions. The inking was a lot cleaner, especially re: Silver Surfer. But the great pencils are by Batista? What happened to Haley? I find no news other than that he's a fill-in. True or not, this is ridiculous. Perhaps this old All The Rage was correct: Haley has yet to make a single deadline in ten years as a pro.
The Characterization. The Big Four are cold, ruthless and excellent. The "throne of trouble" was great. It's good that the Little Three and Papa Hagg are still having fun. The good guys tied to the stakes were a little too sad-sacky though.
Doc's Portrayal and Powers. Winds of Watoomb: sweet. The long spell just to walk through a wall: dud. Removing people's mouths: funko, good. Reshaping Red Raven's floating city: creative. Nighthawk throwing the Cloak of Levitation over Doc's head: unlikely but explained so okay. Zap of Hellcat: mundane but effective.
Summary. Solid issue. Me want more!
Posted 28 March 02002 - Permalink
Neilalien won't be able to make it to the comic book shop this week- but word is from fearless readers that Doctor Strange: A Separate Reality TPB didn't make it to the shops either [Diamond Comics shipping list for 4 April]
Grassroots campaign to concretely determine the status of the Defenders book after The Order and to fight for its survival [Defenders Message Board]
A tasty art treat from Order #3 posted online [Defenders Message Board]
Quesada vs. PAD: Happy Ending [Newsarama]
No price increases on the books. Let's see if this stunt- which despite denials is exactly what it was- worked.
Posted 28 March 02002 - Permalink
Stan Lee, Purveyor of Wonder [Comic Book Resources]
The great one closes in on 80.
Some comments from an online chat with Stan Lee yesterday [Comics Continuum]
Stan's cameo in the Spider-Man movie has been cut down.
From both of the above: StanLee.net is dead. Peter Paul is still in a Brazilian jail. Stan's now started POW! Entertainment (standing for Purveyors of Wonder). Good luck, Stan!
Marvel Comics For June [Comics Continuum via Defenders Message Board]
Spoilers for The Order #5 if you want 'em. Also Infinity Abyss #1.
Posted 27 March 02002 - Permalink
Blow By Blow: Doctor Strange vs. Black Panther and Mantis in the Avengers-Defenders War (Defenders Vol. 1 #9)
- Doctor Strange travels to an illuminated Indiana cornfield and retrieves the Evil Eye.
- Following the same light, Black Panther and Mantis arrive at the location but no person nor Evil Eye is there.
- Panther uses his tracking ability to follow tracks from the cornfield to a nearby bus stop. [Panther +1; competent]
- Mantis feels the presence of Doc among the people waiting to get on the bus. [Mantis +1; competent]
- Mantis starts attacking people in line for the bus. One old lady is thrown under the bus by a blow. [Mantis -1; reckless for an Avenger]
- The old lady was Doc hidden by illusion. He fries Mantis with a mystic bolt. Doc flies off to escape. [Doc +1; illusion, energy blast]
- Panther quickly pursues, and using some farm buildings, gains enough height to leap up and strike Doctor Strange. [Panther +1; Doc -1; Doc should be putting more thought into his escape]
- In the air, Panther prevents Doc from casting spells by holding his arms and stuffing a foot in his mouth. [Panther +1; smart]
- Doc blasts Panther with the Eye of Agamotto, a move requiring no gestures or incantations. [Doc +1]
- Panther falls helplessly to the ground, but Doc flies down and catches him. [Doc +1; heroic]
- Panther strikes Doc as Doc helps him. Both are on the ground now. [Panther +1; ruthless]
- A farmer fires a shotgun at the fighting men. Mantis tackles the heroes out of the way of the blast, and then takes out the farmer. [Mantis +1; competency]
- Mantis karate-chops at Doc, but Doc dodges. "Only three others have dodged a strike by Mantis." [Mantis -1, Doc +1. This is pretty bad. Doc is an excellent martial artist, but Mantis is supposed to be the best in this area. Doc should not have dodged but countered it mystically.]
- Doc's had enough, and he casts a spell rendering Panther and Mantis unconscious. [Doc +1]
Mantis came off as reckless, and not the best at her own schtick. I thought Black Panther was portrayed very well, with no minuses. I'm sure a Priest Panther would have been better prepared for a mystic foe.
Bottom Line: Doc vs. two physical fighter types. It should be no contest, and eventually, that's what it was.
Posted 26 March 02002 - Permalink
Reno man threatens to blow up comics store [Reno Gazette-Journal via Splash]
"Mine, mine, all mine!"
Posted 25 March 02002 - Permalink
Dr. Strange movie is "on the money line" [Comics2Film]
John Byrne reveals that when Marvel removed "Stan Lee Presents" from its books, it was indeed intentional because Stan was over at DC, not a "production error" as stated [John Byrne's Message Board via All The Rage]
Okay, Byrne is on Neilalien's good side again with this juicy tidbit. I also see he's lost all tolerance for anonymous posters. It sure didn't take long for the trolls to ruin the internet, did it.
Analysis of Marvel's Q4 Report [Newsarama]
Honestly, Neilalien thought this was what was going on, but he didn't have enough confidence in his ability to understand financial statements and such. Marvel just got a big new loan at a lower interest rate to pay off old big loans at higher rates. The interest savings should be $10 million a year.
Steven Grant has a tight insightful bit about David vs. Quesada [Master of the Obvious column]
Posted 24 March 02002 - Permalink
Marvel Enterprises Posts First Ever Profit [Splash; Marvel PR on Yahoo Biz]
Good news. Good news for Marvel means good news for new Doctor Strange stories. Neilalien wishes he had invested- but then that might have colored his judgment. Doctor Strange not included on the movie property list in the press release.
Reviews of The Order #2 [FourthRail.com; 6/10 found via Defenders Message Board]
Transformers: More Than Meets Expectations [Newsarama]
Neilalien saw a commercial for the upcoming Spider-Man movie and was reminded to check out any denouement at the Down With Organic Webshooters website. And what does Neilalien find? "I won't babysit you little turds anymore." Rock on! Internet communities can be quite frustrating.
Enjoy your weekends, everyone! Reviews of The Order #2 and Doc's fight with Mantis and Black Panther in the Avengers-Defenders War coming next week.
Posted 22 March 02002 - Permalink
A fearless reader sends in a rocking scan! A preview of Alex Ross' Doctor Strange from Paradise X shown in this month's Comics International!
The Unsung Superheroes [NY Daily News]
The racial divide in comics.
Posted 21 March 02002 - Permalink
Okay fans, looks like we get The Order #2 and the Avengers-Defenders War TPB today and the Separate Reality TPB next week! [links to Diamond Shipping Lists]
Posted 20 March 02002 - Permalink
Peter David's Response [Newsarama]
Marvel Movie Update [Newsarama via Comics2Film]
"[Avi] Arad said production is beginning at Dimension Studios on a Dr. Strange movie, but would proffer no details." Is someone really working on it?
Marvel Will Webcast Quarterly Review [Splash]
Wow- it's got to mean they're posting a profit!
Posted 19 March 02002 - Permalink
Quesada and Priest Respond To Peter David, Captain Marvel Offer [Newsarama]
Neilalien loves a good rant, and admires David's passion, his critique of Marvel, his calling-out the fans, his traditional economic theory (raising the price means lower sales), and his offer to work for free. David's open letter was an easy post for Neilalien and warranted no criticism. But after reading Quesada and Priest's response... David pitched a beach ball and Q & P really blasted it out of the park. Resources are limited, Captain Marvel has been pushed, Marvel's doing what it can to keep the book on the shelves, and Priest's attitude is much more wise, realistic, fan-respectful and positive. And maybe, Captain Marvel is a book that sucks like a dog or at least is not "accessible." Neilalien doesn't see the critique to Q & P, but surely there is one and David will find it.
Aside: Quesada put an ad that with 200,000 exposures to Captain Marvel at $80,000. That puts Neilalien's value at 48 bucks! ;)
Posted 17 March 02002 - Permalink
First Look at The Order #2 [Comics Continuum]
A Museum Gives Comic-Strip Works a New Cachet [NY Times (reg req'd) via Splash]
Posted 15 March 02002 - Permalink
Marvel Writers Talk 'More Than Monthly' [Newsarama]
I'll repeat: This idea reeks of greed. When the production schedule falls behind, when the quality of the comics tank again, and when the average fanboy with the average-sized wallet balks, Marvel will be hurting again. Just because they sell 12 doesn't mean they can sell 24.
Morgan Stanley Sells 139K Marvel Shares [Splash]
Are they cashing in on Marvel's big recent run-up, or do they know something we don't?
Peter David's Open Letter to Jemas/Quesada [Newsarama]
PAD reminds us of basic economic theory.
Marvel Mangaverse Preview [Newsarama]
Posted 14 March 02002 - Permalink
Comics On The Web Working, Says CrossGen [Slush Factory]
"The aim of CrossGen Comics on the Web is to create a low-cost point of entry for new readers in places already populated by those potential new readers." Beats the hell out of a newsstand.
I Fanboy? [John Byrne's column on Slush Factory]
This crusty old paranoiac needs a fresh new reaction to the hand that feeds him besides biting. "And this guy wants readers?" Ah, Neilalien- be careful not to doth protest too much. ;)
A synopsis of Tomb of Dracula #44 [Enter The Tomb of Dracula fansite]
From this week's Comic Shop News: Upcoming Marvel Comics in May: Paradise X: Xen, the first Paradise X one-shot. "In this 54-pager, Dr. Strange- with the help of Sunfire and the Xen, leads a rescue operation to save Clea by sneaking into the mighty realm of Asgard. And in the midst of this turmoil, the truth behind his relationship with Clea is finally revealed!"
Neilalien enjoyed Earth X, although he was disappointed that Doc didn't get premiere Marvel Icon treatment. Universe X got around to an interesting take on Doc, Clea and Wong, but it became so convoluted and expensive. The creativity also seemed to ramp down from Earth X. There's no interest in Paradise X whatsoever- although Neilalien will probably pick up this Xen one-shot if his money happens to be okay that week. If someone like Neilalien, who is a diehard Doctor Strange, What If, and Marvel Universe fan, is not into this type of story- sales must be bad. The price, with all the one-shots and #0 previews and #X finales, is way too prohibitive- and the story is long past Neilalien's MTV attention span.
Posted 13 March 02002 - Permalink
Author says comic-book violence helps kids [Mercury News via Splash; early excerpt at Mother Jones]
Top Cow having trouble with Battle of the Planets [All The Rage]
Sandy Frank Productions must approve every panel, and they must look exactly like the original. After the evil of 7-Zark-7, can't these people leave well enough alone for once?
Posted 12 March 02002 - Permalink
Webslingers: Johns, Quesada, Loeb and Jimenez Discuss Comics & The Net [Comic Book Resources]
A must-read for all of Neilalien's cabal, and any comic fan, reviewer, and usenet/message board poster on the net. It's long but worth it. Neilalien agrees with a lot of it on face value. The internet comic book fan seems to skew to the obsessed lowest-common-denominator cowardly negative fanboy. Neilalien himself surely skews that way. ;) Usenet and message boards are ugly places where creators would be crazy to visit and get emotionally involved. I've cut down my already-low participation on those boards to almost nil. 80%+ of everything is crap, especially the internet. It's easy to rant against that straw man. Don't let the 80% waste your time or distract you. Perhaps this Neilalien site is in that 80% too. But these honchos still don't get it! Or maybe they do, and that's what scares them. There is so much good and positive going on online. And they are not in control of it. Just like the established journalists who rant against weblogging and focus on the 80% and sneer. Neilalien smells fear. It used to be that the only way creators could be widely seen was to bow down before the altar of Marvel or DC. No longer. Maybe those editorial boards filtered out most of the low quality, but now, more people decide. It used to be that Stan's Soapbox and the letters they chose to print on the letters pages were the only other opinions a comic fan heard. No longer. This interview reeks of an established media corporate elite quaking in their boots because they no longer absolutely control the distribution and public perception of their product. Nothing more.
Transformers G1 Preview [Comics Continuum]
Stuart Moore posts to Usenet that A Separate Reality TPB is on its way [Google Groups]
Kurt Busiek posts a nice idea for Essential Doctor Strange Volume 2 to Usenet [Google Groups]
Posted 11 March 02002 - Permalink
Looks like Peter Hogan, who gave us the excellent Captain America/Nick Fury: The Otherworld War (every Doc fan should check it out) has earned some high props: Alan Moore's invitation to write for ABC! [Wildstorm Message Boards]
The Ultimate Writer [Sequential Tart via LinkMachineGo]
Has Neilalien ever mentioned before that he's never read a bad Millar interview?
A slice of Order #2 art is posted online [Defenders Message Board]
Posted 8 March 02002 - Permalink
A fearless reader writes in saying his pre-order of the Dr. Strange: A Separate Reality TPB on Amazon has been canceled! [Amazon Separate Reality listing]
Is it simply because it's so late, or is the book completely canceled? Neilalien needs to know! Maybe the book is going back to the drawing board so it can rightfully include the entire Shuma-Gorath saga. That would be an acceptable delay.
J. Michael Straczynski staying, expanding with Marvel [Newsarama]
Let's see a Dr. Strange book from this talented writer!
Posted 7 March 02002 - Permalink
Pamela Anderson Gets Animated In Striperella Via Stan Lee [IMDb Celebrity News via Usenet]
Marvel To Make Monthlies Old School? [Newsarama]
More analysis of the latest rip-off: More comics one must buy to keep up, and now with crappier, rushed art! Marvel can't even get monthly books out on time.
Marvel Wins Captain America Copyright [Splash]
The little guy gets screwed again.
Posted 6 March 02002 - Permalink
Marvel Mangaverse #4 will feature Dr. Strange [Ben Dunn announcement on the Neilalien Message Board!]
At least I think it's really him. :)
David Goyer says his involvement with a Dr. Strange movie looks unlikely at this point! [Comics2Film]
I think that means no one is involved with a Dr. Strange movie at this point.
Reviews of the Order #1 [X-Axis: C+]
Reviews of Ultimate Marvel-Team-Up #13 [X-Axis: B- (same link as above)]
"We have to think like real entertainment companies!" [Splash]
Quesada's turn to be bold in the Splash interview chair.
High praise for Jim Shooter [Mind Over What Matters]
Marvel Slashes Trade Paperback Prices [Silver Bullet Comics]
Posted 5 March 02002 - Permalink
"If we can't have significant growth there's something wrong with us!" [Splash]
Big bold interview with Jemas. Lots of interesting stuff. Assuming that people paying for 12 issues a year will pay for 24 and double your revenues? Hmm no.
Posted 4 March 02002 - Permalink
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