One Last Ballad now available!

My short comic story, “One Last Ballad”, is now available for purchase.

It is in the anthology FTL #2, published by Orang Utan Comics.

The art is by Gary Heaney, with inks by Nick Dismas and greyscales by Matt Santorelli. The letters are done by Richard Nelson.

You can pick up a copy at IndyPlanet.

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Gaiman. Batman.

So, those “in the know” are fully aware that this is Comic-Con weekend, which promises an onslaught of news on pretty much every pop-culture entertainment front.

While the news is still being digested by my brain, one piece of news does stand out above the rest. Akin to Final Fantasy no longer being exclusive.

As reported on DC’s “One Weekend Later” panel, it seems that following Batman R.I.P. and two-part story by Denny O’Neil, Neil Gaiman will be writing Batman. For how long no one knows, but Morrison did say he’s staying on the title “forever” so it’ll probably only be for an arc (plus, I don’t see Gaiman really taking up an ongoing). But it’s Gaiman on Batman – how is that not exciting?

Jason Aaron Interview

Whoa, 4 new posts in 2 days, I must be on some kind of roll…

Anyways, as some of you may know I occasionaly work for a comic store here in Israel called “Comics and Vegetables”. I also write reviews and the occasional piece for the store’s website. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing superstar writer Jason Aaron for the website.

You can check out the interview over here. Don’t worry, while the website itself is in Hebrew, the interview is in English.

MK Vs. DC

Fanboy Dream?
Fanboy Dream?

Honestly, I’m not in the least bit excited about this. I actually think I may *shudder* pass on this one.

This suprises me more than anyone, as I’ve been clamoring for a Super-Hero fighter ever since Marvel Nemesis proved to be a total and utter failure. There are several reasons why this isn’t really giving me the geekgasm it should:

1. The premise is stupid. Sure watching Sub-Zero freeze Batman is cool and all, but there needs to be one hell of an explanation to how Sonia Blade can even touch Superman, let alone beat him in hand to hand combat. I don’t know why it bothers me so much, I have no problem with the Star Wars characters in Soul Calibur IV, even though it makes even less sense. It just doesn’t sit right, I could accept it more if it was Marvel chatacters, as they tend to be more street level, but it’s the whole Johnny Cage vs. Flash that seems ridiculous to me. Thought that scene of Catwoman dry-humping Sonia is a nice one.

No fucking way...
No fucking way...

2. Mortal Kombat has long since lost its charm. Sure MK 1, 2 and 3 were great. Deadly Alliance, Deception and the many others that have come since weren’t. Fight load times were unbearbly long, and the game wasn’t flowing as well as it should. There seem to be roughly 3 fighters coming out at the same time – Soul Calibur IV, Street Fighter IV and MK vs. DC, I only have money for one, so I’m gonna go for the sleekest one. And yeah, Soul Calibur has already been pre-ordered.

Sonia... always a pleasure.
Sonia... always a pleasure.

3. I want a Super-Hero fighter, dammit! Not a Super-Hero and some other guys fighter. Or better yet, let me rephrase – I want the Marvel Super-Hero fighter from EA Chicago. We only saw about 2 minutes of footage before EA Chicago closed down, but hot damn, that was SWEET. I want THAT game.

Obligatory "Meeeow" joke.
Obligatory "Meeeow" joke.

4. Cheating in the game will be incredibly easy. All you have to do is choose Batman, it’s an automatic win. If this is not a feature in the game, well then…

Skrull Watch #4

So here it is and there it was. Another issue of Brian Michael Bendis’ masterpiece has come and gone, and we wait another month for Secret Invasion #5. So what did 4 bring?

Well, Secret Invasion #4 suffers from being an issue of a main event, thus meaning it has cover all the bases, causing to jump around a lot and not dwell in one place for too long. The result is a bunch of tiny steps forward, rather than a huge advance in the story. It still works better than when the whole book is dedicated to on single location a la Secret Invasion #2.

So we start off with a long winded narration of “the story so far”, frankly, I could have done without most of it, as I don’t think we really need to hammer the “Trust no-one” point any further. I think we all get it now, even the biggest dolt in the world is bound to get it after a bazillion times, it’s called conditioning. The narration did have some good bits, particularly about the one about how Human beings have often invaded a place, drove out the local population and then went on with their lives like nothing ever happened. Kind of gives what the Skrulls are doing perspective, seeing how we’ve been doing it for a couple millenia or so.

We get another reminder of just how utterly useless the Sentry is as we see, yet again, a shot of him running away from the battle, crying (I wish to god I was making this up, but I’m not).

Yep, those are tears.
Yep, those are tears.

After an issue of flying, Ms. Marvel arrives in New York, only to get shot in the face by Nick Fury (for being a Skrull, of course). I like the team dynamic of Fury’s Howling Commandos (nay, Secret Warriors), they work well together, if only I could figure out what it they were actually doing. They seemed to be collecting the bodies of the fallen, probably Fury wants to beef up his army of kids. Innuendos aside, what I desperately want to figure out is what the hell happened to Ms. Marvel. After previously mentioned face-shooting, she gets piled on by a bunch of Skrulls, among them everyone’s favorite Wife-Beater , Hank Pym, and then we slowly close in on her eye and this happens:

Wha?
Wha?

Now, I’m pretty sure the last black panel means Carol blacked out (she is being gang-banged by not so little green men, it’s understandable) but what the hell is up with the eye? Vigilant readers of this very blog will remember my own “Blue Eyes Theory” which has been thrown out the window with every character to have had blue eyes before now shown to have green ones (well, just Jarvis, but still). I’m not sure what happened with the mask, did Yu simply forget to put in a pupil in all the previous panels? Faithful readers, feel free to leave a comment below explaining what the hell I’m supposed to be getting from this.

Cut back to the Savage Land, where we find this handy little narration has been Spider-Woman pulling off her best Bond-Villain impersonation and laying out the Skrull’s plan to Tony (albeit a sick, confused , near-death Tony). The two get ambushed by the Black Widow, who, may I add, is totally bad-ass and, less badassly, shatters my dreams of an ape-Beast and Jean Grey coming back. Today. Natasha scares off Spider-Woman and smacks Tony around a bit to get his head back in the game (that and an Adrenaline needle through the f’ing throat!). Natasha also turns Logan (or at least a Logan, I still think he’s a Skrull) into a holier man (by shooting him, not giving him a papal blessing). Apparently the two have agreed on some safe-word which signifies your human-ness. A fool-proof plan, I’m sure (he’s a Skrull folks).

From the Jungle to Space and we see Agent Brand sneak onto a Skrull ship, shed a tear for the fallen, and see Reed Richards being tortured. She gets ambushed and we’re done. I’m left wanting more Brandy goodness (and you can read that whichever way you like, both are true).

On the downed S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier, Maria Hill is fucked as a (still) totally creepy Jarvis asks her for her surrender. Hill is reassured by the gaggle of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents standing around her with guns drawn. Turns out they’re all Skrulls. Fucked.

The Hood and his crew decide to join the battle for Earth, reasoning that no earth = no more Deathlok robots for them to use to rob banks. Which is probably true.

We wrap up the issue with the most awesomest last page that was spoiled three weeks ago by the cover for Secret Invasion #6, but still, seeing Thor and Cap (Bucky, but he also works) joining the fray sends a little geekgasm tremor through me. Avengers Assemble.

So, Secret Invasion 4 works, although I think if the issue had been over-sized, it would only benefit from the extra space. As it is it’s trying to cram a whole lot into less space, and some scenes could have benefited from a few more pages (I’m looking at you, Agent Brand). Things seem to be looking slightly better for the heroes, with Tony in better shape, Thor and Cap joining up. This of course means the Skrulls will now unleash their true power, pretty much guaranteeing the Heroes are totally doomed until something awesome happens to change it all (I think it starts with a K and ends with a  “ree”).

As an added bonus, I thought I’d take a look back at the 70’s spread from issue #1, and give it a slight update with recent revelations depicted. Enjoy:

Potential Skrulls - Everyone else (click to enlarge)
Potential Skrulls - Everyone else (click to enlarge).

Oh, and read Captain Britain. I loved it, and I’m not even British, I wonder what they feel about it.

The Way It’s Meant to Be

Now this is how a Spider-Man is supposed to look like!

I’m psyched for Web of Shadows, it looks like it’s gonna revolutionize Spider-Man games. I’m not all that psyched about the story – a Venom virus attacks New York? Sounds pretty m’eh, but that combat looks slick.

In other Marvel Gaming news:

Ultimate Alliance 2’s general plot was revealed – Civil War.

The next Spidey game’s (after Web of Shadows) plot will have something to do with the Marvel Zombies.

Still no word on the final fate of the EA Marvel Fighter, now that EA Chicago closed.

My Pull List for 11.06.08

A small aside, June 11th just happens to be my birthday. This is what my good friends at comic-book-producing-land are getting for me (and I have to pay for, but that’s besides the point):

  • Gotham Underground #9 – This book sucks so bad, but I only figured that out half-way through and I am a sucker for completion.
  • Trinity #2 – Come on, it’s Mark Bagely…
  • Amazing Spider-Man #562 – This is the book that no matter how bad it gets, I’ll always get. Thankfully, as long as Bob Gale isn’t writing the story, it’s enjoyable… oh… crap.
  • Captain Britain and MI:13 #2 – I liked the first one enough to get the second. Plus more Skrully goodness.
  • Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust One-Shot – See above, second clause.
  • Spider-Man: With Great Power #4 – Did I say I’m a sucker for Spider-Man?

The Maybes: These are books that I’m on the fence on until the very last second (where I usually decided to pick ’em up anyways… I’m weak).

  • Action Comics #866 – It’s supposed to be some Geoff Johns take on Braniac, sounds interesting even though I’m not a Superman fan…
  • Eternals #1 – Technically, I already read this for an advance review for Comic Addiction, so I know it’s a good book. But I’m not sure if I want to invest in the ongoing.

Well, that’s it. I tend to find that my books tend to bunch up towards the end of the month – so I’d get 5-6 books the first two weeks and then 10-15 the second two… it’s crazy.