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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Avengers Stand Off -Assault On Pleasant Hill......Maybe just leave them standing there?

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel - US; 01 edition (12 July 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1302901478
  • ISBN-13: 978-1302901479
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 1.9 x 28.3 cm

On his 75th anniversary, Captain America is about to face a challenge unlike any other. Three shield-wielders past and present - Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson - find themselves in a standoff, with high stakes. It all begins in the idyllic community of Pleasant Hill. COLLECTING WELCOME TO PLEASANT HILL PROLOGUE 1, ASSAULT ON PLEASANT HILL ALPHA 1, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. 3-4, UNCANNY AVENGERS 7, ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS 7-8, NEW AVENGERS 8-10, CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON 7-8, UNCANNY AVENGERS 8, ILLUMINATI 6, HOWLING COMMANDOS 6, ASSAULT ON PLEASANT HILL

This is why you ought to never ever go by what industry mouthpieces write.  According to IGN:

"A distinctive balance between lighthearted charm and epic drama"

My response? Bollocks.  Did they actually read this?  I do not think so unless you read it  while you were on mind-altering drugs. "lighthearted charm"?  Where the fornicating frogs of Vishna was the light-hearted charm?? But, as is so popular in TV, movies, books and comics, lets now jump back to when I ordered this book before we catch up with where I just began....

"Three shield-wielders past and present - Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson"  led me to think we would be seeing Barnes as Captain America and Rogers as Captain America and I assumed that we were dealing with some sort of clever time plot -Barnes' Avengers and Rogers' old team and the new lot.  oh well.  I bought the book and it arrived and I was quite happy. 

I started at 16:00hrs and stopped reading at 21:00 hrs.  Straight read.   It seems that Barnes is now on something in outer space called "The Man On The Wall" where he took over from Nick Fury and where he gets alerts to any major threats to Earth.  This means he comes back to Earth and gets caught, escapes, goes on the fact, I had to wonder why someone with some powers had not been "The Man On The Wall" unless it's seen as a pretty lame job?

By the time Maria Hill (I guessed that "Pleasant Hill" was named after her) talked about fragments of the cosmic cube and keeping enemies in check -which was page 5- I knew what was going to go one. The idyllic crime free, perfect little law abiding community, the amnesiac who kept trying to run away....well, I would not say that they "telegraphed" the whole story.  It was more like...a super-sized wrecking ball with a keg of gelignite attached smashing into the face.  I am guessing that this was all not  intended to be a mystery because if it was it failed and if I guessed it all by page 5...but I thought "ahh...leading me to think this is so obvious then -BAM! the twist in the story!"

I was kind of kidding myself there. What the story was...well, it has been the plot of so many sci fi stories, TV shows and movies as well as comics that there was no way readers could not have known what was going on.  Even Star Trek Voyager had a story where crew members were kidnapped and then mind altered to believe they were someone else living on another planetary community. I think in that story, as here, something a crew member did as work alerted them to them not being who they were supposed to be. Even shows/'movies' on SyFy have used the storyline.

In this mess it is a super villain who realises from the work he is doing that something is "off".  Cue the altered villains being 'turned back' to normal....well, they were wearing their costumes but as residents of the community they, themselves,  and everyone else saw them as regular people.  It was a bad plot contrivance. 

In one part of the book Steve Rogers is the aged S.H.I.E.L.D. commander getting his face pummeled raw by Crossbones. Very graphic beating. A few pages on we have uninjured Steve Rogers...then injured Rogers.  There were points as I was reading this that I said out loud What the **** is going on??"

Of course, it all gets resolved in a very prosaic way that has, again, been used over and over in Sci fi, comics and movies/TV. I really expected the twist in the story.

Bucky Barnes is not a shield-slinging Captain America in this.  Neither is Steve Rogers.  The mish-mash of stories and characters was so bad that at one point I forgot what I was supposed to be reading. The art varies from good to not-so-good.  The comics are written by seven different people.  They are writing their comic and inserting the Pleasant Hill plot into their monthly comic so mug fanboys buy it for completism. Characterisation was quite minimal in some places and if this was supposed to be an "Avengers book" well, someone lied.

When I put the book down I sat back and simply said "What a ******* mess!"

You throw ten comics together and cover art including variant covers at the back and charge people a high price because: (1) it is a hardback collection and (2) has a lot of pages and offers you a "big" storyline.

What was needed was for a person to take all the Pleasant Hill material from the relevant books and, even if the odd new linking page of art was needed, put them together to make one coherent story. That is what we used to call an "Editor" back in--wait.  There was a "Collection Editor"??  Jennifer Grunwald.  Well,congratulations, Ms Grunwald for landing a great job title and totally fucking failing to make this a book that had a coherent story that made sense -and getting paid.  Wow.  Chucking a load of comics together is not editorial work it is fucking lazy.

Seriously, is it all "We need to make more money as the comics do not sell but how about we just get any with this "Pleasant Hill" thing in and chuck them together? Put in a bit of false build-up -once they buy it tough shit!"  

If you were new to comics or had seen a Marvel movie and thought "I'll start with a collected book -'Avengers Stand Off -Assault On Pleasant Hill' because it's a big story and it's the Avengers!" Tough titties newbie fanboy.  I got this book cheap but apart from it being a slap-dash comic compilation that was nonsense, what annoyed me is that comic fans, at a time when comics are expensive, are going to be conned out of more money for...rubbish.

As I wrote, there was good art in here and tolerable art but the writing and editing just made it seem like a "flick-through and look at the pretty pictures" book.  Oh, Iron Man in this book is an incidental character and She-Thor or Lady Thor or whatever hasn't got that much of a greater role in it.  My guess is that they are on the cover simply to sell the book.  Mrs or Ms Thor because all those other more relevant female characters such as....oooh, Maria Hill would be unknown.

Even previous incarnations of the Avengers have had some plus points but this, I think, shows how bad Marvel Comics have gotten.  Stifle creativeness under the Di$ney yolk and you get piss poor writing and artists that provide the only reason to look at the books.  You should read and look at a comic and be relatively satisfied by both.

If this is what an "Avengers book" has become.....I pity the artists and fans -if there are any left.

Absolutely NOT recommended.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Hot Toys Suicide Squad figure line up

Okay, this is almost a month old now but I think it's worth posting because it shows just how good these new figures are. When you think of the quality of even 1990s action figures then this is incredible.

But I don't think you can call them "action figures" -more like display pieces.  Especially at the figure prices!!!

You want closer shots check this one out.  First video presenters HATE the Joker-Batman and this guy loves him!

3, 598 Yen for One of My Books? And also....

Apparently you can order the Hooper Interviews in Japan for Y 3, 598 which is almost £28.00!!!!

Also, odd to see how many countries Amazon and other sellers list my books on. Which really goes to show how bad the comics industry is because I have the publicity and audience we would have killed for in the past as well as foreign sellers sales.

Kids -find another career!

I'm not going to make up another title!

Very odd, but it seems far more people view items via Google+ because, today, the views now stand at 3, 083, 274 in total.

Sadly, there is no way of checking where traffic (or views) are coming from. I know there are people who visit the page from India, Europe and the USA (and UK) but that's it. Just now I checked the CBO stats and there are 12 countries listed but I've discussed this before.

Would be nice if Google+ did something similar!

Let's Hope "Avengers Stand-Off" Is A Good Read!

Hmm. "You don't buy Marvel Comics so what do you know?"  might be someone's response but then they've not read this blog much.

I've not been in a comic shop for...six(?) years now.  Every-so-often if something catches my eye or is going insanely cheaply -I'll buy it.   Those Avengers trades (Avengers World), etc. I still do not know who sent them but I read 'em.

See, Avengers Stand Off.  Hardcover. 416pp for a one off £20.  I'm not dumb enough to say no to that since that's what 4(?) standard monthlies will cost you in the UK now.

I'll read it.  A comic is a comic. And it shows me what's going on.

"Will Di$ney Stop ALL Marvel Comics?"

So, I meet someone in the shops and the whole "Marvel-DC Comics are dead" topic comes up. I then get home and I have an email on the same topic.

Fellas: comment section, please.

I mooted, a good while back, that the only way Marvel Comics could survive would be if the comics side of things was sold off to someone who also had fond memories of the pre-2001 comics and a good business head. This is what was suggested in the email I received.

First of all I was going to just reply but leave it at that but then I thought "I'm supposed to be a comic fan!" I want to draw but here I am writing a post again.

Nerdist News dealt with the whole X-Men issue though they seem to think it all a bit funny they do make some good points.  One is that Marvel is a movie studio that also makes comics.  I'll come back to that a bit further on but here is their video.

So, all the headlines scream that Kevin Feige announced Sub-Mariner movie rights were with Marvel. Absolutely no doubts about that so that was---what? Oh, yeah, I almost forgot, Feige had to pull a fast retreat from that statement simply because it was not true.  

Why all the fuss?  Movie rights, dummy.  They had the comic rights, as they do to the Fantastic Four and X-Men and Silver Surfer but, you know, they pawned off the movie rights to characters left, right and centre when previous owners wanted more money. But how are they dealing with the Sub-Mariner issue?

"Eight months after the events of the 2015 Secret Wars company-wide crossover, the members of the new Squadron Supreme evacuated and destroyed Atlantis after deeming it to be a threat to world peace. Hyperion decapitated Namor in retaliation for the worlds destroyed by the Cabal, killing him, then also killed Attuma and other Atlantean soldiers present."

So no Sub-Mariner at Marvel Comics?  But how about the movie rights?

Wikipedia on The Sub-Mariner and movies:

"Filmmaker Philip Kaufman had been in discussions with Marvel Studios to develop Namor: Sub-Mariner in 1997, and courted Sam Hamm to write the script in 1999, but the outing never materialized. Saban Entertainment became involved as a producing partner with Marvel, with a script written by Randall Frakes. By 2001 Namor was set up at Universal Pictures, who hired David Self to write a new script the following year. They hoped for filming to begin in 2003 for a summer 2004 release, but development stalled for two years until Chris Columbus entered talks to direct in July 2004 and the release date was subsequently moved to 2007.  Columbus departed in 2005, and Universal replaced him with Jonathan Mostow in September 2006. In 2012, Marvel CCO Joe Quesada thought Namor's film rights had reverted to Marvel, but in August 2013 it was revealed by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige that this was not the case, and the rights remained at Universal Pictures. Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter stated in May 2014 that Marvel now has the rights for Namor. On June 3, 2014, Kit confirmed that Marvel, not Universal now has the Namor film rights. On July 18, 2014, Feige told IGN in an interview that the Namor film rights are not with Universal or Legendary Pictures, but he explained there are a number of contracts and deals that need to be sorted out. In June 2016 on the podcast Fat Man on Batman, Quesada again stated that, to his knowledge, Marvel owned the film rights to Namor."

Joe Boy says "He's Marvel's!" and You Tube videos and blogs -all start declaring "Sub-Mariner Back At Marvel!"/  "Sub-Mariner in Marvel Movie Universe"/"How Marvel Movies can use Namor!".

So, Marvel owns the Sub-Mariner ("the first mutant") and the film rights but killed the character and supporting cast?  Joe Quesada (read Marvel Behind Closed Doors) has always been a blow-hard "Yes" man.  If  Di$ney told him to say "I base my appearance on a decaying tuna sandwich" he'd be shouting it at everyone.  And Kevin Smith. Well, Smith is basically a loud Marvel and DC mouthpiece.  Watch his Fatman on Batman....ooh, why is he allowed to use a copyrighted DC character name in his podcasts when fans get legal threats if they use the name on a fanzine?

You work it out.

Basically, Namor is a mutant.  Marvel is killing off mutants.  Namor was decapitated.  Okay, they can bring him back in several ways but they have killed off a character they have the movie rights to? No. My guess is that Marvel (Di$ney) is still fighting it out on buying back the rights.

On 6th August, 2016, Movies CheatSheet published a list of the six super heroes (actually characters AND groups) that Marvel does not own the film rights to:

But no one listens to me about these things.  Anyone read the Forbes article about how Marvel was saboutaging the X-Men/FF movies?

Or go here to CinemaBlend:

Let me explain something. In entertainment or business where ownership of a character is in question both sides will claim ownership.  There is position jostling, a few fake posts or leaked items go out to bloggers who think they have exclusives and that makes them look like the blog or You Tube channel to go to. Others pick up on that and it is "throw-away back-up" in any legal arguments or inter-management negotiations.

I know "Grey Propaganda" and how it works and what it looks like.  Fan boys see "Marvel" or "DC" and that is it.  You need to look at every angle -what blogs and vloggers are saying, what or who is their source -has this source appeared before and so on.  Also look at wording.

An example. Face Book news feed -it took me five minutes to find all the sources for the fake Pokemon stories,,,,yes, fake. Like all these sudden crazes that will be dead in a week or so -its all "promo for suckers"!  In fact....a week and no Pokemon-Go stories.  'Surprise'.

 The FB news feed also had an item on the child killed by an alligator at Disneyland Florida. Tragic.  And no one would try to exploit that.  Would they?  I read some of the social media comments after the story.  "How tragic!  Horrifying for the parents!" then "So, the parents let the kid wander off in the dark and can't see him?" and "So father tried to beat off one or was it two alligators? He has no idea. The story stinks!"  I then found TEN comments from ten different people that were word-for-word what the "Tragedy" writer had posted.  Then nine of the "Are we believing these parents story?" post.  Same thing.  So I clicked each poster.  Each led to a Face Book news page.  You see, to keep the story fresh and try to stir up controversy and get you to see their adverts, there was the "Pro-tragedy" story planted under at least ten different names.  And the "Parents are hiding something" story likewise. Exploiting a tragedy.  If you are on FB check it out because it is done with a lot of stories.

You see, people on FB then think "Well, that guy was right. The parents could not see their child and the story is all kind of fuzzy" -and they post it on. And the news people get to see what ploy works.

It's what Di$ney are doing.  Well, not technically Marvel.  "Marvel" is the brand name but the company in charge of every single level is Di$ney.  Di$ney likes movies.  Movies make money.  Di$ney do not really get comics.  Print 25,000-50, 000 copies of a comic and they are not selling.  Stop paying artists/writers/colorists to work on a book, cut out printers, shipping costs and, hey -you save a lot of money.  Cut all the X-Men titles: saving.  Cut Fantastic Four: saving.

Remember what the Nerdist folk said as though they had no idea Marvel used to be a comic company for decades?  They give off a few facts as though no one knew.  I think that's more ignorance of comic history than anything else. "Marvel is pretty much a movie studio that makes comics" is the point. Di$ney loves money.  It'll produce a festered heap of dog crap if they think it will make money. Fox, Universal and Sony are rivals in the movie business which is one step back from being gangster town. Di$ney sees the money the Marvel characters it owns is making in movies and those other studios have their (legally purchased and with signed contracts from before Di$ney bought Marvel) characters. Dirty deeds.

Would Di$ney buy back its characters?  Well, not for the price any of those studios would ask.  But here is the petty part: even if Di$ney said "yes" those studios would suddenly come up with clauses or items that Di$ney would not agree to. I mean, Di$ney buy back the rights so can those studios still sell, distribute and make money from the movies they made -the merchandising or the DVD/Blu-ray sales? I think Di$ney would say "No" -because buying back the rights mean those characters belong to them and only they have the right to any money made.

There is a very strong rumour of another Fantastic Four reboot -give back or sell back the rights....?

Now, Di$ney is not that keen on comics and it has pretty much craps on anyone creating comics and Don Rosa explained this and one of his posts even discuss how Di$ney saboutaged a collection that was to be published because they did not want him to write something:

So, it will have a hissy-fit and stamp its feet and cancel two of Marvel's major flagship titles and exclude the characters from any anniversary art because it doesn't want anyone else to make movies out of them. That is how little Di$ney thinks of comics or what were once loyal fans -that they have lost by the shipload.

Here is the Big equation.  See if you can work out the answer.

Comics -lose money

Keep Making Movies -based on characters you own and keep making money.
Keep Making Comics -and losing money.

So, the big question: Di$ney loves money beyond anything else and they are movie makers. Di$ney loves money so much they even make Di$ney Dollars!  Di$ney does not particularly like comics because they lose money.  Now, which do you think Di$ney will drop like the wrong end of a thermic lance and which do you think they will keep like a wallet full of cash they found?

Okay, I'll give you the answer. Comics will go.  I have absolutely no doubt about that.  Maybe a movie tie-in comic but at the moment Di$ney/Marvel fans are movie fans and not comic fans.  Look at what has been going on at Marvel and you start asking whether the mess it has become is deliberate?

Do not believe everything comic blogs or comic industry stooges tell you. If you are really interested then do your own research.

But selling the Marvel Comics line off while retaining the movie and TV rights to all of the characters? Good idea, especially if you agreed to only use the Marvel Universe as it was before Di$ney purchased the company and made all the changes:

"On August 31, 2009, The Walt Disney Company announced a deal to acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4.24 billion, with Marvel shareholders to receive $30 and approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each share of Marvel they own. The voting occurred on December 31, 2009 and the merger was approved."
Above: more than a bit cruel since Lee was not the owner or seller of Marvel but it does show how fans felt -and they knew what was going to happen!

I could live with the Marvel Universe from before 2004 quite happily, but 2008 let's say. Okay.

NEVER going to happen.  Commercially it makes sense but Di$ney owns "Marvel" so it is never ever going to let someone use the name Marvel -the arguments over that! So maybe re-name it as Timely Comics?  Someone takes the comics off their hands and pays the going rate but has no TV or movie rights and uses the Timely Comics name while Di$ney can exploit to Marvel characters the way they know how? 

Again, it will never ever happen because Di$ney has a hoarder mindset. They can't make money out of the comics but what if someone else could? That is money they could have. It is the "It's Ours" mentality and Di$ney would never allow what it owns to go to someone else even if they crapped on then scrapped the comics.

DC wants to become a big movie making studio like Marvel.  Would it scrap its comic line?  Well, the comic line, even according to long time DC fans who I thought would never say this, ain't that good. The idea of cutting back titles is being talked about but the big bluff is being put on, as I pointed out in my last post on this.

Marvel Comics is dead and bobbing up and down in the water.  Eventually, Di$ney will have the decency to tie some weights to it so it can sink. Pre-Di$ney Marvel is dead.


Now, please, let's leave it at that and live with our fond memories.

A lot of the images come from that thing called the internet which rarely offers (c)owners names or who did what credits.  If you know please get in touch so I CAN credit the people involved Thanks.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Black Tower

"You Must Be Out Of Your Brilliant Mind"...or so Furniture Tells Me

"I'm at the stage where I want my work to be known."

Two bonus points if you got the 1980s music reference there.

I've been doing some editing on From Behind Time and Space.  I could have been posting here but the book has more potential to earn me money so....

Nothing to restore sanity more than looking at alleged alien abductions and the people supposedly 'investigating' the cases.  But that ain't comics.

Also been working on more TV proposals and trying to track down the truth about alleged poltergeist activity in a house "up North" as we say in the UK.

Then we have the legal matters I'm dealing with.  Yes, time to get "heavy" with people.

I was looking at "Which countries" were viewing CBO right now (17:25hrs BST):

United Kingdom
United States
United Arab Emirates

Which all proves my point from that last posting:   Botswana- Hello who ever you are!  And a peak in views from Greece. It changes every few minutes and I had a thought that it might be fun to check which country is viewing now every 10 minutes for a day.  That would seriously help people with insomnia sleep.  Also, I doubt that I could take it!

I was asked by someone on one of my Yahoo groups -someone pops up on one of them occasionally- to do a critique on Alan Moore. No. I have absolutely no interest in Moore, nor what he is doing now. The man gets You Tube videos and TV slots as well as magazine and news items about his greatness regularly then humbly accepts he is THE greatest writer ever in existence but gets no recognition. Hey -you got your critique, Nick!

So all quiet and normal here.  That is when you know "something" is about to happen.....

Available Now! Penguin Flight Osaka: COME ON! Comic

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Yes. My LP

Or Long Playing record. Before Punk days and the vomit green flexi disc of "****! ****! ****! And If You Don't Like That **** You You ****!" (shortened to "****!"). I had beautiful hair and a beard.  It was the early 1970s.

Let's see you come up with my Punk name and only flexi disc!

Never realised my nose was that crooked (from wrestling).  Now I see it but I was sooooo beautiful back then!

Still had that jacket in '82!  But the hair got cut for a wedding.

Go on, it is obvious: which one is me??