Nedster's Big Bucket 'O' Comics Stuff!
So: comics. Everyone loves 'em! Possibly. Do you love them? I don't know. E-mail me to say! That would be nice. So, here is some stuff about comics.
I think I'll divide this page into sections about different comics. Sound good to you? Fantastic! (Of course I don't know what you said, or even if you were dumb enough to say anything knowing that I couldn't hear you, but even if I did know I wouldn't really care. I'd say fantastic anyway. So there.)
Spawn is great. I think I'll put in another picture. Here's some stuff about Spawn.
Spawn is actually Al Simmons, but with his skin burnt off and a shoelace stitching together his nose. Al Simmons was a government agent working for a CIA black ops unit. He gets killed by his own side, and makes a deal with Maleboglia (a big giant fiery muppet pretending to look like Satan) to go back just so he can see his wife, who he loves lots. But- surprise!- the devil tricks him, and by the time he gets back his wife is married to his best friend. And then he fights crime. And lots of semi-mortal evil things. The Spawn comics are the creation of this groovy guy Todd McFarlane, who now runs this whole merchandising empire. There was a sucky film a year or two ago, which'll probably put people off it forever. Just like the Avengers.
Preacher rocks to a similar degree. Indeed, it has a great deal in common with Spawn, in that all those mystic dudes in heaven and hell play an important part in the proceedings. The hero is Reverend Jesse Custer, who runs this church in a little town in Texas. Up above, or possibly down below, or perhaps somewhere in the middle, an angel and a devil get down to some lovin' and produce an offspring, Genesis, who zooms down into Custer's mouth while he's preaching.
He gets back together with his horny girlfriend, Tulip, he leaves Texas, and he has the power to made people do whatever he wants them to just by talking in a certain way. Which is nice. And there's an Irish vampire called Cassidy who I believe has just had a miniseries to himself. Preacher is pretty violent and kinky, but it's regularly gripping and hilarious. And it's written by an Englishman. Ha ha! In your face, Americans! I believe a feature film's being made. It'll probably be awful.
Batman rocks a teensy bit less than Preacher or Spawn, but it's still pretty fantastic. Recent Caped Crusader comics have included masterful portrayals of dementia. And more dementia. You don't often get sane supervillains. The picture below isn't actually of Batman (duh!), it's of Two-Face (former district attorney Harvey Dent), because everyone knows what Batman looks like but this is a great pic of one of the coolest villains in the comic.
Batman: Knightfall is one of the most cataclysmically brilliant arcs in ever comics. Bane (*totally* wasted in the recent abysmal Batman and Robin), a behemoth steroid-junky escaped from a South American prison island, stages a break-out at Arkham Asylum, and Bruce Wayne has to work his way through almost every significant villain he's ever encountered and drop them back in the slammer. Apart from being a great introduction to Gotham and its inhabitants, the slow disintegration of Batman's mind and body is impeccably realised. Finally, he has to hand over the mantle of the bat to Jean-Paul Valley, alias Azrael, introduced a while ago as a holy warrior for the Order of Saint Dumas. He's not any more, but when he's given free reign in Gotham he goes kinda psycho and starts killing people. And he adds claws and flamethrowers and titanium wings to the Batman costume, which makes it look way cooler.
The Amalgam Universe is (probably) the work of a God far superior the puny Christian deity who assumes that name. Only a celestial being with power far, far beyond the frail human imagination could create anything this cool.
It's the product of the DC vs. Marvel miniseries a while back, where it was established that the two comic universes exist in parallel. Anyway, they merge, creating a brace of comic characters that sends a comic-lover gyrating with ecstasy. Wolverine merges with Batman to form Dark Claw, with his wise-cracking sidekick Sparrow (Robin and Jubilee). He'd have to be the coolest, but there's also Bat Thing (Man Bat and the Lizard), the Big Question (Kingpin and the Riddler), Lobo the Duck (Howard the Duck and Lobo) among lots and lots and lots of others. The link above isn't very relevant, but it's a great site neverthless (the official Amalgam Comics site no longer exists).
Transmetropolitan is a recent discovery, but very, very good. I snapped up the three trade paperbacks and the action figure as soon as I could. It's set an indeterminate time in the future in an indeterminate city in America, where there are no limits on anything. The hero is Spider Jerusalem, a chain-smoking, drug-addict journalist who runs out of money and is forced to go back into the city he hates to write a column. He picks up a two-headed cat, a full-body shave, a laptop with typewriter keys and some cool red and green shades along the way. The first book, Back On The Street, has him coming back and ends with him stopping the massacre of hundreds of people who are making the transition from human to alien DNA. In the second book, Lust For Life, he investigates a different facet of city life each issue. In the third, Year Of The Bastard, there's a kind of arc plot about the election. Transmetropolitan is incredibly funny and damn good.
The Invisibles isn't as good as the other comics on these pages (although at the rate Spawn is declining in quality, that might change) but it's still fun. The idea is that our universe is undergoing an unseen invasion by evil masked humanoid insect-thingies from the other, nasty universe, and the only people who can stop them are these little cells of freedom fighers called the Invisibles. The comic follows one such cell, which does lots of exciting things, like astral-projecting back in time, breaking into military bases to find the cure for AIDs, and recruiting new members. King Mob, who looks uncannily like Spider Jerusalem when he's not wearing his kick-ass head-dress, deserves to be an icon of our times. It's a bit slow sometimes, but it's still a counterculture gem.
Bored of comics? Fools! Away with you!
None of the logos or names or anything I've used here are mine. Unless one of my relatives, who happens to secretly own DC Comics or Vertigo Comics or Todd McFarlane Enterprises or Warner Bros or Marvel Comics or Amalgam Comics (who aren't strictly real) or any of the other copyrights I may have infringed, has just died, and left it all to me. It doesn't seem very likely. I didn't want to put them all in. The gnomes made me. The gnomes!