Yesiree, it’s too damn hot in the
Lez, Get Crazy
Shane Shines (pic from YahooTV)
Just found out that Katherine Moennig, above, who plays Shane in The L Word, used to be the androgynous kid character in the old show Young Americans. Wow. I like her deep voice, and her promiscuous lesbian character is honest and really a nice person. Just finished the first season, and I must say that it took me long to like it. But after about seven eps, I got into it, and just had to see several episodes in succession. There are some storylines that I don’t really like, such as
That Broken Marvel Family
Assembling again. New cover art by Art Adams (pic from Newsarama)
Before I ever read X-Men as a kid, the first super-team that I really liked was the Avengers. I must be four or five, and I remember really liking a reprinted hardbound edition that had the Circus of Crime gatecrashing the wedding of Wasp and Yellowjacket. It had an unrelated backup story that starred Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja, which was okay, I thought, but I liked the grouping of such colorfully costumed heroes better. I favored the Avengers title among those National Bookstore-reprinted versions, too. I liked Iron Man best, followed by Vision, Thor and Scarlet Witch. The Black Panther too, was interesting, as he seemed mysterious to me back then. When comics-reading shifted to the non-reprints, Avengers was the first comic book I bought, specifically # 105, which had Vision battling Yellow Claw on the cover.
I didn’t read it regularly as I was growing up, as I’ve been interested in other comic books, but I was there to witness some of my favorite superhero stories ever. I liked Roger Stern’s stuff most of all, which included the Masters of Evil arc, back in ’86. I remember it fondly because I thought that those villains, although they didn’t rival the meanness of the Marauders, who debuted in the X-books that same year, they were still quite badass. I also liked some of Steve Englehart’s and John Byrne’s West Coast Avengers stories, especially the time travel/Mockingbird’s secret arc, and Wanda’s first breakdown, respectively.
About nine years ago, I got into it again, with Kurt Busiek’s long stint. I also dug his Avengers Forever, which, while it has alienated non-fans, was mighty helpful in resolving some continuity and plot gaffes in the years that preceded it. This was followed by a new direction by Geoff Johns, whose UN-sanctioned status change had real potential, but wasn’t explored by subsequent writers.
I was there, mostly complaining, when "Disassembled" and House of M happened. The New Avengers series was strictly hit and miss. I was disappointed with the execution of Wanda’s second breakdown, Hawkeye’s deaths and resurrection, and the under-utilization of Sentry. I hope Brian Bendis does better with the new Mighty Avengers, starring the superhero police team, which feels like a more focused effort, dialogue quirks aside. Post-Civil War, the new NA team has gotten interesting with a new roster (Wolvie, Cage, Spider-Woman, Spidey, Echo, new Ronin, Iron Fist and Dr. Strange!), a new direction (they’re outlaws now, like the X-Men back in the ‘80s), and a new artist (I mostly like Leinil Yu’s fully penciled work here). I really loathe how Iron Man has transformed into a villain now, but I must admit that I like hating him. He seems to be hitting a new low every new issue (he baited the outlaw team with a fake Cap corpse recently!).
The Avengers are interesting again, but I’m most excited for Dan Slott’s new ongoing, Avengers- The Initiative, which starts next month. I’ve seen six pages of Initiative # 1, and I’m real excited with Slott’s handling of older members War Machine, Yellowjacket, She-Hulk, and Justice. I’m looking forward to the new young recruits, as well. I wonder how this affects the Young Avengers. The Gauntlet character is annoying, however, and is just asking for a beatdown.
Captain America just before his death, Iron Man pre- and post-CW, and Scarlet Witch since 2004 may have been “ruined,” but we all know that such things are canon only until someone rewrites or retcons their out-of-character tragedies. Well, by June, there’ll be another title, Avengers Classics, which, like the old Classic X-Men comics, will feature reprints with new backup features. Art Adams did that cover above (Yay, Genis-Vell’s there, he was a member of the Destiny War Avengers!). That’s a whole lot of avenging this year. I’m still hoping that there will be more memorable superhero stories and the new exploits will add to the characters’ complex, unending mythologies.
More Than Meets the Eye
Bumblepiglet (thanks to the Cybertron member who took the pic)
To be honest, I didn’t know Benedict would pull it off, but he did. He took long enough to finish his Bumblebee costume, which was made of different, thick box boards and house paint, velcroed together over loose black pants and a long-sleeved shirt. But again, the effort and last-minute touches paid off. It’s like he’s another person in that getup, which is a good thing, and he enjoyed being the mascot for that eyeball party thingie event weeks ago. Other people dug it, too, so he’s now encouraged to make more costumes for himself. I suggested that he wear a Jamie Braddock costume next time, for other comics-related events, but he’s kinda shy. And he might get escorted out by security if he pushes through with that.