Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Five-Pack Part 4: Who To Avoid

Happy Halloween! For this fourth and final segment of Halloween Five-Packs, here are the houses you should stay away from. They won't ruin your night, but you'll be better off avoiding them.

The Riddler
Imagine walking up to Edward Nigma’s house and upon screaming out the customary “trick or treat,” you are met with a riddle. Not only is the man donned in green question marks not answering you, but he’s putting YOU on the spot. You just want some Starburst, not figure out the answer to “what is Batman’s greatest defeat,” as seen in Batman #619. Edward, sir, you should get comfortable hearing trick if you keep up with your antics.

Superior Spider-Man
Yes, you read that right: Superior Spider-Man. Why would going to Doc Ock’s house be a bad idea? If you didn’t know, the guy can be a bit of a jerk. Assuming he’s home, he’ll spout off some nonsense about not having time for such juvenile antics. Again, you just want to show off your costume and get some candy. Being belittled was not on the itinerary.

Guy Gardner
This ornery Lantern will likely engage in some Halloween festivities. But he’s the type of guy to give out all the candy no one wants such as Good & Plenty or some weird peanut butter candy. I’m cringing at the thought. Let’s just hope Oa is in dire trouble today. While he’s saving that planet, he’s saving trick-or-treaters from having to throw out terrible candy.

Madame Web
Oh my, what couldn’t go wrong at Madame Web’s house? Oh, you couldn’t wait to show off your cool costume? Well prepare to be covered in webs. You want some flavored Tootsie Rolls, but you’re going to hear about your future. And the word “bleak” may define it for some of you. You’d best avoid this web of weirdness.

Let’s take a look at the reasons to avoid Bruce Banner’s home. First, imagine this uptight guy being interrupted regularly throughout the day. Yeah. He’s too busy trying to figure out when ANOTHER Hulked up character is going to appear. Second, after he doesn’t offer up the expected Halloween sacrifice of tasty treats (and this is Bruce Banner, so you know he won’t), his house will be covered in toilet paper. That’s bound to happen to many people, yes. But we’re talking about the Hulk here. When Bruce sees his front yard looking like the aftermath of a mummy hurricane, he’s going green and I don’t mean in the separation of glass and plastic sort of way. Just keep walking.

Halloween Five-Pack Part 3: The Ruiners

Happy Halloween! In this third segment of Halloween Five-Packs, we're taking a look at characters who will completely destroy any Halloween fun you were having. You're wondering how it could get worse if you had your candy stolen in part two. It could get MUCH worse. Read on to find out how.

Judge Dredd
If you couldn’t tell by the chin, Dredd isn’t exactly the fun-loving type. He is the law. You may set out into the streets of Mega-City One in your costume, expecting tons of fun and sweets, but that’s all out the window when you come across Dredd. Of course, I don’t expect trick-or-treating to be a community effort in Mega-City One in the first place. Hey, what’s your costume? Doesn’t matter. Because you just threw a candy wrapper on the ground. You like to litter, huh? One year in the cubes. How’s your Halloween now?

You’re asking yourself “how could Zatanna ruin Halloween?” Mostly out of boredom. She’ll do some cool tricks in the street, but now she has everyone’s attention. This means no more candy for you. And the candy you already have? She’s going to make it disappear. Not to be greedy, but because the art demands it.

Cletus Kasady is not the dude you want to come across while trick-or-treating. Or any other time for that matter. Where’d you get your costume? No one cares because you’ve been decapitated. How much candy did you get? Doesn’t matter, you just got impaled on a symbiote tendril. Being ripped to shreds and/or being eaten on Halloween is not a good look. She might also do that just for the fun of it. Either way, your night is over.

Poison Ivy
Dr. Pamela Isley can come from multiple standpoints to throw off your trick-or-treat fun. She might attack you out of anger because of all the kids trampling her plants. “Trick or treat?” If she says “trick,” don’t pull out those eggs. She’ll string you up on a tree. By its branches. Now you’re stuck and other people are running up to steal your candy.

You might think the Dreadnoks might be a fun bunch on Halloween. Well you’re right about the fun, except you won’t be having any. This group is going to steal your candy, make fun of your costume and try to tear it off you. Then they might decide to beat you up and probably kill you. Happy Halloween?

Halloween Five-Pack Part 2: The Candy Thieves

Happy Halloween! You should watch out for these characters in part two of the Halloween Five-Packs. I say should, but in the end, they're still going to get your treats.

Peter Venkman
Pete Venkman’s a guy that can get things done. What’s he going to get done? Removing a chunk of your candy from your possession. It won’t be out of malice. Pete just wants your candy because candy is good. You can try to hide it, but he’s a resourceful guy. He’ll find it. So expect a raid on your secret stash.

For most of his life, he’s been a bully. He’s been a villain and a hero. He’s traveled around the world. He’s beat up heroes and villains alike and has been beaten. Do you know what he wants right now? Your Reese’s. And he’s going to have them.

He’s already wearing what could be considered a Halloween costume, so why doesn’t he just go trick-or-treating? Because he’s lazy and wants YOUR candy, that’s why. He’s a nasty, vile demon who’s going to take everything you have. If you resist, he’ll probably turn into Violator and eat you too. You’ve been warned.

Do you really need a reason why Catwoman would steal your candy? Of course not, because she’s a THIEF! Diamonds may be a woman’s best friend, but so is chocolate. I take her for a caramel lover too. And really, who doesn’t like caramel? You can expect her to do it with some style. You might be too focused on the fancy whip trick she just pulled to even care about your candy. But that’ll fade and the sadness will set in.

Quentin Quire
Deep down, Quentin might want to go trick-or-treating. What’s the likelihood he would if no one else would find out? That could potentially hold his interest. But he can do it all without leaving the mansion. He’ll make fun of you for partaking in all the Halloween festivities then wait for you to come back just to steal your candy! He may not even bother using his powers to separate you from your tasty haul. And he might not be alone. It’ll be “Riot At Xavier’s” all over again.

Halloween Five-Pack Part 1: The Trick-or-Treaters

Happy Halloween! Welcome to the first of four fun lists. In this part, here are five characters who are definitely going out for some Halloween fun.

Yorick Brown
Yorick is a fun-loving guy. He might even do some magic to get more candy. Plus he’ll have Ampersand sneak around to steal other people’s candy. If asked about his age, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to think he’d pull a fancy escape.

Don’t act surprised Deadpool made this list. Not only will he go trick-or-treating and have fun, but he’ll have the best costume in the neighborhood. You have to admire his enthusiasm.

Powerpuff Girls
If anyone on this list is expected to head out on Halloween, it’s Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup. If they see Mojo Jojo trying to take candy from other kids, they’ll beat him up and get back to the fun.

You better believe Mikey is going. He has the realest looking costume in the city. He might even dance to earn some extra candy. He’ll enjoy it before heading back to order a pizza. Of course he’ll top it with some of that candy. What’d you expect?

Ganke Lee
He’s still a young guy. He likes candy. Yeah, he’s going trick or treating. I’m not sure what costume he’ll wear, but it’ll be memorable.

Monday, October 21, 2013

NYCC 2013 Post-Con Report

We're a week removed from New York Comic Con 2013 and being my first trip to the Big Apple, I must say: ReedPOP put on a great show for everyone. I'm no convention rookie, but even I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. I was caught between trying to cover events, seeing stuff as a fan and just taking in what NYCC had to offer. As I've said before, comic conventions are a sensory overload of awesome. Four days full of comic book, cosplayers, toys, video games and everything else to have the fangirls and fanboys geeked out.

Speaking of the people, oh my, was there a crowd. Reports came in about the attendance rivaling that of San Diego Comic Con. Seeing it all four days, I don't think that's an exaggeration. Having been to both, I do prefer the layout of NYCC as opposed to SDCC. The new RFID chips in the badges seemed to have worked to cut down or cut out completely the counterfeit badge issues they've had in the past. Attendees had to activate their badges and "tap in" and "tap out" upon entering and exiting the convention grounds.

As for programming, it may sound cliche, but there was something for everyone. Take it from me, NYCC is a monster. I was there the entire show and only missed a few hours, but I still don't think I saw everything there was to see. There were panels on comic books, toys, movies, television shows, anime, etc.

The biggest highlight for me was the premier of Rebuild of Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo. I've been waiting a few years for it and it did not disappoint. Plus I walked away with an Evangelion poster.

The comic books are the best part of a convention to me, so the guest list is a big draw. ReedPOP didn't skimp on the talent. Among the creators in attendance were: Stan Lee, Jim Steranko, Marjorie Lee, Clayton Henry, Adam Kubert, Andy Kubert, Amy Reeder, John Romita Jr., and Sara Pichelli. That's just a small portion of the people at the show as guests or in artist alley.

Artist Alley was traffic heavy as expected. There were people arranging commissions, getting books signed by their favorite creators and just interacting with talented individuals. I hope the crowds meant everyone with a table really got to interact with fans and of course had a profitable weekend.

Most of the major publishers, including Marvel, Image and BOOM!, had a presence on the show floor. DC Comics was notably absent, which is odd considering this is Superman's 75th anniversary. There were huge displays showing off some of the great books from each company. Also, the publishers had many books available for purchase. This did not include Marvel. In my experience Marvel and DC have never done this.

For more photos from the show, visit the following links: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Overall, it was a fun show. As big as SDCC is, the focus on comic books has been somewhat lost. For the big comic book convention experience, New York Comic Con is the show for you. I think I may add it to my schedule for next year. I expect big things in New York come 2014 considering it's the Ghostbusters' 30th Anniversary.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Marvel Women Who Should Have Their Own Books

In September, Marvel announced part-time lawyer, part-time hero She-Hulk will once again put the comic world in a headlock in another solo book. Writer Charles Soule and artist Javier Pulido are uniting on the series which will hit comic shops in February. Jennifer Walters is no stranger to facing the Marvel Universe alone. Some fans would say it’s been too long simce she has and you can count me amongst them.

There was a point when none of the women of Marvel had solo titles, then Ms. Marvel flew back into action as Captain Marvel led by Kelly Sue DeConnick. If you haven’t been reading Captain Marvel, I highly recommend checking it out. Marvel also threw a twist into the Defenders by putting together a team of women, led by Misty Knight and Valkyrie, and branding them the Fearless Defenders.

It’s interesting to compare the “big two” and their treatment of the ladies. Both companies have a long list of beloved women, yet how they’re seen is vastly different. DC Comics has been known for its iconic group of superwomen, particularly Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl. Those and others have been in numerous solo titles, yet they often seem relegated to the background in the team books. And yes, I’m going to mention the lack of a Wonder Woman movie. Why? Because, why not? But that’s a topic for another time.

In contrast, Marvel's women haven't achieved the same iconic status and have not led many one-woman shows. But if you look at the team books, notably the Avengers, X-Men and Fantastic Four, those same women have held considerable weight and have even led several teams. Why is that?

So with She-Hulk gracing the pages again in all her green glory, let’s take a look at some other Marvel women who should headline their own book. While some of these ladies have had their own series, on-goings and minis, they are deserving of more time.


Fresh off an incredible stint in Journey Into Mystery written by Kathryn Immonen and drawn by Valerio Schiti, Sif has proven she can roam the Marvel Universe in solitude. It doesn’t seem as if there are many women who purely enjoy the battle. That wasn’t the whole of her character but it was a trait separating her from the pack. Plus she has a slick design so she can kick butt and look good while doing it.


The last time we saw Anya Corazon in some solitary action, it was a brief although entertaining tale written by Paul Tobin and primarily drawn by Clayton Henry. For such a relatively new character, it’s remarkable how she’s had as many individual runs as she’s had. Clearly she has an established fan-base. She’s a young hero with a different style and personality from her peers. I’m pretty sure she’s sitting in comic book limbo after her time in Avengers Academy, so why not give her another shot?


Ahh…Ororo Munroe. Mutant. Queen. Leader. Fighter. Teacher. Not only is Storm one of my favorite characters and X-Men in general, I also place her in the top three most important X-Men of all-time with Cyclops and Wolverine. Storm has been pivotal in much of the X-Men’s success over the years. How can she not have her own book? Some would say she couldn’t maintain a series. With the right creative team, any character can have their run. Even Morbius (!) had a shot at an on-going.

Ongoing series for both Black Widow and Elektra were announced at NYCC. This was written before the convention but I did not post it. However, I figured I’d include their sections anyway because they’re cool characters and you can see where I was headed with this post.

Black Widow

Natasha Romanoff is a character who should be an easy choice for another solo series. She’s in a tough position being that she’s already on the Secret Avengers. But then again, that hasn’t stopped Wolverine or Spider-Man. Yes, we can argue star-power, but I’m not going to do that. Her past and skillset lend themselves well to adventures of the masked variety as well as tales of espionage. I recommend this run, the first issues of which were written by Marjorie Liu and drawn by Daniel Acuna. She’s had a busy life, much of which is still shrouded in mystery.

And though I’m reluctant to do so, I must say the best evidence in making a case for a Black Widow solo series is her mainstream appeal. I say reluctant because I prefer the comics to influence other media, not the other way around. But no one can deny the reception she’s received after her roles in Iron Man 2, the Avengers and the Avengers Assemble animated series. Black Widow has pulled in tons of fans. Part of it was due to her being the only woman surrounded by several male characters. But she’s also a strong character more than capable of standing alone and kicking serious butt.

Writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Phil Noto will be the creative team for Black Widow.


Elektra Natchios, similar to Black Widow, is in a unique position. She’s already a part of a team, the Thunderbolts, so it might be a hard sell. However, that doesn’t negate what she’d bring to the table if she strikes out on her own. Another similarity to Black Widow comes with her skillset and past. Both are deadly characters, yet Elektra is much less noble. This assassin on her own would make for a nice addition to the Marvel Universe.

Elektra will be written by Zeb Wells and drawn by Mike Del Mundo.

What do you think about these marvelous women? What characters would you like to see taking on the Marvel Universe by themselves?

NYCC 2013 Day 4 Photos

New York Comic Con 2013 was full of awesome comic announcements and cool costumes. On Sunday, the last day of the show, I hit the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles booth to check out their display of vintage figures. All the adult TMNT fans will likely drool upon seeing these. Also I met Mr. G.I. Joe himself, Larry Hama.

Kicking off the last round of photos are my two programs from the show signed by tons of creators including: Alex Maleev, Amanda Conner, Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Charles Soule, Clay Mann, Clayton Henry, Cliff Chiang, David Marquez, David Petersen, Dustin Nguyen, Edgar Delgado, Emilio Lopez, Harold Edge, Humberto Ramos, Jamal Igle, Jim Cheung, Jim McCann, Jim Steranko, Jonathan Hickman, Jorge Molina, Keron Grant, Khary Rhandolph, Kieron Gillen, Lamin Martin, Larry Hama, Mahmud Asrar, Marc Laming, Marcio Takara, Marjorie Liu, Mark Brooks, Mark Morales, Matteo Scalera, Michael Walsh, Mico Suayan, Mike Choi, Nick Dragotta, Olivier Coipel, Rafael Albuquerque, Robert Atkins, Roc Upchurch, Sara Pichelli, Steve Howard and Trevor McCarthy.