Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Marvel Corner Box Variant Covers

I dig this idea!  Usually I couldn't care less about variant covers (unless they're done by Alex Ross) but this I can get into.  The corner box art seen on marvel comics of old is totally dismissed as insignificant when it comes to comic book covers but I've always disagreed and I'm glad to see that obviously others do too!

If you're wondering, "What's a cover box", here's what I'm talking about.  This is the cover box from Amazing Spider-Man #252:

So coming up this next February we should see some Variants coming out imitating and celebrating these little pieces of art so often overlooked!  Here's a couple previews:




 For a full list of comics that are going to include these variants, check out the CBR article Cover Box Variants!

Loving a nod to the old school,
~Steve

Monday, November 21, 2016

Rant - Rewriting the US Tax Code

It's my personal belief that as a representing Geek it's my responsibility to constantly increase my knowledge in all things and to do that you have to read more than just comics (unfortunately).  Today the Wall Street Journal's article titled, "Years of Turmoil Forged Tax Plan" just sent me over the edge.  Here's how it starts:
"Republicans' race to rewrite the U.S. tax code on the heels of this month's election relies on years of work that is suddenly and quite unexpectedly poised to pay off.  A 2017 tax overhaul would be a case study in the benefits of dead ends and behind the scenes preparation.  Failure would show again how hard it is to reshape the U.S. tax system, even with rare political momentum and one-party control of government.  Republicans have long sought a rate-lowering, base-broadening revamp of the tax code, fusing differing business interests within the GOP coalition.  Corporation would get a rate cut and lighter taxes on foreign income.  So would small businesses, who report profits on their owners' individual tax returns.  Individuals would get those lower rates and simpler annual tax filing."
I read this and thought to myself, how can anyone read this and not be super frustrated?  To me this entire intro points to everything that is wrong with the party division currently in place in our government.  To this point I refer to one section:
"Republicans have long sought a rate-lowering, base-broadening revamp of the tax code, fusing differing business interests within the GOP coalition."  
This is why the government does not function.  The tax code applies to ALL Americans not just those in the GOP!  Look I'm Republican with a hard lean towards Libertarian and this just pisses me off.  How about approaching a problem from the aspect of the all the people of America?  Every single item being considered to become law these days has one common underlying theme; it greatly benefits the party backing it and spits in the face of the others.  Here is an idea, how about we begin writing laws that improve the lives of all American people?  Not just some, not just a minority group, not just a political party but the entire county.  No?  Too controversial?

Look I know it's not easy, in fact it's very difficult and of course I realize pretty much anything you put on the table will benefit one group of people while alienating another but my point is that things can be put in place to benefit the greater good and not shit on everyone else.  These two major parties are spending an immense amount of time and tax payer money wasting time developing legislature that only serves their interests and will never make it into law; and even though this tactic fails over and over we continue to keep doing the exact same thing.  Isn't that the definition of something?

I know there are many variables and things that need to be considered in this process that I'm not discussing here.  However, if the people running this government could just focus their energy into leading this country toward improving the social, financial and moral standing of all it's people and away from the self serving roots that poison the system and bring progress to a screeching halt, we could be on our way to actual change.

Hoping to one day see this change,
~Steve

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New Justice League Dark Animated Film

Looks awesome!  And yeah, it's a cartoon.  Cartoons can be cool.  I swear!


Hoping I never grow out of a good cartoon,
~Steve

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

1991 Marvel Universe II Trading Cards

I was so stoked to see a list from CBR rating the best of the 1991 Marvel Universe Trading card sets!  I absolutely loved to collect these when I was a kid.  Remember this was before the craze of "collectible card games" hit the comic shop scene.  These days when someone says "Magic" in a comic shop you can be pretty sure they're talking about Magic The Gathering card game but in those days either someone was talking about a Dr. Strange comic or a dude making a living pulling a rabbit out of his hat at kids parties.

I remember it like it was yesterday (I know that is a common saying but now that I really think about it, as I recall this memory I'm VERY aware it was over two decades ago): saving my lunch money to buy a card pack next time I get to go to the comic shop, going through the box to try to pick the pack that for sure has the cards you don't already have, opening it to be overwhelmed by the smell of new cardboard and ink, rushing through the cards to see which new ones you got and then meticulously reading every word and carefully adding it to your collection making sure not to bend the corners as you put it in it's designated sleeve. *sigh* Good times.

This particular card set had a special detail added that was new: character power ratings!  Not only was it a cool new feature but these cards became the ultimate resource to consult when arguing with your buddies about who would beat who in a battle to the death between your favorite heroes and villains!  So when some jerk would come along and say Daredevil could totally beat up Spider-Man BAM!  Immediately race to the geek cave to consult the cards!  All these kids with their smart phones and tablets don't know what fun they're missing ;)

Check out the articles Marvel Trading Cards: 15 Greats from Marvel Universe II and Marvel Trading Cards: 15 Greats from Marvel Universe I for more info and pictures!










Am I ashamed of the fact that I own every single card in this series and the 1990 series?  NO!  But if you ask my wife she might give you a different answer.

Going home to flip through the collection and reminisce,
~Steve

Friday, October 28, 2016

The History of Dr. Strange Master of the Mystic Arts

Other than the fact that he spells his name incorrectly I love Dr. Strange!  Like every Marvel character he's had some rough story lines during his time but there is just something about him that keeps me constantly rooting for this M.D. turned Mystic to play a larger more awesome role in the MCU.  With the movie coming out he's getting more of the attention he deserves and this article does a great job of summarizing some of his cool and unusual history and plot lines:

STRANGE HISTORY: THE LONG, STRANGE JOURNEY OF DOCTOR STRANGE


Looking forward to seeing Doctor Stephen Vincent Strange on the BIG SCREEN,
~Steve

Do we still need Wonder Woman after 75 years?

I read the title of this CBR.com article and thought to myself: Why is this even a question?  The answer is obviously YES!


Immediately I was wondering if they might actually be arguing that we don't need her but was very happy to see that wasn't the case.
Wonder Woman has a much bigger problem than people framing her as a sexualized pin-up girl draped in the American flag, however. She has a reputation for being — dare I say it — boring. Boring to the point that people have published lists of exactly why she is boring, with complaints centering on a boring supporting cast, boring villains, boring weapons and overall boring stories.  
In the era of Ms. MarvelMaps MizoguchiAmerica Chavez and Faith, do we even need boring old Wonder Woman anymore?
The answer is a simple one: Yes. We need Wonder Woman just as much today as we did in 1941. Although at first glance she might feel like a throwback, with connotations of second-wave feminism, she remains genuinely radical, and it is precisely that radicalness that makes her unique in superhero comics.
In a genre defined by violence, Wonder Woman is, at heart, a pacifist. Her earliest adventures literally pitted her against War, personified in the form of the Greek god Ares. Diana’s lasso of truth might seem a puny weapon, but that’s precisely the point: it is meant to enlighten, rather than harm. Truth wins out over War and Deception.
Check out the whole article Do We Still Need Wonder Woman After 75 Years?  for some more interesting takes on this timeless Amazonian Warrior!

As another testement to the need of Wonder Woman, how can a character that inspires adorableness like this not be needed?  Pint Sized Wonder Womans Dad takes to Photo Shop



Here's to another 75 years,
~Steve

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows

It's no secret, I'm a huge Spidey fan but byass aside (if that's possible) the mini series Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows was simply fantastic!  There is a ton to say about how well Dan Slott and Adam Kubert nailed the essence of Peter Parker through the art and writing in this story but instead of doing that I'm just going to say go read it and share some of my favorite panels. 



I know what you're thinking and yes I wish Stan Lee officiated my wedding too!
~Steve

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Recent Reading: Batman and Robin #2

This was such a powerful panel for me. How wonderfully wicked to have the book open up on Batman and Robin drugged and tied into a rotting car in an abandoned drive in watching as a montage of their enemies killing innocents plays, bringing into question Batman's vow not to kill. This is a classic controversy endlessly argued among geeks in corners of comic book stores and cons for years and Peter Tomasi knocks it out of the park in this arch using the process of Bruce teaching Damian the value and purpose of that vow to drive the story line. If you haven't read this run yet go do now.

Seriously go. NOW!
~Steve

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Recent Reading: Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #1

This first issue of Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #1 was nothing less than amazing!  This one panel represents the very thing that drives this story line and Adam Kubert just nails Venom and Spidey.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Recent Reading: All New X-Men #25

Stand out spread in this issue.  Great collaboration of many artists!

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