This week's haul: Johnathan beat me to a StarCraft Preview Inside joke.

A bit of a light week for me. Here's some of what I bought this week:

Captain America #50

There is a Marcos Martin back-up in this comic that I would have gladly paid $3.99 for on its own. It's a stunning summarization of Captain America's complete story from origin to present. The design is so incredible that it would make Saul Bass cry beautiful, stylish tears.

And the main story is typically awesome as every issue of this series is awesome. Luke Ross and share the art duties. And there's also a two-page Hembeck comic at the back! That's a lot of comic for four bucks!

Uncanny X-Men #510

Every woman has the exact same frigging face!

Wolverine Weapon X #2

Jason Aaron is killing this thing! This comic is giving me everything I want out of a Wolverine comic: unchecked machismo, wit, and claws being poked through bad guys. And also: a gun that shoots bullets filled with cancer.

I loved Aaron's three issue run on Wolverine last year, so I am really happy to see him back writing everyone's favourite grouchy Canadian mutant.

Tiny Titans #16

At free comic book day this year a mom with two young kids was excitedly telling me how much her kids love Tiny Titans, and how she discovered that she enjoyed reading them as much as they did! She told me how gleeful the kids were when they were introduced to the Teeny Tiny Titans. Listening to her rave about this series reassured me that this comic is doing what it is supposed to be doing. Although I have loved it from issue #1, I was worried that it might be more of an adorable inside joke for adult nerds than something that kids would find funny. It's definitely not the case: kids love Tiny Titans. It's very exciting.

The second trade collection of Tiny Titans also came out this week. It makes a great gift for your favourite kid!

Mysterius #5

Johnathan already mentioned it, but I'll go ahead and say it again: Starcraft Preview Inside?! Come on. As if that is worth putting an ugly logo in the middle of a beautiful cover for. Who on Earth is going to buy a comic because it has a preview of another comic in it?  Much less the fifth issue of a series! Best case scenario: they pick up this comic, read the preview, and put it back on the shelf. Argh! So lame.

This series is awesome, by the way, as I keep saying. Everyone should buy every issue of Mysterius.

Johnny Hiro

I bought all the issues of this comic but I also bought this new trade collection of it because:

a) I love this comic. It is hilarious and awesome;

b) This book is beautiful!

The tag for Johnny Hiro is Half Asian, All Hero. That's right: Johnny Hiro was using the Hiro/Hero pun years before Heroes was ever on the air. It is a very funny and action-packed comic written and drawn by Fred Chao. Hiro is a young  man living in New York City and struggling to get by as a busboy. He lives with his Japanese girlfriend, Mayumi, who is a fantastic character with somewhat limited English.

It's, I guess, similar to Scott Pilgrim in that it combines romance and humour with insane crazy action sequences really well. Except with Johnny Hiro, you might actually want to hang out and be friends with the characters. I highly recommend buying this book. It's cheap!

G-Man: Learning to Fly

I definitely approve of Image's decision to release Chris Giarusso's original creation comic, G-Man, in this digest format for kids. We all love Mini Marvels, and this is just as hilarious and adorable. And you don't have to read Marvel cross-over events to get all the jokes!

This Week's Haul:Tearing myself away from dreaming about Chris Pine long enough to review comics

Time for some reviews! Here are a few of the things I read this week. Now my review feature less cover images and more interior panels! Wooooo!

Super Friends #15

I'll tell you why I love J.Bone. It's because of stuff like this:

Look at how pleased Batman looks with himself!!! That is one satisfied detective.

This was an exceptionally good issue of Super Friends, and not just because of J.Bone's fabulous artwork. Sholly Fisch really stepped up the humour in this issue, matching it with other DC kids titles on the stands. I always felt that Super Friends was a cute-but-bland comic that was more about learning lessons than witty banter. But this issue was great. Plus the plot was actually a little intriguing. Nice!

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #1

One good adorable comic deserves another! This time its one from the Marvel universe featuring a superteam of critters! AND it's written by Chris Eliopolous! AND it features a Throg origin story drawn by Colleen Coover! AND Lockjaw is adorable! AND Throg's human name was Simon Walterson!

Wolverine #73

And now we switch gears completely.

I like to think that the cover of this issue alone will make it fly off the shelves, but just in case it doesn't I'd like to emphasize how awesome it is. Jason Aaron wrote the first story, and it's drawn by Adam Kubert. It's a very entertaining examination of Wolverine's day-to-day life as it is right now, stretching himself very thin between multiple teams and solo missions. It also is full of the attitude and bad assedness that we all love and expect from Jason Aaron. The second story is by Daniel Way and features art  by Tommy Lee Edwards. Pretty awesome. Also awesome is the fact that Marvel didn't charge $3.99 for it, even though they probably could have found a way to do that. So you get a lot of awesome for three dollars here.

Booster Gold #20

Keith Giffen steps in to write this issue, and I feel that it really brought back some of the fun that this title has been missing lately. I wasn't hating it or anything, but it was getting way too serious. This issue was funny.

I don't want all the drama, I just want to see Booster Gold zipping around to different points of time in the DCU and making cute remarks. This issue had that, and it also had Booster in a three-piece suit. So that was nice.

Secret Six #9

This is as close to Battle for the Cowl as I'm going to get. I strongly doubt that any other tie-ins will be as entertaining as this one. Gail Simone rules, and this series rules and I for one would love to see Catman as the new Batman.

Zorro #13

I was recently telling the guys at The Dollar bin how much I love this Zorro series and it was pointed out that there isn't a whole action in this comic. I hadn't really thought about it before, but it's true. This comic is a lot more Bruce Wayne than Batman. But that's what I like about Matt Wagner's writing: he gives you a lot of the man behind the mask, a lot of the villain, and a lot of the supporting characters. And when the action does happen it's creative and cool-looking. Plus, in the case of this comic, Zorro is always having a great time. And I like that in a hero.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love this Zorro series and more people should be reading it. The first trade is coming out soon.

Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos (One-Shot)

Holy smokes! This was amazing! I don't know why I love war comics so much, but I do. And Sgt Fury is definitely one of the best military comic characters ever. He's just so damn manly. I love him.

The John Paul Leon artwork is beautiful, as usual, and TV writer Jesse Alexander (Heroes, Lost) that hits every beat. Every single panel is awesome. My only complaint is that this is a one-shot and not the first issue of a series that will go on forever.

Alright, that about does it. And now back to gazing longingly at Chris Pine.

My Spoiler-Free Mini Review of Wolverine

Sorry this is so late. Free Comic Book Day and all that.

Ok, this was not a great movie. For the first half I was pretty into it, and then it just got stupider and stupider. Hugh Jackman gave a great performance, and he was totally RIPPED. I don't find Jackman all that attractive except when he's Wolverine (and, oddly, I don't find Wolverine attractive unless he's Hugh Jackman). He was certainly looking good in this movie. Liev Screiber was also very good as Sabertooth, and looked great. He really gave it his all, I think. If you are a fan of Deadpool or Gambit, though, prepare for disappointment. The movie suffers from too many mutants. It's like they were just trying to round up everyone who didn't make it into the other three X-Men movies and cram them into one movie (plus Cyclops, who according to this timeline must have been in his fifties by the time of the first X-Men movie).

And, actually, I am going to drop some spoilers here. If you care about this movie, I guess, don't read past here because I have some bones to pick.

1. Adamatium bullets? ADAMANTIUM BULLETS?! What in hell? That makes no sense! 

2. This movie did the same thing that bothered me about the other X-Men movies. They threw in a bunch of background mutants, some of whom are really major characters in the comics, but they made no effort with them. In the second and third X-Men movie you had Colossus with no Russian accent. I mean, that's a small thing that makes a big difference when bringing a character to life. Why can't his two lines be delivered with a Russian accent? We saw the same thing in this movie with Emma Frost, who is Canadian (?!) and shows up very briefly.

3. When Gambit first showed up on the screen I was momentarily excited because I had been waiting about 15 years for this. But I was quickly bored because it was clear the character wasn't going to fit into the movie in any tidy way, and the actor, while very attractive, wasn't really going to go for it with the Cajun accent. And then he fought Wolverine for no reason.

So, in conclusion, the first half of this movie showed promise, which was quickly destroyed in the second half. But if you just want to see Hugh Jackman being sexy with his shirt off for an hour and 45, this is your movie.

Wolverine Week Special: The Hair Conundrum

Happy Free Comic Book Day, folks! And happy Wolverine Weekend! What a world we live in when such joyful occasions can overlap.

I have to say that I was caught a little flat-footed by Wolverine Week. I haven't read many Marvel comics recently (I was enjoying The Twelve but then my curse kicked in) and so wasn't really up to speed on what was going on with the crazy Canuck. Luckily, however, I remembered that I am one of the Internet's top Comic Book Hairstyles scholars1 and so have a surefire way to fascinate and delight you: with a brief illustration of Wolverine's status as a nexus point in the Great Comic Book Hair Continuum.

Now, I'm sure that I don't have to tell you about the Continuum, that vast chart that illustrates the wide variety of hairstyles that exist in the comics medium, their interrelations and influences. It's quite a fascinating field of study, really, and ever more complex as people create new and  distinct characters with ever more unusual haircuts. Why, the inclusion of manga characters in the Continuum after the Pan-Asian Inclusion Conference of 1991 caused the Master Continuum Map to start resembling something along the lines of the Snowflake from Planetary.

Back to Wolverine: Mr. Logan is an interesting figure as he occupies a nexus point between five hair families, while even the most complex hairstyles usually incorporate elements from two or three. Here, check it out (sorry, you're going to have to click and expand this):

This is of course a simplified version of the Continuum. The real thing is 3D and requires a  supercomputer to properly render. Still, you can see how exciting Wolverine's hair is to the Style Academy.

Speaking of simplification, I don't want to get about a thousand angry comments from Hair Continuum Reductionists, so here's Wolvie's position on the Approved Simplified Hair Continuum:

It just doesn't seem the same to me really, but notice that Wolverine still does very well!

I won't bore you with further technical discussion of the intricacies of the Continuum - if you're interested in learning more you can see my series of articles in Ink and Protein, including The Best He is at What He Grows: Wolverine and the Nexus Point2 and The Arms of Logan: The Case for Incorporating the Body Hair Spectrum into the Continuum3.

1I am actually no such thing.

2This paper does not exist.

3Neither does this one.

Later that Day:

As I was writing this it occurred to me that it might be excessively weird, so here's something a bit more... less weird.

So you know how Wolverine was part of an evil Canadian government conspiracy and had all kinds of conditioning and programming and implanted memories and such? While I was image hunting earlier this week I found the absolute best of those and the best evidence that this was not just an evil conspiracy but a dick of a conspiracy:

Here we have Wolverine beau and fellow conspiracy-victim Silver Fox recovering some memory.

Oh no! people are beating up her date!

Her date Wolverine. That's right: the evil conspiracy felt it necessary to simulate a memory of Wolverine getting beat up at his prom and then being a dick to his date.

Can you hope to compete with this level of dickishness, American conspiracies? X-Files conspiracy? Huh? What  do you got, kidnapping Mulder's sister? Go home, girly conspiracy.

Good night, folks.

Wolverine Week: Wolverine Gets Manga'd

Our old pal Wolverine is taking Living Between Wednesday—and the world!—by storm this week. We all know Wolverine has spent some time in Japan, but no one saw this coming: Wolverine manga! Hold onto your bone-claws kids, 'cause this ain't your mama's Wolverine.

Prodigal Son is the first of a series of Wolvie Manga, written by Antony Johnston (or Wasteland fame) and drawn by Wilson Tortosa (who the internet tells me has worked on a bunch of stuff including Tomb Raider).

I'm not a big manga fan, but I'm not all that bananas about Wolverine to tell the truth so maybe meh+meh=coool?

Well, I know this for sure:





Prodigal Son is a re-imaging of our hairy mutant friend, in which Logan is a teenaged orphan living at a secret Canadian Dojo. Man, Wolverine Week is really proving how cool Canada is! Logan and the other kids at the Dojo do say, "eh" a lot, which gives the whole thing credibility.

The book has all the makings of a fun teen action/adventure comic. Logan's got a secret past, and mysterious special abilities. He doesn't know who his parents are, how he ended up at the Dojo, and why he can heal like a mofo. All this existential questioning throws him into whirlwind of emotion that ranges from mopey and emo to totally self-righteous. Ah, teenagers!

Logan's crushing hard on his Sensai's daughter. She's fiesty and super tough, so they spar all the time and it leads to SEXY RESULTS.

He's also got the requisite tubby best pal, always there for support.

The dude is totally the type to like, loudly open a Twinkie package when you're crouched down behind a rock, hiding from a bad guy.



He's all, "What, guys? I get hungry when I'm nervous!"

On top of baby Wolverine's emotional crisis, he's got to deal with a crazed rival who's totally pissed that Wolverine kicked his ass, and that he's losing the big hair competetion.

 But I'll tell you what this book is all about: FIGHTS!

Fights and fights and fights and fights. Lil' Wolvie is scrappy as all heck, and this book provides all the SNKTing you could ever want.

I think the kids will be all over this one.


Rating the Superhunks #22: Wolverine


Am I the only one who sings "Wolverine" to the tune of Chuck Berry's Maybelline every time I read his name? Just me? Ok.

Wolverine is starring in his very own movie that opens this week! It looks a lot like the other three movies he was in! Let's see how the stocky little Canadian X-Man stacks up on the hunkometer as we rate:

James Howlett aka Logan aka Wolverine


He's the best he is at what he does, but what he wears isn't pretty (see what I did there?).

For me the classic brown suit is the way to go. The yellow and blue with the black claw pattern has surpassed it as the most well-known Wolverine look, but it just isn't as nice.



I know that the blue and yellow came first, and then was brought back, but come on. That brown suit looks great (or, at least, as great as it can look).



The basic elements of the costume are pretty much always the same: tight, sleeveless, belt, weird pointy mask, and gloves. The sleeveless aspect is nice because Wolvie has got some beefy arms. The mask is damn ridiculous though. In the 90s it tended to look extra ridiculous and extra pointy. I do like that his shirt comes off pretty much all the time. I would say that Wolverine spends more time being shirtless or naked than most superheroes (except, of course, Namor...Hercules...Silver Surfer...alright, a bunch). But Wolverine is the shortest one!



And on that note, his physical appearance can be summed up in one word: stocky. Actually two: stocky and hairy. Dude is a carpet. And the hair on his head is CRAZY. His personal style is casual, manly and consists mainly of leather jackets, tank tops, jeans and cowboy hats. Plus the ever-present cigar or cigarrette.



So in the end, I say he loses points for the mask, earns some for the sleeveless costume, earns some for the constant shirtlessness, loses some for the crazy hair, and gains a bunch for his macho style.





I think 'gruff' is a pretty good word to use here. He can also easily be described as "the anti-Cyclops," which is maybe why I don't love Wolverine. I have always been a bit of a fan of Cyclops, wiener that he is. Wolverine joins the X-Men and is all assuming that he can steal Cyclops' girlfriend no problem because he's Wolverine and Cyclops is a little wiener who shoots lasers out of his eyes. In a way, that sort of bold self-confidence is sexy, and yes we would all love to see Jean going to town on Wolverine for a solid issue, but we know she's better off with Scott.



However, as we see with his various love affairs with Japanese women, Wolverine is pretty devoted and emotional when he wants to be. And he's good as a mentor to young X-Men like Kitty Pryde. Also in the "pro" department, he is very smart. And he's straightforward, which I can respect.



I also respect that he is a proud Canadian (when not written by Jeph Loeb) and is a hockey fan. But he also strikes me as your typical stereotypical husband type who would sit around watching sports and drinking when he's not at work, and expecting you to bring him food. Frankly, I like to aim higher with my fantasy superhero husbands.




Sexiness of Superpowers:

He can rapidly recover from basically any injury or illness, he has animal-like instincts, and he involuntarily had his skeleton covered in unbreakable adamantium which also gives him unbreakable retractable claws. According to his Wikipedia entry, it is believed that the only way to kill him is to decapitate him and remove his head from the vicinity of the body. Obviously, this is pretty sexy.



Seriously, though, I think a guy who can take a bullet for you and it won't interrupt your date much is appealing. Apparently on said date he could also be decapitated by lazy attackers who leave the head on the ground next to the body, and you will still make it to the theatre having only missed the trailers. Not bad.

I do not, however, like thinking about holding hands with the guy and the claws suddenly pop out unexpectedly. And you would have to shower a lot because that guy can really, really smell you. And yet, he probably smells terrible. He doesn't strike me as a frequent bather.



So what I am saying is, the healing powers are sexy, the claws are scary, and the animal senses are weird.




Day Job:

This one is tough because Wolverine has lived for, like, a billion years so he's had a few jobs. Most notably, he was a Canadian soldier, then secret agent, then experiment for the evil Canadian secret military project, Weapon X. I think my favourite thing about Wolverine is Weapon X. For one thing, there is no way Canada could afford to fund a secret military organization, much less an evil one. Maybe Canada could afford to coat a skeleton in nickel. Perhaps gravy. Certainly not something as expensive-sounding as adumantium. That's just silly.



Anyway, what was I talking about? Wolverine! He doesn't really have a day job now. He splits his time between being an X-Man, an Avenger, a helper of Power Pack, and a sullen loner. Also, sometimes he goes undercover by wearing an eyepatch and calling himself "Patch." And the bad guys try not to hurt his feelings by letting him know that this is a terrible disguise.



I mean, seriously. Patch?! It's like Clark Kent calling himself Glasses. Or Bruce Wayne calling himself "Without the Batman Costume."

Anyway, Patch, if that is your real name, which it isn't Logan, which isn't your real name either, James...Actually, Wolverine has some real identity crisis issues that might be annoying.





Besides the fact that he's not the easiest guy to talk to, and the decades of pain he carries inside him, it's also wise to remember that Wolverine is basically an alcoholic. Plus, a lot of his girlfriends end up dead.



 I'ma take off 3 points for that stuff. I think that's fair.


Final Score: 25/40



No, Wolverine, you're done. Consider yourself rated. And consider yourself equal to Cyclops on the hunkometer, you crazy Canuck.