Monday, February 04, 2008

Panel Discussion: Scans From Captain America #34, Batman #673, Black Adam #6 And More

Every week we at Geekanerd rip panels from our comics and put them on display here, recognizing the best, worst, and weirdest moments of the week. Click the pics for high res goodness, and beware some major SPOILERS.

Scariest Silver Age Refugee - Bat-Mite, Batman #673
We all know Grant Morrison loves to take the goofiest possible characters from the Silver Age of DC and imbue them with all sort of dramatic significance. He turned Egg Fu into a monster of the atomic age, and the Club of Heroes into a portrait of unanswered ambition, and here we have his reimagined Bat-Mite, who appears in Bruce's hallucination as a sort of herald of things to come. I actually found his appearance to be a little restrained, i.e. not as horrifying as Grant could have made him. That is until I looked closely at these panels and saw frigging SPAWN peaking over his shoulder - thanks for the nightmares, Tony Daniel.

A boatload of scans from all the Avengers books, Black Adam, Y: The Last Man, Captain America and more after the jump...

SkrullWatch '08 - Avengers: The Initiative #9 and Mighty Avengers #8Take special note of this spooky suit's comment: "The Tactigon is the deadliest weapon in the universe. It's not doing us any good sitting here." Huwha? Aren't we supposed to say "The Tactigon is the deadliest weapon in the universe. Let's keep it safe here or destroy it or something, but whatever we do we can't give it to an unstable clone of a super-soldier." For those keeping score, that's exactly what he does. And when said unstable clone of a super-soldier begins KILLING ALL THE SUPERHEROES in the building?
Translation: "Meh. Let's give him the space he needs to kill all sixty of these guys, and then we'll start worrying about other possible sources of resistance to our Skrull invasion." You heard it here first, folks...


Meanwhile, the big Avengers are fighting off a symbiote infestation that is turning New York's population into a swarm of rampaging Venoms and Carnages and whatevers. A lot of our heroes are affected, but some aren't. A couple have good excuses: Iron Man's suit protects him and Wonder Man is ionic, not biological. But a couple of others have no evident excuse for not changing into Skrulls.
Sentry? Ms. Marvel? Luke Cage? I can almost give Sentry a pass because he's a Golden God or something like that, but I don't think Marvel editorial will be able to resist the heart sinking moment of having humanity's best hope against the Skrullian hordes turn green and smile a big ole wrinkly smile. And Luke Cage? He really should have been affected, he's like a half step away from being a normal human.


Brand New Complication - Mighty Avengers #8
So part of this whole "Brand New Day" business is that no one knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Not one person. Everyone remembers that Spider-Man revealed his identity during that whole Civil War fracas, but no one remembers whose face was behind the mask. What they apparently do remember, as shown in this panel, is the secret identity of the Scarlet Spider: Ben Reilly, the identical Peter Parker clone who dressed up like Spider-Man and had all the same powers. I think Tony Stark would have a good lead on the identity of one of the unregistered fugitive heroes if he'd just think about it for a second. And wouldn't he want to investigate after realizing that there must be some funny business going on to make him (and all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s records) forget what Spidey revealed on national television?
UPDATE: It's been pointed out on the Newsarama forums that this book (and most current non-Spidey Marvel books) takes place BEFORE "Brand New Day," because Spidey is still in his black costume... But then why doesn't that screen say "Peter Parker/Spider-Man?"

Most Satisfying Payoff - Black Adam: The Dark Age #6
The big question in the Black Adam series is how bro got his powers back, after having his magic word changed in secret by Captain Marvel. Well, within mere hours of traveling to Billy Batson's hometown and saying everything he sees out loud, Adam hits on this Rockwellesque diner and figures it out. While I don't completely buy that even a dim-bulb like Capitan Marvel would change Adam's word(s) to what amounts to an inside joke (P.S, if it could be more than one word, how about a 500-word string of gibberish, Cap?), his panel is hilarious. There's the silhouetted soda-jerk frozen in shock, with only the all-important egg cream in color. Adam's extremely understated look of satisfaction, and barely a hint of surprise. And that the detail of his blown-in-half straw, but here's what's killing me; that kid looks like someone. At first I thought it was the boy from the Incredibles...
And while the expressions are similar, I can't help but think I'm missing the most obvious visual reference. I thought maybe a Norman Rockwell print, but no. Anyone?

The Power of Fandom - Batman #673
As I mentioned last week, Batbooks have been throwing out references to a Batcave memorial (or the lack thereof) to former-Robin Stephanie Brown for months, and in #674 we finally saw what so many fans have demanded and petitioned for. Sort of. This is a fantasy sequence, but as Project Girl Wonder curator Mary Borsellino points out, this panel at least shows Batman mentally equating Stephanie with his other Robins, and shows that she has an equal place in that lineage. Funny when you consider that while it took solicited fan opinions to kill one Robin, it took unsolicited fan opinions to give another Robin a life after death.

Cute Overload - Black Adam: The Dark Age #6
That is one cute seal. Or is a manatee? The face kinda looks like an otter. Let's just say it's an adorable sea creature, and for your information Black Adam does not punch through it's brain, he instead enlists his little guy to help him escape his persuers. I assume a Sea Buddies: Black Adam and Otterseal one-shot is already in the works.

Massacre of the Week - New Avengers Annual #2
Ooh, Steven Strange never shoulda taken Zom outta that bottle to battle the Hulk. When The Hood's hoods attack and things are looking bad, the Master of the Mystic arts snaps and lays out everyone in the room, heroes included. Looks like somebody doesn't have the power to court what he has called upon.

Biggest Deal - Captain America #34
Man, that Death of Captain America story really had legs. Unlike those guys! Get it, cause Bucky permanently crippled them! Oh, Marvel! Who's legacy won't you piss on?

Sympathy for a Skrull - Avengers: Initiative #9
This Skrull in disguise is sitting there being like "Oooh, if only they knew the power I held in this ring, things'd be different. They'd fear me, respect me! Soon, I'll show them my ring of power, and th....AAAACK!
Shit gets torn off.

Corniest Pun - What If? Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine
Alternate category: Best Panel Ever.

Most Needlessly Disturbing Image - Captain America #34
Jeez, I know things are rough in the Marvel Universe these days, but do we really need to see non-violent protesters at the gates of the White House get shot to bloody pieces by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents? Okay, mind control, blah, blah, still, this is over the top, there's not even a point being made. The story just called for something to happen that would cause a PR crisis for Tony Stark, I see no reason to bring up the loaded associations that come with images of government agents firing guns into crowds of protesters. I see we're tastefully spared the sight of bullet-riddled female corpses, I guess that would be going too far.

Best Spin On A Classic - Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse #1
The superhero suit-up sequence has been parodied to death, and was probably killed for good by that butt-shot in Batman Forever. BUT, I've never seen the sheer childlike sense of empowerment these boys-and-their-toys montages evoke demonstrated as well as it is in that first panel.

Saddest Moment Ever - Y: The Last Man #60
You can have your 355 death. That had nothing on this heartbreaking end of the road for two best friends. The last men.

More of Geekanerd's Panel Discussions...


Matthew said...

I think that you severely underestimate the power of ONE MILLION EXPLODING SUNS.


I'm sorry, I can never resist saying that.

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