Monthly archives: March, 2009

After Watchmen: DMZ

DMZ vol. 6 So you’ve seen the Watchmen movie, and maybe you liked it, and maybe you’ve read the graphic novel, and you surely liked that. But where do we go from here? DC is certainly on the ball with their “After Watchmen” recommendations, offering up a plethora of choices to suit your fancy. Whether you liked the superheroes, the mature take on the genre, the doomsday scenario, or the political atmosphere, there are a lot of books out there to keep up the pace.

This week I’m going to recommend DMZ, by Brian Wood and Ricardo Burchielli, which is already part of DC’s master plan, anyway. DMZ is a mature comic with intelligent commentary, clever writing, and a rock solid world. That last part is the keystone that holds everything else together.

World-building is important in stories, and one could argue that both Marvel’s and DC’s success in the 1960s hinged on the fact that their characters lived in the same world; that the characters live in a reality that feels as real as the one you’re living in now, but it was different and intruiging. (At the very least, both companies have assuredly taken advantage of the intertwining story potential in the last few years.)

All of my favorite movies and books have built up engrossing worlds around the characters and stories. (more…)

Book of Doom Preview:
Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight #1

azrael death's dark knight #1Hey, remember Azrael? Sure ya do. He took over as Batman for a little while in the 90s, then he got his own series and eventually died. But now he’s back. Or is he?

My choice for this week’s Book of Doom is the first issue in this three-part miniseries, where we’ll find out if this Azrael is really Jean-Paul Valley or some kind of impostor. So check it out, yo, and send us a review if you feel like it. And then come back this weekend to see what the Legion thought.

I’m guessing we’ll all probably hate it, but it’s a slow week, so what the heck. Here’s what DC says:

Written by Fabian Nicieza; Art by Frazer Irving; Cover by Guillem March

He was a husband and a father. A brother and a friend. A cop and a dark knight. But he had all that taken away. And in return, he was given a suit of sorrows, a quest for redemption and a new name. He is Azrael, avenging angel for the Order of Purity and a new protector for Gotham City’s troubled times. But who will protect the citizens from him?

Guest-starring Robin, Nightwing, Talia and the League of Assassins, this miniseries runs alongside BATTLE FOR THE COWL and features the dramatic presence of a strangely familiar, troubled hero with two things on his mind: crazed vengeance for the wrongs he has suffered and salvation for the sins he continues to commit!

Doom and Doomer: Wonder Woman

Doominator: So, Doom, we recently perfectly legally watched the direct to DVD Wonder Woman movie.

I find myself with a few words swimming in my head.

Doom DeLuise: Felony?

Doominator: None of them are “Oscar.”

Felony works, but this wasn’t quite a crime against humanity. It didn’t try hard enough. It didn’t try at all in any respect.

Doom DeLuise: I think this is the third direct to DVD PG-13 movie from DC, following Superman: Doomsday and Justice League: New Frontier. Have you seen either of those?

Doominator: No, but I skimmed the Doomkopf reviews.

Doom DeLuise: Ah, yes. Well, the problems that beset those movies haven’t been addressed at all in this thing. It’s still just overly violent with some stupid “mature” jokes thrown in to the mix to justify its PG-13 rating. There’s nothing mature about the way the movie is handled aside from decapitations, kicks to the nuts, and references to the size of Wonder Woman’s “rack.”

Doominator: Or Mary Marvel-esque near nudity. How many nut shots were there anyway? At least three.

Stump the Doominator, Week of March 15

… is not happening. Sorry! No one sent me questions. Shame, shame. If you want to send some for next week, send them on to doominator_at_doomkopf_dot_com.

So instead, I just want to disagree with most people on the board and say I liked the Watchmen movie. For me, it highlighted something important: the inherent ridiculousness of wearing a costume and fighting crime. In the movie, we see how seriously they take themselves – and, as highlighted by Dr. Manhattan, how ultimately futile it is. Sure, the book did the same thing, but it took seeing it on screen to know first hand.

Dr. Manhattan:
More Man Than America Can Handle?

Doc 1I’ve yet to write down any of my thoughts about the Watchmen movie, but one thing that I couldn’t help but thinking that night in the theater is “that’s a lot of penis.” I was first surprised that there was any dick at all, but then I was surprised by how much they put in there.

Don’t get me wrong, they needed to see Doc Manhattan’s junk at some point in the story. It’s an important character point that Manhattan sheds more and more clothing as he becomes more closed off from human society. But once you show it the first time, you don’t need to keep showing it. There are ways to convey that a character is completely naked without showing their bits and pieces all the time. A strategically placed arm or changing the framing of the shot slightly is all you need. Take a look at Dave Gibbons’ art that I’ve included here. Showing Manhattan’s meat and potatoes all the time is just lazy filmmaking. Or maybe director Zack Snyder just has a thing for Doc Manhattan’s blue-helmeted soldier of love.


Who Will Be America’s Next Top Batman?

battle for the cowl

Now that the first issue of the new miniseries Batman: Battle for the Cowl is out, I’d say that it’s high time we started kicking up the speculation on who will be wearing the cape and cowl by the end of this thing. People have been guessing at the answer since it was first announced that Bruce Wayne would be stepping down from the Mantle of the Bat some time ago, but, now, we have a pretty good idea of who all is in the potential talent pool of characters who could be plucked for the big job.

So let’s get into it. Here are the top contenders, for your consideration, along with their odds of actually taking over Bat-duties in Gotham City later this year: (more…)

Rapid-fire Doomino Effect for March 4, 2009

There’s been a lot of content going up in the last 24 hours (don’t miss the quickly bumped Watchmen review) and there’s still more coming (Book of Doom preview), so I’m going to keep this brief.

Daredevil #116, Return of the King part 1 – great introduction to the new arc. I wish I would’ve realized this was coming out this week — I would’ve picked it for the Book of Doom. I’m pumped about this. 9 dots.

Superman: World of New Krypton #1 – I still don’t like the idea that Superman will defeat dishonesty and manipulation through dishonesty and manipulation, but it’s an interesting scenario and I imagine it’ll be a good read. 7 dots.

War of Kings #1 – It was our Book of Doom. Much like New Krypton, I feel like this story has had several first chapters, but no matter how many of them are called chapter 1, I still like how it’s progressing. And I love Paul Pelletier’s art. 8 dots.

Madman Atomic Comics #14 – I finally got around to reading Madman #13 (on a Sunday), which was the conclusion to a thirteen-part super-story. Michael Allred announced in the letters column that the series would begin focusing on more single-issue self-contained stories starting with #14. As for the lead story, it was cute. I enjoyed it. It had enough of the quirkiness Madman fans expect that I wasn’t disappointed. The backup story by J. Bone and Darwyn Cooke was awful though. Just a ridiculous mess. 5 dots.

Movie Review: Coraline

One year for Christmas, I got my niece the book “Coraline” by Neil Gaiman, in an attempt to turn her into a total dork. It paid off, and quickly, she was enamored with Neil Gaiman, so I gave her a Sandman volume and my copy of Neverwhere. Not sure if she ever read those, but “A Game of You” isn’t the lightest of reading when you’re in high school.

It was only fair that I read the book too, and I ended up loving it as well. Compared to the pages-and-pages of Boxcar Children books I mis-spent my childhood on, the world of Coraline was alive with rich detail, creating an imaginative modern day fairytale … sort of like most of Gaiman’s other work.

So when the movie was announced, we joked that I’d fly home to the land of the other Doomkopfers just to see it. Instead, I dragged a friend along with me so I wasn’t a creepy, bearded 25-year-old spending a Sunday afternoon alone in a children’s movie.

So, a few weeks after the release, my review:

Q&A: Julia Wertz

Since 2005, Julia Wertz has been writing the autobiographical, misanthropic strip known as The Fart Party. But recently, she released I Saw You …, an anthology of comics based on real life missed connections from Craigslist and other sources. Funny, sad, creepy and just weird, the anthology assembles works by knowns and unknowns, including the very known Peter Bagge and the somewhat-known Jeffrey Brown.

Now that the book is out, Wertz seems not so sure of what she’s unleashed on the world, apologizing for the negative tone some of her answers took. But maybe she’s just sick of all the interviews. Regardless, the answers are, in the least, funny and crass … sort of like Fart Party.

Doom and Doomer: Watchmen

JIM DOOM: So did you see Watchmen yet?

DOOM DeLUISE: Yes I did.

JIM DOOM: I read Sunday morning that it had a three-day opening of $55.7 million. How do they know that on Sunday morning? Isn’t Sunday part of the three-day total?

DOOM DeLUISE: Sunday’s an estimate. Actual figures don’t come out until Monday.

JIM DOOM: Is there just some kind of formula where they can say “Well, if Friday this well and Saturday did this well, historically Sunday is x percentage of what we saw on Friday and y percent of Saturday, so if we average those two, we can reasonably assume Sunday’s total” or something like that?

DOOM DeLUISE: Yeah, that’s it exactly. According to the actuals, Watchmen only grossed $55.2 million. Still, 55 million dollars for a rated R movie with a two and a half hour plus runtime is pretty damned impressive.

JIM DOOM: So I already wrote about what I thought Tuesday night. Want to give me a similar overview of what you thought and we can jump into specifics after that?

DOOM DeLUISE: Sure. (more…)