Books for Soldiers

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August 7, 2005

Justice #1

justice1.jpgJustice, written by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger with art by Alex Ross and Doug Braithwaite, is (as you would expect with Mr. Ross involved) a beautiful book to behold. It also grabs you by the throat very quickly and tightens its grip as the story progresses. One of the best aspects of the story is that it doesn't take place in an "alternate" or "non-contemporary" setting (such as some of the more thematic stories that sometimes create great stories that don't take place in the current timeline). This feels very much like it's a part of the current stories taking place in JLA, Superman and Batman books, and even reads like a better companion to the Villians United mini-series (Villians United sometimes is a little too action oriented and not as compelling as it could be). Justice, while it certainly has a very thematic feel, gets right into a storyline that is current, electric and engaging. It's also very contemporary to our current world with people playing not so clear roles of hero and villian as they do what "must be done" in the name of "security."

Another nice element is the use of the heros as a foil to themselves. They are outdone by their own legends in a sense, and so while the heros do everything we expect of them you get the sense that they are conflicted by their own inability to be what others think they should be (the good husband, father, lover, or even hero). It's a dynamic that is often ignored, but which has become a very obvious throughline for most of DC's books right now (Superman, Superboy, Wonder Woman, Green Lanterns Hal and Guy, etc... all are undergoing a "what have I been doing, and why?" crisis as we head toward, well... DC's CRISIS!).

It's also nice to see a more grown up looking comic reflecting a bit of the attitude of the more action driven stuff. Too often the best artists seem to be put on the series with little action or cape flapping. I like seeing a well done cape, and no one does them better than Mr. Ross.

As you might have guessed, this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

(Sean Ferrell)

Posted by sferrell at 1:29 PM

August 4, 2005

My coffee is cold... let's go to war.

microjeep.jpgThe Army has been developing a new... um... "crowd control tool," also known as a big-ass microwave oven on the back of a jeep. How could this possibly cause permanent damage? Numbmonkey and Toyman discussed the likely uses of this grand weapon of the Empire.

Numbmonkey: Of course it won't cause any permanent injury--how could it? It looks like one of the dish weapons from Empire Strikes Back.

Toyman: It's only MICROWAVING YOU. I'd like to see the testing of that weapon.

Numbmonkey: "We wanted to be certain we knew where the enemy was, and if they were holding any of "Newman's Own Microwavable Butter-Top Popcorn... So..."

Toyman: "I'm not getting in front of it. You get in front!"

Numbmonkey: "Hey sarge... you hear that... sounds like... "

"That's right, private... popcorn... Al Qaida style!"

I also like how aerodynamic that jeep in the second picture looks with that dish on top. "We're too far away to use the weapon!! hurry up!!"

Toyman: It can probably go from 0 to 60 in 20 minutes.

Numbmonkey: "I'm going as fast as I can!!"

From what I've read the early version of this was a Sanyo microwave with a screwdriver stuck in the door latch to make it think the door was closed.

And, so far this weapon has worked well, but the Army discovered one problem: if they run the giant "toaster jeep" at the same time, they blow a fuse.

Photos: Researchers cook up microwave weapon | CNET

Late breaking news: Research has begun on the Death Star, to be renamed "Cheney's Wrath."

Posted by sferrell at 12:22 PM

August 2, 2005

Why they call him "Master"

Say what you will about Star Wars Episodes I, II and III, I bet G.L. could care less. Georgie Lucas is interested in so many things that it goes beyond merely making movies, he's really interested in remaking an industry.

First TokyoPop starts calling for manga produced by Americans (there's obviously a slight disconnect between US readers and Japanese writers/artists that they are trying to overcome--there must be some unspoken elements of Japanese culture that make manga still alien or uninteresting to US consumers; so instead of changing the format, they're changing the producers) and now George Lucas says he wants to get his "foot into anime." I imagine that animation and manga are going to take off in the US in a big way soon (ie. 3 to 5 years) if both sides of the Pacific are pushing toward each other. - George Lucas' latest project(s) - Aug 2, 2005

Posted by sferrell at 3:38 PM