MajorJJH's Published Articles
Greg Rucka Week: Batman: No Man’s Land
November 30th, 2008 at 11:54 pm | |
One of the biggest comic crossover events that was not Universe wide is the Batman: No Man’s Land event that took place during 1999. Preceded by Batman: Cataclysm, the crossover took place in all the Bat-universe books, including the four monthly Batman titles — Detective Comics, Batman, Batman: Shadow of the Bat, and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight — as well as the larger Batman family like Robin, Catwoman, and Nightwing.
This may be deemed as a bit of a cheat, attributing to Rucka the success of No Man’s Land, as when you look at the full list of authors behind this massive event, he is just one of many. However, with issues of the two main comics under his belt — Batman and Detective Comics — Rucka definitely had a lot to say in this series. And when you look at the credits on the trade paperbacks, Rucka’s name appears in all of them.
No Man’s Land was epic, nothing short of it. Gotham City is hit by a massive earthquake that sees destruction everywhere. Over the next few days and weeks, it would become evident that Gotham would not be making a quick recovery. Eventually, the United States of America declares Gotham City a No Man’s Land — meaning that it is no longer part of American territory. People are asked to leave, and many hundreds of thousands do [...]
Greg Rucka Week: Whiteout
November 29th, 2008 at 4:39 pm | |
Greg Rucka has an uncanny ability to write a good story. Some people, specifically found within the comics industry, rely on the good work that has come before with the characters they are given. On the other hand are authors like Rucka, who go out and make their own great characters.
Also published by Oni Press, who I must thank for providing me with review copies, is Whiteout. A fantastic crime book situated entirely in Antarctica, Whiteout once again proves the above statement. Focusing on Carrie Stetko, a U.S. Marshal working at McMurdo station in Antarctica, the gritty and realistic story is captivating, and you’ll soon see yourself finished each of the four issue series in no time.
Originally released in four issues during 1998 and a sequel — Whiteout: Melt — in 2000, Rucka manages a trick that many authors fail miserably at. Instead of relying upon a handful of characters to act as the leads, Rucka allows Antarctica itself to be a major lead.
Whether Rucka has ever been to Antarctica, knows someone who has been, or was himself a U.S. Marshal exiled to Antarctica, I don’t know. But regardless, you get the feeling that he knows exactly what he is talking about. And the black and white art that accompanies these issues allow the story to once again remain at the forefront of the readers mind [...]
Greg Rucka Week: ‘The Question: The Five Books of Blood’
November 27th, 2008 at 8:57 pm | |
Greg Rucka Week: ‘Checkmate’ Vol. 1-3
Greg Rucka has a penchant for writing a certain type of character. It shows in Queen and Country, Whiteout, Checkmate, and especially in his choosing to write Rene Montoya as the Question. After the original Question died during 52, the yearlong weekly comic series by DC Comics, Rene Montoya, ex-Gotham Police Department detective, picks up the mantle, i.e., the hat and the mask.
Originally published as a 5-issue 52 Aftermath comic series, Crime Bible: Five Lessons of Blood was collected into one trade paperback volume under the revised title, The Question: the Five Books of Blood.
I got the good fortune of getting to read them as the individual comics, and they read really well. Split into their five stories, it follows aspects of the Crime Bible; Deceit, Lust, Greed, Murder, and then the finale where Rene must face up against the Dark Faith’s leader [...]
November 26th, 2008 at 11:16 pm | |
It was a story that would never gain the notoriety of a Batman or Green Lantern, but was written just as well, if not better in most cases. The DC series Checkmate, written by Greg Rucka and penciled by Jesus Saiz, has long been a fan favorite that happened in the background of the DCU.
It was not the first time that Checkmate made an appearance, nor was it the first time that it earned a title for itself. But it was probably the first time it was tackled with such aplomb and skill as when Greg Rucka jumped on board.
Originally run by Maxwell Lord, the mastermind behind the OMAC’s, and the man who eventually shot Blue Beetle Ted Kord, Checkmate was used to control the 1980’s Justice League. But Lord’s intent all along was to bring along the destruction and control of metahumans across the globe.
But now, in the wake of Infinite Crisis, Checkmate has been brought under UN Security Council control, and its unique chess-board-like leadership is ruled by the “Rule of Two”; for each metahuman involved there is one human. Their job is “maintaining the global balance between humans and metahumans.”
At the top of Checkmate are two Kings and two Queens. White runs intelligence gathering and black runs operations. White Queen is Amanda Waller, formerly head of the Suicide Squad, and still up to her devious machinations, alongside White King Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern. However, Scott is soon replaced by his bishop, Mister Terrific. Black King is Talen Beni Khalid, alongside Black Queen Sasha Bordeaux, one of the few remaining underlings from Lord’s time at the help of Checkmate [...]
Greg Rucka Week: ‘Queen & Country’
November 25th, 2008 at 2:31 pm | |
November 29th is author Greg Rucka’s birthday, so naturally, we here at Geeks of Doom, with grateful assistance from InStockTrades, are celebrating with Greg Rucka Week! Five Days. Five Reviews of some of his best work! To cover all he has done would be insane, and much of his work — ike 52 and No Man’s Land – is not his alone. But we’ll do the best we can, and we hope you enjoy.
And there is no better way to start out a week of reviews dedicated to Greg Rucka then to focus on the perennial favorite, Queen and Country.
It originally started out as a comic book, published by Oni Press and first released March of 2001. Since then, however, it has gone on for 32 issues, spawned two novels, and a film adaptation which has been stuck in development for some time.
The series focuses on Tara Chace, an operative of the Special Operations Section of SIS, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service. However, unlike other spy books, Queen and Country (QnC for short) starts in reality, rather than fiction [...]
New ‘Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic’ MMO Announced
October 22nd, 2008 at 2:26 pm | |
Star Wars fans can get excited again (if you aren’t already thanks to Star Wars: The Clone Wars) with BioWare and LucasArts announcing yesterday news that they are working on a new Star Wars MMORPG. But this time, instead of being related to Star Wars Galaxies, it’ll be set in the massively popular universe of Knights of the Old Republic.
“It’s a whole galaxy. It’s a galaxy of Star Wars,” said Ray Muzyka, CEO of BioWare. “It’s going to take your gaming experience to a higher level.”
OK, well that’s all good and well, but … why will it do that?
Well, according to the developers of the game, players will not be stuck on one planet, but will be able to traverse an entire Star Wars universe, with two factions to choose from so far announced: the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire.
Each subclass of character will have its own plot line, similar to that of classes in classics like World of Warcraft, and you will have access to Jedi powers early on in the game [...]
Box Office Buzz: ‘Max Payne’ Knocks ‘Chihuahua’ Out Of Number 1: Thank HEAVENS!
October 19th, 2008 at 3:43 pm | |
Book Review: ‘Brisingr’ by Christopher Paolini
Never have I been as happy to see a half-hearted attempt at a video game cinematic adaptation debut as I was when I saw that Max Payne had knocked Beverly Hills Chihuahua off the top spot.
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Max Payne opened this weekend in the U.S. at number 1 with a respectable — given the time of year it is — $18 million. Based on the video game of the same name, the movie took a different, more ethereal approach to a game that was, for all intents and purposes, a fantastic shoot-em-up.
Sadly, Beverly Hills Chihuahua took second spot, showing once again that no matter how bad a movie is there will still be people who want to see it. Over and over and over and… It managed to pull in $11.2 million this weekend, only just ahead of The Secret Life of Bees, which took third spot and $11 million. I’m not sure what it’s about, but it has Dakota Fanning in it, along with Queen Latifah and Paul Bettany, so I might go see it anyway [...]
October 13th, 2008 at 12:16 pm | |
I feel as if I should have had this review written and published it a week ago, and that had been the intent. I had greatly anticipated the arrival of Brisingr, the third installment in Christopher Paolini‘s Inheritance Cycle, having enjoyed the first two quite a bit. But it seems that in the past couple of years since I first read his first two books — Eragon and Eldest — my ability to judge good writing has grown.
So, no, this is not going to be a glowing recommendation of Brisingr.
But I have to make one thing very clear from the outset: Paolini has created a fascinating story. The problem is, he just can’t write all that well. And as a result, the enjoyment of the book was severely punished by how hard it was to struggle through the inept form the story took.
Everything became horribly clear when a friend of mine forced me into reading the third book in Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn Chronicles while I was also reading Brisingr. Now reading more than one book at a time is not new for me, as I’ve often got 5 or 6 on the go at any given time. But it was a severe mistake to have picked up such good a book as Keeping Place amidst reading Brisingr. It was blindingly obvious that Carmody knew how to write, and that Paolini really wished he knew how to write [...]
Box Office Buzz: Oh Why Oh WHY? ‘Chihuahua’ Top Dog Again… Again?!
October 12th, 2008 at 4:27 pm | |
Will Marvel Reboot ‘Daredevil’?
Whether it’s the fact that the movie-gods have an unhealthy obsession with chihuahua’s or moviegoers have just gotten sick of seeing good movies, Beverly Hills Chihuahua has once again taken top spot at the box office this weekend.
Starring the voice talents of such luminaries as Andy Garcia, Cheech Marin, Edward James Olmos , and Jamie Lee Curtis, not to mention Drew Barrymore, the movie once again nabbed number one with a total take of $17.5 million.
Spots two and three went to two newcomers, thankfully. Quarantine managed itself $14.2 million and Body of Lies an equally respectful $13.1 million [...]
October 8th, 2008 at 3:55 pm | |
Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter Join Tim Burton’s ‘Wonderland’
After the success of Marvel’s reboot of the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk, 20th Century Fox is apparently “seriously” looking at rebooting another of their controlled properties, Daredevil.
In an interview with IESB, Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman said that “a Daredevil, to use your words, reboot, is something we are thinking very seriously about.”
Apparently Fox has all the necessary rights to make a reboot of the film, but Rothman believes that what Daredevil needs to make it off the ground as a reboot is “a director, honestly, who has a genuine vision.”
October 7th, 2008 at 8:34 pm | |
‘Captain America’ Movie Synopsis and Theories
As I’ve grown older, my fascination with movie stars has waned somewhat. I no longer actually care about who is playing what in what with who (except for Joshua Jackson in Fringe). However, there are some pieces of news that just thrill me from head to toe.
The fact that Helena Bonham Carter has joined her partner Tim Burton‘s 3D version of Alice in Wonderland is no real surprise. Put Burton on a film, she’ll be there with him. And for good reason, as she is pretty much the perfect actress to play a female lead in Burton’s style of movies.
But add to that the fact that Anne Hathaway is also joining the cast, and I get all twittery [...]
October 6th, 2008 at 8:20 pm | |
Box Office Buzz: *shakes head* Beverly Hills Chihuahua
With Marvel movies being all the rage (with the odd exception of DC’s Batman), it comes as no surprise that news — any news — of their upcoming movies is welcomed with open arms.
Subsequently, the internet has been rife with stories pertaining to the new synopsis for The First Avenger: Captain America.
Production Weekly provided the synopsis — read it here below — but not many people seem to have made the obvious jump to see where this movie will kick off with the Avengers movie [...]
October 6th, 2008 at 3:24 pm | |
Comic Review: The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck
It’s one of those things that, as a reporter — of any stripe — you have to grit your teeth and report regardless of whether you want too or not. Now personally, given that it managed to take top spot, I think it has garnered itself enough attention as it is (arguably, too much). But…
The top spot at the box office this past weekend goes to Beverly Hills Chihuahua. With $29 million in its coffers from its opening weekend, the Disney live-action animal comedy featuring voice talent from Drew Barrymore and George Lopez did OK for itself.
Dropping the one spot to accommodate the aforementioned movie (I’m not saying its name again) was Eagle Eye, which managed a respectable $17.7 million for its second weekend at cinemas. Third spot was handed over to another of the weekend’s newcomers, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which raked in $12 million for Sony [...]
October 5th, 2008 at 9:10 am | |
The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Don Rosa‘s tribute to a comic immortal, and to Carl Barks its creator. Make no mistake: this is an effort worthy of the Master.
Can Carl Barks be compared with Mark Twain? Obviously so, as they are both American literary geniuses. But perhaps comparisons are pointless; the sad truth is that while many U.S. citizens would know Mark Twain, very few would know much about Carl Barks.
Indeed it is probable that more would know about the creator of Scrooge McDuck in Europe, South America, and elsewhere. (Based on sales figures, it is estimated that some 25% of the population of Norway and Finland regularly read the comics of Carl Barks.)
From 1941 till 1966, Barks was the (uncredited) writer and artist behind the Disney Duck comics. Being uncredited, he was known by fans as ‘The Good Artist.’ During those years he invited a gallery of memorable characters, of which perhaps the greatest was Donald’s Uncle Scrooge.
The world’s richest man (OK! Duck), he dragged Donald, his nephews, Huey Dewey and Louie, into fantastic adventures in every corner of the earth [...]
Kenneth Branagh on ‘Thor’ + Marvel Movie News
September 29th, 2008 at 10:11 pm | |
The last few days have been nothing short of a bonanza of Marvel news.
Straight off the bat is the news that director and actor Kenneth Branagh is in line to possibly direct Thor. Director of movies such as Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing, the Shakespearian director has also played memorable roles like Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Given his penchant for the work of Shakespeare, including a lot of work on stage, Branagh may just possibly be the best possible director to bring a character like Thor to the big screen.