Monthly Archives: March 2014

Deadpool #20: Wakandan Vacation

Kirin grabbed some rope out of the garage and ran to the basement. She tied one end of the rope around her waist and the other end around the water pipe on the opposite end of the room. Taking a deep breath, she slowly walked to the wall. “Well, Textbox, wish me luck,” she said, “And if I don’t make it back, make sure to keep this site running.”

“Are you nuts? I’m coming with! And there’s nothing you can do about it!” Textbox exclaimed. Kirin opened her mouth to say something snarky, but thought better of it.

“Thanks Textbox,” she said quietly. She glanced again at the unassuming cinder-block wall. “Well, here goes nothing,” she muttered as she stepped into the portal. As soon as she did, she felt an odd pull at her navel and her vision was filled with bright hues of pinks, neon greens, electric blues and blinding yellows. There was the sensation that she was being dragged, but she was unsure of how far and for how long. The rope around her waist reached its limit and dug into her ribs. She stopped abruptly and had the wind knocked out of her by the pull of the rope. She stood there for a moment, gasping for breath. “That was not fun,” she muttered as she rubbed her very bruised ribs.

“Yeah, probably should have warned you about that,” Textbox said.

“You think?” Kirin grumbled. She glanced around and realized that she was standing in space. Stars twinkled below her feet and a purple and blue planet loomed above her. In front of her, there was a mirror adorned with gold gilding molded into unicorns. “What is this place?” she asked in awe. Lights zoomed past her on all sides.

“I don’t know, some inter-dimensional highway maybe,” Textbox suggested. Kirin walked over to the mirror, her footsteps echoing in the eerie silence. She gasped.

“Textbox, look. It’s me, on the computer.” The Kirin in the mirror sat with her back to the two, typing on her computer. She looked older, perhaps in her early twenties and her shoulders where shaking as she typed. She abruptly stood up and left the bedroom, leaving the computer screen visible. Kirin was suddenly overwhelmed with curiosity. “Let’s see what I was writing,”  she muttered.

Hello, I’m a Unicorn. It’s been a while, and I’m sorry for that, but I think I’m ready. I’m ready to talk about him again. So, let’s dig into Deadpool: Wakandan Vacation.

The opening page shows a chibi style drawn Deadpool with facing away from the reader. He doesn’t want to do an story, so he suggests running an old issue that never got printed because of an problem with the Comic Code Authority. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the stupidity that is the Comic Code Authority, it was formed to self regulate comic books after concern that comics were promoting juvenile delinquency. The censors went overboard, regulating everything from gore to even the types of slang used, but that’s neither here nor there. The story proper begins with Cable and Deadpool emerging from a timewarp. They arrive in the Kingdom of Wakanda in the year 1968. Deadpool decides to take a vacation at the local resort while Cable decides that the two are no longer a team and leaves. Deadpool checks into the resort and after a random fight scene for the sake of a pretty funny joke, a meteorite falls from the sky and into a mound of vibranium (a metal that absorbs sound). In the meteorite, there is a puzzle piece.

He discovers the puzzle piece and is then enlisted by Uatu, The Watcher, and a very punny Ruler of Time to find the rest of the pieces of the puzzle. So, in the sled that he is given as a gift, Deadpool must go on a mad road-trip to the Savage Land, the Negative Zone, China, Asgard, and horror of horrors, the 1990s. Along the way, he manages meets and annoys two teenage T-rexes, Mangog, the Thing, Fin Fang Foom, and a Cosmic Baby who is capable of powering Asgard with his–er– excrement. Comic books are weird.

Overall, this is a fun issue. It’s insane and has a lot of obscure characters and places for new readers, but is told in such a way that no one is lost. I really like how far they went to make this look like a comic out of the Silver Age, from the Jack Kirby-esque art style to the coloring and the layout of the panels. It really looks like a comic from that time period. This is what I wish Batman ’66 would do with at least one story. The story itself is a lot of fun and has some really good jokes, and, right now, I think I could use a little laughter. So what are you waiting for? Read it now. And Textbox, rest in peace.

The Kirin in the mirror entered the room and paused before sitting down in her rocking chair. She whipped around. The younger Kirin recoiled in shock at the scars running down the older one’s face. “Kirin, I can’t see you, but I know you’re there. We haven’t got much time, so I’ll try be as clear as possible. There is something out there. Something more dangerous than the invasion of Earth. And the key to destroying it is found in an old tome buried under the willow in Fairy Creek. Please, have better luck than me, and beware the evil below the house. It will manifest as–” The door blew open the the lights went out in the room. “It’s here. Good luck, and avoid the Temple of the–” Her warning was cut short by the mirror shattering. Kirin leapt back to avoid the broken glass.

Now what?” Textbox asked. Kirin shrugged and pulled out her communicator.

“I’ll message Lilly and Eli, but even then, I have no idea how to find them,” she replied.

“Well, maybe they’ll find us. This place seems to have a mind of its own,” Textbox replied. Kirin tilted her head.

“You seem to know a lot about this place, care to tell me about it?” she asked.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Comic Books, Storylines

Twilight Zone #1 and #2

Kirin sat in her room, reading her new issues of the Twilight Zone. A scream came from the basement, causing her to jump out of her skin. “Are you alright?” she yelled. No answer. She rushed down the stairs, and found the basement empty. “Lilly? Eli?” she called. Still no answer.

“Okay Kirin, I have the episode memorized. It starts out with Jen and Kincaid. Jen asks “Kincaid, why did you cheat on me with Emily? It’s my amnesia, isn’t it?” and Kincaid replies–“

“Not now Textbox. Lilly and Eli are missing,” Kirin interrupted.

“Maybe they were sucked into the portal?” Textbox suggested.

“Textbox that’s–actually a pretty good idea. Wow. Didn’t think I’d say that today,” Kirin said.

“Always happy to help, but what do we do now?” Textbox asked. Kirin shrugged.

“I don’t know.” She began to make her way upstairs. “I guess I’ll have to think of something.”

“Well, maybe those will give you an idea,” Textbox offered. Kirin glanced at the Twilight Zone comics.

Hello, I’m a unicorn.You are traveling through another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and of sound, but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead- you’re next stop, the Twilight Zone. Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo danada! Do I really need to introduce the Twilight Zone? It’s a classic. In fact, the state of Virginia has the episode, The Monsters are Due on Maple Street, in the seventh grade textbooks.  This show is so important, it’s even discussed classrooms. I, of course am a huge fan, but mostly of the classic episodes. I never got into the revivals, but when I saw the ongoing comic on the stands, I thought I’d try it out. So does it hold up to the original show? Let’s find out.

It is said that inspiration can come from many different places. For example, one could get the inspiration to write a novel from an Abraham Lincoln shaped splatter of BBQ sauce, or a scar that looks like Don Knotts– 

Um, Textbox? What are you talking about?

Well Kirin, we can’t have a Twilight Zone review without a Rod Serling narration parody.

True. Carry on.

Well, the subject of today’s study is already in the Twilight Zone, so let’s see if things get even freakier.

Trevor Richmond is your typical greedy fat cat on Wall Street. He embezzles, cheats on his devoted girlfriend, and is too cowardly to own up to these actions. Instead of going to prison, he decides to go to a mysterious man known as Mr. Wylde, who can make him disappear by changing every aspect of his life with a single pill. But, when he gives up his old life, another man takes his place and becomes Trevor Richmond. Perhaps this Trevor Richmond will be a better than the original. Meanwhile, a man goes to Trevor’s boss, claiming to have seen his dead son, and a waitress at the coffee shop that Trevor visits has something to hide. How are they intertwined? I don’t know yet, and this is one of the problems I have with the story. The Twilight Zone is traditionally an anthology, meaning that the stories should be short, sweet, and to the point. This has way too many subplots. It’s almost like the writer, J. Michael Straczynski, wanted to cram three episodes of the Twilight Zone into one. The main plot is interesting, but the other two are confusing and, at this point, unnecessary. The story would be much more powerful if it was just about a greedy businessman who discovers that he actually can be replaced with a better version of himself.

Overall, even though I was critical of the volume of plot in here, I enjoyed it. It’s very compelling and I want to know what happens next. The artwork is mostly decent, except for the faces, which look strange to me. The characters either squint and pucker their lips, their eyes bug out, or they have a look of perpetual dull surprise. Otherwise, this is a fun story, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. So what are you waiting for? Read it now.

Submitted for your approval, Kirin Licorne, a little girl lost in the world of comic books, movies, Ninja Turtles, and the Twilight Zone.

Little girl lost? Why does that sound so familiar?

It should. It’s the episode where a child gets trapped in a portal between dimensions.

Right. I remember now. And they rescued her her by– Textbox, you’re a genius! You just gave me an idea.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comic Books, Storylines

Usagi Yojimbo Volume 1: The Horse Thief

Kirin walked to the basement where Lilly and Eli were working. Lilly was scanning the wall with her phone while Eli was writing in a brown, leather-bound book. “Any news?” she asked.

“Nope, nothing yet,” Lilly said, pushing her long orange hair from her eyes. With their angular features and slightly pointed ears, the two vaguely resembled elves. Kirin stood awkwardly at the door for a moment.

“You know, it would be easier to work if you weren’t hovering,” Eli said. “And can you get your friend to be quiet for a moment? It’s hard to work with him asking us to throw toys into the portal.” Kirin laughed.

“What’s so funny?” Lilly asked.

“Oh, nothing. It’s just that I’d have better luck breathing under water than getting him to shut up for two seconds,” she replied.

“Hey, I resemble that remark! And I’ll have you know, I don’t talk all the time. I only talk when it suits me, annoys you, when I’m all alone, when I’m not happy, when I’m really happy, when I…” Textbox droned on, listing all the circumstances when he talks. Kirin gave them a look that was a mixture amusement, resignation, and long suffering.

“This is what I deal with all the time,” she said as Textbox continued to talk. “Hey Textbox,” she yelled.

“And whenever I jump out of a bachelor cake in a squirrel suit, and when–what?’ Textbox asked.

“I need you to catch up on The Gorgeous and The Graceful for me. I want you to memorize every line of dialogue so you can tell me exactly what happened,” she said.

“Will do boss,” Textbox replied. She heard the TV upstairs turn on and the melodramatic piano music begin playing.

“That outta hold him for a while. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask,” she said as she went upstairs and began typing on her laptop.

Hello, I’m a unicorn. Even though I’ve talked about how Usagi Yojimbo is my favorite comic, I haven’t actually reviewed any of the issues. That’s mainly because 90% of the stories are excellent and all I’d be doing is fangirling. And you don’t want to see that, now do you? I selected this story because it is the weakest out of all 27 volumes. I think that speaks a lot about Stan Sakai that his weakest story was in the beginning of his super long and super amazing run on the title. (Okay, so maybe a little fangirling.) Well, without further adieu, let’s dive into this story and see its biggest problems.

Usagi happens upon a group of bandits, and thinking that there might be a reward for their capture, dives into the fight. He scares the bandits off, but since the guards and porters are all dead, he won’t get a reward. Fortunately though, they left behind a handsome steed. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Usagi decides to take it to the next town to sell it.

Seriously, Kirin? Ow, just–just ow.

Yeah that was pretty bad. I am so sorry. Wait, aren’t you supposed to be memorizing the episode?

Yeah, but that pun was so bad, it hurt from downstairs.

Well, get back to it then! Anyway, Usagi runs into trouble when he accidentally tries to sell the horse back to its owner. Oops. He flees with the owner’s posse on his fluffy tail and decides to take refuge in an outpost with horse traders. Unfortunately, the outpost is actually filled with with the bandits that he had scared off in the first place. Double oops. So, while the owner’s posse and the bandits fight, he flees again, this time meeting two woodcutters who had their horse taken by the town magistrate. Usagi gets off the horse and gives it to them. The issue ending with him walking away laughing hysterically.

This issue is actually pretty funny in hindsight because of how out of character Usagi is behaving. In any other later issue, he’d fight the bandits because he wants to help in any way he could. He usually helps victims of thieves because his own morality wouldn’t let it be any other way.  The behavior in this story is what I would expect more out the bounty hunter, Gennosuké, who is more prone to morally ambiguous motivations. Seriously, if I erased Usagi in every panel and replace it with Gen, no one would be the wiser. Like I said though, this is a very early issue, so I can understand the weirdness of Usagi’s behavior. At this point in the series, the kinks of his personality haven’t quite been ironed out yet. Aside from that oddness, this short issue is still a pretty good read. The art, as usual, is great, although not nearly as good as the later issues. It’s enjoyable, but weak in the grand scheme of the series. So what are you waiting for? Read some Usagi Yojimbo now, but maybe not this issue.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comic Books, Storylines

Batman ’66 #8

The vempine screamed as the flesh around the arrow blistered and burned, just as Eli suspected they would. In his time on Earth, he’d noticed that the scouts sent by his would has a weakness to certain metals, metals often found in human weapons. Another arrow flew from Kirin’s bow and reached its target. The vempine fell to the ground in agony.

“Ugly little gremlins, aren’t they?” Kirin observed as she nocked another arrow and let it fly. Another leach-like creature down, seventeen or so to go. The vempines turned towards her and began to advance. “Uh-oh…” she muttered as they ran towards her. She let loose another three arrows, two hitting their mark, before she had to drop her bow and draw her sword. She swung at the surrounding alien creatures, but they didn’t seem all that intimidated by weapon. “Um…A little help here?”

“Working on it,” Lilly replied as she messed with her plasma gun. Eli distracted a few of the lamprey-like aliens by shooting five in the back. The enraged creatures charged him. He glanced over at the teen and saw her drop her sword. She was staring intently in the eyes on one of the vempines. He shot the offending alien, breaking the trance.

“Don’t look them in the eyes, they have the ability to hypnotize their prey,” he yelled as he shot another creature.

“You could have warned me sooner,” Kirin yelled back as she stabbed one of the vempines with an arrow. Lilly threw her gun at Kirin’s feet.

“Kirin, you have thirty seconds to get out of the way before it blows,” she warned. Kirin grabbed her sword and bow and leaped over the creatures. She made her way to them just as the gun exploded, taking out ten of the creatures permanently. The three made quick work of the last five and while they walked home, Kirin explained what little she knew about the portal. As soon as the got there, Lilly said, “If you don’t mind, we’ll examine the portal on our own.”

“Fine by me,” Kirin replied. “I’ll be on the computer if you need me.”

Hello, I’m a unicorn. Way back in August, I took a look at the second issue of Batman ’66. Well, I’ve finally gotten around to reviewing another issue. Yes, I do have the issues before #8, and I may get around to talking about those, I just chose this issue because, as of this review, it’s still on the shelves.

Holy sequels Batman!

You’re not starting this again, are you?

Holy yes I totally am and there’s nothing you can do about it, Batman!

Great. Anyway, like all the other issues, there are two stories per issue. The first one is “King Tut Barges In”. The vile Tut has a plan to become the king of Gotham by…um…trading with ancient pharaohs via time travel through a sarcophagus?

Holy time machine, Batman!

Yeah, this is a weird one, but it’s a lot of fun, for obvious reasons. It’s stupid, but it’s trying to be stupid. My biggest issue–

Holy accidental pun Batman!

Oh, shut up. Anyway, my biggest problem is that the story is a bit anticlimactic. They build up the fact that a goon drank a potion that allows him to be bulletproof, but it goes nowhere. Aside from that, it’s a fun read. The second story is “Showdown with Shame”. I though this story was funnier than the first. I especially loved the banter between the extremely intelligent goon and the villain’s designated lady goon. Shame, a man who loves the romanticism of the Old West–

Holy cowboy wannabe, Batman!

*sigh* plots to rob the last working steam engine train. The Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder, naturally, are there to thwart this dastardly plan. I really like the watercolor style of the art, but it sometimes makes the faces look strange and splotchy.

Holy–

Textbox, I swear, if you say, “holy facial rash, Batman”, I’ll–

Holy wrong assumption, Batman! I was actually going to say “holy…uhh…holy watercolor Batman!”

Right, sure you were, and I’m King Tut. Anyway, this issue was a ton of fun to read, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the original TV show. Each issue is an individual and self contained story, so you can start from anywhere. My one problem would be with the artwork. While the artists do a decent job of getting the likenesses of the original cast, I’m still waiting for it to be drawn in the art style of the Silver Age, where the original Batman show has its roots.

Holy missed opportunity Batman!

Exactly, but aside from that, it’s worth a read. So what are you waiting for? Read it now.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comic Books, Storylines