Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On hiatus until further notice

Sorry folks but I'm kinda distracted right now by a series of mounting problems since earlier this year I really need to get sorted out sooner then later so I can finally have some degree of peace of mind. Can't give you all a time frame when I can get back to all this Blogger stuff as of yet. You might want to just check back here once a week to see if anything has changed.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ok Dale, here's my sorta gay posting

I just realized that I've hardly ever talked about the back ground characters of the Suicide Squad title which was largely made up of Belle Reve's staff that also acted as support personal for Task Force X. In all there's been close to a dozen or so. Probably the most notable of the group was Sheeba's (high tech voice controlled helicopter assigned to Task Force X) pilot Briscoe, Flo Crawley (Waller's niece), heavy transport pilot Karen Grace and the prison shrink Dr. Simon LaGrieve. Others included the head of security "Murph", from the IT dept. John Economos, the prison chaplain Father Cramer, infirmary chief Mary White (Waller's older sister) and Dr. Simon La Grieve's assistant Marnie Herrs. There's probably a couple more I'm not thinking of but that just about covers em all except for the head of vehicle maintenance Mitch Sekofsky. I applaud Ostrander for adding a sense of realism to the original Suicide Squad by touching on a subject that wasn't quite as mainstream in the late 80's as it is these days. Left click on clip art to magnify.

Granted, Mitch Sekofsky was not a primary character in the Suicide Squad title but despite his limited appearances Ostrander was able to make him the focal point on a lot of hardships facing many members of the gay community outside of overt homophobia. However, this was still years before all the same sex marriage drama would become such a hot political topic.

Among other things it's stuff like this that made Ostrander's writing so compelling on this series. Having grown up mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area I can say I've known members of the gay community who have gone through exactly what this clip art is speaking to. Rather it was Flo Crowley's infatuation with Ben Turner (Bronze Tiger), Karen Grace's major chip on the shoulder over the bad history between her and Rick Flagg or Marnie Herrs's lack of professional detachment from Lawton ( Deadshot) Ostrander managed to create a supporting caste of characters that added to the richness and drama of the Suicide Squad story lines.
Let me digress a bit here. I saw the movie Haywire recently which featured MMA (mixed martial arts) champion Gina Carano. As far as the movie it's self goes I thought it was just all right but Carano alone made it worth while to watch. Nothing hotter then a hot woman who kicks the asses of tough guys all over the movie screen. Carano is another great candidate to play a live action version of Duchess a.k.a Lashina from the Female Furies.

Here she is fighting Michael Fassbender (but not as Magneto).  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Young Justice episode Salvage - More Awesomeness!

As of this weekend's episode of YJ I feel like I'm finally getting more of a grip on the future tense story line. But that's not to say it hasn't been good and with no shortage of surprises such as Aqualad having turned into Black Manta's evil protege. It's just taking some getting used to but with the Roy Harper clone back in the picture it's starting to get really interesting. It so blows me away how this side kick archer character has become such a compelling character to follow.
He's like watching some kind of horrific traffic accident in slow motion. Tragic as it is you feel forced to keep watching as you hope for the best but bracing for the worst as far as how it's going to end up. Don't you just love the bangs and 5 o'clock shadow he's sporting in this episode? I think the 5 o'clock shadow is now the universal bench mark indicator for when someone is officially a burn out.
Needless to say the Roy Harper clone is once again wrestling with all sorts of issues I'm not going to go into in this posting cause it would take forever to write about and I spend too much time as it is on these blogs. Just go to Youtube and watch the episode! I talk so much about YJ I outta just make this a Suicide Squad-Young Justice blog.

Unfortunately I only have a few comic book issues today that have Roy Harper a.k.a Speedy. Two of which are Suicide Squad 13 and 14 in which Roy helps the Squad take down a Colombian drug cartel. As you can see from the clip art it seems that it's been decades now that Roy has been the "glass is half empty" kinda guy. But you all know that already of course. I gotta tell ya folks it scares me sometimes how much I can relate to his character. I mean I never had his drug problems but tell me his cynical outlook on life isn't a sign of the times when you see things like this shitty economy, the Wall Street Occupy Movement and even the Tea Party?

 Speaking of drugs, anybody out there remember or have this one shot special from the early 80's. Back when I was in 3rd grade numerous copies of these were being distributed around grade school campuses including mine. I remember thinking how cool it was that my school was actually giving my friends and I free comic books.
This was part of the Nancy Reagan "Just say No to Drugs" campaign. Drugs had been around for decades prior to the 80's of course but it seems like it was around that time that the "War on Drugs" came into the forefront of the American conscience. This was also around the time that the HIV virus (aids) emerged as a real public national health issue. Prior to that it had largely been thought of as a "gay problem" but among other things learning that it was also being spread by intravenous drug users helped to change that kind of thinking. By the way folks, Dan from IADW apparently doesn't watch YJ because of some attention deficit disorder I can't sit still long enough kind of bullocks. Please give him some shit in the comments section! The episode links are below.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Suicide Squad 2 Raise the Flag mini-series re-covered

Just something I put together in photoshop using some elements of the original cover art and some of my own past Suicide Squad fan art both digital and hand drawn. The original cover art (left) was done in 2007 by Javier Pina. If you're going to suggest I send this to the re-covered blog I already did. Although he's posted my stuff in the past he was being an asshole about this one as well as another submission (see today's ROM blog posting) so I decided to post it here for obvious reasons.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ok guys, Adam Glass (video) in his own words about some of the Suicide Squad relaunch controversy

So my friends, here is the face behind the controversy. For about the first 10 minutes of this 18 minute interview Glass talks about the Squad relaunch in which he covers a hand full of aspects of the the title including Waller's weight loss, Harley's new direction (along with the hook up with Deadshot), the renaming of Kobra into Bisalisk and other things to come. Unfortunately, there's no mention of any other Squad members from the Ostrander series making future appearances (FUCK!) during the interview. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Awesome Deadshot cosplay & The Shadowpact

Now this is one cool find. This dude made the Deadshot outfit from the 2005 mini-series that featured cover art by Mike Zeck. I've said this before and I'll say this again that this has always been my favorite Deadshot "costume" minus the ribbed condom mask. I would have much preferred the rebooted Deadshot had looked more like this but whatever. It's too bad this guy didn't have a brown trench coat but this is still pretty sweet.

Anybody out there ever read the Shadowpact (2006 - 2008) series? Given that the series had two former (Nightshade & Enchantress) Suicide Squad members that were with the Squad from the very beginning I took some interest in it recently. I've been doing a little reading up on it on the net and it seemed like a fairly good series especially if you're into stories and characters based on the supernatural. Shadowpact was deputized by Checkmate in Checkmate issues #9 and 10 in order to help infiltrate Kobra. I happen to have #9 I should see if I can find #10 somewhere.

I guess by the time the Shadowpact series came along the Enchantress character had evolved quite a bit into a somewhat different personality. Because back in the Ostrander Squad series she was a really ruthless psycho with no shortage of mystic raw power that the Squad only let loose when absolutely necessary. And as you can see from the cover of Suicide Squad #11 it put her at odds with fellow Squad members like Nightshade here. Back in issue # 6 Deadshot had to get her under control by grazing her head with a bullet and who can forget Legends #3 in which Bronze Tiger puts her out with a vulcan nerve pinch? Classic Suicide Squad moments from the 80s!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Suicide Squad #9 & Resurrection Man #9 reviews

Well what we have here is the first cross over story line into another DC title. Waller sends the Squad to kill Mitch Shelley but deliberately with holds any information about his resurrection powers. Apparently Shelley's powers have Waller thinking he can be used in some part of grand scheme of hers. The Squad clashes several times with Shelley and a rival agency's operatives ( The Body Doubles) that also wants him. When it's all done and said Waller manages to get what she wants by cutting off one of Shelley's hands while he is "dead" . . yet again.
These issues featured a more ruthless Amanda Waller then we've seen before and I think things are coming to a head with her and Deadshot. Harley has seemingly reverted to her alto ego Harlene Quinzel as a result of having been shot in issue #6 and Yo-Yo finally managed to get out of King Shark's belly while he was unconscious. There's a new member on the Squad called Iceberg I'm pretty unenthusiastic about. I would have probably liked him better if he had a better name like "Icecube" or "Icebro" given that he happens to be black. Resurrection Man seems like a pretty cool character and both issues had plenty of good one liners, quips and witty pop culture references.
But the Resurrection Man issue pissed me off by having what by any reasonable estimation was Count Vertigo on the cover but not having him inside the issue at all again denying us the full return yet again (Capt. Boomerang in issues 3 & 4) of a long standing Suicide Squad member from the old DCU. I have to admit this sort of thing is wearing on my patience. Abnett & Lanning have not been on my list of favorite writers lately with the way they sodomized the ROM spaceknight legacy in their Annihilators series so I suppose it should come as no surprise they would do a bit of the same on my favorite DC title as well. As for Adam Glass, he's a good writer but I really think the Suicide Squad is going to start seeing a drop in readership soon if they don't make some roster changes and I ain't talkn about more characters like Iceberg. You can see some previews of the issues at the links below.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Checkmate posting continued with more cool shit . . .

I took a look at some clip art online of the cancelled Omac series. I know this will probably upset some of you but I wasn't diggin what I saw. That "Jack Kirby-ish" art style really did not suite the Checkmate narrative for me. It makes me glad the OMAC title got cancelled since that hopefully means we'll be seeing Checkmate in some other titles like the Suicide Squad or Justice League International where the art work will loo more like it did during the Rucka run in Volume 2 of the old DCU. So moving on . . .

first up we have some cosplay of the Black Queen (Sasha Bordeaux) and the White Queen who is non other than Amanda Waller. Well done ladies you're a credit to the organization! As far as the whole Checkmate vs. S.H.E.I.L.D thing goes aside from Fury and Waller I think seeing how Sasha Bordeaux would fair against Maria Hill would be pretty awesome too.

Here's some cool fan art of the Black Queen and China's August General "In Irons" who was assigned to Checkmate while it was a United Nations charter. Too bad this wasn't the case in the real world if it were so the U.N. might actually be good for something as opposed to being a largely impotent organization that's used as a social plat form for tyrants to go on endless public rants.

And last (but hopefully not least?) I whipped this up in photoshop from and awesome Sasha Bordeaux rendering I used a few postings ago. It just so happens that art style is very similar to the style used in one of my all time favorite cartoons Young Justice. This sort of cross over would be the next best thing to The Suicide Squad appearing in Young Justice.

One last thing, the Suicide Squad has appeared on the re-cornered blog for the 1st time!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Checkmate Volume 1

When the first Checkmate series first came out in 1988 I hardly noticed it. I didn't even know Checkmate was a covert operations agency I thought it was the name of some lone crime fighter type character. This is around the time I stopped collecting the Suicide Squad for reasons now I can't remember.
But when the Janus Directive ( ) saga was going on I started to take a notice of Checkmate and the Suicide Squad again. Checkmate had a certain appeal to me because of four specific reasons. One, is that it was affiliated with Task Force X and Amanda Waller. Second, I liked the real world politics and international intrigue that was usually part of Checkmate story lines. Third, I really liked the whole concept of a spy/espionage agency with a command and operations hierarchy that followed the pieces of a chess board game. Fourth, Checkmate came in a format similar to the Vigilante title in which it was printed on a higher grade of paper and had language and scenes that were often more explicit then in the rest of the mainstream DC Universe. Case and point, the clip art from issue #8 you see below you is the sort of thing I'm talking about.

In the late 80s you really didn't have characters like Superman or Batman using words like "Hell", "bastard", "bitch", "goddamnit" or phrases like "I'll kick your ass" and "you son of a bitch". That was all fairly common in Checkmate. Plus you had stuff like women kicking ass in lingerie that was on the verge of falling off.

King Faraday
In 2006 Checkmate came back in it's own title
and this time it was a United Nations mandate as opposed to being a U.S. agency. The new series improved upon some things. First off, the art work was better it had a more sophisticated look and a style that suited the mood of the title. It also did a better job of integrating real world politics and historical narratives into it's story lines. The new Checkmate title also basically picked up the Suicide Squad continuity by having Amanda Waller as the White Queen and Count Vertigo as her knight. In issues 6,7,18,19 and 20 we also saw the return of Rick Flag, Bronze Tiger, Plastique, Deadshot and Nightshade.
In turn, King Faraday who had a work history with Rick Flag, Nightshade and Bronze Tiger was Waller's bishop in Checkmate. He came over to Task Force X in the "Raise the Flag" 8 issue mini-series acting as Waller's "right hand man" until the Suicide Squad's final appearance (Secret Six #18) in the old DCU during the Blackest Night saga. Faraday (who looks like Anderson Cooper from CNN) recently made his Young Justice debut and as irony would have it he was voiced by Clancy Brown who was the voice of  Lex Luther in the Justice League Unlimited series. Aside from some more original members of the Suicide Squad I'm really anxious to see the 52 relaunch version of Checkmate.

Checkmate verses S.H.E.I.L.D
 By the way how about this for one cool DC / Marvel cross over huh? I saw The Avengers yesterday It turned out to be over all pretty good although I felt that some of the fight and action scenes along with Capt. America's head piece needed some fine tuning. I also think the Chitari concept could have been handled a little better but the entire cast did a really good job even though I still miss Edward Norton as Dr. Banner.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Suicide Squad 2001 Kieth Giffen series 1-12. Hightly NOT recomended but it can be yours for only $5

So I came across on ebay the complete set of the cancelled series I had only read the 3rd issue years ago. It was going for only $10 minus shipping and handling and I figured it was worth buying just to satisfy my curiosity if nothing else because this short lived series has always been something of a mystery to me. I suspect the same can be said for many of you who read this blog.
Instead of summarizing the premise myself I'll just paste a portion of the Suicide Squad's wiki page:

Together with his right-hand (and wheelchair-bound) man Bulldozer, Sgt. Frank Rock taps new characters Havana (later revealed to be Amanda Waller's daughter[77]) and Modem to round out the team's mobile HQ. President Lex Luthor and Secretary of Metahuman Affairs Amanda Waller are shown to be supplying the Squad's assignments.[78] Rock is thought by several other characters to have been deceased since the end of World War II, and they are surprised to see him alive and well.[79][80] Two flashback stories[81][82] provide some context for Rock's current-day activities, but the series' final issue strongly implies that Rock is an (as-yet-unidentified) impostor.[83]
The first issue details the former Injustice League's terminally botched attempt to extract a kidnapped scientist from an Icelandic facility. With all but one team member (Major Disaster) dead by issue's end, Sgt. Rock forms a new Squad for the missions ahead.[79] Major Disaster, Deadshot, and Killer Frost are mainstays of the field team. For his part, Rock is every bit as ruthless as Amanda Waller was (though far more affable), remorselessly sending his agents to die for the good of their country.
The Squad's missions involve eliminating an out-of-control colony of bio-engineered army ants,[94] and investigating the mysterious island of Kooey Kooey Kooey to discourage its telepathic inhabitants from declaring war on Earth.[92] The final story arc revolves around an all-out attack on the Squad by the members of Onslaught, led by the son of longtime Squad enemy Rustam. Onslaught kills Modem and captures Rock, Havana, and Waller.[95] Upon learning that the Squad has been compromised, Waller's office drafts the Justice Society of America to counterattack Onslaught alongside the Squad, but they arrive too late to save Havana from Rustam's wrath. Deadshot discovers a discarded Sgt. Rock mask inside an empty holding cell, which prompts Bulldozer (who is monitoring the situation remotely via Deadshot's video camera) to stand from his wheelchair and announce that "I guess the gig is up, then" before leaving. Back in her office, Amanda Waller reviews Bulldozer's file, and states that he and Sgt. Rock died in 1945

When I read #3 way back then it did not at all motivate me to try and get a hold of 1 and 2 or to keep picking up the book. There was the obvious problem that outside of the basic premise of super villains working for the government to buy off jail time nothing about this new version of the Squad felt anything like the Ostrander series. Now that I've read all 12 issues I find that it suffered from a few problems I couldn't over look.
First, artistically (Paco Medina) it wasn't right. The exaggerated cartoonish style didn't suite this title at all. Overall the plot line in the series was very disjointed. I almost felt like I was reading a different comic book title with each issue it really lacked continuity. It seemed like this book was having a hard time trying to define it's self as well as what kind of audience it was trying to appeal to. Was this something for Ostrander Suicide Squad fans or WWII war story fans? A lot of the dialogue was written awkwardly too, almost as if it was meant for a script to be read by actors sit com then for a comic book. It got to the point where I found myself not caring who was saying what, to who or why. Much like when watching a typical Guy Ritchie film. That made it hard for me to connect to any of the characters or really care about what was going on.
All the other Suicide Squad continuities in the following years ( Checkmate Vol. 2, DC 52, Suicide Squad "Raise the Flag" 1-8 mini-series, Operation Salvation Run, Secret Six cross over for Blackest Night ) seemed to disregard the events of all 12 issues of Giffen's version of the Squad. Which is fine with me because it was all pretty forgettable. If you haven't read this you're not missing anything as far as I'm concerned. But if you want to find out for yourself it's yours for only $5 bucks plus whatever shipping process you want to use.
Next up, a look back at CHECKMATE Vol. 1 from the old DCU

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Suicide Squad # 8 (1987) unused Luke McDonnell cover art

Just by chance I stumbled across this on ebay. It was going for $600 here's the corresponding information:

You are bidding on the original one of a kind cover artwork to Suicide Squad #8. Published in 1987 by DC Comics. Pencils and inks by Luke McDonnell (Iron Man, JLA). The published version was done by Jerry Bingham but it is incredibly similar to this one. My guess is that this was the original cover and when the editors wanted changes made they probably had Bingham do it due to deadlines. Art done on standard sized artboard with no major condition issues to note. Signed by McDonnell at the bottom in black sharpie.

Need a quick reminder of what the actually published cover looked like?

By the way at the same time I saw the 2001 Kieth Giffen Suicide Squad cancelled after 12 issues series all for just $10 so I figured what the Hell why not? It just showed up at my door step yesterday I'll have a review posted in just a few days.