Monday, October 29, 2007

Brand New Fanboy—Baby T.J.

FanBoyWonder and Mrs. Lovey Wonder are proud to announce the arrival of our grandson Tyler James on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007 at 3:07 p.m.—6 lbs., 15 oz.

As regular FanBoyWonder readers know Tyler is our second grandchild along with our granddaughter Brianna the Girl Wonder, now 6-years-old.

There’s a reason that we are only just now officially announcing Tyler’s birth. Just as we were about to spread the news, Tyler’s mommy, our step-daughter Laurinda told us that the doctors discovered a complication with Tyler’s little heart—a defect in need of repair.

Tyler was med-flighted across the state to a special children’s hospital in Charleston, SC and today, he had surgery to fix the defect. The surgery went as planned and his long-term prognosis is most promising.

We the proud grandparents will be taking a trip down South next month where we look forward to meeting our new grandson.

Talk about small miracles.

The Fast Life of the Kids Flash, GA Year 0.5, Hurray for the BoSox & Comcast Sucks

Quote of the Week: “From you? I take this from you? I’m getting lectured on child safety from a man who’s gone through four Robins?”Wally West/The Flash to Batman, who with his fellow Justice Leaguers have visited the West family to question the wisdom of taking Flash’s young “kid-Flashes” into battle fighting crime with him.

FanBoyWonder would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to 2007 World Series Champions the Boston Red Sox. With this second World Series title in four years, we think it’s safe to say that the Curse of the Bambino has finally been broken, dead and buried.

FBW and Mrs. LoveyWonder were enjoying the game last night ready to see the BoSox take it all the way until the middle of the 8th inning until suddenly there was nothing but static on the screen.

Yet inexplicitly it was only the broadcast channels that went dark, like our local FOX station broadcasting the game but not the cable only channels such as CNN or Comedy Central.

Lovey was quick on the phone with Comcast as well to the Comcast’s Website—she had plenty of time to get on the Website all lines were “experiencing a high call volume”—small wonder considering that Comcast went dark in the middle of sports history.

So when Brianna the Girl Wonder someday asks us where we were when the Sox won the series, we’ll have to tell her that we couldn’t see it because Comcast f**ked it up. So just that we’re clear—Comcast Sucks!

Now on with the show!

Flash #233

The Upshot from DC Comics: The Justice League steps up to take away the Flash's loved ones in the name of the law! Also in this issue: "The Fast Life" begins! This backup feature by Waid, Rogers and Doug Braithwaite picks up from Infinite Crisis and reveals the secrets behind the West Family's otherworldly exile!

This issue should have been a lot better than it turned out to be, and we’re not just talking about because of fill-in artist (already?) Freddie E. Williams II.

We were intrigued when we first learned about the premise of this story and the issue of super-powered children following their parent(s) into the “family business” is something that certainly deserved to be explored.

Unfortunately there was way too much (unnecessary) stuff going on here for writers Mark Waid and John Rogers to properly explore said issue here. What they should have done was to wrap up the invasion of the extra-terrestrial squid last issue to allow room for the dialogue between Flash and the “concerned” members of the Justice League.

Without ample pages, Waid and Rogers via Wally just blurt out what should have been a shocking plot development regarding Flash’s “tornado twins” Iris and Jai—the super-speed that has accelerated their aging from infants a year ago to 8-to-10 year olds isn’t stopping.

Wally and Linda’s children could run their race for many years or they could grow old and die in a flash (pardon the pun)…so these parents have decided to let their kids live their life not worrying about what might happen.

The JLA’s shift from concerned busy bodies to supporting friends happened way too abruptly. What could have been a great scene was bungled as the dramatic pacing was off due to lack of space.

Yet we can’t complain too much as we so very much enjoyed the back up feature featuring the original Flash Jay Garrick in a flashback story on an alien world in his prime. Better yet was the art by Doug Braithwaite fresh from his artistic collaboration with Alex Ross on Justice.

It’s good to see Braithwaite art work without Ross to see just what a talent in his own right that he is.

Green Arrow Year One #6

The Upshot from DC Comics: The pulse-pounding miniseries by Andy Diggle and Jock concludes! After a year trapped on the savage island, Oliver Queen unexpectedly stumbles across a way to escape and return to his pampered life of luxury…but it would mean leaving behind someone who risked everything to save him. The new Oliver Queen is no longer a man who runs away from his responsibilities. This time he takes a stand to fight the power — or die trying!

We don’t want to be misunderstood here as we really did enjoy this mini-series but as we noted in our review of last issue, Green Arrow Year One amounted to be both more and less than what we expected.

As an adventure story, Andy Diggle told an exciting, perfectly paced tale with just enough action and dialogue in perfect proportion. With the exception of the last two pages which seemed to rush the ending, we had no complaints.

Adding to this was the exceptional visuals by Jock. His layouts were crisp, and the look of it (computer generated or a different variation of pencil and inks???) added greatly to a strong script to give the story of our hero trapped on a remote island a shadowy, flashback feel—like recalling a memory.

Yet the problem is that the Oliver Queen that Diggle shows us here in a flashback origin, feels very much, too much like the Ollie Queen/Green Arrow of today.

We were really tantalized by the Ollie Queen, billionaire, playboy male Paris Hilton F**k up that we saw ever-so briefly before he got stranded on the island. We are even more frustrated that we didn’t get to see Ollie’s return to civilization as a changed man ready to become a masked hero, nor just how he completed his transformation.

Diggle and Jock’s six-issue story was by no means bad. No we loved it—but it was incomplete. Instead of Green Arrow Year One—let’s call it 0.5 year.

DC should give serious thought at giving these guys six-more issues to produce GA Year One issues 7-12.

Green Lantern Corps #17

The Upshot from DC Comics: "The Sinestro Corps War" continues as one of the Book of Oa's prophecies comes true! The Corps makes a last stand that reveals the reincarnation of one of their fold.

Forget what we’ve said about the pacing of the Sinestro Corps War. In part that was due to our misinformation that this issue of GLC and the next issue of Green Lantern were the last issues—but there’s more to come and we finally get to see the Anti-Monitor and the big baddies get it on with our heroes.

Unfortunately the literally committee of artists—four pencilers and five inkers—really make it difficult to discern just what the heck is going on and with whom.

After all of our bitching about making deadlines, we suppose it would be hypocritical for us now to blast DC for rallying all artistic hands on deck and to get the book out on time—but does it really have to be a choice between viewable art by a single art team and getting a monthly book every 30 days or so?

Yet again we see real growth from artist-turned-writer Dave Gibbons. His scripting skill has grown by leaps and bounds during the length of his run and it’s a shame he had to move on. He brings a real institutional memory of the Green Lantern Corps given his many storytelling adventures of the GLC back in the day.

It’s the little bits that he throws in to show the reader that the Green Lantern Corps isn’t a group—it’s an institution with a certain esprit de corps. Case in point: Senior Lantern Salaak’s admonishment for Lanterns with battle torn uniforms to regenerate them before taking their stations on Earth—“We’re the Corps. Be proud!”

But the Corps is behind the eight-ball as they only just realize that it’s not Oa that’s the intended target of the Sinestro Corps and their “Guardian” the Anti-Monitor—it’s Earth as the key to the multiverse.

We’re glad to see the return of Lantern Soranik Natu but she doesn’t to get much to do except gripe about the newly allowed use of lethal force by the GLC—as a doctor that’s abhorrent to her, as it is to Kilowog and to Arisia—members of the “old guard.”

We see the growing divide between the Corps members to take all too well to killing and those who are dead set (pardon the pun) against it.

A word about the battle between Kilowog and his Sinestro Corps counterpart Arkillo in and around San Diego as they punched each other rough the San Diego Marriott (we’ve stayed there) and to the San Diego Convention Center’s Comic-Con (we’ve been to the convention center but unfortunately not to Comic-Con). With so many of these fake cities, it’s cool to see stuff happen in real places.

But the big story is the transformation of Daximite Sodam Yat from rookie GL to the new Ion the torchbearer. Unfortunately, this is where the committee of artists fell down in making a visual pea soup of what could have been and should have been some compelling action panels.

Yet the notion of someone with the power of Superman under a yellow son (or greater) combined with the power of both the Oan emerald light and the Green Flame of the Starheart leaves us very excited—especially the issue cliffhanger is Superman-Prime vs. the new Ion.

Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime

The Upshot from DC Comics: He nearly destroyed the universe. He has a bloody track record with the Flash family. And he frightens even Superman. He is the Anti-Monitor, the most powerful evil in the DC Universe, and this special one-shot reveals what his future holds! Plus, witness another horrifying Tale of the Sinestro Corps: "Fear is a Baby's Cry"!

Confused by the description? So were we but that’s what DC gave out. Writer Geoff Johns gave the readers the sequel to the DC Universe vs. the last son of Earth-Prime while he also reiterated much of Prime’s origin as told during the Infinite Crisis Secret Files issue (the only issue of IC that didn’t suck even a little).

It’s a real drag that current litigation has prevented the use of the name “Superboy” as “SuperMAN-Prime” really doesn’t work for us. Worse, all of the various ways used to avoid showing the one-time Superboy wearing the “S” symbol for reasons of pending litigation—it became a real distraction in the story.

Yet watching SMP whine about his loss even as he takes lives reminded us very much of Hal Jordan as Parallax in the 90s—both a misguided, pitiable sole who is also a horrible monster who thinks that HE’s the victim.

Frankly he lost our sympathy by his various and frequent digs at the “has-been” Superman, Kal-L, the original/Earth-2 Man of Steel. Power Girl we think spoke for many of us when she warned the little whiny punk not to diss her cousin or she’s “use my heat vision to turn you into SuperGIRL-Prime.

Our only major issue with this story was that the strategy of the assembled heroes was to rip off Prime’s armor which was feeding him yellow-sun energy before the sun comes up and he can recharge to full power. Why didn’t he recharge in orbit before he came to Earth or when the going got tough, why didn’t he fly into space to the sun—Johns didn’t explain this away well enough.

But this issue ends like GLC—with Superman-Prime and Ion ready to rumble.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Battlestar Galactica: Razor Flashback Part 4—Free Fall

(Pictured above: We see here a “classic” Cylon Centurion from the original/’70s-era Battlestar Galactica. Poor fellow seems to have been put out-of-work and reduced to panhandling and selling his…its…uh…”body” in order to survive on the mean streets. It’s been tough going since the new BSG has been using CGI (computer generated images) Cylons, who are much cheaper labor than the chrome and oil “toasters.”

We found this picture while searching for an image from the recent Free Fall mini-sode and it made us laugh out loud at a time when we really needed a belly laugh. Since we’re “borrowing” the image, credit where credit is due as we got the picture from the website/blog of Greenfield Games in Greenfield, MA,

As luck would have it, Mom FanBoyWonder grew up in Greenfield and we have fond memories of Greenfield visiting our grandfather and buying comics at the corner drugstore as a wee lad. Thank you Greenfield Games guys.)

It’s been a little hectic this weekend but as we write this, the newborn family member with health problems that we mentioned the other day will go receive medical treatment tomorrow (Monday) and we hope correct the medical issue and thus allow us to spread some good news.

While we are waiting, there’s more blogging to be done so here’s our take on the latest BSG Flashback installment.

The Upshot from Sci-Fi Channel: Losing his Viper is just the start of rookie Lt. William Adama’s/Husker’s problems today.

Last week, we left Husker with a banged bird spinning in uncontrolled free-fall in the skies above a Cylon-occupied ice planet and secret base—this after he “splashed” (i.e. shot down/killed) some half-a-dozen Cylon Raiders/”toasters”, but not before they destroyed the Battlestar Columbia with all hands aboard.

Part 4 of this week’s “mini-sode” picks right up with Husker fighting for his life while dropping like a stone. Even as he manages to eject from his viper, Husker’s problems have only begun as he soon finds himself in a small-arms fire-fight with a Cylon Centurion (“Classic” style—very cool) while falling through the clouds.

The firefight turns hand to hand, still in mid-air. Just as the Cylon summons a blade from his robot gauntlet, Husker has the good sense to pull his rip cord—both slowing his fall and zipping away from what would have been a real smooth shave.

Unfortunately (for the toaster), the centurion doesn’t have a parachute and it crashes through the sky light of a Cylon building, followed closely by Husker, whose parachute helps make his crash land only painful instead of fatal.

The centurion while broken from the fall still attempts to reach out for Husker until he smashes the toaster’s head in about a dozen times until the red-light finally fades out.

Husker then grabs a weapon and proceeds to make his way around….realizing he is deep behind the lines in the belly of the beast.

To be continued….

We can’t remember the last time we saw two minutes pass so quickly nor can we recall wanting “more, more, more” so badly.

There wasn’t much in the way of character development or even dialogue during this mini-sode, just balls-to-the wall action and kick-arse special effects. And Gods love them for it.

These mini-sodes have gotten us hungry for the upcoming special movie event Battlestar Galactica: Razor—as it is intended to do and Razor will no doubt leave us starving for BSG Season 4.

But therein lies the problem. According to recent reports, Sci-Fi Channel won’t be starting up BSG Season 4 until April….yes APRIL!!!! That’s a full year after the Season 3 finale…and the threatened writer’s strike on Nov. 1 threatens to move the airing of the second half of Season 4 and the series finale back until 2009. What the frak???

Lords of Kobol, hear our prayers and just let us watch our fraking show already!!!

Meanwhile, look for the remaining Flashbacks to air Friday nights during Flash Gordon through November 16 on Sci-Fi Channel’s website with FanBoyWonder commentary throughout before the premier of the new BSG movie Battlestar Galactica: Razor on Saturday, November 24. So Say We All!
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