Spider-Man T-Shirt // desingn by Aplentee (2014)
So I Read Today… Batman: Venom (1991)
If there’s one Bat-book you can enjoy without worrying about the long arm of continuity it’s Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight which was an anthology book that rarely crossed over with any other batbooks in his day. A team of creators were given a certain amount of issues to tell a particular story they wanted to tell with the Dark Knight. A lot of them comes from Batman’s early days at the job. “Venom” which was told in issues #16 to #20 by Deniss O’Neal, Trevor Von Eeden and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez works really well as a prelude to “The Knightfall Saga” since much of the defining elements comes from this arc.
The Story begins when Batman fails to save a little girl named Sissy Porter from drowning in a sewer after being kidnapped. Although Batman did the job to find her, he failed because he wasn’t strong enough to pull her out of the cave she was buried while water slowly poured in. When he goes to the family to break the news, he finds a very unaffected Dr. Randolph Porter explaining how he wouldn’t give up his life’s work in design drugs meant to improve stamina and strength. Not even for his daughter. After almost 96 hours without sleep or rest Batman goes after the men who pulled the kidnapping and gets his ass handed to him, so he receives a little help from the good doctor.
After taking a pill of Venom a day for three months, Batman loses the edge to act as a detective and relies more on brute force and enforcement. Intimidating and punishing criminals well before they even do anything. He stops wearing the costume, he behaves aggressively towards Alfred who goes as far as resign from service after seeing Bruce become more and more of a monster while losing sight of his mission and true purpose. It’s only when his supplier cuts his dose and makes him face a very though choice that Batman will realize how far he’s gone in his addiction and like any junkie who faces a moment of clarity he chooses to do what he must to make himself sane again: he locks himself up for nearly six months in the batcave until his body goes in remission and cleans the drug out of him. When he finally comes out of the cave, It’s payback time and he’ll go as far as Santa Prisca to find the man who wronged him and stop his mad purposes for the Venom of his making.
This is one great tale where we get to see a very humane Batman deal with a problem anyone could have when it’s dealt with pressure to give his best and no matter how hard he tries he’s unable to. I highly recommend it!
Dazzler: Sight Of The Sound // by Greasy Pig Studios (2014)
Directed by Arvin Bautista, starring Gentry Roth, with costume design by Leetal Platt, “Sight of the Sound” is the debut music video release by Alison “Dazzler” Blaire. Featuring a cameo by Longshot, Lila Cheney, and other figures from Alison’s past.
Marvel’s Art Jam // by Marvel Comics (2014)
Featuring: Iron Man (by Skottie Young), Wasp (by Frank Cho), Hulk (by Ed McGuinness), Captain America (by Ron Garney), Thor (by Michael Golden) & Daredevil (by Jim Cheung)
Darth Vader // artwork by Shelton Bryant (2014)
Let me first introduce you to Jet Black as she was first introduced in the series (Captain America v.7 #1):
That girl right there with that mischievous look is not a baby as many have claimed. She is clearly in her prepubescent years enjoying the treatment her father, Arnim (corrected the spelling because I didn’t realize I put Armin) Zola, is providing the capitalist captain.
Below is her brother as he was first introduced in the same exact page (Captain America v.7 #1 p.14 — cw: syringe/drill and torture):
Clearly the two siblings are not the same age, right? So why are there false rumors being spread around that Jet is 14? I honestly don’t know unless people believe Ian and Jet are the same person, which is silly, right? Apparently, not.
Putting the rest beneath a cut because it gets lengthy because of timeline explanation thus is image heavy.
Here is Steve mentioning to Sharon (the first time he’d done so to a non-Dimension Z resident) that he’s survived years in this strange dimension (Captain America v.7 #9 p.4 — cw: blood):
Wait what’s this panel got to do with anything? Well, back in issue #1, when Steve saw baby, good guy Steve couldn’t let the child fall into the hands of geneticist Arnim Zola… so he kidnapped him as can be seen in this three page sequence set just after page 14 from #1 above (pgs. 15-17 — cw: blood, torture, syringe/drill).
Zola (and thus his group) have come to the conclusion that Steve had murdered the boy, as seen below:
But in actuality Ian had been taken by Steve as found out at the end of the issue (page 21):
Why am I spending so much time talking about Ian? Because Ian is crucial to build a timeline. He’s the one who’s the easiest to figure out age/time based on how he grows up (even if later on you’ll see that kids and teenagers are drawn almost the same way by the artist).
Issue #2 begins with the following:
So you’re going to assume that you’ll see a barely walking Ian, right? Wrong. The artist has a hard time distinguishing children from adults and you’ll see as Ian hits his teen years as this post goes on but until then, here’s Ian one year later (CA v.7 #2 p.3):
You see how much older Ian is? That’s more because the artist can’t really draw kids in various stages. That’s implied to being a toddler Ian even if it’s been merely a year he’s still very adolescent.
Anyways, Steve had been keeping track of time regardless. He had to, to give his son birthdays and to keep track of the years he’s losing with Sharon and others.
The next issue (#3) begins with a creepy Zola flashback in which he pets his daughter’s face the same way he’d petted one of his first experiments back in 1926. Here’s Jet having aged beyond the original encounter in #1.
Look at how she’s grown since we’ve first seen her. She’s still so cute.
Seeing how the remainder of the issue is not of importance to this post, let’s begin #4.
Eleven years later, so it’s been twelve years since Steve had first been abducted by Zola and took Ian. Let’s take a look at how Ian looks now (CA v7 #4 p.3):
Or look at this from page 5 (issue 4):
Do you see how Ian is starting too look more like Jet from eleven years ago? Well, let’s take a look at her now (as in current issue p. 19):
As you can see, the two are at completely different age ranges. As shown at the beginning of the post. The two siblings, although they share the traits of being genetically modified to being perfect by their father, Jet and Ian are from different decades (or at the opposite ends of their shared decade).
Here’s the cover of issue #5:
Just visually compare the two siblings. Ian, who’s merely still a child at around twelve years old is designed to look like a kid because he still is a kid. While you have Jet who looks like an adult because she’s no longer a child and hasn’t been for quite some time.
Let’s move onto issue #6 where you see the siblings side by side again with a slightly better art this time (#6 p.7 & p.14):
The age difference is evident and don’t forget so far in Dimension Z twelve years have passed. So how can you tell me that child above plus this young woman is merely 14 years old?
Issue #7 has nothing to do with timeline nor does it give us anything new to use either child as an indicator so I’m skipping that. While issue #8 brings you nothing but heartbreak due to father/son fight and the “death” of said son. So skipping that one as well.
Now let’s take a look back at what Steve told Sharon in issue #9 again:
And you’ve witnessed changes in the children and growth. Even Cap had changed during that decade plus time period. Below is Cap post Dimension Z after having been put through various testing to confirm the timeline of his questionable story (#11 p. 6 — cw: scar/wound):
So it’s been confirmed thanks to carbon dating (which I honestly didn’t know could be done on non-organic materials but it’s comics and comics logic) tests that had been run due to the story/allegations Steve had made when he and Jet arrived to 616.
Yet here in issue #23 page 10, she mentions an age range for the first time by bringing up a past birthday and finally gives us an age range to work with:
Yet fandom claims otherwise. That she’s merely 14 years old when we’ve just seen her grow up and so when she says that on her 23rd birthday she’d had cabernet sauvignon on her birthday, I would believe that.
This wasn’t a 2-second age jump from 14 years of age to about 24. No, she was growing as a person since the moment we caught that glimpse of her enjoyment from Steve’s torture/capture. Neither is she lying because time did work different in the dimension. Earlier on (I think issue #2) Steve mentioned that there were two suns, so it’s harder to calculate time more accurately when you’re merely going by sun placement.
For those interested in the alleged rape scene, continue.
The questionable and potentially problematic scene can be found here, where you can read what exactly happened and see it having happened and make judgement. But it’s clearly not statutory rape and however you wish to depict it is your choice entirely because I know that some find the idea of sex and alcohol bothersome. And hey, that’s ok! But, please don’t claim/call someone underage without even checking the facts. She’s told us and for once we have an age, Jet is at least 23 years old. This is fact, we’ve seen a voyage through her life and seen her grow up.
But, with the way her powers work (and the way her brother’s works) I’m pretty sure she wasn’t drunk or intoxicated. She’s got impeccable senses due to her omni senses and she unlike Sam didn’t wake up from a hangover, that much is fact. The rest is up to interpretation.
AMENDMENT: I thought that to give you a better perspective of how the artist only really has three distinguishable age groups, I thought I should provide you with an image of Ian as an adult (but Cap believes he’d died). From issue #10 page 23:
Ian has remained in Dimension Z due to the fact that Cap has been lead to believe that Sharon’s shot killed him if not the firey liquid he’d fallen into. And as the perfect experiment (and having retrieved some of Cap’s blood for the Super Soldier Serum) thus it’s safe to assume he’s got healing abilities and why he’s not dead in this scene. Ian having remained in Dimension Z had allowed him to grow at the faster rate and why he’s finally at his sister’s age who’s slowed down to the rate of time in 616.
But as all the examples above have shown the artist has only three real age groups (infant, child/teen—which have been depicted as one, and adult) and so claiming that Jet is 14 strictly by a recap and not by context is a cheap move by fandom.
Danilo, Administrator of Comics Forever take on this:
I got wind of this thing just now and I needed to reblog this just to point out that It bothers me the overly sensitive people that hangs around social networks waiting to get offended by every single fucking thing they see, read or simply don’t get. I stand with Rick Remender on this one and I rather see the people who started this controversy lose their fucking eyeballs than to see him fired from the book. Get a hold of yourself people. Sometime a comic is just a comic. Not your motivation for a fucking senseless agenda.
Bane breaks Batman’s back a classic moment reworked with a DKR twist for the modern audiences.
So I Just Watched… X-Men: Days Of The Future Past (20th Century Fox/Marvel, 2014)
Yeah I really had to take my time with this one. First it premiered in my country almost a month later than the USA (I guess is the price we pay for Disney giving us the Marvel studios films a week earlier than you guys) Then I had to sit down and watch this with a cool head. By the time I got to see this movie every living being with a keyboard and an opinion had either teared a new one on this film or praised the hell out of it. Let me be clear from the start: I love the X-Men. I grew up on X-Men comics, the 90’s cartoon and the Toy Biz action figures. I was dancing in a cloud in 2000 when the team I loved so much started the comic trend in cinema with what I perceived to be one hell of a solid film by that time (currently I think it has not aged very well in my opinion). As time went by with this franchise I believe The X-Men has suffered from some serious inconsistency in his movie continuity and It’s all Fox’s fault. So yeah, I’m one of the guys who really want the property to go back to Marvel Studios and receive a full reboot.
Going back to the main subject of this review, X-Men: Days Of The Future Past takes a number of elements from two storylines as far as I can tell. The first of course is the two-part saga that gives his name to the film. Although that story in the comics was pretty much straightforward and very well conceived (enough to last two issues at most) here we have the basic elements present: The X-Men are fighting a losing a battle against Sentinels who are now the ruling force on earth, slavering humans and killing mutants. One of them is chosen to travel trough time and fix the mess that started this war: the killing of an important political figure in the 70’s. While in the comics the character to save was Senator Kelly (who died in the first film) in the film is Bolivar Trask, creator of the Sentinel Program and played by Peter Dinklage (You’d think that Magneto killing President Kennedy with the “magic bullet” would be a much strong reason to activate the program but it’s not so). Since I’ve always believed that comics and film are completely different mediums I don’t think a director should be slave to the source material. So I’m pretty cool with most of the changes done to the story and the inclusion of characters that have nothing to do with it in the first place. Hell I can even understand the logic behind sending Wolverine back instead of Kitty and her bearing a strange new power to send people back in time out of nowhere (But I would like to ask Bryan Singer why not cast a new actress to play Rachel Summers instead).
The second story which this film reaps it’s ideas it’s Ultimate X-Men #6 (last part of “The Tomorrow People” storyline) where a power-mad Magneto beats the shit out of the USA executive powers using Sentinels and it’s up to Wolverine and Xavier to save the day. Don’t believe me? look for that comic and see the closing act of this film again. Makes me wonder If Mark Millar was the consultant behind this. After getting the whole enchilada I got to say two things first: Quicksilver, the character EVERYBODY loved to hate before the film even premiered steals the whole movie with one of the best action sequences of the whole film using the most unlikely of soundtracks (I dare anyone to look for an action scene in the whole damn history of cinema with “Time In a Bottle” of Jim Croce as background) what a terribly underused character, what a great actor they picked to play the part. Second I gotta say: Wolverine haters rejoice! the character was also underused and he doesn’t get to save the day like he has done on X-Men (2000), The Last Stand (2006) and his two solo adventures. The heavy marketing centered around him would have you think so. But the film is more centered around Mystique, Charles and Erik and the struggling relationship this woman has with these two characters.
For the closing lines I just have to say that this movie is a great and fun ride, It doesn’t top Marvel Studio’s “The Avengers” yet but it’s a real good effort from Singer and company to put out a decent X-Men film. I’ve read around the net that this movie it’s also the swan song for most of the original cast (it was also a farewell for most of the mutants you saw on First Class) the after credits scene it’s a direct hint to what’s been announced all over the place: Apocalypse will be the main antagonist next time we see the X-Men on film. Let’s hope they have a decent cast to work with and we get to see another villain other than Magneto in these movies.
Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman // promotional by WBTV (1979)