Monday, December 31, 2007

Zombie CAPTAIN AMERICA loses his head courtesy of MAGNETO: As seen in MARVEL ZOMBIES #1!The upcomg SECRET WARS ON INFINITE EARTHS: MONTHLY PUNCH-UP 2007 ANNUAL, [online January 1st, 2008], contains so much information, discussion, and awesome, it has been deemed potentially dangerous by scientific review.

Certain precautions and preperations should be observed well in advance, should you wish to brave the deadly lure of such features as; The 2007 Top Ten, 2007 Super Stock Report, Spider-Boycott: 2008, Top Rating Teams, Top Rating Creators, and the final results of Street Fighter Sundays!

Pre-Annual Preperation Tips:
- A hearty New Year's breakfast rich in protein and carbohydrates will ensure the longevity and endurance necessary to get through the Annual.
- Available fluids to allow for constant hydration to sponsor the afformentioned endurance.
- Thorough muscle warm-up and stretching is recommended to avoid strain or injury, with warm-downs recommended to ensure the same safetys. The Infinite Wars 2007 Annual is believed to be particularly dangerous for it's ability to strike a reader on so many levels, it leaves them to walk away, only to have their brain explode out of the head later in the day.
Warm-downs will reduce the risk of spontaneous brain explosion.

Above all else, be certain to have your affairs in order, and face your destiny without fear.
As the Man-Thing will be present, those experiencing extreme fear or anxiety will be asked to remain in the Cover to Cover section of the website, to avoid the potentially liable searing of flesh.

If you have any pre-existing conditions, a history of heart failure, or any metals contained within your body, please seek the advice of a physician, or mystic, before proceeding.
From everyone here at Secret Wars on Infinite Earths, we thank you for your participation in the Infinite Wars, and will fondly remember you, should things go wrong.

Also, if you want a guaranteed clean bill of health, surrender your wife.

Yours Sincerey,
Aron, the Renegade Watcher
COMIK-POLITIK: Brand New Day (Pre-Loved)

This could've gotten horribly lewd...
"Horrible, simply horrible..."
"Whoops, I don't think I was supposed to say that."

Editor-In-Chief, Joe Quesada, takes run-up at 20 year history.

Spider-man and Mary-Jane seperated after 20 years marriage.
Deal with devil deemed less damning to character than amicable split.
Deal with Kirsten Dunst deemed less likely than Bryce Dallas Howard.
Offensive statue possibly modelled on Mary-Jane's OMD final predicament.
Secret Wars on Infinite Earths initiates Spider-Boycott: 2008!
Peter Parker now free to buy pornography. Aunt May gains new B-plot.
Follow-up, Brand New Day, said to reinvigorate series and character. With 1960s motiffs.
[Comic Book Resources: OMD Interview Part 1 (of 5)]
By popular demand, the Infinite Wars are about to go where they've never been before! After two years of comprehensive canonical fight fact coverage, we're delving into the fictional world of fantasy fights, because you demanded it!

In the spirit of the immensly popular '96 DC/Marvel crossover event, we're pitting fifteen of each company's most relevant characters to 2007 against one and other! Stay tuned as we take a look at the imagine struggles of the superhero stars that have propelled the Infinite Wars across two full years of fisticuffs!

Strength: Draw 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Superman 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Draw 6 (Mach Speed)
Stamina: Draw 6 (Generator)
Agility: Superman 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting Ability: Draw 3 (Street Wise)
Energy Powers: The Sentry 7 (Cosmic Power)

The Hook...
Do we really need to explain?
Ever since the character's psueod-hoax introduction in 2000, and his integration into the Marvel Universe proper in 2004, fans have debated the potential of The Sentry, with a very deliberate measure against his archetypal fore-father, Superman.

True to perception, the Sentry truly represented the Superman archetype as reimagined in the Marvel Universe. The bold two-colour costume, cape, flight, and super invulnerabilities make the Sentry the staple super-man, but bubbling underneath the shiney exterior is a man of great neurosis and fear.

Their differences don't end there.
The Sentry far outdoes his predecessor, suffering similar complaints of a character who is excessively powerful, and ill-defined. Favourite moments that contribute to the Sentry's status include the intergalactic trip that was the destruction of Carnage, and more recently, a clash with the Hulk.

The hook? This is a topic that's raged across the internet for years.
We may not hope to conclude answers, but certainly, it is our hope that the Infinite Wars provide a unique perspective; ie:

The Math: Superman Ranking: Superman (#8)

The Battle...
If you missed out, it might be to your chagrin that this battle was opened up to the fan vote. Much like the original DC/Marvel there was a little bit of ambiguity built into the result. Our vote was for who you, the War Mongers, felt should win overall between DC and Marvel; not Superman and Sentry.

SUPERMAN carries PREUS to seek medical attention: As seen in ACTION COMICS #824!I'm believe there's a way to write this battle both ways.

The Sentry tends to be the variable in either conclusion. It's his ill-defined power range that conceivably lends an old fashioned slugfest that would give him the edge by scope. His abilities to travel through time and space seem to exceed a contemporary Superman considerably, and I think it would be quite reasonable, given enough credit to the characters, to conclude on Sentry's side of things.

On the other hand, there's the very simple solution for Superman in the psychological victory. The Sentry's anxious neurosis' are a well documented deus ex to his own infallability as a deux ex, keeping him away and reluctant from the major fights, at least until the very end; [deus ex machina; Latin meaning, "god out of a machine", used in reference to fictional characters with impossible powers over situations and plot].

If I had to be honest, I'd say I'm a little too unfamiliar with the Sentry characters to make any kind of confident assessment, either way. If we hadn't gone with the fan vote, I would honestly say I would err on the side of Superman, going back to that psychological influence.

As much as that presents a cop out for any writer dealing with the character, that very fact contributes to my assessment. I think if we're to believe at all in this character's internal struggles they need to remain ever present, so when faced with the ultimate confident and iconic character in Superman -- who undeniably challenges Sentry, regardless of which side of the fence you're on -- would find himself plagued his anxieties and doubts.

If we were to accept the model of the '96 crossover, this one needs a lot of time for blows thrown. Like the over-the-top sound effects of World War Hulk, this is a fight that deserves serious representation!

Promotional ad run in Marvel Comics mid-1996; previously posted in the DC/Marvel recap!The Hammer...
There you have it, folks!
For the first time ever the Infinite Wars have jumped into the realm of Fantasy Fights! Having been quite well received, no doubt you'll be seeing more of this fan-favourite pastime in 2008, perhaps even sooner than you think!

Drawing inspiration from the 1996 crossover, we mentioned that these characters were fighting for a cumulative tally that would decide the fate of their universes. Which poses the question, if one of these is to be erased, who's left?

It's been a huge month, in a huge year of Infinite Wars, and early- 2008 looks to continue the trend!
Anyone with a heart condition, small children, or deeply religious fears of the rapture should look away now, because coming on Jan 1st will be a Punch-Up so massive, it may very well cause the internet to manifest a physical form (visible from space) and wreak terrible, terrible havok on Tokyo bay!

Stay tuned for the Annual Punch-Up, the same great service, and more!
And remember, the Fantasy Fights are here by reader demand. If you have strong opinions, disagreements, or fantasy requests, be sure to scroll down to the comments section below, and lodge your claim. Posters need not be registered!

WINNER: The Sentry (65%)
7 versus 8
Egads! It's the end of the year! Nobody panic!
The Infinite Wars has been touring back through the last twenty-five years, using our back catalogue of superhero smackdown, and insightful review, to do so!
As we arrive in the last five years, we get an opportunity to look at some of the most relevant masterpieces in comics today.

Some might argue that today represents one of the most prosperous eras of comics creativity. A greater emphasis on the art of written culture in the medium is only complimented by master visual artists like Alex Maleev, Darwyn Cooke, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and many others.

To gain some perspective, why not check out previous Cover to Cover entries, including our twenty-five countdown's: 1983-1987, 1988-1992, 1993-1997, 1998-2002, but before you do, press the button my friend, and send me into time!

Daredevil #49 (September 2003)
"Hardcore: Part 4" Bendis/Maleev

Events in the life of blind New York City attorney, Matthew Murdock, have been spiralling to an inevitable head, thanks to the machinations of his arch-nemesis, Wilson Fisk!

Forced to confront the threat of some of his deadliest enemies; including a confrontation with the renegade Typhoid Mary; Murdock struggles to hold together his life with new love interest, Milla Donovan.

Having left the blind woman in her bed to take to the streets as Daredevil; Murdock leaves her prone to an underhanded attack by the man who killed the love of his life, but DD has plans of his own in store for Bullseye!

DC: The New Frontier #2 (April 2004)
"Book Two: Strange Adventures" Darwyn Cooke

It was the dawn of a New Frontier for America and the superhero community, and as new powers emerge from the shadow of the Justice Society; so too does new evils.

Captain Cold, possessor of the ice-manipulating pistol, has held a group of socialites hostage at a swanky club: Enter the faster man alive - Barry Allen - who, after receiving a call from his reporter wife, zips across the nation to confront the threat as the scarlet garbed Flash!

It's a frosty reception for the Flash, as the embittered Captain Cold regrets the unlikely emergence of his foe.
Check in here before you see the animated movie to be released in 2008 from Warner Brothers; inspired by the masterpiece written and illustrated by animation/comics legend, Darwyn Cooke!

Captain Atom: Armageddon #1 (December 2005)
"A Scream Across the Sky" Pfeifer/Camuncoli

Having been selected to pilot a rocket into an oncoming Kryptonite asteroid that threatened the mighty Superman; Nathaniel Adam - aka; Captain Atom - disappears in what seems to be a great sacrifice.

Instead, the strange properties of the alien alloy that encases him reacts with the explosion, peeling away as he too peels through layers of reality, to emerge in a new universe!

Destined to become Earth-50: the world of Wildstorm becomes the new home of Captain Atom, at least, until he can stop fighting Mr. Majestic and employ his help to find a way home!

Infinite Crisis #2 (January 2006)
"The Survivors" Johns/Jiminez

For decades Powergirl has been uncertain of her true history. False memories of Atlantean origins and allusions to Krypton have plagued her past, but now the truth will come hurtling at her, faster than a speeding bullet!

Combatting a collective of villains assembled as part of The Society; Powergirl struggles with her opponents through a populated American city, wanted for the secret plans of their veiled leader, Alexendar Luthor.

Lucky for Powergirl, she's about to get a visit from the unlikliest of relatives. Cousin Kal-L has travelled a universe, and he's none too happy about his cousin's predicament!

Captain America #25 (April 2007)
"The Death of the Dream" Brubaker/Epting

It was the shot heard around the world.
The bullet that silenced Captain America and his anti-registration detractors in a single moment, uniting the people in rememberance for their super soldier patriot.

Having been arrested and paraded in public, Steve Rogers threw himself heroically on a sniper bullet fired by Crossbones, leading to the circumstances of his death.

Cap's former sidekick, Bucky, now the international assassin called Winter Soldier is present for the event, and like Cap's allies, is none too happy. The chase is on as Bucky, Falcon and Nick Fury pool their forces for justice!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

COVER TO COVER: Green Lantern's Light!
Between the Fantasy Fights, and our usual brand of fisticuffery, there's been a whole lot of overdue love for the Green Lanterns! Even so, there's a whole lot of those crazy space-cops, and you might still be in need of a GL fix to get you through your day. Hey, let our decree go out across the universe! Secret Wars on Infinite Earths is a Green Lantern Corps friendly zone!

If you missed some of our recent banter, or are just looking for some of those forgotten gems (emeralds, to be specific) of the past, then look no further.
Well, okay, look a little bit further. You'll have to scroll down to get through all of the five covers and blurbs we've prepared for your dining pleasure!

Green Lantern/Silver Surfer (December 1995)
"Unholy Alliances" Marz/Banks

It's a day like any other in Greenwich Village!
Birds singing, children playing, inter-dimensional eloper attempting to take over your universe... Wait a second!

Kyle Rayner is rocked from his drawing table as Terrax the Tamer makes his presence known in the DC Universe!
Having crossed over with the intention to conquer the alternate world, the former herald of Galactus succeeds in his plans to lure out the Green Lantern: the one foe he has been told can stand in his way.

The inexperienced Rayner is in for the fight of his life as he goes up against the power cosmic, new school style!

Marvel versus DC #3 (April 1996)
"The Showdown of the Century!" Marz/Castellini

As the two cosmic brothers pit their champions against one and other; the Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner and Silver Surfer meet for a second time, albeit under unpleasant circumstances.

Forced to set their friendship aside, the inter-dimensional cosmic powers go head-to-head in a battle royale for the fate of the universe! Each does their bit to represent their universe, with tallied loser to be obliterated!

In their last encounter Green Lantern was thoroughly outclassed by Silver Surfer, but with the stakes so high, can anything be certain in the showdown of the century?

Green Lantern: Rebirth #1 (December 2004)
"Blackest Night" Johns/Van Sciver

Mysterious elements are stirring in the background of the DC Universe, but irrespective, life goes on!

Green Arrow and his ward, Mia Dearden, are shocked by an explosion from the basement, as they suit up for a night of patrol as Star City's crime-fighting archers!

Below, they find the intrusion of Black Hand, who has come to seek artifacts from the forgotten past. The Green Arrow easily renders Black Hand incapacitated, but other forces would see a more damning punishments handed out. The Spectre has arrived to finish the job, but it's his true mission that may prove far more shocking than his method of justice!

Blue Beetle #1 (May 2006)
"Blue Monday" Giffen/Rogers/Hamner

Having played a vital role in the defeat of a wayward Brother Eye satellite; the new Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, plummets to Earth, unseen by his fellow heroes.

Alone in the desert, hope arrives in the form of the hotheaded Green Lantern, Guy Gardner, but there's only one problem: All signals are blaring as the GL ring identifes Blue Beetle as a dangerous magical threat!

Unhinged at the best of times, Guy Gardner launches into an all-out offensive, and the inexperienced Reyes has no control over his suit's defensives! Brutal battle, or hilarious display of slapstick? You decide, as Guy Gardner pits his might against a teenager!

Green Lantern #24 (December 2007)
"Home Invasion" Johns/Reis

Sinestro and his Corps of fear-wielding yellow lanterns has emerged from hiding in the anti-matter universe of Qward, and their plans prove very different to what is expected.

Leaving Oa to the Green Lanterns; Sinestro leads the Anti-Monitor and his men to Earth, where cosmic imbalances leave an multi-dimensional weakness exposed to attack.

As terrifying as the Anti-Monitor's plans to destroy the matter universe to inheret the remains may be, Hal Jordan has far bigger concerns! Kyle Rayner has fallen to the taint of Parallax, and in Coast City, he's about ready to have a little fun with Hal's brother and his family. Never cross a cop!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

By popular demand, the Infinite Wars are about to go where they've never been before! After two years of comprehensive canonical fight fact coverage, we're delving into the fictional world of fantasy fights, because you demanded it!

In the spirit of the immensly popular '96 DC/Marvel crossover event, we're pitting fifteen of each company's most relevant characters to 2007 against one and other! Stay tuned as we take a look at the imagine struggles of the superhero stars that have propelled the Infinite Wars across two full years of fisticuffs!

Strength: Draw 3 (Athlete)
Intelligence: Batman 5 (Professor)
Speed: Daredevil 4 (Olympian)
Stamina: Draw 5 (Marathon Man)
Agility: Draw 4 (Gymnast)
Fighting Ability: Draw 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy Powers: Batman 4 (Arsenal)

The Hook...
The Kryptonite gloves are on when FRANK MILLER writes and draws BATMAN: As seen in DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN #1!There's no sales grabbing event that brings these two together. No brilliant resonance that makes their confrontation poignant and retroactively obvious.
Sure, they aren't worlds apart. They were both inspired to fight crime by parental death; they both share qualities with bats (persona, sonar); and they've both been touched and shaped by Frank Miller.

They're two incredibly intriguing characters, each well known their noir predicaments, endless wars against crime, and their many failures as much as any of their triumphs. They both have a wide cast of extravagant crooks and gangsters who would like nothing more than to see their bitter defeat, and plenty of folks who continue to try to make just that happen.

At a convention panel, Brian Bendis famously shared his discussions with then DC-exclusive writer, Ed Brubaker, regarding ideas for a Batman/Daredevil inter-company crossover. Though conceptually nothing out of the ordinary, inter-company politics dictate that DC is reluctant to do business with Joe Quesada's Marvel, and given recent events surrounding Spider-man, they probably aren't the only ones!

The Math: Batman Ranking: Batman (#2)

The Battle...
Wow. Well, gee, where do you even start in a situation like this?
In the past I've rationalized any encounter between these two as one of those oh-so unfortunate scenarios where the villains interject before the fight gets serious, and Batman and Daredevil realize they have to stop Kingpin and Black Mask before the villains of Gotham and New York take over.

Like previous entries in the Fantasy Fights; it's a very familiar urban setting for these two, making for a fairly neutral and imaginable situation.

There are a lot of innate possibilities that allow one to evade the other, turning stealth against their opponent. The man without fear is presumably not going to be intimidated by the Batman, but tactical diversions and theatrics are in the favour of the Dark Knight, whose personal arsenal readily accounts for most of what Daredevil can throw at him.

I think a bit of cat and mouse is par for the course, and it's Daredevil who will inevitably take it close quarters when neither character's distanced combat strikes a winning blow. It's here that Batman gets a first hand taste of Daredevil's martial arts abilities, which is going to leave a sting, maybe even draw blood.

This isn't DD's first dance. He's going to begin to clue-in to the fact that Batman is gathering a lot of information about how Daredevil fights, and his evasive maneuvers complimented by a keen radar are going to be noted, even if not fully understood.

A bag of rosin is all BULLSEYE needs to put DAREDEVIL in DAREDEVIL #132!Some breaking, rooftop/alleyway battling would no doubt follow, but as Batman comes to terms with Daredevil's style and abilities, he's going to start bringing out the toys. Having no doubt already burned through old favourites like the batarang and grappling gun, we start to look at broader defenses.
If Batman, and I'm totally serious about this, should go for something like mace, or any other weapon that will specifically reveal that DD is blind, sonar might enter the situation. Any kind of blanketing sound attack is going to be a major offensive, and a fairly logical staple of Batman's carry-on infantry.

From there, the battle is easily won.

The Hammer...
I'm sure someone out there is going to disagree with this, so as always, feel encouraged to drop your discourse in the comments below. The Fantasy Fights are only here because you, the readers, demanded it!

As much fun as a straightout fight between these two would be, I think one becomes so accustomed to Daredevil's solitary movements, that it almost doesn't make sense. That is, Captain America made a far more logical character to represent Marvel, not only in terms of stature [necessary for their role in the story], but also as a character who readily involves himself in superhero/cosmic events that are traditionally above his level. He's a card-carrying Avenger, and that kind of adaptive quality is part of the job description.

As much as I don't like seeing Batman in those scenarios, there's that same level of familiarity when it comes to Batman and other tri-colour scenarios, which is balanced well by the presence of a Cap-style opponent.

It's obviously the far more interesting prospect to see Batman and Daredevil meet on some sort of imaginary terms that allow them to interact without the interruption of cosmic level events. A recent example of how that juxtaposition can be unwelcome was Superboy-Prime's abstract involvement in the resurrection (by retcon) of Jason Todd.

In the past we've talked about another DC/Marvel crossover in terms more relevant to the current business model fo the internal event. That is to say, the option of a core mini-series, while other series provide room for more detailed story telling. In this case, that would require DC/Marvel mini-series in the vein of Green Lantern/Silver Surfer, allowing for greater story. Story was the key element missing from the '96 mini-series, which struggled to fit exposition and fights into a meager four issues.

A previous concept looked a little bit like this:

" Unsuccessful in his attempt to use the law to shut down a prostitution ring, Daredevil begins an investigation that leads him to Gotham City, where the Batman is dealing with a flock of dangerous escapees from Arkham Asylum.
Together, the two uncover a plot by the Kingpin of crime to organize the Gotham rogues with his own New York muscle, in a play to dominate both cities.

Suffice to say, this is hardly the discovery of the ages, but the simplicity is key to any successful merging of the two characters. As a spin-off mini, a series like this has the luxury of foregoing elaboration on the origins of the circumstances, instead working on the assumption of a shared universe.

From there it's hardly a stretch to imagine a slew of characters like; Tombstone, Jester, Joker, Two-Face, Jigsaw, The Hood, Red Hood, Bullseye, Shocker, Hammerhead, Owl, Penguin, Scarecrow, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Catwoman, and a whole mess of others.

And now; stay tuned as we gear up for the final Fantasy Fight for 2007!
Remember, you've got mere hours to rally your forces to represent in the Infinite Wars poll [located in the menu; at the top of the page] and decide the winner of the final battle. Who's representing? Let's just say any result is acceptable!

WINNER: Batman
7 versus 7

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sinestro Corps: Home Invasion (DC comics)
Green Lantern #24 When: December 2007
Why: Geoff Johns How: Ivan Reis

The story so far...
Long thought dead, it is the resurrection of Hal Jordan that prompts the return of the villainous fallen Green Lantern called Sinestro. Revealed, he carries with him the mysterious powers of a yellow ring, gathered in his previous travels of exile in the anti-matter universe, Qward.

Sinestro is revealed to have been imprisoned within the Central Power Battery on Oa, where he conversed with the yellow fear entity Parallax, and hatched the downfall of one of the Lantern's greatest heroes, and his bitter rival, Hal Jordan.

As Jordan joins Kyle Rayner and the other surviving Lanterns to spur the beginnings of a new era of the Green Lantern Corps; Sinestro and Parallax begin their own quest, sending out yellow power rings to gather agents for their Sinestro Corps of fear wielding soldiers. So begins the inevitable first stages of the Sinestro Corps War, prophecized by the Book of Oa.

With their intention to destroy the fifty-two worlds of the megaverse, the Sinestro Corps descend in full on "New Earth." While the Lanterns struggle with their own battles; Hal Jordan rushes to the rescue of his Coast City dwelling brother, and his family, who has come under threat from Parallax, who has possessed the once future Ion - Kyle Rayner!

Tale of the tape...
ARTWORK: Alex RossARTWORK: Ethan Van SciverStrength: Green Lantern 2 (Average)
Intelligence: Green Lantern 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Parallax 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Parallax 6 (Generator)
Agility: Parallax 7 (Unlimited)
Fighting Ability: Green Lantern 4 (Trained Fighter)
Energy Powers: Green Lantern 7 (Cosmic Power)

- When space alien, Abin Sur, crash lands on Earth, he uses his dying moments to search the immediate vicinity for a man of honest and brave creed, capable of overcoming great fear.

The bizarre alien ring would summon to him Hal Jordan; a man whose destiny had appeared to be following in the foosteps of his father, Martin, who was an ace test pilot before him.
Little did he know, Jordan would soar far higher, and fly much faster, than the speed machines he would come to love.

Sworn into the fold of the intergalactic peace-keeping corps; Jordan becomes the Green Lantern of Sector 2814, inhereting Abin Sur's ring.
Drawing it's powers from the energy battery constructed on the planet Oa, the ring grants Jordan, as any GL, the ability to harness his willpower to form any construct imaginable.

- It was at the dawn of existence that a creature's sentience would begin dependent solely on a singular emotion, and it's name was Parallax.

This yellow entity thrived on fear and began to purvey the reaction in societies and cultures throughout the universe. This terror campaign would be recognized by the Guardians of the Galaxy, who would use their green energies of will to entrap the creature deep within the green swirl of their green battery.

Parallax would eventually awaken from it's slumber, and use his central position to tap into Green Lantern's across the galaxy. The destruction of Coast City allows the creature to compromise a gradually manipulated Hal Jordan, and it again emerges into the universe, launching a war on the Guardians with their greatest champion as his host.

Though inherently capable of manipulating and feeding on fear in much the same way the Green Lanterns draw upon willpower, Parallax was also able to control the powers of his host, to a relevant degree.

The Math: Parallax Ranking: Green Lantern (#136)

What went down...
Warned of his brother's fate at the hands of Parallax by Sinestro; Hal Jordan takes immediate leave of his fellows, exhausting much of the last of his ring's power to reach staggering speeds!

As Parallax clutches with taloned fingers at the faces of Jim Jordan and his family, Hal rockets across their apartment balcony to snatch the possessed Rayner away, leaving exploding concrete in his wake!

Jordan grapples with Parallax who attempts to undermine his attentions with taunts, recalling the destruction of Coast City, and the threat to the fledgling reconstructed real estate.
The psychological attack is mirrored by the physical, as Parallax rolls in mid-air out of Jordan's energy blaring clutches, turning to toss him into the earth.

Jordan's body bounces in the dirt, as a faint transmission from John Stewart and Guy Gardner offers Jordan hope of back-up. He reminds them the predicament their fellow; Kyle Rayner; faces, given the possessive power of the Parallax entity, recalling the Spectre's intervention in his own escape.

Gardner and Stewart split-up to send the former, despite his chagrin, to seek out an artifact from Rayner's life with his murdered mother - a painting of great sentimental value that might wrench him from the fear of his failure.

Meanwhile; Jordan struggles to reach the man beneath the Parallax, but just as he appears to be getting through his power ring finally reaches 0% energy.
Powerless, Hal Jordan finds himself at the mercy of the fear powered Parallax!

Contorting it's host body, the Parallax manifests a swirling mass of tentacles that envelop a helpless Hal Jordan. John Stewart arrives in time to witness the gathering yellow energies that emenate from beneath the hunched creature, watching in horror as it rises reborn in a glowing yellow triumph - now in possession of two Green Lantern hosts!

Parallaxed powered up unleashes yellow streams of energy that grind John Stewart into the dirt. With grit teeth the Green Lantern summons the power of his ring with determination and will, only to resist Parallax and cut through his attacks with a stream of glowing green!

At that moment, a previously detoured Guy Gardner arrives with the Rayner painting in his possession. Seeing Parallax on the ropes from Stewart's attack, Gardner rips the painting from it's wrapping and beckons to the Kyle within.

Alone in the darkness, Kyle Rayner's possession manifests itself psychically as a field of yellow wheat. A voice echos to him, eventually revealing his predecessor, Hal Jordan, glowing bright with the power of the Green Lantern.
Kyle admits his guilt over the loss of his mother at the hands of Despotellis - an agent of the Sinestro Corps - and as the wheat turns to stringy tendrils, Jordan reaches out to his successor with undestanding and compassion.

The unity of the two Lanterns allows their green light to glow bright!

The strength of two hosts proves to be a two-way road, as green light leaks from Parallax's outward depiction of Rayner, signalling the emergence of both Rayner and Jordan, bursting free in a spray of yellow blood!

The quartet of Human Lanterns enjoy a brief reunion, but are soon faced with a recouped Parallax that gathers from the gloopy remains of the day. Furious, the fear entity looms over a naked and powerless Kyle Rayner, but is stemmed by the unlikely arrival of two Guardians from Oa!

Carrying recharge lanterns for each of the men, the two Guardians restore Kyle Rayner's status as a Lantern, having previously seen him elevated to torch-baring role of Ion. Glad to return to the fold, Rayner joins his fellows in chorus as they charge their rings.

With the Guardians having just disected and absorbed Parallax into the four rings, it remains to be seen whether or not there will be ramifications. In the time being, it is a battle won, in a war as yet undecided.

ARTWORK: Ethan Van SciverThe hammer...
Though it was Ganthet and Sayd who struck the winning blow, I think the involvement of each individual Green Lantern proved crucial, so we're going to be generous, and call a win to all!

Strange but true: I'm not a big sci-fi guy.
In that respect it was always the superhero aspect of the Green Lantern that remained the most important to me. By it's definition, I'm often reluctant to call myself a fan of things, because it implies a certain level of familiarity and knowledge. I don't know the minutia of the Green Lantern's lengthy history, but if I had to choose a favourite; and couldn't go the obnoxious smug route of saying Alan Scott; I'd say I'm a fan of Hal Jordan.

We've spoken before about the inflection a fan makes when identifying a moment of a legacy as "their" version of the character. Jordan was the Green Lantern in prominence when I read his tales, so alternates roughly fell by the wayside, namely Kyle Rayner. That said, I think the last decade has allowed the character to mature and endear himself in a way that I also enjoy.

It's interesting to watch Geoff Johns work.

I think it's too late to say Johns is becoming one of the lynchpins of the DC Universe. Geoff Johns has well and truly landed, and his influence has been felt by most fans reading DC comics, as he joins Grant Morrison, and the departing influences of Mark Waid and Greg Rucka, as architect of the DCU.

Evidence of Johns far faring involvement is the promotional conclusion to Sinestro Corps War, which reveals the coming final chapter of the Green Lantern's prophecy, Blackest Night.

One of the curiosities evident in Johns' writing is that it bucks against many contemporary trends, exhibiting a questionable degree of characterization, boasting instead the strength of story structure and planning. It's always curious to be deathly excited to read a Johns book, but ultimately find yourself a little mystified at the end of it, unable to recall miniscule specifics; not that this is necessarily the case of this issue.

The introduction of a yellow brigade seems like one of the least likely concepts to turn around the flailing fortunes of the Green Lantern franchise.
As much as Johns reinvigorated the brand with the new reader grabbing, Rebirth, the energy has struggled to remain consistent. Referring back; I find it oddly enjoyable that it would be conceits typical of the science fiction genre that would bring us all back to the green light.

It's worth noting that the story actually recalls events described in a previous GL story, building on notions proposed by "the great" Alan Moore, but then, that again refers to one of Johns' subtle strengths; his ability to drawn upon and inspire intelligent application of characters and their histories.

Having read so much positive fan press about the War, I may have been a little too whipped up to draw my own appreciation. It's with a critical eye that I note, much like the fabled LBS [*Lazy Brubaker Syndrome], that Johns' muted characterization means events unfold in expected sequence, with 'oh my gosh' moments that ask the reader to appreciate them on their merits, but are in a way betrayed by their logical succession.

The superhero conceit ironically lets the story down; seeing the overwhelming odds of the Sinestro Corps broken down through individualized battles. The Green Lanterns manage to gather their forces into smaller groups to out number Sinestro members, with prominent members defeated in video game succession.

It's foolish to say that there's anything wrong with that, but it does tend to undermine the war qualities of the story, which uses window dressing of occasional group shots to allude to the broader conflict. These allusions manage to include peppered cameos by members of the Justice League and Society, albeit without interference in those respective titles (probably for the better).

If nothing else, Sinestro Corps War makes these characters enjoyable to see again. Perhaps the greatest obstacle faced by the Corps, I feel, is the lack of iconic villains, so to that end, the Sinestro Corps is a greatly succesful vehicle that uses the requisite familiarities of Cyborg Superman and Superboy-Prime, but adds it's own qualities.

That said, the promise of a legion of Lantern Corps, each representing different colours and motives, highlights the follies of such a maneuver.
Presumably the prophecized fall to be depicted in Blackest Night will provide a buffer to eliminate the excess of Corps, because as much fun as alternate brigades may be, they threaten to overwhelm and water down a concept that, on it's own, is more than sound. Blackest Night does, however, tend to suggest negatives to go along with those contingencies.

As you'll be reading in the coming months, the Infinite Wars is instigating an initiative called Spider-Boycott: 2008. We'll be omitting Spider-man from our regular routine (as much as possible) in response to the major retcon featured in One More Day, that not only erases Peter Parker's marriage to Mary-Jane Watson, but reimagines the history that was created following, including the unwelcome resurrection of Harry Osborn.

With DC's Final Crisis looming, and the Green Lantern prophecy claiming the Blackest Night will accompany the fall of the universe; it's hard not to feel reticent about the future of DC Comics.

For the past five years intergalactic doom and gloom has been teased with Infinite Crisis, the multi-verse, and various other plot devices. The grim feeling that something might actually come of it is not a dramatic suspense I wish to indulge.
As much as one comes to accept the ebb and flow of sensibility in comics writing, and makes the well adjusted decision to accept certain changes; blanket retcons are not a notion I like to encourage or entertain.

Though twenty years later we see and enjoy the benefits of Crisis on Infinite Earths, we cannot condone another wipe of the slate. So, much as it's thrilling to look forward to the prospects suggested by the Sinestro Corps War and it's inevitable conclusions, there is a sense of reluctance and concern for the future.

I do my best now to contain myself, to discuss Blackest Night in a future entry, when we revisit the Sinestro Corps War. Hopefully that will be sooner than later, so I don't forget the delicious prospect these Black Lanterns present.

The Fight: 4.5 The Issue: 5.5

After two years, it's kinda nice to finally be able to present the Infinite Wars as Green Lantern-friendly. We hope we can shine our light to bring all you GL nuts to the Infinite Wars, and hey, if you aren't among their number yet, why not head over to Amazon to pick yourself up the first Sinestro Corps War trade -- and pre-order the second, which contains the issue reviewed here, and much more! Yay Amazon, yay kick-backs, yay Sinestro!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

By popular demand, the Infinite Wars are about to go where they've never been before! After two years of comprehensive canonical fight fact coverage, we're delving into the fictional world of fantasy fights, because you demanded it!

In the spirit of the immensly popular '96 DC/Marvel crossover event, we're pitting fifteen of each company's most relevant characters to 2007 against one and other! Stay tuned as we take a look at the imagine struggles of the superhero stars that have propelled the Infinite Wars across two full years of fisticuffs!

Strength: Silver Surfer 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Silver Surfer 5 (Professor)
Speed: Silver Surfer 7 (Light Speed)
Stamina: Silver Surfer 6 (Generator)
Agility: Silver Surfer 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting Ability: Silver Surfer 6 (Warrior)
Energy Powers: Draw 7 (Solar Power)

The Hook...
Well, as we near the conclusion of our first forray into Fantasy Fights, things don't get any easier. You might recall the infamous clash from the DC/Marvel crossover that saw the still inexperienced Kyle Rayner facing off against the Silver Surfer [Marvel versus DC #3], in a rematch from a previous crossover episode [Green Lantern/Silver Surfer].

With Hal Jordan alive, well, and seperated from the influences of the Spectre or Parallax; we enjoy the opportunity to recast this infamous battle.

The resonance here is of course not only their status as iconic cosmic figures in their respective universes, but also their roles in recent crossover events.

The Sinestro Corps War pitted the might of the Green Lanterns against a new breed of fear-wielding agents. Hal Jordan was front and centre in the clash that would see him again in the servitude of the Guardians, fighting a planetary menace in the returned Anti-Monitor, and Corps leader, Sinestro.

Silver Surfer has been faring the spaceways in the Annihilation events at Marvel. His personal struggles pertinent to Annihilus' Annihilation Wave saw an unlikely reunion between he and former planet-eating master, Galactus. Together they combatted Thanos, Annihilus, and the previously unknown survivors of Galactus' race; Tenebrous and Aegis.

The Battle...
As with other recent battles, I think I'm still a little too fatigued to get into the imaginings of panel layouts, and battle beats. Suffice to say, I think this would be yet another well represented exchange in cosmic power beams, and elaborate Green Lantern constructs. We'll probably be seeing more of both on the Infinite Wars in the new year.

I would be reluctant to under estimate the experience of Hal Jordan, but that said, his application of the Green Lantern powers doesn't really differ greatly from his successor, Kyle Rayner. In that respect, I would imagine there'd be a similar quality to the battles seen between the Surfer and the younger Lantern.

GREEN LANTERN fires upon the SIVER SURFER as they engage in reluctant combat: Seen first in MARVEL VERSUS DC #3!I don't doubt that this would present a lengthier fight, and in the reverse of the original crossover battle, I think it would be the Surfer and Hal Jordan that would be among the more inquisitive combatants. In the original event it was ultimately Batman and Captain America who were most reluctant to turn their powers away from the unseen enemy -- here, I think it should be the cosmically aware characters that recognise the potential to turn their powers to the larger threat.

Of course, as much as they would discuss the prospect, I don't think either would be willing to relent, and that's where we can creatively build our fight that must have a conclusion.

Much as the previous Surfer/Lantern showdown, I wonder if the apparent restrictions on the depiction of the ring might let it's reputation as 'the most powerful weapon in the universe' down just a tad. Perhaps it's the constraints of human perception that prevent the ring being used to it's fullest by Earthmen, but regardless, I would expect the Silver Surfer to eventually cut through his opposition, and put him to defeat, albeit as gently as possible.

It's probably worth remembering that the Surfer recently underwent a minor power boost courtesy of his former master, Galactus. Not anything particularly noticable (as far as I know), but further fuel for the fire of argument.

The Hammer...
As always, you should be welcomed to engage in discourse via the comments section below. Though these battles are solely the product of my own reasoning, the Fantasy Fights represent an opportunity for you all to engage in interaction with each other, and the Infinite Wars as an abstraction.

SILVER SURFER mourns his victory over the AVENGERS: Seen first in WHAT IF...? #70!As you're about to see, things are getting pretty green around the Infinite Wars right now. We're about to feature an issue of Green Lantern, following up on the SS/GL crossover from last week, so be sure to beware our power!

We'll be talking more about it in the subsequent entry, but it's interesting to observe the resurgance in Green Lantern popularity. As much as the character represents a staple of the DC Universe, it's hard to imagine the character's popularity enduring the gap between now, and the already announced 2009 event spectacular, The Blackest Night. Even so, it's nice for the character to enjoy some time in the sun, and it's a well earned entry into the Infinite Wars, that would fairly be argued as long overdue.

Stay tuned (mere seconds) for that entry, and in the mean time, take up the final hours to vote in the Fantasy Fight poll!

As revealed in the last battle [Round 12], an overall draw seems inevitable, so Round 15 will be decided by your votes! One universe will be obliterated!
Make your voice heard in the Infinite Wars by voting to save one!

WINNER: Silver Surfer
6 versus 7

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

HARVEY DENT gets the better of the JOKER in THE LONG HALLOWEEN #3!Post-Christmas blues getting you down?...
Don't forget, kids! The silly season has caused a minor disturbance in the force of the Infinite Wars! You can catch new entries you may have missed by scrolling down on the main page!

The overlapping series of complex initiation and on-action response codes hope to have the Infinite Wars operational by New Years Eve, in time for the debutant ball. We appreciate your patience, and apologise for any inconvenience. Counselling will be made available.

IN STORES: December 28, 2007
You can probably find complete shipping list updates on most major comics sites. Consider this an opportunity to either do all your info-shopping in the one place, or get a speculative perspective on what might be worth checking out. These are untested reads. Secret Wars on Infinite Earths can offer no guarantee or endorsement of quality. These are simply titles that may be of potential interest. Some items may ship late.

NOTE: Be sure to remember that those in the US (and perhaps elsewhere) will have to wait until Friday for their new books. The Holiday season has shipping running late, much like the Infinite Wars, so be sure to backtrack when you're visiting to check out the catch-up! Happy Holidays!

The quick list...
OCT072089 CAPTAIN AMERICA #33 $2.99
OCT072091 CAPTAIN MARVEL #2 (OF 5) $2.99
OCT072092 DAREDEVIL #103 $2.99
OCT070139 GOTHAM UNDERGROUND #3 (OF 9) $2.99
OCT072097 HOUSE OF M AVENGERS #3 (OF 5) $2.99
OCT070179 JSA CLASSIFIED #33 $2.99
OCT072153 PUNISHER #53 (MR) $2.99
AUG072022 REPO #5 (OF 5) (MR) $3.50

The deep dish...
- OCT070147 52 AFTERMATH THE FOUR HORSEMEN #5 (OF 6) $2.99
This far in, it's hard to know if this is really a title worth it. It marks one of the disappointing few spin-offs to come from 52, but having revived the characters that were so spectacularly dismantled by Black Adam [52 #44, #45], it's almost the last prospect on the list to explore.

MEPHISTO taunts SPIDER-MAN long before One More Day in MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL 1993!- SEP072177 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #545 $3.99
The conclusion of One More Day may decide the future of Spider-man in 2008!
Despite the character's strong showing in Season 07, and the Infinite Wars' usually passive disagreement to creative decisions, this one has the make or break factor! If the Spider-Marriage can remain in tact against all rumors, then it's safe, otherwise: Spider-boycott 2008! [More information]

- OCT070124 COUNTDOWN ARENA #4 (OF 4) $3.99
McDaniel's artwork continues to be less than attractive, but somehow enthusiasm remains high for this title. Maybe it's the fact that fans have voted for the outcomes, or just the sheer fanboy joy of delving into so many different classic Elseworlds.

- OCT070171 GREEN LANTERN #26 $2.99
The Sinestro Corps marked a true turning point in the Green Lantern mythos that has arguably suffered from a lack of name value in their villains. As good as anyone might think Sinestro Corps War was - one can't help but think this runs the risk of over doing it more than just a little. Sure, other coloured Corps is fun, but can it possibly escape being completely watered down? Time will tell!...

Issues like this obviously instantly endear themselves to what we do here.
A one-shot like this (presumably a follow-up to the monster one-shots a few years ago; including Fin Fang Four) is always nice to see from the typically conservative Marvel output. I hope it's worth the money, and fans get behind it accordingly.

Purely for the chunky steampunk looking Iron Man armor that has a gritty CG decay The Zombies are reborn as THE GALACTUS; a group of ever-hungry cosmic beings; first seen in MARVEL ZOMBIES #5!that reminds me of some of the work of Kirby Martin Inquest cover-artist; Ted Wing!

- OCT072116 MARVEL ZOMBIES 2 #3 (OF 5) $2.99
When you look at what DC is doing with it's 51 Elseworlds, and what became of Marvel's zombie output; which went from being a clever poke at the fanbase, and quickly turned into a parody of itself in an uninspired marketting boom; you can't help but feel a little bit of fan ego.
As someone with a penchant for trying to think careful, one can't help but wish his reputation for writing comics was a bit larger than a previously mentioned publication, so that he might have been in the picture to really make a dense history of the Zombie universe that spun-backward from Mark Millar's original concept.

Marvel Zombies might be fun again, but it still feels like an opportunity wasted.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

By popular demand, the Infinite Wars are about to go where they've never been before! After two years of comprehensive canonical fight fact coverage, we're delving into the fictional world of fantasy fights, because you demanded it!

In the spirit of the immensly popular '96 DC/Marvel crossover event, we're pitting fifteen of each company's most relevant characters to 2007 against one and other! Stay tuned as we take a look at the imagine struggles of the superhero stars that have propelled the Infinite Wars across two full years of fisticuffs!

Strength: Winter Soldier 3 (Athlete)
Intelligence: Draw 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Draw 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Winter Soldier 5 (Marathon Man)
Agility: Red Hood 4 (Gymnast)
Fighting Ability: Red Hood 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy Powers: Red Hood 4 (Arsenal)

The Hook...
Few, if any, of the battles featured thus far are as perfect as this.
They were two of the most famous deaths in comics, and they were both but young boys when they died as sidekicks to superhero legends. In 2005 they both made their unceremonious return, and fans have been split ever since.

In the original event it was the battle of their mentors, [Batman versus Captain America], that provided the exciting main event to the clash of universes.
There, it was Gotham's Batman who walked away the victor, but not without some grumbling from Cap's camp of fans, and external forces enacting themselves upon heroes who found themselves ambushed by floods.

Different camps regard the return of these once 'untouchable' corpses at varying degrees of success. The flippant reasoning behind Jason Todd's resurrection as a result of events related to Infinite Crisis, and the extra-universal influences of Superboy-Prime, led many to criticize what became a directionless return when Winick left the main Batman title, forcing deviation into his work on Green Arrow.

On the same hand, Bucky Barnes' return wasn't without it's contrivances, suggesting some ambiguity as to whether or not the return may have been a result of influences from the Cosmic Cube. Otherwise, Bucky was simply said to have survived the airplane that supposedly killed him, and apparently left him to the devices of Russian agents.

Regardless of the circumstances of their lost history; be it as assassin for Russians, or wayward heir of Ra's Al Ghul; they are back and represent comparable forces struggling to come to terms with abandonment, and their origins as heroes, despite their new history.

The Math: Red Hood Ranking: Red Hood (#29)

The Battle...
Well, the last one of these [Black Adam/Hulk] was tough to decide upon and easily argued. Despite the common resonances between these two characters, it gets absolutely no easier, and here's why:

For starters, the debate. The similarities between the characters creates a great hook, but has also been the subject of online debate since their returns. I think, if we had to choose, the Infinite Wars has fallen on the Jason Todd side of the fence, accepting the weaknesses of the Prime-Punch in exchage for motivated, high excitement story telling.

Bucky hasn't exactly been sitting still. In fact, his version of the absurd return backstory actually asks us to believe he's been active for quite some time prior to the reemergence under Ed Brubaker. That either makes him really good at what he does -- or really bad.

The scale of the characters has set them apart, and it's probably here that we draw our conclusion. These two characters inevitably meet on the urban battlefield detailed in more elaborative recaps [ie; Green Arrow/Hawkeye].
Both have a pedigree of training that favours operation in these environments, but Jason Todd's training is about advertising, as much as it is stealth. A steady contrast to the assassin's creed of Winter Soldier, whose modus is to remain unseen, whenever possible.

Picking Todd off with a sniper shot aside; Winter Soldier has also lived a very long existence, and emerged the more outwardly mature of the two characters. As Red Hood, Todd has exhibited considerable growth as an urban combatant, but at the same time, possesses much of the impetuousness that characterized him during his brief career as Robin.

RED HOOD dances with SPEEDY in the pages of GREEN ARROW #72!I tend to imagine Winter Soldier would gain first blood with a stealthy sniper shot, probably after a great deal of cat-and-mouse chase, as Red Hood attempts to evade the veiled attack, while also seeking to locate his opponent.
Winter Soldier would probably have a rooftop vantage point that would allow him maneuverability to escape detection, and maintain a strong ranged presence.

Bucky would likely move-in close to finish the wounded (but armored) Red Hood, only at a last resort. On the hand-to-hand front I probably favour Todd, but that skill is diminished sufficiently by Winter Soldier's penchant for preemptive, armor-piercing assaults.

The Hammer...
Ugh. Sometimes you just can't shake the feeling of disatisfaction, regardless of which way you go.
These kinds of match-ups are elegantly obvious, but it's that strength that also makes them so difficult to hammer down to a final conclusion. Even so, much as Black Adam/Hulk, we stand by our results.

Of course, though there is a sincere argument behind our decision, it also raises the unexpected scenario of a cumulative tie between DC and Marvel.
You've got a day or two left to scroll up to the top of the page where you can find a groovy little poll concerning just this. It seems the few who're voting either predicted the unlikely swing of events, or are voting with their hearts.

Either way, there are interesting points to be made from as flippant an exercise as this. There's a common (and not terribly strong) argument that arises from certain fans, that claims the DC heroes are infinitely more powerful than their Marvel counterparts. This is typically a point of chagrin for readers, but here, both in poll and result, we see that Marvel is just as capable as combatting their otherworld counterparts. Combatting, and as the canonical event showed, capable of beating them. Of course, that was decided by vote.

An ink-covered WINTER SOLDIER combats WOLVERINE in a printing press, as seen in: WOLVERINE #39!With only three battles to go, we're counting down to the business end of our competition. One can't help but admit that there's an ominous expectation of a tie leading into fight fifteen, and to give back to you, the readers, we'll abide by the poll result in the final fight. That means if you're a supporter of the DC Nation, you better rally the troops, because Marvel's looking for the win.

The final three promise to be some of the biggest of our Fantasy Fights.
If you have any opinions to voice, be encouraged to join in. The Infinite Wars are typically independent of the readers, but the Fantasy Fights offer the opportunity to connect in a far greater way. Fighting; bringing us together! Yay!

WINNER: Winter Soldier
6 versus 6
Well, of all the days to be regifting!
It's Christmas Day and the Infinite Wars may be running behind schedule, but that doesn't mean we can't leave a few season's beatings beneath the tree!

Take a look back at some of the best Christmas entries of Infinite Wars past, present, and future! Like any great Holiday Special we've got a whole range of clips featuring old favourites featuring: Kitty Pryde, the Thing, Dr. Doom, Spider-man, Mephisto, the Joker, Harvey Dent, and Robin!

Uncanny X-Men #143 (March 1981)
"Demon" Claremont/Byrne

Kitty Pryde remains one of the best known Marvel heroes of Jewish faith, and for her, the holiday season can be a little awkward. Not because of religious beliefs, but because, as one of the uncanny X-Men, she gets all kinds of unwanted visitors dropping by!

Take this classic tale from the all-star creative team of Claremont and Byrne!

When the X-Men are away, the villains will play, and X-student Kitty Pryde is about get a harsh initiation as the Xavier Mansion becomes the battleground between an X-Man in waiting and a survivor of the sinister N'Garai species that nearly defeated a full team!

Fantastic Four #361 (February 1992)
"Miracle on Yancy Street!" Ryan/DeFalco

It's Christmas Eve, and a whole lot of stirring is going on down on Yancy Street! At the request of his old pal, Slugger Sokolowski, the Thing heads back to the old neighbourhood to investigate a spout of disappearances, and the potential connection to drugs that have gotten a hold of Slugger's son!

It's the unlikley two-in-one team-up as Thing joins forces with his mortal enemies - the Yancy Street Gang - to track down the troubled Sokolowski youth, and uncover the diabolical scheme. The only thing more shocking than Thing joining up with the YSG, is the villain who's behind it all, and the reason he's come to New York!

Marvel Holiday Special (1993) (1994)
"Hopes and Fears" Grant/Broderick

With One More Day upcoming, don't miss the holiday hodown as Spidey comes face to face with Mephisto: the man who will one day force him to choose between the life of his beloved Aunt May, and the joyous marriage of he and his wife, Mary-Jane Watson!

When the angellic Spirit of Christmas is shotdown from the Manhattan sky and winds up in the pits of Hell, Spidey ineviably follows, and enters into a struggle of biblical proportions!

It's a nightmare before Christmas as Spider-man wagers his soul for the fate of the season, and the joy of man!

Batman: The Long Halloween #3 (February 1997)
"Christmas" Loeb/Sale

A new serial killer has emerged in Gotham City, and the Joker doesn't like it one bit!

The clown prince of crime is spending his holidays investigating the interference of the calendar killer called Holiday, who strikes only once a month, on a day of significance.

With the criminal underworld beginning to feel the hurt, and the Gotham police department in flux, the freaks are free to play, and neither establishment is happy about it.

Batman's the least of his problems as Joker takes the fight to Harvey Dent, offering the District Attorney a stern example of what it takes to be a murdering madman in the city of Gotham.

Detective Comics #826 (February 2007)
"Slayride" Dini/Kramer

Socks, ties, and underwear. Christmas with the old folks is a bore, so who could blame Tim Drake for heading out for a little patrol duty as the boy wonder, Robin?

Things are going well until a fight with a biker gang goes awry, leading a wounded Robin into the clutches of his worst enemy: the Joker!

What would a Christmas with the Joker be without a few holiday homicides, hit-and-runs, and hilarity?!
Forced to watch as events unfold out of his control, Robin gets seasoned in the seasons as he locks wits with Batman's oldest foe, and does his best to stop the madness.

Monday, December 24, 2007

2008 draws ever closer, and as we countdown the final days of 2007, so to do we countdown the years that have passed in reviews on Secret Wars on Infinite Earths! Join us as we continue our journey beyond the bumpy years of the nineties' "collectors boom" to emerge in the creative reawakening!

The Infinite Wars get into the thick of things as we get closer to today, which means not only more reviews to be found out of these, but also the opportunity to catch representation from across the board! Yes, that's right! DC (or is that, Batman?) finally get their cover-to-cover twenty-five dues! Now press the button my friend, and send me back into time!

Thor #1 (July 1998)
"In Search of the Gods" Jurgens/Romita Jr

For a year Earth's mightiest heroes were thought dead, but after the battle with Onslaught, time spent in a pocket universe, and a cosmic survivor bout with the Celestials -- the Avengers, Fantastic Four and Thor are back!

The Norse God of Thunder emerges after a near-death tussle with the sinister Dr. Doom, but his triumph proves hollow when he returns to an empty kingdom: Asgard abandoned and in ruins, devoid of even the foul Loki!

Thor returns to Earth to confront a new chapter in his destiny, and it begins with a confrontation with the Norse bringer of destruction: Avengers versus The Destroyer!

Street Fighter Alpha (1999)
"The Tournament Begins" Yamauchi/Yoshida

His master Gouken is dead - killed by Akuma - and on the eve of his murder, his star pupil Ryu is faced with the damning temptation of the same dark energies that empower Akuma and his murderous intent.

Ryu is far from alone in his internal struggle, joined not only by lifelong friend, Ken Masters; but also a cast of new friends including Sakura, Chun-Li, and a mysterious young Brazilian boy claiming to be his brother - Shun!

The street fighters head to the next big tournamnet, where Shun uncovers his own connection to the dark hadou energy when he faces the Russian wrestler- Zangief!

Batman: Dark Victory #3 (February 2000)
"Toys" Loeb/Sale

With the Holiday killings still fresh in the memory of Gotham city gangsters, freaks, cops, and heroes; the Dark Knight Detective finds himself confronted with a brand new slew of serial killings committed in conjunction with the calendar -- and this time the killer is a Hangman!

The cast of the Long Halloween reunite as the Falcone empire becomes embroiled in a new battle with Batman, Catwoman, and the police, as the lines between mobster and freak begin to blur.

In the early goings Batman is launching a preemptive assault, seeking answers wherever they may lie, beginning with the gangled silence of Jonathan Crane: Scarecrow!

Dark Knight Strikes Again #1 (November 2001)
"Book One" Frank Miller

When the Dark Knight returned he challenged an establishment that had shunned it's greatest heroes, and took the fight direct to their boyscout puppet: Superman!

After faking his death in the battle, Batman will Strike Again, but not before he frees a few more of his fellows from their oppresive bondage, and razes his army of Sons of the Bat -- former street punks who've joined his cause.

Superman brings the fight to Batman in a rematch that sees Batman not only well prepared, but with plenty of people lining up to take a shot at the superhero who turned his earth-moving back on the Justice League!

Batman #608 (December 2002)
"Hush: The Ransom" Loeb/Lee

A grossly mutated Killer Croc has joined a pack of mercenaries in an effort to kidnap one of Gotham's rich heirs to a fortune. Concerned for the child's predicament, the Dark Knight is swift in delivering his justice, but soon learns this is but the beginning!

Killer Croc's a man motivated, and Batman will have to pull out all his tricks to take on the hulking crocodilian in a rooftop battle. Meanwhile, Catwoman is ready to capitalize on the distraction and pick-up the winnings for herself!

Is she acting alone, or is their a heirarchy of alternates pulling the strings, leading to a brand new rogue in Batman's growing cast of enemies? Hush begins here!