Friday, July 01, 2016 

The future of superhero movies looks like a crossover team title

I found an op-ed by the film critic James Berardinelli (whose family once knew the late artist Gene Colan) from last year, that, while it may be a bit old now, does predict what's apparently happening to superhero movies this very moment - they're becoming more like crossovers and less stand-alone solo vehicles:
The Avengers was a game changer in that it essentially made stand-alone superhero movies obsolete (something easily predicted). Since then, most "one hero" movies have underperformed. Iron Man 3 was the exception, although its domestic gross fell short of The Avengers by $200M. But The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (barely cleared $200M domestic), Thor: The Dark World (barely cleared $200M domestic), The Wolverine (didn't reach $150M domestic), and Man of Steel (didn't reach $300M domestic) all disappointed versus expectations. The trend was clear. The second Captain America brought along a bunch of superhero sidekicks and the Superman sequel has been reworked to rope in Batman and pave the way for the long-gestating Justice League film. Meanwhile, the Spider-Man debacle forced Sony to call a truce with Marvel in what is likely to be a sign of things to come.

As Warner Brothers struggles to get Justice League off the ground, Marvel has increased its dominance in the superhero box office battle. But, in a curiously timed move, they have employed a doomsday strategy. In order to stoke fan expectations to a fever pitch, they have announced a one-two-three punch: Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: The Infinity War (Parts 1 & 2). There are, however, unintended consequences to announcing big plans like these.
Indeed there are: they're no longer self-contained, and now they've become more like the concept that brought down superhero comics since the mid-80s: company wide crossovers. And is that truly a good thing? Not really, because I find it galling if they're attempting to justify the practice, which is discouraging even to moviegoers.
Then there's the question of what happens after 2019. From a certain perspective, The Infinity War makes sense. Superhero movies are all about raising the stakes. Single hero movies gave way to teams. Now teams must give way to something else - in this case, the final battle against the ultimate villain. But then what? After The Infinity War, going back to "smaller" stories will be a hard sell. Viewers always want more, but what more can there possibly be after telling the biggest story imaginable? It would be like doing a character-based book in the wake of an epic fantasy.
One moment now. Is he suggesting character-based stories are bad? Or that the audience doesn't like them? If that's what he's saying, I think it's insulting to imply they don't, or to say nobody wants a single hero movie anymore. Nor is bigger always better. Even a story with a simpler structure can be very crowd-pleasing. Yet it appears they're headed almost entirely to team-based movies and battles against enormous supervillains, and that's taking the risk of wearing the movies thin. Just like the publishers are doing this very moment with the crossovers back in the pamphlets.

It's probably a sign that eventually, even superhero movies will wear thin, because if they continue with films meant to resemble crossovers and team titles, it only figures they'll have mooted solo fare sooner than we thought.

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Thursday, June 30, 2016 

It's clear they're delighted they offended people

The following tweets from at least 3 would-be writers prove Marvel and their apologists aren't sorry for fan-baiting with the Captain America-as-Hydra stunt:

For all we know, it could have been, but what matters for now is that Marvel's staff lied deliberately, all in order to disgust the audience, later laugh behind their backs at how they "fooled" everyone, not to mention obscured a ludicrous rendition of Red Skull. Something the press is unlikely to comment on.

The question is whether Slott and his ilk understand how the original setups for various heroes worked. They don't. And Slott didn't stop with that:

For the wrong reasons, but will they admit that? Of course not.

Did Lee and Kirby ever try to peddle turning a hero into a vile villain as a real deal? Not from what I can recall. When they wrote their story for Tales of Suspense where Red Skull brainwashed Cap, they made it clear from the start it was all mind control, and definitely never retconned Steve's background.

Umm, did DC turn Barry into a Parallax villain the same way Hal Jordan was several years later? No, that's not what happened either. Interesting how Slott implies he doesn't like Barry Allen as a Flash either, and probably not even Jay Garrick.

Sayeth an apologist who won't admit the Red Skull as stand-in for conservatives is offensive to decent Europeans as well.

Predictably, he won't admit there's Jews out there who also found the setup distasteful, and don't have to feel sorry they "overreacted", because trolling the audience is in poor taste, and if they're going to cliche that technique into the ground, then they don't deserve our hard-earned money. Slott's comment is disrespectful to non-Jews, and suggests he has a low opinion of them.

Nick Spencer had stuff to say too:

He sounds like a "professional victim", who's actually rather delighted to make anybody mad so he can look like he was unfairly slammed. He also lets know that:


But crossovers are just the problem with today's marketing technique, and this is one of the most revolting ways you could promote one (which is apparently Civil War 2). They clog out all stand-alone storytelling, and they're also quite money-consuming. Above all, many of them turn out to be unmemorable, flash-in-the-pan junk that isn't widely talked about in the years to come, and are riddled with leftist politics that serve the writing staff's interests far more than the consumer's. Anybody who pays good money for what they're turning out is doing themselves a serious disfavor.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016 

The worst way Marvel could troll the audience

In this interview on Comic Book with Axel Alonso (via Paste), they tell us that in the second issue of Nick Spencer's solo book for Steve Rogers, suddenly, it IS mind control that's maneuvering Captain America into Hydra collaborations:
Last month, Marvel Comics shocked the fan community by revealing in the pages of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 that Steve Rogers, who only just returned to his role as Captain America, has actually been a Hydra sleeper agent since he was a boy.

However, despite what Steve Rogers remembers from his childhood, things are not what they seem. Captain America: Steve Rogers #2, from the creative team of writer Nick Spencer and artist Jesus Saiz, reveals that Steve’s memories of indoctrination were implanted by Kobik, the sentient Cosmic Cube who became a girl. Not only that, but Kobik has been under the influence of Steve Rogers’ most fearsome archenemies, the Red Skull, for months.
I'm afraid this only gives further confirmation Marvel's staff was deliberately trying to disgust the audience. Above all, it basically says they lied when they didn't have to. If they'd really wanted to respect the audience, they would've said from the get-go that Steve was under some form of brainwashing. Instead, they sought to make the audience feel offended that a guy who was created to be a heroic American was being turned into an agent for a terrorist gang originally founded by neo-nazis. That's reprehensible, and everybody who's really a Marvel fan should still avoid putting their money into these awful people's pockets.

This also confirms, IMO, that Marvel did this to draw attention away from the most disturbing topic in the story - their exploitation of Red Skull as a stand-in for Tea Partiers and Euro-patriots. And indeed, it certainly served to obscure what's certainly a nasty idea in the debut issue. Did much of the mainstream press say anything about Red Skull's rendition, and how Steve Rogers is being controlled by a stand-in for right-wingers who're trying to maintain border security? Nope, because that would only spoil their twisted visions.

Let's take a look at some of Alonso's commentary:
ComicBook.com: You hear your fair share of pitches over the course of a month, what was it about Nick's that made you excited about it? What was your initial reaction?

Axel Alonso: I reacted with the same kind of skepticism I do in most things. My reaction was somewhat similar to how I reacted to the Superior Spider-Man because it's a very ambitious plan and it encapsulated characters in a sinister light. I think what became clear was that there was a real fantastic story to be told through Captain America, a hero who is dressed in red, white and blue, that would build to all sorts of questions and conversations while leading to something very big in the Marvel universe. So yes. It took a little while but I got onboard.
Oh, I'll bet it took a while. If Spencer recommended irritating everybody with the tabloid-style advertisement that Steve's become evil, it's long clear they'd go with it just as they did with Peter Parker making faustian pacts with Mephisto. Note the part about Inferior Dr. Octopus, hinting they consider "explorations of evil" a more interesting path than heroism.
CB: Naturally, the story caught fire and was covered by everyone under the sun? Was it the reaction you were expecting?

AA: We're trained to anticipate a strong reaction to change or a big plot twist like this, whether it's a female Thor or the new Ms. Marvel or the Korean-American Hulk. We didn't expect the reaction to be anywhere this big. It was comparable to the way that people reacted to the death of Captain America. I think a lot of the people reacting most violently aren't people that go to the comic book stores every Wednesday and are trained to understand the way the comics work and the rhythms and how we could do this kind of thing with our heroes.

Obviously, when people read issue 2, it's going to provoke a whole new discussion amongst fans as the truth is revealed.
Umm, who said anybody was reacting violently? No more so from what I can than what happened during the Gamergate campaign. And I think they did expect, and certainly hoped, there'd be a ferocious reaction, so then they could make everybody out to look like oversensitive fools, even though there's valid grounds - artistic or otherwise - for why we should be disappointed with their approach to marketing.
CB: You mention traditional comics rhythm, and usually for this kind of story fans would have to wait much longer for the big reveal. Here, you’re revealing it right in issue 2. Was that key to the story that you guys and Nick wanted to tell?

AA: It was a consideration but it wasn't the only thing. I think that they key thing was that in order to tell the story that Nick wants to tell, we needed readers to know that which our heroes don't know. Captain America, one of the most trusted superheroes in the Marvel universe, is not exactly who you think he is. He is operating with a different and sinister intent now and every interaction that we see from here on in will be shaded by that. That's a story that Nick wanted to tell, and that's a story that's going to be fascinating for the next two months and a story that's going to build to big, big things within the Marvel universe as well.
I think this is another confirmation this isn't going to be something appealing. Just another lead in to their next company wide crossover, one of the biggest problems from a marketing/artistic perspective they suffer from nowadays.
CB: We also get the reveal that the Red Skull is back. Are there plans in the story to tell readers where he’s been since we last saw him?

AA: All I'll say is all will be revealed. We want this read to be immersive and for readers' questions to be explained in due time. Obviously, there's a lot for people to process. Issue two is going to blow people's minds. It’s a dense read. It's challenging. What it reveals takes some processing. This isn't the time or the place for us to be explaining what the Red Skull's been up to. You're going to be rewarded as we peel back the layers of this.
They've already given strong hints where this could be going, and if so, then they've only confirmed Spencer's leftist politics are in motion.
CB: What kind of things can you do from a storytelling standpoint with the notion that a reader knows something the characters don’t?

AA: This book features a character dressed in red, white and blue. That type of character is going to deal with themes and problems that are different from, say, the Incredible Hulk or even Spider-Man. Our writer, Nick Spencer, was selected as the writer of this book for a lot of reasons, one of which is the fact that he is very well read on history and on politics, and he's not afraid to tackle some of these issues in the course of our book.

I think first and foremost that that's part of the experience of reading Captain America from here on in is that this is a book that's really, really fertile ground for exploring the story of a deep-cover operative. What's more deep cover than the most trusted superhero in the universe operating with an ulterior motive? A sinister agenda? You don't have to search far and wide to start seeing the topical things we're dealing with right now in this post-9/11 world.
I honestly wonder if Alonso, Spencer and their ilk even bother to search far and wide. Spencer wears his leftism on his sleeve, and pretty much everything he's done so far is from an ultra-liberal viewpoint. So why should we expect anything meaty with regards to exploring the post-911 world?

In the end, it all boils down to Alonso/Spencer lying about Steve not being mind controlled, and seeking to troll the fans deliberately. And Alonso even has the gall to say the people who found this offensive aren't fans. I'm sorry, but his interview does nothing to alleviate worries that the book will still be used as a propaganda vehicle, and still does a big disfavor to Simon/Kirby's memories.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016 

What some writers have to say about Brexit

Soon after Britain voted to leave the European Union, corrupt outfit that they are who've only undermined the continent, some comics writers/artists have decided to make rather predictable left-wing comments about the country's vote. Here, from Bleeding Cool (who also resent the public's opinion) are several writers who've made their visions clear, and I'll post those whom I certainly know are creators right here, starting with none other than Warren Ellis, who's on the wrong foot:

Good grief, he's not being very respectful to the Welsh with that one, nor the Irish, IMO. Even though [Northern] Ireland, as far as I know, voted to remain in the EU, which I think is a mistake for them. Ellis is not doing any favors with his revolting little tirade. Then, there's artist Liam Sharp, who does come from Europe:

Why? What good is the Euro currency, if we take that as an example? It's just crap, and nowhere as good as the French Franc and the Italian Lire were. Next is Paul Cornell:

Why? You really want immigration from countries plagued with an awful religious ideology? Look what Germany's experienced, and the UK's had its share of this too. If it were immigrants from Latin America to Europe, things might've been better. But no, they just have to take the poor choices of where and how to seek immigrants from.

Yeah, for people like him, who turn their backs on the horrors that took place over on the mainland of Europe, and even in the UK itself. The USA's also experienced terrible incidents like these recently.

Did he feel that way when child slavery rings were discovered in England?

If "Eurabia" becomes a reality, will he think the same thing?

What about the ramifications of terrorism? The USA's just experienced one of the worst assaults at the hands of Omar Mateen. France recently had one of the worst attacks too. So I'm not sure what this cartoonist's point is either.

Hmm, I don't think he's going to win over many comics fans across the pond now, if this is how he "respects" their democracy.

If the EU itself were to dissolve, that would be no more problematic than the corrupt UN dissolving.

So, he's still as leftist as ever, I guess. Or, more specifically, has no idea what independence can really mean. Here's also at least two who weren't listed by BC:

After he did at least a few things that were contemptuous of Britain? I doubt it. He'd only make things worse for their healthcare, much like he already did for the USA. And that's only the beginning.


I'm not sure how that's respectable to the UK, a country you'd think people like him actually loved. I guess he and his ilk won't be visiting any UK conventions anytime soon?

Again, I don't see why the US-based writers are lambasting politicians from a country they don't live in, yet which you'd assume they loved. The American writers/artists' beefs with Brexit are even more puzzling than those of the European creators. And the saddest part is how they don't seem to have any understanding of the positive sides of independence and self-determination, which is what Brexit was supposed to be about. What a pity. The UK's done some bad things in the past. But this topic in itself isn't one of those. If it encourages France, Portugal and other European countries to work out similar referendums, they'll be doing the right thing. Far more than these comic writers are doing by opining in such careless tones.

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Sunday, June 26, 2016 

800-year-old manga is now animated

Here's a short article on Vice's Motherboard section about a manga strip dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries that's now getting adapted to anime after so many millenniums.

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Friday, June 24, 2016 

That's what Civil War 2 is about? The loss of Rhodey?

IO9's Gizmodo section interviewed Brian Bendis about the sequel to the politicized crossover from 2006, and it appears here that Tony Stark's buddy Jim Rhodes, the guy who'd once substituted in his armor and even had a role of his own as War Machine is being turned into the latest sacrificial lamb for publicity's sake:
Marvel Comics’ second Civil War is in full swing now, with the main miniseries and multiple tie-in issues out in the wild. Civil War II started with a major character death and superstar writer Brian Michael Bendis explains why it had to happen that way.

When I spoke to Bendis over the phone last week, the topics ranged from his feelings about seeing Alias adapted into Jessica Jones for Netflix, the second season of Powers and being an Aaron Sorkin fanboy, but I felt like I had to ask him about the character death that brings Iron Man and Captain Marvel into conflict. What follows is an edited version of our conversation on that topic.
Hmm, I wonder what was left out? For now, it's pretty apparent that this was done as yet another excuse to force 2 or more heroes to clash with each other over something that didn't have to be. Other recent examples include Tony Stark vs. Bruce Banner.
io9: Did you already know that Rhodey was going to be seriously hurt in the Civil War movie?

Brian Michael Bendis: I did. It’s hard for [me to have] people to see [that plot point] because the movie and comic are coming out on top of each other. But those are drafts I read years ago. When we were putting together Civil War II, other than the [similar] title, is almost a different sub-genre of comic book making. It’s about something completely different, starring completely different characters [than the movie].

The one hurdle I had was the idea that [Iron Man and Captain Marvel] are both smart, good people and they’ve been through Civil War. What would make [these characters] throw the gauntlet down again? It was really what other writers had gifted me—that Rhodey was Tony’s best friend and also romantically connected to Carol—and then I said out loud [his death] is something they would fight for.

The [central] idea is good but something personal would really help the audience get to that ‘they’re going to do it again’ thing. Do you know what I mean? They have to go the distance. It just so happened that the same person was Tony’s friend and Carol’s romantic friend and I did say out loud, “I don’t know exactly where they’re going to land in the Civil War movie but I know Rhodey gets hurt and I’m worried about even the concept of poaching something. It’s not something I want to do. Nobody at Marvel on any level felt that what it was because they saw where it was coming from.

I know people think that Marvel lets me do whatever I want. But that’s not a relationship that I’m interested in or would be very helpful to anybody. People who do really keep me honest said, “Oh no, no, no, this is a completely different story.” We knew what we were going to get out of it down the road.” So I went with it. I thought I would get more sass about that. I didn’t. I was surprised.
If he thinks we're fooled by his defense that Marvel doesn't let him do nearly everything, forget it; we've already seen what he did with Scarlet Witch back in 2004, and what followed was pointless, even disgusting.

I can't think of any moments in the past (pre-2000) where Rhodey was a boyfriend to Carol, so I can only assume this was a more recent concoction of Bendis', and now, look where it's leading to - a squabble between IM and Ms. Marvel, just for the sake of rifts. Is he implying they're not very smart, or good? Well it's no surprise what he must think of Tony, since Marvel spend about a decade turning him into a jerk, or worse, ever since the first Civil War came out.
Speaking of sass, you may or may not know, I wrote something rather strongly felt about Rhodey’s death. It hurt to lose him.

Bendis: No, it did. May I say, I agree with you. It hurt to write. We talked about, yes, an African-American man dying in this world that we’re building. We had a lot of conversations about that as well. And then we came to the conclusion that by diversifying the line as much as [Marvel has], one of the traps would be to not put any of these characters in a situation that would be dangerous, right?

Yeah.

Bendis: The fear is that there won’t be any drama. Like if nothing bad is going to happen to Miles Morales, then why would you buy Miles Morales? You’re buying it for the events and the drama and for stuff to happen. I used to get crap like this when I was writing Daredevil.

They said, “Man you hate Daredevil. You never give him a break.” I said, “You wouldn’t buy the ‘I’m giving him a break book?’” You wouldn’t buy it. I know you wouldn’t. So that went into the equation when thinking about it. If the story is going this way... cannot do something. Any other reason just seemed false and bullshitty.
I think I can figure what's going on here. Now they're trying to prove they're capable of putting a non-white character through the wringer, as if it hadn't been done before. Except that Power Man went through something like that for a brief time after the cancellation of the series he shared with Iron Fist (Luke Cage was framed for murder, and had to exonerate himself). And I can only shake my head in disbelief at his claim nobody would buy a series where the hero wasn't put through frequent misery all the time. All he's doing is perpetuating the lie that brightness and optimism are "bad", when the Fantastic Four used the angle for many years and nobody had any serious complaints. Worse, it seems like forcing the heroes into utter misery's become the main worry now, but not stories where the heroes figure out how to help guest stars find their way out of the darkness. That's what's bringing down mainstream superhero comics today.

And did it really "hurt" Bendis to write Rhodey ending up in this mess? I doubt it.
My biggest problem was, after losing Bill in the first one, it’s such a well-worn annoying trope when it comes to black characters in pop culture and genre fiction. It’s like, “Okay, yeah, we can lose him because whatever imagined numbers for our audience won’t care about him.”

Bendis: May I say you’re completely right. I’m not colorblind and please understand, I’m not whitesplaining or mansplaining. Ask me questions and I’ll tell you what I was feeling about it. I’m not saying it’s the only way to feel or that this is the last statement on the subject, because I don’t think it is at all.

But, when putting it together, as I just explained to you, Rhodey is this character to both of these people. For this idea of a personal tragedy within both characters, at the same moment, he’s the perfect and only candidate. I literally couldn’t think of anything else.

I went through all of the Avengers. I went through their history with substance abuse and alcohol abuse that they had. But all of the history with these characters and Rhodey had the most powerful impact. We have things coming out of the other side and characters coming out of the other side who will be motivated by this death. I literally almost begged editors who I knew to find me anything else, because I worried about it. There was nothing else.
Gee whiz, this man is so boring! He whines about supposedly having to come up with a sacrificial lamb at all costs, as though there absolutely has to be a sacrifice, and won't think of alternatives to a story about alleged motivation and clashing over it all. Even the interviewer's side sounds ludicrous, because there are fans out there who care about Rhodey as a way to tell stories while he's alive, and not turned into a victim on the alter of artistic bankruptcy. IMO, he is "whitesplaining", and even "mansplaining", given his own leftist background.
Then I was faced with the idea if I don’t go down this road with this story, that at this moment is telling itself, if I don’t do that, then isn’t it kind of the opposite of the right thing to do? Are we not now treating characters equally? Isn’t diversity about equality? If this was a white character, we wouldn’t think twice about it.

Right.

Bendis: In this instance. I’m not talking about all the incidents, which obviously, I have no control over. But this story, this character, this moment, it was thought about a great deal. [...]
I think he's coming off more as a moral equivalency specialist. Missing here is whether a character death alone makes for a talented script. No, it doesn't not guarantee that at all. So because they've spent years killing off white protagonists or turning them evil, that suddenly makes it okay to do it with black protagonists too? Absolutely not. And contrary to his defense, I think he's got plenty of influence. No of course it's not 100 percent, but he has had considerable influence in all the time he's tarnished Marvel with his pretentious approach to storytelling.
Bendis: I just want you to know that a lot of thought went into it and, at the end of the day, the short answer is it’s bullshit not to kill the character only for that reason. I know not everyone reading this will agree. I’m with you on that. It wasn’t done sloppily or colorblind at all.
Yawn. Keep droning on and on please. They haven't put much thought into anything since Disassembled in 2004, so why should we believe any were put into this new mess either? Interesting that he, of all people, is willing to argue that race alone is not a reason to avoid killing a character in a superhero universe. If it were somebody of a conservative/Republican leaning, I'm sure they'd get lambasted for that, though the main point overlooked here is that no matter a character's race and such, killing off any and every supporting cast member to allegedly create drama is does not a good story make, and it's long gotten past the point of reprehensibility and revulsion.

Also, it sounds like Bendis plans to have Rhodey's War Machine role filled by...a woman of black background:
I appreciate that. So as a bit of a segue, it seems that you’re setting things up for the new character Ri Ri to potentially take on the War Machine mantle in Invincible Iron Man.

Bendis: Yeah. Perfect example, by the way of what I’m talking about. There’s a lot more going on in the books than just that. I’m sorry. Go ask your question.

Should we not be surprised to see her stepping up in a bigger role in the Marvel Universe?

Bendis: Well, a lot is going to happen in Civil War 2. There’s a lot going on with that character, we just introduced her. We don’t even know her backstory or her family situation or anything like that. We do know that she’s probably smarter than Tony, which is a lot of fun to write in a book starring the man who is always smarter than everybody in the room. Or thinks he is.

I will tell you we’re enjoying her a great deal on our end. I’m curious to see what people think of her in a few months. But yeah, you’re going to see more Ri Ri coming up.
What they think of the new cast member will probably be a lot more than they'll think of Bendis' writing, which sure isn't thrilling many new people. So now it's not just Thor as a white humanoid being replaced by a woman. Now even black stars aren't immune to "diversity" at all costs. What next, will Power Man and Iron Fist be replaced by women in both roles? And Misty Knight/Colleen Wing by men in theirs?

If he's implying Tony Stark's not a smart man, that only compounds their whole view of him for the past decade, which again, has seen Tony made out to look bad, and even have his parents retconned into step-parents, among other pedestrian ideas. Tony, like countless other fictional characters, is only as smart as the writers can make him, and if awful ones like Bendis are only interested in making him look stupid, then obviously, they're not true fans.

So now it looks like Jim Rhodes has become the latest publicity stunt sacrifice, this time just so they can prove they're capable of doing in a guy of different racial background. But killing off characters not only doesn't guarantee the story will be written well, it doesn't guarantee convincing drama either. And modern Marvel's had none of that for years.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016 

Ron Marz actually wrote a Nexus story despite his own politics

And considering what politics Mike Baron and Steve Rude's creation has, that's why this is just hilarious, IMO:

He may have had to secure permission from Baron to do this, but still, how weird a far leftist wants to script a story for a series with an anti-communist standing. Naturally, we can only wonder what kind of politics Marz will apply in the story he's written. For all we know, it could be pretty leftist and/or weak on communism, along with other serious faults coming from the left. Which would only make Marz's take discouraging.

I just don't understand why some liberal creators whose view of communism and such is soft would hold a conservative and/or his creation in high regard. Especially considering the mainstream have all but blacklisted Baron, and may not employ him again for a long time. And even leftists like Marz aren't doing anything to lobby for him to be given a job in the mainstream again (though the way they're currently run doesn't make the grounds healthy for a return).

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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