Monthly Archives: February 2011

Icon #2 Review

Summary

We get a flashback as one of the mayor’s co-workers walks into her office and takes her hostage. Few hours later Icon and Rocket arrive to give the police their assistance things go wrong as Icon wants to comply with their request of being slapped in cuffs and hauled off while Rocket lashes out at them. When things stabilize the duo saves the cops and rushes into the mayor’s office right after she actually confesses to being the one responsible for what happened at the “big bang”. Icon disarms the man who transforms into a hulking beast!

The Good

The dialogue and story have started sinking there hooks in, McDuffie has crafted two very well characterized and executed people in, Icon and Rocket. One is aloof, law abiding and pretty much “uptown” while the other is a dirt poor tough as nails chick with quite a mouth on her. It was also great seeing a brief recap of the hostage situation and what lead to the police and our duo clashing.

The motivation of the would be captor is also a great read as it starts what will probably be a conspiracy theory that has far reaching consequences in the “Dakotaverse”.

Additionally we got to see just what Rocket’s powers are thanks to the belt and the brief skirmish with the cops.

The Bad

The art is still not one of the highlights of this book :(

The Ugly

All in all a solid read 3.5/5


Blood Syndicate #1 Review

Summary

Reporter Chaplick from the Chronicle Newspaper decides against her editors best wishes to go to Paris Island home of the Blood Syndicate for the exclusive story of a life time. After arriving they give her specific instructions to do as she’s told as she’s introduced to the whole team: Masquerade, Tech-9, Fade, Flashback, BrickHouse, DMZ, Holocaust and Wise son. Brickhouse and Wise son have a small scuffle over him using the word bitch to refer to women. They then dispatch to take down a crack house; Chaplick is along for the ride now that they’ve given her a gun.

The plan is to destroy the drugs and take the money for themselves. They use teamwork to get into the building through the front door and use violent means to take down all opposition. In the thick of things the reporter’s head gets blown off and flashback saves her. When they find the money they secure it, in the drug room Flashback steals a handful of cocaine without anyone realizing. Holocaust burns down the building despite being told by Wise son to just torch the drugs. While the rest of the team evacuates the people he just watches. He then challenges Wise son for leadership since he disagrees with the way this gang is being run.

The Good

Introductions- As far as introduction issues go, this one was a good read. Every member of the team gets their introductions and all their powers are highlighted. Right out the gate we also get some interesting team dynamics. Brick and Wise son have issues because he doesn’t think very highly of women and she clearly is having none of his shenanigans; Holocaust and Tech-9 have different ideas about what their gang should be doing. Tech-9 clearly wants the gang to be a force for good, albeit very violently. Tech-9 is against drugs Flashback clearly is using drugs since she stole some for personal consumption.

Controversial- I also found it bold to have Wise son a Muslim was spouting off about “the white man”. I don’t even know HOW they got this on comic stands in the 90’s? A black Muslim talking cold hard facts about the “system”. Unheard of even today! blood syndicate3

Action- As far as introductory issues go, this one was pretty good! Exploding heads, spraying bullets, time travel! Honestly there was something for everyone with this one. This issue also had a healthy dose of  action and over the top violence to keep action junkies very happy.

 

The Bad

Art-Honestly the art was very underwhelming, Trevor Von Eden’s art has not aged gracefully. Inconsistencies abound

PG 13- Just so you know this is not a comic for kids. The violence is over the top and gratuitous, heads and hands explode in bloody pulps among other things.

 

The Ugly

Milestone produced a few teams back when it was in print but Blood Syndicate under the pen of Ivan Velez Jr. who took over when Dwayne Mcduffie left is still to this day the most diverse team ever. We had a Jamaican in Masquerade, Panamanians in Fade and Flashback, Latino’s in Tech-9 and Brick. The sexual orientation diversity has never been equaled even all these years later. Blood Syndicate #1 is diversity done right! 4/5

stars- 4


Garcian Smith

Killer 7′s Garcian Smith

Created by: Capcom

1st appearance: Killer 7, July 2005

Species: Earthling

Team Affiliations: None

Legal Status: Unknown

Weight: Unknown            Height: Unknown

Eyes: Brown                 Hair: Black

Relatives: Unknown

Skills and Abilities: Skilled in armed combat.

Powers: The primary personality of the “Killer 7″ group. He can resurrect the others when they die in combat  and all are dependent on his safety to continue to exist.

Biography

Garcian Smith is the protagonist of Suda 51′s “Killer 7″ which was released on both Gamecube and later the Playstation 2. As the dominant or original personality he exerts control over the other six personalities that he can become.  Before taking on the other six personalities he was simply Emir Parkreiner who had unspecified psychic powers.


Haile Selassie I

Haile Selassie I (“Power of the Trinity”) (23 July 1892 – 27 August 1975), born Tafari Makonnen,was Ethiopia’s regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. The heir to a dynasty that traced its origins to the 13th century, and from there by tradition back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Haile Selassie is a defining figure in both Ethiopian and African history.

At the League of Nations in 1936, the Emperor condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people. His internationalist views led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the United Nations, and his political thought and experience in promoting multilateralism and collective security have proved seminal and enduring.

His suppression of rebellions among the nobles (mekwannint), as well as what some perceived to be Ethiopia’s failure to modernize adequately, earned him criticism among some contemporaries and historians.

Haile Selassie is revered as the returned Messiah of the Bible, God incarnate, among the Rastafari movement, the number of followers of which is estimated between 200,000 and 800,000. Begun in Jamaica in the 1930s, the Rastafari movement perceives Haile Selassie as a messianic figure who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace, righteousness, and prosperity. He himself remained an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life.

Read more about him here


Taraji Henson

Taraji Penda Henson (born September 11, 1970) is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her roles as Yvette in Baby Boy (2001), Shug in Hustle and Flow (2005) and Queenie in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)


DMZ

dmz

Publisher: Milestone Media, INC.

First Appearance: Blood Syndicate #1, April 1993

Created by: Dwayne McDuffie, Ivan Velez Jr. and Denys Cowan

Nationality: American

Weight: 176 lbs    Height: 5’9

Eyes: unknown              Hair: unknown

Relatives: unknown

Notes: Whether or not he can talk has been debated among fans especially since he once spoke in the world’s collide storyline.

Powers: He appears to have Superhuman strength, flight and resilience. Though his Skybox card suggested he ‘manifests whatever powers are necessary to address a given situation’. (Milestone Skybox card #90, 1993)

Biography

When a member of the D’masi police force chased an intergalactic criminal to earth. An African-American man stepped in between her and certain death resulting with him mortally wounded. Grateful to the lower life form for his sacrifice she used her people’s advanced technology to heal him and in the process unlocked his full potential and enhanced him. After this she left earth promising to return for him one day (Dwayne McDuffie, Delphi Forum).

After the Big Bang event he became the most mysterious member of the super human team the Blood Syndicate. He always showed up when needed though he comes and goes as he pleases. DMZ often spends his time atop the ruined tenth avenue bride, whirling an enormous beacon mounted on a massive chain (Milestone Skybox card #90, 1993).



Tech-9

Rolando Texador is Tech-9

Rolando Texador is Tech-9

Real Name: Rolando Texador

Publisher: Milestone Comics

First Appearance: Blood Syndicate #1, April 1993

Created by: Dwayne McDuffie, Ivan Velez Jr. and Denys Cowan

Nationality: Puerto Rican

Weight: 195 lbs    Height: 5’11

Eyes: Black              Hair: Black

Relatives: unknown

Skills and Abilities: Natural born leader and strategist.

Powers: Due to the events of the Big Bang Rolando possesses the power of talismanic telekinesis; this means he produced energy which could be dispersed through any projectile weapon in his possession. Thus any weapon he held had an infinite supply of ammunition. In addition to this he had uncanny aim and never missed a target even if he did not aim.

Biography

Origin

Rolando and Carlos Quinones jr. were friends ever since they met as kids.They looked out for each other and while Carlos never explicitly told Rolando he was gay, Rolando knew but realized it was too painful a topic to talk about for his best friend [Revealed in Interview with Ivan Velez Jr.].

Tech-9 Origin

Tech-9 was a loyal founding member of the Force Syndicate, one of the more benevolent gangs in Dakota. They didn’t run ‘guns or rock’, they didn’t do “evil %$#@” to their own people either and as a result were the least respected gang in Dakota. When all the gangs got together to battle it out for respect and turf on Paris Island the Force Syndicate was there and had a real shot at finally getting for respect. That was until the cops arrived and stared using the experimental tear gas, filled with “Quantum Juice” [Blood Syndicate #2]. Hundreds of gang members started dyeing from the gas but somehow Rolando got back on his feet and grabbed Dogg and fled from the scene. As he fled he saw the effects of the gas on the other gang members, he saw Aquamaria fade into water and even the cops started to die. He passed out and woke up at Fade’s house [Blood Syndicate #2].

The Blood Syndicate

He discovered that on the night of the Big Bang, he was blessed with the ultimate compliment to his natural marksmanship ability-no weapon he holds ever runs out of ammunition. His obsession with military strategy and discipline lead him alongside Fade and Flashback to recruit Holocaust, Maquerade, Wise Son, Third Rail and Brickhouse to form the Blood Syndicate [Blood Syndicate #9].

Rolando tried to steer the team in the same benevolent way he had done with Force Syndicate  by having them take out drug runners and clean up the neighborhood [Blood Syndicate #1]. He was met by spirited resistance from Holocaust who was once a member of the vicious Paris Bloods. He led the team and eventually had to  defend his leadership mantle from the more physically powerful Holocaust/Pyre [Blood Syndicate #2].

Death

He continued to lead as the team saved Brickhouse from being captured and welcomed new member Boogie man [Blood Syndicate #3]. They also discovered a mysterious organization abducting and experimenting on “Bang Babies”. That night hey celebrated their victory. His powers were unstable however and his body liquefied soon after killing him instantly. He died in the arms of his best friend Fade [Blood Syndicate #4-5].

After his death, his grave was desecrated by the demon fox who used magic to make Maquerade his duplicate and even mimic his powers [Blood Syndicate #35].


Fade-Carlos Quinones

Fade

Fade

First Appearance: Blood Syndicate #1, April 1993

Created by: Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan

Nationality: American

Weight: unknown    Height: 5’11

Eyes: brown           Hair: brown

Known Relatives: mother (fate unrevealed), Mr. Quinones (Father),  Sara Quinones/Flashback (Sister)

Notes: Fade is also one of only a  handful of gay men in comics and even more rare a black gay man.

Powers: Fade exists as a “wave” meaning his existence is spread out over a three second time period at all times. This allows him to see a few seconds into the future. In addition to this he can fly, control his density to become intangible and tangible at will and solidify parts of his body inside a target for devastating effects. Because of the nature of his powers he needs his sister Flashback to anchor him in any given time or he would linger between seconds uncontrollably.

Biography

Carlos joined the force syndicate with his sister Flashback in order to help them assimilate after moving to the US from Panama. He knew from early on that he was gay. While in the force syndicate he fell in love with  Tech-9 one of the founding members of  Force Syndicate, though Tech-9 had no idea Carlos’ true feelings. His gang-banger lifestyle left a strained relationship with himself and his father. On the night of the Big Bang event he was one of many gang members to  attend the event. Unlike most of those present however he was changed by the event into a super powered being. Stretched over a three second time span he would remain incorporeal and almost unseen forever, luckily his sister Flashback‘s power anchored him in whichever time she was.  He lost the man he loved eventually and was blackmailed due to his sexuality by teammate Masquerade. It’s unknown if he is still “in the closet” to this day.


Angel: After the Fall #1 Review

Summary

Los Angeles has been converted to hell by the senior partners of Wolfram and Hart as a result of Angel killing all the members of the circle of the black thorn which were their representatives on the earthly plane. Angel continues to fight for the oppressed in this new Hell along with a dragon he has befriended. After saving some young women and sending them to a safe house he’s attacked in the now derelict Wolffram and Hart building. The demons are the new “owners” of this section of L.A . Angel apparently has killed some of their men/demons and they demand vengeance. Wesley now in ghost form saves him from a certain death and the demons depart.

At the safe house the women meet Gwen Raiden and Nina ash the werewolf who are now working with Angel’s son Connor to safeguard innocents.

Back at Wolfram and Hart Angel gets healed while Wesley laments his contract with the firm prevents him from ever passing on.

In Westwood L.A KR’PH the ruler demands his human slaves fight like gladiators for his amusement. They are attacked by unseen foes who cut them down like cattle. Charles Gunn and his crew retrieve an artifact from the downed demon and make advances to the female prisoners.

Back at Wolfram and Hart Wesley visits the white room while Angel kills the demon in charge of that district son igniting a turf war.

Elsewhere Gunn has killed all the female slaves to satisfy his vampiric urges.

 

The Good

We finally get to see Joss Whedon’s vision for what could have been Angel season six.

Character Likenesses are adequate enough that you can tell who’s who.

Continuity is great- Wesley tied to the law firm just like Liliah through his contract. L.A sent to hell just as predicted at the end of Season 5. It was also nice seeing Angel support cast like Connor, Gwen and Nina back in the mix since two of them missed the season finale of 5.

Interesting twist with Gunn being a vampire, I’m curious to see where this leads.

 

The Bad

Tale is a bit boring though…so was angel season 5 for the most part.

Art lacked detail and polish.

 

The Ugly

2.3/5


Thunderbolts #154 Preview

Before he was pressed into service for the Thunderbolts, the mysterious swamp monster of the team knew another life: as guardian for a force of nature called The Nexus of Realities. An old friend of the creature does remember this–and breaks the silent one out of The Raft to return to duty at the borders of our world. What danger awaits the Man-Thing–and what will The Thunderbolts say to losing their favorite plant? The team is back in action after word has come down on high about a weakness in Thunderbolt’s, and they must bolster their ranks to deal with the imminent magical threats. Luke Cage calls on New Avenger DOCTOR STRANGE to help find the perfect candidate to fill the role, but bringing this person in is far from easy–which is why SATANA will make a fine Thunderbolt. Back at The Raft, the status quo is changing to an even greater extent without Luke’s knowledge. Get ready for new levels of lightning-like justice!


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