The Tattered Man Review

Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are accomplished, and underrated writers. They’ve proven their skill over the years on titles such as Jonah Hex and Radical’s Time Bomb. Here, however the result is underwhelming, at least for readers who know who Ragman is. The classic DC Comics character has seen a slight resurgence recently, and that’s the problem with this one-shot. The two characters share so much in common; WWII origin, created as a Jewish form of protection and as a vehicle of justice, and a body made up of material patches and swirling tendrils that drives its host to kill bad people.

If you don’t know who Ragman is though, you’ll enjoy this a lot more. Really, it needs another 20 pages at least. There’s no real depth in the characters here, but as a 40 page, visually powerful hard cover for only $5, it’s worth a look.

It begins with 3 druggies looking to score some cash for their next hit. It’s Halloween, so they look even freakier. The trio bust in to an elderly man’s place, but he has nothing of value, until Danikka notices a box, and despite the man’s explanation of the terror inside (in what is the most gruesomely effective sequence in these pages) she opens it. There’s a brief fight between David (the guy in the cool skeleton costume, just like the villain in the original Karate Kid!) and Zeke, who shoots the old man, his visiting daughter and David.

Then David becomes possessed by The Tattered Man in his dying moments, kills Zeke, and a few more thugs, and tells Danikka to clean up her act and look after the surviving granddaughter. It all moves fairly quickly and there’s a sense that this is being set up for more tales down the road, despite The End stamped on the final page. There’s a few bonus pages featuring words from the writing duo and some sketches from artist Norberto Fernandez, but it still feels a tad lightweight.

The real selling point is Fernandez’s work. He’s not a particularly known name yet, but this a great showcase for his abilities. Beyond the Nazi flashbacks and profanity and dark streets, the art here truly sells the nastiness of the story. Fans of The Darkness should lap this up. Palmiotti’s and Gray’s next book in a similar format is the Western-with-a-difference Trail Blazer, which looks more promising.

1990’s Captain America Film

It’s actually not as bad as I thought. Starring Matt (son of famed author J.D) Salinger and based on the star spangled Marvel comics hero, things kick off immediately, with the Nazis taking a young boy from his family, and subjecting him to some kind of experiment involving electricity and an eye mask. Weirdly, all the dialogue is in Italian, without subtitles. From there, things move briskly, but here’s a few highlights.

We see Steve Rogers, with a limp at home, with his family, one of whom looks suspiciously like Howard Stark from Iron Man. Steve signs up for Project Rebirth and after some close ups of his expanding calf muscle and bolts of electricity, he emerges , looking just the same, but without  a limp. During this transformation, we see our first fanboy cameo in army man Bill Mumy (Lost in Space, Babylon 5).

The Nazi Red Skull is not a Nazi. He’s an Italian, and has the bad accent to prove it. We later learn that he’s also responsible for the deaths of JFK and Martin Luther King Jr and is the head of a worldwide crime cartel.

Cap jumps in a plane and we see the usual army attire over his Cap costume, making him look pretty cool, and kinda like the version seen years later in The Ultimates comics.

After a brief battle between Red Skull and his “American brother” Captain America, the former is tied to a missile and lands in the Arctic. Cue lots of spinning newspapers as the decades pass and a frozen Cap is revived, and quickly runs off. Real heroes don’t get pins and needles!

And he keeps on running, even from Ned Beatty who knows who he is. Fanboy cameo no.2 – Beatty was in Superman: The Movie and Superman II. He avoids some biker thugs, led by the Skull’s daughter, looks astonished at a bikini clad babe on the beach and finds the house of his WWII sweetheart Bernice and her daughter Sharon both played by the same actress, with a blonde wig and old age prosthetics as required. Just like Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future II!

The Red Skull, now without the red, has had plastic surgery and looks like Punisher villain Jigsaw. He also kidnaps the American President, played by (fanboy cameo no. 3) Ronny Cox, who was bad guy Dick Jones in Robocop.

Steve and Sharon travel to Italy to discover the Skull’s true identity. He never wears the Cap uniform during these scenes, but does wear loafers, uses a bicycle as a getaway vehicle and drives a Mini.

Steve pust on his battered Cap costume again, says, “Gee whiz,” does a few flips and saves the day. The actual rubber suit isn’t too bad, and was perhaps the first to feature fake abs. There’s some shield slinging, a punching President and victory for freedom.

Skull has a few good lines, such as, “Let us see if your heart is bigger then my hate,” and “We are both tragedies. Now I’ll send our tortured souls to rest.” They don’t save him from becoming a dummy and falling off a cliff though. It ends with an unnecessary voiceover about the President and a comic picture of Cap behind the credits.

If you’re a jaded fanboy, you can start watching the film here before you see July’s Chris Evans starrer. At least that doesn’t have rubber ears on the costume.

Susan Storm: Superhero Sandwich Maker

In this week’s issue of FF (that’s Future Foundation, spinning out of Fantastic Four) Invisible Woman displays perhaps the most practical use of superpowers ever seen – making sandwiches. I’m not sure if that’s somewhat awesome, or just plain lazy.

Written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Barry Kitson (a nice surprise to see his clean lines in a superhero comic again), I’m also not sure if this should be a slap in the face for the representation of superheroines. I guess not, as it’s probably just supposed to demonstrate how adept and relaxed she is with her telekinetic/forcefield creating abilities.

I wonder if she also applies a similar approach to cutting her nails and washing the dishes though.

Extra Sequential Podcast #42-Terry Pratchett

54 mins. We focus on the sparse comic adaptations of the popular Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. We also discuss whether we should be offended by the possible embarrassment of Geek Day. Also, Mladen’s legs, Kris’ musical tastes and Spider-Man on American Idol.

LISTEN TO IT BELOW, DOWNLOAD IT HERE OR ON ITUNES

NEWS 1:42

Ninja Turtles relaunches at IDW

Smallville’s finale and the joyous response it has yielded

The award winning Changing Ways OGN from Justin Randall and Gestalt

The Penguin in the Arkham City videogame

WHAT WE’VE BEEN READING 11:00

The goofy horror of DC’s Batman: Gotham After Midnight
IDW’s Rocketeer Adventures new anthology series
Vertigo’s brand new debut sci-fi anthology Strange Adventures #1
The Doctor’s Wife episode of Dr. Who, as penned by comics writer and novelist Neil Gaiman (he’s on the left in the photo below)
Kirby Genesis #0 from Dynamite, using Jack Kirby’s undeveloped character concepts
Alan Moore’s sex-obsessed exploration of the Cthulhu mythos in Neonomicon
35:45 TERRY PRATCHETT COMICS
In honour of Terry Pratchett Day we check out the rare comic adaptations of some of the many Discworld novels.

Daredevil #1 Preview

After the recent Daredevil Reborn mini-series, and Black Panther taking over the Man Without Fear title, the original Daredevil, Matt Murdock returns in a July relaunch. Preview of the first four, and unfinished fifth, page below.

Your First Look At DAREDEVIL #1!

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Daredevil #1, from the creative dream team of Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin! Daredevil’s exciting new journey begins as he retakes the alleys and rooftops of New York City with monumental life changes, new enemies, new friends and a new role in the Marvel Universe! Billy club in hand, Matt Murdock must tackle his greatest challenges yet, but will he be welcomed back to New York with open arms? Who will stand in his way and can Daredevil be trusted?  Find out as Daredevil soars to new heights in the double-sized Daredevil#1, this July!

DAREDEVIL #1 (MAY110660)

DAREDEVIL #1 ROMITA SR. VARIANT (MAY110661)

DAREDEVIL #1 MARTIN VARIANT (MAY110662)

DAREDEVIL #1 ADAMS VARIANT (MAY110664)

DAREDEVIL #1 BLANK COVER VARIANT (MAY110663)

Written by MARK WAID

Pencils by PAOLO RIVERA and MARCOS MARTIN

Cover by PAOLO RIVERA

Variant cover by JOHN ROMITA SR.

Variant Cover by MARCOS MARTIN

Variant Cover by NEAL ADAMS

Blank Cover also available

Rated T+…$3.99

FOC – 6/27/11, ON SALE – 7/7/11

Boba Beats Predator

According to a poll on Dark Horse’s site, Boba Fett would beat a Predator, or so 66% of voters believe. I find the outcome of this battle to be dubious.

Green Arrow #12 Preview

Below is a preview of this week’s issue of Green Arrow.

The monumental conclusion to BRIGHTEST DAY occurred in the Star City’s forest. With the re-emergence of Swamp Thing, the forest’s role was no longer clouded with mystery. But what does that reveal mean for Oliver Queen, Galahad, Etrigan the Demon, and the others who had been protecting it?

GREEN ARROW #12
 hits stores today and is written by J.T. Krul and features art by Diogenes Neves, Vicente Cifuentes and Oclair Albert, a cover by David Aja, and a variant cover by Joe Prado and Rod Reis.