Project Wonderful

Saturday, June 5, 2010


DESPICABLE ME the new animated film from Universal Pictures is soon to be a hit . . . that's right I'm calling it early. Earlier in the week I received a phone call from Universal Pictures asking me if I wanted two tickets to the sneak preview showing of the film . . . I quickly said yes. Well somehow they got my information through my webcomic Strange City Heroes and they sent me 20 tickets to get two people in to the preview. Sadly I did not get the tickets until 6:30 P.M. yesterday and the movie was at 10:00 A.M. this morning. I was able to give away a few at the theatre and one family gave up going to see Marmaduke in favor of free tickets to Despicable Me.

I had wanted to see this movie since I first saw the trailer for it because it just looked really funny and I'm a fan of animated movies. I didn't really know what to expect this movie to be but I am more than happy in what I found out.

This movie is based around the world's Super Villains and how extreme a heist they can pull off (I won't tell you what the big heist is though). There are wonderful inventions, lots of ray guns there are shrink rays, ice rays and uhhhhhh squid guns and land and flying machines that take imagination and turn it up to 11.

The main characters are Gru (Steve Carell), Vector (Jason Segal), Dr. Nefario (Russel Brand), Miss Hattie (Kristen Wiig) and three wonderful orphan girls Margo, Edith, and Agnes (Miranda Cosgrove, Elise Fisher, & Dana Gaier).

The plot takes Gru who is the world's greatest villain to a point where he has been bested by a newer younger villain who has stolen the Great Pyramids of Egypt and forces him to think of the biggest heist he can imagine and for this he will need a shrink ray and funding from the bank (banks loan to evil super villains you know.) Insert three little girls (If I ever have kids I want little girls) who steal the show and just might make evil a little less evil. 

You will leave this movie knowing you saw a funny movie, a movie with a heart, I superhero errr super villain adventure that ranks up there with some of the best, and something both kids and adults will enjoy . . . I know because there were as many laughs by children as adults in the theatre and the children seemed genuinely interested in the movie from start to finish.

Despicable Me was my first modern full length 3D movie and I was impressed how much 3D seems to have changed. There were times when things looked a little blurry but things were moving and I can live with that because it wasn't much. The 3D effects were there but not overly in your face and at the end as the credits start to roll there is some fun had with the 3D that you will get a few more good laughs out of.

Oh you are wondering well what about those yellow guys . . . well those guys are awesome and very funny. The yellow guys work in a secret lab beneath the home of Gru as his minions and they do all the dirty work in making super villain-ing a science. You will love these guys and probably wish you had a few around the house to aid you in your own super villain escapades.

Don't miss this one, take your kids to see it, take your wife or husband, take a friend, take grandma you will have fun, you will see a sweet story unfold and most of all you will laugh. 5 Stars!

- Kevin P. Johnson

Copyright © 2010 Kevin P. Johnson
Image is copyright © 2010 Universal Pictures and is used as Fair Use Review image only. Image will be removed upon the request of Universal Pictures.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Firestar #1 - One-Shot

They had me at Firestar and in the end  I truely was had. When I heard Marvel was doing a One-Shot Firestar comic I was excited because I have read very little about the character and have always wanted to know more about her since I was 10 years old way back in 1981 when the character was created for the animated TV show Spider-Man and His Amazing-Friends.  

When I saw the Stephanie Hans cover for this comic I was blown away and this has instantly become a member of my favorite comic book covers of all time. Sadly this is the best thing about the whole comic book.

The writing was fine, the art was good but the comic was a big nothing throw away. There is no adventure, there is no villain, there is no earth shattering fight scene, its just a story about Firestar's non-superhero personal life.

It has a nice moment where Firestar and her highschool enemy (now alcoholic soon to be divorced) have a turning moment in their lives where they just might end up friends but it's the kind of thing that should be the back story in an ongoing series and not the focus of a one-shot comic that has a $3.99 price tag.

The comic goes nowhere exciting until the very end when Firestar decides to continue being a Superhero andflies out the window right into a tag line that says "follow FIRESTAR into the pages of YOUNG ALLIES #1 on sale in JUNE!" I've been had and this was all a big advertisement for another series that I do not plan on buying and I suggest that you also pass on the Firestar #1 One-Shot . . . unless you are buying it for the cover . . . I do love the cover.

- Kevin P. Johnson

Copyright © 2010 Kevin P. Johnson
Image is copyright © 2010 Marvel Comics are used as Fair Use Review images only. Image will be removed upon the request of Marvel Comics.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Thor Movie Picture Released.

The first image of Thor has been released I'm hoping this movie will be awesome!

I am happy that they have chosen this costume which seems to be much like the current costume in the mainstream Marvel Universe.

I await the first SMITE!

- Kevin P. Johnson

Image is copyright © 2010 Mark Fellman and Paramount Pictures and used as a Fair Use Review image only. Images will be removed upon the request of Mark Fellman or Paramount Pictures.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Look a ticket to NOLA Comic-Con 2010

Of course you know I took out the barcodes so you don't try to scam your way in for free.

- Kevin

Monday, April 19, 2010

KICK-ASS The Movie / KICK-ASS The Comic

So on Friday I went to see KICK-ASS the movie. I had no idea what the story was about outside what the commercials let on and I knew that this was roumered to be a comic that was made in order to get a movie deal (I should find out if that's true or not.) Now despite the 8 or 10 jerks who sat behind me talking the entire movie (one even proclaimed he was "trippin' on extacy") this move was indeed KICK-ASS. I went in knowing nothing and came out with the opinion that this was the best comic book movie ever.

This is what I imagine a real world superhero would  go through nothing really working out but still as long as he or she was breathing justice would be served. This movie had the heart of Spider-Man with the grit and violence of Sin City and all of the characters seemed real enough that you might just know them. The name dropping in this movie is a Fanboys wildest dream and everything that fits in with comic book fandom was in this movie.

I don't want to spoil the movie but I promise you that the price of admission is well worth it . . . the child vigilante hero Hit Girl is worth the price of admission this this kid is the best on screen killing machine I think I've ever seen kinda like a baby Puinsher. This movie is not for kids but if you are old enough to see a Rated R movie GO SEE KICK-ASS.

After the movie I thought I have to go get the trade paperback of this book (that turned out to be a hardcover trade) and just looking at the cover I knew that this was going to be just as wild a ride as the movie.

The movie version of the story is very close to the comic book story and even includes many incodents of exact dialogue that appeared in the comics. (My Only Spoiler is that both the movie and comic ends with the exact same words.) Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. tell the tale of the modern day, real life superhero who has no clue as to the how he's going to save the world three days during the week and Sundays but he knows that if not him then who? KICK-ASS is simply the story of a teenage boy who for all intents and purposes just plainly exists in a world full of nobodies called high school, he has friends but he's just there and it is time that he stood up and did something that changed the world. Read this story, see the movie and if you get the chance go out and become a superhero . . . of course if you get hurt or hurt someone else that is your own doing and I am not to blame for giving you that idea.

- Kevin P. Johnson

Copyright © 2010 Kevin P. Johnson
Images are copyright © 2010 Universal Pictures/Lionsgate and Icon Comics are used as Fair Use Review images only. Images will be removed upon the request of Universal Pictures/Lionsgate or Icon Comics .

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hey everyone the NOLA Comic-Con is back and will be two days this year. I’ll be out there taking pictures and just being a fan (can’t be in it this time) but I wanted to let you know some of the people that will be there.

Kody Chamberlain
Derec Donovan
Rob Guillory
Dave Johnson
Robby Musso
Darick Robertson
John Dell
Victor Gischler
Big Easy Comics
BSI Comics
Crescent City Comics
Gotham City Collectables
Louisiana Double Play
Magic Comics and Hobbies
Media Underground Comics
More Fun Comics
The Barely Rotten Girls
Changeling FX
Find out more at

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blackest Night - A Few Words

So Blackest Night DC's latest big thing super-crossover event of the year. I just got number 8 last night (Mail order comics put you behind a bit) and I've got to say I was pretty happy with the outcome.

I didn't get into all of the crossovers and other limited series that went along with this (currently not able to buy a lot of DC titles) but I have read the crossovers in JLA and JSA and those couple of comics you got the free rings with and I have to say that I am pleased in what I've read.

I'm really going to have to read the series over because there is so much about DC Comics that I don't understand and Blackest Night has a lot happening in it that makes me scratch my head but boy does it look awesome, Ivan Reis can draw all of my comics and I'd be ok with that.

This post isn't to really spoil it or tell you about the story I'd rather not do that right now so I'm here to give a few words on what I think the result will do.

Blackest Night resulted in bringing back several major characters from the dead. Some of the final words of the series by Hal Jordan spoke that I think will impact DC for years to come "I Think Dead Is Dead From Here On Out," those are powerful words in comics and I hope that they are true. In my mind I'm going to believe that DC brought back all of the characters that they want alive and those that remained dead will stay dead forever. Believing this will probably burn me but I think people are getting tired of seeing characters die and come back so much and hopefully the creators and publishers will see that death is a serious thing and changes the universe and has lasting effect on all those who survive.

DC you did a great thing with Blackest Night and I'm looking forward to reading the Brightest Day series coming out soon. I hope that you run with what you have set up and make the best comics you possibly can. This series alone has me interested in reading Green Lantern and comic books featuring all of the other Lantern Corps.

As for who they brought back to life . . .  that you'll just have to read the series for now. I may come back later on and give a full review of the series with full on spoilers and just ruin it for everyone.

- Kevin P. Johnson

Copyright © 2010 Kevin P. Johnson

Images are copyright © 2010 DC Comics are used as Fair Use Review images only. Images will be removed upon the request of DC Comics.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The New Fantastic Four (Hard Cover)

The New Fantastic Four
Marvel Comics

The Fantastic Four have been around a long time, they have been one the major titles in the Marvel Universe since 1961 and I know very little about them. I came across the hardcover of The New Fantastic Four on the bargain table at Barnes and Noble which reprints Fantastic Four #544-550 and saw the price tag of $6.95 and thought that this would be a great buy. You can't go wrong with hardcover comics right?

Well I flipped through it and quickly noticed that included were the original cover's to the issues as well as variants and they were all full size. I don't know why more collections do not do this. The original covers were drawn by the late Michael Turner an artist that I loved. Turner gets a hard time from some fans and critics but I like what he did my only complaint is that it seems that every woman he drew was the same woman . . . fortunately she was a beautiful woman and I can live with that. I also noticed that the colors were amazing, bright and wonderful (by Paul Mounts). I was no doubt buying this.

So why have I not really read much of the Fantastic Four? The answer is I don't really know. I don't really have anything against them I like The Human Torch, The Thing & The Invisible Woman (Sue Storm) and although I'm not a big fan of Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) I don't hate him. Something just has never made me pick up this comic book on a regular basis.

So this story takes place over seven issues of the regular series and a lot happens. Reed and Sue are taking a break from the team to go on a long overdue honeymoon. Storm (of X-Men Fame) and The Black Panther are here and invited to stay with the Fantastic Four. Almost instantly this new group finds themself in outer space looking for the exhumed body of their friend Gravity.

Before long the New Fantastic Four run into the alien being Epoch who had kidnapped Gravity to help save her from Galactus by giving him the Power Cosmic making him Protector Of The Universe. A battle ensues with the heralds of Galactus the Silver Surfer and Stardust and with the Black Panther and Storm's help Gravity uses his Power Cosmic to satiate Galactus' need to feed and Galactus promises to no long seek Epoch as a source to feed on.

You'd think I'd have spoiled the comic by now but that is only the half of it if you pick this up you will see a ton of Watchers, The Frightful Four, Eternity, Dr. Strange, TWO ALIEN RACES,  a crack in space that could mean big trouble for everyone, all six New Fantastic Four members, more Silver Surfer and a ton of Gravity.

I enjoyed this story and although I have not put the Fantastic Four on my monthly pull list I am considering looking for more collections especially if I can find them at a great deal like I did with this book.

- Kevin P. Johnson

Copyright © 2010 Kevin P. Johnson
Images are copyright © 2010 Marvel Comics are used as Fair Use Review images only. Images will be removed upon the request of Marvel Comics.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guest Review of Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul with Shannon O'Neal

Because you don’t know me the first thing I should tell you is that I’m a nerd. I don’t know very many people who read philosophy books for fun, well I do. When I first saw the philosophy and pop culture series several years ago, I was intrigued. Mostly because the book I picked up was about one of my favorite movies, The Matrix, but also because I saw there were others like it. You like “The Family Guy”? There’s a book for that. What about Metallica? There’s one for that, too. The Office, 30 Rock, The Daily Show, Lord of the Rings, The Legend of Zelda, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Baseball, Bob Dylan, Monty Python...I bet you didn’t expect that, kinda like the Spanish Inquisition, all have books in this series. Each book is broken down into a series of essays written by a philosopher, normally a professor, who uses examples from the topic of the book to make his or her argument. The essays are written in a fairly simple way, so that one does not need a huge knowledge of philosophy to understand the concepts, just the desire to learn something new.

Now, let’s get to my review. Of the 6 books in the series that I’ve read, to me this one is the best. The articles are more cohesive with some of the issues the Dark Knight faces and it seems that the writers are not just people who know that Batman wears a cape and cowl, but actually think about what he goes through while fighting some of Gotham’s worst. The articles cover topics ranging from if it is right to make a “Robin” to whether or not the Joker is morally culpable for what he does, there’s even an article about Alfred.

While the writers do seem to show a good bit of Bat-knowledge, the focus of the essays are on just a few of the stories in the Batman collection. Batman: Year One, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and The Killing Joke get most of the references, with the movies and comics and television shows sprinkled throughout. Some of the philosophical arguments reach quite a bit for the point they’re trying to make, but as you learn in philosophy making that reach is part of the fun. One essay I found to be quite poignant compared the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to Gotham City throughout the “No Man’s Land” crossover comic from 1999.

The only issue I had with the book is the only villain the book was ultimately concerned with was the Joker. As Kevin will tell you, I’m pretty much obsessed with the man myself, but there are other villains in the Batman world that I feel could have been used to write articles, such the relationship between Batman and Catwoman or how duality of human existence is really portrayed through Harvey Dent.

All in all, the book was good and can be picked up by anyone and as I said earlier, understood easily without any formal philosophy training. I would also suggest the other books of the series, while I haven’t read all the books there are (probably over 50) I’m sure there would be something to interest anyone. I’m going to give this book 3 Harley Quinn’s.

- Shannon O'Neal
Copyright © 2010 Shannon O'Neal

Batman & Philosophy: The Dark Night Of The Soul image copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons Inc. and is used as Fair Use Review image only. Image will be removed upon the request of John Wiley & Sons Inc. Batman & Harley Quinn images copyright © 2010 DC Comics and is used as Fair Use Review image only. Image will be removed upon the request of DC Comics.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Make Mine Marvel

I love comic books . . . all kinds of comic books . . . I even create comic books (see my link below) but when I think of comics my first thought has always been and will always be Marvel Comics. There is something about the characters that Marvel has created over the years that just feels like home . . . like family. Spider-Man is the guy like most relates to comic book readers, Kittie Pryde is that first girl you ever thought of as not having cooties, Johnny Storm the Human Torch is like your cool older brother and Wolverine is that uncle that would show you awesome things as long as you didn't tell your Mom. Marvel Comics has thousands of characters heroes, villains, supporting cast and for some reason when something happens to any one of them it hits hard and that doesn't happen very often outside of Marvel for me (except for in my own comics).  Every character no matter how outlandish they may be has the characteristics of someone that you probably know in your real everyday life (or at least you might have seen someone like them on TV) and that brings a certain humanity into the fictional universe Marvel brings us every week. The Marvel Universe has its ups and downs but there are always the stories where our friends grow up, fall in love, defeat an unspeakable evil, sometimes they die, sometimes they get married or even have everyone forget that a certain marraige ever existed. All of these things stick with you and they touch you, if you tried to explain it people might think that you were being silly but still you know the pain of Gwen Stacy and her tragic death, you remember as if it were yesterday when Captain America was shot, you understand that the X-Men are a symbol of the fight for equal rights for everyone, you know that Peter Parker and Mary Jane did get married (even if Joe Quesada doesn't want it that way) all of these things may be fictional but they happen to our friends and for that I will always MAKE MINE MARVEL!

- Kevin P. Johnson
Copyright © 2010 Kevin P. JohnsonThe MARVEL logo is copyright © 2010 Marvel Comics and is used as Fair Use Review image only. Image will be removed upon the request of Marvel Comics.



Thursday, March 25, 2010

Catching Up With The X-Men

Since the very beginning of my comic book collecting days there were the X-Men and I loved them. The 80's were awesome I think most people love that era I missed most of the 90's because I was not collecting but around 1999 I got back into comics and the first thing I bought was a stack of X-Men comics and I loved them again.

For some reason in aound 2005 I think right after hurricane Katrina I just stopped reading the X-Men comics without any real reason I didn't hate them I wasn't upset about anything I just stopped reading but I didn't stop buying.

A few weeks ago I decided that I would catch up on all of the comic books I had in the "To Read Box" which is really two long boxes and does not include the other boxes of stuff that are in the  "To Read Whenever Boxes" but anyway there are several years of Uncanny X-Men (Issues #469 - 521), X-Factor (#33 - 50 & 200-202 - returned to original numbering) & X-Men (Issues #177 - 207) which become X-Men Legacy (Issues #208-232) plus a few Annuals and a few specials.

I started with X-Factor and blew through that and I highly recommend it, its super-hero stuff but it has a real life feel to it and the characters are all in that not too popular to steal the show vein. The book focuses on Jamie Maddrox The Multiple Man and all the good and bad that being able to make duplicates of yourself with different parts of your personality can bring. And then there is Lala Miller and "She knows stuff." I am completely caught up with this series except for the Endangered Species & Messiah Complex crossover issues because I have not got there yet with the other X-Men Books.

Now I kinda look at Uncanny X-Men and X-Men/X-Men Legacy as pretty much the same books I know they are not but they have crossed over so many times and I just always feel like they are just one comic in two books. Jumping back into what I had not remembered what was going on wasn't so bad and the teams has a few of my favorite characters still running around Havok, Rogue, Polaris, Emma Frost (The White Queen), Ice Man and a few others. I have just reached the Endangered Species crossovers which is about half way though the catching up process. These comics are good and but not the most amazing things I have ever read it sofar is just keepin in touch with old friends (wondering if I will ever really like Cyclops) and watching them grow a little along with some characters I don't know much about. A lot of people do not like the X-Men anymore and I don't really get why because these comics are as good as anything else out there just not blow you away amazing every issue.

If you are looking for old school X-Men and can only have it that way then I think you may just want to pass on the X-Men titles but check out the modern X-Factor series it is really an excellent comic book series.

-Kevin P. Johnson
Copyright © 2010 Kevin P. Johnson

Unless otherwise noted all images are copyright © 2010 Marvel Comics and are used as Fair Use Review images only. Images will be removed upon request of Marvel Comics.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's not supposed to be the way you want it to be

Did you ever hear someone say "the X-Men suck they aren't the way they are supposed to be anymore" or "George Lucas screwed up Star Wars by making those prequils"? Well I say thats a load of crap and I'll tell you why.

When you are introduced to something weather it be comic books or movies or even music what you get in the beginning from whatever point you start enjoying it is what you at that time decide to either love or hate. If you love it you will claim it as your own and don't believe that your new love should ever change and if it does it should only change in the course that you see fit. I think that we all have a tendency of doing this and we will even go as far as saying I like "old Metallica" but that "new Metallica" sucks.

Is it our right to want to control what is not ours? I say no. We love these little worlds because someone else created them and we didn't know what there vision was when they started creating it but we loved it and we just had to know where it was going. Sometimes things would end the way we wanted and sometimes they did not.

 Surely it is ok that we can agree or not agree to take the ride but we should never ever say it should have been a certain way that we have in our own minds. What would be the point of having writer's, artist, or musicians? What if Joe Quesada came to you and said ok (your name here) you are writing Spider-Man for the next year. What would you do? And when you do it, do you think that everyone will agree that that is the way its supposed to be?

I'm not saying that any of us should agree with everything that happens and should surely say hey I don't like that if you don't like it but you should never say that's not how it is supposed to be because its not supposed to be the way you want it to be it is supposed to be the way whomever is creating it see's fit . . . unless someone gives you the keys to the castle and lets you write the story for a while.

- Kevin P. Johnson
Copyright © 2010 Kevin P. Johnson

Monday, March 22, 2010

An Interview with Comic Book fan Ashley Oglesby

So I have chosen for my first interview to go with a fan of Comic Books my good friend Ashley Oglesby from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

I READ COMIC BOOKS: Ashley is there anything that we should know about you before we start?

ASHLEY: Nothing all that fascinating. I'm a man of many hobbies (pro wrestling and comics being the primary ones) and as you may soon discover, when I'm into a hobby I'm into it pretty hardcore. I'm lucky enough to be married to a woman that can put up with my little obsessions.

IRCB: We should note that Ashley's wife carries a gun for work and can end his hobbies whenever she wants to do so.

IRCB:So Ashley you have a pretty unique way of reading comics that I don't think most of us would attempt to do. Tell us your process and where you are starting from.

A: HAHA that is true but she's a cool chick and just goes along with it.

A: Yeah I started a comic reading project almost three years ago. I've always loved comics but previously couldn't really afford to keep up with it regularly. But as of three years ago I could and started thinking about how I wanted to proceed. The mutant universe has always fascinated me but by 2007, if you've never really followed the X-Men and other mutant groups, the sheer volume of history involved with those titles can be overwhelming to try to get into. It was around the same time that I discovered that Marvel had released DVD ROMs of every single issue of their main titles up to about 2006. So it got me to thinking: All the major titles are one continuous story that started in the 60s. And to me, there's only one way to read a story and that is from the beginning. So I headed to the local comic shop and picked up the Amazing Spiderman and Uncanny X-Men DVD ROMs. I was a bit surprised at how well the stories held up from way back then (especially Spidey) so I decided what I would do is read EVERY Spiderman and Mutant title form the very beginning on. The way I approach it is I pretend I'm a comic fan from whichever month I happen to be in and am going to pick up that month's titles and read them. I read everything in cover date order, so say whichever Spiderman and mutant related titles were cover dated April of 1982 I read, then move on to May of 1983, and so on.
IRCB: So you didn't go back to the 1960's your timeline starts in 1982?

A: No I started in the 60s and have worked my way through. I'm currently in April of 1983 so I'm just now starting to get into the New Mutants. Alpha Flight is right around the corner. I should note that I'm getting EVERY title so that would include Marvel Team Up and Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spiderman (when's the last time you heard THAT full title) as far as Spidey titles. My focus is on the Spiderman and Mutant titles.

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider Man is a great title and I love a lot of the cover images appeared in that comic.

Spider-Man and the X-Men are also my favorite comics of all-time and Uncanny X-Men #170 is really what got me into comic books.

IRCB: Now you read each comic month by month as if you went to the comic book store to buy them every month. In the 80's you will start to find out what the Major Crossover is will you be buying all the tie-in comics that go along with Secret Wars and all of the many cross-over’s to come in the 1990's and beyond? Do you think that these crossovers make peak your interest in other titles such as The Avengers or The Incredible Hulk?

A: Wow that's a great question. I am fascinated by many of the characters in the Marvel U (Marvel Team Up was a great way to get introduced to them). I do plan to get every issue of every crossover so long as the event takes place in one of the core titles I'm reading (or if one of the characters are in a big crossover mini-series ala Secret Wars). As far as branching off into other characters' titles, I doubt it. This project is so massive in scope that you do have to set some limits. Now that's not to say that I won't pick up the occasional TPB of some characters that intrigue me along the way to read on the side. But as far as this project goes, my focus is on Spiderman and all mutant titles.

IRCB: You gotta respect a man with a plan.

IRCB: Now to some serious business. Who killed Gwen Stacy? And if you had to choose Gwen or Mary Jane?

A: Ooooooh I love this question. This is my theory on the death of Gwen: The Goblin already killed her before they got to the bridge. She was completely motionless the whole time she was up there. Of course Spidey didn't know she was dead so he had to fight to save her. Goblin knocks her off the bridge, Spidey slings a web line to save her and does indeed snap her neck in the process. Spidey thereby thinks he was responsible for her death. The fact that she was dead before Spidey even got there but him blaming himself for her death makes it all the more tragic.

This leads me to a side note. The death of Gwen is arguably one of the biggest events in comics history. Anybody can go and read those couple of issues. However, having read everything from her first appearance and all the different phases of her relationship with Peter makes reading her death all the more impactful. I seriously had to brace myself before reading her death because I really didn't want her to die even though I knew exactly what was going to happen because it's such a famous story.

As for your second question, Gwen all the way. Peter was saving up money to buy her an engagement ring right before she died and she was really good for him Now, to be fair, I'm only in 1983 right now so haven't yet gotten to the good stuff of Peter and MJ's romance.

IRCB: Hmmmmmmmm you know that your theory is fightin' words for a large portion of the comic book geek society.

A: All I can say is the good ole' Spidey can't really go wrong in his choice of women he's always got the hotness surrounding him.

A: Yeah I know that's not the most popular theory, but reading the issues allows for some variance of interpretation.
IRCB: So we know you are a big Spider-Man fan but who are your favorite characters so far in your reading? Feel free to include superheroes, villains, and supporting cast.

A: Favorite characters. Wow, that could be quite the list. Here we go:

Spidey supporting characters: Robbie Robertson - constantly the voice of calm and reason in the midst of all the chaos.

Favorite X-Man: Nightcrawler - I'm a man of the faith and so is he. I'll never forget this one issue where the X-Men were fighting Dracula. One of the X-Men (I believe Wolverine) held up some sticks to make a cross at Dracula and nothing happened. Dracula says "My friend, that trick only works for those who believe". He turns around and Nightcrawler's right there with a cross and yells "I BELIEVE!!!!" and down goes Dracula. Classic. The other appeal to Nightcrawler is he doesn't need to be the center of attention, is a true friend to his cohorts, and ya gotta love the smell of brimstone and BAMF!

A-Grade villains: Dr. Doom is always fun and Magneto is of course awesome because he truly believes his causes are altruistic. That makes for the best kind of evil.

B-Grade villain: Arcade. Give this guy his own book because I will follow him to the ends of the Earth. Murderworld is sooo much fun.

Other Heroes: Ben Grimm is a favorite of mine, mainly because sometimes he doesn't always wanna play the superhero bit, he just wants to lay on the couch, eat some chips, and watch some tee vee. That's how I roll!

IRCB: Those are some nice choices I do love Robbie Robertson he keeps it real all the time and Nightcrawler has been one of my favorite X-Men for a long time. You may be the only person on the planet that has serious love for Arcade but I can't hate on a man in a white suit.

IRCB: I noticed that you didn't take the bait with my last question possibly because your wife may read this but let’s talk about your one true love that I have known about for a while now the beautiful vixen Alison Blaire the DAZZLER. What is your fascination with the lovely lady?

A: Haha yeah I knew we'd get to this. It started out as kind of a joke. Dazzler was officially the first X-Men spinoff series (even before Wolverine's first limited series). From a lot of what I'd heard from people was that the series wasn't very good. So I was hyping about how excited I was to read the series in a tongue in cheek sort of way. But when I got to the series, I really didn't think it was bad at all. Now I'm not saying its Comic Book Shakespeare, but I do think it gets a bad rap that it doesn't deserve. First of all, she has powers but really doesn't want to be a hero at all. Now Spiderman sometimes falls into this way of thinking but Dazzler really means it. She just wants to be a singer but trouble keeps finding her. Plus she took on some real heavyweights in the series. In one of the first issues she talks some sense into Galactus. That took some real guts from a 20-something year old woman. The title also was not your typical comic book fare as many times the focal point is on her personal life instead of battles with the baddies. So kids, if anybody tries to tell you that Dazzler is lame, don't you fall for it, check it out for yourself!

IRCB: So you are alright with DAZZLER being the comic book ABBA and self lighting mirror ball? And have you found the 1984 Marvel Graphic Novel: Dazzler The Movie?

A: Well considering her first appearance was in 1980 and her series started in 1981, the country was in full on disco mode. Comics have always reflected the signs of the times and as embarrassing as the disco era might be to some, it only makes sense that Marvel created a character that reflected that subculture. Plus she did sing a Ramones song at one of her concerts, so she's A-OK with me. There was also some really good artwork on the covers of some of her later issues that hadn't been seen much at that time. And yes I do have Dazzler the Movie and will cherish it forever. If only they could make that movie a reality and put Gwen Stefani in the lead role. You know you'd go see it!

IRCB: Oh I'd go see it for sure. I'm a casual Dazzler fan myself and really just like giving people a hard time about her. This may or may not be a sin against all that is wonderful about Dazzler but check out this little website and think of all your dreams coming true.

IRCB: So now to some serious business before we rap this up. DC Comics, you have any love for them or any other comic book publishers?

A: Those jokers got nuttin on the lovely Ms. Blaire.

A: As far as DC goes, about all I can stand is Batman and even that in limited doses. I find the storylines of the greater DC Universe to be needlessly convoluted to where I seriously think you may need some herbs to get what the hell is going on. I even read All Star Superman which is supposed to be one of the best freshest representations of the Man of Steel. I thought it wasn't bad, but they did start to go into things such as the Phantom Zone and Underverse and it made me want to hurt myself. With that being said, DC does own the Vertigo imprint and thus they are forgiven. Y The Last Man is the GREATNESS.

IRCB: HA HA HA . . . Vertigo does have some greatness. I enjoy DMZ and Fables is quite awesome also.

IRCB: Any other Independent comics on your radar?

A: I've read some Image (mainly Sam and Twitch) and Frank Cho's Liberty Meadows. Those were both a lot of fun. I would like to get more involved with some indys because it looks like there's a lot of quality out there.

IRCB: There are plenty of good Indy comics out there that will take you in all kinds of directions.

IRCB: Ok to wrap this all up tell us what you are currently reading and where you are (Issue numbers) so that we can check back in with you later and see where you are and when do you expect to be caught up so that you can go to the comic book store and buy what came out that week?

A: Well I'm currently in April 1983 so that puts me at Amazing 239, Marvel Team Up 128, New Mutants 2, Spectacular Spiderman 77 and on tap for tonight is Uncanny X-Men 168. Can't wait to see Kitty's response to Professor X demoting her to the New Mutants. Methinks she won't go down fighting. As far as getting caught up, I'm not really concerned about that. I read one book a day, so assuming I live to be at least 73 I'll get there. The important thing to me is getting every piece of the story one layer at a time. It's a long process but I have been having a blast with it and don't regret the journey for a minute.

IRCB: Thanks for the interview Ashley and for keepin' it real one comic at a time. I'll be checking in with you from time to time to see where you are and you can tell us what we missed . . . or forgot.

A: Not a problem. And remember kids: If you take everything you've accomplished in your life and condense it to one day, it looks decent.

IRCB: And knowing is half the battle!

- Kevin P. Johnson
Copyright © 2010 Kevin P. Johnson

Unless otherwise noted all images are copyright © 2010 Marvel Comics and are used as Fair Use Review images only. Images will be removed upon request of Marvel Comics.


Ok gang its been quite a while since I've posted and I think that all that life that got in the way is done now and I can get on a better schedule with this. When I say schedule I mean that I will be posting regularly but not on any particular day of the week. I hope to bring new post to you at least twice a week and hopefully more.

- Kevin P. Johnson