Category Archives: Comic Book Stuff

The List: Top 10 Aliens In Comics

Aliens, they're everywhere. We might not be any closer to discovering extra-terrestrial life in real life, but in mass media the invasion has already happened. In film you have all manner of blobs, little brown things with glowy fingers and long necks, cockroaches that love sugary water, horrifying monsters with elongated heads and a preference for exploding out of peoples chests and, of course, walking carpets. TV has numerous examples as well, whether it be men in blue boxes that are bigger on the inside, war-loving guys with creases running down the middle of their faces and pseudo-roman centurions that try to kill rabbits with ray guns. And of course comics are no different. Throughout the around 90 years of comic book publication, there have been many examples of aliens in comics, and in todays list I'm going to rank what I believe to be the top 10.

Now, this list will only include aliens from the comics medium, so no beings from other dimensions or parallel worlds (so no Anti-Monitor, Annihilus, Howard The Duck or Mr Mxyzptlk), any beings which are considered aliens in cannons outside of the comics (so no Asgardians here) and no characters that originated in other medium but have appeared in comics (so no Star Wars, Star Trek or Doctor Who characters here, at least none that really matter because there have been numerous minor characters from those series that have debuted in the comics but never mattered in the grand scheme of things). I'm also not including entire races, so you won't see the Oan's, the Kree or the Skrulls on this list, despite their impact on comics (although individuals that belong to these races may appear). And I'm also not going to include more than one member of any particular race, because then you have half the list taken up by one alien race and the other half divided between another 2-3 which is a bit boring. Oh and no symbiotes. Venom and Carnage are great and yes the suits are alien, but there's still a human in there, so it doesn't count.

Anyway, long enough intro I think. On with the show.

Warning: Opinions ahead. If you don't like it, well, things could be worse, you could be getting attacked by a face-hugger or something.

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The List: Top 10 Superhero Rogues Galleries

There are a lot of things that go into making a great superhero. The powers, the costume, the personality, their alter-ego/ secret identity all play a huge role. But what really defines a hero is the villains that they face. Whether it be thwarting would-be world conquerors or sending back alley lunatics back to whatever jail it was they broke out of this time, the villains are a quintessential part of any superhero story. But who has the best collection of villains to face off against? I'm not including The Avengers or the Justice League on this list because, whilst they do have fantastic rogues galleries of their own, often they may end up fighting villains belonging to one of their members rogues galleries (Loki, looking at you here), so they'll be left off so we can keep things simple. Other superhero teams not made up of All-Star line-ups do count though.

Warning: 'Ere be opinions. Beware.

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The List: Top 10 Legacy Heroes

So, Tony Stark is to be replaced as Iron Man by Riri Williams, a 15 year old African-American student who also happens to be a girl. Apart from the obvious misnomer, this could be either a really inspired move or a cynical shock value based cash grab with allusions to appeasing people who are demanding more heroes of ethnic minorities, and lets be honest, it's probably a bit of both. This also means that within the last 6 years, Marvel have replaced all 6 of their big 6 heroes (Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine, Captain America, Thor and now Iron Man) with new characters. So what better time to look at some of the heroes that took up the mantel of an already established hero and actually succeeded. As a rule I am going to be excluding characters created during DC's Silver Age revival of the superhero genre (e.g. Barry Allen replacing Jay Garrick or Hal Jordan replacing Alan Scott), as, whilst these characters are probably the definitive versions of of that superhero lineage, these neither character existed in the same universe at the time and as such were not aware of the lineage they were taking on (unless you count Barry Allen reading Flash comics and thinking Jay Garrick was a fictional character).

Warning: Opinions below. You have been warned.

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What do you think, are they kin? #1 “Bumblebee and Wasp”

What do you think, are they kin? DC's Bumblebee and Marvel's Warp are the topics for today's afternoon post. I was trying to look up some information for another blog post and it got turn around and I ended up doing this. This is how it works, I will pick two or more characters from the DC and Marvel(because I know these best) that look like they may be kin. I'll post the characters and it is up to you to talk about them. Let us know if they were put in the same universe could they be related to each other. Being the first post for this, I am not putting out much information on the characters. If everyone likes it I will try to put more information for each character later down the road. Have fun and let's hear what you have to say.

Improv Comic: The first adventure of Stonewall Jaxon, PI

Last week you all voted on the elements that would make up a comic book, like an audience shouting ideas at an improv comic troupe. Today I give you the first part of that collaborative effort, a story I've called "Stonewall Jaxon in 'The Case of the Trekky Time Snatch'". I'll be working on the conclusion this week. The issue is after the jump, and be warned -- it's about 330KB in size, so if you're on dial-up it might take a minute or two.

Before I get to that, I wanted to say just a few words about the experience. First, creating a comic based on people voting on various random options (the results are here) is pretty fun. Coming up with a story and being forced to incorporate certain elements out of my control was a great challenge and I'm happy with the way it's going so far.

Second, creating comics is hard work. I wasn't going 100% on this due to all of the other responsibilities of the job, but still, most of my working time the past seven days was devoted to this project. And I only got three pages done. Granted, I also had to write the issue, and also granted I haven't ever done this before, but still, that's slower than I thought it would be. It's given me a new level of respect for the folks who do this for a living.

Third, I understand why the Rob Liefelds of the world get pushed into leaving out backgrounds. They're a ton of work and you don't feel like they really do all that much. I mean, background is pretty much synonymous with "unnoticeable". But I realized a funny thing while doing this -- if you don't draw it, it's not there. All of those little bits of scenery like trash or bricks or clouds, the page doesn't start out with those already there, waiting for you to draw the interesting stuff.

Finally, I drew all of this in Flash, using a template I created based on the ones available online for comics creators. I did this so that the whole issue would be in vector format, able to be output either for web resolution or for print. If it were ever to be colored you'd have to lose that flexibility, as the coloring would need to happen in a bitmap program like Photoshop, but at least the original ultra-high resolution lineart would still be available.

Now I hope you'll join me after the jump for my very first effort ever at a comic book, and as far as I know, the first publicly-generated Comic Book Improv!

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Comic Book Improv results

For the first Comic Book Improv, apparently I will be creating a short comic book featuring the origin of "Stonewall" Jaxon, PI. Set in a major Earth city, at some point Stonewall will encounter some Ninja cheerleaders.

You might be asking yourself, "Self, how does that make any sense?" And your self will say "Dude, seriously, quit talking to me, it's weird."

Tune in next Monday to see the results of this first experiment! It's not often you get the opportunity to see someone potentially fail so massively, so don't miss it.

Epic Fail

The First Comic Book Improv

As we discussed a couple of weeks ago, I'm going to try something that is, as far as I know, unprecedented in the comic book world: Comic Book Improv. This is very experimental and "out there", and as a result the PSF* is very high. Per the new mantra, however, we have Permission to Suck! If you're daring enough to take part in what very well could be an unmitigated disaster the coolest thing ever to appear on the Internet, join me after the jump.

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