POWERPOP! Selection 5 – Split Enz ‘I Got You’ (1980)

From the album ‘True Colours‘, ‘I Got You’ is a powerpop delight – slow burning intro with a killer chorus that you can shout out at the top of your voice if you want, and it leaves you with a smile on your face. Check out that groovy organ sound! It got to No.12 in the UK singles charts in August 1980. I loved it as a kid and I love it now. Please – enjoy.

Michael Jackson was also in British Kids comics – as Doomlord! (1988)

Being ubiquitous, Michael Jackson even managed to infiltrate the UK comics scene in the 1980s. It’s true – here he is in issue 391 of the (then) newly merged Eagle and Battle comic (February 1988).

That’s Bad. Meaning Good.

I take no credit for the original scan – I am grateful to the rather nice blog below for that;

http://ukcomicsarefun.blogspot.com/

Post-Apocalypse XIII – First appearance of ‘The Tower King’ in Eagle comic (1982)

Well, I am not sure if anyone out there in the blogosphere has done this before, so here it is, the first installment of The Tower King, a magnificent post-apocalyptic romp that appeared in the first few issues of the relaunched Eagle comic of 1982. Written by Alan Hebden, who also wrote ‘Angry Planet’ for Tornado comic, and illustrated by the Spanish artist Ortiz, this gem ran for the first 24 issues of the Eagle comic mark II. I have written before about The Tower King – see here, but in that post I publish the final chapter of the story, so probably best to read this first!

What I love about this, re-reading it again, is the economy of the writing and furious pacing – we quickly learn about why the Earth is plunged into chaos, and see the horror of the immediate aftermath in Britain. We are then introduced to the impressive Mick Tempest, decked out in chain mail (Society had been plunged into a Middle-Ages style existence following the complete absence of Electricity, and that is the only explanation for the look and feel of the art, and that is good enough for me – on with the action!) surveying a shattered London from his vantage point. We quickly get introduced to some fiendish mutants known as the tube rats, because they live underground (the London Underground, aka the Tube) and they look like Rats. Tempest then shows his prowess by engaging in combat with these terrors, and the issue ends with a magnificent Mad Max style cliffhanger, with a customised Battle Steam Engine (how Steam Punk is that?) approaching, just like Papagella and his fuel-hungry hordes approached the refinery in Mad Max 2. You can only imagine what hostil intent this old Steam Engine brings, a neat perversion on the established wisdom that this mode of transport is generally benign. To be honest, you will find out as I plan to show the second installment soon. Enjoy – The Tower King, part One.

Comics: Anticipated titles of the week (01/07/09)





My picks for this week;

BATMAN AND ROBIN #2 DC COMICS
BOYS #32 DYNAMIC FORCES
DEAD RUN #2 BOOM ENTERTAINMENT
DEADPOOL MERC WITH A MOUTH #1 MARVEL COMICS
DESTROYER #4 MARVEL COMICS

The second issue of the new Batman and Robin
is out this week. The first issue was brilliant, a truly great opener, and I reckon the second issue will fulfill fans expectations again. Solicit reads;
“Batman Reborn” continues with the reteaming of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, WE3, New X-Men)! In a blazing Gotham City police department, the new Batman and Robin face the bizarre, fighting freakshow that is the Circus of Strange and find that they don’t make as good a team as Batman had hoped! Meanwhile, the mysterious Sasha escapes from Professor Pyg and vows vengeance on the people who killed her father. Preview of Batman and Robin #2 here – http://comics.ign.com/articles/997/997159p1.html

Dead Run #2 continues its B-Movie style, journey through a Post-Apocalyptic America. Solicit reads;
“All Speed. No Limits.” The end isn’t near… it’s here. America has become a wasteland, leaving the few cities that remain transformed into impenetrable fortresses. NICK MASTERS a driver, the best there is. If you need something picked-up, delivered, or disposed of, Nick’s your man. But when he fails to deliver… all hell breaks loose. Part two of the epic saga that redefines the science fiction action genre. From the writer of HEXED and FALL OF CTHULHU, Michael Alan Nelson, collaborating for the first time with EUREKA creator Andrew Cosby!. To be honest, I thought the first issue was a lot of fun, even if the dialogue was BAAAD, in a Post-Apocalytpic Italian B-Movie of the early 80’s kind of way. I expect the second issue to be more of the same, which is no bad thing at all.

The Boys #32 continues with the hugely entertaining ‘Self Preservation Society’ arc. Worryingly, the solicit kicks off with the ominous words;
‘With the Female gone and the survivors left reeling,’
which does not sound good at all, but after the monumental scrap she had last time, could she really be dead? Anyway, the rest of the solicit reads;
‘…the Boys find out who’s after them the hard way- walking straight into a nightmarish trap. Pulping teenage supes is one thing, but how will our heroes fair against a front-rank supe team of unimaginable power? Blood flies and bones shatter, as Butcher decides to meet fire with fire… in The Self-Preservation Society, part two.’

Deadpool Merc With a Mouth #1. Marvel seem pretty keen to make Deadpool the new Wolverine, with countless iterations of the character in various titles, running alongside each other. Here is another…the solicit reads;
“HEAD TRIP,” Part 1 of 6 It’s the Merc with two mouths! Deadpool travels to the Savage Land to retrieve what might be the deadliest bio-weapon the universe has ever seen. What is this deadly object? Well, Deadpool’s employer is being a little vague about that. Let’s just say when the secret is finally revealed, it’s enough to throw even the Merc with two Mouths for a loop…Oh hell, we can’t keep a secret, it’s the severed-but-still-hungry head of the Marvel Zombies Deadpool! To save the universe, Deadpool must team up with himself to dodge Hydra operatives, dinosaurs, cavemen and zombie cavemen as he attempts to take his not-so-precious cargo back where it came from: the Marvel Zombies Universe. Plus, a bonus reprinting of the first apperanace of Deadpool from New Mutants #98!
It has a great Sudyam cover, and Deadpool titles are generally entertaining, so expect something good. The Zombie-Deadpool has been the best thing about Marvel Zombies 4, so it is reasonable to expect Marvel were going to get some more mileage out of that character. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=2932&disp=table – Deadpool MWAM #1 preview

Destroyer #4 has come around pretty quick – only been 2 weeks since the last issue. This time Destroyer at long last comes face to face with the legions of HORDE, and buried deep within their secret base lays a threat like none Destroyer has ever faced before. This issue, the violence gets turned up to ‘awesome’, apparently, so this should be something pretty unique as last time around the whole issue was soaked in blood and gore (and not a lot else to be honest). http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=2933&disp=tableDestroyer 4 preview

POWERPOP! Selection 4 – Elvis Costello ‘Accidents Will Happen’ (1979)

This is not only a truly great song, a standout of any artists career – and in amongst the rich and varied Elvis Costello song catalogue, that is high praise – but this track also boasts a classic and distinctive video. Created by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, who also produced the video for ‘Genius of Love’ for Tom Tom Club, and gave the world Max Headroom, the video for ‘Accidents will Happen’ is a fascinating piece of animation, a period piece, but entertaining and full of charm. Here it is;

The song itself came off the ‘Armed Forces‘ album, that Elvis Costello and The Attractions released in January of 1979. The single, their follow up to the UK number 1 ‘Oliver’s Army’, was released in the Spring of that year and got into the UK top 30, getting to number 28 in May. In a cool reference to the title of the song, the vinyl singles cover was printed inside out, with the artwork (see top of the post) on the inside, and plain cardboard on display. Pure powerpop – short, punchy, killer chorus – this song has always been a favourite of mine. Enjoy.

Credit to NotoriousHEB
for uploading this video on youtube – the quality is excellent.

Review – Daredevil #119 (Marvel, 2009)

It is in the little details – the chalk line around the removed corpse, along side the comment that the head was found some way from the body. Then you look again at the chalk mark that was made around the murder victim and then it registers that this was a decapitation. The comment that The Hands foot soldiers turn to ash when they are killed. Like I said – Little things, those tiny details that keep this title a rich and endlessly interesting one. It mixes the ‘normal’ life of Matt Murdock (which has completely crumbled into chaos) and the extraordinary life of Daredevil adeptly. You cannot see the join, there is no jarring of styles. The whole title is swathed in dim light, a grainy haze where the good get ‘got’ with depressing regularity, and the bad survive and thrive. Against this, Daredevil (and in the periphery, the likes of Frank Castle (aka Punisher)) pursue their agendas, vendettas and/or fight for right.

In this issue, as we near the end of the ‘Return of the King arc, new alliances are forged while others crumble away, and it is this latter development that poses a threat, unknown to those who believe to be working with others for a greater good. What I am trying to say is that Daredevil adopted a high risk strategy in deciding to ally himself with his greatest enemy. On top of that, all whom he loves are in very real danger. So its high tension time, each scenario right on the edge of blowing up. Then the issue ends, with the promise of issue 500. If I had to review this issue purely on its own merits, I would say that the come-on (in this case, the cover depicting a Lady Bullseye / Kingpin face-off) was a lot more exciting than the actual experience, but the quality of the title is so strong that you are completely immersed anyway.

As you probably know, issue 500 marks the end of the Brubaker / Lark involvement in the title, which is a real shame as he has made Daredevil vital and I know that there are comparisons with the Miller era, but they are valid. They have been on the title for over 3 years and will be missed, though I am sure Andy Diggle is going to surprise a lot of people and carry on with the high quality we have come to expect.

Anyway, while we are on the subject, check out the amazing cover for #500 (Daredevil is returning to its original issue numbering from now on…);