Chris vs. Previews: December 2009



Today at ComicsAlliance, Chris vs. Previews is back to take another swing at 500 pages of merch! Join me as I go through the highlights and lowlights of the catalog, pointing out a few recommendations and, as always, shaking my head slowly at the severe classiness of the Japanese merchandise imported for the discerning pervert.

Mine isn’t the only Previews roundup on the web, though: Mike Sterling, of course, does the fittingly named End of Civilization, and this month sees Tiina, Rachelle’s former bandmate and current partner-in-blogging at Living Between Wednesdays, take on those goofy-lookin’ True Blood busts, among other things.

So read ’em! Collect ’em! Print ’em out onto cardstock and trade ’em with your friends!

The Worst of Netflix: Psychic Wars



I’ve read an awful lot of movie summaries over the years, but I’ve never seen one quite like the sentence Netflix uses to try to entice viewers into watching 1991’s anime “classic,” Psychic Wars:

When brilliant surgeon Ukyo Retsu removes a cancer from a mysterious old woman, he doesn’t realize that the cancer is a 5,000 year-old demon.

This is, without question, the single best high concept that I’ve ever seen on Netflix.

The Worst of Netflix: Psychic Wars, new today on

And Then There Was the Time That Superman Learned About The Origin of Humanity



In Marty Pasko and the phenomenal Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez’s DC Comics Presents #1–recently reprinted in handy Showcase format–Superman discovers that life on Earth evolved from the waste products of alien spaceships, which are themselves organic creatures genetically engineered to travel through space.

So to put this another way, in the DC Universe, life on Earth–and also Krypton, as it turns out–is directly descended from alien poop.


Because Around Here, “Thanksgiving” Means NFL SuperPro



In the Core Marvel Universe, an ex-football player got super-powers from a combination of a high-tech battlesuit designed exclusively for the NFL and inhaling the fumes of a chemical fire that burned a collection of NFL memorabilia, and then used those powers to fight a villains named “Instant Replay” and “Kabuki-Back,” who was part of an armored coed football team made up of rejected players that kidnapped pros to play a death match in their gigantic, yet completely hidden private arena.

Wait a second…

Whoops, that was yesterday’s theme! What I meant to say was that in celebration of the Thanksgiving tradition of football, I’ve reported into ComicsAlliance with an exhaustively researched article on NFL SuperPro!

SuperPro is, of course, terrible, but reading through the entire run (which I did, thanks to some help from Andrew, as there’s nothing Laura Hudson likes more than getting me to read bad comics), I found there was something sort of fascinating about its awfulness. So give it a read, and please enjoy a panel that didn’t make the final cut for the article:



In the Core Marvel Universe



When I reviewed the first part of “FrankenCastle” last week, ISB reader Karsten mentioned that he didn’t think the concept had a place “in the core Marvel Universe.” This turn of phrase stuck with me, as bizarre high concepts are the thing I love most about Marvel, so I set about listing off a few of the things that have happened in the Core Marvel Universe, starting on Twitter and then compiling them into an all-new article on ComicsAlliance, where I explain that…

In the Core Marvel Universe, a scientist that turns into a monster when he gets angry because of the time he saved a teenager (who would later go on to be the sidekick for an unfrozen World War 2 veteran, a cyborg from space and an alien from a planet called Rad-Nam) from a nuclear weapon once went to another world where he became a barbarian king and fell in love, but it ended badly. Then this exact sequence of events happened again, only this time it was in space and it made him so mad that he flew back to Earth in a spaceship made of rock so that he could make an astrophysicist, a wizard and a former secretary of defense fight to the death in Madison Square Garden.

So in retrospect, a swamp monster and a vampire stitching up a vigilante into a Frankenstein’s Monster isn’t really all that crazy.

Seriously, though, despite the fun I’ve been having with it–and the absolute clusterfuck that the comments on that post turned into afterwards–I’ve got no ill will towards Karsten, who’s actually pretty solid as far as ISB commentators go. He’s entitled to his own opinion–even when it makes him the Wrongest Wrong in Wrongtown–and I’m glad he left the comment. As for the rest of you…

Er, anyway, give the article a read, and feel free to contribute your own True Tale of the Core Marvel Universe in the comments section over there, where people have already started in on it!