Monday, August 30, 2010

Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 30th, 2010

Boy, am I running far behind!  I’m trying to catch-up on issues, so stick with me as I try to do just that.  More quick comic reviews will be coming up shortly!  Smile

sav4Secret Avengers #4 – Written by Ed Brukbaker and Penciled by Mike Deodato Jr.  Well, we journey into the final part of the current saga involving one of these crazy crowns that makes you possessed by some ancient celestial baddy.  And then we have Steve Rogers using the Nova Force, which evoked some pretty cool scenes and a neat costume in my book.  Can’t wait for an action figure of that one either.  But the storyline wrapped up a lot of what it needed to without an overly complicated explanation.  At the same time, the whole issue is just “meh” to me.  Nothing too terrible, nothing too fantastic.  I wish the Ant-Man that Robert Kirkman created was utilized in his sheer brilliance, but they don’t seem to really know how to handle him most of the time.  Moon Knight barely does anything, nor the Beast, we just get characters kind of hanging out in the background.  I like a bit more of the under utilized characters in these team series, not the over-utilized Steve Rogers being utilized even more.  I’m reminded of when the Justice League of America first started and they didn’t want to oversaturate their main stars too much, while still realizing the importance of their draw and need.  So what they did was they would always send Batman and Superman off while the “lesser lights” got their chance to shine.  I would still prefer that.  Overall, a “meh” issue with lots of cool artwork, but you can probably just skip it.

spidey640The Amazing Spider-Man #640 – Written by Joe Quesada and Penciled mainly by Paolo Rivera.  Once more down the crapfest that is “One Moment in Time”!  Excelsior!  They need to fix this slopfest quick, because this is getting awful.  Ok, so Wilson Fisk hires someone to go after relatives of Peter and MJ because Aunt May lived.  Doctor Strange gets put to the task of making everyone forget the secret identity of Spider-man.  Hey wait a minute.  Didn’t everyone just assume that when Mephisto changed things, he made it so Peter’s identity was never revealed?  Damn, one important take-away I must have missed somewhere.  So ever the revisionist we just scribble out things and change them.  And from reading this dreck, it looks like everything is being done on the fly.  Paolo Rivera’s artwork is the only bright spot in this mess.  You cannot produce Spider-Man EVERY stinking week or two an expect quality writing.  Why Marvel doesn’t just split this up and bring back the Spectacular Spider-Man or something and make it relevant, I have no idea.  It used to be you could get three good to average Spidey titles a month.  Now you’re stuck with 3-4 issues of a below average comic.  Way to go Joe!  Skip this and bury it in poop.

spowman1Shadowland – Power Man #1 – Written by Fred Van Lente and Penciled by Mahmud Asrar.  So we’re introduced to the “NEW” Power Man in this issue and learn a little bit about his background.  Danny Rand and Luke Cage also learn about this guy using the Power Man name.  So we’ve got the new Power Man fighting off the Hand and them in a snit fit about it as they try to expand their territory.  We also learn that this new Power Man likes to profit off his work by using Craigslist.  So we have quite a set-up for this one.  The art work and the writing start off limping badly, but they do pick up some momentum as the issue goes on.  But boy there are several pages where they’re fighting in “Purgatory” where you can’t tell what’s going on and everything looks like a 10 year old drew it.  But it does get better towards the end.  I found the issue interesting, but this whole Craigslist type thing we saw with The Web from DC last year.  However, they definitely have me interested in what happens in the future.  An ok debut, starts weak, finishes strong.  Not a must buy unless you want the first issue this kid appears in.

hulk24Hulk #24 – Written by Jeph Loeb and Penciled by Ed McGuinness.  Did I ever mention how much Jeph Loeb’s Hulk is crap?  Oh, btw, it is terrible and continues to be terrible.  The original Red Hulk storyline wasn’t cool and to be honest, not a huge fan of Ed McGuinness either.  But I figured this was a culmination of a lot of storylines so it was worth checking out.  So the final battle occurs between Red Hulk and Green Hulk and the world rejoices.  We have to bare the pain of constantly going back and forth between Red and Green thought bubbles to see what each is thinking.  So it doesn’t read fluidly at all.  The artwork just seems like anime on steroids and I could care less for it.  Never has there been a more overrated duo than Ed and Jeph.  The last few pages were almost interesting, but not enough to make up for everything else.  And another thing that hasn’t been covered before.  How big of a dump would the Hulk take?  I now know the answer.  The size of the number of copies of this issue.  Wipe your butt with them folks, they aren’t worth it.

shield3S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 – Written by Jonathan Hickman and Penciled by Dustin Weaver.  This is the first issue I’ve checked out about S.H.I.E.L.D. but it seemed Marvel has re-written the backstory and made SHIELD a giant conspiracy type group.  They go way back in history and it just doesn’t make a ton of sense yet, but the writing isn’t bad.  There’s just a lot going on to wrap your mind around.  So I’m withholding judgment until I can see a bit more.  In this issue we find out who the current head of this group is and who they are.  Guess what?  It’s somebody historically famous!  There’s a whole re-working of history in general which is kind of fun to see, I just hope it’s going somewhere.  It kind of reminds me of the set-up of the old Eternal Warriors by Acclaim Comics.  Close, but not quite.  So this issue is interesting, but not a must.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 28th, 2010

uxmen526Uncanny X-Men #526 –
Written by Matt Fraction and Pencilled by Whilce Portacio.  So the main plot is that 5 new mutants showed up and their powers haven’t manifested yet, so it’s time to find them before the bad guys get in the way.  But, why is it that the back-up story involving Magneto and his “grandsons” is the more interesting story in this issue.  Matt Fraction gives a valiant effort, but he doesn’t seem to have the whole dynamics of the group down yet.  Plus I think Whilce Portacio phoned it in on him.  Whilce seems to be just drawing to draw and must have needed some extra bucks, because I just don’t feel him being at his best.  When Hope finds out her parents died she and was talking about it at first, the facially expression couldn’t have matched what she was feeling.  The artwork just felt a little soulless and maybe that how Whilce feels drawing the X-Men, but he isn’t doing his writer any favors.  I’m interested in finding out what Hope can do and how the next breed of X-Men will turn out.  But the sub-plots in this one are weak and contrived, except for the Kitty Pryde part.  I don’t feel they’re following up on the fall-out from Second Coming very well.  We should be feeling heavier repercussions than any mutant series is really dealing with and that’s too bad, because I thought Second Coming was a good X-Men crossover.  This stuff is ok, but nothing spectacular.

dd509Daredevil #509 – Written by Andy Diggle and Penciled by Roberto De La Torre.  Ever get a case of déjà vu?  That’s what this felt like.  Andy Diggle has had some hits and misses in this Shadowland event, but I felt like I knew about the same at the end of this issue as I did at the beginning.  There are a few new bits of information, but nothing too interesting that skipping it doesn’t seem to be a big deal.  The artwork is good, but not in a classic comic book approach.  Everything is very washed out and dark and forboding, which I guess suits it well enough.  The way this one is going, next issue they’ll cover it again anyway.  So if you read last issue, just read Shadowland #2 and skip this one.

bright8Brightest Day #8 –
Written by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi and Pencilled by Ardian Syaf, Ivan Reis, and Patrick Gleason.  I thought LOST was over, but this comic book keeps me about as frustrated as when I was watching LOST.  This issue is largely Martian Manhunter and Hawkworld centric, and boy is it bad.  In fact, they pretty much rip off an entire scene from LOST, but oh well.  A boring issue with nothing really important seeming to happen.  Any surprises fall flat on their collective faces.  Just a walking crap fest.  The artwork is uninspired except for the nicely pencilled first few pages.  I can’t figure out what the hell their doing with this storyline, if maybe they’re trying to do a reinvent of “52”, but it’s a poor attempt at that.  If you avoid buying one issue out of my list, avoid buying this turd.

glc51Green Lantern Corps #51 – Written by Tony Bedard and Pencilled by Ardian Syaf.  The story improved from last issue and the artwork is decent, supported well by the brilliant colors in this issue.  So our fair Lanterns are still trying to survive the nefarious Cyborg-Superman who has taken over the Alpha Lanterns.  Cyborg-Supe has Ganthet and Stel pretty much held hostage and there are some interesting moments involving that in this issue.  Bedard does a good job at making sure that despite the human side we sometimes see from Hank Henshaw (aka Cyborg-Superman), he’s still a right evil bastard that deserves contempt.  We also have a surprise return of a Lantern which is completely ruined by the front cover, but Hannu returns and that is also interesting considering how he’s feeling about the Corps right now.  Nothing really wrong with this issue, it just kind of flies by though and you don’t feel like you got a whole lot of story out of it.  Just an average, decent sort of issue, no need to rush yourself out to buy it or anything.

acad3Avengers Academy #3 – Written by Christos Gage and Pencilled by Mike McKone.  Well, McKone’s artwork is much better this issue, if still a tad inconsistent at times, but it is getting there.  In this issue our cadets get a scared-straight trip to the Raft.  Also we get to know Hazmat much better and see her origin as well.  Valkyrie’s guest teaching are humorous to say the least.  I kind of wish we would see more out of Speedball, and I’m sure we will, as he continues to cope with the past in his own way.  To me, that’s really interesting stuff.  There’s a lot of characters to juggle here and some of them are bound to get overlooked in some issues.  The story is solid and fun and we get a crossover with the Thunderbolts that continues there.  The characters continue to grow and are very interesting.  There are a few hokey moments with the Thunderbolts, but nothing too bad. So this issue is a definite must, especially if you’ve been following to this point.

zat4Zatanna #4 – Written by Paul Dini and Pencilled by Chard Hardin.  Well Viva Las Vegas!  Zatanna is set to open up a new show in Vegas and has to contend with the Royal Flush Gang (who are constantly changing anymore, but I still like them) and then prepare for her big night.  Things just don’t turn out as planned.  Need I say more?  Paul Dini continues to keep Zatanna surprisingly fresh, funny, and bold.  This issue is no different.  A lot of sub-plot being worked in and it will be interesting to see where this new story arc will go.  Suffice it to say, this is going to be one fun ride.  I still can’t believe how boring Zatanna used to be, but she’s gone a complete 360 under the right team.  Chad Hardin does a very good job of visuals and those visuals help complete the story.  The subtle things some artists would miss, he really doesn’t.  He uses the medium to help the writer in the telling of the story, and I love that.  Pick this book up and pick it up NOW!

thund147Thunderbolts #147 – Written by Jeff Parker and Pencilled by Kev Walker.  We pick up, not only, from last issue, but also from Avenger’s Academy #3 (and #4 which isn’t released yet).  There’s a power outage we saw on the Raft and the questions as to why it happened.  We also see the Thunderbolts dealing with the actual power outage, which leads to many interesting moments.  Moonstone does pretty much exactly what is always expected of her.  Juggernaut showcased some interesting things as well.  I’m curious to see where they go with the terrigen mutation incident and if there’s anything more to it that we’ll see in future issues.  Next issue we get another detour into Shadowland, but hopefully it’ll be pain free for us readers.  Parker really does another great job of scripting what could have been a very boring story and making it interesting.  I have a feeling he has some surprises waiting for us, just wish I could tell what.  The artwork has a grim stylization to it that fits the stories being told.  A fun read, but I’m borderline about calling it a buy.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2010 SDCC - The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Animated Series First...

This is going to be a must see show!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 20th, 2010


236129Thanos Imperative #3 – I kind of like these cosmic sagas and this one has been pretty solid so far.  I’ve been a big fan of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and they continue to provide solid stories that I can always count on liking.  I also like that I don’t have to buy a million tie-in issues to see the full story.  It is all self contained and that has a certain charm to it.  This issue we follow Thanos further into the Cancerverse where Death has died and Nova assembled a strike team to go after Namorita.  The explanation behind why Death doesn’t exist there anymore was ok, a tad weak, but alright.  My main complaint is the artwork.  Miguel Sepulveda does such a poor job that I can’t figure out what’s going on half the time.  Sometimes he makes the story harder to follow than it should be.  I had to go back a re-read to figure out who was saying what because the pictures didn’t seem to tell me well enough.  Just terrible stuff.  The artwork makes me mad.  This should be an issue worth buying and it is just to stay up on what’s going on, but the artwork almost turns me against it.  Buy for the story, not the art.

234228xX-Men #2 Well, that wasn’t quite as bad as I was expecting.  So in X-Men, we’re still talking about Vampires and their virus they’re unleashing and the want they have to get to the mutants.  But the story gets much better this issue than in last.  It’s still pretty hokey in spots and still hasn’t grabbed my imagination.  There’s a smidge of me that’s really trying to like Victor Gischler’s work, but I don’t.  His story just didn’t seem very imaginative and everything just falls flat for me.  Paco Medina’s artwork was hit and miss.  The early pages I liked pretty well and then it seemed a tad different later on.  His Cyclops just drives me batty, he draws him even more stiff than you would Al Gore.  His mouth on Cyclops looks really weird half the time, I just didn’t care for it.  This series promises to be the big miss of the summer.  And there ain’t no cure for the summertime X-Men #2.  Dah dah dah dunt.  Just skip it, save that money for something else.

235570Avengers Prime #2 – I like the word “meh” for some reason and it kind of describes this issue.  The issue isn’t terrible actually and there are some fun moments.  There are just weird things that I didn’t care for.  Are the troll-like dudes who talked to Tony Stark hard on hearing?  One moment he’s shouting about being friends with Thor and then ignore him.  The next time he talks about it, they say “Our lord Thor?”  Well, duh, can’t you hear?  I hate gaps in logic like that.  The final reveal towards the end wasn’t too awfully shocking and I found myself saying, “Who even cares?”  This is not the best work Brian Michael Bendis has done.  But since we’re going crazy on Avengers EVERYTHING, might as well pile on more issues to cash in on the future movie and build up interest.  I can’t say that I blame them.  There are far worse issues you could buy, but this is mostly meh.

236099Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #1 - Peter Tomasi has been doing a fine job with his Green Lantern Corp runs and he stumbles a tad out of the gates, but still tells me a story I’m interested in and entertained by.  I’m interested in seeing how things play out between Atrocitus/Gardner/Ganthet.  Also there seems to be more things working in the background.  I guess I’m a bit biased because the Green Lanter Corps stuff has always been some of my favorite stuff and if they can get back to just telling some good stories, I’m a happy man.  Still, I’m not sure what the heck of the first 10 pages of this issue is even there for besides filler.  It gets better towards the end though.  The artwork is well detailed and there’s a wall of skulls and some scenes in this issue that are just fantastic.  The artist Fernando Pasarin is doing some pretty good stuff here and I’m interested in seeing more of it.  The storyline isn’t the best, but like I said, picks up steam.  If you like the Green Lantern Corp stuff Tomasi did, this isn’t quite there yet, so time will see.  As for this issue, not a must buy, just ok.

235566The Amazing Spider-man #639 – Joe Quesada cannot write revisionist history worth a lick.  This issue was a mangle of rewind, half-rewind, present, rewind, blah.  His story just doesn’t seem to be adding up as to why MJ and Peter didn’t get married.  And then he takes a total wimp-out in several spots and you’re left wondering what the hell is going on with this storyline.  It feels like he decided he was going to do it overnight and then threw out a script that would last several issues.  There really isn’t anything going on here that’s very interesting at all.  I’m not fond of Joe Quesada’s hybrid art on his pages because he draws Peter to look like a mutant elf.  Hmmm… come to think of it, he does resemble Nightcrawler in these.  Paolo Rivera has some decent “throwback” artwork going on and that’s where the real storytelling happens.  He is the only bright spot in this pile of poop.  Skip it, maybe something will happen next issue but don’t bank on it.

235583Hawkeye and Mockingbird #3 – Jim McCann can write and this series keeps up a pretty steady pace.  This issue is high on action and the artwork of David Lopez captures it all and does it justice.  So in this issue Mockingbird goes after Crossfire after what he did to her mother.  A pretty straightforward issue with backstory still moving along.  The relationship between Clint and Bobbi, still having their disagreements, is good stuff as well.  But really, a LOT of action in this issue and it is done fairly well, so I can’t complain when there a GOOD action sequences, because that’s part of what makes comic great.  This is a fantastic series and this is a solid issue. Not quite as good as #1 & 2, but pick it up and enjoy!

236118The Invincible Iron Man #29 – We further our storyline involving Stark Resilient getting up and running, Pepper get the repulsor tech put back in her, and the Hammer girls running roughshod.  A lot of storylines working well together and giving us another good story.  This issue has a few more dull spots than others, like the argument with Maria Hill and Stark just wasn’t particularly well done.  Then we have these weird giant launchable flying penises is the only way to describe them.  Apparently they’re Detroit Steel’s flying penises, but boy were they poorly designed and the whole concept of them (okay, they aren’t REALLY penises, they just look like them) is really quite lame.  Download an app and fly them?  Really?  Have they actually seen the limitations of cell phone technology?  It just came off flat.  Everything else in the issue after that is pretty decent, but the first several pages were groaners.  It did finish strong though and may be worth picking up for one hilarious scene with Tony and Pepper.  Salvador Larroca gives this series a unique feel with his artwork, but he loses points for the flying penises.  Matt Fraction’s writing is once again good like I said, except for the first several pages.  Buy if you’re already elbow deep in the series, otherwise not a must buy.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Valiant Comic Fans Find Home in


Several months ago, I was visiting my local library and I decided to check out some graphic novels.  While I was perusing that section, I noticed the Rai graphic novel and I just had to pick it up.  During that moment, I was transported back into time.

Back in the 90’s we had a local comic shop called Comic Haven.  I had seen advertisements for the upcoming crossover known as Unity in Wizard magazine.  In preparation, I picked up a copy of Rai #4.  Rai #4 had a terrible cover with some egg shaped robot, looked kinda lame in retrospect.  But my comic buying world was changed suddenly.

I found that Valiant comics wasn’t afraid to use a little blood in their comics.  Everything was very vivid, but not quite as polished as DC and Marvel comics.  They made up for it with the storytelling that was going on and I was loving it.  At a time where mutants were the thing, this was a change. 

Sadly, I realized I had been seeing Valiant comics longer than that as the video rental area at my local Cub Foods had been selling Magnus and Solar the whole time and I had been missing out.  I recall wondering why these heroes came back, because I knew they were old heroes brought back.  I figured if nobody read them before, who would read this stuff.  I didn’t even give it a shot.  To be fair I was like 12 or something, so my judgment wasn’t that great.

I ended up recently visiting eBay and buying nice big lots of old Valiant comics for next to nothing.  Wow, I was so hooked again!  Such great, fantastic stories!  Not only that, but I have kids now and I wanted to hook them on comic book heroes so they would grow up true nerds, so I looked at it as an investment as they grow older.  I also finally recovered my comic collection from my dad.

The comic book hobby that I once abandoned was now back with a vengeance.  I’ve read tons of comics to catch up with the important stuff that I missed.  I continue to read classics and have some select titles that I collect now.  But one site stood out to me the whole time. was dedicated to people like me, looking to find out more about their favorite, but extinct, publisher. 

Let me tell you something about, you can go there and it’s a community!  People who remember something great and are still out there enjoying their comics.  There are some great resources, you can find out about the down and dirty history of Valiant and find all the print runs, etc.  It is really a great for all things Valiant comics related.

I’ve long been a reader of the message boards there as well and boy, is there some great information and topics.  It’s a true comic book community.  Some users sell things there, some discuss other comics, some talk about different Valiant ventures, Dead Universe in Comicdom, tons of great stuff.  So many topics and forums, you just have to check it out!

My re-obsession with comics I blame squarely on  So if you loved those old issues like I did, this is a great place.  Heck, if you’re a fan of comics in general, this is still a brilliant place!  Check it out!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Quick Comic Book Reviews – August 15th, 2010

235550 (1) Brightest Day #7 – Well, it only took 7 issues before they got to the main plot.  We saw bits of mysteries going on and we now have a few answers that make sense.  But boy, did it take way too long!  It will be interesting to see how what was revealed in this issue will affect the other titles.  Could make things very interesting in some of those series.  I have some doubts, but we’ll see.  The art was fine in this issue considering all the different artists.  The issue zoomed right along as you actually wanted to figure out some of this stuff.  The big reveals are alright, the artwork changes every other page, but nothing too bad.  This is the only issue of Brightest Day you need to bother with buying so far.

235594 Shadowland: Bullseye #1 – Wow, just wow. So here we have a story about a funeral for Bullseye held at the behest of a bunch of thugs.  Of course, they want Mr. Crossover himself, Ben Urich to cover it under much duress.  Any time you see an issue with Ben Urich, you’re about guaranteed it’s a tie-in to some major crossover to help make more money off it.  However, sometimes those tie-ins aren’t too bad.  This is one of those pointless issues in comic books that makes you say “why”.  It isn’t like you would miss anything if you skipped this issue entirely!  Not much makes any sense and the story is limp.  I hope John Layman doesn’t a habit of this type of writing.  It rather feels, though, like they dropped the assignment on him and he had to fill the pages with something.  If you’re a writer, that’s not always a good thing.  Sean Chen did an admirable job as the artist, but most people will look past his art because the story is poop.  This issue would only be good for kindling, but it’s too expensive to be kindling, so you’re kind of stuck with it.  Buyer beware of massive suckage!
236105 Superman #702 – J. Michael Strazynski brings us to his second full issue of Superman and it continues just as the last one left off.  Superman is wandering across America, this time Detroit is the place and Superman ends up encountering some aliens living there in secret.  So Superman works out a deal with them that seems to occur way to suddenly and they basically build something over night.  So besides that stretch of imagination, this is still better than anything Superman put out last year.  It is a good enough story that continues to focus on the human side of Superman and that’s still a good thing to me.  But where is all of this going?  It would be un-JMS like to not have some grand plan.  I’m hoping to see where this goes.  The artwork is nothing that special, by Eddy Barrows, but I think the inker may have just gone overzealous in spots.  So hard to tell without seeing the originals.  So a pretty enjoyable issue here, despite gaps in logic, but not a must buy.
235558 R.E.B.E.L.S. #19 – Ah, a tale of 3 Brainiacs.  The first three in fact.  Despite it all, Vril Dox (aka Brainiac 2) maintains himself as the cold, calculating and charismatic bastard of the bunch.  The original Brainiac (or as I call him, Papa Brain) is set free during an attack on their home world of Colu by Lyrl Dox (Brainiac 3), who just happens to hate his father Vril.  Lyrl has recently given a pulsar sentience and that thing is pissed and pretty flipping destructive.  Chaos ensures and Vril has to find a way out of this mess.  Tony Bedard continues to write one of the best and most consistent comics out there.  The artwork of Claude St. Aubin is very strong here and fits the style we come to expect here.  Yet another excellent read.  Bedard continues to make this a must buy!
235560 Red Robin #15 -  So far, the 2nd year of Red Robin is off to a very fun and exciting start, with the credit going to Fabian Nicieza.  The storyline has a pretty traditional comic feel with plenty of twists, reveals and characterization.  The interaction between Tim Drake and Damian is great stuff and fun to read.  The story revolves around two crooked cops who hire an assassin to go after Tim Drake because they know he has dirt on them.  We see Tim continue his dark journey that has him acting more and more like Bruce Wayne, which has to be of great concern somewhere down the road.  It is an interesting evolution of a character and I’m sure there is plenty more good stuff to come.  If you like a good Batman type of story that seems like it is going somewhere and is always interesting, this is a good bet.  The artwork by Marcus To is good stuff and the colors are vibrant.  It feels like a comic should.  Check it out!
235561 Secret Six #24 – We join up with our Secret Six in the old west.  Wait a minute, come again?  Ok, so the cast and crew of the Secret Six is in the wild west and boy are there problems.  A crazed outlaw is coming to town to take it over.  Always good news for our anti-heroes.  The story by Gail Simone is pretty gruesome and vulgar and not for the feint of heart.  The artwork by J. Califiore is solid as well and captures some pretty intimate details well.  The issue really throws a wrench in the work and boy, am I confused.  Not sure if this is a veritable joyride, but it might have appeal to some.  Me?  I’m mostly “meh” from the whole ordeal.  Buy if you think a spaghetti western Secret six appeals to you, if not, probably not worth forking out the bucks for.
235333 Fantastic Four #581 – A delightfully warped Fantastic Four story.  Recently I haven’t been too impressed with Fantastic Four and the past few years have had no sense of purpose.  It just seemed like a comic book lost in limbo.  I think Jonathan Hickman may have this ship turning in the right direction.  However, at times I feel we’re getting wrapped up in all of these alternative timelines and that gets real confusing real quick.  This story seems to be making a logical way to tie some of those together and create what seems to be an interesting story so far.  It involves Reed Richards’ dad and an incident that draws them all together.  There is an fairly interesting secret about what’s going on with all of this and why Reed’s dad visits him before he has any powers.  In fact, in this reality, Reed’s power and Ben Grimm’s seem contrived by inventions.  And what a wonderful play on this characters that we now know and love.  We see a way to make them interesting in an alternative timeline and some sense of bittersweet irony in the way Ben Grimm approaches the invention they made for him.  It all works well together.  Neil Edwards’ pencil are alright, there are some rough spots, but hey, that’s the Fantastic Four in a nutshell.  This one is worth checking out.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Comic Book Review – Magnus Robot Fighter #1

235532 (1)
Another Dark Horse/Gold Key revival, once again written by Jim Shooter.  And right of the bat, it feels very familiar to anyone who has read Magnus before and they’re staying fairly true to script without changing everything up and I like that.

The original Gold Key version of Magnus Robot Fighter was done by Russ Manning and is a classic still today.  In fact, you can still purchases the archive versions and trust me, they are HIGHLY recommended with much gusto!  Valiant Comics brought this back in the 1990’s and this title help Valiant catch fire and produce some great books, including the run of John Ostrander that was truly epic.  The Ostrander issues you can pick up super cheap, just check eBay for lots of them.  My tip is to search “magnus comic lot” and you’ll find something pretty cheap, I assure you.

So issue #1 rolls out and what do I see?  Well, first of all, an excellent cover done by Raymond Swanland.  It’s an awesome image and as a side note, Raymond was discovered for his artwork he did for Magic: The Gathering cards.  Our artist for this issue is Bill Reinhold.  He does a decent job and keeps things pretty simple, but I think the colors and inking leave it feeling a tad overshaded at times so we can’t see as much of the artist.  Feels a bit muddy in spots because of that.  But I think Reinhold does a good job and it feels like he’s trying to do a little homage to Russ Manning with his art and who can blame him?

The story is pretty standard fare.  There is a “Metal Mob” which is something a little new and could be very interesting with different “robs” than what we’ve seen in the past.  I’ll be very interested to see where that story arc goes.  Then we get a lot of background, which stays pretty true to form and doesn’t stray a ton from the original.  There are some genuinely good moments in here, just nothing that’s outstanding yet.  But that’s not a bad thing, this issue is very good for newcomers, but it just lacks the wow factor if you already know Magnus.  This Magnus is very much like the one we see in the Gold Key/Valiant line so far.  No crazy plots like in the Acclaim comics version.  Oh boy, I had to bring that one up.  Ugh.

There is another great bonus to this first issue though!  It is 56 pages long and includes the Original Magnus Robot Fighter comic in it as well by Russ Manning.  The story is still good to this day and very enjoyable.  But all this does is enhance this issue’s value.  So if you like Magnus already, you know you want it and it’s worthwhile.  If you’ve never read Magnus before, jump on now and get a great value for $3.50!  That makes it a must buy in my books!  This one is off to a better start than Doctor Solar, but I’m still holding out hope that next issue rocks my proverbial socks off.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Quick Comic Book Reviews – August 8th, 2010


234626 Brightest Day #6 – Wow, I really wish I knew where the heck any of this was going.  We keep getting weird little revelations from the past of characters and trying to piece it all together is making me feel like there’s no connection.  This is a largely Martian Manhunter centric issue with Hawkgirl and Hawkman nowhere to be seen, but I don’t exactly find myself caring what the hell happened to them.  The only part of the story that really interests me is the one going on with Hawk & Dove and Deadman.  Now that’s the storyline I’m enjoying as it unfolds, but boy, it is slow going.  This issue is decent and seems to balance things out a tad better than other issues.  None of the artwork is really terrible, but with so many artists it is hard to judge.  I hope we hit some pay-offs soon because this is looking like a bust of Ryan Leaf proportions.  This issue is decent though, not enough to be a buy.

234672 Amazing Spider-Man #638 – Hey, Jim Shooter gets some work reprinted in this one.  Makes it worth buying right?  Let’s see!  So Joe Quesada finally decided that this erased history with M.J. and Peter Parker should finally come to a close.  The experiment, to me, failed.  The issues just felt weird the whole time, so yeah, I’m interested in seeing how they piece this one back together.  We get a cobbled together story using the old artwork and story and adding in some new stuff to create a whole new “time-line” for what happened to cause MJ and Peter to NOT be married.  Kind of an interesting concept, not sure how well it was executed.  That being said, the artwork is all over the place and the best is really the artwork from the Spiderman annual where he marries MJ.  I thought some of Quesada’s artwork in One More Day was bullocks, here he can hide it by blending it in with other artists.  Quesada’s art has never thrilled me and his art seems to get worse the more time he has off from drawing.  This issue I wanted to be good, but it all feels damned disjointed and a tad confusing.  Skip this issue and hope the next one is worth it.

234644 Zatanna #3 – What’s this?  Zatanna is actually FUN to read?  Yes, amazing things do happen and Paul Dini has managed to turn another boring character into something interesting.  For the first few issues we’ve been dealing with Brother Night and tracking him down.  In fact, issue #2 was an absolute blast and if you haven’t bought it yet, you really should.  This brings to conclusion the 3 issue story arc.  I’m hoping we’ll get to see plenty more where this came from too.  I thought Stephane Roux’s artwork was quite good and everything in the issues just seems to work.  While this isn’t quite as strong as the other two issues, it was still very enjoyable.  This issue really seemed to zoom by and the climatic battle was a tad anti-climatic.  It felt like this issue could have been extended out into two and given us a better send-off to the story.  But given what it is, a good and entertaining issue, just not what the last two were.  Buy if you’re looking to give something new a try.

234228 Vengeance of the Moon Knight #10 – This series is really getting better as of late.  In this one we are treated to the mind of Moon Knight as he takes on a mission with the new assembled Secret Avengers.  We get a decent yarn being spun and a look at what Moon Knight is thinking.  Makes for an interesting story and it is all over in one-shot.  No big two-parter or anything.  The story is very well written by Gregg Hurwitz, but the artwork is phenomenal.  I’m not sure how to best describe it besides it has a bit of a style you’ve seen out of Robert Crumb, but with a more realistic flavor thrown in at the same time.  And guess what?  It works.  The thing I like about Juan Jose Ryp’s artwork is that there is not much room for taking shortcuts.  With that style, you’re almost guaranteed that every panel is going to have an amazing amount of detail to it.  It is really fun to see and I can’t wait to see him on other projects.  Thoroughly impressed.  This issue isn’t a must buy, but it is worth picking up if you’re looking at picking up an extra title this month.

235600 Shadowland #2 – So in this issue Daredevil finally decides if the heroes aren’t with him, they’re against him.  Haven’t we seen that somewhere before?  This seems to be building towards Daredevil’s downfall.  But once again, haven’t we seen something just like that recently?  Maybe Marvel will surprise me.  I do still like the fact that the Hand is corrupting him and he’s taking more extreme measures.  Despite everything else, this issue is pretty good.  We got a major surprise in it that would be ruined if you look at some of the upcoming titles in the Shadowland crossover.  Thankfully I really didn’t pay attention to that, so I was actually surprised and happy about it.  Spiderman does seemingly randomly shows up in this issue and Marc Spector joins the fray, but we knew he would all along.  The artwork is fine, no real complaints in this issue and things continue to unfold as Matt Murdock continues to lose his grip on things.  Andy Diggle is super busy with this series and it seems like it is coming together now and that’s a good sign.  Worth picking up!

234231 X-Men #1 – Ok, seriously.  Who thought Mutants vs. Vampires was a good idea?  Sounds like an attempt to jump on the vampire craze that’s going on.  Marvel has single-handedly decided to kill any momentum the vampire craze has by bringing it back to comic form.  Congratulations Marvel!  Seriously, this whole concept does nothing for me.  We have an exploding vampire and a former X-Man get infected so she’s going to become a vampire.  The only good thing out of this series might be the fact that Blade returns next issue.  The storyline just seems hokey and the writing by Victor Gischler is even worse.  The artwork by Paco Medina is fair enough though and that’s about the only bright spot I could find.  This entire storyline is unfortunate because we’re coming out of an event “Second Coming” that I thought was quite good in classic X-Men major event tradition.  But in this, it’s like they’re almost ignoring most of what happened.  They should be patching things up, Storm should still be pissed at Scott, lots of things just don’t work in this issue.  This issue bites in more ways than one.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Quick Comic Book Reviews – August 3rd, 2010

Once again, just a quick series of reviews.  I’m finding it easier to do these quick reviews due to lack of time to breakdown each issue separately.  Plus this way I get more read, so kind of a win-win.  This should help you figure out if an issue might be worth picking up.  But then again, my opinion is just that, and my opinion might just be lousy.  Utilize at your own risk.  :-)

234662 New Avengers #2 – Here is a series that continues on with the same New Avengers we had gotten to know.  Spiderman, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Thing, Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye and Mockingbird.  So we’ve seen this team-up, not much NEW about it really besides The Thing.  However, in the second issue of the New New series, we start figuring out some things that are happening with Damien Hellstrom, Doctor Strange and Brother Voodoo.  We’re still figuring out who wants the Eye of Aga-what’s-his-face.  We still get the great banter from Wolverine and Spiderman that we come to expect, including Spidey getting a baby monitor to take into battle so he doesn’t miss anything.  Lots of good little things, solid artwork, make this a good comic.  If you liked em before, you’ll like em again, even with the mystical hocus pocus stuff.  Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen cook up a good one.  Solid buy!

234634 Legion of Superheroes #3 – Paul Levitz is back with a vengeance and boy is it a fun ride so far!  I’m going to give Levitz huge praise, because he is one of the few writers who can efficiently handle a ton of heroes and keep them all interesting and make them feel important.  Geoff Johns should take notes for Brightest Day.  Paul keeps giving us more and more questions and surprises.  Making Earth Boy a Green Lantern seems to be a red herring, but more importantly, the way Earth Boy is in an uncomfortable alliance with the Legion is excellent.  There is more storyline packed in these pages than you could hope for in most comics now days and the artwork backs it all up.  Terrific storytelling in all aspects and makes this a MUST BUY!  I simply do not want to miss an issue and boy, the end of this one really has me excited!  Gotta run and get it!

234390 Justice League: Generation Lost #5 – The title seems to be hitting its stride now.  The new Blue Beetle is utilized well, Rocket Red is a bit of a hypocrite, but at least they explain it.  The artwork is decent enough stuff, nothing bad nor terrible.  In this issue Max Lord makes a proposition to everyone that they can take or leave.  But what will it be?  Captain Atom has to make a big decision and Aaron Lopresti’s pencils do a tremendous job of capturing a superb moment of drama.  The interplay of the team is solid as they try and figure out what to do.  I’m intrigued to see where it is all going as Max Lord is a downright bastard.  Well paced issue, the team is starting to gel more and the story is starting to unfold well.  Buy if you love the characters, might be a near miss otherwise.

234400 Superman #701 – JMS brings his take to Superman and so far so good.  We don’t have him battle big bad monster of the week.  This is Superman’s effort to step back into his role with Earth as the protector of it.  But he finds himself looking to help the common people a bit more.  I like it, it has a good feel with Superman getting more touch with his human side and right now with the way things are in the world, this is a good thing.  To see him interacting with normal people and realizing their struggles reconnects Superman with his own human side, I think that’s important.  Superheroes sometime have to reflect what’s going on in their world and right now there are lots of people out there in need, people who have problems that are fairly ordinary.  It is fun to think, what if Superman could help you?  I like it so far.  Buy if you’re looking for a different kind of Superman story.

235309 Green Arrow #2 – First off, did I waste my time reading that or what?  I actually thought the first issue was alright, but the follow-up seemed to have little purpose and was quite short.  It didn’t feel right all around.  The artwork was weak, especially considering the guy couldn’t even draw the Green Lantern symbol correctly, and the story was worse.  And btw, if your Green Lantern ring loses its power in the forest, wouldn’t that mean that the costume disappears too?  Ugh, just ugh.  We’re no closer to solving the mystery of the forest and the “shocker” at the end seems just out of the blue.  So much so that I don’t even care what next issue brings to Oliver Queen.  Really just plain awful.  Don’t waste your money!

235310 Green Lantern #56 – Does Hal Jordan always wear a shiny outfit?  I didn’t think so, but Doug Mahnke sure thinks so and I don’t care for his rendition.  Usually I like his artwork, it just never seemed to feel in place during this issue.  Geoff John’s writing even seemed particularly hokey in this one.  I had been a little curious about this storyline, but less so after this issue.  First I have to sit through a joke about a Pink Flamingo.  Did that joke survive the 80’s?  We have Hector Hammond rumbling on about some mystery we don’t really no much about.  There is an overlying story about the entities in the lanterns and that just didn’t grab me.  The only decent part was with The Question being put back to rest.  Other than that, a veritable ick-fest.  I love a good Green Lantern story and this is not it.  Skip it!

235312 Green Lantern Corps #50 – Wow, 50th issues are usually monumental type issues, this one, not so much.  Tony Bedard is one of my favorite writers and the stories he has been writing have been moving along fairly well.  This issue however is a near miss. Ardian Syaf does a fine job with the artwork in this issue and his Hank Henshaw, Cyborg Superman whatever you want to call him is spot-on.  The issue flies by and you’re really mostly left with a flashback/where Cyborg Superman has been issue.  The amount of things that actually happened could have probably been done in about 2-4 pages.  That’s disappointing when you’re spending money on it.  So you’re basically learning what happened to Cyborg Superman when everyone thought he was dead.  Really nothing too interesting when it boils down to it.  Can’t recommend this one.