Sunday, October 31, 2010

Quick Comic Book Reviews - October 31st, 2010

More quick reviews.  Not super quick like the last one, but let me know which format you prefer.  If you kind of like me switching it up here and there, I can do that too.  Just getting harder for me to get much computer time to do all of this.

Justice Society of America #44 - Written by Marc Guggenheim and Art by Scott Kolins.  There's an underlying plot going on with Jay Garrick becoming the Mayor.  But then we flash back a few weeks to when Jay says he's planning on retiring and Alan Scott trying to talk him out of it.  First, we have some ultra tough bad guy pop up.  The battle has very bad results for the JSA.  I thought this issue was really pretty good.  An interesting set-up as I wonder how Jay becomes Mayor.  A mysterious bad guy who takes no prisoners and they think is a terrorist, and then an epic battle.  All-in-all I thought it was good.  Scott Kolins provides from pretty good art in this one as well.  I know a lot of people didn't like this issue, but I'm not sure why.  It isn't a must buy, but it's a good issue that's worth at least checking out.

Detective Comics #870 - Written by David Hine and Penciled by Scott McDaniel.  The Impostor Joker storyline culminates in this issue and boy does it!  We have Batman frantically trying to step the mass hysteria the Imposter Joker has created at the fun park.  Things quickly go from bad to worse to terrible in this issue.  We also finally get an even better sneak behind what's driving Heath (the Impostor) to do what he's doing.  You know that it still isn't a good enough reason, but that with someone who has snapped, it might be a logical conclusion for them.  The entire storyline has been a return to the heart of Batman and gives us a really good tale.  We've also gotten a bold new villian who has purpose and motivation.  Sure, he's a knock-off of Joker, but it's about time we see villians created by the people who are affected by the war between good and evil.  Scott McDaniel's artwork really has a strong cartoony feel, but I like it.  It's simple, yet flows well and fits what we're seeing.  I really thought it was quite excellent.  This is a must buy issue of Detective Comics!

Captain America #611 - Written by Ed Brubaker and Art by Daniel Acuna.  We see the fall-out from Baron Zemo releasing the information that CapBucky was actually the Winter Soldier.  The media frenzy is all over it and it threatens to eat up the Avengers as well.  They try to put a very realistic spin on this and I think it works.  Steve Roger's meeting with the President and his Chiefs of Staff is interesting as well.  It gives readers a good reference point and background info on what happened with Bucky.  We feel like this one is going to be hard to get out of, but have faith!  With Steve Rogers on the case, nothing is as bad as it seems.  However, as much as they talk about Steve Rogers, it's how Bucky reacts to this all that will make or break it.  So a lot of good stuff spotlighted in this issue, it will be interesting to see where they go with it.  Not a big fan of Acuna's artwork.  I think the coloring was way too dark this issue.  We also get a Nomad story in this issue.  Written by Sean McKeever and Art by Filipe Andrade.  Okay, I'm a little bitter Young Allies was canceled before it really had a chance.  But I am glad that McKeever is still going with Nomad for now.  In this one, Black Widows and Nomad team-up.  It is an interesting pairing, but a bit of an odd couple.  A short but sweet story.  The ending of the story I actually did not expect.  So one issue, two pretty good stories.  I'm not saying run out and buy it, but one to keep on your radar if you're out to pick up a good issue in the Mighty Marvel way.

The Amazing Spider-Man #646 - Written by Mark Waid and Art by Paul Azaceta & Matthew Southworth.  Yay!  The last issue with Azaceta who they've teamed up with Soulworth to save the issues from being awful.  The final chapter of The Origin of the Species.  Lizard has the baby that everybody wants and will do anything to get.  Spidey has been going gung-ho on beating up bad guys to find out what happened.  He assumes the baby is dead, but find out from the Chameleon that it isn't so, so now he's off to try and rescue the baby before the Lizard does something very bad to him.  The semi-team-up of Spidey and Doc Ock in this issue is interesting and sometimes amusing.  Some pretty good stuff and interaction between those two.  The final showdown has some really clever stuff involved as well.  I really liked the wrap-up of what has happened and there are some developments that should lead to even more interesting stories down the road.  Mark Waid ended up salvaging a story I thought was terrible at first, but now I like it.  Azaceta's artwork on the first few issues was downright terrible and embarrassing for Marvel.  However, when they teamed him up with an artist, it really salvaged things as far as the art goes.  So the last Waid written issue for awhile is worth picking up to see the storyline come to a conclusion and see what's going on.

Justice League: Generation Lost #12 - Written by Judd Winick and Penciled by Fernando Dagnino.  This is a completely Ice centric issue.  We focus on her origin and back story, which hasn't been much delved into anywhere that I've seen.  So that did make for some interesting reading.  She gets into a knock-down and drag-out fight with Fire that is very interesting as well.  Ice seems supercharged now and we see that it was always a possibility, but she was able to maintain control.  With her life being threatened, she has been pushed over the edge.  But is she really the second coming of a Goddess?  There is a lot here to like, but at the same time, the whole flashbacks might not be interesting too you.  The artwork is very mediocre in this one as well.  So, if you're looking for the Max Lord story to advance in this issue, forget it.  It isn't about that, but I do really like this revamping of Ice and making her a much more interesting character.  To me, this is an excellent issue that I'm glad I read and you might feel that same way.  However, I can see a lot of people not like this issue as it is very focused on a character that many don't care for.  So with this issue, your mileage may vary, but I certainly enjoyed it.

Action Comics #894 - Written by Paul Cornell and Art by Pete Woods.  What the hell happened here?  Paul Cornell finally writes a great issue of Action Comics.  In this one, as Luthor is apparently on his deathbed, he is visited by Death herself.  We get some very interesting conversations between the two characters.  Death has a bit of a flippant style and you can see Lex getting very aggravated.  To make matters worse, he's in a situation that he can't control.  Lex hates that!  Pretty good art and an fun little tale that gets into the mind of Lex a bit more and sees someone playing a game with him finally.  I really liked this story.  Next week get our double feature with Jimmy Olsen.  Written by Nick Spencer and Penciled by RB Silva.  The Dalwythians are alien from outerspace that everyone thinks are about to invade.  However, they just wanted to come to Earth and party.  Unfortunately, Jimmy gets selected to help "show them a good time".  It is the last thing Jimmy wants.  Especially when it's revealed that the Dalwythians get intoxicated in our atmosphere.  Worse yet, every planet they party on ends up being destroyed.  I liked that Chloe only played a bit part in this one and wasn't as forced on us as in the previous issue.  The whole story and Jimmy being involved in it is really classic and fun stuff.  As far as a back-up story goes, one of the best ever.  Just so much fun to be had in this issue, pick it up!

Green Lantern Corps #53 - Written by Tony Bedard and Penciled by Tyler Kirkham.  A leftover from last week.  But I would be remiss if I didn't point this issue out.  The Weaponer who made Sinestro's ring has come back for payback.  He goes after Sinestro's daughter, Soranik Natu.  However, he also confronts Kyle Rayner.  Well, let's just say the Weaponer is a total bad ass that you do not want to deal with if you can help it.  He whips up on Kyle and takes the girl.  So now Kyle has to beg for the help of Sinestro.  Easier said than done, with Sinestro usually being a downright bastard.  So um... good luck with that one.  This certainly is an interesting issue and gives us a little more insight as to what went on.  The use of the Weaponer makes sense.  Sinestro owes him, but the question is, what exactly does he owe him at this point?  Anyone who can make weapons as powerful as he does must be a bad dude and this just shows it.  Tyler Kirkham does a decent job with the art, but nothing too great.  I don't care much for his rendition of Sinestro for some reason.  But really, a pretty good issue.  Then again, I'm a big fan of Tony Bedard.  So pick this issue up for a storyline that has the guts to put a "Brightest Day" logo on the issue but nothing in the blue blazes to do with it!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

SUPER Quick Comic Reviews - October 28th, 2010

This is a super quick rundown to catch up from last week:


Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom #3 - Written by Jim Shooter and Penciled by Roger Robinson. The issue really gets the storyline going.  The introduction of Gail and the reactions of Solar are very good.  They're taking a bit of a different slant on things over the original without being too far away from the source material there.  The use of Pickerel by Moloch is clever stuff as well.  Moloch is a really rotten diety.  But the question we come up with, is he real or is he a creation of Pickerel who envisioned him, perhaps from something he had read.  It's obvious that he allowed him entrance or creation, but which one.  The artwork was just excellent in this issue and I really enjoyed that.  One of the best titles of the month, especially after a somewhat weaker first issue.  I'm enjoying where this is going and I'm wondering how the heck is he going to get out of the mess he's in.

Ragman: Suit of Souls #1 - Written by Christos N. Gage and Art by Stephen Segovia.  This is just a one shot, but boy was the story simply fantastic.  I really like the character and wish DC would do more with him.  Unfortunately, the character isn't that appealing to the vast majority.  Instead he languishes with occasional one-shots and mini-series.  This issue just gives you a ton of fascinating back story on the character that I did not know about.  Finding out some interesting details as far as his father goes and finding out what happened to him was very well done.  There isn't much action in this issue, it is very character driven.  Definitely worth reading!  A really awesome issue!

X-Factor #210 - Written by Peter David and Art by Valentino De Landro. Peter David is one of the best writers in comics and this keeps proving it.  Another great issue that made me wish the next one was available right now.  One of Monet's clients needs help and we see the road Rahne and Rictor dealing with a pregnancy.  I like how they focus on two stories, while there's another story going on in Las Vegas we still have to deal with.  There's just so much going on in the world of X-Factor and the way Peter David juggles it all is amazing.  Great stuff!


Justice League of America #50 - Written by James Robinson and Penciled by Mark Bagley & Pow Rodrix.  I wanted to like this, but I really hate the CSA.  But once again, back to the Crime Syndicate of Amerika crap.  I just despise it when they're bogging down yet ANOTHER issue.  Well, we get that again.  Mark Bagley's style is starting to adapt a little to his new environs and we don't have quite the Spiderbatman that we were getting before.  So that showed improvement and wasn't that bad for once.  Of course, my money might be that Pow helped him with drawing people with actual muscle mass.  There was an interesting twist at the end at least and that alone gives this title some hope.  So here's hoping for a better next issue.  I might have rated this as a buy if I didn't loathe the CSA.

New Mutants #18 - Written by Zeb Wells and Art by Leonard Kirk.  For some reason this title just seemed short.  As much as I thought it was pretty good, most of the issue is a battle scene.  However, it is a pretty interesting and intense battle scene, as far as those go.  The artwork was fine, if not totally grotesque in spots.  I liked seeing these Inferno babies all grown up and demented from what happened to them.  I really like some of these new characters and maybe we'll get a new title out of them!  I can just see it now... "Jim Henson's Inferno Babies".  Wait, wrong genre.  Boy, what a nail biting ending that makes you wonder just what the heck will happen next issue.  However, at the end I wanted just a BIT more meat to it to make it more worthwhile.  VERY, very close one here.  Which is basically why I'm borderline on it.

Legion of Super-Heroes #6 - Written by Paul Levitz and Penciled by Yildiray Cinar.  I debated back and forth on this one.  Paul Levitz has done well and this issue he splits the story into two.  Both are very interesting in their own rights and worth reading.  But I couldn't figure out if this was a true BUY or not.  To me it is, but most people probably don't care for the Legion and the characters involved.  So should that influence my opinion?  Probably not.  The thing that made me downgrade it is the stories we're following are very short and don't seem like very weighty or substantive stuff that we're dealing with.  I did like Earth Man throwing the ring at Brainiac, but I didn't understand how he knew Brainiac had put controls on it to alter him.  But anyway, a very good issue, but I just couldn't pull the trigger on it.

Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #4 - Written by Ed Brubaker and Art by Dale Eaglesham.  The last issue of the mini-series and boy is it completely un-fantastic.  My interested in it waned after page two.   Pretty generic stuff here, cookie cutter if you will.  The artwork felt average, everything about this issue felt average.  When I was done, I just didn't really care.  The previous issue had all the interesting parts, but the conclusion was pretty much exactly what you thought it would be.  The attempt of a surprise at the end lost effectiveness because most people probably no longer cared at that point.  Good thing it's over.

X-23 #2 - Written by Marjorie Liu and Penciled by Will Conrad.  I'm looking for something enjoyable about this issue. However they just aren't making her an interesting character.  The art is very mediocre here as well.  I just couldn't get into it.  Tying it in with Wolverine's trip to hell is the only thing it has going for it and so far that crossover isn't even very good.  Wait a second, what the hell was the issue even about?  Not memorable either then.  Check!

Loki #1 - Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Penciled by Sebastian Fiumara.  A mini-series that is apparently taking a look at how Loki envisions things.  It is interesting to see his perspective on it all, but not quite interesting enough.  I found my mind wandering a bit too much at times.  A unique look at Loki if you feel you really need to see a different perspective.  I however did not.  Not much else to talk about.  Pretty bland feeling in the end.

Chaos War #2 - Written by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente.  The song from "The Wonder Years" with Fred Savage plays through my head here.  And Herc sure needs to have a little help from his friends.  We get Venus being used after Atlas ended, so that's good.  But overall the issue is just him rallying other Gods and not getting very far.  Everyone on Earth who isn't a God is falling asleep.  I felt like I was falling asleep while reading this.  At least it seemed mercifully short.  I just don't care all that much for this series.  Hercules with extra power just isn't a very novel idea to me.  The Chaos God stuff I had hoped we were already done with when Secret Invasion ended, but I guess not.  Don't get me started on what I hated about that artwork.  Makes it look like everything and everyone is shiny.  Blech.  Kind of sad though, I really like both writers, but I'm not really enjoying this one.

So it was a pretty decent week with lots to read.  Sadly, I've still got to read Carnage, Supergirl, and maybe some of the Bruce Wayne stuff, but I might have to skip it for now.  How the hell did I manage to forget to read the latest Green Lantern Corps?  Good grief, you would think I had kids or something!  If you're interested in a title I didn't cover or you know of a title I should start covering, let me know and I'll try to add it to my list.  Any independant publishers can feel free to forward me anything they would like me to review.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Poll: What was the best Marvel comic this week?

Poll: What was the best Marvel comic this week?

Quick Comic Reviews - October 24th, 2010

Brightest Day #12 -  Written by Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi and Art by Patrick Gleason, Scott Clark, Ivan Reis & Joe Prado.  Hi, this is DC Comics and we like to put a character on the front cover who is barely featured in the issue.  Good day!  This is another Martian Manhunter centered issue.  For those of you who just groaned, I agree.  He meets this other Green Martian and they fight and talk and talk and talk while fighting.  A veritable crap fest of nothing interesting happening there.  There are a few interesting moments in this issue, but not many.  Why does Brightest Day continue to be the biggest disappointment in comics?  The keep revealing things about mysteries that we couldn't care less about.  Who was the other green martian?  Didn't care.  The was half a decent reveal towards the end, but still, this title feels like the bad episodes of Lost that did nothing to forward that series.  I was actually glad to be done with this issue, because by the time I was done, I had wished I skipped it this week.  Just plain boring and goes nowhere, skip it.

Batman and Robin #15 - Written by Grant Morrison and Art by Frazier Irving.  This issue started off interesting, but the last few pages were WTF moments.  There are times when I think that Grant Morrison comes up with an idea and then expect all of his readers to figure out what he just did.  I thought they did an interesting job of tying this into the return of Bruce Wayne, but it seems to be missing something.  The grotesque and macabre artwork fits at times, but I get sick of it real quick.  Don't get me wrong, Frazier Irving is a tremendous artist, but at this point I'm sick to death of his Pyg and all the bizarre characters he draws.  Just bloody sick of it.  So by the time I got done with this issue I was annoyed anyway.  I enjoyed the previous issues, but I think a little bit of Morrison's work can go a long way before you get tired of it.  The final reveal was ok, but it made a lot of the stuff that's happened the last few issues seem totally irrelevant somehow.  It seems like Morrison is suddenly in a hurry to tie a bunch of loose strings together so we can bring Bruce back.  I hate the idea of Bruce being back already anyway, so I thought this issue was pretty rotten, skip it.

Daken: Dark Wolverine #2 - Written by Daniel Way & Marjorie Liu and Penciled by Giuseppe Camuncoli.  The plot with Daken and this mystery man continues.  Did Daken really help Wolvie get sent to hell?  We then spend half the issue of him flirting with Mystique, but the send off from that is pretty good actually.  The issue itself is actually kind of interesting.  That's something Daken hasn't been in a few months.  This issue he shows that he's a walking contradiction in terms.  We see him trying to feel what people feel and then at the same time working only for himself and moving himself forward.  Sometimes you wonder why he's playing these games and what is he really trying to accomplish.  I think Daken has become one of those guys who just plays both sides as just a way to amuse himself.  So that leaves the character feeling a little soulless, but in this issue it worked pretty well.  Not a bad issue at, but I'm hesitant on recommending it as a buy, it does have some moments though.

Deadpool #28 -  Written by Daniel Way and Penciled by Carlo Barberi.  After Steve Rogers asks Deadpool to join the Secret Avenger's we're off on an adventure that Deadpool quickly messes up.  His methods aren't quite what Steve Rogers was hoping for.  But alas, it isn't really Steve Rogers, just a clone with about half his skill.  So what happens when the real Secret Avengers show up?  A few hi-jinx, not much else.  I thought this issue was much weaker than last issue.  The comedy wasn't as funny and seeing him screw up with a bunch of clones wasn't too fun.  It was more fun when we thought it was Steve Rogers.  That's what we really wanted to see.  However, Steve would never let Deadpool in, even on the Secret Avengers.  Carlo Barberi does another great job with the artwork here, his style just fits the type of stories being told.  The first several pages were good but just kind of lost their bluster and the comedy started failing.  I wish it was better, but it was just ok.  The first several pages are funny and then it falls off fast, not a buy this week.

Hulk #26 - Written by Jeff Parker and Penciled by Gabriel Hardman.  We continue the story from last month with Scorched Earth being set-off by M.O.D.O.K. as a final plan in case everything else failed.  Of course, they stole this from Babylon 5, but I digress.  Anyway, all this crap is going down, Rulk has to fight alongside Iron Man and does pretty well.  Then Thor comes along for the next assignment and once again, beats the crap out of Rulk.  Steve Rogers is semi-exasperated by this whole thing, but Rulk shakes it off and carries on.  So really, we've got a lot of people getting the one-up on Rulk now, not that he doesn't deserve it.  But after last issue we have this again.  It seems like going back to the well.  Let's not keep going this route and focus on the story instead.  It has promise, but this issue didn't live up to that promise and felt a little bland.  There was one great moment with Thor that I really liked and made me laugh out loud.  Other than that, the story wasn't all the interesting and the fight between Thor and Rulk I could have done without.   The back-up feature with A-Bomb was surprisingly fun though.  Written by Jeff Parker and Art by Mark Robinson.  Seeing A-Bomb's style of heroics and even his victory dance were fun stuff.  Rick becoming a super-hero is not without it's ups-and-downs, just like what we're seeing.  A fun little story going on here. The issue is a pretty decent issue, but at $3.99 it's a good thing there's a back-up story in here because this issue isn't a must buy.

Superman/Batman #77 - Written by Joshua Williamson and Art by Ale Garza.  A lot of fun interaction in this one with Damien Wayne and Supergirl teaming up.  Although, it isn't really Kara's idea, she just kind of gets stuck with him.  We have a fun little adventure as they try to find out who's causing a string of deaths involving some of Luthor Corporation's up-and-coming youngsters.  I really liked this story.  Nothing terribly complicated or anything, just good storytelling and some great moments.  I liked Dick implying that Damien has a crush on Supergirl and Damien's reaction to it.  So really, this comic can be very hit or miss, but I think this one is hit.  Ale Garza's artwork has a fun style to it and it was perfect for this issue.  The art made the comic even more enjoyable to me.  If you want a good one-shot storyline this week, it's worth picking up.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quick Comic Reviews - October 20th, 2010

The Siouxland Voice site has been acting up.  So yes, I've been updating my blog.  Unfortunately my feed isn't loading there like it should be doing.  Not sure what's going on there.  So just bookmark my page instead.  You know you want to anyway!  Finishing up a batch from last week.  Didn't get them all reviewed, but I did try.  Just a LOT of titles last week!

The Thanos Imperative #5 - Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning and Art by Miguel Sepulveda.  This issue felt a bit more disjointed than usual.  We got a lot of Nova in this one, so if you like Nova, this is a pretty good issue for him.  We also find out about a turncoat in the midst of the Revengers and it actually makes sense.  The artwork in this issue was a bit more spotty than usual and it was hard to make out what was going on in some scenes.  It seemed a bit rushed and lacking details in a few spots as well.  I really like this whole Cancerverse story and how it is using Thanos and the Guardians of the Galaxy.  I thought the message from Starlord to Nova was extremely hokey, but I guess they needed to find some way to teleport Nova into the midst of all the action.  And boy, we get the start of the ultimate fight in this one.  There is a giant surprise at the end that leaves Rocket Racoon and Peter Quill in complete shock.  How will this all end?  I detect a ruse going on with that ending since the series is over next issue.  But another very solid issue, taken down a few notches because of hokiness and artwork, but still pretty decent.  With it just being decent, unless you're collecting this series, it isn't a must buy.

Secret Six #26 -  Written by Gail Simone and Art by J. Calafiore. We follow the two seperate Secret Six teams as they prepare to do combat with each other.  Bane quickly allies himself with the natives, as much as by brute force as anything else.  We also get a conversation between Amanda Waller and Spy Smasher who are the apparent string pullers behind the different Secret Six groups.  The stakes are very high here too.  We also see Catman's further bestial descent, which has been interesting to witness.  Really, this issue has a lot going for it to like.  Calafiore's artwork is just beautiful as always.  I really like the lettering done in these issues as well.  It certainly makes the Secret Six title more identifiable just by the fonts and style they use.  So is the story enough for a hearty recommendation?  For $2.99 it's one of the better buys every month and this month really holds true to that.  An interesting story that we want to see how it unfolds, plus a somewhat shocking ending that leaves us wondering what Gail has in store for us next.  A worthy book, but as always, not for the weak of heart.

Incredible Hulks #614- Written by Greg Pak and Pencils by Barry Kitson.  As Hulk's son makes his way towards Earth, the Hulk Squad has a mission.  We start off with his team battling the Secret Avengers.  As the planet hurls towards Earth, the planet of Hiro-Kala's is met with resistance from Earth.  Hulk and crew then commandeer their own ship to take the fight away from Earth.  Overall, not a bad storyline, just feels like another big bad thing happening yet again.  Earth is met with impending doom in these stories so often anymore that these things start to lose importance.  In some aspects, you wish someone would say, "ok we've got enough problems with the Chaos War and Thanos Imperative, let's wait until those are done."  The Marvel Universe is the worst possible place to live.  The writing is fine, the artwork is pretty decent.  Then we have a small story about Bruce and Skaar.  Written by Joshua Williamson and Art by Mirco Pierfederici.  This is almost a pre-cursor to the story we just read.  Nothing exactly groundbreaking here.  Could they not have just written this into the regular issue instead of making this a mini-story?  I'm confused.  It's an ok issue with a pretty big Hulk story arc, but nothing very special.

Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #3 -  Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Penciled by Fernando Pasarin.  Have you ever had a lay-over at an airport?  That's what this issue felt like.  So we are at the home planet of the Blue Lantern Corps and guess what... we stay there pretty much all issue.  It gives background and some motivations for characters and helps us figure out what's going on, so that was good.  However, there didn't seem as much forward momentum as you need early on in a series to really pull your readership in.  The Sodam Yot return was a pretty interesting situation as he has his own cult and everyone else is out to get him because they lost their powers.  Bleez, the angry angel from hell is not very interesting, just looks cool.  Then we meet more of this Zardor in an unknown sector.  Honestly, Zardor is a very uninteresting villian so far.  Some Warlord like dude we've seen a million times before who is just a rotten person.  Go figure.  Oh, sure, this issue isn't terrible.  The artwork is pretty solid and there is some great color work going on here.  At the end of the day, Emerald Warriors was just a tad too tractionless to get going, so I can't recommend it this week.

X-Men #4 -  Written by Victor Gischler and Penciled by Paco Medina.  Holy crap... I think I enjoyed this issue.  The X-Men start launching attacks at the sinister Vampire forces.  Dracula has gone "off the map" and isn't helping.  Things start going from bad to worse when the team finds out that Wolverine is now fully vamped out.  First off, I really enjoyed the artwork!  It really has made strides as they've gotten more comfortable with the characters.  I liked Angel's teaming up with Blade and the mini-exploits we saw.  The pieces are in place and we are now at the point where the story feels enjoyable.  Some of the other X-Titles have had decent stories, but awful artwork lately.  This one was the other way around.  I do think that this could be a turning point for the series.  The fight scenes were well done and the whole issue had a fun, yet intense feel to it as the proverbial crap was hitting the fan.  Worth checking out if not buying.

The Amazing Spider-Man #645 - Written by Mark Waid and Art by Paul Azaceta & Matthew Southworth.  Spidey is mad.  Spidey is FIGHTING mad!  After losing the baby, Peter goes on a rampage to take out all the villians to show them how pissed off he is.  Boy did they make a mistake!  I have to give credit here, Azaceta's artwork wasn't bad in this issue at all.  He finally seems to be getting how to draw the characters a bit better and it showed.  A lot of Spidey just kicking butt and taking names as he thinks the baby was killed.  The villians running scared of Spider-Man is really pretty fun and you find yourself cheering him on to beat the snot out of each one of em.  A good amount of humor is mixed in with some darker moments.  Definitely an interesting issue and the best from the Mark Waid and Paul Azaceta.  Of course, I'm betting that Azaceta had a good amount of help from Southworth, but hey, I'm trying to give Paul SOME credit.  Actually worth checking out and maybe even picking up!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Quick Comic Reviews - October 18th, 2010

Still trying to catch up after the peed on laptop incident.  We're still taking donations or check out some ads and help the recovery fund.  Or don't.  We do appreciate the donations we've gotten.  In the grand scheme of things it seems trivial.  However, to the flat ass broke people out there, pretty big deal.  Anyway, if you like comics (and I know you do) we've got some more fun stuff.

New Avengers #5 - Written by Brian Michael Bendis and Penciled by Stuart Immonen.  The mystery of who is after the Eye of Agamotto continues.  And this issue we have the White Lantern Iron First.  Wait, wrong title.  But Iron Fist in a white outfit is actually pretty decent looking.  In fact, I kind of prefer it, so nice costume change there.  Will he keep it?  Probably not, but nice to see.  So it seems like we're starting to find out who is really after the Eye, and if it is who they're thinking it is, this could be very interesting.  The only problem I had is that it wasn't Strange himself who really figured it out.  I do like the solution they come up with at the end of the issue, it made some weird kind of sense and made it fun.  The artwork was top notch as usual, no complaints here.  The mixture of this team is the most interesting, which makes it one of the best Avengers titles right now.  Having Power First and Doctor Strange in the fore-front makes it even more interesting and the storyline works pretty well.  Worth checking out and a solid issue to pick-up.

Bruce Wayne the Road Home Batgirl #1 - Written by Bryan Q. Miller and Art by Pere Perez.  This issue was much better than I expected.  I honestly thought it would be awful, but at least they kept the same writing team.  This is almost a coming of age issue in which Batgirl is accepted by Bruce and even respected.  You'll see the same thing the whole issue.  You know this guy running around in an uber-powered suit is Bruce.  How he got back?  Well, you see, the whole Return of Bruce Wayne series should be done by now, but whatever delays occured held it back.  So we see the aftermath BEFORE it resolves in the appropriate series.  Which is fine, because Grant Morrison completely dropped the ball on that storyline anyway, so who cares.  I do have a rant about this whole ordeal that I'll publish in a few days.  The story is simple, there's nothing wrong with it.  The artwork is just fine and dandy, no complaints there either.  But we get the same Stephanie we've grown to love and a decent enough story involving Bruce Wayne.  Do you need this issue?  No, but it isn't bad at all.

Booster Gold #37 - Written by J.M. DeMatteis and Keith Giffen with Pencils by Chris Batista.  This issue follows Booster and Ted Kord who has been turned into a chipmunk during a break-out attempt of a prison ship that's about to invade Earth.  The hi-jinx are complemented this issue by a super tough prisoner named Estrogina, who is fighting her way to freedom.  Along the way she decides Booster would be a good mate, so she decides to take him with her for... later.  She also decides to eat Blue "Chipmunk", cue hilarity that is bound to follow.  Talk about a fun issue with tons of laughs.  It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the comedy involved is pretty hilarious stuff.  Everything is just plain absurd and that's what makes it even better.  Giffen and DeMatteis take the characters and just have as much fun with them as humanly possible.  This made it hard for me to decide the best title this week just because it's one of those rare unforgettable issues that will stick with me forever.  I think that alone makes it a must buy if you like crazy comedy and superhero hi-jinx.  Some of the laughs may not appeal to everyone though, but if you like that stuff, I couldn't recommend it more than I am right now.  BUY IT!

Thor #616 - Written by Matt Fraction and Art by Pasqual Ferry.  Ok, cue the theme and story from last issue, except move it nowhere.  Oh, and do nothing but double panel spreads so the comic takes about 5 minutes to read.  I'm not even going into it, besides to say that I'm disappointed with this issue.  I was interested to see what these "World Eaters" would do.  There was barely anything in here to give you the feeling that the issue was moving anywhere.  What you came out with last issue for knowledge, pretty much the same thing here.  There is one poignant panel in the end towards moving the plot forward and that's about it.  This issue is really more character focused, which is fine and all, but for $3.99, you kind of want to feel like you got more out of an issue.  I talked with a friend of mine about this issue and I asked him if it read real fast to him.  He thought about and sure enough, it read in about 5 minutes for him too.  Those two page spreads are nice as far as the artwork goes, but it got old after awhile.  There are 9 two page spreads in this. NINE!  I know Fraction is overworked right now, but we didn't need him for this title.  Bad move by Marvel.  Only buy if you want to feel like you just got $3.99 stolen from you, unless you're buying it just for Pasqual's artwork.

Shadowland #4 - Written by Andy Diggle and Penciled by Billy Tan.  Crap starts going down quick in this issue as the heroes launch a major last ditch offensive on Daredevil.  That is the entire issue.  All of it.  So I just talked about how quick Thor read, this one read pretty quick too.  It was moved forward by a lot of action though as well.  So can the heroes stop the resurrection of Bullseye?  I'm not huge on major battle issues, but we all knew this one was coming so it isn't that bad.  The scenes are a little confusing in parts and I dislike how Billy Tan draws the Punisher.  There honestly isn't much memorable in this issue and I'm left feeling like next issue is the important one.  This one just didn't feel important when I got to the end of it.  That's just my feeling though.  I thought Billy Tan's artwork was ok, not all that impressive this issue.  The colors just didn't seem to fit this issue either.  I almost felt like Wolverine's costume was almost glowing in some spots it was such a bright blue.  Ugh!  This is just an ok issue in what has been a pretty good major event so far, take it or leave it.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quick Comic Reviews - October 14th, 2010

With my peed on computer out of commission, I haven't redone the stuff I was working on.  I just don't have the time to go back and fix it all.  I'll keep on trucking with my comic reviews for now.  It just takes me a little more time without Windows Live Writer.  Enjoy the smattering of delicious offerings!

Taskmaster #2 - Written by Fred Van Lente and Art by Jefte Palo.  Fred Van Lente has a wonderful sense of humor and this is a showcase of that.  In this issue we are introduced to the "Don of the Dead" who is dressed up like a crazed marachi singer and a skeleton mask.  We're are treated to several pages of terrific humor as Taskmaster tries to tie pieces of his memory together.  Keep in mind, there's a huge bounty out for our Taskmaster as everyone believes he gave Steve Rogers information on all these secret societies like A.I.M. and Hydra, amongst many others we're introduced to.  The artwork is pretty dead on and gives the issue an added sense of energy.  Sure, this comic probably isn't going to make a huge splash in the Marvel continuity spectrum, but what it does deliver is pure entertainment.  Putting Van Lente in charge of this title was the right move.  Sadly, most comic fans will probably miss this mini-series and they shouldn't be missing out.  This is a must purchase! 

Hawkeye & Mockingbird #5 - Written by Jim McCann and Penciled by David Lopez.  The Final Chapter of Mockingbird's showdown with the Phantom Rider(s) culminates in this issue.  This is your traditional blow-off type issue when you have a major story like this.  Surprises?  There are a few towards the end, but you could almost see them coming.  They were pretty well done though and Hawkeye ends up going slightly overboard and realizing what he's doing.  So there are some great scenes with him in it.  David Lopez does a serviceable job, but some of his action scenes just feel a little stiff.  Like I was saying before though, the scene with Crossfire and Hawkeye (and if you read it, you'll know it when you see it) is a major turning point here.  So overall, a pretty good ending to the story arc and some good twists towards the end to keep you interested with the direction they're going.  I'm still slightly confused at times about all this Phantom Rider stuff, but that doesn't detract from enjoying it.  Once again, another very good issue that's worth checking out and pretty much a must if you're following the story so far!

Justice League: Generation Lost #11 - Written by Judd Winick and Penciled by Aaron Lopresti.  This issue has Fire, Ice and Rocket Red facing off with the Metal Men.  Meanwhile, Booster, Captain Atom and Blue Beetle investigate another site.  I will not lie, I love the Metal Men, so it should be no surprise that I really liked this issue.  No, no.  Loved this issue.  Now keep in mind, the Metal Men don't have their typical banter in this, so if you're looking for it, it isn't really quite here.  But that wasn't the point of it.  There's so much going on here that this issue flew by.  And with the masterful pencils of Aaron Lopresti, this issue just shines.  Everything seemed to work well in this issue.  The only thing I didn't care for was the cover as it kind of ruins a surprise.  I also loved the surprise at the ending, because if there's a character that needs a bit of a redesign, it is this one.  I won't ruin it, but it was needed I think.  So this title has direction, it has hi-jinks and hilarity, along with a solid dose of action and intrigue and... well, it is everything a comic should be.  The best title there is twice a month!  Pick it up, read it, saran wrap it, send it into space for aliens to read and enjoy, because it's great stuff!

Superman #703 - Written by J. Michael Straczynski and Penciled by Eddy Barrows.  After a bit of a delay, we get issue 703 in the "Superman's Walk for the Cure" or whatever they're calling it.  Anyway, in this issue Supes encounters Batman and makes a compelling argument for why he shouldn't be wandering around amongst the normal people.  Certainly he's just inviting disaster.  Cue ominous music and obvious foreshadowing award!  So what happens?  Well, some shards of the planet New Krypton come crashing to Earth and we finally see signs of a plot!  Apparently the stuff makes people Batshit crazy and powerful.  Cue the next 8 months of issues.  It wasn't as bad as I make it seem.  There's a strong play on how super-powered being like Superman would be viewed by normal people.  JMS seems to be riding that out for what it's worth.  Barrows artwork is just ok, nothing note worthy here.  So the issue is ok, it isn't bad, but it doesn't exactly breath new life into Superman.  Still, it's better than most Superman stuff in the past year and a half, but that isn't saying much.  If you skip this, nobody will blame you.

Green Lantern #58 - Written by Geoff Johns and Penciled by Doug Mahnke.  We start off with an interesting scene involving Sinestro and Atrocitus as they're hunting down the Rage entity.  We also clean up the stuff involving Carol and the Star Sapphires.  We get a heaping helping of Larfleeze and we get to meet the Blue Lantern entity Adara.  All-in-all, it ends up being a pretty good issue.  We have more great Larfleeze moments, some outstanding Atrocitus stuff, and some background bits that are very interesting.  Mahnke's art is pretty decent this issue, with the exception of the last page when he draws the Flash like an emaciated teenage kid who hasn't eaten in a month.  He must be hanging out with Mark Bagley too much.  They continue to present a lot of characterization, but the main flaw is that we're all over the place and not getting to stay with any one character too long.  Sometimes that can be a blessing, others a curse.  Johns seems to juggle it pretty well this issue, but it does become hard to keep track of what each character is doing.  Geoff has created a lot of interesting characters and not enough pages to fill them with.  That's part of why we're up to 3 Green Lantern titles a month (sometimes more).  A pretty good issue that any Green Lantern fan will want to pick up.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

One Peed on Laptop Later...

Ahhh... kids. They are wonderful little people aren't they? Well, not as much when they pee on your laptop computer. Yes, that's right. My laptop computer was peed on. Fantastic, eh? So now, I'm using my slightly functioning old Ubuntu system. Not the bells and whistles I had with Windows 7, but still decent.

So I've lost the posts for my comic blog that were coming out, so I'm just going to start anew next week with a fresh start on that. Meanwhile, I simply must adjust to the Blog Editor I'm now using. It isn't as slick as Windows Live Writer 2010, so that's a disadvantage as well.

Now why did the kids pee on my laptop? I know you would have that question and we're still not sure. The 2 year old for certain was a peeing culprit. He came into our bedroom with his diaper off claiming his victory. However, the 3 year old had shown up a minute beforehand and there's a conspiracy theory that he set-up the 2 year old for the fall. At one time, the 3 year old claimed he peed on it first and he told the 2 year old to pee on it. However, that could have just been him trying to garner attention. We can't be sure.

What is for sure? Well, after attempting to dry it out in rice, there is no power, nothing to it. We suspect the motherboard is shot and probably just needs replaced. The approximate cost is around $100 + whatever repair expenses it may incur. We aren't exactly rolling in money right now, so if you like the blogs (or just me... or even my wonderfully cute kids) then feel free to donate. There's a donation button on each of my blogs to help save the laptop. Donate whatever you would like, throw change at me, whatever you want. I'm shameless at this point.

The comic stuff should be returning next week. Thank you for your patience!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Quick Comic Book Reviews–October 3rd, 2010

The new releases this week were not on the impressive side.  In all actuality, I was pretty much not excited to do many reviews this week because of the lackluster titles.  Here’s the first batch with two issues from last week’s stuff that I figured I would check out.

jsa43Justice Society of America #43 – Written by James Robinson, Penciled by Jesus Merino, Inked by Jesse Delperdang. This is the epilogue of the “Dark Things” storyline that was unfolding in JSA and JLA.  To be honest, I didn’t read any of it because Bagley was drawing JLA and I refused to read it because of that.  Things seem to be calm in this issue though as Alan Scott has a heart-to-heart with his son Obsidian.  They mainly discuss what’s going on with the Starheart and how Obsidian can never come in contact with Jade again.  There is some deep thinking and portrays a more human side to these characters.  This issue revolves really around these two, so don’t expect much of anything else.  I think it’s good for writers to sometimes let their own characters take a step back and react to what has happened.  That being said, the build in this issue is a bit different than you would normally see in a comic.  There’s only internal conflict going on here and that can throw you off.  The artwork in here is fantastic and this is about my favorite rendition of Obsidian I’ve seen yet.  I can almost feel Alan Scott’s age in this one, he’s drawn so well.  A great job there!  A pretty good issue, but be prepared for a lot of backstory and no action, so this issue is not for everybody.

incredhulksenigma1The Incredible Hulks: Enigma Force #1 – Written by Scott Reed and Penciled by Miguel Munera.  This title features the Micronauts… or as they’re now known, Enigma Force.  So recently Hulk’s estranged son Kiro-Kala ferreted away a planet from the Microverse that Enigma Verse protects.  The Enigma Force itself is the “living” essence of the Microverse, whatever that means.  Arcturus Rann and his companions are fighting off a Psyklops as we join them.  Bug returns to the crew to help out as they attempt to find Kiro-Kala.  But upon finding the kidnapped planet, Arcturus is cut off from the very source of his powers.  Wow, I expected nothing out of this issue and was blown away.  I never liked the Micronauts stuff back in the days, but this way absolutely great stuff.  You get some good background in here and an explanation for a lot of the things going on in the Hulkverse right now.  It just works!  Plus having Bug join up with them was a really great moment.  The artwork is very consistent and quite good.  I like Marvel utilizing some characters I haven’t seen in awhile and they do a fantastic job of doing the right thing with them here. This issue is definitely worth checking out folks!

supbat76Superman/Batman #76 – Written by Judd Winick and Penciled by Marco Rudy.  We have a flashback issue that deals with Superman losing Batman during Final Crisis.  Once Dick Grayson decides that he wants to become Batman to honor him, Supes has some major disagreements and must come to terms with what has happened.  That’s the basic premise, but boy, I did not like it.  The way he reacts to Grayson wearing the cowl just seems very un-Superman-like.  I didn’t enjoy it one bit when he’s ready to blast Dick for wearing it.  I thought it felt pretty contrived.  Don’t even get me started on the inconsistent artwork.  Superman looks different on almost every page.  Not only that, he looks like Joe Average, which isn’t who Superman is.  Just a rotten issue that I couldn’t wait to put down, I hoped for more but got less.

valky1Valkyrie #1 – Written by Bryan J.L. Glass and Art by Phil Winslade.  We take a journey back to see how Valkyrie returned to the Marvel Universe after sacrificing herself to help out during the Ragnarok event.  We see a Hotel employee fall to her death because of a patron who wanted a little too much from room service.  As they start to try to revive her, lightning strike the defibrillator and Valkyrie is reborn.  She starts to remember who she is and now she must try to bring vengeance to the mortal who’s life was taken and who’s body she now inhabits.  I like that Marvel recognized that didn’t explain how she suddenly reappeared and a little something like this goes a long way to fix continuity gaps (which Marvel has plenty of).  I like her conversation with Janet Van Dyne before her unfortunate demise in Secret Invasion.  The whole issue is really just a pretty decent story that tells a good self-contained story.  This is just a one-shot, so it didn’t need to be more than what it was.  But we’re talking continuity and this fixes the breach.  I think that it’s a pretty darned good issue with solid artwork that’s worth checking out since it’s a one-shot and you don’t have to keep buying the title.

capam610Captain America #610 – Written by Ed Brubaker and Penciled by Butch Guice.  Bucky Cap finds himself on Zemo’s father’s island where Bucky was presumably killed years back.  Rogers figures out where he’s going on races to the aid of Barnes.  In the meantime, Bucky Cap gets tossed from a plane and then has to forge his way towards the inevitable trap Zemo has placed for him.  A pretty good battle ensues and we have some moments that seem stolen right from a James Bond movie.  When Zemo gets the upperhand, he tries to take Bucky out the “old fashioned” way.  This was a strictly by the numbers type of issue.  I never felt that Bucky was ever in any real jeopardy or that any of this would ultimately affect… anything really.  Nothing really special that makes it stand out, nothing that makes it really awful.  It just IS.  The artwork by Guice is a bit off in this issue, some scenes have overshadowing going on from the inker, some have over coloring going on, it just made for an uneven experience and I don’t think Guice is necessarily to blame for that.  But I can’t be sure on that either.  Next, we have the Nomad back-up story.  Written by Sean McKeever and Art by Filipe Andrade.  Rikki has to make a final decision on whether to go back under Steve Rogers’ wing or not.  We have some pretty good “moments” in here that were really fun and good stuff.  Andrade’s work seems a bit rushed in spots but isn’t bad or anything.  Just a decent little addition to the book.  Unfortunately, the rest of this issue is high on the “meh” scale and wouldn’t be worth buying if I wasn’t a Nomad fan.

wondwom603Wonder Woman #603 – Written by J. Michael Straczynski and Penciled by Don Kramer, Eduardo Pansica and Allan Goldman.  We follow the Amazons’ travel through the desert to relative safety.  However, the Turkish guides they hired are found slaughtered with no sign as to how they die.  Only Diana can see the Keres, which are apparently some demonic women ghasts from Hell.  Diana loses her battle, but then the battle is only just beginning.  So we have an interesting premise that just seems a little randomly thrown in here.  For the life of me, I can’t figure out why they did it, but I’m guessing they’re just doing a mythology type tone to this.  However, the mix of mythology and modern warfare makes an odd combo.  I want to like this latest reinvention of Wonder Woman, but it doesn’t feel all that compelling now.  In fact, after this issue, I’m considering skipping these completely in the future.  With three sets of pencils, this issue’s art is even a mess.  I think the JMS experiment has collapsed.  There’s nothing here that makes me want to come back for more.  This issue’s journey into the absurd would take your typical reader right out of their seat.  It isn’t a smart move to put something in that holds no value to the series overall.  We waste several pages on it.  It seems like a filler plot device that JMS might use in a TV show.  However, that format doesn’t work here.  If you’re looking for something interesting, you’ve come to the wrong place, go elsewhere this week.

actioncom893Action Comics #893- Written by Paul Cornell and Penciled by Sean Chen. This week Lex Luthor travels to the Uganda in search of another Black Ring energy field.  However, his good buddy Gorilla Grodd has his own intentions for it.  The two former allies become enemies trying to outsmart each other.  Ok, well, I don’t buy it.  I would have figured Grodd would have tried to work out a deal or something with Luthor.  It doesn’t seem to fit in the best interest of Grodd to attempt to kill Lex.  So this just doesn’t work and it makes a leap that we won’t think so.  I really like Sean Chen’s artwork and he isn’t desperately trying to make Luthor look like his Smallville TV Series version.  So there’s a mixed bag in this one, art is great, the story still isn’t catching.  At least in this issue I can figure out what’s going on because Chen is a fabulous storyteller with his art.  Then we have our back-up story for Jimmy OlsenWritten by Nick Spencer and Penciled by RB Silva.  Olsen tells a tale of of him outsmarting a genie using morse code to call Superman.  However, his love life takes a turn for the worse when Chloe Sullivan dumps him.  To make matters worse, he then sees her wife Sebastien Mallory, an up-and-comer for Lex Corp and pompous jerk in general.  So this pretty much exists just to introduce Chloe of Smallville fame into the DC Continuity.  It isn’t a far stretch really and doesn’t take much work to add her into the story.  What are they going to use for her background is a good question, but I’m thinking they’re just saying she’s a reporter and leaving it at that.  At least, I hope they are.  This isn’t a bad little tale, just not terribly interesting.  The artwork by RB isn’t fantastic, but it does ok, but I think it might be better with a different colorist who isn’t so big into over shading things.  That made everything way too dark around the edges and I don’t care for that.  In fact, I don’t care for this whole issue, so strike this one from the records Judge!

amazingspidey644The Amazing Spider-Man #644 – Written by Mark Waid and “Art” by Paul Azaceta.  Spidey continues to try and get Menace’s baby to safety while fighting off hoards of villians. Carlie Cooper also draws the attention of Tombstone and that’s never a good thing.  That’s a quick synopsis and there is a good surprise at the end that I liked.  The story still seems a little off and far fetched.  Now onto my favorite part, the artwork.  An Azaceta tried posting a comment on my blog about how I didn’t know art, blah blah blah.  Well, this may be art, but that doesn’t make it good.  I’m sure that outside of a super-hero setting, Paul’s artwork makes sense.  But here, it’s very out of place and I guarantee has turned away some readers.  The artwork he does has improved in this issue as we have no Fat Spider-man scenes.  He’s good at storytelling and everything he does makes sense.  His just his style comes across poorly in this title.  For a supposed flagship title, Marvel sure makes some poor choices with this one!  The issue is just ok, but loses some points for the artistic stylings of Azaceta, and I’m just glad the madness ends soon.  Skip it for the art style alone!