Sunday, December 17, 2006

We Live Again!

Well, I just received and read Disney's Gargoyles issue #2, and thought I might give my opinion and a link to (probably) the one review out there. There is a certain disjointedness to this issue, a large part of that is due to the end of the cartoon series not being available, and having to piece together things from memory. Some of it is also from having to tie up an issue and give nods to more of the cast.

Still the feeling of the original cartoon cannot be denied. The feeling that something is building is also quite prevalent. The dialogue is still spot on and I suspect that will never change. The art I still find lacking, but only in certain panels, and at certain points. It is still very crisp, and true to the characters.

At the end of the issue the creator professed his apologies at their being only two issues in a five (or six) month period on a bimonthly book. But I am quite ready for the next issue, as that is where the original stories take off, the first two issues were recap of that ending. It is hard to say if it was a poor job or not, as I haven't seen those episodes in ten years. There were a lot of other good issues to come out in the last two weeks. Probably the one I will begin next is issue #1 of the Spirit, which should have come out on my birthday. Have a safe and happy holiday! And don't forget issue #3 should be out soon, if you like medieval fantasy in a modern setting I cannot recommend this book enough. I am probably most anxious for issue 6 since that delves into King Arthur.

The review mentioned above can be found here.

My thoughts on issue 1 can be found here.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Friday, November 24, 2006

Great Site... Bad Interface

This site is called Com-Mix and for the most part I think it a great idea. Several indy comic artists gave permission to have their images used, and people can cut and paste their own strips. It really works out quite well in the creating process, you can resize and flip and rotate and overlap and such. For instance the TV in the above is actually the top of a cellphone made rather large. As I said, I couldn't be happier when creating. If I could make one more addition it would be thought bubbles. As you can see from Panel 2.

There is an assortment of art from nearly 20 artists. Quite varied in style. Now if only it all worked. On this strip it just simply will not save the strip. I don't know if perhaps there is a limit on strips one can do. That could be I suppose.

And the strip you will see below is my first attempt. Which is actually uploaded to the site ten times. Not really intentional on my part. I was simply trying to edit the background into the second panel, it was not showing up when I would save it. And the strip just was not working for me blank. Anyway, since it refuses to work today, I figured I would just put my creations here and give some links. I hope someone out there enjoys it too.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

How Can This Be Legal?

There is something to be said for morals, and as an extension of that, the laws we build that allow as a very strict societal compass that we follow. And yet there is always that grey area. And there are a lot of factors that go along with that. Boston Legal explores all the absolute truths and turns them on their head. And while it does so in a, more often than not, over-the-top fashion. It nonetheless succeeds in shaking those moral grounds that we can sometimes stand a bit to firmly on.

I think in showing the more extreme situations (and in the case of (William Shatner's)Denny Crane somewhere far beyond that). I think it allows for a different point of view. In all of the silliness, in all of the inside nods... Someone is trying to tell us to look beyond what we know. To think past what we have been taught. Even if it only opens us up just a bit more.

So, what was so profound in this particular episode I watched? Sex dolls and surrogates. Come on, how else were they going to get my attention?

Oh, and just to tie this back to comics: Peter David wrote about the Season Premiere here, and there is a nice article showing the similarities between Boston Legal and She-Hulk, fans of both or either should give it a look here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Wii Webswinging

Ok, this totally kicks the llama's ass! You can find the link here

Monday, August 28, 2006

Comics Coming (on Friday)



GREMLINS HC $12.95- The problem with preordering (one of few) is that by the time I go to write out a blog entry, it is quite likely that I have forgotten key details of some things I ordered. This is one of those times. Still, a man is only as good as his internet connection. "The Gremlins is the story of Gus, a British World War II fighter pilot, who during the Battle of Britain turned to look out on the wing of his plane only to see an amazing sight: a little man, no more than six inches tall with horns growing from his head, drilling a hole in the plane's wing. Gus was the first man to ever see a Gremlin, and what happened after that would change the war, and the world, forever."

Now the reason I was intrigued by this book is that it reminded me of the tiny little gremlin that terrorized Bugs Bunny. Even looking at the cover now there is a strong similiarity in design. But there is Walt Disney's signature/logo slapped on the book. Anyway, should be a nice edition to have all the same, and the price is right.


ALL STAR SUPERMAN #5 $2.99- Well we have almost reached the halfway point to the Grant Morrison run on this series. And I have to say, I really enjoy this book. It is quirky and adventurous with wild ideas and classic scenarios. And it has reaffirmed that this is probably just the right amount of Superman for me.

JUSTICE #7 (OF 12) $3.50- Another quality series by DC. And yet not tied to anything currently. Which might be why I like it so much. It stands alone, yet is probably filled with bits for the seasoned reader. The art of Alex Ross and the story by Jim Krueger have been worth the wait. It is too soon to tell if this will be a trade worth buying, though it certainly seems to me that it would read even better that way. If you are a fan of the ensemble cast in an epic tale with more character then clashes... this is a good one.


CIVIL WAR YOUNG AVENGERS & RUNAWAYS #2 (OF 4) $2.99- I hope I don't end up feeling like this series has been a waste of money. As it would be one of the first Civil War tie-ins that I have felt this way about. I don't know if Runaways or (when it returns) Young Avengers are hurting for new readers. But I would be surprised if this has pulled anyone in. Brian K. Vaughan is tying into events from this series in the regular Runaways title (after Civil War), so maybe that is a good sign.

KABUKI #7 (MR) $2.99- How sweet it is! Kabuki returns to my doorstep. The end of the first arc. I highly expect big things... like my actually understanding even less then I do. This is the kind of series that you can probably pull as many different reactions from as there are readers. If and when the trade comes, I cannot recommend it enough. It is a wonderful journey into self discovery.

SHE-HULK 2 #11 $2.99- Oh, it is on now. Jen stands between her husband, Man-Wolf... and his prey (and wannabe husband) Pug. It is anybody's guess what happens next. Is She-Hulk under a spell? Will the bite Pug received turn him into a wolf too? Can the Man-Wolf tinkle on the paper?

X-FACTOR #10 $2.99- Layla knows things. That is all I know. Peter David is crafting quite a few mysteries here, I will never know how he does so much. I cannot recommend his books enough. And the art while fluctuating always keeps a solidly dark feel. It's like a enigma wrapped in a riddle and covered in caramel.


COBB OFF THE LEASH #3 $3.99- The return of Dirk Squarejaw has been a long time coming. The ever-resourceful, rough and tough, take no bullsh** while taking out bad guys hero. There is alot that is adrenaline candy in this book, alot of surface storytelling. But there is alot to be said for those stories. Sometimes you just need something fun.

CSI DYING IN THE GUTTERS #1 $3.99- Speaking of fun. One of the most popular TV series tackles the case of one of the comic industries least liked gossip monger. Follow the death of Rich Johnston with cameos from all sort of comic pros.

FALLEN ANGEL IDW #8 (MR) $3.99- Yet again another Peter David penned comic book. And as it says in the previous comments section this book is on a quality level and only getting better. An expertly crafted world where the characters operate in an area of grey, though the stakes couldn't be higher.


ULTIMATES TOMORROW MEN MMPB (RES) $7.99- The high octane Ultimates make their prose novel debut. I am very excited about the resurgence of original Marvel novels coming out. The biggest one thus far has to be an upcoming Wolverine novel written by David Mack in October.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Comics to Come (in a week)

Shipping This Week: AUGUST 23, 2006


BATMAN #656 $2.99- Grant Morrison continues his story of Batman with some huge changes, and the promise of a return to simpler times. While not my favorite (I am enjoying Paul Dini's run on Detective a bit more). I have to say that this premise has me intrigued. At the very least I will have an enjoyable issue to read. But in a few months, I will have cut off both titles. Bye bye Dark Knight.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1 $3.99- I have to admit that the writer is the only reason I am getting this title. But it is Brad Meltzer of Identity Crisis fame. I enjoyed that book very much. It was quite busy with all sorts of characters and threads, but I think it only made me invest more. And while I remember some people being a bit put off by the ending, it was no less plausible to me. Anyway, I can't wait to catch up with this writer again, and find a title that keeps me in DC waters.


DAREDEVIL #88 $2.99- Wow if you are not getting this, you are missing a phenominal run. It is as if there is deja vu again, and the title of Daredevil is breaking new ground. Setting itself firmly with a great writer and artist team with a distinct direction all it's own. For those of who have been reading, it has been a great time to be a DD fan.

ETERNALS #3 (OF 6) $3.99- Speaking of a writer being the main draw. I can't say I would be getting Eternals if it were written by anyone else. Neil Gaiman is crafting a grand return for this secret sect of the Marvel U. It feels fresh and new, and while nodding at previous continuity (and often embracing) as a new reader I had no trouble keeping up. This one is worth the extra dollar.

HEROES FOR HIRE #1 CW $2.99- I am very anxious for this book. I am worried it will be one of those that failed to impress me, or that I might regret taking a chance on. But so far it looks like it will be alot of fun. A band of heroes come together with a common goal... money. Yet with the first job being something as controversial as taking a side in Civil War will everyone have qtheir eye on the prize?

NEW AVENGERS #23 CW $2.99- I hate to like this book, I really do. To me, the writer is at his best with one character. This book has a whole slew of them. Each time I find myself bored to tears as each hero seemingly lines up to take a punch at the villian of the week... in a couple of months there always seems to be the issue that focuses on one member, and brings me back. With Civil War it has been a series of single character focus. First Captain America, then Luke Cage and Jessica Jones (my fav)... and so it will continue, I think after Civil War though, I might be done. I was going issues at a time without bothering to read this book, and that cannot be a good sign.

SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE #9 $2.99- I love the story lines (mostly in TV and movies) where two characters can't seem to hit it off. One falls in love and the other moves on, then mistakes are realised but too little too late. There is just that sympathy that can be found on both sides, and it is easily relatable. Not to mention it just keeps you rooting and on the edge of your seat.

ULTIMATES ANNUAL #2 $3.99- I liked last year's Ulitimates annual quite a bit. It added to the main title, and was quite entertaining on its own. But there are many differences between this year and last. Last year had series writer Mark Millar at the helm, this year sees relative newcomer to comics Charlie Huston come onboard. And as my good friend helped me to realise, beyond this Huston is doing nothing else with the title. So, it already feels quite disconnected. I have not heard too many good things about this issue, but sometimes that brings my expectation down enough to make me say, "This isn't that bad."

WOLVERINE #45 CW $2.99- I am liking this title. Wolverine taking on the villian of Civil War... the reason that the Marvel Universe is at odds. And he is finding much more than he bargained for. I think if a writer wants to have that invincible character, that character that will always be mad enough, strong enough, determined enough, or crazy enough to do something, they need look no further than Wolverine. He is the ultimate fan fiction character.


FALLEN ANGEL IDW VOL 1 TP $19.99- I have these issues, but I still wanted to recommend this trade. Peter David has taken his creation to new levels at IDW, and I think IDW is happy to have him. Especially considering Fallen Angel was supposed to be a mini and got extended to an ongoing. The art of J K Woodward is absolutely breathtaking, I am surprised the artist took to this character and to this world with such a masterful perspective. This title is entertaining, and intriguing and challenging. If I saw this trade sitting on the shelf I would be hardpressed to pass it up. I can't often say that about comics I already own.

So, there you go... just in time for you all to have already bought all your comics. (Both of you) Sadly, I won't get these until next week Friday. So, if you want to gloat use spoilers.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Comics I am Getting

Shipping This Week: AUGUST 16, 2006


GROUNDED TP $14.99- Been waiting for this trade for awhile. Not to say it is late, just that my excitement is high. I missed this limited series (Chuck Dixon says they don't call them minis anymore) the first time around. And 6 issues with the DCBS discount... well even the 15 dollars isn't a bad price at all. I can't quite remember the premise... something about a kid discovering his father is a superhero and that he is one too. Anyway, it has alot of twists on that tale. Mostly I am in it for artist Paul Azaceta. That is a high caliber talent who has a way with a pencil. If you are not currently enjoying his work on "Talent" from Boom Studios, then you should be.


RUNAWAYS #19 $2.99- Month in and month out this title impresses me. There is a story here that never slows down. Never has a bad issue, and always allows for an edge of your seat read. I recently listened to a podcast where the hosts commented that this was their soon to be dropped title, that it just is not quite up there with the previous volume. Having not read the first volume of this book entirely I can say that I must be feeling what they felt that first time... it is a hell of a ride.

SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #29 $2.99- This is another one of those titles that just as I drop it, something pulls me back in. And this time it is the unmasking of Spider-Man, and the focus on the bad guys that want revenge. I am actually pretty psyched about it. Painter Clayton Craine took on the art last issue, and it was something to drool about. This issue is not quite so expertly handled in the art department, but it features the confrontation between Chameleon (Spider-Man's first villian) should promise to be a pretty good read.

Another small week. Next week looks to have quite a few great books coming out though.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Something to Blog About

Shipping This Week: AUGUST 09, 2006

ESCAPISTS #2 (OF 6) $2.99- This book really impressed me last month. Such a striking use of visual storytelling. Really allowing fans of the medium to embrace and admire different styles and techniques. I still find it hard to believe that one artist did the whole book. I am expecting another great read, and really wishing this title was not a miniseries.


BEYOND #2 (OF 6) $2.99- Another example of the big twos' attempts to go home again. Though I have to give Marvel credit, their previous nostalgia minis have been mined from bad storylines... or made them dreadfully worse with a new execution. Still making another sequel to the original Secret Wars struck my fancy. I like seeing the contrast of what was once a big event... crossing into all titles... being now a miniseries which seems to relish in knowing that there is nothing of consequence. I mean Spider-Man is killed in the first issue. Yet he is in four other titles doing well. I can't wait until 15 to 20 years from now people are reading "Return to House of M". Wait, 20 years from now... who am I kidding? Be here for it next summer.

SHE-HULK 2 #10 $2.99- Why are you not getting this book? Oh wait, I can stop saying that?! Sales are not too bad? Oh, well, we return to see the fate of resident Marvel creep/ ladies man Star Fox get what's coming to him. Meanwhile all the supporting cast you have come to expect... oh except for the person who dies this issue (or the awesome android) Buuum Buuum Baaaaaaa

SPIDER-MAN FAMILY FEATURING AMAZING FRIENDS $4.99- Ok, so I am getting my nostalgia kicks on this little spin-off of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends... so what? "Return to House of M" people! I am not sure if I was ever a huge fan of this 80s gem, but I certainly caught a few episodes, and have seen a good chunk recently thanks to ABC Family. But Iceman and Firestar have always been two faves... and this is written by Sean McKeever... not to mention there is a new Chris Giarusso mini marvels. It is pricey, but I dare say I will enjoy the hell out of it.

Well, a short week. I am off to watch some Animaniacs...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Still a Week to Go

Shipping This Week: July 19, 2006


JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #0 $2.99- If it were any other writer, I probably would have not gotten this book. DC usually fails to get me to buy a book simply because it is new. But this is Brad Meltzer (Identity Crisis... you know before the insane Infinite Crisis). And that book was really great... I never felt to lost. It was a beautiful touching story. It was sort of hype, but I don't mind that if it is a good story. Kind of like if Civil War was just coming out on it's own. They can hype 7 issues to high heck for all I care. Anyway, I just want to see if Meltzer can surprise me again. Maybe this can be my connection to the DC universe (proper). Well, this and Wonder Woman... still can't quite believe I am getting that. Good stuff though.


CABLE DEADPOOL #30 CW $2.99- Daredevil appearance, nuff said? Alright... DD and Deadpool meet again. Might be worth a look. Alright, it is worth more than a look it tells who the new DD is, looks to be a pretty big appearance!

CIVIL WAR #3 (OF 7) $2.99- Oh, I can't really say what's going to happen. The pacing on this book is very nice. Like a good action movie, linear but still wild. The sides are being forged, I will be surprised to see where Cap's group of refugees ended up. And I am also surprised to see what the next moves will be. This has me excited.

DAILY BUGLE NEWSPAPER SPECIAL CW PI- I like these newspaper specials, enough that I would almost buy something which highlights the goings ons of titles on a monthly basis. Catching us up on the lives of those in the MU, but then I think it would lose that unique quality. If you just want to dip a toe into Civil War or know someone who does, this should be priced just right.

ETERNALS #2 (OF 6) $3.99- I am loving this book, I finally read issue one the other day. And it is very entertaining and not nearly as overwhelming as I thought. It helps that one of the characters is hopelessly lost when it comes to the mythology aspect too. And what a cliff hanger. Even though I am preordering, and thus tied down to upcoming issues regardless, I still love a good cliffhanger.

FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #10 $2.99- This is a good book, especially since it broke away from The Other crossover. But there is alot of muttering on the internet, just alot of talk about who dropped it and such, I hope that is not indicative in the sales. The only problem I see is that it embraces continuity. A new reader is going to see Spidey in some pretty strange, but I hope easily readable adventures. It reminds me of when I was given some Spider-Man 2099 comics... and I thought it was just Spider-Man... completely messed with my head. It is high concept but fun, and you can tell Peter David is having fun with the character he started writing for Marvel years and years ago.

RUNAWAYS #18 $2.99- Oh, let's see Vaughan pulled his usual twist cliffhanger. And it blew my mind. Seriously, it just takes the idea of a cliffhanger the usual stuff... somebody dies... stuff like that, and throws a curve ball. He even walks you through it too, you are feeling pretty good, just following along, and BLAM! pulls the rug out.

SHE-HULK 2 #9 $2.99- Oh yes, I remember ... the wedding. Poor Pug. Bastard John. Andy you canniving cuss. Jen, you ignorant slut. (Ok, that was a Saturday Night Live reference) but considering her recent not being in control of her mind, a bit harsh. Anyway if you have no idea what I am talking about. Get the trades. Three great volumes. Take them and call me in the morning.

X-FACTOR #9 CW $2.99- I love me some X-Factor. In fact, if I had one complaint, it would be that I miss the original artist. Quite alot. The book has not been the same quality since he left. Still quite good, but I think it would be liking taking Gaydos off Alias, or Maleev off DD. The team fit the book.


COMICS BUYERS GUIDE OCT 2006 #1621 $5.99- I might have to drop this. I still like it, would still recommend it. I just have not been having time to read it. I am hoping that will change now that I have gone back to twice a month shipping. It really is one of the best comic magazines out there.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What A Saturday

Well, it all started easily enough. My journey to a new comic shop. With the kids gone and B not going to work. We had a more than reasonable start. I didn't have a list of comics to get, but more on that later.

Now, onto the shop. Which we arrived at pretty close to the opening I think. The outside looks fairly... comic book shoppy. In fact it had me a bit dismissive at first. Kind of a "get the boxes and leave" attitude which I was having. And you go in, and that all evaporates, and you are taken aback a bit. By the counter art lines the walls. Which is always neat to see sketches and such. I think there was even an original Terry Moore 'Strangers in Paradise' sketch, if not, someone was very good at aping his style. Now on the left side of the store bookcase line the walls... filled with trades. I was not really looking for trades so I merely scanned that quickly. I am assuming it followed the same pattern as his new released singles (more on that further down). Then you move along and in the center of this trades collection (all spined out by the way, very bookstore) is a shelf full of kids comics. Mary Jane, some Disney, Jubilee, I was v. tempted by the whole display. But managed to pull myself away. And then you look to the right, and the store is putting their own drawer boxes to good use, and you can just feel the space that product gave to the store. No more tables lined with boxes underneath and on top... nope you want a comic you just pull the drawer open and file through. And according to B it is insanely alphabetised.

Then you make a U turn in the store... which was a bit tight. But I underestimated it. And you see the action figures. And on the right wall was all the new releases. And what a display, not light shining down from the heavens, but just the attention to detail. First you had Marvel alphabetical order (beauty) I picked up Ghost Rider, Sensational Spider-Man, and DD what if (which I forgot until I left the store that I had already). Not too bad, but here is where the real genius comes in... as you move along next up are the indies... I picked up Local #4, Flying Friar, and Toupydoops (which I had heard so many good things about). And man did they have indies... wowza. And they kept things like alot of older products up. I was only sad that they did not have Snakewoman. After all that you hit DC issues. There in lies the genius... you kind of have to see those indies.

And they welcome people who might be behind on the series by keeping previous issues right behind the recent ones, I am a huge fan of that. The icing on the cake, I found DD #27 for 5 bucks. The missing issue in my collection of Vol.2. I think we freaked the guy out a bit in a good way. Here came two people off the street. Never seen us before and we walk out with $80 worth of stuff. And I wish I could go again. It is probably the best store I have been to... a love for comics and the meticulous attention required to keep a great store.

Is that all you ask? Did the day end there? Not hardly. B wanted to go to a mall in the city. So, I agreed... she wanted to get a dress for some pictures. As luck would have it, we got there during a mall wide sale. So I got two ten dollar shirts. And we did alot of wandering... dress shopping is grueling. But I was in pretty good spirits. And it was not long before we hit a bookstore, an oasis, as it were. Now, even I thought I was pretty comic booked out. So it was just supposed to be a break for me... I was tired of women staring at me like I was the wheelchair perv. But, I got in and found more than I bargained for... the Vertigo First Offenses trade... 5 bucks I would be a fool to pass it up. Then if B had not taken so long, I would not have also gotten the Essential Marvel Handbook. *sigh*

After that, we finally headed home. What a day, eh?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Another Comic Getting Monday


ESCAPISTS #1 (OF 6) $1.00- Look at that price! One Dollar. And there is no mistaking this will be worth it. From writer Brian K. Vaughan (Runaways), comes another comic book follow-up to The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. And I, for one, have been waiting a long time. Before this, Dark Horse tried the anthology approach and had various creators penning the adventures of the Escapist and all related topics. And while there are certainly gems to be found, I thought the price point was just too high. And now the story will be a clear, solid and follow a similar route which the novel took, embracing the stories of fictional creators and their comic book characters. Give it a try, it might even be the best comic of the week.


KABUKI REFLECTIONS BOOK #6 (MR) $5.99- Alright take your focus off of that six dollar price tag. Because it is irrelevant, this book needs to be picked up and enjoyed. I remember watching an old movie, and it was a story of a newspaper man wanting to out the local fat cat businessman. Showing where he was charging too much, all for a big scoop. And when the two met, the businessman said, "My products are used and enjoyed over and over again, and after time the use exceeds the price paid." That logic can be put to this book, everyone will take something different away, and it is more than worth the price. It is a rare glimpse into a great comic.

SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #28 $2.99- I dropped this book not too long ago. The art didn't thrill me, and neither did the story. But that arc has since moved along. And I figured this title would be back on the pull list. Well, Marvel got me a bit to early, with the outing of Spider-Man. I suddenly want to know every aspect of what is unfolding as a result of his unmasking. Hopefully, I don't get fooled twice.


COBB OFF THE LEASH #2 $3.99- I am going to (quite wrongly) take the fact that this doesn't say 2 (of 3) to mean this might not be a mini. That would make me very happy, indeed. This is a top notch indy title. The art is great, the writing is great, and most of all, it is clear what type of book you are getting. I hope there is lots of support this for this action comic.

JUGHEADS DOUBLE DIGEST #123 $3.69- *whistles*

SNAKEWOMAN #1 $2.99- This is one I might have to go out of my way to snag this weekend when I hit a shop. I completely missed that the art was being done by the highly talented Michael Gaydos. That makes it certainly worth a look.

Yeah, that's it. Let me know what you thought if you picked any of these up. Or what other stuff caught your eye this week.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Comics At My Door

Shipping This Week: July 5, 2006


ARCHENEMIES #4 (OF 4) $2.99- I have read the first issue of this and it was a good comic with a fun idea. What if your roommate was your archenemy? It's the odd couple of the superhero sets. I hope to catch up to issues two and three before my package ships in a week and a half.

DARK HORSE TWENTY YEARS $0.25- I would be remiss if I didn't pick this up. It looks to be at least nice on the eyes, with various Darkhorse creators trading off characters and adding new styles.


DETECTIVE COMICS #821 $2.99- The beginning of the Paul Dini (co-creator of Batman: The Animated Series), and it took that and the addition of J. H. Williams III to finally get me to pick up a Batman solo title. I was only slightly letdown in learning that this is the only issue for JHW, but it should be a good read.


BEYOND #1 (OF 6) $2.99- Dwayne McDuffie and Scott Kolins take on this mini that is a sequel to Secret Wars. Or an addition to at least. Yes, that's right, the original Secret Wars. And Dwayne McDuffie is a quality writer who is likely up to the task. Here's hoping it woos me more than Bendis's mini did.

FRANKLIN RICHARDS SUPER SUMMER SPECTACULAR $2.99- Wonderful run of one shots and kid-friendly. I would say they were strictly for kids, but I like them to much. Starting off as back ups for (and being the highlight of) the Power Pack series that came out. I was glad to see this get the break away treatment. And I hope it continues to take off.

MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #17 $2.99- The return of MA Spidey after, I think a two issue hiatus. Such is the way with this title I think. I had also taken a hiatus when it started, and then Sean McKeever came aboard and knocked my socks off. Not two issues off and it announced that Peter David will be writing Spider-Man. Want a safe bet for a good read, anything Peter David and Spider-Man. I am even picking up an issue with Man-Wolf. And werewolves terrify me.

MARVEL TEAM-UP #22 $2.99- Freedom Ring continues. And Robert Kirkman continues to show why he is one (of a growing number) of breakout writers working at Marvel. And this is his best arc yet, as he finds an everyman character, and plays it out. While this does tie into previous issues of Marvel Team-Up, it would still be fine to read on its own. Not sure if the new character introduced will take off, but I hope so. I like seeing amature heroes.

THING #8 $2.99- This is it, the big finale. And it's going down by betting it all. On a Marvel Universe poker game. All the heroes are invited. And knowing writer Dan Slott. I am betting all of them will. This is an issue where there is a first for the Marvel U. Don't know what that first will be, but I am excited. *gasp* I just realised, I have not read issue 7. I got as far as Ben Grimm breaking the arms off of the Venus De Milo. It's a tired joke, but I dare you to read that first page and not chuckle. And while you are doing that, buy issue 8!


JUGHEAD AND FRIENDS DIGEST #12 $2.49- Jughead, nuff said!

MIDNIGHT SUN #1 (OF 5) $2.95- Ah, my indy dose right here. Sometimes with the indies you have to think really hard about what interested you in the title. They don't have press releases for every little thing. If I recall this series is about a reporter in Antartica... anyway it has a very nice Blankets style, which I am a sucker for. Love the simple elegance there.

SIMPSONS SUPER SPECTACULAR #3 $2.99- Ah Simpson's own parody superhero comic. I fell in love with this book when I saw issue 2 at a bookstore. Great stuff, and often written by some big names in the industry. I can't wait for three, and I can't wait to track down issue one.

TALENT #2 (OF 4) $3.99- The first issue of this title certainly surprised me. I was expecting to love the art. It is done by (I am sure) a soon to be talked about artist, Paul Azaceta. But the story is quite compelling to. A man is inexplicably the lone survivor of a plane crash. The government assumes he must have been a terrorist who helped to cause the crash. He is hassled before he even leaves a hospital bed. Along the way, he finds he has inherited the talents and memories associated with everyone else who was on the plane. Definetly worth a look, and I hear might even become a movie. I am hard pressed nowadays to think of any creative property that isn't, but ah well.

Books that really sucker punched me: Daredevil, Runaways, Ultimates, and Young Avengers

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Spell Is Broken

Well, seeing as how there are no reviews of Gargoyles #1 that I could find (and since I finally have it) I thought I might give a review. Within the first few pages fans of the series will be taken back, to the point of hearing each characters distinctive voices in their head. And why not? The creator and writer for the majority of the episodes is at the helm here. I think it says something when a writer can make each character unique beyond surface design, and to do so within a comic also must be praised.

I will say that I don't believe this first issue is as perfect for new readers. There are some elements that are merely touched upon. Some moments that are purely for the fans. Now that is not to say that a quick search on Wikipedia could not set you straight. Or that even this review could not do the same. So it was a worthy effort in that respect.

One change I did notice in the writing which gave a subtly more adult tone to the book (if one needs such things as an indicator) was the near inclusion of the words "Monster loving wh-" directed at a human female friend of the Gargoyle leader. It is small potatoes in today's comics, however, this was certainly a level that I cannot recall the Disney cartoon having.

Another bit of background that should have been included for new readers was the pathetic tactics of the villians at hand. Gargoyles have one very prominent weakness, and that is that they can be turned to stone. The villians which were featured in this issue only attack gargoyles during the day, basically they go out with a hood and a sledge hammer and get to work smashing statues. Now that is alot of statues when one considers that there are only 8 or 9 living Gargoyles left in this section of the US (and maybe in the US entirely). But all the same it shows a cowardice that would be very much relatable to a new readers. The bully which is fearful of something and would only seek to destroy it when no harm can come to them. That could all still be explored next issue or in future issues.

I would also not mind an issue #0 a bit of a meatier summary of what has happened to the Gargoyles before this issue. I suppose the page summary given might intice new readers to seek out the DVDs available, but I don't think so. Now, onto the art. Where this seems to fail with me, is that it feels quite back and forth at times. Sometimes adopting an animated simpler style, but more often than not, opting to give a more 3-D realistic look. Which came across to me as awkward in most panels. It is likely a bit of familarity lost... as I just kept thinking, this is too much, it doesn't really look like so and so anymore. But on the whole it did quite well, and I think conveyed each of the previous characters well enough. Especially in those introductory shots ... the first time I would see certain characters I would think, Wow, that looks spot on. And then in the panels that followed it would not be the case. The coloring is also excellent, and seems to fluxuate more succesfully between the changes of style.

One thing that sticks out about Gargoyles for me, and in this comic too. Is that conflict is always there. The leader (Goliath) has trouble with one of his charges, in particular. And in a new world with new rules, Goliath is often risking more, while demanding isolation from others.

I think the romance between Goliath and his human friend will increase. There is a strong vulnerability there. Not alot can hurt him, but knowing that she risks her life even being aware of his existence. For such a behemoth of a creature, I have always found that he conveyed weakness and emotion quite well.

All in all, you could do a lot, lot worse then Gargoyles. And I know I have a bias, but this is probably one of the strongest indy issues I have purchased. As the writer says on the final text pages "a hard hitting drama with influnces ranging from Gummi Bears to Hill Street Blues to the complete works of William Shakespeare. There is continuity, a large ensemble cast of characters (heroes yest but three dimensional villains and everything in between). There is comedy. There is tragedy. There is romance and heartbreak. And of course, lots and lost of action."

Ultimately I could see this comic surpassing what has come before. And becoming a comic for kids and adults. It's off to a fine start.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Comics to Ship (Today?)


LOVELESS #8 (MR) $2.99- I am not sure why I decided to start getting Loveless. Perhaps it was in that quest to find that perfect comic book for my father. (I am one of those people who leans toward the idea that there is a comic for everyone). However, I quickly found that Loveless and the characters and stories within were something special. A western focus is out of the ordinary from one of the big two anyway, and an expertly constructed one, with passion and focus for the genre. Well, this might be truly unique. And well worth a read.


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #533 CW $2.99- This has to be one of Strazynski's (writer) strongest arcs. Not because it has the most buzz. Or because it is the most passionate. But because it is structured well, and grounded in reality. If you have been reading this title, you know that Spidey has been in some pretty unbelievable stories. This is a breath of fresh air for the title. And for Civil War readers, a nice companion title.

DAREDEVIL #86 $2.99- This title... *drool* it has finally started putting Daredevil at the top of my read pile. I am in no way saying it was not of very high quality before the new team started. But something about this run has lit a spark in me, that I haven't felt since Kesel's run on DD... I think it might be the idea that anything can happen, and if you blink you might miss it.

NEW AVENGERS #21 CW $2.99- Didn't I just talk about this title last week, it sure feels like it. I think somebody hit the nail on the head in a review I read, which is that New Avengers tries to be and do too much, it was the resolution to Avengers Disassembled, which led to House of M, it dealt with Secret War, and now Civil War. And I hate to say it, but it is hard to do that... with a team full of personalities to pin down. Bendis needs to give himself and his title time to breathe, and maybe create that makes this title relevant to itself.

NEXTWAVE AGENTS OF HATE #6 $2.99- This is a pretty good example. There is not a thing that has happened in Nextwave that I can tie to any other title currently, and maybe that gives it a cult solidarity. But it works.

RUNAWAYS #17 $2.99- If you aren't picking this up, nothing I can say will convince you. This is a quality title, and has been for nearly 36 issues. I have put down every issue, and immediately wanted to know what happened next.
This hits on all cylinders (whatever that means). Give it a read! Hey, I said I couldn't convince you, doesn't mean I won't try.

SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE #7 $2.99- I would say something generic such as "Hey, I only get it cause it's Spider-Man." I try not to read comics like that. Buy what you like. And I like this book. I mean if Spider-Man the movie can feature the strong romantic theme that it does, why can't one of the comics do that too?

WOLVERINE #43 CW $2.99- I love Wolverine when he is focused. When he is all about doing what needs to be done. If it suits the character ... run with it. I don't want to see Wolverine and Punisher moping around a coffee house. I want to see them indulging in the darker side of vengeance. Reminding readers exactly why you don't want to be on that particular side. And Wolverine is the only one actually hunting for a guy who blew up a bus full of school children. Gotta love that.

X-FACTOR #8 CW $2.99- Not at all sure how this ties into Civil War. But this is one of the best books on the shelf. And I don't think I have ever said that about a book with an X in the title. Heed these words and know them well, Peter David tells some good yarns. If you see his name on a book, and you don't like it. You probably would not have liked that book written by anyone.

YOUNG AVENGERS #12 $2.99- Cha-ching. I have to say, this has been a book on a very wonky schedule. So, its conclusion is almost bittersweet. I hope the next time this title comes out, it might be just a bit more timely. A very good book, and likely will make a veeery good hardcover.

JUGHEAD #174 $2.25- I have explained my fondness for Jughead. I like the character. This is the comic I would buy if I could buy only one... blah blah. It just entertains me on a base level. Makes me happy everytime I go to read it.

VILLAINS #2 (OF 4) (MR) $3.25- I have no idea about this book. First issue is coming in this next shipment... I suppose it might be nice to read one and two together, except I don't think that two is coming in this shipment. Not sure what is going on there.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Comics at my Doorstep

It's been awhile since I did this sort of thing. Where I talk about the comics I was going to get in a certain week. And discuss, expectations of storylines and such. Or why I am still getting that title that hasn't really been hitting the right notes. This is last week's comic offerings. I know for those getting them weekly this seems a bit late, but I won't get this and next week's comics until sometime after July 4th.


ALL STAR SUPERMAN #4 $2.99- There is very little DC that I get, and of what I do, it is very easy to drop a title at moments of lost interest. All-Star Superman is one of the few titles to which I will give the benefit of the doubt. It has solid storytelling by Grant Morrison. And fantastic art by Frank Quitely. Both of those names carry along praise and accolades. But more than that, this is the Superman story, that you know they wanted to do. Grant has said as much, and Frank has said he wanted to be along for the ride. The passion is there, the detail is there, and it feels like the writer is really pulling no punches. Always entertaining, with a modern take on the zaniness that can sometimes come along with that big red S. This is the perfect amount of Superman for me.

JUSTICE #6 (OF 12) $3.50- I got this book because of the art of the phenominal Alex Ross. I haven't regretted getting it yet. It is a huge story, shadowing that of Secret War (or even Civil War). Where it should lose character moments... it only further solidifies everyone's personality, because the glimpses of the characters that you see are spot on. I won't say this adds realism to the Ultimate Superhero/ Supervillian showdown, but it is certainly not a story I would not mind seeing. It has the simmering boil of a story portrayed by Brian Michael Bendis, with the fantastic elements of a Dan Slott or Mark Millar story. In fact the only fault I can hold to it, is that I don't know all the DC characters that well to enjoy it on the level that others might.


ETERNALS #1 (OF 6) $3.99- This is probably the intimate event comic of the summer for me. I missed out on 1602 when it was hitting the shelves, I won't make that mistake again. Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr. are painting what looks to be a wonderful mix of (perhaps mistaken) mythology and superheroics. And I can't wait to see what results. Sometimes the best stories are with characters that you knew very little about.

NEW AVENGERS #20 $2.99- This is one of those books, that I hesitate to read, and maybe doesn't stick with me, or even get the credit that I give to books like Runaways or Young Avengers. Nonetheless, it is solid storytelling by Bendis. And I always enjoy it.

ULTIMATES 2 #11 $2.99- How long has it been? It feels like far too long. Ultimates is everything the Avengers should be. The team is falling apart. The idealism is crashing on its head. If you ever wanted to see what happens when the road paved with good intentions, is done so by super heroes... this is the book. This is one of those maturely layered books, with the outrageous action one expects from Mark Millar. And it is the only Ultimate title that I read.

FALLEN ANGEL IDW #6 $3.99- I am so glad I support this book. What was failing sales when Fallen Angel was at DC. Have now become a goldmine for IDW. And with good reason. This a complex and beautifully illustrated book. Sometimes funny, sometimes dark... always a good read. First trade comes out in... August. And look for that IDW logo, as DC also suspiciously reissued their first and only trade of Fallen Angel as well.

GARGOYLES #1 $3.50- Wow.... to say I have been anticipating this would be a big understatement. The problem with preordering comics is that you are anxious months before it is even solicited. In this case probably several months. Gargoyles was a Disney cartoon series released in the mid 90s. And it had alot going for it. Compelling mythical creatures cast into modern day. With a backstory as fascinating and wonderful. Likeable characters. It was a glorified hit. And most importantly it didn't talk down to kids. Then Season 2 came... and it pulled no punches. Embracing fantastic literary elements of the past... Arthurian lore, Macbeth, and most notably A Midsummer Night's Dream. Just to name a very few. It embraced imagination and continues to do so with an annual convention (this weekend being its 9th year) and a devoted fanbase that is still going strong. The show's creator has returned to pen this very series... if you want something smart and character driven, and still a great read for kids. This will likely be that series.

LOVE AND CAPES #1 $3.95- I have heard so many good things about this book, it was even linked to my site for awhile. Anytime one of these indy guys can tell me about their book beforehand, and I like the concept, I am in. Which is what happened here, this guy spread the word, and the romantic comedy with superheroes... I like what I saw. I hope others did as well.

And since I want to pique Gargoyles interest a bit more here is a link to more info on the comic, I might also post reviews as I can find them.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

One-Track Mind

Okay, so I always feel like I am cheating when I just pop in someone else's blog or comment, and add my own two cents. But, I suppose a blog is a blog.

And this is from the blog of Gilbert Gottfried (you know, the bird from Aladdin, the yelling guy) :

"As I was boarding a bus, the black woman driver said to a woman passenger, “I get all the comics on this bus.” Knowing she was thrilled to see such a famous person, I flashed a smile at her. I figured, what the hell. It takes so little effort to bring a taste of my fame and greatness into this woman’s sad, boring, non-famous existence.

She looked at me stone faced. As I sat down, she got up and started picking up trash on the bus. She started muttering to herself, “They always leave their goddamn news papers and comics.”

I put my head down and stared at my shoes for the rest of the ride like the pathetic schmuck that I am."

And being the schmuck that I am, I assumed the bus driver meant comics. Sometimes you needn't look to far to know where my mind is. I need to start chatting up some bus drivers, sounds like a daily gold mine.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Me Mutant, You Mutant

So, I recently got this little digest from Marvel. Appropriately titled X-Men Firestar, I got it having once been a pretty big fan. I crack it open, and barely a page in, I see that image. The mark of the mutant. And I am instantly flooded with the deja vu that I have seen this somewhere before.

As a kid, I saw this in some comic, once upon a time. And I can remember... having the mark. Being one of the select few. And for the most part, I god damn loved it. Now, I don't think the mark is actually referenced anymore. But you have to wonder about the genius of it, even now looking at my left hand... the mark is nearly there. Enough for the anxious boy I was to make that leap. So, take a peek, and I hope I can welcome you to the fold, gifted youngster (at heart)!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Well, I would be pretty upset with myself if I did not discuss Free Comic Book Day (this Saturday) in my blog. This is like the comic fan's Christmas. Now in truth, it should be used to pull new people in, and I hope it does so in that regard. However, altruistic intentions are far from my mind.

I got 19 different comics last year... and I still have every single one. Granted I did show them off to family, but only because some of the comics were gathered up before a family party. Which also looks to be the case again this year.

I figured to kick this off, I would list the comics I really want to be able to get:

Before I forget here is a link to find participating shops near you.

Archie Comics 65th Anniversary Bash

Bongo Comics: Bongo's Free for All 2006 (Publisher of Simpsons Comics)

Image Comics: Future Shock 2006

Marvel Comics: X-Men/Runaways (also other stories incl.)

F&W Publishing: Impact University Vol. 2

Heroic Publishing: Liberty Girl #0

Any of this next group are good for kids!

Top Shelf Productions: Owly: Breakin' the Ice 2006

Renaissance Press: Amelia Rules 2006

Sky-Dog Press: Buzzboy: Sidekicks Rule #1 2006

And in the "Only Strange To Me" category, this week marks the first week I will get comics on a Wednesday since December.

Monday, May 01, 2006

(Belated) Blog Against Disabilism

EDIT: There was a delay with this thanks to some tech. difficulties. But I still wanted to get this out there.

For so many minorities predjudice exists every day, in ways big and small. I think for most everyone, that is the case. And yet we only step out of the shadows at certain times, for certain reasons. I suppose at least stigmas and stereotypes get challenged. Progress is made in all sorts of ways.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to say today, but I think I have found something that is useful for any sort of challenge. And it is something my mother told me more times than I can count. "Be Your Own Advocate." If something needs changed... let it be known. Maybe we are not all created equally, but I think we can all find equality and happiness.

So, if you are there... wondering when your day, or your month will come... wondering when someone will blog about your personal discrimination? Speak out. People can't be aware of what you don't tell them, and you might regret not doing something.

Here is a link for more about this day, and the people behind it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What on Earth (Day)?

Well, here is something for you kids of the late 80s early 90s:

In honor of Earth Day 2006 on April 22, Boomerang will broadcast an exclusive, first-time presentation of the 13 half-hour episodes that comprise the sixth and final season of Captain Planet and the Planeteers. The episodes will play in order from 7:30-11:30 a.m., and from 3:30-7:30 p.m. (ET).

I am waiting for the "Where Are They Now?" special. I can't wait to see what happened to that kid who was stuck with the power of Heart. It probably makes Danny Bonaduce's life look like easy street.

*The author of this blog makes no apologies for vague references or the amount of entertainment value lost as a result.

** Sorry.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Belated and Easter Related

Alright, sorry if this offends anyone, but it was too damn good not to share.

The First Easter- by Chris Giarrusso


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Late Night (No, really)

It seems like I started this blog posting about Easter. The first public display of my dislike of holidays, and it continued on from there. As did my poor sentence structure and a lack of worthwhile content. I guess I have felt a little bewildered as to the purpose of this blog, as I usually have. I don't get my comics in any reasonable time frame, and even straying from that subject seems uninteresting.

I know that after the weekend I will have alot to say, the holidays do that. And yet, I probably won't write about it. Maybe this blog goes the way of the Dodo... maybe I delete this and leave the preceding post. The more things change the more they stay the same.

Anyway enjoy the eggs, and the bunnies, and Easter, for whatever reasons.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Weak Weekend

I am not sure when it happened, or why I expect it to be different. But my weekends are just weekdays. Glorified by the majority of the populace, Saturday and Sunday are seen as roses in the desert. Not by me. It is a time of familial exhaustion. There is the normal day 3:30 am to 1, me and the kids. That's alright. But you throw in those x-factors, and nothing goes as planned.

The odd family event, which is attended in a state that is beyond exhaustion. Short of sleep and often times of temper. Because bless family, but they are the most brutally honest people one might ever encounter. Not in a spirit of malice, I suppose, but with the intent of being right. You learn some very hard truths, and then people move on, and you might just get a smile about how great things really are. For once, you are not the weakest zebra in the herd. It's family, and that spotlight is there so much you begin not to mind.

And then there are weekends that just seem to go south for a variety of reasons. Even the weekend you were sure that you could sail right through. A weekend that procrastinates for you. Pretty convenient, in truth. I just don't like when that procastinating takes place on what could be a "time to oneself" weekend. It was anything but. I am going to share the results of a little quiz I took online the other day.

Justin You Are A Little Monk-ish

You've got a few Monk-ish tendencies, but they're totally natural. You're more go-with-the-flow than grab-the-flow-and-redirect-it-so-it's-straight-and-symmetrical. Keep the delicate balance you've got between keeping order and embracing spontaneity and you'll be set. Mr, Monk might very well be envious of you.

I will admit that is probably a pretty solid description of how I go through things, that is until that river, that flow, shoots off in another direction. Then my balding gets a little more premature. So, in the words of another little bald man named George Castanza, "Serenity now!"

Saturday, March 04, 2006

TV or not TV

Ok, that is one really lame title. I had something better this morning, but such is how it goes. Here's the thing, TV is free. Or at least it has been most of my life. My family got 7 good channels, then the public broadcasting channel, then the religious channel, interest to me in that order. And still it was more than my father had... which he was quick to remind my siblings and I when our brains seemed to slowly drip out of our heads. And our eyes became more glazed than doughnuts. So I felt we were pretty fortutious.

And then when we went to people's houses and they had a few (hundred) more channels. I assumed it was great reception. Even my next door neighbor's TV, just luck of placement. I am a cartoon addict, so I was never really too jealous at what other people had. I suppose one can't really get into something with one viewing. Of course it was also the quality... Ren and Stimpy... Beavis and Butthead... looked horrible. And then it didn't help that when I would get to watch a repeated viewing, I had seen it before. This always baffled me.

And now, here I am reality having fully hit me in the face, I am paying for TV. I suppose my father's stubborness rubbed off on me. I have often said that there are a handful of channels I would like. And the rest are just there. Still holds true. Except that now... I go to bed well before anything good is on. I can't find Looney Tunes, at least not like I knew them. There is a version of babies... and a version of rainbowy Bugs and Daffy characters in the future. Batman and Superman are on at midnight and 12:30 respectively. What is a guy to do?

There was a Batman marathon of sorts today starting at 1 it was going on for at least a couple of hours or so. But even that did not get watched. My son was not convinced that Batman was going to save Thomas the Tank Engine. Frankly neither was I, I mean different companies... different people own the rights, but I didn't think he was smart enough to figure that out. I think Batman should pass on that Great Detective moniker addition of his.

If you pay for something, you should enjoy it, right? Ah well, someday I might be able to afford a Tivo and then that machine can find my shows for me. All five of them.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Imparticular particulars

I am honestly not sure what I am going to write about here. Especially not at four-thirty in the morning. I suppose I could have waited until later today when I (hopefully) get my shipment of comics, and discuss the newest issue of Daredevil. I mean it has a new writer, new artist... supposed to be a great issue, but I am probably not going to do that. And indeed, there are no doubt other great comics coming as well.

I could talk about my day at work yesterday, or various other things going on in my life. The desire is just not there. There's new video games, movies... even novels, all of which I could talk about. Probably with a fair amount of passion, but I kind of feel like I want something different for this blog, or probably more correctly no blog at all. It just seems misplaced... floating around here in cyberspace stagnant.

Ah well, I will figure something out. And in the meantime, I have all that great stuff I just mentioned.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Marvel at Peter David... or Peter David at Marvel

From Peter David's site:

February 11, 2006

Yes. The news is true.Peter has signed an exclusive with Marvel.He is quite happy about it.
"Fallen Angel" & 'Soulsearchers and CO." were grandfathered into the contract as was his Spike mini-series.
Oh I am very happy about it too but then I have been happy about it since last year. *grin*

Posted by Kathleen David.

Man, this news has me grinning from ear to ear. Peter David at Marvel has always seemed to me to be one of those great fits. Not that he hasn't been there anyway, he started off more than a decade ago working in Marvel distribution. Got a writing assignment on either Spectacular or Amazing (both of which fairly close to each other) then made history with a 12 year run on the Hulk. Of course, never one to leave his best behind. He still is a master storyteller. Blending his trademark comedy with all sorts of genres. Be sure to check out the site, his blog is always amusing. Welcome home, PAD.... welcome home.

(Go one post down for a new blog from me... if you dare)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Loser Reviews r' Here

It's a bit harsh, but let's face it. You have all been in that store, seen that bundle of comics. And for a fan it is like an oasis in the middle of a desert. Even now, when I am quite content with the comic books I purchase, there is that sheer "light from above" feeling that is seeing comics somewhere outside a comic shop.

If you haven't had the pleasure of finding one of these sacred bundles. Well, you are both fortunate, and missing out. It is a strong lesson one must hammer into their brain, a dollar a comic is probably still too much. Quite often, you are purchasing the majority of your product sight unseen. You will never unearth some richly possession, but luck finds the occassional priceless periodical.

So, my finds... my oasises (oasi?) were found in the local Walmart. Very surprising, as once this place kicked comics to the curb more than a few years ago, I thought they would never reconcile. But I have told that story a great many times. In my selection I tried to find the varied packages (each group contained two comics that were visible on either side and three lumped in between). Limiting my selection was not hard... as there were only four bundles with different comics than all the other packages. And the ones that were the same contained the same duo of X-Men comics on either side.

So, without further delay, I bring you the assuredly affectionate titled Loser Reviews:

The 100 Greatest Marvels Of All Time #1- This is a good comic, let me preface by saying that. Classic! That being said, I didn't read it, because I have read it. I probably nearly know it by heart ( I know, I am slipping). Amazing Fantasy #15. But of what I did read... something went horribly wrong. The cover is an eye grabber... that much is certain. However, from cracking open that first page, the approach was off. There was a fine intro stating that the Top 25 issues chosen will see print (of the top 100) and these were for any fan whoever bagged and boarded a comic book. Who would go to the comic shop feverishly awaiting the next installment in the lives of their heroes. It is all nice and gushy and flowery... but it's not true. This can't be for those people, because they have already read this. Wrong Audience to focus on... and if I were that other audience, I might toss this back feeling quite unprepared. And since I am the intended audience, and read this issue before (cheaper, I might add) I did pass it by the first time.

The next two pages (opposite the Amaz. Fan. cover) are a rather nice history of just how this last chance story came to be... last chance for Amazing Fantasy, last chance for Stan Lee to want to work at Marvel, and first and last chance for the little spider that could. And who wrote this history tale? Hell, if I know, that signature is impossible to read, this is why they tell you in high school when preparing for a job, to type your name below your signature, so that it might not only look great but also mean something to whoever reads it. (EDIT: After a scan of the credits looking for a name that came close to what was scribbled, I came up with Bob Greenberger) The story is great, dated but great. This is not nostalgia or hype talking. This story is one of Stan Lee's best... and Ditko conveys the emotions of Spider-Man's origin very well. And there is that life lesson people can recite like it was motherly advice. Now some of the purists would probably disagree with this next point, but again, purists have read the story... this is Marvel's 100 greatest... and Amazing Fantasy is not "great" because of the couple stories that came after Spider-Man's in that issue. So why reprint them? It is my belief that they could have left those tales and the ads out, and stuck in Fantastic Four #1 (which was #2 on the all time list).

The cover price is a bit much... $3.50 for this issue. Take that over 25 issues, and you got a pretty slim wallet on your hands. Anyway, in hindsight, I am still glad I did not pick this up when it came out, and I don't even think a person would have to look hard to find a nice copy that could be haggled down to fifty cents.

Outlaws (DC) #4 - I have to remember that when jumping into the middle of a series it pays to be perceptive. Well, at least in this case it would have helped a little. The cover reads Outlaws: (and in smaller print) The Legend of the Man Called Hood! Yeah that would have helped a bit. Published in 1991, this is a pretty good example of the industries financial security and the resulting ability to throw anything out there for readers. This the story of a guy named Hood, who runs around in a dystopian future... always a cliche backdrop. I had alot of trouble with this.

First of all, it doesn't start off with the lead character... actually I wasn't even sure there was a lead character, I thought maybe it was a book about DC bad guys. Again, my mistake. Anyway we start off with some king approaching the house of one of his lord's, and a woman at the window screaming a warning to her lover. The lord and his lady prepare a rather odd greeting... and right off I wonder about the audience of this book. Then we move to a gathering of unsavory characters enjoying the delight of a battle. And asking about the character Hood and whether or not he would return from his latest mission. That's when a man, lost in his own thoughts, stops the battle from leaving a man dead. All of this may have been exposition, but it felt like filler. My confusion sets in as to where this takes place. There have been no indicators whatsoever. Modern dialect is swimming quite poorly with historic fashion and location.

After switching scenes back and forth between the King and his lord, discussing the Outlaws (finally the title comes into play) and the Outlaws still messing around. Hood returns on a horse to tell his band of men that they need prepare for a new mission. More talk between the King and his lord... and the talk shifts to the King wanting the lord's concubine, and the lord giving her away. Cut away to the next scene of a Jeep driving through some rather depressing streets and I finally get to see the modern doomed future to go with the language. Grasp of the plot here I come! Anyway in the Jeep are several "slaves" but since they are Hood's decoys... they are all armed with bombs... that look like soda cans. Keep an eye out folks... I feel a premonition coming on. The sabotagers are not found out placing the soda cans in various areas, but just in time to precede a location change, the slave inspector makes a surprise visit. Then the King and the Concubine go off together... it was well before this I was wondering where the Mature label was that I seemed to have missed.

Anyway, they don't have sex, so back to the semi interesting part (well we did just have that twist). The inspector sees someone he knows in the group of slaves. A woman. He remarks how good she looks... says "Let me see some more." pulls her jacket open, and out drops a can of soda. He makes some comments about it being a relic... but with... stuff inside. And says to check the other slaves. Sure enough they find more Pepsi Relic.... er whatever. It is about this time, the guy who's thoughts we heard during that fight, says that he and Hood need to get out of there before the inspector starts asking who drove those slaves in (we are dealing with some real minds here). Hood does his thing... runs for that Jeep and bolts out of there. While gaining other slaves for his resistance... woo. Fill-er. Perhaps this might have been fun, had their been little parallels, something going back to Robin Hood. Unrealistic, but it would have been something. The art was ok... in some parts juvenile. The story was all the tricks we seem to now appreciate, the Bendis chopped time-line, the Oeming panel arrangement. But those people crafted those tricks to a fine art.

I have to say that I am now more in favor of the recap page today's comics have... but at this point I would have settled for a little box blurb telling me something. So there you go. Needed a Mature Rating. Needed something indicating seperation from the DC Universe (as Hood looks kind of like Green Arrow) Hell that might have been a finale twist for the series, who knows? Basically, it could have used all the good things that comics are doing now.

Uncanny X-Men #401 (Marvel)- This was a nuff said issue. I don't know if this is even fair. My only comparison was the fantastically done Daredevil nuff said issue. And in the back of my mind, I kept wondering, "Was this good for fans keeping up month to month?" And the answer was probably yes. I had fun with it. Took a bit of work, had to go by the look of who was who. In the beginning, Banshee is standing at Moira MacTaggert's grave... poors some booze in front of it. It's good that I pushed myself to remember who Banshee was, it helped. Then we are introduced via caption to other players (only X-Men) in this story. It was for the sake of introduction I guess, but captions felt like a cheat. Then the setting jumps to a castle with some woman standing at the window... looking out. Then she turns to see Toad, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch ... Toad is ecstatic. So much so that he runs up to kiss her and wraps his tongue around her head. (Gross!) Yeah, that guy-- from the movie.

Just then Magneto comes in, all pissed off. He starts kicking Toad's ass... so I assume maybe the woman is Polaris (Magneto's daughter) except she has green hair. So maybe just some love interest that Mags had at the time? Turns out that it is a dream sequence by the window woman, as she is now in a coma, being looked after by all sorts of doctory guys. Now comes the Wolverine portion of the story, he is hiding in the trees outside a mansion... when he goes in he walks around to see all sorts of dead bodies lying around with smiles on their faces. I then have to wonder if Marvel got the rights to the Joker. Shot of a fat guy lying on his bed with a grin on his face... only his unmentionables on. Then this woman / thing flies out, and starts going toe to toe with Wolverine.

And then I remember... when they did that caption introduction to characters... she was there... Stacy X. Her Power? Phermone Control. And I smile... let out a girly giggle and move along. After a nicely drawn battle she touches Wolverine presumably using her powers. Next scene they are sitting on the couch in the X-Cave watching TV, when in teleports Nightcrawler, really angry. I assume Stacy X and the X-Men have had troubles before... Wolverine takes Nightcrawler off to the other side of the room in sitcom fashion to talk in a hushed tone, so the woman-thing, who does not even have a wall between them, cannot hear. Anyway, Nightcrawler goes out the way he came, which leaves a sulfur stink, and Wolverine pinches closed his nose. This scene was one of the best laid out scenes in the comic... as everything except the secret was conveyed well. Facial reactions were spot on. Finally we go to the Blob being carried in by five helicopters. He goes in somewhere I am not familiar with being escorted by two guys that I don't know, and they leave him in a room and he freaks out. He is alone with Banshee, and Banshee lets out this devastating scream (hence the code name) and Blob is lying there a whimpering mess. Logic tells me to assume Blob had something to do with the dead woman at the beginning. Following that was the six page preview of the script. For me it was worth it based on that alone. This speechless issue was written by Joe Casey, Penciled by Ron Garney, who will be doing Amazing Spider-Man soon, so to see some of his work was also a plus. I think this illustrates that my background in Marvel outdoes DC by quite a bit... even with a fully scripted DC issue I was lost. Apples and oranges though.

Eclipso #3 (DC)- Well, this was another title I knew nothing about, luckily catching up was not impossible. I like to believe that is due to the more than capable writing of Keith Giffen. Yet again we start off with someone other than the title character. And lo and behold, he is talking about being against our title character who is slowly taking over the planet like some parasitic host. Hero and villian established, check. This is 1993, and you'll all be happy to know that Superman's dead, but there is a video game advertisement for him nearly a page after this is stated. Hope pixelates eternal. This book was not as fun as I was coming to expect from Giffen, whom I am only familiar with for his comedy. Still, it is a solid if familiar plot, which helps with my own lack of knowledge in regards to the characters. Forces are building against the villanous title character... piss poor forces, but an attempt nonetheless. The issue begins with the building of said forces: a reject hero, a former hero, who is now just a normal guy trying to maintain his own humbled existence, and his wife, who it seems either is or will soon become an ex. Three people, and a small island of forces, against 6 million Eclipsos (Eclipsi?) made for a fine cliff hanger ending.

Iron Man #258 (Marvel)- Well, here's a gem, written by John Byrne and illustrated by the great John Romita, Jr., worth the price alone for that. And let me tell you why, I am not sure if this was an early Romita, Jr. issue... 1990, but you can see so much of his Dad's "look" when he draws Iron Man, there is a crisp, clean, and respectful style that makes Iron Man fly off the page (as well he should). The story starts off simply enough with two(!) Iron Man's in the clutches of some giant fiend. It is a wild beginning that pulls a reader straight in, two large hands holding our struggling hero(s), and you don't really even have to know why. We get delightful captions from the POV of the bad guy, as he launches Iron Man around through brick walls, and continues to bat him about like a cat with a mouse. Yet, for whatever reason panel by panel our bad guy grows more sympathetic, to the point that it is finally revealed things might have gone too far for a training session. As he backs off, our left over Iron Man bests his concerned foe, and goes to help the other fallen Iron Man. There is a nice twist where the talking Iron Man ends up being just a robot, and the "villian" ends up being, Jim Rhodes the best friend of Tony Stark, and even he gets fooled by the robot.

Leave it to Mr. Stark to build his own mock few city blocks just to fight in! A little later as Jim Rhodes talks with Iron Man... Tony clutches his arm, when asked what is wrong, he states that he is unaware of ever receiving injury there, despite its reoccuring pain. A next page reveal (and explained setting change) shows a group secretly monitoring the vital signs of our hero. For what purpose is not to be revealed in this issue. Later, Tony is informed by his secretary that Nuke U.(niversity?), weird name, is under attack, and that his bodyguard might be needed. The next scene revealed two things: 1) Tony has a really bad habit of revealing exposition outloud... to himself. And 2) the art makes the Iron Man suit seem possible to wear. One is thanks to John Byrne, and one is thanks to John Romita, Jr.

Well, shortly after Iron Man gets on the scene, dispensing a couple of wisecracks to himself, the entire building is deliberately sabotaged to fall on him. He makes his way atop the rubble, despite crowd insistance that he won't (I think nowadays someone in the crowd should just turn around and throw a weird glance at the others asking them, "Are you fucking kidding me?") Anyway, as shell head is trying to sort through the rubble, he again does the exposition to himself, a police man asks if there is anything that can be done to help. To which Iron Man stops talking to himself, and asks to get people out of there. Some how Iron Man finds a passage that leads to some sort of reactors about to go off... he stops two, but that leaves a third... and the villian has collapsed the hallway that leads to the third reactor. Iron Man is decidely a bit more aware of collapsing debris tricks, and so gets a bit of jump on things. But the reactor has gone off seeping a horrible gas everywhere. This is when the bad guy makes his reveal, chatting like a villian might. Left to babble on and on about his triumph, wondering if his old enemy Iron Man saw his demise coming? Then the great last page reveal... or it would have been great if I knew who it was. I have not read a comic with so many words on every panel in a long time. It was pretty good, certainly nice to end on a comic book which didn't jump back and forth.

By my opinion this last one was the best of the loser bunch so far. I suppose if there are any DC fans reading this, you can take to heart that judging by my other books, DCs current stuff must be selling pretty well, as there was nothing remotely new from that company in the bundles. Look for, probably, a final post soon. And keep your eye out for your own lost (purposely?) treasures.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Monday, January 30, 2006

Bloggity Blog

April Comic Picks:
First Down is Marvel

This time I decided I am not going to talk about the same things I have been getting but rather new books or starting points.

MOON KNIGHT #1 (32 PGS. ...$2.99)- This is definetly not a must have for me. Rather it is a chance to get to explore a character I have hardly seen written by novelist Charlie Huston. And drawn by the immensily talented Bryan Hitch... drooool does not even begin to describe. Then there is that discount (hate to keep being smug) that gets me this on the fence issue for 74 cents.

NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 (48 PGS. ...$3.99)- I am tingly over this issue. Not only is this the only Avengers book I have continuously read. But this is the first book to get the revamp annual treatment. And rightly so. You could do alot worse than this... if it is made like Marvel has said they intend to, then this will be both a great jumping on point, and an addition to what has already been told.

DC Offerings to note:

SEVEN SOLDIERS #1 (On sale April 5 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99)- This is going to be more than just a comic. This is a one man event, and while alot of necessary story has already been told (in at least 4 mini-series). So I am crossing my fingers that Grant Morrison at least tries to leave something for those of us with limited budgets to catch up on.

EX MACHINA SPECIAL #1 (On sale April 19 • 1 of 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99)- I am very excited about this. For those who don't know Brian K. Vaughan scripts this comic, and I have heard nothing but good things. A fresh concept... constructed with a more mature reader in mind. I am hoping this is the great way to catch up that I want it to be.

BITE CLUB: VAMPIRE CRIME UNIT #1 (On sale April 19 • 32 pages, $2.99)- Well, this is Howard Chaykin... I know that much. I really wish I had saved the solicitation blurb. Because at this point I am left to simply tell the truth... I am purchasing this 99% because of the cover. (link above)

BOOM STUDIOS gives us:

TALENT #1- Okay, let me lay some plot out here. This will be a comic about the lone survivor of a plane crash, who gains the "talents" of everyone else on the plane. Now this is one of those concepts that could be deliciously good or horribly awful. But at the very least the art will knock your socks off. From the same great talent who was the artist for Grounded. This is a guy to follow... unique and raw. And really primed to go places.


ARCHENEMIES #1 (32 pages, $2.99, in stores on April 5)- Your roommate is also your archenemy. What's a superhero to do? And it doesn't help that in your secret identities you are best friends... oh wait, no you aren't, not even close. Watch out Felix and Oscar, here comes the Good, the Bad, and the Roomies. Don't I make it sound fun? Well, it should be, anyway.

I already mentioned Family Guy, bit of a correction though. It's 48 pages instead of the solicited 64. I can't be the only one who thinks that is a big difference.


MY INNER BIMBO #1 (32 pages, BW, $2.99)- Oni Press is known for its bizarre yet pleasant stories that are more about exploration of the creator's vision then making some corporate scratch. Anyway this one looked pretty neat. And I seem to remember hearing good things about Sam Keith... I want to say he was the artist and writer for Pitt. Can't be sure though.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Family Guy Comic: Big Deal?

This completely baffles me. Not that there is a Family Guy comic, which I have known about for some time, but rather that the lid seems to be blown off. And I can't figure out why this is the case. I suppose because a date has been decided... more information given. But not so much more to warrant all this coverage.

Maybe I won't complain if the upcoming Highlander comic gets as much coverage. People think I am nuts about that. And the thing of it is, I am not in the loop, no more than anyone else who reads comics and keeps an eye on things, but this just makes the sites seem a bit behind... and really repetitive. I suppose it is more than likely that Devil's Due Publishing sent this out, and thus it was passed on as if it were out of the blue, but it is hardly the case at all.

I suppose I should do an info dump, I planned on getting this for awhile. Glad it is new material and by a writer for the show.



By Matt Fleckenstein and Benjamin Phillips.
The Family Guy steps out of the TV screen and into a new bimonthly series from Devil's Due! Each of the three volumes in this series focuses on one of the star characters, and their views on life... however skewed they may be! Want advice from Peter or Stewie? Probably not, but they're going to give it to you anyway! In between these hilarious one- on-one segments are stories rivaled only by the TV show itself. Written by Matt Fleckenstein, staff writer for the animated series!

64 pages, $6.95.

Love the irony that I am essentially doing the same thing. ;^)

Friday, January 20, 2006

What Not To Do

Okay, so you know I mentioned not to long ago that I don't like to come right out and say someone is just riding the wave of another person's idea. But this April solicit for Aspen is obviously trying to snag some of the success of Fell. Now, normally I would be all for this, I would be behind this book just as I was Fell. But read on, and I think you will figure out exactly why I am not.

From Aspen in April


Written by Michael Turner, pencils by Micah Gunnell, inks by Jason Gorder, colors by Beth Sotelo.

From the same creative mind that brought you Fathom and Soulfire , comes the next wondrous step in comic-book entertainment! For every right, there is a wrong. For every action, there is a reaction. For every up, there is a down. And for every decision Theo makes, there is someone making the decisions for himÅ .and all of us! Welcome to Perspecta, and the reason behind your wildest thoughts and darkest desires. If you thought you knew anything about our world, think again! It's about to be turned upside down, and that little voice inside your head is about to get much louder! Join artists Micah Gunnell, Jason Gorder, Beth Sotelo and creator Michael Turner as this 7-page introductory story (with added bonus sketch material and designs) opens your eyes to a whole new beginning!
16 pages, $1.99.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Comics to Come (1-11-06)

This is actually comics from last week and comics coming this week.

Shipped Last Week: January 5, 2006


HARD TIME SEASON TWO #2 $2.50- It feels like I just expressed how much I enjoy this series. And in fact I did, a couple of blogs ago. This really is quite an inventive series. It is very different from my usual superhero series. It has a nice sardonic wit, ever wild and inventive plots, and a dark twisted setting that has me intrigued from page one.


MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #11 $2.50- This, at least by appearances, will be Sean McKeever's second to last issue. Which also makes it my second to last issue. It has been a fun ride, and I hope that McKeever makes his finale issue as exciting as all his other issues. I think all together he will have had a six issue run, which is plenty for me to keep and appreciate.

MARVEL TEAM-UP #16 $2.99- This title is very much a case of having an easy sell, to having surprisingly cult, but still strong enough audience to continue. To all the Geekspeak guys recommending it. When I started talking about this title I thought it was time wasted, I mean with a first and second issue with Wolverine and Spidey on the cover I thought it would at least have fanboy buzz and beyond that all the people that buy anything Wolverine or anything Spidey would keep it going. And then it became just the book I hoped it would, a who's who of the Marvel Universe, with strong and silly and inventive stories to boot. When all is said and done I hope this title stays around for a long time.

Shipping This Week: January 11, 2006


DESOLATION JONES #5 (MR) $2.99- I have not talked about this book for awhile (mainly because of its shipping schedule) but the saying rings true, absence makes the heart grow fonder. This is the kind of series that one can forget that they like so much. It has a dirtbag likeable character surrounded by nicer looking yet equally corrupt souls. The plot is a mystery wrapped in an enigma... the only thing one can be sure of is that Jones will come out on top (it is his book after all).


CABLE DEADPOOL #24 $2.99- This book is guest-starring Spidey. Spider-Man Deadpool might have been a more fitting title. I have had a fondness for Deadpool since his appearances with Daredevil. A funny man to DD's serious persona. Well, with this newest pairing expect to be tripping over quips, and ducking the sharpness of cutting wit.

EXILES #75 $2.99- 2099. 2099! Nuff said.

SHE-HULK 2 #4 $2.99- This is going to be a doozy of an issue following the last one. Not only do Jen and the readers have to catch back up, but we will also be dealing with (at least a bit I hope) this role that Jen plays in a future war. Also who is the mystery Avenger that She-Hulk brought back from time limbo?

SON OF M #2 (OF 6) $2.99- Two David Hine books this week. After a strong first issue we get to see who else wants to find Quicksilver and give him his due. He is responsible for the reality altering House of M, of course now that his wife has found him, he might well be in the dog house.

X-MEN THE 198 #1 (OF 5) $2.99- This book follows the group of mutants sheltering themselves in Xaviers mansion, who have dubbed themsevelves The 198, which is the (estimated) number of mutants that they think is still on the planet Earth. This is also Hine's second book this week, so I have expectations of good characterisation, and a strong story.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

2005 In Review

I really hate these focuses, and I don't just mean doing them over the year, I mean when anyone does them. Because some really good things get glossed over or forgotten entirely. It takes that mind for trivia or things of that nature to remember just exactly what happened two or three months ago, much less an entire year. So, I am not going to do that, mainly because I am too tired. And also even when feeling my best it would be a lousy attempt.

One trend I have enjoyed for 2005 was the stand-alone crossovers. While this is probably the world's biggest oxymoron. I think it has been successful, and should continue. I think the comics community has seen it could be done with Identity Crisis and gone on from there. Mini-series that are the event... you don't need anything else. Keep it up, and keep letting me know that I can go it solo. Test the waters as it were.

Bringing back the fun. I am sure this is on some people's lists as a horrible thing. But I cannot remember the last time I have had so much fun reading comics. 2005 was a good year. And I have to admit I am reading books I never thought I would read. Books like (to pimp out once again) She-Hulk, New Warriors, Ultimates, Runaways, Young Avengers, New Avengers, Daredevil (just kidding), GLA, Gravity, Mary Jane... the list could go on... and on.

Fell. This one got its own paragraph, by far one of the best series to come out 2005. And yet again added another writer to my radar who I probably would have always stayed away from, and now I have to fight off not buying, Warren Ellis is a prolific writer. If you are not buying this... there is just nothing else I can say. If you read one comic... let it be Fell. It's $1.99 and it is full of goodness. The most dense read of my month, and it also has the least pages... beautifully set-up. It is a bargain. I know it is recent... but I am hoping it starts a trend in 2006.

Creator over character. This is a trend I should have been following along time ago. Why it did not occur to me that if you like Mark Millar, or Dan Slott, Sean McKeever... buy their books (oops... Robert Kirkman too *wink*). You might get one or two series that you are not thrilled with. But it is alot better than my trend of: buy Daredevil... and suffer, until something better comes along.

Looking Forward. I don't think I said in 1995, that 1996 was going to be a great year. And it was, Kesel and Nord on DD *drool*. I don't think I said in 1998, that 1999 was going to be a great year. And it was, Kevin Smith on DD. But 2006, I can't wait! I am getting tired of events, but damn... when you got Mark Millar taking the helm... you can at least have the safe bet it will knock your socks off. Who's side are you on? 1985. If you don't know what I am talking about, keep your eyes on this blog... you will! And DC even got me, after much staring at my wallet, and looking at the amount of comics DC wanted you to get to "jump in" to Infinite Crisis! At least 200 and some dollars for the pre-show folks.

After all that, I am so freakin' psyched for 52! A comic put out every week for a year. The fabulous covers of J. H. Williams III, three very accomplished writers taking the helm, and one series for a (real time) year's worth of DC in one book. This is a very risky idea. But this is like the fanboy dream of "jumping on" title. Never read a DC book? This one book, a whole universe, an expertly plotted year. It's insane! I love it. This is one book that people can finally say, and with a great deal of credibility, "In 2006, 52 was pretty damn cool."

I might get to those further reviews (mentioned in the previous entry) but being this tired makes me a bitter reader, and taints my perception. Couldn't tell by this post though, eh?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2 Weeks in Review

This is Panel to Panel reviews in the order my comics were read. And actually right after reading. Let me warn you... this is a long one. So get ready hold on to your, well... whatever you have to grab. Oh and if you haven't read these, then you might want to, "Move along... this is not the blog entry your looking for."

First off, Daredevil #81- Wow! I mean that is all I can think to say. The suspense... the tension it was all magnified to the billionth degree. There was only one character in control, only one man knew the outcome. And he is a fat, smug and manipulative bastard, who I hope no one affectionately calls the Kingpin. Who would have thought what could happen to one man could turn so many peoples' world upside down. A fate worse than death. Okay, I got a lot of friends, so hopefully that one was nice and cryptic. I also, and damn me for saying this, but I think this is a great jumping on point for new readers... read the first page and just fly by the seat of your pants from there on out, that is what I did.

Amazing Spider-Man #527- Part 9 of 12 of the Other. I have to say, I am a little pissed. Not in the "oh the Goblin screwed Gwen Stacy pissed", but in the "oh sweet lord not again" pissed. For those of you unfamiliar with when J. Michael Strazynski first came on to Spider-Man. He had a pretty wild start. Basically taking Spidey's origin and turning it on its head. And all with one simple question... did the spider get blasted by radiation and that gave Peter Parker his powers, or did the spider already have powers and instinctively want to pass them on before death. Well, more recently, Peter has been forced to embrace the spider part of his powers... more importantly the effects he was unknowingly hiding. Since he got his powers as a teen it was explained that he got all the cool powers: Speed, Strength, Agility... Wall Climbing, and just... stopped there. For fear of what else might come along that would not be so cool. Well now, he has to face this part of him he has let lay dormant... and it may be that the spider has taken over entirely. So the question now becomes, "Is he a man embracing the Spider, or the spider embracing the Man." Basically. is even Peter Parker anymore? I know. it makes my head hurt too, and damn JMS... you had to drag this out from the beginning of your run, you better damn well answer this time.

Young Avengers Special #1- Well one thing I will say, way to start it off Marvel. First page... Boom... Gaydos art. I think Marvel knows they have talent with that guy, and I could not agree more. This book is another one that would make a fine jumping on point for the curious reader, and at this point, I don't think I will ever leave this book. It embraces the Marvel Universe, creating connections and bonds to the past with a passion that is always contagious. If you want to feel Marvel history in your finger tips. Pick this up, and enjoy. A fine cast of characters, of all kinds.

(Sorry this next one is so long but each story deserved a bit of a spotlight)
Lucky Bamboo Presents #0- This was quite a surprise, I have been waiting on this book for a long long time. And let me tell you, it is a nice package, just feeling the cover... made my hands shiver a bit. I don't think it is cardstock, it is the type of cover that when you run your fingers across it is soft, not slick like most of the expensive covers today. It just feels worthy of one's time even before it is opened. It was good to start with Hellfire as it seems to be the most pleasing on the eyes, I think it grabs attention quite nicely. And from a sense of story, it is the one that I think would most leave a new reader wanting more. A nice modern take on a very unique female character as well, and if there is one statement that can define all of these characters, it is unique.

The next story "The Way of the Sword" tells a nicely executed origin story, it combines quite a few fears... fear of being alone, feeling helpless... the sheer uncaring method of tragedy. And the triumph of fighting to make it out alive. If there is one thing that displeased me about this story, it was where the second part of it ended up. Already immersed in her adult life, and not knowing where she was, and only part of how and why... it left me wanting more, in that case mission accomplished.

The third story I knew months ago was going to be my favorite. It was about a private detective Sam Falcon, detective to mystical lands. The one factor that I was judging closely was the dialogue... as cliche and over-used as it may be, I love the narration of Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade. And Fiona Avery captures that with an amusing and yet again, more modern skill. I could not get into the art at first. Something about it just took me out of the story. I got used to it, but all the same something about it just did not sit well with me. I think I have been spoiled by that fantastic Amanda Conner image on the cover, and who wouldn't be? I am still a bit upset that Sam Falcon will be the last of these series published, but at least I know the others will also be good while I wait.
(Thus ends this review)

Hard Time: Season Two #1- This was a wonderfully written first issue choosing to launch the reader straight into a gruesome example of prison life. And telling the reader right off if they are ready to take the ride into something dark and brutal. Then things get decidely more relateable. as Ethan Harrow (our main character) is asked to tell a pair of workers for the Prisoners' Rights Foundation just exactly how, at sixteen, he found himself in prison. This was both a recap and an expansion of what has been told before. So even the faithful reader of the previous series gets enjoyment. And anyone can find a way to relate to Ethan's dismal high school experiences. It's not often I can decide to keep a series based on the premiere issue alone, but this one allowed me to do that easily.

Grounded #1 (second printing)- Now comes the part of the blog where I cry. (I know, again) But I am so mad I missed out on this. This has to be my favorite comic, ever. It just fits me so well, it is like the writer picked me out of a crowd, and wrote a comic for me (changing all the names, places, and events to protect the innocent). All the same though, this was so cool. I wish I would have seen it five or ten years ago. Hell, I wish I would have been able to get it months and months ago when it came out. I am not going to say anything else... seek ... find... if anything find more for me.

Runaways #11- Okay this would be alot easier if I just professed my love to all my comics. This is another great issue, but for those of you who regularly read this blog, then you know Runaways has always been a great read, and talk about cliffhangers... I can't think of a book that does them better. I am not going to say it needs your support, I suppose it might, but man this book kicks butt. One word... Wolverine... last page... trouble. Okay that is like four words... and Wolverine is everywhere anyway, but this is still worth checking out. Definetly.

Exiles #74- Do you see that... you see my font dancing? Ooooh Exiles is so good. And this month Nightmask (from New Universe) took the spotlight, and it was a thing of beauty. Sometimes the person with a seemingly less effective power can be the one to turn the tide. I hope that when Warren Ellis does his New Universal series that Nightmask remains. Oh and next... *drool* the honest to goodness original 2099! Good glory. I love me some Exiles!

Fallen Angel #1- What a strange and breath taking journey this book is. I am not sure if it is approachable as one review has said, but it does make one stop and take notice. Peter David tells his narrative through one of my favorite characters from Bete Noir. Only because he reminds me of the slimy character from Casablanca, the one who has Rick hide the tickets and then is murdered. Anyway, if you know who I am talking about picture his voice as you read the narrative. It was always one of my favorite things to do. I think I enjoy this book, it really should not even be questioned... I love to read Peter David, so I am really hoping Fallen Angel rises to the ocassion. Give it a try, let me know what you think.

More coming soon ... lots more.