Sunday, December 27, 2009

This Week's Comic Stack

A Huge week thanks to Diamond not working to ship books next Wednesday. [Plus I'm late in finishing this]

The Good:

  • Zorro #18

  • Green Lantern #49-

  • Incredible Hercules #139-

  • Guardians Of The Galaxy #21-

  • Detective Comics #860-

  • The Stand: Soul Survivors #3-

  • Avengers: The Initiative #31-

The Alright:

  • Captain America: Who Will Wield The Shield?-

  • Amazing Spider-Man #616-

  • New Mutants #8-

  • Uncanny X-Men #519-

  • Blackest Night: JSA #1- So far the least necessary of the BLackest Night tie-in minis. This really didn't add to the overall BN experience like the other series have.

  • Superman #695- Mon-El fights Bizarro, is welcomed back by the SP and discovers that Jimmy is in hiding. Natasha visits her uncle, who wakes up from his coma. Not much here besides groundwork for future issues.

Trade: Irredeemable Vol.2 TPB collecting issues #7-

Monday, December 21, 2009

Comic Book Lexicon

I've been playing around with coming up with a collection of comic book terms and phrases. Here are the first to occur to me. Starting with some basic definitions and ending with some concepts that I have named myself (they may have other labels). Please feel free to comment and leave suggestions for additions.

Title- The official name of the comic used to identify it by retailers.

Issue- A specific comic of a title with a date and number.

One-shot- A single issue title. Often a unique story or beginning or end of a storyline.

Mini- Short for Mini-series A title that lasts for a finite number of issues. Generally 2-7

Maxi- Short for Maxi-series. A title with a finite number of issues that is of a significantly more issues than a Mini. Generally 8-12

Ongoing- A title that is scheduled to have an issue published each month.

Run- A block of issues on an ongoing that a specific writer or artist has worked on.

Trade- (short for Trade Paperback) The name for a collection of several issues of comics into a single volume bound in a soft cover.

Hardcover - A collection or Graphic Novel bound in a hardcover binding.

Graphic Novel- An original story in hardcover or paperback that has not been printed previously as separate issues.

Golden Age- The period of time of 1934-1954. Marked by the first comic book printed and the appearance of the Silver Age Flash.

Silver Age- The period of time 0f 1954-1970/73. Marked by the first appearance of the Silver Age Flash and either the Adams/O'Neil run on Green Lantern or the death of Gwen Stacy.

Bronze Age- The period of time from 1973-1986. Marked by the death of Gwen Stacy and the printing of Crisis Of Infinite Earths, Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns and Secret Wars.

Modern Age- The period of time from 1986-present date. Alternatively split into two periods. the "early"or Dark Age (1986-1992) and the "late" (1992-present day)

Marvel Age- The period of time from Fantastic Four #1 1961 to 1991 when Marvel way of writing, producing and marketing comics became the industry leader. It ended with the formation of Image Comics. (Although, Marvel says it's still going on)

Retcon- (from retroactive continuity)A piece of a character's history which was previously unknown, or has been altered by a writer; also an explanation of uncharacteristic behavior or powers previously established. The act of changing, adding to or explaining established events.

Jumping on point- An accessible issue to new readers, generally a start of new storyline or series.

Crossover- A storyline that continues through two or more titles.

Event- A storyline that is a major part of a company's line of comics. It generally includes a main title Mini , several ancillary minis, one-shots and crossover issues of regular ongoing series.

Event Fatigue- The feeling of a reader that an event has been overplayed, over marketed and drawn out in Minis, One-shots and crossover issues.

Store Stealing- The act of reading a whole issue in the store with the intent of not purchasing it.

RetCharactering-When a writer brings in characters from previous series he/she has written and makes them part of the new series. Ex= Chris Claremont and the Otherworld characters being in his FF run.

(Kyle) Raynering-When previous versions of a character are de-powered, beaten or sidelined for the sake of raising up the "hip" new version.

What do you think?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

This Week's Comic Stack

So, for the week before Christmas and of my birthday...

In Trade: Deadpool Vol. 2: Dark Reign TPB- Reprints #6-7, 10-12. Deals with the fallout from Secret Invasion and the start of Dark Reign. The absent issues are collected in another trade with Thunderbolt issues as it is a crossover arc. A funny book in the truest sense of the word. The best part of the trade is the Bullseye vs. Deadpool story in the latter half.

And Now-
The Good:

The Mighty Avengers #32- Slott has found the "voices" of the characters which has freed him to focus on the story. In what is a Siege prelude of sorts, Osborn is tired of Pym's team upstaging his "Avengers" and calls together his Cabal. Only Loki responds, playing a deeper game. He has aided the Absorbing Man in escaping his cell at Project Pegasus and alerts both Pym and Osborn to that, setting up a conflict between the two teams. Before they can get into it, the Absorbing Man emerges with the powers of a Cosmic Cube (a piece having been stored at Pegasus). Pham does well with art, but the writing is better with some great one-liners and a Hercules that seems as if he's being written by Greg Pak/Fred Van Lente.

Green Lantern Corps #43- As Soranik Natu tries to revive Kyle, Guy tries to prevent his ring from leaving him. Guy's rage attracts a red ring and he becomes a Red Lantern (although he creates constructs like Hal did) and destroys a bunch of BLs. Kryb makes the mistake of attcking Guy and is dispatched quite quickly and brutally. A Star Sapphire shows up and does some trilck tying Soranik and Kyle's hearts together to revive Kyle. Mogo shows up at the end to the surprise of everyone. It has great art showing full rage and savagery of Guy as a RL.

Amazing Spider-Man #615- The Gauntlet continues with the Sandman. Murders involving a missing child lead Spidey (and the reader)to suspect the Sandman has kidnapped the child and murdered to cover it up. He tries to take him down quick, but learns that he has a new trick. A much better story, with funnier dialogue than the last arc. (Waid must have been rushed). Art by Javier Pulido is also a better fit evoking Ditko and Sale.

The Alright:

X-Factor #200- This title returns to my stack for the first time since Messiah Complex and to the original numbering. Peter David is a great writer, but I think the title got away from him and hopefully, this will bring it back. As Madrox investigates the disappearance of the Invisible Woman for her kids, M gets some disturbing news. The mystery leads back to the loss of Layla. In a second story, Siryn tries to get over the loss of her "son" when she runs into one of Madrox's dupes. Also included are OHotMU entries for the principal cast and the first issue of Madrox the mini series that revived the title. A nice jumping on point, but will new readers really spend the money. At $4.99, it's an expensive book. And fans will most likely know all about the characters and have already read the Madrox series. So I ask "why the extra stuff?"

Captain America: Reborn #5- This is similar to Flash: Rebirth in that they are both series with great writers and artists with what should be important stories and events. However, they have been undercut by shipping late and having other series (that maintained their schedule) spoil their outcome. Therefore, reading the story has no suspense or tension. So, in the issue the Skull and BuckyCap fight while Cap battles for possession of his body. The outcome (no real surprise) has already been revealed by no less than three other titles now.

Realm Of Kings: Inhumans #2- The Mighty Avengers step on the royal family's toes a bit. There is some good dialogue among Ronan, Quicksilver and Crystal and their interesting dynamic. Medusa and Pym share a moment as they reflect upon their recent losses. These bits plus a developing Kree revolt plot and the results of a probe of the Fault (leave that thing alone) revealing energy signatures matching Black Bolt keep my interest in this title going.

Supergirl #48- The revelation that Lana has a mysterious terminal disease leads into the main story about how the detective friend of Kara has become wrapped up in the curse of the Silver Banshee and her revenge. Nothing outstanding, nothing awful, just good solid work.

The Tally:
Good:3 (1-DC; 2-Mv), Alright:3 (1-DC; 2-Mv)
{Note: Justice League Of America was shorted, on reorder}

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This Week's Comic Stack

Again a late or lazy week means no cover pics, sorry. I'm gonna go into more detail about each issue though.

Let's get started.

The Good:
  • Invincible Iron Man #21- Spoiler Alert-----------Steve Rogers is Cap. Things pretty much fall into place as you would expect if you have been reading this series. It's a kick to see Cap and Thor together to save Iron Man. Basically they are going to "reboot" Tony's brain (he made a backup pre-Extremis). The creepy Ghost looms as the threat to the whole "reboot" plan.
  • R.E.B.E.L.S. #11- Tony Bedard does a wonderful job of capitalizing on a crossover with Blackest Night. The last two issues have made me sorry I passed on this series when it started. This is the equivalent to Guardians Of The Galaxy at Marvel. Great space adventure with an interesting mix of characters, only this time led by someone who can be as much a bastard as he can a hero.
  • Adventure Comics #5- The fight between the BLs and SB-Prime is taken to the DC offices. Many staffers and creators get cameos. But the interesting part is when SB-Prime puts on a black ring. He goes through all the emotions (except one, plot point sense...tingling) of the spectrum. What he fears, covets, hates, loves and drives him. There is a nice Twilight Zone ending too. A backup story just serves to tease the Lex Luthor/Superboy meeting, though there is some nice boy and his dog stuff in the beginning.
  • Secret Six #16- Writer favorite Black Alice witnesses the Six at work and decides she wants in. They spend the rest of the issue trying to get rid of her without pissing her off. Simone is great at writing these morally ambiguous characters, particularly Bane. He has supplanted Catman as the moral (such as it is) center of the team. He's also replaced Catman as my favorite, and I haven't liked Bane since Knightfall.

The Alright:

  • Realm Of Kings: Imperial Guard #2- The Starjammers (do two make a team?) go off on a mission with some of their mortal enemies, the Guard. It's mostly about C'Hodd (the big green reptile-y guy) trying to be the leader. He butts heads with Brainia...Mentor. The others Guardsmen have no respect for him. And Raza seems preoccupied with the symbiont that infected him during War of Kings. To make a Star Trek This is very reminiscent of both Star Trek:Voyager and Farscape. A mix of aliens/crew that hate/oppose each other must work together because of their distance from home/society. However, it's not quite *there*, yet.
  • Action Comics #884- While Flamebird makes a deal with Jax-Ur to save Nightwing, Lois is interrogated and threatened by her own father?! Suitably pissed off Perry tells her that if the Planet runs the truth about Mon-El's "death" and the framing of Nightwing and Flamebird, the government will ruin it. So she quits. (Hello, Lois the Blogger I guess) The Lois stuff is the best of this issue. The backup Captain Atom feature has Mon-El bringing him before the (All-New) Justice League. Not much but recap there.
  • Booster Gold #27- This issue suffers from a little from the crossover. Not so much as what to do, as much as "we gotta wrap this up". Booster has to stop the Ted Kord BL. Coming from another creator this could have dropped into the Bad category. The tease for the next arc is cool though.

The Bad:

  • Batgirl #5- This issue totally exhausts the momentum of the previous issues. Batgirl gets in the way of Batman and Robin with a mistake (not trained together). Batman/Dick Grayson tells her and Oracle off for it (yeah, like you should cast stones there Dick). From there the issue became the most pissy comic I've read in a while. Dick gets pissy and tells Babs and Steph to stop and keep out of the Bat Cave. Babs gets pissy at Dick and takes it out on some guy that her Dad is trying to set her up with (weird). Of course, Damian is always pissy so just his presence adds to the general pissiness of the issue. Oh, and at the end Steph gets's just a graze though I'm sure we'll see more pissiness as Dick screams "I told you so!" at Babs next issue.

The Tally: Good- 4(DC-2,Mv-2); Alright- 3(DC-2,Mv-1); Bad-1(DC)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekly Comics Stack

I'm late again.

The Good:

  • Blackest Night: Flash #1
  • Nova #32
  • Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1
  • The Marvels Project #4

The Alright:

  • Strange #2
  • Superman: World Of New Krypton #10
  • The Torch #4
  • Uncanny X-Men #518

The Tally- Split evenly between Good and Alright, no Bad. More Marvel books than DC this week