Monday, November 29, 2010

Random Thoughts 22

So this Thanksgiving brought some great food and some good toons. That's right, cartoons. Now, most people would be excited about the football games. Not me.

It was sneak peek week for the newest versions of both G.I. Joe and Transformers. They debuted on the joint venture cable channel between Hasbro and Discovery Networks called The Hub. Both were supposed to have been ready for the channel's relaunch (it was previously Discovery Kids) back in October, but were pushed back to Thanksgiving weekend.

As a fan of both properties you would think that I would be excited about this. I am, to some extent. I am very wary of getting too involved in these series though. More on that later, first let's take a brief look at each with minor spoilers.

First let's look at G. I. Joe: Renegades:

The title gives some clue as to the storyline right off the bat. Well, we join red-headed Army Intelligence officer Lt. O'Hara as she gathers various members of the military to escort her during an inspection of a Cobra Industries plant outside of Springfield. It turns out that she is not there to inspect with any authority at all and with only gut instinct telling her Cobra is up to no good [OK they are] means to infiltrate the plant and obtain proof of the evil nasty things Cobra is doing there. So these poor guys are dragged unwillingly into her promotion seeking move to impress her boss General Abernathy. Of course, things go badly when Cobra's personal security force try to stop them and open fire. In no short order, news of their "assault" is passed on to the military and the Joes are labeled as terrorists. It doesn't help that in the effort to get evidence to exonerate them they not only destroy the Cobra plant, but unleash a deadly Bio-weapon. Surprisingly one of the characters dies in the explosion that lays waste to the plant [something I wished would have happened to this character in the movie]. It was a bit surprising even if done off-screen. Needless to say, the Joes return to destroy the bio-weapon monster and sacrifice the chance to clear themselves by doing so. They vow to do whatever it takes to take down Cobra, thus setting up the very "A-Team" like premise for the show.

I liked the way the writer's came up with a new explanation for the Joes' code names, now they are just nicknames they call each other. A logical and realistic explanation. Aside from Scarlet, Duke, Roadblock, Tunnel Rat, Ripcord and Snake Eyes, Flint and Lady Jaye show up. Flint is now the "Col. Dekker" to the Renegades "A-Team". Showing up on the other side is the Baroness and Dr. Mindbender with mention of Destro and Cobra Commander shows up at the end. The animation was very much that "realistic" anime inspired and not bad. Snake Eyes kicks ass, of course.

I'm not too confident in Hasbro's commitment to the show. With Pursuit of Cobra figures still doing well and there's no news of a toy line supporting the show or an IDW comic even. Still the show doesn't officially begin until next year so there might be new developments by the New York Toy Fair in February.

Also on the Hub was Transformers: Prime. A CGI series:

Again focusing on a small group of heroes, this time the Autobots and their defense of Earth against the Decepticons. Drawing from Animated, the live action movies and the War For Cybertron video game for inspiration. The two episodes shown introduced the last Autobots (Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ratchet, Bulkhead, Arcee and Cliffjumper) hiding their existance from the world as they remain on Earth to link up with any refugee Autobots and defend it against Starscream who rules the Decepticons since Megatron left three years earlier. After Cliffjumper is killed [again with a character's early death?] Arcee is spotted by several human teens who become wrapped up in the robots' war. Megatron has returned to harness the power of the Blood of Unicron or Dark Energon. Showing off it's power he resurrects Cliff as a feral berserker only to kill him a second time [C'mon kids are watching!]

Again, Hasbro's backing of this series is dubious. With the Generations/Universe/Reveal the Shield line and another Transformers live action movie coming this summer are they going to be able to do anything with this version toy wise? Again, I have to say Toy Fair holds the answer. It will be very interesting year there.

And over on Cartoon Network was Young Justice:

A great revamp of the Teen Titans concept. We get introduced to Robin, Speedy, Aqualad, and Kid Flash as they finally get a tour of the Justice League's HQ. Speedy walks off because the JL won't let them in. The others stick around as the JL gets word of a fire at Cadmus Labs, but a volcano eruption takes precedence. Robin hacks the JL computer and finds out that the League is suspicious of Cadmus. The teens realize that they have not been barred from going to Cadmus Labs to help and to poke around. They find out Cadmus is cloning biological weapons and among them is Project Kr, Superboy. Cadmus responds to their discovery and though they escape with the clone the lab is destroyed. The League is not happy, but impressed with their resolve. So they convert their old HQ (Happy Harbor) to serve as a base for the young heroes training overseen by Black Canary and Red Tornado. They will run missions that the League cannot take because of political or other complications.

I already like the animation and the tone of this series. It seems that they will, like JL/JLU, go into DC Universe lore. I mean, to see Guardian and Doublex as part of Cadmus in the first episode was cool. It also seems that they will forge their own way too as the "Big Bad" is the mysterious group known only as "the Light". The series starts in earnest this January.

So, that was a quite a lot of toons to watch this weekend. If you want to see them they will be re-aired in January. All except the Transformers series, which airs the first five part mini-series this week. The Hub will be running a new episode each night (along with all the previous ones right before it).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Enjoy Turkey Day Everyone!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 10/20/10 plus 10/27/10

Combing last week's and this week's Stacks:

Last week

The Good:

  • Chaos War #2- Pak and Van Lente continue their great work with Herc and Co.

  • Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #4- An okay ending that obviously sets up a story in Brubaker's Secret Avengers book.

  • Brightest Day #11- This issue focuses on Martian Manhunter and Fire(Death)storm. This is sooo much better when one or two of the arcs receives the majority of pages.

  • DC Universe: Legacies #6- This issue deals with the fallout from the Crisis and is drawn by Jerry Ordway and inked by Perez. A great stroll through DC history. The backup is a riff on the Legion(s) Of Super-Heroes coming back in time to get Superboy that frankly falls flat. However, that does not ruin the main story.

  • Green Lantern Corps #53- A new arc involving Qward and the Weaponer (now able to affect power constructs due to his studying the White Lantern construct left by Deadman) after revenge on Sinestro.

  • Legion Of Super-Heroes #6- The Earth-Man character solidifies his place on the team this issue and a new vote for Legion leader is called for. In a nod to the Waid series the fourth wall is broken as the writers/editors appeal to the readers to vote for the new leader online.

The Alright:

  • New Mutants #18- This arc about the Inferno babies grown up, while a cool starting point, is meandering and I'm losing interest in it.

  • The Stand: Hardcases #4- Maybe it is the gap between last issue, but for some reason it just isn't as good as previous issues.

  • Batman Beyond #5- Well, there is a bit of a fake-out with Dick there...[whew] Even with my fears alleviated this issue isn't as good as the last. I hope that #6 will pull it together some more and I still look forward to January's ongoing series.

  • Justice League Of America #50- The great art and always cool Crime Syndicate story should make this a hit. Though, it just falls short.

The Bad:

  • Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne #5- The great art by Ryan Sook (and Pere Perez) can't save this clunker. The time period is what confuses me. Drawn like it takes place in the thirties or forties(cars and the style of clothes worn) but mentioning the death of Thomas Wayne, it is set just after the murders of his parents. This is a key piece to the whole epic story that Morrison has been telling since he got involved with the Bat books. It ties in the Black Glove to the framing of Thomas Wayne and the Wayne family for several things throughout history along with Carter Nicols and his time machine. Having not read most of that though, I was lost until I researched it later. To be honest, I thought that Bruce was going to go back to the Golden Age Earth-2 time period or something similar and was disappointed to find out that wasn't the case.

This Week

The Good:

  • Justice League: Generation Lost #12- Everything we know (about Ice)is WRONG! In a huge change for the character, Judd Winick gives her an all new origin and backstory. Supposedly repressed memories awaken when she went into a fugue state last issue. Is this real, or is it Max messing with her? Either way it's pretty interesting stuff for the character.

  • Teen Titans #88- J.T. Krul reunites the Geoff Johns Teen Titans. At least that what the promos seemed to promise me. The team had gotten so far from what attracted me to the title in the first place. Now that the gang (for the most part, no Tim as Robin, Cyborg or Starfire) is back I wanted to check it out. Krul is not one of my go-to guys, but has done a few things that look favorable for the title and the characters. Unfortunately, he's also done some not so good thing with characters of late. So while this issue gives me hope for the future of the title, I'm not confident in it yet. Luckily they've paired him with a great artist in Nicola Scott so it will look good (although Gar's one snaggletooth annoyed me). The story is mostly the team dealing with the gang being back together and the teaser of Damian Robin [urrgh...] joining.

  • Zatanna #6- After being stood up by his cuz Zatanna not coming to his show, Zach investigates her disappearance. He saves Zee from a fate worse than death... marriage [ba-dump-bum] and an eternity in hell. A nice end to this little arc. Zach comes off better than he ever has before because until this series he's kinda been an @$$hole, even to his friends.

  • Captain America #611- Things look bad as Cap turns himself over because he's been outed as the Winter Soldier assassin. Meanwhile, there's endless meetings about this fact. The Avengers meet, Obama meets with advisers, Steve meets with Obama, Cap meets with some Nazis (to kick their asses) and finally Steve and Cap meet. Boy, all this meeting and talking you'd think Bendis wrote this issue. That said, I think that the way it's done adds tension to the story and pressure (even though he's unaware of most of these people discussing him) upon Cap. Oh, and Black Widow guests in the poor Nomad back-up.

  • Captain America: Patriot #3- I am really loving this book. Karl Kesel starts with the existing continuity and adds a new depth to it while telling an original story. This is my favorite thing he's written. This issue fleshes out why Cap traded Bucky for Sun Girl as partners in the fifties. The art is simply wonderful.

The Alright:

  • Justice Society Of America #44- Another new creative team, new direction for a title (see Teen Titans) this week as Marc Guggenheim and Scott Kolins take control of the JSA. Already in their first issue I don't think I'll be liking this much better than Willingham's run. The team has their asses handed to them by a new baddie (not even a classic JSA foe) and get all remorseful over the destruction of a chunk of a city. (ummm....Bludhaven is a radioactive crater...and god knows how many times the entire world has suffered damage from invasions, apocalypses and such in the DCU) This just seems to be done for dramatic purposes to amp up the guilt for JSA as a politician goes after them for the damage. [cleaning up and rebuilding after a big fight is half the fun in the DCU] Also one of the big three of JSA (Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, Ted Grant) gets injured. Green Lantern Alan Scott is now "permanently paralyzed" because of injuries sustained by fighting the big bad. Nice,...take out the best part of JSA and after what he just went through with the Starheart, jeez take it easy on the poor guy. Wait, that's not all...Jay wants to retire and Mister Teriffic is losing his smarts. I have a bad feeling about this. The Scott Kolins art is uninked which sometimes works for me, other times doesn't but is still very good.

  • Time Masters: Vanishing Point #4- This title has increasingly less to do with finding Batman in time and more to do with Rip Hunter and Booster Gold. Most of the issue the motley crew of heroes are trapped in an illusion. Booster is trapped with Hal Jordan and has some great banter playing with the world's perception of him and Hal's being so judgemental of him. Jurgens may not be in top writing form this issue, but the art is great.

  • Amazing Spider-Man #646- The Origin Of the Species storyline concludes with a happy ending. [not that kind..] Spidey saves the day and finds out the real father of the Goblin baby is...Harry, and he doesn't have any Goblin/Menace powers. This seemed a fairly abrupt conclusion, but still worked. It must be nice for Spidey to have the Avengers to tie things up that would have taken issues to resolve a while ago. Like those pesky kidnapping charges and all those lose villains running around. Oh, well! Next issue starts Dan Slott's run on Amazing...something I've wanted to see since he did that Spider-Man/Human Torch mini years ago.

  • Uncanny X-Men #529- Half of the issue is set up for the Generation Hope mini, the other half is the White Queen being mysterious and manipulative with what to do with Sebastian Shaw and neither really interests me. For some reason the Portacio art seemed a bit rushed this issue too.

From a few weeks ago...

  • Untold Tales Of Blackest Night #1- I missed this one when it came out. An anthology one-shot that has "deleted" scenes from Blackest Night. A framing sequence featuring the Sinestro Corps archivist, Lyssa Drak, trapped in the Black Lantern Book of Black bookends. Featured in the scenes are: Animal Man, Donna Troy, Scarecrow and Sinestro Corps member Karu-Sil. In a scene sure to be quite important later on, Lyssa is rescued by a mysterious figure she recognizes (the readers don't see him/her/it) who wants her to be a bookkeeper. None of the stories are incredible or horrible and the art is all very good.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Random Thoughts 21?

Just when I was getting a rhythm down to posting things, my computer decides to not boot up any more. A visit to the Geek Squad and three weeks later, baby's back and so am I!

I'm realizing just how long three weeks is in Internet terms. What with the 10-12 YouTube videos a day, the 6 weekly podcasts I listen to and the hundreds of comic book and toy news items posted on various sites it adds up to a lot of lost time. And it's not as if the sources stop and wait for you to catch up. No, they just keep churning out new stuff.

With three weeks worth of news to catch up on and comics to review on This Week's Comic Stack, I would never catch up. So, I'm just gonna start with the comics I bought this week and go from there. That should be up Sunday night or Monday morning.

So, till next week...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Random Thoughts 20

-I was in the grocery store and noticed that Hostess and DC have a deal. Batman and Superman appear on the boxes of Cupcakes and Twinkies. Green Lantern (Hal) turns Sno-Balls into green colored Glo-Balls and Flash gets his very own Flash Cakes (red icing on regular Cupcakes)

-Some interesting DC solicits for Dec:

Green Lantern/Plastic Man one-shot by Marv Wolfman should be worth a look.

Larfleeze Christmas Special that was teased by Geoff Johns for a while before being announced at SDCC

The Legion Of Super-Heroes Annual #1 reunites Levitz & Giffen who had quite a run on the Legion in the 80's.

The all pencil Batman: Hush Deluxe Hardcover seems cool to look at, but I don't necessarily want to buy this story again.

-The big moves at DC: The ending of the Wildstorm imprint and DC Entertainment moving to LA. The only Wildstorm book I've read was Planetary (when it came out) so I was not floored by this announcement. It seems that the various properties will be folded into other imprints (either DC or Vertigo depending on which is more apropriate) so content wise I don't think DC loses much. Besides how many start and stops has the Wildstorm universe had since 2000? Four,...five? As for the move to California....It really doesn't affect the Comics offices and jobs aren't going to be lost if people are willing to move with the company.

-Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are trading cosmic level characters for street level ones. They will write the new ongoing Heroes For Hire comic. It will feature: The Punisher, the Falcon, Misty Knight, Paladin, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, Silver Sable, The Shroud and Avengers Moon Knight and Black Widow. I'm sad that they're leaving the Guardians Of the Galaxy and Nova, but excited to see if they can drum up the same kind of interest in this new set of characters.

-It's premire week on TV this week. So far, nothing has really captured my attention.

The Event (NBC, Mon 9PM)- seemed like it was trying too hard to "be" the new Lost. None of the characters were particularly memorable...but the sci-fi aspect of the series is interesting. In the first episode the kidnapping of a family led to an assassination attempt ala 9/11 on the President of the U.S. by an airline pilot. The reason, he was going public about a group of people being held in custody in a remote base in Alaska. However, the plane disappears in midair before crashing. The spokesperson of this mysterious group says "They saved us". So we got this mysterious group, the conspiracy who wants the President dead for going public about this group, what happened with the plane and who did it to be answered. I'm hoping that episode two will be better.

Lone Star (Fox, Mon 9PM)- This is about a con man who is leading two lives, two cons and trying to figure out if he wants to run those cons or turn legit in either life. I'm sorry, but this kind of sounds like they said let's take a Sawyer [from Lost] "type" and create a show out of it. I don't think the lead has the charisma to pull it off though.

Hawaii Five-O (CBS, Mon 10PM)- Now, I really never watched the old show even in reruns, but I do know lots of the locations and the same production crew were used on one of my favorite shows of all time, Magnum P.I. and, I expect, Lost [do I obssess much?] So, while the lead isn't that solid , there are lots of familiar faces to keep me around for a few more episodes. There's Grace Park from BSG, Masi Oka (yet to appear) from Heroes and Daniel Dae Kim from Lost [of course]

Undercovers (NBC, Wed 8PM)- Okay, this show was fun, but I had to get over that awful "sex-pionage" promo. [I sincerely hope that's not a running gag] Watching this it could well have been "Alias: The Married Years". So the leads of Sydney and Vaughan have been recast/reimagined as two spies lured out of their five year old retirement after marrying each other. A Marshall "tech/support" type guy shows up. The female lead runs a catering business with her friend [oh, wait, Francine is dead I guess I should stop with the Alias connections] The emphasis here is on action, comedy and romance more than the actual espionage plots.

Returning favorites had strong episodes...

Chuck (NBC, Mon. 8PM)- Chuck is now looking for his spy Mom (played by Linda Hamilton) and ran into tough guy baddie Dolph Lundgren this week. This show gets some cool guest stars! I did groan when they brought back my least favorite part of the show... the Buy More. Yet, they did with a bit of a it could be interesting.

Castle (ABC, Mon. 10PM)- Nathan Fillion is back for more murder mysteries and flirting.

Fringe (FOX, Thurs 9PM)- Olivia is trapped on the alternate Earth...while her double is on the Prime one. If that's not bad enough, the bad guys on Alternearth have brainwashed her (geneticly?) into thinking that she IS that universe's Olivia.

Smallville (CW, Fri. 8PM)- Clark has a near-death experience with both Jor-El and Pa Kent, while Lex Luthor's clones are discovered. Lois knows the secret of the Blur [UGH!, hate that name] and we see the Superman Returns suit [Huh? Well I guess it was cheap]. Meanwhile, Oliver is being beaten by somebody for some reason. Chloe tries on Fate's helmet and then trades herself to free Oliver. Oh and one of the Lex clones tries to kill Lois with the good old "you're not fast enough to save the woman you love and these random innocents" trick. Spoiler alert...he is fast enough. Next episode looks killer...Lois with Carter Hall/Hawkman and Shayera and Deadshot in Metropolis...Yes, Deadshot.

I've yet to watch the last new show to pique my interest...Blue Bloods the CBS drama about a multi-generational NYPD police family starring Tom Selleck [Magnum himself] as the patriarch and NYC Police Commissioner. The other Wahlberg (Donnie) plays his eldest son, dealing with PTS from Iraq. His daughter is a prosecutor. His youngest son is a Harvard grad that gave up a career in law to become a beat cop having just graduated to the force. They are all dealing with the recent death in the line of duty of another cop sibling. The youngest is approached by the FBI to go after a secret society of crooked cops and learns his brother was working for them when he was killed. If that's not enough, there is a clue that points to the oldest brother being part of that society.

So that's it for now...

See you next week.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This Weeks Comic Stack 9/22/10

From DC:

  • Flash #5- This is a manic issue. Manapul's art gets that across very well. The Rogues fight the Renegades and the Flash during which Captain Boomerang has a White Lantern induced freak out. He wildly throws his energy 'rangs. One hits the huge mirror that will bring out the Mirror Lords that spell death for Iris, according to the Renegade Top. Barry is knocked into the cracked mirror, breaking it and is bombarded by images of his mother alive and well. The rest of the Renegades take the distracted Barry prisoner for trial in the future, while the Top pays Iris Allen a visit...Great

  • Green Lantern Corps #52- This is a great conclusion to the Alpha Lantern storyline and it looks like the end of Cyborg Superman for a while. The whole issue is told through the recently freed Alpha Lantern Boodikka. I liked her observations and comments on the other lanterns as they fight to free the robotic planet of Grenda from Hank Henshaw's control. Ardian Syaf does an incredible job with the art. He has become one of my favorite "new" artists. Great

  • Justice League: Generation Lost #10- Max Lord sets Magog on Captain Atom. The "JLI" breaks into smaller teams to follow up on the Checkmate connection to Lord. Rocket Red, Fire and Ice find one of the three leads to be a robotics lab guarded by the Metal Men. While not as good as previous issues this one was still quite good. Winick is really on a streak here even without Giffen guiding him now. Good

  • Justice League Of America #49- This starts out as one of those "what does a team do after a big fight" comics. Robinson quickly shows (with guest penciler Pow Rodrix) all the team members on their downtime. Poor Donna and Jade however run into Donna's old enemy Bogeyman (I don't know if he was a real old villain from the old Teen Titans series or just made for this story) and have to fight off his psychic assault. Not too bad...the art was pretty good too. Alright

  • Legion Of Super-Heroes #5- A great issue with the Legion dealing with the Titan refugees. The xenophobic Earth-Man continues to reconsider his stance on aliens when he has to defend refugees from an anti-alien militia. It has a great "one man alone" stand followed by "a ____ member is never alone" moment. The cliffhanger page shows that Earth-Man may have had some very good reasons for rethinking his xenophobia. Great

And from Marvel:

  • Amazing Spider-Man #643 [from last week]- I still don't like the art too much, but the story is great. A nice everyone is after him chase. This is a real nice way to end the whole One More Brand New Moment In Time phase of Spidey. Good

  • Avengers Academy #4- Although McKone's art is pretty good, I just don't care enough about the kid characters to keep me reading. So I think this title might be gone from my pull list after next issue. Alright

  • Secret Avengers #5- This issue has some great guest art by David Aja and Michael Lark. It also focuses on who the "Nick Fury" is that has been leading the team opposing the SA for the past four issues. Turns out it is NOT the real Nick Fury [SURPRISE], merely a prototype LMD (Life Model Decoy) with his memories and emotions and a body more like the Vision and Human Torch than the standard robotic LMD. For some reason they can't destroy him so SHIELD locks him up. However, being "Nick Fury" he keeps busting out getting caught when he foils plots to take over the world. So he his finally liberated by the head of this secret organization...I won't say who it is, but he will be familiar to readers of Brubaker's Marvels Project. Good

  • Thor #615- Not the best first issue for Fraction. Mostly, it was conversation and premonitions about some vague threat to all of creation intercut with scenes of said threat wiping out the elves of Alfheim. One conversation is set up for a joke on the last page. A scientist is trying to explain to an unseen Asgardian his theory of why there is a threat coming. Asgard has come to Earth and wherever Asgard was, something is taking its place because nature abhors a vacuum. The mystery Asgardian is revealed on the last page but hinted at throughout the issue (pay attention to the type of analogies the scientist uses to explain his theory). Thor is really barely in the issue. The art was okay. Ferry takes getting used to for me, but he's fine after a couple of issues. Alright

  • Uncanny X-Men #528- There's a lot going on in this issue. Storm and Hope go after one of the five new mutants [#3] in Africa, there's dissension among the Atlanteans, Dazzler and Northstar enjoy some of the new hero fame that the X-Men have now, Iceman hires a PR firm [Order fans might remember this character] to capitalize on that new fame and Emma deals with some personal stuff involving Sebastian Shaw's influence on her. {WHEW} All that makes for a pretty good comic. Good

Great: 3

Good: 4

Alright: 3

Bad: 0

Some Trades:

Essential Doctor Strange Vol. 4- Roger Stern wrote most of this volume, but Chris Claremont came on for six issues and a crossover to Man-Thing (included). The highlight, for me, is when Stern returned, he was joined by Marshall Rogers (famous for his small Batman run) as penciler.

Essential Captain America Vol. 5- This volume collects the end of Frank Robbins run as penciler for the title and the return of Jack Kirby to the character. Except this time he writesas well as draws. Now, Kirby would get into some goofy stuff during his return to Cap and Marvel, but you can't just deny how well he composes a page and handles action.

The Complete Clone Saga Vol. 1- Yes, I've committed myself to reading the "awfulness" that was the Spider-Man Clone Saga. This is a very unfamiliar period of comics for me. I stopped reading right before this and came back into comics when it had ended. I guess I caught the tail end of it with the "Sign of Five"(?) story which killed off Ben Reilly. Yes, I know the gist of the story, but I want to know if it is as bad as people claim. This volume starts off pretty good with some great art by Bagley, Romita Jr. and Tom Lyle (who I remember not liking that much). It deals with the clones life before returning to NYC and his becoming the Scarlet Spider.

Monday, September 20, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 9/15/10

I know, no posts for the last few weeks.

Instead of playing catch up I'm just going to go into this week's books.

And play with my review format a little...

From DC this week:
  • Batman Beyond #4- I was afraid that Dick Grayson would be treated badly in this new "future" [these type of stories about the future never bode well for him]. Terry gets an explanation for his retirement that is a little lame. Meanwhile Bruce is going all Kingdom Come Batbot on Hush. Terry's friend Max makes an appearance, which is cool. The last page has a reveal that is a head scratcher. My first reaction was "Damn, I knew it. I knew they were gonna do that" but then I thought about the issue and art and it's quite possible that it's not who they said they were. So there is hope. I'm enjoying this even if the mixing of the animated series and the DCU is a bit uneven. -Good
  • Birds Of Prey #5- Things look bad as the BoP are split because of the fallout of Savant's attack on them. Huntress has to be talked down from killing the Penguin by Oracle. As Babs deals with Savant and Creote [by showing them the new HQ?] and alludes to a way to make them forget the location of the Batcave [paging Zatanna?], Hawk and Zinda recover in the hospital. Dinah takes White Canary back home agreeing to something that will prevent Sin [her adopted daughter] from being killed shutting out the rest of the team from her decision. So Zinda and Huntress go to Bangkok [just realized how that sounds] to find Dinah. They find her alright, but it doesn't look like she's happy to see them. -Good
  • Brightest Day #10- Now that the issues are focused on two or three plot points this is a better title. 52 was the same way. Here the focus is on what's going on with Firestorm and the intro/origin of the new Aqualad [not called that yet]. I don't care who you are, you have got to love both cliffhangers...Aquaman vs Black Manta and the return of Black Lantern Firestorm! -Great
  • DC Universe: Legacies #5- Crisis On Infinite Earths and George Perez hit this issue. Len Wein gives an everyman perspective on the Crisis. But, the late 70's and early 80's are blazed through in order to get there. I do like that Spectre page that references specific Spectre stories. Perez seems a bit shaky art wise till the story turns to the emergence of heroes in the 80's (Firestorm, New Teen Titans, Outsiders, Blue Devil, Quality characters). Once the red skies show up it's incredible. Heroes and rubble galore...his forte. The second story was an okay look at some of DC's space characters drawn by Walt Simonson. -Great
  • Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #2- Warning- scenes depicted on covers are further than they appear. In actuality, the cover gives away the cliffhanger. Some great art by Fernando Pasarin and great emotional scenes with Arisa and Kilowog working through the aftermath of their Blackest Night experiences. The "Big Bad" gets teased for a few pages then it's on to Odym to get Guy purged of the Red Lantern rage...where the cover happens. -Good
  • Justice Society Of America Special #1- I picked this up really by accident, it was in my pull list because the JSA is in there. I figured, it's Scott Kolins, how bad could it be? This was the conclusion to the Magog series, I guess. The story was just not that good, it did have some interesting aspects of the Kingdom Come future that it brought into the DCU. However, this really felt like they were clearing the slate for whatever Magog's role is that was hinted at in Brightest Day. -Bad
  • Zatanna#5- I'm kinda surprised at how much I like this series. Poor Zach...just when Zatanna and him were gonna reconnect...she gets love potion roses and an age defying casino owner who wants to marry her and give her soul to a demon as payment for his debt. Also,...he has a zombie army. -Good

From Marvel:

  • Captain America: Patriot #1- This starts a four issue mini that looks at the second replacement Captain America, Jeff Mace. This issue looks at how an encounter with Cap just before the war inspires him to become the Patriot. Stuck at home because of being 4-F, Mace throws himself into the home front war effort. He joins the Liberty Legion. The last few pages he is debriefed on the events of What If #5 and is offered to carry on as Captain America. Karl Kesel and Mitch Breitweiser did a wonderful job. -Great
  • New Mutants #17- This title is slowly losing me. Zeb Wells starts out with an awful scene between Sam and Dani that is teen drama at it's worst. These characters are supposed to be in their early to mid twenties yet since the series started they've acted more and more like teenagers. There was finally some action involving the team this issue too. The art by Leonard Kirk is good, but he needs more to do with it. I hope it's just this arc that is like this because I enjoyed the team in Second Coming. -Okay
  • Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #3- This continues to be a fun series. I liked the part where Steve, who has lost his Super Soldier TM muscles can still kick ass because he still remembers all his training. The art was good but had none of the fun panel layouts of the first two. -Good
  • Thunderbolts #148- Ugh, after the non-crossover crossover with Avengers Academy last issue, this time it's a Shadowland crossover. I guess it makes more sense as Cage is involved in that debacle. Cage sends in the T-bolts under command of Fixer and Songbird to destroy a Hand fortress and rescue a kidnapped cop. Within moments both supervising T-bolts are taken out by the Hand ninjas and once again the chains on the others are unfettered. I have liked Jeff Parker's Atlas series and I really wanted to like this one being an old T-bolts fan. This issue pulls some pretty big BS though. I'll start off saying that I am not reading the Shadowlands mini or Daredevil title now but do know the gist of it. That said WTF is a HUGE Japanese temple/fortress doing in Clint--Hell's Kitchen and how did it get there? [that's definitely a non union job] Looking at this thing on the third panel on page has got to take up several city blocks. Now I'm willing to accept that as someone else's BS that Parker has to deal with. But he wrote the so bad it's good again dialogue of Luke Cage. Saying to a ninja who tried disguising himself as Iron Fist "Ninja, please." Then he gets some info from a street musician who knows all about the Hand's evil undead army living in the sewers (called the Underhand [get it]). This was just awful. -Bad





MIA: Amazing Spider-Man #643- The great Mark Waid throws all of Spidey's villains at him at once in this arc that closes out the near weekly run of Amazing for the past two years.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Random Thoughts 19

I know it has been a while.... but I got involved in other things for the past few weeks...filming for YouTube videos, a couple of new games for my PS3...among the everyday stuff that prevents me from sitting down and writing stuff for this blog and reviewing my comics here.

I rededicate myself to getting back on a weekly schedule with both this and the reviews.

So here are a few things of interest...

-With the cancellation of Daredevil and the teasers featuring various characters as the new "Man Without Fear" Marvel revealed who will "replace" DD. It's none other than The Black Panther!....?.....

So T'Challa will get a new ongoing comic. That's cool, but given the state of the character these days it's just odd. T'Challa is no longer king of Wakanda and the chief of his tribe (currently held by his [don't get me started] sister) which prevents him from being The Black Panther as it is a TITLE. Okay, so he no longer has the resources, prestige or other trappings that he has had in the past. That makes for a cool how does he make his way in the world story.

It seems that Marvel has forgotten that it has an urban "Panther" character that would fit in better as a protector of Hell's Kitchen...I'm talking about the Kasper Cole Black Panther/White Tiger character. As part of a similar relaunch of the Panther concept a NYPD detective found pieces of the Black Panther costume and masqueraded as the real Panther to clear his name of corruption charges. Later, the original Panther takes him under his tutelage to replace him, but ends up reclaiming the Panther garb for himself. He gives Cole a white version of the Panther suit and names him the White Tiger. This all happened at the tail end of Priest's early 2000's run on Black Panther.

The new series will be written by novelist David Liss who I haven't really heard of (He writes historical fiction focusing on 17th and 18th Century). The art will be handled by Francesco Francovilla whose artwork I have loved on Dynamite's Zorro title. I will probably, at least initially, get this title on the strength of the art alone. My mind wonders what Priest would do with the premise. A deposed T'Challa organizing and leading Cole as White Tiger along with other heroes like Falcon, Iron Fist, Cage, and even having Dakota North and Sgt Tork playing roles in his plans....Wait, he already did that.

-A quick review of the two games that have been occupying my time....

Transformers: War For Cybertron

Basically a third person shoot'em up with the added ability to turn into your own vehicle. The graphics are nice but because of the backgrounds finding enemies can sometimes be difficult as they tend to blend in (but I guess that can be part of the challenge). Gameplay is pretty smooth although I have had a few unwanted transformations because on the PS3 you press down on the joystick to transform. The story is a sort of prequel/reimagining of the events that led the TFs to Earth that fits in with 80's G1 continuity. You get to be various familiar Decepticons and Autobots with own unique armaments and abilities. As a plus Peter Cullen the voice of Optimus in the 80's series, the live action movies and the new cartoon series is Prime here too. A very fun game for Transformer fans and occasional gamers like me. I think that more seasoned gamers might not be too impressed with the gameplay.

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

This is really a mixed bag. Not just because of the blend of what could have been four different Spider games. The premise here is that Spidey has inadvertently broken a mystical tablet that will breakdown the walls between dimensions. Madame Web contacts Spider-Men in four dimensions to recover the pieces of the tablet. The worlds involved are the "Amazing" (close to 616 MU), "Noir", 2099 and Ultimate. The voice acting is a big draw here. Not only is it narrated by Stan"The Man" Lee, but each Spidey is voiced by an actor that has previously voiced a Spidey on TV. Neil Patrick Harris (MTV series) is the "Amazing", Christopher Daniel Barnes (9o's Animated) is the "Noir", Dan Gilvezan (Amazing Friends) is 2099 and Josh Keaton (Spectacular) is Ultimate. Each Spidey has unique powers as well as shared ones [the Noir Spidey gains the most from his original comic inspiration]. Each universe has its own aesthetic as well. I really like the "comic" look of the Amazing world.

Sadly, play is where this game suffers. The last few Spidey games have had a free roaming feature that I liked, here it's just regular levels. Also the web slinging is not automatic so it takes a while to get the hang of it and can lead to some annoyance. The in level enemies are fairly easy while the bosses are incredibly hard. The levels are formulaic as well. Go through path eliminating bad guys, fight villain, continue on path and fight villain again. The Noir stealth levels and the boss fight close quarters do change it up a bit. I probably would have been wowed more if Batman: Arkham Asylum hadn't come up with some of the features that this game has. [The Spider-Sense mode is exactly like B:AA's Detective mode] Designers could do worse if they all used B:AA as a template for future super-hero games.

So while not as expansive as past Spider-Man games or as groundbreaking it is still a fun game. Most of that fun comes from the different universes' aesthetics and the voice talent. The overly difficult bosses really hurt the game for me. Only Web-Heads need pick up this game.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 8/25/10

The Good:
  • The Heroic Age: Prince Of Power #4- Satisfactorily resolved this mini and set up the Oct-Jan event Chaos War.
  • Justice League: Generation Lost #8- More action comedy as the heroes tried to escape the Checkmate facility they just broke into last issue.
  • Captain America #609- Zemo remains one step ahead of everyone with his plans for Bucky. The Falcon really stood out in this issue. There was something that confused me a bit. Steve crushed Iron-Hand Hauptmann's hand thinking it robotic, but wasn't. Wouldn't he have known having faced him before? Was that a clue? Or just a hiccup in a great story arc?
  • Superman: Secret Origin #6- Finally this series concluded... I would have been more receptive to this issue several months ago. That said, the art was great and the story retroactively set-up a lot of what's in the New Krypton saga.
  • Detective Comics #868- Dick and Jim Gordon had their hands full in this issue as a fake Joker and fake Batman [they're gonna be the same person] set Gothamites against each other as the Jokerz and Guardian Bats. I was surprised at how much I liked this. Even the insane part where Dick takes the modified Joker Venom that has been crazing people up, to learn how it feels. I could see Bruce doing that. [Although, it makes me think about what else the Bat boys have tried]
  • Legion Of Super-Heroes #4- This issue had more intrigue with Earth-Man. The focus remained on Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad and Lightning Lass rescuing Garth and Inza's kids who disappeared in the first issue. They were taken by a cult of Darkseid to be used as a sacrifice. The cultists were soon dealt with and family reunited. Sodam Yat commanded the seeker to find another worthy possessor of a Green Lantern ring on Earth, so it looks like the rebuilding of the Corps will continue to be featured.

The Alright:

  • Time Masters: Vanishing Point #2- I knew of these characters existence, but never really read them in anything until now (I missed Claw's appearance in Wonder Woman). I enjoyed the look at this corner of mostly forgotten Sword And Sorcery characters. I don't think this is going to be as important to the Return Of Bruce Wayne as I originally thought. Still, if all I get out of it is a wild trip through DCU with gorgeous art by Dan Jurgens then that's alright.
  • Justice League Of America #48- The JLA/JSA crossover ended with things being business as usual again. Batman offered Jesse Quick a spot on the JLA [Hello....what about WALLY!] and she accepted. Jade and Obsidian must never be in the same room again or Alan Scott will go all evil again [HUH?]. Jade discovered her White Lantern status, fulfilled her mission "to balance the darkness" and was fully restored to life within the story. At this point it really is Bagley's art that is the draw [no pun intended] on this title. The Cyborg/Red Tornado backup isn't worth mentioning other than acknowledging it's existence.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 8/18/10

Once again doing double duty as I forgot to write last week's Stack.

The Good:
  • Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #1- This is the third GL title (OK because they cover different Lanterns) focusing on Guy Gardner. Guy has come far from the jerk in 80's-90's JLI to.... well he's still kinda a jerk, but he's the "No bullshit" type of jerk. I really enjoyed how Tomasi wrote him, the art by Fernando Pasarin was great. I can't wait to see what Atrocitus' mysterious plot is and why Guy is part of it.
  • Thanos Imperative #3- This was just balls to the walls action. And just take a look at the group that Nova is LEADING.
  • Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #2- Eaglesham's art really helped elevate the standard (though cool) spy story this issue. He did some clever things with the panels, something that I haven't seen in a while. He incorporated the panels into the storytelling, ala Adams or Steranko, a couple of times.
  • Birds Of Prey #4- With the revelation of who was behind the Birds current predicament last issue this issue was the wrap up. Canary had to physically defeat her opponent while Oracle had to reason to hers. And although everything was resolved, the result carries on to next issue.
  • Booster Gold #35- This was a prime example of having your cake and eating it too. Here was the type of silly fun stories that were in JLI, yet, the current "straight" take on BG that Johns/Jurgens established was not forgotten or sacrificed to get this type of story.
  • Justice League: Generation Lost #7- In the "companion" book the JLI had the same type of feel to it, but with a slight twist. Instead of a "modern" character in an adventure in the past, this title had a modern adventure in which character kinda reverted to their attitudes and personalities of the past. Also note that Giffen is not credited this issue and Joe Bennett did the art.
  • Brightest Day #8- This issue really focused on Hawkman and Hawkgirl and their story, with a secondary focus on Martian Manhunter. These multi-arc titles always are better when concentrated on one or two of the juggling stories instead of four pages of each.
  • Green Lantern Corps #51- Great issue. Between the stuff with Kyle and John and what Ganthet was put through by Cyborg Superman, there was some great pathos. Ardian Syaf did an excellent job with the art.
  • DC Universe: Legacies #4- This issue focused on the Teen Titans and "forgotten" hero groups (Doom Patrol/Metal Men) and the retired war heroes with great art by Joe Kubert.
  • R.E.B.E.L.S. #19- From a few weeks ago...I loved the art in this especially the face on Brainiac 2 as he ran from Brainiac 1 on the splash page. It reminded me of Kevin Maguire.
  • Secret Avengers #4- The Thorned Crown plot is resolved as Cap, er...Steve became Super Nova Patriot Guy to defeat the possessed Richard Rider. Nova went off to an emergency [presumably the Thanos Imperative] and Steve found out Nick Fury (or someone looking like him) was behind the attempt to obtain the crown in issue 2. [DUN-DUN--DON]
  • Lone Ranger #23- More lead up to the showdown between Lone and Butch Cavendish, but written and drawn well enough to forgive "filler".

The Alright:

  • Invincible Iron Man #29- This title continues to drag. The reappearance of Rescue didn't help this issue pull itself up any.
  • Zatanna #4- Some more solid magical fun with a cameo of Zatara, the younger.
  • Adventure Comics #517- Both stories were a little off for me. The "unknown, forgotten" hookup between Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy was curious. Being a newbie to the Legion, I don't know how "shocking" this was. The Atom story was also somewhat of a head scratcher. I just don't think that Oracle would take having the Calculator in her base so nonchalantly.
  • Batman Beyond #3- I guess some of the sparkle fell out of the allure of this title because I just wasn't feeling it. Then I had a terrible fear that this was going the way of Dark Knight Strikes Back. I am still worried that could be the case, but so excited over next issue. The appearance of Dick Grayson in the Beyond future. Hopefully some history will be given.
  • Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1- After selling out of this issue, my LCS got the second printing just in time before #2 comes out. Not really much here though, Heinberg seems a little rusty. Then again, Young Avengers didn't pick up till issue #2 either.
  • Atlas #4-
  • Justice Society Of America #42- Bagley's art continues to be the best reason to pick this up. Robinson did have a little bit with Batman(DG) that I liked.
  • Supergirl #55- This Bizarrogirl story didn't interest me. A casuality of JMS staking off Superman, it seems to have lost direction. And there goes the last Superman book from my pull list.
  • Uncanny X-Men #527- Another slump, I hope. Seeing Emma Frost flirt with both Tony Stark and Namor just wasn't my thing.
  • Avengers Academy #3- An interesting premise of having the students seek revenge on Osborn while on a "Scared Straight" trip to the Raft coupled with a quick crossover had me anticipating this issue and the T-bolt part too. The art was good, but the issue was often wordy till the set up of the confrontation.
  • Thunderbolts #147- This was mostly disappointing. It wasn't so much of a crossover as a cross "through". It dealt with the escape attempts of prisoners because of a power outage caused by the Academites. I did like the USAgent fight though.
  • Age Of Heroes #4- Mostly, bad stories with some okay art. Again the best story (as with all issues) was the one page Dan Slott/Ty Templeton story. This one featured a happy ending for Cloud 9, formerly of The Initiative.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Random Thoughts 18

I've been slacking in posting stuff on this blog and my YouTube channel. The reason....Netflix!

My brother generously gave me a years worth basic subscription to Netflix. Having a PS3, I sacrificed two months to gain access to Blu-Ray discs. I remained sceptical of downloading the player that allows you to view movies through the Internet. I was perfectly happy getting one disc at a time through the mail.

Then in anticipation of the upcoming movie I ordered Avatar: The Last Airbender Season 1. Thanks to the USPS I could only get one disc a week because the pickup/delivery of my building's mail is one of the last stops on the route it's on (3-5PM). So halfway through, I decided to take a leap and get the player. I can't stop now.

I watched the remaining two seasons of Avatar...Seasons 1,4,5,6,7 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (2 and 3 I had seen all of, I had missed the bulk of the others), Veronica Mars Season 3 (I've got 1 & 2 on DVD), Farscape Seasons 1-3 (4 I had to watch on YT), Dr. Who (2005) Seasons 1-4, Torchwood and right now I've started on the 80's-90's Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series.

I've also watched a few movies too: The original Karate Kid, Outland, InnerSpace, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (which I had been unable to find on DVD)

-This past week I also, after some trouble, tracked down a Blu-Ray copy of Batman: Under The Red Hood.

Judd Winick adapted his own storyline in the comics. He did a good job in streamlining the story into a 70 minute movie. Though I missed Tim Drake, I understood why he was excluded. I liked the short Nightwing appearance in it. He was voiced near perfectly by Neil Patrick Harris. Bruce Greenwood's Batman was adequate, but lacked something. Jason Todd was well portrayed by Jensen Ackles (Supernatural). Jason Issacs made a great Ra's Al Ghul (a worthy successor to David Warner). John DiMaggio was an odd choice for the Joker. Although he had a great Joker laugh, his delivery of lines was not quite there. Even though the story called for a more sadistic and menacing Joker he just didn't have that flair in his voice that the Joker needs.

The DC Showcase short featured Jonah Hex. This was as good as the Spectre short on the last DTV movie. Again using some anime influence, this was a neat little dark tale of gunslingers and just rewards. It was written by Jon Lansdale who wrote the Hex episode of Batman: The Animated Series as well as several Hex comics. Thomas Jane barely had any lines as Jonah Hex, but did well. Linda Hamilton, Micheal Rooker and Michelle Trachtenberg also lent voices to characters.

The extras were a bit disappointing. I had high hopes for the Dick Grayson/Robin doc. They excluded his whole career with the Teen Titans and didn't interview Marv Wolfman...who was instrumental in shaping Dick as Nightwing. The Jason Todd one (only on the Blu-Ray) was a bit better, but most of this was covered before on doc with another WB Batman movie or series (at least, I remember it being so).

-On the action figure had the sale of the Comic Con exclusives. I nabbed a DCU Classics Plastic Man. Mattel also confirmed the first wave of Green Lantern Classics: Low & Maash of Sinestro Corps, Abin Sur as Black Lantern, Kyle Rayner, Manhunter robot, Black Hand, Mongul and Arkillo as the Collect N Connect figure.

Friday, August 6, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 7/4/10

Another double size (i.e. two weeks worth of comics) this week:

The Good:
  • Green Lantern Corps #50- This amped up the action in a title that has been lacking for a while. I actually liked this more than Green Lantern, a first.
  • Brightest Day #7- The reason why each of the twelve were brought back in Blackest Night was finally revealed. A must read!
  • Flash #4- The Renegades meet Captain Boomerang. This series continues to deliver.
  • Green Lantern #56- Larfleeze vs Hector Hammond with the Orange Entity in the balance.
  • Secret Avengers #3- The team learned about what they face with the crown and that the Nova Power makes the possessed Nova unbeatable.
  • Captain America #608- Cap's past as both Bucky and the Winter Soldier was made public. Mostly set up for the upcoming "Trial" story, it did have enough action in it.
  • Justice League: Generation Lost #6- This issue focused on Captain Atom as he got a glimpse of the future caused by Max Lord. It was particularly interesting given Lord's purpose as revealed in Brightest Day.
  • Uncanny X-Men #526- Going after new mutants, Hope triggered the mutant powers of the first one they contacted. The most interesting of the post Second Coming storylines. In the second story Magneto mused over the Young Avengers Wiccan and Speed being Wanda's children. This was basically a prologue to the Children's Crusade mini.
  • The Stand: Hardcases #3- I was glad this issue was so good as #4 won't show up till Oct.

The Alright:

  • Detective Comics #867- I took a chance on David Hine's arc after not buying this title for a while. I couldn't resist seeing Scott McDaniel draw Dick Grayson again (as Batman this time). It holds some promise so I will give it a few issues.
  • Doomwar #6- The conclusion leaves the Black Panther "section" of the Marvel Universe in an interesting place. I'm assuming this ties in with Maberry's next mini Klaws of the Panther.
  • Justice League Of America #47- This issue suffers from being the middle of a crossover. There is plenty of action, but there is not much movement in the plot so it can be continued in the next issue.
  • Secret Six #24- This issue read like one of Simone's Atom issues. The Six are in a parallel or alternate reality, the American wild west. No reason or explanation is given. It was a fun issue, but will only be made sense of by reading a later issue.
  • Red Hood: Lost Days #3- This issue was not as good as I thought it would be. Although it's funny that this issue hit so close to the release of Batman: Under The Red Hood DVD which picks up on some of the same threads.

The Bad:

  • Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne #4- The art of Georges Jeanty can't help this issue. Morrison is confusing and meandering as ever and his dialogue was awful. I thought this was improving with last issue, but I guess not.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Random Thoughts 17- SDCC 2010

I'm probably late to the game, but I'd thought I'd share some of the news from the San Diego Comic Con. This may not be new to you and it's only a fraction of what was announced, but I got excited or interested or amused by these items.

First, there was the incident on Saturday. I'm talking about one guy stabbing another in the EYE over a SEAT for the Universal movie panel. I don't know what's worse, the fact that somebody actually did this or the people complaining because this inconvenienced them by delaying the subsequent panels.

Now onto some comic news [that's news about comics]...


Some Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning four issue mini-series were announced:
-Iron Man/Thor with Scott Eaton on art
-Rocket Raccoon & Groot with Tim Green on art
There were rumblings about a "Cosmic Avengers" title, but it may not be written by them.
With Nova on the Secret Avengers and Rocky & Groot in the mini the future of Nova and Guardians Of The Galaxy is still up in the air.

Looks like Cap will join Deadpool in overexposure from the amount of stuff announced:
-Captain America And The Korvac Saga, retelling classic story
-CA: Hail Hydra
-CA: Fighting Avenger
-CA: Man Out Of Time, Mark Waid retells Cap's thawing out an reacclimation to the world
-CA: White, the long delayed Leob/Sale mini should be ready to release along with the movie.

Some X-book news:
-Uncanny X-Force (relaunch of X-Force) will feature the return of Apocalypse
-Generation Hope will focus on the new mutants that appeared after Second Coming.
-X-Men will feature team-ups with other heroes after the vampire arc ends (Peter David made a funny comment about Rogue dating a vamp)

The big news came on Sunday...It was a little unexpected, but made sense. Marvel will be reviving the CrossGen properties. This is very interesting news. Of course, when CrossGen went under as a company, it sold the rights to characters owned by them to Disney. Disney did allow the reprinting some of the CG titles final issues to be collected in trades. But thanks to synergy Marvel now has access to those characters and names.
Now, the whole connections between worlds plot will be dropped, there will not be any mixing with the MU and the concepts likely be rebooted with previous continuity. Still I can't help but be giddy about the possibilities. Especially since two thirds of CrossGen writers and artists work for Marvel now.


The big DC news was mostly to do with other media, but here are a few things:
-David Finch writing/drawing Batman: The Dark Knight
-A Ragman one-shot by Marvel regular Christos N. Gage
-hints that Batman Beyond did so well a second mini and/or an ongoing might be done
-Flash: Speed Force mini about other speedsters; Wally shows up in Flash soon
-Green Lantern: Secret Origin II in GL title dealing with Sinestro's betrayal of Corps
-Action Comics crossover with Secret Six
-Commissioner Gordon backups in Detective
-Jimmy Olsen backups in Action to feature Chloe Sullivan
-More of Peter David Young Justice to be reprinted in trade [there's a reason] starting in Oct.
-Batman, Inc., Morrison has Bruce franchise Batman, expanding on his use of the Silver Age Batmen of Many Nations concept


Iron Man Anime on G4TV
Iron Man Armored Adventures Season Two to have: Titanium Man, Iron Monger, Black Widow, Dr. Doom
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes : Cap, Thor, Iron Man, Wasp, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Wrecker, Constrictor shown in clips

Smallville: Clark flies, see Superman suit (not on him), Geoff Johns writes Booster Gold/Blue Beetle(Reyes) episode [that's what test footage on web is for] Skeets in it too.
Direct To Video films:
-Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, vignettes featuring different Lanterns, ties into GL movie
-All-Star Superman
-Batman: Year One
DTV shorts:
-Green Arrow (on Superman/Batman: Apokolips DVD), Written by Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, Spectacular Spider-Man, Young Justice) with Neal McDonough as GA
-Superman/Shazam!: Return of Black Adam, 22min on a compilation disc with previous shorts, Jerry O'Connell as Captain Marvel, James Garner as wizard Shazam
-Green Lantern CGI cartoon in 2011
-Young Justice, headed by Greg Weisman actually one of the 52 Earths in DCU, JL prominent, Bruce Greenwood as Batman
Video Games:
-Suicide Squad
-Green Lantern



  • Legion Of Super-Heroes 12 Pack: Superboy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Chameleon Boy, Brainiac 5, Ultra Boy, Karate Kid, Wildfire, Matter Eater Lad, Timber Wolf and large Colossal Boy
  • Series 16: Azrael Batman, Creeper, Dick Grayson Robin, Golden Age Robin(variant), Jonah Hex, Mercury(Metal Men), Riddler(jumpsuit), Collect N' Connect Bane
  • Green Lantern Classics: 2 waves of six figures, each with a CNC figure, an original Red Lantern created by Four Horsemen/Geoff Johns, includes: Kyle Rayner in current suit, Mongul as Sinestro Corps member, two SC members, Abin Sur as Black Lantern, Manhunter robot, Black Hand


  • Death Of Superman 6 pack: Superman, Ice, Fire, Guy Gardner, Bloodwynd, Doomsday
  • Infinite Crisis 6 pack: Superman, Wonder Woman, Max Lord, Booster Gold, two OMACs
  • Kyle as Parallax, Robin, Ravager, Dr Light (I)


  • Golden Age 3 pack: Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman

-Masters Of The Universe:

  • Royal Guard two pack
  • Buzz Off
  • Shadow Beast
  • Roboto
  • King Hiss
  • live action movie (Time Travelling He-Man)
  • early concept He-Man [name forgotten] closely resembles Conan.


  • Peter Venkman in court w/one of Scarlotti Bros. ghost
  • Winston Zeddemore with slime thrower
  • Louis Tully as Vince Clotho with brain scanner on head, regular head and stone demon dog head


-Marvel Universe:

  • Giant Battles: Bill Foster Giant-Man vs Thor clone, Frost Giant with Loki
  • Original Avengers set: Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Ant-Man, Wasp
  • Doc Sampson

-Marvel Legends:

  • 2012 new series with BAF start again, nothing else announced
  • variants for two packs: Soviet Winter Soldier/grey Black Widow, Deadpool in X-suit/Warpath in Thunderbird suit

So, that's it. I'm sure I left out a lot. And, I didn't even touch on movie news or trailers [Tron: Legacy looks awesome]...maybe another post.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 7/21/10

After a week's break due to technical difficulties...I'm back!

This Stack will be a bit different to incorporate the backlog of books, so to speak.

The Good:
  • The Thanos Imperative #2- Epic!
  • Justice League: Generation Lost #5- Fun and funny without being too jokey.
  • Heroic Age: Prince Of Power #3- More fun.
  • DC Universe: Legacies #3- A look at the "forgotten" heroes as the Silver Age starts.
  • Atlas #3- Better than last issue.
  • Birds Of Prey #3- Sometimes you shouldn't keep your enemies closer.
  • R.E.B.E.L.S. #18- Some cool set up for War of the Brainiacs [my name].
  • Legion Of Super-Heroes #3- Earth Man/GL plot very intriguing.
  • Booster Gold #34- More JLI revisitation with Mr. Miracle and Barda.
  • Batman Beyond #2- The mixing of comic and animation universes doesn't weigh down the story.

The Alright:

  • Brightest Day #6- I think this is a hiccup of an issue and will climb back to Good.
  • Zatanna #3- Magical fun, Zee steps it up a notch too.
  • Avengers Academy #2- Nice reference to PAD X-Factor and use of Quicksilver.
  • Justice Society Of America #41- Robinson and Bagley should take over this title.
  • Invincible Iron Man #28- A slow issue, something better happen soon.
  • Adventure Comics #516- Great Atom backup.
  • Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1- Interesting parallel series to Return Of Bruce.
  • Gorilla Man #1- Fun, odd story with fun odd character.
  • Uncanny X-Men: The Heroic Age #1- Character study of Beast, Cyclops and Hope.
  • Age Of Heroes #3- Best part is the one page Squirrel Girl story.
  • Thunderbolts #146- I'm just interested in the OG T-bolts parts in the story.

The Bad:

  • New Mutants #15- Something's gone after the Second Coming arc, needs to find way fast.
  • X-Men: Second Coming #2- Merely a poor epilogue to the exciting crossover.

Watch out for a RT on all the news from SDCC 2010 on Mon or Tues.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 7/8/10

The Good:
  • Brightest Day: The Atom Special #1- This was a longshot. I hadn't really read anything done by either of the creators, Jeff Lemire and Mahmud Asrar, so I didn't know what to expect. I liked the art and loved how Lemire treated and wrote Ray as both the Atom and Ray Plamer. This was a perfect comic for those unfamiliar with the character as not only did Lemire set up the new direction for the Atom, but also retold his origin. There was some retconning of his backstory done for the current arc. However, that is intriguing and not too drastic. I look forward to the Atom feature in Adventure Comics.
  • Brightest Day #5- This issue had some revelations. Aquaman found out something that Mera had been hiding since her arrival and that ties into the strange group that has been raiding the surface from the oceans. Hawk and Dove (mostly Hawk) tried to get Deadman to resurrect Don Hall. The hawks found themselves in a strange world of half men half animal beings ominously called Hawkworld. The weakest story arc in this book continues to be the Hawkman and Hawkgirl one. It seems that once again they are trying to "fix" the Hawkman continuity. Something that I thought Johns did expertly in JSA and the early Hawkman series. It just seems like every writer has their own take on the origins of the Hawks, so the disparate versions need to keep getting reconciled with each other. The writing just seems so forced compared to the other arcs.
  • Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1- I really enjoyed this book. If just to see Steve in action (not that he hasn't or won't be in Secret Avengers) again instead of behind the desk. It was a little strange for him to have been so secret agent like. Cool, but strange. It's not as if that hasn't been part of the character before, but it hasn't been part of the character for a long time. Brubaker knows Steve pretty well and came up with an interesting story involving the legacy of the Super Soldier project. It was such a thrill to see Eaglesham's art have something to do. It's been languishing on the FF. It was also cool that Cap's original 1941 origin was reprinted at the end.
  • X-Force #13- The issue started off with the sacrifice of a character to return the team that was in the future to the present. (he's been dead several times before, so I don't see this being too big a deal) Bastion stood ready to eliminate them exhausted X-Men to get to the first new mutant, Hope whose powers finally awoke. They seemed to be reminiscent of a certain fiery entity. She disappeared into a flaming column as she unleashed her full power against Bastion. The story concludes next week in Second Coming #2.
  • Secret Six #23- This was a great fill-in issue written by John Ostrander. A "Most Dangerous Game" type story the Six are selected as prey, but turn the tables on their pursuers quite easily. Not groundbreaking, but fun. The art could have been a bit better but was quite good.
  • The Stand: Hardcases #2- Aguirre-Sacasa and Perkins showed the society that Randall Flag has built in Vegas and the troubled Nadine nearing Boulder and Mother Abigail. Another consistently good issue.

The Alright:

  • The Red Hood: Lost Days #2- This just didn't seem as good as last issue. Perhaps that's because the novelty has worn off. I realized that the missing days of Jason Todd could be told in a extra sized one-shot or a two issue mini and that in all likelyhood this will be a drawn out story to fit into six issues.


I took advantage of something that it seems a lot of comic stores are doing now and bought a whole run of a comic. [It looks like stores are trying to get rid of inventory] So, what did I buy?....The great mystical martial arts title from the long gone Crossgen Comics, The Way Of The Rat.

Written by Chuck Dixon and set in an analog of ancient China, it's about a thief who comes to possess a mystical ring that allows the wearer to become a master of the staff. The story follows the thief's journey takes him from being a criminal whose luck is as good as getting him into bad situations as it is getting him out of them to a hero. He is guided along the way by talking monkey and watched over by a mysterious figure in white known as the Silken Ghost. Central to the plot are the several other rings that bestow mastery of weapons upon the bearer as well as a scroll that is a gateway to hell and a mystical gem. The hero encounters "mongols", ghosts, dragons and a corrupt empire all very much in keeping with the Asian martial arts/mystical epic feel.

Unfortunately, the series was canceled, but never got the relaunch that was teased because CG went bankrupt. The art was (as the rule with CG) top notch, with most of the series drawn by Jeff Johnson [where is he now?] and fill-ins by Luke Ross and Mike Perkins (both would go on to Captain America).

CrossGen is one of the saddest stories of failed comic book publishers because every book had such high quality art and writing. Many of today's top artists worked there. Not only did they work there, they became better artists because of the quality demanded of them. The diverse genres that they played with was cool..50's B-movie horror, pirates, Sci-Fi, epic fantasy, Victorian detectives, samurai, the list goes on.

Well I've gone on enough... Maybe I'll write more about CG in a future blog.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 6/30/10

Well, I had some trouble posting this on Thursday night. But here it is now. Happy Fourth Of July everyone.

The Good:

  • Green Lantern #55- Johns continued to deliver great action and story while Manhke really raised his game from last issue. Lobo showed up to throw down with Atrocitus which dragged Hal, Carol and Sinestro to his defense. Dawg got into a fight with Dex-Starr (the RL cat, more on him later). It all ended with a twist, as the fight was engineered for a purpose and Lobo's payment an interesting one. It came back to the mysterious figure hunting the entities of the different Corps. Yet, the Spectre too, hunts for the Red Lantern entity, the Butcher. Last but not not least was the four page origin of Dex-Starr. It was finally revealed what happened to make this one pissed off pussycat.

  • Flash #3- Barry was last accused of having DNA at a murder scene, but obviously he wasn't a murderer, so he must have contaminated the scene. Barry preferred taking heat for being careless much more than having to explain the physical evidence which is still unexplained. While he discussed all the stuff going on with Iris, the future Renegades attacked again. Almost beaten, he was saved by the just escaped Captain Boomerang who gained a new power from the White Lantern it looks like. This issue had a short back up similar to GL#55, this time it was a nod to the old Flash Facts explaining how boomerangs work and the new power of Captain Boomerang. While last issue had a slight pacing problem this one didn't. I loved the almost Silver Age feel of this issue.

  • Secret Avengers #2- Although this was mostly more setup for next issue, there was enough to keep me satisfied. While Sharon Carter tried to figure out who knocked her out, Steve took the team to Mars. They found mind-controlled workers (in some nifty space suits too) building something. Splitting up, half the team ran into a mysterious armored being and the others ran into Nova wearing the "Serpent Crown". While the action was limited this issue did move the plot along fairly well. The art was terrific as well.

  • Captain America #607- This was a great issue. The menace and threat that Zemo presented in the issue and the boiling anger of his target, our hero Cap [yeah no more Bucky Cap], were handled well. Zemo was out to destroy Bucky's rep and his suitability to be Captain America. Unfortunately, Zemo's ahead of him. After a hallucinogen induced rampage on some NYPD (stopped by Steve), Bucky tracked the girl who "slipped him a mickey" and faced a new "Beetle" (unnamed in the issue, but I'm going by the costume). Meanwhile Zemo bought some footage of the Winter Soldier, presumably to leak to the public.

  • Batman Beyond #1- Adam Beechen got the voices of the characters down very well. I'm mixed about the art. It had a style that was not like the animated design but tended towards the more cartoony comic art style. I just don't see it fitting. The Superman/Batman Annual a few weeks ago was strange enough seeing the animated "Beyond" world done in a realistic style. This more cartoony style was even more offputting. That said, I enjoyed the story and even though the it dropped several clues as to who the mystery villain is that is after old Batman villains, I'm thinking they are red herrings.

The Alright:

  • Justice League Of America #46- For some reason this issue really improved over last issue. Perhaps Robinson has finally got down the members or maybe it's the addition of the JSA (which is probably the book he should be writing). The art too seems to have improved with the inker adapting to Bagley's pencils better. This issue started off the JLA/JSA crossover which features the teams dealing with the return of Jade and the power of the Starheart going crazy (again).

  • Justice Society Of America #40- I decided to give JSA a try again before the crossover event began. I hadn't bought this title for almost six months and apparently the writer thought that noboby else had too. The issue was a complete recap of the two previous arcs (which blended into each other) told as a flashback. That caught everyone up on events with the JSA/JSA All Stars and prepared them for the JLA crossover.

  • Doomwar #5- A good solid action comic. This issue Reed brought in War Machine as extra back up. T'Challa got desperate in taking the fight to Doom using Deadpool to track him down.
  • Wonder Woman #600- As far as the "anniversary" issues this month this was my favorite. It opened with a fun story by Gail Simone and George Perez [can't go wrong there] with WW leading a battle of heroines against robotic sirens and the high school graduation of the girl who took Diana home in the Perez run. Then there was a cute little story about WW talking with Power Girl about her cat with art and story by Amanda Connor. An okay team up with Superman followed (written by Louise Simonson). Geoff Johns wrote a small retrospective piece that transitioned into JMS' prologue for his reboot of Wonder Woman as a character and concept. While I didn't mind the Don Kramer art and, to a lesser extent, the 90's-ish costume the reboot really rubbed me the wrong way. I felt that this idea would better suit the Earth One concept better.

The Bad:

  • Invincible Iron Man Annual #1- What was touted as the return of the Mandarin turned to be an awful waste of time and money. The real crime was that Iron Man was not in the entire story at all except as cameo spots in news reports. Instead we got a story about the Mandarin abducting a famous Asian movie director to make a movie of his life story ala Kim Jong Ill. The Mandarin was not interested in truth or credibility. Taking months, the production claims many lives and the spirit of the director. In a final bid for freedom and a parting jab at his captor the director edited a true version of the Mandarin and switched out the approved version. Needless to say, this did not end well. I liked the added touch that the director had made a movie based on one of the past Iron Fists though. [This admittedly read a lot better the second time around after getting over the absence of Iron Man.

Monday, June 28, 2010

As I had a few hours to kill in Red Bank, New Jersey this Sunday I decided to visit Jay And Silent Bob's Secret Stash (at 35 Broad Street). Of course, this is the comic store owned in part by Kevin Smith. I thought this might make for an interesting blog too. Before I go in, here's the exterior...

It's located on the main street for all the shopping and dining in Red Bank. Upon entering, the register area is located to your right and the current projects of Smith are featured heavily in a display ahead of you (Green Hornet, movie merchandise). Along the left hand side are the recent and new comics arranged alphabetically on the wall.

Here's a view looking back toward the entrance....

Further back the long and narrow storefront is a back issue section. The comics are displayed in a nice custom built file/shelf. The issue are mostly from 80's to early 2000's and are about $1.25-$1.50 generally. More expensive issues line the walls but tend to be signed or variant covers of recent issues. They use the reverse numbering filing system too, although alphabetical, the issues are put in order of most recent to least (#108 before #3).

At the rear of the store there are several display cases for both statues and busts and movie memorabilia from all Kevin Smith movies...

There are a lot of trades and hardcovers. They are arranged by company and by character. And although they didn't have the specific trades I wanted (Korvac Saga and Invincible Vol. 2), they had so many other ones that it was hard to limit myself to the budget I set for this visit.
This view looks to the rear of the store and shows the start of the trade section which continues along part of the back wall. In addition ,there is about six old fashioned spinner racks full of trades. There is a table set up back there which I assume is for signings and podcasts (mics were pushed off to the side and half hidden).

So that is a quick overview of Jay And Silent Bob's Secret Stash comic book store in Red Bank, New Jersey. Check it out in person if you get the chance, especially if you are a Kevin Smith fan.
I thought I might do some more visits/reviews of comic stores, but that would be over fairly soon as there are only three other stores close to me. Also, I really don't have the time or ability (due to responsibilities) to go further afield so to speak. Which is disappointing, because I have a lot to say about what makes a comic store a GOOD comic store and a BAD comic store. i even came up with a criteria.
Merchandising- how organized, laid out is the product. A key part of ANY retail store.
New issues- display and promotion of current (within year sometimes) titles
Back issues- display, selection and organization of comics older than a year.
Other stuff- man does not live on bread and water alone, nor comic book stores just comics. But, I've seen stores where other product (toys, rpg miniatures)dominates to the point of comics being an afterthought.
So, how is J&SB's in my opinion...
Merchandising- B+, some clutter but maximum use of space
New Issues- A-, clearly organized and visible "new" and "recommended" signs
Back Issues- B, nice display and selection but I prefer going by in numerical order (#1,2,3)
Other stuff- A-, kept to a minimum and then only to comic related stuff (toys, statues) with the exception of the Smith movie merchandise (T-Shirts, hats, etc)
Guess that makes a B+

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Random Thoughts 15

Wow! Haven't done one of these for a while!

-In complete opposite to the way Marvel announced same day as comic day digital comics, DC almost stealthily announced that Justice League: Generation Lost would be available online starting with #4 on the day it would be available in stores. Furthermore, #4 and #5 would be returnable by retailers. Is it me, or does that seem classier? On the other hand, what about #6-8 which probably have already been ordered?

-I wrote previously about Gene Colan and his health issues. But, the story has turned even more bizarre and tragic. His wife, recently separated and having plead guilty to assaulting Gene, was found dead in the house they used to share. While relationships are sometimes tumultuous and I really don't know anything about theirs other than the two times I met them at conventions, I'm sure he will miss her. I hope his life improves some, it seems to have been really bleak the last few years.

-The Hobbit lost Guillermo Del Toro as director and had Niell Blomkamp (District 9) rumored to replace him, but now it looks like Peter Jackson himself is going to step in.

-Toy Story 3 ruled the box office as it should have. Although very similar in themes to the last one, Pixar/Disney still delivers an emotional and entertaining film.

-Also in Disney news...Something I found both cool and yet a bit weird. You can now live in Walt Disney World. Yes, if you have the money, you can buy one of thirty homes offered for sale this year (not built yet). There are three, four and five bedroom houses in various styles. As part of a gated community, residents will have access to the facilities of a nearby hotel/spa also being built as well as all the perks that guests staying at WDW owned resorts get. So, if you have $1.5-8 million you can move there.

- Visited Jay And Silent Bob's Secret Stash the comic store partly owned by Kevin Smith today. I took some pictures for a friend who is a fan, so you might see a blog evolve out of it later. I picked up some trades- The Stern/Byrne Captain America War And Remembrance, Buffy Season Eight Vol. 2 and the Starlin/Mignola DC mini Cosmic Odyssey.

Friday, June 25, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 6/23/10

The Good:

  • Justice League: Generation Lost #4- Aside from the surprise that this issue would be available digitally on the same day as in the shops (as well as the issue being returnable by retailers) this was a good mix of action and humor. Winick is doing well on this book, guided no doubt by old hand Giffen. The "JLI" battled some Rocket Reds, made friends (unintentionally) with a rogue Red, and Booster figured out that Max was getting the band back together for a reason. Which Max (via radio) confirmed. This is not a groundbreaking series nor "important"...just FUN.

  • Green Lantern Corps #49- The Alpha Lanterns are revolting! And they're rising up against the Guardians too! [sorry, couldn't resist that old joke] The Alphas have been abducting Lanterns and turning them into Alphas. But this issue showed that what was just thought to be an aggressive recruitment drive [think press gangs] turned out to be a bit more sinister. The Alphas set their sights on John Stewart, lured him into a trap and wouldn't take no for an answer. Meanwhile, Kyle and Ganthet noticed that there is now more Alphas around on Oa and decide to investigate. They tracked down John Stewart who was confronted by the mastermind of the Alphas before he started to make him into the newest Alpha. I won't spoil who the bad guy was...just say that it's pretty obvious who it was due to his silhouette and some dialogue. That did ruin the DAH-dah-DUUUHN moment at the end, but I still had a pretty good reaction to it and can't wait to see what happens next issue.

  • X-Men: Legacy #237- Greg Land's art here was the best it's been since he was on X-Men and maybe since Sojourn [Ahhh, CrossGen....] There are some great battle scenes, shorter than the last chapter. Cypher and X-Force stopped the threat from the future sentinels. But they still have to find a way back. And the X-Men still have to deal with their enemies in the present. This really continued that epic feel that the crossover has had. This is the point of the epic that the readers know the heroes would win, but it's a question of who will be left standing and how will those that aren't fall. I'm surprised at how good this crossover has been. Aside from one or two issues, it's been very solid storytelling.

  • Legion Of Super-Heroes #2- Not as good as last issue, but still good. Some Legionnaires returned and Saturn Woman attacked during the Legions rescue efforts after the destruction of Titan. There was more Earth-Man/Green Lantern intrigue as that storyline slowly simmered. A good solid issue.

The Alright:

  • Detective Comics #866- Written by Batman expert Denny O'Neil, this had a nice flashback story as Dick remembers an old case he had as Robin that he reexamines. The case involved the Joker and the Order Of St. Dumas crossing paths and a criminal convicted and sentenced for a crime he didn't commit based on evidence planted on him by the Joker. Now recently paroled and with a terminal illness time is running out for him. As Batman Dick found proof of the guy's innocence and raced to get the evidence of the criminal's innocence to the authorities then tell him he's exonerated. But, the Joker got to the criminal first. The joke being that he died without being cleared of that crime, I guess. While not up with some of O'Neil's work, it was pretty good.

  • Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne #3- The cover was misleading as Bruce was never a pirate. He did get mixed up with the grandson of the Black Pirate [who I got to like because of Starman] and Blackbeard. The art was a big improvement over last issue's. This was a fairly grounded Morrison in terms of story too. If the next few issues are like this the series will end up a nice little mini, but a story that ends up as extraneous in the scheme of things.

  • Zatanna #2- Zee routed a pesky nightmare demon easily in this almost Dr. Strange-like story. Plus it had some nice art.

  • Supergirl #53- As a result of War Of The Supermen Kara wants to renounce her Kryptonian heritage as well as Supergirl. While Lana Lang tried to talk her out of it, Dr. Light (the good one) and Gangbuster observed the painful process of removing the powers of Superwoman (Lucy Lane). Then a meteorite landed carrying a Bizarro Supergirl. It looks like both Kara and the creative team are at a crossroads as to where to go. With Superman off limits thanks to JMS this title might fall by the wayside. I don't know if Bizarro Supergirl will make me come back.

  • Thunderbolts #145- So Zemo turned out to be a test (and the Fixer in disguise) for the new recruits. Aside from some mischaracterization there was enough there to warrant another issue before taking this off the buy list.

  • Fantastic Four #580- While I liked the art, the Arcade trying to kill the Human Torch story wasn't that good. I did like the little bit with Franklin and how Johnny related to him. The B story was about Reed's students coming up with their first science project...cure Ben Grimm. And they found one... for one week each year...Not impressive as he used to be able to control his transformation to the Thing at one point.

  • Superman #700- In this anniversary issue there were three stories. The first featured Superman's return to Earth after New Krypton's destruction. After a brief fight with Parasite Lois and Clark catch up. The art is not that good. The second story was the best. Dan Jurgens both drew and wrote this flashback featuring Superman and Robin. The third and final story was a prologue to the JMS run. Superman is going to literally walk the country because someone slapped him in the face because he didn't offer his services as an X-ray machine. God, brilliant stuff [Letterman made fun of this story!] I don't like where JMS is headed so this will likely be the last Superman I get for a while.