Friday, April 30, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 4/28/10

The Good:

  • Captain America #605- Bucky Cap and Falc take down the nutso 50's anti-commie Cap and his Watchdog group. Bucky's decision at the climax shows how he's different than Steve as Cap, yet so similar at the same time. Oh, and Nomad and Ariana get more buddy-buddy in the conclusion to the plug for Young Allies

  • Invincible Iron Man #25- The reset mind of Tony Stark comes to terms with his "missing" time and things are set in motion for the current arc involving Hammer Industries taking over as the premiere military tech manufacturer. Sound similar to Iron Man 2? It does seem that thematically the two parallel each other. The one nit I must pick is the fact that Stark really hasn't made weapons (aside from IM suits) for a long time (both in comic and real time), yet it the reader is made to think that this is a brand new policy.

  • Green Lantern Corps #47- More resolutions to the bits of plot left over from Blackest Night. Including a repeal of the Third Law of Oa and a change for Kilowog. Well done.

  • Superman #699- Mon-El and the Legion go after the shrunken cities of Brainiac, while Superman and Zod fight Brainiac himself.

  • Superman: Last Stand Of New Krypton #3- Ending the threat of Brainiac, Zod uses the opportunity to sieze power and declare war on the Earth. Leading to the...,you guessed it,...War Of The Supermen (#0 free this Saturday for FCBD)

The Alright:

  • Fantastic Four #578- Each issue of this has been a self contained story, yet there has not been an over arcing story line. This issue hints at those stories finally intersecting next issue. The art is the quality work expected from Eaglesham, too bad there isn't more for him to do.

  • Action Comics #889- Finally the ho-hum Kryptonian god storyline is over. I was surprised at how interested I was in this Nightwing and Flamebird when they started, and how wrong it turned when it got into Kryptonian mythology.

  • Amazing Spider-Man #629- Stern ends his Juggernaut vs Captain Universe story. It does explain why Cap U is after Juggie and that the host had twisted the Cap U power for his own ends. Also, there is a prologue for the Zeb Wells Lizard story.

The Bad:

  • X-Force #26- Yeah, this is personal! One of my favorite X-Men is killed in this issue. And it's pretty arbitrary. They could have killed anyone, this particular character is a well known established one so that makes it "mean" more. So...who is it?....Nightcrawler. Yes, the fuzzy elf 'ports no more. At least for the next ten years (the average time for characters to remain "dead")


  • Mighty Avengers #36- either sold out or shorted at the store.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 4/21/10

The Good:

  • Guardians Of The Galaxy #25- The team is finally reunited just in time to face the totally
    savage Thanos. This seems like a taste of what's to come with Thanos Imperative. Unfortunately, the book goes on "hiatus" for the duration of the Thanos mini.

  • Hercules: Fall Of An Avenger #2- Amadeus Cho and Phobos are pitted against one another by the Greek gods. But, they're not playing that game. Cho goes to look for Herc in Hades, but he's not there. So, he returns to take control of the company that is a front for the gods and to commit its resources to finding Herc. In the second story Venus and Namora find a hospital for "monsters" that Hercules funded and conspire to keep it running
  • Nova #36- Well, no New Warriors reunion. But, Nova does drop in on the evil demonic Quasar and Project Pegasus. A nice little adventure before the book goes on "hiatus" too during the Thanos Imperative.

  • Green Lantern #53- This is an epilogue to Blackest Night and wraps up/teases what is in store for Lanterns in GL, GLC, and Guy Gardner's new mini. I liked the call back to Hal and Sinestro's first meeting.

  • Supergirl #52- Fans of the Brainiac 5/Supergirl romance will get a kick out of this issue. Yet, it doesn't take away from the greater "Last Stand" story. It will cause a minor headache trying to figure this out: Silver Age Supergirl had a romance with Brainiac 5.... but..., she died in Crisis On Infinite Earths...however, this Supergirl spent time in the future with the third Legion(Waid's) and was sent back with her mind this Supergirl will/has spent time in the future with original blend Brainy too? Is this going to happen? Or is the writer just confusing the three Legion universes?

The Alright:

  • Amazing Spider-Man #628- Spidey and Juggernaut battle Captain Universe. This story had so much promise with the first issue. Stern drops the ball a little here.

  • Avengers Vs. Atlas #4- I really was bored with this conclusion issue. A little too "concept" here instead of action and drama. You can get all Morrison-y, but even Morrison out Morrisons himself. What I mean by that is that the concept shouldn't take over the story. Still this was a fun book just to see the teams together. Though, I also felt that most of the old Avengers were out of character some.

  • Doomwar #3- Not much either to praise or pan with this. A plus here is to see characters together that haven't "teamed up" for a while. Mainly, the X-Men with Black Panther [T'Challa will always be the Panther to me] and Storm. Plus the FF are getting involved too!

  • Torch #7- flaming android Nazis! Mostly just set-up for the next issue's Torch and Toro vs. the Inhuman Torch (an indestructible out of control prototype version of the Torch)

  • X-Men: Legacy #235- Another minor X-Man dies. While not as good as the last two parts of this x-over it still carries the same sense of desperation and "this is war" mentality.

  • Justice League Of America #44- I so want to love this series, but it's just not happening. Never before have I been less enthusiastic about a JSA/JLA crossover. C'Mon!...JLA and JSA together....that's EPIC, always. Bagley definitely is carrying the series with his art now. DC needs to find better titles for him to do.

  • R.E.B.E.L.S. #15- Another epilogue/teaser issue [sure are a lot this week] Vril complains that Despero is taking all the credit for Starro's defeat. Starfire is roaming the cosmos because Dick doesn't love her anymore and it was too awkward[and giving her a bad reputation] being on the JLA. Adam Strange wants Vril to fix the poisoned environment of Rann which he'll do by moving the planet [that worked so well last time]. Starfire is surprised when a "new" Tamaran appears.


I got the Robin: A Hero Reborn TPB on sale. It reprints Batman #455-457 and the first Robin mini-series. It follows Tim as he first gets "authorization" to be Robin and on his first solo adventure. Chuck Dixon would guide Tim/Robin for the next decade, but this is where he starts. I missed out on all the Robin stuff up to No Man's Land. I regret that now. I hope to track down more of the early Robin reprint trades and see Tim grow into the costume. Also in this are Dixon characters Shiva and Lynx (whose origin unfolds in the story). The art is pretty good, but suffers because the trade uses the same paper as the original comics do. Not a problem with today's high gloss paper, but we're talking old school newsprint paper. I'm as nostalgic as anyone, but I want more in my trades.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Random Thoughts 9 (C2E2/WWLA Edition)

Second time around for this post....the Internet ate the first one

-The Atom returns in a Brightest Day one-shot as well as a backup story in Adventure Comics

-The Batman vs Al Queda story by Frank Miller was finally squashed.

-Marvel and Disney announced the new animated series "Ultimate Spider-Man" thus killing of the wonderful Spectacular Spider-Man series (unless Sony does something and sells it to someone)

-Joss Whedon is said to be the director for the Avengers movie...Yeah, he can handle ensemble casts well, but as good as Serenity was it was still just an episode of Firefly with a bigger budget.

-J.H. Williams will draw and write the new Batwoman series...Let's hope he's better than Tony Daniel at making the transition.

-The Secret Avengers lineup was fully revealed...

Steve Rogers


Moon Knight

War Machine



plus Sharon Carter and Black Widow

-Ed Brubaker and Dale Eaglesham are doing Steve Rogers: Super Soldier as a companion book to Secret Avengers. I like how Steve's new suit envokes both the old Patriot and Super Patriot suits.

-Speaking of the Patriot...Jeff Mace gets a mini series about his becoming the replacement Cap during WWII

-Avengers Academy revealed its teacher roster: Hank Pym, Tigra, Quicksilver, Justice and Speedball. Yes...Speedball, not Penance!

-Chris Samnee does art for a second Thor title, with Roger Langridge (BOOM's Muppet Show) writes it

-Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung return to the Young Avengers since their series ended. The book is titled Avengers: Children's Crusade and focuses on their search for the Scarlet Witch.

-A new X-Men #1 starts soon. This time written by Victor Gischler with art by Paco Medina as the X-Men fight.... vampires? Really?....

-There will be no more Wolverine And The X-Men or Iron Man: Armored Adventures

-There will be Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Long will have Cap, Thor, Wasp, Ant-Man, Hulk, Black Panther with Iron Man as leader.

-Finally, one of my favorite artists is in need due to health problems. Gene Colan, 84 (who drew such titles as Captain America, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Tomb Of Dracula and Batman), has relied on commission art pieces as income for the last few years. However, in late March he fell and broke his drawing arm. Unable to produce any art his income and savings are being strained by the cost of treating his failing liver. Another blogger, Clifford Meth, has info on an art sale benefiting Colan. Check out out this link for more info.

Aardwolf Publishing is also having a sale for Colan's benefit. They are selling copies of the retrospective art book they recently published. You can either get books signed ($45 w/shipping) or signed with a sketch ($155). Go here to check it out.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 4/14/10

The Good:
  • The Flash #1- It's Barry's first day back on the job (an apt story for his return to a Flash title as the lead, and his own #1 issue) he stops the Trickster, meets his co-workers at the crime lab, responds to a crime scene with a body in a Mirror Master suit, then meets some "future" cops using devices and costumes based on the Rogues. Some nice art by Francis Manapul in here. I was sad that Scott Kolins wasn't going to be the artist, but Manapul is a good replacement. The fanboy in me thinks it would be cool if and when Barry goes into Keystone, those panels/pages be drawn by Kolins.
  • Brightest Day #0- We learn that "Deadman" can bring back dead little birdies (and maybe people even?) with his White Ring. For the rest of the issue he bounces around Earth (and to Mars)to all the resurrected people. This results in little tidbits of what these characters will be dealing with in the months to come. Whether in this title or others.
  • Secret Six #20- Catman makes a choice and because of it starts upon a dark path. Most of the six then set out to prevent him from going too far down that path, because they view him as being better than they are. And of all the members of the Six he is the closest one that could make the transition to "hero". Also, events in this issue are particularly interesting given what happened in JL:Cry For Justice.
  • Booster Gold #31- Remember how I said that last issue was the end of Dan Jurgens run on the book?...Well that's really this issue. It's a nice sweet story that serves as an epilogue to not just this arc, but the series as a whole. There is even a tease to follow Rip Hunter's adventures in Return of Bruce Wayne and Time Masters. Time Masters?....I haven't even heard about this. In today's day and age that's odd.
  • Adventure Comics #10- The Mon-El and Superboy stories combine and the mole in Gen. Lane's HDC is found out (well he "knew all along"). The two Superboys part is done well, but the mole story...well it must pay off somehow. I just don't see why it was needed.

The Alright:

  • New Mutants #12- Wells continues the tension of the event reenforcing the fact that even though the mutants have powers they are still outnumbered. The Newbies have a dangerous and crucial task of confronting the Right troops at their base and prevent them from providing reenforcements to the troops after Hope who are engaging the X-Men. With the "Death" Archangel, cyborg Cameron Hodge and all the mutant haters the X-books are very 90's nostalgic.
  • Doomwar #1- Actually from last week. I picked this up because a friend enjoyed it. And I did too. I hadn't read any Black Panther since Marvel dumped Priest for Hudlin on the character. I could see a bit of the Priest Panther in this issue. It was good enough to make me want to pick up the next issue.
  • Siege: Captain America #1- Christos N. Gage writes this passable little adventure with the two Caps. Aside from having a lame (i.e. easily beatable) villain in Razorfist there is a nice part where Bucky says he is Cap to a little kid.
  • Siege: Young Avengers #1- I am not a Sean McKeever fan (he ran Teen Titans into the ground) but he does a resonable job with telling the adventures of the YAs during Siege. I wished more of the Siege: books had similar plots. There is so much going on, that one-shots focusing on certain characters or teams are almost needed to give some emotion to the story.
  • Action Comics #888- I'm so tired of this avatar for Kryptonian deities storyline. Even with the guest appearence of the JSA and Wonder Woman couldn't get me into this issue. The Captain Atom story invokes pretty much the same reaction.

No trades for sale that caught my eye...I was hoping to get Essential Daredevil Vol. 5, but the store did not get any.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 4/7/10

The Good:
  • Superman: Secret Origin #5- Johns manages to bring in lots of bits from the many origins that Superman has had yet make it new. He even ties in the current arcs. I know this is the fourth or fifth revamp of his origin in the last ten years, but I am loving it.
  • Superman: Last Stand Of New Krypton #2- Things don't look too good for New Krypton, as the story hits its halfway point. TBC in Adventure Comics next week
  • Lone Ranger #21- A truly horrifying comic as Cavendish strikes at the Ranger's last family members. It's masterfully written and drawn, but so terrible in what happens.
  • Uncanny X-Men #523- Fraction handles his part of the X-over well, touching on stuff from last week's Second Coming and moving forward with Cyclops' plans for each separate team. I also like that the New Mutants are given a chance to shine, or will be if people pick up that title next week. I think Fraction does a pretty good job in trying to get people to do that the way he sets it up.

The Alright:

  • The Flash Secret Files And Origins: 2010 #1- I the story, an insomniac Barry races to his childhood house he meets with all the speedsters who apparently can sense what each other (or just Barry) is feeling. Meanwhile, the Rogues gather in a hideout of the original Mirror Master and a giant mirror that says "In case the Flash returns break glass". The rest of the issue is an (re)introduction to the Barry Allen Flash world. Central City, the crime lab, the Rogues are all covered.
  • Zorro: Matanzas #3- The tension is amped up as Zorro confronts Machete with his father's life in the balance. The rage he feels at seeing his wounded father threatens to undo the support of the people.

In Trade:

On sale this week at my local comic store was the Immortal Iron Fist Vol. 4: The Mortal Iron Fist. This is the arc that Duane Sweiczynski takes over as writer from Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction. That's a hard act to follow, but he does very well. While not quite as good as the previous volumes, it's still worth picking up.

Also on sale were back issue "trades"- that's all the issues of a mini sold together as a set. So I picked up the DC mini series Empire. This was a rare Mature Reader title with a DC logo and not a Vertigo one. An out of DCU story, it is about a super genius mastermind who has taken over the Earth (for the benefit of all). Written by Mark Waid, it is almost a trial run for Irredeemable. Except instead of a Superman type hero versus the world it's a Lex Luthor/Dr. Doom type that the world fights against. Art is by Barry Kitson and is beautiful, but sometimes graphic. Waid and Kitson would go on to launch the new Legion Of Super-Heroes title after this. Check it out if you like Irredeemable and Incorruptible.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Random Thoughts 8

-Blackest Night #8....Best issue of 2010(so far)

-Greg Rucka leaves DC. Huh?.....Despite all the friendly comments from both Rucka and DC offices there has to be something else going on here. Rucka is one of DC's MVPs...and he decides to just quit?

-the amount of non-news from Wondercon....It seems that the comic companies were pretty tight lipped (the usual wait and see runaround) while the movie companies treated fans well. Disney hocked Prince Of Persia, Sorcerer's Apprentice and Toy Story 3 with stars . While Warner Bros. pushed Inception with a Christopher Nolan surprise appearance, The Losers cast, Nightmare On Elm Street (new fan fave Jackie Earle-Haley app.), and Splice (a movie about animal/human hybrids that I never heard of before)

-Sherlock Holmes on Blu-ray....I love the interactive commentary with Guy Ritchie basically giving a lecture (fun one) during the movie. A novel idea to actually see him come on screen with the movie playing behind him on a "board". There are a few docs about the various aspects of making the movie. I was surprised at just how many location shoots there were.

-Toy Story/Toy Story 2....I re-bought these for Blu-ray. There are a few new features, but it's mostly a revamp of the 10th Anniversary DVD release. I enjoyed the shorts that added animation to stories that various crew members told about the "silly and wacky" stuff that went on behind the scenes. There were three of these each disc. On Toy Story 2 there was a tribute to Joe Ranft who passed after making Cars.

-Leonard Kirk is the new artist on New Mutants

-The role of Rick Grimes has been cast for the AMC TV adaptation of The Walking Dead. I don't know the dude (he's English) but he looks the part.

That's all for now...

-V.....It's back on the air and depite ABC's marketing campaign, I don't care.

-Lost....The episode focuses on Sun and Jin and their alt. history. And brings Desmond back! I am more and more convinced that the side flashes are actually going to be where the characters end up finally.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 3/31/10

The Good:
  • Amzing Spider-Man #627- Roger Stern returns to Spidey with a great story that references [complete with footnotes!] to previous issues and an interesting cliffhanger.
  • New Mutants #11- The Siege hits the X-books focusing on Moonstone's deal with Hela to have power to face Ares (in Uncanny X-Men during X-topia) and how that relates to the dying Asgardians.
  • Adventure Comics #9- Brainiac 5 has to time travel to save the future while Superboy, Supergirl and the Legion members already in the present try to unify the Kryptonians with a telepathic kick to their...caste system. And more of Zod's plant on Gen. Lane's HDC

The Alright:

  • Detective Comics #863- A reasonably good conclusion to the double story with Batman and Batwoman. A big plus is the fact that Scott Kolins contributes several pages to the story as artist. The kicker is the end with Bette Kane possibly becoming a partner to Kate as Batgirl?[taken] Flamebird? [a Kryptonian criminal by the DCU drive by media]. And the big bad of the Question story is revealed.
  • Realm Of Kings:Inhumans #5- Maximus' dealings have all been on Medusa's orders to solidify the Kree/Inhuman alliance. Before they can deal with this the probe they sent to the Fault returns with the monsterously mutated Kree crew members now one giant monster. After destroying it the Inhumans recieve word of the Galactic conference called by the GoG and Shi'ar.
  • Fantastic Four #577- In a "let's give this another try" moment I picked this up. Hickman introduces a neat idea of the Kree creating "Inhumans" out of other species (Dire Wraiths, Badoon, Kymellan). Of course, they have their eyes set on Earth as a base to launch a new kingdom ruled by the soon to be resurrected Black Bolt. The great art by Eaglesham cant cover up the fact that there is still something missing in the writing.
  • Justice League Of America #43- The new team is together for all of a one page splash page before Rise and Fall fallout and other stories start taking away members. Meanwhile the bad guys reveal their plot to the a double page spread of the Multiverse [ooooooo....] I continue to hope this title improves.
  • X-Men: Second Coming #1- Starting off the next X-over, Chris Yost and Kyle Craig do a pretty good job. With some nice tension of the threat and the chase/action scene this almost made it to the "Good" list. I like Cyclops putting into perspective theThe one thing that made me scratch my head was the reveal of the Human League...sorry, make that Sapien League. [eighties pop reference]I had thought that most of those people had been dealt with once and for all. This League is almost every anti-mutant human villain in the last forty-five years brought together.

And now a new catagory: AWESOME!:

  • Blackest Night #8- The conclusion of the storyline for GL/GLC and a good chunk of the DCU for the last few years. It does not disappoint. The art by Ivan Reis is just incredible, the only other artist that could have done this better would have been George Perez. [I am not the only one to say that, but I thought it as I was reading it]. You have so many great moments...


The Corps vs Black Lanterns, Hal creating the White Lantern Corps, the Anti-Monitor resurrection, the fold out pages with the other resurrections: Max Lord [uh-oh], Jade [what's Kyle gonna do], Hank Hall [sorry Holly], Captain Boomerang [a svelte looking original], Reverse-Flash [already hinted at by Flash: Rebirth], Firestorm [Jason and Ronnie?], Martian Manhunter [Yes!], Aquaman [double Yes!], the Hawks [the old/new Hawkgirl], Osiris[WTF?], and Deadman? [should that be Aliveman now?]

I can't wait for Brightest Day!

How DC Ruined Comics For Me

Talk about your stupid, overwraught, drawn out storylines. This week DC has far surpassed Marvel in that type of comic book storytelling.

I'm talking, of course about the train wreck that is Blackest Night!

Where to start?

The writing:

Geoff Johns is such a hack! This is nothing more than giving service to the fanboys out there! want this guy back from the dead?....No problem! How about her?.... and this guy?...Sure!....I'll even throw in this guy, because I like him so much. [Notice how I did that spoiler free] Plus, he just crams in so many things to get this story resolved that he readers have had no time to process what they have just read, things just keep coming at them. I mean he doesn't even fully end the plotlines in this issue. He leaves about a half dozen or so dangling storylines that readers will have to follow up by reading other books. One could say this was nothing more than a clever marketing scheme for his next comic series. However, if Brightest Day means more of this type of writing then I don't have much hope for it as a series or his future at DC as a writer.

The Art:

Ivan Reis has worked in comics steadily for the last few decades. The scope of this series and the last issue in particular are too great for him. I mean, this is the type of project that you would want the cream of the crop on. I'm talking about artists like George Perez or ...well, only Perez could have done this,...but Jim Lee or Phil Jimenez or Rags Morales have done epic scale stories well. Even Van Sciver could have done this (taking forever though). Sure, Reis tries...I just hope he can find work after this.


Of course! Blackest Night #8 is AWWWWWEEEESOMMMMMMMMEEEE!