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.