Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My All Hail Megatron review is featured on iFanboy.com !

Every once in a while I post a review on iFanboy.com, typically only if I feel strongly one way or the other about a book. This past week I posted my review of the exceptionally enjoyable All Hail Megatron #12. Weekly, the iFanboy.com people choose some reviews to highlight and this past week my review got picked :-)

Check it out (it's under my DemonBoy username):

iFanboy Reviews

Monday, June 29, 2009

Looking Forward to Wednesday - 7/1/2009

A fairly slow week considering what the last few have been like and what the next few stacks will be like. I’ll try to get First Impressions up ASAP on Wednesday and reviews will be up by the weekend. Click below for this week’s pull list :

Batman & Robin #2 – Good start with the last issue, let’s see if the momentum can continue.

Final Crisis Aftermath : Run! #3 – More from the villain that you love to hate. The new and improved Human Flame has a lot to deal with, and I’m loving the intro of the old and forgotten villains.

Green Lantern Corps #38 – The finale of Emerald Eclipse should give us the fate of Sodam Yat and promises to reveal the next law added to the Book of Oa. What could it be? Green Lanterns cannot eat meat on Fridays? Green Lanterns must look both ways before crossing the galaxy? No same sex marriages between Green Lanterns? Who knows? The Guardians have been tools lately so this could go anywhere.

Justice League : Cry for Justice #1 - I’m really unsure about this title. I have really grown to enjoy James Robinson’s writing, and I like the concept. My biggest problem is that this was announced ages ago and I was excited then, but not so much anymore. I’ll definitely pick up at least the first issue, but with so many titles on my list at the moment it may have to wait until trade for the rest.

Secret Six #11 – There hasn’t been a bad issue of Secret Six so far. The art and writing are just incredible and I love seeing things from the bad guys’ perspective and this new arc has begun in a very disturbing fashion.

Simpsons Super Spectacular #9 – The 3rd and final chapter of the epic, world changing Radioactive Man Event! I’m dying to find out what the big reveal will be for Radioactive Man. Funny as hell so far.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shining Light on Blackest Night : Week 0

To kick off the new weekly feature, I’ll cover what we know so far going into Blackest Night. The Free Comic Book Day offering from DC Comics, Blackest Night #0, gave us some prep for the event, and pulling information from solicits and other online sources has let us know who some of the Black Lanterns will be and some of what we can expect, although much is still kept secret. Click below to continue :

Basically, as Geoff Johns has said many times at conventions, anyone who has died in the DC Universe is fair game for the Black Lantern Corps and lately, that’s been a lot of people. I really hope that they put some decent character stories into this event instead of just focusing on the “horror / zombie” aspect of it. I really want to see what happens mentally and emotionally to many of these characters when their dead relatives, loved ones, teammates and even enemies return from the dead.

Judging from the images that we’ve seen so far, when the individuals are inducted into the Black Lantern Corps they get, besides the obvious black ring, a new black and silver costume that looks like a mix of their old costume and Black Hand’s costume. Also, those that have capes get a fancy new split cape that looks like it forms a five-fingered hand when it’s blowing around…pretty slick, huh?

Black Hand, who has been a Green Lantern villain for some time now, recently received an update by Geoff Johns which started back in Green Lantern : Rebirth and continued through the Secret Origin arc in the regular Green Lantern series. Black Hand is being groomed to become the leader of the Black Lantern Corps, with the Anti-Monitor’s corpse supplying power for the Central Black Lantern. His dark benefactor remains a mystery, although there have been whispers that it is Nekron, a being who rules part of Hell, who is pulling the strings for Black Hand. From what I was reading online, it seems that Nekron already raised the dead members of the Green Lantern Corps with rings powered by death back in Green Lantern Annual #7 (1998).

In Blackest Night #0, (you can check out my original review HERE) we see Black Hand track down Bruce Wayne’s unmarked grave. He rips the skull out of the ground and begins to chant the Black Lantern’s oath while holding the skull. To me, this would put Bruce Wayne as the first Black Lantern, but I think they may save him until later. I really, really, really am dying to see what a Black Lantern Batman costume would look like.

Confirmed Black Lanterns So Far (through solicits or preview images):

Black Hand – Leader of the Black Lanterns

Earth 2 Superman (Kal-L) – killed by Superboy Prime in Infinite Crisis
Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onnz) – killed by Libra in Final Crisis
Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond) – killed by Shadow Thief in Infinite Crisis
Psycho Pirate (Roger Hayden) – killed by Black Adam in Infinite Crisis
Terra (Tara Markov)
Aquaman (Arthur Curry) – supposedly died in the Aquaman title, but I didn’t read it
Deadman (Boston Brand)
The Flying Graysons (Dick Grayson’s family)
Katma Tui (Green Lantern) killed by Star Sapphire
Jade (Jenny-Lynn Hayden) died during the Rann-Thanagar War

Rumored Black Lanterns :

Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny) – killed by Neron in 52
Sue Dibny – killed by Jean Loring in Identity Crisis
Jean Loring
Al Pratt (The Atom) killed by Extant during Zero Hour
Captain Boomerang (Digger Harkness) – killed by Jack Drake in Identity Crisis
Jack Drake (Tim Drake’s father) – killed by Captain Boomerang in Identity Crisis
Batman (Bruce Wayne) – “killed” by Darkseid in Final Crisis
Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) – killed by Maxwell Lord in OMAC Project
Maxwell Lord – killed by Wonder Woman
Human Bomb (Roy Lincoln) – killed by Bizarro in Infinite Crisis
The Question (Vic Sage) – died of lung cancer in 52
Doctor Light (Arthur Light) – killed by The Spectre in Final Crisis : Revelations
Jonathan Kent – killed by Brainiac in Superman
Alexander Luthor – killed by The Joker in Infinite Crisis
Martin Jordan (Hal Jordan’s Father) – died in a plane crash
Abin Sur (Hal Jordan’s predecessor) – killed by Atrocitus
Every dead Green Lantern Corps member

So, let’s hope that this event can live up to the massive hype. It’s starting off with great creators, and Geoff Johns did a fantastic job with the Sinestro Corps War and the buildup of the War of Light leading into Blackest Night.

Assuming things ship on time (which has been an issue with DC events) check back next week for the prologue to Blackest Night : GL #43. I have much respect for Geoff Johns though, who wrote a personal letter to the fans in Blackest Night #0 that addresses the common flaws of major event books and he is taking the lead in making sure that everyone works together to put out a book that is worth the money and shipped as scheduled.

Death is coming to the DC Universe.....and I'll be covering it :-)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Comic Book Reviews - 6/24/2009

Man, it seems the weeks are getting more and more expensive. 1 books this week, although 2 were from last week so we’ll call it 9. How did they stack up? Four were great, four were OK, and one was disappointing. Not a bad week.

What happened? Let me tell you...Poison Ivy plays dominatrix to Zatanna (sweeeet), Atom Smasher disses Stargirl, Mon-EL meets Robo-Octo-Ape (I’m not kidding, and it’s really cool), Omega Supreme blasts a hole in the Statue of Liberty, Batwoman gets a creepy new adversary, Destro gets a shiny new face, Wonder Woman punches a god in his face (you heard me), Springfieldianites await the big news about Radioactive Man, and the Guardians of the Universe pull a serious dick move.

I did pick up parts 1 & 2 of The Simpsons’ 3-Part Radioactive Man Event, so I will be reviewing these all at once after the next issue releases next week. Extremely funny so far :-) Want more? Click below :

Pick of the Week

Transformers : All Hail Megatron #12
Story by Shane McCarthy
Art by Guido Guidi

Note to big event writers : This is how you do a 12-issue story arc! From beginning to end, this book has been required reading for any fan of the Transformers. I really would love to see this story animated, similar to how GI : Joe Resolute was handled…a little more adult oriented and modernized, but keeping most of the Generation One goodness that we grew up with.

Most of the issue ties up all of the conflicts from the last issue, including the main fight between Megatron and Optimus Prime. After Prime proceeds to beat Megatron nearly to death (or I guess it would be deactivation) with his own arm cannon, a measly human delivers the crushing blow. Starscream shows incredible maturity and leadership, for once, for instead of yelling his usual “Megatron has fallen! I am your new leader!!” he picks up his fallen superior out of respect and carries him off the battlefield like a true soldier. I guess Megatron’s speech a few issues ago really hit home with him.

Oh, and that little matter of a nuclear device being delivered by a Decepticon in disguise? Totally handled by an extremely unexpected character who steps up for the sake of honor, and is sacrificed for his beliefs. This was a completely out of the blue story twist that worked very well. Like I said before, this should be required reading for any Transformers fan and is currently my frontrunner for Title of the Year.

Disappointment of the Week

Green Lantern #42
Story by Geoff Johns
Art by Philip Tan and Eddy Barrows

I hate to do this to my favorite title from DC, but this week’s issue just seemed to fall short. From a really unappealing explanation of last week’s cliffhanger to unbelievably poor art, this week’s Green Lantern was a poor end to the Agent Orange storyline.

First the story. Hal gets his hand cut off by Agent Orange last issue, right? Wrong. It was a construct of Hal. For a guy who commands a whole army of ring constructs, you would think he could tell the difference. The John Stewart and Fatality thing…huh? And finally, what the hell did the Blue Lanterns ever do to the Guardians??? I know Ganthet and Sayd left to start the Blue Lantern Corps, but was that enough for the Guardians to point Agent Orange in their direction??? Whoever was beginning to hate that Guardians before, get ready to really hate them now.

Now the art. Philip Tan’s art completely fell apart in this issue. It goes from clean to sketchy, and the inking seems poorly executed as well. Then, as if this wasn’t enough, there are painted panels that completely stand out from the regular panels that are laid in here and there.

The only saving grace of this issue is the epilogue, which deals with Lanterns Saarek and Ash finally locating the Anti-Monitor’s corpse inside the Black Lantern. As Saarek realizes that maybe the dead people that have been speaking to him haven’t been very helpful, a pair of giant hands reach up to attempt to trap them. Could this be Nekron, rumored puppeteer of the Black Lantern Corps??? We’ll hopefully find out next issue.

This issue wasn’t horrible, but I do hold Green Lantern up to a higher standard than most books because it has kicked serious ass for the longest time. Blackest Night starts next issue so we should be back to awesomeness.

The Rest

Detective Comics #854
Story by Greg Rucka
Art by J.H. Williams III

A decent start to the Elegy storyline starring Batwoman, but the real story here is the art by J.H. Williams III. When Kate Kane is living her normal life, all is normal in the art. Regular grid panels laid out in the classic manner. But when she dons the Batwoman costume, all hell breaks loose on the page. We see varied panel styles, shapes and sizes, art that jumps from panel to panel in the most dynamic style that I have seen in quite some time, if ever.

Rucka turns in a good start to the story and introduces a (I think) new villain for Batwoman to contend with. The backup Question story goes absolutely nowhere, but it could just need some setup to get up and running.

G.I. Joe #6
Story by Chuck Dixon
Art by Robert Atkins

I honestly can’t remember from the cartoon how or why Destro got his metal mask, but we get a solid explanation in this issue. As he is trying to convince Baroness that Conra’s money is being well spent, Destro demonstrates his technology for “weaponized teleportation” which just sounds downright cool. After an error in the return teleport, he has to wear a suit that stabilizes him, complete with a full head metal mask.

This series continues a very slow build, which is thoroughly enjoyable considering we are 6 issues in and we have barely scratched the surface of Cobra. I have enjoyed the focus on Destro as the initial villain, since he is one of my favorites from the original cartoon.

Great issue every month and a title I definitely look forward to every time it comes out.

Gotham City Sirens #1
Story by Paul Dini
Art by Guillem March

I’m not sure what exactly I think about this issue. The art is pure Guillem March cheesecake, which isn’t exactly bad…especially with the main characters being three of the sexier female DC stars. There is one gratuitous scene where Poison Ivy uses her control over plant life to tie up and question Zatanna as she is half-naked and getting into a tub, but overall the art is very well done.

Story wide, it’s pretty much pure setup in this issue for what’s to come. Villains teaming up and then turning on each other, and there is a pretty amusing newcomer villain that keeps annoying the girls. Not a bad issue by any means, but it is on my 3-issue death watch considering the sheer number of Bat-Titles out right now.

Superman #689
Story by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes

Superman this month was a surprise and I totally enjoyed the flood of new and underused characters that the issue introduced. Here’s to hoping that these characters get followed up on in the future.

Mon-El flies around the world to do some sightseeing but along the way he realizes that a hero’s work is never done. As he meets these new heroes, and villains you just want to hear more about them past their one or two panel appearances. We meet the British hero team of Beaumont and Sunny Jim, the Spanish La Sangre, the German Von Hammer, Congorilla and Freedom beast in Africa, then off to Japan to fight the giant Robo-Octo-Ape alongside Dr. Light and Rising Sun.

Along with Guardian sticking up for Mon-El in the increasing anti-Kryptonian (and anti-alien) climate of Metropolis, and John Henry Irons getting quite a surprise at IronWorks, the issue is packed with plot setup and guest appearances making it a great read and a look at things to come.

Wonder Woman #33
Story by Gail Simone
Art by Aaron Lopresti

In the final issue of the Rise of the Olympian storyline we get a recap of what happened previously, and a look forward to what may be coming. Diana returns to Themyscira battered from her fight with Genocide as Ares springs an army of demons on the island.

Zeus arrives after all is done and tells Diana to return to worshipping him, which Diana responds to by punching Zeus in the face. Yup, you heard me right, Wonder Woman punches a god in the face. After that she leaves the island, and her mother and sisters behind to brave it on her own.

Not the best issue ever, but a good wrap-up to the Olympian story.

Justice Society of America #28
Story & Art by Jerry Ordway

Part 2 of the 2-part Jerry Ordway story wraps up as we prepare for Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges along with Jesus Merino to take over this title. The story provides a good break in between Johns leaving and the new team coming to bat. Also, and I just realized this, the second title this week to involve a nuclear weapon falling from the sky (the other being All Hail Megatron).

Nothing particularly Earth-shattering happens and it seems like this was a story that was kind of hanging around looking for a two-issue hole to fill. Not a bad story to fill-in the gap, though and we get started back into continuity and the new team next issue.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Movie Review : Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

This has been quite the Transformers week for me. First, I’ve been watching Season One of the original series, then the finale of All Hail Megatron in the comics, and yesterday we went to see Revenge of the Fallen. How was it? My feelings on the movie were a bit complicated but overall, I enjoyed it. Click below for more (spoilers ahead) :

Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Written by Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci & Ehren Krueger
Directed by Michael Bay
Starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, John Turturro

This is a big budget, Michael Bay action movie and if you walk in expecting that (like I did) you will definitely not be disappointed. There were distinct good and bad points which I’ll go over in a minute and I will lose my fanboy membership card for what I’m going to say about Megan Fox.

This movie introduces MANY more Autobots and Decepticons, most of which were very well done. On the Autobot side, we get Sideswipe (who was badass and rather underused in my opinion), Arcee and two other motorcycles who don’t get names in the movie, and then….”The Twins”, more on them later. Bolstering the ranks of the Decepticons, we have an appearance by Soundwave who has always been one of my favorites so I was worried about how he would be handled, which was not bad. The voice of Soundwave was handled by veteran voice acting god and original Soundwave actor Frank Welker. A bit more Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget than G1 Soundwave, but it worked well. Ravage shows up and was easily my favorite new Decepticon, and then the Constructicons who eventually get together to create Devastator.

There are also a few real people in the film! I know it’s hard to tell but the real actors in the film do a decent job, except for one whose name rhymes with Megan Fox, but we’ll talk about that later. Shia LaBeouf is basically himself with a bit of humor and decent action skills, while I could have done without his comic relief roommate. John Turturro is hilarious, reprising his role as Agent Simmons (S7 is no longer inexistence so he runs a deli with his mother). Sam’s parents steal the show in the beginning with their comedic performances. I was laughing out loud during the scenes where they are packing Sam up for college and when they get to the school. Excellent cameo by Rainn Wilson (aka Dwight Schrute) as a college professor, as well.

So here we go with some Good and Bad points :

The Good

The sound design is far improved over the first movie, you can actually understand what the robots are saying, especially Starscream and Megatron (yes, he’s back in case you already didn’t know.)

The locations are much more interesting. The movie kicks right off with a battle in and around a Chinese factory complex (which I know was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania but it’s dressed well). We then move to New York City, Egypt, Jordan and there is a phenomenal fight scene in a forest area that gives you a great sense of scale for these giant robots.

The fight scenes are incredible. Bay really steps up the action here. In one scene, Optimus Prime takes on 4 Decepticons on his own and really shows off some serious fighting moves.

Wheelie & Sideswipe are my new favorite Autobots. I thought Wheelie would be kind of annoying, but the humor worked for me. Especially since he starts out as a Decepticon and the scene where he realizes that he can just change sides is very funny. Sideswipe shines in the opening fight scene in China, as he nimbly glides around like a ninja and uses swords instead of guns to literally slice a Decepticon in half.

Ravage was my new favorite Decepticon. He actually does eject from Soundwave’s chest which made me smile and he had guns attached to his hips. Although he doesn’t start out as a cassette, since most of the 15 year olds in the audience would have been lost at that point. Since Soundwave is now a satellite, Ravage starts out as some sort of probe. The movement and viciousness of Ravage was handled well and he appears in the movie quite a bit.

Devastator brings the destruction. That was one gigantic-ass robot. The scene where he climbs the Great Pyramid and begins smashing it like one of the monsters in the classic videogame Rampage was excellent. I just wish that Devastator fought more actual Autobots, but oh well.

The Fallen was handled well as a character. He gives you some insight into how the old school Transformers functioned. I thought he was very underused, given that his name is in the title, but the movie was already crammed so full of plot lines that there wasn’t much room.

The Bad

“The Twins”,who were two small immature robots that are in there for nothing more than comic relief. I have to admit that they weren’t as annoying as I thought they would be, but their urban slang, and distorted appearances became old really quickly…one of them even has a gold tooth. Seriously. I understand why they are in there, to appeal to the teenage crowd, but since I’m not one of them (by a long shot) I’m not interested.

The movie is about 20-30 minutes too long. It clocks in at over 2 and a half hours, which I usually don’t have an issue with, but I did here. First thing I’d cut? See “The Twins” above :-)

A female Decepticon shows up that looks like a human girl and then can change into a human sized robot. This comes completely out of nowhere and I’m not even going to begin to get into how strange this was, especially with zero explanation.

Megan Fox was completely and utterly useless in this movie except to have her bent over a motorcycle or running in slow motion in tight shirts. Don’t get me wrong, I know why she’s in the movie, it’s just that she has no actual acting skill and contributes nothing to the film besides eye candy.

And here is my crazy little nitpick : Why can Josh Duhamel not talk on electronic devices? In the first movie he risks his life in order to place a phone call to the Pentagon and once it connects he throws the phone to Tyrese Gibson. Here he manages to get a radio and after running through gunfire, does the same thing. I know it is a psychotic little nitpick, but it really stood out to me for some reason.

I’ll end the Good / Bad routine there. Like I said, if you go into it expecting a Michael Bay action movie where there are huge explosions with people diving away in slow motion, you’ll have a great time. If you are a fanatical Transformers fan who dislikes change and you didn’t like the first one, you will probably hate this movie.

Oh by the way, see if you can pick out the cameo appearance by a Sharkticon, and I really could have done without seeing Devastator’s balls. And Jetfire shows up! Every Transformers fan loves Jetfire, and I think he is handled well here; I’m just not sure where he picked up the accent. Oh well…

I’ll give Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen 3.5 stars out of 5. Fantastic action and the robots look great, just a bit long and a bit too much juvenile humor. I understand this movie isn’t targeted towards 34 year old comic book guys so I’ll let it slide

One side note for parents of young children, the language in this movie pushes the upper limit of PG-13, so if you are sensitive to this for your kids, definitely go watch it first. It amazes me how many people will take a 9 year old to a PG-13 movie, and then complain about the content even though they didn't pre-screen it themselves.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

First Impressions - 6/24/2009

Lots of books came home with me this week, along with the new previews catalog. Click below for the first impressions in order of reading :

Green Lantern #42 – Oh that was cheap Geoff Johns…I expected better.

All Hail Megatron #12 – Excellent end to an excellent series. Thundercracker?? Really? Wow. Pick of the week so far.

G.I. Joe #6 – Hmmmmmm, so that’s how Destro got like that. Well done backstory for the old Chrome Dome.

Gotham City Sirens #1 – Art is great, I want to love the story but I’m not loving it yet. This may be on the 3 issue death-list.

Detective Comics #854 – The art in this book is stunning, story is not bad either.

Bart Simpson #48 – This is absolutely hilarious, poking fun at all aspects of giant event comics.

Still need to read JSA #28, Wonder Woman #33 and Superman #689 but it is too damned hot in here. I’ll have reviews up for them later in the week, or possibly as early as tomorrow. We’ll see what the schedule is like.

Shining Some Light on Blackest Night : Intro

Yup, I signed on for the whole Blackest Night event. Every issue, and every tie-in will be in my hands and I can’t wait for it to begin. Each week I’ll be breaking down what happened and reviewing the issues in this special Blackest Night section of the blog. Click below to continue :

For those that don’t know, the prophesized Blackest night is descending on the DC Universe and no one is safe. The Black Lanterns will be here soon, powered by death and raising the deceased heroes and villains of the DC Universe in order to achieve their goals.

So far, the solicited books through September are as follows :

JULY 2009

7/8/09 - Green Lantern #43

7/15/09 – Blackest Night #1 (of 8), Blackest Night : Tales of the Corps #1 (of 3)

7/22/09 – Blackest Night : Tales of the Corps #2 (of 3), Green Lantern #44

7/29/09 – Blackest Night : Tales of the Corps #3 (of 3)


8/5/09 – No Blackest Night Books

8/12/09 – Blackest Night #2 (of 8), Blackest Night : Batman #1 (of 3), Green Lantern Corps #39
8/19/09 – Blackest Night : Superman #1 (of 3)

8/26/09 – Blackest Night : Titans #1 (of 3), Green Lantern #45


9/2/09 – No Blackest Night Books

9/9/09 – Blackest Night : Batman #2 (of 3), Green Lantern Corps #40

9/16/09 – Blackest Night #3 (of 8)

9/23/09 – Blackest Night : Superman #2 (of 3)

9/30/09 – Blackest Night : Titans #2 (of 3), Green Lantern #46

Damn, that is a lot of books :-) I also heard that there will be a Blackest Night : JSA mini added at some point as well. With the main book written by Geoff Johns and art duties being handled by the always incredible Ivan Reis, this should prove to be a fairly incredible series. Hopefully it doesn’t collapse under it’s own hype like Final Crisis, because I’ve been looking forward to this book since the conclusion of the Sinestro Corps War, which was (I think) about 2 years ago.

Check back next week for Shining Some Light on Blackest night - Week 0, and I'll talk about who will be a Black Lantern, who might be a Black Lantern, and what happened in the Free Comic Book Day issue : Blackest Night #0

Looking Forward to Wednesday (6/24/2009)

Here we are once again on the best day of the week, and what a week it will be. Hopefully I can get to the comic shop before melting under the ridiculous heat they are predicting for today. We also may go and see Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen today as well, if so I'll post a review later in the week. Click below for this week's books :

Most Anticipated Book :

All Hail Megatron #12
Story by Shane McCarthy
Art by Guido Guidi

What the hell? Green Lantern comes out this week and it's not my most anticipated book? I Must say it was close, but All Hail Megatron has consistently kicked ass and I cannot wait to see what the "final" issue brings after last month's cliffhanger "Oh Shit!" moment. I say "final" because this issue should end the main story, then there are 2 or 3 more issue to wrap up and set up the next big story. Fantastic book with amazing art. I highly recommend this title to any Transformers fan.

The Rest :

Detective Comics #848 : Beginning the Batwoman Elegy storyline. Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams?? How can this be bad?

Bart Simpson Comics #48 : I don't usually pick up Simpson's comics...which is weird, being that I'm such a fanatic, but I've heard good things lately and I'm going to give them a shot.

G.I. Joe #6 : Wrapping up the first major story arc, ths book has been enjoyable from the beginning. I love the focus on Destro and the way they keep Cobra in the background for now.

Gotham City Sirens #1 : I've been looling forward to this one for a while now. Paul Dini turned in a good issue with Streets of Gotham, so let's see what he can do with these ladies of Gotham City.

Green Lantern #42 : Like I said before, almost my Most Anticipated, because I'm dying to see where they take this after last issue's final page. Blackest Night is coming, and it can't get here soon enough.

Justice Society of America #28 : Last issue was decent, being the first post-Johns book, I'm still unsure as to whether I'll keep it on my regular pull list, we'll see what happens here.

Wonder Woman #33 : The end of the Rise of the Olympian story. Great title every month.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Comic Book Reviews - 6/17/2009

Another hefty week for the comic enthusiast, and quite a few of my books featured female lead characters. It’s good to see decent creative teams being assigned to female projects like Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner on Power Girl and Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle on Supergirl.

So what happened? Here’s what happened in a nutshell : Chuckles gets his cover blown big time, Ultra-Humanite has a sex life...ewwwwww, Firefly steps up to a new level in Gotham, Bomb Queen was bad and not in that usual good way, Nightwing and Flamebird find each other, Supergirl runs back to mommy…again, and Executive Assistant Iris truly kicked all kinds of ass. Want more? Click below :

Pick of the Week :

G.I. Joe : Cobra #4
Story by Mike Costa & Christos N. Gage
Art by Antonio Fuso

I wasn’t aware that this was going to be that last issue and I want more! This mini-series was one of the better reads this year and IDW’s GI Joe re-launch has been dead on so far.

For those that didn’t read the Cobra mini, this follows a GI Joe deep cover operative named Chuckles who has to do some pretty reprehensible things all in the name of taking down Cobra…or at least trying to.

This issue shows his world falling apart, as he is outed and realizes that some of the more horrible things he has done were for nothing. Some old favorites show up like Tomax and Xamot, and we get to see how Xamot gets his trademark scar. Basically as Chuckles begins to realize that his work was all for not, he also realizes that he hasn’t even scratched the surface of this new and terrifying organization called Cobra.

Fantastic writing and art in the whole series really pull it together. I know that there is a special issue coming out around September, but I wish this was an ongoing, documenting the Cobra side of things and the inner workings of the organization. Oh well, this was a great mini-series and I highly recommend it to any child of the 80s. Now you know…and knowing is half the battle.

Disappointment of the Week :

Bomb Queen presents All Girl Comics #1
Story by Kat Cahill
Art by Seth Damoose

So, during this week of comics featuring female leads I was happy to see Bomb Queen on the pull list to balance out the whiny Supergirl, the sleek Executive Assistant Iris, and the super-tough Power Girl. Awesome, right? Wrong. I don’t recall the last time a comic made me angry, simply because it was so bad. Oh, wait…Oracle : The Cure.

This book was such a disappointment that I still have not picked it back up to finish the story. First of all, the only involvement that Bomb Queen creator Jimmie Robinson has is the cover art (which is the best part of this book by the way). There is absolutely none of his witty commentary on superhero (and villain) comics or delightfully disturbing dialog or imagery in this book, just feeble attempts at mimicking his unique style.

Second, the interior art is horrible. I mean, I actually looked in my personal collection to see if I had anything else by this artist, and thankfully I do not. Then, as I’m looking at the intro page, it talks about pinups at the end, with one by Jim Lee. I’m thinking “Wow, what would a Jim Lee Bomb Queen look like?” Flip to the back after being bored stiff by the story, and there are pinups of something titled Incredible Journey. I’m not sure what it is but the pinups are extraordinarily dull and uninteresting.

Let’s just say that I’m excited about Bomb Queen vol. 6 being announced and I hope that Jimmie Robinson is back in full force with the evil comic that we’ve grown to love. This issue can be completely avoided and if you were going to check this out to judge whether or not you could get into BQ, please just go straight to the BQ trades.

The Rest :

Supergirl #42
Story by Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle

Not much happens in this issue. It basically involves lots of people moving around and it feels as if they’re all getting into position for something to happen. I’m not sure what that is but I’m sure it will kick off the next story arc. Not a bad issue by any means, and Supergirl has definitely been better under Gates and Igle than it has ever been.

Executive Assistant Iris #1
Story by David Wohl & Brad Foxhoven
Art by Eduardo Francisco

This is just a fun comic. Sexy personal assistant doubles as vicious bodyguard for powerful businessman. Great stuff. Iris serves her boss, a Chinese international tycoon, as assistant, spy, assassin and….lover? When one of his employees crosses the line, that employee gets a visit from Iris and it does not end well for the employee. But when Iris’ boss crosses some of his associates, Iris must protect him at all costs. Excellent story and dynamic art really carry this title to the top of my read list. I’m on board for the foreseeable future on this one.

Batman : Streets of Gotham #1
Story by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

The first of two post-Battle for the Cowl spin-offs written by Paul Dini, both of which I was very excited about. Streets of Gotham did not disappoint. It begins with an encounter between the police and Harley Quinn, then an amusing encounter between Quinn and the new Batman and Robin. Robin has a great line during their conversation, and I enjoy seeing Damian portrayed this way. He says : “She’s annoying. May I cut out her tongue?” The rest of the story involves Firefly stepping up to claim a spot as one of the big bads in Gotham’s new crime regime with an act of terrorism that is truly, well….terrifying.

The art by Dustin Nguyen is fantastic. Nguyen is one of the artists that has really grown on me in the past few years and his style is perfect for this grim and gritty look at Gotham’s underbelly. I’m definitely keeping this on my pull list for now.

Power Girl #2
Story by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art by Amanda Conner

The second issue of this new monthly series does not disappoint. The story by Palmiotti and Gray continues to move quickly and the art by Amanda Conner is stellar. Her rendition of the Justice Society is well done and refreshing. The dynamic quality of the encounter between Power Girl and the Ultra-Humanite is brutal and you can feel every slam and jolt.

The backstory for Ultra-Humanite is handled well and told in an economic and efficient manner. I don’t know much about this character and if it sticks to his original rots, but I like it. Although the part where his hench-woman is propositioning him for sex (after he’s a giant ape) is kind of disturbing. The only problem I had in this issue was a scene about halfway through where, after all of the straight action, there is two pages of office people standing around and talking about things that have little to no bearing on the actual book. Anyway, besides that one immensely small nitpick, this continues to be a good start for this monthly.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Show & Tell #4 - DC Universe Action Figures

This is a big special return to the Show & Tell portion of my blog. About a week ago, I dropped my wife off at her parent’s house, approximately 160 miles north of our home in Milwaukee. While driving along the highways, we pass lots of Targets and Wal-Marts that just happen to carry the DC Universe Classics line of action figures.

On the way up, my understanding and loving wife offered to stop at the first Target we saw to hunt down some figures and by the time we were driving home, she was right along with me in full-fledged quest mode stopping at every Target and Wal-Mart (and occasionally ShopKo). All in all, I got 7 action figures, plus the remaining pieces I needed for one of my Collect & Connect figures. Click below for details :

Have I mentioned before that my wife rules? Because seriously, she does. We had a blast together hunting down the elusive figures while heading home from “up north”. While I was driving, she was navigating and spotting for stores that might carry the figures. Here are pics of the haul before tearing open the boxes :

In the first picture, we have the JLU Booster Gold figure and DC Universe Classics Firestorm (action posed by Archie Cunningham), Killer Moth and long-hair 1990s Superman.

In the second picture, we have JLU Dr. Fate, and DC Universe Classics Captain Marvel and Mister Miracle.

And since most of these were Collect & Connect figures…put the pieces all together and you have :

Kalibak! Son of Darkseid and Chief of Security on the USS Enterprise. OK, just really the first one, the second is more of an inside joke for DC Animated Universe fans.

The Booster Gold and Doctor Fate figures are fairly decent. Most of the JLU figures are fairly consistent, they aren’t the most well put together and painted figures out there but the size works well for limited display area and the designs are pretty close to the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, of which I am a huge fan.

I just have one small nitpick with each figure. Booster Gold comes with his robotic sidekick Skeets, but there is nowhere to put him. He just has to lay there doing nothing. If they had a small clear post to mount him that came out of Booster’s shoulder, it would be a little cooler. Doctor Fate is very well done, but I’m confused by his accessory. There is a clear rubber “magic” accessory, but I have no idea how to place it and there is no image of him with the accessory on that I can see on the packaging. Like I said, very small nitpicks, and overall the figures are very cool. I passed over the Superwoman and Parasite figures from that line because they just weren’t doing it for me…but who knows, they may end up in the collection someday.

As far as the DC Universe Classics figures go, these are great looking. The finish and articulation on these figures is excellent. Firestorm is from Wave 1 and is not part of the Collect & Connect series, but he does come with a stand which allows him to be posed in some very cool ways. He also has “atomic power” attachments for his hand that add to his look.

Captain Marvel and Killer Moth are part of Wave 6, which is the Kalibak Collect & Connect series. I was actually hunting for Captain Marvel because I’m a fan. Killer Moth ended up on my shelf because he has the head and torso for the Kalibak figure. I’ll be honest though, it’s a pretty cool looking figure and a colorful addition to my villains display.

The next set is the rest of Wave 6 which includes Superman (with long 90s hair) and Mister Miracle. Superman is fairly normal and is a decent representation of the character. Upon putting these up on display, I realized that this is the first full size Superman action figure that I actually have.

Mister Miracle is highly detailed including his flight discs and he also comes with some futuristic looking restraints that can be removed. Lastly in this pic is the completed Kalibak, who is much larger than the standard figures to add to his imposing, villainous quality.

This was a great surprise that Liz arranged it so that I could get these figures, and the hunt for them is half the fun. Now I have to find places to display all of them :-)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

First Impressions 6/17/2009

Seems like it was a female-heavy week here for comic books with 4 of 7 books featuring female lead characters. I didn't get to fully read everything yet, due to my time spent rummaging through the bookstore last night, but I will get full reviews up by the end of the weekend. Also, look for a post very shortly cataloging my finds from my first of many trips to Downtown Books. Click below for First Impressions :

Batman : Streets of Gotham #1 - Not bad, not bad at all. Funny encounter between Harley Quinn and the police, and then HQ and Batman & Robin.

Power Girl #2 - This was really good for the second issue of this series. The scene with Humanite's girlfriend sort of creeeped me out though. Decent backstory for the villain.

GI Joe : Cobra #4 - Things just went from bad to "Wow, I'm dead" for Chuckles. The life of a double agent is harsh, and this book is doing a fantastic job of building up Cobra. Good to see Tomax and Xamot.

Bomb Queen presents All Girl Comics #1 – Oh...My...God. This was horrible. I’m actually angry at how bad this was.

Action Comics Annual #12 – I wasn’t entirely sure that I cared about the origins of Nightwing and Flamebird, but I do now, and it was pretty good.

Supergirl #42 – This issue seemed like it was just moving people into certain positions in anticipation of the next storyline. Not much happened, just a lot of moving around.

Executive Assistant Iris #1 – This issue kicks 12 kinds of ass. I’m hooked.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Quick Update

Hey Everyone,

Due to being super-busy this week with around the house type stuff, there will be no Looking Forward to Wednesday posted. I will be heading to the comic shop today and picking up some books as well as going to a great bookstore here in Milwaukee called Downtown Books, which is...ummmm....downtown. They have a large section of one of their upper floors dedicated to comic books.

I am on vacation this coming week so expect many posts and reviews, and the premier of at least one new regular feature that will tie-in with the upcoming Blackest Night event. There will also be a review for the DVD release of Transformers : Season One 25th Anniversary, including some of the rules of the Transformers drinking game that my buddy Shawn and I developed while watching it.

Thanks for checking in.

- Jason

Friday, June 12, 2009

Welcome back Bomb Queen!

Comic Book Resources posted the Image Comics solicitations for September 2009 today, and one of my all-time favorites, Bomb Queen, is coming back for her 6th volume. And, in typical Bomb Queen fashion, she's trashing the status quo in the comics industry. There has been a rather annoying trend lately, especially at Image Comics, to place our current President and admitted comics fan Barack Obama, on the covers being congratulated by the characters in order to boost sales.

Well, Bomb Queen ain't having that on her book, after all she is the villain and dictator of New Port City. Below is the cover solicited for Bomb Queen Volume 6 #1 :

Welcome back Queen! I can't wait to see what type of comic debauchery that brilliant writer / artist Jimmie Robinson has in store for us this time. Those that know me know that I am a huge fan of this book and it does indeed get more and more offensive as the series progress. Check it out if you have a dark sense of humor and are not easily offended. Although, this book is one of those situations where they pick on everyone so if you don't get offended at least once, there's something wrong with you.

- Jason

Comic Book Reviews - 6/10/2009

Another all DC week for me, as well as a JSA Alan Scott Green Lantern action figure for me and an Adam Hughes inspired Wonder Woman statue for my wife.

What happened in the comics? Let me tell you…Oa’s defensive outer layer crumbles while Daxam fights back, Tim Drake goes globetrotting in order to sulk, Barry Allen runs back through time in his new Goth Flash outfit, Nemesis is still confused (and so are we), Dick Grayson builds a better Batcave, Kobra takes lessons from al Queda while Power Girl looks angry (and, of course, chesty), all while Kryptonians get it on…and they do NOT like to be interrupted. Want more? Click below :

Pick of the Week :

Green Lantern Corps #37
Story by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason

Last time on Green Lantern Corps : GL Sodam Yat “sacrifices” himself and the Ion Power in order to turn the Daxam sun yellow. Daxam is currently being enslaved by a faction of the Sinestro Corps led by Mongul. Daxamites get Superman-level powers when exposed to yellow sunlight…to quote Mongul : “Ho-Leeee Shhhhh-iiit!”

OK, Mongul didn’t actually say that, but he had to have thought it because the Daxamites are now super powered and pissed. Green Lantern Arisia gathers them together to form a resistance group in order to take the fight to the invaders.

(Insert Superfriends narrator Ted Knight) Meanwhile, on Oa…Kyle, Guy and the rest of the various GLs continue to fight off the rioters from the Oan prison breakout. Guy does his usual trash talking while Kyle attempts to keep things together. The Alpha Lanterns show up, and for once they don’t look all weird and squiggly. I’m serious, the Alphas always looked really weird to me, but this time they’re all draped in shadow, bold and badass with their lanterns glowing proudly in their chests…awesome.

Meanwhile, beneath Oa…Scar, aka Scardian, takes her lead from the Book of the Black and cracks open Oa’s protective shell like a Cadbury’s Crème Egg, leaving it’s gooey sweet Lantern Home-Base filling exposed and waiting for the next attack. The Black Lanterns are coming, and it will be a rough time indeed.

Tomasi continues to impress, especially with the sense of dread he builds during the Corps’ inevitable and unstoppable descent into The Blackest Night. Gleason’s art just gets better and more epic as this event builds. The scene where Oa’s shields are breaking down and revealing the blackness of space just causes you to think that bad things are coming. Dead bad things. Guy sums it up best on the last page after cleaning up the riot, just as the shields are cracking. “Aw c’mon. You gotta be kiddin’ me!”

Surprise of the Week :

Red Robin #1
Story by Chris Yost
Art by Ramon Bachs

This book was one of two “maybes” that I had listed in Looking Forward to Wednesday, and for a “maybe” book…it definitely kicked some serious ass. My first read through this title was on a treadmill at the gym (yes I am that geeky that I read comics at the gym) and I couldn’t wait to get done my run so I could read it in a more in-depth manner.

Red Robin #1 creates an interesting new status quo for Tim Drake, until recently Robin. During Tony Daniel’s Battle For the Cowl story, he was one of the heroes that was, ummmmm….battling for the cowl. I like Tim Drake, he wanted to be Robin and essentially applied for the job by showing Batman what he could do. But the only issue I had with him becoming the new Batman is that he’s too young. After reading this issue, I’m starting to take back that limitation. Basically, Tim has now become Batman, but as Red Robin. He’s dark and intense but in his own costume (which is a small question I have, where did he get the Red Robin costume so quickly?).

Chris Yost handles the writing duties well as Tim leaves the Batcave upon seeing Damian in the Robin costume, although Damian’s insults didn’t help either. There is a great scene where Damian shows up in his new Robin costume (which looks much better here than in Batman & Robin) and sees Tim talking to Dick who is wearing the Batman costume.

Damian : We’ll have to upgrade security in the cave, Batman. Keep out the riff-raff.

And then….

Damian : Sorry, Drake. You’re still part of the team…maybe the Batgirl costume is available!

Great first issue and this definitely warrants an issue 2 purchase. I did pick up the JG Jones variant cover (pictured at the beginning) which features Red Robin on a motorcycle leaping through explosions. Good stuff.

The Rest :

One quick side note before we begin with the rest of the reviews. Over the past month or so, we’ve had a few preview pages in the back of the DC books for James Robinson’s Justice League : A Cry For Justice mini-series. It seems that the more I read these preview pages, the less interested I become in it and the more it falls on my Pick Up In Trade list. Anyone else feeling this way??? Let me know in the comments. Is it just that it doesn’t seem that interesting? Is it that it doesn’t seem like it will tie in with upcoming events like Blackest Night? Or, is it that it’s just been delayed waaay too long?

Flash : Rebirth #3
Story by Geoff Johns
Art by Ethan VanSciver

Finally this book picks up, but my main problem still hinders my enjoyment of this book….I’m just not that big of a Flash fan. I love Geoff Johns’ work, and I love Ethan VanSciver’s work, but I guess it all boils down to the fact that no matter who writes it and draws it, if you can’t get into the character then you can’t get into the character.

I’m not as knowledgeable in the history and canon of the Flash characters as I am in say, Batman or Green Lantern, so this may be tainting my experience here as well. The art is stunning. VanSciver’s portrayal of motion is absolutely amazing, as it should be since the book focuses on the Fastest Man Alive. The story is not bad, but it’s just not grabbing me. I did stop comparing it to Green Lantern : Rebirth and my friend and fellow reviewer Shawn did tell me to re-read the first two issues after this issue’s reveal at the end to get a better understanding of what is going on. Hopefully he will be putting together a more positive review because Flash is sort of his thing 

I don’t know. I never thought that I would consider dropping a Johns / VanSciver book and I am halfway through already. This is going to be a gut decision based on what happens after my re-read of the first 3 issues.

Final Crisis Aftermath : Escape #2
Story by Ivan Brandon
Art by Marco Rudy

What can I say? This book is still crazy but I want more. No idea what is going on yet as Nemesis still tries to figure out just where he is and what Electric City represents. This book is extremely trippy and twisted, but in a way that keeps you wanting more and wanting to find out what strange thing will be happening around the corner. My only real fear is that the story will be great and the reveal at the end will be weak, therefore ruining the mini-series. I know coming up with original ways to end comic stories is difficult, but I have faith that this one will pan out.

Batman #687
Story by Judd Winick
Art by Ed Benes

So Nightwing finally realizes that he needs to take over as Batman. But, he;s doing it on his own terms…new costume, new Batcave, new stately Wayne Manor, err, Swanky Grayson Penthouse Suite. I enjoyed this issue as it filled in some of the missing beats between Battle For the Cowl and Batman and Robin#1. The scene where Dick basically stands up to Superman and Wonder Woman and tells them how it’s going to be, just shows how ready Dick is to put on the cowl and take over for his mentor.

Alfred also really steps up in this issue, telling Dick that he is worthy to be Bruce’s successor, but that he needs to listen to others advice a little more than Bruce did in order to survive. A line from Dick about Damian not seeing him second guess himself, and how he will be taking this on alone occasionally will hopefully mean that the Batman title will be just that…Dick dealing with becoming Batman.

My only big issue with this installment was at the end. Dick shows himself to the Scarecrow in a dramatic reveal of his new costume, but he looks like he’s been shooting steroids for a month, and I don’t think that the human arm physically has that many different muscles. Besides that, not bad. I can’t wait for Mark Bagley to take over next issue.

JSA vs Kobra #1
Story by Eric Trautmann
Art by Don Kramer

If there weren’t so many books coming out for Blackest Night, I might keep this title on my list. But, I think this is going to go on the Wait For the Trade list. The writing was tight and reminded me of the Checkmate book when Rucka was on it. I had a few issues with the art and some staging glitches that I thought confused a few panels, but overall it was not bad. Not bad, but not great.

Action Comics #878
Story by Greg Rucka
Art by Diego Olmos

The Kryptonian Bonnie & Clyde promised last issue did not disappoint. And in case you hadn’t figured this out on your own…do NOT interrupt Kryptonian criminals while they’re having sex. It will not end well for you.

We get some great relationship building between Lois and Flamebird and Nightwing and Flamebird. General Lane continues to be harsh towards the aliens and his daughter and the weird tattooed girl who has been hanging around the Superman titles lately continues to be ummm…weird.

OK, my one big problem with this issue came not from the art or the story, but from the marketing inside. Reading through the story, a team of Arizona Sheriffs happen upon a Congressman’s house that looks like a tornado hit it, they draw guns and go up to investigate….shhhh! they hear something…..they yell FREEZE!....you turn the page, and then…………a fold out insert for Cartoon Network’s summer giveaway! That’s not the surprise? Oh wait! Turn past that, and the Kryptonian Bonnie and Clyde they’ve been advertising are both naked and either pre or post-sex, with the Congressman’s wife encased in ice behind them. Doesn’t anyone check this stuff?? It kills the pacing of the reveal when you have to be bombarded by an advertisement (with a bunch of children on it, no less, considering what is on the page behind it) instead of continuing with the reveal. Anyway, that was my only real problem. Decent issue.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First Impressions 6/10/2009

That was easily one of the most expensive trips to the comic shop that I’ve ever had. I picked up my regulars, plus the two maybes after flipping through them, plus my JSA Alan Scott figure, PLUS a sweet Adam Hughes Wonder Woman statue for Liz. But it ‘s all awesome so it was well worth it :-) First impressions are below :

Red Robin #1 - For a “maybe” comic this week, this sure did kick ass. Damian offering Tim the Batgirl costume was a great touch. Picked up the JG Jones variant cover.

Flash : Rebirth #3 - Finally, some action, and a villain is revealed! Pretty sweet sequence of him running back through time, though.

Final Crisis Aftermath : Escape #2 – Still a little whacked…but still a suspenseful book. What the hell is going on here?

Batman #687 – Great fill-in issue that ties up some things between Battle For the Cowl and Batman and Robin. Can’t wait to see what Bagley does next issue.

Green Lantern Corps #37 – Three words : Oa. Is. F#$ked.

Reviews coming in the next few days, plus JSA vs Kobra #1 and Action Comics #878.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Looking Forward to Wednesday (6/10/2009)

Wow, this will be an expensive Wednesday. 2 titles are maybes, though so we’ll see how many I come home with. My JSA Alan Scott action figure should be in as well, so that’s pretty sweet and I can continue building my JSA collection. Click below for this week’s titles :

Most Anticipated Book of the Week :

Green Lantern Corps #37 – How awesome has this title been lately? The answer is : quite. From the solicit it sounds like this will focus mainly on the Oan riot situation. But I am curious as to what is going on with the Daxamites being held captive by Mongul. Although, after Sodam Yat turned Daxam’s sun yellow…Mongul and his crew are in for some trouble.

The Rest :

Action Comics #878 – Nightwing and Flamebird vs the Bonnie and Clyde of Krypton? How can this be bad?

Batman #687 – The regular Bat-series has returned and we have another JG Jones variant. Depending on price, I may pick it up. Ed Benes is on art duties for this issue, but then we get Mark Bagley...and I can't wait for that :-)

Final Crisis Aftermath : Escape #2 – The first issue was great but pretty crazy. Let’s see what this brings for Nemesis and the Global Peace Agency.

Flash : Rebirth #3 – OK, I love Johns and Van Sciver, but this is the 3rd issue and I’m still pretty blah about it. So, I will stick to my usual 3 issue trial limit and if this issue doesn’t do it for me, then it’s off my pull list.

JSA Vs. Kobra : Engines of Fath #1 – This is the first of the “maybe” titles. I like JSA and I like the new Kobra stuff they’re introducing. I’m not very familiar with Eric Trautmann’s writing or Don Kramer’s art, so this will be a decision made at the new release wall.

Red Robin #1 – And this is the second “maybe”. We already know who Red Robin will be and I have always been a fan of his, but will this book be interesting? We shall find out on Wednesday.

Others :

JSA Alan Scott Green Lantern Figure

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Comic Book Reviews - 6/3/2009

Welcome to this week’s reviews which also mark my 100th post since starting this blog. Thanks to everyone who checks it out and I am always up for suggestions on making it better and more interesting. On to this week’s comics.

What happened? Well...(here we go again)...Damien spouts some cool lines, like “Crime is doomed”, Superman plays tour guide, Human Flame fights Heatwave in a fireworks factory (obviously, that does not turn out well), Deadshot is not good with women, Atomic Robo teaches us about the Lightning Gun and Seaguy is...well...nuts. And I did finally buy boards. Thanks to Stephen for the reminder...and for reading my blog :-) Click below for the reviews :

Pick of the Week

Batman and Robin #1
Story by Grant Morrison
Art by Frank Quitely

So here we have Morrison’s return to the Batman title, and I for one am very happy. This issue sets up Dick Grayson’s first week in the new Batman cowl and it’s not an altogether smooth start for him. Although he does have a sweet-ass flying Batmobile to go with his headstrong little sidekick.

Let’s start with the art. I typically am not a fan of Frank Quitely’s art at all. I feel that his characters are all stunted and squish-faced, and the women he draws look like hell. This is still sort of the case here, but for some reason it doesn’t bother me nearly as much. I did really enjoy the integration of the sound effects into the art and the cutaway view of Dick’s swingin’ downtown Batcave was a nice touch. New Batmobile? Two thumbs up. It’s an out-there design that is over the top and I dig it. New costumes for Dick and Damien? Meh. Damien’s is not bad, but Dick’s just seems too blah for him. He went from the bright and bold Robin costume to the sleek Nightwing costume (I’m forgetting about the disco Nightwing costume) and then to this blah costume? Oh well. There are two excellent splash pages he gives us here. The first is the scene of the Batmobile flying alongside Toad’s car in the tunnel; the second is when they are testing the “Para-Capes” by jumping out of the hovering Batmobile with a backdrop of the Bat-Signal shining in the sky.

As I said, Morrison is back on writing and the issue is a good one. Dick is in his first week of being Batman and he still has his doubts. Damien, the new Robin, is eager to take over for his biological father Bruce Wayne, and brings this up whenever he can. Although I have disliked the Damien character before, he’s well written here as the eager young protégé who thinks he’s better than the guy who has done this much longer.

The introduction of the ultra-creepy villain Professor Pyg is handled well too. I know he had an appearance in Batman #666 when future Damien is wearing the cowl but we didn’t know much about him. Here we see he is a “perfectionist” who rewards those that try to run from him by turning them into Dollotrons, mindless, deformed lackeys who do his bidding. You can just hear him going through that horrifying final scene with a voice that is as calm and steeled as any serial killer in the movies.

A nice surprise at the end comes in the form of a Geoff Johns style “Here’s what’s coming” page. There are four panels that I will detail below :

1. Damien looks like he’s quitting as Robin and storming out. I would expect this to happen every few issues due to his attitude and temper, so no big surprise.
2. Someone (hopefully Jason Todd) in a costume that integrates the classic Red Hood motif of the domed red helmet while adding a red skull on his chest wielding pistols. In the shadow behind him is a sidekick I’m assuming is the daughter of the mafia guy that Pyg just mutilated on the last page. I mean, why focus on her so heavily, and her hair is pretty unique.
3. Dick fighting Batwoman at a Lazarus Pit while Batman (Bruce Wayne?) rises from the dead. Hopefully a Lazarus Pit is NOT how they bring Bruce back, but I think this will just be a tease because that is either not Batman’s body that was buried or it’s missing something due to the Omega Sanction like his life force or soul or something.
4. Dr. Hurt is back and dangling the keys to Wayne Manor. Maybe we’ll get some explanation as to who he actually is.

All in all, a very enjoyable issue and my Pick of the Week. I can’t wait until the next one and I’m glad to see Batman is back and on track.

The Rest

Final Crisis Aftermath : Run! #2
Story by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

Puppies thrown off balconies, invoking Jeebus’ name, cars blowing up, and two guys whose schtick is flame-based weaponry fighting it out in a fireworks factory….welcome to issue #2 of Run! And that’s just the beginning, because it moves on to include some exceptional obscure villains and a surgery scene that will make you wince in pain. The term “roller-coaster ride” is used way too often in describing stories but this one earns the title without doubt. I’m hoping that the new and improved Human Flame gets to hang around for a while because I’m really beginning to love to hate this character.

Favorite Line – Doctor Milo “…and you can’t move because I injected you with a neurotoxin before I started. I can’t have you flailing around on me while I’m trying to solder something to your liver, can I?”

Superman : World of New Krypton #4
Story by James Robinson & Greg Rucka
Art by Pete Woods

Have I mentioned before how much it annoys me when a cover advertises something cool and then it never happens inside? Well, if not, it does. And it happened here. If you…ummm, judge a book by it’s cover in this case, you would think “Hal Jordan of the Green Lantern Corps VS Kal-El of the New Kryptonian Military in a vicious battle to prove who is strongest!!!!!” But instead, they sort of talk to each other and Kal acts as a tour guide. Beyond that, the issue was decent. The Green Lantern Corps appearance just seems to be tied on though because of the current popularity of GL in order to sell more books.

Secret Six #10
Story by Gail Simone
Art by Nicola Scott

Once again, Bane steals this book and Deadshot comes in a close second. This marks the start of a new story arc after a few “done in one” stories for the Secret Six crew. This one seems to be big into human trafficking and some sort of artifact that is being described as “the beast that will remove all doubt” while the bad guys are “recreating God’s will”.

Deadshot has serious female problems in this issue as he can’t stay focused since his current love interest Jeanette is not wearing underwear, and the lackey (possibly an Amazon) for the baddies is hanging him over a cliff.

Seriously, this is a fantastic and consistent book by Simone and Scott that everyone who has even the slightest bit of dark humor should be reading. Great stuff!

Atomic Robo : Shadow From Beyond Time #2
Story by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener

I’ve spoken so many times on how hilarious this title is. Instead of reviewing the entire issue, which is basically a chase through New York after an inter-dimensional Cthulu-esque being, I’ll give you one scene between Robo and Charles Fort :

Atomic Robo (grabbing a handful of rifles) : These are Lightning Guns. They collect electric charges from the air and boost them to obscenely dangerous levels through an even more dangerous process. Nothing unusual.

Charles Fort : I say, a portable Wardenclyffe! (Nikola Tesla’s power transference tower)

Atomic Robo (showing off the controls) : Yeah. Just whatever you do, don’t move that dial past five. Or to five. Or near five, really. In fact, set the dial to one and forget it’s there.

Charles Fort : Is this entirely safe?

Atomic Robo : No. Not even a little.

Great stuff every month from the team of Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener.

Seaguy : The Slaves of Mickey Eye #3
Story by Grant Morrison
Art by Cameron Stewart

A lot happens in this final issue, but I’m not sure what exactly happened. I can tell that it’s a happy ending, but I’m not exactly sure why. I am definitely going to have to re-read the 3 issue series again to attempt to get some more answers. I’m not saying that it’s bad, Seaguy brought a smile to my face after each issue, I’m just saying that it’s pretty insane.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

First Impressions 6/3/2009

Quite a stack this week and I also picked up some random old books as well. I did not spring for the J.G. Jones Batman and Robin #1 variant, due to the higher than usual variant price, but no big deal. Click below for first impressions in actual reading order:

Batman and Robin #1 – So I went into this wanting to dislike Quitely’s art but I was pleasantly surprised. The story picks up quickly as Dick Grayson steps into his first week in the cowl and ends with a very scary situation. Oh yeah…and a flying Batmobile :-)

Superman : World of New Krypton #4 – I hate it when the cover shows something that is cool but does not happen in the issue. This happens here, but the issue was still decent.

Atomic Robo : Shadow From Beyond Time #2 – The Lightning Gun sequence is hilarious and this entire issue is basically a chase through downtown with an inter-dimensional monster.

Final Crisis Aftermath : Run! #2 – Wow…Human Flame threw three Corgi dogs off a high-rise balcony (calm down, they land in the pool but that totally was not his intention). And he used the word Jeebus on the first page. I love this book!

Secret Six #10 – Deadshot just cannot win with women and Bane is still pretty f’ing awesome.

Seaguy : The Slaves of Mickey Eye #3 – What in hell just happened??????

I also picked up some books out of the Silver Age $1.00 bin. Action Comics #465 & #466 (1976) were purchased for their cover art mainly. I also grabbed the variant for Justice Society of America #20 which has a sexy image of Huntress and Power Girl that I just couldn’t let go unpurchased.

Looking Forward to Wednesday (6/3/2009)

I managed to break away from the household projects to post a quick LFTW. I'll hopefully be finished in time to head up to the shop in a few hours. Click below for the books :

Most Anticipated Book of the Week :

Batman and Robin #1 - Those of you that know me know 2 things about my comics preferences. First, I love Grant Morrison's work. I know it's not for everyone but I am a fan (I get two Morrison books this week, so bonus). And second, I hate Frank Quitely's art. So I am seriously torn on this title right now. I am going to try and pick up a copy of the JG Jones variant cover and hopefully the story will outweigh Quitely's art, or for some odd reason, Quitely's art doesn't bother me as much.

The Rest :

Final Crisis Aftermath : Run #2 - Great first issue, let's hope it can continue this momentum.

Seaguy : The Slaves of Mickey Eye #3 - Awesome, two Morrison books in the same week. Seaguuy has been wonderfully weird and twisted, and this is the last issue of this chapter. The first volume ended up making zero sense (one thing I love about this book is that it doesn't feel it has to), but it became more coherent around the last issue.

Secret Six #10 - After the last issue I am stuck on this book.

Superman : World of New Krypton #4 - Kryptonian Military Superman VS Green Lantern Hal Jordan!!! Hopefully the book delivers what the cover promises.

Atomic Robo : Shadow From Beyond Time #2 - Consistently enjoyable book in it's third hilarious volume. Keep it up :-)

...and comic boards!! I must remember comic boards. If anyone who hangs out at Collector's Edge reads this before seeing me there today, please remind me. Much appreciated!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Quick Update

Due to some projects at home, mostly involving painting, there will be no Looking Forward to Wednesday this week (unless I get done the house projects early) and the reviews may not be out until the weekend. Thanks for checking and I'll have the regular posts up as soon as I can.


- Jason