Wednesday, September 30, 2009
It's getting chilly here in South Carolina, which means that fall has fallen. And fall is the perfect season to stay inside and read!
Aliens #3 -- What took so long? A cool story but the delay is a bit disconcerting.
High Moon TPB -- I liked this one quite a bit on Zuda, so this is a worthy purchase.
Icon: A Heroes Welcome TPB -- Icon! The greatest superhero you've never read!
Justice League of America 80 Page Giant #1 -- Ahhhh, if only this had come out a few weeks ago...
Futurama Comics #45 -- This comic is so good even my non-comics fan coworker is interested in it.
glamourpuss #9 -- glamourpuss is always a treat, but a Gene Colon cover is like a double plus good treat.
The Phantom: Generations #5 -- Looks like Moonstone got a little behind...
The Phantom: Ghost Who Walks #5 -- ... so we get a double dose of the Man-Who-Cannot-Die this week.
So, what looks good to YOU?
Monday, September 28, 2009
The Web #1 -- John Raymond set out to earn fame and glory as The Web... but instead found only heartache and pain. Now the hero of the people is out to find the men responsible for the murder of his brother, starting with the mercenary known as Deadly Force. Meanwhile, The Hangman finds that his nightly stalking of San Francisco's seedy side can have an deteriment to his daily routine as Dr. Robert Dickering. I liked this comic book quite a bit. It's not perfect but, like it's counterpart, The Shield #1, I thought it was a solid effort in launching two new strips and giving each one a unique look and voice. The lead is handled by Angela Robinson, who I am not familiar with, who gives it a grim but not over the top sort of detemined tone. The art by Roger Robinson is dynamic-bordering-on-90s-excessive, but I like the match with the character and story. The backup, by John Rozzum and the art team of Tom Derenick and Bill Sienkiewicz, is also pretty intriguing, with the art especially suited to the dark nature of the character. We'll see if these four features can continue to keep my interest, and I may be the only one on the web with this opinion, but so far I am definitely on board with the Red Circle.
Wednesday Comics #12 -- The Grand Summer Experiment ends in satisfying fashion here, with most all of the strips providing nice codas to their storylines. Flash probably has the best such wrap up, although one should never underestimate the appeal of having Hawkman and Aquaman double team a Tyrannosaurus. A hugely fun series which I am looking forward to re-reading.
Guardians of the Galaxy #18 -- The Fault is causing all sorts of strangeness for a few members of the Guardians of the Galaxy, as Star-Lord, Jack Flagg, Mantis, Bug, and Cosmo find themselves in an alternate future where Killraven and his team of Guardians of the Galaxy defend Earth from the Martian invaders! This issue has a real "Cross-Time Caper" vibe, with the team being shunted to and fro across alternate versions of reality. Wes Craig's art is cartoony but fun and fits the story nicely. Gets bonus points for the excellent depiction of Hollywood, AKA the far future version of the immortal Avenger Wonder Man.
Nova #29 -- Enter: Starstalker! With the new new Nova Corps. getting their bearings, through the Fault streaks a Xandarian cruiser thought lost for years... and with it, some unwelcome guests. The new storyline picks up nicely on the closing of the previous one, but ultimately this issue is derailed by the annoying guest star, the obscure Marvel cosmic bounty hunter Starstalker, who tries to be "in your face" and ends up more irritating than anything else. Or, in other words, like Comet but not endearing. I'm still on the fence about getting this title monthly and this issue did not help that cause.
Re-read Pile: The Web
The Pick of the Pile is Wednesday Comics, though Web had a strong debut, and Guardians was nifty in a Claremont and Davis manner.
So, what did YOU read this week?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Well, my wife and I have packed up seemingly everything we own and are heading down to Myrtle Beach with our son for his first family vacation. (He didn't really help with the packing.) Should be back and blogging for your reading pleasure on Monday. Have a good weekend!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
As we move from summer to fall, it's time to get ready for those cooler months by stocking up on all the necessities.
The Web #1 -- The Red Circle is now complete! Or something along those lines.
Wednesday Comics #12 -- I've had enough, after this issue I am not buying this title any more! Haha, I've been waiting for months to use that joke.
Guardians of the Galaxy #18 -- The mystery of the Fault deepens!
Nova #29 -- What will the new Nova Corps do now that the War of Kings is finished?
So, what looks good to YOU?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I have seen this new DC House Ad over the last few weeks, and I have to say, I got a good chuckle out of it. Of course, the original version of this ad featured Superheroes up top, Mystery characters in the middle, and Sword & Sorcery characters on the bottom. Oh, what I would give for those days once again!
Ironically, I just saw this ad in the pages of Warlord, which, of course, was one of the S&S titles advertised on the original version, which you can take a peak at over at rob's Aquaman Shrine, which is where I grabbed this scan from.
Interesting also to consider that DC (or, at least whomever at DC was constructing this ad) considers Red Robin, Magog, Batwoman, and Power Girl to be their next "icons." Three of those make perfect sense, but if Magog becomes an "icon," aren't we kinda stumbling down the path to Kingdom Come?
Monday, September 21, 2009
Blackest Night #3 -- We learn some more about the Black Lanterns and the War of Light, as the undead version of the Justice League tries to add Barry Allen and Hal Jordan to their ranks. Johns and Reis hit this one out of the park, but I am on board with whatever they are doing at this point, it would seem. Great fun seeing Ray Palmer once again as the Smartest Man In The Room (just like Slott has done with Hank Pym). Question: Would Black Lantern Conduit have his power suit?
Outsiders #22 -- "The Hunt" continues as Metamorpho and Geo-Force shake down a small mining town in Wyoming for Clayface! Tomasi and Pasarin turn in some Bronze Age-style awesomeness, continuing the trend started last issue of a "done in one" which has connective tissue to the other parts of the story. I wish more ongoing comic books were of this style, because it is pretty much perfectly suited to the medium.
Showcase Presents: Warlord v.1 -- I didn't read this yet, obviously, but I wanted to say OMG THIS BOOK IS GORGEOUS IN BLACK AND WHITE.
Warlord #6 -- I did get the new issue of the Warlord comic, though, and got to read it too! The battle against the "golden god" has begun and not all of Morgan's allies may make it out of this fight alive! Grell has re-set the stage for his epic S&S tale in enjoyable fashion with this arc, and Chad Hardin's work may not evoke Grell's pencils but his stuff still looks great. About the only complaint I have is that there are a lot of characters to keep track of, and it cane be confusing as to who is where sometimes (where was Shakira at the beginning, for instance?), but that'sa quibble.
Tiny Titans #20 -- The truth, the HOLE truth, and nothing but the truth about Raven! All I have to say about this comic is "AWW YEAH CRAYONS."
Wednesday Comics #11 -- Stories are starting to wrap up, but this awesome event keeps on trucking. The highlight is no doubt Aquaman helping Hawkman fight a T Rex.
Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Anti-Venom #1 -- Eddie Brock used to be a monster, but people can change. Sometimes. Zeb Wells, who handled the writing chores on the very good Venom: Dark Origin miniseries last year, has a really good handle on Eddie Brock even under his new persona of Anti-Venom. Paulo Siqueira's art is not cartoony like Angel Medina's was on that previous story, but it still suits the character and goings-on quite nicely. (My only beef: Anti-Venom is drawn as being of medium build, like Spider-Man typically is, whereas the Eddie I know was a big, hulking dude. But I don't mind it too much.) The colors may be reversed, but this reads like an old Venom mini from back in the day, which is exactly what I want from it -- even down to having a guest star pop up. Maybe this is the first of a series of miniseries for Anti-Venom?
Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars #1 -- In the wake of a tidal wave which has wiped out most of New York, Tony Stark has to make his way to his Manhattan lab and retreive a certain object -- but the Ghost has beaten him to it! I am not a big fan of the Ultimate Universe -- in fact, I downright dislike it. But I decided to give his mini by Warren Ellis and Steve Kurth a shot, and was pleasantly surprised. U-Tony Stark is a very over the top sort of character, but his adventure looks promising enough for me to pick up the balance of the series. Kurth's art is strong on armor and cityscapes, but not as good on faces and human anatomy -- but honestly, armor is more important here.
War Machine #9 -- It's War Machine and the old West Coast Avengers vs. Ultimo! And if that isn't enough, Norman Osborn is thrown into the mix! Pak's definitely got a story to tell here, and just when it seems everything has wrapped up, it pinballs into a new (but not illogical) direction. It's a fun action story with plenty of carnage depicted pretty nicely by Allan Jefferson, who is well suited to this sort of action. Plus: we get a cameo from Wonder Man. Minus: He has no lines.
Re-Read Pile: Blackest Night, Outsiders, Warlord, although pretty much everything could have made the Re-Read Pile this week.
The Pick Of The Pile is Blackest Night, although the current storyline Outsiders is pretty much everything I want from comics.
So, what did YOU read this week?
Thursday, September 17, 2009
This past Sunday I hit I-85 North to meet up with my Green Lantern-obsessed buddy Joe, who had snagged two free passes to Charlotte Comic Con. Once we found the Crown Plaza (mostly because Google Earth gave us directions which involved a road which did not exist), we knew we were in the right location when we saw a TIE Fighter Pilot get out of his Chevy pickup truck. Let the spending begin!
Iron Man -- I'm still hitting that pricing wall with my Iron Man collection, as I get closer and closer to completing the series. I was able to add a trio of Bronze Age books for Shellhead, though, in the form of #127, 153, and 160. Maybe if I end up at HeroesCon next year I can do better.
Hawkman -- Now, the Winged Wonder was much more plentiful! Long have I bemoaned that I cannot find copies of Hawkworld, but I hit the motherlode in the Queen City! I was able to get nearly the entire series, including issues #2-10, 14-21, 23, 25-26, and Annuals 1 and 2. Still have not been able to find the miniseries, but still, that's a huge chunk of the series right there. From the fourth volume, I was able to get a few more of the uncollected issues (#26 and 47), as well as a large chunk of the title after it changed over to Hawkgirl (#50-55, 57, 59-60, 62-63, and 65). At this point I can probably pick up the remaining singles of the Hawkgirl era. Representing the Silver Age, I got The Brave And The Bold #186, and sorta-representing the Silver Age, I found Legend of the Hawkman #1-3, and DC Comics Presents: Hawkman. I still have not found much from Hawkman's backup runs in Detective and World's Finest, but I'm still very happy to find another big pile of Hawkcomics.
Furry Underpants -- Not much in the way of S&S comics, but I was able to add Kull v.3:no.4 and Arak, Son Of Thunder #38.
Outsiders -- Again, not much in the way of Outsiders, but the second volume of Outsiders apparently never sold all that well so it's slow going. I picked up v.2:no.11-12.
Wonder Man -- The Ionic Powerhouse's solo series was pretty well represented, and I added #9, 11-12, 17, and Annuals 1 and 2. A few weeks ago I found Marvel Two-In-One #78, so I will add that one as well.
Other Stuff -- Not much, but a few things. First off, I FINALLY found Avengers/JLA #4, so I can read that dang series now! In similar news I picked up a random issue of Avengers (#358), from an era I don't have much of (that is, the 90s). Finally, I also re-purchased one of my favorite comics from my youth, Spawn #10, writen by Dave Sim and featuring Cerebus. (With a shout-out to the Image Addiction podcast over at The Comic Addiction.)
Left Behind -- A few things, but generally everything was so cheap that I didn't pass on much. There was a few issue of Force Works which I left behind. Part of me wants to get into that book, but part of me wants to just get more Avengers. So we shall see. A few dealers had some pricier issues of Iron Man, Detective, and World's Finest which I had to leave as well.
Overall, a great little show with lots of good dealers, and a lot of fun -- and the cosplayers were a nice touch. Definitely worth the drive!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sorry I missed the post yesterday, I got called into an all day meeting. In fact, I am in one today as well, which means these 4 Color Goodies will have to wait.
Blackest Night #3 -- The Dead are still rising, the living are still in trouble.
Outsiders #22 -- The team remains split up as they hunt down some of Arkham's most dangerous former residents.
Showcase Presents: Warlord v.1 -- A long time coming, this, plus it should look good in black and white. I wonder if the latest issue of the regular comic will be in as well?
Tiny Titans #20 -- Wow, twenty issues already?!
Wednesday Comics #11 -- Hard to believe the ride is almost over.
Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Anti-Venom #1 -- I might check this out, although I didn't both picking up the arc where Eddie became Anti-Venom.
Invincible Iron Man #18 -- Considering I just got #17 in the mail on Monday I don't expect to read this any time soon.
Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars #1 -- Tempting, but Ultimate at the same time...
War Machine #9 -- More high caliber action! *KA-POW!*
So, what looks good to YOU?
Monday, September 14, 2009
Doom Patrol #2 -- There's a black hole in Germany... and it wants to negotiate? Who else would get called in for that but the Doom Patrol? Meanwhile, Gold, Platinum and some other, third member of the Metal Men attempt to fix a satelite... and end up making the situation substantially worse. The lead story has a lot going on in it, even if there is not a lot of action, if that makes sense. There is an overwhelming sense of discord and unhappiness over the entire proceedings, which somehow seems very appropriate (although I am not a Doom Patrol expert so I cannot say for sure). The wordiness and bizarre "bad guy" almost seem to evoke Grant Morrison, but in a sort of goofy manner. The Metal Men backup is certainly much lighter and funnier, and reads very well for a ten-pager. The runn joke with Copper keeps getting better, as Platinum refers to her as Nickel several times. All-around good comic.
House of Mystery #17 -- The Poet takes the center stage as his tragic love life is played out, but is he being taken for a ride? Quality as usual, but this arc is holding my interest less than the previous ones. Also, I thought the Poet was the Dragon? I guess I missed something. This is a series I enjoy while reading but find myself unsure of the details. One has to wonder if this reads better collected. Interesting twist: the main story and the short intertwine throughout the narrative.
Red Robin #4 -- Tim Drake is Iraq... and he is not alone, as his League of Assassians escorts are waiting for him. But not everyone is getting out of this country alive! Solid wrap-up to the first arc does reward Tim's seemingly insane belief that Bruce is alive, but also has one heck of a cliffhanger to lead into the next story. I am not much of a Robin fan, or much of a Bat-fan, but this series has been a lot of fun for me as a "newbie" to this particular corner of the DCU.
The Shield #1 -- The US Army's first superhero is dropped into Bialya to investigate what happened to three teams sent in after insurgents hiding in the mountains, and runs into a welcome wagon he did not expect. In the backup, Inferno still doesn't know who he is, or why he is able to generate flames from his body, but when you light up Star City, you better believe Green Arrow is going to be interested. As a debut issue, this is pretty strong. Eric Trautmann's Shield story is not what I expected -- it's neither jinogistic nor pacifistic, but does strike a good balance between the two. I am afraid that this is going to end up dipping into Anti-Americanism at some point, but online the scribe has said that he is not setting out to do that. So we shall see. Marco Rudy's art is a really good fit for the character. The backup with Inferno is more intriguing than I thought it would be. Just who is this guy? A solid if not spectacular debut.
Warlord #6 -- Did this come out? If it did my shop must have been shorted. Ah well.
Wednesday Comics #10 -- More old school broadsheet awesomeness, including Hawkman hitting a Tyrannosaurus with a mace, Superman putting a mental whammy on some aliens (I absolutely LOVE how Supergirl is rendered by Lee Bermejo in that strip), Batman fighting off a pair of attack dogs, and Deadman making his play to escape from the Underworld. So sad that there are only two more issues of this left.
War of Kings: Who Will Rule? -- The epilogue of War of Kings picks up a little while after the deaths of Black Bolt and Vulcan, leaving the Kree under the rule of Queen Medusa and the Shi'ar embroiled in civil war and general unrest, with Gladiator trying to keep it from falling to pieces. As issue #7 of War of Kings, this one-shot does a great job of tying up loose ends and setting the stage for the next general arc for the Marvel cosmic titles. About the only complaint I have is that DnA don't really turn in any surprises with the main thread of the story, although the twist at the (very) end I did not see coming. A worthy purchase.
Re-read Pile: Doom Patrol, The Shield
The Pick Of The Pile is Doom Patrol, which was a very dense read but still had a lot of fun hidden amongst all the despondence. WoK was very good as well, and The Shield has some potential.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Comics are delayed a day this week in the US thanks to Labor Day on Monday... pfft, some holiday, I spent it doing work around the house! Ah well, at least I still have some fun waiting for me at the LCS.
Uncle Scrooge Comic Character #1: Uncle Scrooge -- Oh man, if I had 50 bucks to drop on a statue of a duck, this would be that statue!
Doom Patrol #2 -- I don't know much about the Doom Patrol but I know I liked the first issue. And the Metal Men backup made me literally laugh out loud.
House of Mystery #17 -- After last issue's game changing reveal, I would imagine that games would be, in fact, changed.
Red Robin #4 -- Tim's European Adventure continues!
The Shield #1 -- It's a different creative team than the one-shot, but that one-shot really piqued my interest. And I am a sucker for patriots.
Warlord #6 -- Can Morgan and his cohorts overcome the new "golden god" of Skartaris?
Wednesday Comics #10 -- Yes, this is coming out on Thursday. Yes, that is funny. No, it's not THAT funny.
War of Kings: Who Will Rule? -- Let's just say that the Kree and the Shi'ar both have things a little rough at the moment.
So, what looks good to YOU?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I am adding a new feature to my weekly write-ups: The Re-read Pile. These are the comics which I enjoy enough to put down and re-read a few days later.
Batman #690 -- Two-Face's plot stands revealed, Penguin enters into a less-than-ideal business arrangement, and Batman fights for his life on the rooftops of Gotham City. Winnick delivers one hell of a cliffhanger, but Bagely's art looks a little sketchy in spots, almost rushed. Still, I am enjoying the new direction of the title and really want to see the conclusion of this story.
Magog #1 -- The black sheep of the Justice Society strikes out on his own, despite the lack of approval from his Society teammates. Ties in nicely with what Sturges and Willingham are doing over in the main JSoA book, and a pretty strong effort from Giffen and Porter overall, but I am just not that interested in the title character, so I am going to pass on this one.
Red Tornado #1 -- The Justice League's resident android is on a quest to track down the source of the mysterious "beacon" inside his head, while his creator T.O. Morrow gets a rather unwelcome visitor at Belle Reeve. I'm not sure how this fits in with Morrow's recent appearances elsewhere, but I really enjoyed this opening salvo from VanHook and Jose Luis. I was reminded of a DC comic from the early-to-mid-80s in the pacing and level of information presented, as well as the mix of the hero's plot, secret identity stuff, and a subplot. Luis's art seems well-suited to the character. Glad I picked this one up.
Strange Adventures #7 -- Who would have thought that The Weird's Psyche is the most democratic place is all creation? With a logjam amongst his core personalities preventing them from taking action, the power-mad Weird is busy destroying whole swathes of stars, and only Adam Strange and Comet can hope to break the deadlock. Jim Starlin handles the art and story on this issue, and has plenty of his flourishes, including a great sequence of the Weird's personalities merging. Just where the story goes from here -- both in the context of this miniseries and the larger Abberant Six storyline -- is anyone's guess, but it's been one heck of a ride. Odd to note that the backup is a scant 6 pages, because the main feature runs over-long... not that I mind.
Wednesday Comics #9 -- Hawkman vs a Tyrannosaurus. You don't get much more badass than that! This series has been a blast and I am sad that it is entering it's closing chapters.
Iron Man And The Armor Wars #2 -- Tony Stark is saved by a Doombot and continues to hunt down his stolen armors. An enjoyable All-Ages romp, although this is one of those situations where this will be more enjoyable read as a whole, although I did have fun playing "Spot The Soviet Super Soliders." Bonus points for Ursa Major popping up.
Re-read Pile: Strange Adventures, Red Tornado
The Pick of The Pile is Strange Adventures, which combined some great Starlin art with some classic Starlin cosmic awareness to produce a very fun read.
So, what did YOU read this week?
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Considering the level of enjoyment I am deiving from Wednesday Comics (which, I discovered last night, my wife did not realize was something I actually paid for), I thought it would be appropriate to post this house ad for DC's old "World's Greatest Superheroes" strip.
I'm something of an abberation for my age group in that I generally like adventure strips, and read The Phantom strip every day as well as Prince Valiant on Sundays. I am sure that if I had been, you know, alive when these were being published that I would have been a big fan of them.
I must add that George Tuska draws a very nice Wonder Woman.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Labor Day is coming up, and while my work schedule is just wonky enough not to give me a four day weekend, that doesn't mean you can't have some fun for the holiday.
Batman #690 -- I'm digging Dick Grayson's adjustment to life under the cowl, but Two-Face is not nearly as amused.
Cosmic Odyssey TPB -- Starlin and Mignola... oooooooh...
Magog #1 -- Between this title and The Shield, DC is building up a stable of "war" books without any of their War characters in them.
Red Tornado #1 -- Honestly, I have never really read much with the Red Tornado in it, but this miniseries just looks and sounds cool.
Strange Adventures #7 -- Comet vs Comet! My money's on Comet. Also: Starlin on words and pictures.
Wednesday Comics #9 -- Superman fighting aliens! Hawkman fighting dinosaurs! The Demon fighting Morgana le Fey! Deadman fighting demons! Kamandi fighting apes! Luke fighting the urge to drool on the pages!
Essential Sub-Mariner v.1 -- FINALLY!
Invincible Iron Man #17 -- World's Most Wanted, uhh, rockets towards its conclusion.
Starr The Slayer #1 -- Wow, never thought I would see the day when Starr The Slayer had his name on a comic book again!
Cars: The Rookie TPB -- "Luigi only follow the Ferraris!"
Yikes, thats a lot of stuff! Good thing I am probably passing on the collections for this week...
So, what looks good to YOU?
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
So maybe you've heard rumors that Marvel was bought by Disney. Pffft. I'll believe it when I see it!
Okay, so it's true, Marvel has been bought by Disney and is now part of their multitude of brands. I'm not a business expert, but at first blush (and from what we have heard from the various parties involved), I'd say this is a good thing for both the House of Ideas and the House of Mouse.
Marvel gets the PR and advertising juggernaut that is Disney in their corner. They were already very well represented on Disney XD, the Mouse's boy-themed network, with reruns of various Marvel toons. But now that they are in-house, there is even further incentive to drive eyeballs to these characters. It's not hard to imagine new animated shows or DTV features with Disney's toon muscle behind them.
They also gain access to advertising space on some of the most popular tweek and kid programming imaginable -- a lot of which is aimed at young girls, meaning that we could potentially see outreach to that market which Marvel has mostly ignored for a while. I mean, if you are able to get your ad in front of the eyeballs of a billion girls watching Hannah Montana, well, gosh darn it, you better have a product which appeals to them!
Disney gains a lot of Intellectual Property. A LOT. And these IPs are, as I said, a good tool for leveraging the tween and kid boy markets which they want to get ahold of in the same manner as the girls. They also gain access to the revenue stream of Marvel Studios, which Iron Man demonstrated can be a cash cow. The sweet licensing and merch money are definite plusses as well.
Is there a downside? There's always the possibility for that on deals like this. The knee-jerk reaction of a lot of comic fans is the dreaded "editorial interference." Images of sanitized, "Disney-fied" versions of Spidey, the Avengers, X-Men, and (of course) The Punisher flashed through the fanboys minds. Personally, I don't think this will be much of a problem in the long run. When Disney took control of Pixar, they essentially just let them run their company the way they were beforehand, and signs point to them treating Marvel in the same way. Time will tell of course, but from this point it looks promising.
What about some of Marvel and Disney's competitors which hold licenses? By this I mean what about Universal Orlando and their Marvel Island zone of Islands of Adventure, or BOOM! Studios and their Muppet and Pixar comics? Right now the word is that they will continue on, but when those contracts run out, I guess it's anyone's guess what will happen. (The idea that Universal will have to overhaul another zone of IOA so soon after their Harry Potter area is hard to fathom.) Again, this is stuff which will not be obvious for a while, since it depends on current contracts ending and new ones being drafted -- but I cannot see Disney letting their major competitor in Orlando run with their characters too long.
In short, I suspect that this is good news for the comic book industry in general and Marvel in particular. I'm by no means an insider or expert, but my gut usually steers me right, and thats my gut feeling here.