Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
The Web #4 -- The wired-in superhero The Web tracks down the architect of all of his woes in the form of Deuces Wilde, but a fight is the last thing on his mind. Meanwhile, the Hangman tangles with a Japanese Yokai whose powers are great enough to kill the undead hero! Angela Robinson wraps up her story and run on the Web in amicable (if open-ended fashion), as John has to deal not only with Wilde but also with his own Web Hosts, and examine why it is he does what he does. The Hangman co-feature was interesting as well, a nice mystical action story which used the pages it had effeciently. I for one like the scratchy art for that feature but that's just me. I am still digging both of the Red Circle titles and look forward to more from them. In the words of The Web "I still believe in justice."
Image United #2 -- Across the globe, more and more of the apparent supervillain army are appearing, seemingly at random, while behind the scenes Omega Spawn makes his plans known. More flashbacks from the Image Boys, including little known ShadowHawk nemesis The Liquifier being shot to death by Superpatriot. Also: Warbuck! Not the deepest thing you will read all year, but if you have any fond memories of the early days of Image then you owe it to yourself to check this out. If only for Warbuck! Also, there is a Bloodstrike backup which is so over the top, so gruesome, so gory, that is in fact awesome. And I am not being sarcastic. If every comic which Liefeld did after X-Force was a take on X-Force, than this is X-Force taken to its absolute zenith.
Iron Man vs Whiplash #2 -- Tony Stark finds himself locked up in an international prison for war criminals, but that's the least of his problems when the new Whiplash comes gunning for him! It seems that this series takes place between "The Five Nightmares" and "World's Most Wanted," as Zeke Stane shows up for a cameo and the Skrull Invasion is mentioned, but Tony still seems to be in charge of SHIELD. Anyway, we learn more about Ivan Vanko, and it seems that despite having a name very close to the original Crimson Dynamo, he really is the new (and hopefully improved) Whiplash for the Marvel Universe, adopting some movie continuity. Not that I mind that, since it is done in a very strong comic featuring lots of Tony Stark doing what Tony Stark does. Hopefully this Whiplash won't end up like the first one -- beaten to death!
Mighty Avengers #32 -- When The Absorbing Man runs wild in Project Pegasus, the Avengers show up to stop him! And so do... the Avengers? Solid Assemblers from Slott, who's work appeals to me as long as he keeps his politics out of it. I especially liked the bit with Karnak telling Pym that he sees a lot less "weak spots" on him now, a nice touch and a nice use of the character. Also nicely done was the thought bubbles, which were effortless and not belabored. Good comic.
Tiny Titans #23 -- Bats, penguins, bunnies, and a cow! Oh my! Robin and Barbara have to figure out how to get all the bats back in the Batcave, and try to pull a fast one on the World's Greatest Detective. Fun, fun, fun.
Re-read Pile: Web, Iron Man vs Whiplash, Mighty Avengers.
The Pick Of the Pile is a tough one, but I am going to side with Iron Man vs Whiplash, which delivered what I was looking for in an Iron Man comic book.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
What? Still looking for last-minute Christmas gifts?! How short sighted! Oh well, you best head to your local retailer and get some swag for those on your gift-giving list!
The Web #4 -- The Web versus Dueces Wilde! The jerkiest superhero in the world has his work cut out for him.
Image United #2 -- Can Fortress unite the Image heroes against the Omega Spawn?
Iron Man vs Whiplash #2 -- Tony Stark is on trial for genocide, right as Whiplash is about to make his move. Don't you hate it when that happens to you?
So, what looks good to YOU?
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Finally caught up!
Justice League of America #39-40 -- The remains of the Justice League heads to the Hall of Justice, but what is in store for them there is nothing short of a nightmare! James Robinson and Mark Bagely turn in a pair of horrific comics here, depicting the insane fight between the members of the Detroit Justice League living and dead. I know I am more prone just because Steel is there, but the fast-paced, action-oriented style of these stories has me champing at the bit to see not only the finale of Cry For Justice but how Robinson is going to handle the main JLA book. Strong tie-ins, but excellent in their own right as well.
Outsiders #25 -- Thw two-pronged Blackest Night tie-in concludes, as Katana, Halo, Creeper and Killer Croc deal with Katana's family, while back at home Geo-Force, Black Lightning, Owlman, and Metamorpho tangle with Terra. This issue also serves as the end of Tomasi and Pasarin's run, making way for Dan Didio and Phillip Tan's new direction next month. Well, if you gotta go, go with style, and that's what this is. Both stories are strong and entertaining, and the action is pretty non-stop. They even take the time to set up the next arc. This run, as much as I have enjoyed it, will be remembered once more as an Outsiders crew who were not given time to stretch their legs and really live up to their potential. Farewell, Peter and Fernando; welcome aboard, Dan and Phillip.
Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars #3 -- From Transylvania to London, Tony Stark and Justine Hammer are finding themselves up to their ears in Starktech! A fun romp, but infused with typical Ultimate snarkiness (Dreadknight, upon seeing Justine attacking him, asks "Why is there a girl in my house without a leash on?") just so you know that this is not a mainstream Marvel book. Not really sure how this all wraps up in one more issue, but it's been a solid read so far, and this issue is no exception.
Invincible Iron Man #21 -- With all of the necessary players in one place, Tony Stark's master plan to "reboot" himself starts! A lot less in the talking heads department than last month, while this issue gives the illusion of a lot of things going on, there really isn't all that much. But as far as a set up issue, it's pretty decent. The art is pretty good save for the utterly awful new costume for The Ghost.
Re-Read Pile: Justice League of America, Outsiders, Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars, Invincible Iron Man
The Pick Of The Pile is Outsiders, just barely edging out JLoA (which I am considering one issue for my purposes here).
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Finally caught up! Except I am going to the shop today to buy more comics! ARRGH!
Doom Patrol #5 -- On oolong Island, the arrival of the Black Lanterns has put this normally bizarre tropical burg on the path to pure chaos! And back in Evansville, the Clique demands that Will Magnus help them get makeovers! The juxtaposition of the Doom Patrol and Metal Men has never been greater, and never more appreciated, that in this issue. The front of the book features one of the best "big event" tie-ins I have read in years, giving equal attention to the stars as well as the gyest baddies, while still moving the overall plot forward. (Bonus: An extended cameo from Hawkman baddie Ira Quimy, AKA IQ!) And the Metal Men backup is a hoot, same as it is every month, with the best line going to Mercury's "those guys are still alive?!" All around excellent comics right here.
Red Robin #7 -- Tim Drake has messed up, and it will cost the life of an innocent young woman unless he can stop the Council of Spiders! Action-packed issue as Red Robin has to fight off Council members while trying to keep Tam Fox from feeling the sting of their venom. Yost and To do a good job balancing the fighting with the flashbacks, and deliver a nifty third act -- I'm certainly piqued for the conclusion next month.
The Shield #4 -- In Brazil, a rash of mysterious disapperances are seemingly tied into the HIVE facility which the Shield shut down in Bialya... but what's the connection to the Great Ten? Meanwhile, the Inferno stands revealed as federal agents -- and the Nuetralizers -- surround him! Another solid Red Circle issue, with an insane, Kirby-on-Cap style lead (Nazi robots abducting natives in Brazil for some evil purpose?! Heck yes!), and a backup that closes out of the opening story while introducing a classic DC character to the mix. The Shield feature also has some very interesting dialogue by General Latham about one General Lane, heh. This series continues to impress.
War Machine #12 -- The blowoff to the series, this issue certainly leaves it all on the table, with Team War Machine pulling their biggest gambit yet to save Rhodey and make sure the Bainsville Ten get what is coming to them. If you are going to end a series, this is the way to do it -- with a ton of action, and answering/solving/completing the hero's questions/mysteries/quest which was the basis of the title. I enjoyed this title while it lasted, but now it's just one more Marvel title I liked canned in under two years (New Invaders, Nightcrawler, Heroes For Hire, New Excalibur, et al). Looking forward to seeing Rhodey over in Invincible Iron Man, hopefully.
Re-Read pile: Doom Patrol, The Shield.
The Pick of the Pile is Doom Patrol, which delivered just about everything I imagine you could want from a major event tie-in while still remaining true to the feature itself. But the other 3 titles were all very strong as well.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
We're bearing down on Christmas already! For serious! Oh man! How am I going to have time to wrap my wife's gifts and still buy a little something for myself!
Justice League of America #40 -- Black Lantern Steel. Aw crap.
Outsiders #25 -- The Blackest Night tie-in ends, as does the run of Tomasi and Pasarin. Hopefully this will end nicely, and the next run will do as well.
Tiny Titans #23 -- You cannot fight the power of kids comics!
Mighty Avengers #32 -- Hank Pym versus Norman Osborn! Man -- which of those two has more personality problems?!
Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars #3 -- Ultimate Dreadknight! While I, for one, am tickled pink, isn't that some sort of shark-jumping moment for the Ultimate Universe?
So, what looks good to YOU?
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The next batch of comic reviews, as I continue to try to catch up!
Creepy #2 -- Another gaggle of gruesome, gory graphic fiction for your guilt-free gobbling pleasure! There's some great stuff in here, including a very funny Loathsome Lore about torture devices (!), but the overall effect is brought down by the second feature, "Carnivore," about a car which runs on meat, that is bogged down by nearly incomprehensible artwork. Still, a strong and superlative horror comics effort.
glamourpuss #10 -- Stan Drake's relationship with his second wife, Bunny, and her relationship with the character Eve Jones, is juxtaposed with some Profound Insights about swimsuits. Sim goes off on a tangent here, moving away from talking about Drake's photorealism style and more about his marriage, which is always thorny territory for someone like Sim. Still, the artwork is beautiful, the history is interesting, and the Profound Insights are indeed Profound. Every issue of this title makes me want the next one more.
Aliens #4 -- Deep in the crystal cavern, our intrepid band has to face not only the xenomorphs, but the ancient madness lurking therein. The only conclusion one could expect from this story goes down here, and there's nothing wrong with it, but if you are expecting something mind-blowing, then you are going to be disappointed. Still, this was a good series and a nice re-introduction of the Aliens property to Dark Horse.
The Pick of The Pile is a tough one. Both glamourpuss and Creepy hit the right notes for me, but I am going to give it to glamourpuss because Creepy was less consistant.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Still trying to catch up on the comics from the last two weeks... the pile keeps growing! Being sick and travelling aren't helping, let me tell you.
Blackest Night: The Flash #1 -- Johns and Kollins are back, but its a new Flash and a new set of rules this time out. Kollins' work is even more stylized than it was on Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge, and this does (unfortunately) spoil some of the ending of Flash: Rebirth, but generally I thought this was a well-executed tie-in and I am very much looking forward to seeing the next part. And Kollins on Flash is always a benefit.
House of Mystery #20 -- Cain has come to reclaim his house, but the Conception have other plans for it. A fairly weak blowoff, with a new direction but little in the way of explanation. Yeah, I know, "mystery," but part of the charm of this series had been actually giving the mysteries, ya know, answers. A pat resolution hurts this issue, but the second story is fabulous.
Red Tornado #4 -- It's Red Tornado and Red Torpedo versus the Air Force... and then Red Volcano and Red Inferno! Action-heavy issue which does the best it can with not a lot of plot. One of the problems I have with the ubiquitous six issue solo miniseries is that these stories generally fit better in four issues (like they were back in the 80s and 90s), so you get issues like this, which are not bad but somewhat light.
Warlord #9 -- It's "spring" in Skartaris, and as newcomer McBane documents it, the residents of Shamballah muse about the past and the future in a land where there is no measurement of time. There's a shocking amount of sex and nudity in this comic -- but somehow it's not naughty, but appropriate. Anyways, this is a heck of a neat comic, a lushly illustrated interlude before the next story begins which demonstrates everything great about Grell's title.
Iron Man vs Whiplash #1 -- Tony Stark -- on trial for genocide! I'm not sure where this fits in continuity, because its not quite the movie, and it's not quite the comics, but it's cool, and that's all that matters, although Whiplash's new costume is several kinds of riduclous all at once.
Re-Read pile: Blackest Night: The Flash, Warlord, Iron Man vs. Whiplash
The Pick Of The Pile is Warlord, which was a total throwback in an incredibly good manner.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
As the air grows crisper and the days get shorter, it makes us all think of that most special time of year -- New Comic Book Day.
DC Holiday Special 2009 -- The Holiday ones are usually better than the Halloween ones, so let's hope that trend continues.
Doom Patrol #5 -- The Chief really "got it" last time out! (Yeeeouch!)
Red Robin #7 -- The Council of Spiders! Versus! The League of Assassians! With Red Robin in the middle!
The Shield #4 -- "I'm not a superhero. I'm a solider." Only this one means it.
Invincible Iron Man #21 -- Talking heads, huzzah!
War Machine #12 -- The Trial Of The Century! Or at least the one which ends this series.
So, what looks good to YOU?
Monday, December 7, 2009
I just picked up last week's comics this afternoon, so I don't have them read, BUT I do have my two Marvel sub comics, so nyah!
Invincible Iron Man #20 -- A lot of Marvel comic books are accused nowadays of being "nothing but talking heads," but in this case that's fairly literal, as more than half of the story features nothing other than the holographic talking head of Tony Stark. Fraction is building Tony Stark back up after tearing him down in "World's Most Wanted," and this is a decent start, but there is too much talking and not enough going on at this point. I know, I know, this is the opening chapter. Hopefully this will be more enjoyable over the course of the story than "WMW."
Mighty Avengers #31 -- In China, the Unspoken (exiled former ruler of the Inhumans) is busy using his Xerogen gas to revert every human he can into an Alpha Primitive -- including Hank Pym's team of Avengers! Bombastic and engaging story, which despite being part 6 of 6, was easy to pick up and follow. Dan Slott (along with his co-writer Christos Gage) has a pretty good handle on the characters he is playing with (I'd argue he has no idea how to write Hawkeye), even though he still insists on making crummy political jokes. And Sean Chen on art is a flashback to the old Heroes Return days of Iron Man which I am more than happy with. So far, I have dug Slott's take on Mighty (from this issue and the World's Mightiest collection) and hopefully that will continue.
Re-read Pile: Invincible Iron Man, Mighty Avengers.
The Pick of the Pile is Avengers, which delivered the goods in an old style slugfest and satisfied me as an Assemblers fan despite Slott's idiotic politics. IIM set the stage for something interesting but didn't really have enough "oomph."
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Comics are out on Thursday this week, but that's alright: what's a day to a hardcore comic book hound?
Aliens #4 -- The subterranean horror concludes!
Blackest Night: The Flash #1 -- As we learned in Blackest Night #5, Nekron and the Black Hand have a thing for Barry Allen!
House of Mystery #20 -- Will Cain get his house back? And if he does, what will be left of those who are living there?
Red Tornado #4 -- Reddy's family is running wild!
Warlord #9 -- All Grell all the time!
Iron Man: Requiem -- Not sure if I will get this... I have #144, but a color reprint of Tales of Suspense #39... eh...
Iron Man vs Whiplash #1 -- In time for the movie, natch! Although I still wonder why Whiplash couldn't have been American, oh well!
Dead She Said TPB -- If you missed this one in singles, be sure to pick up the collection of this hard boiled detective meets giant bug horror series.
glamourpuss #10 -- So fabulous!
The Phantom: Generations #6 -- Like a Mack Bolan book, only with the Phantom, and illustrations, and in comic book format.
So, what looks good to YOU?
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Check out this mind-bogglingly awesome advance one-sheet to what is the most anticipated (for me) movie of 2010: Iron Man 2!
War Machine looks pretty badass there, doesn't he? I have to wonder, will the two Armored Avengers be standing back to back fighting off their foes, or will they instead be standing toe-to-toe? Or, most likely, a little of both?
In any event, I'm already hopped up on goofballs for this movie and can hardly wait until summer!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Here's the other two books I got this week for your review-reading enjoyment!
The Web #3 -- With Dr. Archer escaped, his Web Hosts running wild all over the globe, and Batgirl punching him in the face, John Raymond has problems. They're going to get worse when Oracle jacks into his network. Meanwhile, the Hangman comes face to face -- sort of -- with a foe who can drown him on dry land. Robinson and Robinson continue their strong work on the lead feature, as The Web has to try to rein in all of his bad decisions while still hunting down the man who killed his brother. Robinson's (Angela) script is punchy and her dialogue snappy, including Web talking back to Oracle and generally not buying what she is saying, while Robinson's (Roger) art retains is dynamic style. In the backup, Derenick and Sienkiewicz continue with their appropriately scratchy art for the character, while Rozum introduces a new threat. I was a little surprised to see us switch gears to Japantown after dealing with the "regular" mob last issue, but I think these stories are more vignette-style at this point. Good issue.
Futurama Comics #46 -- It's time to Choose Your Own Adventure when the Planet Express crew has to deliver a box to certain Dr. Moebius! This comic is like what my son eats for breakfast: bananas. At the end of each page, you are given a choice of where to go next, like a CYOA book, but it can be read straight through as well. Futhermore, the characters themselves recognize that they are being given bizarre choices and options, adding to the inanity. A great use of the comic book format, with lots of page turning gags and jokes. One of the best issues of this series I've ever read, easily.
Re-Read Pile: The Web, Futurama Comics.
The Pick Of The Pile is Futurama, because while The Web continued to build the character of the biggest jerk this side of Guy Gardner, Futurama was completely hilarious in a manner which the TV show it is based on could never be. Great stuff.
The Combined Pick Of The Pile is Blackest Night, but all four of these comics were superlative. A very good week!