Monday, September 29, 2008

What I Read This Week

These are a little stale, since obviously I was too busy being in Belize last Wednesday to make it to the LCS.  But these are the last comics I have read, so nyah.

Batman And The Outsiders #11 -- Tieri takes over for Chuck Dixon and everything falls apart.  A big, jumbled mess of complaining and angst which drops the ball pretty handily.  Oy.

Flash #244 -- Alan Burnett and Paco Diaz tackle the first post-"Fast Money" Wally West story and it's pretty good.  What is the cost of curing Iris and Jai for their father?  Enjoyable Flash story, but one has to wonder what this means for the character of Wally West.  

Tiny Titans #8 -- It's report card time at Sidekick Elementary, and we get some insight into everyone's best subjects.  Plus, Beast Boy gets caught up in his reading at the library.  And is it any surprise that Robin is scared of clowns?  Adorable as always.

Guardians Of The Galaxy #5 -- More distrust and suspicion running rampant on Knowhere as the Guardians are being cut off at the knees while trusted comrades seem to be behaving not-quite-like-themselves.  The entire "Secret Invasion" fiasco holds little interest for me but this story has been using the Skrull motif in a very compelling manner.  Top-notch stuff.

Iron Man #33 -- Or, War Machine: The Prologue.  In the wake of Tony Stark's technology being conveniently disabled during Secret Invasion, it's up to Jim Rhodes and Suzi Endo (whoa... Force Works flashback!) to save the world.  Very 90s (the Chen artwork does a lot to add to that impression) and over the top, this is a fast read, the very opposite of what this title has been since the Knaufs took over after Ellis.  Still, for a War Machine title that's just fine with me.  Gage really likes Rhodey and that shows.  If this is what we can expect from the ongoing than I will be happy.  

Marvel Apes #2 -- The hairiest Marvel event ever takes a bizarre, and yet still awesome, hard left turn here as the big secret behing the Apevengers is revealed, and it ain't pretty.  Kesel and Bachs' series about intelligent apes in capes might have started out as a "cocktail party joke" but it has really captured my interest as a legitimate alternate reality tale.  Very much wondering where this goes from here!  

glamourpuss #3 -- Gone Missin'.  At least, it was as of the 17th, since my shop didn't get it in their shipment.  Should hopefully be there by now.

The Pick Of The Pile was Marvel Apes, which has crossed a threshold into the absurd the likes of which cannot be easily topped.  For what it's worth, Batman And The Outsiders was one of the worst DC comics I have read in a long time.  Yikes.

So what did YOU read last week?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hiatus Next Week

Well, my wife and I are celebrating our anniversary by getting on a really large boat and sailing around.  That's right, we're going on a cruise!  So I will be off the grid for the next week or so, which means no updates until the 29th at the earliest.  Thanks for your patience, everyone!  

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Looks Good?

Another week halfway done, another reason to be happy.  

Batman And The Outsiders #11 -- Let the post-Dixon era begin!  Long live the Tieri-era!

Flash #244 -- Is this the end of Wally West as we know him?  Only Geoff Johns knows for sure.

Tiny Titans #8 -- The cuteness... it's unstoppable!

Guardians Of The Galaxy #5 -- One of the two good things about Secret Invasion.  The other one is Nova.

Iron Man #33 -- Starring War Machine, as this title gets set to be relaunched as such.  I wonder if my sub is going to automatically switch?

Marvel Apes #2 -- Picked up the first issue on a whim, and really dug it... this is one Marvel event I am excited about!

glamourpuss #3 -- Anything that isn't "The Eighties!"

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fair Trade -- Essential Captain America v.1

I picked this up at HeroesCon back in June, and, in honor of Rick's new Captain America blog, Let's Rap With Cap, I figured that now would be a good time to talk about the Living Legend of World War Two and his Silver Age adventures.

The vast majority of the stories presented here (Tales of Suspense #59-99, and Captain America #100-102) are written by Stan Lee (of course) and drawn by Cap's co-creator Jack Kirby.  While the pairing of Lee and Kirby on Fantastic Four is the stuff of legend, their work on Captain America is rarely talked about in similar tones.  Maybe it's because it's not an unbroken run (there are a couple of spots where Jack needs a fill-in), or maybe it's because these Cap stories in ToS were 10-pagers instead of full length.  But whatever the reason, it's not really fair, because this volume contains some absolutely masterful Silver Age heroics.

The series takes the fact that Cap is a man out of time and really plays that up as a strength.  Stories vary between Cap busting up commies or gangsters in the present day, and busting Nazis with Bucky in WW2, both of which play well as straight action while also giving the team a chance to flex their creative muscles and play with the setting.  In the early 60s, the war was not so far in the past as to be dim in the minds of readers, and America's fascination with WW2 was in full swing, so if nothing else this was a smart move on Stan and Jack's part.

The art is pure Kirby, with bombastic battles and insane technology, both on the side of good with SHIELD and the forces of evil .  Jack plays to his own strengths with lots of brawling fights, with Cap springing between opponents like a pinball and laying punks out with punches which look painful some 40+ years after they were drawn.  And Lee holds up his end of the bargain as well.  Even though each ToS segment is only ten pages, Lee writes feature length tales and just breaks them into chapters; where the ToS Iron Man strip is often just a short, Captain America is epic each and every time.  And the cast of characters which surround Cap are strong -- the mysterious and beautiful Agent 13, the gruff SHIELD Man Nick Fury, the diabolical scientists known as AIM, and the utterly evil Red Skull all have the chance to share the spotlight.

As one of the original Marvel Essentials, this is an excellent choice for someone just getting started reading the Silver Age or wanting to learn more about Captain America and his history.  As the first large chunk of solo Captain America I ever read, I must say I was impressed, and walked away with a new interest in the character.  So this volume is definitely recommended.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What I Read This Week

Dead, She Said #3 -- Our undead gumshoe gets a little help from a medical examiner ex-girlfriend, then heads out to figure out what tore apart his mark last issue.  Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson's noir horror-detective story wraps up here, in a mostly satisfying manner.  We don't learn why Coogan is a walking, talking corpse, and the whole giant ant thing is only kinda-sorta addrssed, but it's a good ending to a good story, with the potential for more to come.  Wrightson's art alone is worth the cost of admission, with rain-soaked streets and gruesome gore juxtaposed nicely.

The Pick Of The Pile seems a bit silly this week, yes?

So what did YOU read this week?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What Looks Good?

No matter what gets you down, we all know that the local comic shop has the cure for what ails ya.  Cmon.  You know I'm right.

Dead, She Said #3 -- It's not uncommon for your noir detective to end up dead.  It is uncommon for him to be dead at the beginning of the story!

Whew, only one book this week.  After last week, that is a heck of a relief!

So what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I checked my post count last night, and I am now over the 300 mark!  I know I am amazed.  In honor of that, I am posting the cover of one of my personal favorite #300 issues (in fact, this may be the only one I own as a single...), Iron Man #300.  Back in 2005, when I seriously decided to obtain a full run of Iron Man, I actually managed to find this issue for 80 cents on the very first day of back issue buying.  Now, my copy is the newsstand version, so it lacks the shiny foil cover seen here, but none the less, this was one of my favorites from that batch, and remains one of the best anniversary issues of any comic I have ever collected.

Hopefully most of these 300 or so posts have been worthwhile, and hopefully I can push out 300 more.  So ,thanks go out to to all of you who have stuck with this blog through the highs and lows (mostly lows), offering feedback and inspiration.  You know who you are!

Monday, September 8, 2008

What I Read This Week

Another XS Edition.  For those who don't remember, that means "eXtra Short."

Adam Strange Special #1 -- More on the comings and goings of the DC Cosmic Set and the "Abberant Six."  Pretty good story is derailed by a very strange, herky-jerky delivery.

House of Mystery #5 -- The first arc comes to a close as our main character may not be who we thought it was.  Also notable for the inclusion of a text story, meaning that we have 3 features in this psuedo-but-not-but-kinda-still-anthology title.  Top flight as usual.

Secret Six #1 -- The Villians are United once again as Catman, Deadshot, Scandal, Ragdoll and some new friends take on a hugely dangerous and insane mission.  Supremely impressive ongoing debut from Simone and Scott.

Storming Paradise #3 -- The invasion of Japan weathers on, pushing towards Christmas '45, and the Allies have new troubles brewing.  Pretty much unlike anything WildStorm has ever published.

Tor #5 -- Tor and his companions run afoul of the Hairy Tribe once more, but are there bigger problems on the horizon?  Continues to be just a hugely enjoyable series which has gotten very little attention from DC.

The War That Time Forgot #5 -- New mysteries are revealed as it seems that the soldiers, warriors, and dinosaurs are not alone on the island.  Fun yarn which pushes the plot in a new direction.

Invincible Iron Man #5 -- Trying to stop Zeke's gambit from destroying everything he stands for, Tony Stark has to make a gamble of his own.  Good story and art, but with an obvious cliffhanger to anyone who has read an Iron Man story in, oh, 15 years or so.

Iron Man: Golden Avenger -- A Marvel Adventure title without the Marvel Adventure cover... maybe because Marvel cancelled it?  Maybe you should remove the house ad for it, too... anyway, lots of baddies are working for a mysterious and not-overly-competant benefactor in this enjoyable AA comic.

Marvel Apes #1 -- Three-time loser The Gibbon is tossed into an alternate dimension where simians rule the evolutionary chain.  An absolutely fun story to read, with lots of jokes and gags, but there's a real story here, too.

Venom: Dark Origin #2 -- Eddie Brock makes a name for himself by covering the Sin-Eater story for the Globe, but will his desire for fame blind him to reality?  This issue is much better than the first, and reads like a Venom series of old (that is a compliment).  Be interesting to see where this heads, and if it incorporates Jenkins' ridiculous retcon from a few years back.

The Pick Of The Pile is Secret Six, which did not disappoint in the least.

So what did YOU read this week?


Due to work and home related issues, updates will be sporadic at best for a little while.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What Looks Good?

What's a day delay in comics when there is so much good stuff being released nowadays?  You kids don't know how good you have it!

Adam Strange Special #1 -- I got the Hawkman Special, so this one is a natural.

Dr. Fate: Countdown to Mystery TPB -- I ended up dropping CtM for monetary reasons, but this looks awful tempting... !

House of Mystery #5 -- Speaking of tempting, this book is all that and a bag of chips.  (I guess it's not hip to say that anymore?)

Secret Six #1 -- Debauchery, chicanery, and general mayhem.  What more could one ask for?

Storming Paradise #3 -- Alternate history for the 4 Color set.  This series is harsh.

Tor #5 -- From The World Of One Million Years Ago!  Buy this series, then buy the hardcovers!

The War That Time Forgot #5 -- The 4 Color equivalent of a Fulci movie with dinosaurs.  And without the gore, I guess.

Invincible Iron Man #5 -- Tony Stark faces down Ezekial Stane for all the marbles.  

Iron Man: Golden Avenger -- A sort of one-shot, Marvel Adventures style Shellhead adventure.  Sounds good to me!

Marvel Apes #1 -- Finally, a Marvel event I can get excited about!

Venom: Dark Origin #2 -- Keeping my eye on this series after the inauspicious debut.

Beetle Bailey by Mort Walker V.1 HC -- I cannot afford this, but man do I want it!  Although you'd figure at this point that Beetle would have at least made Specialist, right?

Yikes.  Just... yikes!

So what looks good to YOU?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Reminder, and New Awesomeness

Just a friendly reminder that thanks to the holiday on Monday, new comic books will be delayed this week until tomorrow.  Sure, you can go to your local comic shop, but they won't have anything new for you.

While you are waiting, you should head over to my blog-pal's Rick's newest offering, Let's Rap With Cap, focusing on that Star-Spangled Sentinel, Captain America!  I've always been a fan of Cap in the Avengers and other supporting roles, but only recently have I purchased any serious amount of Cap's solo title, in the form of Essential Captain America v.1.  The Lee-Kirby Cap is crazy fun... or perhaps just crazy, in the typical Kirby manner!  So I am looking forward to seeing some of that run, as well as Kirby's later solo run (which I am hoping to find some of next time I go Con-ing) featured on Rick's blog.  So go check it out!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What I Read This Week

DC Universe: Last Will And Testament #1 -- As this was initially solicited, I wasn't too interested in it: while how the various heroes of the DCU would spend their final hours before the end of the world sounded like a viable story source, I just was not feeling it.  So imagine my surprise when this turned out to be Brad Metzler's conclusion of the dangling "Geo-Force as a double agent" plot from Justice League of America!  Oh yeah, there's some "last day on Earth" stuff mixed in, but the main story here is Geo-Force and his protracted revenge on Deathstroke for his role in the death of his sister.  Metzler is on his game here, as he writes a pretty dead-on Geo-Force, and Adam Kubert's art is big-event caliber.  Given that most of this issue is an Outsiders-fest (the main plays besides Brion include Black Lightning, Grace, and Batman, plus there is a name-drop of Baron Bedlam for crying out loud!), could Metzler-on-Outsiders be the big news DiDio teased me with at HeroesCon?

Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #2 -- Johns and Kollins delve more into the rising tide of crap in Keystone City, as Libra sends his New Rogues to either convert or eliminate the titular Rogues, while Zoom has Interia under his heel, pushing the young maniac to his limits.  Johns clearly loves each and every one of these characters and writing them is like second nature, as we flow from one narrative to another with ease.  And what more can be said about Kollins' work, which defined this "version" of the Rogues as much as Johns' words?  Top flight tie-in all around.

Justice Society of America #18 -- As Gog spreads his message of peace and love across war-torn Africa, the differences in the team begin to become obvious, as those who support his swift dealing with warmongers come to ideological crossroads with those who do not.  But things take an even stranger turn as one of Society's members undergoes a startling transformation.  Meanwhile, on Earth-2, Power Girl seeks out the one man smart enough to help her get home.  Johns and Eaglesham deliver every single month on this title.  I don't know why I bother reviewing it, because it is consistantly awesome.

Nova #16 -- Nova falls in with his old comrade Kl'rt the Super-Skrull in this "Secret Invasion" tie-in which takes a look at the invasion of Earth from the other side.  DnA and Wellington Alves turn in a solid cosmic story built upon the relationship forged between Nova and Super-Skrull during the first Annihilation, as the issue focuses a lot on each of their roles given the Invasion as well as their individual places in each of their socities.  Like the GOTG tie-in, this is much more appealing than the actual event.

Caliber #5 -- We take a strange left turn here as we get equal parts gunfight and kung-fu throwdown.  Now that I have all five parts I will try to read this in one sitting, but while the series was disappointing at least this ending was logical enough.

Halloween 30th Anniversary Special -- An big-sized (and big-priced) special, this features 5 short stories in the Halloween universe, with the Shape, Dr. Loomis, Laurie Strode, and Tommy Jarvis all playing roles to various degrees.  The stories themselves run the gamut from the side story of the couple whom Laurie sends Tommy and Lindsay to in the first film to the sexually-charged horror comic Tommy reads as an adult.  My favorite tale herein features the Shape toying with Dr. Loomis while stalking a school teacher in the 80s.  A fun horror comic, although I am not sure where some of these stories fit into the continuity, as the supposedly are "officially" part of the series.  Like, Tommy has a wife and kid and is living out west... is this after the events of Halloween 6, or does the new continuity ignore that film?  Hopefully some of these questions will be addressed, at least to calm obsessive nerds like me.  Why this was released in August and not October I am not sure, but it's a good purchase if you are a fan.

The Pick Of The Pile was a tough one.  On most weeks, Last Will And Testament would have walked away with it, but JSoA was released.  JSoA also would have walked away with the win, but Rogues' Revenge was released!  So the nod goes to the FC tie-in.

So what did YOU read this week?