Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What Looks Good?

I know this is a day early, but it's my blog and I'll blog if I want to, blog if I want, blog if I want to.  You would blog too if it happened to you!

Justice League of America #35 -- This arc from Len Wein, featuring the Royal Flush Gang, has my interest piqued enough to give it a flip-through.

Justice Society of America #29 -- Same as above...

Wednesday Comics #4 -- I'm on the hook for this awesome series now.

War of Kings: Ascension #4 -- Hey, Marvel!  Darkhawk ongoing!

Werewolf By Night: In The Blood TPB -- I passed on this as singles, but I do dig the Werewolf as a general rule.

glamourpuss #8 -- Every week which glamourpuss comes out is a treat.

So, what looks good to YOU?

Monday, July 27, 2009

What I Read This Week

This is a special "ES" edition this week, as in "Extra Short."  My wife and I are packing up our two month old son for a visit with his family in Florida followed by his family in New York, so I am going to be scarce around these parts.

Aliens #2 -- More mysteries, more aliens, and everything ties back to the prologue from the previous issue.  Interesting stuff.

Green Lantern #44 -- Barry Allen and Hal Jordan battle a zombified Martian Manhunter.  I don't think I need to say more than that.

Outsiders #20 -- The first arc ends explosively -- literally -- as the four major players all come crashing into one another.  Should be interesting to see where things go from here, but this title is strong.

Tiny Titans #18 -- Featuring 100% of your daily recommended dose of Blackest Night jokes, plus Darkseid as a janitor and Man-Bat in detention.

Wednesday Comics #3 -- Hawkman improves again, as we are introduced proper to the villains of the piece, plus more excitement from Kamadi, Rock, Strange, Deadman, and the others.  Wonder Woman still a big muddled though.

Guardians of the Galaxy #16 -- Guardians old and new meet as reality itself collapses in a future even more dystopian than the one they old Guardians used to run around in.  Funky art helps this fun story.

Nova #27 -- Its Nova to the rescue in the Ceded Territories, as
whats left of the Corps goes after Strontian in order to save Robbie Rider.  I'm a sucker for any comic which features Blastaar, this one included.

Futurama Comics #44 -- Its the Fry And The Furious as Fry finds himself in a crazy intergalactic race!  

The Pick Of The Pile is Green Lantern, although again this was a strong week.

So what did YOU read this week?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

Hello?!  Human Fly letterhead here!  (Thanks to Rick, that is!)

Dixon has a sweet ad for The Greatest Flash Stories Ever Told.  I'd like to get my hands on this one, but it's a little hard to find nowadays.

Shag breaks some pics of the Eleventh Doctor.

rob! breaks out this super-sweet (and super appropriate) program from 1985's San Diego Comic-Con.

Frank breaks out some sweet Tom Mandrake and George Perez artwork.

CCI: JSA All-Stars!  Oy, my wallet is aching... and here's an interview with scribe Matt Sturges.

CCI: Kirkman and MacFarlane on Image United... I'll believe this book when I see it!

CCI: Dan DiDio talks about Wednesday Comics.  DC, please make this an annual event!

More CCI news coming next week, I am sure!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

One Panel, One Question: Sub-Mariner #1

Shouldn't Prince Namor's belt buckle have, I don't know, an "N" on it?

Although, I must say: as super-cool as Namor is, he would be even cooler if he still wore the belt buckle with his initial on it.  See also: Galactus.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What Looks Good?

We're knee-deep in summer now, which of course means that summer is starting it's slow decline back towards autumn.  Don't know why I'm feeling so poetic; maybe I'll just read some comics instead.

Aliens #2 -- Aliens comics from Dark Horse?  Whoa, flashback!

Green Lantern #44 -- Green Lantern and Flash vs Black Lantern Martian Manhunter.  That's a easy decision right there.

Outsiders #20 -- No idea how this one is going to go down except it should be crazy.

Tiny Titans #18 -- Let the cuteness envelope you!

Wednesday Comics #3 -- More sequential goodness in the bodacious broadsheet, uh, batch.

Guardians of the Galaxy #16 -- Last issue, Knowhere woke up.  That is bad.

Nova #27 -- Will any of the new Corps survive, even Richard Rider?

Futurama Comics #44 -- Well, the recasting of the series is kind of a bummer but the comic will have the original cast forever!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

John Ostrander Needs Our Help

Taking a break from the comics talk here to talk about something a little more important.  Longtime comics scribe and all around cool guy John Ostrander is battling glaucoma, and if he loses that battle, one of the comic book world's best writers will lose his eyesight.

On August 8, 2009, at the Chicago Comic-Con, a group of comic creators, friends, and family of Mr. Ostrander are holding a silent auction to raise money to cover the medical bills associated with his Glaucoma Filtration surgery.  Any monies raised beyond his costs are going to be donated to The Hero Initiative.

Even if you (like me) won't be in Chicago in August, you can still donate by heading over to Comix4Sight.com.

Ostrander helped essentially create an era of Hawkman's history as the writer of the Hawkworld regular series.  He also worked on the third volume of Hawkman, and lots of other titles anyone reading this sight has no doubt enjoyed, including Suicide Squad, Magnus, Robot Fighter, Heroes For Hire, Star Wars, The Spectre, Firestorm, X-Men, Quicksilver, and plenty others.

Please head on over to Comix4Sight.com and donate some money to help out.  The comics industry needs to help take care of their own and this is one way we can all help.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What I Read This Week

Creepy #1 -- Dark Horse revives one of the most well-known horror comic magazines in appropriately grim black and white with this 48 page, no-ads monstrosity.  Uncle Creepy and Sister Creepy are back to introduce you to six horror features, including a classic from the "good bad days," plus a sick cover by Eric Powell make this a well-spent 5 bucks.  I am a horror hound so this is right up my alley, but I can't see non-horror fans being as impressed by this.  But that's their loss and my (and my ilk's) gain -- this is a tremendous effort and one of my favorite new comics of the last few years.  Keep (Creep?) up the good work, Dark Horse.

Blackest Night #1 -- The Dead Have Risen!  All, as is to be expected, all Hell is breaking loose all over the Universe because of it.  DC's Summer Epic bows in spectacular fashion here, as Johns and Reis turn in a first chapter ever bit as gasp-inducing and jaw-dropping as the initial chapters of Final Crisis and Infinite Crisis.  And yes I mean that as a compliment.  It's gore galore, for sure, but it's wrapped up in a tightly written story which intrigues even as it begins to play its hand and reveal what has been brewing for several years in the DCU.  Dark days are ahead, for sure -- but not for DC readers.

Titans #15 -- Garth has never had it easy, from being cast out of Atlantis for his purple eyes to his days as Aqualad to the Infinite Crisis and it's aftermarh.  But will the coming of the Blackest Night allow him the time to mourn for his family and heal, or is he destined to suffer more?  Agreeable Tempest story which conveniently glosses over how exactly he re-acquired his powers (I guess Leah's quest for him worked out) and just moves forward.  I like the development which comes from this issue and hope that someone picks this thread up at some point and runs with it.

Wednesday Comics #2 -- Continuing where we left off last week, DC's experimental summer series continues to impress.  In fact, I would say it is even better than the first installment, thanks to marked improvement in two of the weaker strips (namely Teen Titans and Hawkman) and interesting developments in some other strips (Sgt. Rock, Batman, Strange Adventures and so forth).  The format still works and the stories are varied enough to really put over the concept as a winner.  Please make this a summer tradition, DC!

The Phantom: Generations #3 -- The third Phantom must live up to his creed to rid the world of piracy when his young bride is kidnapped by Portuguese pirates and taken the eerie Caves of the Naga!  Moonstone continues their series of "Illustrated Men's Fiction" short stories featuring the various men who have been called The-Ghost-Who-Walks.  This issue features oddly psuedo-photorealistic artwork by Michael Stribling which doesn't always work but is certainly unique.  Fun swashbuckler.

The Pick Of The Pile is a tough call this week, but I am going to give the nod to Blackest Night #1 with Wednesday Comics and Creepy nipping closely at it's heels.

So what did you read this week?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

Ladies and gentlemen, the 90s!  Rick shows off the letter head to Primal Force!

Dixon gives us the Daily Planet puzzle!

Shag clues us in to the return of the Fourth Doctor -- in audio form.

rob! has a run in with Aquafoe and all around bad dude Black Manta!

Kelson live-blogs his way through Wednesday Comics #2.

Frank gives me a flashback with this article from Wizard about the new (old) JLA.

And finally, check out Todd Klein's development of the new Red Robin logo, which is a lot of fun.  (Also a very cool logo.)  

One Panel, One Wish

I wish Marvel would somehow, someway collect their old Toxic Avenger series, which was the first comic book I ever collected serious-like.  A fun "monster hero" comic book, filled with satirical humor, cartoonish violence, and gruesome monsters.  Brings back memories.


(This page comes from Toxic Avenger #8, by the way.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What Looks Good?

Creepy Comics #1 -- Hey gorehounds!  Bring on the parade of horror!

Blackest Night #1 -- Hey superhero fans!  Bring on the parade of horror!

Titans #15 -- Hey Tempest fans!  Okay that's enough of that.  Tempest is back?  I wasn't aware he had left?  Unless we're talking about his quest from the closing days of Sword of Atlantis?

Wednesday Comics #2 -- Omigosh I can't wait to read my Wednesday Funny Pages!

Captain America #601 -- Two words: Gene Colon.  Four more words: Black and white variant.

The Phantom: Generations #3 -- More illustrated Men's Adventure starring a classic version of the Ghost Who Walks.

So, what looks god to YOU?

Monday, July 13, 2009

What I Read This Week

Green Lantern #43 -- Blackest Night has begun!  And if this comic is any indication, we are in all in it deep!  Meet The Black Hand -- the creepiest villian this side of a King novel -- and learn what has turned him into this death-obsessed lunatic.  Johns and Mahnke are a great team, as they turn in an issue that is one part Rogue Profile and one part Big Event Prologue, and works completely on both levels.  Great job also by DC to put this issue out the week before Blackest Night#1 bows, because now I am super-psyched.

House of Mystery #15 -- The Thinking Man's Army is bearing down on the House, just as Harry Bailey has discovered who he really is, and Rina finds herself back at her old digs.  It all comes together in a really bad, bad way.  All this plus "Jordan's Movie Idea with the Gorillas and Sh*t."  "The Space Between" had a lot of reveals and information, but ultimately was not as sastisfying as the previous storyline -- although the last page reveal has the potential for all sorts of goodness, so I am still deeply entrenched.

Red Robin #2 -- Tim Wayne has had a rough couple of years -- and the death of his adoptive father may have just pushed him completely over the edge.  And the one man who may be able to help him on his quest is also the one trying to kill him, so there's that to deal with as well.  Chris Yost and Ramon Bachs continue their strong work on this title after the solid debut last time.  I never really followed Robin (either the title or the character) but this portrait of a young man pushed over the edge is very appealing to me for some reason.

Batman #688 -- Dick Grayson is Batman -- but this is not the same Batman which has stalked Gotham City for years, and some people are starting to notice.  Including Two-Face!  I am not one of the rabid Winnick-haters out there so I do not have that working against me as I approach this issue, which I enjoyed.  He has a good handle on the voices for all of the major characters, especially Alfred, who is great here.  Yeah, Dick does some whining but I didn't get removed from the story because of it -- I thought it sounded pretty natural.  Bagley is an artist I have liked since his days on Amazing Spider-Man, so seeing his take on the new Dark Knight and some of his Rogues was great fun.  I'm sticking with this story arc at a minimum and then we'll see how it goes from there.

Warlord #4 -- The new "golden god" in Skartaris has Travis Morgan and Machiste imprisoned, but not for long, while his allies try to rally support in Shamballah.  But it might all be for naught if the Minosaur has it's way!  Fantastic S&S comic, with a great combo of Grell's words and Prado's pencils really bringing the world to life.  Where this story is heading has got my eyebrows raised, but in a good way.  Definitely a title I look forward to each month.

Wednesday Comics #1 -- DC's other big summer event has bowed, and I have only one word to say about it:


Okay, I will elaborate a little bit more.  Mark Chiarello's homage to the old Sunday Comics section of yore is a success pretty much on all levels, from it's format and presentation to it's amazingly striking (and varied) visuals, to the fun selection of characters and talent.  This is outside the box thinking at it's best -- something the comics industry in this country does not do very well.  It does come with a couple of caveats, though.  First, you have to buy into the idea that this is, despite the newsprint, a prestige format project, and you are going to be pay for that.  Secondly, perhaps more importantly, you have to be familiar with how adventure comic strips work.  Yes, Virginia, you are only going to get a little bit of story in the strip.  Because more is coming next week.  That's how Prince Valiant works, that's how The Phantom works, that's how Tarzan works, and Mandrake, and Flash Gordon, and Mary Worth, and Juliet Jones, and so on and so forth.  Neither of those are hurdles for me, so this is aimed right at my gut and hits it dead-on.  The best strips were some of the more unusual ones, such as Paul Pope's pulpish Strange Adventures, or the split-page format Flash Comics (half devoted to The Flash, half to the Benday-dotted Iris Allen), or the so beautiful it's a crime Sgt. Rock.  Sadly, the only complaint I have is that the Kyle Baker Hawkman strip completely falls flat.  Otherwise, this is a blast!

War of Kings: Warriors #1 -- Two stories which originally were "online exclusives" fleshing out the War Of Kings cast somewhat.  Our first feature stars Gladiator back before the War began detailing how he achieved his position in the Imperial Guard.  The second feature (truly, these are two features, as they are the same length) showcases my man BLASTAAR and how he retook the throne on his homeworld of Balur in the Negative Zone.  Christos Gage has a good handle on both of our stars, and does a great job with both tales.  The Gladiator piece, with art by Mahmud A. Asrar (whose Dynamo 5 I have never read), is a nice flashback piece and does an admirable job of fleshing out its star, who really has come into his own in the main series.  The Blastaar feature's art is handled by Carlos Magno, and is downright awesome.  It's heavy, massive art, filled with power and Kirby dots which perfectly fit the massive and powerful character of Blastaar.  This is the story I have been waiting for since his cameo in the first Annihilation.  A great pick-up for those reading the Marvel cosmic titles.

The Pick Of The Pile is obvious for me with Wednesday Comics.  Putting that aside, I'm torn as there were lots of good comics this week, but any time Blastaar gets his own feature, I'm game, so it goes to WoK: Warriors.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

Let's get things started with this neat Iron Fist letterhead from Rick.

Doug shows off a sweet new Doom Patrol pinup/poster from Matthew Clark.  (Saw the preview for the new Doom Patrol in the back of Warlord this week... looks fantastic!)

Flamehead Fan extraordinaire Shag shows off some original art.

Remember that time that Jay Garrick won a baby at an auction?  Don't worry, Kelson sheds some light on it for us.

rob! presents, "The Ballad Of The Yellow Glove, Part 2."

And finally, if I had been smarter when I was a kid, I totally would have bought this Martian Manhunter toy so Frank would think I was cool.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

One Panel, One Question: Wonder Woman #101

How come my history teachers in school never mentioned that Wonder Woman saved the Santa Maria from being destroyed before Columbus found the New World?

It's an anti-DC Conspiracy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What Looks Good?

I don't know about you guys, but here in South Carolina, we could use a distraction from the various silliness on the news.  What better way than to head down to the comic book shop and get some Four Color escapism?

Green Lantern #43 -- Blackest Night starts here!  Well, I guess it started in Blackest Night #0... or maybe in that epilogue to the Sinestro Corps War?  Hmmm.

House of Mystery #15 -- More creepiness at Cain's place.

Showcase Presents: Batlash -- The first "mini Showcase," I may get this because 1) its a Western, and 2) principle.

Warlord #4 -- This book is rapidly becoming a "can't hardly wait a month between issues" situation.

Wednesday Comics #1 -- The grand experiment bows here.  I don't know if I will continue to get this or not but I want to get the first one to check it out if nothing else.  Plus, of course, Hawkman.

War of Kings: Warriors #1 -- The online "exclusive" material comes to print.  A cash grab for sure but WoK has my cash already.

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Unbridled Capitalism: Independence Day

My friend Adama came to visit me on the 3rd, in preperation for heading over to an Independence Day party being held by a mutual friend.  So naturally we tried to hit up Richard's aforementioned basement, with it's several tables' worth of quarter bins.  Imagine our surprise when we arrived to find the downstairs closed!  When we enquired about it, the owner told us in no uncertain terms that it's only open once a month, in a tone to suggest that we were morons for not knowing that.  Needless to say, nothing was purchased at Richard's.

Instead, we drove down a block and hit up Borderlands, and gave Stan some of our hard earned monies!  WOOO!

Wonder Man #25 -- Filling in a slot in my Wonder Man collection, this issue (if I am remembering correctly) was pretty much the culmination of a year-plus worth of stories involving Simon and his powers becoming all wonky, including being tied to his emotions and oscilating up and down.  I really need to get the rest of this series.

Marvel Tales #201 -- Reprinting the first US apperance of Captain Britain, as well as starting a new Spider-Ham saga.  I had no idea this comic was published for so long.

What If? v.2:no.1 -- What If The Avengers Had Lost The Evolutionary War?  Yikes!

John Carter: Warlord of Mars Annual #3 -- More Burroughs!

Avengers #310 -- I really need to go through and catalog my Avengers stuff.  Reading old Avengers adventures really brings into sharp focus how much Marvel's current output disinterests me.

Icon #9 -- Since their return to the DC Universe last year, I have been more intrigued by the Milestone characters than I have been in a long time, especially Icon.  I was only able to find this single issue for the big guy, but I will be seeking more.

Hawkman: Wings of Fury -- Grabbed on a whim as I was leaving, expect to see more of this detailed over on Being Carter Hall.  I'm about halfway through collecting Volume 4 of Hawkman/Hawkgirl at this point, and am very much looking to cracking this one open.

Anyone out there do any comic shopping over the holiday weekend?

What I Read This Week

Sorry these are a day late... holiday, baby, work, you know how it goes.

Strange Adventures #5 -- Comet, Adam Strage, Eye, and Synnar-in-the-Weird confront the Weird, who has seemingly gone over the edge after his previous run-in with the Demiurge.  Meanwhile, Prince Gavyn broods about what has befallen his people and his world, and wonders what kind of Supreme Being would allow so many of his worshippers to be so cruelly dismissed.  All the while, Bizarro and Coriolis find themselves in an even stranger locale than before, as their fears seem to take shape in front of them.  It's great to see Starlin on art as well as writing chores, for this issue is gorgeous.  The story is building to a climax which should be a real blowout.  A great title and a great installment.

War of Kings #5 -- With their coup attempt failed, the Inhumans unveil their failsafe device for ending the war.  But is their cure even worse than the disease?  Over on the Shi'ar side, Vulcan prepares to unleash his fury in a way the cosmos has never seen before, but even Kings have others to answer to.  This series has almost been too sweeping -- there is so much going on that before you know it, your 22 pages are done.  But I am not going to fault a comic for including too much awesome stuff, as this one does.  The Inhuman's plan is absolutely insane, but not as insane as the last-page promise of a knock down, drag out between the two Kings next issue.

Justice League: Cry For Justice #1 -- In the aftermath of the death of the Martian Manhunter and Batman, Green Lantern Hal Jordan wants justice, dammit.  And he is not alone.  I liked the setup for this issue, but ultimately, I think that is all we got: setup.  I was left with the notion that this was supposed to be a double-sized issue and then got halved at the last second, because it just kind of ends.  Robinson's dialogue rings true to my ear, and Mauro Cascioli's art is as sweet as it was on Trials of Shazam, but I was expecting a bit more from this issue.

Aliens #1 -- When a mining outfit finds an amazing acheological discovery -- a twisting, labrynthine city of unimaginable size -- on a backwoods world, they figure they can double-dip on their profits.  When a scientific research team arrives on-world, though, it seems that the prospectors unearthing the bizarre city have given way to insanity themselves.  What lies inside the city and will anyone be left sane -- or alive -- to discover it's secret?  For a relaunch of the Aliens brand this issue is decidedly short on actual Xenomorphs.  But in a way that sort of works in it's favor -- the pacing is a little slower and the mystery builds and builds, and it makes for a page-turning reading experience.  Scribe John Arcudi has a nice handle on the spookiness, and Howard Porter's art seems well-suited to rendering this desolate planet.  I think I will stick with this one.

Predator #1 -- In Eastern Africa, a bloody civil war rages with no end in sight.  But for the members of the US-backed private security firm Graham Directive Security are in for more than even they bargained for when they discover a cadre of deadly alien lifeforms hunting in the same warzone!  This one, along with the Aliens book, I picked up for my brother as he was a fan of the DH books back in the day.  Where Aliens was mysterious, Predator is more straight forward, building thematically on the FCBD Predator story.  Arcudi and artist Javier Saltares do a good job, but I will probably pass on the rest of this one just because I am more interested in Aliens.  Still looks very intriguing.

The Pick Of The Pile is a toss-up between to the two space titles.  I am having a hard time picking between them, but I am going to have to give the nod to Strange Adventures for being a better "bang for the buck" value -- although the next issue of WoK should feature a battle between Black Bolt and Vulcan which will have more "bang" than just about anything I can imagine.

So, what did YOU read this week?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What Looks Good?

As we roll on in to Independence Day here in the USA, it's time to celebrate your freedoms by, what else, buying comic books!

Strange Adventures #5 -- The "Weird Corps?!"  I'd buy that title in a heartbeat!

Invincible Iron Man #15 -- #14 was an improvement, so hopefulyy this storyline can turn itself around.

War of Kings #5 -- I am not sure how you can top #4, but I am sure DnA have something mindblowing up their collective sleeves.

So, what looks good to YOU?