Monday, November 30, 2009

What I Read This Week Part I

Well, I got my comics from last week today, and even managed to read of few of them on my lunch break!

Blackest Night #5 -- In Coast City, Nekron has risen, bringing millions of willing slaves with him.  Can the alliance of the seven spectrums of light destroy his Black Lantern Battery and end this threat forever?  This issue does suffer from some catch-up-itis, as various plots from the tie-in books are given nods as an assist to readers only getting the main title (like yours truly).  But instead of wallowing in the information dump, Geoff Johns moves quickly to the next story beat, and things somehow manage to get even worse for our heroes by the end of this one.  Reis's pencils are fantastic, and Alex Sinclair's colors are moody and energetic.  This series has been superb so far and it has not shown any signs of stopping.  (By the way, good job by DC to get Flash: Rebirth #5 out before this one!)

Image United #1 -- In Chicago, the newcomer Fortress witnesses the Dragon and Youngblood battling the cybernetic mob enforcer Overtkill, while all across the country super-powered baddies are running wild.  But what does this rash of random violence have to do with Fortress's vision of the future where the heroes make a final stand against an unseen enemy?  There's not much story here from Kirkman, but this, folks, is an Image book.  At least, in so far as what "Image book" means to folks like me, who still remember the 1992 launch.  The fights are big and bombastic, the colors and costumes are straight out of the Nineties, and I have no idea who half of the characters are.  But it works in it's own way, as one part jam piece and one part apocalyptic crossover.  I may be biased, but Jim Valentino's stuff holds up the best, although honestly, Liefeld's posing may be suspect but his anatomy has improved quite a bit since I last read a book by him.  Even as someone who hasn't read an Image book other than Drawing From Life since last decade, this is a fun flashback which I am looking forward to checking out.

Re-read Pile: Blackest Night, Image United.

The Pick Of The Pile is Blackest Night, although I enjoyed both of these comics for different reasons.

Tomorrow hopefully I will have the rest of the pile red, including The Web #3 and Futurama Comics #46.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get a copy of Justice League: Cry For Justice #5, as it sold out at my shop and apparently I did not have it on the pull list.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Hiatus

As I mentioned earlier, my family and I are heading out of town tonight to head down to Florida to spend the holiday with my wife's family.  I'll be back next week, and hopefully actually have something to blog about.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

What Looks Good?

Well, since I am going to be out of town for the holiday, you guys get my picks a day earlier than usual... and I get to wait a full week to get my comics.  Blah!

Creepy Comics #2 -- Horror comics, HECK YEAH!

Blackest Night #5 -- Horror comic--err.  With the Black Lantern battery fully charged, what new evil awaits the world?

Justice League: Cry For Justice #5 -- JUSTICE!

The Web #3 -- The "jerkiest hero in the world" now has to deal with his own franchisers!

Image United #1 Cvr B (Valentino) -- I am so tempted with this, but if I can't get the ShadowHawk cover, I might pass!

Invincible Iron Man #20 -- Stark: Disassembled starts here, along with a new trade dress which seems to have people more excited than the story.

Futurama Comics #46 -- Hi-larious hi-jinks from the far flung future!

Godzilla vs Gigan T-Shirt -- How awesome is this?  SO AWESOME!

So what looks good to YOU?

What I Read This Week

These are a day late, yeah.  I ended up staying home to take care of both the baby and the wife yesterday, so I have an excuse at least.

Flash: Rebirth #5 -- I have one complaint about this issue, and it involves Jesse Quick's costume.  Otherwise, I am totally digging what Johns and EVS are doing here and cannot wait for the finale.  And then reading it all in one sitting.

Outsiders #24 -- The split-up team of Outsiders run into varios Black Lantern threats!  Most of this issue is a lot more quiet than I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it.  I like the scene with Halo and Katana, which shows how their relationship has grown since the Barr (t.m.b) days.  So far a good way for Tomasi and Pasarin to finish their run up.

Tiny Titans #22 -- Offspring, Plastic Man's kid, has fun on his first day at Sidekick Elementary, but watch out for that super bouncy ball!  The best bit involves the Stretchy Guy Club of Plastic Man, Offspring, Elongated Man, and Elastic Lad.

War Machine #11 -- The penultimate issue of the series, with War Machine being put through a mockery of justice by Norma Osborn in order to bury the transgressions revealed last issue.  Ares' courtroom behavior alone is worth the cost of admission.  The poltics are is silly but otherwise this is shaping into a strong send-off.

Red Robin #6 -- This title is a lot different from most of the comics I normally read -- mostly because I don't regularly read Batman-style comics -- but I am really enjoying it.  New artist Marcus To is extremely well-suited to this feature, and his Red Robin actually makes Tim look his age!

The Shield #3 -- Shield and Magog come face to shaggy face with Grodd, and have to get down and dirty to survive.  Meanwhile, Inferno is finding that hiding out is difficult when people you talk to end up dead.  I really enjoyed both parts of this issue.  The Shield feature tied up the opening arc very nicely, and included a nice bit of ambigiuity so that everything is not all neat and nice.  And in the backup, the mystery keeps building in nice ways.  Overall a lot of fun.

Re-read Pile: Flash: Rebirth, Outsiders, Red Robin, The Shield.

The Pick Of The Pile is Flash: Rebirth, but I'm a sucker for this series.  Outsiders and Shield were dang good as well.

So, what did YOU read this week?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What Looks Good?

Sorry about the lack of updates... fragging your hard drive will do that!  But comics, hoooo!

Flash: Rebirth #5 -- Oh man, been waiting for this one!

Justice Society of America 80 Page Giant #1 -- Hmmm, 80 pages of goodness!

Outsiders #24 -- Blackest Night hits the Outsiders crew!

Tiny Titans #22 -- Cuteness... too... cute!

Mighty Avengers #31 -- I wonder if my subscription is kicking in yet?  Because if it is...

Mighty Avengers: Earth's Mightiest -- ... maybe I should pick this one up?

War Machine #11 -- Rhodey's on trial as a war criminal... yeah, that's not good.

So, what looks good to YOU?

Monday, November 16, 2009

OT: Public Safety Announcement

No comic reviews this week, as I, believe it or not, never made it to the comic shop last week to pick up my purchases!  

Instead today I wanted to talk about something which is Off Topic, but I want all of my readers to think about.

While driving our son to daycare this morning, my wife and I witnessed a driver in a Ford Explorer veer off the road, bounce off a ditch, hit an incline and launch into the air, rolling several times before the driver was launched some twenty-something feet into the air, landing on the pavement.  We were the first people on the scene and my wife went to check on the driver while I called 911.  According to my wife, the guy (who was the only person in the vehicle) seemed in good shape considering, and could talk and breathe alright, though EMS did load him onto a backboard and immobilize him before putting him in the ambulance.

Where my wife and I work, we have a long-standing company commitment called HSE -- Health, Safety, and Environmental -- dedicated to a safe work and home life.  We do lots of field construction and craft work, and thus safety truly is one of our core values.  As such, we begin each meeting with an HSE Topic, and the accident this morning made me think of several which I have heard in my time here, which I want to share.

1) Accidents can, and almost always do, happen when you least expect them, in any place at any time.  Keep your wits about you at all times and be alert to your surroundings.

2) Don't take shortcuts.  Procedures are in place for a reason and if you skips steps you are inviting trouble.

3) Laws, rules and regulations are there for your safety and the safety of others.  Obey them.

4) Use the correct and appropriate safety equipment, every time.  In this case, wear your dang seatbelt!

5) If you carry a cellphone, and these days that's pretty much everyone, consider putting a contact in your phone titled "In Case of Emergency" or "ICE."  Emergency first-responders are trained to look for such contacts on cell phones of accident victims and this can help alert your family or loved ones of an accident if you are immobilized or cannot speak.

And finally, 6) Use common sense.  If something seems dangerous or foolish, chances are you're right.

I don't want to sound like some fire and brimstone educational film or anything, but seeing this guy thrown around like a ragdoll while his SUV was made to look like a Matchbox car was pretty harsh.  If he escapes without major injury, which it looked like he will, he'll be one lucky individual.

Stay safe everybody.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

Starting things off, go scope out this sweet George Perez Firestorm postcard, with thanks to Shag.

BONUS GAME!  Mac & Cheese Pizza Pie!  Mmmmm!

rob! brings the static, so to speak, with these Ideal toy sets.

What's in a costume?  Frank illuminates!

Ever wanted to see the female Red Guardian and Luke Cage argue?  James has your hookup!

Finally, check out this two part interview with DC Head Honcho (and upcoming Outsiders scribe) Dan DiDio over on CBR.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Unpublished Steel #6 Cover

I was inspired by Shag's recolored, never-before-published cover to Firestorm #6 over at Firestorm Fan, so I decided to post the last, unpublished cover to my favorite DC Implosion Title: Steel, The Indestructible Man #6.  This cover ended up being included in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2, while the interiors were eventually used in All-Star Squadron.

It's disappointing that this was not published, as it really is a dynamic, exciting cover, easily the best of the series.  

Hmm, maybe I will take a stab at trying to color this, although I am not nearly as artistically inclined as some of my fellow bloggers.  What do you say, folks?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What Looks Good?

It's still pouring rain here in South Carolina, and I have lunch meetings all week so I can't get to the comic shop anyway, but hey, that doesn't mean there's not new comics out there to be enjoyed!

Red Robin #6 -- Tim is taking on Ra's Al Ghul from the inside out, and it's not going to be pretty!

The Shield #3 -- It was crazy when it was just Shield and Magog battling mind controlled soldiers in the desert, and now we have GRODD!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Monday, November 9, 2009

What I Read This Week

Doom Patrol #4 -- Nile Caulder and the rest of the Doom Patrol have left a lot of bodies in their wake, so when the Dead begin to Rise, well, let's just say that they are in for it now.  And in the Metal Men backup, can our robotic heroes stand up to the fury of The Clique?!  Justiano does a good job filling in for Porter here, really pushing the horror angle of Giffen's story.  I especially like his use of the 6-panel grid page layout to open the story, which quickly comes unhinged (literally).  The Metal Men feature is a hoot, as usual, and combined they make for one heck of a good comic book.

House of Mystery #19 -- Cain is going to take back his House, no matter the cost!  Well, the cost might be higher than it seems... Things are starting to meander in this storyline, and it's not really clear where Sturges is headed.  The Cain feature was nice, though.

Red Tornado #3 -- Red Tornado and his sister Red Torpedo set out to track down Red Volcano, who in turn is on his way to seek out Red Inferno!  (Got all that?)  Similarly named robots aside, I enjoyed this issue and the continued fleshing out of Reddy and his extended "family."  Red Volcano is certainly a badass.  Nothing Earth-shattering but solid.

Warlord #8 -- Still without his memory, Warlord Travis Morgan fights Beastmen in Atlantean ruins... so why does this all seem so familiar?  Grell's pencils and script both shine in this fine S&S comic, with some gorgeous page layouts and excellent storytelling.  Plus I have a sneaking suspicion that we have not heard the last of certain elements of this tale.  If Grell wants to pencil two issues or so of Warlord a year, I for one will be very happy.

Iron Man: Armor Wars #4 -- Tony Stark... betrayed by Jim Rhodes to the Soviets?  It seems that way!  The climax of our All-Ages series winds up as (unsurprisingly but not unwelcomed) an armored slugfest.  Clearly this miniseries is designed to be read in collected or digest form, but it was fun while it lasted, especially for the old school baddies.  

The Phantom: Ghost Who Walks #6 -- In The Eastern Dark, The Phantom must save the kidnapped villagers and his friend from the "sleeping god," who seems to have rather a modern use for those sacrificed on his altar.  Very well done Adventure strip, with plenty of punching and buckling of swashes.  The end leaves more questions posed than answered, but in a good way.  The prose backup is well done as well, serving as something of a hype piece
for the upcoming Race Against Death one-shot (starring Julie Walker, the only female Phantom).  I cannot recommend this title strongly enough.

Re-Read Pile: Doom Patrol, Red Tornado, Warlord

The Pick Of The Pile is, fairly unsurprisingly, Doom Patrol, though Warlord was quite good as well.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What Looks Good?

Well, Halloween is over, which means that the countdown to Turkey Day is on!  And what better way to begin that celebration that with going out and buying comics!

Doom Patrol #4 -- Blackest Night for the Doom and Gloomers!

House of Mystery #19 -- More craziness at the zaniest House this side of The Space Between.

Red Tornado #3 -- Reddy and his sister investigate their ticked off brother.

Warlord #8 -- More Mike Grell goodness!

Iron Man: Armor Wars #4 -- Shellhead!  Vs!  Communists!

James Bond Omnibus -- Comic strip adaptions of the first few James Bonb novels... this is pretty much aimed directly at me.

The Phantom: Ghost Who Walks #6 -- The Eastern Dark is in for a rude awakening!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Monday, November 2, 2009

What I Read This Week

Blackest Night #4 -- With Flash, Mera, and Atom cornered in the Hall of Justice, things are going from bad to worse out in the world at large.  And when the Black Lantern is full charged, then things get really bad... Johns shines a spotlight on a few characters he obviously likes in this issue, and as is par for the course for him, puts at least some of them through terrible trauma.  The last page reveal may have been spoiled by solicits, but since I have no idea who this character is, I don't mind that.  Anyways, more gruesome fun as we enter the second half of DC's event series.

The Web #2 -- The "world's jerkiest superhero" has to deal with the mess his brother left behind, and makes a business decision which could change the face of superheroics forver.  Then, The Hangman faces off with The Ugly Man!  Both halves of this comic are very well done.  The Web adventure mixes light-heartedness with heavier stuff for a nicely balanced tale.  He seems to be shaping up to be a "hard luck hero" type, albeit one with lots and lots of money.  The Hangman feature is harsher, with a great flashback cameo involving the Golden Age Sandman.  The Ugly Man reminds me of Sledgehammer from Steel, The Indestructible Man.  All in all both this series and The Shield have impressed me quite a bit.

Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Anti-Venom #2 -- Anti-Venom and The Punisher put aside their differences and team up to take out a drug cartel.  Yeah, right... more like Frank keeps trying to kill Eddie as well!  Zeb Wells can write Eddie Brock stories very well, I thought so with Dark Origin and I continue to think so here.  Paulo Siqueira would not be my first choice but he handles the art nicely.  All in all, I ma really digging this series -- mostly because it is aimed straight at me!

Ultimate Comics Armor Wars #2 -- Tony Stark and Justine Hammer head to Europe in Stark's plush "puddle jumper" to track down just where the stolen Iron Man data ended up, and run into the bizarre Dr. Faustus.  Fun adventure where Ellis gets to flex his muscles both for smarmy dialogue and funky technology.  The second badguy who shows up at the end is not one I expected to pop up, but made me happy to see in action.  So far, this series has been a lot better than The Ultimates (of which I managed one issue before I gave up) and Ultimate Iron Man (of which I got the first miniseries and passed on the second).

War Machine #10 -- Rhodey's war against Norman Osborne reaches it's climax, and it seems that the frontal assault was not Rhodey's true agenda after all.  Starts out well but falls apart in the second half, as the scope of War Machine's plans to strike at Osborne and HAMMER are silly-approaching-laughable.  The cliffhanger is a plus, as is the large number of former West Coast Avenger guest stars.

Re-Read Pile: Blackest Night, The Web, Ultimate Comics Armor Wars.

The Pick Of The Pile is a tough call, as Blackest Night was really good, but I am going to give it to The Web.