Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Looks Good?

Heading out of town at the end of this week, but there's still time to stock up on goodies.

Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal #1 -- Time to rebuild a hero!  (Also need to find the issue of Green Arrow from last week!)

Tiny Titans #26 -- Let the cuteness be unleashed!

Tor: A Prehistoric Odyssey -- If you missed this excellent Kubert miniseries, now's your chance to pick it up!

Mighty Avengers #35 -- I should get this some time in April...

Futurama Comics #48 -- Wow, closing in on the big 5-0!

Phantom: Checkmate, Phantom: Legacy & Law, Phantom: The Man Who Cannot Die -- Plenty of Phantom action in these new collections.

Robocop #3 -- Old Detroit is going to hell and Robocop is falling to his apparent death, oh my!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What I Read This Week

The Brave And The Bold #32 -- Aquaman and Etrigan must stop a horrific alien god from birthing itself into our realm of existance!  Do I need to say much more than that?  Okay I'll ad a bit more.  JMS is channelling the Bronze Age very strongly in this issue, pulling out a seemingly random combination of characters and making it work.  Every time I read this book I think I should add it to my pull list, and with some recent announcements of certain titles I read being cancelled, I may have to do that.  Loads of fun.  

The Shield #7 -- As Lt Huggins prepares for his next mission, he is introduced to his team's newest operative: The Brain Emperor!  Then, in Japan, the new Fox gets a visit from a very mysterious kitsune.  The lead Shield story spends some time filling in the gaps between the RPG attack in Afghanistan and that first mission in Bialya, which is appreciated, as is the fleshing out of the support team.  It's not quite as high octane as any of the previous issues, though.  The backup is a strong debut from Brandon Jerwa and Michael Avon Oeming, with a very noirish, Eisner sort of quality to it.  Should be interesting to see how that story develops (it already has a higher action quotient than Inferno had).

Re-Read Pile: The Brave And The Bold, The Shield.

The Pick of the Pile is TB&TB, which was a fantastic little story featuring two very cool heroes.  Shield was quality but didn't have the impact of previous issues, although the intro to The Fox was very nice.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What Looks Good?

I'm home with the little guy today, but that doesn't mean there isn't time for comics! (Actually yes it does. We have a full day of playing scheduled.)

Green Arrow #31 -- The Fall of GA is in full effect!

The Shield
#7 -- Where will the best new hero to arrive in the DCU in a long time find himself next?

Superman 80 Page Giant #1 -- My late-coming Superman hankering is going to be scratched!

Avengers: Standoff, Iron Man: Armor Wars Prologue, Iron Man: The End, Iron Man: Iron Monger -- Four collections filled with armored action! (I will be passing on these, as I already own all of the material collected therein as singles.)

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What I Read This Week: Marvel Sub Special

Marvel's mail order sub service used to get me my books the Tuesday before they hit the street.  Now?  Not so much.

Invincible Iron Man #24 -- Tony Stark remains in the bizarre dreamscape of his own head, while The Ghost attempts to murder him back in the real world.  Fraction delivers another underwhelming issue, ending the storyarc on a tremendous anticlimax.  He lays the anti-Stark crap on pretty thick, beating the reader over the head with imagery about Stark's legacy being one of blood and death.  I feel the need to reiterate at this point that, yes, we all get it, Mr. Fraction, please move on.  LaRocca's art is about the same as it has been, with some good pages and some not so good pages.  All in all this book is frustrating as all get out because for all the fanboys who never read Shellhead's series prior to this who gush about it, I find myself more and more turned off the longer Fraction writes it.  Perhaps #25 (with the teased debut of a new armor) will reverse this trend and bring us back to some armored action?  I'd certainly hope so, because this glum-drum stuff has worn thing.

Mighty Avengers #34 -- The Mighty Avengers head to Asgard with the intention of trapping their "benefactor" Loki and figuring out where the real Scarlet Witch is being held.  But Loki calls in help in form of his brother, the Mighty Thor!  Dan Slott does not have long on this title... in fact the title itself does not have long... so he goes out with what may be the closest thing to a "classic" Avengers story I have read since Busiek.  The pacing, the tones of voice, the story, all of it is homage to the original Avengers.  Witness the scene where the Avengers sit around the breakfast table, regaling each other with their tales of bravery (from other comics), which is interrupted when Quicksilver has had enough.  Or, when Hank Pym thinks to himself about Quicksilver being so angry that he is subconsciously vibrating himself at a tremendous speed.  Or Pym referring to trapping Loki in the Avengers first adventure.  And so on and so forth.  I got into this title late, and Slott's run looks to be cut short, but issues like this made it worth reading.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What I Read This Week

Batgirl #8 -- Stephanie Brown has moved on with her life, but that seems to hit a snag when Tim Drake rolls back into town!  This marks the second issue of this series which I have read, and I am still unimpressed.  Steph's inner voice is bratty, the art is shaky, and overall this felt like a cash-grab, getting folks buying Red Robin to buy this issue.  Nothing much here of interest.  Which leads us into...

Red Robin #10 -- this issue, where Batgirl and Red Robin have to stop the League of Assassians from taking out all of Tim's loved ones.  This one is better than the Batgirl issue, but still pretty weak.  There's an abrupt art change at the end which is really jarring.  Hopefully things will pick up next issue.  

Doom Patrol #8 -- Back on Oolong Island after the Blackest Night, the Doom Patrol doesn't have time to rest on their laurels when interdimensional repo men arrive to claim a certain special brick.  Appropriately weird outing for the Patrol, as the stuff with Danny The Street from the previous issue begins to bear fruit.  Matt Clark splits the art with Ron Randall, but both of them look good, and Giffen is clearly having fun with the title.  The loss of the Metal Men backup stinks, but the break on the price is nice.

Human Target #2 -- Christopher Chance has to don the robe in order to get into the catacombs in Vatican City, but will he be able to escape with his life?  Then, we learn how he got a certain scar on his ankle thanks to one of his friends.  Len Wein knows how to pace these books so there is a great mix of action and exposition and things just keep moving forward.  I would totally read this as monthly series, and thats about the best compliment you can give to a miniseries.

Justice League: Rise And Fall Special -- After the destruction of Star City, the maiming of Roy Harper, and the death of his granddaughter, Oliver Queen is a man with nothing left to lose.  But his descent into darkness does not go unnoticed by those around him!  This storyline is becoming more controversial, but I am digging it.  Robinson set the table and Krul runs with it here, as Ollie pushes away all of his allies in his drive to bring forth hard justice.  There's a great bit between Arrow, GL, and Flash which surprised me in a good way.  Mayhew's art looks good as well.  Very enjoyable and I will be checking out at least the Green Arrow portion of this story.

Phantom: The Ghost Who Walks #8 -- A Bangallan village is rocked by the murder of two residents, but after the Phantom investiagtes, things get much, much worse.  Probably the least interesting Phantom issue I have read from Moonstone.  Lots of setup but little resolution, and it looks like the insane "divine dictator" Him is back.  The art by Silvestre Syzilagyi is strong (his stuff looks great on The Phantom) but Bullock's script is a little too thin for a full length feature.

Re-Read Pile: Doom Patrol, Human Target, Justice League.

The Pick Of The Pile is Human Target, which edges out the Justice League Special.  It's just such a well constructed comic that it is hard to find fault with it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What Looks Good?

March Madness is almost upon us, but that doesn't mean we can't be crazy go nuts over the latest 4 Color offerings!

Batgirl #8 -- The meet-up between Stephanie and tim starts here...

Red Robin #10 -- ... and, in a wonder of scheduling, continues here!

Doom Patrol #8 -- The first all-Doom Patrol, all the time issue!

Human Target #2 -- Christopher Chance has to break into the one place no one breaks into... the Vatican?!

Justice League: Rise And Fall Special -- Green Arrow's fall from grace looks to be leaving the Emerald Archer in a dark, dark place.

Warlord: The Saga -- If you haven't been reading the new Warlord, you should totally check out this collection.

Iron Man 2 Spotlight -- The timing of the second trailer couldn't be any better.

Phantom: The Ghost Who Walks #8 -- What fools will try to invade the Phantom's jungle this time?

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The 3rd Dimension: Madballs!

You might have guessed from last week's wallpaper, but I am a fan of Madballs.  

For those of you too young to remember (not that I think anyone reading this blog doesn't remember Madballs, frankly), Madballs were a brightly-burning-but-short-lived toy fad in the mid-80s, right in the prime of my childhood.  They were balls that were, well, mad, adorned with crazy or gross faces which boys just loved.  From the Harryhausen-esque cyclops Hornhead to the maniac baseball Screamin' Meemee, these crazy playthings were equal parts zany, nasty-looking, and just plain fun.

And now they're back.

My brother started this whole thing by getting me the new version of Oculus Orbus, which was the first Madball I had as a kid, for Christmas this past year.  The original Occy was a straight up, bloodshot eyeball, but this new one ups the ick factor a little bit, with a few slime and ooze-leaking cuts, and a purple worm who has decided to make a meal of him.  It's not as simple as the old design but it retains all of it's charms.  My son seems to love me holding Oculus Orbus up and saying "Eye See You!"

This lead to me going on The Ebay and getting more of the little buggers.  I got a Hornhead for my brother (his from the 80s), and then picked up a Slobulus and Blech Beard.  Slobulus is the other guy I had as a kid.  I always dug the color green, and if that green thing could also have one of it's eyeballs falling out of the socket, that's even better.  The new Slobulus is about as much of an upgrade in the nasty department as Occy is, although the original Slobulus was certainly more gross than Occy.  Now, his eye is so distended that can't even look you in the eyes, and he appears to be licking his own eyeball!  Yikes!  He's lost his hair but he certainly keeps his slimy asthetic, making him another strong Madball.

Blech Beard is one of the new Madballs for the revival, and as his name suggests, is a pirate.  His seafoam-colored skin suggests some sort of rotting zombie pirate.  He's also rocking a goatee and an eyepatch, and, amusingly, has a fishhook holding his eye open.  Blech Beard looks so good that he could easily have been one of the originals.  

All in all I am in love with these three.  They are boyhood cast in foam rubber.  All of them embody the awesome gross-out fun of the old Madballs while retaining the old line's irreverence and low price point.  I am having a ball throwing these guys around, and I can't wait for the time, a few years down the road, when my son and I can toss them around the house and he can try to gross out his Mom.

Monday, March 8, 2010

What I Read This Week

Justice League: Cry For Justice #7 -- Prometheus seems to have planned for every possible eventuality, but if that's the case, how can the Justice League hope to stop him?  The wrap-up is a little harsh looking from the 3 artists credited, but the story goes into a lot of dark places, some expected, some not so much.  This polarizing series has turned a lot of fanboys' teeth on edge, but I have enjoyed it and I enjoyed this final chapter.  Very much served it's purpose by getting me interested in reading Robinson's Justice League of America as well as the followup storiess involving Green Arrow and Arsenal.  Like Flash: Rebirth last week, this is one I am eager to reread in one sitting.

Warlord #12 -- Deimos has taken control of Shamballah using Atlantean technology, and now it is up to the Warlord to stop him for good!  Grell hits his stride here, and it has suddenly become very clear just what he was setting up over the past year.  In an interview before this series began, Grell said that he had one more Warlord story to tell, and it is pretty clear to me that this is where that story starts.  Solid, strong S&S, with dead-eye art and the true beginning of a new (hopefully long-lived) era in the feature.

The Phantom: Generations #9 -- A brutal band of Arab slavers have decimated a small village, and The Ghost-Who-Walks is on their trail.  Strong adventure as is typical for this series, taking a standard scenario and making it fun, pulpish reading.  A highlight involves the Phantom making himself look like the ghost of the head slaver's father.  Fun read.

Re-Read Pile: Cry For Justice, Warlord.

The Pick Of The Pile is Warlord, which really delivered the goods and surprised me.  Cry For Justice was really good as well, and Phantom: Generations remains consistantly entertaining.  

Friday, March 5, 2010

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

Rick gives us a letterhead for The-Ghost-Who-Walks (the Charlton one!).

Shag shows off an awesome Cliff Chiang mashup involving the Titans and one of my favorite 80s movies.

Aquaman at Mardis Gras?!  I hope some drunk doesn't try to convince Mera to "earn" some beads!  (Thanks, rob!)

Frank breaks out a sweet Michael Netzer Martian Manhunter commission.

And finally, The Red Tornado's Path has begun!  Way to go, Doug!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

And Now, Some Oculus Orbus Wallpaper

Because Madballs FREAKING RULE.

(Spoken as someone who has been hunting them on eBay all week, and just got Blech Beard in the mail yesterday, and is expecting Slobulus today, to go with the Oculus Orbus my brother got me for Christmas, and who is desperately trying to track down his classic Oculus and Slobulus from his childhood, and is still hunting for them on eBay right now!)

(PS: The games on the website are pretty darn awesome.)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What I Read This Week

Oh man, these are late.  Let's get to it, shall we?

Blackest Night #7 -- The Guardians secret stands revealed, and the savior of the universe stands up... but might the savior be worse than the threat of Nekron?  This issue was a bit of a come-down from last issue, but its still pretty darn awesome.  The craziness of the deputy Lanterns and the final twist were all a great deal of fun.  The final issue can't get here soon enough!

Blackest Night: JSA #3 -- Mr. Terrific has a plan to stem the tide of Black Lanterns in New York, but can his team survive long enough to implement it?  This series ends in a sort of pat manner.  It wraps up nicely enough but it seems a little underwhelming.  The ending but it really doesn't have much to do with either the JSA nor with Blackest Night as a whole.  Not bad but could have been better.

Flash: Rebirth #6 -- Barry Allen must race against the clock to stop Professor Zoom from murdering Iris Allen before they ever meet!  Johns wraps everything up and then sets up the new Flash title.  I would have enjoyed this more if it was out a few months ago, but it's still great.  I am very much looking forward to pulling out the entire series and reading it in one sitting.  Bring on Flash!

(Black Lantern) Green Arrow #30 -- Well DC, you got me to buy an issue of Green Arrow.  And it's pretty good, as we get to see what the Black Lantern Ollie does both through the eyes of his loved ones as well as his own.  Strong, offbeat Blackest Night tie-in which does an excellent job showcasing how those in the thrall of Nekron are trapped.  I might check out this series.

The Web #6 -- Web, meet the Stunner... and someone is not going to survive this engagement!  Meanwhile, crime boss Dead Hand Legendre organizes his troops to take out the Hangman.  The lead story is Matt Sturges' first turn at the head of The Web and it's a good one, playing up the jerkiness and introducing a pretty sweet new villianess.  In Hangman, it looks like things are starting to gel a little bit as Jackal and Ugly Man are shown to be underlings of Dead Hand.  All in all a good comic, but I like the Red Circle, so I am prone.

Iron Man vs Whiplash #4 -- Tony Stark tracks down the people who have been stealing his armor by faking his DNA, while Anton Vanko tracks down Tony Stark!  This mini was a nice diversion from the stuff which Fraction is doing in the main book.  Lots of action, lots of technology, and a new take on a classic (though dead) baddie.  Hopefully we will get to see this new Whiplash in the mainstream Marvel U.  

Robocop #2 -- With OCP controlling the Detroit Police Department and ED-209bs running wild, Robocop is seen as a scab by all the former officers.  And things get worse when "Manslaughter" Vogel begins his crusade against the coporation!  Fun, ultraviolent, and gory, this book delivers most everything I want in a Robocop title.  Great bits include the NewsBreak crew getting theirs, an ED-209b giving a thumbs up, and Robocop getting dissed in a cop bar.  Very enjoyable to this Robofan.

Re-Read Pile: Blackest Night, Flash: Rebirth, Green Arrow, Iron Man vs Whiplash, The Web, Robocop.

The Pick Of The Pile is Flash: Rebirth, but as I said before, I am more prone.  Blackest Night, Green Arrow, IMvW, Web, Robocop... all awesome.  Great week, frankly.

What Looks Good?

I am so far behind this week it is not even funny.  But new comics are like Cain Marko, as unstoppable as the Juggernaut.

Justice League: Cry For Justice #7 -- It all goes down here!  Except it all sorta went down already?  Or something?

Superman: Brainiac -- Sounds like a good story for a great price!

Warlord #12 -- Deimos has unearthed an Atlantean superweapon and Travis Morgan has to stop him!

Invincible Iron Man #24 -- Will Tony Stark rejoin the Land of the Living?

Mighty Avengers #34 -- Siege!  The first and only Siege book I have purchased so far!

The Phantom: Generations #9 -- This book is supposed to be bi-monthly, but it seems to come out randomly.  That's alright though.

So, what looks good to YOU?