Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What Looks Good?

Man, what did we do on Wednesdays before new comics?

The Flash #4 -- Is Barry Allen a future murderer?

JSA vs Kobra -- Heard good things about this miniseries, even though I have not been reading the Society lately.

Outsiders #31 -- What do you get when you mix Metamorpho and Chemo?  Bad news!

Warlord #16 -- Final Issue.  *sob*

glamourpuss #14 -- Any week which glamourpuss is released is a good week!

The Phantom: Ghost Who Walks #11 -- The Phantom in gladiatorial combat for the amusement of HIM!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Unbridled Capitalism: Beyond The Black Hole

One of my favorite science fiction films is Disney's 1979 opus The Black Hole.  And befitting of a major motion picture release from that time frame, there's a lot of tie-in merchandise which is out there.  And now, some more of it is mine!

I picked up on eBay a very nice set of Whitman's The Black Hole #1-3, for a cool four bucks post-paid.  The first two issues of the series adapt the movie, and then the third issue (as well as the fourth) continue the adventures of the survivors in a new galaxy formed beyond the black hole.  Having never seen this at a show, and being too young to look for them when they were originally published (honestly, given the coverdates of March - July 1980, I was most likely not even alive when these first came out), these are a great find.  Definitely looking forward to reading this bad boys.

Issue #4 is very difficult to find, but now I am on the hunt!

(On a side note, my father recently was going through all of my brother and I's old Disney Book & Record sets.  Guess which one he pulled out for me?  That's right: The Black Hole.  I don't have a turntable, unfortunately, BUT someone was kind enough to make a recording of the disk and put it on Youtube, so I'll grab that and make a CD thankyewverymuch!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

What I Read This Week

Brightest Day #6 -- Martian Manhunter is having a roungh few days: first it looks like he is killing all life around him, and he he is having trouble tracking down the "other" Martian.  Plus, Mera reveals a secret she has kept for years, Jason and Ronnie have problems working together, and Hawk, Dove, and Boston Brand examine the powers of the White Ring.  This was a solid issue, with some nice Aquaman/Mera stuff, but the nastiness of the Martian Manhunter story bugged me.  I'd much rather see more of J'Onn's detective work than the blood and guts of the thing he is hunting.  Still, good book.

Tiny Titans #30 -- It's the all big curly hair issue!  That's pretty much all you need to know.  This issue also features Kid Flash and Peek-A-Boo, deep in like!

ShadowHawk #3 -- Who is Atrocity and what is his motivation for his brutal attacks?  And how is he surviving them?  And whats the deal with the Chalk Outline Killer?  Another strong issue, which is differentiating itself from the original series by having Hawk work (somewhat) with the police instead of being on his own.  There's a funny take on the classic Batman-Gordon scene, for instance.  I totally dig the cover, which is an homage to the original ShadowHawk #3 (which, back in 1992, was actually glow-in-the-dark!).  Also some nice callbacks to that era in the story, as Hawk reminisces about Arson.  I am liking this series but I am prone; non-fans need not bother, I think.

Charmed #1 -- 18 months after "happily ever after," new forces are begining to brew to bring the Halliwell Sisters back into the battle between Good and Evil.  My wife loves this show, so I have actually watched the entire series.  It grows on you, and comics are pretty much a perfect medium for it to continue.  My major complaint: of the three Charmed Ones, the one which looks the least like her actress is Paige, and let's just say Rose McGowan is a favorite of mine.  Otherwise a good launch, and I could see this sort of thing as going down on the show.

Futurama Comics #50 -- When Mom goes on vacation, her sons are in trouble trying to run the company -- so they recruit Leela to help them out!  The 50th anniversary issue is a normal issue, but with some extras: a wrap-around cover and a trippy black light poster.  It's a lot of fun to read, with gags-a-plenty.  I've been watching the DVD movies lately so this hit the spot.  

Re-Read Pile: Brightest Day, ShadowHawk, Charmed.

The Pick Of The Pile is Futurama Comics.  It was a lot of fun to read and the book consistantly makes me laugh.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What Looks Good?

We're in the Dog Days, folks, which means its time to crack open your favorite beverage and crack open your favorite comics!

Brightest Day #6 -- Bad things are brewing for everyone who was brought back by the White Light...

Tiny Titans #30 -- What cuteness are in store for us this month?

ShadowHawk #3 -- So many questions, so little time!  Who are the suicide bombers?  Who is helping Paul survive?  What is Krimson's role in all of this?

Avengers #3 -- As if Kang wasn't bad enough, now we've got the Four Horsemen as well!

Charmed #1 -- Whooooooa, witchy women!

Darkwing Duck #2 -- I am the terror that flaps in the night!  I am the coloring mistake which ruins your double page splash!  I am DARKWING DUCK!

Futurama Comics #50 -- Wow, a big milestone right as the series comes back on the air!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

And Now, An Awesome Picture of Kull... John and Marie Severin.  Hot damn!  Between these two and Mike Ploog, Kull had some sweet artists at Marvel!  

Monday, July 19, 2010

What I Read This Week

Human Target #6 -- Christopher Chance is back in the US, but he still has to deliver his human cargo to the Feds in one piece!  Strong ending to a strong series, these six issues have done a lot to mitigate my waiting for the series to pick up again this fall.  I need to go re-read the backups and check to see if the device they use in this one was there the whole time, though.  That, and hope that the closing comment of "The End... for now" really means what I hope it does.  

The Mighty Crusaders #1 -- On the 4th of July in Washington DC, the United States reveals their superhero team: The Crusaders!  But will the Mechanistas ruin the debut?  What role does The Hangman play?  And how does an assassination attempt on a California Senator tie into the Red Circle?  Extremely well put together debut for the Crusaders proper, with everyone sounding exactly like themselves (a benefit from hacing Trautmann and Jerwa handling the scripting chores), and even more mysteries being introduced.  Shield is great as usual, Inferno's apparent military training plays very well, Web quips his way around, and new character War Eagle is very intriguing.  There's a ton of stuff going on between the Special and this debut, and it makes me lament that this is only 6 issues! My only complaint is the $3.99 pricetag, which seems to have been for the shiny cover.  DC, I don't want shiny covers if it means an extra buck!  

Robocop #5 -- When Officer Lewis is wounded, Robocop must search Old Detroit for a doctor to treat her, as healthcare has actually gotten worse in the US (hard to believe).  Harsh done-in-one story, which seems to push Robo in a new direction.  Makes very effective use of hallucinations on the part of Robo, including Dick Jones, Clarence Boddiker, and Emil from the first movie.  Should be interesting to see how the changes play out.

Re-Read Pile: Human Target, Mighty Crusaders.

The Pick Of The Pile is Mighty Crusaders, which, despite the inflated price tag, was pretty awesome in every dimension.  I really hope that these characters catch on somewhere after this miniseries, not unlike what DC managed to do with the Secret Six.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What Looks Good? Addendum

Not sure how I forgot this one...

Superman #701 -- JMS's "Grounded" story starts proper here.  Will this soar or sink?  We'll see!

What Looks Good?

We're in the dog days of summer here... hot and humid.  Good thing we have some cool comics to help beat the heat.

Human Target #6 -- Christopher Chance has to get his charge from Hong Kong to DC... alive!

The Mighty Crusaders #1 -- The Red Circle has begun to close!

Invincible Iron Man #28 -- The Hammer Girls have a foothold in Japan, but what will Iron Man and War Machine make of Detroit Steel?

Robocop #5 -- The cops are back in business on the streets of Old Detroit... or are they?

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Unbridled Capitalism: Mr. K's

Here in the Upstate, we got a new used book store last year, Mr. K's.  I really like them for their extremely large selection of genre books, including very well-stocked sections of Fantasy, Science-Fiction, and Westerns.  But they also carry comics!  Or, as they are often referred to in such circles "graphic novels."  Well I had business next door to Mr. K's yesterday so of course I had to stop in and use my July coupon!

The Flash: Blood Will Run -- I have been in need of his collection -- which has some very early Geoff Johns Flash work -- for a long time, but could never find it on sale, let alone cheap.  Someone must have cleaned out their Johns Flash collection, because the entire run was there, including Blood Will Run.  Picked it up for a cool $7.50, and you can't beat that!

The Phantom Sunday Special Edition v.1 -- Pioneer Press released three such volumes of black and white Phantom Sunday strips in the late 80s.  I had never seen it before, but with the Ghost-Who-Walks on the cover it was hard to miss!  Unfortunately, all three volumes are out of print so it is going to be hard to find the next two installments, but now I have something else to hunt for!  This guy was $5 (mostly, I imagine, due to a water stain on the back cover, but the comics inside are just fine), so I snatched it up!

Left for next time: Superman: World of Krypton, Superman: Man Of Steel v.1, various Batman/Superman volumes, Star Wars: Dark Force Rising tpb (oh the irony!), several Rucka-era Wonder Woman tpbs (for my wife).

All in all a productive trip!

Monday, July 12, 2010

What I Read This Week

Brightest Day #5 -- Aquaman and Mera are ambushed while trying to fix a leaking oil rig, Hank Hall demands that Boston Brand resurrect his brother, and the Hawks find themselves under siege in the bizarre "Hawkworld!"  Another strong issue of the DC maxi-series, with some strange new twists for the Hawks and a whole lot of Aqua action for your money.  Great cliffhanger, too!

Doom Patrol #12 -- It's the Doom Patrol versus the Front Men, live, coast to coast!  Improved over last issue, Giffen has some interesting things to say through "Thayer Jost's" "mission statement" about superhero oversight.  This book is consistantly off-beat and quirky, and needs to continue in that direction.  Also: not too much Ambush Bug.

Iron Man: Legacy #4 -- In Transia, everything is coming off the rails thanks to Iron Man destroying a Chinese pipeline last issue, so the Chicoms send in their problem solver -- Radioactive Man!  But that's not all, as the Russians send in their own operatives -- Crimson Dynamo and the Titanium Man!  Oh it's on now!  As a Titanium Man fan, I am pretty sure this is the third T-Man, who first appeared in the "Silent Issue" of Volume 3, even though his armor is straight up Bullski.  Great issue all around... this is what I want out of an Iron Man title.

The Phantom: Generations #13 -- On the mighty Mississippi, the Phantom and his bride tangle with card sharks and pirates, with the help of a certain knife-wielding ally.  The final issue of Generations (although there is a Special coming, apparently) goes out on a good note, with a solid story and decent art.  This was a fun series which I am sad to see go.  Hopefully Moonstone can continue to put out Phantom prose in the future, like they do with the Green Hornet, but we shall see.

Re-read Pile: Brightest Day, Iron Man: Legacy.

The Pick Of The Pile is Iron Man: Legacy, which not only featured the Titantic Three but also set up what should be an awesome finale.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The 3rd Dimension: "New" Toy Roundup Part 5!

This is the 5th (!) installment of my recent roundup of new toys here at the Bunker.  Today we're going to get some sweet Shellhead goodness, let the Iron Man 2 movie toys flow!

IM2 Mark V Armor -- This is the armor we first glimpsed in the trailer, with Tony Stark armoring up out of his briefcase.  The suit is red and silver, an homage to Silver Centurian armor which debuted in Iron Man v.1:no.200.  It looks good, slightly slimmer than the other suits (appropriately) but still nicely proportioned.  This looks like the suit from the film.  For accessories, it comes with the briefcase (which doubles as the missle launcher) and two missiles.  The briefcase is a nice touch, but logically, the armor is the case, so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense!

IM2 Mark VI Armor -- The ne-plus-ultra of Iron Man movie armors, the Mark VI is the final armor donned by our hero in the film and the most powerful.  It boasts a triangular unibeam, an homage to the Modular Armor which first appeared in Iron Man v.1:no.300, oddly enough.  The rest of the design mirrors the Mark III and IV armors pretty close, with some extra bits of gold here and there.  This is a pretty sweet Iron Man armor, all told, and I intend on making some sort of double pose with this one and the movie War Machine, once I get around to it, heh.

IM2 Undersea Armor -- This one is an original, not based on any of the Undersea Armors from the comic series.  This is a pretty standard practice in Iron Man toy lines.  Sometimes they work out pretty well (Subterranean Armor) and sometimes they're pretty weak (Inferno Armor).  This one falls into the former.  I like the added mass, suggested it has been reinforced to withstand the pressures of the deep, and the color scheme is appropriately marine.  The snap-on launcher and missile is clunky, but hey, at least it's detachable.  The only real complaint I have is that the knee joints look somewhat spindly in certain positions, but this is not that big of a deal for most poses.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What Looks Good

The extra day passed, our time for reflection over, now it is time for comics!

Brightest Day #5 -- The Hawks investigate the mysterious "Hawkworld," there's an aquatic army in the Bermuda Triangle, and Hawk, Dove, and Deadman are at the grave of Don Hall... Yikes!

Doom Patrol #12 -- The Doom Patrol versus the Front Men!

Jonah Hex #57 -- Co-starring a gaggle of DC Western characters?  How can you go wrong?

Essential Classic X-Men v.1 (new printing) -- My favorite era of the X-Men.  No lie!  

Iron Man: Legacy #4 -- Last issue Shellhead threw down with my boy Dreadknight.  Dreadknight!  

So, what looks good to YOU?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What I Read This Week

Action Comics #890 -- Lex Luthor begins his quest to unlock the secrets of the power rings... and nothing will stand in his way!  This was a pretty good Lex Luthor story.  Cornell has a handle on Luthor's manner and method of speaking, and the story itself was well developed.  That having been said, I am just not that interested in reading about Lex Luthor as a lead, so I am going to be passing on Action for the time being.  Still, if you want a Luthor title this looks like it will be a good one.

Flash #3 -- Barry Allen has all sorts of problems, both in the crime lab and out on the street!  The Renegades are back once more and even Flash's super-speed may not be enough to overcome them.  And what's the deal with Captain Boomerang?  Johns and Manupal are firing on all cylinders here, and the book is building up steam with plenty of hints being dropped about future storylines.  I am definitely on board.

The Web #10 -- In the lead, the Global Concern flexes its muscles against one of the biggest thorns in their side -- the Web and the Web Hosts.  Meanwhile, the Hangman confronts the imposter committing murder in his name.  In contrast to the last issue of The Shield, which ended on a strong note of finality, both of these stories seem to end a little more open-ended.  I mean, Web teaming up with Fly-Girl seems like the book was moving in a sort of team-up direction (which would have been wonderful), while Hangman learning about the other avatars of execution (and the creation of another enemy) seem to be preparing for more adventures.  Maybe some of these storylines will play out in Mighty Crusaders?  In any event a very good issue and a solid finale for both.

Wonder Woman #600 -- The Amazing Amazon stars in this transitional anniversay issue, closing the book on the modern era and launching the new direction.  Up first is a great piece by Gail Simone and George Perez featuring Wondy and a gaggle of superheroines battling robotic sirens in DC.  Next is Amanda Conner's cute team-up of Diana and Power Girl (with Cassandra Cain thrown in for good measure).  Then we get a team-up of Wonder Woman with Superman, followed by a prologue to the revamp by Geoff Johns, and finally JMS and Don Kramer's new take.  We also get some pinups to round things out.  All in all I liked this one a bit less than Superman #700, mostly because the teaser for the new direction didn't reel me in very much.  Still, the other tales are worthy.

Invincible Iron Man Annual #1 -- Iron Man's greatest enemy, the Mandarin, kidnaps a Chinese filmmaker and forces him to tell the greatest story of all time: his biography.  What the filmmaker discovers is a tangled web of lies, deceit, horror, and death, all built to the honor of a monster.  I like what Fraction is doing here, for the most part.  This really is a total and unblinking spotlight on the Mandarin as a complete and utter scumbag.  He may play the Magnificent Bastard in public, but behind closed doors he's a madman, and I can dig that.  I don't like the retconning here to put Tony Stark's history more in line with the movie (Mandarin being present when Tony was captured was already retconed in back in the 80s), but I guess that's the way things are now.  I also am not happy with the glossing-over of what the Knaufs did with Mandy in Volume 4, but that may be for the best considering how badly Fraction has reinterpretted that stuff previously.  Perhaps the rebirth through the Extremis cocoon helped turn Mandy into this petulant freak?  Carmine Di Giandomenico has a scratchy sort of style that works for the seedy setting of this tale.  Worth the money and it should be interesting how this new take of the Mandarin works in the main title.

Iron Man: Kiss And Kill -- Two tales of titanic espionage starring Shellhead!  The first story guest stars the Black Widow as Tony infiltrates a Russian arms ring while disguised as a Russian himself.  The second tale features Wolverine as he and Tony Stark investigate a robbery connected to the Hellfire Club!  A nice one-shot which doesn't seem to have much reason to exist, but that's alright because both halves are entertaining.  The Black Widow story is timely, and features the return of an old school Shellhead baddie which I totally did not see coming.  The second story scores points by having Sebastian Shaw, one of my favorites, as the heavy, which just about makes up for having Wolverine in it.  Unnecessary but entertaining.

The Phantom/Captain Action #2 -- Captain and Lady Action are on the prowl, but where is the Ghost-Who-Walks?  There's action a-plenty here, as both of the titular stars plus Lady Action for good measure cracks skulls and take names.  It's fast-paced and hard-hitting, reminding me of nothing so much as a couple of kids playing with Phantom and Captain Action toys.  It's too bad we won't be seeing anymore of these two together.

The Phantom: Generations #12 -- In the Reign of Terror, the Ghost-Who-Walks must protect the descendant of one who had recieved the Good Mark generations earlier.  After the really well done last issue, this one is sort of a let down.  Greg Cox's writing has a sort of paint-by-numbers feel to it, and gets clunky in the descriptions.  The action is good, though, and the twist at the end brought a broad smile to my face.  Next issue is the final one most likely, so let's go out on a high note.

Re-Read Pile: Flash, Web, Wonder Woman, Invincible Iron Man Annual, Iron Man: Kiss and Kill

The Pick Of The Pile is a tough one, as there were a lot of strong books this time out.  I am going to give it to the Invincible Iron Man Annual, just edging out Wonder Woman.  If the JMS sequence had been more to my liking, the Amazing Amazon would have taken it.  Hopefully Fraction will turn this new direction for the Mandarin into something strong and memorable.