Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Last (few) Week's Comics

Here's a few weeks worth of comics. In addition to the list here, I also picked up some issues of Fallen Angel and the latest Dark Tower comic. Haven't read them yet, and likely won't for a while. These are series I enjoy enough that I don't want to rush through them. Plus, Fallen Angel is a series I got so far behind on, I think I will just go back and read from the beginning anyhow.

The Weapon 1:
As one other blogger has mentioned, this is an awesome comic. Green lantern meets Iron Fist/Shang Chi. I totally wish I had thought of this one myself. Will likely buy the rest of this miniseries. Hell, would likely buy an ongoing of this for a while as well.

The Tick 20th Anniversary Special: How can you go wrong with the Tick? Big, blue, nigh-invulnerable, and dumb as a box of rocks. Even better, this book has 38 pages of some of the best short Tick homages I have ever seen. All kinds of fun stories, told in a page or two. All very much in the flavor of the Tick (from one of his many various incarnations). Plus, a bit of history on New England Comics and how the Tick came to be. I made sure to get the Suyadam zombie cover as well. Awesome!

The Walking Dead 38: Just a note to say that this is what got me to start reading Kirkman's work. It is this series that has convinced me to try anything else he does (even if he is mistaken in his belief that Liefeld and Kirby are equals). All that said, this was a relatively slow issue. A bit of character development and some good news for the survivors. Also a pretty decent ending that will definitely make me want to read the next issue right away.

Jack of Fables 12: Dear god I love to hate Jack Horner. He embodies every character I ever played in an RPG during my junior high/high school years. Even some of the more recent characters are painfully close. In this issue he actually does a few things that make him less of a self-absorbed asshole. Surprising. Also, who the hell is this Kevin guy in New York and why does he keep popping up?

The Exterminators 19: I really wish I had been reading this series from the beginning. I have managed to find most of the back issues, so have a general idea what is going on. But, I have missed a few of the more recent issues. The long term stuff I am getting just fine, but all of the recent developments are totally losing me. Still, intelligent roaches keeping drug dealers alive to feed on living flesh does make for a fun read.

Crossing Midnight 8: Reading this comic makes me want to do a comic of my own. The series is just so rich in detail and setting that every issue really just drags me further into it. I love how the siblings each have their own separate story. I am horrible in that I can't remember the names of any of the characters. But, it doesn't matter. Even without knowing the character's names, i can still tell who they are referring to by context. Which, really, is a sign of a much better story than many comics. Hell, even some novels I get characters with similar names confused. Crappy memory.

Flash the Fastest Man Alive 13: So, last issue of a series I wanted to like. I didn't dislike it, but it never really get me hooked enough to start buying it until recently. As in, this is the only issue I actually bought as it came out. Bad timing there. This issue made me sad, because I am a big Bart Allen fan from when he first became Kid Flash. Never cared for Impulse, but the character growth shown in Teen Titans was great stuff. In this series, he was a whiny little loser and I hated him. But, I still didn't want him to die. Sad panda.

The Spirit 7: *gasp* A non-Darwyn Cooke issue. How horrible. Yet, it was a lot of fun to read. Three stories for the price of one. The first was mediocre. The last was likewise less than satisfying. But, that middle story was pure gold. A ton of fun to read, great art, and just all around well done.

Shadowpact 14: The longer this series lasts, the less I enjoy it. I blame a lack of Ragman and Detective Chimp. Somehow, those are the characters I liked best in this series. I like the idea behind the Blue Devil thing, but not the execution of it. Also, what the hell is with the press-ganging of Zauriel? How do you think forcing anyone to help you, let alone and ex-angel is going to do you any good? Especially when said ex-angel is the reason you are a member short? I am thinking maybe this team would have been better off as guest stars and the occasional mini. Like Secret Six. That team is sweet.

Justice League Unlimited 35: The good was that this had Natasha Irons in it, and I always like to see random characters that are not immediately recognizable to the general public. The bad is that the was pretty much a heavy handed morality tale about being yourself and having patience to wait for your dreams. Or something like that. It would probably have been better if there was more explanation of how the problem was solved, rather than just saying "I know how to do it" and then having the solution just sort of happen. Even a crappy attempt would have been better than none at all. That's just lazy storytelling.

Teen Titans Go! 44: Having not been a long-term reader of this series, I am not sure if this is new or not. Actual continuity. Not like tying into the show or tying into the main DC Universe continuity. I mean, taking a dangling plot thread from a previous issue and using it to fuel a story in the current one. Regardless, I like it. This was handled well. They tell the story, with a quick one panel recap of how things happened if you didn't read the old issue. Only way it could have been better is if they would have actually told you the issue number of the original story.

Teen Titans 48: Damned crossovers. While I love them, i hate them too. I'm not buying Amazon's Attack, though I am attempting to keep up on reading it a bit. Not reading all the tie-ins, unless I already happen to be reading the comic. Still, with my only occasionally reading an issue here and there, when my main comic pulls tie in with the current big event comic, I get kind of lost. I don't want to have to read every DC title just to know what is going on in Teen Titans. I don't mind the comic tying in, if the story doesn't require me to know what is going on in the other comics of the event. This issue was just a big pile of "Piss the Fool off."

Batman Detective Comics 834: Great ending to a great story. I love how, even the "done in one or two" stories have connections later on. Like with the Teen Titans Go! issue, this has references to earlier issues without needing to have read them (with the exception of the first part of this particular story last month). Plus, a Joker story is almost always worth reading. Also..."Best. Gag. Ever." Zatanna is hardcore. I definitely do not want to get on her bad side. Yeesh.

Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special: Reviewing this one as I read through it. Professor Zoom is my favorite villain, I think. He's a bad guy with good intentions. Sort of. Batman as a Sinestro Corps member would have kicked ass, but also sucked. "My god, it's full of Yellow Power Rings." I am tempted to go back and pick up every issue of Green Lantern that has a Sinestro Corps backup story now. I like this dark mirror of the Corps thing. Ooh, a double page spread, done vertically. You don't see those much anymore. Shame it was wasted on a lame image. Kyle as Parallax...no big surprise. Even without having read spoilers, I was expecting this one. Dunno who the big guy at the end is, but Superboy-Prime is a creepy mofo. Oh, wait, is that the Anti-Monitor? Damn, that's hardcore.

Marvel Adventures Iron Man 2: Meh. Mandarin is cool, but this series hasn't done anything to impress me much yet. Give it a few more issues, then may drop it.

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man 29: Great cover. The Grey Gargoyle is one of those villains you just have to love. What a crappy power to have, and yet so completely cool. I liked how this story played out. All of the angst of a good Spidey story, without overdoing it. Plus, a villain showing some remorse was nice. Grey Gargoyle is a thief, not a killer, and he shows that well.

Marvel Adventures Avengers 14: God, how I love the banter in this book. Doesn't matter who is writing it, there is always good banter going on. That's the thing that really sells me on it month after month. On top of that, the stories are just so freaking fun to read. I mean, "Here how to smash...like Hulk," a trebuchet full of fertilizer, Wolverine leading the team in an attack...hell, I could find cool on every page of this thing and still probably miss some of it. There's just that much cool to be had.

Captain America 27: Somehow, Brubaker manages to keep this comic going strong even after the death of the title character. Not that I should be surprised This is the man who not only did the unthinkable and brought Bucky back, but also managed to do it in a way that was so damned cool it blew my mind.Not much to say. Good fights. Good story progression. Nothing new here, as this series has been like this since issue 1.

X-Men: Endangered Species: I can just see it now. Marvel editors sitting around a table wondering how to make the X-Men even more emo than they already were. This book is the answer. Hopefully the actual Endangered Species event will actually come up with a solution to this, and bring back the mutants. I don't want the thousands and thousands of mutants everywhere that was before House of M, but a few new ones here and there with the lack of an impending doom would be nice.

Silent War 6: The end of a series I only read because it was about the Inhumans. What did I think? I think there will be a follow-up series coming in a few months time to wrap this up and return things to the status quo. Or, there damned well better be. I don't want the Inhumans to be fucked over like this for too long.

The New Avengers: Illuminati 3: Ok, so we have the Illuminati. Which I like. We have the Beyonder. Which I like. We have crazy shit happening. Which I like. So, guess how I feel about this comic. Right you are.

Ultimate Spider-Man 110: An end to the Ultimate Knights story arc. We have the betrayal of Iron Fist come out, with a good enough explanation where you don't find him to be a total douche. You have Moon Knight/Ronin kicking his own ass (again) and being a real hero. You have Daredevil almost crossing to the dark side. You have the kid of the group (Spider-Man, of course) being the voice of reason. You have the Kingpin doing his usual thing, and almost getting away. You have the Kingpin actually go down for all the bad crap he pulls, and all thanks to someone doing what no sane hero would do. And Peter still gets the short end of the stick. Will be sad to see Bagley leave the book next issue, but don't think it will stop me from reading anyhow.

Thunderbolts 115: I miss the old team. Where they were villains but not really. While I love Warren Ellis's writing, I can't stand this team of psychopaths. Do have to admit, it was fun to see Songbird pull that stunt. Even more fun to see Bullseye get his ass kicked by a nobody hero. Hope this issue signals a change back to the less violently evil team.

Runaways 27: What has happened to one of my favorite teams of teen heroes? The beginning of this arc was kind of fun and not too bad, but this is just not at all interesting to me. I am intrigued to know more about these "Wonders" that have been mentioned. But, really, other than the very last page, I could care less about this issue. A shame.

The Immortal Iron Fist 6: This was a rocking good time. All sorts of martial arts badass and classic Heroes for Hire cool. Luke Cage with his "Sweet #%&%$ Christmas" and Misty Knight with her acting all Sam Jackson from Pulp Fiction. I am really looking forward the the tournament that is coming up. Also want more flashbacks to previous Iron Fists. Awesome...to the Max!

X-Factor 20: Just what the hell is Layla Miller anyhow? She's one of the scariest kids I have ever seen. What with her "knowing stuff" and crazy way of controlling the situation she was badass enough. Now there's the whole not a mutant, but something else entirely thing as well. Every month I eagerly await this title above most others. I have yet to be disappointed with an issue. Hell, I even read the first page recap in this one just because Pater David manages to toss in some funny shit there.

Ultimate Vision 4: We have Vision vs. Galactus. Vision vs. MODOK. Vision and MODOK vs. Galactus. Plus a cameo by the Falcon at the end. No too shabby, really. I am really intrigued as to how this will end.

Ultimate Fantastic Four 43: So, as usual, Reed manages to get himself in over his head. This time, though, he is called on it. A lot. Probably a good thing, though it did get a little tedious having every other piece of dialogue aimed at him be something negative. Also, Silver Surfer is kind of scary in that overly nice way. Like, you want to like him, you think he probably likes you, but you know he's still going to murder you in your sleep anyhow. I do wonder who this master of his is, since I am assuming it isn't Gah Lak Tus. At least, I hope it isn't. We need some more variety here.

Ultimate X-Men 83: The Morloks are just stupid here. First they attack the ex-X-Men, then they get all mad at them for fighting in the first place. You can't throw a punch at someone and then act all shocked and dismayed when they fight back. Dumbasses. Also, what the hell is up with Bishop? I know he supposedly has future knowledge and all that, but he himself has admitted that what he knows as history has already changed. I don't trust him and his dislike of Angel.

Ultimate Power 6: My first thought reading this was that I missed an issue. No way have there been five issues already. But, I haven't missed anything so far. As far as I can tell either I am mistaken and have read more than I realized, or the last couple issues have had nothing at all happen. Whatever. Emil Burbank is still an asshole. Nick Fury is still and asshole. Doom is still and asshole. I just want to know where the hell they got Doom from. Wasn't he in the zombie world? Still interested enough to want to see this resolve. Even with the Greg land artwork, which annoys me.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Couple Weeks Late, Part the Second

OK, so here are the Marvel reviews for the last couple weeks.

Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man 28: I loves me some all-ages books. Marvel does them very well, too. DC's are good fun and all, but they seem more kiddie oriented. Marvel's Marvel Adventures line seems more along the lines of stories that a kid could enjoy, but will also be equally appealing to an adult who wants the heroes without all the violence and angst. Well, except this particular issue was full of angst...and still managed to be a fun romp. Wow.

Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four 25: You know what I love better than all-ages, old school fun? Alternate realities. Can you guess what I thought about this combination of the two? Hell's yeah! I think by far the best part was the world of song and dance numbers during battles. I belly laughed.

Nova 3: An ok fight. Family drama. A poignant meeting between old friends. Somehow I enjoyed the book while I was reading it, but can't think of why now. Maybe I just want to be all harsh and critical like the rest of the bloggosphere.

Avengers: The Initiative 3: Last issue's cliffhanger had me expecting Scarlet Witch for some reason. Totally forgot about Mirage. Well, actually, didn't realize Mirage's powers were fear based. i was looking at the whole "uncontrollable mutation" thing and not the fear-based thing. Ah well, good plot thread anyhow. I am really liking where this series has gone and where it is going. Glad it's going to be an ongoing instead of a limited series. I hope they do some sort of rotating cast like early issues of Exiles or something. I don't want to watch these same kids training and becoming a team. I want to see a variety of trainees and maybe a bit of the graduates every once in a while. I could see this being a good series to test new characters before spinning them off into the mainstream Marvel Universe. Also, I am still mad they killed MVP. I liked that character the best so far.

The New Avengers 31: I don't care what anyone else says, I love Bendis. I like his banter. I like his dialogue. I like his stories. I love his inclusion of Echo and the reintroduction of Hawkeye/Ronin. Not terribly keen on ht art currently, even though I occasionally dig Leinil Yu's stuff, it's just not doing it for me right now. Also a little less than enthused by the current line-up of the team. But, I have likes this series enough to give it a go anyhow.Plus, more ninjas than is sane in any comic. Score!

Silent War 5: Crap art. Crap story. Only reading this because I love the Inhumans.

Mystic Arcana: Magik: Not on my usual pull list, but an impulse buy to see the state of Marvel magic. Tow stories in one. Double-plus good. One story about the defeat of a dark sorcerer, the other about the quest to repower him. Interesting, and a decent read. Will definitely read the rest of this series. Even better, two of the remaining issues feature characters I like.

Ultimate Fantastic Four 42: Silver Surfer. Sort of. Not much to say, as this issue was pretty much just a warm-up for the real story. Ben Grimm's mom kicks ass, though. Also, I can't get enough of this art. All pretty and sci-fi and crazy and good.

Dark Tower: Gunslinger Born 5: First off, I am biased on this one. I love the Dark Tower books by Stephen King (pretty much all of his I liked other than a couple short stories). Also, Peter David is one of the deities in my comics pantheon. So, you know I am going to love this regardless. Plus, holy hell is this art amazing on so many levels I can't even find words sufficient to describe it. Basically, I have not even read this one, and I am giving it a perfect review. The dial on this one goes up to 11 baby.

Quiz Now...

Week Late Marvel later.

You Should Be a Science Fiction Writer

Your ideas are very strange, and people often wonder what planet you're from.
And while you may have some problems being "normal," you'll have no problems writing sci-fi.
Whether it's epic films, important novels, or vivid comics...
Your own little universe could leave an important mark on the world!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A (couple) Week(s) Late, and a Dollar Short

Here's my thoughts on the last few week's offerings from DC (and a few others).

Teen Titans Go! 43: This issue was amusing, but not quite as funny as usual. I must admit to liking the all-ages comics quite a bit. The premise, not being anything new or unique, was still handled pretty well while keeping the general spirit of the book intact. I liked best of all how they managed to tie the comic into the show continuity without requiring actual knowledge of the show. Fun stuff.

Justice League Unlimited 34: This was a fairly disappointing offering, from a book that has never done so for me before. There were a lot of events in the plot that just didn't really work for me. Why was this team used? Why was the Atom there? How come Superman had no idea? What was with the Green Lantern "Disco-ball of Kryptonite"? Why didn't Myxzpltk just leave the Zone at the end? What the hell was up with the party? Really, not a good offering at all.

Batman Detective Comics 833: Now this, this is an awesome comic. Beautiful cover, beautiful interior, beautiful story. I absolutely love how this series is able to do stories that only take an issue or two to complete, and still have better story arcs that most any book on the stands today. This is what comics should be. In this issue, we have some cool character bits with a fun magic subplot. The end is a nice reveal/cliffhanger that makes me want to read next months issue now.

Teen Titans 47: I swear, I don't know why I still read this comic. The art has been iffy, the story has been crap since "One Year Later" (though the Doom Patrol arc was decent, i suppose). The best characters in the series are gone, and replaced with characters I care nothing for. Why do I read this again?

Crossing Midnight 7: This is a freaking awesome series. I love the mythology at play here, and the stories just keep improving the longer the series goes (not that 7 issues is really all that long). I really can't get enough of this series. So good, I actually have no idea what to say about it.

The Exterminators 18: Crazy-assed bugs and crazy-assed plots. How can you go wrong with that? An interesting story mixed in with minor plot advancement and some backstory on one of the better characters in the series. I liked the double-cross bits. Hoping the next issue comes back to the main plot, though, as that's what keeps me reading this series.

Jack of Fables 11: Huh? What happened to part 1? Even missing the beginning half of this story, it was a fun read and relatively easy to pick up on what happened previously. Well, at least for the really important parts. Gotta love a character like Jack. The rascal who is full of himself, manages to screw up everything he touches, but still comes out on top in the end. Even better is that he never learns his lesson, so you can watch him screw up his life over and over again. I also loved how the Snow Queen was completely oblivious to the way the world really works.

Fables 62: Fantastic character growth for Flycatcher over the last few issues, turning a fun incidental character into someone I actually care about. Great backstory on the Forsworn Knight that transitions into the current story, while also somewhat mirroring the story of Flycatcher himself. The Fabletown/Adversary stuff keeps getting better and better as well. I am really liking Prince Charming as mayor. What initially seemed like a scheme for power that would ultimately fail has ended up showing the character having true strength and guile. He's turning out to be a fantastic mayor, and making the story even that much better.

Stormwatch Post Human Division 8: Nice issue here. Bit of "down time" that allows for some fun character beats. Having never read anything Stormwatch prior to this series, I can't really comment on how it all plays out beyond the fun of watching it for the first time here. Good issue, with a good ending to lead into issue 9.

Salvador 1: Lovely, but I don't get it. Not much else to say here. Will buy the next few issues anyhow.

Darkness Level 4: Fun romp through hell (how often can you say you have heard that one). Having only come to the Darkness from the second series, and having missed a couple of these video game tie-ins, can't really say much on how this works for the bigger picture. But, hell of a lot of fun to read. Plus, can't get enough of that creepy demon stuff.


So, for my first post, a bit of an explanation and introduction.

Hi. I'm a big time comic fan, and have been for a while. Even before I was actively reading comics, I was a fan. I'm also a huge geek. I love science fiction and fantasy literature, games of all sorts (card, roleplaying, video, board, etc). I am addicted to movie, in a way that's not even funny. If I can find something that c0mbines my interests, I gobble it up like oxygen.

But, enough about me. I have been reading a number of comic blogs for about a year now, and finally felt that it was time for me to throw my hat into the ring. Don't ask me why, I have no idea. I figure, with the sheer number of books I buy each week, there's got to be something worth talking about. Right?

Problem is, I don't actually get my comics on time. I used to only pick them up once a month, but decided that I will work on getting them weekly for now to facilitate this blog. However, due to my work schedule and general lack of transportation, I am forced to buy comics on Tuesdays. You can see how this might prove difficult.

My solution: Review them late. A week after everyone else does their reviews, I will sound off with my feelings. I also plan on going back and rereading a lot of my collection of trades and back issues. I'll likely talk about them as well, as I do it. Then there's the general opinionated rantings that all good bloggers are known for. That should be enough to keep me covered for topics (I hope).

So, welcome, hope you enjoy your stay, and please don't spill soda on the carpet. We just got it put in, after all.