Friday, February 29, 2008

Like a Ton of Bricks

Since I actually have this weeks comics this week, I figure I should read and review the rest of my backlog to get caught up.

Justice League Unlimited #42: This was a sad story. Queen seemed to be trying to get her life together, but everyone else was against her. Wonder Woman made a bit of effort to help, but it couldn't outweigh Green Lantern's dickery or the Royal Flush Gang's tenacity. The ending was at least somewhat upbeat.

Tiny Titans #1: Perfection in a small package. I love everything about this comic. The cute artwork. The references to the regular DCU. The short format of the stories. I think this is by far the best thing I have read in an all-ages comic in forever. If Marvel would repackage their Mini Marvels stuff in this sort of format (as they are pretty much the same thing, just one page at a time), I would buy that as well. And all would be right with the world.

Infinity Inc. #6: As it was in my box, and I didn't want to be a dick about them pulling it and then not buying it, I bought this issue. The last one i get. The cover of this was misleading. the "guest star" eluded to, being Batman, shows up on one page to basically talk with Superman about a crime and then neither is heard from again. It's not even a direct relation to the main characters, just a random crime that ties in with the story. Vaguely interesting lead in to a new arc, but not enough to get me to come back.

The Flash #237: A good issue, but also dropped from my list. I drop this not due to lack of quality, as with the Infinity Inc debacle, but because I just don't feel like spending money on it. Not totally sure why, as it is quite a good book. This issue was fun with Wally and the Kids having some good lines. *shrug*

Batman Detective Comics #841: What a clever idea, and with a great twist as well. The interior artwork was sort of iffy to me, but the cover was made of awesome. I loved how it took Batman a while to solve the case because it was so out of character for Hatter to be acting the way he was. Glad to have this one back from the crossover (which I have not yet read, but own the issues for).

Booster Gold #0: Fun concept. Fun comic. The "Zero Hour" issue of the series, showing the origin of Booster. I liked that he had the chance to change his life for the better, and chose to take the harder road to make sure Ted remained alive. I also love the crazy logic of time travel in this one. Almost makes sense, almost hurts your head. Good end, also.

The Spirit #13 & 14: The Holiday Special was ok. Three stories, each one ok. The first story dealt with criminals in disguise and a tiger tamer. It wasn't to bad, and had a good ending. The second, about a family treasure was also ok with a fun ending. The best, though, was the final story that was virtually word free. That one was a great use of images to tell the story, and something I think Eisner would be proud of. The other issue was the first one with the new team. A fun story, with an interesting mystery involved. Good writing, and lovely artwork. Mike Ploog is one of my favorite artists out there, and it is nice to see him working on his mentor's character.

Teen Titans Year One #2: Another good issue. Less funny than the first one, but still quite a decent story so far. I like the reasoning behind the team getting together, and the way the characters interact. Plus, Aqualad is one of the best loser heroes ever.

Simon Dark #5: I still have no idea what the hell is going on in this series, but I love it. It was very sad about kitty, and the way Simon didn't quite understand that he was special with the not dying by losing your head thing. The best part was wishboning the villain, and the following panel of laughter. It seems like we may be getting a bit more explanation coming up soon-ish. I hope so. Enough to not be quite as lost, without giving it all away just yet.

marvel Adventures: Hulk #8: The Defenders. Surfer is a pansy. Strange is an ineffectual leader. Namor is a dick. Hulk kicks ass. Rick and Monkey are Rick and Monkey. The Nameless One's dialogue with itself was finny at first, then tiresome. At least there was Mini Marvels.

Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four #32: A very fun story about Ben Grimm and time travel. Old West meets sci-fi. Nothing more needs be said.

Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man #36: A so-so story about Harry Osborne trying to live up to his dad's expectations. Redeemed by the redemption of Harry himself.

Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #21: Crimson Dynamo and Black Widow are both after Iron Man, for different reasons. Not a bad story, and well written as well. The artwork is beautiful. The comic manages to show a sexy Black Widow without being so sexy as to endanger the all ages rating. A hard balance to find. I love Spider-Man whining about the training and how Giant Girl and Hulk were allowed to opt out.

House of M Avengers #3 & 4: Punisher selling out humanity and then redeeming himself. Luke Cage being Luke Cage. Thunderbird being an absolute dick. Kingpin being Kingpin. Black Cat being Black Cat (and dying for it). All leading up to a final confrontation, which leads into the long past House of M. S'ok.

X-Force #1: I dunno. I love the art, most of the time. I love the characters. The story seems decent. I hate the concept, though. I like it when X-Men don't kill, and don't like Cyclops having a black-ops wetwork kind of team. Will probably keep reading, though. It was a fun read.

Runaways #29: Not a bad read. If it was actually coming out on time, I would likely enjoy it more. Thankfully Whedon's run is ending after one more issue. He has done a total of one story arc, and it has taken him forever to do so. Very disappointing. I dislike that he can get away with it, because he's Joss Whedon. I dislike that enough that I can't even remember enough of the issue to review properly. Hopefully the next team will keep an actual schedule (or the book is cancelled until Vaughn decides to return).

The Mighty Avengers #8 & 9: The exact opposite of Whedon, here's Mark Bagley helping to catch this title up after Cho slowed it down. He saves what Bendis is ruining with his stupid thought balloons. We finally see how the symbiote plague was ended, and where it came from. We also get a confrontation with Doom, which is always nice. In fact, we get the most kick ass splash pages of fighting since Nextwave #11. That's not something that is easy to accomplish. Loved the last few pages, with the retro feel.

New Avengers #38 & Annual #2: We see the Hood breach Dr. Strange's defenses and take the Avengers on at their home. Big fight ensues. Strange saves them, but not in a way he is happy with. He leaves the team, and they lose their base of operations. Also, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones look like they are losing their marriage. Which is crappy, especially in the wake of Spider-man's One More Day debacle. I want one solid marriage with characters I like to remain intact.

The Man Called Nova #1: The first Nova annual. An interesting look at his past and future, which may or may not be true. Also, Kvch, homeworld of the Phalanx. Next issue of this will (finally) be what I have been waiting for.

The Order #8: Getting close to eh end, and we have a stellar issue. Good action, good exposition, good background info. This will be one helluva series when it is all over with.

Avengers: The Initiative #9: This is why you don't mess with clones. Or alien tech. And never both together. Taskmaster is pretty cool in this one, both in his using the training to expand his own base of skills and his knowledge of when to bow out of a fight. Gauntlet coma-walking to get more alien tech for a big showdown. This is still one of the best series on the shelves today.

X-Factor #28: A slightly confusing issue, as I missed the whole Messiah Complex crossover (missing one issue in the middle, so can't read it yet). I know enough of what is going on to not be totally lost. Sad to see Rhane go, but it will likely make for a good story for the rest of the team to deal with her leaving. Tattoo Maddrox is pretty hardcore. Strong Guy is still one of my favorite underused characters in the X-Books.

Captain America #34: We have a new Cap. Finally. He's also pretty good. I loved how they managed to highlight the similarities and differences between Caps in a single fight. I also actually felt bad for Tony Stark by the end of this one. Not an easy task anymore.

The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall and the Green Mist of Death: A nice bit of back story for the late Iron Fist. I really want more stories about him and his Confederates of the Curious. This was a nice slice of that, showing the many encounters they had with John Aman. A nice villain/hero thing that turned into mutual respect and eventually a sort of friendship. Goo lead in to the next issue of the Iron Fist series.

Annihilation: Conquest #4: Adam Warlock may be an actual warlock now? Ronan the Accuser has a Phalanx-proof army of robots? Star Lord is fucked, as usual? High Evolutionary may have joined the bad guys? Talk about a suspenseful issue. I need more, now.

Terror Inc. #5: Meh. I read it all. It's over. Funny line at the end. Otherwise, meh.

Ultimate Human #2: More interesting than the last issue. We get some action. We get a cured Hulk. We get more insight into why Hulk is the way he is, and how powerful he just might be. Then the shit hits the fan. Actually looking forward the the next one.

Ultimates 3 #3: Wow, mid scene SPLASH PAGE FIGHT, with no real lead in or resolution. It just sort of happens. I don't know if I should blame Loeb's writing, Madureira's layouts, or the editor for not making it get fixed. Then, for no reason, the story changes focus. At least it is going to be over soon.

Ultimate Iron Man 2 #3: Made of awesome. We get some nice mental chess between three different characters, plus a "How's he gonna get out of this one" ending. With one issue left, I am almost sad it's gone by so fast. I wonder if there will be an Ultimate Iron Man 3.

Ultimate Spider-Man #118: Peter almost has an aneurysm at school. Hilarity ensues. I like Kong a lot in these last few issues. I also like that Liz Allen's hate of mutants is really blossoming into something interesting. Not the Firestar I was expecting.

Ultimate X-Men #90 & 91: Ultimate Apocalypse. Taking what was an interesting story arc with Sinister, and expanding it to show he's not actually as crazy as he seemed. In top of that, the way it has all pretty much been building to this moment over Kirkman's run is beautiful. Apocalypse himself is much scarier than his 616 counterpart already. Even if he looks a little stupid before cyborging out. Best part was seeing how Wolverine got to the physical state he was in when he was Cable. Didn't expect to see that so soon, or ever. I wish I had the rest of this arc to read right now. I don't feel that way often, especially with this series.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Epic Fail

So much for my "semi-daily" posts, huh? I just never have anything to say, I guess. I do have more comics to review, at least. A lot, actually. Lack of funds meant a large pile of comics waiting when I finally had the money. Here's the appetizer.

Ghosting 5#: So, I finished this series off. I wasn't terribly impressed. Too much story left to be resolved in a single issue. It felt rushed. Which means I guess I am done reading Platinum books...or am I? The previews of upcoming books caught my eye (as it always does). That section is how I ended up finding this series as well as Consumed. This time, it looks like Big Badz and Gunplay may be good. So, depending on my whims at the time I see them, I may read.

The Darkness #2: I am of mixed feelings on this new Darkness series. On the one hand, the art's not too bad. Pretty standard for a Top Cow book, really. The changes to Jackie's powers and the new uses he is finding, also not bad (even pretty damned cool at times). The Darkness as a drug/ruling a South American country thing...not so much in what I want to read. I'll keep reading for now, because the story is just unique enough to have my attention.

Locke & Key #1: I am so glad I found this. What a fun idea for a comic. A horribly violent and tragic start, with a few strange tweaks along the way, and a cliffhanger ending that got my attention. Some of the dialogue among the characters seemed a bit off a couple times, but mostly this was made of awesome. Another plus is that this is the first IDW comic I have ever purchased as singles, rather than the trade.

Fables #69: What a great ending to a great storyline. While I still am not a fan of the focus on the war and all, I have to admit loving the way Flycatcher was able to go from janitor to king, and take the Adversary down a notch. The interplay between him and Red Riding Hood is also very endearing. This was an ending I was not completely expecting, and quite enjoyed.

Jack of the Fables #19: As always, loving Fables leads to worshiping Jack. The "map" of Americana is great, and very well thought out. A clever idea filled with clever-er ideas. I just can't wait to see how Jack ends up finding, and losing, the treasure he seeks.

Crossing Midnight #15: Gah, this one really messed with me. Losing and eye to your sister has got to be one of the worse things than can happen to you. The way this thing twists and turns, it is a little sad to think it is not going to be continuing for years to come. On the flip side, it is best it ends when it ends, and not get dragged on forever just because.

Madman #6: I have no idea what is going on in this series, and yet, I don't really care. Mike Allred's art can get me to buy just about anything. Oh, and I loved the back cover gag. That was awesome.

The Walkign Dead #46: The obvious happens, made even more so by the cover. It is a mildly shocking and very tragic death, but one that makes sense. If Kirkman handles the aftermath right, once the rest of this storyline dies down a bit, it could prove to be a major emotional turning point for some characters. The "twist" ending was also one I saw coming a mile away. Still fun, though.

Umbrella Academy #6: So, this one comes to its end. An interesting, if somewhat unsatisfying, end. Not to say this wasn't good. It just wasn't as good as the rest of the series. Which, I suppose, is to be expected of a series as stunningly amazing as this has been. I do find it interesting that by the end half of the cast is not really available for further action. Out of the 7 kids (and one monkey), 2 are dead, 1 is powerless, 1 is out of commission for a long time (possibly forever) and pretty much powerless now, and the other 4 are pretty much still fine. I do want to see more of this team, and will likely love this new comic legacy much like I do Hellboy. I just am unsure how they will continue on, withiout restorting to flashback stories.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Kill Me Now

So, this is turning out to be a rather not-fun time for me. Had a graveyard shift over the weekend, scanning the store I work in for inventory. 12.5 hours of scanning t-shirts and shoes was not very fun. On top of that, I caught a cold that hit just as my shift was starting. I am starting to recover, but still not feeling 100%. Finally, I have no extra money for comics for a couple more weeks. So, nothing new for a while. Sad day.

Anyhow, here's the stuff from my last comic run.

Ghosting #4: Meh. It has been too long between issues for me to keep caring much. The art in this one is not too great, but the mystery of who the ghost really is has me interested. Will buy the last issue, just because. I am less likely to get anything by Platinum Studios anymore, though. They just don't quite have anything interesting to offer int he big picture. Unless they do a new Weapon series.

Faker #6: This should have ended 2 issues ago. Finding out the reason nobody remembered Nick was all I cared for. The rest was just sort of uninteresting. The series had a better ending with #4 than it did in this issue. A shame, as Mike Carey and Jock both do good stuff, normally.

The Umbrella Academy #5: On the one hand, I can't wait to see how this ends. On the other hand, i don't want it to end. This is one of the best things to come out of comics in a long time. I am a little disappointed there was no actual indication of who those armored dudes were in the diner, but the fact that 00.05 was able to wipe them out without any real problem was pretty cool. Over the course of this issue, he managed to change from mildly streange to outright creepy. Must have more.

Countdown to Mystery #5: First time I have not liked the Doctor Fate story at all. This was just him getting over his stupidity with the drinking and reading a stupid comic. Only good part was the last panel, where the legacy aspect comes into play. The Eclipso section, on the other hand, was pretty awesome. I love the attempt to use the Eclipso power to do good, in a non-superhero way. It's something you don't ever see in comics, but totally makes sense. Good enough to get the next one.

Crime Bible: Five Lessons of Blood #4: As with the rest of this one, a good issue. Not a lot to say. Cops being killed by a cop. The reveal that this is all being orchestrated by Flay to indoctrinate Renee into the church. Which was something hinted at previously. The next issue should be fun.

Teen Titans Go! #51: Pretty much noth8ng happens, and yet this is one of the best issues yet. As has been mentioned elsewhere, this was a good redesign of the Geo-Force costume. It was also fun to see the origin of Terra. Quite a good issue.

The Spirit #12: Awesome. Some back story on Denny Colt, plus some good noir action. I will be sad to see Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone go, but the new team should be just as good. I am a huge Mike Ploog fan, and knowing he worked with Eisner back in the day give me hope this will remain good, if not improve. Anyhow, this issue was a fitting farewell to the original team.

Shadowpact #21: This issue was pretty fun, actually. Other than Blue Devil being absent, it looks like the team is getting back together. It wasn't mindblowing or anything, but enough to give the series a reprieve from the chopping block. Plus, Detective Chimp surfing the internet for love on a furry site was classic.

The Flash #236: A smart end to an ok story. A nice twist, tying the back-up stories with the main arc. I wasn't expecting that, but did enjoy it. Not enough to really continue this series. It's not bad, I just don't really care about this Flash as much as Bart. May give it another shot, may not. Depends on if I remember to take it off my list before the next issue. Hah.

Teen Titans #55: In the aftermath of the future Titan's return, the team is pretty messed up. Kid Devil and Ravager's seeming romance is over as she has moved on to an interest in Blue Beetle. Kid Devil is not taking that so well, which looks like it will lead directly to the future version of him we just saw. Miss Martian looks like she had started to go crazy, with her future self imprisoned inside her mind. Robin and Wonder Girl break up, and it isn't pretty. Wonder Girl sends Supergirl away, and this is also not pretty. All the while, some new villain is watching and preparing to take them down. This is a great issue for following up on the last story as well as leading directly into the next one.

Booster Gold #6: Made of awesome. Solid time. A pulse to liquefy solid time. 4 Blue Beetles at once. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle II together again, and joking while they fight their enemies. What works best is that the timeline hasn't changed. At all still happened like everyone remembers. The only difference, now we have the Blue and Gold back in action. One of the more satisfying returns of a dead character.

Marvel Adventures Iron Man #9: Tony comes to terms with his father, while saving the life of a young boy. Decent issue. What I like is that the last couple of these have had covers that initially seemed to be just random pin-ups of Iron Man, which were cool enough. Then, after reading the story, you see that they actually tie in really well. Much better random cover = actual contents than many comics pull off.

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #35: Hahaha, that was funny. Venom trying to get Spider-man with the ploy of being a sidekick. Well executed and a good read. Plus, White Rabbit. Nobody ever uses White Rabbit.

Marvel Adventures Avengers #20: Another solid one. Hank Pym disappears. Giant Girl goes to figure out what happened to him. Spider-Man tags along. It turns out to be a bit of deliberate miscommunication, ending with the introduction of Atlas (though he isn't named as such in this). A decent story, with some fun Pym/Van Dyne romance involved.

Young Avengers Presents: Patriot: Very nice. We see the intelligent, truly patriotic high school kid speaking his mind, and his "patriotic" classmates missing the point and being idiots. Then the smart kid does what we have all wanted to do, and gets himself in trouble. Which is all a roundabout way of introducing him to Bucky. The end result is Patriot and Bucky having a talk about Cap and what true heroism means. Very touching and a good reintroduction to the character.

The Order #7: A lot of talk between Namor and Henry. Mostly just Namor being a dick, and then being shown up. Nothing fantastic. The next issue should be better.

Immortal Iron Fist #12: A bit more backstory on the troubles within K'un-Lun. Impending revolution over a fascist leader. We also see the Prince of Orphans do his thing, which makes the short round in last issue better by way of foreshadowing. Outside, in the real world, Hydra is about to blow some shit up. This is why this series is ongoing instead of the limited run it was originally meant to be.

Ultimates 3 #2: I dunno. Hawkeye like this isn't really feeling correct. Captain America seems a bit off as well. What's with the telling someone off for saying "crap" but letting a "bitch" go from his teammate. The Quicksilver siding with Magneto bit sort of works. I'm also wondering why there was a need for the "Two Seconds Ago" caption for the last page. Either there's something i missed, or Jeph Loeb thinks we are too dumb as readers to understand Wolverine just arrived at the scene. Will continue to buy, since I will buy anything Ultimate. But that's the only reason why.

Ultimate Iron Man II #2: A great issue. Other than Tony being able to regrow limbs like that, I am liking this look at his youth much better than the first series. This is all working out to be a great story.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #50: All of that lead in finally begins to pay off. The Cosmic Cube activates, basically taking out a section of Manhattan and prompting the return of Thanos and the Seed 19 team. Fan and Shit are about to have a confrontation. Will be fun to read.