Thursday, September 22, 2011

ROUND 30: Comics For September 21, 2011

Hey DC Versus Marvelers, It is Luke - your friendly neighborhood broke ass college grad. In the past two weeks I had a convention, I graduated and I moved home to sort of recoup. This means that for now (and probably a while longer I am not getting comics and if anything I am going to switch to trades to save money since spending $20-40 a week was expensive). But due to my journalistic integrity which means I journal holistically and it is integral and gritty, reviews for a while are going to be based on what I am pretty sure the comic is about based on the cover and since I know the Marvel Universe too well, I'll stick to the fully rebooted new DCU. Since I read comic news and had stories already spoiled (thanks Comics Alliance) I will start with this week. No Money For Comics NuDC Speculative Reviews
Batman #1 When Batman gets a court fine and is sentenced to community service, Batman finds out he has to man a free hugs station set up as a prank by his college friend Harvey Dent, the district attorney. Unsurprisingly the Knight of Gotham isn't too happy especially when he is sent to a jail full of inmates that he has to cuddle instead of cudgel. Oh man I love the fact that they are making Batman funny again and after the success of Brave and the Bold it isn't hard to see why. Batman is a serious character but if you put him in a situation where he has to stand on the streets in his costume with a "Free Hugs" sign, you really succeed in making a new direction for the series. Also it is an interesting choice that there is no longer any Bruce Wayne and that people know Bruce became Batman. Risky move DC but it should be interesting. As far as relaunches go, this works solidly! Score: +1
Birds Of Prey #1 When four sassy women with super agility and powers move from the rich Manhattan to the jungle, you can be sure to dial H for Hilarity... - or you should be able to. In this comic, the Birds of Prey (named because they were "too flighty to be called cougars") are sent to another country to help the poor only to rely on stock cliches, porno shots and probably the most degradingly sexist writing that I have ever laid my eyes on (if I actually read it). When the group tries to chase down a international terrorist leader who just blew up a nail salon, they literally stop chasing when they get distracted by his ass and it's "assnifigance". I literally threw this imaginary comic on the ground, ripped it up and then demanded my money back when I read it. Susan B Anthony must be rolling in her grave. As far as relaunches go, this one needs to be sent to the moon. Score: -1
Blue Beetle #1 Jaime Reyes isn't an ordinary teenager. He's an ordinary teenager that is also friends with a part alien cyborg hybrid. Now with his partner the Blue Beetle Scarab, a 1000 year old Egyptian alien, the two must pilot through high school. Will Jaime be able to ask out the girl he likes? Will the tap dance club get destroyed by the villainous Mr. Jones? And what happens when the school is stolen by the evil villain Scrapyard who wishes to turn trash… into terror? The relationship between Jaime as the overly excited and outgoing nerdy kid and Blue as the sort of shy jock is a nice twist for the high school drama cliche though the female characters and other supporting cast seem rather vapid and totally ignore the fact that Blue is a superhero and also really old. Like they call him a diety from space and still 16 year olds want to get on that. It just bothers me as does the fluorescent overalls and tank tops that every character at the school wears. The artists need to see what "real kids" wear and by real kids I mean kids in hit tv shows like Glee, Teenage Knocked Up Girl and High School Rap/Dance Team. As far as a relaunch goes, I like the idea, I liked Scrapyard and I want to see where this goes. Score: +1
Captain Atom #1 Captain Atom used to be a normal human until the Eye of Thunder-la came down granting him omnipotence and omniscience. Now trapped with the ability to do anything, Captain Atom must now do whatever he can to stave off boredom as a god! I liked the condensed origin but the rest of the issue was rather ungh... Basically the Captain Atom just goes and pulls pranks, sleeps with women as a talking goose and then flies around. It's like the Spectre written as a parody comic. Also is this dude like Doc Manhattan and the Silver Surfer had sex with fire or something? Alternately with Fire? As a relaunch I don't know. I really don't. Score: +0
Catwoman #1 Selina Kyle has a good life. She's popular at school. She sleeps with all of the hot guys. She knows where the best parties are. Things change though when her best friend's cousin Jim The Human Diamond comes to town. Selina soon finds herself trying to get his attention but is this for some quick sex or for something different? I am honestly lost since this is like Batman but in high school but it is a preppy school. I did like how Jim is an actual diamond but they really underutilized that character attribute since he doesn't have much of a personality for such a theoretically deep character. My other complaint is that despite this being a preppy school with required uniforms, Selina apparently and unsuspiciously keeps a cat burglar suit around for sneaking into places? I mean, wouldn't the nuns find out? Ultimately this is just a horrible mess of an issue and I'd rather not fake read more of it. For reboots it is a nice trope twist and I think this may tie in more with Blue Beetle than with Batman but on my list of things I want to see, sex with a guy who jizzes diamonds is not high on the list. Score: -1
DC Universe Prevents #1: Deadman Deadman is the only hero ever to interact with the dead. We suddenly find out that he has a weakness though that nobody saw coming - Chains! Now James Deadman must convince his old business partner to not foreclose on the Cratchet House so close to Christmas or Alvan Scrooge will be eternally tortured in the Pits of Tartarus. I like Deadman and the Chains of Penance are a nice hearken back to the original Dickens run in the 70's on the character and even updating the Cratchet family and setting it in modern times is cool though it shows a wildly misunderstood view of the housing market. As far as the story the trope swap of focusing on the ghost possessing people to talk to Scrooge and doing a Christmas issue in September was genius. I will confess I was surprised to not see Deadman's famous guns or mustache though. Combined with the tight writing, DC Universe Presents gets my Pick Of The Week. If you want to see how a reboot should be done, this is it. Score: +2
Green Lantern Corpse #1 Someone killed the Green Lantern Corps. Who did it? Why? And what will happen to the bodies left to float in space? Who will save them from the dreaded gravitation of Planet X, only time will tell. It was just bodies for 22 pages slowly floating closer to a planet with teeth and a "wacky accent". It's like taking opium and watching 2001: A Space Odessy but slower. I mean it was just monologue and that was poorly written. The series canonically confusing and as far as reboots go, this is painfully stupid. Score: -1
Legion of Superheroes #1 Trapped inside the Great White Beast of Kalkinoth, Megaman Orange, Jem Starfire, Pink Greenbird and Commando must save their planet from the Beast. 50 years of back continuity and even making this up I had no idea what was going on. Horrible introduction. Convoluted, ugh. Score: -1
Nightwing #1 Can Dick Grayson learn to fly before he falls to the streets of Gotham? Dick Grayson, former Batman, has his costume stripped by Bruce Wayne and is suddenly pushed off a building with 30 seconds to live until he hits rock bottom. Now with his bare minimum tools and the annual Gotham City Running of the Bats, will Dick be able to save himself? Beautifully told and representative of the somewhat unwelcome return to Bruce Wayne as Batman status quo. Also flashing back to Dick's circus days was a great idea. Solid as both a classic issue and as a reboot story. Score: +1
Red Hood And The Outlaws #1 Red Hood, Hat Arrow and Starfire run into trouble at the local NRA meeting when Red Hood decides he doesn't want to wait for a background check. Meanwhile Hat Arrow and Starfire discuss the dual opinions of gun ownership. I am a pretty anti-gun dude but the discussion between Hat Arrow and Starfire made me see the other side and tossing in Red Hood who just wanted to get his gun and replica Trigun weapons was highly entertaining, especially when Red Hood essentially became Deadpool with a coat and different costume. That said the whole post action scene with Red Hood talking to his guns was disturbing. Overall though, solid, thought provoking and totally not about Starfire having random sex. As a reboot issue it establishes the characters amazingly well. Score: +2
Supergirl #1 Born of a meteor shower, the Supergirl now leads an invasion of the rock people against the planet known as … Oa?!? So I am surprised by the switch to not having Supergirl as Kryptonian, on Earth or even as a hero and she is attacking Oa. I mean it is one thing to change one part of her origin but making her a sentient rock alien commander - that is ballsy and the type of change you need to watch out for. Supergirl doesn't even say anything but her expressions say so much and tell so many stories. And I just realized, maybe she killed the Green Lanterns?!?!? Check this out. Awesome reboot! Score: +2
Wonder Woman #1 When Wonder Woman stands up Green Arrow because she was busy saving the city, Green Arrow calls it quits, Bluebeard style. Will Wonder Woman and her pants be able to weather the phallic arrow assault? Oh man, nice use of backstory, I like Wonder Woman being portrayed as a bloodthirsty maniac pixie girl as well. I didn't read Green Arrow but since this was a flashback I am pretty sure he survived or something. Overall the battle and banter were okay but the comic seemed more like a 20 pager instead of a 22 pager. Introduction wise it was solid. Score: +1 Score: +7 Total Come back next week when I don't read anything off the shelves!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

ROUND 29: Comics For August 24, 2011

The is one of the last weeks of heavy promised comics reviews. I say this because I am graduating soon and have no idea where I will go and what I will be making post college. Let's not dwell on that though. Comics!

Also this week - no tie-ins! :O

Batman: Gates of Gotham #5
The story of Gates of Gotham was ultimately about families, both what brings the together and what they truly mean. Over the past 4 issues the story has been building up this back history of the families of Gotham - the Waynes (Batman), the Kanes (Batwoman), the Elliots (Hush), the Cobblepots (the Penguin) and the Gates. The Gates constructed the four bridges of the city, each named after on of the families but eventually the two Gates brothers went mad due to their construction/diving suits and one ended up in Arkham.
In the modern time the last remaining Gates family member turned to try and destroy the bridges as revenge for what he saw as the shaming of his family name. The entire new Bat family teams up to deal with last of the Gates eventually stopping him.
The dynamics of the family and the history come together especially at the end. With solid art and writing it is nice to see the Batfamily wrapping things up in the final issue.
Score +1

Batman Inc #8
I have never had such a differing opinion over the art and writing in a comic than in this issue. Instead of illustrating traditionally, the comic was digitally rendered using 3-D models as far as I can tell. Here is the thing. Video game tie in comics hire comic illustrators for the reason that digital character comics look horrible 90% of the time because they are either rushed models or they are so undetailed that it looks lazy.
They have reason though, a loose reason, as Bruce Wayne shows a group of potential investors his new virtual reality which actually recreates a city. When the meeting gets hijacked by zombie warriors of the King Worm though Bruce Wayne sends in Batman Inc spyware killers to deal with them. The question then becomes who introduced the virus and despite the danger hook of "if you die in the game, you die in life" the issue is a fun read. It also serves as a fun discussion about how we can separate digital lives and it is really in depth. But damn that art and damn the long wait until the next issue of Batman Inc. (The art kept this from being one of my two weekly picks.

Deadpool #42
Deadpool who has been in the insane asylum finally gets out using a incredibly well crafted scheme as his character actually develops. Deadpool realizes that he's let himself go and he's stopped really doing anything in a dream sequence with Death and since he lost his voices he gets out. He gets Foolkiller, his enemy in jail, to switch places and when Foolkiller is pardoned Deadpool is free to leave. Except that he is sort of in love with his psychologist who is in love with him and everything is starting to get real for the Merc with a Mouth.
Seeing Deadpool out of his comfort zone has been really interesting. Limited violence, toned down humor and Deadpool actually curing his issues. Sure the next writer will probably change everything back to normal but this experience has been solid.

Dungeons and Dragons #10
As the guild heads down into the Underdark for a heist the plan actually goes off without a hitch. Every team member does their part so they can gain access to the Guide of the Gates to Eldarin leader. Fate being what it is though, the party is forced to deal with unexpected changes like an old foe resurfacing and possibly something bigger going on.
The series itself is solidly written and drawn but if there were one thing I could change, I would love a slightly longer recap page which sounds weird to say. Still, solid issue.

FF #8
Shit gets real as both Black Bolt and the Kree invade the captured city of the High Evolutionary with the Fantastic Four. The problem is that when you work with villains you need to plan for everything like the resurgence of a space king that everyone thought was dead, your fellow supervillains betraying you or even your child being busted out of time out by her friend.
FF continues to be a fun and beautifully told story that seems to be leading somewhere really big with a crew of well thought out characters from a variety of backgrounds doing what the do best.

Mystery Men #4
The problem with any team coming together is that personal politics get brought into things. Romance, fears, history. The Mystery Men have been divided into two teams - the more reasonable heroes the Operative, the Aviatrix and Revenant one one side and Achilles and the Surgeon as the team who will do anything. As the two teams struggle against each, the General has teams with his resurrected goddess Nox to steal children for a sacrifice including the Lindbergh baby. The thing is, the General is just a tool to Nox and the tool is getting broken - okay that sounds hackneyed but this series is great and if you don't want to get back issues, wait for the trade which will be worth it.

The Ultimates #1
The Ultimates starts off with a gang who look similar to the Future Foundation building a giant mushroom cloudy base as Nick Fury settles in to deal with Asgardian miscreants who are lifting bear. Meanwhile Iron Man continues living the high life until he is called to remotely deal with a ship threatening the world only to find it empty. Hawkeye meanwhile is one duty elsewhere reporting and the new Captain Britain is called in to deal with the Asgardians and a bear that is drinking bear.
Bear drinking bear.
And then stuff explodes and this wins as my favorite comic of the week.
Favorite Comic

Uncanny X-force #13
As the group faces evil future Age of Apocalypse Wolverine who is possessed by whatever gives Apocalypse his power, things go downhill. The Black Legion - the group of combination superheroes that are villains face off against the remaining X-men to fight for the life seed that will be able to keep Archangel back in the real world from turning evil. The thing is, there were supposed to be two life seeds and there is only one, Wolverine doesn't seem to want them to go and when they finally get back, the Dark Beast is waiting there with a team of supervillains ready to steal the seed.

Xombi #6
Xombi is a series that suffered from poor publication choices - namely that a Vertigo-styled book was published under the DC label meaning a lot of people who might have enjoyed it never got it. That said though with the reboot and cancellation of the book, there is not much that can be done in the situation.
The final Xombi issue deals with the Floating Skull base and the controller and his crazy Dr Who style monsters (and when I say that I mean they are incredibly creative and poetic in a spooky way).
The book is one I struggled with. I had to be in a mood to read it but this last week that it was running I was in the mood and so it wins Best Comic of the Week.
Best Comic

DC: +4
Marvel: +6
IDW: +1

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

ROUND 27: Comics For August 17, 2011

Hey all you Trekkies and TV addicts, if you all either hold your hands together or fire off supportive emails or download his new single with Adam WarRock, I am pretty sure Tribe One will return. If not, we send out search parties.

Avengers #16
Wow this was a sort of dumb pointless comic. As Steve Rogers tries to hunt down Sin he brings along three nonsuperheroes, runs into his general team of villains who aren't really explained and then a castle blows up with nothing to gain. Ugh. The art also bothered me. I mean I like Romita's work but here it seemed inconsistent.

Avengers Academy #18
As the Avengers Academy students face off against Titania and the Absorbing Man (with Action Hammer Power!) the students realize that they are not only outmatched, but they are also outclassed. The students realize they can try and play fair and lose or they can attempt to cheat but as the saying goes - cheaters never prosper, a lesson they find out as the Absorbing Man starts overpowering the school's Pym Particle reactor causing the school to grow and threaten to breach reality. Great art, fun action and the character are still excellent to read.
Best Comic

Daredevil #2
As Daredevil continues his pursuit of his mysterious case, Daredevil is forced to confront his past when he got possessed by a demon and became a leader of a ninja guild and did that... yeah. Cap wants answers but realizing something else is up, the two part ways so Daredevil is free to look more into the case only to find something not human, not alive and maybe non even fully real. The art on the book really sells it for me and the interesting dialogue and story gives it double value!

Fear Itself: Deadpool #3
Deadpool ended up finding out that the Hammer he gave the Walrus was magical and was made to fight werewolves, only for the werewolves to steal Deadpool's money while Deadpool fought the Walrus for the hammer. The episode veered more towards the level of the first issue with everything feeling a bit rushed. Also the reliance over Alice In Wonderland and Beatles references got rather weary for me personally. I don't know, it didn't strike me much one way or another.

Fear Itself: Fearsome Four #3
It turns out the New Fantastic Four (Hulk, Spider-Man, Ghost Rider and Wolverine) who got summoned in the last issue were servants of Psycho Man to inspire fear and as the Fearsome Four get beaten they realize they need to fight back.. more than they were. Luckily Howard has a secret weapon and banishes the five enemies, but the problem is Man-Thing is still there and he's burning to touch his teammates. The issue did nothing for me. Nothing funny despite Howard the Duck and Spider-Man and somewhat confusing. Glad there is only one issue left.

Flashpoint: The Outsider
Last time it turned out that Martian Manhunter was the assassin after The Outsider and here we find out his good reasoning for it. The Outsider found, tortured and sold the Manhunter to Russia (which was partially controlled by Black Adam). The Russians then tortured the Martian with fire only to overdo it so he overpowered the natural fear of fire and killed everyone in the group, destroyed Black Adam and then was sent after The Outsider who killed him in a quantum portal more or less leaving The Outsider still in the dark about who (Aquaman or Wonder Woman) is trying to stop him. Fun, mysterious with solid art. I really wish the series was going to continue.

Hulk #39
So way back during Planet Red Hulk, I thought Omegex the robot the Watcher sent after Hulk was captured in a time loop. I was wrong. As Ross returns home and reflects on his past he realizes the connections of who is trying to kill him and the origin of the Black Fog, only for Omegex and Black Fog to show up with everyone looking for a piece of one another. Dang Jeff Parker, you put out an issue almost every two weeks and the art is always great as is the writing. Thank you very much!

Journey Into Mystery #626
As Loki finishes assembling his team of warriors he lands in Limbo only to be betrayed by his Hel-Hound (who is gobbled up soon after). Loki makes a deal with Surtur the fire demon for Surtur to give Loki his sword in exchange for Surtur being allowed to destroy Asgard. As Hel is invaded the warriors Loki has waiting begin to worry but Loki arrives in time with the Destroyer and with the announcement of their mission - to destroy Asgard. Journey continues to be a wonderfully fun and beautiful book to read.

Spider-Island: Spider-Girl #1
As Anya is attempting to readjust to her new life with powers, her enemies from the past, the Wasps, show up, only to meet and fight the Hand ninjas who are actively attempting to protect Anya. Only things get worse when Hobgoblin captures her and sends her to the Kingpin who offers her work because the Kingpin protects his own people, the Spider-People. Fun art and writing and Paul Tobin snuck in an LCD Soundsystems reference. Yes!

Superman/Batman #87
Continuing last week, the Joker is planning to kill Clark Kent only for Batman to stop him as it turns out that the Joker was paying the Gotham newspaper to print a story about Batman's secret identity. The Joker killed the reporter and it got confusing but the Joker got put away. Simple. Not the best but okay. Still, never before has the Joker looked like he had a white vagina for a face and I say this in all seriousness because the Joker's face, well that is what first came to my mind. So many weird folds on that thing.

Thunderbolts #162
After Zemo launched his biobomb army thing at Chicago, the Thunderbolts were ordered to stop the monsters which they were more than happy to do. Only, the B-team of the Thunderbolts is using this as a chance to escape and Man-Thing is absorbing the beasts become a "Giant-Sized Man-Thing". That line happened so naturally that I actually fell over laughing. Thunderbolts is a book you should be reading and it is easily my Favorite Comic of the Week.

Ultimate Fallout #6
Ultimate Fallout ends as it should with life returning. Aunt May and Gwen Stacy take up Tony Stark's offer to move anywhere - in this case France. Meanwhile Kitty Pryde, Johnny Storm and Bobby Frost move into the Morlock Tunnels to start a new life. Meanwhile Captain America quits SHIELD and Nick Fury reveals his past with the Parker family to Mary Jane. The art was solid as normal but I think I am really ready for actual issues to start up again.

Venom #6
As Flash attempts to leave Betty behind with his dying father, a giant spider monster attacks the city and Venom is sent in to clean up and capture. The problem is, as soon as the beast is brought back and subdued, it escape with Flash outside of the symbiote with the spider-beast shooting out infectious spiders. Also that beast might be Captain America. Nobody ever said that this was going to be an easy job. The art was good though some action scenes were a bit messy but overall fun.

Zatanna #16
A fun and simple Zatanna story where Zatanna wanting to rest comes into contact with a Witch Boy wanting to be her apprentice and then deciding he'd rather rule the world leading to a multidimensional race and ultimately capture. A fun no worries end to a fun series with great art and great creativity.

Total Scores:
Marvel +8
DC +2

Next Week: More Comics!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Round 25: Comics for August 10, 2011

Another week of comics! Boom! Skipping the back issues I got on saturday though because none of them were all that fun and I don't have them on hand. They were Rocketeer Adventures #3 and Gates of Gotham 3 and 4. Onto new stuff though.

Amazing Spider-Man #667
Oh man. Spider-Man traded off Fear Itself for this event and already it is so much fun. The Jackal went and hooked up the crime gangs (and other random civilians like Peter's current girlfriend Carly Cooper) with Spider-Powers. The problem is the Jackal also gave the criminals costumes. And Lady Web is there and that is never a good sign. This is already shaping up to be mega fun and as infectious as an STD (spidey transmitted disease).

Batman and Robin #26
I bought this solely for the cover as Batman, Robin and Nightrunner (the faux controversial French-Muslim parkour Batman) stood off against the whole of France being controlled by The Son of Man (in reference to the painting), Sister Crystal (who could turn people to crystal), The Id (who could mentally control masses), Skin Talker (who could hypnotize with messages on his skin) and Ray Man (who could make people trip balls. This all takes place at the Louvre and is filled with a lot of fun stuff like the ultimate reveal of the Son of Man. Dang!

Deadpool #41
Deadpool continues his stint in prison and he is actually recovering. No commentary from the boxes. No madcap antics. The story is interesting in how un-Deadpool-y he is being. He is being forced to confront what he did but I have a feeling something deeper is happening. I honestly can't say I ever pictures this happening or being interesting but it is totally both.

Fear Itself #5
As Thor faces the Hulk and the Thing (presented by Evil Hammers ®), Tony Stark talks to Odin and Steve Rogers, the original Cap goes up against Sin, daughter of the Red Skull. Thor defeats the Thing launching Mjolnir through him leaving him dying in the Baxter building while Tony pleads to Odin for the chance to have a chance - by making weapons. Meanwhile Thor launches the Hulk into space while Ben Grimm is restored, just in time for the Serpent to land on Earth (and for Spider-Man to leave). A lot of great stuff here and set up for the final two issues that I am really looking forward to.

Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #3
The final issue bring the group of Frankenstein, his bride, Velcoro (the man bat) , Griffith (the werewolf) Nina (the aquatic creature) and the monster hunter Shrieve, daughter of the original leader off to Romania. Once there they are confronted with the military's top monster killing robot and the monsters he killed. Nina's father, the original scientist who created the monsters is there for medical duties as the Frankensteins and Velcoro fight the robot. Velcoro ends up dying a hero's death and Griffith is turned back to human and then I guess the Frankensteins and Shrieve ride on horses to try and stop Wonder Woman and Aquaman which is just not as good of an ending as I hoped. This issue wasn't as fun or satisfying as the others but I am still looking forward to Lemire's long running series in the future.

Hellboy: The Fury #3
As Hellboy faces the dragon he's been waiting to face all of his life, all hell breaks loose and everything ends.

The Incredible Hulks #634
The Hulk destroys the world. But before that Amadeus Cho, Dr Strange and Monica Rappaccini go to stop him and fail as The Hulk and his current girl Umar face off against She-Hulk (red), Tyrannus, Fin Fang Foom and the Mindless Ones. Strange escapes when Rappaccini and Cho decide to stay only for the Hulk to destroy the world and bring them back. The Hulk begins and eternal battle with the She-Hulk before Tyrannus and a super chaged Fin Fang Foom kick it out of a portal and go to take over Earth. one issue left. Dang.

The New Avengers #15
I will not lie, I am a fan of Squirrel Girl and how amazingly overpowered she is and that is the one rule in my personal cannon - everyone she defeated she defeated. When she got to spar and beat Wolverine in this issue - amazing. When she broke through a Nazi mech - yes! As the nanny to Jessica Jone and Luke Cage though, she's going to get a lot more work as about 30 mechs just surrounded the mansion and yes.

Spider-Island: Cloak and Dagger #1
Oh man. I've had a passing knowledge of Cloak and Dagger mostly through comics like Runaways but this book is a great introduction as the two start to fall apart. While Cloak wants to be more of a hero, Dagger is interested in a simpler life. Getting called into the fray of the Spider-Man invasion looks like this is going to turn interesting. Meanwhile Mister Negative is worrying about his death which has been predicted to come at the hands of Dagger? Bum bum bum! The writing in this is super solid and Nick Spencer makes some good comics and with Emma Rios on the art that is all cranked up.

Spider-Island: Deadly Foes #1
2 issues for $4.99! Dang!
As Phil Urich, the Hobgoblin goes over his revenge he explains his infatuation with Norah Winters, the Bugle Reporter currently dating the son of the current Bugle editor, Randy Robertson. Greed is a big problem but when the Hobgoblin tries to kill Randy, he finds that those new Spider-Powers Randy has are a lot worse. In the end Randy leaves Norah for risking her life (stupidly) to try and cover a story to get back at Betty Brant only for Norah to swing over to Phil.
In part 2, we meet the Jackal and his past and his future as he brings back Kaine (who died but not really in the Grim Hunt) only to be confronted by his first failed clone of Gwen Stacy. As she attempts to kill her father, the Jackal, Tarantula saves him only for the three (Jackal, Kaine and Tarantula) to meet a yet unidentified woman.
The first part was a lot more fun with Slott on the writing but the second half actually made the Jackal seem like a Jackal, more bestial and psychotic. Overall though, this was a lot of fun.

Ultimate Comics Fallout #5
Quicksilver/Pietro plans to sell the mutants to be tapped for their powers while Nick Fury faces a stretched budget. The issue ends with Quicksilver almost getting incesty with his sister the Scarlet Witch but he luckily freaks out especially after being told to go to Egypt. Shadow King or Apocalypse anyone? I am actually interested in the new Ultimate X-men but I am also glad the next Ultimate Fallout is the end.

Final Scores:
Marvel +10
DC +2
Dark Horse + 1

Next week:
Superman Batman
Avengers Academy
Fear Itself Deadpool
Fear Itself Fearsome Four
Journey Into Mystery
Spider-Island: Spider-Girl
Ultimate Comics Fallout

Also, got a hook up by getting Lucifer Vol1 for about $7. Thanks LCBS!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Round 23: Comics For August 3, 2011 - 10th Issue Special

Guess who had to deal with Batman filming traffic to get these comics? Sort of me! But first, let's get to the comics!

Avengers Academy #17
The Academy is sent home after their first battle is over with more psychological battle scars than physical. Veil and Mettle end up going through some personal therapy to deal with killing people, despite being Nazis while Reptil, Finesse and Striker discuss death. Meanwhile Titania and The Absorbing Man (powered by Hammers!) escape from the Antarctic breaking through into the Academy, ready to give Pym payback - through his students.
Gage continues to write incredibly well thought out and fleshed out characters and the book does a really good job tying in the Fear Itself and the worries that the students have about becoming evil.
+2 - Best Comic

Daredevil #1
I've not read Daredevil before and then I heard a lot of good things about this new start and decided to give it a shot. Daredevil is this character with a large history that is really affecting his life in the series but in depth knowledge is not needed. Matt Murdoch isn't struggling as much as he is being bothered by the fact that most people "believe" they know he is Daredevil no matter how much he denies it and when this causes him to get kicked off a case no one else would take, he decides he needs to find out why no one else would take it. There is also a solid back up story about Murdoch and how he sees the world and both stories are beautifully illustrated. Try it out!

Dungeons and Dragons #9
The group makes a pact with the local elf lord to retrieve a powerful artifact so the elves can remove the threats to their kingdom and the party can go back to their world. This issue is Fomorians (not the ant guys), giant magical giants with a giant magical madness inducing eye. And a castle of driders (drow+spiders) and the fact that something killed all the spiders. Snappy dialogue made this a solidly fun issue.

Flashpoint #4
Oh Flashpoint, you like wantonly killing people with really muddled action and confusing character choices. Element Woman who is insane for reasons not explained joins the Flash, Batman and Cyborg as they try to recruit Shazam/Captain Marvel who is controlled by a team of kids. The issue is that the kids don't all want to go. Also Hal Jordan dies. When the team finally reaches the battle Reverse Flash seemingly knocks out or kills everyone and meeeeeeeh. It isn't bad or anything but it isn't fun either.

Herc #6
Last time Herc was turned into stone to be snuck in to fight Kyknos before he could resurrect Ares with help from Hectate. The problem is Kyknos was really angry that his father wouldn't be able to kill Herc so he distracts himself with some more chaos before Herc gets cured and lays the beatdown by transferring the powers of Kyknos' worshippers to his new teammates Basilisk, Man-Bull and Griffin. Then Herc wins the day and conquers all of the fears. Ever.

Hero Comics 2011
Got this out to support comic artists and for some of the big things - Gaiman reuniting with his Sandman team, a Chew mini comic and more.
the Gaiman piece was too text-y for me and I was expecting more of a classic comic so I will not lie and I will say I skipped to the piece after.
The Chew piece showed what happens when Tony Chu the cibopath (meaning he sees the life of what he eats) takes drugs and it is insane and fun and ends up explaining what happens if he vomits as well. DARE to resist drugs kids!
The third multi-page piece is sort of an illustrated conversation between Gaiman and the other creators which isn't bad if you enjoy reading conversations (though in this case I found it rather dull but that may be due more to me wanting to read more explosions.
The fourth Elephantman piece really didn't for much for me either since it didn't tell a story as much as do a memorial and for a comic that could be drawing in new readers like Chew did it wasn't the best thing in my opinion.
In between stories are page long strips by beneficiaries of the money from Hero Initiative and that support (and the Chew Comic) made buying this worthwhile!

Heroes For Hire #10
The Shroud and Elektra face the Purple Man's army of prisoners while Gargoyle and Paladin do damage control over on Yancy Street and Misty Knight sees the same damage on Earth. Eventually Shroud is able to black out the room long enough for him and Elektra to defeat the criminals... only for Purple Man to take control. Meanwhile the drug-changed chemist from the last issue has become able to turn into people's fears defeating Gargoyle and Paladin single-handedly. It's time for Misty Knight to hit the streets again!

Hulk #38
The Thing! The Red Hulk! M.O.D.O.K.! Zero/One and The Black Fog! 4 teams! Only one enemy. When M.O.D.O.K. stops Black Fog from killing the Hulk after the Thing (brought to you by FEAR!) M.O.D.O.K. and Zero/One meet up to discuss that if the Nazis win, they won't be able to rule the world with brain power so M.O.D.O.K. and Zero/One form an alliance to kill some Nazis while Hulk is smashed away. A lot of fun, eye pleasing, brain pleasing. Hell, it is like Jeff Parker is writing this comic specifically for me.

Moon Knight #4
Moon Knight improves slightly in this issue though it does have an incredibly clunky action scene. As Echo tries to find out who Moon Knight is/was/will be by contacting the New Avengers, she finds that nobody really knows. The two (Moon Knight and Echo) meet up as civilians only to be accosted and threatened by the Night Shift. The battle itself is really clunky with what seems like half of the panels of the panels missing and everything being really herky-jerky. The art is solid, it is just the battle is incomprehensible as far as the flow goes. It is getting better, just very slowly.

Superman #714
Last issue an unknown woman had kidnapped and threatened Lois. This issue after hiding Lois, he discovered the woman had been infected with Superman' doubts and fears as well as his powers. Superman, after realizing he was wrong about there not needing to be a Superman, destroyed the infection she'd had by showing her the hope he had and the belief in Truth, Justice and The American Way and in the end, her being saved by Superman led to her saving Superman in return. This is Superman at his best.
+2 - Favorite Comic

Thunderbolts #161
As the Thunderbolts deal with the fallout of a Juggernaut (enhanced with Hammer!) doing the equivalent of a nuclear blast, a new threat appears - Zemo (who got back stabbed way back in the prelude to the story). Zemo decides to launch an invasion of his own with a bio-bomb capable of creating an army in second. On advice from Fixer, the team returns to Chicago to meet the oncoming army - or will it be their doom?

Ultimate Fallout #2-4
My local comic book store was able to get me back issues 2 and 3 which I missed last week so this is my shout out - if you are in Pittsburgh PA, head over to Oakland and visit Phantom of the Attic - well stocked, friendly and knowledgeable.
The funeral begins with Captain America blaming himself for the death of Spider-man to Aunt May who takes it hard. As she tries to leave she is consoled by Jameson. Meanwhile Thor pauses to remember Spider-man is in Valhalla with the other heroes (and yet not Hank Pym...). Meanwhile Rogue struggles with fears of the end of the world as Mary Jane struggles with what the world did to Peter Parker.
Tony Stark meets after his brother's funeral (Tony Stark had a secret brother whaaaaaat?) with the richest people in the world who want to change it. Meanwhile Kitty is fed up with the funeral and the media circus and decides to leave to the new mutant safe place taking Iceman and Johnny Storm with her. Meanwhile in the SHIELD helicarrier, the Hulk is prepped to be controlled for mysterious reasons.
The new much hyped Spider-man deals with negative feedback over taking Spider-mans costume as he struggles to learn about his powers. Meanwhile Reed Richards, who was an evil dick, struggles to leave the Negative Zone, before starting an organization that looks very familiar to the Future Foundation. Meanwhile it is revealed that the truth is going to come out about how the United States invented mutants.
Overall there is some strong emotional stuff going on here but there is also some stuff that makes less sense if you haven't been following the Ultimate Universe as closely.That said though, I do look forward to this future.

Final Scores:
DC: +2
Marvel: +10
IDW: +2

Marvel really did a great job this week. I had about 3 other issues marked as possible +2s.

Next week:
Hellboy The Fury #3
Flashpoint: Frankenstein And The Creature Of The Unknown #3
Alpha Flight #3
Amazing Spider-Man #667
Deadpool #41
Fear Itself #5
Incredible Hulks #634
New Avengers #15
Spider-Island: Cloak and Dannger #1
Spider-Island: Deadly Foes #1
Ultimate Comics Fallout #5

Be there or be ... not there.