Monday, July 31, 2006

Wolverine #44 - Marvel

Ok, when we left off last issue, Wolverine was getting ready to kick Nitro's ass. Well with this issue, he picks up where he left off. And he's a sick son-of -a bitch too! He figures out that Nitro must have his own personal force field because even though he blasts, it doesn't destory his clothes, or his hair, or his cell phone. So he figures if he can stay up close and personal, he won't have anything to worry about. Plus he can have fun for hours. However, there's another group of people after him also. But before they get involved Wolvie and Nitro start talking and Nitro tells him that there's someone important behind this whole mess. Whoever, is feeding him MGH, Mutant Growth Hormone, to hype accelerate his power, making it stronger and less controllable. Before he gives him the name, however, this other group comes in to stop Wolvie from killing him, and to obtain him for themselves. As it turns out, this is a group from Atlantis, lead by non other than, Namor. Wolvie just goes from the frying pan into the fire. Oh did I forget to mention that since Nitro burnt Wolvie down to his skeleton last issue, he did this whole issue in nothing but his birthday suit. But he still gets the job done, giving a naked ass-whuppin'!! Good book. Great storyline. And I'm glad Humberto Ramos is on board. I wondered if he was going to be doing anything else soon. But next issue is Wolvie Vs Namor. Buy your tickets, get your popcorn, and grab your seats. And lets get Ready to RRRRRum.............

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man #10 - Marvel

I don't get it. They bring back this Hobgoblin, from 2211, make us go through all this messed up confusing history, for what? So that Spider-man can throw her pumpkin bomb, or whatever, back at her and BOOM!! she's wiped from the face of history. Kind of anticlimactic, right? Oh, and we also have an Uncle Ben roaming around from another dimension. Who runs into another version of himself, though he doesn't know that, and convinces himself to take matters in to his own hands and he shoots Spider-man. Well, the Spider-man from 2211 anyways. Because he wants to stay on our world and get back together with Aunt May? Or maybe he just wants to stick around so he can kick Jarvis' butt. Either way, WHO CARES??!! This issue and last is a convoluted mess. Don't get me wrong, I love Spider-man. I think Peter David is great. And I really like Mike Wieringo. But this story, SUCKS!! I feel like I completely wasted my time buying and reading the last 2 issues. Thanks guys. Thanks for nothing!!!

Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes #20 - DC

Mark Waid and Barry Kitson have done a good job of keeping this book living up to it's name and history. With 20+ members at any one time, realistically there would have to be a lot of stuff going on. This book started as a teenage movement to stand up to the structured govt that the earth had become. The whole world had become complacent in its actions and expectations. Well the teenagers banded together and decided to do something about that. Well with and movement or group, funding is required. So the Earth Gov. decided, "if you can't beat them, join them" and offered funding and a contract. Reluctantly Lightning Lad signed, and now the Earth Gov is trying to put a spin on the Legion, broadcasting that they are part of the Earth Gov, and part of the Status Quo. Which goes against everything the Legion stands for. Unfortunately, for the Legion anyways, maybe not for the Govt, but there is so much stuff going on around the globe, that the Legion has to split up into squadrons to handle each emergency. Leaving them ill equipped to handle the Earth Gov situation. Meanwhile Brainiac is still trying to bring Dream Girl back and he still has Lemnos in status while the Liliputians are mining him for information. Supergirl is meanwhile living up to her lineage and is everywhere she is needed, and some places she's not. Which really upsets Cosmic Boy, until he realizes that the reason she gets under his skin so much, is that he may be falling in love with her. Lots of stuff going on. This is a fantastic book and should be on everyone's pull list. I have a feeling that Barry Kitson won't be around much longer, but as long as Mark stays at the helm, the book should stay true to form.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Ultimate X-Men #72 - Marvel

First of all this book is cool, just because we get to see the teenage X-Men. Now in this book, we got a lot of story threads going on. First we got Syndicate, an operative of Xavier's that helps him out from time to time. Next we got Kitty's situation with Spider-Man, plus her mom's worried about her, plus she's starting to crush on Magician. Next we have the team coming together to fight the Friends of Humanity. Kind of like Styker's group over in Uncanny. The leader happens to be a "Hulking" kind of mutant. Much to the X-men's suprise, and his own. Then we have Kurt who is brooding because of a woman who is in the hospital hurt. We also have the Rachel/Phoenix storyline that hasn't been resolved. She seems normal when she's talking to Charles, but when he leaves she believes there's little gremlins bouncing around her room. Then we have the whole Magician storyline. Where did he come from? How did he get here? Who is he? This is further compounded when Fury shows up because he wants him for the Ultimates. His parents gave him permission. But Charles says that when fury dropped him off, he said he accidentaly killed his parents. But Fury says he never heard of him before he popped up on the news. Intriging! This book just keeps getting better and better. This arc is being done by Robert Kirkman and Tom Raney.

Civil War #3 - Marvel

Ok first we have Mr. Fantastic in Wakanda trying to talk the Black Panther into joining up with his side. But he wants to remain neutural. Doctor Strange also has refused to be pulled in to the fray. We then see Tony Stark meeting up with Emma at the X-Men mansion, trying to get them on his side. Like the Black Panther, Emma express' that with all the hardship they've gone through recently, they would prefer to stay on the sidelines. But Bishop asks to talk to him. We then see Cap America, Hercules, Daredevil and Goliath in thier new civilian identities, compliments of Nick Fury. But soon they answer a call to a problem at a Petrochemical plant. Unfortunately it's owned by Tony Stark so obviously its a trap. There's a huge knockdown dragout fight by both sides, but it come to a thunderous conclusion, literally, when SHEILD calls in Thor and he blankets the area in thunder and lightening. Ok, I wasn't a believer when this all started, but I'm quickly getting there. I still have some reservations though on whether these will be lasting changes. But, I guess, only time will tell. Mark Millar is his usual magnificent self, and Steve McNiven, I think, will become a fan favorite after all this is done. This series has huge potential, but, like I said, we'll see when all is said and done, how many changes stick, and what doesn't.

Hellblazer #222 - Vertigo

John Constantine is the perfect anti-hero. He finally catches up with Cole and Steve Evans at a church that's being used for thier Oransay Order. Steve has discovered a third place you go when you die. A limbo if you will. You don't get to see heaven or hell. You're just stuck there, numb, forever. So this Oransay Order is trying to build an Empathy Engine. Basically it will make everyone feel what everyone else is feeling. Thier idea is that this will create a commonground between people, and they'll be less likely to instigate conflict if they understand what's going through the others head. There's a housing project being built in Glasgow, that when finished, will be in the shape of thier orders symbol. Makes you wonder about the streets in Sandusky that were built in the shape of the Masonic Emblem. There may be something else there! Anyways, Evans has already died and his soul has been promised to the 3rd place, so he needs Constantine to die, a fellow Magus, to keep it's ruler busy until he can finish construction of the project. Well Constantine being the sneeky shit that he is, agrees, go to the third place and finds out the demons real plans, and then realizes, "You didn't see the little red sticker on my soul? This one's already sold mate." and the three lords of hell show up to let the demon know he can't have him. An attempt to keep him would cause a war in hell. So, alakazam, after being buried in the ground for 2 weeks he comes back because nobody can keep him. In that time Steve has finished the project, which is what the demon wanted, and now the overwhelming tide of emotion is so strong that people are committing suicide like lemmings. So now Constantine has to help him stave off judgement day. Whoever said big themes aren't in books anymore, hasn't read this one. This is Denise Mina's first crack at this book, and I think she's doing a bangup job. Also Leonardo Manco's pencils are perfect for this book.

Sam & Twitch - Case Files #24 - Image

I really like this book. But it's plagued with the same problems the first incarnation had. It never, ever, comes out on time. The first run had 17 issues, I think, but it took them about 3 years to publish those. This one is up to #24 now, and I think it again has been 3 or 4 years. When this incarnation started out, it did good for awhile, but then it started falling into the same 'ol same 'ol again. You can definitely tell by the art. The more it gets behind, the simpler and more rudimentary the art gets. But I really like this book. I've been trying to stick with it, hoping that they'll get it back together. Marc Andreyko can write some really good stories. But this particular issue, it's been so long since the last, I have no idea what is going on. Usually Marc's writing is expressive enough that after 2 or 3 pages, you get pulled right back in from the last issue. This one, not so much. Ihonestly, really can't remember what happened last issue. I went ahead and read it anyways, hoping that I would have an epiphany, but sadly, no! Read my way through the whole book, and nothing. Also this particular issue read like an episode of Criminal Investigation, or CSI, or NYPD Blue, or whatever. It was boring!! The covers are still awesome, but the interiors need some serious attention. Also it seems like the artist is trying to hard to make them look like the people that they want to play them in the movie. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe they're so worried,or involved in the production, of the movie, that the book is falling by the wayside. It's happened before. Whatever the problem this book needs some serious creative attention, and maybe even revamped.

Civil War - X-men #1 - Marvel

This book is set up to show how this "Civil War" is affecting the X-men, or the 198. And I have a feeling it is going to seriously tear them apart. First we have Domino and Shatterstar who infiltrate the command base set up on the mansion's grounds. This also means that since they are part of X-Force, that hopefully X-Force will be back. Maybe?They create a riot to form a diversion so they can blow the wall apart and escape with whoever will come along. The plan works perfectly, the O.N.E. and the Sentinels, are caught with thier pants down. Bishop is involved in the fray, but after Caliban puts the whammy on him, he is out until they've escaped. Cyclops and the X-men had them dead to rights, but they let them go because Scott doesn't want any more bloodshed. Bishop has a serious problem with this. So Bishop ends up with Tony Stark, planning on a joint initiative with the mutants and the O.N.E. But the only mutants Bishop could get to join him are Micromax and Sabra. I'm sure he'll gather up others though. But there's already rumblings in Tony's camp because General Lazer has serious problems with Bishop being in charge of this operation. Meanwhile, the X-Men, specifically Cyclops, Iceman, Angel & Beast are putting together thier own strikeforce to go after the 198. Emma goes along with them to say goodbye, but that leaves her outside of the grounds and at the mercy of a Sentinal that's targeted her. BOOM!!! End of book. That's alot going on for one book. But realistically, the Civil War should be tearing apart almost every camp or team. There's going to be alot of new alliances, and when all is said and done, I think we'll probably have to redefine who's the good guys, and who's the bad guys. Good luck with that.

100 Bullets # 74 - Vertigo

This has been an awesome series right from the get go. We've gotten past the individual stories, where soldier's mettle were tested. Now we are into the thick of things with the Hand and the 13. We have the families all vying for control of the Trust. We also see that the families are struggling within themselves for who will control the families. And we still don't know what CROATOA means. This series has really put a twist on the classic mob and gangster stories. You end up feeling for characters that are really bad people, and do some pretty gruesome stuff. But you still side with them, because you can feel thier frustration and anguish. This series is definitely a milestone in the comics forum, and I think will go down as a turning point for the whole medium. And I'm not just blowing smoke here, I mean, look at all the awards it's won. And I still think Eduardo Risso is the best thing since Frank Miller.

Shadowpact #3 - DC

Well this is the end of the first storyarc. Our heroes, who have been trapped behind the blood barrier surrounding Riverrock Wyoming, finally get a break when the pale guy, can't remember his name, decides that he's going to let them loose. He does this because he's resigning from the Pentacle, but also because, "I don't much like what they're doing to this town and what they have planned for the world at large." So with thier new found freedom, they go out and start taking down Pentacle one at a time. They do this when Nightshade fills the whole globe with her darkness. But the Detective Chimp takes out Karnevil by himself. Now the freaky part is that while only a day or two has passed for them inside, outside it's been a year. So when to globe comes down, that year catches up with them, mostly in thier appearance. I'm not sure what signifigance this has, but I'm sure it will. Bill Willingham, I'm sure, will take us down a bumpy twisty road with this series. I can't wait.

52 - Week 11 - DC

We start out with Ralph chasing down some Cult of Conner acolytes and trying to beat some info out of them. He only comes to his senses when he realizes how young they are. We then see Montoya and the Question talking to Kate Kane, to try to get some info on the warehouse that they were attacked in. There's a lot of character development with all 3 of these guys during this exchange. But eventually, they end up at the offices of the place who was leasing the space, and are attacked by some transmorphing henchmen. They take some serious trouncing before "Batwoman" shows up to thier aid. "Batwoman"? Where did she come from and who is she? My guess is Ms. Kane, but that's just me. Anyways, they all come face to face, they take down the bad guys, and they move on. We then go back to Ralph who is looking in to his storage facility because it's been ransacked and the Cult of Conner emblem's been painted on the door. He can't figure out what's been taken, but we find out from the last page that they have one of Sue's dresses and are trying to do some kind of voodoo with it to bring her back. Maybe? Good book. Love the format. Can't wait to get more.

Ion - Guardian of the Universe #4 - DC

Kyle finally comes face to face with Hal. Hal tracks him down, after Kyle singlehandedly almost takes down the Khund homeworld. He trys to reason with him, but when Kyle comes out of his "battlemode" he doesn't know who Hal is. When he finally becomes coherent, he tells Hal that when he is in full power mode it feels like he is two people. Much like it did when Hal did when he was Parallax. Everything is going along smoothly until Hal tells him that he wants him to go back to OA. Then all hell breaks loose. They, or thier rings, go at it, with Kyle seriously having Hal on the ropes. But then when Hal gains control, and has him engulfed in ringfire, he finds out it's not Kyle but rather Alex Nero. We then see Kyle coming out of a caccoon like thing on Mogo world. Of course with Ron Marz writing, we're going to get some twists and turns along the way. And it appears that thier just starting. Get ready for a ride.

Flash #2 - DC

This series has really started out with a bang, literally. We start out getting a little back history on Impulse, and how he's ended up where he's at. We find out that he is the sole possessor of the Speed Force. But, it's burning him out,and tends so explode when he uses it. That's part of how the explosion happened in the last issue. Now Griffin, who was with him, is in the hospital healing up, but, apparently somehow he is now tapped in. We get to see Jay and his wife and check in again with our women at STAR labs, Valerie Perez and Dr. McGee. I think Valerie is going to play a key in this series. Bart and Griffin end up back at the Automobile plant, where the explosion happened, because of a press conference being held. Someone ends up in a precarious situation, and Griffin save him before Bart can do anything. But then, another bomb goes off at STAR labs and the final splash page is Bart suiting up and racing to the scene. Danny Bilson and Paul Demeo are the authors of this tale. They're done a fine job jumping out of the starting gate, right into the action, and given us a sufficient amount of history and character developement. Impressive! And Ken Lashley on pencils, is perfect for this series and the feel of the book. This is going to be an exciting series and I can't wait to see where it goes from here.

Uncle Sam & the Freedom Fighters #1 - DC

They're back. Well, they're on thier way. But they definitely will be back together by the end of this 8 issue series. Uncle Sam is in the process of coming back. Somehow he's calling out to Firebrand, and he is helping him. Dollman, the Human Bomb, Ray and Phantom Lady are all new and different. And right now they're all working for SHADE. But with what happened in Bludhaven with Major Force, they're getting quickly disillusioned. This one starts out with SHADE's stike team, Freedom Force I believe, taking out a drug lord. Then when they go back to headquarters to unwind, we get a little back history on each character. Senator Knight was making a speech in the beginning, when Firebrand attacked him saying that Uncle Sam was coming for him. But then the Senator goes to visit SHADE and Father Time who is not happy with his performance decides to replace him. So now SHADE owns the person who is most likely to be elected President in the next election. Lots of subterfuge, espionage and politics and going to be going on in this series. So while Father Time is briefing his team on thier next target, Uncle Sam, Firebrand is in the next room, or some room, being tortured. Way to start a series. This is only an 8 issue mini, but I'm really hoping that is just to get them acclamated into the current DC Universe. Hopefully, we'll see a lot more of them after that.

X-Factor #9 - Marvel

This is some more of the quirky X-team. Right now they're dealing with Quicksilver, who has thrust himself apon them. So they're trying to figure out what to do about him, and deciding on where they're going to stand on the Registraion Act. When Jamie steps out to get a breather, he runs in to Aegis from the New Warriors. He's being tracked by SHEILD. Jamie being the goof that he is, follows him right in to trouble. But then he also helps him get away. While he's out though, the X-Men show up for Quicksilver. They want him bad, but X-Factor makes a stands and says that while he's in "Mutant Town" he's under thier protection. After going through his experience with Aegis, Jamie decides to make a stand, stand up to the X-Men, and announce that he's going to tell the world, "X-factor is opposed toe the Registration Act. And if anyone wants thier aid in avoiding the govt., they just need to ask." Oh, and in this issue, they find out that the X-Men have been lying to them about Decimation, and that it was actually Wanda that did the whole thing. Which is what I think really makes Jamie decide to take a stand. Good book. I'm not crazy about the art. But, good book.

New X-men #28 - Marvel

Ok, we start out this one with Jay Guthrie dead. But, considering that his brother is immortal, I think the jury is out on that one. But, it's still sad. Stryker didn't kill him, who was holding him prisoner, it was Nimrod. Thus enters the Avengers. Or at least Tony Stark and Carol Danvers. So with her history, she decides to tell them. Well back at the X Mansion, they're going through some cleanup of thier own. Styker has just attacked, last issue, is now supposedly dead, and they're in the process of cleaning up and sorting out the bodies. So Carol shows up, trys to break the news, and all of Josh's pals find out he's dead. Pretty sombering stuff. Carol also trys to make a plea for the Registration act while she's there. But that goes over like a bull in a china shop. Emma decides to take her down a mind journey and show her all the tragedy that the X-men have gone through on thier own. Every scene she asks, "and where were the Avengers?". So at the end the students figure out from Jay's message that it was Nimrod, and Nimrod finds his "Maker", Forge. He threatens that if Forge doesn't help him, he will target Storm and take her out. I think this book is now fully submerged into the X Universe.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Uncanny X-Men #476 - Marvel

Billy Tan's artwork just keeps getting better and better. Xavier has his striketeam, on thier Shi'ar spaceship, off chasing Gabriel, Vulcan. He's got James Proudstar, Gabriel's brother Alex, Kurt, Lorna and Rachel. Oh yeah, and Darwin. He was one of Vulcan's team of X-Men. Anyways, Charles knows of a hidden Shi'ar base, and the team goes there and steals a spaceship. Then they start heading for the jumpgates that will take them to Shi'ar space. It's good to see Charles back. Even if it is in a limited capacity. He still thier mentor. There's some good character development between Alex and Scott. This is the second part of, I think, an 8 part storyline. So, we're really just getting started. It should be a good bumpy ride.

Robin #152 - DC

I'm digging this book more and more. Tim is trying to adjust, so is Bruce and Alfred, to living full time in the mansion. Bruce has decided to adopt Tim and give him a real family, since he's lost so many people in the last year or so. Well during the course of all this, Tim's contact at the GCPD, let's him know that they brought in a "henchman" who used to work with the Joker. His story is that the Joker used to keep an A-Bomb hidden in one of his hideouts, for something he was planning for Gotham City. Or course when Robin goes to this hideout to find it, it is gone. He begins searching for it, but instead finds Cap. Boomerang. The new one. Who apparently has been looking for Robin so they can "talk". They have thier obligatory scuffle, and then decide to team up to seach for the bomb. The reason I like the writing in this book is because they keep Tim real. He's had to deal with a lot of stuff in the last year or so, and to diminish any of that, would certainly diminish Robin's value and respect as a character. Instead they've had him dealing with the stuff as an ongoing process, which is appropriately "real". Dick Grayson was the first Robin, and as such between his adventures, and his continuing character of Nightwing, has definitely established himself as a brick in the foundation of the DC Universe. However, in my eyes, Tim is the best Robin ever.

the Battle for Bludhaven #6 - DC

Ok, besides the good story and good art, this book is great because it is going to spin off into so many things. First we have the Freedom Fighters, which we already know is getting thier own mini, hopefully continuing. Then we have Freedom Force, who the Fighters are operating as under SHADE. Since the whole team isn't going to the Fighters, I have to assume that the Freedom Force team will be operating in some capacity under SHADE. So I'm sure we'll see more of them. Then we have the Atomic Family. This is just to cool of a concept to bring into this book just to drop when it's over. So I see them going someplace, Will Magnus, T.O.Morrow, where they'll pop up, or reak havoc or something. Then we have SHADE, and Father Time. You just know that these guys are gonna keep popping up. I can see them in Checkmate or the Titans or the Outsiders. Over the course of the last 5 issues they have been fighting with the containment of Captain Atom's radiation. He's been unconscious and leaking radiation ever since he popped in to the DC Universe from the Wildstorm Universe. So in SHADE's attempt to obtain him, they put him in a containment suit. Coincidentally it looks exactly like the Monitor from Zero Hour. So, since this last big storyline, Infinite Crisis, was tied into the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline, it looks like now, somehow, they're going to tie the whole thing into the Zero Hour storyline also. Which really was kind of an extension from the original Crisis. Cool stuff. Plus, since gaining consciousness, Cap Atom seems disoriented. So I don't think it would take much to send him over the edge. Plus with everything he's gone through in the last year, he may actually believe he's trying to save the world. Oh yeah, plus when he found out Major Force was involved in the fray, he took him out. And finally we have the Atomic Knights. Since Bludhaven is destroyed, but they still have their base 3 miles underground, I think they'll definitely be back. This is it for this mini, but like I said, almost everything in this book will be back in one form or another very shortly.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Aquaman : Sword of Atlantis #43 - DC

DC has really taken Aquaman in a different direction. I like it. Over the course of the last year, the original Aquaman has disappeared. Atlantis has been destroyed by the Spectre. And a new younger Aquaman has emerged, Authur Curry. Yes I know that was the original Aquaman's human name, but I really think this one is different. King Orin was raised by this Authur Curry's great uncle. His father was Thomas Curry's brother. This Authur Curry was raised in a tank in Maine while he was growing up. He father was recently killed in a storm, which also set Authur free from the tank. Now, while he is trying to figure out who he is and what's going on, he is conversing with Vulko. You thought Vulko was dead? Well, as it turns out, he is. Somehow his spirit has stayed in contact with Atlantis and now he has decided his mission is to help this Authur sort out his mystery. Oh by the way, this new Arthur's best friend is King Shark. He's also come in contact with some deep sea dweller that says he know's Arthur's future, and that he will become a king and a hero, marry someone from the surface, and lose a child. Sound familiar? It does to everyone else too. But in just adds to the mystery. Kurt Busiek and Butch Guice are at the helm of this title, and we couldn't ask for a better team. This book is getting better and better, and we all have to stick around because we want to know what happened to Aquaman, Garth, Dolphin, Cerdian and Koryak. Oh yeah the last one's dead. But the rest, who knows.

Catwoman #57 - DC

Poor Selena, or should I say Irene, can't catch a break. First the "Film Freak", I think that's his name, and Angleman, break into her apartment to steal baby Helena, but then "Film Freak" decides he's going to film the whole thing. So she has to save her baby, figure out what she's going to do about the knowledge and film these 2 are gathering, and what to do about these 2. Well being the industrious type, she gets Helena, take down the 2 clowns, but not without getting beat up on a little herself, but then has to figure out what to do about her "secret" identity. So she calls on Zatanna. Now while all of this is going on, Holly, the other Catwoman is out getting some crime fighting tips from Wildcat. But the real story is the police detective that is following her because he wants to arrest her for the murder of Black Mask. Which is where her story ends, being surrounded by police. Will Pfeifer and David Lopez are doing a fantastic job with this series. Good character developement. Good action sequences with a touch of human interest. And good flow to the stories. I didn't think we'd ever get to the point that I thought this book was as good as the Jim Balent run, but I think we're getting very close.

Civil War - Front Line #3 - Marvel

Ok, I have to admit that I like this series. It's gives us a behind the scene look at what's going on to the "common folk" during the "Civil War". The first story is about Miss Floyd, the columnist who has been writing about the depowered mutants, and what they were going through. Well now she's writing about the "heroes" that have decided not to register and what they are going through. It's and inspiring couple of pages, the conversation that she has with these second stringers, who have decided to stand up for their rights. Some of whom's identities are public knowledge, but they still refuse to register because of the govt's insistance on stomping on their rights to privacy. We then see Ben Urich having an interesting conversation with Mr. Fantastic. Ben really is on his side, but in speaking his mind, and asking the hard questions, he really puts Reed on the spot. As she heads towards home, Miss Floyd runs across a confrontation between 2 more second stringers, Thunderclap and Bantam. Thunderclap gets a little over zealous and claps Bantam into a fuel truck ingiting it and Bantam. He is devastated, as this is not what he meant to do. The second story is about Robbie Baldwin again, Speedball, who has been incarcerated because he refuses to register. Of course he was unconscious in the hospital when the deadline came and went. But that, to the govt., is besides the point. So now not only is he in prison, but he has no powers, the other inmates know who he is, they are all calling him "baby killer" for all the people who died and the guards have no sympathy for him either because they know who he is and what he's done. And even through all this, he still refuses to register. The next story is about one of the bad guys, who through the use of drugs, has been masquerading as a normal human being. When the violence starts to hit close to his home, he decides it's time for him to do something about it and he changes into his powered form. Finally we have a poem that shows how what is going on in this "Civil War" is mirrored by our past Civil war. Or any wars for that matter. These are all meant to be moving stories that show the human condition during these trying times. It is very successful. Very well written stories. Check it out.

OMAC #1 - DC

OMAC is back. After all these years. He's been retooled and fit into modern continuity. There's only one left. But who is he? That's what this series is set out to answer. When we do finally find out who it is, Mickey Costner, we also find out that he's a teenage street thug and common criminal. But when he turns into OMAC, he has no recollection of what has happened, as his day starts out in what looks like Gotham, but he ends up in Las Vegas. On his way out there, as OMAC, he runs into Firestorm, who has a tussle with him, but then has to let him go so that he can fix up the Dam that they almost demolished. We also get a glimpse of the Alaska Norad Region (ANR) where what's left of the satellite, is apparently trying to rebuild itself. So this is just the tip of the iceberg. Bruce Jones is writting and Renato Guedes is on pencils. This should be a decent series as we really have nothing but a blank slate to start with. They explained a little about Brother Eye and OMAC during Infinite Crisis, but not so much that Bruce can't come up with some of his own unique twists and turns for us. I'm looking forward to see what happens next.

Ultimate Spider-man #97 - Marvel

Again, I am floored by the Ultimate Series of books. This series especially is just fantastic. Peter is trying to make sense of everything that has happened to him over the last couple of issues, and while he's reflecting on this, he's got Kitty calling him up and going "Montel" on his butt, because she knows he's been hanging out with MJ again while she's been grounded. Although how you "ground" a person who walks through anything, I don't know. But anyways, it's the teenage angst again. Cool!!! So while he's dealing with all of this, and trying to become friends with MJ again, the Scopion strikes. After a long battle, Peter gives him a severe trouncing, but when his mask starts to break apart, the boy underneath, looks exactly like Peter. Oh, did I forget to mention that this book is titled "Clone Saga : Part 1"? Yep, we're into the drama and tribulation again. Who's made the clone? Why? Is there only one? Why is he costumed as a villian? However it's handled, I'm sure Bendis will do a fantastic job of it. I'm sure he will be true to the old clone stories while throwing in some twists and turns of his own. This is one of my favorite books out there. If you haven't read this series yet, "WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?" Do whatever you can to gather up all of them. You won't regret it.

Ghost Rider #1 - Marvel

YAY!!! The Ghost Rider finally has his own series again. The last 2 mini's were awesome, so I guess this was the result of overwhelming response by fans. At least that's what it says on the letters page. But, regardless, he's back!! Daniel Way and Mark Texeira are at the creative helm. And there's an awesome alternate cover by Mark Silvestri. Simply beautiful. In a demon crashing out of hell kind of way!! Anyways, this story focuses on GR still trying to ride his bike out of hell. Lucifer keeps dangling the bait in front of him, GR keeps going for it, and Lucy sits on his perch watching and laughing. GR comes across a "digger demon", who has been working in "the pit", but dug too deep and came across water. He shares this info with GR, who then decides that this little slug is going to help him get out. Of course they're chased and hounded, and when they finally get to the spot where they can hopefully escape, the little slug turns into Lucy who has foiled him again. But somehow this area that they've found is a portal to let the dead walk the earth, because in the final 2 pages we see the dead rising up out of the ocean, being followed by GR. The next issue blub says, "Lucifer set loose on earth?" I assume this is Johnny Blaze, but the letters page wants you to vote for who is your favorite, "Johnny or Danny", so I'm guessing that Marvel's going to leave us guessing until they decide which one they want it to be. Or this'll be Johnny, but then if they get enough positive response to Danny, maybe they'll try to work him into the story. That would be a cool arc! Johnny and Danny duke it out. Mano e Mano! Chains and Hellfire! Let's Get Ready to RRRRRRRRoast!!!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Man Called Kev #1 - Wildstorm

Another installment in the "Chronicles of Kev - A Tiger, A Monkey and a Laptop". We have the usual suspects too, in Garth Ennis and Carlos Ezquerra. It starts out with the usual gore, the first page is a body, Tony, being blown apart in Belfast. This must be one of Kev's first missions, because he's in shock. He then goes over with a garbage bag and trys to pick up all the pieces. This leads to him, in present time, having a meeting at a cafe where the new "Boss" has decided that he has 1 option, "Get out of the country and don't ever try to come back." And he has some blackmarket porn, that Kev made in Germany with the now famous Kristy Kuntlapper, to back up his ultimatum. He then hooks up with Bob, an alchoholic author who is trying to cash in on the memoirs of his secret missions. The problem with Bob, besides authority, is that when he gets really drunk and is confronted he turns into "Bob the Monkey". Not a literal monkey, but a man who strips down to nothing, and swings from the chandelier. Oh yeah, while uninating on the crowd. Kev has his usual run of bad luck and loses all his money, and his best bud Bob gets shanghied in his flat by a group of merceneries, would be my guess, who ruthlessly kill him. The final page is Kev heading off to San Francisco unaware of what has happened to Bob, and unaware of what lies in store for him. There's not a whole lot of point to these mini series, but they are a blast to read. He started out as a spinoff of the Authority, but he really doesn't have much to do with them, other than the occasional run in, which ususally leaves him pissing them off.

JLA Classified #24 - DC

The problem I have with this book is that I'm really trying to like it. I like the JLA. I like the concept of this book, with the story arcs from anywhere in the JLA's history. I'm even a fan of Steve Engelhart and Tom Derrenick. But, this story is so boring. The Detroit league was boring back when the came together in Justice League of America. But now, with the Infinite Crisis and Civil War storylines, this one is really dragging. The Detroit League is caught in a forest fire, because Jonn took them up in the mountains to train. The Royal Flush Gang, which is what I'd like to give them, a big royal flush, have come up to the mountains also but to ambush the JLA. This issue deals with them trying to go one way to get out of the fire, the RFG going the other way to get out of the fire, Aquaman on his way to rescue them, and a history lesson on Vixen. Big whoop-de-do!! I can't wait till this story arc is over. Hopefully next issue is the last. Please lets move on.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Superman/Batman #28 - DC

I love this book. I think it's been one of the best books out there since it's inception. It's had one thing going against it though, in the first 20 to 24 issues, I don't think it ever came out on time. But, I have to give 'em credit, it appears that they've been trying to correct that the last couple of issues. This issue features a story by Mark Verheiden and Ethan Van Sciver. Both very talented people. This issue start out with Batman being attacked in the Batcave by the Martian Manhunter. But its it? Whoever it is seems to have his looks and his powers, but the imprint, because obviously this is a shape changer, seems to be drawing more from memory that from the actual person. He also appears as Titano, the Parasite and Dr. Phosphorus. Superman and Batman fight him every step of the way, but in the end he or it escapes them. He also seems to be mostly after the Batman. He's really only after Superman because he is defending him. So this must be one of Batman's nemesis, but who?? Well we won't find out this issue. Great story. Good art. And I'm glad I can count on the book to come out regularly. Thanks!!!!

Justice League of America #0 - DC

This book tells an incredible story. It tells the story of Clark, Bruce and Diana, as the become friends and realize that through that friendship they can build something even stronger. Something that will not only benefit the world, in terms of a team of Super-Heroes whose soul intention is to make the world a better place. Not only in terms of having a team that could take in other member to accentuate their strengths and increase the overall performance and strength of the team. Not only in terms of a place, and mentors, that could help guide and train the next generation of heroes into the world. Not only in terms of a team that could adapt and change with the world to be what is needed, or better yet to not be what is not needed. But would also be a place, or idea, that these 3 could share, discuss, fight over or to just have someone to lean on, or for backup. Each of these heroes is an icon unto themselves, however as a group they become unto like gods. Gods with humility, patience, understanding, empathy, and most of all each other to keep the whole in check. Now imagine this story told over the years, in the past, present and future. And imagine that each time difference is told in a different artistic style and each by it's own incredible artist. We see the past that brought them together. The trials and tribulations that they've endured both alone, and together. We see the recent events that threatened to tear the team apart, and the friendships. And we get a glimpse of the future. What's in store, but better yet, how their bond transcends all other events and trials. The awesome part of the book, is that their building of their friendship, or team, is a streaming story that flows with time but doesn't change because of it. Brad Meltzer writes this tale, and he has done an outstanding job. The list of artists on this issue reads like a who's who of the comic medium. And this team is the best in the world. The final splash page is the voting page. Picture are strewn out across the table, and the 3 of them are going to vote on who they want to build the team. This is the beginning of history. I know, you're going to say it's been done before. But I think that DC, and Brian, have some new ideas, and twists, in store for us that's going to make this one of the best series on the market. Mark my words, this is going to be the beginning of a dynasty.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ultimate Fantastic Four #31 - Marvel

Ok we got Mark Millar writing, Greg Land on art and it's an Ultimate book. What more could you want for $3??? This book has it all. First off, the Zombies are breaking out. Sorry, Zombie Vampires!! And the way they do it is just hilarious. In a gruesome "Day of the Dead" type humor. But, still funny. So they have to lock down the building to seal them in. But still, how much are you punishing the Fantastic Four, especially Reed, by locking him in the Baxter Building??? On top of this, our Fantastic Four has gone to Latveria to get Doom's help in fixing Johnny. Of course he will help, but on his terms. He makes Reed switch places with him, but he can't let anyone know. By switching places, he means a brain switch. Did you think any different??? So, the Zombies are sealed in the Baxter Building. They're using this alone time to build a transporter to bring the rest of the Zombies from their dimension to take over the earth. Reed/Doom is on his way, with the rest of the team, back to New York to help Johnny. And next issue will be Greg and Mark's last for a while. Say it isn't so!!! Oh yeah, and there's a cool alternate of this issue also. Of course my dealer charged me $10 for that, but, I had to get it. Can't wait for next issue.

Sensational Spider-man #28 - Marvel

All the Spider-man books this month will probably be dealing with his coming out. This one deals with the fact that he's a teacher. He has a student, Jordan, who looks up to him. Not unlike himself at that age, a 98 lb. weekling / science nerd. Peter is the teacher that makes school interesting. Well he finds out, on TV, about the story. And, on his way to school, has all the obvious questions running through his head. And of course, being a teenager, his biggest question is "How is this gonna affect me?". Well he learns how it's going to affect him, because when he get to school, Peter and Doc Ock are out front duking it out. But Jordan comes to his aid, basically by distracting Doc with a series of questions. Of course Peter wins, and Jordan realizes that no matter what else he's still Mr. Parker. This is one of the things I love about this series. The characters just suck you in. The character developement on all the Spider-man books is just incredible. I attribute it to the fact that his supporting cast of characters are all so believable. Plus they all have their own unique personality. Clayton Crain, from Ghost Rider fame, does the art on this issue, and it is phenomonal. This book is the perfect example of why Spider-man is one of the greatest characters of all time. Love the guy!!

X-Men #188 - Marvel

Killer book!! Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo come on board this issue. And they cranked it up a notch already. We start out with Sabretooth on the run from somebody. Not sure who, but he's beat up pretty bad. One of the guys he meets up with thinks it's a special occasion because "I just saw fear in the eyes of the most dangerous man I ever met". Rogue, Iceman, and Cannonball are trying to rescue a mutant from a hospital. Cyclops and Emma are there too, but they're both "knocked da fuck out!!" Rogue has to improvise, so after stealing Scott and Emmas powers, she comes up with an interesting twist and saves the day. Well, at least for the X-men, not for all the people standing in her path. They find Regan Wyngarde, Lady Mastermind and someone else. They're not sure who she is until they get back to the mansion and Hank starts examining her and they find out she is Karima Shapandar, one of Bastion's Omega Sentinels. That can't be good. We see a brief glimpse of the professor. We also get a glimpse of 2 of the people chasing after Sabretooth. I'm not sure who they are though. Oh yeah, we got a glimpse of 2 more of them, kind of, when they atomize the city block where Sabretooth stopped in Mexico to get supplies. They also propogate the blame to the X-men. And finally we have Sabretooth showing up at the mansion asking for asylum. What is the world coming to? Just when you think this book can't get any better, BLAMMM!!!!!! Somebody comes along and blows you out of the water. With Mike and Chris on board, this is gonna be a killer run!! Literally!!!!!!!

Superman #654 - DC

This issue is set up as a "day in the life" story. Basically it's a Monday, it's an anniversary for Lois and Superman, and both Superman and Clark have about a 100 things to do today. So we get to see Superman and Clark multitask to try to get all the items done. Of course Supermans things are the endless obstacles that are thrown at him because of who he is. Most of them on this day seem to be coming from Intergang. Most of the things Clark has to do are things for his job as a reporter, because Perry, who got used to his exemplary performance in the last year, refuses to let Clark become average again. Also he dangles 2 big stories in front of him that he says he'll only give him tomorrow, if he can get everything on his list accomplished today. It kinda' ends up that the only person he lets down is Lois, because he misses their breakfast in bed, a lunch appointment, and the chance to do anything special for their anniversary. But in the end Lois comes to his rescue. The things he couldn't get done, she finishes for him because "You save millions of people on a regular basis . . . . so if I get the save you once in a while, it's only fair". Gotta love the woman. Wish all us men could have wives like that. Anyways, this issue starts Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco's run on the book. If this is how it's gonna' be, it couldn't be in better hands.

Firestorm #27 - DC

I think I already told you Firestorm is one of my favorite characters. Been with him since his inception in the 70's. And this new book is staying true to everything that has come before, while at the same time breaking new ground. At the end of last issue Professor Stein appeared to be dead. So Jamal, Firestorm, panics and sends himself right into his brain. He doesn't know what to do, so he pulls Lorraine in with him. Which doesn't make Gehenna, his girlfriend, very happy. It also leaves her wide open for the Pupil, and his minions, to attack her. Apparently the Pupil's main objective is to gather information. So he'll take it wherever, and from whoever he can get it from. Jamal and Lorraine basically jumpstart Martin's brain and then when they come out, use the Firestorm matrix to rebuild him from the inside out, according to the computer specs that the Pupil had of Martin before he was tortured. So of course the Pupil gets away. Gehenna is mad at Jamal for letting her fend for herself while he was trying to save Martin. And when he gets home, Jamal in ambushed by his father and mother. Mother? Where has she been during the last 27 issues? I guess we'll find out in the next. And then Lorraine is visited by a binary looking Firestorm whom she doesn't recognize. I'm guessing it has something to do with Ronnie Raymond. Great story. Good supporting cast. This book really draws you in.

Green Arrow #64 - DC

This book just keeps getting better and better. Judd Winick is doing a great job as scribe, and Scott McDaniel is really getting his groove on at pencils. Star City has been divided by a wall. All the dregs, and criminals and generally anti-social types, are on the other side. So being who he is, Ollie decides to go over there to see what's going on. He finds Brick in the middle of a rampage a mouth frothing, mind controlled, junkie zombies. So of course he comes to his aid. They fight their way through town, and after beating some guys up, find out where there "Junk" is being stashed. They find a warehouse filled with little bottles labeled Morphine, but obviously they're not, because "this is what all those users shot up with, and it turned them Rabid". But by the time they get around to doing anything about it, they're being swarmed over by junkies, or zombies, or whatever. But luckily Speedy arrives in the nick of time with a concussion arrow to save the day. But unfortunately that's the end of the story. We also get to see what Slade's up to as he's getting put in prison and they're trying to decide what to charge him with. The reason I like Judd's style of writing, is because he keeps it fast paced. There's really no time to slow down and breathe from the beginning to the end of this book. This is a must read book every month.

Green Lantern #12 - DC

Geoff Johns is really setting DC on fire, and he's continuing it with this series. Fantastic story and fantastic art by Ivan Reis. This issue has Hal going into the Manhunters quadrant of space, to the dismay and direct order not to, by the Guardians. There have been some Green Lanterns disappearing, and Hal wants to get to the bottom of it. He comes across the Manhunters being led by the Cyborg Superman, Hank Henshaw. After a short history lesson, and a severe trouncing, Hank hooks Hal up to a machine to try to draw out all of his bad memories, and turn Hal into a living Manhunter. As soon as Hal learns that it is a Nanite virus, he wills his ring to burn it out of his bloodstream one Nanite at a time. When he becomes coherent he starts hearing the voices of other Lanterns. He find hundreds of them in suspended animation. Lanterns that have been missing for years. Including Arisia. The final splash page has a giant Manhunter with Guy Gardner stuck inside of him. We also learn in this issue that Hal has a bounty on his head. But we don't learn by who yet, but we do see that some nasty bounty hunters are willing to do whatever it takes to get the contract. We also learn that Hal's and John Stewart's little foray into Chinese airspace last issue, is having some consequences. We don't find out what yet, but it looks like it's going to involve the Global Guardians, and Checkmate. Like I said, "Great Issue!!!" And I'll tell you what, nobody draws a fight scene like Ivan Reis. Somebody has seriously underestimated this guys potential. He's awesome. Serious props to Ivan. Can't wait for next issue.

Batman Legends of the Dark Knight #208 - DC

First of all I think Bruce Jones puts together some fantastic story arcs. This one being no exception. Secondly Ariel Olivetti's artwork, on this issue and last, is just outstanding. I just can't say enough about this book. Batman, in some of his earlier years of detective work, I think, has fallen for a woman whose sister has been abducted. Not having the experience of years under his belt, he has become enamored with her and is kind of obsessed about solving the crime. Not that he isn't obsessed at other times, but more so now, and for the wrong reasons. In his quest he crosses paths with the Penguin, which is always hilarious, and some huge junkyard dog kinda' guy on the wharf. Don't have a name yet. But after getting trounced by him, probably because he underestimated his momentum due to his size, he gets lucky and sends him into the water. Last issue ended with a finger getting sent to the sister, and this issue ends with a finger being left in Batman's path. A coincidence? I doubt it. As Batman says while he's following the trail, "It's to easy. Too much of a straight line". So somebody is getting setup. Whether it's Batman or the girl, we don't know yet. But with this story and this art, I'll definitely be back next issue to find out.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

American Virgin #4 / #5 - Vertigo

Ok this series is a little strange. Adam is this Christian evangelist who spreads the word of Virginity and Adultery. He's a 20 something Virgin who is saving himself for his one true love, Cassie. Well she decides to go to Africa as a Christian Missionary, before she gets married. Ironically, she ends up dead. And not just dead. Raped, killed and beheaded. Yowtch! So Adam has to go to Africa to claim her body. Oh yeah, he found out all of this happened because it was taped and put on the internet. After seeing it, he goes to Africa with Cyndi, his step-sister, and his guide Mel. They go to Swaziland to claim her body. After a couple of incidents he finds who he thinks is responsible for her death. The guy didn't actually do it, but before killing himself, he does kind of put Adam on the right track. So in issue #5 he goes home to his mansion in Miami. His mother and father appear to be the driving force behind his evangelism. And right now they're working hard to keep him on track. They have Cassie's funeral and Adam really loses it. But Mel gets a lead that the Axman in the internet video is in Australia. Adam decides to continue his search for her killer. And Cyndi's going with him again. Like I said this series is a little strange. I don't really understand the whole purpose of all this. And there's a lot of religion thrown about. The only reason I'm really trying to stick with it is because I'm a fan of Steven T Seagle who is writing it. But I don't know how much longer I'm going to wade through it. Becky Cloonan does the art. It's . . . . . . ok. But it's not really my style. It has a very simplistic, indy kind of look to it. I mean, don't get me wrong, obviously Becky has talent. It's just not my cup of tea. I'm more in to the flashy, very detailed type work. But my reading habits, and the market in general, is tending to veer away from the traditional super-hero genre. That's always going to be the bread and butter, but now, we're starting to get a little more experimentation. Such as this. We'll see how it goes.

ExMachina #21 - Wildstorm

I like the way Brian K Vaughn writes this book with the flashbacks to the past. Mitchell Hundred is no longer the Great Machine, he in now just Mayor Hundred. Mayor of NYC the greatest city in the world. So we get these flashbacks of when he was the Machine, usually when they are related to some current event he is handling as Mayor. This issue seems to be focused on drug use. Specifically recreational drugs such as Marijuana. There's a big discussion in his office with Candy and Wylie because when asked by the press he responded, "I tried it a few times while I went to school at Brooklyn Poly". So they are trying to figure out how they are going to correct his little faux paux. Meanwhile there is a robber going around the city dressed as a fireman breaking in to peoples houses with the reports of fake fires. Then on the last page a woman sitting on the steps of city hall smoking decides to douse herself in gasoline and put her self in flame. Gruesome! Now this is the first part of a continuing story, so the next part will no doubt be trying to explain how all of these circumstances are related. Good book. Brian K Vaughn is brilliant. And Tony Harris' art is perfect for this book. This being issue #21, all the books are intertwined, but usually the storylines are 4 to 5 issues in length. Like I said, this is the first installment of this storyline, so it'll be interesting to see where we go from here.

ExMachina Special #2 - Wildstorm

In this 2 issue special, Mayor Hundred has to deal with his polar opposite. He speaks to machines, so his nemesis, Pherson, speaks to animals. Come to find out the Mayor is how he got his powers, indirectly. Pherson was working in a recording studio and came across some DAT tape of the Mayor using his gift. The more he listened to it, the more it changed him. He started following him around and getting more and more tape to use. Eventually, he got his powers. So, my understanding is, his newfound power drove him a little loopy. He decided that Mayor Hundred was his arch enemy and that he would use the animals however he had to to get to him. All the while proclaiming that he was doing it to protect the animals. Hypocrite. What I like about this series is you always get a lot of political dilogue. The Mayor and Bradbury have a discussion on whether or not you would kill Osama if he caught him. And in doing a radio show he debates with the anchor about the ethics and ramifications of coporal punishment. Not the kind of stuff you read about in your normal super hero books. This truly is a thinking man's book. It's no wonder it's won or been nominated for so many awards. Brian K Vaughn has just done a superb job with these characters.

Eternals #1 - Marvel

Ok, about 30 to 33 years ago, Jack Kirby was a creative genius. He created the Celestials, the Deviants, and the Eternals. It was his way of explaining creation. Well now we come to find out that the Deviants and the Eternals are still living among us. Some of them just can't remember who they are. Apparently some of the Deviants can remember though because they're still coming after the Eternals whether they know who the are or not. So that's what this issue was about, introducing us to some of the players. We meet Ikaris, Sprite, Sersei, Thena and our main character Makkari. We also meet some of the deviants, but not by name. They're mostly staying to the shadows and have their own agenda. So Ikaris is trying to explain to Makkari, or Mark Curry as he is now known, what has happened before and what his true nature is. Of course being a man of medicine and science, he doesn't believe him. He just thinks he's delusional of scizophrenic. And thus our story is set to unfold. If anyone can handle this epic event it's Neil Gaiman. And John Romita Jr.'s pencils are incredible. This is a 6 issue mini series and it should be fantastic.

Spawn #157 - Image

First I want to say that this Phillip Tan art is incredible. I don't know that I've ever seen this book with such incredible art. It is just fantastic. Now on to the story. Spawn has been saved by the god Kali. In doing so Spawn has come to realize that he is inhabited by some 6000+ souls. 2 of these came out in the conflict in India, which is how Spawn met them, how he came to realize that there were more, and how Kali came to save him as Amal and Shanti pulled upon their beliefs. So while he's figuring this out, Zera the greatest Seraphim , has just slaughtered the last of the forgotten. A race of angels that went to the sidelines during the last big war in heaven because although they were loyal to God, they refused to fight against their fellow angels. Then we have the twins taking over the Fitzgerald household, literally, at gunpoint. Cyan calls for Spawn who comes to save them, but in order to do so he must kill the twins. Reluctantly he does so, but, are they really dead?? And since Zera is looking for God and has come to Jake's side, who is Jake really?? Looks like were in store for a huge storyline coming up. In the words of Fred Sanford, "Looks like this could be the big one". It appears that next issue is the beginning of the Rapture.

100 Bullets #73 - Vertigo

I have loved this book since it's inception. Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso are genius'. The way their styles mesh together is just incredible. We have a couple of things going on now. First the 13 and the Minutemen are trying to get their acts back together. Then we have the mystery of what is CROATOA. This one's actually been going on for a while now. Then we got Ronnie and Remi, two brothers who go at organized crime from different perspectives. Ronnie's trying to be a businessman, and Remi is happy to be one of the crew. But they both answer to Mimo. We also have our usual cast of characters, Lono, Loop and a few others. This is an awesome book. This book does for comics, what the Sopranos did for Sunday night drama. The fact that Brian and Eduardo have been around for all 73 issues is amazing. And that they've kept the same momentum going for all 73 issues is truly astounding. I love this book.

52 week 10 - DC

Ok, I'm doing week 10 right now to try to get caught back up. I moved it to the top of my reading pile. We start out with Black Adam in Kahndaq, trying to put together a power base. A coalition, if you will, of superpowered people from different countries. In his own twisted way he is trying to bring the world together. One, to protect his country. But two, I think, to present a power strong enough to stand up to the U.S. and all it's heroes. Strangely enough he is brought to mat by a chamber maid. They have a conversation where she lays it all on the line for him and makes him realize what he's really doing. We also see Clark Kent, who is being fired by Perry White, take a play from Lois' book and throw himself out a window in order to come face to face with "Supernova". He gets his story, some pictures, and starts to redeem himself. I also think that this is the turning point in which he'll quit moping around feeling sorry for himself. We also get another little peak into Booster's dilema and it looks like he may start looking into what is making history alter itself from what was recorded in the 25th century. And finally another conversation between T.O.Morrow and Will Magnus this time about Dr. Sivana and what he's up to. Again I can't state enough how much I really like this series. I like that things are being shaken up.

52 Week 9 - DC

First let me start again by saying that I really like this weekly serial idea. Hopefully when all is said and done they get another series going like this. Anyways we start out with Lex toasting his accomplishments in front of a room full of people, and also, after being attacked by a fully tranformed Steel, introducing his new Super hero team. We don't learn fully about them yet, all we get is that John's neice is one of them and one of them is named Herakles. But we do see that there's 6 of them. Then we get a brawl between John and his neice. Neither are willing to concede. And both have legitimate points. Personally I think the best bet for John is to back off and let Natasha find out who Lex Luthor truly is. She doesn't know yet, but if she's in his company for any period of time, she'll find out. We then go to the tropical planet where Animal Man, Starfire and Adam Strange have been caught by "Devilance the Pursuer". That's the big Galactus looking guy. Apparantly someone thinks that the humans involved in Infinite Crisis "Stood at the Center of the Universe. You saw beyond the veil, beyond the two score and twelve walls of heaven. That knowledge belongs to gods alone." So now they and anyone else that was there are gonna be pursued by bounty hunters. Finally we see the reporter that the Question hired to look into all the gang activity in Gotham. He comes face to face with her in a Lesbian bar and confides his secret to her. This of course puts her back on the trail of Intergang, according to the Question. He says that Gotham is being targeted by Intergang for an invasion. Oh, and in the last panel, there's a new Batgirl/Woman on the rooftops. What's that all about? Anyways, good book. Good stories. Good characters.

Superman Returns Prequel #4 - DC

This issue focus' on Lois Lane. Even if you're a die hard Superman fan, this is a nice book. It's main purpose, obviously, is to familiarize us with the Lois in the movie, who is slightly different that the Lois is the books. But is is a very smooth transition. It also gives us a lot of scenes that really fit in with the first Superman Movie. I like the way they're tying this together. I also like the way this Lois has moved on rather than standing around waiting for Superman. Fantastic character development in this book. This really makes me think back to the Lois Lanes series where the stories were actually about her, and not how she is in relation to Superman. If anything, it's more about how Superman is in relation to her. This is definitely a character that could have her own book. So if you're already a Superman fan, you gotta buy it. If you're at all interested in the Movie, you gotta buy it. So the way I look at it, you gotta buy it. It's a good story, and well worth the price of admission.

Jonah Hex #9 - DC

Honestly, I'm not a big western fan. When this book came out a few months ago I bought it for 2 reasons. 1 being that Loveless was so awesome. If Vertigo could do that well with a new western, I figured DC could do just as well with an established character. Plus it seemed as if they were making a committment to get back into the genre. 2nd I bought it out of nostalgia. I didn't buy a lot of westerns back in the 70's. But, I did like Weird Westerns. And Jonah was in a lot of those issues. Tony DeZuniga did the artwork on this issue. While I wasn't blown away, it was very nostalgic because he did the artwork on so many of the issues way back when. Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti seem to have a real handle on the storylines. I also like how they are single issue stories. I bought this thinking that I'd stick with it for a little while to see how I liked it, but now, I hope it sticks around for a while. Kind of a neat Black & White sketch cover on this issue also. Even if you're not a fan of westerns, I think you'll like this book.

Batman Secrets #5 - DC

This is it. The last issue of the mini series. That's sad too. The story is good. Basically it shows that everyone has secrets. And that secrets are like festering wounds. The longer you ignore them, the larger they appear to get. And that sometimes the smallest secret can affect you for the rest of your life. This is what happens with Batman, the Joker and a childhood friend of Bruce's, Mooley Williams. Sounds kind of simplistic, but the way this story wraps around all these characters,and of course the Joker's hyper extreme take on everything, is really enjoyable. This is one of those stories that I got sucked into right from the beginning, and stayed with it right to the end because it was so captivating. But, as good as the story was, the art was FANTASTIC!! This is arguably the best stuff I have ever seen Sam Keith do. Yeah he still has some of his cartoonish frames, but they fit into the story. Some of his other frames were suitable for framing. There's a 2 page spread in the middle of Batman and Joker standing on a rooftop talking, after Batman has beat him up and tied him to a dolly with a straight jacket, that is truly a work of art. But there are so many more panels like that in this book. Like I said I'm sorry this book is done, because I really looked forward to seeing this visually stunning book every month. Thanks Sam!!

Wolverine Origins #4 - Marvel

This new Wolverine series is really cool. We get to see Wolverine and Captain America go at it all issue this time. Wolverine is after Nuke, whom he feels responsible for. Cap finds out Nuke is back so he comes after him, because he feels responsible for him. How did Nuke get back?? That's the question. It appears that Cap and Wolvie were both set up. But by who?? Probably by the same people that brought Nuke back. My guess, SHIELD. So the next question would be, why would SHIELD want to take out 2 of it's most powerful operatives?? Obviously to get them out of the way, but out of the way of what?? Logan trys to get this logic through to Steve but of course things happen. Nuke, who has been dragging himself through the grass following them, attacks Steve. Logan trys to take the advantage, Steve slices him open with the sword and Logan goes into his beserker rage. Thus enters the X-men. Or at least Cyclops, Emma and Hellion. How did the X-men show up? In the beginning of the story Emma is dreaming and is flying through the landscape of Logan's unconsciousness. She comes across a river of blood and sees Logan standing in the landscape. She trys to talk to him only to find out it's not really him. Who is it? We won't know this issue. Great job by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon. This book has really lived up to and exceeded the Wolvie mythos. And the 2 covers every month is a nice bonus too.

Civil War - Front Line #2 - Marvel

This is an appendum to the Civil War book. Where the Civil War book shows what the heroes are going through, this book shows what the supporting cast is going through. The difference in the 2 books is that the heroes choose their role. They either register and play along or don't and become criminals. That's how the sides are chosen. The supporting cast doesn't get to choose. They're stuck with whatever the heroes decide. Or they're just stuck on the sidelines trying to avoid the fallout. Either way they don't get to make much of a decision in the process. That's what this book is about. The first story is about the Daily Bugle, or more specifically Ben Urich. He decides he wants to write an expose on Peter, and show the world that he really is a good guy. But, then he comes across, literally, one of the first acts of the Civil War, where Iron Man has to bring down Prodigy. It's exactly midnight on the eve of the law and Prodigy decides to make a stand. Being caught in the perifery of that confrontation is when Ben decides that the it's the normal people that are going to suffer. I think that may change the slant on the piece he wants to write. The second story is about Robert Baldwin, Speedball. He is incarcerated and given his only option of getting on board with the registration, and SHIELD, or becoming a criminal. He is convinced that he has done nothing wrong, refuses to "play along", and is thrown into a penetentiary somewhere in the south. The criminals see him as a "baby-killer", because of the 60 kids that died in Stamford, and he becomes "fresh meat". We also see Norman Osborne's reaction to Peter's press conference. He is apparently being recruited by SHIELD. Interesting! I wonder where that storyline's going?? And finally we get a history lesson about Gaius Julius Caesar, and how his standing up to Rome, is parallel with the Civil War beginning to break out in the Marvel Universe. As I said many times before, these will be great storylines as long as they enact lasting change. If we get a year down the road and everything goes back to normal, we will have been severly cheated. Some of the changes so far I really can't see them recanting. But, with comics, you never know. So, I hope that the changes stick, and I hope that this series is ushering a new era for the Mighty Marvel Machine, and a new way of looking at our heroes. However, history shows us that something this ambitious will not be lasting. I'm going to be optimistic though. It'll be sad to see some of the things change, but it'll be good to see things from a new perspective.

Uncanny X-Men #475 - Marvel

Ed Brubaker and Billy Tan take over this title this month. And they go into it with a BANG!!! First is this awesome wrap around cover by Billy. It's incredible. Then right from page one, we're thrown into the action. Basically, Xavier's marriage has been annulled. So, all their Shiar technology has stopped working. Hank runs diagnostics and decides that the problem is at the other end. The Shiar end. So Xavier decides he wants to put together a strike team to head out there, for that reason, and to head off Vulcan, Scott's brother, who is also on his way out there to kill everyone. So he puts together Hank, Nightcrawler, Warpath, Havok, Rachel and a reluctant Polaris. In his recruitment of Polaris, we get to see her on her trek since she left in X-Men #187. She's in Cairo, but she has an anti Apocalypse cult after her. Who also seem to have some pretty high tech stuff at their disposal. There's the usual thrashing by the X-men, and then they're off on their mission. Oh yeah, they have to steal a spaceship first. There fist stop is going to be to intersect Vulcan's path and try to "bring him back to humanity." So he's either going to be a opponent, or if he comes to his senses, a proponent and join their team. We'll see which way the ball bounces. Anyways, good book. This is the beginning of what should be a great storyline. And I see some changes, or maybe a spinoff coming for these specific characters in the near future. But that's just me guessing.

X-Men #187 - Marvel

Salvador Larroca just keeps getting better and better. I first saw him when he was do Ghost Rider a few years ago. At the time I honestly thought, "this guy is to good for this book". Now, he's incredible. Anyways, Peter Milligan writes a mean story too. This issue is about the X-Men that were transformed by Apocalypse. Sunfire is trying to bring them together, for some reason. He says it's to kill his attachments to external things, but I think there's a deeper purpose. So he's go Remy on his side, sort of. He doesn't at first, but then after their altercation with the X-Men, he's fully on his side. They want to gather up Polaris too, but she doesn't want anything to do with them. She decides she's going out on her own to find Apocalypse and find out what he did to her. There's a little more character developement along the way. But, essentially that's the bulk of the story. Oh yeah, when they return to their temple, Mr Sinister is there waiting for them. This was a wrap-up issue because next month we get a new creative team. Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo. Should be good, I can't wait to see where they take our team next. At the end of the book there's a "Masked Marvel" back-up story. It's kind of lame. If you missed it, no big deal.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The American Way #5 - Wildstorm

The basic premise of this book is cool. A super powered team created by the government to instill Patriotism in the American Way. In theory it's good, but, you're working with people. People who have a hard time getting along under normal situations. Now they're thrown into a hyper exaggerated situation. And all their feeling and nerves are hyper exaggerated. Now set this story into the 50's. It's a decent book, but it's a little to preachy on the racism stuff for my liking. But I guess that's how things were back then. This kind of has an Astro City vibe to it. Except, the heroes, and the villians, are all created by the government. A govt. who is supposed to be in control, but in actuallity has no control. Like I said, it's ok, but it's nothing fantastic.

Detective Comics #821 - DC

Very simplistic story. Batman is looking for someone who is attacking well to do people in Gotham. It's someone who seems to know where they'll be, and can fit in with them without suspicion. It ends up being a guy who runs a society club in Gotham. He would've gotten away with it, except one of his operatives decided to go out on his own and make his own money, so of course he was sloppy. As I said, this was a 1 issue story and very simplistic. This was less of a "Whodunnit" and more of "whenwilltheycatchthefreak" story. I mean 3 pages into it and you really kind of have an idea of who, how and why they did it. Very simplistic. The only thing that really saves the book is J.H.WilliamsIII artwork. As always he is incredible. He even had some of the psychedelic type panels that we got used to seeing in Promethea. Cool stuff. Also the cover was awesome. All of these Simone Bianchi covers are works of art. But then, and I really hate to say it, this is the kind of mediocre stuff we've come to expect from this book for the last couple of years. Get a regular team on this book, so they can sink their teeth in. And please try to decide what type of genre your shooting for. It keeps changing every 6 to 8 months. I don't think I'm speaking only for myself when I state that I'm buying this book out of loyalty for the character. And that's really the only reason.

Secret Six #2 - DC

This book is just too cool. Great team of players. And they work outside of the normal realm of operations, so the way they handle things is awesome. Of course with Gail Simone at the helm, I would expect no less. We have a scene where Scandal, who is in love with Knockout, is terrorizing Pistolera who sent the bomb in that may have killed her. She's trying to find out who ordered the hits on all of the Six, but she's having difficulty making the killing stroke. So, in an act of kindness, Deadshot finishes Pistolera for her. Scandal's reply is, "I don't know whether to kill you or kiss you.", to which Deadshot replys, "Relax, sis. I knew you'd feel bad if you pulled the stopper and let the water drain out, so I did it for you. No big deal." Classic!!! I think by the end of this series, Catman may be the Wolverine of the DC Universe. He's come a long way in just the short time since Infinite Crisis began. He's going to be the character you love to hate. I think!! There's a little touching moment in a Monestary where Catman is questioning Jade to find out where the money trail goes. But there investigation is led astray when Jade brings out her baby, Thomas' baby. During the course of their quipping back and forth Lawton says, "Kid, a word to the wise. Soon as you can, get some new parents." This is a cool team. Its' a shame it's only 6 issues. But anyways, I like the story, I like the characters and I like the art.

Outsiders #38 - DC

Fantastic book. Judd Winick has this team going at a breakneck speed. But, to them, it's just an everyday 'thang. I thought I would be dissapointed with Pop Mahn taking the pencil reins this month, but his style fit in perfectly with the story. The Outsiders are going after Silver & Grey, Mallah and the Brain, and they have set up Phobia to get the information from her on their current whereabouts. Of course her information is planted and she is in turn setting up the Ousiders who show up at a Nuclear power plant in Telistocc Russia, only to be ambushed by Silver & Grey, who were expecting them. Classis twist & double twist. I really like the direction that they're taking this team. I also like all the character interaction between the teammates. There is also some truly neat ideas, like Rex moving his brain around in his head when Phobia trys to fry him. One of the subplots is, who's in there with Rex. Phobia sees someone, shows Rex, but we don't really find out who it is. I'm just guessing, but my money is on Deadman, Boston Brand. But, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Demon #17 - DC

I like the Demon. I like John Byrne. I am glad this is the last issue of this series. Not because of the Demon. I hope that he comes back in a new storyline. But rather because of John Byrne. With this book he has cheated the readers. He has this huge storyline built up with cross-time traveling Demons, 3 to be exact, all fighting for existence. Also all of the Demons supporting cast has been thrown into turmoil and change. Everything is up in the air, and it doesn't look like John's going to be able to write his way out of it. At least not without coming up with some truly original ideas and shaking up the main character a bit. So what does John do? He brings in these "Wishbringers" who work their way through the supporting cast, making tons of changes. Then, they get to the Demon, who's ultimat wish is for everything to go back to the way it was before all of this happened. What??? The last 17 issues have no relevance what so ever?? I wasted $72 on 17 books that turned out to be nothing but a "dream" episode?? Man do I feel cheated!!! This is insane! So now in any future handling of these characters, this last year and a half, will mean nothing. John Byrne, you really bit my ass with this one. Thanks for nothing.

the All New Atom #1 - DC

Again, another underrated character given his own book. Again. But with Gail Simone, John Byrne on board, with Ariel Olivetti on covers, and the books being based on ideas and concepts of Grant Morrisons, this book has definite potential. We start out with a Japanese scientist, Ryan Choi, who has come to Ivy University to fill in for Ray Palmer. Where is Ray? This story doesn't give you a clue. All we know is that Ryan has been coresponding with him since he was a kid. Part of his coming to Ivy University is that he get his old position, his old office, and his old house. He's even sitting in on Ray's old poker game with his scientific budies, whom all Ryan admires. It's with his house that he finds Rays shrinking belt, with hints that were given to him by Ray over the years. Of course he trys it out and goes through a quick microscopic adventure. Once he escapes that little dilema, Ryan takes the belt back to his Poker buddies to wrap their heads around, rather that trying to go it alone. I think that this could be the best twist of the new series and the new Atom. Oh, and we have a microscopic race that is living on, and apparantly controlling, all the dogs in town and their credo is "Death or Submission". I've read some of the old Atom stories, and I think that this series is already a 100% improvement. I got nothing but props for all the creative teams that handled this book before, but this is the first time I've read anything about Ray, or the Atom, that even has the remotest chance of living up to it's potential. I don't know how much Grant has to do with that, but regardless, these new creative teams, not just on this book, really need to start thinking outside of the box. Alot of books, hero books, are beginning to fit into a certain mold. With certain storylines and certain expectations. Well all that preconceived stuff needs to be thrown away. With this being such a small part of a huge visual medium, TV and Movies, all previous ways of thinking about storyline and structure should be thrown out the window. This is literally the time to reinvent the wheel. I see glimpses of that in this book. I really hope that what I've seen so far is just the tip of the iceburg.

Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes #18 / #19 - DC

I like the direction Mark Waid is trying to go with this book. He introduces a lot of new concepts along the way. Something that's been gradually building is the Tech Revolution. I guess in the future there is a period where A.I. is on the verge of becoming so advanced that all human life was threatened. So to avoid this the Science Police, hence the name, scrubbed all previous technology and began to closely scrutinize all scientific development, for fear that the forbidden data might somehow be retrieved. "Today. Most S.P. barely remember the dark age from history class. But machines never forget." I have the feeling that this is the beginning of a huge storyline for our future heroes. We also have Brainiac, who is still studying Lemnos, but with the help of an Imskian work force. We see what looks like the floor of a factory, but then when the picture pulls out, all the people are Imskians working on the face of Lemnos apparantly mining for information. Literally. Cool concept. He also still has Dream Girls body, convinced that he captured her soul because he sealed her up before it had a chance to escape. Scientific conjecture, or blind love? Add to this that they are trying to figure out why and how Supergirl has arrived in their time period. That's what I like about Mark, he keeps several storylines and subplots going at all times. Of course with probably over 40 characters to deal with, you have to keep a lot going to keep them all in the storyline. Which he does a great job of. Issue #19 is a little simpler in that it deals with a 30th Century murder mystery. It's a decent story and features Chameleon. Adam DeKraker did the pencils for #18 and Barry Kitson was back on pencils for #19. I really like the creative team of Waid and Kitson, it just seems like for some reason they don't stay with a project for very long. This is one of the longest ones I've seen them on in recent memory. 19 issues now. But, even that has had a few pencil fillins already. But not to be overly negative I hope that they stick with this project for a time to come. The reason being, both creators are good in their own right. But, when they team up on a project, the results are usually spectacular. I really think this book, and this team, deserves all the talent and creativity they can throw at it. This is a team that has been around as long, or longer, than the X-men, but have nowhere near the recognition. And I think the Legion actually has better characters too. But, that's my opinion. Like I said, I really like the direction they're taking this book in, and I think that the Supergirl angle is going to make for some excellent plot twists. Go Legion!!!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Supergirl #7 - DC

This is another great book. Supergirl, Joe Kelly, Greg Rucka and Ian Churchill, FANTASTIC!!!!! Supergirl and Power Girl are in Kandor posing as Nightwing and Flamebird. There's also, I assume, the Superman from the world with the Crime Syndicate. I may be wrong but I don't think I am. So, he is posing as Superman, but more specifically, Kal-El. Since the Church of El is the big religion down here, they think he's a god, so he can pretty much do whatever he wants. And he does. There's also some "Holy Mother" guiding him, but we don't really know who that is yet. Anyways Supergirl is haunted by these dreams that her father keeps telling her her destiny is to kill Kal-El, and that she is nothing if she does not fulfill her destiny. Which from what I understand is why she ran away from our world and came here in the first place, so she wouldn't hurt Clark. So it comes down to a big battle, and it looks like she is going to kill him, although Power Girl keeps trying to talk her out of it, but when he asks her what she truly wants, she says she wants him to save her. She's on top of him, passionately kissing him, as he's cupping her ass and Power Girl is literally under the boot heel of one of his followers. Meanwhile, "Holy Mother" is looking down on them from above saying, "Finally .. . .. all I ever wanted was a good match for my son." Interesting! Incestual! But interesting! This storyline has had some great momentum ever since she showed up in Superman/Batman. I hope they don't have any plans of slowing down any time soon.

52 Week 8 - DC

Ok this week we start out with John Henry and Natasha. She's trying to build a new suit of armor. He's found out that Luthor put some kind of virus into him, and his whole body is turning in to stainless steel. We then see Ollie, who is talking to Ralph, on the rooftops of Star City. Ralph is still digging in to the Cult of Conner. It's proving very elusive however. They find a hideout, but it's been abandoned. But there is some cloning equipment there. John goes to STAR labs to figure out what is going on, and it's there that he's been infected with some sort of virus, and upon examination figures that it probably came from when he saw Luthor. But when they try to examine samples of his blood, they blow up in his face. Next we have all these eye witness reports of some new hero that keeps showing up and saving people. Nobody's got a real good look at him, but he pops in in the nick of time and teleports the people out of harms way. Then pops out. We also have Booster dealing with the backlash from the allegations against him. Natasha is upset because she doesn't know of the trouble her uncle is going through. She just thinks that he's trying to get some powers somehow. So she gets pissed off, goes to Luther Corp. to stand in line for the hero process, but Lex immediately recognizes her and pulls her in for immediate processing. We also get another glimpse of Starfire, Animal Man and Adam Strange on the planet they're stuck on. They are about to finally meet up with the Galactus looking character thats been watching them the last couple of weeks. And that's what happens in week 8. Good series. Great writing.

JLA Classified #23 - DC

We're dealing with the Detroit League here. They've gone out on a camping trip with Jonn Jonzz and thier guide and mentor. He's trying to build a team and show them how to work and grow together. Of course, thier trip is shanghai'd by the Royal Flush Gang, version 3 or 4 or 5, who know's?. But then the Royal Flush gang is shanghai'd by the New Royal Flush Gang, the only difference visually is that the old one wore clubs for luck, the new ones wear spades for death. The story ends that they are caught in the middle of a forest fire, caused by thier ruckus, and Jonn obviously can't help because this is his weakness. But, Aquaman is supposedly on his way to check of them. Like I've said before, I like the concept of this series. I'm thrilled with it's potential. This particular story, is kinda' boring. I'm not sure if they're trying to reintroduce some of these JLA characters, or if they're trying to put some new focus on the Royal Flush Gang, but in the end, who cares either way. Hopefully this wraps up next issue and we can get on to the next storyline.

Ion - Guardian of the Universe #3 - DC

Ok Kyle Rayner is given omnipotent powers. Again. This time by Jenny Lynn in the form of the Starheart. I reconciling his new stature, he is having some difficulties. He has a conversation with Mogo, the living planet, and he is given some insight. As it is explained to him, he is like a butterfly that has gone through death and rebirth to become something new and bigger. Except Kyle didn't have to go through the death thing. But admittably it would have been easier, had he. He also comes to realize that his whole life has been defined by his connections in the past . Both good and bad. All his loves with his various women, to his outright rage and hatred for Major Force. So, he comes to realize that in order to move on, he has to let go of all this luggage. He just simply has to dismiss it, and not be afraid anymore. In doing so he truly becomes transformed and is the pure essence of the starheart. But, he's still going to have to deal with all the stuff he's done during his transformation period. And some of it is some pretty bad stuff. Where's he going from here? I don't know. I'm just happy that there's some solo Kyle Rayner stories again. It's good to have him back. Good or Bad.

Spectre #2 - DC

In this issue Crispus gets a lesson from the Spectre on what it means to pass out judgement. He has a crisis of conscious because in joining with the Spectre, he delayed his decision. He delayed it for a year. So, for that year, the Spectre couldn't operate without his host. But apparently the Spectre has a long memory, because everyone they missed that year, they've been working O.T. to catch up on. So after all these "Sudden Appearances and Ironic Deaths", Crispus is beginning to ask himself what's the point of all this. He's especially upset because, since he was a cop, he knows that there is so much more going on out there than they are dealing with. And he doesn't understand the why's of who gets judged and who doesn't. In trying to show him the pattern to everything, the Spectre shows him a time when he was a beat cop and he was called in on a disturbance. The disturbance was actually a smell coming from an apartment. They found an apartment full of corpses that were made to look like they had been killed by the Joker. They also come to see a guy who is dealing in Black Magic, and can see their spectral forms. He also sees a bank robbery where they have a chance to save a woman the robber is going to shoot,but they aren't allowed to because if the robber doesn't shoot her then he will have done nothing wrong to garner thier justice. We also get a glimpse of Crispus' son going out to buy a weapon,which I can only guess is to get revenge on the man that killed his father. This is an interesting series. It's nice to see the Spectre brought down a notch so we can get a better glimpse of the character. This is a 3 issue series so there's only 1 to go. But it'll be interesting to see where they go from here.

Action Comics #840 - DC

This is the wrap up for the "UP, UP, & AWAY" storyline. At the end of last issue Superman and Lex were plummeting into the bay. They was up on shore, and they are just both beat. But, they both hate each other enough, that they use their last remaining ounces of energy for a round of fist-icuffs. Kind of an old fashioned fight for them. Eventually Superman gives him the knockout blow, but the exhaustion finally does him in. As he flies back through the city, the adulation that he receives from the public is astounding. "Even if my power weren't coming back. I think the force of the city cheering would hold me aloft." Then the rest of the issue he deals with the every day stuff. Putting up with the ridicule at the office for being so flaky, helping with the construction efforts to rebuild the city, making sure Jimmy's got a new signal watch, dealing with Dr. Virus and his Kryptococcus the Omni Germ, signing autographs for the public, finding out on TV that robots have broken Lex out of his holding cell already and finally heading to the north pole to use the last shard of the Kryptonite crystal to build his fortress of solitude. Just a typical day for the man of steel. It's good to have him back. Next issue Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza come on board to scribe his tales. Should be good.

X-Factor #8 - Marvel

Ok, another incarnation of an X team. This one with a twist too. This issue deals with Quicksilver and Layla. Quicksilver is looking to get together with X-Factor for some reason. And Layla in her all knowing self, it trying to stop that from happening. But in a very subtle way. We learn that one of Jamie's multiples has been working for the Government for years. He come's calling to sign up all the members for the registration. Most go along with it because, as Monet says, "I've got nothing to hide."
Jamie and Quido go to find out about the DNA sample they took off Tryp and his son, but they find out not only is the DNA unique and different but both samples are identical. The guy analyzing them thought they were from the same person. We also get to see Spiderman this issue as he comes across Siryn and has a rooftop conversation with her. Meanwhile Layla has come to the conclusion that there's something about Quicksilver that disrupts her manipulations. Everything she's tried to do this issue has come back in a different way than she expected. So in the end they both agree to stay out of each other's way. There's some very interesting characters in this book. Even Rictor, who is now depowered, but still in the team. This book has a lot of potential. I just wish they could nail down a regular penciller. But that's just trivial.

Wolverine #43 - Marvel

Ok, I already like this book, but now we got Humberto Ramos on pencils, and it 's not even my birthday. We get alot of the background story of Civil War this book. Wolverine has decided to go after Nitro on his own. Of course there's alot of the Wolverine mayhem as he heads across country to find him. And of course he runs in to Iron Man who gives him a tip that Nitro is in Big Sur. He also forbids him from going after him, which give Wolverine a bigger hard on to do the job. Eventually he's allowed to go after him, but only if he goes in with a Shield stike team. They confront Nitro and Wolverine is melted down to his Adamantium skeleton. That's when we find out that this whole scheme has been orchestated from someone on the sidelines. My guess . . . . Tony Stark. If it's not him, it's someone he knows. But anyways, they payed him to make the rukus in Stamford killing all the people, they gave him a cabin to get away in, and they sent in the strike team probably to erase the evidence and their connection to him. But he's getting pretty cocky because in his book he's taken down Captain Marvel, the New Warriors and Wolverine. So his contact decides they're cutting him loose because he's, "A dangerous man to be associated with." Of course Wolverine is never down for long, and I think he heard most of Nitros conversation. So I think next issue they're going to start talking about each others involvement in things. Good book. Great art. Turning out to be a pretty good storyline. I wasn't so sure about this Civil War thing at first, but it's been taking some interesting turns along the way. Guess I might have to ride it out.

Ultimate Spider-man #96 - Marvel

Spiderman, Morbius, Brian Michael Bendis, what more could you ask for. Morbius appears to be after some new group of vampires or werewolves or both. Peter of course doesn't know this, and comes up in the middle not knowing which side is which. All he knows is that his friend, Ben Urich, has been bitten and he needs to do something to try to help him. Of course Peter impedes both side of this little fray, trys to help Ben, but in the end there's nothing he can do. Only Morbius can save him. Which he does eventually, but not before another frakus with the other vampire gang. Before disspearing he leaves Peter with a little advice, "If we ever bump into each other again . . . . . Let's both pray that you've grown the $%#@ up." This really gets to the core of how Peter's been feeling lately. The next day in biology class with MJ, he tells her, "Listen to me. It's happening again. OK? I'm seeing things I shouldn't be seeing. I'm too young to be doing and seeing these things. Daredevil warned me. They all warned me." He breaks down and they end up embracing each other on the last page. I just realized this is the first issue, in probably the last 8 to 10, that we haven't seen Kitty. Huh? But anyways I really like the way this book takes Peter all the way back to his teenage roots. His teenage angst. This is really what has made Spider-man who he his. And have I mentioned that I love the Ultimate books?

New Excalibur #9 - Marvel

As you can see, I'm an X nut. I get everything X related. Although, I'm not doing the X-Myths or all of the solo mini series. But, I do all the team books. And this one looks like it's going to be a good one. I really like Scott Kolins being on this book now too. I like the feel that he brings to the stories. Hopefully he'll stay here for a while. He was the only reason I bought Marvel Team-Up. But eventually I couldn't even buy it for him. I just couldn't feel it anymore. He didn't stick around much longer either, so I'm glad I dropped it. Anyways, we're dealing with Chamber this issue. After M-Day, when he lost his powers, he went to Weapon X. With an implant embedded in his chest, he was made more normal. Eventually this blew up in his face though, literally. Well, come to find out, he's actually a descendent of Apocalypse. Or at least that's what he's told by Ozymandias who is posing as Apocalypse. Excalibur comes in thinking that they are going to save him, but Jono isn't looking to be saved. The "Brotherhood of Apocalypse" or the BofA, I wonder if they have a lodge?, actually the Clan of Akkaba, have given him a semblance of normalcy, although he does bear a resemblance to Apocalypse, and he has a marking permanentaly emblazened across his chest. By the time Excalibur gets into the house where they were holding Jono, it's been cleaned out and the only thing Pete Wisdom has to go on is the markings on Jono's chest. This is another book that has huge potential. I really like the group of characters they've assembled for this incarnation. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Moon Knight #3 - Marvel

This book is truly going in the right direction. I really like what Charlie Huston and David Finch are trying to do here. Marc Spector is truly at his lowest point. His life right now, truly is the dumpster at the bottom. On top of that, it appears that we have some kind of group, govt. or otherwise, profiling him and trying to keep him right where he's at. And Bushman is part of, if not the leader of, this group. Marc is reaching out to DuChamp, although it seems to be a set up, as they both think the other called. There also seems as if there may be a new Moon Knight, a female, Marlene Alraune. Her father is the Dr. excavated the newly discovered chambers, of King Seti II, in the Valley of the Kings. So we just know that she's going to play in to this somehow. As the profiler states, "She's a killer too." and "Killer always end up being drawn together." So they decide they're going to come up with a plan to isolate Marc even more, so that he will pull himself even farther out of the world. However, someone in the group takes the initiative to initiate the plan prematurely. He has DuChamp beaten up, Marc delves out justice by carving the attacker up, and in doing so realizes how much he truly misses the life and will now do anything to get it back. The opposite of what the group was trying to do. The character development they've put into this series so far is astounding. We really get a feel for these characters, and are having feeling for them already. Like I said, I really like where they're going, and I can't wait to see what happens next.