Thursday, August 31, 2006

Batman #656 - DC

Ok, we're on the Morrison / Kubert ride again. Please fasten your seatbelts. Bruce is in London at a Pop-Art exhibit. The gallery is filled with frames from comic books. Bruce remarks, "all this comic stuff is way to highbrow for me." And when he looking at another piece he says, ". . . there's a message here somewhere. I know if I just stare hard enough. . ." Classic!! But the evenings festivities are going to be interupted by Kirk Langstom. He just gave Talia the Man-Bat formula, and she's about to crash the party with her very own kamikazee samuri Man-Bats. About 20 or them. The funny thing is, as these fight scenes are going on, you're put in mind of the TV show, because you have all of these comic frames in the background. We even get a glimpse of holiday dinner with Aunt Agitha. But as I said this whole thing was set up by Talia because she want Bruce to be in his peak form when she introduces him to his son. Talia says, "have you forgotten the night you and I shared under the desert moon above the tropic of cancer?" "I remember being drugged senseless and refusing to cooperate is some depraved eugenics experiment.", replys Bruce. To which Talia coyly says, "Believe me. . . . you cooperated magnificently." And the only thing his son says, as he's holding a sword to his throat is, "I imagined you taller." These are going to be some awesome issues with these 2 on board. Get a ticket, and keep your arms inside of the ride.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

52 Week Sixteen - DC

It's another fantastic week of 52. This one's mostly about the wedding of the century, Black Adam & Isis. Renee and "Charlie" are trying to figure out how to get themselves out of this jam, when it dawns on Renee that intergang is going to hit the wedding. It had to do with the rat poison in the when with all the dead guys. I guess suicide bombers coat their bombs with it so that when the shrapnel hits, they'll bleed more. Pretty gruesome. Meanwhile, Mary Marvel, Isis' maid of honor, is trying to talk her out of getting married. But it's no go. While Captain Marvel is having a heart to heart with Black Adam himself. He's also performing the ceremony. And Captain Marvel Junior is in charge of crowd control. It's a family affair. Needless to say, Renee and "Charlie" stop the bomber, but, in order to do so Renee has to shoot her, a 14 or 15 year old kid, in the head. Meanwhile back on the crazy planet, Animal Man, Adam Strange and Koriandr' finally get the ship running and get it off planet so they can head home. And what's this next issue blurb? Lobo?? Man it just keeps getting better. And on top of that J.G.Jones does a Black Adam origin in the back of the book. Fan-Freakin'-tabulous!!!

Justice League of America #1 - DC

Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes really bring back the JLA with a bang. To start off we get 3 different covers. 2 different regular covers by Ed and a premium cover by Michael Turner. So basically I paid $23 for the first issue. But you know what, it was worth it. Right from the first page you can tell that they're going to do something special with this book. Basically there's 2 stories going on. One is Superman / Batman / Wonder Woman debating, discussing, heckling, and voting on who they feel the new members should be. The other story is about Red Tornado. This one involves Deadman too. Kathy and Will Magnus are sitting over Reddy's body, all the pieces were delivered to Will by Superman, so he could help in putting him back together. He's had his body blown up 6 or 7 times before, so they're just waiting for "John" to come back. There's a very touching discussion between Kathy and Platinum about the nature of love, and what attracts people. Obviously Platinum is still pining for Will. So during this we also get some of the background story on Reddy. We also get some glimpses at some other potential JLA'ers. Hal Jordan and Arsenal have a discussion and decide to go on a road trip. On their way out they stop to pick up Black Canary. Black Lightning is hanging out with the criminal element, trying to get some intel on upcoming agenda's. And Vixen is involved in a mystery of her own. We don't get to much info though. After some discussion with Boston Brand, Reddy decides to put his soul into a body, one of the Multiple Man's left overs. Actually way left over, because Multiple Man's dead now. He then decides to head home to suprise Kathy. Meanwhile, one of Miracle Man's nemesis' has gone after Reddy's robot body. We're not sure what the agenda here is yet, but, Batman tells Supe's and WW, ". . . . the whirlwinds are a great long range weapon for the team. But based on what I saw, the most powerful . . . and potentially dangerous. . . . thing Reddy's got going for him. . . . is the android body itself." At the end of the book, they also have published the first chapter of Brad's new book, "The Book of Fate". I'm telling you, how much more can they cram into the first issue. This book was astounding. Worth every penny of the $23.

Supergirl #9 - DC

This book just gets better and better every month. That last story arc with Karen, Power Girl, and the Nightwing / Flamebird story, was great. Joe Kelly really writes a lot of nuances into his stories, that make them very interesting. Boomerang is in this issue this month also. He seems to be everywhere, Outsiders, Robin and now Supergirl. The opening page is Karen sitting in a bar, smoking, wearing a ripped up black t-shirt, a loose skirt, and not sitting like a lady. Oh, and having a heart to heart with Boomerang. You also see Kara and Karen arguing, yes a chick fight, about how they got out of Kandor. Karen finally realizes that Kara basically sold them out because the "holy mother" gave her some info on Argo. There's a lot of interaction with Cassandra too. I think Kara thinks of her as a step sister sort of, after their time together on Paradise Island. She also goes and visits the Kents. Which is where the black t-shirt with the "S" symbol came from. It was Conner's, and she stole it while she was visiting. She doesn't want to have to worry about money anymore, so she sells a piece of Kryptonian technology to Bruce for a million dollars. And she still has time to save a little girl that walks out in front of a car by accident. When she finally goes home to unwind, Cassandra comes over because her and her mom got into a fight again. As they're sitting and talking, Kara gives the t-shirt to Cassandra because she knows it means more to her. It looks to me like Kara is trying to forge her own path, and she's certainly not holding to convention. But that's ok. We need some down to earth super-heroes. Not everyone can be a Boy-Scout. Oh, and did I mention that Ian Churchills pencils were astounding??

Monday, August 28, 2006

Birds of Prey #97 - DC

Again I have to praise Gail Simone. Up until a few years ago, I don't know what she was doing, but she seems to have the knack and style to come up with interesting thought provoking stories. I also like the new penciller, Paulo Sequeira. He is also improving with every issue. He's developing a real flair for these characters. And what a bunch of characters we have now. We have Oracle, Lady Blackhawk, Huntress, Black Canary (with her semi-adopted daughter Sin), Gypsy, and next issue maybe the new Batgirl/Woman. Right now they're dealing with Black Alice. She's a relative new comer, previewed back in issue 78 or 79 I think. But apparently she's one of, if not the, strongest magical weilders in the DC universe right now. She steals Cheetah's and Felix Faust's magic from them this issue. Which is, I guess, what her schtick is. She steals magical powers and then uses them against the weilder. Anyways, Talia, Cheetah and Faust come after Black Alice in her home in Dayton, Ohio. They've come to recruit her for the society. But, coincidentally enough, they come after her the same time the Birds decide that they need to check in on her. Of course a battle ensues and Alice is left not knowing who to believe. When Faust shows her her dead mother, that's when she decides she's had enough. So she vanquishes them all. After she steals their powers. And they're only vanquished to the outskirts of the city. So I guess she's not all bad. Yet! She then tries to take her Dad and her newly revisited mother home to calm them down. We also see a glimpse of Batgirl/Woman fighting crime in Gotham. Not much of her, but, she'll be in the next issue. I still don't know what Black Alice is doing with the black Wondergirl T-shirt on though. And she also has a copy of the Lariot. What's that all about?? I guess we'll just have to watch and wait to see this story unravel.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Blue Beetle #6 - DC

This is another one that's turning out to be a pretty decent book. But with Keith Giffen at the helm, I really didn't expect any less. Everything is converging on some "Fort" out in the desert that LaDama is taking all the magical entities she's been capturing to. Jamie Reyes and his crew go out there thinking that they're going to be breaking out all of these captives, only to find out that LaDama is actually protecting them. She says they're free to come and go as they wish. She also knows that Jamie is the Blue Beetle. The final twist comes at the end when he finds out that the Scarab, and his powers, are not magical but extraterrestial. Oh yeah, we also get to see the Phantom Stranger this issue. I like that we're learning a little more about the Blue Beetle every issue. But then I knew that Keith was a master story teller.

Astonishing X-Men #16 - Marvel

This book is incredible. Everything about it is "Astonishing". The writing is great. I love all the twists and turns Joss puts into his stories. The artwork is fabulous. I love John's cinematic style that he uses on all his pages. I'll tell you what, if they don't use Joss to write the next X-Men movie, they're insane!! Any one of these books could be a movie unto itself. So many things happened last issue. The Hellfire Club all but disabled the X team. The only one with any semblance of sanity is Kitty, but she's been sunk to the center of the earth. She was starting to make her way back up though at the end of last issue. Danger, the new entity that is the Danger Room come to life, has gone into orbit to visit Ord to tell him that he is destined to destroy the world. Now neither of these 2 things are aware of the other, presently. But I think all that will change in the next issue or 2. I mean if the X-Men are being attacked from 2 different directions, by 2 different groups, it's only logical that eventually they're going to come into conflict with each other. That could be a mess. For everyone involved. The other twists that come this issue is that Emma and the White Queen are 2 separate entities. And that SWORD is responsible for bringing Peter back to life, and that "the one mutant destined to destroy the entire planet. . . . is the one you brought back to life." Man this book leaves you wanting more.

Exiles #85 - Marvel

It took 85 issues, but finally, in the only book that could pull it off and explain it logically, it's an all Wolverine issue. Seriously! The Exile team now consists of all Wolverines. We have Patch, Zombie Wolvie, Alber and Elsie the androids, Weapon X, James Howlett and Logan from the future when the Sentinels are running the show. And they're going after an even worse Wolverine. One that's been merged with Scarlet Warlock, Quicksilver, Mesmero and Magneto to create Brother Mutant. "A single mutant combining the powers of all 5. He was never meant to exist, and he's sworn to kill every non-mutant on earth." Well, on his earth. So the time broker sends in all these Wolverines to take him out. The problem is this isn't the first batch they've sent. So they have to fight a whole army of Wolverines that Brother Mutant has at his disposal. They're all brainwashed. But, a brainwashed Wolverine is still pretty troublesome. Logan though, convinced that he's been sent into a steaming pile of a mission, convinces the timebroker to send him after the previously disposed of Exiles team, because, they are "the best they are at what they do." Tony Bedard writes some great humor into these stories. Some of the interactions between all these characters is priceless. Also it's good to see Paul Pelletier back on pencils. Hope he sticks around for a while. The last page, Patch comes face to face with Brother Mutant. Can't wait for the next one.

Wonder Woman #2 - DC

Princess Diana has just barely assumed her Diana Prince identity, and already there's complications. I do like the fact that Sarge Steel and Bruce are the ones that set up her new identity and job. It's cool that she's working with Nemesis too. But, they don't seem to be getting along to well so far. I think it'll also be interesting when her and Checkmate cross paths. I mean she's part of the Govt. now. The Dept. of Metahuman Affairs. It can only be a matter of time before they cross paths. Allan Heinberg has done a superb job, so far, of blending all 3 Wonder Women into the book. Donna is the obvious choice for Wonder Woman, but Cassandra is still in the mix. For a nice emotional scene with Cassandra also, check out the end of the new Supergirl #9. Anyways, Diana is up against Cheetah, Giganta and Dr. Psycho. And somehow she manages to not give up her new identity, even though a couple of times it was really close. She does seem pretty eager to call in her buddies though, Hal, Bruce and Clark. But in the end, just before she changes into Wonder Woman, Hercules comes to her rescue. Where did he come from? Have to wait until next issue to find out. First 2 issues have been incredible. The art is awesome too!! Thank you!!

Flash #3 - DC

Really my only complaint about this book, is that I can't believe they already have a fill in artist. I mean, it's the 3rd issue. Anyways. I like that they're keeping us off balance still about who the new Flash is going to be. Bart is the obvious one right now, so, I doubt it will be him. Griff would be the second choice, but, I just don't think he's right for the role. Plus, with this issue, he seems to have some plans of his own. Wally is another choice, but, he's still MIA. We get no further with that situation this issue either. I still think it's going to be one of the ladies. I really think it's going to be Val. Who by the way, this issue, finally showed Bart how she felt about him. But, we did get to see Jay in action this issue, so that's cool. I like the direction that this book is going so far. I hope they don't make us wait to long to let us know what's going on with Wally. But, I've liked Bart's character ever since he came back in time to visit. I wonder if his time travel has anything to do with the time flucuations that seem to be surrounding Booster? I mean, why wouldn't they? If one person coming back to live here from the future is screwing things up, I would definitely think that 2 would be a weird magnet. Oh wait, that was Blue Devil. Anyways, I can't wait to see where we go from here.

Hellblazer #223 - Vertigo

Ok I guess this is a stand alone issue. I kinda' had a hard time figuring out what was going on. From what I understand, Map, who is literally the spirit of London, is having a bad day. He's having bad dreams, and in his head, seeing the upper level in chaos, murder and mayhem. So, he contacts John. Apparently someone is trying to get to Map, and they're using his visions to do it. John gets the bright idea that getting him out of the city limits might help, as he would become disconnected with the City's spirit. But this backfires on him and almost kills Map. And things really do seem like they may get out of control without Map's loving guidance. So he rushes him back to the subway and supposedly things are back to normal. That part I get. The purpose of the whole story, I don't understand. Obviously we're probably being set up for some future story arc, but I don't really understand what the purpose of the whole thing is, or was. Hopefully we'll find out in the future, but right now, I'm lost.

Ion - Guardian of the Universe #5 - DC

Ok last issue we learned that who we thought was Kyle Rayner, tearing across the galaxy causing death and destruction, was actually Alex Nero, a street thug whom the Qwardians gave a yellow ring to thwart the Green Lanterns. But why is he pretending to be Kyle? And why does he seem to be on such a murderous rampage? Well, we don't get all the 411 this issue. But we do get to see Hal Jordan as he comes to face down Ion, whom he assumes is Kyle, and finds out that it is Alex. This really throws him for a loop, and of course they have a huge battle. But then the real Kyle shows up, fully rested and suprisingly in control of himself, after a brief respite on Mogo. Nothing like a little Mogo therapy. Hal can't make any headway with him, but, with Kyle's new powers, he mops him up pretty fast. Now he's on his way to OA with Alex trussed up looking like Hannibal Lector. I like the way their streching this mystery out. And I like the new depth and character their giving Kyle. I really hope he gets his own book after this Maxi-series. Ron Marz, keep up the good work.

Sam & Twitch #25 - Image

Ok, I ragged on this book last issue. Guess what? I'm gonna' rag on it again this issue. What a boring, predictable book. And what pisses me off the most, is that I've always liked this book. Not only does it read like an episode of Law & Order, and a bad episode at that, but it shows none of Sam or Twitches personalities that we've come to love. Forget about the story. Who cares! The only twist is that the wife confesses to the murder, but through the flashbacks we learn that it was the son who actually did it. The mother is just trying to protect him. And the only glimpse we even get into Sam or Twitch, is the final panel when his daughter comes home. Other than that, the whole book is forgettable. I am really disappointed in where this series is heading. If all of the books were like the last couple, there would never be talk of a movie, because, frankly, who would care?? The artwork is amatuerish too! No I couldn't do any better, but that's not what I do. And I've just come to expect so much better quality from the Spawn franchise. What a joke!

100 Bullets #75 - Vertigo

I know I've said this more than once, but, I've been a fan of this book since it's inception. Love the story telling. Love the art. This issue we meet a new recruit, Dustin. He's sitting on a park bench, contemplating the attache case that's been given him by Graves. Contemplating the evidence that he has to swallow. And contemplating the aspects of the gun, the bullets, and what he's been told about them. But then Lono shows up to screw up his perspective a little bit more. During the course of this, a real slime ball comes into contact with Dustin, but Lono scares him off. But he does catch up with the homeless couple that Dustin came in contact with before that. He coaxes them into his car, and as their driving off, you get a glimpse of the hunting knife, ducktape, and rope under his seat. Looks like there's another serial killer on the loose. But anyways, Dustin has this plan to shoot the girl when she comes out of the restaurant, or go in and do it while she's eating. His plans really not that concrete yet. But because of Lono's talk, he lets her come out of the restaurant and start moseying down the street. The final frame he asks Lono what he would do, and Lono just looks back at him with his devilish grin. Awesome book. This one has had me sucked in for all 75 issues.

Deadman #1 - Vertigo

I was pleasantly suprised by this book. I expected another variation of the classic DC hero, Deadman. I was completely wrong. By the way if you do want to see him, he's in the new issue of 52. But anyways, this is about a pilot, Brandon, who while working with his brother, Scott, crashes a jet into Heathrow Airport. But the twist is, Scott knocked him out while he was in the cockpit, and deliberately frew the plane off course. So he was trying to crash and kill his brother. Through the series of flashbacks that Brandon experiences, we also learn that Scott also stole his true love, Sarah. In the hospital Scott's spirit is trying to talk Brandon's spirit into crossing over. But he doesn't want to. He just wants to get back in his body. So he does. And he wakes up 2 weeks later. In the morgue. Still dead. But not. Sort of. He can walk and talk, but his bodies still dead. So where does he go? Straight to Sarah. I like the way Bruce Jones wrote how Brandon experienced his flashbacks. Most of this book is filled with him flashing all through his life, and then waking for brief moments in the cockpit before the crash. We learn alot about the 2 brothers, but not why Scott stole his girl. Or why Scott was trying to kill him. Actually, did kill him. I want to know what's going to happen next.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sensational Spider-man #29 - Marvel

Ok the longer they can keep Angel Medina on this series, the better. The artwork is just awesome. The story is good too. But, the artwork is just awesome. All of Peter's foes are gathering together to make a big stike against him. We start out with the Chameleon recruiting Raxon. He's being aided by Electro. Meanwhile Spider-man is fighting the Scarecrow and Will'o the Wisp. I know, they're bush leaguers, but, I think they're just trying to soften him up for the big guns. We're probably going to see every foe Peter even remotely tangled with on this story arc. The funny part was when MJ was fighting with Peter on the phone. She gets off, and everyone around her is listening. "You weren't fighting with Peter just now, were you?", they say as they all look stunned in disbelief. "Well, disagreeing, but. . . . yes. Why?", MJ replies. "So really you were fighting with Spider-man." "I... I guess so, yeah.", Mj says in answer to their question. "But . .he's Spider-man, Mary Jane!" Great dialogue. That would be like someone telling Maria Shriver that she shouldn't argue with the Terminator. That's awesome. And the Black Cat being upset because it's not as sexy now that everyone knows what used to be her and Peter's little secret, is classic. Peter turns to Madame Web to try to find out what's going on, but even she can't get a clear picture. And what's up with Liz Allen at the end? I guess we'll have to read the rest of the story arc, just like everyone else.

Ghost Rider #2 - Marvel

First let me say that I'm really diggin' this Daniel Way. He's the writer of this series, and Wolverine Origins. I like Wolverine Origins so much that I recently found the Mini-Series "Deadpool's Greatest Hits", and picked it up immediately only because this guy wrote it. Fantastic stories. Now, adding to that is the art on this series by Javier Saltares and Mark Texeira, and I think we got a winner here. Oh yeah, not to diminish how great of a character Ghost Rider is also. Can't wait to see the movie. Anyways, Johnny has really mucked it up this time. He finally made it out of hell, but, he brought the devil out with him. So now not only does Johnny have to worry about just what he's going to be responsible for, but the devils gonna be doggin' him at every step. He does it this issue when he possess' a dead grandfather, and takes his family on a road trip. Oh yeah, then he wipes them all out when he doses the van in gasoline. He does this in front of Johnny's face and then flaunts that he can possess anyone he wants, as he rolls on down the highway. But then, on the last panel, Doctor Strange shows up. Like I said I really like this guys style of storytelling. With this creative team at the helm, this book will be around for a long time to come.

Civil War : X-Men #2 - Marvel

The Front Line, tells us how the normals in the Marvel Universe are handling the Civil War. This book tells us how the X-men are dealing with the repurcusions. First we see Emma brought in by a Sentinel, like a wayward puppy. She went out to say goodbye to Scott and his team, but the Sentinel saw her, captured her, and brought her back to the school. Valerie Cooper would like to know where they went and what their up to,but Emma isn't giving up anything. So the team of Cyclops, Beast, Iceman and Angel are travelling cross country to find where Domino and Shatterstar took the 198. It's not long before the Sentinel's catch up to them. But they do elude capture. Meanwhile the 198 are at an underground military base in the Nevada desert. They're trying to make the most of it, but while exploring, Caliban comes across a big bunker door that he doesn't like the smell of. General Lazer is using the mutant that makes the little dolls to help try to track his quarry. He doesn't get very far at first, but eventually he comes up with a Cyclops doll. Bishop is leading the Govt. sponsored team that's looking for the Mutants. For not wanting his future to end up like this, he seems to be taking to the role pretty calmly. So just as Cyclops team finds the bunker, Bishop and the Sentinels find Cyclops. And with General Lazer controlling Cyclops, he unleashes his full optic blast on Bishop. He starts to absorb the energy, but eventually he overloads and explodes. Is he dead? Probably not, but we'll have to wait till next issue to find out what happened. David Hine and Yanick Paquette bring us this yarn. It's ok. Predictable, but ok.

52 Week Fifteen - DC

Ok we start out with issue focusing on a washed up Booster Gold. All of his endorsements are pulling out on him. And, he's being upstaged by Supernova, a new costume that's showed up in Metropolis. So he's looking for something big to get his name back. As fate would have it, a submarine shows up in midtown almost exactly on cue. Meanwhile we have Montoya and the Question being held for questioning over in Khandaq. They're being regularly beaten also. They work together and break out, but where are they going to go. Meanwhile, Clark is frustrated because there's nothing he can do to help Booster but watch. Needless to say, Booster screws it up, and Supernova comes in to save the day. But then when Booster finds out there a leaking Nuke on board, he decides to take it upon himself to get the Nuke and the Sub out of harms way. As he reaches the atmosphere it explodes, and Booster's burnt up skeleton floats down into Supernova's arms. Is this the end of Booster? We won't learn anything else till next issue. But, we only have to wait a week. Yippee!!!

The Boys #1 - Wildstorm

This is only the first issue, so I can't critique it to much. But, it's written by Garth Ennis, so you know it going to be fantastic. The artwork is by Darick Robertson, so that's good too. Anyways the basic premise is that with 200,000+ supers running around, there needs to be somebody that can stand up to them if need be. Somebody to Police the Police as it were. So this CIA type organization is putting together a team. They're building it around a "Butcher". I guess he's somebody that used to work for their organization, and he's the baddest of the bad. We get a glimpse at some of the other team members, but not so much. Most of the conversation is with "Butcher" and Susan Rayner, the Director of whatever organization this is. Of course that's after he fucks her. The issue ends with "Butcher" sitting on a park bench next to Hugh Campbell, who I guess is his first recruit. The buildup in this issue is entertaining. It'll be interesting to see where they take the story from here.

Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual #2 - Marvel

Ok, I don't feel cheated with this book, like I did with the Ultimate Spider-man Annual. This one focus' on the rest of the "geeks" that were working on projects in the Baxter Building when the FF first started. They're taken to some way out of the way facility, and allowed to expand their brains again. However, the Mole Man has other plans. When the FF arrive, they find everyone down in a huge cavern, a city actually, deep underground. A place so big it has it's own sun. It's not working right now. But it's still there. So the FF beat up on the Mole Man, and attempt to rescue all the kids. But they've decided that they want to make a go of it underground. They think that when they reignite the sun, they can make it a home away from home. Besides they're tired of working for the govt. They use the Mole Man's weapons to get their point across, so there's not much the FF can do but step aside. There are other creatures down there though, but they haven't seen them all yet. Sounds kinda' like Cadmus to me. We'll see what happens. Fantastic book. And worth the $3.99.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #32 - Marvel

Again, I gotta' say, I love this book! And, again, I got suckered into the $15 variant cover. As we know, last issue Victor and Reed changed bodies. So Victor is heading back to NYC with Sue, Johnny and Ben. We get a glimpse of Ryan Land's take on the Ultimates too. Cool!! Anyways, Reed/Victor decides he has to go in and cure Johnny before he can do anything about the Super Zombies. Basically, he has to do some kind of magical incantation to pull this Nth Zone demon out of Johnny. He does so but then it starts looking for a more powerful host. Look out Thor!! But then Victor/Reed shows up and kills it before it can complete the symbiosis. So while Reed/Victor is down with Johnny, Victor/Reed decides he's going up to take on the Zombies. However, being the egomaniac he is, Victor can't let Reed get the glory for doing a job with his body, so he switches back, then goes up to beat the shit out of the ugly FF. So with the gate finished Victor take them back to their own dimension. Faced with a world of Super-Zombies, his only remark is, "Well, this should be a challenge." Classic Doom, and a Fantastic book. Next issue Mike Carey and Pasqual Ferry take over the creative chores.

Catwoman #58 - DC

First of all a beautiful Adam Hughes cover. Spectacular! Ok, Selina, or rather Irena has called in Zatanna because the Angle Man and the Film Freak have figured out who she is. Normally this wouldn't scare her, but now she has to watch out for her baby, Helena, also. So she wants her to make them forget. But Zatanna promised she wouldn't do that anymore. So what she does instead is just remove certain details from their memories and then make them go to the police and confess to all their crimes. Simple and neat, huh? Yeah right. It never is. We do learn a little history about Angle Man in all of this though. Then we find Holly being held by the Police. They want to charge her as an accomplice in the murder of Black Mask. Her one phone call she makes is to Wildcat. So Angle Man and Film Freak go to confess their crimes, but Film Freak feels that his crimes are against the Cinema. So he goes to the local TV station and murder's the Station Manager. Not sure what this is all about or where it's going? Will Pfeifer writes this book, and I really like what he's doing with it. Again, many layers and many plot threads.

Nightwing #123 - DC

Ok last issue Nightwing beat up on the Pierce Bros., with the help of Cheyenne. And he kinda' patched things up with him and Jason. I guess. So this issue he's kinda' bored. But that won't last long because the Pierce Bros. have sent a "Firestarter" to Cheyenne's loft. Dick get's there, but he doesn't have to save her, she does that herself. He does corner the perp though, but loses him when he's cornered by New York's finest. So with no place to work or live, Cheyenne decides she's going to move in with Dick. Feeling his usual angst, Dick goes to the nurse he's been talking to at the Hospital. I'm not sure if she's a psychiatrist, or if it's just an infatuation. But they're very comfortable with each other. We then go to the Pierce Bros. construction site, I know cliche', where the Firestarter is trying to collect his money from the dumber one. Dick shows up again and rather that fighting each other, they focus all their attention on him. And again he is cornered by the NYPD. Bruce Jones is writing this book, so you know the story is going to have many layers, and lots of plot lines. And there's a new artist on the book this month, Robert Teranishi. I like his style. He's a good fit for this book.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Robin #153 - DC

Tim has teamed up with the new Capt. Boomerang. At least for this issue. Last issue they found a Nuke in one of the Joker's old hideouts. Or at least they found where a Nuke used to be. So they find out from one of Gotham's rotating underlings, that Joker had kept it as a contingency plan, and it was set to blow in the next 24 hours. Luckily, Capt. Boomerang had a list of old hideouts that he got from Luthor when he was in the Society for a short while. So basically, he and Tim just start going from joint to joint trying to find where the bomb might be. The repoir between the two of them was actually very entertaining. Even Tim hated to admit it, but they made a pretty good team. During the course of looking for it, they come across a meta kid, who calls himself Dodge, and wants Robin to be his mentor. Apparently he can teleport, or something. We really don't learn to much about him, 'cause Robin cuts him really short because he so stressed about the bomb. So I'm sure thier abrubt meeting is going to come back to haunt Robin. Anyways they find the bomb and difuse it. They have a little conversation and go their separate ways. It was a decent story. A bit predictable. But ok. We learn some more about Tim, and it's still a Batman story.

Checkmate #5 - DC

I really like this cloak and dagger stuff. This issue we learn how they select a new Knight for the Black Queen. It seems that they gather up some Pawns, and then they put them through hell to see who lasts to the end. They're trained, tortured, beat up by their own people, they have to overcome the environment and each other, and in the end the final two fight until only one's left standing. We also learn in this issue that Alan is stepping down as the White King, after he got Veto'd by the President last issue. But he has nominated Mr. Terrific to take his place. Michael is really torn up though, because even though he'd really like to stay to make sure Checkmate stays on track, he is head over heels in love with Sasha the Black Queen. So basically if he was to take the position, their love would be forbidden. So what do they do? There also seems to be something going on between Beatriz and Amanda Waller. Beatriz wants out, but Waller seems to have something on her. Something about Corvalho. I really like the more realistic approach DC is taking to Checkmate this time, as apposed to it's last incarnation. It's very realistic and thrilling. I could also see it on the Big Screen, filmed in a James Bond, or MI type movie.

Shadowpact #4 - DC

Bill Willingham writes this, but he has a fill in on pencils this month, Steve Scott. Not bad for a fill in though. Anyways, this issue focus' on Blue Devil. He's a member of Shadowpact, but he still has a life of his own. It's not always under his control, as we learn this issue. But, it's still his life nonetheless. A couple new storylines are introduced with this issue. First of all, I guess, hell has decided that their tired of one of their own being known for his good deeds. So they've sent a couple members of the Demon Retrieval Corp after him, a Mr. Green and Mr. Gray. Of course they don't complete their task, and in the end Danny sends them back to hell with his trident, but there's still the mystery of why is hell trying to get him back. Then there's this giant lizard that's been set loose in the street. Why did it show up, and where did it come from?? Questions for future issues I guess. So overall, Danny doesn't have a terrible day. It's just completely out of his own control.

Green Lantern Corps #3 - DC

Ok we ended last issue with Natu dead. After her partner Myrrt had already been killed. We just met her in the mini, and now she's dead? So Guy is trying to figure out how she died, and the 3 main figures that govern this planet Iolande, Ragnar and their father are dealing with their own death, their other son. But Ragnar is a GL groupie. That's all he's dreamed of doing his whole life. So when one of the rings comes to him saying that he's been picked to guard their sector, he's ready to go with no looking back. Meanwhile we have a couple other Corp members, Vath and Isamot, dealing with a planetwide emergency in sector 2682. Vath's partner Isamot seems to be MIA though. So when a couple more GL's show up to help him, Vath uses the help to try to search for his partner. Back on OA we learn that Guy tricked Ragnar into coming to OA because he wants to arrest him for his brothers death, and for all the heroes he killed in his sector. He wanted to be a GL so bad, that he went across his sector and killed anyone that he might be in competition with, to move himself to the top of the list as a replacement when Myrrt died. It turns out that Natu wasn't actually dead. She's some kind of Doctor or Biochemist or something, and when she recognized the poison that Ragnar had given her, she knew how to conteract it. Natu and Guy are ready to punish him, when Salaak arrives. Being a Protocol Lantern, he tells the other lanterns what they can and cannot do. Since Ragnar is the Prince of Betrassus, and a member of the ruling family, he has diplomatic immunity. So he orders Natu to return him to his home world and let him face punishment for his crimes there. He is beheaded, but, before the final act, Natu gives Myrrt's powere ring to Iolande to be the new Lantern of sector 1417. She wanted Ragnar to see that in his final seconds. Meanwhile Vath finds his partner on Thanagar helping to rebuild the planet. He also says that he is in love and that is why he ignored Vath's calls for help and stayed planetside. And, now that this case is solved, Guy has taken shore leave and gone to Restoria for a vacation. What he doesn't know is that a Bounty Hunter, Bolphunga, is hot on his trail and looking for revenge. This book is excellently written by Dave Gibbons, and Patrick Gleason's pencils get better every issue. His style is also perfect for a space drama with multiple species of characters. And who doesn't love the GL Corps??

Monday, August 14, 2006

Civil War - Front Line #5 - Marvel

Yet another chapter in the continuing adventure of the Marvel Civil War. The first story has to do with 2 different journalists, Ben Urich and Sally Floyd. Ben hasn't decided what he thinks the story is yet. But, the story seems to be looking for him. Green Goblin corners him in an alley, saying that he going to get revenge for all the stuff "Benny Boys" written about him. But he seems to have some sort of siezure. So Ben escapes while he is incapacitated. Now Sally on the other hand is diving right in. She's already met with some of the underground, and barely escaped when they were attacked by some SHIELD "Herokillers". Now someone is trying to spoonfeed her the bigger story, but the Govt., SHIELD in particular, is not gonna' let it happen. Her and her editor, Neil Crawford, are both arrested. In the further adventures of Robbie Baldwin, aka Speedball, he is being sent to a special prison with all the other metas who refused to register. It's in the Negative Zone. The inmates call it Fantasy Island. In the Sleeper Cell story, we have Wonder Man shooting a promo spot for TV, supporting the registration. But, then he is strongarmed into going after "Joe", a sleeper agent the Govt. has been watching for years, and who blew up his shop a couple of issues ago so he could escape. And finally we have some letters from the real Civil War, between 2 brothers who fought on opposite sides, and the pictures compare how it relates to what's going on now. As I said, I was a little sceptacle of this appendum to the Civil War storyline, when it first came out. But, it's growing on me. It would be really good, if they could get some decent artists on it. But, that's just me.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ultimate Spider-man Annual #2 - Marvel

I felt a little cheated on this one. Most of the book was filled up on back stories. We got the back story on Kangaroo(??), Daredevil, Punisher and Moon Knight. So with at least 2 pages each, there's 8 - 10 pages of the book right there. The whole book was to set up 2 plot lines. The first was Jean Dewolffe's death. The Punisher shot her because she was a dirty cop. And we actually see the Kingpin upset at the end of the book because he was sleeping with her. Do I smell a little puppy love? The second plot line was Daredevil's approach to Moon Knight about setting up some kind of group that were interested in taking down the Kingpin. He feels like they're all running around in circles tripping over each other. So if they get together and plan out their stategy, they may get more accomplished. Do I smell, the Ultimate Defenders?? Maybe. Maybe not. The rest of the story was really useless information. And Spider-man didn't do to much other than seem to be in the way. These 2 plot lines though should prove interesting in the future. But like I said, other than that, I feel cheated.

Ultimate X-Men #73 - Marvel

This one left me with a lot more questions than answers. The main question is, who is Magician? I don't think he's a previous foe. He seems to be someone that just idolized the X-men, and wanted to be on the team. His powers seem to include, illusion casting, making people forget things, making himself likable, and bending people to his will. They sound familiar, but I can't think of anyone with all of those abilities. He can also block Xavier from reading him. At the end of this issue he's subdued the whole team and Xavier and Fury. But now, he's left with Jean Grey. Or is it the Phoenix?? Only next issue will tell.

New X-Men #29 - Marvel

We learn alot more about Nimrod this issue. This is actually a Nimrod from the future. 16 years future to be exact. Nimrod shows Forge a holographic image of him threatening his family, Ororo and their 2 children, for him to make and install a time travel device. Forge, being the clever guy he is, instantly starts thinking in his head how he would do that. In doing so he realizes that the Forge of the future not only came up with a device, but also rigged it to send him to an alternate timeline as he was going backwards. That's why he ended up in ours, and that's why he couldn't find Forge right away. This happened 2 years ago. But, William Styker did find him, and that's how he found out all the info about the X-men. So, since all the "grown up" X-men are going off on their own mission, these new X-men decide to hijack the Blackwing and go to help Forge. Oh yeah, Forge sent a holographic message to them via the gauntlets that he had built for Norika. The story ends with Nimrod, realizes that they are on their way, planning out exactly how and the amount of time it will take to kill them off 1 by 1. Cool story. I really like the way this team is meshing together, and how they're going in their own direction from the X-men.

JSA Classified #15 - DC

Ok this story is a little better than the last one is JLA Classified. But not much. I'm still getting bored with it. Vixen, Gypsy and Power Girl are back in the mountains where the Detroit League had all the trouble with the Royal Flush Gang, in those previous mentioned boring issues of JLA Classified. They've come to try to rescue thier fellow Leaguers and Society members, who are being held by the RFG. Amos fortune is back in control of his Stellaration energy, and with the help of the Gambler, the Sportman and especially the Wizard are holding a royal rumble of sorts. We think that it's for the money,but actually it's for the good fortune. Every time their side wins a fight, Amos' power increases because of their good fortune. Although, what he's planning to do with all this power, I don't know, other that get all fat and bloated. The real story is what's happening with Vixen. She appears to be out cold, but really her astral form, I guess, is floating around taking in all that is going on. How she's going to fight this when she's incoporeal, I don't know. But now that Vixen's been knocked out, she's got her to join her. That's the jist of it. I don't have any speculations, because I really don't care. We've seen this story done over and over again, the twist on it this time is Gypsy. So the only thing I expect to get out of this is some more info on Gypsy. The rest of it is inconsiquential.

Superman #655- DC

Another book that just keeps getting better and better. Now Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco are at the helm. It should be all uphill from here. First thing they do is bring Arion back. Well not exactly. Not at first. First we get a look at him in the 17th century in Paris. But, he's having dreams and such that are being affected by the events of this issue. So, after scying to find out what's going on, he decides that he needs to take a more direct interest and on the last page of this issue walks in to a mystical emblem that I assume is going to bring him straight to us. Cool!! But what's agitating him? Well Clarks friend, Callie Llewellyn, is a scientist that is having some serious problems in Kazakhstan. Some locals found an abandonded research facility and stumbled across Subjekt 17. And this being is a handful, even for Superman. Somehow, this being is what's causing the psychic feedback for Arion. We also get to see some into Lana's life, now that she's the CEO of Lexcorp. That could be an interesting ride also. Like I said, these guys are really going take this book up a notch. And that's not to say anything was bad with it before. All the Superman titles in the last couple of years, have been great. But I think that they're all going to improve even more this year.

Green Arrow #65 - DC

This book is awesome. Winick and McDaniel are making some serious strides with this book. It has come a long way in the short time that they've been on it. This issue is a "filling in the gaps" kind of issue. First we learn that Ollie is a first rate politician. He can really play the game. We also find out who was behind the tainted Morphine that arrived in the Glades and why. But, better yet, Ollie found out who it was and is using that to his advantage also. We find out that Speedy and Conner didn't die. We don't know exactly where they're living yet or what they're up to, but I'm sure that'll be streaming to us in the near future. Also I've heard that Conner is going to be getting his own title. To Cool!!!! We learn that GA and GL are just as tight of buddies as they always were. And finally, we learn that this whole Deathstoke thing was set up by him, so that he could get into prison to get in touch with Drakon, a master assassin. For some reason he's gathing up info on GA, and Drakon has some that he doesn't. Like I said, we filled in a lot of holes this issue. But, we also opened up some new storylines, along with the ones that are still flowing along issue to issue. Next issue we find out where Ollie went for the year he was gone. Can't wait!

52 Week Fourteen - DC

I know, I keep saying how much I like this comic. But, I really do. This week we see Montoya and Charlie (the Question) head off to Kahndaq. They're actually suprised at how teaming with life the city is. We also see Steel, who is obsessed now with getting hes niece back from the clutches of Luthor. He's developed a whole new suit for her, but I really don't know why. Then we've been seeing Will Magnus chatting with T.O.Morrow, but this time he's actually back in his lab with what's left of his Metal Men. For some reason he can't seem to get the responsometer's to work right. He can bring them online for short periods, but then they seem to have a meltdown. Also there's some Govt. agents that want to get their hands on his technology. Don't know what that's all about, yet. But, when he goes to visit his former teacher he's escaped from the "Haven". Everything's gone except a note and an envelope for Will. It's machine code, and apparently it's what he needs because we then see him getting Mercury up an running. Back in Kahndaq, Renee and Charlie are following up on some Intergang lead, and they come across a room full of dead men. After searching for clues,they try to leave and find out that they were set up as the place is surrounded by Kahndaq law enforcement. And again I'm left wanting more. Well, at least I only have to wait a week. I also went to their website this week, it was ok. Lots of information for newcomers. But I was a little dicouraged that there wasn't to much up and coming info. Don't get me wrong, it's a neat site. I like the way they have it set up. But, for my tastes, I would like to see more info that I don't know yet. Also they have a counter that lets us know exactly where we are in our 52 week journey. But, I would like to see one that is counting down how much time we have left.

Martian Manhunter #1 - DC

First of all I have to admit that I've never been a huge fan of the Martian Manhunter. I liked him in the JLA, but that's all I really needed of him. This series may change that. We'll have to see. First of all it's brought to us by the team that did a long stint on Batman : Gotham Knights, Lieberman and Barrionuevo. These guys mesh together perfectly. Apparently there's a group, I wouldn't say Govt. because I don't think they are, however they do have some Govt. connections, that has captured a green Martian and are doing tests on him. They've had him long enough that they have him implanted, to keep track of him should they need it, and to develop a psionic weapon based on their technology. Both of which scare John Jonzz. In the Brave New World comic he had found the Kuru Pendant from his homeworld. That is what originally put him on this quest to find the being who had brought it, for it meant that he was no longer alone. Well the Martain breaks out of where he's being held into the streets of NYC. Scary even if you're from this planet. John finally catches up to him only to see him killed in front of him. Having read Lieberman's work in Batman, I know that this story is going to stretch out for a while. He likes to give us bits of information at a time, without giving up to much of the big picture. But, it'll be a fun, interesting ride. It's only a 6 issue mini, so we'll see how this one pans out.

A Man Called Kev #2 - Wildstorm

I love the way Garth Ennis writes stories. Last issue Kev was basically kicked out of the country, and his mate Bob was butchered. But, we didn't really get a clear picture of what was going on. So this issue Kev ends up in California, or somewhere there abouts, and finds his buddy Danny. Well through the course of their catching up, we learn a lot about them, the different arms of the military that they served, and what a freckle is. You don't want to know. Then they run across a news transmission on the internet from England about Bob being killed, and the M.I.5 guy that kicked Kev out being decapitated. That's when all the pieces start to click together for Kev. He realizes that it was a mission in the Gulf War that they all saw something they shouldn't have. The problem is, he's the only one left. And with him staying with Danny and Zoe, that puts them on the radar also. Again, this is what I like about Garth writing, we get all this info piece by piece out of their conversations together. We don't have to be spoon fed anything. He puts bits of it here and there, and as you're reading, it all starts coming together. I also like Carlos Ezquerra's art. It really fits this story guite well. The look on Kev's face after he smokes 3 joints with Zoe is priceless.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Firestorm #28 - DC

Now that we've gotten the Professor fixed up and back in the picture, Jason and he are looking for Gehenna. They're starting with where she was raised, in some kind of Govt. facility in rural Montana. While looking for her, they've come across some kind of mutant that creates this big gelatinous blob type creature around himself. We also get more glimpses into how the Firestorm matrix works. We get to see how the Professor and Jason interact inside his head. We also learn a little more about Jason's family. Last issue his mother showed up, I guess she abandoned them when he was little. So he has quite a few issues in this department. We also find out that the Firestorm that showed up to Lorraine last issue was actually Mikhail from the first series. Lorraine and he show up on Jason's roof, where he and the Professor are talking about his family problems. But, no sooner do they show up than they're attacked by a bunch of dollies, the creatures that were helping the guy that was holding the Professor hostage the last couple of issues. Therefore we're left not finding out to much more about Gehenna, Jason's family life is still up in the air, we don't know why Mikhail has returned, we still don't know what happened to Ronnie, and we don't know who's sending these dollies after them. Lots of plot lines up in the air. But that's ok. That's what I like about this book. It always drags you in, leaves you thinking and wanting more.

Secret Six #3 - DC

Ok this is a messed up book. But it's a good messed up. First we have the whole team being attacked individually. It appears that someone is trying to assassinate them, one at a time. Everyone except Blake, that is. Dollman is in the hospital, and Knockout looks like a burnt pop-tart. Scandal is shook up because she's in love with Knockout. Deadshot has remained pretty much unscathed. The Hatter is, well, he's the Hatter. And as I said, Blake has been completely left alone. Well, in this issue, we learn that Scandal is actually Vandal Savage's daughter. And he has plans for her, to make him an heir. Which is why, Blake has been left alone. That's who his genetic choice is. Scandal trys to refuse this, but in doing so initiates another attack against Knockout. By Dollman none the less. It appears that while he was in the hospital, Dr. Psycho planted a post hypnotic suggestion, which he activated. So, in order to save the woman she loves, she's going to have to go along with daddy's plans. So let's go back to the Secret House and let the seduction begin. Only one problem. The Doom Patrol. The site where they thought they were coming up on Lady Vic, was actually a trap by the Doom Patrol. ???? You got me. Don't know where this twist came from. As I've said in the last couple books that Gail Simone writes, she is quickly becoming a master of her craft. She's doing an excellent job with this book. It's only a 6 issue mini, but I can't see how'd they let it stop there. So next issue, it's the Secret Six vs the Doom Patrol.

Wolverine Origins #5 - Marvel

This is really turning out to be a good book. And not just because of the Joe Quesada alternate covers either. I really like the direction of this book. Especially in the fact that in searching the origin of Wolverine, considering that he's been around for so long, that he has come into contact with other characters in the Marvel Universe in ways that we haven't even considered. Especially considering the encounters that would've occured early on in different peoples stages of development. Such as Nuke. But through all this, he always seems to come home to the X-men as his family. We get to see a glimpse of Sabretooth this issue also. Not much. But with their history, I'm sure there will be plenty of stories about him in the future. I also like the way when Wolvie gave Cyclops the bloodsword, "the only weapon that will be able to take him down should he need to", is kinda' reminiscent of when Superman gave Batman the Kryptonite ring should he need it in the future. Different, but similar. Daniel Way seems to really have a grasp on this character and on the direction of this book. I really like the way he developed the interaction between Wolvie and Cap, Cyclops, Emma and Hellion. Very believable. Steve Dillon has also really seemed to have found his groove here. I like what he's done so far.

Batman - Legends of the Dark Knight #209 - DC

Ok, we're still in the storyline where Batman is following the trail of the young women that are being abducted across Gotham. There's a new on this issue, a friend of Alfred's whose daughter has also disappeared, Miriam Hargrove. However, he's still obsessed with Lilith Rutledge's sister Janie. Mainly, because they appear to be mutilating her piece by piece as the story goes along. But, also because as Bruce, he may be in love with Miriam. It's complicated, because he's feeling feelings he didn't know he had, or doesn't know how to deal with. What I like about this story so much though, is that it really showcases the relationship between Bruce and Alfred, and how much they truly depend and count on each other. Robin may be Batman's sidekick, but Alfred was always Batman's sidekick. I don't think he'd particularly like to be called that, but Batman's come to count on him as much or more than anybody else. I also like the twists and turns of these stories. They always seem to be headed in a certain direction, only to pull you in different ways along the path. And again, the artwork of this issue, by Arial Olivetti, is just phenomenal. It is truly outstanding. I think I like this book, better that I've liked Detective of late.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man #11 - Marvel

Ok, I was a little rough on Peter David the last couple of issues. This one, on the other had shows some promise. This time we're dealing more with the ramifications of the outing of Peter Parker. We get to see some more of how this event with affect the parts of his life that overlap, like his teaching. This part of the story Peter writes extremely well. The reaction of the students parents, and of fellow teachers and administration, is very believable. And frustating, as it should be. The reaction from MJ and May is also believable. It's not what Peter expected, but it is believable. I also like the way the kids are behind him, even though no one else appears to be. The only part of the story I think is hoaky, is the Mysterio thing. This time Mysterio is the son of the original, I guess. And he's going after Peter for what he did to his father. But in the end, the original gets involved also. And the next issue blub says that next issue, there's 3 of them. What is it lately with books having 2 or 3 of the same characters coming face to face with each other? It's been done about 1/2 a dozen times in the last 6 months. Is it some new trend? So far none of them have been handled successfully either. We'll see if Peter can pull it off, but somehow I doubt it. Stick to the human interest part of the story. That's where the stories at now, anyways.

Moon Knight #4 - Marvel

When they talk of taking a character in to the bowels of being, this one does it quite literally. Most of this story deals with Marc trying to come to terms with his benefactor, Khonshu. But, I don't know that he would be a benefactor, considering what he's making him go through. He's really be taken through hell and back, I guess in an attempt to wake him up. We learn some more about his history. This is done through his own memories, and though the guy who is going to try to kill him for his employers. Whom, were not sure who they are yet, other than that Taskmaster is involved. I guess this book is following the plan that you have to take someone to the lowest point they can go, before you can rebuild him. Because, Marc is about to be there, when he faces Taskmaster next issue. I'm really thrilled with this book so far. I came into the Moon Knight legend kind of late, but I'm all caught up now. I can't wait to see where this story will take us.

Spawn #158 - Image

This book is going into some truly uncharted territory. Now we're dealing with God and Satan, brothers by the way, and their mother, the true creator of the universe and the destroyer of worlds. She says that she created many gods across the universal expanse, these 2 just happened to be the ones associated with earth. This was their playground. And the only good thing they did was create humanity. Other than that, they've been at each others throat for eternity. So she decided to punish them by putting them into the womb of Wanda. She took away their memories, stripped them of the kingdoms, and tried to teach them what it is like to be human. However, their true natures soon took over. So now they're both going back to their respective kingdoms, and things are really gonna' be turned up a notch. She also explains to Al that the reason he has all the souls inside of him, is so that with the proper knowledge and training, he could become the equal of God and Satan. That's quite a bit to put on someone's shoulders. I was a little critical of last issue, but this one explained quite a lot. I feel like we're back on track now. A bumpy, twisty, rollercoaster track, but a ride none the less.

New Excalibur #10 - Marvel

This issue focuses on Dane Whitman, the Black Knight. Excalibur is going to recruit him. However, as we learn through the history lesson, Sir Percy of Scandia, the original Black Knight, is making an attempt to become immortal. In his original time, the early 6th century, he is in posession of the Sword of the Black Knight, and Excalibur, after the fall of Camelot. Somehow these dual swords, and the magic linked to them, is driving him crazy. So with the help of the Lady of the Lake, he is transported from his time to the body of his kin, Dane, in our time. His goal, it appears, is to find Excalibur. But, is it Excalibur the Sword, or the team. He breaks into the case holding his original body, thinking that there is a map to the sword in there, but, it's a map that shows the characters of the Excalibur team. And, being confronted by them, he becomes extremely disoriented. Which is when the Excalibur team finds there likeness on this 1400 year old parchment. I like the way this X-team blends the mystical and magical side of things, with the mutant side of things. Which makes sense, because at some time mutant powers would've seem magical. Plus I really like all the characters they've brought together for this team. I was disappointed when they stopped this book, before the big mutant meltdown. So, I'm extremely glad they brought it back. And I'm glad that all of these characters were left in tact.

Uncanny X-Men #477 - Marvel

With this issue we get a closer look at Gabriel Summers, Vulcan, Scott and Alex's long lost brother. So long, and so lost, that they didn't even know he existed. I guess when he was born, his parents were abducted by the Shi'ar and this evil tyrant, D'ken, took him as a slave after ripping him from the womb of his pregnant mother. He's thinking about all this as he's racing across space. On the way he realizes how long this will take him, so he destoys some Shi'ar ships in an attempt to figure out how to get there faster. He finds out about the Stargates, but he also comes to realize that the only way to utilize them is with a Shi'ar ship, but he has destroyed all that he has come across so far. He then finds, battles and captures one and assumes command of it. His orders are to head straight to Shi'ar space and destroy every stargate they use before they head on. Of course this doesn't help the X-men very much that are attempting to follow him. At the end, when they finally get to Shi'ar space, they are confronted by the Imperial Guard. This is a very good story. It'll be interesting to see what the take away is when all is said and done. I know that they're trying to establish a history for Vulcan, and I'm sure he'll be around in the future. But, to me, that can't be all this story is about. I think we'll probably get a more difinitive role from the Shi'ar. And I think that it will have something to do with the team Xavier has assembled for pursuit. But that's what I like about the X-men, all the multiple layers. I was afraid of the part of the stories disappearing after Chris Claremont stopped being such an intrigal part, but every writer since then has lived up to and represented this reputation. Long live the X-Men!!!!!

52 - Week Thirteen - DC

This books, as compared to my last entry, really gets you into the characters. This time were only dealing with 2 main stories. We have Black Adam and Isis, tearing across the Middle-East, searching for her brother Amon. As they're doing this they keep coming across slave rings of children and they decide that freeing all forms of child stavery that they find is equally important as finding her brother. Then Isis gives him the idea of having Kandaq standing for a new beginning rather that a place for all criminals to come for refuge. We also have Ralph Digby trying to dig futher into the Cult, by becoming embroiled in one of their ceremonys. He brings along GL, GA, Metamorpho and Azrael for the ride also. You think he did it for the backup, but really, he brought them because they've all been dead before, or associated with the dead. He brought them, really, so as they go through the ceremony they can tell him whether or not what their doing is possible. They're passing around "blood kryptonite" that supposedly takes a little of the life force of the person who touches it, so they can use that to bring his wife back to life. This is a trial ceremony for when they try to bring back Conner. This is when Ralph decides it's to hoaky to go any farther. He tosses the rock to MM and decides it's time for everyone to break up the party. The problem is that during the melee, Ralph thinks he sees the edifice of his wife trying to crawl to him. But by this time the building is coming down around them, so it's to late to try to go back to the ceremony to finish it. Also both sides are to embroiled in the battle to step back and calm down. So on the final page Ralph is left holding the burned up efigy in his arms. What I like about this book is that they really draw you into the characters. Which from what I understand is the focus of this book, take some of the lesser known DC characters and develop them in the abscence of the big 3. Plus I like that I get a shot of Vitamin DC every week. Can't wait for the next one.

OMAC #2 - DC

I still haven't quite figured this one out yet. I like the way it's written, and I like what they're trying to do. But I'm just not becoming connected to the characters. Which is kind of a problem, because, really there's only one character. We got this street kid who is the last OMAC. This is issue 2 and I still don't really know his name. But last issue he was activated, he was then commanded to go to the NORAD facility in Alaska, and along the way he got in a fight with Firestorm around Vegas. But, last issue when his OMAC armor broke apart and he crashed, he could see Vegas from what looked like the side of a parking lot where he crashed. But in this issue, the OMAC armor falls apart, and he lands in the river not far from the Dam where he and Firestorm were fighting. He hitches a ride to Vegas and decides he's going to use his theiving skills to get a little cash. Of course that doesn't work out and he ends up being chased by Casino security and the Vegas police. Meanwhile Cyborg has shown up to help Firestorm, which is convienient because he has some sort of radar on his arm that helps him track the OMAC energy signature. He gets aprehended by the Police, and under the stress, or brother eye had enough time to rest, he becomes OMAC again and starts tearing up the Strip. The power spike shows up on Cyborg's radar, so he and Firestorm go whisking off to try to find out what's going on. He evades them and heads off to Alaska again. During all this though, he started hearing Brother Eye in his own head. He's also semi coherent when he's in the armor now. On the way to Alaska he rebels a little to much and the armor breaks off. But, before he becomes a pancake, Brother Eye reactivates, but this time while he's OMAC they can talk to each other. Anyways, they crash into the NORAD facility, starts tearing things up on their way to the main situation room, and OMAC seems to be adapting because he keeps yelling out that he's a thief not a murderer. And that's where we end this issue. Like I said, I like the story. Right now it's got a spy-thriller type feel to it. My only problem is, I'm not connecting to the character. Maybe OMAC is the only character. But to me, the kid who becomes him, is equally important. And, maybe I'm feeling exactly what I'm supposed to feel, a little lost and out of control, just like the kid feels. If that's what the story is supposed to express, then, mission accomplished. However, it doesn't peak my interest in the story, and it leaves me ambiguous to whether or not I get the next issue. Which I don't like.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Noble Causes #22 - Image

This book just pulls me in every month. I've said it before, but it's really like a big soap opera. A superpowered hyperactive soap opera. But still, none the less, a soap opera.Rusty and Zephyr are beating up frost, because Rusty got a video tape showing Frost, with Rae and Zephyr on the roof of the Winterborne institute, the night the device was stolen that was used to steel Race's powers. Rusty's also a little peeved because last issue he found out that his girlfriend was a robot. So he tore her apart. Literally. Then we have Gaia Noble and Dawn Blackthorne flying throught the night sky talking. Obviously they're from rival families. So anyways, they're talking and when Gaia says something that upsets Dawn, she ends up swooping in for a kiss to calm her down. Next we have Liz, Race's wife, talking to Doc, who is examining the pieces of Rae, asking for advice on how to handle Race. He seems withdrawn and without an identity since he lost his powers. And finally we have Race and Gaia talking to Dr. Eichhorn, at the Winterborne institute, about how to get Race's powers back. Dr. Eichhorn is the one who made the device that took Race's powers away. He says the device won't work like that. But Gaia has an idea and asks the doctors to do the experimental gene therapy they did on her, that gave her her powers, on Race. Oh, and Frost asks Race the question of the hour, "So who sent the tape to you? And why?" Jae Faerber really has a handle on theses characters. And the relatively new artist of Jon Bosco, is getting better with every issue.

Detective #822 - DC

Ok, I was a little hard on Paul Dini last issue. I called his story simplistic. I really didn't like that issue. However, this issue is much better. I like the twist of the Riddler teaming up with Batman to solve a crime. When they were riding in the batmobile talking to Comm. Gordon, it was great. The thing that I like about the story is the strength of character of Bruce. He could've refused to work with him. He could've done whatever he had to to take him down, or discredit him. But, he chose the high ground and worked side by side with him. Yes the Riddler took the wrong path, and Batman took the right one, but he didn't throw it in his face. He just solved the crime, and went on with his life. And left the Riddler alone. Brilliant!!! I also have to give credit to Don Kramer. He's been doing the pencils on a few of the Batman books the last couple of months, and I really like his stuff. The coloring is good, and that helps. But Don's pencils really look nice. Of course the Simone Bianchi cover is brilliant also. Like I said I was a little hard on this book last month, but, this month, I really like it. Thanks!!!

Creeper #1 - DC

Ok, I know that there's been a few incarnations of the Creeper in the last couple of years. But there's always been a classic one. That of Jack Ryder. He's been around since the 40's or 50's. Well now he's being brought into the new millenium. This is the classic tale of Jack Ryder, crossing some mob or gang or whatever, and through his actions becoming the Creeper. Well this time its nanotech that does the trick. After creating the nano-genetech, a gang wants the genes for themselves. Well, of course, Jack gets caught in the middle. Long story short, the doctor injects him with the final cells, he gets shot, the cells bring him back to life. A little altered of course though. And on the fly, he comes up with the laugh, and the Creeper. It's ok for a first issue. If you've read the old story, you knew what was going to happen. I'll let it slide, because I want to see what they do with the character from here. Justiniano is on pencils, and they're perfect for this story. I'll be more forthcoming with my opinion when I see what they do with him next issue.

Ex-Machina #22 - Wildstorm

Brian K Vaughn and Tony Harris have such a handle on this title, you'd think that one of them was writing their bibliography. Seriously, the nuances of character, and the little details, somebody really knows what they're talking about, or they have this planned out down to the minutest detail. Plus the way the story bounces around timewise, part of the story is 4 or 5 years ago when he was the Great Machine, and not the Mayor. Then the story will bounce to the present, or to a year or 2 ago when he was Mayor. And, it's flawless. That's what I'm saying, the way it all fits together is almost to perfect, as if it was someones past, rather than a fictional story. But, I guess that just reinforces how well it is written. We start out a couple of years ago when a drug dealer steals the Great Machine's machine. Then we bounce forward a couple of years to when a woman set herself on fire on the steps of city hall. At this time there's also someone posing as a fireman going around and doing home invasions. Also going on is a woman, January, who is working undercover at the Mayor's office, for some reason we haven't learned yet. And the story ends when a building is on fire and when a fireman goes to clear out an apartment he is shot through the door because the guy living there has heard about the fake fireman stories. Now add to this that Tony Harris is changing his artwork a bit, we see a glimpse on some of the final pages, and it really looks nice. Not that his old stuff wasn't good, but this stuff is even better. This is a thinking man's comic. I think it'll be around for a long time.

the All New Atom #2 - DC

This series has a lot of potential. They're off to a good start too. Ryan Choi has come to Ivy University, per Ray Palmer's request, and is literally stepping into his shoes. His classes, his position, his house, his friends, everything. And with those friends, a bunch of cantankerous old teachers/scientists, they are testing out the Atom's equipment to see how it works. His first try out, Ryan almost blows himself up because he doesn't expand up right, which almost makes him become unstable and explode. Not a good way to start the series. Ray then interacts, some character development, with different people around the University. But there's some stuff going on in the background. It appears that Ivy University is being invaded by some kind of alien tech monsters. Also, don't forget the we have the microscopic aliens that are living on the dogs around town, that we got a glimpse of last issue. So Ray follows them into the subway, and, in trying to evade them, comes across some kind of huge blob type monster that says, "Greetings traveler. I have been waiting eons for you." Don't know what that's all about. Oh yeah, and then on the last couple pages, we see this psycopath that Ray Palmer is giving another Atom belt to. At least it appears to be Ray. Like I've said with other books, Gail Simone is an incredible writer. She's pretty new to the scene, but, she's coming on really strong, really fast. John Byrne is on pencils. I'm not to pleased with him right now, after the debacle with Blood of the Demon, but I have to admit, with Trevor Scott doing his inks, his pencils looked pretty good. Hope this series lasts for a long time. And I hope we find out what happened to Ray soon.

Ultimate Spider-man #98 - Marvel

This is part 2 of the clone saga. And do we have clones. Last issue Peter unmasked a Scopion wannabe only to find himself underneath. This issue he has taken that clone to Reed Richards to have him check it, him, out. Needless to say Peter is pretty freaked. Then Mary Jane dissapears. When Peter goes to look for her, in their secret spot, he comes across a Spider- woman? Or maybe a Spider-girl? Whoever it is, it almost looks like an MJ clone. But we don't know for sure. That's a mystery we haven't learned yet. Then we find out where MJ is being held. Well, not exactly where. But we do know that it's on the inside of an abandoned Oscorp factory. You just knew the Osbornes were going to be involved somehow. And it looks as if another Peter clone is holding her captive. At least MJ assumes it's Peter. We don't get a complete look at him, but it could be. Then on the last page, Peter goes to his old house, thinking that for some reason MJ might have gone there, but instead he runs across a Gwen clone. My, my, my. It appears that somebody has gotten a new set of cookie cutters. I just hope that this clone saga, won't be as convoluted as the one that ran through the Spider-man titles a few years ago. A clone story is like a time-travel story, they're neat to read, but by the end you have a headache from trying to figure it all out.
Regardless, I love this book.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Jonah Hex #10 - DC

We switch artists again this issue. Phil Noto does the cover and the interiors. The cover is incredible, and the inside art fits the story very well. I really like having a book I can read every month that's just a single issue story. This one's about a swamp family that likes to capture people and feed them to the 'gators. Well one of the guys they try to capture, gets away, after he's stabbed. So by the time he makes it to town and asks for Jonah's help he's barely alive. Well, needless to say that Jonah does help. After he talks the town constable into offering a reward. So anyways he goes down to the swamp, ends up killing the entire family, some to the gators, some not. And, he rescues the mans wife that asked him for help. Before the man died he gave Jonah a land contract for some land in Oklahoma, after he rescues his wife he gives it to her. Who said he wasn't a softie? Don't tell him I said that. Anyways good story. Just the right amount of blood and gore. It's 2006, and this is a true western.

American Way #6 - Wildstorm

Ok, I'm getting into this book a little more, but I gotta' say, it's still to racist for me. Now granted, this story is set in 1962. And, those were different times back then. But, I'm of the belief that just because you may not know something's wrong, doesn't mean it's not. But anyways, the CDC, Civil Defense Corps, has been split into 2 teams, the CDC and the SDC, Southern Defense Corps. This was done because even though you take a human and give them superhuman powers, at the core, they're still human. So now instead of a racist man, we have a racist super-man. So since they were of 2 diff. views of their new black super hero, the American, they thought it would be best to split in 2 rather than trying to work together, when they had such diff. beliefs. Whether this is going to work or not, remains to be seen. Now the American, is off on his own chasing after Hellbent, a super villian created by the same govt. group that created the heroes. But Hellbent has gone off script and decided to live up to his reputation and go on a killing spree. He decides to make it personal and goes after the American's brother. So now the American is after him. It's also creating turmoil because members of the CDC want to go after him too, but now they aren't allowed to go into the SDC's territory. The story really is written well. It's just a little to preachy to me. And some of the characters are a little to stereotypical. But, like I said I am getting into it more. And Georges Jeanty is doing a nice job on pencils.

Outsiders #39 - DC

Ok the Outsiders have been captured by Silver & Grey. Or, rather, by their cloned superheroes. Not sure who all the clones are of, but at least one of them is Plastic Man. Anyways, last issue the Outsiders thought they were storming Mssr. Mallah and the Brain's secret lair, an abandoned Russian nuclear facility, but they were actually being set up. Suprised? Not Really. But through S&G's help, actually through their dipping into everyones DNA, we learn a little bit more about our Outsiders. We learn that Grace is not actually human. What is she? We haven't learned that much yet. Maybe we'll learn who Boomerang's mother is. Speaking of Boomerang, we still don't know why he switched sides during the last year. We also learn that Shift may be more that just a piece of Metamorpho because when Metamorpho is captured, Shift goes free to find Katana. Do we have a schizophrenic super-hero here? So the book ends with Shift and Katana down in the nuclear core, trying to figure out how they're going to free their friends. Good book. Brilliantly written by Judd Winick. I mean the pillow talk between Mallah and the Brain was priceless. And with Matthew Clark, Ron Randall and Art Thibert on the art chores, the book is perfection.

Batman #655 - DC

Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert on Batman? It's like a wet dream come true. And, an alternate cover by Adam Kubert? "Dy-no-mite!" And this one blows you right into the action on the first page. It appears that the Joker has finally won. James Gordon if falling off a building with a huge Joker smile, and it looks like he has beaten the crap out of Batman with a crowbar. To which, the Batman grabs the Jokers gun and shoots him in the face. Classic! Except, it's not really Batman. It's a cop, who in Batman's abscence, decided that someone needed to put on a Batman suit and try to take out the trash. Which, ironically, is what the real Batman does with the Joker's body when he goes down to see how James is doing. He throws it in the nearest dumpster. Now, add to all that Kirk Langstrom and Talia, with the League of Assassins next issue, and we got a party. And, all of this happens right when Alfred talks Bruce into taking a vacation from his nocturnal activities, and go to a fundraiser in London. Talia has Kirks wife and is forcing him to turn over his Man-Bat formula. And, by all appearances, has Bruce's son, and hers, looking for him in the videos of the party, and is apparantly going to take him to meet him. Man!!! Talk about a lot of twists and turns. Especially for one issue. This is going to be a fantastic ride. Next summer Six Flags is going to have to open the Morrison/Kubert coaster.

Warlord #6 - DC

Ok we're already developing a large cast of characters. We got the obvious ones, Travis & Bovis. But we also have Regine, Tara, Terry and Alexa. And they're all intertwined. Though not as tightly as you would think. For now. Somehow Travis' power and link to the godly power of Cassus, is also linked to his ship. The reason Bovis overtook him last issue, is because Terry had found the ship,and in trying to recover it inadvertantly shut off it's power. This in turn shut off Travis' link to Cassus. We don't really know the particulars yet though. But, when he gets it up and running this issue, Cassus comes back in full strength. Travis regains his strength, his power, his sword of truth and his winged steeds Phebus and Belus. Well after a sound trouncing, Bovis goes back to he land only to be exiled by it's leaders. Of course the isle he's exiled to, is also the place where Alexa has landed. Coincidink? I don't think so. And Terry's got the jet up and running and is flying around looking for them. I have to say I'm getting more accustomed to Bart Sear's new style. That or he's getting better at it. I was a little iffy at first, but it fits the story very well. The old rallying cry used to be, " Until Travis runs out of bullets..", but since he doesn't have a gun yet, we'll have to think of a new one. Good book, and cool series.

Loveless #9 - DC

This series is powerful. Brian and Mario have really set the mood for this Western set in Blackwater. Wes Cutter, our main character, is now sheriff. And he's decided to use his position to make the townspeople pay him back for what they took from him while he was off to the Civil War. The real Civil War. Not the fake one over at the marvelous competitors. He's trying to keep his wife Ruth out of it though, so she's staying by herself up in the hills around town. I think he's the only one that knows she's alive. So now he's starting to make his presence felt in town, and to the people who come into town. The problem is, I think, one of his cohorts from the war has also come into town and for some reason is brutally murdering people. We don't really know who or why yet, but I'm sure we will soon. This expedition into the Western genre is just incredible. It's nice to have a different themed book in the pile to read every month.