Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ultimate Fantastic Four #35 - Marvel

Like it's predecessor's (the Ultimates, Ultimate Spider-man, and Ultimate X-Men) this is a very cool book. Mike Carey and Pasqual Ferry, seem to have a very interesting story going on here. They've created this whole world, and cast of characters, to introduce us to the Ultimate Thanos. How cool is that? It started with the Seed Nineteen Unit, Acheron's defenders. Trying to escape from Gallowglass, one of Thanos' high lords, they jumped into earth space. This is where they met the FF. Although the FF didn't believe they were benevolent in nature, at first, so they scuffled. After examining Seed Nineteen, and their sentient Cycle, Reed and Sue came to have a better understanding of them. Then, Gallowglass arrived. It was soon evident, that this menace, was what this unit of defenders was racing from. Gallowglass took two of the unit's members, Tesseract and Vykni, and headed back towards Acheron. But this time, Seed Unit Nineteen pursued them, along with the FF, whom were very close behind. Once on board Gallowglass' ship, the Unit and the FF engaged Gallowglass and his minions, raven and drakelighters. They didn't seem to be making much headway, until Dreamcatcher told Sue that her forcefield would interact with Gallowglass', who was formed from nuetron-degenerate matter. When his force field was removed, and his form came into contact with positive matter, the result would be explosive. Sue does so, and on the final page we see Gallowglass' ship exploding across Acheron space. Oh, and during the course of all this, Thanos has been ressurected. What kind of imagination and intelligence does it take to think this stuff up? I know that a lot of this is a variation of our own stories of Thanos, but the way they twist is around and give it a fresh spin, is just breathtaking. This book is truly living up to it's Ultimate lineage.

X-Factor #12 - Marvel

As much as I rag on Peter David for his work on Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, I have to give him credit for what he's doing with this book. Maybe he just does better with team books. But, I guess FNS could almost be considered a team book, with as many supporting characters as they have running around through the SM titles. Anyways, I really like the feel of this book. And there are some very interesting characters, especially Layla. We seem to have settled on a regular artist now too. Roy Allen Martinez, does all the flashback, or flash forward, sequences. And in my opinion, he is the better of the 2 artist. Renato Arlem, does all the rest of the art. I do have to give him credit also, as he seems to be improving with every issue. The theme of this particular issue seems to be aquainting us with how Singularity Ivestigations have been involved with the members of X-Factor, in the past present and future. It also explains Mr. Tryp Jr. and Sr.. I thought it was the same guy, going back and forth through time, but there's actually 2 of them. But, the scooting around throught time thing does seem to be one of their abilities. It also seems that Layla, and Mr. Tryp Sr., seem to be polar opposites. In fact Mr. Tryp Sr. pays her a visit at the end of this issue, and kind of upsets her world a little bit. The interaction between these 2 should prove interesting in the future. Also, one of Jamie's dupes kills Mr. Tryp Jr., and in doing so, his memories come flooding back into Jamie. It's then that he realizes that it was the Tryp's that killed his parents. He had been made to forget their meeting when he was a child. He also didn't know, what his dupe had figured out, that it was the Tryp's that had killed his parents, not some freak tornado. Jamie seems to be physically distraught with this new found information. On top of all this, we still have the whole thing going on with Guido and Quicksilver. Very interesting book.

Noble Causes #24 - Image

Welcome to another installment of "As the Pages Turn". Here is the mryiad of plots that we have going on under these covers. Celeste is trying to help Race get his powers back. To do that he has taken him to Dr. Wiseman for some experimental surgery. Rusty's in jail, for blowing up the chopper last issue, and killing the people inside. Gaia is trying to do what she can to get him bailed out. Rusty was trying to find out who replaced his girlfriend, Rae, with a robot. Celesta and Dawn are having an affair. And I'll tell you what, Celeste is smokin' in her bra and skirt. Race and Liz are having marital problems, because Race won't confide in her about what he's up to with Celeste. Also because he hasn't really communicated his feelings, or pretty much anything, to her since he lost his powers. Gaia finds out that Rae has always been a robot. Doc built her for Rusty, because he was becoming so emotionally detached from everyone, since his accident that put him in his robot body. But now he has to figure out, one if he can rebuild her, and two if he should. No one has know about this except for him, until now. Race undergoes the experiment to try to give him his powers back, and Liz goes along for emotional support. However, something goes wrong, and it looks as if he could be harmed. Liz goes in to pull him out, but she can't get herself out in time. It looks like the ray, and the experiment, has just switched hosts. And this, was just what we saw of all these plots in this issue. We still have another dozen or so characters that we haven't even touched base with in this issue. Jay Faerber has a very tightly woven little soap opera going on here. And Jon Bosco's artwork is getting better with every issue. This is a very fun read, and very cool. It's hard not to get caught up in the plot of the Noble's.

Desolation Jones #7 - Wildstorm

I was really suprised to see this book back out again. I just assumed that after the first 6 issues, that that was it. This is another fantastic character by Warren Ellis. I'm not completely bought in to the artwork by Danijel Zezelj. I like his stuff, but I don't know how it's going to fit here. But, since I liked the first 6 issues so much, I'm more than willing to wait it out a little bit, because , I know the story will be more that worth it. Not to disparage Danijel's art, but I'm bought in to this one because of the story. Since all we really know of Jones is what we learned in the first story, we'll be delving into his past some more. Learn what makes him tick. How he got the way he his. Did he volunteer to get "fucked up" like this? And why is he naked so much? But, as I said, with Warren Ellis writing this, I'm sure we'll find out all we want, and more. Wildstorm, is really putting out some cool stuff of late. It's nice to see someone take chances on stories and characters, like this one. Makes it feel like more of an "adult" market. Plus, with so many "heroes" out there, it's nice to see some "anti-heroes". And, I always like a story that makes me think. And I can count on Warren for that. If you can find the first 6 issues, I definitely recommend it. I'm sure it's out in a TPB by now. This is a fantastic book.

Tales of the Unexpected #1 - DC

Another old DC book brought back from the "Crypt". Oh wait, that was somebody else. This one was just, "Unexpected". But, I guess, where else would we expect Crispus Allen, the new Spectre to show up. First of all, a beautiful Mike Mignola cover. The story, picks up, I assume, almost immediately after the mini series. But, I guess, when you're the Spectre, time and space is relative. However, I don't think Crispus has gotten that far into his lessons yet. Right now he's still having trouble separating himself from his old life as a homicide detective. He still wants to get down in the dirt and play with the clues, like the real, I mean living, detectives. He's trying to avenge the death of a slum lord. A bad man that, thanks to karma, was held captive in the basement of one of his own rotting tenements. It's obvious, that the crime was done in retribution for how he made his tenents live. It was an exacting revenge. However, it's not our duty to be judge or jury. After all, if it was, why would we need the Spectre. So, now that the crime has been done, Crispus has to decide who he's going to hold responsible. The problem with this crime though, is that with so many possible people with culpability, it's more like how he's going to measure the degrees of responsibility. After all, if someone witnessed what happened, but did nothing to help or stop it, aren't they in fact just as responsible? I think Crispus could have bitten off more than he can chew with this "gig". Justice is exacted on one tenant, but Crispus is just getting started. David Lapham, and Eric Battle, put together a nice first installment or this story. Very well crafted and visually appealing. We also get a backup story, about another obscure DC "hero", Dr Thirteen. Again very well crafted. But with Brian Azzarello writing, and Cliff Chiang on the pencils, I would expect nothing less. And we also get a glimpse of "I. . . .Vampire!" Nice! This is the first in a six issue series. Should be a nice ride.

Martian Manhunter #3 - DC

This is another series that really shows a lot of potential. First of all it's done by A.J. Lieberman and Al Barrionuevo. For those unfamiliar, they were last seen on Gotham Knights. A series that I don't feel should've been cancelled. But, as evidenced there, and is seen even more here, their storytelling abilities take dramatic stides with each and every issue they produce. They're rapidly becoming masters of their crafts. Basically, Jonn has found 5 other Martians that were being held and experimented on. Actually, these 5 are what's left. As I said they were performing some really inhumane experiments, so we don't really know how many they started with. There appears to be 2 groups fast on their trails. One Govt. based and one non. Also, somehow the White Martians are tied up into this, but we don't know how exactly yet. Finally, at the end of the issue, we learn that the Dept. of Homeland Security, is putting together their own Justice League to go after Jonn, and the people he's responsible for freeing. It includes Black Canary, Zatanna, Green Arrow, Vixen and the Green Lantern. The depth of character development and interaction the A.J. puts into his stories, is phenomonal. You really feel as if you're getting an understanding for what these characters are thinking and feeling. And you can definitely feel their frustration. And Al's pencils really do get better and better. This is an 8 issue mini, and I'm sure any future plans will depend on the buyer's response to it. I for one, am hoping that it moves on. But, I guess that's up to you.

JLA Classified #28 - DC

Another tale of international espionage and intrigue by Howard Chaykin. Is there any other way he does it? Add in the artwork of Kilian Plunkett, and we have a very nice book, and story arc, here. We're dealing with the countries of Santa Bertriz and Del Canto. Two third world nations, somewhere in South America I presume. They are both developing super human progams, and are using those powers to maintain their dominance over their citizens. There is also a patch of land, between the 2 nations, ala the Gaza strip, that both countries are fighting over. It's really a wastland, but for either to gain control of it would mean that they would be that much closer to their border making it easier to lauch an attack. Enter the Justice League. They've gone on an undercover mission into the 2 countries, to find out just how bad the injustices are. But, they've been banned from doing so by the U.N.. So, not only do they have to do this discreetly, but they also have to make the rest of the world believe that they are elsewhere fighting other world problems. Problems that would leave them to busy to pay attention to these 2 poor destitute nations. So Bruce, Clark, Diana, Wally, Kyle and Faith really have their hands full. Then, somehow in the skirmish of the whole thing, Diana and Kyle have dissapeared. Also, Jonn has let them know that Arthur has gone AWOL. Personally, I think he got tired of the charade they were all performing, and has gone to take a more active role in the whole debacle. Very cool story. Very ala JLA:Elite. Which is a series that I really miss. I know it was only 12 issues, but it could've been expanded into so much more. As we're seeing with this story arc. Maybe there's hope yet?

Green Lantern Corps #5 - DC

Dave Gibbons writing and drawing and doing covers. Again! Awesome. And with Michael Bair on inks, it's really a crisp clean looking book. We pick up where we left off with Guy on some pleasure planet, trying to get a little R&R. But, of course, it's going to be disrupted by Bolphunga, an intergalactic bounty hunter looking to settle a score with Guy. Do these guys really chase after Guy because he's such a nemesis, or because he's such an asshole? Only the Guardians know. We also catch up with Vath and Isamot. Isamot is the lizard kinda' guy who went to Thanagar to help, but fell in love and had to stay because of his crazy mating heritage. But, he pulled himself off planet to help Vath when he was being attacked by the Citadel fleet. As is turn out it was the butler, or rather the valet, maybe bellboy, who actually took Guy's ring. He gets it back and makes pretty short work of Bolphunga. Then Salaak shows up. He's pissed at guy and sends him on a kidnapping case is sector 73. As Guy puts it, "That's the Buttcrack of the Galaxy". We also catch up to Soranik, Natu, who has gone to Mogo for some counseling. She still feels guily about Myrrt's death. She also runs into Tanak, who says he is there for counseling also. Although I think there's more to that story. I guess we'll have to wait for future issues to find out. Vath and Isamot have followed the fleet, after they stopped punishing them, but unfortunately have ended up in the Vega System. "Vega System off limits to Lanterns. Turn around. Failure to obey is a court-martial offense.", is how their rings warns them. Meanwhile, Guy has hooked up with his partner is sector 73, Chthos. He needs Guys help because the kidnapper is in Ranx. "Ranx is a city. A city as old as the stars, according to folklore. It is a most unusual city. It is sentient . . . . alive. As lanterns it is our duty to respect life. No matter how strange that life seems to our own sensibilities. And Ranx . . . . hates the Green Lantern Corps. With a vengeance". Lots of good characters, lots of good character interaction, lots of interesting plot lines. What more could you ask for in a book?

Firestorm #30 - DC

With the rather large spectrum of characters and books available out there, I can't really explain why Firestorm is one of my most favorite characters, but he is. Has been ever since his inception. I would have to say that him, Spider-man, and Superman, are my 3 all time favorites. I was a little concerned when this book first started, after all, where's Ronnie and the Prof.? But, with a little patience, I sooned learned that the book was in very capable hands with Stuart Moore and Jamal Igle. And in recent months they've brought back the Prof. Good to see Martin's head floating around again. This time also he plays a much more interactive role in the process as when he's in Jason's head, he's actually at the control panel of the Firestorm matrix. They've also brought back Firehawk, Pozhar and more recently the Pionic Man. I really think they're making a concentrated effort to have this incarnation tied in as closely as possible to the last. Ronnie or no. Jason finally catches up to Gehanna this issue to try to explain himself, but as he finds out, she's already forgiven him. Also, I have a feeling the Pionic Man is going to change his colors. He may be on the side of angels now. But, of course, there's a new bad guy, "Tokomak : the Human Reactor". We meet him at the end of this issue. I really hope that this book doesn't fall into the creative wastland like it did last time. It's good to have it back, and I hope it sticks around for a while. You know, it would really help if he became and active member of the JLA again. I mean, while they're trying to decide membership and all. Shameless plug!!

52 - Week Twenty Three - DC

Here we go again. This is proving to be a fantastic serial. By the way, Drew Johnson draws this one. Which is really cool. Anyways, we start of with Dr. Magnus being taken to an island, after his abduction last issue, filled with scientists. Both good and bad. T.O.Morrow is also there, and his reply to the Doc's question about this place is, "This is what you get when the world's maddest scientists are given an unlimited budget and encouraged to let their imaginations run wild on the finest mind-expanding narcotics available to man! Isn't it amazing?" We also catch up with Black Adam and Isis looking for Isis' brother, Osiris. They are helped by the Question and Renee Montoya, whom are also on the same trail. He's severely beaten and broken and Black Adam gives him a little of his power, much in the form of Shazam Jr.. They end the issue heading off to China. What, you say? Is that it? Well not entirely, but you should pick it up and read it. If I share all the character interaction, what is your incentive to buy it? Seriously, though, this is a great series. There's a lot of stuff going on. And a lot of stuff that's going to be affecting the DC universe in the months and years to come. If your comic shop doesn't have them I'm sure somebody on E-Bay has all 23 issues for sale. Either way, I think there's going to be a lot of future reference back to this series. Get it while you can.

Batman Legends of the Dark Knight #211 - DC

This is the final chapter of the Bruce Jones / Ariel Olivetti saga. Once again, I just want to warn you, that the artwork in this book is astounding. This book, and the last couple, should truly be considered pieces of art. They are just flawless. The only downside, is that this is going to spoil you for every other book out there. Truly amazing. "Girl before I met you, I was F.I.N.E. . . fine". We start out where the last book left off, Bruce has gone to the dock for the ransom dropoff, only to find Janie Rutledge floating in the water. Bruce also finds that Lilith stole the money rather that drop it off. She was in on it from the start. Alfred has found out the Lilith was not Janie's sister but rather her mother. When they get a better look at the woman's body, they figure out that it's not Janie, but the Billingsworth's butler's daughter, who was pregnant and who was dating Billingsworth's son. After that it really gets convoluted. It's a twisted tale of deceit, greed and masterful manipulation. Batman of course tracks her down, and on a leisurely drive in Malibu, she discovers that Bruce has a deceitful streak of his own, there's not really a million dollars in the briefcase. She also has learned that Batman is Bruce Wayne. "Little tip, sweetheart: you can't fool a woman once kissed!" But as Batman tries to stop her, she crashes and dies. Pity! Bruce Jones has put together a nice little opus here, and as I said, Ariel Olivetti's artwork is fantastic. It's going to be hard to follow up this story arc. It'll be interesting to see which direction they go.

Green Arrow #67 - DC

This is the final chapter of the story where Ollie learned all those new fighting skills. We finally get to see the interaction between him and Natas. He's the guy who trained Deathstroke. To begin with, this guy kicks the crap out of Ollie. He keeps getting beat up and Conner and Maya patch him up. Then when he has his strength back, he goes out, gets beat up again, and they patch him up again. This cycle is repeated over and over. But this Natas didn't waste any time. While he was recupperating, Natas would be by his side filling his head with more information. Now while all this is going on, Conner and Maya were still training with all the other Sensei's and assassins. But only Ollie was training with the master. When he started anticipating his moves, the training stops and the attacks begin. It's like an Extreme Games form of tag. They hide from each other for days, and then spring out and attack when the other least expects it. Next they do tracking. Then, Ollie learns about the wall in Star City. He starts to formulate a plan. One part is having Tuckman start running his campaign for Mayor. The other is to pick Natas mind on how to obtain more money. Because what he has is mind, is going to require a lot. Basically he creates a boondoggle with the stock market, specifically with corporations with defense contracts, and gains billions of dollars. Natas final lesson? He's sent an army to try to kill them. Man this book is awesome. Ever since Judd Winick and Scott McDaniel got together on this book, it's been going at a breakneck speed. I honestly think this is my favorite adaptation of the green guy. Ever! Oh, and by the way, on "Smallville" they're doing their own interpretation of Ollie. And, it's pretty good also. Do I hear "Green Arrow Corps"?? Ha-Ha!

Ultimate Power #1 - Marvel

With Brian Michael Bendis writing, and Greg Land doing the art, do you really need another reason to buy this book? Ok, I'll give you one, look at that cover! Fantastic!! We start out this issue with the FF in a heated battle with some HYDRA honeys. And I do mean honeys. Nobody draws a sexier female villian than Greg Land. And these chicks are HOTTTT!!! Anyways, obviously the FF beat them, but in the process one of them knocks a chuck out of Ben. This really upsets Reed and Sue. They already feel guily enough about what's happened to their friend. Now they have to worry about this? So anyways, Reed becomes obsessed with it. Suprise, huh? He's convinced that this has something to do with their trip to the N-Zone. So he wants to build 4200 drones to send out into all the other dimensions he can find, to try to retrieve information to help him fix Ben. Of course that's not what he tells Nick Fury, whom he wants to pay for all this. Of course he won't, partly because he's still upset about the whole Gah Lak Tus thing. But also because him, and Carol Danvers, are concerned about the "Butterfly Effect" that this whole experiment might have. But, in usual Reed fashion, he uses the 5 probes that he has, to try to cover as much area as possible. The "Butterfly Effect" is that the top couple of floors of the Baxter Bldg. comes blasting off, and when they look up they find a team of people looking down on them menacingly. We know, of course, that this is the Squadron Supreme. But, they don't know that yet. Next issue should prove very interesting. Did I mention how HOT the women the Greg draws in this book are? Smokin'!!

Ultimate X-Men #75 - Marvel

First of all, what an awesome cover by Michael Turner. Unfortunately I could only find a picture of it on the Mile HighComics website. But props to them for having it available. And since I borrowed it from them, it's only fair to tell you that if you're looking for anything, back issue wise, they are definitely the place to go to. It's at , and the way their website is laid out, and the selection they have, it's just fantastic. I use them as a source to judge my purchase prices when I'm looking for stuff on E-Bay too. Anyways, we finally get to see Cable in the Ultimate Universe. But even with that, there is just so much stuff going on in this book. We're still dealing with Jean's "psychic break", after her run in with the Professor and Lilandra. Then we have the Professor's interactions with Fury. Much more so than we've seen in our version of the X-Men. Bobby is still trying to get close to Rogue. Good luck with that, bub. We have the Kitty/Peter relationship, which is really just starting since she just got done with the other Kitty / Peter (Spider-man) relationship. Also there's still sparks flying between Ororo and Logan. Also there's the whole Nightcrawler thing. He seems to be having flashbacks, maybe from his Weapon X days, maybe from the war. Anyways the Prof. is trying to help him, and that's when Cable pops in. Literally. He take down everybody, except for Wolverine. But then when they are fighting, he pops out his claws. Cable I mean. Cable??? Yep, he's got Wolverine's claws too. So obviously this Cable is different than our Cable, even though he looks exactly the same, weapons and bullets and everything. But the final splash page is a picture of him with his claws drawn. And Wolverine confused about the 3 slash marks across his chest. Snikt!!
Awesome book. I can't believe they've made it to issue 75 already. If this isn't in your pulls, it should be!!

Wolverine Origins #7 - Marvel

Another cool book, with some great creators. Daniel Way writes and Steve Dillon draws. We're going back to the origins of Omega Red with this story arc. Also we learn about the effects Carbonadium has on Wolverine and his regenerative powers. From what I've seen, in the flashbacks to his early years, these people in Weapon X were some real bastards. We also get a glimpse into why Logans memories are so fracked up. After these 2 scientists experiment on him, with the Carbonadium, they drag him to this room that has what looks like an electric chair in it. The one scientist asks, "I've uh . . . . I've never actually seen it . . . . that's what is used to replace Logan's memories?". To which the other replys, "No. No, no . . . . . . that is what is used to destroy his memories." Then he keeps going on, "Electrical current is passed throught the subjects brain via the penetrating diodes to specified areas of the cerebral cortex known to store short-term memories. Destroying the brain cells and therefore destroying the memories themselves. As the affected portions of the brain regenerate, I . . . or another with my qualifications. . . . steadily and repeatedly dictate an . . . alternate version of recent events to the subject. 'Memory Implants', so to speak. Once the subject is conscious and near full recovery, I . . . pretending to be his attending physcian . . . .'reluctantly' clear him for active duty and then provide him with a sealed dossier containing details for his next mission." And he starts laughing. "What's so funny?", asks the one scientist. To which he cynically says, "Oh nothing. . . I was just remembering the last time I did this . . . . he actually thanked me. For helping him." What a bunch of bastards. I always thought his "implants" were some kind of psychic assault on him, not something so sadistic and primitive. Logan regains consciousness and uses his claws to eviscerate the one scientist. But he is truly suprised by the protrusion of the claws. But this also seems to clear up some of his memories. As he's looking at his bloodied hands, he just calmly says, "I remember it all." He has this flashback, because, after that incident he went to Berlin to obtain the Carbonadium Synthesizer. Once he got it he gave it to Maverick to hold. But then after that mission his memories were wiped again, and he forgot. So now he's come to Maverick to get it back, but so has Omega Red. And one of his biggest concerns is Jubillee, who is also in this group of people that OR is attacking. I like this series because it fills in a lot of questions that we've been having about Wolverine for the last 30 years. I'm glad the powers that be decided to finally shed some light on some of this. But, it's very well written, and Steve Dillon's artwork is perfect for this story. And we get 2 covers every issue also. Yay!!

Uncanny X-Men #479 - Marvel

We don't see very much of Vulcan this issue, but we do find out what the X-Men are going through trying to get to Shi'ar space. We also learn some more about Korvus, the Shi'ar's Phoenix killer. He has inherited, through heritage, the sword of Rook'shir. It can only be carried by blood heirs because an infinitesimal piece of the Phoenix force resides in the blade. And also because it's about a foot wide and about 8 ft. long. Who says size doesn't matter? Anyways he finds his way to the X-men's ship, after all he is attuned to the Phoenix force. He then proceeds to beat up everyone. There's nothing Polaris, Havok or anyone can throw at the blade to stop it. Korvus finally makes it to where Rachel is and attempts to kill her. But, Rachel stops the blade with her portion of the Phoenix power, and in doing so they share a psychic report. Rachel learns about Korvus' heritage, and Korvus learns about everything, which is an awful lot, that has to do with Rackel's past and hardships. The hesitation of Korvus' part is enough for Rachel to overcome him. Then why he's down, Rachel disable the explosive charge that the Shi'ar had implanted in him to save his life. In the confusion, however, the Professor has taken off in Korvus' ship. We don't have any idea why. But, Darwin is in tow, as he has grabbed onto the bumper as the ship takes off. Always a cliffhanger with this book.

New X-Men #31 - Marvel

This is another book that just seems like it's getting better and better every issue. At the end of last issue, we saw the new X-Men (Talon, Rockslide, Mercury, Dust, Surge and David Alleyne) being pinned down, along with Forge, by Nimrod. It definitely appears that things are not going to go their way. It looks like some tragedy is in the forcast for them again also. The first down is Rockslide. Nimrod gets ready to throw a blast at Jullian, but Rockslide jumps between and is blown into a million pieces. Then David gets a good bite of Nimrod when he grabs a plasma cannon, or something, and shoots off half his head when Surge is about to be terminated. After hammering away at Nimrod, with little or no success, it finally dawns on Forge that the time device inside Nimrod is not the original, so would therefore be a weak spot. Talon, X-23, is the next one to go down, as she trys to soften him up for Mercury's and Surge's attack. Nimrod frys her. Which sends Mercury and Nori into a rampage. This seems to accomplish the task, and Nimrod is blinked out of time. But that's not the end for the newbies. Rockslide has managed to pull his face back together so he can talk, and Jullian uses his telekinesis to help him pull the rest of him together. But then they realize that Talon is laying on the floor in a crispy smell. Jullian goes over the edge and, with a boost from Emma, uses his powers to fly Talon back to the campus so he can try to get Foley, Elixir, to use his powers to heal her. But this is a big gamble because he' s been down ever since he thought he killed Stryker. But the emotions and the urgency from Jullian is enough to bring him out of his funk, and he does indeed heal her. In the 2 epilogues we learn first that the Govenor is in bed with Strykers chuch, and that Matthew Risman appears to be ready to take over for the reverend after they retrieve his body from the O.N.E.. We then learn that the temporal jump by Nimrod has sent him back into the X-men's past, specifically where he first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #192.

Omac #4 - DC

Like I said for the first three issue, this book is just hard for me to get in to. I just don't buy in to the characters. So much so that I even have a hard time remembering any of their names. I'll try to explain the story as best I can, but if I seem disinterested as I'm doing so, it's because I am. This kid, Mike Costner, whom the Omac is connected to, lands in some shithole in what looks like Arizona or New Mexico, or something. Anyways some thugs try to attack him, and when the Omac trys to take over, he consciously stops it from happening. He does still get some of the powers, but he stops the transformation. Of course he takes out his attackers and blows up a gas station. He wakes up then after saving Vienna, although he doesn't remember it, from being run over by a truck. Vienna is the stripper girl who's dressing room he ran through in issue 1 or 2. She takes him on their bus, with the rest of the strippers, and their "manager". They all see him as a liability, and a junkee, because of his track marks, and the "manager" decides they would be better off just to shoot him and leave him lying in the desert. Vienna says she'll do it, obviously so she can fake it. We learn a little more about Brother Eye this issue, because it is trying to rebuild itself in outer space. We also learn that it can't connect with Mike unless he's high, because when he was originally infected he was. So as long as Mike stays clean, Brother Eye won't have a clean connection. On the last page, the group of junkies that picked Mike up out of the desert, after Vienna faked shooting him, run in to, literally, the bus she's on. The last panel is Vienna laying on the ground looking up at Mike in the Omac transformation. I'll ride this out to the end, because it's only 8 issues, but, I just don't really like it all that much. I'm severly dissapointed.

52 - Week Twenty Two - DC

We start out with how Lex Luthor is concerned about 2 things. The first is the condition of his "son", Kon-El. Although we know he's dead, Lex doesn't believe so. Secondly he's concerned about the identity of Super-Nova. Although the rest of his staff is convinced that it is Kon-El, Lex doesn't believe that. He's convinced that it is Superman. Next we witness 2 apparently inconspicuous people heading to Metropolis. One is a girl who wants to become involved in Lex's superhero program, and the other is an Indian who is returning for his father's funeral. Upon doing so he learns from his uncle that there is a heritage in his family, that he is next in line to accept. He is to be the next Super-Chief. Finally we get to find out what's going on with Will Magnus, and T.O.Morrow. Where did he go anyways? Will is attacked in his home, by what appears to be a rogue group of Metal Men. They all have the same metal and appearance of the originals, but none of their personalities. Will's house is blown up, he's abducted, and taken to a place for "Mad Scientists only, Doctor Magnus." Now if that's not a cliffhanger ending, I don't know what is. I love this book. Mainly because it comes out every week, but also because I like being able to keep up on all these various characters, in the same book, every week. Gotta' have my fix.

Civil War : Front Line #7 - Marvel

I like this book because, where the regular Civil War title is the grand super hero mega war book, this book tells the inbetween story. And the story of the side lines, where the normal people play. Yes the main story is about Speedball. But, it's not really about him. It's more about the system that he has fallen into because of his association with the tragedy in Maine. It's not that his guilt in the incident is wrong. But, his complete involvement, the underlying circumstances, have not been fully disclosed. Also, that this incident was orchestrated to cement the general publics opinion and desire for the registration act to become a law. Without the huge dispay of contempt and remorse, they might have realized what such an act would eventually do to their own civil liberties. And that is what this book is really dealing with, the repercussions of such a blatant assault on a persons freedoms, whether they be homo-sapien or superior. The first story is about Ben Urich and Sally, two reporters that started out working together, but now have ended up in different places. And each of them are having to make a choice that they probably never thought they'd have to be in the decision to make. But again, that's the fallout of the Civil War. We're also starting to see how Norman Osborne is more involved in all of this than what we originally thought. Also Ben's story, and Robbie's story are starting to become intertwined. Robbie's story picks up right after he's been shot. We get to see his feeling as he's thinking about his past and friends, as he's being rushed to the hospital. But then on the way something happens. It appears that this trauma may be kick starting his powers back in. We'll have to wait until next issue to find out. In the "Sleeper Cell" story, we learn more about the Namor's involvement. Also, Wonderman is attacked by the Green Goblin. Which everyone thinks is dead. So now all three stories are starting to come together. And finally we have a glimpse of how the Civil War is mimicing another famous battle, the Somme Offensive. This book makes you think. Which, believe it or not, is a good thing.

Detective Comics #824 - DC

Ok, I'll admit it, Paul Dini's stories are getting better with every issue. Now, I know, this guy has a lot of experience, but when he first came on board Detective, I just wasn't to thrilled with his scripting. But, it's growing on me. The same can be said of Don Kramer, the artist. I liked him right from the start, but I still feel he's improving every issue. And, I also feel that some of this is due to the colorist, John Kalisz. This is some of the best, most vibrant, colors I've ever seen in a book. It is just outstanding. Oh, and of course, I have to give props to Simone Bianchi's covers. Every issue they are just a work of art. So, from a creative standpoint, I feel this book is in the best hands it's been in a long time. Great editorial choices. Now, on to the story. Penquin, on the level? Say it isn't so. Well, he's not completely, but, he's trying to appear so. As is the Riddler, who has his own P.I. business in Gotham also. We get a guest appearance from Lois Lane this issue also. It appears her and Bruce have the same suspicions, and reservations, while attending Penquin's party. We also have a new bad guy on the scene, although I don't know how far he'll go in Batman's huge Rogue's gallery, a Mr. Zzz. Apparently he is a criminal who is sleepwalking throught his crime career. Some form of Narcolepsy. Anyways, in the back room of Penquin's soiree is a high stakes poker game. And Mr. Zzz is cleaning Penquin's clock, or rather his bank. The guy can't lose. Of course Batman figures out the scheme, there's a melee between him and Mr. Zzz. And in the end all the bad guys go to jail. And, Batman returns all the money back to the Penquin. Oswald asks, "So what do I owe you for this grotesque display of largess?". To which the Batman replys, "Limit your thievery to bad tee shirts and overpriced drinks. Or else." Nice little twist at the end. Oh, and Bruce's bimbo date ends up with . . . . . . Lois?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Justice League Unlimited #26 - DC

I know this book is for kids. Well, at least it's aimed at kids. But anytime you get to read the adventures of the Justice League, you have to. This one involves Superman, Aquaman, Booster Gold and Doctor Fate. Atlantis is being attacked by Black Manta and Felix Faust. So our heroes have to go down to the ocean depths and stop them. The other reason I read this book is because I haven't seen any new episodes of Justice League Unlimited lately on the Cartoon Network. What's up with that? Last January, I think, was the new season, but I only saw about 8 episodes. We just keep seeing the same episodes over and over again. Teen Titans Go! also. So anyways, when I can't get a new episode, I have to get my JL fix somehow. And this book is a very good replacement.

Jonah Hex #12 - DC

I've already been raving about this book. Now with this issue I can rave even more, because Paul Gulacy does the pencils. Also, Luke Ross does the cover this month. It's painted and it is just incredible. I just really like the look and feel of this book. Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti are doing an incredible job with the stories. And I like the way that they're keeping them down to 1 issue stories too. In the grand scheme of things, everythings connected, but you don't have to read 6 or 8 issues to get to the end of the story. And action? It's the wild, wild, west. There's murder and mayhem everywhere. Next issue we get to read a story that's never been told, the origin of Jonah Hex. I don't want to give away to much of the story. You'll just have to pick it up and join the ride.

The Boys #3 - Wildstorm

We finally get a view of the Seven. And what a bunch of bastards they are. Not to get too graphic, but, there's a new member to the team, a female, that has come up to join from one of the teen teams. It seems there 2 teen teams, Teenage Kix and the Young Americans. After they have proven themselves there they get to get kicked up to the majors if they're needed, or have really proven themselves. Well Annie January, this little innocent looking farm girl, gets called up, and as she's on board meeting thet Homelander, she's just blushing over with awe. This girl truly has stars in her eyes as she's meeting one of her all time heroes. But the Homelander says there's 1 more trial for her to truly be on the team, he pulls down his pants and tells her to "Suck it!". Black Noir and the A-Train come in to see what the commotion is, and they pull their pants down too. Annie asks, "You're going to force yourselves on me?", to which the Homelander replys, "Christ, no. Nobody's forcing anyone to do anything. No, it's all a question of how badly you want to join the Seven." These guys are some real class acts. Well that kinda' shows you why the Boys are being put together. Apparently the heroes of this earth have been at the top of the pile for so long, they feel they can do anything they want. And the Boys are here to lay down the ground rules. By any means necessary. Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson have a pretty neat idea here. It'll be interesting to see where it goes.

Phoenix Warsong #2 - Marvel

The real breakout of this story is not that the Phoenix may be residing in the Cuckoo's. That's just the next natural step. It went from Jean, to Madelyn, back to Jean, to Emma, then where to next? Oh yeah, the Cuckoo's. So what? The real story is that the Cuckoo's are not who they seem. Nobody's ever really questioned where they came from or why. And in this issue when they do try to question it, there's a mental block that make anyone who thought about it forget what they were talking about. Apparently those blocks have been in place ever since they arrived. No one noticed till now. And now that they have noticed, and know that they're there, Emma easily, if not painlessly, removes them from everyone. And on top of this weirdness, the other 2 Cuckoo's, the dead ones, rise up out of the ground to join there sisters. In the melee that follows, Wolverine ends up cutting off part of one of their arms and in doing so discovers that their skeletons are laced with nanotech. Which, once Wolverine knows what it is, he recognizes the smell from the World. Cyclops doesn't have happy memories of his trip there. "The last time I went to the World, I fought an artificially evolved supersoldier who could disintegrate people by looking at them. He was part of a team of monsters who were supposed to exterminate every mutant on the planet. Monsters bred in the World. Where your Cuckoo's come from.", Scott says to Emma. The final spash page of the story, is the Cuckoo's desending into the depth's of the World only to find caccoons, thousand of them, all filled with what appears to be more of their sisters. Now how the Phoenix plays into all of this, I'm not sure yet. But with only 3 issues to go, I'm sure we'll find out soon. Viva la X-men.

Giant Size Wolverine #1 - Marvel

The opening story to this book was ok. David Lapham is a good writer. The artwork by David Aja, was ok. Although it did seem to lend it's style to about 3 or 4 different sources. But over all, I was severly dissapointed. Stories with no consequences, piss me off. Now this story, in and of itself had consequence. Hell, it had conflict, resolve and consequence. But, in the grand scheme of things, in the grand design of the continuity that is the Marvel universe, it means nothing. There is nothing that happened in this story that will have any consequence in the Marvel universe. It may as well have not happened, because it means nothing. And to add insult to injury, this story would've been just as well suited for a one shot in the regular title. For which I wouldn't have complained about spending $2.99. But as it is I had to spend $4.99. And for what? To buy the reprints of X-Men 6 & 7? Why? If you're going to reprint something in the Wolverine Giant Size, I would think that it would be some obscure Wolverine story. Yes Wolverine was in these 2 issues, but so what? I hate spending my hard earned money on reprinted material. Thanks Marvel. Thanks for making me think even less of your marketing department. My advise? Save you $5, or spend it on 2 books of something that you like.

Outsiders #41 - DC

The title of this issue is "State of Grace". And in that I was hoping that we would learn a little more about the secret that is Grace. But no! Not this issue. However, with a little interaction between Grace and Lightning's daughter , we find out that not only does she know Grace's secret, but that they are in love. Meeoooww!! With last issues trouncing of Siler & Grey, Dr. Sivana has decided to do 2 things, first he's going to blow up the nuclear facility and hopefully incinerate anyone or thing that may be privy to his involvement. You just know that's not going to work. Secondly, he contacts Lois Lane and sends her video, not only of the explosion, but of all the activities the Outsiders have been involved in over the last year or so, because the world was lead to believe they were dead. Which really isn't that big of a deal, in and of itself, but some of the things the Outsiders have done, or were involved with, weren't exactly lawful. And I'm sure, taken out of context, and on video, it looks even worse. So now, not only do they have to find Dr. Sivana, which the Pequod has helped them out with, but they also have to whether the shitstorm that's going to be headed their way from every news outlet in the world. We still have Judd Winick, Matthew Clark and Ron Randall and the creative helm, and they are doing a bang up job. I've been an Outsiders fan, ever since the "First Issue Special", but this, in my opinion, is the best it's ever been.

Mystery in Space #2 - DC

Cool book. Cool character. Fantastic creative team. This book reminds me so much of early Image. I think I mentioned that in the blog for issue #1. It reminds me of back when the art was good. The stories weren' t so hot. But the art was good. But this book, Jim Starlin really knows how to craft a tale. He hasn't done as much stuff of late, as he has in the past,so you kinda' forget about how good he really is. But then he puts something out, like this, and you are just blown away. Add to that Shane Davis on art, and I am just knocked out. Props to the boys!!!! Anyways, yes Captain Comet was dead at the end of last issue. And yes he's alive this issue. Apparently his body regenerated and came back to life. And in the process knocked off about 40 years. And by the way, I love his talking bull dog, Tyrone II. Very clever, a good character, and a great companion. So, in order to solve this mystery of his death and rebirth, he needs to get ahold of his old body, so maybe it can give him some clues. But of course, it's gone. So now the real mystery and chase begins. And if I know Jim Starlin, it'll be a doozy. Now as a backup feature we have one of Jim's other characters, whom he created, the Weird. And on these pages he writes and draws. Fantabulous!!! Now since the Weird came back at Hardcore Station, where Comet happens to live, he dropped the Captain part since he's younger now, I don't think it's a coincidence. I think that the Weird's story, and Comet's, are somehow intertwined, in a way that we just can't see yet. But the Weird's story is neat in that the last place he was incarnated was on earth. So not only does he have to acclamate himself to his new body and ressurection, but also to his surroundings and world. A lot of stuff to take in, for a dead guy. But anyways, in typical Starlin fashion, the story is filled with all kinds of weird aliens, robots and future tech. This one will also be a fun ride. It'll be neat to see how these two stories catch up to each other, and what they have to do with each other. My only critique is that this is only an 8 issue series. Say it isn't so!!!

Nightwing #125 - DC

Ok we got a new creative team. Marv Wolfman, Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund seem to off to a quick start. I have to admit, this issue seems a lot more upbeat than say any of the last twelve in this series. I'm not saying I don't like the series, but the morose and self wallowing can only stretch on and on and on and on for so long. Everybody has a good day. Or at least a day where they're happy to be alive. That's how I feel that Dick feels this issue. He's chasing after a bad guy, or so he thinks so far, called the Raptor. And although he seems to be getting the bad end of the stick, and doesn't really seem to have a chance of stopping him on his own, he feels alive. When he does start to feel down, he runs into two hotties from his building, Ryan Diaz and Zen. Ryan is a masseuse and after straightening his spine, makes him feel warm all over. We also get to see Dick trying to go through the mundane task of trying to find a job. Soon we get a look at Raptor, under his armor, and he appears to be as much a victim as his supposed victims were. Finally we end with Dick taking a long hot shower. He's supposed to go over to the girls apartment for a party, but instead rests his eyes and promptly passes out from exhaustion. The girls are knocking at his door, later, trying to get his attention. And while he sleeps, someone is lurking in the shadows of his room, "Dick Grayson. . . you were supposed to die in the crisis, but somehow you survived. That will have to be corrected." Kind of an ominous ending, but with Marv and Dan on board I think we'll get some fun back into this series also. This picture is actually a different cover than what is on #125. I can't explain it, but enjoy.

the All New Atom #4 - DC

This is turning out to be a pretty cool book. And to add to my happiness, it isn't drawn by John Byrne this issue. Yippee!!! I'm sorry. Don't get me wrong. I like John, his art and his writing. But, sometimes a little bit of him goes a long ways. And sometimes it seems like he's everywhere. Which I find very annoying. Add to that, I'm still mad about the way he ended his "Blood of the Demon" series. Very anti-climactic, and childish. To me it felt like he had dug himself into such a deep hole, that he couldn't figure out how to write himself out of it. Or at least without another 12 - 15 issues to explain it, so "POOF" it was all a dream. Baaaadddd!! Anyways, this is about the atom and it's new artistic team of Eddy Barrows and Trevor Scott. Very nice work guys. Who knew you could make a 50 foot walking tumor look so attractive? Anyways, it's a lot of fun. We're getting to see the wierd side of Ivy Town. The Dean has a theory, "I believe what he did, the sheer imposibility of it . . . . I believe it tortured the natural physics of the town." Of course Ryan doesn't believe that, but he's new to town so what's he going to do? I guess we'll have to wait until next issue to find out. And who's this other Atom? He seems like a psychopath, but at the same time he seems interested in helping Ryan. Mysteries abound, and I'm sure, with the prose of Gail Simone, there will be a lot more twists and turns before we start getting the answers we're looking for. And you know how some questions lead to more questions, well I think we're just getting a taste of that.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man #13 - Marvel

This issue wraps up the story of the multiple Mysterio's. It had all the usual Mysterio stuff. Daniel Berkhart and Francie Klum, the latest 2 Mysterio's, battle it out over who they think is better. Of course Spidey beats them, and with Flash's help save the school, the kids, and difuse the bomb. But, the real point of this story is two-fold. First we are being introduced to a new sub-plot that is going on. Appararently there are two sides fighting over something, we don't know yet, but it obviously revolves around Peter. Quentin Beck, the dead Mysterio, is on one side of the fence. The second reason for our story, the introduction of the school nurse Miss Arrow, and her alterego which we aren't privy to yet, is on the other side of the fence. In fact Miss Arrow doesn't even know yet what her role is or who's calling the shots. But she does have powers. I'm wondering if she's going to be some kinda' Spider-girl, or Spider-woman or something. The spikes that come out of her forearms look an awful lot like Peter's. But we'll just have to wait and see. I do have to admit though that this storyline was better than the last convuluted one. This is turning out to be a fun series. Let's see where it goes from here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Amazing Spiderman #535 - Marvel

Peter has finally had enough. After going to the prison in the negative zone, Peter starts asking Mr. Fantastic some hard questions. He has the same ones for Tony, but whenever he eludes to them, with him, he can tell he's not going to get a straight answer, or his loyalty and patriotism is going to be brought into question. We also learn a little bit about Reed, and maybe what some of his motivations for all this are. Tony however, immediately doesn't trust Peter anymore, or his intentions. When they get back to Stark towers, he begins to gather up MJ and Aunt May, to tell them it's time to leave. He no longer feels safe here. But before he can get them all out, Iron Man comes crashing through the wall to tackle him. "Thought you said . . . you were going out. . . for the night . . . . dad?", says Peter. To which Iron Man replys, "And I thought you knew which side you were on?" This is the beginning of a big battle, that obviously is going to take place next issue. I like the way that Peter is always the one to question the norm. He's always the one who seems to have the real bead on what's going on, and what peoples real motivations are. Maybe that's his Spider intuition. Whatever it is, he always seems to be the most level headed of the bunch. Which really says alot, considering what he does and how he does it. So we're going to have to wait until next issue to find out what the fallout from this is going to be. This has always been such a well written title, and J. Michael Straczynski is keeping up with that stellar heritage. Thanks!!!

X-Men #191 - Marvel

Another chapter in the Supernovas story line. Or the Children of the Vault. Whatever you want to call them. This issue we find out some more of the history of these people. Creed decides to open up some and tell the X-Men what he knows about them and where they came from. From what he says, Cable pieces the rest of it together. Basically these scientists, in the 70's, built an accelerator, and started perfoming test with it on a leased ship off the coast of Chili. Rogue asks, "You think they did it, Cable? Built an accelerator and then . . . . what? Turned the Conquistador into some kind of time machine?" To which Cable replys, "No. The Accelerator wouldn't have let them travel through time. It would be a sealed space, within which time moved more quickly by a factor of several hundred times. In the three decades that the Conquistador was at sea . . . . assuming it was inhabited . . . . . the people inside it would have lived through six thousand years." Emma asks, "Are you saying that the children are mutants?" "No. They're fully human, but after so many centuries of genetic drift, they have to count as a separate species. And the technologies they've developed are a s formidable . . . as dangerous. . . . . as any super power.", replys Cable. Which Cannonball has already experienced as Serafina, one of the children, while in the infimary, taps into Lady Wyngarde's powers and takes Cannonball though a lifetime of illusion. What he feels is years and years of time they've spent together, is actually only 4 minutes to the outside world. But after their failure with the X-men, the children decide it's time to stop hiding their existance and go out and confront the world. Clay Henry is on pencils, and it is a very visually telling story. Even after this story is wrapped up, I have the feeling these "Children of the Vault" will be affecting the X-Men for a long time to come.

Civil War : Front Line #6 - Marvel

Another great installment in this series. We have our ongoing story about Ben Urich and Sally Floyd. Both are equally dedicated at getting at and reporting the truth, but both have different ways of going about it. Which is probably why they make such a good team. There's like this automatic check and balance there when the two are working together. Anyways, Ben is stuck because Robbie wants him to work on the War storyline, but Ben wants to figure out what's going on with the Goblin, because he, and his family, was directly threatened by him. So, Jonah fires him and he's ready to leave. Robbie however talks him in to staying, by letting him cover the War story how he wants. If he wants to go at it through the Goblin connection, fine, as long as he reports it as witnessed and he expects nothing less than the truth. Sally, on the other hand, is stuck in a holding cell because of her involvment with the "Rebels". Her story ends with the Marshall and Mr. Fantastic offering her a deal. Ben is in the middle of the Melee at Oscorp and witnesses Goliath being taken down. Ben confronts Tony afterwards and really puts him on the spot. The hard hitting questions leaves Tony walking off with no comment, and Ben thinking, "I got you, Tony Stark. I got you. Hook, line and sinker." We then move on to Robbie Baldwin who is being moved to the holding facility in the negative zone. He's writting a letter to his mom, which is how we keep up with the history of the story. Mr. Fantastic feels for him and offers him an open hearing in Washington, to tell his side of the story. He goes there with Jen, She-Hulk, but of couse things aren't as anticipated. The final scene as they're going into the building looks like the image of the Lee Harvey Oswald shooting. Next we look in again at the story about the shop owner who was a sleeper agent. For Atlantis apparently. Wonder Man is ordered to follow him, which leads him to a warehouse of more Atlanteans, and heavily armed ones at that. Finally we get to review a poem from WWII and see the images of how that war compares to the current one. I really like the way this mini shows the War from the "everyman's" point of view. Very sombering.

Batman and the Mad Monk #2 - DC

This is another book, like "Journey into Knight", and Matt's last mini "Batman and the Monster Men", that's takes us back to the beginning of Batman's carreer. This one picks up right where "Monster Men" left off. Bruce is still dating Julie Madison. He's trying to protect her father from Maroni, whom he owes a lot of money to. He's also still trying to work out his working arrangement with Harvey Dent and James Gordon. Also right now it's just him and Alfred. Robin hasn't even crossed his mind yet. But now he's trying to stop some ritualistic serial killer that seems to be attacking young women, draining their blood and then discarding the used up bodies all over Gotham. What he doesn't know yet is that there's a new cult in town called the Brotherhood let by a man known as the Mad Monk, Niccolai, and his apprentice Dala. I like this kind of story because it shows us Batman at a time when he wasn't so sure of himself. When he was still working out all of his relationships. And he made mistakes. After all he is human. And, with Matt Wagner writing and drawing it, what more could we ask for. Cool book, great concept, and expertly executed.

Eternals #4 - Marvel

This is a fantastic book. First of all we have Neil Gaiman writing it. The complexity and detail of his stories is just phenomonal. Then we have John Romita Jr. on art. Unfortunately, he was never one of my favorites. Until, he started doing some of these prestige format mini-series over the last few years. You can tell he really takes his time with this and puts in a lot of effort. This is some of his best work to date. Love it! Then of course you have to give props to Rick Berry, who's been turning in some phenomonal covers. Basically what's happening is that Sprite, the young Eternal, actually he's been stuck at the age of 11 for about a million years, is tired of being 11 and he's seriously bored. He brainwashed Zuras and Ajak, over the course of 100 years with his illusions, then woke them up and took them to San Francisco to talk to the Dreaming Celestial. When they got there they created a uni-mind, but with the Celestial's power, it amplified everything Sprite could do. So he basically re-wrote reality. He turned all the Eternals into humans, he made himself a film/rock/TV star, and he made himself human so he could age. But now that he's human, I think he's misses his power, so he tricks Makkari into taking him down to where the Celestial sleeps, to try to tap into the power again. Ikaris, who has been regenerated after his atomization, is now tuned into everything and without illusion. So he has gone to New Jersey to get Thena, and then go to SF to stop Sprite from waking the Celestial. Because he knows if he does, it'll be the end of the world. As we know it. Sorry couldn't resist. Anyways, fantastic book.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Heroes for Hire #2 - Marvel

I'm just guessing here, but I think it's safe to say that the main characters of this book are Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. There's always going to be other characters in their group, but, these 2 will be the mainstay. These first 2 issues have dealt alot with the Civil War crossover. Tony Stark is the one who put this team together, to help get the ones who won't register. So essentially he is Misty's boss. They seem to have a pretty good understanding of each other also. So he's not overly suprised when she says that she wants to go try to talk Cap down. Through some means, that Tony probably wouldn't use, she finds him. She goes there and trys to talk to him. But, they are betrayed by the Palladin. He has a signal device to let SHIELD know where they're at. But I can't imagaine Palladin coming up with this on his own. So my guess is that Tony approached him to do so. And if so, how is Misty going to feel about that? At the end of this book, it appears that Palladin has everyone subdued. He then calls SHIELD to come and pick 'em up. But is that really how this is going to end? We'll have to wait until the next issue to find out. The first 2 issues are intriguing. We'll just have to see where they go from here.

Ultimates 2 #12 - Marvel

The Liberators have come to capture America. And they're not afraid of using as much force as possible. So this has brought everyone back together. Including the Hulk, who they tricked the world into believing was killed. But with these guys, they really need all their big guns. The problem is, they caught the Ultimates, and the country, so much by suprise, that they had already gained a lot of ground by the time they could mount any form of counter attack. The great part about this story is the writing. The way Mark Millar has his characters take a different view of things, is just genius. The attitude that the hulk takes when the guy beating up on him start taunting him. "I'm bigger than you, stronger that you and , unlike you, I still have my genius intellect, Doctor Banner. In other words . . . . YOU'RE SCREWED!!". The banter between characters is just more life like. Also, a lot of times, what they say is what you would say if you were in that situation. There's no real hero posturing, it's just down and dirty. Just like real life. And of course Hitch and Neary on pencils and inks, makes each page look like you're watching a movie. The flow between frames is just real smooth and natural. It's taken a long time to get to issue 12. 2 series and 24 books later, and we're finally here. But, I'm not gonna' complain to much, because this is such a fabulous book. I'm just glad it's here now, and I can enjoy it.

Spawn #160 - Image

The end of last issue was the Rapture. How do you follow that up? Well first of all, all the people involved in the Rapture, don't exactly get the welcoming they were expecting. God seems to be an angry wrathful god. His only goal seems to be to beat Hell in this war they have going on. In order to do so he has to rebuild his army, it seems that Zera has massacred the forgotten. So he's going to turn all the people that just arrived into his army. Not a painless transformation. Spawn has gone to the Garden of Eden to eat of the fruit of life. Somehow this will make everything better. But first he has to fight his way past all of the disciples. Add to this that his power counter is back, and it's seriously depleted, and we have a very anxious hurried Spawn. Cyan is monitoring him, as she is playing a big role in all of this. Not exactly sure what or why, but she's helping navigate Spawn through the turmoil. She's also the one that suggests, when he meets the final disciple, Judas, that he has to let Judas beat him. And in Hell, we have Mammon and Lucifer arguing over the fate of the war. It seems Hell also needs to replenish it's army, so it's going to set off a natural disaster to bring in as many people as possible. Mammon asks Lucifer, "Have you heard of the San Andreas fault?" So next issue? Armageddon! See you then. Or maybe not.

Ultimate Spider-man #100 - Marvel

What an awesome book. And it's at 100 already. Also Bendis and Bagley are about to beat the old record, done by Lee & Kirby on the FF, of doing 102 consecutive issues with the same writer and artist. Props to Brian and Mark. Awesome job guys. This book has it all too. First we have the return of Peter's dad. Who also seems to be the one behind all these clones popping up lately. We also get some history about him and Eddie Brock, and how they came up with Venom. Now he's supposedly working for the CIA, and that's who's funding all his projects. Gwen Stacy is back. Or at least her clone. Well, that is until she gets upset and turns into Carnage. There's also a spider clone that's wearing the black costume. This one however is a girl, and has six arms. We also see that the Peter clone, the one with the melted face, is still in the Osborne factory getting ready to do some experimenting on MJ. The real one, I presume. At the end of the issue he turns her into something, but we don't get to see it yet. And there's still the Spider-Woman skirting around out there. We don't know who she is either. We also don't really know why Peter's dad has chosen now to return. An ominous picture is when they're in the kitchen and he says "Pizza". It seems to put Gwen and Peter both in a temporary trance. As if it's a trigger phrase. But if so, does that mean the Peter is a clone also? Man-o-man, there's a lot of questions coming out of these last few issues. We also get a little of the history of Richard and Mary Parker, and why they split, just before Mary boarded a plane that crashed. But now Fury and a SHIELD regiment stands outside their house ready to take them all in. That is until Gwen turns into Carnage, and goes jumping out the window. Also it looks as if May may be having a heart attack. So now, we're going into the next 100 issues on the edge of our seats. One of the best books out there. A must read, for everyone!!!

Warlord #8 - DC

Only 8 issues into the series and the Warlord's dead? Now you know they aren't going to let that happen. But it looks like it. And if not Warlord, then Regine's dead. After the giant crab attacked them last issue it looks as if Travis and Regine are dead as they lay on the beach side by side with outstretched hands touching. But Tara doesn't like the looks of this, so she cuts Travis and leaves the bloody knive in Regine's hand. When the rest of the Royal Court arrive to claim the body of their fallen god, Regine is found to be still breathing. Tara orders her medical care so she can then be hanged. Meanwhile Terry, Alexa and Brovis are trying to sort their own situation out. Which really means that Brovis is trying to figure out the best way to take advantage of Terry's arrival, so that he can gain control of the Airplane and conquer all of Skataris. He's really laying it on think too. Anyways it looks like all is lost until Terry finally start up the plane, restoring power to Travis. He comes swooping in, but not in time to save Regine. In his rage he starts beating up on the Skartaran people, until one of them finally gives it up that it was Tara who was behind the duplicity. And that's how the issue ends, with Travis looking towards Tara like the hunter who's getting ready to disembowel Bambi. Bruce Jones, of course, does an awesome job with the script. And Bart Sears' new style is getting better and better. Both of their styles are coming together very smoothly for this series.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Action Comics #843 - DC

You wondered if Superman could get any better? Well with Busiek, Nicieza and Woods at the creative helm, I wonder if it could get any better also! At the end of last issue, Superman was diving into the power core of the Auctioneer's processing center. Why? Because he's trying to free the hundreds of people that are captured and being held in stasis there. And, because he truly is a hero. Long story short, him and his team bust through the ship until they find something of importance to the Auctioneer, Ops, a form of digital data processing life. When Superman captures it, he opens up a barter line with the Auctioneer, which really is the only way to communicate with him. He trades everyone's, and earth's, freedom for all the information he has on board his ship. Livewire, one of the people on his team, is linked into every system on board and the threat is that she'll send all his important information out across the galaxy, unless he agrees to their terms. He does, and everything is put back to normal. In the days that follow though, Superman is bothered by 2 things he said. One that there was a third Kryptonian on the planet. And two that he was chasing a ship that was of great importance that was going to crash on earth. Where's this ship, where's it from, what's on it, and what will happen when it finally reaches earth. All question for next issue, because they aren't getting answered here.

Batman #657 - DC

Morrison and Kubert are creating a classic. This, I feel, is a story that will have repurcussions on Batman's world for years to come. I know he doesn't really need any more characters in his already overwelming cast, but this, could prove to be a welcome addition. Talia claims that Damian is Bruce's son. But, she hasn't provided any proof to back up that accusation yet. First of all, this kid is a spoiled brat. Secondly, he's a dangerous brat, because he's been trained by the League of Assassins. And finally he doesn't feel that he has to earn the respect, or prove himself to anybody. This kid's got a dangerous combination going on. And worse yet, now that Bruce has adopted Tim, how's he going to take it? This kid accomplishes 3 things in the short time of this book, first he behead a criminal that Batman is chasing. Batman basically has everything wrapped up, and as he finds the villian, he finds him headless. Then he provokes a fight with Tim and the 2 of them duke it out in the BatCave, it ends with Tim looking like he's seriously hurt. Then he shows up on the rooftops of Gotham, dressed in a Robin outfit of his own making, saying that he's come to help his father fight crime. When asked where the real Robin is, Damian just replys, "He quit. Father." Like I said, the beginning to an instant classic. I know Morrison and Kubert won't be on board for a long time, but I'm looking forward to every issue that they do produce. Sheer poetry.

Supergirl #10 - DC

Kelly, Churchill and Rapmund are back with another awesome issue of Supergirl. It goes without saying, that Ian Churchill's art is just fantastic. On the title page, there's a girl that really looks like the girl from Coven. But, maybe that's just me. Anyways, Kara is hanging out with Boomer and he's trying to help her come up with a secret identity so she can go to High School. She decides to be Claire Connors. I'm sure partly with respect towards Superboy. Anyways she goes to school and has to deal with the usual "Class" stuff. She doesn't know what group she'd best fit in, so she picks the one that she thinks is most normal. Wrong choice! She meets up with Cassandra, as she's battling Mssr. Mallah, to try to get a little advice. The main thing she gets out of the conversation is that, in High School, everyone has a secret identity. She trys to help out one of the "fat chicks", but the group she's with totally humiliates her. Oh yeah, during all this she's having flashbacks to when she went to school in Argo City. I think. If not, maybe she was in a cult. Anyways the group ends up humiliating "Claire" and Kara decides she can't take it anymore and sheds her secret identity. So next issue I guess she's going to try to be an Outsider, to see if she can fit in there. Good luck with that.

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #22 - DC

This is the Legion that I've come to love over the years. We got love triangles, alien mysteries, yearly leadership elections, and groupies. First of all, everybody has a crush on Supergirl. "It's that sproggin' little skirt isn't it?", as Shadow Lass would say. She's afraid that her boyfriend Ultra Boy has a crush on her. She doesn't understand why he's so upset that he might not be the strongest anymore. Then Cosmic Boy feels that he might actually have a crush on her because of the way he feels whenever she's around. But, the Invisible Kid figured out that their own EM waves were conflicting with each other, so the closer their proximity, the more uneasy each would feel. Which was a relief for Cosmic Boy, and for Invisible Kid because the latter actually does have a crush on her. Next we have Narchus III which up until a week ago was occupied by 50,000 dominion colonists. Now they're all gone. All that's left is 1 super dominator. He ends up capturing them, and at the end of the book, sending them off to some unknown destination in deep space. We also have Cosmic Boy and Brainiac running for Legion Leader. And the groupies are still gathered day and night outside their headquarters. One of them, with energy weilding powers, almost causes a riot, but instead Cosmic Boy recruits him into the Legion. Meanwhile the Karate Kid sorts out the problems between Shadow Lass and Ultra Boy. Who knew he had a Dr. Phil hidden inside of him? Anyways great book, fantastic writing, and good art. Even if Barry Kitson is only doing the breakdowns, Adam DeKraker is doing a fine job.

JSA Classified #17 - DC

This issue Hourman, Rick Tyler, teams up with Bane. It appears Bane, in his attempt at self rehabilitation, planned on returning to Santa Prisca, overthrowing the mobs, and setting his people free. Well there were a couple of problems. One, the mobs didn't want to be overthrown. Two, there was a new drug on the street that was so addictive that to withdraw would mean death. On top of that, it was a form of the Venom that he took to become Bane. A much deadlier form. So once the mob's Venom strengthened goons take him down, they hook him back up with the tubes that make him Bane. Only this time he can never go back. The mobs want Bane to kidnap Rex Tyler, Rick's dad and original Hourman. But Bane has other plans. He figures that with Rex's and Rick's help, they should be able to come up with an antidote to the Venom. The first twist is that the Phamacist that made up the drug works for Bannerman Pharmecuticals, Rex's old company. After breaking in and retrieving the files they learn the second twist, the Venom formula that was developed by the Army and used to turn Bane into who he is today, was all based on Rex's original research. So, in Bane's words, "Like it or not, Rex Tyler, you are responsible for what I am today! And that is something you will pay for!" This time we're just on a 2 part story, so this one will wrap up next issue. It's written by Tony Bedard and drawn by Scott McDaniel. It really is a great book, both storywise and visually.

52 - Week Twenty One - DC

Another week, another chapter of our serial. Natasha Irons, aka Starlight, is in Lex's new super hero group. Guess what they're calling themselves? Infinity Inc.!! Her best friend Eliza, who is the speedster of the group, Trajectory, and who got kicked off the team for doing drugs, is back, thanks to Natasha, and she lets Natasha know that she idolizes the Teen Titans, and her ultimate goal is to be one. Ralph Digby and Doctor Fate, or at least his floating helmet, have gone to the gates of the underworld to get Xolotl, a demonguard, to open the gates for them. I assume he's going to retrieve Sue. Meanwhile Lex has set a new Blockbuster loose in downtown Las Vegas, to have his team fight and take him down. He wants them to have some legitimacy. Kinda' ironic, huh? Anyways, we meet the members of his new team. There's a Nuklon on this team also. But it can't be the same one because he's Atom Smasher now. More mysteries. Anyways the Teen Titans show up to help in the fray. Or at least what the team consists of now. Eliza, Trajectory, decides to show off, and sees going after Blockbuster on her own as an interview to join the team. Unfortunately she doesn't know that Lex can hear everything they're saying and to punish her shuts off her power just as she's in the grip of Blockbuster. At the funeral there's some harsh words between the members of both groups. The final 2 pages are a glimpse of someone in Australia building a makeshift robot body for the head of Red Tornado. That's good for this week, can't wait for next.

Hawkgirl #56 - DC

Kendra has been having a lot of bad dreams lately. Dreams that have been haunting her and keeping her awake. This issue she decides to do something about it. So she goes down in to the bowels of the museum, and smashes the wall where the tunnel in her dreams should be. Lo and behold, it is there. And it looks exactly like her dreams. Now what she doesn't know is that 2 people are trailing her, Khimaera and Hath Set. Khimaera is just set on killing her, or feeding her to the extradimensional warp, the Maw, that Kendra doesn't know about, but is in the tunnel that she's exploring. Hath Set, in his current incarnation, is looking to do the same, but since he knows that the Khimaera is also after her, he's willing to step back and see how the chips fall before he makes his move. Well the Khimaera attacks Kendra in the hallway, because she's hoping to feed her to her master, the Maw, but Kendra doesn't go without a fight. Hath Set ends up getting a little to close and when Khimaera looks into his eyes, the Maw recognizes that he is a double spirit also, as is Kendra. So it will be just as happy to eat him. Which really works for Kendra. She ends up throwing both of them in, and the Maw explodes and collapses. Now Hath Set isn't gone, because his spirit fled the body before it was completely sucked in. So you know he'll be back. And I can't imagine the Maw and the Khimaera would be gotten rid of so easy. Plus they're probably pretty ticked at Kendra right now too. But it was enough to wrap up the storyline for now. Simonson and Chaykin fit together well. And they especially have a good feel for this book. I'm looking forward to next issue.

American Virgin #7 - Vertigo

Ok, I'm not exactly sure where to start with this book. As I've said, I really am not sure I'm going to keep buying it. It's really not holding my interest. There's a lot of characters, Adam, Cyndi, Deacon, Claudia, Mel, Moon, Mamie and Alex. And they're really a messed up bunch of people. Adam is the main character. He's the leader of his own religion, a religion built on celibacy and virginity. But he's in anguish because his fiance' was killed, while she was doing some missionary work over in Africa. She was beheaded and it was telecast over the internet. Mamie is Adam's mother, and Cyndi is his sister. Moon is his business manager / agent. Mel is the guy Adam got hooked up with to help him find his fiance' murderer, and Claudia used to be his girlfriend. Now they just hang out, and she's interested in Cyndi. Deacon is Adam's best friend. And Alex is a pre-op transvestite that he met at his last conference. Are you up to speed now? Me neither. All I know is that this issue, Mel finds out that the murderer is going to be at this gay club, so Adam gets dressed up and goes in trying to meet him. He finds him, but spends most of his time talking to Alex. On the final splash page though, the guy asks Adam if he wants to party.

Teen Titans Go! #35 - DC

As I've said in every blog on this book, if you like the cartoon, you'll love this book. They're one and the same. They even cross reference each other. This one features General Immortus and Private Hive. They attack Titan Tower and Private Hive finds out that he's just one of the Gen. pawns. He's not to happy about this and helps the Titans turn the tide on the Gen. Moral of the story, "just following orders", in never an excuse to do the wrong thing. Of course you know, the dialouge is what makes the book, but I can't type out line by line. What would you have to look forward to when you read it?

American Way #8 - Wildstorm

This book finally wraps up this racist series. Of course it was set in the 60's, so I guess it was actually a way of life back then. But in my book, ignorance is no excuse for stupidity. Ok enough of my diatribe, on with the book. Ok what has happened is Hellbent has been killed. He was killed by the New American. One of the CDC who happens to be black. Actually he's the only one who's black. This has caused a rift and the CDC has fractured in to a 2nd group, the SDC. Now the SDC has taken it upon itself to find and execute the New American for killing a white. Even if he was a raving psychopathic lunatic serial killer. Which is where we are as of this issue. It's Nov. 20th 1962, and we're in Birmingham Alabama. The SDC has captured the New American and are attempting to kill him, and the CDC has just arrived to try to put a stop to it. Of course a battle ensues and the people at CDC headquarters in Washington decide that the only way to stop them from killing a bunch of innocent bystanders, is to get them to a secluded spot and nuke 'em. But, they have a traitor in their mist. Chet is actually a disciple of Hellbent and has sent 2 of the nukes off course to NYC and Atlanta. So now they have to try to get the situation to dial down so they can get someone to go after the errant nukes. Of course they divert the dissaster and save the day. And that brings the CDC/SDC back together again. Of course no one can go through a situation like this without changing. No matter how hardened they thought they were, no one is ready to experience the end-of- the-world drama that they all just went through. But if we want to see how they've changed, we'll have to wait for another chapter in the lives of our heroes. Which will probably depend on the type of feedback they get from readers. When this series first started, I wouldn't have given 2 hoots whether or not they ever came back. Now, I'm intrigued. Guess we'll have to wait and see what happens.