Thursday, November 30, 2006

Superman/Batman Annual #1 - DC

Ok, now I do like this story. I do love this title. I'm a fan of Joe Kelly, the author, and also of all the various artists that have come on board to create this book. However, this particular story raises a lot of questions in my mind. First of all, it's supposedly the first meeting of Superman and Batman. That being said, it doesn't really explain who the combatants are that first bring them together. They're fighting some metas in Metropolis that look and dress like them and their contemporaries, but we don't really know who, what or why. We then move on to a cruise that Lois & Clark, and Bruce, all just happen to be booked on at the same time. Obviously since this is one of their first meetings, Lois is not privy at this time to their identities. But, while they're on the ship, there's a reference to "Brokeback Mountain". It doesn't bother me, it just doesn't seem to be in the right time frame. Then there's this guy, that's supposedly a bodyguard for Bruce. He's kinda' like and anti-Terminator. His role in this is very confusing. Next we have, supposedly, the first meeting of the Crime Syndicate. But, I thought we first met them with the JLA. And if this is Clark & Bruce's first team up, the JLA is a long way off. The Terminator is also thrown into this story, although I'm not exactly sure why. Now, at the end we see that this was set up by Mxyzptlk. But I'm confused on whether this was an imaginary story, a mixing of stuff from different earths, or just nonsense. But, in the previews of this book, it says that this book is going to address some questions that go back to the beginning of the series. (???) So, that leaves me really confused. Like I said, I like this book. This issue leaves me rather confused, but obviously I still bought it. 2 actually. But, unless you're a die hard fan, I would have trouble recommending this particular issue to anyone else.

Justice League Unlimited #27 - DC

Like I've said many times before, I know these books are aimed at a younger audience, but, to a regular comic geek, they are a very nice distraction. They're styled exactly like the cartoon series on Cartoon Network. They're usually always 1 issue stories, and, since they're aimed at kids, they always seem to have some type of moral. This one has Black Lightning fighting the Parasite. The Parasite really wants Superman, but he's off planet. So, some other heroes come down from the satellite to try to take him down. They all go down except for Black Lightning. But, all of his powers have been drained. So, if he's going to take him on, it has to be as a "normal". So he uses a little of his ingenuity, and a downed power line, to basically overpower him and shut him down. His inspiration comes from a kid in his class. During the melee he sees the young man trying to help an old lady, who probably can't help herself. And even though he may be in harms way, he's still trying to help her. So, if the young man won't give up, how can Black Lightning? I know it's corny. But, it's still a cute story. And like I said, I like being distracted by these simple 1 issue stories now and again.

Outsiders #42 - DC

Fantastic book. Another one you can credit to the author. Judd Winick writes this one, and he really has a handle on his characters. We get to see the new outfit for Katana this issue also. Last issue we saw that the team was chasing after Dr. Sivana. Well this issue he throws another curve into the mix in the form of a Luddite. It's like, an impulse bomb. Like a magnetic pulse, it's designed to knock out all technology, "but, it doesn't just shut down machines, it frys them." But it's also get worse because it doesn't just wipe out machines, it also, basically, reboots the brain of anyone in the shock-wave. They have basic motor functions, they can walk, talk, feed themselves, but other than that they're blank slates. So, with the help of the Pequod, they find the patch of islands that Sivana been squatting on. They think the Pequod has given them a stealth arrival, but then Boomer accidentally triggers an alarm. Sivana and Sabre come out, guns blazing, actually, robot guns blazing. The team takes them down, but not before Sabre nails Nightwing with a Toxin, that only Sivana has an antidote for. He's up to something because his final statement is, "I want us to have a talk. I don't want to fight you people. Quite the contrary. . . . . . .we've been on the same side all along." Whatever that means. Anyways, great story, good art, and beautiful cover by Matthew Clark. It's my understanding that he's the one designing all the new outfits for everyone too. Cool!!

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-heroes #23 - DC

I really, really like this book. Mark Waid has done some amazing stuff with these story lines. We're going on 2 years now that he's been on this book. I really hope he sticks around for at least that much longer. He does a fantastic job blending these characters and their individual story lines together. And in this issue, Barry Kitson is back on pencils. Solo! He did the layouts for some of the fill in artists, but he actually does the pencils on this one. I'm also surprised, pleasantly, to see him still on this book after 2 years. Whomever has him chained to his drawing board, thank you very much! This issue focus' mainly on Supergirl. After the Zeta beam brought her into the future, she's had a hard time actually believing that all of this is real. She thinks she's just having a grand delusion. So, with all that power unchecked if she thinks there's no ramifications for her actions, they decide that it's time to try to shock her into reality. So they take her to the Bottle City of Kandor. Which is no longer in a bottle. They've expanded it on a planet with a similar atmosphere and gravitational field of Krypton. They're hope is that the city, and it's people, might bring her back to earth . . . . . . sort of. If not, then with their technology, and knowledge of Kryptonian physiology, they may be able to help her adapt. What they don't know is, 1st they Legion of Super-villains happens to be attacking, or rather robbing the city at the same time, and 2nd there appears to be a thin veil between this city and the Phantom Zone. We may be seeing the reappearance of . . . . . . . . Valor.

Seven Soldiers of Victory #1 - DC

With this issue, Grant Morrison wraps up his huge, 30 issue spanning, storyline. For those that don't know, we had a beginning issue, a 4 issue mini series for each of the 7 Soldiers, and now this, a wrap-up issue. The ideas and complexity of the stories that Grant writes, is just astounding. To be able to keep all these characters, all these story lines, straight in his head, and then to be able to weave them all together into a common purpose and an ending, is just incredible. But with this issue, what's equally incredible, is J.H.Williams III's artwork. What he does with this book, is just off the hook. We start out with some of his usual stuff, what we got used to seeing on Promethea, which is some pretty great stuff. But, then he switches his style with each of the characters he's doing. We start out with a chapter on how the New Gods fit into this whole scheme, and he takes on a definite Jack Kirby feel to his work. We then move on to a chapter about the Shining Knight, and he has a definite Charles Vess feel. The connecting pages, are all in his original style. The next chapter, about the Guardian, is done in a newspaper style, with pencil drawings. Almost a Jerry Ordway type feel. The chapter on Klarion has a Mindy Newell (?) type feel to it. And the Frankenstein pages, actually feel like Doug Mahnke. I can't really pick who the Mr. Miracle pages remind me of, but the style is definitely different than all the other. Then in the final pages, when all the story lines are congealing together, individual panels have individual styles. It's simply amazing. And to know that he did all the art, cover, and colors in this book, is in itself a feat of heroism. Hope he gets a vacation after this book. By the way, Mr. Miracle is the one who died. Or is he?

What If? #1 - Featuring Avengers Disassembled - Marvel

I'm really not a huge "What If?" fan, but since this was the first in a series, I thought I'd pick it up. Marvel is doing their "What If's?" a little different this time. They're taking major events in the Marvel Universe and then doing a theme related 1 book issue on that story. Interesting idea. Hope it all works out for them. This one focus' on the "Avengers Disassembled" storyline. Or more specifically, Wanda's role in it. The premise is, "What if the Scarlet Witch hadn't acted alone?". Jeff Parker and Aaron Lopresti do a very good job with this story. The only thing I really don't like about the "What If's?", is that they seem kind of forced. I mean, the original stories are written in the context of the characters that are in them. And they act, and are part of the story, according to previous actions and history. Also, usually, when a story like this happen it is a setup to exact a change, either in the Marvel Universe as a whole, or to a specific character. These stories, in their nature, go specifically against the original intention, or purpose of that story. So, in order to make them work, we get a sense that the story is forced out of it's original nature, and into a new one. I'm not blaming anyone, writer or artist, it's just the natural occurrence when you take a specific story and force it into a new direction. This one ends up being Captain America's fault. When he was having the affair with Wanda, he started getting an idea of what the actual extent of her powers were. He then started formulating a plan to manipulate her into using those powers to make the world into a better place. A simpler place. A place more like the world he left behind when he was frozen. This plan however was upset by Hank's inquisitive mind. What I actually did like about this story though, was the ending. After the heroes upset the plan, and take down Steve and Wanda, Hank gets to see what would've happened if he hadn't interfered. He gets to see several different scenarios, and in almost every one, the world ended up in a better place than where it was now heading by his actions. I like the ironic twist. Over all a decent story. It did feel forced, but I like the ending.

Superman Confidential #1 - DC

This is a pretty cool title. It's actually like a Superman - Year 1. And with Tim Sale on the pencils, it is artistically magnificent. I always thought that he and Jeph Loeb were the perfect team, but he seems to click with Darwyn Cooke just as nicely. And Darwyn really seems to like, or just has a knack for, these older style stories. It really seems like a book that would've come right out of a book from the late 50's or early 60's. This one is about one of Superman's early foray's into the hero arena in Metropolis. Or as Ma Kent calls it, the "good work". Anyways, Clark is unsure of his abilities, or actually I should say, the depths and limitations of those abilities. So he's second guessing every move he makes. We also see some of the beginning romance with he and Lois. And then there's the whole Daily Planet thing. It seems that an Anthony Gallo has built a huge Casino / Hotel in their "city of tomorrow". And Perry doesn't trust him, or his intentions. So he puts his top people, Lois, Clark and Jimmy hot and heavy on his tail. Also, in the beginning of the book, there's a flashback to Clark's arrival on earth, and it seems that there was some other sentient that arrived at the same time. Their trip was supposed to be linked with Clark's, but in the atmosphere they broke apart and landed in the Himalayas. Right now it's just a huge chunk of meteor, but there's something inside. The monks, I assume, have taken it to one of their monasteries. So we have 4 very distinct story lines going on here. Which I'm sure will all unravel at their own pace. But I like the feel of this book.

Nightwing #126 - DC

Ok Marv Wolfman and Dan Jurgens are back together again, as they are the new creative team on this book. Marv has a pretty good feel for Nightwing too, as he wrote the Titans for all those years. But now he's dealing with a grown up Dick, living in midtown Manhattan. Well apparently Dick is getting in some one's way. He's got this scientist from Biotech, which they later found out was part of Lexcorp, that he's trying to protect, but at the same time try to use as bait to bring out either this Raptor guy, pictured on the cover, or this mysterious assassin that's going around killing everyone associated with Biotech. Well, somehow, the assassin still gets to the scientist. But, not before Dick, and his cohort J.J., get a couple of names from him. Dick also goes to the guys funeral to talk to his wife, and gets some information from her also. Well then this assassin takes out this Raptor guy, he does it with some kind of laser pointer that burns or fry his victims. And we learn that Nightwing is next on his list. The assassin gets a call from his mysterious benefactor, says that he thinks Nightwing is getting to close, the guy says he'll pay him $2mil to take out Nightwing, the assassin says he can't do it for less that $6mil, and he gets the ok. So it's obviously someone with a lot of money. Now as you can probably tell from my description, there's a lot going on, but, it's kind of boring. I know these guys just took over, and they have to get Dick going on another story arc, but, this one just didn't pull me in. I love Nightwing. And, I like all the creators. But, they seem to be off to a very slow start. And they really didn't use any of the supporting characters, except for Alfred, for a few panels. Somehow they need to get us to buy into this characters and his adventures a little better. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, because I like the character, but I really hope that this storyline gets more exciting in the future. And please work on his base of supporting characters.

Detective #825 - DC

Although I have been entertained by Detective comics of late, I'm afraid this one fell a little short. The cover, however, is excellent. Simone Bianchi does some spectacular work. Anyways, Royal McGraw writes this tales, and unfortunately it's very over simplistic. I also really don't like the artwork of Marcos Marz. I can appreciate what he's trying to do with his style, but it didn't work very well. A lot of his panels look like that outline of the figure was drawn, and then the drawing of the character was pasted in. And it wasn't a very good paste either. Like I said I appreciate what he was trying to do, but he either needs to keep trying to refine it, or try something different. The story was basically set up to bring Doctor Phosphorus back into the active Rogues Gallery. One of the doctors that was originally responsible for the accident that turned him into this walking fire-man, has held him captive and has been experimenting on him. Well Phosphorous escapes and decides to get revenge on the 3 people that were responsible for his accident. He burns the first two, but in his attempt on the third, Rupert Thorn, Batman uses a common household item to take him down, baking soda. End of story. Like I said very simplistic. I was very dissapointed in the book this month. Which is a shame because I really thought the last couple were improving. Two steps forward, one step back I guess. Hope next month is a better outing.

52 - Week Twenty Six - DC

Alright! Another installment of my favorite weekly comic. Actually the only weekly comic. That's to bad too. Because I really like the way this book is going. But now, we're halfway through it. So sad! I'm definitely going to miss these awesome covers by J.G. Jones. This week is another incredible one. Anyways we start out with the Black Marvel Family, taking Vic Sage and Renee Montoya to the Himalayas, near Nada Parbat. I wonder if they're going to run into Deadman? Once there they hook up with Tot and Richard Dragon. We then go to Jack Ryder's show, as he's putting Dr. Irons on the spot over the debacle with the Justice League and Infinity Inc. a couple of weeks ago. We then end up at Thaddeus Sivana's mansion, where his ex-wife and kids have moved in and taken up residence. They found it abandoned because, unbeknownst to them, all the world's top scientists, good or "mad", have been abducted and taken to Oolong Island for something called the Four Horseman Project. Speaking of which, we get a glimpse of what happens when you put a bunch of scientists, all male nerds, onto an island alone, and then bring a female scientist into the mix. Not a pretty picture. And finally, back at Sivana's, Osiris has a bit of a tantrum because he's tired of just hanging out with Black Adam and Isis all the time, and not having friends of his own. Almost on cue, a crocodile that Thaddeus had experimented on, broke out of his cell in the basement and rapages through the house. He then ends up tearing through the house, and goes outside to eat and sulk. Osiris comes upon him, and after talking for a while decides to be his friend. Strange turn of events. Anyways, great characters, cool book, and it comes out weekly. It's every comic geeks fantasy. I should know.

Uncanny X-Men #480 - Marvel

Like all X-men stories, this one is a lot more complicated that it seemed at first. What seemed like a simple revenge story, has turned out to be a whole lot more. Vulcan, Gabrielle Summers, was held prisoner by the Shi'ar after they killed his family. They also accelerated his age, and then had him put in suspended animation in an asteroid. When he broke free from the asteroid, all he could think of was revenge for his family. He doesn't know that Corsair is his real father. Anyways, he takes off hellbent towards the Shi'ar homeworld to exact his vengeance. The X-men, or rather a hand picked team lead by Xavier, is in hot pursuit. But they're running in to complications of their own. Anyways, Vulcan ends up on the homeworld and ends up almost beating the whole imperial guard. All that is except for Gladiator. I don't know that anybody could beat that guy. Well, they probably should have killed him, but, there's a secret movement in the Shi'ar government to try to reinstall the true Shi'ar empire. To that end, they see Vulcan as a tool. Though I don't know how much of a tool he can be locked away in a cell in the bowels of Phygim, a prison moon. That is until another of the secret movement comes, eventually, to help him escape, telling him that his path lies 2 levels down. And wait until you see who he goes down and breaks out. Things are really about to hit the fan. Great story by Ed Brubaker, and fantastic art by Clayton Henry. And we're only 1/2 way through this 12 part story arc.

X-Men - Phoenix Warsong #3 - Marvel

Ok, again I had to borrow a cover from They are a fantastic resource for all things comic related. Check 'em out. Anyways, I really like the X-men, and these grandiose storylines, but this one doesn't quite seem to be pulling it off for me. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely some neat ideas coming out of this. I like the way they're tying the whole thing into "the World" storyline from a few years ago. And it's cool to think that the Cuckoos were actually biologically bread and grown and, I assume, advanced evolutionarily in this "World". Also they were then sent specifically to Xavier's school to try to help them adapt to the outside world. I also think it's cool that they were all harvested from Emma's eggs. Talk about mass copulation. And, since the Phoenix Force failed in it's leeching of Jean, Rachel and Emma, that it's next step would be to try out the forms of Emma's progeny. But the way the story is flowing, and how they're trying to fit the X-men into it, just seems kind of forced to me. Specifically with this, we are dealing with Scott, Emma, Peter and Kitty. Oh, and a SHEILD agent named Jake Oh. Then a back-up team arrives with the Beast and Wolverine. They also have the 2 cuckoo zombies in tow, whom they hadn't realized had come up from the ground and hitched a ride without them knowing it. So, that part of the story is a little convoluted. Maybe it'll clear up some in issue 4 or 5, but right now it seems more than a little messy. Which is really a shame, because I want to like this story. I just can't say I do right now. But, I do want to see how it turns out, so I'll let you know if I change my mind any after the next issue.

Fantastic Four - The End - #1 - Marvel

In the tradition on the mini series, "X-Men : the End", there is a new chapter, "Fantastic Four : the End". It's a story about the final days of the Fantastic Four. It's set many decades in our future. And it's brought to us by the fantastic team of Alan Davis and Mark Farmer. They've collaborated together in the past to bring us many great story arcs, for both of our big publishers. This is going to be another one to add to their list of classics. As I said it's set many years in the future. The Fantastic Four exist only in name, as the participants have long since drifted apart. Johnny has joined the Avengers, Ben & Alicia are living on Mars with their children while Alicia is active in terraforming the planet, and Sue in on a series of archaeological expeditions with the current one being at the bottom of the ocean. Only Reed has stayed in the FF headquarters, which is now an orbiting satellite. And he's become so obsessed with his experiments and participation in helping the citizens of earth become part of a galactic community, that he is oblivious to how long they've all been separated. Jen, She-Hulk, comes up to visit Reed, and counsel him a bit. She's the one to bring it to his attention that it's been over a year since Sue has visited, and several months since they've even talked. It's been longer yet since he's visited Ben & Alicia. It all seemed to fall apart after their last battle with Doom, in which he inadvertently killed Franklin and Valeria. That's an awful lot for the first issue. Oh, and did I forget to tell you that there's a group of anarchists trying to sabotage the whole galactic community thing, not to mention technology in general, and it's being led by Doctor Strange. Wow! How are they going to follow up this issue? I can't wait to find out.

Justice League of America #3 - DC

First of all, let me say that Brad Meltzer's writing, gets better and better with every comic that he does. The scene that he choreographs on pages 10 & 11, where Black Canary is confronted by one of the rogue Tornadoes, is awesome. She knows that there should be a fail-safe shutoff someplace on the robot, so in order to find out she asks for an arrow from Roy, "Give me an arrow! With a point! NOW!". Then systematically takes out every joint on the thing until she gets down to the Achilles heel. Which of course is where it's at. Brilliant scene! Then Ed Benes. . . . . WOW!!! He also gets better and better with every book that he does. The flow of the same scene on 10 & 11 is perfect. But what really got me was the image of the Phantom Stranger on page 6. This image should be the architect of all future Stranger appearances. Sheer perfection! If the direction the story is going is any indication, it looks like we have two things happening. 1, Bats, Supes and WW are trying to put together a hand picked team for this go around. And 2, "the best laid plans of mice and men . . . . .", they may get the team that comes together out of circumstance. Right now we're looking at, the big 3 obviously, then Green Lantern, Black Canary, Arsenal, Black Lightning, Cyborg, Vixen, Red Tornado and Hawkgirl. But that's just a guess on my part. I mean we're really only on issue 3, so this part of the storyline could stretch out to issue 12. Again, a guess on my part. But, whatever the circumstances, this is really shaping up to be an awesome book. Like I said, it's only on issue 3, so if you can get ahold of the first 2, I definitely recommend it. This is a classic in the making.

Jack of Fables #4 - Vertigo

The best part about this book is the writing of Bill Willingham. He has taken a comic book, wrapped it around some fairy tales, and thrown in every profile, stereotype, politically correct (PC) statement both positive and negative, and reason for rebellion all into one story. And the story revolves around Jack. That's the Jack of Fables. Every Jack you can think of, Little Jack Horner, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack & Jill, etc, etc, etc. So this guy comes with a lot of belief driven power. Anyways he is captured and taken to what is presented as a retirement village for fables. Really it's an internment camp. The reason being, if they can keep them here long enough, people will forget about them. Once they forget about them, they no longer believe in them. And with no belief comes no power. Jack doesn't know this, but decides to try to break everyone out. It's mostly for his own purposes, but the others get caught up in the excitement of the scheme. But in the end, he may be the only one who doesn't make it out as he has a bagman close on his tail. We'll see what happens next issue.

Deathblow #1 - Wildstorm

First of all, this book is written by Brian Azzarello. And anybody who knows me knows that this is probably my favorite author right now. Well. . . . . actually. . . . . ever since 100 Bullets started. His work is complex, thought provoking and full of fresh innovative ideas. He really pulls you into the story. On this book, he is accompanied by Carlos D'Anda on pencils. I've liked his work in the past, but on this book, it looks like Brian and Carlos are gonna' fit like a new pair of sneakers. If Brian's past work is any indication, Carlos' pencils will get better and better every issue, as Brian, or more importantly his stories, really seem to bring out the creative juices in his cohorts. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of new heights they reach with this book. The U.S. Govt. has gone to Hindu Kush, or more specifically Az' Aralo, nice play on a name there Brian, which is a training and prison camp. They are there to procure the release of a U.S. hero, whom they end up killing by accident in their zealousness. Well, they can't go home empty handed, so they find the next best suitor whom happens to be Michael Cray, Deathblow. "I've been presumed dead for 6 years. You might say I work black-ops, but you'd be nine shades too light describing what I do." They then take him back to Gitmo for debriefing. I think what the twist on this incarnation is going to be, is that the world he's come home to, may not "fit" him anymore. And it may not be able to handle him. This could prove to be an interesting ride for Brian, Carlos and "Michael Cray".

Loveless #12 - Vertigo

Brian Azzarello writes a western just as well as he writes a crime drama, like 100 Bullets. He puts such feeling and detail into his stories, as well as action and drama, that's it's very easy to get sucked right in. I've said this before, but I can't believe it's 2006 and I'm reading 2 western books a month now. This has also prompted me to look on E-bay for some older DC westerns. Blackwater is in serious bad juju if they need to hire Wes Cutter as it's sheriff. And he still has Ruth out there roaming around in the woods, to keep her hidden and out of the mix. But Ruth has a way of finding her own trouble. Just ask the hitman that's just roamed into town, not to mention the gang of Confederate soldiers that are going around butchering people, or the Union soldiers looking for them. For someone that's trying to stay hidden, she interacted with a whole slew of people. At the end of this one, it looks as if the hitman has shot Wes Cutter down. Only Brian could weave a story this mesmerizing. And although they've been cycling through artists of late, each one has brought a style and look that really fits in with the theme of this book. I hope this one keeps going for a long time, because it's definitely worth the effort.

The Boys #4 - Wildstorm

I really like the direction that they're taking with this book. In this one they're spying on a whorehouse that all the supers frequent. But how do the girls handle someone that's invulnerable, or moves at superspeed, or any number of other powers? Well they snort this drug called blue. It's some type of drug that makes you a super for a short period of time. It's called blue, because it's side-effect is that it turns your urine blue. Anyways Hughie is trying to decide if he wants to stay with the outfit or not. He's really only doing it because they killed his girlfriend. But he's trying to decide if that's reason enough for what they want to accomplish. In the end Butcher, assuming that he wants to stay, pumps him with some blue. Which really freaks Hughie out. I don't really have to say this, but the writing of Garth Ennis is just incredible. Darrick Robertson is also doing a great job on the art chores. This is a neat book, with a really cool premise, and lots of screwed up action. I definitely recommend giving it a try.

Wetworks #2 - Wildstorm

Wetworks is finally back. And Whilce Portacio is finally back on pencils. I'm sorry for all the hardships that have happened to him in his personal life, he's had a rough couple of years, but I'm glad he's back into the steady stream of work. It's good to have you back Whilce! And, with Mike Carey writing, they should be able to accomplish some amazing stuff with this book. The action is already non-stop, right from page 1 of book #1. And it's good to see all the old characters gradually coming back into the limelight. Add to that some Vampires, and we're definitely going to be in for a thrill ride. I don't want to say to much to spoil the story right now. Some books are better, I feel, if picked up and experienced visually for yourself.

Planetary #26 - Wildstorm

As much as I love the Astonishing X-men, I love this book that much more. Warren Ellis and John Cassady work together like they've been doing it for years. And I really like Joss Whedon. But, I'm sorry, it's hard to hold a candle to Warren. I think he has a special love for this book also. Because, he's out there on a lot of projects right not. But not one of his other books can compare to this one. This month Snow finally goes after Randall Dowling. He also brings back a bleed ship and all the survivors of City Zero are on board. Actually I'm not sure if it's a bleed ship or a multiverse ship. I know it matters to the story, but, it doesn't really matter to me. It's a fantastic story, with spectacular art. This book never, ever, lets me down. This is another one of those books, that I recommend getting and reading, however you can. If you can't find the books, they have TPB's of all the issues out. It's definitely worth the effort.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Warlord #9 - DC

Another one of my all time favorite characters. And it appears that they're doing this one with a twist. First of all we have Bruce Jones and Bart Sears at the helm. I didn't know at first, but I'm starting to think that they are a dream team. The action and the pace of the story is accentuated by the flow and majesty of the art. I also wasn't sure about Bart's new style, at first, but it's flowing nicely with this book and story. Travis, er Lord Cassus, feels betrayed because his consort Regine has been falsely accused and murdered for something she didn't do. They thought Travis was dead, actually Tara did because she found him. But since Regine was also laying there on the beach, she framed her. When Travis, er Warlord, er Cassus came back from the dead, he found her dead and wanted immediate retribution. So he killed Tara and used her lifeforce to bring Regine back. Then he brought Shamballah back to it's previous glory. Now he's on a quest. He's out to find the Titans whom he feels betrayed him. He takes off just before Alexa, Terry and Brovis fly Travis' jet into the heart of Shamballah. So now he's out wandering the beautiful hills and forests of Skataris. This is where his adventures will really begin. Like I said, great job with the book. Riveting story, and beautiful art. Thanks for finally bringing him back.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Uncle Sam & the Freedom Fighters #4 - DC

Another fantastic book that's spun out of Infinite Crisis. Well, actually, it spun out of Bludhaven, which spun out of Infinite Crisis. But however it got here, this is a fantastic book. First we have Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray writing this. And their story is incredible. What they've done with these characters in just a few short issues is just short of phenomenal. And Daniel Acuna's art. . . . . . . well just look at the covers to see for yourself. The one with Uncle Sam is the actual cover of #4. Again thanks to . The one of Phantom Lady is the one they show on the DC website. But, it looks so good, MEEOWWW!!!, that I just had to put it in here too. And all the interior art is just as awesome. This is another mini-series that I just don't understand how they can let it go after 8 issues. This one has to end up someplace else. It just wouldn't be right for it to be relinquished to the back issue bins around the country, with no hope of new stuff. These new mini-series that DC has been putting out lately have definitely been top notch. And this one is at the top of the list. Go out and get it and see for yourselves.

Hawkgirl #57 - DC

Well it looks like Kendra is in some deep doodoo. Some of the Thanagarian prisoners have been released from the prison on Rann. Princess Koriandr's evil sister, has decided that certain people need to be judged and executed for their crimes against their world. Chief on this list is Hawkgirl. So she sends one of the prisoners to earth to get here. He actually takes her down pretty easy. He then sets up a tribunal in an old abandonded asylum on the outskirts of St. Roch. And the hung jury begins. Now the only bad thing about this book is that, I guess, Howard Chaykin has left the penciling duties. Walt Simonson is still writing. So the stories are fantastic, and very action packed. But with this issue Joe Bennett takes over the penciling. I was a little worried about this because Howard is one of my all time favorites. But, Joe did a pretty good job. He isn't Howard, but hey, nobody is. I mean, I knew he was ok. I've seen his work over on Birds of Prey. But I was just worried that it would be such a drastic change from Howard's style. And it is. But that's ok. We're starting a new story arc here, with some different characters, and worlds for that matter. And Joe's style looks very good here. I guess I worried to much. By the way, yet another cover I had to borrow from . You should check 'em out.

the Trials of Shazam! #3 - DC

I thought this book was going to be about Billy Batson, but it's actually about Freddy Freeman. He's lost his powers and in order to get them back, he has to go through some trials with his guide Zareb. On top of that there's a council. A council of mystical type people, the Council of Merlin. And they want Freddy to fail, because if he does, they can transfer all the power of Shazam into their acolyte, Sabina. And she really wants the power, "I just want to make sure that I get to swing the big bat!". This issue he gains the wisdom of Solomon. The wisdom is tattooed on him, while he is opening up about how he really feels about Shazam and the events that led to him getting a portion of his power. Judd Winick writes this, so you know the story is going to be good. Howard Porter draws. Now I've always been a fan of Howard's, but he's trying some new stuff on this book. I like it. I don't know if I can explain this right, but his style is kind of shadowy and dream like. In a book about magic, it fits perfectly. This rides only just begun, so I'm sure it's just going to get better and better.

Justice #8 - DC

This book is just incredible. Besides the obvious, Alex Ross, everything about this book spells "Classic - Epic". The storyline is fantastic. The character interaction is both believable and mesmerizing. Then you got the art. This art is flawless. Every panel in this book could be made into a painting and hung in a gallery someplace. On one of the last pages, there's a panel that shows the Teen Titans. That panel is incredible. We also see panels of the Metal Men and the Doom Patrol. Then to see the anguish in Shazam's face because he knows there's nothing he can do to help Wonder Woman, is just heart wrenching. I want to tell you about the story, but I don't want anyone to have any reason not to pick up this book. I think they already put out a TPB of the first 6 issues. You're going to see this reprinted many times in the future. I'm a purist, so I like to get the originals. But, however you can get them, you definitely should. This is not a story to be missed. Worth every penny!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Teen Titans Go! #36 - DC

This one I read just for the fun of it. And there's no funner group than the Teen Titans Go! Seriously, I know this book is aimed at kids, but I like it. And since they don't seem to be showing any new episodes on the Cartoon Network anytime soon, this is the only place I can get my fix of them. And to top it off this issue, we get introduced to Wonder Girl. I mean, you know she was going to show up sooner or later. We also get all the other member of the Titan family helping out, as they're fighting the Gordanians. We got Speedy, and Kid Flash, and Aqualad, and everybody else. This is a fantastic book to get the next generation of Comic book addicts into the mix.

Secret Six #5 - DC

Only one more issue to go? Say it isn't so! I love this book. This team of misfits and freaks couldn't be more dysfunctional if they tried. I mean, after their last battle, Deadshot and Knockout got drunk and started knocking boots. Well we all know Scandal is in love with her. So when she finds out, all hell hits the fan. In Lawton's defense, "What was I supposed to do, man? Say no? Look at her for Christ's sake!" And Knockout, being from Apokolips doesn't understand how the sex can make Scandal angry and hurt. "Is it the sex? On apokolips, after a battle, the survivors always . . . . this man means nothing. Less than nothing. Kill him if you must." Not exactly the accolades Lawton was looking for. And while I think that Scandal was truly upset, I think she over emphasized her anger, to give her an excuse to take off an head to her father. Vandal Savage wants an heir, and he wants Catman to contribute the genetic material to his daughter to make that happen. If he doesn't go along with this, Vandal has vowed to kill the entire group. So that's why, I think, Scandal took off, to go to her father and try to save her friends. But with Vandal's friends, Dr. Psycho and Cheshire, that may be a harder nut than she thought. Next issue this storyline's going to wrap up. But, where are we going to go from there? This is to good of a group, and to good characters, to just let them wind up in limbo somewhere. There's gotta' be some future plans for them. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Ion - Guardian of the Universe #7 - DC

First of all, nice story by Ron Marz. He really breathes a lot of life into the characters he writes about. And then Greg Tocchini's art is perfect for this book. Good feel, and very artsy, just like Kyle. Anyways, Kyle is still growing into his role as Ion. He's still sorting out all the pieces, and searching for his boundries. This issue he goes back to New York to talk to Radu, and ground himself a little bit. But you know that's not going to last long, with his powers and responsibilities. One of the Monitors show up this issue. He says that they need to keep an eye on him, and then blinks out. He talks to Alan, and visits the site on the new JSA headquarters. And he battles Effigy for no apparent reason. Just like Nero, they both just had this overwhelming urge to go to wherever Kyle was. There's definitely a mystery going on here. And on the final page he's chained to a stone pillar on some alien world, with a hot alien chick, thinking "This really hasn't worked out quite like I'd planned." Guess we'll see more on this next issue. I don't really know where Kyle will end up after these 12 issues, but I hope it's appropriate for the quality of character that he is. I don't think anyone every thought he would be as popular as Hal Jordan, but I think he's got quite a following of his own. The king is dead, long live the king. Oh wait, he's not still dead. He came back. Well then, long live both kings.

JSA Classified #18 - DC

Ok I'll admit it. First I'm a team junkie. Then I'm a JLA / JSA junkie. And now that we don't have a regular JSA title coming out monthly, this one more than fills the gap. This is a story by Tony Bedard and Scott McDaniel. Scott first came to our attention on Daredevil, where he started out doing this whole homage to Frank Miller thing. Then he started moving off into his own style. The stuff he's been doing lately, I feel, is some of the best in his career. He's really developed the flair for some action packed story telling, and his art flows from frame to frame effortlessly. This story is about Rex and Rick Tyler, the previous Hourman and the current one. Bane has made a discovery that the Venom that he had been previously addicted to, has roots in the Tyler's Miraclo pill. Apparently Bannerman, who developed the Venom, also worked with Rex back in the day when he was first developing Miraclo. So he kind of stole some of his research to get his own drug going. Well now that there's no more Venom, Bane wants to squash any and all sources that it may appear from in the future. That includes the Tylers. Like I said, we don't get a regular dose of the JSA right now, because their own title is on temporary hiatus, but this is a really nice book. And since it's not their base title, it doesn't really have to follow any timeline. They can be stories from any where throughout the JSA's illustrious history. Nice book, and a fun read.

Action Comics #844 - DC

It's hard to believe that this book has been around for as long as it has, and it's still this good. Of course it helps that you have Geoff Johns and Richard Donner scripting the book. Seriously, this story is fantastic. Then, to add a little icing to your cake, we have Adam Kubert on pencils. Now I've been a fan of all the Kubert's for a while now, but Adam's art in this book is probably some of the best I've ever seen from him. He's kind of changed his style a little for this one. But, whatever he's done, he's doing it right. And his cover is just a work of art. I want to frame it. The story starts out feeling a little bit like one of the Superman movies, which is good, but then the drama starts when an alien spaceship crash lands in the center of Metropolis. There's a little boy inside, who appears to be from Krypton. He speaks Kryptonese, already has more that human powers, and after some testing appears to match in the DNA department also. Clark of course feels overwhelmed by the possibilities, and immediately wants to take him under his wing. But, then the Govt. moves him without telling Superman. This puts a serious bee in his bonnet. But on their transport assignment, someone stops the convoy and abducts the child. Next thing we know we see Clark on the Kent's doorstep asking for help in raising the boy. I think he's really putting himself in a bad situation here. But, we'll have to wait till next issue to see where the story goes. Fantastic story and art though. Get some copies while you can 'cause this is going to be a classic.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

52 - Week Twenty Five - DC

I can't believe we're almost half way done with this series already. Say it isn't so! I love having this book come out every week. I wish there were more titles like this. I know. The logistics of such an undertaking are probably horrific, but I really feel that the end product is showing the effort. Kudos to everyone involved. On a personal note, I was thrilled to death last issue because Phil Jimenez did the pencils for the whole issue. Yippee!! Then I was pleasantly suprised to see that he did pages 9 thru 13 of this issue. Thanks for the gift. My only complaint is, please let him finish his Other World project. I want to know how it ends. Please!! Please!! Please!! One other special treat this issue, George Perez does the origin of Nightwing pages. Awesome!! We get a little bit of all our storylines this issue. First we see Bruno Mannheim building his crime empire with intergang. Then the Marvel Family, Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel, finally get to see the Black Marvel Family in action, Black Adam, Isis and Osiris. We catch up with Ralph Dibny as he travels through the underworld with Fate. These are also the page that Phil does. Just incredible. Then we catch up with Infinity Inc. again. They have a new team member, Matrix. We see the first meeting between Alan and Michael as they discuss the future of Checkmate and their role in it. And finally we see the island of the mad scientist, more specifically Will Magnus, and find out that it appears to be funded by Mannheim. He is also being delivered a new weapon called the Four Horsemen. Ok, is that enough plot lines for one book? Like I said, this is why I really like this book so much. Keep 'em coming.

X-Men #192 - Marvel

Chris Bachalo is back on pencils this issue. The only problem I have with his art is that, this issue, there 5 different inkers. Most of the pages look good, but every few pages we come across one that I really don't like the way the inker finished the page. I don't know which one it is, but I really don't like the way he inks Chris' pencils. Page 5 is the perfect example of what I'm talking about. Anyways, besides that, he and Mike Carey have put together an awesome storyline. Basically, a group of people, the Children of the Vault, have been awakened and have decided that they are the rightful owners of the earth. They were some people that were experimented on in the 60's, on a ship off the coast of South America. Basically they were testing a hyper evolutionary process. Well, in the process the project was shut down, and all but forgotten about. So on M day, when all the mutants were decimated, they were awoken. And, after 40 or so years, they had been evolved thousands of years. So really, they're like a whole new species. They wanted to stay hidden, but Sabretooth broke up that little party. Seeing what they could do, Sabretooth was scared for the first time in his life, and ran straight to the X-men. With the X-men in their sights, and vise verse, they've decided to drop the charade and announce their supremacy to the world. Starting with wiping out the X-men. So they've popped the Conquistador, a giant oil tanker, out of the ocean and into the air, and are flying it straight to Westchester. Rogue, as squadron leader, has been assigned to assemble a team to go out and meet the enemy, and try to stop them before they arrive. Her team includes, Cable, Lady Mastermind, Iceman, Sam, Sabretooth and Mystique. Quite the lineup. But when then reach the ship, they really don't accomplish much. Next thing they know, the ship is in the air, straight over the mansion. This is part 5 of 6, so I really don't know how they're going to get out of this one. Good luck, Rogue.

Exiles #87 - Marvel

This is one of my favorite books. Why? Because there's no status quo. Just like life. This books shakes things up, and never comes at you from the same direction. Tony Bedard is doing a fantastic job writing this book, and now we have Paul Pelletier back on pencils. This issue we get to see a different Galactus and Silver Surfer. Galactus, in this universe, is a benevolent deity. They call his the Restorer of Worlds. The Silver Surfer is the one with the god complex in this universe. They've been called to earth, a destroyed earth, to help save Galactus. He's being seriously trounced on by the Silver Surfer. When they arrive, the Imperial Guard on the Shi'ar Empire is trying to battle the Surfer. But he mows them down like cattle. He even eviscerates the Gladiator with his board. And without a drop of remorse. Galactus taps into Blinks power and sends the Surfer in one direction, and is board in the opposite. Blink immediately succumbs to this breach of her power, and then Galactus also passes out. Manta of the Imperial Guard then shows up with a starship to tow Galactus to the Imperial Center. But, as they race off, Surfer has finally gotten his board back, and is heading in their direction with a vengeance. Like I said, great book. Lots of action and fantastic characters. Never thought I'd be reading this one 90 issues later though. Thank You!!

New Excalibur #12 - Marvel

This book is truly like no other X-book. Last issue the team, with the help of the magic of the "Lady of the Lake", has gone back to the actual Camelot, to save them from a disaster that's not supposed to happen. It appears they are in real danger of being wiped out by dragons. What I think the real reason behind this story arc is, is to get the Black Knight, Dane Whitman, to join their little entourage. Lots of little plots are going on too. Of course we learn a whole lot about Dane's lineage, or more importantly the lineage of the Black Knights. And specifically about Percy, whom Dane has seen many times in the future in ghostly form. There also seems to be something going on between Cain and TJ. It may not be romantic, but there's some kind of friendship brewing. Also it seems that Pete has a thing for Sage. But I can't imagine that she'd let that happen. Pete also, in this time, is responsible for Lancelot and Guinevere hooking up. He got drunk, suprise, and bothered and came on to her so much, that she went to Lancelot for solace. So Sage lays that little piece of wisdom on him to try to make him feel guilty. Captain Britain kind of plays a back seat role in this issue. Even in the triumph over the dragons, it was Sage who realized that they were Makluans, like Fing Fang Foom, and all they needed was some Formosan herb to put them to sleep. With that done, they head back to their own time. Like I said I think this one was all about the Black Knight. We'll have to wait for future issues though to see what exactly his role is going to be. Overall though, very nice issue. Good story, and good art.

Spawn #161 - Image

161 issues, and we're just getting to the Armageddon. Seriously! Spawn has fallen at the hands of Judas and is now being reborn by god (?). He has a new body, new powers and the six thousand souls that've been residing inside him, are now moving on to their just rewards. His goal now is to save the world from itself. Armageddon has occured on the west coast, leaving most of California in the Ocean. While the four horsemen have started on the east coast. Everybody in New York is gone except for 1 old man that Spawn runs in to, and happens to have enough knowledge to explain the whole thing to him. So now he has a choice to make, follow the horsemen across the Atlantic, or try to catch up with the millions of demons and angels, the dead of New York ressurected into the service of the war, heading towards Armageddon. He chooses to head west. Whats left of California forms an island off the coast. This is the chosen spot for the final battle. And where everyone seems to be heading. Fantastic art by Phillip Tan, and David Hine's stories just floor me. This title got a little sluggish in the middle of it's printing, issues 60 through 90, but now it is more than making up for any ground that it lost. I'm truly looking forward to this book every month again. Haven't been able to say that for a while. Thank you!

Strangers in Paradise #85 - Abstract Studio

This is a fantastic book. I can't believe there's only 5 issues left. Where has the time gone? And there's still so much going on. Katchoo is trying to have David's baby. Why? Because David is dying and only has a few months to live. Also because Casey can't have a baby, so Katchoo has elected to be the one to do it. David has a brain tumor. He and Katchoo and Casey are getting ready to go to Germany to try some new experimental treatment on him. Francine is getting divorced. She's decided that she loves Katchoo and is going to try to get back into her life. But, Casey trys to head her off at the pass. Casey loves Katchoo, but more importantly, she doesn't want to see Francine hurt her again. Meanwhile, Francine finds out the Freddie has put pictures of her on the internet. Pictures that she's asked for him to return but he never has. So she takes matters into her own hands. Or . . . foot. Hard in the crotch! This book is fantastic. I can't think of any other book out there that makes you care for the characters as much as this book does. I feel like I'm watching a movie, rather than reading a book. There's always some scene in there where I get a little teary eyed. I will definitely miss these characters when they're gone.

Heroes for Hire #3 - Marvel

Last issue the HFH team captured Captain America. Say it isn't so! It isn't. It seems in the melee, Shang-Chi helped Steve switch places with Paladin. Since Paladin double crossed them, he knew that Misty and Colleen were going to have to bring him down, once they woke up. And he knew that Tony's team was going to show up soon to escort CA to confinement. So he switched costumes on them hoping that once the dust settled, CA would have time to talk to Misty and Colleen and on then be on his way, un-absconded. Shang-Chi's plan worked out perfectly. A couple of things going on in the background, Veil and the Corporation, are transplanting Skrull organs into superhuman bad guys, so they can obtain some of their shapeshifting abilites, and thereby be harder to catch by Tony's goose-steppers who are capturing people for not registering. But the HFH team has started to figure out this little shuffle, and has brought some alien organs back to Reed Richards so he can help investigate what they think is happening. Also to help with Tarantula's idea for some gene-scanning goggles. Plus, they need to contribute to the effort a little to help make up for the fact that they let Steve slip through the cracks. It seems that the team that was assembled by Veil, was payed for and hired by Ricadonna to break her out of jail, and then to help her rebuild her empire. Oh, and someone has blown up the HFH headquarters. Not bad for a third issue. Palmiotti and Gray are doing a fantastic job with the scripts and Billy Tucci is a great talent to have on board for pencils. This is another series I expect great things from. By the way, once again I had to borrow a cover from, truly a great comic book resource.

New Avengers #24 - Marvel

I wondered what they were going to put in this book. I mean, there's so much that the Avengers are doing right now. They're basically fractured in two, with with either side on the opposing side of the Civil War. Between the various civil war titles, and their own, we've been reading about each of them numerous times during each months publications. But, they still managed to put a unique title between these two covers. Which, I expected nothing less from Bendis and Pasqual Ferry. In this one, Bob Reynolds, Sentry, has gone to the moon, literally, to think about what is going on between all his friends, and to try to come to terms with what his role is in said conflict. But even on the moon, he can't find a little peace and solitude. Just like his inner struggles, and demons, with the Void, Bob can't seem distance himself from conflict anywhere. No matter where he goes and what he does, someone is asking him to pick a side. On the moon, it's the Inhumans. At first they're upset about him trespassing into their territory. After all they are in a self proclaimed war with all things human. But after some conversation, and a little mind-reading, they come to realize that he truly has no invidious intentions. After which, they even offer him food, and a bed for the night before embarking for home. He doesn't really want to stay, but he feels he must accept their hospitality and honor their customs. Which is when Crystal enters his bed chambers. It seems that before he made everyone forget that he existed, him and Crystal were lovers for a short period of time. But then Iron Man shows up and makes him choose a side. So much for the short respite he had from the Civil War. With someone with as much power as him, there's no way Tony can let him ride the fence. Great story by Bendis, but, what I really liked about this book is Ferry's art. There were some truly stunning pages in this book. A truly great effort for what is probably just some fill in issues before a new team is assembled. There's no way the current line up will remain in tact through this whole debacle.

Ultimate Spider-Man #101 - Marvel

I know I say it every time I write about an Ultimate book, but, I love this imprint. All of these titles are imaginative and unique. And I like any story that shakes things up a little bit. This one is part 5 of the clone saga. Bendis is doing a much better job of this story, than was done in all the Spider titles 10 years ago or so. That one, with the Scarlet Spider, was a pretty convoluted storyline. It started out good, but by the end there was so much involved it was pretty near impossible to sort the whole thing out. I don't really know if it was ever adequately explained. After reading the whole thing, I still had lots of questions. But, this time, with Bendis at the helm, it seems much less confusing. We still don't know who's behind the whole thing, but I wouldn't rule out Peter's father. Yes he's back. It appears he's been doing secret projects for the CIA this whole time. And Fury is also back, because he is after Peter for being the genetic material for this whole clone mess. That's like blaming Hitler's mother for screwing his dad. Anyways, the FF show up to help Peter and end up saving May because she had a heart attack when Peter admitted that he was Spider-man, last issue, and then Fury attacked at the same time. So now, Peter is going to be in Fury's custody, and MJ is still being held by the other Spider-man clone. Hopefully we'll sort this out some more next issue. But in the meantime, it's a great story. I always feel like I get my moneys worth with these Ultimate books. Keep 'em coming.

Sensational Spiderman #31 - Marvel

This book has really gotten good. Of course the artwork of Angel Medina doesn't hurt. Also the Clayton Crain covers are fantabulous. This issue wraps up the "Deadly Foes of Peter Parker" storyline. Lately, Peter, and anyone he's close to, has been attacked by any and all of his foes. They seem to be random, and for no apparent reason, but, come to find out, the Chameleon has been orchestrating the whole thing. All these people that already didn't like the Spider-man, seem to hate him even more now that they know who he is. So the Chameleon trys to set up a trap for SM with Liz and Normie Osborne. He trys to take him down with the Molten Man, Will-O-Wisp and the Scarecrow. While he goes after Aunt May on his own. Well, you just know that those 3 lunk heads aren't going to be able to do the job. Especially with SM's cool new outfit. So he beats them up, finds out from Molten Man that the Chameleon is behind the whole thing, and that he is going after aunt May even as they speak. Actually, SM wins because the Black Cat shows up to help him out a little bit. So he, and she, take off for Avenger tower, because that's where they live now. But what he doesn't know is that old Aunt May is pretty good at protecting herself. As they're going up the elevator, and into their apartment, May has been testing him. She bakes him some cookies, and convinces him that she has poisoned him with arsenic. Actually she's ground up some Ambien and put them in to knock him out. So when Peter shows up, he's already taken care of. But, Peter is still upset that his decision to out himself has put everyone in his life in danger. Good book, good art, and fantastic characters. I don't see any down side to buying this book.

WildCats #1 - Wildstorm

Another new Wildstorm book. And another book by Grant Morrison. Am I dreaming? If so please don't bother waking me up. This is awesome. I know that both books are bi-monthly, so I assume that they come out alternately. But hey, a new book every month by Grant Morrison, is a comic book geeks wet dream. And I guess that would include me! Now, not to make you drop your load too quickly, but, the art team on this book is Jim Lee and Scott Williams. I know!! I need a cigarette now too. And the reality of the book, what you get between the covers, is even better that what I expected. Now, I don't want to spoil it too much for you, because I think everyone should rush out and get a copy of this, but all your favorite characters are back. Voodoo, Zealot, Grifter, Maul, Warblade, Spartan and Hadrian. Plus a few others that you'll be happy to see. Including Majestros. And I'll tell you what, Jim's pencils, you can tell he puts a special kind of love into his work on this book. They are just incredible. I didn't realize I missed this book as much as I did, until I picked up this issue and read it. Like I said about the Authority, I expected truly great things from this book, and from the looks of the first issue, I don't think that anyone will be let down. Get it, buy it, grab it, do whatever you have to do, but don't let this book slip between your fingers. You'll really regret it.

Authority #1 - Wildstorm

One of the coolest new super teams out there, is back. Well . . . . . technically they're not back this issue. Not yet. But their Bleed ship is. They should probably be joining the story next issue. And, besides the team and the characters, we have Grant Morrison writing it, and Gene Ha drawing it. I don't know that this book could be in any better hands. With this creative team, this incarnation should be better than any of the previous 3. Basically in this issue, a Norwegian nuclear sub is trying to find out what is going on with some anomalous sonar readings that they're getting. Their getting something big, something really big, in a place where there was nothing before. The 300 plus crew of the sub are all killed. We then see, what appears to be an American team, put together to go check out what has happened to the Norwegian effort. All they find is a sunken sub, and a lot of dead crew. Oh yeah, they also find a Bleed ship resting on the bottom of the ocean. For now, we can only assume that this is the Authority's ship. But that's my guess. How it got there, and what it's doing there is anybody's guess. With Grant writing this, I really expect to see a lot of new and imaginitive ideas. With him, that appears to be as natural as breathing. And Gene's art this issue, was just astonishing. Some of his best work to date. I was expecting great things from this title, and I think we've just seen the beginning of that. The time to get on this book is now! Don't wait for everybody else to tell you how good it is. See for yourself.

Krypto #2 - DC

Another fun kid's book from DC. I like this line of books that they've come up with, in that it's a diversion from the normal books of their DC or Vertigo lines. This is just a fun read. And, I like that they're giving some attention to the younger audience. After all, if we want this medium to stay alive and successful, we have to start growing a new audience for the future somewhere. So now they have 4 cool titles, which I also buy a copy of for my 8 year old nephew, "Teen Titans Go!", "Justice League Unlimited", "Batman Strikes" and now "Krypto". Actually, they have 4 other titles also, "Cartoon Network Action Pack", "Cartoon Network Block Party", "Scooby Doo" and "Looney Tunes". I'm not sure if they still have "Power Puff Girls" or not. But anyways, some really cool books for kids. I'm glad that they realize that, "Yes! Kids still do buy comic books!".

Deadman #3 - Vertigo

Cool new book. It's by Bruce Jones and John Watkiss. Of course Bruce is writing a killer story, literally. And John's art is really cool. He definitely has his own style, and it fits in very well with the premise and the mood of this story. Brandon has come back from the dead, and is trying to protect his love interest, his brother's wife, Sarah. Apparently he has become the living embodiment of the string theory. He can literally, with his brothers help, or maybe because of him, bounce back and forth between alternate realities. His brother seems to want to do this to show Brandon what could happen to Sarah, if he doesn't do the right thing. Or at least the thing that Scott wants him to do. Brandon also seems to have realized that Scott crashed the plane that killed them on purpose. Maybe to put the current events into motion. Maybe not. That part he hasn't quite figured out yet. But we get to see 2 cool things this issue. In trying to escape from whomever is trying to kill her, they run into, literally, a circus. The first good thing is, in trying to disguise herself, we get to see Sarah naked. That's always a good thing. The second cool thing is that Brandon's outfit makes him look almost exactly like the original Deadman, Boston Brand. Coincidence? Some say there is no coincidence. Good book. It's captured my attention, and imagination, after just 3 issues. The future will tell if Bruce can keep up this pace. I hope so.

Hellblazer #225 - Vertigo

I hope this story gets more exciting soon. Don't get me wrong, Denise Mina is creating and writing a good story here. But, this particular issue, slows the pace down to a crawl. Basically what's going on is, we're trying to stop the "Empathy Engine" that was created in the last story arc. The problem is, they were tricked into creating it. It seems there's a third place that souls can go, besides heaven & hell (a classic Black Sabbath album). The ruler of this realm tricked them into building the empathy engine, thinking that it would make the world a better place, since everyone would feel what everyone else was. But they were dead wrong. The empathy engine is too strong, and normal humans can't handle feeling what other are feeling. Hell, they can barely handle their own feelings. So anyways, they give up, commit suicide, or basically their soul is sucked out of them, and it goes straight to the third realm. The other problem that they hadn't counted on, is that, the few people that seem to be immune to the engine, are really just extensions of the engine. So, should they leave the general vicinity of the engine, they themselves become living breathing empathy engines. Thereby spreading the 3rd realm's powerbase over the whole globe. And with that many souls to draw upon, he could potentially become stronger than heaven or hell. But this issue has little or no action. Basically it was just all the supporting characters standing around talking about what it is they think they should be doing next. And John has basically given up. He thinks that anything he touches dies anyways, so why should he try to fix this situation? But, Angie has come up with a plan. It involves the Praexis, and the paintings that they were all looking at in the art gallery. But, again, no action this issue. But, by the looks of things, that should change next issue. Here's hoping so. I almost fell asleep reading this issue.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

100 Bullets #77 - Vertigo

This is one of the best books on the market. Every one is all "ga-ga" over Bendis' writing, well in my book Brian Azzarello is every bit as good, if not better. The complexity of his stories, and the sheer number of characters, is staggering. Not to mention that Eduardo Risso is perfect. Not just for this book, but overall, perfect! And they work together like they were biological twins. Brian's writing set's the tone and the pace of the story. Then Eduardo's art sets the mood. Of course we can't leave out the beautiful Dave Johnson covers that have graced this book since it's inception. I mean, just look at it, Yowwzza! And in the book, this chick is a bitch! Anyways, I just can't say enough about this book. Month after month I am just floored by the story and the art. Then on top of it, this month, we get a preview of Deathblow, coming out soon from Wildstorm, that Brian will also be writing. By the way, on the DC website they had the wrong cover again, so I had to borrow this one from Mile High Comics. Like I said before, great place to shop! You should check it out at . Again, all these books are available in Trade Paperback. If you can't find the back issues, that's another source. You won't be sorry you did. #1 goes for $50 in mint condition right now.

Catwoman #60 - DC

First of all, look at the Adam Hughes cover. It's just brilliant. Worth the price of the book all by itself. Selina has finally gone to get Holly out of jail. She's being questioned for the killing of Black Mask. But, the film freak is also running around out there. He's loosed a giant gorilla, in homage to "King Kong". Obviously. So that's created the distraction Catwoman needed to get Holly out. But then she has to deal with the gorilla. Of course no one appreciates her involvment, or that she saved both the cops and the gorilla. And now that she's figured out that the film freak is still out there, she has to figure out what he's going to do next, and what to do about it. Will Pfiefer has done a great job with this book. The cast of characters has grown both in number, and our interest in them. We have Holly and Karon, obviously. Wildcat, Ted, who seems to be a mentor to anyone in a cat suit. Slam Bradley, whom we've all heard of, and his son, whom we think is Selina's childs father. Also David Lopez art has continued to grow. His style gets better with every issue, and it also fits this book like a glove. I collected all of the first series, but the second I got into late. Probably because I felt like no one could live up to Jim Balent's Catwoman. But, then I started looking at them, and of course the covers, and have gone back to pick them all up. I like this series as well as the first, just for different reasons. I think that this set has expanded on her character more that the first one did. And with these covers, she'll always be in my dreams.

Checkmate #7 - DC

The Suicide Squad is back! Yay!!! Oh, Shhh!!! It's supposed to be a secret. Amanda Waller is showing her true colors again, by putting together a team on the sly. Even though she's promised Checkmate that she'll stay out of operations. Like I said, her true colors. Recently a child has been found in China, to have amazing energy powers. Well, the Govt. that found him, has decided to use him as a power source, for their country, and whomever will buy the power from them. Waller sees this as a threat because, one this country shouldn't be taking advantage of this young man, and two this country shouldn't be in control of such an unlimited power source. So, she takes it upon herself to free the young man from his shackles, literally. She sends in two teams, one to gain entrance to the facility, and the other, Rick Flag and the Bronze Tiger, to back up whoever survives and make sure they get home safely. Of course upon freeing him, he's been given safe haven in the good ol' USofA. So, she's obviously doing this to get something from someone in the Govt., but we don't know who and what, yet. And will it be for the betterment or detriment of Checkmate, who isn't U.S. sanctioned, but U.N. sanctioned. But, Terry Holt, Mister Terrific, is starting to become suspicious. Greg Rucka, with DeFilippis and Weir are doing a great job writing this book. Cliff Richards does the art this issue. His style fits the book very nicely. I like this book so far. I just hope it can keep up the pace that it's started with. We'll just have to wait and see.

Creeper #3 - DC

Steve Niles is doing a great job writing this book. He's keeping it in the current environment of the DC universe, while still staying true to it's origins. Great balancing act. And I can't say enough about Justiniano's art. It's fantastic. And it's perfect for this book. We start to get a little involvement from the Batman this issue. He's determined to find out who the Creeper is, and what's going on with him. I don't think he's decided which side of the fence he's on yet. From the blood sample he collects, from the hatchet that the Axeman put in him, he determines that there's two distinctive entities. The red and the green seem to be at war with each other. But he does determine that the red, definitely belongs to Jack Ryder. I also like the way the Steve is writing the Creeper with a dissociative personality. But, they also seem to leech on each other at the same time. Very pseudo psychological. Which, really, is what the Creeper is all about. It's a shame that this is only a six issue mini. I like the direction that this book is going. And I'm really digging the characters. Guess we'll just have to wait and see what the future brings.