Monday, May 31, 2010

X-Force #27 - Marvel

This was pretty much an all fight issue. Last issue the entirely of Utopia, and part of San Francisco, was encased within a giant energy bubble. The center of the bubble seemed to be on the Golden Gate Bridge. Where there also was a smaller one. While the big red bubble stopped the X-Men from getting out, and anyone else from getting in to stop them . . the smaller bubble seemed to be a teleport spot. And at the end of the last chapter they got a glimpse of what was coming through after them . . Nimrods . . advanced super-Sentinels from the future. I don't know how Bastion got ahold of these, but . . he was sending them in to kill the X-Men. That's why the first 10 pages of this book are nothing but fight scenes. It appears that many X-Men have been hurt, and maybe even a few killed, but we don't know all the details yet. After that there's a lull in the battle, but it appears that the Nimrods are just gathering their forces and they expect another wave at any time. While the portal was open, the X-Men were able to scan inside and see just exactly what they were up against. According to all readings . . the scans overloading after the reached 170.000 Nimrods. So basically . . they're screwed. But Scott has one last hope. With Cable's time-jumping capabilities, he decides to send him and the rest of X-Force into the future to try to stop the attack before they come back. They want Doug to interface with the tech and shut it down. And again, this is the first time most of those gathered here have even heard to X-Force's existence. There's one more problem. Scott has basically signed their death-sentence. Cable only has one more jump available to him. So by sending these guys into the future . . there's no guarantee that they'll be able to find a way back. And just as they leave . . more Nimrods begin coming through. This was a very intense issue by Craig Kyle, Chris Yost and Mike Choi. And Mike did a fantastic job on the art. The only thing I'm kind of iffy about is this whole 'stuck in the future' thing. I mean . . the Nimrod's can come back, so the obviously have the technology. So if Doug is successful and does take control of them, then . . he also controls their tech. Right? So . . if they can come back, then they'll obviously be able to send the X-Men back. It doesn't seem all that earth-shattering to me. Of course . . they still have to get past those 170,000 Sentinels to make their plan work, so . . I think I'd be more worried about that. I still enjoyed the book though.

Wolverine #86 - Marvel

This was an interesting book, but . . I should've read this issue before I read Wolverine Origins #48. When I read #48 I felt like I had missed something. But . . it didn't really matter because you knew what was happening anyways. But in this issue we see the big throw-down with Romulus and Daken on one side, and Wolverine and Skaar on the other. They go at it for a while until Cloak pulls Logan out. Romulus and Daken had taken off and if Wolverine would've stuck around he just would've had to explain to the authorities about all the damages. But when Romulus and Daken take off together, it isn't long before Daken turns on him. Daken knows that Romulus' empire was always destined to be Logan's. And for that . . he hates his father. No matter what Daken did, it was always going to be Logan's for that taking. So he decided that the least he could do was rob Logan of the opportunity to kill Romulus. And the best way to do that was to do it himself. He hurts him pretty bad, but of course Romulus has a healing factor. I think he just wanted to take him apart piece by piece. But before he could deliver the killing blow . . Logan and Cloak whisked him away. And to see what they did after that . . either read Wolverine Origins #48, or . . just peruse my entry just a few blogs back. It doesn't really matter which way I read it. This chapter isn't that pivotal to the next one. But . . it just would've been a little more cohesive for me. Oh well! This issue was written by Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu, with art by Stephen Segovia. It was an ok issue. For what it was. You obviously bought it if you've been following this. But if you didn't . . you really didn't miss much. Not anything that was important enough to go out and look for.

X-Men: Second Coming - Revelations: Blind Science #1 - Marvel

I really liked this story. It was a bit predictable, but . . not right away. In the adjoining chapters of Second Coming, we see the X-Club watching the countdown, of what they assume is a bomb, at the end of chapter 7. Then in chapter 8, we see the rig explode, and they go flying off into the ocean. But . . they're alive. So they avoided any fatalities. However, This fills in what happened during that space between. It wasn't just . . run from the bomb, and jump off the rig. When the timer gets to zero, and none of these brilliant minds can figure out what to do . . at the last second they're teleported out, and apparently into the future. Dr Rao, at one time, had developed the Hope serum. Basically, it was supposed to cure people of being a mutant. As if it were a disease. She developed it, but she never followed through with it. When she saw the fervor that it created in the anti-mutant community, she realized that it was going to be used for more than she had anticipated. If this ever got out, she could be solely responsible for the extinction of an entire race. She couldn't live with that. Anyways, they're apparently whisked into the future where the X-Men have won, but the victory seems to have been the beginning of the end of the world. Something was happening, and mutations were progressing at an even faster rate than usual, and a non-mutant Henry McCoy . . he had gotten the only sample of Dr Rao's formula, and had used it on himself so that he could try to change the world . . Henry had gone after the X-Club so that he could re-synthesize the formula and save the world. Anyways . . long story short, this was all a set-up. Some of Bastion's men had tricked them into thinking they were in the future, when actually they were in a holo-deck. They just wanted Dr Rao's formula to try to help turn the tide in this war. Luckily, Dr Rao figured it out ahead of time and gave them the wrong formula. An unstable one. Which is where the actual explosion, that caused them to jump off the rig, actually came from. So 2 things came out of this. First Bastion and his crew didn't gain anything. And actually, they lost a rig. Second . . the X-Club ended up on the outside of the bubble when it materialized. So hopefully they can do something from that advantage. All in all I thought it was a pretty cool story by Simon Spurrier, with art by Paul Davidson and Francis Portela. Their art almost had a Paul Gulacy type look to it. Anyways, I thought it was a neat chapter in this storyline.

Wolverine Origins #48 - Marvel

Even though this issue really brings about the end of this story-line . . you just know that this isn't the last we've seen of Romulus or Daken. Logan takes Romulus up to the Howlett estate, in Canada, because this is where it all started. Where James/Logan was born. And where his destructive path was created. He makes an attempt to kill him, with the Muramasa blade, but instead banishes him into the Darkforce dimension. But you have to ask yourself, this is a pretty strong-willed and resourceful guy. So . . how long do you really think that Cloak is going to be able to keep him here? But . . that's a battle for future issues. Anyways, Logan has decided that in order to change things . . the future, his destiny, whatever . . he has to get off this path where he thirsts for revenge. If he's learned nothing else from Romulus it's that that path never ends. And it causes a whole lot of heartache along the way. Which is something he's learned from the Silver Samurai also. 'When you allow your rage to take over . . your balance is destroyed. The balance in your mind. The balance in your heart. Fight for what you love, Wolverine . . not for what you hate.' Anyways, once he puts Romulus in the cabinet, he then goes after Daken. It looks like he's going to kill him, but . . in the end we find out that he's simply removed his claws . . his connection to his father, and Romulus. I know this isn't the end of the story, but . . it does wrap it up for now. And I think Daniel Way and Will Conrad did a great job with it. Now this series, as well as the other Wolverine books will be wrapping up in the next month or 2 . . #50 is the end of this series, #90 of Dark Wolverine and #16 of Weapon X. It appears that there's going to be a Wolverine family of comics out in September. They'll be starting with Wolverine: Road to Hell, and then followed with the relaunch of his own book, as well as Daken: Dark Wolverine and X-23. So, apparently, when they say Wolverine family of books . . they mean the family part literally. And I'm sure, somewhere down the line, we're going to have another Romulus story-line, or mini-series. It's inevitable.

Wolverine Weapon X #13 - Marvel

To me . . this story has a type of Terminator feel to it. Basically we've got these Deathloks that have come back from the future and they have a list of people that they've been sent to kill. 20 some years in the future. We don't know why, or how these deaths will affect things. From our limited views of the future, all we really know is that this has something to do with Roxxon. Anyways, there's some 'heroes' on the list, like Cap, Bucky and Logan, but for the most part they're all just normal people. Except for the one woman that's pregnant. But there's also a woman, Miranda Bayer, that is somehow connected to these events. In the future she's one of the soldiers that is actively fighting the Deathloks. But in the present she's been getting visions of the people in that time that are important to her. Or important to the chain of events. So she's been helping the 'heroes' get the people the Deathloks are targeting to safety. Also there's one more guy in this mix. A Dr Heimerdinger. Apparently he was commissioned by Norman Osborn, when he was in charge, to try to figure out ways to animate the corpses of dead soldiers. He had some limited success, but his trials weren't moving fast enough for Osborn. So he was let go. Now he's been relegated to a waste facility for road-kill, and he's been doing his experiments on animals. Anyways, Logan takes out one of the Deathloks by removing it's head and brings it to the Dr to try to figure out how to disarm it, or at least turn it off. But, while the Dr recognizes his work, he's amazed at how much more advanced this system is than what he's so far designed. But it's all moot as the Deathlok's corpse reanimates and then kills the Dr. When they all regroup, they decide that Miranda is now their key target. But the Deathlok that comes after her seems to be a synthesis of some sort. It now has Tony's repulsor technology, and . . it's also got laser claws like the Weapon X soldiers that Logan fought. So now I'm thinking, is this connected to those Blackguard soldiers from the first story-arc? They were created by Roxxon with stolen Weapon X plans. Maybe these guys are like the next evolution of that. Well . . 20 years evolved. I like what Jason Aaron is doing with this story here. But it really does feel like a Terminator episode to me. Ron Garney and Morry Hollowell do the art. I thought there were a lot of Wolverine books out there, but . . with Wolverine Origins coming to an end . . this one should be more in the spotlight.

the Amazing Spider-man Annual #37 - Marvel

This issue gives us the first time meeting, ever . . of Spider-man and Captain America. The story takes place after Avengers, Vol 1 #11. In it Spider-man helped save Cap, and the Avengers from a robot Spider-man . . in Mexico. So this issue when Spidey comes across Sandman robbing a bank . . Cap ends up coming to his rescue. And just like that . . things are wrapped up. But nothing ever goes that easy for Spidey. Shortly after he's hand-cuffed, and fitted with an inhibitor collar, some wacky scientists show up claiming that Marko is going to be responsible for wiping out 27% of the world's population. They call it some kind of convergence of chronal strands, and liken it to what happened before Hitler came in to power. So basically . . they want to kill him before he can do the deed. Of course, Cap and Spidey aren't going to let that happen . . under any circumstances. And . . the usual intent vs method fight breaks out. Sandman does threaten to wipe out a portion of the civilization, but . . it happens after one of the scientists does something to him that accelerates his mutation. But then Spidey and one of the other scientists figure out how to fix it. Thereby ending the threat. And it turns out the leader of this group, Darwin, had this all figured out. 'There were 17 easier ways, off the top of my head. But they were so pedestrian and this was much more . . rewarding.' Anyways, the point of all this is, after talking to Spidey, Cap realizes there are heroes out there that are misunderstood. With no way of doing anything that would actually change the public's perception of them. He wants to help them, but . . he doesn't have the time. Unless . . they to were also Avengers. Which leads into Avengers #16 where Cap decides to recruit other people into the Avengers. People like Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye. So, even though this was essentially a forgotten tale . . it was actually a turning point in Marvel history. And a pretty cool story by Karl Kesel and Paulo Siqueira. And, by the way, Paulo's art was fantastic. In the back-up, we get a new Untold Tales of Spider-man, by Kurt Busiek and Pat Olliffe. It was pretty cool also. All in all, I thought it was a good Annual. Better than some I've read.

the Amazing Spider-man #632 - Marvel

This story takes an interesting turn this issue, and one that I definitely wasn't expecting. Last issue we saw that Curt Connors had once again turned into the Lizard. But this time he's being pushed to do things that he normally wouldn't. Such as . . kill his son. This seems to have been orchestrated to completely send him over the edge, and immerse his persona completely into that of the Lizard. But . . we find out this issue that it also seems to have triggered a transformation. He's morphed into something different. When Spidey finds him this issue, he thinks he's dead. But actually he's in a cocoon of sorts. When he comes out, it seems that his lizard brain has taken over. Making him both dangerous and intelligent. He now calls himself Shed. And he seems to have the ability to reach into the 'monkey-brain' of humans, and trigger the lizard part of their being. Making them much more aggressive, territorial and afraid . . I think. Afraid of Shed, it appears. Because once he activates that portion of their brains, they become his prey. So they seem much more animalistic in nature, and basically become intent on fighting to survive. He does this to Peter, but . . he runs, and seems to get far enough away to break his influence. But he's still shaken. He goes back to Curt's lab to gather up all of the antidote he can find. But it may be to late. It appears that he's begun to spread his influence and chaos across the city. With this issue Zeb Wells has definitely taken this story in a direction I wasn't expecting. Which, to me, makes it all that much more interesting. I thought it was a great story, and once again that was enhanced by the terrific artwork of Chris Bachalo. Emma Rios does the art on the final pages of the book . . the pages not about the Lizard/Shed, but rather about the people of NYC. Unfortunately, I didn't like her art nearly as much as Chris'. Like I've said before, there's just something about Chris' art that makes a book that much more fun to read. I really liked this issue, and unfortunately the story wraps up in the next one.

Secret Avengers #1 - Marvel

All I can say about this book is . . Wow! Ed Brubaker starts off this series on sprint, and, as with the Dark Avengers series . . Mike Deodato is doing an exemplary job with the art. Truly . . Wow! Steve's put his team together to be . . 'A strike-force . . off the books . . stealth tactics and preemptive intervention. We go where we're needed and perform surgical strikes.' This month they go after a Roxxon executive who happens to be holding the Serpent Crown. The problem is . . it's not. It's similar, but . . this is something different. When they break in to Roxxon and do a little data-mining, they find out that something happened at the Mars mining operation. The operation was shut down completely about the same time that talk started circulating about them having this artifact. And, all of the people that had been working there seem to have disappeared off the books. So, while Steve's team consists of Black Widow, the Valkyrie, the Beast, Sharon Carter, War-Machine, Ant-Man and Moon Knight, none of them are suited for deep-space exploration. So that's where Steve's other secret member comes in . . Nova. He goes to Mars for some reconnaissance, but is met with more resistance than he's expecting. They find technology that's millions of years old. Pre-Celestial in origin. And Nova stumbles across a chamber. A chamber with a similar crown that he cant' seem to stop himself from putting on his head. Which changes Steve's mission. Now he's on search & rescue. Meanwhile this whole issue Steve and his group have been shadowed by another organization. I assumed that it was HYDRA, or COBRA, or something. But on the final page we see that it's the Shadow Council, and the person that's been tailing them is none other than . . Nick Fury. That's an interesting development. I thought this was a fantastic issue, and a great way to start this series. It definitely gave us a lot to think about, and I can't wait for more.

Fantastic Four #579 - Marvel

I've been loving this series. I think Jonathan Hickman is doing a terrific job of bringing fantastic ideas and a unique perspective to this book. It seems like Jonathan has been exploring a lot of interesting ideas, and . . I'd say he's doing as good a job or better than Mark Millar did. And that says a lot. And, while I do miss Dale Eaglesham's work, it appears that Neal Edwards will be doing the art . . at least for the foreseeable future. It looks ok. He does a good job. But . . I do miss Dale. Anyways, this issue gives us a whole lot of information. Anyways, first of all . . Reed had built a symposium of sorts for forward thinking minds. It was his way of getting people to think about the future.The possible problems, the possible solutions . . and hopefully present ideas for a better tomorrow. But this year . . he's disappointed. The problem is, all of these people . . they've gotten old. 'There comes a time when each generation has outlived it's usefulness and must be cast aside for a new one. It is with this understanding that I resign from this body immediately. Because there is a fire called discovery burning within me. And I won't go back in the cave for anyone.' So, he begins building something new. A new consortium, or school . . as it were. It's called the Future Foundation, and right now . . it consists of the smartest kids that he knows . . Valaria, Franklin, Alex, Leech, Dragon Man, and a few others. This should prove to be very interesting. Meanwhile, things are starting to happen in these many new cities across the globe. In Old Atlantis, the society has reached out to the world that it cut itself off from and is starting to have desires, and yearnings. Sue's the human ambassador, so . . she's trying to work with them. If anything goes astray, she'll be the first to know. Nu-World seems to be on some kind of accelerated time distortion. In the span of 2 pages, they move ahead in history over 300 years. But a Dr Ted Castle tries to keep himself isolated from that time-space distortion. It appears to have worked for the first 100 years, but . . we don't know if it continued to work. Also one of the visitors to the Baxter Building, one of the advanced Mole-men, makes a discovery. 'A curved axis runs from the Forever City, through Old Atlantis, to an Inhuman city-ship on the moon? The radius of that axis happens to mirror the frequency at which a portal to the Negative Zone opens.' I don't know exactly what that means, but . . I don't think that it bodes well. And Reed visits Bentley Whitman to find out that his mind is still deteriorating. But he also wants to let him know that he's going to help raise the boy-clone of his. He's wants to give him things that Bentley had forsaken him. Actually, I think he wants to prove the theory of nature over nurture . . or vice-verse. Anyways, like I said . . there's lots of cool ideas presented here. They're a little fragmented in this issue . . we get little pieces of a lot of stuff. But . . it's thought provoking and original, nonetheless. It's a great book, and every month I'm left wanting more.

Ultimate Enemy #4 - Marvel

Ok . . so who is the Ultimate enemy? Well . . that's a complicated story. We really got 2 stories going on now. Yes the enemy attacked, but . . they've got him/it contained now. Well, maybe not contained so much as . . they're holding it. Carol Danvers is interrogating it. And she makes a pretty good argument for cooperation, but . . she just doesn't have the lack of morals to follow through with the threats. So . . she calls in Nick Fury. Now Nick goes at him with extreme vigor. He's not afraid of getting his hands dirty, or causing a few bruises. But, again . . there's just a certain line that he's not going to cross. So then they call in . . Hawkeye. 'We'll be starting with your reproductive organs.' And almost immediately, he at least starts getting sounds out of this guy. They're guttural and express agony, but . . they're something. 'Now you know why god gave you 2 of almost everything. It's so you get a second chance to answer the question.' But when he starts talking, it's sounds like Catholic school-girl rhetoric. 'I am . . the creation of the creator. Your society does not work. Your morals are corrupted beyond repair. It is your choices that bring this punishment. And out of this destruction will come a new world. A clean world. A world of true promise.' And then . . he starts taking on the form of the massive bio-organism that attacked the Roxxon building. So the answer to the previous question is . . the Ultimate Enemy is . . an Ultimate Mystery. Which happens to be the name of the next mini-series. So, yes he talked, but . . we didn't really get any answers that can help us. Anyways, the other part of the story is about Ben. During the firefight last issue, outside of Peter's house, Ben started to have some kind of reaction. Pieces of his rocky hide started falling off. Well . . not so much falling off as shooting off like projectiles . . hard, rocky, not unlike shrapnel projectiles. Which made him an immediate threat to everyone around him. Plus, he seems to have some kind of energy coming out of all of these holes in his hide. So . . they take him to the Triskelion so he can be contained, watched and monitored. But there's nothing they can really do, but let whatever this is run it's course. Which it does . . in a big explosion of energy and light, which results in Ben finally coming out the other side. But . . now he looks like a big human flashlight. Or, actually, kind of like Mr Negative when he's powered up, from the Amazing Spider-man books. And, after the attack at his house, Peter has decided that he's put May, and everybody else, at risk. So he wants them to all go stay somewhere else, and he's leaving until he finds out who's behind all of this. As he takes off, we see that Spider-woman is trailing him.Even though we didn't really get any answers this issue, I still thought that Brian Bendis did a great job with this story. As with all of his books, I think his strength lies in his interaction and dialogue between characters. Plus it sets us up for the next part of this story, Ultimate Mystery. Which will be done by the same creative team as the book we've just read . . Brian and Rafa Sandoval. The previews don't really give anything away, but . . it looks like the results, at least partly, of this current series is to bring the FF . . well, at least the 3 of them, back together. So I'm guessing . . this Ultimate Enemy has something to do with Reed. I know he's been killed. Or so we've been led to believe. But . . if it's not him, then it's somehow connected to him. But we won't know until we read the next series. Very tricky! I like it!

Sam and Twitch: the Writer #2 - Image

At the beginning of the first issue we see Sam stabbed and then stuck in a freezer at a slaughterhouse. We don't know what's going on, but . . these first 2 issues have filled in everything in between. But still . . all we really know for sure is that there's somebody out there who has a story to tell. Now that he's started doing it on the bodies of the people he's killed . . he's gotten some attention. However, before this his writing was found on walls, windows and park benches around the neighborhood. Sam and Twitch have also picked up a third-wheel . . Dr Garland . . a psychologist. The Captain thinks that her insight will help them catch the killer. She's examining the writing . . the story. And I think she makes a neat observation . . one that's quickly dismissed by Sam. It's a story that she recalls about a woman that was killed in the 1900's. She's been stabbed, but she's been found in a locked room . . locked from the inside. But that's not really important. The important part is that it was signed at the bottom . . 'three initials A.C.S.', just like what they've been finding on the bodies. But she doesn't really tell him where she saw the story, or how she came across it. However, in the end . . it doesn't really matter because, like I said, Sam just dismisses it, and Twitch never hears that part of her theory. Anyways, other than that, we see the most recent killings in this little spree. That and they're looking into a neighborhood boy that's been killed, Ramon. I'm not really sure what his connection is, other than that he's connected to a local butcher that is obviously connected. And therefore a suspect. Which all leads us back around to the beginning when Sam gets stabbed and stuck in the freezer. I think it's an interesting story. Luca Blengino is doing a good job of spreading it out and feeding us bits and pieces. Unfortunately, so far, it doesn't seem all that much different from something we'd see on CSI or Criminal Minds. I'm expecting some kind of twist to hit us in the near future, but . . I have no idea what that might be. I also like Luca Erbetta's pencils. I wasn't sure at first, but . . they're definitely growing on me. And I think her style fits the story very well. But, more than anything, I'm just happy to see Sam and Twitch back on the scene again. I love these characters. But they've been absent . . for quite a while. Hopefully this series is just the beginning.

Project Superpowers: Chapter Two #9 - Dynamite Entertainment

As we head towards issue #12, and the end of this second chapter, we are starting to get a lot of little revelations about some of these characters. First, as you can see by the cover, Kid Terror is back from the dead. If he ever really was dead. He was also in the urn and maybe he just had a hard time finding his way back to the rest of the heroes. But, we already have a Kid Terror. And he's been hanging out with the Inheritors. Well . . it turns out that was actually Dynamic Kid posing as Kid Terror, to put a spy behind enemy lines. Enemies of the Supremacy, I mean. Which explains why Cat-Man was acting so primal. He knew that he wasn't the real deal. All of this comes while a large portion of the heroes are trying to face down Zeus. Meanwhile the Huntsman is throwing around accusations that the 'Devil is not who he says he is. He claims that he is not Bart Hill. But since the 'Devil doesn't talk, he can't really defend himself. During all of this, Black Terror introduces the rest of the gang to the new American Crusader, Marcus. Also the Green Lama and the Black Terror come to blows because Bob is unhappy that Jet has given the Pentagon back to the people. And Jet is unhappy that Bob left when they needed him most. Even if he was going off to help Archie. And the Supremacy has been keeping an ever vigil eye on all of this. They don't like the recent developments, but they think they're still salvageable if Dynamic Man takes his seat on the Supremacy and uses all of his resources to bring down the heroes facing Zeus. They're then hoping to open a dialogue with the god himself. But it seems that Dynamic Man is starting to question all of this. He doesn't want to sacrifice his brothers and sisters. 'I've allowed myself . . all of Dynamic Forces . . to be controlled. We are not machines. Only mechanical beings. Only artificial bodies. But not machines. I was a hero once. A long time ago. I saved lives . . helped people . . I'd like to do that again.' Meanwhile Zeus, tired of the fray, uses his 'god-fire' to bring down all of the heroes. 'Let's put your immortality to a test. Shall we?' As the issue ends, the only one left standing in defiance is Kid Terror . . the Dynamic Kid version. This was another great chapter in this series. Alex Ross and Jim Krueger did a great job with the story. And I think Edgar Salazar's art improves with every issue. Also . . I loved the cover. The only thing I don't like about this book . . I keep going to Wikipedia to try to find out more and more about the history and time-line of these characters. It's a daunting process, but . . kind of fun too. Unfortunately I only have the time to do it in little pieces.

Green Hornet Year One #3 - Dynamite Entertainment

I like the way they've set up the story in this book. Not only does it give us 'Year One' of the Green Hornet, but it also shows us the circumstances leading up to Britt Reid and Kato's meeting. Britt was an adventurer, and wandering the world. He ended up in China about 6 months before Japan attacked. Unfortunately he became trapped in the city because of the war and the fighting. Likewise, Kato had reluctantly taken up with the Japanese army. He knew that the attack on China was wrong, but at the same time his honor demanded that he defend his country. He could best do that in the army. Unfortunately, there was no honor in the army, or in war. He found himself witness to all form of atrocities forced upon innocent people . . simply because they weren't Japanese. So he became Ronin. He was skilled, but . . it was still only a matter of time before he would be overcome. Luckily, before he was killed, Britt saw what was happening and saved him. And that's how they became connected. The rest of the story takes place in 1938 Chicago. We see the Green Hornet terrorizing the gangs. And chopping away at them, piece by piece. Obviously Matt Wagner is very skilled in these tales . . and it shows. But I was surprised by Aaron Campbell's pencils. Most of this issue is done with heavy shadows, as is appropriate to how the Green Hornet operates. And it really looked fantastic. Plus it had that 'old' look to it . . both in history, and in comic stylings. It was actually kind of refreshing from some of the other books I've read. I thought it was another great issue.

Green Hornet #4 - Dynamite Entertainment

This issue takes the young Britt Reid one step closer towards becoming the new Green Hornet. Last issue Kato . . the father, Britt's father's former associate . . had taken Britt to show him the secret lair of the Green Hornet . . his father, Britt Sr. Britt honestly had no idea. He just thought his dad was a work-a-holic. But while this opened his eyes to what his father really was, he had no intention of trying to become him . . filling the shoes, as it were. It's a path he never in his wildest dreams thought that his life would take. But it has, and now he has a choice to make. Unfortunately, he chooses what his father has asked for in his will . . he's headed to China where he'll be kept safe and the remnants of his father's crime-fighting career will be destroyed. Kato and his daughter, the girl we met at the party, will stay behind to find his father's killer, and hopefully make Century City safe again. We see Britt take off in his father's jet, and then Kato's daughter begins taking on the gangs. The problem is . . no matter how many fighting styles she knows, no matter how many weapons she's deadly with, she's still only one person, and . . a girl. No offense. But most of these gangs are made up of numbers. Large numbers of muscle bound young men . . for protection. Men that are not only willing to put their lives on the line, but do so without even thinking about it. Despite their unskilled and inept fighting, 20 against 1 will still eventually wear down the 1. So it's a good thing when Britt comes crashing through the window at the end. I don't know that he's decided to become the Green Hornet, but I'm guessing he at least can't live with not helping to catch his father's killer. Next issue should be very interesting. Kevin Smith is doing a great job with this story. I can see how it could've been a movie script. It's got all the elements of a good adventure / crime-drama. Plus it gives us the history of the character and updates it at the same time. Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau do the art. It looks really good. I decided to pick this stuff up from Dynamite on a whim, but . . I'm starting to think I made a good choice.

WildCATS #23 - WildStorm

There's lots of stuff going on here, but . . it's mostly maintenance. With everything going on in the WildStorm Universe right now, and all of these books pretty much interconnected . . we get bits and pieces of several story-lines . Grunge is up in the WatchTower, and he's Spartan's second in command. He's been working on several projects, but the most important is that Spartan has tasked him with spying on John Lynch, and Team 7. Spartan doesn't trust them and is suspicious about the way they left. Anyways, Link has been working on recovering the door technology, but Grunge has some unique ideas for it's use. So he's taken over that project also. Voodoo, and the old Doctor that she took out of the Garden, are looking for the Earth's new Doctor. They're following up leads, and Battalion and Ladytron are doing the leg-work. Right now they're checking on that kid that can dream up anything. He was in the Authority books about a year ago. Anyways, for some reason they can't get a good read on him so Battalion and Ladytron need to go in for extraction. Long story short, he's not the Doctor and Battalion lobotomizes him. Meanwhile, Charis has Majestros' catatonic body and is intent on creating a child. She's turned the base in South Dakota into her own private love-den. Warblade is still trying to recuperate from his injuries . . and we find out the status of everyone else. No one has died . . yet. Link and Apollo are attempting to build a particle magnet. Basically, they want it to sweep the Earth and pull all of the harmful stuff out of the atmosphere. One of the results will be that Apollo will be able to return to Earth. And Zealot is trying to rebuild her own Coda army. Right now she's working with volunteers, but . . she's not very happy with the results. She's also got Maul doing some cloning with recovered Kheran medical samples and maternal volunteers. The problem is, they have to accelerate the gestation and the human body isn't made for that. They've already lost 6 volunteers. But Zealot doesn't really care. She just wants to get her army up and running. But it looks like Midnighter isn't to happy with her methods and goals. He's spying on her. So, like I said . . kind of a maintenance issue. There's lots of cool stuff going on, but were only getting bits and pieces right now. Adam Beechen is writing it, with Tim Seeley on the art. I think they did a pretty decent job, for what they had to work with. But I'm sure they have to coordinate everything that's going on here with the other books. It probably doesn't leave much room open for artistic license. That's the only problem with these big cross-overs, like this . . it starts to become more about all the various pieces fitting together than necessarily the story-line. But I'm holding out hope.

Madame Xanadu #23 - Vertigo

I have to apologize . . I was a little rough on Amy Reeder Hadley's art in the last issue or 2. I don't know why, but I never realized that the only issue I really had was with the way that she was drawing John. But then it dawned on me . . John isn't really human. He's just pretending to be. So I'm thinking . . she drew him that way on purpose to show us that he wasn't quite the 'real deal'. I don't know why I didn't think about that sooner. I guess I was just being nit-picky. So, anyways . . Sorry! Amy, I'd be happy to have half your talent. You've done a great job with this series . . keep up the good work! So . . in this issue's story, Nimue ends up taking down her sister. As she fighting her, trying to match spell for spell, it dawns on her . . 'I must appeal to her wrath. Her contempt. Her arrogance.' In other words, she has to get her to let her guard down and underestimate her sister. Which is pretty easy to do, especially in the case of sibling rivalries. Anyways, long story short, she has a lock of Betty Reynolds hair, and uses it to take away the shell that Morgana is now inhabiting. She can call the displaced spirit back to it's rightful home. And now that this threat is over, John decides that it's time for him to leave town. I also think that Nimue came into contact with Aquaman this issue. We don't really see him, but she was saved in a manner similar to his. I like Matt Wagner's stories here. I like the way that Nimue is kind of taking us on trip through the history of the DC Universe . . from her unique perspective. And I like the character that Madame Xanadu is turning out to be. I have a feeling that this book will be around for quite a while to come.

Gotham City Sirens #12 - DC

Everybody seems to have something going on here . . their own life . . except for Harley. She just seems to be tagging along for the ride. Pamela has recently started working at STAR labs, under the alias of Dr Paula Irving. But she made some waves on her first day by firing some people, right off the bat. Well one of them put 2 and 2 together, realized who she actually was, and ended up trapping her in a plant dehydrator. It would've been the end, but . . luckily Ivy always carries some saplings with her. She makes it grow big enough to bust her out of the chamber. And normally, for such an afront, Ivy wouldn't hesitate in killing her captor. But . . Ivy may actually be turning a new leaf. After reviewing her personnel file, she tells Alisa . .'I'm beginning to think our employment situation can still be salvaged. After all, you're the only one who figured out my true identity. So long as you and I can reach an understanding we can both keep our jobs, and that daughter of your can keep her mom.' Normally, I don't think she'd give someone a chance like that. Anyways, in the meantime, Selina is concerned about her sister . . Maggie. Ever since Blackest Night she hasn't seen or heard from her. Well . . long story short, Maggie thinks that Selina is posessed by some form of cat-demon. To that end, she wants to save her sister. She goes to a renowned exorcist for some help. But in her delusion, she thinks that this woman is also possesses and ends up killing her. While going through her vestments she comes across a vile with some kind of vapor in it. It ends up being an angel . . or a demon. We don't know which yet. So in the end, Maggie is the one that is posessed, and comes after her sister looking like a warrior nun. I thought it was a pretty good book. I enjoy Tony Bedard's stories. But honestly, I thought the whole thing with Maggie took a rather strange turn. I guess we'll have to wait and see how it all comes out. Right now . . to me . . it's all just a little bit crazy. Guillem March did the cover, but it looks like Peter Nguyen is going to be the penciller from now on. I thought it was an ok issue, though. Just a little strange at the end.

the Web #9 - DC

This issue was ok. The problem I have is that it looks like the next issue will be the finale. Well . . either that, or the book is on hold until the Crusaders special feature is done. There's nothing listed for this book through September. Also, after reading the first issue of the Crusaders, we find out that the Global Concern is a group that is made up of the world's wealthiest and most influential. We hear about them in the Crusaders book, but . . this is the first time that we've ever even heard mention of them throughout this title. Anyways, it looked like the Stunner had killed the Web at the end of last issue. And by all accounts . . he should be dead. But Kit-Kat, his resident tech sent to him by Oracle, taps into his suit and basically jump-starts his body with the Stunner's own energy. It seems that she actually doesn't kill her victims so much as . . 'strip energy from the electrochemical H+ gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane of her victims cells.' Probably the same thing . . unless you got somebody to give you a jump-start fairly quickly. So the Web takes out Mr Scott's hired help, and starts interrogating him again. But one of his guys get some power gloves and starts beating up on the Web. Luckily he thinks fast and uses the gloves energy and Stunner's to have them knock each other out. Which leaves the Web and Mr Scott talking again. Mr Scott and John's father traveled in the same circle. He let's John know that his father tried to give him every advantage, including his seat on the Global Concern. But obviously that's not going to happen now. So Mr Scott blows himself and all the evidence up. Leaving John to wonder who it was that was actually blackmailing him. It's actually . . Patricia. So he pays her and tells her to never talk to him again. Now that everything is wrapped up, he has to figure out what the next step is. I thought Matthew Sturges presented us with an ok story here . . I just wasn't thrilled with it. It felt kind of predictable, and . . I didn't really care. To me, the best part of the whole book was at the end with the verbal exchange between John and Kit-Kat. That part seemed the most natural to me. The rest seemed rather forced. Anyways, Roger Robinson does the art. In the Hangman back-up story we learn a little more about how his powers work. It's by John Rozum and Tom Derenick. Overall . . the book just didn't do that much for me. Sorry!

Billy Batson and the Magic of SHAZAM! #16 - DC

I think Art Baltazar and Franco do a great job with the stories here. They really give this book a feel that's consistent with it's history. And with Mike Norton coming on board as the penciller, the art is solid and consistent. I still think it's amazing the way that Mike can change his style for the various books that he's been on. Anyways, last issue Black Adam came back . . he's looking for his Scarab, and in the process has turned Freddy Freeman into Black Adam Jr. However, as always, Captain Marvel, Mary, and Tawny are doing everything in their power to stop him. So . . long story short, they all end up back at the Rock of Eternity, where the wizard is keeping the scarab safe. Freddy has started to see just how evil Black Adam is. He's starting to question his powers, but . . he still doesn't trust Captain Marvel. The Marvels have Black Adam on the ropes, but he uses the wizard as a means to escape. While holding him, he extinguishes the flame. So wherever the wizard goes when it's not lit . . he's returned, with Black Adam in tow. And they're afraid to relight the torch because they don't know if that'll bring Black Adam back also. Apparently we're going to proceed in future issues with no Wizard, and no Black Adam. And this mystery will have to be solved at a future date. I like this book. But, it's not quite as 'fun' with Black Adam involved. However, it looks like that won't be a problem . . at least for the next few issues. If you aren't reading this book, you probably just aren't interested. But if I may suggest . . peruse a TPB if you get a chance. I think you may be pleasantly surprised.

Detective Comics #865 - DC

This issue wraps up the story of Jeremiah Arkham. And it explains quite a lot, actually. It seems that Jeremiah's madness goes all the way back to his early days when he was treating one of his first patients, Dr Hugo Strange. In that time, Strange started playing with Jeremiah's mind, manipulating him. Shortly after, Jeremiah started working with the Joker. He's the one that gave him the Marotte . . the stick with the clown head on top. Apparently it was soaked with the same poison that the Black Mask used later to make his false-face slaves. Anyways, it turns out that Strange and the Joker were working together, and through the poison, and both of their manipulations they fractured him off into a split personality. That's where the Black Mask came from. But that wasn't the end of it. Jeremiah's beauties . . the 3 special patients that he kept to himself . . they were also a figment of his imagination, as was the Jester . . the Joker kind of wanna-be, with Jeremiah's face. Jeremiah seems to be recuperating and is in the medical ward of Arkham. But there's also bigger problems. Alyce Sinner, Jeremiah's assistant, was in love with the Black Mask. So, apparently to test her lover, she allows Zsasz to gain access to his room. By the time Batman arrives, expecting Jeremiah to have been killed by Zsasz, he finds that instead Jeremiah has subdued him and carved his initials on his eyeball. Which allows Alyce and Jeremiah to be together . . apparently unfettered, because . . she's also been named as director of the asylum. Talk about handing the keys to the inmates. We thought we had seen a lot of crazy stuff come out of this place, but I have a feeling we ain't seen nothin' yet. I thought this was a fantastic story-arc by David Hine and Jeremy Haun. I really like the way that everything fell together, and it really sets us up for some craziness in the future. Fan-frikkin-tastic!! And in the Question feature . . it certainly doesn't end as expected. Last issue Vandal Savage gave the girls an ultimatum, either one of them willingly takes the 'Mark of Cain' from him, or . . he kills them both. Both of them are selfless, and both are looking out for the other. Huntress knocks out Renee and begins the process with Vandal. But before they can finish, Renee comes to Helena's rescue and stops her from making a fatal mistake. However, the mark does indeed disappear from Vandal's face. But . . Helena doesn't have it. So where did it go? We don't know for sure, but . . Renee refuses to take off her mask. 'Maybe later!' Again, setting up a strange stage for future stories of this character. I can't wait to see what happens. This part is brought to us by Greg Rucka and Cully Hamner. I wasn't really thrilled with the way this story started, but . . it certainly paid off with the ending. I wonder where we'll find Renee next?

the Mighty Crusaders Special #1 - DC

This was an ok book . . for what it was, but . . I just had a hard time getting in to it. I just found myself not really caring. The positives were . . it had a beautiful cover by Stanley Lau. And the interior art by Javier Pina was really good. But that still wasn't enough to hold my interests. Basically the story centers around the Auctioneer selling a civil-war era safe. Nobody knows what's in it, so . . all the bad-guys want it. There are rumors that it holds some type of government secrets. Anyways, the Web figures out that the sale is going on so he decides to swoop in and take it, rather than let any of the 'bad-guys' get their hands on it . . just in case. Well the government is after it also . . as well as a secret government organization called Epsilon. They send Inferno after the safe, although he's actually working for the government and General Latham. Next in is the Buzzard. But we don't know who he's working for. And when Inferno fails to retrieve the save, he's joined by another Epsilon member, the Comet. Finally the Hangman chases the Buzzard and takes the safe from him. Apparently since his persona originated in the same time period, he knows what's in the safe as well as how to operate it. But even with all the warning, the Hangman decides to open it and show the rest what they're dealing with. That doesn't seem like a very bright move to me. Somehow it's tearing a hole in the fabric of reality. There's giant metallic spiders . . a mystery man, who seems to be made of negative energy, or shadow, or something . . something about an hourglass . . and a doorway. Apparently the doorway is what this thing was created for in the first place. Hangman and Ed Diablo are the ones that originally captured it. Anyways, things are really getting out of control so Gen Latham sends in the Shield. He brings the group together as a unit, and they contain the threats. And then the Gen brings the group together under the auspices of the Crusaders. Also this story was framed around a meeting of the Global Concern. They're a group that also seems to want to get all of this 'stuff'. By the end they're left with retrieving the pieces and parts from the destroyed spider, and . . they seem to have captured the mysterious man. They're calling him the Eraser, for now. Since he was also locked in the box, they think that he knows all of it's secrets. But apparently his time in there has driven him mad. The story was written by Matthew Sturges, Brandon Jerwa, John Rozum and Eric S Trautmann. I assume because they've been the ones responsible for writing all of these character's individual stories. But it all just seemed like a big hodge-podge to me. However, to me the real problem was . . I find myself not really caring about these characters. Yes, in theory, they should all be intriguing and interesting, but . . we don't really know that much about them yet. As a reader, I'm not invested. As I've said, I found myself not really caring. So, while it was an ok story . . I just wish it had better characters.

Power Girl #12 - DC

This was another 'fun' issue of this title. I especially like the beginning when Karen was enjoying the spas and amenities of Atlee's home. She actually let loose, for a little while. She would've felt pretty vulnerable, but . . she also felt like she was in a safe place. However, after sharing their innermost emotions at the waterfall, I think Atlee may becoming a little more attached to Karen than she's normally comfortable with. We'll have to see how that plays out in the future thought. Meanwhile, Satanna has formed an alliance of sorts with Dr Sivana. She's hoping for a weapon from him that will take down PG. But after he gets what he wants, he tosses her out like so much trash. Literally. Also Gerard Shugel has been 'cleansed and returned with proper identification . . in addition, he will have no memories of his time as a criminal.' So we won't be hearing from him for a while, but . . I'm sure he'll find some way to mess himself up once again. Fisher returns the pictures he took of Karen to her. She won't have that hanging over her head anymore. And on the way to work, she once again has a run in with Vartox. Apparently there's this alien guy that's ready to kill him because he was messing around with his wife. PG gets them to settle down and take their dispute off planet. There's the usual flirting and sexual innuendo from Vartox in the process. And then she finally gets back to work. There's good news and bad. A group called Vega 9 . . Karen knows that it's actually Carl and Anez . . they've made a major investment in Karen's company. But unfortunately, her assistant Alice is quiting. And then all the other employees have a celebration for the upturn in the company. Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to last for very long. Also unfortunately . . this is pretty much a wrap-up issue. Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor will be moving on as Judd Winick and Sami Basri take over the creative helm. And it doesn't look like the future is going to be as fun or as bright for Karen in the coming months. Right now on the schedule, Karen's got to deal with the whole Generation Lost thing with Max Lord . . somebody sends a behemoth named Crash into NYC that she crosses paths with . . and because of all of this her company suffers as she's paying less and less attention to it. Not to mention there's a mystery coming up where her employees begin disappearing. It appears that she'll be forming an 'unusual alliance' with someone to try to help her figure it all out. So . . I'm sure the book will be just as good . . I'm a big fan of Judd's stories. But . . it won't be the same. It won't be the fun book to read that it's been for the previous 12 issues. It's sad to see these guys go. I've really enjoyed these issues. But . . that's life. Things change, and we all move on. So sad . . to bad . . bye-bye!

Teen Titans #83 - DC

I thought this was a better issue of Teen Titans. I like the inclusion of the Cadmus scientists. They aren't necessarily part of the team, but . . I think it's good to have someone with a more level head, and a different perspective, involved in some of the events that these young heroes get wrapped up in. And don't worry, they aren't 'supervisors' or 'baby-sitters'. They're more like support . . technical support. And I think it's about time. Anyways, I think Felicia D Henderson is doing a better job with her stories. They seem to flow better, and are more cohesive. However, I do still feel that she needs to work on the dialogue. There were a few spots that were a little to 'cartoonish' for me. Some typical 'comic-book' dialogue, that to me just didn't feel comfortable. But . . that comes with experience, so . . I'm sure she'll get there. Anyways, we know that the Wylde took Raven to their dimension. This issue we find out why. It appears that before Raven visited them, while on her search for her father, her energies mutated the dimension and the landscape. Essentially, she created the Wylde. So, either they've captured her for revenge, or to make her their monarch. I'm leaning towards the former. The Titans seem to think that only Raven's energies can destroy the Wylde, so . . the want to consume her before she has the chance. Either way I don't think it's a good situation, and when the Titans do finally get there . . I think they're going to find it a lot rougher than even they expect. Most of the issue is spent with the scientists trying to find out where this dimension is, and how to get there. And the Titans are involved with that also. Various members help with different parts of it. But for the most part, while that search is going on, we get some maintenance on some of the other 'relationships' in the group. Some are moving on, and some aren't. While some are ending, and some are just beginning. Overall, it's kind of the typical life of the typical teenager. These ones just happen to come with batteries. The issue ends with them coming up with a plan on how to go after Raven. Next issue . . the battle begins. We also get an interesting back-up this issue. It's a new story by Rex Ogle and Ted Naifeh. It involves Traci 13, Black Alice and Zatarra. It appears that there's 3 demons that want to get over to our world, but to do so they have to find someone willing to trade places with them. They're watching these 3 and attempting to play on their teen-aged angst. It was interesting, and we don't see these characters much, so . . we'll just have to wait and see what happens. I still don't think this title is back to what it used to be, but . . this issue did seem to make progress in the right direction.

Wonder Woman #44 - DC

This was a great issue, and a great lead-in to issue #600. First of all, Diana has to fight Theana, daughter of Astarte. She is the sister of Hippolyta. Apparently, at some time, this Citizenry came to our world. At the time it took one child from every world where it stopped for supplies, as a way to perpetuate their ranks. On our world, it was supposed to be Hippolyta. However, Astarte loved her sister so much that she offered herself up instead. Somewhere along the line she became the Captain of her vessel, and apparently her Amazon instincts kicked in as they began to not only plunder worlds for their supplies, but also pillage and raze them in the process. Leaving nothing behind. Maybe it was the 3000 years that they spent doing this, I don't know, but somehow they evolved into thugs and thieves. Anyways, Astarte decides to have Diana fight her daughter Theana. But of course she's not fighting fair. So Diana decides to pull a few fast ones herself. In the end, Diana doesn't beat Theana, so much as she gets her to consider her existence and position. However, to Astarte it's still a sign of weakness and she has her shot. Diana then proceeds to work her way through the ship until she finds and defeats Astarte. By their own laws, that makes Diana their new Captain. Her first decision is to take Astarte back to Themyscira where she wants to rehabilitate her. Good luck with that. And secondly . .'The Citizenry will never again kill, for any reason. You will find your resources on uninhabited planets.' In the end . . everyone comes together . . Diana and Hippolyta, the Amazons and the Olympians . . and Tolifhar and the white gorillas have been forgiven and are returning home. Thus cleaning the slate and setting the stage for issue #600. And it appears that with that issue J Michael Straczynski will be taking over the scripts on this title. There's a host of artists on that issue, but after that . . Don Kramer and Michael Babinski will be handling the art chores. I thought this was a great run by Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti. Although, Nicola Scott and Travis Moore do the art on this issue. I'm sad to see Gail go. But I'm also thrilled that Birds of Prey is back. Which is where we'll find her resuming her fabulous writing. This issue was a great way to end the current run, but . . I'm really, really looking forward to the future. Bring it on!

the Brave and the Bold #34 - DC

This was kind of a pretty straight forward story, but . . it had some 'glitches' in it that left us asking a bunch of questions. Enough questions, actually, that when it looks like this story is over . . they've decided to carry things over into a second chapter . . next issue. In the future, Lightning Lad finds a black-hole out in space around Saturn. It called a primordial black-hole . . one that's been around since the beginning of time. It's small compared to other black-holes, but it still has enough power to destroy any planet in it's path. And it appears to be headed towards Earth. Lightning Lad makes his way back to Earth to warn the rest of the Legion. He presumes they have 3 to 4 weeks until it reaches Earth. But the next thing they know, it's already in Earth's atmosphere. A quick jump forward in time shows that it destroys Earth. So they go back to try to stop it. That's where the Doom Patrol comes in. The only way to stop this is to use the Hawking Principle . . 'The only way to kill a primordial black-hole is to get it to emit more energy than it consumes'. Basically, Lightning Lad will feed it energy causing it to reach out for more. The energy that it's reaching out with will be partly absorbed into Robotman, with the other half being negatively charged, by Larry, so that it repels away from the black-hole. They just have to be able to do this long enough to upset the balance of energy, forcing the black-hole to dissipate. Simple enough, but it puts everyone's lives on the line. In the end though . . it works. Everyone goes home. A little battered and beaten, but . . alive. But now . . the questions. First of all . . the time bubble seemed to have moved on it's own a couple of times. It appears on the opposite side of the room from where they thought they left it. Next, while traveling through time, something disrupts their tachyon collector. When they investigate, they find a 'pink fuzzy' shoved in the panel. And finally, when they get back, the Chief says that he's had the worst day in his life. And how is all of this connected to next issues guests . . the Legion of Substitute-heroes, and . . the Inferior Five. With those 2 groups involved . . how can this story possibly have a 'happy-ending'? I love what J Michael Straczynski is doing with this book. He's been writing some great stories. My only concern is . . he's going to be taking over Superman and Wonder Woman pretty soon. So . . will he still be scripting this book? This title is already missing a month in June . . the second part of this story won't be out until July. Plus, from the previews, it looks like it's going to be skipping an issue in September also. At least they don't have one scheduled to come out right now. So that causes me concerns about the future of this title. I think JMS is doing an incredible job, but . . it doesn't matter if this title no longer exists. Please . . say it isn't so! In the meantime . . enjoy issues #35 and #36. It may be the last. By the way, beautiful art by Jesus Saiz.

Green Lantern #54 - DC

We don't have all the pieces to this puzzle yet, but . . it looks like what this story is telling us is that all the various entities . . the beings whose power fuels the various spectrums . . the Predator, Ophidian, Adara, Proselyte, the Butcher, Ion, Parallax . . it appears that somehow they've all become connected to the various people that have been brought back to life. But that's the part that I'm confused about. To me . . that's what it looks like. But in the story all we're really told is that the White Light wants Hal, Carol and Sinestro to look for the entities to . . 'HELP ME LIVE!'. It appears that somehow their existence . . or the existence of those that have returned, is somehow holding the White Light back. But . . that may be just the way that I'm interpreting it. But whatever the case, it appears that Atrocitus is on the same path. 'I have learned things, Jordan. Things about the balance of the Universe, the sacred mission I am undertaking, and . . ' Unfortunately, before Hal and Atrocitus can finish their little discussion they're interrupted by . . Lobo. I know that he's making an appearance in an issue of REBELS soon, also, so . .he's apparently being reintroduced to the DC Universe . . in a big way. One thing I have to say though, real quick . . as much as I love Simon Bisley's Lobo, I think Doug Mahnke's version may give it a run for it's money. A simply fantastic closing page on this issue. Anyways, while this is going on, we also see that Sayd . . or whomever that little crispy Guardian with the chains is . . Sayd has gone to the sun of Daxam and released the Ion entity from Sodam Yat's body. Not to worry though, he pushed Sodam out of the sun before that happened. But . . it also turned the sun back to red . . stealing the Daxamites of their newly found power. But, according to the Guardian, it is justified. 'Your people are murdering xenophobes who would sooner use their newfound abilities to execute all who are different. It is time you turned your back on them as they turned their back on you.' So . . I thought this was a great issue by Geoff Johns and Doug. Our story is moving forward. We're getting a glimpse at what may be happening, but . . it's still all open for interpretation right now. I can't wait to see what affects Lobo has on everything next issue. And it seems that fate, or the universe, is trying once again to push all of these Lanterns back together . . all the wielders of the various spectrum's rings. And here, with the end of Blackest Night, we thought the story was over. I guess what we've witnessed so far may be considered a prequel. Also . . nice cover by Shane Davis.

Batman: the Return of Bruce Wayne #2 - DC

After traveling forward in time, from the caveman days, Bruce seems to have landed back in Gotham . . in the Puritan days. We don't know for sure, but I think the last part of the story also took place in Gotham. His energies seem to be centered there. Anyways, not knowing who he is, he's passed himself off as Brother Mordecai. He's come down from Boston, and he's there to help rid the town of witches. When he arrived, there was a woman at the lake where he appeared, and a giant beast coming after him from under the waters. The story in Gotham is interesting, but I think the most important part of the story is the events that happen at Vanishing Point. It appears that Superman, Green Lantern, Booster Gold and Rip Hunter have gone there in search of Bruce. The problem is . . there's something going on. Apparently Vanishing Point, and this timeline, only have 9 minutes of existence left. There's no one left at the station except for one bioorganic archivist. A librarian of sorts. But he archives all the various time-lines. Like threads on a loom. Superman was hoping that they could use the trail of Omega Energy that Batman is leaving behind to trace his thread. But it appears that the archivist is actually Bruce . . or he's somehow connected to him. He also appears to be searching the timeline, and he's looking for the exact moment of Annie's death . . the girl that pulled him from the lake. I'm guessing that he's trying to find that moment because as she's dying, Annie puts a curse on Nathaniel Wayne and all his family . . until the end of time. Back at Vanishing Point, shortly before he Bruce vanishes himself, Superman sees his face and tries to give him a warning. 'He took your memories, relied on your survival instinct . . you've been booby-trapped. Darkseid turned you into a doomsday weapon and aimed you directly at the 21st century. If you go back you'll kill everyone. DON'T DO THIS!!' But if he's at Vanishing Point, then who's back in Gotham. Because at just about that time, Bruce takes another leap forward and ends up at the foot of Blackbeard. I'm thinking there's 2 Bruce's bouncing around through time. That or when Darksied hit him with the beam, he was split in 2. His persona, personality, or ID inhabiting his mortal body . . the one bouncing forward through time. And his thoughts, and reasoning, and memories inhabiting . . something else, that seems intent on reuniting his selves. Which I assume is what will activate this trap that Superman is talking about. Now I could be completely wrong. Because I'm just speculating here. But . . that's the way it looks to me. However, with 6 issues to go, I'm sure were not going to get all the pieces of the puzzle anytime soon. You know how Grant likes to stretch things out. But despite that . . I think he's doing a terrific job with this story. He's keeping things exciting, while giving us just enough of the picture to start to give us a sense of what's going on. Frazer Irving does the art. With he and Andy Kubert doing the covers. I think it's a great series. I'm going to love watching this one play out.

Superman: War of the Supermen #4 - DC

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this issue, and series. I think Sterling Gates and James Robinson did a great job with the story. And the art, this issue, was shared by Eddy Barrows, Cafu and Eduardo Pansica. I thought they did a great job of showing the extreme emotions that both sides of this conflict felt. They both felt that they were right. Obviously Zod used the events to his advantage . . and to excite fervor. But at his core, I think he really did want to protect his people. He's just blinded by the rage and hatred he has for Superman and the El family. In the end though, there's really only one solution that's possible. They have to put these guys somewhere where they can't hurt anybody, and won't be a threat to Earth anymore. And that's where, to me . . the only snag in the story comes along. Connor and Krypto retrieve the Phantom Zone projector and start putting the Kandorians into it . . one by one. I know that the Phantom Zone was recreated, thanks to Nightwing . . not Chris, but the actual Nightwing. But when Veep sent Mon-El there in Adventure Comics #11, he said that it was shut off to the 21st century, and only he could access it. So how does this become a solution, if they aren't supposed to be able to do it? Hmm! Anyways, while Superman is fighting Zod, Supergirl is fighting Ursa. And Natasha, John Henry, the Guardian, Jimmy Olsen, Connor and Krypto are going around and systematically destroying all of General Lane's bases. When they come to the final base, where the General is protected by Superwoman, Atlas, Codename: Assassin, and others . . they seen to take them down rather easily. This is also where the General brought his daughter, Lois, when he captured her. In he defeat he decides to take his own life . . right in front of her. Anyways, when Connor and Superman put Zod back into the Zone . . the last of the Kandorians, Superman offers to stay in the Zone while Connor destroys the projector. Which they do. But then Chris, who is also in the Zone, uses the last of Nightwing's powers to open a doorway to save his adopted father. He's going to be their jailer. We also see later that he finds Mon-El, and they begin to form a friendship. Also . . he's back to being a young boy again. So, while the war is over, everybody has suffered incredible loss. The loss has been great on both sides, and no one can really claim themselves the victor. Overall I thought it was a great series. And it ended the way that all wars do . . with everyone losing for having been involved.

Justice League: the Rise of Arsenal #3 - DC

I really enjoy reading about the ups & downs that JT Krul is taking Roy through here. Last issue ended with him facing off against Cheshire . . Jade. Obviously she's a villain, but Roy's always had an odd relationship with her. They did have Lian together, afterall. Which is why she's here . . she wants to punish Roy. But after they trade jabs and banter, I think she realizes that Roy did everything he could for her. He was a good father. Lian was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Plus, I think Jade realizes that she's probably just as much to blame. It's not like she was any kind of mother to Lian. And, as usual, they end up in the sack . . consoling one another. Afterwards, Roy hits the streets with a vengeance. But when he busts up a deal going down in an alley . . instead of taking the dealer in . . 'I'm looking to score. Got any China Cat? Heroin. I'll take it. I'll take it all.' We then see him going through the usual fever dreams, until Dick and Dinah show up to force him into rehab. Well . . sort of. They put him in Virgil House. They specialize in convicted villains with substance abuse. They figure it's the best place for him right now. The problem is . . before he was talking to Corey . . the ghost of an old user he used to hang with. Now? Now he seems to be talking to the ghost of Lian. They're only visions, but . . he could treat Corey bad and tell him to shut-up. How's he going to bring himself to do that with Lian? Next issue is the final of this series, so . . it should be an emotional roller-coaster. I really think JT is doing a good job here. The art is provided by Geraldo Borges, Kevin Sharpe and Sergio Arino. Also, beautiful cover by Greg Horn. This series is definitely a classic in the making. And, I think . . the redefining of Roy as a hero. He can't be in Ollie's shadow anymore. He needs to be his own person. For himself, and for those around him.

Green Lantern Corps #48 - DC

I consider an issue like this to be a 'life' issue. We see some of the remnants of existing storylines . . some wrapping up, some tidying up . . while at the same time new storylines are just beginning. Much like life. It's in a constant state of change, and things come, and things go. When it comes down to it . . we're just along for the ride. Anyways, it appears that Ganthet is recruiting for some type of mission. He's already got Guy working with him, and together they go to approach Atrocitus. We don't know what it is exactly, but . . Guy is certain that it will end he and Hal's friendship. Also . . it requires sacrifice. To that end, Ganthet has relinquished his status as a Guardian. Instead he chooses to be the Green Lantern of sector 0 . . OA. I assume it's because he wants to work outside of the Guardian's purview. Because it's not like he needs a ring for power. And he's not the first to leave their ranks . . Appa Ali Apsa, Scar, Syad. But . . he is the first one to resign 'officially'. Anyways, rebuilding, demolition and other stuff is going on around the planet. And Corps members are still recuperating from their recent battles. That's where we find Hraalkar, a rookie . . resting. But he's disturbed by Varix, an Alpha Lantern whom is apparently recruiting him. Shortly after his partner Glibberquip, also a rookie, express' concern about his disappearance. But Salaak can't seem to find him. But then somehow he stumbles across him. Hraalkar is with the Green Man and Varix. And it looks like he's already been turned into an Alpha Lantern. Now they want to recruit Glibberquip. It appears that they're either trying to build their own Corps, or . . they're trying to steal members from the Guardians. Which makes Boodikka's request for John Stewart's help a little suspicious. It appears that the entire population of Grenda, in space-sector 3009, has disappeared. It's Stel's home planet, so he went to investigate. But now he's gone also. So Boodikka is going to take a look, and she's asked for John's help. We see them heading off of OA. But now I gotta wonder if John isn't heading into some type of trap . . of sorts. Afterall, he was one of the first people picked to be an Alpha Lantern. But he refused it. I thought it was a good issue. Some of the stuff seems connected, some doesn't. But it's just like life . . everything just keeps moving forward, no matter what. It also appears that we've changed our creative staff here. Tony Bedard is writing this series now. With Adrian Syaf doing the art. I liked it. They're both very talented. Also . . beautiful cover by Rodolfo Migliari.

Justice League Generation Lost #2 - DC

Last issue Max Lord used a great portion of his talent to make the world forget him. Not only forget him, but . . basically he erased himself from existence. But I was concerned because there were a bunch of events, that he was an integral part of, that helped shape the world as we know it . . or at least the DC Universe. Those . . it appears, he has rewritten. All of this happened at the old JLI headquarters in NYC. And at the time, Booster had just taken a severe beating, thanks to Max. And Beatriz, Tora and Nathaniel Adam had just come to his aide.
Apparently being at the epicenter of the event caused the effects of the wave to pass over them. Now they have to convince Superman, whose recently arrived, and has no idea what they're talking about. On top of that, as the story progress', it appears that Max has decided to discredit our group of heroes, rather than just play with their heads, which he so obviously can do. I don't exactly know why he chose this path. But hopefully we'll find out in a future issue. Anyways, he has Beatriz dismissed from Checkmate. Nate goes to the military to talk, but apparently he's wanted for something. However, we don't find out what that is because while in the process . . he sees Max's face on the General's and attacks him. In the melee he escapes, but . . now he's facing a court martial. Guy Gardner has been led to believe that Tora savagely attacked him on their last 'date'. Which puts her at odds with the Green Lantern Corps. And surprisingly, it seems that Max has left Michael alone. Either that or he just figures that he's not worth the effort. I don't know which is the bigger insult. But that may also be the biggest mistake of his whole plan. That's not to say however that Max hasn't hurt him inadvertantly. Michael finds out that the world thinks that Ted Kord committed suicide. And knowing that's out there is really tearing Michael up. At the end of this issue the team responds to another of the old JLI signal beacon's activation. They find it to come from El Paso. It's Ted's old beacon, and it's being activated by Jamie Reyes, the new Blue Beetle. It appears that he's being attacked by some OMACs. I thought Judd Winick did a great job of expressing the frustration that this crew is feeling. Like I said, not only are they not believed, but they're also discredited. The problem is, Max is going to push them to the point that they feel they have nothing else to lose. Anyways, I thought Judd did a terrific job with the story. I also enjoyed the art of Keith Giffen and Joe Bennett. All in all, I think this is going to be an exciting series, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out.

Iron Man #26 - Marvel

Matt Fraction does a great job of throwing a whole lot of stuff at us. A whole lot of neat, cool and unique ideas. This issue, and the last, feels like it's setting things up for the future. We get to see an assortment of different puzzle pieces, but . . we don't know how everything fits together. Yet! The Hammer women are trying to fill the void created by Tony's withdraw from the arms race. He's decided to try to make an impact on the world. A positive impact. In the meantime, the Hammer women just want to make money. And the irony is . . they're doing so with arms that have been wrangled from the dissolution of HAMMER. We all know that HAMMER was the next evolution of SHIELD. And we all know that SHIELD was provided weapons by . . Stark Industries. So the weapons they're selling were actually designed by Tony . . while he's trying to make the world a better place. Anyways, in the beginning of the story we see Spymaster. Apparently he's in the business of corporate infiltration, espionage, and . . demolition. And we see him doing it quite eloquently. Later in the story, Justine Hammer hires him to , 'Smother Tony Stark's new thing while it's in the crib.' But I'm not sure what there is to smother right now. Tony's broke, and he's really only just beginning to put things back together. We see him this issue making an offer to an old engineer that he disgraced . . who later went on to invent a really good electric car. The problem is, he's got power issues. Tony is willing to fix that if . . he becomes his partner. 'Stark repulsor tech is going to power the world, and I'm staking my professional future on it.' Meanwhile, Steve Rogers sends Tony all the old Iron Man gear that they have. Which really has Tony excited. Now he actually has some capital, some inventory to start working from. 'We gotta start stripping these things for parts and melting them down.' Overall I thought it was a good issue. It really helped to move things forward and get us ready for the next chapter. Also Tony does a little wrapping up of his own this issue when he sends Steve a present. It's a memory stick. 'The complete and total Iron Man how-to. And the mayday switch if for any reason Cap needs to shut me down.' I think Matt is brilliant, and he's doing a great job with this series. And as ever, the beautiful art is contributed by Salvador Larroca.

the Avengers #1 - Marvel

What a cool issue. The actual Avengers are back together . . finally. And basically, it's all at the request of Steve Rogers. He's now the 'top-cop' in America, so . . it looks like he definitely won't be leading this team, and . . he may not be participating that much either. I'm sure he'll be there when needed, but . . 'I have an entire country to worry about.' So he's picked Maria Hill for the job. Which makes Tony happy because he was afraid that if he and Steve were on the same team, they'd probably end up killing each other. And although Steve has recruited pretty much everybody from the previous Avengers, and Initiative books . . Wonder Man has refused to join. 'From my point of view . . the Super Hero Civil War, the mutant decimation, the Skrull invasion, Norman Osborn, they have . . they all have one thing in common . . they are the Avengers' fault. I know you can't see it yet, Steve. But I hope to god you figure it out before it's to late. Free yourself from this. Don't be part of the problem. I hope you change your mind. Because if you don't . . I'll change it for you.' Those are pretty strong words. And it looks like we only have until next issue to see what Simon's going to do about it. Meanwhile, this issue . . Kang attacks. Sort of. He shows up, and they meet him with force, but . . he's actually here to give the Avengers a warning. 'This is the world your children live in. A world completely ruined and reinvented by Ultron. As you secretly knew he one day would . . Ultron came back and finally destroyed you and the world. Your children grew up in a world you were completely unable to protect. But your children , it seems, without you to guide them, destroyed Ultron and took over his empire. And they have done so with a ruthlessness that Alexander the Great would wince at. They are on a collision course to destroy the universe because they are wielding power they do not know how to control. You need to go to the future and stop them before they do.' Which of course poses all kinds of questions, which Kang cannot, or will not answer. But the most important is from Tony, 'I don't have a time machine. I don't know how to see into the future.' To which Kang simply responds, 'You will. When your team is complete.' Very oblique! They're not sure how to solve this problem . . yet. But Tony's already starting to put some theories together. And Wolverine seems to have somebody in mind. Meanwhile, when Kang returns to the future, we see that he's working in league with the Emperor Hulk and . . somebody else. I'm not sure who. But I'm a sure that we'll see more of them. I thought it was a great first issue. Brian Bendis did a good job of putting the team back together. And he's already introduced 2 possible future threats to the team . . Wonder Man, and this 'future business'. Plus, the 'future business' is going to influence the shape of the team as they need someone who can figure out their dilemma. Someone they may or may not have recruited initially. Which I think puts an interesting twist on things. I also think it's ironic, and appropriate that John Romita Jr is doing the pencils on this series. He's been there for an awful lot of the Avengers' history. It seemed natural for him to be here for the beginning of this chapter. I thought it was a great start, and I can't wait to see where we go from here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

X-Men Legacy #236 - Marvel

Bastion has provided several distractions for the X-Men. It appears that the 'tower' on the oil rig was a distraction to get the X-Club off the island. And then . . it was rigged to explode. Luckily they figured it out before then and made it to land relatively unscathed. Meanwhile, on the island, the armory and hanger were hit. But that was just a distraction to get the X-Men inside, while the real attack came from the outside. But it comes in some form of an almost plasma like construct. They see it in the sky, forming and growing, but before they can react . . they're encased in what appears to be a giant dome. But upon further inspection from both the inside and the outside . . remember the X-Club made it to shore . . and Namor's input from in the ocean, they find it to be a sphere. They're basically locked in a bubble. On the outside, the X-Club, who are also joined by the new Avengers find it to be . . 'It's quantum irresolvable. Scan it with an electron beam, it shows as matter. Touch it with a probe and it's energy. It's a barricade that knows how to duck.' And on the inside, the X-Men find a glowing metallic sphere on the Golden Gate bridge. It's not moving, so they assume it's the center of the construct. But with Psylock's scans, she finds it to be a portal. Soon after a Nimrod comes through the portal. And then . . many more. It looks like the crap just hit the fan. While all of this is happening, Nathan and Hope have a discussion because of her comments last issue. He offers to take her on a jump into the future. She really wants to get away. But after much deliberation, she decides that she has to stay and help her friends. And, I thought Bastion and Mr Creed had an interesting conversation. In it, after they think they've won, Bastion poses the question . .'What will define us now, Mr Creed? What purpose will we serve once this profane edifice . . homo sapiens superior . . has fallen? It was such a fine campaign. Such a glorious war. But slaughter . . necessary as it is . . is banal. It does not tax us. It does not ennoble us.' So what I'm wondering is . . will Bastion decide that it's better to have an enemy undefeated than no enemy at all? Hmm!! Very interesting! He may not deal the final stoke with the severity that he once thought he would. There may be a little trepidation in his killing stroke. I thought Mike Carey and Greg Land did a fantastic job with this issue. I love the direction the story is taking. And I think it poses a unique question. What would someone do if they found that it's actions, although correct in it's beliefs, would result in their becoming obsolete? That's something that'll toss around in your mind for a while.

X-Factor #205 - Marvel

This team, it appears, is going to be a little harder to take down than Bastion originally thought. The fire-fight in the woods last issue? Well . . Darwin was posed as Jaime, driving the truck. And the rest of the passengers? They were all holograms . . hard-light constructs. As I thought, when Jaime has Shatterstar take the money from Creel, he saw where it came from and what they were up to. He was then able to throw a wrench into this part of his plan. The problem is . . they're just going to keep coming, and . . I think Jaime is starting to feel guilty for not being on Utopia and helping the rest of the X-Men. If this is what he's facing, he can only imagine what the rest of the X-Men have on their plate. But, all of his planning wasn't enough to stop the attack on Theresa at the Dublin Airport. Bastion has a team there waiting for her, when she's flagged when trying to board a flight back to the states. And they appear to be finishing the job when Shatterstar and Layla show up. And in South America Guido finds out, while trying to rescue Monet and her father, that Baron Mordo is actually just trying to stay alive. He's got cancer and there's something in Monet's power that seems to stave it over when he absorbs it. I'm guessing . . he's going to have to become part of the team in order to stay close to her. At least until he finds someone who can heal him. Remember, the X-Men have a couple of people able to do that. We'll just have to see if they're willing. But first they'll have to get past Trask and his men. Bastion is pissed about the results of Trask's current operations. And in order to make him happy, Trask is going to have to step it up. I really liked the way this issue proceeded, and it's tie-in to the Second Coming story-line. Peter David did a good job of showing just how much Trask had underestimated this teams potential. Especially when their fellow member's lives are on the line. Even Rictor steps up and helps them gather a little information. Also, Valentine De Landro has been doing a great job with the art on this series. I think that he's progressing nicely, and has brought a good feel to this book. I'm digging this whole Second Coming storyline, so . . it's hard for me to say that this is my favorite X-title right now. But . . we'll see . . afterwards.