Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chuck vs the Suitcase - Season 4 - Episode 2 - NBC

In this episode Chuck is trying to figure out why Sarah won't hang anything up in the closet. They've been living together, and I assume involved in pre-marital relations, but . . she doesn't feel comfortable enough yet to unpack her suitcases and start using the closet and some of the drawers. Although, if you remember her background . . she hasn't had a very stable upbringing through the years. Coupled with how long she's been a spy . . this actually is kind of the norm for her. Anyways, it's kind of funny to see how this elephant in the room carries over into their mission. They go to Paris to try to stop a fashion model from passing along some 'smart-bullets' to some terrorists, and there's a lot of sarcastic and stabbing humor between them during different situations. Especially when Chuck ends up with the model while she's naked. Chuck's concerned with Sarah's ability to move to the next level. And I think Sarah is just a little jealous of Chuck when he starts looking at and watching the models. Anyways, back at the BuyMore, Grimes is trying to convince the General that things are running too smoothly. He starts showing her how they're going to blow their cover because things are actually operating to efficiently. Awesome even makes a comment to Chuck, 'These guys all look like models, or . . like me.' So anyways, that's how they work bringing all the misfits back into the show. I especially missed Jeff and Lester during the first episode. So now everybody is back except for Big Mike. We still have to see how that's going to happen. But it should happen soon because the General made Grimes the Store Manager. That's a disaster waiting to happen. Also, Awesome already suspects that Chuck is actually back to being a spy, but Elle is still in the dark. And Chuck, with the help of Sarah and Casey, are still looking for his mother. But they have to do so without letting the General know what they're up to. Oh yeah, and in a touching moment, Casey actually reaches out to his daughter. Although I think it's because he's concerned that Grimes knows more about her than he does. And we find out Elle is actually missing her mother more than she lets on. And, I think Chuck may have put a glimmer of doubt into Sarah's head when he tells her that he thinks that Elle may have it right . . 'Marriage, and then a baby. Maybe we'll be next.' Chuck doesn't see her reaction, but . . it looks like he just put a nail in her eye. Anyways, I think it's a great show. One thing I love about these McG productions, as with Fastlane and the OC, is that they have fantastic music. The scene where they bring all the BuyMore freaks back, they do it to Alice Cooper's Feed My Frankenstein. It's hilarious.

Black Terror #11 - Dynamite Entertainment

It seems that the focus of this next chapter of the Black Terror is for constructed for him to find out who he is . . where he's come from . . and how exactly did his time in the urn change him. Carried over from the last issue is his battle with . . well, himself. Actually an earlier younger version of himself. Apparently this is another orchestrated attack by a member of the Supremacy. Somehow this energy that they've harnessed . . actually directed at the Black Terror by the Magi, is some sort of magical tapestry that presents it's opponent with an idealized version of itself. It gives it's opponent a target at which to direct and express unresolved issues. Eventually the Black Terror realizes that it's not really him, but rather something that's trying to break his resolve . . get him to doubt himself. But it isn't until the Green Lama enters the fray . . unaffected by the energies, because he wasn't in the urn . . that he instruct the Terror that it's actually feeding off of his rage, and anger. 'This trap is more finely tuned than I had imagined. Regret is not your handicap, but aggression. You seem to take great relish in punishing yourself. You have to let go Terror . . of your anger. Do not strike back. He is only as strong as you make him. You are connected to your fellow heroes, Black Terror. They will feel your resolve. Share it with them.' And from there they beat the trap pretty easily. Unfortunately, they don't know that this was an attack by the Supremacy. And . . it's only their opening salvo. They still have lots of different avenues they can take to get at these 'heroes'. But in the meantime, it looks like they may have planted the seed of doubt, as they had hoped, in the Black Terror. Besides the main title of this franchise, this is easily my favorite book in it. Over the course of the mini-series, and then this series, I feel like we've really gotten to know this character. And through his stories, we're being connected to some of the others. Alex Ross and Phil Hester are doing a great job here. Wagner Reis does the art. If you haven't looked into the Superheroes Project yet . . the Black Terror is a good place to start. I'm sure there's some TPB out there.

Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #3 and #4 - America's Best Comics

This is a pretty straightforward story, really. Tom . . well, Tom from our time . . the future . . Tom has gone back to the 1930's to try to stop Albrecht from activating the Dero, turning them into his allies, and then winning the war for the Third Reich. A Third Reich that he would eventually become the leader of, and thereby . . leader of the world. So Tom has gone to his younger past self for help. The problem is, Albrecht has arrived at the mountain where the Dero are being held before he does. He already begun talking to them and convincing them that he's their friend and ally. Tom, and the other Tom, have arrived to late, but . . the older Tom believes he knows where they may be able to find some allies in this crusade. Unfortunately leaving the younger Tom behind to be captured by the Dero. Anyways, Tom goes to the guy with probably the best brain of this time . . except his own, of course . . Parulian. And, he's also one of his greatest enemies. I think it's also funny that this guy looks remarkably like Clark Kent. But maybe that's just me. Anyways, he breaks Pluto out of jail, and they're off on their adventure. However, before returning to the Dero, Tom wants to try to gather some allies in this fight. So he uses Pluto's drilling machine to go down to the place where the lava-men live. You know, where that guy came from that his daughter married? Tom tells them what's going on, hoping to get there help. But instead discovers . . these people are actually the ones that created the Dero. 'The Dero were lost to us, since ancient times. Many thought them only legend . . but if they are real, then they are our problem. Lead us to them and you shall have all the help you need.' Meanwhile, back in the future, Tom's wife is getting restless and is starting to wonder what's taking her husband so long. So . . she's about to take a trip of her own. Like I said, overall . . a pretty straightforward story. It's 'good-guys' versus 'bad-guys' for the fate of the world. But, I think that's a pretty good plan for Peter Hogan to follow. Back in this time period it was a lot easier to tell the 'good-guys' from the 'bad-guys'. People wore their intentions, like their hearts, on their sleeves. So I think to make the story to complicated would only serve to distract from the time period in which it's set. But that's not to say that I don't think there's a twist coming up here, somewhere. Overall I'm really glad to see this character back on the shelves again. And with Chris Sprouse doing the art, it fits in perfectly with the look and feel of the original series. Anyways, it's a fun read, and I look forward to the rest of the series.

Monday, September 27, 2010

the Boys #45 and #46 - Dynamite Entertainment

The revelations are coming fast and furious now. Annie not only tells Hughie her secret . . she shows him. Because at first he doesn't believe her. I think he loves Annie . . at least he thinks he does, but he has a hard time getting past all the things that he's seen the 'supers' do, and . . all the things that Butcher and his group has done. I just don't think that this is a situation that he ever saw himself being in. Later on . . thinking it all through, Hughie realizes Annie is a 'super'. And the Boys . . they hunt 'supers'. Which means eventually Annie will be on Butcher's radar. So he goes to talk to him. And surprisingly . . Butcher is very cordial. Meanwhile, while all of this is going on, the Frenchman and the Female are doing a little undercover work at the 'Believe' festival, in the park. Basically, they're following the Homelander around and trying to get any information that they can. Which actually end up being quite a bit. The Homelander has a little heart to heart with Oh Father . . kind of piggybacking on his little revelation that he almost exposed at the end of Herogasm. It kind of sounds like he wants to get out from under the thumb of Vought-American. So Hughie and Butcher have this big old talk, putting everything out there on the table. Once they do that, Butcher tells Hughie how they get all their information on the Seven . . and how they keep getting those cameras in their base . . Queen Maeve. Seems she's mad at the Homelander for some reason, so she went to talk to the Legend some time ago. They worked out an agreement, and Queen Maeve's been helping them ever since. Butcher also lets him look through the tapes. He says that there's so much of it that they haven't had the time to look at it all. So he lets Hughie take a crack at it. And of course he going to see the footage for when Annie first came to the Seven. I'm not sure if Butcher is doing it to break them up, or if he's just trying to get Hughie nice and pissed at the Homelander. But whatever the case, Hughie's about to see some stuff he'll wish he hadn't. And after talking to Annie, I think the Homelander is starting to realize that Annie really is as innocent and naive as she acts. Plus this Christianity stuff that she's tauting for 'Believe' isn't just rhetoric to her. I think the Homelander kind of envy's her perspective of the world. It turns out he's got something planned and I think he's trying to keep Annie out of it. Garth Ennis has everything kind of slowing down right now . . there's a whole lot of character and story development going on, but I think he's building up to something really big. This story-arc really has a different feel to it than the previous ones. But, I think that's all about to change. It's kind of like he's moving all the players around, getting them ready for whatever big gambit he's got in store for us. Russ Braun is doing the art for this story-arc. With Darrick Robertson doing the covers . . as usual. I know some people aren't thrilled with this series, but . . I like it. I think it's a lot of fun. And I like the way it pokes at the traditional super-hero genre. Basically, it's making fun of itself.

the Authority #25 and #26 - WildStorm

Well, after the debacle with Mondragon . . and the extensive damage that the Aegean did to the inside of the Carrier . . the Authority really only has one course of action . . it's time to do some spring cleaning. Actually, I don't mean for that to sound as 'light' as I do. They actually have quite a bit to take care of. The Carrier is damaged. They've got an extensive amount of wounded civilians. And John, the High, has just sacrificed himself for the safety and lives of the masses. Not to mention that during the course of this, Jack revealed the doomsday device that he brought on board with him. When Jack took over Gamorra City, he learned of a WMD that they had created. It was so powerful that it could take down the Carrier. But there was a problem activating it, because when Kaizen Gamorra created it, there wasn't the technology available that could channel it. But Kaizen fixed that. He hardwired it into on of the lab assistant's brains, Mayumi Kana. So when Jack took the weapon, he did it partly to find a humane way to free Mayumi's mind. 'But, when the Carrier came back online and it was clear we weren't in control of it. I felt we needed an insurance policy.' Needless to say the rest of the Authority isn't very happy about this. Anyways, just as things are starting to get back together, the Carrier comes upon a planet. Well . . what's left of it. In it's atmosphere is some kind of base hovering overhead. And it has dozens of other 'shift-ships' attached to it. As the Carrier approaches, it hovers over a spike. I think they assume that it's some kind of docking bay. But really . . it essentially impales the Carrier. And Ange loses all connection with it. They then have dozens of doors open up all over the ship. They're immediately beset by aliens. One of which is kind of a amped up version of Cryb, from the Sinestro Corps. It seems to be alive, but . . it's also large enough to have an area to contain all the people that it's capturing. But so far it doesn't look like it's actually hurt anybody. Most of their damage comes from fighting their captors. A small group of them remain behind though . . Roxy, Sarah, Christine, River and Deathblow, also Shen. Apparently River has the ability to alter their perception of things. So basically . . he hides them. As well as Shen, who's still unconscious, laying in the infirmary. But everyone else, I assume, has been taken to the main 'loading-bay' . . as it were, and are trying to figure out what's going on. One of the aliens takes over one of the bodies of the civilians. Through this, and Jack's attempt to use his powers to interface with this moon-sized city, they learn that they're actually inside of some kind of very large alien. Apparently the Carrier serves as a 'harvester' of sorts. It goes out to collect biological material . . people, aliens, whatever . . which the larger alien uses as cogs in it's machine. To put it simply. 'When last a harvester returned from your planet, your species hadn't developed language. You could only grunt . . and scream. Now you speak but you will also scream. We will use you. You will be Karibna.' Ever since they left Earth, this group has gone from one bad situation to the next. But, it appears that they've finally reached their destination. So now, maybe, instead of reacting to everything that's been happening to them . . maybe now they can pool their resources and take the offensive. I sure hope so. Otherwise . . all these people are done. I think this has been an interesting chapter of this groups journey. Tom Taylor and Adam Warren have put together and interesting story here. Even if it does seem to edge on apocalyptic. I'm also very impressed by Al Barrionuevo's art. I've always appreciated Al's work. But in this story he changes up his style just a little bit. He's added a kind of painted style, or influence to his work. It comes across really well. Anyways, both issues end with big cliffhangers, so it'll be interesting to see what happens.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Doom Patrol #13 and #14 - DC

Issue #13 gives us a rundown on everything that has happened to Rita. All the way back to when the group died . . in Codsville. It seems, for the Chief, bringing back Cliff and Larry didn't prove to be to difficult of a problem. Rita, however . . for her he needed some special considerations. Some of this story is a bit subjective, so I'm kind of putting it together from what I read. Apparently . . according to the Chief, he found a piece of Rita's skull and from that cloned her a new body. However, he couldn't get a good enough reading on her DNA to recreate her abilities. Niles theorized that because of everything that happened to these people, especially with the fragile ego that Rita posessed, her identity was now defined by her teammates and her abilities. So if he was to bring her back without those abilities, it would be like bringing back an imperfect version. Both to Rita, and along with Cliff and Larry. Oh sure, they'd try their best to get things back to normal, but . . it just wouldn't be the same. Anyways, in order for her to have the same abilities he had to bring her back made out of sentient protoplasm . . 'silly putty with a purpose'. Which is why she's been so secretive. If she sleeps to deeply, she loses all sense of self. And she'll awaken as nothing more than a pile of goo. Every day she has to remake herself in her own self image. All of this came to light during the incident with Jost and his Front Men. Anyways, the point of all this is now that Cliff and Larry know, Rita is worried that it's going to change the dynamic of thier team, as well as friendship. So, out of frustration, she decides that it's time to confront Steve. They talk for a while, but the issue ends with Rita growing to gigantic heights, destroying Steve's house, and tossing him about like a rag-doll in her humongous hands. In the next issue Rita basically tries to kill him when she tosses him out into the ocean. Luckily Cliff stops him from being damaged to much. From this adversity the group seems to be coming even closer together. And moving further away from Niles. He's kind of like the evil step-father. They all hate him. Well . . maybe 'hate' is a strong word, but they definitely don't trust him. He's had some devious agenda's in the past, but even this group realizes that they've probably only seen the tip of the iceberg. Anyways, while all of this is going on . . Niles has been experimenting on a Kryptonian. He's been trying to figure out where their powers come from, and how their bodies convert the solar energy. And, from the cover here, it looks like he's made some progress. Somehow he converts his body to accept the alien energy. 'If one duplicates the essence by which matter is defined, then one duplicates the properties of matter as defined by that essence. In theory.' The problem is . . it appears that the power is also driving him mad. He now feels that he no longer needs his Doom Patrol. And he begins to take them apart. Nothing to serious. Just enough to make it traumatic. He then flies off the island to do what he feels he needs to do. 'I'm saving the world from itself. For mine is the power and the glory.' Don't think he's getting to much of a god-complex, do you? Anyways, these were some great issues. I loved the story by Keith Giffen. I really think that he's got a great handle on these guys and has brought a great feel to this book. He's exploring a lot of different themes here, but . . that's ok. The Doom Patrol are some complicated people. Also I think Matthew Clark and Ron Randall are doing a fantastic job with the art. I think this book right now is as strong as it's ever been. And I look forward to it every month. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Magog #12 - DC

This book is interesting, and everything, but . . I'm just not sure where we're going with this. This appears to be the final issue of this series, but . . I think the story is far from over. The story in this particular issue carries over into JSA Special #1 next month. But then I see from the previews that Magog is going to be playing a role in Generation Lost, or was it Brightest Day (?), in the coming months. Anyways, we saw at the end of last issue that this soldier appeared to be popping into Opal City and was taking sight at a bus-load of kids. We find out this issue that he's actually looking at some extra-dimensional characters. Magog doesn't see them until he adjusts his vision a little bit. Also this soldier has the Eye of Providence on his helmet. That's the symbol that David Reid has on his arm. You see it on the cover, there. Anyways, it appears that whatever this organization that this guy is associated with is trying to stop the takeover of the world by, I'm guessing, the same place that Magog is from. Although I don't know if they necessarily have made that connection yet. But this group, I'm thinking unbeknownst to them, is also lead by aliens. As soon as they see Magog they recognize him, and are fearful. Anyways, they show Magog their greatest weapon . . NIL8. And by the end of the issue seem to have used some kind of mental persuasion to convince David to join them. Anyways, like I said, I'm not really sure how this is all going to play out. I don't really know who these guys are . . either side of this confrontation. And we don't have a clear picture of what it is they're really fighting for. Hopefully in the JSA Special things clear up a little bit. Scott Kolins does the story, art and cover for this issue. I don't want to be to negative . . until I get a clearer picture. Hopefully the JSA Special will help with that. And then I'll tell you what I really think of all this. Something to look forward to. Huh?

Jonah Hex #58 and #59 - DC

Most of these issues of Jonah Hex have been single issue stories. But I've noticed something happening over the last year or so. Not all of these western tales have a clean, or happy ending. Some of them don't have much of an ending at all . . things just kind of work out the way they do. Kind of like real life, in that way. But we've begun to see characters and situations creep in to current story-lines from previous ones. That's normal for any other comic book, but for this one . . that doesn't usually happen. Especially considering what a loner Jonah is. He doesn't want, or need much from anyone . . usually. But, he seems to be hedging his bets lately. Maybe it's age, but I think he's starting to realize that having an ace in the hole for a future date isn't a bad thing. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for help, or even asking for it. But it could mean the difference in the outcome of a situation simply because there's another option open. Anyways, in issue #58 we see some motions set into affect because of a rich man's greedy wife. He's scooping up land claims once he finds out that there's been gold discovered. Being several years younger than her husband, the wife wants the money, and property, for herself. So she manipulates one of the disgruntled land owners into killing him. Anyways, long story short . . there's an innocent woman hurt in the process. When all's said and done, everyone ends up dead except for Jonah and this woman. When she asks why he brought her along, and why he gave her the deed to the property, he replies . . ''Y're rich, ain't ya? Might be some day ah need a favor . .' It seems more and more of these stories are ending that way. The other interesting thing about this particular issue is that most of the story was told from the perspective of the bullet. I thought that was an interesting twist on things. Issue #59 is a bit more complicated. Jonah comes riding into this dust-ball town in search of a bounty. He finds out that there's a kind of feud between him and his younger brother because of a stolen love. It's not much of a town, but it seems that everyone has picked sides. When the older brother comes into town with his gang, Jonah meets them and pretty much takes them out single-handed. But then there's also someone after Jonah . . the Grey Ghost. It's a guy who feels that it's his duty to take out the southerners that betrayed the Confederacy, leading to it's downfall. To him, the war's over but the retribution isn't. Anyways, in the cross-fire, everyone else in this town ends up dead . . including the younger brother and lover, but Jonah tells him that he'll find his brother and make him pay for what he brought down on the woman. Another story-line thread left hanging out there at the end of the story. Like I said, it's becoming pretty commonplace in these issues lately. Anyways, I think Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti do a fantastic job with this series. The look and feel of it is near perfect. And the stories are fantastic. Giancarlo Canzcuzzo is the artist for #58, with Jordi Bernet doing the art for #59. Both their styles fit this book very well.

Secret Six #24 and #25 - DC

There was something about these 2 issues that just seemed a little off to me. Don't get me wrong, they were both good stories . . very entertaining, but . . it just felt like I was missing something. And I'm not sure what that was. In issue #24 we find the members of our cast in the old west. But they don't seem to know each other. There's the whole 'six degrees of separation' thing, but . . one on one . . they're just acquaintances. So they live in this little town called Separation Flats. Ragdoll, Peter, is like the local jester. But he comes from a rich family. He and his sister, Alexandria, had a father who was very rich and owned a silver mine here. It was supposedly dried up, but the town went together and bought it. It ended up paying off. Now, apparently, Alexandria wants that family mine back. And she's willing to kill the whole town to get it . . if she has to. Maybe even if she doesn't. She seems to enjoy killing. Anyways, she's hired Slade Wilson as her enforcer. There's a big gun-fight and everyone ends up dead. Well . . everyone except for Alexandria. As Blake lay dying in the street, Alexandria asks him what he was thinking. How could he possibly think that their ragtag misfits could possibly defeat this woman's resolve. 'Thought . . we might be heroes.', was his reply. To which Alexandria replies . .'Not in this lifetime, Mr Blake. Not in this lifetime.' And that's it. So I don't know if Gail Simone was giving us an imaginary tale here, or maybe just a dream. Or it could have been an Elseworlds tale, but . . that part is never fully explained. Me? I'm just going to chalk it up as a footnote in this teams history. J Caliafiore does the art. Like I said, it was entertaining. I just didn't understand the purpose, or the chronology. Anyways, in issue #25 we move on to a new storyline. In it, Bane and Jeanette have put together a new team, which consists of Gigantia, Lady Vic, Dwarfstar and Killer Shark. And they've taken on a job for a mob bosses' soon to be ex-wife. Apparently she's not happy with the terms of their divorce . . monetary or custody, and has sent Bane and his team to renegotiate. This all happens as the mob-boss is out to sea on his yacht. But shortly after arriving Spy-Smasher shows up. She's as surprised about the new team as anybody, but she's not here to stop them . . she's here to hire them. Next we see the rest of the team . . who are in a bit of disarray right now . . especially Blake, gathered up by Tremor. And she was sent by Mockingbird. It seems that this all has to do with what's been going on in the last few issues of the Warlord. You know, the whole alien invasion thing . . or whatever that is. Anyways, we see the team at one of the portals to Skartaris. She's about to send the team in, but . . Bane's team is already there. We don't know how they got there, just that we see them standing in a Griffin's nest. And then they have to fight for their lives. Plus I'm not sure how either team is supposed to cross the portal. I thought the Warlord characters on the other side closed them off. That's how issue #16 of that series ended . . with them containing the threat to the world inside thier own. But apparently the government wants to make sure that they succeed, and are sending in back-up. I'm guessing that through the course of this storyline, half these characters are going to end up dead. And by the time these 4 issues are done . . we'll probably have a new line-up . . and only 6 characters left. But I'm just guessing. However, I was just looking through the previews and it looks like somebody is setting up both these teams. It sounds like someone has sent them both in so that they'll go at each other. But we don't know who or why. And, even though they're in Skartaris, it looks like we won't see the Warlord until issue #28. Anyways, it's an entertaining storyline by Gail and J Caliafiore. And there's some beautiful covers by Daniel Luvisi.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Smallville - Season 10 - Episode 1 - Lazarus - CW

The title of this episode could have many different meanings. Last season ended with Clark falling backward off a building, seemingly dying, with a blue Kryptonite dagger sticking out of his chest. This episode starts out with Lois finding him. She kind of deduced that the 'Blur' was Clark, last season, when he laid that big sloppy kiss on her. And I think she saw the fireworks that were happening on top of the building. So she's concerned when she finds him. She pulls out the dagger, and when Clark starts to revive . . she goes and hides. Apparently now . . she doesn't want Clark to know that she knows. Anyways, the Lazarus theme could also be because Jor-El comes back this episode also . . at least his voice does, and he's back to give Clark advice. Although he's not very supportive right now. He also believes that Clark is going to be this world's greatest hero, but . . right now he feels that he has a darkness in his heart that could stop him from being so. He feels that if Clark doesn't do something about this, he could also be the Earth's greatest threat. And Jonathan comes back this episode also. His advice is much more supportive. He also sees the 'darkness' in Clark, but . . he believes in him and has faith that he'll overcome it. It was really nice to see Jonathan again after all this time. And another person is seemingly back from the dead . . Tess. She finds herself on a bed in Cadmus Labs. Her face is covered with some type of goo. When she pulls it off . . she's completely healed. But she also finds, what I think is the real reason for the Lazarus theme . . Cadmus Labs seems to have been working on a series of Lex clones. Apparently they were originally created as a means to heal Lex should something happen to him. I guess it's also how Tess was healed. But now there's only 2 versions of Lex left. One is Alexander, a 10 year old version of Lex. The other is a clone that is about 20 years his elder. It's this clone that burns down Cadmus and then captures Lois to test Clark. He puts Lois on that stake in the field where Clark once hung, and then sets the field afire. At the same time he explodes a bomb at the base of the Daily Planet statue, forcing Clark to choose who he's going to save. As he's racing off to do both, this Lex clone dies. Clark pushes himself and accomplishes both, but . . I think it's his dealing with Lex, and his feelings for that whole situation, that bring forth the darkness in his heart. Anyways, Chloe is also looking for Ollie because he was captured at the end of the last episode. We see that he's tucked away somewhere being beaten for information. I'm not sure who's behind it. But later on, after Chloe goes through an ordeal by putting on the Helmet of Fate, she negotiates his release. At least that's what I think. It's a dark image, and a trade is made. But I'm not sure if Chloe got Ollie released, or if she traded up herself in his stead. I'm sure we'll find out more next time. Oh yeah, and in the end . . Lois decides to accept the assignment in Africa. Probably because she knows how hard it'll be to keep her secret from Clark. This is billed as 'the Final Season of Smallville'. And I'm sure it will be. But . . we don't know yet if there may be something spinning off of it. I sure hope so. But so far . . I really think they started out this one with a bang. It was a great episode and I can't wait to see more.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #19 and #20 - DC

After defeating Brainiac, during the storyline in the Superman titles, Vril Dox, Brainiac 2, brought him to Colu. Vril is a clone of his 'father'. And as such, he has the usual resentment and inadequacy issues. Although I'm sure he'll be the last to admit it. Anyways, Vril saw this action as more than just incarcerating a 'bad-guy'. Vril saw this as a way to show his father that he was superior . . that he could best him. And I'm sure it's a relief to have him out of the way . . considering all the grand schemes and machinations that Vril is continually concocting. However, even though he considers himself an intellect, Vril couldn't resist gloating a little bit in front of him before leaving the planet. Not a good idea. Especially when it comes to Brainiac. So, at the same time all of this is going on, Vril's son Lyrl, Brainiac 3, has constructed the ultimate weapon of destruction . . an artificial intelligence star called Pulsar Stargrave. Well while Vril is gloating to his 'father', Lyrl is attacking Colu. Which accidentally sets Brainiac free. When Lyrl attacks Colu he wants 2 things. He wants the ruling council to surrender to him. And he wants access to the data-core . . all the compiled knowledge or the Coluans . . the Universe's smartest race. But while he's trying to argue with the council, Brainiac has taken control of the data-core himself. Which leaves Vril and Lyrl having to combine forces, and . . while Lyrl is attacking Brainiac directly with Pusar Stargrave, Vril goes off to get a secret weapon . . Lobo! After returning to Colu, Vril is at first concerned that he may have made a mistake. But after Brainiac hijacks the controls of Pulsar Stargrave, he realizes that Lobo is the only one capable of slowing him down. During all of this, Lobo has a Red Lantern ring around his neck, but . . he never uses it. I'm not sure why. Anyways, Vril and Lyrl attack Brainiac, knowing that they don't stand much of a chance, but . . Vril also knows that Brainiac would never give up the chance to acquire more knowledge. In thier defeat Brainiac will try to siphon all the knowledge out of their heads. But Vril has a secret weapon. Because of his issues with his 'father', Vril has a lot of emotions that have built up over the years, as well as baggage. But he knows that this is a weakness so he's set up mental blocks to lock all of this stuff away . . to hide it. Brainiac will see this as a challenge and will assimilate it before he has a chance to realize what it is. In the end, Vril wins. Not only because he weakens Brainiac, but also because he leaves him with the emotions and resentments that he's built up. 'Now you know what it feels like to be your 'son'.' But Brainiac does escape, with Pulsar Stargrave and the Data-core. And with the ruling council dead, Vril and Lyrl are going to have to figure out how to rebuild Colu. As well as dealing with Lobo . . now that the job that he's been hired to do is done. But first they're going to have to deal with the Green Lanterns that have come to arrest them. I think Tony Bedard does a fantastic job with this book. It's very structured and precise, as you would expect from Vril. There's also a couple of different themes floating around here. It's a Police story, as well as one of Outlaws. But there's also a kind of 'spy' and 'espionage' type of theme to it. And I've really enjoyed this Brainiac story-line. Also Claude St Aubin continues to improve every issue with his pencils. This book has a great look and feel to it. Our 2 covers here are by Kalman Andrasofszky and David Finch. David draws a pretty mean looking Lobo. I may have to rethink my belief that Simon Bisley is the definitive Lobo artist. Anyways, this is a great series. It's worth picking up . . if you're not.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Red Hood: the Lost Days #3 and #4 - DC

So far, I really like the story that Judd Winick is crafting here. Basically, he's filling in the questions as to how, and when, Jason came back. And what did he do to prepare himself for when he finally revealed his return to Batman. All of which . . Talia is playing a large part of. I think she originally brought Jason back, with one of the Lazarus pits, to try to ease some of the pain and burden of the man she loves. Obviously she didn't think this all the way through, but . . I think it was as simple as bringing him back, returning him to Bruce, and hoping that in return pledge his undying love. Yeah!! Like that was going to happen. She didn't listen to a word her father told her. He's been doing this a lot longer than her. He certainly knows the risks and side-effects, but . . I think she was blinded by love . . or romance. Well, you know . . the kind of romance where 2 people try to kill each other as foreplay. Anyways, once she realized that he was psychotic . . although I'm not sure if that was a side-effect of the Lazarus pit, or window into Jason's actual personality . . but when she realized that, she knew that she was going to have to stall him. So she sets him up with teachers of the 'Dark Killing Arts' all over the globe . . weapons, espionage, chemists, close combat experts, bomb makers . . etc, etc. She sells it as her concern over his facing his former mentor. The element of surprise will only carry him so far. If he wants to best him . . he's going to have to be better than him. I think she's also hoping that over the course of this, maybe . . just maybe, Jason will develop a conscience or a heart. And surprisingly . . he does. In a way. After about 10 or 12 'teachers', she finds that he's already killed about half of them. But the reasons he's giving himself seem legitimate . . pedophile, murder, sex-slaves, mercenaries . . he seems to be willing to siphon their information, but not let them continue to pursue their 'hobbies'. I believe he thinks he's actually saving people, or . . making the world a better place for the ones that are left. Anyways, by the end of issue #4, Jason is knee deep in the scheme of the Russian Mob, in London. They've got MI5, Interpol and Police so far up their ass that it's hurting their business. They haven't really been able to pin anything on them, but . . they've created enough of a wake that other gangs, and criminals, don't want to do business with them. So . . they've hired a bomb expert . . the one who's currently teaching Jason, to set off a series of explosions around London and make it look like it's the work of terrorists. Once everybody gets aboard that wagon, the crime files will become second shelf. The problem Jason has with all this? In order to sell this, they're going to have to kill about 700 people in one afternoon. So Jason's trying to mess with their plan, without exposing himself. But he's making a lot of rookie mistakes. The issue ends with him starring down the barrel of the Russian mob boss's gun. 'I don't care who he is! Just kill him!' Like I said, so far it's been a pretty cool story. But Judd always does a good job with this type of theme. Jeremy Haun is doing the art, and his style is fitting perfectly with this story. And don't forget the beautiful covers by Billy Tucci. If you aren't buying this one . . you're missing a good story.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Red Robin #15 and #16 - DC

So, while Tim is out trying to check off this 'hit-list' of his . . it seems that Vicki Vale has been gathering information of her own. She's been trying to prove that Tim is either Red Robin, or Robin, and thereby who the identities are of the rest of the Bat-family. She doesn't really have any solid evidence, but . . she is making some pretty educated guesses. In fact, she's surprisingly close. So Tim sets himself up as a target. He was planning on 'outing' the 2 bad cops anyways, Cavallo and Wise, so he just does so in a manner that opens himself up as a target. He knows that someone will want to take him down, so he has M'gann pose as him, while he waits on the rooftops for the assassin . . Scarab. But he doesn't go after her until after she shoots Tim / M'gann. Then he takes down Scarab . . another one on his list, and switches places with M'gann and poses as a young man who had some serious spinal damage done. To really sell it, he makes a public statement saying that he's going to have to walk with canes, and assistance for at least the next year. That's the length that he's willing to go to try to protect everyone else. So hopefully that'll alleviate Vicki's interest . . at least for a while. But, it seems that Tim is of interest on someone else's list . . Anarky. Anarky has been mad at Robin ever since his brother and sister got killed. Yes it was Anarky's own bombs that killed them, but . . he doesn't' see it that way. Robin was trying to bring Anarky in, and he was using his siblings as leverage. But they weren't supposed to be at that place, at that time. Anyways, Anarky has been working off a list of possible Robin targets, and after eliminating the first couple, Tim Drake / Wayne is now at the top of his list. But with the recent events of his shooting, he's decided to skip him and move on to the next. Anarky is now Ulysses Armstrong. He originally came into Robin's sites as the General. But along the line he usurped Lonnie Machlin as Anarky, and is now using that identity for his own. But he's also got Lonnie in a chemical induced coma and is using him to get information on Robin. Apparently what he doesn't know though it that Lonnie has somehow connected with his computer, and has been communicating through it back and forth with Red Robin. Anyways, Tim is able to get the identity of Ulysses' next target and is there to stop Anarky. But before he can bring him in he activates a bomb back in his penthouse . . where he's keeping Lonnie. Tim has to leave him in order to save Lonnie. Fabian Nicieza has been doing a great job with Tim's character. He's got some great interactions between Tim and Stephanie, as well as his supposed fiance, Tamara. I also liked that little conversation between Tim and Digger Harkness when he goes to see him in jail. Basically he just wants him to know that . . now that he's back, he's going to need to pay for his father's death. And then there's the relation ship between him and Leslie Thompkins . . his personal physician. Without whom he wouldn't have been able to sell this whole plan. I think Fabian has a great handle on this character. And Marcus To's art gets better and better with every issue. The final page of issue #16, where Tim is visiting Digger in jail is awesome. Anyways, over all . . I'm very pleased with this book. Next month this title, as well as the rest of the Bat-titles will be skipping an issue for the Return of Bruce Wayne. There will be an issue next month . . The Road Home: Red Robin #1. But issue #17 won't be out until the month after that. But that's ok, because next month is going to be a really busy month in the Bat-family of books. Epic . . even!! I can't wait.

Chuck vs the Anniversary - Season 4 - Episode 1 - NBC

Tonight was the first show of the new season of Chuck. I love this show. This season picks up, obviously, where the last season left off. Chuck has found out that his father, who was killed by the Ring, was looking for his mother. Who we found out was also a spy. But Chuck has promised his sister that he wouldn't be a spy anymore. So he and Morgan have decided to go out and try to do it on their own. After traveling all over the globe, and wracking up $43,000 in bills, they discover a lead that brings them right back to LA. But . . it ends up being a dead end. Of course Sarah and Casey are still out there working cases. And we find out that the Buy More has been rebuilt. However, now . . now it's run by General Beckman. It appears that the President has taken a keen interest in Operation Bartowski and the Buy More is now a joint CIA/NSA base. Anyways, it turns out that Sarah and Casey's operation has to do with the same Russian gun-runner that Chuck and Morgan's little escapade has led them to. And they all end up in Moscow together. Although Sarah and Casey have been captured and Chuck and Morgan have to help them escape. In the end Chuck tells Sarah the truth about their endeavor to find his mother . . played by Linda Hamilton, and she's code-named the Frost Queen. And they're all going to work together on this little operation. Although they won't be telling the General. Chuck wants to tell his sister what's going on, but . . she tells Chuck that she just found out she's pregnant so . . now Chuck doesn't want to worry her. Anyways, I thought it was a pretty good first episode. It wasn't as exciting as some others, but . . we did get a lot of information and this season is securely tied to last season's finale. But there were a few slow spots. Cool music though. Oh yeah, and Chuck and Sarah were sexting. Well actually it was Sarah and Morgan, but . . nevermind. Anyways . . cool show. I'm glad it's back.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

JSA All-Stars #9 and #10 - DC

I hate to admit it, but I'm just not all that thrilled with this City of Gods storyline. However, we are getting a whole bunch of hints and tie-ins with Infinity Inc during all of this. So . . that's pretty cool. There's a part where some of the gang are out patrolling LA, waiting for the next outbreak among the gangs or citizens using Izapa, when they come across Stellar Studios. That's one of the places that Infinity Inc used to operate out of. Rick is a little sad when he sees just how trashed the place really is. And down in Parador, the All-Stars learn that Henry King, aka Brainwave, is involved in all of this somehow. Well first, when Maxine gets hurt, Anna Fortune uses a teleportation spell to take them to wherever King Chimera can envision. They end up in a hospital in Ankara Turkey. And apparently it's where the King lost a loved one. I just don't know if it's a girlfriend or sister. I'm not sure. But I'm leaning towards girlfriend. Anyways, Henry fills them in on what's been going on around here. It appears that the local government has been experimenting with with DNA and cloning. Through this process they end up creating 5 very special kids. Apparently it's through their powers, or thoughts that Henry was called here. Somehow he can keep them calm. Which he's been trying desperately to do because their powers are off the scale. But the local dictator, Montez, has other plans. He's been using Henry this whole time. His plans were to use the kids powers to rebuild Parador. But somehow through them he's brought some old Aztec gods back to life. For some reason though, they aren't to thrilled with Parador. And it's not where they've decided to build New Parador. No for that they move further north and for some reason decide that LA is where they want to be. They go through most of this issue fighting these new born gods who are trying to tear down, and then rebuild LA into thier New Parador. Everything seems pretty evenly balanced until one of the gods steals Stargirl's cosmic energy from her. Now I don't know if they're going to be able to stop them. Meanwhile, in Ankara, Maxine seems to suddenly heal from her wounds, but then it appears that her powers amp up. It looks like a tornado has popped up in the middle of the hospital. But we're going to have to wait to see what happens there. Don't get me wrong. I think Matthew Sturges and Freddie Williams II are doing a great job here. But . . I'm just not thrilled with it. There's been lots of action, and interaction, but . . the character development in my opinion has been slow in coming. There's actually more character development in the back-up story between Liberty Belle and Hourman, and their reluctant teammates . . Icicle and Huntress. But I am interested in both stories. They're just not in my favorites. By the way, Jan Van Meter and Travis Moore do the back-up. I want to like this book. I like all the individual characters. To me it just doesn't seem that they've stopped to develop things as a team. Since issue #1 they've gone from one crisis right into the next. But I'll keep trying. It is still the JSA, afterall.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Batman Odyssey #2 and #3 - DC

Once again, I can't over emphasis how thrilled I am that not only is Neal Adams back . . not only is he doing the character he's probably most famous for, besides Superman, but . . he's also doing the story and art here. What more could we ask for? I liked the first book, but . . I thought it was a little bit confusing. However, the second issue helped to clear that up immensely. Bruce was telling Dick the story of one of his very first outings. It's a time when he was experimenting and trying out . . well, pretty much everything. He was working on his image, his delivery, his impact, his methods and his choice of weapons. Which is really what I think that first story stemmed from . . I think he was trying to explain to Dick why he'd decided to go with the 'no-guns' policy. Also, in the present, the case they're working on is closely related because a lot of what he'd learned in the past has led to his preparedness in the present. In his current case, Batman has 2 fronts to choose from. The Riddler is going after something at the mint, while his clues . . his riddles, has lead Batman to believe that there's also something going down on the docks. And it may be more important. While any attempt at the mint is important, I think Batman believes that it's more of a diversion than anything. Which lead Batman and Robin into a fire-fight at the docks and trying to protect a Professor and his daughter, whom have come to see off his latest endeavor . . a hydrogen based car. The heist is made to look like they're after a shipment of antiquities, but actually I think they're here to destroy the car. Although, even they don't know why. And were never really given a full explanation on how to do it. The issue ends with Batman making a misstep and going down in a tornado of bullets. Obviously though, this can't be the end of the Batman as he's still telling the story. We find out later, in his conversation with Alfred, that everything is an act. Not only did he line his suit with Kevlar and try to limit the impact and damage from such a deluge. But he's also equipped the suit to spurt fake blood out through the bullet-holes. It's all for effect. He wants to give the criminals the illusion that they've taken him down, while amping the impact when he rises again to finish the job. We spend a lot of this issue learning about a lot of Batman's techniques for fighting and overcoming the less experienced criminals that he faces. It was actually really interesting. But I think the main focus of this issue was the Batman trying to figure out what's going on here at the docks. They know that they couldn't really have been after the antiquities. First of all, after Talia's arrival, they find out that they belong to Ra's al Ghul. And anybody who'd try to steal from him would have to be insane. Also, these are pretty large pieces. It would be difficult for them to fence them, let alone move them. So he's left believing that they're after the car. But he can't figure out why. The issue ends with Batman thinking that this all doesn't fit together. 'It doesn't fit. This is a puppet show and all our strings have been yanked . . and we're dangling like fools. This man . . or men behind all this haven't even made their first move. This is just the setup. The first question to which is WHO IS THIS MAN?!' I like the way that Neal is constructing this story. He's using past and prologue the emphasis the important connections to everything. We just have to figure out how the pieces all fit together. And the art? The artwork is amazing. But we knew that was going to be the case. Really, my only complaint about this issue is that the variant cover is simply an uncolored version of the main cover. It's tauted as being a sketch cover, but really . . it's just an uncolored version. It's an 'ok' concept. Really it is. And I think my complaint comes more out of greediness than anything. We have the opportunity for a variant cover here . . a chance to see some more great Neal Adams art. But instead we get the same picture in a different format. Don't get me wrong. I'll probably buy them all. But . . I just think it'd be a little more cool if we could get a different picture. I know. I'm just being greedy. Anyways, I think it's a great series and I can't wait to see more.

Superman: the Last Family of Krypton #1 and #2 - DC

This is an Elseworlds story brought to us by Cary Bates and Renato Arlem. I'd include all 3 issues if I had them, so . . I'll just have to wait until the next one comes out to tell you how this all wraps up. The theme is pretty much the same here, it's just the variation that's different. As with most Elseworld titles. It starts out, obviously, with the destruction of Krypton. Except in this version, Jor-El and Lara decided that they can't bring themselves to leaving Kal-El alone in the universe. So, all three of them take the journey to Earth. Of course their ship is alien when it arrives. And is met with the usual skepticism. But in this instance, Jor-El can debark the ship and immediately start proving himself. Over the course of the next few years he continues to prove himself and acclimates into Terran society pretty easily. Especially when the powers that be realize what he can to for them. He even sets up a business, JorCorp. It's a way for him to implement his ideas, to merge Earthen and Kryptonian technology where possible, and to better overall help mankind and his new home. It's about this same time that Lara decides that Kal is leading to isolated of an existence. She wants him to experience human life, to walk in their shoes. Plus I think that she knows that neither she nor Jor-El can devote the time or experience to Kal's upbringing, not to the extent that a child needs. So she begins looking for families. Of course, she ends up with the Kents. Meanwhile. Lara has also decided to bring enlightenment to her new home in the form of their Kryptonian religion, Raoism. Personally, I think she's trying to balance her husband infusion of technology into their new society. She publishes a book, and opens a foundation. It's also around this time that Lex Luthor's scientific interests catch the eye of Jor-El, and he's brought into the JorCorp fold. The issue ends with Jor-El and Lara having a fight over Jor-El's obsession with Krypton's destruction. This leads to a little jaunt to the sun, and five months later Kal has a new sister and brother, Valora and Bru-El. In Chapter 2, we jump forward about 5 or 6 years. Because of their Terran birth, Valora and Bru-El only have about half the power of their parents or brother. This doesn't seem to bother Valora, but Bru-El is a brooder. His feelings aren't going to lead to anything good. Both of them are rather rambunctious and impetuous. But Valora has decided to pursue an academic life, reading 1000's of books every month. While Bru-El has become a bit of an action junkie. He's reveling in his powers, even if he is jealous of his brother's greater limits and control. This is also about the time that Jor-El first learns about Kryptonite. He learns, through Clark's experience, of the effects that it can have on Kryptonians. And tasks Lex with looking into it's properties and applications. We also find out that Lex has other allegiances. He's giving somebody else the information that he's gathering. We don't see who, but I'm guessing it's a government or military. The room has a flag with the house of El symbol, with a lightning strike through it. We also see the influence the El's have on the rest of the world as Lara saves Bruce's parents from being killed by Joe Chill. We begin to see an anti-Rao movement rising up amongst the people. And also glimpses of Xenophobia. We also go through the instance where Jonathan almost dies of a heart-attack. Luckily, on this world, Jor-El saves him. And they all live to see Clark graduating from High School. But in this instance, rather than travelling abroad, Clark decides that he's going to roam the stars. Lara and Martha even craft a uniform for him . . his Superman suit. But Lara has one bit of advice for him before he takes off, 'This planet has been good to you, Kal . . and once you're off in deep space you may be surprised how much you miss it. So slow down . . open your super-sense . . and take in all the Earth sights and sounds you can today.' In that moment he begins to see and hear things all over the globe that could use his assistance. He begins helping the 'common-man' and fixing whatever problems he can. From there . . he's hooked. He wants to live the life of a hero. But he knows that he can't do it 24/7, or count on his senses to alert him of every emergency. So he's decided to go to college, become a journalist, and then immerse himself in the information of the world . . he wants to go work for the Daily Planet. Anyways, years later, we see that the Lois and Clark relationship has blossomed. While the relationship between Clark and Jor-El has gathered distance. We later find out that there's a group called Doomsday that is intent on renouncing the Kryptonian, or alien influence that has permeated the planet over the previous years. In their deviance that capture and plan to kill Valora. Of course everyone races to find her, and track down these terrorists, but . . the point of it all is, Jor-El turns to Lex to help him find her, instead of his own son Kal-El. And this has Clark concerned. This is only a 3 issue series so next issue everything comes to a head. So far I like the story. But I knew I would. Cary is a great writer. And he's more than familiar with the Superman mythos. I'm also enjoying Renato Arlem art. It fits the story very nicely and really give the book, overall, a good feel. If you're not reading this, I'm sure it'll be out in TPB before Christmas. I can't see this one sitting around on the shelf for to long. I thought it was an interesting and exciting story. It also gave a neat twist to everything. And of course we can't forget those beautiful covers by Felipe Massafera. I enjoyed the book and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone that's a Superman fan. You've got everything you ever wanted in this one story.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Batman Confidential #47 and #48 - DC

Batman and Superman are at a complete disadvantage this issue. First of all, neither of them even believe in all this 'hoo-doo' crap. But . . they also can't deny that Superman's powers are a detriment for whatever forces they are facing. Somehow this Mama Elizi, with the help of Professor Combs, is bringing back to life some very powerful shaman, a black magician, that was killed in Corto Maltese. Somehow he's going to help Mama Elizi create an army of zombies. And in return he wants his own vampire. Which is where Dimeter comes in. Last issue they took off for the little island with Olivia, Dimeter's girlfriend, knowing that the 'heroes', and the vampire would have no other choice than to follow. So far our 'heroes' have been doing nothing but reacting to Mama Elizi and Combs' plan. Somehow they need to get on the offensive. But, that may be hard. At the end of this issue, the zombie hordes overpower Batman and they shove him into a hole in the ground. This is where they cultivate their live followers by subjugating them to snake bites, and venom, and powerful hallucinogens. In the last panel of this book, Batman appears much as he does on the cover. Issue #48 is called 'the Waking Dead'. In the next issue we start out with Batman appearing to be one of Mama Elizi's undead zombies. But somehow he breaks the hold the drugs have on him. It's never really explained but I would guess that it's because of all the preparedness that he takes to deal with the likes of the Scarecrow or Poison Ivy. I would imagine that his system has built up a kind of immunity. Anyways, the Werewolf, Janko, takes out Mama Elizi's son, who is also a zombie. And after Superman tries unsuccessfully to use brute strength against the magic, Dimeter helps out the situation by taking him to one of his local contacts. Sister Geneva is a practitioner of white magic. She tips the scale in the 'heroes' favor, as she's better prepared to counter Mama Elizi's spells and potions. She also replaces Superman's body with that of the 100 year old dead murderer that she's trying to resurrect. In the end, the team of 'heroes' beat the team of bad-guys. Combs is taken back to Arkham. And Mama Elizi puts a curse on Superman and Batman for taking her son away from her. Olivia runs away from Dimeter because of what he's turned her in to. And Janko goes off with Geneva. I guess she's going to teach him how to control his affliction. Overall I enjoyed this issue, and story-line, but . . I'm just not real big on these monster/zombie/vampire story-lines. They're ok. But they don't thrill me. I thought Kevin VanHook did a decent job though. And, although I'm not a huge fan, Tom Mandrake's art definitely fits this type of story-line. The way the story is set up, I'm sure it'll be out in TPB before to long. It was ok. Just not my cup of tea.

Brightest Day #7 - DC

It seems to me like this entity of the White Light . . the voice that keeps popping into head of Boston Brand . . as well as the rest of the heroes and villains that it brought back from the dead . . it seems like it's got these 12 people as it's puppets. It certainly has Boston Brand jumping through hoops. Not that it gives him much of a choice. The White Light, or ring, does the popping and moving around. Boston is just along for the ride. Anyways, in this issue it has a message for pretty much everyone. As it shows J'onn the forests of Star City, it tells him . . 'Burn it. Burn it down. Burn all or it.' But it also heals M'Gann who happens to be in his arms at the time. It tells Firestorm . . 'Ronald Raymond of Earth, you need to study. Jason Rusch of Earth, you need to get your head out of the books. Learn from each other so you can stop him. Don't let him destroy me.' And by 'him', I guess he means the identity of the third person that stuck inside the Firestorm Matrix with them. We don't know who that is yet, but we do get a glimpse. He has a different kind of symbol on his chest, and he seems to be holding a Black Lantern. So I'm not sure if it's Nekron or somebody else. Anyways, the entity even contacts Carter and Shiera who are fighting for their lives on Hawkworld. It tells Carter, 'Don't let them leave this world. Stop the Queen.' And it tells Shiera, 'If your lover dies here there is no more resurrection. Save him from Hath-Set.' And then she finds out that Hath seems to be working for some woman . . the Queen. Aquaman gets a message . .'Find Him. Find him first. Before they do.' And we see that it's talking about Aqualad. But, a different one. A new one. And then it cleans up the ocean and brings the fish back to life around Arthur's feet. And then it hits the rest of them, one at a time. 'Digger Harkness of Earth. Throw the boomerang at her.' It's talking about Dove. 'Jennie-Lynn Hayden of Earth. Balance the darkness. Your brother will save your friends.' 'Amon Tomaz of Earth. Free the goddess of nature. Free your sister. Free Isis.' 'Maxwell Lord of Earth. Magog will plunge this world into war. Stop the war before it starts.' It looks like it's telling him to kill Magog. 'Eobard Thawne of Earth. You have allowed the Flash to escape the Speed Force. Mission accomplished. Life returned.' And finally it tells Hank, 'Catch the Boomerang.' Apparently talking about the boomerang it told Digger to throw at her. It's all rather cryptic. Anyways, it also explains to Boston a little more about it's mission. Much like any other power ring, when it's bearer dies, it has to search for a replacement. Well the entity feels that it's dying. 'If you want to truly live again, help me. Life is a gift, Boston Brand. The chosen one knows that better than anyone. A new protector of Earth must rise . . you will find them.' But not to much pressure there. So now . . that's where they stand. Apparently they each have their own mission. Whether they want it or not. But who are they to complain after the gift they've already been given. So far I'm thrilled with the story Geoff John and Peter J Tomasi are presenting here. This issue was all over the place, because we got a little glimpse of everyone. But I think I like the issues more where they focus on one or two of the key players. Also everybody is doing a fantastic job with their part of the art. We have pages contributed by Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark and Joe Prado. They're doing a great job at keeping the look and feel of this book consistent. I thought about doing more than one issue here, but . . I think this one is important enough that I'll stick to the 'one at a time' for it. I assume everyone is buying this one. If you're not . . you really don't know what you're missing.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nemesis #2 - Marvel - Icon

I know this book came out a while ago, but . . I just got it, so . . I thought I'd slip it in here. This issue explains more of the story behind this Nemesis guy. Apparently, when he was a child, his parents were busted for running a 'hunting club' for 15 years, involving teen-aged runaways, and rich friends. They were the founders of a billion dollar electronics empire. Before being arrested, his father had committed suicide. His mother died a few years later in the electric chair. Her final words to her son? 'I want you to destroy that clever policeman, my darling. Blake Morrow is the one who stopped the champagne.' Anyways, the boy went to live with his uncle, who took over the family business, and was bored by his high ideals and perfect manners. He ran away and traveled the globe. 'Learning at the feet of the magnificent bastards. By 12 I was a gang lord. At 15 I was Asia's largest drugs exporter. At 23 I headed a Zoroastrian death-cult and was finally ready to honor my mother's dying wish.' Which is when he began hunting all the policemen that were involved in their family's demise. All except for Blake Morrow . . whom he was saving for last. And who was now the Chief of Police in Washington DC. So in this issue . . he goes after Blake. He starts out by attacking him in the Pentagon. He's been leaving clues for him, and the next was about a gas attack. Blake is convinced that it's going to happen at the Pentagon, which it does. The only survivors are Blake and his Assistant, whom Nemesis has supplied an antidote in the morning coffee. The other 20,000 employees are all dead. We then get a cool chase scene, through the streets and sewers, until then end when Nemesis is arrested as he comes out of a man-hole. But even beaten and cuffed, he says to the police . .'You retards! You brain-dead little shits . . you think I didn't plan this?' Oh yeah, plus he's still holding the President hostage, and . . he told Blake he's kill him on March the 12th. Although I'm not sure what the specificness of that is. I thought it was a pretty thrilling issue. Even if we are celebrating a villain. Yes he's a victim . . or, he was when he was a child. But I think he's more a victim of his parents lack of judgement then necessarily that of the law enforcement community. But since this is being written most likely as an eventual screenplay . . I doubt that distinction will ever be explored. Or, you know what? I could see this as a video game also. There, moral ambiguity doesn't really matter. Anyways, as I said . . this came out in June, but I just picked it up in one of my E-bay packages. Since issue #3 is due out this month, I thought I'd include it in case I decide to pick it up. As with the last issue, this is brought to us by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. Like it or not, it is what it is . . entertainment. Kind of scary. Huh?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Frustration and Stress . . what's a guy to do?

Ok . . I just couldn't do it anymore. I try my hardest to post these books in order and keep the posts as close to the dates of publication as possible. But between work . . the wife . . but don't tell her I said that . . and just my daily responsibilities, it's just been impossible for me to do the amount of posts in the way I want to do them. Plus I'm developing this really bad habit of spending way to much time perusing around E-Bay. Way to much time. So, here's what I'm going to do. I need to finish catching up my July books. Yes I know . . I'm a month behind. Anyways, as I was saying, I'm going to finish catching up my July books, and I'm going to skip even trying to get any posts in for August. Then for September I'm going to start doing the 2, or 3, issues that I'm behind of a title at the same time. Actually it might be more than that when it comes to books like Brightest Day or Generation Lost. But . . I'll figure it out as I go along. The main thing is I just want to get caught up, and get pictures and comments out there for the books that genuinely deserve as much exposure as they can get. That's the other thing . . there's some really good titles coming out right now. And if I try to rush through things and hurry, just to get caught up, I don't feel like I'd genuinely give them the praise that they deserve. There's some really talented people in the comic biz right now, and the stuff they're putting out is really top-notch. So anyways . . I'm not making excuses or anything. I guess, basically, I'm just apologizing for falling behind. I have a stack of books in front of me a foot high. And I really do want to get back on track. I'm going to do my very best to do just that in the coming weeks. All I can say is . . thanks for being patient.