Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Best and Worst of Last Week

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I will be going on vacation in about a month and will leave the blog in the capable hands of Sparky, Red Dog and Princess. As everyone has busy schedules you may see a few post with a picture of a vacation and I will be wrapping a day or two before I leave and a day or two after I come home, unless I find a lot of extra time between now and then.

One thing that is funny that as much as I have event fatigue from the big two I also feel like we are in a little bit of a lull as we await the end of Battle for the Cowl, Flash Rebirth, Mard Waid’s Irredeemable and wonder what happen to the Twelve from Marvel comics. It could be the winter blues, but right now it feels like comics are in a slight lull. A lot of good books have been coming out, but very few totally awesome, knock my socks off books.


Rebels #2 – Writer Tony Bedard, Art Andy Clarke, Colors Jose Villarrubia. Tony Bedard and Andy Clarke are two for two right out of the gate with this series. From page one to the final page this book never lets up. The action, the plot development, the characterization all work like a charm. Tony is writing the best work he has done to my knowledge. Brainiac 2 is trying to strike back and gain control of the Legion, his ancestor Brainiac 5 had sent him some information to help him try and gather another Legion of Super Heroes to fight back against the Legion. In typical Vril Dox fashion his uses the information in a way he deems fit, by dumping Supergirl, taking over a Validus type creature and then trying to recruit Elu from the Omega Men. Once rejected by the Omega Men, Brainiac betrays them to Legion and takes off to find his own Dawnstar. Vril is such a total bastard, yet is still more on the side of the angels then the bad guys and you have to root for him as you also cringe with some of the things he does. The artwork is gorgeous and after a few issues like this everyone should know who Andy Clarke is.

Immortal Iron Fist #23 – Writer Duane Swierczynski, Pencils
Travel Foreman with Tonci Zonja & Timothy Green, Inks tom Palmer, Mark Pennigton, Tonci Zonja & Timothy Green, Colors Matt Milla. What a great book this has continued to be. We are in the Eighth City and Danny learns he is in a cell next to the original Iron Fist. In fact we get the history of the Eighth City, the origin of the Iron Fist, some great fight scenes, and some great plot development. I love books that give me my bang for the buck and still manage to give us a few “aha” type moments. The ending was a nice shocker as Danny has had his Iron Fist branded off his chest (and we have no clue what that means yet, but it cannot be a good thing) and now has to have a death match with the first Iron Fist, who has been restored to his youthful vigor. Duane has made me forget those two guys Ed something or other and Matty whatever.

Green Lantern Corps #34 – Writer Peter Tomasi, Pencils Patrick Gleason, Inks Rebecca Buchman w/Christain Almay, Colors Randy Mayor. This book is such a great companion book to Green Lantern and sometimes it is the better series. This issue we get some great insight into Sodam Yat and his hatred for his own people is front and center. We also see Mongul and Arkillo battle it out for control of the Sinestro Corps and Tomasi wisely steps back and allows Patrick Gleason to just give us one of the better and coolest fight scenes that I have seen in comics in awhile. Patrick Gleason has really started to shine with this series. We then switch over to Kyle and Soranik. The interplay between them and their blatant ignoring of the new law was done so naturally that we are given character building and laying plots for the future in a way that was just a great natural flow. Then we get to see a Red Lantern being jail and Guy Gardner is saying what all the GL fans have said at one time or another “Ya gotta be kidding me --- Green, Yellow, Red, Blue, Violet – it’s like Walt Disney threw up, what the hell is going on out there?” Finally we end with the science cells being blown up and the prisoners escaping. Tomasi has this book being not a sister book to Green Lantern, but a book that is a partner with GL.

Northlanders #15 – Writer Brian Wood, Art Ryan Kelly, Colors Dave McCaig. – This issues Brian pulls a sixth sense on us and the fact that Magnus little daughter has not been running around with him is finally out in the open. I say that because some friends of mine had speculated that she was dead or Brigid was only in Magnus’ mind and they were right. Magnus is captured and his pursuer goes to meet him and wants to cause him to suffer before he kills him. In fact his captor has summoned Brigid and Magnus was told she has married into the Viking conquerors. Magnus escapes taking out the men who were holding him and runs into the woods shouting his daughter’s name. The issue ends with Brigid, now fully grown, seeing her father. This has been the best arc yet in this book and I love that each new arc is about a different character and setting, giving us a fuller picture of what impact the Vikings had in our history.

BPRD Black Goddess #3 (of 5) – Writers Mike Mignola & John Arcudi, Art Guy Davis, Colors Dave Stewart. Okay the continual tension building in this series is fantastic. This issue we great the background on Memnan Saa and how he came into being. We see that Liz appears to be in some sort of trance like state, but is now in control of her powers like never before. We see a great battle with the frogs and their forces versus the US troops and creatures who serve Memnan Saa. It is a classic page turner and when you get to the end and see a dragon of fire that has been unleashed by Liz you are just dying to see the next issue. BPRD is one of the finest long term series on the stands and rewards you with each new story as you see how different parts are work together.

Action Comics #875 – Writer Greg Rucka, Pencils Eddy Barrows, Inks Juy Rose & Julia Ferreira, Colors Rod Reis. I was all prepared to dislike this series now that Nightwing and Flamebird are the lead characters and Superman is out of the book and I was pleasantly surprised. Greg Rucka is a very good writer and this book opened with a bang as Nightwing and Flamebird attack some bigwig in Australia. We find out that he is a sleeper agent from Krypton and Nightwing and Flamebird are out to capture all the sleeper agents. The big reveal as to who they are was not a big reveal as apparently Nightwing is Chris Kent (Zod’s son who Superman was raising for awhile). He is suffering from bouts of rapid aging, which allows him to be a more adult hero. Flamebird is Thara Ak-Var who was the chief of security for Kandor, so she is pretty much a cipher to me at this point. The why and wherefores of what they are doing will be more interesting down the road. I also like that Zod’s second Lt. Commander Ursa finds them by the end of the first issue as this story should move rapidly to keep it interesting. Eddy Barrows did a nice job on the art with inking from Juy Rose & Julia Ferrira. Rod Reis’ color work also looked nice and had that prototypical super hero feel that this book demanded. A nice start and it looks like the Superman franchise will work out even without Superman being in the books.

City of Dust #5 (of 5) – Writer Steve Niles, Art Brandon Chng, Zid & Garrie Gastonny, Colors Buddy Jiang, Leos Ne Okita & Sixth Creation. Steve Niles has set up a great character and I for one hope to see more stories of Phillip Khrome. The first series ends with Khrome winning the day, but at a great cost. He finds and loses a woman whom he could have loved. He learns about his past and why he was wrong. He learns how much the government is full of crap and essentially becomes a man aware of what the world around him truly is. Now longer a cop, but a private eye, we have the beginning of a nice science fiction Phillip Marlow noir series that should be a lot of fun.


Nada, nothing, zilch.

Since switching to the new format the list of books that hit best or worst have been all over the place, but this week nothing hit the worst. A few books were at a “C” level, but nothing stunk up the joint enough to make to the cellar and that is pretty darn cool. Of course as Thomm said before the worst should have very few as I’m not trying to buy stuff that I will not like.

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