Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Best to Worst of Last Week

This week was a little slow in terms of really great books and was relatively light in what I read with books that are part of the big events. This week, as always plenty to choose from and some really good books and some clunkers.

I did see The Dark Knight on Sunday evening (as I’m typing this) and my wife enjoyed it and felt Ledger is deserving of all the acclaim he got in this movie and I think that it was possibly the best comic book movie ever made. What a year we as comic fans have had to have had three really good movies and I hear Hellboy is another one and only one inane one (Wanted), but by Hollywood standards that was a big hit.

Scalped #19 – Writer Jason Aaron, Art Davide Furno, Colors Giulia Brusco. First off, this is one of the best covers I have seen in a long time. Tim Bradstreet does excellent work. Second this book is one hell of a great read. It is such an amazing and layered book about a lot of people who have a lot of crap going on in their lives. It really keeps improving and maybe the best written book on the stands. It is right up there with Echo and Locke & Key for characters that you really feel for. Third the art work is a dramatic drop off from the regular series artists. I know it is only a two issue fill-in by Davide, but he is competent only, which is a shame. If this story about Dash’s girl friend had a better artist would have made this the best book of the week by a mile. Carol is Red Crow’s daughter and currently Dash’s f**k buddy. They both actually love each other but have so much crap in their lives they will probably never talk about it. Carol has an estranged spouse, is Red Crow’s daughter and a junkie. This issue we also see Red Crow has offered Dash a job working for him at the Casino which could further his actual job of bringing Red Crow down as he is an undercover FBI agent. So many layers, such rich characterization, such raw emotion has made this book one of the absolute best books on the market. If you like well written, hard hitting emotionally charged stories and you aren’t reading this, you are making a huge mistake.
Universal War One #1 (OF 3) – Story, Art and Colors Denis Bajram. What a magnificent book.
The story starts off without any preamble. As you read the book the story starts to fall into place, but the writer never lays it out for you, you learn as you go along. Essentially we are in the future and the human race has started colonizing the rest of the solar system. Suddenly a black wall has shown up cutting Earth off from some of their colonies. The group that has been elected to look into it is the Purgatory Squadron. The story starts as part of that group is performing a research test on the wall. The book is both grand in scale with all the science fiction elements and ideas about what this black wall is and it also a very character driven story, as the Purgatory Squadron are a bunch of soldiers who have been given a second chance as opposed to facing a court martial. The issue ends with one member trying to pierce the wall and with help does so. He comes back four minutes later in a different ship and appears to die and then they all jump into the wall. I’m really happy to see Marvel publishing some of the European comics. Humanoids did a lot of that and there is so much foreign material that we don’t get to see in an English format. I’m happy to see some being given such a high profile from Marvel. The art by Barjam is excellent. He has a very realistic style with tons of details and a clean thin line. His layouts and page design is excellent. I can’t wait to see the next two issues.
Final Crisis Rogues Revenge #1 (of 3) – Writer Geoff Johns, Art Scott Kolins, Colors Dave McCaig. This was an excellent opening for a three part mini-series. I was expecting to see more of the Flash, but instead we catch-up with the main Rogues of the Flash. Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard and Heat Wave all show up in Keystone city. After all they have been through with being involved in Bart’s death and stuck on the prison planet; they want nothing to do with Libra and in fact want to retire. Whether they will be able to retire is another question. We also see Professor Zoom show up and he has released Inertia and wants to make him the new “Kid Flash”. Iris is in this book and we get the sense that Barry will be showing up soon. It was great to see Geoff Johns back at the helm of the Flash and see the great supporting cast he developed which has lain fallow for awhile. Scott Kolins artwork has changed over the years and I’m not sure if I like it less or more. It appears that this is being shot either directly from pencils or Scott is doing his own inks. It certainly adds a certain amount of additional weight to his work and his layouts and page design is superb. Bottom line I think I like Scott’s old work and his current work, it is just different. I should look it up and see if anyone interviewed Scott about the art process on this series. I love understanding how things are done. I’m looking forward to the rest of this series. So far the additional supporting series for Final Crisis have been excellent (Requiem being the other one) and do not interfere with the actual story being told in Final Crisis.
War is Hell First Flight of the Phantom Eagle #5 (of 5) – Writer Garth Ennis, Art Howard Chaykin, Colros Brian Reber. This series ended very well and if you skipped the mini-series pick up the trade paperback. Chaykin’s stylized artwork only works for me on a few series and this one was one of them. The war scenes, flying scenes and all the rest work well for his style. The actual series itself gave us a glimpse of the ground war that was WWI. I don’t think I can truly fathom just how horrible and what a waste of men that war was. People just charged out of the trenches to be cut to ribbons by machine guns as if numbers could overwhelm the weapon. The other part of the book was about Kauffman and Booker and as Booker is bleeding out Kauffman explains his story and why he hid his name. He tells Booker he was afraid his family back in Germany would suffer if his real name came out, so if he was successful he was going to call himself the Phantom Eagle. The story comes full circle as Kauffman ends up being the Squadron leader to a room full of rookie pilots. Garth Ennis can write a war story like no one else.
DC Wildstorm Dreamwar #4 (of 6) – Writer Keith Giffen, Artists Lee Garbett & Trevor Scott, Colors Gabe Eltaeb & Randy Mayor. Did you ever read a comic and you are just so blown away by the art, that the story is almost an after thought? This art team should be on DC’s highest profile book. They should be either drawing the James Robinson Superman book or the Batman RIP story line with Grant Morrison. Garbett has really become one of my favorite pencil artists and Scott seems to be a perfect fit for his work. I’m sure working with Keith Giffen makes his work even better as Giffen does the layouts for all of his books (to the best of my knowledge). This issue the heroes from the DCU are starting to understand they are being used. Of course Superman sums it up best, when he says while the WU heroes maybe heroes they are also killers as we have seen by the number of DCU heroes they have killed. The fights are starting to deescalate and then the villains from the DCU show up. The Doctor is trying to talk to Chimera in his dream world about what he is doing and stop the menace from the inside out. All in all this is a well written and enjoyable series with top notch art.
Flash #242 – Writer Tom Peyer, Art Freddie Williams II, Colors Tanya & Richard Horie. This is a really good story. The penultimate chapter of Tom Peyer’s short lived run has Iris dead, Gorilla Grodd showing up and the scared ape with healing powers also dead. The rapid aging that kicked back in for Iris can’t be stopped, but Wally is still being compelled to find the scared ape by Grodd. When he does the ape is with the source of all the madness behind Spin. Flash’s compassion becomes the new touchstone for this dying creature and he releases it out to the crowd and the hatred against the Flash is replaced by compassion. Afterwards Wally and family return the small white ape to gorilla city and he tries to heal Iris, but it appears she dies. Grodd shows up and Wally is in a mood to make him pay for the death of his daughter. Next issue wraps up this story line and Tom Peyer is off the book. DC needs to let someone run (pun intended) with this series. They have a good artist for Flash, now get a writer. Of course I was rooting that Peyer stay on the book.
Moon Knight #20 – Writer Mike Benson, Art Mike Deodato Jr., Colors Rain Beredo. This book did its job, it got me to read Moon Knight again and I’m hanging around for a little while. Artist Deodato’s more realistic style seems to be what he is staying with and the heavy inks and darkness certainly fit Moon Knight. The preamble tells us Moon Knight was being Moon Knight so he got kicked out of being a registered hero. Now he is alone and on the run and he flashes back to 1994. This was a mistake, as it makes people start to place an age on a character and in comics you want to avoid that, you could have simply said years ago. The story itself is about Jack Russell Werewolf by Night, who has been captured and his blood is being used to turn people into temporary werewolves. This group puts them in an arena and bets on who will survive. Moon Knight breaks up the operation and has to fight Jack while he is a werewolf. Bloodied but unbeaten Moon Knight survives and sets Jack free. This reminds Moon Knight today that he can face anything and he appears to have decided to not just cower and hide anymore. As I said good enough to put the book back on my list.
Hellblazer #246 – Writer Jason Aaron, Art Sean Murphy, Colors Lee Loughridge. Jason Aaron knows how to write comic book and this two issue fill-in was a prime example. He uses John Constantine as more of an element of the story and not 100% the main story itself. John comes in and sees all the people having all the problems and finds out that the demon he sort of fixed before is now running free. He fixes things again, but he can’t save those that set it free. If Andy Diggle ever leaves this book, Jason could certainly take over. Of course Diggle’s run is the best Hellblazer has been in years, so I hope he is on this series for a long time.
Birds of Prey #120 – Writer Tony Bedard, Pencils Michael O’Hare, Inks John Floyd, Colors Hi-Fi. Okay I have no clue who Infinity is, but she certainly makes an interesting addition to the BOP rooster. The whole Black Canary thing was a little confusing as Babs supposedly needed Mia’s help, but did not want to expose what she thought was Sin’s faked death. As I said a little confused. Still the Birds are investigating all that is going on in Platinum Flats and it appears that a company has been using stolen super villain technology to bring new high tech gadgets to the consumer marketplace. This issue ends with the Joker showing up at the main bad guys’ door step being pissed someone stole his Joker gas. Joker and Babs can not be a good sign for what is coming. It appears that Michael O’Hare is the new pencil artist on this series and he does a really good job. This series is almost always a very enjoyable read. We have had a fair amount of turn over in the creative team in a short time, but this book has held together very well.
Captain America #40 – Writer Ed Brubaker, Art Steve Epting, Colors Frank D’Armata. This issue we get the big fight between the fifties Captain America and Bucky. Bucky is almost confused as this Captain American looks exactly like Steve Rogers. This Cap gets confused when Bucky unmasks and he sees his old partner. The fifties Cap is still unstable and is fighting against the conditioning that the Red Skull and Faust have been using on him. Still he is stronger and faster then the real Steve Rogers, but not as good of a fighter. The fight comes to a draw essentially. On a side note Sharon’s escape goes bad. She is using Sin as a hostage. In the end Sin ends up stabbing Sharon Carter in her guts, obviously she is in jeopardy of losing her baby and her life. It was a good action packed issue, but we still did not move the plot that much ahead. This book is at a snail’s pace, tiny steps forward each issue.
Frank Frazetta’s Swamp Demon (one Shot) – Writer JoshuaOrtega, Art Josh Medors, Colors Jay Fotos. This was another excellent comic addition to the growing volumes of work related to Frank Frazetta’s art. The artist for this book is Josh Medors and unfortunately Josh is fighting a battle with cancer. Most comic creators do not have the type of benefits that will allow them to afford the best treatment and there are a lot of ways you can help out. BOOM is producing a book that will benefit Josh, so you can help out an artist and enjoy some great comic work. Check it out
here. This actual issue was a lot of fun as it also tied into the Death Dealer book. Three Druid priest essentially have to battle it out with a few demons. In order to defeat the Swamp Demon one priest has to sacrifice himself. Joshua Ortega writes some high entertaining sword and sorcery type saga’s around the painting and Josh Medors delivers some fantastic art and is certainly worthy of illustrating a Frank Frazetta inspired story. What I mean by that is you need to have a certain style, flair and weight of line to your work to look right in a book based off Frazetta. Well worth you $3.99 entry fee.
Tangent Superman’s Reign #5 (of 12) – Main Story Writer Dan Jurgens, Pencils Jamal Igle, Inks Robin Riggs, Colors Kanila Tripp. Back Up Story Writer Ron Marz, Pencils Fernando Pasarin, Inks Matt Banning, Colors Dom Regan. This was a solid issue in this series. The hardest part is using the names of the characters because you have to identify if they are a Tangent or New Earth version of the character. Side note: New Earth is a really stupid name for the regular DCU, Earth-1 is better. This issue the Tangent Power Girl takes down most of the heroes and the Tangent GL drags New Earth Batman and Tangent Spectre out of danger to a new safe house. The Tangent Superman and the Tangent Power Girl are an item and that would be extremely icky on Earth-1 (err New Earth). It is making my head hurt trying to keep all the characters straight in writing a mini-review. How about this instead. T-Superman is a supposed benevolent dictator and the intrusion of N-Earth heroes is creating problems for him. He has John Stewart captured and has now taken over his ring. He has captured everyone but N-Earth Batman and T-Spectre and T-Green Lantern. There much better. It reads much better then I can describe it and is a well done story to date.
Checkmate #28 – Writer Bruce Jones, Art Manuel Garcia, Colors Santiago Arcas. Checkmate actually played a little bit more of a role in this book and Chimera was cool in defeating one of these beasts they are going to destroy the world. One problem with a mission that has a scope this big (i.e. these huge mythological beast showing up all over the world), in the DCU it is hard to believe the JLA, JSA and other groups are just sitting home saying, “Geez, I hope Checkmate can handle this.” Manuel Garcia is delivering some excellent art to this book. I have to give Bruce Jones props for producing one of his better stories in a long time. I’m curious to see how Adam’s (Chimera) girl friend manages to re-connect with the human inside what he has become.
Conan The Cimmerian #1 – Writer Tim Truman, Artist Tomas Giorello & Richard Corben, Colors Jose Villarrubia. I enjoyed this issue and I was disappointed all at the same time. First off the covers were by Joe Kubert and Frank Cho, both excellent artists, just not for Conan. I got the Kubert cover, in which Conan looks more like a heavy set Tor. Next, the story is more about Conan’s grandfather then it is about Conan and that artwork is by Richard Corben. I was expecting this series to launch into the next phase of Conan’s life right from the jump, but instead this is more of an interlude as Conan is visiting his roots after being a thief and an assassin. Having said all of that the opening segment as Conan ends up being mended by an outsider in Cimmerian territory who tells the tale of his grandfather was well done. The story of Connacht is also well done and certainly has great art by the one and only Richard Corben. Bottom line it was a very good issue of Conan, just not what I expected.
Helen Killer #3 (of 4) – Writer Andrew Kreisberg, Art Matthew Rice. This issue we see that the Omincle that Helen is wearing is really taking a toll on her. While it gives her many gifts, it is also driving her quite insane. Both she and agent Blaylock have been discredited as they failed to save the President. Helen knows (due to the Omnicle) that the greater evil is still out there and it is Elisha Grey. We find out that Grey was a contemporary of Alexander Bell and lost a fight against him for the patent of the telephone, which is an actual fact per writer Andrew Kreisberg. Helen is told to just stop using the Omnicle by her doctors and teacher, but she manages to get it back and leaves the hospital, hell bent to track down the bad guy. She recruits Blaylock into her scheme and plays a hooker to get a suspect alone. Unfortunately Elisha Grey’s men find her and Blaylock first and they end up being captives of Mr. Grey. Matthew Rice’s art continues to deliver great action, emotion and dynamic layouts and tons of details keeping this historical fiction event in the proper time and place. I’m enjoying this series and hope that we get one more mini-series of Helen Killer.
Tales of Penance Trial Of the Century #1 (of 4) – Story Sean Wise & Paul Gilligan, Script Ryan Foley, Art Goof, Colors Eve. This was a pleasant surprise. You can see my detailed review here. To repeat myself a little bit the writing in this book was the best part of the book. The art work was very inconsistent and actually had 2 distinct styles for the first three pages and the rest of the book. The artist has promise, but the anatomy gaffes at times were bad. Still the actual story telling ability was there. The premise of holding a super powered vigilante responsible for their “crime” was interesting. It was also well done to see how heroes had been incorporated into the “real” world differently then other universes. All in all I want to read the rest of the series and that is a good thing.
Simon Dark #10 – Writer Steve Niles, Art Scott Hampton, Colors Daniel Vozzo. The weird factor on this book jumps another few notches upward. Simon and his friend Tom are fighting the people summoning demons and at the same time Rachael who has been infected is now being used by Vincent as wedge against Simon. The weird factor becomes really high when at the end Simon and Tom are fighting some sort of alien/demonic type creatures that are straight out of a fifties monster book. The last page has Simon fighting a yellow monster and he is superimposed over a Roman gladiator scene at the coliseum. I still love this series, but I’m starting to have no clue what the heck is going on.
Trinity #7 – Main Story Writer Kurt Busiek, Pencils Mark Bagley, Inks Art Thibert, Colors Pete Pantazis. Back-Up Writers Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza, Artists Thomas Dernick & Wayne Faucher, Colors Allan Passalaqua. This book reads so much like a JLA adventure, that I’m wishing Busiek and Bagley had that as a monthly book from DC. This issue we did get a little more build-up as to the sense of urgency and danger that is associated with events. Still while Batman is geared up and seems to have a clue as to what the big picture is, I’m still in the dark. My favorite part of this story is the way Busiek has been deftly fitting the back story into the main story. This issue Hawkman and Gangbuster show up and talk about Tarot. That sets off all the alarm bells and the apparently random events are starting to have a theme. We also see the evil Trinity final meet up as Morgana and Enigma show up to recruit Despero. The back-up has Firestorm asking John Stewart about Krona and after Firestorm learns about Krona we find out the prison for Krona is no longer intact. The series itself is getting more interesting and starting to feel like it is more of an event, but it feels like a JLA adventure. A big plus for this book is Mark Bagley. He is so consistent and can draw any character. I have a tendency to take his work for granite because he is so good all the time. His work is a huge plus for this series.
ZMD Zombies of Mass Destruction #1 (OF 6) – Writer Kevin Grevioux, Pencils Geraldo Borges, Inks Jimmy Reyes, David Rivera & Tony Kordos, Colors Andrew Dalhouse. It ended up being a great beginning to a new mini-series. The art work was solid, but I’m almost positive that the one panel shot of the Zombie coming out of a missile was a swipe; I just can’t remember where it was swiped from. I believe it is okay to do homage, just credit the original artist. The premise is the army is using Zombies to go in and take out the bad guys as the war in Iraq continues on. They dropped the Zombies in and they attack and infest the bad guys. The sun comes up and they evaporate like Vampires. One little itty bitty problem, the patient zero Zombie doesn’t go up in smoke and shambles away. The army now has a big problem to deal with. The negative part to the story was the opening segment which ran for a few pages. We had pictures of the ZMD’s being dropped in and the fire fight between them and the bad guys with no dialogue (what would a Zombie say?). The narrative was a talking heads newscast talking about America war efforts. It was distracting when the words and pictures do not coincide. It may work better in a movie, but it did not work here. Shamble on down to your local store and pick up ZMD for a good opening to another winner from Red 5.
Ghost Rider #25 – Writer Jason Aaron, Art Tan Eng Huat, Colors Jose Villarrubia. I was disappointed in this issue. Jason Aaron has sold me on this book, but this issue was a little on the “so what” side of the coin. Johnny finds and confronts this priest who can tell him nothing about Zadkiel. A big guy named Deacon is given weapons and an elixir to make him hard to kill by an agent of Zadkiel and the Deacon and Ghost Rider go a few rounds. The Deacon by the way decapitates the priest. All in all the story line never really advanced. The art work by Tan Huat is awkward at best and certainly does not capture Ghost Rider as well as the prior artist.
Batgirl #1 (of 6) – Writer Adam Beechen, Pencils Jim Califore, Inks Mark Mckenna & Jonathan Glapion, Colors Nathan Erying. This was a decent start to this mini-series as it firmly gave us where Cassie Cain is in her life at the moment. I thought it was funny that two almost pure prose pages were needed to explain all the confused crap that had been going on with her. From my perspective it was okay, but I would worry it could be too convoluted for a new fan, but I know a new fan who read it and still enjoyed the book. Cassie has been welcomed back into the Bat family regardless of her past sins as they were the result of Slade Wilson (Deathstroke) and David Cain giving her mind control drugs. She still has revenge on her mind and is conducting a solo investigation to track them down. Jim Califore does a great job with the art. Glad to see he stayed in the Bat family as he as a clean solid style with great layouts and strong story telling abilities.
Iron Man Director of Shield #31 – Writer Stuart Moore, Pencils Carlo Pagulayan & Steve Kurth, Inks Jeffrey Huet & Andrew Hennessy, Colors Joel Seguin. It is a strange point to start with but Steve Kurth was listed as a second artist. I could spot his pages almost immediately due to the head tilt of his characters. It drives me whacky looking at everyone tilting their heads like they are holding an invisible phone to their shoulder. Last issue Paladin shut down Tony’s armor, but since the extremis armor is still on him; Tony talks his armor back into turning on. It was more techno babble then that, but essentially that is what happens. Iron Man takes out Paladin and then flies up to help out with the Overmind thing that has been created by a disgruntled SHEILD employee. The Overmind has set all the SHEILD helicarrier weapons to explode in three minutes and as Iron Man is fighting the Overmind the story ends for this issue. Iron Man is not working for me at this point and I have never been a huge fan of the character. Now that we have two books to choose from I’m not sure I care about Tony Stark Director of Shield. Plus Iron Man is still everywhere anymore and I no longer know what is the book to follow for his main continuity. For this arc I think I was enjoying the main story line and the Overmind plus the terrorist story was overly ambitious. I get that Tony has lost three guys in a version of his armor and the point maybe the writer is making is only Tony makes the armor work, but that is a thin idea to pull these two divergent threats together.
Casey Blue Beyond Tomorrow #3 (of 6) – Writer B. Clay Moore, Pencils Carlo Barberi, Inks Jacob Eguren, Colors Carrie Strachan. This was a middle chapter. I have a tendency to intellectually understand the necessity for issues that slow things down and set-up the next act, but they also tend to emotional not resonate with me. This issue Casey finds out the FBI agent she attacked did live. The woman who stopped her attack shows up and tells Casey to meet her at her apartment that evening. Much of the book is Casey just being weirded out that she is so accepting of what has happened to her. She shows up at the woman’s doorstep and is shown into a circular spaceship type room. The woman says “Welcome to your new playground, Casey Blue. Your future starts now.”
Mighty Avengers #16 – Writer Brian Bendis, Pencils Khoi Pham, Inks Randy Miki, Colors Dean White. This issue was a disappointment. I have been enjoying the background stories running in the two Avengers titles and thought they have been the best part of the Secret Invasion event. This issue focused on Electra and when they replaced her. Since I have no real handle on Electra’s convoluted continuity, where this fits in was not overly important, but it was mainly a huge fight scene. Electra beats up a few Super Skrull types. Why she is able to beat this type of power level is absurd to me, but what I thought killed the book is the art work. Not the actual ability to draw, but the actual ability to make the fight scenes exciting. It appears that the artist has no clue how to draw any martial art moves. Their was an especially odd page where a skrull who showed up looking like Electra dressed in black develops a Ghost Rider head. The seven panel fight scene on that one page was totally incoherent. Then after a group of skrulls finally kill her, one just morphs into her. What happened to the whole big ceremony to be able to absorb someone’s identity and be undetectable? I mean come on people no logic from book to book and it’s by the same writer.
Batman and the Outsiders #9 – Writer Chuck Dixon, Pencils Julian Lopez, Inks Bit, Colors Marta Martinez. Okay I was jazzed that Looker was coming back, but when did she become a vampire? You know you miss an issue or two of these B/C list characters and you miss out on continuity shaking events for them. I love Chuck Dixon as a writer, but this series is just meandering around and is going absolutely nowhere. I have no clue at this point what is the point of this entire adventure and what if any outcome we can expect. Of special note was the pointless capture of Metamorpho by some party and then his subsequent escape. Plus we see Katana and Batgirl fly to Paris to met Metamorpho give him some clothes and fly home. Why we wasted any pages on that is beyond me. I’m hanging on this series until the RIP cross-over is done, but if the book has no direction by then I’m off this puppy. On the plus side is the art by Julian Lopez and Bit. The layouts are rather vanilla, but the actual art is strong.
Screamland #5 (of 5) – Story Harold Sipe, Art Hector Cassanova. I was disappointed in how the series ended as it feels like it ended with a whimper instead of a bang. The basic story line is the director of Monster Hunter movie is a jerk and after being humiliated and berated during the filming the three monsters kill the director. I guess it had its moments, but it seemed a little brutal after the book had done so much to make Frankenstein, Dracula, Werewolf and the Mummy into real people. The artwork was still well done and overall I certainly enjoyed the series, the ending just left me flat. Since each individual issue stands alone as a story about each monster, the flat ending should not keep you away from the trade as the ending was not critical to how good the overall series was.
Joker’s Asylum Poison Ivy – Writer JT Krul, Art Guillem March. This was an okay issue. Since this is a series of one shot stories devoted to Batman villains comparing them to each other seems fair and this is the weakest effort of the three. It was an okay story about Poison Ivy killing the three men who were behind a development company. When she was first transformed into Ivy she did not understand her powers, but she could hear plants. The development company killing all those plants caused her a lot of pain, so years later she returned the favor. Where the Joker issue made a point about society and Penguin issued gave a sharp definition of the character, this story was a throw away. The art wasn’t too bad and certainly was stronger than the story, but it was not jaw dropping I must own it either.
X-Factor #33 – Cancelled. Writer Peter David, Pencils Larry Stroman, Inks Jon Sibal, Colors Jeromy Cox. This book has hit rock bottom and I can no longer hang onto this series. It’s a shame because at one time this book was the best x-book and one of Marvel’s top series. We no longer have Layla, we have moved the group to Detroit (see Detroit JLA) and added in Darwin and Longshot as cast members. X-Factor is a pawn on O*N*E and we are trying to force a fan of this book to buy She-Hulk. Add into that it is a Secret Invasion tie-in and for the pièce de résistance we get Larry Stroman as the artist. Larry is extremely stylized and his style is too jarring of a change and not what I’m looking for in this book. Call me when it this book gets better. This series is a prime example of editorial mandates screwing up a good series.
That is a wrap for another week. We have plenty of Preview Reviews coming up soon and I have five different interviews going on in various stages. The first one up with be this week with the artist from Trials of Penance, he is a very interesting guy.


  1. Rogue's Revenge!!! After so may hit and (mostly) miss issues of the Flash over the last year or so, I'm quite pleased to see this come along. Just a lot of neat little ideas. The current arc in Flash isn't too shabby, but I find I'm in "wait and see" mode knowing that big changes are possibly coming. I actually enjoyed the last few issues of the Bart Allen run, I was getting pulled in, but then they go and kill the poor little lad. I'm not a huge fan of Flash as "The Incredibles", but I'll hang on to see where things go.

  2. We are going to get more than just a one paragraph review of the Dark Knight from you, right?!

  3. Matthew - Wrong - Enough has been said about it by others. Still Rusty and I have opposing viewpoints and it should make for good CCC (Cosmic Comics Conversation).

  4. Not by me. :( Sniff, Sniff. My wife hasn't seen it yet and I still want to talk to people about it (especially details).

    I saw Rusty's Remarks and tried to come up with a comprehensive response, but ended up cutting it back, focusing more on what didn't quite work for me in the film. But I really wanted to highlight how all the plot threads weaved together so well.

    I'll look forward to that broadcast.