Saturday, February 28, 2009


With the permission of Chris Folino we are going to present the entire first issue of Sparks one page at a time.

Everyday at 6PM (US Eastern Standard Time) a new page will be posted. The Tag will be Sparks #1 so you can easily collected them all down the road.

Now go and buy the motion comics application

A Fistful of Reviews: Belated

Nightwing #153 (DC)

The only way I'll be okay with this book being canceled is if Nightwing becomes the new Batman. Tim's the only other person who makes sense in the role and he still hasn't finished high school - it seems too soon for him. Either way, this was an excellent issue. It pains me to see this book ending so soon after it had gotten really good. It also seems a shame to see Dick having to quit his new job and life so soon after getting established.

Black Canary/Green Arrow #17 (DC)

I can't say I liked this issue. The whole creepy stalker thing was alright for a villain segue but I think I'm getting tired of this origins and omens thing. I mean, I've finally come to accept Dinah and Ollie as a married couple (and have even been enjoying it) and now they're acting like they'll end up badly. I guess I'm irritated and the fortune teller like hints. Also, ever time they mention Scar all I can think of is the Lion King. Be prepared....

Action Comics #874 (DC)

Mon'el! Yay!

R.E.B.E.L.S. #1 (DC)

I'll admit it, I liked this book because of the Brainiac family. In fact I really really liked this book because of the guest appearance of Brainiac 5. I also like the fact that he used Supergirl's brain to store data. That was brilliant (and hilarious)! Beyond all the geek (me) appeal this was a neat way to start the story. The idea of Vril Dox against his own force is intriguing.

Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #3 (Dark Horse)

This story really hooked me this issue. It was interesting before but now they've brought in the idea of Hellboy's mother and I'm fascinated. I can't wait for the next issue. I also like the supporting cast in this issue. I feel like the story really begins for this miniseries during this issue.

Fables #81 (Vertigo)

I guess I should have seen this coming but I didn't. I honestly did not expect Blue to die. It's really really depressing. I really teared up by the end of this issue. I am curious to see if Rose can pull through and be a better person at this point.

Batman and the Outsides Special (DC)

This was an awesome idea! Alfred finally gets the limelight (well sort of) in a book. Sure, he's the background boss guy, but still. I am interested in the Outsiders again and am looking forward to seeing how this show will run with Alfred in charge.

B.P.R.D.: The Black Goddess #2 (Dark Horse Comics)

Well, Liz has been found but she's obviously not herself. I'm a bit worried about what's going to happen to Liz at this point as it's not looking too good for her coming back to the B.P.R.D.

On a side note, Neozoic, a favorite comic of mine, ended a few weeks back. It was a decent ending to the story arch (although it seemed a little quick in some ways) and I really hope we'll see more of this world from Red 5 in the future.

Friday, February 27, 2009


With the permission of Chris Folino we are going to present the entire first issue of Sparks one page at a time.

Everyday at 6PM (US Eastern Standard Time) a new page will be posted. The Tag will be Sparks #1 so you can easily collected them all down the road.

Now go and buy the motion comics application

Alien Legion #1 and a Carl Potts Interview

Alien Legion #1
Publisher Marvel/Epic Comics
Creator - Carl Potts
Writer - Alan Zelenetz
Pencils - Frank Cirocco
Inks - Terry Austin
Colors - Bob Sharen
Editor - Archie Goodwin

I’m stepping into Thomm’s realm again by reviewing older material, of course this is a quick spotlight type review as opposed to Thomm’s excellent in-depth analysis, which has made Sunday’s a nice day to look forward to. I have come to think of Thomm’s Sunday columns of what the Sunday newspaper used to be when I would sit back and take time to read something that required a longer attention span that your average twitter user.

This is the first issue and first volume of Alien Legion. It was the French Foreign legion meets Star Wars. You have a vast and spawning Galactic Empire and an army that was full of cast offs from tons of different races to serve as the cannon fodder in any endeavor that the Empire was involved in.

In the first issue we learn that the Empire is at war with an insectoid type race called the Harkilons. The first issue focused on a mission to try and stop a group from destroying the natural resources of a small planet and in stopping them not contaminate a young race that is beginning on the planet. In one oversized (48 page first issue) we are given a complete adventure, introduced to most of the main players that we will follow in the Legion and establish the setting of the series. The amount of back story and detail that went into building this series was obvious and the creator and writer did a hell of a job in delivering it all in one issue. I have to think that the fine hand of Archie Goodwin was a big help as Archie was truly one of the great editors in comics.

The artwork was stunning also. Frank was given the task of drawing all of these different characters and almost every member of the Legion was from a different race. Frank has a nice clean line and had a strong sense of realism to his work. Of course Terry Austin was one of the best inkers in the business and was a big plus. I think he could have inked stick figure drawing and made it work.

I picked up this first volume for a few dollars (maybe $10 including shipping) and then won the second series two on E-Bay and with shipping it was $9. I love reading stuff that I long ago sold or gave away if I can find it for a reasonable price. I then re-read it and mail it onto to someone (probably Gwen).

Anyway I thought this was such a great concept and had potential to be a huge video game or even an online RPG type game, a movie or even as a cartoon. This series has tons of potential and that made me curious to look up Carl Potts and he consented to do a short interview for me.

Jim: It has been a lot of years since you have been in comic books, but many creators have come back to the form over the years. Can you share some of what you do now?
Carl: Since leaving comics, I’ve been a creative director in interactive gaming, marketing and education. I’ve also written a handful of screenplays and a blog.

Jim: Do you have desire to get back into comics? If yes, in what capacity?
Carl: I love the comics medium and visual storytelling in general. I’d be interested in a creative executive or editorial position if the right opportunity appeared.

Jim: From a quick review of Alien Legion it appears that you were the creator and producer of the series. Any reason you did not write or draw any of it yourself?
Carl: The short answer: When Alien Legion was launched, I was a full-time editor at Marvel and had a number of freelance commitments on top of that. I had no time to do much work on the title directly. Waiting until I did would have meant not launching it until years later.

Jim: Is Alien Legion still an active project for you in any form?
Carl: My Alien Legion screenplay was optioned by a studio some time ago. Not sure if/when it’ll end up in front of the cameras. Keep you fingers crossed!

Jim: As Epic was a creator owned deal, I assume you still own the rights to these characters. If that is correct have you any plans to ever publish the book or release it as webcomic? If not who currently owns the rights?
Carl: I do control the comics publishing rights. If I can negotiate the right deal, I’d like to arrange to collect the original material and produce a new series.

Again just a short interview, but I for one would love to see the first volume in a hard cover collection and hope that one day we see Carl’s work in comics again.

Carl also shared with me where about the collected editions: There have been 5 Alien Legion collections over the years, 3 from Checker and 2 from Titan:
Force Nomad
On the Edge
Tenants of Hell

Finally check out a great fan website that chronicles the Alien Legion.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


With the permission of Chris Folino we are going to present the entire first issue of Sparks one page at a time.Everyday at 6PM (US Eastern Standard Time) a new page will be posted. The Tag will be Sparks #1 so you can easily collected them all down the road.

Marvel Preview Review for April

Lee: I wonder why I torture myself with these picks month in and month out. Since I’m almost completely off the monthly floppie wagon, there is very little to look forward to.
Jim: Oh I don’t know Marvel has had some good new series start up, but I’m tired of the amount of books they put out.

CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1 70TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL Written by JAMES ROBINSON Penciled by MARCOS MARTINCover and Variant Cover by MARCOS MARTINSketch Variant Cover by MARCOS MARTINLeading off a series of celebratory specials commemorating Marvel's 70th Anniversary, James (STARMAN, SUPERMAN) Robinson and Marcos (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) Martin bring you an untold story of the living legend. In the days before he becomes Captain America, a scrawny kid from Brooklyn named Steve Rogers shows the world that you don't need a super-soldier serum to be a hero. Plus a classic Captain America tale from the Golden Age by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.48 PGS./One-Shot/All-New & Reprints/Rated A...$3.99
SUB-MARINER COMICS #1 70TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL Written by ROY THOMASPencils and Cover by MITCH BREITWEISERVariant Cover by MARCOS MARTINSketch Variant Cover by MITCH BREITWEISER The second of a series of celebratory specials commemorating Marvel's 70th Anniversary and its rich history and characters! It's the year 1940, and thanks to policewoman Betty Dean, the young Namor the Sub-Mariner has momentarily halted his jihad against the surface world. But now, an envoy from the Axis powers attempts to sway the undersea prince to the Nazi cause! Can the less worldly Sub-Mariner be tempted? Plus, a second never-before-seen Namor story by Mark Schultz and Al Williamson, and a reprint of Namor's first appearance from 1939!
48 PGS./One-Shot/All-New & Reprints/Rated A ...$3.99

Lee: The Captain America leaves me cold but Subby by Schultz and Williamson is exciting. Other than that, these are awfully for ½ a reprint book.
Jim: The Subby story by Schultz sounds cool, but I’m not sure I want to pay $4 for one probably eight page story.

SPIDER-WOMAN #1 Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDISPencils & 50/50 Cover by ALEX MALEEV50/50 Cover by ALEX ROSSThe team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev return to a monthly Marvel comic for the first time since their Eisner award-winning run on Daredevil. ripped from the pages of SECRET INVASION and NEW AVENGERS, this explosive first chapter follows the new adventures of Jessica Drew aka Spider-Woman as she rediscovers her life in a world she did not make. 32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Lee: I want to say something like “This should read BECAUSE NO ONE DEMANDED IT”. But I won’t. And the only reason I won’t is because Bendis is so darn good with strong female leads and non-group books. Ultimate Spiderman = Great. Avengers = Junk. Alias = Great. This should be really, really good and against my better judgment I’m excited about it.
Jim: She does look like she could excite a boy. It actually should be good as this is the type of series that plays to Bendis’s strength. I’m with you in spite of myself this is a book to look forward to.

HULK #11
Wolverine Art Appreciation Variants

Lee: I love movie tie in months! Ugh. Come on people, a “Wolverine Art Appreciation Variant” cover. Do we need this? No we don’t. And someone please please please explain why Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight have Wolverine covers.
Jim: This has to be one of the worse gimmicks I have ever seen. Does Marvel really believe fans of the Wolverine movie are going to be suckered into buying any comic that has a Wolverine cover or is this just to soak the crap out of the Marvel Zombies.

FANTASTIC FORCE #1 Written by JOE AHEARNE Pencils by STEVE KURTH Cover by BRYAN HITCHFROM THE PAGES OF FANTASTIC FOUR: The Hooded Man! Lightwave! Banner! Natalie X! Psionics! Alex Ultron! They're the last six superhumans from a devastated future! They've rescued the remnants of a devastated humanity by relocating them to an artificial planet in the present day! Now they face their greatest challenge-to create a better utopian society! But there are vast forces from across the Marvel Universe who will move against them-plus a threat from their own era they thought they'd left behind! Plus, 8 pages of Director's Cut Extras! 40 PGS./Rated T+...$3.99

Lee: I didn’t say it before but I can say it now… this needs to read BECAUSE NO ONE DEMANDED IT. Who is Joe Ahearne? Who is Steve Kurth? I’m expected to pay $4 for this? I don’t think so.
Jim: Steve Kurth is the artist who draws everyone with there necks bent at odd angles, like they have a phone cradled in their shoulder, but there is no phone. This is a book that you have to wonder who approved it to go forward, looks like a loser right out of the gate.

HULK #11 Written by JEPH LOEB Pencils by ED MCGUINNESSTHE DEFENDERS/OFFENDERS WAR! The good news? Hulk's got help on his side in the form of Namor, Doctor Strange, and the Silver Surfer! The bad news? Rulk's got pals of his own. When the original Defenders face off one-on-one with Rulk, Tiger Shark, Baron Mordo, and Terrax, it's anybody's bet who will win... but who exactly is betting on these fights? A smash-, splash-, and cosmic-flash-fest that could ONLY have come from the minds of award-winning superstar writer Jeph Loeb and everybody's favorite Hulk artist Ed McGuinness! 32 PGS./Rated A ...$3.99

Lee: The Offenders! That’s great. This looks to be a huge pointless slugfest between some of the biggest most powerful heroes/villains in the Marvel U. I CAN’T WAIT!
Jim: This looks to be more pointless drivel from Jeph Loeb and I will NEVER BUY THIS CRAP. This is total and utter crap and it is $4 for a regular comic – what a deal!
Lee: All comics are $4 these days so that argument’s not valid. But, besides that, you’re expecting way to much from this book. This is Silverage Marvel goodness in 2009, and I for one, am enjoying the heck out of it. It’s better than Secret Invasion and Final Crisis!
Jim: All books are not $4 these days, the vast majority of DC and Marvel regular series are still $2.99 so the point is very valid. Jeph Loeb is not a quality writer anymore and for me I miss what Greg Pak was doing with the Hulk.

MARVEL ASSISTANT-SIZED SPECTACULAR #1 & 2 (OF 2)Written by CHRIS ELIOPOULOS, JASON AARON, CHRIS YOST, CHRIS GIARRUSSO, ADAM WARREN, WYATT CENAC & BRIAN PATCHETT Art by JACOB CHABOT, RICHARD ISANOVE, JOH JAMES, CHRIS GIARRUSSO, TODD NAUCK & XURXO PENALTACover by DAVID WILLIAMSRejects, benchwarmers, lovable losers, and might-be Avengers...assemble! In the beloved tradition of Assistant Editors' Month, we the staffers are sick and tired of our bosses telling nothing but Wolverine stories, Spider-Man stories, Captain America stories...and we're taking matters into our own oddball hands! Little guys can be heroes, too...and when this motley crew of misfits gets their shot - in stories featuring Elsa Bloodstone, American Eagle, D-Man, the daughter of Galactus, Mini Marvel cake-eating Hawkeye, Candidate Luke Cage, and more - it could be the start of something big! Don't miss this two-issue anthology of also-rans who might - just MIGHT - ascend to the A-list! (Fingers crossed. Really we're just hoping this doesn't get us fired.)40 PGS. (each)/Rated A ...$3.99(each)

Lee: I remember when marvel did the Assistant Editors gimmick years ago. It was pretty fun then and I’m sure this will be fun too. It doesn’t look nearly as serious as everything else these days, and it has a good list of writers/artists so I’ll probably check it out.
Jim: I have to admit this type of project appeals to me, but I will flip through it at the store before committing to it.

EXILES #1 Written by JEFF PARKER Penciled by SALVADOR ESPINCover by DAVE BULLOCKWolverine Art Appreciation Variant by TBAHeroes are being pulled out of the worlds they know- The Beast. The Witch. Panther. Forge. Polaris. All find themselves in a place out of time with a new mission in life. But something seems to have shifted in the mechanics of the universe, things may not be quite what we remember... But one thing we know for certain- BLINK is BACK!Plus 8 pages of Director's Cut Extras! 40 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99

Lee: Here’s the problem: (1) I like Jeff Parker (2) The Exiles is a warn out concept that needs to go away for awhile. I’m not sure my like of Parker’s writing can overcome my lack of interest in the concept.
Jim: I like Jeff Parker, I have no clue who the artist is and have never followed or cared about the Exiles. An easy pass for me.

TIMESTORM: 2009-2099 #1 (of 4)
Written by BRIAN REEDPenciled by ERIC BATTLE Cover by CHRISTOPHER SHY 2009...meets 2099? Future history has been shattered by events in the present! If you think you know the heroes and villains from Marvel's dark future, writer Brian Reed (SECRET INVASION: CAPTAIN MARVEL) and artist Eric Battle (Batman) say it's time to think again! Get ready for the re-imagined 2099 versions of Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, the X-Men and more! Plus 8 pages of Director's Cut Extras!40 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Lee: Whereas I am tired of Exiles this looks like it might be a lot of fun. Granted 2099 is a leftover from the semi-fondly remembered 90’s but it wasn’t all bad. I might take a chance on this.
Jim: I agree this has potential, but I’ll wait to here what others say and if any good, get the trade.

RAMPAGING WOLVERINE #1 Written by JOSH FIALKOV, CHRISTOPHER YOST, ROBIN FURTH & TED MCKEEVER Penciled by PACO DIAZ LUQUE, NELSON & TED MCKEEVER Cover by NELSONThe Marvel Magazine that never was-three ALL-NEW, ALL-ACTION Wolverine tales, all in fantastic BLACK AND WHITE! Josh Fialkov (ELK'S RUN) and the fantastic gray wash art of Paco Diaz Luque pit Wolverine against South Pacific pirates...and worse. Plus, X-FORCE writer Christopher Yost introduce a sniper with a secret-and a canuckle-head to kill! Finally, comics legend Ted McKeever (METROPOL, EDDIE CURRENT) tells a third island adventure. Plus even more! It's non-stop Logan-too hot for color to handle-and NO ADS!48 PGS./Black & White/All-New/Parental Advisory ...$3.99

Lee: Again with the movie tie in’s. Well, it’s not so much a tie in, as a flooding of the market with all things Wolverine. Usually, all the extra material is a complete waste of paper. But, this looks like it might be a rare gem. Fialkov’s writing is very strong so that interests me and I love McKeever. I’ll probably kick myself after I read this but I think I’ll get it.
Jim: PASS, PASS, PASS. Some of the talent looks good, but I’m already getting Wolverine overload and we are not even near the movie date.

THE DESTROYER #1 (of 5) Written by ROBERT KIRKMANPenciled by CORY WALKERCover by JASON PEARSON"DESTROYER," PART 1For sixty years, Keen Marlowe has been a super hero, taking down bad guys, fighting the good fight. But it's is about to come crashing to an end. See, Marlowe is dying -- maybe today, maybe tomorrow, the only question is when. But Marlowe isn't about to go quietly into the night. Before he goes, he intends to leave the world a safer place for his family. And if that means hunting down -- and murdering -- every super-villain he can, so be it. They don't call him "Destroyer" for nothing.32 PGS./Explicit Content ...$3.99

Lee: Like Bendis with female leads, Kirkman with solo hero titles really soars. Because this doesn’t have the big block of Marvel continuity that always killed Kirkman’s Marvel work, this could be really good.
Jim: This should really blow chunks. Nothing that Kirkman wrote at Marvel was half as good as his creator owner material and this project if it had been good would have been completed way before now. Marvel is just trading on Kirkman’s reputation.
Lee: But, this is as close to a creator owned project as Kirkman can get at Marvel. He has his own little sandbox to play in and I bet little, if any, editorial control. AND, he even brought Cory Walker from Invincible along too. It’s the same as Bendis doing Spiderwoman.
Jim: This is actually an old piece of work Kirkman did that Marvel is just now publishing.

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: GOLDEN AGE YOUNG ALLIES VOL. 1 HC Written by STAN LEE, OTTO BINDER & VARIOUSPenciled by AL GABRIELE, JACK KIRBY, CHARLES NICHOLASWOTJKOSWKI, JACK ALDERMAN & VARIOUSCover by JACK KIRBYThe Young Allies, comics' very first boy-adventure team, leap into four-color action once more with their debut MARVEL MASTERWORKS volume! Super-hero sidekicks unite when Captain America's pal, Bucky and his Sentinels of Liberty team up with the Human Torch's protege, Toro, and take on the Axis! And they won't waste a second getting down to business. Right from issue #1 they take the fight straight to Berlin and, rest assured, the Red Skull, and even Hitler himself, won't be walking out of this one without a bloody nose. Next up, the Black Talon returns from the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS to terrorize the Young Allies, or maybe that should be the other way around? There are 5th Columnists, Nazis, Imperial generals, spies, and action galore in each of these Timely classics. The Golden Age of Comics packed in cover-to-cover adventure, but there are few that can compare to the massive, 60-pages plus, issue-length adventures of the Young Allies! Collecting YOUNG ALLIES #1-4288 PGS/All Ages ...$59.99

Lee: I was never on the edge because I get all the Masterworks anyway, but when Jim told me about the lack of PC in the pages then I knew I had to get this. It’s amazing how much has changed in the last 50 years because there are some pretty extreme stereotypes in this book. It worth getting just for that historical perspective alone. But, go here and here for some examples, and there’s a scene where the Red Skull disguises himself as a farmer here. I love the Goldan Age!
Jim: Well thank goodness Lee gave me credit because he was going to pass on this book and as racist as some of the material is, I think it is important to understand what views were like before. Also these were rare full length adventures.

MARVEL ZOMBIES 3 HC Written by FRED VAN LENTEPenciled by KEV WALKERCover by ARTHUR SUYDAMBoard up Avengers Tower! Lock down the Baxter Building! The ravenous hordes of Marvel Zombies are invading ... the Marvel Universe! That's right, the next chapter of the MZ saga is a non-stop in-continuity gorefest with major implications for at least one Marvel hero! When the super-undead stumble into the MU from the Man-Thing's Nexus of All Realities, all of Florida is quarantined against the zombie plague. Time is quickly running out for a cure, so the Initiative sends a most unlikely group of heroes into the Zombieverse on a desperate mission to find the one item they need before the whole MU is consumed! The scream team of Fred Van Lente (INCREDIBLE HERCULES) and Kev Walker (ANNIHILATION: NOVA) unite for a Marvel Zombies story like you've never seen before! Collecting MARVEL ZOMBIES 3 #1-4.112 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$19.99

Lee: I skipped the other Marvel Zombie books but I’ve heard this one was good. Plus I love Machine Man so I’m in.
Jim: I may jump on this also as I have heard nothing but positive reviews on this book.

SPIDER-MAN: TORMENT PREMIERE HC Written by TODD MCFARLANEPenciled by TODD MCFARLANECover by TODD MCFARLANEBlood washes the streets of the Big Apple. Torment plunges Spider-Man into the darkness within us all as he hunts the Lizard through the streets and sewers of New York City, trying to put an end to the bloodthirsty, homicidal rampage left in his wake. But what is driving the Lizard? Is it an answer that Spider-Man is prepared to face? Or will it be so shocking that it will make even the most courageous hero question his sanity? Torment is a terrifying, action-packed epic that made -- and continues to make -- comic history! Collecting SPIDER-MAN #1-5 and MARVEL AGE #0.136 PGS./Rated T+ ... $19.99

Lee: Every month there is at least one book that makes me scratch my head and wonder why it’s published. This month it’s this book. I’m all for reprinting McFarlane’s Spiderman. I like his run on Spiderman. Wait, I like his run on Spiderman when he had a great writer like David Micheline. McFarlane on his own was fairly bad and this is not the best choice of material to reprint.
Jim: Anytime a creator is getting press (like McFarlane is with Haunt), I believe publishers try to line up their material to be reprinted. It is almost free advertising for the company and the creator doesn't care as he gets the royalities.
Lee: Sorry, but I don't think you're right because that would mean McFarlane talked to Marvel about what he was doing ahead of time. I think there is a large contingent that just likes McFaralane Spidey and will purchase no matter how bad it is.
Jim: I think insiders know more about when this stuff is coming out then we do and McFarlane and Kirkman have been hawking the fact that the project was coming in 09. Marvel Boy by Morrsion and Jones came out while Final Crisis was coming out.

DEADPOOL CLASSIC VOL. 2 TPB Written by JOE KELLYPenciled by ED MCGUINNESS, KEVIN LAU, PETE WOODS, SHANNON DENTON, JOHN FANG, AARON LOPRESTI & BERNARD CHANG Cover by ED MCGUINNESSLandau, Luckman, and Lake want Deadpool to rebuild himself as a hero but he'll be lucky to pull himself together as he is! His healing factor's down, and the only thing that'll juice it up is a dose of the Incredible Hulk's blood administered by the Weapon X alumnus who helped make Deadpool what he is in the first place! Not even mad science can mend a torn heart, though, as Deadpool's infatuation with X-Force's Siryn (later of X-FACTOR) is challenged by Typhoid Mary who turns heads as easily as she cracks skulls! When she sets off on a grudge match against Daredevil, can Deadpool contain a killing machine even more off kilter than he is? Also featuring wily weapon-boy Weasel, hostage extraordinaire Blind Al and the Taskmaster, later of AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE! Collecting DEADPOOL #2-8 and #-1, and DAREDEVIL/DEADPOOL ANNUAL 1997. 256 PGS./Rated T+ ...$29.99
Lee: I really, really want this… in hc. The Joe Kelly run is so well loved and remembered that I want it in a better format. I might breakdown and get this but I might just as well hold out. If you’ve never read the run then you should and this is the easiest way to get it.
Jim: One day I will have to read Deadpool as you and a few others are always raving about his series being so much fun.

SPIDER-MAN 2099 VOL. 1 TPB Written by PETER DAVID Penciled by RICK LEONARDI & KELLEY JONES Cover by RICK LEONARDI Venture, the Specialist, the Vulture - the future is full of menaces, but none so vile as a corrupt government and the corporations behind it! A scary future needs a hero who's just as creepy - perhaps a wall-CRAWLER of some kind? See the world of tomorrow and the cast who inhabit it as the Spider-Man of 2099 battles evil in both high and low society in the 2099 imprint's flagship title, written by industry legend Peter David! Collecting SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1-10. 240 PGS./ Rated T+...$29.99

Lee: And this I know will never get a hc so I’ll just bite the bullet and get it now. Of all the 2099 material, this was by and far the best. But, it’s Peter David on Spiderman with no continuity… how could he not succeed. And, without doubt, this is some of Leonardi’s best work. Well worth the investment.
Jim: I don’t know, this series never quite made the grade in my view.

Lee: Even though I’m not reading all the Dark Reign material, I managed to find some things to make me optimistic. It looks like it might be a good year for Marvel after all.
Jim: I think Marvel is going to have a good year and it may have that year at the expense of DC, but we will see as DC has a great stable of writers with Johns, Robinson, Tomasi, Morrison, Dini, Rucka and many others.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


With the permission of Chris Folino we are going to present the entire first issue of Sparks one page at a time.

Everyday at 6PM (US Eastern Standard Time) a new page will be posted. The Tag will be Sparks #1 so you can easily collected them all down the road.

Indies Preview Review for April Part 3 of 3

WELCOME TO PART 3 the Final Episode of the Indy Review for April

Best of 2000 AD HC
With hundreds of comic strips, features, and articles from the utterly original and anarchic cult comic that defined a generation, this astronomical book pays homage to the greatest sci-fi magazine of them all. Following an introduction by Tharg the Mighty, 2000 AD's long-standing alien editor, all the best strips are included, including ABC Warriors, Bad Company, D.R. and Quinch, Flesh!, Halo Jones, Harlem Heroes, Invasion!, Judge Dredd, MACH1, The Mean Team, Nemesis the Warlock, Robo-Hunter, Rogue Trooper, SlĂ ine, Strontium Dog, The V.C.s, and more! $23.95

Lee: I am very interested in this but 2000AD has a lot of lot of published material. Trying to focus on a “best of” would be akin to Marvel or DC doing a “best of.” There’s just to much material to pick from. Not to mention, the best of the best (Moore’s Future Shocks, Bolland’s Dredd) have already been collected. If you don’t have anything from 2000AD then this might be worth it, but otherwise I would pass.
Jim: I agree, there are many other collections focusing on the individual strips, as a primer this maybe okay.

Pure Imagination Publishing
Four Frightened Women by (W) George Harmon Cox (A) Earl Whoton
One of comics" first graphic novels is reprinted for the first time since its original publication in 1950! Issued as a paperback, few collectors are even aware of its existence. Follow Kent Murdock, news photographer, as he comes head-to-head with dames and death! $25.00

Lee: Where does Greg Theakston find this stuff? I’m sorry, I love the GA but there is some material that even I’m not interested in. This would be one of those books. I read the last offering of this nature (Rhymes with Lust) which was another 1950’s graphic novel and that was terrible. I’m not taking a chance on this.
Jim: This type of material is interesting from a curiosity standpoint, but with so many high quality projects out there I can not see wasting $25 for a curiosity.

Judge Dredd: Complete Heavy Metal Dredd GN by (W) John Wagner, Alan Grant (A) Simon Bisley, John Hicklenton
Dredd gets turned up to 11 in this pulse pounding collection of stories featuring Mega City One's finest dishing out the justice like he means it. Thrill to the fully painted art work of Simon Bisley, artist behind the classic Slaine The Horned God. Cream your whammy bar over the twisted and bizarre visions of John Hicklenton, the man behind the terrifying art featured in several Nemesis The Warlock strips. This is Dredd at his meanest and most ass- kicking. So get your sweaty mitts on this beast of a collection and raise your goblet of rock to The Law! $19.50

Lee: Heavy Metal Magazine is known for publishing some extreme stuff. This should be a no holds barred Judge Dredd. I imagine this to be the JD version of Punisher Max with no limits on the violence. I am sooooo getting this.
Jim: Lee nails it with a perfect description of what this material should be. Judge Dredd has easily been one of my favorite characters from the Mother Country.

The VCs: Down GN by (W) Dan Abnett (A) Henry Flint, Anthony Williams
Earth's solar system, 2581 AD. Fifty years have passed since the human/Geek war and the surrender of the Geek homeworld. Once a star-trooper and a member of the elite battle unit known as The VCs, Steve Smith is now just a janitor, haunted by what he saw during combat and the memories of his fallen comrades. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the end of hostilities, Earth is preparing to celebrate Peace Day with a massive air display. But in the depths of space an old enemy stirs! $22.99

Lee: Have I mentioned how much I love these 2000AD reprints. And this looks like a great one! Yeah, yeah, yeah, Abnett is a great writer but Flint and Williams are better artists! Actually, I’m all about Williams art!!!! Just in case… he’s the dude who drew Promethea.
Jim: Wasn't that JH Williams who drew Promethea? Henry Flint is drawing Haunted Tank for Vertigo right now and he is a strong artist. Dan Abnett is one of the best writers in comics and consistently delivers exciting material so this is an easy one to order.

Red 5 Comics
Atomic Robo: Shadow from Beyond Time #1 by (W) Brian Clevinger (A) Scott Wegener
New York City, 1926. Atomic Robo's dull night of studying for a physics exam is interrupted by a duo from Nikola Tesla's past with a dire message: the imminent doom of all life in the universe! Guest starring Charles Fort, Howard Philips Lovecraft, and the Tunguska Incident. This is steampunk science fiction at its finest! #1 of 5, $3.50

Lee: Always gotta mention a Atomic Robo series! The first series was good. The second series was good. I’m always happy to see this and you should be too.
Jim: The first series was comics at its best, the second series was a not as good, but this is a book I'm looking forward too. Red 5 has been in a funk lately as they started off with 3 series and now seem to publish one book a month and that is about it.

Simon & Schuster
T-Minus: Race to the Moon GN by (W) Jim Ottaviani (A) Zander Cannon, Kevin Cannon
T-Minus, the exciting story of two world superpowers racing to land a man on the moon, is depicted through vivid, compelling graphic artwork, taking readers through the history of the race and turning the engineers and astronauts involved into personal and real characters. For anyone who has looked up into the night sky and dreamt of unexplored vistas, T-Minus will take them to a time when dreams were within reach and the lure of space seemed limitless. $12.99

Lee: What can I say, this is a book near and dear to my heart and something great to share with my children.
Jim: There was a good article in Newsarma about this book and I like the concept of doing a younger reader graphic novel that focuses on the people who made the dream a reality from an engineering and scientific standpoint.

St. Martins Press
Stonecutter HC by (W/A) Jon J. Muth, with John Kuramoto
This adaptation of a Chinese folktale begins with a man's dissatisfaction with his life. Weary of being a stonecutter, he becomes many things in his quest for authority, each time finding that greater power lies elsewhere. Rooted in Taoist principles, Stonecutter is an exquisite tale about self-acceptance. Originally published in a small, limited edition fifteen years ago, Jon J. Muth republishes the story because "Certain stories leave you with more than when they found you. They shed light on something, or unknot something for you, or offer some insight. At least they do for me. Stonecutter is one such story." This inspiring tale pushes the boundaries and possibilities of graphic literature, and is now available for a new audience. $14.99

Lee: Let’s start with art by Muth! That alone makes this book worth it. Muth is such a great artist that I have most everything he’s every done. Let’s pause for a moment to lament the lack of a Moonshadow hc!!! Back to this book, pairing Muth with a Chinese folktale is a perfect pairing. I’m looking forward to reading this.
Jim: This looks to be a great book to pick up. The phrase certain stories leave you with more then when they found you is very true. I have found many such insights in different books over the years and look forward to reading this book.

Studio 408
Smuggling Spirits HC by (W) Ben Fisher (A) Mike Henderson
Set in a nightmarish vision of the past where deadly monstrosities roam the shadows of Prohibition-Era America, Al Stone is a bootlegger who finds himself on the run when he inadvertently stumbles upon the bloody secret of the creatures" survival. As the beasts close in to take back what's theirs, Al and his young ward, Nathan, make their final stand in this blend of horror, drama, action, and suspense. $20.99

Lee: I picked this many, many moons ago when it was collected in a tpb. I read it and I enjoyed it. It’s a very good story dealing with demons and mobsters during Prohabition. My only problem with the trade was the art was obviously better than the printing process could capture. Hopefully those problems are fixed because this will make a nice hc if they are.
Jim: Which means this is a book I need to see before I decide to buy it.

Titan Publishing
Best of Battle Vol. 01 SC by (W) Pat Mills, John Wagner (A) Joe Colquhoun, Carlos Ezquerra.
From the same editorial minds that revolutionized British comics with 2000 AD, Battle is the greatest British war comic ever published! First published in 1975, Battle was developed by "young gun" writer/editors Pat Mills and John Wagner and became home to the finest British war stories ever told. Over 250 pages of relentless action are collected here, from the desperate dogfights of Johnny Red to the down-and-dirty Rat Pack, the reflective, critically acclaimed Charley's War and the offbeat Major Eazy! $14.95

Lee: I think that I’ve picked this before but it says that past orders have been canceled so I’ll mention it again. Where as the best of 2000AD is impossible, a best of Battle should be really easy. Especially since I’ve never read anything from Battle except Charley’s War.
Jim: Which means you have no clue as to the quality of the material. I wish the comic shops could afford to carry stuff like this so I can check it out before buying it.

Top Shelf Productions
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III Century -1910 #1 by (W) Alan Moore (A) Kevin O"Neill
Alan Moore's familiar cast of Victorian literary characters enters the brave new world of the 20th century, set against a backdrop of London, 1910, twelve years after the failed Martian invasion. In the bowels of the British Museum, Carnacki the ghost-finder is plagued by visions of a shadowy occult order who are attempting to create something called a Moonchild, while on London's dockside the most notorious serial murderer of the previous century has returned to carry on his grisly trade. Working for Mycroft Holmes" British Intelligence alongside a rejuvenated Allan Quartermain, the reformed thief Anthony Raffles, and the eternal warrior Orlando, Miss Murray is drawn into a brutal opera acted out upon the waterfront by players that include the furiously angry Pirate Jenny and the charismatic butcher known as Mac the Knife. This book is the first of three deluxe, 80-page, full-color, perfect-bound graphic novellas, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O"Neill, each a self-contained narrative that takes place in three distinct eras, building to an apocalyptic conclusion occurring in our own twenty-first century. The return of the League is not to be missed! $7.95
Lee: The return of Alan Moore’s LoEG. I am eagerly awaiting this. While I enjoyed Black Dossier, I’m hoping that this will be better. Actually, this will have so much hype preceding it that I’m not sure why we bother mentioning it.
Jim: After trying to read Black Dossier and not succeeding I have no real strong desire to get this book. Plus Moore has been bordering on pornography more and more lately and being freed of any constraints is not an Alan Moore I want to read. I'll wait for reviews.

Lee: I'm still worried about the sudden drain of new material into the back of previews but there was lots to choose from this month.
Jim: But we have not seen the effects of the change from Diamond and the overall impact of the start of the New Depression has had on small press yet. A bunch will probably go under this year and/or be harder and harder to find. Print on demand here I come.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


With the permission of Chris Folino we are going to present the entire first issue of Sparks one page at a time.

Everyday at 6PM (US Eastern Standard Time) a new page will be posted. The Tag will be Sparks #1 so you can easily collected them all down the road.

Now go and buy the motion comics application

Best and Worst of Last Week

The longer I do the listing this way, the better I like it. This week I still only had one book as the worst of the week and I think that with stopping ranking every single book it many more make the grade as okay. Also I did not have a single DC book make my best of the week. Outsiders was close, but was again more of a set-up issue which was a little disappointing as we got a lot of set-up in the special the week before. Still it already appears to be a much stronger series and the foundation that was laid will be needed work as long as they follow through with the ground work.

For my recommended book of the week I will go with Four Eyes from Image comics. It is another series by writer Joe (I Kill Giants) Kelly that has a child’s perspective and it is another winning series with great art.


X-Factor #40 – Writer Peter David, Pencils Valentine De Landro, Inks Pat Davidson and Valentine De Landro, Colors Jeromy Cox. After the last issue where Jamie absorbs the baby because it is a duplicate and Peter David was saying how issue #40 and #41 where going to be great shock ending, I was reading it and hearing blah, blah, blah, but he did it. As he has requested again we not talk about the ending I won’t but it was fantastic. The entire story is about Jamie now trying to deal with the repercussions of what has happened. While intellectually he understands the baby was not real, emotionally the impact is hitting him as though he accidentally killed his own child. He walks to see his dupe that he left alone to have a life John Madrox the priest to have a final talk before he shoots himself. The issue is full of Madrox’s crass cynicism and harsh edge humor as he recounts what has gone wrong with his life. It has a ring of truth to it in the way he might feel if this type of thing could have happened to anyone. The last page is a great shocker and is sure to make Jamie reconsider. The artwork is a big part of any book and while Valentine does not blow me away he does a very good job and telling the story and does an excellent job in expressing the characters emotions both in facial expressions and often body language.

Spider-Man Noir #3 (of 4) – Writers David Hine with Fabrice Sapolsky, Art Carmine Di Giandomenico. This has been a very enjoyable series. I’m sure part of it is my desire to still read Spider-Man adventures and I’m not ready to go back to Amazing Spider-Man as the One More Day thing killed that book for me. Spider-Man Noir was great fun this issue as Peter learns the Ben Urich had built a case against the Goblin and had notes on all the operations. After the Black Cat gives him the information Peter hits the Goblin as Spider-Man and starts to hurt him. We then get back to the beginning as Spider-Man is over a dead body of JJJ. Ultimately Spider-Man finds out JJJ was replaced by the Chameleon. Norman has captured JJJ, Black Cat and Aunt May and is trying to get Peter. Norman does not know who Spider-Man is, but captures people that were in Ben’s circle. Not only is this series telling a great story, but the logic is very tight, from how Peter would know in all of New York what places to hit and stop the Goblin’s crime, to how Peter got his powers back in this first great depression era. I’m looking forward to the next issue and would even like to see a second mini-series with this creative crew.

Four Eyes #2 – Writer Joe Kelly, Art Max Fiurmara, Colors Nestor Pereyra. I’ll level the bad news first and that is this book is not coming out fast enough. Joe Kelly is starting to remind me of Garth Ennis, in that he so captures stories told from a young person perspective, that as Ennis should be required to do a war comic, Joe should be forced to write comics that have a child’s perspective. This story of Dragons and the boy Enrico is captivating. Setting the time frame in the first Great Depression era makes it all feel more plausible. The confrontation this issue between Enrico and his father’s boss was terrific. The dragon fight was awesome, as we see the match between the two dragons end up as a fight to the death. Max Fiumara’s art is absolutely perfect for this story as he captures both dragon fights, portraying a child, pathos and menace with equal aplomb. This is a book that deserves your support and I recommend you run down to your nearest comics store and buy multiple copies of it, NOW.

The Great Unknown #1 (of 5) – Words and Art Duncan Rouleau. A rare Image book that makes the grade for me lately. I have not gotten past issue #1 of a bunch of Image books lately and this book was a pleasant surprise. I was very ambivalent about Metal Men from Duncan Rouleau and was a little apprehensive about going into this series as I did not have a handle on the premise. It is a very cool book. Our central character is Zach, a super genius inventor slacker and drunkard. We are introduced to Zach as a person who is the smartest man in the room, but does not care and has contempt for the rest of the world. His brother saves him from barroom brawls, his family tries to do an intervention and all his great inventions are apparently lost as someone always gets the idea to the patent office before him. The end of the first issue a strange man tells Zach that his mind has been compromised and his ideas stolen and he is not where he should be in his life. He leaves his card with Zach and leaves Zach just hanging, wondering what to do. Told with great humor and great art work and a limited color palette, this book is a winner. As a bonus we are given a one page cartoon “Salutes to History’s Unsung A**holes” as we find out that the great mathematical genius Archimedes was slain by an overzealous Roman guard because he did not respond to his request fast enough. So the world loses a great mind due to an idiot power happy Roman guard. Fun, intellectual, great art, laced with sarcasm, mysteries and great story telling – buy this book.

Shrapnel #2 (of 5) – Creators Mark Long & Nick Sagan, Writers M. Zachary Sherman, Artist Bagus Hutome, Colors Leos “Okita” Ng. This issue was another good issue of this series. The best part of the book is the story of Samantha who is dragged into the war and her obvious skills causes her to be noticed. She is not just noticed by the side she is working for, but in review of the video of the fight Earth Alliance commanders recognize that the person leading the Venus troops must be one of their marines. Her reveal of her past to her friends creates conflict also, as they now view her as an enemy regardless of what she did to save them. What caused her to just want to disappear is still being revealed, but it was her involvement in an operation gone wrong with heavy civilian casualties that made her question what she was doing. I’m still at odds with how dark the coloring is at times and the battle scenes are hard for me to follow. Last issue when the battle was just suppose to be chaotic I could live with it, but this issue we are suppose to be able to discern what Samantha did in the battlefield to deserve such recognition and it was still a blurred jumble to me. All in all this Solar System War of the Earth Alliance versus some independent colonies is an intriguing book that keeps you looking forward to the next issue.


Amber Atoms #1 – It’s sad that of the first few comics I have read this week a worst of the week comes shinning through. This was one of the easiest books I have had to drop in a long. The creator may one day be a solid creator, but this reads as a very amateur effort. The story was a confused jumble in the beginning and gave us no clue how it relates to the central character. The art was also poor, but got better as the book went on. All in all a book that I’m surprised Image would want their name on. Cancelled.

For me own amusement this format just focus what I’m reading down to core books and gives me a nice way to summarize which books I want to talk about when I’m doing Cosmic Comix Conversation.

A small footnote the review of “The Great Unknown” is a re-run from earlier as I enjoyed the book so much I wanted to give it a solo spotlight.