Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire – A Review

This book was an absolutely fantastic read and a great story.

Jeff Lemire is a master story teller. From Essex County, to Sweet Tooth, with stops at Animal Man and Justice League Dark Jeff has become one of DC’s biggest stars. He has earned it as he knows how to write. In the midst of Sweet Tooth and the DCU new 52 he also managed to complete The Underwater Welder and it is published via Top Shelf Productions.

The Underwater Welder is both drawn and written by Jeff and in 200 plus pages Jeff tells a story that is a character study of Jack, who is (surprise) an underwater welder. The story has unbelievable emotional depth (pun intended) to it. It deals with Jack’s relationships with his long dead father, his very pregnant wife and his Mother. 

While diving Jack starts to see things and a doctor tells him to take time off, which thrills his wife as she is due in the next month. Of course that means anytime at all as my daughter Gwen can attest to with my new grandson Henry 2 plus week early arrival. Jack can’t shake the feeling that there is more to it than that and he believes his visions have meaning. As Jack explores this we find out Jack was well educated and did not have to return to this small town and be a diver. His Dad was a diver, but he dove to find objects and then sold them in his pawn shop. His Dad and Mother were estranged and Jack only spent one day a week with his Dad. He loved his father but his father keeps disappointing him and his mother with his drinking and his lack of responsibility. Still you knew that he loved his son and cared about him.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Week of October 24 in Review Part 3 Of 3 – Everything Else

As I said the week dictates how this breakdown and I’m going to cover the rest of the books in a sentence or two. Also no creator credits. I have noticed that the first week I did five parts, last week four parts and this week is only three parts, so I sense a pattern forming.

The week itself gets a C +, the weight of a lot of okay books level out all of the great stuff.

Catwoman #13 – This was a blatant rip off as they called it a Prelude to “Death of the Family” and added a die cut cover. I’m sure sales were jacked way up and it would have been nice if it was a strong issue of the book, but it wasn’t and it had nothing to do with the “Death of the Family”. I know it is from last week, but  I got it a week late.

National Comics Madam X was a cool one shot, but of course will go nowhere as this is iteration on the Madame Xanadu character and DC is using her in Justice League Dark. Even though they changed her name slightly it is the same character just re-imagined. The National Comics concept is good, but will go nowhere because one shots are not what most fans care about and DC needs to roll the dice and launch the concepts as mini-series.

Flash #13 is one of the books I have given a second chance. The art being shot from the pencils takes a while to get used to and the story itself is okay. I’m not turned off by the book, I’m just not excited by it either. I don’t understand why DC had this need to go to Barry Allen as the Flash.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Week of October 24 in Review Part 2 Of 3 - 6 Books 6 Publishers

With a huge focus on the big two I often forget how many different publishers are out there and most of them have some good series.

Dark Horse has Ghost #1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto. Since I have not re-read the old Ghost series I have no clue if she is building off the original concept or if this is a total reimagining of the old series. Kelly has done a terrific job in setting up the premise. Even without reading the zero issue this first issue tells you everything you need to know about the book. Ghost is a woman who has been brought into this world by two guys who stumbled into some stolen technology and accidently activated it. Now they are on the run with her as they try and determine who she is, where did she come from and just what the heck is going on. We are also given some additional back story about what maybe her origin and it appears to involve the devil. The two guys who are on the road with Ghost are going to be in way over their heads. Noto’s art is certainly up to the task and does a good job with the book. He is not a good girl artist, but he can draw a pretty girl and does fantastic work with expressions. I have not read a lot by Ms. DeConnick and this is the first series where I have been very impressed. In one issue she sets the premise, gives us a decent size cast and advances the plot. Very few writers can pack in so much without crippling the flow of the story. This was a very promising start.

The Week of October 24 in Review Part 1 of 3 -3 Great Books

This week the books that I got ended up dictating no cohesive approaching to separating out into groups. I could have gone with some standard breakdown but I decided to just highlight 3 books I thought were excellent and then do more parts in a semi-random matter.

Of course before we jump into the books let’s give out the detailed link for next week’s books and the simple clean link for next week’s books. A five Wednesday month means DC only ships a late book out of the 52 and then has everything else, making the week a grab book of sorts from them. The books that I’m anxious to read for next week are Happy #2, Rachael Rising #12, Joe Kubert Presents #1, and Lot 13. Of course I also have Absolute Final Crisis coming out but that is not a story I will re-read immediately.

First up is Mind Mgmt #6 by Matt Kindt. I no longer look up sales charts and what not to know if a book is doing well enough to continue or not, but I sure hope this series is doing well. It is well written, has a fantastic story, is layered with a lot of material and it is a book that makes you think about what is and what is not real. Phillip K. Dick was great with making you wonder about what is real and what is not real and this book makes you at least think about those types of concepts. Matt’s art is deceptively simple, because on the surface it is very loose pencil art and much of the definition comes from the coloring, which is a water color palette. On first blush you may think he is lacking in ability, but as you read the story and look at the artwork you start to understand that he is masterful storyteller. His page design is excellent and the flow of the book is also very strong. Also all the characters are distinctive and his use of expressions and coloring convey all the emotions and feelings. This issue we wrap up the first story arc and find out that Henry Lyme is a fugitive from the federal government and from the Immortals. Surprisingly we learn that Mind Mgmt has supposedly been disbanded but many agents are still out in the world. We find out the Meru, the one person who survived Henry’s meltdown has been down this road before looking for answers and finding Henry. This time, according to Henry, something has changed and Meru is now different. One of the best things about this series is how Matt has laid out a ton of information and pulled back the veil of mystery surrounding Mind Mgmt as he gives us new questions and mysteries. So many stories goes go for the mystery and never answer the questions, this series answers a question and poses new ones. This series is an intelligent well thought out series that I’m guessing has a back story that fills a bookshelf. Matt has crafted what is his best work to date and his work has always been top notch.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: Strange Confessions

Covers are, and always will be, the main selling point of a comic.  If the cover stinks then there is very little chance you will buy the book.  But, covers have changed over time.  For example, in the 70's Marvel cluttered their covers up with word balloons.  These days, not so much.  But I've always kinda liked words on covers.  Sometimes those words make you really want to see what's on the inside. 

Let's just say romance covers were always the best!  And here's why...

Strange Confessions #1, January-March 1952
on the cover...
"I Couldn't Resist His Dangerous Embrace"
"Flaming Youth in Tarnished Kisses"
"The Man I Couldn't Marry"

You can't deny you are intrigued by a story called "Flaming Youth in Tarnished Kisses"!

But, Strange Confessions was only getting started!  See more below.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The New 52: Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #13 – A Review

Story and Art: Dan Jurgens
Finished Ink Art: Ray McCarthy
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Colors: HI-FI
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Firestorm is one of my all-time favorite characters.  I followed his entire run in the 1980’s, despite the persona changes and I even embraced Jason Rusch’s version from a few years ago.  Although I liked Jason (and it was great opportunity to change the face under the mask), I detested that they had killed Ronnie (for a time) in the process.  Even worse was the knowledge that someone had turned Ronnie into a drunk prior to his joining Busiek and Grummett’s fantastic Power Company series.  It seems like creators hold the big guns (Batman and Superman) sacrosanct, but have no trouble performing character assignations on long established second-generation heroes like Firestorm and Marvel’s Nova. (That topic could be a whole other post.)  So, I was intrigued about the New 52 version of Firestorm, but the characters I saw were barely recognizable to me and I stayed far, far away.  I think the biggest turn-off was seeing Ronnie and Jason fighting each other, which I feared was possibly racially motivated (I could be mistaken about that), when previously Ronnie’s legacy to Jason was akin to Barry Allen’s legacy to Wally (in a dead hero you have to live up to kind of way).  This week Dan Jurgens took over the creative reigns on the title and I actually bought the issue.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Indies Previews for December Part 3 of 3

The last bit

Oni Press Inc.
Last Call Vol. 02 GN by (w/a/c) Vasilis Lolos
The Ghost Train is the unearthly engine that travels between dimensions and through the void of space and time. When two normal teenagers, Alec and Sam, mysteriously end up on the train, they're thrown into a world unlike any they've ever seen and in the middle of a killing spree more chilling than anything they could have imagined! After being separated in Volume 1, the pair finally find one another, but it's not the reunion either one expects. Alec has aged ten years while Sam has only been on his own for ten hours! There's no time for the two to catch up though! There's still the issue of who is murdering the passengers and how it's connected to the boy's appearance on the train! 160 pgs, 5x7, B-W, $12.99
Lee: Well, let's see, Vol 1 was published in 2007 so it’s ok if you don’t remember the story. But, since by accident I found my copy the other day I can tell you that this was very, very good. It had both excellent story and art. It's well worth reading and I am ordering this... I just hope it's less than 5 yrs before the next book.  Or I hope there's a conclusion.
Thomm: A good premise and a good looking book. Of course, I’ll have to track down the first volume if I’m going to get this one.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Indies Previews for December Part 2 of 3

Continued from yesterday!

Drawn And Quarterly Don't Go Where I Can't Follow HC by (w/a/c) Anders Nilsen
In this collection of letters, drawings, and photos, Anders Nilsen chronicles a six-year relationship and the illness that brought it to an end. Don't Go Where I Can't Follow is an eloquent appreciation of the time the author shared with his fiancée, Cheryl Weaver. The story is told using artifacts of the couple's life together, including early love notes, simple and poetic postcards, tales of their travels in written and comics form, journal entries, and drawings done in the hospital in her final days. Don't Go Where I Can't Follow is a deeply personal romance, and a universal reminder of our mortality and the significance of the relationships we build. 96 pgs, FC, 6x10, $19.95
Lee: And I dub this the months best depression fest.  I think it's great that Nilsen did this but I can't help but feel it's gonna be sad.  It's worth checking out if you like real life stuff.
Thomm: Depression is obviously a central element to this book. Can Nilsen make it more than just a tear-jerker? I would hope so, but I don’t know enough about him or his work to say.

5 more below the break.  Many of which are happier than the last book!

Jew Gangster

A little something I picked up at half price at the Baltimore ComiCon.  And how can I resist?  Joe Kubert writing and art?  No brainer.

I was pleasantly surprised in that I expected a grand tale of a guy running a gang.  Instead, this is a story of a young guy trying to break into running a gang. 

Ruby's a high school student in New York during the Great Depression.  He and his friends watch the local gang leader, Monk Greenberg (or Shapiro) kill a guy who's not paying what he owes, as a lesson to anyone else who owes money.  Ruby thinks school is a dead end, to the dismay of his immigrant parents.  They work long hours in a garment shop and a restaurant but the family lives hand to mouth.

Ruby starts hanging out at the pool hall where Monk bases his operation, doing deliveries at first but working his way in with Monk and getting paid a lot of money.  A couple of his friends run some errands from time to time but stay in school.  Ruby drops out and moves out from his parents' apartment.

Monk has a hot wife named Molly, which eventually leads to a big problem.  Molly starts shagging Ruby.  Monk figures it out.  Monk rapes Ruby's sister and tries to beat Ruby to death, but Ruby jams a broken cue stick into Monks eye.

All the while leading up to this Ruby never met Monk's boss.  After killing Monk, though, Ruby is brought to the boss.  While all the Jews in Monks gang were clearly secular, the boss appears to be Orthodox.  he sports a beard.  He wears a yarmulke.  Nonetheless, he's a gangster.  He makes it clear to Ruby that killing Monk was not acceptable and treatens Ruby's family, including Ruby's sister, who's been taken to the meeting.  Ruby stands up to the boss and makes clear that he's willing to work for the boss but isn't taking any punishment for for killing Monk.  The boss likes his chutzpah and doesn't punish him.

It ends with Ruby still working his way up the gang.  It's a great small scale, slice of life story.  It's not an epic.  It's one young man's start down a path.  The extreme poverty of New York's Depression era immigrants and the lure of high paying work in illegal occupations is obvious.  Kubert, of course, captures it all excellently in both his words and art.  His rough style works just as well capturing poverty as it did capturing the rigors and travails of combat in Sgt Rock and other works. 

Now all I need to do is pick up a copy of Yossel April 19, 1943 and some Sgt Rock collections.

And, be sure to come back later today for Part 2 of the Indies Review where I continue to be amazed at the books Lee picks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Indies Previews for December Part 1 of 3

Thomm: This ought to be interesting. Lee picks but I comment first. Mostly first.
Lee: Well, nothing really new here, I got caught behind so I figured Thomm could read my mind and try to figure out what I was thinking.  Let's see how he did.

:01 First Second
Tune Sumo GN by (w/A/C) Thien Pham
Scott is a washed-up football player who never made it, and whose girlfriend abandoned him along with his dreams of playing pro football. But things have a way of working out, in this sweet, poetic tale - and a new chapter in Scott's life begins as the old one ends. Offered a position in a Japanese sumo training stable, Scott abandons his old life, his old name, and even his old hair color, and becomes an aspiring sumo wrestler. And in so doing, he begins to find some kind of center in himself, a center that had seemed lost for good. 112 pgs, 6x9, FC, $14.99
Thomm: And that center is rice. Lots and lots of rice. Well, that’s usually a sumo’s diet. Hard to get a read on whether this will be good. It’s a small look at life kind of thing, which is appealing and can be very good when done right.
Lee: This looks really cool.  I am totally getting sucked in by the cover art but that's nothing new for me.  The story sounds good and the art looks like a minimalist-cartoony blend.  It's certainly worth checking out.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Week of October 17 In Review Part 4 of 4 Everything Else Volume 2

I don’t want to make the grand reveal too suspenseful, so without further ado I give the week a C+. With only Before Watchmen Minutemen and Hawkeye standing out as pure A list books I think that would be the best grade I can give the week. American Vampire might be in the A class also.

This segment focuses on a fair number of books so I will try to keep it short and sweet.

Thundra #3 by Robert Place Napton and Cliff Richards is slowly winning me over. It is not a great book by any means but between reading the original material in the back (which looks better then the Dark Horse reprints) and reading the front story (that is using all of the old material while crafting a more modern Roger Drum) I find that the series is entertaining. It is the reverse Tarzan story as the civilized man becomes the jungle king, this issue even had a great reference to Tarzan.

The Victories #3 (of 5) by Michael Avon Oeming is an quirky series. Oeming is not the strongest writer out there and his artist is very stylized. I had questioned hanging onto this book as it was a fair amount of characters to get to know in a short time, but my faith in this book is paying off. The series is gain my inteterest as the story unfolds and develops it focuses on Fautz as the main character. We have some significant mysteries of various things that happened in his past. The rest of the group is just supporting characters in this drama. I hope this is the set-up for a series of mini-series as I’m just getting to know these characters and hope to see more of their stories.

The Week of October 17 In Review Part 3 of 4 Everything Else Volume 1

The way I classify everything else it usually ends up being the biggest stack of books for the week. So I have broken it into two sections. As you will see I include Vertigo and Before Watchmen with this material. While published by DC, the books have nothing to do with the DCU.

First up is Before Watchmen Minutemen #4 (of 6) by Darwyn Cooke. Lee, in his comments on the DC Preview Review did not see the BW stuff as good as I see it. He is wrong and especially with Minutemen as it is very good series. Of course it is all opinion and what works for me may not work for you and Lee is entitled to his wrong viewpoint. Darwyn Cooke is just a top flight creator. This issue he is exposing the dark sides of some of the characters and instead of that making them less it makes them more real. These characters are the predecessors of the Watchmen. Prior to this series they had paper thin backgrounds and now they are coming to life. We are reliving those early day via the narration of Hollis the original Nite Owl. Hollis is a very cool character and maybe the only one who reflects the standard heroic ideal. He is also sadly in love with Silhouette, who is a lesbian and can’t return anything more than affection for him. Silhouette ends up being the focal point of the story as her ouster from the group fractures the fragile team and her subsequent brutal murder leaves to some drastic repercussions. This story is both dark and yet at times instead of the darkness deconstructing the characters it is reflecting some of the heroic qualities of these people. Silhouette is perhaps the most heroic of all of the Minutemen.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Week of October 17 in Review – Part 2 of 4 The DCU

The current DC has disenfranchised me and some other readers. There are some good books to be found and last week the best book of the week, but in general I’m less engaged with the characters then before. I still try to pick up series here and there or even retry a book or two, but it is very easy to leave many of the books behind.

This week one of my favorite DCU books hit the stands Wonder Woman #13 by Brian Azzarello and the other main artist Tony Akins. While Tony is a good artist I still prefer Cliff Chiang. Also the zero stuff from last month did cause a gap in the monthly flow of the books and it is taking me a few pages to get back into the series. Sadly the whole New Gods are back stuff was not mentioned at all. Apollo is now King of the Gods and Diana and Lennox are left to try and figure it all out. Azzarello has crafted a Wonder Woman steeped in Greek Mythology and is building a lot of his own version of it. In some ways it is reminiscent of what Lee and Kirby did with Thor as he left behind his mortal guise and was more and more involved in Asgard. Wonder Woman in her book is a totally different character from who she is in the Justice League. It is a bit hard for me to remember all the players as the cast has become huge and this issue is all about setting up a War between the various fractions. While it is an involved series, it is well worth the time.

The Week of October 17 in Review – Part1 of 4 Marvel Comics

The constant adjustments of my format will be dictated but what the week itself brings. This weekend is filled with plans and I have less time but I decided that I liked the spotlighting idea and doing a summary in the last part. This week I will break the categories down the way I do my list which is DC, Marvel and Everything Else. As the Everything Else group is big, it gets two segments. Before we jump into Marvel comics let’s get to the two links for next week’s book which are here and here. The first is very detailed and the second is a quick list of what is coming out. For me the shocker is a missed Before Watchmen week, but Mind Mgmt, Shaolin Cowboy Adventure Magazine, Wolverine Max , Batman Inc. and I Vampire are the highlights for next week.

I usually finish the Marvel books first because they are the quickest reads to me.

First up is Hawkeye #3 by Matt Fraction, David Aja and Matt Hollingsworth. This series continues to impress. Comics are often a collaborative art form and I don’t think the book works as well as it does without Aja’s art and Hollingsworth colors. The book looks great and has a fantastic feel to it. It is for lack of a better description, the coolest super hero book on the stands. I’m not always a Fraction fan and often the transitions in this book are a little skewed, but as you read it and follow it, you just smile and enjoy the experience. This issue Hawkeye finds a girl friend, has a car chase, uses a lot of trick arrows and he continues to bond with Kate Bishop the other Hawkeye. The book flashes back and forward in time, but only over the course of the one or two days the story takes place. As I said some transitions are not as smooth as silk, but the book is one of the best books on the stands and maybe Marvel’s best super hero book.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: Amazing Adventures

This week, something completely different.  I don't know why I picked Amazing Adventures but I've always liked it.  The entire series was wildly over written by Don McGregor.  But the art was just amazing.  It's worth it for that alone.

Amazing Adventures 27, November 1974
Pencils: Jim Starlin
Inks: Jim Starlin
This is the peak of Marvel covers in the 70's.  Starlin inking Starlin with no editorial oversight.  It didn't mess with any major characters so Starlin was allowed to do what he wanted.  And it was good!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

ECONOMIX: How Our Economy Works (And Doesn’t Work) in Words and Pictures – A Review

By Michael Goodwin
Illustrated by Dan E. Burr
Lettering by Debra Freiberg
Publisher: Abrams ComicArts (2012)
Price: $19.95
304 pages

As I mentioned last week, I haven’t had much time lately to read my weekly comics.  That all is about to change, because I just finished reading Michael Goodwin’s highly enthralling Economix.  It’s been on my nightstand ever since I brought it home and I would generally read a chapter a night before passing out into my normal 5-hour sleep cycle.  Eight chapters in eight days with plans to reread it again soon after letting my wife and high schoolers read it next.  It was so jam packed with information that I couldn’t absorb it all the first time around.  Plus, it was just so enjoyable.  Sound impossible for a book basically explaining in detail the history of the U.S. economy?  Well, Michael and Dan (with his wife Debra handling the voluminous amount of lettering) not only make it look easy, they make it so understandable (as much as humanly possible anyway) and entertaining.

Friday, October 19, 2012

What I Read This Week - Oct 19

So this weekend I finally managed to see the Avengers movie.  I know, I know I am slow but finding 3 hrs to waste doing nothing is harder than it looks at my house.  Grandpa came to visit and brought his copy with him so there were no excuses.  Boy and I could barely wait to see it while the girls could care less. 

How do I know the girls didn't care?  I asked.  The conversation went something like this,
Me:  Girl, Tiny, wanna watch the Avengers movie with us?
Girl: Is there any kissing?  I like the kissing parts.
Me: No.  There is no kissing in superhero movies.  There is no crying in baseball and no kissing in the superhero movies. 
Girl:  No kissing?  It's just gonna be dumb boys punching each other.  I'm gonna go play.

So it was just the boys watching the movie.  Now, Boy is getting older and while he hasn't quite found girls yet he's getting close.  As far as that goes, I keep my head in the sand and hope that he doesn't find them until he's in college and long gone so I don't have to worry about it.

Well, apparently I am not going to be so lucky.  Do you remember the scene with Gwyneth Paltrow early in the movie.  Downey Jr flies in as Iron Man into his new fancy skyscraper and proceeds to flirt with her.  And, in case you forgot she is wearing daisy dukes, which, while looking good, are completly ridiculous in context.

So, as Gwyneth is doing he best catwalk across the sceen, Boy turns to me and non chalantly states: Yep, that's what you call a butt shaker.

Well, he was right.  And on that note, on to the books!  This week I read Echo: The Complete EditionAlias Vol. 1, and The Taxidermist.

This week suffered from high expectations but you can see exactly what I thought below the break.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


After a 2 year, 4 month run, iZombie reached its end.  Wisely, this appears to have been a planned end, telling one coherent story with a well developed cast and a complete beginning, middle and end.  Then again, it's not a superhero tale, so there's a better chance of that sort of cogent story telling.

For those not in the know, iZombie was created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, with Roberson doing all the writing and Allred doing most of the art.  There were guest art issues by Gilbert Hernandez (issue 12), Jay Stephens (issue 18), J. Bone (issue 21), and Jim Rugg (issue 24).  I've enjoyed Allred's Pop Art style for a little while now, and this series didn't disappoint.  Great lines.  Great work on facial expressions.  Just a hint of comedy in a horror/mystery story.  And Laura Allred's colors on all 28 issues was spot on for the art.  She uses a palette the evokes a sunny disposition, which makes an interesting contrast to the story.  There's no losing anything drawn here in dark inks, though.  And that's good.  Too common a thing in horror tales is having a muddled, dark mess.

On to the story.  Gwen Dylan is our heroine.  She's a zombie.  A zombie who still posses her mental faculties, though her memory has some gaps so far as her life before she died.  When the book starts it looks like it's going to be a mystery/detective book.  Gwen eats the brains of the recently deceased because it helps keep her from losing her own memories.  Aside from the horrible taste, the eating of brains causes her to be subject to the memories of the deceased, who often want her to do something to resolve something left hanging before dying.  The first guy's mystery is who killed him, but it soon becomes more relevant that he was a killer in his own right.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DC Previews for December

Jim: A bit of news, my daughter Gwen used to do these with me, but work and real life has taken her away from being able to do anything with the blog for awhile. One of those “things” was the birth of her and her husband’s son on October 7. So I now have the task of making sure Henry is a comic book fan also.
Lee:  Stepping up to take Gwen's place is... none other than... drum roll please... me!  I haven't done DC in a long, long time so this will be interesting.
Onto the DC preview review. One important question how long does it get to be the “New 52”? Is that still going to be the cover blurb forever?

Art and cover by EDUARDO RISSO
Backup story written and illustrated by JOHN HIGGINS

1:25 Variant cover by OLLY MOSS

On sale DECEMBER 19 • 32 pg, FC, 2 of 2, $3.99 US
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US • MATURE READERS
Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for more information.
“We are doing great things here, Edgar. Amazing things.”
And don’t miss the latest chapter of the “Crimson Corsair” backup feature from writer/artist JOHN HIGGINS!
Jim: Not sure why they needed an additional two books in the Before Watchmen group and oddly JMS’ work has been looking like the weakest of the books. A pretty good set of books when JMS’ stuff is the weakest. While I look forward to JMS’ work I know he has misses as well as hits in his stuff. Risso on art is an exciting addition. All in all I think for all the hand wringing by people over the BW stuff, it has been well done and entertaining. I think, heck Moore’s work was derivative and built on other people’s work, so what if someone builds on his stuff. And…. Watchmen was not the greatest comic of all time (I can hear the cries of heretic now.).
Lee:  I think you are giving this group of mini-series way to much credit.  Silk Spectre is very good but after that... ummm, it's ok superheroes.  It can be argued if Watchmen was the greatest ever, but it's is still one of the greatest.  I think you judging by today's standards and forget what it was like at the time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Week of October 10 in Review Part 5 of 5 – The Conclusion

So you have seen the long winded stuff, now for a few brief blurbs. It kills me that I don’t have time to give all the very good to great series their due.

The Stuff of Legend – Volume IV – The Toy Collector – Part 1 – I love this series and this issue was another winner. Especially well done was the introduction that allowed anyone a good entry point into the series. So if you have not been getting the book now is perfect jumping on point. Writers Mike Raicht and Brian Smith along with artist Charles Paul Wilson are writing a modern day fairy tale that has an epic feel to it and also feels like a timeless classic.

Frankenstein Agent of Shade #13 – This book has been so well done, sadly I have heard it may be getting cancelled. Matt Kindt is doing great work on this book and now it ties into the Rotworld story.

The Massive #4 – This is a unique book by Brian Wood and artist Garry Brown. If you have passed on this book, try out this issue as it is a nice one and done. The “interview” with Callum Israel was some nice added matter.

Stumptown #2 – The simple missing guitar case has just blown up into a lot bigger mess than ever. Greg Rucka is at his best and Matthew Southworth is doing a very good job on the art. Matthew’s art still feels a little off to me at times, but he continues to improve.

The Week of October 10 In Review Part 4 of 5 – Four Great Books

The four and four just worked out as I ended up with four additional books that I think deserve your attention.

First up and another four is Punk Rock Jesus #4 (of 6) by Sean Murphy. If it wasn’t for Batman #13 this book would have been the best of the week. I have no clue how Sean Murphy is packing so much into each issue, yet making each issue an easy read. This is an outrageous book sure to piss off many people and insult religious and political sensibilities of many groups. Of course that means Murphy is speaking to a kindred spirit as I have never lacked for my questioning of authority or questioning accepted beliefs. In this issue Chris gets to see his mother die by being squeezed to death by metal doors. After that his natural tendency to be a rebellious teenager kicks in high gear and he learns about all the things that his handler has been keeping from him. He uses the platform of being the master of ceremonies of an award show to trash religion and America. He also becomes a punk rocker and there is so much more in this book. It is a book that is flat out amazing. Even if you disagree with what Sean has his character saying you have to respect the great art and the amount of story he is telling in each issue. This is the best mini-series of 2012 at this point. Of course how it ends is always critical, but damn has Sean Murphy put together a great book.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Week of October 10 in Review Part 3 of 5 - Three Books You Are Missing

I’m betting that most people have not latched onto these books and all three are worth reading.

First up is The Tower Chronicles #1 by Matt Wagner and Simon Bisley from Legendary Comics. The new company is a spinoff of Legendary Pictures and the idea is to make some great comics and I’m sure they hope that a few of them develop into movies and make everyone rich. Hey if you tell a good story and have good art, why the book was created is interesting but I’m more concerned with getting the bang for the buck with my entertainment.

This was not from this week, but I read it this week so it is in the review.

It is by Matt Wagner and Simon Bisley, it can’t be anything less than at least good. It was a very entertaining book. It has plenty of action, an interesting concept and some fantastic art. Now I admit Bisley can often be over the top and he is highly stylized, but this is some of his best work. Simon’s portrayal of the monsters and things that go bump in the night that Tower chases was awesome. John Tower is mercenary that costs a lot of money to hire and he hunts down the supernatural. This issue he teams with a hot FBI agent and we also get a peek into the back story that looms dangerously for John Tower. The eight dollar entry cost will cause many a comic fan to hesitate, but the package and page count make this a book you should try out. Matt Wagner is an excellent writer and Simon Bisley made the series come to life. The heavy prestige like format makes the book more like a trade then a comic. The actual comic is over 60 pages long which allows for a couple of stories to be told and gives us a lot of background and setting up for the series as it continues.

The Week of October 10 in Review Part 2 of 5 Batman

This week there were three Bat centric books hit the stands Batman #13, Batgirl #13 and Batman and Robin #13. The Joker is back.

Batman#13 was flat out fantastic and easily the best book of the week and I have yet to read all of my books. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have kept the quality of this book at a high level and this book is possible the best issue yet.

The Joker had his face cut off and then he disappears for a year. We open with Jim Gordon and Harvey talking about bad omens. We then switch to Gordon at the station when the Joker shows up and methodically terrorizes Jim and kills his officers as he steals back his face. Next he proclaims a televised challenge that he will kill the mayor. All precautions are taken and a mass death occurs to all the guards around the mayor. Gordon and Batman are both being outplayed by the Joker. Batman informs all of his operatives about the Joker being in town, thinks the Joker is playing out his first crimes and goes to where the Joker was created. Instead of it being the Joker, it is Harley dressed to look like the Joker in his Red Hood outfit. Batman is caught in a trap and the Joker shows up at Wayne manor about to attack and apparently kill Alfred.

The Week of October 10 in Review Part 1 of 5 – Avengers

A bit of housekeeping, I have decided to do the week in review as a series of posts over Monday and Tuesday. I want to do a few more in depth reviews of some books and then do a post that will wrap up the whole thing. Be aware many of these reviews may have SPOILERS, so turn away now.  

This idea eliminates the What I’m Getting Post, but I will still provide this link or this link for you to see the entire list of what is coming out. For my own list next week Before Watchmen Minutemen by Darwyn Cooke, Wonder Woman, Hawkeye, Walking Dead, Peter Cannon Thunderbolt and Godzilla Half Century Wars have to be the most anticipated books.

The big book and what has to be considered Marvel’s new flagship title is Uncanny Avengers. Issue #1 by Rick Remender and John Cassaday was an uneven start at best. Cassaday’s artwork is very strong but I believe that he leaves most of the art direction and layouts to the writer as he shines more with certain writers. Regardless for all the flaws in this book, the art is not one of them. The story involves Captain America trying to put together a team of Avengers that combines both mutants and other heroes. Captain America at least agrees with Cyclops on one thing that the Avengers never did enough to help mutants. The idea is to make sure that we keep up the analogy that mutants are an oppressed minority and hated and feared by the rest of the world. I know in the sixties when Stan Lee came upon that formula he hammered it into the ground. That was of course of the same time as the Civil Rights Act and it resonated with the times. That time has passed and the fact that most super powered people can be lauded as heroes, but a mutant is hated befuddles me. How does a regular person discern the super powered Thing as human but Colossus as a mutant? Both should be accepted inside the MU or hated. The book itself skips around giving us a taste of the various players but we never actually make it to a team forming.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: Warrior Magazine

Since I talked about Alan Moore's Miracleman on Friday I thought why not look at the covers to the series that started it all.  One of the all time great British series, this is worth finding in the back issue bins.  If you can that is.

Warrior #1, March 1982
Pencils: Steve Dillon
Inks: Steve Dillon
Can you believe this had the first appearance of V for Vendetta and Miracleman and the cover is... Axel Pressbutton????   And having read Axel, I can say the cover is way cooler than the story itself.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Introducing the Metal Men

BOY (congrats Gwen!), it sure has been a long time since I’ve actually tried to write something only about comics.  We’ll see how it goes, because I’m exhausted after a long week of work and and an even longer three days of monitoring my eBay New52 listings.  After spending two weeks before this one building my incredible LEGO Death Star, I’ve barely had spare time to read many comics.  I actually forgot about an issue I bought (POTA Cataclysm #2) and haven’t read a single one from this week, since the Economix trade (purchased with a 40% off empty-box subscriber bonus coupon) is really riveting my attention.  However, I did recently start to read my Metal Men Archives and I’m really enjoying it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

What I Read This Week– Oct 12

I had a story to tell but I got really wordy in reviews so I'm just jumping right in. 

This week The Twelve and Miracleman.  Read on!

The Twelve - Volumes 1 and 2
Each 144 pages, collecting issues 1-12 of the series.
(w) J. Michael Straczynski  (a/c) Chris Weston
Ok, let's start by reviewing the troubled history of this series.  The first issue was published March '08 and the eighth issue 8 was published in Dec '08.  At that point this series became part of the infamous lost series club with other members like Kevin Smith's Daredevil stuff.  It looked like we would never see the end of the story.  But then, issue 9 was published in April '12 and the last issue in June '12.  I am gonna say that by the time the conclusion was done no one, except me and 3 others, cared.  But I am here to say all's well that ends well.

Basically, 12 heroes are placed in suspended animation at the end of WWII.  They awake in 2008 to find a radically different world than the one they lived in.  How do they handle it?  Not all that well.  But, if they were well adjusted we wouldn't have a story either.

The obvious question is why did this series exist?  I think Straczynski was trying to introduce new characters into the Marvel U by modernizing some really silly GA characters.  Marvel has been fairly stagnant over the past 5 or more years so it was a good idea. 

In terms of execution, Straczynski  sets it up well by weaving the man-outta-time plot and telling an origin of each character into each issue.  It works and by the end of the series the characters have been updated and are interesting enough.  There's more than enough for another writer to pick them up and move them all forward, or work them into the greater Marvel U. 

Weston's art is highly detailed and entertaining.  But after 12 issues it's easy to see when he has problems with perspective and anatomy.  Actually I can't take credit for noticing it the first time.  I was talking with Ian Gibson and he noted it to me, and he was right.

Even though it took years to get it, this was a fun series that was actually quite good.  It's too bad that nothing will ever be done with it.

Mircleman #1-9, August '85- July '86
Written by Alan Moore, Art by Garry Leach, Alan Davis, and Chuck Austen (Yes, that Chuck Austen)

Sheesh, this feels like history week.  So, another quick back story, Miracleman was originally published by Warrior magazine in the UK from '82-84.  It was picked up by Eclipse, who republished the original stories and then started new stories with issue #7, '86.

This was an early deconstruction of a superhero.  The first 7 issues have Miracleman rediscover his powers after having lost them.  It includes a brief, yet brutal encounter with his former sidekick who had since gone bad.  Then Moore rounded out the first arc with MM's updated origin. Issue 8 is a filler and fun if you like reading British GA stories but a pass otherwise. Issue 9... is... wow 9 is.  Umm, 9 is the birth issue.  If you've never seen a birthing picture well look no further because it's shown in all it's glory here.  It contains a highly graphic birth scene, based on medical illustrations of the process and carried a parental warning on the cover.

This is Alan Moore at his peak and it doesn't get any better than this.  You can make an argument that Alan Moore's output from 82-86 is one of the greatest, if not the greatest by a writer ever.  During this time, Moore wrote MM, V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing which started February of '84, and Watchmen which started in September of '86.  These are series, and characters, that we still talk about 25 yrs later.  The only other person who even remotely comes this close to sustained greatness is Stan Lee at Marvel from '61-'64.  But you can argue the artists were as much the writers as Lee was. 

MM is pure superhero deconstruction goodness.  It is just great!  It's kinda forgotten these days because it's caught up in litigation but it's worth hunting down the back issues.  I highly recommend it.

That's all for this week. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Loveless - Blackwater Falls (Vol 3, trade)

The short lived Loveless came to a conclusion in this volume.  Unlike Azzarello's 100 Bullets, this one seemed a premature ending.  There was a rushed feeling to the conclusion, though it did reach a conclusion.

Loveless is a curious comingling of genres.  It's a Western, sort of.  It's not in the West but the Old South in the Reconstruction era.  Nonetheless, it has the sort of "shoot anything that moves" sort of atmosphere of a Peckinpah bloodbath.  It's also a bit mystical.  For this entire volume one of the main characters is now dead and his ghost is accompanying his wife and ally as she proceeds to engage in Spaghetti Western justice.  That part was a little strange for the setting and what had gone before, where there was no hint of that sort of element.

On the other hand, I enjoyed the characters.  You're not often going to find a former slave who is now a mercenary come back to the land where he used to be owned, a clear signal of a good guy in a story, who is also an admitted rapist of the wife of someone who never mistreated him personally or had anything direct to do with his being owned.  Hard to root for a rapist.  As to be expected of a less sympathetic character, he suffers quite a bit in this conlcuding volume, where he had not in the two preceding volumes.

I don't think this reaches the par of 100 Bullets, nor even what Azzarello has done so far in Wonder Woman.  Granted, 100 Bullets is a great work that's hard to reach.  But Wonder Woman has only just begun and already feels like it has an epic in store that will stand for a long time.  Loveless is far more brutal than Wonder Woman, but no more so than 100 Bullets.  That's just Vertigo versus DC, though.  This is The Wild Bunch, not Raiders of the Lost Ark, though it does have the mystical element of Raiders.

Anyway, the art switches from Danijel Zezelj to Werther Dell'Edera seemlessly.  Both are dark and heavy, fitting for this work.

If you like nasty, brutish and short, the three trades of Loveless are well worth your while.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dark Horse Previews for December

Lee: This week is all about Thomm. I saw lots of interesting things but I couldn’t decide if they were good or not. So… it’s all you Thomm. It’s up to you to make or break the selections. No pressure.

Thomm: Yes! Bow down, ye creators desperately seeking a decent income!

Faith Erin Hicks (W/A/Cover) and Cris Peter (C)
FC, 112 pages, $16.99, HC, 10 13/16” x 6 5/8”
What if you can leap tall buildings and defeat alien monsters with your bare hands, but you buy your capes at secondhand stores and have a weakness for kittens? Cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks brings charming humor to the trials and tribulations of a young, female superhero, battling monsters both supernatural and mundane in an all-too-ordinary world. A lighthearted twist on the superhero genre!
You can read Hicks Wolverine story here.
Lee: I have been reading Hicks’ work for a long time now. She has never failed to provide a good story and this looks to be more of the same. It’s guaranteed to please.
Thomm: A welcome respite from the “What if Superman went evil and destroyed the world,” theorem. What if Superman (or Superwoman) just wanted to piddle around in the garden? Now that’s something screaming for an answer.

Lots more below the break.  I was feeling wordy this month.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

What I’m Getting October 10

Crap, I’m starting to see a creep back upward in the number of books I’m getting. It is a constant battle for me to keep the list down. I have an attention span that needs to be measured in nanoseconds at times. I want to read everything, but having to earn a living and having other interests creates a time problem. The “Death of a Family” bat cross-over has me buying some extra books and the last run of Bendis on Avengers and Marvel Now has caused me to also add some books. Plus the independent publishers are always adding some title that I want to try our. Maybe next week and week 5 will be smaller. If you want to see everything coming out next week just click on October 10 books. This week I linked to Midtown Comics. I love and have my books shipped from Cosmic Comix, but Midtown’s listing gives you a lot more information on each title.

The first few books that scream at me are Punk Rock Jesus #4 (of 6), Uncanny Avengers #1, Halloween Eve One Shot, Stumptown #2 and Stuff of Legend Toy Collector #1 (of 5). Punk Rock has been excellent. Sean Murphy is packing more story per page then anyone else right now with a wonderful picture of a crazed future where a clone of Jesus is our central character. Uncanny Avengers is Rick Remender being given the Captain’s chair at Marvel. I mean the guy has been knocking us dead with his dark pictures in Fear Agent, Frankencastle, Uncanny X-Force and Secret Avengers, let’s see how he does with being the new Marvel super star writer. Halloween Eve is not even a book I’m buying as I backed the Kickstarter project that got the book published, so I get one mailed to me. The art is by Amy Reeder and that is enough for me. Here is a link about the book. Stumptown was gone too long and I’m thrilled to have this series back again. Issue #1 was great; who knew finding a guitar could be so much trouble. Finally Stuff of Legend is a series of mini-series about a dark world of lost toys and a captured boy. I originally thought this would be a completed story in one mini-series, but now I don’t care how long it goes on. The art by C. Paul Wilson is great and the story is equal to the art.

Monday, October 08, 2012

The Week of October 3 in Review

This week has to be considered a great week because the Orioles made the playoffs and won the wild card game. It is a tough damn thing that MLB added this year to start the playoff round with a one and done for four teams. Oh wait this is suppose to be about comics…..

The week in comics was not as good. I would give the week a B. There were way too many okay books and books that were entertaining and only a few “A” list type books. To be fair I have left five books to be read that are not included.

I think it we should take it category by category.

The top books for me were Detective Comics #13, Before Watchmen Rorschach #2, Fatale #8 and Animal Man #13.

Detective Comics #13 by John Layman and Jason Fabok was the best book of the week. I was anticipating John’s work on this book and had high hopes going in. The cover featuring the Penguin made me pause as I’m not a Penguin fan, but John delivered and made the book great. Jason Fabok’s artwork was well done and the book was not only highly entertaining but a good looking book as well. The backup story by Layman and artist Andy Clark was also a nice end piece. John has set the Penguin up as a man looking to recapture the glory that his family had in building Gotham. The Wayne family is his nature enemy. This is all building off the rich back story and history Scott Snyder has built for Batman. There is a part of me that dislikes all of this added history, there is another part that says since DC has taken all the legacy of most characters away, so it is nice to have one character with a significant back story. Layman has proven himself to be a great writer from Chew, to a great Godzilla mini-series and to Mars Attacks. John laces his stories with humor and fun. He keeps the humor contextually correct for the book and in this Batman story he lays out the plot by Penguin to kill Bruce Wayne. The story has Bruce, Batman, Alfred and Nightwing are involved in the story. It also has all the fighting and high tech gadgets you could want, opens up a great story arc and sets up a dangerous situation that the hero will have to overcome in the next issue or two. It is all done without being too dense and the book is easily the best of the week. Layman has become a great writer and I see his star rising fast at DC. I just hope he does not take on too much work and is able to keep everything he does at such a high level.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: Wonder Woman 1960-62

This week I wanted to look at what could be called "lost covers."  Whenever someone talks about goofy silverage antics, people always think of Superman and Batman.  But the big two weren't the only ones with incredibly silly covers.  Wonder Woman had her fair share so this week I want to spotlight some of the best from the beginning of the silverage.

All covers were Pencils: Ross Andru, Inks: Mike Esposito.  That alone is worth mentioning.  Can you imagine having the same artist doing covers to Avengers for one entire year?  These days I can't.  Oh well.

Wonder Woman 118, November 1960

This is the epitomy of early silverage Wonder Woman for me.  Wonder Woman faced with the impossible decision of who to save.  The love of her life, Steve Trevor, or the other love of her life, Mer-Boy. 

Mer-Boy????  Ok, that's new even to me but that's a heck of a love triangle.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Nothing Satisfies Like a Hembeck Redo

Ran out of time this week, since I'm going with my wife to her 25th high school reunion tonight (Friday).  We're skipping the "official" heavy appetizer/booze-fest and are instead just visiting with people she actually remembers. After the jump you can see Fred Hembeck's cover redo versions for the these great comics from September 1974. They're GREAT (and proudly hang framed on my bedroom wall)!!!

Friday, October 05, 2012

DC Comics Is Missing Something...

So I supposed what I should do is introduce myself before I aim my gun of truth and fire into the heart of DC Comics with all of the abandon of a character erased from continuity. They call me Shawn. I have loved comics since I was five years old. Sadly, most of the mainstream comics I read from Marvel and DC nowadays disappoint me, and either I am getting old and jaded (which is entirely possible), both companies have adopted movie franchise recognition and sales gimmicks over stories, or a little bit of both.

I write reviews for Cosmic Comix, read here, and though I sometimes write a critical review, oftentimes I tend to only review books I really like. I am a big believer that whining and complaining about comics does not lead people to good books. With that in mind, however, it does not mean that my inner Fanboy does not need an outlet to cheer, to cry like a little bitch, or to spit fire and brimstone from my curled, angry lips. I would like to thank the other writers on this site for giving me space to do one or all of those things.

Where were we? Oh yes, DC Comics. Growing up Spider-Man was probably my first favorite superhero; nevertheless, it was not long before my love carried over to Batman, Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, and others. Spider-Man notwithstanding, I considered myself a DC Comics fan first and foremost. There are probably many different reasons for this, but ultimately it was because at the time DC was taking more chances with their characters. Wally West was the Flash. Kyle Rayner was Green Lantern. Tim Drake was the greatest Robin ever and he had his own title. And of course there was Starman.

Some might not remember the era of Marvel Comics before Joe Quesada’s tenure as Editor-In-Chief, but I do. Sure both companies had their share of ridiculous stories, and not every book was a winner. The important part of the equation was that DC Comics had something that set it apart at the time. DC Comics had magic. It is a magic that the DC52 sorely lacks, and once upon a time it made all the difference for this reader right here. What was this magic? I can sum it all up in one word: LEGACY.

Avengers vs X-Men #12 (of 12) or Cyclops as Jean Grey

Avengers vs X-Men #12 (of 12), so what did I think?

As far as the book goes it did allow Marvel to clear the decks a little and set up a slightly new status quo. Captain America will combine the X-Men and Avengers, Hope has reversed the status quo change of the Scarlet Witch and new mutants are popping up like weeds in a garden.

The problem I have is with the whole thing is the destruction of yet another Marvel character, Cyclops has been tarnished pretty badly. See my big problem with Marvel is that everything, I mean everything is about the illusion of change. No change last forever, no character ever dies, the sliding scale of continuity says everything happened in the last ten years, but everything in the character’s history actually happened. By the way that sliding scale has caused almost every Marvel origin to be constantly retro-conned. If we don’t get involved in another war in the next decade or so Iron Man will have to have been created because Tony was kidnapped by gangsters or something.

Cyclops is the perfect example of why this often creates more problems then it solves. In this series they needed a villain. It needed to be shocking and it needed to be a player, so they fished around and cast Cyclops for the part. I understand that Thor read for the part also as did Magneto, Iron Man and  Havok. It was felt that the power should fall in mutant hands since the Phoenix force was cast as the world ending menace Cyclops seemed to fit the bill nicely. Not that he has given us any true predilection for acting like this before; it was just good for the story.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Image Previews for December

Lee: Image continues to produce really strong series but they need to improve on their hype writing skills. Once we get past the first, very obvious pick I start to examine what makes books interesting.
Thomm: That’s probably the Kirkman influence. He’s been the master of brevity for Invincible and The Walking Dead promos for years. Works fine for those books that already have a loyal following and good word of mouth, but not so much for lesser known works.

MARA #1 (of 6)

story Brian Wood
art / cover Ming Doyle - Jordie Bellaire
32 Pages / FC / M / $2.99
Acclaimed creator Brian Wood (The Massive, DMZ, Demo, Northlanders) and brilliant newcomer Ming Doyle (The Loneliest Astronaut, Fantastic Four, Girl Comics) bring you MARA, the story of an especially gifted woman in a sports-and war-obsessed future. Young Mara Prince is at the top of the world, a global celebrity in a culture that prizes physical achievement above all else. After she manifests supernatural abilities on live TV, she becomes famous all over again but for the worst reasons. Integrating themes of superpowers, celebrity worship, corporate power, feminism, and political brinksmanship, MARA takes a classic genre to new places.
Lee: It’s Brian Wood so I am going to get it. But I do wonder with all the books he’s currently writing is he burning out. Probably not on this one so I’m sold.
Thomm: I generally like Wood’s work, though I’m on the fence with The Massive right now. The title caught my eye first because I recall a soft porn book called Mara of the Celts from a couple decades ago. I almost hoped he was re-visiting that, as I’m sure Wood would make it far more interesting than the original.

5 more below the break!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The List - September 2012

A relatively small group this month.  No more Scalped, Northlanders, or Spaceman.  That might be saving Animal Man and Swamp Thing for a little longer.  I must say I'm a little mystified by the #0 issues from DC.  Sure, I only bought 4 of the titles, but why are these "jumping on" issues that are mostly rehashing information developed only within the last year even done?  It's not hard to pick up an new arc at issue 13 and either figure out what happened in 1-12 or go find them in singles or trades.

1. Wonder Woman 0 - Of course, that being said, this is the exception.  Rather than wasting my time with a summary of what had gone on in 1-12, which I already read, Azzarello and Chiang did something creative.  They created a new story that apes the old Wonder Woman books from the Marston days.  Lots of dialogue no one would speak.  Plenty of thought balloons reiterating what the art's already showing.  Hilariously originally published in "All-Girl Adventurse Tales for Men #41".  And yet, it's set using the current mythos of Diana that she's the child of Hippolyta and Zeus, although she's a teenager who doesn't know that and still thinks she's clay brought to life.  Ares is featured in training her, surruptiously, in martial skills beyond those of her Amazon sisters.  Of course, she fails his final test by being merciful to her opponent.  It's a great short story that develops Diana to the person we saw in the first issue just a year ago.  Would have been nice to have had that kind of story in the other three #0 issues I read.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

What I’m Getting October 3

So my time to prepare this post is short as I do both post on the week-end and with over 30 new books and going to the Bucs game Sunday (actually going to see the Redskins and taking my daughter Jamie who is a Redskins fan) leaves little time to do these post justice. As always if you want to see the whole list click on October 3 New Comics.

We have to start with the Marvel stuff as the elephant on the list is Avengers vs X-Men #12 (of 12). I have been less than impressed with the story, but the art for the most part has been very good. One thing it has done right is allow Marvel to have a fresh starting point with a lot of books and Marvel is using it to do a long overdue creator shake up. I’m actually looking forward to trying out almost all the Marvel Now stuff. Also from Marvel is AvX #6 (of 6), which has been a great mindless fight book that speaks to the 12 year old boy in me. Rounding it out for Marvel is Amazing Spider-Man #695, Uncanny X-Force #32 and Age of Apocalypse #8. Wow, I just looked over that listing and four of the books are still X-related and I hardly get any x-stuff.

Monday, October 01, 2012

The Week of September 26 in Review

Damn, but it was a huge week of comics and I’m going to the Bucanners/Redskins game Sunday so no time to read everything. I have decided that the week itself deserves a letter grade and will have plus and minuses included, you can skip to the bottom for that.

This week I read two books before my box showed up as I cheated on my comic store. I needed a long box as I’m reordering some books for one of my daughters and I went to a local LCS Wednesday to get the box and picked up Aquaman #0 and Superman #0 on a whim. A short marketing note, when someone enters your store and buys a long box and two new comics, talk to them about a pull service or how your store can offer any discounts. I would not have changed from my store, but still can’t believe this store did not talk or even ask me anything.

Aquaman #0 was a pretty book and it was a nice little origin for Aquaman. Heck Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis managed to tweak his origin but remain true to what I know as the basics. It left me wanting to read more, but I’m not sure if I will as I hear Johns is leaving the book and so is Reis. I’ll decide as I go on this book. I like how Orm is his half brother and according to Vulko killed his Mother the Queen of Atlantis. The use of Vulko was well done and the whole origin story felt right. Heck I normally hate Johns stuff so my ambivalent feeling is a plus. I will put this back on my list and judge issue by issue.

Superman #0 by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort was a travesty. The art was okay, but the Jor-El and Lara story was almost comical. Apparently they are both highly trained martial artists. Of course as is almost the norm lately, Lara is the better fighter. Jor-El finds out the world is going to die soon and then there is a group who kills the entire science center to keep the information quiet, but tries to just capture Jor-El and Lara. It was not even making comic book sense. It lacked any imagination or logic. I find Lobdell’s writing to be action oriented with no strong logic sense and therefore Superman does not come back on my list.