Saturday, June 02, 2018

Recent Reads

Wow, I barely remembered this mini-review format from yesteryear.  The house is unusually quiet right now and even though a toilet beckons to be scrubbed and comics need to be bagged, I've got some time I didn't think I'd have to say a little bit more this week.  These reviews won't be very sophisticated or long-winded, but hopefully they'll be informative enough (there could be SPOILERS):

The Man of Steel #1 (2018)

Honestly, I counted the pages to see if it was a whole book or not.  It was, it just read really, really fast.  I liked it though, well enough.  I still don't care much about the main villain -- we see him trying to convince some galaxy leaders (a Guardian is there) to let him exterminate Kypton.  Another woman is caught via super-hearing, admiring Superman -- future love-interest, perhaps?  The what-happened-to-Lois mystery continues, but you do see the start of some trouble for the super family at the end in a more recent flashback.  I guess we'll learn more this week.

Black Panther #1 (or #173) (2018)

This book really surprised me.  I really, really enjoyed it.  It was a solid start to a SyFy epic.  Years ago some group of Wakandan's started an empire in space and now their enslaving people.  Somehow, T'Challa is a prisoner with no memory of who he is, but it looks like he is still thinking about Ororo, his former wife.  He partially escapes/is rescued and at the end it looks like he's becoming a space-version of the Black Musketeers.  You don't get a lot (if any) answers to the why of what is going on, but the storytelling is exciting and entertaining. Color me interested in what happens next.  It just better not turn out to be a dream or simulation...

Vampironica #2

Okay, every copy of this book was trashed -- a manufacturing flaw.  Thankfully, my LCS is ordering me a replacement copy.  I fell in love with Greg Smallwood's art when he was working on Moon Knight recently and in this title he's co-writer too.  Needless to say the book looks great.  I suppose the Archie Horror books don't all exist in the same universe -- this is more of a what if Veronica was a Blade/Buffy vampire/slayer.  It's really good and I think it is traveling under the radar a bit, so I hope fans of Archie or horror or Smallwood will check it out.  Oh, and I LOVE the Riverdale CW series.  Season 2 is now on Netflix -- check it out, it's great!

DC meets Hanna-Barbera: Flash & Speed Buggy #1

Four titles came out this week, but I've only read two so far and they've both been super fun and outstanding.  They seem to be firmly set in the current DCU (or could be), but they provide plausible reasons to encounter "realistic" Hanna-Barbera characters.  Think of the old Julie Schwartz cover-driven stories -- come up with a bizarre concept and make it work.  They have.

The Wally West Flash is fighting Kilg%re the techno-creature.  He encounters a scientist who has built a vehicle to travel through the Speed Force.  There are consequences to his experiment and he ends up having his consciousness infused with the dune buggy, becoming the Speed Buggy we (children of the 70s) know and love.  It turns out the girl from that cartoon is the scientist daughter and this basically serves as an origin to the show.  Also a great Mark Waid-era Flash villain shows up with some evil car counterparts.

DC meets Hanna-Barbera: Aquaman & Jabberjaw #1

This one was a lot of fun too.  I'm a big Paul Pelletier fan to begin with and he does his usual outstanding job.  It starts out with an homage to the 1975 Jaws movie, only it turns out the first monster shark encountered is ol'Jabby.  He's from a future alternate dimension of 2076 (The original show started in 1976).  There is some fun where characters from the show (I think) have similar names to Aquaman's foes/relations.  If you love Aquaman, you'll love this.  The back-up story features CAPTAIN CAVVVVEMAN!!!  The Spectre and the Wizard Shazam are talking about heroism.  The Spectre claims it is a recent trait, but Shazam says it has been around much longer.  He plucks Captain out of the timestream to the present day (he was going to die anyway -- they were too strong and not smart enough to avoid danger).  The Wizard also gives him the ability to speak today's language (sorta).  It's great and makes me want to watch both of these old cartoons.  The other titles were Black Lightning &Hong Kong Fuey and the Super Sons & Blue Falcon and Dynomut.  I'd be reading them now, but I wanted to write this for you instead.

Scott Pilgrim Vol 1 thru 6

I found volumes 1 thru 4, and 6 at a local thrift store on my birthday (and volume 5 arrived in the mail yesterday).  I picked them up, remembering Shawn's (I think) rave reviews back in the day when he, Jim and I were on the Cosmic Comix radio show together.  I figured my manga loving kids would dig this and I'd finally get to try it myself.  I LOVED IT!!!  I don't agree with some of the decisions the character's make, but boy is it engrossing to watch Scott mature from a slacker 23-year-old to fully capable of loving someone 24-year-old.  The page layouts are outstanding and the book is really funny.  The scene where he gives back someone's bass was hilarious.  The expressions are priceless.  I was totally blown away when Ramona started to travel thru subspace and then Scott started fighting her evil ex-boyfriends video game style.  To have a property this old (14 to 8 years) be discovered and enjoyed as if it were brand new was quite a surprise.  Now I want to check out the video game, the card game, and dare I say it, the movie.  I don't think it will be nearly as good -- I want to see it as a cartoon instead of live-action.

Time to make dinner for the family.  I'm due back on July 1st where I should have a review of "How Comics Work".


  1. I'm looking forward to MoS. I can't wait for this new era of Superman. Glad you dug Scott Pilgrim. The film is pretty fun too. :D

  2. Good to know about the film. Thanks!