Thought maybe I'd just make this an undated, running thread -- and just date the entries as the weeks turn.


3/28/2012


Of the books I've read so far, Flash 7 is my favorite -- I loved Flash running through the wormhole, the promise he made to Snart (and the resolution of that promise), an interesting wrinkle in what will likely wind up being the Golden Glider's origin, the hint at Captain Singh's love life, and more. I liked Iris going through the wormhole -- it'll give Barry some alone time with her (though I'm by no means anti-Patty). And I'm looking forward to Turbine, next issue!

All-Star Western never disappoints, either -- the lead story made good use of Hex's origins and I like the gladatorial scenario. And the backup art had a real John Severin feel to it, which I appreciated -- and I liked the look at Nighthawk's background, as well. My one quibble was that I couldn't tell if Cinnamon was wearing a mask or not -- in some places, it looked like she wasn't drawn wearing one, but the colorist might have been trying to fix that.

Aquaman, sadly, I'm thinking of dropping. It's good -- objectively a good comic, I think, well drawn and exciting in parts -- but it isn't really connecting with me. Maybe it will in trades, sometime down the road.

New Deadwardians: I was planning on waiting for the trade with this one, but I decided to give a single issue a chance. I love the mystery it sets up, and I love the low-key nature of the supernatural here. It's well worth checking out.

Legion of Super Heroes: Secret Origin wrapped up with a nice moment for Phantom Girl, in particular. That said, I'm not sorry to see it go. While it approached the formation of the Legion in a different way than I'd ever seen before, and Chris Batista delivered some nice Ernie Colon-inspired work, the book as a whole was kind of flat. I much prefer the modern-day Legion, with characters who have a long history behind them. 

Still to come: Daredevil and The Unwritten.

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Didn't get a whole bunch of comics this week: just a Popeye Classics, Dial H and Earth 2. As always, expect spoilers for the issue highlighted in bold.

Earth 2 #11 was another good issue, but like last time, largely setup and exposition. The real action's going to happen next issue, now that Khalid has taken on the helmet of Fate. I like Jay's mom a lot, and they way she stands up to Wotan. (Jay winds up heroic in this issue more through force of personality than in action, this time, too. And the parts of Wotan's backstory we see are pretty interesting, too. Nicola Scott's art is always terrific, too. (Plus: some more 4th World guest stars - though they don't actually do anything this issue.)

Dial H #11: At the end of last issue, Nelson slept with Roxie in their superhero forms. Now Nelson wakes up in human form, and things get unsurprisingly awkward. He searches for some clothes to rush out for a while, but finds the H Dial, and winds up dialing up the Flash. And, like Wally West before him*, Nelson uses his superspeed to avoid an uncomfortable conversation -- but not before really putting his foot in his mouth. Meanwhile, the Centipede is still tracking down the dial, and getting much closer to them.  But that's all side-stuff, as far as I'm concerned. All I want to see is Nelson apologize for calling Roxie "wrinkly."

*in a rooftop coming-out chat with Pied Piper.

I really liked this issue of Dial H. We revisit some ideas from issue 0, and the cosmic villain from the first arc. I've really come to like the Centipede as a villain.

Also:

Bedlam #6: We conclude the first arc with the former villain Fillmore Press stopping the current mad killer in a very interesting and unique way. Also, the higher ups in the police force seem to have known more than they let on.

Masks #5: This isn't a bad series, but this suffers from having to many characters to keep track of, so that people get lost in the shuffle.

Shadowman #6: Master Darque makes a move from the Deadside and is able to bring Baron Samedi back the world of the living. Samedi then plans to make his own deal with the Shadowman. So far I have found this series superior to the last one.

Snow Angel: I neat little one-shot from Dark Horse, written and drawn by David Chelsea. It stars a pre-teen girl who transforms into the hero Snow Angel, which she does by actually making a snow angel in the snow. Snow Angel then stops crimes like jaywalking, and bike theft. These were good, in the back there was some other little comic of what I guess was supposed to be the Obama daughters going to watch a movie. I thought that was just...I don't know, there. It seemed kind of pointless.

Green Arrow #19: Green Arrow fights Komodo atop a building site. Komodo's daughter shows up to give her dad a hand. Merely okay. This is the second time I have picked up Green Arrow with the arrival of a new writer and neither one has really done much for me.

I read a number of others, but that is all I feel like touching on.

I read the first couple issues of this. While I could tell they were very good in terms of both writing and art, my pile has just started piling up so fast that it's grown out of control and I never got a chance to catch up. I may buy the trade of this one day if I hear it's awesome.

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

Bedlam #6: We conclude the first arc with the former villain Fillmore Press stopping the current mad killer in a very interesting and unique way. Also, the higher ups in the police force seem to have known more than they let on.

I liked the Snow Angel stories a lot when they appeared in Dark Horse Presents. 

A few from this week and last: 

Saucer Country 14: A nice wrap-up of the series so far, explaining quite a bit -- especially about the visions of the Voyager couple. I look forward to rereading this in one go when the Cornell regains the rights and he and Kelley can publish new issues elsewhere. Might even reread them before that, too!

Batman 19: I like the fact that some of the WTF covers -- a gimmick I really enjoy, by the way -- lay out a situation, and then that situation is laid out in a different way than expected. Case in point -- the cover leads one to believe that Gordon has turned against Bruce Wayne, when in fact, something like the opposite is true. Also, the backup has a Superman/Batman teamup with art by Michael Lark! Good to see him working with DC again.

Wonder Woman 19: The Wonder Cast gets thinned out a little this issue, which is all for the good. I liked the fight with Orion, and particularly the consequences it had as he revealed his true face. 

Justice League 19: I'm liking this series more and more, lately. I think that, as much as I enjoy looking at Jim Lee's art, I'm not as big a fan of reading his art, if that makes any sense. I liked the conflict between Batman and Superman/Wonder Woman, I enjoyed the interplay between Firestorm and the Atom, and I'm especially looking forward to what happens next issue. Heck of a cliffhanger, there, with Despero (armed with Kryptonite?) showing up at a barely-manned JLA satellite. Shazam also is showing signs of progress -- I hope we have a whole big Shazam family soon.

Batgirl 19: (extra-spoilery here) I picked this one up so I could read the big revelation in context, and I wasn't disappointed. Even better, Simone delivers a really strong story here, and sets up an exciting new status quo for the character: being hunted down by her own father for the supposed murder of her brother. Nicely done.

Conan 14 & 15: I read parts 2 & 3 of "The Woman on the Wall" at once, and it's a very nicely done story. Conan got a lot of hype when it first came out, but it's every bit as strong now as it was when Cloonan was aboard. This is probably my favorite romance in comics right now, doomed as I'm sure it is. (And I don't know how it ends, so don't tell!)

I took advantage of an unusually light week and tried something different: the first issue of Ted McKeever’s new series from Image’s “Shadowline” imprint, Miniature Jesus. As summarized on the back cover: “Critically acclaimed writer/artist Ted McKeever returns to the theater of the bizarre, as a small-town Pastor thinks the eight-inch Jesus that descended from a cross on the church’s wall is the Devil’s work. While a recovering alcoholic’s fractured reality battling his own demons, is becoming all too literal.”

Yep, that pretty much sums it up. The first issue focused more on the recovering alcoholic than the pastor (or the “miniature Jesus,” for that matter), but the artwork is phenomenal. It’s too early to gauge where McKeever is going or what his point may be, but I am at least intrigued.

I’d be interested to hear the opinion of anyone else who has read it.

Oh, wow -- McKeever has a new series out? I'll have to check it out! He has such a distinctive voice, he always intrigues. As a five issue mini, it's easy to dip a toe in.

A few others:

Sword of Sorcery 7: The Amethyst series barrels toward its conclusion, now with Eclipso as the big bad. Man, do I love Loprestri's art. I just get the feeling Marx bit off more than she could chew with the world building in the space and the pace she was allowed. Eight issues in, and while I recognize most characters now, I couldn't tell you a single one of their names, aside from Amethyst and Eclipso. Oh, wait -- it's not Amethyst, is it? It's Amaya. Sheesh. Looks like we're in for an extra-sized wrapup, since Stalker ends in this issue. Man, that Beowulf backup really did its job of carrying me along-- otherwise I would have dropped this after the second issue.

Speaking of Beowulf, DCU Presents spends its last issue with him -- and not the Justice League, as implied on the cover. I don't mind -- I really like the big lug. I hope to see more of him, and his tagalong from the present. 

Black Beetle 3 is very, very good. Man, Francavilla knows how to draw a fight scene. Or a lounge singer scene. Or anything ever. Stylish and pulpy fun.

Batwoman 19: I like that Trevor McCarthy is continuing JH Williams's innovations in layouts, and his cleaner style makes for a smoother, less imposing read. But at the same time, the book doesn't seem quite like the magic trick it had been. 

Fables: A knock-down, drag out fight between Bigby and Brandish, with Snow almost literally in the middle of it. I'm looking forward the the wrap-up, here... I seriously hate brandish, and want to see him get his comeuppance, bad. Snow's line about having made a sacred vow (a hilarious bit in a pretty rough story, otherwise) makes me pretty sure we'll get that soon.

4/24/2013

A few thoughts about this week's comics (the ones that I've read so far, that is):

Flash 19: A decent wrap-up to the powerless/assault on Iron Heights two parter. It was a lot of fun to see Barry take out the Outlander's with the Rogues' weaponry, though I have to admit some confusion on how "Turbocharge"'s powers would actually make Captain Cold's freeze gun grow. I read that the two Reverse Flash pages were shoe-horned in for WTF month, Manapul was a bit disappointed with that, as he thought Buccatello's story could have used that real estate better. I completely agree.

Justice League Dark 19: There's a Flash appearance in this, and some amusing scenes, but this seems like very much a continuation of the vague horrorshow I left behind in issue 2 -- despite a mostly new cast, and all new creators. I'm still not sold, and won't be back next issue.

All-Star Western 19: Booster Gold shows up for what to me seems like the first weak issue of this series. (Some have been better than others, but the intrusion of present-day DCU irks me here in ways that the more tangential appearances of the Black Diamond and the Court of Owls didn't.) The backup is another "gathering of the team" story for old-timey Stormwatch. 

Superman Family Adventures 12: A nice cap to a fun series, in which (almost) everybody gets to show up. Would have liked to have had one last Daily Planet scene, though -- those were gold.

The High Ways 4: The wrapup to the latest John Byrne SF story about space truckers has a few surprises left in it, but will probably read better as a complete story. I have to admit, my memory was a little fuzzy on some details, but Byrne is pretty good with weaving exposition in. 

Dark Horse Presents 23: Okay, so far I've just read Bloodhound, but it's good to see Clev and Saffron again, and it's an intriguing new mystery. The 8-page format makes things a little abrupt, but Jolley and Kirk make the most of the opening page, overlaying some unrelated dialogue at a prison over the wordless scene of a crime being committed, giving us two pages in one (and sparing us a visually uninteresting page of a prison visitation). Well done! 

A few more:

From Dark Horse Presents: Brain Boy and The King's Road (by Peter Hogan and Phil Winslade) both have excellent opening chapters. Brain Boy is a telepath in the U.S. Secret Service. The President is about to arrive and all the Secret Service agents have been forced to commit suicide by another telepath at the G8 conference. In The King's Road, a supernatural attack is thwarted in the suburbs, and then one of the homeowners is told his brother is dead, and he must return to the (apparently otherdimensional) kingdom to claim his crown. There's a nice, final surprise at the end, too. Tiger Lung has been one of my favorite serials these past three months, and this final chapter makes a nice conclusion to this primitive coming-of-age story. 

The Unwritten: Pauly Bruckner is lord of the Underworld, and has Tommy in his clutches. But Tommy's got a few aces up his sleeves, even if he doesn't know about them yet. We learn how Pauly met his fate as a rabbit, and get reunions with a number of old characters... including a final page reveal of someone I thought was gone for good.

Mind MGMT 10: More of a noir feeling this time, as the man who reads minds in a wide radius (and therefore can predict the future) tries to find love. And then: How does Meru's team of ex-Mind MGMT people surprise a man who can predict their every move? A nice gimmick does the trick.

Plus, I read last month's Popeye Classics #8, which is terrific as always. Bud Sagendorf made some migthy fun comics.

Batman 19: I like the fact that some of the WTF covers -- a gimmick I really enjoy, by the way -- lay out a situation, and then that situation is laid out in a different way than expected. Case in point -- the cover leads one to believe that Gordon has turned against Bruce Wayne, when in fact, something like the opposite is true. Also, the backup has a Superman/Batman teamup with art by Michael Lark! Good to see him working with DC again.

Agreed about the WTF covers and Michael Lark's return to DC. He is so suited for Batman and Gotham City. Dang it, Wonder Woman wasn't in my box when I went to the shop yesterday. The advantages of being friend's with the owner I can text him what I was missing.

I hate Brandish as well, yet I hope he survives. He is a great villain.

As for the Flash, they also could have just created a different cover and not shoe-horn in the Reverse Flash angle. I thought it was a fun story with an nice little nod to Die Hard (unless I imagined that).

The most jarring thing to me about Jonah Hex was it was so jarring getting into the back-up. It took me a little bit realize it was the back-up. Seeing Booster Gold was almost as jarring. Although, I think I liked it better than you did. Plus doing an assembly of a team story takes long enough as it is. To me, it is even worse when it is being done if short 10 page bits or whatever it is.

Invincible Universe 1: This is really just continuing the Guardians of the Globe series, but using the name brand of Invincible. Cecil Steadman has a new assistant with a new Agent Edelman, the 10th Agent Edelman since he doesn't want to learn any new names. We get a look in on Steadman's day-to-day work, and then one of his oldest foes shows up asking for some help. Mr. Liu''s body houses a giant ghost dragon ben t on eating the Earth. His body is about to fail irreparably and he looking for some help. A fun comic, and I love seeing Todd Nauck's art

Thief of Thieves 13: Redmond and his son escape the from the Feds with some quick thinking by the boy. One of them (I not sure who they were wearing masks) gets shot in the shoulder, and it isn't show or mentioned ever again. Weird. Later the pair are caught by a drug cartel and are now going to be forced to work for them.

Young Avengers 4: Marvel Boy rescues the rest of the heroes while Hawkeye waits in his ship. A really nice doule page spread to illustrate his antics there. Wiccan finally agrees to give his powers to Loki temporarily to save them all. He then teleports away. Oops. Also, "Come with me if you want to be awesome."

Invincible 102: In which we learn that Mark's Dad is actually of the royal blood line of the Viltrumites. Thragg tries to kill him in order to keep his rule. The rest of the Viltrumites save Nolan. Mark asks Eve to marry him. A nice touch as she creates her own ring. Most disturbing sight was seeing Nolan's eye just kind of floating there in space still attached.

East of West 2: A little slower paced than last issue. The three young horsemen choose a new president for America, by killing everyone in the line of succession until they find one who meets their needs. That need is through an organization bent on destroying the Earth. Later one of those members strikes his own deal with Death. Deciding he likes being in power and doesn't want to die with the destruction of Earth.

Kiss Solo 1 & 2: The first one focuses on The Demon who has his own fight with the Four Horsemen. Saving the world in the process, and deciding that humans just might be worth saving after all. The second issue is on the Starchild, and this takes place during the future. He hears a woman's prayer to protect her husband who has gone off into space. He is a bounty hunter looking for that last big score to retire on. The Starchild does all of the work really and the guy does retire. It is funny to me, in that we see a lot of real people in comics, and some given powers. Here though not only are they super-powered but they are also like immortals.

Thanks for all the reviews, Trav! East of West is a book I definitely have my eye on.

I think you're right about the Die Hard homage in Flash. I hadn't caught it, but it sure seems like it's there.

And yeah. All-Star Western really needed a "To be continued..." blurb at the end of the Hex story. I think that confused everyone.

I read a few more stories in DHP. First of all, I should mention that the Brain Boy story I enjoyed was by Fred Van Lente and Freddie Williams II, an artist I'm currently on the lookout for (and who'll be working on The Movement, which debuts next week!). I also read Journeymen, which seems promising, but maybe needs a longer format to really shine, Arcade Boy (the one dud I've read in the comic so far, but "video games" in general are one of my least favorite tropes of all time, and Shannon Wheeler's hilarious Villain House -- in this installment, about a Vulture-like villain gathering a crew of crooks at his house to commit crimes while he's on house arrest.

Also, there's Gabe and the Sandpiper, a terrific little done-in-one tale by Pete Doree and Sean Phillips, about a Laura Croft-type explorer who leads two hoods to a treasure in a South American temple. Phillips art is gorgeous, and he models the hoods on Peter Lorre and Rondo Hatton -- one more comics character, after John Arcudi's Oxel in The Creep and Dave Stevens's Lothar in The Rocketeer, based on the man with such a distinctive face. 

This is an excellent series. It's unlike many of Hickman's other books in a lot of ways. Not that Hickman is a bad thing, but if you avoided this because you have hang-ups with his style, you may be surprised when you pick this one up.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Thanks for all the reviews, Trav! East of West is a book I definitely have my eye on.

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