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Showing posts from August, 2009

Jeff’s Comics Review, 8/19/09 releases, Part 1

Batman: Streets of Gotham 3: Kind of a “moving the pieces around the chessboard issue”, but in a good way as Dick and Damien try to keep Hush/Bruce Wayne under control and Black Mask, Zsasz and Penguin work on their plans. Some great dialogue too – Damien’s reaction to the “superstitious and cowardly lot” line is priceless. The Manhunter chapter shows Kate being resourceful without her equipment, though she does need a last-minute rescue from a familiar face.Blackest Night: Superman 1: Unlike the other BN tie-ins so far, this doesn’t key off a specific scene in the main book instead featuring Superman and Superboy in Smallville. However, it does contain the worst kept secret of the year as the Golden Age Superman finally appears as Black Lantern Kal-L. I was surprised by who he brought with him, though (but I should have expected it.) Of course, James Robinson does a great job, even making a very clever and subtle point about Superman’s personality via the “emotion vision” from the Bl…

Disney buys Marvel

I own a share of Marvel stock, so at some point I will be asked to vote on this. Tell me how I should vote! (Not that it will affect the outcome...)Disney to Pay $4 Billion for Comic Giant Marvel (NY Times)Edited to add: Rich Johnston has a great list of questions raised by the sale at his site.

Ultimate re-launch = hits & misses

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ULTIMATE AVENGERS COMICS #1I liked this enough to want to come back for more. I found it very entertaining and cinematic in the way that Millar wrote and paced it and Pacheco illustrated it, reminding me of a good John Woo movie (or take your pick of action film directors).  The centerpiece of the book is an awesomely portrayed skirmish in the air that takes place inside and out of two helicopters - - and possibly the best action panels that I’m going to see, at least for this month.I’ll summarize what occurs here without spoiling anything for you:    Issue #1 focuses mainly on the characters as shown on the front side of the wraparound cover; and if the future team will include all the others depicted here then things should get very interesting.  Nick Fury as envisioned by Carlos Pacheco couldn’t possibly look any closer to Samuel L. Jackson than he does here.  It’s three months after the events of Ultimatum and Fury has been disciplined for his actions and replaced by Carol Danvers…

Muppet Doppelgänger of the Week

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Rogue Elmo menaces Times Square tourists. Congress needs to pass that Muppet Registration Act soon…

Cartoon of the Week

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Jeff’s Comics Review, 8/12/09 releases

Blackest Night 2: Too many great scenes to name in this space – I’d just wind up recapping the whole book – but I especially liked the GL/Bat-Signal splash and his “Flash Fact” line. The Black Lantern rules seem inconsistent; I thought the bodies were being possessed but not the spirits, which would explain Ralph & Sues’s behavior and how Boston Brand’s body is taken against Deadman’s will, but on the other hand Dove apparently can’t be taken because his spirit is at peace and somehow the Spectre is vulnerable. I’m intrigued by this, not annoyed, because I trust that Johns will make it all clear eventually. (And I still say the body count is too high for most of these characters to stay dead.)Batman 689: I still like the way Winick is showing Dick finding his own way to be Batman – he’s realizing he’s more of a performer than Bruce – and how all his family members are adjusting. (Alfred: “Ah, that’s more familiar. Deflecting a moment of genuine emotion.) Mark Bagley’s art compleme…

Jeff’s Comics Review, 8/5/09 releases

Dark X-Men: The Beginning 2: Turns out that the reason I thought Paul Cornell was writing this whole series is that he is doing a “Dark X-Men” mini with “Captain Britain” artist Leonard Kirk later in the year and I got them confused. Here, he does the Cloak & Dagger story that I was hoping for last issue and I like where he puts them – they’re in Columbia fighting the drug cartels – and I like Osborn’s sales pitch. (“I’d like to be able to say to the daylight side of the U.S. government that my people are making major advances in the War On Drugs.”) Again, the key to making Osborn work is for him to sound as much like a real politician as possible. The Weapon Omega and Daken stories are also pretty good, but it is basically an entire issue of Osborn talking people into joining his X-Men.Doom Patrol 1: I’m on the fence with this. What I’m having trouble with is that a couple of team members (you can probably guess which ones from the preview) are lost on a mission at the beginning …

I’ve Been Going A Little BATS, lately . . . part 4

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GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #2:It’s an uneasy alliance between these three Sirens that will most likely be tested on a regular basis, maybe every issue.  Poison Ivy uses her powers on Catwoman to force the identity of Batman from her. Under the influence of the truth toxin secreted by Ivy’s lie-detector vines Catwoman tells the truth but still protects Bruce Wayne’s secret through a clever parlor trick taught her by Talia.  It seems a little contrived but perhaps writer Paul Dini is using this to get his point across that nobody is completely trusting here and this isn’t going to read like a standard “buddy book”.  I’m just wondering how far you can go with this concept.  So far, the book’s provided some light-hearted entertainment.  The Sirens seem willing to help each other out of trouble, and now its Ivy and Selina working together to rescue an apparently abducted Harley Quinn as the issue ends.  My opinion: this is still worthwhile. BATWOMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS #855:Without a doubt, this is …

Going 4th with Cap, part 2 . . . . .

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CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN #2: by Ed Brubaker, Bryan Hitch/Butch GuiceTo some in discussion groups and online chat rooms it seems pretty clear cut now what will happen and how Captain America will be reborn = apparently he wasn’t dead, he’s just been missing because he’s trapped in a time travel loop.  I’m not sure about that. Yes, time travel is involved but . . . . . . . my head is swimming with possibilities and I don’t mind a bit.  I think Brubaker has maybe revealed one card so far but he’s not going to show his entire hand until the very end - - and it’s going to be a full house of creativity.  I love this series so far.   How can you resist that WWII wish-fulfillment fantasy cover with Cap’s hands around Hitler’s throat and choking the life out of him with grim determination?     In fact, before I get to the story I want to talk about the stellar art work done here.  Before,  I said that I felt the combination of Hitch and Guice equals Epting . .  and I still see that but I’m also …

Quickie short reviews: sloppy seconds

DOOM PATROL #1 (DC);I reviewed the 5-page preview of this previously and didn’t like it then. Nevertheless I decided to give the first full story a chance, and I also wanted to check out the Metal Men second feature. I still don’t like this book but I respect it more after reading the full story. It’s not so bad and worth your time to investigate, especially if you like this team from past volumes. Two team members don’t survive the mission here and Keith Giffen uses that to make his point that there’s a reason they’re called the “Doom” Patrol and also explain some of their cold-hearted reactions to losing some members and then making light of it. Although it doesn’t quite ring sincere to me and the whole thing comes off a bit heavy-handed and inconsistent. Matthew Clark does a fine job on the art - -nothing special but it does show some promise in certain panels. Giffen lays the humor on even thicker and heavier in the Metal Men feature and I found it to be very annoying. I’m …

How about a quickie? . . . short reviews

CHEW #3 (Image):This title deserves the attention. It’s well-earned. With Issue #3, things get even more complicated and the entertainment value keeps rising. I love this book. Crazy scripter John Layman comes up with another made-up word and almost gets us to swallow it. First, we’ve got a main character who picks up vital clues in criminal investigations after munching on decomposing body parts. Now, we learn more about his love interest (she’s not aware of it yet, though) - - Amelia Mintz, a food pages reporter who happens to be a “saboscrivner”, meaning people reading her newspaper column can actually taste the food she is writing about. In this issue, she gets bored with writing about gourmet food so she investigates all the D-rated restaurants - - and her readers start hurling and spewing. Clever artwork adds to the fun. Two issues left in the opening series - - and I hope we get a second helping. THE STUFF OF LEGEND Volume 1: The Dark, Book 1 (Th3rd World Studios):A nice touch …

Let’s Go Back To The Start

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What better way to top off a year-long celebration of 70 years of Marvel Comics than with a limited series that details the beginning of it all?What better writer to handle with care the heady task of plotting this event and  treating these long-term characters properly than Ed Brubaker? What better artist to trust with maintaining accurate historical detail while creating some exciting visuals than Steve Epting? They are probably the best writer-artist combination available today, with their long-term work on CAPTAIN AMERICA serving as evidence of how their teamwork makes both story and art even better.The advance information on THE MARVELS PROJECT promises an eight issue limited series that will explain the start of the Marvel Universe and reveal the hidden connection between the heroes. It will feature some well-known characters (Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, Captain America) as well as some lesser-known and lesser-used secondary characters from Marvel’s early days (The Angel, for one)…

Creepy is in the eye of the beholder

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CREEPY #1   (DARK HORSE COMICS, July 2009)     Illustrated horror of the short-story variety finds another new outlet in the re-boot of CREEPY, to be published quarterly via Dark Horse Comics.     This standard format-sized, 48 page black and white comic attempts to re-animate the form  and revive some excitement for disturbing short stories with scary punch-lines of the type once popularized by the original CREEPY and EERIE black and white comic magazines back in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Greatly influenced by the even older EC Comics TALES FROM THE CRYPT and THE VAULT OF HORROR, etc. it was time for CREEPY (and soon EERIE) to be brought back to life, especially since their pappy (TALES FROM THE CRYPT)  has been doing reasonably well in it’s new series from Papercutz.  Also, with the recent success of the CREEPY and EERIE hardcover reprints from Dark Horse Comics it was inevitable that a spin-off group like New Comic Company would come forward with a proposal to create original works i…

Blog Layout Poll

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I’ve been thinking about updating the blog layout to something a little less generic, but still fairly clean and uncluttered. Does anyone feel strongly pro or con about any of the sample layouts below? (You have to click through to see them.) Or should I just leave it the way it is?MaroonKing (click on the image): Extreme GeorgiaSmash My TypoGotham NightsEvidens2Plus

Jeff’s Comics Review, 7/29/09 releases, Conclusion

Wonder Woman 34: The tone lightens up a little bit as Diana starts to deal with the changes in her life from last issue, but still has to tie up some loose ends from the previous story arc. She recruits Black Canary for help, who of course Gail Simone has a lot of experience writing, which leads to some really funny disguises and dialogue. (BC: “The sexier the outfit, the fewer questions asked…but that means exposing our community’s second most famous bosom.” WW:“Wait. What was that about my bosom?” BC:“You mean you haven’t seen all the websites? Trust me on this, those things are considered like a national treasure.”)Justice Society of America 29: Pretty much the shift in tone I expected to more of a “traditional” superhero book. So much so, it’s like they’ve been saving it up – the team is attacked by over a dozen villains. Still, I liked it just fine and Willingham and Sturges seem to have a good grasp of how these characters are supposed to act. I’m not sure I like the idea of spl…

Blog Post of the Week

Heidi McDonald of THE BEAT wrote the best post-Comic-Con analysis I've read.

Jeff’s Comics Review, 7/29/09 releases, Part 1

Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps 3: This last issue is a bit of a departure from the previous ones, with two Green Lantern origin stories – Kilowog and Arisia – and the pencils to Blackest Night #0 with commentary by Geoff Johns and the other creators involved. The origin stories (by Pete Tomasi) are good, though I think the timing is off on the Arisia story. (Guy Gardner is shown as a Green Lantern before Arisia joins, and I’m pretty sure it happened the other way around.) Ivan Reis’ issue 0 pencils are amazing to look at, but there’s nothing critical in the commentary if you already have the issue.Ultimatum 5: So this is finally done, and the ending comes full circle with Ultimate Origins. Besides the massive destruction in New York, some characters are killed who would be unkillable in the Marvel Universe and other characters cross lines they would never be allowed to cross in the Marvel U. If it sounds like a pretty gruesome comic, it is, and I’m not convinced that these changes…

Marvelman Updates

Shane and I have been posting links to more information about the Marvelman situation in the comments of my original post, for anyone who’s interested. I probably won’t spend a lot of effort making news posts here, since CBR and Newsarama do that so well, but this seemed like an extra big deal and I knew some of you would be interested.Speaking of comments on posts: If you have an RSS reader and you want to follow comments, there’s a link at the bottom of each post to subscribe to comments on that post and there’s a link in the sidebar to subscribe to comments on all posts. (You can also subscribe to the posts themselves from the sidebar.)