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Showing posts from September, 2009

I’ve Been Going A Little BATS lately . . . . . part 5

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I’ve been following the various Batman-related titles more than I can remember at any previous time in their long history.  The reason is because the current crop is written and illustrated very well;  and the storylines are so compelling and involving.   In my book, the Batman: Reborn titles are winners.  I’m about to face some hard decisions as I start to fine-tune my monthly comics budget.  I’m spending and reading much more than I should be (considering current economic status) and I’ve got to reduce the number of books I’m purchasing.  What BAT titles will I chose to quit following?  This is going to be a tough decision.BATGIRL #1: writer Bryan Q. Miller, artist Lee GarbettWhat I like most about BATGIRL is the light-hearted, easy going and amusing style that Miller uses to move the story along.  I’m reminded of the early years of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN and suspect that this had a positive influence on Miller.  While the current ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN COMICS doesn’t quite have the old m…

Comics I Read: September, Part 2

Got sidetracked by not feeling well for a few days, but let’s try again…Wolverine: Old Man Logan Giant-Size: I’m not sure if I just lost interest because of the delay or what, but I actually kind of hated this. It doesn’t have any of the clever future-Marvel stuff from the previous chapters – it’s just a straight revenge story. It’s disgusting (Bruce & his cousin), violent (page after page of Logan covered in blood: “I’m just here to kill you people”) and repetitive (Millar’s already done the “Hulk eats people” bit in “Ultimates”). I actually went over to Amazon and cancelled my pre-order for the collection.Spider-Woman 1: Now that this is out in print, we can compare and contrast with the motion comic. This issue covers approximately the same ground as the first motion episode, which means the motion comic story is way ahead of the print version. (I wonder how they’ll deal with that at crossover time.) The motion comic has its merits, mainly the excellent voice acting, but for no…

Comics I Read: September, Part 1

I’m just now getting caught up from being out of town for Labor Day, so I’m just going to lump all the September books (including this weeks) together and not worry about when they came out. It’s going to take a few days, so let’s get started.The Torch 1: Toro was never the sharpest kid on the block either in the Golden Age or in “Invaders”, but here he’s been resurrected in modern times (see “Avengers/Invaders”) in a way that somehow doesn’t mess up the timeline and the first thing he does is deliver himself to his only enemy on the planet. I like the idea that the Torch is responsible for Toro’s powers, which is backed up by his 1940’s origin story, but if you want to read about their history go read “The Marvels Project” instead.The Marvels Project 2: Speaking of which, Brubaker spends a lot of this issue on the origins of the Golden Age Angel (who I wasn’t that familiar with) and filling in the gaps between when the Human Torch escaped from his concrete prison and when he became a…

Books I Read: August/September, Part 1

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Marvel Super Hero Team-Up TPB: Marvel made a mistake with this book, in my opinion. It was originally titled “Marvel Bromance”, as a play on the recent “Marvel Romance” trade and the general pop culture trend. They changed the title because they were afraid it would seem dated. They may have been right, but the problem is that the book still has the same content under a generic title. There are much better “team-up” stories available then the ones chosen here – much better Spidey/Torch issues of “Marvel Team-Up” and much better Captain America & The Falcon stories, for instance. If you came into this without knowing the history, I think you’d be pretty disappointed. That said, the stories fit the “male friendship” theme pretty well and show some nice moments in the Spidey/Torch, Cap/Falcon, Stark/Rhodes and Wolverine/Colossus relationships. I also have a soft spot for any book that reprints Priest’s “Black Panther”: the issue chosen (#25) – not technically a “Super Hero Team Up” b…

My servant wrote this review for me . . . . . . .

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THE SURROGATES  TPB  by Robert Venditti, illustrated and colored by Brett Weldele  (reprint 2009, Top Shelf Productions)           Another science-fiction comic gets adapted to movies with the September 25th premiere of THE SURROGATES in theaters.   The movie trailers look interesting and appear to at least                 remain faithful to the major theme of the limited series comic.  Although there are  several scenes depicted that I don’t remember as occurring  in the  original  storyline.  I hope the film gets it at least half-right.                                                                                                BLADE RUNNER was an interesting movie that helped jump-start Hollywood’s interest in science fiction works as good subjects for film adaptation.  However, the movie was just a shell without the guts, namely all the secondary themes and good stuff  that made the original novel (DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?) so memorable. I, ROBOT was an entertaining …

Sweet Tooth = simple yet sublime

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SWEET TOOTH #1  (DC Vertigo)   story and art by Jeff LemireI nearly passed over this based on the dumb-appearing cover depiction of a backwoods Appalachian boy with deer ears and antlers and chocolate mess on his perplexed face.  (It’s not so dumb after you read the story).  Yet, at the introductory price of $1.00 it was worth a closer look and less of a monetary risk.  I also was curious to read something for the first time by Jeff Lemire, whose indie reputation is growing.  I was actually moved and saddened by this tender, apocalyptic tale (yes, yet another post-cataclysm story).       In spite of that put-off, I was moved by the simple nature of this book.  Very  quickly and easily Lemire immerses the reader into the story as we begin to realize the loneliness that the dying father and innocent son are experiencing .   Gus, the son born post-apocalypse of a dying mother and mutated by the after-effects (of whatever it was),  realizes near his tenth year that his father doesn’t have…

Photo of the Week

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“I’ll have an iced Venti latte and a slave girl, please.” (Read about Jabba’s adventures – an actual Lucasfilm employee testing a new costume – here.)

The Super Hero Squad Show

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I watched the two episode sneak preview of Marvel Animation's “The Super Hero Squad Show” on Cartoon Network tonight and, though I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised, it was pretty much what I expected. I’m not the target audience, so I won’t bash it too much – in fact, I think 8-year-old boys and under might like it a lot. The voice acting is fun and over the top and the animation is pretty good considering the kiddie character designs (especially the title sequence), but this isn’t one of those things that can be enjoyed on different levels by kids and adults – it’s mainly fart jokes and bathroom humor. It’s fun to see some of the obscure Marvel characters like Modok, the Wrecking Crew and Ms. Marvel (who I don’t think has ever been animated before) but for comics readers and older kids I have to recommend “Spectacular Spider-Man” on Disney XD or “Wolverine and the X-Men” on Nicktoons instead. (If you do have young kids you think might like this, the schedule is available by…

Wolves in street clothing, part 2 . . . . .

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Before I comment on these latest books, I want to make a correction to my last posting 0f September 4th (DARK WOLVERINE: AN APPRECIATION). I referred to several events as happening in DARK WOLVERINE #77, when they actually took place in #76. I didn’t have my chronology in order. I even referred to some Issue #75 events as taking place in #76. I’m sorry if it created any confusion, especially if you’re seeking out these books. In the comments section I jokingly referred to this as being a purposeful error, but that’s untrue. I just screwed up.DARK WOLVERINE #77: The unanswered question from issue #75 gets clarified here, right in the summary on the opening credits page : “Daken proves to be just as devious as Osborn and has carefully orchestrated a conflict between the Fantastic Four and Osborn by shooting the Human Torch in the leg with one of Bullseye’s arrows. Daken, feigning innocence, visits the FF at the Baxter Building and creates a shaky alliance with a skepti…

Shane's Number Ones - August 2009

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Now to rush onto my new books for August to be finally caught up...on the issue reviews I do, at least.  I still have other stuff to write about, but those aren't quite as time sensitive--I'd rather get these out while they're still somewhat relevant.Adventure Comics #1 (or 504) - DC ComicsNot too long ago, I complained about Legion of Three Worlds.  While it's still certainly not my favorite recent book, I've gotten past many of those complaints just in time for this new ongoing series that, hopefully, will be around for a good, long time.  To start with--the art on this book?  Gorgeous.  Francis Manapul takes the talent he shaped on earlier books up until The Legion of Super-Heroes and adds in the color wash he perfected during Superman/Batman to create the beautiful look he gives Superboy and Smallville.  The early spread with him, Ma Kent and Krypto looking at the farm was my wallpaper for a good, long time.  An upcoming solicitation shows that Jerry Ordway wil…

Shane's Numbers Ones! - July 2009

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Been some time since I've made a blog post--it's just me being lazy.  So, I'll start with some more reviews of the new titles in July.I started this in the middle of August.  And then the computer crashed and, because the auto-save feature hadn't activated in a bit, I lost all of the reviews I'd written.  I'm finally going back to it, now.Okay!  Well.Blackest Night #1 (of 8) - DC ComicsFor those who like the insane crossover events--this is the book for you.  When we take a look at what both major companies have done, this is far more like Secret Invasion than it is Final Crisis--in fact, DC hasn't really done anything like this since Infinite Crisis, with other events (Amazons Attack, Sinestro Corps. War, New Krypton, etc.) being focused on individual franchises.  Here, though, we have the DCU in all of its glory, by one of its top superstar writers and a growing superstar artist, with a large number of tie-ins on the way.  I haven't paid too much atte…

Spider-Woman Motion Comic

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I’ve seen the first two episodes of Marvel’s new Spider-Woman Motion Comic on iTunes – they’re $1.99 each, but the first episode is free here for a limited time – and I’m not sure how to evaluate it. Let me list my impressions, and we’ll see what they add up to.The voice acting is terrific. The woman who plays Jessica, who has most of the dialogue, is really good. Also, the actress that plays Viper in episode 2 had a really great performance – she plays her as manic which was unexpected and fun. It turns out that these voices are both the same actress, which I never would have guessed before the credits rolled! Alex Maleev’s art, as you can see above, is amazing. He’s outdone himself again. The writing is typical Bendis, which is to say really good. I think he’s still figuring out how to adapt to spoken dialogue – there’s a lot of exposition in episode 1 – but he improved a lot in the second episode. Bendis has said repeatedly in interviews that, as the first motion comic not adapted …

DARK WOLVERINE: AN APPRECIATION

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DARK WOLVERINE #77:
Written by Daniel Way & Marjorie Liu; pencils by Giuseppe Camuncoli.


The early assumptions were that DARK WOLVERINE would feature a younger carbon copy of the original. It would likely be a book about the son consumed with hatred for the father he blames for his mother's death - - - a son who agrees to join the Dark Avengers and pose as the father in order to discredit the Wolverine name and finally achieve vengeance. Daken would willingly cede control to the appointed leader, and work with the framework of Norman Osborn's plan in order to achieve his own ends. This would be a younger (well, 60+ years isn't young, but compared to dad it's downright youthful), less composed, more hateful and aggressive Avenger-with-the-claws, less in control of emotions and more of an impulsive risk-taker, often fueled by the famous berserker rage within his genes.
Au contraire. Two issues in, and we've seen nothing of the sort. Instea…

Jeff’s Comics Review, 8/26/2009, Conclusion

Avengers: The Initiative 27: Two great stories from Christos Gage this month, both related to the attempt to take back the Negative Zone prison from Blastaar and his forces. First, he digs up an actual (I checked) pair of third-rate villains from an old issue of Dazzler and through them shows the “working class” point of view of the members of Norman Osborn’s new Initiative. This is the kind of thing this book does best, and it’s a gem of a story that made me want to find their original Dazzler appearance. (But then I laid down for a minute and the feeling passed.) The second story features the regular cast and shows the actual assault.Ms. Marvel 44: This book is also on the twice-a-month plan through October. I’m not sure why there’s such a rush to finish this storyline, but I really liked the interaction between Osborn and his Ms. Marvel (Norman: “Not the time, Karla!” Karla: “You’ve been wrong every other time I’ve been right today. Do you really want to go for another?”) and the h…