Showing posts from September, 2011


ALL STAR WESTERN #1  (DC, September 28, 2011 release)  Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, Writers. Moritat, Artist and Cover.  Gabriel Bautista, Colorist.  Rob Leigh, Letterer.The writers of one of the longest running western comics in modern history (Jonah Hex) bring the same character over to the NEW 52 DC and never miss a step.  I haven’t been a regular reader of JONAH HEX but this appears to be more of the same great content and style as Palmiotti and Gray keep the momentum going without pause.  If you’ve been a reader of  JONAH HEX (pre-NEW 52), you’ll want to continue with this new series.   If you aren’t familiar with the character, this is the best time to jump on as the storyline provides numerous examples of what makes up the character/personality of Jonah Hex.ALL STAR WESTERN #1  is one of the best written NEW 52 debuts that I have enjoyed so far.   Imagine you are a comics writer and consider the scope of the task in front of you:  Start over again with an established charac…


JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1  (DC, September 28, 2011)  “In The Dark – Part One: Imaginary Women”.  Written by Peter Milligan.  Art by Mikel Janin.  Colors by Ulises Arreola.  Letters by Rob Leigh. Cover by Ryan Sook.  I’m not reading every single #1 issue of the DC NEW 52, but the numbers keep growing from my original plan to follow 9 series for at least their first 3 issues.  I recently added WONDER WOMAN to that list, decided I could manage without  DETECTIVE COMICS after reading one issue, and now I’m about to change the game plan to “Mike’s DC 11” after finishing  JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1.This is definitely the most twisted title in the DC NEW 52 that I’ve read so far. It’s wacky and all over the place, but in a way that endears itself to me.  Writer Peter Milligan has a way with inserting random, scatter shot events into his stories that seem out of place until he connects everything together much later  (as in issues later, or sometimes not at all).  In contrast to the other JUSTICE LE…

PREVIEWS: What’s new for Wednesday, September 28, 2011?

I didn’t get to read any advance previews this week - - so instead of the usual review I’m just going to list the books that come out tomorrow that I consider worthy of further investigation . . . . . . . . . . . .DC:  Aquaman #1;  Batman And Robin #1; Batman: The Dark Knight #1;   Batman: The Widening Gyre TPB.MARVEL:  Deadpool Max #12 of 12;  Fear Itself #6 of 7;  Iron Man 2.0 #9DYNAMITE:  Game Of Thrones #1    IDW:  Ghostbusters Ongoing #1BOOM!:  Hellraiser #5LEGENDARY:  Frank Miller’s Holy Terror hardcoverONI:  The Sixth Gun #15

Comics On TV: CASTLE (ABC) September 26, 2011

Yesterday’s Season Four premiere episode was titled “Heroes And Villains”.This popular detective show featuring a partnership between a sexy homicide detective and a crime fiction novelist focuses on comics, and does it in a respectful manner rather than the usual smug approach.There are many nods to Marvel characters and references that are accurate as well as some spot-on scenes occurring in a fictional New York City comics store. The storyline revolves around a costumed vigilante suspected of murder and the ensuing investigation.If you missed it I believe you can watch the episode at HULU TV’s website.

They Said It Better: Priest on Marketing

I couldn't be happier to see comics writer/editor Christopher Priest blogging again at his new web site. His old site at is full of behind-the-scenes observations about the comic business and his time on Black Panther, Spider-Man, Justice League Task Force, and more. His recent post at the new blog about his short-lived Marvel series "The Crew", while not specifically about marketing comics to women, I think contains some lessons that apply to last week's Starfire and Catwoman controversies: twelve years behind desks at Marvel and DC, what I saw from the sales force were white guys talking to white guys about selling to white guys. They were woefully inept at connecting to women or minorities, and, to my knowledge, have never developed strong relationships in black or Latino markets. Priest's blog entry about The Crew is here, and there's a great new look back at his Black Panther series here. (And his old blog is full of Panther stu…

DC NEW 52: FRANKENSTEIN - - before and after

FLASHPOINT: FRANKENSTEIN AND THE CREATURES OF THE UNKNOWN #1 – 3  (DC)  Jeff Lemire, writer. Art by Ibraim Roberson (Issue #1  + page 1-11 of Issue #2), Alex Massacci (page 12-20 of Issue #2)  and Andy Smith (Issue #3).NOTE: This article starts out with my expression of displeasure on a certain issue.  If you would rather just read the review of these books, skip ahead to the sixth paragraph after the cover images . . . . . .If I understood the early press releases for FLASHPOINT correctly, it was intended to be the bridge between the old DC and the NEW 52 DC and give readers an early preview of what’s coming.  Perhaps I and other readers may have interpreted that news incorrectly.  I approached the events of some of the FLASHPOINT titles as if I was reading a prelude to THE NEW 52 and it got me excited for the bold changes I envisioned for the new series.  - - - Aquaman and Wonder Woman as world conquerors intent on making human civilization subservient to them! - - - An alternate an…

Comics I Read: DC New 52 Week 3

Only twelve books this week because Justice League is a Week 3 book and it was released early. Several of my favorite artists had books out this week, so say what you will about this week's titles -- and there's a lot to say about some -- for me based just on overall art quality this was the best New 52 week yet.

Batman #1: Best overall book of the week. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo sold me on this in Baltimore, as I've mentioned before, but it was better than even I was expecting. There's a sense of humor in the writing that I didn't anticipate -- Snyder was really intense in person -- and Capullo really knocked it out of the park with the art. I assume it's not a coincidence that the ending of this issue is similar to Nightwing's, although neither ending quite makes sense if the other one comes first so maybe not.
Birds of Prey #1: Putting aside how much I miss the previous version, I thought this was a pretty good start. With Babs out of the picture (for…


DETECTIVE COMICS #1  (DC)  Written and drawn by Tony Salvador Daniel.  Inks: Ryan Winn.  Colors: Tomeu Morey. Lettering: Jared K. Fletcher.  Cover: Tony Salvador Daniel. My problem is that I’ve read enough Batman stories for a lifetime. I’ve been reading Batman stories for so long that it takes a lot more than a good story and good art to interest me - - it takes a hook or a different spin on things.  So, I’ve been  attracted to BATMAN AND SON; BATMAN R.I.P; BATMAN ANDROBIN; THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE, and BATMAN INC. because of those hooks and spins.  I appreciate the fine work that Tony Daniel has done on the pre-New 52 BATMAN but didn’t pay much attention to it.  It was good story-telling and good art – but no hook  (at least for me).  What I’m trying to convey is that if you haven’t gotten enough Batman in your system yet, you will most likely appreciate DETECTIVE COMICS #1 and I encourage you to check it out.  If you ( like me), have read so many Batman tales that you can no longe…


WONDER WOMAN #1  (DC)  “The Visitation” = Brian Azzarello, writer.  Cliff Chiang, artist & cover.  Matthew Wilson, colorist.  Jared K. Fletcher, letters.  WONDER WOMAN was not one of the NEW 52 books that I selected to follow (at least for the first 3 issues).  “MIKE’S DC9” (I fly in style) were intended to be ACTION COMICS, ANIMAL MAN, AQUAMAN, BATMAN, BATMAN & ROBIN, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT, BATWOMAN,FRANKENSTEIN:AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E., and JUSTICE LEAGUE. When I looked through the PREVIEWS guide for September 2011 releases, I decided not to pick up WONDER WOMAN.  While I appreciate and admire the skills of writer Brian Azzarello, it was the art that persuaded me to pass by this book.  The cover art and sample pages just didn’t look that great to me, and I thought it might take away from the overall enjoyment of the book and possibly hinder the storytelling properties. (Bad art has been known to depreciate a good story before, you know.)  It was an impulse decision, which usual…

PREVIEWS: What’s new for Wednesday, September 21, 2011?

PLANET OF THE APES #6  (BOOM! Studios)  “The Devil’s Pawn: Part 2”  Daryl Gregory, writer. Carlos Magno, art.If you’re getting curious about this book and wondering when is the best time to jump in and check it out - - it’s anytime.  Right now is fine.  Anyone with even just a basic familiarity with the Planet Of The Apes universe can quickly pick up on what is happening here and follow the new storyline.  And the script is definitely worthwhile - - as I read I keep being reminded of recent events and seeing the parallels to what is happening here (humans being given rocket launchers and other armaments from a secretive religious cult).  Revolt and rebellion have broken out following the assassination of the orangutan Lawgiver in Issue #1.  Apes are enforcing a curfew and herding captured humans into “Retraining Camps” to return them to the workforce as useful laborers (or discard them). Various elements in the human  city/slum of  “Skintown” are plotting revenge for the death of Chai…

Comics I Read: DC New 52 Week 2

Batman and Robin #1: I loved the reverse dynamic duo where Robin (Damian) was the serious one and Batman (Dick) was light-hearted, and I frankly wasn't sure it would work with Robin (still Damian) being serious and Batman (Bruce) being even more serious. But Bruce's experiences lately have lightened him a little, and Damian is as stubbornly unsentimental as ever (Damian: "You can't just build a boat and hope darkness magically sails away in it." Bruce: "Why not? It's my boat.") so it still works. A good first outing, and I'm excited for the future of this partnership.

Batwoman #1: Based on the zero issue, I knew this would still be awesome and it is. No rebooting at all here, with the possible exception of a reference to Renee Montoya as a cop (which doesn't preclude her from still being The Question). Loved the bit about Kate training her cousin, even making her give up her Flamebird identity. ("You don't need that garish costume...…

Comics I Read: Flashpoint & DC New 52 Week 1

If you had asked me before #5 shipped whether I thought Flashpoint overall would be satisfying, I would have said no because even though Barry Allen was at the center of it, it didn't seem like the next step in his story. But the twist at the beginning of #5 rectifies that, although it does violate the rules Johns set up for Booster Gold & Reverse-Flash about how changes to the past can be made. (And it's a bit convenient that the timeline shattered in exactly the way one would deliberately manipulate it to take out all the major players, though Thawne tries to explain that too.) I loved that Kal-El saved the day (sort of), and the scenes between Barry and Batman (BOTH Batmen) were terrific.  I did, however, think it was a bit of a cheap stunt to make the "explanation" of the birth of the new timeline mostly a setup for future stories. (The hooded woman from the double-page spread is in the background of all the new #1s.) But overall, I consider the main series …

PREVIEWS 2: What’s new in TPBs for Wednesday, 9/14/2011 ?

DRIVER FOR THE DEAD  (Radical)  Written and Created by John Heffernan.  Pencils and Inks by Leonardo Manco.  Paints by Kinsun Loh & Jerry Choo.  Lettering by Todd Klein.  Reprints Driver For The Dead #1 - 3 mini-series.  July 2010 – January 2011.Even though the business model for Radical is to use comics to develop movie properties (the comics act as storyboards for proposed films) – they continue to offer fascinating stories beyond the conventional superhero fare (dark western, modern western, science-fiction, fantasy, horror, crime) and put a lot of effort into the books they publish.  It definitely shows, and there is no better example to make that point than DRIVER FOR THE DEAD.  The first thing that will make your eyes widen in wonderment is the incredible art, inks and colors of this book - - it’s almost like looking at photographs because the images and details are that sharp.  If you are a fan of the work of Leonardo Manco, you will want to pick up this book for this reas…

PREVIEWS 1: What’s new in TPBs for Wednesday, 9/14/2011?

BLUE ESTATE : VOLUME 1  (Image) Story by Viktor Kalvachev & Andrew Osborne.  Art by Viktor Kalvachev, Toby Cypress, Nathan Fox, Robert Valley & Paul Maybury.  $12.99.  120 pages.  Reprints Issues #1-4 of Blue Estate plus bonus material.  Created by Viktor Kalvachev & Kosta Yanev.  Cover, colors and design by Viktor Kalvachev.DISCLAIMER #1) If you do not consider yourself a “mature adult“ - - STOP READING THIS RIGHT NOW!  If you can be described as “young and impressionable”  - - THEN DON”T READ ANY PARTS OF  THIS ENTIRE REVIEW OR ANY OF THE NEXT ARTICLE I POST  I am not accountable and cannot be held responsible if you fit those categories and persist in reading further.  There are plenty of high quality comics available geared to your level that you should be exploring.  Please give them a chance.    ENDORSEMENT #1)  After a hard day of work coupled with this age of uncertainty we live in (inefficient government, global terrorism, financial collapse, environmental catastr…


ANIMAL MAN #1  “The Hunt, Part One: Warning From The Red”  (DC Comics, September 2011)  Story: Jeff Lemire.  Pencils & Cover:  Travel Foreman.  Inks:  Travel Foreman and Dan Green.  Interior & Cover Colors: Lovern Kindzierski.  Letters:  Jared K. Fletcher.I expected to be pleasantly surprised by this book, and I was!   Unlike JUSTICE LEAGUE #1,   I approached ANIMAL MAN with no expectations and no previously obtained perceptions.   I must confess that, despite the presence of Grant Morrison and other great writers and artists,  I never paid any attention to  ANIMAL MAN, Volume 1.  I did pick up the very first issue (and still have it);  but it didn’t leave a lasting impression and didn’t motivate me to explore any further.  In defense of that title, it did have a successful run from 1988 to 1995 that lasted 89 issues.   Aside from a brief appearance in other DC titles from time to time, the only other major work featuring this character was the 6-issue mini-series LAST DAYS OF…