Showing posts from May, 2009

Mike looks at Marvel Previews August + adds his jaded reader comments and opinions

I’m going to make good on that previous threat and share my August Previews orders here. Just like Tom Petty sings “and I won’t back down.”  Maybe this may serve as a better jump-start for some back and forth discussion on this blog site.  This is an interactive column here  - - so if you’re reading any further be prepared for some questions along with my comments (and hopefully some will elicit responses). Once you get beyond all the back-patting that Marvel engages in,  the Young Guns program is actually very helpful - - it focuses attention on newer artists who are expected to be future stars.  So I’m glad to see Marvel introduce The Write Stuff, a similar attempt to focus attention on promising writers.  While the initial group of four to be tagged with The Write Stuff have a decent portfolio of accomplishments already under their belt - - they can still be considered “new” to the Marvel Universe, so I’ll let that pass.  I’m pretty familiar with Jason Aaron and Andy Diggle and I

Mike’s random readings 5/26/09 and earlier

POTTER’S FIELD: STONE COLD   (Boom Studios)  Mark Waid and Paul Azaceta Stone Cold is a very solid tale, a  complete in one issue crime story featuring the return of “John Doe” from the 3 issue Potter’s Field min-series.   The secretive and reclusive John Doe’s main mission is to put names and faces to  to the unknown serial-numbered corpses that end up buried in Potter’s Field, a  police-maintained cemetery for the unidentified dead of New York City. How are the apparently suicidal, homeless and unknown recently deceased connected?  - - all have been burned or mutilated to ensure non-recognition.  The trail leads to identity theft and corrupt police officers in a nicely told tale of crime  and investigation that touches a nerve - - what some will do in the name of money and extra income. Shame.   This ranks up this with the better crime tales of Brubaker and Azzaretto.  If everything is going to be this good then I look forward to Waid’s infrequent tales of  John Doe. Boom Boom.

Shane Talks Previews: August 2009 - DC Comics

Time to get some blood back in this blog!  Let's take a look at some of what DC is offering in August.  It's a rather tempting month for me, with several launches that I'm really rather interested in. Adventure Comics #1 To start off, we have the launch (relaunch?) of Adventure Comics, starring Superboy.  We've already discussed this book, so I won't go into too much more, other than to note that Francis Manapul's art looks gorgeous (I have this as my desktop background right now), and that there will officially be a Legion backup (with art by Clayton Henry, who I'm not too familiar with, but a quick search looks promising).  It starts off with Starman for  few issues, but it's been confirmed that the backup will indeed be Legion-centric, with the option to launch another ongoing book if the demand is there.  I think that this title will be incredibly successful, and I've put aside most of my issues with it.  I'm looking forward to it. Doom Patr

Jeff’s Review Update

I’m way behind on my reading because I was sick for a few days (not Swine Flu), and because I just switched to FIOS TV and I had to watch all the stuff on my Comcast DVR so that I could return it and close the account. :-) I’m away next week visiting family, so I’ll try to get caught up from there.

Suburban Glamour, and my love for Jamie McKelvie

I've been reading a bunch of independent stuff lately, because, well, after BC closed I decided to expand my horizons a bit, and had friends suggest stuff to me.  Some was good, some was bad, some was abominable and some was phenomenal. Sometime soon, I'm going to tell you about a comic from that last category--it's a little thing called Phonogram, being published by Image Comics.  It's currently on its second miniseries, and it is basically just the absolute best thing being published by now, and if you aren't reading it you are missing out on something incredible. However, I want to hold off an extensive review until after the second miniseries finishes publication--not because I want to make sure I love it, because I'm positive that I'll love it, but because I want to do a full examination of everything it presents. Still, it's time for me to rave about one part of what makes Phonogram incredible--its artist and co-creator, Jamie McKelvie.  He's d

Free Comic Book Day, Part 2

Here’s the summary of the remaining books I picked up during Free Comic Book Day 2009. I’m going to write separately about The Stuff Of Legends FCBD issue and meeting the publisher and artist.                                                    STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS  (Dark Horse):  This is a flip book, with the main story focusing on Star Wars and the backside/flipside divided between Usagi Yojimbo, Emily The Strange, Beanworld and Indiana Jones stories, with everything aimed at the “all ages” audience. At just eight pages the Clone Wars story focuses on a single battle and a unique attack strategy that works.   Jedi Master Fisto (obligatory bathrobe, and a “squid-locks” hairdo to help us remember him)  has to break up a force of separatists who have secured themselves within a mountain stronghold and a stockpile of valuable exonium “energy stones” that has a local owlish chieftain squawking with impatience at the Jedi/clone forces inability to defeat them.  Master Fisto

Jeff’s Reviews: Week of 4/29/09, Part 2

Ms. Marvel 38: First issue featuring Karla (Moonstone) Sofen as Ms. Marvel, now that Carol Danvers is “dead” and Norman Osborn is in charge. If you haven’t been reading this lately, Brian Reed’s writing has always been good but he stepped it up another level starting with the Secret Invasion issues. That continues here when the government orders psych evaluations of Norman’s Avengers and he assigns Karla to go first, since she’s also a trained psychologist. Mayhem ensues. Uncanny X-Men 509: I still like the tone of this, and Matt Fraction’s characterizations are fun, but there are so many stories being juggled here (every 2-4 pages, by my count) that it feels like there’s no forward motion. I’m not a gigantic fan of the Greg Land art either. Amazing Spider-Man Family 5: This is the new home of “Spider-Girl”, so if you were buying that book you’ll want to start getting this. (Those of you who prefer a married Peter & MJ might like it too.) The creative team is the same and t

Jeff’s Six Word “Star Trek” Review

I loved every minute of it.

Jeff’s Reviews: Week of 4/29/09, Part 1

Batman: Battle for the Cowl: The Underground 1: This is a good story starring the major Gotham villains (Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face, Firefly, Poison Ivy, – but not the Joker) reacting to the new Black Mask and his plans. It’s especially good at following up the ending to Catwoman’s previous series with her despairing over Black Mask and Batman, both of whom she thought dead and who have worse replacements running around. It ends on a cliffhanger (sort of), so this might be a good “wait for the collection” candidate if DC bundles it with the main miniseries. (Which is only 3 issues, so it seems like they’ll need more to fill up the book.) Nova 24: Speaking of Legionnaires, it’s the Imperial Guard! :-) More dangerous here than we’re used to seeing them, definitely fully on board with Emperor Vulcan’s plans. There’s also more good stuff about the Nova Corps and how they’re faring without Rich Rider to lead them, and it’s not so tied into “War of Kings” that you can’t enjoy it even if t

Jeff’s Reviews: Week of 4/22/09, Part 3

X-Force 14: It’s hard to talk about this, the third chapter of “Messiah War”, without giving much away so I’ll assume you know the premise. I wasn’t reading X-Men during the Cable/Stryfe/Apocalypse era, so I’m a little confused by some of that stuff although Kyle & Yost do a pretty good job of explaining just what’s necessary to know. My main problem is that this conflict between Cable wanting to protect the girl and Bishop wanting to destroy her has been going on for months and we still don’t know much about Bishop’s position. He seems to sincerely believe that letting the girl live will be a disaster for mutantkind, but we don’t know enough about how or why to sympathize with him. I feel like the story wants us to agonize about which side is right, but Bishop just comes off as a bully (and a mass murderer, but he thinks that won’t count because the timeline will reset when he kills the girl.) Incredible Hercules 128: Pak & Van Lente make it look easy here, as usual, even

Free Comic Book Day

Everybody in the Clarke family had a good time on Saturday, May 2 at Captain Blue Hen Comics in Newark, Delaware. Never have I observed a Free Comic Book Day so well attended. Seems like the whole town was checking it out. We got there early (11:30 a.m.) before any official activity had begun and already a line was forming to enter. By 2 p.m. that line was almost a city block long!!! Kudos to the staff of Captain Blue Hen for planning this event and loading it with a variety of activities, as well as really going the extra mile and effectively controlling the crowd with organized lines and even assistance in the overflowing parking lots nearby. I can’t imagine how many free comics were given out, and we can only hope that some new readers are recruited as a result. You could get one book just for showing up, and a  second or third  book if you showed either a library card or brought some canned goods for a local charity food drive. As you walked into the store through the temporary

Jeff’s Reviews: Week of 4/22/09, Part 2

I’m way behind because I had another really busy work week last week, but our software has shipped so things should be back to normal for a while. I’ll review some books every day this week until I get caught up. I also have a complete set of Free Comic Book Day stuff coming from eBay this week so I’ll go through those too when they get here. Not to mention this week’s stuff. Oy, what I do for you people… Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight 2: I’m still not convinced that we need a new Azrael, but if we do this is the way to go. He’s not John Paul Valley, he’s not crazy (yet), and he’s connected to Batman through Talia and the Suit of Sorrows. I like the idea of a good man using the suit’s power to atone for past sins and slowly being driven mad by it (though it does seem to put a time limit on the concept.) Good, but not essential to the “Battle for the Cowl” continuity so you may want to wait for the collection. Batman: Battle for the Cowl: Arkham Asylum 1: More of an introduction of t

Mixed Feelings: Adventure Comics

This post contains spoilers.  Kind of big spoilers.  Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds spoilers.  If you haven't read the most recent issue (issue four, out two days ago), you probably should not continue. Seriously. I'm warning you. Stop. Alright.  I can safely assume that you've either read the comic, don't care about the spoilers, or you accidentally hit Page Down and will now have the book ruined for you.  If so, I apologize. Actually, to be honest, I'm not that sorry.  Because, see, the most recent issue of Legion of Three Worlds?  It kind of sucked. That's right, my captivated readers--this is a review, too!  Despite not having weekly access to comics (although that will sort of change when starts sending me my orders), I managed to read the most recent issue of Legion through illegal downloads magic.  Fear not, though, I do have an actual, legal copy on the way, courtesy of, again,! I get a discount for plugging