Showing posts from July, 2009

Shane Talks Previews: October 2009 - DC Comics

I've been realllllllly lax on posting on this blog.  There's a lot I want to do--some more Number One reviews, some trade reviews, an entire post about how you should read Phonogram and if you aren't you are missing out on one of the best comics ever...but, I figure I'll start with trying to get my look at Previews done.  Maybe I'll even finish it this month!  We will see. I haven't actually gotten my copy of Previews in the mail yet--usually it's here by now, I'm not really sure why it hasn't arrived--so I'll be doing this entirely from the internet. Azrael #1 This, this is the sort of book that Fabian Nicieza excels at.  An ongoing title featuring a D-list character that he can really shape.  I'm actually rather surprised to see Ramon Bachs on the art duties, because he's still listed as working on  Red Robin this month.  I figured that one of the artists from the annuals--Calafiore or Mandrake--would be working on this title...but no,

“New” Logo of the Week

From the news section of : “Marvel is pleased to provide your first look at the new logo making its debut on the cover of FANTASTIC FOUR#570” (emphasis mine). From November, 1976: the cover to FF #176.

Green Lantern: First Flight

This is the latest DC Animated feature – apparently they’re doing well since Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is due in just a few months. I liked this even better than the previous Wonder Woman movie (which I liked a lot too) because it made better use of the short running time. It starts with Abin Sur giving the ring to Hal Jordan on Earth, but it only stays on Earth for about 10 minutes and then the rest of it is a big intergalactic action/adventure flick. When Hal gets to space and meets the Guardians (not as stuffy here as they are in the comics) he’s hooked up with Sinestro as his training officer. Eventually – and I don’t think I’ll shock you by saying this – they don’t see eye to eye and Sinestro attacks the Corps with a yellow ring. (They keep it simple, though – none of the emotional spectrum and other colored Corps from the comics.) The voice acting is what makes it: Hal and Sinestro have the majority of the speaking parts and they’re played by two great actors. Christopher

Jeff’s Comics Review, 7/22/09 releases, Conclusion

Wolverine Origins 38: Still not holding my interest. I do like that at least Logan acknowledges that he was stupid to get into his current situation, but I couldn’t care less about Omega Red and I have no idea who the character on the last page is supposed to be. Star Trek: Spock: Reflections 1: On his way to the events of the Countdown miniseries (and therefore the new movie), the same creative team has Spock remember events from his past including his first visit to the Enterprise after Kirk’s death and an incident from his childhood involving Sarek. It’s not bad, but it’s a little thin on stuff actually happening. I’m interested enough to buy the trade, but I’ll probably wait for that instead of the single issues. Gotham City Sirens 2: For whatever reason, Paul Dini decided that he couldn’t continue this series without addressing the idea that Catwoman knows that Bruce Wayne was Batman. I personally think this was better off unmentioned, but Dini pretty much pulls off an explana

Dynamite Reading

Thanks to fellow refugee Bill, I will reviewing two Volumes of BATTLEFIELDS written by Garth Ennis (Preacher, etc.) and published by Dynamite Entertainment. These were originally released as single issues. Volume One is " The Night Witches" and tells the story of two Russian bomber squadrons, one male, one female, who fight to save their motherland from a German invasion. Lots of action, gore and personality as we experience the battle from both sides. Art is by Russ Braun (Jack of Hearts) and suits this tale well. Recommended. Volume Two is "Dear Billy" and tells the story of a nurse stationed in Singapore during the Japanese invasion of WWII and the horror and despair she lives with day after day. I feel that to say more about this particular volume would ruin such an amazing and well crafted story. This one is my favorite of the two. Art is by Peter Snejbjerg (The Mighty) and fits like a glove. Volume Three of this series will be called "

Jeff’s Comics Review, 7/22/09 releases, Part 1

Power Girl 3: It turns out that Power Girl is wearing the same costume here as in JSA vs. Kobra, but when Amanda Conner draws it it looks cute and when Don Kramer draws it in the other book it looks slutty. Palmiotti and Conner seem to know this, since they make jokes about it when Kara gets heckled during a prison visit. (“I love that they never wear pants.”) I would have rather seen more of the new supporting cast instead of the extended guest appearance by the new Terra, and I generally dislike “Manhattan becomes detached from the Earth” stories, but otherwise this is fun. Nova 27: Somehow, I completely misread the ending of the previous issue and thought that it was Rich (Nova Prime) Rider in that scene instead of his brother. That makes this issue a race against time as Rich has to navigate some of the front lines of the war, including an encounter with Blastaar, to rescue Robbie. Abnett and Lanning deliver their usual surprise ending twist, which if it sticks will have some l

meeting The Th3rd World

          As part of my Free Comic Book Day reviews I was saving my Th3rd World notes for the final write-up.  However, these were somehow misplaced (not that hard to imagine happening if you know my organizational skills) so I never got to it.  Fortunately, I have recovered them and just in time as the anxiously awaited first issue of THE STUFF OF LEGENDS will probably be released this last week of July 2009.           i attended an informal workshop/presentation featuring one of the publishers and an artist from Th3rd World Studios during the FCBD activities at Captain Blue Hen Comics in Newark, DE.  Th3rd World (based in Ocean City, NJ) is an independent comics publisher with some very interesting offerings for readers who enjoy something a little different. ( )           The meet and greet session was devoted mostly to their latest offering, THE STUFF OF LEGENDS - - so I’ll begin by writing about that first.           The story, by Mike Raicht and B

Wednesday Comics

My copies of Wednesday Comics #1-3 arrived in the mail this week, so I’ll make some general observations and then talk about each feature individually. First, I love the format. It’s the perfect size and somehow even though it’s newsprint it seems to be able to handle the full range of colors that modern comic books use. (Though not always successfully in a couple of cases that I’ll get to later.) I really think they could sell this to mainstream readers if they could get it in front of them (in Starbucks maybe?) and it cost a little bit less. It’s more relatable to people than a comic book – it’s like the Sunday paper without the newsy bits! – and I think they’d be interested in most of the features. This is really an artist’s showcase: so much so that I’m a little reluctant to take apart the stories only three pages in, but those three pages per feature were a $12 investment so I think I’m entitled. Batman : This feature probably moves the fastest – Azzarello opens with a chilling

San Diego Open Topic

Anyone who’s back from Comic-Con with a story to tell, please feel free to tell us about it in the comments below!

Glory, glory . . . . . . .

STREETS OF GLORY TPB (Avatar, 2009):           I previously wrote about STREETS OF GLORY after it’s initial 2007-2008 six-issue run,  in the days before the BC Refugees Blog. The release of a trade paperback edition of this worthwhile limited series gives me an second opportunity to sing its’ praises.                 STREETS OF GLORY is a good old fashioned Western done Garth Ennis style with art by the extremely talented Mike Wolfer.  Also, it’s one of the best of many worthwhile Garth Ennis efforts.           The story could easily have been a novel by Loren D. Estleman and other noted Western fiction writers.   It contains classic Western motifs = loner gunman returning to town 20 years later to try and re-kindle a romance only to find that he unknowingly left her pregnant the last time; a corrupt businessman with money and bodyguards galore trying to manipulate events for his benefit; a savage Indian who haunts the area and keeps the townsfolk frightened; a young sidekick w

Cartoon of the Week

The whole thing is too long  to copy here, but you can see the rest of “Science is Supercool” at Abstruse Goose .

Press Release of the Week

Marvelman Now A Part of Marvel Comics! The biggest news of Comic Con International in San Diego was revealed moments ago and jaws are still on the floor-the world-renowned super hero Marvelman is now part of the Marvel Comics family! Marvel Comics has purchased the rights to Marvelman from creator Mick Anglo and his representatives, finding a home for one of the most sought after heroes in graphic fiction! "It is an honor to work with Mick Anglo to bring his creation to a larger audience than ever before," said Dan Buckley, CEO & Publisher, Print, Animation & Digital Media, Marvel Entertainment Inc. "Fans are in for something special as they discover just what makes Marvelman such an important character in comic book history." Originally created in 1954 by Mick Anglo and appearing in some of the most celebrated comic stories of all time, Marvelman is Micky Moran, a young reporter gifted with the power to save the world by simply uttering the word &quo

The wild worlds of Warren Ellis, part 2 . . . . .

APPARAT THE SINGLES COLLECTION Volume 1 trade paperback (Avatar 2005):           Warren Ellis’ first efforts in an experiment to blend pulp fiction into comics in the U.K. are collected here, in a black and white edition that collects four of these one-shots, illustrated by different artists.  They were all intended as stand-alone stories but I wouldn’t mind seeing 75% of them return for another tale.  Hold off on Angel Stomp Future but bring back Frank Ironwine, Quit City, and Simon Spector.           There is also absorbing reading here in short articles by Ellis that explain his concept and give a little background into each of the stories and characters.  He writes of the comics world of pre-1965 where in addition to super-heroes you could read romance, pirates, crime, western, horror, etc. and contrasts that with how post-1970’s super heroes came to dominate. The end result was that it li mits the possibilities of storytelling since super hero stories had to move at a much slo

I’ve been going a little BATS lately, part 3 . . .

  RED ROBIN #1 (second printing) by Chris Yost and Ramon Bachs:           This title has surprised me by how good it is.  I haven’t read much of the Tim Drake aka Tim Wayne saga before, except once a few years back when I was persuaded to pick up a Robin TPB.  While I really liked the story (by Bill Willingham) I wasn’t motivated to start following it any further.  On the other hand, I picked up Red Robin #2 on a whim and now I’ve gone back and sought out the first issue. After reading this,  I finally care about Tim Wayne and will  follow this story to the end, and then maybe even through the second story arc.           The basic premise of this book is that of a loner/self-outcast, now on an investigation that no one else seems to believe has any merit. Tim is determined enough to see it through, no matter how much adversity he must endure or obstacles in his path.  That is a foundation that should appeal to a lot of readers who will empathize with his situation.     

Reviews of the Week (present company excepted)

Paul O’Brien explains the problems with X-Men: Messiah War more articulately than I was able to. A brief review of Phonogram: Rue Britannia from Bill Harris. I bring this up not only because it is a favorite book of Shane’s but Harris is a blogger that doesn’t usually talk about comics so it’s significant that he really likes the book. Harris’ blog, dubious quality , is mostly about video games but it’s one of my favorite blogs even though I don’t play a lot of games anymore. He’s an articulate and funny writer, and his family anecdotes are always entertaining. An unbiased third party from "The Weekly Crisis" blog reviews the Patsy Walker: Hellcat trade . Finally, an excerpt of Harlan Ellison's opinion of Wednesday Comics from his message board : "...The paper is a hard matte-finish newspaper-supplement style, with a bounteous ration of eight or ten features, one page each. The BATMAN is wonderful. The KAMANDI by Dave Gibbons will remind you of FLASH GORDON and

Jeff’s Comics Review, 7/15/09 releases, Conclusion

Batman: Streets of Gotham 2: Continued great stuff from Paul Dini as Tommy (Hush) Elliot’s new face becomes a problem for Batman. Dustin Nguyen’s aerial sequences with Firefly look great, and The Manhunter backup continues to get interesting story ideas out of using Kate’s outsider status to look at Gotham staples (in this case Arkham) through new eyes. Action Comics 879: Even though they have a point, I think the cracks in the government’s anti-Kryptonian efforts start to show here as they are unwilling to distinguish between Flamebird and Nightwing and a couple of murderers they are trying to stop. There’s also another glimpse of the religious angle from the Annual, and Lois figures out a key piece about what’s going on with her family. I’m not sure if we’re meant to think that the woman who disappears and reappears at the end is the assassin from last week’s New Krypton . I’m also not sure what’s going on with the Captain Atom backup yet – he’s fighting a medieval army for reasons

Jeff’s Comics Review, 7/15/09 releases, Part 1

Titans 15: This is a good solo issue starring Tempest (a.k.a. Aqualad) that reintroduces him, settles the fate of his family and sets up a surprising new role for him. Just as everyone over at Marvel seems to have one good Norman Osborn scene in them, everyone at DC seems to have a good Dick Grayson as Batman scene and the one in this issue is no exception. (Garth: “Well, I’m sure Bruce would be proud of you for what you are doing.” Dick: “He would have been proud no matter what.”) Even though I didn’t care for the Cyborg solo last issue, I’m starting to think that individual tales of these characters (or small team-ups) make more sense for this book than the whole team. It doesn’t really make sense for them all to be together with Dick as Batman and Wally and Roy with the Justice League (though that may be changing), but there is interest in these characters so maybe it would be better to follow them on a rotating basis. (I don’t think that’s DC’s current plan, though.) Blackest Nig

Photo of the Week

Geoff Johns: Threat or Menace? (From Comic Book Resources .)

Intern of the Week

I have no idea what this show is about, but I happened to catch this clip 30 seconds before “X-Men: Evolution” started the other night, and I thought it was a hoot. (“He knows what all those buttons do!”)

Have fun in San Diego!

To those of you heading out to San Diego for Comic-Con: have fun and watch out for the jumbo flying squid ! Edited to add: The Beat's Heidi McDonald thinks they're pissed off about being left out of the director's cut of Watchmen. She predicts that "the seemingly placid waters of San Diego Bay are about to become the scene of a savage battle between humans and beasts. Humans — who normally subdue squid using a light, seasoned breading and a few slices of lemon — will this time need squads of Elite Security personnel, armed with harpoon guns."

T-Shirt of the Week

I’m happy for Bob Burden that his creation, which I have not read, has reached its 10th anniversary, but seriously? Is there anywhere outside of Comic-Con that you could wear this without guaranteeing at best an awkward conversation and at worst an extended hospital stay?

Blackest Night is the DCU event you’ve been waiting for.

I just read Blackest Night #1 , and since I don’t know if it will become hard to find I didn’t want to wait until my usual review to make this statement: This is the book that is the next (last?) chapter of the story of the DCU that started in Identity Crisis and continued through Infinite Crisis, 52, etc. I’ve long said that a lot of the disappointment in Final Crisis was that people were led to believe it was that chapter when it wasn’t. But it’s here now, so don’t hesitate to go out and get it if that’s what you’ve been waiting for.

Cartoon of the Week

For Peanuts fans, from Let's Be Friends Again.

Superman at USA Today

USA Today newspaper will be featuring the Superman feature from DC's WEDNESDAY COMICS every Wednesday during it's 13 week run. The first two episodes can be viewed at: The art by Lee Bermejo is stunning, and much more detailed than I'm used to seeing in the traditional newspaper comics (which I stopped paying attention to aeons ago). I wasn't sure what to make of the script by John Arcudi after Week One (Superman stops an alien from wrecking the city and learns that he's from Krypton). It gets better in Week Two where Superman seeks advice and comment from Batman, who is impatient, opinionated, and surly (not a good look for him).

I've Been Going A Little BATS Lately, Part 2

RED ROBIN #2 by Chris Yost and Ramon Bachs . . . . . Based on a satisfactory experience with the 3 titles I've sampled so far I've decided to explore the Batman: Reborn titles a little further, continuing with this one which I picked up without benefit of reading Issue #1 for two main reasons: 1) It's a Batman-related book, and; 2) I like the cover art, a two-sided light/dark view of Robin/Red Robin descending from a spire into battle - - obviously symbolic since neither event occurs within the book but it's a nice touch - - as if to imply that the main character is going through some internal conflict with two separate directions/choices. Indeed he is, and you can pick up the story and still enjoy this book without having benefit of reading Issue #1. It worked for me. It's a good, fast-paced story with some keen insights into how calculating Tim Drake has grown/become. If only he could confirm that he made the right decision to bolt and run from the W

Shane's Number Ones! - June 2009

I probably won't be discussing the Marvel previews anymore--I just don't have the time, and I also don't pay enough attention to Marvel to really do it justice, so if any of you wanted to focus on that, please, feel free.  I'll probably get around to the independents at some point, though. For the moment, however, I wanted to take a look at some of the number ones that I've read recently.  I got my June shipment about a week or so ago (for my July and future orders I've switched to bi-weekly, but June was monthly), and there were quite a few new titles there, so I figured I should give them a basic rundown, in case any of you were interested. Dead Run #1 (of 4) - BOOM! Studios Oh, how I wish that this was an ongoing series (and I even thought that it was, before this issue came out).  Anyway, a quick comparison, so that you get a sense of the story--Mark Millar's Old Man Logan story in Wolverine?  How he and Hawkeye basically take a road trip through a dange