Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reviews for Batman, Inc. #2, Secret Avengers #8 and more

Hello everyone.  My apologies for not posting reviews for last week, but last minute Christmas shopping will do that to ya.  Well, this week is a loaded week, so lets strap in.

Batman, Inc. #2: Grant Morrison seems to be having more fun then allowable in "Batman, Inc."  It's classic Bruce Wayne/Batman, but with a new twist.  Instead of focusing on a long drawn out and confusing plot, Morrison is going straight for short stories.  I'm sure these will all fall together into one massive story, but for now, I'm kind of enjoying these small stories.  After the long convoluted stories of "Batman & Robin," it's a piece of fresh air.  I'm sure Lord Dead Man will be back, as he seems to have a hard time of dying.

Yanick Paquette's pencils look better this month.  His bold lines really suit the action, and make Catwoman look really good.  Bruce looks a tad to beefy in the neck (borderline steroids).  Also nice to see Paquette draw a girl without massive double D's.  Every panel feels alive though, and very fluid.  The massive action scene looks bright and energetic, and I can't wait to see Batman battle this gorilla thing.

Batman, Inc. #2 gets 4/5

Namor: The First Mutant #5: After the first couple of issues underwhelmed and seemed like a crappy series, the last three issues have been really good.  This issues seems to break down Namor into four sides, doing a good job with each.

The story seems to keep Namor as a supporting character, which works in this story quite well.  Seeing him through the eyes of non-super powered people is a nice touch.  Namor gets plenty of character development, showing that the guy can actually be interesting besides when he is being a pompous ass.  Alani Ryan seems to be a mutant to pay attention to in the upcoming months.  Wouldn't doubt if she had a role in the "Namor Goes to Hell" arc.

Stuart Moore seems to be finally making Namor sympathetic.  Ok, somewhat.  He is a character that doesn't get that, but I wouldn't be surprised if some love interest finally breaks that mold.  Ariel Olivietti's pencils look good as usual.  Sadly, Brian Ching's pencils look atrocious.  They really take the reader out of the comics.

Namor: The First Mutant #5 gets 3.5/5

Punisher: In the Blood #2:  I'm going to miss Rick Remender when he stops writing the Punisher.  The guy seems to have such a tight grasp on what makes the character such an interesting character.

#2 seems to focus more on the Jigsaw brothers, and this gives the character some much needed character development.  They both seem more credible as arch enemies of Frank.  They are more cunning and thought out, something that has sometimes been lacking in the past.  I'm perplexed as to why Henry actually went with his father, but I'm interested to see where it takes us.

The only fault is the pencils by Roland Boschi.  I loved his pencils in #1, but for some reason this month, they seemed very rushed.  There isn't as much detail as their should be, and there are way to many odd head shapes.  It looks confusing and it's pleasant to look at.

The ending leaves a legitimate twist ending and looks to affect Frank for years to come.

Punisher: In the Blood #2 gets 4/5

Secret Avengers #8:  The revamp of the Avengers franchise was worth it alone for this book. Ed Brubaker has been telling a compelling story steeped in black ops and history that is a joy to read.

We slowly are learning more about Shang-Chi and his father.  More is set up for future issues, while minimal is affecting the arc.  I kinda wish we could have learned more about Shang-Chi's father and his tie in to the secret organization, but gotta take what you get.

Mike Deodato draws some amazing art this month.  It seems more fluid than usual for some reason, which is a great thing.  Sometimes his overly muscular characters can seem stagnant and stale. 

Secret Avengers #8 gets 4.5/5

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dan Slott and fan reaction

In a recent incident on a CBR board, a certain fan posted on a Spider-Man thread that Dan Slott (the current writer for "Amazing Spider-Man") is "only writing for the paycheck."  Dan Slott took this quite personally and responded like this:

As a guy who turned down a side job this year for a paycheck that would’ve been over a third of his yearly income– BECAUSE it would’ve meant cutting back on his not-so-lucrative comic book writing career– and get in the way of working on his Spider-Man dream job…
…and the guy who slept less than 12 hours over the course of 4 days this week working on a script while he was sick… a guy who finally had to be ORDERED off it by his editor to go see a doctor… and is still in a good deal of pain today…
…this is the first time I think I’ve ever said this to somebody over a comic book message board:
Go fuck yourself.
Go. Fuck. Yourself.

Dan Slott, I love you.  It's the perfect slap in the face that I think some of the comic fandom needed.  Seriously, where does this guy get off saying that?  Does the asshole think he is that entitled and that much of a genius about comics to be able to say that?  No one knows that much besides someone like Stan Lee. 

Comic fans in general seem to be a very entitled bunch.  Something is slightly changed, they go nuts over the internet and start a mob looking for the writers head.  Calm. The. Fuck. Down.  Dan Slott is a great writer and has been proving that he loves the character with every inch of his comic writer being.  Anyone who follows the guy on Twitter knows how committed he is to his writing. 

I hate this part of the medium.  It actually makes me not like writing about the industry at some points.  I wrote a review of Boston Comic Con and got lots of hate emails for "not reporting factually."  How the fuck do you know that?  Look at the facts then comment.  Just because people can post anonymously doesn't mean you can just spout hate and things that are just flat out false.

Hopefully this will help the rest of the bitchy comic community collectively calm down and think clearly before posting comments.  HAHAHAHAHA......that made me laugh.  That will never happen

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reviews of Superboy #2, Captain America #612 and more

Hello readers.  Kind of a light week.  Also had some trouble finding "Widowmaker #1," so that will be in next weeks reviews.  This upcoming week is looking to be a big week, so look forward to a big list of reviews next week.  Ok, let's get started.

Captain America #612:  The concept of putting Bucky on trial for his actions as the Winter Soldier is a natural direction that Brubaker has been keeping in his back pocket for some time.  Sadly, not much of an actual trial takes place in this issue.

Most of the issue focuses on the media and how those closest to Bucky are handling the situation.  Some of the dialogue of Bucky in the prison sounds a tad weird.  It's very reminiscent of Matt Murdock in prison.  Brubaker continues to write Steve Rogers like no one else.  Butch Guice draws a beautiful issue.  He makes even all talking head panels look interesting and fun. 

This issue seems like an issue of "Invincible Iron Man."  A lot of pieces are moving around, and when they fall into place, we have a great arc.  But unless this is a 7 part arc, the trial really needs to happen.  Judging from the cover art of #613, it looks like that will finally happen.  I have all hope that Ed Brubaker will provide a great arc that gives us a new look at the character of Bucky, I just wish it would move along a little bit.

Captain America #612 gets a 3.5/5

Daredevil #512: With this being the final issue of "Daredevil" as we know it, you'd think Andy Diggle would at least give a slight retrospective of the character and make his final moments worthwhile.  Sadly, he doesn't AT ALL, and Matt Murdock is gone with the wind.

The issue mostly focus' on the fact Daredvil/Matt is gone the central people in his life.  Foggy shows he has lost just as much gusto as Matt, as he seems like a bumbling side kick instead of the richly deep supporting character he use to be.  Iron Fist and Luke Cage make an appearance, but their dialogue makes them interchangeable with any street character.  The ending doesn't leave any real resolution, and it really just sets up "Daredevil: Reborn" instead of ending the series. 

The one bright side of this issue is Marc Checchetto.  His pencils have greatly improved from his days on "Squadron Supreme" and "Amazing Spider-Man."  His work doesn't make me miss Robert De La Torre one bit.  Speaking of him, what happened?  He was suppose to be the main artist and no explanation was given as to why he stopped penciling.  Maybe I missed it, but I don't remember anything about him not being the artist anymore

Daredevil #512 gets a 2/5

The Flash #7: Geoff Johns has been the most consistent writer at DC.  That fact lets me forgive an issue like "The Flash" #7.  It's a fun issue, but nothing to move along the status quo of the Flash universe.

The issue focuses on Captain Boomerang and his past.  It's somewhat interesting, but a lot of it is very cliche.  I would have liked more interaction between Boomerang and the Reverse Flash (who Boomerang breaks out in this issue). I'm reading an issue of "The Flash" though, so I would have liked to see more Flash.  I'm glad that this issue sets a new thread in motion, but it seems to blatant a lead up to "Flashpoint."  Maybe we could have had a fun Flash backup?

Scott Kollins takes over on art this week, and he does a good job.  Some flashback panels have some weird facial expressions, but nothing major.  He doesn't try to be Francis Manapul, which can be the case when there is a fill in artist.

The Flash #7 gets a 3.5/5

Superboy #2:  With the main "Superman" book not doing that well, the world needs a good book about a person with a big ol' S on their chest.  "Superboy" is that book.

The book starts with a weird team up between Ivy and Superboy.  Anyone who has read one team up knows that it was a set up, but I look at it as a learning experience for Superboy.  His friend Simon thinks up a humorous way to defeat her, and much of the rest of the issue is devoted to sowing seeds (no pun intended) for story lines.  Speaking of this, the little hints at plots are amazing.  It makes the upcoming issues look that much better.

Pier Gallo draws Ivy a tad to sexy.  Ok, that sounds weird, but once you see her wedgie, you'll get what I mean.  I'm all for a comic to look great, but that's just not needed.  Otherwise, Gallo does a stand up job of making the book look bright and fun.

Superboy #2 gets a 4.5/5

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Walking Dead, Season 1

And just like that, season 1 of "The Walking Dead" is over.  It seemed like it just began.  Oh wait....

The season finale was a great way to end the season, except that it didn't leave that big of twist for next season.  It just...ended.  No big "OH MY GOD" moment.  There didn't to necessarily need to be one, but that's how TV shows work.  Maybe it's good that the producers decided to not do this in the end.  I must say, the producers are really going away from the comics, but doing a hell of a job with theses stories.  The CDC echoes some of the comic book arcs, but not to a degree where comic book fans can expect everything that is going on.  Which is one of the biggest advantages of the show.  It left moments like the touching moment between Andrea and Dale actually up in the air.  Near the beginning of the show, it seemed like it would take small detours, but follow that plot point for point.  Now, I have no clue as to what is going to happen next season.  I can speculate, but I don't actually know.  We can guess that they group might run into the Governor or the prison, but we don't 100% know.  Maybe Shane will be around for a lot longer than we thought.  And Lori being pregnant hasn't even been discussed or hinted at (at least I don't think so.  Might need to do some re-watching just in case).

I was kind of hoping that big holy crap moment was going to be Shane dying at the end of the episode.  But I like the way the writers are treating him, so I'm not going to complain that much.  Speaking of Shane, I loved the beginning of the episode and how they explained the bed being outside the door.  It's a small thing, but adds to the mythos and is very enjoyable.  I hope the writers/producers continue with this next season.  Seeing everyone act as the outbreak hit would be interesting.  I don't want to see the survivors before the outbreak.  This isn't "LOST." But expanding on little things said in the comics is a great idea.  Maybe we could see how everyone got together.  There will be lots more room to show things when you don't have to cram everything into six episodes.

Overall, I call the season a massive success.  It took some courage to not only adapt a comic book into a TV show, but for it to be so violent and get the point across that it isn't about zombies.  The actors stepped up and the writers changed the stories just enough to keep everyone interested.  Comic book devotees and non.  Thankfully, the second season will be a full 13 episodes.  Sadly, we have to wait around 10 months for that second season to begin.  Time to have a few marathon sessions in that time.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reivews for ASM #649, Marineman #1, and others

This week has a lot less than usual.  Not that many comics were released, and I got a few in the mail.  So here we go folks!

Amazing Spider-Man #649:  The second issue of the "Big Time" direction.  Dan Slott is really stepping up his game for writing Spider-Man.  During "Brand New Day," Slott wasn't the most efficient writer when it came to humor.  He was either amazing, or just flat.  In the last two issues though, Slott has shown that he can really write great humor without it seeming forced or having it fall flat.  A lot of people are saying that Peter's job seems to good to be true.  I'm one to give things a try, and I'm enjoying this so far.  It's comic books, so why do people question absurd stuff like this?  People don't seem to mind that Bruce Wayne came out and said he supplies Batman.

The only thing that kept this issue from getting a perfect review was Humberto Ramos.  I'm not that big a fan of his pencils, but they have fit the story and he has made the Hobgoblin look really menacing.  There are some weird un-detailed panels that just seem lazy considering how much detailed some of the panels are.  But He still does a great job.

Amazing Spider-Man #649 gets a 4.5/5

Brightest Day #15: #14 was one of the best issues of the meta event, focusing on one story line and set of characters.  Geoff Johns and Paul Tomasi decide to do this again with #15.  Sadly, the result isn't that great.  The story is all a dream and doesn't affect any story and barely moves along the Martian Manhunter story.  It's just overall bad.  The pencils by Patrick Gleason and Scott Clark look good and fit the story.  Especially the bloody ending.  It's the only redeeming quality about the issue.

I'm getting to the point with "Brightest Day" where I can't decide if I want to continue with the series.  For every two issues like this one, there is one issue like #0-2 and #14.

Brightest Day #15 gets a 2.5/5

Heroes for Hire #1: After years in the cosmos, Dann Abnett and Andy Lanning have decided to come down to the street level.  Guess what, the guys can do no wrong.

The concept is quite simple.  Misty Knight contacts a certain set of characters to do good things, but they get paid in the end.  The group looks to include Moon Knight, Iron Fist, the Punisher, Misty Knight, the Falcon, the Black Widow, Elektra, and Ghost Rider.  I'm a little perplexed to how Ghost Rider is going to be involved.  The guy seems to be on his own.  But then again so does Moon Knight and look at him on the Secret Avengers. 

The ending is actually surprising.  The villain came out of left field, but has some real plans.  This villain could last for a while if given the right treatment.  Oh yeah, it's DnA, so he/she will

Brad Walker on pencils draws a beautiful comic.  Every thing is very detailed, and the action is kinetic.  Not one panel seems stale or static.  Even the most brilliant penciler can have this trouble.

Heroes for Hire gets a 5/5

Invincible Iron Man #32:  While Matt Fraction's book has been slight dip, that slight dip was still better than most books on the stands.  But sad for everyone else, "Invincible Iron Man" #32 bring the book back to it's brilliance level.

Finally, Detroit Steel and Iron Man fight.  Tony's quips are hilarious and it's awesome to see him, War Machine, and Rescue act as their own little Avengers franchise.  Although we haven't seen Steel much in the form of what he can do, it seemed like he would be able to stand his own again Iron Man better than he did.  He needed hundreds, maybe thousands of planes to beat him.  You would think the Hammer's would have more faith in their machine.

The Pepper Potts back up is beautifully drawn.  The story also looks to have some actual affects on the story, unlike some backups.  It looks to keep the soap opera relationship between Pep and Tony going, which I'm not sure I'm completely happy about.

Larrocca brings his A game this month.  He improves all around, making even the talking head panels look great.  As usual, the machine battles look great and the action is drawn without a flaw.

Invincible Iron Man #32 gets a 5/5.

Marineman #1:  I'm not one to indulge in creator owned comics besides the ones for Icon or "The Walking Dead."  But for some reason, I decided to give Ian Churchill's creator owned comic a chance.  And surprisingly, I loved every second of it. 

It isn't specifically stated if Marineman is an actual superhero or just a TV show host.  It's a nice change of pace and doesn't focus on an origin story of his powers either.  While the dialogue does get a little to dry, it never gets boring and is incredibly interesting.

Churchill's pencils look great, as do his colors.  They are greatly improved from when he was penciling "Hulk."  It's a bright, vibrant, and overall great comic.  This looks to be a great sleeper comic and one of my favorites of the year.

Marineman #1 gets a 5/5.

Ultimate Spider-Man #150:  We all know that Brian Michael Bendis writes the hell out of Spider-Man.  Especially Ultimate Spider-Man.  He never seems to run out of ideas for a high school Peter Parker.  This issue looks to change the status-quo while still paying tribute to the past 10 years.  The three stories look and read great.  My favorite was the story with Thor.  This had to do with the way Spider-Man handles himself and Skottie Young's pencils.  The silent Captain America story was better than I thought and got better with a second reading. 

The book looks to reignite the Tony=father Peter=son relationship again in comics.  I loved this when JMS did this in "Amazing Spider-Man" and it would be great to see it again.  As great as it's going to be seeing Spidey get lessons from the Big Three, I hope they bring in other heroes to help him learn. Any chance we could see a meeting between the Spider-Man in "Ultimate Avengers"?

It was also nice to see a reprint of the "Ultimate Spider-Man Special" #1.  It's a nice special from back in the day that is a blast to read.

Ultimate Spider-Man #150 gets a 5/5.

Shadowland #5:  I have not been a fan of "Shadowland."  It has destroyed the great character that is Daredevil while shaking up Hell's Kitchen.  I'm all for change, minded the execution is good.  And this execution has been terrible.

Surprise, Daredevil has a battle with himself and disappears. Gasp (notice no exclamation point).  I'm still confused as why Ghost Rider needed to be added beyond that he will be in "Heroes for Hire."  Why couldn't Elektra or someone from his past be the person to finally give a run for his money.  And what the hell happened to Ghost Rider after all of this. 

Billy Tan has been mediocre at best during this series.  He finally shows up this month, but still has some problems.  He can't draw the Kingpin's head for shit.

The only good thing to come out of all of this is the Black Panther will finally have his own ongoing again.  The character is a great character and needs more press.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


So "Shadowland" wrapped up this week, and as you might have guessed, it wasn't that great.  I gave it a 2.5/5, and that was only because Billy Tan finally stepped it up for this issue.  I'm a fan of Andy Diggle, but what the hell happened here buddy?  The "Daredevil" ongoing was great under you.  But then you decided to destroy the series.  But before I get on with the bad, there is some good coming out of this crap of an event.

Since Kevin Smith brought back the brilliance of Daredevil, Matt Murdock has always been the hero that is pushed to the edge, then comes back from it.  Brian Michael Bendis did this a lot during his run, but I was fine with it.  Ed Brubaker did the same, but the stories were good, so who gives a shit.  With "Shadowland" ending, it looks like Murdock is finally changing his ways.

Now, I'm a person who will love a story even though it is a slight regurgitation of an older story.  If it has some new elements that the old didn't, I'm all for it.  I was fine for years with this status quo for The Man Without Fear.  While reading "Shadowland," it was clear this was something completely new.  And I loved it for that.  But the execution was atrocious.  Matt Murdock turned into a villain, and for everything he did, I want the Punisher to kill him.  And he deserves it.  But I digress.

This event has shaken up Hell's Kitchen and looks to bring Black Panther as well.  T'Challa doesn't get the attention he deserves.  Matt Murdock will become a new person because of this.  Hopefully "Daredevil: Reborn" won't suck as much as "Shadowland" did.

What hasn't been discussed much is how his friendship to the super hero community will be after this.  His best friend, Spider-Man, will no doubt forgive him after a while, but he won't trust Murdock for a good long while.  Please Dan Slott, have this be featured in an issue.  It would be good for a stand alone issue to go back over their disagreements once Daredevil eventually comes back.

I expect some sort of fallout to come up in "Heroes for Hire" at some point.  Be it with Matt Murdock in the issue or not.  Iron Fist, Moon Knight, the Punisher, and Luke Cage won't take what Matt did lying down.   

I like the idea of Matt going to another city to be Daredevil.  With Captain Britain no longer having his own ongoing, maybe Matt can go to London.  I would just like him to go to any major city in Europe.  It would be nice to see some of the other countries in the Marvel U.  Hell, how about another city besides New York or San Francisco.  It would also give them a chance to make villains from other countries. 

New column up for 12/2

New column is up for 12/2.  I discuss how more comic books should be sold in January and give the latest movie news and highlights for the week