Monday, February 27, 2012

The Walking Dead "18 Miles Out" Recap/Review

"18 Miles Out" sticker on GetGlue (from AMC)


Starting the episode with a tense zombie filled scene.  I love it.  Few series can make that work as perfectly as this series can, as now I'll be on the edge of my seat the rest of the episode almost every time this happens.

I hate the way Dale "deduced" that Shane killed Otis, but I do like that it has created some great threads amongst the characters.  Rick's and Shane's conversion at the beginning was one of the scenes I have most wanted to see in the comics (even though it will never happen now).  But Rick, side note, don't let the crazy guy hold the shot gun. Small thing (big gun), but don't want your brains blown away. Zombies will make a nice soufflĂ© out of that.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why the Comic Industry Needs Events

(Marvel Comics

Everyone complains about event comics these days.  It's natural.  The event barges into the universe and takes precedent over all the individual story lines.  Story lines that have been building naturally for months, maybe years, have to take a back seat so that a book that is barely involved can tie into the overall narrative.  Sometimes, if a writer is skilled enough, they can make the event work in their favor and keep the overall narrative working.  But why do we (yes, I include myself in this) bash events, when they do so much good for the comics industry?

Reviews for The Flash #6, Morning Glories #16, Wolverine & the X-Men #6 and a lot more!

Was a slightly smaller week than the past couple, but still a good week overall.  Only one bad comic, and I'm sure you'll see it coming when you see the cover.  With that said, on with the show!

DC Comics

Aquaman #6:  While Aquaman was off in the desert in last month’s issue, Mera was out having an adventure of her own.

While the issue isn’t that dramatic, it’s still a sound issue.  Geoff Johns gives us a glimpse into who Mera is and what makes her tick.  It’s fairly by the books stuff, but Johns makes it all interesting.  The scenes are set up well, especially the one in the grocery store.  The domestic abuse scene was a little over the top, as we just saw how strong of a woman Mera is and how she defends women.  Take out that, and then you have a perfectly written comic.

Ivan Reis is absent this month (for the most part), with Joe Prado finishing Reis’ breakdowns.  The affect works well, for the most part.  Mera’s flashbacks are perfect, where I couldn’t tell that they were breakdowns.  But in every other scene, the pencils lack.  Prado gives every character weird facial constructions, with many of them being overly elongated.  The action scenes look great, in usual Reis fashion.

Aquaman #6 gets 3.5/5.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Walking Dead "Trigger Finger" Recap/Review

The "Trigger Finger" sticker from GetGlue (from AMC)


Lori must have been having pregnancy brain last episode and got hit, even though it lead to some tense scenes at the beginning.

So remember dumb ass #1 and #2 from the last episode? They weren't alone.  Reminds me a lot of Rick's time at the Governor, with the people being more threatening than the zombies.  It's good stuff, even if they have horrible Philly accents.  Guess Flyers fans survived the outbreak.

The TV show has taken liberties with a lot of characters and a few of them have worked well.  Carol having a quasi-relationship with Daryl is one of them.  It's small things like that which please the fan of the comics in me.

Digital Copies with Physical Copies. Good or Bad?

Justice League #1 (DC Comics)

In this new digital age for comics, it's hard to figure out what comic companies should do.  While the big two companies, DC and Marvel, have different plans, they might not be the best options.

Unless you have been living under a rock the past few months, DC and Marvel have been offering digital copies with physical books the past few months.  DC has only been doing this with Justice League, but you have to pay an extra dollar to get the code.  Marvel has been doing it with numerous books, and they are free.  Most of them have been comics in the Ultimate Universe and Avenging Spider-Man.  They will also be doing free copies with Avengers vs. X-Men.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Colombia Pictures
My Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance review just went up on the movie website.  As you might have expected, Nicholas Cage is an idiot and shouldn't have ruined this character.  Review is here: 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reviews for Army of Darkness #1, Batman #6, Amazing Spider-Man #679.1 and more!

Hello all.  Another week, another big batch of reviews.  Hope everyone had a good Valentine's Day and their valentine got them lots of comics!

Marvel Comics
Amazing Spider-Man #679.1:  Most of the .1 issues that Marvel has released over the months haven't done their job that well.  Amazing Spider-Man #679.1 actually does, and it's a good read as well.

Dan Slott and Chris Yost write this script, and their two styles mesh rather well.  So much so I couldn't tell who was writing what pages, something that can happen when two writers tackle an issue.  The story itself is sound.  It's a quick one and done, while setting up plot threads.  Having Morbius back is good angle, and it ends up making Peter's life much harder.  When kicking Peter down a little bit, it's always a difficult task.  You can't take away his job every time, so making it slightly harder being Spider-Man was a nice touch.  Most of Peter's coworkers have been cardboard cutouts, so developing one of them is good for long time readers.  The ending will please long time fans, and get the excited with anticipation.

Matthew Clark's pencils fit a Spider-Man book very well.  More so than Ghost Rider.  Morbius has an especially terrifying look to him.  While not spoiling the final page, it has a great look and hopefully Clark can come back when it comes time to tell that story.  His art would be a nice companion to the current Amazing Spider-Man artists.

Amazing Spider-Man #679.1 gets 4/5.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fantastic Four: Season One Review

Marvel Comics
In the wake of of Superman: Earth One, Marvel responded with their version of a graphic novel that is good for new readers.  They seem to have two waves, with the first being Spider-Man, Daredevil, X-Men, and Fantastic Four.  The second comes later in the year, with the Hulk being the only one been announced.  Fantastic Four: Season One is the first of the Marvel Season Ones, and it's......well just mediocre.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Reviews for Deadpool #50, New Mutants #37, Scarlet Spider #2 and a lot more!

It was a very big pull list this week.  Took a chance on New Mutants, and that book has a new reader.  Batgirl is very close to being dropped.  Enough of me bitching (for now!), let's get to reviews.

DC Comics
Batgirl #6:  Gail Simone has always been a great writer over at DC.  So it pains me to say this, but what hell is going on with Batgirl?

Gail Simone has always been the master of characterization.  And while Batgirl #6 shows some of her prowess, it also shows some issues.  Gretel is a very interesting villain, but she is quickly swept away.  She could have stayed around of a while.  She is a lot more interesting than Mirror.  Batman says a very odd thing in the middle of battle.  While not odd for the character, the time and place doesn't fit with the rest of the scene.  Barbara's home life continues to be a pleasure to read.  And having half of the book be mediocre, and the other be good is very jarring.  It doesn't work well and hopefully Simone can change that in the coming months.  It is good to see Simone interact with the rest of the Bat family of books.

Ardian Syaf's art is a mix bag this month.  Some panels aren't as crisp and easy to follow as others.  Occasionally the action gets muddled, with the characters striking some odd poses.  These problems only happen near the end of the book, leaving the majority of the book looking pretty.  It's good superhero work overall though, and it's good to have the art be consistent even when the writing isn't.

Batgirl #6 gets 3.5/5.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

DC sell more comics, Marvel makes more money in January

The sales numbers are out for January, and it looks like it's.........a draw?  January has provided us a strange month in terms of sales figures, with DC selling more comic books, but Marvel making more money overall.

Justice League #5 (DC Comics)
As far as the top 10 comics go, DC swept them.  Their most popular characters make up the top 10, with Batman books taking up four of the spots.  DC ended taking up 33.55% of dollar share, but 39.86% of units sold.  On the flip side, Marvel has 35.17% of the dollar share, and 37.51% of units sold.  Looking past the top 10 though, most of the comics are Marvel comics.  It sticks with the past few months where DC titles either sell a lot or don't.  Uncanny X-Men #5 was Marvel's top selling comic, followed by Uncanny X-Men #4.  The Spider-Man books seem to be selling well, with Scarlet Spider having a strong month.  A lot of X-books are selling well, except for Generation Hope that is (which is being cancelled soon).  Images took 5.84%, holding strong at number three, with their strongest selling book being The Walking Dead #93.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #5 was the top selling book for Dark Horse.  Sadly Angel & Faith was a lot lower on the list, which saddens this big supporter of the book.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Before Watchmen. AKA DC Pissing Off Fanboys

Cover to Nite Owl #1 (DC Comics)
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, you must know what Before Watchmen is.  It's DC's foray into telling stories before the seminal work of Alan More and David Gibbons.  It's comic books at their finest.  There are going to be seven mini series, with one issue being released a week.  Most issues are four, with a few being six issues.  There is also going to be Crimson Corsair back up in each issue.

So boys won't shut the hell up and not complain about something for once.

I'll make my argument simple:  comic book fans love to complain.  We live in a cynical society where we love to kick everything and everyone down a peg.  So when this was announced, naturally the fans cried fowl.  Did they forget that DC is a comic book company?  That they are out to make money?  If they listened to fanboys the majority of the time, they wouldn't ever change anything.  The new 52 never would have happened.  I don't understand why fans haven't learned to let stuff happen first THEN judge it.  Oh, I know why.  And I can boil it down to one sentence.

Reviews for Animal Man #6, Defenders #3, Winter Soldier #1 and a lot more!

Hello all.  It was another good week.  We have the big news that is Before Watchmen.  I'll quickly say that I'm excited, and hope they get the miniseries right.  With that, off to reviews!

DC Comics
Action Comics #6:  Action Comics is becoming typical Grant Morrison.  Time travel, zany ideas, tons of science jargon thrown around, and we get an enjoyable comic.

Morrison's remaining of Clark becoming Superman is quite different, and it's fun to see Morrison stretch with his storytelling.  But sometimes you need to pull the reins back a little.  #6 is very high on science ideas, but it doesn't feel necessary.  Like Grant is showing off for the sake of showing off.  Don't misconstrue my criticisms, Action Comics #6 is a good book and Grant is still the only person to make me care about Superman.  Part of me was scared that a two issue interlude story would ruin the overall narrative that Morrison is telling, but thankfully it doesn't.  When we jump back into the story with #7, I'll be happy and ready for it.

While the story had some faults, Andy Kubert has none.  His pencils are bold, with action that pops off the panel.  Sadly Kubert can't stay around, with Rags Morales not delivering as well as Kubert did with these two issues.  Hopefully the two months off will help Morales pick up the slack.

Action Comics #6 gets 3.5/5