Thursday, March 29, 2012

Comic Reviews for 3/28

It was a good week for comics.  Avengers vs X-Men has started.  The Flash has come back to it's former greatness, while Aquaman went down a little bit.  Overall though, it was a great week.  There were many strong books, and even the weaker books had something strong about them.  The review for Avengers vs X-Men #1 is up on a different page.  Click here to read that.  Let's get started with this week's reviews!

Dark Horse Comics
Angel & Faith #8:  As someone from Boston, I love this issue. But it's a great issue overall as well.

Christos Gage has had a very tight hold on these characters during his run on this issue.  I can hear the actors speaking the lines in my head when reading them.  Much like Matt Fraction with Tony Stark, Gage is great at tearing down Faith in a personal manner.  Having her father arrive was a stroke of genius oh his part.  Angel takes a little of a backseat this issue, but it helps the story overall.  Gage, from Massachusetts, writes a Boston accent perfectly.  It doesn't come across as hokey or in a joke manner, but normal.  He makes a few Boston references and uses some vernacular, and it's used perfectly.  What Gage really does great in this issue is show why Angel and Faith are perfect together.  It's great to read as a long time fan of the Buffy and Angel shows, it's good to see Gage developing these characters in a logical way.

Rebekah Issacs pencils are perfect for the series as usual.  Characters look exactly like their actor counterparts, and expressive like the actors.  Action scenes flow well, although I noticed that Issacs didn't use as many backgrounds as usual.  Nothing to complain about, but something I noticed.  Good job of Gage and Issacs being on the same page with the Boston people.  Having them wear Bruins jerseys is nice.

Angel & Faith #8 gets 4.5/5.

Avengers vs X-Men #1 Review

Marvel Comics

Another Marvel event has started.  Almost a year to the day ago, Fear Itself started and took over the Marvel universe.  Avengers vs X-Men starts just as strong as the last event, maybe even stronger.  Avengers vs X-Men #1 is out on 4/4/12.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Walking Dead Season 2


Now that enough time has passed since the season finale, it's time to talk about the show without (as much) worrying about spoiling people.  But still, *HUGE SPOILER WARNING FOR SEASON 2*

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Comic Reviews for 3/21

Huge week.  Easily describes my pull list.  I liked this week, even though there were some mediocre books.  Hoping to get through with Marvel 1602 so that I can read the fifth hardcover of The Walking Dead.  Maybe even read the first trade of Invincible.  Anyways, let's get started.

Dynamite Comics
Army of Darkness #2:  The first issue of this new ongoing was flat out terrible.  #2 starts to improve, but not by that much.

Elliott R. Serrano's script is a lot better this time around.  The jokes land more, and we focus more on the Ash we care about.  He fills it with plenty of moments of Ash being a total badass.  If I'm reading dialogue and hearing Bruce Campbell's voice in my head, then he's doing his job right.  And a good amount of the time that happened.  But then he goes down to Mexico and the plot goes south as well.  It's not interesting or compelling at all.  It relates to nothing else about the story.  We see the other Ash quickly, which reminds me of the crap of an issue last month.  If this issue has shown us anything, it means the more that Serrano focuses on Ash Williams, the book ends up being better for it.  I was prepared to not want to pick up the next issue of this series if the book focused on the other characters, but it looks like I'll be back for #3. 

Marat Mychaels art is still absolute shit.  Character's don't look the same from panel to panel.  While Bruce Campbell's chin is present in this comic, it changes sizes drastically.  I'm a long time comic reader, and I know women are shown to be idealistic to guys, but these women shouldn't be able to stand.  Their bodies shouldn't work within the laws of physics.  During the action scenes on Route 66, he uses a blending technique to convey speed way to often.  Every once and a while is fine, but it looks like he spilled water on the page and is trying to clean up.

Army of Darkness #2 gets 2.5/5.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Comic Reviews 3/14

I'm not sure if you might have heard, but this awesome comic called Saga came out this week.  It was a the highlight of the week by far.  The rest of the week was good, with a couple of mediocre releases.

Red 5 Comics
Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures #1:  After taking months to catch up, I'm ready to read the series while it comes out.  Hooray!

Brian Clevinger writes the five short stories, and all of them will be good for fans of Atomic Robo.  They are evenly spread out, with none of them over staying their welcome.  As you might guess, the Dr. Dinosaur short is easily the funniest.  Spam as a way of attacking Robo? Genius. But the stories aren't integral to reading the next volume or rediscovering some personal detail of Robo.  It's more there for fans who can't wait for the next volume of Atomic Robo.  Since I'm one of those persons, I loved them.  As usual, Clevinger makes Robo very interesting a relatable, giving a lot of emotion in the few lines that Robo gets throughout this anthology.

The art isn't as on par as the other volumes, but it's serviceable.  A few of the artists change the way Robo looks to a degree, which isn't good.  But they work.  The "To Kill a Sparrow" short story looks the most like the ongoing, with Ryan Cody providing the art there.  Yuko Oda brings "Revenge of Dr. Dinosaur" the comedic timing needed for such a funny character.  In "Rocket Science is a Two-Edged Sword," I really like the choice of black and white.  Not a lot of comics can pull this off, but it works in this story.

Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures #1 gets 4/5

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Walking Dead "Better Angels" Recap/Review

"Better Angels" sticker from GetGlue (From AMC)

Ah, the burial of Piggy (yep, I'm not done with that reference yet).  Do the survivors now get rescued by their parents and scolded for being stupid occasionally?

I might not like Andrea, but awesome kill with the pitchfork.

Rick immediately puts T-Dog on perimeter watch.  It's like the writers like finding fun ways for him to not be in scenes.  "Do you want me to babysit Shane?" says Andrea. Yes, because he is an infant who can't take care of himself.  How hard was that to understand.  And yes we will leave money for pizza.

DEAR LORD stop shoving the "Carl killing Shane soon" angle down our throats.  It's getting to an almost comical point.

Cullen Bunn talks Sixth Gun, Wolverine, and Kitty Pride kicking ass

Wolverine #304, the first issue in Cullen Bunn's run
Whenever a new writer comes to Wolverine, it begs the attention of Marvel readers.  Cullen Bunn starts his run on #304, and recently sat down to talk about his run, and his creator owned book, The Sixth Gun.

So you have quickly become one of Marvel's go to guys.  How's it feel to go from indie writer to writer of a big Marvel book like Wolverine? 

Cullen Bunn: It's been a year since I signed my exclusive with Marvel, and it still feels pretty surreal. These are characters I grew up with... characters I really love... and I want to make sure I "do right" by the creators who have worked on the titles before, the characters themselves, and the fans. Writing Marvel books and creator-owned books is really the best of both worlds.

With someone like Wolverine, who numerous have had a great run on, how hard is to look at the character and find a new angle that entices reader?  Or make an old angle shine in a new way? 

Cullen Bunn: That's always a concern, but if I obsess too much over it, I'll never actually get anything written. In the end, I have to trust that no one else is really going to tell a story in the same way as me. So, my Wolverine will be different than those that came before and those that will come after. At the same time, I try to honor the character's past and introduce some new concepts of my own.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Buying Digital vs Physical; a Six Month Experiment

Justice League has constantly been a high selling comic digitally (DC Comics)
Since the DC relaunch last September, I have been partaking in an experiment.  I have been buying certain titles in digital form on the day of release.  I wanted to see what it was like to read only digital when I was accustomed to reading physical every week.  I started out only reading DC books, but slowly worked others into the mix.  I read the following titles digitally:

-Animal Man
-Swamp Thing
-Wonder Woman
-Demon Knights
-Thief of Thieves
-Star Trek Ongoing
-Generation Hope

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Comic Reviews for the week of 3/8/12

Hi everybody!  Total of 13 comics in this week's reviews.  Was a good week.  Not great, but good.  Jonathan Hickman had a great start to his creator owned work, while Grant Morrison continued his Superman epic.  Sadly Age of Apocalypse #1 wasn't as good as I was hoping.  Enough teasing, let's get down to business.

DC Comics
Action Comics #7:  Grant Morrison's run on Action Comics can be shaky, but with #7, he seems to be turning that around and being the Grant Morrison of old.

The idea behind the Bottle City of Kandor isn't reinvented here, but Morrison gives it a creatively charged story.  The way he connects the Collector to an old Superman villain and Earth culture made my head spin a bit, because it was that great of an idea.  It's fun to have an "AHA!" moment when you realize what Morrison is doing and it makes you want to read more of the story.  Occasionally the dialogue feels a bit odd, but it's not a big nit to pick.  In the bottle, Morrison continues Luthor's cracking since finding out the Collector isn't helping him.  For the little time that Luthor has had in this book, he doesn't seem that menacing.  Then again, he isn't the main villain, so I won't pass judgement just yet.  I love Superman, but haven't had a good Superman book to read as an ongoing.  This is finally that book.

Rags Morales returns, and his pencils fare better than the previous four issues.  He still has the facial problems like before, but they aren't nears as evident.  The action flows well, and all the characters are very expressive in the more quiet scenes.  The Collector looks fantastic, having a Silver Age feel to him while still being menacing.

Action Comics #7 gets 4/5.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

John Layman talks all things Chew and his love of Plastic Man

Tony Chu, the star of Layman's Chew
John Layman has been weaving one interesting tale in his creator owned book Chew.  Rob Guillory (artist) and he have created Tony Chu, a character who can see the past of things when he eats them. That includes human flesh.

Lately, you have been adding more and more 'powers' in the Chew universe. Where did you get the idea for all of these?

John Layman: I don't know where my ideas come from. I always get asked that, and I have no good answer.

Are there a limit to the number of 'powers'? 

JL: Not so far!

(Laughs) ok.  Most creator owned books seem to have an end issue in mind, like Scalped ending with #60.  Does Chew have and end issue, or one that just goes as long as the ideas keep flowing?

JL: Yep, Ends at issue #60. And, yes, we already know the ending, and are working toward it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chris Eliopoulos talks Cow Boy and the advantages of creator owned work

Chris Eliopoulos, the artist for Cow Boy, recently sat down with Mr. Comic Book to talk about the story of a 10 year old bounty hunter.  It's being released on with a good chunk of the book already available to read for free.  The hardcover will be released on May 1st  

The release method of Cow Boy is rather unique. Why release it free online first then the trade later?

Chris Eliopoulos: This was a new product that no one had really seen before, unlike say, Spider-Man. You have an idea what you'll be buying. Not the case here. So, we had a choice and we felt that the work was strong enough that when people got a look at it online, they would really want to have the book. It's a chance, no doubt, but something we're willing to try.

Well, I'll say I already have it preordered.  With an all ages book though, what's the challenge of making material that appeals to both adults and kids? This seems to be a tough market to sell these days.

CH: The trick, if there is one, is to make a book that doesn't speak down to kids, but tells a story that everyone can enjoy. It's a tough market in the direct market because it's dwindled down to a pretty specific demographic. But if you look at movies and books, that market is booming. Our trick is to make a book that appeals somewhat to the comic book market but in general to all demographics.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Walking Dead "Judge, Jury, Executioner" Recap/Review

"Judge, Jury, Executioner" sticker on GetGlue (from AMC)


Good job writers.  Not being subtle at all with the title are we?  Better than "Someone Makes a Decision and Someone Dies Because of the Previous Aforementioned Decision."  

Darryl does the old Boondock Saints method of interrogation on Randall.  Yes, telling Darryl that you watched as people raped a man's daughter is a perfect idea.  Nah, he won't beat you more....OH SNAP guess he will.

I'm fine with T-Dog not being there, but a little explanation as to WHY would be nice.  Even a "Hey guys, I'm going play Monopoly over here in the corner."  That game takes forever to finish.  Why thank you sound people, we did need a thunderstorm after Rick says "what happens, happens."  Not foreboding at all.  Bet the kid is getting a puppy.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Reviews for Angel & Faith #7, Astonishing X-Men #47, Invincible #89 and more!

It was a fifth week this past comic book Wednesday.  Not much was released between the big publishers. Was a decent week overall.  Let's get started.

Dark Horse Comics
Angel & Faith #7:  This series has been rather strong since #1, and it looks to be getting even stronger. #7 is easily the best issue to date.

Christos Gage tones down the action this month focusing more on the characters.  And as a long time viewer of the show, what Gage does with Angel is a great.  It makes him rethink everything that has come before in his "helping the helpless."  It's a hard thing to write, as you can't make him seem like an asshole, but actually questioning who he is.  Gage does the latter, while also tying the entire thing in with the daddy issues theme of the arc.  Gage then shows off, including Connor in the comic without it bogging down the issue or having to explain much.  Faith's dad part takes a slightly normal angle, with the ending slightly predictable.  It's still an interesting read, making me that much more excited for #8 next month.  Having Faith talk to Angel shows how great these characters are together.  

Rebekah Isaacs as well pencils her best issue of the series.  Her characters portray so much emotion on every panel, without ever looking like something other than their actor counterparts.  As stated before, it's a toned down issue, so showing break neck action scenes is replaced by talking head scenes.  They still look great, and this gives her more time to give the backgrounds attention to detail.

Angel & Faith #7 gets 4.5/5.