Thanks for a GREAT 2005 and hope everyone reading this had a great Christmas and is looking forward to a great New Years (and 2006). Hook 'em.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Thanks for a GREAT 2005 and hope everyone reading this had a great Christmas and is looking forward to a great New Years (and 2006). Hook 'em.
Monday, December 26, 2005
Batman: Hush vol. 1
I’ve been getting so many graphic novels lately, I love it.
- 27 December, 2005 10:09, zilla said...
this is a friggin' GREAT TP IMO. I can't wait for the absolute edition coming out in the spring (HC w/ both the Hush trades collected). Enjoy!
- 28 December, 2005 16:35, Philos said...
The Absolute Hush Edition is already available since October 1, 2005.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
If you've been around here a while, you'll note that i've said it 100 times before but this guy Powell has a gift for comedy in comic books. That's high Eisner-worthy praise these days where most "funny" books feel forced, corny, or downright "un"funny to me. Throw in a horror genre twist and one of the most memorable casts you can possibly imagine, and you've got one of the BEST titles i've read since my relapse back into comic-dom.
So what's the Goon all about? That's a very difficult question to answer my friend. We've got a story about a knuckle-busting thug who has gone from ashy to classy (R.I.P. Biggie), starting out as an orphaned kid who becomes the head of a mob-ish crime family (the Labrazio's). Sounds simple enough right? It is; until you throw in the fact that Mr. Goon's nemesis is a nameless (turns out that's an important detail) man priest who's actively resurecting the dead into a zombie army. Throw in a mad scientist with metal skin and a robot bodyguard, a werewolf, Frankie the sidekick, Buzzard (the used-to-be sheriff), Spider (the... spider), a mexican horny toad chupacabras, and Norton's Pub and... man you had to be there.
Anyways - about issue #15. The story in this issue isn't much to write home about - let's just say Goon and Frankie help bail Norton (and his mom) out of an a debt owed back in the "old country" with brains instead of brawn for once. But the real sweetness here is in the hilarious letter pages.
An ex-fan writes in and slams Powell for snubbing him w/ a couple grunts and a lot of attitude at a comic-con. That letter (and Powell's response) by itself is hilarious, but then Powell gets a ton of writers from around the industry (Oeming, Busiek, Niles, etc.) to write in letters crushing him, his attitude, and quirks (most make believe i hope but still...). I was laughing my arse off for a long, long while reading these... B (A after i read the letter pages).
It was all over when...
PS - Powell's colored-pencil art is so friggin' good now. Blows his earlier stuff away my friends...
Friday, December 23, 2005
Here's to hoping those rumors of an "Ultimate" Hulk are true.
- 23 December, 2005 14:36, Christopher Green said...
Well, at least there's Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk!
Ghost Rider #4 (of 6)
Written by: Garth Ennis
Artwork by: Clayton Crain
Published by: Marvel
Okay, so this came out last week, but I forgot to pick it up, so I’m reviewing it this week…
In the aftermath of last issue, the angel Ruth has stolen Ghost Rider’s hellcycle in her pursuit of Kazaan, forcing Ghost Rider to accept a deal offered by Hoss to team up.
I must say this is probably my favourite issue in the series so far. Garth Ennis seems like he’s finally taking this story somewhere, and I actually chuckled at a few things too (Ghost Rider questioning why Ruth was on a Greyhound bus, Hoss says that Heaven is on a tight budget, since all the billionaires go to Hell). The artwork of Clayton Crain is as nice as ever, although like many others, I do have a bit of a problem with the small amount of flames on the Rider’s skull. Solid issue and I’m anticipating the next one.
Rating: **** out of *****
Green Lantern (vol. 4) #6
Written by: Geoff Johns
Penciled by: Simone Bianchi
Cover by: Ethan Van Shiver
Published by: DC
So I haven’t been enjoying this series as much as others have, but no matter.
Last issue German-speaking demons attacked a plane (Twilight Zone: The Movie style, as I mentioned last month), which happened to have The Black Hand on it. This issue sees Hal Jordan and Black Hand battling it out, while Black Hand rambles on about how death wants Jordan, and causing Jordan to flashback to making a promise to his mother that he would never join the Air Force (because his father was a pilot as well, and died if I’m not mistaken), and subsequently breaking the promise which ultimately made his mother hate him all the way to her grave.
This issue was an improvement over the last (the humanoid-like psychic Shark barely appearing), and the exploration of Hal Jordan’s past was somewhat interesting, if not slightly clichéd. The artwork was by a different artist than last issue (I’m assuming to get it out on time), and it was nice in a “drawn in pencil crayon” sort of way. End of an arc, decent issue, but not enough to keep it on my pull list.
Rating: *** out of *****
Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #3 (of 5)
Written by: Dave Gibbons & Geoff Johns
Penciled by: Patrick Gleason
Published by: DC
I must admit, I was only mildly interested in this series from the very start. To the fact that, between my lack of interest and the delays, I don’t even remember what happened in issue #2.
Green Lanterns Kyle Raynor and Guy Gardner head off against orders to save a trainee Lantern named Natu (whom Guy repeatedly makes comments about her attractiveness, which is rather difficult to see as the artwork is so god damned generic looking) who was stranded on some planet after being drawn into a black hole.
The story is somewhat interesting, and big things happen (galactic big, though a sci-fi series such as this, it’s pretty common), but the characters just feel so… Fictional. What I mean is, the way the characters interact with each other really makes you have a hard time believing in them. Guy Gardner has this tough guy (sci-fi) Vic Mackey attitude yet his dialogue is delivered in a very corny, Disney movie way. Also, Natu says that she is giving up the Ring, yet all Kyle and Guy have to do is say a couple brief things to her (respecting the memory of the former bearer and that she must be afraid, respectively) and suddenly like three panels later, she decides to keep it (it reminds me of Kung Pow, with Master saying “I’m afraid I cannot help you” and Chosen One replying “Master, I implore you to reconsider!” and Master coming around suddenly “Hmm, okay!”).
The artwork, as mentioned above, is really really badly generic, it just looks too simple, like some first-timer fresh out of a community-college art school. Overall, a mediocre story dragged down even more by poor art.
Rating: ** out of *****
Infinite Crisis #3 (of 7)
Written by: Geoff Johns (I swear he’s DC’s Bendis)
Penciled by: Phil Jimenez
Cover by: George Pérez
Published by: DC
I don’t know a lot of DC history, what I do know is from explanations in this series and from research. But even with that in mind, THIS is how you do a universe-wide event.
This issue flows along the same way the previous two have, cutting to different scenes of different heroes around the world trying to fight this disaster (as the world is seemingly, coming apart). The main focus of the issue is Earth-Two Superman trying to convince Earth-One Batman to join forces with him. But Batman is skeptical, and thus does some investigating. The issue, as with the previous two, ends with a gigantic cliffhanger that makes you go “!!!”.
I absolutely love this mini series. It’s somewhat difficult to follow to minor characters’ quests, battles and etc. But that doesn’t stop the flow of each issue and hooking you into it, genuinely anxious to get to the next page just to see what happens next. The artwork is good, Phil Jimenez truly does a great job at following in George Pérez’ legendary shoes. I love this series, and I only wish it came out biweekly so I could enjoy it more frequently. I highly recommend picking up the first three issues of this series, and following through with the remaining four. Marvel should take notes, as this is easily better than almost anything they publish.
Rating ***** out of *****
Spider-Woman: Origin #1 (of 5)
Written by: Brian Reed & Brian Michael Bendis
Penciled by: The Luna Brothers
Published by: Marvel
I bought the Giant Size Spider-Woman last summer in anticipation of Bendis & Maleev’s Spider-Woman series, premiering sometime in mid 2006. It was lame, and corny, even moreso than most comics from back then. It didn’t deter me from picking this up, even though I really don’t like the art, at all.
Jessica Drew’s origin is retconned and rewritten for the 21st century, and that’s a good thing. Her father and his associate, none other than Prof. Miles Warren (yes, that Miles Warren) have been experimenting with DNA manipulation, and a freak accident has Drew’s pregnant mother shot with a laser that manipulates DNA with properties from other spieces. In this case, a Wundagore Widow spider. Jessica is born, perfectly healthy, against all odds, but ten years down the road, her father’s priorities become a little messed up.
Apart from the anime-influenced art, this is a pretty good issue. The pacing is actually a lot quicker than most Bendis material, but not TOO fast that it becomes irritating. There’s several retcons in this in this story and not all of them specific to Jessica’s origin (Bova being human, for instance, instead of some mutant cow creature). Overall, story-wise, this is a pretty solid read.
Rating: ***1/2 out of *****
Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #1
Written by: Damon Lindelof
Penciled by: Leinil Francis Yu
Published by: Marvel
I’m the first to admit, I’m not very knowledgeable of the Ultimate universe. I’ve steered clear of it for the most part due to an irrational disliking of changing timeless heroes’ origins, and such. But lately I’ve been warming up to it, and Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk has just made me fall in love with it.
The issue begins with Wolvie ripped in half (due to the page that’s been available on forums for a while now), and tells the story in a flashback form. Nick Fury, while trying to cover up for the fact that Banner survived being executed by S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Wolverine to clean up his mess because of his abilities, and because Xavier can’t read his mind.
This is one of the best comics I’ve read all year, the dialogue between the characters flows so nicely and actually reads like a real conversation, and easily suspends any amount of disbelief. Mr. Lindelof knows what he’s doing, and does it exceptionally well. And the artwork, love it. Dark, gritty, it has a very nice strong look to it all. And the scenery? Absolutely beautiful. The mountains of Tibet are depicted almost as if we were looking at a photo.
Marvel, I think you’ve published the perfect single comic book issue here. Titanic talent comes right at you in every page. I only wish the book was monthly. Congratulations on a fantastic job well done.
Rating: ***** out of *****
X-Men: Deadly Genesis #2 (of 6)
Written by: Ed Brubaker
Penciled by: Trevor Hairsine
Cover by: Marc Silvestri
Published by: Marvel
The first issue showed promise, and this issue shows even more. Although I think the pacing is a little slow.
Kitty Pride and Hank McCoy are attempting to free Wolverine from military custody (they believe he was involved in “yesterday’s” space shuttle crash, since he was found in the vicinity). Eventually due to Emma Frost doing some Jedi Mind Tricks (ha ha), he’s released. We also see Scott Summers and the new Marvel Girl being held prisoner by the mysterious enemy from last issue. It is also apparent that Scott no longer has his powers, as he is visor-less and not blasting out heat rays from his eyes uncontrollably.
Overall a decent issue, the mystery of who this new enemy is is continued, as is the mystery of the seemingly horrible act that Xavier committed ages ago. The artwork is nice, Hairsine is a great choice for an Astonishing X-Men team, as he depicts the characters quite well. The only thing I’m wondering though is, the back up stories that have been featured in both issues of this series, what exactly do they have to do with the current situation? Because, it seems, at least at the moment, nothing.
Rating: ***1/2 out of *****
Well there’s this weeks mini reviews from me. I don’t know if I’ll be picking up comics next week so I’m not going to promise anything. HOWEVER! I did receive another early Christmas present today, a gift card for my local comic store. So with it, I bought the following graphic novels:
Daredevil: Yellow written by Jeph Loeb and penciled by Tim Sale, the creative team behind the amazing Batman: The Long Halloween. I can’t wait to see how they handle DD’s early days.
Dawn: Lucifer’s Halo by Joseph Michael Linsner. I must admit, I became interested in this character (who I’d heard about years ago in Wizard) simply because Linsner draws Dawn as being one of the most beautiful women in comics I’ve ever seen, and she actually has curves!
I’ll be reviewing this two graphic novels in-depth as well as several others (that I got from the library) some time over the next month or so.
- 23 December, 2005 09:46, zilla said...
uncensored - friggin' GREAT new post format (reads like a charm).
I totally agree w/ you on Ghost Rider, this book seems to be largely unheralded for some reason but i'm loving it. Will make one hell of a purty TP. and the art... man!
As for Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk - It is pretty good right? You and i differ a bit on the dialogue (just between fury and wolverine) but the rest of the issue is great - especially the art. that over-marketed panel of hulk ripping wolverine in half is one of the best i've ever seen... if my wife would let me i'd frame that.
ps i LOVE how you read different stuff than i do - gives us some variety around here (and keeps me looking at titles i wouldn't normally). happy holidays partner.
- 23 December, 2005 10:53, zilla said...
ps let me know about daredevil yellow - i loved loeb and sale in hulk gray (big time). thx.
- 23 December, 2005 14:39, Christopher Green said...
Hapy holidays to you too, zilla. My review format has been evololving over time but I think this might in fact become my set format, so it's awesome that you like it.
And if you haven't read Batman: The Long Halloween, I highly recomend it. I'm no Batman expert but it's hands down the best Batstory I've read so far.
- 23 December, 2005 15:36, zilla said...
it's on my wish list for sure my friend... don't forget to let me know how you like daredevil yellow - i love that team of loeb and sale. thx. and once again - happy holidays partner!
Thursday, December 22, 2005
The story (written by Damon Lindelof of TV's Lost fame) isn't great, but it's certainly good enough (so far) to keep me interested. It's simple, paced, and well ordered w/ mixed scenes in the present and past (here's where you start to feel the connection with Lost.
Events in this first issue pick up here where they left off in Ultimates 2. The Hulk (believed dead after Banner was ordered executed following a Hulk rampage in NY) is not dead after all (surprise!) but alive and well hiding in the mountains in Tibet. Lindelof offers up a bit of a vaporous (and somewhat unblievable) explanation as to how Nick Fury realizes that Banner survived his nuclear exectution, and follows it up with some pretty stale (and equally unbeleivable) dialogue as Fury recruits Wolverine to hunt Banner down and kill him.
No matter though - once we're passed that we start getting into the real meat of the story - the hunt leading to the battle we're all buying this book to see (and the moment in time captured by one of the most incredible 2-page panels ever seen; used to market this mini to death and depicted below).
Yu's art is kick ass (that's really the only way to describe it). His work on Silent Dragon hooked me, and he won't disappoint any of his fans here. I flipped through this a couple extra times after i read it just to look at the purty pictures in closer detail (and there's some good detail in this guy's work as we know)... B+.
It was all over when...
i go through the same process each time (i've done this like twice a month for the past 6 months)... filling out the simple registration form (by now i've carefully read every piece of instruction), using my first name and/or surname as my userID, an appropriate password, and my email address (i've tried about 5 different accounts, some "free" addresses like gmail or yahoo which i know aren't liked by some forums, then my personal account and even my god-damned work account) - to no avail.
i still can't get them to write me back after the "the administrator wishes to preview all new accounts and will contact you..." message.
why me? seriously what's the beef millar? zilla no suckie i swear!
- 04 January, 2006 15:46, Mark "Puff" Anderson said...
What is this from?
- 05 January, 2006 09:19, zilla said...
Ultimates 2. If you're not reading this - start from Ultimates (1) and read by the trades - you will NOT be disappointed :)
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
- 22 December, 2005 09:19, Num104 said...
Apparently the truck from the Memphis distribution center to my area in Illinois broke down, so I don't get any of my books until today. The last several weeks have all had some kind of problem with my books (late arrivals, certain books missing, etc). What a crappy time of year.
- 22 December, 2005 10:49, said...
I read it. I thought it was a good start to the story, and the writing seemed decent. I was a little bit disturbed by the scene of Wolverine being ripped in half (I'm sure you've seen that in the promo images). Not sure I'd be putting that into a book that is aimed at a mass audience without some strong warnings on it... but anyway, a decent read.
- 22 December, 2005 17:58, said...
I loved it. Simple, SIMPLE premise, executed perfectly. A fun book, I can't wait until the next issue.
- 22 December, 2005 18:29, zilla said...
i just read it myself... the story IS nice and simple (a relief sometimes), but interesting enough to keep me turning the pages. i'm not the least disappointed in liu's art - this cat can draw folks (like nobodies business). he's one of my favs at the moment - the first page (inside) is killer. i was hooked at page 1.
once i can get to my scanner i'll put up a mini-review.
I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when i picked up X-Factor #1 (the reboot) but i can tell you one thing: In the end i was damn-well surprised. PAD has taken a slummy cast of nobodies and turned them into something surprisingly interesting. To be honest, this is one of the best PAD-written issues i've read in a long, long time (no offense big guy).
So what goes down in #1? Our opening story deals primarily w/ Rictor's insecurities after losing his powers (HoM), and Madrox's attempts to talk him off the ledge (literally). There's some high-level introductions of some of the other characters, and a brilliant surprise ending slash cliff-hanger that put icing on the proverbial goodness cake and got me flipping back to the first page to run through this one a second time before tossing it in the "read" pile.
At the end of the day i'm impressed. Seems like i've been on a bit of a superhero roll ever since i proclaimed my distaste for mainstream superhero comics a few weeks ago... Whatever. I'll take it ;) Could be the reason i'm diggin on X-Factor so far is because the cast ISN'T mainstream though... maybe i'm on to something here...
Anyways - PAD is at the top of his game (so far) in X-Factor and Sook's art (who is this guy?) is right up my alley... kind of reminds me of the old Bendis Alias comics for some reason. I really (really) liked this #1. A.
It was all over when...
- 22 December, 2005 09:49, Dave Carter said...
Who is Ryan Sook? He totally rules! He did the art on the recently completed Seven Soldiers: Zatanna; did a year+ on The Spectre a couple of years back; did a couple of Spike & Dru comics; some BPRD; and some Hawkman last year.
- 22 December, 2005 09:54, zilla said...
hey! remember i'm only back into comics for 8 mos or so now ;) thanks for the website though - i just spent a few checking it out... i really dig this guys work for sure. you know off the top of your head which BPRD arc(s) he did?
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
- 22 December, 2005 09:50, Dave Carter said...
Where that panel from?
- 22 December, 2005 09:52, zilla said...
Fear Agent #2. Great read (so far). I very much recommend.
CONAN #23 (MR) - Pull list. Start of a new arc and the death knell of Busiek as our esteemed writer. Can't wait to read the forthcoming Mignola arc though, and supposedly this new guy they're getting to write Conan comes highly acclaimed.
GOON #15 - Pull list. It's been a while Mr. Goon, we missed you.
INTIMIDATORS #1 - This one caught my eye in B&W on the distro list - anyone know anything about it? Am i in?
INCREDIBLE HULK #90 - Don't we all have those titles in our stack that we keep buying, and buying, and buying primarily because of some deep-seeded childhood fascination for the character(s) even though the book itself is kind of crappy?
ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS HULK #1 (OF 6) - SIMPLY CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS. Liu is a friggin' beast.
Elk's Run #4 - Yes sir. Thanks for introducing me to this MF. Anyone who hasn't picked this up... should (get the bumper).
BPRD THE BLACK FLAME #5 (OF 6), SILENT DRAGON #6 (OF 6), NEW AVENGERS #14, SENTRY #4 (OF 8), THING #2, THOR BLOOD OATH #6 (OF 6), WOLVERINE #37, X-FACTOR #2
Monday, December 19, 2005
I picked up Dark Tower Book 1, The Gunslinger, a few weeks ago but just got around to cracking it open the other night (i'd previously been in the middle of a long stretch of reading book after book in George R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series which is friggin' phenomenal) and ultimately powered through it in just a couple of sittings. What did i think you ask?
For starters, my expectations for Gunslinger turned out to be way off target. For some reason i had it in my mind that it was a horror book (stephen king) and/or a western (gunslinger). Turns out it's pretty much neither (even though there are spatterings of both). It's much more fantasy than anything else - which, to be honest was a pleasant surprise...
We've got the round-about story of Roland the "gunslinger" (much like the gunslingers of the old west but... not) on a mission to track down the merciless body-snatched sorcerer, the "man in black" (coincidentally and somewhat predictably a malicious figure from his past), set in a post apocolyptic world based on our own (?). Wow that was a long sentence.
This first book (of 7) deals primarily w/ introductions, background (some pretty cool stuff here), and a few of Rolands misadventures along the way, including a town gone brainwashed, his unlikely friendship with a scar-faced bar wench and a myserious 10 year old(ish) boy, and several demon encounters for good measure. Not bad.
Ok so i can totally see WHY this will make a damn good comic. There are some pretty cool painted art pages sprinkled throughout this text-only book that really help push the images King wants us to have... and probably lay the groundworks for some of the art we will see in the comic mini in '07. Something about the painted pages in this book really reminds me of the awesomely painted covers from "Preacher".
Anyways - this first book in the series was a really quick read for me. i pretty much couldn't put it down and can't hardly wait for Book 2 (xmas me hopes?). I have to agree with some of what King said in his forward - the Gunslinger IS a bit scattered and hard to follow at times (and opens more doors than it closes) - but you def walk away from it with all the major points digested.
Great read (and i hear it only gets better). B+.
- 19 December, 2005 10:40, CalvinPitt said...
I'm glad to see you liked the book. You the weird thing about the Dark Tower is that as you go through it makes references to and ties in with other books King wrote (I believe he's said that his books have been some part of this story, had elements of it).
I would say to get an idea of how Roland's world is related to ours, read The Talisman, a book he wrote with Peter Straub. It involves alternate worlds. I don't think it's the same, but it gives a good explanation for how the worlds are connected.
- 19 December, 2005 18:06, Ryan X said...
Glad you are starting your trek to the Dark Tower...it only gets better from here. I am halfway through #4 and am totally immersed in Roland's world. I have been listening to the audiobooks since I finished #2 just so I can use my ridiculous commute to get something done. I now crave my commute so I can get back to Mid-World. Stay with it, it is very very complex and fun as hell. I look forward to future updates.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
When i read the intial reviews (and saw the previews) way back when, one of my huge turn-offs was that i thought Ben Grimm's rocky hide looked a bit "rubbery" and an obvious costume (and this is huge for me since Thing was my all-time fav from this crew)... but turns out in the actual flow of the movie it wasn't all that bad.
There is a lot of "other" bad though. The acting is pretty much piss-poor across the board. Seriously there's not a single character in here that i felt well-acted - Reed was little like i have read him, Jessica Alba did a MUCH better job in Sin City where she had fewer lines and served as eye-candy primarily insted of secondarily, Johnny Storm is plain ANNOYING in this movie (i hope this doesn't ruin my mental image of him from the comics where's he a lot more peter park "funny" than annoying), and Doom? Miss.
Ugh... so without that all we've got left is the story right? Even that falls pretty short in my opinion, though it does have a few moments (just not nearly enough of them strung together). It always feels rushed to try and cram decades of comic history into a couple hour movie, but it IS possible (see Spider-Man and Batman Begins). Fantastic Four feels crammed, condensed, and unbelievable pretty much from the jump. This was one of those movies where i found myself saying one of two phrases over and over... "why the hell?" or "yeah right".
Maybe i woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I mean after all my complaining in the paragraphs preceding this one - i admit i WAS entertained (at least somewhat). It wasn't the worst movie i've seen by any stretch, just bugs me when you're handed an incredible story, with a time-tested (and very deep, well-explored) cast and you can't win with it. I mean it's all there - ALREADY a hit on paper... where in the process does the magic go... poof? C.
- 17 December, 2005 14:09, CalvinPitt said...
I'll agree it wasn't good. It seemed even worse when I saw it in theaters, because I had gone to see Batman begins the day before with my buddy (first time for him, second for me), and FF suffered in comparison. I di like Chiklis as the Ben grimm, but I'm a big fan of The Shield so I'm probably biased.
I think what hurt the movie is it had to many characters to devlop, so it couldn't do any of them well. Batman Begins really only had to worry about developing Wayne's personality, and it's somewhat easier to do in the amount of time given.
- 17 December, 2005 13:35, Mark Fossen said...
Dude, what is that?
- 17 December, 2005 14:05, zilla said...
yep. #4. the art in this title is pretty bad ass IMO. faces/skin look kind of mannequin and/or plastic at times but that's about all this cat can't draw the s out of.
how you been mark?
- 17 December, 2005 14:06, zilla said...
ps i got about 5 great "panel of the days" from this issue (coming up).
Friday, December 16, 2005
All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder: Special Edition #1
Written by Frank Miller
Penciled by Jim Lee
Cover by Frank Miller
Published by DC
Despite the fact that this series has been a big disappointment (in both story and shipping schedule), I’m buying all I can from it (I’ve already told the comic shop to put the 1 in 10 Frank Miller drawn cover of issue 3 in my box, even though it’ll cost me about $15), because there’s something about this series that keep making me fork out cash. Anyway, this features the first issue completely un-inked and un-coloured, just Jim Lee’s bare penciled pages (though the speech is still there, so you can read the comic as normal). It’s actually pretty interesting to see just how many mistakes even a fan-favourite pro makes on his drawings. At the end of the book is Frank Miller’s script for the first issue, which really appeals to me because I’ve wanted to see the formatting of a comic book script for a while. This is a great buy simply to see the creative process behind a comic book. The issue would’ve been even better if there was some commentary or introductions or even bio’s of Miller & Lee. Still, a worthy effort on DC’s part to make up for the ridiculously late schedule this title has.
Rating: **** out of *****
Ultimate Iron Man #5 (of 5)
Written by Orson Scott Card
Penciled by Andy Kubert & Mark Bagley
Published by Marvel
One of the comics I bought on that fateful day last March that cited my return to comics was Ultimate Iron Man #1. I knew nothing of the Ultimate universe, I just knew I liked Iron Man. Then I find out the book is bimonthly, meh. Then I find out that it can’t even keep that relaxed of a schedule and is frequently late, like many books these days. But it’s finally here, now that I don’t give a rats’ ass anymore. First off, we have a cover that show Tony Stark and James Rhodes in some sort of conflict, which doesn’t happen anywhere in the book. In fact, the two of them are friends. Then as we progress through the issue I began noticing characters looking noticeably different from previous issues, hell, even pages. It seems a good chunk of this issue was penciled by Mark Bagley (who seems almost inhuman in his ability to hammer out material), probably due to the Kubert bros. jumping ship to DC last summer. While Bagley tries his hardest to look like Andy’s style, it just doesn’t work, and the pages look very inconsistent. The mini has had its good and bad issues, and unfortunately this was one of the lesser. One problem with the mini is it seem that Card is trying to hurry to a certain point. What I mean is, while each issue has focused on a certain period of Tony’s life, character development in this time doesn’t flow naturally, it just sort of happens, it feels rushed, like they ended up at that point merely because they’re predisposed to, and not because they’ve grown to be that way. Tony’s father, who has been portrayed as a good individual throughout the series, suddenly becomes bad, untrusting, and condescending of Tony. Tony, in the period of one 22 page issue, goes from never tasting alcohol in his life, to an alcoholic by the end of the issue. The series also ends on a cliffhanger, which never pleases me. Nothing is resolved, though the nature of the series, there’s not much to resolve anyway. The last page of the issue is an ad for Ultimate Iron Man 2 which is supposedly coming out sometime next year. I’ll read it, but merely to see where Tony goes from here. Not because I’m particularly fond of this mini.
Rating: **1/2 out of *****
The Punisher #28
Written by Garth Ennis
Penciled by Leandro Fernandez
Cover by Tim Bradstreet
Published by Marvel (MAX imprint)
I started with this series on issue 19 and haven’t read a bad issue yet. This is how Frank Castle’s stories should be told. The Slavers arc continues on part four, and we have Frank going to a house where these sex slaves are being held. There’s also a sub plot of the arc about an N.Y.P.D. task force set to take down the Punisher, and two cops who were unwillingly made the poster children of it. What I like most about Ennis’ MAX Punisher is the interactions between the characters have a very real feel to them, and though most of them seem to come and go on an arc to arc basis (which is the best way to tell the stories of a character like this), they feel very important, at least for the moment. The issue ends with an awesome scene that I won’t spoil, but it had me laughing, especially with Castle’s dialogue accompanying it.
Rating: **** out of *****
Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do #4 (of 6)
Written by Kevin Smith
Penciled by Terry Dodson
Published by Marvel
I first read about this series early this year, after falling in love with Terry Dodson’s drawings of the Black Cat in the pages of Marvel Knights Spider-Man. I picked up the Must Haves edition of the first three issues last month, and now I get to see where it goes from there. Since I haven’t been waiting for this issue for three years and being the big Kevin Smith fan that I am, I haven’t set myself up for huge disappointment. The issue begins with the same eight pages that were at the end of the Must Haves edition last month, Felicia (Black Cat) in jail, for murdering Klum (a rich mutant who had the power to teleport things, and was using said power to teleport heroin into peoples’ bodies and causing them to OD). Her lawyer shows up to see her, and that lawyer happens to be… Guess… Give up? Matt Murdock, because we all know he’s the only lawyer in the Marvel universe. There was strong evidence that Felicia has been raped, so Murdock plans to make that her defense. But Felicia insists she wasn’t raped, and so begins the big problem. Peter (Parker) and Matt meet, and Peter convinces Matt to help him bust Felicia out of jail. No massive expectations, I enjoyed the issue. There were some major questions raised in the issue, which makes me anticipate the remaining two of this mini. One of the better Spider-Man stories I’ve read this year.
Rating: ***1/2 out of *****
Wildcats: Nemesis #4 (of 9)
Written by Robbie Morrison
Penciled by Talent Caldwell & Horacio Domingues
Published by DC (Wildstorm imprint)
I’ve always loved Jim Lee’s WildC.A.T.s, it’s an interesting X-Men-like team, and I had been sorely missing these characters ever since my return to comics. Unfortunately, I’m still missing them. This series really has very little to do with the Wildcats themselves, it instead focuses on a new character (Charis) who has been retconned into Wildcats mythos by the writer of this series. In fact, most of the Cats aren’t even in this series (Zealot, Grifter and Majestic being the only oldschool members if I’m not mistaken). More of the uninteresting plot of this series is revealed, the Cats finally find out at the end that Charis isn’t evil afterall, and is merely misunderstood. There was no betrayal, it was a frame-up. I’m not liking this book at all save for the hot Charis that Talent Cadwell draws. Jim Lee’s WildC.A.T.s relaunch is slated to begin a couple months after this limited series concludes, and I find myself wondering if DC chose to publish this merely to get fans longing for a return of old.
Rating ** out of *****
Well that’s it, next week’s mini reviews shall include: Ghost Rider #4 (of 6), Spider-Woman: Origin #1 (of 5), Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #1 and Infinite Crisis #3 (of 7).
- 16 December, 2005 22:36, zilla said...
nice early xmas gift uncensored. no joke. can't wait for ultimate wolvering vs. hulk next week. ghost rider #4 was good...
put some paragraphs in your reviews (just a bit easier on the eyes) - great stuff tho.
ps check out my image (down below) of that "last scene" in punisher 28 :)
Picked up issues #1 and #2 this past week and i'll be damned... i enjoyed them both! Thanks for the recommendation (its one of the titles helping to cure my mainstream superhero blues)...
Gotta admit this is one of the first Batman comics i've read (and enjoyed) since i started reading again (besides the 2 Hush TPs which i vigorously loved of course). Not sure what it is exactly about Batman and the Monster Men but I'm digging the simple, straight-forward story and the sketch-style pencils (the art kind of reminds me of the dude who did Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities but i have NO idea why).
Wagner does an exellent job managing "darkness" (a huge challenge for Batman writers evidently). This Batman mini is nice and dark, as Batman should be, but not overly dark and/or melodramatic (Batman fans know what i'm getting at here...). Bruce Wayne is written well both as Bruce Wayne AND Batman (i really get a knot in my stomach at the way Batman is written sometimes, always have).
It's not only our lead though, all the characters seem to have a good feel to them (the Commissioner and Wayne's now-famous love interest are especially coolly written). Wagner's mix of narration boxes (internal monologue) and dialogue has a great feel to it - we're getting into the mind of each character REALLY quickly in this mini (w/o sacrificing depth) - and i love that.
So the story... I'm not usually a big fan of the much bally-hooed evil-scientist-creates-a-rampaging-monster (or three) storyline, but it seems to feel just fresh enough in this case to keep me around (gotta love how the "professor" gets his subjects for experimentation).
In conclusion, i have to admit i'm a huge fan of the writer-artist combo (in this case out man Matt Wagner). I guess you just get a feeling the panels unfold EXACTLY as intended when it's the same dude writing AND drawing them you know? Gives a book that extra "umph" in my opinion... but hey maybe that's just me ;) B+.
- 20 December, 2005 20:29, Kurt said...
Pick up Wagner's Sandman Mystery Theater trades when you can. Very good stuff.
- 21 December, 2005 20:35, zilla said...
Kurt i just ordered Book 1 on your recommendation ALONE. See how good friends we are? Thanks partner... i'll post some thoughts after i read it.
happy holidays my friend...
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Ok so DMZ #2: War has broken out between the U.S. and a rogue faction of "free states" and New York City has been decimated in the conflict (we know that from #1 though right?). In this issue, Matt continues to ride around on Zee's heels, taking in the gritty realism of a war torn city. A grizzly visit to a field hospital full of injured children proves the DMZ creative teams willingness to go to any length to show us the "true" (or at least "true-er"), and very ugly side of war.
Next we get a few educational pages/panels (thankfully) designed to fill us in on a few more details about the overall conflict and current NY City situation that were sorely missed in #1, then Zee and Matt head over to visit a very quirky "friend". And suddenly DMZ takes a very cool turn.
At the end of #2 (w/ the introduction and very short story of Zee's pal and his uber-long distance girlfriend), we're starting to settle in to what this comic will "be". War torn NY City might be the setting but this book isn't about "war" per se. It will be a gritty human interest mag with the promise of some interesting (possibly very interesting) stories down the line - all told via the lense of a rookie photojournalist w/ an itch to shake things up back in the "real" world by reporting "truth" from the trenches.
DMZ #2 - A.
It was all over when...
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Penciled by MICHAEL GAYDOS
Cover by DAVID MACK
Meet Jessica Jones. Once upon a time, she was a costumed super hero. But not a very good one. Now a chain-smoking, self-destructive alcoholic, Jessica is the owner and sole employee of Alias Investigations — a small, private-investigative firm specializing in superhuman cases. This deluxe hardcover collects all 28 issues of super-scribe Brian Michael Bendis’ ALIAS — plus all-new, behind-the-scenes bonus material compiled in conjunction with the writer himself! In her inaugural arc, Jessica’s life immediately becomes expendable when she uncovers the potentially explosive secret of one hero’s true identity. But her wit, charm and intelligence just may help her survive through another day. Thrust into the midst of a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels, has Jessica burned too many bridges to turn to old friends for help? Plus: Jessica travels to upstate New York to investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl rumored to be a mutant in a prejudiced small town; goes on a date with the Astonishing Ant-Man; teams up with Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman; and confronts the demons of her past! Collects ALIAS #1-28 and WHAT IF JESSICA JONES HAD JOINED THE AVENGERS?
720 PGS./Explicit Content
Trim size: Oversized
All I can say is; Wow, and holy shit. This is a dream come true for me. The price is quite steep though. Time to save up.
- 15 December, 2005 09:12, zilla said...
damn uncensored THANKS for posting about this. You introduced me to Alias months ago and i read the entire stretch in like... 2 weeks. You're not the only one waiting for this HC - i friggin' LOVE huge HC's like this.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
SAMURAI HEAVEN & EARTH #5 (OF 5) - I'm putting this on my list as "notable" even though i'm waiting for the trade (which was due out long ago and we haven't even finished the flops).
100 BULLETS #67 (MR) - Pull list. One of the most enjoyable series i ever read.
DMZ #2 (MR) - Def hype for #2 here... and didn't it seem to come out hot on the heels of #1? Nice.
BAD PLANET #1 (OF 6) - Can't remember why this title is stuck in my brain but it is... so what the heck right?
FEAR AGENT #2 - But of course. Wait didn't #2 already come out? Haven't i read it?
GROUNDED #4 (OF 6) - Enjoyable mini. Not much hype but a solid read.
WALKING DEAD OMNIBUS VOL 1 HC (MR) - One of my most anticipated xmas presents ;)
GHOST RIDER #4 (OF 6) - Doesn't seem to have a lot of fans but the art (and story) in this mini are friggin incredible IMO.
X-FACTOR #1 - What the hell.
INCREDIBLE HULK #90, ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS HULK #1 (OF 6).
- 13 December, 2005 21:54, Christopher Green said...
WILDCATS NEMESIS #4 (OF 9) - This series actually has very little to do with the Cats and seems to be focusing on Nemesis, a new character, and her history with Zealot.
GHOST RIDER #4 (OF 6) - Could be better, could be worse.
ULTIMATE IRON MAN #5 (OF 5) - It's finally ending now that I don't even give a shit about it anymore.
- 15 December, 2005 09:20, Num104 said...
I've been told by the owner of my LCSs that this time of year is usually slow in comics. It does seem a little strange, but the last couple months have actually been fairly light for me.
- 15 December, 2005 09:23, zilla said...
isn't that strange though? i mean you would expect to see the publishing houses rushing to get huge, wonderful HCs out by the holidays etc. wonder why the comics industry is immune to this kind of holiday sales/marketing bonanza?
Monday, December 12, 2005
- 14 December, 2005 21:41, Kurt said...
You know, I really loved this scene. I don't know why...
- 15 December, 2005 09:19, zilla said...
me too - i got another great shot (listen to me sounding like i actually photographed these or something) of the statue of liberty falling into the ocean... Ultimates 2 is such a great title IMO.
For our purposes here let's just focus on the "Comics and Manga" section where a few notables were left out IMO: The HUGE Waking Dead HC and Bendis' Powers HC are both on my wish list, as well as the Absolute Batman: Hush HC. I've seen that massive Calvin and Hobbes HC collection at my LCS and must say it's friggin' huge and beautiful.
Anyone else care to chime in so we all get our comics wish lists as robust as possible before the holidays (especially if you have links to other comics sites holiday wish lists)??
PS also found IGN's december review of 200+ vertigo trades. Something on this list for everyone!
- 13 December, 2005 09:53, Ryan X said...
Guess I have never checked out IGN before? Thanks for the link, very cool site, with some great reviews.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Note that, while I will do my best to mainly feature comics that were released in 2005, certain things (such as graphic novels) will include books from previous years that I only first read in 2005.
Best Individual Comic Book Issue:
DAREDEVIL (vol. 2) #71; “Decalogue” part I of V – March 2005
This was one of the first half-dozen comics I bought when I was first getting back into them, and I was immediately captivated by it. I must’ve read this issue 5 or 6 times within a couple weeks, and I firmly believe that it had very much to do with my renewed interest not fading away. The funny thing is Daredevil barely appears, only in brief flashbacks being told by members of a Hell’s Kitchen support group.
Runner ups: Batman: The Long Halloween #1, The Punisher (MAX) #24, She-Hulk (vol. 2) #1
Best New Series:
SHE-HULK (vol. 2) #1; “Many Happy Returns” – October 2005
I’ve never had any interest in the character, but after seeing an article on Vol. 1 in an issue of Wizard, I knew this was a title I needed to check out, and what better than with a new #1? I was not disappointed at all. This series presents a nice lighthearted look at superheroism and comic books in general, while throwing in some real life issue into the mix.
Runner ups: New Avengers, Supergirl (vol. 5)
INFINITE CRISIS – October 2005/Current
I must admit, this year I haven’t read many mini’s, and the ones I have read have been less than satisfactory. But DC’s big event Infinite Crisis so far has delivered where all others have failed, and this coming from someone who knows practically zero DC history.
Best Graphic Novel:
SIN CITY: THE BIG FAT KILL (second edition) – February 2005
I owe it to Zilla for getting me to check out Sin City in the first place (starting with A Dame To Kill For), and thus making me a big fan. This by far is my favourite story in the Sin City universe, which has a lot to do with the character of Dwight. Frank Miller is a genius with his Sin City stories, but I’m sure everyone knows that by now.
Runner ups: Alias vol. 1, Batman: The Long Halloween, The Punisher: Welcome Back Frank, The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye
GHOST RIDER #1; Regular edition by Clayton Crain – September 2005
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Clayton Crain’s art, in fact, he’s the only reason I actually still enjoy “Venom Vs. Carnage”. The artwork on this cover is absolutely beautiful, a shot of Ghost Rider on his Hellcycle riding up with flames all around, this is by far the prettiest cover I’ve seen all year.
Runner ups: Battle Pope Colour #1 by Tony Moore, Infinite Crisis #1 by Jim Lee, The Punisher (MAX) #19 by Tim Bradstreet
Alex Maleev; DAREDEVIL
This man can draw, and his work is the best I’ve seen so far since my return to comics. His artwork has a gritty, almost sketch style to it without looking sloppy or indistinguishable. I will follow him to any series he does.
Runner ups: Jim Lee (All-Star Batman & Robin; The Boy Wonder), Juan Bobillo (She-Hulk), Michael Gaydos (The Pulse), Mike Choi (Witchblade).
Garth Ennis; THE PUNISHER
This was difficult for me to chose, as my two top choices both redefined two of my favorite comic book characters in superb ways. Ultimately though, the choice is Ennis on The Punisher. He’s taken a previously poorly written character and turned him into one of the best Marvel has to offer. The jump over to the MAX label (which I’ve heard was Ennis’ idea) was the greatest thing that could’ve been done to this character, as he can now be depicted the way he should be.
Runner ups: Brian Michael Bendis (Daredevil), Mark Millar (Ultimate Fantastic Four), Robert Kirkman (Battle Pope)
Matt Murdock – DAREDEVIL
Thanks to some superb writing, Matt Murdock has finally been given the depth he had lacked for a long time previous to Bendis’ run. He is struggling with his life, all the problems that have arose, and he’s being extremely human about it all. Murdock is probably the most believable character in comic books today.
Runner ups: Dwight McCarthy (Sin City), The Goddamn Batman (All-Star Batman & Robin; The Boy Wonder), Hal Jordan (Green Lantern), Jessica Jones (Alias/The Pulse)
Best Supporting Character:
Milla Donovan – DAREDEVIL
Matt’s wife, who has been scarcely seen this year, but whom I seen a lot reading the back issues of DD. She is a very strong woman despite her blindness. She loves Matt, but his problems are overwhelming for her. I can’t quite place it, but I love this character.
Runner ups: Miho (Sin City), James Rhodes (Ultimate Iron Man), Jesus H. Christ (Battle Pope), Luke Cage (Alias/The Pulse)
Best Comic Book Adaptation:
BATMAN BEGINS – June 2005 (theatrical)/October 2005 (DVD)
I don’t think I need to go into great detail over this, since it’s fact that this is the greatest Batman film of all time. And, I will also call it one of the top three greatest comic book films of all time.
Runner up: Sin City (April 2005/September 2005)
Best Ongoing Comic Book Series:
DAREDEVIL by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev
I can never praise this series enough. Bendis & Maleev are creative titans, and this series is a modern masterpiece. Their run will soon end unfortunately, so whether the genius of this book continues beyond January 2006 remains to be seen. But from (vol. 2) #26-now is the definitive Daredevil reading.
Now for some extra “awards”:
Best Quote of 2005:
“What, are you DENSE? Are you RETARDED or something? Who the hell do you THINK I am? I’m the goddamn Batman.” – The Goddamn Batman (All-Star Batman & Robin; The Boy Wonder).
Worst Issue of 2005:
TOXIN #2 (of 6)
Now, this series was just plain bad, I couldn’t even make it past the second issue.
Biggest Disappointment of 2005:
ALL-STAR BATMAN & ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER – July 2005
As great as Frank Miller & Jim Lee are, especially on Batman, this series just doesn’t have it. The art is as great as ever, but the story is severely lacking. I expected so much more out of this series, and I also expected it to ship on a more reliable release schedule.
- 12 December, 2005 11:27, zilla said...
dude - great post. i'm 100% w/ you on all-star batman being a huge bust for me, and i added your quote to our revolving quotes ;)
i love lists like this because they get me reading outside my comfort zone... thanks U.
In the end i guess it was just what i *could* have expected - hit and miss (but suprisingly mostly "hit"). There's a pretty funny PvP short covering the Image christmas party (I love me some PvP), a Savage Dragon story that garnered a chuckle (even though i've never read a single issue of SD for some wild reason), a hilarious sentient christmas tree tale by Chris Giarusso, a "Buddy Henson" story from a writer/artist i've never heard of (does this Buddy Henson kid have a title?) and a couple shorts i'd like no matter how bad they are (and they aren't) from the Godland and Walking Dead crews respectively.
You HAVE to love the irreverence of Basil Cronus (the skull in the jar dude from Godland) smoking a hookah filled w/ sticky icky w/ Santa. Hahahahahahah.
Def worth the price of admission if you're an Image fan (there are enough good stories in here to help you ignore the unmemorable "christmas eve at a bar" shorts sprinkled throughout...
One thing tho - i can't help thinking that Image should give this away at a serious discount (maybe put a flop price on it of $2.99?) since it really deploys primarily as a marketing tool for its various writers/artists/titles... But hey that's just me. B+.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Sentry #3 - Anyone who frequents Zilla's knows that i'm really digging on this mini (and i guess it constitutes yet another mainstream superhero mag i'm into after claiming just days ago i was hardly reading/enjoying any ;)
And just what is it that makes Sentry so enjoyable for me? Well, first off, the character is actually INTERESTING! Ever since i was a kid i've been readily fascinated w/ the tortured (and often ignominious) "internal struggle" - guess that's why i've always loved the Hulk.
And you know what? Professing my love for the big green is a great segway into my next point about Sentry #3 - what's a Marvel mini w/o an Incredible Hulk cameo? He's here in #3 (even though he's not written as well as i would like), and evidently has some sort of id-level fascination with Sentry. The two of them head into the n-zone (or n-dimension i can't remember) in search of answers to Sentry's past and run into his schizo-generated other half - the "void". Cool. B+.
Thor Blood Oath #5 (of 6) - Damnit Oeming! You're going to get me coming and going with this since i'll 100% be buying the TP once it's out (after having bought all the flops). I swear the greatest money making vehicle comic shops every dreamt up was the damn trade paperback. Ah but i digress - Thor Blood Oath is expertly written and expertly drawn. This issue picks up big time (for me) after a somewhat lackluster #4. B+.
- 11 December, 2005 20:36, Christopher Green said...
I've been reading Punisher since #19 (MAX series), I haven't picked up the latest issue yet, but Punisher, as long as Ennis is on it, will always be on my pull list.
All that talk about my recent disdain for mainstream superhero books and i forgot that there is at least ONE other title besides Ultimates that i read regularly... Ultimate X-Men. B.
The story in #2 is quite a bit more appealing and "classic western" even though it seemed kind of disjointed at times. Disjointed how? I couldn't help but feel that there were panels missing (or even entire pages sometimes) as i read it. It's a bit hard to explain exactly, but the overall flow of the story just seemed a bit stutter-stepped.
I'm pretty sure the problem Palmiotti is having here is trying to fit entire story arcs into a single issues (seems like this may be the ongoing method for Jonah Hex). The story in this one (for example) probably could have stretched into 3 issues w/o feeling too padded. Please note that i am NOT arguing for the long, rambling story arcs modern comics readers have grown to abhor (i'm actually whole-heartedly AGAINST those), but there is DEFINITELY a fine line every writer needs to be cognizant of. Cramming a story into too few pages can be as ugly as stretching it across too many. Readers are forced to make too many plot connections using imagination rather than art (and we miss out on some cool dialogue, story line details, panels, and images along the way).
Enough ranting though - i've digested 2 issues of Hex and 2 of Loveless and for me personally there's no contest so far - its Loveless for Zill (even though Loveless #2 had it's problems as well, hopefully i'll get around to dropping my thoughts on that one here soon). Loveless is a bit more "adult" feeling to me, with a grittier overall tone that i find appealing, and some more polished writing (and art for that matter).
There are far too few western comics though so i'll be sticking by both (for now). C+.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Anyways - Team Zero starts w/ the undercover operations of a uber-black op hard-ass codenamed: Deathblow. I had a problem w/ this guys name right off the bat since it's a bit of a corny name... and reminds me way too much of a some very funny Seinfeld episodes - but i digress...
Our man "Deathblow" is at the head of a top-secret WWII mission to capture or assassinate a top Japanese Admiral (under the guise of a mission to blow up a key re-fueling station). He accomplishes his mission but barely escapes with his life. The rest of his squad isn't so lucky - they all perish in the fire-fight that ensues when the mission goes into the toilet.
While recovering in Hawaii, Deathblow is approached by his "handlers" (i guess that's what these guys are) with another, even more grevious mission. He agrees if he can pick his own team (members to be introduced next issue it appears). Personally i can't wait to meet the gang - their makeup may just be what makes or breaks this mini IMO (see Losers for what a strong core cast can do for you).
Ok so Dixon and Mehnke do an admirable job w/ this so far. The story is gritty and interesting enough to keep me going, and the art (while nothing to particularly write home about) is solid for this genre. #2? Yes. Ryan X - what say you? B.
It was all over when...
- 12 December, 2005 11:11, Ryan X said...
Unfortunatley, I have had no opp to hit the LCS in the last two weeks! I will comment when I get there. Judging from your review, it is def worth picking up, love the panel shot you posted.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
- 08 December, 2005 19:29, said...
I'm the same, I'm just not getting into many superhero comics lately, other than Ultimates 2. I will be picking up Marvel Zombies & Ultimate Wolv/hulk (which comtinues from Ultimates anyway) but that's about it.
So hopefully you get a response, as i'm interested as well.
As an added comment, have you ever tried Lucifer, this is an excellent excellent read.
- 08 December, 2005 21:38, Christopher Green said...
First and foremost, I recomend Daredevil. This book does everything right. It's not just about somebody in tights fighting "supervillains", it's about the psychology of Matt Murdock, how everything that has happend to him effects him, and thus, effecting his relationships, friends, etc. Very rarely do you ever see super hero battles in the title, mostly it's just Daredevil in a plain old street fight with believible enemies (there's one point in Bendis and Maleev's run where Matt, out of costume, is fighting some Yuakuza hitmen in the streets). And there's a much bigger picture than simply just beating on the villain of the arc, and that is The Kingpin. Real crime, not just costumes. The book has beautifully gritty artwork, coutersy of Alex Maleev. There's a very strong feeling of humanity in the characters and you genuinely feel a connection to them. Say what you want about Bendis, but he does a fantastic job on this title, and I honestly believe that the current run of Daredevil (which has gone on since the 20's of volume 2) is the best thing that's ever come in the character's history. The Eisner Award winning team of Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev are unfortunately leaving the title in January. Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark take over in February, so that could be a good place to jump on. But I highly suggest you try to aquire some Bendis-Maleev Daredevil trades, hell, even download the issues. This is the best superhero book on the market.
If you haven't checked it out with all the buzz, try She-Hulk from Dan Slott and Juan Bobillo. I've never had much interest in the character, but this book is a total blast. It stars Jen Walters (She-Hulk) who is a lawyer working for a law firm that specializes in superhuman cases. There's comedy abound, such as Jen seeking out comic books for case research on super heroes. And one point in issue two where Hawkeye is on a jury that she's speaking to, she tries to use sign language to tell him that he's going to die in one of the most hillarious scenes I've ever seen in a comic book. The artwork is cutesy in a likeable (yet not annoying) way. This title is extremely underrated.
Ultimate Fantastic Four is the first Ultimate title I've actually warmed up to and come to love. Mark Millar (Ultimates) is great at writing exciting (yet not too dumbed down) stories. In fact I like his Ultimate F4 more than the 616 F4. And the art, my god, Greg Land is a god with a pencil.
- 08 December, 2005 21:46, zilla said...
that's one hell of a comment uncensored. you're no joke partner. i've been hearing you talk about Daredevil so long you may have finally won me over to giving a character a try i'd previously had zero interest in... if i were to pick up a daredevil trade (bendis and maleev) where would i start?
- 08 December, 2005 22:03, Christopher Green said...
I would suggest getting these trades:
Which are volumes 4 (collecting #26-31) and 5 (collecting #32-40) respectively. Underboss is about an upstart mob figure who tries to murder the Kingpin in an attempt to take over. And Out is about, the public finding out that Matt Murdock is Daredevil. Get these two, however you can. I didn't think that much of what came before (though I haven't read vol. 1 which is Kevin Smith's run, but volume 2 and 3 didn't do anything for me), but after I started reading these I was anxiously wanted more.
- 08 December, 2005 23:25, Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...
Young Avengers and, believe it or not, New Thunderbolts are two of the better superhero floppies going these days. Heinberg does a nice balance of teen soap opera and superhero action in YA, and I bought and enjoyed the two TPBs of NT after enjoying their New Avengers arc in #13-14 (I think). Captain America's been solid, too.
The Madrox TPB was unexpectedly great and has me looking forward to the new X-Factor, which I'm about to read as soon as I log off here.
Sadly, I have no DC recommendations as I'm awaiting One Year Later in hopes of being able to like Batman again, but Wagner's Batman & The Monster Men got off to a pretty good start.
PS: Have you seen the latest Conan news? Interesting change in store.
- 09 December, 2005 07:49, Num104 said...
Cable & Deadpool is hilarious. It is worth checking out.
I second the notion on Daredevil. One of the only remaining Marvel books that I still read.
Marvel Team-Up is light hearted, fun, and filled with all kinds of different characters. Issue 15 starts a new arc, and so far it seems like it will be great.
I also like a lot of DC stuff, but if you aren't into the whole Crisis thing, it is kind of hard to follow. If you don't mind a little cross continuity, books like Firestorm and Manhunter are really good.
- 09 December, 2005 08:32, zilla said...
Guy - That is some seriously WILD Conan news i hadn't heard yet. I'm a huge Miggs fan and the more i think about it, the more i think he'll be able to give us one hell of a Conan arc (get ready for it to be "out there" though i'm sure).
Hate to see Busiek go (he's been tremendous) but equally glad to see that Nord's staying - his art is some of the most eye-popping out there IMO.
For the first time i can remember, i'm actually stocked about a creative team change to one of my fav books (no offense Kurt)...
- 09 December, 2005 08:36, zilla said...
PS Another bit of interesting Conan news: Eric Powell (of all people) will be drawing Conan #28 - how about THAT?
- 09 December, 2005 12:50, El Snoozo said...
On The DC side I'd say
Alex Ross' Justice
On The Marvel Side:
Ultimate Iron Man ( Especially if you like Orson Scott card's work )
Book Of Doom
I'd make that Marvel list a tab bigger, but I'm a DC guy..But hey, at least if you think some of them are bad, at least you've only wasted 20 minutes of your life, instead of days or months if you read a bad novel.
- 09 December, 2005 13:10, zilla said...
i have to admit that i did enjoy all-star superman #1 (even though i've never been much of a superman guy). i'll have to check out batman monsters (?) and young avengers - even though i'm not a huge, huge fan of the teen super-groups (runaways had my attention for a minute or two but faded).
additionally i'll def be hopping on those daredevil trades...
- 09 December, 2005 13:58, Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...
I think YA is a lot better than Runaways, which I dropped out of boredom after the silly first arc of the current volume. Never read the first volume, and lost all interest in it after that. I prefer Vaughan's Ex Machina, where the snappy dialogue doesn't feel quite as forced.
- 09 December, 2005 18:37, Spencer Carnage said...
Go buy some Starman trades. That made me not only stoked on super hero comics but stoked on weird ass DC D list characters in a totally different way than Morrison's S7. Unless you've already read them, then nevermind.
Wintermen is good, even if its no super hero comics. Its post super hero comics, really.
- 09 December, 2005 18:52, Christopher Green said...
Zilla, seriously, check out She-Hulk as well. It's a funny, lighthearted read and it's a ridiculously underrated and underappreciated book (even by Marvel themselves). It just started again with a new #1 in October, so you should still be able to find it.
- 09 December, 2005 19:03, zilla said...
spencer i love wintermen... and uncensored - i'll pick up that she-hulk... i'm def NOT a sexist asshole (i promise) but i've never been that hooked on female leads - except in Alias (great, great run).
- 10 December, 2005 20:05, Christopher Green said...
Be sure and let us know what you think of all the suggested reads.
- 10 December, 2005 23:33, zilla said...
you can bet a texas penny on it my friend. can't wait to check some of these titles out (comics is the one area of life where i actually LIKE trying something new ;)
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
CONAN & THE DEMONS OF KHITAI #3 (OF 4) - Not all that happy w/ this but i'm a sucker for Conan (too much of one evidently).
JONAH HEX #2 - Pull list.
TEAM ZERO #1 (OF 6 - A "6-issue tale of heroism and bloodshed" set in 1945? I'm in.
Y THE LAST MAN #40 - Pull list.
IMAGE COMICS HOLIDAY SP 2005 - Happy Holidays?
SPAWN #151 - First Spawn comic i ever read (seriously) was #150 and i enjoyed the hell out of it (no pun intended). I'm def in for 151 (the comic not the super-strong liquor).
WALKING DEAD SCRIPT BOOK #1 - What is a "script book" exactly? All words?
POWERS #15 - Pull list (4 ever).
PUNISHER #28 - Pull list.
THOR BLOOD OATH #5 (OF 6) - This will make one heck of a good mini IMO. I'm a Thor junkie anyways for some reason unexplained.
ULTIMATES 2 #9 - Pull list. So, so, sooooooo sad Marvel's changing the creative team here - they're a match made in heaven for this title.
SURROGATES #3 (OF 5) - Loving this. This is one of those books that just gets me thinking (a lot). Another one that will be a great mini for the 'ole collection.
SAMURAI HEAVEN & EARTH TP, 100 BULLETS #67 (MR), DMZ #2 (MR), WALKING DEAD OMNIBUS VOL 1 HC (MR), GHOST RIDER #4 (OF 6), and ATOMIKA #5 (OF 12)
- 07 December, 2005 09:55, Ryan X said...
Ditto on the Super Hero genre, no draw for me either. Glad you mentioned Team Zero, that looks awesome! Lastly, who is psyched for DMZ #2? Can't wait.
- 07 December, 2005 13:43, zilla said...
personally i loved DMZ. i'm pretty sure i'll like this title so yeah i'm def hype about #2 :)
- 07 December, 2005 14:43, Christopher Green said...
I wouldn't worry too much about the creative team for Ultimates 3. Jeph Loeb and Joe Mad are awesome, although be warned, with Joe Mad on pencils, there's a good chance this book with be delayed to hell.
I think the problem with you and super hero books is, you don't read the right ones.
The New Avengers #13
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Penciled by David Finch
"Ronin" Part III of III
As much as I don't want to admit it, this book is becoming rather stale. This past arc, supposedly about Ronin, has had very little to do with it's title character. In fact, this issue doesn't even have a visible title (stating Ronin part III), which should say something about the changing direction it quickly took. Ronin's identity really wasn't the focus of this story, it was more about Silver Samurai and Hydra and The Hand. Ronin's identity is revealed in such a passive manner it really trivializes the whole thing-- plus, I mean, Ronin drawn as a man in every previous piece of artwork before really gives the impression that Ronin's identity was a mere afterthought by Bendis. Thankfully, the end of the issue gives the impression that maybe, the title might actually go somewhere. Another thing I find myself wondering is where the hell Wolverine is in all of this?
**1/2 out of *****
Ultimate Fantastic Four #25
Written by Mark Millar
Penciled by Greg Land
"Tomb of Namor" part II of III
I'm going to start this off by saying that, I cannot give enough praise to the creative team on this book. Mark Millar does an excellent job writing exciting, fun, and most of all, compressed storylines (no arcs that have been streched on a few issues too long). Greg Land's pencils are absolutely beautiful, they are very much a sight to see. His characters have a distinct realism to them, while still maintaining a stylish look (and damn, he draws some fine looking women). The enviroments he draws look fantastic (no pun intended). This issue sees the Ultimate F4 at the bottom of the ocean at the discovery of Atlantis, and waking up Namor in the process. Namor is very much a prick in his Ultimate version, looking down on humans as being mere primitive primates, though he's fascinated with Sue. Namor convinces Sue to accompany him on a walk through New York, saying he will only reveal the secrets of Atlantis to her. By the end of the issue, a secret is discovered about Namor himself, thus creating an awesome cliffhanger for next issue. This is a superb title and has warmed me up to the Ultimate universe, check it out before the Miller/Land run ends!
**** out of *****
Ultimate Vision back up flip book story #3
Written by Mark Millar
Penciled by John Romita Jr.
Flip-cover by Stuart Immonen
These four page flip book back ups are being featured throughout the Ultimate line during November and December, serving as a prequel to Warren Ellis' finale to the Ultimate Gah Lak Tus (Galactus) trilogy, Ultimate Extinction. I haven't read the first two parts (and it's doubtful I ever will, as I don't read Ultimate Spider-Man or X-Men), so there's not alot I can say about this other than, I hated the cover for it, and it's nice to see John Romita Jr.'s work again (he penciled the first comic book I ever bought).
Written by Daniel Way
Penciled by Javier Saltares/Mark Texeira
Cover by Joe Quesada
"Origins And Endings" part I of V
Well this answers my question as to where Wolverine was... He was in Japan! Then again, so were the New Avengers. I've never had much interest in reading a Wolvie solo title, but with the promise of revealing Wolverine's true origin, I'm game.Anyway, Wolverine is in Japan, trying to track someone down, eventually we find out that, that someone is the Silver Samurai (popular guy these days). Wolverine remembers everything about his life, and this has the New Avengers, (what appears to be) S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Canadina government worried. Not alot happens in this issue, but it shows promise.
*** out of *****
- 06 December, 2005 11:04, Mark Fossen said...
Another thing I find myself wondering is where the hell Wolverine is in all of this?
Of all the problems in this arc, that's the biggest. All this nonsense about recruiting someone who knows the Hand and Japan and ninjas .... when they already that someone who knows all that. Bendin needed a lame hook to bring in Ronin, used a really contrived method to do it, and didn't even bother with a good excuse.
- 06 December, 2005 17:38, Christopher Green said...
I agree completely. And the fact that Wolverine is actually in Japan (and runs into the Silver Samurai) in the latest issue of Wolverine really makes you wonder why he was completely left out of this arc.
It's unfortunate, because at one point I figured this would be a title I read indefinately, but unless something awesome happens soon, I might end up dropping it early next year.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
I felt pretty darn good about this issue, despite the fact that almost nothing (literally) really happens. Rick wakes up from a 24-hour coma (induced by a steep fall in #23), to find out he's been voted out as leader of our wayward band of Zombie plague survivors. He takes it pretty well all things considering, but lays into his fellow "inmates" regardless - laying out there some stuff i've been thinking since TWD started (and Kirkman has obviously been saving up).
TWD continues to rule the roost as one of my favorite books - but we're about due (as readers) for some renewed Zombie action and/or some new characters/outsiders. I def enjoyed Kirkman's detour from the Zombie-specific "stuff" to explore our characters struggle to start over some semblance of a society here in this abandone prison (and their relationships w/ each other) - but i'm itching for some new action. Good thing you can just get this feeling something "big" is going to happen soon...
Can't WAIT for my TWD HC arriving sometime this month. This thing is huge in total issues (as HCs should be) and i'm sure (knowing Kirkman) will be filled w/ extras. Got mine for 50 bones (it's listed at $100 or $150). B.
It was all over when...
Our man Diggle throws us a couple of pretty cool revelations in this issue that i won't give away (even though i'm sure everyone interested will have read this by now since i'm a week or 2 behind). Ultimately let's just say that Reizo drops the hammer on his unfolding plan to get back at Hideaki and rescue the love of his life, amidst some serious ass-whupppin'. #6 promises to be a good vs. evil battle for the ages.
I sure hope we get more of Diggle and Yu working together... I'm a big Diggle fan, and Yu is fast becoming one of my favorite artists (get this guy more work!). Have you seen the adds for Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine in all the Marvel coms this month? Wow. It's just one shot but it kicks ass and gets my blood boiling for that title no doubt...
Silent Dragon will read as an awesome trade (better than month-by-month i'm sure). Definitely one of my favorite mini's so far this year. Please, please close this one out solid. A+.
It was all over when...
- 05 December, 2005 10:57, Ryan X said...
I am more behind than you, SD #5 is on my short list to read this week. Thanks for the great review, looks awesome. In other news, any thoughts on the latest Fell? I just read it so that is why I bring it up on an unrelated post.
- 06 December, 2005 12:01, Ryan X said...
I read SD #5 this morning, you were right on with your review, awesome! Like you, I hope it wraps up well.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
I'm pretty impressed. As is typical of Morrison, the writing is a bit more mature than we're used to from DC (a big plus for me), and while the art isn't all that impressive really (to my eyes), i appreciate it pretty well - except the way Superman himself is drawn. Big problem i know, but i'll be able to deal w/ it for this title i think ;) Quitley's superman just feels a bit dated to me for some reason (and even if i'm nit-picking i hate the way he draws his shorts).
Ok, ok. I was pretty much hooked after the first 2 pages (gotta love this intro to a new series based on an "old" character). Morrison's first arc w/ this new title gets off to a GREAT start IMO.
Lex Luthor begins to realize that he's not getting any younger (and unfortunately for him his arch-enemy isn't getting any older), and he's losing chances to die a happy man (his own way). So what does he do? Flips the script from the U.S. gub-ment leashed good-boy back to his villianous roots by concocting one hell of a cool plan to kill Superman. How? Use his heroic inclinations and his greatest power source (the sun) against him.
Fast forward and Superman is dying (yeah). With things seemingly hopeless (at least for now), Sups starts thinking about "tying up his affairs" - even leading to an cool set of last few panels where Clark Kent seemingly reveals his secret identity to Lois at the steps of her apartment.
There's some uber-cool psychology here for Morrison to explore given Superman's current predicament - hopefully translating into some excellent upcoming issues of this title.
Morrison has built something pretty darn interesting so far. Me likey. A.
PS - Is it just me or does the scientist trying to build super-humans "in case" the world loses it's greatest hero remind you of Willy Wonka?
It was all over when...
- 04 December, 2005 02:16, Nik said...
Dunno, but I'm getting really tired of blo.gs in general lately, they've been awful recently.
The "cauldron" is a ridiculous villian but got a chuckle out of me (for some reason), and i gotta say i loved the panel showing Ben in his swanky new apartment wearing green Hulk fuzzy bedroom slippers. Nice touch! Throw in some guest appearances from a villianous mastermind that reminds me of Dr. Alloy (from the Goon) for some reason, and a martha stewart imitator (seroiusly) and we're moving right along...
We'll have to see where this title goes - i've always considered Thing one of my favorite Marvel characters so i'll probably stick this out longer than i should... B.