Posts

Showing posts from November, 2011

PREVIEWS: What’s new for Wednesday, November 30, 2011?

WORTH A LOOK AND MAYBE A PICK-ME-UP =THESE BOOKS ON SALE 11/30/2011DAREDEVIL #6:  Waid has brought the old magic back to this title.  One of the few Marvel books I continue to follow.NEAR DEATH #3:  Interesting crime story following a hit-man who has a near death experience and tries to make up for all his bad deeds - - making him a marked man wanted by both the crooks and the cops.PREVIEWS #279 Need to see what new books are coming out in February 2012.RASL TPB VOLUME 3  I need to catch up to this title.  I’ve read the single issues that made up Volume 1 and loved it.  An art thief (well, maybe) who travels cross-dimensions. He has multiple lives, personalities, enemies, lovers, and a past connection to the famous inventor Tesla.RED SKULL #5  Travel back to the pre-World War II days of Hitler’s ascendance to power - - get a history lesson and also learn how the Red Skull became so mean.SPACEMAN #2 OF 9  I missed picking up Issue #1 somehow.  I wanted to read it and see if it was wort…

PREVIEWS: What’s new for Wednesday, November 23, 2011?

Lots of books for your reading pleasure see new release tomorrow, in another week dominated by DC’s NEW 52!ALL STAR WESTERN #3  Jonah Hex in Gotham, partnered with Dr. Arkham and in real danger from a secret society of power-hungry business villains. It’s been very good so far - - but a little different from the usual Jonah Hex fare.AMERICAN VAMPIRE VOL 1 TPB  Good timing on DC’s part to put this out now during the increasing interest in the work of Scott Snyder on BATMAN and SWAMP THING (well deserved). This is the beginning of his vampire saga co-written with Stephen King, and definitely worth a look.AQUAMAN #3 Continues to poke fun at itself in a light-hearted fashion. On the other hand, this is a no-nonsense bad ass Aquaman and hungry Trenchers are a bit scary. BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #3 Love the art.  Story’s not bad either.CALIGULA #5 of 6 Possibly the most disturbing book that David Lapham has written, certainly the most gruesome and gory.  Absolutely shocking!DARK HORSE PRESEN…

DC NEW 52: ANIMAL MAN rules the kingdom (another A+)

Image
ANIMAL MAN #1 – 3  (DC) : Story by Jeff Lemire. Art & Covers by Travel Foreman.  Interior & Cover Colors by Lovern Kindzierski.  Letters by Jared K. Fletcher.ANIMAL MAN is about as far-removed as you can get with a super-hero title and still consider it part of the super-hero genre.  The script and art are not conventional fare, and take chances.  For these reasons, ANIMAL MAN should be one of the NEW 52 books that you pick up and give it a chance to win you over. SO, WHAT HAPPENS IN THIS BOOK?(If you want to avoid spoilers, scroll down to the next subheading.)  - - - The world of hero Buddy Baker is being turned upside down.  His youngest daughter is exhibiting powers similar to his that manifest in different ways.  The nightmares that bothered Buddy in Issue #1 are becoming reality. He learns that his origins are false, and all along he has been just a small piece of a larger puzzle - - and his four-year-old daughter Maxine will play a more important role in it than he will.…

Comics I Read: Marvel Top Five (ish)

Image
I've spent a lot of time on DC's New 52 lately, and I'll probably continue to check in with them once a month, but I'm long past due to talk about my favorite Marvel titles.

My Top Five Ultimate Spider-Man: It was the most daring, game-changing idea ever in the Ultimate universe: replace Peter Parker permanently as Spider-Man. (And no, I don't think they're ever going back. At least not with Bendis.) Instead, Brian Bendis and Sara Pichelli have created a hero for a new generation, and I'm really enjoying getting to know him. Miles Morales got his powers while Peter Parker was still alive, so Bendis wisely backs up the clock in #1 and shows us his story from the beginning. With #4, we've caught up to Peter's death and funeral -- which I wasn't mentally prepared to relive, because I actually teared up the first time -- from Miles' point of view. (The Miles pages from "Ultimate Fallout" also fit into #4.) I won't give away exactly …

THE HORROR HUNTER: With classic monsters, retro FLESH AND BLOOD Hammer-pounds the fear !!

Image
FLESH AND BLOOD, VOLUME ONE   (Monsterverse)  First Printing, September 2011  $14.99 TPB :  Written by Robert Tinnell.  Illustrated by Neil Vokes.Color by Matt Webb.  Lettering by Mike Anderson & Rick Lebo.  Cover by Dan Bereton. www.monsterverse.comThe advance solicitation in PREVIEWS for FLESH AND BLOOD and its promise of an original graphic novel that paid tribute to the classic Hammer horror films was more than enough to get my attention.  Next, the text introduction to FLESH      AND BLOOD, VOLUME ONE really engaged all  engines of the hype machine to red line high pressurization.  The intro, written by Tim Lucas (editor of VIDEO WATCHDOG) makes repeated reference to the Hammer legacy.  Lucas claims that FLESH AND BLOOD is “nothing less than the epic Hammer horror film that generations of fans have yearned to see . . . .”  and he calls it “the wish fulfillment of Hammer’s fan base.”   It’s a great prelude to the graphic novel itself, but left me a little apprehensive - - wond…

DC NEW 52 - - - ACTION COMICS makes the A+ list

Image
ACTION COMICS #1 – 3  (DC):  Grant Morrison, writer.   Rags Morales, penciller #1.   Rags Morales & Brent Anderson, pencillers #2.   Rags Morales & Gene Ha, pencillers #3.   Rick Bryant, inker#1.   Rick Bryant & Brent Anderson, inkers #2.  Rick Bryant & Gene Ha, inkers #3.   Brad Anderson, colorist #1 , 2.  Brad Anderson & Art Lyons, colorists #3.   Patrick Brosseau, letterer.   Rags Morales & Brad Anderson, covers. Unpredictable!  The thing I enjoy the most about the new ACTION COMICS is that I cannot figure out where this is going.  I just know to strap on, as I am coming along for the ride with no expectations except to be thoroughly entertained.The current residence of Superman, Metropolis, is re-imagined as the city of tomorrow (as it’s often been described) except that this futuristic location is far from being complete. Amongst all the newly restored areas of the city with modernistic skyscrapers and architecture can be found neighborhoods in decline and…

PREVIEWS: What’s new for Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lots of good books this week.  Here’s some of the highlights I consider worth your time  . . . .BATMAN #3 (DC) - - - Loved the first two issues.  Time to pick up Issue #3 of my 3-issue trial.  I think this one is staying in my monthly rotation.BLUE ESTATE #7 (IMAGE) - - - Quirky, pulp fiction set in urban Los Angeles with all the seedy, depraved, conflicted, manipulative and neurotic characters you could hope for in a single cast.  Great escapism. Mature readers only.FEAR ITSELF #7.3 (MARVEL) - - - You’ve come this far.  Why not see it through to the after-conclusions?HAPPINESS IS A WARM BLANKET, CHARLIE BROWN Trade Paperback  (BOOM!) - - - - An original graphic novel based on the beloved characters.  I’ve seen a preview of this in PEANUTS #0 and it’s faithful to the Schultz legacy.  And delightful.  HAWKEN #1 of 6 (IDW) - - -  Can’t wait to see the latest dark Western saga from Tim Truman.  A collaboration with his son.iZOMBIE #19 (DC) - - - - Lot of dark fun with the undead and asso…

Books I Read: Dungeons & Dragons

Image
I haven't read a D&D comic in ages, but the writer of IDW's new series caught my attention, so I thought I'd try it and also see how their reprints of previous series held up by today's standards.

Dungeons & Dragons: Shadowplague HC: I was attracted to this because of writer John Rogers, who co-created the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle. He's also the writer/producer of the "Global Frequency" pilot that never aired, and of TNT's current heist drama "Leverage". I was thinking "Blue Beetle" would turn out to be the key resume item here, but actually it's "Leverage". Rogers' characters have great personality and banter like the ones on his TV show, and that's what makes this my favorite D&D comic ever but also a darn fine series in its own right with universal appeal. Honestly, I could ramble on, but the best endorsement I can give is that I just went back to flip through the book to pull a couple of quotes f…

DC NEW 52: THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS

It’s been awhile since I’ve commented on the DC NEW 52 books, but not for lack of interest. There are plenty of places to read reviews of the new titles, including right here where Jeff has been doing a fine job of keeping pace - - and because of that I haven’t felt a sense of urgency.  But I remain interested, intrigued, and delighted by the results so far and have to give DC an A grade for effort.  It’s a formidable task they set before themselves and they’re pulling it off for the most part.  Book orders are up.  There is renewed interest in these classic characters.  Some older readers are returning and even brand new faces are showing up in comics stores and becoming regulars who return for more.  For me, what DC has done is understand an essential component of why we follow comic books in the first place  - - - the sense of wonder, the escapism, the simple joy of reading.  They have grasped it at the very root, and are tapping the vein.  However, as far as being able to partake …

Green Lantern: The Animated Series

Image
Bruce Timm's new "Green Lantern" animated series premiered Friday night on Cartoon Network, and exceeded all my expectations.

I was pretty worried about the decision to computer animate this series. Previous attempts like MTV's "Spider-Man" & Nicktoons' "Iron Man" have had good action sequences but really stiff characters the rest of the time. But no worries: the CGI and Bruce Timm's signature animation style work together almost perfectly. The characters' movements are smooth, and Timm's stylized designs allow the faces to show a wide range of emotions with a minimum of movement. (There's a bit where test pilot Hal sees the Guardians' experimental super-spacecraft for the first time and his facial expression is priceless.) The lack of black lines also makes the ring energy effects look spectacular.

I'm a little bit in awe of Josh Keaton, who did a great job as teenage Peter Parker in "Spectacular Spider-Man&q…

PREVIEWS: What’s new for Wednesday, November 09, 2011?

Image
DECISION 2012: BARACK OBAMA  (BOOM!)  Writer:  not credited.  Artist: Damian Couceiro.  Colorist: Digikore Studios.  Letters: Steve Wands.  Covers:  Jeffrey Spokes.The first presidential primary occurs later this month in the state of Iowa.  On the Democratic side of the slate Barack Obama, the incumbent President Of The United States, will likely be the only choice to make.  However, on the opposing side there will be multiple choices and the beginning of the process of elimination that will bring us to the most logical candidate to represent the Republican party when the 2012 Presidential race really heats up. I like what BOOM! Studios has done to help create awareness of the many candidates, biographies in comics, comics in general, and BOOM! in particular.  Back in September when PREVIEWS was soliciting comics orders for November 2011 BOOM announced that they were initiating the first comics political straw poll to coincide with the Iowa primary.  A comic book  biography would be …

PREVIEWS: What’s new for Wednesday, November 2, 2011?

Image
While DC’s NEW 52 seems to be grabbing the spotlight and commanding much attention, this looks to be a BOOMing week for new releases.  Read on . . . . . . . . . .7  WARRIORS #1 of 3  (BOOM!)  Written by Michael Le Galli.  Art by Francis Manapul.  Colors: Christelle Moulart.  Letters: Deron Bennett.  Translation: Edward Gauvin.  Covers: Francis Manapul. (Original European publication 2008)Thanks to his innovative art style on the NEW 52 FLASH, there is a lot of  current interest in Francis Manapul.  SEVEN  WARRIORS offers another look for Manapul in a different genre (semi-historical epic/myth) and provides followers of his dynamic art style a chance to see how he does with a smaller, multi-panel format as well as make notes on how much he has progressed since this work. 7 WARRIORS opens up with a nicely illustrated, semi-subdued two-page lovemaking scene (without captions)  that lets us know that at least one of these partners is royalty, judging by the elaborate bedchamber.  Cut to …

Comics I Read: New 52 #2s

Image
Of the New 52 titles I'm still reading, my reaction to the second issues was much the same as the firsts, but here are a few that changed my mind and/or surprised me in some way.


Action #2 & Superman #2: I liked both of these better than the first issues, now that we're getting a better sense of who this guy is (especially in Action). In Superman, I also appreciated that General Lane was played more as a guy who kinda has a point instead of a mustache-twirling villain.

Aquaman #2: The novelty of the "underdog superhero" isn't going to last forever, but I like the way Johns uses it to play up Arthur's humility. ("I'm happy to teach them.") The art, again, is stunning: one of the best-looking books in the whole line.

Firestorm #2: Something interesting happened with this issue, where the printed version did not reproduce properly but the digital version was perfect. Seems like not a huge deal at first glance, but I think we'll look back on it…