Monday, August 31, 2009

M-A-R-V-E-L M-O-U-S-E!

If you haven't heard the news, you should probably check out this link. So, it looks like Disney is going to wind up purchasing Marvel Entertainment for 4 billion dollars... I'm not sure what I think about this... I've always liked the fact that Marvel was its "own" company, unlike DC, which is a part of the WB conglomerate. To me, that always made Marvel seem more "edgy" then the WB's DC. Will this new ownership have any real effect on Marvel? I don't know, I kind of doubt it. I doubt Disney is going to change a successful company like Marvel too much. I'd imagine there will be some reorganization at the top of Marvel, mainly little things like name changes for certain executive positions, but I can't imagine much else changing. Hopefully Disney will stay out of the creative side of Marvel and not try to tone down the product in any way. The day we get a Wolverine/Mickey Mouse crossover is probably the day I finally go stark raving mad and end up in a padded room! Well, that's what I think, let's hear what you guys think about this mega-sale!

A Quick Look at Action Comics #880

This is the second part of the "Codename: Patriot" storyline and is written by the duo of Greg Rucka and James Robinson. Julian Lopez provides the pencilwork.

-This issue begins with Superman and Supergirl following Ral-Dar(the Kryptonian who shot General Zod)to Earth. As soon as Gen. Lane gets word that three Kryptonians are entering Earth's airspace, he sends several fighter jets to their estimated location as well as alerting the media as to what was happening.

-Ral-Dar smashes the jets, which causes Superman and Supergirl to go after the falling pilots, enabling Ral to escape. Mon-El arrives on the scene to help save the pilots.

-Nightwing and Flamebird hear about the invaders from New Krypton and decide to see if there is anything they can do to help out.

-Superman, Supergirl and Mon-El head to Science Police Headquarters in Metropolis and Supes informs Guardian of what happened on New Krypton. Supes bumps into Lois Lane and she informs him that their adopted son, Christopher, is alive.

-From there we head back to Gen. Lane and discover that he and Ral were in cahoots the whole time and that Lane was not only aware of the assassination attempt on Zod, but that he encouraged it. Apparently, Lane has managed to convince Ral that Zod was hellbent on going to war with the Earth, and that if that were to happen, both planets would wind up being destroyed.

-Nightwing and Flamebird get jumped by the two evil Kryptonians they were chasing the past few issues and give chase. NW and FB follow the Kryptonians into a subway and are immediately knocked to the ground by a strange blast of energy. The two evil Kryptonians beat NW and FB unconscious and we learn that the two Kryptonians were actually Metallo and Reactron in disguise. The weird woman working for Gen. Lane then steps out of the shadows and informs Gen. Lane that phase two of his plans were complete and that they were moving onto phase three.

-There was also a Second Feature starring Captain Atom, but I haven't have the foggiest idea as to what was going on there...

I liked this issue, and enjoyed the revelation that Ral was working with Lane when he tried to assassinate Zod. If(when)the Kryptonians learn of Lane's involvement in the attempt on Zod's life, you have to believe the Kryptonians are going to respond in kind. For a score I'll give this issue a 7 1/2 out of 10. This issue was OK, but it didn't thrill me like part one of "Codename: Patriot" did.Damn aliens...

Green Lantern Corps #39

Ah, I've been looking forward to this one! As my regular readers probably know, I'm a huge fan of this series, especially since the underrated Peter Tomasi took over the writing chores several issues back. Patrick Gleason has also done a wonderful job on the artistic front, making this one of the more solid comics on the market today. Well, enough with the introductions, on with the review! Oh, and in case you didn't know, this is a Blackest Night x-over issue!

-We start things off with Kyle and Guy heading back to Oa after they were forcibly sent to Earth by the Guardians last issue. Along the way, Kyle admits to Guy that when the Star Sapphire showed him his true love, it wasn't Soranik as he originally claimed, it was actually his deceased girlfriend, Jade. Guy tells Kyle that since Soranik is alive and Jade is dead, he should forget about Jade and stick with Soranik.

-As they approach Oa, the two Lanterns run into Soranik and Iolande, who were returning from Korugar following the failed execution of Sinestro. Guy mentions the Sceincell break outs from the last few issues and the two female Lanterns act surprised, announcing that the Guardians never told them there was trouble back on Oa. Before Guy and Kyle can ponder exactly what that means, they are bombarded by a massive army of Black Rings. The 4 Lanterns try to stop the rings from reaching Oa, but the rings smash through all of the constructs the 4 Lanterns throw at them.

-Back on Daxam, Arisia is basically thrown off of the planet by the xenophobic Daximites, even though she was instrumental in driving the Mongul led Sinestro Corps off of the planet. Arisia leaves the world and heads over to Daxam's sun to say her final farewells to Sodam Yat, who sacrificed his life to re-power Daxam's sun.

-After Soranik and Iolande had left Korugar, Mongul and his version of the Sinestro Corps invaded and conquered the planet. Mongul then(Finally!)severed his ties from Sinestro, renaming his corps the Mongul Corps(how creative).

-Back near Oa, Kyle and Guy try to send a warning to Oa to tell them about the invading rings, but find their rings unable to send a transmission out. Kyle and Guy make a beeline for the Central Power Battery on Oa and scream to their fellow Lanterns to expect an invasion force. On cue, the Black rings land on Oa and head straight for the Lantern Crypt.

-Morro(the Crypt keeper)does everything he can, but proves unsuccessful in halting the Black rings as they affix themselves to the honored Lantern dead. The new Black Lanterns then head to the surface of Oa and face off against the horrified Green Lanterns. This issue ends with Black Lantern Jade attacking Kyle.

Alright, first off let me state that this was a good comic book. I enjoyed reading it. BUT(you had to know that was coming!), this issue definitely wasn't as good as the past few issues have been. This was the epitome of the proverbial set-up issue. If you read Blackest Night #1 & 2, you already knew everything that happened here. We already knew from BN #1&2 that the dead Green Lanterns become members of the Black Lantern Corps and battle their Green Lantern counterparts. Next issue should give us the much anticipated Black Lantern vs Green Lantern battle royal on the surface of Oa. That's what I was hoping to find in this issue, but unfortunately that didn't happen.

Speaking of things that didn't happen, where the hell was Scar this issue?!? Scar has been one of my favorite characters in this book in the lead up to Blackest Night, and I was hoping to get more creepy goodness from her here. Oh well, I guess there's always next issue.

Am I the only one with a sneaking suspicion that Kyle is going to be the next big name player to fall during the Blackest Night? You know somebody from this title is going to wind up falling to the Black Lanterns, and my money is on Kyle. Trust me, I hope this isn't the case, but if Kyle does die at the hands of Jade, I wouldn't be surprised. For a score, I'll give this comic a 7 1/2 out of 10. Like I said, this was a good comic, but it could have given us more than an extended recap of Blackest Night #1 and 2.Hey, you know what? Black Lantern Jade doesn't look all that bad!

Change of plans.

I just got home and found Action Comics #880 and Green Lantern Corps #39 in my mailbox, which basically means that Daredevil #500 will have to wait another night before I get a review of it up, because I've been looking forward to GLC #39 for quite some time now. So tonight look for reviews of Action #880 and GLC #39. Oh, and if I have the time, I might post something about the HUGE impending sale of Marvel to Disney.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How do you say, "No new reviews" in spanish?

Since I've spent my entire weekend playing "Batman: Arkham Asylum", I never got around to doing my Spanish homework... Whoops! What that means is that I won't be reading/posting about Daredevil #500 as I had been planning. I should have some kind of review for DD #500 up by late tomorrow night... Probably!

Besides that, as I said, I've been spending almost all of my free time playing "Arkham", which I can proudly admit to beating today! Yay! Big time props to story writer Paul Dini, he really did a fantastic job with the writing for this game. The story was awesome from start to finish, with the slight twist at the end highly enjoyable(I also loved the scene after the credits!). I enjoyed the story so much that I'm going to start collecting Paul's DC work("Streets of Gotham" and "Gotham City Sirens"). I beat the game on normal difficulty, and I have to say, that game kicked my ass at times! I can't wait to try it on hard. Towards the end of the game, before the final battle, Batman has to fight off 16(!)Blackgate prisoners in a very narrow hallway. Finally defeating those goons was quite the satisfying experience. After beating the game, you can go back and try to solve the 240(!!!)riddles the Riddler has hidden throughout Arkham. I've managed to find 239(!!!!!)of those damnable riddles, but for the life of me I couldn't find the last one. After school tomorrow I'll fire the game up again and continue my hunt for that final riddle.

Let's see, on the comic book front, I finished up the first part of "Invasion" last night and found myself enjoying the early portion of that storyline. It sucks to be Australia in that mini though, as the massive alien Invasion fleet chose the land down under as the beachhead for their invasion force. So far so good though. If I have some time after finishing my Spanish homework, I'll probably begin the second part of Invasion. Well, that's going to have to be it for tonight, if I don't get started on that homework now, I'm never going to get any sleep! Remember to check out the picture site(here)as I'll be posting something over there. Now, on to Spanish!

Post #908! Plus as a bonus, a rant about the "death" of Barry Allen!

This is my 908th post here on this blog! What's so significant about the 908th post you ask? Absolutely nothing! I was just too lazy to give this post a proper title, so that's that. Now that we explained how the title of this post came to be, we should probably find something comic related to talk about... Weird, I sounded like Venom in that last line... That would be the Eddie Brock Venom, not the annoying Mac Gargan Venom! I miss Eddie.

Hmm, where was I? Oh, that's right, looking for something comic related to post. Well, I think the "Batman: Arkham Asylum" video game is as good a place to start as any. Have I mentioned that I love that game? Yes, I have. Have I mentioned that Arkham Asylum is the best comic book based video game EVER? Yep, I believe I mentioned that little fact last night. Well, what's left to say about that game then? PLENTY! I'm going to guess that some of you guys are probably sick and tired of reading about how much I love that game, but I can't help it! See, I'm more of a video game person than a movie person. I can't tell you what the last movie I watched was(really, I can't!), but I can tell you exactly what game I was playing two weeks ago(Civilization: Revolution). You know how people gush about "The Dark Knight" or "Iron Man" movies? "Batman: Arkham Asylum" is my "Dark Knight". It's that good. And just so everybody knows, I'm ranked 8,758th overall in the first challenge mission. Is that as bad as it sounds? Yes, yes it is.

Now, let's get into comic books! I finished reading Crisis on Infinite Earths last week, and it was as confusing as I'd been warned it would be. First of all, 12 parts is WAY too long for a mini-series! 6 issues is perfect for a mini-series. 8 issues is pushing it, but I can deal with that. However, a 12 issue mini-series is crazy. 12 issues for a crossover is fine but not for a monthly mini-series. I will say that the parts of the story that I could understand were actually pretty enjoyable. The first 3 issues and the last were my favorites. I definitely could have done without most of the junk in the middle. I mean did we really need a Lex Luthor & Brainiac vs. Psimon mini-story in the middle of things? George Perez's artwork was marvelous(as usual). I will say that I liked the original depiction of the Anti-Monitor a lot more than his later appearance. The purple cape he wore with the original armor was money!

Before I stop talking about Crisis, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the "death" of Barry Allen(Flash). The way Barry's death was handled here was awful! I was expecting Barry to go out with a bang, instead he barely went out with a fizzle. Barry sacrifices his life to destroy the Anti-Monitor's cannon(or something equally nefarious). So, Barry dies and the Anti-Monitor is really pissed about his cannon being destroyed. However, the destruction of that cannon really didn't accomplish anything! The Anti-Monitor simply re-powers himself by destroying a bunch of worlds and continues his reign of terror. On top of Barry's sacrifice being nearly meaningless, his death was hardly touched on. Barry dies in issue #7(I think)and nobody even realizes he was dead until issue #12! Sure, Wally West would occasionally wonder what had happened to his mentor, but all of Barry's so-called teammates and friends seemingly could care less. When the heroes learn of Barry's death only Wally shows some emotion, and even he wasn't as upset as I figured he would be. Superman's reaction to Barry's death kind of sums it all up best. Wally is cradling Barry's tattered Flash costume and Superman quizzically asks, "That's Barry's uniform, isn't it?", and that's all. We don't get a, "Oh no, Barry's dead!" or even a, "Poor Barry Allen. He'll be missed.". No, we get Superman stupidly asking a question he already knows the answer to! Pathetic! Poor Barry, no wonder he came back to life in such a bad mood...

With Crisis finally finished, I've moved on to DC's "Invasion" storyline from the 1980's. This mini is a more reasonable 3 issues, with each comic 80 pages long. I've always been a sucker for comic book aliens, so I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll enjoy this storyline. After that, I might read the "Kingdom" mini-series, even though I've been wanting to read "Justice" and "DC: The New Frontier" for a long time now. Then again, I might just start reading Robin, Green Arrow or Green Lantern, all of which I have very long runs to get through... Well, I know I'll be reading something, I just don't know what!

As for new comics, next up is Daredevil #500, which I'm really looking forward to reading. After that, things start to get a bit iffy. I've had Ultimate Avengers #001 and X-Men: Legacy #227 laying around unread for a while now, but I just haven't really wanted to give either book a read. I've also got some "War of Kings" x-over stuff to read through(Ascension and Warriors). Since the main "War" mini-series ended a few weeks ago, I should probably polish off those secondary books. Hmm, I think I've rambled long enough for one night. Trust me, post #909 is going to be a lot better than post #908! I promise!

X-Factor #47

This one is written by one of the all-time greats, Peter David and pencilled by Valentine De Landro.

-We begin this issue 80 years in the future, where Dr. Falcone, the guy who leads the Sentinels, threatens the President of the United States' Secretary of Staff before leaving the White House via a big Sentinel.

-In the present, three Sentinels from the future interrupt the battle between Siryn and the Cortex-possessed Monet. Cortex figures the Sentinels will fight on his behalf against Siryn, but the Sentinels attack Monet as well as Siryn, putting a damper on Cortex's plans.

-Guido, Rictor and Shatterstar finally leave the home of a very angry John Maddox, who is sick and tired of being targeted by X-Factor's enemies.

-Back in the future, Jamie and company decide to take the ancient Dr. Doom back to their headquarters with them to protect him from any further Sentinel attacks.

-Returning to the present, as luck would have it(heh-heh), Longshot happens to bump into Cortex on a rooftop near the Sentinel battle. Cortex and Longshot fight, which leads to Monet finally freeing herself from Cortex's mental dominance. Monet makes a beeline for Cortex and prepares to smash his head in, but Cortex reveals he is actually one of Jamie's dupes(from the future), ending this issue.

Ah how I love this comic book. The twists and turns are really a joy to behold. You really never know what the hell is going to happen next in this book. As always, Peter mixes in great action, humor and storytelling like only he can. Damn can he tell a great story!

So now we discover that Cortex is apparently one of Jamie's dupes, albeit one full of futuristic technology and evil. I honestly didn't see that one coming... And you know what, I think it's a brilliant idea! I can't wait for Jamie and Cortex to come face to face with each other. Since Cortex has been altered to such a severe degree, I doubt Jamie would be able to reabsorb him like he does with most of his other dupes. The only thing this series is lacking is a re-occuring foe for the team to battle against, and I think Cortex would be the perfect foil for our heroes here. He already has a personal connection to the team(he's an evil Jamie!)and his powers make him a match for the entire team. I'm not sure what Peter has in store for Cortex, but here's hoping he sticks around past this current storyline. For a score, I'll give this comic a 9 out of 10. There really wasn't anything I can point at in this comic and say I didn't like. This was an enjoyable read, from the opening synopsis to the letter's page at the end(I wish more books had letter's pages nowadays).Behold the awesomeness of Old Doom!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Quick Look at REBELS #7

This one is written by Tony Bedard with Andy Clarke providing the artwork.

-We begin this comic with Dox trying to gather several planets together to form an alliance against Starro the Conqueror. Unfortunately for Dox most of the worlds he contacts hate him as much as they do Starro, and thus won't join up with him.

-Dox heads to Gil'dishpan and tries to convince the creatures living there to join forces with him. The creatures refuse to join up with Dox, and Dox warns them that Starro is almost certainly going to launch an attack on them due to their unique teleportational abilities.

-The creatures continue to ignore Dox advice and sure enough, Starro launches a massive invasion, intent on conquering Gil'dishpan. Dox and his REBELS try to help the creatures from Gil'dishpan, but to no avail, as Starro easily crushes all opposition with his army.

-Dox and his crew evacuate from Gil'dishpan, and before Starro can complete the assimilation of Gil'dishpan, a member of the Dominators drops a nuclear device onto Gil'dishpan, which incinerates everything on the entire planet, since the atmosphere of Gil'dishpan was full of methane. This issue ends with Dox apparently willing to strike up an alliance with the Dominator, against the wishes of his team.

This was a pretty decent comic. As with the previous 6 issues, Tony continues to establish the fact that Starro is one insanely tough foe to overcome. I actually hope the battle against Starro drags on for several more issues before Dox and his team inevitably confront the Conqueror face to (star)face. If given enough time the final confrontation between Dox and Starro could be really epic. For a score, I'll give this comic a 7 out of 10. Although not spectacular, this was still a good comic book.How does Starro know that is that creature's face?

Well, now I'm tired!

I just put the finishing touches on my humongous 100th post over at the picture blog(which you can conveniently check out here). Between scanning, cropping, cutting and pasting, it took me nearly 2 hours to get that post up! However, I'm really happy with the way it came out, and I think(hope)it will please my fellow Legion of Losers!

I've got a couple of comic reviews I need to post(REBELS #7 and X-Factor #47 to name two), but that's going to have to wait until I've got some spare time tomorrow. Oh, and I'd be remiss not to mention that Batman: Arkham Asylum is probably the greatest comic book based video games I've EVER played. Hell, it's one of the best, most fun games I've played in a good long time! Between the gameplay, the acting and the story, I'm in Bat-heaven every time I fire that game up. Well, that's going to have to be it for tonight, remember to check out the picture site, and if you want to comment on something(anything!)be my guest! Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Celebrating the big 1-0-0!

I just published posts number 98 and 99 over at the picture blog tonight. That means tomorrow I'll be posting #100! As all comic book fans know, the 100th issue of a book is usually a special occasion, so to celebrate post #100, I'm asking for recommendations. If you want me to post some scans of a particular comic or character, let me know by this time tomorrow and I'll have those requests up(if at all possible). You want me to post some Deadpool stuff from the 1990's? Let me know. How about something from the Nightwing series? Tell me! You want to see some scans of Maverick, drop me a comment! You're a big fan of Bizarro, I'll see what I can do. If I don't get any recommendations, I'll continue with the format I've been using this week, randomly scanning books from my collection, which has actually been relatively successful. In the past few days, I've had more comments over at the other blog than I had for the first three weeks of this month combined! Well, thanks for reading and send in some requests and I'll see what I can do!

Mighty Avengers #28

I'll admit that I haven't been really bowled over by Mighty since Dan Slott took over the writing chores from The Dread Lord BENDIS. Obviously, Dan's run has been better than BENDIS', but let's face it, that isn't exactly saying much. This issue promises a showdown between the Young Avengers and Loki(who is posing as the Scarlet Witch). Being a huge fan of the Young Avengers, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is the issue that really begins to propel this comic forward. The plotter for this issue is Dan Slott, while Christos Gage deals with the scripting. Khoi Pham provides the pencils.

-We begin in the past with the former leader of the Inhumans, the Unspoken, watching over his group of Alpha Primitives as they concoct the Slave Engine. With the Engine almost complete, the Unspoken decides he wants to present the Engine to Black Bolt as a peace offering. Unfortunately though, Black Bolt launches Attilan into space(and onto the moon), before the Unspoken came present his peace offering, stranding the Unspoken on Earth.

-Back in the here and now, US Agent, Quicksilver and their liaison from GRAMPA check on the thoroughly defeated team of Chinese super-humans who had their collective asses handed to them last issue by the Unspoken. When the Chinese heroes come to, they mistake the Avengers as enemies and attack. Quicksilver tries to get a transmission to the Mighty Avengers base of operations, but his transmission is erased by the Scarlet Witch(Loki). Stature witnesses Loki's treachery and rushes to warn her teammates, but is unable to say anything about Scarlet Witch/Loki due to a magic spell placed on her by Loki.

-Pym's Avengers hold a meeting and Stature continuously tries to warn the team about the Scarlet Witch, but to no avail. Finally she asks for some time to herself, which Pym grants her, and she leaves with Vision while trying to come up with a way past Loki's magic spell.

-Quicksilver and US Agent barely hold there own against the Chinese hero team before the liaison from GRAMPA reminds all of the battling super-humans that they should be pooling their talents and battling the Unspoken, not each other. This leads to a very uneasy truce.

-The Young Avengers head to the former site of Avengers Mansion and meet up with Stature and Vision. However, unbeknownst to the young heroes, they were followed by Clint Barton, the super-hero formerly known as Hawkeye.

-Stature informs the Young Avengers that the Scarlet Witch has been working with the Mighty Avengers, which excites both Wiccan and Speed(the suspected sons of the real Scarlet Witch). Stature convinces Wiccan to recite a magic spell to bring the Scarlet Witch to them and Loki(who was in Asgard)is forcefully transformed into the Scarlet Witch and transported to the Young Avengers.

-Scarlet Witch/Loki becomes enraged upon being summoned by mere mortals and launches into a massive assault against the Young Avengers. However, Clint(who was watching the entire unprovoked attack)draws his swords and prepares to attack the woman he believes was responsible for killing him twice as this comic comes to an end.

I really wasn't looking forward to reading this comic because I wasn't expecting much. With that said, I was very pleasantly surprised here! The boring Unspoken stuff was kept to a minimum, while the slowly brewing animosity between Stature and Scarlet Witch/Loki has finally come to a head. Stature has been suspicious of Scarlet Witch/Loki from the start(remember, the original Scarlet Witch was responsible for the death of her father, Antman), and it was nice to finally see the two battle. Oh, and in case you didn't know, I am a HUGE fan of the hero formerly known as Hawkeye, so his appearance here was greatly appreciated. So let's see, one of my favorite teams showed up(the Young Avengers)as well as one of my all time favorite Avengers(Clint Barton). That makes scoring this comic pretty easy. For a score, I'll go with a 9 out of 10. With Clint and the Young Avengers battling Loki next issue, I can't wait for next month!Note to self, never piss off an Asgardian shapeshifter who has a tendency of masquerading as a member of the opposite sex.

Batman: Arkham Asylum!

My copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum arrived today, which is actually a day earlier then I expected, not that I'm complaining! I was only able to play for about 15 minutes, which mainly consisted of the opening(and awesome)cutscene which detailed Batman bringing Joker into Arkham Asylum and Joker subsequently escaping, trapping Batman in the Asylum, leaving the hero surrounded by all of his worst enemies.

Right off the bat let me emphatically state that the voice acting is GREAT! Kevin Conroy(Batman), Mark Hamill(Joker), and Arleen Sorkin(Harley Quinn)all reprise their roles from the old "Batman: The Animated Series" cartoon, which is just so cool. Mark Hamill's Joker is especially well done, his lines and delivery had me laughing out loud at times! Paul Dini co-writes the story, which helps give the game an authentic, Batman feel to it.

Since I own a Playstation 3, I also get the added benefit of getting to play as the Clown Prince of Crime himself(Ha, take that X-Box fanboys!), but I probably won't play as the Joker until after I've defeated the game as Batman. I doubt I'll be able to get much game time in tomorrow(damn school!), but Friday is my lightest day schoolwise, so I should be glued to my controller for all of Friday afternoon as well as most of the weekend! I'll end this by posting a scan from the mini-comic that came bundled with the game. The mini-comic pretty much gives the story of everything that led up to Joker's masterplan in Arkham.

A Quick(and angry)Look at Titans #16

Be warned, my least favorite writer on this or any other world, Christopher Yost is writing this comic. That means I can almost guarantee I'm going to hate this comic no matter what it's about. Don't expect a fair and balanced look at this comic, because you're not going to get it here. If you don't want to read a angry rant, then please, skip this post. Thank you. As I said earlier, the writer here is the bane of my comic book reading existence, Christopher Yost while Angel Unzueta provides the pencil work.

-Starfire heads to a psychiatrist's office at the request of her friend Donna Troy. She's bummed because her Titans friends are all drifting apart and she is still traumatized as a result of Final Crisis when she gave in to the Anti-Life Equation. We get a quick look at her life and we also discover Vixen offered Kory a spot on the Justice League, but that Kory turned her down. The shrink tells Kory that her problem is the fact that she doesn't seem to have a purpose in life besides her Titans teammates, which is something Kory can't deny.

That's about all that happened here. First off, I have to say I am SHOCKED that Yost didn't just randomly begin to kill characters off in this book! Isn't that his MO? This book wasn't as offensive as some as Yost's prior books have been to me, it was just a boring look at a boring character. I've always found Kory to be annoying and one-dimensional, and this comic didn't change my mind about her at all. For a score, I'll give this comic a 4 out of 10. Hey, a 4 is a much higher score than I expected to hand out, but I'd never recommend ANYTHING written by Yost.Hey, what's Bruce doing there?!? Oh yeah, never mind...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Quick Look at Batman #689

It's time to take a look at the former flagship Bat-book, Batman. This issue is written by Judd Winick and pencilled by Mark Bagley.

-We begin this issue with Batman(Dick Grayson)breaking up one of Penguin's illegal gambling and prostitution casinos in a very flashy, unBatmanlike way.

-Meanwhile, Two Face seems pleased by Dick's flashy behavior and seems to be obsessing over the new, photogenic Batman. Two Face watches Dick's performance at Penguin's club, and notices a smile on Dick's face, something the Bruce Wayne Batman would never have allowed himself. The sight of a smiling Batman seems to lift Two Face's spirits as well.

-Dick and Alfred do some male bonding stuff.

-Penguin hires somebody(Black Mask?)to take care of the Batman problem, and the mystery man offers Penguin some jacked up super-soldier as well as one of Batman's rogues. Which rogue? Read on!

-Dick is speeding through the streets of Gotham in the(UGH!)new red Batmobile and he happens across a burning high-rise building. The Batmobile takes flight and Dick douses the flames with missiles containing fire-retardant foam. The folks in the building begin to evacuate and the hovering Batmobile is suddenly hit by several flying rocks. The rocks then begin to strike the weakened building. Dick turns around and finds the jacked up soldier from before and Clayface, who tells Dick that if he doesn't get out of the Batmobile, he'll bring the entire building down with everybody still in it!

I honestly don't understand the lousy response this comic has been getting from many Bat-fans. Personally, I've thoroughly enjoyed every issue since Judd Winick took over for Grant Morrison. After reading this comic I still feel "Batman" trumps "Batman and Robin" any day of the week. The story in this book is WAY easier to follow and the villains are characters I've actually heard of. I'll take Two Face and Clayface over Pyg and whatever the hell those weird dollfaced guys are in B&R! Yes, I know you fans of Batman and Robin are probably screaming obscenities at your computer screens right now, but what can I say, that's my opinion, like it or not it! For a score, I'll give this comic another solid 8 out of 10. The story has been good and I've always been a fan of Mark's artwork, plus that pain in the ass Damian didn't show up here, so this one is easy to recommend!I guess J Jonah Jameson doesn't like Batman either...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The little post that couldn't!

This post was going to be a review for Batman #689(which I read last night)but I had a surprisingly large load of homework to deal with, which pretty much put the kibosh on posting ANY reviews tonight. Jeez, you'd think with this only being the second day of school things would start off a bit calmer, apparently not though! One thing I've learned since going back to school is that doing the scheduled homework is THE easiest way to earn an "A" grade. So sorry, but homework is always going to trump any new blog posting. Tomorrow should be way easier since Thursday and Friday are my lightest school days, so the plan is to get a review of Batman #689 up tomorrow as well as possibly Mighty Avengers #28 unless a better comic arrives in the mail. Oh before I check out tonight, Batman: Arkham Asylum shipped late last night from Amazon(which is where I pre-ordered it from). Amazon usually ships new games out of Philadelphia, which means I expect Arkham to arrive at the earliest Thursday, and no later than Friday. That right there should tell everybody exactly how I intend on spending my weekend! Before I go, I'll be posting over at the picture blog, so if you want, go ahead and check that site out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Oh yeah, I remember that site!

While I usually make sure to post to this blog everyday, I'm always forgetting to post something over at my picture blog(which you can get to by clicking this link). That other blog is like my red headed stepchild, it's always getting neglected! So I'm going to make a conscious effort to post 2 scans there every night for this entire week. Since I've got literally thousands of comics laying around my house, I'm going to randomly pull a comic from my collection out and scan a random page from it. I don't know what comics I'll be posting, but I guarantee I WILL post something over there all week long. Who knows, maybe you'll find the random scan so interesting you'll want to read the comic it came from for yourself, or maybe it'll start a conversation up. Anyway, if you do go over there and check things out, comments are always appreciated.

Superman: World of New Krypton #6(Codename: Patriot Part 1)

This is the first part of this year's Superman x-over event, Codename: Patriot. This comic is written by the team of Greg Rucka and James Robinson. Pete Woods handles the artwork.

-Previously in World of New Krypton, Superman managed to narrowly escape execution thanks to an unlikely assist from Gen. Zod. At a celebration celebrating some Kryptonian holiday, Gen. Zod was shot in an apparent assassination attempt. Now that you know what happened before, let's see what happens next.

-The Kryptonian who shot Zod screams that he did it for his people, before taking flight in an effort to escape. An angry mob of Kryptonians manage to get a hold of the would be assassin and they begin to beat him to death. Supes and his military unit rush to the scene of the riot and prevent the furious Kryptonians from killing the assassin. As the assassin lays on the ground, beaten to a pulp, he weakly says, "For Krypton" before passing out.

-With Zod at death's door, the leadership of the Kryptonian military guild falls to the three commanders, Supes, Ursa and Gor. Gor wants to kill the assassin immediately, but Supes explains that it's possible the assassin wasn't working alone and that he needs to be interrogated when he wakes up. Ursa appears extremely distracted and winds up leaving Supes and Gor behind, not wanting to leave Zod's side.

-Supes and Gor strap the assassin to a Kryptonian lie detecting machine and begin to ask him questions about why he tried to kill Zod. The assassin, Ral-Dar, says he wanted to kill Zod for the safety of New Krypton. He also says that with Kryptonians numbering at less than 100,000 people strong, something had to be done to assure the survival of New Krypton. According to the lie detector, Ral seems to sincerely believe that by killing Zod he was helping to save his people. However, he refuses to give a straight answer regarding whether or not he worked alone. Before Supes can press the issue further, he is summoned to meet his aunt Alura at the medical facility immediately.

-Supes makes his way to see Alura and she explains to him that thus far the science guild has proven unable to heal the damage done to Zod. She then tells Supes that prior to Zod losing consciousness, he specifically asked to see Supes.

-While in the medical facility, an aide to Alura reports that the people of New Krypton are panicking over the shooting of Zod and that they fear Brainiac is somehow involved. Alura takes to the sky and manages to assuage the Kryptonians with her words. Alura then asks Supes to find out why Zod was shot and Supes, along with Supergirl head back to the prison facility.

-Upon arriving at the prison, Supes and SG discover all of the guards unconscious and Ral broken out of his cell. Supes puts out an all point bulletin to find Ral, and a member of his military unit reports that Ral was spotted leaving New Krypton and heading for Earth. Supes realizes that Ral's arrival on Earth could start a war between the two planets, as well as the fact that a Kryptonian military unit arriving on Earth to hunt down a Kryptonian criminal could also have dire consequences, so Supes decides the only thing left to do is for him to don his Superman costume and head to Earth himself.

I really enjoyed this first part of Codename: Patriot! It was very fast paced, set up the x-over nicely, and left us with lots to ponder. Such as why would a member of the military guild try to kill Gen. Zod? Who helped Ral escape from his cell? What was it that Zod wanted to tell Supes before he lost consciousness and was placed in stasis? And of course, what's going to happen when Supes sets foot back on Earth after he seemingly abandoned the planet to join his fellow Kryptonians?

Personally, and keep in mind it's still VERY early in this x-over, I think Ral wanted to kill Zod so that Supes would become the head of the military guild. Ral seemed sure that under Zod's aggressive leadership the Kryptonians would eventually go extinct, and he also remarked that everybody on New Krypton knew who Supes was. Of course I'm probably as wrong as can be, but still, that's my early prediction. For a score, I'm going to give this comic a very strong 9 out of 10. THIS is the way to begin an x-over event. After reading this comic I can't wait to get my hands on the second part to discover what will happen next.All I can say is, it's about time we get to see Supes back in the red and blue!

A Quick Look at Booster Gold #23

OK, time for the first review of the night. Booster Gold gets the honor of going first. This issue is written and pencilled by Dan Jurgens... Hmm, there really aren't a lot of guys nowadays who pull double duty and do both the art and the story. As a matter of fact, I can't think of anybody besides Dan. I must be forgetting somebody, but who???

-This issue begins with the Black Beetle reporting his success last issue(killing Dick Grayson)to his mysterious master. Beetle's master wants to actually see the now Justice League-less new world, so Beetle travels back through time so his boss can see what became of the world.

-We next head to Booster Gold, who is surrounded by the dead bodies of the Teen Titans. Raven shows up and Booster manages to convince her that he wasn't responsible for the deaths of her friends. Rip Hunter then shows up and takes Booster and Raven into the future that occurred due to Dick's death.

-Without Dick to replace Batman, the Justice League wound up falling into disrepair and Trigon(with some assistance from Black Beetle)managed to conquer the Earth, annihilating the League in the process. So long story short, the future really sucks, and Rip, Raven and Booster have to figure out a way to right things.

-The trio of heroes meet up with an anti-Trigon resistance group, which includes Zatanna and a GL ring-less Kyle Rayner. Zat and Kyle decide to take Booster and company to their headquarters when they are attacked by some of Trigon's shadow minions. Booster allows himself to get captured, mainly so the rest of his group could escape and this issue ends with Booster coming face to face with Trigon himself!

-There was also a Second Feature starring Blue Beetle, but I only flipped through it, so I can't review it.

I'm definitely enjoying this storyline. As I've stated on this blog time and time again, I'm a sucker for a well crafted alternate dimension storyline, and this issue definitely gave me exactly what I wanted. With no Teen Titans to hold him in check, Trigon's victory does make sense... To an extent. I find it hard to believe that a Justice League comprised of Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Hal Jordan, the Flash and others couldn't step in and do what the Titans had done, repel Trigon's invasion. Besides that, this was an enjoyable comic book, and for a score, I'll go with a 7 1/2 out of 10.If I managed to kill the Justice League and conquered the Earth, I'd find a more comfortable place to sit than on a bunch of bones...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back to school!

Well, as much fun as the summer has been(and it has been fun)it's time to get serious again. Yes, that's right, school starts up tomorrow for me! Monday, Wednesday and Friday I've got to be at school early, which means my blogging is going to be curtailed just a bit on the nights before those three days. That means no more staying up until 4:00 AM talking comics :(
On the plus side, all I've got on Tuesday and Thursday is a late afternoon Spanish(UGH!!!)class, so I can catch up on all things comic related those days. Since I just popped a sleeping aid(those Unisom Sleep Melts work great!)I might as well end this post now. I'll probably check out the other blogs I follow before reading a few comics and calling it a night. Tomorrow night I should have a few new(ish)reviews up for your viewing pleasure(or displeasure). In lieu of saying something creative/funny to end this post, I'll simply say check back tomorrow, same X-Man time, same X-Man website!(I'm sorry for that, that was REALLY bad!)

Only two more days!

I'm practically counting the hours until Batman: Arkham Asylum is released. Tuesday can't come soon enough! The reviews that have been coming in for this game have been very high, much higher than I actually expected. Usually comic book based video games(especially DC ones)haven't really been all that great, Marvel Ultimate Alliance was the last really good CB video game I've played. Anyway, here's a link to various video game related review sites in case you're interested in seeing what the "professionals" are saying about the Dark Knight latest foray into the world of video games.Needless to say, I've already pre-ordered a copy!

A Quick Look at Uncanny X-Men #514

This is the forth part of the Uncanny X-Men/Dark Avengers x-over, Utopia. This issue is written by Matt Fraction and pencilled by Terry Dotson. Before I get started on the review, let me just say that the cover price on my copy of this comic is $4.99! Since I get my copy of Uncanny through Marvel's subscription service, the cover price doesn't hurt me, but $5 for a regular sized comic book seems a bit excessive, no? Well, anyway, on with the review.

-Simon Trask and his Biosentinels are running amok in San Fransisco and Emma Frost and her Dark X-Men(under the direction of Norman "Marvel" Osborn)take the battle to them.

-While Emma's squad battles the Biosentinels, Cyclops begins to put his plans into motion. He sends Moonstar to Las Vegas to meet with someone, Domino(along with the rest of X-Force)is to rendezvous with Wolverine, Mindee of the Stepford Cuckoo's is told to get herself arrested and Psylocke and the X-Club are told to do something underneath the waters of San Fran. As for Cyclops and the rest of the X-Men, they head to the scene of the Dark X-Men/Biosentinel brouhaha to watch the Dark X-Men in battle.

-The Dark X-Men manage to destroy the rampaging Biosentinels and after contacting Osborn, Emma decides to take the battle directly to Trask, who is said to be operating out of a hospital in San Fran.

-Cyclops, who watched the battle from afar, seems impressed by the way the Dark X-Men handled the fight, but smugly predicts that his team would trounce Emma's team if the two groups ever battled.

And that's pretty much that. How's that for a quick review! This issue was pretty action-packed, with the battle between the Dark X-Men and the Biosentinels taking centerstage. I actually thought this was a pretty good comic book, although there were a few things that bugged me. First of all, I felt like I missed an issue somewhere along the line! I could swear in part three of this x-over Trask was still plotting his attack, however, I open this comic and the Biosentinels are already running wild through the streets of San Fran! I'll chalk that up to my own faulty memory I guess.

Besides that, Cyclops was pissing me off something fierce this issue! I really can't stand him anymore! There was a time Scott was among my favorite comic characters, but now he's such an arrogant pain in the ass! I know it's not going to happen, but I wish the Dark X-Men would beat the hell out of Scott and his band of X-Men. Really humble them. Of course I doubt that's going to happen, but still, Scott getting humbled would be sweet. For a score I'll give this issue a respectable 7 1/2 out of 10. After reading this issue I have to say, I actually like the Dark X-Men! Matt has done an eXtremely good job at giving each character their own voice. I'll definitely be looking forward to the next part of this x-over.If only Daken would have killed that damn fake Hawkeye... I hate that Bullseye is sullying the Hawkeye mantle!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Quick Look at Green Arrow/Black Canary #23

This month's installment of GA/BC is written by Andrew Kreisberg with Mike Norton and Bill Sienkiewicz doing the artwork. This is one of DC's Second Feature comics, and the second story stars Black Canary and is written by Andrew with Mike and Joe Rubinstein taking care of the art.

-We begin with GA and the son of the original Big Game prowling the rooftops of Star City. Ollie is out looking for something to do since his marriage to Dinah is on the rocks, and Big Game is trying to track down his father's murderer, Cupid.

-Big Game has been killing everybody who has had the slightest contact with Cupid, from a guy she met at a gym to the guy who moved into her apartment after she left it. Ollie comes across one of the bodies and realizes that the blade marks are identical to the knife the original Big Game used.

-Ollie somehow manages to deduct that the murderer is looking to kill Cupid in retribution for Big Game's murder, so he heads down to prison to protect her. By this time, Big Game has broken into the prison and arrived at Cupid's room. This story ends with Black Canary arriving on the scene and Ollie telling her to take Cupid somewhere safe so he can take on Big Game.

-The second feature dealt with Wildcat trying to get Dinah out of the funk she's been in since she learned that she was responsible for the creation of the villainous Discord. The two have a discussion atop a building in Star City and by the end of the talk Dinah feels much better. This story ends with Dinah heading to Cupid's prison at the request of Green Arrow.

This comic really didn't do anything for me. The story in the first feature actually managed to annoy me at times! Nothing really made sense... How Ollie came to the conclusion that a new Big Game was in town and that the new villain would be heading to Cupid's prison is beyond me. Supposedly Ollie knew it was a new Big Game because of some knife wounds inflicted on a mutilated body. And on top of that, Ollie instantly knows this new Big Game would be heading right to Cupid's prison. Ollie then blows a hole in the wall of the prison psychiatrist's office and enters the prison a split second before Big Game arrives to avenge the death of his father... There are so many things wrong there! First off, how did Ollie know Cupid would be in the shrink's office and not her prison cell? Secondly, why the hell did he have to blow the wall up to enter the prison? Couldn't he have just, oh I don't know, walked in through the front gate?!? Then to top it all off, Big Game breaks into the prison and kills a whole slew of guards using only a shotgun and a big knife! Come on now, I'm not expecting a Shakespearean masterpiece here, but the story can at least make some sense, can't it? For a score, I'll give this issue a 5 out of 10. I had been enjoying the past couple of issues of this series, but this one was really pretty bad.Yeah baby, it's the greatest trick arrow of all-time, the boxing glove arrow!

A Quick Look at Captain America Reborn #2(of 5)

This comic is written by Ed Brubaker and pencilled by Bryan Hitch.

-We start off with Steve Rogers still taking an unwanted joyride through time, reliving events he has already lived through. A battle during WWII, a meeting with President Roosevelt, as well as the moment he received the Super-Soldier Serum. Steve is still at a loss as to why this is happening to him.

-Meanwhile, Bucky and the Black Widow are captured by Venom and Ares after the ambush last issue.

-Pym and Mr. Fantastic run some tests on Sharon Carter and Reed discovers something foreign in her bloodstream. Reed also begins to think back on Steve Rogers' autopsy results.

-Osborn(AKA Mr. Everything)tells Sin and Crossbones he wants them to pull a job for him, one only they would be able to accomplish. Osborn then mentions the possibility of a reborn Captain America leading his band of Avengers and the huge PR boost he would get from that.

-We end this issue with Osborn(yes, him again)meeting with his captives, Bucky and Black Widow. Osborn tells them he informed the media that Sharon Carter was involved in Steve's assassination, which infuriates Bucky. He then tells BW that he wants her to find Sharon and convince her to surrender to him. BW scoffs at that notion, but Osborn warns her that if she doesn't do as he says, Sharon will have the death of a second Captain America on her conscience.

This was an OK comic book. I wasn't blown away by anything here, since this mini is still setting the table for what's going to happen down the road. This issue gives Osborn a motivation for wanting to see Steve reborn(he wants Cap leading the Dark Avengers), as well as providing us with some pieces to what Red Skull's ultimate plan was regarding Cap's assassination. Apparently, Armin Zola and Skull wanted to implant Skull's mind into Steve's body, which makes perfect sense. Remember, at that time, Skull was inhabiting Aleksander Lukin's body. Possessing Steve would give Skull a better body than he was currently in, but more importantly, any crimes Skull would go on to commit would be done using the body of the Skull's greatest nemesis. That seems EXACTLY like the sort of thing Skull would want to do. What better way to destroy your greatest enemy's reputation then by having him go around committing heinous crimes? For a score, I'll give this comic an 8 out of 10. This was another good set-up issue, which will hopefully lead to some great fireworks down the road.I love the hostility between Reed and Pym here!

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Quick Look at Adventure Comics #1(or #504 if you prefer)

The writer for both the main Superboy story and the Legion Second Feature is comic book GOD, Geoff Johns. Francis Manapul covers the art for the first story while Clayton Henry takes care of the second.

-We open by learning that Superboy has completely changed from the surly teen he was prior to his "death" to a kinder, gentler Teen of Steel. He does all the chores around the farm for Ma Kent and he loves living in Smallville now.

-Over the course of this comic, SB goes about doing the types of things Superman did back when he was SB's age. Lived with the Kents, check. Went to Smallville High School, check. Joined a team of super-heroes, check. Helped folks out, check.

-Eventually SB heads to the dilapidated house Lex Luthor grew up in, and stands there, looking around. Superman walks in and inquires what SB is doing there. SB explains that he just wanted to see what it was like, stating it wasn't what he expected to find. Supes tells SB to steer clear of Lex, and SB tells Supes that he has no intentions of running into Lex any time soon.

-This story ends with SB checking off his list of Superman related accomplishments. After checking off his good acts, Superboy writes in "What would Lex Luthor do?", and puts a check mark under "Lies to Superman".

-The Legion story follows Starman as he meets up with fellow Legionnaire Tellus. Tellus tries to fix Starman's mind, but only manages to right things momentarily. From there Starman screams about watching out for the Black Witch, and this story ends with a bunch of glimpses into the future of the Legion.

Wow. I didn't like this comic at all... I'm shocked! I didn't like/get the Superboy story one bit. Nice level-headed SB is about as far from the Superboy I followed through his own series, Young Justice and the Teen Titans. SB is impulsive, hot-headed and a bit of a jerk... Or at least he was. Now SB does all his chores, loves Smallville and is sugary sweet? Huh??? I also didn't really like the idea that Superboy HAS to be Supes(and Lex Luthor?). Why does he feel obligated to follow in Supes footsteps? SB was his own character for a good 10 years. Now I'm afraid Geoff is going to transform him into Superman Jr.

The Legion story was even worse than the main one! First off, I can't stand this version of Starman... Jack Knight this bozo is not! Secondly, I've already gone on record saying that the original version of the Legion has outlived their purpose. Give me the re-boot or three-boot versions of the Legion, not the weird old version. Oh, and the second Bouncing Boy shows up I drop this title! For a score, I'll give this comic a 6 out of 10. I almost can't believe Geoff Johns was responsible for this comic. I'm sure there are plenty of people who wholeheartedly disagree with me here, so I open the floor up to those dissenters.

No new content today!

I just finished reading Adventure Comics #1 and Cap: Reborn #2, and you know what, there is no way I'm going to be able to post reviews for them tonight! Why not? Because it's late and I'm tired!

I had to head down to my college today to change my major, which led to me running all over campus because nothing can be easy! I had to get the signatures of two deans(which was a real pain in the ass!), my advisor and then return all the paperwork to the registrar's office. After that, I was off to the student accounts office to drop off my residency paperwork(which has to be re-done EVERY semester for some reason!)and finally pay off my tuition bill.

After that, I went down to the mall to get myself ready for school on Monday, and besides clothes and other school required necessities, I stopped in the local Gamestop and finally picked up a used copy of MK vs. DC. I tell you, you haven't lived until you've seen Darkseid laying on the floor screaming because he's being attacked by a swarm of bats! Between DC/MK, Civilization: Revolution(THE most addictive PS3 game I've EVER played), and the great content over at the other blogs I follow(damn, you guys always have some interesting stuff up!), I've been spending less time reading and posting here at the old blog. Tomorrow I promise to get some new content up... Probably!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Justice League: Cry for Justice #2(of 7)

I'm getting a bit of a late start tonight, so it looks like this will be the only new comic I post. Last issue was primarily a set-up issue, and I figure this issue is going to be practically the same. The writer is James Robinson and the artist is Mauro Cascioli.

-We start things off with Hal and Ollie hanging out on a rooftop in Gotham City waiting for someone to arrive.

-From there we head to Blackhawk Island where Starman and Congorilla are having the obligatory "two super-heroes meet, have a misunderstanding, fight, learn they are on the same page and team-up" meeting. After talking they learn that they are both hunting the same enemy and they head off to Paris together.

-Hal and Ollie meet with Jason Bard, who tells them that Prometheus has been sending several groups of super-villains to steal various pieces of advance technology. Bard tells the two heroes where Prometheus' goons are hiding out and the two head off, ready to bust some heads.

-The Atom meets with Jay Garrick at the ravaged Flash Museum in Central City. Apparently, Prometheus sent some of his men into the museum where they killed three guards(all friends of Jay)and stole some technology from the Cosmic Treadmill. While Atom and Jay catch up, Captain Marvel drops in. Atom called Capt. Marvel to help him hunt Prometheus, and Atom and Marvel leave Jay behind and head to Gotham City, which is where Prometheus' trail leads.

-Back in Gotham, Ollie and Hal have taken down a mess of c-list villains and are met by Marvel and Atom, who tell Ollie and Hal that they to are looking for Prometheus as well. While the 4 heroes are talking about what their next step should be, some loser named Javelin throws a(you guessed it)javelin at the distracted heroes. Before the javelin can strike anybody, Supergirl arrives on the scene, intercepts the javelin and knocks Javelin down and out, ending this issue.

James is still setting the table in this series, but so far I like what I see. With the exception of Congorilla(come on, do we really need a talking monkey on the team?)I like each of the characters who have shown up thus far. During the aftermath of the super-villain beatdown orchestrated by Hal and Ollie, the two spoke about Prometheus and what a c-lister he was. Of course they don't realize that Prometheus isn't the laughingstock he once was, as seen in the "Faces of Evil: Prometheus" one-shot from a while back. I get the feeling that when the heroes finally do track down Prometheus, they are going to be in for quite the surprise!

So far, the team itself looks pretty good, my only complaint would be the fact that there are already three powerhouses on the team. I like Capt. Marvel, and so far Supergirl is the only female on the team, so I'm cool with the both of them being there. If it were up to me, I'd toss Congorilla off the team, but once again, that is due to my overwhelming hatred of talking monkeys. For a score, I'll give this issue an 8 1/2 out of 10. I'm a really big fan of slowly building up a story, and James is doing a great job of that here. Oh, and Mauro's artwork is still mind-blowingly fantastic.Jeez I get that Hal didn't like Bats and all, but give it a rest, the guy's dead!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Superman Secret Files 2009

Just so everybody knows in advance, I'm dead tired tonight, which means this review is probably going to be pretty half-assed! There, you've been warned. There are many writers and artists responsible for this comic.

-We begin with profiles on New Krypton, Superman, the Kryptonian Military Unit Red Shard, Alura and the Guilds of Krypton and General Zod, Ursa and Non.

-The first story is about Ursa, who is in a Kryptonian medical facility standing guard over the grievously injured Gen. Zod. While standing vigil, Ursa thinks back on her relationship with Gen. Zod and the day Braniac stole Kandor. Ursa was a fearless soldier leading one of the finest Kryptonian fighting units when Braniac took and subsequently bottled Kandor. The battle against Brainiac's remorseless robotic forces shook Ursa to her core and wound up making her doubt herself and her abilities as a soldier. It was Zod who helped her remember who she was, and without him she isn't sure what she would do.

-Next we have profiles on Brainiac, Superboy, Krypto, Lex Luthor, Metropolis, The Daily Planet Staff, Mon-El and Guardian.

-Story #2 details the partnership between Billi Harper(Guardian's great-niece)and Jonathan Kent(Mon-El's alter-ego). They get off to a rocky start, but eventually Billi begins to warm up to her very strange Science Police partner.

-Next up is a profile on Supergirl followed by a short story about Supergirl and Thara(Flamebird)back when they were younger. As children, the girls were practically inseparable, even though they were quite different in their belief systems, with Thara being highly religious and SG believing everything had a scientific explanation. After the death of Supergirl's father, the two girls had a falling out and no longer speak to each other.

-From there we get profiles on Nightwing and Flamebird.

-The final story is about Pete Ross, the man who became President of the United States after Lex Luthor was removed from office. Pete wanders around the Oval Office wondering exactly what his legacy will be when all is said and done. While getting ready for a press conference, Amanda Waller asks him to sign some papers. Pete tells her he doesn't have the time to read the papers, and Waller tells him she has already gone over the papers and that they are mainly small time things that just require a signature. Pete signs the papers and leaves, and we learn it was those papers that created the shadowy Project 7734.

-We end this comic with a profile on Project 7734.

I really don't think there is much for me to say here. Anybody who has read one of the DC Secret Files before knows the format, which is profiles and short stories. All the stories were well done, with the final one on Pete Ross standing out the most to me. For a score, I'll give this entire comic an 8 out of 10. With Codename: Patriot running through the Superman family of books for the next few months, it's probably a good idea to give this comic a read, especially if you haven't been following the Superman books the past few months.What the hell is up with that guy in the cape?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

War of Kings #6(of 6)

It's time for the final review of the night. I was close to reading Adventure Comics #1, JLA: Justice #2 or Cap: Reborn #2, but instead I've decided to go with the concluding chapter of the War of Kings saga. I mainly based this decision on how badly I want to see Black Bolt and Vulcan tear into each other. I really hope Vulcan takes that pompous Black Bolt apart! This final issue of the War of Kings mini-series is written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, with Paul Pelletier providing the pencils.

-Most of the beginning portion of this comic was exactly what I'd been anticipating, a knock down, drag out, ugly brawl between the most powerful Inhuman, King Black Bolt and possibly the most powerful mutant of all, King Vulcan.

-While the monarchs of the Shi'ar and Kree empires battled each other on the flying T-bomb Black Bolt's brother Maximus created to end the Shi'ar-Kree war, Medusa decided that no one would stop Black Bolt from carrying out his plan to detonate the T-bomb, even though it meant Black Bolt himself would die. For those who don't know, the T-bomb was designed to bathe the entire Shi'ar empire in Terrigen radiation, transforming the Shi'ar into Inhumans and(as Black Bolt hoped)ending hostilities between the two races, since they would all be Inhumans. Medusa's sister, Crystal, refuses to allow Black Bolt to make such a drastic move and along with her erstwhile pet, the teleporting Lockjaw, she heads to the T-bomb to stop Black Bolt from playing god.

-While those events were transpiring, the Shi'ar throneworld, Chandilar was practically in ruins as result of Vulcan's insane war with the Kree, as well as a civil war that began with the death of former Shi'ar empress, Lilandra. Gladiator, having murdered all who took part in the assassination of Lilandra, takes the Imperial Specter from the destroyed Imperial Palace and wanders outside. Upon seeing Gladiator with the Specter, the Shi'ar beg him to help them as their planet burns all around them.

-Back on the T-bomb, Vulcan beats Black Bolt into a bloody mess on the floor and tells the fallen king of the Inhumans that he has lost. Black Bolt responds by screaming "No" at Vulcan, at point blank range, incinerating the insane mutant.

-At that moment, Crystal and Lockjaw teleport onto the T-bomb and Crystal uses her elemental powers to render the Terrigen Crystals aboard the bomb inert, ending Black Bolts dream of uniting the Shi'ar and the Kree as Inhumans. However, the bomb is still set to go off, so Crystal asks Black Bolt to leave with her, while the bomb harmlessly explodes in the empty space between the Shi'ar and Kree empires.

-However, before Black Bolt can leave with Crystal and Lockjaw, Vulcan attacks(!!!), knocking Black Bolt away from Lockjaw's teleportational portal. As Crystal and Lockjaw leave, Vulcan tells Black Bolt that after he's dead, he plans on flying the T-bomb right into Attilan and killing Black Bolt's entire family. Faced with that threat and with his own strength beginning to fail him, Black Bolt screams one final time, utterly destroying the T-bomb, 87% of the Shi'ar Imperial Fleet and tearing a massive hole in the fabric of time and space itself.

-Needless to say, with the overwhelming majority of their spacecraft destroyed, the Shi'ar contact the Inhumans and surrender unconditionally. Crystal and Lockjaw return to Attilan and break the news that Black Bolt has apparently died in his attempt to finally put an end to the madness of Vulcan. This issue ends with the Inhumans triumphant over the Shi'ar empire, but mourning the loss of their king.

Hmph... After reading this issue I feel... I don't know, kind of empty. That's not to say the story and the artwork wasn't good, because it was, but the resolution of the war just left me feeling apathetic. But then again, going into this series I knew the outcome wasn't going to leave me happy. I hate the Inhumans, but I like the Kree. On the other hand, I love Vulcan, but I can't stand the Shi'ar. So you can see that however this mini-series ended, my side was bound to lose. I do think that a feeling of emptiness may have been exactly what Dan and Andy were going for though. You know, that feeling that even though the Inhumans "won" they may have lost more then they gained in the end.

The battle between Black Bolt and Vulcan, which was the selling point for this issue, also left me feeling conflicted. I can't help but feel that Vulcan should have been able to take a weakened Black Bolt... While Black Bolt was afraid of really cutting lose while fighting Vulcan out of fear he'd damage the T-bomb, Vulcan fought with no such concerns. Black Bolt's defensive battle strategy, coupled with the fact that Vulcan's mutant power is the ability to absorb and re-channel any energy, including Black Bolt's vaunted voice, really tells me that Vulcan shouldn't have lost here... *Sigh* I guess those are just the nit-picky complaints of an unhappy Vulcan fan... I did have to laugh at Vulcan's horror movie-esque final lunge at Black Bolt. It was like every bad horror flick you've ever seen, where the insane psycho killer is thought to be dead, but all of a sudden jumps out of the shadows and renews his attack. Ah Vulcan, at least you fought to the end.

I will say that I am glad the Kree are on the victorious side of the battle against the Shi'ar. It was nice to see the Kree avenge the catastrophic loss they suffered at the hands of the Shi'ar during "Operation: Galactic Storm". However, if Gladiator winds up as the new Emperor of the Shi'ar I'm going to be pissed. He's a bodyguard, NOT a monarch! For a score, I'll give this issue an 8 out of 10. Although this issue didn't dazzle me like the previous two issues did, overall I'd have no problem recommending this mini-series to a Marvel Comics space connoisseur like myself.Ah Vulcan, insane right until the end... Rest in peace you crazy bastard!

Blackest Night: Batman #1(of 3)

This mini-series should be very interesting. I'm really not sure what to expect here, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this comic is nearly as good as the phenomenal Blackest Night #2 was. The writer is Peter Tomasi while Ardian Syaf provides the pencils.

-This issue opens with Batman(Dick Grayson)and Robin(Damian Wayne)investigating the grave site of Bruce Wayne. Due to the battle in Blackest Night #1, the graveyard is pretty torn up and Dick decides to take Bruce's decapitated remains, along with the bodies of Bruce's parents(Damian's grandparents)back to the Bunker at Wayne Tower.

-Deadman, who is being tormented by the voices of the dead crying out to him, heads to the final resting place of his body, only to find a black ring affix itself to his corpse. Deadman tries to jump into his corpse, but is forced out by a tremendous wave of pain. His body then flies away, leaving Deadman alone and in need of someone he can trust with the information about the Black Lantern Corps he gleaned from his corpse.

-A small army of dead c-list Batman villains get Black Lantern rings and head towards Gotham to run amok.

-Dick and Damian are out on patrol in the Batmobile when Deadman jumps in Dick's body mistaking him for Bruce. Damian, completely confused by Dick's sudden possession proceeds to beat Dick in the head, causing the Batmobile to crash off-road. In an effort to halt Damian's attack, Deadman jumps into his body, leaving Dick to sort through all of the information he just learned from Deadman about the Black Lantern Corps.

-Deadman tells Dick that the BL Corps are taking over the bodies of both powered and non-powered individuals, which causes Dick to make a bee-line to a cemetery in Gotham, where he discovers the empty graves of Jack and Janet Drake, the parents of the former Robin(and current Red Robin)Tim Drake. Dick immediately calls Tim and tells him to get back to Gotham ASAP, explaining what he had just discovered. Besides this(and unknown to Dick)Dick's own dead parents have become Black Lanterns as well. This issue ends with Dick, Damian and Deadman looking into the Gotham City sky and finding the shattered Bat-signal shining with several silhouetted bodies laying across it.

I really enjoyed this comic. I wasn't sure what to expect here, but Peter(as usual)delivered a very good BN x-over issue. I find it kind of interesting that after the events of this issue Dick knows more about the Black Lantern Corps(thanks to Deadman)then Hal Jordan does! As much as I did enjoy this comic, I have to say I'm at a bit of a loss as to how Peter is going to finish this mini in only 2 issues... Already we have a plethora of BL Bat-foes attacking Gotham, as well as the reanimation of both Dick and Tim's dead folks. While I have no idea as to how Peter is going to wrap this mini up in just two more issues, I know I'll be eagerly reading along to find out. For a score, I think I'll give this comic a 9 1/2 out of 10. As the score should indicate, I really enjoyed reading this comic. Is it essential that you read this issue to understand what's going on in the main BN series? No, probably not, but I'd still give this mini a strong recommendation.Dick isn't going to like this...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blackest Night #2(of 8)

Needless to say, I've been waiting all month to read this comic book. I'm not even going to waste anymore time on the introduction, that's how badly I want to read this issue! Your writer is comic book GOD, Geoff Johns with Ivan Reis providing the pencil work.

-We begin with the Atom calling Hawkman on the phone, trying to explain why he still loves his evil dead ex-wife. Unbeknownst to Atom though, Hawkman was turned into a Black Lantern last issue and Black Lantern Hawkman invites Atom to stop by to see him.

-In Gotham City, Barbara Gordon and her father Commissioner Gordon are standing at the Bat-signal when Hal Jordan crashes down through it. Hal apologizes for the damage and takes off to help Barry Allen who is still trying to battle Black Lantern Martian Manhunter.

-Tempest and Mera(along with a contingent of Atlantians)head to the grave site of Aquaman and find it dug up. Before the confused Atlantians know what's happening, Black Lantern Aquaman attacks. BL Aquaman tears through the Atlantians as Black Lanterns Dolphin and Aquagirl team up to attack poor Tempest. The Atlantians are overwhelmed by the surprise attack and easily disposed of by BL Aquaman, while Mera and Tempest try to pool their talents against Tempest's two dead lovers. Unfortunately, the combined might of BL Dolphin and Aquagirl is two much for the Tempest and Mera to handle and Tempest winds up getting killed by BL Aquagirl, rising as Black Lantern Tempest. Realizing she has no shot at defeating the entire Atlantian royal family on her own, Mera beats a hasty retreat.

-While the Atlantians were battling, Deadman, the original Hawk(but interestingly not Dove), Pariah, and most horrifying of all, the Spectre(!!!!!)are turned into Black Lanterns.

-Finally, back in Gotham, Hal and Barry manage to work together to create a huge inferno which they figure will be enough to stop the rampaging BL Martian Manhunter. However, not only doesn't the fire halt the onslaught of BL Manhunter, Black Lanterns Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Elongated Man(and his wife Sue Dibny)and Firestorm respond to help BL Manhunter deal with Barry and Hal.

WOW!!!!!!! This was possibly THE perfect comic book! I can't use enough positive adjectives to describe the out and out awesomeness that was this comic book! In-frigging-credible... Where the hell do I even start? The Aquaman scenes were amazing, the banter between BL's Dolphin and Aquagirl was great, the Spectre becoming a Black Lantern, a Black Lantern Justice League, if I don't stop now my head might just explode! What more can I say? Geoff's story and dialogue was spot-on and Ivan's pencils were simply stunning. If you are a fan of the DCU, and you aren't enjoying this series, there might be something seriously wrong with you! I mean it, rush to a doctor immediately! For a score, this is a 10 out of 10, hands down. Hell, this is a 100 out of 10! To say I can't wait for BN #3 to come out next month is the understatement of a lifetime!I can't even find the words to voice the awesomeness of this scene!

New Comic Day!

Just as I was sitting around bemoaning the fact that by next week I'd be back at school, a big package of comic books arrived at my home today. Nothing cheers me up like a heaping helping of comics! So what did I get? A whole hell of a lot! Here are the specifics:

Adam Strange #1
Adam Strange #2
Adam Strange #4
Adam Strange #5
Adam Strange #6
Adam Strange #7
Adam Strange #8
Adventure Comics Vol 2 #1
Authority Vol 5 #13
Blackest Night #2
Blackest Night Batman #1
Booster Gold Vol 2 #23
Captain America Reborn #2
Detective Comics #604
Detective Comics #605
Detective Comics #606
Detective Comics #607
Hellstorm Son Of Satan Equinox TP
Invasion Mini-Series Complete 3-Issue Set
JSA vs Kobra Engines Of Faith #3
Justice League Cry For Justice #2
Millenium Mini-Series Complete 8-Issue Set
Outsiders #1
Outsiders #13
Outsiders #14
Outsiders #15
Outsiders #2
Outsiders #3
Outsiders #4
Outsiders #5
Outsiders #6
Outsiders #7
Outsiders #8
Robin Vol 4 #57
Superman Secret Files 2009 #1
Superman World Of New Krypton #6
War Of Kings #6
War Of Kings Warriors #2
Wednesday Comics #5
Wednesday Comics #6

There are some books here that I absolutely can't wait to dig into. Well, without any further ado, let's get to the reviews!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The return I've been waiting YEARS for!!!

Since this blog is titled "X-Man's Comic Blog", I think it's high time I post something about the impending return of the X-Man, Nate Grey! Come November, Marvel is bringing back my all-time favorite comic book character in the upcoming "Dark X-Men" mini-series. I can't stress enough just how big a deal Nate's return is to me. I not only have every issue of the "X-Man" comic series, I have every Marvel comic book Nate has EVER appeared in! That should give you some idea of how huge Nate's return is to me. Calling me a big fan of Nate is an understatement!

It looks like Paul Cornell(who will be writing Nate's triumphant return)is going to give us the post-Counter X shaman version of Nate, as opposed to the younger(dumber)post-Age of Apocalypse Nate. This is one of those cases where I'm fine either way. Both versions of Nate have tons of story potential. Shaman Nate actually fits into the post-Decimation Marvel Universe extremely well. Now more than ever the few remaining mutants need a savior type of character and shaman Nate can fill that role perfectly. The thing that worries me though is that it seems Paul is going to keep Nate at the almost god-like power levels he had prior to his death. I don't know if Marvel is going to allow a character as powerful as Nate to float around after the "Dark X-Men" mini concludes. I suspect(and I REALLY hope I'm wrong)that Nate will be brought in only for the length of the mini-series and then he'll wind up dead and gone again. Remember, after studying Nate at Muir Island, Moira MacTaggart(THE expert on mutants in the Marvel U)said that Nate's power levels surpassed that of the Phoenix Force! Roll that around in your head for a while! With powers that massive, where exactly can Nate go after the "Dark X-Men" mini-series?

In a perfect world, Nate would wind up on one of the plethora of X-related teams. How about this, why not separate the Dark X-Men from Norman Osborn, slot Nate in as the leader and make that a new ongoing series? You could have the Dark X-Men, led by one of the most powerful mutants in existence battling against Norman Osborn and his goose-steppers. That sounds like a sweet premise to me! Or how about Nate just slaps the hell out of Cyclops for cheating on Jean Grey? I'd pay BIG money to see that scene play out! What about tossing Nate in X-Factor where Peter David could use him? Peter David writing Nate would be a dream come true. You could always throw him on one of the main X-Men teams as well. I've been complaining about the lack of a young male character on the X-Men for the longest time now. Nate could fill that role in a heartbeat. Of course you could just flip him and place him at the side of somebody like Magneto... Nate as Magneto's second in command would be almost unbearably awesome! Yeah, I've given a lot of thought on where Nate would fit in the current Marvel Universe!

One of the things that always bothered me about Nate's initial portrayal in the Marvel Universe was that he wasn't a team player, he was always portrayed as a loner. For some foolish reason, Marvel went to great lengths to keep Nate away from the X-teams during the 90's. Since the X-books were practically the only franchise that was selling well for Marvel back in the 90's, I don't understand why The Powers That Be didn't think it would have been a good idea to connect Nate with one of the X-teams. What's the worst thing that could have happened? Nate joining X-Force always seemed like such a gargantuan missed opportunity, especially after the Onslaught storyline. He would have been a perfect fit on that team... Sure, he was on the X-Men for a cup of coffee during the second "Astonishing X-Men" series and he was on Havok and Dark Beast's evil Brotherhood for a while, but he was never given a true shot at being an X-Man. Hopefully this time around Marvel will finally rectify that error. So, I obviously have a lot to say about Nate's forthcoming return, the question is, what do you think? Where does he fit in? What should he do? What do you think the endgame is going to be? Do you care? As always any and all comments are appreciated!

The week in review(or what other comics have I been reading?)

Anybody who has checked out my blog can probably tell that I like comic books. I mean, I REALLY like comic books. Since I started this blog up last October, I've posted 100's of reviews, which makes sense seeing as that I've read thousands of comics since this blog got underway. However, I usually only review new comics here, that would be comic books that have come out in the last 6 months or so, meaning that my opinions on the various back issues I read aren't being voiced... That is tantamount to blasphemy! ;-) Seriously though, I figure once a week I'll do a quick write up on the older comic books I read just for the heck of it. Hopefully talking about older comics may open up a dialogue with those of you who may have read these books and want to chime in with what you thought. Or maybe something I've read but you haven't may catch your eye. Without further ado, here's the rest of what I've read this past week.

Wanted TPB: Collecting Wanted 1-6 + Wanted Dossier. Written by Mark Millar with art by JG Jones. Top Cow Comics.
Synopsis: A loser(Wesley Gibson)learns that his absentee father was a member of a cartel of super-villains who had succeeded in defeating every super-hero on the planet. The cartel of villains then hid their existence from the public and proceeded to rule the Earth clandestinely. After the death of his father, Wesley is brought into his father's world of crime, villainy and madness, where he has to decide whether he will take his father's place in the cartel or return to his boring, dead-end life.
Pros: The story was top-notch and the artwork was fantastic. The villains all felt authentic and real. They acted and spoke exactly how you would envision "real" super-villains to. I honestly didn't see the twist at the end of issue #5 coming at all.
Cons: There really wasn't a single likable character in the entire series. I didn't like anybody! The ease in which Wesley was able to enact his revenge in issue #5 sort of annoyed me. The story was awfully similar to "Old Man Logan"(yes I know Wanted came out before OML but still).
Bottom Line: This was a really good story for a mature reader. I say mature reader because there was WAY more violence and profanity in this comic then you'd find in your average Marvel or DC comic book. If you're a fan of Mark Millar and want to see what he can do without the shackles of a big comic book company on him, I'd easily recommend this comic book. However, if you are easily offended by crude language, sex and violence, this definitely isn't the comic book for you.

Batman: Year One TPB: collects Batman 404-407. Written by Frank Miller with art by David Mazzucchelli. DC Comics
Synopsis: Bruce Wayne has spent the past 18 years of his life honing his mind and body into the perfect weapon. He returns to Gotham City on a mission, a mission to clean up the rampant crime and corruption that has turned Gotham into a living hell. The question is where does he start and how can he strike fear into Gotham's criminal underbelly?
Pros: Well, everything! I enjoyed every aspect of this comic, from Bruce's initial failed attempts at crime fighting to Gotham City newbie Jim Gordon trying to work in the thoroughly corrupt Gotham Police department. The artwork perfectly fit the mood of Gotham and the story was stellar.
Cons: I hated Gordon's extramarital affair, mainly because it was never adequately explained. Young Batman's strength levels seemed a bit excessive. The guy was knocking trees down and smashing marble pillars... Bruce isn't THAT strong!
Bottom Line: I'd recommend this comic to any Batman fan and/or to anybody who is a fan of the old 1980's style of comic book writing or of Frank Miller. I thought this comic was great.

The Outsiders#1-4(Nov. 1993-Feb. 1994). Written by Mike Barr with art by Paul Pelletier. DC Comics.
Synopsis(so far): Some evil vampire dude has taken over Geo-Force's home country of Markovia and framed Geo-Force and his Outsider buddies for a whole slew of crimes. Plus he "killed" Outsider member Looker. Needless to say the Outsiders aren't going to take this laying down and they mount an attack on the vampire's stronghold, Castle Markov.
Pros: Well, there are vampires, that's always a good thing. Each issue has become progressively better.
Cons: Reading this series was like trying to learn how to swim in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! I didn't know who half the members of the team were or what they could do. Mike probably could have made this series a bit more accessible to newbies(like myself!).
Bottom Line: I think I should read a few more issues before I decide to recommend this comic or not.

Crisis on Infinite Earths #1-3. Written by Marv Wolfman with art by George Perez. DC Comics.
Synopsis(so far): A mysterious wave of anti-matter is moving across the multiverse, destroying entire dimensions. To battle this wave of nothingness, the Monitor and his servant, the Harbinger, has amassed a rather eclectic group of heroes and villains. However, it seems the master of the anti-matter has managed to take mental control of the Harbinger and is planning on using her against the Monitor.
Pros: So far the story has been pretty easy to follow, which has surprised the hell out of me! The story has a big event feel to it, which makes everything that happens seem really important. And George's artwork is brilliant(as usual).
Cons: Some of the characters the Monitor has chosen to save the multiverse are pretty suspect... Plus, I HATE talking monkeys!
Bottom Line: Until I finish this series up, it wouldn't be fair to give it thumbs up or thumbs down. Next week I'll give my final verdict.

So there you have it. Don't hesitate to drop me a line, I love to read comments!