Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts.

Hey all, X here with a little post. I just got back from the comic book shop, and unfortunately I only came back with a measly 3 comics... Those comics would be The Death of Dracula #1, Invincible Iron Man Annual #1 and Captain America: The 1940's Newspaper Strip #1. I also got Streets of Gotham #13 and Superman #700 in the mail today, so that's a grand total of 5 comics. Most of the comics that I'll be receiving this week(Action Comics, Wonder Woman, Captain America, etc)are subscription comics, so I'll be waiting a good week or two for those books... Man do I have to find a way to cancel those subscriptions! So anyway, if anybody has any interest in a review for any of the 5 aforementioned comics, drop me a comment and I'll try to get a review up and posted soon. X out.

Birds of Prey #2

Birds of Prey #2: Writer: Gail Simone. Pencils: Ed Benes & Adriana Melo.

Review: This issue begins with Black Canary and Huntress taking on White Canary, who had already trounced both women last issue. White Canary once again seems to get the upper hand in the fight until Huntress manages to catch White Canary from behind. This gives BC a few free shots on White Canary, and after a few good punches to the face, BC is stunned by the look of utter hatred White Canary shoots her. By this time, Lady Blackhawk, Dove and Hawk show up, which leads to White Canary getting free in the confusion and dishing out beatdowns on Huntress and Hawk. Oracle catches a news report framing BC for the death of the man she had saved last issue, and hears police reports that indicate several police cruisers were headed to BC's location. Oracle warns BC to get out of Dodge, but by the time BC gets the message the cops had arrived. Penguin, who was lying there the entire time after being stabbed in the neck last issue by White Canary, tells the women that if they take him back to his club he'd hide them from the cops, and with no real choice, BC and company flee the scene with the Penguin, which looks REALLY bad for BC's innocence. While the Birds are retreating from the cops, Oracle gets a transmission from Creote(an old enemy turned ally from the last Birds series)where he tells her that his partner Savant had been killed, and that White Canary was responsible. Creote blames Oracle for the death before blowing his brains out. The news continues to get worse, as Black Canary's secret identity is revealed to the news agencies, which leads Oracle to realize that whoever was behind these systematic attacks against her and her team was playing for keeps. This issue ends with the Birds on the run from the police, and Oracle deciding it was time to go on the offensive.

What I Thought: Well, whoever is behind the attacks on the Birds sure isn't playing games, are they? I'm not sure who the secret villain behind the scenes is yet, although I have to think it's a former ally of the Birds gone bad. As for White Canary, all signs seem to be pointing towards her being the girl BC nearly adopted, Sin. Even as a young girl Sin was a fighting dynamo, the only problem with that is Sin was a young girl, not a grown woman the last time she was around. I guess White Canary could also be the former Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, which would make a bit more sense since she had insider information concerning Oracle and the Birds. Or of course it could be someone I'm not thinking about. But that's the fun thing about this series right now, trying to dig into the mystery to see who hates Oracle and her team SO much that they'd be willing to kill and ruin the lives of anybody who was ever associated with Oracle. I will say that I was extremely disappointed to see that Savant and Creote died here, as I kind of liked them... Especially Savant. He was a real nutjob! Well, I think I've rambled long enough about this comic, X out.

Score: 9 out of 10.That clump of hair should be the key to finding out who White Canary is.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Detective Comics #866

Detective Comics #866: Writer: Dennis O'Neil. Pencils: Dustin Nguyen.

Review: This comic tells the story of Dick Grayson in his current incarnation(Batman), as well as taking a look back at his time as Robin. Dick finds the Medallion of St. Dumas in the present, which causes him to think back to the first time he had seen the Medallion... Holy Flashback sequence Batman! Yeah, I couldn't resist... Joker steals the Medallion from a member of the Order of St. Dumas, which leads to Batman and the Order member getting into a fight. Joker manages to sneak away during the carnage, but is soon captured by Robin. The police search Joker, but don't find the Medallion, which Joker apparently stashed back at the scene of the original crime. This all ties into a story in the present involving Dick, and a man Joker framed for a theft, but that part of the story didn't do much for me, so I'm just gonna skip it!

What I Thought: I LOVED the artwork during the flashback story! It looked exactly how you'd expect a flashback story to look, bright and cartoony. Granted the artwork for the main story was extremely well done too, but I'm a sucker for that old cartoonish style. The story was good, nothing groundbreaking or anything, but a solid read. Will I remember it a month from now? Probably not, but it was a completely inoffensive way to spend a few minutes.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.I love that funky flashback artwork!

Thunderbolts #145

Thunderbolts #145: Writer: Jeff Parker. Artist: Kev Walker.

Review: Picking up from last issue, Baron Zemo tries to bring the Thunderbolts back under his control after knocking out Luke Cage, Mach V and Songbird. Crossbones gleefully joins up with the Baron, while Juggernaut decides to just leave the island. Moonstone tries to stop Zemo, and Ghost reveals that the whole thing was a set-up to test the loyalty of the T-bolts. With their cover blown, Cage and company get up and Zemo takes off his mask, revealing that he was actually the Fixer. After picking up the Juggernaut(who was stuck in the water), Cage explains that he wanted to see how the team would react, as well as show them that he was always in control of things, even when it seemed like he wasn't. With that bit of business out of the way, Luke tells the team that they'd be hunting down some Asgardian trolls that had escaped from Asgard after Siege. The team heads out to catch the trolls, and discover that the trolls were more of a handful then they thought. This issue ends with a girl wearing what seemed to be a dead troll attacking Ghost.

What I Thought: Not bad. I was a bit miffed by the Fixer reveal, especially since it seems that the Fixer had returned to his evil roots with the real Baron Zemo in Captain America. That little gaff aside, I really can't complain about this issue all that much. The reveal at the end didn't really do anything for me, and the story was alright. No complaints here. Move along.

Score: 7 out of 10.Why does Juggy look like a giant brick now?

Zatanna #2

Zatanna #2: Writer: Paul Dini. Pencils: Stephane Roux.

Review: Zatanna battles a nightmare demon that was sent by Brother Night(who is trying to consolidate his control of the San Fransisco crime scene). The nightmare demon tries to defeat Zatanna while she sleeps, but Zatanna manages to turn things around on the demon, and ends up waking up and defeating the demon in the real world(by putting the demon in her hat!). With the nightmare demon having failed, Brother Night reveals that he had enslaved the spirit of Zatanna's father, and that Night was going to be tasking John Zatara's spirit with destroying Zatanna!

What I Thought: Huh, who knew I'd really wind up falling for this series... Two issues in, and I'm definitely a fan, and I've never really been a huge fan of mystical type characters! Paul writes a great Zatanna, I have no problem with the artwork, and I'm really enjoying the story. Hokey name aside, Brother Night seems like a really great foil for Zatanna, with his otherworldly power-base and allies, including what seems to be Zatanna's own father! I'll definitely be looking forward to the next issue.

Score: 9 out of 10.Best prison EVER!

Justice League: Generation Lost #4

Justice League: Generation Lost #4: Writers: Judd Winick & Keith Giffen. Pencils: Joe Bennett.

The JLI(or the Justice League of Misfits if you will)arrive in Russia during a battle between a rogue Rocket Red and a mess of other Rocket Reds. The team decides not to intervene, since it looked like an internal Russian dispute, at least until they began endangering innocent civilians. The JLI steps in to halt the fighting, which leads the rogue Rocket Red into believing that the JLI was teaming up with him. The JLIers try to convince the rogue Rocket that they were just trying to help the innocent bystanders, but they meet with no success. With the rogue Rocket sticking with them, Booster Gold begins to realize that somebody was obviously manipulating events in order to gather the entire old JLI together. And who would do that other then the man who brought the old JLI together the first time, Max Lord. Booster begins to demanding answers from Max(which worries his teammates), and after a while, Max(through Rocket Red's radio)responds that he was indeed behind recent events. And what was Max up to? For some reason, whenever Max uses his telepathic powers on somebody they transform into Black Lanterns and die...

Well that was kind of weird... This comic was pretty much an extended battle between a bunch of Rocket Reds, while the JLI members stood around and watched. I guess this comic was okay, it's just that the story isn't really doing anything for me. I just want to know what the hell is going on here! Now Max can transform people into Black Lanterns? Weird... On the plus side, Super Fake Beetle didn't bother me all that much, so I guess that's something...

Score: 7 out of 10.C-List heroes unite!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Talking about tomorrow, TODAY!

Hey X-Maniacs, just wanted to say that I won't have any reviews up for tonight. I have four coming up(Zatanna #2, Detective #866, JL: Gen Lost #4 & Thunderbolts #145), but I probably won't be able to put the finishing touches on them until sometime tomorrow. See, the old me would have rushed to get those reviews up and posted, but the new me is just going to sit back and post 'em at my leisure! :P As for the Killer Croc comic, sorry JT, my sister wanted to read that one, so I won't be able to give it a read/review until she gets it back to me, and who knows when that'll be!

Besides that, three comics came in the mail today, Birds of Prey #2, REBELS #17 and New Avengers #1. If any of you guys want me to put up a post for one of those comics, drop me a comment. If I had to guess, I'd bet that BoP will get a few recommendations. I doubt anybody is interested in a REBELS review, and I HOPE nobody wants to hear about New Avengers #1!! Man am I DREADING that comic! Anyway, thanks for reading and remember to check back here tomorrow for a few new posts. X out.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's a new day!

Hey gents and gentettes, after taking a (in my opinion!)well deserved break from blogging, I'm back with a rambling post. First off, I didn't go to ANY blogs Friday and Saturday, I just completely disassociated myself from the whole blogging world, and I think that did me a whole lot of good. Sometimes the best way to recharge ones batteries is to take a step back, and I think that's something I've been needing to do around here for a while now. With that said, let me just come right out and say this, I sure as HELL won't be going back to my old insane schedule of posting upwards of 4 new reviews a night! Although I won't be blogging at that rate anymore, I think I can handle posting 3 or 4 times a week. That'll give me some down time, as well as more time to check out what my fellow bloggers have been diligently working on, which is what I'll be doing once I publish this post! I can't wait to see what I've been missing!

I think the scan blog is going to suffer the most now that I've decided to take a bit of a blogging breather, and by suffer, what I really mean is die a cold, lonely, quiet death! Yep, I don't see myself doing much of anything over at the pic blog any time soon... Yeah, it's kind of sad, but the payoff for the scan site doesn't match the work I put into it. So until further notice, rest in peace Uncanny Comic Book Scans... You WON'T be missed! :D

Okay, now onto the comic front... Since I didn't do any blog related things for the past few days, I have FINALLY managed to read EVERYTHING in my new comics pile!!! For the first time in months(years??)my nightstand is free of unread recent comic books! Granted, I still have a plethora of back issues to get through, but I can read those at my leisure. The new book pile was like the sword of Damocles hanging over my head, and it's finally gone. Speaking of the aforementioned back issues, I've read up to Robin #47 as I continue trudging through the entire Robin series. So far it's been pretty good stuff. Nothing spectacular, but definitely pretty good.

Before going, some AWESOME news... Today, I FOUND A COMIC BOOK SHOP IN MY AREA!!! A real, live, honest to god comic book shop! And no more then 10 minutes away from my place! Seeing as that I hadn't stepped foot in a comic book shop in over 5 years(since I've been living in Binghamton)it was as if I had died and gone to heaven! I spent an INSANE amount of money on back issues(I'll just say over $100 and leave it at that...), and after speaking to the owner of the shop, I learned that they do the whole weekly pull list thing! So I gave him a list, and I'll now be able to get all of my non-subscription titles the DAY they come out! No more waiting days/weeks to read a new comic for me anymore! Well, except for the titles I have subscribed to through Marvel and DC's subscription services... I REALLY wish I could just cancel those subscriptions now... Anyway, I managed to snag Detective Comics #866, Thunderbolts #145, Zatanna #2 and Justice League: Gen Lost #4, so if anybody has a strong urge to discuss one of those comics, let me know and I'll throw up a post sometime over the course of the next few days. You know, I have to say, I've enjoyed doing this post WAY more then those monotonous reviews I've been doing day upon day for years now... I've got to try to do more stream of consciousness type posts. Anyway, I think that'll do it for me tonight, I've got a lot of blogs to do some catch up reading on. Thanks for reading, X out.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Talking Titans and changes.

Hey guys, X here with some splainin' to do. I wound up reading 4 issues of the Teen Titans last night(issues #80-83), as well as Titans #24, and I have to say, not one of those comics left me wanting to bother doing a review for them. Sorry, but I HATED all four issues of the Teen Titans, which surprised me, because I figured the return of Kid Flash and Superboy would have me doing back-flips, but alas, that was not to be. The Static story was painfully dull, and the current Search for Raven story makes me want to bash my head into the wall... How many times will we have a Search/Hunt/Quest/Wild-Goose Chase for Raven? First off, I don't even like the Raven character, and secondly, the writing in this series has just been barreling downhill since GEOFF left the series years ago. As for Titans #24, it didn't do anything for me. I mean, it was okay I guess, but it definitely wasn't anything special. I'd call it vaguely interesting, which is bizarre for a comic that had two of my favorite DC villains(Lex Luthor and Deathstroke)in it.

To be honest, when it comes to blogging, I go through some very distinct peaks and valleys. I can feel myself heading into one of those dreaded valleys... I'm just not feeling the whole blog thing right now. Maybe it's the lackluster comics I read last night, maybe it's the lackluster comics I have waiting for me on my nightstand(4 issues of Secret Six and an Outsiders?!), maybe it's the fact that I've posted almost 60 posts this month(which is a bit much), but I just don't feel that burning desire to review the comics I've been reading. So what to do... I think my best bet would be to try to just post reviews for comics I know my few readers would want to read about. I mean, why bother posting reviews for Nova, Daredevil, Superman, etc, if nobody is going to bother reading/commenting on them? That's just a waste of my time. So I think I'm going to change some things up a bit here, at least until I get out of this valley and hit a peak again. Instead of reviewing EVERYTHING I read, I'll probably just list what comics I've read during the week on... let's say Saturday, and if any readers are interested in discussing one of those comics, cool. If not, whatever. Besides that, I'll just review stuff I know you, my loyal X-Maniacs want to read about. Or better yet, since I'm always listing what I'm reading during my Comic Gazing posts, if you want me to review something, drop me a comment, and I'll do a review. I think that'll be it for now. So no new reviews tonight, and tomorrow will probably be the first time since last year that I won't bother posting anything new at all(unless something interesting comes in the mail that is!). Good-bye all.

And thus ends the blog vacation that never was.

This was supposed to be the final day of my alleged blog vacation, which turned out to be not much of a vacation at all actually! Tomorrow I'll be going back to posting full reviews for some comics, although I have to say, I DID enjoy doing these past few reviews in three sentences or less. I think that format may be sticking around. As a matter of fact, since I have 4(!)issues of Teen Titans to catch up on, I plan on doing those reviews in three sentences or less. Who knows, maybe I'll just keep doing short reviews! They may be short and crappy, but they do save me lots of time, and with school looming in just 13 short days, I can use every spare minute I can get!

JSA All-Stars #7... In three sentences or less!

JSA All-Stars #7: This comic deals with one of the MANY victims of GEOFFY's Blackest Night rampage, Damage. The All-Stars hold a funeral for their fallen teammate, and we see how Grant's death had affected his girlfriend, Judomaster. This was a pretty sad, but very well done comic. Score: 9 out of 10.Good-bye Grant.

JSA All-Stars #6... In three sentences or less!

JSA All-Stars #6: While the All-Stars deal with the creatures from the Subtle Realm, as well as the King of Tears, who was accidentally freed by Fate's disciple, Stargirl learns that she had been traveling through the Subtle Realms with Johnny Sorrow, who had disguised himself as Atom Smasher to gain Stargirl's love. Sorrow needed a kiss from Stargirl to regain his humanity and now not needing her anymore, he decides to kill her. In the end, King Chimera, the real Atom Smasher and Sand find Stargirl and defeat Sorrow, while Stargirl manages to kill the King of Tears, which teleports the Subtle Realm off of Earth, ending its threat. Score: 8 out of 10.I might as well post as many Damage scenes as I can now...

JSA All-Stars #5... In three sentences or less!

JSA All-Stars #5: While Atom Smasher and Stargirl are forced to wander through the Subtle Realms(thanks to Johnny Sorrow), the All-Stars manage to defeat the King of Tears(thanks to a disciple of Dr. Fate). After several days, Stargirl and Smasher manage to make it to the center of the Subtle Realm, and share a kiss, while Fate's disciple tries to teleport the All-Stars to the Subtle Realms, but accidentally brings the Subtle Realms(and all of the demons therein)to Earth! Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.As you can plainly see, weird stuff happened in this comic.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Captain America #606... In three sentences or less!

Captain America #606: Baron Zemo learns that Bucky managed to survive his father's deathtrap during WWII, and this fact has apparently pushed Zemo back over the edge. Zemo goes around recruiting allies, and with some help from ex-Thunderbolt teammate Fixer, Zemo drugs Bucky and blows up Bucky's motorcycle while Falcon was on it. I've got to say, seeing Zemo go back to his evil roots was quite disappointing... Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.So Zemo is a bad guy again... Yeah, because that always works out SO well for him...

Comic Gazing for: 6/23/10

Although I'm supposedly still on vacation, I have a pretty full Comic Gazing post to put up tonight... It figures my pull list for the past three weeks or so has been on the low side, and this week(my blog vacation week!)DC puts out a whole slew of books I'll be picking up. Oh well, the longer I make this intro, the longer this post is gonna take, so less yakking, more Gazing!

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #3: Great googly-moogly, is it ALREADY time for the third issue of this atrocity?! I was hoping this comic wouldn't come out... well, ever... Interest Level: 1 out of 10.

Batman: Streets of Gotham #13: All I know is that Hush is in this issue, which is good enough for me! Interest Level: 8 1/2 out of 10.

Detective Comics #866: Interest Level: 7 out of 10.

Green Arrow #1: Well, all I can do here is cross my fingers, hold my breath and hope for the best... Interest Level: 8 out of 10.

Green Lantern Corps #49: Interest Level: 6 1/2 out of 10.

Justice League Generation Lost #4: The fact that Super Fake Beetle is in this mini makes my head actually hurt! Interest Level: 1 out of 10.

Justice League: Rise of Arsenal #4: Thank god this garbage is almost over... Interest Level: 0 out of 10.

Supergirl #53: Interest Level: 7 out of 10.

Superman/Batman #73: Interest Level: 6 out of 10.

Superman #700: Well, at least Grant Morrison isn't writing this... Interest Level: 8 1/2 out of 10.

Zatanna #2: After an impressive debut issue, I'm going into this issue with pretty high hopes. Don't let me down DC! Interest Level: 8 out of 10.

Avengers #2: Can BENDIS continue his shocking resurgence of late?!? I'll probably know for sure after I read this one. Interest Level: 9 out of 10.

Thunderbolts #145: Interest Level: 7 1/2 out of 10.

Wolverine Origins #49: Interest Level: 9 out of 10.

Wolverine Weapon X #14: Interest Level: 6 out of 10.

X-Factor #206: Wake me when the Second Coming story is over... Interest Level: 0 out of 10.

Well, this week was sure a lopsided win for DC! The final tally was DC: 11(!) and Marvel 5. So that's a healthy 16 books this week, although I'm not planning on reading one of them anytime soon(X-Factor)and I'm positively dreading 3 other books... All in all, this week's comics should be interesting and should lead to some spirited conversation around here, and I'd call that a good thing. Until tomorrow, Avengers Assemble!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm still on vacation... Kind of...

Well, as you can see by the 6 new mini-reviews I posted tonight, I'm still on my vacation. Feel free to comment on any of the comics I posted about tonight, especially if you want to know more then the few brief words I posted about each. I'm not going to be posting anything new to the picture site tonight, but I promise I'll definitely have a new DC theme up for tomorrow. As for my vacation, I think I'll continue doing mini-reviews tomorrow(Tuesday)and Wednesday, and come Thursday I'll end my little blog vacation and return to doing full reviews(although I did notice that my mini-reviews are getting longer and longer as I go along!). Okay, I think that'll be all for tonight, thanks for reading, and Avengers Assemble!!!I've been meaning to post this image for a while now... There's no time like the present I guess!

A few more thoughts on the Thanos Imperative.

So I just wanted to say a few more words about the whole Thanos Imperative mini-series, since I recently finished the start of it, and it deserves more then just three sentences. The idea of an alternate universe where death has lost, and there is only life(the Cancerverse)is really inspired, and the fact that the co-writers(Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning)picked the alternate version of one of Marvel's most vaunted heroes(Captain Marvel!)to serve as the leader of the Cancerverse was a stroke of genius! So basically this series is pitting Death(led by Thanos)against Life(led by Mar-Vell), with the added twist being that LIFE is the force of evil!!! The Cancerverse, with no concept of death, is overcrowded with life to the point that it is nearly bursting at the seams, and is full of bizarre creatures and mass stagnation, and seems to be a truly horrid place. I can't say enough good things about this concept, and I'll be MORE then looking forward to seeing how this storyline plays out.Awesomeness!!!

Thanos Imperative #1... In three sentences or less!

Thanos Imperative #1: Lord Mar-Vell(the leader of the entire Cancerverse)tasks the dark version of Quasar(Mar-Vell's herald)with finding the Avatar of Death(Thanos)and bringing him to Mar-Vell. The Guardians realize that in order to halt the invasion from the Cancererse, they'd have to join forces with Thanos(who is none to happy to be alive again). Instead of battling the invaders from their entry point(the Fault), the Guardians and Thanos teleport directly into the Cancerverse and run into a twisted version of the Defenders! Score: 9 out of 10.I LOVE this mini-series so far!!!

Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1... In three sentences or less!

Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1: The Universal Church of Truth(led by the Magus)manage to destroy several PLANETS full of believers near the Fault to open the tear in space wider. This action causes Thanos to break free from the Guardians, while the Nova Corps and several alien races(including the Kree and the Shi'ar)unite to halt the wave of invaders pouring out of the Fault. Besides that, we discover that the leader of the invaders from the Fault/Cancerverse is none other then an alternate version of Captain Marvel!!! Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.This was probably the BEST last issue reveal I've read so far this year.

Guardians of the Galaxy #25... In three sentences or less!

Guardians of the Galaxy #25: The newly reborn Thanos runs amok all over one of the Universal Church of Truth's worship worlds. The Guardians try to halt Thanos's rampage, but are unable to, so the leader of the Guardians, Star-Lord, uses up the last power from his Cosmic Cube to temporarily down Thanos. This issue(series?)ends with the Guardians locking Thanos up at their base while they try to figure out what to do with him. Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.What's worse then Thanos? NAKED Thanos!!!

Nova #36... In three sentences or less!

Nova #36: Nova and the Cancerverse version of Quasar(Vaughn)battle in the Project PEGASUS facility, where Vaughn has managed to brainwash most of the scientists and guards there. Vaughn manages to make good his escape, after Nova becomes distracted having to kill some big old UGLY Cancerverse creature(as well as freeing the scientists from their mind control). If this is the last issue of Nova, this series went out STRONG! Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.See, I told you it was UGLY!

Young Allies #1... In three sentences or less!

Young Allies #1: I loved the New Warriors-esque feel here. This team even got together in a similar manner the original Warriors did. With that said though, the ending did rub me the wrong way. Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.I've got to say, I really loved the early New Warriors feel of this comic... Plus the fact that Gravity is here makes this series even better!

Batman #700... In three sentences or less!

Batman #700: After reading this comic it's safe to say that I'll NEVER understand a word of Grant Morrison's Batman work... This was another comic I read through and was just lost throughout... Score: 3 out of 10."It'll all make sense one day"... That's kind of my thoughts on Grant Morrison's entire Batman run up to this point! Or at least I hope so...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Booster Gold #33... In three sentences or less!

Booster Gold #33: Booster is still trying to prove to the world that Max Lord is out there somewhere. He isn't successful. Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Boppy?

Brightest Day #4... In three sentences or less!

Brightest Day #4: Same as Brightest Day #3. All fluff, no stuff.. Score: 5 out of 10.It only took me 8 words to do this review, making this the BEST REVIEW EVER!!!

Brightest Day #3... In three sentences or less!

Brightest Day #3: We're still all over the place story wise with no real main theme... This mini is kind of like watching a bunch of coming attractions at a movie theater, you see a lot, but learn very little. Score: 5 out of 10.Strike a pose, there's nothing to it!

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's vacation time!!!

So as you can see, this isn't a Flashback Friday post. If you want to know where it is/why it isn't here, check out the opening paragraph of my Black Widow #2 post for an explanation. Anyway, since I'll be going back to school in a little over two weeks, I've decided to take a bit of a break from blogging the next few days... You know, enjoy what's left of my vacation before the specter of school is upon me again. But I know I can't just ignore the blogs for a few days, because if I do, I'm not going to want to come back... It's happened before... So I'll ask you, my loyal X-Maniacs(heh heh)what you think I should do... I could just post a Random Scan every day I'm on vacation(I don't really like that idea since that's what the pic blog is for), I could post scores for everything I read, with no review, which is what I'm leaning towards, although I don't think that would look very good... Then again, maybe I could post like a single sentence about each comic I read(or a VERY brief paragraph), along with the score and a scan from the comic, although, once again, I'm not sure how that would look... Or of course I could just post nothing for the next few days, and hope that I'd come back to the blog feeling all fired up and ready to go again(although knowing the way I am, I tend to doubt that...). I'm open to any ideas/suggestions, just let me know what you think I should do by tomorrow night(Saturday night), so I can implement it. I'll still respond to any comments that are being left for me, and check other blogs, but I'm just not too keen on spending upwards of 2 hours a day doing blog work... So there you have it. Let me know what you guys think, leave me a few comments, and I'll have SOMETHING up tomorrow... I'm just not sure what!

Avengers Prime #1

Avengers Prime #1: Writer: BENDIS! Pencils: Alan Davis(!)

Review: We open this comic up at the very end of the Siege storyline, with Thor, Capt. Rogers and Iron Man looking over the ruins of Asgard. Cap and Iron Man get into an argument as Cap puts the screws to Tony(in what was actually a kind of funny, if childish scene), before Thor gets agitated that instead of assisting him and Asgard, his two oldest comrades are more interested in acting like unruly children. Thor gets through to the two men, and once everybody calms down, Thor takes Cap and IM to the underbelly of Asgard and shows the fractured portal to the other seven realms(Asgard and Earth being the other two), telling the two heroes that something needed to be done to make sure nobody from Earth snuck into the other realms, and vice-versa. Before the heroes can come up with a course of action, the fractured portal erupts, and sucks Cap, IM and Thor in. IM finds himself alone in an empty field, and decides to tinker with his armor so he can see where he was. While tinkering a large shadow appears behind Tony... From there we head to Cap, who after realizing he was no longer on Earth due to the unusual sky, finds a village and enters what seems to be a tavern full of trolls. Cap apologizes for disturbing the trolls(because he's awesome), before telling the trolls that he was lost, and that he was an ally of Lord Thor. Upon hearing that, all of the trolls decide to attack and eat Cap, but that's a mistake, as Cap beats down dozens of weapon wielding trolls(because he's awesome!). Upon trouncing every troll around him, Cap takes a sword, some chain mail armor, a shield and some arrows and leaves the tavern to continue trying to figure out where he was. Finally, Thor arrives in the realm of Vanaheim(which rhymes with Anaheim), but finds none of its citizens. After some wandering around, Thor is blasted from behind by some strong magic, and turns around to see the Enchantress(with some minions)telling Thor that his days were now numbered, ending this issue.

What I Thought: What the hell!?! This was the BEST BENDIS written comic I've read in quite some time! None of his usual painful dialogue was included, and the dialogue that was here made perfect sense, and showed that BENDIS does seem to have some grasp of Avengers history(which is something I honestly didn't think he had)... I mean, wow! The story was great and engaging, Alan Davis's artwork was exactly what you'd expect from a comic book legend, and the dialogue was excellent(which I can't mention enough!). Iron Man's scene was good, Cap's scene was fantastic, and Thor's scene was great... I really couldn't ask for anything more. One thing though... Spider-Man, Luke Cage and Wolverine didn't show up in this comic, which goes a long way in proving my point that those three characters bring out the absolute worst in BENDIS. If this keeps up, BENDIS will revert back to Bendis, because I'll have no reason to get on his case anymore.

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.Those poor stupid trolls never stood a chance!

Invincible Iron Man #27

Just so you know, this is going to be a quickie review.

The Invincible Iron Man #27: Writer: Matt Fraction. Artist: Salvador Larroca.

Review: Iron Man decides to allow Pepper Potts to become the armor clad hero Rescue again, against his better judgment, hires a woman by the name of Bambi Arbogast to work for his fledgling company(Stark Resilient), and talks to War Machine, who was thinking about calling it quits. The Hammer girls(the daughter and granddaughter of longtime and currently dead Iron Man foe Justin Hammer)stage a terrorist attack in Japan and have their personal armor-clad creation, Detroit Steel, make the save. After seeing this, the Pentagon decides to go into business with the Hammer girls instead of Stark Resilient, which could be the death blow to Tony's fledgling company. This issue ends with Stark and War Machine deciding to head to Japan to confront the Hammers and Detroit Steel, since Tony is sure the terrorist attack was staged.

What I Thought: Well, here's the problem... This is the first Iron Man comic I've read since Civil War(after which Tony became my persona non-grata in comics), so there was A LOT here that I didn't get/know/understand. The artwork was BEAUTIFUL, but I was a bit over my head storywise. The fact that this was the third part of a six part story didn't help matters either! But regardless, I'll give this series at least 6 to 9 months before I decide whether to stay with it or to drop it.

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10. But that score probably would have been much higher if I had read the prior two issues. As I always say, don't put too much faith into my scores, they're only one man's opinion.Pretty, pretty pictures...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Justice League: Generation Lost #3

Justice League: Generation Lost #3: Writers: Judd Winick and Keith Giffen. Pencils: Fernando Dagnino
Last Issue: 9 out of 10.

Review: We open things up with Fire heading to the base of the Checkmate organization and demanding to know why she was thrown out of Checkmate. The Black King of Checkmate(think the Hellfire Club I guess)tells Fire that she was let go because she failed two psychological fitness exams. Fire tries to convince the Black King that Max Lord doctored her records, but since nobody remembers Max Lord, she continues to look loco. Eventually, Max Lord himself shows up and taunts Fire, before running back into the Checkmate compound. Needless to say, Fire doesn't take kindly to THAT, and chases after Max, with a small army of Checkmate soldiers trying to capture her. Eventually Fire catches Max, who reveals that he was just playing with her head and that he was never there, and Fire realizes that she was torching an innocent Checkmate agent. Realizing that she was in some VERY hot water, and wouldn't be able to talk her way out of this one, Fire vacates the premises. From there we head to... *sigh* El Paso, Texas, where we find the fake Blue Beetle fighting off an army of OMACs. Fake Beetle is helped out by Booster Gold, Captain Atom and Ice, but the heroes(and Fake Beetle)are unable to defeat the OMACs, that is until the Fake Beetle manages to apprehend several dozen OMACs with magnetism?!? Okay, that does it. Review over.

What I Thought: Sorry, that's absolute nonsense, and I REFUSE to finish this review. This comic was okay until Super-Fake Beetle managed to squash a BATTALION of OMACs!!! What the HELL is THAT all about!? Jesus, I can remember when a single OMAC was able to take on and defeat Firestorm, Cyborg, as well as giving characters like Superman a run for his money, but Super-Fake Beetle can just wave his hands at them and beat them all? So what is Bruce Wayne, the world's biggest jackass or something? It's my understanding that Bruce(and then Brother I and Max Lord)designed the OMACs to be able to scan, study and then counteract whatever super-power they came in contact with. Am I supposed to believe that when Bruce began the OMAC Project he NEVER took Dr. Polaris into account(since Super-Fake Beetle defeated all of the OMACs with magnetism, and Polaris is DC's master of magnetism?)? What a load of crap. I'd better stop this review before things start to get R-rated here...

Score: 3 out of 10.Never fear, Super-Fake Beetle is here.........

Avengers Academy #1

Avengers Academy #1: Writer: Christos Gage. Artist: Mike McKone.

Review: This issue was your basic meet and greet comic, as we're introduced to the next generation of Avengers and their teachers/advisors. First the advisors; you have Hank Pym, Tigra, Justice, Quicksilver, and Speedball, who has FINALLY shed that horrible Penance persona and returned to his roots. As for the trainees... Well, they didn't really do much for me... You have an ultra smart, but social deficient girl(Finesse), the tragic brute guy with the kind heart(Mettle), the angry girl with the powers that leave her unable to touch others(Hazmat), the annoying boy who can turn into various dinosaur related creatures(Reptil), the shy girl who can turn her body to gas, but gets closer to dying each time she uses her powers(Veil), and the ultra arrogant boy with electricity powers(Striker). So we meets the trainees, the Avengers put them through a training session that doesn't go all that well, and by the end of this issue the kids learn they were being trained because the Avengers believed they all had the potential to turn into super-villains.

What I Thought: Meh. I REALLY like the training staff, hell, I'd happily buy a comic book that just starred those 5 Avengers, but the trainees did NOTHING for me... None of them really had the type of personality that drew me to them... I guess Veil and Striker have some potential, but the rest of them either didn't get enough time to shine(Mettle), came off as annoying(Reptil)or bitchy(Hazmat). I will be picking up the next few issues, but that'll be 100% because of the training staff. Here's hoping the rest of the characters in this comic start to grow on me soon.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Any comic book that has Quicksilver in it is a win to me!

Red Hood: The Lost Days #1(of 6)

Red Hood: The Lost Days #1: Writer: Judd Winick. Artist: Pablo Raimondi.

Review: This story begins a few years ago with Ra's Al Ghul informing his daughter Talia that the second Robin(Jason Todd)had been murdered by the Joker. Talia is taken aback, and asks her father how the object of her affections, Batman, was holding up. Ra's figures Bats would be grieving, but would move on, while Talia feels that Jason's death would be something Bats could never recover from. Eventually Ra's tires of the conversation, and tells Talia to watch Gotham if she chooses, but he orders her not to reach out to Bats in any way. Time passes, and Talia keeps tabs on Bats from afar, and hears that he has been acting more reckless and violent, which leads to Talia having more and more of her father's men stationed around Gotham to continue to watch Bats for her. The years roll on and Talia gets word from one of her men that a drunk swears he was beaten up by the second Robin(since he was beaten up by Jason years prior). Talia does some investigating, and locates the young man in question in a sanitarium, and has him brought to one of her father's safehouses, where she has him battle a bunch of Ra's ninjas. The young man trounces the ninjas when they attack him(using Robin-like moves), but upon the end of the battle, he reverts back to his near comatose state. Ra's interest is now suitably piqued, and he has his scientists study the young man, who they confirm IS Jason Todd. Ra's begins to obsess over how Jason was able to beat death, and sends Talia and his men out to gather every scrap of information they can find on Jason and where he came from after his death at the hands of the Joker. Talia is unable to find anything that could explain Jason's sudden reappearance, while Jason's mental state doesn't seem to improve in the least. Months pass, and Ra's loses his patience with the whole situation, since the only thing he was ever interested in was how Jason escaped death, since Ra's could have possibly used that knowledge for his own benefit. Talia begs her father to give her more time, but Ra's tells her no, telling Talia that all of her work with Jason was for naught, and that even if she was able to restore Jason's mental capacity and return the boy to Batman, Batman would never love her, which was what Talia was after all along. Ra's then tells Talia that Jason would be sent away the following day to a place where he would be taken care of, but that Ra's was finished having time and resources spent on a project that could bear no fruit. With that Ra's enters his Lazarus Pit to restore his strength, while Talia heads to Jason. After some thought, Talia takes Jason, sneaks him into the room with Ra's Lazarus Pit and tosses the boy inside, with the hope that this act would restore his memories, ending this issue.

What I Thought: Well it's a well known fact that I am and always have been a Jason Todd fan, so I pretty much knew that I'd enjoy this comic, it was just a matter of how much. Now, I was a bit disappointed that Jason had no speaking parts, and that most of this story was told in Batman Annual #25, but that didn't really diminish this comic for me. I've always liked Talia(especially when Grant Morrison isn't writing her), as well as Ra's, and I enjoyed their dynamic here. They each had a reason for wanting Jason around and restored, Ra's to learn the secret of Jason's return to life, and Talia to return Jason to Batman in order to gain his love, and each reason made perfect sense. Hell, you could even make the argument that in the beginning Talia was only interested in Jason for Batman's benefit, but there were some scenes later on in this comic(after Talia had been caring for Jason for a while)that gave me the impression that maybe Talia was beginning to gain a different kind of interest in Jason... This was a great prologue issue to tell us how Jason's mind was restored, and I'd have to figure that the next issue should be EVEN better, as we see how Jason reacts to the changes that took place in his world after his death.

Score: 9 out of 10.I could bust out all of those moves if I really wanted to! Really!!

Batgirl #11

Batgirl #11: Writer: Bryan Q Miller. Pencils: Lee Garbett.
Last Issue: 10 out of 10.

Review: Since this issue follows two distinct storylines, I'm going to tackle them one at a time to keep this review somewhat coherent. First up will be the Batgirl portion of the story. While trying to find Oracle, Batgirl ends up running afoul a Calculator possessed Catwoman(who she narrowly defeats), a Calculator possessed Huntress(who she runs from), and a Calculator possessed Man-Bat(who she hitches a ride on). While Steph is in these various life or death situations, she is being assisted by the Calculator's daughter(and former Teen Titan), Wendy, who manages to trace where Calculator was sending out the signals that were turning large portions of Gotham into his mindless slaves. Meanwhile, the Calculator hooks his brain up to Oracle(in an effort to discover all of her secrets), but discovers that Oracle's mental blocks are too strong for him, and as such, he is unable to learn much of anything(besides the fact that Oracle and Barbara Gordon are one and the same). Since Calculator had revealed to Babs that they were connected, she fights back, and forces her way into Calculator's mind. This issue ends with Batgirl parachuting down to Slaughter Swamp, which is where Calculator's secret base was located.

What I Thought: No complaints here. This was yet ANOTHER very good issue of Batgirl(although not quite as good as the last issue was), that I'd have no problem recommending to anybody. The dual story is strong, Calculator has been turned into a major force, and the final showdown next issue should be epic.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.What's worse then having to face Huntress? Having to face a possessed Huntress!

Black Widow #2

Hey all, another day, another bunch of reviews. Now, I'm supposed to do a Flashback Friday post tomorrow(followed by a Best of the Rest post on Saturday), but I can almost guarantee that I'll be skipping the Flashback post, and there's a very good chance I'll be skipping the Best post as well. My reasoning for this is twofold... Number one, I'd prefer to just concentrate on reviewing the new stuff I have(in some cases I'm 4 months behind some series!), and number two, doing the Flashback post has been detrimental to my back issue reading... I find myself not reading as many back issues because I know the more I read, the more time I'll have to put into the Flashback post, which can be pretty time consuming. So instead of a Flashback Friday post, I'll probably continue turning out reviews, unless I read an exceptionally good back issue, then I'll probably do a proper review for it or add it to the Best of the Rest post on Saturday. Okay, with that little bit of house keeping out of the way, let's get to the reviews.

Black Widow #2: Writer: Marjorie Liu. Artist: Daniel Acuña.
Last Issue: 8 out of 10.

Review: Black Widow wakes up in a hospital room with a start, and after looking down at the wound on her abdominal region, she figures out exactly what happened to her. Before Natasha can get out of bed, Wolverine strolls in and after a quick conversation, Wolvie takes his leave. Natasha then goes to leave the hospital, but she is accosted by a trio of gunmen, who order her to return to her room. Even in her weakened state, Natasha takes care of the gunmen, takes one of their outfits, and manages to sneak away. From there we head to a meeting between Tony Stark, Bucky, Hawkeye and a man from the government. The government guy tells the trio of heroes that his operatives had removed a data chip that was implanted in Natasha body which was tracking the movements of all of the heroes she had been working with, as well as recording all sorts of classified information. The three heroes refuse to believe that Natasha would sell them out, but during the meeting, Pepper Potts is shot by Lady Bullseye with a high powered focused sound rifle, to which the government agent tells Stark before he rushes away after receiving that news, that Pepper was one of the people who was in Natasha's files. So it looks like Natasha has switch sides, and is selling out her friends... After making it to one of her safehouses, she picks up a few weapons, grabs a change of clothes, and heads out to see who was behind all of her recent problems. This issue ends with Natasha heading towards some docks, where Elektra was waiting for her.

What I Thought: This comic was interesting enough I guess. For my tastes there's a bit too much mystery going on here with not enough answers, but hopefully the mystery of Natasha, the data chip, the government and the people who were trying to kill her will begin to unravel a bit next issue. I kept hoping things would clear up with each page I turned, but instead the waters just became muckier and murkier. With that said, next issue, if it gives us a Black Widow/Elektra showdown should be off the charts fantastic!

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Don't worry Logan, I doubt ANYBODY would ever mistake you for a gentleman!

Black Widow #1

Black Widow #1: Writer: Marjorie Liu. Artist: Daniel Acuña.

Review: We begin this issue with Black Widow meeting up with one of her old spy buddies, a man by the name of the Black Rose. Natasha shows Black Rose a rose she was given the prior day, and asks if he was behind its delivery or if he knew anything about it. Unfortunately for Natasha, Black Rose seems as puzzled by the rose as she was. Natasha leaves Black Rose and begins to walk home, until she realizes she was being followed by an elderly woman. Natasha confronts the older woman, and ends up taking the older woman down after the older woman pulled a knife on Natasha. Before Natasha can question the older woman, Natasha is shot in the side of the neck with a dart, and falls to the ground paralyzed. The gunman approaches, and has the old woman cut Natasha's abdomen open so they could remove something from inside of Natasha. After the two are done, the gunman kills the old woman, and leaves Natasha bleeding on the sidewalk. Eventually Natasha is brought to a hospital, where she remains paralyzed, but coherent of everything the doctors do to her. Tony Stark, Bucky and Wolverine arrive at the hospital and Stark sends Wolvie to the crime scene to see what he can pick up with his enhanced senses. Wolvie arrives at the scene, picks up a scent, and tracks down the gunman from earlier. The gunman tells Wolvie that what went down was between him and Natasha, and that if Wolvie killed him, somebody worse would come by to finish the job on Natasha. Wolvie decides to leave the fate of the gunman up to Natasha once she's feeling better, and leaves, ending this issue.

What I Thought: Not a bad first issue at all. We have a nice little mystery going on between the gunman and Natasha, plus the weird surgery the gunman had Natasha go through. I liked the art, I liked the story, what more need I say?

Score: 8 out of 10.Hmm, Black Widow vs a crazy old lady... I wonder who would win THAT battle...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hawkeye & Mockingbird #1

Well, I WAS going to do at least 4 reviews tonight, but I didn't get started doing my reviews until later in the day(hey, believe it or not, I DO have a life outside of all of this blogging!), so I only have 2 reviews to post tonight. I'll try to bust out at least 3 or 4 new reviews tomorrow, but no promises! Anyway, onto tonight's reviews!

Hawkeye & Mockingbird #1 Writer: Jim McCann. Pencils: David Lopez.

Review: This issue opens up with Hawkeye and Mockingbird chasing some gun runners through the streets of Manhattan. Clint and Bobbi manage to halt the goons near a museum, and before Clint can question the driver of the gun runner's van, the criminal is shot by a sniper. Bobbi goes to work trying to save the criminal, while Clint looks around for the shooter, and spots Crossfire off in the distance. Clint tries to pick Crossfire off, but Crossfire manages to escape. The medics arrive to take the shot criminal away, and Bobbi and Clint run into Jaime Slade, a descendant of the Phantom Rider(!!). Jamie is at the museum putting together an exhibit to honor her family, and needless to say, once Bobbi realizes who Jaime is, she freaks out a bit. Bobbi and Clint return to the WCA(World Counterterrorism Agency)headquarters, and demands to know why her underlings didn't know about Crossfire's involvement with the gun runners. After ripping her team, Bobbi storms off, leaving Clint feeling worried about her. Clint asks the WCA's resident computer whiz to see if he can find any living members of Bobbi's family, and when he does, to get back in touch with Clint. From there Clint heads to Avengers Tower and spars with Capt. Rogers and Bucky, thus making this comic nearly perfect. Bobbi has a reoccurring nightmare about the Phantom Rider, while Jaime Slade winds up getting possessed by the ghost of her ancestor. Clint gets word about the whereabouts of Bobbi's mother and brother, and heads out to see them. Upon arriving, he meets Bobbi's mother, who informs Clint that her daughter had been dead since just after graduate school. This issue concludes with Jaime Slade(in full Phantom Rider regalia)meeting up with Crossfire to discuss their mutual enemies, Hawkeye and Mockingbird.

What I Thought: Well hot damn, this comic was awesome!!! I absolutely love both characters here, and I couldn't have been happier to see Crossfire and the Phantom Rider show up as the villains. Crossfire has a long history with Clint, once paying an army of c-list villain a small fortune to cut off Clint's arm, while the Phantom Rider once kidnapped, drugged and raped Mockingbird back in the hugely under appreciated West Coast Avengers series. I can't really think of anything here that I didn't like... I've got to say, I am LOVING the Heroic Age so far!

Score: You know what? I wasn't going to do it, but I'm going to give this comic a 10 out of 10. Sure it wasn't technically perfect, but getting to read some old school West Coast Avengers style action made me VERY happy, so screw it, this comic gets a perfect score. So I'm biased... Sue me!God is it good to see Clint Barton as Hawkeye again!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Comic Gazing for: 6/16/10

Tomorrow is Wednesday, which means it's time to go Comic Gazing! You know, this is probably my favorite weekly post, because it includes minimal work for me(always a plus!), and it usually garners pretty good comments from the old X-Maniacs. If I could I'd do a Comic Gazing post every day of the week, but let's face it, that really doesn't make any sense... Anyway, onto the world of comics! While Marvel's comic books have become quite interesting lately, DC's have been going in the opposite direction... Will DC turn things around week? Will Marvel continue to roll? Let's see how much money I'll be spending this week, and which company will be gaining the most of that money!

Birds of Prey #2: Do I even need to say anything here? Interest Level: 10 out of 10.

Brightest Day #4: Interest Level: 4 out of 10.

REBELS #17: Yay, a new issue of REBELS! This is one of the few DC books I'm still looking forward to nowadays... Interest Level: 10 out of 10.

Age of Heroes #2: The first issue didn't impress, but I'm willing to give this mini another shot. Interest Level: 5 1/2 out of 10.

Black Widow #3: I just finished reading the first two issues of this series(reviews tomorrow!), and I have to say I'm looking forward to this one. Interest Level: 8 out of 10.

Dark Wolverine #87: After how things turned out for Daken in the last issue of Wolverine Origins, this comic should show us where Marvel intends on taking the Daken character. Interest Level: 9 1/2 out of 10.

Deadpool #24: Interest Level: 7 1/2 out of 10.

New Avengers #1: This one should be brutal... Really, really brutal... Interest Level: 1 out of 10.

Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update #2: I do loves me Marvel Handbooks! Interest Level: 7 out of 10.

Ultimate X Comics #3: This series has been one hell of a surprise... In a good way! Interest Level: 8 out of 10.

Only 10 comics this week, but the numbers are heavily tilted towards Marvel, with seven of those ten comics coming from the House of Ideas. Granted two of the three DC books should be really good, but Marvel is the runaway winner for the battle for my bucks this week(for the second week running). All in all, this should be a good week of reading for me. Avengers Assemble!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wonder Woman #44

Wonder Woman #44: Writer: Gail Simone. Pencils: Nicola Scott & Travis Moore.
Last Issue: 6 1/2 out of 10.

Review: I'm going to speed through this review, so hold on tight. Wonder Woman and her cousin battle, and WW winds up talking sense into the girl, which doesn't please WW's aunt, who promptly has the girl(her own daughter)killed. That act makes WW angry(you wouldn't like WW when she's angry...), and she tears through her aunt's spaceship, until she gets her hands on her wayward aunt. Meanwhile, Achilles and the Amazons continue to defend Washington DC from WW's aunt's forces. WW trounces her aunt, which makes her the new leader of the space invaders. As commander, WW orders the aliens to move to a uninhabited planet and live in peace. WW also decides to take her evil aunt back to Themyscira so she can be reformed by the Amazons. With that the invaders leave the Earth, and WW and the Amazons go about the business of helping rebuild the damaged city of Washington.

What I Thought: Meh. I never really got into this story, but for what it's worth, this issue was better then the other parts of this storyline. I will say I'm glad it's over, and I'm looking forward to the next issue, which is issue #600. Only in comic books do editors count 42, 43, 44, 600...

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.See, it's like I've always said, NEVER piss off an Amazon!

Deadpool #23

Deadpool #23: Writer: Daniel Way. Pencils: Carlo Barberi.
Last Issue: 6 1/2 out of 10.

Review: We begin this comic with a casino in Las Vegas throwing a party to celebrate the return of the original Avengers, and the start of Marvel's Heroic Age. The casino owner tells a reporter how great it is to have the real heroes back, as opposed to “dirtbags” like Deadpool. Needless to say, Deadpool(who was watching the interview on TV)doesn't take kindly to that slight. The next day, DP books a flight to Las Vegas and confronts the casino owner. DP doesn't touch the owner, instead voices his displeasure about the dirtbag comment, and tells the owner not to push the panic button the owner had hooked up to his desk before leaving. The owner decides to push the button even though DP was on his best behavior, and half of his casino explodes... Oh that wacky Deadpool! DP decides to do some gambling(hey, he IS in Vegas!), but a cartel of angry casino owners sic Las Vegas's super-hero protector on DP, Weasel!?! Actually Weasel in a giant suit of armor and calling himself The House, but Weasel nonetheless. Weasel locks DP up in a deathtrap, which DP promptly escapes from, and after some talking, DP convinces Weasel to lend him a giant suit of armor so they could operate as co-heroes of Las Vegas. The two wind up running into c-list villain Grizzly, and this issue ends with DP getting ready to offer Grizzly a spot with him and Weasel.

What I Thought: No complaints here. I like Weasel, who has a great rapport with DP, and the scene with DP and the casino owner was pretty funny. So long as I can read a DP comic and get a few chuckles out of it, I'm a happy camper. See, simple.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.All right, it's Weasel! Now if they can bring back Blind Al, I'll be a happy camper... Huh, I'm really abusing the term, "happy camper" tonight, aren't I?

Justice Society of America #39

Justice Society of America #39: Writer: Bill Willingham. Pencils: Jesus Merino.
Last Issue: 6 1/2 out of 10.

Review: We're still trapped in the future where the Forth Reich has taken over all of America and most of the world. Mr. Terrific and his band of old heroes decide that tonight is the night, and the launch a final, desperate gambit to reach the Darkness Engine, which is the machine that allows the Nazis to shut down the powers of all of the super-heroes they had collected in their concentration camps. The heroes launch their attack, and are pretty much crushed by the Nazis, although that was part of Mr. Terrific's plan. While the Nazis were distracted by what they believed was a simple jail break, Terrific and several other heroes begin to make their way towards the building housing the Darkness Engine. Eventually Mr. Terrific and his remaining crew members(Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown)make it to the Darkness Engine tower, and after an assist from Superman(who had stolen a powerful Nazi war machine), Mr. Terrific gets into the room housing the Darkness Engine. Terrific manages to send a message back in time to his younger self warning of what the Nazis would end up accomplishing, hoping his younger self would get the message and know what to do to stop the Nazi's ultimate victory. Unfortunately for Terrific, it appears that the moment his message reaches his younger self, he was dead after the attack of Kid Karnevil! Whoops!!!

What I Thought: What can I say, this storyline was been strong from the beginning and it continues to be strong. I enjoyed the assault on the Nazi forces and the way the odds seemed SO stacked against heroes, and yet they continued to battle forward. The swerve at the end was pretty good, and I'll be interested to see how Bill works around this latest problem the JSA is going to end up facing. We all know in the end the Nazi invasion will be repelled, but now the question is, how?

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.You've got Deathstroke killing Nazis with a makeshift sword... What's not to like?

The Brave and the Bold #33

Brave and the Bold #33: Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Cliff Chiang.

Review: First off, this was a flashback issue, so keep that in mind. This issue starts with Zatanna waking up with a start, and realizing that she had places to be. Z heads to WW and tells her that she wanted to have a girl's night out, which seems to surprise WW. Next the two women head to Gotham City, where they find Batgirl(this was back when Barbara Gordon wore the cape and cowl)and after some arm twisting, they convince her to come along with them. The women get dressed up and head out to a few clubs, where the dance the night away. Everything seems to be going well until Babs walks into the ladies restroom and discovers Z and WW in an embrace, which leaves her somewhat confused. WW and Z emerge from the restroom with Z seemingly wiping away a tear... Hmm... From there the three women head to several other clubs and sing and dance for several more hours before heading to a quiet little diner. WW begins to cryptically talk to Babs about the Oracles of the ancient Greeks, and how an Oracle of information was a high honor amongst her people. After talking some more, the women decide to call it a night, and WW and Z see Babs into a cab, where Babs tells them that this was one of the best nights of her life before pulling away. After Babs is gone, WW and Z look sadly at each other with Z breaking down. We then go back in the past and learn why Z decided to have this night, as she tells WW that she had a vision of Babs being paralyzed by the Joker sometime in the near future. Z's vision doesn't tell her when the awful event was going to happen, and Z knows from past experience that if she tries to step in and help it could make matters worse, so that's why she decided to take Babs out for one final night of fun and revelry. From there we head to the home of Commissioner Gordon and Babs, and after a knock at the door, Babs opens it to find the Joker standing there with a gun and a camera... This issue concludes in the present with Babs waking up and dragging herself out of her bed and into her wheelchair to start her day as Oracle. After getting on her computer, Babs tells the person on the other end that she was having her favorite dream, the one where she was dancing.

What I Thought: Woo, what a powerful story this was! I figured out what was going on about halfway through this issue, when Babs discovered the other women in the restroom, but even knowing what was going to happen didn't lessen the emotional impact of those final few scenes. The pacing of the Joker scene was just so perfectly done, as was most of this issue. What more can I say? When a comic leaves me feeling misty eyed, I know the story was something special.

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.Still chilling after all these years...

Zatanna #1

Five more new reviews on tap tonight as I try to become the blogging machine I once was. You know, when I first started this blog up in 2008 I posted 342 times... In THREE months! With a job, while going to school!! I don't know HOW the hell I accomplished that, but I definitely wouldn't mind getting the post totals around that range again. Wait, scratch that, publishing over 100 posts a month is a BIT excessive... If I can reach 50 posts a month I'd be happy... Over 100 posts a month... What the HELL was I on?!

Zatanna #1: Writer: Paul Dini. Pencils: Stephane Roux

Review: This issue kicks off with Zatanna entertaining a crowd during her day job as a magician(or is it an illusionist?). Z impresses the crowd, soaks in the applause and heads backstage to relax after the show. While trying to relax, Z is confronted by a police detective, who says he has a crime scene he'd like her to take a look at. Z agrees to go and comes across a scene of total carnage(I love it! Sorry, old video game reference there...), where she finds several of the top level mobsters in San Francisco brutally murdered in several different magical ways. While going through the crime scene, Z finds a survivor and uses magic to enter his mind, discovering a few magic criminals from the San Fran underworld(led by a loon named Brother Night), deciding to expand their empire to the overworld. Now knowing who she was dealing with, Z teleports herself to the San Fran underground and confronts Brother Night and his lackeys and lays a mystical smackdown on all of them. Brother Night tries to reason with Z with the old, “might makes right” speech, but Z warns Night that if he heads back to the surface, she'll take him down HARD. With that Z heads back to the surface and awaits Night's next move. This issue ends with Night entering the dream realm and coming across a powerful nightmare demon named Fuseli. After a brief exchange, Night and Fuseli decide to join forces against Z.

What I Thought: I came into this series expecting... well, next to nothing. I have to say, I was VERY pleasantly surprised. The way this issue went was going to help me decide whether or not this series makes it to my monthly pull list, and after reading it I can confidently say that Zatanna WILL be on my monthly pull list. I enjoyed the story, I liked Zatanna and yes, I REALLY liked Teddy... Don't ask! Great first issue, that has me looking forward to more.

Score: 9 out of 10.I've got to say, I'm a fan of Teddy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Best of the Rest!!! June 12th edition.

It's Saturday, which means it it's time for me to give my uninformed, overly sarcastic and at times offensive opinions on comic books and their creators, that's right, it's time for a new installment of The Best of the Rest! A quick word to the wise, if you have no sense of humor, or are easily offended by the opinions of other people, you should probably skip this post... Still here? Good! I fully intend on doing pseudo-reviews for four comics tonight, although I may do more then four. What do I know, I'm typing up this intro before I start the reviews, so who knows, maybe I'll be SO bored today I'll end up with a humongous BotR... Or maybe not. What can I say, I'm a man of intrigue and mystery! Um, I guess I might as well get started...

Brightest Day #2: Ugh, what a way to start... I'm tempted to just say, “A whole bunch of unrelated stuff happened and then this comic ended”, but I'll put a little(a VERY little)bit more effort into things... Firestorm explodes for some reason, and of course the Atom was present, because little GEOFFY would have cried if one of his favorites didn't appear in this comic right off the bat... A White Martian(or at least what I THINK was a White Martian...)bitches about the Martian Manhunter being alive again, and the Hawks continue to be uninteresting. The Martian Manhunter messes with an old woman's head because he can, and Deadman continues to be yanked around by his White ring, because that hasn't gotten REALLY old by now. And for whatever reason, this issue ends with Deadman being confronted by the Anti-Monitor. To it all, I say a very hearty, WHATEVER! All I want is a cohesive storyline, not a bunch of(for the most part)uninteresting dangling plot threads. On the plus side though, SAINT Barry didn't show up, so at least there's that... Score: 6 out of 10.But where's SAINT Barry!?!

Age of Heroes #1: I guess I really felt like wasting $4 last time I placed a comic order, because I'm not sure why else I'd have brought this comic. We have four stories in this comic, one starring he of the Hitler mustache, J. Jonah Jameson, a story on the love-life of Doctor Brother Voodoo(worst name EVER!), a little snippet(yes, a snippet!)where Capt. Rogers tries to steal Capt. Britain from the MI:13, and a one page Spider-Man story... That's right, a ONE page Spider-Man story! How weird is that?! Did Marvel put together this comic and realize they had a floating page, and decide to toss in a ONE page Spidey story?! Weird... Each story seemed to be worse then the one before it, with the Jameson story being the strongest one of the bunch... I do have to say though, I just can't buy Jameson as the Mayor of NYC... The guy has a Hitler mustache for crying out loud!!! What self-respecting New Yorker could possibly pull the voting lever for a guy who's wearing Hitler's mustache!?! Sure Rudy had that awful comb over, but still! I don't know, maybe it's just me... Score: 5 out of 10.Who knew one day Hitler would be elected mayor of NYC!

The Return of Bruce Wayne #2: Oh man, it just keeps getting worse! I must have really displeased the Comic Gods today, 'cause they're tossing a bunch of really bad comics my way! I'm not even going to try to do any kind of proper review for this comic, because I honestly don't think I'd be able to... I'm just going to hit on the main points(or the main points that I could understand...)and then complain about this series, Grant Morrison and DC until I get bored and feel like moving on. So Bruce Wayne is slowly traveling back to the 21st century because Darkseid infected him with some sort of catastrophic doomsday weapon(sort of like a REAL bad STD)that's going to kill EVERYBODY if Bruce returns to the present, I guess because Darkseid knew he'd lose in the end... Huh, so among all of Darkseid's other faults, I guess he has some very low self-esteem. Annnd that's about all I got out of this comic... Yeah, it was THAT bad... Let's just pretend this comic never happened and move on... Score: 1 1/2 out of 10. Why a 1 1/2? I don't know, why not. I don't think I've ever given out a 1 1/2 before, so at least I can check that off my list of blog accomplishments.I once had a nightmare that looked and sounded like this... I woke up crying, and slept with the lights on for a month...

Gotham City Sirens #12: Man, sometimes it's really tough to do this job... I mean just look at the last three pseudo-reviews! Those were some BRUTAL comics! If things don't pick up here, I quit! Okay, with that empty threat out of the way, let's see what's up with GCS this month. Catwoman has suddenly decided to find her crazy sister(better late then never, right?), and has attacked a priest to steal some files about her sister... You know, it's ONE thing to steal from a church, but it's another to attack a priest while doing it. That's probably not the smartest of moves... Anywho, Catwoman finds the file she was looking for, and is joined by Harley Quinn, who is just sort of there for some reason... I guess she was bored or something. Meanwhile, Poison Ivy breaks out of the plant deathtrap she was snared in last issue and decides to give the woman who was going to kill her a job, because... well, I really don't know why. Maybe Ivy's brain-damaged after being stuck in the big plant dehydrator thing. Selina's crazy sister attacks and kills an exorcist and takes all of the dead exorcist's weapons so she can exorcise Catwoman. While going through the dead exorcist woman' stuff, she gets possessed by a crazy angel, and the two decide to do crazy things like hunt Catwoman down. So Catwoman's crazy sister(now possessed by a crazy angel)sets up a meeting with Catwoman at a crazy cemetery(what? I've got a theme going on here!), which leads to Catwoman's crazy sister hitting Harley Quinn in her crazy head, ending this crazy issue. Hmm, I think I may have gone a tad overboard with the word “crazy” here... Oh well, what's done is done! Score: 9 out of 10.What's scarier then a nun with a sword? A FLYING nun with a sword!!!

RED ROBIN #13!: Yes, obviously from the fully capitalized title, I'm pretty excited to FINALLY be able to read an issue of Red Robin. Since the first 12 issues were written by a writer who is SO terrible I won't even bother typing his name(yeah, I REALLY don't like him), I refused to read 'em. Now that Fabian Nicieza has taken up the writing chores, Red Robin is finally on my monthly pull list. Huzzah! Needless to say, this was a set-up issue, and since this isn't a real review, and is instead only a PSEUDO-review, I'm not going to bother getting too in-depth with stuff here. Basically Tim is working out of Gotham and living with Dick, Alfred and the tyke from hell, Damian. Tim decides to take down the head of the Golden Dragons gang, Lynx, and does just that, although Lynx claims to be an undercover cop from Hong Kong after Tim busts her. Oops! Tim hands her over to the fuzz regardless, but is a bit conflicted about whether or not he did the right thing. Huh, Tim was giving off a really strong Spider-Man vibe here... DC would be really smart to play that up, but I'm sure they won't... Score: 8 out of 10.I figured posting a pic of Tim Drake in the shower would get me more followers. Sure they'll all be women or gay men, but beggers can't be choosers! And so a hearty welcome to my new followers!!! :P

Green Blogger Corps #1: Before you check out this review, you should DEFINITELY read the first issue of the GBC here. Why not read it, it's free!!! Okay, now to the review... This was one of the better first issues I've read in quite some time! We get to meet the main characters AND get a pretty sweet battle scene. If only certain OTHER writers knew how to put a comic together like this... *coughMORRISONReturnofBruceWaynecough* Anywho, we meet JT Jordon of the Green Blogger Corps, as well as several of his fellow GBC members, including the intelligent Falisha Ferris, the gruff Nagash Gardner, the artistic Marc Rayner, and the gruff Kellowog... Wait, I already used “gruff” didn't I... Um, and the surly Kellowog(there, that's better!). Sure, all of these characters were great in their own way, but none of them compared to the AWESOME Sinestr-X. Sinestr-X WAS the star of this comic for me, hands down. Every scene he was in was pure magic, and when he wasn't around, I found myself wondering(oftentimes aloud), “Where's Sinestr-X?!?” He was THAT good! I'm definitely looking forward to the next issue of this series, and as long as Sinestr-X is tearing stuff up, I know I'll be happy! :D Score: 10! out of 10.But where's Sinestr-X?!?

Flashback Friday: June 11th

Get ready for a blast from the past, it's time for Flashback Friday! This week's Flashback is way better then last week's, since I've actually had the time to lay around reading comics! We're still pretty Robin-centric, but I've also thrown in a few Marvel books, a Wildstorm trade and some DC comics other then Robin, so this week is a bit more varied then last week was. Alright, let's get to it!

Robin #1(Nov. 1993): Hey, it's finally the beginning of Robin's ongoing series! Once I'm done going over this one, I only have 183(plus annuals) to go! Some car thieves calling themselves the Speedboyz are stealing fancy cars in the suburbs of Gotham. Tim decides to try to catch them since he was banished from the Batcave by the crazy Batman(Jean Paul Valley). Tim also winds up running afoul a cop from the suburbs who doesn't like the idea of city-folks(like Tim)getting involved on his turf. Score: 8 out of 10.

Detective Comics #650(Sept. 1992): Tim and Alfred save a Geraldo type of news reporter after he tries to open up the booby-trapped vault of a dead mob boss. Perfectly acceptable solo type story. Score: 7 out of 10.

Wolverine: Weapon X: Insane in the Brain TPB(Collects Wolverine Weapon X issues #6-10): Wolvie wakes up in an insane asylum with no memory of who he is or why he's there. And to make matters worse, the doctor in charge seems 51 cards short of a deck... This is definitely not a conventional Wolvie story, it's at times laugh out loud funny, and VERY over the top. If you're looking for good, gory fun, I'd definitely recommend this. Score: 9 out of 10.

Robin #2(Dec. 1993): Tim manages to take down the Speedboyz, and the Cluemaster escapes from Blackgate prison. Score: 7 out of 10.

Robin #3(Feb. 1994): Tim has difficulty managing his Tim Drake time and his Robin time, which leads to lots of trouble between him and his Russian girlfriend. While investigating Cluemaster's jail break, Tim runs into Spoiler, who was also hunting for Cluemaster(who happens to be her father). Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.

Flash 80 page giant #2(April 1999): You know, I read this only a few days ago, and I honestly don't remember WHAT went on here! I guess I'll just type the score I wrote down after reading this comic and move on... Score: 6 out of 10.

Robin #4(March 1994): Tim and Spoiler decide to work together to find Cluemaster. Cluemaster and his lackeys steal a van full of money, but are spotted by Tim, who winds up getting trapped with Cluemaster in the back of the van, while Cluemaster's lackey's bury the van in concrete to hide it from the cops. Score: 7 out of 10.

Robin #5(April 1994): Tim and Cluemaster are trapped in the back of the buried van and begin to rapidly run out of air, which leads to a few funny moments like Tim contemplating killing Cluemaster to double his air supply, and then thinking about how disappointed Batman would be to learn of Timmy's impure thoughts. Ultimately Spoiler beats up her father's lackeys and rescues her dad and the Boy Wonder, getting a kiss from Robin in return. Score: 8 out of 10.

Robin Annual #1(1992): This was a part of the Eclipso: Darkness Within storyline. Tim tries to prevent Anarchy from using several Eclipso black diamonds Anarchy had gotten a hold of. In the end, Tim manages to stop Anarchy and save the day. Score: 8 out of 10.

Adventures of Superman Annual #5(1993): This was a part of the Bloodlines storyline. Superboy(back when he was still calling himself Superman)and Sparx wind up facing some of those Bloodline Parasite things. I didn't understand a SINGLE thing about this storyline, but ultra-cocky Superboy did make me laugh. Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.

Robin #6(May 1994): This was actually the second part of a three part x-over with the Showcase series. Unfortunately I couldn't find the first and last part of this x-over, so I really didn't get a good feel for the story. It had to do with Huntress and Tim teaming up to deal with some mobsters from Huntress's past. Score: 6 out of 10.

Robin #7(June 1994): This comic was another crossover, this time to the Knightquest storyline. Bruce Wayne and Tim's father return to Gotham, and Tim reveals to Bruce that his hand-picked Batman(Jean Paul Valley)was losing his mind and killing Gotham criminals. Bruce and Tim head to the Batcave to confront Jean Paul, which leads to Bruce getting thrown into the Bat-computer before JP takes the Batmobile and leaves. Tim tries to follow Jean Paul in his Redbird car, but can't keep up with the crazed Jean Paul. In the end, Bruce realizes that he'll have to reclaim the Batman mantle from Jean Paul. Score: 8 out of 10.

Gen13: Road Trip(Collects Gen13 Vol. 4 #7-13) This is the second Gen13 trade written by Gail Simone, and unfortunately, the last. This trade fixes a lot of what I was complaining about with the last trade, and focuses on the 5 kids, instead of the villains. We get 5 issues that highlight each of the Gen13 members, as well as a pretty good battle between Gen13, their evil clones, and the Authoriteens... Don't ask! There were some hit or miss moments, but overall, this was a pretty satisfying trade. Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.

Amazing Spider-Man #420(Feb. 1997): I've already read this comic years ago, but I figured it was due for a re-read. This is a Christmas story where Spidey meets up with Nate Grey(X-Man)for the first time. Naturally the two start off at odds, but by the end of this one they wind up celebrating Christmas Eve together. Score: 8 out of 10.

X-Man #24(Feb. 1997): This is another comic I'm re-reading. Nate is attacked by Morbius on his way home from Spidey's house, and for some unexplained reason begins to turn into a vampire(even though Morbius can't create other vampires...). Spidey finds vampire Nate and the two decide that if Nate found his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Threnody, he'd revert back to normal... for some reason... The two heroes locate Thren in a cemetery, but find Morbius there as well, which leads to Morbius coercing Thren into helping him fight Nate and Spidey. Ultimately Morbius runs away, which leads to Spidey chasing after him, and Nate scolds Thren and leaves her... Ahhh, NOW I remember why I hated this series! Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.

And there we go, another Flashback completed. Just so you all know, I won't be looking at Robin #8 or 9 because I just recently read those comics in the Knightfall vol. 3 TPB. Hope you enjoyed this week, and see you tomorrow for the horrible Best of the Rest.