Friday, July 31, 2009

It's Friday and I'm feeling lazy!

The title of this post pretty much says it all. Since I am feeling a bit on the lazy side tonight, I'm not going to be posting any new reviews... Heartbreaking, no? ;) Anyway, I'm going to start reading Warren Ellis' initial arc on Astonishing X-Men before passing out tonight, and by tomorrow night, I should have Astonishing #25-30 finished and posted(in Quick Look format). That's the plan anyway...

Let's see, what else can I put in this post so it isn't a total waste of time? Oh yeah, has anybody picked up that new Green Lantern animated movie? I think it came out this past Tuesday. I hardly watch any movies(the last movie I watched from start to finish was X-Men 3 a few years back), but if I hear some good things about this movie I might be willing to pick it up or download it on my PS3. Personally I'd rather spend three hours playing a video game than watching a movie, but that's just me. That's pretty much all the comic related stuff I can think of right now. After I publish this measly little post, I'll probably head to the few blogs I follow and see what they've got up. It must be better than what I've posted tonight!

Green Lantern #44

Yeah, a Blackest Night x-over issue! I've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this comic, and once it arrived, it catapulted right to the top of my to read pile. This issue is written by comic book GOD, Geoff Johns.

-This comic begins with us watching the Martian Manhunter receive his Black power ring. Oh, and before I forget, showing the cookie on top of J'onn's tomb was really cool. Very nice touch.

-From there we head to Gotham where Hal and Barry are trying to figure out who could have stolen Bruce's skull from his grave. As we all saw in Blackest Night #1, J'onn attacks the two heroes, and Hal learns from his ring that the creature in front of them is indeed the deceased Martian Manhunter.

-J'onn easily avoids Hal's attempted attacks, and begins to beat the hell out of his two former teammates. J'onn sends Barry away for a moment and begins to tear through Hal's mind, forcing him to relive his Parallax days. Before J'onn can tear Hal's heart out of his chest, Barry rushes over and gets Hal out of harms way.

-The two heroes regroup at a firehouse, and J'onn casually topples the entire building. Hal manages to surround all of the inhabitants of the building with a green force field, and after making sure the firemen were safe, Hal and Barry take off searching for J'onn. Barry spots J'onn, and begins to beat the hell out of him. Unfortunately though, J'onn was messing with Barry's head, and he was actually beating Hal up! Those telepaths are tricky!

-Hal manages to halt Barry's assault, and J'onn walks over and tosses Hal high into the Gotham skyline. The dead martian then knocks Barry into some nasty looking Gotham sewage. Barry disappears under the sewage, ending this issue.

-Other Developments: Scar tells her fellow Guardians(who she has captured)that she has sent the Black Lanterns out to collect the hearts from individuals who are full of strong emotions. For example, Hal's heart would obviously be full of willpower, while Agent Orange's heart is full of greed. Scar tells the Guardians that once she has acquired enough hearts, her mysterious master will be able to rise... John Stewart is sitting amid the ruins of the planet Xanshi, a planet he still blames himself for destroying. While playing back his exchange with Fatality from last issue, a whole slew of Black rings begin to rain down all around him, apparently signaling the resurrection of the dead Xanshi's...

What can I say? I loved this comic. Geoff Johns can write one hell of a great story. This comic had my full attention from begining to end. There wasn't one dull moment. The fight between Hal, Barry and J'onn was wonderfully done, and I haven't a single complaint to voice about it. Scar's scene's were fantastic as always, and believe it or not, that creepy little smurf is rapidly becoming one of my favorite villains! If I have any complaints, it's that we didn't see Black Hand at all, but I guess Geoff is saving Hal's eventual confrontation with Hand for sometime down the road. For a score, I'll give this comic a 10 out of 10. I enjoyed this comic from cover to cover. What else could I really hope for in a comic book?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Quick look at: Showcase #22(Oct. 1959)

Not that long ago I managed to snag a reprint of Showcase #22, which is the initial appearance of Hal Jordan, better known as the Green Lantern. Showcase #22 actually contained three stories, but let's face it, the only one that mattered was Hal's. The story is written by John Broome, and the artwork is by Gil Kane and Joe Giella.

-Abin Sur's spaceship has crash landed somewhere in the southwestern portion of the US. The dying alien tells his ring to locate a man completely without fear and bring him to the crash sight.

-The ring locates Hal Jordan, test pilot for Ferris Aircraft Company, and flies the surprised man to the sight of Sur's crashed ship.

-Hal enters the downed spacecraft and comes face to face with Sur. Sur scans Hal with his ring and learns that Hal is both fearless and honest, and upon learning that, he asks if Hal will become a "space-patrolman" who will use his ring against the forces of evil and injustice. Hal says yes, and Sur warns Hal that the rings power is useless against the color yellow because of a "yellow impurity". Sur slides his ring off and onto Hal's finger before dying.

-Hal takes Sur's "special uniform" and puts it on, before disposing of Sur and his ship as per Sur's last wishes. Hal then goes outside, lifts a mountain with his power ring and decides that he will make the name Green Lantern feared by evildoers everywhere.

And there you have it, the first appearance of Hal Jordan. The first thing that struck me after reading this comic was that there was no real action! Hal finds Sur, learns about the ring and it's limitations, gets the ring, Sur dies, Hal lifts a mountain, and that's it. You'd think Hal would have stopped a bank robbery or helped an old lady cross the street or something!

Although there was no action scene, this issue did a great job of establishing all of the Green Lantern mythos. Intergalactic police force, check. Ring not effective against the color yellow, check. Ring has to be recharged with a power battery every 24 hours, check. All the info you need to know about Hal and his ring was helpfully provided here.

Before I end this review, I have to say, it sure was weird that Hal took Sur's uniform off and immediately decided to wear it... If some space alien gave me a power ring and died in front of me, I doubt my first instinct would be to steal his clothes! Weird stuff there Hal... Anyway, for a score, I'd give Hal's first appearance an 8 out of 10. While this is(obviously)a must read for fans of DC and Green Lantern, I doubt this comic alone would convert many non-Green Lantern fans.

Quick look at: Mighty Avengers #27

This comic is written by Dan Slott.

-Before Black Bolt was the king of the Inhumans some dude named the Unspoken was king... Hmm, that's not how I remember my Marvel history, but whatever. Black Bolt took the throne from Unspoken after the Unspoken hid the Slave Engine from the Inhumans, which made the Inhumans weak or something. After being dethroned, Unspoken was banished from Attilan.

-Pym introduces his team of Avengers to the Infinite Avengers Mansion, which is... Well, it is what it's name suggests it is, an infinitely huge version of Avengers Mansion located in another dimension.

-US Agent and Quicksilver, who were asked by the international organization GRAMPA to look into reports that the Inhumans were possibly going to make an alliance with the Chinese, find the Unspoken, along with some Alpha Primitives, wandering around China. Quicksilver warns Agent and a member of GRAMPA that Unspoken is unbelievably powerful, but Agent doesn't take Quicksilver seriously until Unspoken utterly decimates China's super-hero team, The People's Defense Force. This issue ends with Agent nervously saying that they need to call in every Avenger they can find to stop the Unspoken.

Eh, this comic didn't really do anything for me. It was OK I guess, but Chinese super-teams and former Inhuman monarchs just doesn't really interest me. If you're into former Inhuman monarchs and/or Chinese super-teams, then rejoice, this is the comic for you! If not then I'd recommend skipping this one. For a score, I'll go with a 6 out of 10.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dark Wolverine #76

Although this is Dark Wolverine #76, this is actually the second issue of this series. And the title character isn't actually Wolverine, it's his son, Daken... Oh Marvel, you bunch of tricky bastards! Anyway, I'm a big fan of Daken, and I did enjoy the last issue. This issue is written by the tandem of Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu.

-This issue opens with a Dark Avengers meeting(Dark Avengers Assemble???). Osborn basically tells the team that they are not to confront the Fantastic Four unless he tells them to. After several complaints from the team, Osborn angrily dismisses them. As they are leaving the room, Daken makes some brownie points with Moonstone by calling her a brilliant woman, something an egomaniac like Karla eats right up. Osborn stops Daken from leaving and accuses him of firing one of Bullseye's arrows into the Human Torch's leg(which happened last issue). Daken denies it and when Osborn asks why Bullseye would be stupid enough to attack a member of the Fantastic Four, Daken responds by telling Osborn that Bullseye is obviously trying to set Osborn up for a fall.

-From there Daken strolls right into the Baxter Building and manages to bypass all of their security measures, picking a fight with the Thing in one of Mr. Fantastic's labs. After a gay joke about Ben and the Human Torch, Ben puts Daken's head through the floor to the surprise of the team. Johnny manages to stop Ben from going any further and Ben apologizes to Daken, who also makes peace by apologizing as well. Awww...

-While Daken is inside, Osborn lands on the roof of a building near the Baxter Building and catches Bullseye recording the outside of the building with a camera. Osborn asks what the hell Bullseye was doing and he tells Osborn that he was following Daken and that he caught him entering the Baxter Building.

-Reed asks why Daken was in his building and Daken tells him that he doesn't want to be a member of the Dark Avengers anymore, because he doesn't want to become something he's not. The members of the FF are skeptical about how honest Daken was being, and they point out that he had to know what he was getting into before he joined up with Osborn. Daken responds by telling the team he made a mistake joining up with Osborn, and that he only wanted to see what it was like being his father. He continues by saying he doesn't want to be one of Osborn's lackey's anymore, but that he can't just leave Osborn's team without facing some serious repercussions. Daken tells the FF that Osborn is setting up a confrontation between the two teams, and that he wants to work for the FF as an inside man.

-Reed(reluctantly)decides to work with Daken, and Osborn texts Daken asking what he was doing in the Baxter Building. The FF asks if there's a problem, and Daken tells them he must have been followed, and that he needs it to look like they had a big fight, explaining that if they don't, Osborn will realize something is wrong. Daken secretly texts Osborn, and tells him to be ready with Bullseye's camera. Before Osborn can figure out what Daken meant by that, Daken goes flying out of the Baxter Building, landing in the street. Thing walks out of the building and hurls insults down at Daken's battered body while Osborn gleefully records the entire spectacle.

This is such a good comic! I love what Daniel and Marjorie are doing here. Daken with a few simple words and actions is managing to turn everybody against one another. First he causes Bullseye to hate his guts, then he sets Bullseye up against the FF, which brings the Dark Avengers into direct conflict with the FF, something Osborn didn't want to happen. He then sows the seeds of malcontent between Moonstone and Osborn, as he turns Osborn's attentions towards Bullseye. Next he sets the FF directly against Osborn by claiming Osborn was aggressively plotting against them, while making Osborn think the FF was provoking him! Beautiful! All Daken does is rock the boat, which makes for some great comic books. For a score, I'll give this comic an 8 1/2 out of 10. Wolverine may be more popular, but if you were to ask me, I'd say that Daken is WAY more interesting.

Wolverine Origins #38

Before I go any further, allow me to state that the cover on this issue is great! It's a tribute to X-Men #5, which was one of the earliest additions to my comic book collection. Ah memories... So, we know the cover is great, but what about the story??? Well, it's written by Daniel Way, and has an epic battle between Wolvie and Omega Red, so it should be good. Only one way to find out...

-This issue pretty much solely featured the battle between Wolvie and Omega Red. Romulus has tricked Wolvie into entering a Russian prison, and Red has the Carbonadium Synthesizer, which should finally cure him of the Carbonadium poisoning that eats away at his body. Oh yeah, Red is also draining the prisoners in the jail of their life forces, making himself WAY stronger than Wolvie!

-The early portion of the fight is all Red until Wolvie steals the C-Synthesizer from Red and manages to lure him into a secluded part of the prison, thus preventing Red from draining the prisoners. Before Red finds Wolvie, the Canucklehead hides the C-Synthesizer. Wolvie also manages to wrap some chains around his wrists so he can battle Red at a distance.

-The two resume their battle and once again Red gains the upper hand. Instead of finishing Wolvie off, Red looks for the C-Synthesizer and finds it laying on the ground. Red goes to retrieve it and when he bends over Wolvie hits a switch which brings a huge metal door crashing down onto Red pinning him to the floor... Ah, that Logan is a crafty one!

-Wolvie debates whether he should kill Red, but decides that if he tried, Red would probably kill every man in the prison to re-power himself. Instead, Wolvie takes the C-Synthesizer and leaves, figuring that when Red gets free he'll go after Wolvie to get the C-Synthesizer and leave the convicts alone.

-Wolvie walks away from the prison but doesn't get very far before the cold and the battle with Red causes Wolvie to pass out. This issue ends with Wildchild(who was sent by Romulus)standing above the prone Wolverine readying himself for the finishing blow.

-Other Developments: Some Russian agents get killed for some reason, I have no idea why... Romulus sneaks unseen onto a train in Russia(I think!)...

The majority of this comic was the all-out battle between Red and Logan, and it was actually pretty well done. Red was established as much stronger than Wolvie here, and Wolvie only "won" by stealing the C-Synthesizer and leaving. By not giving Wolvie a clear victory, Daniel has left the door open for future battles between these two heated foes.

While I did enjoy the action presented in this book, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of real storyline advancement. With the exception of Romulus sending Wildchild after Wolvie, nothing Romulus related really happened. I thought this storyline was finally going to give us the big Wolverine vs. Romulus showdown that we've been waiting forever for, but that is beginning to seem less and less likely. With this storyline halfway finished and Wolvie no closer to getting his claws into Romulus than he was at the start of this story it seems this Romulus business is going to continue to drag on for even longer. For a score, I'll give this comic an 8 out of 10. I enjoyed this issue, but I still wish something more happened.

Quick look at: Justice League of America #34

Basically everything I said about the last issue applies here once again. The writer is Dwayne McDuffie.

-The JLAers, along with Hardwire, Icon and an alternate version of Bruce Wayne battle the deadly menace of the Starbreaker and his lackey Shadow Thief.

-The battle concludes with alternate Bruce blowing Starbreaker's brains out with a special gun.

-This issue ends with Dharma(who recovered from his wounds due to Zatanna)explaining to Icon and Superman(who was slumming here for some reason)that the Milestone Universe and the DC Universe have been combined thanks to Darkseid's actions during Final Crisis. That's pretty much it.

Once again, meh. I guess if you were a fan of Milestone Comics back in the day this series rocked for you. Since I had never even heard of Milestone until a couple of months ago, the last few issues have meant absolutely nothing to me. I don't care about a single character from Milestone, although to be fair, I guess Icon has some potential. I buy the Justice League of America because I want to read stories ABOUT members of the Justice League of America! That makes sense, no? For a score, I'll give this comic a 4 1/2 out of 10.

Quick look at: Justice League of America #33

I don't have much time or patience to dedicate to this series anymore. Why? Because this series has fallen into the border-line unreadable category. I don't know what Dwayne McDuffie is trying to pull here, but I sure as hell don't like it. Well, on with the pseudo-review.

-The JLA goes crawling to some guy named Hardwire for help, because they suck or something.

-The JLA+Hardwire teleport to the location of Dr. Light and they find her and Icon(who seems to be a blatant Superman rip-off)fighting Starbreaker.

-This issue ends with the JLA finding Dharma(who I could care less about!)laying on the floor dying.

Meh. This was another attempt by Dwayne to cram his creations from Milestone Comics down the collective throats of JLA fans everywhere. I really don't give a rat's ass about the Milestone characters. I don't think anybody really does. If people cared, Milestone would be a successful independent comic book company today, instead of a defunct wing of Warner Bros. Why should I care about this Dharma guy anyway? Dwayne really gives us no reasons. Last I remember he was being a pain in the ass to the JLAers a few issues back. Now I'm supposed to care if he lives or dies? Pfft. For a score, I'll go with a 4 out of 10. The sooner James Robinson takes over this title the better I say.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Runaways #12

Last issue was the first of the new creative team, and it was actually pretty good. Will this issue keep up the good work, or will this series slip back into the quagmire it crawled out of? I don't know yet, I guess I'll find out in a couple of minutes! This issue is written by Kathryn Immonen.

-This issue opens with the kids still trapped in their Malibu home, which is surrounded by out of control plants. Klara(the one responsible for the plants)is traumatized due to Old Lace's death last issue and Chase is uber-pissed for the same reason. Nico tries to establish some semblance of control over the situation, but fails.

-Over at the offices of Track Integrated Construction and Containment, the president of the company is informed a plane crashed into the Malibu home of the Runaways, and the he rushes to a waiting helicopter... Huh???

-The kids still can't decide what they should do, and while they continue to bicker, a different helicopter lands on the grounds of the Malibu house. This particular helicopter is full of government agent types, who are looking for their experimental airplane(the one that killed Old Lace last issue). The agents can't enter the house due to the security devices and the helicopter carrying the president of the company seen earlier arrives. The pres, Stein, convinces the agents to let him pass, stating that he should be able to get past the defenses. The agents tell him it's his funeral, and he manages to bypass the security measures.

-Stein enters the house and runs into the kids, who are surprised to see someone was able to bypass the plants and security measures. Stein introduces himself as Hunter Stein, Chase's uncle. Chase becomes incensed at the sight of Hunter and decks him, ending this issue by stating that the guy claiming to be Hunter is a liar since Chase killed Hunter several years ago!

Not bad, not bad at all. This issue started off well enough, but the middle was a bit on the boring side for me. However, things picked back up again at the end with Chase's dramatic statement. So he killed his uncle? I'm sure there are some mitigating circumstances to that story, ie. it was a car accident or something along those lines, I doubt Chase gunned him down or anything like that! For a score I'll give this issue a 7 out of 10. This was what I would call a perfectly acceptable comic book. There was nothing spectacular or mind-blowing, just a decent little story, which is really all I ask for.

Dark X-Men #1(of 3)

The way I understand it, this mini-series is going to feature several one-shot stories about the various Dark X-Men characters. Each story is going to have a different writer/art team, and I'll point out who is writing/drawing each story before getting into the stories themselves.

-First up is a Namor story written by Paul Cornell and pencilled by Leonard Kirk. Osborn confronts Namor in the shower, demanding to know why Namor has agreed to become a part of the Dark X-Men after the falling out the two of them had over the Atlantian terrorists attacking Los Angeles in a recent issue of Dark Avengers. Namor does his best to ignore Osborn, but Norman continues to push Namor's buttons, telling Namor that he had the Atlantian terrorists exterminated. Norman continues to talk(because that's his thing), explaining that he figures Namor is undergoing an identity crisis. Osborn reasons that Namor has returned because deep down Namor wants somebody to tell him what to do and when to do it. Namor finally has enough and attacks Osborn, smashing him into a wall. Osborn tells Namor that attacking him makes no sense since it was Namor who volunteered to join the Dark X-Men and that he can leave whenever he wants. Namor releases his hold on Osborn and Norman figures that Namor has finally realized that the Atlantians are a lost cause and that Namor is looking for a new cause to champion, mutantkind. Namor doesn't answer and Norman presses his advantage, telling Namor he is welcome to stay with the Dark X-Men as long as Namor agrees to follow Osborn's orders. Namor bristles at the thought of following the orders of a mere surface dweller, but finally agrees to give Osborn's "requests" "serious consideration" before leaving the shower room. Osborn smiles, believing that he now has the Namor problem under control. Am I the only one who was a little weirded out that this entire story took place in the shower while Namor wasn't wearing a thing?

-Next up is a tale of Mimic, brought to us by James Asmus(writer)and Jesse Delperdang(pencils). We get a quick refresher of who the Mimic is, a guy with bipolar disorder, who has the powers of the 5 original X-Men and can ape the powers of any mutant in his immediate proximity. Mimic is worried about his actions and that he may hurt people again, as he has in the past, but Norman Osborn assures him that he shouldn't worry because he is perfect. Awww, that Osborn is a swell guy!

-The final story is the reason I picked this comic up in the first place, a tale of Dark Beast. DB's story is written by Shane McCarthy while the art is done by Ibraim Roberson. Norman Osborn tracks Dark Beast down, finding Dr. McCoy experimenting on the corpse of a child in a decrepit warehouse. Osborn tries to insult DB, but DB turns it around, revealing that he knows all about Norman's experimentations and Goblin shenanigans. Osborn changes the subject and tells DB that he requires his help. DB tells Osborn to find another lackey, but Osborn sweetens the deal by telling DB that if he joins up with him he would be allowed the opportunity to experiment on Michael Pointer(Weapon Omega), a mutant. DB becomes excited at the possibility of experimenting on mutants again as opposed to regular humans. DB then begins to explain that he loves experimenting on others, but that he finds scientific experimentation on himself particularly thrilling. DB then says that he is Norman's biggest fan due to Norman's past transformations into the Green Goblin. DB then begins to goad Norman, asking him when he last wore his "true" face. Osborn finally stops DB and tells him that he has become a much more successful individual by casting his Green Goblin persona aside. Osborn once again asks DB if he'll join forces with him, but DB is still somewhat reluctant to stop his more monstrous scientific experiments. Osborn tells DB that he can still do whatever the hell he wants, as long as he preforms his more macabre actions in a discreet manner. Upon hearing this, DB happily joins up with Osborn, telling Osborn that as long they work together, he'll be happy to remind Osborn of who and what he truly is, since DB is Osborn's biggest fan.

All in all, this was a very good comic, much better then I thought it would be. The Mimic story was OK, the Namor story was good, but for me the Dark Beast story totally stole the show. I've always been a huge fan of DB, I loved his Age of Apocalypse appearances and I always tried to get my hands on any appearance he made in the mainstream Marvel Universe. Although I've always been a fan of DB, I have to admit that most of his post AOA appearances have left me feeling underwhelmed. DB is one of those characters I always thought could be SO much better than he was. That's why his appearance here really impressed me. Shane didn't portray DB as a simple lackey or nobody, he had DB actually stand up to Norman Osborn, which was a great thing to see. DB realized that he didn't need Osborn, on the contrary, Osborn needed HIS assistance, and DB was more than happy to continue to rub that in Norman's face. Besides the fact that DB was shown here as a strong, independent character, the banter between DB and Osborn was very well done. DB's incessant needling of Osborn was a nice change, since the past few months have seen Osborn doing the same thing to so many characters in the Marvel U. For a score, I'll give this comic a 9 out of 10. I enjoyed this comic way more than I thought I would, which is always a good thing!

New Mutants #3

Wow, I'm on a real comic book hot streak as of late. By my count, the last 12 comic reviews I've posted have scored an 8 or higher. That's really pretty impressive, especially in light of my finicky tastes. Yes, I'll admit that I have pretty high standards for the books I read, and why shouldn't I? With comic prices continuing to rise I expect great stories from every book I read, including this one. This most recent relaunch of the New Mutant franchise really hasn't been as good as I had hoped. We were given the huge surprise in issue 1(Legion's return), but besides that, this comic really hasn't amounted to much. However I do expect this issue to be good. How can't it be, I'm on a hot streak! This comic is written by Zeb Wells.

-Well, you know what they say about all good things...

-Legion tracks Dani Moonstar down, finding her in a prison she was locked in. Legion is currently under the influence of Jack Wayne, who fancies himself a "man's man". Legion(who once went back in time and has displayed immense psionic abilities)is unable to figure out a way to get Dani out of the jail cell she's locked in(REALLY???)and Cannonball and Sunspot crash through the wall to make the save, knocking Legion out of the prison.

-Dani asks Cannonball to release her from the cell, but Sam figures that Dani is probably safer in the cell then out of it. Sam and Sunspot leave a furious Dani behind as they go after Legion.

-Legion's new persona is some woman who doesn't think anybody loves her. Legion somehow manages to bulk up ala the Incredible Hulk, and knocks Sunspot flying. Sam arrives and knocks Legion for a loop, dislodging his female persona.

-Next Legion is taken over by some guy who tries to bargain his way out of fighting Sam and Roberto. Sam turns him down flat and Legion attacks them with his tongue... Yes, Legion's now seems to have Toad's ultra long tongue... This is bad... This is REALLY bad... OK, let's try to finish this travesty...

-Sam punches Toad-Legion in the face and Legion switches personas again, this time becoming a coward who can control metal. Coward-Legion tells the two mutants that he doesn't really want to harm them, but that the other personas are forcing him to kill Dani. Sam and Roberto leave Legion(why the hell they just don't knock him out is beyond me!)and rush to aid Dani who is being attacked by the metal floor in her jail cell.

-Magma and Magik wind up saving Dani from the deadly menace of the jail cell floor, and Sam and Roberto arrive on the scene, relieved that Dani is alright. Dani knocks Sam on his ass for leaving her locked in the cell, before she storms away vowing to make herself useful.

-Magik decides she is going to face Legion in his own mind, which Sam says is suicide. However, Magik disregards Sam and teleports away because she is a BADASS!

-Sam seems lost(much like I am)before he decides they have to call in the X-Men to stop Legion, before Legion decides to go after Dani again. Before Sam, Roberto and Magma can make a move, Dani returns, packing a bunch of guns, stating that they need to take the fight to Legion...

-Oh my god, there's still more! Sam contacts Magik with his communicator and tells her not to enter Legion's mind, because if Legion dies while she's in his head, she'll die as well. Sam also tells Magik not to kill any of the personalities in Legion's mind because that could kill Legion. Magik enters Legion's mind anyway because she is a BADASS! and confronts Jack Wayne, demanding to be taken to Karma(who is stuck in Legion's mind somewhere). Jack mocks Magik, telling her she wouldn't dare attack him since killing him could possibly kill Legion and by extension Magik. Once again, Magik doesn't listen because she's a BADASS!, and she(mercifully!!!)ends this comic by beheading Jack, which will hopefully kill Legion, Magik and all the other characters in this comic book!

Wow, this was horrible... I'm humbled at just how terrible this comic was. So much for my hot streak! I don't even know where to begin here... Let's start with Legion. When the hell did he develop the ability to bulk up like the Hulk? For that matter, where the hell did he get a long, prehensile tongue from??? Am I wrong? Didn't Legion only have the abilities of pyrokinesis, telekinesis and telepathy, along with the ability to travel through time when his fractured psyche was finally fixed? I'm not crazy here, am I? Now Legion has different powers based on which personality is controlling him I guess... OOOOOOOOOK...

Besides Legion, the dialogue here was just terrible. In the first issue I remember complaining that Cannonball was speaking without his accent. To me, Sam's accent is as much a part of his character as his blast field or his large Southern family. In the second issue, Sam was speaking with his customary accent again. OK, great I figured, someone must have pointed out to Zeb that Sam does indeed speak with an accent. In this issue, Sam's accent was once again missing! What the hell!?! This might be nit-picking to some people, but let me ask, how would you like it if Wolverine suddenly began to speak like Dr. Doom? Well, I guess that would actually be pretty awesome. Let's try that again... What if the Thing began vocalizing like Mr. Fantastic? It would throw off the entire Fantastic Four comic! The Thing has his own distinctive method of speaking, as does Mr. Fantastic. So does Sam Guthrie!

Ugh, why bother even continuing? This comic book was awful on a nearly epic scale. For a score, I'll go with a 2 out of 10, one of my lowest scores EVER! I think I'll see this series through the current storyline and then I'll drop this book. Avoid this series like the Black Plague!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dark Avengers #7

This is the third part(or chapter if you prefer)of the Utopia x-over. This comic is written by Matt Fraction.

-Beast, who was put through the Omega Machine is falling apart(literally!)in his jail cell. Osborn bitches at Dark Beast over Beast's condition, and Dark Beast tells Osborn that the Machine isn't perfect yet and that there are still some kinks that need working out. Osborn tells DB that is unacceptable and storms away.

-Emma's Dark X-Men take down Hellion's troublemakers and arrest them for Osborn.

-Cyclops visits Osborn and demands that Osborn and his HAMMER cronies leave town by tomorrow. Osborn laughs in Scott's face and tells him to get lost.

-Bullseye bitches(a lot of bitching went on in this issue!)about Osborn sending out the Dark X-Men instead of the Dark Avengers to take Hellion down, and Moonstone tells Bullseye that it's better to let mutants police themselves.

-The Dark X-Men bring Hellion and his teammates in to HAMMER headquarters and Osborn has them all locked up. Emma still doesn't trust Dark Beast or his Omega Machine so she demands that Osborn allows her to have a look around his facilities. Osborn and Dark Beast reluctantly agree to show Emma around.

-Daken and Bullseye get into a pissing contest(well not literally)and before you know it the Dark Avengers and the Dark X-Men are brawling all over the HAMMER base.

-Emma checks out the prison cells containing Dark Beast's test subjects and everything seems apropos. However, Prof. X(one of the captives)begins to secretly speak to Emma mentally, and he tells her things aren't as they seem. X tells Emma to ask to see Beast, and when Emma does, she is told by Osborn that Beast isn't there. Emma now realizes something is definitely wrong with the whole situation surrounding Osborn, Dark Beast and the Omega Machine and she tells X that everything will work out in the long run.

-This issue ends with Simon Trask(who is actually a Sentinel)getting his army of Sentinels together in preparation for an attack on the X-Men.

This was a pretty good comic. Nothing spectacular, but entertaining enough. I'm still waiting to find out exactly what the purpose of the Omega Machine is. I guess it permanently removes mutant powers, but that just doesn't make any sense to me... Why would Dark Beast, who not all that long ago was helping Beast find a cure for the "No more mutants" spell, suddenly decide to remove mutant powers? That just doesn't make sense. Hopefully there is more to the Omega Machine than that, because if the Machine is simply a mutant power eraser, I'm going to be pretty disappointed.

Speaking of being disappointed, it looks like Emma is going to come out of this x-over smelling like a rose. Damn it! I was really hoping this x-over was going to spell the end of her days as an X-Man. It now looks like Emma is going turn on Osborn and free Prof. X. I was also a bit mystified by the way Emma was using her powers in this issue. I thought when Emma was in her diamond form she was not only unable to access her telepathy, but that she was also immune to outside telepaths as well. As far as I know, Prof. X shouldn't have been able to speak to Emma telepathically while she was in her diamond form...

And then there's Beast... PLEASE don't tell me Beast is going to(ONCE AGAIN!)be reverted back to his non-furry form. After going through the Omega Machine, we got a quick glimpse of Beast in his cell, where we were shown that his claws were falling out and his fur was shedding all over the place. I always HATED Beast's original look and thought his furry look was a much better fit for his moniker. Granted I'm not overly fond of Beast current cat-like look(I prefer Beast circa the 1990's), but practically any look is better than Beast's human appearance. I really hope Matt doesn't decide to use this x-over to radically alter Beast look again... For a score, I'll give this comic an 8 out of 10. This x-over continues to entertain as well as leaving me eagerly anticipating the next part.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Booster Gold #22

Well, I have to say that this series has been really hit or miss for me lately. Last issue was pretty good, but the issues before that really weren't my cup of tea. The fact that Deathstroke the Terminator is on the cover of this book gives me some hope that this will be a great read. The writer(as well as penciller)for this comic is Dan Jurgens. Oh yeah, this is one of those Second Feature comics as well. However, the second feature stars the Blue Beetle, who I really don't care for. So, I'm not going to bother reading that story, meaning if you're looking for a Blue Beetle review, you're out of luck!

-We open this comic with the Black Beetle meeting with his mysterious master. Beetle tells his master that he failed to kill Dick Grayson in the Batcave due to Booster Gold's unexpected interference. Beetle's master decides to send him to a different point in time to kill Dick.

-Meanwhile, Rip Hunter tracks Booster down and tells him he has to travel to the past to stop Beetle from killing Dick. Rip pinpoints that Dick is going to die at the hands of Ravager and Deathstroke during Deathstroke's initial meeting with the Teen Titans... On a side note, not all that long ago, I managed to get my hands on that very comic, New Teen Titans #2, Deathstroke's first appearance, so I'm quite very well versed in that particular story...

-Booster heads into the past and assists Cyborg against Ravager. Booster and Cyborg manage to defeat Ravager, but Deathstroke and Black Beetle arrive on the scene to rescue Ravager.

-Booster and Cyborg meet up with the rest of the Titans at the hotel they were staying at and prepare for Ravager, Deathstroke and Beetle's forthcoming attack. The trio of villains arrive and a good old fashion donnybrook breaks out. The heroes appear to have everything well in hand until Black Beetle manages to super-charge Ravager. With Ravager's powers boosted, the villains take the advantage, and Deathstroke unleashes a volley of grenades which appears to kill the heroes. This issue ends with Deathstroke, Ravager and Black Beetle celebrating a job well done.

-Other Developments: While trying to figure out who the Black Beetle is working for, Rip Hunter discovers some spy devices on his time equipment. Rip tries to disable the intruding devices, but is caught in an explosion and left laying on the ground.

This was yet another satisfying comic. This issue started off slowly enough, but once Dan got the story and the action really moving, I was hooked. So it seems Booster has failed(again!). I'm going to guess that Raven(who was conspicuously absent from this battle)arrived at some point and caused the villains to believe they had killed the heroes when in reality they had failed. The other option is that Booster really did fail and that he really did die, and since this was only the second part of a 4 part storyline, that just doesn't seem very likely!

I've got to hand it to Dan, he did a great job with the story and his pencils were also pretty sweet to boot. He faithfully recreated the events from New Teen Titans #2, even managing to keep some of the original dialogue. All in all, this was a very good comic and for a score I'll go with an 8 1/2 out of 10. It's always fun to see Deathstroke beating the hell out of people, and this comic book gave me that in spades.

Superman: World of New Krypton #5

Poor Superman. He leaves Earth to live with his crazy fellow Kryptonians and winds up getting locked up for treason. Although Supes hasn't been having a very good time on New Krypton, I've been enjoying this series a whole lot! James Robinson and Greg Rucka have really done a great job in making me care about those wacky Kryptonians. What's in store this month? Let's find out!

-This issue begins with the trial of Supes and his subordinate, Lt. Asha Del-Nar. To make a long story short, Gen. Zod ordered Asha to kill a criminal upon catching him last issue, while Supes, her direct supervisor told her not to follow Zod's orders. Asha listened to Supes and Zod had them both brought up on charges of treason. Oh, and on New Krypton, the penalty for committing treason is death. Now, back to the story. Supes lawyer tells the council supervising the trial that Zod has had a vendetta against Supes and his family for years now, and that the only reason Supes was brought up on charges was simple revenge. Much to the surprise of the jury, Zod agrees and decides he won't prosecute Supes, instead turning his attentions to Asha.

-Zod makes his case against Asha, which in and of itself is pretty funny. The main gist of it is that by almost allowing Hal Jordan to capture the criminal(which is what nearly happened last issue)she endangered all of New Krypton because Hal is crazy! Zod states the whole Parallax episode as his example of Hal's mental instability. Asha admits to disobeying a direct order from Zod, and seems prepared to take her punishment, until Supes opens his big mouth. Supes tells the council that he ordered Asha to disobey, thus exonerating Asha and damning himself. Zod smugly points out that Supes just admitted to treason, and as such should be sentenced to death. The council dismisses all parties so they could deliberate.

-Supes lawyer is incensed that he admitted his guilt like that, but Supes explains he couldn't let Asha take the fall for his actions. Supes is returned to his cell and visited by Asha, who thanks him, and his little buddy from the labor guild, Tyr. After Asha leaves, Tyr quickly sets up a device that would disable the red sun device holding Supes in his cell before quickly leaving.

-Tyr returns to Zod and Ursa, and we learn he was a double agent sent by Zod to buddy up to Supes. They watch the security cameras in Supes cell and are shocked to see that Supes isn't leaving his cell. Ursa and Tyr can't figure out why Supes refuses to leave, since remaining means certain death. Zod orders them to leave his office while he sits there deep in thought.

-The next day is a Kryptonian holy day and also the sentencing of Supes. Out of the 6 council members, 5 of them vote guilty(including Supes own aunt!), and Supes is given a last chance to speak before sentencing is carried out. He tells the council that he did the right thing by preventing the criminals death and that if presented with the same situation, he'd do the same thing again.

-The council prepares to pass sentence on Supes when, of all people, Zod speaks up on Supes behalf! Zod tells the council that with it being a Kryptonian day of forgiveness, they should absolve Supes of his crimes. Zod asks the powerful religious guild to step in on Supes behalf, and the member of the religious guild present at the hearing releases Supes.

-Supes and Zod leave the hearing side by side, and Supes inquires as to why Zod did what he did. Zod explains that he doesn't like Supes, but that Supes makes his army stronger, and in the long run, that fact is more important than his personal feelings. Zod and Supes take part in the festivities and the crowd chants Zod's name. As this issue ends, a lone gunman targets Zod and blows a hole through his chest with a laser weapon!

As usual, this was a very good issue of this series. I have to say that since this title began 5 issues ago, it has proven to be one of the strongest comics I've read month in and month out. I love the way the writers are blurring whether Zod is the world conquering, child abusing scumbag we remember from Geoff John's amazing "Last Son" storyline, or if he is just a Kryptonian patriot whose only concern is for the safety of his people.

So now, this months cliffhanger ending leaves us wondering if Zod is going to survive the assassination attempt. I think the better question is did Zod set up the assassination attempt himself? Think about it, Zod saw how Supes was prepared to martyr himself for his beliefs, and Zod probably realized that a dead Superman might be worse than a live one. Making himself a martyr would greatly increase Zod's own power among the Kryptonian community. If Zod is able to fake his death, he can act with impunity behind the scenes, directing actions through proxies as he sees fit. Then he could always return down the road as the resurrected savior of the Kryptonian people. However, with how excellently written this comic is, whatever James and Greg decide to do from here is bound to make for a great story. For a score, I'll give this comic a very strong 9 1/2 out of 10. Wow, the past couple of comics I've read have really been exceptional. Here's hoping that trend continues!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1(of 3)

Going in, I have no clue as to what this comic is about. However, since the names Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi are emblazoned on the cover, I don't really care! It could be the frigging phone book and I'd probably enjoy it! Well, the only way to discover what this comic is all about is to give it a read, so here we go!

-This comic contains three stories, starting with the origin of Saint Walker of the Blue Lanterns. Walker was a holy man whose planet, Astonia, was being destroyed by an old sun. Walker's fellow Astonians spent their final days rioting and causing general chaos while Walker believed salvation awaited those who climbed the highest mountain on his world. Walker took his father, wife and two children along and watched as they all wound up perishing during the journey, save him. After several days, Walker finally made it to the mountaintop, finding nothing but rocks. Angered by the fact that his savior wasn't atop the mountain as prophesied, Walker cursed his god. God "answered" by way of a thunderstorm, and Walker's faith was renewed by the much needed water from the storm. Walker returned to the surface of the planet and began preaching to his people. Before long he was given a blue power ring due to his ability to instill hope in others.

-Next was a tale of Mongul's childhood. He idolized his crazy father and longed to follow in his dad's footsteps. After a bunch of peaceful aliens crash landed on Mongul's planet, he forced them to become his slaves. His father eventually learned about Mongul's slaves and destroyed them all, telling his son that there was only one being that was to be worshiped on their planet, and it wasn't Mongul 2. Mongul continued to idolize his father, figuring one day he would be the leader of the planet, and the most feared man in the universe.

-Finally this issue concluded with a tale of the Indigo Tribe, which was nearly impossible to decipher. There are Indigo Lanterns who seem to have the ability to use the power rings of the other Lanterns to do their bidding. That was pretty much it.

To be honest, this comic had little to nothing to do with the current Blackest Night story. With that said though, this wasn't a bad comic. I thoroughly enjoyed the first story(Walker's tale)liked the second one(Mongul's)and didn't care for the third one. Saint Walker's tale helped me see him in a different, more positive light. Prior to reading this, I didn't know a thing about Walker besides the fact that he was a Blue Lantern, which caused me to care little about him. However, now that I know his backstory, it's hard not to like the guy. The Mongul tale wasn't as good as the Walker one, but it was a decent little story. The final story was little more than 5 or 6 pages with practically no dialogue, so it's hard to have a positive opinion of it. For a score, I'll give this book an 8 out of 10. This was a perfectly acceptable comic, no more, no less.

Blackest Night #1(of 8)

Yes, my copy of BN #1 finally arrived today! There's really nothing I can say here in this introduction that hasn't already been said already. I truly feel this x-over has the chance to be one of the greatsest comic book events in quite some time(maybe ever!). Without further ado, it's time for me to finally crack this comic open and give it a read. If you didn't know(and how couldn't you???)this issue is written by comic book GOD Geoff Johns and illustrated by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert.

-This comic opens with Black Hand(the herald of the Black Lanterns)digging up the grave of Bruce Wayne. It seems after the events of Final Crisis, Alfred had Bruce buried next to his parents, as per his final wishes. Black Hand takes the skull of Batman and leaves.

-The following day, the Earth-born Green Lanterns hold a celebration in Coast City, where life is finally getting back to normal after the bombing that destroyed that city back during the Reign of the Supermen. Although the occasion is supposed to be a happy one, the Lanterns can't help but to think back to love ones they lost.

-Superboy, Superman and Ma Kent pay a visit to the grave of Supes adopted father, Jonathan Kent. In the meantime Professor Stein and the current Firestorm(s)head to the grave of Ronnie Raymond, the first Firestorm. Kid Flash laments that there are so many dead Teen Titans while the Rogues visit their private graveyard to pay their respects. Several members of the JLA head to the grave of Blue Beetle and dozens of heroes head to Valhalla Cemetery to pay respect to their fallen fellow colleagues. Tempest wants to return Aquaman's body to the sea, but Aquaman's wife(?)refuses to give her permission to move the body.

-Alfred stops by Bruce's grave with some flowers and is horrified to discover that someone dug it up.

-Hal Jordan shows Barry Allen the macabre room which houses the corpses of the enemies of the JLA. Barry is somewhat alarmed that the League would intern the bodies of their dead enemies like this, but Hal explains that certain sickos were harvesting the body parts of deceased meta-humans, and that the best way to allow their dead enemies eternal peace was to keep the corpses safely locked away. Barry then asks to see which heroes have perished since his "death", and Hal gives Barry a green display of the fallen heroes.

-Hawkman yells at the Atom over the phone for wanting to visit the grave of his dead wife(the utterly insane Jean Loring). Hawkman hangs up on his long time friend and Hawkgirl scolds Hawkman for being so cruel, explaining to Hawkman that Atom only wanted to find a sense of closure.

-Ah, and finally the moment I've been waiting almost a year for happens, Scar turns on her fellow Guardians. The Guardians are monitoring the various battles between the different Lantern factions and they finally admit to themselves that Ganthet was right all along and that the prophesied War of Light was upon them. The Guardians discuss ways to end the War and Scar coolly tells them they would soon be in no condition to help. While the Guardians question what she is talking about, Scar lunges at one Guardian and bites him in the neck!!! She then proceeds to tear his heart out, explaining that since the Guardians have decided to forsake their emotions, they have no need for hearts. The Guardians all attack Scar and she easily holds her own, ending the battle by wrapping them up in some sort of black cocoons.

-Things really start to pick up from there as thousands of Black Rings head straight for Oa, flying past the surprised Green Lanterns stationed there. While the Lanterns are recovering and trying to figure out what the hell was going on now, every deceased Green Lantern that was interned in the crypts of Oa rises with Black rings adorning their fingers.

-While Hal is filling Barry in on several deaths, Alfred calls and frantically tells the two heroes that someone dug up Bruce's grave. Hal and Barry head to Gotham and begin to go over Bruce's grave site, searching for clues. They soon realize only the head was missing, and they begin to go over a list of potential suspects. While the two are thinking, the Black Lantern Martian Manhunter arrives and tells both Hal and Barry that they were supposed to be dead(!).

-This issue ends with Hawkman and Hawkgirl still discussing the Atom's situation. They eventually begin to talk about their own relationship(or lack there of)and Hawkgirl(FINALLY)admits that she does indeed love Hawkman, but that she was afraid to admit it since that always leads to the pair's death. At that moment, without warning, Black Lantern Sue Dibny drives a spear all the way through the back of Hawkgirl, felling her. Hawkman turns around and is attacked by Sue's husband, Black Lantern Elongated Man. Carter tries his best to batter Elongated Man, but is unable to damage his pliable body. Elongated Man has no such trouble and winds up beating Carter near to death with his own mace. Hawkgirl, who is bleeding out on the floor, reiterates with her dying breath that she did indeed always love Carter. Before Hawkman could do anything else Black Hand arrives on the scene and tears the heart out of Hawkman, telling him that his cycle of reincarnation ends as of this moment.

Ahhhhh...... How utterly satisfying... You know how sometimes you look forward to something so much that there is no way it can possibly live up to your lofty expectations? I honestly expected that to happen here. I was SO looking forward to this book that I was sure it would let me down. Not only did this comic NOT let me down, it actually managed to EXCEED my expectations! This was the PERFECT way to begin a huge company-wide crossover event. We got some background, a tone was set from early on, characters and events were effortlessly moved into position, we got some awesome surprises and to top it all off, we were left with an ending that has me dying to get my hands on the next issue!

There really wasn't a dull moment here. Every scene laid the groundwork for future events, and the story flowed beautifully from page to page... There is SO much I want to say, and so much to complement here... However, if I write about everything I liked in this issue this post would never end! Instead, I'll go back to my favorite scene, Scar revealing her true colors to the other Guardians. I loved seeing those smug-ass smurfs get their comeuppance! Watching Scar bite and kill one of the Guardians was, in a word, AWESOME!!! That scene was truly just spectacular...

Once I publish this post, I'll be checking out the few blogs that I enjoy reading to see what my fellow comic book enthusiasts thought about this comic. Was this issue as good as I thought, or am I getting carried away here? I'll be interested to find out.

Do you even have to ask for a score? My score here is without a doubt a resounding 10 out of 10! This was a simply magnificent comic that has me salivating at the thought of Blackest Night #2. Geoff Johns, you truly are a comic book GOD!

The waiting is the hardest part.

Well, I'm almost totally caught up with my current comics. I still have a few books left in my "to read" pile, but those are mainly books I'm saving for a rainy day. I'm still waiting on my order of new books to arrive at my home. I am officially THE only comic fan left out there who hasn't yet read Blackest Night #1... And I REALLY, REALLY want to read that comic too! I have my fingers crossed that tomorrow will be the day my order arrives, but I'm not holding my breath. If my new books don't arrive I have NO idea what I'll be posting this weekend. On that note, I'll say good night or good morning depending on where in the world you are!

Friday, July 24, 2009

X-Men Legacy #226

This here issue of Legacy is a Utopia x-over. This comic isn't integral to the main Utopia story, it's just here to enhance the overall Utopia experience. Is it a good read? Does it suck? Does anybody care? I'll answer two of those three questions here in my review. This issue is written by Mike Carey(who hates me).

-This issue picks up during the nighttime riots that occurred during the first chapter of Utopia. Gambit, Rogue and Danger fly into San Fran airspace and are immediately teleported to Cyclops. Scott bitches at Rogue for a while(that's what he does best!), before Gambit informs him that they're all there to help. How sad is it when Gambit is the voice of reason?!? Cyclops then sends the three heroes(?)out to locate some missing mutants.

-Danger saves a little boy(who thinks he was saved by a transformer... HA!), while Gambit runs into some HAMMER agents beating up Trance. Remy KO's the HAMMER goons and Ariel teleports Trance away.

-While trying to find a lost student, Rogue runs into Moonstone(who's dressed like Ms. Marvel). Rogue realizes this Ms. Marvel isn't Carol Danvers(they have a LONG history), and after a brief battle, Rogue manages to escape.

-Gambit runs into Avalanche and some other angry muties who want to attack the HAMMER agents who are trying to restore a modicum of order to the lawless streets. Gambit warns them against their current actions, and before the muties decide to either attack or disperse, Ares attacks them. After tearing through Avalanche and his allies, Ares turns his sights to Gambit. Gambit realizes this is a battle he can't possibly win, so he detonates a wall, which falls on the angry God of War.

-The falling wall doesn't even knock Ares down, and Ares grabs a hold of the Cajun and sends him hurtling towards a wall. Before Gambit hits the wall, Danger rushes over and makes the save. Rogue also arrives on the scene and grabs Ares, which causes her to begin to absorb his powers. However, Rogue is a mortal and Ares is a god, so Rogue's body can't contain all the energy it is absorbing. Before Rogue explodes, Danger knocks Ares away from her, and the three heroes steal a HAMMER tank and drive it away, continuing their search for missing mutants in the riot ravaged city.

Hey, you know what? This was one of the best issues of this series in recent memory. Everything was just so smooth here. Rogue and Gambit still work well together and Danger is a strange, but welcome addition to this comic. It all just really worked for me this month. The story was fast-paced and simple, the fight scenes were well done and Gambit told Cyclops off(which earned Gambit a ton of respect from me). It was all good!

I really can't think of any complaints, which is rare for me when reading this series. For a score I'll go with a 9 out of 10. Hopefully Mike can keep up the great work.

Captain America #601

With the real Captain America action happening in the "Reborn" mini-series, I have to admit that I'm curious as to what's in this comic. From the scene on the cover it looks like a flashback issue, although covers can be deceptive. Well, I might as well give it a read and crank out a quick review. As usual, Cap is written by the stellar Ed Brubaker.

-This was indeed a flashback issue, one that took place during WWII.

-During the war, Bucky and Cap have begun running into several US soldiers who were turning into vampires after death. Cap obviously wanted to solve this problem before the rest of the troops got wind of the situation and began to panic. To make matters worse, a USO show was scheduled to take place shortly, with civilian movie stars beginning to arrive to further complicate matters for Cap.

-Cap checks in with Union Jack, who informs Cap that Baron Blood(Jack's longtime foe)was still dead. Cap then begins to search around town, discovering a house with garlic strung up all over the place and hand drawn crucifixes adorning the doors. Cap speaks to a gypsy woman living inside and the gypsy tells Cap that a German officer who had passed through the town was a vampire, but that he had left before the allied forces arrived. With the vampiric SS officer out of town, Cap decides to check out the graves of the recently deceased.

-While searching a graveyard, Cap and Bucky run into a US soldier turned vampire and attack it. The fight brings some US soldiers who were patrolling the area over and the soldiers watch in horror as Cap and Bucky kill their undead comrade.

-The patrolmen who saw the vampire naturally tell their fellow soldiers what happened, which begins to spread fear and paranoia amongst the soldiers. After a soldier mistakes his buddy for a vampire and kills him, Cap decides to cancel the USO show and send the movie stars back home where they'd be safe.

-Cap heads to the dressing room of one of the female stars and discovers that she has already been turned into a vampire. Cap and Bucky manage to kill her and learn from an officer that the dead star was seen around town with a young girl. The two heroes search for the girl and discover to their horror that the girl has already been turned. This issue ends with Bucky killing the little vampire girl, which is a memory that still haunts him to this day.

Before I even touch on the story, I want to take a moment to talk about the artwork here. As I've stated many times before, I usually only notice the artwork in a comic book if it's really, really good or really, really bad. I was about halfway through this comic when I noticed the artwork here was quite good. At that point I made a mental note to check out who the artist was so I could commend them during this review. As I finished this comic up and turned to the last page, I found a statement telling us about the artist for this comic. The pencil artist for this book was Gene Colan, who has been drawing comics for over 60 years!!! The guy is in his 80's and his work totally blows away many of the artists out there today! The way he used shadows to paint his scenes was really something else. The colorist, Dean White, deserves some credit as well, but Gene's artwork here really stole the show. 82 years old and penciling an entire double sized comic book... That's UNBELIEVABLE! Damn, I'll be happy just to live to see 82 years old, let alone be talented enough to produce work of this quality. Gene Colan, I salute you!

Now that I've had my say about the artwork, I'll move onto the story. The story was very good. It was written by Ed Brubaker, had Captain America and contained Vampires, of course it was good! Once again, Ed shows us he really knows both Cap and Bucky very well. The way Cap interacted with his fellow soldiers, his relationship with Bucky, everything was done to perfection. Reading this comic almost makes me want to see Steve back as Cap again... Almost. For a score, I'll give this comic a 9 out of 10.

X-Factor #46

Ah, it's time for me to check out my favorite X-book, X-Factor. While the other X-books have really suffered after the whole asinine "No More Mutants" decree, X-Factor has been consistently good. Why is that? The answer is simple, Peter David. Peter is one of the greatest comic book writers of all time. That's right, OF ALL TIME! I don't think there is any comic writer out there today who can mix the serious with the hilarious(although Dan Slott is close). Well I could go on and on talking about Peter's great works(the first X-Factor series, the second X-Factor series, Captain Marvel series 4 and 5, Young Justice, Spyboy and Aquaman just to name a few)but instead I should probably throw out a review of this month's X-Factor.

-We open with the two villains behind the current storyarc arguing about which one of them should deal with Madrox. Dr. Falcone(who is 80 years in the future)tells Cortex(who's in the present)to kill Jamie already, while Cortex tells Falcone that since Jamie is in the future, it's his responsibility to wipe Jamie out. Cortex leaves for parts unknown while Falcone gets booted out of the White House by some of the President's security... OOOK...

-The Cortex possessed Monet is still battling Darwin, who is trying to protect Lenore(an ex-mutant). After Monet tosses Darwin away, she heads back to Lenore's apartment to finish killing her.

-In the future, Layla, Ruby and Jamie are meeting with Dr. Doom(who is REALLY old!). Doom explains that quite some time ago he managed to create "Doomlocks" which allows cybernetic beings to alter the future of their own timeline, as opposed to creating a divergent timeline... Wow, that sure came out confusing... Um, let me try that again using Doom's explanation. If you went back in time and killed Hitler before WWII, when you returned to the present nothing would be different. However, another alternate dimension would be created where Hitler was killed before WWII. Get it? No? Well, at least I tried! Getting back to the story, by using Doomlocks, a cybernetic organism(ie. Cortex)could go into the past and affect it, changing their future.

-As the trio try to wrap their minds around Doom's science talk, a flock(or is it gaggle?)of Sentinels break into Doom's home and prepare to attack.

-Back in the past, Siryn arrives at Lenore's apartment and attacks Cortex-Monet. While the two women are battling in the skies, the flock of Sentinels from the future suddenly pop up in front of them and attack.

-Back in the future, the trio of heroes are trying to figure out where the hell the Sentinels disappeared to. They get their answer in the form of Trevor Fitzroy(!!!)who appears to be a member of the Summers Rebellion, much to Jamie's shock.

What do I say about this issue... Hmm... I loved it! It had everything, a great story, good artwork, action, adventure and of course, humor. Maybe it was just me, but Peter's quips in this issue seemed to be particularly funny. Where do I even begin? The scene with Valerie Cooper and Siryn was hilarious, Cortex had some great lines("Now to dispose of Lenore Wilkinson... And her offspring... And her little dog too."), Old Doom was a barrel of laughs("Genuflect, I say! Kneel before Victor Von Doom!")and even the stuff with Dr. Falcone was funny, although I will admit that I was a bit confused by his scenes. What was up with the disappearing Shaw?

This story is really starting to come together now, with each issue revealing a little bit more about both Cortex and Dr. Falcone, as well as their agendas. Cortex is obviously imbued with Doomlocks, and has gone back in time to eliminate certain individuals who would seem to trouble Falcone. Obviously the offspring of Lenore must be very problematic to Falcone in the future. I wonder who Lenore's children are and what they're responsible for? All in all, I'm really enjoying this storyline, and this issue once again proves why I call X-Factor the best X-book on the market today, bar none! For a score, I'll give this issue a 9 out of 10. As usual, great work by the esteemed Mr. David!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Action Comics #879

It's time for another Superman-less issue of Action Comics. I still find it weird reading an issue of Action that doesn't feature Superman, but so far I have to admit that I've been enjoying Supes replacements, Nightwing and Flamebird. This issue is one of DC's Second Features, with the second story starring Captain Atom. Just so you know, I know NOTHING about Captain Atom. The main story is written by Greg Rucka, while Captain Atom's feature is written by Greg and James Robinson.

-This issue begins with Codename: Assassin(along with an army of Ogres)jumping Flamebird, Nightwing and the two insane Kryptonians they were battling. The Ogres are more than a match for the 4 Kryptonians which causes the 2 evil Kryptonians to flee. Flamebird tells Nightwing to follow them, which he reluctantly does.

-With Nightwing and the two crazy Kryptonians out of the picture, Assassin and his army of Ogres manage to subdue Flamebird. After tearing off her helmet, Assassin begins to pick through her head with his telepathic abilities. While in Flamebird's mind, Assassin contacts another presence in there, which causes Flamebird to burst into flames and easily dispatch of Assassin and his Ogres before leaving to search for Nightwing.

-Nightwing manages to catch up to the crazy Kryptonians and they all battle, with the Kryptonians nearly destroying a freeway. Nightwing tries to limit the damage to the freeway, and the two evil Kryptonians decide to use that distraction to make yet another getaway.

-Flamebird catches up to Nightwing and helps him clear the freeway, saving dozens of lives in the process. After that, the duo renews their search for the crazy Kryptonians.

-Other Developments: Lois Lane asks Mon-El to scan her father's grave at Arlington National Cemetery with his X-Ray vision in order to determine if Gen. Lane was truly dead. Mon-El scans the grave and Lois discovers that the body in the grave is not the body of her father... Gen. Lane gives Assassin a tongue lashing for failing to capture any of the Kryptonians he engaged, and that weird teleporting woman who works with Lane, Mirabai(?), manages to capture the two crazy Kryptonians for him with no difficulty...

-As for the double feature, I have to admit that I have no idea what was going on! Captain Atom was battling some weirdos in a castle when a flashback struck him down. While he was laying prone on the ground, a knight prepared to plunge a sword into his chest... Wha???

This was another satisfying issue of Action. I like Nightwing and Flamebird, Gen. Lane makes a great villain, and the story was good. What more needs to be said? Lois Lane now knows her father is alive, but has no solid proof, which means Gen. Lane is still free to operate under the radar. I have no idea who this weird Mirabai woman is, however I have to say I was pretty surprised that she was able to capture not one, but two crazy Kryptonians on her own. Why the hell doesn't Gen. Lane just send her out to take care of all his problems??? I really have nothing to say about the Captain Atom feature, because there wasn't enough there to make any kind of solid statement. I truly have no idea what was going on in that story! For an overall score, I'll give this comic a 7 1/2 out of 10. Once again, this was a solid issue of Action Comics, nothing spectacular, just good, decent stuff.