Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Week in Comics 9/28/11

For those of you who don't know me personally, or don't follow me on twitter, there is a reason for the recent lack of episodes. My car exploded about 1000 miles from my home which put off my schedule for everything. But, I'm back now so lets drop some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS shall we? Also, I'm too lazy to look up volume #s today. It's already taken me all day to do this.

All-Star Western v? #1
By Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat
     While I'm not a huge Jonah Hex fan, or westerns in general, I am a big Gotham fan. This was a pretty good issue. It set up a mystery that, while very cliche, was interesting. I liked that a lot of people from Gotham's history were involved, including the Gates brothers. The art was more rough and washed out, with coloring that adds a lot of detail. It works well for the book and definitely works for the era. It's dark and gritty without just crosshatching everything.

Aquaman v? #1
By Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis
     Two things. One, Aquaman just can't be cool to me. Too often have I laughed at Aquaman to ever take him seriously again. Two, Geoff Johns knows exactly how to write dialog that annoys me. "Ah hell. What's Aquaman doing here? We're not in the ocean and I don't see any fish around--" That is some shitty writing. This issue does acknowledge that everyone thinks Aquaman is a joke. But if you have to do that, it means he is a joke. I'm sure someone other than me will enjoy this, but Geoff Johns is enough to keep my away from something. Adding Aquaman is just shit frosting on the shit cake.

Batman: The Dark Knight v2 #1
By David Finch and Paul Jenkins
     Yet another issue with some pretty bad writing. "Fear is a cannibal. A goblin." While, that's not quite as bad as some of the stuff in Detective Comics v2 #1, it's still not great. I mentioned well done dark art in Jonah Hex, and this is the opposite. Everything is crosshatched and inked to hell, even in the Bruce Wayne scenes. A lot of characters have out of proportion faces or bodies, with a lot of weird looking eyes. In the Arkham Asylum scenes I couldn't tell who half the inmates were, and for someone who has read as much Batman as I have, that is an art problem and not a personal one. And seriously, Bunny-girl villain? She looks like she comes from a shitty superhero porn.

Blackhawks v? #1
By Mike Costa and Graham Nolan
     This was a pretty big disappointment. I don't know why I was psyched for this series, but I was. What I got was a pretty mediocre issue with a lot of stereotypes of military stories. There was a little bit of character development, and some explanation of backstory, but overall this was just boring. Too bad. Let me know when I can get some new WWII era Blackhawks.

The Flash v? #1
By Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul
     Usually I talk about the story first. Not on this issue. The art in this is great. It looks like watercolors, but also a bit cartoonish. I don't really have the artistic background to put it into words, but its good. The plot was good too. This was a good introduction to Barry Allen without just telling the reader everything about him. There is no "hey I was struck by lighting at the same time as chemicals fell on me," but I think it gives readers a good sense of Barry's life as a lab tech and the Flash. Definitely interested enough to pick up issue #2.

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man v? #1
By Gain Simone, Ethan Van Sciver and Yildiray Cinar
     I just don't care about Firestorm. I could personally be Firestorm and I still wouldn't care. This issue didn't help that any. Story didn't hook me and the art was weak. I don't even have complaints. Just totally underwhelming.

Green Lantern: New Guardians v? #1
By Tony Bedard and Tyler Kirkham
     Pretty much nothing happened in this issue. Kyle Rayner gets his origin retold, and then some of the rainbow lanterns lose their rings. The ring losing could have taken a page. Instead it took almost half the comic. The art was pretty good, but nothing in here to keep me reading.

I, Vampire #1
By Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino 
     This was really surprising. I expected the most drippy romantic bullshit infused vampire story ever. What I got was a dark story about vampire oppression and betrayal. I have no idea why this is a DC title. If this had come out under Vertigo I wouldn't have known the difference. It reads and looks nothing like a hero book. If you can get past the cover, which looks like the wet dream of a 14 year old twilight fan, there is an interesting book inside. I'm going to go cry in the shower now.

Justice League Dark #1
By Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin 
     The only time I bring up art first is when its really good or really bad. Sadly, this is bad. This looks CG. Not in the same way that the last Batman Inc did, but in a weird they-tried-to-hide-it kind of way. It looks like a cell shaded video game. While there is artistic merit to 3d rendering, I don't want it in comics. With the level of tech at the moment it just looks weird. I am interested in series this for one guy, John Constantine. So the fact that he shows up less than Cyborg sucks. Also, Zatanna's redesign is so bland I didn't recognize her until someone said her name. Pretty disappointed about a book I was psyched for.

The Savage Hawkman v? #1
By Tony Daniel and Phillip Tan
     This was another surprise. Hawkman is a character I've never really bothered to read more about. He never caught my interest, and I've heard his continuity is legendarily indecipherable. This issue was pretty interesting. It was kind of a second origin, with Hawkman quitting and then discovering new powers as the story goes on. The art was a really good looking painted style that didn't look like stock hero stuff. I would definitely recommend checking this out. I'm not sure how someone who wrote Detective #1 could also write this. Well I guess the guy who wrote Superboy also wrote Red Hood. Just goes to show you cant judge a writer by their writings... or something....

Superman v? #1
By George Perez and Jesus Merino 

Teen Titans v? #1
By Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth 
     Yet another team book where the team isn't all in it. I know the new characters are going to take some explanation, but that doesn't mean they should be out of the first issue. It wasn't a great issue anyway. Art was pretty bad too. This week has been a lot of disappointing books that I was once looking forward to.

Voodoo v? #1
By Ron Marz and Sami Basri 
     I have absolutely no idea how I feel about this. A good 95% of this issue was dedicated to the main character stripping. Then some crazy shit happens and then its over. That seemed more like a short film with a twist ending than the beginning of a story. Art was pretty good, but it seemed a little CGd to me. It wasn't nearly as bad as JLD, but some parts just looked... off.

     American Vampire #19 - THIS IS ALWAYS GOOD
     American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #4 - THIS IS ALSO GOOD
     Nortlanders #44 - SO MUCH GOOD

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week in Comics 9/21/11

Since I'm visiting some family in Colorado I wasn't able to get my hands on my usual Vertigo titles. So this week is all DCnU. As always, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Batman v2 #1
By Scot Snyder and Greg Capullo 
     This issue should be called Detective Comics. It opens to Batman fighting super-villains, but the bulk of it is investigation and gadgets. I'm not sure if this is the greatest issue for a new reader. There was a clever in story reason for each character to get a caption box explaining who they were, but it really seemed like the next arc in an already established story. The art was also pretty hit and miss. I'm not a huge fan of the really fisheye perspective that people call "kinetic" but it was only really offensive in the first couple of pages. Still, this is the best of the Batman books so far. But not the best Bat-Family book, that goes to Batwoman.

Birds of Prey v3 #1
By Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz
     This had a similar issue as Justice League. All of the characters on the cover aren't in it. One thing it manages to do worse than JL is not introduce anyone. All we know about Black Canary is that she can scream and supposedly killed a man with a punch. And the new character Starling is a complete mystery. I have no idea how or why she is in the Birds, if she has any powers besides guns, and why I should care. This seems like a second arc and not a first. The only reason I read the old BoP was Oracle and Huntress, and now that neither are in it, I don't really care.

Blue Beetle v8 #1
By Tony Bedard and Ig Guara 
     Not totally sure how I feel on this one. I'm not a huge Blue Beetle fan, so it was nice to get a clean origin and not have to pretend I know what's going on. But, I just didn't really get into what has happening. All I got was teen drama and some type of space thing everyone wants. It was by no means a bad issue, it just wasn't good either.

Captain Atom v2(?) #1
By J.T. Krul and Freddie E. Williams II
      This was a pretty good intro to the character. He fights, then his powers are explained a bit, and then he does more hero stuff. One thing I found weird is that he basically has the same powers as Firestorm, with the whole changing elements thing. And really, a blue atomic guy who can control matter seems awfully familiar. Oh right, Dr. Manhattan. Not really good enough to keep me reading, but I could see why other people would want to jump on to this series.

Catwoman v4 #1
By Judd Winick and Guillem March
     Man Judd Winick wasn't kidding when he said he was going to make a sex filled comic. There is a lot of T&A in this. It definitely plays up Catwoman's sexuality-as-power thing. This does a pretty good job at getting across Selina's motivations, which are basically because its fun to steal things, but it has a glimpse at a larger motivation and what will most likely be the story arc. I really like Guillem March's art too, it's solid and definitely works with a comic with a lot of half naked women. I'm probably blinded by my manly instincts and cant tell if this is insanely offensive to women. Also, this has one of like 3 times I can remember Batman getting laid on panel.

DC Universe Presents #1
By Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang
     I really liked this. It was a great intro to the character that set up motivation, backstory and plot. Not a ton happened, as far as what is expected in hero comics, but I was really drawn in by the character and what's gone before. I complained about being dropped in the middle this week, but this is how you pull it off. I really hope this is a series where old and new characters can get a nice spotlight and introduction to new readers with every arc. I know that's what DC is aiming for, and I'd love to see them pull it off.

Green Lantern Corps v3 #1
By Peter J. Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin 
     This did a lot better of a job at setting things up than Green Lantern did. While it is still basically a continuation of past stuff, it was written with in plot reasons for Guy and Jon to be explaining their powers. Pretty good overall I'm sure this issue is awesome if you are a GL fan, but I'm only vaguely interested.

Legion of Super-Heroes v7 #1
By Paul Levitz and Francis Portela
     There are just too many people in Legion stories. I have no idea who any of them are and there is only caption boxes to tell me their powers. This and Legion Lost are impenetrable to me. I just have no idea how to approach it. Also, stop talking about Flashpoint. That's confusing. If Barry Allen can hit time so hard that it affects the past, it should affect the future.

Nightwing v3 #1
By Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows 
     I'm not usually one to complain about costume changes, but my god. Why red? The suit is black with blue highlights, but has a giant red emblem. Besides that, I really liked this issue. There were references to Dick's time as Batman, but it felt pretty new reader friendly. It re-established the ways Dick isn't Bruce and showed interaction with Dick's past rather than telling the reader about it. As with most of these #1s it ended with a cliffhanger, but I'm more ok with that because I know I'm going to be reading the next issue.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1
By Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort
     It's pretty amazing when Catwoman isn't the most oversexualized character of the week. Holy god, Starfire. Not only does she barely wear clothes, but there is a beach scene. On top of that there is constant jokes about Jason Todd having had sex with her, and the fact that her race is such sluts they cant remember people they slept with. As much as I was blinded by T&A in Catwoman, I can tell that this is messed up. Like it's so bad I can't even get to the rest of the issue. Starfire is basically a blow up doll in this comic.

Supergirl v6 #1
By Michael Green, Michael F. Johnson, and Mahmud Asar 
     As you might be able to tell, I'm not a huge Superman-Family fan. But this issue was interesting. Another clean slate origin, which really helps for me to care about the character. One really cool thing was that when Supergirl gets her super-hearing she picks up on dialog from other comics, like Nightwing #1 and Birds of Prey #1. This is just interesting enough to maybe get me to check out the next issue. It is nice to see a female character who keeps her top on this week. Which is something even Wonder Woman couldn't do.

Wonder Woman v4 #1
By Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chang 
     I've always wanted to get into Wonder Woman, but I have this really obsessive nature where I have to read everything. I managed to work with that a bit when I got into Batman by reading from Crisis on, but I never got around to WW. Now with a #1 and a writer I like a lot I have a chance. This issue was really good. It didn't really explain her origin, but for someone who knows that Wondy is an Amazon and is tied to Greek mythology it's great. Definitely going to read this series.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Week in Comics 9/14/11

Back again with new 52 titles. Should be shorter reviews since there's a lot to cover, but there will still be SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS. I would have had American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #4 to add to this list but diamond stiffed my LCS, so I'll probably toss that in with next week.

Batman and Robin v2 #1
By Peter j. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
     I was kind of worried about a Batman and Robin series without the Dick and Damian team, but I think this works pretty well. The dynamic is definitely different and Damian comes off looking a lot worse when his mentor is less understanding. The setup for the issue was pretty good with Bruce deciding that he's obsessed over his parent's deaths too long, and needs to honor their lives. It's a good step forward, but I wonder if it will come up at all with future writers. It was handled well and didn't come off as forced. Plus, it had a pretty direct Year One homage, and that is awesome.

Batwoman #1
By J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
     I don't think I'll shock anyone by saying that J.H. Williams III is the best. His art and layouts and everything else is absolutely amazing. I've been waiting for this series since it was announced forever ago, and this issue was exactly why. The art is amazing, the story is interesting, and it picks up right where it left off in Detective Comics oh so long ago. That being said this is still fairly new reader friendly. There is a large two page spread kind of detailing what happened to Batwoman in 'Tec, but the rest of it comes through well. This comic is great, and will be great. Anyone should buy this.

Deathstroke #1
By Kyle Higgins and Joe Bennet
     This issue was pretty solid all around. I'm not a huge Deathstroke fan so I didn't have very high expectations. This issue basically told me that Deathstroke is a badass. Literally. It said it like three times. The ending was a good twist, and makes me interested enough to maybe check out the next issue. It's hard to follow up Batwoman.

Demon Knights #1
By Paul Cornell and Diogenes Neves
     I had no idea what to expect from this issue, all of the characters in it were people who I had only heard of or seen in cameos. I was pleasantly surprised to find a really good comic. It introduced the characters well and I was able to get a pretty good grasp of what was going on. It opened to the fall of camelot and closed with the promise of vikings fighting dinosaurs. It says "dragons" but I know a T-Rex when I see one. I am definitely going to pick up the next issue, and probably more after.

Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE #1
By Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli 
    The first thing Frankenstein says is that he was taking a vacation on mars, his father's consciousness is in the body a small Asian school girl, his wife has four arms, and the team's medic is a mummy. All these people, and more, fight crazy monsters. This book is amazing. It's like a DCU Hellboy. This is another issue that surprised me, and I will definitely read the next one.

Green Lantern v5(?) #1
By Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke
     Oh Geoff Johns, can't you pace just one comic so that something happens? Everything that went on in this issue could have been covered in about half the pages. Similar to Justice League #1, I'm not sure if Johns realizes that he is writing for new readers. And that doesn't mean having characters tell each other shit they already know, it means delivering an interesting story, as well as backstory on the characters. This issue will work fine for people who know Green Lantern already, but I can't see a new reader being converted by this.

Grifter #1
By Nathan Edmondson and Cafu
     Meh. I am kind of disappointed that this wasn't the worst thing I'd ever read. Instead there was just a ton of buildup to nothing. Same with GL, everything could have been done faster. Instead we get 22 pages of mostly the same thing happening over and over.

Legion Lost #1
By Fabian Nicieza and Pete Woods
     This is another set of characters I never really got a grip on. Still not sure I totally have it. This issue was interesting enough, but didn't totally pull me in. I tend to not like team books, so that could be an issue here. There is something in the issue that I think I was supposed to care about, but because I don't know any of these people I didn't. Also, I think they remember Flashpoint and the universe before it. So that's going to be confusing to explain.

Mr. Terrific #1
By Eric Wallace and Gianluca Gugliotta
     People say that Bruce Wayne is unrelatable and I can see that. Mr Terrific is unrelatable to me. There is a caption that reads "I had everything a person could want before my thirteenth birthday. An Olympic gold medal, more degrees than half the faculties of Harvard and Yale combined. A net worth of over a billion dollars." That is where it lost me. Even with a personal tragedy and the call to be a hero, I just cant care about that dude.

Red Lanterns #1
By Peter Milligan and Ed Benes 
     Woof. And I thought nothing happened in Green Lantern. This was just plan bad. I like Milligan a lot on Hellblazer, and I think Benes draws well despite his blatant oversexualization of women, so I dunno what happened here. Really, I don't know why the red lanterns even got a book. This seems like a cash in on the popularity of Blackest Night and a really unnecessary series.

Resurrection Man v2(?) #1
By Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Fernando Dagnino 
     I'm totally sure about how I feel about this issue. I like the concept a lot, and the art/writing was good. But it left me kinda in the middle of opinion. I think I'll pick up the next issue just to see if I like this series or not.

Suicide Squad v3(?) #1
By Adam Glass, Federico Dallocchio and Ransom Getty
     Before I even managed to get around to reading this Twitter was blowing up with controversy over Amanda Waller. I'm not surprised that a book which took Harley Quinn to slutsville would sex up Amanda Waller. What should be addressed is that this book wasn't good in general, but the last page was so bad that it's going to get all the focus.

Superboy v4(?) #1
By Scott Lobdell and R.B. Silva  
     I had pretty low expectations for this issue, as I do with most Superman related stuff, but I kind of liked it. Since I didn't really care about Superboy pre-Flashpoint so I'm not offended by any changes. I like the concept, and unlike some of these setup issues I was interested the whole time. It didn't feel like backstory, it felt like the beginning of a story.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Detective Comics #44

Cover: Bob Kane

The Land Behind the Light
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson & George Roussos
Letters: George Roussos

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If you enjoy this show please check out Tom vs The DCU, who was a big inspiration

Friday, September 9, 2011

Week in Comics 9/7/11

So this week I got all of the 13 new DC titles, and I will be getting the rest of the new 52 to see if anything catches my interest. As always, I will probably drop SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS

Action Comics v2 #1
By Grant Morrison and Rags Morales
     I'm not the biggest Superman fan. My reason is the same as a lot of people, and I'm not going to convert any Superman fans away, so I'll skip all those bits. But this comic seemed weird to me. Superman was kind of a cocky jerk, which just doesn't feel Superman-ey to me. I know he is supposed to be young and cocky, but lines like, "To someone who still believes the law works the same for rich and poor alike. Because that ain't Superman!" make me cringe a bit. Of course this could be genius and I just don't know Supes enough to get it.

Animal Man v2(?) #1
By Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman
     This is a character I know nothing about. I saw him a bit in one of the crises or series leading up to/resulting from the crises. This issue was seriously good. It had an interesting plot that introduced me to the characters, which was super helpful. The art was different from standard superhero stuff, but I liked it a lot. Especially in a dream sequence in the middle. The ending was a cliff hangar, as were a lot of the endings this week, but it totally worked and makes me want to pick up the next issue. I would definitely recommend checking this out.

Batgirl v4 #1
By Gail Simone and Adrian Syaf
     Well I wasn't expecting a great explanation for Barbara being able to walk again, but I was hoping for more than  it being "a miracle." Hopefully it will be fleshed out a little later, and Gail Simone just didn't want to bog down the first issue with backstory. Other than that the issue is alright. The villain seems interesting, but a little silly. Which I'm not sure is intentional, since a lot of Simone's work is pretty funny. The last page made no sense, but Simone has a good track record so I'm sure this book is worth sticking with.

Batwing #1
By Judd Winick and Ben Oliver
     I was pretty surprised by this issue. I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but i didn't have high hopes. Turns out, this is pretty interesting and has some cool ideas about a group of superheroes from Africa that helped people and started revolutions and then disappeared. Definitely interesting enough to string me along to issue 2. The art is a really nice almost painted looking style. I'm not sure if that was worked in by Ben Oliver or if the colorist, Brian Reber, is adding a lot to the art.

Detective Comics v2 #1
By Tony Daniel
     I'm kind of torn over this issue. While I like Tony Daniel's art, which a lot of people don't, the story was... strange. This seemed to be trying really, really hard to be as dark as possible. While I can see the Joker purposely going to Arkham to meet another inmate plot, there was a lot of stuff tacked onto that which didn't make a lot of sense. Especially the ending, which felt like a twist that was put in because they needed a last page shocker, and not something that made sense. It really feels like a 90's comic with a lot of broody narration from Batman.

Green Arrow v6 #1
By JT Krull and Dan Jurgens 
     And now for an issue that made me sad. I understand that Green Arrow isn't a popular character, and needs to be revamped to sell issues, but man did this not feel like a comic about Oliver Queen. This feels like a legacy character, or a comic about the industrialist son of Oliver. Green Arrow has gone right back to being a Batman Knock off with a bow, like he was before he lost his money. There's even a comparison between Queen Industries and Wayne Corp. All I can hope is that this is just build up for retelling Ollie losing his company. I mean, the dude doesn't even have a beard. What the hell.

Hawk and Dove v5(?) #1
By Sterling Gates and Rob Liefeld
     Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha terrible.

Justice League International v3 #1
By Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti
     This issue was mostly setup of the characters, which is good since I have no idea who a few of them are. The plot is interesting enough, but I don't think I know enough about something to be shocked by the ending. It felt more like I now just have to wait a month for the rest of the fight. I'm not sure what the deal is with people being really angry at the Hall of Justice either.

Men of War v2(?) #1
By Ivan Brandon and Tom Derenick
Backup by Jonathan Vankin and Phil Winslade
     I was pretty interested in this book when it was announced. I like war stories a lot, and the perspective of a soldier in a world with superheroes, and villains, is something I've never seen before. And it does pay off pretty well in the issue. My main problem is that the issue was split into two stories, and resulted in a middle of the book cliff hangar. Which just made me wonder why they didn't tell that story for the rest of the pages. Unless a backup is about something different, I don't really see the point of it.

OMAC v2(?) #1
By Dan Didio and Keith Giffen
     This just wasn't for me. I'm not a huge Kirby fan like a lot of comic readers, so I had no hopes or nostalgia for OMAC. It came off as weird and kind of boring. I wasn't sure what was going on. So there's that. Also, it seems really weird to tie a character to Brother Eye. I know that OMACs came back in Infinite Crisis, but the OMAC of this book doesn't look connected to those at all.

Static Shock #1
By Scott McDaniel and John Rozum
     I never really watched the show, so I don't know much about this character. He has lighting powers. That's about it. The overall plot was alright, some of the dialog was trying too hard for my tastes. I'm not a big fan of Scott McDaniel's art, but it was much less offensive to my eyes in this issue.

Stormwatch v3(?) #1
By Paul Cornell and Miguel Angel Sepulveda
     This had the Justice League problem of having to recruit all of its characters and then realizing that nothing happened by the end. I've read some of these characters in The Authority, and it felt a lot like an issue of that which guest starred Martian Manhunter. But, the promise of superheroes fighting the moon is too great, and I will check out the next one.

Swamp Thing v5
By Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette
     Oh look another Scott Snyder comic for me to fawn over. This issue was a lot of setup, but held my attention pretty well. My only real experience with Swamp Thing was the TV show and an action figure I had as a kid. This issue managed to interest me so I will definitely keep reading.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Batman #3

Cover: Bob Kane

The Strange Case of the Diabolical Puppet Master
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Jerry Robinson & George Roussos 
Letters: George Roussos

The Ugliest Man in the World
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Jerry Robinson & George Roussos 
Letters: George Roussos

The Crime School for Boys
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Jerry Robinson & George Roussos 
Letters: George Roussos

The Batman vs. the Cat-Woman
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Jerry Robinson & George Roussos 
Letters: George Roussos
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Send questions to
Follow on Twitter @BatIssues

If you enjoy this show please check out Tom vs The DCU, who was a big inspiration