Category Archives: Comix This Week

My Weekly column on the latest purchases at the comic store!

Comix This Week!

It is actually impossible for me to pick a best comic for 12-7-11. Of the 11 comics I purchased, 4 are outstanding, and the rest are Awesome.

Outstanding:

X-Men 22:The Army of Sentinels have been activated and the X-Men, with War Machine, must stop them.

Red Lanterns 4: Atrocitus gives sentience back to several of his lanterns in hopes of building allies to stand against an uprising within the ranks.

Omac 4: Kevin heads home, and is attacked by bio-mechanical Alligators in the subway. This comic is cool.

Justice League International 4: Peraxxus is the name of the alien who is going to destroy the Earth to claim its mineral rights! Also, Batman gets his junk felt up by Lady Godiva’s hair.

Awesome:

The Fearless 4: The hunt for the Hammers continues as Sin heads under the sea, and fights Namor. Valkyrie heads to NYC and the baxter Building to face the Thing.

The Defenders 1: I was not too sure about this, but issue #1 was great. The Black Hulk must be stopped! Namor, Silver Surfer, Iron Fist, Red She Hulk, and leader Doctor Strange fly off to face the danger! fraction wrote a good comic! Hooray!

Detective Comics 4: The Dollmaker story concludes as Batman saves Gordon and the Joker remains faceless. Literally faceless. His severed face skin is in a glass case.

Action Comics 4: All hell breaks loose. The army is chasing Superman. Braniac has unleashed his robots into metropolis and promptly bottles it. John Corben has become Metallo and goes after Superman. John Henry Irons dons the suit and becomes STEEL. By the end of the issue, metropolis is gone, braniac is preparing to take out the Earth, and the only hope…Superman. I think the world is about to go from fearing to loving Superman over the next couple issues.

Amazing Spider-Man 675: I Love, Love, Love, Love the Vulture. Old Adrian Toombs is back as his new squad of young Vultures are robbing NYC blind. Peter teams up with former gf Carlie Cooper, and defeat the threat. Vulture escapes to fight another day.

Avenging Spider-Man 2: Red Hulk and Spidey venture under the earth to fight in the Moloid civil war! very good.

PICKS OF THE WEEK

yup, its another one of those weeks.

by Lemire and Foreman

and

Swamp Thing 4

These two comics are probably the best DC is making right now. In Animal man, Buddy and his daugther fight off two agents of “THE ROT”, which is the force of DEATH in the universe. This battle happens within “THE RED”, the force of animal life in the universe. Thier leadership is the “Parliament of Limbs”, who has had many avatars over the milennia to fight THE ROT. The current avatar is Buddy’s daughter, who he must protect.

From time to time, THE RED has joined forces with…

“THE GREEN”, who is led by the “Parliament of Trees”. Like The RED, The GREEN also has an avatar….

Forgive me if this sometihng you already knew. hehe

Swamp Thing chases after Billy Arcane, Avatar of THE ROT as he spreads awesomely depicted death wherever he goes. Although Alec Holland is fighting the Parliament, he must soon become Swamp Thing and face this threat.

These comics, written by 2 seperate amazing writers are heading towards the mother of all crossovers. If you don’t like this, you don’t know comics.

Comix…..not this week (or at least later on this week)!

Spent all day cleaning my house in preparation for the family that will be staying with us for Thanksgiving. I picked up my mighty stack of comics….and promptly did not read them. I can’t promise anything, but I “might” have the article done for Thursday Night/Friday Morning. Sorry for the inconvenience.In the meanwhile, please look at this artistic rendering of Robocop on a Unicorn.

Comix This Week! 11-16-2011

Greetings Program!

Welcome to another edition of “Comix this week!” and a fine week it was. On to the goodies:

Worst of the week

Nightwing #3: While hardly a “bad” comic, when examined in the group of comics I purchased this week, it was clearly the weakest. With no action, this third issue of the rebooted Nightwing focuses on character as Dick attends the funeral of Mr Haley (of the Haley’s circus that Dick grew up in), tries to find out what “secret” Haley died to protect, all while nurturing another romantic attatchment. I had hopes for this title, but it has definitely moved down a few pegs this month. I will probably give it one more issue before I make a decision to keep/drop.

Average of the Week

Captain America #4: Brubaker delivers a mind bending episode as Cap is trapped in Johnny Jupiter’s alternate dimension as he sees what Codename Bravo went through as he lived in the dimension for 70 years. Not the best, but its all leading up to the finale of this first arc. Good stuff.

Fearless #3: Bunn delivers another knockout issue of this Fear Itself follow up. Is it bad that I like this more that the series it spawned from?? Valkrie fights the Secret Avengers and Vampires to continue her quest to collect the Magical Hammers, as SIN devises the ultimate doomsday weapon.

Green Lantern Corps 3: From a title that was not impressing me, I must admit I am impressed. Guy, John, and other Green Lanterns are stuck on a planet fighting some strange Alien army,  who are nearly immune to their Rings! Some awesome cross-galaxy warping, and some battling later, we get John and others stranded and taken as POW’s to this alien threat.

Supergirl 3: Denying the truth about Krypton, Kara tries to track down the Space Pod that brought her to Earth, only to discover that it was stolen by and taken to an orbital space station, where she is tested in various attacks to see how powerful she is. By issue’s end, the is introduced to a little something called “Kryptonite”.

Best of the Week

X-Men 21: The border dispute, between the Eastern European nations who’s fictitious names I forget, heats up as a whole army of drone Sentinels are taught to kill regular humans in addition to mutants. War Machine jumps into the fray as the race to take out the Sentinels continues.

Avengers 19: This is it, one of those great moments where the world is introduced to the latest line-up of the Avengers! As Steve assembles his team, adding Storm and a rebuilt Vision, their great press conference is interrupted by Fugitive Norman Osborn! What he wants: Due process over his imprisonment without trial! Unexpected, and awesome.

Amazing Spider-Man 674: The cover says it all! The Vulture is back! Now operating a sort of Mob boss who is setting up a whole team of Vultures to carry out his crimes! For some inexplicable reason, Vulture is my favorite Spidey villain. i’ve always hoped they would cast Stan Lee as the Vulture in a cameo.

Incredible Hulk 2: Jason Aaron delivers again as this issue shows us how Bruce Banner dealt with being physically separated from the Hulk…going batshit crazy and creating his own Island of Dr Moreau! Hulk is enlisted to stop Banner, but he wants nothing to do with it, and jumps away- Just as 2 of Banner’s wild boar monsters break into the underground city Hulk has been living in, and starts killing the residents- to hurt Hulk’s friends. Great stuff.

Runners up of the week

Justice League 3: Johns and Lee deliver another terrific issue of the Justice League! As Darkseid’s Parademons invade the Earth “For Darkseid!”, Green Lantern, Flash, Superman and Batman are joined by Wonder Woman and Aquaman to face this threat! WW centric, we see a bit of what Diana did upon traveling to America for the first time, and it is great to see that Steve Trevor is still a part of that origin. This also presents us with the construction of the Hero we will come to know as Cyborg! A great issue.

Batman #3: This was a tough choice. I was inclined to make this my #1 comic this week, but it narrowly lost out. In the previous issues, we have seen a mysterious Owl assassin trying to kill Bruce Wayne. The killer supposedly works for a mythic secret society known as the Court of Owls. Batman thinks they are just a myth…until he discovers that hidden in the 13th floor(the hidden floor in buildings) of a whole series of skyscrapers in Gotham are hideouts for the Court! In them are weapons, suits, and photos dating back over 150 years! It blows our minds, and actually blows Batman mind too. A rare instance of seeing Batman a little scared that there could be this big giant secret in Gotham that he never knew of. Snyder is a great writer, and Capullo is perfectly suited to drawing this title.

Pick of the Week!

Wonder Woman #3: By Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang.

So few writers can do Wonder Woman well…Brian Azzarello is one of these chosen few. I have always enjoyed WW, but there were just no great stories that sucked me into the character, not for years. Azzarello gets it. In this issue, we get some expert storytelling as the Amazons prepare to have a funeral for the Amazons killed in the last issue. Diana has a talk with her mother over the revelation made by The Goddess Strife. Hippolyta admits that Strife IS Diana’s sister. She and (ZEUS!) were lovers and Diana came from that union. The whole backstory of Diana being fashioned from Clay and turned to life was revealed to be just a cover story to keep Hera from killing her. Diana swears off her alleigance to Paradise Island and lives now only known as Wonder Woman. Cliff Chiang does an outstanding job with the artistic duties on this issue. He brings a great Indie feel to the comic that to me is reminiscent of a lot of stuff I was reading about 10 years ago in the small press publishers. Now if they could only make a decent WW movie…

 

Comix this week! 11-9-11

Welcome phantom readers!

I present for your edification, the latest edition of my weekly report on the newest comic offerings to be found at your local retailer or through digital download! As always, I direct interested parties to The Time Capsule: Route 6 in Seekonk Mass (next door to the speedway) to get their fix! Tell Jeff that Mike Ponte sent you! He will promptly reply with a healthy slap to your face and order you to get out before he sticks the dogs on you and calls the cops.

I apologize for the lack of uniformity in the images, I just grabbed what I could find on the interwebs.

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Worst of the Week:

This is the last week for the “Stink” category. I may have finally found a good balance of titles to read, that has completely (for now) eradicated the garbage.

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Acceptable of the Week

Buffy The Vampire Slayer 3:

 

“Season 9” of Buffy continues as she finds herself wanted by the Police for murdering Vampires…yup. Vamps are now “pop icons” in the Buffy-verse. Of course, there is always a catch, as a new villain called “The Siphon” is after Buffy and her powers. It appears that when Buffy destroyed “The seed”: Source of all magic and power in the Earth (which miraculously is also central to the Dark Angel Saga in Uncanny X-Force: covered below), she did something that makes all new Vampires into Zombies…Zompires as Xander so eloquently put it. Another “OK” issue, but I cannot help but wonder if the magic of Buffy is wearing off a bit (correlations of the preceding statement to the events of Season 8 are totally intentional).

Superboy 3:

Superboy is out in the world, and N.O.W.H.E.R.E. wants him back! I hope that made sense. N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is a shadowy group that is the creator of Superboy.  The future “Connor Kent” (if he will use that name in the DCnU) is getting his first taste of the real world, and his introduction to normal humans. Of course he happens across some sort of alien fire monster who conveniently reveals to him that he is a clone, containing both Kryptonian and Human DNA.  Overall, a decent issue, but I think this, and Teen Titans, are in danger of becoming very boring…very quickly. They are both essentially covering the same ground- N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and it’s desire to control all of the young Meta-Humans, and the few teen heroes that stand against them.

Resurrection Man #3

The story of the undying “Mitch” continues, as the two sexy assassins fail in kidnapping him from the Nursing home! hehe. That was a funny sentence to write. “Resurrection Man”, the guy who rises from death, each time with a new superpower, is being hunted! Last issue, two beautiful women were dispatched to find and retrieve him. This issue shows the remainder of their epic battle, as Mitch discovers that these two girls have a very Wolverine-like Healing factor! Just when he thinks these sexy babes have him licked, a senile old man puts on a super-suit and prepares to fight them! hehe. This comic is funny.

Batman and Robin #3

Tomasi delivers another great issue of Bruce/Damian awesomeness. Bruce is worried about this “Morgan” character coming after him, and his bat-family. He orders Damian to stay home and play with their new dog, but as Damian is an ass, he disobeys his father (never do that, especially if your dad is the goddamn Batman), and is promptly left helpless at the hands of Morgan. By the end of the story, we have a good old fashioned “Same bat-time, same bat-channel” cliffhanger, where the dynamic duo are strapped into a convertible, in a field, and a drive-in movie is about to start. Methinks the next issue will be a lot of exposition… good stuff though. The characterizations are there, and it all flows well. Of special interest is that great Chess scene where Alfred the Butler shows child Genius Robin, just why Batman keeps him around.

Deathstroke #3:

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This issue finds Slade attacked by a strange Green and Purple suited assassin- pictured on the cover. This new villain. “Legacy”, seems solid enough as a recurring foil, but the cover could use some work. I guess I am just picky. The story inside the cover was another great tale. Following the slaughterfest of issue 2, Slade now finds himself back in the public eye as the “Go-to” Assassin. After dispatching Legacy, he goes off to Colorado to kill an arms manufacturer and meets…Legacy?! He kills him…again, but is beaten to the punch as someone else kills his mark. This was another solid issue from this surprisingly readable comic. I have a feeling that sales will get it cancelled in the next few months, but I will enjoy the blood soaked rise while it lasts.

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Now that we have the standard issues out of the way, it’s time for:

Best of the week!

Magneto: Not a Hero #1:

Whoa nelly! This mini series could be a great one. The story starts with an anti mutant rally in NY. Magneto (who has been an X-Men member for a while) walks in and kills everyone in attendance. The President of the US pretty much rips Steve “Cpt America” Rogers a new asshole, and demands Magneto be brought to justice. He and Iron Man end up meeting with Cyclops and Magneto over it. The catch: Magneto did not do it. Using a type of Cerebro, he discovers the culprit is his clone: Joseph! apparently flanked by his children: Wanda and Quicksilver! Not sure how that will play out, but I like this start. I kinda suspect that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were a sort of hallucination, or subconscious prodding that Joe is gonna try to take Daddy’s place as leader of some sort of new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. We’ll see.

Batgirl #3:

As Barbara adjusts to her new life back as Batgirl, we take a pause in the action to get some character development. Barbara is still mentally suffering from her “miracle” recovery from paralysis. Over the course of this story, she feels great anger and resentment in the idea that all of her friends and family see her not as the strong willed woman persona she had while in the wheelchair, but as a weak fragile girl to be protected from all harm and unnecessary exertion. This is a tough thing for her to wrap her mind around, and I applaud Simone for telling this story. There was so much fear and anger over the end of the “Oracle” character, that I am happy to see Gail delve into the mental instability in such a change (as opposed to “YAY! I can walk! Let’s never mention the wheelchair again!”).  It culminates with Babs, and Nightwing (former, and possibly future paramour- Dick Grayson) slugging it out over her belief that he and Batman don’t think she is up to the task of being Batgirl.  Overall, a great comic. We also get some reference points as it is told that her shooting was three years in the past. I loves me some reference.

The New Avengers 18:

Well, well, well. My favorite run of Avengers from the last several years has returned! Following “Secret Invasion”, Norman “Green Goblin” Osborne  became the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and made his own team of evil Avengers- the Dark Avengers. Newly escaped from prison, Norman (Looking suspiciously like Tommy Lee Jones), is now leading H.A.M.M.E.R., and has teamed up with Hydra, The Hand, and A.I.M. to create a new Dark Avenger team!  Yup, Norman is getting the band back together! The kicker- they have the “Clone Thor” from Civil War in their arsenal. Outstanding.Well played Bendis…well played.

Green Lantern #3:

The lackluster first 2 issues begin to pay off a bit in this issue of Green Lantern. Now that Sinestro has cajoled Hal into helping him free his home planet of Korugar from the Sinestro Corps, they head off to get the job done. Things go instantly fubar, and Hal is disintegrated?!! That’s not even the coolest part of the comic. The Guardians, who began to show signs of going apeshit crazy when they lobotomized fellow Guardian Ganthet (for having emotions), have decided to make a move. First came the Manhunter robots, who were flawed. The Guardians shut them down and created the Green Lantern Corps. Now, they being emotional sentient beings are not perfect either. So the Guardians are gonna scrap them all and create a THIRD ARMY! Some do not like Geoff Johns, but his run on these comics has been terrific. The concept of some new Corps of Robots/Machines/whatever trying to replace the GL Corps is very cool. I look forward to it playing out.

Avenging Spider-Man #1:

The first issue of the new Spidey title! I was a bit wary of this, but after some thinking, decided to give it a shot. Despite the title, this is essentially  the new “Marvel Team-up” comic. Back in the day, “team-up” was always Spider-Man having adventures with the hero of the week.  This time, we see Spidey and the Red Hulk team up to fight the Moloids, and discover that the Mole man has been defeated! Those stories were always some of my favorite Spider-Man adventures back in the day. I welcome it back with open arms. In addition, this comic comes polybagged with a code to download a free digital edition of the comic! My first “same day as print” comic! This title looks to be a keeper.

Demon Knights #3:

Best of the Awesomesauce titles. The only thing keeping this out of the top tier this month was the lack of Vandal Savage eating dinosaur for the first time in millenniums. That scene was the essence of fantastic. This month, the story of the Medieval superhero team continues as they prepare for an attack by The Horde on the small village they have decided to protect. Demons, flying horses, Vandal Savage, evil sorceresses, Mechanical Dragons, Walls of flame, and crispy demon-burnt priests all come together to form  a stunning story by Paul Cornell. I do not know where in his ass he pulled this comic out of, but I hope it runs forever.

Marvel Point One

While not the cover to this issue, it pretty much sums it up. Point One is a special one shot comic that drops several cool things in our laps. The idea is this: make a comic that will tease all of the big 2012 comic events. Holy crap did they do just that. The skeleton of this title is a couple of spacemen have sneaked into Uatu the Watcher’s house to download some information on the future! Of the things covered: Ultron taking over the Earth in Avengers, Doctor Strange leading the Defenders, The rise of X-Terminated- an Age of Apoocalypse story, Kaine becoming the new Scarlet Spider in his own title, AND…..

The return of the fucking Phoenix. Phoenix destroys an entire planet in this particular vignette and is tearing its way across the universe (presumably heading to earth, because…that’s where all these alien things head for some reason.) They also drop a thread that these 2 guys stealing Uatu’s information have a plan- to kill him! Marvel in 2012 is looking very very good.

Runner up of the week


Batwoman #3: by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman

This is quite the comic. The writing is near perfection, and the art is breathtaking. Looking at the cover, you get the sense that this is a special style of comic. What many do not understand is that while a cover is frequently more dynamic that the interior art (to make you buy it), this comic’s interiors frequently match or EXCEED the covers. Williams is a master of his craft. The art here is the best I have ever seen in a comic. He makes it his own, and never looks back. This is a title that people will be talking about for many years as a prime example of what the comics art medium can accomplish.

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and now….

Pick of the Week!

Uncanny X-Force 17: by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña

Simply perfection. Selecting this title as the pick of 11-9-11 was a no brainer. Rick Remender is on a tear in this title that I cannot believe. 17 issues in 12 months… SEVENTEEN!

Right from the start, he has made this new iteration of the X-Force something amazing to behold. The Mutant Hit Squad concept was very weak, and I had zero interest in the previous iteration of this team. He took that team, added Deadpool and Fantomex (who has become one of my favorite X-Men) and gave us the best comic produced by Marvel.

The Dark Angel Saga reaches it’s penultimate issue as Psylocke is transformed into the new Horseman of Death! Archangel prepares to use “The Seed” (same idea from Buffy really) to wipe out all life on Earth and remake it in a Mutant Utopian image. The team manage to turn Psylocke back to normal just in time to face off against Warren in a final battle. The last damn thing we needed was another Age of Apocalypse storyline where one of the heroes gets possessed by the power of Apocalypse and tries to take over the Earth. Its been done… a lot. Remender wisely takes this comic on another course, one with tremendous power, great twists, and possibly the best story Angel/Archangel has ever had.

The art is exceptional, as we have come to expect from Jerome Opeña. The story is easily best X-story since Grant Morrison’s  work on New X-Men, and possibly further back. Remender has joined Jason Aaron, and Cullen Bunn as my favorite writers of the past year. I was aware of them, and their work, but this is the year I really jumped into their stuff. I have no doubt that this run on Uncanny X-Force will be looked back on by future readers as one of the best in the history of X-Men…and that is saying quite a bit.

Comix this week! 11-2-2011

No images this week, as I am feeling lazy, and the hour is late.

The Bad:

No bad this week! A sign that my culling of crap titles is nearing completion.

The Good:

Justice League International 3: The story of the “Giants” continues as the newly formed JLI learns to work as a team. Jurgens and Lopresti are doing a fine job, but the title is suffering from a lack of Ted Kord as the Blue Beetle. In fact, I would say the entire universe is suffering from his absence in the reboot. He seems to have never existed, at least as we know him, in the DCnU.

Red Lanterns 3: The slow boil continues as Atrocitus reliveves Bleeze of her bloodlust so that he may have someone else with a clear mind to help run the Red lanterns. This of course will end up biting him in the ass, as it appears that Bleeze has designed this series of events to steal leadership from Atrocitus. Good stuff, great Bloodbath cover by Ed benes.

Avengers 1959: This interesting series continues as Nick Fury and the 59 version of the Avengers deal with the Skull nazis, and meet up with Howard Stark. Great stuff here from Chaykin, but I gotta admit the art is slipping a bit in this issue.

Fear Itself: The Fearless 1 and 2: After hearing heaps of praise for Cullen Bunn as a voice to be reckoned with in comics, I decided to pick up these issues. They are really good stuff. The spin offs of Fear Itself are destined to far eclipse the series itself.

Fear Itself 7.1- Captain America: Just when you thought the hurt was over! I admit that this .1 by Brubaker and Guice was very good. It tells the tale of what happened with Cap and Bucky post- Fear itself. SPOILER: Bucky lives, and Nick Fury gives up immortality! By issue’s end, Mr barnes is going underground as the Winter Soldier once again, to right some wrongs from his past life as a Soviet Assassin. Brubaker is writing it, so sign me up!

X-Men 20: Storm and other members of the X-Men Blue team based out of San Francisco head off on a mission to Chechnya to track down some Sentinels, and run afoul of Government actions- leading to a showdown between Juggernaut’ed Colossus and War Machine. Nothing to spectacular here, but a decent first issue to a new storyline. The Adi Granov cover was a little underwhelming also.

Uncanny X-Men 1: Cyclops and his “Blue” team of X-Men face off against Mr. Sinister who has taken control of The Dreaming Celestial  to turn the people of San Francisco into…Mister Sinisters? Bizzare first issue of this relaunch. I will stick around a little while, but Gillen needed to be dropped from this title. Thus Far “Gold team” and Wolverine have my support.

The Great:

Swamp Thing 2 and 3: After deciding to not subscribe to Swamp Thing, I was inundated by questions about it, and even more comments on the high quality of the new series. begrudgingly, I picked up the latest issue and the one I missed…Holy mother of God. This is a fantastic title. It is honoring what came before, while treading new ground in the Swamp Thing mythos. I love “The Rot”, and look forward to many face offs with the Green….and…

Animal Man 3: Lemire continues to TEAR IT UP on this fantastic title. Animal Manand his daughter- Avatar of “The Red” (Swamp Thing concerns “The Green”) face off against agents of “The Rot”. There is a great shared universe going on between this and Swamp Thing. The inevitable crossover will be epic.

Detective Comics 3: The story of the Dollmaker continues as batman races to save Jim Gordon from getting chopped up, only to fall into a trap where he must face…multiple Jokers! Tony Daniel is phenomenal on batman titles, and I predict he will be here for a long long time.

Action Comics 3: We see a bit more of “crusading reporter” Clark Kent, and the powerful entities aligned to squash the truth of the corruption in the government and businesses of Metropolis. We also get a glimpse of some of the last moments of kandor City on Krypton, just as Braniac “bottles” it. The same situation plays out here in Metropolis, as Braniac’s robot minions prepare to collect Metropolis!

Pick of the Week:

OMAC 3: This is a great comic. Very “Jack Kirby” and not afraid to show it. Omac faces off against Psi-Fi man as well as the Maxwell Lord led Checkmate. There are some great things happening in this title, and I am proud to list it as my surprise hit of the DCnU.

Comix this week! 10-26-11

Welcome to another edition of Comix this week! My last entry was rather detailed, and as I do not plan on writing a 3 hours post again, today you get the 50 cent version. A hallmark of the “Classic” Comix this week messages I wrote 15-5 years ago was the “Pick of the week”. So, I am gonna start ranking these reviews from worst to best (in my estimation).  Enjoy!

WORST OF THE WEEK: Self explanatory

The art on this series, by Andrea Sorrentino is beautiful. The story, however, in incomprehinsible. I was hoping for more of a fleshed out story in this issue, but sadly it was not to be. This felt like another First issue, in that we are dropped into the middle of action, with no idea what is going on. There is more information about the story written on the cover of this issue, than in the issue itself. This is my last month with these vamps.

Nothing particularly outstanding here. The art is ok, the story transfer is good, but there is a problem. The TV show was better, and having freshly read the novels, this cannot help but pale in comparison. Winter has come….for this title. heh

AVERAGE OF THE WEEK!!!: The stuff that is generally good, not must read stuff.

I am intrigued by this issue, but it was not as good as #1. The storytelling was uneven, and harder to follow than I would like. I am sticking with this for a while longer though, as there is merit in the title, and the incredible cast of characters.

Green Lantern: New Guardians 2: Better than issue one, but still not completely there. By the end of the issue, things are starting to transition as Kyle becomes “Uber-Lantern”. The cover is still a bit misleading as not many of these characters are getting along at all, and the addition of the orange Lantern on the cover confuses me. This might be the first Lantern title I ever cancel if things don’t turn around.

Flash 2 was an interesting issue, as it explored how Barry can not just move fast, but think fast. Overall though, Barry is just a really boring character. There is nothing that really makes this guy pop other than “I can move fast! and I’m a cop!”. This title needs to shift gears and develop the Flash Family again. The only thing that ever really defined Barry Allen was his death in 1986, and the legacy he left behind with the Flash legacy characters. They are sorely missed.

I do not know what to do with this title. So far, it is pretty much a T&A show. There is nothing wrong with that, but this needs something else, a hook, to drag us into the world. I will probably stick with the current story line and re-evaluate.

BEST OF THE WEEK: Now we get into the REALLY good stuff.

Star Trek returned to comics last month, and I missed it! I therefore picked up both issues 1 and 2. This series is overseen by Bob Orci, writer of 2009’s Star Trek Reboot. This is the retelling of the original series episodes, in the new Star Trek universe. Things are different, sometimes not so much, other times drastically. It is an interesting idea, and I look forward to future issues.

What a great issue this was. #1 re-introduced us to Aquaman, and addressed his ranking as the lamest of the Justice League. In this issue, we see WHY is a JL member. He kicks so much ass in this title, but not enough to escape the fish monsters! #3 cannot come fast enough.

George Perez crams SO much into his work. This feels like 2-3 comics in one issue. There is so much happening here, and Perez is a great storyteller. I will be sad to see him leave the title after its first arc. The plot of this issue was great, an invisible (to superman) monster, that he uses cameras and tv to track and fight. Great stuff.

This is the story of Bucky discovering a Concentration Camp in Germany. Great stuff, and really evokes the rage Bucky feels at the horrors of the camps. Brubaker needs to stay on Cap forever.

All Star Western 2: A genius idea. Lets take Bounty Hunter Jonah hex, team him up with the first Dr Arkham (of the asylum), and have him fight bad guys in the young Gotham City. The Crime Bible makes it’s re-appearance in this story, and Hex has a hell of a time shooting up the cult members. great on so many levels.

PICK OF THE WEEK: Technically “Picks of the week”

Incredible Hulk #1 and Wolverine and the X-men #1

By Jason Aaron.

Arron is awesome. two #1’s this week and they are easily the picks of the week. Hulk is normally about Banner trying to control the Hulk, now that they have physically split in 2, it is the Hulk who must be brought in to control banner- who has become some sort of Mad Scientist. Marc Silvestri’s art is beyond reproach.

Wolverine is now the Headmaster of the Jean Grey school, at the former Xavier School. What a great first issue. It reminds me in many ways to Morrisson’s New X-men of 10 years ago, with a re-emphasis on the school, and its functions. SOOOOOOOOO good.

Comix this week! October 19, 2011

What is it about October that brings out the Blog in me? I have bounced around different sites, but I have decided to settle here for all my egotistical ramblings. Now, back in the day (writing that phrase is how you know you are old) I used to do this email comic review with some friends of mine which we appropriately called “Comics this week”. I have decided to resurrect it here for all to dissect and critique with me. Expect new posts every Wednesday.

 Justice League #2 Written by Geoff Johns, Pencils by Jim Lee, and Inks by Scott Williams.

Johns and Lee continue the story begun in last month’s relaunch.

Plot: The mystery of the alien incursion (cough cough Darkseid) unfolds as Batman and Green Lantern get into a slobber knocker with Superman. After exhausting nearly all their weapons and tactics against Big Blue, Green Lantern calls in The Flash (literally calls him mid-battle on a cell phone) and the heroes come together at the end to figure out what is going on. At the end, the “Mother boxes” (alien box) open up the “boom tubes” (wormholes) allowing armies of Para-Demons to invade the Earth, frying the heck out of a young Victor Stone in the process.

Writing: Johns continues to lay the groundwork of the New 52 as the JL comes together. The new Superman is still in a time and place where he is a loner and distrusting of just about everybody. Green Lantern is still new at his job and reflects the recklessness inherent in that. Flash is a cop who follows the law and does not consider himself a vigilante. Batman is Batman. Like previous incarnations, he is the one keeping the League on the job and focused. Vic Stone is getting a great set up on his road to becoming “Cyborg: A-Lister”. His dad is a man obsessed with the Superheroes, which will carry forward nicely as he needs to find a way to “fix” his injured son. There is a great sense of fun in the title. Johns is not afraid to throw out some humor amid the action, which is a great alternative the doom and gloom and Bwa-haha stories in past comics. He rides the edge nicely.

Art: Not much needs to be said about Jim Lee. When he delivers his work on time, it is great. When he delivers it late…its still great. This is one of the guy that defined that 1990’s Comic Art for me. He was a god to the young Ponte, and continues to be a great influence on my comic tastes.

Overall: A great issue. The slow burn heats up a lot by the end of this issue. Half the League is formed, and we are well on the way to seeing how the world turned from fearing superheroes to loving them.

 Supergirl #2 Written By Michael Green & Mike Johnson. Pencils by Mahnud Asrar and Inks by Dan Green.

Plot: Kara Zor-El believes she was on Krypton three days ago and her cousin Kal-el is just a baby. Now, she finds herself on a strange world named Earth, with powers she does not understand, fighting a powerful being claiming to be her baby cousin. In what I can only call a family reunion from hell, they fight across Asia, literally across Asia. By issue’s Superman calms her down, and he tells her that Krypton is gone. It ends with a mysterious governmental? agency studying the pod that brought her to earth and the information crystal within.

Writing: Green and Johnson do a great job of revealing pieces of Krypton history. What I liked most was the concept of the “Worldkiller” program. It appears to have been some sort of Super Soldier military project on Krypton. Zod is still a force to be reckoned with as Kara name drops him.

Art: Johnson draws a good fight scene, and that is what this issue is…one giant fight. Supergirl punching Superman through the great Wall of China never looked better (not that I have ever seen that before).

Overall: Supergirl continues to surprise me. It was one of those New 52 titles that I was hesitant to read. I am pleased to report that this title is one of the better of the 52. There was no exposition needed right off the bat. The story begins with Kara on Earth and confused. I look forward to seeing the story of Argo city unveiled in future issues.

 Batman #2 Written by Scott Snyder, Pencils by Greg Capullo, Inks by Jonathan Glapion

Story: Dick Grayson…Murderer?! Bruce Wayne…next victim?! Batman hunts the “Owl” killer, while evidence leads to Dick Grayson. Of course, Dick is innocent, but who is the killer? Bruce Wayne comes under assault atop Wayne Tower and defeats the Assassin. It ends with the Owl Killer rising from the dead?!

Writing: Snyder has a tight plot, beautifully set up with Bruce Wayne being thrown out of Wayne Tower, with the story that follows telling the tale of how we got to that point. It has been used a thousand times, but this is still one of my favorite story devices. I enjoy that Snyder is delving into the history of Gotham City in the series. Bruce Wayne is not just the son of Dr Wayne, but is descended from many generations of the family. Gotham is in his DNA and Snyder enjoys reminding us of that.

Art: Capullo draws some good gore, and he always has. We have stabbings and an autopsy and a few killings giving Capullo a chance to show his stuff. He has demonstrated his ability to draw caped figures fighting in the night quite expertly throughout the 90’s in Spawn, and he, like McFarlane, is a great fit for Batman.

Overall: Another solid issue of Batman from Snyder. This was a great case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Pre-52 Batman was very very good, and they are not messing with the formula.

Green Lantern Corps #2: Written by Peter J Tomasi, Pencils by Fernando Pasarin, and Inks by Scott Hanna

Story: Someone is killing Green Lanterns. A group led by Guy Gardner and John Stewart travel to find the culprits. The strange alien menace is stealing water and air from other planets in a plot that reminds me of Spaceballs, but more violent.

Writing: A very lackluster issue. The story functions well, but as an introductory plot it leaves me a bit cold. There is an awful lot of Green Lanterns being torn limb from limb, and the overall goal of the enemy is not impressive.

Art: No complains on the art. The creatures are well designed, and the action is well executed.

Overall: I am invested in Green Lantern pretty heavily (every issue back to the 70’s) so I am not gonna be dropping this title, but they need to bring a better game. Tomasi can write some good stuff, but this is not jiving for me. Green Lantern, with Batman, was the other character that was not meddled with at all in the reboot. Sales were strong and the story was good. This is the first good title that has taken a nosedive following the reboot for me. I am hoping that as we get deeper into the story, there will be a turn around.

  Wonder Woman #2 Written by Brian Azzarello, Art by Cliff Chiang

Story: Wonder Woman has a woman who is carrying the daughter of Zeus! She brings the woman, and the injured god Hermes to Paradise Island for refuge. After being initially suspected of being intruders by the Amazons, they are given asylum. Diana’s origin is retold (being molded from Clay), and she competes in some athletic competitions while back home. The story ends with an attack by The Goddess Eris, called Strife here, and a revelation that she and Diana are…sisters?!

Writing: Azzarello is rocking this title. Wonder Woman is rarely done well. George Perez understood her 20 years ago, and Gail Simone did great with her a few years back, but Azzarello is off to the best start on her I have seen since the 80’s. We are not being served with another “Hero learning her trade” story. Diana knows who she is, and what her place is as Wonder Woman. Part of the charm of this tale is what is coming next issue, as Diana learns a secret from her past.

Art: Beautiful. Simply beautiful. The Designs on the Gods are great. They are not the typical “Spartan armor/Toga” versions we have been served with for years. Strife is very Goth, Hermes looks like a damn alien. The design on Hera is very Greek/Middle Eastern, but she is the queen of Mount Olympus, so it works.

Overall: Another pleasant surprise from the New 52. What was once at the bottom of my “Must read” list is now at the top with the best of them. Wonder Woman is one to watch.

 Nightwing #2 Written by Kyle Higgins, Pencils by Eddy Barrows, Inks by J.P. Mayer and Paulo Siqueira.

Story: Someone wants Dick Grayson: Murderer dead! I cannot but help think that this is tied to the murder frame happening over in Batman. A mysterious Assassin tries to kill Dick Grayson and “Nightwing” steps into the fight to stop him. Following the brief tussle, Dick gets his romance on with Raya from Haly’s Circus and gets pulled into a request from Circus owner Mr Haly. He travels to Atlantic City and meets with the dying Haly who reveals that ownership of the circus is now falling to Dick. The Assassin discovers the Haly connection and tortures the old man to the point where he reveals Nightwing’s identity. Old Mr Haly dies before he can reveal to Dick a “secret” in the circus.

Writing: Well written, best I can say. Higgins keeps the reader interested, especially at the end with the talk of secrets. I am curious to see if there will be a link with the Court of Owls over in Batman.

Art: Excellent panels and splash pages are used to great effect. Barrows continues to grow as an artist in DC, building on his work on Superman to bring a great dynamic to this title.

Overall: As stated before, so many issues were added with great trepidation in this new 52 era of DC comics. Nightwing is not as strong as some of the other titles out there, but he is safe from cancellation for now.

 DC Universe Presents #2 Written by Paul Jenkins, Art by Bernard Chang

Story: Deadman wants answers from the goddess who fated him to inhabit the bodies of people. He wants to know why he is doing it, and what the endgame is. After catching her in a lie (why am I seeing the faces of those I quantum Leap into), Boston jumps from body to body infiltrating a nightclub where there is a mysterious woman called The Librarian. She is a fallen angel in possession of books that tell the fate of every soul. His, and all those linked to him, end in damnation.

Writing: Jenkins does a good job of moving the story along by having Boston leap into dozens of bodies, all to start what is essentially a bar fight in the club. He comes across a room full of vampires and monsters who can see him, and they think he is some sort of stand up comedian at one point. It was pretty uneven in those sections, but it moves along well enough. Not his best stuff.

Art: Great cover by Ryan Sook, and OK art by Chang inside. He does a good job of making the confusion of the club fight scene understandable.

Overall: I am giving this one more issue. This is supposed to be a title that showcases various minor characters in the DC lineup. The Deadman story is supposed to run 5 issues long. I think this is way too long. I would prefer 2-3 issue arcs on each character. Deadman is great, but I am not sure if I can keep interested in this for another 3 months. I may pop off for a while and return in the next arc.

 Avengers 1959 #2 by Howard Chaykin

Story: Following a series of attacks on the 1959 version of the Avengers by Nazis, Nick Fury gets recruited by Powell McTeague to bring the Avengers on a mission to uncover these Fifth Column Nazis and take care of them.

Writing: Its Howard Chaykin.

Art: Its Howard Chaykin. You love it, or hate it.

Overall: Great follow up to the story in the Avengers. Seeing Fury lead a team of Mad Men era Avengers was inspired. The team make up is awesome, but I am interested in this character called The Englishman. Is it a pre-existing character from the period? Could this be young Jarvis? I am in all the way with this title.

  Avengers 18: Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Art by Daniel Acuna

Story: Following the events of Fear Itelf, Steve Rogers finds himself back in his role as Captain America: leader of the Avengers. Gathering in the Old Avengers Mansion, Steve lets the team know that it is time to decide who should continue to be Avengers- prompting confusion by the members. Throughout the issue, we see a “greatest hits” of the last few years worth of stories. There is a woman who has been working for SHIELD, collecting DNA samples from all the members of the teams. At the end of the issue, she turns these samples over to HAMMER for their nefarious purposes.

Writing: Bendis is at a point now where he knows this stuff left and right. His definitions of the characters of this team are the standard. He is a “Architect” for a reason.

Art: The art left me a little cold. There was not much to play with in this issue other than a lot of characters talking to each other, but it went well enough. Acuna likes that “painted” look in his stuff, and he uses it a lot in this issue. While the cover is nice, I am not sold on Acuna as an interior artist just yet. I feel he needs to season a bit more.

Overall: I picked this one up just to see the follow up to Fear Itself, and I was not let down.

 Fear Itself #7: By Fraction and everybody else.

Plot: The Heroes get superweapons, and defeat the Serpent God. Thor dies. Was this that hard? Did we need 7 issues?

Writing: yeah…

Art: Art first It was ok. It seems as if every other page was done by a different artist…because it nearly was lol.

Overall: The multiple epilogues and closing chapters do a great job of closing out this monster turd of an event. Fraction had some really great things to work with in this story: Iron Man re-succumbing to alcohol, a secret Serpent God Brother to Odin, 8 Hammers, similar to Thor’s, that bestow evil powers, the Death of Bucky (again), and the death of Thor. This should have been awesome, but it was poorly executed and ultimately uninteresting. The Last issue was the best of the series, sadly. This series was the final straw that got me to stop reading Fraction’s Iron man.

Now on the last page, we get a 2 age splash advertising “It is Coming” with a flaming Phoenix depicted. I am fearful of what this one will be, and how they are going to screw up the phoenix force, and the possible return of Jean Grey.

Coming tomorrow: A Recap of New York Comic Con.