Thursday, March 21, 2019

Savage Sword of Conan #3

   Now that Conan is back in the Marvel fold, they're wasting no time in making sure we have lots of barbarian action to enjoy.

   In addition to the regular title, we also have a color, comic book-sized title that revives the original magazine title, Savage Sword of Conan!

    That series is given over to random barbarian adventures, taken from different periods in Conan's career. (Is "career" the right word for a guy who is often on the wrong side of the law?)

   The ongoing series follows Conan's search for a hidden treasure, guided by a map that's been planted in his mind by a sorcerous encounter. 

   But that also attracts the attention of a powerful wizard and the small army that worships him.

   Throw in some harrowing battles and some nasty monsters and you have a rip-roaring Hyborian tale written by Gerry Duggan, with powerful art by the always-excellent Ron Garney, all wrapped in a cracking great cover by Alex Ross.

   What's not to like? Fun stuff (though maybe a bit too violent for young readers) - but for grownups, it's always great to see Conan in action again!

Grade: A-


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

New Comics Day

       Today at the comics shop I picked up:

- AVENGERS #17 - A new vampire world order!

- NAOMI #3 - What is her secret connection to super-heroes?

- SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #3 - Deadly catacombs!

- THOR #11 - War of the Realms prelude!

- WEST COAST AVENGERS #9 - The new Masters of Evil!

- WILD STORM #21 - Apollo and Midnighter are on the loose!

     And I received these review copies:

- ARTIFACT ONE #4 - A mysterious discovery!

- ATHENA VOLTAIRE #8 - The conclusion!

- BLOODBORNE #10 - The origin of Eileen the crow!

- DIRTY OLD TANK GIRL TP - A punk classic!

- DOUBLE JUMPERS FULL CIRCLE JERKS #4 (OF 4) - The shocking conclusion!

- GUNCATS #4 - Being tracked by hired guns!

- INCURSION #2 (OF 4) - An alien attack!

- LIFE & DEATH OF TOYO HARADA #1 (OF 6) - Can Toyo save humanity from itself?

- PENNY DREADFUL TP VOL. 3 - Adapting the cult TV hit!

- X-O MANOWAR #25 - Past mistakes return to haunt Aric!

- ZOMBIE TRAMP #57 - Foil enhanced!

     And that's it!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1

   I'm not a fan of comics restarting with a new issue #1, though I admit that - sometimes - I use that as a jumping-on point.

   (It is also true that I sometimes use it as a dropping-off point.)

   I've read the early issues of the modern version of Ms. Marvel, and I've enjoyed her appearances in The Champions, so I decided to give the new "Magnificent" first issue a shot.

   What you get here is a solid introduction to the character (including her efficient origin story), a few super-powered menaces to deal with, and a shocking new mystery.

   It's all handled with great economy and a minimum of wasted effort, and the art is dynamic - but I could have used some setup info and a few introductions (characters come and go without introduction - I guess I'm supposed to know who they are). 

   Overall, it's a good - though not great - (re)start to the series.

Grade: B


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Superman #9

   From time to time, comics written by Brian Michael Bendis take an odd turn.

   I think it's something he picked up from reading classic Chris Claremont X-Men stories, where the odd dream or fantasy sequence would be dropped in for no apparent reason.

   This issue starts off with one of those, with the only apparent reason being to give artist Ivan Reis a chance to draw a zillion characters (not that I'm complaining).

   The rest of the issue is given over to the slowly-rolling-out explanation for where Superman and Lois' son, Jon, has been while touring the universe with somehow-still-alive grandfather Jor-El, and why he's suddenly aged several years (he's now more of a Superteen than a Superboy). (The excellent art on that part of the story is by Brandon Peterson.)

   The story of his adventures is a cracking good one, as he's faced with overwhelming odds - and must find a way out of a deadly trap.

   I've had doubts about the wisdom of injecting a super-son into the Man of Steel equation, but so far it's been a very entertaining turn.

Grade: A-


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Avengers 4: Endgame - Movie Trailer

   They've released a new trailer for the upcoming Avengers 4: Endgame movie, and to say it looks great would be an understatement. 

   I also appreciate that they're not giving much away here - nothing worse that a trailer that spoils the entire movie, sez me. 

   Check it out:

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

New Comics Day

    Here's what I picked up at the comics shop today:

- HAWKMAN #10 - Facing an army of Deathbringers!

- TONY STARK IRON MAN #9 - The reality of it all.

- SUPERMAN #9 - How did Jon Kent survive?

     And I got these review copies:


- LIVEWIRE #4 - Fighting to stay alive!

- PRISONER TP VOL. 2 SHATTERED VISAGE - Collecting the recent mini-series!

      And that's it!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Doomsday Clock #9 (of 12)

   Reading Doomsday Clock continues to be... a challenge.

   That's because, while the stakes are high, it feels like fan fiction - which is to say, that nothing that happens really matters.

   The concept is compelling - that the Watchmen characters have moved over to the DC Universe and - especially in the case of the seemingly all-powerful Dr. Manhattan - are manipulating events for mysterious purposes.

   This issue features a major confrontation as virtually all of DC's heroes travel to Mars to track down the force that's been manipulating their reality - and as a result, the DC Universe is becoming darker all the time.

   So you have a comic with terrific art by Gary Frank, and a compelling story by Geoff Johns. When I pick up an issue, I read it as soon as possible.

   But I can't really say I'm enjoying it. It feels like a pale riff on the original Watchmen - like it's copying the style without managing the substance. And I'm not sure I like what it's doing to DC's Universe (but then, I've been feeling that since the whole "New 52" started).

   I'll keep reading, but I can't exactly recommend this series. 

Grade: B