Monday, July 15, 2019

Naomi #6 (of 6)


   Of all the books writer Brian Michael Bendis has been working on since his move to DC Comics, one of the most mysterious has been Naomi, the story of a young woman who may or may not have a secret superhero origin.

   This issue wraps up the initial mini-series, though it seems obvious that we'll be seeing more of her in the near future.

   And while we do learn something about her true origins, there's still quite a few mysteries to uncover - and we have yet to learn just what her powers allow her to do, aside from generating fancy light effects.

   There's a lot to like here - certainly Naomi is one of the few comic book teens who actually talks and acts like a teenager - and the story moves along briskly - but it still feels very incomplete, with many more questions waiting to be answered.

   But it's a solid start for the new character, and the art by amal Campbell is fresh and striking.

    Judging by the cover, Naomi's appearances in DC Comics is just getting warmed up. Great!

Grade: B+

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Young Justice #7


   (I'm back after a brief vacation - here's a fast review to get things rolling again):

   If there's one thing I like, it's a comic that knows how to have fun - and that's exactly what you get here.

    This issue of Young Justice finds the team trying to find its way home to the proper Earth (though I admit I'm not sure which number that is). 

   Their journey takes them through some very familiar, and some very funny, corners of the DC Universe.

   It's not all played for laughs - there are some serious events going on here, and without giving anything away, fans of a certain major DC crossover event will want to check this out. 

   I'm just saying.

   Great dialogue, terrific art, lots of laughs - what's not to like?

   Highly recommended!

Grade: A

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

New Comics Day!


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

- AVENGERS #21 - Party at Avengers Mountain!

- EVENT LEVIATHAN #2 (OF 6) - The mystery deepens!

- HAWKMAN #14 - The return of the Shadow Thief!

- INVISIBLE WOMAN #1 (OF 5) - A solo adventure!

- NAOMI #6 - Facing the future!

- SUPERGIRL #32 - Team El!

- SUPERMAN #13 - Why is Lex talking to Lois?

- THOR #15 - A new job for Thor!

- YOUNG JUSTICE #7 - The road home!


   And I received these review copies:

- COLD BLOOD SAMURAI #5 - The Emperor marches south!

- FALLEN WORLD #3 (OF 5) - Whose side is Bloodshot on?

- INCURSION TP VOL. 1 - Invasion Earth!

- LENORE PINK BELLIES HC - Who will die?

- LOLA XOXO VOL. 3 #1 - Mayhem in the wasteland!

- MINIONS COLLECTION TP - More Minions more often!

- MIRACULOUS TALES LADYBUG CAT NOIR TP S2 VOL. 8 TEAR OF JOY - Bring on the bad guys!

- ROBOTECH #22 - New foes!

- SHADES OF MAGIC #7 - Night of the Knives!

- VAMPBLADE SEASON 4 #2 - A new season!

- WATCH DOGS #1 - Cybercrime in Brazil!


   And that’s it!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Savage Avengers #3


   Sometimes you can feel a comic slipping through your fingers - and that's the sense I'm getting from Savage Avengers.

    Set in the Savage Land (the dinosaur-infested jungle hidden in Antarctica), the series features Hyborian Age sorcerer Kulan Gath back from the dead and using an army of Ninjas (??) to gather up heroes so he can use their blood to raise a horrible elder god / demon.

   The issues so far have been devoted to setting that up and gathering together the team, which includes Wolverine, the Punisher, Electra, Dr. Voodoo, Venom and Conan the Barbarian.

   Here we finally see the heroes confront the wizard, and things certainly don't go as might be expected.

   In fact, something rather shocking happens, and it's one of those moments where I thought, "Did this comic jump the shark already?"

    (That's where that slipping feeling comes from, as my interest starts to fade.)

   In other words, you've got all these great characters to work with - give us a strong story to go along with the excellent Mike Deodato artwork, don't just go for the outrage and gore.

   (Hey, where did this soapbox come from?)

   Anyway, the art almost overcomes a story that's thin at best. Hopefully they can stick the landing.

Grade: B+

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Friday, July 5, 2019

A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World - No More!



   The sad news that MAD Magazine is going to (more or less) shut down hit fans hard this week.

   I'm afraid most of the blame for that goes to me.

   I bought MAD regularly when I was between the ages of 10 to 16. And then I dropped it (picking up an occasional issue when it lampooned a specific movie or TV show).

   I'm not sure why I gave it up - I always liked it. Heck, I still like it - but you can't buy everything, so it fell off my list. 

   DC Comics took over the publication in the '90s, though it left editorial control in the hands of its longtime contributors - at least until recently. Now that company has announced that MAD will go to the direct market (comics shops) and will eventually become (mostly) a reprint only publication.

   As Rudy Panucci points out in his excellent PopCult article (which you can read at this link: POPCULT), this feels like ominous times for DC. 

   The company just shuttered its beloved Vertigo line, and given lean times in the comics business, it's not much of a stretch to imagine all the comics companies going to a mostly reprint formula, tapping into the decades of material they have on hand.

   It's the kind of thing that makes executives and accountants very happy - and breaks the hearts of fans around the world.

   Hopefully it's just a bit of housecleaning, some reorganization at DC, and not the end of an era. 

   MAD's demise can obviously be linked to the plummeting market for magazines - transplanted by the Internet and eBooks and Kindles and suchlike.

   The tragedy is the loss of the laughter - there's always a need for humor and satire and rudeness in our lives - especially well-crafted work. But it's getting harder and harder to find.

   (What's left? The Simpsons? Saturday Night Live?)

   Perhaps it really is time for Alfred E. Newman to start worrying.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

New Comics Day


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

- GREEN LANTERN #9 - Fighting a wizard!

- SAVAGE AVENGERS #3 - The team assembles!

- SECTION ZERO #4 (OF 6) - A new team!

- WILD STORM #24 - The final storm hits!


    And I received these comics for review:

- BANJAX #2 - The sidekick fights back!

- BLACK AF DEVILS DYE #4 (OF 4) - What is Dr. Blank's secret?

- HEATHEN #7 - When gods clash!

- LENORE NOOGIES HC - A goth-tinged tale.

-  SEAFOAM FRIEND FOR MADISON #3 - A beach filled with magical creatures!

- SHE SAID DESTROY #2 - Preparing for an invasion.

- SPENCER AND LOCKE 2 #4 (OF 4) - The final battle!

- TANK GIRL FULL COLOR CLASSICS #4 1991-92 - The early days.

- TEST #1 - Test-marketing the future!

- VORACIOUS APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION #3 - His biggest mistake.

- ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #61 - Zombie for sale!


      And that's it!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Nobody Is In Control #2


   Ah, who doesn't love a good conspiracy theory?

   If you're in the ranks, then this comic is built for you.

   Nobody Is In Control is a stream-of-consciousness encounter in the woods between (and in the minds of) two men - a mysterious man carrying a briefcase and a former radio talk show host who has retired and lives like a hermit in the middle of nowhere.

   When he encounters the mysterious man on his property, he offers help - but ends up in an extended conversation that covers a wide range of strange theories and possible explanations for them. 

   It's all a bit odd and the sense of reality jumps around a lot - but this series certainly gives you a lot to chew on. 

   The art is rough around the edges but an excellent match for the story, and there are quite a few clever artistic flourishes there.

   The real star of the series is the writing, and the growing sense of dread that all is not as it should be.

   If you're willing to travel to this dark place, you'll be rewarded with lots of food for thought.

Grade: B

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