Saturday, May 25, 2019

Dial "H" for Hero #3

   So I've been wavering back and forth on the new Dial "H" for Hero series.

   As a fan of the original, I was hoping for something more along those lines - but this is a different beast.

   Instead of focusing on new, original heroes (in the first series, you'd get three different heroes in each adventure), this series is more about individual heroes who represent a particular genre - from the steroid-and-pouch-laden heroes of the grim and gritty era to this issue, which takes aim at one of DC's cherished hallmarks.

   It's all handled with good cheer and some clever bits of business.

   There's still a lot of mystery boiling away here - why does the dial look like a classic "hotline" rotary phone? Who is Mr. Thunderbolt? Who's the voice on the other end of the line? Why is the dial so addictive?

   Those points push the story forward, and along with the two young determined young protagonists, there's a lot to like here. 

   I'm hooked!

Grade: A-



Thursday, May 23, 2019

Avengers #19

   It's typical for an Event series to have an impact on its parent comics - in this case, War of the Realms is spinning out of Thor and the Avengers.

   Usually it's a negative effect - the regular titles go into "running in place" mode while all the action happens in the Event comic.

   We see a little bit of that in this issue - there's a lot of recap action here, as we see what various teams of heroes are busy with while the war continues.

   And the story focuses on a supporting character who promises to have key role in upcoming stories. We also see lots of heroes roaring into action (though we don't see much of that action). 

   As always, the art by Ed McGuinness and Mark Morales is powerful, and the story by Jason Aaron (who's also writing the War of the Realms series) is compelling.

   It's a solid comic that manages to fill the bill for both fans of the Event series - and those who are just reading The Avengers.

Grade: A-


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

New Comics Day

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

- ACTION COMICS #1011 - Who or what is Leviathan?

- AVENGERS #19 - Attack on Avengers HQ!

- DIAL H FOR HERO #3 (OF 6) - Secrets revealed in Central City!

- DOCTOR STRANGE #14 - Facing Galactus!

- TONY STARK IRON MAN #11 - Stark realities!

- TERRIFICS #16 - A threat of biblical proportions!

- WAR OF REALMS JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #3 (OF 5) - Go west, young god!

- WAR OF REALMS NEW AGENTS OF ATLAS #2 (OF 4) - The newest team of all!

      And I received these review copies:

- FRIENDO TP VOL. 1 - Unhinged and ultraviolent!

- INCURSION #4 (OF 4) - The final fight to save the Earth!

- LIFE IS STRANGE TP - The story conmtinues!

- SECRET LIFE OF PETS #1 - Based on the hit film!

- VAMPBLADE SEASON 4 #1 - A new season, a new artist and a new story arc!

     And that's it!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Superman #11

  I admit it, I was dubious that writer Brian Michael Bendis was going to be able to make Superman "work."

   But those doubts are gone now - he has the series hitting on all cylinders!

   The Man of Steel has been going through a variety of trials, including the disappearance of his wife and son, and the appearance of a powerful new foe who seems unbeatable.

   So we're getting interesting adventures, lots of twists and turns in the plot, great action sequences, and some great "personal" moments among the members of the Kent (or El) family.

   But what I really like is Superman's attitude. He exudes confidence, like there's nothing he can't handle (though he is fallible, and he makes mistakes - but he deals with them).

   It's a refreshing version of the character, and to see how he handles a space battle between different races is a real treat.

   Long may this run continue!

Grade: A


Saturday, May 18, 2019

War of the Realms #4 (of 6)

    There's not much to add about this series that hasn't been discussed before.

   In War of the Realms, the Earth is being attacked by mythological monsters from assorted Asgardian realms - ice giants, fire demons and dark elves - and only the heroes of Earth stand in their way.

   Up until this point, our side has been getting the worst of it - but that turns around a bit with this issue, with the focus on the return of a hero who's been missing in action - and a bit of long-overdue redemption for a certain All-Father.

    I'm only reading a few of the spin-off series (Journey Into Mystery and New Agents of Atlas, to be exact), so I don't know how all this is playing out in other books, but so far this series is holding up reasonably well (for an event book, that is).

   It remains to be seen how well it all ties up at the end - and if a certain dead hero is avenged or forgotten.

Grade: B+


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Comics Day

      Today at the comics shop I picked up:

- GIANT-MAN #1 (OF 3) - Facing the Ice Giants!

- NAOMI #5 - Her secret revealed!

- SUPERMAN #11 - Major changes to the Superman Family!

- WAR OF REALMS #4 (OF 6) - World-wide war!

    And I received this sick of review comics:

- ABERRANT SEASON 2 #2 (OF 5) - Searching for a top secret base!

- ABERRANT VOL. 1 - It's a super-powered conspiracy!

- ATHENA VOLTAIRE GOLDEN DAWN TP - Searching for the Da Vinci Codex!

- BLACK BETTY TP VOL. 2 - Something is wrong in a sleepy town.

- BLOODBORNE #12 - The conclusion to Eileen's story!


- DOUBLE JUMPERS TP VOL. 2 - A video game villain is on the loose!

- FATHOM VOL 8 #1 - The world below the sea is no longer a secret!

- GUNCATS TP VOL. 1 - Bounty hunters on the prowl.

- LIFE & DEATH OF TOYO HARADA #3 (OF 6) - Is Toyo dead already?

- LIVEWIRE #6 - A new foe gets personal.

- PRINCELESS BOOK 8 PRINCESSES #2 - A princess looking for her calling in life.

- SEAFOAM FRIEND FOR MADISON #1 - A girl's kind deed transports her to a world of magic.

- ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #59 - An army of undead goons.


     And that's it!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Hawkman #12

   After years of reboots, retoolings and general monkeying around with his backstory, Hawkman has finally been given a definitive explanation for his past lives and an explanation for why he keeps being reborn.

   It’s not an easy explanation, mind you - but it works.

   It actually expands on the concept, spanning space and time as it resolves issues that have been plaguing Carter Hall throughout his modern-day comic book career.

   The art by Bryan Hitch is, of course, terrific, as he provides his trademark widescreen action and incredible attention to detail.

   This issue wraps up the storyline and mostly manages to wrap things up nicely - and leaves us with a hero who’s ready to get down to the basics: exploration and protection.

   (But it still has to answer a big question: where's Hawkgirl?)

   As a long-time fan, I appreciate the effort that’s gone into this series so far, and I’m happy to see the return of a Hawkman I recognize - and whose adventures I can enjoy.

Grade: A-