Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New Comics Day

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

- BUG THE ADVENTURES OF FORAGER #6 (OF 6) - Saving the New Gods!

- DAREDEVIL #596 - The Kingpin is Mayor?

- MAESTROS #3 - Like a thief in the night.

- MISTER MIRACLE #5 (OF 12) - His last day on Earth!

     And I received these review comics:

- ASPEN UNIVERSE DECIMATION #3 - The time for destruction is here!

- BLOODSHOT SALVATION #4 - The origin of Rampage!

- FIGHTING AMERICAN #3 - Continuing the classic Simon / Kirby character!

- FORCE #2 - The battle on the playing field continues!

- GRAVETRANCERS #1 - Welcome to the nightmare!

- HERCULES WRATH OF THE HEAVENS #5 - Facing his demons!

- THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS NEST #1 - Adapting the novel!

- MISBEGOTTEN RUNAWAY NUN #4 - Crashing the party.

- RIVERS OF LONDON CRY FOX #2 - Following up on the Hanging Tree.

- ROBOTECH #5 - The ongoing adventures of the SDF-1.

- THERES NOTHING THERE TP VOL 01 - Why you shouldn't attend occult parties.

- TOYETICA TP VOL 01 - Striving for action figure fame!

- UNDER #1 (OF 2) - Burying secrets underground.

     And that's it! 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Faith's Winter Wonderland Special

    Here's a nice bit of lighthearted fun for the holidays in a mashup of a traditional holiday story and the magic of Alice in Wonderland.

   Throw in the Valiant hero and you get Faith's Winter Wonderland Special, as the denizens of a fairytale world come to Earth looking for someone who can rescue them.

   Every the optimist, Faith jumps at the challenge and finds herself transported to a world where the dark side of the holidays threatens to destroy everything (not unlike the real world)!

   The story is by Marguerite Sauvage and the lovely art is by Francis Portela and MJ Kim.

   It's an entertaining, done-in-one story that's suffused with enough holiday spirit and childlike optimism to overcome even the Grinchiest comics fan.

 Grade: B+


Monday, December 11, 2017

Dan Dare #3

   Dan Dare continues to walk the fine line between classic science fiction (which is only right, given the history of the character) and a modern adventure story.

   This issue finds Dan and his team facing an impossible task - a monstrous alien ship is drawing closer to Earth, promising destruction - so how can three humans (and one alien ally recruited along the way) hope to stop it?

   It's fun to see them faced with a challenge that leaves them no choice but to make up a solution as they go along - which makes it a lot of fun.

   But their efforts may have deadly consequences - and to say more would be to give too much away.

   As always, the issue has a strong script by Peter Milligan and powerful art by Alberto Foche.

    I'm really enjoying the series for its science fiction roots. I haven't read the original series, so I don't have a nostalgic attraction - I can only imagine that would make this even more fun for long-time fans!

Grade: A-


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Disney's Christmas Classics

   Here's further proof that we live in a Golden Age of comic reprints!

   Just in time for the holiday, IDW has released Disney's Christmas Classics, and it's a book guaranteed to make me (and you) feel like a kid again.

  I've always been a big fan of the newspaper comics pages, and there was a special treat in my local newspaper at Christmastime.

    Through the month of December, they'd run a special holiday comic strip that featured different Disney characters, such as Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - there are even stories with the Little Mermaid and the Lion King!

   The stories were generally the same, as the characters oppose classic Disney villains who plot mischief against Santa Claus! The stories would always wrap up happily on Christmas Day, natch.

   It was a nice treat for Disney fans and a fun build-up to the holiday - but I never thought we'd see these strips again, so it's wonderful to have these collected just in time for Christmas.

   It's a gift any Disney fan should love!

Grade: A


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Justice League #34

   So the problem with the Justice League is coming up with a big enough challenge to make it worth the attention of the world's most powerful heroes.

   This issue has that, but the focus is on the all-too-human Batman, who finds himself near exhaustion after long hours of fighting the bad guys.

   When multiple dangers arise, he plays the coach, guiding the other members of the team to efficiently deal with the challenges - but then the unthinkable happens.

   Batman makes a mistake.

   So it's a story that's (in that way) more realistic - after all, in city-destroying events, people will get hurt - not even the Justice League can save everyone.

   But this story's just starting to spool out, so we'll see where it goes from here.

Grade: B+


Friday, December 8, 2017

The Avengers #674

   This world-shaking story (which is crossing back and forth between The Avengers and The Champions) seemed to be moving down a traditional path - heroes discover villain's plot, heroes fight bad guys, heroes eventually save the day - it took a surprising turn in this issue.

   That's because of the somewhat sudden introduction of a heartfelt angle that writer Mark Waid had laid the groundwork for in recent issues - and this time around, it pays off in a big way that will punch you right in the feels (as we used to say).

   The creative team also uses a clever trick at the end of the issue to provide a great twist - only the second time I can remember it being used (a special Chuck's Nod of the Hat to anyone who can name the other instance for this unspecified-lest-we-spoil-it-for-you technique).

   The art is by Jesus Saiz, and it's terrific, with great character designs and some powerful action scenes.

   This series has been building slowly and it's building to a powerful finish. (Better bring a hanky!)

Grade: A-


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Captain America #696

   It’s good to see that the last issue of Captain America (which I raved about in this review) wasn’t just a one-time thing.

    The second issue by the new creative team (storytellers Mark Waid and Chris Samnee) is another terrific adventure, as the classic approach continues to expunge the rank odor of the recent Secret Empire nonsense.

   By “classic” I mean the series has moved back to the basics: great artwork; a story clearly and imaginatively told; lots of heart in evidence; heroes interacting with real people; a good villain (and one who will benefit from future expansion on his backstory); some well-placed humor; moments of heart and inspiration; and some compelling sub-plots slowly unfolding.

   What more could we ask? 

   I’m loving this series, and I certainly hope this team sticks around for a nice, long run on Cap. 

Grade: A