Monday, October 15, 2018

Hawkman #5

   The new Hawkman series is providing what some might call "fan service."

   In other words, it's telling the kind of stories long-time fans have been dreaming of.

   It's a series that promises to explain and/or clear up that hero's convoluted history. (Hoo boy, is it ever convoluted.)

   At the same time it's providing touchstones to past series, including the original Golden Age character, the Silver Age "policeman from an alien planet" series, the Hawkworld reboot - and in this issue, we get a reunion with The Atom, who co-starred during a short run in the '60s when the two titles were merged.

   Best of all, none of this is stopping Robert Venditti from writing a great story, as Hawkman tries to solve the mystery behind his origins.

   The art by Bryan Hitch is, of course, amazing. It's loaded with energy of stunning vistas and powerful moments.

   It's a terrific series that's accessible to new readers, but offers a real treat for long-time fans as it combines the best of the past with a bright promise for the future.

   What a deal!

Grade: A


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Superman #4

   The Man of Steel continues to flourish with cosmic-sized adventures, tempered with down-to-Earth emotional content.

   This issue of Superman finds the entire planet in a very bad place. 

   The Earth has been transported to the Phantom Zone, and the effects have been catastrophic. 

   Illness is rampant, the atmosphere is breaking down, and its heroes are falling apart.

   And just to amp up the tension, Earth is under attack by an army of Kryptonians, led by Superman's newest and most powerful opponent.

   How can Superman hope to survive? That's what makes it interesting - and it's great to see the source for the idea behind his strategy. 

    So it's another excellent issue from writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Ivan Reis - they have this series cooking on all burners!

Grade: A


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Infinity Wars #4 (of 6)

   I'm almost convinced that comics companies are trying to tell me that it's time to stop reading comics.

   For me, the story is the thing. (I agree with the old theatre adage, "If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage.")

   In other words, I can tolerate poor artwork if the story is strong enough. But, as Infinity Wars shows, even terrific art cannot make a bad story entertaining.

   Artist Mike Deodato, Jr. (with color art by Frank Martin) is trying mightily to elevate this comic, and his art is stunning. He combines his amazing, realistic depictions of characters with stunning, otherworldly images, creating top-of-the-line art on this series.

   How sad, then, that the story makes almost no sense at all. Gamora has fused a number of heroes into Amalgam-ish "new" versions. Why? Please don't ask silly questions. (Which is to say, "I have no idea.") (I'm guessing it's to sell those spin-off titles.)

   The heroes are trapped in the Soul Gem, where they are finding all-new Infinity Stones (?) and fighting a huge, Cthulu-ish monster, while back in our reality, Gamora is... well, I can't say because I'm just not sure what she's doing or why.

   So it's lots of sturm and drang and I hope you're all following it better than I am. 

   It's all just interesting enough to keep me hanging around until the end - but after that I may take the hint and just stop reading these "Event Comics" once and for all.

Grade: B-


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New Comics Day!

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

- AVENGERS #9 - Namor attacks!

- HAWKMAN #5 - Into the Microverse with the Atom! 

- INFINITY WARS #4 (OF 6) - Reality has been warped!

- SUPERMAN #4 - War in the Phantom Zone!

     And I got these review copies from the publishers:

- ALBERT EINSTEIN TIME MASON #1 - Time traveling adventures!

- ARTIFACT ONE #1 - An explorer makes a shocking discovery!

- BLACK AF WIDOWS & ORPHANS #3 - Breaking up a child trafficking ring.

- DEADLIFE #2 (OF 3) - A zombie epidemic!

- DEVIL WITHIN #1 (OF 4) - What is Samantha's terrifying secret?

- DOLLFACE #16 - Can Emily survive?

- ELRIC WHITE WOLF #2 (OF 2) - Adapting Moorcock's famous anti-hero!

- NEWBURY & HOBBES #2 (OF 4) - Steampunk adventures!

- NINJA-K #12 - Catch me if you can!

- NINJA-K TP VOL 02 THE COALITION - Collecting the series.

- OH S#!T ITS KIM & KIM #3 - The fighting Kims are in trouble!

- ROBOTECH #13 - Welcome to Year Two!

- SHADES OF MAGIC #1 (OF 4) STEEL PRINCE - Magicians navigate alternate Londons.

- SURVIVAL FETISH #4 - One last run!

- WE ARE DANGER #3 - The band climbs the rankings.

- WILDS #5 - Ending a reign of terror.

- ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #53 - Back from the dead!

     And that's it!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Mighty Mite #1

   Comic books are, for the most part (I'm sorry to say), all too wrapped up in being serious and grim and loaded with death and destruction.

   So when a humor comic rolls along, it's time to celebrate!

   Mighty Mite is a new webcomic by creator / writer / penciler D.C. Johnson, with inks / letters and / colors by Chris Allen.

   It follows the adventures of a hero who - well, he's the clumsiest hero in town. When he succeeds in catching bad guys, it's more often because of luck than skill or derring-do (whatever that is).

   He realizes he's missing something - a secret identity! (Perhaps her was born in that costume?)

   But as he tries to correct that oversight he encounters new dangers, including the receptionist from hell, the strangest boss around, and a brand-new arch-enemy.

   It's all silly and cartoonish and a lot of fun!

Grade: B


   Mighty Mite is only available as a webcomic - you can find it from Publisher AAM-Markosia at ComiXology at this link.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Dreaming #2

   So there's an inherent problem with stories based in magic.

   Since there are no rules, it's a bit more challenging to create a coherent story - one that doesn't play fast and loose with the structure of the tale.

   We seem to be seeing a lot of that in The Dreaming - but perhaps that's to be expected, since it's set in the realm of dreams.

   The problem is that the master or the realm, Dream (or, if you prefer, the Sandman), has gone missing - we don't know why or where - and the world of dreams (or nightmares) is suffering.

   This issue we see events through the eyes of the pumpkin-headed Mervyn, who's (sort of) the janitor for the land of dream - cleaning up messes, keeping things working smoothly - and he's not taking the problems calmly.

   The series is interesting and involved - but since there's no central character, it's difficult to make an emotional attachment to the characters. And since anything can happen, does anything that does happen have a consequence?

   That's the question The Dreaming needs to answer - so far, it's still pretty squishy about it.

Grade: B+


Friday, October 5, 2018

Aquaman - Movie Trailer

   This isn't exactly a new trailer for the upcoming Aquaman movie - it's part trailer and parts extended clips, but it's good to see more of the film.

   I'm still not sure if it's going to work. The CGI is lovely, and Jason Momoa is doing his best to crank up the fun quotient - but we get almost no sense about the plot. 

   Is it a quest film? A revenge flick? A superhero battle? All of the above? 

   Check it out and decide for yourself:

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

New Comics Day

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

- CHAMPIONS #25 - Fighting the good fight!

- DOCTOR STRANGE #6 - Who is the other Doctor Strange?

- DREAMING #2 - Pumpkinhead isn't happy.

- TONY STARK IRON MAN #4 - Tony and Janet, sittin' in a tree.

- PAPER GIRLS #25 - End of the road!

     And I received these comics for review:

- DARK SOULS AGE OF FIRE #4 (OF 4) - Back to the beginning!

- KONUNGAR TP WAR OF THE CROWNS - Collecting the series!

- MIGHTY MITE #1 - Crime doesn't stand a chance!
- RAID #3 (OF 4) - You don't want to run into old enemies when you're in jail!

- TANK GIRL ALL STARS #4 (OF 4) - She doesn't look a day over 30!

- TANK GIRL COLORING BOOK - The ultimate art book!

     And that's it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Lost Fleet: Corsair

   Ah, that's the stuff!

   As a longtime fan of space opera, reading The Lost Fleet: Corsair is like visiting an old friend.

   It's a classic science fiction story that focuses on the human element, rather than strange aliens and fantasy technology.

   The story centers around a war between the worlds of the Alliance (which includes Earth) and the alien Syndicate.

   When a key battle between the two ends in defeat for the Alliance, the crew of the battle cruiser Repulse sacrifice themselves to allow the fleet to escape. Most of the crew is taken prisoner, including Captain Michael Geary.

   When the war finally ends, the prisoners are supposed to be released - but the Syndicate breaks its word. 

   Geary and his crew are given an opportunity to escape when a rebellious group of Syndicate warriors offer to help them - if they can pilot a Syndicate cruiser.

   What follows is a lot of military combat, starship battles and war strategy - and if it all feels a bit like Star Trek, there's nothing wrong with that.

   Writer Jack Campbell creates some terrific characters on both sides of the equation, keeps the story crackling along and gives us plenty of science fiction concepts to chew on.

    The art is by Andre Siregar and Bambang Irawan, with colors by Sebastian Cheng, and it's powerful stuff, balancing a small army of characters and keeping them distinct, crafting amazing environments and space battles.

   It's a lot of fun and a strong chapter in the ongoing Lost Fleet series - recommended for any fan of science fiction (and Trekkers in particular).

Grade: A-


Monday, October 1, 2018

Farlaine the Goblin Book 7: The Final Land

   With this issue we bid a sad farewell to Farlaine the Goblin, whose search for a home finally reaches its end in this, the final chapter in his story (at least so far).

   This has been a terrific series as the title character visits strange new lands (which reminds me a bit of the classic Hot Stuff comics), he's taken part in adventures that require him to use his plant-growing skills, cleverness and good sense to survive (which reminds me of the great Uncle Scrooge stories), and he's made some amazing friends along the way, all while looking out for his dear friend Ehrenwort (who happens to be a plant) - and over it all rides a positive, upbeat, optimistic spirit, which we don't see enough of in comics today.

   Written and drawn by Pug Grumble, this is a wonderful story for readers of all ages, charged with imagination and a can-do spirit.

   Highly recommended!

Grade: A