Saturday, September 30, 2017

Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter #1

   This series is a delight (in the classic horror movie sense)!

   It's based on the adventures of Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter, who seeks revenge on the undead.

   Based on the '70s Hammer Horror Films hero, his adventures are brought to vivid life by writer Dan Abnett and artist Tom Mandrake.

   The hero works alongside the aged but able hunter named Grost and the beautiful and deadly Carla, fighting horrific monsters and helping those threatened by evil forces.

   This feels - in the best sense of the concept - like a classic Marvel horror comic.

   A lot of that is because of the excellent art by Mandrake, one of the few comic artists who work in the cinematic style of Gene Colan, and he creates a wonderful, atmospheric world here, and populates it with striking characters.

   The story rockets along at top speed, carrying us from a deadly battle to a besieged village - and a mysterious enemy.

   It captures the charm and thrills of those classic Hammer films - and promises lots of deadly battles to come!

   Highly recommended!

Grade: A


Friday, September 29, 2017

War Mother #2

   There sure is a lot of stabbing in the future.

   At least that's the case with War Mother, which is set in the future of the Valiant Universe - in the year 4001 AD, to be exact.

   The world has seen better days, but War Mother is doing her best to find a safe home for her people after the destructive fall of New Japan, which had been orbiting the Earth (until it crashed).

   But just when she thinks she's found a safe haven, she's attacked and taken prisoner - and her only ally may not be on her side any more!

   We also get a glimpse of plots unfolding as dark elements arise in her tribe.

   There's quite a bit of violence in evidence here (mostly involving knives, as previously mentioned), and still a bit of explaining needed for new readers, but the art is excellent and there's lots of potential building here.

   I can't recommend it for younger readers, but there's a lot of potential here for those old enough to handle the violent aspects.

Grade: A-


Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Beautiful Death #1

   Dystopian futures are the only kind we see in comics these days.

   (Am I wrong? I honestly can't think of a utopian comics series out there, but surely there must be at least one.)

   A great example of one is The Beautiful Death, a Titan Comics translation of the Ankama Edition.

   It gives us a world where humanity has failed and very few are left alive.

   It's astonishingly bleak and vivid as we follow a few of the survivors through a major city that has been trashed by an apocalyptic event.

   We're not entirely sure what has gone wrong, but it apparently has something to do with the insects (no doubt future issues will bring along more information).

   The series is credited to Mathieu Bablet, and it's remarkable work - showing some Mobius influences, but with an original look and characters.

   I'm not a huge fan of dystopian tales (there are so many!), but I was captivated by this - it manages to incorporate both the human tragedy of the event along with the desperation to stay alive.

   Excellent work - I'm looking forward to the next chapter!

Grade: A-


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

New Comics Day

   OK, I didn't make it to the comics shop today (life gets in the way sometimes0.

   Here’s what I plan to pick up at the comics shop this week:

- ARCHIE #24 - Who has become a pariah in Riverdale?

- BATMAN THE SHADOW #6 (OF 6) - Will Batman embrace his destiny?

- FLASH #31 - A brutal fight with Bloodwork!

- INFAMOUS IRON MAN #12 - Doom fights for his own future!

- KAMANDI CHALLENGE #9 (OF 12) - Kevin Eastman does the art!

- MARVEL LEGACY #1 - A new beginning!

- MIGHTY THOR #23 - Thor against Thor!

- NICK FURY #6 - Return to Ravenlock Castle!

- SAGA #47 - What will happen to The Will?

   And I received these review copies:

- ALL NEW SOULFIRE #7 - The action adventure fantasy series continues!

- CAPTAIN KRONOS (HAMMER) #1 - The vampire hunter strikes!

- DISHONORED PEERESS AND THE PRICE #1 - Set in the world of the videogame Dishonored!

- DOCTOR WHO 11TH YEAR THREE #10 - An impossible universe!

- DOCTOR WHO 12TH YEAR THREE #7 - Return of the Ice Warriors!

- DOLLFACE #9 - Looking for answers.

- FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #3 - Can the team defeat time itself?

- MEDISIN #4 - Paying the ultimate price!

- ROBOTECH #3 - Surprises abound!

- THE BEAUTIFUL DEATH #1 (OF 5)  - The age of humanity is at an end!

- VAMPBLADE SEASON TWO #7 - The Danger Doll Squad fights on! 

- WAR MOTHER #2 - A new legend in 4001AD! 

- WARHAMMER 40000 FALLEN #1 (OF 4) -  A new story arc begins! 

- X-O MANOWAR #7 - An alien world bows to X-O!

   And that’s it!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Miraculous #15

   As lighthearted fare for young readers, you can't go wrong with Miraculous!

   The series, based on the cartoon series, features the heroes known as Ladybug and Cat Noir as they face an animal invasion of sorts.

   One of their friends is under attack by a Black Panther (but not THE Black Panther) that's being controlled by the evil Hawk Moth.

   As if that wasn't difficult enough, the Panther is intelligent and can change its form into almost any animal.

   Can the two heroes stop the possessed creature and round up all the other zoo animals that are endangering the public?

   Read and find out!

   Obviously this series isn't aimed at a geezer like me, but for fans of the cartoon - or young readers looking for a good starting point to get into comics, this is the place to be!

Grade: B


Monday, September 25, 2017

Bloodshot Salvation #1

   The deadly killer Bloodshot has been resurrected in a new role: a family man!

   Well, at least for part of this issue.

   That nanite-filled character hoped to change his life, so he took on a normal appearance, fell in love with a woman named Magic, and together they had a child, a girl named Jessie.

   But a happy life isn't in the cards for the family, and the modern-day part of the story finds Magic and Jessie running for their lives from a terrible threat - and coming up against a surprising menace.

   It's a hard-hitting and emotional story from writer Jeff Lemire, and the art by Lewis LaRosa and Mica Suayan, with color art by Brian Reber, is stunning - it gives a painted, real-world look to the adventure.

    It's a strong start for this new series (though be warned, it's a bit on the bloody side), and well worth checking out.

Grade: A-


Sunday, September 24, 2017

All New Fathom #8

  This issue of All New Fathom wraps up the latest storyline - and it's a twisty one.

   Titanic monsters are destroying ships on oceans around the world, and the villain named Cannon has somehow managed to fool people into thinking that he's the only one who can stop the danger.

   (Three guesses as to who is actually behind the attacks.)

   As the king of the undersea race known as The Blue, he offers to fight Aspen Matthews in an arena - though of course the fight is hardly fair. And more than a few surprises are revealed.

    In the meantime, Aspen's earth-bound allies have uncovered the secret behind Cannon's plan, and their only hope is to try something with a military jet that will leave anyone who knows anything about jets scratching their heads.

   So it's all kind of silly and preachy - but plans are already underway for the next series (or mini-series, as the case may be), so hopefully the next story will make a bit more sense.

 Grade: C+


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Secret Weapons #4 (of 4)

    Most comics take a “bigger is better” approach to the idea of team comics, but Secret Weapons, thankfully, is taking a different tact.

   It features a group of young people with powers who join together as a team because they can’t hope to survive alone. 

   Their powers are - well, let’s say they’re different. 

   A girl who can talk to birds. A guy who can turn to unbreakable stone. A guy who can apparently work magic - but he can’t control it. A woman who controls electronics.

   Together they must face a powerhouse who has taken out much more experienced heroes - and seeing how they do it, and what they learn about themselves along the way, is very entertaining.

   It’s a comic that’s different from the norm, but there’s nothing wrong with that. 

   Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ll see of the Secret Weapons (and the issue promises more soon).

Grade: A-


Friday, September 22, 2017

Wonder Woman ’77 Meets the Bionic Woman #6 (of 6)

   The series has been a great shot of nostalgia for fans of the original Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter and the Bionic Woman starring Lyndsey Wagner.

  The creative team - writer Andy Mangels and artist Judit Tondora - have spared no effort to weave a story that brings together the two TV stars and incorporates a vast number of the supporting cast / actors - both friends and foes (including Wonder Girl) - and the art does a good job of capturing their likenesses.

   I watched both series faithfully, and I admit that I don’t remember everyone included here.

  The story revolves around an attempt to use Fembots to take control of Paradise Island - and exposes the mystic secrets of the island to the world.

   It’s a fun clash of the titans, and great to see the return of these classic characters!

Grade: A-


Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Avengers #11

    Ah, this issue feels like a cool breeze after a hot summer day.

   Which is to say, it's nice to see the cast of The Avengers, having survived the events of the odious Secret Empire event, actually getting along and taking the time for some heart-to-heart conversations.

   Finding the team without a headquarters and uncertain of their next move, they follow the classic strategy that goes back to the earliest issues of team comics everywhere: they break up into small teams!

   Well, actually, they pair off to talk things over - so we have the Falcon talking about a big decision with the Mighty Thor; Hercules explaining the burdens and blessings of his existence to the Vision; and Spider-Man teaming up with the Wasp in an effort to... well, to get her to stop hating him.

   It's a great mix of humor, revelations, insights and action, all managed like a master class in how to write a team comic by Mark Waid, with lovely, evocative art by Mike del Mundo.

   This issue marks something of a new start for the team, and it's a great jumping-on point - and a darned good comic.

   (And I have to say, it's a delight to actually laugh out out at Spider-Man's dialogue again.)

Grade: A



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New Comics Day

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

- AVENGERS #11 - Secret Empire aftermath!

- BUG THE ADVENTURES OF FORAGER #4 (OF 6) - Look out for robot Deadman!

- CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE #12 - The secret of the eye!

- DOCTOR STRANGE #25 - Anniversary issue!

- FUTURE QUEST PRESENTS #2 - Space Ghost! The Herculoids! Mettalus! Take my money!

- INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #11 - An international incident!

- JUSTICE LEAGUE #29 - What are the JL's future children hiding?

- WILD STORM #7 - What is John Colt's secret?

   And here are the review copies I received:

- ALL NEW FATHOM #8 - The finale!

- BLOODSHOT SALVATION #1 - Building a family.

- KID SHERLOCK #4 - Terror stalks the school!


- MIRACULOUS #15 - A deadly new foe!

- MISBEGOTTEN RUNAWAY NUN #1 - Who can save the holy clone?

- SECRET WEAPONS #4 (OF 4) - A robotic killer unleashed!

- TOYETICA #2 - Winning over a new student.

- WONDER WOMAN 77 BIONIC WOMAN #6 (OF 6) - The fate of the free world hangs in the balance!

- ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #39 - Fighting her closest ally!

   And that's it!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Tomb Raider" and "Punisher" Trailers

   A couple of comic book-related trailers have been released recently (both are violent, so be warned) - including this one starring Lara Croft, from the video game (and later comic book series) Tomb Raider. 

   It's obviously based on the more recent video game version, who is a bit more (shall we say) realistic in her personality and personal dimensions (they are, by the way, very good games):

   And we also have the newest Netflix series, a brutal version of Marvel's killer vigilante, The Punisher.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Generations: Captain Marvel & Captain Mar-Vell #1

   Well, I had high hopes for this issue of Generations, because I was a big fan of Captain Marvel - or, as he's named here, Captain Mar-Vell.

   The Kree warrior was sent to Earth on a secret mission and found he liked the people there - so he became a defender of Earth.

   His career followed a strange path, finally settling down as the first regular series written and drawn by Jim Starlin - and he became the first hero to defeat Thanos.

   This issue reunites that character with the hero who carries his name in the modern Marvel Universe - Carol Danvers.

   Sadly, this story doesn't give any of them much to do, as they find themselves fighting to defend an alien race of pacifists.

   But so many things don't make sense here, including the location of the story, the speech pattern of Mar-Vell, and the fact that he doesn't recognize Carol. Granted that she wasn't a superhero when they met, but only her hairstyle is different.

   She doesn't get to do much except be temperamental. There was so much potential here - why not meet the Mar-Vell who was cosmically aware? ("Hi, Carol. How's life in the future?") Or the green-and-white costumed version, who was new to the Earth and trying to figure out human customs?

   Appearances by Mar-Vell are so rare, but this one was squandered. Too bad.

Grade: C+


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ninjak #0

   If it's Ninjak #0, then it must be time to give readers a fresh start to this classic super spy / martial artist / superhero from Valiant Comics.

   And that's what you get here - a solid recap of the high (and low) points of Colin King's life and career, including a grim childhood and a life of learning extraordinary fighting skills.

   It's all a setup for the newest series and a fresh start for the enduring hero.

   A sharp script by Matt Kind that bounces between flashbacks and present-day mayhem, and exciting visuals by artist Francis Portela make this a strong start to the latest reboot.

Grade: A


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Runaways #1

   As a fan of the original series (which you really should read if you haven't already), I'm glad to see the return of the Runaways.

   It was a unique concept that teamed up a group of super-powered kids / friends who had to run away from some powerful enemies.

   The series was loaded with great stories and unexpected twists, but sadly, it didn't last.

   With word of an upcoming TV series, it's back, but the first story has a surprisingly narrow focus.

   It sets out to fix one of the mistakes (well, I thought it was a mistake) from an earlier series - namely, the death of a key character.

   I don't object to the resurrection as much as I question the decision to base the first issue around the effort. It's unexpected, but readers who aren't familiar with the characters might be lost, trying to figure out the characters and their relationships.

   The reason most teams focus their first issue on "getting the team together" is because it's an efficient method for bring the readers into the fold - and giving them several characters to be interested in - hopefully they'll lock in on one or more and want to follow along.

   But this may just be a minor quibble. The writer, Rainbow Rowell, is a pro at Young Adult novels, so we trust she knows what she's doing here, and we expect bigger and better things from future issues.  

Grade: B


Friday, September 15, 2017

Mister Miracle #2 (of 12)

   I struggled with the first issue of this series, but apparently I should have been more patient with Mister Miracle.

   The second issue also includes some disturbing imagery, and almost seems to be making fun of (or perhaps it's having fun with) the original Kirby concept - but it also gives us a glimpse of the unexpected turns it promises.

   The focus here is on Scott Free the warrior, fighting alongside his wife, the warrior Big Barda, in defense of New Genesis and Highfather (though you might be surprised by that character's face).

   Reality seems to be in flux here, and it's a brutal existence.

   Writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads are taking a unique, adult approach to the series, which is loaded with mystery and meaning.

   It's not for everyone, and it's a long way from the original series - but Mister Miracle is shaping up to be a story to watch out for.

Grade: A-


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Dark Nights: Metal #2

   Dark Nights: Metal is doing a good job of setting up a mysterious new menace, and certainly benefits from some terrific, dynamic artwork by Greg Capullo, but there's a problem here.

   The story by Scott Snyder leans hard on similar stories from that team's run on Batman, especially the story that had Batman fighting the entire Justice League.

   The members of the League are trying to stop Batman, who has obtained a terribly dangerous weapon (though it seems to me that the mysterious weapon doesn't fit into current DC continuity - but it's all such a jumble, I could easily be wrong).

   Like the previous story, we see scene after scene of Bruce outwitting and outmaneuvering the world's most powerful heroes, all in an attempt to stop a danger that threatens the world.

   I'm not sure which is more annoying - that Bruce can outwit his team so easily, or that the members of the League wield godlike powers, so (for example) Superman can hear anyone's heartbeat in the world.

   The story may be a bit derivative, but it is a well-crafted comic and manages to end on a heck of a cliffhanger.

   So there's that.

Grade: A-


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New Comics Day

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

NEIL GAIMAN AMERICAN GODS SHADOWS #7 - A new direction for Shadow.

DARK NIGHTS METAL #2 (OF 6) - Searching for a missing ally.

DEFENDERS #5 - The Punisher strikes!

FLASH #30 - Barry is having a bad day - and it gets worse.


GROO PLAY OF GODS #3 - Speaking of making a bad day worse, that's Groo's specialty!

MAGE HERO DENIED #2 (OF 15) - A powerful threat emerges.

MISTER MIRACLE #2 (OF 12)  - Off to war!

RUNAWAYS #1 - On the run again.

SECRET WARRIORS #6 - Facing Deadpool!

SPIRIT #4 (of 5) - The Corpse Makers!

WYNONNA EARP SEASON ZERO #3 (OF 5) - Bringing the fight to the enemy!

   And here are the review copies I received:

AMERIKARATE #6 - A robot crime wave!


BEST OF HAGAR - Nothing horrible about the classic comic strip!

BLOOD BOWL MORE GUTS MORE GLORY #4 (OF 4) - The final showdown!

DOCTOR WHO 10TH YEAR THREE #9 - Investigating a mysterious Black Hole in space!

EVIL WITHIN #1 - Survivor horror game series continues!

HERCULES WRATH O/T HEAVENS #2 - Hercules faces his greatest enemy!

HERO CATS TP VOL 6 - Bandit meets the Hero Cats!


MIRACULOUS #13 - Facing Princess Fragrance!

NINJAK #0 - His past and future revealed!





WOLFENSTEIN #1 (OF 2) - A new comic based on the classic game.

   And that's it! Whew!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Classics - Giant-Size X-Men #1

   With the passing this week of writer / editor Len Wein, the thoughts of comics fans all over the world turned to some of his amazing, ground-breaking work - and I'd argue that his most lasting impact came from this issue: Giant-Size X-Men.

   As a huge fan of the original series in the '60s, which featured amazing work by Roy Thomas and Neal Adams, I was stunned when it was canceled. The team (Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Iceman and Marvel Girl) continued to appear in reprints for five years - until this issue appeared in 1975.

   Written and edited by Wein and drawn by Dave Cockrum (who also inked the cover by Gil Kane), the issue focused on a different group of mutants, as Professor Xavier traveled around the world, recruiting new members for his team - but why?

   It gave the team an international cast, as he gathered Storm in Africa, Colossus in Russia, Nightcrawler in Germany, Thunderbird from America, and Wolverine from Canada.

   They joined forces with Cyclops (wearing a new costume), and set out to rescue the original team from a towering menace.

   The fresh new approach to the team, combined with amazing, dynamic artwork by the endlessly inventive Cockrum, created an exciting new comic that quickly became Marvel's most popular title - a ranking it would hold for decades.

    Many fans consider this issue to be the point at which a comics age turned - from Silver to Bronze. (Others place it earlier, at the first issue of Conan the Barbarian, while some point to Kirby's move to DC Comics.)

   Whatever the case, the issue paved the way for Marvel's long-time dominance of the comics market, and forced every title to up its game in an attempt to keep up with the exciting stories being told.

   Others would carry the title to even greater heights, but it all started here - and it's just one of hundreds of great comics created by Wein.

Grade: A+


Monday, September 11, 2017

4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #5 (of 5)

   This story has demanded patience from its audience - it's taken 15 months to turn out five issues - but finally, with this issue, those kids walk into that bank.

   What writer Matthew Rosenberg has built is a heist story, as the kids - Berger, Pat, Walter and Paige - finally put their complex plan in motion to rob a bank.

   This story manages a surprising balance between real-world sensibilities and flights of fantasy - and it cleverly keeps you guessing as to which is which - and the very real world implications of their actions.

   The art and design are by Tyler Boss, and it features original character designs and a unique style that's compelling and evoke real life without being photorealistic.

   Courtney Menard is credited with wallpaper designs and Clare Dezutti with flatting (and I must admit - I'm not sure what that means). 

   Even though the story focuses on the kids, it's not a book for children - it features adult language and violence. 

   But for those old enough to cope with it, it's a powerful tale and impossible to predict (which is always a good thing).


Grade: A-


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Happy Anniversary to Us!

   Hey, I almost forgot - today marks the 9th Anniversary of this humble blog!

   I have to admit, Chuck's Comic of the Day started as an experiment - could I actually manage to post every day about comics? Would I be able to sustain my interest? Would comics still exist nine years in the future?

   Turns out the answers were: almost, yes, and yes!

   Thanks to you, gentle reader, for visiting this site, and thanks to our many guest reviewers who have pitched in to help keep that daily deadline at bay!

   Special gratitude to all those who have used our Amazon links while putting in their orders - it sends a small amount of money into Chuck's coffers (which he then uses to buy more comics), and makes this site possible.

   I've missed a few days here and there along the way, but our success rate is high, and I'm certainly having fun - so here's to another year (or more) of blogging!

   Onward and upward!

In Memory of Len Wein

   Sad to note the passing today of Len Wein, one of the giants of the modern age of comics.

   A former fan turned pro, he was influential as a writer, editor and creator for both Marvel and DC Comics.

   How influential? Well, as a co-creator he invented Wolverine (during Wein's great run on The Incredible Hulk), Swamp Thing, the Human Target and the New X-Men (including Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Thunderbird). 

   As a writer he breathed fresh life into some classic characters, turning in terrific stories on the Phantom Stranger, Batman, Thor, the Justice League, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Marvel Team-Up, Green Lantern, Blue Beetle and Star Trek.

   As an editor he guided the classic Watchmen and Camelot 3000 mini-series, and worked a stint as Editor-in-Chief at Marvel.

   Best of all, he was one of those rare writers who always turned in excellent work - you knew if he was involved, you were holding an entertaining comic.

   I only met him briefly back in the late '80s, and he struck me as both smart and kind, willing to share his time to talk to the fans - and I think, right up to the end, he was a fan, too.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Champions #12

   There are few comics characters who have been more badly treated in recent years than Cyclops.

   The one-time leader of the original and new X-Men has been depicted in the past as a terrific, Captain America-level leader, a true hero and a powerhouse mutant.

   Until they decided to turn him into a villain and kill him off. (Don't get me started on how dumb this is, and how disrespectful to a great character.)

   Thankfully, we have the original Cyclops back again, time-traveling with his team to the present - and now he's also a member of The Champions.

   He's the focus of this issue, as we (and his team) get some insights on why he's so serious, why he has to be in control, and why his powers are more of a curse than a blessing.

   It's a touching story, built around a running fight with one of Marvel's most cunning and challenging villains.

   It's wonderful to see Cyclops - and the other members of the team - showing their real potential and being shown off to good effect. And there's actual good-natured humor included!

   It's another excellent outing by writer Mark Waid and artists Humberto Ramos and Victor Olazaba - and thankfully, we're apparently done with the Secret Empire foolishness.

Grade: A-


Friday, September 8, 2017

Astro City #47

   Who's a good boy? (Wags tail.) Yes you are!

   I admit that I'm crazy about dogs. I've had four in my lifetime, each one a treasured family member - so this story, loaded with humor and a genuine affection for "Man's Best Friend" makes for a heckuva treat.

   It follows a young man named Andy who's struggling with the bad decisions in his life - but then he adopts Hank, a Welsh Corgi, and he life begins to change.

   The changes are both small and large, as he finds (through a mystic mishap) that he's able to merge with Hank, so they becomes a small but powerful super-hero.

   It's a sweet story from Kurt Busiek as we see how a friend - even a tiny one - can change a life.

   The guest artist is Mike Norton, and he was born to craft this kind of down-to-Earth, street-level tale of adventure and affection.

   I just kept smiling through the whole story - so of course I wasn't prepared at all for that final page, which any dog owner can relate to.

   What a fun issue - one of the year's best! Highly recommended!

Grade: A+