Monday, December 31, 2018

Top 10 Comics of 2018

   With the end of 2018, it’s time for a recap of the best comics of the year. (I think this is a legal requirement for all comic book-based blogs. Who am I to buck tradition?)

  A caveat: this is my (Chuck’s) list of the best comics of the year, and I didn’t read everything by a wide, wide margin. So your mileage will almost certainly vary. 

   But of the hundreds of comics I read this year, these are my favorites.

   If you disagree, feel free to send in your own list or nominees that should have been in the top 10 - you can either comment at the link below or email it to us at 

   First, though - the worst comic of the year. There were several contenders, but two of the big "events" of the year led the way. Over at DC, there was the impenetrable Dark Nights Metal, which tried to revive those glorious grim and gritty days of yore. At Marvel, the Infinity Wars tried to capitalize on the Avengers movie and only managed to be incomprehensible with some character assassination thrown in for fun. I'm calling it a tie.

   Back to the good. Honorable mentions (which means they could easily have been  in the Top 10) go to some of 2018’s best comics (listed in alphabetical order): Beatles Yellow Submarine; The Champions; Elfquest; Justice League; Lovecraft’s The Curse; League of Extraordinary Gentlemen The Tempest; Mage The Hero Denied; The Prisoner; Right Ho, Jeeves; Secret Weapons and Usagi Yojimbo - The Hidden.

   And now, the Top Ten for 2018:

 While I admit that I wasn't a fan of the idea of turning the name of Thor over to a female version of the character (no offense intended - I didn't like to when they gave it to a different guy, either), certainly writer Jason Aaron has provided an interesting story arc to Jane Foster'sstory.

   This issue of The Mighty Thor wraps up that story with the death of Jane / Thor (or is it?), and it's a touching, powerful tale of life and love and purpose.

   The art is by Russell Dauterman, who has created powerful visuals in service to this story, ranging from idyllic pastures to raging storms of anger and power.

    Look, I'm glad to see the real Thor return (his appearances in the recent films Ragnarok and Infinity War show the true potential of the hero), but I've enjoyed Jane's run in the title a lot more than I ever expected I would.

   (Man, is that a terrific cover or what?)

   Sad to see this powerful series come to an end, as Bane: Conquest wraps up with this issue.

   (Twelve issues in a year - you have to appreciate professionals at work.)

   This series has been a reunion between writer Chuck Dixon and artist Graham Nolan, two of the co-creators of Bane, Batman's most fearsome foe.

   (He's also the only villain to physically defeat the Dark Knight.)

   This series has presented a battle between Bane, his hired guns, and the deadly forces of Kobra - all over a baby, born to be the new leader of the cult. Bane knows that whoever possesses the baby has control over all of Kobra, and will become a nearly unstoppable force in the process.

   This final issue is an action-packed, slobber knocking feast, as the two armies shoot it out - and a certain hero turns up to join in the fun.

   (Dixon and Nolan do a fantastic job with the Dark Knight, which only makes sense, since they've crafted so many amazing Bat-stories.)

   With lots of twists and turns, terrific art and fight scenes galore, this series is ending on a strong note. Highly recommended!
   (And here's hoping that DC has the good sense to keep this creative team hard at work on more Batman-related stories!)


   Like a blast of fresh air, this issue of Batman is a love letter to fans of the Batman and Robin team.

   It's a "done in one" issue by writer Tom King and guest artist Matt Wagner, and it offers a fresh look at the two heroes and what they mean to each other.

   We see glimpses of Dick Grayson's earliest days at Wayne Manor, struggling to adjust to a new way of life.

   We also see some modern interaction between the now-grown Nightwing and a much more surly Dark Knight.

   It's a nice glimpse into happier days, and has some fun with the Dynamic Duo's rogues gallery as well (or at least its fringe elements).
    An entertaining issue that's a nice counterpoint to the usual grim doings here. 


   Writer Mark Waid generally has a really good grasp of "what makes a hero work."

   He's demonstrated it time and again on characters like Daredevil, Captain America and the Fantastic Four, to name just a few (Marvel division).

   I was a little leery of him taking over Doctor Strange's comic, because he did a mini-series about the Doc several years back and it didn't quite work.

   Happily, we can now see that his work there was the exception.

   Under Waid's guidance, working with the (quite excellent) artist Jesus Saiz, Strange is exploring the mystery of why his magic went away - and he's traveling across the universe to rediscover the power he's lost.

   He's also learning more about why he became the Sorcerer Supreme - and why he lost his way.

   It's a powerful story unfolding, and thanks to the alien setting, it's loaded with surprise twists and turns.
   Glad to see Doctor Strange - and Mark Waid - getting along so well!


   I've been a fan of Hawkman for a long, long time.

   I'm not old enough to have read the Golden Age adventures of the hero, but I was just the right age to enjoy the Silver Age version of Katar Hol, the policeman from the planet Thanagar who came to Earth with his wife and partner Shayera to learn from Earth police methods, all while fighting menaces in their Hawk-gear.

   After that the story gets a bit muddled by the various Crisis and reboots, but eventually Hawkman became Carter Hall, a hero from Earth who has been reincarnated along with his lover Shayera through many incarnations.

   We'll skip over the "New 52's" Savage Hawkman, who was "killed" by Despero in a recent mini-series (which was something of a mercy), and now Carter (the archeologist and superhero) is back for new adventures in a new series.

     Happily, writer Robert Venditti has taken the character back to his Golden Age roots, has incorporated the best aspects of his modern incarnation, and thrown in some really interesting hints around his ties to other worlds.

   The art is by Bryan Hitch and Andrew Currie, with color art by Alex Sinclair, and it's terrific. Hitch has given the hero's wings a new, natural look, making them behave more like actual wings, instead of the traditional, stiff look that's been the norm.

   Hitch, of course, is the master of Cinemascope splash pages, and you get those here in spades. But we also get a very human Carter, who has friends (gasp!) and acts like a good person (although he's a bit cavalier about the destruction of ancient objects).

   There are still lots of questions to be answered (like where is Hawkwoman?), but this is a very promising start to the series.
   The comic has made this long-time fan happy about a Hawkman comic for the first time in a long time.


   I suppose it would be wrong to file a review that just said, "What the hell?"

   So I'll resist the urge.

   This Mister Miracle limited series has been strange mix of nightmare scenarios, real-world struggles, throwback bluster and superheroics.

   All have been presented without a clue as to which is real and which is not. Is it all a nightmare inflicted on Scott Free and his wife Big Barda? Is it a plot by Darkseid? Or Metron? Is there another explanation?

   If you're looking for pat answers, you won't find them in this series. Instead, it offers some tantalizing clues and leaves it to you, dear reader, to decide what to believe.

   It's been interesting and compelling throughout, and certainly walks a different path from most stories based in Jack Kirby's Fourth World.

   (I often smile when I think, "What would Kirby think of this series?" I suspect he'd be happy his characters continue to entertain, and he'd be happy for the royalty check - but he might scratch his head at the storyline.)
   If you're looking for a funny, challenging and unique story, this is your Huckleberry.


   The great thing about Saga is that you never know what's going to happen next - and of course, that also makes it difficult to review any issue, because to give away the surprises would be to spoil the joys of reading this terrific series.

   What I can do is give you my reaction to reading this issue, which was something along the lines of: DAMN IT ALL TO HELL YOU SUM BITCHES!!!

   Ahem. (Please excuse my profanity - you'll see lots more vulgar things in this series.)

   Let me just add that writer Brian K. Vaughn and artist Fiona Staples are masters of this amazing, heartfelt science fiction adventure / slash / love story.
   Sadly, this is the last issue for a year (ish) as the team takes a needed break - but for those mature enough to cope with the twists and turns (and the resultant whiplash that can set in for the unsuspecting), they're telling an amazing (and sometimes heartbreaking) story here.


   So there's this new hero - Superman!

   If you rush, you can pick up copies of his first issue, which are bound to be a collector's item!

   OK, lame humor aside, this is the starting point for writer Brian Michael Bendis' run on the regular title with artists Ivan Reis and Joe Prado - and it's a strong start!

   There's no wasted effort here, as we are brought up to speed on the new status quo for the Man of Steel - he's adjusting to life without Lois and Jon (who are off world on a surprising journey), working as a reporter at The Daily Planet, interacting with other heroes and saving the lives of the innocent.

   With terrific art, a fresh, inspired take on the classic hero, and a story that sets lots of wheels in motion (including a shocking final page), it's an impressive start for the new creative team.
   I'm looking forward to the next issue - and yes, this title is back on my "pull" list at the comics shop!


 Trapped in the future, Captain America celebrates his 700th issue by fighting for the United States - but not one that we might recognize.

   That's because he's trapped in the future - one in which America has suffered under a tyrant's rule.

   Cap led a group of freedom fighters (including a few familiar faces) to bring liberty back to the country - but keeping the country free is proving to be a huge challenge.

   What happens next - and the ultimate resolution of the story - takes Cap to some interesting places, forced to make the kind of decisions he's never had to face before.

   It's the story of a hero and a role model, and a darned good one. This issue, sadly, wraps up Chris Samnee's amazing run on the art, after a long and fruitful run with writer Mark Waid on this, Daredevil and Black Widow.

   In a backup feature, Waid also teams up - sort of - with another artist famous for his work on Captain America - namely, Jack Kirby! It's an offbeat story Waid managed to reverse-engineer - it's a bit silly but lots of fun!

   I owe you an apology, readers.

   While I credited Barrier as one of the best of the comics offered on Free Comic Book Day, I haven't reviewed the five-issue limited series which is being printed weekly by Image Comics (this was in May 2018).

   Which means the final issue is being published next Wednesday!

   I feel bad because... it's a terrific series! The topic seems well-worn - a man and a woman are abducted by aliens. But there's so much more going on here!

   The series is set on the U.S. / Mexican border, and focuses on a rancher named Liddy, who encounters a man named Oscar sneaking across the border.

   One of the interesting things about the book is that she speaks only English - and Oscar only Spanish, and the comic makes no effort to translate his side of the story (the same for the snippets of his history we see).

   They both find themselves in a strange alien environment, unlike anything I've ever seen before.

   The credits on the book are minimal, but I presume the book is written by Brian K. Vaughn, drawn by Marcos Martin with color art by Muntsa Vicente (just their names are listed in the credits), and their work is amazing, creating a world and a story that's unique, unpredictable and absolutely riveting.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Fantastic Four #5 (or #650)

   Hey, it's the wedding issue, as The Thing finally ties the knot with Alicia Masters, who he's been dating for (literally) 56 years! (Talk about a confirmed bachelor!)

   Weddings in comics tend to be big blowouts, with lots of heroes and villains showing up and engaging in the usual building-smashing fun - but this issue takes a somewhat different approach.

   It is a more personal story, focusing on some flashback moments (including a handy retelling of the Fantastic Four's origin), the wild ruckus that is Ben's bachelor party, and finally the wedding itself. 

   It's all well and good, with lovely art by Mike Allred, Adam Hughes and Aaron Kuder, but I still get the sense that writer Dan Scott is still getting the feel of the series. 

   The FF should be a strong balance of great characters, humor, action sequences and some strong science fiction concepts - and lots of heart. 

   We're seeing the characters, some humor and the heart, but the stories just haven't started snapping yet. Next issue has a promising setup here, so there's hope.

   As for the wedding, I can only say: it's about time!

Grade: B


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

New Comics Day (Sorta)

   Hope all you gentle readers around the world are enjoying a great holiday season! Your pal Chuck has been spending time with family and loved ones, so apologies for the minimal posting.

   It was mighty slim pickings this week at the ol' comic shop, thanks to the holiday break. Today I picked up:

FANTASTIC FOUR #5 - It's Wedding Time for the Thing!

UNCANNY X-MEN #7 - Still disassembling!

   And that's it!

   But don't worry, I'll have my "Best Comics of the Year" list up on Dec. 31. Feel free to send your choices along in the comments space at the end of each post, or email them to me at

   Have a happy!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Men In Black International - Movie Trailer

   The Men In Black franchise is back with an International edition - and it stars some familiar faces from a recent Marvel blockbuster.

   Take a look:

Friday, December 21, 2018

Hellboy - Movie Trailer

   As a holiday treat, a couple of comics-based movie trailers have been released. 

   As a fan of the original Hellboy movies, I'm hoping this one will be along those lines - but that may be setting the bar too high.

   Check it out:

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

New Comics Day

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

- NEIL GAIMAN AMERICAN GODS MY AINSEL #9 - A dangerous power play!

- BEASTS OF BURDEN WISE DOGS AND ELDRITCH MEN #4 (OF 4) - Can the pack stop a deadly plot?

- INFINITY WARS #6 (OF 6) - The End!

- LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #5 (OF 5) - Final showdown!

- THOR #8 - An angelic prison!

- WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 - City of Evil!

- UNCANNY X-MEN #6 - Still dissembling.

     And I received these comics for review:

- ARTIFACT ONE #3 - A startling discovery!

- BLOODSHOT RISING SPIRIT #2 - What's happening with his memories?

- DOCTOR WHO 7TH TP OPERATION VOLCANO - Classic adventures with a twist!

- LIVEWIRE #1 - Now in her own series!

- PRINCELESS FIND YOURSELF #2 - A threat to the kingdom!

- RIVERS OF LONDON #3 (OF 4) ACTION AT A DISTANCE - Can you escape your past?

- SHADES OF MAGIC #3 (OF 4) STEEL PRINCE - The gaslamp fantasy series continues.

- SOULFIRE #6 - The team that answers to no one!

- TANK GIRL ACTION ALLEY #1 - Beginning a new series!

- X-O MANOWAR #22 - The finale!

- ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #55 - Can Janey return to the world of the living?

     And that's it!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Spider-Man: into the Spider-verse: Movie Review

   It's the holiday season, so to celebrate, my son Evan and I went to see the new Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse movie. When he was much younger we wrote columns together about video games - so just for old time's sake, we thought we'd get the team back together to talk about this movie.

Chuck: I'm not sure if I would have made the effort to see this movie if Evan hadn't suggested it (most animated superhero films fall into the "I'll catch it on Netflix" category), and now that I've seen it, I'm really glad we did!

Evan: Honestly, I didn't feel like I had much of a choice in seeing this one! My coworkers and greater social media feed were insisting it was the best Spider-Man movie ever and maybe the best movie of the year. One person literally told me to go in with the highest of expectations and wait for them to be exceeded. (I'm just now wondering - are all of my peers on Sony's payroll?) So with all that floating around in my head, I really enjoyed this one. Is it my favorite movie of all time? Not quite, but it's a lot of fun.

Chuck: The movie brings together "Spider-Men" from alternate dimensions into a crossover event that also serves as an origin story for the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man. It's told with lots of heart, plenty of action and a healthy dose of humor. I really like the animation style, which combines the best elements of CGI and line animation. I'm not sure it's quite accessible to all ages - there's a lot going on here and the cross-dimensional concept - and the strange alternate versions of Spidey - may be a bit confusing for young ones - but everyone else should find this to be a very satisfying film all around.

Evan: There are definitely kids (and you're right, maybe kids a little older than a very young audience who might not be ready for this sensory-overload moviegoing experience) who will love Miles Morales as the star of this story. A charming, gawky kid navigating the uncertainties of both school life and Spider-Man life. It's also easy to see kids loving some of the other Spideys, especially Spider-Ham. Also, there's an embarrassment of riches when it comes to voice talent here. I was not expecting to see Nicolas Cage or Mahershala Ali in the credits!

Chuck: Miles channels the same kind of lovable geeky charm that makes Peter Parker such an endearing character. The film is loaded with Easter Eggs aplenty (the Times Square scene will certainly be freeze-frameable to catch some of those gags) - and the Stan Lee cameo certainly tugs at the ol' heart-strings. Any Marvel or Spider-Man fan is bound to love this series.

Evan: My hopes are definitely high for them doing more of these animated Spider-Man movies. While I was a huge fan of Spider-Man: Homecoming, this one felt like it had endless possibilities—any character could show up to throw a new wrinkle into the story. Really enjoyed this one and strongly recommend it. And dad, it was my honor to tell you about my favorite rappers on the soundtrack during the credits! (Vince Staples, people, look him up!)

Grade: A


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Supermen #6

   As we reach the final chapter (for now) in this Phantom Zone-based story, writer Brian Michael Bendis takes an interesting approach, dropping the typical word balloon structure for a more (shall we say) literary approach, as Superman finds himself teamed up with an old foe as they battle an even bigger menace.

   It doesn't hurt that the issue features powerful artwork by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Oclair Albert, depicting a Zone-shaking battle royale between powerhouses.

   The ending is surprising (and somewhat unfinished), but there's also some down-to-Earth events to even things out.

   Overall, I'm really enjoying the Bendis run on this title. A solid focus on story and character, lots of surprises and a healthy dollop of humor. What's not to like?

Grade: A


Friday, December 14, 2018

Fantastic Four Wedding Special #1

   When I mentioned to a friend that I had picked up the Fantastic Four Wedding Special, he asked, "Are Reed and Sue renewing their vows?" 

    It was a fair question, since that original story with Reed and Sue's wedding is so iconic, and who else would be getting married in the FF's comic? (The less said about Johnny Storm's wedding the better.)

   Of course, the wedding in question (as the cover clearly shows) actually features Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters.  (To which we can only say, "It's about time! They're been an item since the earliest days of the FF's adventures.")

   Ah, but no wedding takes place in this issue. Instead, we get a couple of stories focusing on the pre-wedding events (plus a delightful short at the back by Fred Hembeck).

   I wish I could say they're terrific tales, but they're just... ok. One is a "girl's night out" story that takes a couple of wrong turns along the way (in more ways than one), and the other has the Thing tackling a job that his strength can't help him with. They're not bad, but neither one is epic. 

   But artists Mark Buckingham and Mark Farmer offer up a nice Kirby look to the art on the second story.

   Hopefully the upcoming (actual) wedding issue will have a lot more oomph in it.

Grade: B-


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

New Comics Day

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

- AVENGERS #11 - Who's joining the team?

- CHAMPIONS #27 - A visit to Weirdworld.

- FANTASTIC FOUR WEDDING SPECIAL #1 - At last, there shall be... a wedding!

- HAWKMAN #7 - His origin revealed!

- HELLBOY WINTER SPECIAL 2018 - Happy holidays from hell!

- MAGE HERO DENIED #14 (OF 15) - In the enemy's stronghold!

- SUPERMAN #6 - Teaming up with General Zod?

- UNCANNY X-MEN #5 - More dissembling!

     And I received these review copies:


- BRITANNIA TP VOL. 3: LOST EAGLES OF ROME - A quest into the unknown!

- DOCTOR WHO ROAD TO THE 13TH DOCTOR TP - Counting up to #13!

- MIKE HAMMER TP NIGHT I DIED - Collecting the adaptation of a new Hammer story.

- MINIONS VIVA LE BOSS #2 - Adventures through history.

- PRAGUE COUP HC - A plot to unseat the government of Czechoslovakia.

- ROBOTECH #15 - The saga continues!

- SHADOWMAN #10 - Death in the Darque!

- TANK GIRL COLOR CLASSICS HC VOL 01 1988-1990 - The original tales!

     And that's it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Doomsday Clock #8 (of 12)

   I am more convinced with every issue that this series is not taking place in the DC Universe (whatever that is these days).

   Doomsday Clock is a mash-up of the Watchmen Universe and DC's, with the result that the story is dark and deadly.

   So heroes lose control and threaten innocents, real-world politicians get involved, conspiracy theories (especially the one that centers on Superman) threaten to destabilize world governments, and that's just the beginning of the strange events that are building to a deadly showdown with the mysterious Dr. Manhattan.

   Presumably the series wants to unsettle the reader, and in that it succeeds wildly. 

   I have no idea where writer Geoff Johns is heading here, and that's good - but I don't care for the mud it's throwing on DC's heroes (and supporting characters), who are behaving in strange and unexpected ways. The art by Gary Frank is raw and real - very powerful and effective.

   I'll be tuning in, but I can't give this series a whole-hearted recommendation. DC's comics were designed to be for all ages, and this series breaks that mold into a zillion pieces.

Grade: B


Monday, December 10, 2018

Shazam #1

   (Your pal Chuck has been swamped this week, so today and tomorrow we'll have some mini-reviews to get back on schedule.)

   As a big fan of the original Captain Marvel (Fawcett version), I have to admit I'm struggling a bit with the new version of that hero, who goes by the name Shazam!

   I understand the reason for the change, and there are some elements about the new version of Billy Batson and his extended (adopted) family that I enjoy - but none of the super-powered kids are particularly likable, and I have no idea what their names are. 

   Will they all have name changes? It was bad enough the Captain Marvel Jr. couldn't say his own name - now Shazam can't speak his name, either!

   And how are they all sneaking out of the house like that?

   The art is great and they're building a new world here - but I still miss the Big Red Cheese.

   (To see how to do it right, check out Grant Morrison Multiversity comic.)

Grade: B


Friday, December 7, 2018

"Avengers Endgame" - Movie Trailer

   A happy surprise as the new Avengers trailer is out. We've been calling it Avengers 4, but now we see the official "Endgame" title.

   It's just a teaser, but it's a mighty promising one!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

New Comics Day

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

- ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66 #5 (of 6) - An entire town against them!

- DOCTOR STRANGE #9 - A housing dispute.

- DOOMSDAY CLOCK #8 (of 12) - When heroes lose control.

- GREEN LANTERN #2 - Talking tough with a Spider Pirate!

- SHAZAM #1 - New kid in town.

- WEST COAST AVENGERS #5 - Facing Gridlock!

- UNCANNY X-MEN #4 - Disassembled!

    And I received these review copies:

BLACK AF DEVILS DYE #1 (OF 4) - A deadly drug targets those with powers!

BREAKNECK #1 (OF 4) - A gritty crime thriller!

DISSENSION WAR ETERNAL #4 - Where did Delphi get her powers?

DOCTOR WHO 13TH #2 - Who is the mysterious new traveller?

HER INFERNAL DESCENT #5  - Will Lynn find her family?

NINJA-K #14  - Going rogue!

PENNY DREADFUL #12 - Continuing the story from the TV series!

SNAP FLASH HUSTLE #1 (OF 4)  - A secret society of models!

WE ARE DANGER #4  - When you reach the top, the only direction left is down.

   And that's it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Once and Future Tarzan

   Surely there is no literary figure who has been more badly beaten up by unthinking interpretations than Tarzan.

   Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the story of Tarzan begins with an infant whose parents are killed after they are left in the jungles of Africa - and he is raised by the Great Apes. 

   But the real Tarzan is not the crude "Me Tarzan, you Jane" character brought to life in movies and TV shows starring actors like Johnny Weissmuller. In the original stories, he's self-educated (thanks to the books his parents left behind), and he eventually divides his time between the world of civilization, where he is the respected Lord Greystoke, and the jungle (and numerous lost worlds all over the globe).

   Those original stories captured my imagination in a way few original stories by other writers have managed, and I'm glad to report that the trade paperback collection Dark Horse's Once and Future Tarzan stories live up to that legacy in a very satisfying way.

   Written by Al Gordon, the stories were serialized in small chunks in Dark Horse anthology titles - which is perfect for the jungle lord's stories, since they're all about cliffhangers and propelling the story forward at break-neck pace.

   This is set in the future, where Tarzan is somehow still in his prime (impressive for a 300-year-old man), only now instead of exploring strange lost worlds, the entire Earth has become untamed and wild, with danger around every corner.

   The art is wonderful, featuring chapters drawn by Thomas Yeates and Bo Hampton - both masters at heroic battles and amazing environments and creatures. And boy, do they get to strut their stuff here.

   It's a smart, terrific tale, and it's great to see the Ape Man (and his wife, who also kicks ass) in top form again. 

   Highly recommended!

Grade: A


Monday, December 3, 2018

Captain Marvel Trailer

   The new Captain Marvel trailer was released today (during Monday Night Football), and it certainly looks promising! 

   If you had told young Chuck that there would one day be a movie with Krees and Skrulls fighting it out, he'd probably have fainted.

   Check it out:

Friday, November 30, 2018

Fantastic Four #4

   Ah, now that's more like it.

   This issue of Fantastic Four feels much more like "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine!"

   It's not perfect, mind you. A bit of the issue is bogged down with some housekeeping. The team must return from the alternate dimension / universe / whatever where they've been trapped - an easy task for Reed Richards and his daughter Valeria (they have some nice father / child moments here).

   Once back, they find another team has taken their place - but what might have a been a lot of sturm and drang is instead handled in a clever, fun fashion.

   It feels much more like the balance of action, adventure, comedy and smart storytelling that we've been missing for far too long.

   Dan Slott provides a terrific script, and Stefano Casselli and Nico Leon provide lots of dynamic artwork (with a nice comedic touch on display).

   The series isn't quite there yet, but this is the best issue yet! 

   More like this, please!

Grade: A-


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

New Comics Day

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

- ACTION COMICS #1005 - The mystery of the Red Cloud!

- BOOKS OF MAGIC #2 - Beware an impatient magician!

- DAREDEVIL #612 - The end.

- Who are the Fantastix?

- HEROES IN CRISIS #3 (OF 9) - Why was Sanctuary built?

- IRONHEART #1 - Now in her own comic!

- MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #12 - Facing the Mole Man!

- TERRIFICS #10 - The final battle with Doc Dread!

- UNCANNY X-MEN #3 - The team, disassembled!

     And I also got these review copies:

- ALBERT EINSTEIN TIME MASON #2 - Into the past!

- BLACK BETTY #6 - A town against her!

- CHARLES VESS BOOK OF BALLADS & SAGAS HC - A new collection of the award-winning series!

- COME INTO ME #4 - The end of all flesh.


- ELRIC RUBY THRONE DELUXE EDITION HC - Collecting the series!

- EMMA G WILDFORD HC - Solving mysteries in the Roaring '20s!

- FAITH DREAMSIDE #3 (OF 4) - Perchance to dream.

- HARBINGER WARS 2 TP - The battle lines are drawn!

- OH S#!T ITS KIM & KIM #4 - The escape plan is put into action!

- PRINCELESS FIND YOURSELF #1 - Off to rescue Adrienne's sister!

- QUANTUM & WOODY #12 - Will they join the super-team?

- ROBOTECH TP VOL. 3 BLIND GAME - The latest collection!

- SEX DEATH REVOLUTION #2 - Meet Marcus, who's totally evil.

- THE ONCE AND FUTURE TARZAN TP - Set in the future, can Tarzan save a half-flooded London?

- VAMPBLADE SEASON 3 #7 - Fighting to get home!

- X-O MANOWAR #21 - The Brothers of the Bomb!

- ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #54 - Where has her body gone?

     And that's it!