Thursday, February 28, 2019

New Comics Day (One Day Late)

   Whoops, running late! Here's what I picked up at the comics shop this week:

- ACTION COMICS #1008 - Who's attacking DC's clandestine operations?

- FANTASTIC FOUR #7 - What is Doctor Doom's plan?

- HEROES IN CRISIS #6 (OF 9) - What is Sanctuary?

- MAGE HERO DENIED #15 (OF 15) - The final chapter!

- SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #2 - More barbarism more often!

- SHAZAM #3 - What is the secret of the Funlands?

- TERRIFICS #13 - Showdown with Doc Dread!

- WEST COAST AVENGERS #8 - Why is Marvel Boy in town?

  And I received these review copies:

- ALBERT EINSTEIN TIME MASON #5 - Visiting Ancient Egypt!

- BLOODSHOT RISING SPIRIT #4 - Hard to kill!

- FORGOTTEN QUEEN #1 - The war monger returns!

- LIFE IS STRANGE #4 - Max and Chloe face a final decision!

- NULL FAERIES #2 - Pursued by dark creatures!


- SOULFIRE #8 - Tales of magic and wonder!

- SWEETIE #1 - Not your typical fangirl!

- VAMPBLADE SEASON 3 #10 - Facing an intergalactic league of blade wielders!

- WASTED SPACE #7 - A rescue mission to recover some nukes!

     And that's it!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Incursion #1

   One of my favorite Valiant characters is the Eternal Warrior, and while the success of an ongoing series seems to elude that hero, happily he keeps showing up for more adventures.

   The latest is Incursion, which picks up as Gilad starts to educate the newest Geomancer in methods of self-defense.

   But the lesson may be too late to help as the duo face a strange alien invasion and a merciless foe who destroys planets almost effortlessly.

   It promises to be a real challenge for the immortal fighter. 

   With terrific art by Doug Braithwaite and a crackling good story by Andy Diggle and Alex Paknadel, this is a good jumping-on point for the latest story.

   Jumping is advised!

Grade: A-



Friday, February 22, 2019

Doctor Strange #11

   I'm surprised the ongoing series starring Doctor Strange doesn't get more buzz with fans - it's very good!

  It's the latest example of one of my favorite comic book genres: "Mark Waid takes over the writing of a classic comic and hits it out of the park!" (See: Daredevil, Captain America, Fantastic Four.)

   With the adventures of the Sorcerer Supreme, Waid started by taking away his mystic powers, and then sending him on a journey to alien worlds to find new sources of power.

   Now he's back on Earth and confronted with a mystery - one that involves his teacher, the Ancient One (who I'm always happy to see), an Earth-shaking menace - and the return of his signature villain, the Dread Dormammu!

   Teamed with terrific artists Jesus Saiz and Javier Pina, it's a cracking good tale. What more do you need to know?

   You really should be reading this comic.

Grade: A


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

New Comics Day

     Today at the comics shop I picked up:

- AVENGERS #15 - A Vampire Civil War!

- DOCTOR STRANGE #11 - Who controls Earth's magic?

- NAOMI #2 - What is the secret behind her adoption?

- WILD STORM #20 - Preparing for world war!

    And I received these review copies:


- BLOODBORNE #9 SONG OF CROWS - Return to the horror mystery series!

- BREAKNECK #3 (OF 4) - Can Joe save Philadelphia from a terrorist attack?

- INCURSION #1 - An invasion from the Deadside!

- X-O MANOWAR #24 - Hero Part 2!

    And that's it!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Thor #10

   Yeah, I really didn't like this issue.

   As a fan of Thor since I was a tot, it's difficult to admit that. 

   I love the characters, I love the setting, I love the incredible potential in each story.

   And then I read this issue. 

   See that cover? It's lovely - a father and son sharing a drink together, smiling. I would love to read that story in a comic book. But nowhere inside this comic does that moment appear.

   Instead, Thor and Odin meet, share harsh words, and spend the rest of the issue brutally beating each other up. And I do mean brutal, with words that hurt and blows that cause serious damage.

   We see Odin's inner dialogue, but get no sense of why someone so smart is incapable of talking to his own son. 

   It's just combat for the sake of providing an action sequence for this otherwise lightweight outing. The characters are unrecognizable.

   Perhaps it bothers me because I wonder how someone who suffered at the hands of an abusive father would react to this issue. 

   Or perhaps it's just that I miss my own wonderful, amazing father - I'd give anything to be able to have one more conversation with him - preferably over some cold beer.

   So, anyway - can't recommend this one at all. 

Grade: D


Friday, February 15, 2019

Superman #8

    Let me say up front that I'm really enjoying Brian Michael Bendis' take on Superman.

   The stories manage a great mix of action, humor, heartfelt moments, great dialogue and story twists.

   This latest storyline is a perfect example of a story that could have gone badly in lesser hands.

   It takes Jon Kent, the son of Clark and Lois, and pulls the old soap opera trick of sending him away for a few months - and when he returns, he's suddenly grown into maturity (well, he's about 18 now).

   But the story behind how this happened (during a "summer vacation" around the galaxy with Jor-El, who's somehow still alive), is turning out to be a cracking good yarn - and if that last splash page doesn't hook you, I give up.

   It doesn't hurt that the art is by two of the best in the business - Ivan Reis and Brandon Peterson. 

   So to sum up: you really should be reading this series.

Grade: A




Wednesday, February 13, 2019

New Comics Day

   A light day for me! I picked up:

- HAWKMAN #9 - The Deathbringers arrive on Earth!

- SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #1 - An ancient treasure!

- SUPERMAN #8 - What has Superboy been up to?

- THOR #10 - War is around the corner.

  And I got these review copies:

- DEVIL WITHIN #3 (OF 4) - Are ghosts real?

- FATHOM #7 - Celebrating 20 years of underwater adventure!

- FEARSCAPE #4 -Triumph and tragedy!

- FRIENDO #4 - What if the laws of the land didn't apply to you?

- LIVEWIRE #3 - Life on the run!

- OH S#!T ITS KIM & KIM #5 - Out of prison and back in trouble!

- SEX DEATH REVOLUTION #3 - Diving into memories!

- SURVIVAL FETISH #5 - It all comes down to this!

- WRATH OF FANTOMAS HC - Paris, 1911. The scene: an execution.

    And that's it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Doctor Who The Thirteenth Doctor #4

   When your villain is a hoarder, you run the chance of stinging some of your readers (not that I would react that way, of course).

   But since this is a Doctor Who adventure, The Hoarder is stealing items from across time and space - and forcing others, including children, to do his dirty work.

   So The Doctor and her companions have a lot of ground to cover - antidotes to concoct, children to rescue, and villains to defeat - all done with intelligence and wit (you know, like the TV series).

   It's a fun wrap-up to the story - which goes right into my collection. (There is a difference between a collector and a hoarder, right? Right?)

Grade: B



Sunday, February 10, 2019

Aspen Visions: Executive Assistant Iris #1

   What, you may well ask, is Aspen Visions?

   It's apparently a new mini-series that places well-known characters from that company in decidedly different settings.

   This first issue, for example, drops Executive Assistant Iris in Ancient China, fighting what seems to be a never-ending mob of invading Huns.

   That's business as usual for our favorite killing machine, as she calmly dispatches an army of invaders - and faces down a dragon.

   There are, of course, twists to the story that are effective (if perhaps a bit well-worn by now), and the art is excellent.

   The story is continued into the next issue, which features the company's mainstream star - and lots more trouble for our heroes.

Grade: B+


Friday, February 8, 2019

The Avengers #14

   Marvel has gone to war lately - from Infinity Wars to the upcoming War of the Realms - but hey, there's still time to squeeze in a Vampire War for the Avengers.

   But it's not a war led by Dracula (though he certainly plays a part) - it's an uprising of other vampires, led by someone called the Shadow Colonel (who gets fashion tips from Darth Vader) - and it's a war that rages all over the planet, as vampires either fight for their lives - or try to hide.

   I'm not a big fan of vampires in the Marvel Universe - it's difficult to understand why the heroes haven't stamped out the murderous monsters by now - but it is good to see the vampire hunter Blade back in action.

   The story includes terrific art and lots of action, so it's entertaining - for a war.

Grade: B+


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

New Comics Day

    Today at the comics shop I picked up:

- AVENGERS #14 - War of the vampires!

- CONAN THE BARBARIAN #3 - Is this how Conan dies?

- GREEN LANTERN #4 - What's wrong with Hal?

- TONY STARK IRON MAN #8 - Its weapon is hate.

- YOUNG JUSTICE #2 - The team re-unites, with new members added!

      And I received these review copies:

- ASPEN VISIONS FATHOM SPINNING OUR FATE #1 - What are "Aspen-visions?"

- BLACK AF DEVILS DYE #2 (OF 4) - Tracking down a drug runner!

- DOCTOR WHO 13TH #4 - The conclusion of her first comic book adventure!

- MIRACULOUS TALES LADYBUG CAT NOIR S2 TP GOTCHA - New adventures with Ladybug and Cat Noir!


- ROBOTECH #17 - A new story arc begins!

- SNAP FLASH HUSTLE #2 (OF 4) - Can Haley earn a promotion?

- VAMPBLADE SEASON 3 #9 - Can a cross-dimensional army stop Vampblade?

- WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR #1 DOLLAR DEBUT - Reprinting the first issue!

     And that's it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Powers in Action #1

    Here's an all-too-rare treat - a comic aimed at kids!

    Art Baltazar's Powers in Action drops you right in the middle of the action as it introduces the members of the super-team, the Hero Squadron.

   That includes the wise-cracking Lynx and his kid sidekick, the Ocelot, the powerful Suplex and his animal sidekick, Dogplex, the alien Enormus, and the mysterious Moon and Eclipse

   The issue spends most of its time introducing the cast, but they manage to squeeze in some bad guys and super-battles.

   It's all lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek, fast-paced, and presented in a kid-friendly format. What's not to like?

   It's lots of fun!

Grade: B+


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Avengers: Endgame - Movie Trailer

   During the Super Bowl they rolled out a new teaser / trailer for the upcoming Avengers: Endgame movie.

   Looks great so far!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Heroes in Crisis #5 (of 9)

   I understand the impulse to make superheroes more realistic - comic books obviously don't have to be just "kid stuff," after all.

   But just giving something an "adult" edge doesn't automatically make it good, as the Heroes in Crisis clearly shows.

   It starts with an interesting real world premise - that super-powered characters would struggle with the consequences (physical and mental) of the terrible events they've been part of.

   It's certainly true for soldiers, policemen, firemen, emergency responders and so on - so why not heroes?

   So Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman created The Sanctuary - an innocent-looking building where those with super-powers may safely discuss their inner secrets. (I'm not sure why anyone would think this was a safe place to discuss their darkest secrets, but that's just me.)

   It's all thrown into confusion as several heroes are brutally killed at Sanctuary - so the search is on to find the killers. The two suspects are both acting strangely (even for them), and more sensible heroes seem to be enabling them, also for mysterious reasons.

   When Sanctuary is revealed to the public, the heroes must step into the spotlight and we get the odd sequence of Superman struggling to explain why heroes might need psychiatric help. (Is that really such an ugly subject?)

   So, basically, the story is kind of a car wreck of good intentions and murder, designed to show that comics can tackle serious topics - but doing it in a rather ham-handed, soap opera fashion.

   I'm hanging onto this series by my fingertips - I just can't work up much interest. (Mostly because of the mass murder of perfectly good characters.) I sometimes get the impression that today's comics companies would prefer that I stop bothering them with my business.

Grade: C