Monday, September 30, 2019

Bloodshot #1

      This restart (reboot?) of the Bloodshot series from Valiant Comics puts the focus on action and intrigue. 

   Well, mostly action.

   We jump right in with an armed conflict in Yemen, as mercenaries with advanced weapons threaten innocent lives - and that's when Bloodshot steps in.

   What follows is a hard-pitched, action-packed battle between a super-powered soldier and a small army - a fight that may not end in the way you'd predict.

   Along the way writer Tim Seeley provides a recap of Bloodshot's origin and we learn why he's being hunted.

   Brett Booth provides art that packs a punch, loaded with dynamic action and intensity.

   It's a great jumping on point for this classic character, and a solid start to the series.

Grade: B+



Wednesday, September 25, 2019

New Comics Day

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

- ACTION COMICS #1015 - Superman meets Naomi.

- AVENGERS #24 - Ghost Riders duke it out!

- AVENGERS LOKI UNLEASHED #1 - Writer Roger Stern returns!

- DIAL H #7 (OF 12) - City of a thousand heroes!

- MARVEL TEAM-UP #6 - Facing Starforce!

- POWERS OF X #5 (OF 6) - Shaping X-History with Mr. Sinister!

- RAGNAROK BREAKING OF HELHEIM #2 (OF 6) - Thor goes to the Kingdom of the Dead.

- SHAZAM #7 - A new member of the Shazam Family!

- TERRIFICS #20 - A time-traveling Bizarro!

  And I received these comics for review:

- BLOODSHOT #1 - Back in action!

- DAN DARE HC EVIL ONE - Reprinting classic tales!

- DOCTOR MIRAGE #2 (OF 5) - Death comes calling!

- ELRIC STORMBRINGER DLX ED HC - Adapting the classic story.

- HERALD LOVECRAFT AND TESLA BUNDLES OF JOY #2 - Historical secrets revealed!

- MALL #2 - All-out war!

- PLOT #1 - A new home - and dark secrets!

- QUEEN OF BAD DREAMS #4 - A battle of dreamers.

- RELICS OF YOUTH #1 - A mysterious island holds a secret.

- RESONANT #3 - What waits at journey's end?

- SERA & ROYAL STARS #3 - The return of a familiar face!

- SNOWPIERCER HC VOL. 4 EXTINCTION - The prequel to the bestseller!

- TANK GIRL COLOUR CLASSICS HC VOL. 2 1990-1992 - Classic tales!

- VAMPBLADE SEASON 4 #5 - An awkward reunion!


  And that's it!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Spider-Man #1

   It's been a while since I picked up an issue of Spider-Man, but hearing that film director J.J. Abrams and his son Henry were tackling a mini-series starring that hero, I decided to give it a shot.

   And I'm mostly glad that I did. 

   This is an alternate universe version of Spider-man, with the story set partially in the present, with a brand-new menace and a tragic event that shakes our hero.

  The rest of the story takes us into the near-future, to see how that event changes lives.

   A lot of it is very compelling, though the "event" will be distasteful for long-time fans (at least it was for this fan).

   But the art by Sara Pichelli is tremendous and there's a lot of story still to be unpacked - so I have to recommend this series.

   So far.

Grade: A-


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Wynonna Earp: Bad Day at Black Rock

   While we wait for the slightly-delayed new season of the Wynonna Earp TV series to arrive, the creator of the character - and several of the stars of the show - have provided a new graphic novel to give us a much-needed fix.

   Bad Day at Black Rock is a star-studded gathering of almost every key character (good and evil) since the comic book series began - and it's a game-changer.

   For those who came in late, Wynonna is a Marshal working for the Black Badge Division, which means she tracks down law-breaking monsters of all shapes and sizes. The ones that survive the encounter wind up in Black Rock, the hidden prison that houses the world's most terrifying monsters.

   A prison break naturally draws the attention of Wynonna and her allies: the immortal cowboy Doc Holliday, the warrior woman Valdez, the rough-and-tumble Smitty, Wynonna's brainy sister Waverly and the aptly-named (and tough as nails) Nicole Haught.

   Arrayed against them are their worst enemies, all gathered together in one place and hatching a mysterious plan of destruction.

   The issue is written by Beau Smith, who created the series, and Tim Rozon, who plays the part of Holliday on the TV series. As you'd expect, there's lots of sharp dialogue (tons of great give-and-take between both friends and foes alike), and an abundance of fights, scuffles, brawls and throw-downs.

      The art is by Chris Evenhuis (with colors by Joy Fotos), and it's terrific stuff, bouncing back and forth between great character moments (showing off his lush designs and ability to capture the look of each actor) and all-out action sequences.

   As an added bonus, the Kickstarter version I picked up also has short stories written by actors Melanie Scrofano (who plays Wynonna) and Tim Rozon, and a short comic story written by Dominique Provost-Chalkey (Waverly), Katherine Barrell (Haught) and Smith.

   It's a terrific package - it starts out at top speed and never lets up! 

   Highly recommended!

Grade: A


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

New Comics Day

     The comics shop had nothing today! Apparently their shipment won't arrive until tomorrow - but here's what I plan to pick up if and when the comics arrive:

- HISTORY OF MARVEL UNIVERSE #3 (OF 6) - The age of heroes!

- HOUSE OF X #5 (OF 6) - Death comes calling!

- JIMMY OLSEN #3 (OF 12) - Must Jimmy die?

- JUSTICE LEAGUE #32 - The Legion of Doom!

- SPIDER-MAN #1 (OF 5) - Who is Cadaverous?

- SUPERMAN #15 - Meet the (new) Legion of Super-Heroes!

- VALKYRIE JANE FOSTER #3 - Journey to the afterlife!

    And I received these comics for review:

- ADVENTURE FINDERS EDGE OF EMPIRE #2 - The caravan falls apart!

- BLADE RUNNER 2019 #3 - The hunter becomes the hunted!

- BLOODBORNE #15 - Stranded in the streets!

- CULT CLASSIC RETURN TO WHISPER #4 & #5 - The night that changed their lives!

- ENKI BILAL MONSTER HC - Rush to destruction!

- FATHOM #5 - The world below the ocean is no longer a secret.

- KILLERS #3 (OF 5) - Ninja-E joins the battle!

- PSI-LORDS #4 - Is the team just a myth?

- ROBOTECH #24 - What can be found beyond the Event Horizon?

- SECRET LIFE OF PETS HC - What happens while you're away?

- TEST #4 - The town flies apart!

- ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #64 - What is the path to salvation?

     And that's it!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Event Leviathan #4 (of 6)

   What fun to see an honest-to-goodness mystery taking center stage!

   Event Leviathan gives us a mysterious leader for an organization that has (apparently) destroyed every covert organization in the DC Universe.

   The group has even been able to stand up to Superman, thanks to a remarkable bit of technology at their command - so a team of the world's greatest detectives (and Plastic Man) are trying to uncover the identity of the person behind it and what his or her motives might be.

   The plot is wonderfully twisty and just when you think you have it sorted, the rug shoots out from under you again.

   The art by Alex Maleev is terrific - moody and crackling with power, a perfect match for Brian Michael Bendis' story.

   Can't wait to see how this all wraps up!

Grade: A


Saturday, September 14, 2019

Powers of X #4 (of 6)

   Jonathan Hickman's revamping of the X-Men continues to demand attention (and quite a bit of contemplation) as events to continue to shed light on the past, present and future of the mutant race.

   This issue divides its focus between the past - showing how Magneto and Professor X laid plans to protect the future of the race, and how the intelligent island / mutant Krakoa was brought into the mix - and the future, where very strange things are happening.

   As always, it's an intelligent, thoughtful mix of science fiction and super-hero concepts, and it continues to lay the foundation for present-day adventures aplenty.

   With great art by R.B. Silva and color art by Matte Garcia, this is a powerful series, tightly entwined with the House of X series - not to be missed!

Grade: A


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

New Comics Day

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

- DOCTOR STRANGE #19 - The moment that changed his life!

- EVENT LEVIATHAN #4 (OF 6) - Batman vs. Superman?

- HAWKMAN #16 - Teaming up with the Shade!

- INVISIBLE WOMAN #3 (OF 5) - A life is at stake!

- KING THOR #1 (OF 4) - Into the far-flung future!

- POWERS OF X #4 (OF 6) - The end of the future!

- YOUNG JUSTICE #8 - Evil alien lookalikes!

    And I received these comics for review:

- BANJAX #4 - One bold move can end it all!

- CHAINSAW REINDEER ONE SHOT - The title says it all.

- DOCTOR WHO 13TH #12 - Joining forces with the Corsair!

- LIVEWIRE #10 - Fighting to clear her name.

- ROBOTECH #24 - What is on the other side of the Event Horizon?

     And that's it!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Going to the Chapel #1

   Who doesn't enjoy a love story?

   (Quiet, you.)

   But despite appearances, Going to the Chapel isn't exactly a romantic experience.

   It focuses on a reluctant bride, her horrible family, the nice guy she's supposed to marry, and a ceremony that goes to the dogs when robbers turn up to disrupt the proceedings.

   It's a clever idea (and feels like the beginning of a fun Saturday night movie), and has a few solid twists along the way - but it's difficult to find someone likable to cheer for in there.

   There's some adult language on display, so this isn't a book for kids - but if you're looking for something different from the usual tights-and-fights type stuff, here you go.

Grade: B


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Doomsday Clock #11 (of 12)

   My feelings about Doomsday Clock continue to be... ambivalent.

   The art and the execution are, as always, exceptional. As an homage to the original Watchmen series, it works really well.

   But I can't help but feel that it's damaging to the DC Universe.

   It's a dark tale that drags down DC's icons - Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman - and makes the villains even more dark and terrifying.

   It builds nicely and finally gives us the confrontation we've been waiting for since this series began - and I'm certainly anxious to see where the story goes from here.

   But it feels like a step backward for the company - back into the "grim and gritty" days of yore.

   I'm probably being overly critical - and certainly the next issue (whenever it arrives) will tell the tale.

Grade: B+



Thursday, September 5, 2019

Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1 (of 2)

   As a fan of the classic Legion of Super-heroes, I'm certainly glad to hear the team is returning in a new series under the guidance of writer Brian Michael Bendis (who is covering lots of ground at DC these days).

   The setup for the new series can be found in this two-issue series, Millennium, that offers a behind the scenes look at how we got from the modern day to the world of the Legion in the future.

   Our guide (of sorts) is a hero (well, sort of a hero) who you might not expect to end up being immortal - but life is full of surprises!

   This issue is made up of vignettes, each placed in a different epoch in DC's "future history" - and not all of them make sense (although there are several nifty cameos along the way), and there are some nice shout-outs to past, classic stories. 

   The biggest problem with the issue is that the Legion only appears on the cover. But the story is certainly setting the stage for a long-awaited return.

Grade: B+


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

New Comics Day

   Today at the comics shop I picked up:

- CONAN THE BARBARIAN #9 - Enemies from the past return!

- DOOMSDAY CLOCK #11 (OF 12) - The truth behind Rebirth!

- FANTASTIC FOUR #14 - Point of origin!

- GREEN LANTERN #11 - Alternate worlds and Star Sapphire!

- HOUSE OF X #4 (OF 6) - Xavier's dream turns deadly!

- JUSTICE LEAGUE #31 - Searching for allies in the past and future!

- LEGION OF SUPER HEROES MILLENNIUM #1 (OF 2) - Back to the future!

- SAVAGE AVENGERS #5 - Facing the Marrow God!

- SECTION ZERO #6 (OF 6) - The finale!

- USAGI YOJIMBO #4 - Playing bodyguard to a writer with a jealous husband!

    And I received these comics for review:

- FALLEN WORLD #5 (OF 5) - Rai versus the forces of the Bloodfather!

- GOING TO THE CHAPEL #1 (OF 4) - The wedding from hell!


- LOLA XOXO #2 - Mayhem in the wastreland!

- MS. TREE TP VOL. 1 - Collected adventures of the Private Eye!

- ROBOTECH ARCHIVES SENTINELS TP VOL. 1 - Collecting the original tales.

- SEAFOAM: A FRIEND FOR MADISON GN - A beach full of magical creatures.

- VAMPBLADE SEASON 4 #4 - A tale of two Katies!

- VORACIOUS APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION #4 (OF 5) - The fate of two worlds at stake!

  And that's it!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Sera and the Royal Stars #2

     It's always great to find an entertaining fantasy comic book, and Sera and the Royal Stars is the latest entry in the field.

    It follows the adventures of Sera, a female warrior who leaves her country at a crucial time to seek out a powerful ally - and he takes the form of the ancient and mystical Aldeberan.

   She has some nasty shocks ahead of her, but Sera finds her new ally is a handy guy (wizard? fighter? god? being?) to have around.

   This series is blessed with a clear storyline, easy for new readers to pick up and loaded with some interesting twists along the way. 

   And the artwork is lovely, with terrific character designs, striking environments and clean storytelling throughout.

   It's a strong entry in the (all too slim) fantasy comics field!


Grade: A-


Monday, September 2, 2019

Doctor Mirage #1

   As a fan of the original Doctor Mirage, I'm glad to see the series starting back up again.

   Of course, they've given the series a new tweak or two, but it grabs you from the first pages.

   The focus is on a woman - Dr. Shan Fong Mirage - who can see and communicate with the dead. It's an ability that enables her to stay in touch with her recently-dead husband and partner in the ghost hunting business, Li Hwen Mirage. 

   As the new series begins, something has gone terribly wrong with Shan's powers - she can no longer see or speak to the dead.

   A spunky young woman shows up at her door with the answers to her problem - but she's not going to like what she hears.

   It's a fast, interesting (and surprising) take on the series, and with bright, energetic artwork and lots of twists in the story, it's off to an excellent start. 


Grade: A-


Sunday, September 1, 2019

Justice League #30

   I bought this issue for the last page in the story.

   Which makes talking about this issue of Justice League a bit tricky, because of our "no spoilers" policy.

   But let's just say that it's a moment that long-time DC fans (like me) have been waiting for.

   As to the issue itself, it's a story that feels very much as though it was written by Alan Moore (it's actually written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV).

   The focus is on the war between the Legion of Doom and the Justice League - and it looks like the JL is doomed. 

   Their only hope is to gather together an army of heroes and take a trip through time to find the help they need to stop an overwhelming force. 

   There's a lot going on here - lots of characters, lots of big, universe-shaking concepts - it's an "Event" book that takes place in a regular series, and that's always fun.

   It's a pivotal moment that may affect the future of DC - so my recommendation is: don't miss it!

Grade: A