Thursday, July 30, 2020

New Comics Day

     Running a day late, but here's what I picked up this week at the comics shop:

- ADVENTURE ZONE GN VOL. 3 PETALS TO METAL - The McElroys are off to the races!

- EMPYRE #3 (OF 6) - An Avenger returns!

- LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #7 - Who will lead?

- X-MEN #10 - An Empyre tie-in!

    There were two Free Comic Book Day offerings:



   And I received these comics for review: 

- ART OF HORIZON ZERO DAWN HC - Collecting the art from the video game!

- BLACK STARS ABOVE TP VOL. 1 - Lost in the wilderness!

- BLADE RUNNER #8 - A trip to the off-world colonies!

- BLEED THEM DRY #2 - Panic in the streets!

- DOCTOR TOMORROW #4 (OF 5) - His true origin revealed!

- HEATHEN #11 - Odin’s army on the march!

- KILLSWITCH TP VOL. 1 - A military major swings into action!


   And that’s it!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Empyre #2 (of 6)

   Apparently now a weekly series (which is actually quite nice, let's move things along here), this issue of Empyre sets up the Earth-wide conflict and establishes the stakes.

   Which would all be fine, except the series is trying too hard to shock us all. 

   It does this by flipping expectations, as the apparent villains of the piece - the Kree and the Skrull, two alien races who hated each other and Earth, too - have now joined forces to fight a greater and deadlier menace. (Sure they have.)

   The menace is the kicker, since it takes the form of a group that has always been portrayed as pacifists, working toward universal peace.

   "Ha! Nope, guess what? We're evil now. Why? Just because! (Insert evil laugh here.)"

   So there's that.

   The series features lots of characters, lots of opportunities for double-crosses and mayhem aplenty.

   But it would be more fun if the story actually, I don't know, made sense? As it is, it just feels like the monster of the week.

   Still firmly on the fence here.

Grade: B


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

New Comics Day

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

- ACTION COMICS #1023 - All hell breaks loose!

EMPYRE #2 (OF 6) - Trapped on the moon!

- SHAZAM #13 - Can the family stop Mr. Mind, Sivana and Black Adam?

USAGI YOJIMBO #10 - Facing an old enemy!

X-MEN FANTASTIC FOUR #4 (OF 4) - Who's a friend and who's an enemy?

   As Free Comic Book Day continues its slow rollout, today I picked up:

- BLOODSHOT (Valiant Comics) - It's the Year of Heroes!

- HORIZON ZERO DAWN (Titan Comics) - Previewing the new series!

- SPIDER-MAN (Marvel Comics) - Spidey, the Black Cat and Venom!

    And I received these comics for review:


SNOWPIERCER TP EXPLORERS - Soon to be a TV series!


SWEET HEART #2 (OF 5) - The monster that follows!

ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #70 - A nightmare journey continues!

    And that's it!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Empyre #1 (of 6)

   Obviously Marvel's newest "Event" series, Empyre, is suffering from the aftereffects of the COVID-19 industry shutdown.

   The original plan was to run dozens of tie-in series to the main book (of which this is the first issue, though there were several lead-in comics, so if you just joined with this issue, you've  been dropped into the middle of the action).

   But now they've cut out about a dozen of those tie-ins, which leaves a still bloated three dozen (or so) comics joining together to tell the saga. (The ones dropped may or may not be released digitally.)

   The story has a major war breaking out, as the Kree and the Skull have ended their millennia-long feud and have joined forces - and they seem to be on the verge of attacking Earth.

   Standing in their way: the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. There's another party involved - the race of intelligent plants known as the Cotati, which figured prominently in the original Mantis / Avengers storyline from the '70s.

   So it's a big tale unfolding, with lots of twists and turns involved, with surprising betrayals (wait, that character is a bad guy now?), strange actions (what was Thor hoping would happen when he hurled his hammer into the Kree/Skrull command ship?), and lots more stuff.

   The art by Valerio Schiti is certainly stunning, with enough characters and alien landscapes to poleaxe a lesser talent.

   It's still too early to see where the story is going, and I'm certainly on the fence so far - liberties are being taken with characters that don't sit well initially - but I'll wait before rendering a full judgment.

   It's a strong start, but as always, the conclusion will decide the thing.

Grade: B+





Saturday, July 18, 2020

X-Men: Free Comic Book Day 2020

   Apparently Wednesday was Free Comic Book Day!

   Well, not exactly. 

   Instead of crowding the comics shops with dozens of "free" comics to hand out, the comics shops are rolling them out a few companies at a time.

   This week's offerings included one dedicated to Marvel's X-Men, and something called Dark Ages.

   Mark me down as someone who's really enjoying what writer Jonathan Hickman has been doing with the X-books, setting up a new and interesting status for the mutants of the world.

   But sometimes he gets a bit far down in the weeds, and that's what we're seeing here. We see some mysterious, alien-looking characters who do... something. And then we check in with the powerful Saturnyne, who checks her Omniversal Tarot Cards (or whatever they are) and gives us some very vague teases for upcoming stories. 

   Which would be fine, if any of it made sense. I've been reading the X-books forever and I can't sort out much at all. What must new readers think? I'm pretty sure the FCBD comics are supposed to lure in new readers, right?

   The Dark Ages tease is much more straightforward (and grisly), but doesn't give us much to go on, aside from an accident that's beyond disturbing.

   So - nice art, but as a promo, this issue falls on its face.

Grade: B


Friday, July 17, 2020

New Comics Day (two days late)

    Got caught up (quite happily) in a family gathering (not to worry, we practiced proper safe measures), so I'm running late listing my comics rundown this week (though to be fair, I only got to the comics shop today). 

   Anyway, here's what I picked up:

- AVENGERS #34 - Khonshu attacks!

- EMPYRE #1 (OF 6) - The Empyre Strikes Back!

- FANTASTIC FOUR #21 - Empyre tie-in!

- GIANT-SIZE X-MEN: MAGNETO #1 - (He's actually regular-size.)

- SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN #12 - Final issue!

    And I received these comics for review:

- ENGINEWARD #1 - Earth is just an ancient myth - or is it?

- HEIST HOW TO STEAL A PLANET #6 - What happens when the team turns against you?

- LOUD OGN TP - It's the hottest club in town, and a night no one will forget.

- VAMPBLADE SEASON 4 #9 (#46) - Building up to the 50th issue!

   And that's it!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Fantastic Four Empyre #0

   Empyre continues its rollout as we check in with Marvel's First Family as they meander around the universe.

   The Fantastic Four (and family) find themselves having some vehicle problems in the depths of space, and the solution involves a side trip to a space casino that also happens to have a fighting arena.

   There they find the representatives of two different races fighting it out - over and over again - while the customers place their bets.

   This does not sit well with our heroes, happily enough.

   It's all played fast and fun and in general good spirits, though it seems to have precious little to do with the impending intergalactic battle, although it does explain why the FF pop up at the end of the Avengers Empyre book.

   So, nice art, decent story, but not really the kind of shocking turn of events you might expect for the kickoff to the latest "Event."

Grade: B


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

New Comics Day

  My comics pull list this week didn't include any of DC's comics - my shop had some kind of difficulty with the new shipping system.

  Here's what I picked up today:

- Adventureman #2 - Hero on a scooter!

- Dr. Strange #5 - Who's been stealing from Stephen?

- Empyre: Fantastic Four #0 - Setting the stage.

- Strange Academy #2 - Magic school for kids!

   And that's it! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

New Comic Book Day

   Well, I thought this was going to be my first week in, like, ever (not including the COVID-19 shutdown) where I had no comics to review.

    I didn't even visit the comics shop today - there was nothing on my list for this week.

    Luckily, the nice folks at Vault Comics sent a review copy:

- The Plot #5 - Chase is drowning in the dark waters of family history.

   And that's it for this week! What a world.