Monday, August 31, 2020

Legion of Super-Heroes #8

    In a move usually reserved for anniversary issues or "special" nu
mbers (50, 100, 150, etc.), the newest issue of Legion of Super-Heroes gets the all-star treatment to celebrate issue number... 8.

   What makes its special is the lineup of artistic talent, most of them turning in a single page in this issue that combines "how (member's name here) joined the team" with a big battle between the Legion and warriors from Rimbor - including Ultra Boy's father!

   So it's fun, it's fast and it's busy as hell, with dozens of characters running around, revealing secrets and hidden origins (including a surprising one for one of my all-time favorites, Mon-El).

   Despite the clutter and chaos, I have to say that I'm really enjoying this series. Learning about the future through the eyes of Jon (Superboy) Kent is a great way to bring those of us from the 21st Century up to speed. 

   By its nature, the art in this issue is something of a crazy quilt, but it's great to see so many great talents kicking in, and it really is a special treat - and only eight issues in so far!

Grade: A-


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Fantastic Four: Antithesis #1


 When a living legend shows up drawing one of my all-time favorite super-teams, attention must be paid - especially when he’s working with one of the best writers in the business.

   So I was certainly happy to hear that Neal Adams was going to draw a Fantastic Four mini-series with Mark Waid.

   I’ve been a fan of Adams’ art since he teamed up with Roy Thomas on the original X-Men

   (Funny story: I hadn’t seen Adams’ DC work, so when he first appeared on the X-Men comic, my first thought was: “Why is Steranko signing the book with the name Neal Adams?” I soon had it sorted.)

   I have always liked Adams’ style, with a wonderful exaggerated realism throughout. His writing, I must admit, is a bit hit-and-miss for me - so I’m happy to see Waid working with him (his writing is rarely a miss).

    And this is very much a “Classic FF” story, jumping right out of the gate with a battle in New York with a long-time FF villain, and moving right to the family setting that makes the team’s interaction so much fun.

   As you’d expect, Adams gives his own spin to the visual style of the team. His version of the Thing make take a little getting used to - his face is more rubbery and expressive than usual (this is not a bad, uh, thing). And his version of the Invisible Woman has tremendous sex appeal!

   With a cosmic menace cooking up and some familiar faces dropping in, this promises to be a fun ride throughout. It’s off to a great start!

Grade: A-


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Chadwick Boseman: An Obituary


   Sad to note the passing of Chadwick Boseman, a fine actor who portrayed the Black Panther on screen, along with other excellent performances as Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson and James Brown (among many others).

   He died Friday at the far-too-young age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer - a battle he apparently waged privately.

   Such a shame - so much talent, and decades of great performances in his future. Bless him and his family, and hold them in your prayers.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

New Comics Day


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

- ACTION COMICS #1024 - The invisible mafia attacks!

- FANTASTIC FOUR: ANTITHESIS #1 (OF 4) - Neal Adams on Marvel's First Family!

- LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #8 - The trial of the Legion!

- X-MEN #11 - The trees are killing the children!

    And I received these comics for review:

- AMALGAMA SPACE ZOMBIE MOST WANTED #1 - Who's the bounty hunter and who's the huntee?

- BLADE RUNNER #9 - A conspiracy that threatens Los Angeles!

- DEVIL WITHIN TP - Is it demonic possession or madness?

- DOCTOR TOMORROW #5 (OF 5) - Facing his greatest foe - himself!

- ENGINEWARD #2 - The ghoulem's secrets revealed!

- PLOT #6 - Flood waters are rising!

- SWEET HEART #4 (OF 5) - Can Maddie save a child's life?

   And that's it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Adler #3


   If you're mourning the ending of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, this series should help tide you over.

   Adler follows the exploits of Irene, the one woman capable enough to impress Sherlock Holmes, with the emphasis on action and adventure.

   The series is a "Who's Who" of famous females from history and fiction around the end of the 1800's (and a male or two), including the Amazon Queen Ayesha, scientist Madam Curie and - well, discovering is half the fun. 

   The story isn't quite as much a deep dive as LOEG, but it has lots of fun with the time period and keeps the story by Lavie Tidhar moving briskly.

   The art by Paul McCaffrey is excellent, with strong character designs and clean storytelling - and it's no easy task to bring the London of the past to life!

   I'm glad to see this series back on its post-COVID feet - it's off and running! Recommended!

Grade: A-



Saturday, August 22, 2020

Rai #6


  As Rai starts on a new story arc (while continuing the character's ongoing quest to stop "Father"), we enter into a post-apocalyptic world that is, for lack of a better analogy, like a modern version of Kamandi.

   A pocket of humanity in the northeastern part of what was once North America has taken on the traditions of the Roman Legion, as they try to fight back against attacks by strange human / animal hybrids.

   Rai has had dealings with both humans and the hybrids, but getting involved in the battle could threaten his own mission. 

   The story is mostly a setup for the story as it begins to spool out, but the real selling point for this issue is the stunning art by Juan Jose Ryp and colorist Andrew Dothouse. Terrific characters designs and lush environments, presented in the comics version of high-def! Very impressive!

   Rai's always an entertaining, surprising book, and this issue adds to that reputation. Recommended!

Grade: A-


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

New Comics Day


    Here’s what I was planning to pick up at the comics shop today - but I was delayed (it's been a hectic week, friends, in a good, family-keeps-me-hopping way) - I hope to be back on track soon):

- AVENGERS #35 - To the moon, Khonshu!

- HAWKMAN #26 - The end of the road!

- THOR #6 - The death of King Thor?

    And I received these review copies:

- ADLER #3 - Doyle’s indomitable heroine returns!

- JADE STREET PROTECTION SERVICES TP - Teen delinquents fight oppression!

- LAST SONG #3 - A single moment changes a life!

- RAI #6 - Beginning a new story arc!

- SHADOW SERVICE #1 - A private investigator who’s also a witch!

- ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #72 - The ending to “69 Ways to Die!”

    And that’s it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

New Comics Day


      Here’s what I planned to pick up at the comics shop today - but I was out of town with work, so hopefully I can pick 'em up tomorrow:

- Adventureman #3 - Old enemies return!

- Batman’s Grave #9  - Who is attacking Gotham?

- Empyre #5 (of 6) - Love and war on a cosmic scale!

- Green Lantern, Season 2 #6 - Attack from the anti-matter universe!

- Hawkman #26 - Death comes calling!

- Superman #24 - A magical menace.

     And then there’s Free Comic Book Day:

FCBD 2020: Little Lulu - No Boys Allowed

     And that’s it!

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Fire Power #1 and #2


    I almost missed this one!

   My friend Pete mentioned this new series, Fire Power, drawn by the amazing Chris Samnee and written by Robert Kirkman, so I started searching.

   The concept first appeared last month as a standalone graphic novel (highly recommended) that follows Owen, a young man trying to solve the mystery behind his parents.

    That leads him to a secret enclave where he learns martial arts (including an ability no one has demonstrated in decades), makes new friends, new enemies, and finds himself in the middle of a helluva fight.

   The regular series (issue #1) picks up 15 years later, as Owen has settled down into a comfortable family life, with his awesome wife (a police officer), two teenage kids, and a crowd of friends and relatives.

   The first issue is almost bucolic, as the family seems to lead a normal life - but then his old life comes calling.

   The second issue is a classic - almost wordless as Owen fights to protect his family and to keep his former life from intruding on what he's built.

   Do I need to tell you the art is amazing? Samnee is a master of mood and style - every page just sings!

   Kirkman shows his craftsmanship here as well - he knows when to intrude with crisp dialogue or an informative aside - and he knows when to get out of the way. Terrific work!

    I'm so glad I didn't miss this - it's a real treat, one of the best books out there!

   Thanks, Pete!

Grade: A


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

New Comics Day

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

- Dr.  Strange #10 - The final showdown with a thief!

- Empyre #4 (of 6) - Time for some plot twists!

- Fantastic Four #22 - No, it’s that other FF.

- Fire Power #1 and #2 - An excellent new series from Robert Kirkman and Chris Samnee.

- Ragnarok #6 - The explosive conclusion of Thor's visit to Hel.

- Strange Adventures #4 (of 12) - More mysteries more often.

- Usagi Yojimbo #11 - You can’t go home again.

- Young Justice #17  - Talking to the League.

- Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex #1 (One shot) - Back to the beginning.

   And I received these comics to review:

- FINGER GUNS #4  - At the breaking point!

- HEATHEN #12 - The saga ends!

- HORIZON ZERO DAWN #1 - A new comic based on the hit videogame!

- MONEY SHOT #7 - A new mission for the XXX-plorers!

- SWEET HEART #3 (OF 5) - Fighting for her life!

- VAMPIRE THE MASQUERADE #1 - A new series based on the World of Darkness book!

- ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #71 - A dark past returns!

   And that’s it!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Heathen #11

   This series has a wonderful, mystic and almost dreamlike quality to it.

   Heathen takes us to a primitive village that is facing an attack from an army assembled by Odin.

   It seems like a hopeless fight, even with the addition of a shipload of volunteers who don't like to see an unfair fight.

   Throw in lots of Norse imagery, including the World Tree, vicious wolves, spying ravens, and the ride of the Valkyries, and you have a conflict loaded with surprises and twists.

   I really like the stunning art by Ashley Woods - it's very subtle and lyrical - and the unique take on Norse myths by writer Natasha Alterici (who also provides the color art). 

   It's an entertaining series, very unique and well worth tracking down.

Grade: A-