Wednesday, September 30, 2020

New Comics Day


   Slim pickings this week! Here's what I picked up at ye olde comics shop:

- Avengers #36 - The Black Panther vs. Moon Knight!

- Fantastic Four #24 - An icy blast from the past!

- Legion of Super-Heroes #9 - Who's kissing who?

- Shang-Chi #1 - Return of the Master of Kung Fu!

- Strange Academy #3 - Dark secrets!

   And I received for review:

- SHERLOCK SCANDAL IN BELGRAVIA TP - Collecting the adaptation of the TV show!

    And that's it!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Autumnal #1

    Perfectly timed to the season, The Autumnal weaves an amazing tale about a mother and daughter and their sudden move from Chicago to a rural setting. 

   It may sound like a setup for a Hallmark movie, but instead it's a personal story with hints of darkness, of sadness - and horror.

   Kat Somerville has led a rough and rowdy life, and she struggles to raise her misbehaving young daughter Sybil. When Kat is told that her long-estranged mother has died, she travels home to the rural town named Comfort Notch.

   There she finds eccentric residents, a possible new home, and a haunting mystery.

   It's a sharp and clever story by Daniel Kraus with stunning, evocative art by Chris Shehan and color art by Jason Wordie.

   The first issue has this series off to a strong start - recommended!

Grade: A-



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

New Comics Day


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

- ACTION COMICS #1025 - The House of Kent continues!

- FANTASTIC FOUR: ANTITHESIS #2 (OF 4) - Who can threaten Galactus?

- SHAZAM #15 - Who doesn't like superheroes?

- SPIDER-MAN #4 (OF 5) - Secrets revealed!

- TRUE BELIEVERS X-MEN SATURNYNE #1 - Captain Britain's early days!

     And I received these comics for review:

- AUTUMNAL #1 - Escaping to New Hampshire!

- BLADE RUNNER #10 - A terrifying conspiracy!

- ENGINEWARD #3 - Terror in the ruins!

- RAI #7 - Into the wild frontier!

- SHADOW SERVICE #2 - Supernatural Secret Agents!

- SWEET HEART TP VOL. 1 - Collecting the horror story!

   And that's it!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Iron Man #1

    Hey, Iron Man is back! Again!

    From time to time, comics that I've read for decades chase me away - and Iron Man has been on that list for a while (along with Spider-Man, Captain America and Daredevil).

   It usually happens when a series wanders too far away from its roots - and when the story started winding around Tony Stark being a clone and not the actual son of Howard Stark, I finally walked away.

   But here we are, a new start and a new creative team - and some stunning covers by Alex Ross - so I'm back to give the series another chance.

   The issue starts fresh, with Tony trying to figure out his new path in life (and discovering that social media sucks). It allows closure on several past plot points and sets up a new and at least slightly different approach to the character.

    It doesn't hurt that an old friend stops by to join in on an adventure - a lighthearted character who's one of my favorites (and I won't name that hero to keep from spoiling the fun).

   The waters are still a bit muddy, as Tony deals with some issues - but it feels like a really strong start, with a solid story and terrific art. (And I really like the new / old armor design.)

   Glad to see one of my favorite characters back in form again! More like this, please!

Grade: A-


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

New Comics Day

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

- Batman's Grave #10 (of 12) - The enemy revealed! 

- Fearless Dawn Meets Hellboy #1 - Pulp adventure!

- Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1 - Can Storm save herself?

- Iron Man #1 - Back to the basics!

- Thor #7 - What is wrong with Mjolnir?

- X-Men #12 - It's time for the Summoning!

- X-Men: Marvel Snapshots #1 - Cyclops before he became an X-Man!

     And I received these comics for review:

- Adler #4 - The mystery deepens!

- Blade Runner 2019 TP Vol. 2 Off World - Collecting the series!

- Bleed Them Day #3 - How to stop a vampire slayer?

- Bloodshot #8 - Monsters are unleashing hell on Earth!

- Finger Guns #5 - The ones we love cause the most pain.

- Heavy #1 - He may be dead, but he still has a job to do.

- Hundred Wolves #1 - The terror of the Steppes!

- Money Shot #8 - A planet of pleasure!

- Rai TP Vol. 1 - Welcome to the 41st Century!

   And that's it!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Mandalorian Trailer for Season 2

    Happy to see the release today of the first trailer for the new season of The Mandalorian starting next month on Disney Plus

   Looks like it's picking right up where the first season left off!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Superman #25

    The news this week is that Brian Michael Bendis is stepping down as a writer of Superman and Action Comics in December.

    That's a real shame, because I think he's done outstanding work breathing new life and energy into this series.

   Heck, I added both books to my pull list, and they haven't been there for years.

   Of course, I haven't been a fan of everything he's done. Ending Clark Kent's secret identity was a step too far, and this issue, which is an interesting attempt at introducing a new threat and new characters, kind of falls flat.

   It's clever and the art is terrific - but in its attempt to create a new and different alien race - one with links to Krypton - it never quite comes together into a clear storyline.

   There's a nice side story with Clark and Lana Lang talking over old times, and there are some thoughtful moments there - but it's an odd clash with the rest of the issue (which is the idea, of course).

   Despite a slight stumble, I'm anxious to see where it all goes and what Bendis does in the few months he has left on the series.

   What can I say - I'm a fan!

Grade: B


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

New Comics Day

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

- EMPYRE FALLOUT: FANTASTIC FOUR #1 - What will Reed decide?

- GREEN LANTERN #7 - Hal faces the ultimate battle!

- HAWKMAN #27 - Back where they belong - in the Justice Society?

- SUPERMAN #25 - Introducing Synmar!

   And I received these comics for review:

- HEATHEN TP VOL. 3 - Confronting Odin!

- NOBODY IS IN CONTROL TP - An ancient conspiracy!

- SURVIVAL FETISH TP VOL. 1 - Running through sniper's alley!

- SWEET HEART #5 (OF 5) - Can Maggie save her family?

- VAMPIRE THE MASQUERADE #2 - A twisted tour of vampire night life!

- WASTED SPACE TP VOL. 3 - An existential space opera!

- ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #73 - What is the Mummy Tramp?

   And that's it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1


   The comic books based on the beloved Doctor Who series have a couple of advantages: unlimited special effects budgets and any incarnation of The Doctor is always on call. 

   For this story, the focus starts out with the 10th Doctor (David Tennant), traveling solo through time - but wherever he goes, a contingent of The Daleks is waiting for him.

   (The Daleks, for those who came in late, are the pillbox-like race that is determined to “Exterminate”… well, everyone.)

   It seems that something - or someone - actually scares the Daleks more than The Doctor.

   It’s a clever idea and there are lots of fun bits of business that play out as we start to unravel the mystery (and at the same time The Doctor is trying to unravel another paradox of his own - one that involves the 13th Doctor).

   The art by Roberta Ingranata is wonderful - fresh and lively, it captures Tennant’s look nicely and provides lots of lovely scenery (and lots and lots of Daleks).

    The story is by James Goss and writer Jody Houser (is that the same as plotter and scripter?), and while it wanders a tad in places, it does a wonderful job of capturing the style of both the actor and the show.

   So, this one’s off to a good start - I’m looking forward to the next chapter!

Grade: A-


Friday, September 4, 2020

Empyre #6 (of 6)

   It’s difficult to do a proper review of an “event” book until the final issue - and Empyre is a good example of that. 

   The series was a bit of a victim of COVID-19, and as the series was finally rolled out (after many of the lockdowns were lifted) the event was truncated a bit and rolled out on a (nearly) weekly basis.

   The series featured good art and involved nearly everyone in the Marvel universe, but the story stumbled badly several times over.

   The basic idea promised a new Kree / Skrull War - but instead we got the unification of the Kree and Skrull races, who came to Earth to fight a universal menace - the previously peace-loving plant-based race known as the Cotati.


   All that required was changing the entire concept of that race, and the character Quoi, the son of Mantis and the Swordsman, who was to be the Celestial Messiah. Instead, he’s just another crazed super-villain. 

   The series is full of twists that make no sense. The She-Hulk is killed, turned into a plant monster, then revived and altered with no explanation. An alien device about to destroy the sun? Just teleport a bunch of heroes to the sun (no spacecraft needed) to fix the problem - somehow? The Black Panther dies - or does he? Mr. Fantastic wears Iron Man’s armor - but it can stretch? 

   After a while, I just gave up and rolled on to the end. 

   Big ideas, but it was just a bit too much and spun badly out of control (which is actually a pretty good analysis of Marvel in general these days). 

   Stories don’t all have to be cosmic armageddon, folks. Let’s add some character moments, a little humor, focus more on story and internal logic - it would go a long way toward getting Marvel where it should be.

Grade: C


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

New Comics Day


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

- EMPYRE #6 (OF 6) - Who will rule it all?

- FANTASTIC FOUR #23 - The weapon to end a war!

- FIRE POWER #3 - The past won't go away!

- SHAZAM #14 - The return of Superboy Prime!

- STRANGE ADVENTURES #5 - The heat is on for Adam Strange!

- USAGI YOJIMBO #12 - Home again!

- YOUNG JUSTICE #18 -  Romance is in the air!

     And I received these comics for review:

- BREATHLESS TP - The enemy is Big Pharma.

- DOCTOR WHO TIME LORD VICTORIOUS #1 - The 10th Doctor wonders: what can scare the Daleks?

- GRAVETRANCERS TP - What are the grave robbers planning?

- HORIZON ZERO DAWN #2 - A new story set after the game!


    And that's it!