Wednesday, November 25, 2020

New Comics Day

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

- Action Comics #1027 - The Kent Family goes to war.

- Fantastic Four: Antithesis #4 (of 4) - Reed goes cosmic!

- Legion of Super-Heroes #11 - A major threat returns!

- Power Pack #1 - There kids are back!

- Shang-Chi #3 - Family feud!

    And I received these review copies:

- The Autumnal #3 - Horror in the old home town!

- Bleed Them Dry #5 - Bring the Vampire Hunter to justice!

- I Walk With Monsters #1 - They're everywhere!

- The Plot #7 - An ancient evil returns!

- Wasted Space #17 - This planet is a hellhole!

- X-O Manowar #2 - The ancient warrior in alien armor returns!

   And that's it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

New Comics Day

     This is what I picked up at the comics shop today:

- Avengers: Marvel Snapshot #1 - Heroics from a different angle!

- Fantastic Four #26 - Company is coming to town!

- Usagi Yojimbo #14 - Fighting against impossible odds!

     And I received these comics for review:

- A Dark Interlude #1 - A loathsome sequel. Of sorts.

- Devil's Red Bride #2 - Death walks in the night.

- Doctor Who Comics #1 - Rose Tyler teams up with which Doctor?

- Engineward #5 - Making friends and saving lives!

- Heist #8 - A shocking revelation!

- Life is Strange: Partners in Time #2 - The friendliest gun battle ever!

- Sera and the Royal Stars #9 - Who can wield the blade born of death?

- Shadow Service #4 - Murderous encounters in an uncanny museum!

   And that's it!

Cutting Edge #1


    This is one that deserves your undivided attention.

   Cutting Edge is a tremendous new series with amazing art and a powerful, unique story.

   It begins with a gathering of extraordinary people from around the world - artists, scientists, media icons and many more. 

   They are gathered into teams and given a unique challenge - one with world-changing (and world-shaking) potential.

   The story is by Francesco Dimitri, and it shows great skill in balancing a large cast of characters, providing proper introductions and quirks, and creating an intelligent story with big concepts and lots of surprises along the way.

   The art is by Mario Alberti and it's stunning. It reminds me of prime Barry Windsor-Smith, with lush environments and powerful character designs. He's building a world here and it's a pleasure to see.

   It's a very impressive start for a fresh new story. Highly recommended!

Grade: A


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

New Comics Day


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

- Green Lantern #9 - Hal loves Carol!

- Hawkman #29 - End of the road!

- Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Seven Wives Club - Teaming Mignola and Adam Hughes!

- Iron Man #3 - A very powerful foe returns.

- Strange Academy #5 - Under attack

- Superman #27 - Battle in the Phantom Zone!

      And I received these comics for review:

- Cutting Edge: The Siren's Song #1  - The best of humanity!

- Rai #9 - Dark secrets revealed!

   And that's it!

Friday, November 6, 2020

"Atlas At War!" - Guest Review

   My pal James Cassara delivers a Guest Review about Atlas At War (a book I've been meaning to pick up), which reprints some classic war stories. Here's James:

   Ask most Baby Boomer comic book collectors/historians which company is most closely associated with war comics of the 1950s and I’ll bet the overwhelming majority will say EC.  

   After all, those trendsetting titles, which frequently portrayed the horrors of war in ways few other companies dared, had some of the finest stories and art of any comics before or since.  

   But not so fast. Atlas Comics, the forerunner of the Marvel Age that so many of us grew up with, were more prolific than EC, had a much longer run, and featured many of the same artists and writers. 

    Dr. Mike Vassalo (known affectionately as “Doc. V.”), a Manhattan dentist by trade and passionate comics historian, along with Welsh graphic artist Allan Harvey, have assembled a fantastic collection of Atlas war tales - scanned directly from Doc V’s extensive collection - that show how at their best Atlas War comics often matched EC in quality.  

   In fact many of the same artists (and a few of the writers) who produced work for EC can be found herein. Jack Davis, John Severin, Russ Heath, Bernie Krigstein, and the tandem of Reed Crandall / Al Williamson are all showcased within this book's generous 250 pages. Add the artistic talents of Gene Colan, Joe Maneely, Joe Sinnott, Steve Ditko (his only Atlas war story!), Jack Kirby, Don Heck, Bill Everett, and a slew of perhaps lesser known artists who didn’t so directly contribute to the Marvel Age and you have a book worth relishing over and again.  

   While artist credits are easier to identify, the writers of these stories are  harder to pin down. We do know Stan Lee signed his scripts, and the prolific Hank Chapman is found among these pages, but for the most part the writers are sadly unidentified. 

   Most of the stories involve the Korean War, which was still raging at the time the earliest (1951) of these were created. A few World War II tales are told, including the powerful Nazi death camp story “City Of Slaves," exquisitely rendered by Sam Kweskin, and a handful of Kirby written and illustrated stories produced towards the end of the decade. 

   Other revelations include a series of one page “Atrocity Stories” stunningly drawn by Paul Reinman (if you’ve never seen Reinman’s work from this period prepare to be amazed) and “21 Days” drawn by Syd Shores. Both demonstrate how more well suited these two fine artists were for stories not involving costumed heroes.  

   The general distribution of stories is fine, giving the most prominent artists the most pages, but I would have preferred perhaps one less story by Joe Sinnott (I LOVE Sinnott but six stories seems a bit too much) and the inclusion of a civil war tale by George Woodbridge, a brilliant craftsman who rarely gets his due. But that’s a very minor quibble - more a matter of taste - that in no way detracts from this welcome and wonderful book.  

   At $65 it’s the price of about 16 modern day comic books and I cannot imagine any 16 comics providing this much entertainment and information. Doc V’s introduction sets the stage but the stories speak for themselves. 

Grade A+


Thursday, November 5, 2020

New Comics Day (One Day Late)

   I've been on the run and didn't post this week's score! Here's what I picked up at the comics shop:

- Avengers #38 - New danger from an old enemy!

- Fire Power #5 - Showdown!

- Norse Mythology #2 - Tall tales!

- Thor #9 - The doctor is in.

- Young Justice #20 - The end of the road.

     And I received these review copies:

- Horizon Zero Dawn #4 - The story of the game continues!

- Money Shot #10 - The final trick.

- Vampire the Masquerade #4 - Horror tales!

   And that's it!