Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Shade

 I've beaten the drum long and hard (Ha ha..."Long and hard"...) for James Robinson's phenomenal STARMAN series, which I consider to be an achievement just slightly below such lauded works as WATCHMEN, FROM HELL, and THE SANDMAN. It's an amazing, epic series, and it represents Robinson's best work. (His DC mini-series THE GOLDEN AGE is nothing to sneeze at, either.) Robinson's output since STARMAN has ranged from mildly entertaining to dreadful and embarrassing, with most of it falling into the "So mediocre that I barely remember it" category. So it was with great trepidation that I picked up THE SHADE, Robinson's maxi-series featuring one of STARMAN's most compelling, complex supporting characters. Was he going to tarnish the memory of his STARMAN run forever....?

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Best of Archie Comics, Book Three

 I have never been what you could consider a fan of Archie Comics. I had a handful of Archies when I was little, mostly purchased because there were no Super-Hero comics out that I didn't already have (And when Mom was buying, you got SOMETHING, no matter what it was! You don't want to derail the Mom/comics gravy train!), but I never thought to buy one when something better was available. And yet....I must have read those few Archies that I had a million times apiece. Perhaps my pre-teen mind saw this as some gateway to all of the cool adventures and interactions that I would have as a teenager...? Who knows. So here I am now, decades later....has my quest for nostalgia gotten so out of hand that I'm now buying ARCHIE collections....?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Black Beetle, Volume 1: No Way Out

 Francesco Francavilla is fast becoming one of my favorite Artists....but how does he stack up as a Writer?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon

Disclaimer: I have only played the PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES game once, at my Mother-In-Law's house, on her Kindle. It was a cute, fun little game. However, my four-year-old Son, Mikey, is crazy about it. So I dedicate this review to him, and his love affair with Zombies.

Friday, November 22, 2013


  IDW weighs in with another adaptation of a Joe Hill short story, THUMBPRINT. This is a slim little volume, which the cover claims is based upon a "novella" by Hill, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't a short story, and a short short story, at that.

The Green Hornet, Volume One: Bully Pulpit

 Remember the excitement that you felt hearing aliens drone on and on about trade federations and embargoes and shipping blockades when you first watched STAR WARS, EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE...? Well, Mark Waid catches that same lighting in a bottle with his new Dynamite Entertainment title, THE GREEN HORNET, VOLUME ONE: BULLY PULPIT. Wake the neighbors, it's gonna be an exciting read!

Injustice: Gods Among Us, Volume 1

Since I'm not really digging DC's "New 52", it would stand to reason that one of their recent offerings that I actually did enjoy would be set apart from that mind-boggling new continuity. But if you had told me that I'd enjoy a comic based on a video game this much, I would have laughed in your face.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lazarus, Volume One

Greg Rucka has always been hit-or-miss for me...I've enjoyed a lot of his comic book work, but I detested his various runs on Batman, and his endless Crime Bible mythos stories for DC. I hated what he did to The Question and The Spectre, but I loved his GOTHAM CENTRAL arcs. So I went into his new creator-owned series with low expectations.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Crow: Curare

 IDW has been keeping James O'Barr's creation, The Crow, alive and healthy these past few years, and their latest collection, THE CROW: CURARE offers a decidedly different take on the mythos of The Crow than I've seen before.

Five Ghosts, Volume One: The Haunting of Fabian Gray

 I love the way that Image Comics, much like a crack dealer, gives you the first hit cheaply, in order to get you hooked. You can always get the first collection of any Image Comics series for $9.99, which is a great price for fives issues. So even if the book sucks, you still haven't lost much, except for the time spent reading it. So here we are, with another Volume One from Image, FIVE GHOSTS, VOLUME ONE: THE HAUNTING OF FABIAN GRAY...the verdict?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Justice League of America, Volume 1: World's Most Dangerous

 Wow, what a mess this is.


 Again, WOW....

 Before I actually begin to dissect this book, let me break down it's contents: The first five issues tell a complete story. In fact, DC would have done better to offer less content this time around, and collect only the first five issues. While they form a complete arc, it's basically a teaser for DC's FOREVER EVIL crossover. Then we have issues six and seven, which are chapters of DC's TRINITY WAR crossover, but still feature teaser elements for FOREVER EVIL. So this is a book that is dependent on reading JUSTICE LEAGUE, FOREVER EVIL, and TRINITY WAR, none of which are being collected until mid-2014. So basically, a huge chunk of this book is just unreadable.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cold War, Volume 1: The Damocles Contract

 I'm pleased to see that IDW's partnership with John Byrne is still going strong, and that they seem committed to letting Byrne do pretty much whatever he wants to do. He's certainly earned that right, having not only worked on most of Marvel & DC's greatest characters, but contributing legendary runs on many of them that are fondly remembered, and still being collected into bestsellers. This time out, Byrne delivers a post-WWII spy thriller, COLD WAR, VOLUME 1: THE DAMOCLES CONTRACT.


I'm an easy mark for Victorian era Horror. Something about that time period just makes it the perfect place to set a scary story. Throw in the fact that 99% of Victorian Horror contains at least some trace of or reference to Jack The Ripper, another of my favorite Horror subjects, and I'm in Heaven. So Sarah Pinborough's latest, MAYHEM, seemed like a great fit.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Spirit World

 I consider the solo work of Jack Kirby (And Steve Ditko, for that matter...) to be "Exhibit A" in the case of "Who was the driving force behind the success of the early Marvel comics?" While I consider Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby to be brilliant artists and creators, it's obvious, when you compare their collaborations with Stan Lee to their solo work, that both Kirby and Ditko were hideously bad writers. If they had been allowed to script those early adventures of Spidey, The Hulk, and The F.F., there would never have been a Marvel age.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Batman Incorporated, Volume 1: Demon Star

 That thing lying on the floor over there...? That's the top of my head. It was just blown off by BATMAN INCORPORATED, VOLUME 1: DEMON STAR, Grant Morrison's brilliant penultimate Batman story.
Could this possibly be the BEST Batman story ever.....? (There are spoilers below.)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Batman, Incorporated: The Deluxe Edition

"It all makes sense in the end!"

 So says Writer Grant Morrison at the end of his production notes in BATMAN, INCORPORATED: THE DELUXE EDITION, and it's hard to argue with the man. His lengthy run on BATMAN has been exciting, frustrating, awe-inspiring, impenetrable, infuriating, and sometimes plain old bad, but I'll be damned if everything (And I mean everything...) that he's done to date didn't start to gel and make an awesome kind of sense in this, his final pre-"New 52" Batman adventure.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Justice League, Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis

 DC's "New 52" JUSTICE LEAGUE has been a mixed bag for me thus far, and JUSTICE LEAGUE, VOLUME 3: THRONE OF ATLANTIS is the first time that this team has really gelled together for me. That's probably because this collection is Aquaman-centric, and I've been enjoying his solo title a great deal. (If anyone had ever told me that I'd be enjoying an Aquaman book, I'd have laughed in their face.)

 The book starts off with The Justice League helping Wonder Woman track down Cheetah, and this all seems to be leading up to something bigger, which I assume is DC's FOREVER EVIL crossover. It's a decent story, but Cheetah's power level is ridiculous (She kicks Superman's ass, AND turns him into a "Super-Cheetah", which very nearly killed any credibility that this book had up until that point. )

Friday, November 1, 2013

Batman: The Black Mirror

 Having just read the first three volumes of Scott Snyder's "New 52" BATMAN series, and thinking it was merely OK, Snyder's pre-New 52 epic, BATMAN: THE BLACK MIRROR is causing me to think that maybe the majority of the problems that I had with Snyder's BATMAN run are because of my dislike for "The New 52" in general, and less about Snyder's work as a Writer. Because BATMAN: THE BLACK MIRROR is pretty damned spectacular.

Batman & Robin: Batman & Robin Must Die!- The Deluxe Edition

 OK, now this is more like it.

 When last we met, I wrote about how disappointed I was in Grant Morrison's BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE. That volume fits snugly into the middle of this collection, BATMAN & ROBIN: BATMAN & ROBIN MUST DIE!- THE DELUXE EDITION, showing how twisty and convoluted Morrison's epic Bat-saga is, and just how truly fucked a newbie would be if he tried to read all of this shit in the right order. Anyway, I digress....