Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Deadpool Commentary

With a second ongoing series debuting for the Merc with a Mouth this week I thought it would be fun to celebrate the insanity that is Deadpool. So I’ll be going over several moments and a few covers and throw in my 2 cents on them.

I think I know why Fabian Nicezia is only working for DC nowadays. Joe Quesada saw this and he’s not too happy about it. Though this is kind of Ironic seeing as Deadpool did ditch most of his supporting cast when his other ongoing started. Still it’s always fun to see Deadpool poke fun of the Marvel Universe.

Gotta give Deadpool credit for being optimistic here. He may have scored with that chick after all. And hey the deranged ones are the best…at least in my opinion they are.

I don’t know what worries me more. That Deadpool has common sense or that it tingles when he uses it.

Brb, gotta vomit. Seriously whoever had that idea to put that in the comic deserves to have their eyes put in hot coals. I can never look at Aunt May the same again. I don’t know who’s more to blame, the writer or the artist.

It must be fun to be self aware of yourself as a comic character. I bet it makes for the best back and forth inner monologue.

The one time Deadpool tries to be mature and people have to start having sex. There should be a What If? Based around what would happen if Deadpool had kept that mature train of thought.

It’s a shame no one ever cashed in on this moment by having Deadpool and Kitty meet again just for her to kick his ass for that. I mean come on, Deadpool punching Kitty just to fight Wolverine is hilarious enough. But going all Street Fighter on her while doing it? Classic.

It’s about as manly as my sister’s Barbie dolls. Seriously.

And now I have to clean vomit off of my laptop. Thanks Deadpool. The only thing more horrible than Marvel Girl Deadpool is that some fans actually want to see him in this suit again.

I’m starting to think Deadpool was exposed to Killer Clowns from Outer Space as a child. Either that or he played more Carn-Evil games at the arcade than me

Anyone ever wanted to know the term “over thinking it” and put an image to it? This should do that for you.

I’m guessing whoever wrote this moment was secretly the casting guy for X-men Origins: Wolverine.

I don’t know what’s more awesome, Deadpool as Captain America or the fact that he still has all his guns.

All of a sudden I love Daniel Way's writing. Seriously this has to be the best Deadpool joke he’s ever made. Poking fun of how stupidly Liefield just overdid it on the pouches. It’s hilarious.

You know for all the frustrating resurrections in comics today why is it that one of the best Deadpool supporting characters has yet to be brought back? Sure Copycat isn’t like MJ or Lois Lane but she was so awesome.

You know me and my friends joke about being mean to each other but there are limits to how far you can push a friendship. Eventually one of them isn’t going to keep taking the gifts.

For as much as I love Zombies the best part of this is that “Bite me” plate and the pose Deadpool is in. Now I love that Suydam is the main cover artist for this story arc but why can’t this be the main cover and not a variant? I’d buy it then!

I think I’m going to start carrying around a gun just so that I can use this pickup line on women. Also score one for Deadpool with the boyfriend-less Black Widow. I'm not an expert on super-women but I'd say go for it if she wasn't, you know, evil. Then again that hasn't stopped Deadpool before so why should that stop him now?

I'm not too familiar with Deadpool's origin, or where this moment was from, but it reminded me that even Deadpool has had a human side. Most of the time it's buried in his absolute crazy but man I'd love to see Daniel Way expose that human side every so often for some interesting moments.

I can’t tell if I’m disturbed or impressed by this image…oh hell I’m both! I mean my god this is just crazy like the juice brand. I don’t know how Deadpool got 4 Gwen Stacy slaves but I bet Spider-man has something to say about it. Maybe he can finally get Norman Osborn off his back by giving him one of the slaves, of course then we'd have a whole new crazy fiasco in Amazing Spider-man. One of them would be pregnant, the other would have her neck snapped and theo ther would be Norman's office assistant.

Why doesn’t Marvel just give the new Deadpool ongoing to Kyle/Yost? And have it drawn by Mike Choi. With guest appearances by X-force. Or hey, even better, just put Deadpool as a member of X-force!

Why isn’t Jason Pearson drawing the new Deadpool ongoing? I don’t know if he’s the most timely artist but damn it if he doesn’t deserve it!

If Kyle/Yost couldn’t write it then why not Joe Kelly? Marvel is confusing me…Joe Kelly is the guy who gets rave reviews and is one of the most beloved writers nowadays and you’re making a new Deadpool series, and his name doesn’t come to mind?

Well now that was a lot of crazy fun. Deadpool isn’t my favorite character but there’s no denying that he’s full of awesome crazy and cool moments.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Week Begins - June 29th 2009

Sorry for the lack of Week’s or Month’s End. I got so few of the comics this month/the last 2 weeks that I thought it would be unfair to do them. Also July is such an epic month, I doubt I could really settle on just one book of the month that I’m most excited to read. So yeah, apologies out of the way, let’s get to the comics this week.

We’ve got a lot coming in this week, 3 major titles from Image all looking to be excellent reads. Of course Marvel and DC still have plenty going for them as usual.

Spawn #193 *Most Anticipated*

Written: Todd McFarlane

Art: Greg Capullo

Sometimes decisions are just too easy. Seriously this looks to be incredible. For those who haven’t been longtime Spawn followers let me explain something to you about the return of artist Greg Capullo. Like Steve Ditko to Spider-man and Jack Kirby to Fantastic Four the man set the artist standard for Spawn. Sure McFarlane was awesome at first, and Capullo’s first year or so was a little rough but by the end of his run with #100 he’d turned in some of the best work the comic book industry has ever seen. The man is a legend among Spawn fans and his long awaited return for this one issue promises to be awesome.

Sadly it seems Capullo’s return did come at a price last time with #192 pretty much just being setting the stage for #193 which is disappointing. But if McFarlane can make it worthwhile and turn in the awesome read I’m expecting this month then I can let it go.

Witchblade #128

Written: Ron Marz

Art: Stjepan Sejic

Believe me if not for Spawn coming out this week this easily would have stolen the Most Anticipated. As I mentioned in May’s Month’s End, Sarah just got a freaking spear through the chest and from the looks of the preview she’s not getting up. Is she really dead? Ron Marz is a ballsy writer when it comes to Witchblade and he may actually have done it, kill the character that’s been there since day 1.

As someone who’s come to love the book I’m hoping Sarah survives, but seeing as she isn’t’ getting up, blood still pouring out her chest and all that I’m going to call the tombstone guy and have him get one ready.

War of the Witchblades really got awesome last time and I have high hopes that it will get even better.

Savage Dragon #150

Written and Art: Erik Larsen

I love that cover, as if 5.99 is a deal in this market. I can’t really blame Larsen though for upping the price, not only is it a big mile-stone issue (nowadays those seem to be pretty popular) but he’s stuffing the comic with 100 pages. Originally only to have 64 but now he’s added 36 but didn’t jack up the price more so I am thankful for that.

Truth be told I’m not the biggest Dragon Nut so I’ve never really gone too far back into his history. So I have no idea who Overlord is. A lot of Dragon Fans have said he’s Dragon’s biggest nemesis. I always figured that was his sales figures (burn!) but oh well.

Savage Dragon has been one of the most consistently good comics out there and this looks to be another great read from Larsen.

Batman and Robin #2

Written: Grant Morrison

Art: Frank Quietly

After a stellar debut issue I can’t help but wonder if this opening arc will be as good as the future storylines. Morrison is often good at making the ride to the end of the story entertaining enough but I’m just not sure. Still I was highly impressed with the first issue so I can’t see why this issue wouldn’t be good as well. I just hope we get a lot more interaction between the new Dynamic Duo on the field.

Captain America Reborn #1

Written: Ed Brubaker

Art: Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice

Another great looking book this week. Going to be reading this in hopes that Brubaker can bring Steve Rogers back right. Though from the sounds of it his Rebirth is just one small aspect of a larger plotline so I look forward to seeing what we get here. My only worry is that this will be a boring fist issue that suffers from the “set up the plot, introduce the character and do nothing more” syndrome that plagues so many first issues nowadays.

Destroyer #4

Written: Robert Kirkman

Art: Cory Walker

Is…the…collection…out…yet?! Okay, okay. Time to mention that Kirkman proved me wrong. Somehow, by the grace of the comic gods, Kirkman went an entire issue without killing off Destroyer’s daughter. Sure Destroyer killed everything else last time, but his daughter survived. With an awesome twist of Scar’s death, this issue is probably going to be even ten times better. Rokk, hurry up and review this!

Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #1

Written: Victor Gischler

Art: Bong Dazo

At first I thought this could be a cool parallel to the awesome Daniel Way (did I just use those 3 words together?) Deadpool ongoing. But looking at the preview, it looks like it’s going to be the exact same thing just with a different storyline. What a huge disappointment seeing as if Deadpool could handle 2 ongoings and they both differed greatly but where strong then that would have been great.

This book is also seemingly lacking in any big names which is a little sad. I would love to see Joe Kelly writing this or Craig Kyle/Chris Yost. Oh well, this still may be good. It’s tying in to Marvel Zombies 4…sort of and I love me some Zombies. If I hear good things about it I’ll pick up the collection.

Marvel Divas #1

Written: Roberto Acquire-Sacasa

Art: Tonci Zonjic

I admit that at times I’ve enjoyed Romantic Comedies. Their far from my favorite genre, but if done right they can turn in some seriously enjoyable stuff. Marvel Divas looks like a Romantic Comedy had a one-night stand with an awesome Super-Hero flick and 2 weeks later the Romantic Comedy is pregnant. (just saying “had a baby” was getting too old) so yeah this actually looks pretty good from the preview.

I do hate the title and the solicitation about sudsy fun makes me want to gag. Though it’s the old saying of not to judge a book by it’s cover and for that I think this could be an awesome book. If I could afford it, and then after Destroyer, I would pick it up but for now it’s on the collection wait list.

Uncanny X-men #513

Written: Matt Fraction

Art: Terry Dodson

I must admit the first chapter of Utopia impressed me. I’m far from happy about what Emma is doing but damned if Fraction didn’t kick things off right. Also I love the cover designs for Utopia, similar to Messiah Complex it works very well and looks cool.

Now as for this issue, I’m mostly anticipating Dodson’s art but from the looks of it he doesn’t have a good handle on the Dark Avengers. Especially Venom. Though hopefully it will be a minor problem as I’m now actually really anticipating this issue.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Reading: Calvin and Hobbes

The final day of Summer Reading is here, what a shame. Well I battled my bookshelf in search of the one perfect book to end Summer Reading on and you know what? I couldn’t settle on one! No I’m not going to stuff this review with tons of different books, but rather all the books of one incredible series. Each one of these books I guarantee complete satisfaction for anyone and anywhere no matter how old or young.

With the title and that image on the left you know it’s about Calvin and Hobbes. But I’m not using just one Calvin and Hobbes book. I’m recommending every Calvin and Hobbes book there is currently in print.

Calvin and Hobbes is created by Bill Watterson

First a list, to let you know all of the books you can get.

Calvin and Hobbes

Something Under the Bed is drooling (my first book)

The Essential Calvin and Hobbes

Yukon Ho!

The Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday Book

Weirdos from Another Planet

The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes

The Revenge of the Baby-sat

Scientific Progress goes “Boink”

Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow goons

The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes

The Days are Just Packed

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat

Calvin and Hobbes: The Tenth Anniversary Book

There’s Treasure Everywhere

It’s a Magical World

Calvin and Hobbes Sunday Pages 1985-1995

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

Now I can assume that at least a majority of comic readers in America have at least heart of Calvin and Hobbes or read one of the newspaper comic strips in the past. But if not, I’ll give you a quick rundown of this series before I go into the full on review.

Calvin is an imaginative little boy who lives on the edge of a city near a big forest with his mother and father. One day he gets a tuna sandwich and leaves it as bait for a tiger trap. A tiger falls for it and is caught, his name is Hobbes and Calvin takes him home. Shortly after this we find out that Hobbes is really a doll, though we never know just how Calvin found him.

After this Calvin and Hobbes become best friends and they have their own wild adventures. Sometimes it’s just Calvin in his head as a super hero or space hero other times it’s him and Hobbes fighting evil Snow Goons. The rest of the world sees Hobbes as a doll but Calvin sees him as a real live tiger. People have analyzed this to death as to what it means, but I say just live with the fact that there are 2 different perspectives in this series.

So that’s the gist of it, though really that just scratches the surface as far as plot, moments and characters. But I figure I could spend all day just doing a full on epic 10 page synopsis but that would take all the fun out of you all getting to read it yourself.

I’m going to simply point out what’s so great about this series and then let you discover the magic on your own. As this truly is a magical series that can never be matched by anything else. Yes, to me, this is the greatest comic of all time

Some may say this isn’t a great series to just read on the summer. I admit it, you could read any book at any time of the year and it would fit well. It’s just that good. Even the Christmas stories don’t feel out of place as just a few pages later there will no doubt be some hilarious joke taking place during spring.

The characters are all great, Calvin being the best and Hobbes nearly tying.

Some strips will be simple and fun easy jokes. Whereas others will be lengthy observations on the world. The latter is typically in the Sunday strips which take up a whole page of their own. Watterson never dumbs down the series for the sake of stupid entertainment. Sure we have lots of goofy moments but it never feels like he’s trying to be stupid as a lot of the best jokes are the most intelligent jokes.

It’s this balance between silly and intelligent that helps make this series so great. It never feels that it has to appeal to one audience, it’s demographic is so wide that anyone from a 5 year old to a 100 year old could enjoy the fun and entertaining stories in each book.

While there may never bee a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, memorabilia or action figures all we really need are these incredible stories in books.

There’s a little bit of something for everything. For Sci-Fi guys there’s Spiff the Spaceman. For the super hero people there’s Calvin’s caped crusader like character. For social commentators there’s Calvin’s jokes on society and even some political jabs at the idea of father’s being elected and having polls. It’s all crazy fun and great.

Really the only reason I can say you may not like Calvin and Hobbes is if you just don’t like to have fun. If you’re an overly serious can’t have no fun kind of person then Calvin and Hobbes is not for you.

For everyone else who wants a constant great read with every turn of the page the pick up Calvin and Hobbes. Any book really is great, I have most of them (just a few that have yet to make it to my collection) but I can tell you that every book is well worth any cover price and should not be missed out on.

Summer Reading Must have

Well now this has been a lot of fun. I hope you all enjoyed my 4 recommended great books for reading this Summer and I hope that you all have a great Summer this year. Have great vacations, long warm days lounging around and maybe even a wild crazy night thrown in.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Review

Show of hands, who memorized the Transformers theme song when they where Kids?

Or how about who memorized the famous lines like “Auto Bots, Roll Out!”?

Who could tell the difference between Megatron and Galvatron?

If you know that song, that line and that difference then this is the movie you have been waiting for.

I want to say that while it had plenty of problems, I loved the first Transformers live action film and think it was one of the best movies of 2007. My biggest problem was the same that so many had, the lack of focus on the Transformers.

Now before I get in depth I should warn all readers that there are spoilers beyond this point. I won’t get too in detail, but I will spoil as much as needed to make points as to what was great about this movie so if you haven’t seen it (and seeing as I’m writing this after just getting home from the Midnight Premier I’m betting you haven’t) then avoid this! Just know that the movie is great and go see it first!

So let’s start with the biggest problem from last time. Too human and not enough robot. This is far more remedied, though Sam, Michaela and a few other humans are still imperative characters. Though unlike last time the humans are important and are main characters but they still strike a great balance between the two. It’s not perfect but it’s a huge improvement nonetheless.

While the human characters where all great, they all had good moments, the Transformers where just the real highlight of this film and made it all worthwhile.

Just about every Transformer in this movie was important one way or another.

Most of the Autobots where more downplayed this time which was disappointing but we still got some great moments from Iron Hide and Bumblebee.

Optimus was better than ever. Not only does Cullen turn in a pure perfect performance as the Autobot leader but every moment involving Optimus is just gold. The scene of him fighting 4 Decepticons just to keep Sam safe was so great. Also he finally was more evenly matched with Megatron which was nice since usually it’s always such an unfair fight.

Speaking of the Decepticons, they where much better here as well. Starscream actually gets more than one line and Megatron is fleshed out much more as a villain. Though Megatron isn’t even the villain in this one! Though I’ll get to that later. Also it was great seeing the Decepticon base. It looked so twisted and cold and it was just an awesome moment.

Other Decepticons showed up that where great. Mostly Devastator, a classic villain who I love. We even got a cameo of what appeared to be Bonecrusher who was somehow alive. Though it was just his possible vehicle mode. Soundwave is here, but much to my dismay he is just a satellite bot the Decepticons use to track Sam. We got to see his panther friend a lot a least but sadly no Razorbeak yet. Hopefully Soundwave will be a boom box as he was rightfully meant to be in the next film.

I must admit I was disappointed with how easily Megatron was resurrected. I was hoping for more of a wild and crazy revival than what we got.

Of all the Autobots, next to Optimus himself Jetfire was the best. Every line and moment with Jetfire was pure gold and I officially will go and buy every toy of Jetfire every made. This version has him as an old man from the 1930’s who was a decommissioned plane in the Smithsonian. He was so funny yet badass at the same time.

Two twin bots who’s names are never really said where the main source of comedic relief in place of Jazz. They where funny, downright crazy at times.

Every fight in this movie is awesome. Despite one complaint I have (to be mentioned) every fight is so amazing and awe inspiring. The direction worked well sure but I think it was mostly the animators of the robots that did such an incredible job.

The Fallen was such an awesome villain. I loved his back story, how the Transformers tie-in to earth’s history. How he was the first Decepticon that tried to kill earth despite it had the humans. He’s best though at the very end when he finally shows up to kick some ass just when it seems the Decepticons are about to lose. I was thinking “what’s the rusty old bot supposed to do” but when you see what the Fallen is capable of you won’t believe it. He’s officially one of the best villains since Unicron.

This movie is just jampacked from start to finish with powerful content. It tells a story that twists and turns and never stops the blood from pumping and really gets the adrenaline rushing at time. It’s action at it’s best and the storytelling alone is just stuffed with so many great turns and twists and moments that it’s great.

Still despite all that good that’s going for it I do have complaints.

My biggest is the action in the fights is just way too fast. Bay usually has trouble slowing things down too much, well here he sped them up too much. Sometimes I couldn’t even tell what was going on and that killed some of the momentum for me. Though at least he would slow down to show some of the more important moments of the fight.

I can take cursing and sexual humor. Hell I think it can be really funny at time but I do not need that anywhere near my Transformers. It’s kind of funny hearing Iron Hide call a dying enemy a “Punk Ass Decepticon” but other times it just feels forced to try and give the movie a more mature feel and it certainly doesn’t need that one bit.

Sexual humor was just forced way too much in this movie. It was kind of funny in the first s they did it in moderation but here they just went to soft core pore levels. I can appreciate a sexy body as much as the next guy but the first half of this movie might as well have been call “ass shots and big tits with robots in the middle” as nearly every other scene we get a shot or moment that is just sexualized to death.

Again, I understand the creators where going for a more mature oriented film but the story is so great that it doesn’t need these sex jokes and cursing to make it mature. It’s rather pathetic to see them lean on it so much.

Megan Fox disappointed me this time around. I thought she did an excellent job in the first film but here she just felt so stiff and unreal this time that it was so frustrating.

I despised the new friend they gave Sam. He’s just a total moron and barely serves as mild comedic relief which we didn’t even need really.

I was really disappointed how the bike-bots showed up barely then get killed off at the end and get no development.

But back to the good as I still have more to say.

I was so happy to see the Matrix of leadership in this movie. As a big G1 fan and someone who loved the first animated film it was so great seeing the Matrix here. Too bad Unicron was nowhere in sight. I also loved how rather than simply finding the Matrix, Sam earns it. I won’t give away how though.

Again despite the speed up problems the action is just so intense. The fights are incredibly well choreographed and there are so many robots this time that it just feels like exactly what Transformers should be about.

The final fight really is the highlight of the film, it was the cherry on top of an awesome sauce Sunday with badass chocolate cream in the middle. In the final fight of (not telling you who it is) and the Fallen we get a nod to Transformers Armada, one of my favorite Transformers cartoons so seeing that was just really incredible and awesome for a fan like myself. The final fight in general though is just absolutely amazing and I was in awe of it.

Overall this movie is still far from perfect. It has it’s issues and in the end if you’re someone who can’t stand the kind of flaws I pointed out and that bugs you then you should avoid this movie as those flaws are fairly consistent.

Still if you ever woke up Saturday mornings to see the Transformers, if it be G1, Beast Wars or Armada then you must see this film. It is jam-packed from start to finish with great story telling and incredible action and is a pure definition of awesome Summer flick. Forget Terminator, Forget Wolverine, this summer belongs to the Transformers and their not giving it back. A must watch for just about anyone.

8 out of 10
Must Watch

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Spectacular Spider-Dad!

Father’s day this year snuck up on me like it does just about every year. Always it’s something different each year but the feeling is always the same, a lack of any feeling, as I hardly knew my father. He passed away in the early Summer of 2007, the day is unspecific as I was given a call days after he died so I never got to know the exact date but I can tell it’s been over 2 years now since that night.

I thought it would be best to honor my father by mentioning his love for comics here. He is the man who you all have to thank for getting me into comics after all.

My first ever comic was Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-man #1 as a gift from my father when he was in town that day. When he saw how much I loved it he sent me a huge package full of all kinds of great comics, Hulk, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Superman, Batman, Thor, Spider-man (of course, his favorite) X-men, Flash, Black Panther, Ghost Rider, all kinds of incredible books that enchanted me as a child.

My father and I never had a good relationship I hate to admit. We barely talked and when we did it was one long awkward “so how’s it going?” as it was like 2 strangers talking really. Though one way we connected was through comics, though his heroes I learned a lot about my father. When discussing Ghost Rider he revealed he always wanted to be a biker. With Spider-man he always wanted to be wild and free. With Hulk he always wanted to be big and strong like that. While it isn’t much, it was enough to find some connection with him.

Nowadays I may not be as big on Marvel or DC as my father, I’ve grown into my own scene mostly at Image Comics with great stuff like Spawn, Invincible and Witchblade (and so much more) each month but I always wondered what if he’d survived, and come down here. Just after his death is when I started really getting into comics, I doubt there is a connection but you never know. I always would have liked to talk to him about the comics I read, see what he thinks of them.

There’s also the question of how would he feel about current events? As a longtime Spider-man fan, would he hate or love One More Day? Would Secret Invasion be cool to him? Would Final Crisis make more sense to him? Would he be upset with Bruce Wayne’s “death”? All of the events of comics that I wonder how he’d feel about that are questions that can never be answered.

When I was still young, we bonded by watching episodes of Batman or Spider-man and renting the Batman movies. We never went to baseball games or rode bikes through the park. We’d sit around and talk about the comics we both loved and that was as close as I ever really got to having a real relationship with my father. Maybe that’s a little sad, but it’s better than nothing.

So this post and this day is in honor of my father, Capricorn. I have much to thank him for, even when we did not talk much, he still had little life lessons like responsibility even if they where few. He was still a good father in the end and I am glad I got to know him as much as I did, even if I wished I could have known him more.

So happy father’s day, Dad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Week's End - June 20th 2009

A new Week’s End is here, and with it comes something I’ve been waiting for a chance to use and that’s the Change of Heart of the Week where I feel in a past post, comment or review that I was wrong or that I changed my mind on something. I’ll explain what in that segment of this post later though, let’s get to it! We've got a fairly Invincible dominated edition this week, even if Invincible #63 wasn't the best comic of the week it was certainly the most noteworthy.

Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-man: Requiem #1

A bit of a tough choice, but in the end this was an incredible read. While it had little to do with Spider-man’s death really it did an incredible job of using the death sort of as a subtle theme where it’s never shoved in your face “HE’S DEAD!” and even with the final panel where JJJ finds out it’s still a great moment. A must have for any fans of Ultimate Spider-man really.

Moment of the Week: Invinci-pissed

I’m sure everyone is upset over Atom Eve’s death but man if it wasn’t worth while just to get this final shot of our pissed off young hero. Yes, the love of his life is dead and after a tragic moment of admitting that he can’t live without her, she dies in his arms and this is his reaction to her killer, Conquest, asking if he has Invincible’s attention. Considering how Invincible is beaten to a bloody pulp, has a broken arm, can’t see in one eye and is still bleeding like crazy this is the best kind of reaction you can get and promises for an incredible issue next time.

Cover of the Week: War Machine#7 Decades variant by Mike Choi

Marvel really is confusing me with these decade variants, their really odd and some of them are just downright stupid. But I must admit this one is so great. I can just hear Rhodey playing Iron Man as the people rock out. Why couldn’t comics in the 90’s be more like this?

Change of Heart of the Week: Invincible #63

So I was fairly frustrated with how all the hints and teases spoiled that Atom Eve was going to die. I admit, that still is something that bothers me but after a few days I’ve rather cooled off and am not so frustrated anymore. Also after re-reading this issue I felt the emotional impact Kirkman was going for, mostly with Invincible’s horrified reaction. So yeah this is just me saying I’ve changed my mind on it, this was an incredible issue of Invincible either way.

Artist of the Week: Ryan Ottley

A very tough choice, there where lots of incredible artists to choose from this week but I’m going to have to go with Ottley hands down for how he made every single panel in Invincible this week gorgeous, even when Invincible is getting his arm snapped in half it looks great. Maybe that’s half thanks to the coloring but either way this issue just looked absolutely incredible.

Character of the Week: Conquest

Another tough choice, though Conquest wins for 2 reasons. The first is that he’s the bastard the killed Atom Eve, the 2nd is he’s the best villain Invincible as ever had. I’ve said in the past but I’ll repeat it with this, Invincible has always had a bad time with villains. He’s never really had any memorable villains that I could say “Oh yeah *insert villain* is back! This is gonna be awesome!” but finally Conquest has become that awesome villain. But now I’m torn, while Conquest is great, he killed Atom Eve so Invincible will hopefully return the favor.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer Reading: Terminator and Spider-man: Reign

With Summer you always get some crazy deals at sores, well here with Andrenn’s Summer Reading Recommendations you get a 2 for one special today. We’ve got a summer blockbuster book for you and

With the Terminator franchise returning to theaters for the first time since 2003 I thought it would be a good idea to review the first volume of Dark Horse’s Terminator Omnibuses. Now Dark Horse are the kings of Adaptations and have turned in some grade A excellent work with the Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs. Predator Omnibuses. These book collect various stories into a 25 dollar neat package.

Terminator Omnibus volume 1

Writers:John Arcudi, James Robinson, Ian Edginton

Artists: Chris Warner, Matt Wagner, Paul Gulacy, Vince Giarrano

This volume is more like one gigantic movie as 3 of the 4 mini-series have the same evolving plot and characters. The one story after the first mini-series is the only aception, so I’ll cover that one first.

The first story is called One-Shot and much to my surprise it’s written by James Robinson.

This story is the most inconsequential of all as it asks the question “what if 2 Terminators where sent back for Sarah Conner, but the other one got lost and went after the wrong woman?” and from there it spins.

The most interesting part of this story has nothing to do with the Terminator though, it’s that this Sarah Conner wants her husband, Michael, dead as she only married him when she found out he’s secretly rich but he hides it as he hates money. I have to give Robinson a lot of credit as this plot twist alone develops this woman’s character more than most adaptation characters get.

We see the Terminator coming after her of course and she’s helped by an old soldier from the future sent back in time who’s got the one weapon in this era that can stop a Terminator.

The story is at it’s best with the end as just when I felt it was getting too long and dragged out it comes to an exciting, but predictable, conclusion. I won’t spoil the ending but kudos to Robinson for shaking it up with the last 4 pages.

Matt Wagener does the art for this and I was even more surprised to see him. His art does do one thing perfectly, replicate the dark moody noir images from the film. The coloring I guess though is the best part for that, though his art is great it just doesn’t fit the realism of the Terminator franchise. And I don’t mean that time traveling robots are realistic, I mean that when you draw this kind of world the Terminators themselves have to have a robotic realism as the other artists in the book capture so for that the art here does fall a little short.

The rest of the volume is the story of Colonel Mary and her and another group of time traveler’s going t back in time to stop the creator of A.I.

The story is incredibly well done for one that has 3 different writers writing each different section. Usually that would make this storyline a disjointed mess that does not fit well together but somehow they pulled it off and it worked amazingly well.

The characters are all well done, even the cannon fodder characters could get in some good moments. I did not like how in the final story a bunch of new time traveling soldiers where sent back as it felt like they where rushed into the story for more cannon fodder.

Still this is an epic story that while it’s not on the same level as the 2 films, easily make this book well worth it for any fan of the franchise.

The artists all do a great job, while the first artist has some problems at first they are gone by the end of his run. I also find it funny how the main character Marry evolves from a rough torn up soldier to a near glamorous beauty by the end, it was rather funny really.

Overall the Terminator Omnibus is a great deal for anyone who loves the movies and is getting tired of having to pop in the DVD’s every other night to get your fill of Terminator.

Summer Reading Must Have

Spider-man: Reign

Written and Art: Kaare Andrews with Jose Villarrubia

I should admit that I was tempted not to add this to the Summer Reading Recommendation for one simple reason: It’s fairly dark for a summer reading book. I was hoping to keep this more light or action stuff since Summer is such a great time for that, but no matter what excuse I make for myself I have always found Spider-man: Reign to be one of the best Spider-man stories in several years so I figure it deserves as spot on the list.

A lot of people have compared this to Frank Miller’s beloved The Dark Knight Returns and I admit there is certainly a connection as it follows the same path with an elderly hero in retirement in a world going insane. Though Spider-man isn’t quite as psychotic as Batman was in his dark future.

I did like how we get this witty young man who looks just like Peter Parker did as a young guy and we think “oh, that’s peter!” but then we see this old man with a beard and giant glasses and it’s like “Oh…that’s Peter?”

From there most of the chapter is “look at the sad old man” and at first it puts the reader in a sore spot of having to watch this really stupid old guy who should know better but is just taking a beating from society.

Though I guess the moment it all got really weird for me in the first chapter is when J. Jonah Jameson shows up. Peter himself looks ancient, Jonah looks like a walking corpse. Though in later chapters he gets much more vibrant and like his old self and I love it so I don’t mind the Crypt Keeper Jonah.

Jonah gives Peter something that turns him back into Spider-man, only for about a minute but it was that closing final pages that really got me excited for more and kick off this awesome story.

Spider-man isn’t the only character, we’ve got kids who are rebelling against the city’s brutal law force. These guys will kill you sooner than help you and through the eyes of the kids it really paints the horrific picture of just how hard this world is.

Later on we do see Spider-man villains, with a great twist for Sandman. I will spoil the main bad guy so if you don’t want to know, don’t read this paragraph. It’s Venom. While I’m a huge Venom fan, I can’t help but wish it was Green Goblin, something about hat just would have fit perfectly.

There is a lot of social commentary in this book. The biggest thing I think was a commentary on how America can be “too safe” in that the less freedoms we give ourselves by forcing the governments controls then the more out of hand and bad things really get and Andrews pulled this off while not shoving it down our throats really and keeping it within the confines of a good Super Hero story.

This story is full of great moments that I could write page after page of, but rather than spoiling the whole book I mention one more moment that I felt just made this so great. After we find out the fate of MJ, Peter has a dream sequence near the very end where MJ cheers him on and that becomes his driving force in the final battle and it was just handled beautifully as far as the dialogue is concerned.

The artwork has some really spectacular moments and some really frustrating moments as well. Most of the time it looks absolutely incredible, but other times it looks painfully rushed and unfinished and while these moments are few their still frustrating when you see how most of the art is so great.

I give this a high recommendation for seasoned Spider-man fans who love reading about the emotionally torn hero who still keeps on going no matter what. It may open slow but you’ll find yourself an incredible read that no fan should miss out on.

Summer Reading Must Have

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My thoughts on Reborn

Ah, Summer, it’s a beautiful time of year. The sun shines high and things are easy. Well almost everything is. Seems no matter what time of the year the super heroes just cant’ catch a break. Even though Marvel doesn’t have any epic 8 part crossovers with 20 books per month this year there are still plenty of eventful things going on. Ultimate Spider-man may be dead, in outer space kings are warring, Norman Osborne will be going to his own war with the X-men pretty soon here even.

Though it seems the biggest event this Summer won’t have any tie-in books ore major crossovers but is a simple 5 issue mini-series coming out July 1st. Reborn has been teased and hinted at and as of Monday this week the secret is out, Steve Rogers will be Reborn in just a couple of weeks.

I’ve already mentioned in a prior post that I will be checking out Reborn since I always did like Captain America and I really am curious to see where this goes. Though I also like some of the pitch, with Cap returning in a different Marvel U. One thing I like most is how Dr. Doom will apparently play a big role in this book and I’m a huge fan of Doom and I’ve really wanted to see Brubaker’s famed portrayal of the master villain outside of Book of Dooms.

It was a smart move of Marvel to put Captain America on hiatus for Reborn as this might as well have been a story arc in Captain America.

I guess my one real worry for this book is that it will just be one chapter in an ongoing story, so it won’t be new reader friendly or end on a high note closing the story of Reborn and letting the aftermath happen in Captain America. That Reborn might as well just be some story arc of Captain America and lose all it’s uniqueness from not being a story arc in that book which is something that could easily happen.

Then there’s the fact that 2009 is a big year for rebirth as it is, Barry Allen’s return being the most prominent right now though Cap’s return nearly matches it. The only difference is Barry has been gone for an incredibly long time, whereas Cap ahs been out of commission for only 2 years. Even Batman has Reborn in the title of it’s headlines right now.

One thing I must admit is great is how this is only 5 issues, rather than Marvel trying to stretch it out into 8 to cash in on the fact that this will no doubt be a high seller.

I do like the talent behind it. It makes sense to give Ed Brubaker, the guy who’s been writing Captain America for the last few years, the story that brings the original back to us. While I’m not the biggest fan of Bryan Hitch I must say his art from the preview and cover looks really amazing so I’m even excited to see what he does with this book.

Of course the biggest complaint is that Steve Rogers is already back like we all knew he would be as soon as he died. I was really hopeful that Marvel would let Rogers rest in peace and that they’d finally stopped using Cap’s death as a sort of gimmick to pull on fan’s heart strings. Now it seems that just as that’s over, we bring him back when we’re finally settled down with the fact that he’s dead which is simply frustrating.

Then there’s the question of how. Will it be by magic? Science? Freaky alternate dimension hopping? My money is on something with science, like the Red Skull bringing Steve back only for him to escape. The possibilities are thick and since I didn’t pick up Captain America #600 I’m in the dark.

There’s also the question of how will Bucky react to Steve’s return? Will he quit? Will the two both share the title as Captain America? Reborn has a lot to answer and hopefully it can cover it all.

Despite it’s possibility for error, I’m really looking forward to Reborn #1 coming July 1st and I look forward to reviewing it for you all as soon as possible.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Comic Reviews for June 17th 2009

SUMMMMMMMER! It’s here. My first full day of summer also comes with lots of great comics to read. I skipped Marvel Zombies 4 #3 and left it in the pullbox for next time so I have some cash for Spawn next week. But eh, let’s get to the reviews!

Ultimate Spider-man: Requiem #1

Written: Brian Michael Bendis

Art: Mark Bagley and Stuart Immonen

Opening Comments: after shelving Ultimate Spider-man #133 in favor of this I had a lot of high hopes for this one shot and that it would be a great send off to one of the best books around. While this issue wasn’t at all what I had in mind, it was full of great moments and reminded me why I love the series so much.

Story Comments: We open with Jonah and the rest of the Daily Bugle guys who survived returning to the building. Jonah is in a state of depression, mentioning how is wife must be dead. Bendis starts off right away with a real heart string tugging opener and he makes me feel for Jonah which is rare for such an often annoying character. After a bit of discussion, Jonah sits down at a computer and reads a briefing on an old Spider-man story that was never run.

We switch to a while back, MJ is having an interview with Tony Stark for a school report (the best I ever did was meeting the guy who runs the local dairy farm) and they have a long discussion about why Tony is Iron Man. It’s all incredibly interesting really and makes me wonder why the hell this story had never been published before (Mark Bagley’s art shows that much) as they discuss terrorism, the fear that humans naturally have, it’s all really well done and one of the better super-hero/regular person exchanges I’ve seen in a long while.

Not surprisingly, things go bad. Madame Hydra and her goons show up. Peter hears about this on the news and soon comes in to save the day, saving MJ and helping Iron Man (who oddly enough is wearing his extremis armor) and it ends with a brief talk between the two and it’s well and interesting. Not as interesting as the previous one but still.

After this Jonah is filled in that Spider-man is dead and that JJJ is officially the writer of his obituary. While I was really enjoying this issue, that cliff-hanger was just way too easy. Only 2 issues and the first one doesn’t reveal anything or even hint at Spider-man’s fate which was a tad frustrating. Still I did like Jonah’s shocked look in that final panel.

Overall Bendis did a good job on opening up this final tale of Spider-man. I enjoyed the middle story a lot but really the best part was the opening with the guys at the Daily Bugle. I guess my main issue and the only real complaint I have that knocks the writing down a point is that we don’t really get anything as far as Spider-man fate, not even a hint, which would have been nice since now it’s all riding on the last issue come July. Still it was a great read nonetheless.

Art Comments: I love Bagley’s work, I really do, a huge fan of what he does. I don’t know when this art was drawn and I must say it’s not his best work. While he does a great job with the action, Immonen shines the most and even outshines the man who made the standard. While he’s yet to draw any big actions scenes in this issue, the emotion he conveys fits every single panel so perfectly that I must say this is Immonen’s best work so far on Ultimate Spider-man.

Final Comments: Despite how little it really revealed, Bendis has given us part one of what is looking to be an incredible 2 part ending to one of the best books out there. If you ever enjoyed Ultimate Spider-man than this is a book you must have.

Writing: 5 out of 5

Art: 4 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Must Have

Invincible #63

Written: Robert Kirkman

Art: Ryan Ottley

Opening Comments: I wanted to review this issue next for a simple reason: my frustrations with it. I was hoping Kirkman would give us another great read, and in the long run most of this issue was great…but there’s one thing that just really killed it (excuse the pun) for me.

Story comments: Atom Eve wakes up, freaking out that Mark’s in Danger and Cecil and her (later in the comic) have a talk and she soon heads out. Mark and Conquest continue with some mild back and forth, but really this isn’t a fight, it’s a slaughter. Conquest is just beating the tar out of Mark in every sense. That cover does not lie.

Oliver shows up and surprise, he gets the crap beaten out of him. Up to this point I don’t mind the powerhouse that is Conquest, if anything he’s the first real villain that Invincible has had in a long while. While I’m sure he’ll die by the end of this arc, actually hoping for it, at least he got to make the book exciting again.

Eve shows up to help Mark, Mark begs her to leave but she refuses and…bam, Conquest nails a hole through her stomach killing her. Now this is my big problem, not so much the death of Atom Eve but how obvious it was since Kirkman just couldn’t keep it under wraps. I was stressed over if she’d survive Invincible #60, but not here, here it was painfully obvious she would die so I slowly became desensitized and by the time it happened, I just don’t’ care.

This is a huge problem if you let it be known and act like it may not happen. If we didn’t know this was going to happen then bam, I’d be shocked like any other Invincible Reader’s who don’t have the Internet. But since Kirkman spoiled the fun, I get no emotional impact. I don’t get to be surprised or horrified and that really ruins the whole enjoyment of a comic if that emotional level is taken away from me.

I will say this though, I did love the final few pages. Conquest tasting Eve’s blood and saying “delicious” made me want to ram a chainsaw down his throat it was so sadistic. I loved it. Invincible’s final line (also spoiled thanks to Kirkman, thanks so much) was a great way to end the issue and promise a beat down like no other with the next issue.

So while the death and how it was spoiled left a foul taste in my mouth and really ruined the rest of the issue, the rest was still a good enough read.

Art comments: Ryan Ottley is slowly becoming one of my favorite artists in the business, seriously he’s incredible. Every panel, every page, no matter how big or small, is absolutely gorgeously, and in some cases horrendous but still…this is his best work yet.

Final Comments: When all is said and done, my frustrations will subside and in the end this was still another solid issue of Invincible. Maybe next time Kirkman feels like doing something shocking though, he can keep it to himself.

Writing: 3 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 3 out of 5

Check It

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #2

Written: Paul Cornell

Art: Mark Brooks

Opening Comments: After a stellar first issue, Cornell somewhat turns the fire down a bit only to get things ready to fry next month. Still he gives us another great issue even if it’s not as great as it’s opening chapter.

Story Comments: Picking up where last issue left off, a fight breaks out only to be stopped by Enchantress 2 pages or so later. We get a run down of why the Young Avengers are there (and a hilarious moment when Billy tried to find the other Young Avengers) until Coat of Arms explains herself. Up to this point I was enjoying the issue, the dialogue was fairly well done though…not without an odd moment here and there.

We see Coat of Arms recollecting a meeting with Norman Osborne which was just plain crazy when we see that she’s done paintings of him killing Gwen Stacy and….ugh, it gave me the shivers. Coat of Arms explains that somehow that inspired her (I still don’t understand) to get a group to make a new Young Avengers team.

We see the teams both disband and Patriot as given the new team a choice to earn their name as Young Avengers. Enchantress uses a spell to make her teammates agree and soon her and Melter go to bed after Melter wants to run away. I must admit I really like the new Enchantress, how she so badly wants to be a Young Avenger is funny really.

The final scene is Executioner talking to his mom who is…Princess Python…huh. An interesting reveal but not one I found to be worthy of a cliff-hanger like this was. What this means for the team or story I have no clue so I was left with a big “that’s it?” when I closed the comic.

I can’t deny this issue was a lot shorter than I’d hoped and not too much really happens. The fight was interesting, the character work was great but really this issue just moves things along nicely in order for things to pick up next time which left me a little disappointed, though still satisfied with what was still a strong read.

Art Comments: Brooks’ style continues to work incredibly well with this crazy wild storyline and the characters all look great. Though there is one moment when the original YA are sitting around watching TV, they all look like similar blobs just with different skin and hair and clothes. It was odd and the art wasn’t perfect, not his best work like what he pulled off last time and some moments where a tad frustrating and the art didn’t help.

Final Comments: I’m still excited for more next time, but at the same time as much as I’m enjoying this series, this issue is undeniably a step down from last time. Still if you’ve ever liked the Young Avengers than this is series you shouldn’t miss out on.

Writing: 4 out of 5

Art: 4 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Must Read

Batman: Streets of Gotham #1

Written: Paul Dini

Art: Dustin Nguyen

Opening Comments: While my hopes weren’t too high for this book, I was hoping for a strong debut issue of what could be a really great spin-off. Sadly what I got instead was a comic that while it has some great moments definitely has a disjointed feeling.

Story Comments: We open with a sad Jim Gordon on the scene of a would-be crime. Gordon goes in just to find out it’s Harley Quinn who meant no harm, which I found to be a funny and good way to open the issue but it goes darker when Batman and Robin scold Quinn.

We switch from there to nighttime with a young prostitute (I already have an issue with the art, which I will be bringing up about this moment) who is on her first night. A man starts talking to her, then beats up her Pimp and brands the name “Abuse” on his forehead making it sound like that is his name. I’m not sure where this is going, it may be a new vigilante in town.

From there we see Firefly narrating about where he’s been since Battle for the Cowl. Dini handless the narration well enough but I’ve never really cared for Firefly so I got bored pretty fast. Though I suppose fans of the character will enjoy it.

We then see Damian Wayne talking to Thomas Elliot in his cell where Dick has him held captive. The two are playing chess (the most obvious thing to do nowadays with 2 brilliant characters) and have a very interesting discussion that sadly gets cut short. This was easily the best moment of the issue and I was sad to see it cut short so soon.

We see Firefly’s plan in full circle as Gotham is in flames, Batman and Robin do what they can but by the end we see how far the fire is spreading and that it’s pretty massive. This was an all right cliff-hanger and leads in to next issue well.

My biggest problem with this series is how disjointed and random each moment feels, even as some of them fit together it’s still frustrating to see how we jump from scene to scene with no real important moment and just a few okay moments. It made this a harder read for me even though I did still enjoy most of it.

The Manhunter back up, not much to say on it really. We’re introduced to her new status quo and it’s nicely done, I enjoyed it and I wouldn’t mind reading more next month.

Art Comments: Nguyen is an awesome artist really. I continue to love his work but I mentioned earlier I do have on problem: the young prostitute. I can accept that women at young ages get into this business, it’s a fact, but this girl looks like she’s 4 years old! She should be in a Barney TV show not Gotham City. It’s the only flaw I find in his art but man…it’s just so creepy and weird.

Final Comments: Despite my complaints it was a solid debut issue and anyone who doesn’t want the insanity of Batman and Robin may want to check this out.

Writing: 3 out of 5

Art: 4 out of 5

Overall: 3 out of 5

Check It

Mighty Avengers #26

Written: Dan Slott

Art: Stephen Segovia

Opening Comments: After a great issue last time I was really excited to see how Slott closed the case of Avengers vs. Fantastic Four. Much to my delight this issue was filled with tons of great moments and a few cool twists making it the best issue yet of Slott’s Mighty Avengers.

Story Comments: With the Avengers on their way out to distract the FF, we see Cassie catch up just in time for Jocasta to scold her about what a brat she’s being (ZING! Give the robot girl a prize) and for Jocasta and Hank to kiss later only to be caught by Jarvis (do not want!) so Slott opens the issue well and gets things going right from there.

Just as Reed gets Sue and the kids out he discovers it’s Pym messing with his lab, not the Skrulls. Pym is in but Stature is missing, she went with Sue to warn her about what Pym is doing. This was a great twist from Slott and I really felt it worked for Cassie’s character, though I am worried if she’s going to be booted off the team now.

Pym and Mr. Fantastic confront in what Reed calls the Zeno room. A really weird hall type room that makes it impossible to reach Reed who has the device that Hank wants. A smart idea by Slott to try and shake things up rather than just having the device in some vault.

Vision and Herc’s disguises are no longer useful and they give up the disguise.

Pym pulls out some sonic device which overrides the Zeno Room nad activates the device that Pym wants. Sending Reed and Pym flying through dimensions, Pym shows Reed something that stuns him and he gives Pym the device.

One moment I found odd was Jarvis confronting Jocasta about her relationship with Hank, the way she theorizes it (and this was just plain crazy on Slott’s end but at the same time brilliant) she sees that since Hank created A.I. that she is in a sense…kissing god. It’s so insane yet a great moment still.

After they get back to the HQ, Jocasta uses her body as a final piece to get the machine working so they can have a new base. I love the other Avengers reactions as t first I was thinking the same thing but Pym explains there is a reason and that it will be revealed next time, leaving me excited for more next month.

Slott has written his best issue yet as just about every page of this issue was greatness and I loved every minute of reading it.

Art Comments: Segovia continues to fit the book incredibly well, though he is not without problems. Some close ups didn’t fit and he did get a little too rough at times where it got a tad jarring. The coloring continues to work well at least. This was a good issue but with some troubled art every so often.

Final comments: While it has some minor issues, I really can see beyond them as Slott is really telling a great story and the best Avengers comic out on the stands right now. This is a must have for anyone who loves Avengers.

Writing: 5 out of 5

Art: 4 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Must Have