Saturday, February 28, 2009

Andrenn Update

Been a while since I’ve done an Andrenn Update so I guess it’s time for one.

I’ve been trying to dodge it for weeks now, but try as I do, I just can’t seem to get Friday posts done. Maybe it’s because at the end of the week I lose most motivation to do anything other then relax.

So both The Drawing Board and Collection Spotlight are random posts.

Fridays aren’t exactly no post days, as you’ve seen last week if I have reviews to post, or Solicit commentary, or maybe even something like Comic Report Card (New one coming soon by the way, not sure what on but I really want to do another one soon)

I’ve been wanting to do another edition of Andrenn’s Game Shelf which I will no doubt do. I’m thinking something like a favorite game list or something.

The Andrenn Channel needs a new show to be added soon, I’m thinking something animated.

My pull box is empty, I’ve gotten all the comics for February out. Expect reviews in the week, perhaps Tuesday or Wednesday. I’ve got 5 comics to review. I also got a confirmation from my LCS that they are indeed now ordering Jersey Gods.

Expect Month’s End and Week’s End on the same day, tomorrow. I’ve decided to post 2 things in one day to save some time and space for the upcoming week and some new posts I want to write up.

So that’s it for this quick Andrenn Update. Expect Reviews in the week, Week’s and Month’s End tomorrow and of course The Week Begins on Monday.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Week Begins

After a few weeks of little to no comics in the pull box I’ve finally got a more jam packed one, even if it’s still just a few comics.

Ultimate Spider-man #131 *most anticipated comic of the week*

Written: Brian Bendis

Art: Stuart Immonen

The end is almost here for one of the greatest comics of all time, with only 2 issues after this Spider-man’s got a lot on his hands. In this issue there is supposed to be a fight with the Hulk, to be honest I couldn’t care less about Spider-man taking on the Hulk as it’s painfully obvious who’d win. Though the preview had this brilliant moment with J. Jonah Jameson about how he’s finally seeing Spider-man for the hero he is. It was brilliant, touching and just…brilliant! If anything you should be reading Ultimate Spider-man for moments like that, not fights and Ultimatum. I can’t wait to see what Bendis does here.

Mighty Avengers #22

Written: Dan Slott

Art: Koi Pham

After a good opening issue, I must admit I’m not so sure about this series anymore. While I’m glad this arc will be short and simple, I’m starting to regret buying this book mainly because it sounds like there will be some really weird ideas and Pham will soon be taking a break, only 3 issues into it with Slott. Still I do look forward to seeing more here, it looks all right from the previews and I hope it’s as good as it looks and that maybe Slott can convince me to stay.

Spawn #189

Written: Todd McFarlane and Brian Holguin

Art: Whilce Portacio

I actually am looking forward to checking out this issue. It will finally show us our new Spawn in action, after 4 patient months the payoff is finally here. Hopefully. Last month’s issue was such a disappointment, I really hope we finally get deep and gritty like promised.

Savage Dragon #145

Written and art: Erik Larsen

After a great issue of playing catch up last month Larsen is ready to start things fresh with Back in Blue, and interesting and really cool looking new jumping on point for Savage Dragon. I made a poll a few weeks back and it seems there are at least some people interested in this, if you’ve yet to make up your mind on buying it or not I highly suggest you go check it out Wednesday, it looks promising.

New Avengers #50

Written: Brian Bendis

Art: Billy Tan and a whole bunch of other guys.

To be clear, I won’t be buying this issue. Not at all as I have zero interest in The Dark Avengers and New Avengers having a slap fight. But I thought it would be fair to comment on this issue as it seems to be making a lot of noise. A lot of people seem to be reinvigorated in New Avengers, and I’m glad to hear it. It’s nice to know that a lot of people are enjoying this comic, even if I’ve quit on it. I’m not so sure about this series anymore, something about Secret Invasion just killed my interest completely in it.

And so ends the Week’s End, not sure if there will be any reviews anytime soon.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Week's End

For every week beginnings it has to End.

Comic of the Week: Dark Avengers #2

With 2 comics against each other this week it wasn’t too hard to figure Dark Avengers would win. Bendis continues to impress me with a strong second issue. If he can pull off this kind of stuff come the Ultimate Spider-man reboot, Spider-woman and his future projects then I think we might have some serious great works of 2009 solely from Bendis.

Moment of the Week: Invincible #59

Just about the only moment that was even somewhat noteworthy really. I ragged on Powerplex a lot in my review of this issue and I stick to the comments that he’s an idiotic villain and a waste of time to introduce in this month’s issue. Still, this moment had some nice shock value for all of the time it took me to flip the next page. His reaction was typical dumb villain reaction though.

Cover of the Week: Amazing Spider-man #587 by John Romita Jr.

Not a lot of great covers this week, but this one stood out nicely as I like the shadow saying “Accused” and foreshadowing a very eerie dark mood. Makes me think of when JMS was writing Spider-man.

So that’s it for another gone week, check back tomorrow for our look into the future.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Solicit Commentary for May 2009

It’s everyone’s favorite time of the month, when fanboys stop bickering and creators start talking about their books again, solicits time!

Image Comics solicits for May 2009

Marvel Comics solicits for May 2009

Spawn #192

The triumphant return of Sam and Twitch! With a new mini-series on it’s way, I was certain we’d never see the dynamic duo again. With most characters outside of Violator MIA I was pretty sure. But hey, their back and that’s awesome. I’m hoping Portacio goes with classic looking Sam and Twitch as I never really liked Haberlin’s versions.

Spawn: Architects of Fear One-Shot

Delays are a killer thing, in the case of some comics it’s worth it every time, in others it’s so annoying that it kills any momentum and build up and ruins it. Architects of Fear was set to come out September 2007. TMP seems to be having trouble keeping up with schedules more and more. Still this looks awesome and I’ll pick it up.

Spawn: Origins Volume 1

’m not sure what to think of this. On one hand maybe it’s a good idea, the Spawn Collection books cost a hefty price after all, though not the first volume. But if we’ve already got a series recounting and collecting the series, why do we need a second series of books to do that? Ones that are cheaper and have less I issues? Seems like a waste of money to me. Still maybe I’m just putting my foot in my mouth as I’m sure it’s good for anyone interested in the origins of Spawn and al that.

Witchblade #127 seems to be MIA of the Solicits….:(

Invincible #62

Last Solicit commentary I talked about the status quo, now I want to use this one to mention the villains. Invincible has always had fairly poor villains, and even if their treat, it’s for all of 10 pages before their knocked out or killed. It’s rare that some villains actually continue a fight over a few issues. Conquest looks to be the Doomsday of the Invincible comics. No I don’t mean that like that he’s a cheap plot device. I mean that he seems like the nemesis Invincible has been waiting for all this time. A villain that actually puts up a real good fight hurts our hero badly. Also I’m going to say it again, Atom Eve will totally be dead soon. I’m calling it.

Jersey Gods #4

After an awesome opening issue, this solicit seems a bit off. Something about Zoe in a mall and…huh? I don’t know. It doesn’t sound all that interesting really, though of course I’m sticking with the series.

Savage Dragon #148

Daredevil (not THAT one) is making his Image debut here, eh? Should be an interesting read really but I’m just not sure…

Spider-woman #2

Seems like Hydra is finally making some noise again, despite a few things here and there they haven’t really been prominent in Marvel for a very long time. I am still anticipating this book, not sure really how it will turn out but I’ve got pretty high hopes for it. Then again, I had the same hopes for Secret Invasion: Dark Reign in December.

Dark Avengers #5

Good to see that the Doom story won’t take 6 or 7 issues to wrap up for the opening arc. That was Mighty Avenger’s biggest mistake come it’s debut a while back, it took forever just for the opening arc and that killed all the momentum it had going for it. It’s nice to see Bendis has learned his lesson. So apparently the public is reminded Norman was Green Goblin? Their just now remembering that? That’s like hiring a baby-sitter then remembering he eats babies. A stupid move. We also see that apparently some of the Avengers are ‘getting frisky’? My money is on Ares and Moonstone. Ares is quite the charmer after all.

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #1

So it’s 5 issues, and these new, evil Young Avengers (Or Dark Young Avengers as Keith Gammage put so well) will be meeting the originals? Well that sounds interesting. But honest to god, why can’t we just call them the Young Masters of Evil and be done with it? Their clearly not Young Avengers. Still, it’s by the stellar team behind Young Avengers Presents #4 and I’ll be there. Also going off of the interviews it sounds pretty damn good, Melter and the new Enchantress are lovers even though Melter’s power sucks, he’s team leader, an interesting little dynamic Cornell came up with. Dare I say it, weird as this looks, I’m really psyched to check this out.

Mighty Avengers #25

Another damn month with no Pham?! Seriously Marvel is he the series artist or not? But as for the story, it’s the Mighty Avengers taking on the Fantastic Four…how boring. I’m starting to rethink buying this series as if Slott isn’t really going anywhere interesting and just doing things like this I can’t imagine why I’d want to read. That and the fact that Pham seems MIA for no good reason. I guess the only thing keeping me hooked is more Vision. Damn my Vision addiction.

Secret Warriors #4

I never figured that we’d be getting a put-together cover for this series. It’s almost cool…almost. So this story handles a few things, what happened to all the disbanded Shield Agents and Fury taking on more Hydra. How exciting. I’m hoping this books doesn’t become what it’s looking to become “Nick Fury: and every now and then some super powered kids he trained” seeing as the team aspect to Secret Warriors is looking worse and worse.

Dark Reign: The Hood #1

I doubt I’ll pick this up, Hood has been my least favorite villain since his use come New Avengers a while back. Bendis has tried hard to really make him stick and show his strength but try as he does I never get sold on it and he continues to be a big waste of space for me.

Wolverine #73 and #74

Hold on a minute, this is serious? I wasn’t sure that if by Old Man Logan giant sized special it would either be #73 just epic sized or a one-shot, but I guess it’s a one-shot. Also, are the Kubert’s coming to Marvel? We’ve been seeing a couple of covers by Adam but I thought both Adam and Andy where signed to DC exclusives. I guess their contracts finally ended and now their going to Marvel. I’m not sure if I’ll be reading these 2 stories or not, Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert sounds awesome but I was already planning to stop reading come Old Man Logan’s ending. We’ll see. If it looks good I’ll check it out.

Ultimatum #5

With issue #3 taking it’s sweet time getting here I doubt 5 will be out by then. I’m not even getting Ultimatum so I suppose there isn’t much point in commenting on it.

Ultimate Spider-man: Requiem #1 and #2

2 books, both 4 dollars and both wrapping up the soon ending Ultimate Spider-man with an article written by J. Jonah Jameson. The preview for #131 shows that Jameson has seen Spider-man in a new light finally so this looks like it could be an incredible heart-wrenching read. That plus it’s Bendis and Spider-man, we know this will rock. Also something about never before seen Bagley art? That should be interesting.

Planet Skarr Prologue

I forgot to mention this in my coverage of the NYCC, mainly due to the fact that Skarr: Son of Hulk was on of the biggest disappointments of 2008 for me. Not much to say, Skarr comes to earth. I may check it out, probably won’t though.

All New Savage She-Hulk #2

I’m actually pretty interested in this book, it looks to be good. I doubt I’ll get it what with prices so high but it really does look promising. Maybe if I hear good things about it I’ll pick up the Hardcover or TPB.

Marvel Zombies 4 #2

Really…do we have to tie this in to Dark Reign, with having the Hood involved with the whole zombie thing? Plus Dormammu? I’m not sure. Half of me wants to avoid this series like the zombie plague within it’s pages, the other half loves the Midnight Sons and Marvel Zombies 3 so I really want to check it out. I’ll buy it, no doubt, I’m one of those loyal idiots like that when it comes to Marvel Zombies.

TimeStorm 2009/2099 #2

Let me tell you something, seeing Ghost Rider 2099 on this cover makes me more excited then a 5 year old on Saturday morning (back when cartoons where good, mind you) and from the way things are looking from an interview with Reed then GR will be pretty prominent in this story. I’m not sure what to think of the whole “two times colliding” thing. I’d rather that if we finally get a 2099 sequel series it stay exclusive to 2099, but this should still be interesting and I am really stoked for it. Also the cover is credited to be by Salvador Larroca. I’m not seeing it, this looks nothing like his style. It looks more like Kev Walker. Maybe I’m just seeing things though.

New Mutants #1

I just wanted to mention this and asked Marvel, did you guys all hit your head or something? I’m sure a lot of New Mutant fans are excited for this, and hey, it’s got some good talent behind it so maybe it will be good. But still…rather then just moving on with New X-men or keeping that awful Young X-men going, we need to reverse back to the New Mutants? Something seems wrong with that. I wouldn’t be too surprised if this backfires like Young X-men did and is gone by 2010. (also I realize I'm being a tad hypocritical, criticizing the New Mutants right after mentioning the return of 2099)

Wolverine: Weapon X #2

I really want to buy this series, I do. All common sense says that this will be an incredible book that anyone who’s ever liked Wolverine will fall in love with and will be a treat every month. It’s got the stellar team from Get Mystique on it for god’s sake. Though I’m not sure, I really can’t keep pushing my wallet like this, though as always, if cuts must be made, they can.

X-Force volume 2 HC

If I ever get around to picking up volume 1 soon, volume 2 is right behind it.

Halo: Uprising HC

While I’m not the biggest Halo fan in the universe, Marvel has done right to the series after publishing the awesome Halo Graphic Novel (Yes I have it, yes I love it) and the only thing that stopped me from reading Uprising, as the first 2 issues where good, was the killer delays. Seeing as it’s a prequel to 3 of the game series and it’s over a year late to finishing this is really disappointing. Though it’s not the creative team’s fault, from what I’m told, Bungie kept poking holes and making them redo it or something along those lines. If it had come out on time I’m sure it would be more well praised, but oh well, I’ll definitely pick up the HC in May and look forward to Spartan Black and Helljumpers later this year.

Spider-man Noir HC

I thought April was bleeding my wallet dry on Hardcovers, May is just kicking my wallet down, spitting in it’s face then telling it that they never loved it. Another HC that I gotta own is Spider-man Noir as I’m really itching to check this out and annoyed with myself for dodging on the ongoing. If there’s a sequel series (fingers crossed!) Then I’ll be there for sure.

X-men: Magneto Testament HC

Well look at that, they chose the best cover of the series and the best cover of 2008. Just like Spider-man Noir and Halo Uprising this is a series I’ve been patiently waiting for the HC of and that I have to get my hands on as soon as I can. Growing up through school my favorite subject always has, and no doubt always will be, WW2 and the Holocaust. I’ve heard nothing but praise and love and good things about this series, time to see (in a few months, unfortunately) if that was all talk or all guts. I’m most excited for this one so I think if I’m going to pre-order any of them this one is it.

so that's it for Solicit Commentary, if you missed my latest reviews look down one post and check back tomorrow for Week's End.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Comic Reviews for February 20th 2009

3 comics to be reviewed!

Jersey Gods #1
Written: Glen Brunswick
Art: Dan McDaid

Opening Comments: It seems Image Comics can do no wrong nowadays, their really back on top and once again the breeding ground for quality comics. Jersey Gods starts out a strong new ongoing that is looking to be a very prominent comic.

Story comments: I really don’t want to spoil this issue so much so I’m going to be much more vague then I usually am. I also don’t want to spoil the great cliff-hanger ending which left me foaming at the mouth for more.
We have 2 main characters in Jersey Gods, Barock, the god and Zoe his love interest. From the preview in Invincible #55 we already know these 2 are to be married though it was a good call of Brunswick not to start us off there and actually give their relationship’s origin from the beginning.
Zoe is the man narrator mostly and I like her dialogue, she’s always got something funny, cute, interesting or fun to say and it never feels like her narration drags on like with most narration. She isn’t a perfect little girl, she has her annoying moments no doubt and I’m sure they’ll be a specific part about her character through the series.
Things get going fast from the start when Minog shows up, our main villain. For an opening villain he’s great and we learn fast that he has a good history with our hero Barock in what they call “the Great War” whatever that was, we’ve yet to fully see.

There’s a lot of jabs at the past of these characters such as Minog being defeated by Barock, Barock having apparently loved another person long ago which the mention of it risks upsetting him, it’s some pretty interesting and well thought out stuff.
Another great moment was the introduction of 2 elder gods, Rushmore being my favorite as he’s got a really creative design. I don’t want to spoil it because it’s too brilliant to say, you’ve got to see for yourself, it’s awesome.
The final part where Barock confronts Minog was again great, and the cliff-hanger which I refuse to say what happened left me drooling for more. It was just perfect and I loved it.

Though overall I can’t say the writing was perfect, some of the dialogue was just okay, Zoe had a moment that just…was weird as all hell. It sets up things nicely to be picked up on in future issues but a little more clear development of how all these events tied together would have been nice. So while not perfect, it was very well written.

Art Comments: The art here by McDaid is a cool style, and from what I understand he’s a brand new artist and this is his first ever actual comic book. His style is fresh and cool, even if it doesn’t appeal to me. My biggest problem is his shapes are a little odd, square faced people like Barock are a tad off when Zoe and Helius seem to change from time to time. It isn’t a huge glaring problem, just a little weird I guess. Still the art is good; I can’t deny that, even if it doesn’t appeal to me personally others will probably enjoy it.

Final Comments: Jersey Gods was good opening to what could be a great comic, while it didn’t quite have the same strength that started Dark Avengers last month it still was a worthwhile and enjoyable read.

Writing: 4 out of 5
Art: 3 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Must Read

Dark Avengers #2

Written: Brian Bendis
Art: Mike Deodato

Opening comments: Dark Avengers had one of the best opening issues that most comics have ever hard, continuing that streak of goodness is it’s second issue. Really, a series can only be fully suggested to someone by if it’s reached it’s second issue and where you go with this issue is the real test of it’s quality.

Story Comments: Picking up where last issue left off, our Avengers are settling in, getting to know each other. It’s a little funny at while Bullseye (Or Hawkeye as we’re now going to call these heroes by their new identities, sorry if this confuses anyone) seems rather proud of this others aren’t sure how to handle it.
Right away I notice this issue’s only real big problem, how Bendis handles the characters. When you’ve got a team book it’s hard to balance evenly all these characters together and keep a team dynamic going. Secret Warriors was a great example of how NOT to do it, Dark Avengers #2 kind of dips back and forth from great character moments for Iron Patriot, Hawkeye and Sentry whereas Wolverine and Spider-man only get 3 or so word balloons.
Also the handling of our new Spider-man is frustrating, Venom was supposed to be less monstrous but here he makes stupid comments like “Can I eat her?” which just make me repeatedly facepalm.
Morgan Le Fay was great here, she’s a perfect opening villain continuing off her and Doom’s affair during the Venom Bomb arc of Mighty Avengers. I liked how, before the battle, Doom tried to talk some sense into Le Fay, it was nice to see him acting sensible rather then just running up and attacking her blindly.
Iron Patriot is a great field leader, though Norman Osborn is the man with the plan so how could he not be? Every line out of him is nicely done and while it’s nice, I wish Bendis would have spent more time showing off other characters as well. He’s yet to make me like Wolverine here.
Overall the writing was nicely done, it was full of lots of great little moments like a topping on an ice cream cone, while the ice cream is nice itself, those sprinkles make it so much better. Bendis hits some high notes but he’s got to find that balance of a good team book that’s not quite there. Still this is some of his best stuff in a long while, this series could become on par with his Ultimate Spider-man work possibly.
Last comment about the story though, to spoil something a little bit, I really hope Sentry is dead like it appears he is.
Art Comments: Mike Deodato continues to impress, with his sexy Le Fay and his badass looking Doom the pages never cease to pop out at me and impress. He and Bendis make a good team as he compliments even some of the sore talking points and does a great job on handling the unique look of the team as well as the monsters summoned by Le Fay.

Final Comments: Another great issue, though not quite as massively great as the first issue was it was undeniably a great read with awesome art. Do yourself a favor if you decided to go skip this series, pick up #1’s second printing then #2 as soon as you can as this is looking to be a great series.

Writing: 4 out of 5
Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Must read

Invincible #59
Written: Robert Kirkman
Art: Ryan Ottley

Opening Comments: Robert Kirkman is not necessarily good at killing time in the Invincible comic. More then often the build up to a big issue is boring and really lacks the punch that the series can usually deliver. While I had hopes for this issue, it seems #59 is the same as most pre-big event issues.

Story Comments: The story of this issue does nothing to advance the building plot points given last issue with Invincible’s new job, his relationship with Eve, their plans to move out, Oliver’s training, none of it was reflected even a little or hinted at in this issue as the stories where all halted to tell the story of a new villain, Powerplex.
That alone is frustrating, Kirkman ignoring the advancements of last issue and rather then building on them, tells the story of someone who has to be the stupidest villain in a very long time (Yes, stupider then the Carpenter in Detective Comics)
Now I understand what Kirkman was trying to do here with this villain, Powerplex lost his sister to the Invincible Omni-Man fight way back, a lot of people died in that fight, and he wants revenge. So he steals some company tech and keeps trying to get Invincible’s attention, only wasting time while doing so.
His wife agrees to help in that she plays victim and their child both pretend to be his hostages so that Invincible will come to them. Before I go on, let me say this, if I where to do this with my wife I would consider “Gee, maybe this could get messy and she could be in danger, I should lock her in the other room or something like that to keep her out of harms way in case it does.” Maybe I’m a tad cynical of this villain but seriously, it’s an obvious thought that should have hit you.
So Invincible and Powerplex fight, our villain’s power grows with the more hits he takes so he soon grabs Invincible and while he starts frying him, the electricity coming off him hits his wife and kid and they get roasted. (like Batman really) and Invincible soon ends the fight and takes him into jail.
I can tell Kirkman was going for some shock value/emotional moment points here but really I find myself more dumb-founded at how stupid Powerplex is rather then how emotionally painful this must be for him. I don’t think I could even pity such an idiot. He’s like a cow that just starts juggling axes, I can’t feel bad for eating the steak of it later on when it was clearly too stupid to know what it’s doing.
Had this issue not solely focused on Powerplex it would have been a lot better no doubt, or had it at least lead into #60 even a little, it would have been better. But what we have here is a rather mediocre read.
Now I can’t deny that Kirkman at least gets the job done and tells a competent story at least, though the sheer stupidity that is Powerplex alone just seems to wipe away anything enjoyable about this issue. It was an average to mediocre read.

Art Comments: Ottley as always is a great artist, from the opening page to the seething hate in Powerplex’ eyes at the end of the issue he pulls it off great and the scene of Powerplex’ fried family was as gruesome as it could get.

Final comments: Not really a bad issue, just a wasteful use of an issue I feel. So much more could have been done, when really all we got was a lame new villain who’s dumber then the mindless drones at Hydra. If you where looking to jump on with this issue to be ready for #60 next month, do yourself a favor, jump on then, skip this issue.

Writing: 2 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5

Pass It

So that’s it for the reviews, check back tomorrow for Solicit Commentary.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Weekly Haunting, Part 3: Revealing that which isn't hidden.

Another Thursday, another haunting. With the 3rd of the 4 CBR Haunt teasers here it’s time to take a look and give our thoughts.

All right, another image we saw prior but this time colored. The thing that catches my eye most is the colorist is not Fco, the guy doing Invincible’s coloring. Someone named Kelsey who I am not familiar with. I must say there is a noticeable difference in the coloring alone; this is a bit more toned down then Fco’s usually bright and slick coloring to Ottley’s art.

It’s a great piece of art by Ottley, he continues to impress me and make me glad he’s the artist on this series.

The goo continues to be mix of good/weird for me. Here it looks a bit better then in the prior two images, but it’s still really weird and out of place looking.

That gruff angry expression is great, Ottley definitely knows how to do emotional work and is skilled in showing all kinds of emotions/faces. Here Haunt is clearly pissed off and about to do some serious damage, if we get stuff like this in the pages of the book then it will be great.

A side note about the expression, I continue to love the whole “burning eyes” thing Haunt’s got going.

Then there’s the text…“All Will be Revealed”

If Haunt was at it’s 70th issue or something and we’ve had dangling plot threads like in Spawn and other comics that would make a lot more sense. I know that there is a mystery to it but this is more something you’d want to tease for the issue that will solve that mystery. Otherwise you’re just telling us ahead of time something we already figured was coming, the truth as to the brother’s murder.

This is definitely the case of “I don’t know what to write here, lets just repeat what we last said but re-word it” which is all it really is.

Still if teasers have taught me anything in the past it’s not to take them too seriously and really over-analyze them (yet here we are)

Overall it’s another awesome teaser and it gives me more confidence in Ottley’s artwork for Haunt, coming June.

That’s all for this haunting, check back tomorrow for comic reviews of Jersey Gods #1, Dark Avengers #2 and Invincible #59.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Week Begins

The Week Begins…I gotta try and think up more clever openings later on.

Invincible #59

Written: Robert Kirkman
Art: Ryan Ottley

One more issue to the epic crossover next month. It almost makes me wish this issue where past. That right there is always the big problem when you’ve got some epic upcoming issue like next month’s ,it makes it hard to enjoy this month’s issue or really anticipate it at all. Still it looks good from the preview, should be another solid good read hopefully.

Dark Avengers #2 *Most Anticipated Com
ic of the Week*
Written: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Mike Deodato Jr.

After a great opening issue I’m psyched to see where we go from here. It’s fairly obvious that Morgan Le Fay is the main villain throughout the opening plot and it’s up to the Dark Avengers to stop her, hopefully Bendis can keep things interesting and going well, unlike the Ultron arc in Mighty Avengers. I am not sure really how this arc will go, it’s 4 issues and it could go either way of cool and wicked fun or annoying and weird, let’s hope for cool and wicked fun as where Bendis goes from here is crucial.

Not a lot to it this week. Still enough to justify me trying to get down to the shop either this week or next week. Check back soon for Solicit Commentary.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Week's End

A very small week but it ended nonetheless so with that we take a look in this Week’s edition of Week’s End.

Comic of the Week: Batman #686

There are 2 reasons why this wins as comic of the week, 1 is that it’s obviously the only comic this week that I bought and 2 is that Gaiman impressed me on so many levels it isn’t even funny. Well a little perhaps. While I’ve never been a big fan of his work, I’ve always seen him as good and nothing beyond that really, I must admit I was near blown away with this. While it was a little off the wall in the sense telling different ways of how Batman died (my favorite being that Catwoman killed him) and Joker’s appearance changing a bit here and there. It was filled with brilliant twists and turns and for that I cannot highly but one moment this week from this amazing comic, so expect a few moments being spotlighted this week. Of course I must mention Andy Kubert’s great art, great as he is, it’s a damn shame that he can’t even keep up with 2 issues in one month like most artists can, especially seeing how much time in advanced he had to get it done.

Moments of the Week: Batman #686

Best moment of them All was this, Alfred being the Joker. It’s obviously out of continuity and not possible, and the whole idea that all the villains where just him and some buddies playing dress up to make Batman feel important was weird no doubt. But seriously, I don’t know who thought this up, Gaiman or the editors, I’ll give Gaiman the credit of course seeing as this was just brilliant on so many levels.

My favorite of Batman’s deaths, the idea that Catwoman would kill him. Another brilliantly done moment though to be fair it was also a tad saddening, the idea that Catwoman would ever kill Batman. Though Gaiman handled it brilliantly in the dialogue here.

More brilliance in this moment with Joker. I loved how he insisted that he wouldn’t kill the guy simply because it’s not funny. Somehow, that along with his serious face made this moment a little funny. I also love his car; wish I could get one that grins that much. Though the dialogue again was priceless with his back and forth with the guy.

Then the idea that the Riddler is the goddamn Riddler and that he kills Batman. I loved this moment simply for that we always get scenes like this, where the bad guy has the villain at point blank and he either tries to shoot but missed/gets hurt or shot, or simply drops the gun. Was funny to actually see this happen and it almost felt like a spoof of some kind.

Cover of the Week: Thor #600 Djurdjevic wraparound

It seems Djurdjevic is now the ongoing cover artist for Thor, and that’s awesome. His Thor is great looking and really cool and this cover was just absolutely stunning. Everything down to the emotion on Odin’s face to the rage on Thor’s face as he goes up against Bor was great. I am still kicking myself for missing out on Thor #600.

So that’s it for the Week’s End, expect The Week Begins tomorrow.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Most Anticpated Comic of 2009

2008 had some good comics here and there but nothing that really broke out to me, stood out and in the end was quite as amazing as some of the stuff we got in 2007, with the exception of Image comics. 2009 is looking to have a lot more incredible books and stories, so to be fair, I’m picking one that I’m most excited for. But before I reveal the winner, lets mention honorably other anticipated comics and stories.

War of the Witchblade
Ultimate Spider-man vol. 2
Invincible War
Spawn: Endgame
Savage Dragon: Back in Blue
Messiah War
War of Kings
Dark Reign
Dark Avengers
Mighty Avengers
Detective Batwoman
Spider-woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D.
Marvel Zombies 4

So now you know what looks awesome to me and I am anticipating, what could possibly rise above the rest? What could look better then more Ultimate Spider-man or better then the best ongoing of 2008?


An incredible team, Todd McFarlane, Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley and Greg Capullo will be the big names behind the best looking book of 2009. The only draw back is that the series will have skip months, but outside of that I can’t think of anyway why Haunt wouldn’t be an awesome read.

For one, the pitch, a story about 2 brothers who hate each other forced to join as a super hero to solve one brother’s murder is incredibly great. Sure it’s not the most mind bending plot but it doesn’t have to be. Not every new comic needs to be the new Watchmen, or try to reinvent cool. Though it is always nice when some creators give it the old college try.

Haunt has a strong premise as it is, add the fact that Kirkman is a great writer and has written some really masterful stuff and it’s hard not to see where he goes here. While I must admit, Kirkman is not my favorite writer and I don’t feel he’s the best writer on the market right now I can’t deny that I love his stuff and that he can do some incredible work with his writing.

McFarlane didn’t just put his name on this and say “I helped make it!” as a marketing ploy. Greatly involved McFarlane developed things like the look of Haunt and other things like his weakness. Important things and coming from such a big name as McFarlane it’s very exciting to se where they go with Haunt and how far the imagination can bet stretched on the pages of Haunt.

Then there’s the art to Haunt, while Ottley isn’t my all time favorite artist I’m really glad to see such a talented artist get a gig on such a great looking comic. While I almost wish he’d either move onto this from Invincible, as it’s unfair to have to divide him between the two books even if he isn’t handling as big a work load this time. Still I can’t say that I look forward to seeing how his art differs between the two books.
I suppose the biggest difference in his art won’t so much be his style, in how he’s giving it a darker tone for Haunt, but that the lay outs are all done by Greg Capullo and Ottley is simply drawing in place of the panel and character placements/background. I love Capullo’s style so it’s a little disappointing to see him stuck to lay outs rather then just giving him the art duties as I’m sure he’d do an amazing job.

Either way though I’m sure the art will be spectacular as it looks pretty damn good from the preview pages.

Overall Haunt is easily my most anticipated comic of 2009, while there is no doubt room for disappointment-should it take 6 chapters to go anywhere or the characters turn out bland and uninteresting. Still I have huge hope for Haunt and I recommend it to anyone interested in checking it out.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Weekly Haunting, part 2: Pure Awesome in a Can.

Still being haunted it’s time for another edition of Weekly Haunting. Where we take a look at the 4 teasers for Haunt, coming June 2009. This time the art is by series artist Ryan Ottley.

All right, I’m still not sold on the ecto-goo. Though I’ll admit that Ottley makes it look a lot cooler and he’s really got a cool thing going with the claws and how the goo comes from his hand.

Now I don’t have the exact quote from Kirkman, but I remember something about Haunt having some murder mystery as to the brother who gets killed, haunts his living brother and they form the super hero. This could be an interesting angle and it’s a key point in the story, so good that they mentioned it in the teaser.

Haunt himself in this image just looks badass as all hell. I wasn’t sure what to think of the top half of the mask/lower half his face but now I really like it. Ottley obviously had a good time drawing this badass image of Haunt and was no doubt excited to make Haunt look as wicked and cool as he could. He succeeded, flying colors.

While the last teaser wasn’t really bad it lacked some of the emphasis to make Haunt stand out. In McFarlane’s image he looked like a Spider-man template with something new colored in. Here he looks much more unique and original and it looks great. Though I’m sure future covers from McFarlane will be great, his prior image/cover was just all right compared to this awesome teaser.

I also like the colors a lot here, Haunt looks great, the goo looks a little less…creepy and his eyes. Man, Ottley must have been envisioning fire when he drew those eyes. The glow just looks purely wicked awesome, I hope the colorist does this throughout the entire series in that Haunt’s eyes are always glowing as this looks great.

Overall a really cool teaser and it leaves me excited to see more next week.

So that’s it for this edition of the Weekly Haunting. Check back tomorrow for a surprise, Most Anticipated Comic of the 2009.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Year's End

2008 is long gone, so why am I just now getting to End of the Year awards? Simple, all my old writings/files are still on the flash drive and I’ve yet to get them back. So I said Screw It! I’m re-writing this. I remember most of my choices and all the awards, so yeah, lets get to it! First, a list of all the awards.

Best Comic of the Year
Best Writer of the Year
Best Artist of the Year
Best Hero of the Year
Best Villain of the Year
Best One-Shot Comic of the Year
Best Mini-series of the Year
Best Story-Arc of the Year
Best New Ongoing series of the Year
Best Graphic Novel of the Year
Best Collection of the Year
Best Cover of the Year
Best Cover artist of the Year
Best Comic Movie of the Year
Best Video Game of the Year
Best Indy Comic of the Year
Best Moment of the Year
Best Publisher of the Year
Biggest Disappointment of the Year

Now that you know what to expect, let’s get rewarding.

Best Comic of the Year: Witchblade
Runner Ups: Detective Comics, Wolverine, Invincible, Spawn.

What happens when a comic has a perfect, solid combination of writer and artist, where the writer doesn’t just get the characters and write them excellently, but the artist does as well and the art is gorgeous? That is Witchblade. Following the event First Born, 2 women bear the Witchblade and with #116 a new jumping on point came. I couldn’t resist and I’ve been loving it ever since. Witchblade has been a non-stop great comic every single issue, the characters are all amazing, the art is just brilliant in every way and I still recommend it above all other comics.

Best Writer of the Year: David Hine
Runner Ups: Ron Marz, Paul Dini, Mark Millar, Robert Kirkman.

As great as Witchblade was, I can’t deny that David Hine did an incredible job on Spawn. While he was taken off the series just as he was really reaching the height of greatness, I can’t deny that every single issue of Spawn this year was a treat to read and since I’ve been reading again since the Armageddon arc Hine has been doing a great job. With any luck, one day he’ll return to Spawn somehow.

Best Artist of the Year: Stjepan Sejic
Runner Ups: Dustin Nguyen, Clayton Crain, John Romita Jr.

Sejic doesn’t just win this award for the fact that he’s an incredibly talented artist and that his style is absolutely incredible. Oh no. He wins the award for the fact that he’s got awesome art, and he’s TIMELY! He can keep up a schedule, which is more then can be said for a lot of the best artist in the business, no insult to them. Sejic had 2 books this year, his new ongoing artist as Witchblade and turning in beautiful panted work for Broken Trinity, on both accounts he greatly succeeded.

Best Hero of the Year: Invincible
Runner Ups: Thor, Batman, Spawn, Savage Dragon.

This was a really tough decision, while Batman had some great stuff 2008, Invincible made a great comeback from what, for me, was limbo. I jumped back on as of #51 and I’ve yet to regret it. After a while of slowing things down and setting the pieces up for things to happen later on, more is going down, it’s more exciting then ever and Invincible hasn’t been this great in a longtime for me, 2008 marked a lot of great comebacks and moments, Invincible’s was the best for me.

Best Villain of the Year: The Joker
Runner Ups: Hush, Mammon, Norman Osborn, the Skrulls.

Another tough decision, 2008 had some great villains. But try as I might I can’t deny that the Joker was at the top of his game this year. A great graphic novel, an awesome portrayal by Heath Ledger and what was undeniably one of his best moments of all time through Batman R.I.P. it’s hard not to love Joker and last year was one of the best years he’s had in a very long time.

Best One Shot Comic of the Year: Ultimate Spider-man Annual #3
Runner Ups: Thor: Reign of Blood, Detective Comics #850, Witchblade #119

This right here is why I love Ultimate Spider-man, its amazing blend of top notch action in the case of Mysterio, and compelling and interesting character stories such as the story of will Peter and MJ have sex, taking their relationship to the next level. Bendis gives us a perfect blend of these two aspects in this years Annual and it turned out to be an incredible read. David Lafuente’s art certainly helped as he hits a strong emotional balance with the characters without being unable to support great action with his art. While everyone may not love Ultimate Spider-man, it’s hard to deny what works and Ultimate Spider-man works incredibly well here as this, at it’s core, is what this great series is al about.

Best Mini-Series of the Year: Marvel Zombies 3
Runner Ups: Thor: Ages of Thunder, Broken Trinity, Young Avengers Presents

Marvel Zombies is undeniably overplayed and overdone. However, while the 3rd volume probably won’t reinvigorate people who don’t like Marvel Zombies, as a stand alone story it was great with awesome moment after awesome moment and some seriously great artwork that stunned and impressed easily. If you’re not a fan of the zombies, you may still get a kick out of Marvel Zombies 3.

Best Story-Arc of the Year: Old Man Logan (wolverine)
Runner Ups: Heart of Hush (Detective Comics), The End (Spawn), Caged Angels (Thunderbolts)

Old Man Logan isn’t even over, I know, so saying it’s the best story of 2008 when it hasn’t even ended is a tough call. But we got half the story in 2008 and the other half in 2009, and try as I might, I can’t deny that it’s one hell of a great story. 2008 had some pretty good storylines no doubt and Old Man Logan has turned out to be the best of them all with it’s great twists and turns as well as character work and incredible art that makes each delay well worth it.

Best New Ongoing Series of the Year: Captain Britain and the MI13
Runner Ups: X-Force

Captain Britain is a character I’ve always liked, but never read a lot on. He’s had some good moments here and there but really he’s never gotten the recognition as much as other heroes of his stature have such as Captain America. Breaking out through Secret Invasion came Britain’s new chance at stardom and it worked. Paul Cornell has been doing an awesome job with the Cap, and it looks to keep getting better.

Best Graphic Novel of the Year: Joker
Runner Ups: None

2008 didn’t have a lot of new graphic novels that really stuck out to me, this was the only one I read also. Joker has a lot going for it, some great re-imagined characters, Joker himself acts perfectly in character and Jonny Frost was a great look into the world of Gotham on the side of the criminal’s. Gotham City has always been a rat-hole for the scum of the earth, but we’ve never seen it quite this well through the rats and monsters of the city.

Best Collection of the Year: Watchmen HC
Runner Ups: Civil War HC, Thunderbolts Caged Angels, Spawn: Neo Noir

Watchmen is an incredible book. I don’t need to tell anyone that, as you’ve either read it, or at the very least are aware it’s awesome. DC decided to release a HC that doesn’t’ bleed your wallet quite as bad in 2008. While some prefer the Absolute Edition, and that’s just fine, I understand that. I myself prefer a HC and that’s all I need, I was very glad to see the Watchmen HC under my tree Christmas morning and I recommend it to anyone who likes a quality collection book and an awesome story.

Best Cover of the Year: Magneto Testament #2 by Marko Djurdjevic
Runner Ups: Detective #850 by Dustin Nguyen, Annihilation #5 by Aleksi Bricolet, Spawn #185 by Todd McFarlane

The Holocaust is a serious, dark and disturbing event in the history of the world. Millions died all because of the sick dream of one man. There is no denying the horrors that happened so long ago, but whenever a comic tries to adapt it there has to be a level of seriousness that comes with it. Magneto Testament held that strength both in the comic, and on the covers as with every cover it seemed Djurdjevic poured his anger and pain into it to show how bleak and dark these times where.
Cover Artist of the Year: Marko Djurdjevic
Runner Ups: Aleksi Bricolet, Dustin Nguyen, Gabriel Del’Otto

Marko Djurdjevic has something about his style that just sticks out and is great stuff. He can turn in a dark and somber cover, such as his work for Magneto Testament or he can turn in an energetic and powerful cover such as some of his Thor work and covers for Daredevil. Either way he’s a great artist who’s finally getting some work in comics actually on the pages, but his covers continue to excel.

Best Comic Movie of the Year: The Dark Knight
Runner Ups: Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Spirit

2008 had some seriously great movies on it’s hands. Iron Man was a great watch and is working on tying into a larger universe for Marvel Movies alongside Hulk’s comeback. The Spirit was a bit weird, but fun for me personally, but the Dark Knight took the cake, ate it, then threw the leftovers at the competition! Despite a somewhat slow opening when things get rolling in the Dark Knight they don’t stop until the credits roll. It’s something I’m sure a lot of Batman fans loved and a lot of movie-goers who have never picked up a comic enjoyed as well. I was lucky enough to see the Midnight Premier in my town and it’s something I’ll never forget.

Best Video Game of the Year: Megaman 9
Runner Ups: Dead Space, Final Fantasy 4 (DS).

Great games come in all shapes and packages, some in big Legendary metal cases, and others, in the case of Megaman 9, in data you download over the internet onto your console. Megaman 9 had huge expectations for longtime fans of the series and even bigger expectations to people who had never played Megaman before. Despite some people not liking it, to me, it delivered more then anyone could have hoped for and was an incredible game experience.

Best Indy Comic: the Walking Dead
Runner Ups: Spawn, Invincible, Witchblade

DAMN YOU KIRKMAN! While 2008 had it’s share of disappointing events, Kirkman kicked everyone’s ass in 2008 with the Walking Dead. A huge amount of the original cast was killed off, as well as some characters that I really liked and was pissed off to see go. Still, I respect that it takes some serious guts to kill off some of these great characters and that a lot of it wasn’t pure shock value and that the deaths really where heart-wrenching and meaningful.

Best Moment of the Year: Norman Osborn gets Mad
Runner Ups: Al Simmons: Worst father of all time, Catwoman's heard is gone vs. Odin.

Warren Ellis truly is a mad genius. I wouldn’t be too surprised if someone where to one day discover a laboratory under his home where he’s dissecting comics and action figures and trying to figure something twisted out. But that aside, the man is clearly brilliant along with crazy, as seen in Thunderbolts where the Green Goblin returns and is crazier then ever. It was brilliance, every panel and every moment of dialogue was pure brilliance.

Best Publisher of the Year: Marvel Comics
Runner Ups: Image Comics, DC sucked again this year.

While to me Image had a lot more going for it, I can’t deny that Marvel was putting out more quality books then DC could ever hope to put out, bigger moments and characters then DC was marketing, and for that, Marvel continues to dominate the sales chart. Better luck in 2009, DC.

Biggest Disappointment of the Year: Spider-man Brand New Ways to Suck

Runner Up: Batman Dies…sort of, Secret Invasion, Skaar: Son of Hulk.

All things considered, 2008 had to be one of the worst years Spider-man has ever had since he was messing with clones. Just at the end of 2007 everything got changed, we all know OMD ****ed up the Spider-verse but where they went from there is crucial. Marvel could have salvaged Spider-man and not wasted time drudging on about OMD and poking fun at their fans as if they didn’t matter, but they chose the other route. Every now and then we’d get a jab such as the image of MJ reading Faust or a brick to the face in the case of Peter mentioning OMD during New Ways to Die. Now some writers didn’t harp on the frustrating decision of Joe Quesada, for that Zeb Wells and Joe Kelly deserve some credit, but Dan Slott unfortunately was the biggest time waster as every story he wrote had to do some stupid little jab. It’s a shame, some good stories got lost in the muck that is BND and OMD aftermath. Maybe 2009 will look better for the old web-head.

So ends Year’s End. I hope you all enjoyed it and if anyone may be annoyed at my picks, I’ll let you in on that I don’t read every comic or every event. I’m aware of some of the cool books like Captain Britain but not so much on other series like Action Comics or Justice Society of America. So these are my own personal picks for what I liked out of 2008, nothing official on the record as far as the majority’s opinion, just my own. So let’s say our last goodbyes to 2008 and get ready for 2009, things are already looking up.