Monday, April 27, 2009

The Week Begins April 27th 2009

With one more week to go it seems Marvel and Image got out some last minute but no doubt great books to end April with. We've also added the date to the title of The Week Begins now.

Dark Avengers #4 *Most Anticipated*

Written: Brian Bendis

Art: Mike Deodato

Easily the most anticipated for the finale of Bendis’ strong opening story arc with his newest Avengers team. I am hopeful that Morgan Le Fay survives but knowing Doom she’s either going to be killed or get one hell of a smackdown via magic. Should be an exciting conclusion and I’m excited to see it.

Spawn #191

Written: Todd McFarlane

Art: Whilce Portacio

Fingers crossed here folks, Todd McFarlane finally takes over the full writing duties of Spawn with this issue and I’m certainly biting at my nails in worry. Holguin was a master of dialogue and could handle a scene very well but McFarlane hasn’t really been writing for a long time. Now luckily this issue is more action based it seems as Spawn is going up against an Angel so maybe McFarlane can use this to get more comfortable with writing again. While I am already missing Holguin, I have hopes that McFarlane can deliver a solid read.

Witchblade #126

Written: Ron Marz

Art: Stjepan Sejic

War of the Witchblades had a good start last month, here’s to hoping it can really get going now with some action this time. Seeing as if you put War in the title of something, people like to see action. But either way I’m really looking forward to this as it should be another great read.

Dark Reign: the Cabal one-shot

Written: Various

Art: Various

Here is a very interesting looking one-shot comic. Basically stories of what the Cabal wants to do with all the power they have…interesting, I admit, but it sounds rather pointless. The art talent behind it looks absolutely incredible and some of the writers look to be doing great as well. I may or may not pick it up if it’s on the shelves.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Week's End

A very detective filled Week’s End, but still we’re here and it’s not just Batman this week’s End.
*edit: I found some scans of some other pages and added them into the moments of this week.

Comic of the Week: Detective Comics #853

Sometimes it’s hard to put into words why you love something. It’s often that it’s so great and perfect to you that you know no matter how much you describe it, no one will quite see it the same way you do. Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader has won my heart and even though I reviewed it, I know I just can’t put it down as to how perfect this was for me. Because as much as I loved it, from page to page, you may not see it the same way. But it’s an incredible read all the same.

Moment of the Week: Goodnight Batcave
and other moments from Detective #853

Just one of the great moments from this issue as it was really a great way to cap off Batman by having him say goodbye to all the characters (well at least many of them) in the form of his old goodnight book with his mother. Really this issue was chock full of incredible moments but this was just one of the many.

I'm not sure what it is but something about Batman not believing in an afterlife just makes perfect sense for me. I myself am unsure about it but it's nice to see a big super hero like Batman reflect on something like that as well. Also the line from his mother was a nice touch to follow it.

This was a major surprise for me as she was about the last person I expected to see here. A nice twist on Gaiman's part

This was another brilliant moment that I didn't see coming. Gaiman obviously is a fan of symbolism with the Batsignal turning into hands picking up the newborn Bruce Wayne and it was just a really cool way to cap off this amazing storyline.

Cover of the Week: Detective #853 by Andy Kubert

Homage covers are either something that can be really cool, or really boring. Kubert added his own modern twist to the famous cover that debuted the Batman, and it’s a fitting cover seeing as this was our goodbye to the Dark Knight.

Artist of the Week: Andy Kubert

Andy Kubert wins this easily by doing what, as Neil Gaiman himself put it, was impossible. Somehow he did an incredible job of mimicking classic styles from Bob Kane to Jim Lee and everyone in between and it was absolutely incredible. But all the while he never lost his own art style and kept a consistent and great look to it all.

Comic I wish I got: Arkham Asylum one-shot

David Hine is an awesome writer who is finally getting more and more of the recognition he deserves. While I’m not a big follower of his, I confess that he’s a great writer and I loved a lot of his stuff on Spawn. When I got the LCS, this was sold out from the shelves much to my disappointment. I’m sure Hine wrote a freaky and twisted tale as usual.

Character of the Week: Batman

It’s a bit sad that Batman’s first time here as Character of the Week will be his last time as well. I’ve mentioned several times now that Gaiman won me over as a fan of his with his awesome portrayals of Batman, but there where just so many great things about him again in this issue. One thing I noted was his “I don’t believe in an After life” and the speech of how he never gives in. It’s all brilliant as Gaiman simply “gets” Batman. Though Batman may be resting for now his presence will always be felt in comics.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Solicit Commentary for July 2009

It’s a magical day children as the Solicit Santa has dropped off the comicbook solicitations for all the children of New Age Comics.

Image Solicits for July 2009

DC solicits for July 2009

Marvel Solicits for July 2009

Invincible #64

Nooooooooooooo! Seriously, no no no no no! A casualty? Please be Oliver, or his mom, or his mom’s boyfriend, or someone, anyone, but Eve. Come on Kirkman…throw me bone here! Ugh…but…anyway…really looking forward to this story *grits teeth*

Spawn #194

You know, for as big a fan I am of the Violator and Spawn and their fighting I see a problem with that cover…Spawn’s face. It’s gone. This just looks like Al Spawn, not Jim Spawn, so color me confused. But oh well, still excited to see this brawl.

Savage Dragon #150

The epic milestone issue, and a return that looks to be pretty wicked. I’m not familiar with this villain but for all the hype of his return I can presume he’s something big and special.

Witchblade #128

Part…3? Huh-whuzzit now? This is part 4 of War of the Witchblades and I am indeed excited to check it out. I’m worried that Sara will lose the blade as will Dani from the sounds of it but…I’m hopeful as well.

uh…I’m looking at these solicits and not seeing Haunt…uh-huh…any explanation? No…didn’t think so. Maybe with Ottley taking a 2 month break and Cory Walker returning to Invincible he can finally get Haunt rolling.

Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader HC

Pre-ordered already as I mentioned in the review of Detective Comics the other day. This of course got pushed back 1 month since the delay, which is unfortunate but oh well. I really am looking forward to seeing what other stories with Batman that Gaiman has wrote.

Blackest Night #1

I’m waiting for Blackest Night #0 in May to see if I’ll be reading this or not. I actually really want to check it out as it does look good. But still, I need to see if it’s even something I could enjoy from the 0 issue really. Though it does look great.

Batman: Cacophony HC

I’ve heard a mix about this series, I got the first issue and loved it but decided it wasn’t important enough to not trade wait for it so I’ve just been waiting for this. But after the 2nd issue I saw nothing but negative reviews, so I’m not sure.

Batman and Robin #2

The solicit sounds interesting, some woman looking for revenge for her father’s death. What sounds really good is that it seems the duo won’t work as well as Batman had hoped .That should be a great read alone, I am really looking forward to this series.

Batman #688

Mark Bagley and Batman? Like Bread and Butter. But then we have Jude Winnick which is putting oil on it, inedible. I will still be avoiding this book but man it’s cool to see DC finally putting Bagley to some real good use.

Batman: Streets of Gotham #2

This sounds really cool with Batman and Gordon teaming up. Firefly is an interesting villain to use for this story but I really look forward to it. This is easily my most anticipated of all the new Bat-books.

Detective Comics #855

Another great looking book, I have high hopes that Greg Rucka can make me a fan of Batwoman and really get the character rolling. Her struggle with this new villain sounds really cool and this should be a good book.

Gotham City Sirens #2

I was going to wait for the trade on this, but with Hush returning and being written by Dini again this is a must have. Of course the art is a nice touch as well. For anyone who didn’t read Heart of Hush and hasn’t seen the follow up story, check those out, great reads, then get Gotham City Sirens.

Marvel Divas #1

A new ongoing based around the women of the Marvel U? Hmmm…interesting, the pitch Joe Q gave this series was absolutely embarrassing for any company but Roberto Acquire-Sacasa is writing and he’s awesome. I probably will skip this but still, the series is in good hands.

Marvel Zombies 4 #4

Odd when your plans not to read a series get called off by you reading it, eh? This sounds very interesting. Nice to see a solicit actually tell us more than just “people fight” as it seems Dormammu has moved on to Jennifer Kale and Hood is fighting to get his demon buddy back. What does this exactly have to do with zombies? Oh who cares it’s Van Lente for god’s sakes. Expecting anything simple is just ludicrous.

TimeStorm: 2009/2099 #3

Ugh…Hulk 2099…just shoot me now. Now for those who never read, 2099 had a good mix of cool characters (Spider-man, Ghost Rider) and…just plain awful ones such as Hulk 2099. But for whatever reason I’ll keep reading this series.

Dark Wolverine #76

So he’s taking on the Fantastic Four? Wow…just….just wow. I feel bad for Wolverine, losing his main title to his cosplaying son.

Dark X-men: The Beginning #1 and 2

This is certainly an interesting development. Since it ties in to Utopia, I may or may not get it. I’m not too interested so much in how the Dark X-men form, but what they do. Also it’s really cool to see Namor as an X-men, I think this is a first for him, even though he is a mutant.

Dark Avengers #7

Here’s a shocker, the Dark Avengers don’t get along with someone! This should be interesting, I would think they would get along rather then fight but this is puzzling. My only worry is that Fraction is writing this instead of Bendis, which I already knew was going to happen but still I’m worried if he’ll work as well with Deodato and keep the twisted fun this series has had so far.

Uncanny X-men #513

As interesting and cool as this team looks I have one big problem: Emma betraying the X-men. Over the years she’s become one of my favorite X-characters and it really sucks to see she will be betraying them. Poor Cyclops is going to go nuts, no doubt…then again perhaps he deserves that. Anyway, still looking forward to this…even if I’m a little sad now.

Amazing Spider-man #600

An important wedding? What the hell ever happened to “see what REALLY happened on Spider-man’s Wedding day”? Did we just drop that and save it for ASM #700? Well apparently there’s a wedding going on…any guesses. Just for giggles, here’s mine: MJ/any man on earth, possibly Harry. Harry/Lilly (somehow) Aunt May/Some guy and maybe, just maybe, Peter/MJ? Nah…Marvel doesn’t love me enough. But it never hurts to be hopeful. Just might pick this up…maybe.

Incredible Hulk #600

IF I WRITE IN CAP’S LOCK MAYBE THAT WILL MAKE PEOPLE BUY MY COMICS! Okay, seriously that solicit made my eyes hurt, but hey this should be interesting. Looking forward to finding out who Rulk is.

Halo: Helljumpers #1

A new poll will be up soon asking how long do you think it will take to finish this mini-series. I’m betting on 2 years. All jokes aside I’m hopeful Marvel doesn’t run into any problems this time like with Uprising, even though I’m waiting for the trade on this.

Ultimate Spider-man: Requiem #2

Please be okay please be okay please be okay. That’s all I have to say about this. Move along now.

Secret Warriors #6

Here’s to hoping that Hickman can pull off the ending of the first story arc without a hitch. I’m curious to see how the first story ends but a little worried at the same time.

Dark Reign: the Sinister Spider-man #2

Chris Bachalo is on art, which means I’m onboard. I already added this to my pull list but this is a curious change of events. The story doesn’t sound overly interesting and I’m wondering where was the mention of Carnage that interviews hinted at. Oh well, still looks to be a good read. Also that cover has me in stitches, is Venom supposed to be intimidating? If so it’s not working. I also just read an interview Brian Reed did about this and he really sells it well to me.

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #3

That cover is so awesome, and this series looks so incredible. I’m not too concerned even how this all ties in to Dark Reign really as I just want more Young Avengers goodness and this looks to certainly be that. Hopefully a good mix of action and character moments in this series.

Might Avengers #27

The Prodigal son returns at last! About damn time. Koi Pham is back and I look forward to his return. But wow, this storyline sounds so incredibly epic, tying in to Dark Reign and War of Kings? Wow. I must admit this is quite exciting and I’m really looking forward to this.

Mephisto HC

Anyone else find this a little strange that this is being released the same month as Spider-man #600? Anyone? It’s really just me? Okay then. I find it odd that Marvel would give Mephisto his own collection of his greatest battles and not add in somewhere Ghost Rider or Daredevil, both 2 people who have taken him on and both incredible fights. I guess they just wanted this mini-series of him fighting all these other heroes, too bad.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Comic Reviews for April 22nd 2009

I almost wasn’t able to get comics today, which worried me, but luckily I got to the shop and the reviews are here.

Detective Comics #853

Written: Neil “who I am now a fan of” Gaiman

Art: Andy “totally worth the wait” Kubert

Opening Comments: Over the years Batman has become one of my favorite heroes, just like with many other readers. But how can you possibly hope to close the era of the greatest hero of all time? Expecting any writer to do so is crazy but somehow, I’m not even sure how, Neil Gaiman did it and the result is an absolutely incredible story.

Story Comments: I will not be spoiling this, no, not one bit. I will discuss the opening pages, but I won’t spoil who the mysterious woman from the end of last issue turned out to be. All I will spoil is one aspect of the final few pages as it needs commentary.

We see heroes and villains telling the tale of Batman, of how powerful he was, at his own funeral. It’s some powerful stuff and Gaiman is not only writing this as a fan of Batman but as a book for anyone who enjoys Batman to enjoy this.

At first I was confused as to where this was all going, but when we see the real Batman and how he has deduced all of what happens it fits brilliantly well and I loved the twist Gaiman used here.

We see this was all done to remind Batman what he is, why he does it and just how incredible he really is. We are treated with glorious imagery that follows and great recollections and possible deaths for Batman and it’s really great stuff.

Overall the plot here was great, though I must admit a little confusing for those who don’t catch on quick like myself I was scratching my head until the reveal of what this all really was.

We get a moment where Batman says “goodbye” to the world as if it where in a storybook his mother was reading him and it was a touching moment really. To see Batman look back one last time (must, resist, spoiling…)

Then we have the final pages, where the Batsymbol turns into hands that lift up the newly born Bruce Wayne. Oh…damn…it was simply a brilliant way to end this story. I really can’t praise this storyline enough but in trying not to spoil it really I have to be careful. So let us put it this way, readers of the New Age, every panel and every page is pure greatness and I loved it.

Art Comments: Kubert is often ah it or miss artist with me. While I like his work, at the same time it’s not always worth large delays. But then we have this, his most incredible work yet. Gaiman pushes the limits of what one artist can do in having Kubert do Batman artist impressions from Bob Kane to Jim Lee and it all looks great.

He adds an incredible flare and power to every panel and page that is perfect to accompany the incredible writing. His images are incredible his layouts are insanely good and just everything about the art is perfect here.

Final Comments: How good is “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” well before I wrote this review, I got online and pre-ordered the HC due out this July. This is not merely Gaiman’s love letter to Batman, this is Gaiman and Kubert showing that the fans know what they love and this is a Batman fan’s perfect story.

Writing: 5 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Must Have

Invincible #61

Written: Robert Kirkman

Art: Ryan Ottley

Opening Comments: After Kirkman wowed me last month I was curious as to where he would go here with the world in ruin thanks to the evil Invincibles. As a fan of the series I had high hopes, and Kirkman very well delivered.

Story Comments: Picking up in the aftermath of the Invincible War, Eve is in the hospital but Invincible soon goes out to help with cleaning up the world. Powerplex shows up and is taken care of quickly thanks to Badrock (the only good character from Youngblood gets a nice spotlight here) and he shouts how this is all Invincible’s fault. This was actually a cool moment and made Powerplex actually feel like a worthwhile villain, shocker I know (puns!).

Invincible heads back to the hospital to see Eve and runs into her parents. It was a great moment, though I’d expected a little more friction between them. Still a good moment and I hope they interact more in future issues. Also before this we saw a good moment of Invincible dealing with his guilt, which was very nice.

We then get my favorite moment in the entire issue. It’s just one page and it shows Immortal is alive and so is Dupli-Kate (I could have sworn that was a 1 on the Kate that got killed) and Immortal says he’s retiring to start a family with Kate. That was just a really great moment for me as I completely forgot who they where back in #58 but now I remember who they are and why their great.

Another great moment following this is Cecil getting some heroes together, Invincible with them, wanting to make a new team right away to keep things in check. He offers leadership to Invincible but he turns it down, much to my surprise. I would figure that since he feels so bad that maybe he’d still be up for trying to lead the team. But he has good reasons for not so I can’t blame him.

Then we find out who Conquest is. He’s a Viltrumite sent to assimilate earth. He’s big, strong, and has a badass glove and a scar. Excuse me as I fall in love with my new favorite villain. Seriously this should be an epic and great fight, Invincible doesn’t back down and it’s all looking to be epic and insane for next issue leaving me pawing for more, but satisfied with what I got as this was a great issue once more.

Art Comments: I usually write of Ryan Ottley as “good as always” but I must admit that once again he impresses me but also he does a really great job on the emotional level here with Invincible’s guilt and the awkward moment between him and Eve’s parents. And Conquest…he looks so great, a perfect beefy big handed nemesis for Invincible.

Final Comments: My love for this series is renewed once more as Kirkman has shot Invincible to the top of the best comics out there list (or at least near the top) as this was another incredible read and it has me excited for more. If you’ve never read Invincible this is a nice place to jump on, just know that the world went to hell. And if you left prior, again, just know that the world went to Hell and it’s turning into a must have storyline.

Writing: 5 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Must Have

Mighty Avengers #24

Written: Dan Slot

Art: Rafa Sandoval

Opening Comments: While Slott didn’t really wing me over with his debut arc of Mighty Avengers I am still hopeful for the new team and their adventures as Slott is Grade A talent. While this issue didn’t really wow me, it was at least a fun, but off, read.

Story Comments: We open with the Cabal meeting in the world of their minds meeting thanks to Emma. We see them squabble a bit and they also bring up the Mighty Avengers, much to Loki’s content. We see Loki is doing this to ‘crack Osborn’s armor’ by having her Avengers show up his in everywhere but America.

Wee see the Young Avengers for all of one page where Vision and Cassie try to tell them how they are on a new team but they get pulled to the Mighty Avengers headquarters and it doesn’t work out. This could have been a really great moment that I know Slott would have handled well, but oh well, perhaps another day. I do like how Cassie and Vision stick out compared to the others as it’s more realistic that they would.

We see Quicksilver then hunting down the MA in search for his sister. Slott writes the typical “I’m a jackass” Quicksilver which was at least nice. The MA then take on Swarm, which quicksilver interrupts and endangers the fight but it was still a nice quick fight. I can tell Slott is doing a good job of establishing them as the typical “fight the bad guys now!” team.

We see Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R. trying to find the Mighty Avengers to no avail, then Hank Pym is on the news talking to a reporter really quick and Osborn’s reaction at the end of it is priceless.

We then see the Mighty Avengers fighting some big baddie named Titan. It’s a fairly boring fight really that Quicksilver solves and for that gets a spot on the team. We also see Jarvis and Jocasta fleeing H.A.M.M.E.R. which was at least interesting.

After the team meets up, we see the Cabal again and it’s all going to Hell and their storming off and cursing each other out. I’m not sure why Loki wants to destroy the Cabal, maybe she’s just doing it for fun but man this is really weird.

Overall and all right issue but I’m not seeing the importance or really anything special about this series so far.

Art Comments: Sandoval is an artist who I actually enjoy. His stuff has been fairly impressive, but his style here is really weird and different compared to his prior work. Characters look like their made out of pain that’s come to life in how smooth they all look. The art never gets bad, but it’s just weird I guess.

Final Comments: Overall it was an improvement but I’m still not sure. I will stick with it as the upcoming arc with the new villain sounds cool and this will probably lead up to that. This issue was just all right but lacking still in real character greatness and importance.

Writing: 3 out of 5

Art: 3 out of 5

Overall: 3 out of 5

Check It

Monday, April 20, 2009

The week Begins

Good news, I’ve got some cash for comics! About 6 dollars but I’m hoping to scratch up 4 more if I can. So yes, there should be reviews later this week, but until then, let’s take a peak at the upcoming comics. Also I can’t seem to find anything that says if Witchblade #126 comes out this week or not so for now it’s not on the list, but if I find out it is tomorrow I’ll edit it in.

Detective Comics #853 *Most Anticipated*

Written: Neil Gaiman

Art: Andy Kubert

It finally arrives! Judging from the preview this should be another Must Have read as we’re seeing lots of inspirational “last moments” for Batman. Gaiman is clearly a fan and appreciates that bold hero that Batman is from the looks of it. I hope we get an actual answer though as to what is happening like some explanation of it. Not some cliff-hanger that’s like “check back in 2012 for This is what Happened to the Caped Crusader” or any crap like that. But anyway, really looking forward to this.

Invincible #61

Written: Robert Kirkman

Art: Ryan Ottley

Really looking forward to this and a little worried about Atom Eve, judging by the cover to #64 she’s as good as dead by then but Kirkman still manages to keep me on my toes every single time. In the wake of Invincible War the world has gone to hell and I really look forward to seeing the full amount of the chaos unleashed and hopefully Conquest is fully introduced by the end of this issue. Also it seems we’re still seeing more Image characters so I hope maybe a familiar face (Shadowhawk, don’t make me beg Kirkman) shows up.

Mighty Avengers #24

Written: Dan Slot

Art: Rafa Sandoval

The Young Avengers are back! For all of 2 pages…huh, well I really look forward to this still as now that Slott has all his ducks in a row with the opening storyline I’m really hopeful he can hook me now. It looks like Vision/Stature will have an important role in this issue (fingers crossed they will) and as a fan of them I look forward to that. Sandoval’s art looks…less then what it was on Incredible Herc. I’m a little worried about it to say the least, but still, keeping my hopes up for this.

Friday, April 17, 2009

New Age News: Returning Heroes

Been a while but there has been some New Age worth News to report.

Mark Djurdjevic Gets his own Book!

First is the Marko Djurdjevic art book being published by Marvel. Over 200 pages and a 50 dollar HC. Now I’m a big fan of Djurdjevic’s so I really look forward to this, but 50 bucks is a hefty price…I’m not sure. I’ll see if I can order it somewhere online and if I can then I’ll probably get it as it looks to be great.

Marvel Women War

Coming July is the return of Carol Danvers, the original Ms. Marvel who looks like she wants the title back from Moonstone her replacement on the Dark Avengers. I’ve never read Ms. Marvel but this looks pretty interesting.

Batman Zombies

Batman may return sooner than we thought as it seems! I’m sure the Internet is about to be set ablaze with the cover you can see here hinting at the rebirth of Bruce Wayne’s corpse as a Black Lantern. It clearly wouldn’t be Bruce himself but this would be a really cool twist for sure. I’ve decided to check out the Blackest Night mini-series and that’s it for now, but wow this sounds awesome. Also Doug Mahnke is on art and that’s a serious plus as he’s great.

Rulk #600

Marvel is renumbering yet another comic, Thor, Daredevil and Captain America are all being renumbered but we can now add the Hulk series to that list as it will be getting an issue #600, presumably later this year, it was a quick mention from Joe Quesada about Rulk’s Identity. I myself am just curious about Rulk really and I dropped this series even though I was enjoying it. This is no doubt another market gimmick like they have been doing, but still, this should be interesting.

Mark Bagley on Batman

It’s true, Bagley we’ll be the guest artist for Batman for a 4 issue period. Now Bagley has been doing Trinity for nearly a year, a title I am far from fond of, but it’s great to finally see him doing something real noteworthy. I won’t be touching this but still, really cool to see Bagley on Batman.