Friday, July 31, 2009

Solicit Commentary for October 2009

October is just around the corner (a very special someone’s birthday, I won’t say who’s….mine) and with it come frights. What’s scarier than Super Zombies? Well we’re going to find out as we take a look at Image, DC and Marvel.

Image Solicits for October 2009

DC Solicits for October 2009

Marvel Solicits for October 2009

Haunt #1

Excuse me as I do my happy dance of joy. Seriously I am so excited for this, I can’t even try to put it down in words. Well I can try but still…it’s hard! Now to be honest my excitement for the debut issue isn’t too high as there is always a chance that it will suffer from First Issue Syndrome and just give me the basics for issue #2 to really impress me.

Still I feel Kirkman is a strong enough writer that he can handle this and give us a good enough first issue that leaves us craving for more but satisfied with it’s debut. That along with what I’m sure will be incredible artwork from Ottley has me very excited.

Atom Eve and Rex Plode #3

Huh, not much to say on this. It’s an interesting idea, what with Rex dead and Eve stronger than ever but I don’t think I’ll be picking this up. Maybe in collection form but that’s it.

Invincible #67

A very good looking story and with what I’m hoping to be great artwork from Walker this should be a worthwhile 2 part story. I can’t seem to say much, except for that it looks great and will probably be great. The actual story itself isn’t really all that clear, except for that Allen and Omni-Man are in space.

This along with the Invincible Returns one-shot have me excited to be reading Invincible. I don’t think it’s ever been a better time to be reading this excellent comic.

Jersey Gods #8

That cover is Alred’s best yet. A fairly simple image but the coloring and that awesome looking monster make it great. The story itself sounds good as always, but what I’m really looking forward to is Zoe meeting Barock’s mother. That’s going to be funny no doubt and I can’t wait to read it. If you’re not reading Jersey Gods then you’re missing out on one of the best new series of 2009.

Savage Dragon #153

Is it wrong if that cover looks like something out of a bad sci-fi B movie? Well Dragon and Malcolm are facing off, I wonder which will win. To be honest these recent developments don’t interest me in the least, I’ll just keep reading for the great character moments and art.

Spawn #197

With #200 just around the corner it’s hard not to get excited for the main Spawn series. This has me even more excited over the return of one of my favorite villains, the Redeemer. Not much I can honestly say, just can’t wait to check this out.

Sadly Witchblade is MIA this month, a shame seeing as this is right after the big War of the Witchblades arc.

Batman: Streets of Gotham #5

Okay, DC, I try to give you guys the benefit of the doubt here. But damn, does everyone have ADD there or something? One minute Dini’s writing the book, next Yost is writing it. This plus the Tony Daniel switch have me convinced to never ever, ever, ever trust you guys when you say “this is our team for a book” because I now know that will be complete bullshit.

To be fair it’s a 2 part arc and hopefully Dini will be back afterwards but if not then I’m happily dropping this book. How great, they gave Dini his own book only to take it away from him for the guy writing the mediocre and depressing Red Robin ongoing.

When I first saw this cover I was excited. Hell I think it’s about damn time Huntress got some time in the sunlight again and even better Man-bat is showing up. But damn this is so frustrating to me as someone who was really loving Streets of Gotham. I’m really tempted just to drop all the Bat-books since DC can’t just pull their heads out and stick to one writer.

Maybe I’m being unfair, Yost is a good writer but when they switch him with my one of my favorites it just puts me in a bad mood.

Batman and Robin #5

Surprise, Batman and Red Hood are going to fight! Well hey, I must admit I’m impressed that Grant Morrison is somehow still on the book and that Dan Didio didn’t switch it up for more shits and giggles.

I can’t honestly think of more to say on this story arc. Maybe my anger over Streets of Gotham switch has fried my brain cells or something. I just can’t seem to get excited anymore for Batman, the franchise DC is running into the ground…

Arkham Reborn #1

Just about the only good looking Bat-book since Streets of Gotham may be ruined and it probably won’t even have Batman in it. I didn’t mention this yet but this sounds like the perfect series for David Hine to write. A crazy horror based wonderland of insanity and violence.

David Hine, for those unaware, is one of the best new voices in comics that will hopefully have a wider fanbase as the years roll on as DC seems to be turning him into the next Jason Aaron it would seem. He’s incredible, especially when it comes to horror, so this book should rock.

Gotham City Sirens #5

I’ll be impressed if they keep Dini on for another month. All right anger aside I’m not regretting looking over this series, so far at least. The art looks incredible and I’m sure the story will pick up sooner than later. Now as for this story, it’s Dini writing Harley Quinn with the sexy as all hell art by Guillem March. Sign me up, can’t wait to check it out. (Rokk has been corrupting me to the Cheesecake side)

Batman #690 and #691

By now you should know that I’m not too happy with the rather random change of the guard for Batman. This along with Streets of Gotham 100% proves that DC has no direction. I was considering buying Batman, now I happily avoid the directionless series and am starting to lose hope in DC comics as a whole.

Superman/Batman #65

Another great looking issue to coincide with Halloween. This along with the awesome art really has me itching to check out this series. Still I’m approaching it more as an issue by issue series so I may pick up this issue, but not the series on a regular basis.

God of War #1

So I made it well aware that I am indeed going to be picking this up. With Wolfman at the head and a strong looking storyline I can’t wait to pick this up. This looks to be Wildstorm’s first good adaptation since their New Line Cinema stuff started up a couple years back.

Blackest Night #4

Wow, that cover just…wow. Seriously, why was that not the cover to issue #1? That cover is so amazing and it’s probably not even the final version. This should have been the cover to #1, the shot with all the corps, it’s amazing really. Incredibly awesome.

So Blackest Night will be reaching the halfway mark in the season of haunts (a tad ironic I suppose) and this issue has some big promises. A lot of people are speculating who the lord of the Black Lanterns are, my money is on Frank Miller.

My only worry is after this big issue that things start to slow down for Blackest Night. Let’s hope that isn’t the case.

Blackest Night: Batman #3

If I do or do not get this is up in the air. I’d like to, it’s only 3 issues so it’s not really a lot of money out of my pocket since it’s only 2.99 a month also which helps. It’s nice to see DC isn’t pushing this up an extra dollar just for some extra cash. It would be the typical marketing thing to do but I find this to be a more appealing decision to the readers.

The story itself sounds like a lot of crazy fun, and hey, Deadman is there too! Who doesn’t love Deadman? Except for…Black Lantern Deadman. Huh…well either way I’ll probably pick this up.

Ultimate Comics Spider-man #3

Oh hell to the yes! For those unaware, I absolutely loved Ultimate Spider-man Annaul #3 last year, it was the best one shot comic of the year for me and partially thanks to the awesomeness that was Ultimate Mysterio. I can’t wait to see ol’ goldfish bowl head return to kick some ass. As for the hero shacking up with Aunt May? I’m guessing on Captain America, he always seemed like a guy to go after the MILFS.

Ultimate Comics Avengers #3

I’m going to guess that woman on the cover is project JOCASTA mentioned in Ultimatum #3. Not exactly sure that I like mixing the classic Wasp outfit mixed like that. Also a new Black Widow? Ugh, my head is already spinning.

Incredible Hulk #603

This is a fight that has needed to happen since Skarr and Daken where both created. With Wolverine and Hulk being one of the greatest mash ups in comic history, is how is it they both have kids but have yet to clash? My hopes are that Skarr kicks Daken’s ass all the way back to…uh…wherever the hell Daken is from. Preferably back into Wolverine: Origins so I don’t have to read about him!

Deadpool #900

This is going to piss DC off so much that I wouldn’t be too surprised if Didio’s head implodes. But goddamn is it awesome. First off I love that cover, it’s wicked cool. Secondly wow this is so funny. Seems to be making fun of

DC and Marvel at the same time. What with making fun of the big 900th issue as well as Marvel’s renumbering.

To say I’m buying this would be an understatement. I’ll be buying several copies as well enough issues to line my entire room with the covers just for the hell of it. This is going to be awesome.

Wolverine: Weapon X #6

Oh, wow, Yanick Paquette is the one on the art…okay, he’s not a bad artist really. He can do good stuff when he puts forward a strong effort, but similar to Koi Pham often he does not so his art is muddy and mediocre at best. Now it’s no secret I dropped this title thanks to price problems but now I’m not feeling so bad about that.

Dark Avengers #10

Is Bendis actually going to make Norman go crazy? I doubt it. Even if he does he couldn’t hope to top the wild insane fun when Norman went on a killing spree last year in Thunderbolts. Still should be interesting to see.

I dropped the series but I think I may jump back on with #9 if I can. While Bendis was sort of losing me with #5 and #6 I still have high hopes for the Dark Avengers. Plus that c over by Deodato is amazing.

Dr. Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural

Stupid name aside, it was a smart idea of Marvel to give this to Rick Remender. The guy seems to be rising fast and I’m glad. This looks like a book he could really excel with. I won’t be buying this but I may collection wait it. I am glad that Marvel finally made a new sorcerer supreme and even better it’s the awesome Brother Voodoo.

Mighty Avengers #30

Surprise, surprise, Pham isn’t drawing another issue of Mighty Avengers. Look, I don’t mind so much that he’s not drawing it anymore but can we at least admit that he isn’t and stop calling him the series main artist when he can’t even finish a full story arc anymore? It’s kind of embarrassing for you guys.

Well as for the story I must admit it sounds awesome. Slott is bringing together a massive cast and that should show what a major threat the Unspoken is. My only worry is if he has a hard time juggling all these characters and uses them well enough without making it feel cramped. Still Mighty Avengers is on a roll and I can’t wait to read more.

New Avengers #58

Of all the heroes that are stupidly resurrected, all the villains that can’t stay dead and all the great characters that deserve to come back…why does the Hood keep coming back over and over again? He’s like a goddamn STD, you keep thinking it’s gone then BAM! You can’t piss straight for 2 months and you’re back on the antibiotics.

He just needs to die already. It’s as simple as that. Who keeps bringing him back? He finally loses his power with Dormammu ,then Loki has to ruin everything, when he loses that power I’m sure some other moron will give him power. Why? Because the comic gods hate me.

Honest to the comic gods I can’t tell why Bendis doesn’t just let Hood die. By now I can relate Hood to a bad joke, Bendis thinks if he keeps repeating the joke or tweaking it we’ll enjoy it. But what Bendis doesn’t seem to get is a bad joke is a bad joke no matter what, so you’re just pissing everyone off by not moving on.

Wow, October must be the month of comics pissing me off (well, Marvel and DC comics, Image keeps a smile on my face). I almost feel bad for ranting so much…then I see Hood on that cover and I remember that Anti-Life justifies my hate. Or in the case of the Hood we’re going to call it Anti-Smart.

Captain America: Reborn #4

The penultimate chapter and Steve is still stuck in time? How disappointing. Well after a good debut issue I’m in it for the long haul on the rebirth of the sentinel of liberty and hey, Dr. Doom is here. That makes me a very happy reader.

Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution

I’m buying Marvel Zombies return. That looks awesome. This? This sounds like ass on top of shit sandwiched by crap-cakes.

Dark Reign: The List titles.

All right so Dark Reign: the List is an interesting idea. I myself don’t like it as I feel it’s Marvel’s last shot at getting as much money out of Dark Reign. The only ones I want are the Punisher and Wolverine ones and that alone is for the artistic talent. Romita Jr. drawing Punisher and Esad Ribic on Wolverine are 2 dreams come true.

Though really this just feels like a mediocre attempt from Marvel to squeeze a bit more cash out of us and that’s a shame. Dark Reign is turning out to be one of their best after-math event type stories but still this just seems cheap to me personally.

While I will only be picking up 2 or so I will at least give Marvel credit for getting together some of their biggest talent for this.

Anti-Venom #2

They really just can’t let this mini be about Eddie and not drag any big name characters into it? I could understand if Spider-man guest starred, maybe even the Dark Avengers but the Punisher of all people? It’s just so bland and obvious. Well for now I’m only considering this series since collection waiting it seems so much easier.

Spider-man: the Clone Saga #2

All right, I was tempted to read this series but all temptation flew out the window when I read that they are bringing back the awful “is he a clone or the real one” crap. It wasn’t funny then and it isn’t funny now. It’s stupid, frustrating and has me banging my head into the desk just like when I was a kid.

I like Ben Reilly, I really do. He’s a great character who was awesome as the Scarlet Spider, one of my few favorite new characters from the 90’s. I will even give the writers credit that at least they are promising to reveal this fact to us by issue #2 but at the same time I just can’t help but think that this is such a waste of a good opportunity.

With remaking the Clone Saga you can completely skip this “who is a clone?” bullshit and just use the clones for an interesting storyline. Sadly not all bad things died with the 90’s it seems.

Wolverine: Old Man Logan HC

I have to at least thank Marvel for saying this will come out right after Old Man Logan ends. It’s a nice gesture but I have a feeling it won’t be happening. If Old Man Logan can even conclude by September I’ll be impressed, but I doubt the collection will be out only a month later.

For those who missed it, Old Man Logan has been a wild and fun ride even when it’s had it’s weaker moments it’s still been a great read and something that anyone who is a fan of out of continuity stories will love.

Marvel Zombies 4 HC

I give this book a high recommendation for the collection format. While the plot was weak and boring, the character work was amazing as was the art. I should have definitely waited for the collection like I originally planned to.

Timestorm 2009/2099 HC

Maybe it’s the old saying of not learning one’s lesson but I think I’ll pick this up just if I hear good things about the comic.

Spider-man: American Son HC

After a lot of positive reviews on this I’ve been convinced to pick this up. I the how Jimenez just couldn’t keep up with the schedule after having a few months ahead of time but still it looks like they got some great fill in artists so I’ll be fine.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Age Anniversary - 1 year old!

A year goes by fast nowadays. Feels like it was just a few months ago I started up New Age Comics with Andrenn and just figured out how to add images to the blog. Let alone actually get this blog running and get readers by now. Honestly I thought I was doing great if I got even one reader.

(Don't mind the random images through the post, these are some of my favorite moments/covers that over the year I've been posting have collected in my Pictures folder that I thought would be fun to add to the post.)

I do owe some thanks. First to Kirk Warren who I asked about where to start up a blog and gave me some great advice. He’s had his own successful blog The Weekly Crisis where he now has others Matt, Eric and Ryan all working on it and it’s an awesome blog I strongly recommend you check out.

Of course all the readers, such as the first one Keith Gammage who has his own awesome blog named after the popular cosmic event War of Kings. Also friends from the forums Brikhed and Greg Anderson who are 2 really cool guys. Really I guess I want to thank every reader/follower/commentator. Even the guys who posted negative comments, I appreciate the honesty.

Of course I have to thank Rokk Krin and all the other guys at Rokk’s Comic book Revolution for letting me join their ranks so I can help spread the comic book greatness across the internet. It’s been loads of fun.

It’s been a lot of fun and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Even when I’ve been slow with posting I’ve always been wanting to do new things. I’ve tried some things that have worked, and others that haven’t, but either way I’d like to think by now at New Age Comics I have a distinct style with this blog.

I must admit I was once nervous about doing comic reviews when I one day hope to write comics. But I feel it’s thanks to doing these reviews and being critical of books that I’ve learned easier what works and doesn’t work which has helped me greatly as a writer.

So to celebrate 1 whole year of reviewing, lets do a retrospective.

Insane to New Age

I created this blog late at night near the end of July. Tired and a bit out of it I couldn’t think of a good name, so I just whipped up “Andrenn’s Insanity Blog” a name I still regret even trying. It’s always been an inside joke with my friends that I’m crazy, so I thought the title would work but I was dead wrong.

Later that night when I went to bed, around 4 AM it hit me after I woke up for some water: New Age Comics! The very first ever comic store I went to! How could I not pay homage to it? Sadly the awesome little comic shop went under in 2002 but I loved that place so I thought it was perfect. I added my name in since my name is fairly distinct and original, adding a little more to the title.

Presentation for the New Age

I have to thank my friend Kenny for whipping up that awesome banner you see before you. I have poor MS Paint skills but with his computer programs (I never can remember the names) he got 3 awesome covers he knew I loved and fused them into that image. It looks great and I can’t thank him enough for it.

Stabbing at Weekly Posts

My first attempt at Weekly Post was Collection Spotlight. Where I spotlighted a collection book in my 2 shelves library and every Friday would review them. It started out on Thursdays but I quickly changed them to Friday’s so that my Wednesday comic reviews could have 2 days in the spotlight.

While Collection Spotlight went strong for a couple of months, it soon got downgraded to bi-weekly, then down to random/whenever I feel like it. The main reason was I that I was finding a lack of desire to keep writing them so often but also was that my shelf was already thinning out quite a bit. I have 2 shelves dedicated to graphic novels but already all of the big and best ones I wanted to review have been reviewed.

Another attempt was Cover Talk where I talked about comic covers and found notable stuff. My first edition was on how I was very displeased with the Cy-blade #1 cover. I kept it up for a little while but it never really took off or got much reaction so I dropped it. I may do them again sometime, but certainly not weekly or on a regular basis.

Finally I came to a conclusion on 2 posts that are just about certain to be weekly, Week’s End and The Week Begins.

Week’s End was inspired by Kirk Warren’s Moments of the Week where I also wanted to mention some good moments but I wanted to do more as well. I wanted to point out the best comic, moment and cover of the week. It worked well and it’s usually been a lot of fun to write Week’s End because it’s usually a simple sweet and fun thing to write.

The Week Begins was inspired simply by the idea of commenting on the upcoming books of the week. Since I can’t always buy every comic every week I can’t throw in my 2 cents if I don’t review them but I thought maybe my comments on previews/solicits would help. This originally came in the form of Most Anticipated Comic of the Week at the end of Week’s End but I wanted to comment on more than just one comic. So I devoted a whole post to it.

Week’s End is usually on Saturday/Sunday, whichever day is better for me and The Week Begins is usually on Monday but at times I’ve had to move it to Tuesday. The last couple of months I edited Week’s End where I added things such as Artist, Character, Collection, Ugh, Whoa and Comic I wish I got of the Week. That and just recently I added Runner Ups for the winners.

Months’ End is a post that is in the same vein as Week’s End only it covers the entire month of comics. Sometimes I had to recycle comments from Week’s End but really I hated doing that so I tried my best not to. Month’s End was also originally Comic of the Month where at the end of the Month I had a short post pointing out my favorite comic of that month. That is one thing that lead to Week’s End.

Other Ideas that aren’t so Weekly

Over the year we’ve had several posts that didn’t start out weekly. Such as Comic Report Card, something I don’t do as often as I’d like where I review comics that are anywhere from a few months to a few years old as long as I own the actual comics then I review them and grade them. It’s been something I enjoy but I haven’t gotten to do it in a while but I want to try and do it more often.

In August I debuted Solicit Commentary, something I don’t see a lot of other comic review blogs doing but have wanted to see for a while. The idea is fairly simple, I read the solicits, I post my thoughts on them as well as the solicit cover

I had random op/ed posts based on announcements or up coming events such as Image United or the prior announcement of Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader. I also would comment on the past such as the much hated One More Day event. Some of these op/ed posts where under the title of an Andrenn Update (stupid name, I know) but recently the title has been ditched in favor of New Age News.

New Age Ideas is a mix of op/ed and smaller things to say. Sometimes I’ve got an idea or something I want to say but I don’t think I could write enough to warrant a full blown post about it, so that’s what New Age Ideas are for. It was inspired by Eric Rupe’s Collection of Random Thoughts over at the Weekly Crisis.

While I love comics I also love video games. So I made Andrenn’s Game Shelf (another title I may ditch in favor for something new) where I review games/throw in my 2 cents on an upcoming game. I haven’t done this much in the last few months I know but I have been wanting to and I do plan to bring it back sooner than later as it is fun to do game stuff.

The Andrenn Channel was a fun idea of getting to do a minor review/praise of good TV shows I would add if I had my own channel. It haven’t done much with this post and I figure for now it’s gone but I may bring it back soon.

The Drawing Board was going to switch bi-weekly with Collection Spotlight but it never really took off, sadly. I do plan to do more but for now I just haven’t had much inspiration to do more.

While there have been more random ideas/posts, that’s the majority of them and the more important ones.

I love Horror

During October last year I had a horror filled good time posting horror themed posts everywhere from Collection Spotlight, Week’s End and even a top 25 favorite horror films. I had a lot of fun writing it, but it didn’t get much response so I’ll be toning it down this year, even with some horror themed stuff to celebrate the season.

Comic Changes

A lot of my pull list has changed over the year, recently I’ve dropped quite a few comics but I still plan to do as many reviews as I can. It’s always been tons of fun to review these comics. Even if over the year I started reading more and more Image Comics I still review Marvel and DC (only Batman from DC but hey, it still counts!)

Reader Interactivity

Recently I did Exploit-A-Spawn where readers could send in images of a Spawn panel and use it for a joke. I got some good response with that so I’m planning to do something very soon that is something a lot more epic that I hope readers will be able to have a lot of fun with. I also would like to do more and more tings like this in the future as it was a lot of fun seeing the response.

Final Word and the Future of the New Age

All right, it’s time to wrap up this shindig. It’s been a lot of fun looking back at this great year full of great comics. I’ve loved writing single post for you guys and I look forward to writing more and more for you all and I hope you enjoy them.

As for the future of New Age Comics? I can promise you all that I'll keep reading comics and reviewing them at every chance I get. I'll review comics, video games movies and cartoons. I'm glad that you all have enjoyed what I've done so far and I look forward to writing another year and maybe even a lot more. I'll keep going strong, into the New Age.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Comic Reviews for July 29th 2009

Oh what a busy busy week we’ve got here for you kids. We’ve got reviews today, a very special post tomorrow, and on Friday or Saturday we’ve got Solicit commentary coming and I may just try to get in my review for Green Lantern: First Flight somewhere in between. Yes we’ve got a very busy few days ahead. But for now let’s stop and sit down to read some comics.

Ultimatum: Spider-man Requiem #2

Written: Brian Bendis

Art: Stuart Immonen and Mark Bagley

Opening Comments: It’s strange, looking back all these years on Ultimate Spider-man, the series has evolved from a simple spin-off into one of the greatest comics I’ve ever read. It’s had everything, great characters ,great art and moments that have both excited the kid in us and pulled at our heart strings.

With the real final tale of Ultimate Spider-man’s prior volume here I can safely say that anyone who has ever been a fan of this comic or this character absolutely needs to buy this comic.

Story Comments: We see a recap of the destruction that Ultimatum had wrought. J. Jonah Jameson is in his office and typing away. Writing about Spider-man as he brings up an old story that is Spider-man’s first encounter with the Hulk. Most of it is Spider-man shouting clever puns while dodging military attacks and the Hulk.

A bus is caught in the middle and nearly falls off a bridge. Hulk saves it, feeling bad he is calm while Spider-man evacuates the bus. Spider-man talks to Bruce Banner after Hulk changes, but the army soon shows up and starts attacking. Banner changes back to Hulk, Hulk runs away and the army goes after him though Spider-man tells them not to and that he is a hero.

We see Jonah writing more of the Spider-man obituary as we see images of Spider-man around New York, fighting the Lizard and other villains and then him alongside the Ultimates. He tells New York to keep going on, as that is how Spider-man would have wanted it. The Ultimates are digging around the city and Cap finds Spider-man’s body. Iron Man flashes a light up to Spider-man’s face and he barely lifts an eyelid to show he is alive.

All things considered this book almost makes Ultimatum worth it. Sure the event itself was a pathetic excuse to kill off the big names and shake things up for the relaunch of the franchise but when books like this are the result it almost feels worth it.

Bendis did an absolutely amazing job, both on the main story of Jonah’s writing and the Hulk story. Both stories are great and the way Bendis uses the story of the Hulk in New York was great for showing how Spider-man interacts with other super heroes. It was great to see Spider-man find an understanding of Banner’s plight.

Though the main reason I bought the comic and why I loved it so much was of course the obituary as well as the final fate of Peter Parker, who I am very happy to say is alive and well. This seems to be a month of miraculous revivals.

While with the obituary Bendis relied heavily on the writing and we just got some nice art to go with them it still worked well. We got some great shots of Spider-man doing the hero thing and it fitted well with the narration by Jonah.

To say the least it was heart string tugging near the end. It was also great to see that Jonah has finally come to understand Spider-man, what he’s all about and what a great hero he was. If Jonah makes it into Ultimate Comics Spider-man I hope Bendis does something new with the character.

Sadly I can’t say a lot on this issue, the writing was top notch as usual with Bendis and Ultimate Spider-man and the comic itself was just all around greatness. If this really where the cap off to Ultimate Spider-man I would be very satisfied.

Art Comments: I shouldn’t even have to mention that Bagley’s artwork is incredible like always. Though really the star for me was Immonen, his final work for Ultimate Spider-man is just as gripping, powerful and emotional as I could have hoped to go alongside this powerful narration. The artwork here was incredible in every sense of the word.

Final Comments: There’s no reason I can’t see why you shouldn’t buy this comic. It’s amazing, it’s spectacular and sensational and everything else that has ever described Spider-man. Buy it as soon as you can, there are no excuses for this one.

Writing: 5 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Must Have

Spawn #194

Written: Todd McFarlane

Art: Whilce Portacio

Opening Comments: My fears where realized, while not a bad issue this issue was just plain boring. Endgame has devolved from an exciting new turn for the Spawn series into a dull “wait for the trade” comic.

Story Comments: So someone is talking to an old man (riveting opening) about…something, it was too boring to even tell you what it’s about. We see other people talking to each other then more talking. Nothing really exciting or interesting to say the least. Long story short they keep talking and talking and talking. Someone gets killed…and then they talk some more.

Jim shows up at a bar looking for Sanchez. The bartender has the security take Jim out in the alley, Jim makes a joke about how this is so cliché (at least someone gets it) the security tries to kill Jim. Jim goes all Spawn and interrogates the man to find out about Sanchez.

We cut to the jail where Sam and Twitch find that Clown has escaped with his new vampire buddy.

And then we get more talking. Yay, because I missed reading walls of test that is absolutely boring and uninteresting. At the newspaper we get even more talking, with a hint of something interesting at the very end…but then we cut away for more goddamn talking.

We see the agent that Jim interrogated before seeing his wife and kid. His wife and him are estranged, Jim shows up and the man and Jim go out to talk when the house explodes with them still inside.

All right, I have to give McFarlane credit for an exciting ending that has me curious as to what happens next time. But really this entire issue was a gigantic snore fest. This issue of Spawn was literally padding and wasting time for next issue when something exciting actually happens. After such a great issue last time I was honestly expecting at least some excitement.

What we get here is a classic case of “writing for the trade” where a writer decides to write each issue rather than as a solo important story that moves along a grand story as just one chapter after the next that only really matter near the very end.

While Endgame has had it’s exciting moments this issue just stops all the momentum that’s been building the last few months and says “You know what? I don’t feel like really accomplishing anything or moving us anywhere. Lets just sit around and wait for something to happen” as that’s basically what this issue was.

To be fair, the one really good scene was Jim going all Spawn on that security guy but since that lasted all of one page I can’t really say it redeemed the comic in any way. If anything it frustrated me more that the whole comic was like that.

When it comes to comics it’s nice to see writers who actually try to balance out the personal life behind the cap and the stories of the hero himself but McFarlane just tosses that notion aside. Nothing but behind the scenes crap that just puts me to sleep.

I also think that while these scenes weren’t awful, they could have been cut down so much that it’s near painful to see McFarlane making such a simple mistake as flooding the pages with half pointless dialogue and a few interesting or important moments peppered in.

All around the story to this month’s issue was a total failure in my eyes.

Art Comments: I’ve made this point with great artists before so I’ll say it again. Even a great artist can’t always save a bad story. Portacio is an incredible artist but with only pictures of people talking and one moment of actually drawing Spawn his artwork was useless to the story. This might as well have been a novel.

Final Comments: This issue was really pushing a Burn It for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve given that score and for good reason, I only give that score to a comic that’s just a complete waste of paper. Still I can’t deny this issue had a moment here and there and the art was still good.

Still if you where thinking about reading Endgame, just wait for the collection books and save yourself the money.

Writing: 2 out of 5

Art: 3 out of 5

Overall: 2 out of 5

Pass It

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #3

Written: Paul Cornell

Art: Mark Brooks

Opening Comments: After a disappointing issue last time I was losing interest in this series. It seemed to be lacking the focus that it needed to tell a strong and gripping story so I was getting bored. Much to my surprise Cornell roped me, pulled me back in and has me hooked for more.

Story Comments: We see the two Young Avengers teams fighting side by side. Stature and Big Zero first as they take out Hydra helicopters. Big Zero wants to kill the men but Stature takes them out peacefully.

Patriot and Melter are fighting and Melter refuses to use his powers. Patriot says that’s good and that means he is a real hero. Enchantress, Hulkling and Wiccan are fighting together, she turns people to toads but Wiccan turns them back as she talks in a normal way. She says she randomly got these powers and that she’s done pretending to be an Asgardian. Hulking and Wiccan love her.

Executioner and Hawkeye are fighting alongside. Not much to say, they have a boring chat really. Speed and Coat of Arms are fighting alongside each other, Speed says he’s got a thing for her, Coat explains her origin.

Vision and Egghead are fighting alongside each other, Egghead thinks Vision is hitting on him. They talk about how Egghead’s programming is messed up and Vision is curious as to his origin. Egghead gets offended and thinks he’s a real person as the fight is over and they retreat.

The original team discuss who should be in or out. When it comes to Executioner Hawkeye reveals that he knows who she is and that he is trying to blackmail his way onto the team. Rather than scold him she just says she’ll think about letting him in. When the new team talk about being their kind of Avengers they all mock Melter for the idea but Coat of Arms and Enchantress aren’t amused.

Coat of Arms is trying to paint but something seems to be stifling her creativity. Executioner meets with his mom, gets angry at her and she lets him know she’s giving him unlimited funds and tells her stupid brat of a son that she loves him. Norman Osborn is watching on camera and says it’s time to call some of these Young Avengers.

While it seems that the series finally has more direction with the old and new teams trying to work together the real story seems to be how Norman Osborn will handle these teams and what he plans to do about them .Exactly what that is I don’t know, but I’m excited to find out.

Cornell does a much better job this time around with the character work on our heroes. While he did a great job of giving them all distinct personalities in the first issue here he does a much better job of using those unique characters and does a great job with the established Young Avengers as well.

I didn’t like how Enchantress’ origin is still up in the air, as during the meeting she reveals she was lying to Hulkling and Wiccan. I’m getting rather confused and annoyed with this.

Melter was great once again, he didn’t get as much time but still what moments we did see him once again showed a case of a good guy in a bad situation. I feel really bad for him and I hope he comes out of this series okay.

I can’t tell if I loved or hated the Vision/Egghead moment. One moment Egghead seems to be…god, how can I even put this…attracted to Vision, the next he’s being overtly homophobic. It was confusing to say the least, but at the same time damned hilarious. I can’t deny I was laughing a bit on the inside at the idea of a robot being homophobic, that’s about the last thing you’d expect from a robot.

I also liked how he seemed offended at being called a robot. Egghead is a very interesting character who I hope is more prominent in the following two issues as it seems he has something really big about him to reveal.

The characters where all handled incredibly well, I especially liked Hawkeye’s reaction to Executioner’s blackmailing her. I also liked how the team rallied around her rather then getting upset and not caring about how upset she was over this. Cornell understands that by now the YA are more than a team, their a family.

Overall this was a great issue that finally has me excited to be reading this book. It may not be perfect, some kinks still to work out but I have a good feeling for the future 2 issues of this series.

Art Comments: Brooks was continuously good here. I can’t deny he had a weird moment with coloring but that’s about it really. I have no real complaints with the artwork.

Final Comments: While it may not be the most imperative Dark Reign book, the new Young Avengers mini is definitely turning into something that Young Avengers fans shouldn’t miss out on.

Writing: 4 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Must Read

Marvel Zombies 4 #4

Written: Fred Van Lente

Art: Kev Walker

Opening Comments: I’m going to drop the synopsis part for this review as I’m getting worn down. I can tell you that while this issue didn’t make me love this “meh” mini-series, it was still a satisfying conclusion to it.

Story Comments: My favorite moment I have to say was the final showdown where Man-thing rises from his grave and stops the last bit of zombie virus mutation from stopping the cloud from being incased into a host. It was the most epic thing I have seen in a while, and reminds me why I love Man-Thing.

The best part about this issue and really this whole mini-series wasn’t the plot at all. It was the characters, just about each character was great here and incredibly well done. Whereas the plot itself was rather mediocre.

Morbius had to be the best of them and his conclusion that he is not a real monster for having convictions and morals was awesome. I also loved how Hellstrom helped Jennifer get Dormammu out of her body.

The sexual humor with Dormammu tempting Hellstrom with Patsy was funny. I especially laughed at the “let’s slip into something comfortable, like me” that right there is a classic definition of being so bad it’s good. It’s just so random also for a horror/super hero comic to say something like that.

I also loved the ending with Simon Garth being locked up as the host for the zombie virus forever and that rather than killing the Zombie Deadpool head, he took off the mask, pretended he killed him and let Zombie Deadpool float away to find his happiness. It was almost touching to be honest.

Overall this was a well written issue for it’s characters but not much else. The plot was still boring and mediocre.

Art Comments: Not much I can say on Kev Walker, he does a great job of illustrating this madness.

Final Comments: If you’re craving some crazy over the top zombie action with good character moments and great art than this is the book for you. But I suggest you wait for the hardcover which comes out in October.

Writing: 3 out of 5

Art: 4 out of 5

Overall: 3 out of 5

Check It

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Week begins - July 27th 2009

The Week Begins, yeah you all know that, but here’s the real shocker. I have money to actually buy these comics! How amazing, I know. It’s like an “Anti-monitor in Sinestro Corps” level twist to this edition.

Spawn #194

Written: Todd McFarlane

Art: Whilce Portacio

After an incredible issue last time I’m not so sure about this issue. Also I hate the cover change, this isn’t a bad cover, but the original image was ten times cooler looking. Either way it’s a Greg Capullo cover at least so I’m excited. Though with news that the Redeemer is showing up later this year I want to read that instead of this.

This issue doesn’t sound too exciting, and with Spawn fighting Freak next time it looks like this issue will be pure transition into that fight as well as start wrapping up Endgame. While I’ve been enjoying Endgame I can’t help but worry that this chapter will be purely pushing things along. Let’s hope I’m wrong.

Ultimatum: Spider-man Requiem #2 *Most Anticipated*

Written: Brian Bendis

Art: Stuart Immonen and Mark Bagley

After such an incredible issue last time how could I not be highly anticipating this? My only worry is that we’re going to get the same thing as last time, a story that doesn’t’ really have anything to do with wrapping up Ultimate Spider-man and is just a 3.99 excuse to show off gorgeous artwork.

Still I remain hopeful that the Bagley parts are going to be much shorter this time as I really want an honest to god look back at the series to end things. While this unpublished story is great, that’s not what I’m buying this book for. If Bendis does the same thing he did last issue, I’ll be really disappointed.

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #3

Written: Paul Cornell

Art: Mark Brooks

It feels like it’s been a long time since the last issue in this interesting Dark Reign mini. Last issue sort of slipped the quality down as things are still a little too confusing and by now I should know the full goal of this series. Is it the two teams coming together? Being pushed apart? Who is the real main team of this story? What is the goal of it all? If this issue doesn’t answer it then I’ll be frustrated.

The reveal last time of Princess Python doesn’t do much for me either. She’s a mediocre boring character that is about as interesting as my shoe. She apparently knows Hawkeye but that isn’t too helpful. I do care to find out if Vision finally does something prominent here judging by that cover, and I’m also hopeful that the original team gets more page time here.

Still I hope for another at least good and enjoyable read even if it’s not as great as my original hopes for the series where.

Marvel Zombies 4 #4

Written: Fred Van Lente

Art: Kev Walker

After a “meh” read last month I’m pretty much bored with this series and ready for it to end. It’s not bad at all really, it’s a fun read but not much else. The art is great and the character work is strong but as someone who loves the Marvel Zombies series this sort of disappoints. It feels like way too far of a departure for me to truly enjoy it.

Ultimatum #5

Written: Jeph Loeb

Art: David Finch

Thank the comic gods, it’s over! It’s finally over! What more can I say about the abysmal Ultimatum event? It had a great start but devolved in a matter of panels by it’s second chapter. Ultimatum is the comic equivalent of a lobotomy at this point as it can only get worse.

Still with it’s final chapter it’s hard not to be happy that it’s going to be over. Magneto will be dead, I’m sure Wolverine and a few other characters will be murdered and they will pretend to shock us with something we all saw coming.But hey, there’s the old saying that things are so bad it can only get better from here. Thank the comic gods.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Week's End - July 25th 2009

Week’s End this week comes down mostly to 2 comics that I got this week. Now we’re adding something new to Week’s End

Like most editions, this Week’s End comics with SPOILERS for Invincible #64 mostly.

Comic of the Week: Invincible #64

This was a tough choice, while overall I did find Green Lantern to be a longer and more entertaining read than Invincible, thus my giving it one point over the other, Invincible wins as the better comic for having my jaw drop. In the end Green Lantern didn’t really do much, even though it was a great read for me. All that happened was Barry and Hal got smacked around.

Invincible of course had our moment of the week, the big shock moment that had every reader’s jaw drop so many times they could be mistaken for a puppet. Eve is alive, somehow, someway, she revived herself, Kentucky fried Conquest’s body and is alive. Add that amazing shock to the incredible artwork and awesome end of the fight and you’ve got one hell of a comic.

Runner Up: Green Lantern #44

Moment of the Week: Eve is alive!

I know it’s the obvious choice and I did just mention it but seriously, who saw this coming? Nobody. We all figured she will come back sometime in the future, but not by the next issue. That’s just intense. Robert Kirkman pulled off one of the biggest shocks I’ve ever had as a comic fan.

I doubt anything can top this for a long time, this is “Anti-Monitor in Sinestro Corps” level shock for me. Seriously, wow. It’s incredible. Where can Kirkman hope to go from here? Well my guess is that things can only get even better.

Runner Up: Martian Manhunter is as strong as Superman, why does everyone forget that?

Cover of the Week: Amazing Spider-man #600 Joe Quesada cover

Joe Quesada is an incredible artist. He’s done some good covers over the years but the sheer epic scale of this wins it the award this week. I always like his Spider-man, even if I like his Iron Man more. A perfect cover to go with a big milestone.

Runner Up: Supergirl #43

Ugh of the Week: Red Hulk still a mystery!

Can’t get much stupider than Incredible Hulk #600. Why, you ask? Well because we where promised to find out the identity of the mysterious Red Hulk…and lied dot. AGAIN. You can only lie to us so many times Marvel before you’re just flipping your fans off.

I could take that they didn’t reveal his identity in Hulk #6 but this is just insulting. Did Loeb forget to reveal the identity or something? No, my bet is that Marvel just wants more money and they think fans will keep reading if they don’t reveal the identity. What a pathetic marketing excuse.

I am finding it hard to believe I actually once defended this comic. That I even enjoyed it. Seems Loeb played us all for suckers and thinks he can pull this shit without anyone getting angry at him or any real fan backlash. Hilarious. Well I’m glad I stopped reading Hulk and now know to avoid any other books with the name Loeb on them.

Runners up: MJ is back

Character of the Week: Martian Manhunter

Who would have thought that to be a great character all you needed was to die and come back as a villain. Maybe this can work for other heroes as well. So yeah J’onn returned from the dead and he was an absolute badass. I never even knew he was as strong as Superman, or that he even had super strength!

What was best about him here though wasn’t even the strength, it’s that Johns used more than just that. Rather than having a super strong zombie attack them he makes J’onn a much greater threat by messing with their minds. That along with the fact that this is indeed J’onn, not some mindless animal, made him awesome.

I had zero problems with him in this issue, I loved this issue solely for what a badass he was. He has officially become one of my favorite villains….even if it won’t last past Blackest Night. He’s awesome.

Runners up: Atom Eve, Conquest

Artist of the Week: Doug Mahnke

Again, a very tough decision. Ottley got to show off some really impressive stuff, and as always Atom Eve looked great and the action was intense but I think Mahnke has to win the award here for doing a bit more and covering a wider arrange of what’s happening in his comic.

Ottley sticks to one scene that just changes a bit the whole time, and while it looks incredible, Mahnke handles all kinds of crazy stuff. His Black Lantern J’onn is absolutely amazing, as if the cover wouldn’t be a good hint, and he does such an incredible job with the action and the detail to everything.

While I guess I’m not the biggest fan of how he draws Barry Allen, it’s a minor complaint for an absolutely gorgeous and great looking issue of Green Lantern this week.

Runners up: Ryan Ottley and Guillem March

Comic I wish I got: Amazing Spider-man #600

I must be honest, the last year and a half has made me very cynical of the Spider-man franchise. It became like an old restaurant from my childhood that I once loved, but when new management came and tossed out all the old greatness they ruined what I loved. Sure I went back and tried the new menu, but it sucked and I lost all hope.

I know that might be an odd comparison but it fits well, something I once loved has changed for the worse and even when I tried it still sucked. Now to be fair there has been mixed review over the last few months for Spider-man. Some love it now, others still hate it.

I’ve heard nothing but love and after seeing some awesome moments from Kevin over at his blog I’m really regretting not picking this issue up. Hell I’m really tempted to start picking up Amazing Spider-man really. But it’s the old saying of being burned one too many times. Maybe some day, Spider-man…maybe someday.

Collection of the Week: Final Crisis: Rogue’s Revenge HC

With the magic of online spoilers and scans I got to see most of just how overly insane and badass this mini, that really had nothing important to do with Final Crisis, was. While it’s not at the top of my list of books to by (and may the comic gods help me, it’s a long list) but it is somewhere in the middle as it looks like pure insane villain fun that I can’t miss out on.

Question of the Week: Was Atom Eve’s Revival a cop out?

You all know by now that I am very happy that Atom Eve survived and was a pinnacle point. Though what did you all think? Where you happy that Eve is alive? Angry that she survived? Or a mix of the two? Either way I want to know what the readers think, so comment below and let me know!