Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Age Ideas: Bendis Teach, Dracula Sucks, Thor and Haunting Marvel Man

New Age Ideas finally returns after a brief hiatus, just in time for Christmas for all you good little girls and little boys. Back and better then ever we’re tackling some good stuff and a bit of negative ranting I’ve been wanting to get out of the way.

I want to be taught by Bendis

So for those who don’t know, I live in Oregon. I am just a 2 hour drive from Portland, where the writer Brian Bendis lives. Apparently he’ll be teaching a class about graphic novels at Portland State University.

I was going to try and go to the University of Oregon, but all of a sudden, Portland here I come!

Well probably not, but it would be awesome to say “Yeah, Brian Bendis is my teacher” and every day after class have him sign a new comic. It would be awesome. I may not like everything Bendis writes but I’d suddenly have the urge to buy everything he writes just to get it signed.

I actually have met Bendis, in late 2007 at a convention in Portland. He’s a really nice guy and I bet he’ll make a great teacher. If there are any of his future students reading, do me a favor and get a me a signed copy of Ultimate Spider-man #1.

Who to write Marvel Man?

There’s been a lot of speculation since Marvel announced that they own Marvel Man as to who would write and draw it. Well I’ve got know idea who would draw it (Jesus? Allah? Vishnu? Some holy figure I’m thinking) but there’s been tons of speculation on who would write it.

One of the most recent speculations is Bendis writing Marvel Man. At first I hated this idea, but now that I think about it, it just may work. My only problem is Bendis is stretched pretty thin nowadays, with Siege, Spider-woman, New Avengers, Dark Avengers, Ultimate Spider-man, Ultimate Enemy, the new Powers reboot, a new Alias mini-series, the dude is just way too busy to take on something as big as Marvel Man I figure.

My vote is for Neil Gaiman to finish his run on the series. Gaiman himself said he’d love to finish the Silver Age story that he never got to and Marvel knows he’s a popular writer. I myself didn’t become a fan of Gaiman until Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader but I would love to see him finish his story with Marvel Man.

Some people are saying Mark Millar, and I can’t think of anything else that would make me cringe in frustration. Millar is in no way a bad writer, but at the same time I think he should stick to the over the top insanity driven stuff we’re used to from him. I just don’t know if he could handle something like Marvel Man with the respect and care it deserves. I’m not calling him out on anything, just saying I’m not sure he’s the right guy for the job really.

There are other writers like Brubaker or Ellis but I just don’t know. In the end the only writer off the bat I trust to handle Marvel Man would be Gaiman. Either way I’m going to read it of course, but still. Let’s hope Marvel makes a smart choice.

Frank Miller a hack? Seriously?

All right, mini-rant time here folks.

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Frank Miller, DKR, Sin City, Ronin, Daredevil, even his recent stuff such as Dark Knight Strikes Again and All Star Batman. A lot of people hate these 2 stories but I think their great.

But hey, because Frank Miller has written and done a couple of things that people don’t like, he’s gone from legend in most eyes to hack in many others. I can’t see that, here’s the guy who helped reinvent Batman (as did Denny O’Neil mind you) and all of a sudden he’s a hack for a few stories you don’t like?

Stan Lee has written some stuff today, I’ve read some of it and you know what? It wasn’t good at all. Does that make Stan Lee, the father of Marvel comics, a hack? Not at all. He’s still just as much a legend no matter what.

But hey, it’s the “in” thing to hate on Frank Miller. He made 300 and The Spirit and those are just so horrendous, right? No one could like those.

Except for me and tons of other people who didn’t hate them like everyone else did. 300 was my Movie of the Year with 2007. And Spirit, while not perfect, was still a great movie experience for me.

Now look, if you don’t like Miller and his writing, that’s cool. We’ve all got different tastes and opinions and I can respect that. But just because you don’t like his work, don’t go acting like he’s a hack when he’s done more in the last 30 years of comics then most people could hope to do in a life time.

In short, show some respect.

Haunting Frustrations

This isn’t so much a rant as me just coming out and saying one of the reasons I think so many people hated Haunt right off the bat.

Todd McFarlane.

Yep. Todd McFarlane.

Now I already mentioned how unfair it is to hate Haunt for his look when Batman was already inspired heavily by something. So saying something isn’t 100% original is a bullshit argument when it comes to things like that. Because as I said, everything is inspired by something.

But I think a lot of the hate for Haunt comes from the fact that it’s Todd McFarlane and a lot of people (not saying names) have a stigma against him because they read an issue of Spawn 10 years ago and didn’t like it.

What’s funny is I see a lot of reviewers complain about it having “gritty dark violence like 90’s Image did” when these same reviewers praise Invincible. A comic that just recently had it’s main hero beat a man *nearly* to death with his FOREHEAD. That’s not gritty violence? 

In the long run the only real reason people will hate Haunt so much more then Invincible is simple.

Invincible doesn’t have the name Todd McFarlane attached to it.

Now I’m not saying that if you don’t like Haunt for legitimate reasons that you’re wrong. Not at all. If you have your own reasons for not liking Haunt that’s understandable but it seems a lot of people just complain about it being 90’s Image when that’s not really an insult since 90’s Image had some awesome characters and stories.

I guess what I’m saying is you’re entitled to not like Haunt, but just because it’s co-created by Todd McFarlane is a weak excuse.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Omnibus

I’m stealing a New Age Idea from my good buddy Kevin.

I recently watched Turtles Forever, an absolutely awesome movie that rekindled my love of the TMNT. While it wasn’t perfect I still loved it and even more so it reminded me of the awesome original comic.

I’ve read some of the original comic online and I’ve read the very first issue thanks to a Free Comic Book Day copy and I really do love this comic so I’m surprised there’s no big Omnibus to celebrate the awesome series.

There was a big collection collecting the first 11 issues, I saw an add for it in the FCBD comic but I can hardly find that online at book sellers let alone actually get a copy. Why not release a massive Omnibus that the fans could all enjoy? I’d buy it for sure. That along with that DVD of Turtles Forever that needs to come out!

Todd McFarlane not feeling the Marvel Man love?

I wrote that part about Marvel Man a week ago, just recently I saw a video of McFarlane and Robert Kirkman on CBRTV talking about some things and McFarlane said he’d be having a chat with his lawyer. UGH.

I really hope McFarlane isn’t the reason we’re not getting anything done with Marvel Man at Marvel. McFarlane NEVER used the damn character when he had rights to it with the exception of a damn toy. Gee. What a great use of your character property.

Also Man of Miracles does not count, that turned out to be a totally different character.

Maybe if McFarlane was publishing a Miracle Man (Marvel Man’s other alias) comic I could understand but he’s not. He did nothing with the character so some petty legal fight over it is just denying the fans who want to get to read new material with the character and that’s just annoying in every way.

Now maybe McFarlane isn’t what’s keeping Marvel from using the character but if it turns out he is, I may just have to hit my head with a phone book.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (the movie) fails with Mina

I made a comparison to this film as well as the old Black and white Dracula film starring Bela Lugosi. I was going off my opinion of the film when I saw it many years ago and I confess I liked it more then when I was younger since I hadn’t read the book then. Though I remembered how they ruined Mina.

I recently rewatched this film and I forgot how much they ruined Mina. They don’t just ruin the character, they take one of the best characters in the story and turn her into a total moronic incompetent love sick idiot and every scene she was in made me cringe at how badly they’d done such an injustice to the character.

Now as I said the movie in it’s own right isn’t really bad. The plot is nice for the most part and other then Mina and Jonathan, the characters are all done well. Oldman is a great Dracula and Sir Anthony Hopkins steals the show as Van Hellsing. Though all other characters are just well done and nothing special.

But Mina, my favorite character next to Dracula and Van Hellsing (in the book she’s just as brave if not braver then Jonathan) is totally ruined. She’s more then a love sick puppy in this film, oh no. I’d kill for stupid love sick puppy Mina right about now. If they’d gone that far maybe I could tolerate the film but they take her idiocy to a very tall height.

A perfect example of her idiocy is her reaction when Dracula admits he killed Lucy to her. Mind you there in bed and half naked but that’s aside from the point. Rather then like in the book where mina curses Dracula and calls him a monster saying she hates him, she hits his chest for a minute then say she wants to be with him.

Seriously, Mina? This guy kills your best friend, and you just shrug it off and say you want to be with him anyway? Am I missing something here or is this not the single most idiotic thing any character could do in this situation!

Now there is the idea that Mina is Dracula’s wife’s reincarnaton but that doesn’t fly with me. They totally ruined the character to her core and made her an absolute joke. They wanted a stupid little love story so they decided it was cool to take a great character and ruin everything about her. As I said, every goddamn scene with Mina makes me cringe!

Now to be fair I recently rewatched the Bela Lugosi film and it takes just as many liberties with the story. Changing Mina to Dr. Seward’s daughter which was just a weird and dumb change. Also explaining Renfield’s madness a little better but replacing his character for Jonathan when meeting Dracula. Also Jonathan and Mina are more sub-characters compared to Renfield, Dracula and Van Hellsing.

Even with that though it’s still a great movie and it still does the novel and it’s characters justice. Mina is still loyal and strong for Jonathan and it works well. Unlike the 90’s film which totally disregards the great character of Mina and turns her into an idiot who I was rooting for to get eaten by a wolf.

Fraction on Thor

I have mixed feeling about the announcement that Matt Fraction will be writing Thor from now on, with John Romita Jr. taking on the art duties. On one hand Fraction did an amazing job on the Ages of Thunder mini-series (something I’ve been meaning to pick up in the collections) so we know he can write Thor well.

Though I also heard a lot of negative reviews about his work on Secret Invasion: Thor. Though to be fair that was a tie-in mini-series and those rarely do too well. Sure you have a good mini here or there but often they can’t do much so I’m not surprised the mini didn’t do well.

I wanted to jump on with Thor with #600  but early reviews showed it was really just more of what JMS was already doing with the title and just continuing things along so I couldn’t honestly pick it up feeling I’d just be in the middle of things.

After Siege seems like a perfect time to be reading Thor and I have been considering reading Thor for the longest time. Though another problem is the art. Of all the artist, Djurdjevic and Coipel where 2 great picks for Thor. But Romita Jr? I’m just not feeling it.

When I think of his art I think of street heroes like Daredevil and Spider-man. Not mighty Gods that shake the heavens with a clap. It just doesn’t seem like something his art fits. Though I appreciate Marvel at least trying to take the artist out of his comfort zone and maybe it could pay off.

Another thing is continuity. Fraction did great on Ages of Thunder mostly because it wasn’t bogged down by continuity. It had the freedom of being out of the main storylines and had all the characters to use properly and that made it work. I’m not so sure if Fraction can do the same with the main ongoing though.

Then there’s Fraction’s work on Invincible Iron Man, which doesn’t look bad but at the same time the series looks so painfully like it’s dumbing down Iron Man for the movie readers who jumped on. I’ve heard a lot of praise for the series but from what I’ve seen it looks mediocre.

I can’t help but wonder if Fraction might dumb down Thor as well for a wider audience. I may be fairly new to the God of Thunder but I don’t want a watered down character or book.

Still with all my complaining I won’t deny that I am hopeful that Fraction can do the series justice. I will be checking out the first issue at the very least and hopefully it will be good.

Awe crap I just realized this is a fairly negative edition of New Age Ideas. I don’t want to leave this one off on a sour note. It’s almost Christmas after all! Well to end off this edition of New Age Ideas I’m going to leave you with a Batman themed Christmas picture.

All of a sudden I’m feeling the joy of the season! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all readers of the New Age.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Week Begins - December 21st 2009

Of course the week I’m out of town is the week 3 comic I’m dying to read all come out. Life has its fair share of cruel jokes doesn’t it? Well no use complaining now. Hopefully I can find a comic shop to get these this week. Now onto 3 excellent looking titles this week.

I also wanted to state that while I do have a Most Anticipated of this week, I’m highly excited for all 3 titles. Just one more then the others a little bit.

Angelus #1 *Most Anticipated*
Written: Ron Marz
Art: Stjepan Sejic

With Dani out of the picture of Witchblade, Marz has a huge chance to really put the character into a totally new element and make an excellent story out of it. Dani’s got a lot to overcome after all (having a psychotic ancient light force in your head can be a bit of a bother from time to time I figure) and I’m really looking forward to seeing where Marz takes the character.

I figure this first issue will mostly set us up with Dani’s new status quo and set up the events that will transpire in the 5 following issues. Though Marz is great at making an enjoyable set up issue still without making it feel like the typical “putting the pawns in place” chapter that so many mini’s have.

Also really looking forward to seeing even more Sejic a month. He’s an amazing artist so seeing him on 2 books is a serious treat. Can’t wait to check this out as soon as possible.

Image United #2
Written: Robert Kirkman
Art: Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, Jim Valentino, Erik Larsen, Whilce Portacio and Marc Silvestri.

I must admit I am very impressed with the Image guys for getting this issue out. Major props to you guys for really buckling down and getting it done. I was almost certain this would be delayed by at least a month or so since this is the Image Founders we’re talking about here.

I’m really excited to check this issue out mostly for the promised battle between the 2 Spawns. McFarlane handling both his creations sounds like an amazingly fun time and I’m stoked to see more of Omega Spawn and his interactions with Jim, even if it will mostly just be punching.

Also while the story isn’t my main reason for wanting to read this series, I will say that I am hopeful that Kirkman does a good job of giving us some twists soon and really upping the ante for the series. All around I’m really excited to read this issue.

Invincible #69
Written: Robert Kirkman
Art: Ryan Ottley

Invincible has been on such a hot streak for so long I would be crazy not to be excited for more greatness this month from Kirkman and Ottley. I’m really curious about this new villain(?) and finding out what her role is in all this and what effect she will have on the Sequid invasion.

Though lets be honest here, I’m mostly excited to see if Eve tells Mark about her pregnancy or what she is going to do about it. I know they will probably be really busy with the whole invasion thing (those do tend to get in the way from time to time) but it’s the most interesting development yet and I’m dying to see what happens next. I’m doubting it’s anything good with a recent cover reveal for February showing a crying Eve. Awe damn…this series has me excited to see what happens next no matter what!

Witchblade #133
Written: Ron Marz
Art: Stjepan Sejic

Twice the great creative team in one month is awesome, but twice the great creative team in one week? Absolutely great. While last issue wasn’t anything special it was an enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to seeing where Marz takes the Troll plot by wrapping it up.

Week's End - December 20th 2009

No vacation can hold Andrenn from exercising his nerd rights on the internet! Yes even as I am confined to a car for hours on end of what seems like endless roads I am still hard at work for you all. I hope you all appreciate it! Now onto the comics!

Comic of the Week: Streets of Gotham #7

With only 2 comics this week this was not a hard choice. While Mighty Avengers was a very fun read, Streets of Gotham dominated this week. Dini delivered a special present this year for Christmas and it was tons of sick and twisted fun.

This issue was full of great character moments and strong art. Dini handles the characters flawlessly and all the while he tells a small story that is really part of a larger story and it’s done incredibly well.

Streets of Gotham is the best of the bat-books in my opinion. It’s Dini excelling at what he does and doing a damn fine job of it making this series a must have for everyone who loves the world of Batman.

Moment of the Week: Kyle is Back!

I know death is nothing permanent in comics but this is getting ridiculous. Though I am really glad to see Kyle back and kicking ass so soon. Tomasi stunned me last month when we thought he was dead and he stunned me twice in a row to reveal he’s alive now.

Also we should have seen this coming, Kyle is on the cover to next month’s issue of Green Lantern Corps. Though I figured that was a false cover and that the image of Kyle would be swapped with someone like Soranik.

Cover of the Week: Batman #694 by Tony Daniel

Not a great week for covers but this one stands out really well. The use of all the gravestone like crosses and the shot of a somber Batman holding a dying boy in his arms is really powerful and looks great.

Artist of the Week: Patrick Gleason

From the scans I’ve seen online, Gleason has really been doing great on GLC. Here he tackles a badass looking Red Lantern Guy and an awesome image for Kyle’s revival. He hits action and emotion incredibly well for this series.

Character of the Week: Humpty Dumpty

Talk about the last character I expected to ever make a “best” of anything. Often very boring and uninteresting the character is often just used as fodder for something to have Batman beat up. Though Dini took a boring character and used his more sympathetic side and made a really compelling character and gave us a seriously powerful and heart breaking moment.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Comic Reviews - December 19th 2009

Apologies once again for the delayed reviews, but hey at least these aren’t 2 weeks late! Now I leave tomorrow for Utah but I’m going to try and post a Week’s End when I get to the Motel tomorrow night. I will have my laptop on me but I’m not sure if the place I’m going to has wi-fi. If it does I’ll post it, if not, it will have to wait ‘till Monday.

I’m also going to try and pick up next week’s comics at a comic shop in town. If I can do that I’m definitely going for some reviews as best I can. Though I may not be able to. Also I want to focus on an Image Primer guest post I’ll be doing for The Weekly Crisis so it’s up in the air if next week’s comics will get reviewed then or not.

Also thanks very much to my friend Kenny for making this new banner for the blog to help us ring in the new year with a new banner. He did an awesome job!

So now lets get to this week’s comic reviews for the day! Only 2 but 2 good ones.

Streets of Gotham #7
Written: Paul Dini
Art: Dustin Nguyen

Opening Comments: Streets of Gotham is one of the best ongoings on the shelves right now. It’s the sleeper hit of the Batman Reborn status quo and easily has been trumping all the other bat-books in my opinion. Dini took a break for 2 months and thankfully is back and better then ever to stuff our stockings with Christmas cheer the Gotham way. Did he give us a great present or a lump of coal? Let’s find out!

Story Comments: Streets of Gotham #7 was an absolutely excellent read from start to finish. All the characters, the story, how it all develops is amazingly well pulled off and some of the best story telling I’ve seen all year.

I wasn’t really expecting a Christmas themed issue with this one. I know the cover has Manhunter in winter background but I just figured that was going to tie into it being December and nothing else. But Dini really impressed me with how he took the fun idea of a holiday story and totally twisted it.

Yes this issue is far from something for the little kids kind of holiday specials. You won’t be seeing Batman drinking hot coco as Robin tries to catch Rudolph for Santa’s sleigh. This is a harsh story and while it does tie into a Christmas theme it’s far from your fun little Christmas story. Though I love it even more for it.

Dini took a fun little concept of Christmas in Gotham and turned it into a dark eerie story that also ties into the larger story of how he’s been building up a confrontation with Zsasz.

This is what I’m talking about when I praise how Dini is able to so well tell a single story in one issue but all the while advancing a larger plot. Such as Humpty being found it because of files Batman stole from the Broker in issue #4 and Zsasz’ recent plans that have been developing for quite some time now.

Dini is using this title in a brilliant way so just about each issue is it’s own solid story but it also advances a larger plot. We don’t see this a lot in major comics nowadays like the Batman titles so Dini doing this is a really fun and unique thing right now compared to all the other books.

Dini is at his A-game with Streets of Gotham. This is some of his best writing along with the Heart of Hush storyline and of course his work for the DCU animated shows. Dini is really excelling with Streets of Gotham and making it an incredible read with each issue.

Dini really nails the characters well. We can easily tell this Batman is not Bruce Wayne as he actually likes talking and comes off as more friendly even if he still has that sharp edge. Dini writes the character of Batman very well by showing how sympathetic is to both Humpty and to Robin as they both are upset over the murders and the way Batman reacts is very much in line with the character of Dick Grayson.

Dini also excels with how he shows us Humpty Dumpty. A villain I’ve never really cared for who never really contributed much to the Batman Rogues Gallery. He’s fairly plain and big and that’s his shtick. He’s a big guy, not very exciting when it comes to villains really.

Though Dini took a boring villain and made him a lot of fun to watch. Humpty isn’t really a villain but more of someone who just is on the wrong side of the law and doesn’t get it. It’s a shame as we see here he’s a really nice guy who doesn’t want to hurt people but he just ends up doing so even if by accident.

He’s a very sympathetic character and Dini makes it work without making him feel overly sappy and boring to watch. I like sympathetic characters, heroes or villains, but when you play it up too much it gets really annoying. Here Dini does it to a right level where it gives Humpty a charming quality of how we do still care about this guy.

Then there was Robin who I swear Dini gets better then his own creator, Grant Morrison. Morrison always paints Damian as this very bland and annoying character who’s just a snobbish brat who can be a badass from time to time. Dini has taken Damian’s characters and added a layer that makes him much more interesting.

He’s still a badass who could kick your ass in the dark but we finally see a more human side of him in this issue when he gets upset over the head kids. We’ve seen Damian before get upset over a failure when he failed to save Scarlet in Batman and Robin #3 but Dini really goes the extra mile and makes Damian more compelling.

In this one issue of Streets of Gotham Damian has gotten more development then he has since his debut a few years back in the Batman and Son arc. Dini hasn’t taken away the hardened young hero he’s just shown us that he, like everyone else, can be vulnerable at times and get a little emotional.

Dini is working magic for the character with making him much more interesting to read about. His banter with Batman about Christmas was hilarious and it also fit the character well since there was still that attitude of “I’m awesome” as he spoke. I really like how Damian is developing as a character and it works well to advance the character.

Dini has been using the characters very well and spotlighting more then just Batman and Robin and it’s become very effective for the series in helping show a wider range on Gotham City and its inhabitants.

We finally have an identity for the Abuse character. People speculated that it was Colin since he did get a lot of Venom in him during the Heart of Hush story arc last year. It is nice to see Dini continuing with characters from prior storylines as it’s really nice to see him building a larger story and adding more characters to Gotham even while doing a great job with already established characters.

As I said Dini is able to tell a singular story all the while advancing a larger plot. In this case the larger plot has been Zasz as he has been building up a dream he’s had for quite some time that is now being funded by Black Mask since Zsasz saved him during issue #2.

It’s really great seeing how Dini can develop a large plot even while telling a singular story like the Broker or Hush’ taking over the Bruce Wayne persona. It works incredibly well and it was cool finally seeing Zsasz’ plan and use of the abandoned Gotham children.

It’s a sick twisted and grim plan that Zsasz is doing and it fits the disgusting horrific character well. Zsasz has always been absolutely insane and seeing him finally use that insanity for something other then killing random people is really effective in finally turning this D-list villain into a credible threat.

Zsasz has always been a creepy villain but not much else. He mumbles creepy stuff then stabs people and after that he cuts a mark into his skin. An okay gimmick for any psychotic villain but it can only go on for so far until the gimmick gets worn out and we get tired of him.

Zsasz has mostly been fodder to showing Batman be badass and saving someone. Not much else. He may kill a few people and be creepy some more but not much else. He’s never ascended to the credible threat that other villains like Joker or Mr. Freeze have. He’s always just been around for a short while then he hides away until some writer wants to use him for a 10 panel fight scene and then back away.

Dini plucked Zsasz out of his boring little corner of Gotham and finally upped the ante by turning his depraved mind into a landscape where horrors are born. We see a terrifying version of Zsasz who is so mentally out of it that he’s using orphan children as gladiators in his sick rendition of a Roman Coliseum.

Zsasz has gone beyond his bland ways and has become a truly terrifying and monstrous villain. This is just plain gruesome stuff that’s beyond just stabbing someone and marking yourself. Dini took a boring villain and made him incredibly interesting and scary boosting the villain greatly.

I must admit that while I liked the grim twist this story had, others will obviously not. Batman is a dark series but while Gotham itself is a dark and horrific places there is still lots of room for enjoyable heroics.

If you’re looking for more action oriented heroic stories you probably won’t like Streets of Gotham. The series focuses on the dark corners of Gotham that only the Batman can face and while I love it, others may not.

While I liked the reveal that Abuse is indeed Colin (or so we can figure) it was a little obvious. Still it worked well.

Overall this issue was a near flawless read that was just tons of fun to read and the best issue yet of the already great young series.

Art Comments: Nguyen also shines this month with some excellent artwork to go along with the great story. Nguyen has come a long way over the years since he first did work on Superman/Batman. While his work has always had a unique style to it the recent issues of Streets of Gotham have really propelled him as a top-artist at DC.

He’s work here is nothing short of gorgeous as he does a great job with all the characters, all the emotion and important moments are conveyed beautifully here and it all looks absolutely amazing.

I did have one problem with the art and that was the snow effect which got really annoying at times. I wasn’t sure exactly how it was done. It didn’t seem to be drawn in but the snow looked like splattered paint and it was annoying at times.

Also once again the coloring is really strong to add to the already great artwork.

Final Comments: If you haven’t been liking what Morrison is doing over with Batman and Robin (I know I haven’t) and are looking for a great Batman series that focuses on Gotham City as a whole and is really interesting and compelling then this is the series for you. This issue just proved once again why Dini is a modern master when it comes to writing Batman.

Story Rating: 5 out of 10
Art Rating: 5 out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 out of 10
Must Have

Mighty Avengers #32
Written: Dan Slott
Art: Koi Pham

Opening Comments: In a lot of ways I’ve wanted to love this title but been unable to. Slott has failed in places to use the characters well and tell a fun action series that separates itself from the other Avengers titles out there. Though things seemed to be getting better at the end of the Unspoken arc.

Now Slott is giving us a fun arc that involves 2 Avengers clashing as swell as working together and it’s looking to  be a fun time with great character work and a solid enjoyable read even for some of it’s flaws.

Story Comments: the cover does lie, there is no real fight between the Mighty and Dark Avengers. Though the two teams do clash in a sense they don’t actually physically fight but that actually ends up working out still.

Though I admit I was really looking forward to a big Avengers fight so that cover advertising one and us not getting it is rather disappointing. Slott can write some strong action so not seeing him take advantage of the two teams fighting on the cover was sad, though maybe we’ll still get some kind of fight next month.

This issue has more of Loki’s scheming to do wrong with “his” Avengers. Loki has been setting up a lot of things through Dark Reign and his current status has him using both Osborn and the Mighty Avengers so it makes sense that these two forces would collide sooner or later as things have been building up to this story for a while now.

Slott also does a great job of using the developing plots of Dark Reign to help set up Osborn’s fall even more so in Siege. We see Osborn is cracking under the armor and slowly is losing himself more and more and this issue was a nice little catch up to all the horrible things that he’s done so far like torture and his attack on the X-men. It’s all developing very nicely.

Also there’s Loki and his masquerade as the Scarlet Witch. I have liked this development a lot and it’s been working very well for the series especially since the team is wise to Loki’s tricks even if they don’t know it’s him yet. They are aware their being duped by the trickster and seeing them try to figure this out was a nice thing as it shows the team isn’t oblivious like Osborn is.

A nice twist was the use of the Absorbing Man. Not really a villain I was expecting to see in this story or recently really. He’s been a prominent villain every once in a while but this is probably the strongest he’s become in a long time. I don’t want to spoil the ending so I won’t say what happens but lets just say he’s become a major threat that is indeed worthy of 2 Avengers working at once to stop him.

This issue mostly was just set up though as while the 2 teams clearly show animosity towards each other it was disappointing that this 2 part arc mostly just gets set up for the first half even if it means the second half will no doubt have more action which will no doubt make it a more enjoyable read next month.

So far it really hasn’t done much but beef up our villain for the story and have some great character moments. That makes for a good read no doubt but on it’s own it’s not much else other then an enjoyable read.

As I said there are some great character moments in this issue but there are a couple of annoying ones as well. For instance I just cant’ see how Amadeus could outsmart Vision. Maybe it’s just the Vision fan in me but I can’t see how Amadeus could outthink the super intelligent library of knowledge android.

Also Stature continues to be an annoying character. She of course was somewhat designed that way to not be the most likable or interesting of the Young Avengers but most writers have still been able to keep that interesting and enjoyable character alongside with her annoying moments.

Slott seems to be ignoring her more interesting aspects and just focusing on the annoying teenager part of Stature and that in itself is frustrating that he’s not really utilizing the character to her fullest. He’s just treating her like the dumb blonde of the team and it’s a great misuse of character here.

US Agent continues to annoy me. But it seems Slott is really playing that up to make him an obnoxious tool and it actually is more effective here. Seeing him salute Norman Osborn, a known criminal just for his status is surprisingly effective and works for the character in highlighting how brainwashed he is to love anything that’s in red white and blue so Slott uses the character well here.

Then of course there’s Hank Pym, the Wasp. I loved how Slott really turned the Scientist Supreme thing into a fun joke. Sure it’s a serious status for Pym no doubt but it’s played into being comedic and it works well with how smug he gets about it and loves hearing others say it.

Hank is someone who’s been treated so bad that it makes sense that he clings to this new title and loves hearing it. He’s been seen so often as a bad guy who has been so desperate for redemption that when he finally finds it and no longer has the weight of the world on his shoulders he really exploits it and does his best to use it to make himself feel good.

Slott uses the character well as our leader of the Mighty Avengers. He leads the team well and interacts with all the teammates on a different level and it’s a lot of fun to read. Really it’s how a good Avenger leader should act and Slott does so without making the character lose any part of himself that would be sacrificed to be a good leader. This is still Hank Pym even if he’s changed a bit and it works incredibly well.

I am curious to see where Slott takes the Scarlet Witch is a fake reveal when Quicksilver finally finds out. His team can’t hide this from him forever and I’m really looking forward to seeing his reaction to the fake Wanda.

The Dark Avengers are handled fairly well but Norman Osborn is best written as we see him slowly losing it again. It’s great seeing his banter with Hank and a few lines just made me laugh so hard. Slott writes the character well and his interactions with Hank and the others are nicely done.

All around the story is well handled even if it has some weak points and doesn’t do too much Slott still does a good job with it and makes for an entertaining and fun read and handles it well.

Art Comments: Pham’s art has been all over the place somewhat like the stories for this series. He can turn in some great stuff when he works really hard on it and puts in that extra effort. Though when he doesn’t his art often falls apart and can look extremely messy and poor.

Here his work was enjoyable. He did a great job with the emotions conveyed, the characters and their looks and it was all very nicely done. Making for an all around enjoyable art serving this month.

Final Comments: While nothing amazing this was a fun read with some great character work and solid art. If you’re looking for a fun read that does a great job of using the super hero genre and telling an enjoyable story with it then this is the book for you and this is looking to be an enjoyable story.

Story Rating: 4 out of 5
Art rating: 3 out of 5
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Must Read

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Comics from 2 Weeks Ago Reviewed

Apologies for these 2 reviews being so late (can’t seem to muster up for Ultimate Spider-man so we’re doing an Open Fire!) this is the last week of school before Christmas Break so I’ve been rater tied up with the season and shopping and all that. I got my comics today, hopefully shooting for reviews tomorrow, if not then, Friday. Now onto the 2 reviews!

Haunt #3
Written: Robert Kirkman
Art: Ryan Ottley

Opening Comments: Haunt #3 was a good example of just because a comic doesn’t do a lot doesn’t mean it doesn’t accomplish something and still prove to be a great read. Here we don’t get any major event but the moments within still are important and interesting enough to satisfy even more then some big flashy 10 page fight would have.

Story Comments:
Now the high point of the issue is what Kirkman does with Daniel and how he really flips the perspective of how we view his relationship with Kurt. We finally see that Daniel, for all his bad nasty attitude had someone he cared about once and that was Amanda, Kurt’s widow.

At first I suspected as much that Kurt stole Amanda from Daniel but I didn’t expect the actual reveal of this moment to be so powerful or well done. A random side comment about it alone would have sufficed to let the reader know but Kirkman takes what is a simple moment and really milks it for a really important and interesting moment for Daniel.

Seeing Daniel get so upset really was not what I was expecting. I half figured he’d shrug off that and wouldn’t care about it. He seemed to hate Amanda at this point (and I guess for good reason) so him finding out that Kurt cheated on her didn’t seem like something he’d cared about.

But Kirkman gave Daniel a new emotional layer, showing he’s not so cold hearted and uncaring as we believe. We see that deep down he still cared enough about Amanda to be furious at the mere idea of Kurt cheating on her. And his line about how Kurt could have any woman in the world but he had to take Daniel’s love really hits home and makes us feel his pain as we see him recollect his suffering and it all hits home nicely for us readers.

Kirkman is a talented writer and he’s always done a good job of building up his heroes even if some times he’s just setting them up to fall. Here I really liked that he’s making these characters more developed then their 10 second descriptions of “mean priest and nice CIA killing machine” and he’s showing us they are more interesting then just those 2 ideas and that’s a key element to making any character really.

We’re finally seeing that Daniel isn’t this perverse low life like we thought he was and Kurt isn’t some golden hearted nice guy who’s never done a mean thing in his life. I mean seriously, taking your brother’s girlfriend? That’s pretty low and I can’t really blame Daniel for hating Kurt and Amanda over this.

Kirkman has shown there’s a new depth to Daniel. A reason for his hatred and anger and it was nice to finally see that all come out, even if just for a couple of pages and it leaves a real emotional impact on the reader when you can establish a connection with the hero in some way through his own losses.

Though of course there was more to Haunt then just that one moment.

While we didn’t get much action I did appreciate seeing Haunt be all badass as he smacked around Kurt’s torturer. It was a short bit of action but just about every comic needs a little action at least to satisfy that action craving and this comic did a good job at that.

Of course the big reveal was that Kurt’s murder was an inside job. Honestly I can’t say I really pondered much over Kurt’s murder. I figured he got killed simply because he was tied to that doctor after saving those people, and since he didn’t have answers about the doctor’s notebook (which we saw someone steal in issue #1) so he got killed.I knew there was obviously a bigger mystery but at the same time no use over thinking it when all will be revealed eventually.

Still this was a really good twist and a great lead as to what’s going on for Kurt’s murder. We knew he was tied to that doctor as a reason for his murder but seeing this was really cool and a nice twist to leave us curious as to what will happen next. Also this was the first time this larger mystery actually got my attention really.

As to who our mystery man is and what the doctor was doing with those experiments is of course still up in the air. But at least the pieces are starting to fall into place, like Haunt knowing how the 2 brothers are connected and that’s why they can form Haunt so while things aren’t all revealed we are on our way.

It seems Haunt is getting it’s cast extended more. I’m not sure if Beth will be a reoccurring character or not but she obviously had some intimate connection to Kurt and I really hope to find out more about her and that she could return often to the series, maybe as Haunt’s back up or someone who keeps him in the loop of things.

Haunt doesn’t have a real cast outside of the 2 brothers and Amanda right now so it’s imperative that Kirkman add some extra characters for Haunt to interact with and to build upon fast since we’re already 3 issues in.

We did get some little hints dropped at a possible future character when the scientists here talking about Daniel and that was nice. Kirkman hasn’t been one to shy away from foreshadowing so I honesty was expecting some hints to be dropped by now and I’m sure it will lead somewhere sooner or later.

Haunt is 3 issues in and as I said we don’t have much of a supporting cast. I know this is the debut arc to set everything up and while it seems Beth may be a main character I just can’t help but wish we had more depth to the characters around Daniel and Kurt.

Overall Haunt #3 is the best issue of the young series and it continues to get better and better.

Art Comments: I really am loving Ottley’s work here on Haunt, but what adds to it even more is Capullo’s lay outs. Little details like Haunt reflecting on his would be killer’s knife. Some of the perspectives get really creative and it all looks cool and adds to the already gorgeous artwork.

The art did have a few little moments. Nothing major that ruined it but still it had some weird little moments.

Final Comments: If you dropped Haunt after issue #1 and wrote it off as 90’s Image crap then I highly recommend you check again as this series is easily shaping up to be another winner from Kirkman. Sure it’s had some kinks to work out but as time goes on this is looking to be one of the best new comics out there and I give it a high recommendation to all.

Story Rating: 5 out of 5
Art Rating: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Must Have

Now I can’t seem to write up much about Ultimate Comics Spider-man, so we’ll do a quick Open Fire! Review for it.

Ultimate Comics Spider-man #5
Written: Brian Bendis
Art: David Lafuente

A solid and enjoyable read but mostly held back by some of the lack of major character development. I was really disappointed to see Bendis not follow up on his reveal last month that MJ regrets dumping Peter. A really interesting plot point I wanted to see more.

The fight with Mysterio was great, very well handled and very well choreographed by Lafuente. It flowed nicely and it was great seeing the Hooded stranger thrown into the mix.

Lafuente’s art was good but not his best. He had some little issues here and there where I could tell he rushed it a bit but it was still solid stuff.

Overall this was an enjoyable read though it does develop things more I was disappointed at no follow up from past month’s moments and that Mysterio got his ass handed. Hopefully Bendis can end this arc right next month.

Story Rating: 4 out of 5
Art Rating: 4 out of 5
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Must Read

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Week Begins - December 15th 2009

What I thought was going to be a big week (at first it seemed like Invincible, Jersey Gods and Angelus would all be out this week) has become a very small week and I admit that has me sort of sad. I won’t be here next week to pick up any comics and NEXT week seems pretty big, Image United, Invincible, Angelus and possibly Jersey Gods (Image has taken it off the listings for December so I figure it may be delayed…) which just totally sucks for me. Oh well, lets check out the comics this week still.

Streets of Gotham #7 *Most Anticipated*
Written: Paul Dini
Art: Dustin Nguyen

My second most anticipated comic of this month is Dini’s epic return to Streets of Gotham. After a so-so 2 part story by Christ Yost I’m really excited to see Dini come back to the title he easily made a must have for me early on.

Seems this issue is getting back to where the series was with Zsasz up to no good and the other developing threads. I’m really excited to see where Dini goes next with this story even if we know it won’t conclude for another couple of months it’s still something I’m excited to read each month.

Mighty Avengers #32
Written; Dan Slott
Art:  Koi Pham

Despite how harsh I’ve been on Mighty Avengers I admit I am really looking forward to reading this issue. Mostly just that I’m expecting a fun “super hero fight” 2 part story like we get from time to time but the art does look great, possibly some of Pham’s best yet, and that also has me excited.

Now this arc is probably just going to be filler, some fun fighting, maybe some important character moments. I’m not really expecting anything major until Siege or after that. But still last issue was a real return to form for the series so I’m looking forward to reading more.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Age News: Nemesis, Batman in Time, Warring Superman and Video Games!

It’s been quite some time since a New Age News. For those unaware, this is me taking a look at and commenting my own opinion on recent announcements in the comics industry. Now with links for all your information goodness.

So the big announcement of the latest project Mark Millar is working with Steve McNiven is Nemesis. A creator owned book to be published from Marvel’s Icon imprint like the Criminal and Powers books have been.

Now I’ve had some mixed reaction to this. On one hand I’m not the biggest fan of Mark Millar. He’s a solid writer who can do some good stuff but I find a lot of his stuff over hyped and uninteresting when compared to writers who make much more interesting stories.

His first story I honestly can say I loved was Old Man Logan which was absolutely brilliant but mostly for the fact that Millar did something he doesn’t do that often, interjected some real interesting and enjoyable characters. Usually his characters are lacking anything really interesting or something that makes me feel for them, but with Old Man Logan he really made me care about the characters which is partially why I loved it so much more then his usual “over the top” wild stuff.

I love over the top violent stories, that’s all great, but if the characters are all bland just for the sake of getting to do cool stuff then I couldn’t care less about the real heart of the story since the characters drive that story. That’s why I’ve disliked stories such as Wanted.

But Nemesis sounds like a very fun story. A story in the same vein as a What If in a sense that it’s what if Batman where the Joker? A simple idea and the fact that Millar is using this idea as a platform as a creator owned story is really cool and I appreciate that he seems to be focusing more on his creator owned stuff which is always nice to see.

So while I’m not a big fan of Millar’s stuff I know he can do great stuff when he puts forth that extra effort  and the premise is cool enough to where I will definitely be checking this series out, also I know it will look damn good thanks to Steve McNiven.

Big shocker, Bruce Wayne is coming back. I know, the internet totally split in half over this major shock.

So it’s a 6 issue mini-series written by none other then Grant Morrison with each issue featuring a different artist since Batman will be fighting his way through a different period of history. It’s a nice premise at least and it ties into the whole effect of the Omega Beams.

I like the idea and it sounds like a fun read but I myself won’t be reading it. Mostly for expense but also for the fact that this series is something we all saw coming so I can’t really say it’s going to be anything shocking. Batman will fight history, Batman will win then Dick Grayson will be booted back to his own corner of the DCU as if nothing ever happened, that’s how comics work.

Announced very early this week was that Earth One would be making a big return in the form of a series of Graphic Novels. The first 2 to kick off this new series are of Superman (written by JMS and with art by Shane Davis) and Batman (Written by Geoff Johns and with art by Gary Frank)

Now my first thought about this when I heart it was “Wait, Johns and Frank aren’t handling the Superman story?” I mean it just seems like these 2 signed some kind of contract to work on Superman forever. When I hear these 2 are collaborating again I instantly think it’s on a new Superman book.

So seeing these 2 handle the last hero I think they would handle, Batman, it just seems like an odd fit. I don’t know if Johns has written a lot of Batman before but something about him handling a Batman series just seems out of place, if that makes any sense. Also Gary Frank is one of the last artists that comes to mind when I think of the dark and disturbing alleys of Gotham City.

Now JMS sounds like a nice fit for Superman though since he’s already handled Gods before over in Thor. Also Shane Davis draws a killer Superman so I think this is still a good team.

I’m also willing to give Johns and Frank a try on Batman since I’ve heard such good things about their prior collaborations.

Though here’s my biggest problem, it’s yet another “year one” style of stories. I’m so tired of these. Sure, Batman: Year One is an amazing story but we don’t need another one of these stories for Batman, his origin isn’t that interesting to keep retelling. Same thing for Superman, we’re not even done with Secret Origin for crying out loud!

Also I hate to say it but this just seems like DC’s desperate attempt at picking up the pieces from their failure to establish the All Star line with all the delayed projects that fell through like All Star Batgirl and All Star Wonder Woman. Just another attempt to have their own “Ultimate” line it seems.

Still I admit I love the idea of these debuting as a series of graphic novels, I’m a sucker for an OGN so seeing something new from DC like this sounds like a bold and interesting idea I look forward to picking up. I will definitely pick up the Batman one for sure.

Hey, big surprise, there’s another comic event with the title “war” in it. Because that’s not getting cliché or anything. Please keep them coming as I’m not getting tired of this crap at all. I like companies beating the term to death. It’s cool.

As for the event itself I can’t say I’m interested in it at all. Just seems like more DC Superman crossovers. I feel so bad for Superman readers, you guys can’t even have one title in the whole list of comics that isn’t getting dragged into a crappy crossover every few months. One of the reasons I stick to Indy comics so much nowadays, no annoying crossovers constantly.

Not sure if this is really a major announcement, not something we don’t hear often. Marvel seems to be doing it all the time, any day now I expected Invincible Iron Man to get renumbered and probably a few other comics like Wolverine Weapon X at this rate. It makes sense DC would give one of their most prominent heroes a renumbering eventually.

The question is will this be a real big deal or will DC hype this all up for nothing? I’m half expecting a big anniversary issue but then Wonder Woman returning to business as usual. No real major shake ups.

Not a real major announcement but still an important one since it’s the latest artist for the series. I haven’t seen much of his work but what I have seen was good looking and I think he’ll be a really interesting fit with the series.

Though really I’m not sure if I’ll even be reading Batman and Robin by this point. I’m debating if I should just drop the series at this rate and stick to Streets of Gotham since it seems all the real important stuff will be happening later after the Return of Bruce Wayne so Batman and Robin feels like a useless series at this point.

The title of the story arc “Batman vs. Robin” implies that the dynamic duo will be fighting. An all right premise for a 3 part arc but honestly I’m just wondering what’s the point of this series now, other then introducing some new villains and plot points that I’m sure Grant Morrison will tackle with his next Batman story after Return of Bruce Wayne.

I want to give the latest arc a chance if only for Cameron Stewart’s art but at the same time it just seems so much easier to drop it at this point.

Megaman 10

Megaman 9 was my game of the year for 2008, so by no shock I’m incredibly excited for Megaman 10 in all it’s 8-bit over the top glory that I’m sure will rock. Capcom has a winning formula with the Megaman series so I can’t see how they would screw it up at this point.

One thing that really excites me is that Protoman is a playable character without that crap downloadable content. It’s really exciting that he’ll be a playable character. As for the secret third character, I’m guessing it’s Bass or Roll.

This game seems like more crazy fun with things like Sheepman and I’m sure all kinds of fun. Possibly a runner for early game of 2010? You never know, either way I can’t wait to play more Megaman greatness.

Dave Sim and Todd McFarlane’s highly interesting collaboration on spawn #10 will finally be reprinted after 14 years of being left to be found by Spawn fans in back issue bins.

I have this issue, as well as issue #9 (the comic McFarlane refuses to reprint because he’s still bitter) and I can say it’s a worthwhile issue to track down, but now it’s getting reprinted in the deluxe edition Hardcover of Spawn Origins.

At first I was pissed about this since this book is 100 dollars, not exactly something I can afford to shell out but it seems there’s a regular Hardcover for 25 bucks that will include the reprint as well as the first 25 issues so I’m not angry right now.

Spawn #10 was  great read and I’m really glad to finally see it getting reprinted.

Capullo has been a long term collaborator with McFarlane and up to this point he’s just been providing lay outs for Haunt but now he’s taking the saddle of the art and drawing issue #6 which is a one shot story about the former agent Mirage (who got mentioned in issue #3)

My little theory is that Mirage is the woman we saw steal the doctor’s notes in issue #1 and this will fill in the blanks as to what she’s doing and her whole role in the Haunt series.

I love Capullo’s art so seeing him draw an entire issue of Haunt is an absolute treat. Much as I love Ottley’s work seeing Capullo take over for him for an issue is a great thing and I’m really excited for this issue.

Not wanting to be outdone by Capcom’s big announcement of a new sequel, Rocksteady released a badass teaser for the sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum featuring the Asylum right in the middle of Gotham, it’s inmates over running the city along with Joker (with that awesome Mark Hamill laugh) running the show, and also still seeming to be healing from his last beating.

Damn it feels good to be a gamer right now. As if Megaman 10 wasn’t enough, now another great game is getting a sequel. Though I doubt it will be in 2010 and even if it is, it will probably be late 2010.

Arkham Asylum for me was game of the year and I loved it so seeing a sequel from the same guys behind the first has me really excited. It seems that the gangs all here, Mark Hamill no doubt as Joker and it seems like Paul Dini is in for it so I’m really excited to see this game.

My hopes are that we’ll get a more expansive world, new ranges of enemies and ways to fight them and to take on even more of Batman’s rogues. Hopefully Mr. Freeze and Two-Face will have prominent roles as well.

Either way I can’t wait to find out more about this game and I already have high hopes for it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Week's End - December 6th 2009

A small week but still some great comics to look back on for this week of December. So let’s set the candy canes aside for now and look back at this week.

Spoilers for Haunt #3 and Jonah Hex #50

Comic of the Week: Haunt #3

There where some great reads this week but Haunt wins mostly for a really powerful moment that just really impressed me. More on that moment just down but it really impressed me and made what was a fairly simple issue great.

Kirkman gave us a few answers here, like that Kurt’s murder was an inside job and we also get a view of our big villain who was behind it all. Pretty exciting and cool stuff for the series to move on into with the future and just an excellent read. Also some damn good art on top of it all.

Moments of the Week: Kurt ruined Daniel’s life, Jonah Hex is awesome and Hex baby.

This is that big emotional moment I was telling you all about, where Daniel finds out that Kurt cheated on Amanda and we finally find out that Daniel and Amanda where indeed together but Kurt stole her from him. Ouch. Stealing a friend’s girl is one thing ,but your brother? OUCH. Guess Kurt isn’t the great guy we thought ht was.

This moment was great for it’s emotion and how Kirkman has now flipped the reader’s perception on the characters. We originally weren’t to like Daniel, the bad mouth whore loving priest and we where supposed to like Kurt the CIA killing machine who seemed really nice. Turns out Kurt isn’t as great as he seems.

Kirkman reaches a new emotional level with the story and really makes us feel for this character and puts us in his place and it’s an amazing moment for what it accomplishes and really is probably one of the most emotional character moments Kirkman has ever written.

A friend gave me his copy of Jonah Hex #50 this week, telling me I’d love it since it was Darwyn Cooke and I did love this issue but for more then just the gorgeous artwork. This issue had tons of great moments but this was by far one of the funniest as Jonah is going around killing 50 men in a bounty and this page was great. I especially loved that final page of the guy getting out of the out house, that’s just cold, Jonah.

Jonah’s badass close up after having killed all 50 men. Just a really cool shot by Darwyn Cooke but I really loved it and it reminded me of all those classic badass hero shots after he did the job and saved the day. A really cool scene to close Jonah’s little adventure.

Then there was the heart breaking ending to this issue. It really left an impact on me after I put this issue done and was almost good enough to make this comic of the week. I loved this moment.

To put it into context for anyone who didn’t read the issue, that’s Jonah’s would be daughter in the box. She was kidnapped by a crazy religious lady who killed the baby. Jonah got his revenge and dropped the baby off with her mother in that little coffin. A really powerful moment that was done well even with no words spoken in it. Also a strong way to end the issue.

Cover of the Week: Siege: the Cabal one-shot by David Finch

Not a lot of great covers this week but Finch did a great job of really capturing the spirit of this issue with this covered. Basically the Cabal having a big fight. Nothing too major but things like the detail and striking poses make this a really cool cover. Finch does a great job with both the 2 main forefront characters and the background characters.

Artist of the Week: Darwyn Cooke

There where some great artists this week but I have to give it to one of the best artists out there right now. Cooke is currently working on adapting the Parker novels and while that looks good I hope he does another mini-series for DC sometime soon.

His art here was amazing. While not quite like his usual style it was still some amazing stuff. He excelled both with some superb action scenes and some really powerful emotional moments as well for our characters and sometimes his art tells the story just as well as the actual words. Some truly great art and I hope to see more from him soon in the future.

Character of the Week: Aunt May

This woman is a saint, seriously. Now I’m talking about Ultimate Aunt May from this week’s Ultimate Spider-man. She’s done a lot for Peter and his friends but now she’s taken in not just Johnny Storm but Iceman as well. Someone give this woman a prize or something.

Comic I wish I Got of the Week: Jonah Hex #50

Though I got to read this issue thanks to a friend I really wish I had picked up this issue at the shop. It was an excellent read and while I’ve never read the series I know it’s based around the Clint Eastwood Westerns and I loved those movies. This was an amazing read with amazing art, may pick it up next time I’m in the shop.