Tuesday, July 01, 2008

"Post No. 518"


COMIC BOOK REVIEWS:

Picked up some comics that were published within the past few years, and with the same old attitude that "If I've never read it, then it's NEW to ME!", here some opinions of them.

Batman (DC) #656 (10/06) $2.99 / Is an issue written by Grant Morrison, and it's hard for me not to like anything I've read by the guy. This issue is illustrated by Andy Kubert, who over the past few years has developed a finer style that shows he's not merely a clone of his father's work. In fact he did a really nice job on the retro-type paintings which addorned the walls of an art museum in which the story is set.

This tale deals a lot with Bruce Wayne as well as The Dark Knight, and it has Batman being attacked (as well as all of the patrons of the museum) by ninjas injected with the "Man-Bat" formula, a little sceme cooked up by "Talia" (daughter of "Ra's Al Ghul"), and introduces what appears to be a child from the union of Bats and Talia. :^D

Hellboy's Weird Tales (Dark Horse) #1 (02/03) $2.99 / I've always liked Mike Mignola's work. Unfortunately this issue contains none of that, but at least the creators chosen for this issue were pretty damn good. They are the likes of John Cassady, TyRuben Ellingsson, Andi Watson, Fabian Nicheza, & Stefano Rafeaele. There's five different short stories here, the best of which is probably the first one called: "Big Top Hellboy" by Cassaday. A tale of Hellboy destroying a ghost circus which had killed thirteen children. But all of the work is excellant and the neat little 2 pager called "Lobster Johnson" (also by Cassaday) well finishes out the issue. :^D

Checkmate (DC) #1 (06/06) $2.99 / is by Rucka and Saiz and is one of those storylines created during DC's "Infinite Crisis" deal. The Checkmate team has a few characters a DC fan would instantly recognize such as Alan Scott (formerly the original Golden-Age Green Lantern), King Faraday, "Fire"( formerly of the JLA), and Amanda Waller. Greg Ruska's writing and Jesus Saiz's artwork artwork are both acceptable on this title, but it's a comic that you'd have to very carefully follow each issue to get the whole picture (much as was the previous DC title of the same name). :^)

The Flash (DC) V3? #1 (08/06) $2.99 / Was a disapointment to me, but then, this whole now dufunct series was to me as well, and it got cancelled with the thirteenth issue when DC killed off the "Bart-Flash" version of the character. Mostly it deals with "why" the speed force was lost and Bart wanting to abandon his role as a hero, and why his age accelerated. Even with its short run it's nothing I'd personally want to complete a full set. Written by Danny Bilson & Paul Demo. Acceptable artwork by Ken Lashley. :^\

I feel much the way about about Wonder Woman (DC) #1 (08/06) $2.99 / Although issues written after the initial dozen or so were much better, this series began rather dismally and played on the "Donna Troy as Wonder Woman" aspect with Diana Prince having become some special agent. I'd have to give that first issue a :^\ as well. By the team of Allan Heinberg, Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson.

Fury (Max Comics-Marvel) #1 (11/01) was written by Garth Ennis, with artwork by Darrick Robertson and Jimmy Palmiotti. These guys make an excellant team on this story which deals with Nick Fury being pissed off at the changes at S.H.I.E.L.D., and Nick's dealings with getting on in age, his past as an ol' war horse and his dissatisfation with his current status. There's an excellant scene in a restaurant between Fury and a former member of the infamous "Hydra" where they dwell nostalgically about the "good ol' days" fighting one another during The Cold War and how they should actually cause a new one in some Third World Country just to get back "into the game" again. It's the usual great story I've come to except from Ennis and one of the better comics I've read in a while. (Parent Advisory / Explicite Content= vulgarities and nudity.)X^D

Green Lantern: Rebirth limited series (DC) #'s 1 thru 6 (2004-05) $2.99 per issue / by Geoff Jones and Ethan Van Sciver was excellant! Not only was the artwork exceptional on this series, but I couldn't imagine any better script for the return of this iconic silver-age DC hero. In this series we get the return of the original Hal Jordan Green Lantern( minus white hair and all ) along with all of the other Earthly GL's such as John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, and Guy Gardner (and the LAST of "Warrior"), Alan Scott (the original GA G.L.) and even Kilowog, and Carol Ferris (who's now married) and The Guardians thrown in, and if that wasn't enough we get the return of the renegade Sinestro, plus the origins of the "power battery", why the battery has an impurity which made it powerless against the color yellow, the JLA, the JSA, The Teen Titans, and a great scene where Hal Jordan does the most unexpected of things to The Batman! Additionally we get a bit more information regarding Jordan's past as a child and the death of his father. An awful lot of stuff crammed into the action-packed six issues, and the best limited series I've read in a long time and a great reboot for the Jordan GL. Due to the total cover price of the l.s., however, you may want to consider just purchasing the collected TPB. X^D

Daredevil V2 (Marvel) #'s 66, 71 thru 75 (2004-05) $2.99 per issue / No. 66 was the first issue in a storyline called: "Golden Age" and it dealt with DD's early years when he still wore his original yellowishish costume, and perhaps reasons "why" he changed this so quickly in his career as a crime fighter, but more so this tale revolves around a crime boss that's been in prison many years and has come back now, seeing how much has changed in the city, and wanting what all he possessed before his incarceration. This man was "bigger than Kingpin" in his days; in fact, had it not been for him, Kingpin would have never been able to come to power. I only have a single (first) issue in that particular storyline, but what I read impressed me.

Issues 71 thru 75 contain the entire story of "Decalogue", where DD has beaten The Kingpin and now say's that he's in charge of Hell's Kitchen. He tells all criminals that their activities will no longer be tolerated as they'd have to answer to him personally. The story revolves around a discussion group, each with a connection to various DD events and relating such, DD's conflict with his old enemy "The Jester", the revealing of DD's "secret I.D. as Matt Murdock, plus demonic possession. This too was a great story and highly recommended, but as with the GL Rebirth series previously mentioned, you may want to consider purchasing it as a TPB due to it's collected cost of individual issues. All of these issues are written by one of my faves, Brian Bendis ("Powers", "Jinx", etc.) with great artwork in all of these by Alex Maleey.

X^D

Green Lantern (DC/2005 series) #'s 1 thru 10, 12 & 13 (2005-06) / $3.50 for No. 1 and the rest @ $2.99 / Although not as well-written as the GL Rebirth series, I must admit that this new GL title was pretty addicting and I sat down and read these 12 issues all in one sitting. We're treated to a review of GL's original origin and some new supporting members, plus some oldies like Hector Hammond, Killer Shark, etc. Geoff Johns continues the writing but with various artists; even so, I'd certainly like to read more of these (and probably will). The only flaw I saw in the first story was a difference from the original GL origin as told in Showcase #22 (1959). The first storyline deals with the military reverse-engineering the technology from the crashed space ship of "Abin Sur" (who choose Hal Jordan as his successor as a GL). As I recall this many times read story, Hal Jordon used the power ring to bury both the remains of Sur as well as the spacecraft. In this tale, he supposingly just leaves it in the desert where the military finds it. Makes an interesting story, but it should have really stuck to the original tale. Then we had GL battling the "Manhunters" (The Guardians original protectors of the universe), an old villian called "Black Hand", and in a team-up with Green Arrow, they take on the son of Mongul. Throw in Batman and Hank Henshaw (one of the wannabe Supermans from some years back), a cameo by "Sonar", the beginnings of a new "GL Corps" and their training (and sometimes mistrust of Jordan due to his recently unwillingly done past life as a villian in the DCU) and the first "baker's dozen" of this title is pretty jammed full of action. :^D
Green Lantern Corps: Recharge (DC) limited series #1 of 5 (11/05) / $3.50 / From the way it sounds all I've been reading lately are comics that involve Green Lantern, but this was just a single issue in a recently acquired lot of GL stuff. This title is also written by Geoff Johns, with artwork by Patrick Gleason, Christian Alamy & Prentis Pollins. Rather than revolving around Hal Jordon, it relates the story of Guy, Kyle, and Kilowog helping to train the new recruits of The GL Corps for The Guardians, all of which ties into the GL Rebirth and the beginnings of the new regular GL series. (I'm sort'a confused on just what's gone down over the years since I read many GL stories, but back in GL V2 #50 (1994), Hal Jordan destroyed Kilowog. How he came back into existence I haven't the slightest clue, so someone with more recent GL history info might clue me in on that?) Anyway...Guy Gardner's his usual obnoxious and delightfully so self as he objects to babysitting all of these new recruits, but Kilowog talks him into it as this series begins. Looks like it has some interesting new GLs, and there's a scene with the JLA (and an outlandish scene where Guy moons Batman!), and thus far that series looked pretty decent, so I'll probably pick up the rest of the issues in the run sometime. I just hope the other issues didn't cost $3.50 "a pop" as well! :^)

Aquaman (DC) #'s 15, 17 thru 20 (2004) / $2. 50 per / Hey? What da hell happened with Aquaman? Where's the long hair and beard and trident hand? Geez, I'm soooo out of it with this DC submariner these days. Anyway... #15 begins the 6 part storyline called "American Tidel", which concludes with #20 (I'm missing #16), and it's all about someone making a large section of San Diego (CA.,natch) fall into the ocean where he uses a genetic anamoly (derived from Aquaman's own DNA) to change any survivors from this sinking into "water breathers". Why? because of the theory that all of the continents are slowly being swallowed up by the sea. This guy (with the help of some unknown organization) is doing this actually to save all human life in the future. Not a good enough reason for ol' Aquay and DC's newest version of Aquagirl who find this guy and forces him to live with his own consequences. It was a good enough story (by Will Pfeifer) with decent 'nuff art (by Patrick Gleason & Christian Alamy). *sigh* I miss Mera...and those giant sea horses they were always riding. / :^)

Pryde and Wisdom (Marvel) limited series #1 (09/96) / $1.95 / It's probably not even fair for me to attempt reviewing this limited series from Marvel, now 12 years old. It's written by one of my favorite writers (Warren Ellis), but it's from a time that Ellis was doing a mainstream title, for a manstream comic book company, and it's about mutants (for Pete's Sake), from the "Excalibur" team. The plot appears to be about someone trying to kill them. Hard to say since I couldn't keep interested enough to read it all closely. The art's by Dodson and Story, published at a time when Marvel was using Image creators to reboot some of their more popular titles. Not even sure how many issues there were in this limited series; I won't be investigating into that collecting-wise as it just didn't impress me. Had it not been for Ellis writing it, I'd never given it a second look, even though anything Mr. Ellis writes is a hundred time (nay; a THOUSAND times) better than anything I could do!). :^\


And lastly...


At the time when I began this post I read when Micheal Turner lost his battle with cancer and passed from this realm at the all too early age of 37. Although I was never a huge fan of his work, I did always like what I saw of it, in particular some of his last where he did the covers for issues of Fantastic Four (around #'s 547 thru 554), and I'll admit to buying and liking his work on issues of both Witchblade and Fathom. His work has been much imitated, almost to a house style for some companies. As with all talent, he will be missed.

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