Thursday, April 28, 2016

Another Big Week

It's been a big comics month for me. And most this week were quite entertaining, so let's get to the reviews.

Black Canary 11
I really don't know much about the New52 version of Dinah, but this comic is a joy to look at. In this issue, we get into the heart of the story and maybe next issue, we'll learn the truth about her parents. I don't care all that much, but the ride has been fun, with a strong, musical motif.

Dream Police 9
Hot on the heels of issue 8 -- really! It's been only a month since issue 8, which came out 8 months after issue 7 -- this issue really delivers. Joe's former partner, Frank, meets Joe and Joe's current partner, Kate, in the Verge, where he tells them what's really going on in the Dreamscape, mainly, who really make up the Dream Police. I hope by the time this story concludes, we learn who the people in charge of the whole thing, the ones in control of dreaming, really are. But for now, getting some answers and the promise of maybe having the story conclude this year has me back to thoroughly enjoying this story.

Harley Quinn 27
Featuring the Red Tool, a takeoff on Deadpool. As advertised on the cover, instead of the Merc with the Mouth, we get the Fool with the Tools. And he's got a love/hate thing going on for Harley. The usual crazy amped up a bit. I love this version of Harley because she's nobody's fool.

Ms. Marvel 6
Captain Marvel and some Avengers stop by to help out when the clone Kamalas get out of control. Even Loki puts in an appearance. And Kamala learns an important lesson about not trying to be everyone's hero, time management, and the need to sometimes say "No." Fun stuff.

Saga 36
End of the story arc/brief hiatus time, and what a last page! The main thing, story-wise, though, is that Hazel is reunited with her parents. Let's all say it together: "Awwwwwwww......"

Avengers Standoff 001
Assault on Pleasant Hill. Lots of baddies. Lots of Avengers and others. Lots of fighting. Setups for what's coming up in the Marvel 'verse. Not as many character bits as I would like, but enough to balance the battles. I bought this for Bucky, but it was a decent story.

Star-Lord 6
Kitty and Peter have broken up, hate each other or so they each claim, and both insist on being Star-Lord. Yeah, this is going well. Not. And when they're convinced to team up on a mission for Stark, well, that doesn't go well, either. I'm glad we're back in the present, but the story seems kinda forced, the broken romance overblown. I'm reserving judgment on this. I much preferred the last version, before Marvel revamped things.

Strange Fruit 3 (of 4)
So glad to finally get the next installment of this story of racial tension after the Civil War. The art is stunning, the characters all too realistic, and the levee about to rupture adds a sense of urgency. A really good story.

SuperZero 5
Dru is finally getting an adventure, aboard the space station after stowing away on a NASA launch, but gaining superpowers seems as elusive to her as ever. But something sinister is going on as this comic takes a swing away from feeling current day realistic. I have mixed feelings about where the story is going. I love how grounded the story has been even as Dru is anything but grounded, so getting her into a situation that is anything but grounded in current reality means this might end up being something different. I'm hopeful it'll remain awesome, but the turn of events caught me by surprise. Not that I don't like being surprised, only that it changes the tone of the book. I'm still loving Dru, though.

Velvet 14
This got really real, with real-life figures showing up, as Velvet kidnaps President Nixon for a heart-to-heart chat. Tying the story into real-life events -- in this case, the Watergate break-in -- gives the story more realism and urgency than ever and puts Velvet in more danger than she had been or had anticipated. This book is an excellent take on the spy game in the early-'70s.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

So Many Comics

It was another big week, and I haven't gotten to the Wonder Woman '77 Special yet, having saved the best for last. But here's what I did read, with some leftovers from last week, for the one or two of you still reading this blog. :)

Harley's Little Black Book 3
I'm reading only the issues with guest stars I love, and this issue has Zatanna and it's pretty darn fun as Zee and Harley help some spirits move on.

Black Canary 10
Two different artists on this issue and the styles don't mesh well, though I like both. Batgirl helps out Dinah who is trying to get to the bottom of her mother's past. This is the first I'm reading anything with New52 Batgirl and while she seems so young, she was fine. At least, we're back to the main story.

Gotham Academy 17
This guest starred Black Canary, the music group, including DD (Dinah) performing at the academy. Also, Robin is taking books from the school. To what end? Ah, to be continued! The usual fun.

Astro City 34
SteelJack solves his first real case, but it isn't easy, and, well, I teared up. I usually do at the end of the stories in this comic.

Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis 4
Things are getting really complicated, but we get a clue about what's in the giant pit that formed in the city and started the whole trouble. Between Simone's wackier characters here and Calafiore's amazing art, I had a few Secret Six flashbacks from some panels. That's a good thing.

Poison Ivy Cycle of Life and Death 4
Catwoman guest stars and ups the fun factor as Ivy enlists Selina's aid to help her steal back her stolen research. I've been really enjoying this.

Titans Hunt 7
With Rebirth coming, this is now an 8 part mini-series, not the 12 parts originally planned (if I recall properly), so things are amping up at a faster pace now. It turns out Lilith had hired the assassins now after the Titans to help with neutralizing the Twister, but that sure didn't go as planned. I'm really hoping this ends in a resurgence of the Titans I loved so much.

Captain Marvel 4
Aside from loving Kris Anka's gorgeous cover, I found this a fun chapter in the latest story of Carol's life. Because of the Kree symbol on her uniform and her Kree-based powers, Carol is under attack when a second ship of Kree haters shows up. This incarnation of Captain Marvel is pretty fun.

Sam Wilson Captain America 8 Standoff
I haven't been reading any of this storyline and none of the Captain America books, but I saw that Bucky was in this, so I had to give it a try. I have no idea what's going on, but there are some great Buck/Steve and Sam/Steve scenes in this now that Steve has regained his youth and powers. And the idea of a cosmic cube taking the form of a little girl is pretty darn cool.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Some Reviews

I still have a couple of this past week's comics to read -- yeah, I'm that lazy -- so here's what I read so far.

DC Bombshells 11
Some of the Bombshells get to finally meet. Also, there's some kissing. And a battle. And it's part one of two. I'm not as enamored of this book as some people are, but it's okay.

Mockingbird 2
Bobbi rescues Hunter from a sex club where he's been undercover. There are paper dolls in the back of the book. Fun stuff, but I have no idea where this is all going.

Harley Quinn Gang of Harleys 1
I love Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner's Harley Quinn book, but this is a bit off, maybe because Conner isn't sharing co-writing chores. Palmiotti wrote it with Frank Tieri, and it's fun, but not as wacky as Harley's main book. It's also rather wordy. Harley's been kidnapped and it's up to her new gang of helpers to find and rescue her, but things aren't what they seem. They never are with Harley.

Shutter 20
Kate learns some backstory about her father. This is a rather charming chapter, even if not much happens.

Red Hood Arsenal 11
Jason confronts Duela about the Joker mask and Roy faces a less than admirable chapter in his past. Amazingly, Titans Hunt is referenced. I really like the art by Dexter Soy, the story by Lobdell less so.

Starfire 11
More of Kory and Stella's visit in Atlee's homeland beneath the sea. A pleasant diversion, but not much of a story.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Megalopolis

Leaving Megalopolis is a graphic novel by Gail Simone and J. Calafiore that was funded via Kickstarter. I was one of the backers and have a lovely hardcover with a bookplate signed by Simone and Calafiore to show for it. There is now an ongoing comic (I don't know if it's a limited series or not) from Dark Horse Comics, called Surviving Megalopolis, that continues the story.

The premise has the city of Megalopolis cut off from the outside world, under quarantine, after an "incident" in which something came out of a crater that formed in the city, a something that caused the superpowered heroes to turn evil. Now, those former heroes are preying on the city's citizens. The graphic novel told the story of a small group of people and their attempt to escape the city.

The comic sets up as a rescue mission, with a small team entering Megalopolis to find two people and bring them out to safety. But, as we learn in the most recent issue, #3), two members of the team have their own agenda, because isn't that always the case? Sure, it is. And in this case, it just adds to the intrigue. The comic is filling in some of the gaps left by the graphic novel while posing new questions about what happened in the city.

This is a great, gritty tale of survival, a different type of disaster story where the heroes people normally turn to for help are now the things to be feared. The people of the city who we meet are all individuals, capable of heroism, and Simone makes us care about them. Calafiore's art is wonderfully detailed. His people look real, full of emotion, and the backgrounds show a city in chaos.

I'll admit I don't love everything Simone writes. I adored her take on Birds of Prey, and I thought her Secret Six series to be amazingly good, but I was less enamored of her writing on the pre-New52 Wonder Woman, and I never could get into that short-lived DC comic with original super-powered characters she wrote (the title of which escapes me). Here, she's at the top of her game, giving us a story that seems so real, a story of fear and what it can cause people to do to survive, good things and bad. But it's also a story of hope, and I hope it's around for a while because I'm enjoying (if "enjoy" can be the right word for such a distopia) my visits to Megalopolis.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Just Two

A slow week.

Miss Fury 1
I loved the previous incarnation of this character, a rather timey whimey tale. This time 'round, we seem to be getting something more straightforward. Marla Drake, aka Miss Fury, is working as a marine engineer. When someone steals plans for experimental rotors, she jumps into action to find out who's behind the theft. A nice start by writer Corinna Bechko and lovely art by Jonathan Lau.

Black Widow 2
The story that began with the first issue takes a step back to a week prior and starts filling in the background that brought her to be on the run. Working security in the background at a SHIELD funeral, she ends up being taken captive of Platch Liev, who has a file on (presumably) her that shouldn't still exist, something he holds over her to get her to do his bidding. The intrigue is building for an exciting tale. I'm liking this take on Natasha.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Saga

Only one comic this week! And it's Saga 35. So, Saga gets to be the title of this post.

It was strange to not have Hazel's narration, but a lot of awesomeness was packed into this issue, from the two journalists being held captive by The Will and trying to keep him from killing them to Hazel's teacher trying to help her escape the prison compound to Alana and Marko mounting a rescue op. Even the Letters column provided an entertaining read. Fiona Staples' art, from cover to last page, was its usual wonderfulness. I can't recommend Saga highly enough.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

DC Rebirth

So, a lot was announced at WonderCon. Here's the scoop.

I'm going to have to rethink my pull list. But after I sample some of the new wares. I'm excited yet wary of this new reboot, because that's really what it mostly is for most of the characters, or so it seems.