Sunday, April 26, 2015

Belated Reviews as Usual

Belated and brief. So, here's what I read in the past couple of weeks.

Legenderry Red Sonja 3
I really like this steampunk realm and I prefer steampunk Sonja to the actual Red Sonja. In this chapter, she meets mad scientist Victor Frankenstein, who's taken her prisoner, and things don't go well. Breezy and enjoyable.

Black Widow 17
Natasha is given a vision of the perfect life she could have, if she takes Chaos's offer. Is there any doubt what her answer is? Let's just say Chaos doesn't like being turned down. Far from my favorite book, but still, an enjoyable one.

Ms. Marvel 14
Poor Kamala. The perfect boy isn't all that perfect, after all, as Kamala learns that there are nasty Inhumans as well as nice ones. This book continues to be awesome.

Legendary Star-Lord 11
Chapter 12 of the Black Vortex. This follows, it seems, the Captain Marvel chapter, which I read, so it sorta made sense to me. Kitty makes a sacrifice that probably will end her budding love affair with Peter. *sniff* I'll be glad when this Black Vortex storyline is over, but I don't know if this book will still be around.

Shutter 11
The weirdness of this weird book keeps getting, uh, weirder. After a lot of weirdness, Kate is finally going to learn about/meet? her mother? I'm not sure why I'm still reading this. It's not bad and somehow, I'm hooked, but it's so not the kind of comic I usually enjoy.

The Big Con Job 2
This saga/caper tale of down-on-their-luck cult actors working the con circuit continues, with the group considering an agent's offer for them to pull a heist at SDCC. There's something so sad about this, with pathos mixed in with the humor. I really feel for these aging actors. In a short time, they've become very real to me. The book is a delight.

Choronauts 2
Danny's rescue of Corbin takes an unexpected turn as it turns out, trapped in the past, Corbin doesn't want rescuing. Having fixed his time transporter device, he's been zipping around time, amassing a fortune and sleeping around in a wide variety of time periods, while the folks in the present try to find both and bring them home before anything gets irrevocably damaged. I'm actually surprised he hasn't actually changed the present yet by having altered history, so I hope that issue is addressed at some point. But the book is a romp.

Lazarus 16
One thing I love about this book is that it lets us see aspects of its fictional future realm by focusing on characters not previously seen or only briefly seen. THis issue features a nun who acts as a spy for Carlyle in return for free travel through the territories. Her current mission is to retrieve a virus sample and antidote, but things... you guessed it .... don't go as planned. Topnotch science fiction that focuses on the people.

Velvet 10
As the final act of the first story arc gets underway, or is about to, the plot twists start coming fast and furious. I've always loved good spy stories, and this Cold War-era story featuring a kickass female agent is perfection. I know Velvet will triumph, but it's the how and the why of the story, as well as Velvet's tenacity that keeps me hooked. One of my all-time favorite comics.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

So Many Comics

I'm still not caught up with all the comics I bought in the last two weeks, and I'll be getting more tomorrow. Oy vey! Let's just get to the (albeit brief) reviews.

Astro City 22
A done-in-one issue story follows the last multi-issue story and it's very sweet, about an aging superhero who is now an author and facing a life of retirement. This book always hits me in, as the younger generations say, the feels.

Copperhead 6
A new story begins, but first, the sheriff takes a night off. albeit reluctantly. This is a comic I enjoy, but not enough to buy the trade collections. It's entertaining, but not a keeper for me.

Descender 2
This compelling new book doesn't disappoint as TIM-21's early days are revealed while his continued existence is very much in jeopardy.

Legenderry Green Hornet 2-3
In their investigation of what seems to be a mob war, the Green Hornet and Kato find an unexpected ally and learn a bit more about the enemy behind it all. I prefer steampunk Green Hornet to the original version of the character.

Harley Quinn 16
Harley puts together her Harley team. This can't end well. And anyone who thinks this book should be taken seriously is missing the point. It's a wild, crazy ride with nice art.

I read the Convergence Harley Quinn, too, but it was a more serious version, presumably the original version which I never read. It didn't do much for me.

Captain Marvel 14: Black Vortex
Since I'm reading only the chapters in this title and the Star-Lord book, the whole thing is a disjointed mess for me.  I assume other titles are involved, too. Anyway, this was kinda meh.

Saga 27
Marko, having tried drugs, spends most of the issue in a hallucination that leads to an epiphany of sorts, giving Fiona Staples a lot of fun stuff to draw, including full front nudity for Marko! Seriously, I was reading this on the subway on my way home for Forbidden Planet NY and for the first time since my teen years was self-conscious about reading comics in public. But a great issue as usual.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Quick Reviews

I had such a great chat with one of the gals who works at Forbidden Planet NY this past week. We chatted about Roy Harper and Donna Troy and all sorts of other stuff. It was nice to find someone who shares my love of Roy and Donna, and understands how devastated I was when the original Supergirl was killed off. It was just really, really nice.

Ah well, on with the reviews.

Black Widow 16
Some flashback scenes fill in background info on Natasha that adds to our understanding of her personality. Even as a child being trained as an assassin, she showed an independent streak. At the issue's end, she receives an unexpected offer. I'm intrigued by this plot twist.

Chrononauts 1
This new book by Mark Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy gets off to a strong start as two intrepid explorers test out a time machine. When the scientist heading into the past goes off course, his adventurer friend rushes through the time portal to rescue him. A lot of time and setup is pushed at the reader with time jumps, giving us just enough to follow the premise and get us to the actual story. Now with the follow-up issues, the book needs to really deliver the goods, but judging by this first issue, that shouldn't be difficult. The pace is good and the art is sketchy and fun.

COWL 9
This political take on superheroing continues to fascinate me, with the few female characters starting to make their presence felt. If you want something different than the usual superhero book, this is definitely worth trying.

Dream Police 6
Thank goodness they put a summary of what's already happened in this book because with so much time between issues, I forget where things were left off. Dream Police Joe and Kate make their move, heading for the Verge to seek answers to what the dream realm truly is and why Joe had a partner he can't really remember. Not much happens to further the story, just Joe and Kate making their move and their Captain sending the troops after them. Hopefully, next issue, we'll really get more actual plot developments.

Gotham Academy 6
Olive is saved by Croc, learns a bit more about her mother and the connection between the Academy and Arkham, and it looks like Damian Wayne will soon be a classmate. Such a fun book.

Legendary Star-Lord 10
Since I'm not reading the other Black Vortex issues, this made little sense, but it featured a nice scene between Peter and Kitty.

Legenderry Red Sonja 2
The next chapter of this steampunk Red Sonja story finds Sonja helping the Bride of Frankenstein. I like this version of Red Sonja more than the original version.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sadness

I just deleted a whole lot of comic blogs from Feedly, the place I read blogs. They hadn't been updated in at least a year. For some, they hadn't been updated in years. Yikes! I really should check my blogroll annually. But it was sad, to formally say goodbye to blogs I'd loved, from their comics-y titles to the insightful, funny, thought-provoking posts. I miss them.

As for reading, the only thing I've read was Red Hood and the Outlaws 40 -- yeah, yeah, I bought more this week, but I got new action figures to play with: Hot Toys 12-inch-ish Star-Lord and Tony Stark, so well, I've been busy playing.

As for RHATO 40, it was okay, clearly a setup for the post-Convergence Red Hood and Arsenal title, maybe even the Starfire title. But I'll miss Kori and Roy as a couple. They really were cute together. I am glad Jason and Roy will stay friends, though, and share a book. Roy and Dick were always friends who were close as brothers, and yet, Roy and Jason are a better fit as friends. Both are pretty screwed up but rise above it, especially when they support and are supported by each other. So, I'm looking forward, not backward. This far removed from the end of the old DC and the start of the New 52, I can leave my obsession with the past, and continuity, behind. Reading a wider variety of comics can do that for a person. Every title in Image books is its own universe, after all, and I'm okay with that. I can be okay reading a few DC titles and a few Marvel titles, and the Image titles I love and some Dynamite and.... well, you get the idea. Variety is good. Good comics is better.

Here are the new toys, Star-Lord and Tony Stark, both from Hot Toys.
Peter Quill, Star-Lord

Tony Stark, ARC Reactor Creation Figure

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Latest Reviews

Let's just plunge into the reviews, shall we?

Astro City 21
Thus concludes, maybe, the story of Quarrel and what a wonderful story arc it's been! This look into her background, as well as her dealing with aging and losing a step or two in the present has been nothing short of amazing, but what really elevated this above the usual awesomeness of this topnotch comic is the character development. A middle-aged woman, she still shows emotional growth, learning some important lessons, and the most important one came from her former criminal father. One of my favorite comics keeps hitting it out of the ballpark.

The Big Con Job 1
First of a 4-part miniseries by Jimmy Palmiotti and Matt Brady. Aging characters seems to be the next big thing! This first issue is mostly setup, introducing us to the aging actors who once played superheroes and science fiction heroes on TV and are now relegated to the diminishing adulation and pay they can find on the convention circuit. Dominke Stanton's art is light and playful and perfectly suited for what's shaping up to be a kooky caper story. Add this to the titles of comics that are fun.

Captain Marvel 13
Carol has her hands full as she's searching for Tic and Chewie while her ship is failing. Needless to say, if you need help, you can't do better than having Carol Danvers on your side!

Descender 1
Image continues its record of bringing readers stellar science fiction stories in the comic book format. Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen bring to life a realm of nine planets, lots of high tech, and a mysterious attack by a giant robot (as in planet-sized!) that changed everything. At its heart, the story seems to be about a little boy, or rather, an AI in the form of a little boy and his robot dog. I couldn't help being reminded of the AI boy of "Extant," the science fiction TV show from last summer that will return this summer, though the story here is much different. The first issue is just a peek at what will come, but it's safe to say that Lemire and Nguyen have created a fascinating, complex realm and I'm happy to go along for the ride.

Ms. Marvel 13
Kamala in love? Maybe! When her parents' friends visit, along with their son, who's close to Kamala in age, sparks unexpectedly fly. But then an Inhuman attacks people while Kamala and Kamran (with Kamala's brother chaperoning!) are out buying DVDs, and Kamala risks her secret identity to stop the woman. Guest artist Takeshi Miyazawa perfectly captures the fun feeling of this book. I'm looking forward to seeing how this storyline plays out.

Shutter 10
This weird book keeps getting weirder, but with a short back story and a couple of pages for a lettercol, there seems to be less and less actual main story from issue to issue. This is especially true this time as Kate and Kalliyan enter a dream realm, with many pages filled with what seems like hallucinations which look cool but don't advance the story much. Still, I'm sticking around because I want to know what this is all about. It's not a story, however, that I care enough about to buy the collected editions the way I do with others.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Some Comics I Read

Ah.... I've got pre-season baseball (Mets) on the TV, the window is open, the sun is shining.... there might truly be an end to this seemingly endless winter. At least I've had plenty of comics to curl up with.

Harley Quinn 15
Harley gets a visit from Ivy who helps her deal with her over-extended schedule, by suggesting she advertise for help. No good can come of this, but we need to wait for the next issue for that. In this one, Harley goes full hero to save people in a burning building. The usual, fluffy, fun.

Gotham Academy 5
Olive uncovers some secrets that only pose more questions in this fun, quirky book.

Legenderry Green Hornet 1
I'm not going to read all the Legenderry spinoffs, but I decided to try this, having liked this take on the character in the Legenderry mini-series despite never really liking the character previously. Green Hornet and Kato work well in a steampunk realm though not much happens in this first issue, which is mostly setup for some sort of gang warfare story. Daryl Gregory does well enough with Bill Willingham's realm and Brent Peeples does a nice job on art. Not great, but not bad, so I'll keep reading.

Legenderry Red Sonja 1
The star of the Legenderry mini-series tries to enjoy a visit in the Big City, but events and people conspire to make that difficult for her. This spinoff has the advantage of being written by Marc Andreyko who has proved himself more than capable in the past at writing strong female characters and the art by Aneke is nice, though more in keeping with the look of the current Red Sonja books than the Legenderry mini. Whatever is going on here, I want to know more, which is a good thing, so, a promising start.

Saga 26
Noooo! How could it end the way it did and make me wait a whole month for the next chapter?! Few comics deliver emotional sucker punches the way this book does. With Marko separated from his wife and daughter and partnered with Prince IV, while Alana, Hazel, and Marko's mom deal with Dengo and a band of terrorists, no one is in a good place. And then, things get worse. Damn, I love this book. It's a rare comic that gets me this emotionally involved.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Week in Reviews

Image Comics continues to dominate my pull list, though this batch of reviews includes 3 Marvel titles, 2 Image titles, and one from DC. So Marvel wins this round, but only due to the timing of publishing schedules.

Bitch Planet 3
Every third issue is a one-off for this comic, with writer DeConnick focusing on one of the inmates' backstory, with a guest artist. This issue tells us about Penny Rolle. Penny really comes alive as an actual person via slices from her life pre-incarceration and if you don't get angry on her behalf at the injustice done her, you're just an unfeeling... well, you get the idea. This is an important comic and I can't recommend it enough.

Lazarus 15
AKA when the sh*t hits the fan. Or, when the status quo changes. Hock vs Carlyle with Forever Carlyle battling Hock's designated lazarus champion, with the actual fight comprising the bulk of the issue. Rucka's strong control of the dystopian world he's created is impressive and Lark's art is scarily realistic. Kudos, too, for the coloring by Arcas. And that ending.... Argh. I can't wait til next month.

Black Widow 15
Natasha continues to battle Chaos, with an assist from the Winter Soldier! For some reason, it never seems like much happens in each issue, and yet, a lot does. I love the art, I love the action, and I'm hoping the conclusion makes it all worth it, but for some reason, I can't completely get into this book.

Ms. Marvel 12
A one-off with Loki sent to see if any of the Inventor's minions are still lurking about Kamala's school. And Loki being Loki and this being a Valentine's Day story, Loki plays Cupid. Sorta. Fun stuff.

Legendary Star-Lord 9
I have no idea why I bothered reading this since I'm not reading the other books in the Black Vortex storyline and I have no idea who half the heroes are. But it was pretty to look at.

Red Hood and the Outlaws 39
Aside from rehashing character development from earlier in the series, Komand'r finds Kori, pretends to want to kill her, but then saves her life. Meanwhile, Rose Wilson shows up while Jason and Roy are looking for Kori because she's got a contract and then there's a big reunion with everyone, and then the baddies show up. And all of this is no big deal, just another comic book story. I'd really hoped for more depth when Lobdell returned to this book.