Friday, October 21, 2016

Quick Takes

Every week, it seems these days, I have a stack of new comics to read. Thanks to Rebirth, I'm reading more comics than I have in decades. And thanks to New 52 which turned me away from DC and inspired me to try all the other comics (Marvel, Image) titles I'm still reading. So, it's been an eclectic week.

Astro City 40
The end of a delightful 2-part story with the moral that being an ordinary (mostly) person (lawyer) doesn't mean you can't be a hero, especially a hero for a superhero. Still one of the best comics being published.

Black Widow 7
I'm enjoying the story. I'm not enjoying this depiction of Natasha as much. If I could meld the Natasha from her most previous book with this story, it would be perfect. It's not the cold, nasty edge to Natasha so much as the lack of emotional depth, something the previous book had explored.

Doom Patrol 2
I love Doom Patrol, so I'm giving this DC's Young Animal title a chance, but I'm coming to suspect I'm far from the intended audience. I have no idea what's going on and worse, I don't really care. I'll give it another issue or two.

Gotham Academy 2
A witch's coven is causing trouble as the rest of the students report for the new semester. Fun, as usual.

Green Arrow 9
Dinah, Ollie, and Diggle find themselves in the middle of a weird domestic dispute on the mystery island. Not bad, but I'm looking forward to a return to civilization.

Harley Quinn 6
Harley and gang go undercover as a rock group and it's as weird as you'd think. The book is still the wacky mess it's always been, but I think I'm starting to tire of it.

Kill or be Killed 3
Dylan obsesses over his first kill, then hangs out with Kira, his best friend and the woman he loves, but she's with someone else and that's driving Dylan crazy, too. Ed Brubaker, the king of comic book noir, is at his best here and Sean Phillips is acing the art. A compelling read.

Mockingbird 8
The last issue of this odd little book. I would've liked a more serious comic for Bobbi, but the light touch here with really made the book fun. I hope they bring Mockingbird back in her own book at some point.

Nightwing 7
And... we're back to the real story! Dick discovers Raptor's obsession with him goes way back, to before he was born, all the way to Dick's mother and the Flying Graysons. I can't wait for the next issue.

Superman 9
Supes and Jon try to escape from Dinosaur Island. It helps to have read Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier, but it's not a requirement. A nice conclusion to the story. I love Superman's relationship with his son.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Comic Reviews

Comic reviews, but still not all I have here to read.

First up is Champions 1, which SallyP reviewed favorably and said I would like, and she's right! This junior Avengers, or rather, junior non-Avengers title is charming. Featuring Ms. Marvel, who quit the Avengers when she feels the Avengers aren't taking their responsibilities as seriously as they should when it comes to the destruction left in the wake of their rescues, the first issue follows her as she puts together a new team with Spider-Man, Nova (who is new to me), Hulk, and Viv Vision. This is a fun start for a new title.

Lumberjanes Gotham Academy 5 (of 6)
It's looking less likely by the issue that the gang will be able to break free of the stuck in time house, and now they've ticked off their hostess. Plus, Maps has been hurt! I hope there are more team-ups of these two groups after this concludes, because I'm loving it.

Supergirl 2
Kara makes a friend at school, maybe, and deals with her Bizarro dad. The story is meh, but the art sucks. I love Supergirl and want to support this, especially since they're making a sincere attempt to reboot her properly, meaning in a non-sexualized way, but I don't think I can put up with this art much longer. Too many sharp angles on the bodies, long fingers that look like claws, heads that look like carved blocks of wood.... Yuck!

Lazarus 25
While the battle for Western Europe rages on, Johanna tells Forever the truth about her creation as the Carlyle family Lazarus. This book is so damned good.

Superwoman 3
Lena explains her revenge plot to a helpless Lex, while Lana and Steel deal with a power failure. I'm really enjoying this and the art by Lupacchino and McCarthy is really nice.

Action Comics 965
I haven't been reading this, but it features Lois, so I picked it up. I love that they restored its original numbering. Lois goes undercover as this Earth's Lois at the Daily Planet to investigate that Lois' disappearance. I've been looking forward to something like this, and so far, it's as good as I'd hoped.

In graphic novels/collected editions, I read Pretty Deadly volume 2. While it's not as much fun as the first volume, it's still a great story, exploring life and death and war. If you like your comics with a heavy dose of myths, a sense of oral storytelling traditions, and a feeling of parable, you can't go wrong with this.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Last Week This Week

So many comics! So little time!

Here are last week's reviews, plus a couple from this week. I didn't get this week's comics until yesterday because Wednesday was Yom Kippur. And there were a lot of them. Thanks to Rebirth at DC, and Image coming out with new titles I want to try, I'm getting a lot of comics each week and falling behind on the reading of them, again.

So, some quick takes on what I've read so far.

DC Comics Bombshells 18
The bombshells reunite with Mera and all is well, until the next adventure. This odd little book remains odd but mostly fun, and at least the plight of the Jews and other repressed people is being acknowledged, which at the start of this title, didn't seem to be the case.

Eclipse 2
A flashback to the day of the solar flare that killed millions, plus a deepening mystery. Interesting, enough so that I want to keep reading.

Harley Quinn 5
Harley decides to go undercover as a rock star, so she has to put together a band. The usual lunacy.

Superman 8
Supes and his super son are trapped on Dinosaur Island in this tribute to the late Darwyn Cooke.

Nightwing 6
Another chapter in the Monster Men crossover story I don't care about.

Jessica Jones 1
Bendis and Gaydos bring back Jessica in her own book, and apparently, she and Luke are split and he wants to know where their baby is, but she's not telling. Plus, she needs money, so it's back to work as a PI. I'm happy to have an ongoing JJ book.

Green Arrow 8
Ollie's stuck on an island and Dinah is there. I can't decide if he's hallucinating or not. I opted for the gorgeous Neal Adams variant cover.

Wonder Woman 8
An interlude that flashes back to Barbara Ann Minerva before she was Cheetah. Pretty good. She could headline her own book.

Flash 8
Barry and Wally (the second one) bound and Wally gets his Kid Flash costume.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Two First Issues

Because reading 25 comics a month isn't enough, I tried two new ones. I've got a third one sitting here, waiting its turn.

Surgeon X 1
This new Image title has an eye-grabbing cover, and it had a fair amount of buzz, but I found it rather heavy-handed, a bit dull, and I didn't much like the characters. Or, more specifically, despite the long flashback bookended by the present day, I felt like I didn't learn much about the main character, at all. Everyone feels like an archetype, not a real, albeit fictional, person. The premise is a near future, set in London, where everyone is dealing with the antibiotic crisis. To deal with the problem of drug-resistant bacteria, the British government has legislated restrictions on who gets antibiotics and the titular surgeon, Rosa Scott has her own ideas about that. Throw in some intrigue about her mother's death that comes on the last page, and this looks to be a medical thriller, but I'm just not feeling the thrills. Or suspense. I thought the art was so-so. I'm going to pass on continuing with this book.

Frostbite 1
This Vertigo title, on the other hand, grabbed me, first with its gorgeous cover and interior art. Despite static posing, or because of it, the art seems very suitable to a near future when the world is dealing with a new ice age. The elements of this story are fed out a bit more slowly, with better pacing than Surgeon X to build suspense. I could feel the cold, though maybe that was just the cold of my apartment. But I like the main character Keaton. She's just trying to survive, with her emotions and actions swinging from compassion for some kids to more pragmatic actions regarding an older couple suffering from deadly frostbite. And when her companions take on a job to transport a father and daughter to Alcatraz, she reluctantly agrees, despite her misgivings. Her instincts prove right when they're all attacked, and the chase is on. I want to see where this goes.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Quick Takes

I still have three new titles to read, but I have such a stack of comics I did read that I figured I'd just whip through them. A couple are from last week.

Astro City 38
A charming look into the past with Jazzbaby.

Astro City 39
The start of a new story taking us back to Shadow Hill, and a promise made long ago by the Hanged Man, who enlists the aid of lawyer Marta Dobrescu, a character we met back in the first volume, Life in the Big City. She has white in her hair now, a sign of aging that I love about Astro City. It isn't stagnant; it isn't stuck in time the way most comics are. The story is intriguing, too, with wonderful art.

Blue Beetle 1
Better than the Rebirth issue, but I still have no idea where this is going. Ted's more of a jerk than I'd like and the nasty sniping between Brenda and Paco is getting annoying. Plus, we don't see any of Jaime's family this issue. I had high hopes for this book, so I hope it gets on track soon.

Captain America Steve Rogers 5
This fills in a bit of backstory for what happened to Bruce Banner, plus some tie-in with Ulysses, the Inhuman who's predicting the future. Plus, we get more of Hydra's reworking of Steve's past. I'm still enjoying this.

Captain Marvel 9
I'm not liking this Civil War II tie-in. Carol is acting like a jerk. I want to smack her upside the head, turn her upside down, and shake some sense into her.

Descender 15
I loved this. This issue is devoted to filling in what happened to Andy after he was evacuated from the mining colony Dirishu when he was a young boy.

Doom Patrol 1
The first of the new Young Animal imprint from DC that I've read. And it's weird. We meet EMT Casey Brinke. Strange things happen. I have no idea what's going on. I'll give it a few more issues and see if anything becomes clearer.

Dream Police 12
The end of the story. And an editorial by author J. Michael Straczynski explaining, finally, the delays were due to his deteriorating vision. But his vision is better now. And he's leaving comics. But at least this is finished and the conclusion is satisfying, if a bit convoluted.

Flash 7
This fun story arc got dark and now it's getting darker. I really loved August from the moment he was introduced, but I worried, once he got speed powers, that he'd use them unwisely. I hate being right. One of the better Rebirth titles.

Lady Mechanika: La Dama de la Muerte 1
A story set in Lady Mechanika's past, involving the Mexican festival for the Lady of the Dead. It's interesting seeing Lady Mechanika without her usual confidence. An interesting setting for this steampunk character.

Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis 6
I think this is the end, though it doesn't say so. This has been one helluva messy ride with superheroes turned evil and the brave non-powered folks fighting them. Simone and Calafiore at the top of their game.

Ms. Marvel 11
Another Civil War II tie-in book. Kamala's world is falling apart. Bruno is recovering but no longer wants Kamala in his life. Kamala's doubts about predictive justice lead to a rift with her idol Captain Marvel that might never be repaired. All of which leads Kamala to question who and what she is. This comic continues to hit it out of the park.

Saga 38
The cover is gorgeous, but this issue is heart-wrenching. I can't and won't say more, other than to say this is the best comic being published right now.

Thunderbolts 5
This comic really sucks. I'm still getting it for Bucky, but that might not be enough, anymore. From the juvenile dialogue to the awful art, to the poor characterization.... I could go on and on about how bad it is, but there's no point. Suffice it to say, Bucky does something stupid when he thinks Steve is in danger.

Titans 3
I wish there was more for the Titans not named Wally to do, but everyone is in character, so I'm happy. This clearly, for the first story arc, at least, is focusing on Wally. Kadabra is determined to get revenge on Wally for all the times in the past that Wally/Flash defeated him. He apparently is behind removing Wally from reality but he's not behind the warping of history. He does seem to think he knows who is behind that, though. Not in the top tier of Rebirth titles, but decent enough. Any book that restores the classic version of the Titans is, for me, worth reading. As long as the creative team doesn't screw it up.

Wonder Woman 7
A conclusion to the main threat in the first story arc set in the present. The last page was most satisfying.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Some Reviews

I still have some holdovers to read, including Doom Patrol from the previous week. Or was it the week before that? I've lost track. Anyway, here's what I have read.

DC Comics Bombshells 17
Uprising, part 1 focuses on the Jewish ghetto in Berlin where some of the Bombshells are planning an uprising, but the Joker's Daughter has a plan to stop them. Some Jewish culture and the rise of the Bombshells' version of Mary Marvel make this a nice, focused story in the series. The art's pretty nice, too.

Harley Quinn 4
In the aftermath of the alien-tainted hotdogs that caused a zombie crisis, Harley heads to India to take on telephone scammers. Hard as it seems, this book has gotten weirder since Rebirth despite continuing without making changes. This book is so over the top, I don't think it can ever jump the shark, but it sure seems to be trying. I'm not finding it as much fun as before.

Superman 7
Clark spends time with his family, which involves going to the county fair. A charming change-of-pace story that is a reminder of how much fun superhero comics can be.

Green Arrow 7
Continuing the story focusing on Emi, alternating between a year ago and now. A year ago, she got mixed up with the Clock King and put Ollie in danger. Now she's trying to free her mother from the Yakuza. The parallel storytelling works nice and Emi is a character I really like.

Nightwing 5
Part of the "Monster Men" even story taking place across the Bat books. Since I'm not reading the others, this makes little sense to me. Who the heck are Duke and Gotham Girl/Claire? Dick was hardly in this. Meh. Next issue will be more of the same, so I might not bother getting or reviewing it.

Monday, September 19, 2016

So Many Comics

I still have 3 to read from last week! With the Rebirth titles from DC being mostly awesome, my weekly stack is getting large. Here's what I managed to read so far.

Gotham Academy 1
Second Semester. Olive is stuck at the school over the holiday break and meets a new roomie who looks to be trouble. A fun book, though I'm not sure where it's going this semester.

Lumberjanes Gotham Academy 4 (of 6)
This has been a hoot. The gang tries to come up with a way to fulfill Louise's dreams so they can break the spell and be free of the cabin stuck in time. Things don't go according to plan. Of course.

Mockingbird 7
The only connection here is to Clint being on trial for killing Bruce Banner. Otherwise, Bobbi's got a mystery to solve. The guy who paid for her to be on the nerd cruise and claimed to have evidence that could free Clint turns up dead and things aren't what they seem. Are they ever? Rather tongue-in-cheek action/adventure tale.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey 2
I officially give up on this. I can understand wanting to build up the team from scratch or near enough and I like that Babs was once Oracle before regaining her mobility and becoming Batgirl again. I can even allow for Huntress not yet being a friend of Babs and Dinah, yet. But this mishmash of a comic is mostly a mess. The plot isn't all that interesting, and even if the second issue isn't as ridiculous as the first was (Looking for some vague threat to the transit system, Dinah happens to be in the right car of the right train. Really? Way too coincidental for my taste.), it has it's lesser moments. We didn't need Batman showing up. The art is still ugly. And the banter is irritating. I'm done.

Flash 6
Whoa! I was wondering about that character. He seemed a bit too eager to use his new abilities, but I wasn't expecting that twist. This is getting dark. One of the better DC books right now.

Superwoman 2
This is an amazing book. The story and pencils by Phil Jimenez are brilliant, Lana shines  And that ending! That's two issues so far and both delivered a satisfying punch to the gut at chapter's end. I can't wait for issue 3.

Wonder Woman 6
From the utterly charming cover with Diana communing with a variety of animals through the continuing story detailing Diana's arrival in Steve's world, this book excels. Nicola Scott draws wonderful, expressive faces -- the eyes seem so real! And Rucka gives us a dose of reality, what would really happen when Steve shows up with an Amazon in an invisible plane that disintegrates as soon as they deplane. Dealing with the language barrier feels so natural and realistic. This book truly is a wonder. This may become known as the best version of Wonder Woman in comics ever.