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.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Reviews

First, the holdovers from the previous week.

DC Comics Bombshells Annual 1
The origin story for this version of the Suicide Squad. Elsa Charretier's art is lovely, and the Dodson created a wonderful cover, but Marguerite Bennett's story, while decent, left me feeling that there were some gaps, and I never did feel involved with the characters or all that interested in what happened to them.

Gotham Academy Annual 1
A fun romp involving demonic creatures, a grandfather clock, and time travel.

This past week's comics...

Eclipse 1
This science fiction comic from Image/Top Cow looked interesting, thanks to a preview I'd read in another comic, so I gave it a try. The sun has become deadly to humans, so Earth's population spends the daytime underground, while a crew in hazard suits handle topside repairs and maintenance. The main plot seems to involve murder by sun radiation. I'm intrigued enough to keep reading.

Kill or Be Killed 2
The next chapter in Dylan's descent into assassin is complex and a good character study. Brubaker handles noir about as well as anybody.

Supergirl 1
Less scattered feeling than the Rebirth issue, but still problematic for me. I have no real issue with having Kara as a recent arrival on Earth, but I would've preferred her to be a bit older and in college, rather than be a high school student. Plus, her being assigned to live with the Danvers makes for awkwardness, though I trust the family feeling will develop eventually. Kara is a bit bratty, which fits with her being a teenager forced into a situation beneath her education in Argo City while presenting her with relatively primitive technology she's never experienced and therefore, doesn't know how to use. These are elements that should work and be fun, but so far, it's not, and I'm not sure if writer Steve Orlando is at fault, or if it's editorial. The attempt to mix in classic Supergirl mythos with the wonderful TV version and the cartoonish art by Brian Ching (I hate the pointy chins and exaggerated expressions) doesn't do Supergirl justice. She's one of my favorite characters, but maybe this is just intended to attract a younger audience than I am. So, I'm disappointed.

Superman 6
The art is a bit cartoonish here, too, but it works much better, perhaps because Superman is larger than life and the story is strong enough. Plus, the faces aren't as exaggerated as in Supergirl. A nice resolution for the first story arc that leaves things in a good place for the next story.

Nightwing 4
The first story concludes, mostly, but is Raptor playing Dick or is he playing the Owls? Things seem to work out this time, but Dick can be too trusting. This book is doing a good job showing how different Dick is from Bruce, making him very much his own man, for better or for worse.

Green Arrow 6
Much as we want to know what's happening with Ollie right now, this is Kimi's story. One of my favorite Rebirth titles.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

This Week Part One

A mixed bag this week. I still have two to read: Gotham Academy Annual and DC Comics Bombshells Annual. Plus, I picked up two trades to read: Jessica Jones Avenger, which looks good and I can't get enough of Jessica Jones; and Superman: Lois and Clark, which by the time I'd heard it was good, it was already in the middle of its run. I'm enjoying the Superman Rebirth book so I'm looking forward to reading what led up to that.

Here's what I read in no particular order.

Dream Police 11
I was hoping this would end at issue 12, but this one says "to be continued," not "to be concluded," so I have no idea how long it'll take to get to the end of the story. I'm still loving it, but it's been at least two years now and it's getting hard to keep up my enthusiasm. Anyway, Joe learns the truth about Dreamland. Maybe.

Lazarus 24
The war between the families rages while Forever deals with what she's learned about her origin. I so love this book.

Thunderbolts 4
I'm reading this just for Bucky. And to see how it fits with the storyline in Captain America Steve Rogers. The Squadron Supreme is after the Thunderbolts. I have no prior exposure to the Squadron Supreme, but this left me unimpressed. The art continues to annoy me.

Saga 37
Marko, Alana, Hazel, and their traveling companions head to Phang, a hunk of space rock caught in the neverending war, to refuel. We all know this can't end well. This remains one of the best comics being published.

Ms. Marvel 10
I love Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, but Civil War II is bringing out the worst in her, and that is much on display here. Aside from the ethical issues of the predictive justice she not only supports but keeps pushing as the best kind of justice, the way she's manipulated Kamala into acting as her assistant has been deplorable. Never mind that Kamala is Ms. Marvel, a superhero in her own right. She's still a teenager, dealing with all the trials and tribulations all teens face as their hormones rage and they're caught between the innocence of childhood and the tough decisions adults have to make. It's so unfair of Carol to dump this on Kamala, and Kamala has had serious misgivings about predictive justice even before her best friend Bruno -- we see in this issue how they met in second grade -- was gravely injured at the end of last issue. G. Willow Wilson is doing a great job exploring the ramifications of predictive justice and how it affects individuals, from collateral damage to playing God. Kamala is getting a real lesson on the law of unintended consequences. I wish Carol Danvers was learning the same lesson.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Last Two Last Week's Reviews

Here's the rest of what I got last week.

Harley's Little Black Book 4
I'm reading only the issues of this with guest stars I want to read with Harley. This features the Bombshells, and I was curious as to how this was going to be done. Conner and Palmiotti wrote the usual craziness, and Harley either went back in time/to an alternate reality or she dreamed the whole thing up. At any rate, she's mistaken for the Harley in the Bombshells and hilarity ensues. Actually, this was mostly fun, with Harley getting to beat up Hitler. The art is wonderful, most that of Billy Tucci.

Steve Rogers Captain America 4
We get more of Steve's past, presumably his manufactured past, and this backstory is one of the more intriguing facets of the story for me. In the present, Steve sets up Dr. Selvig with a spiffy lab, Maria is in deep doo-doo due to the whole Kobik Initiative and Pleasant Hill backfiring, Sharon testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee to push for a very powerful surveillance bill to allow SHIELD unprecedented ability to fight Hydra that has Steve's supposed support, Kobik is trying to keep Bucky from talking to Steve, and then.... well, Steve tells Selvig he wants him to help him restore Hydra's glory which means killing Red Skull. So, yeah, this story is definitely twisty and turny and complicated. I'm still intrigued. Plus, the art is really nice.

Friday, August 26, 2016

This Week

This week's reviews, minus two. A very eclectic group of comics, too.

Captain Marvel 8
A Civil War II tie-in and I mostly just skimmed it. Best part was when Carol visited Clint in prison where he's awaiting trial for killing Bruce Banner. Their discussion of the issues and implications of predictive justice/law enforcement was pretty good, with Carol coming off less strident than she's been since this Event story began. Not quite as effective was her similar discussion with Black Panther. The issue involved a lot of talking.

Miss Fury 5
The concluding chapter of this volume. The art by Jonathan Lau really made this book for me. Marla puts an end to the demon threat a bit more quickly than I expected, but overall, the whole story was entertaining.

Blue Beetle Rebirth 1
Confusing! Was Blue Beetle in the New 52? Does this pick up from that? At any rate, Jaime is reluctantly working with Ted Kord in the hope Ted can get the scarab off his back, and two evil robot-like super beings test him/try to kill him. Ted isn't all that helpful. I'm happy to see both Ted and Jaime, but there wasn't enough Paco and Brenda and their bantering didn't have the same fun element it had in the original, pre-New 52 book. But Dr. Fate shows up at the end to talk to Ted, so maybe things will get more interesting in the actual series.

Flash 5
Barry enjoys some "me" time, first watching a sunrise with Meena, then catching up with Iris, while Meena meets Wally West -- the one not in the Titans. She helps him train, but then they discover STAR Labs and the other speedsters have been attacked. I'm so enjoying this.

Titans 2
Kadabra conjures up earlier versions of the Titans to battle them and fun times ensue! It is fun when a hero has to battle someone with their own skills, when their only advantage is a bit more experience. And the moment when Roy, under the influence of bad Wonder Girl's lasso, blurts out that he loves Donna was priceless. I can't wait to see the followup to that! I'm so glad to have the Titans back.

Wonder Woman 5
Back to the present as Steve learns more about Cadullo's evil plans, while Diana and Cheetah stumble across Steve's captive team. It looks like the book is pulling back from the every two weeks schedule, darn it. This is definitely my favorite Rebirth DC book thus far.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Header

To celebrate the return of so many DC comics to my Pull List with Rebirth, I redid this ol' blog's header to reflect that. I think it looks spiffy.

Lots of Reviews

This was a big comics week for me, and surprise! I got them all read before the week is out.

Descender 14
Pretty much filler, with few words. I hate that when a story is as good as this one is.

Harley Quinn 2
The zombie story continues. I'm not a big fan of zombies, so this is going on a bit too long for me, given this is issue 2 of it and there's more to come.

Mockingbird 6
A Civil War II tie-in that manages to be entertaining. Bobbi goes on a cruise after someone sends her a ticket and promises he has info to help Clint, who is on trial for killing Banner (in a story I haven't read). But the ship is also hosting a nerd con, so there's a lot of crazy stuff going on, especially when Hunter shows up.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey 1
I'm just going to get this out upfront. The art looks okay if all you're looking at is layout and setting, but if you look at the faces... Other than some decent expressions, the faces are ugly. Lips look like the characters got punched in the mouth before ever getting into a fight. There's a lot of distortion going on, too, especially around the chin. Sure, call it stylized art if you want. I call it ugly. As for the story, Babs and Dinah form a truce with Huntress. And don't ask me how Dinah found the right subway car in the first scene while trying to find a generic threat to the transit system. Heck of a coincidence there.

Supergirl Rebirth 1
Supergirl is my favorite character, but I wasn't reading the New 52 version. I really don't know what to think of this. I'll read the ongoing comic, but it'll need to be better than this. This seemed so uneven and I'm not sure I like Kara being so new to Earth and back in high school. I much prefer the TV version and the digital comic they did based on that. This looks like an attempt to combine elements of the New 52 Kara with the TV Kara and the parts aren't really meshing. Not yet, anyway. Everything is just tossed onto the pages, it seems, to see what will stick. Kara seems at least in her early 20s in the DEO scenes, yet she'll be going to high school? It is nice to see her in her classic costume -- well, a version of it -- though.

Superman 5
The battle against the Eradicator becomes a real family affair, with Lois turning badass to protect Jon, Jon trying to be badass to protect his parents, and Superman doing all he can to protect them and Earth. And how long has Batman had a moonbase? I'm loving this book.

Nightwing 3
This is turning out better than I'd thought. Raptor isn't really in the mentor role the previews teased, but is more a mirror for Dick as Dick has to come to terms with who he truly is: a reflection of Batman or something else. I've long thought Dick was a danger junkie, something Babs is realizing, too. This Rebirth title has a lot of potential.

Green Arrow 5
This gave me lots of feels, to use current slang -- is that still current? I feel so out of touch sometimes -- and that last page! The art is among my favorites in DC right now, just after Wonder Woman and Superwoman.

Black Widow 6
This is amazing. Samnee and Wilson's cover is so unlike the typical Marvel cover, and the story pushes the lone wolf aspect of Natasha in this storyline as she uncovers the person behind the plot to control and co-opt her. I have no idea where this is going, but I'm happy to be on the journey.