Sunday, August 06, 2017

Time Flies

I didn't post reviews last week, despite reading my comics in a timely fashion, because there were so few of them. So, here's the past two weeks' worth, which is becoming the norm around here.

Flash 27
The Rebirth version of Reverse Flash has been quite entertaining. Thawne's obsession with Barry comes to a head, with Iris caught in the middle, but she's no victim here, but someone with her own agency. This has been an emotionally complex storyline and I can't wait to see where the book goes next.

Wonder Woman 27
After Rucka's run, this has been a big disappointment. The conclusion (?) to last issue's somewhat intriguing first chapter turns out to be a run-of-the-mill story about a doctor who wanted Diana's powers. The story is dull and the art too cartoonish, not after Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott's art on Rucka's run and having Diana up on the big screen, finally. She deserves realistic art, art that shows her muscles, her athleticism, her real-ness. This isn't it.

Saga 45
Turns out that Alana is psychically projecting her dead fetus as a young boy and Hazel is enjoying having a brother, even if he isn't real. Somehow, Vaughn and Staples make this feel all-too-painfully real. Saga defies description; it needs to be experienced.

Green Arrow 28
Ollie traces the bad guys' tech to LexCorp, but Lex is as much a target as Queen Industries was. I have to say I'm enjoying Lex as a quasi-hero/arrogant billionaire much more than when he was simply Superman's most famous villain.

Nightwing 26
Huntress shows up and it looks like Spyral is mixed up in the evil organization Dick is investigating. Meanwhile, Shawn might be turning back to the dark side. Plus, Dick takes a steamy shower in the opening scene. :D

Superman 28
I got misty-eyed reading this concluding chapter of the Kent family vacation to see historical sites. This time, it's Washington DC. This is everything that's good about Superman comics.

Hawkeye 9
Kate gets into the fight of her life in a fight club while trying to rescue the father of her latest client. I'm really enjoying this. Kate's narration is a breath of fresh air.

Ghost Station Zero 1
I really enjoyed the first Codename: Baboushka: The Conclave of Death, so I gave this a try. So far, I'm loving it. The art is a bit cartoonish, but also nice and breezy and Baboushka is a fun action hero, albeit reluctantly. Lots of action with a strong female character. I hadn't realized writer Antony Johnston co-wrote the graphic novel the new movie "Atomic Blonde" was based on, which now makes me want to see that movie even more than I did once I saw the preview.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Eight Comics

A real mix this week.

Ms. Marvel 20
Somehow, this storyline focusing on citizens turning against Ms. Marvel and their suspicion of powered beings is scarier than any super-powered menace Kamala has faced so far. The parallels with real life give this book an extra impact.

Super Sons 6
Jon meets the Teen Titans. It doesn't go well. Fun.

Nightwing 25
Dick survives a multi-pronged attack, but his love life takes a hit. I really like him and Shawn as a couple, so I hope they can work things out, but I suspect there's an editorial mandate to keep him single.

Superman 27
The Kent family goes on vacation to visit important locations in the US and we all get a history lesson. I love this.

Green Arrow 27
Wonder Woman guest stars and it's as good as it sounds. Every comic should feature a guest visit from Diana.

Descender 22
The battle between robots and humans heats up and it looks like the humans are suffering the most casualties. A strong take on the humans vs. AIs storyline.

The WildStorm 6
The exposition issue, mostly, where characters explain the universe to us by filling in other characters. I'm really enjoying this version of the Wildstorm universe.

Batwoman 5
A flashback story, beautifully illustrated. I'm getting used to the newish origin for Kate as Batwoman. I don't love it like the original, because that Kate was better trained and more assured when she put on the costume, but this is a pretty good comic.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Past Two Weeks

And as another Wednesday approaches, here's what I read over the past two weeks, in Quick Takes.

Jessica Jones 10
More complications with Jessica's new client Maria Hill. This comic must be one of the slowest-paced comics around.

Hawkeye 8
Kate confronts her father. This continues to entertain.

Green Arrow 26
Ollie and Barry team up. I love this comic.

Nightwing 24
Dick takes on a lot of badguys. Pretty good cliffhanger, but really, I doubt Dick's been killed off.

Black Magick 6
It's back! With a flashback story to Rowan's coming of age as a witch. Nicola Scott outdid herself on the art.

Superman 26
A fill-in issue that looks at the father-son relationship. Fairly meh given how awesome this comic usually is.

Wonder Woman 26
New team. Shea Fontana's story starts off decently, but Mirka Andolfo's art is not what I think is right for Wonder Woman. Too cartoonish for me.

Titans 13
The team tries to find Karen's memory engram and the traitor is revealed. Maybe. I have no idea where this is going. Or if I like it. I'll hold judgment til the story arc concludes.

Flash 26
Iris is in the future with Reverse-Flash and Barry is uh, elsewhere. Intriguing.

Gotham Academy Second Semester 11
One more issue. I hope they bring this back for a third semester. I love these characters, especially Maps.

Superwoman 12
Lana finds her confidence. I'm still enjoying this, even with the new creative team.

Kill or be Killed 10
This is such an awesome book. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Last Week

I thought I'd get up the reviews for last week's comics before I get this week's comics.

Astro City 45
We finally get back into the narrator's story, and it involves old heroes who actually transform into other heroes, sort of like the Doctor regenerating on Doctor Who, perhaps. Pretty cool.

Flash 25
Reverse-Flash's origin and, perhaps, his ultimate takedown of Barry? I can't wait for part 2.

Supergirl Being Super 4
Kara embraces her true self. The last page gave me chills. I loved this and the art was perfect for a teen Supergirl.

Saga 44
I loved the cover of Marko playing with Hazel so much, I had to force myself to open the comic. Alana is experiencing side effects from having a dead fetus inside her, so getting it removed is becoming imperative. Not your typical comic, but definitely one of my faves.

Wonder Woman 25
Rucka brings his run to a satisfying close. Members of the JLA guest star, things get wrapped up, some ends remain loose, and I'm going to miss Rucka's take on Diana.

Wonder Woman and the Tasmanian Devil 1
This is the only crossover with Looney Tunes characters I've read, so far, and it was more fun than I expected. Diana truly can communicate with anyone/anything.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Half Dozen

Oooooo.... timely reviews! I still have a couple of others to read, but they might get their reviews bumped to next week's batch.

The Wildstorm 5
I'm loving this version of the Wildstorm 'verse. Zealot makes an appearance, background on a a couple of characters is revealed, and the intrigue grows. Good stuff for today's political climate. Can anyone really be trusted?

Batwoman 4
The first arc concludes, mostly, and while I enjoyed it, mostly, I'm a bit confused by it all. Not bad, but not great.

Super Sons 6
The boys learn they need to get along. A bit of an interlude story before things ratchet up again.

Superman 25
Jon finds his inner strength to defeat Black and the Kents say goodbye to Hamilton County with a bang.

Green Arrow 25
Ollie's been arrested for a murder he didn't commit, Kate Spencer is his lawyer(!) and gets him out on bail, Dinah is on her own and working her own angles on the case, and Emi wants to be called Red Arrow. Damn, I love this book.

Nightwing 23
Dick deals with personal issues in his relationship with Shawn while working with Roland Desmond, Blockbuster's brother. Things don't go well, on either front. Things are about to get really interesting.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Two Weeks

It's been a busy couple of weeks for comics. So, here are some quick takes on what I read.

Wonder Woman: Steve Trevor Special 1
Steve takes a raincheck on a date with Diana to go on a secret mission. I really like this modern-day version of Steve. He's like a current version of the movie version.

Jessica Jones 9
Jessica runs afoul of Sharon Carter, gets tossed into jail, is sprung by Matt Murdoch, then patches things up (for good, I hope) with Luke. Not much story-wise, but it's nice seeing Jessica and Luke not fighting.

The Champions 9
Viv goes off on her own and meets Red Locust, a new hero with potential. I like her. She's exuberant and eager and fun.

Hawkeye 7
Kate goes after Madame Masque, then gets a big surprise. Next issue should be so good. Also, we got background on Kate's childhood.

Superman 24
Background on the aliens living in the town Supes and family had made their home, along with the plan the aliens have for Jon. This issue was mostly about furthering the plot.

Nightwing 22
Blockbuster shows up and needs Dick's help. This should be fun.

Green Arrow 24
Ollie tries to reclaim Queen Industries. I'm really enjoying this book.

Superwoman 11
Mostly the backstory about Steel's brother/Natasha's father and Natasha's long missing younger brother. The new creative team is doing a decent job so far, especially in building up the character relationships.

Wonder Woman 24
The bittersweet ending to Rucka's long story told over two time periods. I'm really going to miss him on this title.

Titans 12
Lilith tries to learn where Karen's memory engram is and the rest of the team deals with personal issues. Oh, and one of them is a traitor. Hasn't that been done before? The traitor bit? Why yes, it has. I'll reserve judgment until I see where things go.

Flash 24
Reverse Flash has kidnapped Iris. Never a good thing in any version of Flash.

Gotham Academy Second Semester 10
Things get complicated as Olive/Calamity works with Two-Face to go after Penguin. Meanwhile, the other students are looking for Olive. I love this book.

Ms. Marvel 19
A ripped-from-the-headlines type story as Kamala's neighbors go after people who are different, including the ones with super powers, and Lockdown is behind it.

Copperhead 14
The sheriff investigates the murder of the mayor. This book is an appealing science fiction/western with feminist leanings.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Wonder Woman

Two Wonder Woman Covers
My non-spoilery review of "Wonder Woman." First, just to get it out there, while I started reading Wonder Woman comics in my teens, she wasn't the female character I idolized or identified with. That was Supergirl. The original Supergirl and I were of an age. We overlapped in life experiences at various times, or at least shared them at different times: high school, college, first jobs, back to college/grad school, trying to figure out what we wanted as a career. When DC killed her off in Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985, I was devastated and pretty much stopped reading nearly all comics for a decade. I never had that kind of relationship with Wonder Woman. I cared more for Donna Troy/Wonder Girl, actually, because she was in the Teen Titans, which I loved. So I was completely unprepared for how deeply and emotionally the Wonder Woman movie hit me. It got me in the feels, to use current vernacular. I started tearing up fairly early on with Diana's training scenes and pretty much had to force myself to not cry so I wouldn't miss seeing anything due to too much moisture in my eyes. More on this at the end of this review.

Second, this was the most fun DC movie since the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie and the best DC movie since the Nolan Batman trilogy. Disclaimer: I passed on Man of Steel, Batman vs Superman, and Suicide Squad.

Third, the inevitable comparison with Marvel movies, mainly those from Marvel Studios. I love the Marvel movies. My favorites are Captain America: Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, and both Guardians of the Galaxy, with Ant-Man and Captain America: First Avenger, The Avengers, and the first Iron Man as runners-up. Deadpool was awesome, too. But even at their very best, they felt like comic book movies. Wonder Woman felt real, just an ordinary adventure movie set in WWI that just happened to focus on a mythical woman with superpowers. And that's due to the tight, focused script and the brilliant direction of Patty Jenkins. The story felt intimate in the middle of a war. It was a coming-of-age tale, a good vs evil story that wasn't quite about good or evil but more about love and human nature and how those two are often in conflict but not always. At its hard, it was about real people. Very believable people, and for all my love for Bucky Barnes, Scott Lang, Steve Rogers, and every member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, I don't believe I could meet them in real life the way I felt I could meet Diana and Steve Trevor and Etta Candy and all the rest. The humor in the film doesn't come from intentional quipping but from normal human interactions, including Diana's encounters with things in man's world she'd never encountered while growing up. The human interactions didn't feel added on or like interludes they way they do in some superhero movies. Every moment felt earned and justified.

This was a perfect origin story for Wonder Woman, a good reworking of the various versions in the comics that felt right. The casting was amazing, and the two young actresses playing younger versions of Diana were great.

The movie not only met but exceeded my high expectations. When I got teary-eyed, it wasn't just because of the emotion on screen, but more due to the iconic comic book shots Jenkins gave us. Just seeing Wonder Woman leap, shield in hand, sword held high put a lump in my throat and moisture in my eyes. The DC TV-verse has become the epitome of a filmed DCU, something the movie-'verse couldn't compete with. That will change if DC keeps giving us movies like this one.

Two More Wonder Woman Covers