Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mixed Bag of Reviews

It was a big week for comics, but then again, just about every week is a big one these days. So, here are my quick takes on them.

Green Arrow 17
Ollie vs Malcolm Merlyn! That pretty much covers it. Oh, there's a nice scene with Ollie and Emi, too.

Nightwing 15
A whirlwind look at Dick and Shawn's growing relationship, with an ending that better not end up with Shawn being fridged. I like her, damn it!

Super Sons 1
This was fun! Damian and Jon have a great rapport. There isn't much story in this, but it sets the stage perfectly for the ongoing series.

Superman 17
A sorta horror story focusing on Jon and his friend Kathy. A fun interlude.

Detective 948, 949, Batwoman Rebirth 1
So, it looks like this newer version of Kate Kane is going to hunt down the folks who have the monster venom. The art is nice enough, but Batwoman hasn't been as awesome as the original book was pre-New 52. I'll try the new series for a while, but something special seems to be missing.

Star-Lord 3
Peter muddles through his new life as a bartender while doing his community service, while dealing with a less-than-pleasant visit from his sister, and an awkward meeting with Daredevil. An odd book and I have no idea where, if anywhere, it's going.

The Wildstorm 1
A new take on the Wildstorm characters. An interesting intro, if somewhat confusing. The art is nice and clean. No sign of Grifter, yet, but he was mentioned. Cole was always my favorite from that universe.

Steve Rogers Captain America 11
More on how Steve became Cap, which apparently what Steve is telling Zemo to convince Zemo that they were once as close as brothers and to talk Zemo into helping him. It seems to be working. I don't know where this is all going to end, but unless things end up with Steve realizing/learning Kobik reworked his memories, I won't be reading many Marvel titles when the dust settles.

Kill or be Killed 6
This noir story starts getting a bit twisty and turny, while still providing a fascinating look into the mind of someone heading down a dark, murderous path. Is he narrating from prison? While on the run? From hell? For that matter, is there really a demon that forced him to start killing or is the demon merely something his troubled mind conjured up? I do love this book.




Saturday, February 11, 2017

So Many Comics

I actually read all of this week's comics before the end of the week! And there were plenty of them!

MARVEL

Black Widow 11
Natasha is on the trail of the Dark Room girls, which takes her to a secret SHIELD base, where she finds more trouble than even she bargained for. I love the intrigue in this series by Waid and Samnee and the art by Samnee is perfect.

Jessica Jones 5
This is settling in nicely, with a bit of creepiness, as Mavel's version of multiple universes is explored, thanks to a man who killed his wife -- Jessica's client -- who claims he's from one of those dimensions that no longer exists. The gist of his explanation is that nothing matters, which raises this issue to philosophical debate territory. At least it has a different feel than most Marvel books I read and it's making more sense, story-wise, than the disjointed first issue felt.

Ms. Marvel 15
Hacking and bullying and dealing with Bruno being gone come into play as Kamala deals with a dangerous hacker who knows her secret. The usual great story and art.

DC

Flash 16
Barry learns what the Rogues are really up to and it isn't good. For him. The Rogues make the Flash comic better; there's just something special about his relationship with them and them with him and each other.

Gotham Academy Second Semester 6
The plot thickens! Actually, this fun gothic-style comic often feels like an old Nancy Drew book, back when I was a kid and Nancy and her friends explored creepy old mansions. There are a lot of layers to this and I suspect a few layers we haven't seen yet. I don't trust the new student, for instance. She's a mischief-maker and is having too much influence over Olive. This remains a fun comic for all ages.

(Superman) Action Comics 973
I'm not regularly reading this, but I am thrilled they brought back the old numbering! I read this for the "who is the mysterious Clark Kent" who's been running around Metropolis story arc. The issue mostly focused on Lois undercover in a mob restaurant, then following Clark around. To her chagrin and confusion, when she follows him into his apartment building, the doorman claims to not have seen Clark in weeks, and, even more mysterious, he didn't show up on the security tape. I have no idea where this is going, but I want to keep reading.

Superwoman 7
Lana and the team defeat Lena, but Lana's life is still in danger. I've really been enjoying this version of Lana. She's a capable scientist and hero, but she suffers from anxiety and comes across as very human.

Titans 8
I like that we're getting more glimpses into the lives of the main characters, especially ones without their own books (which means, other than Dick Grayson). I also like that Mal and Karen form the basis of the story when they seek help for Karen who has developed superpowers. There are still things I want this title to cover, but for now, I'm happy to have my Titans team back.

Wonder Woman 16
The "Godwatch" story begins, in the past, and while the art by Evely is nice, I miss seeing Nicola Scott's art. The story focuses on two women, Veronica and Adrianna, and their Cyberwalker project, which brings them to the attention of Phobos and Deimos who are looking for Themyscira. By threatening Veronica's daughter, they hope she'll use the Cyberwalker device to get the location from Wonder Woman's mind. This can't end well. Rucka's been hitting on all cylinders with this series.

DYNAMITE 

The Spirit 1
Francesco Francavilla is handling writing and art chores (he's even lettering!) this take on The Spirit. The art is great, and the book has a nice, old, lived-in feel that's perfect. The story is starting a bit slow, but a few elements are now in place, namely strange deaths that might or might not be murder and Eb's recently released from prison uncle who's strong-armed by a former associate into helping with another heist. Hopefully, what was missing this issue will be in the next issue: The Spirit in action!

Monday, February 06, 2017

Some Comics

I have too many hobbies. I spent the weekend taking photos of my toys and dolls, then editing them, and never got around to reading all my comics, or posting the reviews of the ones I did read. So, here are those reviews now.

Green Arrow 16
Kimi is back. I didn't read the New 52 comics, which I guess is when she debuted? But I love her. She and Ollie are fun together. Meanwhile, the trouble chasing Ollie isn't going away anytime soon. I love this comic.

Hawkeye 3
Kate's peppy personality makes for a fun narrative style and this book is really doing her justice. In trying to get to the bottom of the hacking gang, she ends up finding a cult of possibly brainwashed acolytes. Uh, fun? Actually, yes!

Nightwing 14
Solid end to the story and Dick's going to stick around in Bludhaven for now. Seems he has a new romantic interest. I prefer him with Babs, but she's not the Babs I used to love, so I'm okay with this.

Superman 16
Supes proves you can be super even without your powers. It's so good to be able to read, and enjoy, Superman again.

Champions 5
Another fun title from Marvel, with Gwenpool showing up to stir things up. The story is really topical, too, with the team up against a bigoted sheriff. I'm glad I started reading this.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Better Late Than Never Reviews

I've been a bit obsessed with the political mess these days here in the US, but have been reading comics to stay sane. So here are the belated reviews from last week's batch.

Flash 15
The Rogues are back and they've got a nefarious plot for Barry to unravel. Fun!

Wonder Woman 15
Etta, Steve, and Barbara Ann are on the run, while Diana is in a padded room in a mental hospital, while the bad guys try to find them so they can find Themyscira. I love this comic.

Saga 42
There are no words to describe the emotional impact of this issue, and the last few pages prove that. Best comic ever.

Kill or be Killed 5
Things take an inevitable turn as Dylan makes a mistake. Excellent noir.

Serenity 4 (of 6)
River, under the influence of her old mistress, betrays the crew. I'm enjoying this.

Frostbite 5
I'm really enjoying this post-ecological disaster tale. The scientist who tried to fix the climate caused a new ice age and brought about the deadly frostbite. There might be a cure, and everyone wants it. The story is good, but the art is wonderful, spare and frosty.

Captain America Steve Rogers 10
I want this over already. We see more of the past, getting closer to how Steve became Cap. But the present, with Congress voting to turn American security over to SHIELD, is too close to real life right now, minus the space aliens and Hydra (maybe), for comfort.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Most of this Week's Comics

I still have Harley Quinn, Star-Lord, and Kill or be Killed to read. As is the case these days, I had a lot to read.

Black Widow 10
This might have my favorite cover ever! Nat and Bucky. Just adorable. In the story, Bucky takes Nat to the moon to meet with Nick Fury, but the Lion tries to double cross them, wanting all the knowledge in Fury's mind and there's a stowaway on their space ship, and Nat sacrifices herself so Bucky can stop the stowaway, but Bucky saves the day and Nat kisses him and calls him James again. They're not likely to be a couple again, but they'll always have the moon. I loved it.

Descender 18
The plot twist didn't quite surprise me, but it did make me sad. Things are not going well for our plucky heroes. I don't know what the endgame is here, or if there even is one, but this is pretty good science fiction.

(The Mighty) Captain Marvel 1
I'm just going to call this Captain Marvel from now on. The art is really nice. There's a TV show based on Captain Marvel that's paying for Alpha Flight now. And a bounty hunter grabs a Kree refugee child. An interesting start. I'm hoping Carol can regain her glory following the horrible Civil War II storyline.

Superman 15
The battle to save the multiverse Supermen begins in earnest. I'm enjoying it, but not sure I'll like where it's heading. What can I say? I worry. I don't want to lose this Superman or Lois.

Nightwing 13
The real culprit is uncovered and Dick walks into a trap. Guess visiting Bludhaven wasn't a good idea.

Green Arrow 15
A vigilante ex-cop and his cronies try to kill a bunch of baddies at the prison, so Ollie and Dinah leap into action, then get help from... Red Arrow! I love this comic and I love the art.

I also read Grayson, vol. 5: Spiral's End. Seeley wrote only the first story, so the writing was weaker in this last volume, but the Spiral storyline ended on a satisfying note. It's been a great journey for Dick, but I'm glad he's back as Nightwing. Still, I did enjoy seeing him fully out of Batman's shadow. Even as Nightwing, he has the shadow of Batman looming large. This proved how competent and skilled he truly is.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Two Weeks of Comics

What a bad start to the new year, missing a week of reviews. So, twice as many for this week. There's a lot, so I'll be brief, as I often am.

Champions 4
Fun story. The team isn't on a case, but their aircraft gets shot out of the sky over a misunderstanding of air space. The kids are just a delight.

Hawkeye 2
Kate's jump in, take no prisoners, PI license-what PI license approach to investigating makes for breezy storytelling. Her client is missing and there's more going on than it seems. This book by Kelly Thompson is refreshing in the way Matt Fraction's take on Clint Barton was refreshing. I'm loving it.

Superman 14
Someone's killing or kidnapping Supermen of various Earths and the battle has come to our Superman's Earth. I love the multiverse and I'm so happy to be able to love Superman again.

Nightwing 12
Dick's time in Bludhaven is not going well as he takes on the cause of the Runoffs, convinced they are being framed for various crimes. More lighthearted than the Raptor storyline, though the art is helping with that.

Saga 41
War does terrible things to people, and not just the ones it kills. The last page....! The last page is everything. Simply the best comic, in my opinion, being published these days.

Green Arrow 14
Things get even worse for Ollie, until the real killer reveals himself when he and Ollie go head to head, or rather, arrow to arrow. This books continues to be enjoyable.

Jessica Jones 4
I was seriously considering dropping this, but this chapter redeems the book by providing backstory that makes method out of the madness. Jessica hasn't become unhinged; she acting that way to draw out an anti-super people conspiracy! And the only one who knows is her friend and co-investigator of the conspiracy, Captain Marvel! I wish they'd given us hints sooner, though. I almost didn't buy this.

Ms. Marvel 14
I miss Bruno as much as Kamala does, but life goes on, and a player in the RPG she's in knows more about the real her than he or she should. Fun, as always.

Flash 14
Barry looks into what happened to the Rogues. And runs into a trap. That'll teach him to care, though to be fair, he was worried they were up to something. Looks like he was right.

Titans 7
Some nice character bits, including the first hints about Donna as she tells Roy she doesn't know anything from before she was adopted at age 7. Looks like we might get another version of "Who is Donna Troy"/"Who is Wonder Girl" sometime in the future. Also, Superman and Wally talk about time gaps and the team gets a new HQ in NYC that involves a lot of forms to fill out. Enjoyable.

Wonder Woman 14
The first story arc of the past concludes with Diana defeating Ares, for now, and the issue showcases some of the prettiest WW art by Nicola Scott, including shirtless Steve.

Superwoman 6
Lana, as Superwoman, finds Lex, but things are about to get worse. Naturally. Beautiful art and a lot to read makes this a book you can't just skim. I am loving it.

Gotham Academy Second Semester 5
Colton faces expulsion over a stolen map and things escalate quickly. A quirky, fun book, and Bruce Wayne puts in an appearance, because, why not?

Captain America 9
Maria Hill has to defend her actions, and in the past, Steve is given an assignment. I really like this storyline, but it's going on too long, because the Civil War storyline and aftermath is going on too long in the Marvel 'verse and I'm really tired of it. I put in too much time on this series to drop it now, but I really want to get the conclusion already and see if the time spent reading this has been worth it.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Reviews

This batch includes comics from a couple of weeks, maybe longer. I've lost track. I also noticed that even for an off week, I still have a lot from my pull list. It's a rare week, indeed, when I have fewer than six comics to read. DC's bi-monthly titles are part of the reason. Reminds me of the '70s and early-'80s when I was reading 35-40 comics a month. Also, no Saga this week because it was recalled over a bad printing of the cover. That makes me sad. It should be in stock this week. Which makes me happy. Anyway, here are the reviews.

Frostbite 4
I'm starting to wish I'd just waited for a trade with this. Things kinda hit the fan and now I have to wait another month for the next chapter. The story is fine, but I'm really enjoying the art.

Serenity 3
There's more going on than our team thought, which is no surprise. But River is in real trouble and the crew doesn't know it yet. And... wait til next month. Argh! Almost as good as having the show back. Almost.

DC Holiday Special
These holiday specials are usually rather frivolous and forgettable, but this one had some really nice stories. The Superman/Batman short was charming. They included Batwoman, to work in a Chanukah reference or two, and the Nightwing story was fun. And who wouldn't be charmed a good Detective Chimp tale, especially when he teams up with Batman! The rest were okay, so overall, a decent holiday special.

Flash 13
Barry and Iris go on a date and Kid Flash works overtime to make sure nothing interrupts them. A decent little story.

Titans 6
A conclusion, mostly, to the first arc, with Wally Flash finding his way home, again, and hopefully, for good. I'm really enjoying this, but it's time to give the rest of the team the spotlight. Not Nightwing, who has his own book, but definitely, the others.

Black Widow 9
Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier guest stars! And it looks like Samee and Waid are maintaining the continuity from Brubaker's Winter Soldier book, thanks to Bucky clearly lamenting that Natasha doesn't remember what they once were to each other. Some other story stuff happened, but it wasn't as important to me as seeing Bucky. In the current parlance, I ship Natasha and Bucky.

Wonder Woman 13
In light of her home being gone and realizing her visits there over the years weren't real, Diana has retreated into herself. Which is bad because people are after her for the secrets of Themyscira, leaving it up to Steve to save them both. I love this book.

Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special 1
Lovely cover, and some really nice art inside, with various artists and writers putting their spin on Diana. Plus, Lois Lane interviews Diana. It's a weird conceit that actually works.

Supergirl Being Super 1
I gave up on the continuity Supergirl title -- hated the art and was tired of the Kara as a high school student trope. Been there, done that years ago. Plus, the mashup of comics and TV SG realities was disappointingly annoying. So here I am, so far loving Kara as a high school student in this alternate reality story. I love that Kara is getting the Superman: American Alien, Secret Identity, and so on treatment that Superman has often gotten over the years. Told as some sort of Imaginary Tale or Elseworlds story, this supposes that Supergirl's pod crashed in a field on the Danvers' property eight years earlier and they took Kara in as their daughter. She's an average high school student who happens to have powers she keeps secret. The art is fine and the Danvers are just an average family. By the end of the first book, things are about to change. There's a lot of promise here and I'm looking forward to what happens next. I hope this truly is an alternate look at an icon who is regaining popularity thanks to the TV show, a story that really explores what makes Kara special as well as what makes her super. And it's about time!

I also read the latest Captain America: Steve Rogers. I'd hoped the story would've ended by now. I like the idea of it. The art is great. But this is just dragging on too long. I want to see Steve learn he's been manipulated, his memories replaced, by Kobik. I want to see the crap hit the fan. I'm tired of this overall foot dragging across the Marvel 'verse.