Monday, November 23, 2015

Four Reviews

I'm not sure what to say about Shutter, anymore. It's just a weird little fantasy comic that I enjoy. Issue 17 brings us to a short break -- the next issue comes out in February -- and ends on a potential game-changer, as Kate has had quite enough, thanks very much, and is about to set her own rules.

Harley Quinn 22
An old enemy is resurrected and makes Harley's return to NYC most unwelcome as she sends assassins after Harley. The usual loopy fun.

Titans Hunt 2
I'm still enjoying this, which surprises me a bit. Not much happens as this story seems to be a slow burn, but Dick goes to find Garth and it's a most unpleasant meeting. Meanwhile, Roy, more disoriented than ever, gets into more trouble. I'm not sure where this is going, but I'm enjoying the ride.

Ms. Marvel 1
Six months after the world didn't quite end, Kamala seems to be coming out of a funk. And what a busy six months it's been! She's an Avenger now, and that's been keeping her busy, along with school and her regular Ms. Marvel duties, so she's a bit thrown to discover some sinister developer is threatening Jersey City, but even more unsettling, Bruno has a girlfriend! This book might be starting over with issue 1, but it's continuing its story and in fine form.

Friday, November 13, 2015

This Week's Reviews

An eclectic bunch this week.

Descender 7
Descender is back! I've thought Lemire's run on Hawkeye has been so-so, but on his own books, he's just fine, and Descender is a nice bit of science fiction with robots. Robot Psius has come, with Tim-22, to rescue Tin-21, but Tim-21 isn't going anywhere without his human friends and not without a promise that Tim-22 and Psius will help him find his human brother, Andy. And of course, there remains the problem of the Scrappers hunting Tim-21. Things are moving along with hints of some major developments on the horizon.

Codename: Baboushka 2
Baboushka's mission to bid on some valuable intell at an illicit auction hits a snag when the ship where the auction is being held is overrun by Somali pirates, sending Baboushka into fight mode. This is a light, breezy spy book with nice art by Chankhamma, sort of a less serious Modesty Blaise. I'm really enjoying it.

Starfire 6
This is also a light, breezy book, but it doesn't stick with me nearly as much as Codename Baboushka does. It's hard to believe this Kory hasn't just arrived on Earth. To be honest, I read this last night and I've pretty much forgotten what happened in it. Pretty art by Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy, though.

Captain America White 4
Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's tale of an early Cap and Bucky mission with the Howling Commandos continues, with Cap wrestling with a feeling of helplessness that leads to a misstep in his friendship with Bucky. Well, a small discretion when he calls Bucky by his actual name. It's an intriguing story, thanks to Steve's hindsight narration.

Hawkeye 1
The continuation of Hawkeye whatever issue it was. Renumbering in the middle of a story is just too weird. Anyway, in the future, Kate is trying to convince Clint that they need to rescue the mutant kids, that turning them over to SHIELD was a mistake, while in the present, Kate has pretty much had it with Clint and goes off on her own. This book seems to be wandering around without a gps.

Red Hood and Arsenal 6
Jason is thinking that Roy's been acting weirder than usual, a nod to the Titans Hunt storyline elsewhere, which is the only thing about this that makes sense, as the whole story is a setup for Joker's Daughter, a character I detest, to audition to join Roy and Jason as a partner in crime-fighting. No good can come of this, for Jason and Roy, who agree, or for me, the reader. If you like Joker's Daughter, you might be ecstatic right now. Me, not so much.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Bunch of Comics

I thought I'd get a batch of reviews up before this week's comics come out.

Codename: Baboushka 1
I like this! Image keeps publishing intriguing comics. Baboushka, (story by Antony Johnston and art Shari Chankhamma), is a former Russian operative trying to live a quiet life, but she and a friend/colleague Gyorgy, are coerced into doing covert missions for the US government. There's a Modesty Blaise vibe, but Baboushka is definitely her own woman Added to my Pull List.

(rant)I did have issues with the essay in the back, by Maya Rodale, about female espionage heroes. Mainly, that she seemed to ignore characters such as April Dancer, Honey West, Modesty Blaise, and La Femme Nikita, some of the main female heroes in any media. Also, she made an error in discussing the "Mary Sue" trope. Mary Sue  has its origin in Star Trek fanfic, in a parody story by Paula Smith, someone I actually know. Rodale says Mary Sues are "perfectly sweet and pleasant lady characters whose primary function is to blush innocently." That is wrong. Mary Sue, aka Mary Sue Wonderful (and there are male versions, often called Marty Stu), is perfect. She's the one who can fix the Enterprise with a bobby pin and not muss her hair or break a nail. She knows everything. She gets to sleep with the hero. She's the writer's wish fulfillment. She has no flaws. Rodale is right when she says Baboushka is no Mary Sue, but she makes the point for the wrong reasons. "Mary Sue" might have a different meaning these days -- I don't keep up on such things -- but I do know the origin and Rodale missed it completely. (end of rant)

Strange Fruit 2
I don't know where this mini series is going, but it's wonderful. Set in a south suffering from racism, the story involves a levee in danger of flooding a town and the need of whites to rely on black labor, something most of the white citizenry is loath to do. And into this volatile situation comes a giant black man who, so far, is spending a lot of time devouring books from the library, including science texts. He's seen as a hero by the downtrodden minority population, for his strength and indifference to white bigotry. But who he is and what he's after remains a mystery. Good stuff from Mark Waid and J.G. Jones.

Astro City 28
A one-off that focuses on a little boy who was bitten by a rare spider, who was shrunk after being given a cure, and left with spider powers. His mother, a scientist, finally found a way to restore him to normal size and he became a superhero and part of Honor Guard. But when his childhood cartoon heroes seemingly come to life, he decides to join them. Unfortunately, they have reasons to be less than happy about that. Fun fun fun, the way comics once were, all the time.

Barb Wire 5
Barb is given no choice but to accept a gig for the government if she wants to avoid jail. I can't say I love this comic, but I'm enjoying it too much to stop reading.  Mainly, I really like Barb.

Lazarus 20
Forever returns to action and the Carlyle family deals with the usual intrigue. This issue feels like a bridge to future issues. It's good, as always, but not a lot happens.

Velvet 12
We're in the final chapter of the first story, apparently, and things look to get more complicated before they get resolved, if anything in this book ever gets resolved. Hopefully, Velvet will at least be able to clear her name. In this issue, she is busy setting up her next moves and not everything goes according to plan. Well, of course, they don't.

Titans Hunt 1
I really debated with myself about getting this, but the chance to see some of the old characters was too hard to resist. I'm not sure what's going on, other than something seems amiss in the existing DCU, but it's great seeing Lilith and Gnarrk. Roy and Dick are in character for their New 52 versions, and I'm intrigued enough to keep reading.

Friday, October 30, 2015

So Many Comics

They've been piling up again. I'll have another batch to review soon. But for now, there are plenty, so the reviews will be brief.

Lady Mechanika: The Tablet of Destinies 6
The story concludes. I suppose this isn't the most original comic/story, but I enjoyed it. Lady Mech is fun and the story's end was satisfying.

Black Magick 1
A new comic by Greg Rucka, with Nicola Scott on art, which is reason enough to try it. A Wiccan police detective makes for an intriguing start.

DC Comics Bombshells 3
Things start to gel as Kate and some others go on a mission for Waller. This isn't bad enough for me to stop reading, but not good enough for me to love it. It just feels like too much is being packed in, which eliminates room for nuance and character development.

Gotham Academy 11
Olive and her friends delve further into the mystery of Olive's mother. One of DC's true gems.

Black Canary 5
Get ready for a battle of the bands. I'm enjoying this, even if this isn't the Dinah I've known and loved for decades.

Harley Quinn 21
Harley and Deadshot: What could go wrong? As usual, there's bloodshed and Harley saves the day. Fun stuff.

Captain America White 3
The story set during WWII continues. Doesn't quite jibe with the Brubaker run, but a good story and character study as Steve is narrating to dead Bucky.

Spirit 4
Denny finally shows up! And we find out what happened to him! Only, we don't know how, and why, he survived or where he's been! Matt Wagner is doing a credible job with the Spirit.

Starfire 5
Starfire goes job hunting and there's a dolphin. I love dolphins. This book is pretty much fluff, but fun fluff.

Ms. Marvel 19
The last issue of the title until the reboot and it's amazing! Brought tears to my eyes. A wonderful coming of age story concluded.

Red Hood Arsenal 5
Roy continues to be a jerk, The new Batman (I have no clue what that's about) is more of a jerk. And Jason has a moment. And they defeat Underbelly, which is just one of the weirdest "villains" ever.

Copperhead 10
The sheriff finally rescues her deputy, only to return to a new murder case. An enjoyable read.

Barb Wire 4
Barb and company finally bring their bounty to justice and Barb's bar gets a new landlord. Not to be taken seriously, but fun nonetheless.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

NYCC Part 2 Cosplayers

Ack! I thought I posted the next batch of photos, but I didn't. I know I haven't posted my next batch of reviews. My excuse is that I've been caught up in Mets playoff baseball.

On to the photos!

Spidey is Clearly a Mets Fan

I Got this Winter Soldier Cosplayer to Hold My Bucky Action Figure

Sunday, October 11, 2015

NYCC Part 1 Creators

NYCC '15 has come and gone and I'm left with tired legs and sore feet. I had a couple of fascinating discussions with Jim Shooter, who apparently, no one knew would be there. He was in the front of Artists Alley, holding forth with entertaining stories about artists and writers from the good old days. He and I are of an age, so those folks are the ones from my childhood and teen years, too. I got to chat with a few other artists and writers I admire and get their autograph on my program guide.

Amy Reeder

Annie Wu

Jay Faerber 
Jimmy Palmiotti, with Steve, the Stormie

Jim Shooter

Joe Staton

Kyle Higgins

Louise Simonson

Phil Noto

Rod Reis

Walt Simonson
Autographed Program Book

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Another Slow Week

Just two to review today.

Captain America White 2
I'm really enjoying this look at the early days of Cap and Bucky's partnership by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, even if it doesn't quite match up with Brubaker's take on the characters. Told from Steve's pov, there's an underlying poignancy to the story of Cap and Bucky working with Fury and the Commandos.

Wonder Woman 77 Special 2
I am so glad they're continuing to do these specials using the Lynda Carter version of Diana from the '70's TV show. Marc Andreyko does a great job with writing chores and the teams of artists really bring the TV actors to life. Pure fun, the way comics are at their best.