Gods, Wrestlers and Cops – More comics on review

Apocalypse Al

apocalypse-al-01Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Art: Sid Kotian
Color: Bill Farmer
Letters:Troy Peteri
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: 2.99

Her name is Allison Carter, Al for short, Apocalypse Al.  Los angeles PI who’s speciality is stopping the end of the world.  Its sort of a family business thing, her father, grandfather, great grandfather etc etc all had the responsibility of safe guarding us all from any Apocalypse, be it Elder Gods or Demons from Hell.

If your a fan of J.M.S. this should be right down your alley.  Spinning a classic gumshoe noir story featuring all the horrors from behind the veil and the same level of comedy made famous in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  One thing that I thought really stood out in this book is that not only did I get a pretty good story with nice art but following the url advertised in the back of the book took me to StudioJMS and a fully acted audio version of issue one.  Totally reminded me of the old days following the comics enclosed with my Power Records featuring Spiderman and Captain America!   Totally worth my three bucks!

Loki Ragnarok and Roll (limited series)

BOOM_Loki_001_AWriter: Eric M Esquivel
Art: Jerry Gaylord
Colors: Gbriel Cassata
Letters: Ryan Ferrier
Publisher: Boom
Price: 3.99

Everyone Loves Loki!  That should really be the name of this book.  When I saw this on the shelf all I could think of was someone realized it was time to jump on the Loki train along with Marvel after Tom Hiddleston made The Trickster God so dam popular in the movies!  With that, Boom Comics brings us Loki: Ragnarok and Roll.  This book hits all the bases, a misunderstood and unappreciated youth in the form of Loki, family issues with a doof of a brother Thor and Father that play’s favorites and finally the punk rock scene of Earth all roll up to a legendary combo of Rock and Roll Gods like nobodies business.

Jerry Gaylords art really fits the humor and over the top elements of this title along with the little added details of giving the reader a recommend listening list of music to match with the comic makes this mini series a surprise addition to my pull list.  And to think i almost passed this one by.  Grab it if you can.

WW Superstars

WWE01CovD-FrontFinal-910c6Writer: Mick Foley with Shane Riches
Artist: Alitha Martinez
Color: Jay Jay Jackson
Letters: Tom Orzechowski
Publisher: Super Genius
Price: 2.99

I’ve never watched wrestling voluntarily for longer then a few minutes so why the hell did I think I’d like a comic about it.  Side note: my first roommate in college proved to me that wrestling was on television EVERY SINGLE NIGHT if you know where to find it, so I understand there is a fan base out there for this kind of thing.  Hell, when I was a kid Hulk Hogan and his gang had a Saturday Morning cartoon (ahhh…saturday morning cartoons.) but even with that I wasn’t a fan.  But I thought I’d try this book out to see what I may be missing so with drink in hand, i sat down to have myself a nice read.  I couldn’t get past the intro written on the inside cover.  Basically its a guy in jail framed for a murder he didn’t commit, another guy on the verge of city wide power and a third guy determined to bring the whole corrupt system down.

yup….put the book down and back away slowly.

Waste of time and money.  Although the homage to classic superhero comic covers were nice.  Just not worth the price of admission.

The Fuse

the-fuse-01webWriter: Antony Johnston
Art: Justin Greenwood
Color: Shari Chankhamma
Letters: Ed Brission
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: 3.50

22,000 miles above Earth in a geostationary orbit lies Midway City, the city in the stars.  If you’re a fan of CSI, buddy cop shows or Homicide then add a dash of hard Sci Fi and Judge Dredd and you get The Fuse.  The book starts out simply enough, cop moves to new city (or in this case star city), new partner issues and instant mystery puts the reader right smack in the middle of it as we take the same ride as the characters, learning about Midway City, its inhabitants and bringing law to a new frontier.

Want a sneak peek of what to expect, check out http://www.fusecomic.com for a free preview.  This ones on my radar for now!

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Reviews

 
new warriors

New Warriors
Writer: Christopher Yost
Art: Marcus To
Color: David Curiel
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Created in 1989 by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, The New Warriors were to be the answer to DC’s Teen Titans featuring new and exiting teen age heroes.  The original series lasted six years and over 75 issues before being cancelled.  Over the years The Warriors have been revisited and re-envisioned from everything from a reality show for Super Teens to the catalyst for the Marvel Civil War.  Well its the Marvel Now and everyone gets a second, third or forth chance at the spotlight.

Our new team has the old stand bys, Vance Asttro as Justice, and Speedball being joined with updated versions of old members Namoria, and Nova along with new members Scarlet Spider, Sun Girl, Hummingbird and a last unnamed hero.

So whats our first issue give us.  Mostly set up for the team to meet.  Each member is in their own place, Colorado, New York, Mexico etc all fighting the same enemy, members of the High Evolutionariy team of genetic cleansing robots.  Its a formula thats worked in the past and if written right these characters could gel into an interesting team.  With so much great material coming out of the Marvel Bullpen these days this book could get easily lost in the shuffle.  If the New Warriors is going to stand out this first arc has to be really great.  Lets hope the New Warriors make their mark in the Marvel Now over the next few months!

Justice-League-28-coverJustice League 28
Forever Evil
Writer – Geoff Johns
Art: Ivan Reis
Finishes: Joe Prado and Scott Hanna

Ever since the New 52 update to the DCU i’ve been one of those angry old man comic fans that can’t handle changes to their favorites.  Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis on Justice League was ok I thought.  Not John’s masterworks from the past but not everyone can hit it out of the park every single time.  I felt the Trinity War storyline and the fact that it directly lead into Forever Evil was just plain awkward but some highlights have come from this storyline.  First off, many of the minor players in the DCU are getting some well deserved story time along with costume revamps.  Cyborg being my primary example here.  Since he joined the Justice League his main job was to just chill at their headquarters and make outbound calls.  A huge waste for one of my favorite characters.  Now with an updated, slim look and powers Cyborg will be the major player in defeating the evil Crime Syndicate with the help of none other then…wait for it.  THE METAL MEN!!

metal men

Yup, the Metal Men.  If your a fan, your a super fan.  If you hate them, you really hate them.  Thats just how it is with the Metal Men.

Now like I said earlier, the New 52 screwed some costume revamps when it launched and my initial response to the new Metal Men design wasn’t all that great.  I wanted my robots to have their trademark pointy noses and body shapes.  I thought with these changes DC was going to throw away everything that made the Metal Men the Metal Men and go another direction but lo and behold..Geoff Johns once again shows his fan boy roots and keeps all their personalities intact.  The way the team interacts with each other and humanity was such a large part of the joy of the book it would have been a shame if it was changed  and it wasn’t.  Sure some of the body designs updated but Mercury was still Mercury, Lead was still Lead, Tin was good ol Tin and so on.  I’m certainly looking forward to how they are used in the fight against the Syndicate and hope whoever takes the creative reigns of these characters afterward keeps as true to their core as Johns has and not tossed to the wayside like the Creature Commandos when Johns revived them.

and speaking of which.

creature commandosDC has finally released a collected volume of all the Creature Commando appearances in Weird War Tales.

Frankenstein, Werewolf, Vampire, Medusa, GI Robot fighting Nazis and dinosaurs.

Priced at 19.99 this book is a no brainer.  Buy it….now.
Go on, I’ll wait.

Kaiju…Gesundheit.

rulers_of_earth___cover_a_by_kaijusamurai-d5y2wwyWhat a month for Giant Monster fans.  Pacific Rim has finally hit the theaters being everything it promised to be and in comic shops, Godzilla Rulers of the Earth #1 hit shelves.  Now chances are if you’re one of us older folk who grew up in the 70’s your Saturday Mornings were a steady diet of cartoons, kung fu and Giant Monster movies.  From Godzilla to Gamara to Ultraman, we had our heroes, our villains and all of these embodied in giant rubber monster suits and awesome Kaiju Wrestling moves.  So many of us on the East Coast have fond memories of Saturday’s Creature Double Feature giving us classic monsters to start but then stepping it up to Godzilla, King of Monsters and his court.  Movies, vinyl import toys, american games based on the toho franchise, we couldn’t get enough of these titans, and with the release of Pacific Rim, a tribute to our childhood has been updated for an entirely new generation.

IDW has had the rights to publish Godzilla titles for a few years now and with a solid number of mini series under their belts its time for an ongoing title for the King of Monsters!  Rulers of Earth written by Chris Mowry and drawn by Matt Frank starts with a solid enough story and the usual trappings of a Toho movie.  Unknown aliens/villains manipulate these giant beasts into battle with creatures of their own in the hopes of using them to control Earth.  In the meantime, Earth scientists and military have entire departments devoted to the study and defense against Kaiju attack.  The big item that this book brings to the table that other Godzilla tales haven’t is the introduction of Zilla in comic format for the first time!  For those of you who don’t know, Zilla is the 1998 americanized version of Godzilla brought to the big screen and staring Matthew Broderick.  While a fun giant monster movie, this version of Godzilla was never really accepted and since then reinvented as an new monster named Zilla and cast as part of the Godzilla gallery of foes, even featured briefly the in 2004 film Godzilla Final Wars.

Personally I’m looking forward to the battle between Godzilla and Zilla in issue 2, and this could be the start of new ongoing rivalry between monsters!  My only negative with this title is that while Matt Frank is amazing at his comic rendition of all things Kaiju or Robotic, his humans have a slightly off appearance.  A sort of hybrid of anime and US cartoon style that isn’t quite there yet but as I mentioned, he makes up for it in spades with his monster work!  Here’s looking forward to the rest of the series, if you’re a giant monster fan like I am give it a try!

Sequential Highway

The comic blog Sequential Highway was nice enough to interview me regarding That’s Entertainment in Fitchburg and Worcester.  Here’s the link for anyone interested in checking it out.  Plenty of other great articles there as well!

TE_interior_fi

Top Shops That’s Entertainment Feature.

Prelude to Infinity – Avengers 16

There’s really only one thing I can say about this issue.  Spaceknights!

this makes me giddy..

this makes me giddy..

 

That’s right.  SPACEKNIGHTS baby!  I don’t care that Starshine shouldn’t be in armor anymore or that the guy in front looks like the long dead Terminator.

SPACEKNIGHTS!

Now if only I could have Rom back.

Thanos Rising

ThanosRising_1_CoverWriter: Jason Aaron
Pencils: Simone Bianchi
Inks and Inkwash by Simone Bianchi and Riccardo Pieruccini
Colors: Ive Svorcina
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Initially I wasn’t going to give Thanos Rising a chance.  I’d already read the defining storys as told by Jim Starlin years ago.  Thanos in Captain Marvel, Warlock, Silver Surfer and finally the Infinity Gauntlet Saga.  There wasn’t anything new to add to define this character and to read something written by anyone other then Stalin, well, I didn’t need it.  That is, until my friend Phil told me to give it a chance.

So here i am.  I’ve laid down the latest issue (as of this writing issue 4 has hit the shelves today) and man, this book is amazing.

First off, the art is just stunning.  Simone’s deceptions of alien creatures and worlds suits his inkwash style.  As for the story, Jason Aaron had big shoes to fill here and he found they fit quite nicely.  Telling the story of Thanos that I thought I didn’t need but instead found each issue holding a certain unnerving horror as we see the mad titan grow.   If your a fan of a show like Dexter then Thanos Rising would be right down your alley.  And with the Summer’s Infinity storyline right around the corner it helps set up just exactly the type of threat Thanos should be to the Marvel Universe all over again.

Going back to the Well.

dr strangeNot too long ago I mentioned that I gave away the majority of my comic collection.  Having 24 long boxes of marvel/dc/etc I dug through the lot. took out the 5 long boxes I couldn’t bear to part with and said good bye to so many adventures…

We’ve all been here before.  Space becomes a premium and one has to decide to keep/sell or give away collections for any number of reasons.  Its just, once the shock of it all wears away, suddenly the draw of the back issue bins becomes a siren cry hard to resist.  Just this time around, I’ll get just the good stuff.  Its about “Back Issues” not new on the rack.  I’ll get those investment books I’ve wanted, or older series I’ve never read and will enhance the collection I want.    Glow in the dark, Hologram or foil covers, no thank you.  Its all Gold Silver and Bronze for me and my first target, Dr. Strange Master of the Mystic Arts.  Now here’s a book I NEVER gave a fair shake when I was younger.  Sure I had friends that told me how good the book was but I wouldn’t have it.  Dr. Strange was just some dude who could barely hold a team together with the Defenders and spent all his time polishing his mystic eye and reading books so as I said, I wouldn’t have it.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Man did I miss some awesome adventures.  Sure it took 20 years for me to figure it out but now that I did, Bronze Age Dr. Strange is where I’m at.  Recently my friendly neighborhood comic shop picked up a early run of Dr. Strange all in great reading shape.  Issues 1 through 30, all intact but each with the tell tale subscription crease that plagued collectors in our early years.  Those of you who don’t know what the crease is just imagine getting your books in the mail each month directly from Marvel, wrapped in brown paper and folded firmly down the middle so as to fit in your mailbox  with all the rest of the letters and bills.  Sigh…this same crease plagued my GI Joe and Rom subscriptions so long ago.  So while these 30 issues aren’t perfect, that crease helped me pick up a reading collection for a great price.  Thank god for comic shops.  Now I can focus on getting collection grade copies and have these to read/share as need be.  Of course there are those of you who may say “Why not just get a trade collection of the books” I could, but nothing beats the original.  Seeing the ads from back in the day, the mail away schemes, the letters pages, all of that is part of the joy of being a collector but I don’t need to explain that to you.  So here I am, 35 plus years as a comic reader and “Going back to the Well” as my friend so aptly put.  In times when the new books on the self are lacking, we always have so many gems that have been laid out before us just awaiting to be rediscovered.  And my next target…Tomb of Dracula.  With writers like Marv Wolfman and the amazing art of Gene Colan I can’t fail with that one.

Time to dive back into a great comic.

tomb of dracula