Monthly Archives: October 2013

Comic Reviews: X-Men: Battle of the Atom and Damien, Son of Batman!

Comic Reviews!!!

 portrait_incredibleX-Men: Battle of the Atom #2

(Relatively Spoiler free)

With Battle of the Atom #2, the X-Men’s latest crossover has reached its end, and of course, nothing will ever be the same! ……Until the next one.

Seriously though, as far as events go, “Battle of the Atom” has been great, and one of the best X-events of the past decade. I was a little apprehensive that Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, and the other members of the X-Men writing stable wouldn’t be able to stick the landing, but I’m pleased to report that they do a great job wrapping up the main story and teasing what’s to come.

The X-Men of past, present, and future have all come to battle the Brotherhood of Mutants from the future, and what follows is a tremendous battle that ranks as one of the mutant team’s best. There are some causalities (all are future X-Men), and while the battle doesn’t end quite like I wanted it to, I still found it satisfying. Read the rest of this entry

Scariest Comic Book Characters

Halloween is right around the corner, so it’s time for my annual sppoooooooky column highlighting something scary in the world of nerddom. Seeing as how last year I took at look at some scary comics on the stands, I figured this year I’d mix things up and feature some of the scariest characters in comics. These are some of the worst villains, monsters, and even heroes you’d ever meet, and not ones who you’d care to meet in a darkened room.

Locke-and-Key_Clockworks_6-665x10241Dodge

Few malevolent spirits are as driven and twisted as Dodge, the antagonist of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’ Locke and Key series.  Obsessed with obtaining the Omega key, Dodge has committed horrible acts on the Locke Family and their friends to get what he wants. This supernatural enemy is a creature of pure hate, and for many, possessing the youngest Locke child was the last straw.

Dodge is the perfect example of forces beyond our control messing with us. He’s everywhere, pulling the strings behind the scenes of Locke and Key, and driving us all insane by the fact that many members of the Locke family are powerless to stop him. Surprisingly, unlike most villains, the more we learn about Dodge’s history the more interesting he becomes. The entirety of Locke and Key rests on Dodge’s evil motivations to retrieve the Omega Key, and with the clock ticking down to the final issue of Hill and Rodriguez’ Eisner winning series, we can only guess what horrible fate lies in store for the Locke family. Read the rest of this entry

Comic Reviews: Aquaman and The Rocketeer/Spirit: Pulp Friction!

Comic Reviews!!!

AQM_Cv24_gaap0z782a_Aquaman #24

We’ve reached the penultimate issue of the “Death of A King” storyline, and we’re one issue away from Geoff Johns’ final issue of Aquaman.  However, if you think anything is slowing down, think again, as Aquaman #24 has so many twists and turns within its pages that it’s hard to put down.

Picking up from last issue, Aquaman awakens from his six-month catnap with a sweet beard and a whole lot of questions. Unfortunately, the only person who can answer them is Vulko, the Atlantean who started the Atlantis/Human war back in the “Throne of Atlantis” crossover.  Explaining to Arthur Curry that he has found the truth behind the mysterious Dead King’s origin and resurrection. Leading him to the forgotten throne deep in Antarctica, Vulko tells the former king of Atlantis to sit in the ancient throne and all will be revealed. Read the rest of this entry

New York Comic Con Reactions!

New York Comic Con has come and gone for another season, and in its wake are the announcements from the big two. From Marvel announcing SEVEN more Avengers titles, to DC’s reveal that Stephanie Brown will finally make her first appearance in the “New 52”, there were a lot of announcements that were made designed to drive fan boys into a frenzy. So what announcements am I most excited about?

GhostRider-felipesmith-tradd-mooreGhost Rider

The Spirit of Vengeance is back, and I’m pretty excited, but not as much as I should be. The reason for the decline in my excitement is mainly due to the fact that this is another new person in possession of the spirit of vengeance. Yes, once again Johnny Blaze gets pushed out of the limelight so a newbie can step in (however, Blaze will be joining the Thunderbolts, more on that later).  This new character is a high school senior who now drives a demonically possessed muscle car instead of the classic motorcycle that Ghost Rider is known for.  If this sounds like the recent Nova series but with a supernatural bent, you’re right on target.

While I may not be all that enthused that the original (and still best) Ghost Rider isn’t starring in his own book, he has had plenty of chances to lead his own book, and they haven’t panned out sales wise. I know I’m guilty of his last cancellation, mainly because I hate the way Blaze has been turned into a good ol’ boy with an overly pronounced southern drawl. The whole “high school senior with a muscle car” is extremely weird, but Jason Aaron’s awesome Ghost Rider run did establish that there are multiple different versions of the Ghost Rider from different cultures, so it’s not a complete stretch. Read the rest of this entry

Comic Reviews: Hawkeye and Superman/Batman!

COMIC REVIEWS!!!

HAWKEYE2012013_COVHawkeye # 13

 After an incredibly long wait, Clint Barton is back on the comic stands with Hawkeye #13.  Following up on the death of Grills, Clint must make his way through another Avengers mission, attend Grills’ funeral, and deal with the unexpected arrival of his criminal brother, Barney.

Hawkeye is well known by now as a fantastic look into the “off hours” of a superhero, and this issue is a prime example of it. Even though the plot of the book weaves in and out of issues that happened months ago, it didn’t take very long for me to remember what had happened leading up to this issue, or how this issue fits into the larger story. It’s a testament to writer Matt Fraction’s writing ability that he can craft great “slice of life” scenarios that can be read on their own, but fit perfectly into a larger story. Read the rest of this entry

Gotham

Batman_Battle_for_the_Cowl_Comissioner_GordonOne of my nerd dreams finally came true two weeks ago: Gotham Central is kinda coming to TV. Warner Bros has announced that they have begun production on a series based on Commissioner Gordon for Fox. The series, titled Gotham, will trace the early career of James Gordon as he patrols the worst city on the planet, Gotham City. While it’s not the direct adaptation of Gotham Central I was hoping for, it’s fairly obvious that the Ed Brubaker/Greg Rucka series will be used as a basis for Gotham. But like with all comic book adaptations, there are some early aspects of Gotham that leave me a little wary.

For starters, the press release states that Batman will not appear in the show at all. While this is expected in a show that focuses primarily on James Gordon, the release does say that the show will feature many of the ”early” versions of some of Gotham’s main baddies. However, if the Gotham Crime Unit can take out such villains as The Riddler, Penguin, and Two-Face without the help of Batman, then doesn’t it make the Dark Knight seem a little unnecessary? Not to mention that fact that it would fly in the face of the long held belief that Batman is the cause of many of the psychotic villains that he faces. Without the Batman, there would be no Joker, Two-Face, or other villains. Read the rest of this entry

Comic Reviews: Forever Evil: Arkham War and The Walking Dead!

COMIC REVIEWS!!!

arkham-warForever Evil: Arkham War #1 (of 6)

Of all of the Forever Evil tie-ins, Arkham War was the one I was most looking forward to.  Batman’s villains fighting amongst each other for control of Gotham City? Sign me the hell up. Written by Batman & Robin scribe Peter J. Tomasi, my expectations were extremely high for the first part of this six-issue miniseries, and I’m happy to say that I was not disappointed at all.

Spinning directly out of the events of Forever Evil (and the Scarecrow and Bane Villains Month issues), Arkham War finds the denizens of Arkham Asylum running amok in Gotham City. With Batman believed dead and the members of the Secret Society in charge, various inmates like Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and Killer Croc have carved up sections of the city as their turf. This surprising show of fair play amongst the villains was the idea of the Penguin, who declares himself mayor.  This opening issue finds Scarecrow meeting with different villains in an attempt to get them to combine forces against Bane, who Scarecrow believes is planning to take the city by force. Read the rest of this entry

The Read Pile: Starman

Every comic fan has them: the stack of hardcovers and graphic novels designated “To Read”. If you’re like me, this stack gets to unruly proportions, threatening to topple and destroy anything in its path. Things that I’m far too ashamed to say I haven’t read yet sit in this ever-growing tower of geek, a monument to my inability to pass up on a sale priced trade at my local shop, and a constant reminder that I’m always far too busy to do the things I want. So every now and then, I’ll grab a collection at random and throw a spotlight on it.

starman_modernageFor most of the past year, the final three omnibuses (omnibi?) of James Robinson and Tony Harris’ Starman have been sitting in my “To Read” pile, taunting me. Having previously read the first three massive hardcovers chronicling Jack Knight’s reluctant voyage into becoming a hero, I bought the last three in a Black Friday online sale last year and had every intention of reading them as soon as I received them in the mail. I loved the first three collections, and was eager to finish James Robinson’s story, but I didn’t get around to it until months ago. After finally finishing Jack Knight’s tale, I can safely say this:

Why didn’t I read this sooner?

Starman is the tale of Jack Knight, the son of the Golden Age Starman, Ted Knight. For years, the Knights have lived in Opal City, which has had some variation of a Starman protecting its citizens for decades. After his brother David is killed on his first patrol as Starman, Jack reluctantly takes up the mantle to protect the city, facing old threats of his father’s and slowly becoming a new kind of champion for Opal. Read the rest of this entry

Comic Reviews: Marvel Knights Spider-Man and Forever Evil!

COMIC REVIEWS!!!!

MKSM2013001_DC11_A-610x938Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1 (of 5)

The Marvel Knights imprint returns this month, with a new line up featuring top characters written by some of the hottest new names in the industry. First out of the gate is Marvel Knights Spider-Man. Written by MIND MGMT creator Matt Kindt and drawn by Marco Rudy, the first issue of the five-part tale is a welcome change of pace from current Spidey comics, and offers a lot of really fun (and weird) excitement for readers.

Featuring Peter Parker as Spider-Man, this out of continuity tale finds web head answering a family’s ad for a professional photographer. When he arrives at the mysterious home, he finds Madame Webb, who informs him of the mystery of the Sphinx, and of the upcoming “99 challenges” he is about to face. Before he can ask any more questions, a small doll explodes, sending Parker careening down multiple floors (but allowing him to change into his Spidey duds).  Once he lands, he comes across Jack O’Lantern, who takes the opportunity to blast Spidey with some poison gas.  Before he can retaliate, Spider-Man is thrown for yet another loop, and attacked by Morbius and Man-Wolf, before finally stopping his descent at Frankenstein’s monster (yes, THAT Frankenstein’s monster).  After another close call, Spidey finally makes it to the man he believes is behind everything: Arcade. Read the rest of this entry