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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Kamisama Kiss: Nanami in Disguise

I read Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 16

I posted a review at the ComicBookBin, which is seeking donations.  Follow me on Twitter.





Friday, October 24, 2014

I Reads You Review: DETECTIVE COMICS Volume One: Faces of Death

BATMAN – DETECTIVE COMICS VOLUME ONE: FACES OF DEATH
DC COMICS – @DCComics

STORY/PENCILS: Tony S. Daniel
INKS: Ryan Winn, Sandu Florea, and Rob Hunter
COLORS: Tomeu Morey
LETTERS: Jared K. Fletcher
COVER: Tony S. Daniel and Ryan Winn with Tomeu Morey
ADDITIONAL ART: Szymon Kudranski
ISBN:  978-1-4012-3466-9; hardcover
176pp, Color, $22.99 U.S., $25.99 CAN (2012)

Batman created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger

When The New 52 brought forth “new” Batman comic book series, I found myself crazy-in-love with Detective Comics #1, produced by writer-artist, Tony S. Daniel.  In fact, I preferred Detective Comics to Batman #1 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.  I only read the first two issues of Daniel's Detective Comics, but I thought that the first issue reminded me of the first “book” of Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns more than any comic book I had read in a long time.

I bought the first hardcover collection of The New 52 Detective Comics.  Sadly, it took me two-and-half-years to get around to reading it.  In that time, Snyder and Capullo's Batman became one of the bestselling comic book series in North America, and a favorite of mine.  On the other hand, Daniel departed Detective Comics after issue #12.

Batman – Detective Comics Volume One: Faces of Death collects Detective Comics #1 to 7, which comprises two story arcs.  Detective Comics begins with Batman in the midst of a dangerous mission.  He has to find The Joker and also discover what is behind the grisly murders of several of the Joker's acquaintances.  Eventually, Batman battles The Dollmaker, a killer who removes the faces of his victims and even some of their organs.  He uses them as macabre building materials to create new people.  The Dollmaker is also seeking revenge against Commissioner Jim Gordon.

The second story arc centers on The Penguin's off-shore gambling palace, The Iceberg Casino.  The casino is also a front for Penguin's money-laundering operation.  The story also involves Gotham City Mayor Hady's re-election campaign; the mayor's election-year war on Batman; reporter and Bruce Wayne love-interest, Charlotte Rivers; Rivers' sister, Jill; and a cheap hood named Jack Houston, whose ability to change his face has earned him the name “Snakeskin.”

Having finally finished the Faces of Death collection, I have to say that, three years later, “The Dollmaker” arc still thrills me.  I think it is a definite heir to Frank Miller's seminal Batman work from the mid-1980s.  Daniel's Batman is a combination penny dreadful and Saturday matinee thriller; each chapter ends in either a cliffhanger or with a shocking reveal.  Batman fighting in the darkest corners of Gotham, with the threat of death hanging over several people, but especially over him.  Several times, I actually believed that Batman was going to be killed.  I knew better, of course.  Batman isn't going to die-as-in-stay-dead, but still, those stories...

“The Iceberg Casino” arc is entertaining, but is an average to above-average Batman story arc.  It is sort of a Batman as action movie/crime thriller.  Of course, there are some cliffhanger-styled thrills int this story, but this is nothing particularly special.

I think Tony Daniel was unable to maintain the promise of his opening Detective Comics story arc.  In Batman, Snyder's story and Capullo's art create a gripping narrative with striking graphics, one issue after another.  Daniel with inker Ryan Winn also created a graphic narrative full of high-drama and edgy visuals.  Visually, Daniel and Winn offered a Batman that was a bird of prey, and the art had a sense of movement so that Batman always seemed to be racing across a dark, but alluring landscape.

As the second story arc advanced, Daniel's art took on a Neal Adams-quality that moves, but lacks something... perhaps, the edginess it had in “The Dollmaker” arc.  I first discovered Tony Daniel's work back in the mid to late 1990s, on his Image Comics series, The Tenth.  The early issues of that series had the characteristics of a raw, but promising talent.  With Marlo Alquiza inking his pencil art, Daniel delivered art that grabbed the reader with its horror-themed creatures and characters.  After Alquiza stopped inking The Tenth, what was raw, but promising became unfocused and undisciplined.

I'll remember Tony Daniel's New 52 launch of Detective Comics for the promise the early issues offered, with joy, but also with some disappointment.  That promise plus 11 pages of preliminary art, thumbnails, sketches, and pencils have encouraged me to give Batman – Detective Comics Volume One: Faces of Death a high grade.  By the way, Daniel is now working on another relaunch of the DC Comics' character, Deathstroke.

A-

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review: DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Legends of Baldur's Gate #1

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS LEGENDS OF BALDUR'S GATE #1
IDW PUBLISHING – @IDWPublishing @Wizards_DnD

WRITER: Jim Zub – @JimZub
ART:  Max Dunbar – @Max_Dunbar
COLORS: John-Paul Bove
LETTERS: Neil Uyetake
COVER: Sarah Stone
VARIANT COVERS:  Max Dunbar with John-Paul Bove; Max Dunbar with Jim Zub; Raymond Swanland; Michael Komark
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S.

Tyranny of Dragons

Writer Jim Zub sent out PDF copies for review of his latest comic book series, Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldur's Gate.  It is a new licensed Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) comic book series from IDW Publishing.  This series is written by Zub and drawn by Max Dunbar with colors by John-Paul Bove and letters by Neil Uyetake.

Apparently, Baldur's Gate is a fictional city in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting of the D&D fantasy role-playing game (RPG).  I say “apparently” because it has been decades since I have read a D&D comic book or even played the game.

Baldur's Gate is located in the Faerûn region and is a coastal city on the north bank of the river Chiontar.  It is “a place of history and a home to legends.”  Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldur's Gate #1 (“Part One”) opens in the Upper City where a young female moon elf, Delina the Wild Mage, is on the run from two flying, stone gargoyles.

Her magic is not enough to stop them, but Minsc, a tall, imposing figure of a man, comes to her rescue.  He has a pet, Boo the hamster, and insists on calling Delina by the name, “Neera.”  She will accept the hamster and the new name, if Minsc can help her find her missing brother.

Simply put, Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldur's Gate #1 is the kickoff of a comic book adventure series.  Specifically, it is a comic book narrative structured as if it were a D&D campaign.  Writer Jim Zub grew up on D&D, as he writes in a “Welcome” essay at the end of this first issue, so the series may reflect what Zub loves about D&D.

Legends of Baldur's Gate #1 is not a great comic book, but it does have an intriguing premise.  And I have to be honest; I think I will always be interested in the idea of a D&D campaign.  In this first issue, the story is straightforward, so artist Max Dunbar is not required to convey any complex storytelling.  It is good enough and acceptable for Dunbar to draw big panels and splash pages because this story is three things:  vague introductions of characters, fights, and chase scenes, which are big panel-ready story elements.

I want to try the next one or two issues in order to see where this goes.  Right now, I'll give it a grade of “B.”  I do think that readers of D&D comic books will want to try Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldur's Gate.

B

www.IDWPublishing.com
DungeonsandDragons.com

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for October 22, 2014

DC COMICS

JUL140236     ALL STAR WESTERN TP VOL 05 MAN OUT OF TIME (N52)     $16.99
APR140291     ANNOTATED SANDMAN HC VOL 03 (MR)     $49.99
AUG140245     AQUAMAN #35     $2.99
AUG140199     ARKHAM MANOR #1     $2.99
AUG140315     BATMAN 66 #16     $2.99
AUG140316     BATMAN BEYOND UNIVERSE #15     $3.99
AUG140266     BATMAN ETERNAL #29     $2.99
AUG140358     BODIES #4 (MR)     $3.99
AUG140289     CATWOMAN #35     $2.99
AUG140366     DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #10 (DEFY)     $2.99
AUG140203     DEATHSTROKE #1     $2.99
AUG140190     EARTH 2 WORLDS END #3     $2.99
AUG140248     FLASH #35     $2.99
JUL140248     GOTHAM CITY SIRENS TP BOOK 01     $24.99
AUG140291     HARLEY QUINN #11     $2.99
JUN140279     HARLEY QUINN HC VOL 01 HOT IN THE CITY     $24.99
AUG140322     HE MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE #18     $2.99
AUG140307     INFINITY MAN AND THE FOREVER PEOPLE #4     $2.99
AUG140319     INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US YEAR THREE #2     $2.99
AUG140236     JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #35     $3.99
AUG140194     MULTIVERSITY THE JUST #1     $4.99
AUG140220     NEW 52 FUTURES END #25 (WEEKLY)     $2.99
AUG140304     RED LANTERNS #35 (GODHEAD)     $2.99
JUN140284     RONIN DELUXE EDITION HC     $29.99
AUG140242     SECRET ORIGINS #6     $4.99
AUG140243     STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES GI ZOMBIE #3     $2.99
JUL140245     SUICIDE SQUAD TP VOL 05 WALLED IN (N52)     $16.99
AUG140251     SUPERMAN #35     $3.99
AUG140255     SUPERMAN #35 COMBO PACK     $4.99
AUG140370     UNWRITTEN VOL 2 APOCALYPSE #10 (MR)     $3.99

DC COMICS/DC COLLECTIBLES

MAY140418     BATMAN 75TH ANNIVERSARY ACTION FIGURE 4 PACK SET 1     $75.00
APR140324     BATMAN LIL GOTHAM BATMAN MINI ACTION FIGURE     $12.95
MAY140423     DC COMICS NEW 52 JL DARK CONSTANTINE AF     $24.95
MAY140424     DC COMICS NEW 52 JL DARK ZATANNA AF     $24.95
APR140309     SANDMAN OVERTURE LTD ED PATINA STATUE     $299.95

Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for October 22, 2014

MARVEL COMICS

MAY140919     ALIAS OMNIBUS HC NEW PTG     $99.99
AUG140853     ALL NEW GHOST RIDER #8     $3.99
AUG140843     ALL NEW INVADERS #11     $3.99
AUG140741     ALL NEW X-FACTOR #15 AXIS     $3.99
AUG140800     AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 EOSV     $3.99
AUG140885     AMAZING X-MEN #12     $3.99
AUG140792     AVENGERS #37 TRO     $3.99
AUG140731     AVENGERS AND X-MEN AXIS #3     $3.99
AUG140735     AXIS HOBGOBLIN #1     $3.99
AUG140877     CYCLOPS #6     $3.99
AUG140736     DEADPOOL #36 AXIS     $3.99
AUG140750     DEATH OF WOLVERINE LOGAN LEGACY #2     $3.99
AUG148110     EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #1 2ND PTG ISANOVE VAR     $3.99
AUG148235     FIGMENT #4 2ND PTG CHRISTOPHER VAR     $3.99
JUL140727     HULK TP VOL 01 BANNER DOA     $12.99
AUG140916     IRON PATRIOT TP UNBREAKABLE     $16.99
AUG140906     MARVEL 100TH ANNIVERSARY TP     $16.99
AUG140849     NEW WARRIORS #11     $3.99
AUG140907     ORIGINAL SIN TP HULK VS IRON MAN     $16.99
AUG140847     SECRET AVENGERS #9     $3.99
AUG140915     SECRET AVENGERS TP VOL 01 LETS HAVE A PROBLEM     $19.99
AUG140851     SHE-HULK #9     $2.99
AUG140913     SILVER SURFER TP VOL 01 NEW DAWN     $17.99
AUG140769     THANOS A GOD UP THERE LISTENING #3     $3.99
AUG140879     X-FORCE #11     $3.99

IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for October 22, 2014

IDW PUBLISHING

AUG140520     7TH SWORD #5     $3.99
JUL140413     BORDERLANDS FALL OF FYRESTONE #3     $3.99
AUG140419     DEXTERS LABORATORY TP VOL 01 DEES DAY     $17.99
AUG140436     DUNGEONS & DRAGONS LEGENDS OF BALDURS GATE #1     $3.99
AUG140437     DUNGEONS & DRAGONS LEGENDS OF BALDURS GATE #1 SUBSCRIPTION     $3.99
AUG140411     EDWARD SCISSORHANDS #1     $3.99
AUG140448     GI JOE (2014) #2     $3.99
AUG140401     GODZILLA CATACLYSM #3     $3.99
AUG140403     GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #17     $3.99
AUG140487     JUDGE DREDD ANDERSON PSI DIVISION #3     $3.99
MAR142411     KILL SHAKESPEARE THE BOARD GAME     $59.99
AUG140515     LAST UNICORN TP     $19.99
MAY142831     MACHI KORO THE CARD GAME     $29.99
AUG140501     MAXX MAXXIMIZED #12     $3.99
AUG140429     MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDS FOREVER #10     $3.99
AUG140443     ROT & RUIN #2     $3.99
AUG140414     SAMURAI JACK #13     $3.99
AUG142788     SKYLANDERS MICRO COMIC FUN PACK DSP     $2.99
AUG140420     SUPER SECRET CRISIS WAR COW & CHICKEN #1     $3.99
APR142375     TAMMANY HALL THE BOARD GAME     $59.99
AUG140392     TMNT GHOSTBUSTERS #1     $3.99
AUG140463     TRANSFORMERS PRIMACY #3     $3.99
AUG140460     TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #34 DAWN O/T AUTOBOTS     $3.99
MAY140533     V-WARS BLOOD AND FIRE PROSE HC     $24.99
AUG140482     X-FILES SEASON 10 #17     $3.99
AUG140485     X-FILES YEAR ZERO #4     $3.99