Monday, December 31, 2012

Albert Avilla Reviews: Uncanny Avengers 002

Uncanny Avengers 002
Marvel Comics

Reviewed by Albert Avilla

Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: John Cassaday
Cover: John Cassaday and Laura Martin
Variant Cover: Milo Manara

(Spoilers!)
There is a battle going on for my comic book dollars, and the number one contender is the Uncanny Avengers. I’ve already put it on my pull list. The number one reason is Remender’s writing.

When I saw that the Red Skull was going to be the first adversary of the Uncanny Avengers, I thought, oh boy, some of the same old same-old. I’m wrong so often it’s easy for me to admit when I am wrong. Remender handles the Skull well; he has a good insight into who the Skull is. Who better to use as the catalyst to further incite the humans’ hatred of the mutants than the former henchman of Adolf Hitler.

Remender’s writing exposes the evil that the Skull is. He uses our desire to find something to blame for what is not right in the world and amplifies it into a maniacal hatred. He is a master of human psychology; this is vividly illustrated in his attempt to recruit the Scarlet Witch. With his powers, Professor Xavier was able to subdue Wanda, using psychological weaknesses from her father issues to her own concern about being a powerful mutant. The Skull is always able to find minions whom he can convert to his cause and who are willing to sacrifice their humanity to serve him. They are just tools to help accomplish his goals, to be disposed of once used.

At the same time, Remender gives us examples of good. The first is when Xavier takes a stand against the other X-Men when he first accepted Rogue into the X-Men. This was a pivotal moment in the young woman’s life, saving her from a fall into the darkness. Rogue has been a warrior who has turned battles in the favor of the X-Men. Another is the Uncanny X-Men helping clean up the site that Avalanche destroyed. That’s good people when they party with you all night long and help you clean up the mess afterward.

Another thing that I like about Remender is he does not forget the characters’ past; he builds on them. Remender gives everybody their moment in the story; no one character is more important to the story than the other. Thor is nothing but hero. He could be chilling in Asgard, but he’s on Earth taking up the mutant cause with Cap [Captain America, of course – Ed.]. He is giving the Scarlet Witch more of an edge and a sense that she is superior to others. The Skull has the power of Charles Xavier. He was hell before; now what kind of mischief will our little red goblin get into?

The art is “wow” at every turn. Every panel is a masterpiece of sequential art. Sometimes, I get the feeling that the dialogue is interfering with my enjoyment of good art. Can we get Thor a spa day or a godly makeover; the dude is looking rough in his work clothes. What ever happened to godly raiment?

I rate Uncanny Avengers 002 Recommend it to a Friend. Highest ranking on the Al-O-Meter


Sunday, December 30, 2012

I Reads You Review: SUICIDE SQUAD #14

SUICIDE SQUAD #14
DC COMICS

WRITER: Adam Glass
ARTIST: Fernando Dagnino
COLORS: Matt Yackey
LETTERS: Jared K. Fletcher
COVER: Ken Lashley with Matt Yackey
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S.

Rated "T+" - Teen Plus

“Death in the Family – Running with the Devil”

In “The New 52,” the Suicide Squad is a team of super-villains, in which the members take on risky missions in exchange for time served. The team’s base of operations is Belle Reve Penitentiary, a special prison for meta-humans and super-villains located in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.

Suicide Squad #14 (“Running with the Devil”) opens in the aftermath of the team’s battle with Basilisk. The Suicide Squad gathers for the funeral of Floyd Lawton AKA Deadshot. The Joker crashes the par-tay with demands to make on his compatriot and Suicide Squad member, Harley Quinn. What does he really want? In the meantime, members of the squad struggle with changes in their lives and with their powers.

I haven’t read the Suicide Squad since Suicide Squad #1 arrived in September 2011 during “The New 52” month. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed that debut issue. Suicide Squad #14, on the other hand, doesn’t do much for me. It isn’t bad, nor is it really good. It’s inoffensive with a few interesting moments scattered throughout the issue. Of course, a middling comic book needs a middling comic book artist; enter Fernando Dagnino. He can draw, but his skills would be a better fit on an independent genre title, not a DC Comics title. There are better artists who can’t get work and who are more appropriate than Dagnino to work for a major publisher like DC.

The Joker’s appearance is a tack-on so that this issue is tied to The New 52’s reworking of “Death in the Family,” and while that tie-in is intriguing, it is a cheat. There’s just enough to make it an official chapter/tie-in. I’m not interested enough to seek out the rest of “Death in the Family.”

C+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


20th Century Boys: The Beginning of Justice

I read Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, Vol. 22

I posted a review at ComicBookBin (which has free smart phone apps and comics).

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Albert Avilla Reviews: Avengers #1

Avengers #1
Marvel Comics

Reviewed by Albert Avilla

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Jerome Opena
Cover: Dustin Weaver and Justin Ponsor
Variant Covers: Steve McNiven and Justin Ponsor; Esad Ribic

“Avenger’s World” (Spoilers!)
Now, I know why the #1 on the cover is so big. Sometimes you like something, but you don’t know why. This is one of those times for me. I can’t say that the action was on a grand scale; The Avengers got their butts beat down.

The villains do seem to be interesting, but they are not beyond what we have come to expect. They are very powerful, and they took the Avengers out in a minute; they will be a challenge for the Avengers to defeat. They are new and fresh, and they are the worst kind of villains, beings who think that humans are primitives and that they are working for the good of mankind.

The dialogue is good stuff, but it’s just basic characters interacting with each other. Jonathan Hickman gives the events of this story a sense of historic significance. We get the feel that this is a major turning point in the history of the Universe. The Avengers are presented as legendary heroes whose myths go beyond their actual deeds. These are modern day George Washingtons and Geronimos whose legends have outgrown the real people. This is the beginning of an epic story. Hickman has set the stage for greatness; I hope that he is able to deliver.

Jerome Opena’s art is signature. It stands out in the crowd. Iconic characters and iconic scenes are found throughout the book. The art adds to the grandiose quality of the story.

I rate Avenger # 1 Buy Your Own Copy. #2 (of 5) on the Al-O-Meter Ranking.


Friday, December 28, 2012

I Reads You Review: Happy! #1

HAPPY! #1 (OF 4)
IMAGE COMICS

WRITER: Grant Morrison
ARTIST: Darick Robertson
COLORS: Richard P. Clark
LETTERS: Simon Bowland
28pp, Color, $2.99 U.S.

Happy! is a four-issue comic book miniseries written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Darick Robertson. The series focuses on Nicholas “Nick” Sax, apparently once the best detective in his police department. At some point, he became just another intoxicated cop and sometime after that, he became a hitman.

As Happy! #1 opens, we learn from two of the Fratelli Brothers that Nick is a total evil bastard. The brothers are Nick’s target, but before the last Fratelli scion dies, he imparts a secret about the Fratelli family fortune upon Nick. Now, Nick is the target of many different interests that want this secret. Then, there’s Happy the Horse...

I’ve been a fan of Grant Morrison’s comic books since his Animal Man, and I think that he is one of the great modern comic book writers. That is not to say that he has not written mediocre or even bad work. I also still don’t understand why people think of All-Star Superman as the “work of a generation” or “era-defining work.” I found his recent Batman comics either spectacular or spectacularly dull. However, I go full fanboy for such Morrison classics as Animal Man, Doom Patrol, The Invisibles, and New X-Men (well, at least the early issues).

I’m not in full fanboy mode for Happy!. If you combined some of Ed Brubaker’s generic, paint-by-numbers crime comics with some of the tropes Mark Millar has vomited up for his Millarworld line and combined them, you’d come close to making a Happy!. I’m glad that I did not pay for this comic book, because if I had, I wouldn’t be glad.

Darick Robertson’s art is good. He can draw and actually draw comic books, but even his draftsmanship is sullied by this dull retread of dull retreads. Here and there, I found something to pique my interest for a moment or two. If I get more free copies of Happy!, I’ll keep reading and reviewing

D+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Albert Avilla Reviews: Red Hood and the Outlaws #13

Red Hood and the Outlaws #13
DC Comics

Reviewed by Albert Avilla

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Art: Timothy Green II
Cover: Kenneth Rocafort and Blond

(Spoilers)
First, the cover has nothing to do with the story, unless I completely missed the boat, but damn, that is a nice cover.

The Tamaran War with the Blight comes to a smashing conclusion. The story focuses on the heroic efforts of Starfire to defeat the Blight. Arsenal is telling the story which gives an insight into the characters. Starfire does not disappoint on any level. She is a true hero willing to sacrifice for the greater good, fight with a warrior's heart, and love abundantly. She is what Red Hood and Arsenal need in their struggle with their baser sides. The team's powerhouse is also one of the most beautiful characters in comics. What more can we ask for?

Lobdell lets her go all out on the Blight which he does not do very often; the power she wields is awesome to behold. When we think that Starfire is going to wreck another level and violence on the Blight Lord, she instead kills him with love. With Lobdell it’s not all about the main characters; he allows peripheral characters to contribute to the story. The plotline involving the Dominator DePalo is another opportunity for Lobdell to develop Starfire's character. Lobdell makes us care about a member of one of the vilest races in the DC Universe. That's the way to end a story arc with hard hitting action and a little foreshadowing.

The art is a visual delight. It carries its share of the story load. Blackfire's battlesuit is slamming. The scene when DePalo is remembering Starfire leaving to come to Earth is effective. The colors are muted in contrast to the bright colors in the rest of the story, giving the feel of a memory.

I rate Red Hood and the Outlaws 13 Buy Your Own Copy. #2 (of 5) on the Al-O-Meter Ranking


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Albert Avilla Reviews: Green Lantern #13

Green Lantern #13
DC Comics

Reviewed by Albert Avilla

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, Tom Nguyen, Keith Champagne & Marc Deering
Colors: Alex Sinclair with Tony Avina
Cover: Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, and Rod Reis

“Actions and Reactions” (Spoilers)
This is a “Rise of the Third Army” tie-in and the beginning of the Simon Baz Green Lantern era.

The president and Amanda Waller are discussing their concerns about Simon becoming a Green Lantern. Simon is out in the Florida Keys while the ring is mapping his neural pathways. Simon gets a conflicting message from Hal and Sinestro, but they do agree that the Guardians need to be stopped. The tattoo on Simon’s arm is glowing green and causing him pain.

Simon returns to Dearborn where his sister is being ostracized, because he is a suspected terrorist. Simon meets with his sister to enlist her help in his attempt to clear his name. Then, we get minions of the Guardians assimilating two truck drivers. Okay, they are not very discriminating. Simon is trying to avoid the cameras on a building when he gets sneaked. It’s the Justice League that sneaks him. What ever happened to honor? What about innocent before proven guilty?

We’ve been through the set-up process for two issues now. Now, it’s time for some fighting. I want to see what Mr. Baz brings to the table. Once the League is involved things should jump off nicely. I don’t want Simon talking his way out of this predicament. Drama has its place, but superhero fantasies are about earth shattering action. This is an emotional story, thus far; Johns has done a good job of making us sympathetic to Simon’s plight.

Good art, but it is not the kind of art that will bring that sense of awe. It doesn’t stand out from the crowd. Mahnke does a good job with the characters’ faces; that seems to be his strength.

I rate Green Lantern 13 Read a Friend’s Copy. #3 (of 5) on Al-O-Meter Ranking


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, Y'all

To you and yours and the whole world... from the I Reads You crew.

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 26 2012

DC COMICS

OCT120152 AQUAMAN #15 $2.99

OCT120144 BEFORE WATCHMEN NITE OWL #4 (RES) (MR) $3.99

OCT120146 BEFORE WATCHMEN NITE OWL #4 COMBO PACK (RES) (MR) $4.99

OCT120147 JUSTICE LEAGUE #15 $3.99

OCT120151 JUSTICE LEAGUE #15 COMBO PACK $4.99

Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 26 2012

MARVEL COMICS

OCT120626 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 $7.99

OCT120625 AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #15.1 $2.99

Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 26 2012

DARK HORSE COMICS

AUG120059 EERIE PRESENTS EL CID HC $15.99

AUG120080 STAR WARS OMNIBUS CLONE WARS TP VOL 03 REPUBLIC FALLS $24.99

Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 26 2012

IMAGE COMICS

OCT120450 HIP FLASK OUROBOROUS (MR) [DIG] $4.99

OCT120448 MARA #1 (MR) [DIG] $2.99

Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 26 2012

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

OCT120842 CROSSED BADLANDS #20 (MR) $3.99

OCT120845 CROSSED BADLANDS #20 END O/T WORLD CVR (MR) $3.99

OCT120844 CROSSED BADLANDS #20 TORTURE CVR (MR) $3.99

OCT120843 CROSSED BADLANDS #20 WRAP CVR (MR) $3.99

OCT120874 DEATHMATCH #1 [DIG] $1.00

OCT120992 SHADOW SPECIAL #1 $4.99

Monday, December 24, 2012

Albert Avilla Reviews: X-Men Legacy #1

X-Men Legacy #1
Marvel Comics

Reviewed by Albert Avilla

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Pencils: Tan Eng
Inks: Craig Yeung

“Prodigal” (Spoilers!)
The story begins in the mind of David Haller, where he has set up a prison system to control his alternate personalities. Apparently, the system had been working until one of the inmates, Ksenia Panov, notices a weakness. David returns to the real world, where he is working with Merzah the Mystic to deal with his insanity. David seems to be doing well, even healing others from their mental illnesses. He has a moment when he loses his concentration and Panov attacks at this time. David gets his control back and Panov is put back in her brain cell.

At that moment in the real world, David deals with a group of restless natives; by the time he’s finished, they want to worship him. Then all heck breaks loose when David feels the death of Xavier. The prison in his mind is destroyed, and the compound and the surrounding areas in the real world are also destroyed. We are left with two ominous battles looming: (1.) David fighting the X-Men and ( 2.) David fighting his evil alternate personalities.

As a set up issue, this is not a bad story, but if the coming battles are not awesome, then I’ll feel that this was lost money. I want to judge an issue on its own merits, but that is hard to do when it is a part of a story arc. With a character as powerful as Legion, the challenges that he faces must be more powerful than he is. We need to see our heroes face insurmountable challenges. Mr. Spurrier has his own challenge of beginning to create stories where Legion will be challenged on a consistent level. Having Legion on the edge of loosing his sanity and going ballistic will always maintain a certain intensity in any story.

I respect the talent of artists, but I have taken on the role of reviewing books for the public. I have to have the integrity to say blah when I feel blah. The art in this book makes me feel blah. The faces are blah. The characters are blah. The backgrounds are blah. The details are blah. It might be the reason that X-Men Legacy does not put the wow in Marvel Now.

I rate X-Men Legacy #1 Read a Friend’s Copy. #3 (of 5) on Al-O-Meter Ranking


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Review: YU-GI-OH! ZEXAL Volume 2

YU-GI-OH! ZEXAL, VOL. 2
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia

CREATOR: Kazuki Takahashi
WRITER: Shin Yoshida
CARTOONIST: Naohito Miyoshi
TRANSLATION & ENGLISH ADAPTATION: Taylor Engel & Ian Reid, HC Language Solutions
LETTERS: John Hunt
ISBN: 978-1-4215-4980-4; paperback; Rated “T” for “Teen”
200pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 U.K.

In the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal follows Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s. The manga made its debut in the Japanese manga magazine, V Jump (February 2011). Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal the anime debuted in April 2011 in Japan and in North American half-a-year later.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal is set in futuristic Heartland City. The series focuses on Yuma Tsukumo, a hot-bloodied young fellow who wants to become Duel Champion. He is accompanied by Astral, a mysterious spirit that only Yuma can see. Together they search for Numbers, special cards that hold Astral’s memories and are also highly sought after.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, Vol. 2 (The Numbers Hunter!!) welcomes the Numbers Hunters, duelists looking for the 100 Numbers cards. Welcome Kaita! In order to return his brother, Haruto, to normal, Kaita must find all 100 cards in order to appease Dr. Faker. Faker uses Haruto’s powers to assault Astral World, in addition to his other plots and machinations with partner, Mr. Heartland.

Meanwhile, Yuma’s pals: Kotori Mizuki, Tetsuo Takeda, Cathy, Takashi Todoraki, and Tokunosuke Hyori, form the Numbers Club to help Yuma find Numbers. Their first mission takes them to the amusement park, Heartland, where Yuma has a date with the duelist, Captain Corn.

[This volume includes a Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card.]

Of the few Yu-Gi-Oh! manga that I’ve read, this is most kid-oriented. The Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal manga is about a kid with questionable talents who struggles to learn to get better. The manga is like that – a youngster struggling to get better. It has the elements of being a high-quality manga, but right now, it has a lot of characters and too many dangling plotlines. Perhaps things will come together over the course of the series, but right now, young Yu-Gi-Oh! readers will like it.

B-

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


Natsume's Book of Friends: The Exorcist Matoba

I read Natsume's Book of Friends, Vol. 13

I posted a review at the ComicBookBin (which has free smart phone apps and comics).

Friday, December 21, 2012

I Reads You Review: LOVE AND ROCKETS: New Stories #4

LOVE AND ROCKETS: NEW STORIES #4
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS

WRITERS: Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez
ARTISTS: Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez
COVER: Gilbert Hernandez
ISBN: 978-1-60699-490-0; paperback (2011)
104pp, B&W, $14.99 U.S.

Love and Rockets: New Stories is the third incarnation of the comic book series, Love and Rockets, which is the creation of Los. Bros, the brothers Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez (with brother Mario occasionally contributing). Published by Fantagraphics Books, New Stories is a reboot of Love and Rockets as an annual, graphic novel-length package, resembling both a comic book and a literary magazine (designed with bookstores in mind). For me, Love and Rockets is the best American comic book series published to date.

Originally published in 2011, Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 offers six stories: two by Gilbert and four by Jaime, all under a cover by Gilbert. Jaime concludes “The Love Bunglers,” with Parts Three, Four, and Five. Maggie fidgets with Ray Dominquez’s art and wonders why he doesn’t return her phone calls. She is vexed by Vivian (“Frogmouth”), who is hooking up with Reno. Maggie’s niece, Linda, joins Ray in helping Maggie open a new business with classic Mechanics character, Walter a.k.a Yax. Maggie struggles with Angel’s departure for college, and Calvin’s action leads to a surprising turn in the lives of two of the characters. Hopey and Maggie reunite. “Return for Me,” a sequel of sorts to “Browntown” returns Maggie to Hoppers for a new life, as narrated by Letty.

The cover story is Gilbert’s 35-page “King Vampire.” The B-movie, meta-fiction-like story focuses on two teenagers, Cecil and Trini, who want to join a local vampire club. When real vampires show up, things take a deadly turn, and Cecil meets a vampire queen (who looks like Luba). In Gilbert’s “And Then Reality Kicks In,” Fritz reunites with an old beau for their own version of Before Sunrise.

I have not read Love and Rockets for the entirety of its 30 years of existence. I think that I started reading it in the middle of 1985. Since reading my first L&R, I’ve rarely been disappointed, but I have often been stunned and/or surprised, which I am after reading Love and Rockets: New Stories #4. It is possible that this series keeps getting better, and New Stories #4 makes a case for that. The primary reason, at least I think so, is Jaime’s work in New Stories #4.

Over the years, Love and Rockets fans and readers (including myself) have believed that Gilbert is the great writer of the two brothers and Jaime the great artist. New Stories is gradually debunking that, on Jaime’s side. Since the third issue of New Stories, Jaime has delved deeper into his characters, using autobiography, character drama, and analysis to unveil new and hidden aspects of his characters. He engages emotions and psychology as never before. New Stories has found Jaime at the peak of his storytelling powers.

Meanwhile, Gilbert impresses with his mastery of dialogue writing for comic books. From the self-possessed banter of “And Then Reality Kicks In” to the witty and precise chit-chat of “King Vampire,” Gilbert divulges interior motives and exterior conflict. In “King Vampire,” the art is not merely black and white; it offers the interplay of black and white as both contrast and balance. The match of light and dark and of cold and warm gives this story layers, shifts in genre and tone.

I was never sure. Is “King Vampire comic horror, as in a B-movie? Or is this surreal terror, as in a bloody, gothic tale of monster/human relationships played out to its inevitable (tragic?) conclusion. This is some of Gilbert’s most complex writing.

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 is one of 2011’s very best comic books. Plus, it has an all-star, all-cartoonists letters column, including letters and notes to Los Bros. from Steven Weissman, Adrian Tomine, and Zak Sally, among others.

A+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Albert Avilla Reviews: Batgirl #13

Batgirl # 13
DC Comics

Reviewed by Albert Avilla

Writer: Gail Simone
Pencils/Inks: Ed Benes

A Blade of Memory (Spoilers!)
The story kicks off with our heroine down and out for the count. She's been stabbed by the vile Nightfall. Batgirl brings herself back from the brink to stop Nightfall.

During a break in the action, we get Nightfall's origin. We learn that she is the daughter of a corrupt businessman. After her family is brutally murdered by her boyfriend, Trevor, Charise Carnes takes the blame and allows herself to be sent to Arkham to learn her craft from the inmates. What degree program is that? After that fine education, she goes on the noble path of fixing Gotham City by torturing and murdering criminals.

Once Batgirl lets Nightfall know that she's leaving with the criminal that Nightfall has been torturing and Trevor, the fight renews. Just as Batgirl reaches her limit, she gets help from the thug she is trying to save and is able to defeat Nightfall. Then, Batwoman comes in to save Batgirl. Barbra's mother is being threatened by thugs in clown masks. A group of super-villains are being gathered to kill Batgirl.

DC has a creative team on Batgirl that has the ability to make the book A-list. The potential for greatness is awesome. Upcoming stories seem to be interesting. Nightfall is a good archenemy for Batgirl, as their different philosophies clash with each other. Nightfall has challenged Batgirl by threatening to control the cyberworld, making Batgirl want to rise to the challenge. Batgirl is better when she is part of the action, but it would benefit her to develop her skills as a computer hacker. With covert and overt enemies to face, Batgirl has a challenging future to face.

I give props to Benes; he hasn't drawn a story where the art didn't accentuate the story. This is an all-around, good-looking book. He was even able to keep Batwoman in her own unique look.

I rate Batgirl # 13 Buy Your Own Copy. #2 (of 5) on the Al-O-Meter Ranking


Itsuwaribito: Where is Lord Sakuma's Treasure?

I read Itsuwaribito , Vol. 7

I posted a review at the ComicBookBin.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 19 2012

DC COMICS

OCT128240 BATGIRL #14 (DOTF) 2ND PTG $2.99

OCT120194 BATWOMAN #15 $2.99

OCT120140 BEFORE WATCHMEN MOLOCH #2 (MR) $3.99

OCT120142 BEFORE WATCHMEN MOLOCH #2 COMBO PACK (MR) $4.99

OCT120197 BIRDS OF PREY #15 $2.99

OCT120234 BLUE BEETLE #15 $2.99

OCT120198 CATWOMAN #15 $2.99

OCT120161 DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #15 $2.99

OCT120286 DJANGO UNCHAINED #1 (MR) $3.99

OCT120293 FABLES #124 (MR) $2.99

OCT120201 GREEN LANTERN #15 (RISE) $2.99

OCT120203 GREEN LANTERN #15 COMBO PACK (RISE) $3.99

OCT120206 GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS #15 (RISE) $2.99

OCT120284 HE MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE #5 $2.99

OCT120291 HELLBLAZER #298 (MR) $2.99

OCT120239 JSA LIBERTY FILES THE WHISTLING SKULL #1 $2.99

OCT120233 LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #15 $2.99

OCT120281 MAD MAGAZINE #519 $5.99

OCT120199 NIGHTWING #15 (DOTF) $2.99

OCT120200 RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #15 (DOTF) $2.99

OCT128239 SUICIDE SQUAD #14 (DOTF) 2ND PTG $2.99

OCT120175 SUPERGIRL #15 $2.99

OCT120212 SWORD OF SORCERY #3 $3.99

OCT120305 UNWRITTEN #44 (MR) $2.99

OCT120156 WONDER WOMAN #15 $2.99

OCT120283 YOUNG JUSTICE #23 $2.99

DC COMICS/DC COLLECTIBLES

OCT120313 DARK KNIGHT RETURNS ACTION FIGURE BOX SET $59.95

Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 19 2012

MARVEL COMICS

OCT120583 A PLUS X #3 NOW $3.99

OCT120591 ALL NEW X-MEN #4 NOW $3.99

OCT128224 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #698 2ND PTG RIVERA VAR $3.99

OCT120664 ASTONISHING X-MEN #57 $3.99

OCT120565 AVENGERS #2 NOW $3.99

OCT120581 AVENGERS ARENA #2 NOW $2.99

SEP120693 AVENGERS BY BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS PREM HC VOL 04 AVX $24.99

SEP120705 AVENGERS MYTHOS TP $19.99

OCT120575 CABLE AND X-FORCE #2 NOW $3.99

OCT120599 CAPTAIN AMERICA #2 NOW $3.99

OCT120645 CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BLACK WIDOW #640 $2.99

OCT120643 CAPTAIN MARVEL #8 $2.99

SEP120697 CAPTAIN MARVEL TP VOL 01 IN PURSUIT OF FLIGHT $14.99

OCT120651 CASTLE A CALM BEFORE STORM #1 $3.99

OCT120647 DAREDEVIL #21 $2.99

SEP120691 FANTASTIC FOUR BY JONATHAN HICKMAN PREM HC VOL 06 $29.99

OCT120595 FF #2 NOW $2.99

SEP120698 FF BY JONATHAN HICKMAN TP VOL 03 $16.99

OCT120671 GAMBIT #7 $2.99

SEP120702 HALO TP FALL OF REACH INVASION $16.99

OCT120621 HAWKEYE #6 $2.99

SEP120688 INCREDIBLE HULK BY JASON AARON HC VOL 02 $34.99

OCT120609 INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #2 NOW $3.99

SEP120690 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN PREM HC VOL 11 FUTURE $24.99

SEP120701 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN TP VOL 09 DEMON $16.99

OCT120613 JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #647 NOW $2.99

SEP120681 MMW X-MEN TP VOL 05 $24.99

OCT120636 SCARLET SPIDER #12.1 $2.99

OCT120619 SECRET AVENGERS #35 $3.99

SEP120707 SPIDER-MAN TROUBLE ON HORIZON TP $16.99

OCT120611 THOR GOD OF THUNDER #3 NOW $3.99

OCT120563 THUNDERBOLTS #2 NOW $2.99

OCT120639 ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #18 $3.99

OCT120641 ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #19 $3.99

OCT120662 UNCANNY X-FORCE #35 $3.99

OCT120633 VENOM #28 $2.99

OCT120660 WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #22 $3.99

AUG120703 WOLVERINE AND X-MEN BY JASON AARON PREM HC VOL 04 AVX $19.99

SEP120709 WOLVERINE BACK IN JAPAN TP $19.99

OCT120670 X-FACTOR #249 $2.99

SEP120717 X-MAN DANCE WITH DEVIL TP $39.99

OCT120601 X-MEN LEGACY #3 NOW $2.99

SEP120713 X-MEN LEGACY BACK TO SCHOOL TP $16.99

OCT120673 X-TREME X-MEN #8 $2.99

IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for December 19 2012

IDW PUBLISHING

OCT120426 ALAN ROBERT KILLOGY #2 [DIG/P+] $3.99

OCT120446 ARCHIE BEST OF DAN DECARLO TP VOL 01 $17.99

OCT120359 CLASSIC POPEYE ONGOING #5 [DIG/P+] $3.99

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SEP120284 JUDGE DREDD COMPLETE BRIAN BOLLAND HC $49.99

OCT120424 LOCKE & KEY OMEGA #2 [DIG/P+] $3.99

OCT120409 MARS ATTACKS #6 [DIG/P+] $3.99

OCT120381 SNAKE EYES & STORM SHADOW #20 [DIG/P+] $3.99

SEP120388 SPARROW HC BOX SET ASHLEY WOOD $49.99

OCT120344 STAR TREK 100 PAGE SPECTACULAR WINTER 2012 $7.99

SEP120347 STAR TREK NEXT GENERATION HIVE #3 [DIG/P+] $3.99

OCT120348 STAR TREK TNG DOCTOR WHO ASSIMILATION #8 [DIG/P+] $3.99

OCT120375 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES CLASSICS TP VOL 03 $19.99

SEP120382 TOP 100 FANTASY MOVIES SC $24.99

OCT120391 TRANSFORMERS MORE THAN MEETS EYE ONGOING #12 [DIG/P+] $3.99

OCT120419 TRANSFUSION #2 [DIG/P+] $3.99

OCT120408 TRUE BLOOD ONGOING HC VOL 01 $24.99

Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 19 2012

DARK HORSE COMICS

OCT120019 ANGEL & FAITH #17 STEVE MORRIS CVR $2.99

OCT120036 BLACK BEETLE NIGHT SHIFT #0 $2.99

OCT120025 BPRD 1948 #3 $3.50

OCT120026 BPRD HELL ON EARTH #102 RETURN O/T MASTER #5 $3.50

OCT120034 DARK HORSE PRESENTS #19 $7.99

AUG120047 DARKSIDERS II DEATHS DOOR HC VOL 01 $12.99

OCT120041 EMPOWERED SPECIAL #3 HELL BENT OR HEAVEN SENT (MR) $3.99

OCT120080 GAME OF THRONES EMBROIDERED PATCH ARRYN $4.99

OCT120081 GAME OF THRONES EMBROIDERED PATCH TYRELL $4.99

OCT120044 MICHAEL AVON OEMINGS THE VICTORIES #5 (MR) $3.99

OCT120037 NUMBER 13 #1 $3.99

AUG120087 OH MY GODDESS RTL TP VOL 43 $12.99

AUG120074 ORCHID TP VOL 02 (MR) $17.99

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OCT120035 ROTTEN APPLE ONE SHOT $2.99

AUG120086 SPACE FAMILY ROBINSON ARCHIVES HC VOL 05 $49.99

OCT120049 STAR WARS AGENT O/T EMPIRE HARD TARGETS #3 $2.99

OCT120050 STAR WARS DAWN O/T JEDI PRISONER OF BOGAN #2 $2.99

Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 19 2012

IMAGE COMICS

JUN120536 AMERICAS GOT POWERS #4 [DIG] $2.99

MAY120598 CARBON GREY VOL 2 #2 CVR A EVANS & LOH $3.99

MAY120599 CARBON GREY VOL 2 #2 CVR B NGUYEN $3.99

OCT120481 CHEW TP VOL 06 SPACE CAKES (MR) [DIG] $14.99

OCT120515 COMEBACK #2 (MR) [DIG] $3.50

SEP120504 HAPPY #3 [DIG] $2.99

MAY120613 HAUNT #28 [DIG] $2.99

OCT120530 MACGYVER FUGITIVE GAUNTLET #3 [DIG] $3.50

OCT120533 MULTIPLE WARHEADS ALPHABET TO INFINITY #3 [DIG] $2.99

OCT120535 NOWHERE MEN #2 [DIG] $2.99

OCT120541 SAGA #8 (MR) [DIG] $2.99

SEP120521 SUPER DINOSAUR #16 [DIG] $2.99

JUN120576 SUPREME #67 [DIG] $3.99

OCT120546 THIEF OF THIEVES #11 (MR) [DIG] $2.99

OCT120496 WALKING DEAD OMNIBUS HC VOL 04 S/N LTD ED (MR) $150.00

SEP120482 WALKING DEAD T/S KILL THEM ALL BLACK MED $19.99

SEP120478 WALKING DEAD T/S KILL THEM ALL WHITE LG $19.99

SEP120477 WALKING DEAD T/S KILL THEM ALL WHITE MED $19.99

SEP120476 WALKING DEAD T/S KILL THEM ALL WHITE SM $19.99

SEP120479 WALKING DEAD T/S KILL THEM ALL WHITE XL $19.99

SEP120480 WALKING DEAD T/S KILL THEM ALL WHITE XXL $22.99

OCT120548 WHERE IS JAKE ELLIS #2 [DIG] $3.50

OCT120549 WITCH DOCTOR MALPRACTICE #2 [DIG] $2.99

AUG120535 WITCHBLADE #162 CVR A CHRISTOPHER [DIG] $2.99

AUG120536 WITCHBLADE #162 CVR B BERNARD & BENES $2.99

IMAGE COMICS/MCFARLANE TOYS

SEP121727 TMP NHL SERIES 32 AF PI

SEP121731 TMP NHL SERIES 32 HENRIK LUNDQVIST AF PI

Comics, Magazines and Books from Diamond Distributors for December 19 2012

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

JUN120779 AIRBOY DEADEYE #5 [DIG] $3.50

SEP121131 ALLIANCE OF THE CURIOUS HC (MR) $29.95

OCT121143 ANNOYING ORANGE GN VOL 01 SECRET AGENT ORANGE $6.99

OCT121144 ANNOYING ORANGE HC VOL 01 SECRET AGENT ORANGE $10.99

SEP121132 BEFORE THE INCAL CLASS COLL HC (MR) $44.95

OCT120777 BEST OF SONIC THE HEDGEHOG TP VOL 01 $14.99

OCT120766 BETTY & VERONICA #263 [DIG/P+] $2.99

OCT120767 BETTY & VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST #208 [DIG/P+] $3.99

JUN121064 BIONIC WOMAN #6 $3.99

OCT120914 BRAVEST WARRIORS #3 MAIN CVRS [DIG] $3.99

JUL120795 BROKEN PIECES #5 $3.50

JUN121173 BUCK ROGERS IN 25TH CENTURY DAILIES HC VOL 07 $49.99

AUG121319 COUNTRY ASS WHUPPIN TORNADO RELIEF ANTH ONE SHOT (RES) $5.99

OCT120858 CRITTER (ONGOING) #7 $3.50

NOV120934 CROSSED BADLANDS #11 MEAN SPIRITED CVR (MR) $5.99

NOV120932 CROSSED BADLANDS #17 AUXILIARY ED (MR) $3.99

MAR120749 CURSED PIRATE GIRL HC VOL 01 $24.95

OCT120794 DAMES IN THE ATOMIC AGE GN VOL 01 $8.95

SEP121139 DANZA GN $12.99

JUL120994 DARK SHADOWS #11 $3.99

OCT121055 DEVILS PANTIES GN VOL 06 (MR) $20.00

OCT121145 DISNEY FAIRIES GN VOL 10 TINKER BELL RAINBOW $7.99

OCT121146 DISNEY FAIRIES HC VOL 10 TINKER BELL RAINBOW $11.99

SEP121248 DOROHEDORO GN VOL 08 (MR) $12.99

OCT121001 EVIL ERNIE #3 $3.99

OCT120798 EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT ASSASSINS #6 CVR A RANDOLPH $3.99

OCT120799 EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT ASSASSINS #6 CVR B MHAN $3.99

OCT120800 EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT ASSASSINS #6 CVR C TORQUE PI

OCT120795 EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT IRIS VOL 3 #1 CVR A LEI $3.99

OCT120796 EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT IRIS VOL 3 #1 CVR B MHAN $3.99

SEP120885 FREELANCERS #2 MAIN CVRS [DIG] $3.99

JUL121158 GARFIELD & CO HC BOXED SET #1-4 $29.99

OCT121292 GODSTORM #3 A CVR QUALANO (MR) $2.99

OCT121293 GODSTORM #3 B CVR CHA (MR) $2.99

SEP120736 GOLDEN AGE GREATS SPOTLIGHT VOL 11 SUPERHEROES & OTHERS $29.95

JUL120955 GREEN HORNET #32 $3.99

OCT121282 GRIMM FAIRY TALES #80 A CVR CAFARO (MR) $2.99

OCT121283 GRIMM FAIRY TALES #80 B CVR QUALANO (MR) $2.99

OCT121235 HARBINGER (ONGOING) #7 SUAYAN CVR $3.99

OCT120899 HELLRAISER ROAD BELOW #3 (MR) [DIG] $3.99

OCT120806 IDOLIZED #4 CVR A NOME $3.99

OCT120807 IDOLIZED #4 CVR B PHOTO $3.99

NOV121274 INFEX HC $49.95

SEP120780 INVENTOR GN [DIG] $18.95

APR120795 IRON OR THE WAR AFTER HC $24.95

SEP120874 JOAN OF ARC FROM THE ASHES #2 (MR) $3.50

OCT121185 JUDGE DREDD GARTH ENNIS COLL TP (MR) $19.99

NOV121016 LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #20 LAVA LEOPARD CVR (MR) $9.99

NOV121015 LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #21 AUXILIARY CVR (MR) $3.99

NOV121017 LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #21 LITTLE RED DEAD CVR (MR) $9.99

SEP120740 MAGIC WHISTLE #12 (MR) $3.99

SEP128226 MASKS #1 REORDER ROSS SKETCH $3.99

OCT120985 MASKS #2 $3.99

OCT121085 NANCY CHRISTMAS GN VOL 02 COMPLETE DAILIES 1946-1948 $26.99

OCT121124 NIGHTWATCHMAN GN $8.99

AUG121014 PANTHA #5 $3.99

SEP121234 PARADISE KISS TP VERTICAL INC ED VOL 02 $19.95

APR121114 PHANTOM COMP SERIES HC VOL 02 GOLD KEY YEARS $49.99

OCT120722 PIRATE EYE ONE SHOT $3.99

OCT121090 POGO COMP SYNDICATED STRIPS HC BOX SET VOL 1 & 2 $69.99

OCT121089 POGO COMP SYNDICATED STRIPS HC VOL 02 BALDERDASH $39.99

SEP120738 PRINCELESS SHORT STORIES FOR WARRIOR WOMEN #2 $3.99

OCT120719 RACHEL RISING #13 [DIG/P+] $3.99

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AUG121317 ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW TP $17.99

MAR120754 SHARAZ DE HC $29.95

OCT120869 SIMPSONS COMICS #197 $2.99

OCT121156 SIXTH GUN #27 $3.99

OCT120864 SLIPSTREAM SPECIAL (ONE SHOT) $3.50

OCT120776 SONIC UNIVERSE #47 [P+] $2.99

SEP121094 SPACEHAWK TP WOLVERTON $39.99

SEP121249 TENJO TENGE GN VOL 10 (MR) $17.99

OCT121041 THE SPIDER #7 $3.99

SEP121247 VAGABOND VIZBIG ED GN VOL 11 (MR) $19.99

SEP121008 VAMPIRELLA #25 $3.99

OCT121157 WASTELAND #42 (MR) $3.99

OCT121284 WONDERLAND #6 A CVR SEJIC (MR) $2.99

OCT121285 WONDERLAND #6 B CVR REYES (MR) $2.99

OCT121239 X-O MANOWAR (ONGOING) #8 BRAITHWAITE CVR $3.99

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AUG122022 ADV OF TINTIN ALLAN CHESS FIG COLL MAG $19.99

AUG122019 ADV OF TINTIN BIANCA CASTAFIORE CHESS FIG COLL MAG $19.99

AUG122017 ADV OF TINTIN CAPTAIN HADDOCK CHESS FIG COLL MAG $19.99

AUG122021 ADV OF TINTIN NESTOR CHESS FIG COLL MAG $19.99

AUG122020 ADV OF TINTIN SAKHARINE CHESS FIG COLL MAG $19.99

AUG122018 ADV OF TINTIN THOMPSON CHESS FIG COLL MAG $19.99

AUG122016 ADV OF TINTIN TINTIN CHESS FIG COLL MAG $19.99

OCT121327 COMIC SHOP NEWS #1331 PI

OCT121328 COMIC SHOP NEWS #1332 PI

OCT121386 DOC SAVAGE DOUBLE NOVEL VOL 63 $14.95

SEP121345 DR WHO MAGAZINE #454 $8.99

SEP121399 FILMFAX #132 $9.95

OCT121308 JUXTAPOZ #144 JAN 2013 $5.99

OCT121385 LOCUS #623 $6.95

AUG121539 PHANTOM DETECTIVE DOUBLE NOVEL #1 $14.95

SEP121356 RUE MORGUE MAGAZINE #129 $9.95

OCT121388 SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOL 67 $14.95

OCT121380 WALKING DEAD MAGAZINE #2 NEWSSTAND ED (MR) $9.99

OCT121381 WALKING DEAD MAGAZINE #2 PX ED (MR) $9.99

BOOKS
AUG121329 ART OF DARKSIDERS SC VOL 02 $39.99

JUL121374 BEHIND THE SOFA CELEBRITY MEMORIES OF DOCTOR WHO PX HC $24.99

OCT121129 CANNABIS FANTASY COOL COLORING BOOK $9.95

OCT121058 DONT GO WHERE I CANT FOLLOW HC $19.95

SEP128235 HARRY POTTER PAGE TO SCREEN COMP FILMMAKING JOURNEY $1,000.00

JUL121250 HISTORY OF SONIC THE HEDGEHOG HC $49.99

SEP122059 WARHAMMER TIME LEGENDS 3 RISE OF NAGASH OMNIBUS $22.50

Monday, December 17, 2012

I Reads You Review: 20TH CENTURY BOYS, Volume 21

Creators: Naoki Urasawa with Takashi Nagasaki and Akemi Wegmüller (English adaptation)
Publishing Information: VIZ Media, paperback, B&W, 208 pages, $12.99 (US), $14.99 CAN, £8.99 UK
Ordering Numbers: ISBN: 978-1-4215-3539-5

Rating: “T+ for Older Teens”

There once was a boy who imagined the end of the world. That is the spine of the story in 20th Century Boys, a science fiction adventure series from famed manga creator, Naoki Urasawa. The story begins with Kenji Endo, a hardworking and honorable young man.

He operates his family’s small business (a convenience store). He is also a single parent to Kanna, the child abandoned by his sister, Kiriko. In 1997, Kenji discovers a series of ominous incidents that follow “The Book of Prophecy,” a ridiculous scenario Kenji and his friend made up as children in the early 1970s.

A bizarre religious cult called the Friends and their leader, the “Friend,” are behind a plot that leads to December 31, 2000. Called “Bloody New Year’s Eve,” this day sees the world brought to the brink of destruction. The Friend is called the hero who saved the world. Kenji, who tried to stop the Friend’s destruction, is branded a terrorist.

Fourteen years later, Neo Tokyo is a thriving, multiethnic metropolis, but another crisis occurs when the Friend is assassinated in 2015 by a member of his own organization. He comes back to life in time to save the Pope and also order the dispersal of a killer virus that changes the world.

Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, Vol. 21 (entitled Arrival of the Space Aliens) opens in Year Three of the Friendship Era. Word of Kenji Endo’s return spreads slowly, but steadily in the barrens outside Tokyo, but a DJ learns that not everyone wants to hear the good news. Father Nitani, head of the Kabuki-cho Catholic Church, patiently waits to meet with his old friend, the Pope, but he’ll need a food delivery boy to deliver some good news for him.

Meanwhile, Takasu marvels at the special package that she is carrying for the friend. Kanna, Kenji’s niece, makes a startling discovery about the old Expo venue. In a flashback, we see the battle to save Kenji and his friends’ secret hideout. Finally, the Friend makes a very special announcement.

20th Century Boys is a battle of good versus evil or even crazy versus brave. As such, it is a riveting suspense thriller built on countless subplots and plot threads that spread out in all literary directions. All, however, eventually come back to the center – the battle against the Friend’s conspiracy, as told in “The New Book of Prophecy.”

The book also delves into cults, as well as the cult of personality. Sometimes, a charismatic person can spread his mental illness to his followers. These acolytes can find themselves doing nonsensical things in spite of what they know to be correct, or at least to be the better choice. It makes for unsettling reading, this comic book depiction in such clear terms and in stark visual storytelling.

A+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Comics Review: Mighty Love

MIGHTY LOVE
DC COMICS

WRITER/ARTIST: Howard Chaykin
LETTER: Kurt Hathaway
COLORS: Dave Stewart
ISBN: 978-1-56389-930-1; hardcover
96pp, Color, $24.95 US, $37.95 CAN

Mighty Love is a 2004 hardcover graphic novel from Howard Chaykin, the creator of one of the most influential comic books of the last 30 years, American Flagg! [In 2005, DC published a paperback version of Mighty Love.] Mighty Love isn’t on the level of American Flagg!, but Chaykin’s trademark smart-ass dialogue and distinctive artwork are plentiful here.

Mighty Love revolves around two costumed heroes, Iron Angel and Skylark. By day, Lincoln Reinhardt is a wealthy liberal attorney who defends criminals, but he is secretly tired of the moral morass that is his professional life. So by night, Reinhardt becomes the masked vigilante, Iron Angel, defending the justice he circumvents every day by bashing the kind of scum he normally represents. By day, Delaney Pope is a straight-arrow detective serving in a crooked police department, but she is tired of working in a murky world of ethical compromise. So by night, this conservative cop becomes Skylark, a bleeding heart masked defender of the justice that she circumvents as an agent of a corrupt administration.

Iron Angel and Skylark, who were previously unaware of each other’s existence, join forces after a fundraiser turns deadly during a robbery. The police are looking at Lincoln’s girlfriend, Bess Autrey, as a prime suspect. Delaney, who despises Lincoln, is the lead detective. If only Delaney Pope knew that Skylark’s new pal, Iron Angel, is none other than her nemesis Lincoln Reinhardt…

While Mighty Love might not be American Flagg!, Mighty Love resembles Howard Chaykin’s mid-1980s revamps of The Shadow and Blackhawk for DC Comics. This story has the same crisp graphic inventiveness mixed with the look of 1940s Film-Noir. Chaykin has toned down the sexual perversity of his 80s work, in favor of sexual innuendo, but Chaykin retains the snappy dialogue readers have come to expect from the comics he writes. There is even a running joke about euphemisms (like “packing heat” and “blow this pop stand”).

In a way, Mighty Love is an “old reliable” type Chaykin comic. His fans know what they’re getting, but what they’re getting is entertaining. Nothing here is earth-moving, but Chaykin brings the opposites-attract romance, superhero genre, and urban crime fiction together in a way they would seemingly not mesh. It’s as if these genres together are a natural thing – three great tastes that taste quite good together – and it’s all so lighthearted, in spite of the violence.

Devotees of superhero comics will understand why Chaykin eschews exploring the reasons why a police detective and a criminal defense attorney would moonlight as costumed vigilantes, even though the trend the last 30 years is to dig in the dirt to find out why Spider-Man, Batman, and others put on masks, cowls, capes, and even spandex. Mighty Love is simply here to be loved. It’s like a neo-golden age Hollywood film, drawn with Chaykin’s visual detail for urban settings, snazzy interiors, and sharply-dressed characters.

B+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


Excel Saga: The Surrogates

I read Excel Saga, Vol. 24

I posted a review at the ComicBookBin (which has free smart phone apps and comics).

Friday, December 14, 2012

I Reads You Review: Young Justice #20

YOUNG JUSTICE #20
DC COMICS

WRITER: Greg Weisman
ART: Christopher Jones
COLORS: Zac Atkinson
LETTERS: Dezi Sienty
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S.

Rated “E” for “Everyone”

Young Justice Invasion – Chapter One: “Wheelbarrow, Shoe, Thimble”

Young Justice is a spin-off comic book series based on “Young Justice,” the animated superhero television series currently airing on Cartoon Network. “Young Justice” the television series focuses on the lives and adventures of the sidekicks and protégés of some of DC Comics’ biggest superheroes, which includes such young heroes as Nightwing, Superboy, Wondergirl, and Robin, among many.

Young Justice #20 (“Wheelbarrow, Shoe, Thimble”) takes place in two different, but local time periods in the existence of Young Justice: “Yero Zero” and “Year Five,” specifically December 1st. In fact, this date is special because it is Dick Grayson’s birthday, and in both periods, various superheroes stop by to wish Robin (Year Zero) and Nightwing (Year Five) a happy birthday.

The team: Nightwing, Batgirl, Beast Boy, Bumble Bee, Lagoon Boy, Mal Duncan, Miss Martian, Superboy, Wolf, and Wonder Girl (with Robin called back to Gotham City) embarks on a mission to stop an assassination of a visiting foreign dignitary. The team splits in two, with Miss Martian leading the “Beta Team” to stop the assassination. Meanwhile, Nightwing takes “Alpha Team” to recruit the new Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, into Young Justice. But unknown players are about to enter this game.

Young Justice #20 is all over the place. There are a lot of characters and even several guest stars, which only makes everyone seem extraneous. Forget two time periods, this issue reads as if there were eight. Perhaps, writer Greg Weisman is just prepping and this is the calm before the multi-chapter storm. The art by Christopher Jones and colorist Zac Atkinson is still high-quality, though, especially that last page.

B

http://DCnation.com


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

-----------------------


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review: PETEY AND PUSSY by John Kerschbaum

PETEY & PUSSY
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS

CARTOONIST: John Kerschbaum
ISBN: 978-1-56097-979-1; hardcover (October 2008)
126pp, B&W, $19.99 US

John Kerschbaum is a cartoonist and illustrator whose work has appeared in The Comics Journal, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and the Village Voice, among many. Petey & Pussy is a 2008 collection of interconnected comics shorts and short stories created by Kerschbaum that form a graphic novel.

The stars of the book are Petey & Pussy, two characters that form what is essentially a cat-and-dog comedy team. These funny, talking animals, however, have human heads, of which the outstanding features are prominent noses and balding pates. Several years before this book was published, the characters appeared in a comic book, Peter & Pussy #1, which Kerschbaum self-published through his Fontanelle Press.

Pussy is a rude house cat with a caustic wit and a sharp tongue, and his round spectacles gives him a Larry David vibe. He lives with a decrepit old lady who on the surface seems to be in the throes of dementia, but who has a surprisingly peppy step. Pussy shares the house with a legion of mice (including a smart one that seems to be a cross between Speedy Gonzales and Jerry of Tom and Jerry) and a falling-to-pieces suicidal bird. Pussy’s pal is Petey, a chunky, roly-poly dog with a fondness for drink. Petey personifies the blue collar bum. He is the kind of guy to go to if you need a partner in crime to help you do bad stuff.

Petey & Pussy chronicles their criminal misadventures. Their exploits include a boa constrictor, corpse dismemberment, and foiling a thieving niece. Along the way, Petey and Pussy always find time to drink at Joe’s.

On the back of Petey & Pussy’s book jacket, there’s a quote from Johnny Ryan, creator of Angry Youth Comix, which says, “Kerschbaum is one of the few cartoonists whose work makes me wince in horror.” That’s saying something, because Ryan’s own comix can simultaneously dry out and straighten out a Jheri curl. I’ve read some crazy comix, and while he won’t scare you under the sheets like S. Clay Wilson, Kerschbaum can be as raw as R. Crumb, Peter Bagge, and Ryan, who may be his closest comix cousins.

It is possible to see a similarity between Petey & Pussy and Looney Tunes. Kerschbaum’s work here does have a passing resemblance to the irreverently violent cartoons of Looney Tunes director, Bob Clampett, and the racy and risqué work of Tex Avery. In fact, Petey & Pussy has a cousin in modern animation, the work of Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy” and “American Dad”).

That said, John Kerschbaum has taken whatever influenced him and has developed his own weird, violently funny thing. No fan of adult funny animal comics (like Fritz the Cat) will want to miss Petey & Pussy. I don’t know enough about John Kerschbaum to say whether or not I’ll be praising his future work, but Petey & Pussy is some funny shit.

A-

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


Toriko: Deadly Gourmet World!!

I read Toriko, Vol. 13

I posted a review at ComicBookBin.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Albert Avilla Reviews: Justice League #14

Justice League # 14
DC Comics

Reviewed by Albert Avilla

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Tony S. Daniel
Inks: Matt Banning & Sandu Florea

The Secret of the Cheetah Chapter Two (Spoilers!)
Action from stem to stern: they earned my money. Mr. Johns gave me two good stories for the price of one; a good deal considering my finances.

Super Cheetah and Cheetah are wrecking things until the San, Hara, blows her horn. Cyborg keeps the sonics going while the San cure him. Wonder Woman, Flash, and Aquaman go after the Cheetah. Cheetah is a bad chick. It takes a good plan by the three of them to take her out. She's fast enough to slice up the Flash. Then we get back to the girl-on-girl action. During the fight, we get the origin of the Cheetah. Wonder Woman dumps the kitty in the drink where Aquaman and a school of piranha take her out. Once again solid teamwork saves the day. Then, we find out that it was a part of some mysterious character's plan to get Cheetah locked up in Belle Reve.

Now to some boy-on-girl action; no sir, this story is not just about the violent action. Superman takes Wonder Woman on a date to Smallville. The story ends with another kiss between two of the most powerful heroes. Wonder Woman even does the little one foot in the air thing. Why is Batman watching? I'm glad we can see where his hands are. We not only get the good old violence, but we also get a dose of the soap opera. Give Daniel his props; The splash page with Aquaman and Cheetah is beautiful.

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank

Shazam Chapter 7
What! Fourteen more pages for the price of admission. Yes, I counted. This basically develops Black Adam's character. I guess, Mr. Johns didn't want to leave us in the dark about how big of an obnoxious jerk Black Adam is. Shazam is still on his adolescent joyride. Black Adam finds his first ally, the sin Sloth. This backup story is on par with the main story.

I rate Justice League # 14 Buy Your Own Copy. #2 (of 5) on the Al-O-Meter Ranking.


Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan - Devil's Drum

I read Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Vol. 12

I posted a review at ComicBookBin.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 12 2012

DC COMICS

OCT120241 AME COMI GIRLS #3 FEATURING DUELA DENT $3.99

OCT120193 BATGIRL #15 (DOTF) $2.99

OCT120183 BATMAN #15 (DOTF) $3.99

OCT120186 BATMAN #15 COMBO PACK (DOTF) $4.99

OCT120192 BATMAN AND ROBIN #15 (DOTF) $2.99

OCT120243 BATMAN ARKHAM UNHINGED #9 $2.99

SEP120134 BEFORE WATCHMEN DR MANHATTAN #3 (MR) $3.99

SEP120136 BEFORE WATCHMEN DR MANHATTAN #3 COMBO PACK (MR) $4.99

SEP120131 BEFORE WATCHMEN RORSCHACH #3 (MR) $3.99

SEP120133 BEFORE WATCHMEN RORSCHACH #3 COMBO PACK (MR) $4.99

AUG120249 DC COMICS THE NEW 52 ZERO OMNIBUS HC (N52) $150.00

SEP120236 DEADMAN TP VOL 03 $16.99

OCT120225 DEATHSTROKE #15 $2.99

OCT120219 DEMON KNIGHTS #15 $2.99

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Comics, Magazines and Books from Diamond Distributors for December 12 2012

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

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Monday, December 10, 2012

I Reads You Review: THE ROCKETEER: Cargo of Doom #4

THE ROCKETEER: CARGO OF DOOM #4
IDW PUBLISHING – @IDWPublishing

WRITER: Mark Waid
ARTIST: Chris Samnee
COLORS: Jordie Bellaire
LETTERS: Shawn Lee
EDITOR: Scott Dunbier
COVERS: Chris Samnee with Jordie Bellaire – regular cover
Dave Stevens – Cover RI
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S.

The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom comes to an end. This four-issue miniseries is the first new story arc featuring Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer, probably since 1995. The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom is produced by the Eisner Award-winning team of writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee (Daredevil).

For those who don’t know: The Rocketeer is a comic book character created by the late artist and illustrator, Dave Stevens. The Rocketeer is Cliff Secord, a stunt pilot who discovers a mysterious rocket backpack that allows him to fly. Donning the backpack and a metal helmet, Secord becomes the adventurer and masked crime-fighter, The Rocketeer. His adventures begin in 1938 and continue into the 1940s (for the time being). Most of his activities occur mainly in and around Los Angeles.

The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom is set in 1940 and finds Cliff with troubles on his hands. The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) may take away his pilot’s license. Sally, the young niece of Cliff’s best pal, Peevy, is now working as a mechanic at Peevy’s. Sally has a mad crush on Cliff, and Cliff’s girlfriend, the bombshell actress Betty, is fuming about the crush and about Sally being around Cliff so much. If domestic drama weren’t enough, The Rocketeer falls into a conspiracy involving The Master, a mysterious figure, and an invasion of dinosaurs.

As The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #4 begins, The Rocketeer battles the dinosaurs that have escaped into Los Angeles and are terrorizing the citizens. Luckily, our hero has a ray gun that takes care of the problem, but how long will this miraculous weapon hold? Still fuming, Betty spurs Peevy into action to help Cliff. Meanwhile, Sally and CAA Inspector Earl Garland also plot to help Cliff, or is there more to their actions?

For some reason, I thought that The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom was supposed to be a five-issue miniseries. Regardless, the wrap-up in this last issue seems rushed. The action that focused on The Rocketeer lacks the impact that a man with a rocket backpack fighting prehistoric monsters should have. That sequence is actually overly compressed when it should be open and run several pages. The Peevy/Betty bit is funny, while the Sally-Earl Garland segments offer intrigue, but may be a little too oblique at this point.

Still, The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom was and still is fun to read. I wouldn’t mind seeing Waid-Samnee give The Rocketeer another whirl.

B+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Albert Avilla Reviews: Captain America #1 (Marvel NOW)

Captain America # 1
Marvel Comics

Reviewed by Albert Avilla

Writer: Rick Remender
Pencils: John Romita
Inks: Klaus Janson
Colors: Dean White

Castaway in Dimension Z (Spoilers!)
When I first saw the promos for the new Captain America title, I wasn't looking forward to the Dimension Z storyline. That's my P.C. way of saying they are about to filty-farn up my favorite character. Don't be like me; don't judge the story before you read it. Once I start reading, I do so with an open mind.

This seems to be the beginning of a good story arc. The story begins with a flashback to Steve Rogers' boyhood, where his father is abusing his mother. We learn that Cap gets his courage from his mother. Remender makes a contribution to the legacy of Captain America in the first issue. We quickly get into some action as Cap battles an eco-terrorist, the Green Skull; he should know better to call Cap out like that. Cap saves Manhattan from destruction, just another day at the office.

Shocker, Sharon Carter proposes to Cap. Cap should have made Sharon a respectable woman years ago. People got married back in Steve's day. Cap is a proponent of old fashioned values; well, it’s time to step up to the plate. He should have started his family years ago. Who would be a better father and husband than Captain America? Sharon knows a good man is hard to find, and she is not letting this one get away.

Then, Cap is going on a mission without any intel, the perfect formula for surprise. No sooner than Cap gets on the secret subway, he's captured and drugged. Cap wakes up in a lab to find himself in the hands of Arnim Zola. Zola wants the super-soldier serum, and he's taking it the hard way. Zola wants the serum for his daughter and his well-designed son. Of course, Cap escapes in the most thrilling way possible and saves or kidnaps the baby, depending on your point of view. Cap finds himself trapped in Dimension Z with an infant to care for; that's what you get for doing what's right before you think it through. Cap gets a proposal and now, he has a baby to care for. Where is Mr. Remender leading Cap? I know it's the first issue, but this new direction has me hyped. Change is not always a bad thing, when it's done right.

Marvel is going top shelf with Romita Jr. doing the art. The visual aspect of the comic is astounding. Romita Jr. delivers quality no matter the setting; he rises to the challenge.

I rate Captain America # 1 Buy Your Own Copy. #2 (of 5) on the Al-O-Meter Ranking