Monday, March 31, 2008

Weekly Review Podcast Episode 33- Ultimate Spider-man #120

Eric chose Ultimate Spider-man #120 as the best book he read this week because of the great Bendis dialogue and humor. Secret Invasion is right around the corner and it showed this week as we discuss the skrull sightings in Ms Marvel #25 and New Avengers #39 and more. For our top 5 we give you our top picks for stories that we would give to non comic book readers and Eric tops off the show with his review of the new Killing Joke deluxe edition.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Book of the Week 3/26/08 Ultimate Spiderman #120

Written by Brian Bendis
Pencils by Stuart Immomen
Inks by Wade Von Grawbadger
Colors by Justin Ponser

I'm not sure why all the good books come out in one week but that seems to be what happened this time. Faced with an onslaught of quality I had to pick Ultimate Spiderman as the book of the week for the simple fact that I really related to this story. Now I'm not talking about the superheroing and mutant abilities (that I'd tell anyone) but the simple bantering between friends, the caring for eachothers well being, all seemed very familiar to me.

This is the wrap-up to the 'amazing friends" story as Liz has discovered her new mutant abilities and the x-men and Magneto show up to recruit her into the mutant war. Alot of the first part of this story reeked a little too much of Empire with several rounds of "your father is...". However after the mutants go home Peter makes the decision to reveal his identity to Liz to let her know he can really help her. It was a wonderful moment between the two of them. My favorite part of the book was after Liz left for the xavier school, Peter and M.J. are left alone to which Peter says, "you wanna make out?" I laughed out loud (as I have used that wonderful line several times in my teenage days). Despite some of the heaviness of the story, these light hearted moments are why I love Spiderman, most notably Ultimate Spidey.

With the exception of his own characters, Bendis has more of a handle on Peter Parker than almost any other character he writes and he writes some damn good characterizations. The fact that he can balance the heavy and light scenes so naturally speaks to his incredible talent which we are all aware of. Immomen is awesome in this comic! I have absolutely no complaints or nit-picks about the looks of any of the characters.

Bottom line, this is pure comicy goodness and I can't get my fill!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Weekly Review Podcast Episode 32- Superman/Batman Annual #2

It was a pretty light week for books but Eric was surprised by how good the Superman/Batman Annual #2 was and it made its way to the top as the book of the week. This week we also discuss Countdown #6, Captain America #36, Robin #172 and more. We've both been contemplating dropping some of our books so we decided to vent our frustrations with our top 5 titles that need to be rebooted.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Book of the Week 3/19/08 Superman/Batman Annual #2

Written by Joe Kelly
Art by Scott Kolins
Colors by Jorge Molina
Letters by Rob Leigh

It's always fun to truly be inspired by the characters we all read every month. All too often these characters can become bogged down in boring, slow, or meaningless stories that do nothing to remind us why we like them (Flash anyone?). Superman routinely falls within this category. However when teamed together Superman and Batman prove to be a pitch perfect peanut butter and chocolate. The two ends of the spectrum that each occupies serves not only to provide insight into how different each is (and also how alike) but also potentially how they need eachother. Without one, the other would eventually fall into an abyss whether it be Supermans willingness to forgo living among the people that keep him grounded and becoming a tool for the government (Dark Knight Returns) or Batman forgoing his Bruce Wayne persona and giving into his psychosis fully (Kingdom Come). For this reason, I'm glad that we have this book which showcases the inspiration not only other heroes look to but also any superhero comic fan.

This annual does not belong in continuity so if people are strong fanatics for that, they may be frustrated trying to figure out when this happens. This is a story that takes place after Superman and Batman figure who eachother are but before they are friends. This annual is a re-imagining of the forging of that friendship. A villain (Socrates) who can basically maim and rob victims by psychologically altering their perspective as well as fulfilling their wishes and fears robs Superman of his powers. A powerless Superman asking himself if he really is still "super" is not an incredibly new concept but that doesn't discount that this story provides a fun and insightful look into Bruce and Clark both learning to respect eachother and how eachother operates. Bruce with the help of Dick Grayson help Clark cast off his mental shackles and defeat the villain.

Joe Kelly is no stranger to the "inspirational" story. Kelly wrote "The Last Will and Testament of Hal Jordan". That tale is still one of my favorite Hal stories which looked at both the good and bad within the character of Hal (before Johns made the excuse that he was just possessed). He seems to have a great handle on the DC icons and their relationships with eachother.

Kolins art is good in this issue with the exception of one thing. Batmans cowl looks too much like a bucket and therefore gives Batman a robocop type of look. Other than that I really enjoyed the look of the characters, especially Robin. Molinas colors seemed a bit dark in this book. Even though alot of this book takes place in the batcave, this book seemed to ring a little close to Ultimates 3.

All in all I really enjoyed this book for what it is, a re-imagining of the early days of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight. I wouldn't want to live in a world without either of them.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Weekly Review Podcast Episode 31- Mighty Avengers #10

I picked Mighty Avengers #10 as the best book this week because of the great "old school" presentation and the foreshadowing of things to come. We also discuss Avengers:the initiative, Fantastic Four, Booster Gold and more. Eric embraces his Nintendo pride as he gives you his review of Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Nintendo Wii and we finish off the show with speculation on the new Hulk trailer. Will it be good or another bust?

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New Hulk Trailer

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the film but the first Hulk trailer has finally hit the net and I don't know, I think it looks OK but I can't say that I'm excited about this movie. Check out the trailer and see for yourself

Friday, March 14, 2008

Book of the Week 3/12/08 Mighty Avengers #10

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils by Mark Bagley
Inks by Danny Miki & Allen Martinez
Coloring by Justin Ponsor
Letters by Dave Lanphear

I've been talking about Mighty Avengers for quite a while now I finally have the chance to pick it as book of the week. I'm especially happy to pick this issue because, well this issue reminded me so much of why I love comics in the first place.

The issue picks with Tony Stark, Doom and the Sentry stuck in the past and reading through this book was exactly like reading a book in the 80's/early 90's. Marvel went back to the old school printing and coloring. Bagley did an amazing job of drawing characters as he did 10+ years ago and it's amazing to see how far comics have come since then.

I'm not sure if this story arc was planned by Bendis originally or just came along after the trouble with Frank Cho but I haven't enjoyed a single issue like this since.....well since I went back and read some of my old issues.

Another note about this storyline is that I feel like it's going to matter in the long run. So far it seems like it's pretty self-contained which I like but I also feel like Bendis is foreshadowing some things for us. Stark trying to figure out if Doom is a skrull. Doom and Tony talking about the advances in his armor and again, the fragile mental state of the Sentry.

All in all, this was just a great issue and I've said it on the podcast many times and I'll say it again here. Go pick up this book. It's well worth it!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Watchmen publicity shots!

With recent adaptations like 300 and Sin City showing that epic comic stories can come to the big screen, I have faith and hope that Watchmen will not disappoint. Here are some publicity shots recently released of the characters and now I'm really starting to look forward to this film.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Book of the Week 3/5/08 Northlanders:Sven the Returned #4

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Davide Gianfelice
Colors by Dave McCaig

Whew, there were some enjoyable books this week! This week I have to give credit where credit is due and admit that Brian Wood's foul mouthed viking saga really has me hooked now. One part historical fiction, one part action/intrigue story, the flow of the book is really gripping. I've talked about this comic several times on the show and I think the story is really now hitting its stride.

While I didn't notice it at first, somewhere along the line, I've really grown to...not exactly enjoy the characters, but become incredibly interested in what happens to them. Their motivations aren't noble and while there are clear villains, there are no real "good" guys. Now that I think about it, the main characters are reminiscent of 70s-movie anti-heroes, who lived in a very grey moral area. After a brief action packed intro, Wood spends most of this issue delving into Sven's real reason for coming back to his homeland and trying to regain his family's fortune. The character of the archer is also gradually becoming more of a main figure in the book which I'm very happy about. She adds a sliver of emotion to a very cold landscape. The scene which sold me on this book though involved the death of two characters who have rarely been in the entire series. However, their deaths solidify the sad state of Sven's homeland and finally seem to rock his inner core to elicit some character growth. All in all, I was captivated by this issue.

Gianfelice's art is solid. While not quite realistic and not quite animated, it seems a little loose at times. On other titles that may be a bad thing but with this story, it tends to add to the rugged look of the environment. This seems to be intentional as contrasted between shots of the main setting where the art is gritty and the flashbacks of Sven in Constantinople where both the scenery and characters are much smoother, In general, both the art and colors echo the feel of the book, having a weathered and dirty look to it.

I haven't heard much talk of this title but I'm glad I've been able to pick up on this book. With only four issues in, it shouldn't be too hard to find the back issues and be caught up. This one is definitely worth the ride.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Weekly Review Podcast Episode 30- Thor #6

I picked Thor #6 as the book of the week because it's one of the most beautiful books out there and the story is surprisingly deep and fulfilling. Eric and I also discuss the first true epilogue to Messiah Complex in X-Men:Legacy #208, Eric was actually moved by All Star Batman & Robin #9 and we touch on JSA #13, Kick-Ass #1 and more. We finish the podcast off with our review of The New Frontier animated movie. Can it possibly live up to the book?

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