Thursday, May 29, 2008

Book of the Week 5/29/08 Final Crisis #1

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by JG Jones
Colors by Alex Sinclair

Okay, I admit this one is mainly for the DC nation out there. Someone looking to jump onto the story right here will really have a hard time. But...too bad. Final Crisis rears its head this week with a continuation of many stories we've been seeing in JLA, DCU #0, and several other recent titles. For those following the majority of those stories, FC answers some questions and raises many more. Personally, I was very entertained and intrigued with this book, knowing a few things that will arise and trying to understand what I was seeing.

Many people criticize Morrison for off the wall stories that are hard to follow. I feel that FC appears like that on the outside however DC has been very careful to release specials and books that give the history of all the characters we see in this issue. Someone shouldn't expect to jump into Back to the Future 3 without watching the previous 2 and understand what's happening. The same goes for FC as it's the third part of the Crisis Trilogy. To that end, FC#1 provides continuations to stories seen in JLA which culminates in the death of a major character as well as an interesting twist to the new gods story. It appears that death will truly be a revolving door in this book. I'm not greatly happy about that but I'm interested to see where it will lead us.

Jones' art is clean and crisp in this comic. Small touches such as John's ring illuminating his costume to large themes such as the lightening "flashing" against the red sky are great moments. The look of the characters is realistic and well defined.

While this book had several things leaving me scratching my head (why are Anthro and Kamandi together) I'm sure these will be explained soon. Overall I was very entertained with this comic and I'm excited for a finale to a story that began 23 years ago. Being a DC boy that's collected for most of that time, I almost feel like I have a personal stake in this story. Hopefully it will deliver on the promise of this issue.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Book of the Week 5/21/08 Avengers;The Initiative #13

Written by Christos Gage
Art by Steve uy
Letters by Joe Caramagna

I had no idea what this issue was going to be about because the whole story was summed up in issue #12 and I wasn't sure where they were going to go with the characters. Lucky for us, Marvel is still taking the idea of The Initiative seriously and in this issue we're basically starting over in sorts and are introduced to a new team of cadets and new recruits for training.

At first this bothered me because I had grown attached the to previous cadets but right away I was swept up in the character conversations and interactions and I was just having a fun time reading this book. This first issue revolved around Boulder, also referred to as Butterball. A young man seeking to be a hero but while he has an incredible power, you learn that he's going to need far more than that to achieve his goal.

This issue was very light and humorous, causing me to laugh out loud more than once and that's something that I think this book needs right now. The tone of the book had become down right depressing after the K.I.A. storyline and this issue was really a breath of fresh air for this series, one that has become one of my favorite reads.

Gage was spot on with the character interactions and did a great job at hitting you with a little unexpected emotion at the end and Uy's art is very emotionally charged, allowing you to easily read the characters emotions through their facial expressions and mannerisms.

This was simply a very fun comic book. No over-arching storyline, no big events. And almost all the characters were brand new, that's something that you don't see every often.

Give it a try.

Weekly Review Podcast Episode 40- Batman #676

Eric chose Batman #676 as the best book he read this week because it's the start of the R.I.P. storyline and it really does feel like this may change the status quo of Batman for a while. We also discuss Fantastic Four:Secret Invasion #1, Titans #2, and more. We finish the show off with Eric giving some quick reviews of books that he picked up from the Seattle Con and review the trailer for the upcoming Wolverine & the X-men cartoon.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Weekly Review Podcast Episode 39- House of Mystery #1

We're back from the Emerald City Comic-con and we're bringing you all the news and info that we could gather. Eric chose House of Mystery #1 as the book of the week because it was a refreshing break from the big events that are dominating both major comic companies right now. We also discuss Young X-men #2, Secret Invasion #2, Might Avengers #13 and more. We finish off the podcast by letting you know everything about last week's convention in seattle. Was the Marvel or DC panel better, who did we meet and what was the best thing that we picked up at the con?

Listen and found out!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Book of the Week Batman #676

Written by Grant Morrison
Pencils by Tony Daniel
Inks by Sandu Florea
Colors by Guy Major

This probably isn't all that surprising but it was just too damn exciting not to pick. This week kicks off the Batman RIP story with typical Morrison zaniness all over the place. I've been back and forth over Morrisons run on the book so far, thinking that it was good but very odd in places. However recently the various links between the stories have started to tie together, even going as far back to 52. Something I enjoyed within this issue is that we see something that rarely ever happens, Batman appears happy. I know that substantial effort has been made to calm Bruce down over the last few years and we see that how the inclusion of Jezebel Jett in his life, and the fact that she now knows his secrets, has really helped him find a balance which works between Bruce Wayne and Batman. I really like this dynamic and wish we could see a little more of it but as things normally go for Bruce, I imagine we're seeing this now knowing full well that it will all come crashing down soon.

While we get alot of great Batman moments, we also get hints as to what the Black Glove society is. It's obvious that they are orchestrating the events that will be playing out in the book. I'd wish we'd spent more time in previous issues setting this group up since they evidently will be a big influence in the book but for now they seem to be a collection of circus freaks. The wild card of the story, as always, is the Joker. I'm not sure if there's anyone who can write the Joker in a more terrifying manner than Morrison, and that goes all the way back to Arkham Asylum. I wasn't expecting him in this issue since it's been alluded the whoever takes down Bruce will be new but with just a few pages, Joker proves why he is Batmans greatest foe. Those few pages are the stuff of nightmares.

I've said it before but Tony Daniel is the man! His style which is somewhere between Neal Adams and Jim Lee is incredible. Along with Guy Major's colors, Gotham, it's protectors, and its devils, all come alive with a feel that makes me remember what drew me to these books when I was a kid. The previously mentioned Joker scene in particular, all black and white with only red coloring for the blood splashed across the scene, was haunting and terrifying...which is exactly what this book should be. What excites me most about this story is that it feels like the stakes are high and the danger is real. Unlike the Gotham Underground miniseries (which is a exercise in wasting my time) this is an event which appears like it will leave a lasting impact on our Dark Knight.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Book of the Week 5/7/08 House of Mystery #1

Written by Matthew Sturges and Bill Willingham
Art by Luca Rossi and Ross Campbell
Colors by Lee Loughridge
Letters by Todd Klein

While Skrulls were busy taking over the Marvel U this week and DC was resting up before it's big summer push I decided to try a bunch of books which debuted this week. While almost every book was strong, I was most intrigued by House of Mystery #1. A reprise of an old anthology book, House of Mystery is a essentially a showcase book where each month short stories are told within the main narrative which includes a colorful cast of patrons that have turned the old house of mystery into a bar (which only a few people have ever been able to leave, kinda like a "hotel california" idea). Each month a different patron will be able to tell their own eff'd up story to other patrons which will be illustrated by various talented artists.

With all that being said, I really enjoyed this comic. Equal amounts of humor, gore, oddity, intrigue, mystery (duh), and fantasy, this book really felt like it had it all and went in places I didn't expect. At first I felt the book was all over the place but by the end understood how the style fit together and really enjoyed the format. Matthew Sturges focuses mainly on the patrons of the bar who lament about not being able to leave as well as a girl being chased by two ghostly figures who lead her to the house which has been haunting her dreams. Bill Willingham writes the central portion of the book, in this issue focusing on a girl who marries a fly...I told you it was odd. Willingham does well in this part as the middle serves as a small twisted tale which shows that the patrons of the bar are not quite what they seem.

The main artist, Luca Rossi does an excellent job of creating a dark and eerie environment in every area besides the bar. This makes the house/bar almost feel welcoming when it's bathed in Lee Loughridge's warm colors. This issue's guest artist Ross Campbell balances cute characters with disturbing environments and situations. Also, Campbell provides the most disturbing scene of the week with the oddest "childbirth" seen ever.

This book is truly entertaining and I'll gladly stick with it to see how the first run goes. This book feels right at home within the Vertigo universe and will hopefully not fade out in quality like others (Vinyl Underground). If anyone is a fan of the odd and disturbing, this is definitely worth checking out.

Weekly Review Podcast Episode 38- New Avengers #40

This was a great week for books but in the end New Avengers stood out as the best book of the week because I am so immersed in this story and it's been a huge pay-off so far. Eric and I also discuss DC Universe #0 to talk about the road the Final Crisis and this issue's shocking ending. We also talked about Avengers: The Initiative, Green Lantern, Teen Titans Year One and more. And Summer movie season is in full effect with the arrival of Iron Man. We'll tell you what we thought about the film and how it will effect the rest of the movies coming out this summer.

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Real Deal

The official Batman trailer is now online. This is the same trailer that we posted a couple of days ago but that was the bootleg version, here you can see the trailer in all it's glory.

And if you look closely you'll see a little Two Face at the end.

See the official trailer here

Friday, May 2, 2008

Guess who's coming to Smallville? has reported that Michael Rosenbaum will indeed be leaving the show as Lex Luthor but two more villains will be joining to show. Doomsday will appear in season 8 of Smallville and will be joined by an unknown female villain that will play an important role in Clark's life.

It will be interesting to see how they deal with Lex's departure of the show and if he'll be appearing at all in season 8, a lot of people think the female villain will be a version of Diana and Doomsday.....well who knows.

What do you think?