Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Book of the Week 7/30/08 Northlanders Sven the Returned #8

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Davide Gianfelice
Letters by Travis Lanham

After reading the conclusion to Brian Wood's epic viking tale this week I thought it was very different from what I've read from him before (mainly stories within DEMO). The main character of Sven was introduced in this story as a gigantic asshole who was mainly out for what he felt was owed to him. Svens story follows many standard beats of the hero's journey. Through Svens trials he has become a more rounded and mature character. What I enjoyed though was how Sven always felt like an outsider amongst his own people. While his travels early in life left him separated since he'd seen more civilized portions of the world, he'd rejected the world he was born into. Now with the finale of the story, we see that Sven has matured to the point of caring for his people however still rejecting their ways. In the end, his decisions reflect this in both his born duties and his heart.

While good, the series had some odd writing beats. Wood characterized the inhabitants of this old world as speaking in a modern way, i.e. cursing like sailors. While I'm not sure how historically accurate this is, it was just jarring every time it happened. However, this story wasn't about historical accuracy, it was about characterization. Wood finishes Svens story by jumping into the future and showing how he spends his remaining years after his trials at home. In the end, Svens growth and maturity were more in line with the character driven stories that I had expected from Wood making me reassess my earlier assumption. Balanced with equal bits comedy, tragedy, and action, this book always made for a compelling read.

Gianfelices art in this book was great. The northern islands not only looked desolate but felt cold and forbidding. There was a grime on these pages that wouldn't wash off. Alternately, other locales like Constantinople were shimmering and bright. Battles were fierce and crowded and the sweeping vistas and cliffs gave a grand scale to the setting. Gianfelice has definitely made a fan out of me.

In the end, Northlanders was an entertaining series which offered much in the way of action, romance, and tragedy. In the vein of the old myths and Arthurian legends, Northlanders adds a contemporary spin that makes for a compelling story.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Episode 43- Avengers:The Initiative #15

I picked Avengers:The Initiative #15 as the best book that I read this week because it gave us a new and fresh look at the Secret Invasion and this continues to be one of the more consistently solid book at Marvel. Er also discuss Robin, Green Lantern Corps, Two-Face Year One and more. After seeing the trailer for Watchmen, I finally sat down and read the book and Eric and I discuss what we think of Alan Moore's masterpiece and we finish off the show with all the new and crazy news coming out of this year's Comic-Con.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Who will take the mantle?

DC released a pretty exciting poster this weekend showing potential candidates for who may be replacing Bruce as Batman after the RIP story. I was pretty excited about this!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Book of the Week 7/24/08 Avengers:The Initiative #15

Written by Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Art by Harvey Tolibao
Colors by Jay David Ramos
Letters by Joe Caramagna

Eric and I talked about our difference in opinion with the way Secret Invasion is going so far and while I am loving the story, I can see where it may frustrating for some people. I think this issue of Avengers:The Initiative is a great story for those readers.

This issue while fully immersed in the invasion, really stands on its own. We see the invasion trough the most unlikely of heroes. A Skrull who has embraced humanity and decide to be a hero and join the initiative.

I have to admit that I wasn't a huge fan of the idea when I first starting reading but after doing into the back story of the character and the interactions that he had with both humans and skrulls, I just thought it was a very witty way to tell a story within this crossover.

Slott and Gage get some major points for thinking outside the box and actually making us care about this Skrull hero and making his love for the Earth believable. I wasn't a huge fan of the art, I thought it was a little bit too detailed and gritty bit it got the job and I really enjoyed the fight scenes.

All in all I just had a lot of fun with this story and it was a new way to experience Secret Invasion. Avengers;The Initiative is one of the strongest titles at Marvel right now and I hope it continues to soar post-Secret Invasion.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Episode 42- Final Crisis Rogue's Revenge #1

We're back from hiatus and ready to review some books! Eric chose Final Crisis:Rogue's Revenge as the best book of the week because it's Geoff Johns writing the characters he loves and that equals comic goodness. We also discuss several books from this week and last such as Captain America White, JSA, Batgirl,Mighty Avengers, Secret Invasion and more. We give you our thoughts of the Watchmen and new Terminator trailers and discuss the biggest movie of the summer, The Dark Knight.

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E3 2008 Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe was teased a while ago and while I was skeptical about the concept, I figured I would wait until I saw more footage to make my judgements. After seeing the new E3 trailer I am really against this game. It's weird to say,because I feel like such an "adult" but seeing my favorite DC characters in a gore ridden game......those are two worlds that I don't want to see together. Plus more than GTA or a regular Mortal Kombat game, this is going to attract the attention of smaller kids and I think that's a problem.

Here's the trailer though, judge for yourselves

E3 2008 DC Universe Online

Jim Lee came out during Sony's keynote speech at E3 to show off a trailer of the new DC Universe online game. A MMO game based in the DCU that lets you create your own hero or villain and then interact with the greatest names in the DC universe.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Book of the Week 7/16/08 Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #1

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Scott Kolins

Well, we're back from our hiatus and ready to go again. As our return BoW I picked Rogues' Revenge #1. Final Crisis has drawn some criticism due to its apparent lack of direction. This may be valid or may not depending on if you judge its overall merits or by it's monthly offering. Rogues' Revenge I'm happy to say contains a more focused story...oh man...sorry, Batman and Robin is currently on TV and I forgot Coolio is in it. Poor, poor Coolio. Anyways, Rogues' Revenge=focused narrative albeit containing very little actual relation to the Final Crisis story. That's okay really.

Johns writing these characters again is a treat. This book acts as a follow-up to the much botched Bart Allen Flash series. We find the rogues on the run and ready to give up the lifestyle when Bart's killer, Inertia, is freed. The rogues, feeling that they were tricked into being a part of Barts death go after Inertia to get their "revenge". Zoom also shows up with an agenda of his own. Now I was there when Bart died. The rogues saying that the Flash should have been able to survive their attacks doesn't make me sympathize with them. They were a part of it whether they believe that or not. However, I am looking forward to seeing them try and follow their own twisted moral code.

Kolins' art is serviceable in this issue but its truly Johns' writing that makes this book stand out. The characters stating that "the death of kid flash was a mistake" feels like Johns not too subtly slamming DC in their decision to do away with Bart and if anyone can give us the final chapter in his death, I'm glad Johns is on it.