Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Book of the Week 8/27/08 New Avengers #44

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils by Billy Tan
Inks by Matt Banning
Colors by Justin Ponsor

Richaaaarrrrdddsss!!!! To be fair it's not really his fault...and it kinda is. Of course I refer to what I've just read in New Avengers #44. Turns out those pesky Skrulls really cooked up something devious to overcompensate for their lack of imagination and overall smarts. I loved this story for several reasons but I was shocked at the sheer brutality of the Skrull's research. While disappointed by the Illuminati appearance, it was cool to see them together again. I also found myself laughing at the Skrull's seeming lack of any subtly regarding anytime they end an experiment. Instead of hitting a switch or something, it's set blasters to kill! Oh those silly Skrulls!

I've been enjoying these back stories slightly better than the main title and that's not to say the whole of Secret Invasion hasn't been enjoyable. It's just been alot of fun finding out what we haven't been seeing over the last several years. Bendis has also done a great job of making me like Reed Richards who was a character I've never found particularly interesting especially after his actions during the civil war. Overall, the reveal of how the Skrull's were finally able to become successful was a great twist and really shows how integral Richards is to the Skrull's relationship with the rest of the Marvel U.

Tan's art is mainly good with the exception of a few panels where faces look a little melty. Tan does however push the brutality factor and helps convey just how much most of the Skrulls hate humanity. This is juxtaposed with very touching moments such as the scene between Reed and Franklin which would be quite touching under normal circumstances.

Overall, New Avengers continues to be the showcase for the best of the Secret Invasion action. With major reveals in almost every issue, it's great that Bendis is finally letting us in on things that have been playing out in his head over the last few years.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Book of the Week 8/20/08 Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #1

Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils by George Perez
Inks by Scott Koblish
Colors by Hi-Fi
Letters by Adam Schlagman

Yes you're reading this correctly, I picked a Legion book as the best thing that I read this week.

There are some creators that you will follow even if they're doing something out of your comfort zone and Geoff Johns proved to me with this issue that he is surely a creator that I will always follow. I've never really liked the Legion, I always thought the whole time traveling thing was really confusing, plus there's so many members, it's just a lot to keep track of but it worked great here.

The wonderful surprise about this issue is that it was equally a Superboy Prime book as it was a Legion book and I think thats' why it was far more accessible to a reader such as myself. Johns has always said how he loves writing the character and it shows. Prime is such an arrogant little brat that I would normally hate him as a character but to see a Superman family character acting like that is kind of a nice change. I really liked the twist at the end of the issue and I'm excited to see where this is going to go.

I've never been a huge fan of George perez's art. I've been a fan but I just never read a lot of his older stuff so I while I probably didn't freak out about the art as the average DC fanboy would, I really loved it. It was bright and classic, straightforward and just heroic art, I really dug it.

So there it is. I liked a Legion book.(I actually loved this book) and I'm interested to see what other people think. One thing to mention is that they were dropping the name Superboy left and right and I thought they weren't allowed to do that anymore? Huh.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Episode 46- Action Comics #868

Eric picked Action Comics #868 as the best book he read this week because it finally felt like something noticeable is going on in the Superman Universe. We also discuss Fantastic Four #559, Secret Invasion #5, Booster Gold #11 and more. We finish off the show with our review of Star Wars The Clone Wars. Did we think this was worth releasing in the theaters? Listen and find out!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Book of the Week 8/13/08 Action Comics #868

Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils by Gary Frank
Inks by Jon Sibal
Colors by Brad Anderson

Look to the sky...

I, like many others out there, have always preferred other icons such as Batman over Superman. I always felt that Superman wasn't totally relatable. That's not to say I didn't believe in Superman as an icon and inspiration. I just felt that writers tended to tell better stories with other characters. With the exception of a few trades and story arcs (Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow) I just couldn't find an ongoing series that I felt did service to Big Blue. Kingdom Come, New Frontier, and the JLA seemed to be where Superman belonged, among the company of other brightly clad demigods, not on his own handling a man who played with large toys and an imp with the voice of Gilbert Gottfried (points for those in the know). I'm happy to admit that I have finally been proven wrong.

We live in a Superman renaissance right now with Action Comics and Superman getting major attention and overhauls. Geoff Johns has, like he's done for so many other titles, made Superman relevant to his own world. It's redundant to go on about boiling Superman down to his roots or how Johns has a knack for bringing a magic to the characters he writes so I won't go on and on about it. We all know it. What I personally like about our recent version of Supes is he's brimming with personality. When he's written in stories like Kingdom Come, while I look up to him, I'm also a little wary of him. In this book, the comment I made earlier about relatability goes out the window (other than the alien stuff). His interactions and motivations are clearly displayed and fit much better than what I've seen before.

Another key to a good Superman story is a good villain. Other than Lex Luthor, Brainiac has always been a very threatening presence in these books. In Action Comics, he's down right chilling. As we now know, we've never truly seen the real Brainiac until today. While his ship reeked of the matrix, the idea of what our villain does is terrifying. Also, we now have a Brainiac that isn't destroyed with a few super punches. HE'S A BIG SCARY DUDE! The hint at his hand in the destruction of Krypton left with an "OHHHH S***" moment.

Gary Franks art is perfect. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it! I have gravitated more and more towards realistic art as I've grown older with one of my favorite artists being Rags Morales. Frank comes from the same school in that his characters are realistically proportioned and where real clothes, not garments applied by spray-paint. This is very apparent in the way Kara is depicted in this issue. Standing next to Cat, its nice to see Kara not displayed as over developed jail bait. Also, Brainiac is terrifying. The cold, dead gaze in his eyes makes me almost hear a monotone dead voice emanating from him. The site of his ship showing up over Metropolis sent chills down my spine and I was left with the same emotion as the rest of the citizens, wondering "where's Superman?"

I haven't bought a Superman monthly since the early 90s and I'm so happy to have the most iconic hero finally get the respect he deserves in the title that started all of this. "They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you… my only son. " Go get em big guy!

Episode 45- Spider-man Loves Mary Jane #1

I chose Spider-man Loves Mary Jane as the best thing that I read this week because it was just a breath of fresh air with all these other serious comics around. Eric gives his R.I.P. updates with reviews of Robin, Nightwing, Dectective comics and more. We finish off the show with our thoughts of the new DC games, Mortal Kombat vs DC and DC Universe online.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Book of the Week 8/6/08 Spider-man Loves Mary Jane #1

Written by Terry Moore
Art by Craig Rousseau
Colors by Guilliem Mari
Letters by Dave Sharpe

Now this was a treat

I've heard good things about the Spider-man loves Mary jane book but just haven't taken the time to check it out. I've really been trying to pick up new things lately and when I saw that Terry Moore was writing this issue I just had to pick it up and I'm really glad that I did.

This book take place out of continuity and it just a fun look at the Midtown high gang and the high-jinks that they get up to. I've referred to Saved By The Bell various times in the podcast and that's what this book felt like, it was just a little teen drama with our familiar Spider-man characters and I loved it. Everyone's involved and it's great to see things from Mary jane's point of view. He doesn't like Gwen because she's insecure about who Gwen is and when Peter comes around, you can just tell her heart's a flutterin'

One thing that I really loved about this book is that Peter Parker is truly a nerd. Moore makes the statement that Peter is taking all IB classes which is something that Peter would be involved in and more importantly Craig Rousseau truly draws Peter as a short, skinny, frail looking boy and I cannot remember the last time he was presented that way.

I've heard a lot of positive things about Terry Moore so I was looking forward to picking this up and I was impressed. I don't plan on reading Strangers in Paradise(just doesn't seem like my kind of book) but I hope he plans to stay on this title and after this issue I am definitely adding this to my box.

With so much going on in this week like time bullets and Skrulls, a crazy Batman and Hulk fighting the god of thunder, this was just a breath of fresh air and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Episode 44- Northlanders:Sven the Returned #8

Eric chose Northlanders#8 as the book of the week because it's a story that he followed from start to finish and it paid off. We also discuss JSA Annual, Green Lantern, Thor, Wolverine and more. We finish the show out with an in depth look at Y:the last man and a review of Soul Calibur 4.

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