Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Comics May 26

Ok this first one is a bit of a surprise to me I am mentioning it. I have never been a big Scott Summers fan, hell I always kinda disliked him but the art in this book and the fact that the are a couple of x-women in it I like got me to pick this up. The art in Uncanny Xmen by Frazer Irving is so bloody good, creating both a truly otherworldly atmosphere for the real of Dread Dormammu, giving even deactivated Sentinels a sense of gravity to them. Between his portrayals of the characters artistically and Bendis' writing. Think I have been missing out on something good here.

I was a big fan of the old New Mutants title and Illyana, Macik, was one of my favorites, I dig the White Queen, Magneto and the now turncoat Angel (old School version) to me almost hooked with the preview pages last month. The developments with the Shield side of this story with Maria Hill are particularly interesting.... the fact that SHIELD are showing up in so many comics makes the marvel universe feel a lot more interconnected.

Guess you could tell I liked it... Oh and big reveal for fans of Dazzler....

I gave you a warning last week and here is the follow through... Katheryn Immonen delivers again with Journey Into Mystery with her Sif centric comic. Now the majority of this book focuses on the fallout of last months Fenris romp through the forests of Asgaurdia. So as not to ruin anything about the plot there are developments that take Sif into the outer reaches of the solar system, we get a cameo by Iron Man along with some gratuitous property damage. My horse headed space bound hero does not appear much but what we get of him is beautifully illustrated and filled with the innocence I associate with him. Next months issue can't come too soon since I have to see the payoff on the bomb dropped in this issue....




In addition I snatched a copy of the extra sized Daredevil by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee too see if all the praise for the book was well placed and I was not disappointed. If you like street level adventure, realistic art and real character stories this is your beast. Matt Murdock and Foggy have not had a better writer in a long long time and this is so much more real then the old dated and (anti occupy wallstreet) Frank Miller days.

This issue progresses the story built up out of the last issue introducing Ilari and let's us know who is behind Matt's current troubles. I missed out on the stories leading to this but it stands on its own very well. There is a backup focusing of Foggy as he is dealing with some very real world issues..... Loved the whole thing....

May have to add this for a while....


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kickstarted Comic

Now as you may know I post weekly here about comics and on my gaming blog I post a lot, almost exclusively, about Kickstarter projects that look great but I have been remiss in mentioning projects I have backed. A while back, last year, Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore kickstarted a original graphic novel called Leaving Megalopoils. Anyone who knows me or has read a bit of my blog probably has come across my praise for Secret Six, the comic they did at DC before this whole new 52 thing. It was one of the few comics I looked forward to every month, Gail's writing and imagination never failed to impress me and I loved her portrayal of all those often stereotypes villain types that starred in the comic.

This week Jim put up some sample pages of his artwork for the kickstarted book and they look absolutely fan freaking tastic. Here is a link to the page where you can snag a download PDF of the pages in question as well as some nifty wallpapers for the book. Its one of the projects I'm happy to have found and backed and look forward to seeing in the flesh so to speak. Take a peek, this has the look of something great all over it....


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Comics May 19

Only have a few for you this week.... The first is the beginning of a dare I say it crossover...

Kelly Sue Deconnick has been building up to this story for months with the beginnings of Carol's health problems, the threat of further complications if she flies the reappearance of Deathbird to the dinosaurs rampaging in an issue a few months back. So Captain Marvel is her own hero with her own life and can take care of her own problems and friends; we have seen her do it but this reminds us that though she is a strong hero she does have friends that do have her back.

This issue brings back Jessica, Spiderwoman to the storyline and pulls in Thor too but also raises some questions about Ms Danvers herself. Since the story is from her point of view as a reader I have to wonder if she is a completely reliable narrator, happen to love well told tales that question the reliability of the storyteller herself and Kelly Sue may be playing that game but whatever game she is playing I'm happy to play along. We have five four more issues to see where this may go so it will be an interesting ride no matter which turns she takes I think...



The other title I would like to mention because it bring to a conclusion the story that involved one of my long time favorite characters - the Inhuman Medusa. This seems to keep happening but what can you do Matt Fraction Kelly Sue's partner happens to be writing some pretty fine comics too and they are coming out the same weeks. Now I would not say FF is the same kind of fun as Hawkeye but is defiantly fun. Matt seems to be building the relationships in this team and the characters are beginning to really support one another in a very Fantastic Four family kind of way. Sure I do think this story may have been better overall if the build up was longer but we have Dr Doom waiting in the wings and I am happy to be moving along and getting hat royal redhead back in the fold so she can be more then just a side story...

Its funny I'm really enjoying the kids and Darla Too as I mentioned about the last issue with the Yancy Street Gang....

Have a great week next Sunday I'm likely to be going great guns about Beta Ray Bill being back.... Just a warning.... Such a fan boy....


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Comics May 12

I'm avoiding most of the big titles this week with one exception to hit one one of the AU titles and one that I was not initially hooked on but picked up some issues last week with Free Comic Book day and I'm sad I only have a couple of the issues.

First up I will hit the one high visibility title that I have mentioned before and that is Wolverine by Paul Cornell and Alan Davis. This issue brings in what will likely be the more Logan back up cast then the Wolverine supporting cast that we normally see. Again I don't help but continue comparing this to Matt Fraction's magnificent Hawkeye. So Logan has some normalish friends that he meets up with at a superhero bar. At least one of them has been kicking around the fringes of the Marvel universe a while now.

The story is still building for this first story arc and I think there is some neat little foreshadowing going on in this issue. Yes there is a good amount of action too, Logan loses costume it's yet again and he gets off a couple of great quips during the story. Its still pricey as books go but if you mis likening the little Canadian from your early Xmen days this is the title that will make you like him again.


This is the one AU title I have read so far and I'll tell you all why; the draw here for me beyond my love of the Captain Marvel comic, Captain Britain and the MI13 group it was Al Ewing the writer. As a fan of 2000AD and the new pulps of Abaddon books I now Al Ewing can write some great, weird and different feeling heroes. Anything outside the US, Latveria and the Savage Land get very little screen time in most Marvel books so its good for a reminder that there are heroes back across the pond and who better to write an alternate universe one shot then someone used to having to tell a story in just a few pages. Al reminds us that there is a vital and little utilized group of heroes that I really miss and want to have back

Art wise this one was also a draw and kind of clinched it for me. Butch Guice and Tom Palmer get world every so often (about as often as we see the UK heroes) and have a more realistic and restrained style that suited this one shot story given that a couple of the heroes seem much more like normal people then the four color ones we also know and love. I also enjoyed the nod to old home make pixilated video games. YMMD but in my honest opinion it was worth the extra money this week.


Last the book I picked up nine months ago and checked out again last week. Dennis Hopeless' Avengers Arena is definitely a Battle Royal look at the marvel YH (young hero) universe. If you did not look at it your missing out like I was; this book takes heroes from the very fun Runaways, Avengers Academy the much overlooked UK marvel stories and a couple others and hands them to the laughable villain Arcade. This time though this time the murderous little foppish trickster is taking his byline seriously abducting these kids from around the globe putting them on an island that's a bit survivor and a hell of a lot like the novel and movie from Japan Battle Royal.

In issue one Hopeless and the magnificent Kev Walker on art duties set the scene having Arcade abduct his cast tell the contestants the rules then proceeds to kill one of them to show them he means business this time. No silly pinball or video game knockoff death traps. These kids are here to kill off the weakest links till there is just one left. The issues I've managed to get and read including this weeks give us more character interaction then violence and in the case of some of the players we get snippets of their origin and story along the way. Kev Walker is great at drawing expressions that tell you more about the characters then just the dialogue alone. I'd say this is one to pick up in trade paperback.


I missed the middling issues where we lost a character or two maybe and the one that gave the Arcade background story and that one may be key here. Arcade I think has more going on then he is letting on and though he is absent from all but the first issue in what I have read but the tension created between the "teams" leaves his grandstand from issue one lingering in the mind. I find I can't wait for next months issue; funny somehow this title is now up there with Hawkeye, Captain Marvel and Fearless Defenders for me. W

Well that's me this week... Check out Avengers Arena it is another pretty fun title.....


Monday, May 6, 2013

Dial W for Weird

Hugo Award winning "new weird" fiction author China Mieville is an oddly perfect choice for writing Dial H (for hero). His novel and short stories often defy easy categorization as anything specific creating a decoupage of various imagined elements and populates it with extraordinarily normal and human creatures. Anyone looking to see what his writing is like should grab the short story collection "Looking For Jake" it's his most easily approachable and digestible feasts and may be the most like the experience of reading Dial-H. China's fiction has taken us to places where mysterious streets and alleys pop in and out of existence waging some sort of assault and investigators try to figure out their intent, where a force known as torque twists reality and creates the bizarre like trees that sprout cockroaches and remaking of the body is commonplace and most recently where beasts swim through earth like whales through water and people hunt them on giant tunneling trains. Set along the dark fringes of the DCU he's exploring just how strange he can make the lives of Littleville.

Nelson Jent, our hero, for all intents a quitter; overweight, ex boxer with an apparent hear condition gets caught up in something way bigger then just patching things up with a friend that tries to help him out. China throws us into the story of the town of Littleville, CO far removed from the big city heroes of Gotham and Metropolis much as he does his character in his attempt to rescue his friend. This first story arc that includes the first six issues of the comic and the stand alone issue zero sets up the Nelson as hero trying to learn and cope with the strangeness that come with using the artifact of the seventies that transformers him into random heroes, the rotary dial of an old style phone. Each new hero is weirder then the next he become Chimney Boy who can leap across rooftops and smother people with noxious fumes, and Captain Lachrymose who is fueled by others distress as Superman is powered by the yellow sun. Nelson is not the lone hero or meta human in Colorado he's followed my a silver masked character through a couple of issues and fights some equally bizarre opponents in the course of the story. The cast is quickly expanded to two with the inclusion of Roxie Hodder and these two and their relationship easily carries the story along without the need for a kitschy iconic villain to keep you hooked. There are mysteries a plenty in this book as odd mysteries are one of the things Mieville excels in as an author and the resolution of such, if they are resolved, with him are always gateways to more deeper issues.

The art chores on these issues are handled by Mateus Santolouco, David Lapham, and Riccardo Burchielli in a style that favorers thick lines with pretty heavy inks and benefits from detailed colors from Tanya and Richard Horie. Covers drawn by Brian Boland never hurts a book and this one is no exception to that rule but the insides are not your normal fare these days and bear more resemblance to the pages from old Swamp Thing from the late eighties and nineties then slick modern superhero artwork. With all the odd, silly and down right crazy characters and powers China comes up with in the course of the issues is needs its own style and the artists DC gets for this have got that in spades.

If the idea of touring a through a possibly psychedelic mash up of American comic tropes and the twisted storytelling and humor of a great British author appeals to you or if your a fan of the storytelling style of 2000AD and want more along those lines this is a collection to take a peek at. My thought since the zero issue is self contained is to find hat story in the collection, its last one, Nelson and Roxie are not the heroes since its set long ago in pre telephone times.... how does that work well take a look. China Mieville seems to be having lots of fun building a mythology all on his own with Dial-H, one that takes the basic premise and takes it to where there are no longer cords or phone lines and really he doesn't need them with the gonzo ideas he's got going....


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Comics Cinco de Mayo

I've been a fan of the eclectic and unique art of Michael Avon Oeming and storytelling since his days with the original Powers police procedural series, he also did a great treatment of Norse Mythology that was just as good as powers and exposed more of the myths then marvel ever has. I did not see his new superhero stories from Dark Horse till after the series was over a while back and I still need to get a copy and would have had I known this was coming out.

The Victories is a very dark comic and is not much for the faint of heart or the easily offended. This is a new ongoing series set in Michael's unique and now literally dark super hero universe.

Here is the intro from Dark Horses website...

Super %$#@ed Up!

Following the Jackal’s faceoff with Faustus and an attack on the US infrastructure, the Victories face a plague of new evils threatening their city. Who is trying to destroy our nation? Can the Victories overcome their own spiritual demons to keep the team together and save the world?

* Now an ongoing series!



Dial H has been kicking around the DC universe for ages and has often been a back up feature and has had its own series a few times but never with so perfect a writer. Choosing China Mievillé to write this was a match made in weird fiction heaven; I just finished reading an ARC of the first collected volume due out this week and its nothing like any of DC's other new 52 titles. For those unfamiliar with the old DC third stinger heroes Dial-H some regular person comes across a rotary telephone and in dialing it summons up a temporary mostly one shot hero with often ludicrous possibly seemingly useless powers and superhero name, they get to be this hero for a time then return to being themselves. China I thinks takes no little joy in going for the totally crazy with this title and I hope it stays around a long time. It reads better in large doses but I heartily encourage people to give it a try because this title is a lot of fun and something very different.

Ok, my local shop did not get this one so I can't comment on how good it is but it is by Gail Simone who I know tells great stories and likes working with lesser known characters. The Movement is a title that takes the concept of the Occupy movement and the "We are the 99%" and brings it to superhero comics. Looking at so many of the traditional DC heroes, and one really in particular, they are among the most privileged and though they do fight the good fight they still don't represent the people, us, the rest of us. Gail here is introducing us to a group of new grass roots level heroes and I have hopes that this will be a book that asks more questions then which villain of the month are we fighting this issue. From the cover it looks like the mix of characters is pretty diverse compared to much of the DC big titles and ha is something to applaud right there.

I do know I could get this electronically and may do that this week but I'm one of those who should rather support my local store when I can.

All New Xmen by Brain Michael Bendis is one of those 3.99 titles that I kind of passed over and am now 11issues in thinking I need to set the trade when it comes out. Reading the couple page preview available through the comixology pull list app I found I very much like the way that Brian is writing this time displaced version of the original X-men. Their reactions to the actions of their future selves and the developments in the world seem well thought out and feels very much like an alternate history story.

The future that the original mutant teens now find them selves in is pretty bleak and terrifying; Scott a murderer, Jean dead several times over, Beast well a Beast Magneto and ally of the X-men. Its a future that I think none of them wants to come true and the reveal in this issue dark though it is makes me want to see more.

It was hard to commit to this title... it was coming out twice a month and with Avengers already doing that sometimes you just have to make a choice. I think this is one worth checking out and with the looming summer mutant story coming soon involving future Xmen well I think its time for a second look.


I'm going to make a quick mention of the super agent espionage comic Winter Soldier starring Bucky. This is a title just hitting its stride story wise and I think it sad that Marvel has scheduled its end in the next few months. The character is interesting to me because his story is one of a quest for redemption for a brainwashed past as an assassin. He made a very capable Captain America and an intriguing hero on his own over the last year and a half. Latour and Klein have only had a couple of issues to get a story rolling and though Bucky will be appearing around the Marvel universe after the series goes away I'm sad to see this team not getting more time to expand their story. The current arc with the Electronic Ghost who's taken a Shield satellite and seems to have a big plan and agenda beyond something small like vengeance I hope gets to conclude as the creative team planned. Anyway the book is well written and playing with interesting concepts extrapolated from Marvels fifty year history of stories.





Hope that people got to get to stores for Free Comic Book day this year. I managed to finally do so and though I was late in the day my local shop still had a copy of the 2000AD anthology that was the one thing wanted most out of the offerings. I miss getting the British anthology starring Judge Dredd and suggest that anyone looking for darkly humorous yet totally serious science fiction and fantasy comics check out the apple newsstand app and get yourself some. It is about the best value weekly for comics at 2.99 in the US and you can get subscriptions. 2000AD is available every Wednesday electronically and though I'd love to get the issues themselves import prices would dig into my budget I fear too much. Till next week take care...