Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Secret Invasion: Requiem

Okay, so I guess this actually cost 33 cents or something, but close enough.

This is, like a number of recent Marvel comics, actually a couple of old stories that have been recoloured. Plus a new framing sequence drawn by Khoi Pham (whose art I really liked on Hercules, but who didn't impress me that much here).

The framing sequence is really just there to introduce the other comics though, so it's not really Pham's fault as he wasn't given the most interesting stuff to work with. The other comics are there to show that Ant Man (Henry Pym) has always been a jackass. The first story (by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby) is the first appearance of the Wasp, and also features Ant Man's origin. Which is that his wife, who was a Soviet defector, got killed when they went back to the Soviet Union for a holiday. WTF? Is that still in continuity?

So Pym is doing ant science in his lab, when another scientist shows up and asks him to help with his gamma ray beam. To the other scientist's great shock and annoyance, Pym tells him that he doesn't know anything about that field. I kind of love that, this guy shows up at Pym's house to ask him for help, yet doesn't even know what type of science he does. He even mentions that Pym is a famous scientist (for what, I don't know). The real reason this scientist is in the story is to introduce his daughter! Janet Van Dyne. Who apparently looks exactly like Pym's ex-wife. Except they look nothing alike at all. Pym is just crazy.

To add to this, when Van Dyne becomes the Wasp, Pym decides to give her completely untested powers that he hasn't even tried on himself. "Here, let me implant these wings and antenna under your skin." Then they fight a monster. And Van Dyne is all like "Oh Hank Pym, you are so dreamy."

(So this comic was lying on a table at the house I'm staying at, and one of my friends picked it up and started looking through it and said he was amazed at how good the art looked in the first story. He was shocked when I told him that art was from the '60s. Colouring is so important.)

And then! We have the famous issue where Ant Man hits the Wasp. And is just generally insane (he builds a robot to attack the Avengers so that he can then defeat it).

I think one of the most hilarious things about this issue is that apparently the other Avengers are so used to the Wasp's terrible wardrobe (that purple thing!), that when she shows up to a meeting in a turtleneck, coat, and sunglasses (to hide the beating Ant Man gave her), nobody says a word about it until she takes her sunglasses off and they see her black eye.

After both the reprints, we get a couple more new pages and see that Hank Pym has decided to become a new the Wasp, in order to honour the one that just died in Secret Invasion. Ultimately, all this comic does is make me wish that it was Hank Pym (a character who has apparently always been an insane idiot) was the one who had died instead of the Wasp (one of the oldest female superheroes the Marvel universe has). Oh well, I'm sure she'll be back eventually.

But really, this comic was worth the price I paid for the three pages showing every costume/outfit the Wasp has ever worn. Holy shit! I bet that took way too long to put together.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009


Pirates and space girls

The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury #295

I liked the idea of this, that there have been hundreds of adventures already, so you don't need an origin story. Yes, fantastic.

And the art is pretty good too. However this felt weirdly light. The first half of the story featured things being stolen and space battles and stuff. But then the second half was just talking heads trying to solve a puzzle. I did get a good idea of who Miranda Mercury is, and I am curious about the other issues in this series, but...

El Cazador Collected Edition #1

I was really hoping for the pirate equivalent of Way of the Rat, the martial arts comic written by the same person (Chuck Dixon) and published by the same company (CrossGen) at the same time (2002-03), but, sadly, I did not get it. This is the first three issues of the series (that only lasted six and a special) and it's sloooooow. So many characters and I sort of felt the pirate character who was killed early on had his character developed through his three lines of dialogue than the supposed main characters. Still, it's not like I can think of a better pirate comic produced recently. Oh wait! Scurvy Dogs!

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Friday, September 25, 2009


Big guys hit things

Savage Dragon #75

Raaaarrggh!!! At Free Comic Book Day earlier this year I got the free issue of Savage Dragon (#148) and was shocked at how much I enjoyed it. That, combined with a conversation I had with a fellow comic nerd, and a pretty nice sketch Erik Larsen did for me at the Emerald City Comicon (monster!), made me pick up this issue. And it's good! It's really just monsters punching each other, but half the time that's really all I want from my comics. Watch out quarter bins! I am looking for Savage Dragon! Or hell, maybe I'll start picking up the Savage Dragon Archives. 25 issues for $20! Wait, that's not such a great deal vs. quarter bins...

The Nine Loves of El Gato: Crime Mangler

El Gato is a Mexican, masked, luchadore wrestler. He apparently mangles crime. However, this comic is set before he is a true crime mangler and is instead about when he was just a dude (mostly a dude who wrestles), and the girls he slept with before finding his true love. Apparently an earlier El Gato comic was "the Nine Lives" which makes the title of this make more sense. Anyway, this is nine different stories by nine different artists, who aren't your average "big dude punches stuff" artists. Actually, looking it up some of the artists are old school Marvel artists, crazy. I wish I still had this comic so I could look at the art again. Some of the artists are indie people though. Still, it's pretty decent stuff. Definitely worth the 25 cents I paid for it.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Tangent comics

Back when these first came (1997) out I was strictly a Marvel Zombie. Oh, and some Wildstorm/Image books. But I guess that there wasn't much out the week these came out. Or just the differentness of the Tangent covers made me pick up a couple of them (The Joker, which was really good, and Secret Six, which was okay).

(And those covers were so good! So different! White space! Weirdness! Designed by Rian Hughes! And shit, check out all those other logos he's done. And alternative logos he designed that were never used!)

I've read most of the others over the years, which have gone from awesome (John Ostrander's Nightwing) to, uhm, not so awesome. I read...maybe half of that 12 part series that came out last year, but didn't really dig it.

Doom Patrol

I like the idea that this is a basically a doomsday cult that knows the earth is going to end. As they saw it happen before traveling back in time. Overall the comic isn't that great though. The future isn't that interesting. The character designs (and the characters themselves) are kind of blah. And I dunno. It just doesn't do much for me.

Tales of the Green Lantern

I really find it hard to care about Green Lantern and Blackest Night and everything when the main character is Hal Jordan, who I find to be incredibly boring. Even typing this sentence is making me sleepy. The Tangent Green Lantern, however, is one I really wish there were more comics about. The original Tangent GL one shot featured JH Williams III art (yay!) in a variety of styles in an anthology of stories about people wronged and killed. GL acted as a narrator/facilitator and helped the spirits get revenge. It was good. This one doesn't feature as much art by Williams, but it does feature a trio of stories that could all, maybe, be the origin of this Green Lantern. I really want more. It's basically just an updating of House of Mystery or whatever (complete with "host"), but it's really good.

Sea Devils
You know, I think I've read this one before. Or maybe it just seems so boring because all undersea city comics are the same and I just don't care. Oh no, the humans have done something, oh no, a giant monster is attacking, oh no, I don't want the job my father has. It just seems really cliched and blah. I liked the cameo by the Joker though.

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Monday, September 21, 2009


Punching people

Lobo: Blazing Chain of Love

I can't really believe that Lobo has been in so many comics. Even ignoring all the one shots (like this one) and miniserieses, he had a 64 issue series in the '90s. 64 issues! That's crazy! In this one Lobo is trying to track down a hooker and ends up going to a harem planet. It's fairly predictable, but I liked the art by "Denise Cowan" and the last page gag about condom use was pretty funny.

Troublemakers #1

It's alright. The cover blurb of "Choose life. Choose a job. Choose this comic." made me think it'd be more about 20something slackers with superpowers, but instead we get a comic about teenagers who were given superpowers by the company their parents work for and they're raised in some top secret facility and blah blah blah. It doesn't have supervillains or anything, which I suppose makes it different from most of these comics, but yeah. The letters page and other Acclaim/Valiant company info is so weird looking back on it today.

Hercules: Prince of Power #1
Hercules is a jerk. Hercules drinks. Zeus kicks him out of Olympus. Into space! Hercules meets aliens. Hercules continues to be a jerk, and drink, and fight. But he's still a hero. And a jerk. And he gets a robot drunk. Hercules is awesome. I need to catch up on the current series. And find more issues of this.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009


DC annual things

Justice League Quarterly #4

Okay, I guess this isn't actually an annual, as they came out four times a year (presumably?) but it's thick and has lots of comics. I've liked what I've read of JLE/I, so hoped this would be decent.

The opening story with the Injustice League is okay, but it's kind of clear I'm missing the joke. Oh look! Cluemaster.

The second story is better, but yeah, Guy Gardner is a jerk. I don't really want to read comics about him. I liked the way the demon was defeated. Talking!

Finally there are 12 (!) pages of a scrawny, gross cat doing scrawny gross cat things to various Justice League members. I find it kind of crazy that DC published something like that. But it was fun enough, and the last panel explaining why the cat was there was funny.

Justice League America Annual 8

Ooooh, an Elseworlds. They don't make these anymore. Though perhaps making _every_ annual you published an Elseworlds one year was kind of overkill. The main story in this annual has (shock!) a post apocalyptic future were everyone has died, but heroes who are just like the JLA will team up and win the day, blah blah blah. This was better than the Elseworlds: Superman annual I read. Which had something about aliens invading earth and slavery, etc. I hope someone did an Elseworlds were it was just a romantic comedy featuring Wally West (or someone) who is not the Flash at all.

There is one good thing to this annual: the Evan Dorkin backup strip. Featuring the JLA doing nothing, while the O Squad (featuring Amazo, Chemo, Despero, Sinestro, Kanjar Ro, Staro, and so forth) team up and fail to fight the Justice League. Evan Dorkin is good. The signatures of the villains are pretty awesome. This site is posting lots of Dorkin's old comic strips.

Teen Titans Lost Annual

Woah, something new? This only came out last year! And yet I can still buy it from a quarter bin. Fantastic.

This was, I believe, Bob Haney's final comic, and I really have to wonder if he meant for it to be so bizarre, or if penciller Jay Stephens made the villains extra ridiculous on purpose. I mean, the story is crazy enough with JFK being abducted by aliens, but making those aliens mods who are fighting another race of aliens who are hippies is kind of crazy. And Aquaboy is completely useless! So useless he doesn't even bother going to the alien planet with the other Titans. Amazing!

The art is totally good too. I get a Jack Kirby vibe from it, but also a bit of Paul Pope. Anyway, it's good. I am curious as to what the pencils looked like before Mike Allred (the inker) got to them though.

And that final page is pretty awesome. JFK in space!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009


Girls girls girls

Anima #0

I had heard some good things about this series on the internet recently. And foolishly thought maybe this would be a good issue to start on, as I clearly have no idea what Zero Hour was. It doesn't really make much sense, and it seems to be all about revealing characters' mysterious backstories and giving answers to readers. But I have no idea what the questions even were.

Bad Girls #1

This has a really nice Darwyn Cooke cover. Then the art inside is nothing like it at all. Not that the art is bad, in fact I quite like Jennifer Graves work here, it looks like somebody...good...

The story is nothing new. New girl in school. Nerdy boy. Bitchy girls. Superpowers. Etc. It's done better than some I've read. But I'm not in high school anymore, plus my high school was never like that anyway.

Girlfrenzy! JLA: Tomorrow Woman
I think I read the JLA comic this is spinning out of, but I reallllly don't remember it. Thankfully, enough information is given in this comic to let me understand what's going on. The story is kind of dumb, but given it has to take place during JLA #5 I can forgive that.

I do like Tomorrow Woman's costume though.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Action Comics Weekly 603

Oh hey, since Wednesday Comics, DC's most recent weekly anthology series is coming out (and almost over), lets go back and look at another time they tried this.

This is the third issue from this experiment, which only lasted 42 issues (it must have sold terribly!), and features Kyle Baker drawing a flying dude, Deadman, Superman, Hal Jordan as Green Lantern, and... Hey, this sounds familiar. Okay, so I'm over exaggerating the similarities. Kyle Baker drew Blackhawk, and he only drew the cover. But now, onto the inside!

Green Lantern

The Green Lantern story is fairly crap, but about halfway through I realized it had pretty good art. Gil Kane isn't someone I've ever really noticed before, probably because...I don't really have an excuse. He is oooollllddd. I started reading comics during the '90s. So yeah. His art in this is good though, after I finished reading the comic, I went back and just looked at the art, ignoring the words, and had a much more enjoyable experience.

If I had a scanner there would now be a picture of Hal Jordan bitch slapping Star Sapphire.

Secret Six!

Oh, this is terrible. Just stupid and I don't know what is going on at all. The 12 year old wunderkind scientist they're going after looks like Kim Jong Il.

The curent Secret Six series is a million times better.


So I was at my friend's house last month, and saw she had some issues of a Deadman series from a few years ago. I read issue two, with the intention of reading more, but it was too bad. Just stupid crap I didn't care about at all, wrapped inside really nice Mike Mignola covers

This story is better. I like the ancient Mayan god dude, though it's a bit too "hey brown person, your gods were lies". Then there's some alien stuff and I wonder why everyone seems to think that South Americans needed mystical help to build shit.


Only two pages! Apparently supposed to look like the newspaper strips. It's fairly good. Stuff happens. But why didn't Superman just move the guy out of the way of the train instead of trashing the tracks?

Wild Dog

I like Wild Dog's logo font. The two (!) pages of letters from people writing in to say how awesome the Wild Dog miniseries was and how there should be more comics about people shooting terrorists is kind of frightening. The comic itself is not as bad as I had first though after it's opening lines ("What in the Hell...Was that a sonic boom?" "No..That was an explosion... Nearby!"). I'm not convinced to pick up that miniseries from quarter bins yet.


Oh hey, this was good. Blackhawk is hanging out after WWII and needs stuff to do. Stuff that involves sexy dames and flying planes. I would read more of this one.

An ad for TailgunnerJo

This series sounds messed up. Is it any good? Did I once read issue one? I do not recall...

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Sunday, September 13, 2009


Sweet Tooth

Hey! It's a new comic that's actually supposed to cost a dollar! Awesome. I've bought and read all the $1 first issues Vertigo has put out this year (The Unwritten, Greek Street, and this one) and haven't really been that impressed by any of them. I thought Greek Street was pretty terrible to be honest.

Sweet Tooth was the one I was looking forward to the most. Post apocalyptic! I love that! Fantastic. However, the series doesn't really give me any reason to keep reading after this issue. Even if every issue was a dollar.

The art is good, and its got Jose Villarrubia colouring it, so that's good too. I do take issue with the way the first three pages are laid out though. I don't really understand why you would spent the first three pages carefully drawing each panel so that you can't see that Gus has antlers until the page four splash, when the fucking cover shows you. It doesn't make any sense to me, it's not dramatic or shocking because you already know.

But yeah, the story just does nothing for me. The main character is Gus, who's a weird mutant kid with antlers living in the woods with his dad. He's never met anyone other than his dad in his entire life, as weird mutant kids were killed by people for...whatever reason. Fear. Money. Something.

Anyway, Gus' dad dies, and seemingly almost immediately afterwards some hunters come after him. Some other dude shows up, end of issue one. Um, what? How is this an ongoing series? What's the plot? Oh wait, look in the text pieces included in the issue it tells us what the series is actually about. Gus is going to try to get to "the preserve," a place where mutant kids like him can live in peace. But why don't you include that in the actual issue? The pacing of this just way too slow.

The other major problem I have with this series is nothing against the book itself, but rather just an indication that Jeff Lemire is not someone who produces comics I'd be that interested in. In the text piece he says "My books tend to focus on small-town life, and small-town folks." Now, while that isn't necessarily a deal breaker for me, it does make me less interested. Lemire's portayal of Gus really hammers this home. He talks like a "hick" and was apparently raised by his god fearing father to be a boring god fearing mutant kid. That is like the thing I least want to read about.

So yeah, ultimately Lemire doesn't seem to be a creator I'm that interested in. And at least I found out by spending a dollar, instead of $20.

However, one neat thing is that if you go to Lemire's blog he gives details on how you can get a free sketch from him! Just send him a copy of the issue, plus shipping costs, and he'll send you the comic back signed, and he'll include an original sketch. Nice!

After the end of the comic there's a preview of the Fables novel. Fables is a series that I don't find to ever be super amazing (maybe one volume somewhere along the line, I remember liking some of the older stuff more than the last few I've read), but is at least generally enjoyable. I'd say this preview is pretty much the same. It doesn't blow me away, but if I saw a copy in the library I'd probably pick it up and read it.

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