Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pull List 01/27/10

Okay, so I've decided to change my weekly 'reviews' of New Comics to 'reviews' of books on my weekly Pull List. This one's a little late 'cause I'm still working on a schedule that will allow me to put new books, older books in my collection and favorite covers on here in a regular basis.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #619: The Gauntlet continues as Mysterio makes his plans a little more known. He is using certain mob bosses to take control of them all. I'm still trying to get a fix on where he's going with this as well as what seems different about him.
But this issue had really good pacing on it, recovering from last month's issue, and things really seem to be coming together.
Aunt May is still under the influence of Mister Negative and it's really odd seeing her be so mean all the time. I'm wondering if this is something that will eventually wear off or if Negative has to stop it or what.
Something else in this issue is the reminder of how much Spidey actually pays attention to things when he fights. The cover plays off this with all the dead bodies and the blood on Spidey's hands. He thinks he kills a man with a single punch and it really tears him up inside. He begins to question himself and his ability to control his power. It's always interesting to see this happen to him because it's so easy to forget that the has to knowingly restrain himself when he fights normals people.

FANTASTIC FOUR #575: You know...sometimes I get an issue of my favorite books that I have to read twice at least just to figure out what the hell's going on. This issue of FF takes it one step further: I read it twice and I still don't get it.
Mole Man's people find a city abandoned by the High Evolutionary because the power i it was de-evolving his people...
But it evolves the Mole Man's people (I think) making them smarter but they still have stupid kids so they decide to stop having kids and the Mole Man just wants his people back and...
Well, the whole thing ends with the Thing saving some kids and getting monkey like features and this city rising to the surface and...
I don't know..I'm not sure what the deal is with this story and I'm just glad it's over and we can move forward. Maybe in the future things will make sense.
Oh, and we found out where Reed buried the body of the future Galactus...which is odd because it's always been said Galactus doesn't have a real body.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #22: This Realm of Kings thing is pretty pointless. I'm just glad it isn't a crossover that requires me to read more than what I like. Both this series and NOVA are following their own plot lines that involve the recently created Fault. This time we learn the fate of Moondragon and her rather nasty baby. A creature from the Fault that eats life. Something else mentioned here is the reality on the other side of the Fault is one where 'life won' and beat death. It's interesting and I'm curious to see where it ends.
It's also good to know that certain characters aren't as dead as we all thought including Adam Warlock/Magus.
A future issue will feature the return of Thanos. I'm thinking that he might be the key to ending this whole thing. If the Fault is a doorway to a place where death doesn't exist, I can see where Thanos would come back to either destroy this place to reintroduce death to is.
Either way, It will be fun to have the Mad Titan back.

JACK OF FABLES #42: I was not to keen on the idea of Jack losing this series to his son, Jack Frost, but recent issues have helped me change my mind. Young Jack Frost wants to be a hero, something his father put in his head during the Great Fables Crossover. So Jack puts himself out there as a hero for hired of sorts and generally ends up in trouble because he has little understanding of the workings of the real world...which world that happens to be.
One thing he DOES have going for him, though, is his problem solving skills. He is a smart kid. really there isn't much anyone can say about this issue, it's a fun one and you see a little more of Young Jack's evolution into the man he will become but there really isn't' much here to point out and being specifically great.
My worry is with Young Jack running the book people will lose interest. Jack Horner had a charm: He was an asshole that you liked being around. Jack Frost is nice and has some of Horner's charm but I don't think he has enough to carry a book like this for very long.

The last 2 books for this week can be covered together: NEW AVENGERS #61 and THOR #606. Avengers leads into SIEGE which is weird considering the first issue of Siege is already out. We're covering ground we've already seen except somehow Bucky and Captain America are back together and looking for Cap's stuff.
Spider-Man and Spider Woman have a nice exchange where Spidey's marriage that never happened was mentioned, another great nod to Brand New Day, apparently with Spider-Woman being off world when she was replaced with a Skrull he memories of Parker's marriage to MJ wasn't fixed like everyone else's, it's very interesting.
Over in THOR we have the finale of the Asgardians fight with Doom. It's almost pointless and this point because we already know the Asgardians are going home because, well, Siege #1 is already out. What was interesting though is Balder. He started off as a rather lame duck king but this issue shows how much he's been able to fill the shows left empty when Thor was banished. Even that is touched on. Balder knows Thor is a good man but the law is the law and Balder is King and cannot make exceptions even for his brother, Thor.
Loki and Doom were working together the whole time but Loki forgets that no one works with Doom without paying a price.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Review: Joker/Mask (2000)

In the first half of 2000, DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics got together to answer the question that was plaguing the minds of comics fans everywhere: What would happen if the Joker got his hands on The Mask?

The answer came in the form of a monthly 4-part series called JOKER/MASK.

The story starts with the Joker and Harley Quinn breaking into a museum with destruction in mind. Seems the Joker thinks masks of sad clown faces are an insult and he seeks to blow them up. Oh, and those school kids in the museum? Well, what better way to ingrain the value of art in their minds than with shrapnel?
So, during the heist a few things go wrong: Harley took the detonators out of the bombs because it made the clown faces look tacky, and his henchman sets off the alarm when he takes a certain Mask out of its case. When the police arrive, the Joker is sad to learn he doesn't even rate a SWAT Team anymore.

The henchman puts the Mask on first and the Joker learns of it's abilities and after tricking the dude to get the Mask off he puts it on and the fun begins.

Naturally the first thing the New Joker does is quickly and nastily dispatch the Dark Knight who of course shows up. With Batman out of the way, Joker begins his Joke Reign over Gotham City which leads all the way to the highest rated television show on earth: Access Joker. Yeah, only with the Joker can this happen.

The drama in this series (?) is between Joker and Harley who misses her 'puddin' and wants him back. Joker sees more for his future through TV and dumps Harley in favor of hot Jokettes, and trying to force his humor on the whole city and world.

The story is great, as you read it you can actually 'hear' the Joker mannerisms made popular in the Batman: The Animated Series program and even with the green jack you can still see Joker in there.
Which brings me to the art. It's very kinetic and full of energy. Joker looks great even with the Mask on and the Batman is imposing as he should be. Everything about this was fun. It's been years since I've read it, about 10 to be exact, I haven't read it since I bought it in early 2000, but it still read very easily and deserves to be spotlighted here and other places!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

NEW COMICS 1/20/10

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #618: The Gauntlet continues with the story I've been waiting for since it was announced: Mysterio Returns. I have to say though, I would have probably liked it more if it had been spread out over 2 issues instead of feeling like it was rushed and crammed into 1 issue.
The story centers around mob leaders who were killed off by someone or something only to return later because it was all a ruse set up by Mysterio. His reveal was a little lackluster and didn't seemed involved at all.
Another thread here is the return of the recently married Aunt May. She walks in on her boss at a local shelter, who, for some reason is also a criminal mastermind called Mr. Negative who touches her and makes her...negative? She verbally attacks Peter basically calling him a freeloader and asks why he isn't doing anything with his life. It all seemed a little disconnected.
HOWEVER...The art...very nice! Seemed very old school which I'm very into right now. Back in the day when comics looked like comics. I also very much enjoyed the cover and though this issue felt like a rushed filler issue, it doesn't take away from the over all impact of this Gauntlet story. Still looking forward to seeing this one to it's bitter end!

DEADPOOL: MERC WITH A MOUTH #7: 'Are you there Deadpool? It's me, Deadpool' begins as Deadpool attempts to take Headpool back to the Zombiverse. So, the first thing he does is jump head on into the Nexus of Realities in the Man-Thing's swamp. He ends up in a reality where Deadpool is an Agent of SHIELD. Very strange...but the big draw for this issue was the introduction of Lady Deadpool. It was an interesting scene to see Deadpool actually think Lady Deadpool was hot. But probably the best moment was when they kiss and Headpool asks how Deadpool feels about self incest! So, overall, Deadpool meets 3 different versions of himself including Kid Deadpool, and old west version who seemingly ends up being the opposite of Headpool. This series is finally coming into it's own and it's nice to have some fun Deadpool adventures without having to deal with all the drama currently running in the Marvel Universe. Though it was difficult looking at Rob Liefeld art still makes my eyes hurt overall it was a great issue with more than a few really good laughs.
Something that I really enjoy about this series is the way they set up the recap page at the beginning. Deadpool and Headpool do the recap and every issue is funny as hell!

FABLES #92: On the road to FABLES #100! This issue we look away from the dangers the Fables face in the Mundy World and peek in on the Homelands and what King Flycatcher (the former Frog Prince) is doing with the kingdom he created after the war. The goblins who stayed are seemingly adjusting to being a part of the Fables world even to the point that they participate in a baseball tourny. This issue centers on the winners of the tourny: the goblins. Well, one specifically. While heading home from the after game celebrations a drunk goblin takes the wrong path back to the goblin city and in a spot of drunken confusion eats a Fable squirrel and passes out. The next morning he gets arrested because it's not legal for a goblin to kill a Fable or vice-versa.
In another thread, there seems to be some feeling forming between Flycatcher and Red Riding Hood. They kiss and Flycatcher turns back into a frog! From what I gather it was because he still feels like he's married and the guilt of kissing Riding Hood turned him back. But he's able to force the change back to a human and it seems like all is good.
This is another fine issue of this long running, award winning series that has been my top book for many years now. And the next issue ties with the longest running book I've ever had. Ghost Rider ran through #93 then was killed off.

NOVA #33: Another Realm of Kings issue...this story is so lackluster it isn't funny. that's why I'm ignoring it as much as I can and why I'm happy Nova doesn't seem to have much to do with it. Nova is busy dealing with Darkhawk's temper and the 'return' of his lost love, Namorita who died in the Stamford Incident which began the Civil War and a Reed Richards and Black Bolt who were all pulled from different points in the timeline. They are all pulled together to fight the Sphinx by...The Sphinx? It's usually confusing when time travellers are involved but basically The Sphinx is at the end of his life and realized all the time travel he did gave him some kind of temporal cancer. He figures the best way to prevent this from happening is to convince a past self to not do the things he did. But...past Sphinx doesn't agree and tries to kill current Sphinx so current Sphinx pulls the heroes who defeated him in the past to defeat his past self in order to prevent his future from being his present. This is why time travel is annoying sometimes, lol. But this is a sound issue and the art is fun and very energetic. This is probably one of the best newer books I'm getting right now and can't believe that we are actually within 2 years of NOVA #50!

that's it for this week. My current Comics total is now at: 5,040

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Favorite Covers #3

Once upon a time there was a great little anthology series called NIGHTMARES & FAIRYTALES. It featured the life of a doll called Annabelle who recounted the lives and sad endings of her owners over the years.
This little black and white series featured some great art and the stories were second to none. It's very difficult to do a black and white comics these days but this one lasted for a number of years before finally folding.
It's still one of my favorite books and the covers were all fantastic!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Comics: 01/13/10

Another small week for me. This one was a VERY small week.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #617: Continuing The Gauntlet storyline this issue focuses on the Rhino. Only not the Rhino we all know from years gone by, no, THAT Rhino decided he was tired of the criminal life and during the Civil War he turned himself in, registered and even had SHIELD remove the Rhino 'skin' from his body. He's a new man. Even got married and has a job.
No, this focuses on the NEW Rhino. What I really like is this reveal is just the the one that was done for the new Vulture. We don't know who he is or was outside the fact he subjected himself to an experiment and has skin or armor that looks like Rhino and he seems to want to kill the original in order to ascend.
Meanwhile...Peter wakes up with a shotgun pointed at him and later gets offered a full time job. You really have to love the life of Peter Parker!

Overall, this Gauntlet story is very interesting. New takes on classic villains is something we've needed for this series as much as we needed Brand New Day. New up is Mysterio and I cannot wait!

So, beyond the single comic, I also picked up a few trades:
ALL HAIL MEGATRON, Vol. 4: ends the title story as well as my run with this series. After this the ongoing starts and the art is horrible to look at. I haven't read this one yet but might do something here for it when I finish.
WALKING DEAD, Vol. 11: FEAR THE HUNTERS: I haven't read this either but it's Walking Dead so it'll rock.

Total: 5,036

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Comics 1/09/10

This is a little late because A) I was in Florida for a few days and missed new comic book day and 2) when I came home I was able to get my comics yesterday but was very sick and unable to read and review them.
I'm a little better now so we'll see how well this first official post of 2010 goes:

CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE #3 of 6: Cindy and Aladdin continue their quest to find the mystery magical object while trying to hate each other...the first they are getting better at and the second they fail miserably. This series is a great idea and features one of my favorite members of the FABLES cast. Allowing Cindy to be showcased like this enables readers to fully enjoy her talents.
The flip side is her shoe store. I'm not exactly what's going on with this sub-plot but it's hardly worth mentioning right now though I'm beginning to really wonder about it.

DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #897: Guest starring the Ghost Riders. Now, I HATE what Marvel has done with Ghost Rider. There are two of them, they are angels or something and it's all very annoying. However, this isn't a Ghost Rider's a DEADPOOL book which means we get Ghost Rider gay jokes! 3 issues into this series and I'm actually really enjoying the 'team-up' premise of the book especially when Deadpool says things like "So what do you say, boys...? TEAM-UP...?" They go on a demon fighting spree in an old freaktown John Blaze used to stay in when he was younger. Lobster Boy has been possessed and the Riders must try to free him. Deadpool, however, has been hired by the Bearded Lady and a midget to kill Lobster Boy because he's an ass. See why this book rocks?

SIEGE #1 of 4: How can a book meet expectations AND fall short of them at the same time? Well, when you have the first issue of an event that's being touted as "7 Years In The Making" and features nearly every villain and who knows how many heroes assaulting Asgard, home of Thor AND it delivers some great moments in the first issue that I won't give away...well, it delivers!
When you are paying $3.99 for the issue and it gets a high glossy cover but the actual story is only just over HALF of the issue and the other half is a preview for another event you don't care about and 'transcripts' of a meeting from characters in the very story you just read (then add to that the misprinting of the same dialogue on 2 pages thus leaving out 'important' dialogue) it's a MISS.

This bring my comic book total to 5035

Friday, January 01, 2010

January 1, 2010!

It's official. I'm now in my 20th year of collecting comic books. I enter the new year with just over 5,030 comics in my collection and it all started with Ghost Rider, Vol. 2, No. 1 from 1990.
I used to go into my local comic book shop (LCS) to pick up horror movie magazines I used to collect, Fangoria and GoreZone among others, and one day I decided to take a look at these comics they carried. As I looked at the offerings one caught my eye.

The LCS was Nostalgia, Ink which is now in it's 25th year of operation in downtown Jackson, MI (I have a link to the Facebook page in my list of links) and the comic book was Ghost Rider.
It's amazing, in those days I had NO idea about shipping dates and that certain books come out on certain weeks (at least, that's how it USED to be done) and I certainly had no idea about the difference between DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Then there was the whole 'event' comics. Wow, so much I didn't know at the time.

But that was 2 decades ago and I've learned a LOT in that time but I honestly don't think I know enough. Over the next year I'm going to be sharing some of the things I've learned about comics as well as sharing some of the good, bad and ugly comics in my collection. Trust me when I tell you: I started collecting comics in the 1990's...I have a LOT that I question myself on these days.
News, opinion and reviews are going to be done here as often as I can so check back often, better still, subscribe to my little blog here AND I welcome any and all suggestions, criticisms and feedback of any kind here.