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Offline Sam Wilson

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sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 12/6/06.
« on: December 07, 2006, 01:40:36 pm »
Kdawg59’s Reviews

The Incredible Hulk #101 (allegiance 2 of 4)
Marvel Comics
Written by: Greg Pak
Illustrated by: Carlo Pagulayan with Gary (welcome back) Frank

Planet Hulk continues...

Bruce Banner, deciding that he would do some good to make amends for all of the destruction that he has caused throughout the years accepted a S.H.I.E.L.D mission to destroy a satellite gone off the ranch. Upon completion of this mission, some of the more arrogant "Heroes" in the Marvel universe decided that the Hulk's threat was too great no matter the incarnation, and decided to exile him to a distant planet in which he could be alone and do no one harm. Let's call them the illuminati... I call them a bunch of arrogant biatches. 

Turns out the Hulk rocket went off course and into a worm hole. It landed him in a real bad place. Wounded and disoriented, the Hulk was sold into slavery and made to compete as a gladiator in the arena. Meeting a few new battle weary gladiator friends on the way, the Hulk sets out to free the planet from the evil emperor and his infectious little race of "Spikes"...

I came in late to Planet Hulk and there is a lot going on. Greg Pak has been knocking us all dead with his Planet Hulk story and indeed giving us a brief respite each month from the looming turmoil currently running rampant in the Marvel U, known as civil war.

We have been given a pissed of Hulk, beating the snot out of bad guys, with no remorse as we have no emotional connection to much of anything on planet Hulk.

This issue finds Hulk and his allies split up with pans to meat in the middle after the Hulk can hopefully rally an allegiance with the elders. Luckily for Hulk, they have a rocket that could be his ticket back to Earth.

Things don't go completely as planned however, as they have to test the Hulk as they don't believe he is their salvation, but this test is fever dream to see if he really is the chosen one. This dream is of his friends, who have betrayed him, the illuminati...

Hulk looses his cool for obvious reason and once again foreshadows the impending World War Hulk on the horizon...

Hulk again sets out and of all things may find the help he needs to defeat the emperor in the midst of a most unlikely source... the spikes.

Needless to say and Hulk sized-ass whuppin' ala mamma WKTF is comin' soon...

Hulk is a great book and definitely worthy of y'all checking it out. With Hulk being this pissed, I can only hope that he'll pound Tony Stark and Reed Richards into a couple of stains of the pavement when he gets back to earth...


Spider-Man Reign (1 of 4)
Marvel Comics
Written and illustrated by: Kaare Andrews


I picked this book up and confess... I was clueless as to the premise behind this book. I had no idea that it was set in the future. I had no idea that Peter Parker was now older than fire. I had no idea just what the hell it was going to be all about. I read 10 pages and I was about to ask myself... why am I reviewing this again?

It wasn't until the 11th page that I figured of what this story was... and what it reminded me of both in art and story. Page 11 and the 5th panel is where we are introduced to a newscaster that goes by the name of Miller Janson.

MILLER JANSON..... errrrrrrrt.... hold on, hit the brakes, thumb backward and forward....

Frank Miller... Klaus Janson... Peter Parker - gray haired and retired... widescreen storytelling with simplified lines and inks???

This is uncanny in its resemblance to another futuristic glimpse into a certain Dark Knights mythos...

I am so torn whether or not to like this.... I spent the majority of the issue in awe that we were being given the Arachknight Returns, that I barely was able to remember the story and the set up of issue one...

I'm not sure and I'm really interested in what my cohorts or any of you the faithful marvel zombies have to say about this one.

It may have just been because I didn't know what it was all about, but I am making this my pick of the week for sheer shock and disbelief alone...

Sam Wilson’s Reviews

Fantastic week this week with Batman Confidential, Manhunter (LOVE that Art Adams cover) and Ultimate Vision all making a strong showing. I should also mention, after more than a 10 year wait the little known, much loved Peter David/George Perez Marvel/Epic limited series from 1993 Sachs and Violens finally makes its debut in tpb courtesy of DC comics. Word DC, word. My pick of the week this week is Incredible Hulk (go get ‘em jade jaws) and that being said, on to the reviews…

Batman Confidential #1
DC Comics
Written by: Andy Diggle
Drawn by: Whilce Portacio

Other than hardcore Batman fans, does anyone really care about a new Batman series? Given the creative team of “Batman Confidential” I would say I definitely care. Andy Diggle has slowly been building his reputation as the new “it” writer from the UK, with “Silent Dragon” from Wildstorm, “Swamp Thing” and “Adam Strange” for DC, and “Lady Constantine” and my personal favorite unsung comic of all time, “The Losers” from DC/Vertigo Andy has slowly been building his reputation as a rock solid writer with exciting dialogue and a Redbull fuelled, Steve McQueen in “Bullitt” take on the genre. Whilce Portacio is of course an old reliable, cutting his teeth in the early ‘90’s on “Uncanny X-men” and “Punisher”, and later on his own creator owned Wildstorm series “Wetworks”. Family issues have kept him out of the limelight for awhile, but now he is back and tackling the Dark Knight for the first time, and I have to say, looking good so far…

Our story opens like so many Batman stories before it: Batman takes out a thug after chasing him across a couple of rooftops, but this time is different, this thugs is suddenly vaporized by a laser beam. To add to the strangeness Bats believes the laser was ment for him and not the thug. Fast forward to a business meeting where Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne are trying to outbid each other for a defense contract. This is the first meeting between the two of them, and Bruce impresses Lex with his business acumen. As they exit Bruce leaps into action and saves Luthor from a runaway dump-truck, which appears to have been flung by a Waynetech military robot, gone rogue. Hmmm…

As far as Bat-tales goes this one is pretty standard, yes this is an “early” tale with some background on Bruce and Lex, but it’s nothing special. Portacio’s art is tight, Andy Diggle paces the story very well, typical as it is it’s still pretty cool. I doubt any Bat-fans would find anything disappointing about “Batman Confidential”, I’ll be staying with this book for the near future at least.

Manhunter #26
DC Comics
Written by: Marc Adreyko
Drawn by: Javier Pina and Robin Riggs
Smoking hot cover by: Arthur Adams (word)

Throughout the DCU’s history several people have taken up the guise of the Manhunter, but I’ll spare you guys from the history lesson and jump straight into the life of the current Manhunter Kate Spencer. Kate was a Los Angeles ADA who was sick of criminals getting off to soft so she stole some super villain stuff from evidence control and became a Manhunter, dealing out justice as she saw fit. Eventually she left the DA’s office and got a job with the DEO (Department of Extranormal Operations) working with her old college buddy Chase Lawler and the mysterious Mr. Bones. This current Manhunter series was almost cancelled, and it has been many months since we last saw Kate and crew (she just recently popped up as Kate Spence in issue #100 of “Birds of Prey”). Presently Kate works with Bones as a lawyer representing Superhuman criminals, why? To get on the inside of course, but issue #24 gets real interesting when the superhuman criminal she is asked to represent is Wonder Woman (who got in a little trouble for snapping Max Lord’s neck, you know that thing that led to the whole “Infinite Crisis” debacle, check out last year in the DCU if you need clarification).

Issue #26 is pretty straightforward, Wonder Woman wants Kate to be her lawyer because the feds are going to prosecute her for the Murder of Max Lord (event though the world court exonerated her). As payment, Kate asks Wonder Woman to train her. Can you say, WORD? Meanwhile, an old nemesis kidnaps Chase Lawler’s sister, the some strangeness is happening in Tibet? Either way, Manhunter #26 kicks a$#, Wonder Woman is going to be around for while and Kate Spencer seems like she’s going to become a permanent fixture to the DC Universe (at least for the time being). As I said before, word.

Newuniversal #1
Marvel Comics
Written by: Warren Ellis
Drawn by: Salvador Larroca

In 1986 during Marvel’s 25th anniversary then EIC Jim Shooter gave us the “New Universe” line of comics. Set in a reality that had nothing to do with the regular Marvel U the “New Universe” was to feature stories that had little to do with aliens, gods and super-science and more “regular” types of things, stories closer to home with more believable super powers and super heroes. The series was also set to operate in “real time”, one year of comic time equaled one year of real time. Seven initial titles launched the line (“DP7”, “Mark Hazard: Mercy”, “Star Brand” among them) and by 1989 the line was dead. No one seemed to care and the New Universe faded away, until now…

Warren Ellis’s Newuniversal opens up in an Earth very much like our own, but history is different. Paul McCartney was shot instead of John Lenonn, Chica has an active space program and the lives of five people are about to get very interesting. Detective John Tensen of the NYPD is shot and 98% brain dead but wakes up to kill a nurse with a Kavorkian complex, Kenneth Connell and Madeline Felix are on the hunt for early civilization in Europe, Izanmi Randall struggles with her identity and Maddie and Ken from Oklahoma fall asleep in a stupor with only one of them waking up, and the other burnt to nothing more than a skeleton. Other than having weird things happen to them, these folks have one more thing in common, a strange star symbol found in various places, and so begins our story…

Newuniversal is off to a calm start so far, no fast, sci-heavy dialogue which would by typical Ellis, Larroca’s style has even been muted down a tad. I have to say I’m intruged thus far, and liked this book enough to continue on to issue two (of course that could just be the Ellis fanboy in me). Either way, this book is worth checking out.

Offline Sam Wilson

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 12/6/06.
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2006, 01:41:07 pm »
wktf's Reviews
There sure are a lot of high profile comics that came out this week. “Planet Hulk” is rocking forward, Kaare Andrews who so brilliantly drew the covers for the Bruce Jones/JR JR Incredible Hulk issues is the sole creator on the new Spider-Man: Reign Marvel Knights mini-series, and Batman Confidential premiers this month as well. Marvel’s even released their Holiday Special this week and the surprisingly enjoyable Beyond mini-series wraps up. And, while I’ve bought all these higher profile titles, I’m not reviewing any of them in favor of these three books which, I’m happy to say, are pretty damn good in their own right.

Detective Comics #826
DC Comics
Written by: Paul Dini
Drawn by: Don Kramer

Holy $&!@. What a story. This yuletide tale, aptly named “Slayride,” gives new irony to the expression “any port in a storm.” Robin’s helplessly trapped in the situation of his life or, more aptly, he’s really watching the path to his own death, at the hands of The Joker. Did I say “helplessly?” As he keeps telling himself, even when it seems hopeless, “Always another way out. Always.” Alright, here’s the deal. This story starts with Robin chasing down a car full of arms dealers only to find himself trapped between two warring factions trying to control the same territory. As he desperately tries to maneuver himself out of danger he dives into the car of a good Samaritan offering to help put some distance between himself and the gunmen. Only, to Tim Drake’s surprise, his benefactor is The Joker who quickly gases Tim and takes him on…well, check out the title.

This story is all Robin and The Joker. There are flashbacks to Tim, D_ick, and Bruce’s time during the post-Infinite Crisis “52” period. But, make no mistake, Tim is on his own and he’s in serious trouble. And The Joker. Damn. We all know what he’s about. Sociopathic, psychopathic, homicidal madman. There’s nothing he does that really should be surprising. So just imagine being stunned at The Joker’s action and Dini and Kramer’s portrayal of him. At first we see him almost coming across as a benign clown, despite the maniacal smile, dilated pupils and murderous actions, bantering good naturedly with Tim. But Kramer turns the corner on this loony tune with one single panel that reminded me of Bolland’s Joker in “The Killing Joke” and one of two most terrifying villains in all of comics (the second being the Red Skull) is in full view. How Tim gets out of this is what this story’s all about, and how he’s able to keep his cool, verbally parries with The Joker under the circumstances, and the calculating desperation with which he fights his way back is a testament to his heroism and leadership.

Dini and Kramer are quickly becoming one of my new favorite creative teams. These guys just plain deliver the goods. Dini has absolutely proven himself to be THE Batman writer not just in any medium but, maybe, in every medium. His and Bruce Timm’s animated series is some of the best Batman anywhere. And in the pages of this comic he gives us great stories and characterization along the lines we expect in the comics, NOT a redux of his cartoon. Yes, this book is my pick of the week.

Doctor Strange: The Oath #3 of 5
Marvel Comics
Written by: Brian K. Vaughan
Drawn by: Marcos Martin

Wong’s dying from a malignant brain tumor and Dr. Strange, having traveled to another dimension to retrieve a potion to cure his servant and friend, was nearly fatally shot by a thief known as Brigand. Brigand’s pistol used to belong to Hitler and the bad mojo in that gun was not enough for Strange to combat and Brigand made off with the elixir which, it turns out, also happens to be the universal cure for cancer. Unconscious and bleeding out, Strange was delivered to the Night Nurse, the mysterious and alluring caregiver to New York’s superhero crowd. With the aid of Strange, himself, in his ectoplasmic form, Night Nurse is able to revive him and together the three venture forth to retrieve Wong’s cure.

This issue finds the good Doctor and his two friends face to face with Brigand, who’s got Night Nurse by the neck and a gun to her head, as well as his employer, a gent named Nicodemus West. Back in Strange’s past, when he was a great surgeon who lost the motor skills in his hands due to a car accident, it was Nicodemus West who operated on him and restored him as best he could. Since then, he’s gone on to head a pharmaceutical firm and even dabble in black magic. He also reports to a group of mystical Overlords who claim to want mankind to earn their salvation and not have it handed to them as they feel Strange would do if he reacquires this elixir.

Is there any doubt to anyone who’s read any of his stuff that Brian K. Vaughan is a great comic book writer? While this may not be his finest work, Vaughan gives us a modern, engaging and even exciting tale about a character many have labeled as a dull supporting character. Strange is a witty intellect, sure, but he’s also a fiercely loyal man of action. And he’s a superhero. How will the Hippocratic Oath he swore as a physician guide his hand should he get a hold of this serum? First he has to get it and forces certainly are stacked against him. One of the best parts of this series is the respect and relationship that seems to be developing between Dr. Strange and the Night Nurse. Their Sherlock Holmes and Watson banter is endearing and, I think, they’d make an interesting pair. Him, his head in mystical, surreal affairs. Her, firmly grounded in the New York street life. I’m curious what Vaughan’s going to do with them but I like where he seems to be heading. Martin’s pencils seem to fit the story well and even are bit reminiscent of Steve Ditko. I don’t much like some of the liberties he’s taking with Strange’s garb, such as putting him in slacks and loafers and having his vestments mostly cover up his orange and black spotted gloves. I much prefer Doc’s classic look. Regardless, I’m enjoying the hell out of this mini series, I can’t wait to see how it ends, and I have high hopes for an ongoing Brian K. Vaughan Dr. Strange title after this series concludes.

Stan Lee Meets The Silver Surfer #1
Marvel Comics
Written by: Stan Lee, Paul Jenkins, Jacob Chabot
Drawn by: Mike Wieringo, Mark Buckingham, Jacob Chabot, John Busema

Has everyone else been having as much fun with these books, these commemorations of 65 years of Stan Lee at Marvel, as I have? Thus far, The Man has had virtual personal encounters with Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, the ever lovin’ blue eyed Thing and, last week, the nefarious Dr. Doom. But, in finishing this series with The Silver Surfer, has Stan saved the best for last? He’s certainly made no secret of his love for the character even though, ironically, the Surfer was a surprise to Stan when he first saw Jack Kirby’s drawings for the classic FF #48. True enough, Kirby dreamed up the Surfer on his own, figuring someone as all-powerful as Galactus would need a servant of some kind. In 1990’s Marvel Masterworks #14, the first Surfer Masterworks, Lee writes when intoning about his various creations, “An yet, if push comes to shove and I really have to name the one that turns me on the most…well, I think you’ve guessed it by now. It just hast to be that high-flyin’, parable-spoutin’, cosmic-powered, shiny-domed spanner of the starry spaceways – arguably the most unique and certainly the most soliloquizing super hero of them all – the Silver Surfer!”

And he certainly is spouting soliloquies in this title. So much so that he’s driving Galactus crazy. So crazy that Big G kidnaps Stan, the first to write about him, to talk some sense into his introspective philosophizing herald. Suddenly, whammo, Stan’s standing behind the Surfer on his board as he’s whizzing through the cosmos. And, man, can Mike Wieringo draw some awesome cosmos and a pretty awesome Surfer, as well! I have to admit, while even the overly verbose Stan is out-verbosed by the waxing Surfer, and when Galactus asked Stan, “Now do you see how unbearable he is?” I actually started laughing out loud (and I was in a diner while I was reading this).

The next story is a touching one by the reunited Spectacular Spider-Man creative team of Paul Jenkins and Mark Buckingham. These guys have worked some serious magic before and, I must say, this tale’s delightful as we get a glimpse of Jenkins’ childhood in 1971, when he looks like he’s about 6 years old, getting a visit from Stan as he’s struggling to create his own comic book superhero. Like Roy Thomas’ WWII tribute in a prior issue, and unlike Bendis’ self-congratulatory Impossible Man tribute to Stan, this story takes on a fairy tale like quality to it that imbues Stan, who’s coaching the little Jenkins boy along, with the fatherly spirit many of us who read his stuff in the 1960s and 70s felt. I can almost forgive how this story finishes out just from Jenkins’ giving us a peak into his childhood inspiration to create comics. And Buckingham’s framing each page with the heroes featured in this mini series gives the story a bit of a magical feel.

The next segment, as in all the installments in this series, is a two page goof, with Marvel’s villains plotting to kill Stan for not inviting them to his party. Finally, we have a Stan-chosen reprinting of Silver Surfer #14, “The Surfer and the Spider!” where the last hero in this series meets and battles the first hero in the series, The Amazing Spider-Man!

I read last week in Comic Shop News that Marvel is packaging the five Stan Lee Meets stories, plus the accompanying heaping of classic Stan Lee tales, into a hardcover collection. Along with the 800+ page Frank Miller Daredevil Omnibus this will be on my February 2007 pull list for sure.

Offline Sam Wilson

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 12/6/06.
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2006, 01:41:36 pm »
Trade Reviews!
We were thinking about making December’s trade theme about books that focused on one hero per week. So, for this week, here are some of our favorite trades with some our favorite creative teams about one of our, and most peoples’, very favorite heroes from any comics company: The Batman!

Kdawg59’s Review

Batman Year Two: Fear the Reaper
DC Comics
Written by: Mike W. Barr
Illustrated by: Alan Davis, Todd McFarlane

This week you might notice a theme to our trade reviews.... Favorite Batman creative teams... these two cats are amongst mine and second to none.

This book and story gets no love... IMO Alan Davis and Mike W. Barr get no love for their time spent spinning tales of the Dark Knight, when it is also my opinion that their take on him is classic both visually and stylistically...

The conclusions I have come to on this theory are a couple of things that even I, failing to see fault in this tale will admit to. The fact that this story has a title of "year two" set it up to unfortunate comparisons with the mind blowing epic that is Batman: Year One...

The fact is that you can't compare these two stories, and Year Two isn't even meant to be the sequel.

The next unfortunate thing with this story is the fact that after the first issue of the arc David had to leave the project and the fluid (albeit at the time unrefined compared to nowadays) and slick pencils gave way to another brand of art altogether in Todd McFarlane. Only to have Davis to return the sequel of year 2: "Full Circle"...

These are the only things that I can see are the reasons why this story doesn't get as much love as it should...

I wish that weren't the case as this is one of my all time favorite Batman stories and artistic renditions of the Bat.

There are many important elements that take place in this tpb and it definitely has its worth in the storied Batman mythos.

Batman is more settled into his role as Gotham's defender, but there are many obstacles on along the way.

A tenuous relationship with James Gordon, A vigilante with methods that end in murder, the man that killed his parents, a opportunity for love that ultimately is tainted by the shadow of the reaper.

In the last portion of this trade and my favorite, there are more obstacles waiting...

A impetuous new partner in D*ck Grayson, a second incarnation of the Reaper with an axe to grind that ties nicely back to the driving factor that made Bruce Batman...

This is one of the most worthy tales in Batman's history to me and for the price you can pick it up, your Batman library will thank you.

Is this the best Batman story you will ever read? I wouldn't say that.... but classic, important, moving, and well told? Without a doubt gang...

Wktf’s Review

Batman: The Long Halloween
DC Comics
Written by: Jeph Loeb
Drawn by: Tim Sale

So the story goes, the late great Archie Goodwin corralled the creative team of Loeb and Sale, just after their having completing Wolverine/Gambit for Marvel, with two thoughts integrated into one. One-up yourselves on the great series of Batman Halloween themed one-shot stories printed in Legends of the Dark Knight, and since collected in the Haunted Knight trade, and revisit the gangster strewn world of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One with a follow up story involving Carmine “The Roman” Falcone and his Gotham City crime family. With Frank Miller’s blessing in-hand to revisit the world he’d created, what resulted from that meeting was a surge of creative genius that resulted in a 13 issue series that solidified the team of Loeb/Sale as one of the greatest creative teams in modern comics and produced one of the single most powerful Batman stories in the history of the character. And obviously that’s saying a lot, given this character’s rich history.

Why thirteen issues? This tale follows the calendar and, more specifically, the various holidays in each month of the calendar, from October to October, from Halloween to Halloween (making it “The Long Halloween”), and tracks the murders of the Falcone family and crime syndicate on each one of those holidays. What this also means is that this trade volume is 370 pages of story, a real commitment for the reader, but Loeb and Sale weave a tense, intricate and action packed tale worthy of the greatest crime novels and movies. This book is so totally worth the ride, and the best part of it is that, even when the story ends, it’s clear the whole thing’s not over. I’ll explain that in a moment and try not to give too much away.

Bruce Wayne has faith in Gotham City, and he’s made an oath to his parents to rid his city of the evil that took their lives. While this is a well known part of The Batman lore, it’s a central theme in The Long Halloween. And “The Roman,” with Catwoman’s claw marks on his face from Batman: Year One, and his crime family both are core to the opportunity Batman sees to actually fulfill his oath. Forming a pact with Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, these three men, unified in their vision to bring justice to Gotham, agree to an alliance against The Roman. However, a new killer named “Holiday” is targeting members of the Roman’s family each month, starting on Halloween and beginning with Alberto Falcone, The Roman’s own son. Chaos erupts in Gotham as The Roman’s empire starts crumbling, rival gang boss Vincent Marconi exerts his influence, Gordon and Dent, both of whom are also struggling to keep their families together, and Batman scramble desperately to bring their city under control. Plus, all this activity brings Gotham’s “freaks” to the fore, and Batman must face off against the likes of Solomon Grundy, The Riddler, The Calendar Man, and The Mad Hatter. The Joker, enraged that Holiday has stolen his thunder as the most notorious killer in Gotham, vows to murder everyone in the city. Perhaps Batman’s most desperate battles are against Poison Ivy and The Scarecrow to whose poisons he succumbs, almost to the point of his undoing. Catwoman proves his greatest ally as well as a canny, incredibly sexy foe. And in this terrible tale we also witness the unraveling of Harvey Dent and the birth of Two-Face. Loeb and Sale twist and turn this plot to bring all of Batman’s rogue’s gallery, Falcone and the Holiday mystery together for a finale that still leaves nearly all the major players in the dark.

Who is Holiday? Batman suspects his unstable friend, Harvey, but also, possibly, Catwoman. Then, it could be The Roman’s sister whose family runs organized crime in Chicago and has their sights set on Gotham. Marconi, the number 2 crime boss in Gotham, also is an obvious suspect. But just as we discover what seems like the impossible answer to this question we discover this truth is incomplete. And even with that next possible revelation this story twists further away from Batman and Gordon to yield another horrible, hidden answer. Loeb has crafted a brilliantly dark story, and Sale has delivered the goods as he always does. Batman’s huge, muscular body, long ears and swirling cape, more like a shroud than a cape, give him an imposing and almost supernatural look. And in Sales’ hands, Batman’s freakish villains look truly monstrous, especially The Penguin, with his tiny pointed teeth, The Joker, with his huge piano key-like smile, and Ivy who looks positively, ironically, unearthly. (Tim Sale was cool enough to do a Batman and Joker head sketch in my son’s Long Halloween HC at last year’s Boston Con, along with a personalized note to him. He’s a great guy.) The HC version is long out of print but available on eBay or Amazon. The SC trade probably will be in print forever. No Batman fan should be without this book. It’s a long, complicated read but I promise it’ll suck you in and keep you there until you finish it. And then, as I have, you’ll eventually come back to it again and again.

Sam Wilson’s Review

Batman: Dark Victory
DC Comics
Written by: Jeph Loeb
Drawn by: Tim Sale

Hot on the heels of my hermano Joe’s “Long Halloween” review, I gotta say I have nothing but adulation and admiration for second Loeb/Sale year spanning epic “Dark Victory”. Like “Long Halloween”, “Dark Victory” is centered on Gotham City’s major crime families and a bunch of “capes”. Yes, this story also takes place in Batman’s past and many of the major players are back and dammit if Tim Sale doesn’t draw foxy, foxy chicas. Sequel or no, “Dark Victory” also proves itself every bit the guessing game “Long Halloween” did, and then some. The story starts out in the wake of “Long Halloween”, Carmine Falcone is dead and his daughter, Sofia Falcone Gigante is bound to a wheelchair. Alberto Falcone is in Arkham Asylum for the Holiday murders and his case is being reviewed by Janice Porter, a foxy, foxy DA who thinks Alberto’s case is tainted because of Batman’s involvement and ultimately has Alberto’s sentence commuted to Arkham Asylum and then house arrest. Batman and newly anointed Commissioner Gordon are both really over the transformation of their friend and colleague Harvey Dent into the psychopathic killer Two-Face, while at the same time Bruce Wayne is romancing Selenia Kyle, whom he knows is Catwoman but she doesn’t know he is Batman. All this and someone starts murdering police officers on holidays, leaving behind clues which connect the murders back to Harvey Dent.

“Dark Victory” is a tightly woven story with many subplots running through it, none of which are ever lost or ignored. DA Janice Porter is having a sultry affair with someone who is obviously a criminal, whose revelation definitely shocked the crap out of me, Gordon is having family problems (as usual) and Bruce Wayne is all twisted up about Selina Kyle. Loeb even found time to work in Dick Grayson, Boss Zuccho and a host of other Bat-villains including the Joker, Penguin, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy. When the story concludes and the cop-killers identity is finally revealed, I gotta admit I had no clue and was genuinely surprised.

As I’ve stated before and I’m sure will state again, any book with Loeb and Sale attached as the creative team is a must buy. Loeb can weave a tight story, and Sale, well, Sale has a style unique to himself and he is definitely a fan of foxy chicas. Buy this book, the hardcover is long out of print, but the tpb is readily available and I’m sure an “absolute” edition is on the way soon.

Offline Mastrmynd

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 12/6/06.
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2006, 06:16:35 am »
I just wanted to say that PUNISHER: War Journal is the BEST comic that I have read all month.
SImply the BEST!

i love how it weaved in and out of what's goin' on in the Civil War.

plus, i've never really read a Punisher comic...except for Punisher meets Archie.

anyway, to see Punisher KILL people...whoa...that blew my mind.  he's cold-blooded!

he's cool in my book....and he's Anti-registration!

ps: do u really think Tony released the bad guys from the Raft in order to start this civil war?

Listen to my entertaining radio show, "The Takeover: Top 20 Countdown" at

Right on to the real and death to the fakers!  Peace out!

Offline supreme illuminati

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 12/6/06.
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2006, 10:02:36 am »
What sam and errbody! I read all of this and was like:"DAAAAYUUUUUMMMNN!" I' have been TRIPPIN and should've NEVER missed this!! I have long possessedthe various Batman tpbs mentioned EXCEPT the one iwth the creative team tha gets no love,but I have NONE of the PLANET HULK thingamjigs,so off I go to ge tmy grab on...along with getting the NewUniverse stuff.I've loved Ellis since THE AUTHORITY--which was also my introduction to MARK MILLAR--and I love GLOBAL FREQUENCY too.Loved it.I love and possess that and WANTED by MILLAR.Off the chains,dawg.I find these reviews to be helpful and i can see that i'm going to add to my "pull" selection every week...
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Offline wktf

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 12/6/06.
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2006, 07:26:12 pm »
Anyone who hasn't picked up the issue of Detective Comics that I reviewed, above, should grab it up right away.  The Joker is off the hook, he's never been written better in my opinion!  :o

Offline masigl4179

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 12/6/06.
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2006, 02:17:25 pm »
16 picks for me this week:
16) Captain America#24- I missed this issue last week, but it turns out that I wasn't missing much. Just filler to me.
15) Supergirl#12-Hmm, there was a shift in writing and art this issue, not to mention the introduction of the All-new Terra. It's too early to tell, how much I'm going to like this title.
14) White Tiger#2- I like this title. I thought it was going to be wack but this is actually a good story about a Latina superhero. I'm going to keep supporting this title.
13) Midnighter#2- So far this title has been a lot of set-up and a lot of fun. I like the ending because I thought it was an interest ting twist to the "why not go back in time and just kill Hitler question"
12) Angel: Auld Lang Syne#2- Man, this was good, but I'm confused. Did I already buy the first issue or did I just read it in the store? Still, this is probably the best the Angel comic has ever been. Heck this story reminds me of an episode from the TV show.
11) The All-new Atom#6- Congratulations, Gail Simone, you've really sold me on the All-new Atom. I like the character and I want to keep reading to see what happens next.
10) New Universal#1-I vaguely remember the old New Universe comics.Actually, I just remember Starbrand, and now that I think about it, those books were ahead of their time. In any event, Warren Ellis takes a fairly decent stab at re imagining the New Universe. It's worth a look.
9) Agents of Atlas#5-This is not my favorite issue, but I'll be damned if this still isn't one of my favorite miniseries.  Hell, I wish it would ended this year, so I could have just labeled this the miniseries of the year.
8. 52 Week 31- Man, the Green Lanterns in this issue got messed up. Shoot, this is the first time in a long time that I've been interested in the space aspect of the 52 story. I can't wait to see how they tie this into whatever the Guardians got going on with 52
7) Desolation Jones#8- Man, this book is cool, and I'm really starting to feel the new(?) direction of this title. Seriously, this issue made me want to hop the Internet (i.e. wikipedia) and learn everything I could about Phillip K. Dick.
6) Detective Comics#826-What a pleasant surprise...this was good issue that really didn't even anything to do with Batman.  Man, the Joker is really on the insanity/genius boundary,
5) Outsiders343- I was pleasantly surprised by the ending of this issue when Katana released a favorite villain of mine from her sword. I also found Dr. Siviana's confession about the part he played in the formation of the Outsiders.
4) Uncanny X-men#481-Man, Uncanny X-men is off the chain. I'm really, really feeling the Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire. Also, I'm happy to see Rachel Grey get her freak on, because for awhile there Chris Claremont had me worried that she and Kitty Pryde were going to get together, not that there is anything wrong with that
3) Doctor Strange: The Oath#3- Brian Vaughn has done it again because this is probably the best Dr. Strange story I've ever read. I mean it's interesting, funny, and best of all very accessible.  I'm happy that I decided to give this miniseries a try.
2) Justice Society of America#1-At one time JSA was the most consistently well-written team comic book on the market, then Geoff Johns got busy with other projects, the book started to suffer under crossover stories and next thing I know Paul Levitz was putting nails in the coffin with a god awful story. In any event, that's all in the past and happy days are here again with Geoff Johns back on his A game with a lot of old favorites and new characters as well. If this is an indication, Justice Society of America will be off the chain.
1) Beyond#6- My man Dwayne McDuffie is off the chain.  This is was one of the best stories Marvel has put out in years that made use of a lot of a lot of b-list characters(heroes and villains). This title should have sold better because bottom line it was a hell of a lot better than a lot of the crap that sells at top tier in the rankings. Do yourself a favor, buy the individual issues or ran, not walk to pick up the trade when it is released.