Author Topic: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 5/30/07  (Read 2611 times)

Offline Sam Wilson

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Sam Wilson’s Reviews

Nothing much to say this week, but I hope you all saw the DC Comics Covergirls oversized coffee table hardcover by Louise Simonson (some great art in there) and my favorite trilogy of all time, the Ultimate Galactus Trilogy oversized hardcover.  This book is so awesome it is my pick of the week.  Anyway, with that being said, let’s get to it…

The Boys issue #3
Dynamite Entertainment
Written by: Garth Ennis
Drawn by: Darick Robertson

Fresh off its recent cancellation at DC/Wildstorm, Garth Ennis’s “The Boys” is back at its new home, Dynamite Entertainment.  Apparently the story was a little too tough with the satire of DC’s big dogs (hey, what’s a little sodomy and blowjobs amongst the “original seven”) and rather than let Garth tell his tale they pulled the plug.  No matter, the Boys are back and still hyper violent and oversexed.  Just to remind those who may have forgotten: Billy Butcher is not a nice guy. He has a bulldog named terror and is some type of high-ranking government agent. The rest of the team consists of a femmy yet bad a$#ed Frenchman, a sad but deadly psycho female and a sane single father who is probably the baddest mofo on the planet (not shown, but implied). The team is rounded out by its newest member wee Hughie. Hughie seems to be a nice guy. He once met a nice girl and she told him she loved him. And then she was crushed into a brick wall by a superhero brawl. So the mad odyssey against the capes begins…

Our story picks up with an armor-based hero named Tek Knight who has a problem only Garth Ennis could think up.  His problem is actually getting in the way of his super-heroing so he decides to see a shrink.  In the mean time Wee Hughie gets his trench coat and meets up with one of Billy’s informants, a man known only as “a legend” who has the real deal on costumed heroes going back decades, and from time to time provides Billy with intel to be used most heinously.  Yeah, things are going to get messy to say the least…

I don’t really know what to say about “the Boys.  At times it almost seems Ennis is being oversexual and freaky just for the sake of being oversexual and freaking, specifically to invoke a reaction from his audience.  At times it can be to much, at times it can be hilarious.  With its previous arc the Boys proved it could be a bit of both, and even though this issue was a bit more freaky that funny, I’m confident Garth will even it out as we go along, so if you’ve missed “The Boys”, they are back.  Oh my, they are definitely back…

Amazon’s Attack #2 (of 6)
DC Comics
Written by: Will Pfeifer
Drawn by: Pete Woods

Anyone remember “Infinite Crisis”? You know, “One Year Later” and “Fifty-two” spun out of it, and that new crossover. I think. Whatever, it’s a mess I know, but let’s revisit the events leading up to “Infinite Crisis”, well one in particular, and that would be Wonder Woman breaking Maxwell Lord’s neck. Pretty awesome, she did 180 that cat’s head, and he deserved it, a total ass-cracker drunk on his power for sure. The only thing is the United States government really didn’t care for that. Well, most of the world didn’t care for it and Wonder Woman went on trial and an army of OMAC’s tried to invade Themyscira. Wonder Woman and the Amazon’s defeated the OMAC’s, but their victory was made to look like slaughter to the general populace of the world. To make a long story short, the Amazon’s decided they had it with the patriarch’s world and disappeared themselves while Wonder Woman decided to stay behind and try and clean things up. In Amazon’s Attack they come back, obviously, but why, and in how much trouble is the rest of the world?

If the first issue is any indicator of things to come, then the Patriarch’s world is totally fu$#ed. Hippolyta, recently resurrected by Circe, is pretty pissed that her daughter is being held prisoner so she declares war on the outside world, starting with the US. The Amazon’s invade DC and really kick everyone’s asses all over the place. In last month’s issue of Wonder Woman Sarge Steel was exposed as a doppleganger and Hippolyta killed Cierce, but continued with her invasion of the Patriarch’s world.  Huh.  Continuing on with the atypical aggression from the resurrected Hippolyta, issue two of Amazon’s Attack brings in the JLA, Batman has “the talk” with Wonder Woman, Donna Troy confronts Hippolyta and the Amazon’s expand their invasion to multiple fronts.  Oy vey, things are not looking good, and much like Donna Troy, Atermis and Batman, I’m left wondering what the hell has gotten up Hippolyta’s ass that she has such an overwhelming mad-on for the patriarch’s world…

This book is great. Catastrophe on a global scale and Amazon’s finally getting theirs. I can honestly say I don’t know what is going to happen next, but whatever it is it probably won’t be good. Word.

Wktf’s Reviews

With this month Action Comics celebrates its 850th issue!  Pretty amazing.  Kind of a moderate comics week for me though, having just learned of Blade’s pending cancellation after issue #11, I picked up the trade of #1-6 that came out last week.

Daredevil #97
Marvel Comics
Written by: Ed Brubaker
Drawn by: Michael Lark
Killer cover by: Marko Djurdjevic

This arc, “To the Devil, His Due” hits its third out of five installments with this issue and, in typical Brubaker/Lark fashion, it’s one hell of a story.  I always seem to be asking “How can things really get worse for Matt, with all he’s gone through?”  But, sure enough, this creative team ratchets it up a notch and, by the end, Matt’s in a situation that’s actually worse than the last arc when he thought Foggy was dead or the one before when he was in Ryker’s Island.

Having returned to Hell’s Kitchen from his adventures in Europe, sent the Kingpin packing overseas, and reunited with Milla, his wife, Matt discovers the streets of his city are more dangerous than ever.  It turns out, as always happens (see Frank Miller’s DD stories) someone is now trying to take The Kingpin’s place.  And Melvin Potter, the once reformed and docile Gladiator, appears to be in this man’s control.  Melvin turns murderously violent, brutally killing prison guards and pedestrians and, if this month’s intense cover is any indication, the recently escaped, incredibly strong and murderous Gladiator will be gunning for Daredevil.  And their battle is as brutal and hard hitting as they come.  Unknown to Matt, though, the combination of this unknown Kingpin wannabe and The Gladiator represents far more danger to Daredevil than anything involving his personal safety.

When you think Bru’s taken Daredevil from the frying pan into the fire it turns out things just keep getting worse.  And ending’s just don’t get much more precarious than this one’s!  Even the best creative teams miss their mark sometimes, but Brubaker and Lark’s Daredevil is pure magic every time I pick it up.  Once again, this title is my pick of the week.

Countdown #48
DC Comics
Written by: Paul Dini with Adam Beechen
Drawn by: David Lopez

As usual we have multiple storylines running all at the same time in this title.  Mary Marvel has lost her powers (I won’t go into it again as I did last week) and feels abandoned and rejected both by Freddy, her brother, who also is Captain Marvel, Jr. and by Billy, the Big Cheese himself.  Lost and alone, last issue she found an enraged and newly powered (but we don’t yet know how) Black Adam towering over her and threatening death.  In the mean time, Jimmy Olsen has survived an attack by Killer Croc in Arkham after interviewing The Joker.  How he survived is pretty weird as he seemed to have reverted to a Silver Age Jimmy Olsen who’d become Elastic Lad.  And now he’s saving people from a meteor shower in Metropolis.  In the mean time The Joker’s Daughter, Duela Dent, who turns out not to be THIS Joker’s daughter, was killed in #52 by a Monitor and, having received a Titan’s funeral, Jason Todd and Dona Troy confer on their misplacement in this reality.  In the mean time, Karate Kid and Starman…um, well, a lot is going on in all these issues.

I’m making a little light of all the interweaving plot lines but the point is that this title is a very distracting read.  I find myself wanting to get to the corruption of Mary Marvel, coming next issue if the stunning Ed Bennes cover previewed on the last page is any indication, and to what in the world is happening with Jimmy Olsen!  I think it’s been decades, maybe since Jack Kirby’s run on Jimmy’s own title, that he’s gotten this much focus-of-attention.  But all of this has to wait as a huge battle over the skies of Metropolis sends Lightray, of the New Gods, crashing through the bedrock of the streets to his death (hey, it was right on the cover).  It seems incredibly ominous and ironic that Lightray, the perennial optimistic and pacifistic New God should be the one to fall like this.  Clearly, this is a difficult omen.

I seriously feel that even a writer of Dini’s caliber is trying to do too much with this storyline.  I know the series is 52 issues long so there’s a lot of time for all this to come together but the convoluted nature of all these interconnecting plot lines seems a bit over the top.  And the quality of the storytelling just isn’t that consistent, especially with Lopez’s spotty art in this issue.  It also doesn’t help that the art chores seem to rotate on this title.  I’m getting closer and closer to bailing as the premise of reinstituting the DC multiverse is one I just don’t buy into anyway.

Silver Surfer: Requiem #1 of 4
Marvel Comics
Written by:  J. Michael Straczynski
Art by: Esad Ribic

This title falls under the Marvel Knights banner and has been given the same cover dress as Kaare Andrews’ Dark Arachknight Returns Spider-Man story from several months back.  Printed on heavier stock and (seemingly) painted this comic has a lush, rich and somber feel to it.  Frankly, it seems like, given its premise, it could easily have been called Silver Surfer:  The End as it seems to be the last Silver Surfer story.  The title of this chapter is “Kyrie” which is Greek for “Lord” and normally associated with the phrase “Kyrie eleison,” meaning “Lord, have mercy,” an important prayer in Christian liturgy and sung (as I did when I sang bass in my college choir a couple of decades ago) as part of such pieces as Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion or Verdi’s Requiem.  All associated with death.

It’s hard to tell for sure but this story seems to be set some time in the future.  The Surfer claims to no longer be Galactus’ herald and we all know that’s not the case presently.  We start with a pensive Surfer paying an unexpected visit to The Baxter Building, much to the surprise of The Fantastic Four.  He is looking particularly pensive, even for The Silver Surfer, and requests a private audience with Reed and Sue.  We learn something new about The Surfer’s physiology which leads to a discovery Reed makes and must share with The Surfer who credits Reed with having reawakened the humanity in him when first they met during The Galactus Trilogy.  And so, now, The Surfer begins a journey first of his adopted home and then his first home of Zenn-La.

There is very little action, save the flash backs, in this issue.  And it begins with a dedication to Stan Lee and John Buscema, which seems very appropriate.  Because Straczynski’s Surfer possesses a quality that oozed from Stan and John’s, even more than Stan and Kirby’s, work.  Written and visual poetry.  His movements and his speech all seem rich and poetic.  And Ribic’s art is breathtaking in its detail and luster, from The Surfer’s own image to the vastness of space.  This issue was a bit of a downer, but it was a beautifully written and illustrated downer.  We have a creative team who’ve restored a bit of the Silver Age greatness to this character and I’m both grateful and sad, as well as being along for this four issue ride.


Offline Sam Wilson

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 5/30/07
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2007, 08:27:58 pm »
Dawg’s Reviews

Another week where I find myself with but a few books in the pull and only 2 to review. Luckily they are two books that I have regularly been reviewing and am more than happy to deliver the goods to you on.

New Avengers: Illuminati #3 (of 6)
Marvel Comics
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated by: Jim Cheung

What do you get when you bring six of the most pre-eminent heroes in the Marvel Universe together, doing ultra secret black ops? What do you get when these heroes do this out of a need to do the right thing, but come off more like lord and land when no one has asked them to? What do you get when this little band of unlikely partners are so secretive that their wives, their friends, their families, do not know of their existence for 40 years of continuity?

You get the Illuminati.

Iron Man
Reed Richards
Professor Xavier
Black Bolt
Namor
Dr. Strange

Ever since Bendis introduced us to the idea of the Illuminati, I must say I have gotten past how crazy the notion was. I have gotten past how ridiculous the idea was when all of these heroes forming a secret society when they have any number of super powered folks at their disposal to form their own strike forces to take on evil.

These men are Kings, or the most powerful minds, or powerful heroes there are on earth (or the moon) and they feel it is their duty to always ensure the safety of their way of life as well as their entire planet’s.

So we know who they are, but up until now we aren’t quite sure the depth to which they have interjected themselves into epic events that have happened throughout Marvel history…

So what have they been into so far?

They’ve biatch slapped the skrull armies and told them to stay away from earth after the Kree Skrull war… They have hoarded the Infinity Gems and hidden them away so none as powerful as Thanos can ever take their power again… And now, in this issue, they decide to take their righteous indignation all the way to the Beyonder.

The Beyonder was a being of immense power that collected 37 heroes and villains and placed them on a world of his own creation to battle to the death for a prize unimaginable.

Eventually things were resolved and the Beyonder went on his way. At the start of this issue Professor Xavier feels the all too familiar presence of the Beyonder. The presence is near enough that it causes his to reflect on the Secret Wars and allows young gun artist Jimmy Cheung to really show his stuff.  Professor Xavier also surmises the true origin of the Beyonder and it turns out he has close ties to another member of the Illuminati rather than being ties to the cosmos as previously thought.

The Illuminati seek out the Beyonder and confront him, like they do, and tell him that he must never interfere with Earth again and that there is a balance that he must not upset. Of the course we are given the naïve acting Beyonder and he promises to do as they command.

The real meat and potatoes of this issue though, is the telling of the origin of the Beyonder by Xavier to the other Illuminati members and the Illuminati interactions themselves.  Reed seems to be in league with Iron Man even more than we though (although Tony was not present).

Namor actually was pretty decent in this issue as well when questioned on his occasional desire to still overthrow the surface dwellers.

Blackbolt does great as well as Cheung really goes to town to try and make someone that cannot speak communicate with his expressions and body language.

The quietest of the Illuminati issues so far but because of the subtlety and flow of this story it is my pick of the week.


Wolverine #53
Marvel Comics
Written by: Jeph Loeb
Drawn by: Simone Bianchi

Congratulations to the current year or more of Wolverine stories in his own book that make me proud to say that Logan is indeed still one of my favorite characters in comics.

Wolverine is gritty, flawed, more human than the 90’s made him, intelligent despite his temper, and damn it… he’s the best there is at what he does.

To me this title is bringing it home and representing to me what is best in this character.

We left off with Wolverine and Sabertooth battling across past, and present in a scrape that Marvel has promised will be the end-all be-all Wolverine/Sabertooth fight.

Their battle has taken them from the X-Mansion to Wakanda and into King T’Challa and Queen Storm’s back yard. And now back to the Weapon X program.

T’Challa believes that there was to splits in the evolutionary tree and that instead of being from apes there was a different evolutionary track that Lupine based characters in the Marvel Universe took. A concept that Logan doesn’t seem to want to buy in to as of yet, but with the crazy dreams he’s having, He ‘s becoming a little more open to it seems.

Sabertooth once again busts out of custody and it is thanks to a c list character and Omega Flight reject: Wild Child.  In fact Wild Child hands Logan his ass and he muses that fact to himself. In fact it seems Wild Child may play a bigger role in things that we know.

Wolverine reflects back to World War 2 and fighting yet another battle along-side of Captain America. He remembers it as clear as day except for a few parts that seem utterly knew to him. Couple that with the fact that Wild Child was there and told him that he would remember when “He” (meaning the mysterious shadow figure from Wolvie’s dreams) wanted him to remember.

Once back at Weapon X all hell breaks loose and the break-neck pace we seem to be flashing from dream, to reality is quickening even more. Once again we find Sabertooth and he absolutely hands Feral her ass.  Wolvie sees the shadowy figure giving orders the bald guy who until now we thought responsible for Logan obtaining his metal skeleton.

Let’s just say that I really hope this all makes some freaking sense in the end… but I love it… convoluted and messy as it is right now)

I have gotten to the point where I look forward to this title each month because of the way he has been written since the “enemy of Shield” story… There is nothing for me to be critical about with this character in this book, because he is be written as the character that Claremont fleshed him out to be. He has way more depth than most writers give him and Loeb is bringing that element home. All the while Loeb is layering in some new depths for the character. He’s on a mission to kill Sabertooth, but in the process he’s learning much about the man that he is, was, and could possibly still be.

WORD!

Wktf’s Trade Review(s)

Jack Staff Vol. 1: Everything Used to Be Black and White
Jack Staff Vol. 2: Soldiers
Jack Staff Vol. 3: Echoes of Tomorrow
Image Comics
Written & Drawn by Paul Grist

To start, this review will be a bit of a fly-over of these three volumes.  Combined, they equal roughly 640 pages of content and more interwoven storylines than are possible to recount here.  But, before I begin I’d like to thank fellow StatueForumite and comic book enthusiast mwf6171 for loaning me his copies of these books.  His generosity is exceeded only by his scholarly and gentlemanly disposition (yes, he’s “a scholar and a gentleman”).  My only obligation tied to this loan is a review of this material which I’m only too happy to do.

To start, who is Jack Staff?  Well, Jack’s known as “Britain’s Greatest Hero!” who first saw twelve issues of black and white print from 2000 to 2003 in Paul Grist’s own Dancing Elephant Press but then was picked up in 2004 and now is published in color by Image Comics.  Jack is a lean, muscular and incredibly agile hero who dresses in the British Flag and, frankly, looks a lot like Marvel Comic’s own Union Jack.  He seems to have the strength of a normal man; however, there is one scene where he drives his fist through a brick wall so he may well possess some super strength.  His primary super power, though, is his ability to move energy which he does in any number of ways, primarily, though, through the wooden staff he keeps as a weapon.  There is one cool scene, though, where he grabs a coin that’s been flipped, energizes it much as Marvel’s Gambit does to playing cards, and sends it through a solid wall.  Jack also appears to be immortal or else very nearly so.  He was a hero during World War II, went mysteriously missing 20 years ago and suddenly and inexplicably reappeared today not having aged a bit.  But his roots seem to go back even further as he hints he also lived during the Victorian era.

During World War II he teamed up with a group called The Freedom Fighters, a mix of American and British heroes who obviously owe a debt to Roy Thomas’ Invaders from Marvel Comics.  Sgt. States seems to be a super strong Captain America tribute complete with shield, Blazing Glory seems to be a cross between the Human Torch and Spitfire and Tommy Twister appears to be a version of The Whizzer…sort of.  In addition, during World War II this group found itself up against a super vampire, reminiscent of Marvel’s Baron Blood, and in volume 3 Kapitan Krieg who seems to be patterned off of Invaders’ nemesis Master Man.  But I don’t want to give people the impression Grist’s creation is just one Marvel Comics rip-off after another (but, okay, there is another villain who appears in volume 2 called The Hurricane, a super strong rage driven behemoth who certainly seems to be Image’s version of The Incredible Hulk).  This work is original, intricately plotted (as noted, above), action packed, fun and absolutely captivating.  In fact, there are so many plotlines moving and interweaving at the same time the reader simply can’t help getting completely sucked into Grist’s imagination and brought along for the ride.

The other members of Jack’s modern cast (his stories jump around a lot between the present, the past from 20 years ago, and the past from 60 years ago) add tons of spice to his stories.  Particularly engaging is a red headed female reporter named Becky Burdock who also happens to be a vampire, a down stream victim of the vampire The Freedom Fighter fought in WWII.  It isn’t until volume 2 that we discover she’s also inadvertently linked to Jack’s disappearance 20 years before from his battle with The Hurricane.  There’s also Tom Tom The Robot Man, who bears a resemblance to Iron Man, as well as the members of Q, the Question Mark Crimes unit out to solve crimes too strange and supernatural to be explained, led by the enigmatic Helen Morgan.  And The Druid who seems an awful lot like Marvel’s Dr. Strange (or maybe DC’s Dr. Fate).

Anyway, as I’ve said, there are tons of plots and subplots running through each of these books to keep our boy jumping through hoops to the delight and often bafflement of the reader.  Grist’s art is a little rough and simplistic (probably intentionally) but also  fluid and expressive like the best of Steve Ditko.  I’m grateful to have my comic book reading world opened up to Jack Staff (being a super hero and vampire fan I also get the best of both possible worlds here!) and highly recommend picking these books up.  I’m afraid you do have to start at the beginning for any of this to make sense, though, so if you have to start somewhere do yourself a favor and get your hands on volume 1.  Once you read it, and you may have to read it more than once, you’ll find yourself wanting to pick up the next two as well.  But, to close this out, I’m happy to count myself as a new Jack Staff fan!

Offline masigl4179

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 5/30/07
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2007, 04:40:21 pm »
What's up brothers? I have 9 picks for 13 books this week.
9, Exiles#91-94-I'm really trying to give Chris Claremont a chance on one of my favorite X-books Exiles, but at the rate it's going I'm thinking I'm going to quit reading this title by the time it hits issue 100. It's not the story itself is bad, it's just that it's not that that well written. There are a lot of things that are never really explained like how this particular world the that Exiles are on turned so bad and I'm not too satisfied by the explanation behind the ending either.
8. Teen Titans#47- I've never really liked this incarnation of the Teen Titans because honestly I never really felt it delivered on its promise. Now that Geoff Johns appears to have left the book and transitioned it over to Adam Beechen who I like on Robin, I'm pretty sure I'm going to drop this title by issue 50 if I can make it that long. What really hurts this issue is that it connects to the events of Countdown and the death of a character I don't care about and frankly a character that writers are trying to make more interesting than she actually is. Next month Titans is crossing over with Amazon's attack another DC event that I really don't think is necessary. Ugh. At least we got some good action sequences this issue.
7. New Avengers: Illuminati#3- I'm utterly disappointed in this title two times in row. I just don't think Bendis knows how to end his stories here. Also, I hate it when he retro cons the origins of characters like he did with the Beyonder in this issue. Hopefully it will all play out well in the end.
6. Action Comics#850- I liked this issue, but it wasn't necessarily what I expected.  Basically as Supergirl is stuck in the 31st Century with the Legion of Superheroes they try to look back in time to find out where she disappeared. Instead they end up looking at Superman's past, present, and future when Supergirl eventually returns. I'm curious to see what the long term effect of this story is going to be.
5. Countdonw#48- I've come to the conclusion that I like certain aspects of Countdown such as Jimmy Olsen, and Mary Marvel. I also feel like this issue did a better job of telling the story of Duella Dent's funeral than Teen Titans did. After talking it over with my homeboy, I guess Black Adam is going to give Mary Marvel some of his powers next issue and that ought to be exciting.
4. The Boys#7- Yes, it's finally back. How, I missed the most offensive super hero comic book on the stands. Still, the reason it only ranked number 4 for me this week is because I have to get use to crazy stuff like a Super hero  who can't stop f*cking things up the ass. Still I liked the introduction of the Legend, yeah that was a hoot to say the least.
3. Green Lantern#20- I gotta admit that this was a good issue and a good conclusion to the Mystery of Star Sapphire story arc. There was a real emotional resonance in the end too especially when Hal Jordan sat there with his past Carol Ferris and his present/future Cowgirl after saving both their lives from Star Sapphire. I also liked the direction that the Zamarons have decided to take the new star sapphires in. I'm ready now for the Sinestro Corps Storyline.
2. Silent War#5- Wow, this may be the unsung Marvel miniseries of the year, because I have a feeling that this story could have an impact on the Marvel universe for years to come. Basically, although the story is told oddly enough from the perspective of the Sentry (yes the Mighty Avengers have been called in) the Inhumans attack the Pentagon in an attempt to get the missing terrigen mists. By the end of this issue they do get both the mists and their people back but in the conclusion next issue it looks like the Marines who were already exposed to the mists are going to attack and the ensuing fight will probably be as ugly as they look.
1. Justice Society of America#6- Wow, this issue hits all the bases. Geoff Johns makes excellent use of characters from 3 teams, the Justice League of America, the Justice Society of America, and the Legion of Superheroes.  However, I really love the way he was able to integrate Superman's history with the Legion into this story. Thanks to what I've read in Countdown it seems like Karate Kid will be the legionnaire who joins the JLA but I'm curious to see exactly what the conclusion of the Lightning Saga is going to be. Also, the best part of this issue is when Batman tells Superman that he and the Legion were kids and Superman responds looking at his flight ring “We were Legion"
 
« Last Edit: June 03, 2007, 04:45:39 pm by masigl4179 »

Offline zulu801

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 5/30/07
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2007, 04:16:22 pm »
Sam, I enjoyed your review of New Illuminati.  To read about the origin of The Beyonder was, my initial impression, deep!  Who would have thought to guest the beyonder was a blend of inhuman and mutant.