Author Topic: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 1/4/08  (Read 2688 times)

Offline Sam Wilson

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sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 1/4/08
« on: January 05, 2008, 04:50:10 am »
Sam Wilson’s Review

Moon Knight #14
Written by: Charlie Huston (plot) and Mike Benson (script)
Drawn by: Javier Saltares and Mark Texeira
Cover by: Aurthur Suydam

For those of you who aren’t aware, Moon Knight first showed up in the Marvel Universe in a book called “Werewolf by Night” in August 1975, written by a cat named Doug Moench.  Proving himself popular with readers, Moon Knight popped up here and there in various guest appearances and finally wound up in his own title in the early 1980’s, helmed by Doug Moench and some cat named Bill Sienkiewicz (word).  His story is simple enough, Marc Spector was a rabbi’s son and spent time in the military and then as a mercenary; on a job working for Raoul Bushman Spector and crew come across some archeologists who uncovered an ancient Egyptian temple whose artifacts included a statue of the Egyptian god of Khonshu.  Bushman wanted to loot the dig and killed one of the archeologists, and in response Spector challenges him to personal combat and is beaten to death and left to die.  Worshipers of Khonshu find Spector’s body and take him before the statue of Khonshu, Spector’s heart stops and the god appears to him in a vision offering him a second chance at life if he becomes the god’s avatar on Earth.  He agrees, takes a cloak he finds on the statue, confronts Bushman and whups his ass and returns to America to become a crime-fighter.  Spector has gone through various ups and downs since then, he’s been an Avenger, acquired and lost a sidekick, and survived a demons attempt to possess him.  Yeah, but that is the past and two years back novelist Charlie Huston took over the story of Marc Spector and things are much better then they were when we last saw our boy.  Marc Spector is now fully deputized and working for Tony Stark in his new superhero initiative, but more than wanting him registered to fight the good fight Tony wanted Marc Spector in line so he could monitor him given his recent mentally instability.  See, Mark has developed a dissociative identity disorder given his three personalities he is used to maintaining (millionaire Steven Grant, Marc Spector and Jake the Cab driver).  Yeah, who said things were going to be easy for the fist of Khonshu, which brings us to the latest issue…

Issue 14 introduces us to superstar television writer Mike Benson, fresh off of HBO’s Emmy award winning series Entourage, working hand in hand with Charlie scripting to his plot.  Diving right into things Marc Spector hasn’t let a little thing like registration curb his violent tendencies, our story opens with him pounding the snot out of some gangsters and then branding them with a crescent moon on the forehead, all the while being cajoled by the Bushman, now a faceless apparition who sends him direction from Khonshu.  Did I mention the mental instability?  We also get a glimpse of Marlene (his girlfriend) and Marc’s half-assed effort to hold on to that aspect of his life and Frenchie, aka Jean-Paul who seems like he’s had better days.  Apparently Marc has sensed Jean-Paul’s recent anger and has taken it upon himself to exact revenge upon the man who caused Jean-Paul much pain in his life, Killer Shrike.  Needless to say this is not going to go down pretty, and being on Tony Stark’s watchful eye how much longer is Mark going to be able to operate this way without oversight?  Yeah, looks like Stark is going to have to have a conversation with the Fist of Khonshu and you KNOW that isn’t going to go down very well.

Mike Benson is exactly what this book needed to give it a shot of adrenaline to silence the naysayers.  His tough guy dialogue and his flow reinvigorate this book to a whole new level of bad-ass and I’m glad to say I’m on board.  Haters beware, Moon Knight is back and his going to kick your ass, and if you get on the ball now you can jump on board from the get go rather than wait for the inevitable, “dude, how come you aren’t reading that new Moon Knight?”  Word…

Dawg’s Reviews

Last week was beyond colossal as far as the number of books that were waiting for me at my LCS.  We saw the end of an era as Spider-Man made a Faustian deal that clears the slate for next weeks Brand New day, Thor discovered is long lost sister Lokietta, The X-traitor was revealed and the Green Lantern corps have gone alpha…  This week however was the polar opposite… I had only two books in my pull. They were Moon Knight (which will be expertly praised for Mike Benson’s new run by Sam and Joe.) and Uncanny X-Men.  I have been bringing you reviews of the stellar X-Men crossover for weeks now… there is no sense in stopping this week. Et Tu Bishop?

Uncanny X-Men #494 (Messiah Complex chapter 10)
Marvel Comics
Written by: Ed Brubaker
Drawn by: Billy Tan

With the incredibly shocking or maybe not so shocking revelation of the X-traitor last week, this crossover is starting to reach its fever pitch. It’s getting terribly hard to not place spoilers in my reviews of this but I will try my best to leave enough holes for those who haven’t flipped through its most excellent chapter yet!

Cable and baby X (with “red” hair and green eyes) shows up to enlist Forge’s help just in time to be taken off his guard by a surprise attack. The X-Men are beginning to suspect that the baby is in fact blocking their ability to track her which in turn shows how truly powerful she is already if this is true.

The Marauders have re-entered the fray and once more complicated matters for the X-men as they fight for possession of the infant. Gambit leads the charge and his intentions have definitely entered the realm of muddy. Across the internet people are guessing that he was secretly in league with Cable and that by the end his loyalties will be with the X-Men in this.

The X-Men continue to be one step behind in this event and Cyclops begins to show his frustration and comments how everyone is needed for the coming battle. 

Layla and Jamie have now been processed and put into the general population of their future prison as Layla begins to finally learn the reason and person they are there to see.

The X-Traitor is still not known to anyone except for Cable and by now us… the audience, and things are going to get very tricky as Cable’s reason for not telling Scott of his plans becomes clear and that he knew that there was a traitor all along.

I am still glued to this crossover even after 10 issues and it is just feeling incredible well done (minus the few instances you owe it to yourself to overlook).

The X-Men franchise boom into 2008 with something that it hasn’t had in forever it seems… a step in the right direction.

Until next week… word!

Offline Sam Wilson

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 1/4/08
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2008, 04:50:30 am »
Wktf’s Reviews

These last couple of weeks have been feast or famine.  Last week, with the plethora of incredible comic book product we saw, was the feast.  This week’s the famine.  Well, anyway, in addition to the books I’m reviewing below, I’ve got one word of advice for you:  buy Moon Knight #14!  Mike Benson, the award winning writer of Entourage, who completely tore it up on the Punisher MAX Annual last year is taking over for Charlie Huston and this book has nailed it out of the gate.  In fact, it’s my pick of the week.

Detective Comics #840
DC Comics
Written by: Paul Dini
Drawn by: Dustin Nguyen

The Resurrection of R’as Al Ghul is over and, as I’ve commented with nearly each of my seven reviews of this storyline in the various Batman titles, the whole “event” was about as underwhelming as it gets.  It’s a little ironic that the single best part of the whole affair occurs in this issue of Detective, which is the story’s Epilogue.  And, with this issue, we return to what Paul Dini has been doing so incredibly well since he started taking over Detective:  telling single, contained stories that focus on perhaps Batman’s single greatest weapon…his keen mind and detective/man hunting abilities.

To start, it looks like the title is bidding farewell to Don Kramer and a hearty hello to the art team of Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fidolfs.  I’ll miss Kramer’s dark and moody art.  He was a great match with this writer for this title.  While Nguyen’s style certainly is different and makes this look a lot more like a traditional superhero comic, he also seems to be a great choice.  Batman’s anger, determination and power really come through loud and clear and the art, overall, made this book a thoroughly enjoyable read.

We open with Batman’s investigating a missing jewel encrusted globe, stolen by a Kingpin looking new villain named Hammond Carter who calls himself The Globe.  His obsession is maps and he’s amassed quite a collection, including the stole artifact he’s brought to Gotham which, of course, puts him in Batman’s crosshairs.  Hammond’s a tough customer, as any criminal his size should be, but the real threat is R’as who show up in Gotham to set up his criminal empire and make it clear to Batman that he will no longer suffer The Dark Knight’s interference.  From the very beginning, Batman shows he knows not only how to play R’as but how to take down, single handedly, an entire troupe of killer ninjas.  The final chapter of Resurrection was a colossal disappointment as the battle between Batman and R’as never really happened.  Well, here it is and in spades.  And it is Batman’s fighting skills, keen mind, multiple connection and identity shifting abilities that all combine to create what, in truth, is the real finale (and a hugely exciting finale) to the seven-part yawn fest we were forced to endure.  This was the comic with the meat, with the heart, with the soul, with the action.  Batman at his best.  And all in one issue.  Dini, the master, is back!

Ultimate Human #1 of 4
Marvel Comics
Written by: Warren Ellis
Drawn by: Cary Nord

After my extreme disappointment with Ultimates 3 I was ready to walk right past this book.  I had no idea Warren Ellis was scripting it and even less so that Cary Nord was handling the art.  I’ve not been reading Dark Horse’s Conan, on which Nord’s been handling the art chores, but I remember well and with great fondness the run he had on Daredevil back in the ‘90s.  So, an Ellis/Nord combination!  With so few books from which to chose, I made an impulse grab at it and can report it was my best move all week.

Bruce Banner comes to the hard drinking, devil-may-care Tony Stark for help.  Tony, busy drinking his morning martini and watching the birds fly by his window seems nonplused to have Bruce in his office.  But, within a couple of pages he’s on his feet barking orders at his assistant and ready to take on a new challenge.  Why the change of heart?  Ellis is a master storyteller and dialogue scripter and, in short order, Banner paints an image of him and Tony, by describing each of them in comparison to each other, as two sides of the same coin.  He pulls Tony in and then hits him with the challenge: to cure Bruce of The Hulk!  But the way Bruce frames this, in language Ellis uses that’s highly technical while still approachable to the reader, makes this a challenge of science and technology even more so than a plea for compassion.  In the mean time, a menace is lurking in the shadows who, I believe, is the first Ultimate version of this Marvel Universe villain, who has designs on both Stark and Banner.  And his henchman’s name is an obscure surprise to anyone who’s a longtime Master of Kung Fu fan.  Kuddos to Ellis on resurrecting this bit of trivia.

Of course, all of this activity is a bit of an artistic conceit to achieve one thing:  a battle between the Ultimate Universe’s Iron Man and Incredible Hulk!  How must Tony begin the process of learning how to cure Banner?  Why, to understand the process by which the Hulk is created within Banner.  And how to study that transformative process?  You’ve got it!  To instigate it, in the safest and most secure containment unit, right?  Right!  But where The Hulk is concerned, how secure can any containment unit actually be?  Ellis and Nord, in but a single panel’s fantastic blending of art and dialogue rendering, give us one of the most monstrous and scary Hulks Marvel’s yet produced (maybe including the Planet and WW Hulk).  It’s on, folks!  Calm and even cavalier science and technology meets 1,200 pounds of raging, primal fury.  And with a hidden menace waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces, almost literally.  I’m on for this ride, for sure!

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 1/4/08
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2008, 10:18:01 am »
DEATH OF THE NEW GODS #4 was fun for me...I realize finally, after decades, something of significance is finally happening for these fantastic characters.  There's also a bit of relief in that one by one, they are put out of their misery.  Clearly, no comic creator (and some of the best have tried) can match Kirby's genius with the 4th World.

OMEGA THE UNKNOWN is just genius.  I have no idea where it's going, but I love the trip.

HOWARD THE DUCK is the closest a revival has come to the great old days with this character....

TEEN TITANS year one is cute, with the creepy/funny Aqualad stealing the show, and the abused child Robin close behind....

I love BRAVE AND BOLD, loved in the Haney/Aparo days, and love Waid and Perez's take on the book.  Great to revisit all those fun old school characters....

THUNDERBOLTS is just fantastic, this book has incredible build from issue to issue....

ULTIMATE HUMAN...yes another Warren Ellis book, he's a genius, loving this from top to bottom....

MOON KNIGHT, yes my man Mike Benson put his foot in it, and the art keeps pace with ease.

Offline Sam Wilson

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 1/4/08
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2008, 11:01:01 am »
I hesitated on Teen Titans year one, but I may check it out.  Word on Brave and Bold, Perez's art is nothing short of amazing.

Offline masigl4179

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 1/4/08
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2008, 12:47:04 pm »
Good picks for the 1st week of the year…
10. Wildstorm Reveleations#1- I’m only following this because Christos Gage is co writing this along with Scott Beatty( man, I remember him from back in the day). My problem with this is I don’t know what’s really going but to be fair I don’t know who does, but this issue focuses on WildCats characters I don’t know anything about. Oh well, 5 issues to go.
9. Gravel#0- Ah, more Warren Ellis goodness. I’ve heard about the character William “Bill” Gravel but I’ve never actually read Strange Killings or whatever it is, but if this zero issue is any indication I think I’m going to like it. Good and bloody.
8. The All New Atom#19- I like this character, Asian Physicist Ryan Choi, and I’m happy that I was still able to get a decent story with Keith Champagne filling in for regular writer  Gail Simone.
7. Ms. Marvel#23- As usual there’s a lot going on with Ms. Marvel and I have to admit that I have grown quite fond of her exploits. This issue continues her battle against the Brood and we get to see the reappearance of Binary as well. Oh did I forget to mention the Brood Queen returns as well?
6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer#10- Honestly, this issue was lot of fun. I can really see Joss Whedon writing his ass on this comic just like it was an episode of the Buffy TV series. For all you Whedon fans there is a lot of great dialogue and some interesting revelations about the relationship of Buffy and Willow.
5. Ultimate Human#1- Warren Ellis strikes again. This time you have him pitting the Ultimate Hulk against Ultimate Iron Man. I like it because there is a lot of interesting “science speak” and I like how the fight which should take place next issue was built up.
4. Uncanny X-men#494- You know what I like about this issue? Other than the Billy Tan art…its how both of the X-men from the future Bishop and Cable have “seemingly” turned against the X-men team. That’s interesting because I love how Bishop lied his ass off, but that just makes me wonder what’s really going on? Also, you have old X-men, and former horsemen of Apocalypse Gambit and Sunfire in the fray as well.
3. Thunderbolts#118-The Thunderbolts continue to be most dangerous team in comics. Seriously, there is some much backstabbing, scheming, not to mention flat out insanity I couldn’t even begin to tell you what’s going to happen next. All, I can say to anybody not reading this is strap yourself in for the ride because Warren Ellis work on this title is off the chain.
2. Countdown to Final Crisis#17- The cover of this issue doesn’t do the story this issue justice. I think the title is something like “This means War” but it should really be “ the sh*t has hit the fan” Basically, you have 2 stories, in one you have Mary Marvel and Eclipso going at it, and then you have Bob the Monitor going off and killing everyone who gets in this way to murder Ray Palmer. Then in the end you have good ol crazy Captain Atom turned Monarch on the last page with his army.
1. Detective Comics#840- This one issue…. This 1 issue perfectly tied up the whole Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul debacle. Hell, I’m willing to trade in all 7 issues of that meandering story just for this one issue that Paul Dini wrote. Yes, it’s just that damn good.