Author Topic: wktf, Sam Wilson and kdawg's Comic and tpb Reviews, 11/1/06  (Read 5368 times)

Offline Sam Wilson

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wktf, Sam Wilson and kdawg's Comic and tpb Reviews, 11/1/06
« on: November 04, 2006, 12:23:12 pm »
Sam Wilson’s Reviews

Another good week, the big hits from DC being Justice League of America (gotta love that Ed Benes art, the boy has made huge strides stylistically), Paul Dini’s Detective and Garth Ennis’s new Midnighter series from DC/Wildstorm.  Marvel hits us with a massive, kick ass anniversary issue The Incredible Hulk #100, Avengers Next, She Hulk and Fantastic Four: The End.  My pick of the week is Incredible Hulk #100 (hell unleashed yo) and that being said, on to the reviews…

Justice League of America #3
DC Comics
Written by: Brain Meltzer
Drawn by: Ed “the Snatch” Benes

For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with recent going-ons in the DC Universe over the last few years (deep breath):  A few years ago New York Times bestselling author Brian K. Meltzer, who also happens to be a lifelong comic fan, dropped a little mini series on us called “Identity Crisis” which featured the death of Sue Dinby (the Elongated Man’s wife).  Big deal, yeah, but it wasn’t so much her death but everything surrounding it.  See, once upon a time a bunch of supervillans found out the Justice League’s Secret Identities, so the League voted and had Zatanna erase the villains memories, but Batman caught wind of it, and well, Batman is Batman and things went downhill fast.  The League disbanded, Infinite Crisis, Wonder Woman killed someone, one year later, 52, you get it.  Recently the big three have made amends and put a brand new kick ass league together, featuring the Big Three (Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman), Arsenal (yay), Black Canary (word), Vixen (meh), Hourman (now flesh and blood), Black Lightning (representin’), Hawgirl (foxy), and the Hal Jordan Green Latern (hopefully he won’t kill everyone in a mad rage).  The team is ready and back to kick some ass on a global scale, with smoking hot art by Ed Benes, fresh of his :”Birds of Prey” hotness his style seems to have improved exponentially for the JLA, and Brian Meltzer, getting down to brass tacks and good storytelling on a team and characters he obviously loves.

Issue two left us with Hourman’s old android body destroyed, and supervillianry abound.  Our story opens with Black Lightning, taking on some clown named Signalman and getting in a bit of trouble, but since he is in St. Roch we know who is there to lend a foxy, helping hand (I’ll give you a hint, it’s not Carter Hall).  Meanwhile Arsenal, Green Lantern and Black Canary take out an army of Red Tornado-bots, and I’d like to take this moment to thank the creator, whoever he or she is, whichever diety you the reader chooses to worship be you Hindu, Bhuddist, Muslim or Christian, I would like to take a moment to thank said diety for putting Black Canary and Ed Benes back together.  There has been a black hole in my life since Ed left “Birds of Prey”, but now that he’s on JLA and reunited with everyone’s (and mine) favorite blonde in fishnets, well, everything seems right in the world.  If you don’t believe me, just ask my bro Kdawg…

Well the Dawg has a thing or two to say about this new Justice League title indeed Sammy…

First of all there’s not much else to cover about the story as Sam has done a bang up job of what’s going on in this issue. What I do have to comment on though, is the absolutely incredible art that Ed Benes is delivering here. Gone are the days of any semblance he had as a Jim Lee clone. His art has evolved and his style, in my book leads me to think that this title is what will make him a superstar.  His art is so damn clean and let’s just say that his chicas are notably fine! One of the best scenes in this books is where the Black Canary is throwing down on the Tornado clone and Conner (arsenal admits that he always thought that Ollie was the most dangerous Leager, but as he see Dinah shred the clone robot he sees his error in judgement)

This is a great book folks. Meltzer is weaving a great beginning and we’ve only seen the big three in the cave voting on new members as we flash to these members in their own individual battles. These folks so far are the stars… Black Lightning, Conner, Lantern, Canary, (Again Ed Benes… you are my hero with Canary) and the Tornado and the others…

Great to look at, great characters, great story…  This book is a must!

Midnighter #1
DC/Wildstorm Comics
Written by: Garth Ennis
Drawn by: Chris Sprouse and Karl Story

The Midnighter is literally the Wildstorm U’s version of Batman, but gay with superpowers. Let me explain, Midnighter was originally introduce in Stormwatch during the Warren Ellis run as part of Stormwatch Black, their covert ops unit.  He joined with his lover Apollo, the Wildstorm’s U’s version of Superman.  Midnighter dresses in black leather and carries a nightstick and likes to beat the crap out of bad guys and twist their heads in strange positions.  His power is calculate every possible variation of a fight and using that info always gains the upper hand.  He also has increased strength, durability and reflexes and a superhuman immune system.  Personality wise he is a son-of-a-bitch, he always uses excessive force and he doesn’t talk much. After Stormwatch disbanded the Midnighter and Apollo went into retirement, only to be called up by Jenny Sparks to join her newly formed Authority team, where they have been ever since.  Midnighter even adopted the reborn Jenny Sparks and married Apollo.  Garth Ennis has worked with the character before in his “Kev” limited series (“Authority: Kev” and “A Man Called Kev”, both in tpb form, definitely worth checking out) and personally I can hardly wait to see what a solo “Midnighter” series has in store for us.

Issue one opens up with a frustrated Midnighter not really liking his place in the world.  He hates his life, he’d clearly rather be alone killing people than dealing with it (his life) so to blow off some steam he shoots of to Afghanistan to take out some war mongers.  On his way back he gets kidnapped out of the bleed (you know, that space between dimensions members of the Authority travel through to get from the corporeal world to the Carrier) by a cat even more pissed off and determined than he is.  This white suited guy who dared kidnapped the Midnighter does him up “Escape From New York” style and says he now kills for him, or he dies.  His first target, well…

I like this book.  The Midnighter comes off every bit as Ennis has characterized him thus far (in the Kev books), as a cold, unstoppable loner who likes killing evildoers better than anything else.  It’s like the Punisher with less dialogue and superpowers, seriously.  This book is definitely worth checking out.

Incredible Hulk #100
Marvel Comics
Written by: Greg Pak
Drawn by: Aaron Lopresti
Super hot Variant Cover that I probably missed out on by: Michael Turner

For those of you who haven’t been tuning in, the Hulk has undergone some craziness in the last year or so. Apparently the most powerful people in the Marvel Universe have banded together and formed a group called “The Illuminati” and meet periodically to decide how things in the world are going to go, this group consists of Professor X, Tony Stark, Black Bolt, Black Panther, Sub Mariner, Nick Fury and Reed Richards. Recently they decided the Earth would be better off if they removed the Hulk, so they tricked him (as Bruce Banner) in to taking this mission to destroy a rogue SHIELD satellite, which ultimately became the Hulks prison and was supposed to transport him to an uninhabited yet livable planet where he was supposed to sped the rest of his years unable to hurt anyway. Yes, things went awry and the Hulk knocked the ship off course and it crashed on a planet ruled by a ruthless emperor whom forced people into these endless gladiator matches. The Hulk got caught up in this, became a really good gladiator (surprise) and ended up leading the people to revolution (apparently the denizens of this world think the Hulk is part of some greater prophesy). Recently, the Hulk has decided he is going to kick a lot of ass, and the emperor’s #1 soldier/bodyguard/badass, Caiera, has decided she is going to go mano-a-mano with Hulk to prevent armies from fighting and a lot of unnecessary blood being spilt…

Before the Hulk and Caiera can get it on the emperor plays it dirty, and safe by releasing some nasty alien parasites, or “spikes” to kill the Hulk, and wherever he stands, including any innocents who may be around him (like I’ve said before, the emperor is kind of a dick). So the emperor firebombs the crap out of the Hulk and company in order to destroy him (and the spikes he conveniently set loose) but only succeeds in alienating his head bad ass and pissing off the Hulk, the # one guy you would not like when he is angry. Issue #100 unleashes hell, and on top of it all Hulk has a new chica (!).  Also, we get a wicked cool backup Gary Frank penciled story about a young man who is pretty PO’d on what the Illuminati group did to his pal the Hulk, and he’s looking to set things right.  Oh yeah, issue #100 is where it is at, so PICK IT UP.  You don’t just have to take my word for it though, check out what my bro kdawg has to say…

Again… Sammy has the story all but covered here. This is my first trip back to Hulk in years. I was so bummed when Dale Keown left only to have the ship righted by Gary Frank… (I miss Marlo). Then when Gary Frank left I couldn’t handle it any longer, I slipped into the abyss and left my favorite Green monster.  I picked up this issue and I am trying to franticly make sense of it all as a lot has happened in my absence. One thing is for sure here though. Hulk is still the baddest and the maddest one there is.  Unleash hell is right. As the Hulk gets stronger and madder, it can only mean that the planet Hulk story won’t take long to end and we’ll see you in the trades.

What I’d like to take a minute here to talk about with the Hulk is the absolutely killer back-story with Gary Frank on the art reins. We have this kid whos intellect apparently blows that perennial dumbass for neglecting Sue, Reed Richards, out of the water. I mean this kid was saved by the Hulk once and now sees fit to track down the jade giant.  Using this intellect he is able to track down one of Banners old hideouts in which he contacts Reed Richards and proceeds to unveil that he knows quite a bit of the illuminati dil-holes. Not to mention he knows now what they have done to his pal the Hulk. He knows that the Hulk is not on the Planet that they tried to send him to. He knows that the Hulk is going to be pissed when he gets home…

This story to me was the star of the show. Yes I’m totally down with the Gladiator meets Thunderdome story going on in the main part of the series… but this story right here… this is the prelude to World War Hulk baby… Hulk’s eventually gonna be coming home. When he does, he’s gonna splatter the illuminati Sam Wilson style….

Gary Frank’s art has matured since his first bout on Hulk. A bit grittier and the like, but guess what… It’s AWESOME!  Gary Frank has always been talented and underrated… He needs to do a major book with high profile soon. As my Bro would say… “WORD!”

Kdawg’s Review

Fantastic Four : The End (1 of 6)
Marvel Comics
Written by: Alan Davis
Drawn by: Alan Davis

Originally Joe was going to review this book and rightly so. Joe we are sorry that you couldn’t make it to the party this week bro, know that you are the pillar of comics bro.

I’m stepping up to review this book this week as I couldn’t let a chance go by to talk about the FF and Alan Davis together again. What else can really be said about Alan Davis? He is by far one of the Dawg’s all-time favorites. He’s made me a fan of almost everything he’s done even if it’s only for the brief time he’s been on it. His art is fluid, classic, and action packed and he still does comics the old way… Lots of medium distance camera shots, lots of characters on panel at the same time, and lots of action and drama. Not to mention there is something about his Chicas… Feline, lithe, whatever you want to call it, but Alan Davis and Sue Richards… No brainer which makes this book my
pick of the week.

So what’s going on in this book you ask?

For many, many years, The FF have been fighting the Marvel Universe’ baddies and ending threats both on a global and galactic scale. They are Marvel’s royal family and they have been right up until this book’s beginning.

Apparently there has been a mutant war that has run rampant and as a side effect of this has driven Dr. Doom further insane due to the many injuries he has suffered. Over a long time, Doom has rebuilt himself.  Now more machine than man he battle the FF one last time…  Events of this fateful battle are only the beginning of this tale though. The battle is where the beginning of the end occurs…

Well we jump ahead some time into the future… Apparently Reed’s been busy saving the Galaxy again. She Hulk is his therapist and she’s trying to get him to open up about all that has happened. He of course evades the issue and rambles on about just needing to accomplish this or that first. They begin to unveil events that have happened, where the other members of the Royal Family are etc… Including a scene that furthers my opinion of Reed being such a biatch. How can you neglect Sue you dumbass?

Johnny the Human Torch is off being an Avenger with Thor, Iron Man and others… 

Ben who can apparently change his form back and forth now, has him a mess of children with Alicia off on Mars. Ben is living the life and enjoying being a family man, all the while missing Reed, Sue and yes, even Johnny as the Inhumans come to visit.

Sue has grown tired yet again of being neglected by Reed and has sunk herself into her own interests. Currently archaeology near Atlantis, which inevitably leads to a run-in with Namor… 

(Editorial note) I wish I had winged feet and gills, couple with optic blasts, so Jean Grey and Sue Richards would dig me… I sure would spend less time brooding and more time loving… you feeling me?

This is a great FF book and it’s telling the story in Grand fashion. It almost seems as if it is on a Star Wars type of scale…  This book is one to watch as mysteries that are unfolding will come crashing to a head soon. I won’t tell you what, but you just know that the FF will come together again and save the day.

It’s only 6 issues folks… For the love of all that is holy… get out there and pick this up. If you are an FF fan, a Davis fan, or if you love the grand scale of an epic Marvel tale… This will be a good one and so far I have no reason to believe otherwise… FF kick more ass that Mamma WKTF on gamma juice…

Offline Sam Wilson

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Re: wktf, Sam Wilson and kdawg's Comic and tpb Reviews, 11/1/06
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2006, 12:23:33 pm »
Tpb Reviews

Sam Wilson Reviews

Hulk: Grey
Marvel Comics
Written by: Jeph Loeb
Drawn by: Tim Sale

Superstar creative team Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are best known for their DC work, “Batman: The Long Halloween”, “Batman: Dark Victory”, “Superman For All Seasons”, and my personal favorite the dead sexy “Catwoman: When in Rome”.  In the Joe Q era of comic jackassatry, the bloated pig f*cker actually does something right once in awhile, as he did by getting Loeb and Sale to do a series of “color” themed books, “Daredevil: Yellow”, “Spider-man: Blue” and “Hulk-Grey”.  Later on in the trade review section my esteemed colleague Joe will be reviewing “Spider-Man: Blue”, so I thought I’d get it started by reading my favorite “least likely to like when he is angry” comic book hero, The Incredible Hulk.

“Hulk: Grey” is not so much a superhero story as it is a character study of the Hulks closest friends and enemies: Bruce Banner, Rick Jones, General Ross, Betty Ross and of course the Hulk himself.  The story unfolds flashback style, Bruce Banner is sitting in Doc Samson’s office telling him about an early tale of the Hulk.  A real early tale, the first few days of living immediately after Bruce saved Rick from the gamma bomb and was doused with gamma radiation.  Bruce is trying to figure out what happened to him, with alternating feelings of confusion, rage and love.  Rick is trying to do right by the man who saved him, being the first to figure out Bruce Banner and the Hulk are the same person.  General Ross is desperately trying to find out what happened to Banner (and important government asset) and take out this “Hulk” Creature, someone he thinks killed Banner.  Betty gets caught in the middle and so it goes.

The things that stand out most in my mind, as I stated early, is character.  Rick is just a kid who wants to do right by the one man, person possibly, who has ever done right by him.  Ross is a psychotic control freak who has a history of belittling those closest to him.  Betty is looking for someone gentle to love, but will always have a daughter’s love for her father no matter what.  Bruce, ultimately just wants someone to love him, and if that can’t happen, he just wants to be left alone.  “Hulk: Grey” is a book with fantastic, emotion filled art by Tim Sale and a deep, character driven story by Jeph Loeb, clearly to masters of the genre and everyone should have this book on their shelf.  It is still in print in Hardcover and softcover form, I highly recommend it.

Wktf’s Review

Spider-Man: Blue
Marvel Comics
Written by: Jeph Loeb
Drawn by: Tim Sale

It’s hard for me to write this review without slipping into hyperbole.  I grew up with the Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and John Romita, Sr. Amazing Spider-Man comics and this series, as it was coming out in five separate installments and even more so reading it as a trade collection, feels like a Valentine to these three legendary creators.  Which, maybe, it is even as the story opens on Valentine’s Day and today’s Spider-Man, now married to MJ, brings a single red rose to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge and begins a dialogue with the long-dead Gwen Stacy (much as Daredevil: Yellow began with Matt’s addressing the recently murdered Karen Page), about whom Peter says at the end of this book, “…and I long for a time when a girl I knew with an incredible smile and so much good in her heart made me think…life can be great.”

We learn here that Peter believes things have to get really, really bad before they can get good.  Good follows bad.  And while this incredible story, which reprises several classic Lee/Ditko/Romita, Sr. Spider-Man moments, does not go all the way to the worst moment in Peter’s life, the death of Gwen Stacy, the moment many feel ended the Silver Age of Comics, it does something much more powerful.  It shows us Peter’s introduction to both Gwen and MJ, his courtship of Gwen and the moment when they first gave themselves to each other, all the while knowing the awful moment that awaits these two young lovers.  Ironically and fittingly, this book begins with Peter’s unmasking at the hands of the Green Goblin, the moment back in Amazing Spider-Man #39-40 that began the spiral toward Gwen’s death.  One plot device in this book it turns out, is that there’s a mysterious hand moving Spidey’s various villains, including the Goblin, The Rhino, The Lizard, and The Vulture (both of them!) against the wall-crawler, but even after the shadowed mastermind is revealed we still discover all is not as it seems.  Loeb winds an intricate plot, interweaving the progression of Peter’s young personal life with Spidey’s superhero life in a way that drives to a surprising conclusion even as Peter’s life begins to find resolution and happiness.  But, we have to remember throughout all these flashbacks, that it is today’s Peter that is telling this tale in a recording to Gwen, one of many we discover, that creates yet another layer of fine, emotional storytelling to this book.  This, ultimately, is the story of Gwen Stacy, Peter’s first and possibly greatest love.  More than any of the other Marvel “color” books, this one is most aptly named, as Peter explains, as there is a melancholy blueness, like in jazz music, that still pervades Peter’s life even this long after Gwen’s death.

So, is this book fun to read or is it a total downer?  It’s a blast is what it is, but with a strong emotional core that pulls at the center of the reader.  The “blast” part is delivered in spades by Tim Sale, who sketched a way-cool Spidey face inside my Spider-Man: Blue HC at the ’05 Boston Con.  This book explodes with action and wild, wise cracking Spidey battles against the various foes I mentioned previously.  Sales’ panoramic images of Spider-Man swinging away from or into the massive NYC skyscrapers are stunning and, as he did in Superman: For All Seasons with the Smallville General Store, he even makes Aunt May’s kitchen an incredibly intricate Norman Rockwell-ish slice-of-life illustration.  What’s also really cool is how he moves from a Gwen Stacy drawn similarly to how Ditko drew her, a little harsher, a little edgier, to the far softer and more beautiful Gwen of Romita, Sr. as this story progresses.  But his Ditko references, one with Flash reprising the famous Amazing Fantasy #15 cover and another shot of Spidey battling the Scorpion, for instance, are spot on flawless.  If you’ve grown up with Spidey over the last 40+ years, you’ll love this book.  If you haven’t and these images and references all are new to you, you’ll love this book (I hope).  It’s harder to find the original HC version but it’s readily available as a tpb.  If you’re one of the few comic book readers who does not own this beauty, do yourself a favor and pick it up.

Offline Toya

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Re: wktf, Sam Wilson and kdawg's Comic and tpb Reviews, 11/1/06
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2006, 06:06:33 pm »
Compared to issues 1 and 2, issue 3 was just a tad bit dull; not much juicy stuff happening. I think the formation is taking a long time hopefully it'll be completed in the next 2 to 3 issues at most.

One thing that caught my attention though was Vixen(yes, I like her) using her powers even without the totem. That was a bit jarring.  :-\

Offline masigl4179

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Re: wktf, Sam Wilson and kdawg's Comic and tpb Reviews, 11/1/06
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2006, 04:49:38 pm »
16 picks for the week of November 1 and one honorable mention as well.
16) The Incredible Hulk#100- I don't like Planet Hulk. I won't go as far as saying it's the worst thing that ever happened to the Hulk but it ain't my cup of tea. However, this is the 100th issue of the Hulk series, and I remember buying the 1st issue about 5-6 years ago. Also, it turns out this is actually the first time that the Hulk has actually hit issue 100 without co-opting another title. Oh well, I like the fact that it was a 100 page Monster comic and I actually enjoyed the old hulk story as well.
15) Seven Soldiers of Victory#1- This only ranked so low for me because I didn't get it and since it is coming out so late after 39 other issues, I really don't remember everything. I know I need to sit down and reread the whole thing, but that's like a lot of work for me right now. I'll do it next time I go on vacation or something.
14) Blue Beetle# 8- I honestly thought I was through with this title and then all of a sudden I just made a decision to keep supporting the title because the lead is a Hispanic man.  Brothers got to support one another, but overall this wasn't that bad, although I wish the story had a little bit more meat to it, but I guess that's how they keep us coming back for more.
13) Detective Comics#825- This was an interesting Batman story, so interesting in fact that it wasn't until the end that I realized that Paul Dini did not in fact write this issue. Oh, the art was interesting as well.
12) The All- New Atom#5- Got to support the Asian brother, but the honestly the longer I read this quirky title the more and more interesting it gets. I really like Professor Ryan Choi as the Atom now.
11) American Virgin #8-Ok...that was borderline gay. Seriously, I feel bad for the title character Adam Chamberlain and all but he better get together in his quest for vengeance before he gets butt raped by a sadomasochist as he almost was this issue.
10) Other Side#2- I've never really been a fan of war comics but this exploration of the Vietnam Conflict from both sides really has me hooked.  It's kinda like Garth Ennis' Punisher Born miniseries without all the gratuitous murder.
9) She Hulk#13- She Hulk is one of the best titles that Marvel is publishing right now and if you don't believe me check out all the twists and turns that lead to the conclusion of the Starfox Rapist trial. There was even a useful Thanos appearance for good measure.
8. Uncanny X-men#480- Man that Vulcan is bad mutha "shut yo mouth" but he wouldn’t bad enough to whup Gladiator’s ass. Man, that boy took a beating so bad he lost his eye, and although he may be down he definitely isn't out.
7) 52 Week 26- Now this was pretty ludicrous premise, the Black Marvel Family is sitting down for dinner with Sivana family, but hey I have to admit that it works.
6) Fantastic Four: The End#1- Initially I was a big fan of Marvel's The End stories, but after Marvel Universe The End series which I thought was kinda of wack and the X-men The End series which ran entirely too long, I thought this concept had lost its appeal. However, Fantastic Four the end looks pretty good so far and I'm looking forward to the next issue.
5) Outsiders#42- I think this story has run on too long, but I did like the twist with Dr. Sivana's machine not only shutting down machines but erasing people's memory as well. Also, I 'm happy that Katana gets to shine with a new costume as well.
4)Local #7- I'm still a big fan of the Local series even though this issue actually departs from the character that we've been reading about for the past 6 issues and focuses on her cousin who is a domestic violence case waiting to happen.
3) Justice League of America#3- Ok, I will admit that this title is slow, I mean come on Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are still voting on league members, but damn if it isn't well written. Also, this issue finally connects some of the peripheral characters to the big 3.
2) Supergirl and the Legion of Super-heroes#23- Wow, those Legionnaires are f*cked up at least after reading this issue, because they really screwed over Supergirl, although it may have been completely necessary. Still the best part for me was that last page where Lar Gand shows up.
1) Beyond#5- Everyone needs to read this title because Dwayne McDuffie's story is off the chain.  All I can say is check out the last 2 pages where Dr. Hank Pym goes off. I never knew he could be that dangerous.
Oh, and my Honorable Mention for this week is 12 Reasons Why I love her, a romance graphic novel. I'm not a bitch or anything but this was a really good book that contains 12 different stories out of order that chronicle how 2 people fall in and maybe out of love.  It really reminded me of Chasing Amy actually, but in any event I highly recommend it.