Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Avengers #11

    Ah, this issue feels like a cool breeze after a hot summer day.

   Which is to say, it's nice to see the cast of The Avengers, having survived the events of the odious Secret Empire event, actually getting along and taking the time for some heart-to-heart conversations.

   Finding the team without a headquarters and uncertain of their next move, they follow the classic strategy that goes back to the earliest issues of team comics everywhere: they break up into small teams!

   Well, actually, they pair off to talk things over - so we have the Falcon talking about a big decision with the Mighty Thor; Hercules explaining the burdens and blessings of his existence to the Vision; and Spider-Man teaming up with the Wasp in an effort to... well, to get her to stop hating him.

   It's a great mix of humor, revelations, insights and action, all managed like a master class in how to write a team comic by Mark Waid, with lovely, evocative art by Mike del Mundo.

   This issue marks something of a new start for the team, and it's a great jumping-on point - and a darned good comic.

   (And I have to say, it's a delight to actually laugh out out at Spider-Man's dialogue again.)

Grade: A

----------------

 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New Comics Day

   Here's what I picked up today at the comics shop:

- AVENGERS #11 - Secret Empire aftermath!

- BUG THE ADVENTURES OF FORAGER #4 (OF 6) - Look out for robot Deadman!

- CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE #12 - The secret of the eye!

- DOCTOR STRANGE #25 - Anniversary issue!

- FUTURE QUEST PRESENTS #2 - Space Ghost! The Herculoids! Mettalus! Take my money!

- INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #11 - An international incident!

- JUSTICE LEAGUE #29 - What are the JL's future children hiding?

- WILD STORM #7 - What is John Colt's secret?


   And here are the review copies I received:

- ALL NEW FATHOM #8 - The finale!

- BLOODSHOT SALVATION #1 - Building a family.

- KID SHERLOCK #4 - Terror stalks the school!

- MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN FRED FREDERICKS DAILIES VOL. 1 - A classic collection!

- MIRACULOUS #15 - A deadly new foe!

- MISBEGOTTEN RUNAWAY NUN #1 - Who can save the holy clone?

- SECRET WEAPONS #4 (OF 4) - A robotic killer unleashed!

- TOYETICA #2 - Winning over a new student.

- WONDER WOMAN 77 BIONIC WOMAN #6 (OF 6) - The fate of the free world hangs in the balance!

- ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #39 - Fighting her closest ally!


   And that's it!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Tomb Raider" and "Punisher" Trailers

   A couple of comic book-related trailers have been released recently (both are violent, so be warned) - including this one starring Lara Croft, from the video game (and later comic book series) Tomb Raider. 

   It's obviously based on the more recent video game version, who is a bit more (shall we say) realistic in her personality and personal dimensions (they are, by the way, very good games):



   And we also have the newest Netflix series, a brutal version of Marvel's killer vigilante, The Punisher.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Generations: Captain Marvel & Captain Mar-Vell #1

   Well, I had high hopes for this issue of Generations, because I was a big fan of Captain Marvel - or, as he's named here, Captain Mar-Vell.

   The Kree warrior was sent to Earth on a secret mission and found he liked the people there - so he became a defender of Earth.

   His career followed a strange path, finally settling down as the first regular series written and drawn by Jim Starlin - and he became the first hero to defeat Thanos.

   This issue reunites that character with the hero who carries his name in the modern Marvel Universe - Carol Danvers.

   Sadly, this story doesn't give any of them much to do, as they find themselves fighting to defend an alien race of pacifists.

   But so many things don't make sense here, including the location of the story, the speech pattern of Mar-Vell, and the fact that he doesn't recognize Carol. Granted that she wasn't a superhero when they met, but only her hairstyle is different.

   She doesn't get to do much except be temperamental. There was so much potential here - why not meet the Mar-Vell who was cosmically aware? ("Hi, Carol. How's life in the future?") Or the green-and-white costumed version, who was new to the Earth and trying to figure out human customs?

   Appearances by Mar-Vell are so rare, but this one was squandered. Too bad.

Grade: C+

------------------

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ninjak #0

   If it's Ninjak #0, then it must be time to give readers a fresh start to this classic super spy / martial artist / superhero from Valiant Comics.

   And that's what you get here - a solid recap of the high (and low) points of Colin King's life and career, including a grim childhood and a life of learning extraordinary fighting skills.

   It's all a setup for the newest series and a fresh start for the enduring hero.

   A sharp script by Matt Kind that bounces between flashbacks and present-day mayhem, and exciting visuals by artist Francis Portela make this a strong start to the latest reboot.

Grade: A

---------------

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Runaways #1

   As a fan of the original series (which you really should read if you haven't already), I'm glad to see the return of the Runaways.

   It was a unique concept that teamed up a group of super-powered kids / friends who had to run away from some powerful enemies.

   The series was loaded with great stories and unexpected twists, but sadly, it didn't last.

   With word of an upcoming TV series, it's back, but the first story has a surprisingly narrow focus.

   It sets out to fix one of the mistakes (well, I thought it was a mistake) from an earlier series - namely, the death of a key character.

   I don't object to the resurrection as much as I question the decision to base the first issue around the effort. It's unexpected, but readers who aren't familiar with the characters might be lost, trying to figure out the characters and their relationships.

   The reason most teams focus their first issue on "getting the team together" is because it's an efficient method for bring the readers into the fold - and giving them several characters to be interested in - hopefully they'll lock in on one or more and want to follow along.

   But this may just be a minor quibble. The writer, Rainbow Rowell, is a pro at Young Adult novels, so we trust she knows what she's doing here, and we expect bigger and better things from future issues.  

Grade: B

-----------------

Friday, September 15, 2017

Mister Miracle #2 (of 12)

   I struggled with the first issue of this series, but apparently I should have been more patient with Mister Miracle.

   The second issue also includes some disturbing imagery, and almost seems to be making fun of (or perhaps it's having fun with) the original Kirby concept - but it also gives us a glimpse of the unexpected turns it promises.

   The focus here is on Scott Free the warrior, fighting alongside his wife, the warrior Big Barda, in defense of New Genesis and Highfather (though you might be surprised by that character's face).

   Reality seems to be in flux here, and it's a brutal existence.

   Writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads are taking a unique, adult approach to the series, which is loaded with mystery and meaning.

   It's not for everyone, and it's a long way from the original series - but Mister Miracle is shaping up to be a story to watch out for.

Grade: A-

-----------------