Saturday, November 20, 2010

Karl Urban as Judge Dredd


I hate to admit that I’ve seen the Stallone Judge Dredd more than once, but I have and I acknowledge the ridiculousness of it.  I don’t think it’s possible to have a Judge Dredd film that doesn’t lean to the ridiculous, but I am so excited to see Karl Urban try…and in that helmet no less! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010



Azrael Issue #14

Written by: David Hine

Art by: Cliff Richards

Azrael is a conflicting series for me. It took me quite a while to get into it, mostly because of the art, which, to be fair, has gotten much better as the series has progressed. I did like the idea of the character, Michael Lane, who was one of the three “Other” Batmen trained by Dr. Hurt in the Gotham Police Department. However, the storyline took a little while to really catch my interest. However, this latest arc, in which Azrael is sent to find the Shroud of Turin, got really good. It was almost like reading a Batman-inspired version of The Da Vinci Code.

In this issue, Michael must deal with the insanity that the suit has given him, and the fact that the Bat-Family has started prying into his business. I also wasn’t expecting Ra’s al Ghul to show up, or the reason for his being there, which was a welcome surprise. The twist at the end left me wondering if this series is going to continue, and the final page was actually pretty cool.



Batman Issue #704

Written and Art by: Tony Daniel

What? A Batman story that doesn’t have to do with the bigger picture, just Dick Grayson taking down bad guys and swapping sarcasm with Selina Kyle while working for the greater good of Gotham? Thank you Tony Daniel, you made my night.

This comic reminded me why I read Batman religiously, and it brought back a character that I really liked when she was introduced and was bummed when she then disappeared into the ether. Kitrina Falcone, also known as Catgirl! Putting the ridiculous name aside, it’s amusing that Selina now has her very own Damian and Dick is not pleased. Bruce, having handed over the keys of Gotham to Dick while he handles the rest of the world, tells Dick to “deal with it”.

So that was the fun side plot, but the bigger picture has introduced some new characters. The Tang Lo foundation is looking to buy up a large section of Crime Alley, while their motives are still unclear, they are willing to pay a high price. I can tell you right now it’s not going to happen as part of the section they are trying to buy includes the theatre where Red Robin is about to set up his home base. But what is interesting here is that while I didn’t trust Miss Lo at all in the beginning, she turns out to be a vigilante named Peacock and she just may be on the right side. Only time will tell, until next month!



Batman Inc. Issue #1

Written by: Grant Morrison

Art by: Yanick Paquette and Michel Lacombe

As far as first issues go, it doesn’t get any better than this. The fire and energy that Grant Morrison had in the first Batman and Robin is back, in a new, funnier and exciting way.

It starts right in the middle of the action, as Lord Death Man (a wonderful addition from Batman manga) is murdering the Batman of Japan, Mr. Unknown, in a particularly gruesome fashion. When Bruce and Catwoman arrive to find the body, they spring into action looking for both the killer.

As The Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman and Robin became very serious towards the end, Batman, Inc. is the complete opposite. The jokes here fly fast and loose, and the twist at the end (which had a few very good set-ups) was so amazingly kitschy and funny it reminded me of the end of the old Adam West live action show, when the announcer would preview the next episode.

The art by Yanick Paquette is also stellar. The characters (especially Selina, whom he draws perfectly) are great and I love all of his little touches, like the little bit of mouth visible inside Lord Death Man’s mask. The only thing that doesn’t quite click is Bruce’s new costume, which I think is going to take some getting used to (but to be fair, it is a necessity…how else could you easily tell multiple Batmen apart?).

All in all, I think that Batman, Inc. is going to be a fantastic addition to my monthly bat-books. Thank goodness that Grant Morrison’s is putting the fun back in Batman.



Brightest Day Issue #14

Written by: Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi

Art by: Ivan Reis and Joe Prado

Is Batman the “Ultimate Champion of Earth”? Of course not. While I understand Boston Brand’s logic on this one, it was a red herring from the very beginning, but it sure was fun to see Brand in action taking down some bad guys. Brand is just my kind of broody but lately he’s been skirting the line between being tragic and being whiny. This issue allowed him to deal with some of his inner turmoil and I think from now on we’re going to see a more confident not-so Deadman.

I’m still not completely sure I understand what/who exactly the white ring expects Brand to find, and Dove said it best when she said that they’re not even sure of all the power the white ring wields, but I’m never bored by Brand’s storyline and I can’t wait to read more. Oh and Dove, she’s a keeper.

The last page of this issue gets three cheers from me both on a girly level and on a kick Max Lord in the nads level. Mission accomplished.


the flash 6

The Flash Issue #6

Written by: Geoff Johns

Art by: Francis Manapul

This issue is the final part of the first arc, called “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues,” and it met all of my expectations. The story involved a crime squad from the 25th century, called The Renegades (who the police force after Reverse-Flash), that travel back in time to stop Barry from killing one of their own. Barry, however, fights this and eventually clears his name and finds out which Renegade is framing him.

This series is important on a couple of different levels. First, Barry and the Flash family have to have a place in the universe, because even if they are in crossovers and events, (like the truly wonderful twist in this week’s Green Lantern) these characters are too good not to be written about. Second, this series is a must read (I’m assuming) for the forthcoming Flashpoint event next summer. And finally, this is a place where Geoff Johns can insert more hints about the plots that are developing around the DC world, as seen in this issue with the Judge in the future commenting about the timeline being disrupted (On a side note, is that Cyborg and Kid Eternity on one of the Judge’s screens? Hmm…).

I’m really excited for next month’s issue, when some other Flashes might show up, and there is going to be some new stuff about Captain Boomerang.


green lantern 59

Green Lantern Issue #59

Written by: Geoff Johns

Art by: Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy

This issue of Green Lantern has been a long time coming. It’s been quite a while since The Blackest Night, but consequences haven’t really been felt for the moral leniency that Hal took during that crisis. Finally, Barry Allen confronts him and asks him to choose a side. It is nice to see the way they play against each other, especially compared to how Hal and Oliver Queen interact.

The other Corps have some interesting appearances too, especially Larfleeze’s funny little moment. The Indigo tribe find a new host for their entity, Proselyte, and Hal makes a startling revelation about them when he sees that Black Hand is “reformed” and working with them. And Parallax’s twist at the end was truly unexpected. I can’t wait for next month…


morning glories 4

Morning Glories Issue #4

Written by: Nick Spencer

Art by: Joe Eisma and Rodin Esquejo

Nick Spencer is just everywhere these days and I couldn’t be happier. I picked up Forgetless on a whim and I loved it, Shuddertown, not so much, but you can’t love everything. Morning Glories though, is delightful. A group of teenagers, all born on the same day are accepted into a prestigious boarding school that turns out to be more than meets the eye, in the worst way. So here’s what we know so far, parents will forget their children ever existed or they will be dealt with, surveillance is state of the art so there are no secrets, and stay healthy because a trip to the school nurse will be no fun.

The fourth issue asks the ultimate question, who can you trust? Jade (the emo one) is in the clutches of the evil school nurse and Casey is determined to rescue her but she can’t do it alone. While most of her co-horts are not necessarily nice people they’re infinitely more sane that crazy Jessica, the fourth female roommate who will likely strangle all of them in their sleep. Who will help her? Who will walk away? And who will betray her? What can I say, it’s a mystery.


power girl 18

Power Girl Issue #18

Written by: Judd Winick

Art by: Sami Basri

Oh Max Lord, you are the scourge of the Earth! At first I thought this was going to be an action issue, Power Girl fighting herself for twenty pages. But with a second look there were some really creepy questions that came to my mind. The most disturbing one being, what is Max Lord planning on doing with Divine now? If his intention wasn’t for her to kill Kara, what was it and where did they disappear to? I foresee some horrific experimentation in the near future.

There is good news on the horizon though. The end is coming for good old Max, people are slowly starting to remember him and what he did. Poor Ted.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010


batgirl 15

Batgirl Issue #15

Written by: Bryan Q. Miller

Art by: Dustin Nguyen

Batgirl has a new artist and it’s a perfect fit. Dustin Nguyen can stay. Everyone should read the first two pages of this issue, even if you don’t read comics. It’s a hilarious cartoon summarizing the entire story of Batman up to this point. Cute and informative, what could be better?

Oracle is back in this issue, which means we also got a visit from the gorgeous Detective Gage. He’s no Dick Grayson, but he’ll do for a fling.

Stephanie has a new villain for her rogue’s gallery, The Grey Ghost who was really kind of silly. The murder mystery is interesting and the issue ended on quite the cliff hanger. Join me next month to find out what happens when Batgirl is a wanted woman.


return of bruce 6

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne Issue #6

Written by: Grant Morrison

Art by: Lee Garrett

So, we’ve finally arrived at Bruce Wayne’s arrival to present time. Having been pulled to the vanishing point at the end of the last issue by the Archivists, Bruce has to find his way back to his time before the universe’s end, which is only minutes away. But, when he finally gets back, he has to find a way to remember who he is and save the world from imminent destruction.

In a greater sense though, this issue (and I think in extension, Grant Morrison’s entire Batman saga) deals with re-shaping who Batman is, and how he fights crime. This story reaches far back, to the origin that began in Batman: Year One (the ringing of the bell), all the way through the Final Crisis confrontation between Batman and Darkseid. In order to defeat Darkseid’s trap, which was sent with him through time, Bruce had to die and be reborn, into a new, different Batman, which leads directly into Batman, Inc. next week.


birds 6

Birds of Prey Issue #6

Written by: Gail Simone

Art by: Alvin Lee and Adriana Melo

For not being very impressed with the first half of this arc, the conclusion was spectacular. I knew Gail wouldn’t let me down. This is the first time I’ve been able to talk about Lady Shiva here, so I’m going to savor it. Lady Shiva is a pinnacle of the DC universe, she trained Black Canary, she trained Tim Drake, she’s Cassandra Cain’s mother, she has her fingers in all the pots but is able to maintain a sense of mystery. She is what Talia al Ghul strives to be. She is the ultimate weapon and Dinah Lance is one of

the few people she actually cares about and respects which makes all of their interactions extremely complicated. So, long story short, Black Canary and Shiva are scheduled to fight. I won’t tell you why, that would spoil the whole thing.

Enter Helena. Oh, did I not mention this was a Huntress issue? We’ve seen Canary and Shiva fight before, that isn’t a new concept. But Shiva and Huntress? Huntress can take quite the beating and with Zinda’s running commentary it was a hoot! I could get all mushy about Helena’s sacrifice for and love of Dinah, but I have to write about Red Robin in a minute so I’ll save the mush for that. Birds is back people! Back with a vengeance.


emeral warriors 4

Green Lantern Emerald Warriors Issue #4

Written by: Peter Tomasi

Art by: Fernando Pasarin

Here it is folks, the issue I’ve been waiting for and what happens? Our heroes finally show up on Daxam and Sodom Yat has already left to lead a new revolution against the guardians. Do I feel robbed? I admit, I do a bit, but Arisia hitting everyone in sight did appease me slightly.

But wait, there’s more! The Sodom Yat storyline was only the first half of the issue, in the second half the gang has finally made it to the unknown sectors and here is where the meat of this whole series is actually laid out, because Guy Gardner, red ring or no red ring, has a certain moral flexibility when it comes to what he considers justice. It becomes very apparent what parts certain characters are meant to play. Guy is obviously the leader, with Kilowog and Bleez whispering opposing ideas in his ear…as much as Bleez can whisper. Arisia is a gray area and is still finding her role in this group, but she stands up to Guy in a way that Kilowog won’t, and Guy needs that kind of presence in order to think through and justify his actions.

I’m not sure how I feel about the new story for Sodom Yat. Peter Tomasi went a very different direction with him than I was expecting, but I’m open to it. I just hope those bastards on Daxam get what’s coming to them.


generation lost 13

Justice League Generation Lost Issue #13

Written by: Judd Winick

Art by: Joe Bennett

In the Brightest Day series, when the White Ring revealed all the resurrected hero’s tasks to earn their lives back, my heart sank a little when I saw Maxwell Lord’s involved Magog. I don’t like Magog. I didn’t like him in Kingdom Come, and I don’t like his current iteration.

*Spoiler Alert*

Lucky for me Max Lord’s job was to stop him at any cost, and Max is evil. So, problem solved. No more Magog.

*End of Spoiler Alert*

This issue was a long battle between Captain Atom and Magog, which was pretty dynamic. The repercussions of the battle’s aftermath are going to be bad, but I am looking forward to Captain Atom’s next trip down the time stream.


knight and squire 2

Knight and Squire Issue #2

Written by: Paul Cornell

Art by: Jimmy Broxton

I like this miniseries. I have always liked the characters of Knight and Squire, especially in Grant Morrison’s Batman stuff, and this comic is no different. This issue deals with Morris dancers trying to turn British society proper again.

If you have no idea what a Morris dancer is, then you have stumbled on my main problem with this book: the extreme British references. While I feel like I get the majority of the jokes, there are some that float right over my head. Paul Cornell has included a helpful appendix with every issue so far, but even some of those definitions are vague. Still the details of the cover of Total Castle magazine have to be my favorite part this month.


red robin 17

Red Robin Issue #17

Written by: Fabian Nicieza

Art by: Marcus To

Oh Fabian, please write Red Robin forever. Cassandra is back! Let us rejoice! I’m still itching to know what her role will end up being in the world of Batman Inc., but it was a delight to see her again and Marcus To drew her superbly.

This issue was drama central, I’m a girl, I loved it. Tim is in essence becoming completely independent, while still being Bruce’s partner. He’s purchased a new place to live, which made me tear up a bit when I learned where. He has what I would consider his own Oracle in Lonnie.

The exchange between Tim and Bruce was really, dare I say, sweet. Which tells me how much Bruce has changed. The old Bruce didn’t hug, unless someone died and even then it wasn’t all the time. There were several references to Lynx being Tim’s Catwoman, but I have some major issues with that comparison. Stephanie Brown forever, that’s all I’m going to say.


thunder agents 1

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Issue #1

Written by: Nick Spencer

Art by: Cafu

I think that this is going to be a pretty interesting series. This issue has all the trappings of a good beginning: a good premise (people with nothing left to lose given superpowers that will eventually kill them), jumping backing and forth through time for the backstory, and interesting characters. The most potentially interesting character is Toby, the “salesman,” who I assume has to sell the would-be heroes to sign over their lives. I assume that the characters on the cover of the issue will be the team that Toby eventually recruits, but they don’t show up at all at this point.

The art by Cafu was really cool, although sometimes some of the characters looked a little young in the face.

I think this series, written by Nick Spencer (who also writes Morning Glories, which we both love), is something I could look forward to, if things keep looking up.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


batman and robin 16

Batman and Robin Issue #16

Written by: Grant Morrison

Art by: Cameron Stewart and Frazer Irving

Well, the moment has finally arrived: the culmination of Grant Morrison’s 4 year run of Batman comics. From Batman and Son to The Black Glove and R.I.P. and Batman and Robin, this has been an epic in the making.

This issue wraps up multiple storylines, and ends with a bomb that sets up Batman stories for years to come. We finally learn the secrets of Dr. Hurt, and see what the Joker is really capable of. Bruce Wayne returns and Professor Pyg gets his comeuppance. There is so much momentum that I didn’t slow down reading until I reached the very last page, which even though I knew about Batman, Inc., still managed to surprise me by completely changing who Bruce Wayne is publicly.

The art was as beautiful as usual, with both Frazer Irving (whom I really like, despite some weird faces sometimes) and Cameron Stewart doing what they do best: dynamic and exciting layouts, pencils and inks (in favor of complete candor, I will say that Jaclyn really dislikes Frazer Irving’s art, so a full issue of Cameron Stewart would have been better for her).

Reading this issue felt like completing a puzzle. All the pieces fit together and I really understand what Grant Morrison is doing with this character. He is changing Batman, making him modern, less angry and honestly, more exciting to read. I am looking forward to two weeks from now, when the return of Bruce Wayne is complete and the new chapter, Batman Inc., begins.


Brightest Day 13

Brightest Day Issue #13

Written by: Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi

Art by: Ivan Reis, Ardian Syaf, and Joe Prado

My, how the tables have turned, in my head that is. I swore up and down that I would never be interested in the Hawkman/Hawkgirl story. My introduction and only experience with them up to this point was in the recent Justice League series (pre-Blackest Night). Carter seemed bullheaded and macho, and I really liked Kendra but couldn’t understand the conflict for her between Carter and Roy. So when they killed her during Blackest Night in order to bring Shiera back, I was more than a little pissed. Like Roy really needed one more thing to push him over the edge.

But this issue of Brightest Day was enlightening about their origins and their curse. The reincarnated love story that seemed so blah previously was given depth and heart. It didn’t hurt that Shiera proved herself to be a hard-core bad ass, and the double page spread of Carter flying to save her was gorgeous.

Needless to say, I found this story intriguing and then was doubly rewarded with a little bit of Dove and Boston Brand AND a little taste of what’s coming up next. I do so love any trip to Zamaron!

Buffy 38

Buffy Season 8 Issue #38

Written by: Joss Whedon and Scott Allie

Art by: Georges Jeanty

Will it never end?!?!?!? Tune in next month for what will hopefully be the conclusion of this travesty.


Mystery Society 4

Mystery Society Issue #4

Written by: Steve Niles

Art by: Fiona Staples

Mystery Society is a new cool little series by Steve Niles, who is mostly known for his horror comics, like 30 Days of Night and Criminal Macabre (both with the awesome Ben Templesmith), but this is a lot lighter and a lot of fun. The story of Nick Hammond and his wife Anastasia is so tongue and cheek, while at the same time remaining engaging and mystifying. Also, Jules Verne’s Brain and Secret Skull are some of the best new characters I’ve read this year. I hope this comic continues past issue #5.


secret six 27

Secret Six Issue #27

Written by: Gail Simone

Art by: J. Calafiore

Okay, I’m pretty indifferent to the main story of this arc, but honestly this is one series where the story doesn’t matter so much for me. I don’t care about the missions as long as I get some ridiculous dialogue and hilarious bits of art, oh and don’t forget Amanda Waller kicking serious ass! This issue has it all, Deadshot’s cutesy pandering to Jeannette (I’m surprised she didn’t maim him), Catman as the Warlord of Shamballah (can you say He-Man? Brilliant!), and more Scandal/Bane drama (at least they’re consistent). But Ragdoll and King Shark stole the show. Who knew that King Shark would be the perfect counterpart to Ragdoll’s kooky, creepy, adorableness? Keep ‘em coming Gail!

Ragdoll Quote of the Month: “Do you know, I think I got a rash from that shark fellow!”


superboy 1

Superboy Issue #1

Written by: Jeff Lemire

Art by: Pier Gallo

In our household we were fans of Geoff Johns and Francis Manupal’s run on Adventure Comics starring Conner Kent. It had all the great beginnings for a wonderful series, all of which were abandoned when the creative team changed after seven issues. Now, Jeff Lemire has picked up the reins and gotten this story back on track, and the future is looking good.

This issue was a good starting off point, introducing both new and old characters and their relationships to Conner. First, the Phantom Stranger arrives and prophesizes a lot of stuff that will no doubt happen in the coming months. It’s also cool that they are using Lex Luthor’s niece, Lori, who was one of the more interesting parts of the Johns/Manupal run. Then, we meet Simon Valentine, Conner’s mad scientist best friend in Smallville. Simon is a very interesting character, because he is basically the Sebastian Ives of this series. Ives is Tim Drake’s best friend, who continually pops up throughout the entire run of Robin. Actually, this series is reminiscent of Robin, with its teenage protagonist juggling school, friends, and superheroics.

Anyway, back to the story, the main plot deals with an attack on Smallville by everyone’s favorite power sucker, Parasite. It was really interesting how the town becomes a character when Conner is more concerned with damaging the street than he is about Parasite.

I think that this series has a lot of potential, with a strong base to build from and an exciting new writer that really seems to have a great plan for the coming months. Good stuff.



Bruce Wayne the Road Home: Oracle

Written by: Marc Andreyko

Art by: Agustin Padilla

Although, these issues of Bruce Wayne the Road Home actually came out last week, it seemed wrong not to finish what we started. So here goes…

I had no doubt that I would enjoy the Oracle one-shot. I really started the comic journey reading Birds of Prey so Babs and Dinah are my staples in the DC universe. If they’re in it, I’ll read it. Anyway, back to the issue, which was more Vicki Vale protecting…gross. However, instead the regular Birds line-up we were given a fun new team-up of Hawk, Dove, Manhunter, Ragman, and Batgirl (Stephanie Brown can be added to that earlier group of staples). I know nothing of Ragman, but it didn’t matter as his job was completely action based in this context.

There is also a really well written flashback about Bruce’s role in Barbara’s transition from Batgirl to Oracle after she’s paralyzed. Bruce and Babs have such a unique relationship as she’s the only one of the Bat Family who doesn’t have severe daddy issues. Who would with Commissioner Gordon as a father? But Bruce plays a very relevant part in her life because of her experiences as Batgirl and the fact that in actuality Oracle has just as many resources as Bruce and wields a great deal of power within the superhero community.

Side note: Manhunter really needs her own series.  That is all.


Ra's al Ghul

Bruce Wayne the Road Home: Ra’s al Ghul

Written by: Fabian Nicieza

Art by: Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens

Oh Scott McDaniel why do you torment me so? The cartoony art aside, this issue was almost spot on with what I expected. Fabian did surprise me with the Vicki Vale inner monologue analyzing her motives and the end got a little schticky, but this issue did its job. Paul wins this round…stupid Vicki Vale will be part of Batman Inc.…oh good.


And that my friends is the end of Bruce Wayne the Road Home. Did it make me excited for the beginning of Batman Inc.? Not as much as the last pages of Batman and Robin this month (brilliant!). But it was a fun story with some memorable moments. I’m not sorry Bruce Wayne is back and coming from me, that’s saying something.