Sunday, January 30, 2011

A More Rugged Superman

Say it loud and proud my friends, Zack Snyder is a casting genius.  Henry Cavill, the adorable Brit who deserves way more acclaim than he’s currently been getting, is the new Superman.  It’s snoopy dance central in the Zappone house today!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Flashpoint Frenzy


On Friday, DC announced the titles that will be included in the upcoming event, Flashpoint.  Paul and I agree that while it has a similar theme to Elseworlds (blech!), Flashpoint has a lot of potential.  The most recent Flash comic was actually a a rebirth issue about Reverse Flash and gave me a huge new appreciation for the character.  The story details Eobard Thawne’s life, but every time he plays second fiddle to another person, he goes back in time and gets rid of them.  Sometimes this method works to secure his future and sometimes it doesn’t and he has to go back again to make further changes.  This issue is the basis for Flashpoint and instead of doing one-shots, DC is going to do three issue mini-arcs.  All of the titles included pique my interest, but the three that jump out immediately are: Deadman and the Flying Graysons, The Secret Seven, and Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager

Flashpoint itself will be a five issue arc while the titles of the of the mini-arcs include:






Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sad News for Bat Fans

I’ve been counting down the days to February when the first issue of Batwoman was supposed to be released.  Now I find that the release date has been pushed back to April, will the frustration never cease?  The waiting continues…


American Vampire

Issue #11

Written by: Scott Snyder

Art by Mateus Santolouco

This issue finishes up a short arc about Pearl and Henry in their new life, and a nasty run-in with some bootleggers. I really liked this arc, it was really nice to get the story back to the core of the series, Pearl, even though the Las Vegas story of the past few months has been really interesting.

The action ran high this issue, with fill-in artist Mateus Sanotlouco ratcheting up the ultra-violence to the extreme. The energy was kinetic and jumped right off the page.

I also really liked the continued story of Hattie, Pearl’s roommate from the first arc. Scott Snyder is really developing a really strong supporting cast, which makes the comic much more layered and interesting.

Overall, American Vampire is consistently one of the better comics on the shelves, and let’s hope there are many more issues to come.


Batman: Streets of Gotham

Issue #19

Written by: Paul Dini

Art by: Dustin Nguyen

(I know this came out last week, but I wanted to review it since there’s so little time left!)

This Hush storyline has been so great, I can’t believe they canceled this series. The whole storyline is just so pulpy, I want to go out a buy a fedora. The different perspectives on Thomas Wayne’s past and the glimpse into Joker’s beginnings in Gotham have a disturbing quality to them. I find myself wanting to believe only the best about Bruce Wayne’s parents, and seeing them as human beings with flaws is actually physically uncomfortable. This is the kind of story that makes Paul Dini shine for me, and makes me almost forget how much I dislike his work with Poison Ivy.

There are only a couple issues left, and I will definitely miss this series. Thank goodness I’ll get my Dustin Nguyen fix in Batgirl.


Detective Comics

Issue #873

Written by: Scott Snyder

Art by: Jock


This issue is the conclusion of the Black Mirror storyline, and while I have really enjoyed this story I felt like it ended rather abruptly. Dick has to escape from the evil gas baddies with a little help from the infamous crowbar, which made me a little wistful for Jason Todd. What can I say? I’m a sucker for the Red Hood. But I digress, the hallucination scene was fun, I’m always up for a little Babs/Dick drama.

What I thought happened a little too quickly was the final battle scene. It took me a second to get my bearings on how Dick knew exactly where to go and how he got there so quickly. I guess I just couldn’t go that far with the whole suspension of disbelief thing. But it was a fun romp and I liked how Etienne Guiborg was suddenly a monster and how it was explained away perfectly. A little silly but a smashing romp all the same.


Justice League: Generation Lost

Issue #18

Written by: Judd Winick

Art by: Joe Bennett


When I first opened this issue, the first words that came out of my mouth were, “Whoa, look at Power Girls hair!” Then Paul informed me that I should actually read the page and realize that we were not in the present.

This issue was PAINFUL! And I mean that in a good way. I don’t like seeing Power Girl abused in this fashion by that bastard Max Lord! But, good news my friends, I think the madness is finally over and Power Girl is on the team, never to forget again.

Poor Jaime! Let’s talk about some more horrible abuse. What does Max want with Blue Beetle? Paul and I disagree on what’s to be Blue Beetle’s fate.  Paul is sure that Jaime is going to die, but I just can’t see DC doing that, especially considering there’s a television show planned for him. We’ll just have to see.

In terms of Generation Lost though, this was a great issue.


Teen Titans

Issue #91

Written by: J.T. Krul

Art by: Nicola Scott


Rose Wilson is such a bad ass! I used to think that I only liked Damian when he was around Dick. Their dynamic balances out Damian’s crazy, but the Damian/Ravager dynamic works just as well, and the scene where they are discussing their psychotic parents is priceless. Rose won’t put up with any of his crap, but can also identify with him which makes their relationship a unique one…and makes Damian less obnoxious. He was almost charming in this issue.

The Cassie/Conner issues were to be expected. I have to say, I’m not digging on how Cassie is being drawn these days, her features are a little softer than normal.

Bart got a little saving action in and we’re all set for the Red Robin crossover. Tim and Damian together without proper supervision is always an interesting ride.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Long Awaited End

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (2007 Season 8) 40A
Buffy Season 8
Issue # 40
Written by: Joss Whedon
Art by: Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens, and Michelle Madsen

The end of Buffy Season 8 came and went last week and I’m sure many people thought I would let it go unnoticed, but no.  Truthfully, I needed to stew on it for awhile because I found it frustrating on a number of levels.  First and foremost, because of how desperately I wanted to dislike it, and I didn’t.  Secondly, because while I was happy that it the writing crew brought back simplicity there were a few moments that I didn’t find very believable in terms of how the characters responded.  Let’s just jump right in shall we?

I’ve been very vocal with my main complaint that the story got too big and I’m not going to even go into the Angel/Twilight travesty again.  With the last issue there was a MAJOR time jump *did I mention SPOILER ALERT*, months in fact, so that we were able to see how each character settled in after the war.  The whole issue felt more like an epilogue and I liked that about it.  All the magic in the world is gone and Buffy is on everybody’s hit list, both literally and figuratively.  She’s back to working on her own, patrolling and saving people from everyday baddies.  Giles is gone of course and while I didn’t agree with the whole reading of the will scene, I understand the reasoning behind it.  It solidifies Buffy’s calling and returns her to her comfort zone.  I'm not happy with where Angel is at the moment, but what else were they going to do after the aforementioned travesty?  He was always broken, but now he is BROKEN.  I’m really curious about where the writers are going to take Willow in the next series.  I appreciated the reference to her techno-genius, which had really fallen by the wayside and I love that part of Willow.  I’m not so thrilled about the new love interest, if you missed that part you should go back and look at it, because it’s…odd.  Xander and Dawn are all domestic and by gum, that’s what Xander deserves.   And Spike is Spike which was so refreshing. 

The writers brought the story back to its roots in preparation for Season 9 and I hope that they continue on this path with our beloved Scooby's.  We’ve already been introduced to a new villain as well as how Buffy is going to deal with the other slayers who feel betrayed by her and are making her life miserable.  I’m not going to say that my faith is restored, because I don’t think I will ever recover from the giant Muppet gods, but I’m staying positive.  So now we wait.  I will either throw my hands up in the air and roll my eyes to the heavens in bafflement or I’ll really like the direction Season 9 takes, either way I know I will enjoy myself.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And Speaking of Catwoman…

The March cover of Gotham City Sirens is GORGEOUS!  Gotham City Sirens had a couple false starts, but it’s been a really fun read lately.  It managed to survive through the recent DC cancellations and now I’m supremely glad about that.


Catwoman and Bane!

For quite awhile now we have been waiting rather impatiently to find out exactly who Tom Hardy will be playing in the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, but the waiting is finally over!   Rumors were flying around about Killer Croc and Dr. Hugo Strange, but no, Bane it is.  And as a special bonus, it was also announced that Anne Hathaway has been cast as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman.   

My main complaint with Batman films in the past has been that I don’t see the need to consistently have more than one main villain.  It’s worked in the Christopher Nolan movies but Batman Returns set this trend that is never-ending.  Of course, then there is the age old argument that says that Selena Kyle isn’t a villain, she’s a grey area.   So that’s puts us back to one villain, but wait, don’t forget Two-Face and Scarecrow.  If we can believe Aaron Eckhart, he says that Two-Face won’t be making an appearance, so that leaves Scarecrow and honestly I’ll be sad if Cillian Murphy isn’t in the new one…so yeah, two villains it is, and no complaining from the panel.

I can’t wait to see the new Catwoman costume!  It’s going to be tough to beat Michelle Pfeiffer’s, but it certainly couldn’t be worse than Halle Barry’s.  As for Bane, I’ve always been lukewarm towards the character, but if anyone can give me a new appreciation for him, it will be Tom Hardy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Andrew Garfield Spiderman Pic

If you’ve been online at all today, you’ve probably already seen this, but I’m posting it anyway.  I’m loving this costume, especially the gloves!  More grit and less whining = a perfect Peter Parker.   


Andrew Garfield in the first image of the new SPIDER-MAN in costume

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Day for Birds of Prey!

If there were ever two perfect examples of boring characters that were brought to life by Gail Simone, they would be Catman and Huntress.  Prior to Secret Six, Catman was a low rent frumpy slob with questionable motivations.  He would show up here and there but never received much attention.  Through Secret Six though, he was reborn into the hunky, self-loathing fighter with an extreme moral flexibility, who often makes a hilarious fool of himself. 

Huntress is a completely different story.  I’ve always had an aversion to writers who try a make female characters seem tough by making them bitchy.  Even when they’re severely broken, there has to be more to keep my attention.  They have to care about someone or something at least a little bit, otherwise why should we as readers care about them?  Huntress is a perfect example for this argument.  Prior to Gail’s run on Birds, she was boring and sometimes even cringe worthy.  But now she’s a no nonsense kick ass chick who sometimes pushes the line but cares deeply about her friends and does it all with a damn fine dry wit.

So why am I going on and on about these two?  Because the April solicits are up and the cover for Birds of Prey has me doing a super snoopy dance.  Feast your eyes!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ponyboy Cast in the Spiderman Reboot

Like any child of the ‘80s I have a soft spot for C. Thomas Howell, but the casting for the new Spiderman film just keeps getting weirder and weirder.  Honestly the only person I can stand up and say “Abso-friggin-lutely!” to is Martin Sheen, everyone else has me scratching my head.  But it’s a good and curious head scratch. 

Back to the addition of C. Thomas Howell though, he will be playing a character named “Ray” and I’m thinking his screen time will be limited.  There’s a lot of story to pack into the Peter Parker origin story as we all well know, but good for you C. Thomas!  Welcome to this new world of reboots.  Maybe the release of Spiderman will coincide with the remake of Red Dawn, wouldn’t that be ever so special? 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Fresh Start for the New Year

So we have been negligent of the blog of late, what with holidays and overall stress-induced procrastination, but it’s a new year. The new year in comics will bring some interesting changes to the books we know and love.

Let’s start with the sad news. Azrael and Batman: Streets of Gotham have been canceled, and will finish out early in the year. Paul has enjoyed Azrael but he says the end is pretty obviously in sight. Streets of Gotham was a bit of an anomaly. There were some storylines that were rock solid and some that lost their footing, I think in the end it just had a hard time finding its place in the never-ending world of Batman books. The latest Hush story has been fascinating though and I will be sad to see it end.

In just a few short months Terry Moore’s Echo will be ending. I am a huge lover of Strangers in Paradise and have really been digging on Echo since the first issue, but I appreciate the fact that Moore had a beginning, middle, and end perfectly set from the beginning and stuck with it.

Buffy Season 8…if you frequent Same Bat Panel, you know exactly how I feel about the end of this and if it ever comes it will be sweet relief.

On the bright side, there are rumors that J.T. Krul will FINALLY bring Mia back into the Green Arrow world this summer. If he doesn’t, we’re going to have words…not that I’ve ever met the man.

Dynamite is releasing a new series by Garth Ennis that sounds freaking awesome. As much as I’ve enjoyed The Boys, I’m ready for some new Garth.

During our hiatus, Batwoman #0 was released and while it was super short, it lived up to the hype. It was really just a set-up for the series starting in February, but it did its job and left me hungry for more.

Paul and I were lucky enough to meet Greg Rucka at a signing last year and he promises a new Stumptown story this Spring as well as a new series later in the year. If you haven’t checked out Stumptown yet, it’s a must read, and if you’ve never read Rucka’s earlier Queen and Country series, well, there are no words.

And last but certainly not least, a new Red Lantern series has been announced. Let the excitement commence!

Stick with us this year, it’s going to be a wonderful blood-spewing ride.