31 July, 2011

A lot of reviews

Batman: Gotham Noir          

                I've always been a fan of Batman and I have also always liked stories about Jim Gordon. I was very excited to see a comic that would bring the superhero world back to its roots. Away from the modern superhero and homicidal maniac back into the gangs and the mob. Batman has had that with the Falcones which has been good, but this is what Batman started out as and it was good to see Batman during his prime, just even creepier. Even though I was excited to see Batman in this state I was also pumped to see Jim Gordon during this exciting time period. Everything was done right, this was an excellent comic. The story was enticing, the writing was great, and the art was fantastic. It brought the character back to its roots. I expected this to be a boring alternate reality story thing, but this wasn't like that at all. If you have not bought this comic yet I recommend you do it immediately, it was great. Nothing I say can really do this comic justice. It was thoroughly enjoyable. I will let out that there was an appearance of the Joker in this comic and that it was very different from any Joker I've ever seen. This one went crazy and still did the same kind of crazy things the normal Joker does, but in this case Ed Brubaker found a way to make the Joker as creepy as usual without using the gimmicks like the obsession with Batman, the crow bar, or even laughing gas. It was great writing, story telling, and character development. I also forgot to mention that the way Brubaker wrote this comic and the way Phillips drew it made Gordon't emotions fly off the page, and made you empathize with him. They also made this comic feel like a classic mystery novel, and with that comes a need to see the ending. I recommend this comic highly, I loved everything about it.

Grade: 10/10

Deadpool #40

              I have always found Deadpool amusing and I read it whenever I don't have a comic that I really want to read and I often think it's great. If one is looking for a serious comic then I wouldn't recommend this series. This is a series that I would recommend if you want to have a quick fun read, and that's exactly what this issue was. The main attraction to this and most if not all Deadpool comics, is not the story its self (funny though they may be) but it's the character. He's so funny and different from most other things out their today, unless you count the few appearances Batmite or Ambush Bug make, and reading about him is a great break from the endless arcs that get tied into a bunch of different series. The comics themselves though lack a great quality which is disappointing. This story for example made little sense, even for Deadpool and the art was not up to par. But since it's Deadpool my expectations were set a good deal lower and I still enjoyed this comic. I should also mention that the writing did make me laugh, and that this slap stick humor is boosting the grade of the comic very much.

Grade: 7/10


Superman/Batman #86

         This series is constantly on and off. Sometimes it's great, and sometimes it's lousy. I wasn't a fan of the last arc until after I finished it. I'm still not a fan of it, just in my mind it went from being terrible to being okay. The reason I keep coming back to it is because it's one of the few series now a days that still has a classic feel. Granted most of this is probably because Bruce Wayne is Batman, but I enjoy new stories every arc opposed to one story broken up into many little arcs.
        In this issue Batman is looking for the man that killed the reporter that was doing the story on Batman's secret identity. He goes to Martin Mayne, the editor in chief of the Gotham Gazette to get answers. Mayne goes through the "who elected you" schtick but eventually gave the name of a bar that the reporter went to a lot. Meanwhile Superman, as Clark Kent, goes to Wayne tech to get answers from Mr. Fox and continue the story. Fox says that things were stolen but due to the fact that Bruce Wayne did something else, they lost no money at all. Later on Bruce Wayne goes to the bar as Matches Malone and gets someone to talk about who killed the reporter. Someone named "The Box." Kent goes to Mayne and tells him that he will continue the story, Batman goes to the Box and finds out that the Box is the Joker, and in the mail box of the Joker's hide out is a tip from Mayne saying that Kent is continuing the story. The comic ends with the Joker trying to kill Kent with a hammer.
      Especially after the disappointment with Detective Comics issue 880, and the lack of the Joker's involvement, this was most enjoyable. This comic had a ver classic feel, but with a modern twist. Opposed to many other Batman stories that are being published, this one really felt like Batman a detective and not just a superhero, which was also really good. The only real problem I had with this comic had nothing to do with the comic. I really don't like Mayne. For starters his name is the same as Wayne just the first letter is flipped, and also he looks and acts to much like Perry White. Besides that one character though I loved this comic. I've always been interested in the Jokers fascination with Batman and how he doesn't want to know his secret identity. This has taken that to the next level. When I first heard this plot I assumed it was either going to be someone in the Bat family, or someone trying to do the right thing because they were saved by Batman. I never suspected the Joker. I would pick this comic up in a heart beat if I hadn't already.

Grade: 9/10
Buy at: www.mycomicshop.com

Detective Comics #880

         I have been so out of modern comics. I have been reading some more Marvel which has been fun, but I love DC and since none of the stories really matter anymore (well... until next month) I have just been ordering old comics and enjoying them thoroughly. Next month might have fewer posts then usual because I will be reading mainly old comics. Also all of my subscriptions are ending because of DC's relaunch but I was still excited to find this comic in the mail, mainly because of it's cover.
        In this issue the Joker escapes from Arkham and Jim Gordon panics because the Joker often attacks his family. He warns his wife but it was too late. When Gordon got to her she had already been attacked. Gordon brings her to Dick Grayson for medical care and she starts to recover slowly. Oracle goes back to her office to await the Joker, and Batman goes looking for him. He finds him in a crypt. They start to battle and the Joker says he wants his old Batman back and not this "little bird." Eventually Batman controls him and the Joker says it wasn't him. Then we see Oracle's brother attacking her.
       I was looking forward to a real Joker story which is not what I got. There have been just random mentions of this villain throughout multiple comics in the past couple months and I think it's finally going to be done next month, right before Bruce Wayne get's his old title back. I did like the portrayal of the Joker here. While I do love the insane (and somewhat lovable) Joker, it is always good to see a Joker like the one in Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum, and a renewed obsession with the old Batman. So the story was enjoyable not great and probably not something that I am going to remember for a long time, except for the part that actually had the Joker, that was incredible and I would buy the comic just for that.. I'm not a huge fan of Jock's work, it's good, but not great, so for me the comic even suffered there. Although the cover was one of the best cover's I've ever seen, and is definitely poster worthy.

Grade: 7/10
Buy at: www.mycomicshop.com

17 July, 2011

Amazing Spiderman #665

        I also picked up this comic because of my rereading of Marvel comics. Due to a mix up my subscription for Amazing Spiderman ended after Big Time Spiderman which was one of the best arcs that I have ever read. So because of that this was a natural choice if I wanted to pick up Marvel Comics again.
        This issue started off by describing the Movie Night situation involving Peter Parker and Betty Brant. But then when Betty Brant wanted to see a certain movie Peter never had the time, between being Spiderman and his job he never was free. Finally after both Peter and Flash say "no" to her during its last week in theaters Betty goes to see the movie in the last theater that's playing it. The problem is, is that the theater is in a bad neighborhood. Betty get's attacked by a thug named Harlan Finch. Upon hearing this news, instead of running to the hospital, Peter as Spiderman went on a man hunt for Harlan Finch. After tearing through New York, Spiderman finds Betty's locket and then when he is really close to finding Finch he get's a call from Aunt May telling him to "Get to the hospital" and how she was never as disappointed in him as the day Uncle Ben died, because instead of comforting Aunt May he ran after the killer which hurt Aunt May. So Peter turned away and went to the hospital. It was movie night so he sat and watched a movie with Betty Brant.
        I loved this issue. This issue was absolutely jam packed with emotion. Dan Slott took something as simple as movie night and brought it to a whole new level. I have said many times that the appeal of Spiderman is Peter Parker's life. This was no exception. I also loved how powerful Spiderman looked when he was looking for Harlan Finch. That definitely looked like a lead up to Spider Island. If  Spiderman can look like that in just one issue, then in the event he is going to be beyond powerful. So the story was definitely a 10 out of 10. I especially liked how Aunt May told Peter off about the day Uncle Ben died. In that part I could practically feel the sadness that both Aunt May and Peter were feeling. So I recommend this comic to anyone, even people who aren't die hard Spiderman fans will enjoy this.

Grade: 10/10
Buy at: www.mycomicshop.com

16 July, 2011

Uncanny X-Force

          While I clame to be impartial towards the rivalry of DC and Marvel I must admit that I have, for around a year, liked DC much more. I do not really know why, just some where back I decided to read more Superman and Batman than X-Men and Spiderman. Now with the DC relaunch and none of the stories really mattering anymore I decided to give Marvel a chance and I remembered really liking this series when it first came out so I decided to start my re-reading of Marvel with Uncanny X-Force.
          In this issue the X-Men continue to work with Dark Beast to try and help Angel get rid of Archangel. To stop this new heir of Apocalypse, Dark Beast needs something called the Life Seed, but that means he and the X-Force have to go back into his own dimension.The X-Force go to Dark Beast's old lab to retrieve the Life Seed, but they are stopped by Nightcrawler, Sabertooth and Sunfire (the ones from the dark reality). After much fighting Shiro destroys the Life Seed and Dark Beast runs away into the original dimension, stranding the X-Force. Then relizing that the X-Force weren't clones made by Dark Beast, Nightcrawler, Sabertooth and Sunfire take the X-Force to their hide out (Atlantis) where they meet up with Professor X and Jean Grey.
         I have said I don't like alternate reality stories before, (because I find them unoriginal) and this was an Alternate reality story. However it wasn't just about the alternate reality it was mainly about Apocalypse. As I wrote that I noticed many similarities between this comic and every single other alternate reality story. They went to go retrieve something/someone, there was a complication, they get stranded, and then they meet up with other people that resemble people from their own universe. So I was planning to write this and say that the comic wasn't what you would expect and it was different from other alternate reality stories, but I was wrong, it is very typical. The only real differences were that the X-Force already knew this universe existed, and the other one (which was actually much better) was meeting up with different versions of dead friends with them. The attachment that the X-Force felt toward Nightcrawler was well done and the shock Wolverine and Jean felt when they saw each other was captured perfectly in just one panel where you couldn't even see Wolverine's face. So this was not a great story by Rick Remender, but Mark Brooks did an amazing job on pencils. He really made this comic much better.

Grade: 7.5/10
Buy at: www.mycomicshop.com

30 June, 2011

Doctor Who #5

         I am a huge, huge fan of the new Doctor Who series, and Matt Smith being the Doctor. I also think that Amy Pond is one of, if not the best companion that any Doctor has ever had, so when I finally found an issue with Matt Smith as the Doctor and Amy Pond as the companion I had to pick it up. I did like the classic Doctor Who series, but I do like the new Doctor Who series better than the old one, so I thought that the comics would go the same way.
         In this issue the Tardus winds up on earth, just a thousand years ago. The Doctor was attempting to go to a soccer game. He winds up in the middle of a Viking/Saxon conflict. Finally peace arrangements come along between the Viking king and the Saxon King, but the Viking king's son wants war so he kills his father, blames it on the Saxons and kidnaps Amy. The Doctor and Rory challenge the Vikings to a soccer match, and through many cheap moves, the Doctor and Rory win. The Viking king then dishonors himself by trying to kill the Doctor and Rory, but Rory fights back and the Vikings turn on their king. The Saxon king and Amy are released from Jail, and then the trio go to the soccer match.
      I liked the classic issue better. This story was a little too "cutesy" for my taste. I was fine up to when the Doctor challenges the Vikings to soccer. I did enjoy the entire issue, but it wasn't very good. I expected the comic to be near the quality of the show, which has turned into a very serious and thoughtful science fiction show, but instead I got this. I have mentioned that I love fun reads some times, and that is what this was (just lower quality than the DC/Marvel fun reads) so if someone just wants something to pass the time then I would recommend this, just be warned, that this is not like the TV show.

Grade: 6/10
Buy at: www.mycomicshop.com

Flashpoint #2

         I am not crazy about the idea of Flashpoint, it is just a massive alternate reality story. Although since it does lead up to the re launch I can bear it. I do like alternate reality stories, but Flashpoint is getting more hype than the idea deserves, but again, since it leads up to the relaunch then it's okay. The first issue of the series was decent, but the most shocking thing that happened is it, is that we found out that Barry Allen didn't have his power which has been done before, but if you just take the comic alone then it was okay.
       In this issue Deathstroke was sailing with a bunch of other comic characters, but their boat gets stopped by Aquaman and Ocean Master, and they kill them all. Then the Thomas Wayne Batman is interrogating Barry Allen. During this interrogation Barry Allen finds out that Professor Zoom is behind this, and explains to Wayne that in his world Bruce lives and he dies. So Thomas Wayne decides to help him. Meanwhile Steve Trevor goes looking for Lois Lane and the Amazons catch him and he tells them all about his mission to find Lois. After that Thomas Wayne and Barry Allen try to recreate the accident that made Barry the Flash, but it just ends up severely burning him.
      I was not a fan of the interrogation scene with Barry Allen and Thomas Wayne, it seemed the entire point of it was to explain things that I assume most people had figured out already, I understand it for people just hearing about the whole idea of Flashpoint, but if you already know what is happening then the entire section is very dull. I did enjoy the rest of the comic, I found a lot of it was just "hey look at what we are doing to all of these characters" and DC just showing how a bunch of different characters ended up, but when you have an alternate reality story you need some of that. The best part of the comic was the very end. I thought that Barry Allen was going to get his powers back and that would be that, but the burn was most surprising. I honestly don't know where the Flash/Batman part of the series will go after this. I have no predictions besides Barry is in the hospital for the rest, but I know that can't be true. I am beyond excited for the next issue, and this issue definitely made me feel better about Flashpoint. It really wasn't the story, more just the last pages, but it definitely made me feel better.

Grade: 7/10 (This is the grade for the entire issue)
Buy at: www.mycomicshop.com

27 June, 2011

The Relaunch

                  This post is not the usual review of a comic book. In this post I will talk about the need for DC' relaunch, what I expect, what I'm looking forward too, and also what I'm dreading. I do not think that many fans of DC will disagree with me when I say that this relaunch is long overdue. I love DC but one of the things that DC and Marvel do is they get too rapped up in there own stories and stray too far from the character's original origin. The two top examples of that are Green Arrow and Batman. While I do understand that Green Arrow and Robin Hood share many of the same attributes (the bow, the hat, green etc.) They were far from the same character until J.T Krul moved him into the forrest with a man who carries a sword. He even through in a couple of scenes where Green Arrow stole from the rich and gave to the poor. I am very hopeful that in this relaunch Green Arrow will go back to his roots as the voice of liberal America. What I am expecting is that Green Arrow will go from being like a character from folk lore (like he is right now) and then turn back into a political figure, and have each comic book have a meaning, because if he is not like that, then he is just another boring character with a bow. Batman's problem is easier to see. Batman is Bruce Wayne. When someone else is wearing the same costume there is no more Batman. What I am expecting and hoping will happen is that the Batman series will be turned into more of Batman the Dark Knight and Dick Grayson will do well as Nightwing. (I recently read a couple of old Nightwing Comics and loved them, I really hope they will return to that quality)  I am still a little worried because Batman Inc. is on the list of series to be relaunched, but I still have hope that Batman inc. will be kept very separate from the rest of the Batman series. I am very much looking forward to some B-list characters getting a series devoted to them. I'm especially looking forward to Captain Atom and Deadman, although I am a little worried that too many B-lists are getting series, for instance I don't know if Mr. Terrific needs a series, but I'm not to worried about that. I am worried about series that really shouldn't exist. I don't think New Guardians or Red Lanterns should exist. I thought with the relaunch that it would go back to just Green and Yellow lanterns, I don't object too highly that the other lanterns still exist but I don't think the entire Red Lantern Corps should get a comic series. The main series I'm excited for is Aquaman. The series will have Aquaman and Geoff Johns, I really don't see how it could go wrong. The series I plan on following are: Deadman, Captain Atom, Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, most of the Batman series, JLA and JLI, The Flash and finally Blue Beetle. I might not get around to all of those, it will most likely all depend on which series are offered as subscriptions, but I'm very excited for the series. I almost wish that Marvel would do the same thing. The pictures that are seen around are some of the covers that are going to be in the relaunch