Sunday, September 6, 2015

Who is this?

I've had this action figure for probably 15 years and I really want to figure out what he's from. I've kept him because he's really cool looking, but I can't remember what show this is from. The only clue I have is that this guy was made by Trendmasters Inc. Pretty sure this is from a tv show and pretty sure it's something where people go into computers and fight a la Tron and Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad. Any thoughts?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Weekly Pull List 2-18-15

It's been a few weeks and I have quite a stack built up of almost all the books I am currently reading. Therefore I will be doing snap reviews apart from a handful of them.

I'll start with Wolf Moon 3 of 6. An epic showdown in a mall between the wolf, Dillon, and the mysterious hunter. An epic book that takes place in towns I'm familiar with. Beautiful art. 4 out of 5.

Green Arrow 39. Another story of the bad guy not approving of Arrow's intentional lack of killing. Felicity ets broken out of jail in a story just like the supposed screenplay for the green arrow movie: "Escape from Super Max." Loads of fun and I wish that movie ended up getting made. 2.5 of 5.

Star Wars 2. This issue expertly follows the previous one. I love this series so far. Aaron does good work and I've loved Cassaday's art since I read his and Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men. 4 our of 5.

Loki Agent of Asgard 11. Loki is running around looking for some friends after his big revelation that he isn't who they thought he was. An interesting issue. Could definitely be considered "whiny" or "emo" if it wasn't written so well. Pretty solid issue, but better in it's build up than this story itself. 3.5 out of 5.

Magneto 15. Turns out Magneto allowed himself to be captured in order to get inside and access SHIELD's cerebro substitute. Turns out he has many agents hidden throughout the world. It seems to be building towards a war between Magneto's mutants and SHIELD. 4.5 out of 5.

Thor 5. This issue is all about girl power and it's great. The Goddess of thunder stops a burglary by Crusher Creel and his wife, who refuses to fight Thor because girl power. Sif turns down the Odinson's advances, and Freyja confronts the new Thor to have a discussion. An excellent issue all around and they promise to start addressing who this new Thor is by having the Odinson hunt through his list of possibilities. 5 out of 5.

To wrap up Marvel, Storm 8! An incredible issue that wraps up this arc of Storm's story which involves Davis Harmon picking up scrap from the now destroyed Utopia. An excellent addition to the story and I'm curious as to how this will come back later as it hints toward the end of the issue. 4 out of 5.

IDW put out G.I.Joe 5. Pawns are being moved into place as the three powers continue building. This series has done some incredible world building and I hope the story warrants the slow-burn approach to this book. 3.5 out of 5.

Velvet 9 came out and it's excellent. Velvet now has a companion on her road to freeing herself from the setup. Still a brilliantly written and gorgeously drawn book. 4 out of 5.

Lazarus 15 was released this week and ends the Conclave with a fairly serious trial by combat situation. I really need to go back and read the backmatter to explore more of the extended world and to be more familiar with the other families. 4 out of 5.

Now time for the new book: Sparks Nevada: Marshall on Mars 1. This is the comic adaptation of one of the tales from the Thrilling Adventure Hour. It is certainly the best comic adaptation of a new-time podcast in the style of old-time radio. 3.5 out of 5.

Now some Cullen Bunn time starting with Terrible Lizard 4 of 5. As the penultimate issue in this first series, the action ramps up quite well. It feels like it is coming to an end. It's a great story, but doesn't quite match the brilliance of Super Dinosaur going all out. 2.5 out of 5.

Brides of Helheim 4 pits Rikard against a valkyrie. The serpent-tongue old guy runs off and Rikard's witch friend chases after him to try to take him out. Bad things are about to happen next issue. 3 out of 5.

I also picked up Sixth Gun 46 and Days of the Dead 5. Both great books. The main story wraps up this arc next issue and then there's one last arc before the end of the series. Days of the Dead wraps up in this issue and it definitely deserves a re-read. A very touching story about Drake and Jesup's past and how death changed their relationship. I'll give them both 4 out of 5.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekly Pull List 1-14-15

Light weeks these past two weeks. I will start with Terrible Lizard 3. Cullen Bunn and Drew Moss bring us the time displaced Tyrannosaur. After being chased into the city by the military, Wrex has to battle a pair of giant, armored, roly polys appear through a time portal. A great escalation of the story. This is still a kid focused book, so it's not super complex, but it is great fun. I'm excited to see where it's going. 3 out of 5.

Lazarus 14 from Image came out and escalates all the tensions as Forever helps her brother break out into the middle of the ocean and the conclave agrees the conflict will be decided with trial by combat. Forever vs. one of her other Lazarus friends. Another excellent tale which promises a wonderful climax. 3.5 out of 5.

And on to the big surprise of the week. Marvel's Star Wars 1 by Jason Aaron. The flagship book of Marvel's triumphant reboot of the Star Wars universe comics. Taking place shortly after the destruction of the first Death Star, this book perfectly captures the grandeur and style of the original trilogy. It's going to be a tricky book as it will have the same problems as any sort of prequel where the stakes won't be too high since we know the end game. The story involves a raid on Cymoon, the fully automated largest weapons factory in the galaxy. Naturally, things go awry when the Falcon gets dismantled and Vader shows up. Cassaday's art superbly captures the beauty of the movies. Like most of Aaron's work, I'm super excited for some more. 4 out of 5.

Now onto this week's books. First off is Loki: Agent of Asgard 10. A wonderful little tale of brotherly love, disappointment, and betrayal. This issue gets into some history of the characters that I don't remember. I'm guessing its from the Matt Fraction Mighty Thor era which I own, but is still on my reading stack. This book continues to surprise me. It has a totally light-hearted, fun feel to it and has enough mystery to keep things fresh. Ewing's words are beautifully matched by the gorgeous stylings of Lee Garbett. This issue took some very serious turns and drove some wonderful tension between Loki and his adopted brother. The only problem I have with this book is that it references the fight between Odinson and the goddess of thunder in Thor 4. Which comes out next week. A minor problem that could easily be fixed by delaying this issue for one week. 4 out of 5.

Magneto 14 picks up with SHIELD moving in on Erik as he wanders Genosha. He takes them all on after doping on some mutant growth hormone and takes most of them out before surrendering. There's an extremely tense flashback scene where Magneto tries to stand up to the mega sentinel the last time Genosha got leveled. He magnetizes some metal into his legs to make braces so he can walk. This book can be a potential turning point for the character. He surrenders after admitting that along with SHIELD, Magneto was also not there when the mutants faced one of their biggest tragedies. Unsurprisingly, I am a fan of Cullen Bunn and his work, and Walta's art is a natural companion to the mysterious story. 4 out of 5.

Lastly, IDW came out with G.I.Joe: Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra 1. This is another book that seems to skip over something big that came out of what I haven't read yet. It's a very interesting take on the character as he is working with Cobra to rescue and be an errand boy for Destro. It's a very odd scenario and the question of why is enough to keep me around for a bit. We find out what Snake Eyes' main goal is for the time being: getting close to Cobra Commander's son. It's quite strange having a book whose main character is mute. They made it work in this one by having Destro around and talking nonstop, but we will see how things continue from there. A decent start to a series. I have no idea how it will continue to do, but I'm in for a bit at least. 3 out of 5. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekly Pull List 1-7-2015

Happy New Year! Let's start it off right with some catch up! Catch up in the sense that I didn't pick up any new books for a couple weeks when I was back in Illinois for a wedding and the holidays. So some of these books came out on Christmas Eve, but I didn't get them until this week.

Alright, I will start with Marvel and Storm 7. I thought I had dropped this book already, but apparently it was Nightcrawler that I dropped. I'm really glad it worked out that way. This issue starts off a little bit of a spy story. Storm wakes up in a basement prison, entrapped by the FBI. She confers with Beast, Nightcrawler and Rachel Grey telepathically. There are protestors protesting to free her when she uses her old school thieving skills to escape. Storm then assaults a corrupt senator who was behind blaming her for the plane attack by going all big-bad-wolf on his house. All while having a broken ankle. With an end goal of finding the name of the man behind it. This book was excellent. Greg Pak has really hit his stride finally. Storm escapes by using her old school thievery skills from her time on the street. It's always good to see a character not have to use their powers in order to get out of a situation. All around good episode. There’s so much going on in this issue and all of it is interesting. There’s corporate espionage, action, adventure, hard sci-fi, and the works. A great issue that makes me interested in the next few issues. 4.5 out of 5.

My other Marvel, non-Axis book is Magneto 13. Even though Magneto is pretty involved with Axis, this book follows Briar Raleigh, Erik’s new partner in crime. She visits some sort of black market Magneto fan club-museum thing. It’s a pretty odd book. It feels like a really strange one-off that sets up a potential arc where SHIELD is looking for Magneto and will try to get Briar to help. There’s a few shots of Magneto wandering around Genosha, brooding about the loss of mutants. A nice issue. definitely feels fresh and sets up a dark story. 3.5 out of 5.

Now let's jump over to Image for Rasputin 3. Grigori wakes up after what appears to be a drunken orgy and follows a little ice fairy out into the icy wilderness where an ice spirit who was created by Ded Moroz, a slavic myth similar to Santa Claus. Translated to "old man frost". He's a mysterious giant and the strong and quiet type. The snegurochka (ice spirit) talks to our title character about his healing powers and how the waters of life are fluid and when he gives people life, a part of them goes into Rasputin. Meanwhile, our giant friend from the monastery wakes up Mr. Dulac to tell him a tale of the man who found the water of life. It's an intriguing book that explores a couple of different histories and mythologies and promises an excellent,  sufficiently weird story going forth. 5 out of 5.

From the wonderfully fantastic to the mysteriously horrific with Outcast 6. This issue is a bit of a wrap up to the first arc. Kyle and the priest visit the old lady at the end of last issue, and it continues here. The creepy guy, Sidney, comes out of the shadows and creeps them out. Later, Sidney shows up at the priest's house and threatens him to not get involved any further, while Kyle has a flashback to when he used his powers on his mother. A very solid, fun issue. There's lots of tension and suspense. Kirkman does some good work. I'm guessing he will do some good work over the next 2 or 3 arcs before it starts being too stale and repetitive. 4 out of 5.

Now over to Green Arrow 38 at DC. A fun little Green Lantern/Green Arrow tale. They meet up with Katana who also has been tracking King and apparently ARGUS has been compromised. A fun little tale. I like the Katana character and I will be picking up the trade of her series at some  point in the near future. A solid issue, furthering the plot of King turning all of Seattle against Oliver as the Green Arrow. It should be a nice, fun little story. We will see. 3.5 out of 5.

Vertigo gave us Wolf Moon 2 of 6. Some more gruesome violence and creative world building make this book an excellent, yet creepy read. I really enjoy getting to know the main characters and learning about this clever new werewolf take along with them. I'm excited to learn more and to meet the mysterious hunter who is taking out the previous werewolf hosts. A creepy story which is excellently set up and intriguing to the last page. 4 out of 5.

Lastly Sixth Gun: Days of the Dead 4. Yum Kimil has entered the world, Drake Sinclair shows up and will probably do something next issue, Jesup and Roberto plot to take down the lord of death whilst he sews together some dead guys to make a crazy zombie monster to hunt them down. Solid issue, but it's a middle story so nothing huge going on. With probably a 6 issue series here it's well on the way to being another excellent addition to the Sixth Gun mythology. 4 out of 5. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Monthly Pull List December 2014

Alright, rapid catch up on all the books from last year. Now that the news is out, I got married on New Years Eve. It was a very successful surprise wedding. We were planning it throughout the end of the year which is why I've been so sporadic with these. As I head back to work in the new year, I will be working hard to get a set schedule rolling and stay on top of things. Alright, here we go.

Storm 6 starts off with some epilogue on the Death of Wolverine story, then it does a nice little tale of Storm flying a charter flight and dealing with a bit of Mutant hate. It's a fairly powerful story where she has to overcome adversity and fear in order to save the plane from a paramilitary attack. This issue was almost enough to get me interested in keeping with it for a few more issues, but I already dropped it at the store. The art is still pretty good. The cover is a pretty fantastic shot from inside the plane as someone records Storm fighting outside the window. It's a beautiful page. 4 out of 5.

Nightcrawler 9 came out as well. Nightcrawler up against a bunch of X-men and space pirates. There are some flashbacks to Kurt talking with Kitty and reminiscing about a time she was with Wolverine, in a mini-series that I read about 2 months ago. The story ends with Nightcrawler cornered. I hope that this story wraps up in the next issue so I can drop the book without feeling like I'm missing anything. Art is okay, as usual. Not much else to say about this book. 3 out of 5.

And the usual winner of Marvel, Thor 3. A three-way battle rages between the Goddess of Thunder, Dario Agger, and Malekith leading the Frost Giants. The battle sways back and forth quite epicly, only to be ended by Thor, with his metal hand, showing up and challenging his new replacement. Another epic issue that fully intrigues and entices me. Always a pleasure to read Aaron's work and Dauterman's art has certainly earned it's way into this book. Excellent book. 4.5 out of 5.

Next, we go over to IDW for G.I.Joe 4. Tensions rise as the Joes, Cobra and Rashidov and his separatists run covert ops to get ahead of each other. Excellently written and drawn even better, this book improves with every issue. While there may be a way for this issue to be better, I'm certainly not seeing it. 5 out of 5.

Over to DC we have Green Arrow 37. This book has the same problems I foresee it having for the extent of Kreisberg and Sokolowski's run. It feels like an alternate Arrow. That being said, I will not complain about that anymore. They set up a mysterious crime lord, John King, and introduced his daughter Mia as a new sidekick character. It feels a little too fan-fic, but it's actually a fun read. I'm hoping this arc keeps picking up. Art-wise, Daniel Sampere seems to be trying to mimic Andrea Sorrentino's art. It doesn't quite work as well, but I like it pretty well. It's a step in the right direction, at the very least. 3.5 out of 5.

DC's imprint Vertigo put out Wolf Moon 1. This is Cullen Bunn's take on a werewolf tale. He twists the lore a bit and makes the werewolf an abstract phenomenon that transfers to a new person on a monthly basis instead of being a single person. The main character has a personal vendetta against the wold and goes out to hunt it. There's a dark mystery to the book, Bunn's specialty, and Jeremy Haun's art is the perfect creepy and dark style to enhance the story. As far as first issues go, it doesn't get much better than this. 4.5 out of 5.

Now over to Bunn's other creepy, indie, mystery: The Empty Man 6 of 6. The end of the first mini-series in this strange new world. The ending wasn't incredibly satisfying, but the setup for what comes next is pretty great. Del Rey's art is great. I must say, it's pretty annoying that this book was marketed as x of 6. It implies there will be an end to the story. I'm fine with season ore mini-series style books, it's just mildly annoying that it's not clear from the start. Another great installation into the Bunn library. 4.5 out of 5.

Time to finish off with some Oni books. Terrible Lizard 2 starts off with a fight between Wrex and a giant gorilla with a stone crab-like claw. There's some good fighting, and loads of fun. Plot-wise it's a little slow, which is okay since it's geared towards kids. Mostly, this is just a really fun book without mush in the way of stakes or gravitas. I'll probably drop after the first arc. 3.5 out of 5.

Brides of Helheim 3 is next in this week's Cullen Bunn Pull List. Rikard is bringing the old sorcerer back home to answer to the witches and repay his blood debt. Promises/threats are made and they are greeted by the long-waiting Sigrid upon hitting shore, only to have the sorcerer turn her into or release a Valkyrie. Thus setting up a battle against someone the draugr is actually threatened by. A great read. A tense battle of wits as the pair of ungodly characters Jonah across the sea in a monstrous fish, who is being attacked by all the monsters enraged by the sorcerer's presence. A great read, and a wonderful setup for next issue? Yes, please! 4 out of 5.

Lastly, The Sixth Gun 45. A nicely crafted issue. Bookended by a chronicling of Screaming Crow and how he met the Chief of Thunder. The stage is almost set. Griselda has oiled the seal with the blood of the townspeople and taken care of the pesky thunderbirds. There was a surprise visit from an old friend, and all sorts of violence. A great way to set up the end of a series. 4.5 out of 5.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Weekly Pull List 11-26-14

A few books this week. I'll start with Rasputin 2. As intriguing as the first issue was, there isn't a whole lot that's new from this issue. He is drinking at a bar when a kindred spirit, Antoine, gets in a tussle. Rasputin joins in and brings him back when he gets shot in the throat. Later, Antoine shows up and invites Grigori on an adventure. Hence the start of a story... This runs the same trouble I've had with a handful of recent number 1s. It feels like the end of issue two is the real starting point (inciting incident if you will) of the series. It feels a tiny bit cheap to have that feeling after issue two. The bar fight takes up a good chunk of the first half of the book. It's a great scene, but feels a bit too early to take up that much of the book for a fight whose purpose could have come across in half the pages. The artwork if pretty freaking gorgeous. There's a nice cool palette which makes it feel like you're in a tundra wasteland. The book has potential, but is still finding its legs. I will stick with it for a while and hope for the best. 3 out of 5.

Also from Image comes Rucka and Lark's Lazarus 13. Politics abound at the Conclave. Everyone is on edge and carefully plotting their next move in the insane chess match taking place on a tiny island, with stakes as high as entire countries. While this book isn't the action packed thrill ride I was hoping for, Rucka is pretty awesome at the slow game of building up the world and raising the stakes. Lark, as usual, does some fine work in making these characters lovable and intriguing in this grim tale of family and what they do for each other. This issue is a pretty great read, but it's a "calm before the storm scenario". Especially after the last page. Some bad stuff is about to happen. 3.5 out of 5.

Lastly, G.I. Joe issue 3 was put out by IDW. In a plot that feels similar to Retaliation, the Joes are fighting to keep themselves alive as an organization since their funding has been pulled. This series is interesting as it's growing out of the last "season" of G.I.Joe comics. They have been running 2 year series' to make it easier for new people to jump on board. It's been working quite well story-wise as it allows creators to tell the story they want and then hand it off for a fresh new start. I recently read the Cobra Command event from a few years ago and there are some similar themes (mostly Cobra trying to fix its public face. Really this new series is showing a near direct result of that book. I', loving this new direction and the only actual complaint I have is that some of the characters can seem juvenile in their depictions. Great issue and I am excited to see where Traviss and Kurth are going to take us. 4 out of 5.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Monthly Pull List October 2014 Part 2, November Part 1

Alright, back to the grind. I've decided since a large amount of my books that I'm backed up on are for Axis that I will just do a full wrap up for all of those and the tie ins from my normal series'. Until then, Nightcrawler 8 came out. Kurt gets summoned by Bloody Bess, one of the Crimson Pirates we've been teased with in previous issues. His bamfs gather together with Rico and Ziggy and teleport the blackbird to follow and rescue Nightcrawler and Bess. The Shadow King mind controls the rest of the X-Men in the other jet. And the issue leaves off with Nightcrawler about to face off against the rest of the X-Men. Huge shocker with the current Axis plots. Another average story with pretty good action and some fun art. While not a super familiar story, it just feels unimportant. 2.5 out of 5.

Also from Marvel, and also fairly mediocre, Storm 5. While this issue s a lot better than the series has been, it's still meh. There are some things I really enjoy in this book. The premise is Storm trying to get out of the tricky situation she and Yukio are in by trying to channel Wolverine. This plays out quite nicely and ends with Ororo going on a bit of a rampage. This has been a weird arc for me. I've never seen Yukio before and am not overly familiar with Wolverine so I feel a bit out of the loop character-wise. It's a fun story and I think they accomplished what they were trying to do by telling a Wolverine story starring Storm. The art is good. Sometimes there are overly heavy black outlines that are a bit distracting but not a real issue. The cover is beautifully done. It's a take on the cover of Wolverine #1 and I just love it. Take a look! 3 out of 5.

My last book from Marvel that's not Axis related is Thor 2. Our new Goddess of Thunder takes on a few frost giants who have invaded the pacific and placed Roxxon Island under siege. A mini battle ensues. The Goddess of Thunder denies some allegations of being Thor. Dario Agger isn't fully convinced and is awed by her power. It's a bit strange that Malekith has teamed up with some Frost Giants but it cracks me up that he is walking around with Thor's arm hanging around his neck as a trophy. Russell Dauterman's art is pretty awesome. He plays with the panels to make the story seem disjointed and rough. It's always good to see a new artist start nailing it right away. It's not as stylized or dark as Ribic's stuff on the previous series, but I think it will fit with the feel of where the book is going. 4.5 out of 5.

Now over to DC/Dynamite for the epic finale to Batman 66 meets The Green Hornet in issue 6. The sam old light-hearted fun as the first 5 issues. It ends as expected and unsurprisingly leaves it open for another installment. As a whole, I think this is a pretty fun series. It would be a nice companion to anyone who bought the classic television series now available on BluRay. It works better as a whole story than as individual issues, but that does leave odd moments where we get narration of something that just happened since even the single issues are compilations of the multiple parts that were released online first. Fun story all around, which really is what comics are for. One last note about the beautiful covers. They were all done by the glorious Alex Ross. The detail and crispness makes them feel like they came from the television series. 3.5 out of 5.

Now to the world of Indie comics. I will start with Kirkman's Outcast issue 5. This book is doing a great job of exploring an anti-demon superpower and a preacher's inner conflict of doubting his faith. I really enjoy this book, and it is incredibly creepy. Just look at the cover. It's the preacher trying to pull Kyle off of the man he is trying to beat the snot out of. There's something in the way each of the characters' acts and is portrayed that really boosts the creep factor. The entire interrogation scene in this book is the best iteration of film noir I have seen on the page. It is styled so wonderfully that it really enhances the dark story. It's really exciting going on this journey to try to figure out how Kyle's power works and seeing where the duo is heading in their story. 5 out of 5.

Cullen Bunn has a new series out. Terrible Lizard 1 from Oni Press. This book is essentially a more grown-up take on Super Dinosaur from Kirkman. A daughter visits her dad at work at a lab where a temporal displacement experiment goes awry and a T-Rex shows up. This book seems to be a Godzilla-esque monster fighting series. At first read, it's not as great as Super Dinosaur since that book just totally went all out on the ridiculous scale. It embraced the childishness greatly. I'm not sure how many issues I'm in for, but I am excited to try it out. I'm not worried that Bunn will have a clear vision for this book in a few issue. The art is by Drew Moss and it definitely embraces the weirdness and absurdity of the story. I'm not fully sold on the T-Rex design. His face is a little odd looking and I need some more time with it. 3.5 out of 5.

Also from Oni Press and Cullen Bunn, the first two issues of Brides of Helheim came out. The first Helheim series focused on introducing us the the viking world and the character of Rikard. This new one takes place several years after the first one and seems to be more focused on the history of the dark arts and witchcraft in the era. It's a fresh take and I'm looking forward to some more. It's a beautiful world and promises to have some intriguing and exciting mysteries. So far, so good. 4.5 out of 5.

In the world of Sixth Gun, I had issue 44 and Days of the Dead 3. Days of the Dead continues to explore Eli Barlow and the Knights of Solomon. Strange magics are rampant and all that. This is the hardest miniseries to follow so far. It will make more sense as a story and how it ties in to the main story. Not a ton to say. This issue is full of action and leaves off on a nice cliffhanger. 3.5 out of 5.

In Sixth Gun 44 we see a great battle as the pawns are moved into place for the final battle. A narrative recapping some history unfolds around images of a great battle between Drake and Becky riding the thunderbirds and the serpentine hoards of the Grey Witch. Issues like this are why I love this series. A standalone story that is part of the larger arc and excels at making both excellent. This issue is definitely building to something epic and I can't wait to see how things go down.