Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Weekly Pull List 12-4-13

It's been awhile. Not because I've been busy, which I have, but because I haven't been to the comic store to pick anything up. So when I went back I figured I'd have a bunch to catch up on. Turns out I only have four.

Pretty Deadly 2 - Interesting book. Much easier to follow after listening to a podcast interview with Kelly Sue Deconnick where she explains that the book is a dead rabbit talking to a butterfly as narration. It's a very dark book. The art is incredibly versatile and creates the excellent world of the book. Still hard to tell where this book is going, I wish I had decided to wait for the trade to get the full story. I think it would work much better that way. 3 out of 5.

Velvet 2 - The plot thickens as Velvet heads out to prove she's not the guilty one in the murder of her colleague. Epting's art is still great for the intricate noir tale. While the previous book was good in getting me to look forward to more of the story, I'm looking forward to this book since it is already great. I am in love with the style and feel of the book. It's excellent. A lot of fun and Brubaker has fully won me over. 4.5 out of 5.

Amazing X-Men 2 - Wolverine and Northstar are exploring the afterlife when they come across a pirate ship. a fight ensues and ends with Wolverine being knocked off to fall to his death. Meanwhile, Storm, Firestar, and Iceman are exploring another part of the netherworld and get into a fight. Jason Aaron is great, and Mcguinness' art works beautifully. I don't like Storm's design in the new books, but it's not a big deal. More a personal preference. Solid book, but in itself not much happened. 4 of 5.

Green Arrow 26 - Part 1 of the Outsiders War. Lemire writes an excellent story. This book is exactly what I want from a Green Arrow book. Excellent story, trick arrows, good humor and Andrea Sorrentino's perfectly beautiful artwork. It's a little weird that the story kinda follows what happened in Arrow and also has similarities to JMS' Amazing Spiderman run with the totems and retconning the history of the character. A thoroughly good read and a great companion work to Arrow. Including Diggle! From the show! 4.5 out of 5.

Anyways, I should be back next week to talk some other books. A little brief this week due to working 12 hours today and being exhausted...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bi-Weekly Pull List November Part 1

Several books over the first two weeks of November, and they're most of my favorites. All from the big two though. Over in Marvel I picked up a pair of books by Jason Aaron. The exquisite Thor: God of Thunder 15. This book takes the League of Realms through Alfheim and Jotunheim chasing Malekith and his band of dark elves. There is drinking, merriment, epic battles, and all around goodness. Aaron does great work exploring the worlds and showing Thor and his group. It's a whole bunch of fun and Garney's art helps portray the joyous, yet serious mood of this issue. This is still one of my favorite books ever! 5 out of 5.

Next up, I picked up Amazing X-Men 1. A book coming off the Battle of the Atom story and heading in a nice direction. Nightcrawler is sitting on the edge of paradise (read heaven) when Azazel and his little red BAMFs show up and they have a little showdown. Back in Westchester, Firestar shows up at the Jean Grey school for her first day of teaching. After a busy, busy day the teachers discover a portal inside a wall where a bunch of other BAMFs are hanging out. The discovery leads to Wolverine and Northstar being sucked in to warp them to paradise where they run into a giant pirate ship. Not a whole lot of interesting stuff here. But the promise of seeing Nightcrawler being a badass. It promises to be an epic series for sure. 4 out of 5.

Now over to DC. We've got Superman Unchained 4. This book is pretty good. Seperman teams up with knock off Superman. It's fun and there's a lot of solid action. Not much to say about it, but I like it and am in for the long run (even the short run if the rumors be true). 3 of 5.

Justice League of America 9 follows the Martian Manhunter and Stargirl as they go through the prison to find the others. Stargirl catches up with J'onn as he faces off with himself then they escape, only to be met by Deathstroke and several other villains. And oh yeah... the Manhunter is in Stargirl's head. Alright story. Great art. Fun book. Hope it goes well. 3 of 5.

Lastly, I've got Green Arrow 25. This book has the Zero Year tag on it. It takes place as Oliver returns to Seattle. Mrs. Queen has gone to Gotham to help those in need, accompanied by none other than John Diggle straight from CW's Arrow!! She gets attacked when Batman steps in. As he's about to lose, Green Arrow shows up. As always, Sorrentino's art is phenomenal and stylistically awesome. Great issue and a solid book all around. 5 of 5.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Weekly Pull List 10-30-2013

Only had one book this week. It was Battle of the Atom 2. The 10th and final installment in the crossover. Okay ending. Explosions, death, fighting. Future Jean uses her powers too much and explodes. Then we are hit with four epilogues. Four!! Not a great ending. It sets up that Wolverine and Cyclops are still mad at each other by having Kitty Pryde go back with Scott to the New Xavier School. I hate when the last issue in a story makes it feel like a waste of my time. Especially when it's 10 issues. A real disappointment since it doesn't feel like any growth happened or that anything or anyone is really different. I'd say this book was alright at best. 5 out of 10. I think the arc overall was okay and would have been better with a different ending so it will get a 7 of 10 overall.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Weekly Pull List 10-23-13

First up we have Wolverine and the X-Men 37. Part 9 of the Battle of the Atom story. X-Men fight each other. X-Men fight their future/past selves. X-Men get attacked by the missiles from a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier which were launched by Xorn. Not a great issue. Just want to be done with it. Pretty bored with it. Only one issue left and I'm ready for it. There's some really great panels of Iceman fighting future Iceman and other people as well. It's a decent issue mostly for the aspects of time travel it explores, even though it just bypasses the big question of why they can't send the past X-Men back to their time. The story is okay, but it's not very complex and tends to ignore plot points that would make the book interesting. 2 out of 5.

Next, I picked up Velvet #1. A brand new Ed Brubaker book from Image. I saw the cover and it reminded me of Scarlet and since I've had good luck with new image books recently I figured I'd give it a shot. And I'm glad I did. It's a solid little spy tale in Paris 1973 where an ARC-7 agent gets killed. Velvet Templeton has a history with the now dead Jefferson Keller. All signs point to another acquaintance, Frank Lancaster as the killer. Velvet makes her way to one of Lancaster's safe-houses to investigate when she realizes Frank's not the only one being set up. What an incredible start to a book. This spy story is a nice nod to a noir cop story. The book feels great. Velvet explores spy fiction and gives the reader exactly what they want in a greatly complex story. The art is incredibly beautiful. Steve Epting has an incredible photorealism that is purely astonishing. All around a great book, even thought it feels like an answer to Bendis' Scarlet and Rucka's Lazarus. I think all three are great, but this may be the best. 5 out of 5.

Finally I picked up Pretty Deadly 1. I picked this up since it's another Image number 1 and I figured why not. Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick and art by Emma Rios. They work quite well together to create a creepy, mystical, old-west world for their story. This issue introduces a bunch of stuff, but none of it fully enough for me to get into it. It's a decent story, but I think this one is worth waiting for the trade. 3 out of 5.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Weekly Pull List 10-16-13

Had a well-balanced, light week this week at the comic shop. First off I got Justice League of America 8. While it is a Forever Evil tie-in (and first of the 4-part arc in the book.) it was interesting enough to hold my focus. It follows the Martian Manhunter and Stargirl as Manhunter infiltrates what turns out to be a high tech prison holding the Justice League members. The book ends as Stargirl finds a way to escape! Into a world with a blackened sky and a burning US capitol. A well written issue. Matt Kindt knows how to use the Martian Manhunter character. Interesting set up and I love that I don't have to be reading the Forever Evil main series to follow it. I hope the JLA books continue in that vein. 

In the Marvel Universe I picked up Battle of the Atom Chapter 8 in Uncanny X-Men 13. Interestingly, when I put away my large stack of comics, I realized I never picked up part 4 so it's on order. This issue is a strange one. I don't really know what happens other than people fighting. They try to send the past X-Men back, but can't for some reason, so they test the time machine. It's odd. Not sure what's going to happen, but I'm hoping it'll pick up. With only 2 issues left, we shall see what goes on. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Weekly Pull List 10-9-2013

Light week this week so it will be a short post. Which definitely helps to get it out in time. Oddly a Marvel-centric week. Battle of the Atom part 7 takes place in X-Men 6. It's a nice continuation of a fun, albeit convoluted story. There's a lot going on that isn't easy to follow, but it's easy to overlook assuming that the answers will actually come. The future "X-Men" reveal their evil intentions, but not yet their plan. This issue is decent but it's very useless outside the scope of the story. 3 of 5.

And the other book I picked up was Thor God of Thunder 14. Part 2 of the Accursed story. This book starts with the Dark Elf queen going to hide out with the mountain dwarves of Nidavellir. Thor is getting ready to head out when he is stopped by Volstagg and Freyja who have just come from the Congress of Worlds and they reveal that the council has planned for a League of Realms to hunt down Malekith. It's a bit Lord of the Rings with the elves, trolls, dwarves, etc joining forces. This book has moments of shear beauty when Malekith defeats another elf in a duel using sweet sorcery, great political talk, and even horror (when Malekith sneaks up on Thor in the dark with his glowing eyes). All around a great book. Jason Aaron kicks some ass  with his script and story, and Ron Garney is filling in nicely with the art.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monthly Pull List September

Late again, but I've been adjusting back to working days again and no other real reason besides laziness. Let's start up with Lazarus 4. The plot thickens as Forever recovers from the bomb and heads to the Sequoia Compound to get checked out. Throughout the book we see two stories in parallel. One story follows Forever's fight of the troops trying to finish the job. Back in Sequoia we see Mason and Johanna plotting and setting Jonah up as the scapegoat. Still a great book! I love every minute of it. Rucka does fantastic work writing and his world is visualized beautifully by Lark's artwork. The only downside is that the story is unravelling too slowly in single issue form. Can't wait for the full story. 5 out of 5.

Thor God of Thunder 13 - Thor and friends are having a feast when it is interrupted when a visiting dark elf feels a "disturbance in the force" as Malekith the accursed is rescued from his prison. They go to investigate and a scuffle ensues until Thor uses his lightning and Mjolnir to cauterize an elf's wound. Great story, but it worries me when they do a story to specifically to tie in with something else, i.e. Thor 2 comes out in a month, and it has Malekith as the bad guy. That mild annoyance aside, this story looks to be good and I trust Jason Aaron to do good work.

Continuing the Battle of the Atom story we have Wolverine and the X-Men 36 and All New X-Men 17. More time travel and epic storytelling reveals that the future X-Men team are not actually the good guys. We also learn that they come from a future where a mutant was elected president and shortly assassinated, which drove the team a little nuts. We still know very little about why what's happening is going down. Past Beast, Ice Man, and Illyana Rasputin head to the future to find out that stuff out and to bring back future Colossus and others. Pretty sweet book that's more intriguing about its future than the quality of the book. 3.5 of 5.

Now to the land of DC! Teen Titans 23.2: Deathstroke 1. This issue follows Slade Wilson's long time rivalry with Deathblow as well as exploring his past with his son and introducing his daughter just a bit. It seems to be a recap of his same history as before the New 52. It doesn't seem to be updated at all, but it does work as a nice recap. Good issue if you like Deathstroke or need a brief recap then it really works. I don't think it's an overwhelmingly good issue, but it serves its purpose. 3 out of 5.

Justice League America 7.3 - Shadow Thief 1. This is a character I'd never even heard of but seemed interesting. When I read it, I was hooked. The origin's a bit cliched with a science experiment gone wrong, but also includes a suit that allows our protagonist the ability to pass through shadows. Aviva Metula is ex-Mossad, and now runs around killing aliens as they were behind the explosion that killed her parents. Tom DeFalco does well with the story and dialogue and Chad Hardin's art does what it needs to to keep the story going. 3.5 out of 5.

Green Arrow 24 - After a brief recap, we see that Oliver can no longer shoot straight as he's still being affected by Count Vertigo, who has followed him back to Seattle. Shado knocks out Oliver to go take out Vertigo by herself. She gets taken out by Komodo who doesn't want Vertigo's chaos to be stopped. Arrow wakes up and goes to find the Count. Since Oliver has been affected by the vertigo attack for a few days, he is able to find a pattern in his attack and take him out, including ripping out the device that shoots out the vertigo waves. Then finally we see the reveal of a man who has a score to settle with the dragon. And Diggle is introduced to the comics. Again, the comics are reflecting the TV show. I'm pretty okay with this though, as Diggle is a fantastic character in the show. This issue is great and has excellent set up for the three dragons story which should be coming up. As usual Andrea Sorrentino's artwork is incredibly complex and super cool. 5 out of 5.

Last up is The Sixth Gun 34 - Becky is still trapped in her dream realm, managing to kill her pursuers using the guns in the dream. She comes across a withered old body of Drake in a cage in her dream and is able to communicate with him outside of the dream. It's so cool! He tells her to ditch the sixth gun and runs through several worlds until she ends up at one where another Becky is married to what looks like another version of Kirby Hale, another of her cohorts, and has 2 kids. Still amazing. Favorite book every month. Can't wait for more. 5 out of 5.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Weekly (Monthly?) Pull List September 2013

Well due to taking a weekend to relax and play video games, then blogger deciding to not save my 80% complete post last week, followed by getting a flat and finding out all my tires needed to be replaced, I haven't posted a Weekly Pull list for 3 weeks. As you can imagine, I've bought a few books since then so instead of going through each one individually I will be grouping them a bit.

To start with I have Sonic the Hedgehog 252. I picked this up to push me over the minimum for the punch card at the store. That being said, it wasn't a waste of money at all. It serves as a transition to the next storyline, "Countdown to Chaos" and has Sonic and Tails being confused about what's going on and how they got back. Their confusion mimics the reader's making this certainly an interesting read. 3 out of 5.

Next up we've got Thor: God of Thunder 12. This is another transition issue. After the Gorr story, the three Thors return to Earth. There are a lot of great moments in this book: A bartender readying 2 barrels of mead when he here's the thunder of Thor approaching, when Thor the Avenger visits Jane Foster to find out she has cancer. He also meets Rosalind Solomon when he accepts her Youtube invitation to the S.H.I.E.L.D. ball and joins her in Antarctica to investigate a whale graveyard. The young Thor visits Earth to find the wenches and mead he seeks and the all-father Thor visits the remains of our world. Solid issue and promises good things. 3 out of 5.

Now let's jump over to Image for Lazarus 2 and 3. After discovering that a few of his children are behind the previous attack. He sends Forever to rendezvous with the Morray Family to discuss the attack and a truce. Meanwhile Johanna and Jonah are plotting to start a war by killing Forever when she gets back to Carlyle territory. Once again, this book is excellent. It's hinting at an all out gang war which I'm super excited about. Collectively gets a 7 out of 10.

Next up we'll jump over to Marvel for the Battle of the Atom crossover in the X-Men books. I've got the first three parts in X-Men: Battle of the Atom 1, All New X-Men 16, and X-Men 5 It's a pretty cliche hero vs hero story, but they added a twist. It involves three different teams from three different eras. It's a really neat story that thoroughly explores the differences between the characters and their past/future selves. While the story isn't super clear yet, I'm hopeful that it will continue to be innovative and clever, and with Bendis at the helm? I'm not too worried. More on that later. All-in-all it's an average of 4 out of 5.

Next up we have Justice League 23. This is the end of the Trinity War story. It was pretty good. I was all for it until the last bit where it reveals that it's more of a prelude to the Forever Evil story. 3 out of 5. As a prelude it's up to a 4 out of 5. Now for Forever Evil 1. The actual prelude to this story, this follows the Crime Syndicate as they've taken over the world, the heroes are nowhere to be found, which brings us to Villains Month where the villains take over the books from the heroes. It's a decent book, waiting for it to pick up and get into the story. 4 out of 5.

For the villains month books we've got Count Vertigo taking over Green Arrow, and Deadshot and Killer Frost taking over Justice League of America. Count Vertigo is a great back story to the villain who's been present recently in the Green Arrow book. It's not the most original story as he was abused and tormented by his peers after being abandoned by his mother, whom he eventually gets revenge on. He ends up getting on a helicopter to head to Seattle. 4 out of 5.

The Deadshot issue is another flashback introduction to the gun for hire Floyd Lawton who watched his parents get killed. This issue shows him getting revenge on the man who hired the pair that kills his parents. It's a decent issue and makes him a pretty cool character. 3.5 out of 5.

Killer Frost is yet another origin issue. This one is the most unique and almost the darkest. It's well written and after reading her origin in the 80s Firestorm series, I think it's one of the best updated origins of any character in the New 52. I just wish we were able to explore her story and relationship with Firestorm more.

So that's it for books this week. There was a signing this week at the local shop where I got to meet Dave Beaty and get a print from him of his inks on Brightest Day Issue 6.

Also new cards of his work that just came out:

I also got a signed version of Brian Augustyn's Gotham by Gaslight:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

White House Down Has Fallen

White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen. Two very similar movies that came out around the same time. They both involve the white house being taken over by terrorists looking for the US Nuclear launch codes. So, let's discuss:

Olympus Has Fallen stars Aaron Eckhart as the president and Gerard Butler as his head of security. When a horrible accident occurs Butler is transferred to the Treasury Department. Eighteen months later Korean terrorists take over the white house via an air and ground assault and Butler's Mike Banning has to invade and take it back under the orders of Speaker of the House and acting president, Allan Trumbull played by Morgan Freeman.

On the other hand we have White House Down where we have a security guard for the Speaker of the House who is inside the white house with his daughter on a tour after having an interview for the secret service. During the tour, a repair crew pulls out weapons and takes over the white house. Tatum's security guard character rescues the president and saves the day.

So let's take a look and see how they stand up.
Plot: Olympus was pretty basic. We have the disgraced agent saving the day from Korean terrorists. White House Down had villains with a much more personal motivation and some complex twists. Tatum is a qualified candidate who just can't catch a break since he doesn't have the right degree, just the right experience. White House Down is borderline too much, but the fact that it's an inside job makes it a better choice than the cliche of Korean terrorists. Also, it's far more realistic that a few guys can take the White House from inside than a Korean bomber makes an unauthorized trip to it before being shot down.

Lead: I like Channing Tatum. I think he jokes too much to be a solid action star. Gerard Butler is as badass as it comes and his straight up action takes the cake. I get comic relief and it really helps a movie when done right. Tatum's character used jokes to lighten the mood whereas comedy inherent in the situations will always work better for me. Olympus had far fewer moments of comic relief and I enjoyed that a great deal more.

President: While Aaron Eckhart did a fantastic job as the caring President who held out on giving up the launch codes, Jamie Foxx actually had something to do and got to be a part of the action. The biggest problem I have with Foxx is that he manages to stick around the whole time when realistically he would be taken out of there at the first possible chance.

Other characters: Both movies had a child get stuck in the White House during the invasion. The use of Tatum's daughter felt as if its only purpose was to evoke emotion from the audience. I'm fine with that, except when it makes the story make less sense. Butler has to chase down the president's son and save him before worrying about the president in his safe room. Having it be the president's son is a lot better for me. The stakes of it being someone else's kid who he has a close relationship with makes the motivations more interesting than the following orders vs. following your heart conflict.

The Speaker of the House is played by Morgan Freeman and Richard Jenkins in Olympus and White House Down respectively. I think the twist in White House is contrived and not totally believable and of course Morgan Freeman is incredible. Especially since we got to see more of him and it was more of a realistic character.

To wrap up a post that could go on much longer were I to refresh my memories on these films, I liked Olympus Has Fallen much better. White House Down is not at all a bad movie, but the plots are far too similar not to compare. Olympus definitely felt like "Die Hard" in the White House, whereas Down felt closer to "Spy Hard" in the White House and seemed to make fun of itself more than it should have. I only wish that OHF had the invasion from WHD as then the arguments would be much more one sided.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Weekly Pull List 8-21-13

Big week this week. had a nice variety too. First off we have Sonic Universe 55. I picked this up because I needed an extra book to spend enough for the punch card and the idea of a pirate sonic is super cool. Unfortunately we don't see Sonic at all in this issue. It's more Blaze, Marine, Amy Rose, Cream, Bark, and Bean. I don't know any of these characters apart from their roles in Worlds Collide. That being said, I did thoroughly enjoy this issue. Blaze and co. are roaming the high seas looking for the final Sol Emerald when they come across another ship that opens fire on them. A battle ensues and the issue ends with Blaze onboard Captain Metal's ship as her boat and her friends are sinking. Much like the Worlds Collide series, there's not a ton to talk about. The art does what it needs to. The story is interesting. The twist is unnecessary and doesn't mean a ton to me as I haven't read the story that the supposed prisoner was introduced in. Good book. 3 out of 5.

Next we'll head to Image with Steve Niles' Chin Music 2. Last issue seemed to just introduce the characters. Issue 2 introduces the story.  We follow Elliot Ness investigating a crime scene where he eventually tells the press to not release that Capone is dead to the press. Ness visits Daniel Shaw to arrest him as he robbed Ness the opportunity of bringing Capone in so he will become a legend. The issue ends with Shaw agreeing to bring Capone in alive. Once again, Steve Niles brings out a really awesome, intriguing idea and story. Messing with history is always interesting and adding a mystical element is such a cool way to do it. Shaw is a man who apparently can't die and now he's supposed to bring back the dead Capone? I'm in for the ride. Tony Harris' art is super stylized and eerie and really adds to the story. Super cool book. 4 out of 5.

I decided to try something new with Batman Beyond Unlimited 1. This is a collection of digital issues of Batman Beyond and Justice League Beyond that were released over the last month. Written by Kyle Higgins who was on the Fat Man on Batman podcast recently. While I haven't watched Batman Beyond and this continues that story, I still enjoyed this book. It's interesting seeing the future of the DCU. I like this book, but not enough to buy each issue. I may be picking up the trade when it comes out, tho I think I need to watch the series before I'll really care about these characters. 2.5 out of 5.

Continuing with DC we'll head to Superman Unchained 3. We pick back up with the stand off with Superman, Gen. Lane, and Wraith. A minor scuffle ensues andSuperman surrenders to the seemingly friendly Wraith. When something attacks Tokyo, Superman and Wraith fly across the world when suddenly (gasp) Wraith says he has to kill Superman! This book is losing quality with each episode. The story is losing it's surprise and intrigue with each issue. There were subtle hints throughout the issue that Brainiac is involved. If that's the case I may still be interested, but this villain isn't very intriguing at all and I don't find myself caring what's going to happen. 2 out of 5

Trinity of Sin: Pandora 3 is a Trinity War Tie-in. We get some more back story of Pandora through the ages, which is interesting to see the training she received and to see it pay off at the end when she kills Envy. She promises to explain how, but also says it won't be till next issue. So yeah. Not a whole lot of bearing on the actual trinity war as her fight with the sins goes unseen by everyone. It's a weird decision and I'll have to wait to see how it plays out. Story itself is alright, but the set up gets this book up to a 3 out of 5.

We continue Trinity War with Justice League Dark 23. Everyone's fighting for the box again. Shazam manages to grab hold of it, sending a magical pulse throughout the world to be felt by all the magic characters, allowing Deadman to sense Madame Xanadu's location. The story ends when Constantine shows up and takes the box. It doesn't effect him negatively as "you can't soil a pot that's already filthy" which I found interesting. Zatana and Constantine whisk away to find Madame Xanadu and meet up with Batman and crew. She reveals that the box is actually a doorway and the Outsider says it's time to open it. A lot of good action, but realistically this book could have been half this long. As I mentioned before, I wish that we could have seen better interplay between this issue and what happened in Pandora's book. You can see where they cross if you examine both books. Decent story. Art is great as always. I'm looking forward to the end. See how they work that out. 3 out of 5.

Finally we have The Sixth Gun 33. Drake is mourning his inability to do anything while Kirby Hale, Gord Cantrell, and friends go looking for the dream hunters who are pursuing Becky. And Becky herself is trapped in an alternate reality dream where Hume is still alive and has killed Drake. There's a somewhat tense dinner scene that's interrupted by the dream hunters. When Hume is speared from through the window, Becky grabs his Sixth Gun and heads out to intercept them with Hume's men. Next issue promises to be a nice, epic fight which is super exciting. However, last book hinted that this one would be dealing with dragons so I will not keep my hopes up. This issue is up to par for Bunn and Hurtt. On a side note, he was on a recent Fight for Comics podcast doing an interview. It's a great one and we get some awesome insight into this book. Definitely check it out! 4 out of 5.

That's all for this week. Next week will be much lighter so I will review some trades I read as well.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Weekly Pull List 8-14-13

And we're back to talk about the comics I picked up this week. A little bigger week than last week. Wait, what's that? There's no post for last week? Well I suppose it will be an extra long post since I need to catch up.

Let's start with Green Arrow 23 - We catch up with Ollie and Shado as they work on escaping Count Vertigo and his mountain lair. There's some really cool action sequences and I really like how the book portrays Vertigo as a hapless, amateur of a villain. We first see him undergoing brain surgery to fix the damage done to him and his vertigo device last issue. There's a fantastic flashback sequence that is drawn as if on old parchment in shadowy silhouettes. It's beautiful and some of the best comic art I've seen. The comic ends with the pair driving away then a tease of a new villain, Richard Dragon, arriving to take over Seattle. Fantastic issue! I love the new take on Vertigo, the art is incredibly awesome, and the tease is quite intriguing. They wrapped up the Vertigo arc a bit quickly but they really set him up to get better and be a classic nemesis to Green Arrow. 5 out of 5.

Helheim 6 - This wraps up the first story starring the undead Rikard. He confronts the second witch and his new companion manages to kill her as she tries to get away. The witch's dark magic pulls many dead souls out of the Helheim that is the undead Rikard and in a moment of clarity he has Rikard's father behead the monster. The book again ends with a tease of the young girl walking through the empty village and into a cabin where Rikard's body is being sewn back up by some demonic looking characters. This book's pacing has been very odd throughout. The first couple issues seemed slow and thepace has been quickening until this book where it went way to fast. I wish this had been an 8-10 issue arc or just start a bit later in the story and skim over the content of the first issues in flashback. Still a solid book that has lots of intriguing magic and mystical forces in it. At least it leaves me excited for some more Rikard stories. 3 out of 5.

Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger 11 - This is an odd book where Phantom Stranger has taken Batman, Deadman, and Katana into "Heaven's Basement" in order to talk to Dr. Light to get some clues on his killer. Naturally he doesn't really know anything and in bringing them there, the Stranger has broken a promise so he apparently killed by an angel. As a Trinity War Tie-In this book works in that it's not necessary to the overall story. On the other hand, it's superfluous. The characters know nothing more after this issue than they did before. The dialogue is pretty good and the art works well for the world of "heaven's basement." 2 out of 5.

Now onto this week: We get part 4 of Trinity War in Justice League of America 7. Pandora visits Lex Luthor to see if he can open the box, Martian Manhunter and a bunch of others find the Outsider and interrogate him, Catwoman and her team visit the House of Mystery and find Batman, Katana, and Deadman, and the book ends with Wonder Woman breaking in and grabbing Pandora's box before Lex can. Again this issue didn't do a whole lot to progress the story. I feel like most of it could have been told in 5 or 6 pages. Doug Mahnke's art is gorgeous and really saves the book from being boring. This story was apparently spoiled when Geoff Johns announced the next event in DC, but I have managed to avoid that spoiler so far. Anyways, 3 out of 5.

Constantine 6 - Following the Trinity War Tie-In last month, Constantine is nearly dead and in the astral plane fighting Chris who has been waiting in the Astral Plane for a time to kill Constantine. There's a new cult led by Tannarak who is out to get something from Constantine and while he's distracted with being MOSTLY dead, Tannarak is able to find Constantine's place and raid it of some artifacts. Fun book. Not entirely sure what's going on, but I am definitely interested in the next few issues.  3 out of 5.

Thor: God of Thunder 11 - The conclusion of the Godbomb story picks up as the bomb is exploding and all the gods throughout time begin to die at once. Thor grabs hold of the 2 Mjolnirs and tries to take the bomb into himself to save the rest of the gods. All the other gods begin praying to Thor and give him enough strength to become the god of gods and survive the godbomb. Thor kills Gorr with his axe and they drink Mead. Thor takes some worldless gods to the world with no gods that he visited before to nicely wrap up the story. As I said before, I was getting a little tired of the Gorr story. This wrapped it up perfectly and was a great palate cleanser to get us to a new story next issue. Jason Aaron is a master story teller and brought out some fantastic story from Thors of three eras and will continue to kick some ass as the series goes. Great story, beautiful art, nigh perfect wrap up. 5 out of 5.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Weekly Pull List 7-31-13

Trinity of Sin: Pandora 2 - This book is a tie-in to the Trinity War, which I don't understand as Pandora is at the heart of the story. Pandora hears that Superman killed someone and decides to go with the other part of the prophecy from before: "The purest of heart or the darkest." So she hunts down Vandal Savage to try the darkest. When he touches it, he falls down injured and is apparently useless. Average book. The story isn't very intriguing and the writing is par at best. It doesn't have anything apparently important towards Trinity War. The characters aren't super interesting. Quick read, and the art is beautiful so it earns a 1.5 out of 5.

Sonic the Hedgehog 251 - The Worlds Collide crossover wraps up with an invasion of the Wily Egg. Sonic and Mega Man go super and demolish a lot of the base and get to the chaos gems to return the universes back to normal. They say their farewells and reverse the genesis wave. In the end, Mega Man goes back to his home and Sonic and Dr. Eggman disappear into a white light, clearly leading into the next story line which is mildly intriguing. I really enjoyed this crossover. I know it was cheesy and cliche, but it did what it needed to. It was a great read and super fun, which is not all that prevalent in a lot of comics nowadays. The story by Ian Flynn was solid throughout and the art was cartoonish in the most epic way. Love the book, love the series. Book: 4 out of 5. Series: 4.5 out of 5

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Weekly Pull List 7-24-13

Justice League Dark 22 - Part 3 of Trinity War. The Phantom Stranger shows up while the Justice Leagues are analyzing Dr. Light's body and tells them of Wonder Woman's plan to find the Justice League Dark. They go to New York to find Wonder Woman and have a quick standoff. The Question shows Superman an article that reveals that Dr. Psycho is the one behind Dr. Light's death leading him to escape in a rage. A scuffle nearly ensues before Zatana whisks away Diana and the JLD as Constantine lures Shazam away for his own schemes. The book ends with a nice little voice over moment of the mysterious man who has kidnapped Madame Xanadu and is explaining that the "knights" are moving into place nicely and reveals he has a mole in the Justice League! Gasp!! Interesting next step in the story. Another mole? pretty contrived and not very exciting. This series so far has been great books with very underwhelming endings and contrived twists. The story is decent, but seems to be lacking something. Something like a good reason for existing. Not great, but interested to see where it's headed. Especially after the next book. 3 out of 5.

Constantine 5 - This book as well as the character is one I really had little interest in. A few months ago I watched the movie and realized I kinda like the occult story. I picked this one up as it's a tie-in to the Trinity War and takes place after Constantine and Shazam take off. They arrive at a bar apparently frequents and John tricks Shazam into changing back to Billy and manages to take the magical power from him to fight off the demon who is apparently chasing them. The story is rather obnoxious and out there, but it's written in a way that I don't care about that. It's an excellent, quick read and I'm looking forward to picking up another issue or two. The art is rather brilliant. It has a fantastic balance of realism and stylistic imagery that works perfectly to evoke the demonic, surreal story. This book is an excellent surprise in that I wasn't expecting it to be great and it still blew me away. 4 out of 5.

Lastly, I picked up The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun 5. This is apparently the last issue of this mini series. I thought it was six, not five. This issue brings together all of General Hume's horsemen and their journeys to a place where a disease has been infecting the town. They destroy all the demons when the widow Hume shows up and recruits/guilts them into joining her. The survivors start heading toward the group when they shoot them all down as they are villains. This series is great. It answers the question I didn't know I was asking about how the men got wrapped up with Missy Hume after banishing the general. I can't wait to go back and read the main series to see how this one helps enhance it. Brian Churilla's artwork homages Brian Hurtt's work on The Sixth Gun while making it a little darker and more oriented to the villainous story. Great book and great series! 4.5 out of 5.