February 14 2016

Review: Deadpool

I feel like I’m the only person who didn’t love this movie. I give it a non-committal “meh”. I don’t regret seeing it, and I’ll probably see the sequel, but it didn’t dazzle me like it did so many other people.

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November 6 2011

Teen Titans #1

Like all the other New 52 team-up books, this one focuses on assembling the team. Leading the team is Red Robin (formerly Robin #3), and he sets out to recruit other young people with superpowers, some of whom seem to be accidentally causing trouble (like Kid Flash).

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November 6 2011

Voodoo #1

What the hell is this? I honestly have no idea. Is she good or bad (or neither)? Is she even a she? Is this a pre-existing character?

This whole book takes place in a strip club, which gives the inkers an opportunity to show off their ability to draw curves. All joking aside, I really love the artwork in this. The line work is top notch, the imagery is very clean, and there’s some great use of gradients for depth.

There’s not much else I can say about this. The story so far is intriguing, and I’ll probably keep reading this series – at least, until I can figure out what’s going on. It’s not that it’s hard to follow, it’s just that it’s completely unexpected, and I don’t know where it’s going.

Verdict: I have no idea…

November 6 2011

Supergirl #1

I’ve never had any desire to read Supergirl comics. I just haven’t been interested. I’ve never even been all that interested in Superman comics either, nor Superboy. Well, add yet another item to the list of pleasant surprises in the New 52, because I really enjoyed this book.

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November 4 2011

The Flash #1

Well, so much for the Flash’s expansive back-story. Seems that most of it has been cleared away and everything reset, except that Barry Allen is already The Flash. (There’s no re-telling of the splashed-with-chemicals-while-simultaneously-being-hit-by-lightning origin story here, thankfully.)

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November 3 2011

The Fury of Firestorm #1

Yet another superhero I know very little about. I know him from Blackest Night and Brightest Day, and it seems to be a pretty clever idea: two people fuse to become Firestorm, one temporarily becoming a disembodied mind that can only communicate with the other, and they have the power to transmute elements – though it’s dependent on them actually knowing how to do it. In other words, at least one of the two minds needs to be a scientific genius. So, awesome, a science-based hero.

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November 3 2011

The Savage Hawkman #1

It’s hard to say how much of this is “reboot”, and how much is a continuation. Hawkman certainly retains the broad strokes of his past – he’s still an archaeologist with a bird costume. But in this book, he’s fed up with being Hawkman and sets out to rid himself of his superhero alter-ego.

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November 3 2011

All-Star Western #1

I think a lot of people will overlook this book, which is unfortunate. I know it seems like a holdover from a bygone era, and it is. But DC has made it relevant again, with a very cool story with one of their most underappreciated characters: Jonah Hex.

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October 31 2011

Nightwing #1

I’m going to blow through the rest of these as quickly as I can.

I haven’t had much exposure to Nightwing beyond his occasional appearances in Batman comics, but I’ve had plenty of exposure to the man behind the mask, Dick Grayson. He’s the original Robin. He filled in as Batman for a while. So, I didn’t know what to expect from a solo Nightwing book, besides Batmanesque crimefighting and daring-do. And that’s exactly what we got. No complaints here.

This book also does a great job of filling in new readers about Grayson’s past and present, when his old circus returns to town. And the new villain is pretty cool – sort of a Special Forces version of Wolverine.

My only complaint is that they changed the color of the symbol on Nightwing’s chest. I liked it better in blue.

Verdict: Cool. Looking forward to more.

October 29 2011

Blue Beetle #1

This re-introduces Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle, which seems entirely unnecessary to me. He was introduced in his own series just five years ago, and those books were great. I know a lot of people don’t care for this new version of the 72-year-old superhero, but I was surprised by how much I wound up liking him.

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October 25 2011

Captain Atom #1

Captain Atom is one of those characters who’s not familiar to mainstream audiences. In fact, he sounds like a stereotypical Cold War superhero. And…that’s true in a lot of ways. But I’ve come to like the character, first through his appearances on the Justice League animated series, and recently through the Justice League International: Generation Lost series. I thought he was great as part of the JLI, so I’m sorry to see that he’s no longer with the team.

I can’t talk about Captain Atom without bringing up his connection to Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen. Atom and several other Charlton Comics characters were going to be the main characters in Watchmen, but new characters were created instead, closely based on the originals. Atom has never reached the godlike power of Manhattan, but he can fly, absorb energy, and blast people with energy.

However, this comic seems to be taking the character in some interesting new directions. His powers are growing and changing, and he finds himself able to manipulate matter itself at the atomic level. And he has commented in the past about feeling more and more disconnected from humanity, which makes me wonder if DC is gradually making him into Doctor Manhattan (not literally, of course). That’s one of the big mysteries that this series seems poised to address.

Anyway, he’s a surprisingly likable character, and I do want to see where this goes.

Verdict: Sure, why not?

October 24 2011

Superman #1

I’m skipping ahead a little here, which shouldn’t be a problem, since I’m already so far behind.

It surprises even myself to admit that I’ve read very few Superman comics in my life. I watched his most recent animated series, I watched the Justice League series, and I’ve read numerous cross-over comics with him in them, but the only time I’ve ever read a Superman comic was the “Superman: Sacrifice” TPB (which is excellent, by the way).

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October 24 2011

Birds of Prey #1

I’ve heard some good things about previous Birds of Prey books, but I’ve never read one. I’m familiar with most of the previous members of the team, but in this book, they seem to be down to just two: Black Canary and Starling. I’m assuming they’ll add more members eventually, because two of them are on the cover (though they’re not actually in this book).

Like all the other New 52 books, this one is setting up a new story. In fact, I’m getting a little tired of reading the beginning of dozens of new stories without being able to continue on yet. But I can’t complain too much.

The story here is pretty simple, but interesting: Canary and Starling rescue a journalist, who seems to be part of a mystery. And what started as a small mystery soon becomes a large mystery.

Verdict: Sure, I’ll pick it up again

October 23 2011

Batman #1

I feel like I’ve already written this review. After all, there are ELEVEN Batman-related comics in the New 52 relaunch, and he shows up in a few others too.

This is basically Batman getting back to Batmaning. Bruce Wayne returns as Gotham’s full-time Batman after Dick Grayson had been filling in for him during the last year or so. The book opens with Batman kicking ass in the middle of Arkham, fighting his way through his rogues gallery. Then the Joker shows up, and the unexpected happens. That was really cool, and I don’t want to spoil that part, but the payoff was a little disappointing.

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October 16 2011

Catwoman #1

Hoo boy. Where to start?

This book is getting a lot of attention for featuring two of DC’s most popular characters: Catwoman’s boobs. It really is quite ridiculous how over-sexualized this book is – and remember how much I defended DC’s treatment of Starfire in a previous review. Honestly, I’ve never seen so many bras in a single comic before.

But let’s ignore all that and just look at the story. The book hits the ground running, with Catwoman having her apartment invaded and blown up by skull-faced gunmen. Fortunately, she makes it out in time, shoving all 8 of her cats into a single travel case (which was pretty amusing).

The rest is…a bit confusing. Catwoman goes undercover at a dodgy nightclub, but I’m still not really sure why. Then she gets discovered, kills a few people (or at least severely wounds them), and fucks Batman – again, I’m not sure why.

Overall, it’s a weird, semi-uncomfortable book. I’ve never been a big Catwoman fan, and this doesn’t change that. I might read the next issue, but if I don’t, I won’t mind. I’m not saying it’s bad; it just doesn’t appeal to me.

Verdict: Maybe I’ll flip a coin

October 16 2011

Demon Knights #1

I kept putting off reading this one, because I had no interest in a book featuring the rhyme-talking demon Etrigan. So I was surprised to find that it’s actually a fun, interesting book.

First of all, they made a big change to Etrigan: he doesn’t talk in rhyme anymore. Part of me is sad to see such an iconic part of the character go, but another part is glad to see it gone – reading those often-convoluted rhymes is a surprising hassle, and it really took me out of the story while trying to figure out the cadence.

And the book isn’t just about Etrigan either. This book shows us several of DC’s medieval-style characters coming together after the fall of Camelot. A few I recognize, like Madame Xanadu and Vandal Savage. Others are probably established characters, but I’m not familiar with any of them yet.

It’s too early to see how much of a team-up book this will be, or what the group’s goals will be, or even if they’re going to try to do good or just go around killing stuff. After all, Etrigan isn’t really a hero (chaotic neutral at best) and Vandal Savage is usually a villain.

This turned out to be quite interesting, so I’ll definitely be checking out the next issue, at least.

Verdict: Another pleasant surprise

October 16 2011

Batman & Robin #1

A little history: in the past couple years, there have been a few Batman series that have had occasionally-overlapping storylines. Those were “Batman & Robin” and “Batman Inc.”, which follow directly from “The Return of Bruce Wayne” and “Final Crisis”. And there’s a lot I’m leaving out. B&R featured Dick Grayson (the first Robin, formerly Nightwing) taking on the Batman mantle while Bruce is missing, and Damian Wayne (Bruce and Talia Al Ghul’s son) becoming the fifth Robin when Tim Drake (the third Robin) leaves to find Bruce.

They made a great team, because the usual dynamic of grim Batman and playful Robin was flipped on its head, with a more playful Batman and a grim Robin. But this issue shows that Bruce is back as Gotham’s Batman after establishing his “Batman Inc.”. So now it’s grim, calculating Batman and grim, impulsive Robin.

As always, Damian is an ornery little bastard. He would be annoying if he weren’t written so well, if he didn’t have the skills to back up his tough talk, and if he didn’t occasionally get the shit kicked out of him (I think he’s on his second or third spine).

Bruce is Bruce. This is the Batman we all know and love, but now he has to deal with being the parent of an angry youth raised in the art of assassination. They don’t really work as a team yet, which should lead to some very interesting situations in future issues.

This book seems to bring together the B&R and B:Inc storylines, with a cool new villain going around killing some of the international members of Batman Inc. No doubt Batman & Robin will eventually have to find a way to stop him/her.

I really enjoyed Grant Morrison’s run on Batman, but his stories were kinda hard to follow at times. Tomasi does a great job taking over, and it looks like we’ve got a great storyline to look forward to.

Verdict: It’s Batman. What more do you need to know?

October 11 2011

Deadman #1

Technically, this is called “DC Universe Presents: Deadman #1”. Presumably, the Deadman storyline will be short, and they’ll do another “DCU Presents” with a different character. (Batman Beyond, please!)

Anyway, for those not familiar with Deadman, this does a great job of introducing him to new readers – like most of the other New 52 books do. He’s a former acrobat who was an asshole, then died, and now wanders the world as a ghost. Nobody can see him (except spiritualists), but he can possess anyone’s body and control them completely.

I got my first taste of Deadman during the Blackest Night and Brightest Day storylines, and I really liked him. He’s got some great jokes and has an odd “working man” attitude to everything, kinda like Hellboy.

That said, I don’t have the slightest idea who the blue alien lady is, or what his “mission” is, or if either were part of his past. Before 2009, I pretty much know nothing about Deadman. Fortunately, they don’t seem to have wiped out any of his most recent history, because his relationship with Dove is still ongoing (I don’t know if it’s mentioned in this book, but it’s definitely in Hawk & Dove #1).

Verdict: There’s enough to make me eager for more

October 10 2011

Grifter #1

This is yet another character that I know nothing about. And unfortunately, I still know very little about him after reading this, but there seems to be some potential.

Grifter is apparently some sort of con man (hence the name). And he might have a limited ability to read minds, or read alien minds, or something. And I guess he uses guns, and he’s some sort of vigilante. Seems like he’d fit in well with Red Hood & the Outlaws. Other than that, I don’t know.

Unfortunately, there’s not much for me to write about here. It sets up a good introduction to the character and his world, but it seems that any substantial information (like anything that tells us what the hell’s going on and who this guy is) will be coming in the second or third issue.

Verdict: I’ll give it another chance

October 10 2011

Legion Lost #1

I’ve never paid much attention to the Legion of Superheroes. They seem interesting, but the concept hasn’t really grabbed me. I watched the animated series when it was on, and that was cool, but I’ve never read any of the comics. And none of these characters were in the animated series.

They seem like cool characters, and there’s apparently some cool stuff going on, but it’s like having Christmas with a family you’ve never met before: you have no idea who anyone is, and you don’t know what they’re talking about.

There’s no effort given to introducing this book to a new audience; if you’re already familiar with the characters, great. You’ll probably enjoy it. It seems neat. But if you’re not, skip it. I wish I could say otherwise, but there’s just no way to get into this easily.

Verdict: Only for fans of the series