Friday, April 30, 2010

Daredevil #257

Earlier this month I wrote about one part of a Daredevil/Punisher crossover in The Punisher #10. That issue was ok and included some nice art, but Daredevil #257, the other part to the crossover, is a far superior comic book.

Writer Ann Nocenti and artist John Romita Jr. craft a Daredevil story which not only serves Marvel's bidding by acting as a crossover comic book (using specific scenes designed for the crossover plot), but the comic of the day also continues Daredevil's current story arch which includes the evil manipulating Typhoid Mary.

As I mentioned in my Daredevil #255 post, Typhoid Mary is a psychotic woman (who has a split persona) which has been hired by the Kingpin to make Matt Murdock (Daredevil) fall in love with her. Once they are in love Typhoid Mary plans on crushing Daredevil emotionally with the truth about her evil killing side. This period in Matt's life is quite confusing for him. He begins cheating on a woman he truly loves, yet feels so strongly for Mary he cannot control himself. The reader is left a bit confused. Do we feel for the man be deceived or do we hate the man deceiving?

I blame the women for putting Matt in this situation. Just be down with the Devil when he chooses you. Also, see no one else on the side. Double standards are okay if you are the man in the relationship.

Going back to the crossover, besides the issue being about much more than the basic finding of a killer before a vigilante does, the comic has better action scenes and heart. The fight sequences are narrated by the murderer and contain a one on one battle that seems pretty evenly matched. In The Punisher #10 I felt like the Punisher got owned. Daredevil #257 gives the Punisher more credit than his own title does by making the fight seem quite even.

As far as heart goes, Daredevil #257 presents us with the truth seeking side of Daredevil as apposed to the shoot first ask questions later attitude of the Punisher. Daredevil learns about who the killer is and what brought him to the point of murder. The reader begins to understand why the killer went down his path. Though we still scream for justice, we are pleased to see lawyer Murdock help the society pushed killer. Murdock of all people understands that killing is wrong, but even a blind man can see that every murder case isn't black and white. The understanding of the grey area is what makes people compassionate and respected.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Secret Warriors #15

Jonathan Hickman's Secret Warriors is a title I regularly enjoy because I can never quite guess where the book is going. The sense of wonder is strong in this Nick Fury and Hydra driven adventure capturing comic...usually. This week, while I felt fulfilled and thankful for Hickman's birth, I didn't receive the same sense of awe from Secret Warriors #15.

Spoilers Ahead! Read on...ya' lil Nancy.

A funny moment that sort of captures my point in the comic of the day, Secret Warriors #15, is when the brief early years of Viper (a Hydra leader) are being displayed. Hickman presents readers with a history that involves her being the stand-out girl in a group of many female youths being trained in combat and the standard evils of Hydra such as sticking gum under desks and parking in 2 spots. During the training we see a panel by artist Stefano Caselli and colorist Sunny Gho reveling one green haired girl amongst many other standard dark and blond haired girls. Hmmm, I wonder which girl is going to stand out? In a world of bland, the vibrant off color may shine through. The visual symbolization of Viper leaves no surprise to the class stand-out. I actually feel bad for the other kids in that class. There could have been another Lucy Liu or Uma Thurman in there and Hydra would have never known.

Another lack-luster surprise comes during a dinner scene with Nick Fury where his date attempts to capture him with her hidden cohorts amongst the restaurant's guests. In a predictable twist, Fury happens to have a group of his own men waiting as hidden attendees, as well. Seriously, what horrible secret agents. Did none of them look around the fancy restaurant and not notice the huge sausage fest? There are practically no women there. Classic Fury. Always bringing his crew along on a date.

The last bit of "no duh" in Secret Warriors #15 comes when Fury's young super-powered team asks him to reconsider a decision Fury had made in the last issue of Secret Warriors. Anyone who has every read Fury knows he will shoot down any attempt to change his mind. When Fury makes a decision, it is final. You don't get to be a bad-ass by being indecisive. You have to be stubborn and hold your hands to your ears and sing a gibberish song of "I can't hear you" until the dissenter just walks away.


(Note: I was going to make a George Bush joke at the end, but it is always awkward when anyone besides a late show host makes a political joke. Also...am I going to have a note in every post now? You would think a decent writer could fit all of their thoughts into their post without side notes, or in this case bottom notes. I am like that person that always throws a "P.S." or a "P.S.S." at the end of an email or letter. Um...that is all.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stumptown #3

(Note: This post may be a little scattered due to the condition known as drunk. Also...who puts a note in the beginning of a post?)

The industry and Amazing Spider-Man made me impatient.

Ongoing comic titles come out once a month. That is the industry standard. In some cases you get your comics a little more often. A perfect example of this is Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man. The web-slinger has a group of writer's and artist combining efforts to bring readers a new issue thrice a week. I, being a huge Spidey fan, get used to getting something new to mentally chew on pretty often. So when I got involved with the independent title Stumptown, by Greg Rucka, you can imagine my mind set and comics addiction took quite a hit.

Many a night I spent sweaty in the corner of my apartment trying to handle withdraws from weeks without my new 30 plus page stimulant. Stumptown #2 came out in early January. Today's release, over 3 months later, was like that day when you finally get to see an anticipated movie which you've seen the trailer to way before it came out. I was excited. Unlike so many movies that fail to live up to their trailers, Stumptown lived up to my anticipation and constant brain recaps.

Rucka's character, Dex, is making her way through my ranks of comic creations due to her strong nature and realistic take on an intelligent resourceful woman. Women characters can be hard to write entertaining for male readers because of the way women have been portrayed over the many years in comics. Rucka's Dex and Brian M. Bendis's Jessica Jones (Alias) are cut from the same tough comic clippings. Both characters can hold an issue from folding under the pressure of female heroine stereotypes and both are private investigators which means mysteries and thrillers. I love a good thriller.

Stumptown #3 was admittedly way overdue and late (by the creation team in the back of the issue via a rant about putting out quality work - blah, blah, blah), but with a compelling character in the mist of a great mystery I don't mind waiting for follow-ups once every season.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Books of Doom #6 (of 6)

By the end of Books of Doom, and particularly Books of Doom #6, I hate Victor Von Doom. His cockiness and sense of entitlement are very annoying. Doom is constantly demanding things from people. "Do this, do that." At one point, a man stands up to Doom and calls him it out by addressing Doom's true intentions to be King of Latveria. The man is then quickly killed by magic from Doom's hand without a rebuttal.

The magic also bugs me. Really? You couldn't smack down an old guy with your bare hands Doom? Using magic is like using a gun, but instead of shooting the gun with hands one uses their mind. Thus, just because magic takes intellect to master does not mean it is any better than a gun. Magic, in the way Doom uses it seems to be yet another source of Doom's cowardliness.

In the comic of the day, Books of Doom #6, Doom proves to be a coward by attacking the king of Latveria in an armored suite and killing him. Doom kills him because he is the current man in the way of his ruling the country, but also because he killed Doom's father by forcing his father to hide away in the cold forest of Latveria, where Doom's father eventually died. Killing the king was cowardly because Doom proved himself no better than the king in his actions. A better man would simply take over and make him look on while a peasant ruled the country.

Doom's killing of the king was also symbolic in that Doom's first and last killing of the Latverian oppressors was by strangling them with his own hands. By committing the acts with his own hands it shows that what Doom has accomplished he has done so via his own means.

Lastly, I'd like to point out that Doom loves robots. He constantly is building robots to do his bidding. Throughout Doctor Doom stories there are constant robots, whether they be mindless or Doombots which possess Doom's thoughts and intentions. So many Fantastic Four and Doom stories end with a Doombot being captured or destroyed or being revealed to be the Doom you thought was real (yeah, confusing). The heroes are left frustrated at being fooled by a robot once again.

"Are you the real Doom?!"

"10011010110....I mean...Yes?"

"Detobor again!"

Monday, April 26, 2010

Books of Doom #2 (of 6)

I have been on a Doom kick for a little while now. The recent Fantastic Four books sucked me back into his world, so I picked up the Books of Doom set to learn once and for all: who is Doom? Written by Ed Brubaker, Books of Doom is a six issue mini series which tells the history of Victor Von Doom through the memory of Doom himself.

The origin story told by Doom seems to be accurate and not very scewed towards his own opinion. Doom actually seems quite genuine about his tale. Brubaker actually throws in brief moments of witness commentary, which gives the reader a bit more information regarding Doom's story. I am only 3 issues in, but from what I can tell, Doom is giving an interview to someone. That interviewer is also getting information about Doom from his sources. I am actually very curious to see who is interviewing Doom and why Victor Von Doom is so open to them. It seems a bit unlike him.

In Books of Doom #2, Doom openly admits he is a momma's boy. He is recruited by the U.S. government to build them various tech. While building many different mechanisms, including early robots which will no doubt lead to Doom-bots, Victor builds a machine which will take him to hell to recover his damned mother. Your mother was possessed by a demon then killed. Yours and every other mother. Get over it nerd!

Speaking of nerds, Doom tells of when he first meets Reed Richards in Books of Doom #2. Doom, always brushing interest of Richards to the side, tells the interviewer that Richards made no impression him initially. Richards is really painted as a nerdy dreamer by Doom in this comic of the day. I understand where Doom is coming from here. Like Doom I be crazy smarted and yet feel like other people who are smart are just straight-up nerds. There is a fine line between being super-smart, handsome, funny, buff and modest and just being a "L-7" loser. I ride that line everyday of my life, and clearly through this blog about comics, which I write in the dark by myself everyday as I cry, I am the Doom of the genius race.


(Note: Is it a coincidence that my name is Doom when just one "O" is added?...Well, that or Odom or Domo...forget those last 2 names.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fantastic Four #325

Continuing my thoughts from yesterday's post (if you haven't read it, you may want to take a quick minute to do so), I have figured out who the spikey-stoned superhero is and why the Thing is wearing a shirt. Short answers: it's Grimm and hard nipples.

Let's focus on the hard nipples first. A line I've said many times. In the case of Fantastic Four #325, and other Fantastic Four comics of this era, the reason the Thing is wearing a shirt is because the Thing has boobies. Rock boobs. Hard honkers. A stone set. Granite goodies. Okay, that's about good. The Thing is actually Sharon Ventura, a superhuman woman who called herself Ms. Marvel (not Carol Danvers). She was originally just a strong, combat ready woman, but was transformed into She-Thing by cosmic rays. Eh, it happens.

It's pretty comical how she is drawn with a boulder-bosom and slight eye-lashes, too. Marvel has to make sure she is just different enough from the original Thing to pass as her own character. And to further make She-Thing different that the original gangsta they made him all crazy rock-thorn-like. His exterior changed big time, but his interior was still the same in this comic of the day. In Fantastic Four #325, the Thing says some nice things about the power of love (great song).

The Silver wave rider stops by in Fantastic Four #325, as well. He is involved in a great scene where his love, Mantra, says she will be leaving her inhabited body to chase down her evil plant husband (yeah, you read that right - by the way, her plant husband...dreamy). Mantra and the Surfer share a kiss just before she leaves her body reminding me of a scene in Futurama where Fry's Lucy Liu Bot, dieing in Fry's arms, says (in Lucy Liu's voice), "I will never forget you Fry. (In robot voice) Memory deleted!" Pretty much the same thing.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fantastic Four #315

Ever look at a cover and think...what the heck is going on? That could be said for this and so many other Fantastic Four covers.

First off, and this is purely because I was never a huge Fantastic Four fan or historian, who the heck is the other rocky looking fella on the cover of Fantastic Four #315? I have seen this rocky giant on several FF issues in this era. It looks like there isn't a Mr. Fantastic, so I'm thinking maybe Stretch accidentally turned himself into the rougher looking version of the Thing while trying to figure out away to turn Ben Grimm normal again. Either way, his look kills me. Compared to the smooth skippable Thing, this new jagged strong man looks deformed and sinks in the pond of my mind.

My buddy Kyle Jennings Ashby (Yes, he uses his middle name all of the time. How annoying is that? Nobody does that! Some times you meet a pretentious type who uses an initial for their first or last name, but using the whole name? "Oh, Jennings Ashby...I was confusing you with my other friend Kyle Sherman Ashby. You're the one I hate.") picked me up this comic of the day, Fantastic Four #315, and one other Fantastic Four book at a garage sale or flee market. He's a nice guy.

Years ago, some would scourer garage sales and estate sales to see if any old fool...I mean old person...was selling some old comics they found in their attic, basement or corner of their house. Maybe they once had children who moved out and left their old books there years ago. Right next to some old mugs for $.50 you could pick up the first appearance of Spider-Man for maybe $.25. This idea of finding a diamond in the rough is much like finding something valuable at the beach with a metal detector. One guy found an expensive piece of jewelry and then every other dreamer began to comb the beaches for treasure. Just ask those who have been combing the sand if they've found anything yet and they'll tell you, "We aint found shit!"

Friday, April 23, 2010

Guardians of the Galaxy #25 (Vol. 2)

Last month I created a post for the first Guardians of the Galaxy's issue #25. After reading the second volume's #25, I've discovered that not much has changed from volume one. Both contain three prominent similarities: the old Guardians of the Galaxy (Guardians from the 90's, yet actually the Guardians of the future), help from a silver square, and a large purple villain to fight.

Guardians of the Galaxy #25 (vol. 1) pitted the Guardians against the massive purple planet eater himself, Galactus. The former Silver Surfer helped the guardians defeat Galactus. Thank Odin, too. The Silver Surfer is lacking personality so badly that if he wasn't good at taking out near immortals he would not have any friends. That guy is a silver square.

Guardians of the Galaxy #25 (vol. 2) opens with the future Guardians worried about something that has changed in the time stream from the year 2010. (What are the odds?) The volume 2 Guardians discover what has changed in the year 2010. Here's a hint. He is a big purple, almost unstoppable guy whom characters refer to as the mad titan...oh, and he is on the cover which you can clearly see. Yep, Thanos has been resurrected from death and is pissed off. He is rampaging through the Guardians and there is no silver square like the surfer around. What do you do? Clearly you use a silver cube to stop him. What's a cube but a 3D square? Starlord cosmic cubes Thanos's naked purple body and the Guardains drink a beer.

The stories are practically identical! Guardians of the Galaxy #25 is the Guardians of the Galaxy #25. When I put it like that, how can anyone disagree?

In reality, the volume 2 comic of the day has a great moment where from just a few words readers can tell there will be hell to pay once the knocked out Thanos comes back around. Thanos had always yearned for the love of Death. Death was the one mistress that no matter how much Thanos courted her and threw gifts (dead civilizations) at her, would never be with Thanos. A few years ago Thanos got what he truly dreamed of at the hands of the current Guardian Drax. Thanos was all Leslie Nielsen - Dead and Loving It (second refrence to Leslie Nielsen and Dead and Loving It in 2 days and I haven't even seen the movie recently). But his time with his desired Death did not last. Thanos is alive and not happy. His few words were:

"You forced me to live again...for that...everything dies."

It's on!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

American Vampire #2

An interesting character is rising from the grave in American Vampire #2. Readers are treated to a bite more of the candy craving Skinner Sweet in two continuation stories crafted by Scott Snyder and Stephen King.

Snyder kicks things off by a visual kiss by Skinner Sweet which produces the power of transformation. As in American Vampire #1, blood contact to they eye seems to be the mechanism which produces the evolved creature of the...day? Skinner Sweet describes how the old European-like vampires are a thing of the past, while a new era in vampires is evolving in the new lands. The new improved model is the American Vampire.

Scott Snyder not only give Skinner Sweet attention capturing personality through his smooth and confident dialog, but through a comical note left by Sweet on a refrigerator door. Sweet points out the difference between the old-school vamps and the American vampires: they like "faggy clothes" (faggy: often used in the 20's) and the American vamps...well, Sweet "don't want to ruin the surprise" for the newest vampire. Sweet actually writes that on the note along with a message about a closet filled meal.

King's story continues on after the supposed death of Skinner Sweet, giving more background on the older fanged fellas and how it is that Sweet is appearing in both the 1880's and 1920's. King uses two back and forth time lines which contrasts the sadness of life, which at times is lonely and doesn't last, with the loneliness of death and eternity which oddly enough can still have it's pleasures.

The art and coloring is once again handled with great attention to story detail by Rafael Albuquerque and Dave McCaig. Every page is filled with something Sweet. There are expressive smiles, smirks and frowns, and tone-tastic lighting in every setting.

While the comic of the day, American Vampire #2, is no Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Snyder and King's Sweet new character may one day fit into vampire lore along with Max Schreck, Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Gary Oldman and Leslie Nielsen, the only American Vampire.


(Note: That last part about Leslie Nielsen is not true. He is actually Canadian, but by lying it makes the ending of the post a relevant full-circle treat. Go with it.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

American Vampire #1

When one gets new comics every Wednesday you are going to have some Wednesdays when only a book or two come are purchased; however, there will be new comic days when every other book you read comes out. At $3.99 a book the busy days add up. Today...was a busy day.

Sure there were some exciting titles released this weekly nerd holiday such as the new Amazing Spider-Man, the return of Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy, and the new Doomwar (why am I still reading this book), but there were also some back issues which my shop picked up for me. If the new titles and the 6 back issues I picked up were not enough, I also grabbed a Warren Ellis thoughts turned words book. It has no pictures, and I assume its filled with ideas towards comic and story creation, but honestly his name alone sold that book to me.

Lastly I noticed American Vampire #2. Not wanting to start the series out by missing the first issue I was able to grab the last American Vampire #1 in the store, and after some convincing by Mike, the Comic Bug owner, I picked up the new American Vampire, as well. This Wednesday cost me $50. I have a problem.

American Vampire #1 includes a story by Scott Snyder and a story by Stephen King. Snyder sets up a story about a young entry level actress in 1925 whom is a hard worker which needs a break. She ends up getting one in the form of an invitation to a Hollywood producer's party. But after a mysterious cowboy looking bum warns the actress not to go, she finds out her party invite was for different reasons then she hoped.

Stephen King's tale takes place in 1880 on a Colorado railroad. The same mysterious cowboy looking fellow is being transported by train to his final destination: the end of a noosed rope. The cowboy outlaw momentarily breaks free, but is seemingly killed by an old business man who has a fanged secret. This story lets the reader in on who may be the main character in the American Vampire comic books. Both Snyder and King write sharp dialog which progresses the story and adds to the building of what seems to be followed characters.

Both stories are presented beautifully by artist Rafael Albuquerque. He captures the essence of each time period through the character designs (clothes, haircuts, etc) and produces visuals that capture the emotions and tone of every moment flawlessly. Some books will have two different artists draw separate inter issue stories, but American Vampire #1 wisely chooses not to do that. The stories and joint characters maintain a strong presence and are able to hold the feel you grow accustom to after first seeing them. Also, Dave McCaig, on coloring duty, separates the stories time periods through his various pallets with great skill. The second tale has more of a western feel so we see more tans and oranges to bring out the western-desert feel, while the first arch has some more greys in the city scenes with bright lighting during the Hollywood scenes.

Today, American Vampire #1 may be the comic of the day, but tomorrow American Vampire #2 will be. It took me quite a bit of restraint to write this post before picking up the next issue right away. I spoil you (the one or two readers who read these posts).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fantastic Four #537

Doom, as I have written in previous posts, has always been an odd villain for me. I never quite understood what his actual powers were, and still are. Plus, enough with the Doom-bots. Everytime it seems like Doom has been destroyed it turns out it was only a Doom-bot (Siege: The Cabal features a bested Doom-bot that releases tiny robot bugs on Avenger tower). Regardless of what Doom's true powers are, Fantastic Four #537 helps shed some light onto what kind of a person and overall bad-ass Doom is.

Kicking off the Road to Civil War tie in, readers are treated to a brief glimpse into Doom's memory by writer J. Michael Straczynski. He quickly looks back on how he escaped from the depths of Hell...like most of us commonly do throughout the day. That part alone doesn't make him a bad-ass. What really reflects from his metal body is the confidence of a man about to face sure eternal pain. He shouts to the horde of demons about to tear into him, "...there is Doom enough for all!"

Doom then escapes with the help of a handy hammer of the enchanted variety and travels back to his home of Latveria where the first thing he does is snap his Prime Minister's neck. The second thing: takes a bath (seriously - Doom is the man, but even men like some bubbles once in awhile).

The comic concludes with Doom actually admitting he was wrong about being able to lift Mjollnir, Thor's fallen hammer. The Fantastic Four are pretty much side characters in this Doom centric issue. One fun moment involving the foursome involves Ben Grimm (the Thing) trying to lift Mjollnir himself, and pointing out that he might as well try to lift it while it just lies in front of him. The man of rock does not move the hammer of stone.

I grew a bit of a fondness for Doom after reading this comic of the day, Fantastic Four #537. "The Hammer Falls" part 2 may have just started me on a path towards Doom.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Batman: The Killing Joke

See, there were these two guys in a lunatic asylum... and one night... one night they decide they don’t like living in an asylum any more. They decide they’re going to escape! So like they get up on to the roof, and there, just across the narrow gap, they see the rooftops of the town, stretching away in moon light... stretching away to freedom. Now the first guy he jumps right across with no problem. But his friend, his friend daren't make the leap. Y'see he's afraid of falling... So then the first guy has an idea. He says "Hey! I have my flash light with me. I will shine it across the gap between the buildings. You can walk across the beam and join me." But the second guy just shakes his head. He says... he says "What do you think I am, crazy? You would turn it off when I was half way across." 
In Batman: The Killing Joke, this is what the Joker tells Batman after refusing assistance to changing his ways. The Joker says it is "too late for that" and proceeds with his joke. Batman, understanding that he is the same as the Joker is, but on the other side of the coin of good and evil. Batman can't help but laugh at the joke giving the Joker, a failed comedian, the laughter he yearned for before a moment in time broke his life. Batman's life was also changed permanently by a moment in time, and Batman understands that there is no going back: for himself...or the Joker.

I would like to write more about this Allan Moore psychological possible origin story of the Joker, but the fun and intrigue of this comic of the day are in the pages leading up to the Clown Prince's end.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Venom: The Enemy Within #1

Venom has to be one of the reigning kings, along with Wolverine and soon Deadpool, of the mini series. Once Marvel recognized that Venom was one of their most popular characters in the 90's they latched on to the unusually long tongued ex-villain.

Building a new mini around Venom wasn't enough to draw readers in when Venom: The Enemy Within #1 hit comic shops. Marvel tricked out (do the kids still say that?) the cover with a glow in the dark version of Venom. When the lights go out Venom's teeth, eyes and spider logo remain...scaring children who thought it was just another Venom cover. I know what you are think...I was one of those children. I knew it had to be a glow in the dark cover because when scratched and sniffed the cover it did not smell like anything I recognized. Later, when I was cleaning up in the bathroom before bed I turned the lights off in the bathroom before I fully left the room and noticed my glowing finger tips and nose.

Was that a true story? Of course not. I'm afraid of the dark. There is always at least a nightlight on around me.

The cover actually goes along with the story of the mini, The Enemy Within. The story involves creatures and monsters of the night. The comic is filled with hundreds of little goblins, Morbius the vampire, and Demogoblin (a Spider-Man villain who is pure evil...loves eating babies). Venom: The Enemy Within #1 pretty much just introduces these characters. Readers are left wondering what the heck is going on, and what would happen if Venom fought everyone. To be fair, that is what readers are always thinking when it comes to Venom. There are not many Venom comics of the day where I wonder about Venom's thoughts on his favorite Kurt Vonnegut book...yet. Marvel, feel free to use that idea. You're welcome.

(Note: You know you've made it as a writer when spell check corrects the spelling of your last name. You earned it Kurt!)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis Slipcase HC

This is one of those rare posts about a comic of the day I have yet to purchase. The Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis slipcase hardcover has been order by my local comic shop, the Comic Bug, so I assume I will be purchasing it shortly. It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.

Futurama is one of my favorite television shows of all time and The Simpson started it all when it comes to adult cartoon humor. Both shows are in syndication and both have classic stupid characters: Homer and Fry. The hardcover addition will be a nice addition to my bookshelf. Hardcovers are so much nicer to have. They look sharp and can take a bump or two.

I am especially excited to pick up the book after seeing Phil LaMarr and Billy West at the Anaheim Wizard World today. They are voice actors for Futurama and possibly two of the funniest guys when paired together. LaMarr is known for his voice acting roles as Hermes and Preacher-bot on Futurama, but is best recognized as an original Mad TV performer (he was the UPS guy). West voices Fry, Farnsworth and Zoidberg on Futurama but is well known for other voices such as the iconic Ren and Stimpy. The combined talent and quick wit make this pair the perfect Futurama selling devise.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Amazing Spider-Man: Grim Hunt - The Kraven Saga

No, you didn't miss the upcoming "Grim Hunt" Amazing Spider-Man issues. This isn't a post about the trade, rather it is a post about the free "catch you up" issue Marvel has been giving out to comic shop frequenter to grow intererst in the upcoming Spider-Man event.

Included in many Amazing Spider-Man issues over the past year has been little segments featuring the late Kraven the Hunter's family (his wife and daughter) as they recruit classic Spidey enemies to do what readers all assume is take down the webslinger. The return of Kraven himself even seems likely with the rate that comic characters come back to life these days.

Dead? Yes. Kraven has been dead for quite some time. Marvel is aware that many new readers or even casual readers may not be aware of the early Spidey rogue gallery member, so the decided to produce The Amazing Spider-Man: Grim Hunt - The Kraven Saga. The Kraven Saga includes the origin, life, death and happening after Kraven's death in snap shots of key moments. We relearn Kraven's motives and connections which should give us understanding behind why this event is important.

I have written about these "catch you up" books before, and I do again because I feel they are both a great tool for Marvel to produce sales and great reminder to the readers about where the specific story is and how it got there. Marvel wisely throws these free books at shoppers hoping to spark some interest in the event. If Marvel can get just a few readers to check out the issues hitting stands in the future, Marvel can potentially hook a reader into several issues...possibly beyond the event being highlighted.

For a reader, the "catch you up" books are simple cherries on our already exciting Wednesday's sundaes. An extra book to read once we get to the bottom of our dwindled stack. The Amazing Spider-Man: Grim Hunt - The Kraven Saga came out with great timing for me because all I got this week was the newest Daredevil issue. Thank you Marvel for providing an extra comic of the day to keep me busy for 10 more minutes!


(Note: The comic image is the actual image on "The Amazing Spider-Man: Grim Hunt - The Kraven Saga." The label for Marvel is for the actual issue that is not free, with the same cover design.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

God Complex #1

Wait. Apollo isn't a blond or black?

Michael Avon Oeming writes the adventure of the Greek God Apollo who in God Complex #1 decides he wants mortality. He has been around with everlasting life for so long that he has lost the desire to exist. Being mortal means he could potential die, and that thought makes him appreciate and enjoy life. Apollo retains his god-like powers, yet he can now be killed.

His father, Zeus (maybe you've heard of him) is furious that his son has given up his gift of immortality. He has Hermes find his son so that Zeus can teach him a lesson about who makes life and death decisions when it comes to the gods. The gods, by the way, live in the real world (Los Angeles) and basically control the world through their powerful corporation. Let's just say...they probably have Google stock.

The take on Greek gods is pretty fun. They still live in a world with superheros and the Greek characters, besides the hair color, seem to be accurately portrayed in both personality and emotion. Anytime you write a series around Greek characters you are going to have some success no matter what the story is. Greek mythology is to college guys (granted I've been out of college for quite some time now) as dinosaurs are to elementary school boys. Remember Dinosaucers? No comic of the day could beat that show when I was a kid.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Eclipso #2

What the heck did I just read?

From what I can understand from a quick read through, Eclipso #2 is about an organism, which is bound in thought, though it is bonded with several different hosts. It seems that when a specific black diamond touches another living animal or person, an organism named Eclipso takes over it's host's mind and body. The host's appearance is altered to look like half their original self and half the Eclipso organism. It is a virus of a creature which is trying to take over the world by way of absorbing powerful leaders ( a country's president) and animals (a lion) into it's entity.

Eclipso is sort of like Agent Smith in the last two Matrix films. Like Smith, there is One who Eclipso supposedly can not take over. The blandly named Bruce Gordon finds out that this Smith" creature is spreading, and thus, Gordon gets all Neo-like declaring that he will stop Eclipso.

Eclipso, like many viruses, is not a friendly creature. It only wants to spread itself and its own brand of violent hatred across the globe. Eclipso brutally bashes in the brains of one scientist he commands to make him a deadly poison to spread in cocaine...you know, standard villain stuff. The Scientist isn't able to make the poison completely undetectable so he pops the white-coat's head on the floor. Oh, and then to scare the other scientists, Eclipso rubs the new head scientist's face in the dead guy's brains on the floor. Yeah, this comic of the day is brain to face vulgar. Kind of cool.

Eclipso doesn't mess around. He says he wants violence and death, but I think we all know what he really needs...

...a hug.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Daredevil #255

Yesterday I mentioned Daredevil #257 and how it tied into Punisher #10. Not owning the Daredevil portion of the crossover I went to The Comic Bug, my local comic shop, and asked store co-owner Mike Wellman if he had that issue. Unfortunately, he did not have it in the shop, but he recommended reading some of the Daredevil books from that time period. He made the case that there were some great Daredevil stories after the Frank Miller run and literally pulled 2 comic books out of his sale bins (Daredevil #254 and Daredevil #255), handed them to me, and said take these home and read them. By the way, that's how cool Mike is. He just handed me books I didn't buy to take and read. Either he is a super nice guy, or the greatest comic salesman ever.

Written by Ann Nocenti and penciled by John Romita Jr., Daredevil #255 is the second issue in the Typhoid Mary storyline which runs through the Daredevil comic line in 1988. Typhoid Mary is a woman with multiple personalities: one being crazy and a cold blooded killer, the other being a sweet simple woman. She is asked by the Kingpin to ruin Matt Murdock/Daredevil's life by making him fall in love with her (though he is with another woman named Karen Paige) and then crushing him emotionally and physically once he is intoxicated by Mary.

The DD story also follows the city which Kingpin has orchestrated to have a garbage disposal strike. Bags of trash have been lining the streets for weeks giving the city a foul smell. There is also a court case which involves a Kingpin owned company and a boy who has become blind due to Kingpin's environmentally hazardous ways of disposing of waste. Murdock's old partner is working for Kingpin. Murdock doesn't currently have his lawyers license. And now Murdock relationship with Karen Paige is being ruined by Typhoid Mary.

At first Mary is just a woman Murdock meets while visiting the blinded boy in the story, but a romance begins when he sees Mary a second time. Mary brings the blind child to Murdock's place to visit and while the blind boy is wandering around Matt's place Mary and Matt embrace in a silent moment of passion. Their encounter happens while a message on the answering machine from his current girl friend Karen Paige is being played. It is a truly haunting scene where you can feel the romantic tension between the two characters with multiple identities.

Daredevil #255 is a subtle, but masterful comic of the day. The tone of the story and scenes which Typhoid Mary and DD both appear are timeless. I love them even 22 years later. I also appreciate John Romita Jr.'s art in these older books far more than I do in current comics such as Marvel's Doomwar. His style has evolved into something far too box-like. The simplicity of his art, in this Dardevil tale with so many subtle yet intense moments, allows the ideas behind the words and images breath and take on life. Daredevil #255 and the issues in the Typhoid Mary arch may not be some of the more popular DD issues, but they live on thanks to people like Mike Wellman who knows a good story when he reads it...22 years ago.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Punisher #10

In 1988 Marvel had the fun idea of telling a story with 2 different point of views. In The Punisher #10, Frank Castle tries to figure out who is responsible for the murder of 5 people, all of which were killed by way of poisoned medicine. The story is a one-shot in the Punisher comic, but it is also a one-shot in a Daredevil issue.

Frank finds the creep poisoning medicine and is about to throw him off of a building when Daredevil steps in and beats up Frank. Daredevil of course believes in the justice system and let's Frank no it with his fists and feet. It may seem like Daredevil was just randomly thrown into the book so frank wouldn't kill a man, but Daredevil was also looking for the medicine killer in his own Dardevil ongoing title. Daredevil #257 tells the other side of the story: the side looking for justice instead of vengeance.

The cover for The Punisher #10 is a strange choice. It's as if Daredevil and the Punisher have never taken acting classes. Punisher's back is pretty much to the viewer and his arm is covering most of DD's face. They are draw super muscular and are in an intense embrace, but the lacks that extra intensity faces can add. The inside art, on the other hand, is quite amazing. I will say it is a particular style which feels very 80's, but it also ads a bit of gritty dark tone which a Punisher book should have. Artist Whilce Portacio pencils an excellent tale which lacks the eyes of a man possessed by guilt and revenge. Portacio brings you close to Frank, but he never let's the reader into his eyes. If the eyes are windows to the soul, Frank's are tinted so no one can see inside.

Today's comic of the day, The Punisher #10, will lead me to my local comic shop this week in hopes of finding Daredevil #257. Like the medicine killer, Daredevil #257 will be found. Hopefully I get there before another does with a different reason for buying the issue.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Night Thrasher: Four Control #4 (of 4)

So it turns out the cripple has a name and a power. Her name is Silhouette and she is a mutant. She is able to travel in the "shadows" without being seen or captured. She goes into the Darkforce dimension and can reappear out of another shadow somewhere else. At one point during Marvel's Civil War, she helps Captain America escape a Yankee Stadium trap via the shadows.

The forth issue of Night Thrasher: Four Control ends with Night Thrasher putting his affairs in order and figuring out just who kidnapped his friend. The conclusion is a bit anti climatic, but what is expected from the mini series of a B level hero without any super powers. I like Night Thrasher, but he is what he is...not important.

Let me give you an idea of just how unimportant Night Thrasher is. Mark Bagley is a co-creator of Night Thrasher. Marvel had him assist with the covers of these Night Thrasher: Four Control comics to maybe add a bit of his expertise to drawing the character. Yet even Bagley, who may enjoy his own character, is so uninterested in Night Thrasher that the cover he helps create for Night Thrasher: Four Control #4 is flat out bland and boring. The comic cover is nothing but 2 faces staring forward! I call foul! It may be the most non-fulfilling cover to a final issue in a series ever. I love Bagley's work, but this is laughable. If he doesn't rate this as one of his worst covers of all time then I dare not see the cover he feels is his worst. That comic is probably equipped with a knife that just stabs you straight in the eyes when you look it's way. Though eye threatening...that cover actually sounds cool. That book would forever be the comic of the day.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Night Thrasher: Four Control #1 (of 4)

When looking for a low level superhero with no powers who had his 15 minutes of fame in the early 90's go no further than Night Thrasher. Dwayne Taylor, the original Night Thrasher, is a street level hero who has excellent hand to hand skills and an advanced suite of armor equipped with smoke bombs, truncheons (short clubs), and a forearm blade. He was basically armed to fight.

I used the past tense when writing about Dwayne because he died in the Civil War Nitro explosion along with 3 other former New Warrior teammates. Dwayns half brother later carried on the role of Night Thrasher, but I will always remember the original Thrasher and his mini series, Night Thrasher: Four Control.

Night Thrasher #1, written in 1992, is filled with a ton of small panels. When a book has so many panels it is really struggling to fit it's plot into a single issue. This was the first part of a 4 issue series, but maybe the story called for at least one more book to spread the story telling. Either way, the first issue gets us started with basic plot of a friend with vital information kidnapped. What that information is is unknown at this point, but Night Thrasher seems to think it's important.


Night Thrasher #1 features one of Night Thrasher's teammates who uses crutches. They are her weapons which have little sharp points on the end if force is needed. In one seen the crutched wonder trips a bad guy and pins him down. Watch your ankles around this one! I imagine fighting her is like fighting someone who knows drunken boxing. One finds that they are not sure what to hit. Should you kick out a crutch? Should you just shoot her in the face? Too late! She already tripped you.

At the end of this comic of the day, Marvel claims that this mini series is the "most-demanded series of the year." With sweet armor, crippled side-kicks, and a million panels Night Thrasher #1 is proving Marvel right.

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Mutants #87

Having both a reprint and the original of New Mutants #87, I should have read this first appearance of Cable before, but I have not until just moments ago.

I picked up the reprint (the comic book image displayed to the right - the original does not have a gold background) to discover that the cover bares the names Liefeld (Rob) and McFarlane (Todd). I assumed that New Mutants #87 was penciled by Rob Lifeld, one of the most unique artist of his time which inspired a certain style of highly muscular characters, and inked by the even more iconic artist Todd Mcfarlane. But when I opened the book McFarlane was not credited with any work on the book so I assume he simply inked the cover only. The cover inks do make the art pop in a way that McFarlane perfected, and complete the look to a classic Marvel cover.

For the first appearance of a character who is supposed to be quite the bad-ass I wasn't too impressed. Cable gets the jump on some mutants up to no good, but is quickly dispatched by a group of three novices. In fact, Cable gets his metal hand melted in his first issue! He hadn't even made it through his whole first comic book and already he needs a new hand welded.

Based on Cable's and other character's uniforms in this book leads me to believe it is quite hot where the fights take place. Cable has a ton of utility belts and straps but no shirt. I guess when you are buff you show it off. Maybe it intimidates the enemy or maybe he was just out of quarters and didn't have clean laundry. Not having your own washer and dryer is really pain. The other day I walked to 4 different near by stores and eateries just to get some quarters for a dollar. Three places refused me! Granted I was dressed like Cable, yet lacked the tan, muscles, and cool eye scar...but come on!

A comic of the day like New Mutants #87 reminds us that there are reasons for not wearing a shirt; however, all of the reasons revolve around being a comic book character drawn by Rob Liefeld.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

First off, I hate typing posts with the acronym S.H.I.E.L.D. in them. You have to hold shift and hit a letter then release, hold shift and hit a letter then release, hold shift and hit a letter then... ahhhh! So tedious!

S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 (thank you copy + paste) has been on my anticipation list since I created the list about 5 days ago. Also on the list: the Anaheim Comic Con, Friday's "Spartacus" episode and the last disc of season 1 "Beast Wars." This previous Wednesday brought me the comic and as hoped a little bit of joy.

The book starts out by telling a brief tale of the origins of S.H.I.E.L.D. and why they are called S.H.I.E.L.D.. With the help of Apocalypse (sweet 1 panel cameo), an ancient Egyptian, or as we know him today the Mummy from the Brendan Frasier Mummy movies, beats back an alien race trying to take over the Earth. He takes out the alien queen with...his spear? Oh, but he was holding a shield! I guess Marvel couldn't come up with a good acronym for S.P.E.A.R.. (Super Powered Egyptians Always Rock)

As the story moves through time we see other earth protectors including Leonardo Di Vinci. Is it just me, or is anyone else getting tired of the stories that talk about how smart and clever the Turtle's leader was? I would love to read a comic where he was actually not very bright. His inventions that seem to be in his notes were actually just instruction to toys he won at fairs for knocking over 3 water jugs with one rock. "That da Vinci... dumb as a stone, but what an arm!"

For Marvel's purposes Jonathan Hickman writes the Renaissance man himself as a wise old sage who invents and...time travels? Yeah, I don't know what's going on either. But this comic of the day does leave me a bit curious. And who knows, maybe da Vinci will end up being a moron with a hell of a fastball.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Weapon X #12

On this addition of Wolverine Wednesday we claw our way into the second issue in the "Tomorrow Dies Today" arch by Weapon X #12 writer Jason Aaron.

Weapon X #12 gives the reader a little more information about where the Deathlok machines are coming from. Aaron reveals scenes 25 years in the future where we find a group of unknown special forces members gathered to end the threat presented by Deathlok machines. Why the Deathlok machines are going back in time to kill super powered individuals isn't quite known yet, but with these flash forward scenes we begin to understand that the Deathloks have been killing for quite a while.

The future scenes surprise readers with an appearance by Wolverine in the future. He seems just as gritty but he is missing two key things: his hands. Wolverine has a nub on one wrist and a hook on the other. This is yet another time (Age of Apocalypse) where Wolverine is missing a hand. His claws are so iconic that if you are trying to shock a reader or make them understand that this guy has been through some serious situations, he has to appear broken in some way. Remove what makes him unique...visually at least.

In the present day scenes of Weapon X #12 we find the Deathloks attacking the new Captain America. Wolverine (in the present) is now on the hunt for the Deathlok units and of course is able to find them. If he couldn't find them how boring would this issue be? He does some slicing and the Deathloks do some laser gun firing. Sure Wolvering gets shot to hell but he takes it like a champ.

The issue ends a bit abruptly with a panel of a Deathlok unit on the ground. I think the last panel is supposed to make us question if the Deathlok unit is really dead. To be honest, I'm not sure. The first part to "Tomorrow Dies Today" was far more intriguing, and this issue leaves the reader thinking, "What the hell did I just read?" Either way, this comic of the day pulled off the same reaction. I am going to buy the next one.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Darkhawk #26

I always knew my 100th post would be a Darkhawk issue.

Darkhawk #26 is the beginning to an arch which gives Darkhawk some age relevant company in the New Warriors as he goes through some age relevant issues. He is having problems in his normal life which consist of not attending school everyday and spending quality time with his family (which is staying in a motel since his home was burned down by a villain of his). The school issues are the standard young superhero school issues. When one is young and possess large amounts of power, that person doesn't want to learn about math or history. That newly powered youth is the future...in their mind at least. School is just a place they have to be at during the day. At night is when the young hero can really enjoy their time.

At home, Darkhawk is the eldest of two boys raised by a single mom. His mom is having a hard time supporting her children and his little brother is become shut off to both his mom and older brother. When the mother tries to talk to her son (the Darkhawk one) he just storms off like an angry teenager insisting that she doesn't respect or understand him.

Story aside, there are some funny things in this comic of the day. Darkhawk, when in basic teenage form looks like he is in his 20's, yet he is in high school. It's like something out of "90210." I wonder if he hangs out at the Peach Pit after class. The other current event humorous scene involves his brother playing with a hand-held video game in 1993 that looks like an iPad. Did Apple know for all of these years that the iPad would look a certain way due to the look created in the incredibly popular Darkhawk comic books? I think that answer is obvious.

(Note: This issue is yet another early 90's book with the little rips in the bottom of the pages from when they were fused together during the production process.)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rough Justice: the DC Comic Sketches of Alex Ross

Isn't this guy a painter?

In Alex Ross's Clark Kent follow up to his Superman 2005's Mythology, Ross displays that he may be known to the world as a painter extraordinaire, but he is also a marvelous mild mannered penciler. Behind every eye popping painting is a drawn out image which may be a few colors shy of the rainbow (by a few I mean no color at all) but still incorporates that classic Ross look and appeal.

Rough Justice captures the art before it hits the stands. Rough Justice is the work of Alex Ross that lead to his photo-realistic covers and some pieces which never made it to final production. The Ross compilation, which spans 250 pages, is strictly art from the DC universe. This man draws Superman with a noble appearance which is so recognizable that comic fans can't help but feel a sense of "awe" every time they see the caped hero they have seen a thousand times before. Through the many covers and concept ideas which Ross captures Superman you finally get behind the lead of the five time Eisner Award winning cover artist.

My favorite part about this book shelf legitimizing hard cover is the "every angle" approach Ross takes when understanding his character. So many pages are filled with head-shots and body-shots of DC characters from every which angle. The pages of the many faces, from many angles, of Superman is so cool to wander through. He captures Superman's face when in eye laser mode, when in inquisitive mode, when in anger mode, and when in every-other mode too. The work Alex Ross puts into understanding the motions and emotions of the face pulls me so far in to the imagery I find myself making the faces I am perusing through just to further understand what Ross was going for.

Another cool feature about the monstrous sketch book, Rough Justice, is the note work which is left in place on the scanned copies of Ross's sketches. He has questions about the tone of the story or what the character may be thing or if Ross himself should alter the image a bit on his next rendition of a panel. Not only are we in Ross's pencil we are in his head, as well. I've been to the brain of Alex Ross people!...and it is good.

Though Rough Justice is the comic of the day today, it will remain a book that I will pick up and marvel at many days out of the year. I will show friends when they stop by and I will sleep with it at night. In the summer I will take off it's jacket and set it near the fan. When it gets drunk after a late night of hitting up the bars I will hold it's hair while it pukes out its drunken-paged art. I will do all these things for this book and more because this is the only fair treatment of a book from a living illustrating, painting and all around artistic legend.

Now if you would excuse me...Rough Justice is calling me to bed.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Nextwave #2

Why does everything big, strong, destructive and green wear purple pants?

The walking, talking, 35 stories tall Fin Fang Foom sports the purple pants made famous by the clothes tearing Hulk, in Nextwave #2. The agents of H.A.T.E. tackle the awakened menace of might in this action/comedy from the pen of Warren Ellis. As Fin Fang Foom terrorizes a city by feasting on bits of flesh he calls human, the team breaks his finger, shoots him in the eye balls, and allows their Machine Man to be swallowed by him all for the destruction of his Fin Fang insides. In the end, the purple pants come into play again as Machine Man crawls from within them after coming out of Triple F in a very awkward region.

The comic of the day is filled with whimsical art by Staurt Immonen, whom lends his talents perfectly for this title. I more detailed artist, or gritty sketching penciler such as Leinil Yu, would take away from the playful tone of the story and adventure. Nextwave #2, and the Nextwave series for that matter, is a mocking take on the elite code named organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D. and the situations they get involved with. Nextwave even has a character modeled after Nick Fury who thinks he's amazing and even has an eye covered, not by a patch but a targeting eye gadget.

Nextwave #2 is the second part to the opening introduction story which many new comic books will do. For comics of darker subject matter there is usually a 5-part story to kick off the serious, but with a lighthearted romp there is often only a 2-part tale. It is a way for a fast paced book to let readers know the direction of the series and also a good writing technique to not lose readers who are not looking for year long stories. Some readers just want short stories, one-shoters or comics that pack punches in limited rounds. It's like a UFC watcher as apposed to a boxing watcher. Sure boxing has a lot of skill since the body is limited in how it can fight, but their matches often go 12 rounds. UFC watchers enjoy the 3 to 5 round matches which often don't even go beyond the first round.

Nextwave was Marvel's UFC contender. Ironically, it was stopped after 12 rounds.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Infinite Crisis #1

Recently DC released the new animated movie, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and was happy to find many bonus features on the Blu-Ray disc. One bonus feature was a documentary where DC writers and editors spoke about the changing of the DC universe after the events of 9/11 occurred. DC aimed to start asking questions of morality that were no longer cut and dry. What defines a hero in today's society and how does a hero act and make decisions? These questions roll throughout DC's events starting with Identity Crisis. The writers in the documentary started talking about Identity Crisis (which I had just read) and then began talking about Infinite Crisis. The later I had not yet read yet and was forced to turn the documentary off so the story would not be ruined for me.

So here I am today with the comic of the day, Infinite Crisis #1. The issue sets up the plot of the 7 part series which seems to rotate around a small group of other Earth characters (including 2 Supermen and a Luther) trying to make Earth a better place by replacing it. The story starts off with DC's trinity of Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman investigating the destruction of a space station base which was destroyed by someone or some thing. After a brief battle with Mongul (which seemed random) the three heroes have a fight over morality and go their separate ways.

I have always been a Marvel kid, but I am really curious when it comes to these huge DC events. I think Geoff Johns (the Infinite Crisis writer) said it best when he said that he like DC because it was more fantastic and out there compared to the more reality grounded Marvel. I never heard a person say they liked DC for that reason. Usually someone says they like Marvel because of the way it grounds it's self in the real world. But some people, like Johns, read comics for the totally spectacular and that is why they choose DC. For the first time I think I can respect a DC reader for that reason.

No wonder DC just put Johns in charge of overall story telling. The man can make a point, and from what I've read so far, a damn good comic book.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wolverine #1 (Vol. 2)

Most of the times I get a book on ebay I am extremely happy with it. A lot of the sellers will ship the book right away and the conditions are fairly accurate. Unfortunately, there are times when the books are not exactly what you expected.

My first experience with books not exactly as advertised were when I purchased a few Astonishing Tales issues featuring Deathlok. The issues did not come in bags and boards for one. Who does that? Who has comics books without bags and boards, but more importantly who sells and ships comics without the bags and boards? Just wrong. The second problem was the fact that there was a gummy bear stuck in between two of the issues. How does that happen? The poor stray sweet ursa was some how dropped while these books were being laid together. A person handling old comics and eating candy repulses me as a nerd, but also baffles me as an ebay member.

The comics were extremely cheap and I guess the above complications were reasons why. A book that is going for a much lower price than the comic's worth is usually a sign that something is up, and that is exactly what happened when I purchased Wolverine #1.

Wolverine #1 was supposed to be in about near mint (NM) condition. I know that when getting a comic online to expect a slightly lesser value than quoted and so I was expecting a comic in fine(F) condition...which I was fine with. When the issue came it appeared to be beautiful. Very clean looking and wonderfully crisp on the edges. But then I opened the bagged and boarded book. The back had a crease right down the middle! The crease automatically bumped it down in value. I was so bummed.

Needless to say I did not give that seller a 5 star review; however, I did not give them an incredibly poor review either. The book may not have been in the condition advertised, but I never asked for addition images of this comic of the day. I could have asked for some pictures of the back of the book, but I got excited and just bid and won right away. Though the seller was shady, I still blame myself for not being thorough. May Wolverine #1 be a lesson to all ebay buyers. Make sure you know what you are getting before you bid and then hope the images weren't fake.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Abe Sapien: The Drowning #1

Mike Mignola hands the pencil over to Jason Alexander (not George from Seinfeld) and picks up the pen to script agent Abe Sapien's first self titled mini series.

Mignola often writes his Hell Boy universe stories, but he also draws them. He has established an art style which is copied over and over in art schools and on sketch pads all over the world. His Hell Boy character and universe have become so popular that the style of art and the HB stories have become synonymous with each other. Mignola brand art is how we view HB characters. In other comic books, characters such as Spider-Man are not defined to the comic community by one consensus artist; rather, there are different strokes (of the pencil) for different folks.

In Abe Sapien: The Drowning #1, Jason Alexander's art is a bit different than Mignola's but still captures the HB style. I wonder if Alexander's style is truly the same or if he altered it to fit the tone of the characters and story. If Alexander's style is his own in Abe Sapien: The Drowning #1 then does that mean his style was a copycat of Mignola's or influenced by Miggy's? Either way, the art feels like that of the other HB books.

Abe Sapien: The Drowning #1 gives Abe his first solo mission, or at least a mission without Hell Boy around, in which Abe must find a valuable artifact. He must find a dagger which was made for the soul purpose of killing demons. You know...that ol' chestnut. The first issue simply sets up the legend of the dagger and some of the players whom will be involved in Abe's adventure. If you like Abe Sapien as a character you will have to wait till the next issue to get your fill. For a book titled by his name, Abe isn't in this issue very much.

Overall, if you enjoy the HB universe this comic of the day is for you. But if you are a casual HB fan, you may want to skip this mini series and issue. A HB universe story without Hell Boy just isn't as satisfying as a tale with the red titan.

March Comic of the Day Recap

Three months down. Nine months to go. Admittedly, the post are getting harder to plan time for. Most days I end up writing the posts after 8pm. This month I will try to change that and get some posts out before the day is mostly spent.

March had some posts I enjoyed writing and some comic books I was pleased to go back and reread. Take a look at some of my better posts and recap my March comics of the day.