New Comics Review (8-19-07)

Has it been that long already?  Well, another large pull list this time around.  Getting to be there are so many minseries out there, that it’s getting harder to keep up with things in a timely fashion…

Dark Tower: Gunslinger’s Guidebook- A nice little reference title for those unfamiliar with Stephen King’s series of books.  Biographies of all the characters involved with the short series are detailed, as are some of the language and background.  A worth while pick up for fans of Stephen King, and those who want more details on the charcters from the comic adaptation.

The Marvel Tarot -A mediocre one shot IMO.  Not enough art work of the major tarot arcana using Marvel characters.  The text accompanying the art is lack luster at best, and outright boring most of the time.  This one could have been a lot better.

Outsiders: Five of a Kind (Martian Manhunter and Thunder)- This is an OK story.  You really do need to be up on what’s going on in Countdown, and the other one shots of this series to get the full meaning.  Koi Turnbull’s art is OK, but I really don’t like what was done to the Martian Manhunter.  Best reason to get this is for the last two pages.

Countdown #38, 37- More Jimmy Olsen, now aka Mr.Action, and the Rougues on the run.  Mary Marvel still has identity and power issues, and seeks help from Zatana. 

Amazon’s Attack #5- We’re getting closer to solving some of the mysteries behind this attack.   Circe’s machinations get upset a little by Batman, but will it be enough to stop the combined forces of the Amazons and the Bana?  Somehow, I think that the combined efforts of the JLA and JSA will prevail in the end.  Call it a hunch.  😉

Brave and the Bold #6- The conclusion of the opening story arc the Lords of Luck.  Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Super Girl, Adam Strange, Batman, and the Challengers of the Unknown team up to save the Book of Destiny.  More than a few hints of what’s in store for the future of the DCU are dropped here.  Astute readers take notes!

Green Lantern #22 – The Sinestro War continues.  Hal battles Parallax once again, and this time gets “rescued” by the “lost lanterns.”  Guy and John Stewart are held prisoner somewhere on Qward, as is Ion, though Kyle Rayner is possessed by Parallax.  Plus some exoanded cameos by the likes of the Antimonitor, Hank Henshaw, and Superboy Prime.  This has to be one of the best, if not the nest story lines out there at the moment. 

Justice League of America #12- The last issue with writer Brad Meltzer onboard.  Some people are complaining that the issue was boring.  Or that this si not the way to leave a series.  I disagree.  It covers an overlooked and ignored aspect of life in the JLA, monitor duty.  While not exciting in a comic book or super hero way, it’s a nice departure, and allows for some good character development.

Black Canary #4- The conclusion of the lead up to the biggest DC wedding since Clark and Lois.  The answer to Ollie’s question wasn’t in doubt, but the why behind the answer did surprise me a bit.  Can’t wait to see who crashes the wedding.

Green Arrow: Year One #3- Ollie’s island life gets far more complicated.  I’m thinking that there’s something long term being set up here.  Otherwise, this may not have been all that worh while a series, enjoyable as it is.

Flash #231 – Returning to the Vol.2 numbering with the return of Wally West and family.  Not sure how long Wally may be around, but his kids seemingly will play a huge role in something in the future.  DC has learned to drop hints and references to future events so well, that it’s become a game of sorts to find them all.  A literary Where’s Waldo of sorts.

Black Adam #1- Now here’s a character who has been brought back into mainstream focus.  DC’s bad boy is off on a journey, one which will probably end up having large scale repercussions.  A depowered Teth-Adam is something to watch.  For those who like the Cpatain Marvel/Shazam stories, or those who are intrigued from Black Adam’s role in 52, pick this one up.

Booster Gold #1- Speaking of bringing back heros, this has to be one of the biggest reclaimation projects in comic history.  Booster has always been the guy in it for glory and cash.  Perhaps not so anymore.  This new ongoing series from DC, and another gem from Geoff Johns, starts off extremely well.  Not only do we get a “new” Booster Gold, but Rip Hunter is back and active.  The way Johns uses Rip to frop story line hints and previews is well worth while.

Shadowpact #16- Part two of the confrontation with Dr.Gotham in Chicago.  Some nice heroics in this one, and from some unexpected quarters.  With some JLA guest appearances, a few good expositions, this is a good way to end this battle.  Plus Blue Demon starts a new road to redemption since his lawyer got out maneuvered in Hell.

Checkmate #17- I find that Greg Rucka scribes this series fairly well.  Though this one is mainly a set up issue for forthcoming story lines (and not just for Checkmate), it’s a solid single character focused story.  Plus we get some more technical details about Checkmate, it’s organization and set up.

Batman Confidential #8- More from everyone’s favorite psychopath, before he got the grin.  And just how does a billionaire playboy balance crime fighting and a personal life?  Not very well, even with a nagging butler.

Army>at<Love #6- Forget the titilation in this series, though I’m sure that’s what draws many to buy it initially.  The subtleties in the writing are something else.  Lots of political undertones, and some interesting, if impractical ideas get floated here.  Plus the story itself, beyond the Desperate Housewives rips. is engaging, and has some real entertaining aspects to it.

Captain America #29- Yes folks, Cap’s still dead, but maybe not for all that long.  But that has nothing to do with this issue.  Bucky is still tracking down the Red Skull, and gets someting of a rude intrusion from his past.  All while the Black Widow tracks the Buckster, and finds Falcon and Sharon Carter doing the same.  I think this story arc is drawing near to a dramatic conclusion.  At least it better, as if they drag it on too much longer, it will lose all the impact it should have.

Sub-Mariner: The Initiative #3-  Namor and Wolverine have a bit of a bout when Namor arrives at the X-Mansion looking for some help in tracking down his renegade countrymen.  Perhaps to make up for Namor’s “clean” image in Illuminati, they’re giving him his “sin” in this minseries. 

Wolverine Origins #16- While I generally dislike rehashing old stories, this time around it’s timely, and has a point.  Supposedly this is a retelling of the first meetimg between Wolverine and Captain America in Madripoor in 1941.  This story had already been told in X-Men #268, which is reprinted in this issue.  But with Cap’s recent assassination, and Wolvie’s second thoughts about how th civil war ended, this was a good way to recap that older story with some new elements.  Not a perfect story by any means, but a good break from the regular story arc.

Avengers Classic #3- Avengers vs Namor and the Hulk.  As I’ve said previously, this one is worth it for the reprint of Avengers #3 alone.  This time around the back story actually is good, and has a purpose, escpecially the last panel. 

World War Hulk: Frontline #3- Ben and Sally, just like any good reporters, find themselves going places they have no business going into.  The US Military launches a counter attack against the Hulk and his cohorts with predictable results.  Meanwhile, Detective Danny and his alien compadre continue to investigate the death of one of the Hulk’s warbound allies. 

Blade #12- End of the line for this title.  While it was certainly interesting, and entertaining, it just didn’t have enough to carry it.  Chaykin’s art was sub-par for him, and it just didn’t work all that well with the story line.  The guest art of Gene Colan at the end was a nice touch.  Could be some solid spin offs from this if Marvel doesn’t screw it up.  I mean they just resurrected every vampire ever in the Marvel U in one fell swoop, including Dracula.  How can they just leave it at that?

Terror Inc #1- This MAX title has a lot of potential going for it.  One of the few characters from the abysmal 90’s was Terror Inc.  This quai-immortal Vandal (as in the tribe) is one of the more unique and intriguing characters Marvel has created in the past 15-20 years.  This six issue miniseries promises to be intense and fast paced, if David Lapham and Patrick Zircher can keep it up.

Ghost Rider #14- Having begged off from confronting the Hulk, Johnny Blaze and Zarathos reach an agreement on how to go after Satan’s minions and fragments.  I’m a bit worried about the “Dogma” story line being introduced with two out of favor angels appearing.  I have a feeling that this aspect will hurt an otherwise excellent title.

DMZ #22- Conclusion of the Day 204 story arc.  Everything looks like it will start anew for Matty in Manhattan.  The politics and philosophy behind this story arc come into focus with this issue, and it does raise some interesting questions, particularly when it comes to the “mob mentality.”

The Programme #2 – This is still an intriguing concept, if a bit slow in developing.  All sorts of political drama and conspiracy in this series.  From the US using Nazi scientists, to a Soviet counter-program, to LSD experiments, to brain washing and reprogramming, to modern geopolitics.  But it does need to pick up on the action end of things if this one is to carry on as it should.

Also picked up the TPB of the Sgt.Rock story “Between Hell & a Hard Place.”  Joe Kubert did the artwork with a Brian Azzarello (Constantine/100 Bullets) script.  There’s a nice forward by Kubert, detailing a bit of his relationship and history with Rock.  The story itself takes place in the Hurtgen Forrest in 1944, and is a combination of war story and murder mystery.  The key Easy Co players are all here, and for this first time in a long time, we see them as more than just the happy Joes of old.  A solid read, and not just for fans of Sgt.Rock.

Well, that’s it for now.  More in two weeks time…

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2 thoughts on “New Comics Review (8-19-07)

  1. Pingback: Fanboy@50 » Some quick links

  2. Hey Armchair,

    Thanks for using our system– if you need any help in setting up the store just contact me and we’ll walk you through it.

    I also would love to send you a CCL t-shirt for blogging us–just send me your shipping address and size and I’ll take care of the rest.

    Thanks,
    Dave Macy

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