Thursday, March 23, 2017

MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH COMIC BOOKS Chapter 8

Another weekly column! Woooo! Kind of a light week for us here at The Waltz Compound. Also, I am not reviewing the new HULK book unless things change in Issue 5. JUst not my cup of tea I'm afraid. With that being said, let's get to the book!




FUTURE QUEST #11

The penultimate issue is here and everyone teams up to fight the Omnikron for the last time. Will they be able to save Earth from this monstrosity or is it too powerful? You'll have to read it for yourself. I can't believe it's been almost a year since this book came out. I will miss it when it's gone. If you haven't read it go pick up the trades. If you even know the name Herculoids or Jonny Quest or Space Ghost then they wrote this love letter to you and it shows.



THE FLASH # 19

Second part of the Flash and Kid Flash down under with Captain Boomerang. I like how Kid Flash's vibrating powers work differently and to a great effect in this book. We are getting set up with a crossover for the next two issues and it looks like it will blow our mind like the original Rebirth book did. I wish there was more of old school Wally West in the book. That would be cool.



BLUE BEETLE #7

Dr. Fate fights for Jamie Reyes' life against the monster that wants the scarab. The reveal is pretty cool. I know him a little, but not as much as others might. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here and J.M. DeMatteis starts next issue! I am so excited. His Dr. Fate books was one of the best out there and really needs to be collected into a volume of it's own. You hear me, DC? Yeah! I'm talking to you.



WONDER WOMAN # 19

She's done with the insane asylum and the big bull fellas name is Ferdinand. I should have guessed that. Anyway, the Godwatch has had enough of Wonder Woman and they do the unthinkable. Not to give too much of this away, but I realize she does the whole bullets and bracelets thing, but I always assumed Wonder Woman is bulletproof. Can't she take a pretty good hit? Guess we will see next issue.



HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORP # 17

Guy is recovering from his fight and we learned why he did it alone and with no ring. He needed to show the Yellow Lanterns who the boss was. A little fear for the fear guys. And Kyle  is a Green Lantern again?  UM, okay, that's cool. He was a great Green Lantern.



DOOM PATROL #5

If anything is going to kill this book it will be the time between books. It sure doesn't feel monthly and Gerard Way may have bit off more than he can chew. That being said, the one thing that will save this book is that it's good enough that no one will care about the delay. The team is back! Sort of. It reminded me of old school Doom PAtrol mixed with a little of Morrison's run. The melding of the things we love about Doom Patrol. And Negative Man is back! And rocking some sweet threads. This is a fun book.



THE MISFITS # 3

The Misfits are getting their sound back as the reality show continues. But Blaze has what she thinks is an awful secret. Until she tells anyone and everyone she meets says that is awesome. Her other band is coming together and she can be the lead singer like she always wanted. Being on a popular reality show won't hurt the PR for the new group. This is such a great book with that whole vibe that made Jem and the Holograms such a great book.I remember them saying that this was a mini series. I hope it continues beyond that.



MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR # 17

Luna gets assistance from The X-Men to find a Cerebro that Forge made so she can track down the Doctor Doom that has been bothering her lately. Forge is astonished that she can make Cerebro find anyone, mutant or not and a little side trip to the 80s happens as they fight a shopping mall of Dooms. I love that Luna has embraced that she is the smartest person in existence and a Devil Dinosaur/Wolverine Fastball Special makes the book. It felt like they were going to cancel this book in the next issue. They don't say it, but Marvel never says it.  I hope not.



IRON FIST #1

This is the gritty, Iron Fist has lost his way tale. I realize that it's just a set up first issue, but it shows that Danny is trying to cope with the fact that with K'un Lun destroyed that he may not be Iron Fist anymore. And if he's not Iron Fist then who is he? It reads like a kung fu movie which is all Iron Fist was ever supposed to be. A good start to what can be a great book.

BOOK OF THE WEEK



EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #20

With the Inhumans VS X-Men over and Earth safe for mutants again, it is time for our team to leave Limbo behind. Yeah, they are starting those new X Books next month so there is no room for what was my favorite X-Book. They are all going home. And what is the perfect capper to a great run of comics? That's right, baseball game. Kind of choked me up a little. Jeff Lemire and Victor Ibanez give us the perfect cap to this book. It's a shame nothing is coming along to replace it.



See, you sniffled a little seeing this, didn't you?

So, another successful weekly column in the bag. It helped getting out of work early yesterday and having today off. A great bunch of books. Remember, go visit your comic shop and find something to read. The 50 cent bin alone is filled with so many magnificent things.

Seeya next week!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH COMIC BOOKS Chapter 7

Yeah! Back on track! These are the books we got yesterday. I have always had the problem of plowing right through the new books pretty much the day I get them. Some of them get reread the same week, some go in their respective places and are reread from time to time. This is a pretty good batch of books.
I have one complaint, so we're gonna do that one first.


Image result for monsters unleashed #5 variant covers 2017

MONSTERS UNLEASHED! #5

This is the end of the series. They are gearing up for the regular series that will follow the adventures of Kid Kaiju. This whole thing seemed rushed. Last issue they were screwed, but now that Kid Kaiju uses his own original monsters he can save the day? Meh. And the new monsters seemed lackluster at best. I would have rather had a team with OOM and FIN FANG FOOM. Know what I mean? I really doubt that I will be getting the continuing series. Good part. Plenty of cool monster art. I really liked that. The variant cover we got (pictured above) was pretty cool as well. We even bought some of the Monsters Unleashed comic book boxes. Now, can I have action figures? I'd really like if this ended up as action figures.



THE UNCANNY AVENGERS #21

The finale between Deadpool and Rogue and Deadpool has a pretty neat trick up his sleeve that I won't spoil here. Suffice to say it made me smile when he did it. This is the best Avenger book out there. Go read all of them. And I mean Volume 2. Don;t read Volume 1. Nuff said!



AQUAMAN #19

The start of the H2.0 storyline begins here and Aquaman has to go to an island with the Aquamarines who tried to kill him during the war. He's facing off against an old foe, Dead Water, who can teleport from place to place with the smallest bit of water. In the new Rebirth Universe, this is one of the most consistent books out there. I love that Aquaman is one of my favorite books.



COADY AND THE CREEPIES #1

Fresh from the Boom! Box imprint comes the story of a set of triplets who are also a punk rock band. And, just to make it interesting, one of them is a ghost. I remember punk rock and it's nice to see a new comic that recognizes its influences and becomes an interesting thing of it's own. I remember when Boom! put out Jonesy and Giant Days and they were supposed to be limited series. Now they are not and I hope this one follows in their footsteps. Great story awesome art and a punk rock vibe that makes this one of the best all girl band comic books out there. (Currently, there are three.)



GREEN ARROW #19

Yes, Roy Harper is back. Yes, Ollie calls him Speedy and gets punched for it. We see the life and times of Roy Harper, warts, drugs and all and now we are brought to the present where he has found something to fight for and Ollie and Black Canary are along for the ride. We also get a new, trippy version of Count Vertigo. It's in flashback so, you know he'll be showing his face soon. Such a great book.



KONG OF SKULL ISLAND #9

We went and saw the new Kong movie. It was spectacular! This book lends itself to telling us so much about the giant ape we meet in the movie. Now, the queen of Kong Island has to deal with people who believe that what she does is wrong. They don;t think they need Kong to protect them. They are wrong and they are about to attempt a misstep that will probably result in the deaths of a lot of their tribe. But, we have to wait until next issue.



CAVE CARSON AND HIS CYBERNETIC EYE #6

The monster is revealed and unleashed and Carson, his daughter and Wild Dog have to save the day. Sure, they need to take some psychotropic drugs to get the job done, but that's perfectly normal, right? This book is very trippy. Now with the first arc completed I might have to go back and ready them all in one sitting. I still don;t get what is going on in the back up feature. I look at it, but I've stopped trying to read it.



PATSY WALKER A.K.A. HELLCAT! #16

THEY ARE CANCELLING THIS BOOK! This is so very sad. I have not missed an issue. There was an issue where I truly despised the art and I still bought it. This was such a great book and now we might get one more issue. Patsy does learn how to rid herself of the reality altering illness she has that is triggered whenever she sneezes and we learn a little bit more about her true nature in the process. I am so sad they are cancelling this book.



THE GREAT LAKES AVENGERS #6

Bertha is still fighting the madman who has taken her size powers and increased them tenfold. Overdosing on the drug he has become berserk monster attacking the city. Doorman is doing his new job being a grim reaper, only he's not very good at it. Good Boy realizes she can't run from her problems and runs back to the team as the giant mad scientist begins his attack. This book is silly, serious, fun and the art work is so good. The cover is hilarious as well. I hope we get these guys around for a very long time.



BATWOMAN #1

She is back in the Rebirth universe. I will admit that while I know who Batwoman is, I never read her previous book. Heard good thing, never read it. This is a good issue. We get a decent fight along with a hint at her past. Then it throws us in the deep end and tells us to swim.
I'm fine with that.

BOOK OF THE WEEK

I thought instead of reviewing the Book of the Month twice I would just do it once.

Here you go.



U.S.Avengers # 4

Give me a comic book with Squirrel Girl and I will buy it. This particular issue does not have her in it, but we do get Deadpool and Red Hulk versus American Kaiju. I think American Kaiju is hilarious. Plus it is divided into four different comic books with four different covers within the issue that does a chapter of the story. It felt like the spirit of Steve Gerber was there and it made me smile this is one of the new books that Marvel is doing right by. A truly great issue and our Book of the Week.

A pretty good week. That one complaint doesn't really ruin things. I wish I could have found a better picture of that cover. The variant with the cool Fin Fang Foom cover is pretty cool. Has a sweet underground vibe to it.

See you next week.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH COMIC BOOKS Chapter 6

Yeah, yeah, I know. I said weekly. We've been every week on Wednesday like clockwork. Just lazy I guess. Ready for the lightning round? Here we gooooooooo!



AQUAMAN #18

Time to fight Warhead. Well, maybe not. Aquaman shows why he might be the most intelligent super hero out there. He knows not to lead with his fists. Especially, when he finds out what Warhead is really up to. This continues to be one of my favorite Rebirth books out there.



BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINE/ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK #6

Yup, it's over. Yes, it ended magnificently. Yes, I want another one. Yes, there could be one. This is how I remember mini series from my youth. Get in there, tell the story and get it done with. Great book.



MONSTERS UNLEASHED #4

We have monsters fighting other monsters who have teamed up with the world's heroes to save the day. But, only Kid Kaiju can save everyone and he is in over his head. One more issue before we go into the series. May it have a long and fruitful life as a continuing series.



DOCTOR WHO 9 #10

Yeah, it looks confusing, but it does deal with the ninth Doctor so the 9 makes sense. They are finishing up stuff in 17th century Brazil and Captain Jack learns a little more about his missing past. When they brought this series back to life, Eccelston was my favorite of the new Doctors. A sense of humor with a simmering anger just beneath the surface. They manage to balance that out here and with it being a comic book, the special effects are pretty easy.



GREEN ARROW #18

The Return of Roy Harper starts here. This is going to be great and we get a nice lead in to the chaos starting up in the next issue. It reminded me of the old Green Arrow/Green Lantern days. Another great Rebirth book



THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #18

Doreen finds out that her benefactor is bad news and her new suit pays the ultimate price. Now I want an issue of nothing but Alfredo the Chicken and Chef Bear. One page is not enough.



POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #14
I heard it through the grapevine that this book is getting cancelled in the near future. I think this is a terrible mistake. The war in Harlem is heating up and the machinations of Street Magician, Alex, is coming to a head as his new drug grips the city in insanity.  This book never fails to get me excited for what is coming next. It realizes that Danny and Luke are more brothers than partners. They have known each other for a long time and this has been a wonderful run of their adventures together.



BAT GIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY #8

Nightwing is in Batgirl's turf and the person he's fighting is wicked strong with bizarre powers. The ladies come to save the day and stitch Nightwing up. There is some silly flirting and Canary goes undercover to find out what is happening to the meta humans. This is still the only Bat-Family book I buy and it is such a great book.



THE FLASH #18

Wally West, post Flashpoint discovers that his father is Reverse Zoom and when he goes to visit in Iron Heights he discovers that he has been transferred to Belle Reve under the jurisdiction of Amanda Waller. This is the Waller I remember and the speedy duo head to Australia to find Captain Boomerang. That may have been a bad idea. This book continues to behave like a new book with the soul of the classic Flash books of the 70s. DC has been my go to for super hero tales like they are meant to be.



HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #16

Guy Gardner is hunting down a rogue Yellow Lantern, Arkillo. And he isn't using his power ring. Of course, neither is Arkillo, but he's a friggin monster. We also get a little behind the scenes that explains why Guy is the way that Guy is. A great story.



JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #2

Lord Havok has found this world's version of his homeland and their king has died so, he takes the land and promises them prosperity and peace. How are the new Justice League supposed to fight a sovereign nation? I'm sure they will think of something. I haven't bought a League book in a very long time and it's nice to get such a diverse, unusual team for a change. Good stuff.



WONDER WOMAN #18

The Godwatch story is fascinating to read. More Vertigo feel than DC Comic feel. It deals with the organization that is trying to find Wonder Woman's homeland and how it all got started. This is a prime example of great storytelling, epic art and a wonder on how it will all end without it being really bad.



SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #11

The gang is looking for Velma. Scooby shows that he is the best dog in the world and the team is starting to feel like the classic team from the old cartoon days. The back up feature slaps President Trump right in the face and will get away with it because we know that no one in his administration reads comic books. I hope this Hanna Barbera off shoot lasts for a very long time.



JONESY #11

Ah, Jonesy. Doesn't every 54 year old man read the awesome adventures of a young girl with super special love powers? No, then you might want to. We get an explanation of what went wrong back home in the form of a zine and it is magnificent. Being a zine guy from back in the day, this is a pretty cool zine disguised as a comic book. Now it is time for Jonesy to face the music. That'll be next issue. Pick this book up.



JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS #5

Josie and the Pussycats are playing a county fair, but they get upstaged by a little girl who is the opening act and has the voice of an angel. Josie knows she can't really be that young, but she discovers that a lot of people are as driven to succeed as she is. They come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Also, I think Melody has become aware that she's in a comic book. Audrey Mok's artwork is killing it.

BOOK OF THE COLUMN???

I know I said Weekly, but then I procrastinated. So, anyway the book would have to be...

JONESY!



I have every issue of this thing and Sam Humphries never ceases to amaze me. The zine look for this issue makes it the best of the best of ... well, the books I bought. Go read it already. You can thank me later. If it doesn't look like your cup of tea, read a different comic book. And, remember all comments are welcome.

One last thing. I have read three issues of HULK. I'm on the fence and not sure how I feel about the book. Here's the cover to issue 1;


Thursday, February 23, 2017

MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH COMIC BOOKS Chapter 5

This is the third week that we have made the weekly jaunt down to Fanfare for our comic books. I am starting to get used to it, but there is a huge sale this weekend so we will be going on Saturday as well.. Anyway, I promised that I would keep up on these to reduce the length of the column. So, here we are.
I have also decided to institute a new feature at the end of the column each week. Of the books reviewed I will tell you which one was my favorite.
Ready? Here we go!



WONDER WOMAN #17

As you can tell from the cover, Cheetah is back. It's a little sad because Wonder Woman went to all that trouble to help her not be The Cheetah anymore. Diana is still in the looney bin and Steve Trevor and company are being hunted down so they need to bring Diana back to her super heroing ways and fast.
This book is just so good. I can appreciate a long game story, especially with such an iconic character. And since it is only in the odd numbered books, it doesn't seem rushed at all. One of the best things DC gives us on a regular basis.



JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1

What, another first issue? Yeah, remember when DC decided to start up Rebirth you got a first issue that acts like an introduction and then the first issue of the new series starts things off. A clever way to get two first issues for the collectors and the intro issue kind of works on it's own. Well, now Batman has his team doing jobs and making themselves seen. High profile rescue stuff of the average man. He's trying to humanize the JLA for mankind and it seems like a good idea.
Then Lord Havok and his cronies decide to save our Earth no matter who they have to kill to do it. I remember these guys from the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League days. They are pretty heavy hitters so, it will be interesting to see how the new team copes. Sure, some of them are pretty street level heroes, but they have a couple of mean dudes on their team. It should be an interesting fight. There is also an epic two page splash page that should be made into a poster.




FUTURE QUEST #10

The giant creature is going toe to toe with the new and improved Frankenstein Jr. Unfortunately, no one told The Herculoids that Frankenstein Jr is on our side and they do not like robots at all. Space Ghost has recovered from his injuries, It's time to get everyone on board against a common threat. Future Quest ends in two issues and they have to wrap everything up. Right? They do have to, don't they? We shall see. In the entire Hanna Barbera reboot this one is my favorite. IT captures those old cartoons that I still watch perfectly. Herculoids are still the best.



EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #19

I do not like when Event crossovers interfere with my books. Unless, of course, I am buying into the crossover, but with the exception of the recent Monsters Unleashed, I haven't done that since The Black Vortex. Luckily, they kind of ignore the whole crossover for a more intimate story that is told between the beats of the battle. See, Magik had a protege named Sapna who was possessed by The World Eater. TO stop the monster and save Sapna she had to be absorbed into Magik's Soulsword. Now, Sapna is sick of being in there and draws Magi into the sword to keep her company. Time moves different inside the sword so it's okay, but kSapna is rather insistent that she stay. Magik has to find a resolution to the problem and save her team from being wiped out by the Inhumans.
The artwork when they are inside the sword is breathtaking. Blacks, with scratches of white and deep blues and purples make for one of the most interesting pieces of artwork I have seen in a long time. Such a great book, artwise. And the resolution of the problem will be interesting to watch as it plays out.



THE AVENGERS 4.1  

Quicksilver has two busted legs. Hawkeye is framed for theft and the team is fragmented. Time to find The Frightful Four and show the world that the Avengers do what they do best. And they have to deal with the new member that is the viper in their midst. If it's not too late.
This has been a good min series. I would like to see them do this along the Avengers timeline. Little stories that fall through the cracks and get told in the time period when they happened. Nice to have a Captain America story to read again.



THE GREAT LAKES AVENGERS #5

The team is still under lock down, but Big Bertha still has a job to go to. But, this new one seems wrong. They want her to pose as the before and after for a weight loss program. But, is that even what they want her for? Or is it something more nefarious? I like that Bertha has embraced her bigger girl and given up the skinny super model persona. She made a lot of money at it, but she was never happy in that size. Sure,it comes in handy for super powers, but Bertha likes her new life. The newest incarnation of the GLA feels like the dysfunctional family we all know.



INFAMOUS IRON MAN #5

Victor goes toe to toe with his mother and he is pretty unhappy that she is still alive. He had buried her for years and now this seems wrong. He also manages to save Ben Grimm from her spell that was mostly an illusion. Now she tells Victor she is proud of his new role in the world, but wants to hear none of it. The end of this one was a huge surprise and will make this continue to be one of the most interesting, original books that Marvel puts out.



UNCANNY AVENGERS #20

The Red Skull's end game that started way back in Issue one, Volume One of The Uncanny Avengers and the theft of Charles Xavier's brain. He is in complete control of The Unity Squad. But Deadpool has a plan and Red Skull can't read his mind.
This book is one of those that gives us small, individual beats and then moves into the long game with such little effort that it makes your head swim. Every issue makes you wait for the next with such expectation that you have to remember not to check out any spoilers online. A fantastic book.



MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #16

When last we left Moon Girl she had switched minds with Devil Dinosaur and went to ask Dr. Strange for help. Now, he has helped Luna and shrunk Devil down to a more manageable size, temporarily. Luna has problems with the concept of magic, but when they are faced with a horde of Dr. Dooms that should not exist she embraces magic and with the help of Dr. Strange, attacks the Doom Horde. Doom Horde? That seems pretty cool. Maybe I should copyright that or something? Anyway, the book stays at it's always level of excellence in both art and writing. I am interested to see how the appearance of the X-Men will figure into this especially with the whole Inhumans VS X-Men thing going on currently in the Marvel Universe.



BLUE BEETLE #6
Jaime discovers that the scarab can not be removed. Mad and looking for the man who attacked his mother Blue Beetle goes looking for a fight that he can't win. And finds one in spades with Dr. Fate finally getting into the mix.
This is an interesting book. I am excited because it was announced that starting with issue #8 J.M. DeMatteis, my most favorite writer of all times, will be handed the reins. I can't wait to see what he has in store for us.



THE FLASH #17

The final battle with The Rogues and Captain Cold's new Black Ice gun. The Flash tries to tell Captain Cold that he could be so much more than a common criminal all the while, fighting the team and trying to bring them to justice. In the end Captain Cold takes The Flash's advice. Just not in the way he hoped. This is a good end of a story that worked like one long fight. I do want to see what the new Captain Cold will be like in future issues. The book did a lot of speedster stuff when it started and it was all good. Now we have The Flash doing what he does best, being a great super hero that loves saving the day for everyone.



HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #15

Hal and Kyle finish their rescue mission of Saint Walker as the Green and Yellow Corps figure out how they will divide the work patrolling the galaxy. Guy Gardner goes looking for his new team mate on his own terms.  I hope next issue gives us the Corps working throughout the galaxy doing their job. There has been an epic story leading up to all of this. TO bring us what the Corps will look like in the new Rebirth universe and I think it will be glorious.



HOOKJAW #3

The team is forced to go under to look for the bad guys stuff that went down with the cargo ship. The secondary objective is to kill Hookjaw. Yeah, right, good luck with that. Hookjaw has other ideas about the matter. Especially since they captured and killed one of the other great whites. This book reminds me of the days during the movie Jaws and everything was about sharks. I was afraid to swim in the water and I didn't even live near the ocean! That's the sign of a great movie and so many have followed. The recent resurgence of killer shark films with Sharknado leading the pack, is phenomenal and this old school shark tales fits right in. And it manages to out do them all because it feel so real.



SLAM #4

Roller Derby resurfaced a few years back and is making a name for itself in sports. It feels more permanent than the first time when it was more of a flash in the pan. Especially when they are using the curved track instead of the flat surface a lot of the teams use now. I understand why they flat track it. They can do that anywhere. Makes for a more user friendly sport than if you have to put up a special structure every time you want to play. Less overhead that way which makes the sport more profitable. Anyway, this issue gives us an instructional on how the game is played and told in a simple way that makes the sport more interesting to watch. Sure, girls on skates beating the crap out of each other is cool, but if you know the rules going in then it helps with the enjoyment of the sport. And our two leads have a painful reunion that ends in more than a couple of bumps and bruises on the track. This is a sweet book and I like how they go to the time to break down the sport and how it works.

BOOK OF THE WEEK

EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #19

I have always loved this particular X-Book. Some of my favorite heroes and they are there to save the mutants of the world like they are supposed to. Now, faced with another crossover event, it does it's job by being in the center of the conflict and ignoring it the entire time. Recently there has been an issue with how to credit artwork on a book. In the old days it was the penciller and the inker. Now, with the innovations in computers the colorist brings so much more to the game. So, writer Jeff Lemire for giving us such a great story within a bigger one, artist Eric Koda for his imagination of the landscape of the inside of Magik's Soulsword and Morry Hollowell and Andrew Crossley for adding such intersting color schemes to such an alien world., I pick this book as the best of the week.
Here's a page for your to check out.