Thursday, February 23, 2017


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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.

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 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 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.


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.


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.



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.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017


So, yeah we have been going to the comic shop every week. It is nice to not spend a ton of money at the store. But, if you don;t do the reviews right away they pile up and you still end up with a ton of books. So, these are going to be rapid punch, lightning round reviews this time. Another ton of great books. I have also decided that Superman might be worth a grab, but I'm going to go with trades for that one.
Ready, let's get this started with a bite.



The shark has the crew cornered and while some are trying to kill the beast, others believe she deserves to die. That's right folks!  We find out that the beast is a woman and she is pissed right off. They also manage to make fun of the original book that Hookjaw was in at the same time. Old schoolers know all this stuff, but it's all new and fantastic to me.


Jonesy discovers you can fight city hall if you believe in something enough and she doesn't even need to use her love powers. It also makes her realize that she can't hide forever. She is going home to face the music next issue. I can never say enough good things about this book. If you love comic books you should get this book.

SLAM! #2

Roller Derby girls. Enough said. That and it actually breaks down the sport and shows how it's done while giving us an interesting back story into the lives of the girls. I can remember the first time this was a sport and I'm glad it's back. I do miss the curved track, however.


The first six books were a set up of where our titular beast actually came from. After that we are getting acquainted with the island he will call home and we get to see him as a little Kong. Very cute and the artwork is amazing. The movie comes out this week and I can't wait.


My children introduced me tom ZIM in cartoon form. I thought it was insane and funny. When they came up with the comic book I was worried they wouldn't be able to capture the same insanity. I was wrong. This time around Zim and Dib try to tell the best story to win their freedom from an alien race. Except there's more to it than that and it ends with a face planter. An actual face planter. Buy it and see.

Throw some high level Street Magic into a Harlem that is still staggering from Tombstone's attack and you have an issue that doesn't slow down for an instant. Just when you think it can't get any does!


Sure are a lot of issue 17s rolling through this column, aren't there? Anyway, I have loved this character from the first time I saw her and she kicked Dr. Doom's butt. Now she has a new costume a new benefactor that might prove to be too good to be true. I laughed more at this issue than any of them recently. They were smart, cool funny. This is laugh out loud and take a minute funny.


A blast from the past after the founding members leave the roster to Captain America and his odd group of heroes. I wish this wasn't a limited series. They could go for a while with this premise.


The new team and their final battle against The Gold Skull! Yeah, if he were brighter this might be a fight, but he isn't and the team shows that they candle anything even if their Hulk can't Hulk for the moment. And I get another helping of Squirrel Girl at the same time


These are good old giant monster slugfests and just when the heroes thought they were in trouble, classic monsters from the yesteryear of Marvel come to save the day! This is an interesting book. I'm curious to see if it will hold until the end and if it will make me want to buy the announced monthly series. We shall see!


The fight with Black Cat is over and it's time to blow off some steam. Unfortunately, Patsy is feeling under the weather and every time she sneezes she warps reality. Makes for some weird goings on and still maintains to be a fun filled book.


The Flash figures out The Rogues plan and manage to get the drop on them, but Captain Cold has a new gun up his sleeve that may spell the end for The Flash! It's a great hero comic and feels like the books I read when I was a kid. I thought this was a Kevin Nowlan variant cover. I was wrong. I bought it any way. I thought it was pretty cool.


Now that the green and yellow teams are working together it is up to Hal and Kyle to find hope. IN this case that would be a blue lantern and he happens to be on a molten lava planet full of monsters. No sweat, right? Right? Comics like this make me smile


The entire issue was me asking myself if I had missed an issue. Did I? I looked and saw that I did not, but what the hell was going on. I kept asking that with every page. It got to the point where something happened and I was ready to quit the book. Then it got better. God Bless you J.M. DeMatteis. Also, screw you for making me worry like that.


I had stopped buying the book. The beautiful and crazy intelligent Martha Waltz talked me back in. I'm so glad she did. The gang story wraps up and we discover the identity of Huntress' mother. And we get a new Oracle and there is some bizarre house hunting as well. They make a great team and I'm glad I'm back to this book. It's the only one I buy in the Bat Family.


The story comes to an end. The villain is revealed and the connection with the haunting keeping Deadman in the house will blow your mind. Deadman is always a favorite of mine and this beautiful three issue story was a real treat in the land of super heroes. Beautiful artwork and a great tale to accompany it. A wonderful addition to my collection.


Let's run down the new team shall we? Batman, Black Canary, Killer Frost, Vixen, The Ray, The other Atom and the original Lobo. Batman wants a team that is not legendary, but able to handle the threats he knows that they can. It's a team of misfits that when they come together will be a formidable force. I love rag tag teams and this issue is a smooth introduction to them all. I hope it sticks around for a while. There is so much potential.


The YEar One Story is done in the even numbered issues of Wonder Woman. Now we get the orgins of Godwatch and who they are and why the interest in Wonder Woman? I kind of like being able to finally start getting a bi weekly Wonder Woman fix and this issue starts right off with early adventures of our favorite Amazonian and the people that want to find out what she is.


This gives me Vertigo flashbacks with every issue. They embrace the sensibilities of Vertigo with a new, weird bent that makes it its own. I still really have no idea what the Hell is going on here, but I am enjoying the ride. 


I did not get this cover, but I couldn't find the cool fight scene cover on the internet and I am lazy. He looks like Nicholas Cage in this picture, doesn't he. Aquaman is squaring off against a madman named Warhead and he wants Aquaman dead and we have no idea why. In do like that Aquaman's secret service detail have given him the code name 'fish stick'. Made me laugh.


And we finish off with our last issue with a 17 on it and Green Arrow shows us how to make a bow and go after Malcolm Merlyn and kill him for killing his police buddy. Except, there are secrets that even Green Arrow doesn't know and this one will stop him from getting what he truly wants; Merlyn's head on a platter. Another great comic that embraces what comic book in the super hero genre have always been. Solid storytelling through a magnificent fusion of words and pictures.

Okay, sheesh that is a lot of books, but I got through them all for you so you can see if anything here sounds like something  you might be interested in. Even if you aren't a single issue kind of person a lot of these have enough issues for trades. Most of the ones with 17 on the cover have a couple of trades out already. If you can't commit financially, that is always a thing. Check out your local library. The one in downtown Kalamazoo has a ton of comics on hand so, I'm sure yours does too. I'll try to be here next week so the column's aren't this long again.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 5, 2017


So, there is a good chance that we might be doing a weekly trip to the comic book shop. That would make for more frequent posts and shorter ones. You'll know if I'm back here on Thursday. IN the meantime, here's the stack;



After a couple of months with no book we get more Doom Patrol. The issue with Negative Man comes to a head and it makes the whole character more interesting than he has ever been. Meanwhile Casey Brinke, ambulance driver discovers she is so much more and is out to find out her destiny. I have always liked Doom Patrol and the freaky issues are a lot of fun. The artwork by Nick Derington is phenomenal. I have no idea who the bad guy is at the end and am stopping myself from just checking the internet. I'll let it play out on the page.


We have finally got all the players on the page. The local super group, both Blue Beetles and Dr. Fate for a brief instance. We learn a little more about the Beetle armor and The Posse does a great job helping with the bad guy Mordecai who works for a bigger badder, unknown bad guy. If I can't have just Ted Kord in a comic book, I'm glad he's in this one. Plus we get investigators Sugar and Spike which was one of the highlights of last years Legends of Tomorrow title. They really need their own book.


This is the final issue against the vigilante team The Vice Squad and with the help of the police chief they take them down once and for all. But, there's more to this than what is on the surface and one of them pays for it. This is another issue that makes me so happy with Rebirth. It's nice to have Green Arrow and Black Canary together, fighting the bad guys. It's what a comic book should be. And twice a month makes it even better. I hope they can keep the momentum going on this one.


Hot on the trail of the Rogues, (And yes, because Heat Wave is on the cover, I went for the joke.) and he busts a heist for a priceless statue. The only problem is that with Mirror Master on the job not everything is what it seems. The Rogues have devised the perfect plan to stay out of the speedsters grip and even The Flash is not sure where to go next. As I mentioned with Green Arrow, this is another fine example of old school comic books. It's the guy with the super powers fighting criminals that he has known for a very long time. They all continue to surprise one another and The Flash discovers that not even his speed can solve every problem  A modern day classic.


After the long drawn out battle with Larfleeze and a wrap up last issue this is what is referred to as a fill in issue. It's a story of the Green Lanterns told by one of their own in the far flung future. They used to do these a lot back in the day and they were always hit or miss. In this case it seems that it has more to do with our current presidential issues than anything else. That is also a good thing.
Best quote that makes our current situation a little better? "Will isn't instinctual. It's never easy. But will chases away fear and rage and greed. It inspires illuminates, shines through the dark where evil things hide. But will needs help. You have to chose it." Not a bad quote to live by if you ask me.


Victor continues to try and convince everyone that he is trying to be a hero. Hard to believe when you're talking to Dr. Doom and no one believes him. When he hears that Ben Grimm is in Latveria he goes to find that the person he left to watch his country has done a terrible job. He also finds Grimm in bad shape and his mother. I really, at this point can not wait for the next issue. I'm pretty sure this is where it hits the fan. Such a great comic book and I like that even though he has taken up the mantle of Iron Man the ego of Doom supersedes it. One of the best comics Marvel is putting out. Please don;t cancel it.


Isn't that a great cover? The carnage continues as wave after wave of monsters land on the planet. There is a huge one that Alpha Flight has to take on because of it's size it would destroy Earth. Elsa Bloodstone is on the case and a new wave of extremely familiar monsters arrive to join the fight. That double page alone should be a poster. See, this is what comics should be. Heroes fighting to save mankind from things that have no regard for us. It shouldn't be hero against hero. I have never liked that aspect of story telling. This takes us back to the days when you could tell good from bad, wrong from right. I am still unhappy with the price tag and it will prevent me from getting any of the tie in issues, unless it's a title we are already getting. There's one of those farther down. I will have to judge the ongoing series on it's own merits when it comes out to see if I will have to add it to the regular stuff I already buy.

After The Deluge we have an issue of winding down. Aquaman is cleaning up his home town of Amnesty Bay and the rest of the Atlanteans are pitching it to help all across the Eastern Seaboard. I love the art here. Penciller Brad Walker and Inker Andrew Hennessy make this book look awesome. You need a book to wind down with and this is a perfect example of that kind of book. Yeah, sure, there's some bad guy named Warhead planning stuff, but that won;t be for a while and we can just enjoy Aquaman back in his home town helping out. Now if something would stop triggering his fish telepathy he would be fine. Right?


This is a Monsters Unleashed tie in. It is also $4.99. Are all of these books going to be over priced? I hope not, but I know that they will. Anyway, Deadpool is lured to a private girl school in the hopes of a chimichanga eating contest. But, the girls are witches and they need Deadpool to summon his satanic wife to bring their dead headmistress back from the dead. Unfortunately, they aren't the best at spell casting so they get Deadpool's BFF instead. Spider-Man. The spell kind of works and Spidey is slowly getting possessed. Also, there's a huge monster they need to fight.
The issue made me laugh. It didn;t really expand on the Monsters Unleashed thing except that there was a big monster. But, it was funny. We normally buy these for my younger daughter, Dandelion, so she will probably enjoy it more than me. Just shows me that the other tie ins would be a huge waste of money. Sorry about the negativity.


Apparently, I missed an issue so we picked them both up at the same time. Mon Girl lives on Yancy Street so The Thing comes to pay a visit. The new Hulk that I do not care for shows up because Moon Girl has proven that she is the smartest person in the world. This leads to a Thing/Hulk that ends kind of silly. Meanwhile, Dr. Doom is looking for Moon Girl. This leads to Ironheart showing up. I have had zero contact with this character and this encounter does nothing to make me want to go and read her comic. Also, Dr. Doom might be from another time period. I'm kid of hoping for a Doombot myself. But, they are going to need help so they pay Dr. Strange a visit. Fifteen issues in and not a bad issue. People used to mock me when I told them I was a fan of Kirby's Devil Dinosaur. Guess I showed them, huh?


So, Diana discovered that what she thought was the truth for decades was a lie. Even her godly mental abilities caved from this revelation and she is now in the booby hatch for observation. Meanwhile Steve and Candy have to contact an old ally and we will start to unravel The Truth about Wonder Woman once and for all. This is exciting for me because not only does this kick off a new story arc it is also the new arc for the even numbered books as well. I may be able to finally  pick up Wonder Woman every two weeks instead of once a month. We shall soon see. I have always been a Wonder Woman fan and it's nice to see them dig into what makes her who she is. The cover reminded me of the old Brian Bolland covers we used to always get. Great issue!


As the huge monster attacks the West Coast all the heroes come together. When Frankenstein Jr enters the fray it seems that they might have the upper hand. Too bad no one told The Herculoids that he's on our side. I recently heard that issue 12 is the last of this. That's too bad. This has taken all the heroes of all the Hanna Barbera action cartoons of my youth and put them all together in a united front against an unbeatable force. They should really consider making this a cartoon. DC makes the best cartoons anyway.


Knowing that their songs are better, the Misfits are forced to take part in a reality show. Stormer is not happy about this and that becomes worse when they decide they want to explore her gay lifestyle and her weight. The two things that actually define Stormer. This issue shows how the band was just starting and how reality shows are anything but. The Misfits came into their own in the Jem and the Holograms title and it's great to see them branch out on their own in a story that is definitely what makes The Misfits who they are.


The government has Blind Apple Mary's guitar and have discovered that while it plays some of the best music in the world, it is also a weapon capable of mass destruction. Since David Lo Pan has brought all the Snake Plisskens from every alternate universe to one place they decide to put the guitar to good use. Jack Burton convinces David Lo Pan that they must work together or die. Lo Pan agrees and summons the greatest monster of all time. It also happens to be another Snake Plissken. I do not believe for an instant that they will be able to wrap this up in one more issue. No way. Sigh, I'm gonna miss this book. It's so damned fun.


The Pussycats are off to Rome to shoot a video, have some fun and play some tunes for their fans. There is also what appears to be love in the air for Josie, but she doesn't always read people the right way. This issue grasps the jet set life of the band like it was in the cartoon and makes it a little more grown up along the way. Also, Melody might be a Sailor Moon. NO idea what that's doing in there. This is the only new Archie book I buy. I prefer my Archie and the gang to be classic style and don;t feel that the new stuff works for me. Hopefully, Josie and the Pussycats will be operating on their own and not plopped down straight in Riverdale. Now wait and see that will happen in like two issues now that I have jinxed it.


This is an 'exquisite corpse' style of story telling. Lots of different artists that tell a different part of one story. In this case it's a fan fiction comic book that details the love story of Kimber and Stormer.
This is a pretty nice annual. Slick, heavy paper and cover stock. Gives it some weight. I learned that the current run of Jem and the Holgrams will be ending with issue #26. While I have had some issues with the recent art work I never wanted the book to end. Hopefully, they will see the error of their ways and we will get a new and improved JEM book sometimes in the near future. In the meantime, this is like three issues worth of stuff in one beautiful package. I also realize that I have bought three books this time that are girl band books. Hmmmm, yeah, no that sounds about right.

One last thing; They put out comic book boxes with the Monsters Unleashed theme. I got one. They are super cool. The image on the other side is a Kirby picture. I may have to get more of these.

Okay, might be here next week. Might not. See you then. Go read some comic books!