Category Archives: #Newcomics

Each week, after I’ve purchased the comics distributed that week, I’ll post little blurbs about each one I got.

Weekly Want List – August 17th, 2011

Hellblazer #282 - So creepy!!!

Lease for new place in East Lansing = Taken care of.  Rocket Raccoon UMvC3 post = Done.  Writing Center shenanigans = Taken care of.

I feel like a king!  Now it’s time to take care of my Weekly Want List and do some stuff for The Art of War… I can’t believe that school starts so soon!  Unbelievable!

DC Comics
Green Lantern: Emerald Warrior Corps #63 –  I’m not quite sure what the deal is with the rename but I’m still picking this bad boy up.

Image Comics
Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #4 – Fun book.  Deserves a purchase.

Marvel Comics
Daredevil #2 – AMAZING first issue!  Cannot wait to see what Marvel has in store for Matt Murdock.

Hulk #39 – When did the Red Hulk take over this Hulk book?   Regardless, since then it’s just gotten better and better.

Uncanny X-Men #542 – Purchase it out of habit.  As long as Cyclops is in it being a bad ass I’ll be happy.

X-Men: Schism #3 – I’m not quite sure how I feel about this series.  I’m always a little put off by kid villains and even more so by kid villains who have no qualms with killing, but the art is so phenomenal I think I’ll overlook my squeamishness.

Vertigo
Fables #108 – I think you guys know what I have to say about this series by now.

Hellblazer #282 – Possibly might pick this up. It’s a one and done and it sounds pretty cool.

Weekly Want List – August 3rd, 2011

Nothing much to talk about today.  Going to be posting some cool MvC3 stuff in the near future as well as some of the Public Domain work I’ve talked about in earlier posts.

I’m just trying to get all my ducks in order for freaking grad school and with all this The Art of War work I’ve been doing, just trying to get people to review the book… BLERG!  40 hours a week plus the 10-15 hours I spend writing and preparing for school is starting to get to me.  But enough complaining and on with the comics!

Image Comics
Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #4

Moriarty: The Dark Chamber #4

Severed #1 – I just might pick this up if I can find it.  Sounds very interesting.

Marvel Comics
The Dark Tower: The Battle of Tull #3

Herc #6

Hulk #38 – I love the Black Fog.  I think he’s such a cool looking villain and I’m totally digging the direction of this story.  Gotta say this is probably one of my favorite books on the stands today.

Vertigo
Scalped #51

#Newcomics – March 30th, 2011

I would just like to apologize beforehand.  Sometimes I write really well, at least I think so, and sometimes I write really poorly.  Today is one of those days where I find myself doing the latter.  If you loathe unrealized reviews and synopses that seem to meander without ever really telling you anything READ NO FURTHER!  Today is just one of those days.

But it was a great day for comics and not only did I spend a paltry $30.91 on comics but most of them were awesome and a few really surprised me.  Sure some were subpar, but as a whole my #Newcomics were great.  So what did I get?

Doesn't Zabu look terrified here? Weird.

The Incredible Hulks #625
I think that Dale Eaglesham has it in him to draw a great Hulk book, but he needs to really fine tune his pencils.  Some panels that rely heavily on a sense of movement have characters hanging in the air instead of careening to the ground ready to smash.  The movement lines are there but the bodies don’t convey any motion.

That being said I like Eaglesham’s Hulk anatomy and the page where the Green Goliath rides into battle wearing the carapaces of Miek’s insect minions, looking like some savage insectoid samurai, was simply stunning.  Unfortunately even in such a great page the awesomeness of the Hulk is downplayed by the more eye-catching red tendrils of the creepy worm beast he’s riding.

Also for whatever reason the facial anatomy of the Hulk is a bit too perfect in a few panels and he just looks creepy.  I wasn’t too impressed with this little story line.  I don’t know if it’s because I don’t really enjoy the remnants of Planet Sakaar or what but I’m looking forward to Hulk going toe to toe with Betty in the next issue.  The cover looks amazing!
Rating: 2/5

The All-New Avengers

Age of X Universe #1
Alright, so none of the characters included in this Age of X offshoot have any personality besides the Hulk and Sue Storm, something I hope the next issue will hit us with when they’re in the thick of battle with the muties.

The leader of this band of Avengers and the narrator, Captain America, or whoever he might be, comes off about as appealing as cardboard while tormented souls like Banner grab the spotlight.  What this tale does well though is set a stage for the Age of X arc, revealing a little more of the world that Magneto and his fellow mutants are fighting in.  That was great but Mr. Spurrier, why did you have to beat down two of my favorite mutants, Maggot and Marrow?  Is this some sort of personal vendetta?  What did I ever do to you?

After seeing what Khoi Pham did on The Incredible Hercules and Chaos War the work he’s done here is unacceptable.  Maybe he was burnt out from doing such an awesome job on those titles that he didn’t have enough for this book.  Maybe he just wasn’t feeling inspired, but whatever the case he can do better.  I’ve seen it.  HOWEVER he did end up drawing one of the straight up creepiest Sabretooths I’ve ever seen.  Honestly, Creed’s a train wreck.  I couldn’t look away.

The Spider-Man tale was a little better, if shorter, simply because it worked with what we already know about the character, didn’t try to throw us any curveballs, and added to our knowledge of the Age of X universe.
Rating: 3/5

Avengers #11
I will say one thing, John Romita Jr. knows how to pull off epic.  Each page in this issue is it’s own spread, harkening back to such earth-shattering events as Superman’s fatal clash with Doomsday way back when.  It adds a gravitas that’s enhanced by Uatu’s solemn monologue.  What’s most important?  It doesn’t feel like a gimmick.  While I didn’t like Bendis’ first Avengers arc I’m really digging this one.
Rating: 4/5

Cyclops One-Shot

Cyclops One-Shot
There have been some depressing Cyclops tales churned out by Marvel in the past but this one-shot, by Lee Black and Dean Haspiel, shrugs off the shackles that burdened its sad predecessors and gets one thing very right: fun.  It’s such a simple word, so small and unassuming, but it’s just what Cyclops needs and just what Black and Haspiel deliver.

Black reminds us that Cyclops was a kid once, but even then he was a wet blanket, and that’s half the fun here. With beautiful colors by Jose Villarubia, Cyclops is thrust into a vibrant world of capes and clowns as he does battle with the Circus of Crime.  Of course he’s got Sun Tzu’s The Art of War with him (When doesn’t he?) but the ancient war text snippets add a bit of misplaced seriousness to the levity on the page that meshes well with Haspiel’s pencils and the light-hearted tone of the issue.

The fights with the Circus are well realized and I caught myself smirking at some of the details, like the Clown passing a little glass after Cyclops blasts him with his crimson force beam. Dean Haspiel does a wonderful job keeping the art uncluttered, focusing on details when necessary, but giving Villarubia enough space to ply his wonderful color magic to his pencils.  If you’re on the fence as to whether or not you want to purchase this book, just get it, you’ll be glad you did.
Rating: 4/5

Dead End for Elvis?

Proof: Endangered #4
I’ve gotta say that Proof surprised me this week.  It was a decent issue, and brings quite a few things to a head to be resolved next month, but I’m wondering what hold Death has over Grecian and Rossmo’s characters?  Someone dies here, maybe, but I won’t ruin the surprise.

What I really wanted to talk about is the two character biographies at the back of the book.  Colonel Dachshund and Mi-Chen-Po are spotlighted and I’ve gotta say I’m a sucker for that sort of stuff.

When an author and artist go out of their way to expand the backstory of their universe… it just makes me happy.  I love to know how much thought goes into the characters and world their characters live in and with so many great personalities waiting to be fleshed out in Proof this is a big step in the right direction.  Keep it up guys!

I also picked up Scalped #47, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #8, Black Panther The Man Without Fear #516, and Ultimate X #4.  Of those I really enjoyed Scalped, some of Guy Gardner’s lantern constructs in Emerald Warriors were awesome to behold, Black Panther needs to get his shit together and take down Vlad, and Ultimate X needs to come out more regularly because I like Blob’s son.  For some reason, after only being in one issue, he’s the character I like most.

PEACE!

#NewComics and 1 Bookshelf Filled

Sumo

Hey I can’t believe it’s really been more than two weeks since my last post.  I have been L A Z Y!  But now I’m getting back into the swing of things.  I’m exercising regularly (P90x is kicking my butt!) and my sleep schedule has finally gotten back to some sort of equilibrium (Now my body wakes me up at 8:30 – 9 instead of 11:30 a.m.  Yay!).  I’m going to upload some of my grad school application materials here so everyone can get a look at them if they so choose.

Right now I want to talk about my new comics from Wednesday and one gleaming milestone in my life, my big bookshelf is completely filled to bursting with graphic novels and I need to get a new one.  Happy days!  But more on that in a bit, check out the comics for this week!  I need a graphic for #NewComics… hmm…

Comics for March 2nd, 2011

First off, sorry for the crudball photograph, my telephone isn’t the most reliable piece of image-capturing technology.  So what did I pick up this week?  I got Chew #17, Green Lantern #63, and Ultimate Captain America #3, as well as three graphic novels: Too Much Adventure, JLA – The Obsidian Age vol. 1, and JLA – The Obsidian Age vol. 2.

Ultimate Captain America #3

I had a ton of fun reading my comics this week.  Jason Aaron insists on bringing some of that Scalped magic over to Ultimate Cap and it does wonders for the book.  By far my favorite Ultimate hero,we get to see a smaller side of Cap in this issue.  He’s not perfect, indefeatable, or immortal and when pushed to the breaking point he does something very human: He questions his faith.

I like seeing this side of Steve and Aaron lets it eek out through the story during the quiet moments.  Instead of page after page of introverted self examination the story changes gears and where once Cap had enemies to hit and lash out against, now he finds himself alone with a nagging, gnawing doubt infinitely more dangerous than the physical threats surrounding him.  Almost forgot to give Ron Garney his props.  I love the sketchy line work in this series.  Nothing is too detailed unless Garney’s drawing attention to it, great stuff.

Chew #17

Then we’ve got Chew.  Have I mentioned that I love this series?  Yes, I think I have, at least once or twice.  There’s just something about the awesome cartoony art and the story I want to take seriously but just can’t, that hooks me and reels me in every dang time.  We seem to be getting somewhere with all of this crazy alien food madness that seemed so out of place in, what was it, the third or fourth issue?  Reminds me of the original run of Eastman and Laird’s TMNT!

Regardless, now we’re going somewhere and with the sudden and unexpected inclusion of Chew’s previously unmentioned daughter, I’m very excited to see a bit more relationship drama here.  Gah, things can’t get any better in this series, but I expect to be pleasantly surprised next month.

Green Lantern #63

Up next we’ve got Green Lantern #63 which was probably the weakest of the bunch.  We read the first couple of pages last month, which isn’t a big deal but I find it very difficult to care about Hal Jordan.  He’s doing the whole rebellious thing but he comes off as a toned down Guy Gardner.  Guy just does it so much better.  I grew up with Kyle Rayner and so it’s been very difficult to adjust to this cocky stubborn green-slinger with no personality.  I know the guy’s got history, but he’s as appealing as cardboard on the page.  The inclusion of the other Lanterns makes this book worth reading though, and the ego on Sinestro is simply staggering and oh so fun to read.

As the Green Lantern universe continues to expand (Green Lantern Corps and Emerald Warriors) I find it more difficult to pick this book up but it’s become a habit.  If it weren’t for the other lanterns and Salaak’s most recent orders I would have no reason to read this. Story aside, Ed Benes and Ardian Syaf do a phenomenal job with the art.  Very clean with some Pelletier mixed in.  A pleasure to look at to be sure.

p.s. On the cover it says ASSAULT on OA!  There’s no assault.  At all, just so you don’t get your hopes up.

I’m not going to do the graphic novels but hot dang I enjoyed the JLA stuff.  I’m not a huge DC buff but when Doug Mahnke is on pencils you can count me in!  Too Much Adventure was a clearance purchase that looked fun and turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable little romp.  My only gripe is that often times the dynamic duo get a little wordy when they’re talking.  It’s the style and it is entertaining but sometimes it slows down the story, which is B A D!

Also I think I reached a milestone this week: I discovered that my bookshelf is totally filled with graphic novels.  Color me happy!

FULL TO BURSTING!

So yes, eventful Wednesday and expect more writing in the near future.  I’m getting back on this horse, I swear.

PEACE!

#NewComics – December 29th, 2010

I missed getting comics last week due to all that holiday madness so I had a huge haul this week.  Add to that the fortuitous little sale at my local shop and boom, Ben buys $80 worth of comics at the drop of a hat.  I couldn’t help myself.  Now I’m not going over every single issue, too many, but I want to highlight some of my favorite reads.

The Ghoul #1

 

The Ghoul #1-3
An awesome limited series by artist Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson, the Ghoul is a monstrous government employee who investigates paranormal disturbances around the world.  Sounds like Hellboy right?  There are some nice things about the Ghoul that differentiate him from Mignola’s red demon.  The Ghoul is still a mystery to the world, making the entire tone of the story a little more tense whenever he’s out in the world.

Also, the Ghoul is much more… human.  I suppose that doesn’t make much sense but he’s more worldly, more in tune with the mortal plane.  He eats our food, he uses our guns (to awesome effect), and doesn’t have a depressing prophecy hanging over his head.  But enough about the Ghoul himself, what about the comic?

It’s got a decent story, nothing ground breaking, but it’s a fun supernatural thriller of sorts.  Niles does a great job of fleshing out the Ghoul, his personality, and the world he inhabits, someplace not too different from our own.  The rest of the characters aren’t exactly ancillary but Detective Klimpt provides a necessary neophyte foil to the Ghoul’s battle-hardened veteran persona and I thought Dr. Macabre and the Dead Detective were fun additions to the plot, however short their appearances.

Wrightson does a wonderful job setting the tone of the tale with his pencils.  Everything is dark, nothing is pretty.  The words “gritty” and “sublime” come to mind.  The Ghoul is appropriately monstrous, as are his enemies.  Unfortunately, Wrightson only gets 21 pages to work with as 5 pages are used for a nice little back-up story that helps to more thoroughly explain who the Ghoul is, his motivations, and his history.

Honestly, I really enjoyed The Ghoul.  It doesn’t redefine the horror/detective genre but the writing is solid, the art fits well, and the comic is fun.  What more do you want?

Continue reading #NewComics – December 29th, 2010

#Newcomics November 10th, 2010

I only had to spend $29 this week on comics, woohoo!  Each and every week, regardless of what comes out, I find myself more hopeful and more excited about the future of the medium.  I think maybe by the time a week has passed I just need my new comic book fix and I’m a little loopy from all the waiting.  Then the unmitigated influx of new book goodness overwhelms my senses creating a feeling of euphoria… What?  On to the comics!

Cover for Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam!
Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam!

 

Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #21
Story: Art Baltazar and Franco
Art: Mike Norton

There’s a lot to like about Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! whether you’re a DC kid or an adult fan of the Marvel Family.  This issue we’ve got a super-powered Black Adam, even more so than normal, facing off against the three Marvels.  Mike Norton does great work in every one of these issues and his uber cartoony style fits the tone of this book perfectly.

Unfortunately this is going to be the last Shazam! book for a while.  That being said, it was a great run.  From Mike Kunkel’s awesome start to Baltazar, Franco, and Norton’s stellar finish, I was always excited for this book.  In this issue there were a couple of things in the writing that felt rushed, Shazam nearly relinquishing his position to Billy for a hot second and Mary getting transformed to her smaller self, but I think they were just trying to tidy everything up for the end.  Sigh… I’m gonna miss this series.

Cover for Alan Moore's Neonomicon #2
Alan Moore's Neonomicon #2

 

Alan Moore’s Neonomicon #2
Story: Alan Moore
Art: Jacen Burrows

I don’t think there’s any question that Alan Moore is incredibly brilliant, so it shouldn’t be surprising that he’s roped me into an uncomfortably dark tale of sex and H.P. Lovecraft madness, but it is.  It is because this book pushes so many boundaries and I feel incredibly uncomfortable reading it, but I need to know what happens!

I don’t think I would have anyone else combine the Lovecraft mythos with highly sexual elements unless it was Alan Moore, but I never thought I’d say that either.  His obvious respect for both elements, makes this book all the more fun to read.

Jacen Burrows has done an impeccable job with the art and it perfectly compliments Alan Moore’s dark story.  Each page is built off of a four panel horizontal grid that gives a wonderful sense of space.  Each shot is basically its own establishing shot, drawing you deeper into the tale because you’re intimately aware of the character’s surroundings.  The colors are dark and muted and even during day shots, when the colors should be brightest, an irrevocable pallor seems to hang in the air.  Something wicked this way comes and I can’t wait for more.

Cover for She Hulks #1
She Hulks #1

 

She-Hulks #1
Story: Harrison Wilcox
Art: Ryan Stegman

They’re big, mean, and green and they’re hunting down the remaining members of the Intelligentsia.  Wilcox gets Jen Walters just right, nailing the superheroine and the not-so-mature lawyerly side of her like he’s been writing the jade giantess much longer than  he actually has.  As of now Lyra has always come off as a generally uninteresting blank slate, ready to be written well.  Hopefully with the introduction of her new high school career Wilcox’ll be able to make her a little more human and a lot more fun.  I have faith.

Stegman’s art, and his composition, is wonderful.  Here clarity is king.  Every panel is its own and for most pages he works off of a grid type structure.  Your never at a loss of where to go you can easily follow the flow of action across the page.  Also, thank you for getting rid of her stupid tiara/headband thingy.

This series is going to be fun.  Stegman knows how to draw women and Wilcox knows how to write them.

Cover for Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #4
Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #4

 

Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #4
Story: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Fernando Pasarin

Nearly everything coming out of the GL books has been gold recently and this issue is no exception.  Things on Daxam only seem to be getting worse after the loss of their yellow sun.  Sodam Yat is back and it looks like he’s building an army, something that I’m sure will spill over into the other GL books later.

Fenando Passarin keeps things uncluttered and incredibly clear which I can’t commend strongly enough.  When you keep your panels and pages free of clutter you help us read that much easier.  Props.  Tomasi has been writing these characters for along time now and it’s obvious he’s comfortable throwing them into any situation.  Out of the four Kilowog seems to be the group’s conscience.  While Guy’s always had a short temper, Arisa is still distraught over the loss of Sodam and Bleeze… well she’s rage incarnate.  Guy may be the leader but Kilowog is the rock and this new team is going to be fun to read.

Cover for The Incredible Hulks #616
The Incredible Hulks #616

 

Incredible Hulks #615
Story: Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente
Art: Barry Kitson

Regardless of what’s happening here, I don’t much care what’s going on in the Incredible Hulks.  I think I sorta screwed myself by not reading any of the back ups or build up material to this story so the entire things just seems shallow and kind of sudden.  Ok, Hulk has two sons from his alien bride.  One is evil and is trying to fly a planet into Earth, Team Hulk to the rescue!  At least the art is clear and their are some really fun pages here.  Unfortunately I think this core Hulk book is suffering from an overabundance of less popular tie-ins.  Regardless, I’m going to follow this to the end.

Cover for Chew #15
Chew #15

Chew #15
Story: John Layman
Art: Rob Guillroy

The Harvey and Eisner awards got it right when they named Chew the Best New Series.  It’s quirky, grotesque, hilarious, increasingly oddball, and highly addictive.  Each issue ups the ante on the madness and it works so dang well.  There are very few books out right now that make me laugh, but this is one of them.

John Layman has done a superb job of laying this book some solid foundations, rooted mostly in crime drama.  Then, with each subsequent issue he increases the size and scope of the Chew universe to include elements of sci-fi and the occult in ways that are both totally ridiculous yet absolutely sensible.

Rob Gillory gets a lot of credit here for keeping up with a story that’s threatening to explode in every direction.  The guy draws cyborgs, killer roosters, alien foliage, vampires, wooly mammoths, and stacked babes and sometimes all of those in the same issue!  But really he deserves the most credit for drawing things that are so incredibly heinous and disgusting, the eating of human flesh, dead dogs, etc. etc., and doing it in a way that keeps my lunch down.  Great issue and it’s only getting better.

Cover for Avengers: The Children's Crusade #3
Avengers: The Children's Crusade #3

 

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3
Story: Allan Heinberg
Art: Jimmy Cheung

I love Jimmy Cheung’s art.  Everything is so clear  and concise, and I really enjoyed his original run on Young Avengers.  The one gripe I have is that frankly, everyone looks almost exactly the same in his work.

I do have to hand it to Allan Heinberg though.  He’s writing a good story, the characters are snarky and have that sort of rebel with a cause feel, but the fact that he’s using Dr. Doom, the most overworked villain in the Marvel U, is slightly annoying.  What’s more annoying is that he’s really the only villain that makes sense here.

Then a world away, cause the little Avengers are hanging out in Wungadore, you’ve got the big Avengers trying to figure out what to do with the Scarlet Witch.  I’m excited for more.  Not only that but we’ve got probably the cutest gay couple in comics doing their thing… I like it lots!

Cover New Avengers #6
New Avengers #6

New Avengers #6
Story: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Stuart Immonen

Now I don’t want to say anything bad about Bendis, he’s a very skilled writer, but I haven’t been thoroughly enjoying the stuff he’s been putting out lately.  Nothing quite seems to stick.  I don’t know.

Stuart Immonen, as per usual, does a great job here.  Everything is easy to read and when panels and pages do start to get a bit chaotic (the Universe is at stake here), it only serves to enhance the story around it.  This book is fun but I’m left, just as in the other Bendis Avengers series, wondering what really happened and do I even care?

#Newcomics November 3rd, 2010

This week, yet again, I spent a crap-ton of money on comic books.  Was it absolutely necessary?  Of course not.  Was it worth it?  Definitely.  This week I got a smorgasbord of comics with a healthy smattering of both mainstream and independent work.  Comic of the week?  The Royal Historian of Oz by Tommy Kovac and Andy Hirsch.  Here we go!

Cover for Strange Science Fantasy #5
Strange Science Fantasy #5

 

Strange Science Fantasy #5
Story and art: Scott Morse

Unfortunately this month’s issue os SSF is a little less strange than the rest.  Here we’ve got a familiar character type, the goon with a heart of gold, and the story follows a very predictable plot.  Gone is the quirky madness of the previous four issues’ main characters.  We’re left with a boxer who’s a mix between Mr. Fantastic and Ivan Ooze.
Is it enjoyable?  Absolutely, and the page layout is still a welcome relief from standard comic thoroughfare.  However it just doesn’t quite measure up to the previous books.  They were strikingly original, if not in story then in design and appeal, “The Foolish Fling is Goin’ Soft” cozies up to convention and willfully plays to cliche.  While still a fun read, you’ll be left wanting more if you’ve read issues one through four.

Cover for Invincible #75
Invincible #75

 

Invincible #75
Story: Robert Kirkman
Art: Ryan Ottley

I’ve always enjoyed Invincible.  In this issue, as usual, Ottley’s art is absolutely brutal and Kirkman keeps the story clipping about at a nearly frenetic pace right from the get go.  This is it, the Viltrumite War is almost over and I can’t wait to see who survives.

My only qualm would have to be the $5.99 price point.  We got 40 or so pages of Invincible and then Science Dog and Tek Jacket backups, neither of which I care about.  I just feel a little cheated because when I picked up the book and felt how thick it was I kinda drooled a little (that’s what she said!) thinking about how much ass-kickery was going on inside.  Other than that, I really enjoyed this issue.

Cover for Green Lantern Corps #53
Green Lantern Corps #53

 

Green Lantern Corps #53
Story: Tony Bedard
Pencils: Tyler Kirkham

The GL Corps and the Sinestro Corps have formed a truce.  Now the green and yellow ring slingers won’t be blowing each other to bits and they’ll have to find a way to get along.  Then the Weaponer of Qward comes along looking for Sinestro.

The Weaponer looks very cool and I’m reminded a little of a steampunk Hawkman when I look at him, minus the wings.  I trust that Bedard’s taking us in  a cool new direction, possibly to the birthplace of fear itself, and that prospect excites me.  Kirkham’s pencils, for the most part, look great and some of Kyle’s battle gear looks simply awesome, but occassionally the pencils and the inks get a bit sloppy and where first their were tight blacks it almost looks like someone was outlining with a sharpie.  This book continues to entertain and I’m looking forward to what happens next.

Cover for Thor The Mighty Avenger #3
Thor The Mighty Avenger #3

 

Thor: The Mighty Avenger #3
Story: Roger Landridge
Pencils: Christopher Samnee

This is one of the best books coming out of Marvel right now.  Roger Landridge and Chris Samnee have struck really struck a chord with their retelling of Thor’s origins here on Earth.  There’s no confusing Donald Blake madness, just Thor sans memories strolling about Midgard.  It harkens back to a simpler time in comics, and it’s an innocence that Samnee captures on every panel.

This issue Thor meets Giant Man and Wasp, but visions from Loki cloud the Thunderer’s mind and he winds up battling his future teammate, believing him to be a frost giant. Sure the action is fun, but that’s not what makes this book click.

The Mighty Avenger’s indelible charm lies in the interactions between Thor and Jane Foster.  It’s her arm locked with his when she takes him shopping for new clothes, it’s her teaching him what a telephone is, or introducing him to the television.  With each passing moment you can see the two of them falling, little by little, in love.  I really really really like this book.  Here the good guys win, the bad guys lose, and everyone goes home happy.  Oh, and Samnee gives Thor some priceless facial expressions.  Done.

Cover for The Claw and Fang #1
The Claw and Fang #1

 

The Claw and Fang
Story: Matias Batla
Art: Mike Kutcher

I don’t see too much new, original material coming out of Bluewater Comics these days, so I couldn’t help but pick this up.  Granted, this one isn’t so much new as it actually came out in April… but you know.  It’s new to me.  Anyway, what I can tell you is that you may be drowned in melodrama upon picking up this book.

The main character works a dead end job only to escape every evening into a fictional, digital, wonderland, what appears to be WoW type MMORPG.  Witchcraft and wizardry is involved.  Demons hunt the land of the living unbeknownst to most people.  Justin, our protagonist is followed by a narrator who speaks in lofty, archaic, epic language that frankly doesn’t quite fit his depressingly humdrum life.

The art is decent but the color palette is incredibly sparse.  The only colors that the book contains happen to be black, white, gray, and an ochre color.  Nothing really jumps off the page.  Then again, this is the 1st issue, but I’m on the fence as to whether or not I want to find the rest.  While it seems like this book has a lot of potential, I’m not sure I care enough to find the rest.

Cover for Chaos War #3
Chaos War #3

 

Chaos War #3
Story: Greg Pak and Fred VanLente
Pencils: Khoi Pham

This issue’s punching, lightning-ing, lasering, and smashing looks SO good thanks to Khoi Pham.  He’s been dropping some seriously wicked pencils in this series and I love it.  There’s just something about his line work, it’s brilliant.

So far though we haven’t seen much of Herc or Amadeus.  True, the Lion of Olympus did gather the troops and marshall them off into space, or wherever they went, but so far he’s done very little smashing.  Here we get to watch Herc cut loose on his dad and some of the other revived gods of the underworld.

What makes this series so much fun is the scope.  The God Squad is fighting for the continued existence of the Universe.  Even Galactus is getting in on this action!  Pak and Vanlente know how to write a fun comic but Herc needs some more action here.  Blurb over and done with.

Cover for Warriors Three #3
Warriors Three #3

 

Warriors Three #1
Writer: Bill Willingham
Artist: Neil Edwards


I wasn’t very impressed by this first issue here.  Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg are by all accounts three of the most entertaining characters in the Norse Pantheon.  While most of the gods of the Aesir are grim and stoic these three (ok not so much Hogun) add a welcome bit of mirth to their world.

Unfortunately, despite a glimmer of fun at the very beginning of the issue, most of the book is a dreary ride.  BUT, this series definitely has some serious potential with the inclusion of A.I.M. agents and what appear to be pretty ones at that if the cover for #2 is any indicator.  I’m hoping that Willingham has some tricks up his sleeve because if this book continues on it’s current path it’s destined for something much less than greatness.

Cover for The Royal Historian of Oz #1
The Royal HIstorian of Oz #1

 

The Royal Historian of Oz
Story: Tommy Kovac
Art: Andy Hirsch

On to the best comic of the week, yet another book that isn’t technically “new” but shut up, its new to me.  Umm… I don’t really know where to start, but how about a quick synopsis?  Basically, sometime in the not so distant future, in a world that’s not quite to magical, there’s an authors guild, a society that only allows “good” adaptations of Frank L. Baum’s Oz books to exist.

Unfortunately for our main character, Frank Frizzle, his father Jasper only knows how to write bad Frank L. Baum adaptations and the society is coming for him.  The Oz society, creditors, the bank, everyone’s trying to take down his dad.  But then Jasper finds a pair of silver slippers, THE silver slippers of the good witch of the east and everything changes.

First things first, this book is funny.  It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the irony that it itself is yet another adaptation of the Oz mythos is sure to get a few chuckles.  But better than that both characters, both father and son, have so much room to grow.  The dad is still a kid at heart, apparently unequipped to deal with the real world he escapes into mythical Oz.  His son was forced to grow up quick and it seems like he’s been forced into early adulthood because of his father’s childish tendencies.

The art is fantastic!  Even though it’s in black and white some panels seem to just jump off the page and the detail, well you’ll definitely want to read this one twice.  I guarantee you’ll find something new the second time around.  This book begs to be read a couple of times at least and in all honesty I’ll probably be back for fourths by the time this week is up.  If you can, get out and find this book.  You’ll be glad you did.