/\ /\ /\ /\ Splash Page from Green Lantern #55 Pencils Doug Mahnke /\ /\ /\

Sunday, December 19, 2010

R.E.B.E.L.S. : The Son and the Stars REBELS 10 11 12 13 14 TPB Blackest Night crossover

Covers  by Kalman Andrasofszky

RATING 3.9 out of 5

Let me tell you...I didn't know a thing about REBELS until I bought Issue 10, now it will be hard for me to ever give it up.  The writer Tony Bedard has found his niche and delivers a excellent romp with a wide cast of characters. He is also able to give a dialogue for each character that is all their own.

What is R.E.B.E.L.S.? Revolutionary Elite Brigade to Eradicate L.E.G.I.O.N. Supremacy
"Eh?" was my first reaction too.

The main character in the R.E.B.E.L.S. series, is Vril Dox, who is a clone/son of Brainiac, who is a big bad guy in the DC universe. Vril Dox leads L.E.G.I.O.N., a group that is basically "Hero's for Hire." If the price is right, they'll help. Some of the crew actually are there just to keep a eye on Vril Dox, others... because of promises that Vril Dox may, or may not, make good.

Another great thing about this particular TPB, is that it gives a blurb at the beginning of issue 10 that brings you up to date on what is going on. Also, something I like, is it has the tags on a character when they first appear in a issue,  telling their name, their power, and what world they are from.

These issues are not all-in-one issues, but the trade paperback, REBELS: The Son and The Stars can be read as a all-in-one and has a complete storyline.  If you are buying the separate issues, I would say you would have to buy all 5 issues to get the complete story.


Issue 10 starts a crossover with the big mega storyline that DC was producing at that time, Blackest Night. Don't worry, Tony puts a short explanation in the dialogue about Blackest Night.
For Bedard's storyline, he had the deceased mother of Vril Dox's only child come back to life. When she was alive...they didn't get along.  So as a dead zombie trying to rip Vril's heart out, she had more
than few ...extra last words from the grave.

Vril Dox was more then ready to accept the Yellow Lantern ring of fear, when it came knocking, but to find out why he lost it you'll just have to buy the TPB.

In the storyline we also find out that his son. Lyrl Dox/Brainiac 3, had a thirst for the domination of the universe, and he wishes to get back at his father for thwarting his plans, so he sides with Starro The Conqueror (Bedard also gives you brief info on Starro's background).

I love the interaction between the egos of Virl and Lyrl, plus all the other egos that are tossed in the mix. I would say that this is a really fun storyline and well worth the money for the trade paperback, you might even find yourself hooked on Vril Dox and needing another fix of  R.E.B.E.L.S.

R.E.B.E.L.S. : The Son and The Stars
Writer for all issues: Tony Bedard
Issue 10: Artist: Andy Clarke
Issue 11:  Penciller: Claude St Aubin, Inker: Scott Hanna
Issue 12: Penciller: Geraldo Borges, Inker: Scott hanna
Isue 13 and 14: Penciller: Claude St. Aubin, Inker: Scott Hanna
For all issues:Colorist Jose Villarrubia,Letterer: Swands, ass Editor: Rex Ogle, Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Jan, Feb, March, April, May 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Review: STARBORN #1: Stan Lee Presents, Boom Studios

Rating 3.9 out of 5

From the moment I opened Starborn #1, my thoughts were, 'I want this art team for Batman Beyond.' It's perfect futuristic art. I'm ga ga over it.

Out of the three Boom studio titles presented by Stan Lee in the past three months, Starborn is by far the best.

At this point, the plot seems too simplistic, or done before, but the characterizations were very enjoyable, and dialogue was smooth, so.. I also want Chris Roberson to write Batman Beyond.

I can't wait to get  the next issue.

Full Review, and Spoilers below:

BOOM Studios should have had this title out first, because I almost didn't pick this up. I had been following the Stan Lee presents titles, but Traveler was meh...and even though the first issue of Soldier Zero was intriguing, the second issue was just okay. If this had been a big week at DC, like it had been in October, I would have cut it out of my pull list.  I'm sure others felt the same way.

I"m glad that didn't happen, because the art and the writing were great, and even though this storyline seems over done, I'm excited for the title.

Even if it has been done before, I think Roberson could possibly pull off a new take on the same old story, after all he did write the  Vertigo's Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, which I haven't read, but I have heard good things about it.

Major spoilers:
A geek writes a book. He finds out it is similar to another book written years ago.  He gets attack at his office cubical by...the characters from the book that he wrote. Yeah, I kinda saw all this coming.
I guess I'm kinda jaded by movies like The Matrix, and Inkheart.
BUT to be honest, I haven't seen this plot device in comic form. I can only remember movies that...Wait wasn't Cool World a comic... no just about a cartoonist being pulled into his own created world.

Lets face it, NOT many stories haven't been done. AND some stories we beg to be done again and again because they are so... good.  Batman's story has been told over and over, in various kinds of ink.  Since... it's that time of year... lets remember a good one... Christmas Carol. It's been retold in varies different ways and we could always use one more, with our own favorite actor, maybe even with Ryan Reynolds.

 Just about every one of Shakespeare's plays have been done over and over, in different ways and in different eras.

Coming soon is the new Tron Movie, but ah... technically its Tron II, not a redo.

What about the Green Lantern Movie, any of you going to see it? Oh I am...Ryan Reynolds makes me smile... or was that giggle. 

Grand Poobah: Stan Lee
Writer: Chris Roberson
Art: Khary Randolph
Colors: Mitch Gerads
Letters: Ed dukeshire
Cover A: Gene Ha, Cover B: humberto Ramos with edgar Delgado, Cover C: Khary Randolph with Etienne Midtown comics Exclusive Variant: Paul Rivoche
Graphic Designer: Brian Latmer
Editor: Bryce Carlson
Editor-in-cheif: Matt Gagnon
Publisher: Ross Richie
BOOM studios, Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment
December 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

BATMAN: ODYSSEY part 5 out of 12

RATING 3 out of 5:

My first time through the issue, I skipped through the dialogue. The dialogue is just tiring to read. I didn't mind it in the first three issues of the mini, but now it is get... get... getting on my nerves. The only saving grace in the book is that Neal can draw.

My second time through, I did trudge through the dialogue and it just rambles on and on..., it didn't really touch on anything that hasn't been said before in the previous issues. 

This mini seems to be more about showcasing Neal Adams art with every character in the bat verse and not much about the story.  We've had Robin, Riddler, Talia, Man-Bat, Deadman, Aquaman, and now with this issue he has moved onto drawing Joker.
All the cameo characters in this story also seem to know what is going on, and not... telling... Batman/Bruce what is going on, or... at least  letting us, the reader,... know... What the HELL is going on?!!!.

BUT ....I.. do  ... do ... do love love Neal's Batmobiles. They are fast and slick...just the way I like them.  Yes... yes...YES.

There really isn't much to spoil for this issue (or maybe I just skipped it)
I asked my Hubby, "Are we getting the next issue?"
My Hubby said, "What do you mean?...It's Neal Adams, Why wouldn't we be getting it?"
He also still insists that we get JMS' current Superman story too..."What do you mean? It's JMS."
{I hang my head and shrug.}

STORY and ART: Neal Adams, COLOR: Continuity Studios, LETTERS: Ken Lopez, ASSISTANT EDITORS: Jeanelle Siegel & Rachel Gluckstern, EDITORS: Marts and Carlin

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


All the covers are by Guillem March
Rating 3.3 out of 5

A decent set of stories about second stringers...but nothing earthshaking to make you go "wow".
The TPB has mostly Poison Ivy getting a job at S.T.A.R. Labs but does have a encounter between Selina/Catwoman and her sister. This encounter is after the Blackest Night storyline where her sister starts hating her. The Riddler makes some cameos appearances. These stories take place after the bomb exploded in Riddler's face in the storyline Life After Death storyline in Batman.  The TPB is NOT a all inclusive storyline, the last issue, #14 is only part one of a storyline and... has "to be continued" at the end.

I think my biggest problem with this series is that there is not enough sex appeal. It's too tame. There's not enough psychotic Charlies Angels storyline. They're too cutesy. I don't think Selina has made one single growl or purr in this series. The individual titles of Catwoman and Harley Quinn were more edgy.  

I don't think I gave any spoilers to the issues in my individual reviews below, just a basic synopsis.

REVIEW Issue 8
Plot &Art: Guillem March, Dialogue: Marc Andreyko, Colors Tomeu Morey, Letters: Travis Lanham, Asst Editor: Janelle siegel, Editor: Mike Marts.

Rating 3.5 out of 5

Posion Ivy is accused of murders that she didn't commit and the story starts out with Ivy left for dead in a pit, and she is having flash backs of her past. It was a decent murder mystery with the other two trying to find her. It was nice stand alone issue diving into Poison Ivy's psychee.

REVIEW Issue 9 and 10
Titles: "Pieces of the Puzzle" and "Taking Sides"

Writer: Paul Dini Artist:Guillem March, Guest Penciller: Andres Guinaldo, Guest Inker: Raul fernandez Colors Tomeu Morey & Ian Hannin, Letters: Steve Wands, Asst Editor: Janelle siegel, Editor: Mike Marts.

RATING 3 out of 5

The three sirens illicit the Riddler's help in solving a murder mystery involving a body that was dropped through their skyline.

It was kinda meh storyline...but gives a reason for Riddler to resent the sirens in future stories. This takes place after he got hit in the face with a bomb blast and started remembering who he was.... and wearing his mask again.

REVIEW Issue 11
Title: "On the Job"
Writer: Paul Dini, Penciller: Andres Guinaldo, Inkers: Raul Fernandez Colors: Ian Hannin, Letters: Steve Wands, Asst Editor: Janelle Siegel, Editor: Mike Marts.

RATING 3.5 out of 5
This issue was fun but not action packed. The mystery of the missing pets was priceless. There is the added mystery of why Poison Ivy is getting a job at a S.T.A.R. Labs facility located in Gotham. The downside of the issue is that the Poison Ivy's Storyline is to be continued into issue #12, so this isn't stand alone issue. I loved the art and the coloring of the issue... and the re-pore between the girls. I was looking forward to the next issue.
REVIEW  12, 13, 14
Titles:   "Sister Zero" part 1 and 2, "Strange Fruit" part one

Writer: Tony Bedard, Pencillers: Peter Nguyen and Andres Guinaldo, Inker: Jack Purcell, Raul Fernandez and Lorenzo Ruggiero, Colors:  Tony Avina, JD smith and Tomeu Morey, Letters: Steve Wands, Asst Editor: Janelle Siegel, Editor: Mike Marts.

RATING 3.2 out of 5
WHAM...a different creative team takes over the series and the ongoing story.  I didn't care for the art in these as well as I did in issue 11. I think it's the coloring.  For all the action involved it kinda seemed like bland set of story lines, again I think it's maybe the art, but I was just turning pages to get to the end of the story.
The storyline involving Catwoman's sister is handled in issues 12-13 with Poison Ivy's storyline at STAR labs being touched on and continued into issue 14.

The Poison Ivy story continues into the next TPB with issue 15.

Friday, November 5, 2010

BATMAN: Streets of Gotham: 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 LEVIATHAN TPB Review

RATING 4 out of 5 {This rating is  not on the co-feature in the back of the individual issues.}
Leviathan has a great set of stories, with the same art team for all the issues.  The covers and pencils for the interior pages are done by Dustin Nguyen.   The trade paper back has stand alone story lines, but the individual issues are not. 

-Story One: LEVIATHAN:  Writer: Chris Yost Issues: #5 and #6:  Rating 4 out of 5:  
Has a Huntress/Man-Bat storyline with a twist ending. 
-Story Two: HARDCORE NIGHTS:Writer Mike Benson  Issues: #8 and #9 : Rating 3.5 out of 5
Has a Dick Grayson solving a murder mystery and resolving it as Batman.
-Story Three: Each issue had it's own title BLEAK of MIDWINTER,  THE HEROES, FINAL CUT:   Writer: Paul Dini Issues: #7, #10, #11: Rating 4 out of 5
Has Damian solves a murder mystery involving homeless children with the help of a new friend, Abuse. 

I love the name of Leviathan. Info from Wiki(link):   
Leviathan is a sea monster when referred to in the Bible. In Demonology, Leviathan is one of the seven princes of Hell and its gatekeeper.  In classical literature (such as the novel Moby-Dick) it refers to great whales, and in Modern Hebrew, it means simply "whale."

Review and Minor  Spoilers of First story, Issues 5 6 :
Ratting 4 out of 5:
At the beginning Man-Bat  goes crazy and attacks/chases Huntress. This fight and flight continues through out the city of Gotham.  She questions Oracle why she isn't killing the Beast, then disappear from site. 
My favorite exchange:
Batman/Dick Grayson: "I expected prolonged screaming, explosions, and bloody murder. "
Oracle: "I told you, Man-Bat can control it now."
Batman/Dick Grayson: "I was talking about Huntress"

Interspersed between the panels of the chase/fight is the background story of a priest, Father Mark. The previous priest had this advise for him, "This is Gotham.  It's not a city...It's a LEVIATHAN. Our faith won't be Tested here. Here, the Beast Himself will come out and RIP it from you. It's not enough to have faith...You have to fight to keep it in Gotham." 

Chris Yost's plot twist at the end of the story really sealed it as a class A story. 

Dustin Nguyen's art is fantastic in this series of issues. In the panel above which is a full two page spread, you can actually see through Man-Bat's wing. You can feel the fight and the speed as they tear through the city's skyline. 

Minor Spoilers of Second story, Issues 8 9:
3.5 out of 5
The story is the typical murder mystery being solved by Batman/Dick Grayson but these issues started a lot of huffing on the threads because issue 7 had started a different story line then the one contained in these issues. It was a decent start to a story, so I didn't mind, BUT at first this skip from one story to another was little confusing.

My problem with this story is it seemed more of a Bruce Wayne characterization. This was shortly out after the Battle of the Cowl, and to read Dick being so grim about things seemed really out of character. 

Review and Minor  Spoilers of third story, Issues 7 10 11:
Ratting 4 out of 5:
This was a very well written story and... a very memorable story. There are some panels in these issues that will be talked about for some time to come and remembered for sometime after that. It is a finished work with no loose ends. Dini is an excellent writer and Nguyen's pencils were able to portray the story very well. Everyone associated with this book did a very good job.

This is a Damian story.  I am not....I said NOT ...a Damian fan, but I loved this story.  I'm always critical of the kid, and I generally don't like the character, but this story was very well told.  One of the many smart mouth remarks Damian makes to Dick is, "You get better stuff, if you're a REAL son,"  and.... despite my need to throttle the kid, he ends up surviving (darn!).

In this story several children are found dead, washed up on the banks of Gotham River. Even if... he is just a small boy,  Damian puking at the site of dead children, seemed like a cheap plot device, to show his sympathy toward the deaths of the children, and a reason for him to go off in a rage after the killer.  At one point, Damian use shis own blood as a Robin mask, which even for me, a Damian hater, really looked bad-ass, but at the end of the story he still showed he is more of a killer, then a savior, and not a character I would want to see wearing the cowl and claiming to be Batman when he grows up.

Damian also saves a new comrade named ABUSE.  The character of ABUSE reminded me of Captain Marvel, a boy trying to be a hero and able to change into a Brute.  I loved this character with his boyish charm.  Even Damian noticed that the change from boy to brute did not change the heart of the child.  I hope to see this character again.

What made the story great ....was the skill of the artisans.  Their combined effort was able to make the knife fights between Damian and the antagonist, Mr. Zsasz come to life.  The shadowing of the antagonist’s tossing his knife from hand to hand, and the slice and dodging movements really helped bring the story up out of the pages.  This would not only include the talent of Dustin Nguyen, who penciled all of these issues, but the inker and colorist, Fridolfs and Kalisz, also need kudos’s for their work at accentuating what he drew.

It was pointed out to me, that this story really began in issue number 3 and 4, but those issues also contain other story lines and even though they do contain  Zsasz becoming  "Mr Zsasz", I don't think they are necessary to enjoy the story unfolding in these three issues.  If a writer uses Penguin and his  Iceberg Nightclub in a story,  do you need the back up story of how Penguin started the Iceburg nightclub?

Batman: Streets of Gotham: Leviathan: Issues 5-11

Writers: Chris Yost, Mike Benson, Paul Dini
Pencils and covers: Dustin Nguyen
INker: Derek Fredoles
Colors: John Kalisz
Letters:Steve Wands
Asst. Edit: Janelle Siegel
Editor: Mike Marts

Thursday, October 28, 2010


RATING 2.5 out of 5

This cover is awesome. Look at the background detail. Fantastic. Then you open it up. BLAH Blah blah blah... They talk and talk and talk.

There's not even a good panel to pull. Maybe if David Finch had done the interiors, but all they did was talk. They walked around in the glade talking. Then she zapped them to a place where they could sit down

The best part of the issue was shown in the previews where she touched his nose ...WITHOUT TALKING.

I'm leaving this title for awhile. What was a great idea for a story in the beginning of the arc isn't really being worked on.

Major Spoiler of ending:

How does Luther get out of... Death? Was it creative? Did he escape Death?
Well...He wakes up. Yelp. The ol' dream sequence skit was pulled.

Written: PAUL CORNELL, Art: PETE WOODS, Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh, Cover: David Finch, Batt and Peter Steigerwald(wonderful job guys)
Asst. Editor: Wil Moss, Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: DC Comics
Dec 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blackest Night: Untold Tales of Review

RATING 2.7 out of 5

These stories feel like an after thought.  I've already lived through the Blackest Night storyline, so the ankst at seeing characters in touble... isn't there.  I already know their outcome. 

If you really liked the Blackest Day storyline, you may get a kick out of seeing the two deleted stories that are scripted in Blackest Night Directors Cut issue.  There is also a Brightest day story in it, but I have a feeling it will be covered again in one of the other books.

Even though these short stories are self contained and the art is great, unless you know something about Blackest Night, you probably won't get very much enjoyment out of it.


Titles & story:

Sea of Fear part 1: Writer: Peter J Tomasi,  Pencils: Patrick Gleason, Inks: Sandra Hope, Colors: Buccelato
Lyssa Drak's story of how she became traped in the Book of the Black.
Rating 2.5: Meh

Deleted Scene from Blackest Night 1: Writer: Geoff Johns, Pencils: Ivan Reis, Inks:Oclair Albert, colors: Rod Reis
Black Hand calls the dead souls that make up Ragman to RISE.
Rating 3 :I don't remember what the script said, but this would've been better spread to three pages instead of squashed into two.

Deleted Scene from Blackest Night 2: Writer: Geoff Johns, Pencils: Ivan Reis, Inks:Oclair Albert, colors: Rod Reis
Bunch of uknown criminals think that they can gain power by killing themselves.
Rating 2: Meh

The Evolution of Species; Writer: Sam Schlagman, Pencils: Jason Fabok, INks: Ryan Winn, colors: Alix Sinclair
Animal man loves his family but lusts after Starfire and is turned into a Black Lantern.
Rating 2: less then meh, didn't like the Starfire lusting crap, I hate disliking a hero.

A Losing Battle : Writer: JT Krul, Artis: Ed Benes, Colors: Brian Buccellato
Story of  Donna Troy being turned into a Black Lantern and her friends trying to save her, then Cassie believing she can be strong on her own.
Rating 3: I was enjoying the Donna story then poof.. it turned into a meh... Cassie story ending.

Blackest Nightmare Writer: Jeremy Love, Art: Bret Booth, Colors: Andrew Dalhouse, Letters: Steve Wands
Story of Scarecrow becoming a Yellow Lantern, when the ring is put on, he invisions himself as Ichabod Crane with a Batman like figure on a horse chasing him.
Rating 3.5: This one was  pretty darn cool.

An Incident on Korugar : Writer, art and Colors: Ehan Van Sciver
Yellow Lantern Karu-Sil has to fight back Black Lanterns of her parents.
Rating 3: You almost feel sorry for her but then... don't.

Sea of Fear part 2: Writer: Peter J Tomasi,  Pencils: Patrick Gleason, Inks: Sandra Hope, Colors: Buccelato
Lyssa Drak's being pulled out of the Book of the Black by the Mystery Guardian and told there is another book to be writen.
Rating 2.5 Meh..

Publisher : DC Comics
Dec 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #49 "Work That's Never Done " Review

Rating 4 out of 5

It's like letting chocolate melt in your mouth. It's smooth and satisfying. There are no surprises.. but once it's gone.. there is a little buzz of caffeine to tide you over until the next fix.

The cover is misleading, it's not Dick Grayson as Batman in the story, it's Bruce Wayne.

This has a complete story in this issue, you don't have to buy another in the series to get the whole story.

Review with Spoiler

Batman/Bruce Wayne intercepts a 911 call. He shows up at the scene. He has quite a bit of stubble on his chin which is getting close to being a beard, giving the impression he has been at this for sometime. He goes right into picking up clues and they are deciphered for us in captions (I love seeing him work through clues).  After solving this crime, he intercepts a 911 call...

This was SUCH a WELL written issue, the writer knew when to let the art tell the story, not every panel has type. The art is also very well done. Every panel was well done: the coloring... even in the smaller panels... his flashlight highlighting people he comes across...the shadows in the background behind him...the cape flutters...all excellent. 

I'll be looking for this writer in the future and the art crew.

Link to a interview with the writer on Batman Confidencial #49,  James Patrick

Writer: James Patrick
Pencils: Steve Scott
Inks: Bob Petrecca
Colors: David aron
Letters: Swands
Cover : Andy Kubert with Brad Anderson 
Publisher: DC comics
Dec 2010


Rating 2.3 out of 5
I didn't care for this issue...

I can forgive many things in a Batman comic that is outside of the formal Batman continuity.
I can ignore the manic behavior.
I can ignore the beligerance to Alfred.
I can get over the repetitive dialogue.
I can forgive an almost undecipherable plot.
BUT I can't ... won't...accept a stupid Bruce Wayne as Batman.
No no no no
REVIEW plus Spoiler, or two

The dialogue...I'm either getting use to it...or it's a smege better, but the shirtless Bruce is gone...which is such a shame.  Maybe that's why I'm not digging this hairy chested Bruce to distract me from the dialogue.  I found myself plodding along in the storyline.  There is a scene where Bruce/Batman looses control and starts beating the bad guy almost to death, and it seemed to last forever....

< WHO is this guy in the baby blue and purple outfit? I already hate him  and his little Robin look-a-like partner.
Also ...some of the art is really sketchy.
And I hate the coloring for Aquaman, his skin, hair, and top of his suit, mesh together.

The part that really lost me in the story... was Bruce/Batman mistaking the man-bat, (the one stealing the album in the above panel) for Kirk Langstrom.  What??? Is this where the line... "all man-bats look the same to me"... should be used?
Even if, the man-bat in question, is twice as big, wearing old man pants, and undershirt?

No mater the story, in Elseworlds, or other worldly location, Batman is a Detective. This means he has trained himself in the ability to decipher small clues at a crime scene, and to be able to see the smallest detail.   Bruce can be unsure in personal situations, like with women, or with his actions, but.... HE COULD TELL THIS MAN-BAT WAS NOT KIRK.  It would not take four to six panels for him to figure that out.  I'm still not sure if he knows.

YES...I'm getting the next issue...I'm still interested ... but it won't be the first comic I pick out of my pile to read.

Story and Art: Neal Adams
Inks: Neal Adams & Scott Williams
Color: Continuity Studios
Letters: Ken Lopez
Publisher: DC Comics
Dec 2010


Batman Odyssey Part 5
Batman knows his Odyssey must happen soon before he loses himself, but Deadman invades The Dark Knight's world and only sees the inevitable crash and burn of his old friend. Should Deadman add to Batman's "crash" – or hold off and give the Caped Crusader a few last moments of relative peace? This is Deadman we're talking about – of course he's going to step in!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

POWER GIRL : ALIENS AND APES 7 8 9 10 11 12 TPB Review

 RATING 4 out of 5

This is campy, Full of Fun, set of comics. At the time that the Power Girl series started, it was such a wonderful welcome relief to the stories of horror that DC was producing at that time.  The Power Girl series started out at the same time as the Blackest Night storyline. Almost every other series at that time had a crossover for Blackest Night, which usually involved the characters getting their hearts ripped out by zombie looking loved ones who had returned from the dead, but Power Girl didn't, Thank Goodness.... This set of issues in the Power Girl series does refer to a few things that happened in the previous issues, but you can still enjoy these with a big smile.

Full Review plus... Spoilers

If you haven't heard of Power Girl you probably need to go here: Link
Abbreviated: She is a cousin to a Superman from Earth-2, but is trapped on this Earth.  Even though she is one of the "Supers", she is not direct family.  This sometimes makes her feel very alone and out of place, so she has a "empty"/bare spot on the chest of her uniform because... one day... she hopes  to feel excepted enough to put a big red  "S" there (And there will be millions of Fanboys marching against DC if this ever happens).

Before we start on the review ...let's review ...the cameo characters...

Vartox of Valeron
 Vartox first appeared in 1974 in Superman #281 (PG 7 is similar to the cover from of #281), which was a year after the movie, Zardoz (1973).   Vartox is said to be based off the Sean Connery character in the movie Zardoz.

Ahw...The Seventy's...
They where Shagedelic, baby. 

And...ah... Zardoz, what can you say,  it's a movie that Sean Connery wishes... he never heard of.

That movie was the inspiration for so many... many comedy sketchs, and may have been the reason that Madonna looked so classy in the Eighty's

Did you say, "No"..."It can't be."... "James Bond would never be caught dead in that get up."

Ah Ha ha ha ha ha .....OH yes...yes he did...
(scene from Zardoz to the right).

Well...back to Power Girl...Vartox has troubles ....on his home planet Valeron.  Everyone has been sterilized except him, and he must find a suitable mate to help him populate the planet.

Do you know where this is going? Of course you do.

Vartox brings a dangerous monster, the IX Negaspike, and lets it loose on earth, so that he can defeat it.  Why? To show Power Girl that Vartox is a manly man .  Things go wrong... and Power Girl is the one who has to handle the monster, and the egotistical bas..  ah...beast that is trying to waylay her.

What's a girl gonna do?
Well... I guess you'll have to read it to find out. (grin)

Power Girl also has problems with ...Satanna.

Satanna is a  mad-scientist brain surgeon .....that  transplants human brains into animals.  In previous issues,  Power Girl had a beat down on Ultra-Humanite, who is Satanna's White Gorilla boyfriend. (Ultra-Humanite is also a brain surgeon who had transferred his own brain into the Gorilla.)

Santanna returns in these issues for a little vengeance, like she really needed a excuse.

Power Girl's friend, Terra, also makes a appearance to give her a helping hand.

Terra  Not Geoforce's sister, her real name Atlee,  is from another planet and can control the earth, as in the dirt around her.  She wears a Black and white costume and has dark hair.

These are a great set of campy... fun filled stories, they helped to establish the series, and gave it a really good start. The whole crew on these issues did a great job.  The art really fit well with the light hearted storyline.

I don't have all of the very first issues of Power Girl, so I didn't feel right giving a review of them, but the ones I do have were also full of fun, with a "Not so serious" attitude, and worth checking out.

Titles of issues:
#7: Lust in Space
#8: A Groovy Kind of Love
#9: This city is a Zoo
#10: War on  Terra
#11: Terra Alert! 
#12: The Little Things!
Writers; Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art: Amanda Conner
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: John J Hill
Publisher: DC Comics
Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Rules of Engagement TPB

 RATING 3.7 out of 5

The story is...good, but it seemed a little out of place. Batman(Bruce Wayne) fights Lex Luthor outside of Gotham.  I was wondering at one point, where is Superman, who is more of globe trotter and Lex's protagonist.  The story is complete in six issues, and complete in the one TPB.

Review with some spoilers

This story's time frame is about a year after Bruce became Batman.  Lexcor and Waynetec are competing for bids for a government military contract, and this is the first time that Bruce and Lex meet face to face.  

As Lex is leaving the meeting, a large prototype remote controlled military Robot, created by Waynetec, attempts to kill him. Batman was close by and able to distract it, so that Lex could escape.  The intriguing part of the story was Batman finding out who is controlling the robot, and why. This part was too short, because it had a ghost in the machine feel to it, and it would have been cool to see the story expanded on.

Because of the incident with the Waynetec robot, Lex receives the military contract, and uses it as a way to take over military bases everywhere including somewhere outside of Gotham, but looks like Arizona, which is confusing.  

This story, over all, is good.  The writer, Andy Diggle, was good with the characterizations.  There are several fight scenes that are pretty good and well drawn, as well as some awesome Bat-hardware.  I would say I liked it, but it didn't 'wow' me.

BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Rules of Engagement TPB
Writer: Andy Diggle
Penciller: Whilce Portacio
Inker: Richard Friend
Colorist: David Baron, I.L.L.,
Letterer: Travis Lanaham
Publisher: DC Comics
Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June 2007 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ACTION COMICS #893 : The Black Ring Part 4

 RATING 3.3 out of 5

This issue is a lot better then last month's issue.  The art made the characters pop out and the story wasn't as blah, but ...this issue didn't  move the main plot about the Black Ring energy any further then  last month's issue.

ReView with SPoilers. 

Lex investigates another location for Black Ring energy in Uganda. It just so happens to be a base of operations for Gorilla Grodd, who is hungry for information, literally hungrey for information.  Grodd is popping brains in his mouth like they were pills. 

I don't remember Grodd ever doing this in the past, plus... I always thought Gorrilla's were herbivores, but I'm not a expert on Grodd, so I just shrugg and move past this and enjoy the issue.


Unfortunately for Grodd, Lex's noggin is a bit more solid and ...Lex has planned ahead (pun attended) for Grodd's appitite.  The lingering Black Ring energy is found inside Grodd's base, and once again, like when they sampled it in Issue #892, the energy changed. Despite Lex's ingenuity, Grodd get's in the final blow, which leads into next months guest appearance with Vertigo's female Death.
There are quite a few cute moments in the story and the art was able to make the intention of the writer to be funny... to come across funny, but also was able to convey the fierceness of Grodd.  This art team is so...much better then last months. The pages are similar to the art on the cover, which was done by David Finch, Joe Weems & Peter Steigerwald.

I'm looking forward to Death appearance next month but I hope the plot doesn't start sagging, because ...I also want to know more about the the black ring energy, and how Lex plans to use it.. 

Action Comics #893: The Black Ring Part 4
Writer:  Paul Cornell
Guest Penciller: Sean Chen
Guest Inker: Wayne Faucher
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover: David Finch, Joe Weems & Peter Steigerwald
Publisher: DC Comics
November 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

BATMAN: BRUCE WAYNE: The Road Home: Reading Order, & Reviews: Batman and Robin, Red Robin, Batgirl, Outsiders, Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon, Oracle, Ra's Al Ghul

These occur after Return of Bruce Wayne #6
 Nicieza was interviewed at Newsaroma[link]
Nicieza: If a reader wants to buy individual issues, they should feel free to do so, and hopefully enjoy a solid self-contained issue, but if they want to read all 8, then yes, there is definitely an order:
1) Batman & Robin
2) Red Robin
3) Outsiders
4) Batgirl
5) Catwoman
6) Gordon
7) Oracle
8) Ra's al Ghul
Batman and Robin #16,  and Batman: The Return- from the solicits seems to be After  The Road Home

REVIEWS of individual issues are below, they are in the reading order listed above.  
RATING  Over All : 3.5" out of 5
It's a decent storyline but some parts could have been left out completely.  It's important to note that they DON'T have any welcome home sentiment. For instance, Red Robin gives Bruce a hug for being back in Red Robin #17, not in any of these issues. They mostly have a, "Is that..who I think it is", none have the hugs and kisses stage in them.

 1.)Bruce Wayne - The Road Home: 
{All covers are by Shane Davis, they connect together}
Title: "Outside Looking In"  Writer: Fabian Nicieza Art of internal pages: Cliff Richards Covor Art: Ian Hannin Letters Dave Sharpe Editor: Mike Marts Asst. Editor Janelle Siegel

Rating 3.9 out of 5

A really great start to The Road Home storyline.  The writer, Fabian Nicieza, captured the banter between Dick Grayson(Batman) and Damian(Robin) perfectly, but the art seemed really lacking. It looked like you were looking through a unfocused camera lens, so that you can hide wrinkles.  Nicieza is a great writer so this didn't effect the enjoyment of the story.  This issue doesn't feel like a stand alone issue. You are left with a definite need to continue into the issue of The Road Home: Red Robin.

SPOILERS:If you don't want to be spoiled, skip  down to next review in blue.

This storyline started with controversy before it even came out.  The DC Blog site had released some preview panels of the art inside Batman and Robin. Then was surprised that it contained the F-Bomb. They quickly removed the imaged from their site, and a little later the release date for the book was pushed back a week. They made changes pretty quickly.  My cynical side makes me think they did it intentionally to get publicity, BUT... they already had the publicity from the delay of the Morrison's books, Return of Bruce Wayne #6 and Batman & Robin #16, which weren't released till after The Road home.

Whats wrong with that? Well.... Morrison's books has the actual return of Bruce Wayne to the present time line... Yet... he was already in Gotham for The Road Home. It caused quite a ruckus on many many forums and blogs.

Having the stories out of sync is a little irritating, but I got over it, because it was Fabian Nicieza in charge of The Road Home, and he IS a great story teller.  There have been reassurances by him that having Bruce in Gotham won't ruin the Morrison's storyline. So... I felt pretty confident and read these stories, and I can assure you, at least at this point, they don't seem to touch what Morrison is doing.

Getting past the controversy...we are rewarded with ...a sorta... new player in Gotham, if you don't know who it is by now, I don't want to spoil it for you. The suit he wears is fantastic and there is buzz on the forums, such as: where did the mystery man get this suit? Where did he get the powers? Why  hasn't he used it before? and ...Will he continue to use it?
There is also the ongoing story line of Viki Vale uncovering the secrets identities of the Bat-family, it continues to some degree in all the issues of The Road Home.

As I've mentioned above, the storyline doesn't seem to be a stand alone issue, you'll feel like wanting to get the next issue in this  storyline The Road Home: Red Robin.

2.)Bruce Wayne - The Road Home: 
Title: "The Insider"  Writer: Fabian Nicieza Pencils of internal pages: Ramon Bachs Inks: John Lucas Colors: Guy Major Letters Dave Sharpe Editor: Mike Marts Asst. Editor Sean Ryan 
 Rating 3.9 out of 5

This issue is also great, with spot on characterization. Even though it says at the end that it is continued in Outsiders, after I read Outsiders,  Outsiders felt really unneeded to any storyline.  You could probably skip from this issue to the Ra's Al Ghul issue and not miss any real major story line, you would only miss the reunions with the characters in the title.
The art in this issue is somewhat better then the Batman and Robin issue. It is more... expressive, but the suit looked better in the previous issue.  There has been some buzz on the forums that Tim didn't seem to express any emotions toward Bruce being back and the writer, Fabian Nicieza had this to say:

Quote from Fabian Nicieza from a post on CBR(link) :
 Just a note for those misreading this issue as "Bruce's return seeming anticlimactic or unemotional," please be aware that the events of The Road Home ALL take place AFTER ROBW#6.
Every issue in the Road Home storyline were written with the expectation they'd be on sale after ROBW#6, and were taking into account that certain reunions -- specifically Tim and Bruce -- would have been handled in that issue as we were told.

What you see as a "lack of emotion" is actually the two characters having had days to have come to terms with Bruce's return, and only the unfortunate shipping schedule has made that a confusing message.

But just in case there's not enough emotion to cover the Tim/Bruce reunion in ROBW#6, check out RED ROBIN #17 in November for a nice moment between the two...
- fabian

Some readers opinion of the issue seemed to hurt, just a little, from not having Morrison's storyline being told.  I personally wasn't effected by it, because I figured it was told somewhere else. 

SPOILERS:If you don't want to be spoiled, skip down to next review in blue. 

In this issue the mystery man, codenamed Insider,  infiltrates The Council of Spiders. They kill people just for sport. The first target they give him is Red Robin.  Pru shows up in this issue and is more of a distraction then a help.  She seems to be holding secrets that will be reveal in the Ra's al Ghul issue.

3.)Bruce Wayne - The Road Home: 
{All covers are by Shane Davis, they connect together}
Title: "Inside Interference"  Writer: Mike W. Barr Penciller: Javier Saltares Inkers: Rebecca Buchman & Walden Wong Colorist: Pete Pantazis  Letters Dave Sharpe Batman group Editor: Mike Marts Editor Harvey Richards
RATING 2.5 out of 5 

I really felt nothing for this issue. It wasn't much of a issue. It didn't make me want to check out the series.  Maybe I just didn't know enough background on the characters to care about them. It can be considered a stand alone issue, but I think it's not needed to pull The Road Home storyline forward and you could skip it. 

SPOILERS:If you don't want to be spoiled, skip  down to next review in blue.

This issue has a couple of pages of Vicki Vale in it but she doesn't do anything that really moves her storyline along either.

 The part in the book where the mysterious stranger from the other The Road Home issues, uses his suit and was able to take down each of The Outsiders was cool, but not cool enough to buy the book.

As FHIZ, a poster on CBR commented (link)
...the entry in the white casebook was like "The Outsiders seem to have lost their way." Then the end of the Outsider's book is basically "Yep, still lost, screw'em"
One poster said it would have some bearing on the Batman Inc storyline by showing how Batman may choose who should, or should not, be branded with the Batman logo.

4.)Bruce Wayne - The Road Home: 
{All covers are by Shane Davis, they connect together}
No Title  Writer: Bryan Q. Miller Artist : Pere Perez Colorist: Pete Pantazis  Letters Dave Sharpe Batman group Editor: Mike Marts Editor Sean Ryan
RATING 4.5 out of 5

This was the best issue, so far.  Bryan Q Miller is a awesome storyteller. He really knows this character and her relationship to Bruce. This is tied into The Road Home story line, but it is kinda adjacent to the other stories being told.  At the end it says "to be continued to" The Road Home: Catwoman, but that issue doesn't connect to this issue anymore then any of the others. You don't have to read Batman & Robin, or Red Robin, for this issue, or visa-versa, so it is the closest issue to being a stand alone story.

However, I really love Stephenie's character when it is in Bryan Q Miller's hands and this was a joy to read, don't miss it.

 SPOILERS: If you don't want to be spoiled, skip to down next review in blue.

This issue has the Mystery man that is in the other issues, but it also has Stephanie's and Bruce's first meeting since Bruce came back from the Dead {or not really being dead}. Which really makes it worth the cover price just to see it.
Oracle confronts Vicki Vale in this issue and I have a feeling it will be expanded on in The Road Home: Oracle issue.
I don't want to spoil too much but Bruce mentions Cassandra Cain...the previous Batgirl, and says, "Cassandra followed orders, did precisely what I asked her to do in the event of my death or disappearance."

I'm enjoying this storyline and I'm looking forward to the next installment with Catwoman. After reading these issues... I'm starting to feel better about The Batman Inc series coming up, which I've had my misgivings about it.


5.)Bruce Wayne - The Road Home: 
{All covers are by Shane Davis, they connect together} 

Title :Lifting the Vale Writer: Derek Fridolfs Artist : Peter Nguyen 
Colorist: John Kalisz Letters: Dave Sharpe Batman group Editor:Mike Marts Asst Editor: Janelle Siegel 
Rating 3 out of 5
It was kinda disappointing...Meh issue.  It can be a stand alone issue and can be passed over, it doesn't really move the story line in Red Robin. 
SPOILERS: If you don't want to be spoiled, skip down to next review in blue.  

It was mostly about the Sirens stealing information from Vicki on what she knows. Selina is concerned that Vicki will attract the wrong element.

 I thought Oracle got all the information from Vicki in The Road Home: Batgirl. Since I've read that one too, this one seems like over kill.

I was expecting the Bruce and Selina reunion, but after reading this, I see that Morrison has the dibs on that one, because  this issue didn't have much of a between Bruce and Selina.  I guess I expect more fire from these two, and it felt meh...
She finds out its him, they touch, he leaves...Meh...

6) Bruce Wayne - The Road Home: 
{All covers are by Shane Davis, they connect together} COMMISSIONER GORDON
 Title  Gotham's Finest  Storytellers:  Adam Beechen and Szymon Kudranski Colorist: John Kalisz  Letters Dave Sharpe Batman group Editor: Mike Marts Asst.Editor:  Janelle Siegel.
RATING 3.9 out of 5

This was really good. Very moody art, which was great,  and Beechen made Gordon shine.  I hate to say it is a stand alone issue, because I'm not sure of its relevance in the next set of issues. It has a lot of Vicki Vale in it and this may have some relevance in the next issue.

SPOILERS: If you don't want to be spoiled, skip down to next review in blue.  

The criminal element in Gotham has found out that Vicki Vale has the goods on Batman and the rest of the Bat-family.  The criminal element WANTS that information. 
Commissioner Gorden has Vicki under protective custody and he plans to keep her that way. Did I say this was a really good issue?  It is. 

There is a section where it shows that Bruce couldn't pull the wool over Barbara's eyes, which is great, but I wonder what the heck they are going to cover in The Road Home:Oracle issue, since she already knows.

This also kinda brings home the... "Does Gordon know Bruce is Batman?"  A question that is bandied about on the threads. In this issue you are left with "Does Gordon know that the Insider is Batman?"
It's not really answered, you think he does, but ...does he?


7) Bruce Wayne - The Road Home:  
{All covers are by Shane Davis, they connect together}  
Writer: Marc Andreyko, Artist: Agustin Padilla, Color Art: Brian Buccellato, Letters: Dave Sharpe, Editor: Janelle Seigel, Batman Group Editor: Mike Marts

I would skip it unless you had extra money.  The previous one with Commissioner Gordon shines in comparison. It also has a speed bump when it came to Oracle knowing the Insiders identity. It has choppy dialogue. It has a cliffhanger ending which would make you want the next issue, but this issue is not necessary for the whole of the story. 

SPOILERS: If you don't want to be spoiled, skip down to next review in blue.  
Oracle helps The Insider  in protecting Vicki Vale from The Seven Men of Death by sending The Birds of Prey as a decoy.  Well...Ah sorta...she actually sends The Reserve Birds of Prey.  I ...didn't know ...that Ragman and ManBat were part of the 'Birds of Prey' and  I was... hoping that Batgirl would make it to the team but this is a sloppy way of adding her.  This team includes Manhunter, ManBat, Ragman, Batgirl, Hawk, and Dove.  The fight scenes are sloppy, and sometimes I can't tell whose fighting who, and how they are fighting or how they are taking the bad guys out.
What's the Speed Bump?  One of Oracle's Caption says, "...and what about "the Insider," huh? Wow, he feels familiar." Next Caption says, "I mean, he's Bruce, right? But how is that possible? Bruce is dead, Then again so were Superman, Green arrow,...."
SOO....Oracle didn't know ...that Bruce was ALIVE. {see my eye twitch}
Despite the fact that the JLA is heavily trying to look for him...AND ...she is information gal for  the hero world.
Dick and Damian know he is a live.  It's NOT a secret in the Hero world. Dick even told Gordon in one of the Batman and Robin books that he was only filling in the shoes until the original is back.  
I can understand not knowing Bruce is back in the right time, but for Oracle to not know he is Alive means that the writer didn't do his research.  

8) Bruce Wayne - The Road Home:  
{All covers are by Shane Davis, they connect together}  

Writer: Fabian Nicieza, Penciller: Scott McDaniel, Inker: Andy Owens, Color Art:Guy Major, Letters: Dave Sharpe, Asst Editor: Janelle Seigel and Harvey Richards, Batman Group Editor: Mike Marts

Kind of a disappointing ending. It was well written, but I guess I just wanted more from ol' Ra's.  This issue would definitively be needed for the whole story of Vicki Val's investigation. The story is wrapped up in this issue, but I think that is the reason I didn't like it. It was too pat of a ending. 

 It's a good story and well written but for me it was too pat of a ending for a storyline that has been underlining the Red Robin and Streets of Gotham issues for over a year.  It felt like the story had only just begun and now "Voila" it's over. (yes..Choppa that was for you).
 Ra's Al Ghul is the one who hired the Men of Death. Not because he wants the information that Vicki Vale has attained, but because he wants to shut her up. Bruce Wayne is Ra's to kill and no one else's.  As Ra's people track and chase Vicki, Ra's reflects on another worthy opponent from centuries ago, but he can't remember his name.

Major spoilers:
Also I was wanting more of a fight between Bruce and Ra's, there was hardly a confrontation. Ra's just basically shrugged and walked off saying "Until the Next Time we Duel, Detective...".  
Vale finally gets confirmation that Bruce is Batman and realizes that she was only doing this because she felt "neglected." 
Also... it didn't tell anything about the suit, where it came from, or if it will be used in the future.