DC Comics: The New 52!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"The Nice and Accurate Thoughts of Ben Eubank"

Aquaman - issue 3 - The art is fantastic as always. I really like all of the storylines being opened up and can't wait for next month. 5/5

Diablo - issue 1 - The story seems interesting. I like the premise so far; next month will determine the series. The art is very lined and rigid; not my favorite but seems appropriate for the story. 3/5

Doctor Who - issue 11 - There is a Romana reference... that's the best part. Predictable and not overly satisfying end. 3/5

Fantastic Four - issue 600 - The first Fantastic Four I've read... have to say I'm intrigued by the story. I enjoyed the art. Now just to catch up on FF. 4/5

The Flash - issue 3 - I really like the art in The Flash. The story is really getting good and I want to see how they work the ending out next month! 4/5

I, Vampire - issue 3 - I am liking this more and more. The new characters should prove to be fun in the coming issues. And next month, John Constantine! 5/5

Justice League Dark - issue 3 - Oh Enchantress... you're bad. I'm really intrigued by the character Shade. I definitely can't wait to see where this story is going and how everything gets tied together. 5/5Kick-Ass 2 - issue 5 - Hit-Girl is back! Some events that happened in this issue were shocking and sad but foreseeable. 3/5

Locke & Key - Guide to the Known Keys one-shot - Locke & Key just continues to amaze me. I love how the story keeps changing and you learn so much new information each time a new issue comes out. This one was a peek into the past when the rules with the keys were different. It reinforces how the keys have affected the family for such a long time. 5/5

Teen Titans - issue 3 - So much going on this week... Kid Flash, Solstice, Red Robin, Bunker, Skitter, Wonder Girl. And who's this Detritus character? Great art and fast-paced story. 5/5

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Fastball Special" by Jeff Bailey

Batman #3
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo

Batman’s introduction to the Court of Owls continues and it’s not a loving relationship. The Detective seems to believe that Gotham is his town but he’s beginning to see that familiarity slip through his fingers. Gotham has taken notice of Batman and it doesn’t seem to be on his side. Snyder’s take on Batman, the Waynes, and Gotham is fascinating and carries a depth I haven’t seen before. It actually makes me worried for Bruce and I am totally hooked for what will come next. Capullo has continued to nail the art. His panel set up tells the story without having to over-explain and I continue to be awed by his use of angles and perspective. My advice- pick this up and make it your Pick of the Week, just like I did.
Story- 5
Art- 5
“They’re in our homes.”

Justice League #3
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jim Lee

I feel like I’m bordering on the verge of heresy here. I’m mean this is THE title right? The big one? I should be using words like great, fun, amazing but the word this issue makes me think of most is forced. It all feels forced. The League gets introduced to Wonder Woman, who I guess is an idiot during this time of her life, as well as a few other soon to be important characters. But other than some decent banter surrounding Flash and Batman, the dialogue and story just seems rushed. The art doesn’t help this issue either. It sometimes actually confuses the storytelling. And while it’s not Lee’s fault, WW, Flash and Batman are being drawn so much better in their respective books that it’s hard not to compare. Johns will smooth this all out but I hope it’s sooner rather than later.
Story- 3
Art- 3
“I thought you were a vampire or something.”


Ultimate X-Men #3- 3/5- Story was confusing and didn’t seem to move the plot. Oh, and a giant mechanical worm comes out of a guy’s butt.

Amazing Spider-man #674- 4/5- Fairly solid start to a new Vulture story.

Venom #9- 5/5- Remender is really taking this book to some dark places.

Morning Glories #14- 3/5- Ummmm…. Well, I guess Ben really likes it.

Walking Dead #91- 4/5- I hope we’re coming to the end of a fairly mundane arc.

Green Lantern Corps #3- 4/5- Some great panels loaded with lots and lots of GLs.

Wonder Woman #3- 4/5- Art’s still great but the dialogue just didn’t stay cohesive for the whole issue.

Catwoman #3- 5/5- Turns out Selina isn’t just about gratuitous sex. She’s also about messy anger and wonderful violence.

Nightwing #3- 4/5- Richard has a thing for the redheads. Can ya blame him?

That’s what I read this week, Plexers. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Fastball Special" by Jeff Bailey

Ultimate Spider-man #4
Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: Sara Pichelli

It’s hard to remake a character. It’s even harder to change the total identity of that character. Will we take to the new hero? Will they be someone we care about? Will we accept them being thrown into the already existing universe? Will they be able to fill those well-worn shoes?  In this issue, we find a young man asking himself the same questions. Miles wonders if he has what it takes to be a hero, so he goes in search of finding an answer to the question, “What made Peter Parker a hero?” Pichelli’s art is clean, tight and dynamic. Her characters’ emotions are clear and add to the tension of the book. I love how Bendis is showing us Miles’ journey to becoming a man and how it can be complicated by having power and responsibility thrust upon him. And for that, it is my Pick of the Week.

Story- 5
Art- 5
“Why did he do it?”

Suicide Squad #3
Writer: Adam Glass
Artist: Cliff Richards

The idea of having a group of villains team-up in order to do at least semi-heroic acts is not a new one. (The 90’s Thunderbolts took a great twist on the concept.) You do it wrong and you have a tedious rehash of tired material. You do it right and you have an exciting look at redemption. Or you can have Suicide Squad. For 3 issues now, this has been crazy, weird, fun and unpredictable. This time, the “team” is trying to hold out for an evac while managing to keep safe a plague-carrying baby. Yep. A plague-carrying baby. If that’s not enough for you, we also get 1) Harley Quinn’s underwear and 2) A shark guy eating chickens. Live chickens. If you like fun and I know that some of you do, try this one out.
Story- 5
Art- 5
“I don’t do clowns.”


Batgirl #3- 4/5- Barbara and Richard’s game of tag hit some really good notes.

Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #2- 4/5- Art was a tad off but swimming through Oswald’s past is painful (but hey, I’m probably prejudiced).

Demon Knights #3- 4/5- Who would have guessed demons and the clergy don’t get along?

Resurrection Man #3- 4/5- Coming back to life over and over again looks to have an unpleasant feel to it.

Frankenstein #3- 4/5- Once again proving the age old adage- Mummies are cool.

Green Lantern #3- 5/5- More Sinestro as GL? Yes, please, Mr. Johns.

Grifter #3- 3/5- I’m beginning to fear they just don’t have the feel for who this character is.

Batman & Robin #3- 4/5- Not used to seeing Bruce struggle for control of a situation.

Batwoman #3- 5/5- Consistently the best art of any of the DC New 52.

Wolverine #18- 4/5- Enjoyable on its own but I have yet to catch on to where this arc fits in Aaron’s overall storyline.  

Avenging Spider-man #1- 4/5- Great art and a solid start to Pete’s new Avenger team-up book.

Uncanny X-Force #17- 5/5- The storytelling, both in words and art, is of the highest caliber. As always.

That’s what I read this week, Plexers.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Fastball Special" - by Jeff Bailey

Animal Man #3

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Travel Foreman

It’s now obvious that Lemire and Foreman have deep-seeded emotional trauma. And I am so grateful for it. Buddy and Maxine continue their trip through the Red, the place of power for all the animal men (and women it seems). They are not alone. In some truly horrific images, we are introduced to the Three Hunters who are after not only Buddy and Max but the rest of the family as well. Lemire’s story twists and turns. It balances so well the needed exposition and gruesome action. Foreman’s art is right there with him. It is the stuff of nightmares and it is amazing. If you can handle it, start reading this series because the last panel of this issue will freak you right the hell out. And for that, it is the Pick of the Week.

Story- 5

Art- 5

“We have been expecting you.”

Invincible #84

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Artist: Ryan Ottley

The old truths of this book are still the truth. The characters feel real and have depth. The emotions bleed through the page. The art is crisp and clean and as good as it’s ever been. Most of these panels I want hanging on my wall. But none of that is new. It’s always been great and continues to be. But Kirkman seems to be taking an ever so subtle turn with where Mark is headed. If I’m right, I think we are seeing him grow up. He is a superhero that is starting to question if there is more that he can be doing to help those in need than just punching someone in the face. Superhero comics have to tell the same story over and over again. Nature of the beast. But I wonder if something different is going on here. I wonder…

Story- 5

Art- 5

“He did WHAT?!”


Witch Doctor #4- 5/5- The end of Dr. Morrow’s first (hopefully of many) wonderful, twisted, funny arc.

Action Comics #3- 4/5- Imagine, if you will, if a young Peter Parker were an alien with superpowers.

Red Lanterns #3- 4/5- The dialogue is a bit stilted but I’m diggin’ the rage.

Uncanny X-Men #1- 5/5- Magneto’s brains almost leak outta his eyes.

Amazing Spider-man #673- 4/5- It wraps up Spider Island in a neat, sweet, very naked little bow.

Irredeemable #31- 3/5- Yeah, the death was supposed to be edgy but it felt like it was treading the same old water.

That’s what I read this week, Plexers.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Rise of the Governor" Review- by Nash Rambler

Against my better judgment, I have decided to share with you my thoughts on the latest “Kirkman” novel, “Rise of the Governor”.

First off, if you are a fan of the Walking Dead series, you will be pleased to learn that Zombie Mayhem is still the centerpiece of this pseudo-biography. Replete with lengthy passages of stomach- churning descriptions of Undead Attacks, the book seems dedicated to the most innovative ways to describe splattering gore. Exploding brains, spurting entrails and severed limbs are splashed across nearly every page. I hope you sense that I mean this in the best way possible.

The book itself remains flawlessly faithful to the popular graphic novel. It’s definitely fair to say that if you enjoyed the violent original series, then this violent novel is aimed squarely at you. Alert readers will recognize several key locations from the Walking Dead, but I won’t spoil the surprises here.

It’s also my opinion that “Rise” employs the traditional “Shock Ending” required of all Zombie Tales; I for one did not guess the ending coming, and that’s always a strength. Again, if you are even mildly familiar with the Governor, his story serves as a fascinating analysis of one man’s descent into madness and immorality. And best of all…. The Governor is NOT who you think he is. That said, even if you have never heard of the Governor, the novel is a well- written, briskly paced Zombie Romp that fits perfectly into Walking Dead canon.

There is one mild objection from this reviewer. I am a fan of both the original series and the television show, and consider myself an avid follower of Robert Kirkman’s work. To me, much of his appeal is based on the terse, wordless exchanges of his characters, and the unspoken drama of humans losing their morality. The writing in this book is verbose, descriptive, and well… downright flowery at times. Every scene is full of pastiches, mélanges, and other colorful metaphors. From the writing style, it is clear to me that Kirkman did not write this book himself. This is not so much of a complaint as an observation. More credit should have been given to the obvious ghost writer, Jay Bonansinga.

That aside, “Rise of the Governor” is highly recommended to all fans of Post- Apocalyptic Fiction. I give this book 5 out of 5 Exploding Skulls!

“There is nothing glorious in dying. Anyone can do it.”

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Fastball Special" - by Jeff Bailey

Flash #2
Writer: Francis Manapul
Artist: Francis Manapul
Ever had a time when your mouth was moving faster than your brain? It can get you in trouble. For Barry Allen, he has to figure out how to get his brain to think as fast as his entire body can move, which is pretty darn fast. What a treat to watch Barry refine his powers and use this new idea to actually map out the outcomes of his speedy actions before he even makes them. Manapul’s writing is still a bit raw but it is entertaining and paced well. While the story is good, it’s his art that is the hero of the book. The panel layouts are genius and he is able to convey motion, a must for a Flash book, as well as I have ever seen. This was a joy to read and was therefore, the Pick of the Week.

Story- 5

Art- 5

“I hope you filled out your warranty card.”

Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #6

Writer: Mark Smith

Artist: Armand Villavert

The first issue ended with a twist and I was fearful that would be all this book had going for it. But Smith has been able to immerse us into this world and the give the kids in the school depth and meaning. All the young villains’ planning and skills get tested in this issue as they take on the heaviest of superhero heavies. The battle is great and the teamwork is fun to watch. Villavert’s art showcases and differentiates each of the kids’ powers in riveting fashion. This is definitely one of the great comics that you aren’t reading. Pick it up.

Story- 5

Art- 5

“Heh. Kids these days.”


Red Wing #4- 2/5- Just did not deliver in the end. Or is it the beginning?

Sixth Gun #16- 5/5- Our history can be used as a warning for our future.

Walking Dead #90- 4/5- Great early tension but the end was forced and out of character.

Batman: Dark Knight #2- 2/5- From the dialogue to the art to the story, I just don’t understand the need for this title.

Teen Titans #2- 3/5- DC is trying to make the characters in their team books reallllllly annoying.

GL: New Guardians #2- 4/5- Art is still a bit rough but interested in where the last page leads.

I, Vampire #2- 5/5- Love the atmosphere of this book.

JL Dark #2- 4/5- All of DC’s “dark” books are rock solid.

Aquaman #2- 4/5- Mera is one tough lady. And that’s a good thing.

Amazing Spider-man #672- 4/5- Spider Island has finally finished its 17 year run.

Venom #8- 5/5- Remender has turned Flash Thompson into one of this year’s best characters.

Daredevil #5- 5/5- Sorry, Foggy. I thought you were with the brunette. My bad.

Wolverine and the X-Men- 5/5- Robert Drake, CPA to the mutant stars.

That’s what I read this week, Plexers.