Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Wednesday Is New Comics Day!

Are you ready for some new comics? This week’s haul with my preview commentary:

Animal Man #9 (DC)
Swamp Thing #9 (DC)
Two of the best from DC’s New 52 are on a collision course with each other and the ninth issue of each, I believe, is the intro to that crossover. These have been top-of-the-pile reads since they began and this week is no different.

Action Comics #9 (DC)
Action has been a solid good read since the re-launch, but I’ve been waiting for Action to “wow” me. Hopefully, soon. Hopefully, this issue.

Daredevil #12 (Marvel)
Wow, Marvel is spitting out the Daredevils lately. 11 was last week and now 12. I didn’t write a review of DD #11, the conclusion of the Omega Effect crossover, but I’ll say that it was a let-down after the first 2parts and seems like the story is just spinning its wheel. Hopefully, this issue will be back in top-natch form.

Ultimate Spiderman #10 (Marvel)
Every month I grab Ultimate Spidey reluctantly from the shelf and wonder if I should still be buying it. Then I read it and am thoroughly impressed and keep it on the “to buy” list and then the next month comes and I reluctantly reach for the new issue. So, it’s been a well executed comic with wonderful quiet moments and fun big moments, but easily digested and forgotten. I’m back for this month, let’s see how it goes.

Dial H #1 (DC)
Earth 2 #1 (DC)
DC’s “second wave” of the New 52 begins this week with four new offerings. I picked up two. Dial H is a “eh, why not?” pick. Earth 2 is “why is this needed?” pick-up. Meaning, DC re-launched their entire universe and now they have a comic dedicated to an alternate reality for that universe? OK, I’ll bite. The other “second wave” books I didn’t pick-up was G.I. Combat and World's Finest. G.I. Combat even has dinosaurs on the cover. And I passed it up. World's Finest is another "Earth 2" series. One is enough for me right now.

Heavy Metal
This caught my eye while I was waiting to be checked out. I haven’t read Heavy Metal since the 80’s and I’m always on the lookout for anthology titles, so there you go. However, I’ll have to keep this from a certain 5 year old who likes to flip through my weekly pile. That much hasn’t changed about Heavy Metal over the years.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


It's easy to fall behind on monthlies. Or, to miss them completely. Luckily, with the rise of digital comics, not jumping on the bandwagon early doesn't mean needing to hunt through back-issue bins to catch-up. As a result, I've recently been playing catch-up on some excellent series. I'm about a month or so behind on these series.

Prophet #21-23 (Image) begins a new story from the ashes of Rob Leifield's old Prophet series back in the 90's. I know nothing of the original and that knowledge, so far, is completely irrelevant to this fantastic continuation by Brandon Graham and Simon Roy. John Prophet wakes up in a distant future and prepares for his "mission." The terrain is unfamiliar as are the various life-forms he encounters.

As I wasn't a huge fan of many of the Image founder's books back when it first began (I read Spawn and Savage Dragon regularly and that was it) this title didn't pop-out at first. But I've been bird-dogging Graham's King City collection (which will now be my next trade purchase) so I was curious about this title, and, after reading some positive reviews, I decided to jump on. Glad I did. Graham and Roy accomplish some amazing moments over these three issues. The use of third person narration boxes to propel the story and provide insight into the world is astonishing in it's brevity and detail. As Prophet uncovers supplies, each item is identified quickly, precisely and succinctly without interrupting the narrative, while, in fact, adding layers to this unknown mission. Prophet encounters a caravan and joins it as a transient worker, which leads to my favorite moment from the three issues, that plays like a homage to Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation as Prophet overhears, via his translator device, some dire goings-on that he feels compelled to act on. Simon Roy's art has a simplistic feel, but, under scrutiny, the details of this alien world are richly observed and well-detailed. Roy's art reminds me of Geoff Darrow, but blockier and a bit cleaner. The broad stature of Prophet also gives me a hint of John Buscema's Conan. This means it looks fantastic. Prophet is a must read. Highly Recommended

Supergirl #1-7 (DC) contains fighting, fighting, and more fighting. Kara lands on Earth, fights some unknown group who find her rocketship, then she fights her cousin Superman, then she goes to the moon and fights some more, then she encounters some laboratory-bred "world-killers" from her home planet Krypton and fights them in New York City. I probably missed some fighting. But this series works. It's been riveting and engaging thanks to the inner dialogue Kara has with herself throughout. Writer Michael Green & Mike Johnson perfectly capture Kara's struggle to understand what happened to her. We're also teased along by hints and reveals of life on Krypton before it's destruction as Kara struggles to understand how she ended up on Earth. The set-up with Superman is especially smart - the flashback to Kara babysitting  for Kal El to Supes confronting her in his poorly accented Kryptonian is well executed. I was most impressed by the set-up of The Brain in the middle issues and hope this is a recurring villain. The final arc finds Kara fighting the World-Killers, a group of super creatures bred to destroy, where Kara finally understands and accepts who she is and how to deal with the enormous powers bestowed upon her thanks to Earth's yellow sun. The art by Mahmud Asrar is clean, with a slight cartoony feel, that captures not only Kara's vulnerable state exquisitely, but her transformation into a hero as the story moves forward. The many fight scenes are a tour-de-force of super hero battle scenes. Kudos all around on this one. Highly Recommended