Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cover of the Week for 12-28-11

Here we are, the last week of 2011. I'm actually sort of disappointed because there aren't that many standout covers this week. That's not to say there weren't any, just fewer than I expected. But the choice for this week is a cool one. And it features one of my favorite characters. A character who has been over-exposed over the years, much to the dismay of funny book readers. Ladies and gentlemen, Alpha Flight #7. Take a peek.

This piece by Carlo Pagulayan shows Wolverine up against Guardian. What I really like is the perspective of the shot. He has Wolverine's hand on Guardian's throat, and then there's the shot of Wolverine on the reflective surface. Simply put, it's a cool shot.

Love it? Hate it? Let me know. Thanks for looking.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Haul for the weeks of 12-14/12-21

I didn't get a chance to hit my lcs last week, but I did today and here's what I came back with.

Some of the titles here are Carnage U.S.A. and Wolverine and the X-Men. Plenty of DCnU stuff too such as Mister Terrific and Supergirl. I also grabbed The Ray. Witchblade 150 of course. Got some G.I. Joe titles mixed in as well. Lastly, some of the titles I pre-ordered from previews came in. Those were The Activity (Image), The Immortal, and The Strain. Both of those last two are from Dark Horse; a publisher that has made a solid home in my collection.

What books stood out to you this week? Or even last week too? Let me know. Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cover of the Week for 12-21-11

Just in time for the holidays, I present to you a cover that's just fun and makes you wanna read the story. Ladies and gentlemen, here is Daredevil #7. Take a look.

This piece by Paolo Rivera just screams fun and it's an instant classic. The blind hero making snow-angels. Awesome. I'm actually behind on DD, so I have no idea what has been going on with him. But the issues are sitting here waiting to be read.

Like it? Of course you do, it's DD playin in the snow. But in the off-chance you don't, share why. As always, thanks for looking.

Happy Holidays to all the funny book lovers, your families, and everybody else.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

R.I.P. Jerry Robinson, Joe Simon, and Eduardo Barreto

The world of comics has seen many interesting events and developments. A lot of which was to be cheered. But we've also seen much sadness. We've lost some people who've had amazing talent.

The comic world is still feeling the pain of losing Jerry Robinson, and just a week later, fans of comics would wake up to read about the loss of both Joe Simon and Eduardo Barreto. From Batman and the Joker to Captain America to the Teen Titans, these individuals work will never be forgotten.

I never met any of these gentlemen, but have felt their impact on comics. And even beyond the pages, they've inspired many young men and women to work in comics and that's priceless.

Amazing talents and true inspirations. Rest in peace to you gentlemen.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cover of the Week for 12-14-11

Once I realized one of my highly anticipated titles was being released this week, my choice for this week was simple. One of my favorite characters, Carnage, returns to wreak havoc and appears to spread terror across the nation in this first issue of Carnage U.S.A. I'm gonna cheat this week because I'm picking both the standard cover as well as the variant. I know you're thinking "what?" But it's ok. One, it's Carnage, and he's awesome. Two, I can do that. So check out the covers below.

The first image is due to the hand of Clayton Crain who definitely has a style that showcases the symbiote. The second is by Humberto Ramos who has doing excellent work on Amazing Spider-Man. I fell in love with his variant the moment I saw the preview for this mini-series. Great pieces by both artists. Carnage is back. Who remembers the line "paint the town red?" I do and I have no doubt this will be a fun ride.

Like them? Of course you do. Let me know what you think. Thanks for looking.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Moon Knight #8 Review

Moon Knight is good. You should be reading it. Really, that’s all I should say, but that won’t do anything for you. This is an awesome series. I love Moony and have been enjoying the hell out of this series. Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev have been handling our mentally troubled hero with style. Visually assisting them are Matt Hollingsworth, on colors, and VC’s Cory Petit handling the lettering.

There are two specific aspects of this title that I absolutely love and those are Marc Spector’s personality issues and his interaction with Echo. And those aren’t always separate as shown by Bendis having “Spider-Man” direct Marc to kiss Echo during a conversation. There are quite a few characters with distinct personalities, especially of the crazier variety, that I gravitate to and Moon Knight is one of them. There are a few panels early in the book within which Marc has a “meeting.” Keep reading and you’ll figure out why I put quotes around those two.

If you don’t have any knowledge of this series, here’s a little background just to catch you up. If you have been reading, you’ll probably want to skip the next two paragraphs. That’s unless you just love my writing, which is likely. That’s not at all conceited, I assure you. You’ve no doubt heard many comic readers comment on how many heroes work in New York, right? Sure you have. So being the rebel that he is, Marc Spector set up shop in Los Angeles. His civilian guise keeps busy as the creator and producer of the television show “Legends of the Khonshu.”

His personality issues are well documented, and recently his split personalities took the forms of the fellow heroes and Avengers Captain America, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. Since his westward move, he came across the body of Ultron, which was being delivered to the L.A. kingpin of crime, who was revealed in the previous issue to be Count Nefaria. Tagging along are Buck, an ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, who works on Marc’s tech. Moony has also been teamed up with Echo, the former Avenger who went by the name Ronin. And their working relationship is developing into much more. Goodness all around, this I know. You all caught up on the crazy train? Good, now back to this issue.

Moon Knight, Echo, and Buck have been making plays on Count Nefaria’s operation and recently caught one of his higher ups, Snapdragon, and capturing video evidence of him acquiring illegal tech. Moony and Echo also hit one of his bases, about which little detail was revealed. What’s shown in the panels makes it out to be a drug lab. They break through the window and kick a little butt. Baddies are hit with elbows and feet a plenty. We see some nice panel-by-panel shots of Echo throwing a match and burning up stacks of money. This is probably one of the only times money being burned looks good. The final page sets up what should be an awesome issue #9.

Examining the visuals, the three heroes within Marc are shown in lighter shades of color to distinguish between them, and you know, the real world. It’s a nice visual touch by Maleev who has a style I like to define as gritty, which fits a Moon Knight book quite well. I should say I’m not the biggest Maleev fan, but I like his style to a point. It does fit certain books, but there are times when I just don’t care for it. That’s not a knock against him, his style, or the book; it’s just my preference at times. I do have one question, what happened to the hand mark on Echo’s face? I had thought that to be some sort of permanent marking. I don’t know the full story on it, so maybe I missed something somewhere.

As stated earlier, there’s a page early in the book where Marc has a “meeting” with his internal heroes. Our lead is walking with one of his employees when he sees the heroes standing at the end of the hall. The next panel has Marc tell her that he has a meeting. She asks him with whom since she schedules his meetings. The panel shows Marc looking down the empty hall. It’s a nice sequence by our creative team showing the differences in realities.

There’s nothing wrong with this book. I don’t say that to mean I was looking for something to be wrong or that there would inherently be something off about, it’s just a good book. As I’ve pretty much abandoned a rating system, I’ll just say I recommend hitting your shop and BUYING it. Grab the previous issues as well. With the series being only 8 issues in, I doubt it would take much effort to track them all down. That’s unless you prefer trades, which I have no info on at all. Happy reading, funny book fans.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cover of the Week for 12-7-11

Yo Joe! That had to be done. This week I present something that goes back to my childhood (waging huge Joe vs. Cobra wars) but also represents a current interest (collecting Joes). My choice for cover of the week for this week is the photo variant cover for G.I. Joe #8. This is one of IDW's G.I. Joe toy covers showcasing some plastic Joe vs. Cobra action. Check it out.

This cover features Stalker driving the A.W.E. Striker with Scarlett firing from the side along with Roadblock and Duke. Opposing them is Cobra Commander in a Hiss Tank along with Baroness, Storm Shadow, and Destro. Classic characters (figures) and vehicles. I will admit it's kind of odd they have vintage figures mixed with 25th Anniversary/Modern Era ones. But they got the same effect. Sorry Snake Eyes fans (myself included), he is absent from the picture. But then again, it's Snake Eyes, he could be hiding in front of the Hiss ready to strike.

Like it? How can you not? Let me know what you think. Thanks for looking.

Oh, and one more thing...YOOOOO JOE!

Monday, December 5, 2011

End of November hauls

My wallet has seen plenty action in the last two weeks. I got in a comic order from as well as picked up a ton of books from my shop. And never far behind were some nice toy purchases. Check em out.

This first one was my online order. Lots of goodies here. Plenty holes I needed to fill in. Some highlights are the X-books, Mike Carey's Faker, some G.I. Joe, a few Supergirl books I was missing, and the Elric series I wanted to try after I picked one of the issues for my CotW feature (which you can find here...

This next one is everything I cleared out from my box at my lcs plus other stuff I grabbed off the shelf. It's mostly Invincible Iron Man, Journey into Mystery, and the Avengers titles. Plus the third issue of Shinku.

And finally, the other goodies. You've already seen the two comic packs, but since I hadn't opened them yet, I threw them in the picture too. I'm thinkin about painting Mag's hands, I feel like he should've had some gloves on. Then there's my man Wolverine, I've been wanting an him in his Astonishing costume since the MU line began. His claws seem longer, but I wish there were separated. I suppose I'll just try to do it myself. And I meant to go back and pick up the regular MU Fantastic 4 team set, but I forgot. I'll have to grab that another time. I was not expecting to find the G.I. Joe 30th Crimson Hiss when I went to TRU, but I'm glad I did.

Here's a couple pix of the Crimson Hiss. I took these to post on

I also bought three games on the day after thanksgiving which were Kane & Lynch: Dog Days (on clearance at Target for $6), Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions ($15 at Best Buy), both for 360, and Metroid: Other M ($5 at Best Buy).

Let me know what you think. Thanks for looking.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cover of the Week for 11-30-11

Happy New Comic Day! The cover I chose for this week kinda snuck up on me. I was looking through the covers, narrowing down my list of choices and then boom, I saw this one. Here is my man Wolverine going up against a dragon. Didn't see this coming at all. But it's ok. I like Wolverine and I like dragons. This is Ron Garney's cover to Wolverine #19. Take a look.

I've been a fan of Garney for sometime. I've come across his work on Amazing Spider-Man and Wolverine. When he's teamed with Jason Aaron on Wolverine titles, it's been some good stuff. I haven't read this series though. There really is no reason behind that at all. I like the character and the creative team. I might have to look into that.

Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? Or have another choice? Let me know. Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cover of the Week for 11-23-11

This cover stood out almost immediately. It's no secret that I love the X-Men and this week I present a cover from an X-book featuring two characters who are not only two of my favorite X-Men, but two of my favorite characters in all of comics. Ladies and gentlemen of comics, I present the cover for Astonishing X-Men #44. Take a look.

This interesting piece is credited to Mike McKone. It features Cyclops and Storm engaging in quite a kiss. I can't wait to read this and see what is happening here.

Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? Or have another choice? Let me know. Thanks for looking.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Comic Haul for 11-19-11

This is actually the majority of the books I picked up last week. I didn't take a pic of the books I picked up Wednesday. Grabbed some Black Panther issues I missed and some Mighty Thor which I hadn't checked out since the first issue. Also a few issues of Fear Itself, which I am behind on. Rounding out the haul are several DCnU books and a few other titles. Also grabbed the Widowmaker mini and the first two issues of Huntress. I'm looking forward to reading both of those. And that's not really sayin much considering I'm looking forward to reading it all.

After leaving my shop, I made my usual stop over at Target to see if they had anything new and they sure did. Grab these two MU comic packs. I really only wanted Taskmaster and Silver Samurai, but whatever. I could've bought them solo off ebay, but it would've cost me about the same with shipping likely. Might as well take the extra figures.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cover of the Week for 11-16-11

Happy New Comic Day! Now go BUY some comics. This week sees the cover of a book representing one of the best gaming franchises of this generation. I present to you Mass Effect: Invasion #2.

The credit for this lovely piece goes to Massimo Carnevale. It features Aria and she does not appear to be happy. Don't you just feel the energy from her? The colors are simply amazing. And look at those eyes? Beautiful.

Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? Or have another choice? Let me know. Thanks for looking.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Comic Haul for 11-12-11

I'm still workin on catching up on a ton of comics. I've been doin good with that and with clearing out my pull-box. Shouldn't be too much longer before I'm fully caught up. Here's my haul from yesterday.

I had several X-books including the Magneto: Not A Hero, Avenging Spider-Man #1 (with a review coming shortly), some DCnU #2's & #3's, and a lot of G.I. Joe. I am REALLY behind on Joe action. What'd you pick up this week?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cover of the Week for 11-9-11

Happy New Comic Day! Celebrate it by going to your lcs and buying some books. There weren't many covers that really struck me for this second entry of Cover of the Week. But that doesn't mean there weren't some good ones. After taking a look at this week's releases, I picked the cover of Huntress #3. Take a look.

I will admit that I am not a big fan of Guillem March. His style doesn't always appeal to me. But for this nice cover, it does. I am a fan of Huntress, so that may have contributed to it.

Love it? Hate it? Any other picks? Let me know. Thanks for looking.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Comic haul for 11-5-11

Hit my lcs today and picked up a ton of books that have been sittin in my box. The haul was a mix of older and newer books. I am behind quite a bit with some books, but have been catching up. That's why you'll see some books in the picture that you probably read some time ago.
This haul was dominated by Amazing Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men, and X-Men Legacy. I grabbed an issue of Captain America I was missing, and recent issues of Moon Knight (which I've really been diggin) and Daredevil. Also included are some Marvel Annual issues, Astonishing X-Men, some DCnU #2's and Spawn. And I can't forget about the new Previews too.

What'd you pick up this week? What are your favorites for the week?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cover of the Week for 11-2-11

Happy New Comic Day! Have you hit your lcs yet to pick up books? Some of you probably have and I'm sure those who haven't are dying to do so. To tide you over, I introduce one of my weekly features, "Cover of the Week." Who doesn't love to browse the covers of the weekly releases? If you don't, well I don't know what to tell you. So every Wednesday, after I hit my lcs or checking the covers online, I will pick the cover that stood out the most. I'll post the image as well as some info on the book including my thoughts on the cover and/or the book itself. There could be any number of factors at play for this, so don't think you can predict my choices. Well, you can try, but yeah.

After perusing the covers for this week, which included plenty of nice choices, I have chosen the cover to Boom Studio's Elric: The Balance Lost #5A.  The credit to this great piece goes to series' artist Francesco Biagini.

I actually have not read this series and have no knowledge of anything happening within it except for the issue summaries I just read. I like the facial expression on our guy here. Look at the eyes and the grin. The sword looks great too. The aspect I think truly sets it off is the contrast from one side to the other. The lighter portion into the darker side. And it has the perfect touch of red. Lovely piece. As I've stated, I have no previous knowledge of this series, but this cover has enticed me to check it out. Plus, it's fantasy setting is not something that's been apart of my regular reading. So there you have it.

But wait, there's more. As this is the debut edition of this feature, I figured I'd add in my runner-up. This week also sees the release of Hack Slash #9. It wasn't alone though. Fans get their pick with the other choice being the piece below which features Cassie, Bomb Queen, Dr. Weir, and April Fool.

Why this cover? Because it looks good and it was drawn by wonderful artist Kristin Allen. You can catch more of Allen's art at or follow her on twitter @FoxyArt.

Like either of these choices? Or have another pick? All (well most) comments are always welcome. Thanks for looking.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Shinku #2 Review

It’s been said you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; but you might reconsider that when you see Lee Moder’s cover for Shinku #2.  Moder shows our titular character dual wielding katanas and standing knee-deep in vampire blood with several bodies and heads floating around her.  The artist also depicts our protagonist looking up at the reader with a subtle smirk almost as if she’s beckoning for another attacker.  Simply put, it’s a beautiful cover.  Awesome cover, awesome book.

The book begins with Shinku giving Davis a brief history lesson on samurai.  As someone who has some knowledge of the samurai, I appreciate Ron Marz throwing that into the story.  The best part is that it doesn’t come off as a lecture.  It serves to provide her new partner with some background info on Shinku and her heritage, while also giving readers a true account of the samurai.  The issue ends with Davis inquiring about samurai and her implying his role will become more important.

This second issue ups the action several notches as we see our hero charge into one of Lord Asano’s strongholds.  The true question is for what purpose?  After the reveal of Lord Asano at the end of the previous issue, you might expect her infiltration to be an offensive assault.  You’d be partially right as she takes out nine of Asano’s men in the process and gets a few more licks in during her escape. 

After issue one, readers are still in the dark about what Davis’ work in Tokyo is as well as what he will mean to Shinku’s vampire removal objective.  In my review of the first issue, I speculated that his work will relate to how he will aid our leading lady.  Marz doesn’t explicitly answer that question in this issue, but leaves readers with Shinku handing Davis a shuriken she tossed at Asano; which is covered in his blood.  He then places it inside a plastic baggy.  This can only suggest his work within the realm of science.

Moder, along with fellow art team members Matthew Waite and Michael Atiyeh, do another remarkable job on the visuals.  We see some unique facial expressions from our characters, especially Davis.  He appears shocked in several panels as he’s reacting to the events around.  And who doesn’t love the look on a vampire’s face as he feels his undead life ending?  Atiyeh’s use of red really sets the book off, from Shinku’s lips to her fingernail polish and half of her uniform.  And we can’t forget the blood, of which there is a lot.  I’m left to wonder however, why they chose not to return to the classic look for the flashbacks as they did in the first issue.  It really fit the time period they were showing.  That is not a complaint as it still looks good.

Health issues in the family of one of the creators delayed the third issue.  There is no question that family issues and health take priority.  All appears to be well on that end and the issue is likely to hit stands sometime next month.  Be on the lookout for updates on that front.

I give this book a 5 out 5.

Shinku #1 Review

Shinku is the latest creator-owned book from writer Ron Marz.  Published by Image Comics, the series was co-created by the artist Lee Moder.  Reading that Marz was doing another Indy book was enough to interest me.  Once I read the synopsis, it was an easy decision to add it to my pull-list.

Shinku tells the story of the titular character who is the last member of the Tadataka Clan.  Centuries ago, her clan warred with the Yagyu Clan, headed by the Lord Asano.  Led by Lord Shingen, the Tadataka Clan struggled to kill their enemies as this rival clan was made of vampires and were able to endure and annihilate them.

Modern day Tokyo is the setting for Shinku and her companion Oshima’s work to eliminate the undead.  Davis, an American in Tokyo for work, enters the fold when Shinku saves his life from Hideko during an attempt to go fang deep in his neck.  Davis’ contribution to their efforts is unclear at this early stage.  Since the nature of his work in the city is unknown, it could likely play a role. 

Now you might be expecting a lot of action considering you have samurai and vampires in the equation.  You will be slightly disappointed in that regard.  There is not much on that front outside of Shinku decapitating Hideko and a flashback of the clans at war.  In the flashback, readers see the victorious moments of Lord Asano and his followers along with his beheading of Lord Shingen. 

I can’t recall ever having come across Moder’s pencils before, but it fits the book quite well.  Matthew Waite and Michael Atiyeh round out the art team with them doing the digital inking and coloring, respectively.  Their combined efforts deliver a nice visual tone for not only the modern tale, but also the two flashback spreads.  They went with a look that differentiates between the two time periods.  That is always a nice touch when a book must jump between times.  For those particular pages, our artists work within Japanese samurai lore and achieve a look resembling ancient art.

If you follow Ron Marz’ work, you are likely aware of his appreciation of not only samurai, but various aspects of Japanese culture.  He has written a number of books featuring characters rooted in the samurai tradition.  I highly recommend this series as not only a fan of Marz’ writing; but also as someone who’s enjoying the story and look forward to the following issues. 

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.