Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Comic Book Secret Santa

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! And happy whatever holiday you celebrate. Tis the season of giving. In that spirit, our favorite comic book characters put in for vacation time from their usual antics to do their Secret Santa shopping. Let's see how that turned out.

I'm sorry, I thought people
would've liked the change.

To: Black Canary
From: Alfred

My dear Dinah, for you I have a(-nother) new costume. I have no doubt you've become quite accustomed to your recent look, but I must suggest another change. This look is not becoming of a hero of your stature. I have taken the liberty of making another costume for you which is certainly more fitting for a Bird of Prey. As the rest of the team would say "kick some..." *ahem* "...ass." Do take care.

Nuff said.

To: Johnny
From: Reed

Johnny, I've designed some contraceptives attuned to your specific DNA. Stop laughing Johnny. No, it isn't my place to dictate what you do in your off time and with whom you do it with. I do, however, suggest you protect yourself. Without going into detail, I deduce that your powers may burn away protection and possibly anything else. While Franklin and Valeria would love a cousin, I think we can all agree that a little Torch (heaven help us if that were plural) running around would be a monumental disaster. I have not discussed this with Sue or Ben, so this is between us. Please do wear these. For everyone's sake.

Herald? Herald?! Are you listening
to me? Turn that device off.

To: Silver Surfer
From: Your friends, the Fantastic Four

Dearest friend Norrin, we bring you the gift of entertainment. We're sure you get bored, so we fitted your board with an amped up XM Radio. While you're out heralding and scouting planets (preferably not Earth) for your master, the Devourer of Worlds, you'll have access to what Johnny and Ben refer to as the "hottest jams." Johnny's taste is quite questionable at best, but it's the thought. Enjoy.

For the man who
has everything.

To: Batman
From: Joker

Hey Bats ol' buddy. Let's say we put our differences aside for a while. For such a great detective, you sure can make some questionable choices. Naughty, naughty. So I got you a little gift, Sidekicks for Dummies. And talk about the gift that keeps on giving. While you read it, I won't even try to kill any of your adopted teammates. As for the rest of Gotham, well that's a different story. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. See ya around Batman.

A steady gig is just what
I need right now.

To: Sara Pezzini
From: Jim Downing (I'm the new Spawn guy over at Image)

I know we haven't met, but I could use your help. I've been getting closer to figuring out who I am, but I could use some assistance. Your detective skills are some of the best in the biz and your other skills would come in handy as well. I know your move to Chicago has been kind of crazy. With all the attention I've received, I've gained a bit of wealth, so money is no object for your services. You've been off in these fantasy lands and dealing with all these other supernatural shenanigans. Hopefully, this will help you get a bit more stabilized. Oh, and don't worry, I won't tell anybody about the Witchblade.

I am grateful,
Asgardians. I love
the new toys.

To: Hela
From: All the Asgardians not doing anything with thyselves right now.

Our gift to thee be some damn(-ed) souls. Most of thy clan has been thirsty for battle. Enemies appeared. There was bloodshed. Thou now has souls.

Which of these gifts would you have liked? Do you think these gifts came from the heart? Let the world know. Happy holidays to everyone. Safe travels. Happy reading.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cover of the Week

If you survived the end of the world and you're reading this, good for you. If you didn't survive and you're reading this, I don't really know what to tell you except, well...good for you. In other words, blah blah blah, let's talk comics. It was a HUGE week for releases, due in part to Marvel's double-shipping schedule. But that's a story for another time. Beyond that load of Marvelous titles, a new book caught my eye. I saw the first two issues of Image Comics' Comeback, so I figured I'd check them out.

One of the many books I purchased this week was Astonishing X-Men #57 by Phil Noto. The center of attention is a young star by the name of Warbird.

I can't recall the first time I read a book Noto worked on, but the more I see his work, the more I appreciate it. And I'm getting a healthy dose of it in Dark Horse's Ghost. I am also a fan of Warbird; her character and design. I want to see her kick as much butt as possible. And she does that well. Plus, swords as a weapon of choice don't hurt. The aspect that stands out the most are the eyes. There's a lot conveyed through them here.

Thanks for looking and happy reading. Safe travels to anyone traveling for the holidays.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cover of the Week

There weren't a lot of covers that stood out this week. It came down to this one and another pretty easily. Here is Avengers Arena #1 by Dave Johnson.

What I like about this is the yearbook photo style. And of course the characters being x-ed out doesn't hurt. And really, isn't that the best part? Sure it is. I can also appreciate the looks on their faces. Some of the characters are static, but some characters are looking at each other. And I'm not positive, but I'm quite sure two pairs of characters are looking at each other.

I had no intention of buying this book, but I flipped through it briefly and figured sure. I am familiar with Kev Walker's art from his run on Thunderbolts. I can't recall much experience with Dennis Hopeless' writing, but I'll try it out. I've been pretty open about trying new books and I'm digging Marvel NOW!, so what's another book? Let's do it.

Thanks for looking. Happy reading.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cover of the Week

Happy Day After New Comic Book Day! That's an official day, right? Well that doesn't matter. I'm still reading books from last week since I've been playing Xbox for the past few days. That'll be made up this weekend though. Lots of good books I'm looking forward to reading.

One of the books I'll be reading is All New X-Men #3. And who drew this good-looking cover? The team of Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger and Marte Gracia. Take a look.

There are two pieces of information of which you should be aware. The first is I love Cyclops. That's actually well documented. The second bit is I've been a fan of Immonen for sometime. If you read my book of the week post for All New X-Men #1, you already know that. His work along with Von Grawbadger and Gracia has made for a good-looking book.

I like to see Scott let loose with the blasting and such. Any artist depicting that will likely get cool points from me. I've never seen it like this though. Here, Scott is just radiating awesomeness. Stuart has the blasts all over the place. The coloring in the explosion and lasers makes the cover pop.

And that's that comic book family. Happy reading to you all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cover of the Week

Happy New Comic Book Day! Books were delayed at my shop due to Thanksgiving. Well...thanks. But they eventually came in, just a bit late. New books are in hand and set up for their reading order. Now we move on.

And what do we move on to? My cover of the week of course. Take a look at the retailer incentive cover for Ghostbusters #15 by Tristan Jones.

If you've been reading Ghostbusters, you'll recognize Jones' name from the back-up features running through the series. Once I saw this cover, it made the cut and won out after browsing the rest. If you don't recognize the image, it is from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon. It is near the ending of the intro where all these ghosts, ghouls, goblins with Slimer and Stay-Puft at the top, face-off against the Ghostbusters. Jones adds something to it though. The entities are certainly grittier and scarier, if you will, than they looked in the cartoon.

As a kid, the Real Ghostbusters cartoon had me hooked. I'm still waiting for more of it to be released on dvd. Just to see this image again is cool enough. I have to hand it to Jones for taking me back. Although it may not be far back considering I have some of the series on dvd and watched it within the last year or so. But you know what I mean.

Thanks for looking and happy reading.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cover of the Week

Happy Sunday Funday! If you're not having fun, you should definitely be read some comic books. I've been going through some of my books for the week and have reviewed some of those with more to come. Feel free to check those out.

As I browsed the releases for the week, I narrowed down my choices to two books. The winner had the edge for two reasons: primary character and level of activity. Because of that, I chose the cover to Minimum Carnage: Omega #1 by Clayton Crain.

Crain has a great hand for drawing symbiotes. The living nature of the symbiotes fits his fluid style. Maybe I'm biased, but who wouldn't want more Carnage running around? All these mini-Carnages pestering Scarlet Spider and Venom is quite a sight. The one right above the UPC stands out because you can almost hear it screaming as it joins the mob.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow #19 Review

Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow #19 is the next chapter of the "Target: Snake Eyes" storyline running through this title as well as G.I. Joe. To catch you up quickly, while falsely being believed to be dead, Snake Eyes returned to his clan, the Arashikage. Upon discovering he was very much alive, the Joes think he abandoned them and Storm Shadow believed his sword-brother to have truly rejoined him and their clan. The events of the last issue as well as this one call both of those notions into question.

Chuck Dixon has proven himself capable of handling the G.I. Joe franchise for IDW Publishing. Here however, there are several bits of the overall story tied together that don't mesh well. The ending set up something we should have gotten in this issue. Scarlett stating that she believes Snake Eyes is working deep cover and Helix's progress on the tail of the silent ninja are the only redeeming elements of the issue.

Alex Cal and Romulo Fajardo Jr., artist and colorist, respectively, give the book a look that resembles the work of Mike Deodato Jr. That aspect fits this title because it is about two of the most popular ninja in fiction and their clan. There's a lot of secrecy involved, so the use of shadows is fitting. Beyond that, there aren't many remarkable visuals.

I recommend staying away from this issue. You won't miss a beat by skipping this book. My primary complaint is that it doesn't add much to the crossover. For a book about two highly-efficient ninja, this book doesn't work well. Each issue of a story may not have complete focus on the main character, and there's nothing wrong with that. But in those cases, the books tend to add significant elements to the overall story. So pick this up at your own risk.

Indestructible Hulk #1 Review

This was a big week of comics for me. I brought home 21 new comic books, including this last-minute addition. This just might be the most books I've had at once. It makes for some good holiday reading.

I'll preface this review by telling you I've never been much of a Hulk fan. Before this issue, I can count the number of Hulk books I own and I'd still have extra fingers. With that said, you might be asking yourself why pick up Indestructible Hulk#1? And that's a great question. I'll answer that question will another question: what's in a name? Well in this case, the names attached bring with them a history of quality work. I've enjoyed writer Mark Waid and artist Leinil Francis Yu's work for sometime. I try out new books all the time and I will certainly take note if either of their names are on a project. Joining them are colorist Sunny Gho and letterer Chris Eliopoulos.

The relaunched Hulk book features Bruce Banner attempting to make peace with the Hulk. It's cool because he realizes he Waid utilizes some interesting aspects to present the story which begins the character's path as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. With my limited knowledge of Hulk history, I don't know how the elements in this book have been used before. One of those elements is Banner acknowledging his place among the other super-scientists in the Marvel Universe. This is different because I can't recall him ever trying to apply his skills to the world.

Leinil Francis Yu brings a style that's somewhat gritty and very expressive. Sunny Gho's colors give Yu's pencils a darker and flatter look which serves the story well. My only real problems are a couple panels where I lost track of what was happening. Beyond that, the art team provides some quality visuals.

I'm curious to see what the creative team does with Banner and Hulk on his new journey. So I'll be sticking around for a few issues. I think Hulk fans will like this series. Opening a new chapter in Banner's life will appeal to new readers as well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book of the Week

Here we are on New Comic Book Day Eve and two days before Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it anyway). Speaking of new comic books, a subject I discussed on twitter yesterday, there are 20 comics I'll be picking up this week. You know what I'm thankful for? A holiday weekend that allows me to read all 20 books without worry of work or school. I foresee some good reading ahead of me.

Before we get to my favorite, take a quick look at the competition for the week. All New X-Men #1, Amazing Spider-Man #697, Batgirl #14, Batman #14, Extermination #6, Gambit #5, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #184, Green Lantern Corps #14, Invincible #97, New Avengers #33, Thief of Thieves #10, Thor: God of Thunder #1, Venom #27, Wolverine and the X-Men #20 and X-Men Legacy #1. With all that, let's give a round of applause to writer Brian Michael Bendis, penciller Stuart Immonen, inker Wade Von Grawbadger, colorist Marte Gracia and letterer Cory Petit. All New X-Men #1 opens the next chapter for the X-universe.

I'll admit I questioned Bendis handling the X-Men when this move was announced. Granted, this is just the first issue so we haven't had much time with the X-Men from the past. But I obviously enjoyed this issue and look forward to the next. If you're a long-time X-fan (as I am) and was hesitant about this: pick this up.

Cyclops has been liberated, he re-joins Magneto, Emma Frost and Magik in recruiting the newly mutated citizens of the world. The Cyclops fan and X-Man in me immediately fell in love with a three particular panels in which Cyke declares his stand on mutants in the world and the X-Men. Immonen's depiction of Summers making the "X" with his forearms is an image I won't forget. And I can thank the art team for that.

Stuart Immonen and Wade Von Grawbadger have collaborated before and you can expect the same high quality level of work here. And who doesn't want more Immonen art? His characters look great all around. From a storytelling standpoint, his pencils convey the script well. Marte Gracia adds in his colors to really make the book come alive.

I'm looking forward to what this book will bring, even with my previously stated reservations. Long live the X-Men.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cover of the Week

Happy New Comic Day! On Monday, I looked at the releases for the week just to see how many books I'd likely be picking up. That number may have changed as I looked over the covers for this post. There are a ton of good looking books hitting shelves today. Marvel has more coming from the NOW! movement. Beyond that, there are plenty of great Indie books including one of my favorites, Thief of Thieves #10 from Image Comics. You can find me on Twitter talking more about the rest of the books in stores today.

I'm sure you skipped ahead to see the beautiful piece from Ryan Ottley. If you actually read first, now you can check out the cover on a book I like to call Invincible #97.

I like when artists do what Ottley did here, which was present the character in two fashions by using a reflective surface. I can't think of a time when I didn't like how an artist used that. For this cover, the main characters image is seen in blood. The blood itself looks great as well. Another interesting bit is he appears to have a different costume on in his reflection. All I know about this issue is it delves into the character's origin. I'm a bit behind on reading this series, so I won't get to this one for a while.

What do you think? Let us know. Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Book of the Week

As we get ready for this week's releases to hit shelves, here's one last piece of comic book goodness to keep your fangirl/fanboy hearts pumping. I know a lot of people will have all that stuff about creators, fans and cosplayers in mind, but let's shine some light on something fun for a bit as I highlight my book of the week.

Here's the list of books I picked up: Avengers #33, Avenging Spider-Man #14, AvX: Consequences #5, Batwing #14, Detective Comics #14, G.I. Joe #19, Iron Man #1(NOW!), New Avengers #32, Scarlet Spider #11 and X-Men #38. My favorite read of the week was X-Men #38 written by Seth Peck, drawn by Paul Azaceta, colored by Rico Renzi and lettered by Joe Caramagna.

After the events of the previous run, Domino decides to take a break from the team. I like this move because Domino's a fun character who hasn't had this much attention in quite some time. Pairing Domino and Daredevil might raise questions as to how they'd even cross each other's paths. The answer lies in the writing. Peck makes it work. An underground casino for the villainous spandex crowd? Sounds good to me. Even though they have different purposes for being there, Domino and Daredevil find themselves teaming up. Daredevil was quick to refer to it as a team-up, while Domino was quick to reject that. That's until the end of the issue at which point they discover their mission is bigger than they originally imagined.

I have to give credit to the creative team for the villain cameos. I always appreciate a Wrecking Crew appearance. They're a team of villains that should receive more attention. Cameos by Constrictor and Tigershark round out my favorite appearances.

Visually, Azaceta and Renzi provide solid work throughout the issue. The action sequences are conveyed well. There are two panels inparticular of which I took note. The first depicts DD taking out some security guards. He extends a baton to the side in both directions break the guard's visors knocking them out. This is coupled with Caramagna's sfx; a "krack" to each of the guard's heads. The second scene may be my favorite that Azaceta has drawn. He has the Wrecking Crew getting ready for action. Wrecker is up front with his trusty crowbar. Thunderball is on his right, complete with twirling wrecking ball. Off to the left sitting at the bar are Piledriver with a drink and Bulldozer cracking his knuckles.

If you've been enjoying this title, I'd recommend to keep picking it up. The set-up for the next issue should make this a fun little tale. Let the world know what you think. Thanks for looking.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cover of the Week

Happy (post) New Comic Book Day! The first Wednesday of November was big. Not only did a ton of new books come out (of course), but included in there were several series debuts. I'm curious about a few of them. If you picked up or plan on picking up a #1 this week, let the world know.

Let's welcome the talented Gabrielle Dell Otto to the winner's circle for his cover for Avenging Spider-Man #14.

Spider-Man inside a dinosaurs mouth? What is this? Yes, Spider-Man is headed to the Savage Land for all types of prehistoric shenanigans. Here, Spidey is standing on the tongue and holding the mouth open. Can you imagine what's going through Spidey's head as he's a muscle spasm away from being a meal? This dino's mouth is clearly watering for what could be a cue horrible sticky meal pun nice meal.

Dell Otto also did the interior for this issue. That should be a treat for his fans. I can't remember the last book he drew besides Secret War.

Let me know what you think. Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cover of the Week

I hope you enjoyed my Book of the Week post. Here's some more comic book goodness for you. I could say there are plenty of good looking books on shelves today, but that rings true every week.

Here is Mark Brooks' variant cover for AvX: Consequences #4.

Here are the aspects of this cover that won me over:

1. It's drawn by Mark Brooks

2. It's Magneto

3. It's Magneto drawn by Mark Brooks!

No, that last one is not cheating. This cover has a lot going for it. I love how Mags' eyes are lit up. There's all kinds of stuff going on around him. He's ready to do some damage and I want to be there for it. We all know Mark Brooks is pretty awesome. He did two covers this week and I was torn at first about which to choose. I almost posted both, but I had to pick one.

Let me know what you think. Thanks for looking.

Book of the Week for 10-24-12

Happy New Comic Book Day! And Happy Halloween as well. Before we get to some comic book goodness, I just want to send some love to our friends on the east coast as they deal with a force of nature which has already claimed lives and done massive amounts of damage. We're sending well wishes your way.

As usual, before I reveal the best read, I'll go over the other comics which found a home in my collection. Amazing Spider-Man #696, Astonishing X-Men #55, Avengers #32, AvX: Consequences #3, Captain America #19, Gambit #4, Invincible Iron Man #527, Punisher: War Zone #1, Secret Avengers #33, Invincible #96, Spawn #224, Cobra #18, Extermination #5 and Ghostbusters 100-Page Spooktacular. Sadly, I'm behind on two of those titles, so their newest releases were not read and thus did not qualify. It happens.

My favorite read of the week came from DC Comics. That's pretty rare considering the quality of the New 52. I have to give it to the creative team behind I, Vampire #13. Joshua Hale Fialkov, Andrea Sorrentino, and Marcelo Maiolo have been doing quality work. I'm reading nine DC books and this one is near the top of the list for consistency. I have no doubt that it's one of the better books of the New 52.

This issue is a game-changer. If you've been reading, you've seen how the book has progressed through the first 12 issues. Credit to Fialkov for the overall tale and the characters. The events of the previous issue left Mary, formerly Queen of the vampires, powerless. This issue begins with the focus on her settling into life as a human. She reveals aspects about vampires that I can't say I've ever come across before. As the book progresses, Andrew comes back into the picture. This transition is where things change and you'll want to jump on board to see how.

Visually, Sorrentino and Maiolo work well together. I've already mentioned the consistency this title has brought. That extends beyond the writing to Sorrentino's pencils. Maiolo's colors add that sense of darkness and mystery. His shadows serve the book well. There's a two-page spread where Mary is just sitting in a chair. That may not sound exciting, but the image conveys a lot about the character's current state. It appears she's dwelling on her new role. It's simple, but powerful.

This is going up late, but even though Halloween books are here, I still wanted to post it. And let's be honest, it having been out a week doesn't make it less of an entertaining read. Now get out there and buy some books. Happy reading and thanks for looking.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cover of the Week

New Comic Book Day has come and gone. I hope it was good for everyone. I picked up a ton of books and can't wait to read them. Two books I ordered didn't come in, but that happens unfortunately.

Now let's get to some serious business. Yes, it's Cover of the Week. Sometimes a cover can sell a book. Sometimes a cover will keep a book on the shelf. But that's pretty rare. Or is it? Check out Phil Noto's cover for Astonishing X-Men #55.

Noto's cover depicts the X-Men as part of the ammo belt for a weapon. That by itself gets my vote. On the belt are Wolverine, Iceman, Gambit, Northstar and Warbird. It does tie into the ongoing story; you'll know how if you're reading this title. I'm curious about the language going down the cover just under the trigger. We'll to just have to read to find out what it means.

What do you think? Do you have another pick in mind? Let the world know. Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Book of the Week for 10-17-12

Happy New Comic Book Day! Yes, new comics are out. But before you head to your lcs, keep reading. You're going to want to make note of this book in the slightest chance that you did not pick it up last week. Which of course sounds crazy, but you know, it happens.

Before we get to the champ, take a look at the competition: The Activity #9, AvX: Consequences #2, Batwoman #13, Birds of Prey #13, Captain Marvel #5, Daredevil #19, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #183, Hawkeye #3, Justice League #13, New Avengers #31, Nightwing #13, Shinku #5, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow #18, Supergirl #13, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #16, Uncanny X-Men #20 and Venom #26.

You already know there were several good reads in there. Some of the highlights were: AvX: Consequences #2, Birds of Prey #13, Daredevil #18, Hawkeye #3, Shinku #5 and Supergirl #13. This isn't to say I didn't enjoy some of the other books, but these were the best reads of the week. But of course one has to rise above the others.

Let's give a round of applause to the creative team behind Daredevil #19: Mark Waid, Chris Samnee and Javier Rodriguez. This issue was another homerun. Just look back at all the industry awards this title has taken home this year and you'll see that's a common assessment of their work.

Mark Waid and company have been taking Matt Murdock on a journey like he's never been on before. Waid shows off his strong grasp of who Daredevil is, in and out of costume, with some amazing writing. Readers learn why Matt is seemingly losing his mind. I can't speak for everyone, but I've been extremely curious as to what's been going on with Matt in recent issues. The pacing for it all has been handled expertly. It didn't drag on and it wasn't so quick to make you question it.

Chris Samnee has been progressively making me a fan of his work. The man of the hour looks great with and without the mask. Every character has a distinct look. The panels have a nice flow through the pages. Javier Rodriguez' touch just makes it better. The colors of DD's costume look great. When Daredevil is out at night, the city sky is lit up beautifully.

You should definitely pick this up if you haven't. It's a great book. I'll point back to all the industry awards. If you did read this issue, let the world know what you thought and whether you liked it (which I'm sure you did). Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cover of the Week

Happy New Comic Book Day! This week brings something new from a familiar artist. Here is Stjepan Sejic's cover to Sleepy Hollow #1 brought to us by Zenescope Entertainment. You might recognize Sejic's name and style from the beautiful pages of his Witchblade run with writer Ron Marz.

It's the headless horseman people. Headless. Horseman. Need I say more? I really don't NEED to, but of course I will anyway. Check out the black horse. I'm digging the fiery eyes, mouth and nostrils.

The only aspect I would've preferred to see differently is the main weapon. Horseman, especially of the headless variety, like swords. I'm pretty sure it's in the headless horseman guidebook. But he'll do damage with what he has, which includes a chain-whip. And how often do you see one of those? Nice addition if I say so myself. And of course there's the giant moon in the background. Another nice looking piece from a talented artist.

I might look into this series. I'm unfamiliar with series artist Alan Otero, so I'll have to do some research.

What do you all think? Did any of you pre-order this book? I'd love to hear thoughts. Your fellow readers await. Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book of the Week

It was a big week in comics. Surprised? Of course you aren't. I picked up a good amount of books and it was good reading all around for the most part. The books that found a home my collection were Avengers #31, Avenging Spider-Man #13, AvX: Consequences #1, Invincible Iron Man #526, Scarlet Spider #10, Secret Avengers #32, Uncanny Avengers #1, Wolverine and the X-Men #18, X-Men #37, Batman #13, Green Lantern Corps #13 and G.I. Joe #18.

The comic book reading world seems to have reached a consensus and I have to agree. Batman #13 is a damn good read. Easily recommendable. Everything about the book lives up to the hype. The return of Joker is certainly better than expected and it's all unexpected. This may be my favorite Scott Snyder Bat-book. The back-up feature co-written by James Tynion IV just adds to the value of the book by showing the set-up of an event occurring later in the book. And the ending? I didn't think I'd ever see that. This is going to be BIG. You can believe the good reviews are spreading and more people will be looking for this issue as well as the next.

But this isn't all about Snyder's writing. The artists are on point again. Greg Capullo, Fco Plascencia and Jonathan Glapion turn out another good looking issue. Capullo's storytelling can stand on its own if necessary. Not only did this book get my vote for best read, it also got my cover of the week for the art team's very slick cover. Jock, who's certainly no stranger to the Bat-universe, joins co-writers Snyder and Tynion as artist for the back-up.

If you've been curious about Batman, this is definitely the time to jump on. This is also the beginning of a huge crossover spanning multiple books, Death of the Family. I'm pretty sure you'll want to be around for everything that transpires.

What did my fellow readers think of Batman #13? I have yet to come across any comments from anyone displeased with this issue. Any comments always welcome. Thanks for looking.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Comics, Posters, and Toys...Oh My!!

New Comic Book Day was a glorious one for me this week. As the title indicates, get ready for comics, posters, and toys. I'll kick it off with the comics.

I haven't been reading Scarlet Spider, but you better believe I'm picking it up for the Minimum Carnage storyline. Dark Horse Presents #13 is rather redundant because my reason for ordering it was to read the section on Ghost. What I didn't know was it would all be collected in Ghost #0. Which I read last week. But since I have it, I'll of course read the rest of it. I was planning on ordering Saga TPB Vol. 1, but my shop was already on top of that, so I grabbed one.

And the best part? I'm all caught up on comics, so I can actually read these and discuss them in a timely manner. As you can see, I have some good reading ahead of me.

I am a fan of decorating walls with comic posters. If you could see my place, you'd probably fall in love with it. When I walked into my shop yesterday, I noticed they'd put up new posters. The owner pulled some out for me and the X-Men and Carnage posters jumped out to me. Let's just say my love for the X-Men and Carnage has been well documented.

Now on to some toys. You know how I love some action figures, especially Marvel Universe. For those of you who don't know, Hasbro's Marvel Universe toyline consists of G.I. Joe sized (roughly 3.75 inch) representations of Marvel Comics characters. Most of the figures below are from wave 18 (part of series 4). I missed this wave at retail but did fine wave 19, which you can see here. I am a bit of a MOC collector. I limit it to characters I really like, who also look good carded. So Beta Ray Bill got a twin.

All but Magneto came from Hasbro Toy Shop, while he came from Walmart. When I was placing my order, I was $0.05 short of free shipping. The difference between shipping cost and another figure was minimal, so I figured if I'm going to pay that, I'd rather take another toy. I went with Ghost Rider because I wanted to see how I could make him look in black. I grabbed Magneto so I could paint him in his true colors. GR and Mags are from earlier waves, 10 (series 2) and 16 (series 3), respectively. I'll post updates when I'm done with them.

I've been looking forward to Beta Ray Bill since he was announced and I'm not disappointed. His jaw even hinges which is a great touch on a smaller sized figure. Toy Biz had the same feature on their Marvel Legends version. His shoulder pads are attached to his cape. It's a serious issue, just a design aspect to note. If you look at Beast in package, you might be able to see his right leg is warped. In this picture, you can see him leaning a bit. It's easily remedied and as of this posting, he has been fixed. Easy peezy.

I'm digging the new Hulk sculpt. Here's a comparison with the Secret Wars comic pack Hulk. The first one is bulkier and the articulation suffers for it. I like the new paint job too. So my vote goes to the wave 18 Hulk.

So that's my amazing haul for the week. Did you have a great haul you wanna share? Are you reading any of the same comics? What do you think of my decorative material? Are you a toy collector? Let the world know. Thanks for looking.

Cover of the Week

Hey comic readers, New Comic Book Day has come and gone but the fun doesn't have to end there. And fun it was. I got some great stuff, which you'll see shortly. On to the matter at hand. That is Greg Capullo and FCO Plascencia's slick die-cut cover for Batman #13. Check it out.

Once you flipped Joker's stretched out skin, it reveals Batman's always cheery mug. It's just a good looking cover that brings back images of many 90's comics. I remember seeing complaints about Capullo's work at the start of this series. I didn't understand it because I liked what he was doing issue after issue. This cover only adds to what he's brought visually to the number one Bat-book since the New 52 began.

Lots of readers have been curious about what the Joker has been up to since his earlier appearance. I can't wait to read it. The response from the twitterverse has been nothing but positive. That's pretty much expected because this is definitely one of the better DCnU books.

What do you think of Capullo and Plascencia's piece? Let the world know. Thanks for looking.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cover of the Week

Welcome fellow comic readers. This week (ahem, last week), sees the addition of a new name to this illustrious group. Let's give an e-applause to James O'Barr for his work on the cover of Crow #4. The retailer incentive cover too, ooh.

Photo courtesy of mycomicshop.com

I'm not sure I've ever heard of James O'Barr, but I like what he's done here. The reason I chose this cover is simply because it reminds me of Brandon Lee. It really looks just like him. I was quite the fan of Brandon Lee and thought he would've gone on to do so much. But beyond just the resemblance, I like the look on his face. There's a subtle smirk there. Bloody arms? Nothing wrong with that all. And I can't forget the cat facing the wall. I like cats.

What do you think? Are you a fan of the Crow? Let us know. Thanks for looking.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cover of the Week

Are you ready to celebrate some art? You should or I'd expect you'd have little reason to be here otherwise. This one is sort of special in that it comes from an art team I've recently come across and whose work I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of.

Marco Checchetto and Matt Hollingsworth, for your cover to Punisher #16, we would like to welcome you both to this very exclusive club. There's no prize to collect. Nor are there any benefits. But I'm sure that's okay with you guys.

Seriously, look at that. First, it would be hard to ignore the GIANT skull in the background. Then there's Frank holding a gun to Cole's head with blood flowing down the bottom of the cover. I wonder what that means for the story. Hmmm. I also like the reflection of both of the characters in the blood. Nice touch. It's all topped off by the series' colorist Hollingsworth.

As stated, I do own one issue of this series from the Omega Effect crossover (which was good reading) and I liked Checchetto's work there. His pencils and Hollingsworth's colors are a great combination. I've been a fan of Rucka for a while and haven't read much Punisher, so I figured I'd try out the first collected volume. I'm looking forward to reading it.

What do you think of this week's winner? Are you a Punisher reader? What do you think of Rucka, Checchetto, and Hollingsworth's run? Let me know. Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Action Figure Foursome #1: Turtles Named NICK

Welcome to Action Figure Foursome! Here I will put the spotlight on action figures in sets of four. I may briefly review the figures, but it won't be too extensive. While their connections will vary from entry to entry, you can always count on some cool action figures. Well, that's unless I decide to do an entry focusing on horrible figures. It could happen.

For this first entry, let's take a look at the most recent figures I've acquired fitting my (limited) criteria. Say hello to the 2012 Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures from Playmates Toys. These figures are tied to the new Nick cartoon marking the resurgence of the Heroes in a Half-Shell. I grabbed these guys from Wally World for $7.77 each. I passed on the other figures because they don't look good at all.

The biggest issue I have with them is Mikey's height. I can take him being shorter than the others, but he didn't have to be that short. I also don't like how Leo has three katana but they're all different lengths. So much for twin katana.

Leonardo is my favorite turtle for several reasons, but I'm most fond of Donatello's figure. I think Donnie's head-sculpt is the best of the four.

Another issue which can barely be seen here deals with Mikey. His nunchucks don't fit well on his back to the point where they collect some damage squeezing them in. It would've been great if they would have gone with the chain link similar to that of the NECA Mikey figure.

Their weapons are pretty cool because it reminds me of the TMNT toys as a kid that had weapons on a weapon tree. Leo and Raph's are done in gray while Mikey's are more orange and Donnie's are colored in brown.

Overall, they're pretty nice figures and there is even a new van which could definitely make for some cool playtime. They have pretty good articulation, which is more than we can say for the rest of the line at this point. If you're in the market for some Ninja Turtle toys, you'll enjoy these.

Thanks for joining me on this first edition of Action Figure Foursome. Be back for more toy goodness (and other stuff as well of course). I'll be going through my entire collection and have some interesting team-ups planned. Hope you enjoyed this. Thanks for looking.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Comic and Action Figure Haul

Another new comic day has come and gone. That doesn't mean the fun ends though. Here's my haul for the week. I had some good books waiting for me and also some surprise action figure pick-ups. I did miss out on Ultimate Spider-Man #15. That's my own fault because I haven't updated my pull-list in a while. I expect Daredevil #18, Cobra #17, and Ghostbusters #13 to be the best books of the week. I'm quite curious to see how Ghost #0 reads. I'm a bit behind in reading, so I won't know too soon.

I also hit up a Wal-Mart (one which hasn't been friendly to collectors of cool action figures) to find Marvel Universe wave 19. It's always nice when you can catch a full wave in one spot. It doesn't get any better than that. They were acually restocking that night, so I caught a fresh case. Check out wave 19 below.

The figure I was looking forward to most in this wave was She-Hulk. She's had some recent appearances of which I was fond. When I pick up my books this week, I'm going to see if I can order some trades from her last solo series. I'm curious how she holds her own. I know a few people who are still searching for Kang and Scarlet Witch. Good luck to them.

The paint apps are good for the most part. Punisher and Future Foundation Spider-Man have some questionable spots though. I was thinking about touching up both of them. The problem area on Punisher isn't that bad. FF Spidey's are a bit different. I'm not sure if Hasbro wanted his costume to have a more grayish look or shaded effect as opposed to the Marvel Legends Future Foundation Spider-Man which is pure white and black. Looking at it makes me think of art by Mike Deodato Jr. I happen to like that, but it didn't translate well. But then again, it could just be bad paint application. Toy collectors are quite familiar with that. Here are a few pictures to see it for yourself.

Well that's that. Of course I'll be picking up my books this week, but I'm also hoping to find Marvel Universe wave 18. Yeah, I missed a wave. How? I'm still not sure. That wave consists of Beast (in Astonishing costume), Beta Ray Bill (hell yeah), Hulk (new sculpt), and Kraven. Also in that wave are two versions of Ultimate Spider-Man. One of which is the Miles Morales variant. I don't want Ultimate Spider-man though. But I do want two of Beta Ray Bill as I'll be keeping one MOC.
Thanks for looking. Happy reading and toy hunting to everyone.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cover of the Week

Happy New Comic Day! I should have new comics in hand, but that will be delayed several hours. These shenanigans will not stop the fun. This does give me time to catch up on reading as I've been behind by about a week of books. But enough of that. Let's get to some beautiful art.

I like to call this one Daredevil #18. Paolo Rivera is certainly not afraid to provide readers with awesome art. Do yourself and your eyes a favor by looking at this piece.

Paolo Rivera knocked out an awesome cover for this issue. Just look at that. How cool is that? I'm no doctor, but my guess would be that this is the nervous system. If you have some medical knowledge, please feel free to correct me. I can't say anymore than that and the cover just speaks for itself. It says "I win." And I won't argue with it.

What do you think of my choice? Let me know. Thanks for looking. Happy reading to everyone.

Cover of the Week for 9-12-12

Happy early morning New Comic Day. Yeah, another one going up late, but it's here. I'll make this one quick. Here is Star Wars Lost Tribe of the Sity: Spiral #2.

I've seen some work from Paul Renaud, but nothing like this. One of the many visuals I love in comics are wings. There are many ways they can be represented. So we have some good looking wings on one lady who's carrying a lady wielding a lightsaber. Add in some unique architectural visuals (which is never a bad idea) to the background and you have a winner.

What do you think? Comments are welcome. Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Congrats to the 2012 Harvey Award Winners

This past weekend, fans and creators headed east to unite at Baltimore Comic-Con. We all know what comes when we gather at conventions: fans and creators meet, costumes are seen, and all that other good stuff we love. Beyond that though, BCC also held the Harvey Awards which honor some of the best talent and work in comics.

As I was not in attendance, of course I had to check the list of winners. Congrats to them as well as those even nominated. I also wanted to check a prediction. I guessed that Daredevil and its creative team would take home several awards and it took home four. It's safe to say I was correct. Let's be honest, that wasn't hard to foresee if you've been reading the book and if you saw how well it did at the Eisners in San Diego. But Daredevil was only part of the show, so here are some highlights from the winners starting with the big ones.

Hero Initiative's Dick Giordano Humanitarian of the Year presented by Kevin Brogan
- Joe Kubert
What can you really say that hasn't been said about the late great talent? When we lost Joe, we lost a man who had a talented hand and someone who helped others enhance their skills and bring us fantastic work.

Hero Initiative's Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.
- John Romita Jr.
I'm no stranger to JRJR's work. I've been a fan of his since way back. While I didn't catch his earlier work as it was released, I would pick it up later on.

Best Artist
- J.H. Williams III on Batwoman
I've pointed out on twitter how much I've enjoyed Williams work on this book. The way he lays out the panels and incorporates background imagery is worth the price of admission alone.

Best Continuing or Limited Series
- Daredevil from Marvel Comics
I've been a DD fan for several years and I recommend this series if you haven't been reading. I wouldn't say its the best book out there, but the voters have spoken and it definitely deserves its credit.

Best Domestic Reprint Project
- Walt Simonson's The Mighty Thor Artists' Edition from IDW Publishing
I don't have this edition but I have many of Simonson's Thor issues and it's good stuff. The writing and art are both quality.

Best New Series
- Daredevil from Marvel Comics
This category is one which should always be recognized because in the world of comics, a lot of attention is on the next thing. This is also a category which had been removed from this years Eisners for lack of quality books meeting their standards.

Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers
- Anya's Ghost from First Second
I don't know anything about this book. I felt it deserved some attention because I feel books aimed at younger readers are lost in the shuffle when everyone wants books to be dripping with grit and mature themes. That tends to leave the younger generations without quality reads.

Best Writer
- Mark Waid on Daredevil
If it's the best book, it is for a reason and that's the creative team behind. Waid is no stranger to praise as I'm sure he fits into many fans' personal best writer category.

Most Promising New Talent
- Sara Pichelli on Ultimate Spider-Man
Pichelli's work at Marvel has been amazing and I can't wait to see what's lined up for her in the future. You can check her out on Ultimate Spider-Man and Spider-Men.

For the full list of nominees and winners CBR has them laid out for you. Again, congrats to all the winners. To the readers, keep buying and reading and spread the love.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cover of the Week

Happy New Comic Day! Well that may not apply to everyone. It looks as if comics are delayed a bit due to the holiday, but that doesn't mean our fun has to stop. Here's the variant for Venom #24. Check it out my friends.

I'll say I originally didn't like Skottie Young's style. I don't know what changed my mind, but it was within the last year that I began to do so. And what's not to like here? Venom springing out of a birthday cake is all kinds of fun. And he's HUGE! Then look at little ol' Spidey. He's carrying presents and has a party blower. A party blower. A fun cover all around.

Cover of the Week for 8-29-12

Technically, it's New Comic Day, but we're going to turn the clock back a week just for this post. But come back later as I'll be back up to speed. Things have been going sort of fast, so let's slow it down with Flash Annual #1. Wait...I don't think that works. Well, here it does.

I'm not a big Flash fan, but I'm a big fan of Francis Manapul's art. For this Annual issue, the story incorporates the Rogues and we get a taste of that on the cover. The aspects that stand out are how Manapul places Mirror Master in the subtitle and that alone with the ice. Well done.

Come back later as I get back to the present for this week's entry.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cover of the Week

Welcome to my reveal for cover of the week. Since I've been doing these weekly posts, there have been several surprise winners. A lot of picks have come from books I haven't or wouldn't touch. Such is the case with today's winner. Let's greet Green Lantern: New Guardians #12.

When Tyler Kirkham took over art duties on the previous Green Lantern Corps series, I had never heard of him but I was glad he did. I definitely like his work. You get a taste of that on this cover depicting GL Kyle Rayner on his knees. He's being held in place by energies of five of the various Corps. When used with more vibrant colors, the power of the different Corps can really pop. Green Lantern: New Guardians is a good example. As stated, I like Kirkham's art and I've been meaning to check for any other books he's worked on.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cover of the Week 8-15-12

Welcome to Cover of the Week. This is actually for last week. Yes, it's extremely late, but that's okay. It's here and we're ready to check out some cover art. I must say that the pool of last week's choices were slim. There just weren't that many books that caught my eye. But of course there's a winner. Here's the variant for Harbinger #3. Take a look.

The aspects of this cover that stand out are the use of shadows and the electricity. The one responsible for this is Patrick Zircher. I planned on picking up this series, but it never happened. If you're reading Harbinger, I'd like to hear some thoughts.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cover of the Week

I think it's time for a little art appreciation. Well hello cover of the week, glad to see you again. What do you have for us this week? Batman #12, huh? Excellent choice. Take a look my friends.

Greg Capullo has provided some good visuals on this book. And this cover is definitely near the top of the list. I haven't read it yet, but this is supposed to be the epilogue to the Court of Owls (finally that's over). I don't really know what the cover symbolizes. All I know is Batman is catching some lightning action and it looks amazing. FCO Plascencia's colors make the cover really pop. Beautiful piece.

What do you think about this choice? Let me know and thanks for looking.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Transformers Chat

I was never a huge Transformers fan as a kid. In the battle of what I consider the 80's powerhouses, G.I. Joe and Transformers, I was quick to shout "Yo Joe!" There were obviously more franchises that held our interests, such as the Ghostbusters, which was probably my first love. But G.I. Joe and Transformers are still very relevant in multiple forms. That was my brief disclaimer so as not to discount the impact of other franchises. Now back to Transformers.

I've seen the TF movies and just recently watched Dark of the Moon for the first time since its theater release. The movies aren't great and despite what longtime fans may have rated them, they always tempted me to buy TF toys. I never actually did, but I spent a few minutes browsing the toys when the movies were out.

How things have changed. I've actually purchased not one, but two TF figures within the last week or so. I picked up Dark of the Moon Mechtech Jolt and Sideswipe on clearance at Wally World. These are the first Transformers I've owned since I was in elementary school. I grabbed these because I prefer the faster and more finesse vehicles (motorcycles, sports cars, and jets) over the larger trucks other characters transform into and because they were on clearance. I'm just checking these out, I'm not quite ready to commit to the prices I pay for Gears of War or Marvel Legends.

Originally, I had this post planned before purchasing any of the toys. I picked up Jolt on a whim so that changed how this was going to go. I was going to ask where one should start with multiple TF lines still in stores. I've been to the usual retailers, except TRU, and have seen Prime and DotM still on shelves. With DotM having been out for some time and the figures on clearance, they're obviously not a major factor.

I'm watching TF: Prime on netflix now and it's decent at best. Plot-wise, it's far from a masterpiece. I've grown fond of Arcee. She's a hell of a fighter, she's blue, and she's a motorcycle. Those all earn major points in my book. I spotted TF: Prime Arcee at Target the other day and have watched reviews of her, but the way her robot mode has her motorcycle parts looking like a backpack kinda turns me off of the figure. She's still a potential purchase though.

I don't have much knowledge on the characters, so there's not much to draw on there. However, the figures do appeal to me more as an action figure collector. From a design standpoint alone, they're worth at least looking into. I'm sure others can attest to this as well, sometimes a figure from a line you don't collect just looks cool and you want it.

This point is almost what got me to pick up a Star Wars General Grievous figure. His two arms split into four, which is slick by itself. Plus he has four lightsabers (the only aspect of the SW universe I actually like). There are a few out there and I have no idea which one I saw that I liked. I must investigate. And once again, back to TF.

For the more dedicated TF fans out there, what do you think of the current TF toys? What figures do you like? On the flip-side, which would you suggest avoiding? Also, I'm curious what people think of the Prime television series. Thanks for any help and comments.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cover of the Week

Welcome ladies and gentlemen of comicdom and anyone else who happened to find their way here. It's time for cover of the week. This week's winner is one of the many books I'm reading. Well Daredevil #16, you sure are looking good.

I like how Chris Samnee shows their office inside DD's silhouette. And of course you must notice Murdock's name crossed off. Hmm...I wonder what that means.

Daredevil has been fun since issue #1 and I'm sure this one won't disappoint. I would easily recommend reading up on this book.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Christmas in July

MERRY CHRI--wait a second. *checks calendar* Hmm, it's still July...nevermind. Well, I don't remember when I first heard the phrase "Christmas in July" nor did I understand its meaning at the time. That's no longer true of course. As toy collectors though, Christmas kinda runs year round for us. And we love it. No decorations or music. All toys.

Retaliation Storm Shadow and Red Ninja as well as Marvel Legends Spider-Man (BIG TIME!) and Thunderball were adopted from Target. MU Iron Fist and DotM Jolt fought their way out of Wally World. The Masters of Evil conquered Hasbrotoyshop.com. The Ghostbusters busted all the ghosts on ebay to round out my haul for the month.

I wanted the SDCC Uncanny X-Force set and the Jinx figs, but missed out on them through several HTS restocks. I might be able to acquire them from some tankers over on Hisstank.com. I also wanted the NECA's SDCC Gears of War 3 Savage Theron and the MU Guardians of the Galaxy set (which is really only 2 figures since Rocket Raccoon is an inch tall or something).

I planned on skipping most or all of the Joe Retaliation figs, but I like this Storm Shadow's modern look. In case it's running through your mind, yes, I do have the Renegades Stormy as well. As far as the Red Ninja: it's a ninja. I really don't have much to say beyond that. With Retaliation going through it's problems, these could be the last Joes I'll pick up for the rest of the year.

I wasn't too sure about picking up Iron Fist seeing as how I have all three of his previous releases. The only reason I picked him up is because it appears he'll be rocking the white costume for sometime. If I didn't read comics, I would've left him on the peg. I already planned on liberating the Masters of Evil from their plastic prison, but I might enjoy them in their package for a bit. Call it an extended sentence.

I had been hoping I would catch Big Time Spidey and Thunderball at some point. I have FF Spidey and Piledriver already. As you'll see in a bit, Thunderball is huge. Spidey looks great. I was expecting more black, but I like this too.

I missed out on the Ghostbusters when they were first released. I actually didn't even know about Mattel's new series until much later. I have the GB2 TRU exclusive set, but I had to have these. And someone on Hisstank mentioned that Mattel actually cancelled the Ghostbusters line. That sucks.

Quick note on Jolt: this is the first Transformer toy I've owned since I was in grade school. I have another post lined up discussing him and TF in general, so be on the lookout for that later.

Who loves action shots? Great! If you didn't, well check out these shots anyway.

I told you Thunderball was huge.

Let's take a look at another entry in the eternal battle between good and evil.

Here's hoping Iron Fist has enough qi to fell Thunderball.

Maybe not.

What do you think of my haul? Have any of these in your collection? Let me know. I'm hoping my area sees new Marvel Universe stuff (unlikely), but they'll get posted if I find them. Thanks for looking. Keep collecting my friends.