Monthly Archives: January 2010

Tres Komikeros 39

EJ and Alex take over your headsets and handle this episode of TK like inmates out of Arkham and bring you kick-ass reviews of Ultimate Comics: Enemy #1, Green Lantern #50, and Captain America: Reborn #6.  The duo also bring you a round of quick shots, after which they share their views about this week’s big tech news.

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Prejudged! 01.26.10

Welcome to another Super-sized edition of Prejudged!, where we judge the books by their cover. This week sees the release of many major titles like Batman and Robin, New Avengers, Green Lantern, Superman: Secret Origin, Detective Comics, Chew, Punisher, and the long awaited last issue of Captain America: Reborn. That’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get to it.

Let’s start it off with Captain America: Reborn #6 by Brian Hitch:

SPOILER ALERT! In this issue, Steve Rogers comes back from the dead!!! (wink wink, Marvel) Even though we all saw this coming for months now, you could always approach this the same way you did Revenge of the Sith. Sure, you already knew that Anakin was going to turn into the universe’s most awesome douche, but it’d be nice to know how it all happened.  Looking at the cover (which probably took Hitch years to finish), you can see that this’ll be just like a billion other Avenger stories…. I mean, come on. Really?? The “just-throw-all-the-Avengers-in-there” concept does not a good cover make. You know what EJ would call this? Generic. There. I said it.

Next is the cover to Batman and Robin #7 by Cameron Stewart and Frank Quitely:

This issue promises to offer some clues on the death of Bruce Wayne and also features Morrison favorites, Knight and Squire, along with one of my favorite new characters, Batwoman. This is the beginning of a new story arc where we find Batman across the pond. I’ve always thought that Batman was a perfect fit in England. Like a cosplaying Sherlock Holmes. Also, people can finally stop whining about Philip Tan’s art (myself included), since we  are now graced with the stylings of Mr. Cameron Stewart. The title has been on a bit of a slump since its explosive first three issues. Hopefully, this story arc can bring back that same momentum.

Now we have the cover to Irredeemable #10 by Peter Krause:

It’s hard for me to tell how far Mark Waid can take this “Superman Gone Wrong” story, but I guarantee I’ll be along for the ride, ever step of the way. Irredeemable, of course, is the “Superman Story DC Wouldn’t Let Mark Waid Write in DC”, and reading the book, you could probably see how this really was intended to be told in the DC Universe. Most of the characters in Irredeemable have their DC Universe counterparts, and it’s always fun to play “what if”. One thing though; I’ve kind of developed some kind of sympathy for the Plutonian. Not the “him throwing a tantrum” part. The whole “him being underappreciated, hence him throwing a tantrum” part. Is that weird?

Here, we have the cover to New Avengers #61 by Stuart Immonen:

This is a really badass cover. You know, THIS is why we have Steve Rogers back. So, he can pull off an Uncle Sam point and say “I WANT YOU…. to buy this comic book”. Who could say no? Well, Jihadists for one, but that’s beside the point. This is the kind of comic book cover that gets me excited to pick it up. It just demands attention. But also, if you try and focus on the image, specifically into Captain America’s eyes, he doesn’t seem to be looking directly at you. I wonder if I caught something “No-Prize” worthy there.

Up next, the cover to Superman: Secret Origin #4 by Gary Frank:

Geoff Johns seems to be DC’s authority on continuity, from rebirths to reboots, they let him do it all. And I believe that the DC Universe is better for it. He not only made Hal Jordan and the entire Green Lantern Corps relevant, but is now setting the stage for what I think will be the biggest rebirth/reboot/retcon in the history of comic books through Blackest Night. Superman: Secret Origin, on the other hand, is nestled in its own time, unaffected by the zombie infestation of present continuity. Although, this isn’t as much about another retelling of the origin of Superman as it is about setting the record straight about Big Blue’s beginnings. Plainly put, this’ll be the definitive Superman origin story. For now.

And finally:

I’m on board. I don’t care if it’s bad.

There you have it. Your weekly dose of Prejudged! comic books. Join me again next week. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

Cover of the Week – Jan 21, ’10 releases

Cover of the Week is my presentation of the best cover from last week’s comic book releases, based on the art, design, and overall good looks.

Hello boys and girls! It’s been pretty long since my last cover post, and this time I will be featuring a cover from one of my favorite Batman artists, Dustin Nguyen.

Batman – Streets of Gotham  #8

What caught my attention with this is the fact that we don’t usually see a Batman cover done this way.  Okay, so the Batman pose is a bit common, cape near/over the face and one hand holding the Batarang, but what’s cool about this is the good use of the the black/blue/orange highlighting. Let me point them out — first let’s start of with the title, BOOM! big highlight, the reader get’s a good look at it and immediately knows what book it is.  Second, Batman occupies most of the page and the city is rendered under him with the iconic bat signal looming over Gotham.  This gives the impression that “this is Batman looking over his city and he sees everything” and also imposes some sort of possessive territorial feel thanks to the bat-logo.  And lastly, negative black/yellow on the hand holding the Batarang.  This sends the message that Batman does look over Gotham and since the orange background sets this part of the cover apart from the rest, it gives a sense of “alert mode” or “defense mode” in the event a threat appears.

Basic, direct to the message, and done in a stylish manner — that’s why I choose Streets of Gotham #8 by Dustin Nguyen first cover of the week for the year 2010!

What’s your favorite comic book cover for this week?

Monday Match-up

BATMAN vs DAREDEVIL

“Hey! That’s MY gargoyle!”

Batman: Upon seeing his parents murdered in front of him as a young boy, Bruce Wayne honed his mind and body into weapons against crime and corruption.  With state of the art technology, the sharpest mind of his time, and the peak of human physical prowess,  he fights for justice as the Dark Knight, striking fear into the hearts of men.

Why He Wins: The Caped Crusader keeps DD at bay with an array of batarangs and smoke pellets, at which point he notices that his adversary is able to dodge or duck everything he throws at him.  Deducing that DD has heightened or superhuman senses of some sort, he activates the sonic emitter to attract a flock of bats to throw DD off-balance in mid-leap.  The hypersonics confirm Batman’s suspicions of heightened hearing, at which point he uses silent lasers to dispatch or disable Murdock, without ever having to land a punch.

—–

Daredevil: Exposed to toxic chemicals as a child, Matt Murdock was initially stricken blind but eventually developed superhuman senses and agility.  With his heightened sensory accuracy and sensitivity, he fights for justice in Hell’s Kitchen as the man without fear.

Why He Wins: With Daredevil’s moniker being “The Man Without Fear,” and Batman relying on his abiltiy to strike terror into his opponents, the Dark Knight loses an edge.  Batman may use an assortment of gadgets, but even Bullseye (who supposedly never misses) has a hard time hitting Daredevil — it’ll be impossible for Batman to hit him with anything.  Given all that, this will become a straight-up fist fight.  Physically, both heroes are in peak condition.  Batman is physically stronger, while Daredevil is more agile.  Daredevil will be able to see everything Batman throws at him coming, and without any intel on each other, it’s impossible to figure out that Daredevil is, in fact, blind… since nothing he does in costume hints at it.  Evenly matched, it all comes down to who has powers.  And Batman is simply all too human against a devil.

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Tres Komikeros 38

EJ, John, and Migs assemble for the first episode of the year to talk about Brave and the Bold #31, Joe the Barbarian #1, and Dark Avengers #13.  With a bonus review of Final Crisis (not even kidding).  After a round of Quick Shots and War of Thumbs, we discuss the positive contrast of modern fandom against 90s fandom in READABILITY vs COLLECTABILITY.

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Prejudged! 01.12.10

Welcome to another installment of Prejudged!, the only place where you can find a douchebag reviewing comic books before he has the chance to read them. This week features a new issue of Matt Fraction’s Eisner Award winning series, The Invincible Iron Man, Geoff Johns’ and Francis Manapul’s last issue of Adventure Comics, a preview issue of Alan Moore’s new horror series, the Neonomicon Hornbook, and the second issue of Daytripper by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon. For a look at a complete list of this week’s releases, you can visit the always reliable iFanboy.com Comics page. Now, on with the judging.

First we have the cover to Adventure Comics #6 by Francis Manapul

Francis Manapul, God love him, knows how to create eye-catching covers. At first glance, you feel an immediate sense of danger, what with the image of a T-Rex’s gaping jaws and the always tricky use of a wordballoon on a cover. The direness of the situation is, although, balanced with the vibrant colors and Krypto’s playful smile, which is characteristic of how this series has been so far (excluding the last two Superboy Prime issues). This is apparently the final issue for Johns and Manapul on the main feature (they might still work on a Superboy second feature) and also the end of the first story arc about Superboy’s life in Smallville after his resurrection. Here, I assume that Conner Kent finally gains the sense of identity he’s been searching for and finds his place in Smallville and in the greater DC universe. I’m guessing that he realizes that being a hybrid clone of both Superman and Lex Luthor doesn’t mean that he has to model his life based on either and that he has his own path in life and his own destiny to fulfill. This has been one of my favorite stories of 2009 and you can expect it to be bittersweet whichever way the story ends. I will always remember this arc as one of the most endearing and most beautifully drawn stories I’ve ever read.

Next, we have the cover to Daytripper #2 by Gabriel Ba

Going through the solicitations for this week’s titles, I, immediately, was drawn to this cover. I always found that a clever use of whites greatly helps a comic book cover stand out in contrast to all the blacks that most other titles have on theirs. I also really appreciate how the dreamscape-like imagery on this cover already gives us a good idea of where the story is headed after last issue’s surprise ending. To a certain degree, the cover could even be setting the tone for the entire series. Personally, I can’t help feeling like I’ve stumbled upon something great in Daytripper. It’s a fantastic new title with amazing artwork and what feels like the beginnings of a powerful story. I highly recommend picking this book up to anyone, be you comic book fan or not.

And now, the cover to Invincible Iron Man #22 by Rian Hughes and Salvador Larroca

Nothing else on the stands even remotely comes close to the recent covers of Invincible Iron Man. That fact alone would be enough reason to pick this issue up. But then we also have Matt Fraction at his best, weaving a tale of how a broken man is able to bring together former allies. It strikes me how Captain America and Thor, seemingly without the slightest hint of hesitation, come to Tony Stark’s aid, despite everything that’s happened since Avengers Disassembled. Remember that these are three people who have had the biggest falling-out in comics history, even to the point of almost killing each other, and here they are ready to lend a hand (or hammer) (or shield) when one of them is in great need. It goes to show how certain bonds are too strong for any sort of ideology to break.

In what a lot of people would call a “light week” in comics is actually a week of special reunions, sad goodbyes,and sweet Hellos. I’d say that’s pretty heavy stuff.

Prejudged! 01.05.10

Welcome to our second installment of Prejudged!, where we judge the book by its cover. This week sees the release of 2010’s first batch of comic books. We have Marvel starting off the new decade with a bang with the first issue of SIEGE, the penultimate issue of World of New Krypton, DC’s first couple of resurrected titles in Suicide Squad #67 and Weird Western Tales #71, and… well okay, I’ll admit it’s a pretty light week. But hey, it’s a lot better than last week’s releases. (FYI; last week only had one release, Blackest Night #6)

First up is the cover of SIEGE #1 by Oliver Coipel.

According to Marvel, nearly every big crossover event over the past 7 years (House of M, Civil War, Secret Invasion, etc.) has led up to SIEGE, which means that they (Bendis) had it all planned out from the start. Regardless of whether that’s true or not, it’s still good to see a Marvel book where you get the “Good Guys vs. Bad Guys” story again. The “grey-area” has been almost suffocatingly kitsch by now that turning off “Friendly Fire” mode would be a welcome change. And looking back at what the Big 3 (Iron Man, Cap and Thor) have been through since Disassembled (Thor died but came back, Cap died but we’re still waiting on the comeback, and Iron Man’s brain-dead), this event feels like the big payoff to all of that. Also,the 4-issue length of the main SIEGE title should keep this series at a fun pace. And also, yes, I do feel that it’s necessary to spell out SIEGE in all Caps. 😀

Next up to bat is the cover to Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2 by Greg Horn.

The second issue of Wonder Woman’s Blackest Night tie-in has our heroine go full zombie. Of course, we already saw all this in Blackest Night #5 and #6, except this time we’ll see WW do what these Black Lanterns do best, which is talk a lot. It’s interesting how Greg Rucka gets a chance to write Wonder Woman in this light (or lack thereof) seeing as he’s always had a good grasp of the character. Also, it’s good to see Mera on another book since there’s been a huge shortage of anything Aquaman in the past few years.

Lastly, we have the cover to Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #6 by David Lafuente.

There’s something about David Lafuente’s style that works so well with Bendis’ writing in Ultimate Spider-Man. The Ultimate Marvel Universe (or at least Spider-Man’s part of it) has always felt fresh and full of energy, and that translates seamlessly through Lafuente’s pencils. There’s such a constant yet fluid sense of motion in the artwork that I often feel the need to catch my breath in between panels. But then, the fatigue dissipates with Justin Ponsor’s vibrant yet soft colors. Bendis’ snappy dialogue coupled with Lafuente’s energetic art help make Ultimate Spider-Man a refreshing breath of fresh air well worth its $3.99 price tag.

And that’s it for this week’s Prejudged! Feel free to leave your comments or any suggestions on future releases you feel needs a little Prejudgement.