The Haul: Boobs Incorporated

Sorry about the lateness of this post. I’ve been ill and had some technical difficulties.

The Last Phantom #3

The Last Phantom #3
Beatty, Ferigato, Andrade
[Dynamite]

I said I’d give this title a few more issues to get off the ground and impress me. Three issues in and the verdict is, well, quite good actually. I wouldn’t say this is one of the best titles I’m reading, but’s it is definitely able to stand on it’s own. We’ve got an origin story for Kit Walker seeping through amongst the actual plot, introducing critical elements of the Phantom’s persona without disrupting the narrative. I’ll admit that so far we don’t really have much real characterization for Kit as most of the story so far has been the Phantom getting revenge and stuff. We haven’t really seen him outside of the violence yet. Speaking of the violence though, it’s very well done, and the action scenes are decently illustrated. There’s also some really clever stuff such as the scene with the grenades in this issue. The plot development at the end was something far too obvious, but it had to be done. So yes, overall my verdict so far is: quite good. Read more of this post

The Haul: Where would you prefer to live? Century City, Gotham or Asgard?

I’ve decided to change the schedule for these reviews. Rather than 6pm Fridays, they’ll be up by 6pm Sundays. This gives me time to actually read all of my comics (some weeks I get quite a few as you may have noticed) and actually write a half-decent review. So, yeah, Sundays 6pm Australian EST for these reviews.

Halcyon #1

Halcyon #1
Guggenheim, Butters, Bodenheim, Englert
[Image]

A new series which was promoted as Utopian before the name was changed to Halcyon, the series deals with a concept which has been done at least once before, but again in a new way. We’re presented with a cast of completely new heroes, rather than a Kingdom Come-like usage of well-known heroes in the future, and by the end of the issue we realize that our heroes have essentially won their war on crime and a few of them are scared of the idea of going ‘out of business’. The characters are clearly built to fill certain archetypes, with Sabre being your non-superpowered vigilante type (Batman/Rorschach etc.) and ‘World’s Greatest Hero’ Zenith (Superman etc.). There is enough personality with them to see future issues expand upon them, but at present they are a little flat. I like the way the big concept the series uses is handled; it doesn’t feel like a Mark Millar book where he shoves it in your face. It’s dealt with properly without being patronizing to the reader. I’ll definitely stick with this series for a few more issues to see how it goes. Read more of this post

The Haul: Volstagg and the Hitlers

Kato #5Kato #5
Parks, Bernard, Petter
[Dynamite]

First off, Joe Benitez has been doing the main covers for these books. And although they’re pretty much all just Mulan in the Kato uniform posing, I love them. As far as I’m concerned, Benitez can draw Kato forever now. Secondly, actual content: the series is a prequel to the main Green Hornet series that Dynamite is publishing, following the training of the new Kato, who is the daughter of the classic Kato. While I don’t think the writing nor Bernard’s pencils quite measure up to Green Hornet’s, the book is still rather enjoyable, and I found that this issue especially is very quickly paced so it’s not a long read. The action is good, although Mulan diving off the top of a building after the Black Hornet seemed a tad much. Regardless, this was a solid issue. Green Hornet readers wanting more should take a look at this series, but realise it’s not a necessary read. Read more of this post

The Haul: Time Frogs

Avengers vs the Pet Avengers #1(of 4)
Eliopolous, Guara, Roberts
[Marvel]

Any comic featuring the Pet Avengers can’t be taken entirely seriously, but here we have a book that has Fin Fang Foom and a bunch of other dragons trying take over the world. And then the real Avengers (Iron Man, Captain America and Thor) get turned into frogs for some reason, so Frog Thor (different guy) and his Pet Avengers show up to help.  The Pet Avengers include Redwing, Falcon’s uh…falcon, Speedball’s snarky cat Hairball, Lockjaw of the Inhumans and Kitty Pryde’s dragon Lockheed, who becomes important to the story because of the giant dragons. The story is cool enough, and this issue ends on a downer, which I always find nice. The art is also really great, with some fantastic splash pages with the dragons. If you want a comic that isn’t choking on it’s own seriousness, try this one. Read more of this post

The Haul: James ‘Skullkicker’ Gordon

Road Home: BatgirlBruce Wayne – The Road Home: Batgirl
Miller, Perez, Davis
[DC Comics]

Another winner for the Road Home, but one that I’m not really sure where to fit it in. At the end of each issue it tells you which book the plot (mostly the Vicki Vale stuff) continues in, but this and Outsiders both lead into Catwoman, and none lead into Batgirl. Oh well. As for the book itself, yet again Bruce is testing his Batfamily, in this case the new Batgirl Stephanie Brown. With their past the way it is, with Stephanie always being thought of as the Robin who wasn’t good enough (or for some, never really a Robin at all), this issue was potentially going to be a harsh one for fans. But, Miller did an excellent job, and having Bruce compare Stephanie to Dick Grayson was a great way to establish growth. Additionally, Stephanie’s responses to the ‘test’ were appropriate and funny, and the entire issue still felt like a Batgirl issue, and not a separate plot. This is probably my favourite Road Home book, after Red Robin. Read more of this post

The Haul: What ho, Thor!

Thor #616Thor #616
Fraction, Ferry, Hollingsworth
[Marvel]

Fraction’s Thor is funny, clever and captures all of it’s characters well. While we’re only two issues into his run, it’s becoming a very enjoyable ride with a new chapter for the God of Thunder. Following Siege, Asgard is left on Earth, which leaves the realm of Asgard open for the taking. Enter a new villain, Ulthana Thoth, who appears as a sort of extradimensional conqueror IN SPACE who just happens to be red and have a beard. Then we have Volstagg talking to a scientist he describes as a ‘Space Doctor’ who serves as a sort of expository device for the plot but it works well enough to not be as blatant as it sounds. Thor himself is characterized well, with his role as a warrior being tested by his role as king in Odin’s stead, and faced with the challenge of Asgard’s current state. This arc is shaping up to be not only a fun one, but an important one for Thor’s growth as a character, and I definitely recommend grabbing this and #615 if you can find it. Oh and Ferry and Hollingsworth’s art is pretty. Read more of this post

The Haul: Dethducks

Sorry this one’s a bit late, I had a rather massive haul of comics this week, some of which I chose not to review, Bruce Wayne The Road Home: Red Robin being one of them, which I’ll get to when the rest of continuity catches up and I actually read it. Starting next week, these review columns should be up by 6pm AEST Fridays.

Metalocalypse: Dethklok #1Metalocalypse: Dethklok #1 (of 3)
Small, Schnepp, Barlow, Marangon, Francisco
[Dark Horse]

Based on the popular Adult Swim cartoon and written by series creator Brendon Small, Metalocalypse: Dethklok is another in a line of Dethklok comics published by Dark Horse. This time however the comic is a limited series, rather than a one-shot. Fans of the cartoon will find themselves right at home with the book, with all of the same ridiculous and sometimes horrifying humor in play, which in this issue focusses on Dethklok breaking into the frozen food market with predictably disastrous results. The art does a decent job of replicating the cartoon’s style, and features such as the Dethcopter look great, but I can’t help but feel that the art should have attempted to follow in Darkwing Duck’s footsteps and be merely reminiscent of the series and not just a copy. One last complaint is that Doctor Rockzo’s speech is very grating because Small has opted to use (and over-use) his ‘stuttering’. Despite these small faults (not a pun), I do highly recommend this book for fans of the cartoon. Read more of this post