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

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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

New Comic Book Day Issue 11: Brad Tie-in

Apologies for being a little bit out of it today, as mentioned on air I wasn’t feeling too well. I also didn’t have my books for this reason, and so I couldn’t properly review my books. To remedy this, here’s some reviews now that I have read my books:

Darkwing Duck #4 Cover ADarkwing Duck #4
Brill, Silvani

This is the only BOOM! book I’m picking up at the moment, and to be honest, I don’t actually have the issue yet because of distribution differences. However I have read half of this book and from that, it’s another hilarious issue…OF DOOM. We get to see what’s inside the box, engage with Taurus a bit more and see an awesome two-page spread with the Fearsome Five (sans Negaduck) and Darkwing teaming up under the battlecry of ‘Let’s Get Dangerous!’. You can sort of tell from this 4-issue arc that the book was intended to be a limited series and not an ongoing, simply by how many characters appear, especially the large cast of villains, but in and of itself the arc is very clever, very attractive, very fun and very, very faithful. It will be interesting to see how the book unfolds as it enters it’s second arc, lovingly entitled ‘Crisis on Infinite Darkwings’.

Skullkickers #1Skullkickers #1
Zubkavich, Stevens, Huang, Coats

A book which surprisingly took a bit of hunting down for me, it made for a very slow debut. The plot involves a couple of, at the moment, unnamed mercenaries, a tall bald human and an axe-wielding dwarf (is there any other kind?) and basically reads like your standard fantasy story with lots of fighting and even a fat werewolf. The interactions between the two characters are fun though, and the art definitely sells the book, being very sharp and vibrant. In addition, even though there were two pencillers who did half the book each, I didn’t notice any differences so I’m impressed on that front.  From what’s happened so far it’s a hard book to judge, but I definitely feel it’s worth the $2.99 cover price.

The Flash #5The Flash #5
Johns, Manapul, Buccellato

Okay simply put, if there is only one title you pick up each month, make it this one. The story isn’t too heavy, it’s enjoyable and the sort of light-hearted fare you’d expect from the Flash, and not something that comes across from many other comics these days (Spider-Man sort of used to, but the big black spot that is One More Day ruins it). The current storyline returns Barry Allen to Central City only to find a time travelling police force wanting to arrest him for a crime he hasn’t yet committed. It’s also a tie-in with Brightest Day, and this issue  gives Captain Boomerang (one of the characters revived by the white light, along with Zoom who hasn’t shown up yet) a bit of the limelight. But the real reason for buying this book? Francis Manapul’s art is gorgeous.

Thor #615Thor #615
Fraction, Ferry, Hollingsworth

To accompany the numerous Thor minis I’m buying, I decided to jump on board with the writing changeover of the core title to Matt Fraction. First off, I have to mention that there are a number of ads condensed into only a couple of pages right near the start, and when ads turn up later in the book they’re in clumps too. I guess this decision was made mostly to allow longer, more impressive passages without any interruption, but unfortunately the sections with the ads feel awkward because of it, although the initial few pages would have felt just as awkward without it, seeing as they are so similar in appearance. The plot follows the aftermath of Siege, with Asgard having fallen on Earth, and the arrival of a new enemy in space-time conqueror Uthana Thoth, as well as quickly presenting the idea of something else moving in on Asgard’s former realm. One pretty cool thing from this issue was Thor talking with Donald Blake and the whole conversation was well-structured and interesting. My only complaint about art is that Thor’s head looks kinda funny, and other than that the art is more or less solid and easy on the eyes. And also I really dig the reds on Thor’s cape. The introductions of characters and the way the plot is handled is perfect for new readers, as well as continuing plot threads that older readers are more familiar with.

The Spirit #6
Hine, Moritat, Bautista

You know what, I don’t even want to review this. If you were going to follow this series you’d have picked it up at issue 1, and honestly I doubt I can recommend it unless you’re either familiar with the Spirit or a big fan of pulp heroes. There’s nothing wrong with the book, it’s just nothing remotely special.

-Brad

Issue Nine: NEW COMIC BOOK DELAY

Comic Book 9

Back Up 2

Check out the ninth issue, and back-up issue, of our live radio show: New Comic Book Day on SYN!

New Comic Book Day: ALL OF THE NAZIS

New Comic Book Day 8

Check out the eighth issue of our live radio show: New Comic Book Day on SYN!

New COmic Book Day Issue 7: POTENTIAL ONTOLOGICAL TEMPORAL PARADOX!

New Comic Book Day 7

Check out the fourth issue of our live radio show: New Comic Book Day on SYN!