Comics

Star Wars #16

by Alan Rapp on April 17, 2014

in Comics

Star Wars #16With a grounded and disgruntled Luke heading off with some of the locals to change a fuel cell on a mountain outpost the latest issue of Star Wars shows us the farm boy from Tatooine and his friends are hardly the only ones with serious doubts about Leia‘s impending wedding and the new alliance between the Rebels and Arrochar.

As Leia fights pressure to act in a manner more befitting a princess from both her fiance and the aristocracy of the rich world which will make a powerful ally for the Rebellion, Luke spends time with the locals who are far less convinced that Arrochar should shed its isolation and get involved in a conflict which hasn’t concerned them until now.

Continuing to foreshadow the betrayal of Leia’s betrothed and Arrochar, the latest issue also gives us a glimpse at an Imperial Probe Droid making it a good bet that the Empire knows exactly where the leaders of the Rebel Alliance are to be found. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

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Rocky and Bullwinkle #2

by Alan Rapp on April 16, 2014

in Comics

Rocky and Bullwinkle #2Rocky and Bullwinkle‘s attempts to help a washed-up magician get back on his feet only make Boris and Natasha aware of the man who just happens to have the necessary skills to help the Pottsylvanian spies steal a secret new bomb.

The two-part story, complete with a cliffhanger of the moose being sent to his death in a tank filled with man-eating (but not moose-eating) piranha, is fun (even if it does rely on an unnecessary deus ex machina with the intervention of the Moon Men).

The intermission delivers another adventure of Dudley Do-Right who struggles with Inspector Fenwick’s orders to get his man. Snidley Whiplash‘s maneuvering to cause the mountie’s arrest of an insurance salesman (whose personality and salemanship drives both prisoners and mounties crazy) gives the villain temporary free run of the town but also comes back to bite the villain when he’s later forced to share a cell with the salesman. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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Daredevil #1.50

by Alan Rapp on April 16, 2014

in Comics

Daredevil #1.50Feeling more than a little unnecessary and out of place for a comic that just relaunched with a brand new issue last month, and feeling more like an annual or special than part of the ongoing continuity, the over-sized Daredevil #1.50 is 50th Anniversary celebration of the character which takes a look forward rather than back with what Mark Waid has in mind for the character going forward.

Split into three separate tales, each of which take place years in Matt Murdock’s future introduces us to Matt Murdock‘s son Jack and the villain Jubula Pride who turns most of the city of San Francisco in order to push Daredevil out of retirement to confront a villain who he, but not the reader, knows all too well.

Featuring back-up stories of Murdock’s wife by Brian Michael Bendis by and artist Alex Maleev and wacky fake twin storyline in homage to the character’s goofier period by writer/artist Karl Kesel, Daredevil #1.50 is a curiosity more than anything else offering a glimpse of what Waid might do with the character given no constraints and several decades. Hit-and-Miss.

[Marvel, $4.99]

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Powerpuff Girls #8

by Alan Rapp on April 15, 2014

in Comics

Powerpuff Girls #8The second-half of the “Monster Day” begins with the Powerpuff Girls defeated and dejected in their room and Steve‘s monster swarm destroying the city of Townsville and preparing for the night’s final festivities: eating the Mayor! Getting the kick in the butt they need from Professor Utonium, Bubbles comes up with a plan to even the odds by taking control of the remaining Mojobots and leading them into battle against the monster horde.

Although the Girls suffered momentary defeat at the end of last issue, Powerpuff Girls #8 allows the threesome to return with a force thanks to a little fatherly push and a brainstorm by my favorite member of the group. Once again the day is saved by the Powerpuff Girls, but despite the monsters eventual defeat Steve’s reign continues as his subjects admit that this has been the best day ever (meaning, if the comic stays around long enough, we may get another Monster Day somewhere down the line). The lastest issue delivers on action, wackiness, and a nice message about never giving up no matter the odds. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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Samurai Jack #7

by Alan Rapp on April 14, 2014

in Comics

Samurai Jack #7With Samurai Jack and the Scotsman both turned into females by the Leprechauns the pair’s two-issue gender-bending adventures continue as Samurai Jacqueline and the Scotswoman seek to complete their bargain with the devious imps and confront the giant Cuhullin the Cruel.

Only after confronting the massive creature in battle do Jack and the Scotsman uncover just how much they’ve been played by the evil imps and decide to do what they can to set things right. With the spell broken due to the giant’s wailing breaking the music of the curse (which is only slightly less awkward than it sounds), the restored Jack and Scotsman come up with a plan to help Cuhullin and teach the Leprechauns a much-deserved lesson.

Available in a cute variant cover by Agnes Garbowska, Samurai Jack #7 wraps up the bizarre adventure that despite its unique set-up stays true to the style and themes of the original cartoon. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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All-New X-Men #25

by Alan Rapp on April 14, 2014

in Comics

All-New X-Men #25The “monumental” 25th issue of All-New X-Men feels much more like a forgettable annual rather than an important issue of an ongoing comic. Centered around the Beast‘s conversations with an over-talkative Watcher, the framework is a relatively weak excuse to bring in a variety of artists to give takes on their version of various X-Men characters in the present and possible futures (including Magik as Sorceress Supreme) all put in jeopardy by McCoy’s decision to bring the younger versions of his friends into the present.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s some very nice artwork here (highlighted for me by Bruce Timm’s showcasing Jean Grey in her various forms), some of it quite funny, but as a fan of the original idea of The Watcher as a silent observer I’m less than satisfied with this verbose version that even goes so far as to insult the X-Man after speaking his mind. For such a momentous issue All New X-Men #25 can easily be skipped by those not willing to pay $5 for a story that doesn’t do much of anything to further ongoing stories and whose absence won’t be felt going forward if you choose not to read it. Hit-and-Miss.

[Marvel, $4.99]

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Worlds’ Finest #22

by Alan Rapp on April 12, 2014

in Comics

Worlds' Finest #22With “First Contact” finished, the Huntress and Power Girl are left to bicker between themselves whether the alternate Earth (with an evil Superman) they caught a glimpse of before Helena destroyed the portal was actually their home.

After the two dispatch a group of mercenaries who have their own plans for the New Gammora technology, the comic splits the pair up for Huntress to search for answers and Karen Starr, with her empire now firmly back under her control, to sell it all off to fund the trip home.

As has been the custom of the comic, Worlds’ Finest #22 also throws in some flashbacks as well featuring the Huntress’ first solo mission in the new Earth that doesn’t exactly go as planned (but does allow her the opportunity to dropkick a wolf).

Tying up the loose ends of the crossover and returning the the early structure of the comic, the latest issue gets the heroines back on track (although hopefully not any closer to going home as I’d hate to see them leave for the less interesting Earth-2). Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

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Green Hornet #11

by Alan Rapp on April 11, 2014

in Comics

Green Hornet #11Reunited with Kato, successfully taking down The Voice, putting down a pathetic imposter, and grabbing control as the new head of organized crime, everything is finally going according to the Green Hornet‘s plan. And that’s when things begin to fall apart because of a monster of the vigilante’s own making.

Gerald Dugan‘s life continues its downward spiral as the once-honest cop the Hornet corrupted gets further and further out of control when he decides to kidnap the daughter of Fulton and eventually murder her right in front of the Green Hornet to prove his loyalty to the city’s new crime boss.

Aside from continued dark turn of Dugan, Green Hornet #11 also offers Lenore Case to get into the action (in costume), which she enjoys a little too much for Britt Reid’s comfort. How both characters’ roles play out should be fun to watch over the series’ final two issues. Worth a look.

[Dynamite Entertainment, $3.99]

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Moon Knight #2

by Alan Rapp on April 10, 2014

in Comics

Moon Knight #2Continuing the trend started in last month’s first issue, writer Warren Ellis and artist Declan Shalvey offer another story where the themes dovetail into that of our main character but the crimes and villains of the piece take center stage. Moon Knight #2 focuses on the inner monologue of a screwed-over Special Forces soldier turned sniper looking for vengeance against those who he blames for his misfortunes.

Although given his own story Moon Knight would be likely to feel for the character, Ellis once again plays the story detached as the reader is given more information than the hero whose always complicated inner monologue has still yet to make an appearance.

Although it means we get a story where Moon Knight is only in about half the comic, the story works well. I’m enjoying the art of Shalvey, but I really dislike the new more functional (i.e. New 52ish) black-and-white costume (reminding me a bit of Eppy Thatcher as well) instead of the character’s traditional (i.e. way cooler) all-white garb. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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She-Hulk #3

by Alan Rapp on April 9, 2014

in Comics

She-Hulk #3What happens when the son of crazy dictator, who also happens to be the Fantastic Four‘s arch-enemy, shows up in your office looking for help getting away from his father? If you’re She-Hulk it means you’ve found your burgeoning new law firm’s first client.

Struggling to get Kristoff Vernard to the courthouse in time to argue for his right to asylum before the end of the day, She-Hulk faces the obstacle of a small army of Doombots standing between her client and possibly his last chance at breaking free of Doctor Doom‘s control.

Offering the same mix of action and courtroom drama, along with a good supply of both humor and action, She-Hulk #3 shows off Jennifer Walters’ impressive abilities although the day is far from won when Kristoff’s father shows up forcing an early end to the proceedings. I may still not be 100% sold on the the art of Javier Pulido, but there’s enough here to bring me back to see where the story goes from here. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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