Comics

Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #8

by Alan Rapp on January 25, 2015

in Comics

Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #8Scooby-Doo and Mystery Inc.‘s time-travel mystery tour which began in Bedrock in the previous issue makes one more stop before returning the meddling kids back home to their own time. Through the use of a Stone Age time machine seen last issue, Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #8 sends Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Velma, and Daphne far past their own time and into the future where they meet George Jetson, Jane his wife, daughter Judy, his boy Elroy, and another talking dog with something of a speech impediment (who was conincidentally also voiced by Don Messick on The Jetsons).

Although I far prefer the previous issues of teaming the Scoobies with the DC Universe’s vast array of comic crimefighters, this month’s issue works a little better than Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #7. There are a couple of nice touches including Judy swooning over Fred and a fun team-up with Scooby and Astro. In the end the group solves another mystery involving the Space-Age Specter which offers a reveal used before, most notably in “Foul Play in Funland,” where a robot is responsible for the trouble. Worth a look.

[DC< $2.99]

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Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #6

by Alan Rapp on January 19, 2015

in Comics

Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #6Usagi Yojimbo: Senso comes to a close with the future version of Usagi Yojimbo leading the fight against the remaining alien tripod with Usagi Gundam. While properly framing the entire episode as a story told from the far, far future (leaving some of the specific details in doubt), Usagi creator Stan Sakai gives his creation one last epic battle before our hero falls (but not before once again saving the day).

Is this the “last” Usagi story? Is this how our hero is meant to meet his end? Perhaps, but given how far in the future the six-issue mini-series takes place I think we have plenty of adventures to look forward to concerning the rabbit ronin before this dark day ever comes to pass.

And thankfully we don’t have to wait very long as Sakai and Dark Horse return to the current adventures of everyone’s favorite rabbit ronin later this year picking up the ongoing series where it left off. Usagi may not live forever, but hopefully we’ll get more of his amazing adventures for years and years to come. Must-read.

[Dark Horse, $3.99]

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Detective Comics #38

by Alan Rapp on January 13, 2015

in Comics

Detective Comics #38After Batman saves Wayne Tower from exploding, the Anarchy storyline continues as the villain decides to enlist the people of the city to help create the chaos he so desperately wants to achieve. It’s hard not to think about V for Vendetta (the so-so movie not the terrific graphic novel) as Anarchy somehow leaves blank masks on every doorstep in Gotham enlisting others to redefine themselves and fight back against the system. The derivitive plot twist isn’t helped by the final panel where the police gun down an innocent kid… which somehow becomes Batman’s fault? Um, what?

On the plus side Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato offer some beautiful panels, but even the tease of what the Mad Hatter‘s story has to do with Anarky isn’t enough to keep my interest once the masks are put in the hands of the people of Gotham. As I’ve already seen this story maybe I’ll take a break from the comic for a few months to see what it might have in store after the Dark Knight Detective after this arc runs its course. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC, $3.99]

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Super Dinosaur #23

by Alan Rapp on January 11, 2015

in Comics

Super Dinosaur #23To call the release of Super Dinosaur inconsistent would be kind. The large irregular gaps between issues has made me wonder more than once whether or not the comic was silently killed by Image. Returning for a single issue to wrap-up the current story arc involving the attack on the Dyna Dome and the reunion of the Dynamo family, Super Dinosaur #23 offers plenty of action as well as sets up a new arc when the comic returns after (yet another) prolonged hiatus.

I do take some issue with Derek‘s reaction (or lack thereof) to the fact that his newly-returned mother poisoned his best friend along with the attacking dinosaurs without first attempting to warn Super Dinosaur to get clear. Despite SD’s deteriorating condition everything at the Dynamo Dome appears hunky dory, well at least until the return of the Exile and the invasion of humankind by the Reptiloids.

Given the responsibilities of Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard on other titles I don’t know when Super Dinosaur will return but I hope that when it does we won’t get the same multi-month gaps we’ve seen over the show’s recent publication. Worth a look.

[Image, $2.99]

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Supergirl #37

by Alan Rapp on January 8, 2015

in Comics

Supergirl #37Supergirl #37 begins Kara‘s training in the specialized academy for super-humans (think Sky High but in space). Despite Kara making friends and fitting in to her new life, writers K. Perkins and Mike Johnson waste little time in revealing to readers that the Crucible Academy has more nefarious items on their agenda than simply training tomorrow’s super-heroes leading (one would expect) to the rug pulled out from underneath Supergirl once again.

But for now the Crucible story works well allowing readers to explore the hero facility through Kara’s eyes and better introduce both Maxima and Tsavo, the later Kara goes out on a mission with as they discover his homeworld is being attacked by Crucible rejects led by Tsavo’s brother.

I’m enjoying Emanuela Lupacchino’s art for a second straight issue, but the reveal of the Crucible planning to kidnap and clone Superboy vastly limits the scope of the storyline going in by narrowly defining the group at the outset and setting up yet another hard choice for Kara involving sacrifice no matter what she chooses. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

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Fables #147

by Alan Rapp on January 7, 2015

in Comics

Fables #147Offering a brief interlude to the rising tensions between sisters, Fables #147 takes Rose Red back home to the house she grew-up in and offers her the opportunity to choose a peaceful path in nature rather than continue the road to war begun so many issues ago. Although momentarily tempted, Rose chooses forbidden knowledge

The issue’s other storyline involves Fabletown attempting to bring the immortal Prince Brandish to justice for the murder of Weyland Smith. Choosing trail by combat Brandish squares off against, and is quickly decapitated by, Lancelot. However, the prince’s unique medical condition doesn’t allow the contest to end causing serious confusion as to what happens next.

Should the pair be still dueling when Rose Red returns you have to wonder what her reaction to the odd scenario might be and if Lancelot’s realization that he is indeed Guinevere may come to pass as his attempt to take down a guilty knave his queen has pardoned might actually quicken the fall of the new Camelot. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #10

by Alan Rapp on January 6, 2015

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #10The latest issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten begins Buffy realizing the duties and politics she’s been forced to take on since accepting ownership of the Vampyr tome. Meeting with everyone from new vampires to leprechauns, the Slayer’s sanity is tested. And, if that wasn’t enough, two old friends come to call.

Albeit for different reasons both Harmony and Clem have been fan favorites for quite a long time but haven’t been given that much to do since the end of both Angel and Buffy‘s TV runs. Issue #10 changes that with Harmony’s new master plan to change the book and rewrite magic in the world to her liking. Thankfully Clem, now in the role of her toadie, still has a conscience. Although he does grant one of Harmony’s bizarre wishes (no, not the crazy fanfic one) in deciding to make unicorns real.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #10 proves to be an awful lot of fun capturing Harmony’s craziness. I hope to see more of each of them. And Buffy’s new position offers up all kinds of odd meetings that I’m sure the Season Ten writers will enjoy exploiting. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

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Uncanny X-Men #29

by Alan Rapp on January 5, 2015

in Comics

Uncanny X-Men #29Uncanny X-Men #29 not only offers us a battle of words between Cyclops and Magneto over the fate of the extremely powerful, and a bit out-of-control, Matthew Malloy, but it also adds a mew wrinkle with a pair of time-traveling subplots one of which may stabilize the situation and another that may through the X-Men’s entire history into chaos.

Along with continuing to play on Magik jumping back-forth through time for the assistance of Doctor Strange, who comes us with an unusual solution to the Malloy problem, the latest issue also gives Tempus her own subplot as she considers altering time in a very large way by warning Professor Xavier of the Malloy situation in the past and alloying him to try and prevent the current situation before it ever occurs. Of course you have to wonder what else a past version of Xavier might learn about both his future and that of his prized student opening up the door for a very big shakeup if Brian Michael Bendis wants to walk the reader through. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #18Trapped inside a sinking Kraang Laboratory at the bottom of the ocean Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #18 offers the conclusion to last month’s story as Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael will have to put aside their feelings and work alongside Tiger Claw, Razah, and the bug-eyed Baxter Stockman to survive.

Of course the solid (if unexceptional) adventure ends in the villains betraying the heroes (just as Raphael predicted) but the quick thinking of the Turtles allows the group to make it home safely while sending their enemies on an unexpected side trip which is sure to infuriate them even more.

The holiday-themed back-up story offers a bit more enjoyment as Mikey freaks out discovering he’s been chosen as Raphael’s Secret Santa. However, knowing his brother so well, Mikey eventually comes up with the best present anyone could ever give Raph for Christmas. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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Smallville Season Eleven: Continuity #1

by Alan Rapp on December 31, 2014

in Comics

Smallville Season Eleven: Continuity #1After setting up the event in several of the previous mini-series, Smallville Season Eleven: Continuity brings a new Crisis to the Smallville Universe. Lois and Clark may have been able to make it home from a parallel Earth but not before the Monitors have begun deconstructing time and space in the reality they know as home. With all reality being erased, ripped apart to a molecule level, and rewritten, Superman has very little time to save his home.

Writer Bryan Q. Miller gets a little timey-wimey in his explanation of what is occurring across time and space (but not quite all at once as there are pockets left out for heroes to fight back from) but it works well-enough as the set-up to a world-ending event which will need all hands on deck to stop.

The bleak situation should allow the comic to bring back a wide assortment of characters to fight against the end of their universe. Not only do we get the regular Smallville cast but Batman, Nightwing, Zatanna, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and others all make an appearance here as Superman must lead his friends into war. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

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