Comics

Guardians of the Galaxy #18

by Alan Rapp on September 5, 2014

in Comics

Guardians of the Galaxy #18The conclusion of the Cancerverse storyline which ended the previous run of Guardians of the Galaxy on a cliffhanger with the fate of Star-Lord, Thanos, and Nova in doubt is addressed for the first time in three-and-a-half years in Guardians of the Galaxy #18 as Gamora confronts Peter Quill about what really happened.

I’m assuming the Original Sin tie-in helps explain the lengths Gamora goes to in order to elicit the information out of Star-Lord in this issue (but since I’m not reading the event I can’t be sure). Whatever the case, the story jumps from narrated flashbacks to a discussion between the two Guardians (one of them tied to a chair).

Incomplete, the comic ends on yet another cliffhanger (this one involving the Cosmic Cube), the story works although by now most readers have long moved on. I was slightly disappointed that the comic doesn’t address the original Guardians who were a part of Cancerverse arc as I’ll always root for appearances of Starhawk and his teammates. For fans.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Super Secret Crisis War #3

by Alan Rapp on September 5, 2014

in Comics

Super Secret Crisis War #3Locked in a space station in another dimension, Samurai Jack, Ben Tennyson, Dexter, Bubbles, Blossom, Buttecup, Ed, Edd, and Eddy get separated into small groups while battling the robots of Aku and Vilgax many of whom have been created to look like our heroes. This allows for some intriguing team-ups including the chance to see Samurai Jack and Bubbles fight side-by-side for an entire issue (a pairing I’d gladly pay to see more of).

Continuing the trend of the mini-series as it hits the halfway mark, Super Secret Crisis War #3 includes more betrayals and mechanations among the group as each villain decides he is obviously the greatest member of the League of Extraordinary Villains.

Despite the swath the heroes manage to carve out through the ship, leaving butchered robots in their wake, the latest issue also teases us with what Aku really has in mind for their enemies as the comic heads its final three issues (which will hopefully include more Mojo Jojo!). Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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Batman Beyond Universe #13

by Alan Rapp on September 4, 2014

in Comics

Batman Beyond Universe #13Sometimes a comic can surprise you. After largely ignoring Batman Beyond Universe I decided to pick up the latest issue which promised the return of the Phantasm, flashbacks to the old Batman: The Animated Series days, and the reveal of what really destroyed the Bat-Family all those years ago.

Batman Beyond Universe #13 weaves a story that feels more like part of the Timmverse, without being overly nostalgic, rather than the increasingly watered down version we’ve seen come and go in recent years. The result is the best Batman Beyond comic I’ve read and easily sells me on the conclusion of the two-part storyline which will not only see the fallout between Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, and Bruce Wayne but also force Terry McGinnis to deal face-to-face with the man responsible for the death of the man who raised him.

Joining the comic with this issue, artist Phil Hester manages to faithfully recreate the look of both series. I particularly love the flashback art. Best of the week.

[DC, $3.99]

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Fables #143

by Alan Rapp on September 3, 2014

in Comics

Fables #143Continuing to gear up the end of the series, the return of Bigby Wolf creates new problems in Fables #143. Unaware that the feral creature is being controlled by the mysterious woman whose true motives have yet to be revealed, the out-of-control Bigby is slowly leaking magic into the outside world destabilizing the illusions that keep Fabletown hidden.

Things aren’t slowly down in the growing conflict between Snow White or Rose Red as both women choose names for their swords and take one step closer to inevitable conflict. And, proving Snow a better judge of character than her sister, Brandish takes advantage of the confusion to murder Weyland Smith exacting a bit of revenge and earning a measure of freedom as his exact role in the coming conflict is still very much undecided.

The strong issue also includes the very last story of Babe the Miniature Blue Ox who reminds readers of previous adventures and then threatens them not to finish the issue thus allowing the series to continue. If only that was the case. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 Annual

by Alan Rapp on September 2, 2014

in Comics

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 AnnualAs he’s done in the past, Kevin Eastman seizes on the opportunity to not only co-author the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual but do double duty and give fans of the original comic a taste of the co-creator’s artwork as well. Given the fact that time travel plays a large role in the annual, it shouldn’t be surprising that some leaves several questions unanswered as the Turtles are recruited by an old friend who they haven’t yet met to fight in gladiatorial combat against warriors from several other realms.

Introducing the well-meaning but scatterbrained Renet into the series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 Annual opens up time travel into the IDW series for the first time. Working together Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael manage to survive the games and help Renet and the young warrior Baltizar lead a revolt to make drastic change to their world.

As annuals go, it’s weird and goofy to be sure and probably worth picking up for Eastman’s art (despite the $8 price tag). Worth a look.

[IDW, $7.99]

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Magneto #8

by Alan Rapp on August 27, 2014

in Comics

Magneto #8Continuing the trend of the comic in recent months Magneto #8 features an increasing number of flashbacks and panels from Magneto‘s complicated past narrated through the current version’s search for justice. The latest issue also offers up another group of mutant killers and traffickers for Magneto to track down leading to S.H.I.E.L.D. finally catching up with the vigilante and the reveal of the less-than-noble goal of Magneto’s quest.

Personally I’m all in favor of Magneto being reinstated back to full strength, but evil Beast storyline already opened the door for that as a possibility (only to be immediately ignored by every X-book afterwards). The choice offered here takes the character down a darker road which may offer some intriguing storylines but probably doesn’t serve the character all that well in the long run. If Magneto is restored to full power (whatever costs may be involved) the question then becomes where does he fit in the larger X-Men and Marvel universes? For fans.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #6

by Alan Rapp on August 26, 2014

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #6The second arc of Season 10 begins here with Buffy and the Scoobies dealing with the harsh realities of living in a big city out of their meager price range. Offered an opportunity at a new place to live, Buffy gathers the team to help exorcise a haunted house which isn’t so much haunted by ghosts as controlled by a demon who offers his victims idyllic visions of lives not lived while slowly draining their lives.

With the conclusion of the previous arc co-writer (and former Scoobie) Nicholas Brendon says goodbye leaving Christos Gage in control of the writing duties. Rebekah Isaacs is also supplanted here by Karl Moline. Although Xander’s voice is lessened a bit by both the story and Brendan’s abscence, neither the sound nor look of the characters is hurt by the changes.

The only surprise with the fake reality is the one character who refuses to see through the lies as Giles continues to struggle with his new reality as a teenager cut off from his old life which will likely continue to be a theme of the series going forward. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse Comics, $3.50]

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Samurai Jack #11

by Alan Rapp on August 26, 2014

in Comics

Samurai Jack #11Beginning a new arc, Samurai Jack #11 leads Samurai Jack to Soule the Seer who believes the samurai’s enchanted blade holds the key to finally sending the time-displaced warrior home. When Soule’s incantations go wrong, however, Jack is left without his trustworthy blade and the one weapon in all of creation which Aku fears.

In the comic’s rotating stable of artists, Andy Suriano provides some of the series best panels with his work in Samurai Jack #11. I particularly enjoyed the Luke and Yoda style trekking as Jack carries Soule on his back to what his mistakenly believes is magical spot which will lead him home.

It will be interesting to watch “The Quest of The Broken Blade” unfold as Samurai Jack will work to restore his sword whose spirit has been lost leaving Jack more vulnerable than ever to Aku’s attacks. And how soon will it take Aku to realize Jack is no longer armed with the blade? Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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The Multiversity #1

by Alan Rapp on August 25, 2014

in Comics

The Multiversity #1I’m so starved for a Captain Carrot comic I’ll even read one by Grant Morrison. What has the world come to? The Multiversity launches here, and in typical Morrison fashion it’s big, messy, and jumps wildly from entertaining to pretentious and crappy.

The concept is pretty simple. There are 52 parallel Earths in the DC Universe, in-between them there exists a sort of weigh station where heroes from various worlds are assembled to deal with the threats which threaten the entire Multiverse (even if it is a stupid looking giant eye with bat wings).

The first dozen or so pages deal with events on Earth-7 where Nix Uotan (a Monitor dressed up like Static Shock for some unknown reason) falls to the grave threat of the eyeball-bat-thingy. Things pick up a bit with the introduction of President Superman of Earth-23 who is recruited into the Multiversity where he comes into contact with a variety of heroes including Captain Carrot (who thankfully is more similiar to the original character rather than the awful New 52 version).

[click to continue…]

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #37

by Alan Rapp on August 22, 2014

in Comics

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #37One of the staples of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon was the contentious partnership between the Foot Clan and the Utroms. Having kept the two sets of Turtle enemies separate until this point, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #37 brings the groups together as the Shredder makes an offer of an alliance with his old enemy General Krang. Not surprisingly, both characters plans on ruling the world leave little room for partnership as the meeting ends in bloodshed.

The battle with Krang means the return of Koya and the first appearance of Bludgeon as the comic’s mutant character pool continues to build. The comic’s B-story features Alopex still on her own after abandoning both the Foot and the Turtles, but after the fox is approached and bewitched by a vision of Kitsune it appears Alopex’s freedom will be short lived. As someone who would like to see her stay firmly on the side of the Turtles this isn’t a development I particularly like, but it should at least give us more of the character in the coming months. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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