Comics

Powerpuff Girls: Super Smash-Up! #1

by Alan Rapp on February 8, 2015

in Comics

Powerpuff Girls: Super Smash-Up!Spinning out of events from Super Secret Crisis War the first issue of the new Powerpuff Girls series introduces the idea of Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttecup jumping realities to have unusual team-ups throughout the various Cartoon Network interconnected worlds. Opening with the girls defeating Fuzzy Lumpkinsattempt to kidnap Miss Bellum (by showcasing a bizarre new power) and a visit to Dexter’s Laboratory that ends in a mutated DeeDee jumping through a portal, the first episode is largely a set-up for the premise (while allowing Professor Utonium to geek out over someone else’s lab for a change).

Personally I’d prefer a solo Powerpuff Girls series but it seems IDW is more interested in growing the comic brand of the various Cartoon Network characters. Team-up books are a bit iffy as some of the various rotating guest-stars are likely to interest some readers more than others. I also have to wonder with the Powerpuff Girls traveling through other dimension whether we’ll get to see much of the various Townsville villains in the series? For fans.

[IDW, $3.99]

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Supervillain Origins: Calendar Man

by Alan Rapp on February 5, 2015

in Comics

WatchMojo examines the origins of Calendar Man (whose 80’s costume remains one of the most awesome things ever introduced in comics).

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #11

by Alan Rapp on February 4, 2015

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #11Love is in the air in the latest issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten leading to several characters falling flat on their face. Against her better judgement Buffy tries speed dating (where she discovers her fetish for vampires has become common knowledge among the undead). Willow has a transdimensional ecounter. Xander and Dawn continue to fail to make things work. And Giles gets shot down by an old flame who can’t quite come to terms with his current situation.

Although the main crux of the story focuses on just how hopeless the characters collectively are about love the issue does make a couple of big breakthroughs. First, Andrew makes a discovery everyone else was clear about many, many season ago. He also gets a power boost which could lead for an entirely different path for the character going forward. Oh, and remember kitten poker? Yeah, it’s back.

Andrew’s transformation will certainly have consequences, but the big news is the final panel which finally puts Spike and Buffy together again romantically. It will be interesting to see how the comic explores their relationship going forward. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #42

by Alan Rapp on February 3, 2015

in Comics

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #42The split within the Turtles is finally explained as Leonardo reveals his plan to Splinter in the latest issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Realizing that both the Shredder and the Technodrome offer very real threats to both themselves and the city Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #42 reveals Leo and Donatello‘s plan to insert Donnie as a double-agent and lure the Foot into a trap allowing the Turtles to pit their two enemies against each other while leaving the Technodrome largely unguarded.

As plans go it’s pretty darn good and makes for a nice twist, although it still leaves plenty of room for something to go wrong and the leaves the door open to either one of the Turtles’ enemies realizing how the Turtles have used them. Of course if it works the Turtles will be able to destroy the war machine as their enemies destroy each other. But if things went down that easily where would that leave the series as the heroes would be left with no enemies to fight tomorrow? Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra #1

by Alan Rapp on January 29, 2015

in Comics

Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra #1Not seen nor heard from in two years since his fall from grace with G.I. JOE and his apparent death at the hands of Storm Shadow way back in Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow #20 Snake Eyes finally returns. IDW relaunched (and eventually cancelled) an entire slate of G.I. JOE titles (including some issues written by Mike Costa) without one of the franchise’s favorite characters over the past couple of years so I’m excited to see the character finally be brought back into play, although I never expected it to be as an agent for Cobra.

The comic itself is vague about how long Snake Eyes has been missing or how long it has been since he signed on with Cobra. What is clear is his current mission which includes rescuing Destro from custody. The mini-series is set to run for five-issues suggesting that Snake Eyes’ time with Destro and Cobra may be limited (and one has to ask is that even Snake Eyes under the mask?). The promise of Storm Shadow’s appearance in the series and yet another confrontation between the two should answer several questions about Snake Eyes’ short and long term future. But for now we can just be happy he’s back in action once more. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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Rocket Raccoon #7

by Alan Rapp on January 28, 2015

in Comics

Rocket Raccoon #7After crash landing on a frigid planet full of monsters and snow ninjas on the far edge of the galaxy that makes Hoth look hospitable by comparison, things take a turn for the worse. Well, considering Rocket was already using his friend’s arm to fuel their fire to keep them alive while all his weapons froze in the intense cold, things weren’t going all that well to begin with.

Rocket Raccoon #7 offers an interesting premise by attacking the one aspect of Groot that we know to be true – although he can be cut, crushed, smashed, and blown to bits the living tree always grows back. However after being bitten my a space dog that somehow poisons his friend’s regenerative properties, Rocket Raccoon is forced to accept the the very real possibility that Groot might die.

Thankfully there is something for Rocket and his new snow ninja friend Jinx to do as the egg of one of the monsters that poisoned Groot may hold the cure (that is if Rocket can survive long enough on his quest to retreive it). Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1: The Faust Act

by Alan Rapp on January 27, 2015

in Comics

The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1: The Faust ActWritten by Kieron Gillen in an attempt to “turn the most confusing and upsetting two years of [his] life into a pop song,” The Wicked + The Divine is an odd, often messy, but always entertaining, series. Volume One: The Faust Act (earning points for the pun) collects the first five issues of the ongoing series centered around 12 gods reincarnated into the bodies of teens and twenty-somethings every 90 years. The catch? The gods live these new lives for only two years before dying out and waiting most of a century before their next reincarnation.

The story is presented through the eyes of an uber fan girl Laura who views the gods not unlike the pop stars and celebrities of our world. Being in the right place at either the right or wrong moment (depending on your perspective) allows Laura to meet Luci, the mischievous current incarnation of Lucifer who is arrested for a pair of murders she committed (in self-defense) and a very public third death that only Laura believes she is innocent of.

Jamie McKelvie’s art deftly brings Gillen’s world (filled with pain, hope, ego, despair, envy, and exploding skulls) to life. It’s definitely worth a look.

[Image, $9.99]

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Samurai Jack #16

by Alan Rapp on January 27, 2015

in Comics

Samurai Jack #16As a new arc begins rumors of a man with a control over time reach the ears of Samurai Jack who, along with thousands, flock to hear just what the self-professed Master of Time has to say. When the public audience does little more than pique the samurai’s interest he attempts a private audience with the man by sneaking into the heavily-guarded compound. Sadly, our hero isn’t as good a sneak as he is a warrior and ends up dumped (literally) out of the fortress.

It’s not often our hero needs help but admitting to a limitation, and fueled by the promise of what the Master of Time is offering (although from a couple of hints I’m expecting he isn’t all he’s cracked up to be), the samurai does seek our a partner to break back into the fortress and get the audience he so desperately desires. Just how the partnership will work with is yet to be seen.

Letting Aku step into the shadows for an issue or two allows for a different kind of story and the tease of an unlikely team-up of the samurai and the thief certainly sells me on the new arc. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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Star Wars #1

by Alan Rapp on January 26, 2015

in Comics

Star Wars #1Over the years both Marvel Comics and Dark Horse Comics have released a plethora of forgettable and mediocre Star Wars comics. Over the past couple of years however Dark Horse had found a way to recapture a bit of the old Star Wars magic with a series set shortly after the destruction of the first Death Star featuring the struggling rebellion’s battles against the evil Galactic Empire. Sadly cut short due the Star Wars rights returning to Marvel, a new adventure begins (with an insane amount of variant covers) as Marvel tries their own hand at classic tales featuring Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and the droids you most assuredly are looking for.

Writer Jason Aaron offers an issue highlighted by Chewbacca’s attempt to kill Darth Vader with a sniper rifle while his rebel pals break into a Imperial Weapons Factory. I mostly enjoy John Cassaday’s art but he struggles getting the right look of the characters in several panels that aren’t close-ups. I thought it was an interesting choice to draw Vader like he appeared in the old Marvel issues (with his mask occasionally stretched) which gave me a hit of nostalgia but also felt a bit wrong.

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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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