Comics

Super Secret Crisis War #4

by Alan Rapp on October 11, 2014

in Comics

Super Secret Crisis War #4As the mini-series moves past the halfway-point, the group of displaced heroes battle the robot versions of themselves created by the League of Extraordinary Villains. Although hopelessly outnumbered by the robotic duplicates, Samurai Jack, Ben Tennyson, Dexter, Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttecup manage to hold their own. Eventually Aku stops the battle by threatening the homeworlds of each of the heroes should they refuse to surrender and allow their consciousness to be copied, altered, and installed in each of the warriors making the robotic army unstoppable.

Although the latest issue continues to keep Mojo Jojo on the sidelines, the reveal of Aku’s true plan and threat against a world Mojo has no intention of letting be destroyed before he can conquer it, convinces the Powerpuff Girls’ arch-nemesis to switch sides and (GASP!) play the hero?!

The latest issue delivers on the action and off-beat humor (such as Dexter using the severed-head of a Buttercup bot to fight off his attackers) and is certainly worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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Batman ’66 #15

by Alan Rapp on October 9, 2014

in Comics

Batman '66 #15When the Penguin teams up with the Black Widow and literally traps the Caped Crusaders in the spider’s web it’s up to Batman‘s quick thinking to play on the Penguin’s insecurities and get the villain to switch sides before all is lost.

In another nice mix of action and camp (the citizens of Gotham actually help the police track down money blowing through the streets from the villains’ bank robbery), the latest issue puts a more comic book spin on a villain who only made a single appearance on the television show in one two-part episode. Relying less on gadgets than chemicals and animal attraction (and one of the first villains not to be drawn distinctly different than the actor who played her on television), the woman earns her super-villain name as she gets as close to any of Batman’s villains in her attempts to kill The Dark Knight Detective and Boy Wonder. The result is an entertaining issue that offers readers the rare opportunity of seeing one of Batman’s oldest enemies fight beside Batman and Robin. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

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Guardians 3000 #1

by Alan Rapp on October 9, 2014

in Comics

Guardians 3000 #1Continuing the back-up story from Guardians of the Galaxy #14, Marvel’s original team of Guardians continue their adventures in the alternate future of the Marvel Universe where the Badoon are overruning the galaxy and leaving very little left alive in their wake.

Taking a page from Edge of Tomorrow (which coincidentally hits shelves this week on Blu-ray and DVD), the Guardians and their new charge find themselves reliving slight variations of the same day’s events as the group attempt to warn their remaining supporters about a disruption to the timeline which Geena Drake is somehow the key to fixing.

Once the time loop is broken it will be interesting to see which versions of Vance Astro, Charlie-27, Martinex, Yondu, and Starhawk the comic leaves us with (I’m hoping for the starry-version of Starhawk). Although I’m not overjoyed with some of the heavy ‘roid rage action scenes by Gerardo Sandoval, it’s fun to see these characters back in action once more. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Magneto #10

by Alan Rapp on October 8, 2014

in Comics

Magneto #10Helping setting up Marvel Comics’ Fall Avengers/X-Men crossover Axis (which I will likely be giving a very wide berth), Magneto‘s search leads him to be captured by the Red Skull who, imbued with a part of Charles Xavier‘s mental gifts, uses his mind to turn Magneto’s own past against him.

Taking place mostly inside Magneto’s mind, Magneto #10 focuses on Magneto attempting to keep his sanity and stop the Red Skull from breaking him (which would happened if not for the timely arrival of the Scarlet Witch, Rogue, and Quicksilver). As to the now mutant-powered Red Skull… meh.

For a comic that has gone out of its way to keep its lead character off the grid throwing him into the middle of a crossover this big is more than a little jarring. That said, the tease at the end of the issue involving Magneto’s rash decision allows readers who stick around to see what an amped-up version of his former self might accomplish. For fans.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Samurai Jack #12

by Alan Rapp on October 7, 2014

in Comics

Samurai Jack #12Sensing that the one object in all the world which he fears in no longer an obstacle, Aku celebrates by putting a bounty on Samurai Jack‘s head when the samurai is at his most vulnerable. With the sword broken, and fighting his way through mercenaries and bounty hunters, Samurai Jack returns home to where he first received the sword but finds only half-remembered memories and no hope no answers to his current predicament.

“The Quest of the Broken Blade” continues to be one of the most intriguing arcs of the current IDW run. Even without his sword the samurai proves he is capable of taking care of himself, but how long before Aku himself takes advantage of the opening and chooses to deal with Samurai Jack one-on-one?

And where does Samurai Jack, and those who look to him to be a champion of hope, look to find his own? From the looks of things the Quest has only just begun. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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Batman Beyond Universe #14

by Alan Rapp on October 5, 2014

in Comics

Batman Beyond Universe #14Wrapping up the return of the Phantasm who attempts to prevent Terry Ginnis from learning that his father’s true killer is still at large (and tempting him into seeking vengeance), Batman Beyond Universe #14 offers more flashbacks to the events which splintered the Bat-Family and ended any chance of Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon‘s happily ever after.

Although not as strong as the previous month’s set-up, and with several of the final pages setting up future stories I have little to no interest in, Batman Beyond Universe #14 should still be worth a look for fans of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman Beyond and curious to see a pivotal moment in the Terry/Bruce relationship unfold.

Filled with plenty of action, hard choices, and Bruce Wayne loosing another adopted son and apprentice, the latest issue of Batman Beyond Universe is worth picking up even for those (like me) who may not stick around to see how the fallout between Bruce and Terry is finally resolved. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

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The Fade Out #1

by Alan Rapp on October 4, 2014

in Comics

The Fade Out #1While I was busy moving and trying to keep up with the regular list of titles on my pull list Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips released the first issue of The Fade Out. Wasting no time after wrapping up Fatale, the new noir series is set in post-WWII Hollywood during the Red Scare. With a second printing of the first issue timed with the release of issue #2 (which I have yet to get to) I can begin to see what I’ve missed.

The Fade Out #1 opens with a flawed protagonist, screenwriter Charlie Parish, who wakes up from a crazy Hollywood party to find his movie’s star dead in the other room and no answers for how he or she got there. Fearful of how it looks, Charlie removes any signs of his presence and the studio’s security chief goes even further to re-stage the crime scene to appear like a suicide.

Although it lacks the strong female lead of Velvet or Josephine, there’s much to recommend here as Brubaker and Phillips go all-in for a period crime story with all the trimmings (making use of research assistant Amy Condit) whose motives may take quite some time to unravel. Worth a look.

[Image, $3.50]

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Daredevil #8

by Alan Rapp on October 3, 2014

in Comics

Daredevil #8The latest issue of Mark Waid’s Daredevil returns an old enemy of Daredevil‘s in the Purple Man known as much for his colorful complexion as his ability to bend people to his will. After setting the stage for his current plans years ago, the Purple Man surfaces to begin abducting children all over the city. Revealing himself to be their father, the Purple Man awakes each child’s similar gifts, although he’s not prepared for the welcome deadbeat father receives from his progeny.

With the villain himself taken out by the children he created solely to love him the story takes a dark turn as the kids, now with powers they are only beginning to learn to control and no adult supervision, are left to their own devices. The twist now becomes in how Daredevil will fight the new threat without harming the children.

Daredevil #8 also includes Matt Murdock meeting Kristen McDuffie‘s parents (and offered a book deal for his autobiography). McDuffie’s a great character, but Waid’s decision to tell fans she isn’t the woman for Daredevil takes some of the fun out of these kinds of stories. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Fables #144

by Alan Rapp on October 2, 2014

in Comics

Fables #144Still unaware that the recently resurrected Bigby is being controlled by an outside force, the pair of Ozma (dressed like teen superhero) and Beast housed in the Big Damn Golden Armor) set out to stop him. Along with a giant castle appearing in the middle of Manhattan, the resulting chaos creates one of the funniest lines of the series as a New York cop exclaims “What in the bloody fuckhole of America is going on here?”

Despite magic and armor on their side both Beast and Ozma find defeating (or even slowing down) the wild Bigby impossible. Trying to fight the voice in his head, Bigby has no choice but to eventually murder both Fables continuing his bloody path straight to Fabletown and his wife.

With Bigby’s story in full swing the rest of Fabletown prepares for his arrival, as does Snow White who prepares to meet her husband for what might be the final time. Where Fairest seems to have lost its way a bit, Fables #144 provides a strong tale with an enjoyable back-up story offering the final fate of the Three Blind Mice. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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G.I. JOE #1

by Alan Rapp on October 2, 2014

in Comics

G.I. JOE #1After discontinuing the company’s various G.I. JOE titles earlier this spring, IDW launches a new series where a changing world threatens G.I. JOE. With Cobra renouncing its terrorist ties and becoming a peace-keeping organization Washington debates whether or not an organization like the JOEs need to exist.

As Cobra attempts to broker peace between Schletteva and Galibi, Scarlett is stuck in Washington attending Senate hearings defending her organization now that their primary threat has apparently seen the error of its ways. The question about what Cobra is really up to, with the help of Siren who continues to rebrand Cobra to the outside world, is left hanging as the first issue comes to a close but we do know not every Cobra soldier is happy in their new roles.

New York Times best-selling author Karen Traviss begins to lay a foundation for the series here but by the nature of the story is forced to be unnecessarily vague about the real intentions of all the players. The art on IDW’s JOE books has always been hit-and-miss. Steve Kurth’s work matches Traviss expositional storytelling but a little more traditional comic style would go a long way to help sell the storyline. For fans.

[IDW, $3.99]

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