Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Grandparent Factor

I don't know when it happened but at some point my parents stopped being parents and became grandparents. And, for the record, it wasn’t as soon as the grandchildren arrived either.

I remember growing up with my parents and they didn’t act anything like they do now. To this day, I can remember standing in line at the grocery store and asking, “Mom. Can I have this candy bar?” To which my mother responded, “Do you have money for that candy bar?” Needless to say I didn’t get the candy bar.

My childhood was about chores, responsibility, and all sorts of crappy life lessons that usually involved me getting in trouble. That woman no longer exists. I don’t know where she went but she doesn’t come to visit my house!

Suddenly, the rules that I had as a child are too strict. As a parent, I’m suffocating them with all the chores I make them do. Grandma tells me, I’m smothering their creative growth. It eventually got to the point that I had to have the ‘talk’ with Grandma. I had to sit down with her and act like the parent. I had to tell Grandma that she couldn’t let the kids jump off the roof no matter how deep the snow bank was, dessert after dinner was fine but the kids still needed to at least each some carrots, and remind her of the rules that were in place when I was a child. Let me tell ya, it was a thrill a minute.

We ended up compromising to a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy for events as Grandma’s house. This doesn’t mean that I don’t catch the occasional glimpse of what occurs.

The other day, Grandma was watching the kids for the afternoon while wife and I went for a nice quiet lunch. When we returned to pick them up, I found boy on her kitchen floor playing with a fork. Yes, a fork.
Lee: Ummm, Mom, I don’t think Boy should be playing with a fork.
Grandma: Oh don’t worry. He’s fine.
Lee: Mom. It’s a fork. It’s not really a toy. He might hurt himself.
Grandma: You just pipe down. When you were little I used to let you play with the sharp knives and you still have all your fingers. Boy can certainly play with a fork if he wants.
Lee: What? What are you tal...
Grandma: Go on. Shoo! I need to finish making dinner.
And with that I was ushered out of the kitchen.

Friday, October 30, 2009

DC Preview Review for December Part 2 of 2

As promised Part 2

Written by Christos Gage
Art and cover by Diego Latorre
Based on the upcoming EA video game, this classic epic poem is brought to life as never before, courtesy of writer Christos Gage (WILDCATS, X-Men/Spider-Man) and hot new artist Diego Latorre. Dante Alighieri is re-imagined as a holy warrior who has returned from the Crusades to find his beloved fiancÈe Beatrice murdered. When her soul is ensnared by Lucifer, only Dante has the strength and courage to break open the gates of hell and save her. But at what cost to his own immortal soul? And is Dante himself pure enough for this impossible task? Find out in this sizzling new 6-issue miniseries!
On sale December 9 • 1 of 6 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Jim: Why not adapt the actual work and not the video game. Pass.
Lee: Because if they adapted the actual book… nope. Can’t do it. There isn’t any comment that I can make that won’t make me sound old and crustier than I already am. I’ll attempt hip YAHOOO More comics based on video games! THIS IS SO COOL.
Gwen:I think Jim and Lee covered it - this is a bad idea.

Written by Gabriel Bá & Fábio Moon
Art by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá
Cover by Gabriel Bá
They were two of Entertainment Weekly s Top 100 stars to watch. They ve won multiple Eisners and have worked with the top names of comics and pop culture from Joss Whedon (Sugar Shock) and Mike Mignola (BPRD: 1947) to Gerard Way (Umbrella Academy) and Matt Fraction (Casanova).
Now, Brazilian wonder twins Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá are back writing and drawing in a hauntingly lyrical series set in their native Brazil. With DAYTRIPPER, they follow in the tradition of Craig Thompson, Paul Pope and David Mazzucchelli cartoonists at the top of their game making comics about the quiet moments that ask big questions. Brás de Oliva Domingos is an obituary writer with a famous father, a career he hates, and tons of questions. How does a person become a successful writer? How does a man get out of his father s shadow? But those concerns will dwarf the surprise ll find in the first issue a twist both he and readers will never see coming, which will grow into a mystery about the meaning of life itself.
On sale December 9 • 1 of 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS

Jim: This is the most exciting new material release from DC this month. I can’t wait to read this it sounds great.
Lee: I’ve read just about everything this pair has produced since Casanova. I was sold as soon as I read the creators names.
Gwen: This could be interesting but I don't know that I'm familiar with the creative team.

Written by Jamie Delano
Art and cover by Jock
Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the first appearance of John Constantine, Jamie Delano the very first HELLBLAZER writer returns for a new original graphic novel! Joining him for the occasion is fan-favorite artist Jock (THE LOSERS), who for the first time ever uses the meticulous techniques s developed for his Eisner-nominated covers to illustrate a gripping horror story tailor-made for the 21st century.
When an alluring Muslim woman catches Constantine s eye, she also brings trouble clattering to his doorstep: a bombing in a London museum, mysterious ancient Sumerian artifacts, an unearthly creature running rampant with renegade intentions& To protect his life and freedom, Constantine embarks on a desperate trail sprawling from the back streets of London to the detainment centers of contemporary Iraq where the man s seen everything will see modern-day terror like s never imagined.
Don t miss a Sneak Peek at HELLBLAZER: PANDEMONIUM on the Vertigo Blog at
Advance-solicited; on sale February 10 • 128 pg, FC, $24.99 US MATURE READERS

Jim: So I’m getting this, but is this part of Vertigo’s Crime Line? Because Dark Entries was and that was a Hellblazer book and not a “Crime” book. Both can be good, just market the stuff better, please.
Lee: Oddly enough, I love Hellblazer but I’m not really interested in this. It seems like a money grab to me instead of the celebration of original creator they’re trying to make it. How about collecting some of the original Hellblazer material in HC first and then doing stuff like this.
Gwen: I can't say I ever read the original Hellblazer material as I was introduced to the character through Books of Magic. Now if Neil Gaimen wants to write a Hellblazer story I'm all over that.

The second in DC Direct s series of dimensional display pieces, Catwoman joins the GOTHAM CITY STORIES line! Using her whip to balance as she crawls out the window, Catwoman and her kitty accomplice make off with a bag of money and some jewels among their loot!
DC Direct has created a new way for fans and collectors to celebrate their favorite DC Comics characters. This highly detailed resin rendition of Catwoman is designed to hang on the wall or be displayed on a desk or shelf. Each piece in the GOTHAM CITY STORIES series tells a story on its own, and when multiple pieces of the series are displayed together, new and different stories emerge.
This limited-edition, hand-painted, cold-cast porcelain display piece measures approximately 5.75" high x 5.75" wide x 2.75" deep and is packaged in a 4-color box with a 4-color Certificate of Authenticity.
Limited Edition. Manufactured to order.
Advance-solicited; on sale May 5, 2010 • Statue • $99.99 US

Jim: More dioramas and this time with Catwoman BUSTING out of the wall and her costume.
Lee: Since this is a Christmas solicitation, I thought it was Catwoman coming down the chimney instead of Santa. Oh baby, if all it took was a plate of cookies and some milk to get her down my chimney…. Sorry what were we talking about?
Gwen: Why do we always have to comment on these? Boys. *rolls eyes*

Trace the history of some of the most popular DC Comics characters with these special two-pack action figure sets!
Each set includes two full-sized figures packaged together one based on art from the character s early appearances and the other based on art from the modern era.
One collectible trading card featuring each character will also be included in each package.
All figures feature multiple points of articulation and include display bases and character-specific accessories.
4-color clamshell blister card packaging.
THE JOKER - 6.5” H (CLASSIC) - 6.75” H (MODERN)
BATMAN - 6.75” H (MODERN) - 6.5” H (CLASSIC)
Advance-solicited; sale May 2010 Action Figures PI

Lee: These are cool because they show the evolution of the characters. Unfortunately, I really don't like where the Joker has gone in the past 10 years. He went from crazy clown to crazy, blood soaked ala Jason Vorhees psychotic. The fact that the early version has a cane and the current has a knife shows how far the character has fallen.
Jim: Blood and gore is all the rage – haven’t you heard and we are just becoming old fogies.
Gwen: The Joker is supposed to be evil Lee. You can't get much eviller than a serial killer (I guess excepting good-guy serial killers, but I don't really get that) and to show just how evil Joker is he has to be all Friday the 13th Rob Zombie style. Geeze.

The Man of Steel is the second statue in a new series that captures the original depictions of DC Comics most renowned heroes.
While evoking a gritty, old-school feel with Superman bending a tommy gun, this statue is a modern, sculptural interpretation of Metropolis hero.
The DC Chronicles statue line has a consistent base, and the retro-style logo on the base further gives the piece a sense of the period from which it originated.
This limited-edition, hand-painted, cold-cast porcelain statue measures approximately 6.75 high x wide x deep and is packaged in a 4-color box with a 4-color Certificate of Authenticity.
Manufactured to order.
Advance-solicited; on sale May 12, 2010 • Statue • $99.99 US

Jim: I want this, what an awesome looking retro Superman.
Lee: I had the exact same thought. This is awesome. Then I saw the price tag and realized I probably wouldn’t ever own this.
Gwen: Where's the half-naked Superman to match all the busty half naked women of DC statues???

Jim: Not a bad month with Daytripper a new JSA book, the retro Superman statue and the Creeper hard cover.
Lee: No matter how frustrated I get, DC always seems to have good stuff. I’ll be getting a bunch of this material.
Gwen: I think they should do an anime statue line of the male DC characters. That way we can sex up the guy characters too.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Satchel Paige - Reviewed

The World Series is here and, even though my team isn't playing, I still have the baseball itch. The easiest way to scratch that itch is to read a comic book about baseball so I read Satchel Paige, Striking Out Jim Crow written by James Strum, with art by Rich Tommaso.

For those that don't know, while Jackie Robinson was the first black baseball player in MLB, Satchel Paige was the first black pitcher in MLB. Satchel Paige was a larger than life character that many a book, and a couple of movies, have been made about. With so much already written about the man, I was very curious what a comic book could say that hasn't already been said.

The story isn't about Paige but about Emmet, a black ball player and farmer. The first third of the book is a thrilling, roller coaster of a ride as Emmet, the young ball player, faces Paige, the young pitcher. It is 23 pages of nail biting tension in the top half of an inning. That's right, 23 pages and only one out is recorded. And, an amazing 23 pages it is. Strum manages to show all the little details that make baseball exciting. At the same time, on each page, he ratchets up the tension as both hitter and pitcher silently taunt each other. Tommaso, for his part, primarily uses six panel pages. This creates an almost claustrophobic feeling to the pages as each tends to focus on either hitter or batter. I can't accurately describe how thrilling this section of the story is.

The middle third of the book highlights Emmets return to the farm after his baseball career ends. Emmet lives in the South and Jim Crow laws are in full effect. And, Strum, to his credit, doesn't sugar coat the situation. He doesn't show the full extent of the Jim Crow laws but he doesn't make Emmet's life easy either. There are several scenes of racism that are shocking by today's standards, but were probably common place at the time. The grim reality of Emmet's situation is offset by updates on the success that Paige continued to have in his career.

The final third of the book is another baseball game. This time, instead of playing, Emmet is in the stands with his son. The final third offsets the gloom of the middle by showing the hope that Paige brought with him where ever he was. The baseball game is exciting, but the results and impact of the game are even better. Finally, there are a couple of pages of cliff notes to explain the various settings and events that are referenced throughout the book.

Overall, this is an amazing book that shows just what is possible with comic books. Strum and Tommaso manage to create tension in the simple act of hitting a baseball. They also manage to make a moving story about a serious subject like the Jim Crow laws. Even if you aren't a fan of baseball, this is a fantastic read. At 90 pages for $10, it's a great investment.

James Strum, the author, is the director of The Center For Cartoon Studies. You can visit the Center here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blackest Night #4 – A Review

Blackest Night #4 (of 8)

Writer Geoff Johns

Pencils Ivan Reis

Inks Oclair Albert & Joe Prado

Colors – Alex Sinclair

Price $3.99 – 25 Pages and story and art, 2 pages illustrated text

I love this event, but unfortunately this issue had middle chapteritis. This disease inflicts many book as a saga has it ebbs and flows and it is seldom that any creator can succeed in making every chapter that slam bang hang onto the edge of your seats type of excitement. I will admit to a tinge of disappointment with this issue as my expectations had been raised to such levels that anything short of a grand slam feels like a little bit of a let down. It is tough when you have set your own bar so high, that you can’t always make that height each and every time out.

With that as the caveat this was still a wonderful issue. Let’s start with the art. Ivan Reis is the love child of Neal Adams and Alan Davis, with a little George Perez thrown in for good measure. As a super hero artist, no one, right now, is doing it better. He is beating out anyone you want to name and since Marvel’s big event has Hitch, yes he is doing a better job then Hitch. We start with 5 wide screen panels on page 1, a two page spread with tons of Black Lanterns, next a three panel page then two back to back six panel pages with large and small panels mixed in. Ivan is utilizing the larger panel to be the close up dramatic shots and the smaller panels to show the action. This is a Barry Allen issue and his use of multiple images of Barry and blurring effects to show speed are very well done. The art shows the action, the emotions, the drama, the tragic moments and all are done well and the story is never lost. This is important in that not only is Ivan doing a great job with his photo realistic and fluid style, but he understands how to tell the story. Geoff scripts may layout the panels (I don’t know), but the artist has to make it work. When this work is collected in an oversized edition it will be a blast to pour over the work. If DC is listening do a directors cut with John’s and Ivan’s commentary over the black and white work as the back up for the collection.

Two more points about the art. First, hats off to Albert and Prado. The level of detail in the pencils must have been tough to do justice to as an inker. These guys did such a great job of showing off Reis’s work that in reading it I never noticed a switch in who inked what. Second is Alex Sinclair, who is one of the top colorists and he is really strutting his stuff here, perhaps more then ever as he keeps it a super hero type palette, but also makes it an appropriately dark book. This is a coloring job that is a truly masterful job of setting the tone, lighting, mood in both subtle and overt ways. Alex always enhances art, never overwhelms.

The actual story has a little bit of middle chapteritis as the crux of this book was the Flash running around and being the super hero Paul Revere and letting the troops know what is happening and what they can try to do to combat it. Essentially he is letting the super hero community know what the Black Lanterns are and what they are not, what harmed them and that they need to fight a holding action as Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan is gathering help to shut this menace down. At the end we see that maybe the whole thing has been a feint as Nekron shows up and appears to be the guy behind everything. I now know why DC started to let the cat out of the bag about Nekron being behind it, because I have no real clue who he is and why he is behind the whole thing without a little wiki help. DC really should have released a reprint of the Nekron story from years back as background, but I’m sure Johns will fill in any blanks and may have revamped him somewhat since that story from 1981. Basically he has been shown to be a lord of the dead and has resurrected people before.

Some great elements of this story is the spotlight given to Ray Palmer as DC seems set on making him the Atom again, pushing the new Atom off stage. Johns does a nice job with Ray and since we have Barry and Hal back I guess Ray fits better, but I was happy with Ryan Choi. Also Mera is getting a big role which is a total shock as she has always been a background character. I’m enjoying that as I always thought Mera was a cool character and had better water based powers then Aquaman ever did. The shocking death of a JSA member was a stunner. I was reading the section where the JSA are fighting off Black Lanterns and I had already moved past the deaths from before when the deadly danger these foes represent was brought home with **&^&*’s death. You really get the feeling that unless you have your own book, you could die.

Another part of this issue that was surprising is that Hal Jordan was not in the issue at all. Even with this event being an outgrowth from the GL book Johns is weaving the actual event to being its own story. Earth has become the focal point again with Nekron’s arrival, but prior to this it appeared as OA was the center of this story. Finally Johns has really put death on the table so to speak. We have major “B” players being taken out and a lot of “C” level characters biting the dust. How this all plays out is really intriguing and this event is really engaging me into the DCU like few things have. I’m anxious to see what DC is offering after this event is over and it better be an immediate follow up with an actual impact. One of the failings of Final Crisis is that absent the “death of Bruce Wayne” the landscape in the DCU did not change. DC has been behind Marvel in changing the landscape of their Universe and if they do this right it could reap benefits for their line for a couple of years. I’m really curious to see how DC deals with all of these deaths, reviving all of these people would make a mockery of this event, so I think most have to remain dead.

In re-reading my own review, even with that tinge of middle chapteritis, this was another great chapter in the Blackest Night event.

Overall Grade A- The more I reviewed it, the better it got. Johns and Reis are the current reigning Kings of comics right now.

DC Preview Review for December Part 1 of 2

Jim: So the end of 2009 from a solicitation standpoint and DC finally has produced a hard cover collection of the Creeper by Ditko, let’s see what else they have.
Lee: More and more DC is starting to look like Marvel. There are still plenty of good books but the Big 2 are indistinguishable from each other at this point.
Gwen: I can't believe we're on December solicitations already. I feel like it should still be summer =/

Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert
Variant cover by Rodolfo Migliari
Sketch variant cover by Ivan Reis
The secrets of Nekron are revealed as darkness consumes the DC Universe.
Everything else: TOP SECRET.
On sale December 23 • 6 of 8 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

R.E.B.E.L.S. #11
Jim: DC fell into the event trap and have way too many titles that are tying into this event hoping to generate sales for certain books I’m sure. To me gimmicks like this never work, books just need great stories and great art and they will sell. Gimmicks never work long term. Not that I’m not enjoying Blackest Night, I am, I just don’t need 14 titles tying into it.
Lee: It was nice that DC was able to hold out as long as they did. But with Marvel dominating the market it was only a matter of time before DC followed. The real question is will DC produce it’s own version of Dark Reign that ties into every core book?
Gwen: Ah well, it was a good effort while it lasted - although, realistically, it was hard to see how this story wasn't effecting the rest of the universe.

Written by Steve Niles, Ivory Madison, David Tischman, Simon Spurrier and others Art by Chris Samnee, Clayton Henry, Marcus To, Saleem Crawford and others Cover by Andy Kubert
The BATMAN 80-PAGE GIANT features can't-miss action from some of today's premiere up-and-coming talent working on your favorite characters! It's the biggest blizzard of the year, and everyone in Gotham City is doing what they can to help. Find out what Batman, Robin, Alfred, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, Veil, Poison Ivy and more get up to when snow brings Gotham City to a standstill!
ONE-SHOT • On sale December 16 • 80 pg, FC, $5.99 US
Jim: For a throwaway book this has some good talent. I will pick this book up.
Lee: I’ve always enjoyed one shots because it was up-n-coming artists. And with great writers this should be really good.
Gwen: This kind of looks like fun :)

Written by Scott Kolins, Sterling Gates, Amy Wolfram, Fred Van Lente, Jay Faerber, Beau Smith, David Tischman, Jay Torres and others Art by Scott Kolins, Jeff Lemire, Daniel Liester and others Cover by Dustin Nguyen
It s that time of year! You t miss your favorite characters bringing good cheer to all. Even Deadman and wana Beast find ways to celebrate the spirit of the season!
ONE-SHOT • On sale December 9 • 80 pg, FC, $5.99 US
Jim: This I will not pick up, unless it is a very light week otherwise, the holiday stuff always comes across as the same stuff year after year.
Lee: It’s hard to come up with something witty after that Scroogey comment. And not Scroogey the Duck either. YIKES!
Gwen: Hoilday stuff is generally hit or miss - I think it usually works better on TV.

Written by Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Freddie Williams II
Variant cover by Ryan Sook
An all-new ongoing series! The Justice Society spin off group struggles to pull itself toward some semblance of order after the s devastating split! New home base, new training methods, new villains all bringing the JSA All-Stars face-to- face with one of their greatest villains again for the first time! Join writer Matthew Sturges (JUSTICE SOCIETY, JACK OF FABLES) and artist Freddie Williams II (ROBIN) for a new chapter in the JSA legacy.
On sale December 2 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Jim: I love the JSA, so I’m always happy to see more of it. I hope that they use this book to give more spotlight to some of the underused characters.
Lee: This looks to be a fine title but I take it as another sign that DC is just like Marvel. Pretty soon, we’re going to have 4 JSA titles to go along with the 4 Superman titles and 4 Batman titles. The only character without multiple titles is Wonder Woman.
Gwen: I think it's a good idea to have another JSA title because half the time you don't even see some of the characters. Still, the Legion is an even bigger team and all they get is a back up story.

Written by Steve Ditko, Don Segall, Dennis Neil and Michael Fleischer Art by Steve Ditko and others
Cover by Steve Ditko
Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man, struck again in 1968 with the strange hero The Creeper. Now, for the first time, DC collects Ditko s Creeper epics from SHOWCASE #73, BEWARE THE CREEPER #1-6, 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL #7 and short stories from WORLD S FINEST COMICS #249-255.
Advance-solicited; on sale February 24 • 256 pg, FC, $39.99 US
Jim: I have been dying to see a hard cover of this material. Now it has no information on format, which would be nice, but I’ll take it. Of course I wish we would get Hawk and Dove, Shade the Changing Man also out of DC. I love Ditko and almost can’t have enough of his work – almost.
Lee: I’m really excited about this too. And, we’ve talked about it before but I like the lower paper format on these books. It fits the material (and my memories of the material) perfectly. I’m all for the shiny high quality paper Archives reprints but I these are just perfect.
Gwen:I'm glad you two are excited but I was never all that into the Creeper. Ditko's work is definitely well done I just don't care for the subject.

Written by Dennis Neil Art by Adam Kubert and Andy Kubert Cover by Andy Kubert
Classic pulp fiction hero Doc Savage stars in this fast-paced tale featuring early work by comics superstars Adam Kubert and Andy Kubert, collected for the first time from the 1987 four-issue miniseries. Doc and his rugged band of assistants are introduced into the modern era as retired heroes and now, on the eve of an alien invasion triggered by a gang of would-be world conquerors, only Doc Savage s grown grandchild, Chip, can set things right. But is Chip, a self-professed pacifist, up to the task?
Advance-solicited; on sale January 13 • 128 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Jim: If memory serves this was not that good and you can probably buy the mini-series on E-Bay for $5 or less.
Lee: Funny, I had the exact same thought. In fact, I was looking at my copies of this just the other night and trying to decide if I should sell them on ebay! I didn’t think I could get $5 for them so I passed.
Gwen: Chip? What a horrid name.
Jim: Geez, now Gwen went and insulted my buddy Chip Mosher at BOOM.

Written by James Robinson and Jerry Ordway
Art by Tony Harris, Gary Erskine, Matt Smith, Leonard Kirk, Gene Ha, Mike Mignola and others
Cover by Tony Harris
Jack Knight s groundbreaking adventures continue as Starman teams up with Batman and Hellboy, then heads into space to find lost hero Will Payton. Collecting STARMAN #39-46, STARMAN 80-PAGE GIANT #1, THE POWER OF SHAZAM #35-36, STARMAN: THE MIST #1 and BATMAN/HELLBOY/STARMAN #1-2.
Advance-solicited; on sale February 17 • 432 pg, FC, $49.99 US
Jim: I’m very happy with how this series has been packaged and look forward to having the entire run in hardcover.
Lee: Great books. Great run. This is just fantastic stuff.
Gwen: Ah, Starman. I still haven't finished reading the trades but they're on my stack of books I need to read. Sadly school interferes with fun reading.

Part 2 Tomorrow

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Best and Worst of Last Week

The Ravens were off this week so I did not watch as much football as I normally would but what I did notice was the NFL has a problem. This year there is a huge separation between good teams and bad teams. There were at least 6 games that were not even a contest. The big thing about the NFL is the parity that had been achieved and you believed the axiom of any team on any given Sunday could win. This week-end is showing that may no longer be true and if the games between teams that are not your team is not interesting even fantasy football will not help the NFL. I know this maybe jumping the gun, but there are some really bad teams this year and for the NFL to be at its best they need to find a way to push ownership to try and fix those teams.


Stuff of Legend #2 (of 2) - Writers Mike Raicht & Brian Smith, Illustrated By Charles Paul Wilson III, Design & Color Jon Conlling & Mike DeVito. I was very effusive with my praise of the first issue of this book and you worry if something that knocks your socks off will hold up the second time around, this book did not disappoint. I want to find the right words that explain how I feel about this book but too many trite clichés that I personally don’t like come to mind like an instant classic or a seminal piece of work. This book is all that and more. It is like watching an old Disney Classic like Pinocchio again; it has both the fairy tale aspect, but the true sense of menace and danger that every great classic tale needs to have. The one thing that you can’t help but notice is the art by Charles Paul Wilson. He is somewhere between Hal Foster and Neal Adams, but really he is his own man. He has a realistic illustrator’s style, but he is drawing toys that have come to life on the other side of the darkness of a closet. He has made each one of the toys come to life and be realistic extrapolations of what you would expect each toy to become, but he still keeps elements that remind us they were just toys in our world. Charles puts a ton of detail into each and every panel and knows how to rotate his camera angle and develop his shots for maximum dramatic effect. Without interviewing the creators I never know how much is the writer’s direction and how much is the artist, but Charles Paul Wilson is already one of the top illustrators in an industry rife with talented people. His work stands out as an example of the finest the industry has to offer. He has the artistic ability of a portrait artist, the detailed eye of a bird watcher artist, the story telling ability of a Jack Kirby and the stylistic flair that makes each page his own. The quality of his work can’t be overstated and what amazes me even more that I had never seen his work prior to the last issue. See my full review here.

Cowboy Ninja Viking #1 - Writer AJ Lieberman, Art and Tones by Riley Rossmo. I had no real clue going in what to expect, but I have been a fan of Riley Rossmo with his work on his co-creation Proof. This book was a lot of craziness and a lot of fun. I find that I use the word fun to describe certain books, but I need to elaborate a little more on what makes a book fun. In this case the book is about an absurd idea of a multiple personality disorder person who is trained to be an assassin. We also have the super secret organization and the absurd lifestyle of the man who runs it, plus the director of that organization and the other triplet (multi-personality disorder) assassin. So many elements that are just off the wall and often skirt the edge of being over the top, but manage to walk that tightrope of keeping it fun without being stupid. Duncan is our star and he houses the Cowboy, Ninja and Viking personalities inside him and his mental illness has been honed and trained to be a weapon. The background organization behind this is an apparently a filthy rich person who has women at his beck and call. This is a secret organization that changes directors every two years. Each director went on to bigger and better things (although in googling some of the names, I’m not sure what they held in common) and the current director gets caught up in the situation with CNV right before she is too leave. See my full review here.

Chew #5 – Writer John Layman, Art Rob Guillory. This end of the first arc was terrific. While Chew had been an enjoyable book we did not have an over riding plot as to what the book was about. This issue we find that Chew’s partner Mason Savoy is trying to find out why 23 million people died in the US and 116 million worldwide. He is not buying the government’s story it was Avian Flu that did everyone in. In his efforts to uncover what happened he was willing to kill to determine what happened. Tony Chu is a good cop and he tries to arrest Savoy, who summarily beats up Tony and then disappears with Tony’s ear and a vow to find out everyone who Tony cares about and make them suffer if Tony comes after Mason (as he is a ciboparth also). So now we know there is much more to our world then Tony being a cibopath and that the canvas for telling the stories gets got a lot bigger. This has to be one of the best new series to come out of 2009.


Azrael #1 – I’m making this a worst book. The problem I have with the book is it is about a character I don’t care about and they killed him off at the end (theoretically). This is not the original Azrael who took over for Batman, I don’t think this is even the second one and at the end of the issue he is supposedly dead. In addition the jumping in time story telling device apparently has become de rigueur for writers. Cancelled.

Justice League of America #38 – Bagley’s art made this a good looking book, but it really feels like we are still treading water with the “Loser JLA” team. I guess we have to wait until we are deeper into Blackest Night or something, but I was hoping for a lot more from this issue. I was very disappointed with this jumping on point. As a company you can’t promote the crap out of the “new” creative team and ask people to jump back in and give them this “Detroit JLA” crap. I’m confident this book will get better with Robinson and Bagley, but this book was a clean miss.


Blackest Night Superman #3 (of 3) – Both this and the Batman mini-series have been great add on mini-series to Blackest Night. Krypto was a major hero saving Martha Kent, Connor found a way to shut down a couple Black Lanterns and New Krypton saved themselves at the price of being cut off from the rest of the universe, a bottled city again. Blackest Night and all it’s offshoots continue to provide quality entertainment.

Brave and Bold #28 – Can Jesus Saiz draw or what. Wow DC has Ivan Reiz, Marcos Rudy and Jesus Saiz doing some terrific artwork for them. Ivan is becoming a big name, but these other guys are doing great stuff also. JMS delivers another well told story about the Flash and the Blackhawks that was entertaining and a very nice tribute to WWII veterans. It would have been a terrific book to release on Veterans Day. A few friends of mine dogged this book, but I think it is a generational thing as they are all younger.

Dark Avengers #10 – I have been getting this book because it is critical to the core MU, but until this issue I never enjoyed an issue that much. The interaction by the villains is working well and Bendis seems to have their voices better then he does the good guys. In this issue the Dark Avengers are forced to be very Avenger like and the mysterious bad guys looks to more powerful then Norman and his crew. Add to that Norman starting to lose it and Venom on such heavy meds that he is acting very meek and mild.

Dark Reign The List : The Hulk – The actual story was done well enough, but this book is nothing more then a series of marketing stunts designed to highlight various other series. So far no story has had a real impact on the series itself or nothing that can’t be added to the main book by one or two lines. Add to that the $4 price tag and a useless reprint and I feel like I was hoodwinked so to speak.

Escape From Wonderland #2 (of 6) – I will play out the string and follow this for Callie’s story but it has lost the energy that it had from Return to Wonderland. Also Zenoscope in general has such sameness to it that after awhile it all runs together and becomes more about well endowed woman in scanty costumes than it does about the story. While the drawings of the women are enjoyable in some respects, you have to tell a compelling enough story to make me want to hang around long term. This is the only Zensocope book I get anymore and will probably be my last once this series ends.

Farscape Gone & Back #4 (of 4) – I absolutely love this book. I guess I’m as close to a Scaper (is that the right term) as you can get without going to a convention or whatever, but having John and Aeryn’s adventures continue has been just an absolute blast. If you enjoyed Farscape you will love this series, which now become an ongoing. Hellblazer #260 – Another very good issue and Simon Bisley’s art gives this issue an extra edge to it. Milligan has crafted a very good run on this book to date and Hellblazer continues to enjoy being not only a longer run series, but a consistently well done book.

Invincible Iron Man #19 – Tony Stark is beaten by Osborn and is brain dead. It took twelve issues to tell this story. We end with a phone call to Dr. Don Blake who is apparently Tony’s guardian under his living will. I will hang in for a little longer, but what is the point of taking a character down to just immediately restore him? This book is not “wow”ing me, but I have stayed on the book.

Mighty Avengers #30 – Hank Pym becomes Scientist Supreme after Eternity kicks his ass. Hank’s only been the Wasp for a little while, this guy changes titles faster then many change socks. This book is close to jumping the shark. Still a group of people are pulled together to fight the Unspoken and this book looks like it is taking over as the core Avenger’s title from New Avengers. As tight as Marvel has their continuity the inconsistencies are starting to show a lot. In too many books the same characters are involved in too many things.

Robotika for a Few Rubles More Doubled-Sized #3 & #4 – A strong ending for this book and I hope that we get to see more of Niko in the future. Looking at Alex Sheikman’s art I’m surprised DC and Marvel are not knocking on this guy’s door. After a long delay I was very glad that this book got published.

Spider-Woman #2 - A good issue and I love the mood of this book. Hard to not like Maleev’s work although I know a lot of it is more computer effects, but it looks good. Then I went out to and watch the motion comic for episode #2. The animation on this thing sucks, the voice cast is ok, but the story goes a lot further then the comic. In fact watching this horrid animation (see Sparks on Itunes for a good animation of a comic) made me like the book less. Hearing the lines actually spoken made me realize just how trite and cliché it was. “People only talk like that in comics” has become a saying for a reason.

The independent books ruled this week and have had one heck of a big year. It is nice to see that some of the independent books are not only getting good reviews, but often their sales numbers are decent. I read with some sadness that Proof is biting the dust, but it made it till 28 issues which is a decent run and no reason it can’t be revived someday down the road.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What I’m Getting Wednesday October 28

Politically speaking I’m so disappointed in what our government has become and one thing that recently came to mind is the way political dissent is being dealt with. Obama has essentially declared war on Fox News and is denying them access to the White House in some ways. I know that over the years one side has always called the other side names, but I first noticed a new wave of attacking opponents started with George W. Bush. If you were against the Iraq War you were almost considered a traitor and people were somewhat afraid to speak their minds, as the war continued that tact did not work. Obama and his crew now try to discredit anyone who goes against them. If I do decide to run for office I would court dissenting opinion. When I was in charge of some projects at Citicorp I looked for negative views of what I was doing. I found that often they pointed out legitimate flaws in what I was trying to do and I would adjust accordingly. If I heard their objection and found that it was opinion based and not fact based I would move forward with what I thought was right. I did not avoid dissent, I looked for it to force me to make what I was doing stronger or make me be able to explain it better. Instead we get politicians who want to shut down dissent and do deals behind closed doors. It is a shame Obama never provided the transparency and change he promised.

The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:

Arkham Reborn #1 (of 3) – David Hine is a perfect choice to restart Arkham. Arkham has a vibe to like no other place in comic books. The hype “Written by David Hine ;Art Jeremy Haun ; Cover by Frazer Irving. Following the Black Mask's destruction of Arkham Asylum in BATTLE FOR THE COWL, Dr. Jeremiah Arkham has rebuilt the Asylum following the design of his mad Uncle Amadeus. Intended as a model for enlightened treatment of mental illness, the building soon mutates into a torture house, and the inmates find themselves trapped in a living hell. And when Jeremiah starts hearing a voice from beyond the grave, it becomes painfully clear that the lunatics really have taken over the Asylum!”

Blackest Night #4 (of 8) – This event is making me enjoy an event. If this book and its offshoots continue to entertain as well as they have to date, this could be the best event ever done. DC says “Written by Geoff Johns; Art and cover by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert. Summer's hottest event explodes in this critical issue! Hold on to your power rings, because the secrets behind the Blackest Night finally stand revealed! While Earth is evacuated, Hal Jordan embarks on a brave journey to the darkest depths to uncover the truth behind the Black Lanterns! You won't believe what he uncovers!”

Fantastic Four #572 – Hickman and Eaglesham have given me an FF series that I look forward to every month, thanks guys! This issue contains “This is the shocking conclusion to dramatic first arc from Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham that spins Marvel's first family into a bold new era of adventure. Be there to see Reed Richards SOLVE EVERYTHING. Part Three of Three.”

Green Lantern #47 – Another part of Blackest Night and Johns is cranking out hit after hit with this event. The word “Written by Geoff Johns; Art and cover by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy. BLACKEST NIGHT continues! The war between the Blue Lanterns and Agent Orange implodes as the universe darkens! But a strange turn will send this epic battle in an unexpected direction when Larfleeze has something he desperately hordes taken away from him!”

Madame Xanadu #16 – The return of Amy Reeder Hadley to this series. Her work has so won me over that even the great Mike Kaluta could not make me miss seeing her work on this series. The cards tell us “Written by Matt Wagner; Art and cover by Amy Reeder Hadley and Richard Friend. The original MADAME XANADU team of Eisner nominees Matt Wagner and Amy Reeder Hadley is back! When the gloss and polish of a 1950s Madison Avenue exec's wife begins to tarnish, Madame Xanadu's present investigation will stir up a rivalry from the powerful mystic's past.”

Superman Secret Origins #2 (of 6) – This is Geoff Johns week for the probable top books of the week. The first issue was great. In-between these covers “Written by Geoff Johns; Art by Gary Frank and Jon Sibal; Covers by Gary Frank. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's exploration of the origin of the greatest Super Hero of all time continues! In this second issue, readers will witness young Clark Kent's initial journey into the late 30th century as Superboy and see how meeting the Legion of Super-Heroes shapes the Superman he will one day become! Plus, more on the beginnings of the young Lex Luthor!”

Ultimate Avengers #3 – Millar does a good action flick and with strong art it is always an enjoyable fast read, just don’t examine the plot too deeply. Marvel says “THE SEARCH FOR STEVE ROGERS CONTINUES! From the mad minds of MARK MILLAR (ULTIMATES 1 & 2) and CARLOS PACHECO (X-MEN), Nick Fury assembles a new team of deadly operatives to track down the renegade Captain America! But what will the Avenger’s resident marksman HAWKEYE have to say about Fury’s tactics and will these new faces make the cut when the %^&( hits the fan?”

The rest of the list:

Abe Sapien One Shot - In his earliest days as an agent of the B.P.R.D., Abe Sapien is sent on a simple mission to investigate a haunting following the death of a young boy. What he finds there is far stranger and more deadly. Mike Mignola and John Arcudi team with newcomer Patric Reynolds, who made his professional debut this summer on MySpace Dark Horse Presents, for this nightmare of corrupted innocence!

Ambush Bug Year None #7 (of 6)Written by Keith Giffen and Robert Loren Fleming; Art by Keith Giffen and Al Milgrom; Cover by Darwyn Cooke. Our last issue of this stunning, award-winning literary masterpiece titled "Whatever Happened to AMBUSH BUG YEAR NONE #6?", takes us deep into the mind of Ambush Bug. The other 21 pages will be just as exciting, we promise.

Astro City Astra Special #2 (of 3)Written by Kurt Busiek; Art by Brent Anderson; Covers by Alex Ross. While most people celebrate their college graduation by going to dinner, Astra and her boyfriend celebrate hers with a trip into The Gordian Knot, a cosmic caldera teeming with strange life and unusual encounters. It was meant to be a party, but for Astra, who has lived her whole life in the glare of the spotlight dealing with the bizarre and unexpected, it becomes much, much more!

Atom Eve & Rex Splode #1 (of 3) - Picking up right where the first ATOM EVE miniseries left off! See the secret origin of Rex Splode! See what shaped him into the man who tragically sacrificed himself in the Invincible War. Witness his first meeting with Atom Eve and learn their stunning secret!

Batman #692 - Written by Tony Daniel ; Art by Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea; Cover by Tony Daniel. BATMAN double-ships this month with Tony Daniel returning to the series as the new writer and artist after his best-selling BATTLE FOR THE COWL miniseries! With Batman pounding the pavement in search of Black Mask, Penguin on the run, and the completion of the new Arkham Asylum looming close, Gotham City has reached a boiling point! Guest-starring Catwoman and the Huntress and featuring the return of Gotham City's most notorious crime family!

Blackest Night Titans #3 (of 3)Written by J.T. Krul; Art and cover by Ed Benes and Rob Hunter. With their backs against the walls of a battered Titans Tower, the few remaining Titans face their dead former teammates who have now become Black Lanterns! Meanwhile, one Titan discovers a secret weapon...but at what price?

Dark Reign The List: Punisher - Frank Castle has disabled much of Norman Osborn’s criminal underground, tarnished his well-groomed public image and attempted to assassinate him. Today Osborn returns the favor. With Frank still torn apart from his battle with the Hood, Osborn dedicates himself and every single HAMMER resource to one goal: killing The Punisher. To make sure they don’t fail, The Dark Avengers are going with them. Somebody has to die. Somebody will. Legendary artist John Romita Jr. returns to The Punisher, joined by regular series writer Rick Remender for this, the most ferocious battle of Frank Castle’s life. Plus, a preview of the next exciting chapter of the Punisher.

Dark Reign The List: Wolverine - The power mad Norman Osborn wants control of the Weapon Plus program. The eternally-surly Wolverine wants to stop him. The artificially-evolved super-sentinel Fantomex wants to shoot everyone in the face and zip away in his kick-ass flying saucer. The Kree warrior Marvel Boy just wants the hell out. And the all-new Weapon XVI wants to bring the world to its knees. And you should want to read it. PLUS: Jason Aaron’s never-before-reprinted first Wolverine story, from WOLVERINE (first series) 175—and more!

Detective Comics #858Written by Greg Rucka; Art by JH Williams III; co-feature art by Cully Hamner; Cover by JH Williams III. The shocking and tragic origin story of Batwoman begins here! In "Go" part 1, young Kate Kane and her family are kidnapped by terrorists, and Kate's life – and the lives of her family – will never be the same! Plus, the mystery behind the villainous Alice is at last revealed! Then, in The Question co-feature, Renee's search for a missing girl comes to a bittersweet end, leaving Renee with more questions and an even bigger mystery for her to solve. As long as she can survive the night, that is…

Dynamo 5 #25 - CHANGE IS HERE! In the wake of Father Gideon's devastating attack, Maddie's darkest secret is revealed - and it will change Dynamo 5 forever! Featuring 45 pages of all-new material, including five back-up stories by guest artists TIM SEELEY, FRAN BUENO, ANDIE TONG, MATEUS SANTOLUCCO and JOE EISMA each of which examines a different aspect of the changes that take place this issue and laying the groundwork for the future of the series!

Gotham City Sirens #5 - Written by Paul Dini ; Art and cover by Guillem March. Harley Quinn takes center stage this issue as the girls deal with the after effects of Hush's deadly manipulations over the last few months. Plus, don't miss a surprise guest-star!

Guardians of the Galaxy #19 - Will Kang Conquer the Guardians? Rocked by the aftershocks of War of Kings, Star-Lord’s team – now castaways across shattered timelines – are desperate to find a route home before all possible futures fuse into one dark nightmare! Guest-starring the original Guardians of the Galaxy (sort of) and the infamous time-traveling despot who may be their only hope!

Incredible Hercules #137 - The face-off Herc fans have been clamoring for since his series began is here at last! God of Strength versus God of Thunder! Adamantine mace versus uru hammer! Olympian versus Asgardian! Incredible versus Mighty! That's right -- HERCULES battles THOR! The Odinson discovers the Lion of Olympus has been impersonating him and he's out to prove nothing beats the original! Then, in #137, the epic Secret Origin of Amadeus Cho concludes! He learns his connection with the original MASTER MIND EXCELLO and the identity of who really killed his parents! And once Amadeus knows this, will he look to reunite with Hercules... or destroy him?

Justice Society of America #32 - Written by Matthew Sturges and Bill Willingham; Art and cover by Jesus Merino. The seismic rift among the members of the Justice Society deepens due to the strange actions of several new team members as well as some long-seeded conflicts! It all leaves them dangerously weakened as their home base faces assault from an army of bounty hunters who plan on collecting the price on the head of each and every member of the Society!

Last Days of Animal Man #6 (of 6)Written by Gerry Conway; Art by Chris Batista and Dave Meikis; Cover by Brian Bolland. Animal Man R.I.P.! Buddy Baker sees only one way to take down the Mirror Master's daughter Prismatik and her homicidal partner Bloodrage – and even if it works, Animal Man won't walk away from the fight! Will there be anything left to send home to what remains of his family? This future might not have a future at all…

Marvel Masterworks Atlas Era Menace Volume #126 - Written by STAN LEE & MORE Penciled by BILL EVERETT, RUSS HEATH, JOE MANEELY, GENE COLAN, JOHN ROMITA, JOE SINNOTT, GEORGE TUSKA, WERNER ROTH, PAUL REINMAN, SHELDON MOLDOFF, JOHN FORTE, ROBERT Q. SALE, TONY DIPRETA, AL EADEH, BOB POWELL, JACK KATZ, SEYMOUR MOSKOWITZ & MORE Cover by BILL EVERETT In 1953 horror comics were king and Atlas editor-in-chief, Stan Lee, launched a new title to make a bid for the throne-and that title was MENACE! Backed by the best of the best in his art stable-Bill Everett, Russ Heath, Joe Maneely, Gene Colan, John Romita, Joe Sinnott, George Tuska-Stan's new title became a high-water mark for pre-Code horror. Chock full of page after page of werewolves, vampires, zombies, ghosts, ghouls, double-dealing women and stone-cold killers with a sense of morality as dark as the ink on the page, MENACE lived up to its name-and how! It also showed hints of the Mighty Marvel future to come with running editorial commentary by Stan, reader contests, and characters like the infamous Zombie by Stan and Bill Everett, who would become the Marvel Age's own killer zombie, Simon Garth. MENACE is a must-have for all aficionados of comics' rollicking pre-Code days and the perfect entry point for readers looking to take their first adventure into the Atlas Era! Collecting MENACE #1-11 304 PGS

Ms Marvel #46 - WAR OF THE MARVELS: THE FINAL CHAPTER There’s only room for one Ms. Marvel, and both Carol Danvers and Karla Sofen will kill to take the mantle. It’s the ultimate showdown of Dark Reign as the lines between good and evil are blurred…and the last Ms. Marvel standing will face the surprise ending of the year!

New Avengers #58 - The Hood's control over his turf is challenged. Big time. And you won't believe by who. And you won't believe where the Hood is getting his newfound powers from. A big status quo change for the power brokers of the Marvel Universe. Guest-starring the Cabal. All that and guess which Avengers hook up this issue. And by hook up... we mean " hook up".

Northlanders #21- Written by Brian Wood; Art by Leandro Fernandez; Cover by Massimo Carnevale. The next NORTHLANDERS epic begins now! Set in Viking Russia in A.D.1020, "The Plague Widow" examines a year in the life of a remote settlement under siege by a contagious outbreak. The residents of this village are so focused on shutting the outside world out, they don't think about who they're shutting themselves in with. Mixing equal parts crime, history and survival fiction, this is the most brutal NORTHLANDERS story to date!

Nova #30 - “Starstalker” Part 2 finds Nova and his fledgling Corps pitted against a threat from another dimension, forced to team up with the galaxy’s deadliest bounty hunter, and coping with a blast from the past!

Punisher #10 - “DEAD END,” Part 5 Finally! It’s the Punisher vs. the Hood! The new kingpin of crime has torn Frank’s world down around him, now he twists the knife embedded in Frank Castle’s chest in an act so cruel, so malicious, it’ll go down in the history of villainy. The gloves are off and anything goes in this sadistic face-off as Frank Castle and Parker Robbins attempt to kill each other by tearing each other’s souls apart. How much will Frank compromise to punish the guilty? There are worse things you can do to a person than kill him. Much worse.

Secret Warriors #9 GOD OF WAR PART THREE OF FOUR! Nick Fury's secret base is infiltrated by Norman Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R., and with Marvel's super spy on a top secret mission, the kids have to fend for themselves. It's Ares, Bullseye and Iron Patriot versus the Secret Warriors. GOD OF FEAR.

Superman #693 - Written by James Robinson; Art by Fernando Dagnino and Raúl Fernandez; Cover by CAFU. It's a special issue set entirely within General Lane's Project 7734 headquarters! Learn more about the mysterious Mirabai, Codename: Assassin and Atlas, and witness Lane ply information out of his latest…acquisition. All this plus revelations about Lex Luthor and Brainiac!Meanwhile back in Metropolis, big trouble comes calling. Hint: Him am not Superman!

Teen Titans #76 - Written by Felicia D. Henderson; co-feature written by Sean McKeever; Art by Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson; co-feature art by Yildiray Cinar and Júlio Ferreira; Cover by Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson. Guest-starring Beast Boy and Raven! With the Teen Titans unraveling at the seams, two former members must return to Titans Tower to help Wonder Girl right the sinking ship! If only it were that easy…And in the Ravager second feature, Rose uncovers a horrific black market. And she deals with it the only way she knows how: with blood.

The Web #2Written by Angela Robinson; co-feature written by John Rozum, Art Roger Robinson and Hilary Barta; co-feature art by Tom Derenick and Bill Sienkiewicz; Cover by Stanley "Artgerm" Lau. The Web finds himself in over his head as he plunges deeper into the criminal underworld looking for the elusive villain Dr. Archer. With his calls of duty piling up, The Web gets caught in a terrible death trap and in his civilian I.D., he's found himself rolling with made men. Has the new hero overplayed his hand already? Plus, the Hangman begins tightening the noose on San Francisco's organized crime, but he finds resistance in the form of the Ugly Man!

Wildcats #16 - Written by Christos Gage; Art by Shawn Moll and Drew Geraci; Cover by Ryan Sook. The assault on Max Faraday's island begins! The Wildcats fight a war against Tao's army to save planet Earth. Can they enlist an embittered Majestic to help them – or will he seal the team's doom?

Wonder Woman #37 - Written by Gail Simone; Art by Bernard Chang; Cover by Aaron Lopresti. It's a civil war – and the world hangs in the balance! Zeus has made Achilles ruler of the Amazons, and Diana finds herself in battle against the people she loves most! And what is the secret behind the sudden rash of pregnancies on Paradise Island?

World’s Finest #1 (of 4) - Written by Sterling Gates; Art by Julian Lopez; Covers by Phil Noto. After tracking down a threat to The Man of Steel – and all of Metropolis – Red Robin must team up with the new Kryptonian Nightwing to end this mysterious threat and rescue Flamebird. But is all this just a red herring to distract the heroes from an even bigger threat to Gotham City and New Krypton?

X-Factor #50 - Worlds and times collide in this double-sized conclusion to the year long storyline that has revitalized X-Factor. Will the Summers Rebellion triumph as is supposed to happen...or will it be derailed? Will Madrox make it back to his own time? Will Siryn, Monet and the rest of the team have their final showdown with Cortex? Will we actually learn just how it is that Layla Miller knows stuff? Will someone die? The answer to at least some of these questions is: Yes.

This is a big week of mainly just comics. A ton of good looking stuff is coming out. This week still feels like too many books for what I’m targeting and I should have dropped off the Dark Reign The List books, but once I get close to the end of something I tend to finish it. Also I’m only getting three books outside the big two. I did not count FVZA #1 from Radical as I have already read a preview copy and have a review up but that is another book that is coming out Wednesday that is well worth reading.