Archive for April, 2010

Friday Night Fights: Rock and Roll!

I don’t know about y’all, but this has been an absolutely world-class rotten week. Everything that could go right went wrong, and everything that could go wrong went worse. I’ve got my doubts that the weekend will be much a break, either. And then it’s right back to the office for another five days of world-class rotten. So today, even more than most Fridays, I really need some FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

This week, we’re heading to the insanely brilliant Nextwave #1 from March 2006, by Warren Ellis, Stuart Immonen, and Wade von Grawbadger, as Elsa Bloodstone unleashes on the bad guys… with an electric guitar!







Any fight where someone uses a guitar to make a jeep explode… that’s the kind of thing that has a chance of making my weekend feel a little bit better…

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Raw Power

Power Girl #11

It’s the next-to-the-last issue of this great series (Oh, sure, the series name will continue, but without Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, or Amanda Conner — and with one of the worst comics writers in history taking over the title), and it just keeps getting better and better.

The Ultra-Humanite has transplanted his brain into Terra’s body. Big deal, right? Power Girl is a lot stronger than Terra is. But wait, no, Terra could crack New York City apart with ease, and when it comes to beating PeeGee up with boulders or lava, Ultra’s up for that, too. Can Power Girl find Terra’s brain? Can she find someone to put the brains back where they belong?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Pages and pages and pages of knock-down-drag-out fightin’, all of it awesome, mixed in with actual smart dialogue and strategy and characterization. Ultra-Humanite/Terra makes for a great global-level threat, and Power Girl breaks out some serious brutality and badassery. And as always, brilliant and beautiful artwork by Amanda Conner. Why she’s not on the A-list of every comics company on the planet, I have no idea…

Tiny Titans #27

Our entire focus of this issue is on Raven, her dad Trigon, and Kid Devil. Raven gets stuck babysitting Kid Devil and brings him home with her to hang out at her house for a bit. And her dad, a red-skinned, horned demon, is completely won over by the pint-sized, red-skinned, horned demon. Trigon keeps assuming Kid Devil is a harmless little tyke, which leads to several amusing incidents of minor injuries and property damage.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Just three main characters this time, and it’s all funny, and it’s all cute. I didn’t expect it to work so well, but it turned out just fine.

Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #1

Not sure why they’ve started re-numbering this series, but here we are anyway. The Avengers have gone to talk to everyone from the UN to the FBI to S.H.I.E.L.D. to the White House, making their case for everyone to let them serve as an independent, unaffiliated team. Meanwhile, an unknown party has begun creatively vandalizing famous statues around the world — adding extra arms to Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue and a set of giant wings for the Statue of Liberty. Who’s behind it? Magneto and the Brotherhood of Mutants, who are now threatening to start blowing up buildings, too. Can the team take out the insanely powerful Master of Magnetism when some of their most powerful members have to be off pleading the team’s case to the authorities?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A very nice story with a wonderfully clever ending and great character work. There are lots of great moments for characterization here — Black Widow’s strong disagreements with the team’s decisions, Sue Storm’s homesick phone call back to the Fantastic Four, the struggle between Nova and Thor for the last donut. It’s outstanding stuff, and not the sort of thing you expect to see in an all-ages comic.

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A History of Violence

I really enjoyed Maxo Romero’s post last week about the current grim-and-gritty trend in comics. It’s too good to excerpt, so go read it, then come back. I’ll wait for ya, don’t worry.

(clips toenails, prepares Bruschetta, builds a stereo cabinet)

Hey, you’re back!

Well, I agreed with a lot of what Maxo had to say. I haven’t seen “Kick-Ass,” and I probably never will. I’m an official member of the “Mark Millar Licks Goats” anti-fan club — and if he wrote the comic version of “Kick-Ass,” I wasn’t much interested in watching the movie, either. The fact that the movie is a flop is the type of thing that puts the sunshine in my orange juice.

I really am expecting Marvel’s “Heroic Age” and DC’s “Brightest Day,” despite their promises of happier, more fun comics, to very quickly devolve back into random bloodletting, cheap and easy character death/resurrection, and general sociopathy.

I hope that readers will react unhappily to this — getting sold a specific bill of goods and picking up something that’s completely different isn’t a good way to keep business healthy in most industries — but I don’t know that the readers will actually react that way. After all, the “Kick-Ass” comic sold very, very well, and it wasn’t just Millar and Joe Quesada buying extra copies.

The reason we get comics that read like they were written by sociopaths is pretty much because we’ve got sociopaths writing comics and sociopaths running the comics companies. If Mark Millar could convince Joe Quesada that he could sell a series that featured Spider-Man raping a baby, the series would get approval in a hot minute. If Judd Winick could convince Dan DiDio to let him take over “Tiny Titans” and turn it into the angst-and-murderfest that the mainstream “Teen Titans” comic is, there’s nothing that’d stop ’em from making it so.

But of course, as should be obvious to anyone familiar with this blog, I read a lot of horror comics, with a lot of violence, gore, death, and dismemberment. I was a fan of “Blackest Night,” which was chock full o’ death and blood and gore. I’m a fan of other comics — and fiction in general — that features violence, sex, cussin’, outright blasphemy, and worser stuff. Am I a hypocrite? Well, I reckon I am, but not about this.

Context really is the big thing here. And not just context-within-story (which is important, but can be bent like crazy in the service of smacktastic awesomeness), but context-within-character. Does Spider-Man work as a character who’d make a deal with the devil? Does Deadman work as a character who’s not dead? Does Prometheus work as a character who’d let an utter schmuck like Green Arrow get the drop on him?

And context-within-artform, too. I accept levels of violence within horror and alt-superhero comics that are entirely inappropriate within mainstream superhero comics. I can deal with mutilation and child death in comics like “Umbrella Academy” or “Crossed,” but not in anything with “Justice League” in the title. You see a title set in the mainstream Marvel or DC universes, and it should be expected that it comes with an unspoken promise that you won’t get something awash in pointless gore and contempt for the audience. Sure, there are exceptions — you can’t have “Blackest Night” without zombies. You can’t have the Punisher without mass murder. You can’t have “Nextwave” without snarking at comics readers. You can’t have Spider-Man without the death of Gwen Stacy.

I’m not saying DC and Marvel comics should all be kid-friendly. There’s a place for all-ages work and a place for more mature work and a place for work that’s drenched in violence, sex, and adult sensibilities — yes, even within mainstream superhero comics. But creators and publishers have to be mature enough to grasp what context they’re writing for — and far too many either can’t do that or are unwilling to make the effort. They’re not interested in writing stories — they’re interested in inflicting their psychoses on the readers.

I’ve got my problems with Alan Moore, but he writes within context. He can write violent comics like “Watchmen” and “From Hell” and “V for Vendetta,” but he knows that you write differently for “Tom Strong” and “Top 10” (which still had death and violence that made sense within the context of the TV police procedural). He knows who he’s writing for, and he respects the characters, the story, and his readers.

Writing within context is something that mature, competent writers do. Writing any blasted thing because “Oy, it’d be radikal and exxxxxtreme!” is something that immature hacks like Mark Millar, Jeph Loeb, and Brian Michael Bendis do.

Is there a solution for that? Heck if I know. You can’t talk sense to Quesada or DiDio — they both believe they were put on Earth to publish bad comic books. But maybe the only real solution is time — high quality work has a tendency to last — people remember it, recommend it, and help ensure that it sticks around. Low quality work is eventually either forgotten or held up for justified contempt and derision. How well is Rob Liefeld regarded today? That’s what Millar and his cohorts have to look forward to.

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Blood on the Streets

American Vampire #2

Both of our linked stories in this issue focus on our heroes’ transitions from humans to the undead. In 1926, Pearl Jones dies in the hospital after getting attacked by a bunch of Hollywood vamps and wakes up only to learn from Skinner Sweet that she is, like him, a new kind of vampire, an evolutionary step up from the ones who created her. What can she do? Other than survive in the sunlight, Skinner keeps that a secret from Pearl — but he does leave her a gift — the handsome Hollywood actor who lured her to the vampires in the first place. The second story, written by Stephen King, is set in the last years of the Wild West. Notorious outlaw Skinner Sweet has been gunned down by the law — but only after contact with a vampire’s blood. Now Skinner’s in an uncomfortable spot for a vampire — buried underground, unable to get out — and a few years later, after the vampire businessmen dam up the river, under an extra 60 feet of water. How can even the undead survive a couple decades in those conditions?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Oh mercy, thumbs up. Both of the stories are wonderful horror romps, and as much fun as the first issue was, this second issue makes it clear that this series is gonna be a must-buy. Let’s talk art — Rafael Albuquerque adapts his familiar superhero style very well to the world of vampires — our first glimpses of Pearl and Skinner in full bloodsucker glory are just awesome. And the look of the artwork actually changes from the story in the ’20s to the one in the Old West, credit to both Albuquerque and colorist Dave McCaig.

B.P.R.D.: King of Fear #4

The King of Fear, a skull-faced, semi-mechanical, black-glowing wannabe-world conqueror, has Abe Sapien, Andrew Devon, and their team of B.P.R.D. operatives trapped underground, surrounded by frogs and proto-humans and giant robots, as the King makes his plans to destroy the world and present it, wrapped up in a bow, to Abe, who he sees as the next stage in the evolution of life. Meanwhile, Liz Sherman has been taken into a vision of the apocalyptic future by the ghost of Memnan Saa. Is there anyone left who can save everyone?

Verdict: I’m gonna have to thumbs this one down — and for a second issue in a row! As I’ve said before, this series has gone on for so long now that we need a lot more detailed recaps of what’s happening and who all the players are — and not just the heroes, but the villains, too. Other than that, the story seems straightforward and credible… or at least as far as I know, since I can’t remember who all the villains are…

Crossed: Family Values #1

Here’s a new series set in the “Crossed” universe, this time starting at the same time as the initial outbreak of the insanely homicidal super-virus. Our lead character now is Adaline Pratt, eldest daughter of a very large and very wealthy horse-ranching family. It seems like a fairly happy life — except that dad is an authoritarian rageoholic with a fondness for child abuse and molestation. So, ya know, not so much of an idyllic existence and more of a barely-suppressed domestic hell on the verge of exploding. And that’s even before the army of virus-driven psycho killers show up and try to kill everyone at the ranch…

Verdict: Ya know, I’m really not sure yet. I like Adaline as a character, but when the leader of the survivors is a moral monster like Joe Pratt, you’ve got the potential for a really deeply unpleasant story ahead of you. I’ll need another issue or two before I’ll be able to decide whether or not I want to deal with it.

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A Farewell to Hercules

Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #2

Hercules is dead, as are Zeus and Hera, so Athena declares herself the new queen of the Olympian gods, and she wants Amadeus Cho to be her mortal champion on Earth. Not everyone is happy with that — most of all Amadeus, who doesn’t trust Athena a bit. Her fellow gods also have some objections — Apollo steps forward to challenge her, and the gods start picking the mortal proxies who will fight for them. Athena picks Amadeus, Apollo chooses the late Ares’ son, who is now Phobos, the demigod of fear, Poseidon chooses Namor, Artemis chooses Skaar, Nyx, the goddess of night chooses Nightmare, and Hebe picks the temporarily Hulk-less Bruce Banner. Three powerhouses vs. one powerhouse and a couple of smart guys? This is gonna be a pretty one-sided fight, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, in the backup “Agents of Atlas” story, Venus and Namora are settling Hercules’ estate. They visit an island orphanage only to meet up with a horrific, multi-headed, tentacled dragon. But they soon learn that the dragon is actually a little girl with a bunch of dragon-headed limbs, and that the whole island is a refuge Hercules set up for young, orphaned monsters, both growing children and a number of terminally-ill kids. With orders from the Olympus Group to shut down Hercules’ holdings, can Namora and Venus find a way to make everyone happy?

Verdict: Thumbs up. The first story was just fine — lots of exciting and clever action. But the real winner here is the backup story. It’s a very sweet, sad, genuinely touching story. And it’s cuter’n heck, too — I thought the giant spider pulling the little centaur girl in her little red wagon was really adorable, though I’ve got a bit of a twisted sense of cute. Still, it’s definitely worth picking up.

Joe the Barbarian #4

Joe’s slowly going into diabetic shock and hallucinating a whole fantasy world based on his own home — or is he? He’s traveling with Jack, a humanoid rat, and Smoot, the world’s tallest dwarf, when they meet up with a city full of technological magicians. The magicians have a bunch of weapons that could be used to fight King Death and the Deathcoats, but they’ve actually taken sacred vows of cowardice. They offer the travelers guidance for the journey ahead, but King Death’s armies soon attack. A lone apprentice magician, Zyxy, offers her aid and the use of her flying machine to help them all escape — but are they really escaping? Or just plummeting?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Exciting stuff going on here — and it’s pretty funny, too. The magicians’ idea of magic runs toward inventing cigarette lighters and batteries, which they treat as superstitiously as they can. Zyxy looks like she’ll be a fun hero, as well, and a great addition to Joe’s motley band.

The Brave and the Bold #33

I decided to give this one another shot. And I’m gonna spoil the whole story for you, so if you don’t like that, ya better start runnin’ now.

You’ll notice the Barbara Gordon version of Batgirl walking around on the cover — this is a story set some time in the past. Zatanna wakes up in the night after experiencing a prophetic vision. She calls Wonder Woman, and they both seek out Batgirl to convince her… to go dancing with them? All three have a long night visiting as many clubs as they can, then Wonder Woman starts dropping hints about… Oracles. She talks about the mythological oracles who could see the future, but who could do nothing to prevent bad futures without making things even worse. And we finally get the big twist — Zatanna is an oracle who just foresaw that Barbara was about to be shot and paralyzed by the Joker, and the entire outing was to give her one more night of dancing and having fun.

Verdict: Well, now, let’s talk about this one a little. On the one hand, we’ve got Cliff Chiang and his always outstanding, gorgeous artwork. We’ve got some nice interplay between the trio of heroines during their pub crawl. We’ve got some nice bits of humor here and there. Those are on the plus side. Unfortunately, the negatives are all on the other side.

The story from Alan Moore’s “The Killing Joke” has been told and retold multiple times, but J. Michael Straczynski turns in the only one I’ve ever seen that really gets right down in the muck and wallows in Barbara’s fast-approaching shooting. Reading this just makes you feel dirty, like you’re sharing headspace with JMS’s faintly sadistic pleasures.

And there’s also the bizarre anachronisms of the story. The events from “The Killing Joke” took place quite a few years ago, as the DC Universe reckons — but this story features a prominent iPhone joke and a scene where the three heroines go to a karaoke bar and sing Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” This comes across as just ridiculously inept, and it serves to rip you right out of the flow of the story.

So yeah, a thumbs down. The only thing that keeps it from being multiple thumbs down is the sheer awesomeness of Chiang’s artwork.

Straczynski is about to take over “Wonder Woman” in a few months. Judging by how awful his run on “The Brave and the Bold” has been, I can’t be the only person who’s dreading how this is going to turn out, right?

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Invasion of the Saucer Men!

Have you ever wondered how cool it would be if we ever contacted an alien civilization? Dr. Stephen Hawking has wondered that, and as one of the smartest people on the planet, he’d just as soon we stopped wondering about that.

The aliens are out there and Earth had better watch out, at least according to Stephen Hawking. He has suggested that extraterrestrials are almost certain to exist — but that instead of seeking them out, humanity should be doing all it that can to avoid any contact.

The suggestions come in a new documentary series in which Hawking, one of the world’s leading scientists, will set out his latest thinking on some of the universe’s greatest mysteries.


Such scenes are speculative, but Hawking uses them to lead on to a serious point: that a few life forms could be intelligent and pose a threat. Hawking believes that contact with such a species could be devastating for humanity.

He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is “a little too risky”. He said: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

Hawking also says he thinks there must be intelligent life out there somewhere because, out of the entire vast universe, with hundreds of billions of possible planets out there, it’s mathematically unlikely that Earth would be the only planet on which advanced life would appear. I’m not so sure of that — I’m a skeptic about such things in general, and if we’ve never managed to find proof it exists, I’d reckon on it not actually existing out there.

But if we expect that sapient life would evolve the way it has on Earth — if we expect that an intelligent alien species would share some of our characteristics? Yeah, time to shut down SETI, hunker down, and hope the space monsters don’t notice us. We can just suck all those old TV and radio signals back, right?

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Friday Night Fights: 1,001 Brain Blasts!

Yes, yes, we all love a little violence on our Friday nights, but let’s talk about what’s really important tonight — my 1,001st post! Namely, this one! Yes, I’m going to milk this just as long as I can, so go lump it, haters.

My initial thought was to try to find a fight sequence that would match up thematically with the number 1,001. That’s kinda a tall order. There’s “The Thousand and One Nights” and that’s really about it. “Fables” had a storyarc focusing on characters from Middle Eastern folklore and fiction, but I actually stopped collecting that series a bit before that arc began. There’s the extraordinarily brilliant 50th issue of “Sandman,” with the story titled “Ramadan,” but that one’s entirely free of violence.

So I finally decided, the heck with a theme, I’ll go with something that’s just plain awesome.

From March 2007’s Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #9 by Jeff Parker, Juan SantaCruz, and Raul Fernandez, here are Capdoc, Stormdoc, Spidoc, Hulkdoc, Gi-Doc, Irondoc, and Woldoc, transformed, obviously, into hyperintelligent brain-zapping MODOKs, taking on Attuma and his hapless army:

There is nothing in the world more wonderful than giant-headed superheroes riding around in floaty yellow chairs.

Y’all really wanna give me a “Merry 1,001 Posts on your Comic Book Blog” present, y’all head over to Spacebooger’s place after 10 tonight or any time this weekend, and vote for me.

And y’all have a great weekend…

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One Thousand Posts!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, put on your party hats and pump up the volume. This is my 1,000th post on this blog!

I know the Better Class of Comics Bloggers would, at this point, provide links to their best, most insightful, most entertaining posts. But I’m not one of the Better Class of Comics Bloggers, and I’ve sure never written anything insightful or entertaining, so let’s just check out some funny and vaguely-topical comics covers instead….




Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off for my new One Thousandth Post Mansion to celebrate with Scarlett Johansson, Christina Hendricks, and a few bottles of Dom Perignon and — what’s that? You say that’s the reward for the Better Class of Comics Bloggers? Well, what do I get? The One Thousandth Post Chicken Shack, a six-pack of warm Keystone, and a nubile young donkey named Darla? Siiiigh. Here’s to joining the Better Class of Comics Bloggers someday, Darla…

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Fellowship of the Rings

Green Lantern #53

The Blackest Night is over, and the primary representatives of the various Lantern corps are continuing on with their lives. While Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris try to figure out if they can continue their always-stormy relationship, Sinestro reveals that a white power battery has appeared and demanded to to see Hal. Saint Walker helps the Flash rebury the dead of Coast City, a mysterious someone from Sector 666 is holding secret telepathic conversations with Hector Hammond, and Larfleeze gets manipulated by Lex Luthor. All that, plus Atrocitus is making some very surprising new allies.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The story is fine, if a bit all over the place. Doug Mahnke’s art is what really makes this issue sing. From the blasted surface of the dead planet Ryut, to Hal and Carol flirting in a bar, to Saint Walker’s benedictions in the cemetery, to Sayd‘s look of sorrow as Larfleeze’s captive Guardian, to Luthor’s beautifully thoughtful and evil expressions — they’re all rendered just about as perfectly as I could ever imagine them. There’s no way DC is paying Mahnke enough for work this gorgeous.


Batgirl #9

Stephanie saves a train from a mad — okay, mostly just angry — bomber, while Barbara Gordon continues mentoring the recently-paralyzed Wendy, brother of the late Marvin and daughter of the Calculator. Wendy is generally hostile to getting any help beyond just fixing up electronics. But the Calculator has some evil new plans, including a new binary nanite system that can control and kill people over the phone, and some all-new and all-crazy plans to get rid of Oracle once and for all.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great and fun superheroics, with plenty of excellently crafted action, dialogue, characterization, and suspense, courtesy of writer Bryan Q. Miller, and some outstanding action-packed and downright cinematic artwork from Lee Garbett.

Booster Gold #31

This is Dan Jurgens’ last issue on this title. Booster and Skeets head into the city to beat up some high-tech thieves. Booster is still angry about having to help ensure the past destruction of Coast City in the last issue, as well as being worried about his sister Michelle, who is still upset at the death of her boyfriend in the same disaster. Unfortunately, Booster isn’t paying close attention, and he accidentally deflects an energy blast the wrong way and kills a little girl’s dog. He can’t console the girl or replace the dog, and he leaves the scene feeling like he’s still a colossal failure. Can Booster make peace with his sister and make amends for the dog’s accidental death?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This series has had its problems, but this is a pretty nice issue, mainly because it’s low-key and simple, with more emphasis on emotions and character than on convoluted time travel.

Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #15

Freddy Freeman has accepted power from Black Adam, turning himself into Black Adam Junior. Captain Marvel and Black Adam battle clear to Egypt, neither able to hurt the other, while Adam seeks a scarab necklace that he believes will make him vastly more powerful. Mary, meanwhile, alternately beats up on Freddy and tries to talk some sense into him. Eventually, Mary and Mr. Tawny go to see if the wizard can help out, leaving Cap to take on Adam and Freddy solo.

Verdict: Ehh, neither one. It seems perfectly well done, but it’s just not keeping me interested.

Oh, one final note: y’all be here tomorrow — I got a special announcement to make…

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One Froggy Evening

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers Unleashed #2

We backtrack a bit from last issue to show where Frog Thor had vanished to — Asgard, to seek the counsel of Thor himself. The Thunder God welcomes Frog Thor — by his real name of Puddlegulp, no less — and acknowledges him as a brother, just as he considers the alien Beta Ray Bill as his brother because they both wield the same weapons. He encourages Frog Thor to seek out other mythological beings to find more of a sense of belonging, and Puddlegulp starts out in the Himalayas, running into a belligerent yeti. After a short battle, the yeti admits that he was playing at being an abominable snowman to scare off tourists and invites the amphibian into his cave. But they’re both soon unwillingly dragged into some sort of mythological afterlife, ruled by someone who’s decided to get rid of all mythological beings with a giant lizardy monster. They’re all being cast back into the earthly realm — and the giant monster is coming, too.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Frog Thor is turning out to be a really fun character, and the scenes of him walking the streets of Asgard are just great, as are the battle scenes with the yeti.

Thor and the Warriors Four #1

For those of you who aren’t up on your Marvel characters, this story focuses on the Power Pack, a group of four preteen siblings with superpowers. There’s Alex Power, levelheaded gravity controller, Julie, the brainy speedster, Jack, the hotheaded brawler, and Katie, the energy-blasting baby of the family. Their grandmother is dying, and the kids are at various degrees of upset about that. Julie has been reading a book on Norse mythology and decides that the way to save her is to travel to Asgard and get some of the magic golden apples that keep the Norse gods healthy and immortal. The kids see a nearby lightning strike and figure that must mean Thor is nearby — but what they find is Frog Thor and the Pet Avengers fighting a bunch of wolves in Central Park. Power Pack lends a hand, but the wolves are a lot tougher than expected. Turns out they’re really wargs — steeds of the Asgardians — and the best way to calm them down is for everyone to pick a warg and jump onto the saddles on their backs. Frog Thor agrees to help the kids, and the Power Pack rides the wargs back to Asgard.

And there’s a backup story, too, with story and art by Colleen Coover, about Hercules babysitting the Power family.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very fun story, with funny dialogue, characterization, and action. Katie Power certainly gets the best lines, and her background interactions with the Pet Avengers are really cute. The backup story is short, but very, very enjoyable.

The Super Hero Squad Show #4

Three separate stories in this one. First, Man-Wolf and Drax the Destroyer have been hired by the Collector to kidnap all the superheroes and supervillains to be part of his interstellar zoo. Can the remaining heroes turn the tables on the Collector by bringing an even bigger collector into the picture? Second, the Hulk is having nightmares and is trying to figure out a way to get rid of the things that go bump in the night. And finally, Reptil plans out this year’s April Fools jokes on his fellow superheroes, but will the joke be on him when he has to face the menace of… Chtylok, the Chicken-Cow?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very lightweight stories, but they’re still pretty fun. The Chicken-Cow is probably the standout of the whole issue. Come on, it’s a freakin’ chicken-cow!

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