Archive for March, 2013

Friday Night Fights: Bonked on Friday!

We’re gonna make this short and sweet so we can all get right into enjoying the weekend. Ya know what time it is, kids? It’s FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS time!

From April 1979’s DC Comics Presents #8 by Steve Englehart and Murphy Anderson, here’s Superman punching Solomon Grundy crosseyed.


Yep, Grundy definitely “grew worse on Friday.”

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Hair Apparent


FF #5

Our focus in this issue is on Medusa, who appears to be harboring a few secrets. She enrolls her possibly-crazy son Ahura in the Future Foundation, makes Crystal’s daughter quite nervous, and is visiting some unwholesome old friends. Meanwhile, Darla Deering is trying to figure out a good helmet to wear with her Miss Thing suit, the pressure is getting to Scott Lang, and the elderly future Johnny Storm goes crazy and tries to burn New York City down.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent action, intrigue, and, of course, art. Fun dialogue. Some great funny bits, particularly Darla trying on helmets. In fact, I suspect the whole issue is worth buying just for this panel:


I’m a complete sucker for the Marx Brothers.


Batman Inc. #9

In the immediate aftermath of Robin’s death, the Bat-family battles Damian’s clone and the forces of Leviathan. Bruce Wayne kicks Alfred out of the mansion for letting Damian leave the Batcave. The Squire takes over as the new Knight. Jason Todd is being held prisoner by Talia. Gotham City knuckles under to Leviathan and bans Batman from the city. And Bat-Cow says “Moo.”

Verdict: Thumbs up. Listen, it was just a good issue, a strong obit for Damian (maybe not as good as the silent issue of “Batman” from a couple weeks ago, but good nevertheless), excellent action, and lots of cool moments.


Uncanny Avengers #5

Wonder Man and the Wasp join the team as public relations experts, while Wolverine travels to Japan to recruit disillusioned ex-hero Sunfire. But the team is already fraying at the edges — many members are unhappy with Havok leading them, the mutants and Avengers don’t play together all that well, and a press conference goes from bad to worse when the Grim Reaper, Wonder Man’s brother, attacks the group.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good all-around storytelling, good characterization, sweet art by Olivier Coipel. Love the way the personalities are clashing and the constant rise in the tension.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Owl City


Owls of the Ironwork Isle #1

Lubbock’s Will Terrell provides the art for this new comic miniseries from Antarctic Press, while Stephen Phillips handles the writing chores.

The story is set in a steampunk version of London and focuses on Lady Penelope Ayre, a leader of the Owls, a covert team of guardians, super-spies, and thieves dedicated to protecting the city from all possible threats. For all her responsibility, however, Penelope would very much like the occasional opportunity to enjoy the privileges of high society — but she’s usually required to fulfill her duties to London, the aristocracy, and the Owls. But tonight, Queen Victoria is announcing that new technologies will allow the cream of London society to take up a permanent place above the underclass — namely, as a floating city over everyone else. But a deeply inconvenient murder and a conspiracy in high places has the potential to bring everything crashing to earth.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The story is plenty of fun. The action is nice, and the dialogue is pretty good, too. Loved the characterization, as well — we had quite a few different characters, and they all spoke with their own unique voices. And if y’all are familiar with Will’s art (and for cryin’ out loud, you ought to be), you’ll find the artwork here plays straight into some of his strengths — excellent character design and caricature, strong cartooning, wonderfully expressive facial expressions, great storytelling and action flow. Let’s just put it down here — I loved this — and I’m not often a person with much affinity for steampunk — and you ought to try to pick it up.


Captain Marvel #11

Yet another issue of this comic that suckers you in with beautiful cover art, then stabs you in the back with horrifically bad interior art, courtesy of Filipe Andrade, who apparently has some really amazing blackmail photos of Marvel execs.

So Carol Danvers isn’t allowed to fly because she’s got some sort of bizarre mass in her brain that reacts to her flight powers by moving deeper into her brain and putting herself at risk of a brain hemorrhage — which she’d be able to survive, but without any of her memories or personality. Private eye Dakota North gets her a flying motorcycle and helps her bust up some bad guys, but Carol knows that the mysterious new Deathbird is stalking her… and her friends. How can Captain Marvel stop a flying villain when she’s not allowed to fly?

Verdict: I’m going to give it a thumbs up, because the writing and story are genuinely excellent. But the artwork — man, I’m starting to get the impression that Marvel wants this comic to fail. People get unhappy when you bait-and-switch them with gorgeous covers and gruesome interior art, and a comic this good deserves great art both outside and inside.

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Mystery Machine


Mystery Society Special 2013

The Mystery Society is back?! HOT DAMN! I had no clue this was even coming out, so it was an absolutely wonderful treat when I found it on the New Releases shelf last week.

The full membership of the group — Nick and Anastasia Hammond, twin super-psychics Nina and Sally, undead adventurer Secret Skull, and Jules Verne (or at least his brain in a steampunk robot body) — are on hand for another caper, first sending Verne and the Skull deep undersea to trade the skull of Edgar Allan Poe with a collector of unusual items. But of course, he welshes on the deal, intending to add Verne and the Skull to his collection. Nina and Sally teleport Nick and Anastasia down to help, later tagging along themselves when they get bored. Who are the prisoners who the Mystery Society intend to free? Only a few legends of myth and literature… who may be a bit too terrifying to be trusted…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wow, I’d forgotten how much I loved this series, and this issue serves as a great reminder of how much fun it was. My lone complaint is that, though Steve Niles is back on writing duties, Fiona Staples didn’t return to do the art. Andrew Ritchie is quite good, but he’s more closely associated with horror comics — and while this book has quite a few monsters in it, Ritchie’s art style seems an odd match for the Mystery Society’s pulp-adventure thrills. Still, that’s a fairly minor nitpick. The whole comic is just plain awesome, and y’all should go get this, and you should also go hunt down the trade paperback of the “Mystery Society” trade paperback.


Batwoman #18

Batwoman and Hawkfire (Kate Kane’s cousin Bette in a new costumed persona) battle Mr. Freeze, each in secret communication with their technological benefactors — Cameron Chase of the DEO in Kate’s case, and Col. Jake Kane in Bette’s. They manage to take Freeze down, but run into more trouble when Batman shows up. He wants the villain’s freeze-gun, but the DEO wants it, too. Batwoman “solves” the problem by demolishing the weapon, which just convinces the DEO that she’s too much of a loose cannon, so they start planning on bringing out their new ace agent. All that, plus Maggie Sawyer starts house-hunting for a house for her and Kate once they get married…

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a good issue — but it must be said, it’s also not as good as many of the previous issues of this series — the art and writing are not quite up to the high standards we’ve come to expect from this series. Still probably better than almost anything else out there, though…

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Friday Night Fights: Musical Mayhem!

We went with Scott Pilgrim in last week’s belligerent brawl, and while I normally try to avoid repeating myself, we’re going to go right back to that same comic for this week’s edition of… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

So again, from 2004′s Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley, we continue our battle between Scott Pilgrim and Matthew Patel, as Patel demonstrates his magical abilities by summoning a horde of Demon Hipster Chicks:


And then breaking into a Bollywood musical!


And after that comes a scene that I really wished had appeared in the movie: Scott and his friends sing along!










That’ll take care of things for us for this week — enjoy your weekend, and see y’all back here in a few days.

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Top of the World


Daredevil #24

Daredevil still has to deal with the mystery of the mysteriously blinded lunatics with his own super-sensory powers who attacked him last issue, and the mastermind behind all his recent troubles wonders why he hasn’t been more interested in the problem. Of course, Matt Murdock is mostly focused on his friend and coworker, Foggy Nelson, who has been diagnosed with cancer. He also tries to break up with his semi-girlfriend, assistant D.A. Kirsten McDuffie, only to learn that she’s already broken up with him. And he has to deal with the mastermind, who’s sent him a crate full of Daredevil-ized dogs.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A crazy issue, lots of stuff going on, but it works together into a theme of Matt trying to get his life back together — and of Foggy worrying that his life is ending. I really hope y’all are reading this — it’s one of the best pure-superheroics comics out there.


Wonder Woman #18

Wonder Woman and Ares have traveled to Demeter’s neck of the woods to look for Zola’s baby. They’re both attacked by Hermes — formerly a good guy — but Orion shows up again, giving Diana the chance she needs to take Hermes out of the fight. Meanwhile, Poseidon must fight the nameless titan (Have they ever given him a name? Am I forgetting that dude’s name or what?), and Ares makes his own attempt to take control of the baby.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Well, mostly thumbs up. Most of it’s just fine — the action is fun, the art is great — but I’m starting to get a mite peeved at the characterization we’re getting of Diana and Orion. It seems… off in certain ways. Orion is way too casual, Diana is way too passive when she’s around him.

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Spring Has Sprung

According to my calendar, today is the first day of spring. So the nice weather can start riiiiiight about… now. And warm temperatures, please — not extreme wind, thunderstorms, or tornadoes, please.

So to commemorate this hopefully happy occasion, here’s a bunch of comics dedicated to spring.






(Yeah, “Hellraiser Spring Slaughter.” Anything for a seasonal tie-in, I guess.)





Seriously, ready for that nice weather right now. I mean now. Now, please. Now? Okay, okay, how ’bout riiiight… now.

Bah, next thing you know, we’ll have a blizzard, just to spite me…

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No Tears


Batgirl #18

Batgirl survives — barely — her close call with Firefly, all while Gotham’s citizens try to pull her out of the wreckage — and her psychotic brother tries to find her to kill her. Barbara learns from her father that Damian Wayne is dead, and James Jr. calls her to threaten her. He misses the chance to kill his mother, and Batgirl goes after Firefly and then tries to track James down.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The story is fine, and the tension with James Jr. is handled well. But it is a bit annoying that the cover promises much mourning about Robin’s death, only to deliver a couple of pages in which no one sounds particularly sad. (And it’s not like this version of Batgirl ever had much to do with Damian anyway — that was all Stephanie Brown…)


Sledgehammer 44 #1

Here’s a story from the Hellboy universe’s World War II. Mike Mignola and John Arcudi tell the tale, while Jason Latour and Dave Stewart illustrate. It focuses on a small group of dogfaces in occupied France who are called on to help support a guy in powered armor who’s been airdropped in to fight the Nazis. While he meets with initial success, you can always trust the Nazis to have a much larger mecha on their side. Even if the good guys can survive that onslaught, can they escape from the Nazis — toting the powered-armor Sledgehammer in a wheelbarrow, no less — without getting captured or killed?

Verdict: Thumbs up. But I’m a complete sucker for fightin’ robots in WWII.

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Friday Night Fights: Air Juggle!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s pert-near the weekend, and it’s time for us to get it started with a nice fat dose of… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

I think I’m gonna split this battle across a couple of weeks ’cause it’s so good. It’s from 2004’s Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley, as Scott begins his fight against Matthew Patel.










Things’ll get musical next week, but for now, head on over to SpaceBooger’s joint and vote for your favorite fight.

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Robin’s Requiem


Batman and Robin #18

Robin is dead, and the first of the post-death Batman comics is an entirely wordless story focusing on Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth mourning Damian Wayne. There are no grand events depicted here — brief moments and small items that remind Batman of his son, ranging from an unfinished portrait to a sketchbook. Batman goes on patrol in Gotham, constantly expecting to see his son patrolling with him, constantly disappointed to see that he isn’t. Will the Dark Knight let rage consume him? Or will pure sorrow do the job?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a beautiful story. Ain’t much more to say about it. It’s a beautiful story.


Batman #18

Scott Snyder gets his chance to do a little more mourning. Much of this story focuses on Harper Row, a Batman fangirl who’s been spotlighted a few times. She and her brother Cullen are still living on their own, their scumbag father locked up in Blackgate Prison. Harper keeps fairly close ties on Batman and has noticed that he’s been running himself harder than usual the last few nights. Concerned that he’s going to get worn out and killed by someone, she starts going out to try to help him. She saves him from a dog trainer who’s dosing his attack dogs with Venom, but she gets rewarded with a furious lecture and a broken nose from the Dark Knight. She ends up going to see Bruce Wayne, because she knows he helps fund some of Batman’s activities, to request his aid to help the Caped Crusader. What’s her plan? And will either Bruce Wayne or Batman help her?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Harper Row is a really interesting character, and I do enjoy any chance we get to spend more time with her. The smart money is that she’ll eventually become the new Robin, or at least another member of the Bat-family, so she’s worth watching out for. My lone criticism here is that, aside from the cover, there isn’t actually anything here about Robin. Yes, Batman is clearly mourning him, but well, it’s not much of a requiem when the kid isn’t even mentioned…

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Here’s a Kickstarter project for a printed collection of “Worsted for Wear,” a webcomic about fabric arts and crafts by former Lubbock artists Rachael and Josh Anderson. They’ve already hit their goal, but you can still pitch in to get some of the awesome yarn-related loot.
  • Speaking of Kickstarters, here’s a project from a friend of mine. It’s perfect for anyone who loves books. She needs less than $150 to get funded, so go pitch some money her way, okay?
  • Having some technology troubles? Let Star Trek be your helpline.
  • Some obsolete words are just too awesome to be believed.

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