Archive for August, 2013

Friday Night Fights: Heavy Metal!

Awright, time to start up another weekend — hopefully, for a lot of you, it’ll be a nice long holiday weekend. But no matter how long or short, the best way to start the weekend is with… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from November 2013’s Avengers Academy #37 by Christos Gage, Tom Grummett, and Cory Hamscher. One thing you never want to do is get a big metal-skinned super-strong guy like Mettle angry at you.



There we go — everyone have a great Labor Day weekend!

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Cute as Hell


Itty Bitty Hellboy #1

Do I really need to introduce this one? It’s Art Baltazar and Franco doing Hellboy in the style of Tiny Titans. Of course we’re all going to love it, right?

Rasputin and his not-really-nazi minions plot to replace their dishwasher box fort with the much larger refrigerator box fort owned by Hellboy and his friends. Roger the Homunculus constantly loses his underwear. Johann Kraus keeps sneezing himself out of his containment suit. Herman von Klempt hops around on his preserved head. And we get treated to the sight of Karl Ruprecht Kroenen wearing only Roger’s underwear. Ewwwww!

Verdict: Thumbs up. Again, it’s the Tiny Titans guys doing Hellboy. Everything here is awesome, and if you’re not getting it, I have no idea what’s the matter with you.


Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures #10

The evil Triumvirate makes plans to destroy the economy and take over the country with the technology they’ve stolen from Tesla, but they’ve become overconfident, so Tesla and his associates in the Consortium of Science are easily able to sabotage their plans. But the Consortium is a bit overconfident, too, and they’re much more vulnerable than their enemies.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m really loving this story. It’s so cool to have a pulp adventure tale starring people like Nikola Tesla, Harry Houdini, Winfield Scott Lovecraft, Wong Kei-Ying, Charles Fort, George Westinghouse, and Annie Oakley.

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Anthologies of Interest

Two nice little anthologies came out this week. Let’s take a look at ’em.


American Vampire Anthology #1

Well, obviously, it’s a collection of short stories, all set in the “American Vampire” universe, focusing on characters like Skinner Sweet and Hattie Hargrove, along with plenty of new victims and monsters. The creators in this one include Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, Jason Aaron, Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes, Becky Cloonan, Francesco Francavilla, Greg Rucka, J.P. Leon, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, Gail Simone, and plenty of others.

Verdict: Thumbs up. There’s not a single bad story in this entire anthology. That isn’t something you can say very often about anthologies. But everything in here works. Some of it is pretty gut-wrenching, even if the gore isn’t very heavy. But if you’re familiar with American Vampire, you knew that already. At any rate, this is definitely worth picking up.


Batman Inc. Special #1

Once again, a collection of stories, all focused on the members of Batman Inc. Batman Japan and Canary take on a metahuman organ harvester; the Squire slowly recovers from the death of the Knight and the end of Batman Inc.; Raven Red engages in a high-speed, high-rise pursuit and tries to talk down a man who may be contemplating suicide; Nightrunner, Dark Ranger, and el Gaucho battle a zombie master and a city full of his mind-controlled minions; and Bat-Cow stops some thrill-riding kidnappers.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s all pretty good. I really, really enjoyed the story with the Squire — Beryl is one of my favorite characters, and it’s a pity that she isn’t used more often. The story in Japan is pretty good, too. The only one that really falls down is the Bat-Cow story, which you’d think I’d love… but it was written by Dan DiDio, and there’s just no good reason to let that guy write comic books.

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Red and Silver


Daredevil #30

It’s a moderately normal day in Matt Murdock’s legal office when he suddenly comes face to face with an alien. He introduces himself as Ru’ach, and he’s seeking asylum on Earth, and assistance from the Avengers. And he needs it in a hurry, because someone powerful is pursuing him. And of course, that someone is none other than the Silver Surfer. As it turns out, Ru’ach comes from a species of near-perfect liars, and he’s trying to get in touch with the Avengers and Earth’s leaders so he can cripple the planet’s defenses. Can Daredevil and the Surfer work together and figure out a way to stop Ru’ach before it’s too late?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great art, great story, wonderful dialogue, wonderful action. An interesting and emotional twist at the end, too. Nice to see these two incredibly different characters work so well together.


Wonder Woman #23

It’s the final battle against the monstrously powerful First Born, with Orion, War, Hera, and Zora helping out where they can. War brings every soldier who ever lived, Orion does what he can to beat up the demigod, Wonder Woman makes herself even more powerful than ever — and none of it is making much of a difference in the fight. And then the First Born decides that his fastest way to take over Olympus will be to become the new God of War. Can anyone stop him?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent action, story, drama, and art. Ya know, I wish this comic were considered in-continuity for the DC Universe instead of whatever crap they’re pumping out in the Justice League comics. I doubt any other comics will ever acknowledge Diana’s new position in the Greek pantheon.

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A Study in Scarlet


Batwoman #23

Desperate to earn Maggie’s trust back, Kate Kane injects herself with the Scarecrow fear serum that she’d previously administered to Maggie. So while Kate undergoes a variety of nightmarish visions, her father, his team of mercenaries, and Bette Kane capture a D.E.O. employee to try to learn where Kate’s corrupted twin sister Beth is being held. Torture doesn’t get him to reveal any info, so Bette has to hope that talking will work better.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Most of the action is focused on Bette and Joseph Kane and the attempt to squeeze information out of Agent Asaf, but there’s a lot of good stuff in Kate’s hallucinations, spotlighting all the things she’s afraid of — particularly whether her sister can be trusted or redeemed. And the discussion between Kate and Maggie at the end is especially nice.


The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #3

While the would-be rebels in the desert parctice their shooting and try on lipstick, former scarecrow Korse is stuck on android collection duty. And pleasure droid Blue is willing to start a gunfight to get new batteries for her partner Red. But if that isn’t possible, will they both commit robot suicide so they can be together forever?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I gotta admit, I just don’t care about these jerks in the desert. But I can’t get enough of Korse, and I really can’t get enough of Blue and Red. Their stories feel more immediate and powerful, and I’d love to read a lot more about them, and a lot less about the dorks in the desert.

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Ice to Meet You!


Batman ’66 #2

The Penguin is back in Gotham City, and he’s parked a gigantic iceberg in the middle of Gotham Harbor to block shipping traffic. And he’s somehow managed to get his iceberg declared a separate nation, meaning the police are helpless to run him off. And just to make things worse, his accomplice in this caper is the dastardly Mr. Freeze! Can Robin save the day when Batman is captured by the cold-hearted criminals? And in the backup story, Bruce Wayne takes Kathy Kane on a date to see a performance by reformed piano-playing crook Chandell. But his co-performer is Lorelei Circe, the Siren, and she uses her hypnotic voice to make all the men in the audience her slaves. Batman, luckily, has made himself immune to her spell, but she uses a mysterious vocal treatment to make the Caped Crusader hallucinate. Can anyone save Batman from the Siren’s song?

Verdict: Thumbs up. The thing I’m really enjoying about this series is it lets us get an idea of what the producers of the campy ’60s show could’ve done with a big budget. Giant icebergs and submarines? Sure. Lengthy hallucinatory episodes? Why not! It’s great fun, and I’m looking forward to more.


X-Men #4

While most of the new X-team is trying to rescue a crashing jetliner (and while Storm and Rachel Grey argue with each other about whether Storm is fit for leadership), Jubilee takes Wolverine and her adopted baby Shogo on a tour around Santa Monica, California, where she grew up.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I know, I didn’t spend a long time describing the plot, ’cause it really didn’t need a whole lot of space. They’re both absolutely outstanding stories — the plane rescue is tense and exciting, and the argument between Storm and Rachel is quite well done — their disagreement makes perfect sense, and their views are honestly presented, with neither one assumed to be correct. But I thought the high point was Jubes and Logan hanging out and chatting in California. They’re great characters, and they play off each other really well. I think I’d be A-OK with Marvel making a “Wolverine and Jubilee Hang Out and Chat” comic book.

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Watson and Holmes #2

Holmes and Watson manage to track down Shon’s kidnapped girlfriend, but they have to deal with the gunman guarding her. After they chase him down and get ready to interrogate him, someone shoots him in the head. Someone wants them off the case. But for now, Watson has to return to the hospital, and Holmes has his own avenues of investigation. After busting a few passwords on a smartphone, they discover that one of the people they’re trying to find is being executed live on the Internet — and the other target is missing. Can the sleuths find him? Or will they go eat lunch first?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent story and art. The mystery is progressing nicely. Holmes doesn’t do quite as much flashy deductive work here, but his low-key electronics investigations end up being as impressive. The whole story has some significant differences from what we expect of Sherlock Holmes stories — while still being recognizably Holmesian. It’s good, fun comics.


Worlds’ Finest #15

Power Girl chases Desaad’s Parademons down a Boom Tube while Darkseid’s torturer starts working on Huntress. PeeGee fights her way through hordes of Parademons while Huntress makes her escape. But the fight against Desaad doesn’t go the way anyone expected.

Verdict: Ehh, not real sure. I’m not real thrilled with depowering Power Girl, unless the status quo is going to be restored pretty quickly. It’s not badly done, really, but it really didn’t feel like anything really exciting was going on.

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We Built this City


Astro City #3

A small mountain village in Ecuador has been revealed as the secret headquarters for a gang of international terrorists and mercenaries called the Skullcrushers. They’re laying waste to the local police forces, the army, and the villagers — and Marella Cowper, the newest employee of the secret dispatch center that helps the Honor Guard respond to global emergencies, is convinced that it’s all her fault, because she assumed that an emergency call a few days ago was merely a domestic situation instead of a supervillain crisis. Wracked by guilt, she takes several days off work so she can use the Honor Guard’s teleportation systems to volunteer as an aid worker. Can she ever forgive herself for her mistake? Can she find the family who originally called her for aid? And when it turns out that all the Skullcrushers haven’t been captured yet, can she even survive?

Verdict: Thumbs up. An outstanding story, worlds of suspense and drama and compassion, grand characterization, very nice action, and so much more. If you love comics, you need to be reading “Astro City.” But all you guys already love comics, so you’re already reading “Astro City,” right?


Batman: Li’l Gotham #5

In our first story, Mr. Freeze has been diagnosed sane and discharged from Arkham Asylum. He’s very pleased with what he sees of Gotham — everyone is happy and friendly, even to a former supervillain. And since everything has gotten so nice, he decides he wants things to stay nice forever. And that means he’s gotta freeze everything. Looks like the Bat-family is going to have to drag Mr. Freeze back to Arkham again. Meanwhile, in our second story, everyone’s celebrating Cinco de Mayo, mostly by fighting Bane and his gang of luchadors and… making tacos?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very cute and funny all-ages comics. Both stories have a ton of action and humor, but I probably enjoyed the Cinco de Mayo story a lot more. And how nice is it to have stories that spotlight Damian, Oracle, and all of the pre-Reboot members of the Bat-family? It’s very, very nice, that’s what it is.

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Friday Night Fights: Moth Beaten!

It’s Prize Fight Night and Theme Night this evening! SpaceBooger has decreed a double theme — the loser “never saw it coming” and the loser has to reference a bug or insect. Saddle up the ponies, pilgrim, it’s time for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

For tonight’s battle, I’m going with January 1967’s Detective Comics #359 by the great Gardner Fox and the equally great Carmine Infantino. It’s Barbara Gordon’s debut as Batgirl, and she gets to fight not just one, but two Killer Moths!





There we go, kids. Run on over to SpaceBooger’s place and vote for your favorite battle!

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Gail Force

Two new comics from Gail Simone? Let’s check ’em out, shall we?


Batgirl #23

Commissioner Gordon is leaning on Cherise Carnes, wealthy socialite who secretly moonlights as vengeful, murder-prone vigilante Knightfall, trying to get information about Batgirl. This somehow convinces Carnes that Gordon is in league with Batgirl, so she orders her team of supervillains, the Disgraced, to be ready to kill the Commissioner. Meanwhile, the gangsters who Barbara and Ricky beat up last issue have kidnapped Ricky’s brother. They’re threatening to kill him unless Ricky comes out to meet them so they can kill him. And even worse, Ricky assaults a cop while trying to get to the meeting location. Can Barbara — who isn’t wearing her Batgirl costume anymore — save Ricky from both the gang and the cops?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great action, suspense, drama, moments of sheer terror, and one holy heck of a cliffhanger. It’s an absolutely fantastic issue, and it’s a great beginning to this new “Wanted” storyarc.


Red Sonja #2

Sonja is leading a hopeless battle, facing a superior force of soldiers and monsters, lead by a former friend, Dark Annisia. Sonja and Annisia survived a grueling career as enslaved gladiators. But Annisia has gone mad and believes she’s haunted by the ghosts of the slaves she killed, and the only way to soothe their anger is to offer them more deaths. And Annisia reveals that Sonja has the deadly plague that’s been killing scores in the countryside. But she gives Sonja a chance to save the people of the city. All she has to do is… surrender. Can the undefeatable Red Sonja accept this blow to her pride?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Another really grand issue. Tons of excellent action and drama, and multiple outstanding cliffhangers. This one is still early in its run, folks — there’s still time to get in on it at the beginning. So go pick it up now.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Need more reasons to skip the “Ender’s Game” movie? How ’bout because Orson Scott Card is a monstrous racist?
  • There’s a move on to name a bridge in San Francisco for Emperor Norton. This sounds completely awesome to me.
  • What if animals were round and bouncy?

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