Archive for Love and Capes

Axe Cop!

Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #1

For those of you who aren’t already familiar with Axe Cop, let me sum things up for you. It’s a comic created by two brothers. The artist, Ethan Nicolle, is 30 years old. The writer, Malachai Nicolle, is six.

I’ll repeat that for you: The writer is six years old.

This means that the series is impossibly awesome.

It’s been a webcomic for about a year, but Dark Horse is now giving it a limited three-issue series.

Our heroes here are Axe Cop (a cop who fights crime with an axe) and Dinosaur Soldier (Axe Cop’s partner, who is a dinosaur soldier). They must contend with normal cops and the army, who are offended that a police officer would use an axe instead of a gun, an evil planet that wants to destroy Earth, and psychic villains who want to turn everyone on the planet into criminals. Can our heroes prevail, armed only with axes, faint bombs, a flying police car, a planet shocker, a laser-portal gun that can travel through time, a good guy machine, and a fire-breathing dinosaur with giant chainguns for arms?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Seriously, didn’t you hear me say “fire-breathing dinosaur with giant chainguns for arms”?

Love and Capes: Ever After #2

Married bliss continues for Abby and Mark (better known to the world as the superhero Crusader). They purchase a building in the city, start remodeling plans for their apartment, and prepare for a visit from their parents. Complications ensue, of course, including Mark getting temporarily de-aged to 10 years old. And they decide to reveal Mark’s secret identity to Abby’s parents, creating some all new complications.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A fun story — actually, several fun stories — with excellent art, dialogue, and humor. It actually feels like there are too many mini-plotlines in here, but I still enjoyed the full comic just fine.

Avengers Academy #10

Well, let’s see — Veil is desperately trying to avoid being kicked out of the Academy, but it seems like she can’t stop putting her foot in it. Giant-Man comes up with an idea to help Hazmat live a normal day — he teams her up with mutant power-drainer Leech, whose ability to shut off her powers means she can spend a day outside of her containment suit. And Speedball takes the class on a field trip to Stamford, Connecticut, where he was involved in an accident that killed several hundred people a few years ago.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice change-of-pace story. Speedball takes the lead, Hazmat gets her chance to act mature, and Veil shows her dangerously impulsive side. Fantastic art by Sean Chen.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Chris Sims got to make an appearance on “The Daily Show” to talk about Batman. You can watch the video here, as well as be horrified by comments by awful racist douchehats.
  • Here’s a fun article about the influence of awesome illustrator Edward Gorey.
  • And finally… Vampire Hockey Players!

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Robo Jungle

Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science #3

Well, Robo and Jack Tarot tangled with a colossal robot and got trounced, while the robot escaped with a fancy computer. And Robo is on the outs with Mr. Tesla — he’s upset that Robo is sneaking out of the house without permission, and Robo is unhappy that Tesla treats him like a child. Robo ends up moving out of Tesla’s home and moving in with Tarot and his pretty daughter Helen to learn how to be a real crimefighter. And sparks fly — metaphorically — between Robo and Helen. Will Robo reconcile with his creator? Is there a romantic future for a woman and a robot? And who was behind that giant thieving robot anyway?

Verdict: Thumbs up. The romance was maybe a bit unexpected — and really, that was just about the hottest smooch I’ve ever seen in which one of the smoochers doesn’t even have a mouth. So, ya know, good stuff.

Love and Capes: Ever After #1

Mark and Abby haven’t been married long, but they’ve got some major real estate woes. They need to move to a larger apartment, and the landlord of the building where Abby’s bookstore is located keeps raising her rent. All that, plus Amazonia and Darkblade are now dating, Mark and Abby get the grand tour of Darkblade’s mansion, and we get acquainted with the dastardly but presumably sexy villainy of the Menagerie a Trois gang.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice story with Tom Zahler’s usual perfectly mixed blend of humor and drama. Great dialogue, cool cartoony art (with really cool coloring), and fun characterization.

PS238 #48

While Argonaut and Moon Shadow are stranded on the opposite end of the galaxy in a depowered spaceship, Guardian Angel, USA Patriot Act, and 84 are roaming around an alternate universe while they try to help Zodon keep Victor Von Fogg from destroying the place. Guardian Angel gets drafted into the Trans-Dimensional Defense Division, a bunch of dimension-hopping police officers, and everyone gets acquainted with the other-dimensional and non-powered versions of Zodon (who specializes in creating extremely lucrative websites) and Von Fogg (who’s a Bieberesque pop star). Alexandria Von Fogg is trying to figure out how to bring down the Headmaster running the Praetorian Academy, and Victor makes his bid for supreme power to try to conquer a whole universe all for himself.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The visions of Zodon’s and Victor’s alternate lives are great, as is everyone’s reaction to the cute kitten video. There’s even heavy-duty comic-book science-fiction gobbledygook that actually almost makes sense, which is pretty good for heavy-duty comic-book science-fiction gobbledygook. As always, great characterization and artwork. Go pick it up, por favor.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Wild and Free

I had a pretty good haul for Free Comic Book Day on Saturday — I hope you did, too. Here’s what I picked up…

Love and Capes #13

A lot of the comics you get on Free Comic Book Day are there to promote upcoming comics and crossover events, but this isn’t “Love and Capes: The Free Comic Book Day Edition” — this is the actual 13th full issue of “Love and Capes,” not filler, not a backup story, not a snippet, not a pinup book, and Thom Zahler put it out there completely free, which is pretty danged awesome.

In the previous issue of “Love and Capes,” Abby and Mark (better known to the world as the high-flying hero Crusader) got married after a long, whirlwind romance. This issue, they wrap up their honeymoon in Hawaii, get used to married life, work out a way to hide Mark’s wedding ring when he’s on-duty so supervillains don’t realize he’s gotten married, and work through the gossip about their own wedding reception.

Verdict: Thumbs up. “Love and Capes” is an incredibly fun comic, and it was fantastic to get it for free. Heck, I think there’s a pretty good chance that this was the best comic produced for this year’s Free Comic Book Day.

Iron Man: Supernova

This is basically an extra story from the “Marvel Adventures” comics series. Iron Man and Nova get called out after a report that Red Ghost has escaped from prison. His Super-Apes — Mikhlo the superstrong gorilla, Peotr the telekinetic orangutan, and Igor the shapeshifting baboon — are being held at a zoo-like facility, where Igor appears to have reformed — he now loves candy much more than he loves Red Ghost. Well, who can blame him? Red Ghost, however, succeeds in getting Mikhlo and Peotr to break loose. Do Iron Man and Nova have a chance of stopping Red Ghost and his Super-Apes when one of their allies is an ape that loves to goof off and shapeshift?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very nice story. No, wait — it’s a very nice story that’s crammed full of apes! Igor’s wacky shapeshifting is a lot of fun. Paul Tobin is also the writer on “Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes,” which is already one of my favorites.

Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom/Magnus, Robot Fighter

Dark Horse is bringing these two semi-classic comics back. First, we get Doctor Solar, a scientist transformed into a god during a nuclear accident. Unfortunately, his transformation also created a number of random space-time anomalies, one of which empowers an abusive drunk who’s way more likely than Doctor Solar to beat up people who get in his way. Second, we get Magnus, a man who lives in the year 4000. He’s been trained in a special kind of martial arts that lets him break steel with his bare fists, so he goes out and beats up criminal robots. His allies include a robot called 1A and the wealthy Leeja Clane.

Verdict: Ehh, I’m completely ambivalent. Jim Shooter’s stories seem fine, but both Solar and Magnus have always seemed like characters that don’t make sense when you remove them from the cheesy 1960s comics where they originated. We’ll see if Dark Horse can get ’em to work out.

Artifacts #0

Top Cow’s new crossover is going to focus on bringing together 13 mystical artifacts in an attempt to destroy the world. This issue takes the form of an unseen villain feeding information to a captured Aphrodite IX, a green-haired cyborg assassin, about the Witchblade, the Darkness, the Angelus, and ten other quasi-magical items that keep Top Cow’s superhero universe spinning.

Verdict: Well, it’s free. But other than that, it’s a promo for a crossover that won’t be published ’til July.

Owly: Breakin’ the Ice

Well, they had this on the table, and I’d been looking for an excuse to check out this series… but it turns out this one isn’t from this year’s FCBD comics — it’s from all the way back in 2006! Andy Runton‘s cartoon about a lonely but loving owl is almost completely wordless, making it a great comic for very young readers. In this story, set during a cold winter at the local pond, Owly and his friends Wormy and Scampy try to figure out how to make friends with a flock of migrating geese.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very, very cute, and outstanding cartooning. I wish I’d realized I hadn’t picked up this year’s free Owly comic, but I’m still glad I got to read this one. Parents, you should definitely consider this series for pre-readers.

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Wedding Crashers

What’s the best way to start the New Year? Two aspirin, some hot coffee, and a couple new comic reviews.


Love and Capes #12

It’s the big wedding day for Mark Spencer, the Crusader, top superhero on the planet, and Abby Tennyson, totally normal bookstore owner. Then there’s a crash of thunder, and everything’s different. Abby’s living in her old ratty apartment, no one remembers her wedding’s coming up, and it turns out the Crusader died three years ago. Abby tracks down Doctor Karma, the Liberty League’s resident sorcerer, who soon verifies that a supervillain called (snicker) Evil Brain went back in time and killed Crusader using his knowledge of past events. And only Abby is able to go back in time to set things right. Will she be able to do it and save her own wedding?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yes, I’m being a bit vague describing the plot — it’s a very good plot, and I don’t want to spoil it, or the stuff that comes afterwards. Yeah, sure, the timeline is saved — that’s not a big spoiler for a humor book — but it’s a nicely-designed save, with great tension and an elegant solution. Great character work from creator Thom Zahler all the way around.

PS238 #42

There’s a big spaceship over the city. The claim is that it’s an Argosian ship, from the same homeworld where the superhero Atlas came from. Atlas isn’t around to meet them, so the suspiciously shady Praetorian Academy sends Atlas’ son, Argonaut (formerly PS238’s Captain Clarinet) to make first contact. The Argosians immediately transport Argonaut into their ship and take him prisoner, while a group of PS238 students — Moon Shadow, 84, Guardian Angel (and her awesome exploding baseball bat), Cecil Holmes, Poly Mer, and American Eagle — sneak onto the ship and capture and shrink the ship’s much-abused technician. The kids get busy smashing up the ship, but once they get the Argosian commander’s attention, what chance do they have against someone with the powers of Earth’s strongest superhero?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great art, great dialogue, funny situations, and a nice cliffhanger on the last page. Seriously, I love this comic so much, and I don’t know why more people aren’t reading it. Why aren’t you reading this, blog readers? Why are you trying to make your all-powerful bloggermeister so sad and cranky and stabby?

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Geek Squad


The Brave and the Bold #29

J. Michael Straczynski’s previous two issues of this have not been very good — lots of blatantly weird stuff that went against all other interpretations of the characters. But this issue is a lot better. Batman runs across Brother Power the Geek, an old ’60s era sorta-superhero who was a living clothing mannequin who hung out with hippies. Brother Power has made very few appearances in comics because his name and concept are so bizarre. Anyway, Bats doesn’t really know what to make of Brother Power — he certainly hasn’t broken any laws, and he seems content to lie around, talk in ’60s catchphrases, and not be a bother. But the mannequin is conflicted about the 21st century — it’s all a great deal unfamiliar to a nonhuman with greater experience dealing with the 1960s counterculture. Can his idealism be rekindled when an arsonist begins targeting old buildings?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent storytelling, characterization, and artwork. Not sure Brother Power could actually carry his own book, but Straczynski seems to have turned him into a credible character again. Hope we get to see him in some other comics someday.


Love and Capes #11

I read an issue of this ages ago at Free Comic Book Day, and finally saw another issue recently and decided to pick it up. Like it says on the cover, it’s basically a romantic sitcom about superheroes. Our main characters are Mark — better known as the Crusader, Earth’s most powerful superhero, and Abby, Mark’s nonpowered fiancee. There’s also Charlotte, Abby’s sister, Darkblade, the world’s greatest detective, and Amazonia, a glamorous superhero and Mark’s ex-girlfriend. Anyway, in this issue, Abby is desperate to find the perfect wedding dress, but when she finally finds one she likes, she learns that it was designed by Amazonia, who she really doesn’t get along with very well. Mark and Charlotte find out and arrange for her to get a trip to Amazonia’s home dimension so they’ll design her a wedding dress for free. Can Abby handle otherworldly bridal fittings, interdimensional cocktail parties, and hanging out with her fiancee’s jealous ex?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Cute, humorous stuff. Abby’s culture shock is funny, and I love the way she manages to terrify her boyfriend, the strongest guy on the planet, with a good withering glance.

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True Love and Black Mercy


Love and Capes #7

This was one of the comics offered during Free Comic Book Day a couple of weeks ago. It bills itself as “the Heroically Super Situation Comedy” and focuses on Abby and Mark. Abby runs a bookstore. Mark is a superhero called the Crusader. They’re in love. Awwwww! Anyway, Mark wants to propose to Abby, but he can’t decide on the perfect way to pop the question. He gets advice from Abby’s sister and from a bunch of his superhero friends.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice characterization, good jokes. My only quibble is that it goes on for a bit longer than I would’ve preferred.


Green Lantern Corps #24

Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner, and a bunch of other Green Lanterns are on a mission to track down some missing Sinestro Corps rings, but Arisia and Sodam Yat have been captured by Mongul. He’s strapped them to a couple of Black Mercies — they’re parasitic alien plants that have traditionally made the victim hallucinate their fondest dreams. But these have been altered by Mongul to cause the victims to experience horrific nightmares. And he plans to send the new Black Mercy plants all over the galaxy. Meanwhile, Sinestro and the other prisoners in the sciencells on Oa mutilate themselves so they can draw the Sinestro Corps symbol on their cell walls with their own blood. Grody.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Black Mercies are nasty, nasty plants, though not as nasty as watching Sinestro chew off his fingertip. That dude’s craaaazy.

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