Archive for Pet Avengers

Power and Thunder

Thor and the Warriors Four #4

Loki and the Enchantress are triumphant — their spell has turned Thor and the other Asgardians into babies, and they’ve obtained the Golden Apples of Idunn, ensuring themselves immortality — and without the Golden Apples, everyone else in Asgard is now rapidly aging to their true ages of several thousand years old. The kids in Power Pack seem largely helpless to stop them, aside from talking a little smack. And even worse, the whole thing appears to have kicked off Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods and the end of the world. Jormungand, the immense World Serpent, appears to fight Thor. Alex Power is able to call on the help of Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers, but they can’t do much against a giant dragon fated to strangle the world. Will Thor have to sacrifice himself to save everyone? Or is someone else worthy to assist?

Verdict: Thumbs up times a billion. This was the best comic I got last week. Absolutely HUGE props to writer Alex Zalben and artists Gurihiru for this one — I haven’t had this much fun reading a comic book in ages. I’m trying to limit the spoilers, but there was a ton of funny stuff in here, and a ton-and-a-half of awesome stuff going on in here. There were about a dozen panels in this comic that could be entered in a Most Awesome Comics Panel of the Year contest, but I can’t show most of them to you, because they’d be spoilers, and this story is just too cool to spoil. I can, however, show you this:

Beta Ray Bill with an afro? I would watch a TV show based on that alone.

Oh, heck, we didn’t even talk about Colleen Coover‘s backup feature, with Hercules babysitting the Power siblings and telling them stories about his Twelve Labors. There’s not a lot of real plot going on here — it’s really just Herc telling stories and philosophizin’ about mythology and science — but it’s still a whole boatload of awesome. Coover’s characterization of Hercules is just perfect, and the final panel of this one should definitely be entered into that Most Awesome Comics Panel of the Year contest, too.

Tails of the Pet Avengers: The Dogs of Summer #1

This is really just a showcase of Chris Eliopoulos‘s very cute Franklin Richards stories, with a few guest appearances from the Pet Avengers. In the first one, Franklin accidentally creates a giant garbage monster and must defeat it with the assistance of the Pet Avengers. Later, Franklin has to dogsit Lockjaw for the Inhumans, and he gets his first dog, Lockjaw’s grandson, courtesy of his future self. And there’s a story illustrated by Ig Guara that features Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and Fin Fang Foom and sets up this fall’s “Avengers vs. the Pet Avengers” series.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Mostly reprints, but they’re fun reprints.

Hercules: Twilight of a God #2

In the distant future, Hercules is the hero of the Andromeda Galaxy, and his kids and grandkids are the rulers of the planet Wilamean. But Hercules is being attacked by a new Silver Surfer, and a black hole threatens to swallow the entire galaxy. Can Hercules survive the battle? Can anyone?

Verdict: Ehh, thumbs down. I liked it on my first read-through, but the non-stop slugfest just didn’t do very well on repeated readings.

Today’s Cool Links:

Comments (1)

Crybaby Crisis

Tiny Titans #29

It’s Supergirl’s turn to babysit the various toddlers amongst the Tiny Titans set. Should be easy for a Kryptonian, right? Well, maybe not. We’re talkin’ the toddler-sized versions of Miss Martian, Wildebeest, Jericho, Copperhead, Disruptor, Dreadbolt, Persuader, Tim Drake, and Jason Todd, and they’re all quite a handful. They bring in Beast Boy and Zatara for more entertainment, but things get even worse when Zatara gets hypnotized into summoning animals from his top hat. Bunnies? No problem. Goats? Umm, okay. Giraffes? Whoa, wait a minute…

Verdict: Thumbs up. That awesome cover is worth a thumbs-up all by itself, but the story inside is fun, cute, off-the-wall, and funny, too.

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers Unleashed #4

The Pet Avengers and the creatures of myth are in big trouble — on the run from vastly powerful giant monsters. Their only chance is to get Damiella the unicorn to the Golden One, the mythological world’s ruler. It seems that their land is ruled by a child — but only on a temporary basis. After a set period, each child returns to Earth and is replaced by a new child ruler. Well, Damiella told the current ruler that she’d have to leave soon, which upset the kid, who immediately started tearing the myth world up and making giant monsters. Can the Pet Avengers get Damiella to the Golden One? And can they persuade her to return to her real home?

Verdict: Ehh, it wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t all that great either. Not enough stuff for the Pet Avengers to do and a bit too much emphasis on Damiella the unicorn.

Today’s Cool Links:

Comments (2)

Buy Gold Now!

Booster Gold #32

Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis — the much-beloved team from the “Bwa-Ha-Ha” days of the “Justice League” comics — are back together writing Booster’s adventures now. Since they basically created Booster back in the mid-1980s, this could be really spectacularly cool… or really spectacularly awful.

Booster is stranded on the planet Daxam in the 30th century. His armor and equipment have been badly damaged because he showed up in the middle of the Great Darkness Saga, where three billion brainwashed Daxamites reshaped the planet with heat vision into the image of Darkseid. Booster is trying to assist some stranded alien tourists as they all attempt to survive the Daxamite barrage. Unfortunately, the shelter they locate is actually a deserted prison — or rather, an almost deserted prison. The one inmate who stuck around the diabolical Emerald Empress. Is Booster going to be able to beat one of the most powerful members of the Fatal Five and save all the tourists when he’s stuck without most of his powers?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s funny — and it could’ve gone the old familiar route of making Booster a complete idiot for solely comedic purposes. But they didn’t do that, thank goodness. Booster’s still a competent hero — but he’s funny, has his share of flaws and ego, and doesn’t get much respect from anyone. And it’s got its share of drama and action, too. If Giffen and DeMatteis can keep that mix right, they’re going to have a really great comic book on their hands.

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers Unleashed #3

All the mythological creatures get deposited in Central Park, leaving it up to the Pet Avengers to keep them all from running wild. And even worse, the immense monster that chased them all here is preparing to break through into our world, too. Can even the combined power of the Pet Avengers and all the mythological creatures stand a chance of defeating the monster? And even if they can, is something even worse on the way?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice all-ages story, with lots of chaos, action, and humor.

Today’s Cool Links:

Comments off

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!

Comments off

It's a Dog-Eat-Dog World…

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers Unleashed #1

The Central Park Zoo is the worst-run zoo in the country — or so Marvel Comics would have us believe. Ms. Lion, a small white dog with boy parts and a girl’s name, manages to free not one, but TWO hippos, all without the slightest interference from zoo personnel. Hairball, meanwhile, makes like the least competent animal superhero ever, either refusing to help or just getting freaked out about water. When both of them suddenly get a psychic impression that Frog Thor has mysteriously vanished, they are soon joined by the rest of the Pet Avengers — Lockjaw, Zabu, Redwing, and Lockheed. From there, they go on to accidentally terrorize an innocent frog before learning that Frog Thor has left the Central Park frog tribe on an unknown quest. The rest of the Pet Avengers decide to use their telepathic link to try to find where he went — and they end up in the arctic wastes. What on earth can they hope to find here?

Verdict: Thumbs up, despite some of the silliness of the plot. It’s a fun, goofy, all-ages story with a bunch of (mostly) appealing characters.

Booster Gold #30

Booster and Skeets are at ground zero in the upcoming destruction of Coast City. Mongul and the Cyborg Superman have dropped 77,000 bombs all over the city and are minutes away from blowing the city to smithereens. Sondra Crain, a time traveler trying to stop the city’s destruction, gets sent back into the future with a little girl after Skeets determines that neither of them are in the records of the people who were killed in the disaster. Booster tangles briefly with the Cyborg Superman, then runs into his sister Michelle, traveling on her own through time and stuck here with her boyfriend. Is there going to be enough time to save everyone?

Verdict: Thumbs down. It’s just so blasted boring. I mean, when this series is on, it’s very good. But when it’s not on, it’s just spectacularly dull. And there are so very many comics that have been so much better that still haven’t been able to get enough readers to stave off cancellation…

Comments off

Animal House

Tails of the Pet Avengers #1

The Pet Avengers, from the recently completed miniseries and the soon-to-begin ongoing series, are back in a one-shot full of short solo adventures. Frog Thor returns to his frog tribe in Central Park to fight off alligators and ponder whether his godlike power is too powerful for his tribe’s own good. Zabu fights off some raptors and adopts some new kids into his family. Ms. Lion helps save a cruise ship from poisoners. Lockjaw battles Mad-Dog for the Inhumans’ Terrigen Mists. Lockheed helps make a lonely girl’s prom night perfect. Redwing must deal with unwanted help as he stops jewel thieves.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun stories for kids of all ages. Heck, there’s not a bad story in the whole bunch.

Batgirl #7

Batman has been shot down by a trio of supervillains so gambling queen Roulette can take bets on who will manage to kill him first. Batgirl gets ditched by bratty Damian Wayne, the new pre-teen Robin, so Oracle gets her a shiny new Batgirl-Cycle so she can make it in time to help. At that point, it’s Robin and Batgirl, plus a wounded Batman, vs. Dr. Phosphorus, Roxy Rocket, and Riot, with the Dark Knight’s life on the line…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nicely frantic action, lots of great dialogue and banter, and great characterizations. Bryan Q. Miller has a talent for writing incredibly charismatic superheroes — even Damian is likeable in this, and everyone hates Damian!

Marvel Super Hero Squad #2

I had no intention of ever picking this series up — from the character designs, I assumed that all the stories would boil down to “We can stop Doctor Doom… with the power of FRIENDSHIP!” What changed my mind? I watched a couple episodes of the cartoon series — namely, the pilot episode (see here for Part II and Part III) and this amazing little thing called “Mental Organism Designed Only for Kisses” (see here for Part II and Part III). So it’s a good deal goofier and more subversive than it looks on first glance, and I decided that made the comic series worth checking out.

Anyway, this issue is dedicated to Valentine’s Day and all things love-related. We start out with a trio of supervillainesses — Enchantress, Mystique, and Screaming Mimi — trying to use their feminine wiles to get the good guys in the Super Hero Squad to give them the awesomely-powerful superpower-granting crystals called fractals. While Enchantress uses her magic to ensnare Wolverine, Thor, the Falcon, and the Silver Surfer (though Hulk is completely immune, ’cause all he wants to do is fight monsters), Mystique impersonates Ms. Marvel to try to get Iron Man to lead her to the fractals, and Screaming Mimi hangs out with Hulk mainly for something entertaining to do. Our second story features teen dinosaur-transformer Reptil, who is hoping Valentine’s Day will mean all the girls in school will be swooning over him. And finally, the rest of the “Squaddies” learn who Hulk’s true love is…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very cute stuff. Not particularly edgy, but it’s going to be fun for all-ages readers, or for anyone who enjoys the cartoon.

Comments off

Shaggy Dog Story


Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #4

Uh-oh, Thanos is on the scene, and he means to get all the Infinity Gems away from the Pet Avengers. None of them are tough enough to take him on, so Frog Thor (I just can’t get into calling him “Throg” — even for this series, it’s too silly) takes all the gems and gives them to Lockjaw, on the pretense that Lockjaw is going to betray them all and hand them over. Instead, Lockjaw blasts Thanos a few times, then teleports him pretty much all over the place before stranding him in an alternate universe where he can’t get back. Huzzah! Cute animals triumph over evil!

Verdict: I’ll give it a thumbs up, because this issue was still plenty fun. But this was still the weakest issue of the series. If Thanos couldn’t understand what the animals were saying, why all the subterfuge that Frog Thor goes through? How did Ms. Lion survive getting a face-full of Thanos-blast? Why wasn’t Lockjaw more powerful when he possessed all of the Infinity Gems? Still, like I said, lots of good fun in this one, and I’m looking forward to the planned ongoing series with these characters.


Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #7

Dr. Sivana is back and plotting more evil. After learning about Tawky Tawny’s connections to Billy and Mary, he manages to trail them to their home, bug their apartment, kidnap Tawny, and lead them straight into a trap — he’s re-activated the giant robot Mr. Atom, and he’s managed to super-charge him with the Marvels’ own lightning! Do they stand a chance to stop Dr. Sivana’s schemes?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Cute story, cute art, and they manage to raise the stakes and make things even more dangerous for Billy and Mary. That’s actually a pretty nice accomplishment for a kids comic.


Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #39

The Leader, the Abomination, and the Rhino are pulling off a ton of crimes as they work toward a plan to take over an orbital super-laser. Wolverine gets conned into making hot dogs while wearing an apron, just so Spidey can upload the pix to the Internet. Luke Cage beats the Abomination by beating him senseless with Wolverine. Spidey and Storm beat the Leader with rain. And Rhino wants out of the villain biz, so he and Tigra fake an epic battle so he’ll have an excuse to retire.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This one was just spectacular fun. The coolest scene was Tigra’s faked battle royale with Rhino — in a dramatic, drenching downpour, no less. The prize for best line goes to Tigra for: “Won the fight. Stole a line from the Thing. I’m totally a hero, and everything’s fine.” Just plain fantastic stuff.

Comments off

Animal Crackers


Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #3

All the Pet Avengers — Lockjaw, Throg, Lockheed, Redwing, Hairball, Zabu, and Ms. Lion — end up deep underwater in the middle of the ocean. They’re rescued by Namor’s honor guard of sea turtles, who create air bubbles to keep the animals alive. While Hairball spends his time freaking out because he’s surrounded by water, the turtles take them to a pair of the Infinity Gems. But they awaken a gigant mutant whale of some sort, which swallows all of them. Luckily, Ms. Lion finds the gems. With just one gem remaining, Lockjaw teleports the group to the final location — the White House. But all the teleporting has tired Lockjaw out, and he passes out on the White House lawn. Forced to drag the extremely large Lockjaw into the White House and then up the stairs, all without being seen by White House security, the Pet Avengers finally find the final gem — on Bo Obama‘s new collar! Too bad they don’t have time to grab him before Thanos does!

Verdict: Thumbs up. Pretty good dialogue and funny situations — while the group sneaking into the White House is fairly contrived, the idea of a sabre-toothed tiger, a dragon, a hawk, a glowing cat, a yappy dog, and Frog Thor dragging a giant bulldog up a staircase does make an enjoyably silly image. Even the twist on all the presidential guest-star roles is amusing.


Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #38

The Mandarin has a plot to lure a group of the Avengers in with a bunch of kidnapped children and then use a power-stealing robot to, well, steal their powers. He’s pretty successful, except that he’s forgotten one little Avenger…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of really cute things in this one, especially the Hulk in the petting zoo. The Mandarin is wonderfully charming and devious all at once, which is a vital quality in all the best villains.

Comments off

Jurassic Dog Park

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #2

The Pet Avengers — namely, the Inhumans’ teleporting dog Lockjaw, a new version of Frog Thor, the Falcon’s falcon Redwing, Speedball’s cat Hairball, Kitty Pryde’s dragon Lockheed, and Aunt May’s dog Ms. Lion — visit the Savage Land and get a new member: Ka-Zar’s sabretoothed tiger Zabu. They all travel to the distant past to retrieve one of the Infinity Gems — and they tangle with none other than the great Devil Dinosaur to get it. Can they all get the gem, avoid Devil Dinosaur, and return to the present? Or are they going to have to leave some team members behind?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This is a great deal of fun, with great characterization. And hey, Devil Dinosaur! Everyone loves Devil Dinosaur!

Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #5

This is the first issue of this series without Mike Kunkel running the show — his stuff is wonderful, but he works slow, which makes it hard to keep a monthly series coming out every month. So this time, the art is provided by Byron Vaughns, with script by Art Baltazar and Franco, creators of the “Tiny Titans” and “Patrick the Wolf Boy” series.

After Captain Marvel saves a school bus, Billy Batson finds that his alter ego has gotten a little old-hat — WHIZ-TV needs new footage for their newscasts. Luckily (or unluckily), the imprisoned Dr. Sivana picks that moment to unleash his giant robot, Mr. Atom, on the city. Can Captain Marvel and Mary Marvel shut Mr. Atom down without getting themselves — or the city — blown up in the process?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Baltazar and Franco’s story and script aren’t nearly as complex or wordy as Kunkel’s usually were, but it does make an interesting change. And Vaughns’ artwork is close enough to Kunkel’s usual style to keep everyone happy. So seriously, why hasn’t this comic been turned into a cartoon yet? There’s not much doubt it’d make an awesome cartoon…

Comments off

The Legion of Super Pets?


Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #1

Ohh, I had to get this one.

We start out with Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four visiting the Inhumans to discuss finding the massively powerful Infinity Gems to make sure they’re never brought together. However, unbeknownst to anyone else, the Inhumans’ oversized teleporting dog Lockjaw has already found the Mind Gem. Unable to get the Inhumans or Mr. Fantastic to pay any attention to him, Lockjaw decides to use the gem’s telepathic powers to assemble a team of animal superheroes to locate the rest of the gems, recruiting a new version of Frog Thor, Kitty Pryde’s dragon Lockheed, the Falcon’s falcon Redwing, Speedball’s cat Hairball, and Aunt May’s dog Ms. Lion. Once the team’s assembled, they’re off to the Savage Land to see if they can find some Infinity Gems before the dinosaurs do…

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s very silly, and I’m in favor of a few silly comics from time to time. Frog Thor’s origin is a bit long, but I guess they figured they needed it to differentiate him from the real Thor that got turned into a frog (a story from Walt Simonson’s classic run on “Thor” that had the God of Thunder getting transformed by his evil brother Loki — read Khairul’s summary for all the details). The characterization is pretty good — Redwing is arrogant, Hairball is the team’s bad boy, Lockheed is still mourning Kitty Pryde, and almost everything Ms. Lion says is hilarious. Not much of a plot yet, but I trust that’ll develop some more now that all our characters have been introduced.


Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #11

Loki gets a frost giant and a fire demon to attack Thor and New York City. Thor manages to persuade the frost giant that Loki is using him for evil purposes, and they team up to defeat the demon.

Verdict: Ehh, thumbs down. The “Marvel Adventures” line is designed for all-ages readers, so I’m not expecting the most complicated storylines in the world, but this one was just a bit too lightweight for my tastes.

Comments off