Archive for Shadowpact

Friday Night Fights: Chimp Champion!

Hey, man! Friday Night Fights is back in action! Let’s get things started the right way — with monkeys!

Here’s September 2006’s Shadowpact #3 by Bill Willingham and Cory Walker, where we get right into Detective Chimp showing Kid Karnevil why you should never make a chimpanzee mad at you:

Okay, that’s that. Don’t party too hard tonight — I expect y’all all to be at the Lubbock Comic Book Expo tomorrow and Sunday at the Civic Center!

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Quick Reviews for People with No Patience

Hey, kids! Who’s tired of doing long reviews of comics? Look around, see if you can find him! Wait, wait, there he is! That’s right — it’s me! So let’s do fast reviews of everything I’ve got left over!

B.P.R.D.: Killing Ground #2

Horrifically scarred tough-guy Ben Daimo summons a mystical Chinese mystic-guy, just in time for the guy to get eaten by a rampaging wendigo! Johann Kraus goes AWOL with his big, bad, hungry, horny body! Liz Sherman sees horrific visions of the end of the world!

Verdict: Thumbs up! Creepy stuff, gross stuff, more scary stuff on the way! Woo!


The Trials of Shazam #8

Atlas is a god who’s wired into the whole world, and he makes tiny minor changes to stave off major disasters. And someone just killed him! So Freddy Freeman has to fill in for him briefly, then Captain Marvel takes over, and then Freddy goes to fetch Atlas’ replacement, the god Apollo, who’s given up godhood to be a doctor. But Apollo don’t wanna be a god, and he’s willing to kill to stay normal.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not bad. But with four issues left, they better start wrapping stuff up fast.


Shadowpact #17

Lots of stuff happens, and I can’t be bothered to care.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Boooooring.

And now, to fill a bit more space: A picture you will never be able to un-see!

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Three Fast Reviews

I’ve snagged a pretty good crop of new comics this week — just in time to get hit by a sudden busy spree, both at the office and at home. So let’s see if we can get some reviews done very quickly for some of the new books.

Shadowpact #15

The plot is fairly straightforward. Dr. Gotham is an insanely powerful sorceror who wants to kill the magic-based superheroes in the Shadowpact on behalf of his evil, interdimensional god. He eats a sandwich and holds a busload of kids hostage in Chicago ’til the team shows up, then he kills Chicago.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The entire story is all about establishing Dr. Gotham as an unusual and very dangerous villain, and it does an incredible job. You really wouldn’t expect the two highlights of a story to be (1) Dr. Gotham eating a sandwich and (2) killing every living thing in Chicago, but it works amazingly well. Of course, I’m sure they’ll undo the “killing Chicago” thing next month, but still, this issue is a great ride.

Runaways #27

There are really two reasons I picked this one up. First, the cover here is just awesome. Second, I was told that the Yellow Kid (the star of the very first comic strip, “Hogan’s Alley,” back in the late 1890s) had an appearance, and I’ve long been a fan of old comic strips.

Well, the problem is that the Yellow Kid appears in just one panel. And beyond that, I know almost nothing about the main characters in the comic, so most of the stuff that went on here was completely lost on me. I will say, however, that I guffawed at the bit where the little pre-teen character (Molly Hayes, Wikipedia tells me) warns everyone that girls are on this side of the room, boys on that side, and no kissing or yucky stuff is allowed. I also like the fact that they hang out with a dinosaur. Don’t remember whether anyone ate sandwiches, although one character threatens to eat someone else.

Verdict: Can’t really give one. I’m just not familiar enough with what’s going on.

Justice Society of America #7

First of all, let me direct your attention to this cover by Alex Ross of the JSA’s newest member, Citizen Steel. This was not the same cover that was previewed — the preview got a lot of attention when it was released because Citizen Steel was, um, well, shall we say, in a state of, umm… Well, hang on just a second. (gets out thesaurus, looks up various interesting words, giggles in an immature manner) Tumescence. Turgidity. Perpendicularity. Upstandingness. (giggles some more)

Anyway, this caused a lot of hollering and weeping amongst the fanboys — you see, while they consider it a constitutional right to leer and drool over upskirt pictures of Mary Marvel and “Turkey’s Done” pictures of Psylocke, fanboys apparently run the risk of actually dying if they see a picture of a dude sportin’ lumber.

Anyway, it seems that DC decided that, if they were willing to reduce the size of Power Girl’s breasts on the last “Justice League” cover, maybe they should reduce the number of socks stuffed down Citizen Steel’s shiny shorts.

Oh, the story? The story’s fine. Citizen Steel makes his grand debut by helping beat the heck out of a bunch of neo-Nazi thugs. All that, plus Starman and Superman eating sloppy joes.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Who doesn’t love sloppy joes?

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Quick Reviews

I’m way, way behind on my comic reviews, so I’m going to try to take care of the rest of mine as quickly as possible.


She-Hulk #19

The evil gamma-spawned super-genius called the Leader is finally brought to trial for his many crimes, and Jennifer Walters, who used to be the She-Hulk before she very recently lost her powers, has to watch as her own law firm elects to defend the big-brained scoundrel. Even worse, Jennifer is called to the stand to testify that getting gamma powers changes your personality. Also, there’s new mystery about Pug and his new hairstyle, and we finally learn what Mr. Zix did to the hapless Stu Cicero when he learned the robot lawyer’s true identity.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Jenn is, frankly, hilarious when she’s getting harmlessly humiliated. (And She-Hulk really did sleep around a lot. ‘Bout time someone asked whassup with that.) The Leader is fairly funny, too, and Mallory Book is turning into a great non-powered archnemesis for Jennifer.


Hellboy: Darkness Calls #3

Not as good as some Hellboy comics, but still a great example of how to do horror in a comic book. Lots of great stuff with the Baba Yaga, Koschei the Deathless, and other figures from Russian mythology. Koschei is especially cool. Oh, and we get some good moments with Hellboy sitting around smoking with a low-level house spirit.

Verdict: Thumb up. Whether as artist or writer, Mike Mignola is the best horror creator in comics.


Tales from the Crypt #1

Not the original horror comic from the ’50s, but a revival from a publisher called Papercutz. And yes, that is an awesome cover by Kyle Baker. How I wish the inside of this new series was as good. The artwork is crude and too bright for a horror comic. The writing is sub-standard. They get the form of the classic EC Comics right, but they work so hard on modernizing them that they completely forget to add any of that wonderful creepy horror you got from the old “Tales from the Crypt” comics.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t thrilled. I was bored.


Shadowpact #14

Zauriel, angel and former Justice Leaguer, attacks Blue Devil, reluctant demon and member of the Shadowpact, because his superheroic exploits have convinced too many people to sell their souls for demonic powers because they think he’s cool — and Blue Devil agrees with him! But he’d rather avoid getting killed by Zauriel, so he quits Shadowpact and starts a public relations campaign to reveal his sins, crimes, and shortcomings to get people to stop emulating him. With Blue Devil gone, the rest of the Shadowpact draft Zauriel as a member, and the evil Dr. Gotham starts some rotten plots into motion.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Though I can’t see a lot of people really looking up to Blue Devil (Shadowpact isn’t anywhere near the big dogs of the DCU like the Justice League or the Justice Society), I like the idea of B.D. trying to atone more for his past actions. And I love the bit with the lawyer offering to defend Blue before an infernal court of law.


Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.

This is the first volume of a trade paperback collecting the early issues of the 1999 series “Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.” about Courtney Whitmore, the new Star-Spangled Kid (now Stargirl in the Justice Society), and her stepfather, Pat Dugan, who used to be a sidekick called Stripesy and now pilots an oversized robot called S.T.R.I.P.E. The characters have an adversarial relationship — Courtney hates her stepdad and spends as much time antagonizing him as she does fighting crime.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This was writer Geoff Johns’ first comics work, so there are a few growing pains, but the whole thing makes for a very fun comic. Courtney is a wonderful character, a fun, funny, upbeat teenage rebel. Johns based the character on his younger sister, Courtney, who died in the explosion of TWA 800, and I think that helped give the character a vitality and realism that lots of other comic book characters lack.

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