Archive for Sugarshock

First Rule of Pet Club: Do Not Talk about Pet Club!


Tiny Titans #21

It’s an all Pet Club issue! Everyone is bringing their pets to the Tiny Titans Pet Club — but what about students who don’t have pets? Well, Cyborg has some cute robots, and Starfire and her sister Blackfire send a letter to their home planet asking for their pets. Let’s meet their pets, shall we?


Heh. Poopu.

Other pets include the Atom Family’s dog Spot, Terra’s pet rock, Blue Beetle’s bug collection, Hoppy the Marvel Bunny, and the Bat-Cow! But with all these pets, the tree house is now too small for everyone? Can the Titans find a new Pet Club meeting place that they won’t wreck?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun artwork and story — and very funny material, too, with Poopu and the return of the Bat-Cow being the real standouts. This is excellent reading for kids, or for grownups who enjoy good, funny comics.


Sugarshock #1

I absolutely love this story, but the problem is it’s already available online for free. And it’s also in the first volume of the MySpace Dark Horse Presents trade paperback collection. This comic has the exact same story, with a nice cover by Fabio Moon and a few sketch pages in the back.

Verdict: I can’t bring myself to give this a thumbs down, because this story is absolutely one of my favorites — Fabio Moon’s artwork is awesome, Joss Whedon’s story and script are hilarious. If you haven’t read the story, you really, really should, and you can definitely read it in this comic book. But dangit, I was hoping for a new Sugarshock story, and I’m a bit grinched that Dark Horse didn’t get one cooked up here.

Power Girl #6

Power Girl is trying to corral a bunch of superpowered aliens — three fashionmongering partygirls and Carl, a guy who’s trying to bring them back to their home planet. Kara sticks the guy in the ferris wheel on Coney Island to keep him occupied, but loses the girls after they get picked up by a chubby guy in a limousine. And while she’s looking for the girls, Carl manages to escape, too. Without any other leads, she picks up her horrible, horrible cat from her office and takes him to her new apartment, meeting up with Terra and discovering that some stalker has been taking pictures of her and has discovered her secret identity! Not much time to worry about that — Carl tracks Kara down and reveals that the girls’ tracker chips have stopped in Atlantic City — and their chubby limousine pal is in big trouble with the mob. Can Power Girl rescue everyone in time and with a minimum of bloodshed?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A pretty lighthearted issue, so the deaths here and there seem a bit out of place, but it’s fun, nicely humorous, and packed full of excellent characterization. Kudos to Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti. And as always, Amanda Conner’s artwork is an absolute dream. Is there anyone else out there who can do such outstanding facial expressions and body language? Just check out the scenes on the subway and in the emergency room — there is so much to see and enjoy in both of those settings.


The Brave and the Bold #28

Barry Allen agrees to help test some scientific equipment and ends up getting shot back in time to the Battle of the Bulge — and he’s got a broken leg, too, so he’s not going to be able to get up enough speed to get back home. Luckily, the Blackhawk air squadron is on hand to help — unfortunately, they’re down here without their planes, so their ability to help is a bit limited, too. The Blackhawks want Flash to help them fight, but he’s unwilling to take lives. Can Flash find a way to help win the war?

Verdict: Ehh, not that bad, but not that great either. The story wasn’t that bad, but why give us the Blackhawks without their planes? Sgt. Rock and Easy Company would’ve been much better fits here than the ‘Hawks. I’m also not buying the Blackhawks’ insistence that Barry has to kill the Germans, nor the ease with which he gives up his principles.

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Friday Night Fights: Stabby-Stabby!

Bahlactus demands fighting on Friday nights! Dare we refuse him? NEVAR. So let’s get going with another bone-cracking round of FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight, our violentastic artwork comes from 2007’s Sugarshock by Joss Whedon and Fabio Moon. You can find the whole thing at the Dark Horse Presents website. We start out with Wade meeting her handsome prince/groupie…


Aw, isn’t it sweet? Whatcha think of this, L’Lihdra?


Yeah, that seems like the most sensible reaction. Nobody quits the band!

And next week… GASP! Can it be? The final Friday Night Fights?!

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From the Computer to your Home

MySpace Dark Horse Presents

Awesome! Dark Horse Comics put out a trade paperback of a bunch of the stories they’ve got on their MySpace page. Yeah, sure, you can read ’em all online for free, but this way, you can show ’em to your technophobic gramma, or you can read ’em when all those Wall Street brokers steal that $700 billion government bailout, move to Argentina, and shut off our electricity. Heck, you can read ’em while you’re sitting on the pot. (“Uhh, I can take my laptop in there, man.” Bite me, freak. No one sane takes a laptop into the bathroom. Do you know how idiotic you look strainin’ and groanin’ on the terlet with your dorky MacBook on your lap? AWAY WIF YOU, KNAVE.)

Where was I? Oh, yeah, this one is awesome. For one thing, it opens up with Joss Whedon and Fabio Moon’s impossibly awesome “Sugarshock” — and that’s worth the purchase price all by itself. Plus it’s got a story of the Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, Adam Warren’s awesomely awesome superhero bondage-queen Empowered, a Christmas story by Mike Mignola, Rick Rememnder’s “Fear Agent” and much, much more.

Really, I’ve been looking through here trying to find a story I didn’t like — I think I found one. And I didn’t even mind it that much, it just didn’t entirely appeal to me. The rest of the stories here are just plain jaw-droppingly schweeet.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Big-time, crazy-hat, jazz-hands thumbs up. Why hasn’t “Sugarshock” been given an ongoing series yet? Whedon, to heck with that Buffy stuff, a’ight? Get busy on bringing us monthly Sugarshock adventures.

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A Quintet of Quick Qualitative Queries

In other words: Five lightning-fast reviews:


The Spirit #11

It’s the final battle — the Spirit vs. the diabolical El Morte and his army of zombies!

Verdict: Thumbs up! Good art, good story, great drama. Next to the last issue of the brilliant Darwyn Cooke’s stories and art, so pick it up!


Sugarshock #1-3

As far as I can tell, this is only available on Dark Horse Comics’ MySpace page. It’s written by Joss Whedon, creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly,” and it’s about a really weird but really fun rock band and their long, long, long journey to a Battle of the Bands contest.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Holy guacamole, was this one fun. Just wild, wild fun. Tons of wonderful, awesome, funny stuff. Go read it — it’s pretty short and extremely entertaining.


Umbrella Academy #3

What’s left of the Umbrella Academy takes on the Terminauts. Spaceboy appears to be the only one of these guys who’s much good in a fight. Also, Vanya tries to rejoin the family, gets rejected, and runs back to the evil Orchestra Verdammten.

Verdict: Thumbs up. But not as good as the previous issues.


Teen Titans #53

The Future Lex Luthor (from the future!) unveils the all-future, all-evil Titans Army. Starro attacks everyone, Miss Martian kacks her future evil self, Robin mopes.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m a sucker for stories about future evil doppelgangers from the future.


Grendel: Behold the Devil #1

A sociopathic super-assassin/acclaimed novelist kills a whole bunch of people and is just too wonderful and smart and cool and unstoppable and perfect for anyone else. Oh, and he wears a stupid mask.

Verdict: Thumbs down. The “Grendel” series was one of the things that irritated the tar out of me in the ’90s, and ten years hasn’t made the concept the slightest bit more appealing.

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