Ok, so events forced me to pick up two weeks worth of comics and not get to review them on the usual day. No matter, better late than never. Phantom #26 didn’t make it this week, and if someone can get me a copy of Greatest American Hero #1, I’d be a very happy guy. Still, that leaves me four comics. So were they worth the wait?

Three little Time Lords from school are we!

Doctor Who: The Forgotten #5{IDW}

WRITER: Tony Lee

PENCILER: Pia Guerra

INKER: Kent Archer

COLORIST: Charlie Kirchoff

LETTERER: Richard Starkings

PRODUCTION: Neil Uyetake

EDITOR: Denton J Tipton

The last two previous Doctors are featured this round, as current Doctor (at least for now) begins to figure out what is and what isn’t real. The Eighth Doctor find himself in a prison during what I assume to be the Time War. The Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler (yeah, who’d you expect?) start a soccer (or “football”, for you non-Americans) game during World War One at Christmas time. It’s a nice moment, and probably the only Christmas story that doesn’t involve turning Yuletide symbols into weapons of death.

What They Did Right: That last sentence right there. I get annoyed at every Christmas special involving turning Christmas symbols into instruments of fear. Yeah, I know that’s what Doctor Who, especially the New Who are experts at (take that, Goosebumps), but some everyday things should never be turned into nightmares, and Christmas is one of them! Still, the Ninth Doctor story is the best part. However, setting a story during the Time War, even if we don’t see any of the fighting itself, is interesting, and once again a New Who alien shows up in (semi)Classic Who. I didn’t see the (alleged–I still remember the last scene last issue) foe coming.

What They Got Wrong:Sadly, I have more to write here than I have previously in this series. First off, go look at that cover again. I know there’s only one issue left, but can we please get Nick Roche off the covers? The Doctors look like wooden dummies, and David Tennant looks like he wants to kill me. It’s also the most uninspired cover of the series. I know he can do good layouts (check issue 3’s cover) but you wouldn’t know it here. Inside, the only major disappointment was not seeing the 8th/movie TARDIS control room, and none of the companions he’s had in the comics and audio dramas. However, being set during the War, I can let it pass. I would have loved to have seen Captain Jack as written by Tony, but we do get a mention of Jack in a big of foreward-shadowing (no relation) which puts him pre-Torchwood and post new season 1, so that was nice.

Recommendation: If you haven’t gotten this comic by now, wait for the trade to come out, and BUY THE DARN THING!

For a comic based on the Decepticons winning, they aren't getting much "screen time".

Transformers: All Hail Megatron #6

WRITER: Shane McCarthy

ARTIST: Guido Guidi

COLORIST: Josh Burcham

LETTERER: Chris Mowry

EDITOR: Denton J. Tipton

More Cybertron-based action, as we see the two Autobot teams merge into one, just in time to be attacked by some of Megatron’s pets. Back on Earth, France decides to take action–wait, France?–against the Decepticons.

What They Got Right:The art is very good, but Guido’s had enough experience. The characters all feel real, and there’s more characterisation here than there has been in previous issues. There’s a bit more of the Megatron/Starscream relationship (I can think of more than a few Transfans misreading that statement, some of you over at alt.toys.transformers, you know who you are) here, and I like this version of Kup better than the storytelling old fogey of the television series. It’s also interesting to see some of the other personal relationships between the other Decepticons, including the Seeker portrayal here. It makes them feel more like an actual group and less like just a bunch of lookalike robots.

What They Got Wrong:For a series that started out being about the Decepticons finally conquering Earth (something we’ve only seen in a parallel universe for one issue during the Marvel run), the Decepticon scene felt like padding, or just having them there to be there. I’m not sure if I understand what Starscream is talking about during his current discussion with Megatron, unlike the previous one.  I would also like to see if they’re going to go back to the refugees in New York. I’m hoping a couple of my favorite humans escaped Astrotrain.

Recommendation: I still wish this had come after the events that led to the Autobots and especially Prime’s current state, but there’s still some good action, and good characterisation. I’m still enjoying this more than the “-ation” stories.

The next writer who brings up the "wife beating" thing in any continuity deals with us!

Marvel Super Heroes #6 {Marvel}

Featuring Ant-Man

WRITER: Fred Van Lente

PENCILER: Matteo Lolli

INKER: Christian Vecchia

COLORIST: Guru eFX

LETTERER: Dave Sharpe

COVER: Henry & Guru

PRODUCTION: Taylor Esposito

CONSULTING: Mark Paniccia & Ralph Macchio

EDITOR: Nathan Cosby

It’s the Adventureverse origin of the Astonishing Ant-Man. I’ve not seen the original, but I looked it up on the Marvel Wiki and we have a new origin here. This round, Hank Pym is a struggling inventor who invents a helmet that can talk to ants and tell them to leave a house rather than calling an exterminator. They don’t buy it, but the ants use it to ask for his help recovering their hive from Psycho-Man, a bad guy from the microverse who plans to use an emotion altering machine to become the leader of Earth. Hank must team with the ants, stop Psycho-Man, come up with a way to pay the rent, and somehow become a hero.

What they got right:Fred Van Lente is a good choice for a writer, and with good reason. He just has so much fun with this story. The ants are a riot, the characters are believable for the Adventureverse, Hank’s video presentation is sad in a comedic way, and Psycho-Man’s plot seems somewhat reasonable. The art is good, the bit with the ant princess wanting to marry Hank is funny (I said the ants were a riot), and everything works. For the most part. But at least he isn’t slapping Janet around, or insulting her.

What they got wrong: I know there are going to be fans annoyed with the altered origin of his size-changing powers, a shrink ray created in the microverse instead of the famous “Pym Particles”, discovered by Pym himself. Only in a kid-targeted comic can ants talk like humans (complete with “dude” and “politically correct”–I said they were a riot, why aren’t you listening to me!), which kind of takes you out of the “real world” Marvel is famous for in a way the Marvel Adventures comics seldom does rather than how it usually does (yeah, I’m not sure I even understand that part of the sentence myself, but it makes sense in my head).

Recommendation: Ok, I’ll say it one last time. THE ANTS ARE A RIOT! Get this book now! No, serious, if you don’t own a copy, the store is open, and you have 3.00 (plus local taxes) to spend, and your not at work or school or something, go buy this now! It’s the only time you won’t see Hank as a wife beater and it’s the best use of Sinatra’s “High Hopes” song ever. (I used to link to the video, but the user took it down.)

Why are you still reading this? Fine, here’s the last review.

This should be a cartoon already

Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #3 {DC}

WRITER: Mike Kunkel

ARTIST: Mike Kunkel

HEART: Mike Kunkel

LETTERER: Mike…just kidding..Steve Wands

ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Adam Schalgman

EDITOR: Jann Jones

Billy doesn’t want to go to school today, but not for the usual reasons. Well, I suppose a bully would be a normal reason…if said bully wasn’t trying to get from you a magic word that would turn him into a supervillain. However, Billy has to go to detention…wouldn’t that just make you stay home? Maybe he should have. Although he becomes the hero of detention hall (apparently, detention in the Faucett City school system is different from mine–not that I went…much), he’s captured by Theo and some of his Evils pals. Mary goes to rescue her brother, and accidentally gives Theo what he wants. Now the Batson/Marvels have to deal with…Black Adam! I’m doubting this happens, though.

What they got right: The character feel like they should in the world they’re in, Captain Marvel’s plan to beat the Evils seems to be based on the trick Mary played on him last issue, and the continuing storyline (as opposed to stand-alone stories or “trade padding” story arcs) between issues is something sorely lacking in comics today. We knew Black Adam had to make his debut eventually, and how it comes about feels natural, not forced just for the sake of getting Theo his Marvel powers. Everything works.

What they got wrong: Once you get past the art style (which grows on you), and the fact that Mary is now a hyperactive little sister instead of Billy’s twin sister (at least she’s annoying in a fun way), not much.

This part depends on you: The “Monster Society Code” part is gone. Decide for yourself if this is a good thing or not. It was kind of fun, and I know the kids might have liked it (or not), but I don’t miss it.

Recommendation: If you haven’t been reading this comic because it’s a “kiddie” comic, and doesn’t have darkness, violence, or whatever else you think all comics should be, your no fun and I don’t want to deal with you. Go in the dark corner with your evil Mary and your anti-life equation and be boring, no-fun-boy!

Best Scene of the Week!

Marvel Super Heroes #6

Human man. Human man. Does whatever a human can.

An ant that's a Spidey fan? Should I do a "May" joke here? Nah!

 

Well, that’s how I ended December, with four fun adventures. So how will this week’s comics fair? Tune in Sunday to find out.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

One response »

  1. […] Re-edited from the original review: The last two previous Doctors are featured this round, as current Doctor (at least for now) begins to figure out what is and what isn’t real. Martha is not the real Martha Jones, but she insists he focus on regaining his memories. The blanket from the morgue The Eighth Doctor woke up with has him remember the time he found himself in a prison during what I assume to be the Time War. With the help of a fellow prisoner he manages to escape, grabbing the Key Of Rassalon, which is the key to a deadly weapon he hopes never to use. The Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler (yeah, who’d you expect?) start a soccer (or “football”, for us non-Americans) game during World War One at Christmas time. It’s a nice moment, and probably the only Christmas story that doesn’t involve turning Yuletide symbols into weapons of death. Soon the Doctor realizes who “Martha” is, the embodiment of the TARDIS herself…just as they run into the master behind all this…though it looks a lot like a mirror universe 10th Doctor. […]

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