Yeah, it’s going to be a bit odd this week. Last week, I didn’t get my comics because of my back, next week only one comic was listed coming in before I went to the store, and this week a whole bunch came in. So what I decided was to pick up five this week, get the other six next week (I picked up Marvel’s Wolverine Saga freebie, so it sort of balances out), and work the reviews accordingly.

I also want to note at this point that I didn’t bother getting War of the Kings: Darkhawk #2 after all. It just doesn’t feel like the same Darkhawk I last saw in some ways, and in others it seems like the OLD Darkhawk from before he got the new body (not armor, a robotic body, C.B.!) So if I’m not reading Iron Man or Darkhawk, then it’s official: 616 is dead to me! (Although I may still get Pet Avengers, and pretend it’s in that sideways universe the current Power Pack seems to reside in. Otherwise, dead!)

So this week I picked up the three Transformers comics and a couple super hero comics and called it a week. That’ll mess up the Best Scene awards, but you play the hand you’re dealt. Want to peek at my cards?

For the non-Transformer fans out there (I pity you), I’ll start with the super hero titles first. As always, check for my spoiler-blocked reviews at ComiXology.

The Avengers take weeding the garden seriously!Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #34

PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics [May 2009]

WRITER: Paul Tobin

PENCILER: Matteo Lolli

INKER: Christian Vecchia

COLORISTS: Sotocolor

LETTERER: Dave Sharpe

COVER: Cruz & Staples

PRODUCTION: Taylor Esposito

CONSULTING: Maccio

EDITOR: Nathan Cosby

On furlough during World War 2, Sgt. Nick Fury and his “Howling Commandos” team visit the Tower of London and vanish. In 2009, The Avengers are also at the tower when they as well vanish, finding themselves bouncing around time and space. Eventually, the two groups meet up in ancient Egypt, and battle a rather terrible couple of “time wizards” who end up beating themselves, and everyone goes home.

What they got right:Interesting concept, having Fury and the Commandos plus a time travel story. The banter between everyone is decent enough, from Spidey and Ant-Man’s dialog during the trips (I love Tobin’s Spidey, although Jeff Tobin remembered he was good for more than a few one-liners and some fighting) to one of the Commandos hitting on Tigra. (Also, her banter with Spidey is cute, and with Giant Girl connected to Ant Man, I want to see a Spidey/Tigra solo team-up and see if it goes anywhere.) Also, Tigra as Bast=fun! It’s still the same comic I have to fight myself not to read every week. Except…

What they got wrong:For once I have a couple of complaints beyond the lame cover. Since there’s no way to work Banner into this story for the Hulk, I (for once) accept his loss. My thought, and I could be wrong, is that Ant-Man is standing in for him when it comes to figuring out what’s going on, but for the most part, he doesn’t actually DO anything in this story! Spidey could have filled in the gaps just as well (he’s smart, too, you know) and his banter with Tigra would have filled in any other limited uses Ant-Man served. There’s no need for him to be here. Also, we don’t get a proper fair well between the teams, and we don’t get any kind of reason for…whatever it is Djadao and Woserit are trying to do.

Recommendation:Not Paul’s best story (and can we please keep one art team on this comic for a few issues at least?), but that’s like not being the best candy bar at Wonka’s factory. Read and enjoy!

Believe it or not, I actually got it!The Greatest American Hero #2 (0f 3)

PUBLISHER: Catastrophic Comics/ Arcana Comics [Dec. 2008–yeah, right!]

adapted from a story by Stephen J. Cannell

SCRIPT: William Katt (the actor who played Ralph Hinkley on the tv show), Derek McCaw, and Christopher Folino

PENCILS AND INKS: Clint Hilinski

COLORS: Jeff Jumper, Rebecca Maiden, and Salvador Mancha

EDITOR: Sean O’Reilly

Continued from last issue (which I still don’t have, but I do remember the pilot), the ship takes off, and so does Bill, unwilling to take on another partner. However, when he’s pulled from the case, he does track down Ralph and decide to go along with the alien’s plan, but his way. Ralph isn’t keen on Bill’s attitude, and he’s worried about one of his students being arrested (as well as his annoying roommate). However, he’s forced to use the suit (and as per the show, he’s lost the instructions) to get to the court on time to be there for Tony, and meets a certain lawyer.

What they got right AND wrong: There appear to be some changes from the original show, and I’m not sure how I feel about them, which is why I’m breaking from my usual pattern here. I can accept the cell phones and all, and I don’t expect a to-the-letter adaptation of the pilot. Tony getting himself arrested, and a principal more than willing to send him there (although Tony may be innocent) is a different way to introduce Pam, since they’ve dropped his son out of the story (not that the show writers ever knew what to do with the son and ex-wife, and wrote them out after a few episodes. (TV.com has the final appearance at episode 6, or at least the actor playing him. Even their reviewers don’t know what to do with him!) I almost want to go into a Mary Jane/Baby May rant about that. I’ll just ask “why can’t writers use a family for the hero?” and move on.

The art is pretty good. They capture the actors rather well, for all the copywrite issues that must come with a project like this. The Suit looks like the Suit, although in some panels the cape looks purple and in others the red seems to be running into the cape folds. I do enjoy the new twists on the story, though (except for Kevin; I hope he moves out at some point, should this become a full series), and the characters feel like their counterparts (well, Bill and Ralph–we haven’t really re-met Pam at this point).

Recommendation:If this one doesn’t sell out, give it a look. Not the bestest comic in forever or anything, but not bad. It does make me wish I could afford the DVD box set so I can re-familiarize myself with the show.

And now for the robots!

I'm Optimus Prime and I don't approve this title!Transformers: All Hail Megatron #9

PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing [March 2009]

WRITER: Shane McCarthy

ARTISTS: Robert Deas & Emiliano Santalucia

COLORISTS: Josh Burcham & Robert Deas

LETTERER: Chris Mowry

EDITORS: Andy Schmidt & Denton J. Tipton

On Earth (about time), Spike comes across Sarah and Bridge. He plans to get a gun that used to belong to Shockwave, in hopes of taking out Megatron. The civilians agree to help, aided by a third (or should that be a fourth), Charles, a cop and ex-military. When they go for the gun, Charles is able to take down Frenzy with a bazooka, and Spike gets Shocky’s old arm cannon. However, Soundwave comes upon the remains, and freaks out, accidentally dropping the power blackout. Spike makes contact with his dad, and learns they’re going to drop the bomb anyway! Meanwhile, back on Cybertron, the Autobots continue to come apart, until a certain you-know-who (check the cover) makes his comeback!

What they got right:Well it’s about time Shane tuned back in to Spike and the humans! Yeah, maybe he thought looking in on Earth (besides a panel here and there to remind you the Decepticons have taken over the Earth) would take away from the big reveals, but that’s pretty much what the Swarm did anyway, only without adding anything to the story. It’s a good plan, and now I want to see the rest of Maximum Dinobots and the upcoming Coda series to see how this all came about. Also nice to see Prime back in action, or at least on his feet. The art on the Cybertron scenes are pretty good.

What they got wrong:However, the Earth art is just horrible! HORRIBLE! We’re not just talking steps down from the Cybertron scenes, we’re talking the series itself! You can tell there are two different artists or art teams involved here, and whomever did the Earth sequences should not be brought back! Not only do Frenzy, Soundwave, and the four humans suffer for it, but the two completely different styles clash terribly, and takes you out of the story everytime we switch planets! Unless your trying to meet deadlines here, IDW, never do this again!

Recommendation:Excellent story, uneven art between planets, but things are finally starting to get actiony again. Obtain!

The Decepticons prepare to make a "2001" fanfilm

Transformers: Defiance #3

A Revenge of the Fallen prequel

PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing

WRITER/LETTERER: Chris Mowry

PENCILER: Don Figueroa

COLORIST: Josh Perez

EDITORS: Denton J. Tipton & Andy Schmidt

Optimus convinces Prowl and Jazz to get him into Megatron’s chamber, where he finds the artifact is clean, but must leave because Megatron is coming back. Megatron’s new master informs Megs that Optimus has been in there, and the Transformer decides to have him arrested. In truth, it’s a trap, and Optimus, who just learned he may be part of the mythical dynasty of Primes (apparently he’s just been “Optimus”, no “Prime” at this point), escapes the trap. Meanwhile, Megatron declares that his warriors are now a new group dedicated to conquering the universe. They are now…Decepticons!

What they got right: Pretty much everything. It’s a good set-up for the war, and within the world itself, believable. The characters feel like their movie counterparts. The art is very good, but Figueroa is famous for his Transformers and Cybertron. I do like the reveal of the Decepticon symbol. Very dramatic, and I wouldn’t mind see that animated in Movie-style CG.

What they got wrong: While Megatron’s believable in world, out of world I’m still wrapping my head around any version of Megatron claiming a “master”. Otherwise, it all works.

Recommendation: The best issue of this mini. Well worth having if your a fan of the Movieverse.

No joke, that's a sweet cover.

Transformers: Alliance #4 (FINAL ISSUE)

A Revenge of the Fallen prequel

PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing

WRITER/LETTERER: Chris Mowry

ARTIST: Alex Milne

COLORISTS: Josh Perez & Kris Carter

EDITORS: Denton J. Tipton & Andy Schmidt

The combined Autobot/human strike team gets their first mission in San Francisco. Although successful, and hidden from humans, Bumblebee is forced to reveal his robot mode, which annoys the team’s new boss. After a few more missions, however, they learn nothing new about the reason for the Decepticons on Earth. However, they are after something, and Optimus orders Bumblebee back into his previous role as Sam’s guardian. New Autobots arrive just in time for a new mission to Shanghai, as the comic ends and presumably the movie begins.

What they got right: Since they’re leading in to Revenge of the Fallen, it doesn’t tie up neatly, but it does set up the next movie, so mission accomplished. Although those of us following the toys or character spoilers know who the new Autobots are, the “official” reveal is supposed to be during the movie, so that’s fine. Mowry does a good job getting everything in place for the second film, and the robots are still good.

What they got wrong: I’m a bit more used to the humans, but unless Lenox’s five o’clock shadow is supposed to represent he’s overworked (I hope he at least has had some time with his wife and daughter from the previous movie), it doesn’t look right. Any other complaints I would have are negated by the fact that they’re setting up the second movie.

Recommendation: A proper set-up for Revenge of the Fallen. Also worth getting if your a fan of the Movieverse, or plan to see ROTF.

 Best Scene of the Week

Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #34

What have learned today, kids? Spider-Man is always right!
What have learned today, kids? Spider-Man is always right!
 
According to my Pull List at ComiXology (sign up for free and get one of your own!), I actually have four comics coming next week, on top of the five waiting for me. So unless I get a lot of tips next week, it’s going to take longer than I thought to get back on track. (Stupid back!) Next week, The Pull List appears in it’s usually spot, but the first of the new monthly format. The reviews stay weekly. You stay awesome!

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. :)

2 responses »

  1. Derek McCaw says:

    Thanks for the review on the second issue of Greatest American Hero. Hope you like issue #3, and I wish I could tell you what the heck is going on with not being able to find #1.

    Like

    • ShadowWing Tronix says:

      I loved the show as a kid, and the comic is a welcome addition. You’re the second person to help push me towards the comic. Do you know a Marci? 🙂

      Like

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