While my back-up wasn’t as big as Jake’s (don’t forget to click for the behind-the-scenes on this week’s comic), I still have a lot of comics to review over three days, and I wasn’t able to get them all either. So in the hopes of catching up, I’m doing another “speed run”, dropping the usual format and just giving you the gist of my review. Enjoy.
I won’t be able to get these up at ComiXology this round, but my nature of a “speed run”, there probably won’t be a lot of spoilers.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold #11
DC Comics/Johnny DC (January 2010)
J. Torres on writing duties and Carlo Barberi and Terry Beaty (penciler and inker respectively) make a re-appearance on the title. While I can’t say why (maybe Landry Walker and Eric Jones had other things to do?), this team has shown they know how to work this title, and they get the show. This does, however, mean we get two Green Arrow stories in a row. (I really want to get Plastic Man on this title.) We also get an appearance by the Huntress, and you’ll have to decide for yourself if the fact they get her character right (based on the show) is a good thing or not. Torres also does a great job with the fun little rivalry Batman and Green Arrow have on the show, and makes good use of the main villains, the Terrible Trio. (One of the things the previous Batman cartoon did the best, in my opinion.)
My favorite part is when Torres proves why Batman has the best cape in comics. If we can’t have the X-Ray Studios crew, Torres/Barberi/Beaty is the best alternative on this series.
Buck Rogers #6
Dynamite Entertainment (2009)
So we finally leave the past in the past. This issue is all Buck adjusting to the 25th Century and trying to prove he is indeed the same Buck Rogers history says died. Had I reviewed these comics normally, this comic would have provided the Best Scene of the Week, when Buck and Wilma’s brother, Buddy, both prove why we have driver’s licenses in this era. 🙂
The art is as great as usual, and while I’m not a fan of their version of the future (I know the 80’s series had some bad spots, but where there ever giant mutations in any version of Buck Rogers prior to this series?), writer Scott Beatty still finds a way to make it all work, just like the future folks’ reaction to Buck (most notably Wilma, who doesn’t trust our hero just yet). Also, cameo by Dr. Theopolis (as a “Theopolizer”). Now if can get Twiki and Crichton to cameo, I’ll be happy. As it stands, it’s still a great read.
Doctor Who Classics Series 2 #13
IDW Publishing (December 2009)
originally published in Doctor Who Monthly #52 and #86-87
Steve Parkhouse ended “The Moderator” on a disappointing note, as he kills off two characters I happen to like. It’s the death of a recent addition that’s most disappointing, however, as he had the opportunity to make for an interesting Who villain, and it just feels like his potential is wasted. The other character’s death feels just as pointless. I do hope we at least see Josiah W. Dogbolter again in the future.
The second story isn’t a Who story, but features UNIT. Personally, I’d like to see more UNIT stories, as I wonder what they do without the Doctor around. I’ve also been wanting to see the back-up stories published like Marvel US did in the 80s’. (Tony Lee, current modern era writer, if you read this, try and get the permissions to bring in Ablsom Dakk: Dalek Killer. I’d love to see what he did during the Time War and what he’s doing now with the Daleks on the back burner, so to speak.)
The comic is taking a hiatus until March or April. I don’t know why, since these are all reprints (maybe IDW colorist Charlie Kirchoff is backed up with work?), but you won’t be seeing them for a while. That’s too bad, really.
The Incredibles #3
Boom Kids! (October 2009? Someone want to fix this at Boom?)
The “City of the Incredibles” arc concludes most satisfactorily. Sure we all saw Shifty getting uberpowerful a mile away at the end of the last issue, but how the Incredibles and their surprise allies take him down works beautifully, as is how they set up the next threat our heroes are about to face.
Also right is finally getting the cover art style to resemble what’s in the comic. I liked the “more realistic” style as much as anyone else, but it didn’t fit with this comic.
Mark Waid and Landry Walker really put together a good story here, and while I don’t know how well they got along behind the scenes, I wouldn’t mind seeing them collaborate on a future Incredibles comic.
Iron Man vs. Whiplash #1
Marvel Comics (January 2010)
Honestly, I was rather disappointed in this comic. The art by Philippe Briones and Brandon Peterson’s cover (as well as colorist Matt Milla) comes out real nice, but the story fails on so many levels. This is supposed to be set in the Movieverse, and sets up the upcoming second Iron Man movie, right? So why does the usual Marvel adaptation failing show up here?
By that I refer to how they’ll often play too close to the mainline universe when the spin-off media source (usually a cartoon) doesn’t use them, or may use them completely differently later on. (Granted, DC often makes the same mistakes. The fact that this hasn’t really happened yet in Batman: The Brave and the Bold is a testament to Torres and Walker.) Here we have Crimson Dynamo, who shouldn’t exist in the movieverse since nobody should have armor even close to the Iron Man armor at this point (yet Tony knows who he is as if they’ve met before, which is unlikely in the Movieverse) and a Russian version of Captain America called the Red Guardian, which I also doubt exists in the Movieverse.
What’s more, it’s another “Tony Stark vs. The Government/accused of a crime he’s innocent of” type story. Not only are we playing that out in the main universe and in the recently completed Iron Man and the Armor Wars mini, which may or may not be part of the Adventures universe but isn’t in any of the others (and probably the Ultimate universe, as I haven’t picked up their version of Armor Wars), can we PLEASE get a different Iron Man story? Is this really going to be the origin of the Movieverse Whiplash, because it really does nothing for me.
Tony Stark/Iron Man is really being treated like dirt by Marvel writers these days. Sorry, Mark Guggenheim and Brannon Braga, but so far you fail here.
If you still want this comic I have a copy available at the Comics For Sale section of my other website, The Clutter Reports.
Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man #57
Marvel Comics (January 2010)
While Chris Samnee draws Peter and Chat looking a bit younger than they are, I do like his work overall. He does draw a nice Spidey. But again, it’s Paul Tobin’s story that steals the show. Emma Frost taking on the identity of “The Silencer” because she’s still fascinated with why Peter is Spider-Man was a lot of fun, as is her argument with Chat (if you can call it an argument) later. I’m not sure if the cameo by Jack Russel (the Werewolf by Night) was used properly, as Peter’s decision on how to handle the fact that he now knows Chat is a mutant (and knows he’s Spider-Man) is left up in the air.
Otherwise, this is the same enjoyable comic I’ve been getting since Tobin started his “new direction”, and we finally get Aunt May, who only seems to pop up now and then to remind us she isn’t in the hospital again. You should already be picking this up by now.
Muppet Peter Pan #3
Boom! Kids (October 2009–really, somebody is sleeping on the job over there!)
You know what bothers me about Grace Raldolph and Amy Mebberson, the team that’s been making this comic? It’s how difficult they make it for me to write these reviews. Seriously, how often can I write the same thing over and over. STOP BEING SO AWESOME, GRACE AND AMY! You’re taxing my brain too much.
This edition has Janice/Wendy meeting the locals, hippies (properly played by Janice’s usual music crew) instead of Indians. (Can’t really go with “Native Americans”, can I?) She also comes across Hook, who turns out to not be a bad guy after all, while Mr. Smee (who definitely is) brings harm to Piggytink and Peter Pan is exposed as just a big brat. I’m not sure how close Randolph is playing it to the original story (which I haven’t read), but I don’t remember Hook ever being a good guy in any version I’ve seen, so I wonder if he’s messing with Wendy here.)
David Petersen has more going on with his cover than Amy’s “Piggytink” cover (shown here), but I chose hers anyway, because her art is so amazing, and I have this thing about choosing the cover artist that is actually in the comic over a guest artist if the opportunity exists.
So should you get this comic? Darn right you should! And I take it back, Grace and Amy. KEEP IT AWESOME AFTER ALL!
(Only a few more comics to go. I can do this.)
Transformers: Tales of the Fallen #4
IDW Publishing (November 2009)
Well, it didn’t take long for Simon to drop in a “Primus” reference, as well as add his pseudo-mystical stuff into the game, did it? Beyond that, however, I actually enjoyed the story, even if some elements don’t quite jibe with the movie or the other prequel stories. (I still want to know how the artifact in Defiance fits in. Was it the Fallen’s “cage”? Some kind of communication device? We don’t really get the answer here.)
The last Prime here doesn’t match up with the other Primes (a movie design that makes no sense to me, since at least THIS Prime looks like an ancestor of Optimus Prime), but otherwise the art is…about as good as your going to get with the movie style. The coloring is a bit clearer in this one than the last issue.
While I can only mildly recommend it for overall Transformer fans (and give an only slightly higher recommendation for TF Movieverse fans), it’s not a bad comic. Then again, I’m not a fan of Furman’s work overall, am I?
Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #18
Marvel Comics (February 2010)
It may say “Nova” on the cover, but it’s really part of Tobin’s new version of the Avengers arc. They’re looking for more mood-altering monsters. This time the threat is a “spriggan“, and Nova and his friends (a supporting cast we’re likely to not see again, sadly) are out looking for it on their own.
I’m still not sold on the Invisible Woman (here at a time when she’s only dating Reed, which makes her interaction with Captain America a little confusing) as a member of this team. Didn’t Marvel have issues with that at one point in the main universe? And she had Reed with her at the time. Otherwise, it’s still Tobin’s usual good writing, even if it lacks the somewhat wilder ideas he and Jeff Parker brought to the MA: Avengers title that I still miss. I’m not sold on Gurara’s Nova, either. I can’t place my finger on what, but the character model doesn’t look right to me.
Still, if you can get it, get it. I wonder where Tobin’s going with this “Avengers as the Real Ghostbusters” storyline.
The Muppet Show #0
(first issue of the ongoing)
BOOM Kids! (November 2009–at least it’s not “October”)
With science fiction on the rise (unless you own The Sci-Fi Channel Syfy, apparently), I think it’s about time the Muppet people (Henson? Disney? Who would I address?) put out a Pigs In Space movie. Roger Langridge is here to give you a decent plot, in the form of Fozzie and Rizzo pitching the movie to movie executives. It needs some work, but I’d pay to see it.
Shellie Paroline gives Roger’s art tools a rest (although Roger does two covers, including the one I have…wait, why didn’t someone tell me Amy Mebberson did a cover? I so would have gotten that instead! I need to see track down a picture if I ever get done with this article). Don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate her work here. On the other hand, it’s not the best Muppet art I’ve seen. I think it’s Fozzie and Gonzo’s heads that get me. Then again, I’ve been spoiled by Mebberson’s overincredible work with them, so I guess I’m going to be harsh on anyone else. The overall package is great, and I want this movie greenlit, so snag a copy of this comic now.
Sonic the Hedgehog #207
Archie Comics Publications (February 2010)
We finally get a story that feels like things are moving along, rather than simply setting up the arc. While the subplot is troubling for those of us who want to see Sonic and Sally get back together, it feels a lot more natural than a certain marriage dissolution I could bring up, so I can accept what’s happening here (even if I don’t like it). The main plot actually has something happening, and shows that Sonic is pretty smart (after all these years of fighting, he’d have to be), using his brains against the Iron King when brawn fails.
The back-up features more about how the Jun Kun and Regina became the Iron King and Iron Queen, and shows how…well, really how stupid Snively is after last issue. Does anyone honestly think Queenie isn’t setting him up the way she has her husband? It’s kind of sad, really. However, Ian Flynn is actually making me as interested at what the villains are doing as I am the heroes, between the backstabbing in the Dark Legion ranks and the whole Jun Kun/Regina/Snively triangle going on.
This comic is indeed as “way past cool” as the cover advertises.
DC Universe Holiday Special ’09
DC Comics (February 2010)
I liked last year’s offering, so even at $5.99, I thought this comic would be totally worth it. I was wrong.
The biggest crime this comic commits is putting too many stories in there. Some stories had some good potential, but falls flat due to being too short. Others merely takes place during the winter, and really doesn’t connect to Christmas or Hanukkah. (The latter gets more love in this year’s special than last year.)
Overall, I was rather disappointed in this comic, and felt kind of ripped off. Maybe if a few stories had been dropped in favor of giving the good ones more room to shine I might have enjoyed it more.
And that does it for this “speed mode” review. Hopefully next week we can get back on track.