Saturday, December 17, 2011

Don't Do Drugs.

"batman and superman
couldnt decide who was more baller, so they had to form a league of ballers
where rather than debate who was the most baller
they could agree each was as baller as they, without harming their egos
and that my friends
is why the vision shouldnt be on the avengers"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Brief Thoughts on Absolute Batman and Robin

DC continues their War on Bookcases with this announcement and at this point it is clear that they have tapped into the last great fetish of the comic book collector: The Hardcover. Between this, Absolute Final Crisis, an Invisibles Omnibus and the just recently announced Sinestro Corps War, DC’s Trade Department has realized that comic fans constantly drool over high priced hard covers and are constantly willing to double or even triple dip to get them as evidenced by Batman and Robin first being hardcover, then soft cover and now an absolute.

Although the in-shop price tag will be high at $99.99, you need to remember that a majority of us will be purchasing it through Amazon, Thwipster or another similar service, giving us the book for around $75.

That said, is this book going to be worth the purchase? Definitely. Batman and Robin was one of the best runs the character has ever seen and as Luis said, was lucky enough to feature some of the top artists in the business. One thing I do disagree on is how necessary reading The Return of Bruce Wayne will be to following the story. Hardcore fans of the run will no doubt want to read it, but having just recently been through the issues myself, I enjoyed Batman and Robin much more without it. Someone buying this will already have any idea of where Bruce is during the story and his return at the end can simply be attributed to him being Batman.

Compared to other stories that have gotten the treatment lately such as Absolute Green Lantern: Rebirth or the upcoming Absolute Dark Victory, Batman and Robin is more than worthy, and will most certainly be worth your money. I have little doubt that the design, and quality will both be top notch, making it a gorgeous package at essentially the price of the three hard covers anyways.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Some Final Thoughts on One Moment in Time

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I'm a Mary-Jane Watson fan-boy. Where there are plenty of people who think that Gwen Stacy is supposed to be Peter's true love, I'm Team MJ and as far as I'm concerned, she has put in more than enough time to be considered his designated other. While I can't deny that for the most part One More Day was not a very good story, the true victory for it lay in the fact that even though OMD was an editorially mandated move to split up MJ and Peter, it ended in a way that reminded readers of her strength and worthiness to be Mary Jane Watson-Parker, she was the hero in that story.

Now OMIT has been released to fill in the blanks after two years and erase the continuity gaps and for the most part I had no qualms with it, at least until this final issue. Peter convinces Tony Stark, Reed Richards and Stephen Strange to help him conceal his secret identity, only to again be portrayed as an emotional wreck who drags Mary Jane along for the ride, forcing her to keep her memory intact as well.

Where the story fails is that Quesada's reason for them splitting isn't because of real legitimate reason or something that has grown out of the story, but because he just simply wrote it out. The truth of the matter is that Mary Jane has continually been a rock for Peter, patient, loving, understanding and while more than occasionally frustrated, still devoted. After all the garbage of the 90s, Aunt May getting shot should have been a walk in the park, instead the story stomps all over OMD by having Mary Jane confess that she isn't strong enough or brave enough to be with Peter, when history shows us that it is clearly the other way around.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Darwyn Cooke

My relationship with Darwyn Cooke is a weird one. I wouldn't describe myself as a huge fan of his even though I absolutely adore his style. I liked New Frontier well enough and after that, Cooke just sort of dropped off my mental map unless someone showed me a sketch they had obtained at a show or something like that. Last summer, I came across Cooke's first adaptation of Richard Stark's Parker novel and while I wanted to read it, I continued to put it off until recently. When I finally purchased The Hunter, I also grabbed Cooke's "Batman: Ego and Other Tales" which happened to include the graphic novel "Selina's Big Score."

Batman: Ego is a great story where Bruce Wayne faces off against his Batman persona in an examination of the life the two of them are living and questions whether or not it is truly worth the cost. While not a fresh tale by any means, Cooke does a fantastic job of portraying the Mental Batman in a grotesque way that really helps convey just how heavy the burden of being the Caped Crusader must be.

Selina's Big Score may be one my favorite stories of the summer. I've been enjoying a number of heist storylines lately between Parker, Inception and the Black Cat mini going on over at Marvel but I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Cooke does an excellent job of framing the story across four chapters, allowing each of the important figures to have a role and a viewpoint, speeding along the narrative by also having them involved in different aspects of "The Job" while also dealing with events of their own. The total number of Catwoman solo stories I've read prior to Selina's Big Score was 0, so I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Ms. Kyle as a slick, capable and intelligent heroine who carries the weight of her choices while constantly moving forward with her life. I may actually check out the Brubaker book now, having read this.

Parker: The Hunter is a fantastic revenge story and Cooke perfectly paces it and allows the art to do a majority of the heavy lifting. In fact, the first probably thirty or so pages feature no dialogue at all, with the pages broke down into a variety of panels and splashes that introduce the hero. I had absolutely zero exposure to the work of Richard Stark before I picked up this book but as a standalone work, I found it to be quite good. Each character has a clear voice and look which helps the barely colored art. If I have one complaint it is that the book is far too small. Cooke's art is absolutely gorgeous but far too smushed onto the page. If you like stories about bad guys getting revenge on bad guys, Parker is for you. I read it in a single sitting and I am drooling in anticipation for the next book.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jumpstarting the Brain - Reviews for 09/01/10

So pardon me for the month off, the semester ended the 3rd of August and I took the last few weeks to absolutely shut my brain off. Now as school starts back up, I need to re-learn how to read, write and talk with my big boy voice. Here are two reviews for this week to start:

I Am An Avenger #1: Marvel continues to put out these anthology jam session issues that are usually good for one story out of the 4-5 in them at $3.99 a pop, meaning you can get burnt just as easily as you can be entertained. I picked up this issue specifically for the Duane Swiercynzski Iron Fist story which turned out to be a very relaxed and emotional story that provides a nice cap to his run and bridges to the upcoming series by Fred Van Lente. I also really enjoyed the lead story involving the Young Avengers by Jim McCann and Chris Samnee. The Young Avengers are an important property to me, probably second only to Spider-Man, so I'm always anxious when a non-Heinberg writer takes them for a spin. Thankfully, my fears were unfounded as everything in this short tale sparkled. McCann has a great grasp on the characters and I had never purchased a Samnee drawn comic before, so I was pleasantly surprised, especially with the opening splash of the new Avengers Mansion. The other two shorts were about the Pet Avengers and Squirrel Girl, which were fun to look at but didn't really have any meat. I enjoyed the issue, but would have liked a smaller price tag. B+

Shadowland: Elektra #1: I'm not buying Shadowland or Daredevil as they haven't been very good but that certainly hasn't stopped me from picking up the different tie-ins as various writers and artists wade in and out of the story. Zeb Wells drops in to pen this one-shot, exploring Elektra's relationship with the events of Shadowland and how Matt Murdock's descent into evil is affecting her. Wells is without a doubt one of my favorite Marvel writers and he does a fantastic job of balancing the emotion with the action in this comic, devising some pretty great fight sequences. I know that I complained about Emma Rios's involvement in Shed, but I have nothing but praise for her in this issue, she absolutely killed it in every way possible. She is a rapidly rising talent and I'm very excited to see where she goes next. I grabbed the Dark Reign: Elektra trade by Wells recently and I'm also now quite curious to see if my opinion of this issue changes after I read that. Potentially my Book of the Week A