Saturday, June 27, 2009

Issue #60: Comic Books For The Week Of Wednesday, June 24, 2009!

Sgt. Rock: The Lost Batallion #6 (of 6) (DC)
Superman #689 (New Krypton #31, World Without Krypton)

Sgt. Rock: The Lost Batallion #6 (of 6) (DC) * * * * *

This mini-series that combined WWII history with fictional DC war characters comes to a fantastic end. Johnny Cloud of the Losers makes an appearance, bringing key supplies to the haggard Lost Batallion, along with a needed morale boost, before the final battle that will break out the Lost Batallion (no spoilers here since this is actual history). The issue ends with some post war history about some of the characters, including some conjecture about the ultimate fate of Sgt. Rock, and an epilogue by an elderly William Killroy. This has been an excellent series which showcased army veteran Billy Tucci's exquisite research. It doesn't overwhelm the story, but provides a "rock" hard foundation to build the story on (pun intended). If you haven't read any of the issues or just a few, I would strongly recommend getting either back issues or the trade collection to come.

Superman #689 (New Krypton #31, World Without Superman) * * * *

This issue reintroduces Morgan Edge to Superman continuity. Edge owns Metropolis TV station WGBS and issues some strong statements doubting Mon-El's motives as Superman's replacement in Metropolis. Meanwhile, Mon-El continues his travels around the world, but can't keep from getting involved with local battles with supervillains wherever he goes. The Guardian has one more encounter with 31st century Legionnaire Tellus. And John Henry Irons continues showing his new friend Tom around the Ironworks. It was great to see Mon-El's encounters with various super heroes arpund the world, some, if not all, of whom are minor characters in the DC universe. The different plot threads between General Lane, Mon-El, the Guardian and the Science Police, and John Henry Irons make for interesting reading, and keeps me interested in this title from issue to issue.

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Issue #59: Comic Books For The Week Of Wednesday, July 17, 2009!

Supergirl #42 (New Krypton #30) (DC)
Action Comics Annual #12 (DC)
Invincible #63 (Image)

Supergirl #42 (New Krypton #30) (DC) * * * *

This issue shows several characters dealing with the death of the person who had been Superwoman. Lois begins following the trail of a story that will probably lead to things even she suspects. The story of Reactron continues. Supergirl makes a decision about where she needs to go to learn more about Superwoman, and Lana receives some health news. While this was the epilogue of the Superwoman story, the consequences will be felt in the following storylines. Through the trials she faces, Supergirl is slowly maturing into an adult superhero, and we get to read it as it happens. That is why I will continue to subscribe to this title.

Action Comics Annual #12 (DC) * * * *

This 48 page annual tells the full story how Lor-Zod (Chris Kent) and Thara Ak-Var became the modern Nightwing and Flamebird. What is different about this story is that it is told mostly in captions, with little dialogue. We also learn more about the religous guild, flamebird and the phantom zome, as well as some possible explanations about Chris Kent's transformations. This issue fills in the backstory of Nightwing and Flamebird. It begins with Brainiac's capture of Kandor and ends with how Chris Kent made it out of the Phantom Zone. It is a great story, showing Thara and Chris's individual struggles and how they become a team. This issue does a great job of developing the Phantom Zone and another segment of Kryptonian society.

Invincible #63 (Image) * * * * *

Any issue that contains a Viltrumite character is always bloody, and this is more so tan most. The Viltrumite named Conquest is slowly beating Invincible to a pulp, and enjoying himself. IN this issue something truly shocking happens to a supporting character. I'm not a big fan of a lot of comics with graphic content, but this title is different. Writer Robert Kirkman is never afraid to put his characters through the ringer, or the meat grinder. But the way he does it develops the characters. He shows the consequences of super hero battles. Instead of the stylized violence of the average super hero battle, Kirkman shows the physical price that is paid between hero fist fights. However, Kirkman doesn't show graphic violence for its own sake. He always is focused on character develpoment and advancing the story. I wonder how this story will lead to Omni-Man's coing war against his own people?

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Issue #58: Comic Books For The Week Of Wednesday, June 10, 2009!

Fantastic Four #567 (Marvel)
Action Comics #878 (New Krypton #29 / World Without Superman

Fantastic Four #567 (Marvel) * * * * *

This issue is part two of four of the story Doom's Master. It continues Doom's confrontation with his mentor that began at the end of last issue. I read a preview on line at one of the comic book web sites, but did not expect the plot twist that happened in the middle of the issue. It was very shocking, to put it mildly, and bodes ill for the FF. Millar and Hitch have crafted a challenge to the Fantastic Four that I wonder how they will overcome it, or if. And I wonder how Doom will return this time. 'Nuff said.

Action Comics #878 (New Krypton #29 / World Without Superman) * * * *

The Kryptonian Bonnie and Clyde continue their rampage while Gen. Lane continues to strategize against the Kryptonian "threat", while Lois gets to know Thara better. Ever the reporter, Lois picks up some tips along the way herself about what's going on with the big picture. Nightwing and Flamebird catch up to the Kryptonian Bonnie and Clyde, with a little bit of unexpected company. Greg Rucka is weaving another great Superman story with artist Diego Olmos. There are a lot of plot threads developing in the New Krypton / World Without Superman story and I can only wonder how this over arcing storyline involving the Super- titles will conclude. It promises to a very satisfying tale.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Issue #57: Comic Books For The Week Of June 3, 2009!

Batman And Robin #1 (Batman Reborn) (DC)
Superman: World Of New Krypton #4 (New Krypton #28) (DC)

Batman And Robin #1 (Batman Reborn) (DC) * * * * *

Being such a huge fan of Morrison and Quitely on All-Star Superman I had to check out at least issue #1 of this new title. Needless to say I will be adding this title to my pull list at Acme Comics . I did not read either the Batman R. I. P. or Battle For The Cowl, but that does not make it confusing to read this issue. It begins in the middle of the authorities, led by a new, hi-tech Batmobile, chasing a getaway car driven by an unusual thief. I haven't read Batman comics regularly in a number of years, but if you are remotely familiar with Batman history, you won't have any trouble connecting with the new Batman and Robin. They have relocated the Batcave to Gotham City itself, in a move similar to one I read about in a 1970's Batman story. Damian, the new Robin, acts like the grandson of Ras al' Gul that he is, and makes a young Jason Todd seem like a boy scout. The end of the issue introduces a new threat to Gotham in a very ghastly manner. This issue had a great mix of action and character development. It is the comprehensible Grant Morrison who writes this issue. That one I enjoy.

Superman: World Of New Krypton #4 (New Krypton #28) * * * * *

The Green Lantern - Kal-El conflict develops in a way that isn't expected, or necessarily depicted on the cover. It does involve a super villain wanted by both the GL's and General Zod. One of the problems with Kal-El trying to influence things from the inside is when his aims conflict with those in authority. At the end of this issue, Kal's conflict with General od appears to have come to a head. Pete Wood's art is excellent as always, as is the story by Robinson and Rucka. This issue left me wanting to come back next month to read what happens next.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Issue #56: Comic Books For The Week Of Wednesday, May 27, 2009!

Late pick off the shelf for the week of Wednesday, May 6, 2009:

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (vol. III) Century: 1910 (Top Shelf) * * * *

The $7.95 price tag, although it is over ninety pages long, kept me from picking it up the week it came out, because I wasn't able to get to Acme Comics ( until two weeks later. I had too much to get out of my pull list file to be able to add this title to the stack. I had a little extra cash the next week so I could finally buy this eagerly anticipated issue. It was great to be able to buy the latest issue of TLEG as soon as it came out, instead of waiting for the collected edition a year later. I wasn't disappointed. This first issue is not as different as Black Dossier but it differed from the first two volumes, mainly because of all of the singing. Yes, you read correctly, this wasn't a typo. I don't know if the lyrics are directly from the Threepenny Opera or merely inspired by it, but it's an interesting way to tell the story. We are introduced to the latest additions to the League, and the death of an elderly member of the League from the past. This issue introduces Jenny Diver, who was referred to in The Black Dossier.

The word that best fits this issue is experimental. I haven't read a comic book in a long time that had characters singing throughout the issue, except for a Mad Magazine musical Star Trek spoof from the mid-1970's. The lyrics advance the story, about a mysterious threat that the new League is trying to discover in time to stop it. I'm not familiar with some of the new members, but Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill do a good job of exposing the reader to mre recent literary figures. And the League's adventures seem to get stranger and stranger, which keeps me coming back for the next issue.

Comic book for the week of Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Superman #688 (New Krypton #27 / World Without Superman) (DC) * * * *

This issue picks up where 687 ended, with Mon-El's powers cutting out on him. He gets some answers from Dr. Light, who seems to have a side practice of super hero medicine. And the plot of the Guardian's involvement with a Legionnairre is developed a little farther. There are several scenes of super hero action as well. What made this issue most interesting to me was the dceisions Mon-El was faced with about his life. I won't spoil it here, but Mon-El's continuing adjustment to life on Earth, and what he faces, is what I find most interesting about this storyline in Superman.

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