Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Issue #77, Catch Up Week #15, Part II: Comic Books For The Week Of Wednesday, December 9, 2009 & The Week Of Wednesday, December 16, 2009:

Comic books for the the week of Wednesday, December 9, 2009:

DC Holiday Special '09 (DC)
Adventure Comics #5/508 (DC)
Action Comics #884 (World Against Superman #19)

DC Holiday Special '09 (DC) * * * ( * )

This special issue contains sixteen short Christmas sotries. It opens with Batman and Superman stories. I thought that the Batman story was a little better, but the Superman story had a humorous ending. The Doom Patrol story had a touching ending, as did the Martian Manhunter story. The most unusual story featured Bwana Beast, which illustrated a hymn written by William Lowper from the 18th Century. there was even a Hanukkah story featuring Ragman. I would give it 3 ( * )'s on average, but my favorites, and the ones I give 4 (*)'s, are the stories featuring Sgt. Rock and Enemy Ace, done by Billy Tucci and drawn by Howard Chaykin respectively. Billy Tucci's Sgt. Rock story illustrated a true story from WW II, which Tucci researched, wrote and drew. Chaykin's Enemy Ace story, which he served as the artist of, illustrated a true story from WW I, when German and Allied soldiers crossed the battlefield to share some holiday cheer and take a break from war.

Adventure Comics #5/508 (DC) * * *

This issue was another Blackest Night tie-in featuring Superboy Prime against a group of Black Lanterns lead by Alexander Luthor. Being Earth Prime, the battle takes the combatants to a very unusual place, but satisfying to comic readers who aren't enjoying some of DC's editorial decisions of late. I enjoyed the second feature on Conner Kent Superboy. We learn who Superboy's troubled friend Lori is related to, and the issue ends with someone returning to Smallville. The only criticism I have is no Legion story.

Action Comics #884 (World Against Superman #19) (DC) * * * *

The Chris Kent health plotline seems to be resolved in this issue, and, as the cover suggests, Lois is arrested by the authorities and learns some umpleasant truths which lead her to make a heavy choice. All this and a deal with the devil, in a manner of speaking (although not in a Peter Parker sense). My favorite part of the issue was the Lois plot. I can't wait to read what she does next. The Captain Atom second feature really hasn't interested me, so I've barely looked at it, although fans of the character may enjoy it.

Comic books for the week of Wednesday, December 16, 2009:

Supergirl #48 (World Against Superman 20) * * *

Supergirl finally confronts Lana about her health problems and then is summoned by Inspector Henderson to assist on the Silver Banshee case. The story takes several suprise twists at the end. While a solid story, I'm not sure how it ties into the World Against Superman storyline. If it wasn't part of this other over-arching story I might rate it a little higher.

Send e-mail to mypulllist@gmail.com.

Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about this podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Issue #77: Catch Up Week #15, Part I: Comic Books For The Week Of Wednesday, November 25, 2009 & The Week Of Wednesday, December 2, 2009:

Before the New Year I have some unfinished business on this blog, with about a month's worth of comic books to review. To make this entry easier to read I'm breaking it into two parts, and hope to give detailed, yet to the point reviews so that it won't be too long.

Comic books for the week of Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Tick: New Series #1 (New England Comics)
Superman #694 (World Against Superman #17) (DC)
Superman: Secret Origins #3 (of 6) (DC)
Powers #1 (vol. III) (Icon/Marvel)

The Tick: New Series #1 (New England Comics) * * * *

Now this is a Tick story I can enjoy. I dropped the Manga Tick mini-series because I'm not familiar with manga, but someone who is might enjoy it. Since this issue was published during the holiday season Tick and the heroes are going to a Christmas party at the Comet Club. For their gift exchange they play "dirty Santa". If you're not familiar with the game, don't worry, the story explains how to play it. Some familiar sidekicks and villains even make an appearance. And yes, even Barry shows up and learns a very painful lesson about stealing a gift meant for someone else. It was a great issue full of crazy Tick yuletide action, and made me look forward to this ongoing bi-monthly series.

Superman #694 (World Against Superman #17) * * *

The cover features Mon-El in a modified costume, with a small Superman "S" over his heart. Two plot threads tell the story: Mon-El making a very timely return to assist the Science Police against Bizarro, and his earlier return to the Kent farm to talk with Conner Kent and, more importantly, Ma Kent. The issue also contains a surprising reveal. A good combination of action and character moments come together at the end of the issue to tell a very satisfying story.

Superman: Secret Origin #3 (of 6) (DC) * * * *

My favorite issue of this mini-series was the previous one, but this is a close second. It shows a grown Clark on his first day in Metropolis and on the job at the Daily Planet. This is a different Metropolis and Planet than we have seen before, for reasons I will leave for you to find out for yourself. The familiar Planet staff are appropriately younger and act accordingly. There are many elements in this issue that harken back to Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie. For those who may not know, before he began a career in comic books, writer Geoff Johns worked for Donner. This updated origin does not, for the most part, seem to contradict past Superman continuity (except for the return of the Clark Kent Superboy), but add different details to a familiar origin. Having read a number of Superman origin stories, stretching back to the first full origin told at his 10 year anniversary, this series continues the evolving origin that has developed over the decades. I'm looking forward to the second half by the team of Johns and Franks.

Powers #1 (vol. III) (Icon/Marvel) * * * * *

The last issue of Powers to be published was issue #30 of the previous second volume, over a year ago on September 24, 2008. It's been a long wait but well worth it. This first issue of the third volume continues after the events of the aforementioned issue 30. We see what type of working relationship Walker has with his partner Enki Sunrise, who replaced his first partner of this series, Deena Pilgrim. This issue opens the door to more of her background, which wasn't mentioned much in the later issues of the second volume. Also, there seems to be something going on with Walker's girlfriend Heather. Their first case on this new issue #1 involves the murder of someone Walker knew as "Z". Then we see a little more of his past, this time in the 1950's as part of a superhero Brat Pack. I'll leave it to you to decide which member of the real Brat Pack Walker and the other heroes resemble. By the end of the issue I wonder if the details of this case, and Walker's past, might come to light that he might not want revealed. The long hiatus has not made Powers miss a step in quality. Note: The Powers Encyclopedia has been published but I did not get my copy before Acme Comics in Longwood, Florida sold out. The shop ordered one for me but I have not had a chance to go there and pick it up yet.

Comic books for the week of Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Invincible Presents Atom Eve & Rex Splode #2 (of 2) (Image)
Terry Moore's Echo #17 (Abstract Studios)
Superman: World Of New Krypton #10 (of 12) (DC)

Invincible Presents Atom Eve & Rex Splode #2 (of 3) (Image) * * * *


In this middle part of the mini-series we see the first time Rex and Eve meet. Rex also discovers a connection between his benefactor and his family, and the fine print of his deal with Mr. Radcliffe. We learn some of the reasons Rex was sometimes a jerk, especially to Eve, in past issues of Invincible. While they don't excuse his actions we see what could have made him that way. The ending is very shocking and builds the anticipation for the concluding issue. While Robert Kirkman did not write this series, he did serve as an editor, and his influence can be seen in the story, from explosive action and character development.

Terry Moore's Echo #17 (Abstract Studios) * * * * *

This issue finally answers the questions about the project that Annie was working on, and what the ultimate goal of the project is. If anyone hasn't read past issues of this series, the back story in this issue fills a majority of the pages. It serves as a good jumping on point for the series, and should hook a new reader enough to seek past issues or their collected editions. This issue both answered a lot of questions and boosted the threat Julie, her sister, Dillon and Ivy, and everyone else face.

Superman: World Of New Krypton #10 (World Against Superman #18) * * * *

This issue reveals the answers to the mystery of Adam Strange's appearance over a dead Kryptonian on New Krypton. Tensions between the guilds, especially the Labor Guild, continue to build, and there are also growing pains to the environment on the planet. While the murder mystery isn't solved, clues are revealed, as well as some more political intrigue.With only two issues left I wondered how the mini-series would wrap up. IN recent weeks DC Comics has announced that, beginning in March of 2010, a 3 issue mini-series, Superman: Last Stand Of New Krypton will begin. Brainiac will attack New Krypton to reclaim Kandor, while General Zod has devised a defense against their former captor at the expense of Earth. Superman will have to stop both madmen. So the end of this twelve issue mini-series will not be the end of the story.


Send e-mail to mypulllist@gmail.com.

Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about this podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Issue #76: Comic Books For The Weeks Of Wednesday, November 11, 2009 & Wednesday, November 18, 2009!

Comic books for the week of Wednesday, November 11, 2009:

Batman / Doc Savage Special #1 (One Shot) (First Wave/DC)
Terry Moore's Echo #16 (Abstract Studios)
Action Comics #883 (DC)

Batman / Doc Savage #1 (One Shot) (First Wave/DC) * * * *

This one shot issue combines two golden age characters, Batman and his pulp ancestor Doc Savage (who is probably more an ancestor and inspiration for Superman). This is not the Batman we are familiar with, but more of a pulp character. In the first scene of the story we see that this Batman has more in common with his original golden age version in one regard, if you are familiar with those early Batman stories. He is a suspect in a murder, when he is spotted at the scene of the crime as he investigates the crime. Doc Savage travels to Gotham City. Jim Gordon is a supporting character in this story, but, like Batman / Bruce Wayne is cast in a different light. Of course Doc and Batman inevitably are drawn to a conflict against one another, but it avoids the cliches of the usual first meeting of super heroes. This issue serves as an introduction to (I guess you could call it) a new First Wave imprint, of characters that DC has regained the comic book rights too. In the back of the issue is an introductory section of the First Wave line of charcters. Included with this version of Batman and Doc Savage will be Justice, Inc. The Spirit, Black Canary, Rima the Jungle Girl and the Blackhawks. The Spirit and the Blackhawks interest me the most, but I'm not sure about this version of the Blackhawks. I read their stories in the 1960's as well as my favorite stories of the late 1980's and early 1990's. The First Wave seems to be a line of characters cast more in the pulp magazine mold, from the era that was the immediate predecessor to comic books. While I doubt I will have the budget to check any more of these titles out when it premiers in March 2010, if you have enjoyed any of the old pulp stories, or enjoy new looks at familiar characters, this may be a line of titles to check out.

Terry Moore's Echo #16 (Abstract Studios) * * * * *

Julie has a new ally in her run fron the HeNri corporation, and it looks like she's going to need it. We also learn what happened to Mr. Liu after the events of the last issue. Julie continues to have flashes of contact with Annie, and the metallic skin on Julie's body manifests another property. This is another excellent issue of a fantastic series. Each issue builds on the last and leaves me asking, "What happens next?"

Action Comics #883 (World Against Superman #15) (DC) * * * *

Nightwing and Flamebird continue their search for the most dangerous of General Zod's sleeper agents on Earth, but the target of their search is interested in one of them as well. Perry White becomes more involved in the plotline of Jimmy Olsen's disappearance, as detailed in the Jimmy Olsen Special #2. The issue ends with a major development in the lives of one of this new Dynamic Duo. This was a great combination of character development and plot building, which heightens the anticipation of the next issue.

Comic books for the week of Wednesday, November 18, 2009:

Supergirl #47 (World Against Superman #16) (DC)
Adventure Comics #4/507 (DC)
Invincible #68 (Image)

Supergirl #47 (World Against Superman #16) (DC) * * * * *

This is my favorite Supergirl issue I've read since I began reading the title, when it began tying in to the New Krypton story. This issue reveals the courtship of Allura and her late husband Zor-El, the obstacles they had to overcome to consumate their romance and just how deep her loss is. The other plot thread of the story is the trial and judgement of Reactron for his crimes. There are many Kryptonians in New Krypton who want a piece of Reactron. All I have to say about Reactron is that I wouldn't want to trade places with him. I would rank this issue among my favorites since the beginning of the New Krypton. We get to see mre of Allura beyond the ice queen leader of New Krypton. The story carried me through a wide emotional spectrum from the budding love between Allura and Zor-El to her grief and anger in the present. And the ending leaves me anxious to see what happens next in New Krypton. General Lane isn't the only one who has secret plans.

Adventure Comics #4/507 (DC) * * * * *

I knew this would be a great issue when I saw the Jerry Ordway cover. His art was the first Superman art I saw when I first began collecting comic books on a regular monthly basis in the late 1980's, and he is one of my favorite Superman artists, after Curt Swan and John Byrne. The Legion second feature, or backup story if you prefer, was the best Legion story of this short run on the new Adventure Comics. The Superboy story is a Blackest Night tie-in, not with the Conner Kent Superboy, but with Superboy Prime. Ordway pencilled the Superboy story, which shows the Black Lantern Alexander Luthor go after Superboy Prime. The 31st Century Legion of Earth Prime even makes an appearance. Along with the superhero battle, the story also manages to insert a bit of humor into the plot as it pokes fun at some of the trappings of the comic book collecting hobby. If we can't laugh at ourselves then we're taking ourselves too seriously. The Legion story at the back of the issue is about how the consequences of the ending of Legion Of 3 Worlds mini-series affects Legionnaires Blok and White Witch. It's great to see this new Legion story continue the tradition of past Legion issues of taking the time to show how events affect them on a personal level. The story in this issue explores the depth of the love that Blok and White Witch have for each other. How the conclusion of this story will affect the Legion will keep me coming back for more.

Invincible #68 (Image) * * * * *

The issue opens with Invincible helping clean up the ruble from the recent battle against Conquest. He is wearing high-tech casts as he recovers from his injuries incurred in the battle. Invincible is attacked by a new super villain who has a unique motivation for battling Invincible. After this new battle Invincible faces an even more daunting task, dinner with his girlfriend Atom Eve's parents. Atom Eve has also found a unique way for her and Invincible to earn money as super heroes. We are given a hint of one of his upcoming super villains, and there are several plot twists, one of a super hero type, one more personal, that will affect our heroes in the future. This was kind of an in between issue, as it wrapped up the old story and laid the foundations for future plots. Why is it that when writer Robert Kirkman does this type of issue it is as satisfying as an action packed super hero battle, while others can't quite do the same type of story and make it as satisfying. I've probably said it before but Kirkman has proven to me that he can weave future stories in a plot and let them grow for a number of issues until they become the featured plot of an issue. I would call Invincible a super hero title for people who don't like super hero comic books. It's a character driven title that still delivers complex and satisfying plots. That's why, even though I'm not a big zombie fan, I've enjoyed reading the first two Walking Dead paperbacks. It's not a zombie comic; it's a story about a group of people who try to survive the collapse of civilization.

The next group of titles on my pull list:

For the week of Wednesday, November 25, 2009:
The Tick #1 (New England Comics) ? (Possibly, if I like it. I really haven't cared for the manga Tick mini-series and won't be picking up the rest of that title.)
Powers Encyclopedia #1 (One Shot) long delayed, it's finally here!
Powers #1 (vol. 3) (Icon/Marvel) After the way the last storyline concluded, I'm looking forward to reading where this title is going next.
Superman (DC) The further adventures of Mon-El.
Superman: Secret Origin #3 (of 6) (DC) Mr. Kent goes to Metropolis, for the first time once again.

For the week of Thursday, December 3, 2009: (because of the Thanksgiving Day holiday)
Invincible Presents: Atom Eve & Rex Plode #2 (0f 2) (Image)
Terry Moore's Echo #17 (Abstract Studios)
Superman: World Of New Krypton #10 (of 12) (DC)

Send e-mail to mypulllist@gmail.com.

Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about this podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

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