Wednesday, January 17, 2018

New Comics Day

    Here's what I picked up at the comics shop today:

AQUAMAN #32 - Facing King Shark!

AVENGERS #676 - Who stole the Earth?

CHAMPIONS #16 - Champion for a day!

DOCTOR STRANGE #384 - Loki is the Sorcerer Supreme?

ICE CREAM MAN #1 - A flavor for every misery.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #37 - Facing the ultimate fan!

MAGE HERO DENIED #5 (OF 15) - On the run from his own power!

MIGHTY THOR #703 - Who can stand up to Mangog?

   And I received these comics for review:

ASPEN UNIVERSE DECIMATION #4 - The final battle!

FORCE #3 - A career-ending injury?

JUPITER JET #2 - A teen hero in the race of her life!

MIRACULOUS #19 - A cooking competition unlike any other!

MIRACULOUS #20 - A giant robot on the loose!

MIRACULOUS #21 - The class picture curse!


PUPPET MASTER CURTAIN CALL #3 - End of the line!

RIVERS OF LONDON CRY FOX #3 - A new adventure!

ROBOTECH #6 - The ongoing adventures of the SDF-1!

UNDER #2 (OF 2) - Here there be monsters!

     And that's it!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Fighting American #4

   I have to admit that I wasn't expecting much with this series - for some reason, as much as it's beloved by long-time fans, Fighting American never really clicked for me.

   The humor always seemed a bit too heavy-handed, too rooted in its time.

   That's still the case with this new series devoted to the character, but the twist is that the heroes - FA and his kid sidekick, Speedboy - are transported to the present, pursuing their Communist enemies.

   That drops them in a strange new world, while the mastermind behind it all has a foot in each era - and our hero may be trapped in the present.

   It's wild, wacky and full of over-the-top action, some twists and lots of humor. And in the new setting, the humor works perfectly!

   What can I say? I was wrong - Fighting American is a lot of fun!

Grade: B+


Monday, January 15, 2018

Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe #1

   This is an interesting project.

   Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe is, surprisingly, not set in the Valiant Universe.

   Well, not exactly.

   It's designed to be a link between the comics universe and the film version of Valiant, which is in the works.

   So they wisely focus in on Ninjak, the closest thing Valiant has to a "street level" hero - and they set up a story that promises to bring him in conflict with the other heroes.

   As part of the spy game he's put in a compromising position - one that puts him on the opposite side of the fence from his hero allies - and he's going to have to fight for his life!

   It's a time-honored technique and promises to be a treat (especially since anything can happen).

   A good start!

Grade: A-


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Atlas & Axis #1

   Here's another wonderful import from Titan Comics - Pau's Atlas & Axis, which gives us a medieval world populated by intelligent animals - but there's no silly business going on here.

   Created, written and drawn by Pau, it centers around two friends in the world of Pangea. They return home after a search for a rare document and find disaster waiting.

   Savage raiders from the North (the Vikings) have attacked their village and stolen Atlas's sister.

   Atlas and Axis are both dogs, by the way. Their world is filled with intelligent animals. They still retain some of their natural habits (and most of the humor derives from that), but this isn't a funny-animal story.

    There are grim moments, and even love and sex (sorta) are part of the tale. So this isn't really a tale for young ones.

   I enjoyed it! This is just the beginning of the story, but with striking art and a quest with lots of twists and turns along the way, I'm anxious to see where it goes from here.

Grade: A-


Saturday, January 13, 2018

X-Men Gold Annual #1

   As a fan of the original Excalibur comic book (featuring classic Chris Claremont / Alan Davis adventures set in Great Britain), I had to break my "avoid modern-day annuals" rule and pick up this X-Men Gold Annual, which features a reunion of the team to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first issue.

   And guess what? It's... ok.

   Not great. Just... ok.

   It features a happy announcement - Brian (Captain Britain) Braddock and his wife Meggan have had a baby! They invite their former teammates to see the new addition to the family, so traveling to their old haunts are Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler and Rachel Summers Grey, the former Phoenix who's now going by the name Prestige. (Really? That's, uh, not a great hero name, is it?)

   Anyway, they have a nice reunion, discover the baby is surprisingly exceptional, and run into an old enemy who's out for revenge (although on the wrong former Phoenix).

   It manages to channel the somewhat offbeat feel of those original Excalibur stories, though that's about the best I can say about it. The art by Alitha E. Martinez and Craig Yeung is quite good.

   The issue also features a nice (if improbable) back-up story featuring Storm that manages to be sweet and touching without being cloying.

   So, not a bad annual - but not as special as it should be. But it is nice to see Excalibur back in action.

Grade: B-


Friday, January 12, 2018

Mister Miracle #6 (of 12)

   You'd be hard pressed to find a stranger comic than this version of  Mister Miracle.

   It's a really odd but clever mix of superheroics, Jack Kirby's unique cosmic carnage, and real-world concerns.

   Written by Tom King and drawn by Mitch Gerads, the issue follows Scott Free and his wife, Big Barda, as they invade New Genesis, facing assorted death traps and dealing harshly with those who oppose them.

   But while the battle for life-and-death is going on, the two are carrying on an amazingly mundane discussion, as though they're sitting at home, not fighting for their lives.

    It's an odd juxtaposition, and as with previous issues, leaves the reader wondering: just what is going on?

   The good news is: you'll get a glimpse of the answer. Maybe.

   This isn't a comic for everyone - it's sometimes brutal and often mysterious. You'll spend time scratching your head.

   But the visuals are wonderful and the glimpses of the story running below the surface are tantalizing.

   It's not for everyone - but it's loaded with promise.

Grade: A-


Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Avengers #675

   Let's face it - you can have too much of a good thing.

   For example, there are too many Avengers titles, including Uncanny Avengers, U.S. Avengers, Occupy Avengers and (of course) The Avengers.

   In "Chuck's Perfect World of Comics," there is a single monthly Avengers title with a top creative team guiding the adventures of that group. that formula worked for decades and ensured quality over quantity.

   But in the real world, Marvel needs to generate as much money as possible.

   Now there's a new series running under The Avengers title - a weekly event titled "No Surrender." It promises to change the team forever. (By trimming it down to a manageable size, we can only hope.)

   The series wastes no time surging out of the blocks, as a mysterious celestial event causes massive natural disasters around the Earth - and every member of all those Avengers teams are called into action.

   The story is by Mark Waid, Al Ewing and Jim Zub, and the art is by Pepe Larraz. The art is very impressive, with powerful vistas of disasters and heroics.

   The story is a bit heavy on the mystery side - we don't know what's caused the disaster or what causes the mysterious condition that strikes down some of the heroes - and we're not sure what's going on with that last page.

   But it's a very entertaining mystery (the best kind!), and I'm in for the long haul.

Grade: A-