isn't it time for more good comic movies?
I'm not a big Batman fan by any means. I like the guy well enough; he's just never completely grabbed me. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight have shown us, though, that comic movies don't need to be campy nonsense, or overdone trash relying on lowest common denominator effects and writing. They can be well-written and thoughtful, appeal to the masses, and respectful to the source, all at the same time. Apply that to my favourite comix characters, and it's a wet dream. Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Swamp Thing? Don't they all deserve a chance to win the hearts and minds of moviegoers everywhere?
dovka comic overview week :: 25-04-07
Blue Beetle #14
Cover by by Cully Hamner
The old phrase "a picture tells a thousand words" comes into play here for me. It's very "newspaper panel comic" one single panel that you get just by looking at it - like Gary Larson (The Far Side) style comics. The cover also sets the tone for the rest of the book and shoes classic characters in a budyd team-up. Guy chauvinistic, beer drinking man's man. Jaime stuck in Guys terriroty underage and the butt of the jokes.
Annoyingly Cully Hamner is off the books internal art but he still sticks around for covers which is fantastic. He has such a talent with subtleties and especially facial expressions and this shines through here; to let an audience know exactly what a character is saying or thinking without having them read any words is an absolute bonafied talent. Kevin Maguire (JLI) is the supreme master of this but Cully Hamner obviously is encroaching in on his mastery of the talent.
Plus I loved the fact the barman looks exactly like Kyle Rayners' Coffee shop owning friend Radu - I'm going to presume that's intential because it makes me happy.
Comics Spotlight of the Week::
JSA Classified #25
Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Dennis Calero
Cover by Steve Uy
My secret is that I constantly love the stories in JSA Classified. I don't pick up every one, just when the character that is being spotlighted interests me. I think it has been consistently better than its sister title JLA Classified, where as they approach the ideas in different ways (JSA focus' on character spotlights where as JLA focuses on untold stories from the past) JSA Classified just seems so much more well rounded.
This issue focuses on Alan Scott, who everyone knows is the original Green Lantern and the still the best - as it says on the front cover and there is something I love about seeing the old Green Lantern logo on the book despite never seeing it when it was originally published. The story is about Alan having to break an agreement with an ex-villain of his (Johnny Mimic) and contact him to find out how the HERO dial was stolen from S.H.A.D.E. Y'see Johnny Mimic is able to perfectly recreate crime scenes by just going to their location.
The story all winds up in one issue which is something of an almost lost art - Fell, Jonah Hex, The Spirit all successfully run on a one issue basis and it works so well. The story ends up being a tale of Alan Scott getting a timely reminder of his place in the world "even the hoodlums looked up to Green Lantern. You were the super-man before there was a Superman" and that he and people like him need to set the standard not be dragged down to the lower levels. Johnny looses his mind a little bit and ends up forcing Alan to kill him and break the H.E.R.O. dial because he doesn't want Father Time and S.H.A.D.E. to have such a powerful device. Kind of ironic that Alan kills someone considering the story it seems like an accident and it still seems to work in context.
For a one issue spotlight it's great, the art work is stunningly good (even if they have forgotten Alan's eyepatch - although not that we really want it) and they story ties in nicely to current events and sets a nice reminder for the JSA's role in the world. Successfully incorporated things from the DCU like the H.E.R.O dial and Johnny Mimic who I believe appear a grand total times of once before and I like things like that. All together great issue and worth checking out.
Blue Beetle #14
Written by John Rogers
Art by Rafael Albuquerque
Cover by by Cully Hamner
I think if DC do one thing better than Marvel or even any of their rivals with a shared universe it is that they can do legacy characters very well. Most of the time they get over rather well and end up building a successful fanbase for themselves and sticking around adding to the universe. From recent times Kyle Rayner, Wally West, Connor Hawke, Tim Drake have been very successful in their own right - Connor Hawke's recent mini which was much better than Green Arrow has been for a while, Kyle Rayner is arguably as popular as Hal Jordan ever was and his maxi-series Ion also just finished and it looks like he will play a huge role in the Countdown weekly which is starting just over a week. Of course these legacy characters aren't even the first wave; before them we had Silver Age characters taking over from their Golden Age counterparts; Barry Allen taking over from Jay Garrick, Hal Jordan taking over from Alan Scott, Ray Plamer taking over from Al Pratt, etc - and that's not even scratching the surface. Now after Infinite Crisis we are having a brand new wave of legacy heroes. Ryan Choi taking over from Ray Palmer with the Atom, Arthur Curry Jr. taking over from Orin in Aquaman, Bart Allen taking over from Wally West in the Flash. Of course where we had Ted Kord taking over from Dan Garrett in the 60s now with Ted Kord's death we have Jaime Reyes taking up the mantle of Blue Beetle.
Sometimes legacy characters don't hit the mark, they fail to capture something unique that the original did. But when they work well they add the whole universe, making the DCU seem much more well rounded and whole. Where as passage of time is hard to get across in a comic legacy characters provide a nice way of moving the world along. For me Blue Beetle has managed to incorporate the legacy aspects of the character while not bogging down the title. So new readers can enjoy the story and older readers can appreciate how Jaime fits into the world. The title took a while to get going and to find it's feet but now it has explained where the Scarab that powers Jaime (and before him Dan Garrett) came from and now we know who the big baddies are in the Reach (who created the scarab and like to take over planets) the title has hit it's stride. It has strong supporting characters in Jaime's parents, friends and the Peacemaker and Jaime provides a unique voice in the DCU - he's someone who doesn't know much about the world he's incredibly normal.
In this issue Jaime meets Guy Gardner again - after each other fought each other in issue 1. We've since learnt why they both freaked out (a old rivalry between the Reach - who created the Scarabs and the Guardians - who created the Green Lantern rings). Jaime asks Guy for help against the Reach and they end up fighting the Ultra-Humanitie and someone Robot Attack Penguins - Tim Burton ain't got nothing on this. Guy is written in his usually cocky buffoon persona - but with the underlying moments that he always cares more than he shows. They fight the Ultra Humanite and Guy promises to help Jaime out with the Reach in future. The best bit of the issue though, is the final page. Guy talks to Jaime about his predecessor and Guy's friend Ted Kord. Saying how he never had powers and he was always outmatches in every situation but he never backed down (makes a nice reference to Starbreaker) and always won. Guy gives him a book on Strategy which Ted had originally given to him. And with this act finally fans of Ted Kord get the legacy aspects from this character they have been waiting for. Jaime is no longer a kid in a powersuit - he is becoming the Blue Beetle. I personally love it.
Roger's wonderful witty comedic writing mixed with Albuquerque's action packed sequences give this book such a good feeling supercharged with energy which makes reading it even more fun. Over it's last year the book has been a good read, nothing stunning but a solid fun read which is important for a new book. As it is now approaching it's second year it's tying itself into the wider picture of the DCU. Jaime is no longer just a new hero on the block he is now becoming the rightful bearer of the title of Blue Beetle and if John Rogers continues on in this fashion he's going to have a very good and long lasting character in his hands. Plus I cannot wait for the first Blue and Gold team-up.
rip steve rogers
Captain America (Steve Rogers)
March 1941 - March 2007
You probably won't be down and out for long, so we'll give it a year or so. But in the meantime we'll all be in mourning. Maybe.
dovka comic overview week :: 07-02-07
As it is kind of comic related, I would like to point out for anyone that didn't know PBF is back and I'm very much looking forward to his hardback with Dark Horse comics.
Cover Spotlight of the Week::
Action Comics Annual #10
Cover by Adam Kubert and Joe Kubert
I may not enjoy what Johns and co are doing in Action Comics at the moment and yes it pretty much goes in the complete opposite to what I like in Superman. But this isn't a review of the insides and gladly this Annual doesn't touch too much on the Donnerification of Superman (not surprisingly the story I liked the least in the annual was the one about the "three Kryptonian villains" - not sure if it me blinded by bias or not) so all added up I really love this cover it just screams fun. Also to add that Joe Kubert despite being 80 years old is still a phenomenal artist and could actually still teach his sons Andy and Adam something about comic art it's a joy to look at. The cover is just so haughtily comic book which now and again is just excellent and exactly what you want out of a comic and it's not trying to be cool and or trying hard to express it's just fun. This is where I think quite a few artists fall down especially in the 90s - creators were just so bothered about trying to be cool. Not to constantly pick on him (he's a nice guy) but people like Rob Leifeld and even Jim Lee can come across like a geek at high school trying to impress the "cool kids" with his drawings of women with huge tits. This cover to me represents the complete opposite it's just geeks enjoying childhood memories; I get annoyed at how the Silver Age is being forced on modern comics but I can accept a fair share of it and this I like.
Comics Spotlight of the Week::
Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil #1
Written and Drawn by: Jeff Smith
I'm going to mention it now and not come back to it again during this review. Whatever the hell DC are doing with the Captain Marvel legacy in "Trials of Shazam" is so wrong and so backwards to the character that I can't wait for it to be over just to be retconed. It's ill-conceived and stinks of what I was on about earlier "people trying to hard to be cool" (tattoos, piercings, guns, modern hair/clothes, language - Freddy might as well go sit in his room cutting himself to My Chemical Romance) and they are cutting and blunting Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. into a very bad comic. The series shows nothing of why people love Captain Marvel it shows no love of it's past and I can't imagine why they would try to do this - when all what Captain Marvel needs to be is this comic - Monster Society of Evil.
Written and drawn by Jeff Smith who if the name is unfamiliar to you seriously go out and buy "Bone One Volume Edition". Bone was fantastic a book that transcends genres and speaks directly to the heart of everyone. It was arguably the only independent comic that really ran with the mainstream - apart from maybe Cerebus or Usagi Yojimbo. Bone is simply one of the best stories of our time because of this Jeff Smith didn't really need to work again but thank God he is.
After working on Bone for eleven years in 2002 Jeff Smith was read to move on and DC approached him to relaunch their Captain Marvel property, Bone ended up taking two years longer to finished. So in 2004 Jeff Smith finally sat down to work on Captain Marvel. His inspiration went straight back to the Golden Age - where Captain Marvel dominated the sales he easily outsold Superman and Batman. The idea of a down and out child who was able the transform into an all powerful adult by saying a magic word was amazingly whimsical and spoke to the public and most importantly it spoke to children. Jeff's main influence is to go back to what is considered the first long running story in comics "Captain Marvel and the Monster Society of Evil" Captain Marvel Adventures #22-46 (March 1943 to May 1945). About Captain Marvel battling his main villains who have all banded together under the control of Mr. Mind - the mind controlling worm.
There is a lot in this issue; introduction, an origin, explanation of powers, dive quickly into back story for Captain Marvel, some action, then crocodile men and a search for family to continue the story. All drawn beautifully by Jeff Smith and coloured by Steve Hamaker who just seem to capture again the emotions and the feeling of the comics. I've not read a comic in a long time which was just felt so special and so loved.
Jeff does take some liberty with the ideas of Captain Marvel. Him and Billy are truly separate beings like Billy Batson is more of a host for Captain Marvel, something which in my time has never been an issue apparently this was more clear in Golden Age (and I also have a feeling we'll see the separate beings grow together and combine as they stay together longer - example Captain Marvel already says "Holy Moley" which is obviously more Billy than the Captain). He has also chosen to make people much younger than the have previously been shown, he harks back to the Golden Age by killing the Wizard Shazam and even decided to use the original names of the 7 Deadly Sins of Man. This feels odd just because it's never been the Captain Marvel I've read but it doesn't feel wrong.
Problems? Price at $5.99 it's rather expensive especially when considering DC should be trying to get children to read this. Although, prestige format, no adds and 48 pages. It nearly makes up for it. I find the idea of Billy being a host to Captain Marvel a little creepy but I can't help feeling I'm nitpicking to find criticism. This was exactly what I wanted to read out of Captain Marvel and I don't see how if DC ran with this idea of the Captain they couldn't have a bonafied success on their hands. It saddens me that people reading Captain Marvel for the first time and wanting to read more about the Captain will have to make do with Trials of Shazam.
We often forget that comics should be for kids and I really think it takes a master of his art like Jeff Smith to remind us that you can write something adults enjoy but kids will also love. His managed to capture the essence of Captain Marvel while not patronising anyone who is reading. This is what Captain Marvel should be not shoehorned into depressing comics and I'm glad everyone has been reminded of this.
Written by: Warren Ellis
Art by: Ben Templesmith
I'm not sure I could pick a complete opposite to Shazam: Monster Society of Evil as my other favourite this week but Fell is an amazing book. While Shazam: Monster Society of Evil reminds us that comics should be for children. Fell reminds us that thank God they all aren't geared towards them and it's great that we can go into a comic shop and enjoy two titles it shows to me such diversity towards comic books. Comic books are really dominated in the market by Superheroes and I would say the huge majority of stuff I read is superheroes but again thank God there are alternatives and out of the mainstream comic book market Fell is one of the best non-superhero books on the market and behind Invincible the best book Image is publishing. In another direct opposite to Shazam: Monster Society of Evil this book costs only $1.99. Warren Ellis went into the title wanting to write a comic that people could walk into a comic shop and spend pocket change on and actually have a good interesting read. He achieved his brief, it works very, very well.
Fell is a comic about a detective Richard Fell who in the first issue was moved to Snowtown - it's the place where no-one wants to live (endless violence, poverty of a third world country, urban decay on a grand scale) and for a Detective it's a no hoper. But Richard Fell is out there with endless hope that he can save this town and really make a name for himself as a detective. It saves space by using 9 panel pages which just could not be achieved without Ben Templesmith's pencils. Who draws an almost hallucinatory hell when he is depicting the action. He manages to make absolutely nothing feels safe or innocent. Everyone has a motive, everyone is evil in some way and it works very, very well.
Fell's issues stands alone and is designed to be read alone. But as each issues runs through you learn more about Richard Fell and learn more about the world he is in. In this issue Fell has captured a man who is guilty about killing a woman - actually much worse but I'll save you the details. He is presenting the case to the defendant, his lawyer and an optimistic young D.A who has been provided by the city. Fell presents the whole story to the room but gets carried away with trying to see the guy burn for his misdeeds that it all goes horribly wrong he gives the case away. It's not a happy ending and you don't feel good at the end of the comic.
It may sound clichÃ©d but it never plays out like that because you end up thinking about subjects like drugs, the criminal system, law enforcement, the processes involved and the grey line with right and wrong. The comic stories may stand alone but you drag these issues and feelings to comic and comic it all builds up a very satisfying and interesting read.
Usually the issues end with a some sort of extended letter column by Warren Ellis where he talks about why he chose the particular story or answers questions. It's a great thing to read after the comic and I wish more people would actually do that but this one had a preview of Cassanova a new series by Image, which I have to say looks very interesting. Fell is a great book and #7 showcases it. If you have the pocket change go pick it up next time you pass a shop.
i geeked the fuck out...
Except for one thing. Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters has been a constantly awesome miniseries from DC written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray and art by Daniel AcuÃ±a. #7 was an insanely great issue for a lot a different reasons but stand out for me because it herald the return of Ray Terrill. Which allowed me to geek the hell out. Fanboy moment of the year for me.
This week will see the release of the eagerly awaited Jeff's Smith's Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil to say I'm excited is a huge understatement. It should be a stunning book.
You even have a decoder with the book to read certain parts in a secret code.
Mld sld xllo rh gszg?
dovka comic overview week :: 17-01-07
And I've just realised the cover of this apple juice carton looks like someone got a bit too excited over an apple, ewww. I can't drink anymore of that.
This week I bought: Aquaman #48, 52 #37, Green Lantern #16, JLA Classified #32, Spider-Man Reign #2, Spirit #2, Star Trek The Next Generation: The Space Between #1. Nothing at all was bad; I found Green Lantern a bit flat but it was one of the best issues in this volume. Aquaman introduces a new twist to an old villain and also has a double splash page of a map of the seascape which I know I'll be coming back to again and again. I really enjoyed reading Slott's Justice League which has sat in a draw for about 2 years - but reminds you why Slott is so loved by fanboys around the globe. I bought IDL's new Star Trek TNG comic just because I am a slight Trekky and I was very surprised of how much it felt like the TV series. I would suggest any fan of the TV series to at least give it a try.
Two Covers of the Week ::
Cover by J.G. Jones
I honestly think J.G. has outdone himself this week. I think the biggest challenge in this cover would have been doing the curved reflective surfaces. Having Supernova reflect off the golden body of Skeets, and then off the "legs" of the evil little robot. Then having Booster Gold reflect off the insides of the "eyes" of Skeets - almost like Skeets is seeing the truth I suppose. Then having Booster holding the bottled city of Kandor which is another reflective surface. I think to put all them together takes such skill and talent I must also mention Alex Sinclair's colours on the cover. A lot of times he really makes the cover pop with the colours he adds and this week especially works well. All the different colours and tones must have been hard to do - reflecting Gold and Blue. They both pull it off fantastically though. And not to mention that the cover spoils or a better word reveals one of the biggest mysteries through 52 - OK many people had called it but there was still a lot of doubt. It was fun to see people walk into the comic shop and see the cover and just exclaim "whoa!" "oh shit" "oh snap" "hey!". Everyone was really excited by it and it worked a treat. However looking at J.G. Jones' Blog I can't help thinking I would have loved his concept cover. It looked like a great idea.
Y: The Last Man #53
Cover by Massimo Carnevale
I think this cover really jars your senses. You have a barely dressed supermodel woman on the front which first catches your attention. Then when you've stopped to stare for a while you see she is actually working as a trash collector. However, she isn't just any kind of trash collector - she is collecting the rotting remains of Men who were killed off in a mysterious plague. Bearing in mind the plague was well over a year ago - these bodies are pretty rotten now. It's not the most pleasant of jobs. But yes since you've stood there at the stand looking at this cover absorbing it all in, you want to read the comic. Adding that I'm sure we haven't seen this character in Y since the first volume (she was the first woman to find out Yorick was a man) I think it checks all boxes for an awesome cover.
Two Comics of the Week ::
Written by: Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid and Grant Morrison
Break Downs: Keith Giffen
Art by: Pat Olliffe & Drew Geraci
Before I read this issue and just from the cover I knew it was going to be fanboy joy for me. I've been a huge fan of Booster Gold for many, many years. Since reading JLI stuff and then Giffen/DeMatteis' Formerly Known as the Justice League and I Can't Believe it is Not the Justice League. Where obviously played for laughs but you could see the sentiment behind it and it plays out really well. I have to applaud DC for using Booster in a much more serious role in recent years since Countdown to Infinite Crisis - which annoyingly was the best Blue & Gold story ever written and obviously the last.
So yes Booster Gold is Supernova (and it seems Rip Hunter is Daniel Carter too - but against we will see). He learnt about Skeets' true intentions in Rip's lab and after a meeting with the Time Master he faked his own death to go undercover to stop Skeets, using a lot of stolen technology and using a Phantom Zone projector to have his teleporting powers. A fight between Skeets and Booster in the abandoned Fortress of Solitude ends up with Skeets somehow managing to absorb the Phantom Zone and hints at the fact that Skeets may be being controlled by some outside force. Rip and Booster then escape using the missing 52 seconds… I love Time Travel stories I have to say - they aren't for everyone at all and paradoxes and lost time can confuse and just annoy people. But I revel in it actually - maybe it's watching too much Star Trek or Quantum Leap but they are my favourite types of stories and 52 is working just fine with Rip Hunter and time travel. I think after reading most of JSA that Geoff Johns is writing the majority of Booster Gold stuff. It just seems more like his style, along with probably Mark Waid too. Whoever is writing it they are giving me fanboy pleasure of seeing a favourite character kick ass. Now keep him alive for the remaining weeks!
The last part of the issue catches up with the funeral of another favourite character of mine, Animal Man. A nicely written funeral that is lead by Minister Lobo. However after everyone leaves Buddy wakes up shouting "DON'T LEAVE ME!!!". I think I let out one huge "YES!!!" after reading it. It's a pure fanboy moment which really made this week a fantastic comic for me. On top of that you turn the next page and two characters and standing there that haven't been seen in maybe 15 years. The two yellow aliens that gave Buddy his powers and also have shown they have the ability to rewrite continuity at their whim. When they "And so it begins." you know something major is going down.
The origin story is of the newest Firestorm Jason Rusch beautifully drawn by Jamal Igle. It's a shame that they do this origin story the same week that they announce his solo series is cancelled.
Just an issue full of fanboy moments for me which makes me just want to keep reading.
Spider-Man: Reign #2
Written and Art by: Kaare Andrews
I had just about decided which two were the best of the week and then I realised I hadn't read Spider-Man Reign #2 and whoa I was shocked by how much I loved it. So sorry Spirit #2 - you were a fantastic read but I'm afraid you were knocked out by fanboy loving of 52 and now a pure shock surprise for me - I enjoyed a Spider-Man comic.
I haven't enjoyed a Spider-Man story (in comics the movies are great) since I read Todd MacFarlane's stuff in trade when I was first getting into comics around 7 or 8 years old. Bearing in mind these stories were written before I was born it's been one hell of a long time since I think there has been a Spider-Man story. I know people say Ultimate Spider-Man was good when it started but I know the same people are now saying it's "trash with staples" so I'm happy I never bothered with any of the Ultimate stuff.
The shame is, this Spider-Man story isn't in continuity. But it's also a good thing, most people are fed up with the doom and depression that Marvel has to inject into everyone one of their comics. They kind of seem to have forgotten how to write heroes (which for me is a stark contrast between what is happening in DC especially 52) and yes this story has a dystopian future with depression being the main focus. But maybe it's about the light out of this darkness which will make this story one of heroes. What I do love about this future is that I can see this happening in the Marvel universe. They have never been a universe which loves their superheroes - I think the main difference between the DCU and the Marvel Universe is that the citizens of the DCU on the whole celebrate their heroes, they have Superman Day, and they cheer and look up into the skies when the superheroes are about. In the Marvel Universe you get "Spider-Man is a Menace" on the front of the Bugle. If he ever disappeared for a while I bet the papers would read "Finally Spider-Man has Left" where as in the DC is Superman leaves you get "Where is Superman?". So leading out from this difference you get a future that has banned masks, where there are no superheroes and only a government maintained police force in every city. This is not far off from where Civil War the Initiative is going (a registered Superhero force in every state) take off the masks and you have this future. So I appreciate however accidentally it might be that Kaare Andrews has made this feel like the Marvel Universe.
Obviously the other thing is that this does feel like the Dark Knight Returns. The style, the newscasters, and old hero coming out of a retirement to give hope to people once more. But it does play out differently which to me makes it not just a copy.
J. Jonah Jameson is the break out in this issue. Calling out for his old adversary Peter Parker to put on the mask once more and lead the civilians to freedom. In the first issue he comes across as a quack and old man who has completely lost it all looking to maybe tie up the bad blood he had with Peter when they were younger. In this issue you realise he needs Spider-Man, the knows the city does. He has become the voice of liberty and freedom with a group of kids following his lead and a voice that they have never heard.
Peter is a man crushed, he was always the poor guy who was down on everything, late, no rent, unable to have a good relationship. Whose only escape was Spider-Ma. Now he is a crushed old man who doesn't accept the death of his wife, who is just stumbling through life. It plays out beautifully to the moment when Peter "unknowingly" straps on the costume and accepts his place again the police force "the Reign". He is witty again â€œThere are three kinds of people in this world. Those who can count … and those that canâ€™t.â€ You accept the old man under the mask is Peter and you cheer for the fact he is back.
You see the inspiration that the world needs, the Hypno Hustler nearly makes his most triumphant return - but forgets fresh batteries. The people start fighting back against the Reign.
However Peter is beaten to a pulp and then pulled away by the arms of Otto Octavius after being beaten by a government sponsored Sinister Six (which is also not too far away from what we are seeing in Civil War).
I want this story to be in canon because I think it has played out so well. Seriously if you love the character or have ever enjoyed Spider-Man buy this mini. It's beautifully written.
dovka comic overview week :: 11-01-07
Two Covers of the Week ::
Cover by Jo Chen
Runaways, even though I resigned to collect the series in trade, has constantly been a fantastic book from Brian K. Vaughan (who also kicks ass with Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, Dr. Strange: Oath. Amongst other things) which is now a shame as he is leaving the book hopefully Joss Whedon can continue the good work. One constantly good thing about the book is the covers from Jo Chen (and it's great that she is continuing on with Joss). I just love the composition on this piece how Jo uses the loop on the staff to completely draw your eye to make eye contact with Nico. Honestly, it grabs you from the other side of the shop not to mention how flawless the pencil and colour work is. Great cover.
Cover by J. G. Jones
I've got a feeling that up to the end of this run this comic will make regular appearances here because the covers are constantly amazing by J. G. Jones. We have here Lobo, after weeks and weeks of pacifism finally breaking loose and beating the holy crap out of Lady Styx's zombie army. It's just a kick-ass Lobo cover which really does feel like a good 90's Lobo cover. Here we see the moment just before impact which according to J. G. Jones is from Frazetta. One of the things he would always say about cover drawing is "never show the moment of impact, say of a sword or axe cleaving a body. Rather, depicts the moment just before or the moment just after the action. This lets the mind's eye fill in the moment of impact." and we see this in action here, just before the arm swings down onto the zombie warriors. The red of Lobo's eyes set off by the smallest bit of blood running out of Lobo's mouth makes it so eye catching too.
Two Comics of the Week
Justice Society of America #2
Written by: Geoff Johns
Artist by: Dale Eaglesham and Ruy Jose
I've said some unfavourable things about Geoff Johns since Infinite Crisis. I think Green Lantern is committing all the sins that previous Hal Jordan series have done showing none of the personal flair that Geoff has shown in the Flash before, I think he is writing a Superman in Action Comics that is so out of touch to what Superman should be in comics, I think Teen Titans has been long winded and ultimately dull. Causing accusations of overwork and burnt out. Apparently he was just saving it all for JSA because this title already is showing the flair, the history, the love for the JSA and for comics in general that made the previous volume of it so popular and one of the best on goings. This added to the wonderful pencils of Dale Eaglesham (I've been a fan since his Green Lantern stuff and he is so much improved that he was then too) just makes this title a must have for comic book fans. It's a shame Alex Ross has resigned himself to drawing "character on black background" for every cover - Dale's alternative covers are so much better.
This issues continues on to introduce the death of the newest Mr. America, an introduction to I'm sure who will be a new Commander Steel (the grandson of the original and the cousin of the JL Detroit Steel), continues on to Wildcat talking to his newly discovered son, a quite stunning return of Hawkman, Maxine gets shown how a superhero gets a costume, a discovered plot killing off Golden Age bloodlines, and a shocking and continuity-woven revelation of the newest and craziest Starman. Which all makes one hell of a good issue.
I love Grant having a son, I love how similar but yet completely different the two are. Grant is always portrayed as the most hardest man on the planet but yet time and time again it is awesome to see times like this when cracks appear and the old man shows he is human after all. I'm hoping Commander Steel doesn't fall into the same trap of "I feel pain in my Steel bones" which made the others such fodder for death but I do trust Geoff not to string out the character to that point. I'm not the biggest fan of Hawkman ever - except under Geoff's pen so I'm happy he is in this book and his entrance was just awesome.
Then the last page "all blown to Kingdom Come" this crazy Starman seem to be the grown up Starman from the Kingdom Come universe - who is the original Thom Kallor from the Legion of Super Heroes. Now explaining why Dawnstar was shown in last issue's previews. Incredibly interesting and just want to read more.
Of course this all drawn by Dale is making the plot figularily pop off the page.
Writers: Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid and Grant Morrison
Break Downs: Keith Giffen
Artist by: Jamal Igle & Keith Champagne
You know if I had started posting these on dovka before the last few weeks then 52 wouldn't be in the top comics every week, but my God at the moment as they are finishing the third part of this story heading into the final part of the series they have really, really risen to the task and 52 has just been awesome. I'm really hoping they can maintain this gear until the end now because if they do it will be maintaining a best comic position in many lists and reviews.
This issue focused on three of the stories this week. Opening is the seemingly culmination of the space opera. Lobo takes Starfire and Animal Man to see Lady Styx and to collect his "bounty". After she insults his manhood and his religion Lobo cuts loose and does what he does best and attacks everything in sight. This has actually been a great story for Lobo - someone I have to say never cared for (even though Lobo vs. The Mask is great fun) but this has given Lobo drive and characterisation that I have never seen from the Main Man. I have to say the Space Opera story has been very strong all the way through 52 where as other stories may have drifted off course. Lady Styx then takes a ride into a Suneater on the Head of Necron (we know this isn't the last of her though because she is showing up in Mystery in Space) I enjoyed Buddy clutching a tattered picture of his family during the fight too really showing his character. This battle all culminates in Buddy "Animal-Man" Baker getting hit by a Necro-Toxin dart and collapses in Starfire's arms. I think his death was written very well - first telling Starfire that she doesn't need to tell his family he loves then - they know. Then telling her that the universe is cheering them all on - that they do love him (Buddy breaking the fourth wall all the way to the end) then he dies asking Starfire to make sure he doesn't come back as a zombie. Though I can't help thinking this isn't the end for Buddy - it would be a waste of a very unique character (the family man side and his powers) and he's far too loved by fans and creators alike. Despite the fact that Buddy has died before - even in his origin he died when he met the yellow aliens.
The other stories is Montoya decides to take "Charlie" Question to Nanda Parbat to try and cure his cancer. Then we meet up with Supernova and Rip Hunter. Who have been hiding out in Kandor. Rip is trying to build a weapon to combat Skeets… who we see at the end is hovering right outside Kandor. I just know that Supernova is Booster Gold now - he faked his own death after learning of Skeet's evilness from Rip Hunters lab (all the way back in week 6) and went undercover to help Rip combat him. But I'll guess we'll see on Wednesday.
Jamal Igle has been one of my favourite artist on 52 and his artwork looks beautiful throughout the issue. Same with the two page backup of the origin of Power Girl drawn by Adam Hughes is wonderful perfect to look at.
dovka comic overview week :: 04-01-07
Two Covers of the Week ::
Cover by: Phil Hester
I just love this cover, it's got something so crazy 60s horror about it or maybe that's 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids' this image is just what comic books should look like. You have the newly crowed Ant-Man getting attacked by one huge ant. In this case it seems the ant has the upper hand which is just excellent, the ants finally get back at Eric for burning them with a magnifying glass when he was young (knowing Eric you know he did that). I just see the cover and have to know what happens next. It's eye catching it's fun and Phil Hester draws stuff perfectly. The shame is this comic is not selling well and will probably end by issue 10.
Cover by: J. G. Jones
This cover is beyond cool really. Luthor watches from his office window as thousands of Superheroes, that he created, fall from the sky and at the stroke of midnight on New Years Day. He just watches like it is a party. That's cool, that menacing, that's Luthor. The foreground tells you everything you need to know about him too; carved Ivory Horn, desk made out of a Giant Red Wood (both of these showing his ego and his contempt for nature), his laptop with Lexcorp logo - Lex ever the business man and the folder which is why he is so pissed. Plus, J.G. Jones could make a poo look gorgeous I don't think there has been a bad 52 cover and this is certainly one of the better.
Two Comics of the Week ::
Writers: Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid and Grant Morrison
52 even when it is at it's worse has kept you wanting next week, at it's best it is stuff like this week just out and out shit hitting the fan exploits. Lex's everyman project story comes to a peak when this week he decides to remove the powers of all of them (apart from Infinity Inc.) which is bad news for anyone currently flying or lifting a mountain above them. Most of the comic is pure panic on the streets of Metropolis while loads of superheroes rain from the sky and innocent bystanders die, Supernova dashes about trying to save all he can, unnamed Everyman heroes trying to understand why they can't do anything "Gravity Null Gravity Null Gravity Null it's not workingâ€¦! RUN RUNNNN!".
The best thing is Lex, he casually watches all the destruction while on the phone to his scientists claiming no knowledge at one point he casually steps out of the way of a falling hero. Lex is best when he is the guilty person but no-one can prove it and he is best when he is completely cold hearted about it all. Just excellent. The end we catch up with the space heroes who are about to go see Lady Styxâ€¦ we'll see next week.
P.S. Don't kill Animal-Man.
Written by: Kurt Busiek
Art by: Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Merino
I just love Busiek on this title. He seems to know Superman better than any other person in the world. In this story Arion (an ancient Atlantian sorcerer) is shows Superman the future - possible future scenario 404?. Where Humanity is left in small groups after major disaster after disaster and eventually are left extinct with Jimmy Olsen actually playing a Kamandi role as last Human on Earth. Catching up with the future Humans is the most interesting part the team of Humans is led by Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Lex Luthor with members like a Wonder Woman, a Green Lantern and a Flash, Parasite is there after absorbing so much of Clark's powers he actually believes himself to be Clark Kent. It continues on after last month where Khyber - the supreme lord of the future Earth seemingly kills Superman. The full effect of the story is that Superman needs to stop protecting us otherwise humanity will be wiped out. Arion explains that Civilizations have to fall (like Camelot, like Atlantis) and Superman has to allow this to happen for humanity to be strong enough to survive the aftermath.
In this, in almost direct opposition to 52, Lex plays the hero of Humanity he is at his strongest when he is forced to save and protect humanity. He is actually the ultimate humanitarian and seeing that play out here is just excellent. Which makes it more annoying when you see what a bastardization of his character is portrayed in movie outgoings.
Busiek is at his best his, like Astro City he has a real grasp of characters, makes stuff epic but relatable and annoying because you can't wait to read more. Carlos Pacheco joins up with some beautiful artwork to compliment the book and I can't wait to see where this is going to go in volume two of Camelot Falls. And how can this story not play on the mind of Superman â€“ every time he acts is he dooming Humanity?