It’s been quite a while since I visited my local comic book shop (Cosmic Monkey in PDX!!) but but the new ‘She-Hulk’ series I’d heard about gave me enough ammo to figure it would be worth finally stopping in for a visit again. I was pretty pumped to hear that She-Hulk was supposedly going back to her “roots” finally, something that’s been presented as more of a return to form to the original John Byrne series of the 1980s. Count me in!
First I must admit, the cover(s) art for this debut issue is awesome and truly does remind me of the classic She-Hulk I grew to love back in the late eighties. I’m actually quite surprised that Marvel Comics seemingly decided to go back to the “sexy, flirtatious” version of Jennifer Walters. Especially since more recently this version of the character was to an extent considered is somewhat offensive to many.
People claimed that she was only used as a sex symbol by male writers & never truly fleshed out as a character, something that I actually highly disagree with.
Nonetheless I was excited to see exactly what they were going to bring to the table in 2022. Unfortunately my hopes for this debut issue were squashed pretty quickly by what I consider to be weak and somewhat uninspiring storytelling.
Most of the issue revolves around a rather pointless fight with her classic nemesis Titania, that I assume they were trying Inject some sort of witty comedy into. The rest of the issue spends a few pages getting into Jennifer Walters more personal problems as she moves back into her former apartment. That’s really about it in a nutshell. I didn’t really find much of anything to be memorable here, the dialogue was pretty flimsy and the artwork at some points was impressive and at others felt a bit rushed.
I guess a part of me had built up this return to form as possibly being a consisely comedic version of the character and her absurdly over the top adventures of years ago. Instead what I ultimately ended up with was yet another safely generic Marvel Comics relaunch. I guess in a way it was kind of what I was expecting and it’s certainly not the spark that’s gonna get me going back to drop another $4 to $5 on a comic book that literally takes just over 5 minutes to read in it’s entirety. I’m somewhat astounded that as comic prices dramatically increased the panels grew exponentially in size and now only take a matter of minutes to read. I would have hoped that the opposite would have occurred, If you’re gonna charge 5 bucks for a comic book you’d better be bringing more bang for your buck!
I can’t say I’ll be going back for more She-Hulk anytime soon, yet it has inspired me to dig out my old late eighties back issues. Who knows maybe I’m being too damn hard on things and perhaps my memory of the “golden era” of She-Hulk is something that won’t hold up in 2022. If this is any indication though of what the live action MCU series is going to be like I guess I’m gonna be pretty disappointed. There’s so much fun to be had with She-Hulk, a more of a classic “Sex in the City” style approach to the series with some clever writing is what I was hoping more for. I’ll save my true anticipation for the series launch on Disney Plus this year with my fingers firmly crossed....
The Dregs is a new series from Black Mask and the debut issue is great, engaging & totally original read. I love comic books that genuinely bring something new to the table and The Dregs is totally fresh one that at least for the time being doesn’t seem like it’s been done before. It take place in Vancouver BC and begins an intriguing mystery to life in a city that’s rapidly gentrifying. The main character here isn’t handsome or rich, we follow a drug addicted homeless man as he embarks on a bizarre journey to find one of his friends who’s suddenly disappeared from the streets without a trace. Lucky for us his whereabouts are revealed to us within the first few pages, very unlucky for him though.
The story starts off with quite an opening that you’re likely to be thinking about long after you put down the first issue. The Dregs looks like it’s going to be tackling some real world issues as we see the hip yuppy filled city from the eyes of the people who actually live within it’s darkest corners. For me I’m seeing a lot of what’s happening within the pages of this debut issue happening for years within my place of residence Portland, Oregon. People have been being pushed out of their homes now for year and recently at a more alarming rate that ever before. Many cities all over are getting complete makeovers, filling quickly with shiny boutiques, high priced coffee houses & hip over priced restaurants. The wealthy are flocking to places while housing and rent prices have shot through the roof. Continue reading
The Skeptics #1 (Black Mask)
I just read the debut issue for the new Black Mask series “The Skeptics” and was quite pleased with this sweet little intro to a thus far promising retro adventure. Brought to you by Tini Howard and Devaki Neogi we’ve got a solid story of two teenagers during the Cold War era that are brought in by the US government to test for paranormal abilities. There’s a claim made by the Soviets that they’ve got a new breed of soldier in the works, ones with intense psychic abilities. But is it just a hoax to scare us Americans during those tense times? Either way it doesn’t matter because of course the US is determined to find people with similar unique abilities here in our own country to face off with the Soviets.
Well all just is not what it seems when Mary and Maxwell are brought in for testing, for unknown reasons these two have figured out a way to to trick the scientists and even the President into believing they’ve got telekinetic abilities. The President claims they’re the key to stopping World War 3 but it seems there’s more going on than meets the eye. The two young “psychics” quickly decide to take matters into their own hands when they realize that perhaps it’s not a hoax. The Soviets may indeed be harboring people with superhuman abilities.
I had a pretty fun time with the first issue, it’s really simplistic, pure story telling with some decent artwork as well. It’s a refreshing break from all of the ultra edgy stuff being cranked out these days, I’ll check out issue number two and see just where this all goes but either way the debut is worth a look if you’re looking for something a little different.
Black #1 (Black Mask)
Here’s another decent debut issue that finds it’s plot ripped from the media headlines. It’s a story about police corruption and racism in America with a superhero twist. We’ve got corrupt white cops who shoot down three black teens who’ve done nothing wrong in broad daylight on the streets of the inner city. Sound familiar?
Well things get more interesting when one of the teens who’s presumed dead awakens alive and well in the ambulance on the way to the hospital with seemingly superhuman energy and endurance. On the run from the cops he meets a Morpheus like character (from the movie The Matrix) who helps him to safety and soon it’s revealed that people do indeed exist on this planet with superhuman powers….except only those who are black can have them. This like The Skeptics is also a pretty quick and simple read with an interesting spin on the superhero genre. This idea spun out of a Kickstarter campaign and was soon picked up by Black Mask. The art adds to the experience as it’s really well drawn and in black and white.
The writing for this by Kwanza Osajyefo is solid yet at the same time a bit on the predictable side. Starting out with a fairly popular view point being, corrupt cops are running rampant and they kill black people for no apparent reason. I think it’s fair to say from most of the news stories we’ve heard reported on point to this similar scenario. So we’ve definitely got a story here thats basis is controversial and hotly debated. I can already see people being upset about the race issue presented here, it is indeed written to get a response from white readers and continue the much needed dialogue about racial tension today. I think however it’s not much really of a different concept than say “Y The Last Man” yet this comic’s timing probably is the most controversial aspect of it.
Overall I dig it, the idea of just one race being graced with superpowers is an odd angle but given the recent headlines this one’s certain to make some waves. It’s also written & drawn by an all black team as the above The Skeptics is an all female team. So we’re getting a lot more projects out there now that are created with race appropriate and gender appropriate teams attached. It I guess raises questions about whether or not it’s ok in modern times to have people writing books that aren’t of the same gender or race of the characters in the book? This topic alone has become somewhat of an issue lately for movies, books and tv shows. I’m still under the belief that at the end of the day in works of fiction, in a free society none of that needs to really be micro-analyzed. So therefore I welcome anyone to bring a unique story to the table no matter what their race, gender, sexuality or association may be. With that being said I’m curious to see where the story of “Black” ultimately goes. I’ll be back for a second issue…
I’ve been super pumped for the new Great Lakes Avengers ongoing series for quite a while now and this weekend I picked up a stack of new comics and this was one of them. I’ve been a big fan of the team from way back when they were introduced in 1989 for a few reasons. First they were created by the legendary John Byrne, who’s been my favorite comic book artist since I was a kid, second The Great Lakes Avengers are from my home state of Wisconsin (a place where superhero stories rarely take place) and finally I love the pure oddity of these misfit, underdog, d-list characters. I always thought they could be a hit if they were given the proper chance and I STILL think Marvel could make an amazing movie/tv series with this team. So anyway was this debut issue worth the wait for a die hard fan like myself?
I’ve gotta be honest here, I was a bit underwhelmed with issue #1. One reason being perhaps that I recently decided to reread the Dan Slott GLA mini series from 2005, which I think was fantastic. Here we have in 2016 a bit of a more of a lighter playful take on the team rather than the dark comedy that Slott brought us. This new series is obviously trying reeeeaaallly hard to funny and personally I don’t think many of the jokes really land. It can be hard to make pure comedic gold in comic book form and I’ll say I think Slott & Byrne accomplished this more much more solidly. Continue reading
Rise of the Back Flame #1 is another totally solid debut straight from the Mignolaverse. This one traces the origins of the legendary villain, The black Flame from the pages of Hellboy/BPRD and gives us an excellent set up for an intriguing jungle horror adventure that I’m sure Indiana Jones would most certainly sign up for. The setting is Burma and there’s been a series of disappearances of young girls that the locals believe to be the devilish work of a near by cult.
On the case are two Brittish detectives who’re on the case searching for clues, quickly meet Sarah Jewell and Marie-Therese Lafleur who tell them they’ve got an expedition set up to find the Temple of the Black Flame. Sarah Jewell goes on to tell them of some of her incredible supernatural adventures she’s shared with The Witchfinder himself Sir Edward Grey. I’m getting the feeling we’ll be seeing much more of these characters in the future of the Mignolaverse….if they can survive this expedition that is.
Here we have again everything I love about reading comics, grand adventure set in exotic locales with a supernatural mystery brewing. Like I’ve said before Mignola’s books to me are the best on the scene, whether it be Hellboy, BPRD, Witchfinder or Lobster Johnson. They’re always a helluva great time to read and are all connected by a deep lore that’s been running strong for decades. So here we have the opening of another chapter in the saga and a true prequel for fans of the villain of the BPRD’s ‘Hell on Earth’. I’m certainly going to be back for issue #2 as it’s bound to be filled with some excellent storytelling and some creepy jungle adventure, for a good time check out this debut!
Here’s an interesting new comic book from Black Mask called ‘The Forevers’ due out in shops September 14th. It’s got quite an intriguing story set up in the debut. It follows a group of people hungry for fame, fortune & adoration who all perform a strange ritual together. They make a pact for life together. They Flash forward ten years and it seems their wishes have for the most part seem to have come true. They’re all living a life of success, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bed of roses. It’s actually quite the contrary as most of them living the dream are immersed in an ugly culture of wealth, drugs and meaningless relationships. It’s clear fame has changed them, but just how much?
We’ve got a cast of pretty unlikable characters in the first issue and as one of them suddenly dies it sets their world into a bizarre mystery as a masked killer appears into their lives for reasons yet unknown. It’s an interesting premise and this debut shows this book has some potential to shape up into a unique read. However it felt a bit like a glimpse into the oddly pathetic and highly superficial lives of people like the Kardashians & the like of ego maniacal rockstars. So there’s not a real connect here for me thus far as most of these characters so far are totally un-relatable to me and I imagine will be for most others. This in a way could be the book’s strong point in the end and hopefully we’ll get some fleshing out of these characters that will indeed rope us in to actually giving a shit about what happens to their greedy asses. Perhaps with more flashbacks we’ll see exactly how they came to this point and that perhaps they weren’t always a gang of total d-bags.
Now as far as the art goes I’m going to admit I’m not exactly a huge fan of this style. It feels a bit like it’s trying be a bit Bill Sienkiewicz or Jon Muth but ends up feeling like someone pulled up some shots of famous stars and copied them altering them via rotoscope. I could be wrong though, i’m not sure how people make modern comic books like this, but I assume there’s a computer involved for most of the process. It however might work here for the type of story trying to be told. Even though not being a big fan of the art I’d at the least check out issue #2 to see where this all goes. So far it’s a decent debut with some potential to bring us something unique to the table. So if you’re a bit bored with all those superhero titles this might spice things up a bit in your weekly journey to the comic book shop…
I just got done reading the new Marvel Now! Deadpool issue number one. This issue was co-written by Brian Posehn, a move Marvel has made to truly show you just how “hilarious” Deadpool is as a character. Though the issue was a decent fun read I expected a lot more in the comedy department having Posehn attached to this. The thing is I really do like Deadpool! He’s got cool powers, the Weapon X connection, a rad costume however this guy just isn’t funny. I have never read an issue where Deadpool is actually funny.
More so I would say he’s one of those guys that think’s he’s a genius comic genius when in actuality you just want him to keep his trap shut! I know you know someone like this, they never quit either they just keep cracking “quirky” jokes that no one laughs at with the ferocity of the Energizer Bunny.
So that’s the guy Deadpool is to me. The annoying friend who doesn’t know when to quit. He’s not funny. He’s just irritating. For some reason I don’t think that’s the guy Marvel thinks Deadpool is though. Hell they even got the brilliant Posehn on his side and he still just comes across like a stale donut. Besides that fact that I just had to put out there, the new issue was a fun read overall with nice artwork by Tony Moore. It follows a story of ex Presidents of the USA who are brought back to life as evil zombie versions of themselves, plotting to take over the country. Naturally S.H.I.E.L.D. hires Deadpool to take them down. I will be around for issue number two just for my love of Posehn and Moore, however we’ll see if the laughs improve over time.
I have to ask you all am I crazy? Is Deadpool actually funny? Am I missing something? Is my sense of humor cracked? If he has ever been funny what issues showcase his comedic brilliance?
I just got done reading The Uncanny Avengers #1, one of the most hyped comics books in quite some time. Marvel has even reported over 300,000 issues already sold. So was it as amazing as everyone hoped? I think so. Now granted this is issue #1 only, but in the aftermath of AVX which I will admit I didn’t read it all ( hey comic books are expensive and to be honest I can’t afford to read all the tiles I’d like to every week for 4 bucks a pop) this issue is a fantastic start to something that could be really awesome. It’s first off beautifully drawn by John Cassaday, while reading it, it brought back great memories of Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-men run second Remender does a great job with grabbing you in with some heartfelt story telling in the wake of Professor X’s death.
What we have here in issue one is basically Captain America asking Havok to lead a special Avengers team, Wolverine telling the world they failed Chuck Xavier and his dream, an attack by Avalanche on the city in the name of mutant revenge on humans and lastly Rogue confronting The Scarlet Witch at Xavier’s grave. I thought it was a great scene in where we get to really understand where both of these characters are coming from dealing with the recent “death”.
Lastly we get a new(?) gang of villains who attack. We have ‘The Goat Faced Girl” who’s creepy enough along with, an insect man, a water controlling octopus woman, a winged demon woman and a snapping turtle man guy. So yeah not sure what I think about these dudes yet…we’ll see. Finally we get a look at the “major villain” which is really not much of a surprise but steals something for him self which will be important I’d imagine to the X-men. A really impressive first issue overall, with wonderful artwork and an exciting story coming together it will be interesting to see how long The Avengers remain Uncanny…..
I have got to say being a HUGE Incredible Hulk fan I have been missing him a in a big way the past couple years. Greg Pak who has spent a half decade on ol’ jade jaws is finally on his way out from the series….and I couldn’t be more thrilled! I was a big fan of his early Hulk stories like Planet Hulk and World War Hulk-awesome stuff! But the past couple years have been horrible, I have tried several times to get into The Incredible Hulks & Hulk (launched by Jeph Loeb) and I just could not do it folks. I am sooooo done with The Red Hulk, The Red She-Hulk, The Incredible Herc, A-bomb and the rest of those lame ass characters that these two titles have produced.
I just wanted the plain old green Hulk back!! Continue reading
Today the brand new debut issue of Moon Knight came out and I have got to say I set my expectations pretty high. What I have been hoping for here is that lightning will strike twice-meaning Bendis and Maleev will bring to Moon Knight what they did for Daredevil years ago. Let me start by saying the Bendis / Maleev run on Daredevil was one of the best reads I have ever had on a comic book. It was easily one of the most consistently great ones at the very least.
Now however Bendis, who lives right around the corner from my store here in Portland Oregon, has become less than impressive in my opinion in the world of comic books as of late. However Continue reading