Tagged: first issue

80’s Indie Comic Book Icon ‘Badger’ is Back!

I just read the first issue of the latest reboot of 80’s indie superhero Badger recently released by Devil’s Due and the formerly defunct First Comics. Seeing it and it’s retro looking cover on the shelf brought back some great days of hanging out in weirdo dingy comic book shops in the 1980’s with my brother in Wisconsin. Badger took place in Wisconsin and back in the day I used to collect this series, admittedly a bit confused by it’s incredibly offbeat characters and story arcs at times back then. Still the character was always unique, a mentally ill crime fighter with multiple personalities who lived in a castle in Wisconsin with a wizard named Ham. I mean what’s not to love right?

Well Mike Baron the original creator is back with a current retelling of the character’s origin in a pretty neat-o first issue. Issue one starts off with Norbert Sykes (our protagonist) as he signs up for the military and heads off to Afghanistan where he quickly begins to go crazy. He’s paired up with dog named Otis, who he clearly relates to more than any of the soldiers and heads off into the battlefield. It’s not long before his animal companion becomes a casualty of war and Norbert’s taken captive by enemy forces. While held prisoner he’s visited by a spirit animal, in the form of you guessed it a Badger! He agrees to devote his life fighting for the rights of the animals of earth and then embarks on a crazy killing spree against the enemy. He’s soon detained, shipped back to the good ol’ USA and institutionalized. It’s here where we first start to see again this is by no means your average origin story.

The issue was a good debut, however I think they could have really spread this one story over two issues to really build his origin in an even more powerful way. It felt a bit rushed at times and I hope they slow the pace down just a bit and really let us get to know just what makes this dude tick. The story was also a darker more serious tone than what I was originally expecting which honestly ended up being quite a pleasant surprise as this character has proven before he can lead a compelling tale if that’s the type of one Baron wants to tell at the moment.

The art by Jim Fern was pretty solid too, if maybe a bit stiff at times or that could just be in contrast to the incredible cover art by Paul Pope. I’m gonna be back for issue two to see exactly where this one goes. I’m quite curious to see if the elements of the 80’s Badger come into play and how they approach some of the more offbeat characters and settings from the original series. I’m also curious about this Badger/Putin fight rumored to happen soon. Either way it’s comforting to see a familiar face back on the shelves in 2016 with a solid debut I felt a bit like it was 1986 all over again… 

The Death of Wolverine #1: Review

The deaths of major comic book characters have been a big trend for a long time. It usually happens when a major character becomes boring. We all know that boring most likely means that the character has been over exploited, to make money and finally because we’ve seen them so often every month in multiple titles that they just get stale. They become a weak, pale version of what used to make them so cool. Usually sales decline and comic companies start trying to figure out new ways to make the character popular again, one of the ways to generate some excitement again is to “kill” the character. This will get news online, in papers and probably on tv and generate interest and interest means dollars. This is what has happened to our once mysterious, mean mutant berzerker, Wolverine.

Let me first say, Wolverine used to be the coolest damn character ever. He was mysterious, he was a loner, he hung out at bars and got wasted, he killed people and he didn’t give a fuck what anyone thought about him. His past was a mystery and we all so desperately wanted to know who he was. Over the years his popularity grew, he was in movies, a ton of cartoons and was in dozens of comic books every month. His past was over explained, and what we all found out about him didn’t quite measure up to what we had hoped for. He was no longer a loner, he became headmaster at Xavier’s school, he appeared in dozens of X-titles. He even joined the god damn Avengers! Wolverine was officially corporate in every way. He started hanging out with Captain America for crying out loud-taking orders from SHIELD etc, ect! Everyone’s fav mutant  was no longer mysterious, he was drawn more as a handsome, dashing superhero instead of a mean little hairy runt with fucked up weird ass hair. Wolverine was officially boring. A tough thing to accomplish honestly.

So now here we are, Marvel is trying the whole “Death” stunt with Logan. Let’s face it people, you have nothing to fear. Wolverine is not really dead. He’s worth too much money. Marvel does want us to miss the guy though. So I figure he’ll be gone for about a year and we’ll see him pop back up in some really ridiculous way(this will again maybe make some more money-the return of Wolverine!). But for the moment let’s just let ourselves be shocked-okay? So issue number one is actually quite impressive I must say. It’s a pretty neat little story here that’s bound to get incredibly brutal and bloody by it’s finish. Steve McNiven is easily one of my favorite current comic book artists and his work shines here.

 

The story is quite simple. Wolverine has lost his healing factor, he’s hiding out and there’s a bounty on his head. It seems that super powered killers are hot on his trail and the first real threat to arrive is Nuke, the star spangled psycho, who’s dead set on collecting some big time money. What we get here is a no holds barred classic Wolverine story, much like the ones I used to love as a teenager. There’s a pretty amazingly brutal sequence when Nuke and Wolverine go head to head, and I mean that literally that you’re not likely to forget any time soon. I’m on board with this one as it looks and feels much like the stories that they should have been telling all along.

death-of-wolverine-variant-cover-by-joe-quesada-1

I’m also looking forward to his return to Madripoor(hinted at the end of the issue), as well as seeing who else shows up to take out Wolverine. Razorfist? Wildchild? Bloodscream? Lady Deathstrike? Omega Red? I only hope it’s not Sabretooth. That guy should have stayed dead, having him kill Wolverine might be a little to cliche, though it’s certainly a strong possibility after reading issue number one. Let’s hope when they do bring Logan back from the dead, and they will, they give him one solo and one X-men book to star in. Use Logan wisely and make him more of what he used to be before. A lone wolf.

Lastly my complaints!! Okay this issue is $4.99, infact the other Marvel title I bought today was $4.99 as well, if this becomes the going rate of new weekly comic books I’m fucking outta here. This issue, though quite enjoyable was pretty thin on story. The panels keep getting bigger most pages only contain four panels, some three, some two and several full pagers. It’s got a two page splash as well.

This issue took me about five minutes to read. It looks thick, but it’s full of “Extras” a ton of random panel sketches, the “directors cut” which narrates what McNiven is supposed to draw each panel and five page interview with Co-creator Len Wein. Basically a bunch of stuff that should have been put online for free. For $4.99 an issue these comic book companies better bring MORE to the table. More story, bigger page count, and maybe smaller panels. This should have been a double sized issue. I think it’s time for the big two to pony up and give us readers more bang for our buck! I can’t afford FIVE dollar comic books every week nor do I want to spend that on any new comic book. What do you think?

Comic Book Small Haul: The Savage Hulk #1 Goes Old School!!

Savage Hulk is a series I have been waiting for a long time and finally yesterday it graced the shelves of comic book shops everywhere. I have been seriously missing me some Hulk by way of new comic books lately. The last few Hulk titles have been pretty forgettable. I usually start off  buying the first few issues and then well just don’t really end up giving a shit what happens next. That’s a problem I seem to be running into more and more with Marvel titles these days.

So here we have Savage Hulk #1 which is a pretty decent first issue and pretty cool as it ties in directly with an old X-men / Hulk storyline from 1970. So what we have here is a full on old school Hulk story, which is a breath of fresh air. We’ve got some great artwork as well by  veteran artist Alan Davis, a favorite of mine in the 1980’s, which make this book even more legit. We’ve also got the X-Men in their old school 70’s costumes and The Leader in his old purple suit and my favorite look for him, his big long ass head! We also have a great alternate cover by Alex Ross which is downright amazing…

I think this series is headed for some fun, I’m not sure if they’re going to follow the old school story types but I’m kinda hoping they do. There’s a ton of fun in an old school Hulk story that’s been missing from a lot of the current stuff. So I’ll be back for issue #2 as it looks like we’re going to get some Abomination action as well. Savage Hulk is a solid start, but it by no means is gonna blow your mind as the story is very simple as we basically have the Hulk on the run from the Hulkbusters, Professor X determined to help free Banner of The Hulk and The Leader determined to screw up everyone’s plan. It’s also nice because we haven’t over the years really seen the X-men and the Hulk cross paths as much as they should. It also made me realize that The Leader and Professor X are perfect arch rivals, I hope we get to see them square off in a battle of the minds! So Hulk fans go check this one out!

The Woods #1: One of the Best Debut Comic Books of Recent Times!

As far as debut issues of comic books go these days I’d say the Boom! Studios debut issue of ‘The Woods” is one of the best! It’s a great little sci-fi/horror story that involves an entire High School (yes the building and all of the students and faculty) being transported to a strange forest seemingly on another planet. That’s the least of their worries though as they soon find out they are not alone there. With no idea how or why this happened students and faculty go head to head with each other trying to figure out the best plan of survival. This is a great start to hopefully a great series, the first issue has a little bit of a “LOST” which I adore, being a giant fan of that tv series. It also reminds me a bit of the tv show because of the mysterious situation, which for the time being there is no explanation for that they have found themselves having to deal with. It leaves me wondering what’s next and longing to read the next issue. It’s a lot of fun, with fair parts of horror, gore and comedy mixed in at just the right amounts.

The artwork done by Michael Dialynas is also alot of fun here and adds to the strength of this debut. It’s a really great to find a good solid first issue and a new series to look forward too. I’m finding it harder and harder to find books I want to stick with by Marvel or DC. I actually realized that at the moment I am not reading ANY tltles by the big two. Now that could easily change at any moment, but it’s a bit shocking that I’m not absorbed into any title right now that they are offering and at four or even five bucks a pop now a comic book better be good!I am open to suggestions also because at that price it’s not exactly easy to sample the platter, as comic books can easily add up every week at these prices. So here’s a little comic I think is a safe bet, The Woods was a damn fine fun ride-check it out!

Did ‘INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #1’ Satisfy My Gamma Cravings?

There’s a lot of hype surrounding Marvel NOW! titles that we are finally seeing hit the shelves. Being a big fan of The Incredible Hulk
I was curious about this new title, as honestly it’s been quite a while since I have read a new Hulk comic I really dug. So here we have it today, hot off the presses, Indestructible Hulk #1!

So first I have to admit, I am not a fan of Leinil Yu’s art. So naturally knowing he was illustrating the book wasn’t exactly an exciting thing for me. However, it’s The Hulk we speak of here so I decided to let go of any preconceived notions I may have had about disliking the art. I have to say though, I wasn’t ecstatic about what I saw, I will admit the artwork was at the very least sufficient. What I really mean is that I can live with it. So onto the story Continue reading

Did The Uncanny Avengers Live Up to the Hype?

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…..