Monday, May 1, 2017

It’s a great week to be a geek. The TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” starts airing now. Thursday, May 4th is Star Wars Day. The “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” movie opens in theatres on Friday, May 5th. Saturday the 6th is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. Sunday the 7th is another CAPITAL TRADE SHOW at the Jim Durrell Arena where Jee-Riz Comics & Appraisals will be hawking their wares. Fly your geek flags high.

 

Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #1 – Peter David (writer) Mark Bagley (pencils) John Dell (inks) Jason Keith (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). This follows the “Clone Conspiracy” debacle as Ben tries to start a new life in Sin City. If you like your Spider-Man a little bit unethical then this book is for you. Ben also talks to imaginary people which can make for some confusion but it’s a quirk that sets him apart from the other Spider-Men. I don’t know if I’ll keep up with this mentally unstable version but I like his new costume a lot.

 

Batman & The Shadow #1 – Scott Snyder & Steve Orlando (writers) Riley Rossmo (art) Ivan Plascencia (colours) Clem Robins (letters). A murder in Gotham City sets Batman on the hunt for the killer with the victim’s name giving us a clue to who that might be. Lamont Cranston’s death leads Bruce to the Alps to visit an old teacher after some detective work talking to old associates of The Shadow. I liked how the similarities between the two dark crime fighters make this an interesting chess game between two masters of mainpulation. I wonder what the motive was if The Shadow did indeed kill his own descendant. Maybe the rest of this 6-issue mini will reveal the truth.

 

Big Moose #1 – This double sized one-shot features Archie Comic’s iconic dumbbell jock Marmaduke AKA Moose Mason. I did not know that he had the same name as a comic strip great dane, and I don’t mean Scooby Doo. The first story “Moose vs. the Vending Machine” by Sean Ryan (writer) Cory Smith (art) Matt Herms (colours) & Jack Morelli (letters) is your typical dumb jock story that would fit right in an old Pep comic from the fifties. The second story “Have It All” by Ryan Cady (writer) Thomas Pitilli (art) Glenn Whitmore (colours) & Jack Morelli (letters) shows a more intelligent Moose juggling all of his stressful high school responsibilities. I felt for the guy, especially his struggle with an English lit paper. It made me suspect that Moose might be dyslexic. The last story “The Big Difference” by Gorf (writer) Ryan Jampole (art) Kelly Fitzpatrick (colours) & Jack Morelli (letters) has Moose making a new friend that’s a little “after school special” but the kids will get the message. All in all a nice feature of a minor Archie character.

 

No World #1 – Scott Lobdell (writer) Jordan Gunderson (pencils) Mark Roslan & Charlie Mok (digital inks) JUANCHOo (colours) Zen (letters). I picked this off the rack to read because of the sexy hot cover by Jordan Gunderson & Peter Steigerwald. Plus, Scott Lobdell wrote some comic books that I used to like. This one did not impress me. The Aspen Comics imprint seems to cater to good girl art fans, of which I am one, but a comic needs more than just T&A to keep me reading. I wasn’t given enough information about the two main good girls in this debut to care about them so I won’t continue reading.

 

Wonder Woman #21 – Greg Rucka (writer) Liam Sharp (art) Laura Martin with Hi-Fi (colours). Part 4 of “The Truth” finds Veronica Cale getting ever closer to finding Themyscira and saving her daughter. I am looking forward to the conclusion of this story in Wonder Woman #23 to see what Ares’ role is.

 

The Old Guard #3 – Greg Rucka (writer) Leandro Fernandez (art) Daniela Miwa (colours) Jodi Wynne (letters). Two of the five team members are in the clutches of the bad guys so it’s three to the rescue. This issue is a great example of a good writer making you care about the characters. Part of it has the origin story of one of the mercenaries. Another part shows how much two of the members care about each other. There’s plenty of action over many pages beautifully illustrated by Leandro but also lots of action we don’t see that is clearly implied in just one panel. That’s good comic books.

 

Deadpool vs. Punisher #2 – Fred Van Lente (writer) Pere Perez (art) Ruth Redmond (colours) VC’s Joe Sabino (letters). Round two has ‘Pool and ‘Pun in a shoot out with the Don of the Dead, a crazy Mexican bad guy as deranged as Deadpool. Round three next issue should be fun with a new bad guy who you’ll recognise right away. I can’t wait

 

Action Comics #978 – Dan Jurgens (writer) Carlo Barberi (pencils) Matt Santorelli (inks) Hi-Fi (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). Part 2 of “The New World” continues the review of Superman’s origin story including his romance with Lois Lane and the birth of their son Jonathan. The identity of the villain is also revealed. What he has planned for the Man of Steel isn’t anything new but it never gets old.

 

Kill or be Killed #8 – Ed Brubaker (writer) Sean Phillips (art) Elizabeth Breitweiser (colours). Being spotted by the police while killing his last victim has complicated Dylan’s life. It seems like every law enforcement officer is looking for him, which makes it even more difficult to find and kill someone else to keep the demon at bay. This could be the end of our killer vigilante.

 

The Mighty Thor #18 – Jason Aaron (writer) Russell Dauterman (art) Matthew Wilson (colours) VC’s Joe Sabino (letters). In part 4 of “The Asgard/Shi’Ar War” the Shi’Ar gods Sharra and K’ythri act like a couple of spoiled brats and decide to unleash their ultimate weapon to destroy the universe. The opening pages have the good guys seeking help from one of my favourite mutants. Russell’s art is crazy good and he’s close to Geof Darrow in the details that he puts on a page. When the force unleashed can take out The Destroyer in the blink of an eye you know the good guys are in deep doo-doo.

 

Detective Comics #955 – James Tynion IV (writer) Marcio Takara (art) Marcelo Maiolo (colours) Sal Cipriano (letters). I was enjoying this issue right up until the very last page. It’s one of those deus ex machina moments that I better get an explanation of or else “League of Shadows” will be the Detective Comics story that benches this book.

 

Josie & The Pussycats #6 – Cameron Deordio & Marguerite Bennett (writers) Audrey Mok (art) Kelly Fitzpatrick (colours) Jack Morelli (letters). I loved the Michael Allred cover. I really appreciate that all the ad pages were gathered at the back so that we get to read an uninterrupted story. This is one comic book that I read just for fun.

 

The Wild Storm #3 – Warren Ellis (writer) John Davis-Hunt (art) Steve Buccellato (colours) Simon Bowland (letters). If Aspen Comics had done as good a job as these people in redefining their cast of characters I would endorse their books. Here we have a fire fight that’s even prettier than the one in The Old Guard #3 thanks to the work of John Davis-Hunt. New readers should not be afraid to pick this series up because it’s got cool characters and Warren Ellis always entertains.

 

Elektra #3 – Matt Owens (writer) Juann Cabal (art) Antonio Fabela (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). It’s all out action as Elektra battles through Murderworld. Just when you think she’s won her freedom, Arcade springs another surprise. He never fights fair. I really like the covers by Elizabeth Torque and would love to see a comic book drawn by her.

 

Old Man Logan #22 – Jeff Lemire (writer) Eric Nguyen (art) Andres Mossa (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Looks like Jeff is showing us Logan’s greatest hits as he winds down work on this title. Maybe it will make some fans buy a few trades.

 

Hulk #5 – Mariko Tamaki (writer) Nico Leon (art) Matt Milla & Andrew Crossley (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). I read recently that fans won’t buy a Hulk comic book unless it’s Bruce Banner as the big green galoot. Those fans are narrow minded and don’t deserve to be called comic book fans. This book is great and has made the Hulk interesting to me again. I don’t care who the Hulk is or who Iron Man is as long as there’s a good story and nice art for the book. It’s been 5 issues of this title hitting the racks and we haven’t really seen the Hulk once. It doesn’t matter because this story about Jennifer coping with the recent changes in her life is a good one.

 

 

Infamous Iron Man #7 – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) Alex Maleev (art) Matt Hollingsworth (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). See, this is how you make a major change in an iconic character so that fans will want to read the book and not feel sick to their stomachs. I love this new version of Victor Von Doom. Brian has shown him evolving into the Infamous Iron Man instead of what happened with Captain America seemingly out of the blue saying “Hail Hydra”. Here’s another character that’s been made interesting again and I will promote this title to anyone looking to read a good comic book.

 

Ms. Marvel #17 – G. Willow Wilson (writer) Takeshi Miyazawa (art) Ian Herring (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). Okay, I don’t get how Ms. Marvel and her friends defeated Doc.X but maybe it’s because I’m an old luddite. I don’t have a cell phone and barely know what apps are. I did appreciate the group hug that started this issue because I grew up in the sixties and that’s what we wanted to do back then too.

 

Star Wars: Darth Maul #3 – Cullen Bunn (writer) Luke Ross (art) Nolan Woodard (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). This young disciple of the Sith is a lot less interesting than I first thought. He is merely motivated by his hatred of the Jedi and that’s seems to be all that he’s about. One dimensional characters aren’t that interesting. It’s the evil auctioneer that is making me stick to this story.

 

The Totally Awesome Hulk #18 – Greg Pak (writer) Mahmud Asrar (art) Nolan Woodard (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). The evil aliens find out what happens when their food fights back. Amadeus showed a side of him that surprised me and made me like this Hulk even more.

 

Doctor Strange #19 – Jason Aaron (writer) Chris Bachalo (pencils) John Livesay, Victor Olazaba, Al Vey, Jaime Mendoza, Tim Townsend & Wayne Faucher (inks) Chris Bachalo (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Yay, Wong is saved from Misery but I might be miserable after the next issue because it will be Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo’s last.

 

Weapon X #2 – Greg Pak (writer) Greg Land (pencils) Jay Leisten (inks) Frank D’Armata (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). The bad guys are on the Warpath and the mutant super hero is outnumbered. Sabretooth and Old Man Logan are still free but it looks like that won’t last. Once Greg adds in the Domino effect the gang will all be here. I like Greg Land’s art a lot more with Jay’s inks.

 

Invincible Iron Man #6 – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) Stefano Caselli (art) Marte Gracia (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). RiRi meets with Stark Industries, M.I.T. and last but not least The Champions. I’m most excited about her possibly joining the young super hero team. I wish Marvel would find a way to change the title to Ironheart. RiRi has been wearing the armour for a while now and calling this book Iron Man is just awkward.

 

 

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