Posts Tagged ‘Review’

Why I Love Comics… Extra!

As I’m sure you know, Eric Ratcliffe and I do a weekly review show.   In advance of the actual show, I usually toss together notes containing my initial impressions of each book I’m ready to discuss.  These aren’t full descriptions but rather my first thoughts in quick comment form that I reference while we record the podcast.  Here in my blog I’ve decided to share those notes for each show we run and these are mine for today.  Consider it a Why I Love Comics podcast extra…

secretsix12Secret Six #12 – Wonder Woman taken down.  Interesting look at Banshee character and history.  Here we have A team divided, but for how long?  An all around interesting read, but where will the future go?  Is that Man-Bat at the end?

Action Comics #880 – Nice Superman/Lois reunion and nice to see Supes featured in his series again.  How about that kiss?  Some plots are finally tying together and the jealousy between Nightwing and Flamebird was fun.  General Lane note quite as annoying this month.  Captain Atom backup story was okay at best.

Uncanny X-Men #514 – The X-franchise needs a serious reboot.  I’m just tired of them honestly though the science team is the one shining light in this title. Dark Wolverine is interesting and the character allows the writers to return to the original wild Wolverine feel.   My opinion of him has changed over the months he’s been with us.  Kind of a setup issue with no clear payoff.

deadpool13Deadpool #13 – Pirates! Parrots!  Poop-Decks!  Nice, unclean fun.  Deadpool is Deadpool and that’s a good thing as this remains a very fun series.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #7 – Gil’dishpan, now that was a story!  I’m loving the dominator joining the group and the decision to resolve the Gil’dishpan back story was pretty chilling and very Vril Dox.

Red Robin #3 – Ra’s A Ghul and his tempting offer is the one saving grace for this series so far.  This association interests me and the fact that Tim heard the anti-life equation explains some of the character changes we’ve seen recently.  Still can’t say I like this book, but it’s working hard to grow on me.

Justice League Cry For Justice #2 – Absolutely a killer book.  I had real fun reading this one and I’m loving the character development and the way this team is coming together.  Green Arrow and Green Lantern’s conversations hearken back to an amazing time in comics.  That said, I wish we could pick up the pace a little with just five issue to go.  That said, if this is the way the main Justice League series will be handled I can’t wait for it to start.

agentsofatlas9Agents of Atlas #9 – An old flame returns.  Yao is cool.  Love seeing M-11 in action.  Dragon Clan War coming!  Month after month, it’s hard to stack up a mainstream title that compares with this one.  A personal favorite.

Ultimate Comics Avengers #1 – This is me jumping back in after trash talking the Ultimate universe as a waste of space for years.  It would take a lot to pull me back in, but I gave it a try.  Two words pulled it off… Red Skull.  I enjoyed this issue, but it would be low hanging fruit on my pull list if I had to make cuts.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 – Skip.  It was okay, but I would rather spend my money on the main title which has been great over the past few months.  Just not that interesting and I’ve never been able to get past the fact that it’s not cannon for Spidey.  It just waters down an already complex character history.  Sorry, pass.

buffy27Buffy the Vampire Slayer #27 Great to catch up with Oz and see what’s been happening in his life.  We have a great setup for a final fight.  Overall nice, though maybe not as strong as the series has been in the past!

BPDR 1947 #2 – More of a set up issue.  Not quite as strong as #1, but it’s advancing the plot so I’ll give it a pass plus the art and eerie feel is still solid.

Captain America: Reborn #2 – The art is average and I’m finding the story honestly a little  boring.  Sharon Carter’s reveal and the side stories are the only real reason to be reading this one for me.  There is so much about Dark Reign and so little about Cap that I’m just disappointed and don’t even get me started on how quickly we are retconing his death.

Chew #3SO GOOD.  Applebee, E.G.G., the critic with saboscrivner, the room change after pouring his heart out…  so good!

Iron Man #16 – THIS SHOULD NOT HAVE BEAT ECHO for Best New Series at the Eisners.  Give me a break!  Good, but not great by comparison.  The series is strong on interpersonal interactions, but I don’t credit that alone with giving this one the win.

BOOG Cv23 dsBooster Gold #23 – Love the return of the real Trigon, not that dried up freak who was in Titans recently.  THIS IS THE WAY HE SHOULD BE.  Enjoying Booster, but questioning why I read it just a little.  It needs to have a broader ripple effect across the DCU as it is playing in some deep waters DCU-impact-wise.  Maybe Blackest Night will bring me back around once again, but you have to love the concept and the character to be on board here.  I’m 60/40.  NEWS ANNOUNCED… Geoff Johns on board for Gold Exchange #26/#27!

Exiles #5 – Fun story, but I found myself asking if this title matters in the broader Marvel Universe?  There are so many that do that I wonder why I take the time here.  I feel a bit bad about that given it’s now cancelled with #6 (which I learn while recording the episode), but the stories are fun so I’ll be on board supporting until the doors close.

War Machine #8 – Clint and Bobby are in the house and in the story this month.  It’s an interesting West Coast Avengers reunion and pull me into the series for a bit.  In the end though, I’m still going to watch this one from the sidelines as it turned me off at issue #1.

Adventure Comics #1 – Two stories that promised to be solid but ultimately fell flat.  I thought the Superboy tale was better than the Legion but neither were great.

Amazing Spider-Man #602 – Mandroids? Tony Stark neutralized them in the Armor Wars.  These things fought in the Kree/Skull War, they were in S.H.I.E.L.D.  Now they are NYPD?  How the mighty have fallen.  Chameleon is quite cool and this issue ends on a nice cliffhanger.

Okay, those are the twenty I read out of the thirty officially discussed on the show.  Until next week…

Video – I dropped a clip of Jeff Parker, writer of AGENTS OF ATLAS discussing the concept and charaters of the series back in issue #1.  If you haven’t been reading this series, you should! Video@2nCPX-1KEek

Torchwood: Children of Earth


I have been a Torchwood fan since the day the series launched.  Captain Jack Harkness is such a strong character and the twists and unexpected turns this series has taken have been a joy to watch.  It quickly became television I not only sought out but considered destination TV anytime a new episode aired.

I’ll even go so far as to commit the ultimate sacrilege and share the fact that, when faced with a new Dr. Who in the DVR cue at the same time as Torchwood, Captain Jack always came first in my home. That’s saying a lot as Dr. Who has been a part of my life since the Tom Baker years back in mid-to-late 70′s.


Children of Earth was a five day mini-series that replaced series/season 3 for the show.  Over the weekend, Katie and I were able to take time out and watch it.  Not to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it, but the mini takes place over five days as an alien race, known as the 456, attempt to invade and threaten the entire human race for the sole purpose of taking the children of earth.

This story was one part Torchwood, one part unwinnable moral dilemma and an all-hands-on-deck emotional ride for the viewer.  The stage was set in day one and this story did not quit until the very end once that ride started.  Within these five days, we’re faced with the emotional rush of a good, fast paced Torchwood episode.  There was also the unquestionable sadness of unexpected heartbreak.  Add to that the eerie feeling that an end of the world dilemma could, in many ways, break down society and its moral code in a very short order and you have a heck of a Torchwood event.

torchwood_childrenoftheearth3To say I enjoyed this mini-series would be an understatement.  In my eye, Torchwood has never been better than it was in these five episodes.  Here each of the characters were humanized through the introduction of family in ways that made perfect sense within the story. That said, each situation was a bit unique to that character.  I felt depth within the story that isn’t always here for this series.  Along the way, some especially adult themes were explored.  I’m not talking “sexy” adult as much as morally grey, intellectually interesting storytelling.  At many points, the viewer is left wondering how they would handle these situations?  In this series, everyone has their own personal flaws and the story doesn’t hide those weaknesses, but rather builds on them in some appreciably relatable ways.

Simply put, this was great television.

As society came apart, so did the team in many ways.  It’s a deconstruction that was fascinating to watch and ranks up there with Battlestar Galactica and Tudors as some of the most enjoyable television I’ve sampled in a long while.  I did not want this mini to end and ABSOLUTELY wanted to know what comes next for these characters I’ve followed since the US television introduction last year.

At the end, Russell T. Davies teased that this may be the end for Torchwood as a series.  He explains that he has more stories to tell and knows exactly what is coming next, but if the BBC doesn’t pick the series up for series four, it would be a fitting end to the story.  I’ll admit that if this is the end, it was a satisfying one and the series has gone out on a high note.

… Oh, who am I kidding? …

torchwood_childrenoftheearthI WANT MORE TORCHWOOD and of course I already went digging to see what the net is saying about the likelihood of series 4.  Kai Owen (aka Rhys Williams in the series) has been quoted as saying, “Torchwood is very popular – in the US even more so than Doctor Who – and I am 100 percent confident another one will go ahead” (ref).  Also, a rep at Comic-Con 09 for BBC America said that Torchwood has been picked up for a forth series by the BBC (ref / ref).

Okay.  Happy now!

Video – Of course a video tied to this story is now being featured over to the right.  If it has faded for another by the time you read this story, you can still find it at 8yqqVbQpeTo.  Cheers!

Girl Genius and Reading Comics

Since this blog is going to be a regular, daily blog for me (that’s the goal anyway) one thing I want to do is begin sharing what I’m reading, comic-wise (or book-wise if there is ever time for me to read a book). My mainstream comic reading has derailed a bit over the last few weeks due to San Diego and getting life back up to speed post-San Diego.

I’ll be diving back in this week for the latest installment of the Why I Love Comics podcast, but I think on that front my pull list will be a bit more limited than the full list we cover each week on the show. I’m working on that update right now and will chat with my good friend (and show originator) Eric very soon. I am a bit in awe of Eric’s pull list. He literally devours an ultracool mountain of comics each week. He even scores the honor of being the single individual I know who reads the most comic-wise each month. I tip my hat. The sequential literacy is strong in that one.

I’m learning that I can’t read everything mainstream AND read all the indie books I want to write about so I’m working toward a compromise that allows me to contribute to the podcast in a solid way and continue my indie exposure. It’s a work in progress. I’ll report back.

girlgenius_omni1So… Over the last couple days, I’ve been really into Girl Genius by Phil & Kaja Foglio. It’s a web comic which can be found at that is collected in beautiful full color volumes and smaller b/w omnibus editions. Onmibus #1, which I’m working through now, collects the first three volumes of the series. Basically, it’s about 320 pages and I’m 170 pages in. So far, it’s fun and they’re spending a lot of time getting you introduced to a massive cast. Very humor-steampunk in nature and the art is crisp and detailed. Adventure, romance and mad science. Who could resist?

Okay, I’m going to tug on your geek-cred here just a little and ask if we have in Dungeons and Dragons players in the house? If you were a hardcore paper and dice gamer back in the day (I’m talking 2nd edition style AD&D), you may remember with fondness Dragon Magazine. Well, Phil Foglio did the What’s New With Phil and Dixie cartoon that ran in the magazine. You may also recognize his art from the Myth Adventures novels by Robert Lynn Asprin. I first learned of his work in Dragon. As for this current epic (I believe there are now eight volumes out), it was only through the recommendation of Bill and Wendy Love that I jumped into the series picking it up and meeting the creative team in San Diego.

So far, I do not regret the purchase.