Thursday, July 24, 2008

Grading the Comics: July 24, 2008

Okay, here's what we had this week...

  • AVENGERS INITIATIVE #15 SI - In the last issue, a little wish really screwed over 3D Man, who might have become one of the major anti-Skrull heavyweights... but probably not any more. Thanks bunches, jerk. Overall, an okay story that doesn't much advance the Secret Invasion plotline so much as tell a peripheral character story. C+
  • BLACK SUMMER #7 - End of the road for the Seven Guns, though Warren Ellis has enough left to continue if he chooses (but he probably won't). Interesting take on the extremes to which superpowered vigilantism can go. Nasty but a good ending. A-
  • GREEN LANTERN CORPS #26 - End of the Mother Mercy story with a rather heroic (if out-of-left-field) effort by a GL. B
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #23 - The team gets its collective @$$ kicked by Amazo, whose use of their powers is inspired to say the least. Plus the first intimations that something is very wrong with Vixen after all. A-
  • NUMBER OF THE BEAST #8 (OF 8) - The end of a protracted and not-very-great "end of the world" story. By itself, not interesting at all, but maybe it opens up some possibilities for WildStorm to break out of being just another superhero universe. D
  • SUPERMAN #678 - Atlas kicks butt. Nothing special. C-
  • TRINITY #8 - Bruce Wayne hosts a party and Despero entertains an offer. B-
  • ULTIMATE X-MEN #96 - Big news for Wolverine (courtesy of a special guest star) and the X-Men have a little reunion. B-
  • UNCANNY X-MEN #500 - the store sold out! Go figure!
  • WAR HEROES #1 - Interesting kickoff: ongoing attacks inside the US result in a program that gives soldiers superpowers in pill form. Hm... Millar can't be making points about current events, can he? B
  • X-MEN #214 - Despite the cover, which has nothing to do with the insides, Professor X gives a good accounting of himself, Gambit and Shaw bond and a new villain is unveiled. B+

Overall, not a bad week. Still wish I was at Comic-Con.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Late on this Bandwagon? Oh Yeah...

You've probably heard about it already but, for those of you who haven't, Joss Whedon conceived a little project during the writers' strike to keep himself a) busy, b) engaged in figuring out how to monetize an Internet project and c) spending his Buffy-pumped bazillions on something other than toys and Civil War re-enactments. (Just kidding about that last part, in case Joss is litigious.)

The result is Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, a three-act musical farce about the romantic triangle between wannabe-supervillain Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris), the lovely and rather innocent Penny (Felicia Day) and superhero Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion). The songs (co-written by Joss, Zack and Jed Whedon) are brilliant, the story (by the Brothers Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen) is funny and yet deeply engaging, and the climax in Act III has to be seen to be believed. Oh, yeah, and the acting is absolutely first rate--Neil Patrick Harris is brilliant as Billy aka Dr. Horrible, while Nathan Fillion shows a hilarious side as well. (Who knew these guys could sing?)

Whedon did a brief chat on yesterday--but beware, some of the questions are spoilerish.

Whedon plans to release the entire thing on DVD soon, and it is available for download in iTunes. In all, it's quite an entertaining way to spend 47 minutes, so check it out!

See also: Wikipedia entry for Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Monday, July 21, 2008

Last Week's Comics and This Week's Comics

Gotta say, friends, last week was lame for me. I bought all of three titles: ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #56, FINAL CRISIS: ROGUES REVENGE #1 and TRINITY #7. I know there were plenty of other worthwhile books on sale, but heck, I'm only one guy and I gotta tighten the belt when it comes to books.

As for this week:

  • SUPERMAN #678
  • TRINITY #8
  • UNCANNY X-MEN #500
  • X-MEN #214

Kind of interested to see where NUMBER OF THE BEAST will leave off-- sounds as if the WildStorm universe is going to be well and truly thrashed by armies of returned posthumans, giving our heroes something to do besides chase bank robbers and stray Daemonites.

Also figuring that the GL Corps will start setting up for the Red Lanterns story real soon.

This week is Comic-Con, folks, and I'm darned unhappy I won't be there. Kat and I had an absolute blast last year and wish we could make it in '09, but odds are good we won't be able to do it... for reasons I'll cover real soon.


hey everyone!

I know, it's been two weeks.
Lots of posts to do, real soon, including a review of DARK KNIGHT (loved it!) and my usual babbling about comic books.
Plus a real huge bit of news that is too big to share in a teeny little "hey!" post like this.
Stay tuned...

Monday, July 7, 2008

This Week's Comics

Okay, so I didn't grade last week's books.

Doesn't mean there weren't winners and losers in the bunch.

First, this week's books:

  • BOOSTER GOLD #1000000
  • TRINITY #6

We'll see which of these come out thumbs-up this week.

As for last week...

  • BATMAN #678 RIP - Reminded me of an episode of Starsky and Hutch, where Hutch was addicted to narcotics by the bad guys; in the '70s, you could do that and the character would be "clean" by the end credits, while now it'd be the focus of a season-long story arc (with the possibility of backsliding). Very interesting... A
  • BOYS #20 - What can I say, Ennis and Derenick keep this comic rolling, even in a story where the real "action" is two conversations and a clean-up job. A
  • FX #5 (OF 6) - I'm a longtime John Byrne fan, so this series continues to please me. (See more below) B+
  • SAVAGE DRAGON #136 - Erik Larsen would be getting a better grade if this book came out more than once in awhile, but I do like his stuff. B-
  • STAR TREK ASSIGNMENT EARTH #3 - A story about Gary Seven and Roberta that shows some forward momentum for one character (plus a bittersweet flash-forward); some really good storytelling by JB. B
  • TRINITY #5 - So far, the weekly isn't blowing the doors off my fanboy brain but it's holding my interest. So far. C+
  • WALKING DEAD #50 - Man, Carl sure has grown up in the past four years. He really lets his dad have it, too, venting all the horror and suffering he's gone through to reach a point of being self-reliant. Great storytelling and a return to the big danger being--zombies! A-

Astute friends of the site will notice some deletions from the list I posted last week. So be it-- some titles were sold out, others I chose to drop at the store rather than purchase.

Anyway, that's this week AND grading the comics, so... make of it what you will.

Fourth of July and so on

Geez, has it been a week since I last posted? Guess so.
Kat and I had a really good Fourth of July. We didn't get any workouts in during the week but made up for it by... eating a lot at the WSFA barbecue. John and Kathi opened their home to a huge number of us, displaying their amazing generosity once again, and we ate like kings. Can't say enough great things about the barbecue. (And we got to see them make liquid nitrogen ice cream again, which is always a blast.)
A huge thanks to Lee, btw, for making sure we got there-- he's a great friend.
We left the party with our other great friends, Ern and EJ, Paul and Gayle, to catch WALL-E (for the second time for Kat and me). You can see my review here.
I stayed home most of the weekend, puttering around and getting some writing done, while Kat went out and did her Sunday thing. All in all, pretty fun.
Hope you had a great Fourth (for you US citizens in the readership) or otherwise had a fine weekend.