Monday, December 22, 2008

End of an Era

My mammoth book collection/accretion is getting a first hacking-down today. Roughly 12 paper-boxes of books and 10 smaller boxes of comics are going to the Salvation Army this afternoon, to be followed next month by many more.
I'm a little depressed. I know it needs to be done, and that the things I'm donating are largely things I (probably) would never read again, but there's always misgivings in changing things that you feel define you. For me, having lots and lots of books defined me; I'm a book guy. I always was a book guy. Back in fourth grade, I had one shelf on a bookcase where I put my earliest purchases-- and told my mom that that was the start of my collection.
That collection now fills a dozen bookcases and nearly 50 boxes.
But Kat and I are having a baby and the two cannot coexist. She needs a room of her own; my books... do not.
So I recognize the necessity and look forward to the reason for making this change, but excuse me if I'm not wildly celebrating getting rid of stuff I spent almost 40 years accumulating.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Joined Facebook

Hey gang- I joined Facebook this past week. Look me up under "Drew Bittner" and it shouldn't be hard to find me. Two days later, I have 62 friends. Wow!

I'll add a link to my profile later today.

Majel Barrett Roddenberry, RIP

Nurse Christine Chapel, Lwaxana Troi and Number One have taken their last ride on the Starship Enterprise. Majel Barrett Roddenberry passed away in Bel Air, CA, on December 18th following a struggle with leukemia. She was 76.

Regarded as the "first lady of Star Trek," not only for her long marriage to creator Gene Roddenberry but also for her role in the original series and its subsequent movies (not to mention her semi-regular role as "Lwaxana Troi" on Star Trek: the Next Generation"), as well as lending her vocal talents as the computer voice on all four spinoff series and multiple computer and video games.

Though best known as Nurse (later Doctor) Chapel, where her storyline revolved around a frustrated romantic interest in Mr. Spock, she was originally hired to be the Enterprise's first officer--which was later rejected by the studio as unrealistic. She was retained in the cast (one of the few actors to achieve that distinction) when a second pilot was shot with William Shatner as the new lead.

She is the only actor who can claim to have been part of every incarnation of Star Trek.

Her last role, as the voice of the U.S.S. Enterprise's computer, will be in Star Trek (2009), in theaters next spring.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Grading the Comics- December 17, 2008

All righty, what's on the menu for today?

  • AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #19 - hm... you're in the Avengers' own training camp and learned the guy in charge was a Skrull. I know it'd undermine my confidence in a federally-funded superhero career.
  • DARK REIGN: NEW NATION- Gotta say, I like the "Illuminaughty" nickname that's been kicked around.
  • STORMWATCH PHD #17- Random thought: having an orbital station sure makes for a gloomy spot to watch the end of the world, doesn't it?
  • TERRA #4- end of the mini
  • TRINITY #29-
  • ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #59- I'm betting Johnny Storm isn't really dead.
  • WALKING DEAD #56- wonder how much longer Rick's gonna last. Any bets? I'm thinking a year, tops.
  • X-MEN LEGACY #219- Professor X sits down with Juggernaut for a little brotherly heart to heart

Reviews to come...

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I love this site. Mostly, I love finding out where you readers hail from. Who'd have guessed I have (or have had) readers from all over the country? That someone in Oklahoma checked out my meandering prose, or someone from Beverly Hills dropped in to view a page? Not to mention Alabama, Washington State, Illinois, Massachusetts... quite a few places, all told.

Most of my readership is in the DC area-- the District, Virginia and Maryland-- 'cause that's where most of my friends are nowadays. (I'd add that my oldest friends and my family are elsewhere, but I know they check in too.)

As I said, I love finding out where you're from, and I'm glad that you came by to visit. I hope you'll find stuff here worth your time, and I'll be doing my best in 2009 to provide more. Please comment, if you would, on what you like and what you don't; I aim to please.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

HEROES Follow Up

Okay, my batting average for last night (prediction wise) wasn't terrible...

  • Peter did get his powers back;
  • Nathan and Peter ended as enemies;
  • there was a knockdown dragout fight (or two);
  • they DID try to use Doyle to take down Sylar but that lasted all of a minute;
  • they did thin the herd (geez, let's see: Meredith, Knox, Flint, Arthur [confirmed dead], Doyle, metal-arm guy, and possibly Sylar [yeah right]);
  • and time travel is apparently off the menu (yay!).

As for stuff I didn't predict (or got wrong):

  • Hiro did not get his powers back, but was retrieved from 1992;
  • Ando got powers;
  • PrimaTech is history;
  • Angela was NOT ready for Sylar;
  • the Mendez scrapbook was much less annoying than I thought it'd be;
  • the way they retrieved Hiro was clever;
  • and Kat and I both loved how Hiro punched out Tracey.

Among the miscellaneous, Spider-Mo is healed (and probably still has powers), Tracey is looking for a new job, and nobody but nobody is going to be using Papa Petrelli's magical jello except his son and Ando. (And apparently at least one Marine, per the ad for "Heroes: the Recruit" webisodes.)

What do we see for the future? Apparently Nathan convinces the President (Michael Dorn, aka Worf) that the heroes represent a danger and must be contained at an isolated facility (shades of DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, anyone?). Some of the heroes are on the run (hence the chapter title FUGITIVES), others have been captured and are presumably on their way to some American gulag. Beyond that, I imagine we'll see some of the heroes drafted into government service in different capacities as the talents are weaponized.

And so it goes. HEROES returns on February 2, folks.

UPDATE! Argh--forgot to give the chapter finale a grade. Having watched it a second time (and really enjoying the Sylar voiceover opening!), I'm giving this an A-/B+. Far more entertaining than the close out of either previous chapter and actually has me curious about the next volume.

Monday, December 15, 2008

HEROES "Villains" Overview

Tonight is the last episode of this chapter of HEROES. "Villains" has been in many ways a relaunch of the series, fixing points where the series had gone astray in Season 2 (and boy, had it gone astray). Whether it worked is debatable: fan reaction is mixed; ratings have declined; and two executive producers have been let go.

So what's my take on the whole thing? Cover your eyes, kids, 'cause there are spoilers below.

  1. Bromance is dead. Peter and Nathan are ending up enemies after this chapter; it's pretty clear that Nathan has drunk the Petrelli Kool-Aid and is going to further his dad's scheme to distribute powers to "the worthy." The fact that he thinks he can judge who's worthy and who isn't is a stamp of villainy in the making.
  2. On the other hand, Isaac Mendez just won't die. It's not Santiago Cabrera's fault; hell, I'd love him to be back on the show again. A junkie painter-prophet? Gold! But his damnable "missing issue" is a cheap McGuffin.
  3. And Arthur Petrelli might not be dead. Okay, Sylar allowed Peter's bullet to pass through Papa P's cranium. Is he dead? Well... Claire bounced back after a chunk of wood was lodged in her brain stem for awhile, so I'm not counting Papa P out just yet.
  4. Matt Parkman finds love. I'm thinking Matt and Daphne might have something that lasts (until next year, anyway). Unfortunately, Elle and Sylar... not so much.
  5. No love for time travel. This is one comic book cliche that needs to be buried once again. Honestly, every last friggin' thing is about saving the world from some future disaster. I'm pretty damned sick of it. How about saving your job from a bad evaluation? Sure, you can fly... so what? You'll be the flyingest guy in the unemployment line. More slice of life stories, less cataclysm-of-the-season please.
  6. HRG is back. Jack Coleman acts his ass off in that scene last week with Claire, where she tries to convince him NOT to let the Company experiment on baby Claire. "Claire bear, huh?" is a great new quotable for the show.
  7. Thinning the herd. About frickin' time. Maya's gone (for good?), Elle is gone (kind of a shame, 'cause I like Kristen Bell a lot), Arthur Petrelli may be gone (see above), and y'know, it's a good thing. We only have so much time and attention to give, so a sprawling cast is not helpful.
  8. Predictions. It looks like PrimaTech drafts puppetmaster Doyle to take on Sylar, though I'm guessing this is only the overt move; odds are good Angela has another trick up her sleeve and is ready for her not-really-son. I'm also betting Peter gets his powers back and we see a powerhouse knockdown fight in tonight's ep.

That's where I am, folks. I'd grade this season as a C+ with moments of pure A. Far better than the D+ of last season, but it has a ways to go before it recaptures its lost glories. Will the show be renewed? NBC needs hits desperately, so if pilot season produces something phenomenal, HEROES may be the victim. Then again, Bryan Fuller is coming back on board, so the next arc ("Fugitives") might be the shot of pure awesome the show needs right now.

Holiday Plans

Hey folks,
The blog will probably be very quiet over the holidays-- Kat and I will be seeing family and doing all the holiday ritual things.
We did get a Christmas tree yesterday (it's about Charlie Brown-sized, just 'cause the bigger and/or live trees were a lot more effort) and decorated it, plus there's more decorating around the condo to do tonight. It's beginning to feel like Christmas.
Plus we have cards to mail out.
We're kind of caught up now with Brielle coming in February. Lots and lots to do before then.
Anyway, though I plan to post a bunch before Christmas, I hope you'll all have a terrific holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Grading the Comics- December 9, 2008

Here's the review for this week. Reactions? Let me know!

  • ACTION COMICS #872 NEW KRYPTON - Hm. Reactron has a pretty nifty new weapon, and Metallo is kicking all kinds of butt. Meanwhile, Superman realizes the Kryptonians are NOT on the same page when it comes to settling down on Earth, while Luthor toys with Brainiac. Plus a pretty brutal final page. Great art by Gary Frank, involving story by Geoff Johns. A
  • BOOSTER GOLD #15 - Booster runs afoul of the Elongated Man while trying to tie up yet more loose ends from the multi-part story spinning out of a museum break-in. The McGuffin isn't great and the way it affects history is way too murky to be entertaining. Dan Jurgen's art is great but I don't know if he's locked in on the "Booster as Time Cop" premise wholeheartedly. UPDATE: re-read this over the weekend and decided to bump it up half a grade. Dan J is pretty solid and Booster IS his creation, after all. Still... C+
  • CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI 13 #8 - Captain Britain makes a heartbreaking realization, courtesy of his brutally honest subconscious, while the rest of the team fights the Mindless Ones, Blade produces a nifty new weapon, the Black Knight discovers something unsettling about his Ebony Blade's side effects, and Wisdom gets schooled in what demons really want. A
  • DETECTIVE COMICS - With Batman gone, Nightwing gets called into Gotham when a Two-Face groupie splashes acid on "the Face of Gotham." It's not a comfy situation for any of the major players, as the status quo post-Batman starts to shuffle around. Not a great story by Denny O'Neil but not a bad story either. B-/C+
  • FINAL CRISIS #5 (OF 7) - some interesting stuff going on here. The Green Lantern Corps enters the fray (though will they be able to DO anything?), the few remaining heroes are doing their best in Bludhaven, and Checkmate appears to be, um, checkmated. Plus a strange new arrival, delivered via a puzzle box. How do the good guys pull this out of the fire? Strong story, strong art. B+
  • FINAL CRISIS REVELATIONS #4 (OF 5) - Vandal Savage/Cain (with the Spear of Destiny) shows he's one sick puppy, the Question asks some questions (and gets answers!), Huntress shows up to reinforce the good guys (who are under siege) and God's mercy... well. A
  • GEN13 #25 - the Gen kids encounter Warhol fever victims in a mall and wackiness ensues. Well, not really--this is probably the bloodiest and nastiest issue of the series to date, with a hanging plot thread that will probably pay off sooner rather than later. And Eddie tries assimilating some unusual materials when facing a plague of rats... B-/C+
  • GREEN LANTERN CORPS #31 - Kryb takes on a squad of Green Lanterns, including a pregnant one out for revenge for the parental Lanterns murdered thus far. Nasty... and I never, ever thought Kryb was this badass. (Sure wasn't previously!). The Star Sapphire material is REAL interesting, too... B+
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #27 - the Milestone family of characters hits the DCU big time, following Static's recent debut in TERROR TITANS. They want the remains of a now-dead villain and are willing to face off against the JLA to get it. Lots of drama with Red Arrow and Hawkgirl, not to mention Black Canary giving the Trinity a piece of her mind (and rightly so!) and Hardware and Iota sharing some fun dialogue in the Hall of Justice gift shop (and you just knew there was one, right?). I guess I'm liking this book after all. B
  • SAVAGE DRAGON #142 - In the aftermath of killing a beloved (if psychotic) hero, Dragon finds his name is mud AND he's a target for some superpowered vengeance. Meanwhile, Dragon Jr. and his friends face off against Mr. Glum, the search for the long-missing Jennifer is NOT going well, and a mysterious stranger promises to make Dragon's life very interesting, and possibly very short as well. A-
  • SECRET INVASION DARK REIGN - love the story, not loving the art. Alex Maleev made Namor look like Bendis after a real bad night in the pubs--what gives? Namor with scruff and Bruce Willis hair? But Norman lays it out for the assembled villains (with serious badass style) and Emma Frost's motivations for being there get a good hard look. Story B+, art D+.
  • TITANS #8 - okay, I'm out. The art is good but the story has totally lost me. F
  • TRINITY #28 - the first part follows the six Friends of Trinity (FOT) into the former JLA HQ/cave in Happy Harbor, RI, then to terra incognita; meanwhile, the JSI and the League face off against an outbreak of weird-powered characters (including folks who were heroes in the mainstream DCU), while all hell appears to be breaking loose. B

Not a bad week so far, my friends. BTW, gave a glance at ASTONISHING X-MEN: GHOST BOXES by Warren E this week too... and WTF, man?? It's like RUINS all over again! Geez.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Random (Comic Book) Thoughts About 2008

  • Why didn't DC make more of a deal out of this being Superman's 70th anniversary?
  • Why can't they let Bruce Wayne be Batman for awhile before taking him out of the cowl yet again (this is, what, the fourth protracted leave-of-absence going back to "Knightfall")?
  • As for Marvel: SHE-HULK has been cancelled one more time, but I chalk this up to Peter David's radical departure from Dan Slott's excellent tenure on the book--basically, it was a lot less fun and I dropped the book three or four issues into David's run, and I LIKE the guy's work! Given Jen Walters' track record as a character, though, it won't be many years before SH vol 4 comes out.
  • Are we done with mega-events? SECRET INVASION and FINAL CRISIS between them burned me out, and FC isn't even done yet.
  • Enjoyed the heck out of FX (by Wayne Osborne and John Byrne) this year.
  • Most Overused Monster: zombies. I predict there won't be many (any?) zombie titles (apart from the superlative WALKING DEAD) this time next year. Horror will break fresh ground but the classic monsters need some retooling. And "Twilight" is not what I had in mind.
  • WildStorm is apparently doing good work adapting CHUCK (NBC-TV) into comics. This might be a whole new model for TV shows--and I'd love it if PUSHING DAISIES found its way into comics, if only to finish the story.
  • My daughter will be arriving in February; long before that, many years' worth of comics will be departing. I'm considering what to do with them, but am thinking most about donating to children's hospitals, the Red Cross or the Salvation Army-- I suspect these might do the most good, once I weed out anything I might want to keep.
  • And that's all that's on my mind right now. Later!

Killing Off the Politics Blog

My politics blog, Drew's Blues, is going away. I was one of those angry liberals boiling mad about all kinds of stuff... but now my fury has abated and my righteous wrath is in abeyance. Long time readers may notice I removed the link to the blog some time ago; well, now the blog itself is history.

Doubt if I'll make many political remarks here (this site is more about reviews, what I like and family stuff), but it was fun to get so much aggravation off my chest.

Anyway- reviews later!

Monday, December 8, 2008

What's On Deck for This Week?

What am I planning to read this week? Well... let's find out. (With comments!)

  • ACTION COMICS #872 NEW KRYPTON - SEE lots and lots of Kryptonians on Earth! SEE Superman try to mediate the differences between his native and his adopted people! SEE if I stay with this book after Johns and Frank move on.
  • FINAL CRISIS #5 (OF 7) - sure hope something happens after all this waiting.
  • FINAL CRISIS REVELATIONS #4 (OF 5) - I'm liking the Spectre enough to keep this rolling.
  • GEN13 #25 - ...
  • GREEN LANTERN CORPS #31 - looks like Kyle vs Kryb for all the marbles (or infants, or whatever)
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #27 - the Milestone-verse comes to the DCU at last!
  • SECRET INVASION DARK REIGN - gotta see what they do, coming out of SI. Has lots of potential.
  • TITANS #8 - at least we're done with Trigon's version of "My Three Sons"...
  • TRINITY #28 - you may be surprised that I'm hanging in with this title but I have faith in Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza. The story may be slow now but I figure it'll pick up speed until it's a runaway train this spring. Gotta hope, right?

See ya Wednesday!

Forrest J. Ackerman, RIP

I wrote to friends that sf and horror fandom (heck, the whole genres, from books to movies to videogames) might not exist as they are now without Forrest J. Ackerman (aka "Uncle Forry"). He really was that influential.

Ackerman passed away last week at the age of 92. I never met the fellow-- which I think puts me in the minority-- but from all accounts he was the best of us ("us" being anyone who enjoys a good story or is excited, even passionate, about their favorite things).

In his home, the "Ackermansion," he amassed a legendary collection of memorabilia (much of which was sold, I'd heard, to cover his growing medical expenses) and published FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, one of the earliest horror-specific entertainment periodicals. He is closely associated with Ray Bradbury, having been an early fan and supporter of the great writer's work.

The passing of a tremendous talent is always cause for sorrow and reflection. But the passing of a man whose enthusiasm, generosity and greatness of spirit made the careers of so many talents possible is, if anything, an even greater loss. Many modern fans may never have heard his name, read his work or realized what role he's played in science fiction-- but there are not many who will be regarded by historians as more vital to the creative fields he so loved and nurtured.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Grading the Comics - December 3, 2008

Hey folks,
As Jeff points out in his comment, it's been awhile since I've done my usual reviews. So let me cue up what I'll be reading this week and (with luck) catch up later today/tomorrow on the huge mass of stuff I read last week.

UPDATED! All right, I have read my list for this week and here's what I think. (Drum roll please.)

  • AUTHORITY #5 - Continuing the post-apocalypse storyline, this features the Engineer racing to save a handful of refugees from "Warhol fever" victims in the wreckage of the Carrier, while her teammates both help and hinder her progress. Sets up some nice ongoing tension within the ranks. B
  • BATMAN #682 - a true Final Crisis tie-in and (I hope) the wrap up to RIP, this is a brilliant done-in-one about Batman's career--the start, the early days, the advent of Robin, the painful aftermath of Robin's departure, and the notion that something very wrong is happening inside Batman's noggin. Better than #681! A
  • BOYS #25 - Wee Hughie learns more than he wanted about the expansive "G-Men" and their myriad franchise teams, while Mother's Milk talks about the job and Butcher contrives something interesting in the name of research. B+
  • JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #21 - the $h!t is hitting the fan, boys and girls, with Gog setting a price for his miracles and the JSA deciding if they're going to pay it. And Superman-Grim punches a lightning bolt. Classic! And this is NOT yet the end of the story--that happens next month. A
  • MARVEL ZOMBIES 3 #3 - as Machine Man confronts (and rips through) legions of Marvel zombies (including lots of the Inhumans, Ghost Rider, et al), Jocasta finds what they're looking for, even as ARMOR finds that they have a mole from the zombieverse. Solid storytelling and I like it MUCH better than MZ 2. B
  • SECRET INVASION #8 - Wow, what a wrap up. Fans will love it or hate it; I thought it was pretty damn good. A major death very early on, a gigantic shake up to the status quo, and Iron Man pretty definitively falls from grace. A few loose ends and a heartwarming moment or two, all of which launch us into DARK REIGN, coming soon! A+
  • TERRA #3 - interesting story, setting up a subterranean culture (something that AQUAMAN got around to doing very, very late) that justifies spending lots of time underground. Plus Terra explains her origin, Geo-Force gets slapped around some and "Diamond Boy" has some ups and downs of his own. B
  • TERROR TITANS #3 - lots of fighting but not much to show for it, except an already-spoiled reveal on the last page. Three more issues of this? C-
  • TRINITY #27 - again, not a lot happening. If this weren't a weekly, I'd have dumped it by now. C+
  • WHAT IF... HOUSE OF M - "No more powers." Kind of says it all, except that a very old and very evil supervillain has an ultimate weapon that the nonpowered heroes can't fight. A pretty good look at what the heroic do when they don't have powers to prop them up. Plus a backup that'll run through all the What Ifs: What if the Runaways had become the Young Avengers? B
  • X-INFERNUS #1 - Magik is back (okay, the Darkchilde is back; not exactly the same thing) and she's kicking butt. Colossus wants to go after and rescue his little sister Illyana but it looks like she doesn't need rescuing. Who does? Oh, probably the whole X-team, once a teleportal opens up in the wake of Pixie's discovery. Nice to see S'ym and Nastirh back again too. B+

And that's it for this week. Thoughts, comments, agree/disagree? I await word from you.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Last Week's Comics

Even with the best of intentions...
Turns out the new books did not come out yesterday, so I'll stall for time by listing the ton of books I got last week, plus some quick grading and thoughts.
First, though, a mini-rant.
I'm not enjoying reading comics as much as I did. Why? Partly because of a big sense of "been there done that" that infecting everything on the market now. There's no real sense of anything truly new breaking in (with sporadic exceptions).
It leads me to wonder how much longer I'll indulge my hobby on a weekly basis. Could be the time's come to make a break. We'll see, but 2008 has not stoked the fires of my fanboy heart.
Now, as for last week, what'd I buy? Well... (SPOILERS BELOW, FOLKS!)

  • BATMAN #681 RIP - Okay, it's finally over. Batman meets the Devil (borrowing the image of his long-dead daddy) and blows up a helicopter. I'm surprised Nightwing and Robin bought it--this is the kind of faux-death that every Bat-villain has come back from bigger and badder than ever. Hell, the Joker does it every other month. Speaking of, let's retire the Joker for awhile, okay? I'm sick of that green-and-white freak showing up EVERYWHERE. B-
  • BODY BAGS (ONE SHOT) - why the hell doesn't Jason Pearson do Body Bags more often? Geez! I love this guy's stuff and it shows up, what, every two or three years? How the hell does he make a living? It's frustrating as hell to enjoy a creator's work so much and get it so infrequently. Clownface and Panda absolutely rock. Buy this book and write to 12 Gauge--tell them you want more Body Bags! A
  • HULK #8 - whew, talk about stinky cheese. Two stories that add up to more filler. Honest, is there any reason why three superheroes show up in Vegas at the same time as Bruce Banner and a busload of Wendigos? As for the other, I've lost any interest whatsoever in the Red Hulk (for the record, I think it's Talbot [aka Grey from Gamma Corps]) and just hope somebody will off this mort sooner rather than later. The art's nice (Art Adams and Frank Cho could illustrate the phone book, for my money) but the story's on life support and fading fast. D- (story), B+ art
  • JSA KINGDOM COME SPECIAL THE KINGDOM #1 - most spinoffs and tie-ins have nothing to say; luckily, this is the rare exception. The killer final page gets to what Geoff Johns has been building to throughout this arc, setting up JSA for a big smackdown and some payoff to long-running plot threads. Gog shows who he really is and the JSA, divided along ideological lines, has never been this unready to meet the challenge. And the artwork rocks too! A
  • PUSH #2 (OF 6) - Used to work with Marc Bernadin back in my freelancing days, when he was at STARLOG and I was scrambling for work. Now he's a bigshot comics writer (with a gig at ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, no less) and I'm... well, I'm reviewing his stuff. Dammit. At least (as I recall), he was always a nice guy; pleasure to find out he's so talented at writing too. Read PUSH and you'll have a whole new appreciation for the psychic/espionage microgenre. A
  • REIGN IN HELL #5 (OF 8) - Can somebody make sense of this story? I'll settle for being told why any DC reader ought to care at this point. C-
  • RUNAWAYS 3 #4 - This one is Kat's specialty. I'll post her comments when I get them.
  • SAVAGE DRAGON #141 - A big climax to the Solar Man story, along with a new vs old superhero throwdown. Erik Larsen does what he does best. B+
  • SECRET INVASION X-MEN #4 (OF 4) MD - Always a big fan of Mike Carey's work, and this does not disappoint. Sets up a classic "should we go there?" dilemma for Cyclops, with Beast acting as Jiminy Cricket, and a splashy payoff as the X-Men deal with the Skrull threat to San Francisco in a pretty definitive fashion. Next question: is Tony Stark going to ask for their final solution? B+
  • SUPERMAN #682 NEW KRYPTON - This is probably the most interesting way to go with Kandor that's been tried in a long, long time. Unfortunately, it's still not holding my interest. We all pretty much know 100,000 Kryptonians are NEVER going to assimilate on Earth--and is there any other reason to send Superman into deep space (2009) than to find them a new homeworld? Didn't think so. B-
  • TEEN TITANS #65 - Wonder Girl gets empowered and celebrates with a new look, as well as kicking the ass of her psycho nephew. Okay story but nothing I'll recall in detail three months from now. B-
  • TRINITY #26 - Earth is falling apart without the Big Three, I get it. Next. C+
  • ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #128 - More about Venom and Carnage finally got interesting. Also, a fairly intriguing return. B
  • ULTIMATE X-MEN #98 - An Ultimatum tie-in with the X-Men convinced that three of their teammates are dead in flooded Manhattan. Not bad at all. B-
  • UMBRELLA ACADEMY DALLAS #1 - Hilarious stuff, setting up a truly grim-feeling storyline. A
  • WALKING DEAD #55 - Rick's finally getting his head together, even as the little caravan makes some interesting discoveries (why are some of the zombies getting weak?). B+
  • WILDCATS #5 - We get inside Spartan's head a bit, with help from Nemesis and Voodoo, and see that Hadrian is not a happy camper (and is also suffering a bit of an identity crisis). Good stuff. B

And that's what went on last week, friends. Till tomorrow! DB

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Other News

November was kind of a "lost month" for me-- I had some health issues that weren't life-threatening but were debilitating, painful and frustrating. But these things happen and I'm getting better. Felt like my old self for the first time in weeks as of Monday.


Reading Batman: Gotham Knight, Louise Simonson's adaptation of the direct-to-DVD animated feature (which, sadly, might be the last time Kevin Conroy voices the Dark Knight). I'm enjoying it greatly-- I hope we'll be seeing more from her real soon!


Did an interview for SFRevu last month with Jim Butcher. Turns out he's a real nice guy, funny as heck and about as down-to-earth as a novelist can be. There are some real good anecdotes about Harry Dresden in the piece, so give that a look too.

Same issue has my review of By the Sword, the latest Repairman Jack novel by F. Paul Wilson. Paul's a great guy, too, and a fellow Jerseyan, plus one heck of a great writer.


Brielle is now kicking up a storm. Kat thinks she'll be a soccer player. 27 weeks and counting.


That's all for the moment. More soon!