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MONDOcomics #90: January 19, 2010

Posted by Comics On January - 21 - 2011

The Amazing Spider-Man #652
Dan Slott, Fred Van Lente (w), Stefano Caselli, Reilly Brown, Victor Olazaba (a), Edgar Delgado, Andres Mossa (c). Marvel Comics.

I caught up on a backlog of comics this week, and even just among this week’s particular haul there are a bunch of books I could talk about now. There’s Sinestro’s awesomeness over in Green Lantern Corps, the singularly beautiful painted panels in Legion of Super-Heroes, or hey — an issue of Brightest Day I actually liked! But I’m just drawn to this Spidey issue.

It could have something to do with the art. While I’ve been singing the praises of the improvements from Humberto Ramos in the last story arc over his work in the past, there simply is no contest between Ramos and Caselli. The second page in particular (not counting the recap page) has so much expression to it, the story tells itself without words. Though they help. And Caselli accomplishes a rare feet- making each character unique. It’s not just palette swaps and hair style changes. Read the rest of this entry »

Fan Expo: Sunday (Owen’s day)

Posted by Comics On August - 29 - 2010

Um… I’m not sure I really did much today. I’m not going to lie to you, I was pretty wrecked after yesterday and slept in pretty late, strolling into the Fan Expo sometime after 1:00.

One person I did talk to, who I hadn’t already had a chance to talk to, was JT Krul. He was a very cool guy, more than happy to talk about what he was looking to do with Green Arrow and Teen Titans. It sounds like he has some good ideas and a clear direction. I especially liked what he had to say about writing Damian Wayne, who he is wary of portraying as a one-note brat. I’m definitely going to be checking out his Teen Titans run.

After this I decided to make my first purchase of the weekend. Boom Studios was having an excellent 2 for 1 sale, meaning but one thing to me: both volumes of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck for the price of one. Without tax. Awesome. (Seriously, if you haven’t read this you should. I consider it one of the greatest graphic novels of all time.) Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #68: August 18, 2010

Posted by Comics On August - 20 - 2010

Amazing Spider-Man #640
Joe Quesada (w + p),  Paolo Rivera (a), Dany Miki (i), Richard Isanove (c). Marvel Comics.

Rivera is an amazing, amazing artist. Publishers, hold onto this man tight because he is taking lemons and making rocket fuel. The story and the script, however? Well, it’s a really mixed back. I think there are times when the script really works but the main story beats of this arc are dreadful and unimaginative. There’s a moment that mimics/quotes Peter Parker’s origin, when a regular thug comes back to hurt one of his loved ones. It’s exactly like the thief who killed Uncle Ben — but it’s layed on so thick that I couldn’t help but groan. It’s a groaner and I’m looking forward to it being a goner. — Miles Baker

Miles’ rating: 3 out of 5

Atlas #4
Jeff Parker (w), Gabriel Hardman (a), Elizabeth Breitweiser (c). Marvel Comics.

One thing I probably don’t stress enough about my love for Atlas —  I love it because it’s so fucking weird. You sit back and realize that this is a team of odd balls that have very strange adventures. And they all have crazy, dark secrets that Parker layers in slowly. This week we got a messed up, understated bit from The Uranian that I seriously love. I’ll give the series a more proper send off with next month’s (final-final) issue. — Miles Baker

Miles’ rating: 4 out of 5 Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #64: July 21, 2010

Posted by Comics On July - 23 - 2010

Amazing Spider-Man #638
Joe Quesada (w), Paolo Rivera, Joe Quesada, Danny Miki, Richard Isanove (a). Marvel Comics.

Basically this is the sequel to “One More Day” that shows how Mephisto changed the past. It’s a pretty cool story so long as we forget that the heroes of the story ASKED for everything they’re getting here. And there’s also Quesada’s weird proclivity towards drawing the chunkiest Peter Parker ever. The inter-splicing of new scenes with the original Spider-Man Annual #21 (the wedding one) is super-cool, if at times a little jarring. There’s a surprisingly bad moment where the hero gets clocked in the head with a cement block. I don’t know about you, but given the option I would have dodged that. – Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3.5 out of 5

Avengers #3
Brian Michael Bendis (w), John Romita Jr. (p), Klaus Janson (i), Dean White (c), Marvel Comics.

This book is still a blast to read, for sure. I certainly have my complaints about it, such as its slow pacing and Romita’s pencils not being in top form (or is it Janson’s inking? I’m not sure) but I still dig this book. However, this issue being almost entirely fight-scenes means that it’s not a particularly memorable (however fun) issue for me. – Owen Craig

Owen’s rating: 4 out of 5 Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #59: June 16, 2010

Posted by Comics On June - 18 - 2010

Amazing Spider-Man #633
Zeb Wells (w), Chris Bachalo, Emma Rios (p), Emma Rios, Townsend, Mendoza, Olazaba, Irwin, Bachalo (i), Antonio Fabela (c). Marvel Comics.

Big time Spidey week folks — so how’d it go? Well, the two-week break between issues of the “Shed” story arc isn’t doing this issue any favours. After a certain amount of time you want to be on to the next thing, which they sort of did by shipping Amazing Spider-Man #634 this week, but it really further undercuts the impact of 633. It’s no surprise that Spidey will make it through the issue, but they kind of beat us over the head with the fact by having two books right away. A very clever trick had the Lizard look at the world with eyes that could see beyond animalistic savagery, leading to a great quiet moment when he looks up at a plane and says “That… that is not a bird.” It’s a very different end to a Lizard story, but I am let down that crazy serums were involved to get that new world view. — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3 out of 5

Amazing Spider-Man #634
Joe Kelly, J.M. DeMatteis, Stan Lee (w), Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano, Max Fiumara, Marcos Martin (a), Matt Hollingsworth, Fabio D’Auria (c). DC Comics.

This is the start of the much-hyped, long-awaited “Grim Hunt” story. First off, the main story looks gorgeous. The opening has a stylish cinematic feel before leading into the prose introduction to the story, an introduction eschewing the “Bugle Girl” blog style trappings that I’m pretty sure we’ve all grown tired of. The story was okay, but it didn’t stand out as anything amazing. Opening up with a bloodied Kaine at Peter Parkers doorstep would have been cool, except for the time Venom did the same thing (of course that’s a complaint from someone who enjoys that Peter is suffering from a cold because of it being a familiar Spidey hurdle…) and most of the narration was supplied by a typically cryptic Madame Web. The back up stories were not worth the extra dollar price increase, though I will enjoy seeing where Stan Lee goes with his in next weeks installment, his intro just didn’t leave any impression. — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3 out of 5 Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #58: June 9, 2010

Posted by Comics On June - 11 - 2010

Avengers Academy #1
Christos Gage (w), Mike McKone (a), Jeremy Cox (c), Marvel Comics.

This issue has a lot in common with Avengers: Initiative. That’s a good thing. After all, the first issue of Avengers: Initiative got me very excited for the second and the same thing happens here. There’s a cool batch of new characters and a great twist at the end. In fact, the only thing that bugged me was the main character frequently commenting on how small her breasts were when McKone drew her with average-sized breasts (although I guess they are small by comic-book standards…). I totally dug this book and can’t wait for issue two. — Owen Craig

Owen’s rating: 4 out of 5

Batman #700
Grant Morrison (w), Tony Daniel, Frank Quitely, Scott Kolins, Andy Kubert, David Finch, Richard Friend (a), Ian Hannin, Alex Sinclair, Tony Avina, Brad Anderson, Peter Steigerwald (c). DC Comics.

Morrison continually impresses me with his legitimizing of the campy history of Batman — additionally it’s hard not to love the commentary divided between the three/four main Batman stories: the cheesy action packed science fiction of the fifty’s and sixties, the relatively “realistic” era of the 70’s and 80’s with Batman and Robin fighting against common criminals and uncommon intellectual challenges (with a great reference to the Dark Knight Returns using a gang of “mutants”, and a quick visual gag consisting of Batman shaving away his stubble on a roof top), the third story is a ruthless Damian Wayne Batman an easy reference to the antihero days of the 90s (and often contemporary era) as well as hinting to the very origins of “The Bat-Man” character, and finally the section denoting the possible futures for the legacy of the Batman mythos wherever it may turn. Ultimately, it is very clearly a Morrison work, so maybe it’s not your cup of tea, but if you’re an old school Batman fan, not just in it for the occasional movie (great as they are) but have read a Showcase Batman book or two, then you will want this book. — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics Book of the Month for November 2009

Posted by Comics On November - 30 - 2009

Blackest Night #5Owen’s Book of the Month

Blackest Night #5
Geoff Johns (w), Ivan Reis (p), Oclair Albert & Joe Prado (i), DC Comics

Normally I like to give my “book of the month” to books that I feel aren’t getting the attention that they should (Incredible Hercules, The Unwritten), books that people seem to ignore no matter how great they are (seriously, buy those books). This month, though, I’ll be damned if my favourite book wasn’t the one that will be #1 on the sales charts. After years of disappointing crossovers it was hard not to get a little cynical. Civil War, Final Crisis, Secret Invasion, The Great Fables Crossover… none of them were doing anything for me. Even Geoff Johns’ own Infinite Crisis left me cold, but with Blackest Night I’m finally reading an event book that does what I feel a great event book should: I’m excited. It may not seem that difficult, but somehow, apparently, it is.

There are so many things Johns is doing with this book that I love. First of all, the pacing is great. Things keep moving forward rapidly while still taking the time out for character moments. It may seem simple, but other stories have made it clear that a lot of writers struggle with this. Speaking of character moments, I love what Johns is doing with the characters in this story. It’s a DC crossover centred on Hal Jordan and Barry Allen, and that is awesome. On top of that, he’s giving a lot of panel time to Ray Palmer and Mera. Mera! Aquaman’s girlfriend! Seeing the spotlight shifted away from Superman and Batman is refreshing. The last thing I want to touch on in terms of story is the self-awareness this story (and especially this issue) has. All too often comics are locked into the notion that they either have to be the serious comic or the silly comic. I think that’s ridiculous, as many of my favourite comics are both (Justice League International, and did I mention that Incredible Hercules is great?). Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #29: November 18, 2009

Posted by Comics On November - 22 - 2009

adv comicsAdventure Comics #4
Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates, Michael Shoemaker (w), Jerry Ordway, Clayton Henry (p), Bob Wiacek, Clayton Henry (i), Brian Buccellato, Brian Reber (c). DC Comics.

This issue is amazing — set on “Earth Prime” (ostensibly our Earth) Superboy Prime reads this very comic — Adventure Comics #4, and immediately rushes off to a comic store to get #5, because he has to know what happens to himself! As with anything that includes Superboy Prime they poke a lot of fun at us comic nerds, but this is kind of the first instance of the joke working and being funny (as opposed to insulting to the core audience). In fact, it’s really funny. — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 4.5 out of 5

ASM612Amazing Spider-Man #612
Main story: Mark Waid (w), Paul Azaceta (a), Dave Stewart (c).
Backup story: Joe Kelly, JM Ken Niimura (a). Marvel Comics

Good start, story that Marvel has been advertising the hell out of for months and months. It got my hopes up, for sure. I’ve been a little iffy on Spider-Man’s adventures recently, but this did a lot to win me over. Though, one thing that is just driving me nuts (and maybe it’s just me), can Peter Parker just get with Nora already? She’s awesome and hilarious and totally into Peter. Do her! — Miles Baker

Miles’ rating: 4 out of 5 Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #28: November 11, 2009 [UPDATED]

Posted by Comics On November - 13 - 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #611Amazing Spider-Man #611
Joe Kelly (w), Eric Canete (a), Marvel Comics

The bad news is that this really didn’t feel like a Spider-Man comic. The good news is that it was enormously entertaining. Joe Kelly is one of the major Deadpool writers of yore and it shows here. The mayhem, pop culture references and fourth-wall-breaking are well used (including an almost-Geoff Johns cameo). I was a little unsure of Canete’s art at first (he seems to come from the Leinil Yu school of weirdly pointy breasts), but I was won over by the end. So, yeah, this was a great Deadpool issue. I mean, Spider-Man issue. — Owen Craig

Owen’s rating: 4 out of 5
Isaac’s rating: 3 out of 5

Batman Doc Savage Special #1Batman/Doc Savage Special #1
Brian Azzarello (w), Phil Noto (a), DC Comics

I’ve been excited for this comic. I thought it would be fun to learn about Doc Savage, a classic character who I know very little about. The thing is that after reading this comic I’m left with the feeling that he’s kind of boring. As far as intros to a new worlds go this is rather bland. Sure, Batman uses guns but I’m not quite clear on what is supposed to excite me here. What’s cool, fun or engaging about Doc Savage? As far as I’m concerned so far…nothing. As for Phil Noto’s art, it’s pretty if a little stiff for my liking. I’m hoping that the first issue of the First Wave miniseries gets me more excited, because I love the concept for this character relaunch and I really want to like it. – Owen Craig

Owen’s rating: 2 out of 5
Isaac’s rating: 4 out of 5 Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #23: October 7, 2009

Posted by Comics On October - 9 - 2009

amazingspiderman608Amazing Spider-Man #608
Marc Guggenheim (w), Marco Checchetto, Luke Ross and Rick Magyar (a), Fabio D’Auria (c). Marvel Comics.

Finally moving out of the debacle that was the last two issues, we have here a fine comic indeed. Weird that the first page of story, set in the past, has Ben Reilly meet up with Dr. Ryder (the soon to be villain) and it’s pretty hard to tell the two apart. Weird because Ben is already a clone of Peter Parker, so really that’s three people who are hard to tell apart. Otherwise the art is really cool, but I’m biased because of a cool pin up of the Scarlet Spider. Cool action, cool story, classic Spidey failing at detective work, and cool cliffhanger — go buy it! — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 4 out of 5

astonishingxmen31Astonishing X-Men #31
Warren Ellis (w), Phil Jimenez (p), Andy Landing (i), Frank D’Armata (c). Marvel Comics.

I was looking forward to dropping this series until they announced that Phil Jimenez would be taking over. Apparently I’m a big enough fan of him to keep buying this series that I once loved with my whole heart. I have to learn that it’s not the same thing as it was for the first 24 issues. It’s Ellis’ book and he brings all the Ellis with him — which means uneven character development and lots of science talk. It’s hard to tell if I like this issue more than the last six because Ellis is writing it better or that I can stand to look at the art for more than 3 second. I think it’s both, but maybe it’s too early to tell. — Miles Baker

Miles’ rating:  3.5 out of 5 Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #22: September 30, 2009

Posted by Comics On October - 1 - 2009

asm607Amazing Spider-Man #607
Joe Kelly (w), Mike McKone & Adriana Melo (p), Mckone, Lanning, Justice, Smith and Benes (i). Marvel Comics.

Is Peter Parker the new Matt Murdock? Because he’s bedding women like my favourite horned crime fighter. I like it — there should be more casual sex in mainstream comics. What I also like about this book is that the story arcs have unique sizes and shapes month-to-month. They generally allow stories to stay no longer than they are welcome and ensure a crisp pace (obviously the publishing schedule helps too). However, I think this story could have used a bit more breathing room. For a crime story, the mysteries get resolved with lightening speed and it damages the impact of the climax. But you get an appearance from a hilarious-looking, “classic” Fantastic Four villain who uses mathematical equations to fight Spider-Man, which makes this book worth the cover price. — Miles Baker

Miles’ rating: 3.5 out of 5
Isaac’s rating: 3 out of 5

Blackest Night: Titans #2
For a full review of Blackest Night: Titans #2 and Green Lantern #46, scroll down to our Crossover Corner. You won’t be sorry for long. Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #18: September 2, 2009

Posted by Comics On September - 3 - 2009

AgentsAtlas10Agents of Atlas #10
Jeff Parker (w), Gabriel Hardman & Paul Rivoche (a), Elizabeth Dismang (c). Marvel Comics

This is the difference that good art can make. Last issue, where I didn’t like the art at all, got a 3 out of 5. It’s still the same strong characters, same great situation, same great giant gorilla but with good art it’s just so much better. Although, I feel like more happened in this issue, so perhaps that’s also why the scale is tipped. Anyway, it’s a great series that teetering on the edge of cancellation — buy this book, people. It’s got everything you like in it: robots, dragons, sexy demi-gods, spies, talking apes, and a minority character in the central role. It’s everything comics should be. — Miles Baker

Miles’ rating: 4.5 out of 5

buffy_28Buffy the Vampire Slayer #28
Jane Espenson (w), Georges Jeanty (p), Andy Owens (i), Michelle Madsen (c). Dark Horse.

Alright, way better than last issue but we’re not out of the woods yet. Maybe this is just really fanboy of me: but shit keeps happening in this book that I don’t like and don’t think would happen if this property was still on TV. I’m not talking about the lesbian thing — I’m fine with that. But I’m not fine with a Xander/Dawn pairing. That’s just slash fiction to me. Also bad: shit keeps happening in this comic that they don’t really explain. Like, in particular for this issue, the Slayers stop using the magic that’s inside them. So for the seven years where Buffy would complain that she was thrust into this world of violence and danger that she couldn’t turn her back on she could have just turned her back on it the whole time? That’s kinda balls. Big hairy balls. They can turn it off? Since when? However, Jeanty’s art rebounds this issue and Espenson does provide some nice character moments. Still, this series has lost its luster. — Miles Baker

Miles’ rating: 2.5 out of 5 Read the rest of this entry »

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MONDO is a non-profit, weekly, Toronto-based, online magazine that focuses on arts, culture, and humour. We’re interested in art of all kinds (music, theatre, visual art, film, comics, and video games) and the pop culture that we inhabit.The copyright on all MONDO magazine content belongs to the author. If you would like to pay them for more content, please do. To contact MONDO please email us at editor@mondomagazine.net

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