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MONDOcomics #91: January 26, 2011

Posted by Comics On January - 28 - 2011

Captain America #614
Ed Brubaker (w); Butch Guice (p); Stefano Gaudiano with Morales, Palmer, Magyar & Guice (i); Bettie Breitweiser with Sotomayor, Ramos & Martin (c). Marvel Comics.

I got the second omnibus of Brubaker’s Captain America run for Christmas and devoured it before Boxing Day was over. I’d read it all before, but never in a straight read though. Beyond the fantastic characters and exciting action, I was shocked how tight the plotting was. When you read it collected, you see that Brubaker doesn’t forget a single thread. He’s tracking the plot and all the players.

In the last couple years, I feel people taken for granted just how amazing this book is. Couple years ago, people couldn’t stop saying nice things about Brubaker’s Cap run, now, I feel occationally there’s a “yep, still good” review and that’s it. But that’s not enough — this is as good as any iconic run on a superhero. Brubaker’s Daredevil might live in Frank Miller’s run for the rest of time, but every writer to handle Captain America after this will live in Brubaker’s shadow. When he leaves they might as well just retire the character (not that they will). Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #89: January 12, 2011

Posted by Comics On January - 14 - 2011

Daredevil: Reborn #1
Andy Diggle (w), Davide Gianfelice (a), Matt Hollingsworth (c). Marvel Comics.

This book was going to have to impress the shit out of me to make me forget the shit that was Shadowland. There’s a lot of shit going around this book right now and it seems like that’s going to continue. This was an extremely underwealming performance from Diggle and Gianfelice. I’m especially dissapointed in the latter as I’m a fan of his work on DMZ and Northlanders. His work here is fine but it’s not as strong as either of works. It’s servicable, but it’s pretty boring and unispired.

Though, it would be hard to get inspired from this thin, uninteresting story. After the major fuckover of Matt Murdock’s character that Diggle helmed I was inclined to chalk it up to editorial interferance. This story, however, has puddle-deep depth and understanding of Matt. Fucking awful. It’s billed as this rebirth of Matt — okay, I’m down. In an opening scene, Matt takes a beating because he’s rejecting the cycle of violence around his life — cool, progress. Ten pages later he’s going to beat up a bunch of crooked cops. Great. Amazing. I’m glad that he got over all that shit in 10 pages. Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #71: September 8-9, 2010

Posted by Comics On September - 10 - 2010

Adventure Comics #518
Paul Levitz, Jeff Lemire (w), Kevin Sharpe, Mahmud Asrar (p), Marlo Alquiza, John Dell (i),  Blond, Pete Pantazis (c). DC Comics.

I don’t know if this is an error from the writer or the artist, but the Legion of Superheroes main story is consistently focusing on the wrong moment. Most panels will have the faces be not quite dramatic enough to warrant a panel, or else the faces will have the wrong expression on them. Then there are the group shots, where every character has their own expression — great for showing us an artist’s range, not so great for communicating the kind of action we want in that page of art. The message of that page has to be “THIS IS AWESOME” but because we can see that not all the characters are in that moment the whole picture is diluted and less impressive for it. Yes, it’s more true to life, but it isn’t “comic book true to life”. It’s good to push the boundaries between those two, but unfortunately the creative team didn’t find the right balance this time out. The Atom back up is still cool, if a little loose with the continuity I’m aware of. — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3 out of 5

Amazing Spider-Man #641
Joe Quesada (w), Paolo Rivera, Joe Quesada, Danny Miki & Richard Isanove (a), Marvel Comics.

I just don’t have it in me to hate this comic as much as some other people do. I get it, “One More Day” was a travesty, I wouldn’t argue otherwise even for a moment. Did we really need to revisit it? Probably not. But did I find the scenes between Peter and MJ totally touching? Yes I did. Now maybe it’s only because I’m a romantic fool, but any scene of a couple realizing that they love each other yet they have to part ways hits me right here (I’m pointing to my heart). Sure, there are problems here. I’m not totally thrilled with the explanations of how all that stuff was undone during OMD, but the scenes of the now ex-couple were rather well done. At least I thought so. As I said, some seem to disagree. — Owen Craig.

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

MONDOcomics #67: August 13, 2010

Posted by Miles On August - 13 - 2010

Adventure Comics #517
Paul Levitz, Jeff Lemire (w), Kevin Sharpe, Marlo Alquiza, Mahmud Asrar, John Dell(a), Blond, Pete Pantazis (c). DC Comics.

It’s the same format as the last issue, an “early days” Legion of Super Heroes story with an Atom backup. The Legion story focuses on Saturn Girl and on her desire to be as good as the boys on the team, whose powers are more offensive compared to her telepathy. They avoid the obvious solutions to the story, like having the problem become something only her telepathy could solve, one or both of the guys admitting to trying to keep up with her, etc etc. This would be a nice change, except it means Saturn Girl looks really bad, like how she thinks as she’s working out: “those two crazy legionnaire boys… must have been exercising since they were toddlers to get those bodies” and then we never get to see the boys be that impressive, or work to deserve that kind of praise. The whole story is Saturn Girl being dead weight and vowing to not be dead weight. And then, because she’s a silly girl I guess, she sleeps with Cosmic Boy and erases his memory of it. It was an insulting story is what I’m saying.  The Atom backup I can praise for answering some super science questions his powers bring up… of course they did it in a way that raises MORE questions, but they’re trying. A lot of pretty lame flashbacks happened though. If I had to choose between seeing little Ray Palmer win at a science fair with some shadowy hints that his smart uncle is evil, or between seeing the Atom fight through germs and fly through electrical current, well I’d rather see the latter part. At least, let me read that part when it’s an Atom story in front of me! – Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 2 out of 5

Booster Gold #35
Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis (w), Chris Batista, Rich Perrotta, Patt Olliffe (a), Hi-Fi (c). DC Comics.

We get some validation from the JLI era characters in this issue — Blue Beetle recognizes Booster Gold as from the future (as opposed to being a goof that can’t tell when someone is years older than they should be) and Big Barda says something nice about Booster and Beetle. Of course since it’s Giffen and DeMatteis writing that’s just like patting yourself on the back. Wouldn’t it be amazing if Dan Didio wrote this book? Now that’d be a pat on the back. The asides that take place with random characters seem out of place within a modern sensibility, but are familiar to those who have read comics for over a decade. The biggest weakness in the book, as far as I’m concerned, is the bad guy. He just doesn’t manage to come across as much of a threat, and that’s even with a device to blow up the planet they’re on. — 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 #39: January 27, 2009 – Updated

Posted by Comics On January - 31 - 2010

Amazing Spider-Man #619
Dan Slott (w), Marcos Martin (a), Javier Rodriguez (c). Marvel Comics.

There are a lot of mobster guys to keep track of here, but as far as problems go that’s minor. The interweaving of previous subplots (which aren’t all that removed from the main story) is masterful as we leap from Aunt May being sinister to old Mr. Negative. Spidey is lithe, fast and powerful. The jokes are funny. When Spider-Man thinks he killed a guy? Heart wrenching. This is really just a fantastic book. There’s a panel with a punch being thrown at the cyborg Silvermane and we see the distorted image of that punch reflected in the shining armour. That’s just a cool touch. – Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 4.5 out of 5

Atom and Hawkman #46
Geoff Johns (w), Ryan Sook, Fernando Pasarin (a), Hi-Fi (c). DC Comics.

I wasn’t sure I’d pick this up, but beyond the fact that it’s Atom and Hawkman, it’s by Geoff Johns and Ryan Sook. That’s a great pedigree. For those who need the hint, Sook did the art on the Zatanna Seven Soldiers of Victory story, as well as Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth for this past summers Wednesday Comics production. And as beautiful as the Kamandi story was, it was done in a fairly static method, almost storybook style- and it’s really nice to see the alternative again. You know what else is nice to see? Ray Palmer the Atom being an awesome hero. Haven’t seen that for years. – Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 4 out of 5
Crossover rating: (Almost) Essential
Owen’s rating: 3.5 out of 5
Owen’s crossover rating: A pleasant addition Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics Best of 2009: Sandra’s Selects

Posted by Comics On January - 19 - 2010

Series of the Year (which also happens to be new) Chew

My favourite series of the year were all new ones, so I have amalgamated both Series of the Year and New Series of the Year into one category. There is no end to how much I can rave about how much I love this series. This series centres around FDA agent Tony Chu and his uncanny ability to capture psychic impressions from things he eats. My only regret is not having been able to get my hands on the first issue earlier. The story is unique and the art is quirky — two things that make any series a great one. John Layman and Rob Guillory make a serious duo. Everyone should be taking a bite out of this one.

Writer of the Year — Ed Brubaker (Incognito, Criminal: Sinners, Daredevil, Captain America: Reborn, Captain America, The Marvels Project)

Why Ed Brubaker? Why not? This man has been the mastermind behind most of my favourite series of the year and consistently writes good stories with great characters. I cannot help but love a man that brings me such joy. 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 Book of the Month: August 2009

Posted by Comics On September - 2 - 2009

933727-detective_superMiles’ Book of the Month

Detective Comics #856
Greg Rucka (w), J.H. Williams III (a), Dave Stewart (c). DC Comics.

Detective Comics gets the nod this month for a couple reasons. First, because I’ve really been excited about this series and I’ve yet to bestow it with Book of the Month; and, second, because it has the triumphant return of Maggie Sawyer! I’m sure most of you don’t know who that is, but she’s been a minor character hanging around the DCU for about 20 years and is most famous because she’s one of mainstream comics’ first lesbians. I first came into contact with her in the amazing Gotham Central, co-written by Rucka, and was really happy to see her here. Detective Comics #856 has a seduction scene between Sawyer and Kate Kane (Batwoman) that is is so tasteful, so wonderful, so character-driven, and so perfect for what both characters needed. Scenes where one woman picks up another woman are rare in popular culture — extremely rare — so to see it done well makes me extremely happy.

A big part of why it lands so well is William’s fantastic art. This man is drawing the hell out of this book. The subtle style changes, the page compositions, the expressions — everything is working here and working well. Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics Special: Daredevil #500

Posted by Comics On August - 20 - 2009

daredevil500Daredevil #500
Ed Brubaker (w), Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano, Klaus Janson, Chris Samnee, Paul Azaceta (a), Matt Hollingsworth (c). Marvel Comics.

A switch flipped inside me while reading this book. Not sure which part did it, but I want to write a Daredevil book now. I keep hearing about Daredevil overcoming these amazing obstacles, but I always think of Spider-Man when I think of that, or of most heroes in general. What makes DD unique? It’s the contradictions: his mother is a nun, he wears a devil’s suit; he’s brought up to be a bookworm, but loves boxing, to say nothing of the contradiction that then presents itself with his boxing history and his ninja present; he’s a successful (sometimes) criminal defence lawyer, and a lawless vigilante; continually self-sacrificing hero, then manipulative chauvinist (old Frank Miller story). How do you reconcile these contradictions? You don’t; you accept that this is a very human character, flawed like anyone. Daredevil #191 (reprinted in this issue) tries to illustrate this humanity; DD narrates an adventure that scars the psyche of a young boy, pointing out each instance where Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics’ Books of the Month for July 2009

Posted by Comics On August - 4 - 2009

amazingspidey600Isaac’s Book of the Month

Amazing Spider-Man #600
Dan Slott (w), John Romita Jr. (p), Klaus Janson (i), Dean White (c). Marvel Comics.

What the guys creating Amazing Spider-Man have done so well in the past 19 months is to tell their stories while subtly introducing the threads of stories to come. The result creates stories that we actually care about. But it’s a delicate balance: if you wait too long, the audience will get sick of being strung along. Eventually, you have to provide some answers to pulse-pounding questions like “Who was that man in the shadows on page seven?”

In this context, the big thing Spider-Man #600 accomplishes is the resurgence of Doctor Octopus, with a complete adventure of Spidey versus Doc Ock, and then Octopus escaping, vowing his vengeance, and tantalizing us with his imminent return in the future. To contain all of that in a single issue is already something special. Read the rest of this entry »

Comics I’ll Buy in October

Posted by Comics On July - 23 - 2009

X_BABIES_1_sm_crop

By Miles Baker

DC Comics

There are exciting things going on in the DCU that I don’t care about. If you were a big Lantern fan, this would be the month for you. I just couldn’t get into Sinestro Corps, I’m skipping a lot of the new Batman titles, and Wednesday Comics is over (also, I was disappointed in it).

BATMAN AND ROBIN #5
Issue #2 of this series rocked hard. I like that Morrison is playing with new villains, the classics need a bit of a break right now.

DETECTIVE COMICS #858
The first issue of the Batwoman-led Detective Comics came out last month and it was a treasure to behold. This month Rucka and Co. finally get around to telling us Kate Kane’s backstory and I’m excited to see how Williams III will handle the flashbacks. Read the rest of this entry »

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