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MONDOcomics #48: March 31, 2010

Posted by Comics On April - 2 - 2010

Adventure Comics #9
James Robinson, Sterling Gates, Eric Trautmann (w), Travis Moore, Eduardo Pansica, Pier Gallo (p), Julio Ferreira, Eber Ferreira, Pier Gallo (i), Pete Pantazis, Blond (c). DC Comics.

Travis Moore is fantastic — I don’t know that I’ve ever seen his stuff before, but it’s great, very reminiscent of Francis Manapul’s work on the last Legion of Superheroes comic. All of the stories contained here have a great advantage over the previous conglomerate that was Adventure Comics #8 — these stories aren’t a “Prelude” to the coming attraction. The idea of a prelude has become drawn out and increasingly pointless, exhibit ‘A’ being the previous issue. This comic just drops us directly into the action. There’s even an editor’s note that I should read Superman #698 before reading this book — nope! Just jumping right in, thanks. This was a fun book, with some cool moments from some of my favourite characters. I’ve even got to tip my hat to Supergirl for not letting Superboy get bashed embarrassingly in the back of the head by a Brainiac robot. Would have been even better if he was just paying attention to his surroundings, but I’ll take what I can get. — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Amazing Spider-Man # 627
Roger Stern (w), Lee Weeks (a), Dean White (c). Marvel Comics

I had a real debate with myself about this issue. On the one hand, Stern brings an old-fashioned sensibility to this issue that is really incongruous with Amazing Spider-Man these days; on the other hand, Stern writes a really fun issue and I don’t care. Spider-Man taking a page to stop a random mugging on his way to solve the big mystery is really endearing, especially when he thinks “Okay, back to work. Think, Parker…” as he swings away. It’s so awesome and heroic. I love Parker’s references to all the different times he’s met or fought the Juggernaut, and the recent events in his life. It’s nice to pretend that Parker’s life makes any kind of cohesive sense.  Plus Lee Weeks is a great artist and I love to see his work. — Miles Baker

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

MONDOcomics #44: March 3, 2010

Posted by Comics On March - 5 - 2010

Adventure Comics #8
Sterling Gates, James Robinson, Eric Trautmann (w), Travis Moore, Julian Lopez, Pier Gallo (p), Julio Ferreira, Bit, Pier Gallo (i), Pete Pantazis, Blond (c). DC Comics.

Uh, well, this is the first issue of Adventure Comics post Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul, and it starts with a Legion of Superheroes story. This is what I expected so far. What I didn’t expect was that there would be three stories, all mini-prologues to the new Superman crossover.  As much as I like Superman, I get his stuff in trade, so this issue offers me nothing to get excited about. Well, besides having Superboy in the second prologue of course. — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 2.5 out of 5

The Amazing Spider-Man #623
Mark Waid, Tom Peyer (w), Paul Azaceta (a), Andres Mossa (c). Marvel Comics.

During the “what’s been going on in the storyline thus far” part of the book there’s an interesting line touting the new Vulture as having real wings. This grates me because it assumes an environment where character doesn’t matter, only the checklist of fantastic powers they may have. The recent Web of Spider-Man story which featured the original Vulture had him create a device to break someone else out of prison only to kill him by dropping him from hundreds of feet in the air. It’s his twisted mind that makes him a villain — this new Vulture has barely said two sentences (to be fair his mouth isn’t really designed for speaking) he just doesn’t leave much of an impression. This whole “Gauntlet” storyline is completely overblown, it doesn’t feel like he’s getting hammered from all sides, which is fine by me, great even — except Spider-Man keeps telling me how much he’s getting hammered by all sides. When Mayor Jameson is accused of a scandal Spider-Man actually thinks “dear lady luck: how many more directions can you keep hammering me from?” Spider-Man is self absorbed, but I can’t believe he’s THAT self absorbed. — Isaac Mills

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

MONDOcomics #40: February 3, 2010

Posted by Comics On February - 5 - 2010

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #3
Greg Rucka (w), Nicola Scott (p), Jonathan Glapion (i), Nei Ruffino (c), DC Comics

This really didn’t do it for me. Wonder Woman fighting Mera…again, Wonder Woman fighting Max…again, the realization that Wonder Woman and Mera have lots in common because they both wear tiaras and love a guy…. it all lead to a big “so what” from me. I know, I know, I’m oversimplifying, but what I’m trying to say is that there was nothing very notable about this issue. This is the kind of crossover issue that makes people wonder why they bought this. – Owen Craig

Owen’s rating: 2 out of 5. Crossover rating: tangential.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #32
Brad Meltzer (w), Georges Jeanty (p), Andy Owen (i), Michelle Madsen (c). Dark Horse.

My feelings about this issue of Buffy are complicated. On one hand, this is a really good issue of Buffy. On the other hand, Buffy has been really bad lately. Things have happened that cannot unhappen. Stupid, stupid things. Because comics can afford an unlimited budget, the writers have entertained some of the dumbest ideas just because they can. This issue, however, was good and I’m forced to give it a good rating even though I haven’t forgiven the series. See, complicated. — Miles Baker

Miles’ rating: 4 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 #34: December 23, 2009

Posted by Comics On December - 23 - 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #616Amazing Spider-Man #616
Fred Van Lente (w), Javier Pulido (a), Marvel Comics

Not as great an issue as the previous, it basically just ties everything up from what happened before. I shouldn’t be shocked, it’s a two parter, but the last issue felt so much more full. There’s a great line where Spidey betrays the trust of a little girl- it’s hilarious, trust me. Spider-Man was in a pretty good mood last issue, but that was before all the sadness and disillusionment that shows up here. Spidey says “Whoop!” when he gets surprised, and as someone who thinks that’s funny, approves. – Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 4 out of 5

Blackest Night JSA #1Blackest Night: JSA #1
James Robinson (w), Eddy Barrows, Marcos Marz (p), Julio Ferreira, Luciana Del Negro, Ruy Jose (i), DC Comics

For the most part, I’m impressed with Barrows art here, it GENERALLY avoids his crazy wormy lips he’s so fond of drawing. The panels that tell the back story of some of the soon to arrive Black Lanterns (Sandman, Dr. Midnight, and Mr. Terrific) are fantastic- probably drawn by Marz. I have to play continuity cop here: why are Superman of Earth 2 and the Psycho Pirate, two Black Lantern guys, wearing their regular costumes? Maybe I’m missing something. But who cares about that- Powergirl calls that Superman her uncle immediately after calling him her cousin. That hurts me. They’re cousins, F.Y.I. -Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3 out of 5
Crossover rating: Take it or leave it 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 #30: November 25, 2009

Posted by Comics On November - 27 - 2009

spider-manAmazing Spider-Man #613
Mark Waid (w), Paul Azaceta (a), Dave Stewart (c). Marvel Comics.

The art style reminds me of Paul Pope and that’s a very good thing. It’s expressive, moody while also being down to earth. Peter Parker is excited for science as evidenced by his face when he blows out the power in his apartment. The only complaint I have is the idea of Electro getting himself supercharged before battle — I must have read that same story twice before, so I’m not impressed there. The transformation of Electro into an internet assisted folk hero is an interesting twist though. — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3.5 out of 5

chew6Chew #6
John Layman (w), Rob Guillory (a). Image Comics.

EXCITING! This is the book that I’ve looking forward to getting. It has even been that long since the last issue. Layman and Guillory start of this new arc, “International Flavor,” giving Tony a new partner John Colby. The dynamic between them is great — and, seriously, there’s nothing better than a half-man, half-robot character. Love it. Yet another mysterious tale unfolds for the two as they are giving an assignment to investigate what was supposedly just another bank robbery. If you’re looking to read one of the most unique series out there right now, it’s your chance to catch up and pick up the first arc in trade form now. — Sandra Yao

Sandra’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #27: November 4, 2009

Posted by Comics On November - 6 - 2009

spideyAmazing Spider-Man #610
Marc Guggenheim (w), Marco Checchetto, Luke Ross, Rick Magyar (a), Fabio D’Auria, Jeremy Cox (c). Marvel Comics.

The two different art teams lead to some pretty jarring divides between different panels — none more obvious than the very first page where the past is supposed to mirror the present. Two interesting thing to note: Peter leading Screwball to the Parker homestead as a distraction doesn’t work, that puts her in danger and threatens the old secret identity, not a smart move for a smart guy. The second thing I wanted to bring up is that the whole premise of how Spider-Man “figures out” that Ben Reilly — his own clone — didn’t kill the bad guys family (thus sending the bad guy on a quest for revenge) is based on the idea that Peter himself wouldn’t kill anybody. But even while Peter is musing over that during the epilogue, Kaine, another clone of Peter Parker, is actually killing someone, nullifying Peter’s logic from earlier. But that is actually a sort of inconsistency that I like — it reveals a short sightedness, and ego, in Peter that has something of a long standing tradition — in fact it sounds an awful lot like the logic behind how he “figured out” he was the original Peter, not his own clone, back in the 70s! — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3 out of 5

assultonnewolympusAssault on New Olympus
Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (w), Rodney Buchemi (a), Guillem Mari (c). Marvel Comics.

Ah, looks like Herc is starting to become quite the comic book whore and I’ve got no problem with that. Herc returns with kid Zeus and is quickly recruited by Athena and Amadeus to stop Hera from trying to return the world to the time of the gods. This was one very enjoyable issue. The dialogue between Spiderman and Hercules was as funny as expected, but I’ve got to say that Herc takes the cake in battle of the witty. It was also adorable to see a tiny Hebe standing beside a gigantic Herc. So cute. All in all, I take this issue as being a great segue back into the main series. – Sandra Yao

Sandra’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics Books of the Month for October 2009

Posted by Comics On November - 4 - 2009

superboyIsaac’s Book

Adventure Comics #3
Geoff Johns, Michael Shoemaker (w), Francis Manapul, Clayton Henry (a), Brian Buccellato, Brian Reber (c). DC Comics.

Take the first “act” of the first story — Superboy is in chemistry class talking with an eccentric classmate, while surrounded by eccentric classmates. What is this? Sky High is surrounded by flying kids who shoot laser beams from their eyes? No, I don’t mean eccentric in that way.

I say “eccentric” only in that these background drawings are nuanced characters in and of themselves; any of them could be having a conversation with Superboy and I’d want to read it (disregarding my rabid Superboy fanboyism that would make me read anything with him in it). He’s talking to a well intentioned mad-scientist-to-be, but there’s Lori in the background sleeping away (that one’s obvious since she has a name and everything already), the girl beside Lori who is amazed at the chemical reaction she’s just created, the guy with the chemistry teacher who is scratching his head with a good-natured “Well, I didn’t get it the last time, but sure, explain it again” expression on his face, and in the far back a student reaching for a beaker high up on a shelf above her head while chewing gum in class (aha, another rebel) — I get the feeling that if Superboy walked up to any of them in the next panel, asked “ ‘sup?” we’d have a fun story, with conflicting wants and points of view and EVERYTHING! Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics’ Book of the Month for September 2009

Posted by Comics On October - 6 - 2009

detectivecomics857Sandra’s Book of the Month

Detective Comics #857
Greg Rucka (w), J.H. Williams III (a), Dave Stewart (c). DC Comics.

When I was looking through my pile to decide what I was going to choose for the Book of the Month there was only one title that really stood out, and that was this month’s issue of Detective Comics. The thing about this series that really makes it outstanding is the beauty and the intricacy of the art. Williams and Stewart create some of the most dynamic and bold art that I’ve ever seen, in this or any other series. Williams’ pencil lines are detailed and add a great flow to the story, especially with the insane use of all those dynamic panels. Combined with Stewart’s painting style and use of colours it just makes me all giddy and happy to be reading.  There hasn’t been an issue in this four-part arc that hasn’t made me rave about the series, so it only seemed appropriate for this to be my pick for the month. — Sandra Yao Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #21: September 25, 2009

Posted by Comics On September - 25 - 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #606Amazing Spider-Man #606
Joe Kelly (w), Mike McKone (p), Andy Lanning (i), Marvel Comics

Oh, good. Another Spider-Man comic with a cover so gross I feel embarrassed to read it on the subway. Thank you, J. Scott Campbell for reinforcing negative stereotypes about comics. After a great few issues written by Fred VanLente we’re back to the middle-of-the-road stuff here. It’s not bad, the scene where Spidey is pissed about all the girls in his life getting mad at him and he takes it out on a mugger was fun, but the stuff with Black Cat didn’t grab me. Plus, one of my big pet-peeves took place in this issue: please don’t turn the last page of a comic into the cover (see Fables #88). It really ruins the climax of the book. — Owen Craig

Owen’s rating: 2.5 out of 5 (it would be a 3, but I’m docking a half point for that cover)
Miles’ rating: 3 out of 5
Isaac’s rating: 2.5 out of 5

Blackest Night: Superman #2
Check out the full review of this comic in our Crossover Corner below.

Dark Reign The List X-MenDark Reign: The List – X-Men #1
Matt Fraction (w), Alan Davis (p), Mark Farmer (i), Nathan Fairbairn (c). Marvel Comics.

Warning: apparently Miles is grumpy this week and hates everything, you’ll see a trend in the following reviews. This is the lesser of Matt Fraction’s X-Men comics this week. It’s not that bad, but it’s saved in great part by Alan Davis’ always amazing artwork. Norman Osborne decides to get a little payback on Namor and does so by exploiting long-forgotten continuity. The best part is the fight scene, the worst part is the extremely abrupt ending. It’s a hard one to rate. As a really cool bonus they include Matt Fraction’s first work at Marvel, a Wolverine story drawn by Sam Kieth. How cool must that been for him, “oh, yeah, I just got a little job at Marvel and it’s drawn by Sam ‘motherfucking maker of Maxx and Sandman’ Kieth.” — Miles Baker

Miles’ rating: 2.5 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 »



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