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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 #63: July 14, 2010

Posted by Comics On July - 16 - 2010

Adventure Comics #516
Paul Levitz, Jeff Lemire (w), Kevin Sharpe, Mahmud Asrar (p), Marlo Alquiza, John Dell (i), Blond, Pete Pantazis (c). DC Comics.

The Legion story serves as a sort of last will send off to a character that died a few years ago — better late than never? Otherwise most of the story is also a reiteration of the Legion origin. There’s really nothing to write home about here. However, the Atom back up was really nice; gorgeous art playing with some of the crazy science fiction effects of the Atoms world, it’s very quickly paced (as opposed to the drawn out Legion first story), and in old school fashion ends on a cliff-hanger (Will the Atom get out of this one?). It’s good enough that I have to buy the next issue to see how it turns out — you’ve suckered me in again, comics! – Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3 out of 5

Amazing Spider-Man #637
Joe Kelly (w), Various (a), Matt Hollingsworth (c), Marvel Comics.

Alright, I’ll lay it out here: this is probably a better story than I’m giving it credit for. In fact, I can see that it is. It’s engaging, it’s complex, but it’s not the kind of Spider-Man story I really get in to. Grim and gritty, filled with some sort of spider-mythology about the true “Spyder” or what-not. It’s not quite my cup of tea. Still, there’s a lot to appreciate here. The art is quite good, and I didn’t even notice that Lark didn’t draw the whole thing until I saw the credits later (looking back on it now it seems more evident, but I didn’t notice at the time). Everyone involved crafted a very cool follow-up to “Kraven’s Last Hunt”, unfortunately it’s not how I like my Spider-Man. – Owen Craig

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

MONDOcomics #61: June 30, 2010

Posted by Comics On July - 1 - 2010

Action Comics #890
Paul Cornell (w), Pete Woods (a), Brad Anderson (c). DC Comics.

I’m not sure what it is about Lex Luthor that I’m a fan of.  I am a sucker for the smart guys, but it may also be the fact that he is an underdog against Superman. Whatever the reason, I’m glad to see he’s got a starring role in the new Action Comics run. I’m a little surprised at the art – Luthor has looked both fat and fit in his time, but I’ve never seen quite so much variation within a single book. And no, Luthor isn’t experimenting with the Nutty Professors formula. The story is pretty cool: Luthor gets kidnapped and acts like it’s no big deal and is only marginally surprised by the appearance of his true captor at the end. What a guy. – Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3/5

Bram Stoker’s Death Ship #2
Gary Gerani (w), Stuart Sayger (a), Dom Regan (c), IDW Publishing.

I’m still not sure that this is a story that needs to be told, but Gerani is stepping up his characterizations this issue, I especially liked the captain’s dream sequence. As with last issue, though, the real draw is Sayger’s art. It continues to be gorgeous work, adding a creepy, otherworldly quality to the book. If you’re an art enthusiast then this book is a must-buy. – Owen Craig

Owen’s rating: 3.5 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 #52: April 28, 2010

Posted by Comics On April - 30 - 2010

Wow! One whole year of MONDOcomics! How are we going to celebrate? More reviews, of course!

Amazing Spider-Man #629
Roger Stern, Zeb Wells (w), Lee Weeks, Chris Bachalo (a), Dean White, Matt Hollingsworth (c). Marvel Comics.

And here’s part three of what could have been a really good two-part story. Last week I complained that it was little more than an extended fight scene, this week it’s little more than exposition about Juggernaut and this new Captain Universe’s back-story (with a beautifully illustrated Spider-Man providing window dressing and little else). If this issue was re-cut with the previous, it would have been a great book, as it stands it doesn’t work. Zeb Wells treats us to a back-story that serves as a prologue to the upcoming Lizard story arc which should have been covered in that particular issue of Web of Spider-Man. I’m sorry to complain about it, but I was so impressed by the first issue of the story, and they just let me down here. – Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 2.5 out of 5

Captain America #605
Ed Brubaker (w), Luke Ross (p), Butch Guice (i), Dean White (c). Marvel Comics.

And so end the first arc after the return of Steve Rogers — oh, except he’s not here. Because Siege will be reveal what happens to Steve Rogers and Brubaker couldn’t ruin the ending of Siege four months ago (that was a job for the Marvel solicitations department) he ran a good, but dramatically odd arc in Captain America. The Cap from the 50’s story is good, but I can’t shake that after all this time looking for Steve there should be more fallout. And I’m sure it’s coming, it just makes these issues feel a bit like filler. But, know what, even when Captain America isn’t amazing, it’s still really damn good. — Miles Baker

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

MONDOcomics #49: April 7, 2010

Posted by Comics On April - 10 - 2010

Batman and Robin #11
Grant Morrison (w), Andy Clarke (p), Scott Hana (i), Alex Sinclair, Tony Avina (c). DC Comics.

I found this issue to be very unfocused, it has some great ideas of course, but they just aren’t fleshed out properly. The worst offender is Batman and his adventure exploring a part of the Batcave for clues about Bruce Wayne: not wanting to spoil any surprises for us readers we cut away before seeing just what cool thing Batman has found, then see Batman again after he’s gone through some costume tearing ordeal to get back to the surface. I would have liked to have seen that story! Instead most of the book follows Robin and Oberon Sexton team up for a forgettable fight scene that needed to be way better. — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 2.5 out of 5

Buffy The Vampire Slayer #34
Brad Meltzer (w), Georges Jeanty (p), Andy Owens (i), Michelle Madsen (c), Dark Horse Comics

Meltzer is certainly doing better work on this comic than I’ve seen in quite some time, the only down side is that this title has lost so much momentum (and so much of my enthusiasm) that it would take nothing short of a miracle to make me care about this book again. Sure, the exposition in this issue and the storytelling employed were pretty neat but I just have a hard time giving it more than a shrug and a muttered “kind of cool”. Still, I had dropped this book for a while, so I guess the fact that I’m planning on riding it out to the end of the season speaks to the improvement at work here.  – Owen Craig

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

MONDOcomics #47: March 25, 2010

Posted by Comics On March - 26 - 2010

The Amazing Spider-Man #626
Fred Van Lente (w), Michael Gaydos (a). Marvel Comics.

Let’s get the dumb stuff out of the way — you can’t have a group of thugs ignore a powerless Spider-Man because he “can’t be the real deal.” Just because he failed to hit you with web, if a guy shoots web at you from his wrists, then that is Spider-Man. And the Hood is hanging around this issue — I’m pretty sick of that guy. And since when does Tombstone bite people? On the good side, the art has some really cool Spidey pics, including a visual gag where he’s slowly sliding down a wall because his powers are kind of turning off. But the most important thing is Peter sits down with his roommate and apologizes for being a jerk. It’s always surprising how much I appreciate the inclusion of a well timed apology. — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3.5 out of 5

Avengers: The Initiative #34
Christos Gage (w), Jorge Molina (p), Andrew Hennessy (i), Edgar Delago (c). Marvel Comics.

Alright. I’m doing twice the amount of reviews I normally do and I want to do them in about an hour and I’m going to review them in alphabetical order. This is bad news for everyone (probably).  So, first up, I bought four Siege tie-ins this week and they were all infinitely more useful and interesting than the first two months of this crossover. With the events of Siege 3 there is a specific, important moment for all these series to tie into and it’s extremely helpful as a reader and presents a good nerd moment for the fan. This issue continues to weave a lot of first-person narration from a lot of different characters — perhaps too much — but as the concluding storyline for this series it’s appropriate. — Miles Baker

Miles’ rating: 3.5 out of 5. Crossover rating: A pleasant addition. 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 #38: January 20, 2009

Posted by Comics On January - 22 - 2010

Amazing Spider-Man #618
Dan Slott (w), Marcos Martin (a), Marvel Comics

It’s hard to say how I feel about this issue. I don’t quite know where Slott is going with this story yet, it was sort of all over the map: there was the stuff with Negative Man and Aunt May, the mob stuff, the Mysterio stuff… I know that Spider-Man is often a long-form book, but the other Gauntlet stories started with more of a bang than this. I don’t mean to imply that I didn’t like it, but I my feelings for this issue are a little wonky and will probably remain so until I read the second issue of this story. Something I am not unsure about, though, is Martin’s artwork. It rocks. — Owen Craig

Owen’s rating: 3 out of 5

Avengers Vs Atlas #1
Jeff Parker (w), Gabriel Hardman (a, main),  Takeshi Miyazawa (a, second) Elizabeth Breitweiser (c). Marvel Comics.

Hurray Atlas! Yay Hardman! This is one awesome-looking comic. And it’s really awesome that Parker skipped the part where the two hero teams fight each other and went right into working together. It’s refreshing and keeps the plot moving along to the important aspects of the story — namely, good jokes and big action. Really solid start to this series and this would be a great place to jump on the Atlas bandwagon. So jump! — Miles Baker

Miles’ rating: 4 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 #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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