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MONDOcomics #92: February 2, 2011

Posted by Comics On February - 4 - 2011

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1
Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen (w), Keith Giffen (p), John Dell, Scott Koblish (i), Hi-Fi (c). DC Comics.

This whole book chronicles the rise and fall of a new Emerald Empress — wait, a new one? Whatever happened to the old one?

Having only really just gotten into Legion of Super-Heroes during the Mark Waid “Three-boot” or “Earth-Prime” Legion book, I sometimes forget that everything I know is wrong. I think it’s a credit to the creative team on the recent Legion book that I’m only just now thinking about this.

To help us readers they’ve included something pretty fun: Legion History The Board Game! Posted at the back of the book, it’s both chronology and whimsy, hitting the major beats of Legion history. A good one is “Ferro Lad sacrifices life to save Earth from Sun-Eater! His courage propels you one space.”

Here’s one that winks hard at the fandom: “Time Trapper killed by Infinite Man! Lose or gain a turn for this? The debate still rages.” Personally, if I landed on the space, I’d gain a turn. Everyone else can lose it. Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #84: December 8, 2010

Posted by Comics On December - 10 - 2010

Booster Gold #39
Giffen, DeMatteis (w), Batista, Perrotta (a), Hi-Fi (c). DC Comics.

I didn’t expect Booster Gold to be my favourite book this week. It’s supposed to be solid; it’s not supposed to tug at my heart strings like my heart is some kind of marionette here to amuse you.

I really like the use of space in this book — there’s a gag near the beginning with the little orphan Rani, a girl from the future, having accidentally trapped herself in a sort of metal cocoon, thanks to some super suits magnetic powers. When that cocoon image is on the page, it’s a huge panel almost two thirds of the page, drawn in a skewed angle. It’s a very dramatic/action packed visual for something that amounts to a bit of domestic humour. That plus the “harmless” explosion two pages later — these are visual perks for the benefit of the spicing up the comic. It’s a sort of pacing “answer” to the question of jazzing up a scene of domesticity. Read the rest of this entry »

Jonah Hex Reviewed

Posted by film On October - 28 - 2010

Jonah Hex
Directed by Jimmy Hayward
Warner Brothers, 2010

By Miles Baker

This DVD has some errors on the cover. It says, “Based on the legendary DC Comics Character.” First, it’s missing the word “Loosely;” and, second, Jonah Hex is hardly “legendary.” He’s third-tier at best. I’m not saying Jonah Hex comics are bad — I’m just saying he’s not a well-known character.

So, based on those two lies, why was this movie made? He’s not that famous even in the comics world, so there’s not much of a fan base. And why would you alienate that small fan base by making a movie that only shares a passing resemblance to the source material? Despite a short-lived Vertigo mini-series, the Jonah Hex stories are straight-up Westerns.  So why was this movie made as a cross between Wild, Wild West, Ghost Rider, and Pushing Daises? Also, all those things weren’t terribly successful — why would you emulate them? 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 #66: August 4, 2010

Posted by Comics On August - 7 - 2010

Amazing Spider-Man #639
Joe Quesada (w), Paolo Rivera, Joe Quesada, Danny Miki, Richard Isanove (a). Marvel Comics.

This is a great comic — in theory. Paolo Rivera is draws beautiful art, in fact everything good about this comic should be attributed to his art. Yes, most of the story was good, I think. I just can’t trust my judgement when the art is THIS good. However, there were a few parts that were so bad that the art was no longer able to keep me in a satisfied illusion. When Mary Jane and Peter have their heart to heart the conclusion amounts to “and so all of the stories that took place after this were all the same, the only difference that we will never have been technically married”. It’s just about the biggest punch in the face after “One More Day”. Or it would be until the last page where we’ve caught up to the moment in “One More Day” when Aunt May is about to die and just doesn’t. Oh, right! Spider-CPR! That would save Aunt May! So lame. — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3.5 out of 5

Brightest Day #7
Geoff Johns, Peter J. Tomasi (w), Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark, Joe Prado (a), Vicente Cifuentes, David Beaty, Mark Irwin (i), Peter Steigerwald, John Starr (c). DC Comics.

Brightest Day #7 was the best first issue of a series ever. The white lantern goes ahead and tells everyone what they’re supposed to do to earn their lives back — it’s like when a game tells you your objective. As much as I enjoyed various cool Aquaman parts that happened in earlier issues, as much as I enjoyed Martian Manhunter mind melding with a dog (thanks for the reminder on that one, brother),  none of these things accomplish anything relevant to the Brightest Day story, whatever it is. There’s a two page spread just before the ending to quickly tell us the objectives of the remainder of the cast that they didn’t have enough time to get to through the course of the book, but the various objectives are pretty silly. Asking Captain Boomerang to throw a boomerang? Really? Geoff Johns better have been in a mean mood and laughing at us comic buyers at that moment, because I hope he didn’t write that to be taken seriously. – Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3 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’ Books of the Month: May 2010

Posted by Comics On June - 7 - 2010

Owen’s Book(s) of the Month

Ex Machina: Ring Out the Old
Brian K. Vaughan (w), Tony Harris & John Paul Leon (p), Jim Clark & Tony Harris (i), JD Mettler (c). Wildstorm Productions.

Scalped: The Gnawing
Jason Aaron (w), R.M. Guéra (a), Giulia Brusco with Trish Mulvihill (c). Vertigo.

What a great month, new volumes of TWO of my favourite series. I’m sorry to say that I can’t possibly choose between them and instead opt to make a couple of hearty recommendations. My love from Brian K. Vaughan’s work is well documented, but I’m astonished to learn that there are some fans of Y: The Last Man or Runaways who haven’t given Ex Machina a try. The thing is, while I have a deep love of Y, Ex Machina is a more polished work. It’s a story filled with some great sci-fi ideas, awesome superhero action and fascinating (honestly) political debate. This volume, in particular, features some jaw-dropping revelations about the main character’s origins. Tony Harris is at the top of his game here, the flashbacks with Pherson are especially engaging. On top of all of this (as if that isn’t enough) there’s a great one-off issue about Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris interviewing for a position to create a comic about the main character. It’s a great chapter. 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’ Books of the Month for February 2010

Posted by Comics On March - 2 - 2010

Isaac’s Book of the Month

Blackest Night #7
Geoff Johns (w), Ivan Reis (p), Oclair Albert, Joe Prado (i), Alex Sinclair (c). DC Comics.

There was a lot I skipped over in my Blackest Night review — but that’s what the Book of the Month is for. I purposely didn’t spoil too much, but I’m going to spoil a lot more here. That was your warning, if you haven’t read it yet and don’t want some premature knowledge, then get rid of your internet a week ago. Seriously, this has been spoiled all over the place all ready. So here is a list of awesome things in this book Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #43: February 24, 2010 [UPDATED]

Posted by Comics On February - 27 - 2010

The Amazing Spider-Man #622
Fred Van Lente, Greg Weisman (w), Joe Quinones, Luke Ross (a), Rob Schwager (c). Marvel Comics.

I was really happy with the characterization of Black Cat in the previous issue, so naturally they go ahead and mess it up here. I freely admit that this will sound nerdy, but here it is: she sold a vial of Spidey’s radioactive crazy power blood to some vampire fetishists. That’s insane, right? Other than the fact that the premise to kick off the adventure is, you know, insane, the rest of the story is pretty good. They play with a bunch of vampire conventions while poking fun at Twilight fans, and Morbius returning is handled really well. The bad guy dies in a classic “Spider-Man’s fault but not really” scenario, a long time strategy for keeping Spidey’s gloves bloodless — I kind of thought we’d moved beyond that kind of device, but okay, we’re playing things up 70s style. There’s an okay Flash Thompson back up, I just wish they hadn’t narrated the story as “going through the stages of grief backwards” it’s a clumsy and annoying way of telling it. An okay filler issue, but way too expensive. — Isaac Mills

Isaac’s rating: 3 out of 5

Avengers The Initiative #33
Christos Gage (w), Jorge Molina (p), Vicotr Olazaba (i), Edgar Delagado (c). Marvel Comics.

I’m going to level with you — I haven’t read this series post-Secret Invasion. Besides this issue and the one I reviewed last month, I mean. And in the meantime a lot has happened and I’m pretty lost now. I’m glad stuff happened, but I’m finding it hard to break back in.  Most of the characters I really liked are gone, and the ones I don’t know have taken centre stage. But the issue is well executed so I can’t pan it, but I’m not moved to extol its virtues either. — Miles Baker

Miles’ rating: 2.5 out of 5. Crossover rating: take it or leave it. Read the rest of this entry »

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