I’m sure that everyone will be doing something today with it being Halloween but after you have filled your trick or treat bag up sit down and check out this weeks new comic book releases. I will steer you clear of the tricks and find out this weeks treats.
Marvel Comics Writer Nathan Edmondson, Artist Mike Perkins, Colorist Andy Troy, Letterer Joe Sabino
With the Marvel cinematic universe in full swing it’s not surprising that Deathlok would be revived after he appeared on Agents of Shield television series. The plot from Marvel is, After Michael Collins, there was Henry Hayes a medic who travels to war zones to heal the wounded, he has no idea that when he’s in the field, he’s activated by a mysterious group and becomes the ultimate weapon of assassination and war: DEATHLOK. This version of Deathlok is far from the original incarnation of the character and has been made more palatable to the mainstream readers. I guess that the whole Death part wouldn’t play. In this incarnation Collins is pretty much just a puppet sent on missions for Shield and ends up being a pretty boring read. Edmondson story is decent but lacks any real bite or propose and ends up feeling like a mediocre television script. The story is a rinse/lather/repeat story that in this day and age just is not going to cut it. One of the only saving graces of the book is Perkins artwork that somehow is able to take the averageness of the script and make it much more exciting than it really is. He does a nice job with the mood of the art and handles both the action and dialog scenes well.
Is this book worth your time and money? While not a complete train wreck, the book ends up wallowing in its own mediocrity. The ultimate flaw of the book is that this incarnation is lifted from a mediocre series Agents of Shield and the same blandness ends up in this book. Good artwork will not save this average book. In the end it’s just not worth it. Skip it!
Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #3
DC Comics Writers Sean E. Williams,/Ollie Masters,/Gilbert Hernandez, Artists Marguerite Sauvage/Amy Mebberson/Gilbert Hernandez, Colorist John Rauch (3rd story), Letterers Deron Bennett(all)
After Deathlok this issue of Sensation Comics was a much-needed pallet cleansing. There are three stories in this issue first Bullets and Bracelets where Wonder Woman befriends two fans of her band and show them that kindness goes a long way. Morning Coffee has Catwoman robbing a museum and Wonder Woman needs her coffee in the morning to get started and Catwoman is hindering this from happening. The last story is the long-awaited Gilbert Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame telling No Chains Can Hold Her! that has Kanjar Ro and Sayyar teaming up to capture Wonder Woman and it will take Supergirl’s help to fight them. While the stories in the first two issues were good they were pretty standard super heroic type of stories. This issue showcases some really outside the box storytelling and art. While Bullets and Bracelets is a simple story the key to it working is that it has heart. Williams story is a classic help those in need and keeping it short and to the point make it perfect. The thing that really impressed me was the way that he handled Sophia in the story that I will not giveaway. Sauvage’s artwork give the story a really nice pop feel with the art and color work. The one thing that she really did very well was the layout of the story. This is where the story comes alive is she takes real visual risks with the story that brings it alive. Morning Coffee is the humor piece of the book and it’s really a fun story. Masters story starts off as a simple heist and the way that he twist the story in 10 pages is simply amazing. The key to the story working so well is that it never goes over the top (but very close to the edge of it) but the idea of having Wonder Woman desperately needing a cup of joe in the morning to wake up is simply genius. Mebberson’s art fits the story like a glove. I dare say that she draws the cutest version of Wonder Woman that I have ever seen and her Catwoman is spot on. It’s a cartoony style that severs the story very nicely and brings this fun story to life. I have to say that getting Hernandez to draw Wonder Woman is a real gift from the comic gods. He really make this story his own and is obviously having the time of his life with the story and art. He really hits the ground running with action right from the start with deflecting lasers and smashing robots right out of the gate. Not only does he get to do Wonder Woman he throws in Supergirl and Kanjar Ro in for good measure. The only complaint that I have is that it’s only the first part of the story. DC really know how to get you to buy the next issue by doing this. I like the set up to the story but can’t fully review it yet because of the continuation of it. I will say that it gets off to a solid start.
Is this book worth your time and money? The thing I love about this and the previous Adventures of Superman was that it allows some really different creators to not have to follow the standard superhero path with books like this and it allows them to tell the stories they want to tell. The artists bring their own styles to each story and they couldn’t have done a better job with it. This is the best issue of the book so far and each story is a real winner. Both the story and the art are such a perfect match that brings a real breath of fresh air to the Wonder Woman mythology. This is one of those times where you say shut up and take my money! HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Image Comics Writer Alex Grecian, Artist Riley Rossmo, Colorist Ivan Plascencia, Letterer Thomas Mauer
I liked the the tag line for the book which is, Based on a True-ish events. The plot from Image is, In one night Rasputin was poisoned, beaten, stabbed, shot in the head, drowned, then tied up and thrown in a frozen river. It was really bad timing. His beard was just coming in nicely. While I liked the first issue it did leave me wondering what the book is going to be about. While it starts off in a present day type setting and flashed back to Rasputin’s childhood I was left with liking the story but not a feeling of after reading it. On the flip side I think there is a lot of promise that could come from the book in future issues. Grecian’s story is well paced and the flash backs tell the story with very little dialog that was refreshing to see pulled off well. Unfortunately Grecian misses the mark of drawing the reader into Rasputin’s world wholly. It almost seems like a Prolog to a story instead of a first issue. Rossmo does a great job on the artwork especially with a number of pages with a few lines or no dialog that he has to pull off visually. This is a daunting task for most artists and Rossmo does it with ease. He really keeps you interested in the story and conveys the emotions of the story very well.
Is this book worth your time and money? I like a lot of what happened in the story but I’m not sure what the point of the story really was. I will say that it’s worth checking out and there is a lot of promise to the future stories of the series. I really hope that Grecian knows where he is going to take the story because this one could spiral out of control very quickly. In the end I will give it a marginal recommendation but the next issue will be a make or break for this book.
Little Nemo Return to Slumberland #2
IDW Writer Eric Shanower, Artist Gabriel Rodriguez, Colorist Nelson Daniel, Letterer Robbie Robbins
Rarely does a re-imagining of a classic strip hold a candle to the original but this book is looking to break that cures. The plot from IDW is, Betrayal and a kiss! Scratchy clothes and the threat of a tea party! Nemo just wants to get away from Slumberland and his wish may come true when the insufferable Flip brings the sun to melt it all. Can this already be the final adventure in this exciting new vision of Winsor McKay’s classic comic strip? Shanower is no stranger to adapting classics with his take of the Wizard of Oz books at Marvel and works his writing magic for this book as well. Shanower is deliberately keeping the pace of the story in line with the original feel of the McKay stories. He did his homework very well and to be able to get the feel of the original strip but make this new story his own is a very rare feat. Reading the story is one of those magical experiences when you can find them. The story draws you into the dreamworld and you feel as if you are dreaming the story at the same time as Nemo. Rodriguez artwork is simply breathtaking and brings this book to life. The richness and the detail of the artwork envelopes your senses and makes you feel as if this is a real dream that you are having. There is truly not high enough praise for this beautiful artwork.
Is this book worth your time and money? If you love classic fairy tales or looking for a great comic to read then look no further than this. This is one of those rare books that you not only read but truly cherish. It make you feel like you are a kid again because the adventures in both the story and the art take you to a world that you wish you were really in. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
The Simpsons Treehouse of
Horrors Zombies! #20
Bongo Comics Writers J. Torres/Max Davison/Jesse Leon McCann/Ian Boothby, Artists Hilary Barta/Tone Rodriguez/John Delaney/James Lloyd (pencils) & Andrew Pepoy (inks), Colorists Art Villanueva, Nathan Hamill Letterer Karen Bates
With zombies being all the rage this years Treehouse of Horrors is an all zombie fest. The plot from Bongo is, If you like zombies, we got Zombies! It’s an all-out Zombiefest this month at Bongo! First, Homer leads an ever-diminishing group of survivors in their quest to stay alive against a marauding horde of cannibalistic zombies! And Bart and his friends must fend off the shopping dead while trapped at the Springfield Mall. Then, Homer and Bart must protect the nuclear power plant from a zombie invasion. Finally, a Zombienado strikes Springfield! (Need we say more…?) It’s a lighthearted, night of the living dead, laugh riot! While the issue came out a few weeks back it seemed appropriate to review it today. There are four stories in this years book and they are all fun tales. Zombienado by Torres and Barta is the simple tale of the fact that Homer will eat anything and parodies Sharknado and is simple but still fun story. Barta’s artwork is always a welcome site in the Simpsons comics and is perfect for this tale. The Walking Ned is actually a great homage to The Walking Dead. It’s like reading an issue of the Walking Dead but a lot funnier. Dawson story hits all of the right beats and having Ned be the hero is a nice touch. Rodriguez draws some really great zombie versions of the cast and just loved the attack of the seven duffs. Dusk of the No-Brainers by McCann and Delaney is a nice homage to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead where the kids of Springfield lock themselves in the mall to hide from the zombies. I won’t give away how the zombies get in but kudos to McCann for coming up with that story point. I loved the Delaney art especially when Bart slingshots Skinner in the head was beautiful. Power Plants Vs Zombies is a take on the game Plants Vs Zombies and has some nice twist to what could have been an average idea. Boothby does a nice job considering that the plot is based on a video game. Lloyd and Pepoy do some really great zombie vs plants deaths in the story.
Is this book worth your time and money? I like this years book but it fell short of loving it. The thing that I usually look forward to is outside comic artist brining their style to the Treehouse books. It’s not to say that any of the art is bad but they all fall into the Simpsons art style. In the past there has been artist like Kelly Jones and Bernie Wrightson that bring a different look than the normal “house style” of the monthly comics. While zombies are the flavor of the moment four stories of them in a row just tends to feel the same. The book is a solid read and has a lot of fun with the Halloween theme but this years book didn’t feel extra special like it has in previous years. Still worth buying but it was not the home run that I was hoping for.
Cartoon Books Written and Drawn by Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith new epic story hit with its second issue and how does it hold up? The plot from Cartoon Books is, Tuki the Giant-Killer! Hot on the heels of the award-winning issue #1 (National Cartoonists Society Reuben Award for Best Long Form Comic On Line) comes the next chapter in the story of the first human to leave Africa. After meeting and saving a shaman homo habilis, Tuki comes face to face with a sabretooth tiger! And that’s just the beginning! Tuki ignores the shaman’s warning and soon finds himself in the path of an angry giant! Smith continues to produce some of the most intriguing and best comics over the years and Tuki he is 3-0. Tuki is really setting up a grand tale that I am really liking but, it’s a little tough reading it as a bi-monthly book. This is one of those stories that is really good but in the long run is meant to be read in one sitting. The thing is that just when you read the issue with its cliffhanger ending you are bummed because your going to have to wait 2 months to read the next part. It’s hard to review the story because there is so much more to come but I am really enjoying what I have read so far. Smith is the master of epic stories that mix adventure, drama , humor and just about every other emotion into a grand tale with such ease that when you read it you come away with a great feeling. Doing the artwork horizontally, Smith is taking advantage of some really wonderful layouts to the story. You understand why the story wouldn’t work vertically.
Is this book worth your time and money? For some people this book will work a lot better when the whole story is collected when it’s finished. I really am enjoying the book but the bi-monthly schedule is killing me because I want to read the next issue now. The ultimate question is if you liked the first issue and decide how you want to read this book. Either way it’s an exciting story and can’t wait to see what Smith does with the story next.
Harley Quinn Annual #1
DC Comics Writers Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti, Artist John Timms and featuring Stjepan Sejic/Joe Quinones/Ben Caldwell/Kelley Jones/Rico Renzi/Michelle Madsen Colorists Paul Mounts/Sejic/Quinones/Renzi/Madsen Letterer John J. Hill
I thought I had seen every gimmick in comics but scratch and sniff (called rub and smell here probably not to have to pay a license fee for the title) apparently had not been attempted before in comics. We have to warn you, readers: This issue stinks! Seriously! Like, unpleasant odors are literally in the story! In this first-ever HQ ANNUAL, take a trip to Harley’s home of Coney Island in a groundbreaking “scent-ticular” issue, featuring actual, honest-to-gosh smells. This issue comes polybagged to contain the stench. Lets get the big complaint out-of-the-way, comics lately have been using thinner paper stock to cut down cost and generally there are no problems. But the paper on this book is so flimsy when you are trying to rub and smell you nearly destroy the book in the process. The book is also a gimmick story but strangely enough this fits perfectly into the Harley Quinn universe. Conner’s and Palmiotti pull out all the stops or smells if you want in a gimmick story that fits the gimmick of the rub and smell. Fortunately they know that the whole thing is a gimmick and have a lot of fun with that fact. The whole story is based around this gas created by Poison Ivy and the hallucinations that come from it and that is where the story goes into overdrive with different artists doing each hallucination sequence. The annual has the same fun that the regular issues have but the ramp up the silly factor for the rub and smell and in the end it strangely works. All of the art in the book is really good but I have to admit being a big Kelly Jones fan and having him do one of the hallucination stories was a real treat. Each artist brought a perfect feel for their sequence and it’s very obvious that Conner and Palmiotti specifically wrote for each one of them. Timms handled the main part of the story and did a good job. He really put a lot of detail into the artwork and did some really nice backgrounds.
Is this book worth your time and money? While the book was fun the $5.99 price tag is a little steep. The good news is that the rub and sniff is not very often and you can totally read the story without rubbing the book at all. You will get the idea of what the smell is by the little Harley bubble that explain what they are. The story is silly and fun with some really great artwork in both the main and hallucination sequences. If DC was going to charge six bucks for this I really wish that the paper stock was a lot better. If you are a fan of the monthly book then you are going to like this, if you are buying just for the rub and sniff in the end it was a so-so gimmick. In the end I did enjoy the book but be if your on a budget it’s a bit pricy so take that into consideration if you want to buy the book. The image below was bagged with the book and is an ad from MAD Magazine for the comic.