Welcome back, after a week off, I’m back with more news and reviews. A lot of good books in the last two weeks and some books that should have been better. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got on this week’s:
All the little birdies on Jaybird Street; Love to the robin go:
tweet, tweet, tweet.
Rockin’ robin; tweet, tweet, tweet
Rock rock, rockin’ Robin; tweet, tweet, tweet
Blow rockin’ robin;‘Cause we’re really gonna rock tonight. tweet, tweet, tweet”
– D. Grayson, T. Drake, J. Todd and the Robins.
Comic Book News: Geoff Johns has teased a return to Aquaman through his Twitter account – though it’s unknown whether this will be a return to the book or something else. Deadpool gets a new mini-series as he gathers a bunch of mercenaries for Deadpool & the Mercs for Money. And for some reason, people continue to give Rob Liefeld work as he returns to Marvel for a Deadpool graphic novel. And the Aquaman movie has hired Walking Dead writer, David Leslie Johnson.
Movie News: Nicole Kidman is apparently joining the cast of Wonder Woman, bringing some major star power to the project. Michael Stuhlbarg is joining Dr. Strange as Nicodemus West, a magic user of minor talents, and Amy Landecker has been cast in an unknown role.. Meanwhile, Ralph Fiennes will adding his voice talents to Lego Batman as Alfred and Mariah Carey will be voicing the Mayor of Gotham. So how bad was the new Fantastic Four movie? Well, it was apparently so bad, Fox is blaming it for their lost revenue. I think we’ve seen the last of the FF for a while. As for the Suicide Squad, it apparently walks the line of PG-13 which begs the question – Why isn’t it just an “R”?
TV News: We got another trailer for Jessica Jones and it looks fantastic. Gotham will be getting another original villain in the form of Tommy Flanagan, while Emma Caulfield and Tawny Cypress join Supergirl as Cameron Chase and Senator Miranda Crane respectively. The Maggia will be coming to Agent Carter with Ken Marino as their leader. Syfy has released its first promotional image for Wynonna Earp. In the announcement that made my day, my favorite superhero show as a kid is coming back to TV as Fox has committed to a pilot of the Greatest American Hero. Constantine’s guest spot on Arrow really struck a nerve as fans have launched a petition to bring it back. Oni Press is cutting ties with it’s screen entertainment arm called Close on Monday and working in house to bring its properties to other media – which probably a good thing considering I had no idea they were trying in the first place. Jeffrey Dean Morgan has been cast in the Walking Dead as Negan – who I believe is the series only living bad guy at this point. We got our first look at the next Arrow/Flash crossover, showing the Hawks in full costume. And finally, Andrew Kreisberg has signed an exclusive deal with Warners Brothers, so all of his future endeavors will be with them – they should give him their movies. He gets the DC Universe better almost anyone.
All-New Wolverine #1 (Marvel Comics)
By Tom Taylor with art by David Lopez and David Navarrot
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Laura came off as a great character and a far more interesting one than Logan ever was. The inclusion of the Orphan Black type twist was welcome as well. It gives Laura a clear mission and a different purpose than her “father”. The young Angel was a nice touch as well – it makes them both slightly more human and almost changes my mind about the time-placed X-Man. Almost. He should still go back at this point. The art was excellent as well – it’s basic, but it does a great job of showcasing the action without losing the audience. One question – if the assassin was another clone like Laura – how did the fall kill her? Shouldn’t she have a healing factor like Laura and Logan? Hopefully, the reasoning for that comes quickly.
Hercules #1 (Marvel Comics)
By Dan Abnett with art by Luke Ross and Guru-eFX
I don’t normally do this, but PLEASE buy this book. Keep it in print and keep the story going. This is one of Marvel’s best relaunches for the hero we didn’t know we wanted. This is a slightly new Hercules – with a new modern costume, a new attitude, and new determination to show the world is he more than a drunken lout. He is Hercules – the world’s first hero. But it’s the little things that make the book – Gilgamesh on the couch, the shrine of offerings, the business card, Hercules’s insistence at accepting the modern world, even the landlady’s dislike of our hero. All of these things add up to a great book and something that everyone should be reading.
Klaus #1 (Boom! Studios)
By Grant Morrison with art by Dan Mora
Mr. Morrison turns his mind and pen to the origin of Santa Claus – or Klaus as the case may be. It’s almost the same story with the claymation movie from my childhood, though with less singing and Kringles and more bloodshed and wolves. Oh, and more alien wood spirits? This was a great book that really painted an interesting picture of Klaus – gone was the sweet man that just wanted to help. He’s replaced by a reluctant hero with a good heart, that seems to want nothing more than to leave Grimsvig to it’s fate. Even in the town, he simply wants to sell his furs and move on – it’s not until violence is committed on a child that his temper gets the better of him. All in all it was a good book.
The Ultimates #1 (Marvel Comics)
By Al Ewing with art by Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown
I’ve got to say this one took me off guard. I was surprised by how good it was and the twist at the end. Like Galactus himself I thought this was all about killing him – I was as shocked as he was to find they were their to solve his problem. It was a great set-up and really has me interested in seeing what happens next. There were two things that I didn’t care for – one was the introduction of ISO-8 from the various Marvel video games (really, guys?) and Ms. America. And while Ms. America is a fine character, I don’t think she’s earned the spot in this group as some of the others have. The group is made up of a lot of characters that have had their powers, backgrounds, and characters defined. I couldn’t tell you one damn thing about Ms. America, even with the help of her “bio” in the book. I hope they can give a little bit more depth to her character. Other than that, I think this was a great start, and while it doesn’t bear the name, I think this and New Avengers are the best Avengers titles on the shelf right now.
Amazing Spider-Man #3 (Marvel); Axcend #2 (Image); Back to the Future #2 (IDW); Batman #46 (DC); Batman/Superman #26 (DC); Batman & Robin Eternal #5 and #6 (DC); Batman Beyond #6 (DC); Bat-Mite #6 (DC); Birthright #11 (Image); Chewbacca #3 (Marvel); Constantine the Hellblazer #6 (DC); Darth Vader #12 (Marvel); Detective Comics #46 (DC); Doctor Strange #2 (Marvel); Green Lantern #46 (DC); Harley Quinn and Power Girl #5 (DC); Illuminati #1 (Marvel); Invincible Iron Man #3 (Marvel); Justice League: The Darkseid War: Green Lantern #1 (DC); Justice League: The Darkseid War: Shazam #1 (DC); Justice League United #15 (DC); Last Sons of America #1 (Image); Letter 44 #21 (Oni Press); Midnighter #6 (DC); Slash & Burn #1 (DC); Spider-Man 2099 #3 (Marvel); Star Wars #11 (Marvel); Starfire #6 (DC); Teen Titans #13 (DC); The Twilight Children #2 (DC); Unfollow #1 (DC); Vision #1 (Marvel); Web Warriors #1 (Marvel)
All-New, All-Different Avengers #1 (Marvel); Captain America: White #4 (Marvel); Carnage #1 (Marvel); Citizen Jack #1 (IMage); Contest of Champions #2 (Marvel); Drax #1 (Marvel); Extraordinary X-Men #1 (Marvel); Infinity Gauntlet #5 (Marvel); James Bond: Vargr #1 (Dynamite); Nova #1 (Marvel); Squadron Sinister #4 (Marvel); Superman: American Alien #1 (DC); Thors #4 (Marvel)
Justice League: The Darkseid War: Superman #1 (DC Comics)
By Francis Manapul with art by Bong Dazo and Hi-Fi
Justice League: The Darkseid War: Flash #1 (DC Comics)
By Rob Williams with art by Jesus Merino and Guy Major
Both of these were disappointing for the same reason – they were both stories that we’ve seen before. After the high bar that the Batman one shot set, I was had high hopes for both of these books. What did we get instead? A story about a Superman who is a jerk and a Flash who has an internal debate in the span of a heartbeat. Neither of them brings anything new to the table and neither were worth the price of admission. Even the moments that should be great are muted because it’s nothing new. Neither book was bad, they were just disappointing. I wanted a lot more from the writers of these books. Hopefully the rest of the one shots will get a bit better and more original.
Secret Wars #7 (Marvel)
Written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Esad Ribic
So, another issue of Secret Wars has come out – so late, that I had to go back and reread the last six because I couldn’t remember what the hell happened. Plus there the characters seem to be lost among the grand sweeping movements of the play. While I understand that this is an event comic, we’ve got far too many players on the field and no stakes for most of them. Thanks to the hype machine, we already know that a majority of these characters (even the ones that are already dead) make it through Secret Wars, so there aren’t even any real stakes. Even Doom has made it through this. The only ones who we haven’t heard from is Reed and Sue and honestly, we know that’s coming. The book is rapidly becoming boring and if the scheduling doesn’t pick up, it will also become irrelevant.
Uncanny X-Men #600 (Marvel Comics)
By Brian Michael Bendis with Sara Pichelli, Mahmud Asrar, Stuart Immonen, Kris Anka, Chris Bachalo, David Marquez, Frazer Irving, Marte Gracia, and Jason Keith
Wow. What complete and utter bullshit. One – there was no reason to delay this comic except for incompetence. Two – NINE ARTISTS? I’ve seen mini-series with less artists than this one issue had on it. Three – This was the fastest wrap up of storylines without actually accomplishing anything I’ve read in almost thirty years. Four – We’re left with another dangling X-Men plotline (the trail of Hank McCoy) that could take years to resolve again. Five – We have the second forced outing of a character, by his younger self this time (that STILL makes no sense). Six – Stop messing with the dynamics of the original X-Men or just admit they’re not the original X-Men. Seven – If they are the original X-Men: WHY THE HELL ARE THEY STILL IN OUR TIME LINE? SEND THEM HOME! Eight – Cyclops made a fast turn around, didn’t he? One minute, he’s mutant rebel with a cause and the next he’s the Mutant Martian Luther King Jr. Nine – What the hell was with the Ice-Man back-up? And finally, I have this feeling that Marvel doesn’t know what to do with mutants and this and Extraordinary X-Men seem to prove my point. They don’t want to promote them too hard because of Fox’s movie involvement, yet they can’t get rid of them because they are one of their most popular properties. So you get bad plotlines and a odd characterizations that just annoy and baffle me. This wasn’t worth the price of even the paper it was printed on.
All-New Hawkeye (Marvel Comics)
By Jeff Lemire with art by Ramon Perez and Ian Herring
Deadpool (Marvel Comics)
By Gerry Duggan with art by Mike Hawthorne, Terry Pallot, and Val Staples
Howard the Duck (Marvel Comics)
By Chip Zdarsky with art by Joe Quinones and Joe Rivera
Uncanny Avengers (Marvel)
By Gerry Duggan with Ryan Stegman and Richard Isanove
So, yeah – I am definitely not the target audience for these books. With Deadpool, I just can’t stand the character. And like they did with Wolverine, Marvel is slowly moving him into everything, even when it doesn’t make sense (*cough* Avengers *cough*). And unlike Wolverine, Deadpool works best when he’s on his own and has as little contact with the rest of the Marvel Universe as possible. Like Punisher. With Howard, I just don’t get who was clamouring for this book. He just doesn’t seem like an interesting character and I don’t see why he gets a book over characters that are far more interesting. Hawkeye is just… boring – I mean seriously. He’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with a bow and arrow at this point and a sidekick that’s almost on par with Speedy (and that’s not a good thing). As for the Uncanny Avengers – has there been a team with as many unlikable characters as this? Johnny’s the only one not acting like a complete asshole. He’s just acting like a half-ass, which is at least in character. Even the introduction of Cable doesn’t save this book – it just makes me remember a far better series.
Batman ‘66 (DC Comics)
Lee Allred, Mike W. Barr, Ray Fawkes, Rob Williams, Gabe Soria, Tom Peyer, Jeff Parker, Gabriel Soria, Art & Franco, Ted Naifeh, Dean Haspiel, Jonathan Case, Ty Templeton, Sandy Jarrell, Colleen Coover, Craig Rousseau, David Williams, Dario Brizuela, Chris Sprouse, Ruben Procopio, Joelle Jones, Joe Quinones, Len Wein, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Joe Prado, Alex Sinclair, Brent Schoonover, Wilfredo Torres, Paul Rivoche, Dave Bullock, Leonardo Romero, Richard Case, Scott Kowalchuk, Jesse Hamm, Lukas Ketner, Jon Bogdanove, Giancarlo Caracuzzo, Michael Avon Oeming, Michael Allred, Laura Allred
Bat-Mite (DC Comics)
Dan Jurgens, Colrin Howell, Andres Ponce, Mike Atiyeh
Infinity Gauntlet (Marvel Comics)
Dustin Weaver, Gerry Duggan
Squadron Sinister (Marvel Comics)
Marc Guggenheim, Carlos Pacheco, Mariano Taibo, Frank Martin
Thors (Marvel Comics)
Jason Aaron, Chris Sprouse, Goran Sudzuka, Karl Story, Dexter Vines, Marte Gracia, Israel Silva
Well, that’s it from me. See you all next week!