Thursday, May 24, 2018

Invincible Iron Man #600

   This issue of Invincible Iron Man marks the final Marvel work by writer Brian Michael Bendis, who's had quite an impact on the Marvel Universe in his almost two-decade-long run as one of its most significant authors.

   He's had some hits and misses over the years (which is only to be expected with such a significant body of work), and this is his chance to tie up a lot of threads he's introduced during his run on the adventures of Tony Stark.

   Even with an oversized issue, I'm not sure he was able to quite pull it all together - among the threads are: the future of Ironheart (Riri Williams); wrapping up the story of the new Dr. Doom (the Infamous Iron Man); explaining Tony Stark's disappearance; War Machine's death; the threat of a takeover at Stark Industries; and probably a few others that I've forgotten.

   But it's fun to see the big wrap-up chock full of amazing artists (most of whom did some of their most significant work with Bendis), and the deck is cleared for a new creative team and a new direction.

   Let's hope Bendis manages to shake things up at DC as effectively as he did at Marvel - and that Marvel finds someone as skilled to fill in the large gap he lives behind in the writing staff.

Grade: A-


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

New Comics Day

   Here’s what I picked up at the comics shop this week:

- BARRIER #4 (OF 5) - Language barrier!

- CHAMPIONS #20 - Helping an enemy?

- DOCTOR STRANGE #390 - Home at last!

- INCREDIBLE HULK #717 - The monster’s end!

- INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 - End of an era!

- SHIELD BY HICKMAN AND WEAVER #5 (OF 6) - An ending at last!

- TERRIFICS #4 - Journey to the Phantom World!

     And I received these review copies:

- DARK SOULS AGE OF FIRE #1 (OF 4) - Video game tie-in!

- EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT IRIS VOL. 5 #1 - The hit series returns!

- FACTORY #3 - The future is a nightmare!

- FOREVER FREE #2 - The sequel to the Forever War!

- HER INFERNAL DESCENT #2 - Facing a mad judge in Hell!

- PRINCELESS RAVEN YEAR 2 #7 LOVE AND REVENGE - The perils of living on a ship!

- PRISONER #2 (OF 4) - A new story based on the cult classic TV show!

- SHADOWMAN #3 - Every sin casts a shadow.

- X-O MANOWAR #15 - Back on Earth!

- ZOMBIE TRAMP #47 - Can a Zombie die?

     And that’s it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Deadpool 2 - Movie Review

   I enjoyed the first Deadpool movie, which managed a fun balance between humor, violence, being vulgar and lots of inside references.

   The new film, Deadpool 2, doesn't quite manage to reach the heights of the first one - though there are lots of fun sequences and over-the-top action scenes.

   Ryan Reynolds is perfect as DP, just one step removed from Bugs Bunny (if Bugs were also a brutal killer), bouncing between high-test action, funny comments and occasionally breaking the fourth wall.

   His main opposition is Josh Brolin (Marvel is keeping him very busy this year), playing Cable, a soldier from the future whose goal is to kill the mutant who causes devastation in his time. He's perfect as a brutally efficient (yet tragic) figure.

   Most of the supporting cast is back, and we see DP put together his own version of the X-Men (to less than stellar results). The real standout is Domino, played by the stunning Zazie Beetz, who shines in several action sequences.

   There are lots of cameos and guest spots, none of which I'll spoil here - oh, and be sure to stay for the mid-credits clip, which is a lot of fun.

   So why does this one fall short? There are a couple of places where the script drops the ball (avoiding what could have been easy fixes for the big problems), and it lingers a bit too long on some of the more tragic elements. And I'm not much of a fan of the "kid's life is in danger" bit.

   Don't get me wrong, most fans will love this movie - it's loaded with gags and violence and inappropriate behavior. 

   I was just hoping for more consistency with Deadpool himself - they play him as both a hero and a villain, and you can't have it both ways.

Grade: B-


Monday, May 21, 2018

Sick Leave

   Apologies for the lack of posts, folks - I've been been knocked down for several days by a nasty stomach bug.

   The good news is, I'm almost back to normal, so I'll hopefully be back to my usual schedule soon.

   Thanks for your patience - I'll have a Deadpool 2 review when I return!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden #3 (of 7)

   You might not expect a ronin (a masterless samurai) to find himself involved with solving murders - but Usagi Yojimbo often finds himself in that position, especially when he encounters his old friend Inspector Ishida.

   When two corpses are found - one bearing a cross, the symbol of the (then) forbidden Kirishitan religion - Usagi and Ishida must try to track down the mysterious item stolen from a dead man.

   Like any great character, Usagi lends himself well to almost any story format, even a detective story - and here he makes a great assistant for Ishida, right down to an entertaining bit of comic clumsiness that forces a suspect to talk.

   As always, writer / artist Stan Sakai builds an amazing world and a powerful story.

   How I love this series! Highly recommended!

Grade: A


Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Avengers #2

   Two issues in and the latest version of The Avengers is off to a solid cosmic-flavored start.

   This story arc is, of course, all about putting the team together, and they have a massive problem to face.

   To be exact, something is killing the titanic, incredibly powerful space aliens known as the Celestials - and now that "something" is threatening the Earth!

   That brings the "Big Three" back together - Captain America, Iron Man and Thor - adds in some former Avengers - Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel and She-Hulk - and a new fiery addition, the Ghost Rider.

   The focus is on action and adventure, and it's a great jumping-on spot for fans of the team. 

   The script by Jason Aaron is sharp and funny, and the art by Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales and Jay Leisten is big and bold and a blast throughout.

   Highly recommended!

Grade: A-


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

New Comic Day

     Here's what I picked up at the comics shop this week:


- AVENGERS #2 - Fight against titanic foes!

- BARRIER #3 (OF 5) - Silence is golden!

- BRAVE & THE BOLD BATMAN & WONDER WOMAN #4 (OF 6) - A mystery unfolds!

- CAPTAIN AMERICA #702 - Promised Land continues.

- DAREDEVIL #602 - The fight for New York!

- MIGHTY THOR GATES OF VALHALLA #1 (OF 1) - Final farewell!

- USAGI YOJIMBO #3 (OF 7) THE HIDDEN - Assassins are afoot!

- WILD STORM #13 - John Lynch is on the move!

     And I received these review copies:

- ATHENA VOLTAIRE 2018 ONGOING #4 - Nazis and hidden temples!

- BLOODSHOT SALVATION #9 - The origin of Bloodhound!


- HARBINGER WARS COMPENDIUM - Collecting the original war!

- JIRNI VOL. 3 #3 - Fantasy and swords, oh my!

- NINJA-K #7 - What is the Coalition?

- RUIN OF THIEVES BRIGANDS #1 - A comet brings disaster!

- VAMPBLADE VOL. 6 WORLD WAR DETROIT - Danger at the comics shop!

     And that's it!