Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fighting American #1

   It's not always easy to love Fighting American.

   The character was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby as (sort of) a way to reclaim their most famous creation, Captain America, which they were forced to leave behind when they left Timely Comics (which later became Marvel Comics).

   But instead of playing it straight, in the original version they decided to camp it up and have fun with the concept, pitting the hero and his sidekick Speedboy against assorted comical "Commie" threats to the U.S.A.

   It's all good fun, but it didn't last long (though it survives on in some nice reprint editions). An attempt or two have been made to bring the character back over the years, but they've fallen short - at least until now.

   This new version from Titan Comics, published in time to be part of the Jack Kirby's 100th birthday celebration, is written by Gordon Rennie with art by Duke Mighten, and it actually manages to capture the feel of the original while bringing it up to date.

   It accomplishes this by that beloved vehicle, the time machine, and F.A. and S.B. chase one of their most dastardly villains into the present - and what follows is a fun collision of cultures, managing a great balance between humor and action.

   I wasn't expecting much from this series - too many creators just lean on the powerful original concept and don't bring much to the table. That's not the case here.

   Somewhat to my surprise, I enjoyed it. A lot!

   Go figure.

Grade: A

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Wynonna Earp Season Zero #4

   The latest Wynonna Earp mini-series (Season Zero) is really swinging for the fences, and it brings with it a Wild Bunch / Seven Samurai / World War II threshold of violence and action.

   Written by Earp creator Beau Smith and Tim Rozon, who plays Doc Holliday on the TV series, it gives us a meeting of Wynonna's two families - the paramilitary biker gang she ran with, and her new family depicted on the TV series.

   They're facing a deadly fight against a more powerful opponent - the sinister Keegan.

   What follows is one of the most intense battles I've ever seen depicted in a comic book! Lives are lost, battles are fought on scales both large and small, family pulls together and revenge is served up in large doses.

   The art by Angel Hernandez is terrific, with no punches pulled in the depiction of the violence of war.

   It's a terrific series, one any action fan is bound to love. It's a home run!

   Highly recommended!

Grade: A

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dark Nights Metal #3

   I was planning to skip this Dark Nights Metal mini-series.

   The whole "Dark Multiverse" / Heavy Metal thing just looked too dark for my (admittedly middle-of-the-road) tastes.

   But curiosity got the best of me, so I picked it up - and now I regret it.

   That's because it's become exactly what I expected: dark, depressing, placing the DC Universe in the throes of a terrible, dystopian existence that promises lots of death and destruction along the way.

   This issue actually focuses on Superman, so you'd think it would be a bit more uplifting - but no, it never really rises out of the muck.

   The art and story are skillful and disturbing, and if you like this sort of thing more than I do, here it is.

Grade: C+

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

New Comics Day

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

- DAREDEVIL #27 - The Land of the Blind!

- DARK NIGHTS METAL #3 (OF 6) - Invasion from the Dark Multiverse!

- DEFENDERS #6 - Kingpins of New York!

- FLASH #32 - An attack on STAR Labs!

- GROO PLAY OF GODS #4 - Can the gods survive when Groo's around?

- MISTER MIRACLE #3 (OF 12) - The ultimate trap: war!

- WYNONNA EARP SEASON ZERO #4 (OF 5) - Wynonna's allies to the rescue!


    And here are the review copies I received:

- ASPEN UNIVERSE DECIMATION #1 - The time for revelations is over!

- BEST OF CROCK - A Hardcover collection of the comic strip's greatest hits!

- DAN DARE #1 - Return of the classic British SF hero!

- DANGER DOLL SQUAD #1 - Crossover time!

- DOCTOR WHO LOST DIMENSION SPECIAL #1 - Tying into the event!

- EVIL WITHIN #2 - The survival horror series continues!

- FIGHTING AMERICAN #1 - The return of the classic Simon and Kirby character!

- HARBINGER RENEGADE #8 - Massacre!

- LOST FLEET CORSAIR #4 (OF 4) - The SF novel adaptation concludes!

- MEDISIN #5 - Facing the deadly Malady!

- PENNY DREADFUL #6 - Spinning off from the TV series.

- SHINOBI NINJA PRINCESS LIGHTNING ONI #2 - The mystery behind a deadly attack.

- WARHAMMER 40000 DAWN OF WAR III #3 (OF 4) - Based on the classic strategy game!

- WOLFENSTEIN #2 (OF 2) - Based on the classic videogame!

    And that's it!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Shadowman Rae Sremmurd #1

    I may know a  bit about comic books, but as a geezer I know squat about hip hop music.

   So I had no idea who or what Rae Sremmurd might be, and how they / it was connected to Shadowman.

   Turns out that they're real-life musicians, made up of brothers Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi.

   According to this story, they gained success thanks to an agreement they signed with the Devil - which explains their quick success - but then the Devil shows up to claim their souls.

   The issue features a cameo by Dr. Mirage and takes us to the Deadside, where Shadowman lives and works to undo the curse.

   The story by Eliot Rahal is pretty straightforward - your typical "deal with the devil" kinda thing - but the art by Renato Guedes is tremendous, with a painted, realistic approach to the action and characters.

   Fans of the group will enjoy their appearance here - and even if you don't know anything about the group (like some people I could name), it's still a fun tale.

Grade: B+

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Monday, October 9, 2017

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" - Movie Trailer

   The new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, was rolled out this evening, and it certainly looks impressive. Check it out:

  

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Justice League #30

   The Justice League under writer (and occasional artist) Bryan Hitch has been all about playing out stories on a VERY BIG STAGE - and this issue, the latest chapter in the Legacy story, follows that pattern.

   Unlike some of the previous epics, this story actually has an emotional connection as a somewhat-mysterious group of young adults appear, claiming to be the children of members of the League.

   They're here to stop a terrible menace that destroyed the future - but it has followed them through time and promises more of the same.

   It's a story that can be  bit of a struggle to keep up with, as there are a lot of elements in play: who is Sovereign? What happened to change Aquaman in the future? Why is the Darkness attacking Wonder Woman? What is the real mission of the heroes from the future?

   It can be a bit much, but it's compelling and well worth sorting out.

   Throw in some terrific, Hitch-like art by Fernando Pasarin, inked by Andy Owens, Mick Gray, Batt and Scott Hanna, colors by Brad Anderson, and you have a heckuva story unfolding here.

   Recommended!

Grade: A-

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