05 7 / 2013

Howdy folks. We’ve been gone for a while. I got a job that kept me from really reading comics, let alone writing about them. But now I’m back, hopefully for a while. 

Today I want to talk about Lazarus #1, which reunites Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, who previously worked on Gotham Central with Ed Brubaker. It’s a book that I had been looking forward to since it was first announced, which I believe was at last year’s Image Expo. Rucka is a pretty great writer, who is especially good with more down-to-earth stuff, so a science fiction book seems a little out of his comfort zone. Michael Lark is great at, let’s say, “gritty art”, which often makes him a great match for Rucka

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31 5 / 2013

 I am a big fan of horror, a big fan of sci-fi, and, like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, I think they’re two great tastes that taste great together. For instance, BPRD is one of my favourite current on-going comics of all time. Perhaps for this reason, and because I have loved everything Scott Snyder’s done in the past few years, I was very much looking forward to this comic, and I was not disappointed

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27 5 / 2013

Hi, I’m Jerry, and if you happen to be about my age (twenty-four), you probably grew up with the 90’s X-Men cartoon. It’s not a show that has aged particularly well, but even to this day, when I think of the X-Men, that particular incarnations comes to mind. In particular, the designs from the show are what made the X-Men so memorable to me. And for that, we can thank superstar artist and currently one of the editors of D.C. Comics, Jim Lee.

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There isn’t much contention among the team of merry losers that is APAP, but I seem to be alone in my love for Jim Lee for his work on X-Men. I can understand why a lot of people have come to dislike Lee in hindsight. Jim indirectly contributed to the changing artistic trends and aesthetics we now call the Dark Age of Comics. His art even now still connected to an era where comics embraced superficial cynicism while still maintaining their airs of juvenile power fantasy. Lee even still retains the same fondness for excess and over-the-top character design that is oft mocked in the current comic book era. It does not help that in recent years, Lee has attached himself to some absolutely awful works that are arguably saved by his phenomenal drawings. Batman: Hush is a particular example where the main conceit is that its cluttered and over-reaching plot allows Lee to show off on every page.

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24 5 / 2013

Do you like Giant Robots? Do you like Giant Robots that can Transform? Do you like postbellum periods for wars that had lasted actual millions of years, so that none of the participants know what to do next? Do you like fun space operas, with monumental quests that might just be a wild goose chase? 

 Then you should be reading the new Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise on-going series.

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21 5 / 2013

Hi, I’m Jerry, and I like comic book characters. I’ve decided to sort of start a bit where I do character retrospectives of characters I like. Tonight’s choice is everyone’s favorite tiny canucklehead: Wolverine!

Wolverine is a staple of comics to the point he could arguably be Marvel Comics’ mascot, and is certainly their most prolific character, having multiple solo titles and being a regular part of nearly every recent X-Men and Avengers team. Wolverine is one of the most successful, popular, and busy characters in all of comics. His schedule is probably only rivaled by Batman at this moment. He’s the focus of all but one X-Men movies (the fact that even a single X-Men movie not focusing prominently on Wolverine surprises me immensely), and actor Hugh Jackman has the longest running tenure of playing a superhero as Wolverine. Hardcore X-fans may scoff and call him a corporate whore, but his popularity has been a long-standing factor. He’s been outdoing characters of similarly grim and gritty natures for long enough that there’s a lot of evidence that there is more to Wolverine than simply his status as a berserking killing machine.

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10 5 / 2013

Archer and Armstrong #0: Yet another 0 issue. I was not informed that Valiant was doing that this month. I thought it was dumb when DC did it, I still think it’s dumb. This one has a pretty interesting premise, though, where Armstrong tells Archer the Epic of Gilgamesh, from his point of view, because of course he lived through it, and it’s actually the story of him and his brothers. And it’s a story that has much changed in its telling. While I don’t like the idea of #0 issues, this might be my favorite issue of this series yet.

Avengers #11: A sort of heist/espionage story, starring Shang-Chi. Each of the Avengers in this issue are in a different position at this big shindig trying to make sure no one can acquire this new AIM superweapon. This seems like it might be setting up a new story-line for Avengers, that will likely run alongside the other “The Universe Machine is Broken” story-line that most of the earlier issues were about.

Batman #20: A continuation of last month’s story, with an added cameo of the suit from Batman Beyond. Looks like next month’s issue will be the first part of Zero Year, which I have to admit I’m not really looking forward to.

Bravest Warriors #8: The first page reveals that the last issue was all a dream. And all the Bravest Warriors had the same dream! And it really screwed with them, so Danny spends the issue hacking their feelings to fix them. The back-up is about everyone finding Beth’s search history, pretty much, and was written by Ryan Pequin of Three Word Phrase fame. Not a bad issue all in all, though not the best.

Fearless Defenders #4: The ladies fight the Doom Maidens. They’re forced to retreat. The Doom Maidens come out with these big ass serpents that shoot green fireballs. The ladies teleport away and discuss their next move. Valkyrie remembers her secret origin. It’s a pretty straightforward comic, with some entertaining quips. Looks like Luke Cage or Iron Fist may be in the next issue, which is always a treat.

Thor God of Thunder #8: The Three Thors finally unite, and prepare to do battle with Gorr. There’s nothing particularly special about this issue, but it’s probably the calm before the storm, as next issue is sure to be great.

Uncanny X-Force #4: This issue can be summed up with: everything goes wrong for everybody but the bad dude. 

04 5 / 2013

Superman has kryptonite, Green Lantern has the color yellow, and if the past two movies are anything to go by Iron Man’s fatal weakness is second acts.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. This movie doesn’t stop mid-stride in the flabbergasting way that Iron Man 2 did, but it does -not unlike last year’s The Dark Knight Rises- spend a whole load of time with Iron Man taken down and demoralized. This film actually takes a lot from the Nolan’s movies, learning lessons both in what to do and what not to do, right down to the fact that if we didn’t know that Avengers 2 was coming out in 2015 we could actually call this the end of the Iron Man film franchise. Much like that movie it grabs from numerous Iron Man stories the most notable of which is Warren Ellis’ Extremis storyline and the most perplexing of which is actually J.M. DeMatteis’ politically backed Captain America run.

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03 5 / 2013

Juan: So, we have been out of commission again. I know, it sucks, yadda yadda yadda. But we’re still working on making this happen. We also recruited a dude. Say hi to the dude, folks!

Now, dude, say hi to the folks.

Bobby: Hi. I’m Bobby. I’m new. I like comics. Here are some comics.

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30 4 / 2013

In a comic series full of great moments, silly gags and just about every good emotion that Ellis has managed to invoke or evoke across his decades-long career, this page right there is simply his finest achievement. 

In a comic series full of great moments, silly gags and just about every good emotion that Ellis has managed to invoke or evoke across his decades-long career, this page right there is simply his finest achievement. 

(Source: thewovenweb)

26 3 / 2013

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Hellblazer was one of my favorite comics. It was my first ‘mature readers’ comic and when I was fourteen I wanted to be just like John Constantine. Yeah, I was a dumb kid. John Constantine himself was a unique character in the world of spandex, lacking superpowers. Even his magic was more bluffing and chicanery than actual fireball-flinging. While he also had some steadfast morals, he very often failed to live up to them, making others suffer just to stay ahead. Even in the world of adult comics, he was unique mostly for his subtlety. Hellblazer was a hit and Vertigo’s most successful comic, leading them to reintroduce the character into DC proper with their New 52 reboot, separate from the Vertigo book as a younger, less edgy version of himself. For all intents and purposes, this seemed to work pretty well for DC with two different continuities of John Constantine running around. DC also seemed to view Constantine as a book seller as he ended up guest-starring in almost every single supernatural book. He did so well, in fact, that DC had a pretty simple idea: Cancel Hellblazer and fully integrate John Constantine into the DC Universe.

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