• Categories

  • Archives

  • Top 10 Most Read

Batwoman #2 – Review

By J.H. Williams III (co-writer & artist), W. Haden Blackman (co-writer), Dave Stewart (colors), Todd Klein (letters)

The Story: Batwoman continues her investigation of the mysterious Weeping Woman while avoiding the federal agents trying to capture and unmask her.

What’s Good: Good lord this book is beautiful. I know I should expect that, after all the J.H. Williams III I’ve seen–and especially after how much of his Batwoman work I’ve read–but it still drops my jaw every single time I turn one of his pages. There aren’t enough superlatives in the language to discuss this adequately and even if there were, it’d get repetitive very quickly. Suffice to say that this is without question the most beautiful book on the comic shelf right now.

The writing is very good as well. While the script doesn’t quite live up to the astronomic heights set by the visuals, both co-writers continue to capture Kate Kane’s voice perfectly, and that shines through any other minor issues that are present. In the same way that Williams’ artwork carries the storytelling, Kate Kane’s personality carries and drives the script. Although I was quite looking forward to her becoming a part of Batman INC, I love the explanation she gave for being wary of signing up. Batman may be her inspiration, but they clearly have rather different ideas about how their ideals should be acted upon. I love this unexpected mini-conflict, and look forward to seeing how it plays out in the issues to come.

Continue reading

Witchblade #148 – Review

By Ron Marz (writer), Stjepan Sejic (artist), Troy Peteri (letters)

Ahead there be (small) spoilers. Consider yerself warned.

The Story Angelus comes in to provide backup when Tiamat proves to be a little too strong for Sara and the Witchblade to handle alone. Lieutenant Phipps continues to make a rather large nuisance of himself, and we also learn that Mr. Marz has not forgotten Tiamat’s mythological lineage as a creature of the sea.

What’s Good: Although I’ve almost always loved Witchblade and Ron Marz’s work on it, this arc has me ready to start a kickstarter campaign just to keep him on the book. Not that a new direction will be a bad thing (and I’m certainly looking forward to an Artifacts ongoing!) but it will definitely be the end of a wonderful era for Sara and company–and I’m not sure I’m ready to embrace that yet.

This issue handles the various plot threads a lot more smoothly than the last one did, which is very nice to see. Although the plot is still moving forward, this issue seems much less cramped. (Bringing in LT Phipps at the end did feel like a bit much, but then again–given the last page–could also help bring a quick and expeditious end to Sara’s issues with Internal Affairs!)

Continue reading

Captain America & Bucky #622- Review

By Ed Brubaker & Marc Andreyko (writers), Chris Samnee (artist), Bettie Breitweiser (color artist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters)

The Story: Back in Word War II, Bucky tries hard to fit in as the only non-super powered member of the Invaders.

What’s Good: Remember all that irritated bellyaching I did about Bucky back when he was in charge of The Shield? While I still don’t love him as Cap, and while I still find that particular storyline not to my liking, I hearby take back everything bad I ever said about him as a character. THIS is a Bucky I care for, and want to learn more about! The brilliant convention in this arc is not simply telling a WW II flashback story, but in having Bucky tell us the story with the benefit of his older and more mature hindsight. This gives us the benefit of a good WW II story and learning a bit more about Bucky’s past and his relationship with Cap while still advancing his current character arc and giving us a direct idea of what meaning this story has for him now. The writing in general is just fantastic, as a matter of fact–THIS is the Brubaker I know and love. I particularly love Namor’s role as the cuttingly sarcastic voice of (quite reasonable, really) skepticism regarding Bucky’s place on a team of super heroes.

Continue reading

Captain America #3 – Review

By Ed Brubaker (writer), Steve McNiven (pencils), Jay Listen (inks), Justin Ponsor (colors), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters & production)

The Story: Ameridroid (!) draws Cap out for a battle, while Sharon must contend with Baron Zemo.

What’s Good: We as readers are very lucky that Steve McNiven is penciling this issue. Extended fight scenes (which is essentially what this issue is) can become dull and repetitive very quickly, but thanks to McNiven’s pencils, this ends up being quite a lot of fun. There’s not a whole lot to sink your teeth into in terms of character development (although Steve Rogers does have one very nice moment towards the end, contemplating Ameridroid’s nature), but what this book does provide is the sort of fast and fun action that comics do better than any other medium out there. Brubaker does an excellent job of using the tools at his disposal to create an excellent series of action set pieces that are well paced and a great deal of fun to sit back and take in. The action gives McNiven an excuse to really let lose for the first time in the series as well, which is a pleasure to watch unfold.

Continue reading

Wonder Woman #1 – Review

By Brian Azzarello (writer), Cliff Chiang (art), Matthew Wilson (colors), Jarred K. Fletcher (letters)

Minhquan Nguyen and I both felt strongly about this book and wanted to give it a review. Rather than publish two separate reviews, we decided to co-author one together. Two opinions for the price of one! Let us know what you think of this format!

The Story: Diana discovers that the gods are up to no good, and its up to her to save the life of a young mortal woman in their sights.

What I liked: Although this issue obviously doesn’t follow the enormous Odyssey storyline in terms of continuity, it feels like it could have from a character standpoint–and that’s a fantastic thing. Odyssey was all about building Diana up as the strong, powerful and compassionate hero we know and love, and that is exactly the Diana that this book delivers. Thank the gods–I’ve missed her a great deal. I love that her first act is defending a woman; it has echoes of The Hiketeia, one of my favorite Wonder Woman stories. Instead of simply standing up to Batman though, here Diana is forced to stand up to the gods and their minions. It is really wonderful to see the pantheon involved so early and directly, and it’s handled so well that I didn’t feel any inkling of longing for Themyscira, Hippolyta, or any of the other traditional trappings of a new Wonder Woman beginning. The script is tightly reigned, with no unnecessary dialog or exposition, and is extremely well directed–whether it was Azzarello’s script, Chiang’s visual storytelling, or a fortunate combination of both elements working in synch, there is not a wasted gesture, action, panel or word to be found in the whole of the book.

Also, can I just say how nice it is to have a Wonder Woman book with a normally sized creative team? Because it is.

Continue reading

Batman and Robin #1 – Review

By Peter J. Tomasi (writer), Patrick Gleason (pencils), Mick Gray (inks), John Kalisz (colors), Patrick Brosseau (letters)

The Story: Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Robin (his son Damian Wayne) mark the anniversary of Thomas and Martha’s death before being called out to work: someone is attempting to steal nuclear fuel rods from a Gotham power plant. And that someone could prove to be far more dangerous than even that terrifying crime implies.

What’s Good: Although there is clearly a story arc that needs to be set up in this first issue, the key to this #1 for me was in seeing how Tomasi chose to handle the interaction between Bruce and Damian. A great deal has been written about how good the dynamic between Damian and Dick Grayson was (and I agree), so I was very interested to see how the Batman/Robin dynamic would change in the DCnU, and how that would affect the feel of this book.

Aside from a few issues which I’ll discuss below, it actually works quite well. Rather than the old Dick/Damian ‘bright and happy vs. dark and brooding’ clash, the new dynamic duo seem to be establishing an interesting ‘old guard vs. new guard’ competition that has the potential to be very interesting indeed. While I think having Damian essentially disrespect Bruce’s parents might have taken the antagonism factor a bit far for my taste (I found myself wanting to smack him for that, which is not a reaction I’ve had to the character before), it was effective–if not subtle–in establishing where the two characters stand with each other.

Continue reading

Batwoman #1 – Review

By J.H. Williams III (co-writer & artist), W. Haden Blackman (co-writer), Dave Stewart (colors), Todd Klein (letters)

(Before we get started, for the sake of full disclosure, let me just say:


We now return to your regularly scheduled, completely impartial review.)

The Story: In a continuity seemingly untouched from the vaunted Detective Comics run, Kate Kane is still dealing with the emotional fallout from discovering the super-villain Alice’s true nature. While this is going on, she must also contend with an urban legend come to life, train a new sidekick, and worry about a new relationship with (another) Gotham detective.

What’s Good: I will fully admit to being terrified when I picked up this book. The expectation and hype riding on this has been huge (albiet well-deserved), and, especially given the loss of scribe extraordinaire Greg Rucka, I just wasn’t sure it could live up to that lightning-in-a-bottle Detective Comics run. Williams’ artwork is undoubtedly what made the run famous, but it always felt to me like Kate herself was very much Rucka’s baby–he’s the one with a penchant for writing both about the military, and strong, well-rounded female characters. While the amazing artwork could certainly continue without him, I would have bet my beloved copy of Detective Comics #854 that the character herself could not.

I have never been so happy to have been proven wrong in my life.

Continue reading

Witchblade #147 – Review

By Ron Marz (writer), Stjepan Sejic (artist), Troy Peteri (letters)

The Story: Don’t you hate it when problems seem to hit all at once? Sara does. First she gets investigated by Internal Affairs (who now seem to know way more than they should about the Witchblade), David Irons is being his usual obtuse and unhelpful self, and an ancient Babylonian goddess of chaos is trying to kill her. Some days, eh?

What’s Good: The more I read Witchblade, the more I realize that Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic are one of my favorite creative duos of all time. My love of Sejic’s work is already extensively documented but-aside from just being beautiful–one of the consistently best parts of his work on this series is just how well Sejic complements Marz’s work, and how vividly he brings to life the fantastic and outlandish creatures and situations that Sara encounters every month.

It is also quite refreshing that Marz and Top Cow are sticking to their guns when it comes to keeping Witchblade totally separate from the Artifacts event. While that does make for some slightly odd continuity for someone like me who is completely invested in the TCU, it’s easy to see that the benefits far outweigh any minor hiccups that might be encountered. Allowing both titles to stand completely on their own is a great decision for people who only care to read one or the other. (I will say that, once Artifacts goes from an event to an ongoing after issue ##13, I hope we’ll see a bit more crossover happening.)
Continue reading

Witchblade #147 – PREVIEW


Witchblade #147 PREVIEW

story RON MARZ
art & cover STJEPAN SEJIC

TIAMAT, Part Two
In modern day New York, the ancient Babylonian goddess Tiamat seeks vengeance upon current Witchblade bearer, Sara Pezzini, to settle an ancient score. With the weight of recent events bearing down on her, can Sara possibly stave off a power older than civilization itself? Join longtime writer RON MARZ (ARTIFACTS, MAGDALENA) and collaborator STJEPAN SEJIC (BROKEN TRINITY, ANGELUS) as they charge towards the landmark issue #150!

Continue reading

Invincible # 82 – PREVIEW


Invincible #82: PREVIEW

Written by: Robert Kirkman
Art by: Ryan Ottley
Colored by:Fco Plasencia

Face-to-face with Universa. She came from a distant planet, wielding unimaginable power, seeking to drain our planet dry of all energy. Invincible was able to stop her. But how long can she be contained… and what can be done with her?



Continue reading

Butcher Baker #6 – PREVIEW


Butcher Baker #6: PREVIEW

Story by: Joe Casey
Art By: Mike Huddleston

Think we’ve pushed the envelope in this series so far? Well, this issue goes all the way! Learn the hidden secret of Jihad Jones! Discover Butcher Baker’s happy place! And Arnie B. Willard is still in hot pursuit! Do you need to read this comic book? Absolutely!

Continue reading

Last Mortal #4 – PREVIEW


Last Mortal #4 PREVIEW

art & cover THOMAS NACHLIK

‘REGICIDE,’ Part Four The finale of the hard-hitting supernatural noir series from Minotaur Press is here. Alec King, the suicidal immortal, has been beat down, stabbed, and shot so many times he’s beginning to lose count. But finally, the man responsible for his best friend’s death is in his sights. The question remains – will Alec be able to make the hard decision for the first time in his miserable life?


Continue reading

Skullkickers #10 – PREVIEW


Skullkickers #10 PREVIEW

Story by: Jim Zubkavich
Art By: Misty Coats & Edwin Huang

‘FIVE FUNERALS AND A BUCKET OF BLOOD,’ Part Four This issue has it all: A cover, printed pages, comic panels in sequential order and staples! You heard that right – staples! Okay, now that we’re past that stuff – Does anyone read this info? Do you? Let us know at http://www.skullkickers.com. PS: We now have more issues than Battle Chasers.


Continue reading

The Vault #2 – PREVIEW


The Vault #2 PREVIEW


A small team of treasure hunters struggles to excavate a dangerous and legendary treasure pit before a massive storm hits Sable Island, the Graveyard of the North Atlantic.. Equipped with all the latest technology, the scientists believe they are prepared against all of nature’s fury, but nothing can prepare them for what they are about to unleash from the Vault.


Continue reading

Epoch #1 – PREVIEW


Epoch #1 PREVIEW


THE GREATEST TOURNAMENT THE WORLD HAS NEVER SEEN BEGINS ANEW! Top Cow Productions and Heroes and Villains Entertainment proudly present a dark and intensely kinetic tale from writer KEVIN McCARTHY (Red Sonja, The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist) and newcomer PAOLO PANTALENA (What If?: House of M, War of Kings: Darkhawk). Jonah Bishop is an NYPD detective assigned to a mysterious murder case that threatens to rip the reality he knows and plunge him into the shadow world of his heritage–the Supernatural. Jonah’s quest will drop him deep in the middle of a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society.

Continue reading

Elephantman #34 – PREVIEW


Elephantman #34 PREVIEW

art/cover BOO COOK

Part One: GENERAL STONE TIGER The first of the two-part sequel to WAR TOYS: Yvette is alive, and artist BOO COOK (Judge Dredd, X-Factor) pits her against a new foe… with Hip Flask, Ebony Hide and Obadiah Horn caught in the middle!




Continue reading

Wonder Woman #614 – Review

By J. Michael Straczynski & Phil Hester (writers), Don Kramer & Lee Garbett (pencils), Drew Geraci, Robin Riggs & Trevor Scott (inks), Pete Pantazis (colors), Travis Lanham (letters)

The Story: Diana finally learns the secret of Nemisis, and faces one final battle with the darkness inside herself.

The Review: It’s a shame that most of Odyssey has been such a gigantic cluster–this really is a very strong issue. Unfortunately, it is dragging the weight of 13 other issues full of retcons, confused storytelling and character shifts behind it. The weight is such that even Wonder Woman herself can’t shoulder the burden, and so the storyline crawls across the finish line gasping and wheezing. What could have been a triumphant exclamation point and capstone on Diana’s 600+ issue career instead just leaves me sighing in relief. Odyssey is finally–FINALLY–over, and I couldn’t be happier. Love the DCnU reboot or hate it, it’s hard to imagine it doing much more harm to poor Diana than these 14 issues already have.

Continuity and character nightmares (which I’ve already pounded into a fine powder at this point) aside though, this issue does contain a lot of what makes Diana one of my all-time favorite superhero. The end sequence in particular is absolutely triumphant, and left me grinning and satisfied in spite of the 300+ pages of confusion that preceded it. It was more of a meta-textual farewell to the DCU Diana than it was a logical storyline conclusion, but at this point I’ll take anything I can get. And it WAS lovely–I’ll be keeping Hippolyta’s words to Diana (as well as Dian’s final words to us, the reader) close to my heart as we take the plunge into the DCnU next month. As annoying as it can be to have characters speaking lines of dialog that are pretty clear author-insertion, I appreciated Phil Hester’s message a great deal.
Continue reading

Kill Shakespeare #12 – Review

By Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col (writers), Andy Belanger (art), Ian Herring (colors), Chris Mowry (letters)

The Story: The (other) epic saga of Hamlet, Richard III, Lady The Scottish Play, Othello, Juliet, Iago and Shakespeare comes to a conclusion in an epic, no-holds-barred battle to determine the fate of their world.

What’s Good and SPOILER WARNING: What an amazing journey it’s been to follow Hamlet from where he fell out of his ship–and out of his own story–to this final battle and conclusion. He’s changed and grown so much over the last year that it makes me wonder what Shakespeare’s Hamlet (for this Hamlet now bears little resemblance to the fearful and indecisive prince of the play) would have done, if forced to grow up and take responsibility in this fashion. The answer to that will never be known of course, but I will quite happily accept McCreery and Del Col’s take on the question as a very worthy substitute. Watching these characters–so familiar to me and yet so different from the ones I know–come into their own over the course of this story has been an absolute joy, and the conclusion that our fair authors bring them too is fitting, satisfying, and contains just enough surprises to keep things fresh and interesting.
Continue reading

Captain America #2 – Review

By Ed Brubaker (writer), Steve McNiven (penciler), Jay Leisten with Dexter Vines (inkers), Justin Ponsor (colorist), VC’s Caramagna & Cowles (letters and production)

The Story: Cap finds himself face to face with the menace that is Hydra once again. This time, however, he has a young and wholly-unexpected ally by his side: the dimension-hopping Jimmy Jupiter.

What’s Good: First thing’s first: the artwork in this issue is absolutely outstanding. This is one of those books I would happily buy even if there were no dialog whatsoever–the images of Cap, Hydra and their battle scenes are themselves worth the price of admission here. (At least they are if you’re a Cap fan, which I most decidedly am.) There are very few panels here that aren’t poster-worthy in their own right. Just fantastic work, on the part of the entire art team: the pencils are beautiful and detailed, the inking adds to, rather than distracts from, the final image, and the coloring is serviceable indeed, and does nothing to detract from the look of the page.

Brubaker’s Captain America is still very much what you would expect when picking up a Brubaker Cap book, which (at least for me) is a very good and comforting thing. Although the story itself suffers from movie tie-in syndrome (see below), Steve Rogers himself hasn’t missed a beat and has reclaimed the Captain America mantle very solidly indeed.
Continue reading

Artifacts #9 – Review

By Ron Marz (writer), Jeremy Haun (art), Sunny Gho of IFS (colors), Troy Peteri (letters)

Warning: small spoilers ahead

The Story: Finally, one of the biggest pieces of the elaborate puzzle that is Artifacts falls into place as the main villain behind the plot to unmake the universe reveals his ultimate motivation. Can Sara and the good Artifact Bearers convince the mysterious 13th Bearer to come to their side–and where does Sara and Jackie’s daughter fit in to all this?

What’s Good: I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ve loved Artifacts since issue #0–and that said, THIS is the issue I have been waiting for almost a year! Our main villain finally has a cohesive motivation, and it is far more unique and interesting than I would have expected. On top of that excellent and important revelation, though, was the phenomenal scene with the 13th Bearer–the final panel of which was easily the biggest stand-up-and-cheer moment this series has had for me so far.


What’s Not So Good: As I’ve stated several times before, I’m no expert on artwork (although a slowly growing original art collection is helping to remedy that.) Now, to my eye the art in this issue looks quite a bit less detailed than I’m used to seeing in a Top Cow book; under the circumstances, I would usually lay the dubious credit for that at the feet of artist Jeremy Haun. However, it just so happens that I was able to look through Mr. Haun’s original page portfolio at SDCC, and I had the privilege of studying quite a few original pages from this issue. Every single one of them was beautifully detailed (I very nearly bought one, as a matter of fact.) I’m not sure if so much of that work was lost in the shrinking process or the coloring, but it’s a damn shame–and it makes me really, really understand the popularity of “artist’s editions” of books that have just the original pencil work. There really is something that is lost in the translation from pencil to final product.
Continue reading

Batman and Robin #26 – Review

By David Hine (writer), Greg Tocchini (artist, pgs. 1-14), Andrei Bressan (artist, pgs. 15-20), Artur Fujita (colors), Patrick Brosseau (letters)

The Story: Batman, Robin and Nightrunner must deal with a mass escape from Le Jardin Noir, the Parisian equivalent of Arkham Asylum. Will they be able to conquer an entire new pantheon of super-powered criminals, including one who might just be even more twisted than the Joker himself?

What’s Good: Holy conflagration of evil, Batman! This is the last issue of Batman and Robin before the big reboot, and what an issue it is. An absolutely packed 20 pages that introduces an entire new metahuman rogue’s gallery, including the Son of Man. Named for the well known surrealist painting by René Magritte, Son of Man may be the most terrifying and inventive incarnation of evil since Harlan Ellison dreamed up AM. Bad guys have done a lot of nasty things in comic book history, but I gotta say–the reveal on the last two pages just went to the top spot on my own personal list. Not that it wasn’t rather deserved, but still… *Shudder*

Although the issue’s third act more than makes this worth reading in my opinion, the preceding pages are fairly standard, if quite well written, Batman fare. Although it’s great fun seeing new villains and important locations added to the ever-expanding Batverse, Hine is really handicapped in his exposition by only having 20 pages to work with. It’s just about impossible to get the needed information about all the new villains across, and tell a proper story to boot. To Hine’s credit, he doesn’t really try–he introduces the villains, and jumps right into the story, trusting the reader to put everything together. For the most part, this works very well: although none of the villains (save the Son of Man) are really fleshed out as people, Hine is able to use them as storytelling tools to great effect, and I would eagerly read more about any or all of them.
Continue reading

’68 #3 – Review

By Mark Kidwell (story), Nat Jones (pen and inks), Jay Fotos (colors) and Jason Arthur (letters)

The Story: What’s worse than being ordered to fight in-country at the height of the Vietnam War? Being ordered to fight in-country at the height of the Vietnam War…with zombies. What the troops there can’t know yet, of course, is that the zombie plague has spread…and there’s a good chance that no one will have a home to go back to.

What’s Good: God I love this series. Not only does Kidwell move deftly between military drama and outright horror, he captures the essence of time and place so well. Whether it’s in the middle of a Vietnamese jungle outpost, or a campus protest in California, the way Kidwell is able to establish the period so well lends a fantastic verisimilitude to the story that helps immensely when the dead start attacking.

Jay Fotos continues to do an excellent job on the artwork, although he has less to work with in this issue than he has in the past. (Lush, dark jungle and looming military equipment seem to provide better atmospheric fodder than a brightly lit college campus.) The scenes of zombie attacks are quite gruesome, though it never feels excessively so. It would be nice if things were a bit more varied (even something as cringe inducing as zombies chowing down on someone’s innards gets old if its in too many panels), but I feel like that’s nitpicking.
Continue reading

Secret Six #36 – Review

By Gail Simone (writer), J. Calafiore (artist), John Kalisz (colorist), Travis Lanham (letter)

The Story: Murder, mayhem, betrayal, friendship–and yes, even love–all come together in a grand series finale that will either make the Six gods among men, or utterly destroy them.

WARNING: possible spoilers ahead!

What’s Good: Gail Simone has spent many years building up the characters and relationships that make up this lovably demented team of misfits, and the care that she and Jim Calafiore have poured into this corner of the DCU shines through every image, word and page of this final issue. Every character gets at least one moment to shine, and the major players all get a chance to bring their personal story arcs to strong and satisfying conclusions. To write characters so clearly devoted to each other, but who are also just as clearly willing to stab each other in the back should the need arise–and to have such a dichotomy feel perfectly natural and organic–is a truly amazing feat of characterization.

Although it is tremendously sad to see one of DC’s greatest ongoing books come to a close, I am so thankful (and relieved) that this unique series and band of characters was given such a beautiful and fitting send off. I am not ashamed to admit that my heart was in my throat for the last five pages. While the Six are certainly far from innocent, their hopeless last stand was so beautifully executed that I don’t think it’s humanly possible not to root for them. That’s right: Gail Simone made me cheer against Batman and the Birds of Prey!
Continue reading

The Infinite #1 – PREVIEW


The Infinite #1 (of 6)

Story by: Robert Kirkman
Art By: Rob Liefeld
Cover By: Rob Liefeld

Freedom fighter Bowen has lost everything in the war against The Infinite. His only hope is to travel back in time to prevent their world domination before it starts! Bowen can’t do this alone, he must turn to the only ally he knows he can trust: HIMSELF. Now a man in his 40s, damaged by the horrors of war, must team up with his younger, reckless and optimistic 20-year-old self in order to SAVE THE WORLD!

Continue reading

Severed #1 – PREVIEW


Severed #1

Art / cover: ATTILA FUTAKI

‘NOTHING WASTED,’ Part One 1916. A man haunts the roads; a man with sharp teeth and a hunger for flesh. When 12-year-old Jack Garron runs away from home, he’ll see how quickly the American Dream becomes a nightmare. Be there at the beginning of the series that everyone will be talking about! From Eisner-nominated writer SCOTT SNYDER (American Vampire, Detective Comics), SCOTT TUFT and ATTILA FUTAKI (NYT Best-Selling-Artist: Percy Jackson) comes the most terrifying horror series of 2011–SEVERED.

Continue reading


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 749 other followers