Another Stack of Comics Goodness

All New Atom #24
DC Comics

Chronos and Lady Chronos, time travel, and Ray Palmer. Something big is coming for the final issue of this comic and #25 should be a lot of fun. This issue sets up all sorts of stuff and is really fun

Avengers/Invaders #2
Marvel/Dynamite

This is a very nice looking book. Alex Ross covers and the Steve Sadowski art inside looks great. The story is from Ross and Jim Krueger who in the past have given us some great books. So far this title is nothing new and there is nothing going on we haven’t seen before. Two super hero groups meet and a misunderstanding causes them to fight, in this case for two issues. It may develop into a lot more ( and I sure hope it does) but so far its not really all that special. The invaders are a bit more hard core which I guess reflects the more modern approach to comics writing. As we now know Bucky never died and becomes a hard core killing machine and we see some things here that may make that transformation later a little easier.
I’ll probably read more, but so far no fireworks forme.
I also don’t understand why Dynamite is involved in this book with all marvel characters, except that maybe it was the only way they could get Ross?

Batman and the Outsiders #7
DC Comics

Metamorpho is trapped with zombies in space, Green Arrow and Katana and Grace are under arrest in China and Batgirl is there alone to try a rescue. Batman is putting pieces in play to bring the team all together and home. By the end of the issue we have Nightwing and Thunder getting ready to go with Bats to China. Chucj Dixon did a nice job with this and I really loved the scene when batman brings Dr. Miandad to the batcave. I’m enjoying this title, and while there are some similarities to the older version, the playfulness has been replaced by a feeling of urgency and the proactive stance taken makes much more sense. Good stuff.

Brave and The Bold #13
DC Comics

Mark Waid with Jerry Ordway, what’s not to love? Two guys at DC who love the superheroes and relish the story telling this title allows for with the whole of the DC universe cast available to them. This is a stand alone story, which in my opinion is something that is sadly missing from comics today. Brave and The Bold is a perfect format for stand alone stories and t’s nice to pick up one issue that has a self contained story in it.
#13 has Batman teaming up with the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick against samurai robots! Really fun interplay between our heroes and I’m really looking forward to more of the same from Waid and Ordway. Next issue promises two more classic Brave and The Bold frequent guests in Deadman and Green Arrow. I’m all in.

Cable #4
Marvel

Duane Swierczynski’s continuing what some people are calling Lone Wolf and Cable.
The final showdown between Cable and Bishop is coming and Nathan is tired of running. Cannonball makes an appearance as this timeline’s last mutant and he does what he can to aid cable.
The art is growing on me, and it’s not that I didn’t like it, but it seems all computer generated and felt like it was lacking a little, I don’t know, soul? But as it continues I’m liking the way it works with the coloring and the era of the story.
I think when the whole arc is done and I read it all in one sweep I’ll enjoy this even more.

Casey Blue: Beyond Tomorrow #1
Wildstorm

This is a very intriguing first issue. A high school girl is typical feelings of “What am I doing with my life” and after a visit to her older brother’s place something seems to be activated and causes her to become a well trained assassin. After the attack she reverts to normal, leaving a body in an apartment and Casey sitting in her car covered in blood. B. Cly Moore has me wanting more and this looks like it could be a really good title.
The artwork by Carlo Barberi is rather Manga influenced and I’m guessing done on a computer. It fits the story well and is very clean and straight forward without the really big eyes and weird angles that bug me about manga. I also really like the colors which is something I don’t normally comment on, but here it looks great.

Checkmate #26
DC Comics

This issue is definitely not a Rucka issue, and though I’ll keep reading for a bit, I miss Greg’s writing here already.
This issue has no real spy type stuff going on, it all action and monsters. The polt here is fairly simple, a GI is wounded and scientists take him and experiment. The GI becomes a monster who can take on the characteristics of lethal animals. And they shall call him Chimera! There are also strange events occurring across the globe causing disasters, they appear to be created by something large but we don’t get to see it yet. It may be setting up for some interesting story line, but I was disappointed over all. Nice art by Manuel Garcia, but so far Bruce Jones isn’t impressing me yet. I’m not taking it off my pull list, but we’re on stand by.

Criminal #3 (vol 2)
Icon Comics

This is the last of three stand alone issue which give us background on some of the players in Brubaker and Phillips’ world. Set in 1972 it’s the story of Danica and how she became who she is. It’s not a pretty story by any means, but it is great reading. Next issue kicks off a new story line and I can’t wait. Criminal is a crime fiction comic that obviously is written from a love of 70’s and 80’s crime films and novels.
The reason to buy these issues instead of waiting for trades is that each issue has a bonus not collected in the trades. This time it’s an essay on the film The Yakuza by Michael Stradford. There is also a nice page from Mr. Brubaker where he discusses things on his mind, kind of like a blog only on paper, how old school!
Criminal needs to be on your pull list if you like great art good wrting or crime fiction.

The End League #3
Dark Horse Comics.

This third issue answers no questions and brings more chaos, which is perfect for this title and has me wanting to read it all right now. A post catastrophe superhero book with great writing. If you haven’t read any yet, don’t pick it up if you can’t get them all. You need the whole story. I’ll definitely be doing a more thorough read when it hits in trade.

Envoy #1
Moonstone

novelist Gary Phillips has written comics before and I liked those, and I love his novels. This is part of what Moonstone is calling the Twilight Crusade and it’s another chance for readers to vote on which title gets to become an on going title.
Envoy is an interesting book, epic battles that are timeless between angels and outcasts of Heaven. Envoy is a soldier in this battle and in this comic he is taking out a rock star who is really a demon. Cool stuff with what could become a very nice intricate plot and i would love to see more of this.

Fantastic Four #557
Marvel Comics

Mark Millar is in his stride here with this family of heroes. This issue wraps up the forst story arc as Reed dons a giant battle suit to save the world from a creation of an old college and girl friend. Wonderful action sequences by Bryan Hitch who is doing some great art here. Fans of the four will love this.

Hellblazer #244
Vertigo

Andy Diggle is really doing some fun stuff with John Constantine and this latest is a second of a two part story leading into something bigger.
John is at the Vatican helping a curator in the black library who has trapped a succubus. By the end of this issue the problem is solved and as Constantine leaves the Vatican the priest actually
seems to have a sigh of relief. At least until the real story emerges….
This ends with John looking at a book on his lap that could really be opening the door for some ass kicking stories.

Manhunter #31
DC Comics

First let me say MANHUNTER IS BACK!
I really like this title and am very happy to see it return to the racks at my local comic store. We get a quick recap of What Kate has been up to since the last regular issue, and then we jump into where she is now. Her Grandfather, iron Munroe shows up and we are sure to see some fun stories coming from that. Kate also has a really ass kicking battle with an old timer named Atomic Skull and she learns a few new limits of her weapons and costume. At work her assistant goes to Mexico to be with family when a cousin goes missing. We have some time with Obsisdion and by the end of the issue Manhunter is investigating the Juarez murders. heavy stuff for a comic, but even if just helps raise awareness of the real murders I applaud it. Marc Andreyko does a wonderful job of juggling a lot of subplots and side stories with out letting us down on the main action. New series artist Michael Gaydos odes a great job and I look forward to seeing more of his work here.

Marvel 1985
Marvel

Ok, this is interesting. I’ve read plenty of comics that are supposed to take place in “Our World”,but this is a little different take on it. Only the villains are coming through and it looks like it’s all down to a yong teenager to help save the world.
Some fun nods to an interesting time, and the trip to an 80’s era comic store was fun. the only thing that made me shake my head was when an old amn offers the kid and his dad a crap load of old comics and Dad says no thanks, you should sell them. Dad or not, i would have real issues if my old man pulled that~!

Ultimate Origins #1
Marvel

I was late coming to the Marvel Ultimate Universe and as a result about a year and a half ago I read a whole lots of trades back to back. The main title, The Ultimates is a really fun take on the Avengers, and I really like the Ultimate Fantastic Four. The Ultimate X-Men has its ups and downs, but mainly ups, and Ultimate Spidey is really fun. The various tie ins and crossovers have also been entertaining.

This latest series is showing the beginnings of some of the major players and promises to reveal how they are all interconnected. We se Logan in World War Two with some other grunts named Fisk and Fury. The three are busted while Fisk breaks into a safe. Fury is taken away and experimented on by the Americans looking to create super soldiers. Logan is taken by the Canadians for the Canadian equivalent.

This re imagining of the Marvel Universe is always fun and this could be a real mind blower.

Secret Invasion #2
Marvel

Lot of fighting and the Young Avengers getting their asses handed to them in new York. In the savage land Spider woman is trying to convince Toy Stark that he’s a skrull. And, the last page has the return of the one man who can set it all right!

Trinity #1
DC Comics

As the title implies, this book is the big three at DC, Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman. They have been having dreams that are to similar to be a coincidence. They meet to talk about it. It’s all a prelude to something Epic that has the three fulfilling a prophecy of them as players in something epic. A nice opening by Busiek and the art by Mark Bagley is really great.

War is Hell (The first flight of the Phantom Eagle)1,2 and 3
Marvel Max

I saw these on the rack and was intrigued, what got me to take them home was two names on the cover. Garth Ennis and Howard Chaykin. I like a lot of comics creators, but these two are major favorites. The fact that they are working together on a Max title doing a war story is definite sale for me.
World War One, the early days and the Yanks are just joining in. Karl Kauffmann shows up in his own plane on the western front and has false papers letting him join the squadron stationed there. He soon discovers war isn’t the noble and chivalrous thing he imagined it being.
Ennis brings his unique perspectives to this tale and gives us a war story with heroics, but not the glamor. This is also the perfect place for Chaykin’s art. his work on Blackhawk and even American Flagg were similar in the uniforms and action and he is really giving this his all.
Top notch stuff.

As a afterward here I would like to mention something I saw on one of the boards I occasionally visit. A woman comments the people who buy comics in trades instead of the monthly issues don’t really like comics. I’d like to say that I think that’s crap. I love reading comics, but I really prefer to read them as trades in much the same way that I prefer to watch TV on DVD.

You get all the story at once, theres no waiting, and there are no ads. Plus these days you can buy trades in a lot of places that don’t carry monthly titles. It’s alos easier to store them all on a book self than to go digging through all sorts of long boxes.

Trade collections are here to stay and I think they are great. Saying I don’t like comics because I prefer them is just plain ignorant. That’s like saying I don’t like pizza because I get it delivered instaed of eating at the restaurant. And for the record, I love pizza in case you were wondering!