Favorite Comic book Titles 

A list of my favorite comic books series( almost in order):1. Velvet- Image Comics

2. Deathlok- Marvel Comics

3. Birthright- Image Comics

4. Rocket Raccoon- Marvel Comics

5. Avengers World/ mighty avengers( for the art alone)-Marvel Comics

6. Moon Knight( up til issue 14)- Marvel

7. Harley Quinn-DC Comics

8. Green Lantern/ Green Lantern Corps-DC comics

9. All New X-men- Marvel Comics

10. Magneto- Marvel Comics
Honorable mention: Superior Spider-Man( because it was much better than Amazing Spider man)
What are your favs?

Programming note

This last week has proven to be an exceptionally trying week for me( I didn’t have air conditioning in 80-85 degree weather for four days) and I just need a week where I’m not doing any work outside of work.  Next week I’ll be on the road.  I will be back in three  weeks with more reviews 

Jurassic World Review

I need to go on record by saying that I’m generally not a huge fan of movies that don’t have plots.  I am also not a gigantic fan of poorly done B-movies unless they have a Mystery Science theater 3000 Riff Track underneath it.  However, I am a fan of schlock if it is done well.  Jurassic World is done well.

From the first frames of the movie, viewers should be aware that they are watching absolutely stunning special effects.  An egg cracks and a claw breaks through.  Nothing spectacular huh?  Wait til you see the dinosaur eye.

The basic plot of the movie is Jurassic world is open and is being financed by a Ingen but is also being financed by a maniac played by Vincent D’onofrio who wants to use  velociraptors as weapons in the military.  Ingen wants something bigger and better.  So that’s what the scientists do.  They create a dinosaur called Indominus Rex.  It is bigger than the T-Rex and has the ability to camouflage itself and also beat heat sensors.  It is kept in a pen miles away from the park but it has figured out how to get free

There are additional plot lines.  Two kids are sent on vacation to Jurassic world because their aunt, Claire, runs the park.  Most of the time they are on their own

Another plot line:  one of the park employees has learned to train velociraptors and because he has learned this skill he is asked to consult on the Indominus Rex.  He is around when all hell breaks loose and takes charge, kind of.

The theme of the movie is the same as all the others: just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

I think I was having more fun at the movie than the other people there.  There are some very hair raising moments full of nervous laughter.  I loved it.  I loved being nervous and on the edge of my seat

The last 20 minutes were probably the best part of the movie.

It is true that a lot of the movie has been done before but the effects are so great that it doesn’t matter.

If you are looking for a movie with deep thoughts and plot developments then skip this movie.  If you want a great popcorn flick this is it

Grade: A

Part 2 of Reviews of Marvel books released on 6/10/15 

1. I can’t say I understood too much of 1602 Witch Hunter Angela part one.    Instead of reviewing it based on its story I’m going to spend more time reviewing the comic based on it’s tone and its art.  There are two writing tones in this book:   Humorous and dark.  The transition of the two tones is a bit awkward.

The book starts out with Angela confronting the king about him being a witchbreed which I assume is the closest thing to a demon as you can get.  The segment is completely over the top.  I’m not sure if it was intended( part of me thinks it was) but the king’s assistant looks a lot like Black Adder.  As a result, the scene is very humorous

After that scene the book gets very dark, very fast.  The same plot exists but the tone changes.

The real star of this comic book is the art and lettering.  The book strangely reminded me of Moon Knight for its lettering and the art absolutely fit the book giving the reader the ability of feeling they are in 1602.    The book deserves an A just for the art but I have one complaint.

There have been stories started in the guise of Secret Wars where they assume if they drop Victor Doom’s name it becomes a Secret Wars story.  I think it’s excessive.  Grade: A

2.  I didn’t think I’d ever say that Captain America and the Mighty Avengers would have an issue that might be one of the best comic books I’ve read in the last year but it really is an amazing book.  Last Days of Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #009 was both unusual in its timing but also gave meaning to the importance of the Secret Wars event.

First:  it’s unusual because we are a month into the Secret Wars and this book takes us back about 3-4 days before the final incursion takes place.

What makes this such an amazing book is that most comic books focus on how heroes are going to fix things.  Not this book.  This book focuses on how the end of the world would affect everyone else.  It’s extremely well done.

One of the best scenes in the book is when the phone operators are taking calls from people who don’t want to die alone.

The art only compliments the story.  I am very happy to give this book an A+

I read two other books in secret wars this week and, to be honest, I’m really confused by them so I’m not going to review them.  

However, in the spirit of fairness to other companies,  Harley Quinn #17 seems to have taken a bit more serious turn this week.  It’s still very strange but the naive Harleen that we’ve seen in previous issues only pokes her head out a few times.

The opening scene is pretty funny and well with the price of the book.  I’d highly recommend reading it.  B+

Reviews of Marvel and Image books released on 6/10/15 part 1

Hi everyone.  Welcome back.  This week I’m doing things a bit different.  Since I don’t have enough Marvel books outside of Secret Wars, I’m adding a review of one of my favorite non marvel titles to the review list.  But let’s start with Silk.  Spoilers abound:

1.  Silk has been a pretty big surprise for me.  I don’t think Marvel has created too many new heroes that are memorable and flourished in the Marvel Universe in recent years.  There have been incarnations that have been very popular( Superior Spider-man being one) but the quest to build new characters is often futile( DC’s The Movement and Green Team to name two).  

It is very clear that Silk is written and drawn  for a specific audience but it’s also very clear that the writing( at least) transcends the teenage girl demographic.  

Cindy Moon is Silk, a teenage girl who was locked in a bunker when she was bit by a radioactive Spider.  She was locked away to be protected from the Inheritors( see spider-verse).  During Marvel’s Original Sin event, Peter Parker set her free when he learned of her existence.  Since then she’s played a part in destroying the inheritors and has also pissed off Black Cat whom wants her dead.

That’s where things begin in Silk #005.  An old minor villain that Cindy met up with in issue 3 has returned for Cindy’s help because Black Cat, who is no longer an anti-hero, has kidnapped his daughter.  With the help of Spidey they go after Black Cat.

Another story is also developed a little bit in this issue as well.  Cindy finds an unlikely ally in finding her parents.  With what we learn about at the end of this book, it should be interesting to see what happens in the next issue.  I have to keep some things secret.  All in all, this was another great issue.  I’m not a huge fan of the art because it reminds me a bit of the powerpuff girls.  Grade: B+

2.  Spider-Gwen #005 was annoying. I could end the review there and that was all you would need to know, but I won’t.  If you have teenage girls, or are a teenage girl then I could see you enjoying this book.  Gwen is Spiderwoman in a different part of the multiverse where daredevil works for kingpin.

Everything was high drama and the entire book read as a teenage soap opera.  For a teen this might be something a teen could get behind.  For an adult, like myself, it reminded me of everything I hated about being a teenager.

The art has been as consistent with that graffiti-esque as previous issues.  I have actually liked this series up until now.  It’s been fun to see Gwen again but this issue was not for me.  Grade: C-

3.  So if you have been a follower of my blog then you know there are two or three Image titles that have grabbed my attention and have not let go.  One of those titles is Birthright.  It has done a great job combining real life and fantasy to create a compelling comic book.

Birthright Issue 8, while being a tad unusual this month, has not let me down again this week.  If you are a reader of this series then you know Mikey’s brother, Brennan, has been shot and he is bleeding profusely.  This entire issue focuses on the police trying to find Mikey while Mikey attempts to find a way to heal his brother.

Of course there are obstacles along the way.  The demon controlling him is one.  Another group is the police and a third group are 3 men who are transformed into monsters by, what appears to be, a spirit in the sky.

If this all seems frenetic and just a little crazy, it’s because it is a little crazy and frenetic. this issue is not as strong as previous issues but it’s not a weak issue by any means either.  There were moments when the men turned into monsters felt a bit too campy for my taste.  But we learned one big thing this issue.  Brennan knows what his brother is.  That should be an interesting thing to watch develop in coming months.

The writing in the book is still compelling even if it did push the reader pretty close to the line of believability and maybe a little over it.  I’m giving this book a grade of B.  I want the book to move quicker in its plot development now.

 4.  Battleworld Ultimate End #2 was different than the first book in that it has a much more serious tone.  The Ultimates and earth’s heroes have combined forces( mostly because they have been forced to) and now they are ready to figure out how to get things back to normal.  What’s standing in their way?  The Thors.  They have informed the heroes of Manhattan that they need to peacefully coexist.  Someone dies as a result of challenging that order.

There are three stories in this issue.  Ultimate Tony and Earth Tony working together to find a solution, Peter visiting Uktimate Gwen and his aunt and Ultimate Hulk vs our Hulk.  The third story has all the amount of mayhem you’d want in a fight against the two.  It’s great.

The art in this book is really great.  There is no artistic license taken with any of the characters so you know who everyone is.  There are two months left in this series, and rumor has it, it might go longer due to delays of issue 5 and 6 of the main title.

I’m giving this book a grade of B.  I keep waiting for the ball to drop and the title to get worse.  That has not happened so far.

5.  Secret Wars 2099 #2 was probably as unusual as its variant cover suggested with no Spider Gwen in it as the variant cover might have you believe.  Most of this book covers the team’s extra-curricular activities but there is also a plot line that is examined where Ms. Captain America has been attacked by an assassin.  She goes after the person who hired the assassin and ends up being attacked by Hulk 2099.

This book takes some getting used to.  Different heroes are in the avengers now, and although each one is familiar, their stories are different.  I have not read any other titles than Spider-Man 2099 so I am at a distinct disadvantage.

It was a fun issue and the hulk of the future has a venom feel to it.

The whole book is a build up to a new team that is introduced to the secret wars story.  The Defenders.

I’m not sure where this book is heading and it’s refreshing to not know.  I look forward to learning more about each character as the mini series continues.  Grade: B

Part 2 comes tomorrow 

Secret Wars edition of my blog for the week of 6/1/15

1.  So I read Secret Wars #3 and so much happened in this issue that it is almost too difficult to review.  As you may have been reading, The Avengers books dealt with world incursions for over two years.  Incursions are where worlds in the multiverse are on the verge of colliding with one another.  All but two worlds have survived and the remnants of all the other worlds are being held together by Victor Von Doom who has now declared himself God of Battleworld.

Up to now we have only been introduced to some of the players involved in the story and given some of their backstory.  We have seen Doom as god of Battleworld, his enforcers( the Thors) and Doctor Strange who is his advisor.  We were also introduced to Valeria who, in this issue, takes the role of Doom’s therapist and voice of reason.  This is pretty close to her current role.

At the end of the last issue we learned that some of the villains from our world have invaded Battleworld.  For what purpose we are still learning. 

In this issue we learn that other inhabitants from our earth have been kept on lifeboats( of sorts) and Strange had kept them there for a number of years.  We also learn the fate of a couple of the other fantastic four

We also learn that Doom is beginning to doubt his role as battleworld’s savior.

Secret wars continues to be an excellent series.  While not all the tie-ins have been great, the series itself has shown great promise.

While not all the events Marvel has created has been great, one part that can almost always been counted on was the art in the books.  The art is amazing here.  This is an A+ book

2.  Battleworld #2 is good for one thing and one thing only…. New Quack City.  Blade fights Howard the Duck, Blade fights with Howard the Duck and both of them fight a vampiric duck.

The art is very much Saturday morning cartoonish but it’s okay because the story is hilarious and worth every minute you read it.

The other story is great too but the first story was brilliant.   Grade:  A.

3.  It’s pretty safe to say that when Greg Land draws a book that it could be written by a 2 year old and be amazing.  But, thankfully it was written by Peter David a veteran of comic book writing.  Future Imperfect #1 is almost impeccable.  The swerve in the middle of the book was unexpected even if it’s plainly on the cover.  The action in this book was a lot of fun.

The real selling point of this book is its art.  The level of detail is far and above any quality of almost any other artists.  It is a joy to read a book where the visuals leave you in awe.  Grade:A+

Those are my reviews for the week.  See you all next week 

Marvel comic book reviews for comics released on 6/3/15 part 1

So here we are again with another week of comic books to read.  This week’s reviews will be divided into two categories.  Secret Wars books and non secret wars books.  So let’s get started.

1.  I really bought Groot #1 to see how they were going to build an entire comic book around a character that only says three words.  I also wondered why Marvel needed a comic book for Groot if Rocket Raccoon already had his own title.  The Second question still begs for an answer other than to make money

This book was pretty well done.  The story focuses on Groot wanting to take a vacation to Earth and Rocket being forced to come along when their ship is destroyed.  Groot convinces Rocket to hitchhike and they encounter some strange aliens( stranger than a talking tree and raccoon).  

The highlight of the book comes in the middle when the two main characters are forced to steal a ship and end up lampooning one of DC’s most beloved Superheroes.  I laughed out loud during this section of the comic book.

The art in this book was sometimes really good and other times just a tad annoying.  I have never been a big fan of how artists portray Groot when he is happy.  He tends to look like a person with a few missing marbles instead of a happy character.  

Still, as a first issue I really enjoyed this comic. The parody of DC is almost worth buying the comic for.  The banter between Groot and Rocket about who has the biggest bounty on their heads is also very humorous.  Grade: B+

2.  All New X-men #041 may have the same problem that the last book I reviewed had.  It has great writing but the art seemed pretty unspectacular.  As many of you know S.H.I.E.L.D. and the X-men aren’t exactly friends.  This issue delves into this a lot.  A number of x-men want to live in utopia and be left alone.  Maria Hill is asked a very difficult question why are the x-men hounded by shield but The Avengers are given Cart Blanche to do what they want?  The answer is never determined but it has forced the mutants to figure out how to change their image for Shield.  That is the crux of the issue.  Sounds boring?  It’s not!  There is plenty of action but it seems to be a backdrop for the dilemma listed above.  It’s an interesting problem.

As mentioned before, I didn’t really like the art.  I thought the faces of each character was expressionless and the line work was heavy and, at times, sloppy.  

The writing in this book was excellent and well thought out.  Grade:  B

3.  Star Wars #006 might be my favorite book so far this week and my favorite of the series so far.  For people who are Star Wars fanboys this is a controversial issue.  Marvel and Disney have announced that what happens in the comic book is considered canon.  In addition, a new character was introduced that makes a beloved character a little less lovable.  I didn’t mind the addition but there will be some who are upset.

There is nothing I can find objectionable about this book.  The art is the best it’s been.  The atmosphere of the book is perfect.  It’s almost too bad to because my understanding is that this is the last issue he’s drawing.  

This issue goes between the stories of Han and Luke.  The fight between Boba Fett and Luke is pretty intense and you can feel the tension Luke would have felt.

The scenes with Han have a different type of tension and are also worth the read.  I am giving this book a grade of A+

4. I read Darth Vader #006 second and really should have read it first before Star Wars.  Both books are essentially the same story but from different viewpoints.  Where Star Wars focused on Boba Fett’s view of his encounter with Luke, this book focuses on Darth as he is being tested by Palpatine and how he learns he has a son after Boba Fett reports he found skywalker.  

I want to like this comic a lot more than I do.  That is what I find odd about the book.  It is expertly drawn and the writing is also delivered very well.  However, each time I look at the book I see static frames where movement is implied but very rarely ever shown.  There was some improvement on that front but not very much.

I’ve tried to determine why it seems that movement is not conveyed well in this book and what I think the problem is:  all the panels in the book are the same size.  Artists are able to convey movement by making smaller boxes for their panels.  Smaller boxes help the book get read at the speed the action is being conveyed at.  In fairness to the book, it did some of that this week.

There is some great dialogue between Palpatine and Vader and some of the flashbacks help us learn more about Vader.  Palpatine is still not 100% sure he can trust Vader but he’s slowly restoring his faith in his pupil.  I’m giving this book a grade of B.  The art was good and the story too.  Improvements have been made.

5.  One of my favorite mini series of late is The  Amazing Spider-man Spiral.  In issue 18.1 we get part 3 of the story.  Tombstone has been arrested and put in jail.  Hammerhead is in jail too.  This has sparked a gang wars and now the gangs are consolidating lead by Black Cat to break out their gang leaders.

Wraith and Spidey find out about the jailbreak and go to stop it.

This book reminds me a lot of books I grew up reading.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of nostalgia that I feel when reading this book.

Wraith is a very interesting character and I love the art associated with the character.  I am interested in seeing where this story goes.  Grade A

I will read and write more tomorrow but here ends part 1