Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Marvel Masterworks - The Incredible Hulk Vol. 4 - I picked this up on sale and I'm REALLY glad I did. I'd forgotten how much I loved the Marie and John Severin and Herb Trimpe's art work on the Hulk. When I think of the Hulk it's those artists that own him for me. (Much like John Buscema on the Avengers.) The stories here are a bit rudimentary but that still works the HULK SMASH gusto. I totally loved this volume. Sublime and Highly Recommended!

Short Book Reviews

The All New Atom Vol 1 by Byrne, Simone and various - OK I freely admit I'm a Johnny Come Lately to this title. I've only started picking it up because I'm a fan of Rick Remender, the current writer of the monthly. So I decided to go back and read this to see how the series got started. I found this to be a fairly enjoyable read, but was not blown away by it. I'm happy to stick with the Remender issues. It's just OK.

Short Book Reviews

Legion of Super-Heroes - Tomorrow's Heroes - Vol One by Various - I've much enjoyed the few episodes of the TV cartoon this collection is based upon. A nice introduction to a new and younger audience, this collection of the monthly comic is a solid companion piece for the TV show. As a Legion fan I'm sad that the cartoon has been canceled but perhaps this series will continue. Great for kids. Good Fun!

Short Book Reviews

Excavation by James Rollins - This here was the 2nd book published under the Rollins moniker. It's a fun pager-turning science fiction adventure thriller. While not one of my favorite Rollins, I still enjoyed it from start to finish. I'm looking forward to getting back to the Sigma Force series, which I like a lot more. Mostly Good Fun!

Short Book Reviews

The Plutonium Blonde by John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem - Continuing on with my reading of cross-genre hybrids, this hard-boiled SciFi mystery is most notable for it's humor. While some of the jokes are a bit juvenile, they come and go so swiftly there's enough jokes of a wide variety to please just about anyone. I laughed out loud at this book more than anything I've read since that last David Sedaris book I picked up. Packaged with a neat plot and great characters, this books a winner. Really great cover art by Michael Koelsch too. Highly Recommended!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

X-men First Class 11 - It's been a while since I've read this title, but I thumbed through at the store and couldn't put it down again. I was totally grabbed by the very charming art by Nick (sign me up for the Fan Club) Dragotta, whose style is quite his own but lies in the same neighborhood of Mike Allred and Cliff Chiang. Coupled with Jeff Walker's tight witty alternative universe story, this single issue just might be the best comic I've read this year. Highly Recommended and Cheers, Best of the Week!

Batman 675 - Continuing the long prelude to the Batman R.I.P., Grant Morrison's run here just seems to be getting better, deeper and more complex, even tho this issue seemed a bit sparse and brief; it's still an interesting story. The fill in artist's very angular and hard lines didn't really appeal to me, but I'm sure to be back next month. Good Fun!

Wolverine First Class 2
- Another slight but enjoyable caper from Van Lente for Kitty Pride and Wolverine which has a nice pay off chuckle at the end. I like this book, but I'm betting it's going to be collected in one of those little digest sized (Marvel Adventures style) paperback at a better price, so I'm not going to pick it up again. I'll just wait for a cheaper edition. Good Fun!

Hulk Vs Hercules -
w00t! A double shot of Van Lente this week as the scribe teams up with Pak for this awesome slug fest that's a necessity for Herc and Hulk readers. Nothing huge happens but this is a lot of fun for the fans. Excellent!

Justice League of America 20 - Bugger me! I'd thought I'd left this back at the store but it wormed it's way into my pile. Sneaky bastard! It's an awful issue. I totally hate Van Scivers art and do my best to avoid it. (Just look at Queen Bee's head on the cover... it's like 3 sizes too large for her body.) Stupid story to boot. Guess I should drop this title, I just keep complaining about it. Pee-U! Stinks like Limberger!

Thor 8 - A pretty solid issue here with a title that sure seems to be growing me for the most part. Good art again and improving storyline. Wraps up a 2 parter Odin dialog, and reintroduces Lady Sif and Jane Foster. I'd just love to see an issue of this where a lot happens swiftly. Pacing is still a bit of a chore, as can the sometime stilted dialog. There's a few good ideas floated in this title with a lot of fluff surrounding them.This book needs to cut the fluff and kick up the pace, but for now it's Good Fun!

Here's a small sample of Nick Dragotta's X-men art I liked so much.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

The Flash 239 - For a title I started buying on a whim a few months ago I keep finding more and more to enjoy here. I'm loving the story arc with the creepy villain. This weeks releases have a couple of my favorite titles with Fear Agent and The Brave and the Bold, but somehow The Flash comes out on top here and again gets my Cheers! Best of the Week!

The Brave and the Bold 12 - A solid conclusion to this really enjoyable 12 parter. Definitely will have to keep it in mind for the year end best of list. The story seems to want a epiloge but maybe that's coming somewhere down the pipeline. Recommended!

Fear Agent 20 - I love me some Fear Agent and this Hatchet Job storyline is outstandingly dramatic and angsty, with more surprising twists and turns. This storyline's getting pretty dark and heavy, I hope Heath Hudson gets a bit more adventure and a few laughs at some point. Recommended!

Superman 675 - Really great Ross cover on this one, and it's a pretty good story inside to boot. I really enjoyed the villain Paragon who's a great character with some really funny lines. I'd sure like to see more of him. Still don't get who the child is that is living with Lois and Clark but he's apparently another Kryptonian. Good Fun!

The Incredible Hercules 116 - Bah! Crossovers! Since Hercules took over this title it's been one of my favorites. So far it's been speeding along with great art and slambang storytelling. We've got a new artist here (who's actually quite good) but the story seems to be taking a detour for the Skrull crossover event and momentum is seems a bit off track from the previous issues. Still it's Good Fun!

Hey... good stack of comics this week. I actually liked all of them!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Comic Book Reviews from Last Week

Green Arrow and Black Canary 7 - Holy Smoke! I'm a full week late getting these posted. I've been busy house hunting and otherwise occupied. This issue provided me with several laugh out loud moment, more great art from Chiang, a swell guest appearance from Hal Jordan and nice developments in the continuing storyline. Easily wins my Cheers! Best of the Week!

The Amazing Spider-Man 556 - Coming in a close 2nd, I quiet enjoyed this second chapter of a Bachalo illustrated Spidey story. I'm not sure I'll follow this title when the artist changes, but for now I'm on board and digging it. Excellent!

Wonder Woman 19 - I thought I'd drop this when the Dodson's left the art chores, but it seems I'm enjoying the new artist and the Gail Simone story so far. Nice ending to a 2 part story and I'll be back next month for more. Good Fun!

Fantastic Four 556 - Horrible colors doom the art here. It's so muddy, it's impossible to tell what's going on action-wise. Miller and Hitch have done some great work in the past. But whatever it is they're aiming for here just isn't working. This one's a mess best to be avoided. Didn't an editor proof this? Stinks!

Justice Society of America 14 - Guess the most striking thing about this issue is the weird thigh garters Hawkman is wearing on the cover. Guess he's got droopy hose. Then there's the unflatteringly strange pointy cape on shoulders that Sandman and Dr. Mid-nite sport. Johns is writing some great stories these days, but this one's not one of them. There's too much and not enough going on. This storyline is going on way too long with too little momentum. The previous title JSA was much better than this one.
Again Disappointing!

Titans 1 - What a horrible issue for a first one. The majority of the pages are one panel and for $3.50 it feels like a gyp. I really hate Churchill's art and am glad there's a different artist starting next issue. Tho, I must confess Beast Boy looks pretty cute with the long sideburns. Not much of a story here, but I am enjoying Winicks Green Arrow and Black Canary so I'll give this one a chance to improve. I've never been much of a fan of the whole Nightwing concept (it might be the sucky costume) and hope Dick Grayson gets an evolution here of some kind. Like why can't he be Red Robin? Also, some nobody Titans have survived the aftermath of the Titans East Special that was part one of this story. That's too bad; I'd have liked them to stay dead. Very Disappointing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Donovan's Brain by Curt Siodmak - It's easy to see why this novel from 1942 has it's cult status and is still a fairly entertaining read. Siodmak was a screenwriter (as well as a novelist) most notably for The Wolfman and I Walked with a Zombie. Equal parts SciFi and Horror, Donovan's Brain certainly has nice plotting, tho I didn't quite buy the ending which seemed a wee bit out of tune with the rest of the story. If you're a fan of classic monster movies, you'll enjoy this novel. Stephen King is on record as a fan of this one. I thought it was fairly Good Fun!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

Action Comics 863 - This landmark story arc comes to a great conclusion! And we get a nice teaser for Final Crisis Legion of Three Worlds, which I assume is a mini-series and is coming in August. It will be from Geoff Johns and George Perez. That's pretty neat. I don't recall Perez ever doing a Legion series, but he seem perfect for this project. Guess I'm not so mad that he left Brave and the Bold now. Cheers! Best of the Week!

Metal Men 7 - I still think this is like reading a Charles Stross SciFi novel. It's complex, heartfelt, intensely creative and beautiful to look at. Plus it's got a couple of chuckles. Perfection and Recommended!

Secret Invasion 1 - While the dialog was mostly off-character, the plotting here was suprisingly enjoyable. I really liked seeing the standard issue Marvel heroes getting off the crashed Skrull ship, but I have a feeling that this series will ultimately disappoint me. The Marvel Universe direly needs to be reset and seeing these classic heroes again, including the Avengers-era Beast (woo-hoo!) just reinforces that opinion. I sure am rooting for Skrull ship castaways. Death to the New Avengers! It's OK.

Supergirl 28 - Ah, finally. I'm glad I stuck to this title as this issues is the best yet from this recent creative team. Looks like we're going to get a decent story arc out of them. Improving and pretty Good!

Amazing Spider-man 555 - I have not read this title for a really long time, but picked it up cuz I like Bachalo's artwork. Pretty good story so far and I, for one, am glad at least Spider-man's part of the Marvel Universe has been reset to the roots. Just wish they'd do the same for the Avengers and the X-men. Good!

Young Avengers Presents Wiccan and Speed - I have not been reading this mini, but picked it up cuz I like these young gay heroes a bunch and quite enjoyed the searching for the Scarlet Witch plotline. Excellent!

Wolverine First Class 1 - This came out last week but went back to pick it up cuz the writer is part of the Hercules team, and that's been very good. This is a nice throw back to the classic new X-men era and a pretty decent story. Not sure if I'll follow this title, but... I just might. Wolverine and Kitty Pride are a pretty good duo. Very Good!

The All New Atom 22 - More SciFi adventure from Remender! I'm liking this so far and look forward to the next issue. Very Good!

Green Lantern 29 - Ummm. This one's kind of a retread of stuff old Green Lantern fans already know. I'm not happy artist McKone is gone and that Reis is back. I'm not a Reis fan and would much rather see just about ANY other artist on here. The storyline will prolly improve... but this ones Disappointing.

Project Superpowers 2 - This one's OK. It's kind of weird that The Flame is featured on the cover and is barely in the issue which has more Samson either him or the Devil. Plotting is a bit slow, but it's OK... I think. Might drop this next issue if it doesn't improve.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Thraxas by Martin Scott - I really enjoyed Alex Bledsoe's The Sword-Edged Blonde and I've been searching for other novels in that Hard-boiled fantasy sub-genre. This World Fantasy award winner from 2000 certainly fits the bill and is a real entertaining gem. Look past the ugly covers on the various editions of this book; it sure is sweet inside. While I didn't find it as funny as the blubs suggested, it's a good adventure with great characters. This one is out of print and used copy are a bit pricey at the usual online outlets. The Baen edition is a twofer and includes the second novel, Thraxas and the Warrior Monks. Highly Recommended.