Friday, February 19, 2016

The Epic Comics Post

I'm not sure when was the last time I even talked about comics I've read.  I think back in September or something.  I haven't read a lot, but I still pick up a few on sale every now and then.

All-Star Batman & Robin:  I hated this on every level.  Well the art was OK, but the story by Frank Miller of Dark Knight Returns fame is wretched.  The gist is that Dick Grayson's parents are killed and so Batman (who has been stalking the kid for years to evaluate his, gross) kidnaps him and forces him into becoming Robin.  I mean the kid's like 10 so that's a great fucking idea.  Besides the stupidity and creepiness, there's a hearty helping of misogyny as well.  Hooray? If you've ever thought, Gee, Batman should be more of a prick, this is your comic book series!  (1/5)
Aquaman:  Throne of Atlantis:  This was an animated movie last year and the plot is somewhat the same.  Aquaman has a brother who's fully Atlantean and is running the show in Atlantis, but is manipulated into attacking the surface world, which puts Aquaman in a tough spot.  In one of those "bad comic book fights," somehow the entire Justice League except Aquaman, Cyborg, and of course Batman are incapacitated until they can be rescued.  Yeah, sure.  It was OK but not great. (2.5/5)
Astro City, Vol 1:  This was the original 1995 miniseries that focuses not so much on superheroics but more down-to-Earth stuff in the lives of superheroes and the people of Astro City.  The covers by Alex Ross are gorgeous while the interior art is not quite as good. (3/5)
Batman:  The Cult:  A miniseries where Batman is captured, brainwashed by an evil reverend, and then escapes to come back as the reverend's minions take over the city.  It got a little silly when he and Robin drive into town in a specially-designed tank to shoot brainwashed people with sedatives.  Not really essential reading but the evil reverend makes an appearance in the next item. (2/5)
Batman Eternal:  This was a 52-week series that I thought would not be in continuity, but it actually was.  A series of villains (Carmine Falcone, Hush, Scarecrow, and ultimately Bruce Wayne's maybe-brother Thomas) basically turn Gotham City into a Hell on Earth, starting by framing Commissioner Gordon for murder.  It's good Batman at this point has like 42 costumed allies in the city (and picks up a couple more in the series run) to help him handle all the crap that goes down.  There was one largely pointless subplot involving Arkham Asylum and demons and crap.  It was funny too how during the year-long run Batgirl's costume changed from one issue to another thanks to her series' soft reboot last year.  Otherwise it was an engrossing story that worked in just about everyone in Batman's history. (3/5)
Batman: Noel:  As you might expect, this is a Christmas-themed graphic novel.  While set in the modern day it does A Christmas Carol thing where Batman is Scrooge and Bob Cratchitt is a henchman of the Joker who narrates the story to his kid.  Batman as Scrooge? you might wonder, but the author does a good job in utilizing Batman's history to contrast today's "gritty" Batman with the campier Adam West-type Batman and put it all together into a coherent story.  Think of it as the Adam West-Batman is like young Scrooge and the gritty Batman is like old Scrooge.  Instead of losing a fiancee, it's losing Robin that largely triggers the change.  The art is also really good for the most part, using a more realistic style, which I always enjoy. (3.5/5)
Batman:  Heart of Hush:  "Hush" is an old friend of Bruce Wayne's, as revealed in an earlier series of comics.  This story goes more in-depth about his past and his jealousy of Bruce Wayne for being orphaned instead of having a controlling, obnoxious mother.  The title of the story comes from that Hush captures Catwoman and literally takes her heart out and installs some wacky life support system that will give out in a certain amount of time unless Batman saves her.  Does he?  Duh.  Not as good as the original Hush story. (2.5/5)
Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe:  It is exactly what is promised in the title:  Deadpool's brain is stabilized by "the Psycho Man" and he becomes a killing machine who destroys every hero and villain in the Marvel universe.  The problem is a lot of them are killed off-page or in passing and none of the fights are epic at all.  I mean most of the Avengers like Captain America and Iron Man are blown up in an explosion.  Yawn. I guess it is good fan service for the nut jobs who sit around wondering how to kill this hero or that villain.  (2/5)
Deadpool Killustrated:  So after killing the Marvel universe, Deadpool realizes that to really erase superheroes from existence, he needs to wipe out the source material:  literature!  Instead of killing superheroes, he kills the likes of Moby-Dick, Tom Sawyer, Don Quixote, Captain Nemo, and Dracula.  Meanwhile Sherlock Holmes assembles kind of a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to stop him.  While the fights were again not that epic, I thought this was a better series with a little deeper meaning.  Sometimes in a panel it would go from showing a literature character to the superhero they would correlate to like Magneto as Captain Nemo, General Ross/Red Hulk as Ahab, or Namor the Sub-Mariner as the Little Mermaid.  It also kind of reminded me of the Futurama where Fry battles a giant brain by jumping inside books. (3.5/5)
Deadpool Kills Deadpool:  The conclusion of the Deadpool "Killology" this is kind of a step back.  The Deadpool of the "real" Marvel universe comes under attack by the minions of that other Deadpool and unites with other Deadpools to kill more Deadpools.  Um, yeah.  There are Deadpools based on different eras or others that are like Deadpool versions of different heroes or villains (even Galactus) and one that's a giant panda! It's amusing but not really all that great unless you really hate Deadpool and like watching him die over and over again. (2.5/5)
Night of the Living Deadpool:  The setup is like 28 Days Later or The Walking Dead:  Deadpool wakes up after gorging on chimichangas to find zombies running amok.  He bands together with a couple of survivors and they cruise by locations from zombie movies/TV shows like a farmhouse, prison, and amusement park.  Eventually there's a little town that seems safe--until Deadpool turns undead.  But then he turns back and with the help of a scientist who created the thing tries to find a cure.  Kind of fun if you like zombie stuff and actually in some ways better than Kirkman's Marvel Zombies story. (3/5)
Fastastic Four 1234:  The title really should be 1,2,3,4 because that's the meaning behind it.  It's not like 1234 AD or anything.  One of those weirder Grant Morrison comics, though not necessarily full weird Morrison.  The usual stuff about Dr. Doom trying to kill the Fantastic Four only this time by designing a trap for each one, though he kind of does a 2-for-1 with Namor and the Atlanteans (not the same ones as Aquaman) going after Sue and Johnny Storm.  If I knew more Fantastic Four history I'd like it better. (2/5)
Grayson: Volume 1:  So after Dick Grayson's superhero identity was exposed to the whole world he joined a spy outfit called SPYRAL.  And then stuff happens.  It was OK but the whole look of the character made me think of Sterling Archer, only this wasn't as funny. (2.5/5)
Thor, Vol 1: Goddess of Thunder:  If it had been me, this would be about Thor being turned into a girl.  But actually (spoiler) it's just his sometimes girlfriend Jane Foster, Natalie Portman in the movies.  These five issues don't go into any of that but I read the solution to the "mystery" some time ago.  Apparently in a previous Marvel event Thor no longer became worthy of the hammer so it was left on the moon like the sword in the stone.  Until Jane Foster somehow shows up and lifts it and becomes the female Thor to take on frost giants invading the Earth.  In another bad comic book fight, the Avengers are frozen off-page so that only lady Thor can save them.  Yeah, sure.  The last issue was just a throw away with Thor moping about losing his hammer and Odin all pissed that some woman has the thing. Since the author withholds the new Thor's identity in these issues it makes it hard to really care about the character. (2/5)
X-Men: Gifted:  This was from the Joss Whedon run on the title.  It was yet another soft reboot of the X-Men series where they assembled a new team (pretty much the same as the old team) and have to investigate a supposed mutant "cure."  The cure thing was used in the 2006 movie, The Last Stand, though the comics and movie bear little actual resemblance. (2.5/5)


  1. I haven't read most of these, but Astro City is one of my all-time favorites. A real revisionist take without breaking the rules that make comics fun.

  2. you should read Squirrel Girl lol :) Emily likes it

  3. I remember I bought the first 2 issues of All-Star Batman & Robin, I thought it was going to be good but I was really disappointed. Miller let me down on every level, and he made absolutely unforgivable mistakes, like having Dick Grayson's face appear on a milk cardboard just hours after he was missing (the title was delayed for months so obviously Miller at some point thought that the months in real life applied to his story as well...). Bad dialogue, uninteresting plot, there was nothing redeeming about this, except for the art. Jim Lee has some truly good pages.

    I've read that Astro City Vol. 1 and I really like it. I should write a review about it some day...

    I enjoyed Morrison's Fastastic Four 1234, and the art was great!

    "Gifted" is the initial arc, and things get a lot more exciting in the next arc "Dangerous". Plus Cassaday's art is wonderful.

    And that's it. Haven't read anything else on your list.



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