Friday, June 17, 2016

Comics I Read Recently...

It's been a few months since I talked about comics.  In that time I've read a few.  So here we go...

Dawn of the Undead:  This is an indie comic that I heard about from Arion's really great blog.  He worked on the art for it and I have to say it's really good.  Up to professional standards and in some cases above.  Like the previous one he worked on, it's a grab bag of topics.  The title comes a pair of short zombie stories as the walking dead rise and people have to seek shelter.  But then there's other stuff that's completely different, like one where a boy stands up to bullying by coming out of the closet.  There's also some sci-fi and stuff too.  It really whets the appetite for more.  You can buy it here for $1.99.

DC Rebirth:  The most-recent reboot rejiggering of the DC Comics universe.  The idea is to gain back market share by bringing back much of the status quo that they thought 5 years ago required a reboot.  Yeah, makes perfect sense.  The book is from the perspective of Wally West--not the black Wally West who has been in the comics for the last few years, but the white Wally West who predated him--who is trapped in time or space or whatever and has learned that something has fucked with time for...reasons.  The something is Dr. Manhattan, the god-like being of Alan Moore's seminal Watchmen series in the 80s.  Using Dr. Manhattan as a deus ex machina for Geoff Johns to undo the work of...Geoff Johns seems pretty ridiculous all around.  The 80-page issue itself is mostly vague and written like a whiny fanboy bitching about DC's "New 52" initiative and how much it sucks.  (You know, the New 52 Johns was largely responsible for.)  I don't see how you win new fans by bringing back old characters and relationships, so this seems largely preaching to the choir. (1/5)

Convergence:  Here was the last rejiggering of the DC Comics universe.  Or that's how it was billed and then largely nothing changed because of this.  Mostly this affected the failed "Earth-2" comic that involved a parallel universe.  The initial New 52 idea of that series was it was a universe without the "Big 3" of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, but when that didn't sell enough copies they brought in a new Batman who was Bruce Wayne's dad and a black Superman who was the son of General Zod.  Anyway, those guys and a different Flash and Green Lantern are transported to a barren planet where Brainiac's minion Telos has captured doomed cities, put them in domes, and stored them.  Now for...reasons...they all have to fight each other.  This series was just the main part of the series about the Earth-2 folks trying to stop Telos and whatnot.  There were a bunch of spinoff issues, only 2 of which I read.  Those weren't very good.  In the end this was all pretty pointless and as you can see, only led to another non-event. (1/5)
Superman: The Men of Tomorrow:  An all-star team brings to life this story arc.  A man arrives from the "Fourth Dimension" (nice Buckaroo Banzai reference) with pretty much the same story as Superman:  his parents put him in a craft when they thought the planet was dying and sent him away to a place he had superpowers.  At first he and Superman team-up, but inevitably it goes bad.  The end is like that Twilight Zone episode To Serve Man where the aliens show up and offer to take everyone home with them, but it turns out there's a catch:  "It's a cookbook!"  Anyway, it's a decent Superman story, though the ones that followed sound pretty lame and now this Superman is "dead" so I guess this doesn't really matter. (3/5) (Fun Fact: The "solar flare" power Superman uses that drains him of all power and makes him human for a day was used in the Supergirl TV show.)

Superior Spider-Man, Volume 6:  I had read the rest of this series except for the finale because for some reason there was no Kindle of it and to buy the issues separately would have been like $20.  Finally they had a sale on Comixology where you could buy one, get one for as many Marvel comics as you wanted, which made this far cheaper.  Anyway, Superior Spider-Man was the series where Dr. Octopus took over Spider-Man's body.  He used his superior brain and more flexible morals to bring peace to New York City.  Except the Green Goblin and his minions have been operating under Dr. Spidey's nose and finally start to launch their assault.  The part I still have trouble buying is when Doc Ock throws in the towel to let Peter Parker take the driver's seat again.  I still don't believe he'd do that, but otherwise it was a decent ending to arguably the best replacement superhero ever. (4/5)

Captain America #355-357:  I remember seeing this in the comic book store a long, long time ago and since it was on sale on Comixology I bought the three issues of this story line for the sheer hell of it.  It's a good illustration of how ridiculous comics plots can be.  Captain America is contacted by a female friend whose teenage kid has disappeared.  He finds out from his hacking team that other kids were disappearing.  So right then he decides to go see a witch and become a teenager again in the hope he'll be abducted and find their base.  Because naturally that's the first thing you'd do in that situation, right?  I mean you wouldn't just go and look for them as an adult or contact all your Avengers buddies or someone like Charles Xavier who has psychic powers and junk like that.  Anyway, the problem for him is that as a teenager he has no superpowers, so when he does find the evil cult of anarchists or whatever, he can't escape until conveniently the spell wears off.  This isn't as silly as the Thor becoming a frog story, but it's pretty ridiculous just the same.  It's also a good illustration that comic book covers rarely ever reflect the actual plot of the story.  That's something to keep in mind should you ever feel compelled to shop for comics. (2/5)


  1. Read a couple of these, but I have never seen the Dawn of the Undead or the teenage Cap one. Gonna check em out. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Hi Pat! Thank you so much for the review! I really appreciate it that you took the time to read my work and then write about it. I'm also glad to hear you enjoyed my drawings, I've been focusing mostly on writing nowadays, but doing both things sure was fun.



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