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The Life of Walt #57

A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say. In this case–with some repetition–1,003.  It’s not every day one catches up with a friend they haven’t seen in several years…

The Life of Walt #57

The Brave and the Bold #23 [Review]

Shadows of Tomorrow

Writer/Artist: Dan Jurgens
Finished Inks: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Brian Miller of Hi-Fi
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Assoc. Editor: Chris Conroy
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Cover: Jurgens, Rapmund, and Tom Chu
Publisher: DC Comics

It’s been a long time since I picked up any issues of this series–it’s one that seemed to have a promising concept, but just didn’t strike me as “mattering” all that much, and so I didn’t keep up beyond the first couple issues and a random issue or two I’ve scored from a bargain bin. This issue is one in which the cover was extremely influential–far, far moreso than most comics (since I usually walk into the store already having decided what I’m going to buy).

This one I saw on the shelf, and the combination of the cover image and the characters being put together (Booster Gold & Magog) made for something I was actually interest in checking out. The cover image of a grim Magog–shadowed face, angry-Booster reflected in his armor–reminds me a bit of that classic Wolverine vs. Hulk cover (whether it was intended to or not). I’ve enjoyed the most recent incarnation of the Booster Gold series, and his post-52 status quo has been interesting and really done a lot for the character in my mind–giving him a lot more purpose and credibility. And given the events at the tail end of the Thy Kingdom Come epic in Justice Society, I’m quite interested in seeing how the “new” Magog is handled, as there’s more to this version of the character than what had been running around the DCU for much of the past decade.

This issue opens with Booster and Skeets racing to the time lab in response to alarms, and finding mentor/leader Rip Hunter materializing, apparently in battle with someone. Working the Time Platform, they isolate Rip, bringing him back without his assailant…but with a scrap of a Superman costume from another time/world. When Rip forbids Booster from investigating Magog’s future (the assailant), Booster decides he can at least begin researching Magog in the present. Booster’s investigation leads to an encounter with Magog where the two–with vastly different methods–attend to a hostage situation and terrorists.

On the whole, this issue really felt like an issue of Booster Gold. Jurgens and Rapmund on writing/art are quite familiar to me recently for their work on the Booster Gold title. That said, the art for this issue is quite enjoyable–the visuals by this creative team make for my favorite depiction of Booster & co., and the take on Magog leaves me with no problems, either.

The story, too, felt like (despite being a single-issue/on-off tale) it really belongs in an issue of Booster Gold (and would have been a perfect filler in place of what we got in Booster Gold #20. As the creator of the character, Jurgens knows the character and supporting cast, and seems to have a good grasp of what makes for a good story with them. He also adds some depth to Magog, and sets up what could be an interesting relationship between Booster and Magog, given the nature of the characters and time travel.

This seems a great issue to snag for a single-issue enjoyable read. It doesn’t seem to be directly continued from any prior cliffhanger, and it leaves on a satisfying ending that does not require one to jump right into the next issue for a cliffhanger’s resolution. As a one-shot, regularly-priced ($2.99) comic, this is easily the best comic of the week for me.

Highly recommended for readers of Booster Gold, or fans of either character.

Story: 8.5/10
Art: 8.5/10
Whole: 9/10

Supergirl #41 [Review]

Who is Superwoman? part five: Daughters of Krypton

Writer: Sterling Gates
Pencillers: Fernando Dagnino
Inker: Raul Fernandez
Colorist: Nei Ruffino
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Asst. Editor: Wil Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson
Cover: Joshua Middleton
Publisher: DC Comics

This issue “concludes” the “Who is Superwoman” arc. Basically it’s a drawn-out fight sequence between Supergirl and Superwoman, with some drama for Lana thrown in to round things out a bit. In a way I wouldn’t expect much else–the two have come to be enemies of sorts, especially given Superwoman’s role in the way things went down when Zor-El was killed during New Krypton.

The cover seems really flat and a bit stylized…definitely not an image that would “sell” me on a comic (the way Brave and the Bold #23’s did). Better than I could draw, but not all that appealing.

The art’s prett good for the issue–no real complaint from me on it. It fits the story, conveys what needs to be gotten across, and though largely seems like a darker/heavier color scheme, it feels like a story set in a world where Superman could exist.

The story isn’t nearly as enjoyable. I don’t for one second buy the identity of Superwoman (and even if I were to buy into it, it merely continues an unfortunate trend toward the unbelievable in comics that I can easily otherwise suspend my disbelief for).

On the whole, this isn’t all that enjoyable an issue–I’m hoping that now we’re past this silly “mystery” of Superwoman, we can get into more story and character exploration for Supergirl herself.

If you’ve followed the arc thus far, it’s worth snagging this issue as well. This is certainly not a good jumping-on point for new readers, and whatever your status, should not be taken as a representative issue for this series.

Story: 5/10
Art: 7/10
Whole: 6/10

Invincible #62 [Review]

Conquest part two

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler: Ryan Ottley
Inker: Cliff Rathburn
Colorist: FCO Plascencia
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Editor: Aubrey Siterson
Cover: Ryan Ottley & FCO Plascencia
Publisher: Image Comics

This is actually the third consecutive issue of Invincible that I’ve picked up. I was drawn in by reviews for #60, the “summer event in one issue” bit, and decided I’d stick with the title for a bit and get a feel for things. (After all, that’s how I’ve wound up following other long-running series through the years: snag a crossover issue and then stick around finding out about the title post-crossover). I’m still far from really knowing who all the players are in this book beyond the title character, but I can follow along recognizing faces and what little I do recall from reading the first TPB (and the #0/recap issue that came out a couple years back).

Someone recruited alternate-universe/reality Invincicibles, and invaded earth. “Our” Earth’s Invincible–with a little help from his friends–was able to save Earth…but not without massive destruction, a lot of deaths, and plenty of other things now in the aftermath of that event. Someone from Invincible’s dad’s home planet is the big-bad of this issue, basically forcing Invincible to prove himself worthy of that planet’s heritage, and giving our hero quite the run for his money. There’s what seems like a bit of a “reveal” at issue’s end that’s certain to have further ramifications in coming issues…and I’m sufficiently hooked to at least stick around for this story arc.

The art’s quite good. There’s a consistency to it that fits it in with every other visual I can think of that I’ve seen of the character(s)…something very welcome, and yet highly unusual to me in contemporary comics. The art by itself isn’t entirely a selling point, but it definitely enhances the reading experience in the way I expect comic art do so.

The story’s interesting–maybe not as interesting as it could be, but I definitely enjoy the fact that the same writer (the creator of the character) has been on the book since its beginning–another rarity in comics found from the bigger companies.

All in all, not a bad point to jump into the series. It by no means explains everything up front, but allows one to pick up on things as we go along…just like comics I enjoyed in my youth. All the more if you can pick up the prior two issues, this is worth picking up if you’ve any interest in checking out the title.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 7.5/10

Tales of the TMNT #58 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 3/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Batman: Battle for the Cowl #3 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 2/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 2.5/5

Trinity #52 cover is how it SHOULD be done

Over at DC’s blog, The Source, there’s a sneak-peek at the cover to Trinity #52. Apparently, this triple-sized cover will be a “gatefold” image–that is, the front and back covers, and an extra panel folding in at the front–will open up to reveal this FULL image, all on the single issue.

WHY this couldn’t be done with Justice Society of America #26 (also a 3-panel image) is BEYOND me…and is incredibly annoying.  (More annoying still when DC–or any other company, for that matter–puts out a TWO-panel image as two separate covers, rather than as a non-gatefold wrap-around!)

I don’t mind so much if, say, 3+ covers for DIFFERENT issues can all be placed together as a single image–but breaking the image up into multiple covers for the exact same issue is something I call shenanigans on.

Green Lantern Corps #36 [Review]

Emerald Eclipse part four

Story & Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Patrick Gleason
Inkers: Rebecca Buchman w/ Prentis Rollins
Colorist: Randy Mayor
Letterer: Steve Wands
Editor: Adam Schlagman
Cover: Gleason, Buchman & Mayor
Publisher: DC Comics

Soranik confronts Sinestro at length about their relationship and what the Green Lanterns mean to them–and to Korugar. Meanwhile, on Oa the GLs deal with a riot of loosed sciencell prisoners, with all the new changes to the Book of Oa in full effect. Also meanwhile, on Daxam, Sodam & co. face off with the Sinestro Corps. folks, and Sodam takes drastic measures seeking victory over his foes.

I continue to be unimpressed with the art on this title. I keep reading because of the story, because I’ve been drawn into pretty much everything GL-related the last couple years–particularly heading toward Blackest Night. But I just don’t like the visual style…it’s too cartooney somehow…it almost puts me in mind of “Americanized manga” where it’s not quite a “full” cartooney look (like a kids’ tv show) nor is it realistic-looking enough to shake that sense of “cartooney.”

The story is quite good; setting up logical relationships, expanding on concepts introduced the last few issues (and years). Events are unfolding in a fairly organic way that makes sense, and though we know this is headed toward the next “big story,” things don’t feel forced.

We’re really into the heart of this story now, so unless you’ve picked up the last couple issues, this won’t be the best point for a new reader to jump on. At the same time, if you’re just looking for grand-scale GL action, you certainly get that here. Characters are interesting and more than 2-d; the Sinestro/Soranik relationship makes perfect sense; even Sodam’s actions make sense and show us a bit more of who he is as a character…and acknowledges characters’ major beats from the last several years.


Story: 8/10
Art: 6/10
Whole: 7.5/10

Booster Gold #20 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 2/5
Art: 3/5
Overall: 2.5/5

Action Comics #877 [Review]

The Sleepers Part 3

Writer: Greg Rucka
Pencillers: Sidney Teles
Inkers: Sandro Ribeiro
Colorist: Rod Reis
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Asst. Editor: Wil Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson
Cover: Andrew Robinson
Publisher: DC Comics

Chris Kent is reunited with Lois, but their joy is short-lived as they must attend to securing medical attention for Thara, who has been badly injured from the battle with Ursa. Dr. Light (the good one) is called in, and she doesn’t care about the planet-wide ban on Kryptonians. While Thara is cared for, Chris races back to the site of the battle and confronts his mother…while also providing cause for General Lane & Co. to learn more than they should about Nightwing and Flamebird.

The story is decent….it’s not anything hyper-wonderful, but as the story is just beginning to build, it works well enough. I enjoyed the Chris Kent character much more as a roughly-6-years-old kid…as a character spontaneously aged to mid/late-teens, he feels too derivative…I’d enjoy that role being filled by Connor Kent. Still, I can’t deny that it provides for some interesting enough character interactions.

The art actually comes across as far more enjoyable for me this issue than I remember the previous issue or wo being. The visuals definitely work well for this issue, and combined with the story itself, makes for a good issue of the “new” “World Without Superman” Action Comics.

If you’re digging the stories being crafted in the Superman corner of the DCU of late, and/or enjoy the new Nightwing & Flamebird, this issue’s well worthwhile.

Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10
Whole: 7/10

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