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Future’s End: Batgirl and Batman (Comics Review)

As I’ve mentioned previously, Gail Simone is leaving Batgirl for other projects, one of which involves her recently-announced reboot of Secret Six for DC, a Suicide Squad-style supervillain team book but with a different focus and outlook on the characters. Gail’s run on Batgirl made me fall in love with the character and with her leaving, I feel as if it is the passing of an era. On the other hand, Scott Snyderhas been running the showboat for Batman since the New 52 relaunch and he has been killing it, except on the recent Zero Year arc which ended up being nowhere near as good as it started.

Both Batgirl: Future’s End #1 and Batman: Future’s End #1 are really dire stories. In the former, we see how Barbara’s brother James Jr. crashes her wedding party and kills her husband, setting her off on the path of darkness once again. But in all of it, we also see how Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and a young girl named Tiffany take up the fight to maintain the legacy of Batgirl and it is not as bleak as it may sound! In the latter, we see how an aging and troubled Bruce is fighting to maintain his own legacy in his own image, not in the image of young men and women he has inspired over the years, for Gotham must always have a Batman. Ray Fawkes has written this issue instead of Scott, and while I generally don’t like Ray’s writing, this issue was actually quite good in places.

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Comics Picks For 03.09.2014

With DC Comics’ Future’s End event kicking off last Wednesday, this was a great week for reading since I got through the comics pile faster than I’d believed I could. And I even managed to read a graphic novel!

Anyway, the surprise hits of this week were Action Comics: Future’s End #1 and Batwing: Future’s End #1 from DC Comics, Death of Wolverine #1 from Marvel Comics and Dr. Mirage #1 from Valiant Comics. The surprise flops of the week were Ex-Con #1 and Red Sonja: The Black Tower #1 from Dynamite Entertainment and Aquaman: Future’s End #1 from DC Comics. The others were more or less all great, such as The Phantom Stranger: Future’s End #1, Green Arrow: Future’s End #1, Black Widow #10 or even Angel & Faith Season 10 #6. And of course, can’t forget Ron Marz and Mike Choi’s Witchblade Volume 2, which was a right cracking read!

Anyway, here’s another edition of “Comics Picks For…”. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Future’s End: Batwing and Detective Comics (Comics Preview)

There are a lot of titles in the New 52 that I haven’t gotten around to reading as yet, either because I’m already swamped with others that I’m more invested in, or because I don’t find them interesting enough. Batwing is one such title. It had a rough start, far as I can tell, and then it got soft-rebooted when a new creative came on board in the second year. And my interest has definitely peaked in recent months. With Detective Comics however, I only started reading it last year, and I haven’t really caught up with the first year-and-a-half’s worth of issues, though I’ve wanted to.

This month’s Future’s End event helps me with the former and solidifies my belief in the latter. With Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti as writers and Eduardo Pansica as artist, Future’s End: Batwing #1 is another great offering from DC this month, setting a great tone for the publisher this month, right off the start. And with Detective Comics, writer Brian Buccellato does something rather unique in concept, even as the trio of artists on the issue deliver something truly wonderful. The former is a very self-contained story while the latter ends abruptly, but I liked both issues well enough.

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Comics Picks For 20.08.2014

Thankfully, I’m finally settling back into the groove with comics reading and, most importantly, comics reviewing, as I managed to review a fair bit of titles this week and even caught up with reviewing some previous titles that I’ve unfortunately had to neglect for one reason or another.

The surprise hits of this week were Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War: Billy and Mandy #1 from IDW Publishing, Wolverine Annual #1 from Marvel Comics and Vampirella #3 from Marvel Comics. The surprise flop of the week would be Batman: Eternal #20 from DC where the title seems headed downwards just when it was getting once again, and The Wicked + The Divine #3 from Image where the title took a nosedive this week after a second issue that was really good. No graphic novels again sadly, though I hope to correct that that this week. I hope..

Anyway, here’s another edition of “Comics Picks For…”. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Future’s End #13-16 (Comics Review)

Due to going on a vacation towards the end of July, I fell behind on Future’s End, and that kind of sucked in part because this is a highly rated series for me. It is a complex story being weaved together by no less than four writers and covering dozens of characters, so it is kind of easy to get lost but the weekly schedule helps quite a bit with that. At this point in the series, I’m looking for a sense of interconnectedness and the feeling that things are moving forwards towards some kind of a resolution. That resolution might not arrive for another month, or even two months, but that’s what I want, and fortunately, Future’s End #13-16 provide exactly that.

These four issues deal with the many secrets being kept from the many characters in this series. Such as what is really happening in the subbasement levels of Cadmus Island, or who sent Lois Lane a bunch of artifacts that have led her to uncovering some big secrets and even come face-to-face with a stark reality of her alternate life on Earth 2, or what is going on with the masked Superman and why he acts like a jock these days, or the reality of who killed Stormwatch back in the opening issues. The writers turn out some fairly good material here, and with artists like Patrick Zircher, Art Thibert, Scot Eaton and Jesus Merino, the artwork is in good hands here.

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Comics Picks For 13.08.2014

This past week was a bit of a “getting back on track” week, though I didn’t do even half as many reviews as I wanted to. Mostly because of traveling and what not, but the vacation is most assuredly over and so things should indeed be getting back to normal. And what better way to get back than read 30 comics in a week? Or rather, 25 comics in 3 days?

The surprise hits of this week were Godzilla: Cataclysm #1 from IDW Publishing, Hexed #1 from Boom Studios, Grimm Fairy Tales: Realm Knights, and Grimm Fairy Tales: Inferno: Rings of Hell #1 and Grimm Fairy Tales: Oz: Age of Darkness from Zenescope Entertainment and New Suicide Squad #2 from DC Comics. The surprise flop of the week would be Hulk #5 from Marvel where Gerry Duggan is now the writer and took the title in a really strange direction, and Batman #34 where the title was even more disappointing than it has been in a while, more so than the usual of late! Once again, no graphic novels, mostly because I didn’t read most of these comics until like Sunday night, so there just wasn’t enough time for me.

Anyway, here’s another edition of “Comics Picks For…”. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Comics Picks For 06.08.2014

And here it is, I have caught up to my “lists” backlog as far as this particular feature is concerned. Writing three of these back-to-back takes a lot out of you, that is for certain, especially because of all the tags I have to add and what not. Either way, I am now “current”. And just as the previous feature, a lot of the comics here are from previous comics since I’m still attempting to catch up to Mount Backloggia Maximus.

The surprise hits of this week were Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War #2 from IDW Publishing, Chew: Warrior Chicken Poyo #1 from Image Comics, Grimm Fairy Tales #100 and Grimm Fairy Tales Giant-Sized 2014 from Zenescope Entertainment and Batman: Eternal #18 from DC Comics. The surprise flop of the week would be Legendary Star Lord #1, which was pretty much written as Peter Quill being Han Solo. That’s the vibe I got off it at any rate. The other comics were all decent at the least and I even managed to read a trade collection this week, beginning the start of my big “Witchblade read” from Ron Marz’s epic run on the title.

Anyway, here’s another edition of “Comics Picks For…”. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Comics Picks For 23.07.2014

As per my plans, I didn’t do one of these posts in the past 2 weeks since I was on a holiday. And a great holiday it was indeed. I didn’t get to do more than a very small handful of reviews, more like just two or three in all, but I managed to read a fair bit and kept myself on target for my comics reading.

The surprise hits of this week were Storm #1 from Marvel and Star Spangled War Stories #1 from DC Comics. The surprise flop of the week would be Batman #33 from DC Comics. Not exactly a bad comic but just a disappointing one. All the other comics were pretty much good, excepting Flash #33, where I still can’t really connect with what the new creative team is doing there. I wanted to read a trade paperback comic as well during this week, but the first few days of the vacation were very busy and all these comics were pretty much read in the last 2-3 days of the week so that didn’t happen.

Anyway, here’s another edition of “Comics Picks For…”. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Grayson #2 (Comics Review)

Following Dick Grayson’s “death” in Forever Evil a few months ago and his subsequent super-covert return to the DC-verse a while back with Grayson #1, I have high hopes for this character really getting a turn-around of the sort that I think he has needed for a while, an opportunity which didn’t exist previously. However, Tim Seeley and Tom King did a great job with their first issue on the new series, and it was a fairly well-told and well-drawn (by Mikel Janin) story as Dick Grayson moved to this new phase of his superheroic life, one that manages to present a fairly intriguing mystery as well.

Working now for SPYRAL on Batman’s suggestion, Dick Grayson is now Agent 37 and tasked with bringing in some super-powered ticking bombs so that they can be corralled and controlled, perhaps even dissected and understood. Working alongside the mysterious Helena Bertinelli, he really is having a time of his life and Grayson #2 underscores that point, to a degree. It is fast-paced and fun and while it has some dubious moments, I won’t deny that this is a series that I’m really enjoying after having just kind of given up on Nightwing at some point last year..

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Future’s End #12 (Comics Review)

Of late, the action in Future’s End has really been ramping up to something epic. With all the different plotlines going on, it was inevitable that many of them would intersect with each other in quite interesting ways, and that is exactly what has been happening. Thing is, despite the apparent lack of general popularity in the title as far as the blogosphere is concerned, the title still appears to be going strong and week after week I can see why. It has some of DC’s top writing and top art at the moment and that has value, even if a lot of it is just the house style..

The epic went into overdrive in this week’s Future’s End #12. First we had this big fight scene with Amethyst, Frankenstein and Hawkman, with a decidedly major cliffhanger. Then the King Faraday and Voodoo plotlines intersected something fierce and I’m left wondering if the character of “Courtney” is who I think it is. Then the plotline with a villain named Ethan got super-interesting, considering how he was broken out of prison recently and after that we got the most magnificent cliffhanger ending ever in comics, as we got taken back to the future that Terry McGinnis is trying to prevent in the past.

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Comics Picks For 16.07.2014

In what is probably my last “Comics Picks For…” post since I am going on vacation for the next two weeks, what I like is that despite not hitting my usual goal of 26 comics read, I did manage to read the same as last week, 21 in all. All in all it is a good number I think since I got most of my usual titles out of the way and even read a few different things, some of which were really good.

The surprise hits of this week were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Micro-Seres #5: Splinter from IDW Publishing and Harley Quinn Invades Comic Con #1 from DC Comics. The surprise flop of the week would be Robin Rises: Omega #1 from DC Comics. Expectedly great comics such as Secret Avengers #5 from Marvel Comics and Unity #9 from Valiant Comics were pretty damn good. I’m quite happy with the fact that I’m managing to read as many comics as I have for the past two weeks, given everything else. I expected the number to be much lower after all.

Anyway, here’s another edition of “Comics Picks For…”. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Best of 2014 Part 1b: Monthly Comics

A few days ago I did my best of 2014 list for the novels I have read in the first half of this year. That list followed the same format that I have been using for 2 years now, but with this new list I decided to make a big departure, owing to how many comics I’ve been reading in recent months, often 80+ comics in a single month! That’s crazy.

So, with the books already having been covered, I now delve into my favourite monthly comics of the year. The next post will be at the end of the year for the second half of the year.

You can check out my top-of-the-month lists on my Reading Awards page and this list is both an extension, and a continuation of what goes on there.

Let’s see what makes the cut and which comes close then!

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