Blog Archives

Comics Picks For 25.02.2015

There haven’t been any “Comics Picks of the Week” articles for a while, and the major reason for that is because I’ve just been too caught up with other stuff and I just can’t be… well bothered. It just takes too much out of my time to keep these titles going, especially when Wednesdays also see me trying to get through two TV shows and doing reviews for them. Though, that situation has kind of abated now.

Anyway, this week’s surprise hits were Batman: Arkham Knight #2 and Gotham Central Book 1 from DC. It was a relatively small week for me since I didn’t read all that many new titles and most of those were middling. Ongoing greats were Django/Zorro #4, John Carter: Warlord of Mars #4, Fantastic Four #643 , Inhuman #12, Aquaman #39 , Catwoman #39 , and He-Man: The Eternity War #3 among others .

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 07.01.2015

No “Magic 40” in the first week of the new year, but the second week definitely sees me hit that landmark number, and with graphic novels mixed in to boot!

This week’s surprise hits were Angry Birds/Transformers #2 from IDW Publishing, Ares & Aphrodite #1 from Oni Press, Operation: S.I.N. #1 and Wolverines #1 from Marvel. The disappointments of the week were Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #2 and Ant-Man #1 from Marvel and Future’s End #36 from DC. Ongoing greats like Swamp Thing #38 and Detective Comics #38 from DC, Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #3 from Marvel, and John Carter: Warlord of Mars #3 from Dynamite to name a few were just as I expected them to be: superb.

As mentioned above, the graphic novels for the week were Legends of Red Sonja Volume 1 from Dynamite and Quest: Age of Darkness Volume 1 from Zenescope. The former was a fun book where Gail Simone brought together several different female prose writers, paired them with different artists, and wrote a grand, sweeping Red Sonja story. The latter was part of the publisher’s Age of Darkness event and was more a prequel story.

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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Arrow Season 2.5 #10 (Comics Review)

Arrow Season 2.5 kicked things off pretty nicely with the ninth issue a while back (I read it last week), and it was one where some recent plot developments on the third season filtered back into the tie-in comic. Set between the second and third seasons, the series helps bridge the narrative gap between the two and it has been chugging along very nicely indeed, focusing on the characters and their relationships with each other more than anything. Oh and yeah, there’s also some great 2-page Suicide Squad backups here, though some of them aren’t as exciting as others since it is taking a loooong time for the team to get off on its next mission.

In Arrow Season 2.5 #10, we finally see some great plot progression. Like I said above, the tension isn’t there so much since we know how the characters fare in the third season, but this is still some great stories being told, and this issue highlights that to a great degree by showing us how Oliver planned to take back control of Queen Consolidated after he unwittingly handed it over to Isabel Rochev in the second season. And also, we finally get to see the Suicide Squad make a move for its Kahndaq mission, which is what I’ve been waiting for since the early issues.

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Comics Picks For 31.12.2014

The first Comics Picks of the new year, and while I of course wished for a Magic 40 to kick off 2015, I’m happy with the fact that I didn’t go overboard much and read only a few measly 10 comics, two of which were graphic novels.

For the first week of 2015, the top hits were SHIELD #1 from Marvel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes from Boom Studios, Legends of Red Sonja Volume 1 from Dynamite, and Star Trek/Planet of the Apes from IDW/Boom Studios. The disappointing reads of the week were both from Zenescope unfortunate, Dark Shaman #3 and Quest: Age of Darkness Volume 1. The others… they were decent, nothing major.

As mentioned above, the graphic novels for the week were Legends of Red Sonja Volume 1 from Dynamite and Quest: Age of Darkness Volume 1 from Zenescope. The former was a fun book where Gail Simone brought together several different female prose writers, paired them with different artists, and wrote a grand, sweeping Red Sonja story. The latter was part of the publisher’s Age of Darkness event and was more a prequel story.

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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Arrow Season 2.5 #9 (Comics Review)

The first four months of Arrow Season 2.5 have seen many ups and downs for the characters involved. Along with the return of Brother Blood, albeit under a new identity, we have also seen the introduction of a new villain, the return of some heroes, and the gearing up of Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad for another mission, this time against religious extremists. This tie-in comic to the show has been quite brilliant so far and though there have been a few things here and there that didn’t work for me, the writing and the art have both remained more or less consistent.

In the first installment of the title in the new year, this past week’s Arrow Season 2.5 #9, we see how some of the recently introduced plot-threads on the show filter back into this prequel comic as nightmares and visions. Some of the narrative flow between the different scenes felt a bit off but was made up by the fact that writers Marc Guggenheim and Keto Shimizu delivered some really interesting character moments, putting aside the usual high-tempo action for a more sedate and personal story.

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Comics Picks For 10.12.2014

Almost a month after the last time, I finally had a Magic 40 week! And not just any plan Magic 40 week, but one where I managed to read three graphic novels as well!

For this week, the surprise hits were Fables: The Wolf Among Us #1 from Vertigo Comics, Death of Wolverine: Logan Legacy #6 and Spider-Man & The X-Men #1 from Marvel Comics, Justice League #32-36 from DC Comics and The Valiant #1 from Valiant Comics. The comic (yes, the only one!) that proved to be rather disappointing, even unexpectedly so, was New Suicide Squad #5 from DC. Apart from that, a good run continued on several other titles like HexedJohn Carter: Warlord of MarsBatman: EternalBirthrightPrometheus: Fire and Stone and others.

The three graphic novels for this week were: Grimm Fairy Tales: Code Red Volume 1, which is set during the recent Age of Darkness crossover event from Zenescope Entertainment, Mighty Avengers Volume 2 from Marvel, which is an effort by me to catch up on this mostly-good title, and Supergirl Volume 1, which is an older Supergirl title, pre-New 52.

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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Arrow Season 2.5 #8 (Comics Review)

The previous issue of Arrow Season 2.5 was a pretty rough one for Oliver. It turned out that during his escape from the Church of Blood, the new Count Vertigo (played in the season 3 premiere by the amazing Peter Stormare) had dosed him with a dangerous hallucinagen and that made him fight his friends, and the memories of his family. As an exploration of Oliver’s damaged and tortured psyche, it was a fairly good installment and though it was a surprise to see Count Vertigo debut in the comic, it also made for a rather thrilling read toward the end so no complaints there.

In this week’s Arrow Season 2.5 #8, we see the consequences and lead-off from Oliver’s big fight against his memories and friends while dosed up on the drug from the new Count. It turns out actually that Sara is indeed in town on some assignment and she helps the team get back on its feet and beat-off the after-effects of a rather terrible night, a mission gone totally wrong. And on the other side, we have Waller continue to position her pieces with the Suicide Squad, preparing them to go to Kahndaq on a mission to kill a local warlord.

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Arrow Season 2.5 #7 (Comics Review)

I remarked back in the review for Arrow Season 2.5 #6 that despite rumours, the digital-first issue didn’t quite feel like an end to the “Blood” arc. It rounded off with the heroes escaping the clutches of the Church of Blood and them discovering some disturbing things about the enemy, which came as a shock to them. It was a good story for sure though, and I especially liked the thrust of the Suicide Squad 2-page backup, which has been one hell of a tease so far in this series, some three months into Season 2.5, almost maddeningly so.

In Arrow Season 2.5 #7, we see how the arc hasn’t really ended and how there is much more of a story here than Marc Guggenheim previously hinted at. And we see the introduction of one of the villains introduced in an early episode of the third season of the show, which was a real surprise and not something I was expecting. Really though, this issue is all about Oliver exploring his own damaged and tortured psyche, even as we see how things are really heating up in Kahndaq and the setup for the Suicide Squad to go in guns blazing. Oh and did I mention that there are a ton of guest artists on this issue?

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Comics Picks For 12.11.2014

Getting on a roll again, this week I managed to repeat the “Magic 40” with 2 graphic novels and 38 singles, with many of the latter being absolutely new series, so that was a lot of fun for the most part.

My top picks for the surprise hits of the week would be Archer & Armstrong: One Percent #1  from Valiant Comics, Deep State #1 from Boom Studios, Django/Zorro #1 from Dynamite Entertainment and Vertigo Comics, and The Kitchen #1 from Vertigo Comics also. The most disappointing comics of this week were  Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1 and Death of Wolverine: Logan Legacy #4 both from Marvel Comics, New 52 – Batman #36 from DC Comics and Grimm Fairy Tales: Cfinderella #1 from Zenescope Entertainment. Other than that, the regularly great titles like Hexed, Fables, New Suicide Squad, Red Sonja and Unity all proved to be immensely fun.

The graphic novels for this week were King Conan: The Hour of The Dragon by Timothy Truman, Tomás Giorello and Jose Villarrubia, and Fables Volume 5 by Bill Willingham, Tony Akins, Jimmy Palmiotti, Daniel Vozzo, Todd Klein, James Jean, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha.

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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Arrow Season 2.5 #6 (Comics Review)

While CW’s Arrow has been chugging along well enough with its third season, DC has been chugging along with its companion digital-first comic that explores the time between the last season and the new one. Not much has actually happened here, other than the fact that the Church of Blood has become resurgent under Clinton Hogue, Sebastian Blood’s henchman last season and has been causing all sorts of problem for the heroes. And in the last issue things got plenty screwy as Ollie and Diggle were both captured by the Church. Now, we see how this first arc ends.

Arrow Season 2.5 #6 is supposed to be the end of the first arc and while I enjoyed it, it doesn’t feel like quite the ending that it should be. It is basically a reprieve as the title moves off to other characters and other adventures. But the fact remains that Marc Guggenheim and Keto Shimizu know all their characters really well and they tell compelling stories about them. Not to mention that the backup with the Suicide Squad feels really great and the art overall is as great as ever.

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Comics Picks For 29.10.2014

Hit the almost-magic number of 35 once again and though I have yet to repeat my personal best of 40, I think this was my best week regardless since I managed to read 31 singles and 4 graphic novels. That definitely counts as an achievement, yes?

My surprise hits for this week would be Tales of Honor #1 from Top Cow, Swamp Thing Annual #3 from DC, Inhuman #7, Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America #1  and Deathlok #1 all from Marvel. Those that count among this week’s top disappointments would be Conan the Avenger #7 from Dark Horse. Justice League United Annual #1 from DC. Others like Grimm Fairy Tales: Realm War #4 and Grimm Fairy Tales: Robyn Hood #3 from Zenescope, Wayward #3 from Image, The Flash Volume 2 from DC, and a bunch of others were as good as I expected them to be, probably better even.

The graphic novels for this week were Supergirl Volume 4 by Michael Alan Nelson and Diogenes Neves, The Flash Volume 2 by Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul, Krypton Returns by Various and Thanos: The Infinity Revelation by Jim Starlin.

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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Arrow Season 2.5 #5 (Comics Review)

CW’s Arrow has begun to find its groove in its new third season, and it has also started casting the net really wide when it comes to characters and events, with the most recent episode last week going back in time to a rather key moment in season 1. But of course, some of the more burning questions are related to what has happened in between the second season finale and the third season premiere, which is where Arrow Season 2.5 from writers Marc Guggenheim and Keto Shimizu comes in. Up until now we’ve seen some pretty nifty stuff with the Church of Blood and it looks like things are finally drawing to a close on that front.

The latest issue of Arrow Season 2.5 pits Oliver and Diggle directly against the Church of Blood as they finally learn more about it and have a location to match. Being as short a comic as it is, things move a little too quickly for my tastes, but it addresses some really key things such as Clinton Hogue recognizing Diggle and Felicity from when they kidnapped him last season to find out Sebastian Blood’s whereabouts and also what is going on with Officer Lance. Plus the Kahndaq backup, while altogether brief once again, is pretty cool and really sets the stage for the return of the Suicide Squad.

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