Category Archives: Purchases

General DC

Mezco Toyz Reveals 6th Summer Exclusive: Man Of Steel Mez-Itz Three Pack

As the world of fandom collectively counts down to the July 18th start of San Diego Comic-Con, Mezco adds fuel to the flames of excitement by revealing the details of one of their Summer Exclusives:

Man Of Steel Mez-Itz Tri-Pack

The most exciting 2inch Mez-Itz in Metropolis are based on the upcoming big-budget action extravaganza hitting theatres in June 2013.

The pack includes mini Mez-itz versions of:

  • Superman- the Man of Steel.
  • Jor-El- Superman’s birth Father and leading scientist of Krypton.
  • General Zod- Superman’s villainous arch nemesis.

Each figure stands 2inches tall and features 5 points of articulation and 1000 points of fun.

All three figures come in a collector friendly window box.

This Mezco Summer Exclusive is a Limited Edition of 1200 pieces. A limited amount are available online, but don’t delay because once they are gone, they are gone forever!

You can visit Mezco at San Diego Comic Con at booth #3445.

man of steel mez itz 1 man of steel mez itz 2

Review: Age of Ultron #6 and Wolverine and the X-Men #27AU

Age of Ultron #6

age of ultron #6 coverI’ve been shitting on Age of Ultron. In general, I think the first five issues have been too decompressed with too much of a focus on setting and mood, than moving the story forward. In general, a waste of $20. This week sees the release of Age of Ultron #6 and we finally get the issue I’ve been waiting for.

The plan of action was set last issue. A team is heading to the future to battle Ultron, a sliver of the story in this issue, while Wolverine decides upon his own path, to take out the man who created Ultron, Hank Pym. But, Wolverine picks up a partner in his trip.

The story is fast paced, with the full story in one issue. Wolverine has a mission and whether he goes through with it is concluded within these pages. Something the previous issues seriously lacked.

Throughout the issue, there’s a tense feeling, you have no idea where it’s going or how it’ll end. Debates about what one would do to save another, and the butterfly affect pepper the issue. It’s solid stuff, exactly what I’ve been waiting for.

The art too gets an upgrade. The silly mistakes are gone big improvement from the sloppy work that littered the last five issues.

I’ve been waiting for this quality to find its way to this major event.

The issue ends with one of the most controversial decisions in the history of Marvel comics… …and you’ll never believe who goes along with it!

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Brandon Peterson and Carlos Pacheco
Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

Wolverine and the X-Men #27AU

wolverine and the x-men #27au coverA direct tie-in to the issue above (read the above one first), it follows Wolverine’s journey in the past. There’s lots of debates about the butterfly affect, a small action can roll into something big. This issue kind of goes out of the way to show that affect, almost a silly bit. We learn a bit more on the “origin” of an X-Men nemesis, which is the silly part, but also get a cool blend of Marvel’s past and present through the use of previous printed material.

I really liked that aspect of this issue, to me, that is what makes the issue a buy. In a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, we see all the heroes they’re keeping tabs on, and in those panels, we see old panels from classic issues. It’s a really cool idea and great use of blending of the modern and past.

Overall, Matt Kindt brings the solid writing I expect from him. His work is usually pretty amazing and the debates the characters have with each other and by themselves is interesting and fleshes out the thought process of these characters.

My gripes are this. I mentioned Wolverine causes an “origin” in a way of a X-Men nemesis. That part was a bit silly to me and while it’s an attempt to emphasize the butterfly affect, it felt a bit forced. Then at the end of the issue, Wolverine’s partner makes a definitive statement that contradicts their attitude throughout most of Age of Ultron #6, it wasn’t consistent.

Still, it’s a tie-in that adds a bit about motivation and the thought process going on within these characters.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Paco Medina
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review – Age of Ultron #3, Fantastic Four #5AU and Superior Spider-Man #6AU

Age of Ultron #3

AgeOfUltron_3_CoverI’ve been a bit down on this major Marvel event. The first issue felt like the action sequence before the movie credits. The second issue, felt like dragged out set up. Then there’s the inconsistent art. The third issue is a bit of an improvement, but all that’s because of the final page, a big reveal. The rest suffers from a lot of the same issues as the first two issues.

The world has been dominated and taken over by Ultron. This issues sees the heroes continue the debate as to what to do. Which is odd, since the last issue ended with Captain America having this solid idea. So, there’s a debate. And more debate about what Ultron wants or why it’s acting the way it is. Then there’s some movement on the debate which leads to that twist ending.

Some times I like decompressed storytelling and Brian Michael Bendis is really good at it. But here, we’re three issues in and I feel like not much has happened other than that final page in this issue. It’s a hell of a twist and one I wasn’t thinking about. Hopefully the next issue picks it up a bit, like a train speeding up out of the track. We’ll see.

Then there’s the art. Bryan Hitch is off his game here. Something isn’t sitting right at all. This issue is filled with issues, especially when it comes to eyes. That might be an inking or a coloring problem, but there’s a lot of folks who have eyes that seem to wander, is in one is going one direction and the other in another. It’s distracting.

I still feel like the overall whole of the story will be stronger than its individual parts, but so far this is feeling like a bit of struggle to get to the good parts.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Bryan Hitch

Story: 7.25 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read 

Fantastic Four #5AU

FantasticFour_5AU_CoverWill the rise of the artificial intelligence Ultron cause the premature end of the Fantastic Four’s sojourn across time and space? That’s the tease for this event tie-in. We know the answer. We’ve seen Sue Storm in the main event series. So, this issue deals with the story as to how the Fantastic Four came back to Earth to deal with the situation and we learn who is still standing and who is no longer around.

The issues goal is simple, to tell us how Sue Storm got back from the deep space mission to be standing with the other heroes. It answers a plot hole, so that’s good.

I will admit, there’s some emotional heft to the issue. It got me to tear up slightly and had me thinking about its ramifications. That’s good writing, but overall, the story is pretty flimsy. There’s not much there. Some fighting and the results, but what’s really good though is The Four’s dealing with their children, Val and Franklin. That’s where the emotional heft comes from. So it’s an interesting comic going between that emotional gut punch to the battle scenes.

The art also threw me off. I like the style, but it didn’t seem to fit such an emotional comic. It was a mismatch, which dragged it down a bit.

Overall, it’s a good issue, but just not quite the excellence that lives up to the word “fantastic”.

Story: Matt Fraction Art: Andre Araujo

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Superior Spider-Man #6AU

SuperiorSpiderMan_6AU_CoverThe Superior Spider-Man enters the Age of Ultron! I’ve been wondering a bit as to which Spider-Man this is. And with this issue, we get a definite answer. Not that I feel like it’s a spoiler, but with it being Doc Ock, this issue explores from his perspective what he thinks about Ultron taking over.

The heroes know who Spider-Man is now, as he revealed himself in the first issue of the main event book. Since they know they’ve got another brilliant person on board Tony Stark tasks him with a mission.

What’s solid about this book is the fact you get Ock’s opinion on the situation. How does a villain react when another one pulls off what he didn’t? It’s well done and a very entertaining read I think.

What’s also nice is how his personality is played up. He’s given a mission, but, just like in the regular series, his ego and attitude gets in the way. He constantly thinks he has the right answer and is slowly learning lessons. This issue, though it switches to the event, keeps up that plot and point that Dan Slott has drilled in. It makes this feel like a continuation of the regular series which is nice.

Overall, the art is pretty good as well. There’s some slight issues, but I really dig the style presented.

As far as tie-ins, this one answers a big question and gives us a unique enough voice and perspective that it makes it worth it.

Story: Christos Gage Art: Dexter Soy

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

Review – All Crime Comics #1 and Dames in the Atomic Age

All Crime Comics #1

All Crime Comics 1 Bruce Timm CoverCars, murder, revenge. That’s the makings of a solid pulp comic. And through a twisted tale of those three things, and dames, we get an entertaining read that fits right into the crime comics of old.

The comic is a tale of car theft and murder bouncing back and forth throughout the years telling the story of two friends and their slide into crime. It hits all the right beats, with a pacing that’s brisk and entertaining. I particularly like how the story is laid out and set up.

What stands out to me is the art. It’s fantastic, raising the overall quality of the comic. I especially enjoy the second chapter which throwbacks to the early days of art and coloring, dots and all. It’s a great touch that adds ton to the comic.

Finally it’s kind of hard to not mention the cover with a beat look that just screams pulp. The small details peppered throughout the cover alone shows the small details that really drives the comic and makes it feel like a great pulp story from years past.

If you’re a fan of pulp or crime comics, this is a great buy.

Story: The Art of Fiction Art: Ed Laroche and Marc Sandroni

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Dames in the Atomic Age

dames_of_the_atomic_age coverThe first original graphic novel from Art of Fiction, Dames in the Atomic Age is a unique pulp tale that pays homage to the B-movies, sci-fi serials, and crime magazines of the 1940s and ‘50s.

I’m a fan of pulp. Give me a cheesy B-movie and I’m happy to sit back and zone out. This comic covers it all. Everything is thrown in there with giant ants, cloning, crazy stuff and it’s a lot of fun. What adds to it all is it’s wrapped in a crime comic, so there’s a hint of noir in there as well.

When I think of these types of movies or comics, I want something that just screams fun. I don’t want to have to think or dissect the story. I want to relax and be entertained. It’s goofy fun! That’s what this comic does. It entertains just like those same movies.

It feels like everything including the kitchen sink is thrown in here, but that’s part of the fun. While we might have scene each of the things that pop up in other movies or stories, it’s still entertaining here and most importantly fun.

There’s also some great breaks of art with different artists throwing in a short strip or pin-up that adds to the overall feel of the comic. It’s a great package, well thought out from story to production.

Story: Christopher Ryder Art: Marc Sandroni, Mike Vosburg, Paul Little, Tony Fleecs, Andy Suriano, Chris Moreno, Tone Rodriguez, Mark Dos Santos, Brad Rader and Rahsan Ekedal

Story: 8 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Review – Wolverine #1 and Ultimate Comics Wolverine #1

Wolverine #1

wolverine #1The best there is at what he does doing what he does best! When Wolverine finds himself the bargaining chip in a hostage situation, he must make a decision to save a little boy that will follow him forever…literally!

Wolverine has been around for decades at this point, being featured in hundreds of comic books. It feels like we’re reaching the point when all the stories that can be told, have been told. That means the scrutiny just gets higher and higher in finding an  entertaining and original take.

This issue starts off interesting, Wolverine stuck in a hostage situation. The hostage taker has what seems like an alien weapon, killing hostages for some unknown reason. Then things get flipped at the end.

A first issue is supposed to grab you and suck you in wanting to come back for the next issue. Like the previously recent Wolverine series launches, I’m a bit underwhelmed. The story isn’t bad, but it’s also just not exciting. It’s a read, and that’s it. It feels like a fill in issue between two major arcs and they have a fill in creator. It’s not something I’d give to a new reader to get them excited about comics or interested in Marvel NOW!.

Maybe this first arc will take us somewhere interesting, but the first issue just had me thinking why we needed a reboot and why this story to kick it off?

Story: Paul Cornell Art: Alan Davis

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Ultimate Comics Wolverine #1

ultimate comics wolverine #1 coverJimmy Hudson’s quest to discover the answers about his past begins here!What mission was Wolverine on that led to the birth of Jimmy?A story that will rock the Ultimate Universe’s family tree forever!

I’m a recent reader when it comes to Marvel’s Ultimate universe. When I started reading Wolverine is long gone and all I know is Jimmy. And even when it comes to that character little is talked about his history. So I’m pretty fresh.

Here we get jumps between past and present. Wolverine has a mission and Jimmy is dealing with the new mutant nation Utopia. But, from the past Jimmy is left a message. This takes him on a mystery tour.

So, I’m coming at this from a fairly new reader. There’s a lot here that feels like I’d have benefited from reading what’s come before, but I’m not 100% sure about that. It’s not totally new reader friendly though.

The mystery seems interesting enough and what is presented makes this world different enough from the regular Marvel 616 universe that I want to find out more. It’s not a bad start, but definitely didn’t  get me really excited like the other Ultimate comics.

We’ll see where we go from here. I’m interested in seeing, but it’s not a must read like it’s other universe’s comics.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Art Adams

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Review – Age of Ultron #2

age of ultron #2 coverI described the first issue of the new Marvel event, Age of Ultron, as “sound and fury signifying nothing.” This second issue picks up on that, with lots more action and little else. In fact the whole issue is a bit mellow and quiet.

The second issue picks up on the left coast following Moon Knight and Black Widow and that gives us a bit more of a view as to what has happened and going on in the world. From there, we head back to New York where Spider-Man is recounting what he remembers and some discussion as to the events of the first issue is had.

While there’s some hints that what we’ve seen isn’t quite right, not a whole lot happens here. There’s a glimpse of a guy in a cape and then that discussion, something is clearly off. The world isn’t exactly what we think it is.

We’re waiting for the reveal, what exactly is going on, and while the first issue dove into the action like a pre-credits movie sequence, this issue dials it back almost too much. I feel like the events could have been condensed into a few pages into an issue, instead of this decompressed discussion. There might be more fun Easter eggs in the issue as the series pans out, but I felt myself getting to the end asking “this is it?”.

Again, I think the overall story will be much stronger than it’s individual parts, but for an event that’s been built up for so long, I can’t help but feel disappointed so far.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Bryan Hitch

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation Read

Review – Age of Ultron #1

AgeOfUltron_01_CoverIt’s been a year in hype build up, but Marvel‘s next big event hit shelves this week with the release of Age of Ultron #1. I read through the comic and have been sitting on it, trying to figure out exactly what I thought about it.

Enter the darkest days of the Marvel Universe as it’s heroes fight for survival. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Bryan Hitch Age of Ultron #1, is another dystopian tale, similar in it’s presentation as House of M or Avengers Vs. X-Men. Evil has triumphed over good and leading this new age is none other than Ultron, the deadly sentient robot created by founding Avenger Hank Pym who turned on his creator to achieve his twisted  objective…the utter destruction of humanity. Now, it’s up to the few remaining heroes to band together and find any way to topple their new monarch.

Thrown into this first issue with little explanation, we’re presented with the action sequence before the credits of the movie starts. We’re strapped in for a ride and due to that, I’m kind of mixed.

To paraphrase Shakespeare this issue is “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” There’s lots of action, lots of excitement, an intriguing world, but I feel like we’ve been here before, even with so little explained. The issue is lots of flash, not much depth.

Lets look at some of the previous events.

Avengers Vs. X-Men saw a band of heroes fighting for survival against mutants who have taken over the world.

House of M saw a band of heroes fighting for survival in a world controlled by Magneto (sort of).

Age of Apocalypse saw a band of heroes fighting for survival in a world ruled by Apocalypse.

Days of Future Past saw a band of heroes fighting for survival in a world ruled by Sentinels.

See a pattern here? We’ve been here, done that. It’s Madlibs Marvel Events.

That’s not to say this first issue wasn’t interesting or exciting. But, as a first issue, it feels familiar and therefore not as exciting. I’m trying to not get too down, in the end I think the event will be a solid one, they usually turn out to be a greater whole than individual parts. I just wish we got something slightly different here than normal to start.

This first issue is exciting, but I can’t quite recommend it because it’s not a story, it’s a beginning scene before the credits. While it might be a read, my opinion of the overall event will hopefully be different.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Bryan Hitch

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation Read

 

Review – Fairy Quest

FairyQuest_01_preview_Page_1Fairy Quest is the latest entry into the twisted tales genre, re-imagining and reworking classic fairy tales in new ways. The comic started as a Kickstarter campaign, one that I pledged to, and it was successfully funded. Now, everyone gets a chance to check out the series as BOOM! Studios gets the opportunity to release this excellent series from writer Paul Jenkins and artist Humberto Ramos.

The world of Fablewood, where all of the stories that have ever been told live side-by- side, is a sinister place indeed! Under the watchful eye of the dreaded Mister Grimm and his Think Police, Red Riding Hood and her Wolf must risk everything to try and escape and find sanctuary in a mysterious place called the Real World…

I’ve read the entire first volume, but this week sees the release of the second issue. The story is great, an interesting world and something you haven’t seen in similar tales. This is a despotic world where mystery abounds. It’s basically a chase story. Red Riding Hood is on the run and being pursued. Along the way she meets various characters who inhabit this strange world.

There’s quite a lot of small details to make the series stand out. The way the world works, the characters and how they act, it’s all pretty unique and interesting.

Humberto Ramos’ art is amazing and one of the big draws for me when I backed the project. The art is stunning and it’s great to see him attached to this project.

Overall, the project is great. Jenkins’ writing, Ramos’ art, it’s a perfect package and a great buy. And, if the second volume is brought to Kickstarter, be one of the cool kids and hop on board to back the project.

Story: Paul Jenkins Art: Humberto Ramos

Story: 8 Art: 9.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Review – Batman Incorporated #8

robin-batman-inc-8It’s the biggest buzzed about comic this week, Batman Incorporated #8 got the major newspaper treatment with it’s shocking twist spoiled before the Wednesday release date. This is the final showdown between Batman Inc. and Leviathan and everything that Morrison has been planning since the beginning of the series has lead to this issue’s stunning events.

Batman Inc., a global organization created by Bruce Wayne and his allies, has changed the world by using the symbolic power of the Batman on a global scale. But, Batman Inc. has been facing it’s greatest threat, Leviathan.

Leviathan is a terrorist organization formed by Talia al Ghul. They’ve created a “ring of terror” ensnaring hundreds of innocent children and turning them into killers targeting Batman and his allies across the globe.

I am a read who read the first two issue of the series, then dropped it, it didn’t do a whole lot for me. To me Morrison is very hit and miss, and his Batman has been largely miss in my eyes. But, this is an issue I thought I had to read due to the main stream media headlines. Yes, DC’s press shop did their work and got me to want to check out the series.

I found a fairly spare comic with little dialogue and lots of action. I felt like I was dropped in the middle of an action movie during the big action sequence towards the end of the movie. I missed the set up, I missed the reasons. I’m just watching the ass-kicking, but don’t really know why it’s going on.

But this issue is about that shocking moment. I read the other Batman books, so wanted to see the act that’ll impact them. And that to me is this comic. It’s lots of hoopla over one panel. The comic itself feels flimsy to me story wise. There’s lots of action. There’s lots of quips. And it’s fun, but without reading the rest of this story, this issue doesn’t quite have the impact I’d have expected it to.

I like Damian, he’s grown on me as a character and I enjoyed watching his relationship with Bruce/Batman grow. Sadly it was cut short way to soon and in a way that robs the character of the emotional impact he deserves.

But, there’s something, not sure what that just feels empty to me with how this act goes down. The emotional part of it is missing to me and overall that’s a let down. I think the greater impact of this issue will be the aftermath shown in other books, because based off of this issue, we’ll have to look for that key component elsewhere. That’s where I’m hoping to find that feeling of loss that this issue lacked.

Story: Grant Morrison Art: Chris Burnham

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.25 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Pass

Review – Marvel NOW!’s Uncanny X-Men #1, Secret Avengers #1 and Fearless Defenders #1

Uncanny X-Men #1

UncannyXMen_1_CoverThe true flagship book of the X-Men returns. In the wake of the Phoenix, the world has changed and is torn on exactly what Cyclops and his team of X-Men are – visionary revolutionaries or dangerous terrorists? Whatever the truth, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magneto, and Magik are out in the world gathering up new mutants and redefining the name Uncanny X-Men.

We knew the comic would focus on Cyclops and his team of revolutionaries. We also know through some releases that there’s a traitor on the team. This comic takes on both aspects. It doesn’t start with Cyclops and his team, instead we get the traitor telling the story from his perspective while talking to S.H.I.E.L.D. I loved this aspect of the story, the perspective was great and it was a nice change from what I was expecting. Brian Michael Bendis likes story telling from this perspective, so not shocking, but I definitely didn’t think we’d find out who the traitor was. Or would we?!

Yes, at the end of the comic, not only do we get to find out who the traitor is, but why they are doing it. It’s a doozy, not something I was expecting at all.

I figured we were just going to get Cyclops running around the world building his army, with some speeches every so often. Instead we have a hell of a political thriller, knee deep in philosophy about revolution and race relations. This is the original Uncanny X-Men on steroids.

Add in Chris Bachalo’s art and you’ve got a comic that’s amazing and a must buy.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Chris Bachalo

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Secret Avengers #1

Secret Avengers (2013) #1 cover by Tomm Coker“The Most Dangerous Secrets We Have… Are The Ones We Keep From Ourselves.” The new Nick Fury leads a covert Avengers strike team including but not limited to Hawkeye, Black Widow, The Hulk, The Winter Soldier, Maria Hill and Phil Coulson on missions so dangerous, even the team members themselves can’t know about them!

I’ve generally loved the past Secret Avengers series. At time they’ve been fantastic, really standing out from the other Avengers comics of the time and having their own voice. Other times, the struggled to stand out and really have a point as to their existence. This new series, in its first issue is in the middle.

The point of the story isn’t the bad guy, he’s kind of lame and the threat meh. The bigger is the gathering of the players and how the new Nick Fury is pulling them together and more importantly how they plan on manipulating them.

This isn’t the old Nick Fury having a big plan that each player only knows a bit about, the new Nick Fury will use you and screw you over. His goal is the mission and the team is a tool that is expendable. First up to recruit is Hawkeye and Black Widow out to stop a guy from selling dark magic to terrorists. The battle is generally lame, but how Fury manipulates his team that’s the interesting part. It all comes down to those final moments.

The first issue is decent, but overall, it’s meh up to the end. We’ll see where the series goes, but it looks like it’ll have an interesting route it’s taking.

Story: Nick Spencer Art: Luke Ross

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Fearless Defenders #1

marvel now defendersValkyrie trying to make amends for her mistakes—mistakes that put the entire world in jeopardy—is tasked with choosing a group of heroic women to fight by her side, not from the women of Asgard, but from the heroic women of Earth.  Circumstance will provide her with an unlikely partner in this task, as she is joined by private investigator Misty Knight. With very different points of view and very different approaches, they will both find their definitions of heroism and honor put to the test by the women they lead and the challenges they face.

Girl Power! That was part of my draw to this series. I liked the idea of Valkyrie and Misty Knight teaming up and forming a team of kick-ass women. Cullen Bunn has a great tone to his writing that I thought would be a great fit to the series. This comic starts and mostly focuses on Misty Knight and a mission of hers to get some Asgardian doodad.

It’s an ok story. The beginning with Misty Knight is fun. Later I found myself drifting though. I felt like I’ve read this before. The idea of a possessed objects harks to Bunn’s Oni Press series The Sixth Gun. That series is fantastic, but this feels a little like a cheap knock off.

We’ve see Valkyrie used pretty well in some Avengers series. Misty Knight has kicked ass before in the amazing Heroes for Hire. The two characters together so far doesn’t quite click.

One of the more anticipated comics for me hasn’t quite lived up to my expectations. Hopefully the series is a slow start and gets better from here.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Will Sliney

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

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