Friday, February 18, 2011

My Week in Comics: February 18, 2011

Heralds, historical figures and crazy cyborg zomebies are invading my week in comics this week! Sit back and enjoy the most verbose comic reviews around! What did I think of this week's comics? Read on to find out!

SHIELD #6 sees the forces of Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci in a bloody battle of beliefs, with Leonid caught in the crossfire, while Nathaniel Richards and Howard Stark are stuck in the future with a very angry Nikola Tesla!

I've realized that SHIELD is sort of "You either love it or hate it" deal. Jonathan Hickman's overreaching concepts reminds me of Grant Morrison, but more down-to-earth and easier to digest. In this ish, we discover more plot points and uncovered secrets culminating in the revelation of the Forever Man's identity. But as a stand-alone issue, it reads exactly like the 22 pages of a graphic novel. But I'm not reading a graphic novel right now, I'm buying this bi monthly book that's supposed to stand on its own in the comic rack.

Don't get me wrong, it's thick with symbolism and information, but its all pointless at this, uh, point. Dustin Weaver's pencils save this issue, however. His sprawling splash pages and attention to detail is awesome, and you'll find yourself just looking at all the pretty pictures longer than you're reading the book. I give this a 2 out of 5.

In Uncanny X-Force #5, Fantomex uncovers something fishy happening in the super-soldier research center known as the World, while Deadpool ponders (!) on what the team has done killing Kid Apocalypse!

The Deathlok Nation storyline begins here, and writer Rick Remender is keeping it as newbie friendly as possible. Concepts like Deathlok and the World are eased into the story as cleanly as possible, leaving you to just enjoy seeing Deatlok-ized versions of heroes just messing the whole place up. Esad Ribic steps up for Jerome Opena this ish, and his cyborg zombies are fun and awesome to look at.

Deadpool getting nightmares because of Kid Apocalypse's blood in their hands is surprising, given that my passing knowledge with the Merc with a Mouth usually involves depravity and violence and cancer. Seeing him really messed up because he had a hand in the death of a child is very interesting to me, and I'd like to see where Remender takes that.

Another great issue for one of my favorite series, with a quality and clarity of purpose that's just bloody refreshing to see. This one's a 4 out of 5.

And so we come to Silver Surfer #1, by writer Greg Pak and art by kababayan Stephen Segovia. Silver Surfer is one of those characters I would have loved to read about, but never knew where to start. Pak must have heard me then, becaue now I have a Silver Surfer book in my hands! So is it any good?

Pak makes bringing Surfer back to Earth interesting, and we get to see Galactus' herald really stretch his cosmic muscles in this issue. Add to that a bad guy in the form of the High Evolutionary and it becomes this action movie kind of ride. All these sorts of powerhouses in a single issue is fun to read!

Stephen Segovia renders the hell out of this book, with bombastic splash pages of the Surfer in action in a sort of hyper detailed style that takes you a while to really digest everything. I do take issue with some anatomic inconsistencies (midget Surfer makes a cameo here!), but otherwise Segovia's storytelling makes up for it.
Pak and co. serves up a fine first issue, with an interesting villain and an interesting problem for the Silver Surfer. With a cliffhanger of an ending that just makes you want to find out what happens next, this does more than a lot of #1's out there. This is a good 3.5 out of 5.

A lot of good comics makes up for a downer SHIELD. Let's hope next week is better! Comments? Violent reactions? Thinking of the last time the High Evolutionary was actually relevant? Drop me a line in the comment box and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Webcomics I Love: Namesake

What if you had the ability to become the main character of every popular fairy tale? To walk in the footsteps of Alice or Dorothy? That's the question posed by this great-looking webcomic called Namesake. From their About page:

Namesake is the story of Emma Crewe, a woman who discovers she can visit other worlds. She finds out that these are places she already knows – fantasy and fairy lands made famous through the spoken word, literature and cinema. Her power as a Namesake forces her to act as a protagonist in these familiar stories as she figures out how to get home.

But as she travels, she discovers that those controlling her story have their own selfish goals in mind – and her fate is the key to everyone’s happy ending.

That's Namesake in a nutshell, but diving in, it's so much more than that. Creators Isabelle Melançon and Megan Lavey are riding high on one of the most interesting premises I've seen in a webcomic. The story is young (it just started last year), but the world they've slowly built so far is solid, and I love the art style, which reminds me of those illustrations from Denise Despeyroux's The Big Book of Fairies. Which means it's fantastic.

Do yourself a favor and check out Namesake now!

Monday, February 14, 2011

You must remember this...

 A kiss is just a kiss,

 A sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply, as time goes by.

And when two lovers woo

They still say, "I love you."

On that you can rely.
 No matter what the future brings, as time goes by.

Moonlight and love songs, never out of date

Hearts full of passion, jealousy and hate

Woman needs man, and man must have a mate
That, no one can deny.

It’s still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die

The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.

Happy Valentine's Day!

"As Time Goes By"
sung by Dooley Wilson
from the film Casablanca

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Countdown to Love

Joker lets Harley really have it in this great pinup by Bruce Timm. Just in time for Valentine's Day tomorrow!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Countdown to Love

Peter and MJ can't help being teenagers in a page from Ultimate Spider-Man #13 (2001). Art by Mark Bagley.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Week in Comics: The Flash #9

"The Road to Flashpoint!" shouts the header to The Flash #9. Another event is in the horizon for the Scarlet Speedster!

We see little of Flash in this ish, focusing instead on Barry Allen and his work on the field as a forensic examiner. When a dead body of a super turns up on his watch, he gets to display the skills he already had before he was turned to this super-fast dude.

Having never read a single Barry Allen Flash series in my life, only knowing the general trivia surrounding him, it's a neat little extra to see him actually work. In a world where superheroes seem to wear their tights 24/7, this issue is a refreshing sight to see.

Of course, this being a Flashpoint tie-in, you'll be looking for some sort of payoff, which writer Geoff Johns provides in a fun but altogether predictable surprise in the revelation of Hot Pursuit's identity. I kind of had a nagging feeling about the identity of the motorbiking badass before, but I was really hoping I was wrong because it would have been (in my opinion) so easy to guess.

The art team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellatto brings everything together nicely with pencils and colors that just jive with what I really want in a comic. Manapul's art is dynamic (and cleaner this time around!) and Buccellatto's colors make everything pop.

From the looks of it, I'll be saddled with a Flash that's gonna be the center of a major comics event that I don't particularly care for. As it is, it's a good enough done-in-one. This get's a 3 out of 5.

Countdown to Love

Logan finally gets the girl (Jean Grey) in the cover of X-Men: Forever Annual #1 (2010) by Sana Takeda.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Love Spoilers

A couple of weeks ago, Fantastic Four #587 was building up hype with a simple premise: one of the Fantastic Four will die. The buzz was electrifying, and comic book fans were plugging their ears and avoiding the net like the plague to avoid knowing who it was before they got their copies. That is, until news broke out too early and the entire thing was spoiled, and everybody freaked. Everybody except me.

Because you see, I'm one of the rare kinds of people who think that spoilers are awesome.

The literary and cinematic kind, I mean.

I've never been afraid of spoilers. I've always been the type of guy who liked knowing what happens next, keeping a "journey, not destination" philosophy real close to the chest. I know people who got sick to the stomach finding out what happens to their favorite TV show or book too early, while I actively searched to find out the ending to Harry Potter way before it was cool to say "Snape Killed Dumbledore". It never bothered me to know beforehand that Onslaught was Professor X; I was more interested in why or how it happened.

Now let me tell you why I really love spoilers:

You're basically living in the future for a fraction of a second. For that moment of finale realization you're living in the most exciting place there is, ahead of the curve boldly going where no geek has gone before!

They can serve as "warning signs". I've lost count of the many times spoilers saved me from buying bad comics. With the perfect synergy of Wednesday releases in the US and late shipping here in Manila, I get to find out ahead of time if I'm buying something worthwhile.

They let me into fandoms easy. Never watched Glee but wanted to find out what I'm getting into, so I googled and now I know everything that happened before I even watched a single episode. Walking Dead sounds good, so I found issue summaries and it looks like Robert Kirkman's zombie tale is right up my alley.

I could think of and write down more reasons here, but I guess all I'm really trying to say is...spoilers are cool, and they don't deserve the bad rap they usually get!

Still think ignorance is bliss? Watch out as I look at why it still pays to be in the dark. So what do you think about spoilers? Do you love them as much as I do? Or hate them? Or do you give a big "Meh" either way?

Countdown to Love

Lois and Clark in...actually I don't know who did this. But it's damn cheesy romantic!
Anyone care to help me credit this?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Countdown to Love

A beautiful rendition of my One True Pairing by Richard Amorim, Tom Smith and Bob Almond,
from the collection of Jeff Sequeira.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Countdown to Love

Gambit and Rogue share a rare kiss, from the cover of Gambit #16 by Yanick Paquette, Sean Parsons and Mark McNabb.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Countdown to Love

 Mr. Miracle and Big Barda's totally kilig moment! This cheesy page is brought to you by Jack "The King" Kirby, from Mr. Miracle's first series (1974).

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

I'm too full from the delicious feast last night to write anything relevant or interesting, so let me just say...Happy Chinese New Year! Hope the year of the Metal Rabbit is a good one!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Webcomics I Love: The Secret Knots

In my recent stumbles around the internet, I came across this really peculiar webcomic called The Secret Knots.

A webcomic by artist Juan Santapau, The Secret Knots is a collection of single-page comics about a wide variety of themes, from loss to love to the stories hidden beneath the cracks of consciousness wrapped up in a very artful package. In short, it's really good.

I love these sorts of melancholy and weird stories, and Santapau's gorgeous art just complements them and brings them to life like no one else can. Seriously, somebody give this guy a job in comics! This is the kind of stuff that really gets my interests piqued.

If moody, surreal stories isn't in your plate today, steer clear of this. But if you have the time to really dig in, give The Secret Knots a try!

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