Friday, March 30, 2012

My Week in Comics: March 30, 2012

March is coming to a close, and soon it's gonna be summer...the time of vacations, the time of beaches and bikinis, and the perfect weather for readin' some comics! But I digress. It's time for the most verbose comic reviews around! What did I get myself into this week? Read on to find out!

Rick Remender concludes his Otherworld arc in Uncanny X-Force #23, and it's messy. The Goat Monk's at the cusp of power, Fantomex is missing a face, X-Force is in shambles, and Captain Britain will have to make the hardest decision of his life!

Granted, the only depiction of Captain Britain I'm familiar with was from Paul Cornell's Captain Britain and the MI:13, so I'm coming into this with that image in mind. Still, I'm kinda bummed to see Remender paint the guy as this stiff, vengeful bugger for most of this arc, instead of the laid-back superhero I've grown to like. There's just something alien about the Captain Britain I'm reading in X-Force, and while the entire arc is serviceable, it's definitely a case of previous canon coloring my view of the present...which surprisingly might be the first time it's happened to me.

And the art...oh, where do I start? Sure Greg Tocchini's surreal rendering lent an otherworldly air to the story, but man is it raw as hell. Most of the book looks like they couldn't meet the deadline so they decided to just let him and Dean White color over Tocchini's roughs. Just sloppy work that took even more points from an already meh story arc. It seems that today is not the day we see The Dark Angel Saga get topped. This gets a 3.5 out of 5.

Brian Bendis and Jason Aaron team up for Avengers vs. X-Men #0, the zero issue before the big issue 1 of Marvel's next big event, Avengers vs. X-Men. The two stories inside feature Scarlet Witch and Hope, the former facing the ramifications of her past, and the latter her future. All the while the Phoenix Force is on a collision course towards Earth!

The book's meaty enough, and there are a few fun moments like MODOK's battle with Scarlet Witch, Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman, and Hope's badass turn as a one-woman-army against the Serpent Society. Bendis tones himself down long enough to take us straight to the point of Scarlet Witch's story, while Aaron's side shuffles its feet a bit, making me neither care for Hope nor care if the Phoenix Force is after her or not.

But the one thing I got out of this is that Ithe stories inside could have been in any book, or in AvX #1 even, if you can wait that long, certainly not worth making a special issue out of it, and for that matter, asking 4 dollars for it. Hardly deserving of a bookend status to Marvel's event. Buy if you're a Frank Cho fan (honestly, his art's the only thing you're paying to see), and think long and hard before deciding to get this. This is an easy 2 out of 5.

Another anthology out this week, Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures #1, and it's great! I've always wanted to get into Brian Clevinger's signature series about the heroic Nazi-fighting, dinosaur-punching robot called Atomic Robo, and this book might just do the trick!

Touted as "a collection of stories from the little corners of Robo’s world", Atomic Robo Presents... is a chance for Clevinger to tell stories both big and small about Atomic Robo's adventures through time and space! The stories are nice, some of it leading to a punchline of some sort (see Dr. Dinosaur take his deadliest revenge against Robo!), and the artists chosen to draw here are great. Surprised to see Yuko from Johnny Wander draw for this book, and I'm not surprised that her part in this issue is my favorite out of the lot. The rest are more world-building tales, and I admit I'm too much of an Atomic Robo neophyte that I just get lost in them.

Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures #1 is light and fluffy reading, and I hope we get some meatier tales from Clevinger down the road. This gets a 4 out of 5.

You see that cover? Gorgeously Gustave Doré-ish. But I digress. Daredevil #10 is a creepy good read, provided you aren't squeemish, because seeing Mole Man caress and look into the eyes of an embalmed corpse might be enough to set off panic attacks.

But try hard to look past that, because what Mark Waid actually wrote is an elaborate character moment for Daredevil. In-between the Mole Man vs Daredevil throwdown and the borderline necrophilia, Waid explores the themes of loss and holding on to a past that's clearly dead, leading to a powerful, moving moment of catharsis for Matt. Wonderful work, especially with Paul and Joe Rivera's wonderful artwork. Action-packed where it needs to be, but able to handle sensitive scenes with ease.

It's difficult to love Daredevil #10, I admit. But it's a story you don't often see in superhero books, at least, not this well-done. This deserves a 4 out of 5.

A variety of stuff this week, which is nice! What did you think of the comics this week? How creeped out were you with Daredevil? Why is Atomic Robo so awesome? Leave a comment below and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

AvX: Versus is Nothing but Punching

I'm torn.

Avengers vs X-Men (AvX), Marvel's latest crossover, is just a week away, and I just can't be arsed to feel excited over more hero-versus-hero comics anymore, especially coming from Marvel.

But what really caught my eye amongst the sea of new books is the confusingly named Avengers vs. X-Men: VS. I loathe tie-ins, and I wrote this off as another attempt to sell the same comic twice.

That was until I read what it was really about.

Avengers vs X-Men: VS, in the words of Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, is "literally the fight book."  Chronicling in greater detail all the battles happening in the main AvX book, there's no preconceived notions of character development or story advancement here, no man-on-the-street views. It's a comic book tie-in miniseries about comic book characters kicking each other's asses until one is declared winner. And I like it.

I dunno, it's probably just the simplicity of the thing, the idea of a comic book that promises nothing but your favorite characters punching each other in the face, that I like. Marvel's event tie-ins have been all over the place, quality and common sense-wise, but to put out a book with no pretense other than hero-on-hero violence? It just speaks to the obsessed fanboy in me, and is sure to speak to all the fanboys who, even for once in their lives, asked the question "Who would win? Character X or Character Y?"

Well played, Marvel. Well played.

Check out the AvX: VS #1 preview here.

The Dark Knight Rises Heroclix is Coming!

The Dark Knight will rise...Heroclix-style!

Wizkids/NECA just released a preview of their upcoming DC Heroclix: The Dark Knight Rises movie set, and they kicked this shindig off with a sneak peek at the main man himself, Batman!

Both the Batman Begins and The Dark Knight versions of the character are featured, including an Alter-Ego figure in the form of Bruce Wayne. Every single figure is a beast and possibly overpowered (Batman with Invulnerability?!), and I gotta say, Wizkids/NECA stepped it up in the sculpt department. Seeing Batman's intricate armor plating translated to Heroclix scale is amazing! I don't think I've seen them put out something of this quality in a long while, which makes me terribly excited for this!

Check out the stats and the dials over at Wizkids/NECA's Heroclix site.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Lantern That Pierces the Heavens Monday

NO better way to start the day than this mash-up of willpower and awesome by artist  ~Montreuil! Pierce the Monday heavens with your awesomeness, today!

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Week in Comics: March 23, 2012

High-flying heroes pervade My Week in Comics! Supergirl versus Worldkillers! The Rocketeer versus apathy! Hang on tight, because we're flying straight into the danger zone courtesy of the most verbose comic reviews around! What did I get myself into this week? Read on to find out!

It's the final round between the Worldkillers and Supergirl in Supergirl #7! With the Maid of Might all alone against four extinction-level threats, this will be Supergirl's biggest test as a superhero!

A pretty weak issue for Supergirl, to be honest, with a supervillain vs superhero fight that was literally and figuratively all over the place, not to mention freaking anti-climactic. Michael Green and Mike Johnson do give us some insights into the secret history of Reign and the Worldkillers, but by the time you get past the talky bits, it's over all too soon. The saving grace to all this is Mahmud Asrar, who turns in some of the powerful and gorgeous art he's done for this series so far. Here's hoping he sticks with this book for the long haul.

At this point, I'm just glad we're past that big step, and I'm ready to see Supergirl go on her own adventures from here on out. This gets a 3.5 out of 5.

Oh hey, a new Rocketeer Adventures anthology came out! The man with the jetpack is back in Rocketeer Adventures 2 #1, the second volume of the anthology series featuring the Rocketeer as imagined by some of the biggest names in comics today! I loved the first volume to bits, but will this second volume live up to its legacy?

The types of stories available are a lot more mixed, a lot more out there, this time around. Marc Guggenheim and Sandy Plunkett's story, about the need for more heroes no matter where they come from, is the most straightforward of the lot. Next is Peter David's Duck Dodgers-inspired tale that features Bill Sienkiewicz's return to form. Unfortunately, the art is muddier and crazier than I'm used to, and the story suffers because of it. Finally, Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai delivers a cute little story about the Rocketeer's chance encounter with a mild-mannered boy with "a dream of flying", and I love it for the fact that there's a pleasant surprise waiting for you the more you read into it. No spoilers, just read it!

Though not as filling as the previous volume's first issue, Rocketeer Adventures 2 #1 is a neat little book that's sure to satisfy your craving for more stories featuring the Rocketeer (not to mention those pinups!). I'm just happy there's a new anthology series out there, and I hope this gets successful enough to warrant more. This gets a high-flying 4 out of 5.

Pretty good comics this week, all things considering. Let's hope next week is better! What did you think of your comics this week? Who else wanted to be the Rocketeer when they were little (like me!)? Drop me a line via the comments box below and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Webcomics I Love: Awkward Zombie

It's time to jumpstart the Wednesday with another dose of Webcomics I Love!

And have I got a webcomic for you! Straight outta your video game screens is this funny webcomic called Awkward Zombie (!

Awkward Zombie is a video game-themed webcomic by one Katie Tiedrich (who is totally a girl, despite how she draws herself), and it's full of funny gagstrips of video game shenanigans. This webcomic taught me that guns in Borderlands are whack, life as Link ain't easy, and that decades in, Pokemon is awesome.

But don't just stand there listening to me yammer, go and bookmark Awkward Zombie now!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dark Lich's Linkblog: Trailerrific Edition!

Summer is just around the corner...and you know what that means? Summer movie blockbusters out the wazoo! And in case you've been hiding under the proverbial rock like I have, let's check out the latest movie trailers released this week that teases us with movies geeks like us might like to see!

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Week in Comics: Wolverine and the X-Men #7

The X-Men's got Brood inside, homicidal aliens outside, and are short on cash....Wolverine and the X-Men #7 isn't exactly a walk in the park for our favorite mutants. But you know what? Jason Aaron makes it look like it's a whole lot of fun!

Really, it is. Aaron shines when he's writing a story about the X-Men fighting the Brood inside Kitty Pride's pregnant body while Wolvie and Quentin Quire escape an intergalactic casino, and making you care that all of this is happening. I love that the good Brood stude called Broo and Quentin Quire got some nice character moments here, taking everything you think you know about these two characters and flipping them over its head. Never would I have considered myself a Quire fan, but there it is!

And in case it sounds too deep for you, Aaron's got two words for ya: psychic shotgun. 

But really, it's that ensemble feel to the book that makes Wolverine and the X-Men worth the $3.99 you're shelling out for it. It's got a ton of characters, each with their own personalities and quirks, but it won't make your head spin like a Beyblade.

Nick Bradshaw's art pulls no punches here. His work is amazingly detailed while having that accessible, comic-book style and feel, no doubt sold well by Justin Ponsor's colors. I haven't really looked at a comic book's art for quite a while now, but this art team is making me slow down and appreciate the scenery. Bradshaw's Broo is both cute and killer

Wolverine and the X-Men #7 is equal parts funny and smart with a sprinkling of awesome. It's been a while since these merry mutants had adventures that didn't involve genocide or drama, and Aaron and co. proved that fun still has a place in the X-Men. Highly recommended!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

4 Reasons to Love Marvel: Avengers Alliance

When Marvel: Avengers Alliance, Marvel's foray into the social gaming scene through game developer Playdom, was first announced, I was excited. A superhero Facebook game in the mighty Marvel manner? Sign me up!

I was lucky to be one of the few to play during the game's beta testing phase, and after doing missions, recruiting heroes, and beating up bad guys for a few weeks now, I came to one single conclusion...

You've got to play this game.

And so, let me take this opportunity to give you four great reasons why you'll love playing Marvel: Avengers Alliance, whether you're a power gamer or a casual clicker, comic book neophyte or Marvel zombie!

It's the Marvel Universe...on Facebook!

We've all had our share of wars and farms and poker games on Facebook, but it's safe to say that nothing comes close to the Marvel: Avengers Alliance experience. You get to meet Nick Fury, control Iron Man or Captain America to fight bad guys, all in a Facebook cool is that? If you're a Marvelite, or even just a comic book fan, you'll get a kick out of seeing all these Marvel heroes and villains in a real storyline filled with epic battles, all in a free Facebook app. I know I did!

It looks fantastic!

Marvel: Avengers Alliance may be in 2D, but it oozes in style, color and flavor. It's fun seeing Hawkeye shooting three arrows to hit all enemies at once, or Spider-Man webbing Vulture in place. You feel Cyclops' optic blasts as it slams into a HYDRA agent's face for critical damage, and the Human Torch even looks like he's actually smoldering! If that's not enough, you get mini-cut scenes before a boss fight for even more art goodness. This is one Facebook game you won't get tired of looking at!

Strategy is key!

Most of your time in this game is spent fighting bad guys using your heroes, and this is where the game shines. Battles are turn-based, and characters are divided into five unique classes: Blaster, Bruiser, Infiltrator, Tactician and Scrapper. Each class is strong or weak against another class (Your enemy's got a Bruiser on their side? Too bad, a Blaster like Iron Man always critical hits against him! But be careful, a Tactician on their team can hit Iron Man twice!), giving battles a little more strategy than just 'point and click'. It's fun to recruit heroes (using the in-game Command Points), mix and match teams and watch them go to town on bad guys and on never know what you're up against next!

There's lots to do!

Marvel: Avengers Alliance has a depth and scope you don't see in social games very often, giving players a lot to chew on in terms of what they want out of the game. From customizing character stats using ISO-8 chips to pwning d00ds in PVP, from learning more about the story by finishing every mission to recruiting every possible hero (so far there's 29 heroes to collect) via Command Points, it's hard to get bored in this game...until you get Hulk, surely.

Sure there a couple of hitches here and there (the game is still buggy in some parts, and Hulk is too powerful to be recruited relatively easy via Command Points), but the fact is that Playdom promised an authentic Marvel experience, and they delivered. Marvel: Avengers Alliance could have been a simple cash-in by Marvel, but it's actually a well-rounded superhero game that treats the characters and the universe it's based on with affection and respect. And that's awesome.

I hope I've convinced you with this little post! For more info, visit the official Avengers Alliance fanpage at or check out the game itself at So what do you think of the game? Which heroes would you like them to include next? And who wants Nova to be in this thing like me?! Drop me a comment via the comment box below and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 05, 2012

A (Very) Ancient Alien Monday

Props to the Ancient Aliens dude for making this too easy for all of us, Galactus included. Happy Monday!
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