Monday, June 27, 2011

Assassin's Creed Renaissance by Oliver Bowden

I picked this book up used at the local Goodwill for seventy-five cents.  Part of me was not sure about it.  I had picked up a Target special comic on their sale rack and that is all I knew about it other than it is a video game.  So what could I expect?  It is a good read with only two major problems.

Telling the bad first is something I have found a good way to do things.  End on a positive note instead of the negative thoughts.  I was really enjoying the book and thought the inclusion of the foul language in Italian quite quaint.  I didn't always know what the word was, but I could tell it was a "bad" word.  Then in the last third of the book the author starts dropping the F-Bomb and other cuss words.  It just felt inconsistent.  Why all of a sudden pepper the chapters with foul language?  The action and violence in the beginning were similar to the end parts.  So it just didn't make sense and also took this from a book appropriate for many ages to a more mature audience.

The other problem is the ending.  No spoilers here, just an acknowledgment.  The ending made the entire story fall apart.  After a great tale and build up, it was just an odd ending that made no sense to me.  Maybe if I knew more of the video game story I would at least see some reason for it.  I just felt it could have ended better.

It is an amazing story of a young man becoming what he is destined to be set in a real world history.  We have Leonardo Da Vinci and others included.  The plots and betrayals are excellent.  The emotions conveyed jump off the pages.  This is a great and exciting read.  I am more a Women with Swords character reader, but the guy here was so good and fleshed out it made me really care for him.  I found myself hoping that at the end of his journey he might go back and find love with one of the women who could have been.  

So if you can stomach a confusing end, this book is a great read.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Flashback Friday: The New West #1 & #2 (HeroesCon Finds)


Believe it or not I paid zero for these two issues.  A man was giving away comicbooks.  Not sure why but he had around a hundred I guess on the table when I came by and picked up some issues.  I picked this up with the idea of getting Phil Noto to sign them, but every time I went by his booth after that he was gone.  Still, I figured I was OK because Jimmy Palmiotti wrote the story and he is a great writer.  I knew nothing of the book.  I knew Black Bull was a defunct publisher that had ties to a former Wizard Magazine guy.  So I guess if it was not my taste the price was right.

The story is really cool.  It reminded me of the movies like Chinatown and Devil in a Blue Dress.  Those Crime Noir dramas that always had the grizzled character that ended up having to correct an injustice even though the world had spit on him.  Guess you get the plot right there.  What was neat was the use of technology that placed Los Angeles back into the days of horses and low tech options.  All that keys into the mystery and it was a direct moment in the main characters life.  He is a once veteran cop that lost his partner and his case the day the planes fell from the sky.  Now the sister of the woman he could not save is a constant in his life and her family hates him.

Now he is put into the position of saving her dad.  This is just window dressing for the bigger conspiracy that is revealed along the way.  Using the setting of L.A. was great.  It does follow the history of the land and water rights of old in crafting a modern day version of corruption and graft.

I put the Mature Warning on this because it is like those movies I mentioned.  Rough language, graphic violence, and sexual content are part of the gritty tale.  It is not for the kiddies.  Their parents however will find this an interesting grown up use of the medium.  Palmiotti and Noto do a fine job in rendering this hard boiled story into a comicbook format.  Maybe next year both fellows will be at HeroesCon and I can get these signed then.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Where I Have Been

I guess Blogger is having problems loading Images still.  Every thing's been wacky since my last FireFox update.  I am busy this week with that old time staple of the Southern Summer called Vacation Bible School.  What is cool about the one I am involved in is the fact that it is a Community Bible School.  Different churches share the load on cost and work.  So that is why there has been no posts the past few days.  I hope to get a Flashback Friday up sometime.  Cross your fingers and be on the lookout.  Might be later in the day before it appears.  I just hope I can load pics by then.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Flashback Friday: Shogun Warriors #1 (HeroesCon Find)

Getting back in the groove of things after my Heroes Convention vacation.  This week's Flashback Friday comes to you via HeroesCon.  It is a find from a Quarter Box.  Before I ever started school Ihad a small Shogun Warriors figure.  I never read the comic or saw a cartoon with them, but I understood they were giant robots that protected us from giant monsters.  The end of this comic told me the name of that toy, Combatra.

Seems that for centuries multiplied by eons an ancient evil has been waiting to return to Earth.  Lucky for us we have a force of good that has been hidden and working for all those years awaiting a day that the evil might return.  Three people from across the globe are snatched by a transporter beam and suddenly have the driver's seats of a Giant Robot.  It is something that all little boys love.  Just a note of information, you ever need to buy a toy for a young boy, then buy some kind of Robot.

This would be a cool book to look for the back issues, but I guess they are as scarce as the Godzilla comic.  I would buy an Essentials version of this like the Godzilla one I bought.  Look for more of my Heroes Convention finds and books I purchased in the coming weeks.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

SHIMMER by Dallas Reed

Shimmer by Dallas Reed
As many of you have come to realize, I am cheap.  Well, more like I love to get books for a low cost.  I found this book at Big Lots and paid $3 for it.  Originally it sold for $8.99.  It was a nice little story from the HARPER Teen line.  A very good Teen read as it is accessible to even some older Tweens as well.

The plot is all about a box.  Teens and cliques collide with an ancient evil that soon has a Colorado town acting like drugged zombies.  The idea to use the weather and mountains as a way to initially contain the spread of this virus like transformation that comes over people was really good.  The other great thing is the way the teens are diverse, but in the end the ones who have an internal true nature maintain that whether good or bad.

For a adult like me that can devour books this is a simple read.  Plus the secret is connected to something I loved reading about when I was in school.  To tell it gives away some of the story.  I liked it and will probably keep an eye out for other books by Dallas Reed.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

New Blue Beetle

"It’s not easy being Jaime Reyes. He has to deal with high school, family and all the drama that comes with being a teenager. Also, he’s linked to a powerful scarab created by an alien race who seek to subjugate planets – or annihilate them. It’s up to one teen hero to turn this instrument of destruction into a force for good in BLUE BEETLE #1, written by Tony Bedard (GREEN LANTERN CORPS) and illustrated by Ig Guara (FLASHPOINT: GRODD OF WAR) and Ruy Jose."
Much of the new DCU has had me worrying that I would not be able to still stay buying their books.  I have found a bright spot.  Jaime Reyes is back in his own title.  This character has a great potential and it was sad that he got jumbled between the Teen Titans and JLI.  I do hope that his great supporting cast return.  They were key to the core plots and humor that balanced the action and adventure.  So I guess with this and the New Suicide Squad I am trying some of the reboot or relaunch of the DCU.


Batgirl #21

            This is the book I look forward to the most each time I get to the shop.  Whether I have five or thirty-five books collected in my hold box, it is Batgirl that I look forward to reading.  Recently she has been fighting these creepy people in black robes that have recruited her fellow students and given them suits with powers.  Stephanie Brown has risen to each challenge and faced down each threat.  Here in this issue she defeats a sound based power.  All while trying to let a fan obsessed with her down easy.  Her stalkers are even humorous as he dresses as the Grey Ghost, that old Gotham TV Show character that we know Bruce Wayne loved.

            There is a good-bye as the Wendy story seems to have taken a creepy turn.  She is talking more and more with her dead brother Marvin. He displays a dark sarcasm that is really Wendy's own mental personality, maybe.  She makes a decision to find a way to heal her broken spirit.  We also learn with time she might be able to also walk again.  So Stephanie's technical support is heading to Nanda Parabat.

            Reading through this book again, after the announcement that DC will relaunch new number ones has me worried.  One of the new titles is Batgirl #1 featuring Barbara Gordon as Batgirl.  Where does that leave Stephanie?  Will she be retro-ed back to a bungling spoiler?  Maybe she becomes Spoiler again and is the same age.  Either way I see the wrapping up of Batgirl's adventures here in this title.  I have an uneasy feeling that they will kill her again.  Strip away all her support and then just discard her like a used tissue. 

            It is the loss of this book and probably others I get in my pull box that makes me not want to read any DC after the reboot or whatever it is called.  I see the same path I took with Marvel.  Batman Beyond will be the Nova representative and when they end the book I will be left with a few independent companies to read.  It feels like a betrayal because I have been a loyal customer of the DC line few a number of years and now it is being drastically adjusted and what remains might be something I do not want.

            We do not know enough to really see what Dc has planned.  All they are doing is cheer-leading the new books to come out.  I wish they would just show us the landscape after this editorial decision is finalized.  I am afraid for Stephanie Brown.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oracle's Importance

Added Link of an interview between Jill (the Nerdy Bird) and Gail Simone (Writer Extraordinaire)

Sometimes characters grab hold of our imagination and allow us to be inspired.  The tag of Superman was always "You will believe a man can fly."  Captain America is the collection of all that was ever good about the ideals America was founded upon.  Spider-Man is the everyman that we all can feel a connection to as we live our lives.  None though have the impact of a character that really represents true adversity.

The character of Barbara Gordon is within the comicbook fan community a legendary character.  She was the first Batgirl.  We know her as the love interest of Dick Grayson the first Robin.  The major contribution was what became of the character after her most tragic event.  For those that do not know, Babara was shot by the Joker.  The bullet paralyzed her for life.  She became an even stronger force to the super hero community of the DCU.  From her Wheelchair she fell back on her intellect and became Oracle.  Oracle is the technological genius that knew everything, could hack any system, and kept the heroes informed.  She would even gather her own team of women and a few men that needed a second chance into her Birds of Prey.  

Yet, it is not the Oracle that really made her important.  It is the fact that she was a comicbook representation of a person with a disability (I hope that if that is not PC I will be forgiven) seen as capable of great things.  It saddens me that this reboot will erase that representation.  Well, The Nerdy Bird has written a better column on the impact of this loss.  Please go read the links I am placing below.  Also the comic strip I added in images.


ORACLE Is Stronger Than BATGIRL Will Ever Be

Nerdy Bird 1

Nerdy Bird 2

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

War of the Green Lanterns: Parts 7, 8, and 9

Green Lantern #66
Green Lantern Corps #60
Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #10

            I was not able to get this written and posted before I left for Heroes Convention.  Since it has been a bit of time I want to warn you readers if you have not gotten around to reading these books yet that I plan on discussing the big thing that happened this go around.  It was and has been spoiled all over the Internet and I see no reason to do anything more than give a warning that I will have that same spoiler material within this post.

            Yellow Lantern Hal Jordan and Red Lantern Guy Gardner are trying to get Parallax out of the Central Power Battery.  Standing in their way are the Guardians of the universe who have been possessed by the remaining entities.  They are really neat looking and the first thought I had while watching them attack was that they would make a cool toy set.  Still, this is a great battle.  Krona is around as well.  It makes for some cool visuals.  The secondary plot thread is the fate of those trapped by Lyssa Dark within the Book of the Black.  Sinestro has broken free of the horrific memories that each former Lantern trapped carries.  He searches for Lyssa and rips through the pages and memories of the others.  That is represented in some really creative artwork.  My theory of what the Indigo Tribe really is has some fact placed on it.  I thought when I saw Black Hand a true believing member of the Indigo Lanterns that is was a forced Compassion.  Seems I was right in thinking all the ring bearers were former “evil doers” forced to be forces of compassion.  The head Lantern of that group is pretty hardcore.  It makes sense why she is the only one of the group to see and interact with Sinestro as he enters her memories.

            Indigo Lantern John Stewart and Blue Lantern Kyle Rayner take over the GLC book.  There mission is to save Mogo.  The Planet lantern is discharging an infinity number of rings to find new Green Lanterns.  Problem is that because of the Yellow infection it is just building a larger army for Krona and not choosing the best of the Universe to serve.  It is an interesting fight.  Kyle and John face hordes of Green Lanterns and Mogo as well.  Do not forget what happens when a Blue lantern is near a Green Lantern, instant super charge.  Kyle does get a handle of his powers some and can snap some of the troops out of the infection.  Doesn't work on Mogo and the reason stems back to The Blackest Night.  This brings John to a cool use of a destructive Lantern groups power.  It also leads us to the explosive death of Mogo.  It was an unbelievable moment.

            The event is enough to snap every infected Lantern, Guardian, and Krona for a loop when the death causes a mental feedback.  Ghanthet is free and soon Guy has to worry about that Pink Thong again as he and Hal are forced to wear the two extra rings.  Guy gets Love and Hal gets Greed.  Even though with Ghanthet all the ROY G BIV spectrum is represented it falls to Guy Gardner to finish the job.  It is an inspiring and sad moment as Guy releases his feelings about being a Lantern.  Soon the gang is all assembled and free to unite as Green Lanterns again.  The final battle looms and it just adds that Geoff Johns is the greatest GL storyteller of this and many eras.


Girl Power: Birds of Prey #12, Power Girl #24, Supergirl #64, and Zatanna #13

            I guess this could be a Girl Power collection of comments.  I just want to give some opinion on this books that I read.

Birds of Prey #12 – Oracle is dead, long live Oracle.  Barbara has let the world believe Oracle is gone and now Gail Simone is free to just return to her set of stories for a bit.  This is a neat covert ops story.  It has a very twisted ending as well.  It is neat seeing Lady Blackhawk do more than drive a car or fly a plane.  Since Gail returned she has really brought this character to the forefront of the group.  Most reviewers I read commented on the Question being in the story.  Everyone is speculating that She will join.  I am not sure she needs to be a regular.  The team is a bit crowded as it is right now.  Great book as always.

Power Girl#24 – Had DC not announced the reboot of some characters and the new number 1's I was on my way to dropping PG.  I love the character and supporting cast, but like normal Judd Winick just does nothing for me as a reader.  I have nothing against the guy.  I gave him a chance.  I just do not find his storytelling all that fascinating.  I have this sense/fear that many of the DC titles I read will disappear when this reboot that is not a reboot happens.  So I am basically on until August.  Either I am wrong and the fact that Winick remains writer has me drop the book, or I get to try a new creator out on the book.  If I am correct and it is canceled, then I have no decision to make.

Supergirl #64 – The current story concludes.  It is a nice little team up tale of how Supergirl is capable of defending Metropolis while Big Blue is wandering the country.  Has two of my favorite newer characters, Blue Beetle and Miss Martian and the little boy we are to love to hate, Robin.  Just a nice tale that respects the fact that Supergirl is a great heroine.  Plus I still love the new look.  All women do not keep long hair.  Her current hairstyle fits what many women I see and know have as there personal cut.

Zatanna #13 – I use to use the term “bridge story” when I was reviewing comics at PBR.  It was how I describe a story that was a connector to the things that had come before and the new action about to happen.  It is a way to catch your breath as a reader.  This issue is one of those.  It has some humor with the weird fortune telling cat.  The Spectre is a foreshadowing of future plot development.  What is of most importance is that Detective Colton finds out something very important about himself.  Brother Night escapes and finds out as well.  It will lead us into a neat place for the story of Zatanna I think.

            So there is a bit of my thoughts on some of the books I read.  No time for full reviews, but I wanted to comment.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Heroes Convention 2011 Day 3

So Today was a rush to get back to check out of the hotel on time.  Apparently something happened to cause the advance entrance to be voided today and it was 11 AM before the doors opened.  We had to check out at Noon so it was a rush to find prints that I had wanted, buy shirts, and take some pictures.  If anyone knows the young woman in the fantasy type purple dress, she looked awesome, just saying.

I am tired, but it was a good convention.  I never made it to a single panel, still I had fun.  In a way not having DC and Marvel there gave it a nicer feel to the convention.  There was no empty seats as meetings with people went on because it was convenient to do a bit of business.  Maybe too, the fact some of the "bosses" were not there made it easier to speak your mind some.  No Newsarama as I saw.  Few if any of the so called Comic News people.  I guess with Wizard Magazine dead and buried and the "competition" for the Conventions gone it made our little Con less fashionable.  

Next year I believe is the 30th Anniversary, figure some big creators that have fond memories will be in attendance.  Wonder if the Major players will return?  If they do, please remember we will be kind to you here in the South even if you felt we were not good enough to date this year.

Pictures Below

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Heroes Convention Day 2

Day Two of HeroesCon has my feet hurting. I have found some good trades I was looking for here at the Con. I have Dynamo 5 vol. 4, Two Shadow Pacts, G-Man, and some Witchblade/Top Cow Trades. Got some great sketches that I will scan when I am at home. There were a few costumes this year and some that I was able to snap pictures of the people. It was a nice laid back day. I watched the friend I am with meet Jim Starlin. It was neat seeing him meet a guy that had created a character he loved, Dreadstar.

It has been different without any Marvel or DC presence other than the creators here on there own. In some ways it is nice. There were no side meetings that added to absences of creators. This year seems earlier and it has a different atmosphere. I like this, but miss some of the bigger names that comes with the corporate attendance. Image has been here as a company and so have some of the smaller independents. I guess the fact no panels really intrigued me is what seems off. I have liked having a hotel room all three days. This is vacation for me so I am trying to enjoy.

Looking forward to the last day tomorrow. It will be a day of deciding whether to buy prints or books. I have so many prints I want. I need to win the lottery so I can just buy all the stuff I want. I did get some free comics. I grabbed a good stack of kids comics for a step-cousin.

Boogity Boogity Cheese!


PICTURES in the next POST

Heroes Convention Pictures from Saturday June 4th, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

HeroesCon Day 1

 Sorry I did not get the War of the Green Lanterns report up.  I have to hurry because I am under a thirty minute time limit for free Internet in the lobby.  Made it to HeroesCon and even though Marvel and Dc Corporate have decided to shun us this year the creators are here and we had a great opening day.  I have a Darkwing original cover sketch comic.  Bought some awesome prints.  Met Scottie Young at long last and found a bunch of twenty-five cent comics.

I wanted a commission of Scrap from Dynamo 5 and decided on Rebekah Isaacs for the job.  She did a wonderful sketch of the goth gal powerhouse.  I have a new comic from the guy that brought us PandaDog.  Buttons as well.  I just have had a great day and look forward to the rest of the Convention.

My feet hurt and I am tired.  So I will post again tomorrow.  Bye for now.