Monday, April 21, 2014

Aquaman and the Others #1

            Years ago the character of Aquaman was the punchline of so many jokes and even a TV Show that made fun of him.  The trouble with that has always been that when written correctly Aquaman is one of the toughest dudes DC Comics has and also has a great supporting cast.  How things have changed.  The New 52 has brought the King of Atlantis into a more popular status.  Now we have two Aquaman titles being produced.  Aquaman and the Others has the group introduced in the Aquaman comicbook.  Each person holds an ancient Atlantan artifact that gives them awesome power.  Some already had abilities and these items just enhance them and connect them to Aquaman.

            This team is going to be different.  They are multinational and each have strong personalities.  There should be plenty of tension and traits that can propel this comicbook.  Right now we have each member being targeted by high tech mercenaries.  They want the artifacts and they don't care about the health of the Others.  So we get very cool attack sequences.  Oh, the artifacts are losing power as well.

            I can't really write a bunch as it might give the comicbook away.  I can say that if you love the Aquqman book, then you should love this titles as well.


Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #18

            I have not been a fan of this title for the past few months.  Not only did the name change with the addition of “Trinity of Sin” screw up my pull box list as a new computer system was added to the checkout, but it really stunk.  Now it was not a case of bad writing or sucky art.  No, this was all about how the Forever Evil mega-crossover took control of The Phantom Stranger.  Thankfully all that is hopefully behind us.  I am so happy that it appears we will once again be following the story of Judas as he spends eternity making up for betraying Jesus.  It was that story that made me become interested in this new Stranger.

            This is a ghost story that involves the biggest of the bigs in the DCU.  Superman is being haunted and it is not having a good effect on the dimensional barriers.  The spirit of Dr. Light has decided that Superman should pay for his death and all the people he has never saved from anything that has ever occurred.  It is nice to see the Stranger and his power set interacting with Superman.  One awesome visual is of Supes smashing through the giant embodiment of the Stranger and it breaking into so many shards.

            Bringing the baddie they did into this ghost story is what has given me hope for this book to get back on track.  It was dangerously close to being dropped from my hold box.  That would have been sad for me.  I have really become taken with the character of The Phantom Stranger.  So for now I will keep reading.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Malibu Monday: Firearm #4 (Break-Thru Issue)

Before I discuss the comicbook issue I want to rant a bit on computer systems being too intuitive.  Last Friday I mentioned how I went and Goggled covers for my posts.  It is lazy in some ways, but I just see it simpler than moving crap off my scanner and then scanning a cover when someone out on the interwebs has already done it.  So tonight I plan on getting an early start and I Google this issue.  It comes up and I click on "images" and get shown only guns.  Seems old Google shortened my search words to just "Firearm" and I had no comicbook covers.  After multiple attempts to get images of this cover up I gave up and scanned the sucker.  It is just weird what the interwebs does sometimes.

Now this is the only issue of Firearm I currently own.  I bought it because it ties into the Break-Thru event that Malibu had running throughout there titles.  I do know that this book was heavily marketed in-house by the company.  Every issue I have of other Ultraverse titles carry all kinds of advertising promoting this brand.  Still, to be honest I know nothing about the character really.  I gather from the issue he works as a private investigator, has a love of guns, is a tough guy, and hard to kill.  Apparently he is a non-powered character in a world of Ultra-powered characters.

The plot is a carry over from the previous issue where we can gather that the old story stand by of hunting people down for sport is used.  It is the aftermath and our protagonist is looking for some payback and maybe to save his client.  Seems that when you are captured by these Ultra-huntsmen you get served up as the main course of their after hunt banquet.  Kind of creepy.  The internal dialogue confirms our thoughts on the subject.

There is plenty of action and some cool moments in this issue.  The only Brek-Thru moment is the showing of the gal that is lighting up the sky.  That is the total connection.  Pretty cheap in a way.  Imagine you are a completest and you decide you must buy all these books, then you get FIREARM.  No real connection.  This was par for the course back then.  They hoped to snag new readers after they checked a book out.  Still the names James Robinson and Cully Hammer jump off the page of credits.  They are industry standard bearers and here they are in an Ultraverse book.  Reminds us that the big two never did have the monopoly on good stories.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Flashback Friday: Tomb Raider #18

My secret is revealed with this post.  No, I do not scan every book I write about.  It is tedious and only something I do when I can find no suitable image online.  Besides, the scanner usually has stuff on top that has to be moved.  So I do not own I copy that has Adam Hughes signature on it like the image here.  Instead I just got this issue this week in a bagged group of four comics sold as a random assortment.

It was in issue I did not have in my collection as I started late in reading the series.  This tale is a great stand alone issue.  I really have had a take it or leave it with Dan Jurgens writing for this old Top Cow series.  He was the writer that started out from the beginning and never hooked me so I had the first issue and then fell away for a time.  I must say that this issue was one of the better reads I have with him as Lara's scribe.

This is a basic "day in the life of" story.  I photo-journalist that has written negatively in the past about "tomb raiders" is tagging along on one of Lara's adventures.  Along the way he keeps trying to get her to use his first name, which she never does.  It foreshadows that Lara has a suspicion that the guy is not honorable, so she never is informal with him.  He turns into a scuzz-ball later and then transforms again literally.  The action is quick and well suited to Ms. Croft.

The death traps are elaborate and there is a mystical side to the tale.  In the end this is a find that will help me complete the series, but is not an outstanding piece of work.  It does what a Tomb Raider book should do and entertain.  There is nothing more to say unless I give all the plot away.