Review: Three

ThreeThree by Kieron Gillen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a fan of Miller’s 300. The thing I liked about Miller’s book is the same thing I appreciate about THREE. Not that it’s about Spartans, war, or is historically accurate. It’s a story about self-mastery, courage, and sacrifice. Both stories deliver in that regard.

THREE flips the coin and makes the Spartans of Miller’s epic the “Persians” of this tale and three Helot slaves it’s champions. It is readily apparent that Gillen researched the Sparta’s historical mistreatment of their slaves and the Spartans inevitable fall from glory. There are a lot of other things in the book that are deliberately reminiscent of 300 as well. Gillen isn’t mirroring these things in an attempt to ride Miller’s coattails, he is deliberately showing them from the much different perspective of a Helot slave. Gillen does a great job in developing the three main characters throughout the story, revealing bits and pieces of their past as it moves along. The ending and the final fate of the “three” was also especially satisfying for me.

Kelly’s art was also well suited for the story and appropriately bloody where necessary. Overall he did a good job.


Whether or not it was Gillen was giving Miller the bird with this story or not doesn’t really matter much to me. The Spartans, like EVERY country in the world, had moments of renowned triumph and shameful infamy. I like THREE because it exalts bravery and sacrifice and condemns subjugation. All while telling a memorable story.

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Review: Fantastic Four Volume 5- Forever; by Jonathan Hickman, art by Steve Epting

Fantastic Four, Volume 5Fantastic Four, Volume 5 by Jonathan Hickman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK Hickman, your convoluted and cosmos-spanning storylines finally come to a head here. It was just about worth all the headaches so that I knew what the F*** was going on.

There were quite a few HOLY S*** moments, when I was actually like:


I feel like a lot of people don’t like Hickman because he operates on a cosmic scale, multiverses, layered stories that take a while for the payoff, and I’m usually not interested in a story taking THAT much effort (but I’m not going to say if there’s more than a couple words with 3+ syllables that I’ll stop reading…I mean I am somewhat edu-mah-kay-ted), but this was actually worth the effort.

(Shallow Reading friends, I can’t help but notice not many people have read this one/arc. If you could get all 5 volumes together at once, I think it might be worth, but I think I’ve read this over 2 years or so…)

Long story short: The Earth is being attacked on multiple fronts: The Kree, Annihilus, Multiverse Reed Richards(es?). The FF is without Johnny, who died stopping the Negative Zone forces of Annihilus from attacking Earth; and he’s been replaced by Spider-Man. (I like this because Hickman reminds people that Spidey isn’t just a punchline machine; he’s actually a brain to rival the likes of Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Hank Pym, Bruce Banner, et al.)

If you look at the cover, you’ll note…Johnny is on the cover.

Which is a shame, as his death/sacrifice was done very well. This would fully support Sam’s belief that character deaths in comics now are pointless. I’d have to agree, but this explanation didn’t take a year-18 months to get to…we pretty much had it less than a few months later.

So here’s the deal: Galactus tells Reed that there’s an evil coming that’s so powerful it’s bigger than him. Sue suggests this might just be Galactus tricking them…Big G-Unit says nope, if this evil arrives, the universe dies…just a lot faster than if he’s in-charge. I like the little detail like that, which acknowledges that Galactus still does what he does. Big G-Unit gives RR a device sorta like a pager for when shit hits the fan.

Meanwhile, the FF-Kids transport the Baxter Building out of NYC, where the attack is coming (one of these days, I swear, it’s going to be in Toledo, Ohio or Bumfk, Iowa. – It almost makes me go back and give the Siege Event more stars because things happened in small town Oklahoma and not NYC.)

Reed sends Spidey to go check on the wee ones…he runs into Annihilus fanatics trying to open the gate the the Negative Zone…and…it opens…UHOH!!!

But then, who should be standing on the other side of the gate?

Johnny freakin’ Storm.


We then get a whole issue+ setting up what happened to Johnny, and how we ended up where we are. (I appreciate the explanation, which actually helps to prevent it from feeling cheap with his ‘death’). Suffice it to say, Johnny is in pretty decent shape…(view spoiler)

The fight between the Kree and Johnny’s Storm-mada (You like that one? I just invented it) isn’t going well, and there’s all kinds of space wreckage going to hit Earth, so not looking good…Reed and Sue go summon Galactus, as they think this was the Evil/death he spoke of…turns out, it wasn’t…

Someone summons the Celestials (Gigantic Super-Gods), and just as Big G-Unit is telling everyone that shit hasn’t hit the fan yet, he’s like, oh nevermind, my bad…

Galactus defeats one of the Celestials, but they they go all Voltron/Super-Power-Ranger/Ultimate Optimus Prime Transformer, and merge into a gigantic one. Even Big G-Unit can’t handle that…

There’s no chance to defeat Super-Mega-Power Celestial, except that…oh wait…there is. Remember that Council of Reeds? The Reed Richardses from all the multiverses, they got together and figured out this would happen, and prepared mega-weapon on every Earth. It’s time for this one’s turn…good thing Reed’s Dad Nathaniel is there to tell him to let loose…They get a great hit in…but, that ain’t gonna cut it.

The only thing keeping the destruction at bay is Sue…who shields Reed and everyone (oh the whole EARTH I mean…she’s a badass lady…no wonder Namor loves her (see corny line on page 2 or 3)) just in time for the cavalry to arrive…and the cavalry isn’t who you’d expect…unless you paid attention to everything in the previous volumes.

The payoff is stellar. The revelations are astounding. There’s a sweet life lesson (family is more important than anything…awww Mr. Hickman). This finale is so good, it really is.

I won’t ruin it for those of you who will actually go and read it (You should. All in one shot. 5 Volumes. It will make you appreciate Hickman’s scale and scope of his projects.)

But for those of you who want to know: (view spoiler)

But is it just Franklin? No…turns out, the pocket universe is used to summon Franklin’s herald…a fellow you may know, by the name of Galactus.

WHAT!!!?!?!?!?! Yes. In this version, Galactus is the one and only herald of Franklin Richards. Together, Franklin, and Galactus infused with the consumed life of an entire pocket UNIVERSE (not just a planet) has the power to defeat the Celestials. Then we have some nice father/son moments. (hide spoiler)]

Yup. A stellar ending. I am a sucker for Father-Son relationships, they always get me emotional. Hickman, who’s all about cosmic level universe expanding, crazy convoluted stories, boils it down to the love of a father for his son, and visa versa, as the saving grace of the world.

Well done. (There seems to be something in my eye…)


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Review: Thor: Season One, by Matthew Sturges

Thor: Season OneThor: Season One by Matthew Sturges
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I haven’t been the biggest fan of Marvel’s quasi-cash-grab “Season One” Books. I mean I suppose it’s a quick, easy way to do updated origin stories for all the new Marvel Comics fans that are appearing due to the movies, so I suppose I need to remind myself, these books aren’t geared towards me. They also seem to be aimed at teens, as there’s a lot of ho-hum stuff here.

The funny part is, if this is geared towards teens, then I’m not sure how many are going to get the Monty Python Dead Parrot Skit reference whilst in Norway…
I found it mildly amusing, but I got it.

Anyhow, my review, in Hulk prose:
Thor, Loki, Odin. Thor rash, headstrong, Loki trickster. Odin old.
Thor go to Earth, become puny human. Need stick to walk. Puny human fix others.
Puny human have girl human friend. Puny Human become Hammer God. Hammer God learn life lesson. Hulk no care for artwork.
Loki bad. Thor have friends. Hulk no need friends.
Thor smash. Hulk smash better.
Thor stay with puny humans. Come back God-land when want.

Pretty much. There’s some good work with Don Blake, who we rarely see anymore (at least I feel like).

The best part here is the preview for Issue #1 of Jason Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder series.

unfortunately, that wasn’t on the digital copy that came from the book…

Hit and miss, but lots of hitting.

I give 3 Mjolnirs.

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Review: Detective Comics, Vol. 2: Scare Tactics by Tony S. Daniel, Ed Benes (Illustrator)

Detective Comics, Vol. 2: Scare TacticsDetective Comics, Vol. 2: Scare Tactics by Tony S. Daniel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Visually, this is nice, and the story didn’t stink…but it’s not going to knock you socks off.

I’m not sure how to classify this one, other than to say that it’s a decent piece of Batman filler.
Nothing about the story pissed me off, and nothing made me go Wow!.
And maybe that’s not entirely Daniel’s fault.
I mean, this title is competing with Snyder’s excellent run on Batman, so most anything is going to seem meh compared to it, right?

There’s a small portion of the Owls crossover, where they attack the Assylum and try to take out Jeremiah Arkham. It involves Black Mask, which in turn, brings the Mad Hatter into the story.
Kudos to Daniel for trying to make Jervis Tetch look like a badass.
It didn’t work.
But I think he should get an I Participated medal for the effort.


Then there’s another storyline with Mr. Toxic.
Something, something, clones, something, something, evil scientist
And so on.
The moral of the story?
Radiation isn’t something you should play around with!

There’s a few one-shot issues at the end that don’t suck too badly.
One involves a newbie to the Gotham PD, who has to guard that flap of Joker’s skin overnight.
Another is a flashback to Bruce learning some Mind Over Matter kung fu shit from a grumpy old fart, who apparently has more problems than Bruce.
And then there’s the What Was Alfred Doing, While Bruce Was Kung Fuing? issue.

This is a fairly thick volume, so you’re definitely going to get your money’s worth out of it, if you decide to buy.
Recommended for Hardcore Batfans only.

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