Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 1: Faces of Death by Tony S. Daniel

Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 1: Faces of DeathBatman: Detective Comics, Volume 1: Faces of Death by Tony S. Daniel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ahem.

There are two kinds of people in the world: the ones who believe Batman is the real personality and the ones that believe Batman is the persona.

Ok, the latter camp is something I made up, but it was a cool way to open the review.

Anyway, I belong to the third faction (population: 1) that believes that neither Batman nor Bruce Wayne is the real person, but something in between, a mixed personality that we never get to see.
Continue reading

Advertisements

Review: Convergence

ConvergenceConvergence by Jeff King
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

Ok, let’s get started!
*rubs hands together gleefully*
Kidding, kidding… It’s not that bad. Well, it is, but it’s also probably going to be required reading for DC fans.
Sorry, kiddos.
Warning: Spoilers!
But I’m not even really sure what happened, so…*shrugs*

description

Basically, DC wants to use all of the different versions of all of their characters across the multiverse. Because we were all clamoring for them to Bring back the multiverse!
Well, no. But I think New 52 wasn’t working out as well as they’d hoped, so why not go back in time 30 plus years, and re-do a re-boot. Specifically, Crisis on Infinite Earths, which originally wiped out DC’s bloated multiverse, and gave things a cleanish slate. Sorta like…New 52.

description

And that’s pretty much what this is about.
Yes, hardcore geeks will certainly be able to go into the specifics of what I missed, but for those of you who are only casual readers, all you need to know is that DC can now tell any story they want to, from any Earth, with any version of any hero that ever existed. Sorta.
And the continuity of the New 52 is still in play.

description

Does Convergence, as a story, make for good reading?
Hahahahahahahahahahaha!
*wipes tear*
Oh, you’re funny. I like you!
No, as a matter of fact, there are plot holes you could drive a truck through, clunky dialogue, and a weird plot line that gets more and more confusing as it goes along.
But who cares?! Suck it up, buttercup.
Remember, it’s required reading.

description

Some guy from a {random planet} gets tricked into being Brainiac’s stooge…
Hey you know what? Just think of the Silver Surfer/Galactus origin story, and you’ll get what’s going on with this Telos character.
It’s exactly like that, minus the surfboard.

description

Most of the story focuses on the Earth 2 heroes, but eventually things branch out to include more and more of the other characters from the multiverse.

description

How, why, when, where?
Long story short, Brainiac has trapped everyone…like entire cities… (still not sure how he’s done this) on a living planet controlled by Telos. Then he wanders away to do something off-page.
Telos loses sight of his Prime Directive, and starts pitting cities and their heroes against each other in a Battle Royale-style fight for survival.

description

Of course, there’s an evil sorcerer (Deimos) who is planning to rule the world, sorry, worlds. And has managed to eat a bunch of Time Lords… or something. Then Earth 2’s Dick Grayson has a heart-to heart with Telos, and then Telos talks to Brainiac, and then they all cry and get emotional. It’s…you know what? Fuck it. It’s amazing, they all burn their bras and talk about which brand of tampon is the most absorbent. Next thing you know, good triumphs over evil, and the multiverse is restored.

description

Ok. that’s it, kids. You can all go back to your regularly scheduled comic books now.

Edit: Everyone is telling me that THIS is definitely NOT required reading. As long as you know that it happened, you can mosey along without ever having to touch this sucker.

I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Review: Deadpool, Vol. 5: Wedding of Deadpool by Brian Posehn

Deadpool, Vol. 5: Wedding of Deadpool

Deadpool, Vol. 5: Wedding of Deadpool by Brian Posehn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

The title is pretty darn accurate, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything if I let it slip that Deadpool gets hitched in this one.

description

The actual wedding is only a tiny part of the volume, and the rest is filled up with Wade’s previous marriages.
According to his memories *cough* he’s been married quite a few times.
In other words, you have an unreliable narrator telling silly stories about how he met and married various women. It’s up to the reader to pick through and decide if he’s even met some of these women, much less married them. And I guess that’s half the fun of reading this title.
I will say that I didn’t have as hard a time reading this as I originally thought I would. Sure, it’s really repetitive and full of chimichangas and dick jokes, but I guess most Deadpool fans already know what they’re getting into, right?
So is this something you should read?
How the hell should I know?!

One interesting thing about this volume is that the cover (issue #27) made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most comic book characters on a single issue.

description

Yep. Seriously.

description

View all my reviews

Review: Fantastic Four: 1234 (Marvel Knights 4 #1234) by Grant Morrison, Jae Lee (Illustrator)

Fantastic Four: 1234

Fantastic Four: 1234 by Grant Morrison

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

Beware: LOADS OF SPOILERS IN THIS ONE!
In fact, I’m probably going to end up spoiling the entire story. So.

Our FOURTH week of Shallow Buddy reads is a nod to Marvel’s oldest family, The Fantastic Four!

description

OH! So close!
This one almost made me get excited for this team. Almost.
At first it seemed like this was a grand What If story, told in Morrison’s schizophrenic style and brought to life by Jae Lee’s art.
Very cool, no?

description

No.
Midway through, I was convinced that this was going to be THE ULTIMATE Fantastic Four story for me.
Ben goes to see Doom, because he promised to tell him The Truth about something. Whatever he says rocks Grimm’s world, and in exchange for listening…Victor cures Ben.
Meanwhile, Reed has hooked himself up to some machine, and become totally unresponsive to the outside world.

description

Sue goes to Alicia’s house to escape her brother’s childish behavior, and get some advice on what do do about Reed.
He ignores her for his work, she cna’t take it anymore, blah, blah, blah.

Ding Dong!

Guess who shows up at the door?

description

Also, it looks like Doom is actually Reed!
OMG! Mr. Fantastic, what have you done?!

description

I’m literally bouncing around by the time I read that part!
*insert squealing*
Shit is getting REAL!

Oh. Wait. No, it isn’t.

description

I was drooling all over the place, thinking YES! I’ve found MY Fantastic Four Book!, and that’s when the cop-out happens.
Wah, wah, wah…
Nothing is really real. Reed is still a good guy. Sue still loves him, Ben was tricked (but it can be fixed!), and Johnny…well,the rain shorts out his power, but it’s cool.
Turns out Doom has a giant reality bending Game of Life machine.
Not kidding. I wish I was, but I’m not…

description

So. Reed somehow figured out that Victor was going to use his Game machine on them, went onto his lab, built a replica of the machine, hooked himself up to it, grew more brains, and outplayed Dr. Doom.
But somehow…there was no time to explain to the rest of the team.

description

I loved the idea of mixing it all up, going crazy with the personalities, and turning these guys loose. It could have been interesting, but it ended up turning into a boring scoop of vanilla. And since it was Morrison, I not only felt unsatisfied by the conclusion…I was also slightly disoriented and confused.
Thanks, Grant.

First part of the story is great, so I’m grudgingly giving it 2.5 stars.

View all my reviews

Review: She-Hulk, Vol. 1: Law and Disorder by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido (Illustrator), Ron Wimberly (Illustrator)

She-Hulk, Vol. 1: Law and DisorderShe-Hulk, Vol. 1: Law and Disorder by Charles Soule

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

Pink Taco Buddy read with my fellow Shallow Readers!
Criteria? Chicks as the title character or in a leading role.

description

It’s time for me to feel lonely, I guess. And guys? I am so sorry!
I mean it! I feel HORRIBLE! I know that literally everyone else loved this (I checked…twice!), but I just didn’t think it was all that awesome.

Ok. The very first issue was great, and if I’d reviewed that by itself, I would have given it 4 stars. Easy.
She-Hulk does cute stuff, gets fired, helps out a villain’s widow, and gets enough money to set up a low-rent law firm.
Cute!
description

Was I in love with the art?
Not so much.
But it was whimsical, and it fit in with the sort of silly/fun first couple of issues, so it was ok. The stories still weren’t WOWing me, but they were alright.
There was a Dr. Doom thing that led Jen to a meet with Daredevil for advice, and it was cute. I didn’t really care about the outcome of the plot, but it was Cute!

description

Then it wasn’t cute.
It was FUGLY. FUG-LY!
There just aren’t even enough words out there for me to express my displeasure. I HATED the art in the last few issues.
HATED IT!
Please, pleasepleaseplease! Will somebody tell me that they are seeing the same thing that I am?!
Are you seriously telling me you didn’t notice this?

What. The. Fuck?!
description

Again! THE FUCK?!
description

I can’t even…
description

The entire time I’m reading this I’m internally screaming, “What the hell is that stupid top-knot on her head?!“.
Did no one else have a reaction to the fact that Jen looked like a man with a penchant for granny buns?
You know what? Every time I look at that art, it just pisses me off.
I’m actually UPSET right now from having to copy and paste the links!
And, yes, I understand that I must sound like a crazy person.
*pant, pant*
See, this was going to be part of my Green buddy read, but I hated it so badly…BURN IT WITH FIRE!…that I decided to try to give myself a little time and distance before I wrote the review.
IT’S NOT HELPING!
I’m going to wrap this up, because my mouse keeps (all by itself!) hovering over the one star button.
Ok, I know that it wouldn’t be a fair rating. The first few issues were cute, and even though the last few (my opinion) were a bit stupid, the entire volume wasn’t a wash for me.
I HATE THAT FUCKING ART!

View all my reviews

Review: Supergirl, Vol. 4: Out of the Past by Michael Alan Nelson & Scott Lobdell

Supergirl, Vol. 4: Out of the PastSupergirl, Vol. 4: Out of the Past by Michael Alan Nelson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

Pink Taco Buddy Read with my fellow Shallow Readers!
Criteria for this one? Anything with a female lead.

description

The problem with this volume isn’t the actual Supergirl issues. They’re ok.
Not great, just ok.
Supergirl has Kryptonite poisoning from her run in with H’el, so she takes off into space to ‘die alone’…or something. She runs into a planet that can become any other planet, and it needs her memories to become Krypton…because that’s the purpose of the planet.
But.
Not all is as it seems!
Duh.
Cyborg Superman is the one behind luring Kara to this place, and he has nefarious plans, yadda, yadda, yadda. To be honest, it didn’t make much of an impression on me one way or another. There’s a BIG REVEAL at the end, but since it has to do with all that ‘Let’s revive even more fucking people from Krypton‘ bullshit, that I’m not a super-duper fan of, I didn’t care as much as maybe I should have.
Still, it seems like there may be forward movement in Kara’s maturity level, and I consider that a good thing.
Inch by precious inch…

It was the need to add in all the confusing time travel shit that really killed this one for me. You’re basically dumped into an entirely unexplained storyline with Kara, Superman, and Superboy that somehow involves going back in time to stop H’el from wreaking havoc.
Except didn’t they just finish stopping H’el?
M’kay.
H’el is somehow pinging around the timeline, including alternate timelines, trying to save Krypton.
Wait for it…
So that he can then DESTROY Krypton!
What the actual fuck is going on here?!
I don’t’ even know when or where this story is taking place in all of these titles. I just finished Superman: Psi War which is volume 4 of that one, and there was no mention of any timey-wimey stuff in there.
You know what would help?
If these ‘crossover’ events would kinda-sorta match up with the corresponding volumes. Like, say for example, if I were to read something in Supergirl volume 4 that had to do with an event happening with Superman, the missing information could then be (I’m just spit-balling here) found in Superman volume 4.
Are they trying to get people to purchase more comics than necessary to finish out stories like this?
Oh, DC, you wily beast!

Only recommended for Super-fans of Supergirl.

View all my reviews

Review: The Bunker

20906790

Two and a half stars

Writer:  Joshua Fialkov  Artist:  Joe Infurnari

Five poorly drawn friends (Three men – one’s fat, one wears glasses, one is neither fat or wears glasses. Two women – One wears glasses the other one doesn’t) want to bury a time capsule in the woods. When they start digging, they find a bomb shelter from the FUTURE (as you read that, make echo-y sounds in your head)! The lid to the shelter has four out of five of their names. Inside the bunker they find letters that they have written to themselves, warning that if they continue on their current paths, they’ll kill most of the people on Earth. This is where the mind games begin. Key information gets withheld. Letters are hidden. Moral ambiguity rears its nasty head. The story bounces back between the past, present and FUTURE (echo-y).

One of the moral set pieces is pretty interesting, but the whole mish mash will leave you with a shallow reader headache from trying to keep all of this straight. The art is sketchy. Literally.

See. Sketchy.


Not recommended FUTURE (echo-y) reading for anyone.

Review: Batman/Superman, Vol. 1: Cross World by Greg Pak

Batman/Superman, Vol. 1: Cross WorldBatman/Superman, Vol. 1: Cross World by Greg Pak

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

In the world of graphic novels, art can make or break a story.
It plays a huge role in not only telling the story, but setting the mood. When you have an artist and a writer who are in sync, it’s a thing of beauty.
And that’s what makes this one so difficult for me to review.
Jae Lee’s art is phenomenal. Visually, this is one of the most stunning comic books I’ve ever read. To say it’s hauntingly beautiful wouldn’t be an overstatement.
But.
I hated it.
To me, it looked like it belonged in a fairytale retelling, not a capes and tights story.
Having young Superman wear jeans instead of tights, isn’t a new concept. It was done in Action Comics, Vol. 1: Superman and the Men of Steel to give him a fresh/tougher look.

description

And in that one I think it worked.
In this? Not so much.
He looked like a little boy with high water pants on.

description

I know I’m going to catch shit for this, but as much as I loved the art, I thought it was wasted on this title. It was like seeing a fabulous dress on Sylvester Stallone. The dress might be lovely, but if you drape it over Rambo, it’s gonna looks stupid.
Does that make sense?

As for the story itself?
Alternate Earths collide!
The plot basically runs along the lines of DARKSEID IS COMING!, but nobody on either Earth knows who the hell that is, and they’re too busy squabbling to find out.
Our Superman and Batman (who don’t know each other yet) are transported by a ‘trickster god’ to Earth 2, where they meet up with their older counterparts. These guys have a different history than our Bruce and Clark. Having met when they were children, they’ve formed a solid friendship with each other over the years, while our guys are still spitting and clawing at each other.

*insert fight scenes*

There’s a way to stop Darkseid, but (according to the trickster) only one Earth can do it. Whoever is willing to ‘grasp the power’, or something. The older S&B want to destroy the dangerous weapon, while the younger guys think they should hang onto it…just in case.

*insert more fight scenes

Of course, if you’ve read Earth 2, Vol. 1: The Gathering, then you already know how well the other guys’ strategy worked.

Having a young Batman and Superman giving each other the fish-eye, plus an older version showing how deep the bond of their friendship really runs?
It should have been an easy win-win!
It wasn’t.
Something was just off about the whole thing. I don’t think I can really even put my finger on it in a coherent way. It wasn’t a total loss, but it wasn’t all that great, either.

View all my reviews

Review: The Torch

8175491

Writer:  Mike Carey  Artists:  Alex Ross (covers), Patrick Berkenkoter

Two and a half stars

There’s nothing scientific (or rational) about the way I pick graphic novels out at the local library. Usually I’m picking my son up, the library is closing in five minutes, the librarians are all standing around giving me the stink eye and I’m rushing through the library’s selection in a kind of haphazard way – maybe I’ll read Superman, I haven’t read Spider-man in awhile, why the hell doesn’t this library have more Deadpool, I’ve never read this author/genre/hero before… Which is how I ended up choosing this volume. The Torch, Alex Ross, hmm, this might be interesting.

Continue reading