JSA vs. Kobra


Written by Eric Trautmann

Illustrated by Don Kramer

4 ginormous stars

The JSA (Justice Society of America) isn’t the Justice League of America but it’s a team that blends really old superheroes with the new.  It’s nice that old guys like Green Lantern Alan Scott and the original Flash, Jay Garrick have something better to do than be greeters at Walmart.  The leadership is divided between brain box, Mr. Terrific and my imaginary superhero girlfriend, Power Girl, the leader in the field.

It seems that Kobra, an international terrorist organization are everywhere, including infiltrating Checkmate (sort of DC’s version of SHIELD) all to bring about Kali Yuga (an age of chaos) and Jason Burr, the crazy leader doesn’t care how who gets caught in the cross fire.  So it’s the JSA (let’s assume the Justice League were in space fighting Darkseid or something) who have the task of smacking around some terrorist goons and saving the day.

This is a nice mix of conspiracy, puzzle solving and kicking ass Power Girl style.


My imaginary girlfriend.

Review: Savage Wolverine, Vol. 1: Kill Island


Words and pictures:  Frank Cho

Four stars


Special Guest Star: The Incredible Hulk! Shallow reader squee!!

Spectacular! Fantastic! Beyond belief!

See: Wolverine go berserk and slice and dice his way through the Savage Land natives.

Thrill: As Hulk pounds giant gorillas into jelly

Marvel: At how many times Wolverine gets his butt handed to him by dinosaurs. Kids, it’s a good thing he has a healing factor!

Swoon: At Sheena, the She-Devil and pages of scantily clad native women

Laugh: At Amadeus Cho, as he sets himself up as a god to the natives. Oh, that Amadeus!

Chuckle: At the banter between Wolverine and Sheena, the scantily clad She-Devil. You tell him, Sheena!

Mourn: For Jeff’s brain, as it turns to mush from reading too many comics.

Sheena, the She-Devil

Hey!  You there in Duluth!  Buckle your pants up!!

Review: The Bunker


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: The Indestructible Hulk, Volume 4: Humanity Bomb


Writer:  Mark Waid   Artist:  Mahmud Asrar, et. al.

Three Gamma irradiated stars


Dr. Bruce Banner is really trying to give this scientist thing a go. He has a deal with S.H.I.E.LD. – they let him invent stuff that will benefit mankind and he will let them toss the Hulk into untenable situations. The problem is lately he’s one step behind all the other nerd boy scientists in the Marvel universe. Enter Tony Stark. Condescending, bullying asshat, Tony Stark. “Bruce you have 48 hours to build a device that will save the Earth, blah, blah, blah, but we’ll be back in 24.” Oh, and not to rub your nose in anything, Brucie, but your being out-smarted by Henry Pym (Mr. Viagra) and Reed Richards, as well.

24 hours later: “You built a bomb! Sorry, you can’t use it and we’re going to take it away from you. Na Na Na!!” What’s poor puny Dr. Banner to do? Turn into the Hulk and twist Tony Stark’s head off and use it for a paper weight.

This is a crossover to the Infinity mega-Marvel event and involves Hulk chewing gum, an anger eating monster, and Tony Stark and Bruce Banner teaming up again to fight a mad scientist, who’s turned himself into an island. Stark’s a lying, provoking asshat in this one too. *shakes head*

This title is starting to show wear and tear.

Review – The Fox: Freak Magnet


Writer:  Mark Waid  Artist/Writer:  Dean Haspiel

Three stars!

Ooooh lookee! It’s a tribute to old time comic book storytelling.

Are we talking Silver Age Marvel or DC?

Um, no. It’s more like Charltan or Gold Key comics.


If you aren’t some super nerd like me, that would certainly be a logical response. Even as a kid, I had a hard time laboring through this stuff. Still, there on the cover, it has Mark Waid’s name, so it would seem to be worth a read. Right?

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Review: War of the Green Lanterns


Writer:  Geoff Johns (rolls eyes)  et. al  Artist:  Tyler Kirkham and another guy

Three really generous stars


When my son was three, my wife and I introduced him to the joys of sushi. For some reason he could not get enough of avocado. As my wife and I were trying to flag down the waitress, my son started to make a grab for a big ball of wasabi, assuming that it too was avocado. My wife and I moving in (what seemed like) slow motion and screaming “no” could not quite stop him from popping it in his mouth. In about ten seconds, my son’s face turned crimson, his eyes started to tear and his cute willowy blond hair was plastered to his now sweaty head. I think a little steam might have been coming out of his ears and nose.

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Review: The Torch


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.

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Review: Captain America – No Escape


Writer: Ed Brubaker  Artists:  Butch Guice, Mitch Breitweiser

Four stars!

Bucky Barnes doesn’t get any respect; not before he was miraculously brought back into Marvel continuity* or now from the petty villain, Baron Zemo, Junior.

It seems that Junior doesn’t appreciate the fact that Bucky, a man with a less than scrupulous past, should take over the mantle of Mr. Red, White and Blue himself, Captain America.  It doesn’t matter that Steve Rogers/Captain America wanted it this way, Junior still just wants to perpetuate the hate that dear old dad, Baron Zemo, Senior started.

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Review: FF Volume 3


Writer:  Jonathan Hickman   Artist:  Juan Bobillo, Nick Dragotta

Four stars

Transcript of short interview with Dr. Victor Von Doom

Doom: You have been granted an audience with Doom, Ruler of Latveria. Kneel before Doom.

Jeff: I’m not kneeling. How do I know it’s really you and not a Doombot?

(Sound of electrical blast) (Screaming)

Doom: Face down on the floor. Good! Doom approves.

Jeff: Whahs thash really neshashary? (Getting up) Mind if I ask you a few questions?

Doom: Doom, Destroyer of Worlds grants you an audience.

Jeff: First, how do you fit Destroyer of Worlds on a vanity plate: DST F WLDS 1


Jeff: That’s pretty neat.

Doom: What is?

Jeff: Speaking in all capital letters. Kudos.

Doom: Doom will not broker such insolence. (Sound of flames)

Jeff: GAAAHH! (sounds of screaming, person rolling on floor and patting down clothes) Please stop, your immenseness.

Doom: Buffoon, Doom urges you to bide your tongue.

Jeff: In this particular graphic novel, you have a collar on courtesy of an evil, alternate universe Reed Richards. How did this happen?

Doom: Imbecile! Doom suggests you read Volume 2. Still, it was all part of Doom’s plan to destroy more worlds.

Jeff: I guess being outwitted by a five year old girl was part of the plan as well.

Doom: ENOUGH!!!

(sounds of a thundering roar, more screaming, and eventually an ambulance)


The Essential Incredible Hulk, Volume One


Writer – Stan Lee

Artists – Various

Three stars

This is prehistoric Hulk written by Stan Lee. The Hulk character was a tough one to draw a bead on and make compelling and most importantly, marketable, which is why the number of different versions of the Hulk in this volume alone will make your head spin. From brute to toddler brain to communicative lummox – does he sound like he grew up in Brooklyn or Iowa – is he gray or green? The only thing consistent is his pants – always purple. He even sports a pair of ugly-assed shorts for awhile. It’s no surprise that the original Hulk run lasted only six issues.

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