Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy 91st Birthday Stan Lee!

Here at Weird Science, you've probably noticed we primarily fluff DC Comics.  But today is the birthday of a juggernaut in the comics field; Stan Lee.  So take a moment today and go up to a stranger and yell excelsior, or end a conversation with Nuff' Said.  I don't care how you do it, but do something to express a moment of warmth for a man who has brought us such joy.
We love ya, Stan.

Supergirl #26 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Tony Bedard
Art By: Yildiray Cinar, Ray McCarthy
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 18, 2013

Sometimes You Lobo, Sometimes You Don't.

Supergirl has certainly been busy over the last couple of months.  Taking on Cyborg Superman, and then that whole Krypton Returns thing.  Maybe she deserves a bit of a break, huh?  Let's find out if she gets one.

Explain It!:

So Supergirl is back on Earth, but she's not the only one, turns out that new Twilight looking Lobo is in search of the Main Man we all know, and love.  If you haven't read the Lobo Villain's Month issue, then you don't know that this new Lobo is actually the original one, and the one we know is actually the imposter.  Weird right?  But all his leads have dried up because he doesn't know the Main Man is being held by Stormwatch.  The last bit of intel Lobo has is he might find more information on where his imposter is in The Block, a secret laboratory located at the center of the Earth.  Following so far?  I hope so.  

So Supergirl's back on Earth, and she makes trip down to The Block to talk to Shay Veritas the scientist in charge.  Last time Supergirl was here, she was dying of Kryptonite poisoning, and since she's now cured she was hoping that a few tests might figure out how, and why.  To bad for her that Lobo's come a knocking.

Supergirl goes to have a friendly talk, since they are both one of the last of their kind, but this emo looking big bad isn't having any of it.  He tries to subdue Supergirl with a net, and then with his fists, but this only leads to Supergirl losing her temper.  In the end it seems that Supergirl has wailed a little to hard on Lobo's face, and killed him.  Supergirl just can't catch a break.

Bits and Pieces:

Supergirl has finally made her way back to Earth, but the problems just keep following her around.  This issue gives you real insight into the emotional state of Supergirl, and even humanizes her a bit.  I'm really looking forward to what Bedard has planned for our Girl of Steel.  Check it out.


Superboy #26 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Marv Wolfman, Frank Hannah
Art By: Andres Guinaldo, Mark Irwin
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 11, 2013

I Miss Superboy!

So if you're reading Superboy, and only Superboy, you're going to very very confused on what's happening in this issue.  Right now the Superboy we've all grown to love, or at least not hate is dead, and has been replaced by Jon Kent, the psychotic son of Superman and Lois Lane from the future that Kon was cloned from.  As much as I hate this idea, I hate that Superboy died in a title that wasn't his own, and we're plunged into a story now that's been a Teen Titans story.  So hopefully if you didn't read Krypton Returns, or the last couple Teen Titans issues, you can still follow along as I try to go over this issue.  So let's dive into this.

Explain It!:

Well it looks like the new Superboy has demon monsters inside his mind.  Which makes sense since he has a mad hate on for meta humans, and my mad hate I mean he has to murder any he meets.  We're given what I presume to be a sort of flashback, or a telepathic image of monsters inside Jon's mind telling him that he's a murderer, and that his own genetics are killing him.  The monster tells Jon to kill the Teen Titans, and go find him, and the monster will cure him.  Superboy ends this daydream by trying to kill the monster, and wakes up to him strangling Wonder Girl.  The two battle until Superboy realizes that he's too weak to take this Girl of Wonder down.  So he puts on a charade that he didn't know what he was doing, and is sorry.  But even after the butt whoopin' Jon knows that the monster was telling the truth about his body dying.  Superboy begins getting dizzy, and passes out.  Throughout the panels you see the thought bubble of the monster talking to Jon, so the two are still linked.  Which leads us to Jon waking up in the medical bay to the concerned faces of the Teen Titans.  He convinces the team that he is fine, but has no memory of what happened before Wonder Girl kicked his ass, and that he'd really like to get some sleep.  

The team leaves, and Jon decides he has to destroy the tests the doctors took, while he was passed out, so as to keep his secret a bit longer.  We see a wide array of what Jon's TK powers can do.  He's able to pinpoint what part of the medical bay the tests are, then he's able to get there by bending the light around him, making him invisible.  Once down there Jon runs into a woman who is a meta human, and can't let his hatred go this time.  To make sure she doesn't alert anyone, Jon kills the woman, then uses her optical scanner to find data on future events Superboy will do.  In the end he learns that Superboy will be instrumental in creating the Legion of Superheroes.  Which seems to spark his interests.

Bits and Pieces:

I'm sad to say that this was a very disappointing issue.  I love Superboy, but it seems that nobody knows what to do with him.  Now we begin anew with a psychopath, and are expected to sit back and see how it works like Superior Spider-man.  The only problem is nobody likes Superboy as much as Spider-Man so the idea is in trouble before it really begins.  I'll continue reading in hope that the status quo of this title comes back to resembling something close to reasonable, but I won't be holding my breath in the meantime.


Suicide Squad #26 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Matt Kindt
Art By: Patrick Zircher, Roger Robinson
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 11, 2013

Shark Week!

Last issue we saw Harley Quinn betraying the team, and it looked like she used OMAC to kill them all.  Amanda Waller had to go to a sub sub basement where she has kept King Shark's father locked up for four years, and she believes the decision to open his cell will get her killed.  Let's see if she knows what she's talking about.

Explain It!:

King Shark finally gets to meet daddy, but the family reunion is a dysfunctional one.  Kamo has no intentions of keeping a son alive, that could take his thrown one day.  Yeah Kamo is a Hawaiian deity, who is apparently beyond powerful, and has been locked away for all this time because Waller deemed him to powerful to control.  But she doesn't want Kamo or King Shark to kill each other.  She wants them to help her stop the gift bag that Harley is bringing back to Belle Rev for the Thinker.  Oh yeah you know I'm talking about the ultra powerful OMAC!

James Gordon Jr. is on his way to the Thinker as a distraction while Amanda Waller gets her sharks under control, but on his way he notices the Squad returning, and something huge falling from their jet.  Guess who?  But Gordon realizes that something is wrong when Harley springs out, and plans on strangling him to death.  But you can't keep a Gordon down.  James stabs Harley in the back, and tosses a exploding collar around her neck, and now has a new slave.  Kinky ass Gordon will probably start caller her mommy next.  God I hate Jimmy Gordon Jr.  But moving on.

During Gordon, and Harley's scuffle, OMAC was brought to the Thinker, and we find out his big master plan.  He was put in charge of Belle Rev by the Crime Syndicate to kill the remaining heroes of the world, but his plans have always been to be in this position to have his mind transported from his weak frail body, to the massively powerful body of OMAC.  Talk about playing the long game.

Amanda Waller gets the sharks to cooperate by promising Kamo his throne back, by killing the thing that holds a spell over him, that keeps him stuck here.  Oh stupid deities always believing in secret spells of binding.  Waller tells him that in order to get back home he has to kill OMAC.  But before they can really get settled into their new arrangement The Thinker, in OMAC's body comes looking for them.  In the end we see that Deadshot is still alive under the mountain that Harley dropped on him, and the rest of the squads, and he's wondering to himself who he's going to kill first when he gets out of there.

Bits and Pieces:

We were given a lot of hype last issue of things to come, and when reading this issue I feel a little let down.  Shark deities, and OMAC, how can you go wrong right?  Well you go wrong when nothing really happens, and you just get hype for what's coming in the next issue.  BAH.  Well here's to whats coming up in next issue, but I don't want to get you to hyped up, I hate letting people down.


Forever Evil: Arkham War #3 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Peter J. Tomasi
Art By: Scot Eaton, Jaime Mendoza, Allen Martinez
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 11, 2013

The Big Bad Bat

This title would make one hell of a DLC for Injustice: Gods among us.  Image all the freaks, and psychos from Arkham, and Blackgate going at it, hell just use this story.  Bam you have a game.  But to the point at hand.  In last issue Bane was shocked to find out that while he was meeting with the Penguin, the rest of the Arkham inmates were making a siege on Blackgate Prison.  During the attack The Scarecrow, and Man-Bat were stealing away Bane's secret weapon; The Talons.  But before all the Talons could be stolen, Bane showed up, and reclaimed one of the cryoed assassins.  Let's see what happens next.

Explain It!:

We find out that Scarecrow survived the attack by Bane last issue, and was saved by Killer Croc.  Who would of thought, a guy like Waylon Jones, would get along with a guy like Scarecrow?  But I'm guessing Scarecrow is surprised as I am, because in return for saving his life, Scarecrow gives Wayne Tower to Croc, and all of his sewer subjects.  Yeah if you missed the Killer Croc Villain's Month first off shame on you it was a awesome issue, and secondly Killer Croc seems to be the king of homeless folks, and families down on their luck that are hiding out in the sewer.  So that's going on.  Let's move to another part of the city and see whats going on.

Oh man, it's Bane's Blackgate brawlers, versus the amorous Arkham assassins.  As far as alliteration goes that might not be the best, but hey a fights going down!  Clayface gets frozen by Emperor Penguin (Blackgate), But then he gets wrapped up in Poison Ivy's venomous vines.  It seems like it's all over for Emperor Penguin, until Bane shows up and proves that he has no qualms in hitting a woman.  Oh god it's brutal.  Even though Emperor Penguin is apparently saved, I don't think he's going to remain grateful.  Bane knocks him out, and takes him to the Penguin.  If you remember Bane made a deal with the Penguin, the Penguin would give Bane information about the loose crazies of Arkham, in exchange for Emperor Penguin being brought before him.  Deal done, and I wouldn't want to be Emperor Penguin anytime in the near future.  Now that Penguin's all paid up, Bane wants information about Scarecrow, and his Talons that were stolen from him.  Penguin tells Bane that Scarecrow is at Wayne Tower (which we know isn't the true anymore now that Croc runs the Tower), but nobody is afraid of Bane, and all his physical intimidation isn't anything to someone who has lived in Gotham with Batman around.  Bane is not amused.  Batman is what puts the fear into these nut jobs, huh?  Well this gives Bane an idea.  He goes back to Blackgate, and starts working on resurrecting Batman.  On the rooftops Bane dawns a Batman cowl, and screams to the heavens "Batman Lives!"

Back at Wayne Tower Killer Croc, or should I say King Croc is giving a speech to his subjects.  Croc tells them that it is time for them to not only rule over the underground, (but hopefully not the Gotham Underground) but to take to the world above.  He continues to tell them, that they will not be the mindless shields for the Arkhamites, but be the true power in Gotham.  The speech is cut short when Bane Man comes crashing through the window.  There is a epic fisticuffs battle which concludes with Bane tearing off the giant metal bat symbol on his chest and beating Croc over the head with it, and then throwing Croc off of Wayne Tower.  Wow.  In the end Bane monologues about Croc being their strongest, and now they will be weak.  Next he will take back his Talon army.

Bits and Pieces:

Being a Batman fan it isn't hard to fall in love with a title like this.  Watching all our favorite villains going at it, is a fanboy dream come true.  But being midway through I'm starting to get a little bored.  There are some great visuals in this book, and a lot of WTF moments, which make me squeal like a six year old girl.  Maybe I'm a little impatient and want everything now, I don't know, but this is a fun book, and you should check it out, because from what I see, it can only get more exciting for here on out.


Batgirl #26 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Gail Simone
Art By: Daniel Sampere, Jonathan Glapion
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 11, 2013

Wanted No More!

So this review is coming out quite a bit late, and I just want to apologize for it.  Time just got away from me, and then I got the flu, so I'm trying to get all the old reviews out, so hopefully this weekend will be chock full of lateness.  But let's get to why you're here, Batgirl: Wanted.  Last issue Barbara's boyfriend Ricky was shot by Commission Gordon, and Knightfall sent a hit squad to the Commissioner's house to take him out.  Not for shooting Ricky, that would be ridiculous, but luckily the shooting of Ricky is what brought Barbara her father's home.  So who knows, we might just make it out of here after all.  Plus in this last issue Barbara's back in the cowl for the first time in months, and we looked upon that cowl, and it was good.  Let's go check this out.

Explain It!:

I usually don't mention the cover artist, and it's not because I have anything against covers, I just don't mention them.  But I have to start this summary by saying that the covers of Alex Garner have been such a highlight of reading comics over the last couple of months.  Batgirl: Wanted has been sort of a let down for me, but every month I start off with a smile because of these beautiful covers.  God I love them, gonna have to buy some of his work, just so I can walk around my house smiling more.  But yeah check out the artwork of Alex Garner, and covet the awesomeness he exudes.  Okay moving on to the story now.  

So we start out with a bunch of baddies with silly names like Gretel, Grotesque, Bone Breaker, and Mirror.  Pretty much all the villains that Batgirl has faced since the beginning of the New 52, so if you've been reading you'll recognize them, and if you haven't well it doesn't really matter.  I really find these characters forgettable and they don't really impress me to the point where I won't be bringing them up again, so we'll simply refer to them as baddies, or the gang.  So the gang is in Gordon's home wrecking his face up a bit, when our heroine makes her dramatic entrance.  Batcycle through the window, is that dramatic enough for ya?  Batgirl gets the Commissioner free, and they retreat into the basement.  But Gordon is still pretty pissed at Batgirl for killing his son, so this closed quarters thing is a bit awkward.   

So the bad guys aren't leaving upstairs, and it's a bit awkward downstairs, so it's time for Batgirl to go on the offensive, and does she ever.  We're seeing a darker, but more confident Batgirl in this issue, and it seems that she's finally comfortable in her own bat skin.  These villains that gave her trouble one on one before seem to be very confused about this new Batgirl that is kicking their asses very handedly.

In the end Knightfall realizes that her team isn't going to win the fight, and she orders them to retreat.  Batgirl wants to go after them but Commissioner Gordon tells her not to press her luck.  Batgirl is about to leave, when Gordon pulls a gun on her, and tells her he's going to arrest her for the murder of his son.  Batgirl explains why she had to do it, and even tries to show Gordon who she is, but he won't look.  After reminding Gordon about how he shot Ricky, and that being a bad call, Gordon could kind of relate to the bad call Batgirl made, and then asks her to leave, and not come back.  Batgirl leaves, and receives a call that Ricky has woken up from his coma, and for the first time since this story arc started Batgirl feels hope for the future.  So it seems we may finally be out of all the doom, and gloom.  If that's the case I can't wait for next issue.

Bits and Pieces:

I have really not liked this Batgirl: Wanted story arc, but this final issue has certainly caught my attention, and like Batgirl at the end, I finally feel hope again.  The real star of these books for me has been Alex Garner the cover artist.  Who has given me a new understanding in how good a comic can look.  So go out, and get this last issue of Batgirl: Wanted, which took forever to get to because of Villain's Month, and Zero Year, to complete your Batgirl experience.  But mostly just get it to remind yourself that new things are on the way, and we'll never have to see Batgirl going around dressed as a ninja again.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Justice League #26 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Geoff Johns
Art By: Ivan Reis
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 25, 2013

You'll Believe A Grid Can Cry.

This Damn Cover Is So Misleading!
We just got down with the wildly impressive Forever Evil #4, but we have to calm down a bit, because as much as we want to see Sinestro come in and kick the ever lovin' hell out of Power Ring, we're going to switch gears a little, and dive into the mindset of Grid (pun intended).  But don't let that discourage you, I know you want the badassness, I want the badassness too, but what we're about to dive into is really fun.  So dry those eyes, and let's find out a little back story behind the Crime Syndicate members we haven't gotten the back story to yet.  So let's check it out.

Explain It!:

In this issue we find out that the cybernetic part of Cyborg; Grid, wanted to feel feelings.  Yeah he wanted to be a real boy.  But feeling things was what the Vic Stone half of him did, so Grid figured if he just got rid of that part of him he'd be able to feel finally.  Sadly this did not work.  Even when joining a evil Syndicate in destroying the world, a single feeling wasn't felt.  So in this issue Grid decides to look into the backgrounds of the Crime Syndicate, in order to feel something based on their lives.  Let the flashbacks begin.

We start out with Harold Jordan, a sniveling coward of a man, who was spying on Ferris Aircraft in order to sell secrets.  A alien came to Earth named Abin Sur, who promised Harold Jordan that if he took the ring from him, it would give him the power to have anything he wanted.  But when Harold takes the ring, Abin Sur starts laughing, then crying because he's finally free.  Harold realizes the mistake he's made when the ring needs to be recharged, and a pocket universe opens and tentacles wrap around him.  I don't know if the ring recharges from psychological terror, but for the most part Cthulhu just came out of a portal, and got handsy.  You're not going to be right after that.  This didn't make any emotional response for Grid, so quick, time for the next flashback.

Johnny Allen is being transported to prison for awful, awful crimes, when his girlfriend Rhonnie crashes a truck into his prison transport.  The two lovers are together again, so they do the most romantic thing you can think of, they take the two officers from the prison transport, and hang them by their arms inside STAR LABS.  The lovers threaten to kill the families of the two officers, but if they fight to the death, they'll let the winner's family live.  Wow.  So the winner is asking if his family is safe now, when they shoot him in the head.  Johnny, and Rhonnie plan on going to his family's house anyway, when the police show up.  They head to the roof, then lightning strikes.  Johnny is imbued with the speed force, and Rhonnie is thrown through a sky light, into Professor Palmer's Atomico research.  Thus the two origins are sealed.  But this story doesn't give Grid the tinglies either.  So onto the next flashback.

Professor Stein was a genius who was obsessed with the dead.  Genius or not though, he was a sick fuck who would also take homeless people and experiment on them.  But everyone has their bad habits, so looking past all that someone hired Professor Stein to find the weaknesses of the Crime Syndicate.  I'm sure he worked on for a minute before fusing himself with a corpse becoming Deathstorm.  Gross.  Moving on.

Super Woman has deleted all her information which makes Grid suspicious.  So there's something suspicion, one of my favorite feelings before it advanced into paranoia, now I sit in a dark house with a piece of tape over my webcam, and write articles about why Xbox One is trying to take over the world by looking at you naked.  But all of this is besides the point.  Comics.  Yeah Comics.  In the end we move back to Star Labs of our world to check in on Cyborg, who's going to make a full recovery, and meet up with the Metal Men, which is not in this issue, but I read the solicits so keep an eye out.  

Bits and Pieces:

See there are a lot of characters that are in the Crime Syndicate, and we as fans want to know all about them.  So with our compulsion to know every little thing, we need to have origin tales, giving us insight on the motives of these villain.  That's what we get in this issue, which is fun, and entertaining, but slows down the pace we were given in Forever Evil #4.  So if you're like me, and love all the ins, and outs of these characters then you'll really enjoy this issue like I did.  Check it out.


Forever Evil #4 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Geoff Johns
Art By: David Finch, Richard Friend
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 25, 2013

You Thought Shit Got Real Before?  This Is The Real Shit!

So we're right in the think of things here in Forever Evil Land.  Ultra Man whooped Black Adam's ass, Batman's back, and Luthor is setting up his Legion of Doom.  All this plus all the tie-in issues, with the exception of Blight, because that doesn't matter at all with these stories, and we have a rompin' good time going on.  So let's continue the madness.

Explain It!:

We begin this issue with Catwoman being blindfolded, and led into the Bat Cave.  Batman hopes that those contingency cases he made to take down the Justice League if he needed to, will be useful in taking down the Crime Syndicate.  See it's forward thinking like making sure you can kill all your friends that really gets the job done.  But Batman is really interested in the Green Lantern contingency.  A Sinestro Corps. ring, he hopes that this will be just the thing to take down the cowardly Power Ring.  

Speaking of Power Ring, Deathstorm, and him are still in Central City arguing about who's fault it is, that the Rogues got away.  The name calling is stopped, when Grid orders Deathstorm back to the lab, so he can unlock Firestorm's ability to create Kryptonite.  But that leaves Power Ring to go after Captain Cold himself.  So he does what you'd expect him to do.  Power Ring freaks the hell out, and pleads with Grid to send him some backup.  It seems that the entire Syndicate is busy, Owlman is plotting against the Syndicate, Superwoman is telling Ultraman about Owlman's plans, and Johnny Quick, and Atomica are probably just out murdering folk, but Grid is going to send him some backup anyway.  So.

Speaking of Captain Cold, Luthor's Injustice League, I still prefer Legion of Doom, are going through the sewer, to try and sneak into Wayne Enterprises, but when Black Adam, and Bizarro break a hole into the building the team finds that they met by Batman and Catwoman.  But they are soon joined by Power Ring and his backup; The Secret Society.  The gang from JLA, Deathstroke, Giganta, Shadow Thief, Copperhead, you know the gang.  But Batman has his secret weapon, and what we get is pure badassery.

But that lasts for only a few seconds.  The ring is barely holding a charge, and Power Ring takes the ring off of Batman, and claims that no silly yellow ring could stop him.  As badass as it was to see Batman wield the yellow ring, after Power Ring makes his claims, it's even cooler when Sinestro shows up, wanting Power Ring to back up his claim.  Oh man Sinestro is back, prepare to fear!

Bits and Pieces:

We're right into the thick of this story now, and every time I think I can't get wow'ed anymore Johns comes round the corner and chucks a big WOW right into my face, and says "suck on that!"  I don't know if that's really accurate, but I believe it, and if you read this issue, I think you'll believe it too.  So go out, and get a boat load of awesome, and continue this massive event, because if you haven't been reading this yet you're missing out.


The Adventures of Superman #35 Review

Written by: Peter Milligan
Art by:  Agustin Padilla
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: December 23, 2013

The Demolisher Part 2 of 3

Clark Kent, Superman and...The Demolisher?  Clark knows what he's doing is wrong, but can he control it? If Metropolis wanted a take charge hero who really gets the job done, why are they afraid of this dark champion?  What lengths will the Demolisher go to make sure he becomes Metropolis' only hero?

Peter Milligan continues his Demolisher story and it's a pretty good one.  He shows the reader how Superman became the Demolisher and how he is losing control over this dark persona.  The Demolisher does what Superman won't and even though the people of Metropolis were crying for that, they soon realize that some wishes are best left unfulfilled.  It may be me, but I can't help be feel the story is pointed at DC themselves for wanting a gritty Superman and then the backlash over the Man of Steel.  I may be grasping for something there, but reading it that's how I felt.

The art of Agustin Padilla is really good.  It's a darker story in tone and local since the Demolisher works mainly at night, and Padilla makes everything fit the bill.

Bits and Pieces:

The Adventures of Superman #35 continues the good Demolisher arc.  Superman is struggling to control this new dark persona he has created and it seems to be winning.  It's a dark story and Peter Milligan and Agustin Padilla combine to create a memorable one.  


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Batman Beyond 2.0 #9 Review

Written by: Kyle Higgins
Art by: Thony Silas
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: December 4, 2013

The Bat Men Part 1 of 7: Everything Old is New Again

Terry picks up the pieces of the previous arc and an old enemy gets a dangerous upgrade.  There's a new threat in Gotham, but it's one that everyone will recognize...and maybe some will enjoy.

Kyle Higgins starts a new arc with a little housecleaning from the previous one.  Rewire's havoc left a few baddies still on the loose and Terry is trying his best to remedy that.  I love that Higgins doesn't just leave loose ends unfinished, but treats the comic as a living, breathing universe. However, that doesn't make things cut-and-dry easy.  In fact, Terry runs into an upgraded Shriek and ends up worse for wear.  It takes Dick's medical attention (and storytelling) to get Terry back to normal.  It's nice to get this amount of action in the first issue of an arc, but it was strange that Shriek did his damage and then seemed to disappear.  Seriously, where did he go and how did Terry get back to Dick?

Since this is a new arc, there should be something new, right?  Kind of.  A certain villain reveals himself at the end.  A few hints.  It's a "man" and he has been force fed to readers in all facets of DC Comics recently.  Seriously, the guy is everywhere.  I will leave my preconcieved notions at the door because of my respect for Higgins, but I let out a loud groan when he popped up on my screen. 

Something positive that popped on the screen, however, was Thony Silas' art.  It's fantastic and is the best on the whole digital front.  A special shout out to Emilio Lopez on colors which really make the book flash.

Kyle Higgins and Thony Silas make Batman Beyond 2.0 the gem of DC's digital line.  Issue #9 is no exception as they start a new arc in style.  A tired villain not withstanding, I am looking forward to see how everything unfolds.


The Adventures of Superman #34 Review

Written by: Peter Milligan
Art by: Agustin Padilla
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: December 16, 2013

The Demolisher part 1 of 3

Is Superman a relic from the past?  Does the gritty and violent world we live in have any use for the greatest boy scout of all-time?  People have been asking that question for a while now, but what happens when Superman starts asking?

The question of whether Superman fits in our day and age keeps coming up.  The Man of Steel opened the debate again, but so has the comics (especially the grittier New 52).  Peter Milligan turns the concept on it's ear by having Superman ask the question.  Unfortunately, the answer is not pretty.

The first of a three part arc, The Adventures of Superman #34 is not a feel good story.  It is violent and includes themes of child abduction.  In other words, it's a pretty fair reflection of our society and what they find "entertaining".  Seriously, the top shows of the year present such themes (and worse) on a weekly basis. Peter Milliagan shows what would happen if Superman decided to "get with the times"...or if he even knows that he's doing it.   It makes you immediately wish for good old Superman back.  I'm eager to see how the arc unfolds, but it is a very good start to a pretty cool concept.

Agustin Padilla's art is good.  I know that the art seems to get bypassed on the digital front so it's nice to see it look so good.  It's a bit more gritty look for Superman's world, but of course that's the theme of the book, so job well done.

Bits and Pieces:

The Adventures of Superman #34 is a very good twist to a familiar story.  Peter Milligan has presented an intriguing beginning to an arc and I can't wait to see how it turns out.


Swamp Thing #26 Review

Written by: Charles Soule
Art by: Jesus Saiz
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 4, 2013

The Seed(er) is Planted

The Seeder's origin and current doings are told through the eyes of former Avatar, Alec Holland.  While the new Avatar didn't start as a monster, he is quickly becoming one in his quest to prove he is worthy of the title.  This may be Swamp Thing's title, but Animal Man is in the house (and forest) and steals the show.

I can't say enough about Charles Soule.  I know I sound like a fanboy, but the shoe definitely fits so I'll wear it loud and proud.  His Swamp Thing is such a personal, character driven book and this issue is that in spades.  We get to see the backstory of the current Avatar, Jason Woodrue, through the former Swamp Thing, Alec Holland's eyes.  This is great in so many ways.  

We get a new bit of mythology where all former Avatars share knowledge and experiences with the current one.  However, the former Avatars can just sit on the sidelines and watch what the current Swamp Thing is doing now.  This allows Alec Holland to narrate the issue, but more importantly, the reader can feel his helplessness and frustration.

Charles Soule gives us the Seeder's history and like many great villains, his road to ruin was paved with good intentions.  Jason Woodrue wants to do good.  He has lived his life to be the Avatar of the Green, but now he's achieved that he still believes he must prove his worth.  This leads him to an ill advised fight with Animal Man that doesn't end so well.  Buddy Baker shows that even though he's not the true Avatar of the Red, he shouldn't be messed with...and don't step on his daughter's Christmas present or it's on!

The art of Jesus Saiz complements the story perfectly.  Everything looks great and there are more than a handful of standout panels to boot.  It is so nice when a creative team meshes so well and Saiz and Soule are firing on all cylinders here.

Bits and Pieces:

Swamp Thing #26 is a great read.  Charles Soule gives us some added mythos and understanding into the Seeder's rise and (eventual?) fall.  The art of Jesus Saiz is great and compliments the story so well.  Like most of Soule's work, new readers can just jump right in so there is no excuse not to read this series.  Highly recommended.


Happy Holidays From Weird Science!

Harley Quinn #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti
Art By: Chad Hardin
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 18, 2013

New Home Same Crazy

We here are with the first issue after that breaking the fourth wall extravaganza we had with issue 0.  But don't think you'll be getting that here, no.  Here we have a kooky straight forward story, showing us the day to day life of super criminal extraordinaire Harley Quinn, as she tries to get settled in a new area, and new home.  Let's see how she does.

Explain It!:

Harley and her stuffed beaver make their way to Coney Island, to see what property was left to her from one of her patients from Arkham.  Now you might be used to the dark, Suicide Squad Harley that we've seen since the beginning of the New 52, but if your looking for that Harley you won't find her here.  This is a more cartoony, lighthearted Harley.  Don't get me wrong the violence, and the craziness is still there, only in a more zany kind of way.

So Harley has packed her bags and tied them to the back of her motorcycle, in a huge comical bundle, and is making her way to her new home.  But what she doesn't know is that a hit has been put out on her, and someone looking to collect is following close behind.  But that's no match for Harley, especially Harley with a over sized mallet.  She knocks the guy off his bike, then knocks his head off his shoulders.  See zany!

When Harley finally reaches her destination she finds that the property is a freak show, and it also rents out to certain people with physical ailments.  Well to put it bluntly, the tenants are the circus freaks that work the business.  One of the tenants is Big Tony, a Italian midget with a tendency to call Harley, Peaches.  Tony shows the building to Harley, and takes her to the top floor which will be her living area.  But there's a snag.  With everything she makes from the business, and the tenants, she still needs more money to afford the property.  So it's job hunting time for Harley.  You'd think with her past endeavors, she'd knock off a bank, or a jewelry store, but no Harley's going legit.

First off she goes to a private hospital, and tries to put her psychology degree to work, but with no real answer to whether the job is hers she tries another area of employment; the roller derby.  Killing the competition in the tryouts, thankfully not literally, Harley gets the job, and plans on working at both jobs if she gets the hospital gig.

In the end, after a long day of interviews, Harley lays on the roof, basking in the moonlight.  But her night plans are ruined, when another assassin tries to make good on the contract.  Luckily Big Tony was there either peeping on Harley in a bathing suit, or just coming up to say hi, because before the assassin can strike he puts a bunch of bullets through her, saving Harley's life.  Now Harley knows whats up, since the killer hand a reward poster in her pocket, I guess life just got a little more interesting for our favorite nut job.

Bits and Pieces:

This title is very strange, and I think I'm going to have to read a few more issues to get the real feel of it.  In a DCU that is filled with dark, miserable characters, this is certainly contrast.  A funny book to brighten your day from your melancholy heroes.  Chad Hardin's artwork is truly a sight to be seen, and compliments Harley beautifully, and even if you can't get behind the book yet, it is worth the price to simply look at the pictures.  So get this weird title, and enjoy the zany fun.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Vibe #10 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Sterling Gates
Art By: Derlis Santacruz, Wayne Faucher
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 18, 2013

It's So Hard To Say Goodbye.

Here we are, the final issue of Vibe.  How dare you DC, how dare you!  Last year if you would of told me I'd be mad about not getting another Vibe comic, I would have laughed in your face, and probably would of talked smack about you behind your back.  I don't know how you did it DC, but you took a joke of a character that I've made fun of most of my life, and you made me care.  It's not fair.  But it is what it is, and I"m sure we haven't seen the last of Cisco Ramone.  Alright so last issue Vibe found himself in another world, a world called Piradell.  In this world Vibe found himself on the side of a revolt, and fought to save Gypsy from her mother the evil queen Mordeth.  This evil queen is also using Vibe's brother Armando as a puppet for her evil schemes, and if that wasn't enough at the end of the issue Vibe's team betrays him and turns him into a bomb to stop Mordeth.  Let's see if the last issue of Vibe gives us an ending we can appreciate/tolerate.

Explain It!:

We start this issue with Vibe breaking into Amanda Waller's office, and threatening her with Rupture's scythe.  Waller calms Cisco down, and he recants his tale of where he's been since Gypsy, Rupture, and him disappeared from the Circus weeks ago.  We begin Vibe's tale as he was falling towards Mordeth's citadel.  Being a human bomb and all Vibe is trying to turn off the device in his chest, but to no avail.  Luckily Rupture takes his scythe and jams it into the device in Vibe's chest.  You know bomb diffusing 101.  The energy is released and Vibe is alright, but so is Mordeth's citadel.  I was kind of hoping Rupture was saving Vibe because of all those brotherly feelings.  Nope, he simply was doing his job, and preventing the revolutionaries from having a win.  Since that's the case Rupture, and Vibe have a who has the better powers competition.  But like the brothers from the X-Men Cyclops and Havok, these two's powers seem to be evenly matched, and can't affect the other.

Taking a break from the story, Amanda Waller tells Vibe that the reason they were holding Gypsy was that they had a deal with her father Breacher.  In exchange for her safety Breacher would put of dimensional barriers keeping Mordeth from entering our world.  The reason everyone who crosses dimensions comes to Earth Prime is because it's the cornerstone of the mulitverse, and once you breach it, it's easier to breach other worlds.

Vibe continues to tells us how using Rupture's scythe healed the hole in his chest, and during the fight with his brother Mordeth tried to take control of his mind like she did to Armando.  Even though Armando's mind is a bag of marbles, he still doesn't want anything to happen to Cisco.  So being the big brother he takes his scythe, and cuts Mordeth in half.  Just like any big brother would do, when a girl messes with their sibling.  But sadly Mordeth pulled a Obi Wan Kenobi on us and is more powerful now that she doesn't have a body holding her back.  Before Mordeth can take control of every Raptor on Piradell, Vibe, and Rupture go and rescue Gypsy from the citadel.  Rupture opens a portal with his scythe, and makes Vibe, and Gypsy go back to Earth, while he stays behind to make up for all the evil he has done over the years.

In the end Vibe goes back to work for ARGUS, and the JLA, in exchange for ARGUS to come up with a way for him to rescue Armando, and Gypsy's father Breacher, and his last demand is to have Agent Gunn be his handler again.  All goes well, and we see Vibe kicking extra-dimensional entities asses, but Waller has someone keeping an eye on Vibe.  The end of the issue allows us to see that Vibe's brother Dante has betrayed him, and is spying for Waller.  Man I already miss this series.

Bits and Pieces

We've come to the end of our journey with Cisco Ramone.  Who would of thought we'd actually care about one of the biggest jokes in the DCU?  This is a good issue to sum up the out of this world story that Vibe has been apart of over the last couple issues, and bring him back into the JLA fold.  I'm going to miss him, and hopefully in the future we'll get a team up with him and Hawkman.  So go get this issue, and complete your Vibe series.


Animal Man #26 Review

Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Cully Hamner
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 18, 2013

In Space they Can See You Bleed

Animal Man in Space!  Buddy finds himself on a distant planet and learns that there is much more to the Red than he ever imagined.  It's the beginning of the end for Buddy Baker as his future is laid out before him.

Jeff Lemire's run on Animal Man has been so good, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Yes, it was recently announced that Animal Man is canceled with March's issue #29 being the last.  While the news came as a shock to some, this months issue shows that Lemire was not only aware of it , but had indeed begun to prepare for the end.

Buddy found himself on an alien planet at the end of last issue and he quickly learns this was not a mistake. He has been summoned by the mysterious Bridgewalker, who explains the true scope of the Red and Green and makes a deal with Buddy that sets up his future and the end of the series.

The sudden shift to an alien planet is a bit jarring, but Lemire expands the mythos of the Red so well that it is quite welcome.  Plus,  Lemire makes Buddy's decision regarding his future hinge on saving his family so it fits perfectly with the tone of the series.  The end is in sight and this little detour opens up a mess load of possabilities for the final issues.

Cully Hamner's art is really good in this issue, it just doesn't fit the tone of the book.  It's a bit too cartoony for the heavy themes Lemire presents.

Animal Man #26 is the beginning of the end.  Jeff Lemire sets up a meaningful end for Buddy Baker and expands the mythos of the Red and Green in the process.  Cully Hamner's art is good, it just doesn't fit the dark tone of the book.  I'm sad to see Animal Man go, but Lemire has set the pieces up for a great finale.