Saturday, September 1, 2018

Weird Science DC Comics Best Books of the Week 8/29/18 - Annuals Week Edition


It's Annuals Week and while some people call that, "See you next week", we here at the Weird Science Studios don't take weeks off.  Days, yes, but not weeks.  Well, maybe we take weeks off, but not months.  Well, maybe we take...

Retro Review: Adventure Comics #120 (1947) - "Aquaman Goes to College" Review




Sea You at School

Written by: Joe Samachson
Art by: Louis Cazeneuve
Cover Price: 10¢
Release Date: September 1947

Now, these are the kinds of stories that we had in mind when we decided to do these retro reviews!  Aquaman going to Cgoinge and joining the swim team???  It 's like a superhero version of Back to School, just without that dweeb who played Rodney's son.  Nobody liked that guy, am I right?  I don't want to give it all away so let's get on with the review...

Retro Review: Flash & Green Lantern: The Brave & The Bold #1 (1999) Review



Green and Red All Over

Written by: Mark Waid, Tom Peyer,
Pencils: Barry Kitson
Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
Separation: Digital Chameleon
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editor: Peter Tomasi
Cover Price: $2.50
Published: August 1999



My favorite Flash and Green Lantern - and the ones that I grew up with - are Barry Allen and Hal Jordan. For some reason, due to my age, Wally West and the other Lanterns (with perhaps the exception of Guy Gardner) seemed to bypass my peak reading years. So it was with some interest that I stumbled upon this Flash – Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold series, starring my faves. Two for the price of one – sound’s promising. Let’s see what it is like. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Retro Review: Just Imagine Stan Lee’s Crisis (2002) Review and **SPOILERS**



Release the Wacken!

Written By: Stan Lee 
Artist: John Cassaday 
Letterer: Bill Oakley 
Colorist & Separator: Alex Sinclair 
Front Cover Artists: John Cassaday 
Back Cover Artist: Adam Hughes 
“Just Imagine…” Initiated By: Michael Uslan 
Editors: Mike Carlin, Ivan Cohen 
Executive Editor: Dan Didio 
Cover Price: $5.95 
Cover Date: September 2002

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Stan Lee created a whole new(ish) roster of superhero characters in a shared universe. So what’s the next step? Have an Armageddon to kill ‘em all! That’s just what the attempt is in Just Imagine Stan Lee’s Crisis, and I’ve reviewed it right here!

Retro Reviews: Just Imagine Stan Lee’s Catwoman (2002) Review


Kittens Got Claws

Written by: Stan Lee
Art by: Chris Bachalo, Richard Friend, and Bill Oakley
Cover Price: $5.95
Release Date: July 2002

Continuing on with the Just Imagine books, Catwoman steps up to the plate.  I am a big fan of Catwoman and was very interested in how Stan Lee would treat her.  He seems to want to really mess around with the basic concepts of the character, so I wondered if he would go a bit crazy with a "Cat Woman".  Well did he?  Let's find out...

Retro Review: Just Imagine Stan Lee's Batman (2001) Review and **SPOILERS**



Yes Father, I Shall Become a Professional Wrestler

Written By: Stan Lee 
Artist: Joe Kubert 
Letterer: Bill Oakley 
Colorist: Sibin Slakovic 
Separator: SAF-ScanArt, SLOVENIA 
Front Cover Artists: Joe Kubert, Richard Isanove 
Back Cover Artist: Adam Hughes 
“Just Imagine…” Initiated By: Michael Uslan 
Editor: Mike Carlin, Ivan Cohen 
Executive Editor: Dan Didio 
Cover Price: $5.95 
Cover Date: September 2001

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Alright, I already reviewed Just Imagine Stan Lee’s Sandman, which comes after this one, and now I figure out there’s a connected narrative. Barely, but there is one. So yeah, I should have read this one first. Why didn’t I just go for the Batman one first anyway? I guess I was really excited to see how they’d changed up Sandman, which was misguided. Is my enthusiasm for Just Imagine Stan Lee’s Batman misguided as well? Read my review and find out!

Retro Review: Just Imagine Stan Lee’s JLA (2002) Review and **SPOILERS**


If the Kids Are United, They Can Never Be Divided

Written By: Stan Lee 
Art: Jerry Ordway 
Letterer: Bill Oakley 
Colorist & Separator: David Baron 
Front Cover Artists: Jerry Ordway, Alex Sinclair 
Back Cover Artist: Adam Hughes 
“Just Imagine…” Initiated By: Michael Uslan 
Editors: Mike Carlin, Ivan Cohen 
Executive Editor: Dan Didio 
Cover Price: $5.95 
Cover Date: February 2002

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Oh boy! This Just Imagine… series may not be the boundless font of fascination it was cracked up to be, but it sure employed some of my favorite artists! Dave Gibbons, Joe Kubert…and now Jerry Ordway! Whew, it’s a non-stop parade of top-flight talent for this thing, I tell you what. So far, we’ve seen reimaginings of various DC Comics characters that are different…but really pretty much the same as their source material. And so, JLA is just a team consisting of those characters already presented. So how did it read? Check out my retro review of Just Imagine Stan Lee’s JLA, and see what you think!

Retro Review: Just Imagine Stan Lee's Sandman (2002) Review and **SPOILERS**



Perchance, to Dream

Written By: Stan Lee 
Penciller: Walter Simonson 
Ink Art: Bob Wiacek 
Letterer: Bill Oakley 
Colorist and Separator: Lee Loughridge 
Front Cover Artists: Walter Simonson, Lee Loughridge 
Back Cover Artist: Adam Hughes 
“Just Imagine…” Initiated By: Michael Uslan 
Editor: Mike Carlin, Ivan Cohen 
Executive Editor: Dan Didio 
Cover Price: $5.95 
Cover Date: August 2002

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Since I was very young, one of my most favorite characters was Wesley Dodds, the Golden Age Sandman. It was the gas mask combined with a green suit and fedora that did it, a combination almost Art Deco in its assembling. Later, I would come to love Neil Gaiman’s more ethereal Sandman—and even enjoy Simon and Kirby’s late 70s revamping of the character that was the right combination of goofy and befuddling. So I jumped at the chance to see what Stan Lee might have done with this character! Jump with me into Just Imagine Stan Lee’s Sandman, which I’ve reviewed right here!

Retro Review: Just Imagine Stan Lee's Green Lantern (2001) Review and **SPOILERS**



This is the Most Fun I’ve Had Since I Rotated My Shoe Trees

Written By: Stan Lee 
Pencil Art: Dave Gibbons 
Ink Art: Dick Giordano 
Letterer: Bill Oakley 
Colorist & Separator: Alex Sinclair 
Front Cover Artists: Dave Gibbons, Jeromy Cox 
Back Cover Artist: Adam Hughes 
“Just Imagine…” Initiated By: Michael Uslan 
Editors: Mike Carlin, Ivan Cohen 
Executive Editor: Dan Didio 
Cover Price: $5.95 
Cover Date: December 2001

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Holy crap. Not only does this reimagining of Green Lantern have pencils by the incredible Dave Gibbons, but it’s inked by the inimitable Dick Giordano! This is a classic Green Lantern tag team from the 1980s. That alone should have been enough for me to give this a try, but for whatever reason, in 2001, I did not. But today, in 2018, I have! So have a look at my review of Just Imagine Stan Lee’s Green Lantern, and luxuriate in the four-color panels!

Retro Review: Just Imagine Stan Lee's Flash (2002) Review


Rainbow Fight

Written by: Stan Lee
Art by: Kevin Maguire, Karl Story, and Bill Oakley
Cover Price: $5.95
Release Date: January 2002

I love the Flash so I couldn't wait to read this one.  Also, it was the only one of these characters that I actually had seen before reading these books.  So, does Stan Lee give us a kick-ass version of the "Fastest Man Alive"?  Yes and no.  Let's find out what I mean...

Retro Review: Just Imagine Stan Lee's Wonder Woman (2002) Review




By Any Other Name...

Written by: Stan Lee
Art by: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Bill Oakley
Cover Price: $5.95
Release Date: January 2002

When I first got into comics, Eric used to bring up these Just Imagine books a lot.  As a kid, the concept seemed like the greatest thing ever...get Stan Lee to reimagine the biggest DC heroes?  He was in!  Well, he ended up not liking everyone, but still looks back on it with a smile.  Now I can go back and judge for myself.  Here we go...

Top 5 Fridays: Top Five Just Imagine Stan Lee Comic Book Issues



It's Friday again and it's time for another Top 5 list.  This week features a pretty neat little experiment...Stan Lee's Just Imagine books.  Like the Amalgam books last week, this was a cool thing where Stan Lee partnered up with some of the industries best artists and reimagined the origins of some of the biggest DC heroes, putting them all in an ongoing story throughout each book.  There may have only been twelve, but here are the best five...

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Chris and Reggie's Cosmic Treadmill ep. 104 - Marvel Comics' Age of Apocalypse, Part Five! (1995)


Meanwhile...

Hello again, fellow human scum! In this episode, wastrels Chris (@AceComics) and Reggie (@reggiereggie) dive back into the vicious nightmare that is Marvel Comics' 1995 X-Men-based comic book event, The Age of Apocalypse! Today we learn about what's happening outside of the mutant class, checking in on the other characters--and providing complete biographies for--appearing in X-Universe #1 and #2 from 1995! There's a lot to dissect as they try to provide context for the shocking character changes presented in these issues, so you won't be blamed if you need to listen to this episode several times!

Throwback Thursday Review: The Flash Annual #2 (2013)



It's not easy being Red and Green

Writer: Brian Buccellato
Artist: Sami Basri
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: July 31, 2013
Cover Price: $4.99

The New 52 is starting to focus a bit more on the "past".  Most of the old continuity went out the window two years ago with the start of the new universe, but titles like Batman Zero Year and Batman/Superman are reinventing it.  The Flash Annual #2 shows the history of one of the best DC duos, The Flash and Green Lantern.

Throwback Thursday Review: Catwoman Annual #2 (2014)


Parallels

Written by: Genevieve Valentine
Art by: Pat Oliffe, Tom Nguyen, and John McCrea
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: December 24, 2014


I'll give Genevieve Valentine full credit for taking an awful Catwoman book and turning it into an awesome Selina Kyle one.  The direction of the character had been set forth in Batman: Eternal, but Valentine has taken the concept and run with it.  Readers of the regular series have gotten a first-person view as Selina has quickly climbed the ranks of the Gotham Underworld and claimed her place as not only the head of the Calabrese Family but Gotham itself.  A real testament to the power of her storytelling is that this Annual comes after only three issues, but is so good because it adds so much to her young run.  It's the story of Eiko Hasigawa, the Daughter of Gotham's Yakuza Crime Lord.  It's the story of Catwoman.

Throwback Thursday Review: Batman and Robin Annual #2 (2014)



Ghosts of the Past

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Doug Mahnke
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 29, 2014


This week is annual heavy in the DC Universe.  I have stated that I enjoy Annuals when they tell little one-shot stories that don't necessarily tie into the main story of the book, but flesh out the world and characters in general.  This book does just that and as an added bonus I get to see my two favorite Robins, Dick and Damian.  Poor little Damian, it's so bittersweet seeing the little pumpkin head again. With the way things are going for Dick in Forever Evil (and Nightwing being canceled), this could be his last hurrah as well.  Time will tell.

Throwback Thursday Review: Batman Annual #2 (2013)



Anchor This!

Writer: Scott Snyder and Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Wes Craig
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: July 31, 2013

Annuals are a funny thing.  Sometimes you get a continuation of what is going on in the series.  Other times you get a stand-alone story outside of the current arc.  What we get with Batman Annual #2 is more of the later.

Throwback Thursday Review: Red Hood and The Outlaws Annual #2 (2014)



The Night The Reindeer Died

Written By: Scott Lobdell
Art By: Tom Derenick, Wayne Faucher, Walden Wong
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: December 24, 2014

One thing I really hate about Annuals are for the most part I don't have any recap to do in this section of the review and it just seems empty and bare.  So I'll tell you a story about what happened to me the day before Christmas.  I was sitting at my computer writing reviews (watching porn) when I get a knock at my door and to my surprise an eighty-year-old possibly Russian woman is standing there wanting to know if I could drive her to the hospital to visit her husband.  Now you should know that her accent was so thick at the beginning of the conversation that I had a hard time understanding her and I thought she said that her husband was dead and that she wanted me to call the hospital.  So after hearing the question again and then explaining that I don't drive because I'm legally blind and that my girlfriend was out doing some last minute Christmas shopping, she told me that I could come to her door later to pick her up and then I tried telling her that we were busy with wrapping gifts later and then she told me that tomorrow morning was fine as well.  After explaining Christmas was the next day and that we couldn't give her a ride, she wished me a Happy Christmas and went back home.  I've never seen this lady before or after this and I'm just cynical enough to tell you that I thought that she was gathering information for her Russian criminal son to come back and rob the place and I'm just naive enough to tell you that I also thought that this was some sort of supernatural Christmas test that I failed.  So let's get on to Red Hood and The Outlaws!

DC Comics Best Covers of the Week: August 29, 2019

Suffering Sucko Covers

It's a fifth week, so pickings are slim around the ol' Best Covers studio. DC did that Looney Tunes crossover thing with a variant cover for each issue, so that helped shore up the numbers. But it's not gonna be a blockbuster list, I'll tell you now.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Silencer Annual #1 Review



Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Jack Herbert, Hi-Fi, and Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 29, 2018

I fail to understand why these New Age books are getting annuals quite early in their runs, but from what I can tell they shed light on our main character's backstory, and it works out quite well here. Spoiler alert!

Lex Luthor/Porky Pig Special #1 Review


What a Pig!

Writer: Mark Russell 
Art Work: Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy, and Andrew Dalhouse 
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 29, 2018

Backup Story:
Writer: Jim Fanning
Art Work: John Loter, Paul Lopez, and Wes Abbott

Review by: Tony Walton



Facing financial and personal ruin, a desperate Porky Pig applies for and gets and entry-level position with LexCorp. Grateful to his new benefactor, Porky becomes Luthor’s most loyal employee and defender. But when a major scandal breaks in the news and Lex is called before a Congressional Committee, guess who is about to be offered up as the sacrificial pig?

Batgirl Annual #2 Review and **SPOILERS**


My Bro the Gigolo

Writer: Mairghread Scott 
Artist: Elena Casagrande 
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire 
Letterer: Deron Bennett 
Cover Artists: Emanuela Lupacchino and Dave Stewart 
Editor: Brittany Holzherr 
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich 
Cover Price: $4.99 
On Sale Date: August 29, 2019

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

So I’m reviewing two DC books this week, and both of ‘em are Batgirl. How did we get here? Get it together, scheduling department! This is an oversized issue featuring the new writer, with a terrific art team (that is not the new one going forward.) So let’s give it a look and double-dip on Babs this week by reading my review of Batgirl Annual #2, right here!

Nightwing Annual #1 Review


Truckstop Rubbers

Writer: Ben Percy
Artist: Otto Schmidt and Dave Sharpe
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 29, 2018
Cover Price: $4.99

I have not been a big fan of Ben Percy's run on Nightwing so far.  It really feels like he showed up with his Dark Web story and was going to force it into this book any way he could.  The result is a round peg/square hole fit with Dick Grayson not acting or sounding anything like the character and an overall story that has gone on for too long.  That being said, we continue it all in this Annual.  Let's jump in...

Batgirl #26 Review and **SPOILERS**


The Chip’s Warranty is Up

Writer: Mairghread Scott 
Penciller: Paul Pelletier 
Inker: Norm Rapmund 
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire 
Letterer: Deron Bennett 
Main Cover Artists: Sean Murphy & Matt Hollingsworth 
Variant Cover Artist: Joshua Middleton 
Editor: Brittany Holzherr 
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: August 29, 2018

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

We got a taste of the new creative team in Batgirl #25 from a couple of weeks ago, but this issue would be the proper start of their run. I mean, as “proper” as it can be, it’s not like Miss Manners has a rule about it. Anyway, I am excited. So let’s snap on our capes while reading my review of Batgirl #26, how about it?

Catwoman/Tweety & Sylvester Special #1 Review


CAT-FIGHT!


Written By Gail Simone
Art by Inaki Miranda
Colors by Eva De La Cruz
Letter by Taylor Esposito
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 29, 2018

Backup Story:
Written By Shea Fontana
Pencils By Walter Carzon

A lot of people aren’t fans of these crossover/annual issues but I’m always willing to give them a fair shake, all I ask in return is a few laughs and some crazy situations that I couldn’t get anywhere else. And boy does this issue deliver in spades.

The Joker/Daffy Duck Special #1 Review

Daffy Does Gotham

Writer: Scott Lobdell and Joey Cavalieri
Art Team: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Andrew Dalhouse, and Luciano Vecchio
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 29, 2018


Well, they're back folks, the DC and Looney Tunes crossovers you just can't get enough of.  I kid of course. If told me that DC would be going onto their fourth different set of these crossovers a couple years ago I would have likely called you crazier than the Joker himself.  Fast forward time and we're looking straight down the barrel of a Joker Daffy Duck crossover now, that actually has me mildly intrigued out of morbid curiosity if nothing else. So let's jump into this and get right to just what happens when crazy meets crazier.


Scarlet #1 Review



S for Scarlet

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: August 29, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

Review byu: Ray Ray

Brian Michael Bendis brings Scarlet to the DC Universe and I’m excited to get to know this character and get wrapped up in the world. So does this first issue get me excited for what’s to come?