Comic Book Reviews 08-27-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

 

Pick of the Week:

 

Saga #22

Saga #22 – A

I didn’t think that the best fantasy series out could get any better, but somehow Brian K. Vaughan blew the doors even further open than they already were. The universe just got a little bigger, as we’re finally introduced to King TV, and it’s about as amazing as you’d expect. The honeymoon phase of Marko and Alana’s relationship is over, while other pieces begin to connect in the story, giving us a morsel of the big picture – and it is going to magical. This is one of the best books out, hands down, so if you are on the fence about catching up with it, let me confidently drop-kick you over to the side where you start reading. – Sherif

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics:

Dream Thief Escape #3 – A-

I am a fan of Dream Thief Escape.  I am kind of sad that this is only a 4 issue story arc, but I think sometimes that helps move the story along, a complaint about other comics that have no foreseeable ending that I hear a lot.  This month, our Dream Thief, John, is about to break his pops out of the big house when he is possessed by a drug dealer named Whiteboy Tim who needs to avenge his own death.  I like that the book still has an end point, yet can introduce new characters that have some depth without letting them hang on too long.  And the dark tone of murdered people possessing John’s body is nicely broken up with some humor, and I’m a sucker for dark humor, so it really gets me.  I still think the art work in this book is incredible.  It captures colors perfectly, portraying the pinks and oranges of Florida and Georgia so well.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something, but doesn’t have time to get attached to a series. – Adrian

POP #1 – B

For all intensive purposes POP #1 deserves a C grade.  So why did I give it a B?  Two words.  Dustin Beaver.  You’ll understand when you read the issue.  The concept here is pretty neat and unique, but not quite awe inspiring.  I think the mini series structure will serve the plot well.  I appreciate the sci-fi angle as well – I’m a sucker for all that.  If the humor and high tech are kept in good supply then this series will be a winner. – Taylor

Sundowners #1 – B

You know the confused/weirded-out emoticon?  You know, this one…  (o_O) … Yeah. I don’t think I can explain the Sundowners premier issue better than that.  Despite that, I actually kinda liked it.  The bizarreness of it is alluring.  It’s draws a strong parallel to Kick-Ass, but with magical tattoos (or something).  The character mix and backgrounds are the real drivers with this story.  I fear that once dust settles and the alluring craziness goes away there won’t be enough of an active plot to move the story along.  But I’m no Debby Downer, so I’ll wait to see what Tim Seely has in store before letting any negative premonitions take hold.  -Taylor

Tomb Raider #7 – B

This is the start of a new chapter in the Tomb Raider universe and while nothing major has happened, this book coupled with the announcement of the next game could lead to some pretty cool things. This would be a perfect opportunity to lead into the next game and that could give a little something extra for those who have read the books and played the games. This was more of a filler issue with a small lead up into the next arc, but it has me excited for what comes next. – Robert

Star Wars Legacy #18 – C

Another Dark Horse Star Wars series wraps up this week.  My brain is screaming, “FINALLY!”  I hate to think that I’m becoming a fan boy snob, but with the growing list of negative reviews I spit out week to week it’s getting harder to defend myself.  I can summarize the conclusion of Legacy with one word: Lazy.  In every facet of (not just this issue, but) this series I struggled to find the passion in the panels.  I hadn’t really been enjoying Brian Albert Thies artwork, and the plot was plagued with so many mini side stories that I could hardly keep track of the main plot.  I don’t know if Dark Horse had different plans for Legacy prior to their “loss,” but it sure seemed like the effort was half-assed the whole time.  There were some mildly redeeming aspects.  The wondering planet and the overall concept for Darth Wredd were quintessential Star Wars.  Not delving into those brighter bits more shouts missed opportunity.  So long for now, Ania.  Should you return, I hope you leave all us die hards with a more lasting impression. -Taylor

DC/Vertigo:

Sinestro #5 – A

When handled properly, plots themed in “control” are the best.  I love the simple idea of a hero (err… In this case, attempted hero) taking on a seeming insurmountable force and not only overcoming it, but controlling it.  Sinestro #5 nails this theme solidly.  What was especially compelling was that this brilliant twist in the story came out of nowhere.  I audibly exclaimed, “Ohh sh*t!” when “it” happened.  I was digging this story before and to see this added layer has really got me excited to continue reading.  And you should too!  Sinestro is the perfect character for that hate to love relationship.  So what if he is the reason his home planet got blowed-up?!?  He said he was sorry!  I’m gonna stick around and see how far that apology will take him.  With his new level of control, I’m sure he’s destined to go far. – Taylor

Superman #34 – B+

Finally, Geoff Johns’ story picks up the pace. Since taking over Superman in issue #32, there’s been a lot of introductions, and even more dialogue. Ulysses has been a unique addition, and although he has been very forthcoming and a seeming ally, there is simply too much mystery surrounding him to let the readers trust him. It’s genius writing, the kind that takes a few issues to really build into something worthy. With a new bad guy, plenty of room to grow, and John Romita Jr.’s art, this is a Superman comic I genuinely enjoy. – Sherif

Batman Eternal  #21 – C+

Is this the same book I’ve been semi-reading for over five months now? This issue just turned a stagnant pile of poo into a full-blown s***storm! Batman Eternal has gone from promising addition to lame filler in no time, with hoards of obscure rogues making appearances, but never really adding any value to the story. This issue at least breaks up the monotony that has blanketed the series with some of the pretty outrageous reveals. There’s no way I can justify spending $3-4 weekly on this – even if I am a Batman fan. – Sherif

Dynamite:

Army of Darkness: Ash Gets Hitched #2- C+

This issue does not offer much as far as story goes. It seems to be following the film to a tee, up until the last panel. The whole “Ash Gets Hitched” thing also has not played into the story much so far. The art of the series is great though and you can really see the original actors come out in the art, which helps with the dull story a lot. Ultimately, I would say as a fan of Army of Darkness this is rather dull and forgettable. It is a lot darker in the vain of Evil Dead 2 more so than Army of Darkness, but it still is one series with Ash that makes me understand a little about why Bruce Campbell refused sign these comics from Dynamite at Denver Comic Con. Although there is a lot of negativity there, it still is more entertaining than a lot of other series I have read, so give it a chance if you must but ultimately there is much better Ash to enjoy. – Jacob

IDW Comics:

Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War #3 – A-

Finally! We get to see all our favorite cartoon heroes in action together. While the first two issues covered them getting captured and about the villains evil plans, this one jumps right in and see our heroes facing off against robot versions of themselves. This story, although aimed towards kids, is brilliant and combines these characters in a way where all their strengths and all their weaknesses are used perfectly and bounce off one another. I am still waiting for Ed, Edd and Eddy to save the everyone, though.  That is just my call on it. But this is a great issue with wonderful writing and the art is exactly how this would look on screen. Too bad I have to wait until next month for the great nostalgia flashback that this series. – Jacob

TMNT Turtles in Time #3 – B+

This Turtles in Time series is nothing too special, but it does give you a nice back story and sometime insanely sad back story of the Turtles.This week we see them as pirates chasing down treasure and Mikey becomes a … captain?!?!?! This issue is definitely fun and gives us a look into the past of our favorite four heroes. The art of this issue is outstanding to me, and it really stands out among this miniseries so far. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Black Science #8 – B

I think I’m going to get Rick Remender’s name tattooed on my chest.  And I’m going to have Matteao Scalera apply the ink.  While paced a bit slower than some of the previous issues, this issue is still a knock out.  The primary plot has started to flatten out, but what’s lacking in creative conflict is made up in glorious, just GLORIOUS, panelscapes.  I can’t get enough of the crazy multidimensional forest creatures and their habitats.  I’m seriously considering decorating my future home with framed panels from this series.  Back again to my flat plot point, I wonder what the next evolution of the story will look like.  I have no doubt that IT WILL evolve, but I can’t really see the path.  That’s another great thing about Black Science – it keeps your mind on its toes. Ha… Brain toes.  Do your thang Remender.  Do your thang. – Taylor

Outcast #3 – B

This month’s Outcast was a bit confusing, I’ll admit.  I even went back and read some of the first 2 issues, and I was still confused.  I am not worried though, because even though I think Robert Kirkman can be a little much with his famous series, I have faith that Outcast will come together.  I have a feeling that this is a series that I will have to read exactly how I read The Walking Dead: in volumes.  I find that sometimes the story that Kirkman tells can be confusing, and at times slowly paced, but that his story arcs always end with a bang.  The reason to read this issue of Outcast is for the Reverend’s monologue about God, drinking on Sundays, and masturbation.  Not only is it a little funny, but truly thought provoking and a great reflection of the writer’s feelings about religion.  I expect Outcast will pick up strongly from here on out. – Adrian

Sex #15 – C

I still don’t see where they are going with this book even after reading all 15 issues. I would have thought that the armored saint would have made his way back into the story by now, but they seem to only be about drama and incestuous gay sex these last few issues. I don’t know what is going on with the writer but it is time to stop with the slow burn and get to something more interesting.  – Robert

Wayward #1 – C

Wayward is a story about a young girl with mystic powers. She doesn’t quite understand living in Japan, then fights knock off Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with her transforming cat-ninja lady companion.  Sounds like something straight out of anime and even looks like it at moments; both aspects of which I LOVE.  Why the low score then?  Well, if you’re as versed in anime as I am, then you know that this idea is far from novel or creative.  No knocks to Jim Zub or the team behind this Image title (I did quite enjoy the issue), but if you want a grade above average you gotta give me something above average.  Because this isn’t actually a true-blue anime I have faith that Wayward will breakaway from that formula and give us something unique and awesome. – Taylor

Marvel:

Cyclops #4 – B+

Things are finally starting to come together with this book and it’s not too bad after all. I am looking forward to the next few issues as they have signaled for bounty hunters to come get them. I am interested to see the father/son duo work together to get off this planet alive. There wasn’t a lot of story development; however, the bond that is starting to form between Scott and his father was worth the issue. – Robert

All-New X-Men #31 – B-

Another solid installment of the ­All-New X-Men series, issue #34 looks to be kicking things into high gear. At first glance, this is an unimpressive book by all means. The art is mediocre at best, and the relationship between Angel and X-23 has gone from mildly amusing to plain old mushy. Once you dig a little deeper, though, you have one of the best teams in history – but fun-sized! Jean Grey is finally getting the chance to become the phenom sans Phoenix (knock on wood) she always deserved to be, and Bobby is funny in a way I never imagined he would be, all thanks to Brian Michael Bendis’ writing. This issue opens the door for a HUGE crossover event, and the new mutant revealed here looks to play a big part in it. – Sherif

Guardians of the Galaxy #18 – C+
We finally get to see what happened to Star-Lord, Nova, Thanos, and even Drax when they trapped themselves inside the Cancerverse, and we’re on our way to figuring out how they all got out. There are some really great moments in this issue and the fight scenes are definitely something you’ll want to stop and take a closer look at…also, a near naked Thanos that you may or may not want to take a closer look at. I wish we could have had the whole story in one issue, but, I’m excited to see how they all get out of this horrible place.  – Cody

Wolverine #12 – C-

I am beyond disappointed with the way things turned out for this series. Not only was this final battle between Wolverine and Sabretooth cliché and uninspired, it was also over very quickly and not drawn very well at all. I figured with the actual announcement of Wolverine’s death, it would be something more metaphorical, but then they add something to the end of the issue that makes it seem like in the next year or less this whole thing will be negated either way. I don’t appreciate that approach after investing time into a series the way I have with this one. This issue has an effect on not only this book but  a handful of others as well. I am more curious to see how it changes things in those books than the future of Wolverine now. – Robert

Funniest Panel:

 

All New X-Men #31

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Superman #34

 

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

 

Comic Book Reviews 08-20-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

 

Pick of the Week:

Magneto #8

Magneto #8 – A+

This series has been surprisingly great. Magneto himself, although his powers are a fraction of what they once were, is as cold and callous as ever. This isn’t your older brother’s Magneto, and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, the story has just kind of crept along, offering enough to justify the insane amount of violence. That changes this issue. Magneto #8 encapsulates everything the Civil Rights era of X-Men was so successful at, and what the X-series of today are failing so hard at. It’s at this moment that Magneto becomes more than a raging badass, and stands for something much more important and complex. – Sherif

 

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

Dark Horse Presents #1 – B

If you’re as die-hard Star Wars as I am, then chances are you’ve probably overlooked many of the other Dark Horse titles printed in the past 20 years.  And as of late SW series have been as stimulating as a napping Hutt – sorry Jabba.  So I picked up Dark Horse Presents #1 as an opportunity for this David, amongst Goliaths, to show me what it was made of.  In large – it did not disappoint!  Compilation issues run the risk of becoming boring and distracting quickly thus losing the attention of the reader.  Pleasingly, I found myself very seldom watching the squirrels engage in squirrel combat outside my window while reading this issue.  I was especially wrapped up the Kabuki, Wrestling with Demons, and Sabertooth Swordsman titles.  Seeing this potential is critical in the midst of Dark Horse losing their bread winning title at the end of the year.  So, while it’s a lot of fun to reminisce and revisit prior greatness, I can’t help but wonder if all Dark Horse has to offer going forward are glory day moments.  I won’t count them out just yet.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy the good ol’ days. – Taylor

Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #4 – C

Darth Maul should have stayed dead (wow… can’t believe I just wrote that).  Let me be clear – Darth Maul will forever remain one of the most bad-ass Sith in all of Star Wars history.  No crappy comic ark will ever change that.  But in this final issue of Son of Dathomir it’s blaringly obvious that Maul is just not as cool as he used to be!  I supposed gettin’ chopped in half can do that to a guy.  His original claim to fame were his merciless methods and crazy-scary hunter/killer instinct.  Both of which were is short demand the entire ark.  “Boss Maul” spent most of the issue throwing tantrums and yelling at his subordinates.  Revisit again the origins of Maul – furious as he was in combat, his demeanor outside the battle field was stoic and mysterious.  Not the whinny, dependent character Jeremy Barlow gives us.  Add to that the fact that this was really a Mother Talzin story (who was also sloppily handled) and out comes another subpar Star Wars series.  As these Dark Horse series wrap up I grow more excited for the Marvel handoff.  The panels in the galaxy far, far away is in need of a fresh start. – Taylor

 

DC/Vertigo:

Multiversity #1 – B+

(A) If this review comes off as a little incoherent it’s because I’m hyperventilating while typing.  It’s not necessarily the plot that’s got me huffing and puffing into a paper bag, it’s the idea of the plot.  Huh?!?  Let me start over.  Multi-dimensional travel via the medium of comic book panels is, well… mind blowing.   Multiversity is an adventure within an adventure within an adventure featuring characters that are make believe in one universe, but really-real in another universe, all brought together to fight an inter-dimensional being (group?) that is everywhere and nowhere at once…all the time.  Sound confusing?  Read the issue.  Done?  Still confused?  Yeah.  And that’s okay!  What I took away from this first issue wasn’t that I was supposed to understand what exactly was happening or comprehend where the story was going, only that in the coming issues this “happening” was going to be uniquely epic.  I was introduced to characters I (1) had never heard of and, (2) knew very little about.  Despite this, I was wildly engaged the entire issue.  I’ve already reread it twice.  So while my score may and my synopsis here may not be in the same universe, know that this series is going to present something brilliantly imaginative from Grant Morrison. – Taylor

(B+) I had to read this one a couple times, but, each time I read it I liked it more. Multiversity brings together characters from all over the various DC Universes. It’s great to see all the different interpretations of all our favorite heroes. The premise is that the greatest hero from each universe is being brought together for some unknown reason and our team needs to figure out why they’ve all been brought together. There were a couple moments that I just didn’t like in terms of corniness and was also rather confusing at times, but, I’m really liking it so far. I’m afraid to say I’m even enjoying Superman for the first time ever. – Cody

(B) Ok, you probably read the two reviews above me, but I still had to put my two cents in.  Multiversity is a new series written by Grant Morrison, comic book writing legend, and pencilled by Ivan Reis (whose resume is incredible).  With all of the time traveling, things get really confusing.  At times, I had no idea where we were, what time we were in, or even what some of the dialogue meant.  There were also so many characters, and those same characters transported into different time periods, it seems like a 90’s Batman movie, too much packed in one story.  However, there were two outstanding characters, Superman and Aquawoman.  It should be of no surprise that Aquawoman looks so badass because Ivan Reis was the penciller for Aquaman back in 2011.  And yes, its true, Superman is black in this book.  There is a comment about it by another character in the book, which seemed out of place, but the nice thing is that Superman just ignores it, because really, what does it matter what Superman’s ethnicity is?  I did really like that all this is happening because of a comic book panel being supernatural, or magical, or otherworldly, or something.  It give true comic nerds something to giggle at.  I am looking forward to seeing how the heroes get out of the future…  -Adrian

Batman and Robin #34 – B

Things are finally heating up in Batman and Robin. It feels like we’ve been stuck feeling sorry for Bruce and his dealings with Damian’s death forever now. Well, as Redman so eloquently put, it’s “Time 4 Sum Aksion.” The biggest letdown was the appearance of reuniting the Bat-family for a vacation to Apokolips, but it was all just a big dramatic front – a common pitfall in Batman books. Clichés aside (especially the corny Dick Grayson appearance), the book had a very sci-fi feel to it, and pulls it together quite well, an unusual feat for Batman. It’s about time this book got down to business. – Sherif

 

Dynamite Entertainment:

Justice, Inc. #1 – C+

I’d heard about Justice, Inc., The Avenger, Doc Savage, and The Shadow, but that’s about all I knew about them. Nevertheless, I was excited to see that a new series was starting and that all three of these classic characters were crossing over for the first time. This first issue was a bit slow, but, it had a lot of interesting elements to it. Lots of science talk at the start, which I enjoyed and, we get to see Albert Einstein. Howard Hughes also makes an appearance and H.G. Wells has been mentioned as well, which would make sense as we’re dealing with time travel when a modern day passenger jet is sent back to 1939. I’m definitely looking forward to where this story is going, I do love me some time travel. – Cody

 

IDW Comics:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2014B+

(A) Finally, we get the annual issue of TMNT that helps explain the Turtles in Time series going now as well (issue #3 out next week). Although I have waited to learn where the mysterious Renet comes from, this issue did not give us the best idea other than she just randomly shows up at different times.  It does bring in the now infamous Battle Nexus from past TMNT versions, which opens up a whole lot as far as characters and other universes (Maybe and hopefully we will see Usagi Yojimbo show up soon!) Of course, Kevin Eastman’s art is wonderful as well as the writing. The issue was totally different than what I was expecting but in a good way. Definitely pick this up if your store still has any (I was lucky and picked up the last copy at my store) as it is a great new story that references past and present turtles with a modern twist.- Jacob

(B-) I couldn’t find it in my heart to give a Kevin Eastman scripted and drawn book anything less than the grade I gave it, but my enjoyment of this book was limited, and came in waves. The initial few pages were really fun and nostalgic, but Eastman’s writing shows its age in this annual. Conceptually, I enjoyed the Turtles in Time-like plot, but there was just so much dialogue here that I felt quite lulled. Plus, the dull greyscale used to represents the future (like 75% of the book) came off as really boring. At the end of the day, the TMNT co-creator can do whatever wants and I will enjoy it. I just wish the story was of a little more substance. – Sherif

Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland –  B+

Little Nemo, written by Eric Shanover, is a remake of the popular weekly comic from the early 1900’s that ran for over 10 years.  Shanover is known for his work in recreating the world of Frank L. Baum’s Wizard of Oz in comic form.  Nemo was known for its fantastical world on the way to Slumberland, where he is chosen to be the Princess’ playmate, but he always wakes up before he can find it.  The new comic is a great homage to the original strip, referring to the Princess, the boy’s new name, and world they both exist in. I really enjoyed it; however, it should be noted that this is a children’s comic.  I do recommend it to emerging readers, but this may not be the book for an adult.  -Adrian

Super Secret Crisis War The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy One-Shot – B+

In the second one-shot for Super Secret Crisis War, we see the characters from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy battling the same evil robots our heroes in the main series and Johnny Bravo and the Squirrel did in the last one-shot. This issue as with the past ones, all feel like they are lost episodes from their respective series. The art is wonderful and mixes all the styles of animation perfectly and on top of the great Billy and Mandy story we also get a prequel story featuring Mojo Jojo and Aku. If you enjoyed any cartoons of the 80’s and 90’s this issue and entire series is for you so make sure and pick it up and fill yourself with nostalgia. – Jacob

Samurai Jack #11 – B

This month, we get a new story arc for Jack and it may be his most dangerous one yet. With Samurai Jack being one of my favorite cartoons and being a huge inspiration artistically for me, this series has been wonderful. This issue the art does get a bit darker and full of shadows more than past issues, which always is a bit distracting to me with most comics trying to be gritty these days. But the story of the issue is definitely good and sets up this arc wonderfully making for quite the adventure for our hero. Definitely start here if you can, as it is sure to be a great story for this great character. – Jacob

X-Files: Year Zero #2 – B-

In this issue we get to see more Mulder and Scully than the previous issue and we figure out what happened from the first X-Files case ever. The series took a turn that may be a bit odd even for X-Files but it has a been a good story up to now despite being a bit confusing and more of a horror genre than most previous issues and television episodes. One of the most redeeming features of this series to me is the art by Greg Scott and Vic Malhotra. It is definitely more stylized than most of IDW’s X-Files series and it doesn’t focus solely on being dark for the sake of making things creepy the whole issue even if Mulder is doing paperwork. This series definitely adds to the mystery and awesomeness of X-Files and will likely be an absolute must have for any fan of the X-Files. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Fade Out #1- B

(B+) I love film noir, so Ed Brubaker’s new series The Fade Out fills a empty space that rarely sees a decent entry. Brubaker has a constant moody “voice over” following the main character, Charlie. The narrator appears to not be from the perspective of anyone you come across in the first issue and that’s intriguing; this adds an extra flavor of mystery to the already involving murder mystery main plot line. The art is done by Sean Phillips, who has worked with Brubaker in the past with FATALE. His art is dark and brooding and when paired up with colors from Elizabeth Breitweiser, who is also familiar with FATALE, the mood of the story is fully realized. I’m hoping to see the rest of cast of character fleshed out more in the upcoming issues, right now, other than Charlie, they are pretty flat. – Scott

(B-) I’m not normally a fan of cop/detective stories but when I saw Ed Brubaker was writing a noir style murder mystery, I was intrigued. Brubaker has accurately captured the style and at times I found myself using those stereotypical film noir voices while reading. The issue follows a screenwriter who wakes up to find the star of his film dead, he wipes the room clean and a mystery unfolds. This was about as good as I thought it was going to be. It was enjoyable and well written, I’m just going to have to get over my own biases towards the genre. Hopefully this mystery doesn’t get cold. – Cody

Marvel:

Deadpool vs X-ForceB+

One of the better Deadpool stories recently, this series follows our favorite Merc With A Mouth as he travels through time wrecking American history although this issue sees him and Cable in China during 1900 at least until Deadpool’s inevitable time jump at the end of the issue. The art of this issue is well done an enjoyable especially with such different settings and time periods having to make Deadpool look at least semi-normal in a confederate army outfit. The story for this so far is very intriguing and hopefully the series will continue to be good as Deadpool is always a hard character to do real well. – Jacob

Storm #2 – B+

This month’s Storm was much better than last month.  Not only that, but last month’s issue was explained in the “Previously On” paragraph than the whole issue did.  In her 2nd book, Storm takes on helping the people of New York again, mainly a girl she sees on a “Missing” poster.  I really like the concept of small “savior” stories with Storm reflecting back on her childhood in Cairo.  We can really see Storm as a well rounded woman, not just mutant, hero, or queen.  There are a few steamy scenes with Logan, and we got our “funny” panel of the week from this issue. While there are mentions for characters like the Morlocks and Calypso, I think Storm may be a good series for new comic book readers to get into. -Adrian

Deadpool Dracula’s Gauntlet #7 – C+

This series started off rather over the top and bad, but as it went on the over the top ridiculousness stayed but the quality got better. Or maybe I just got used to it and started enjoying it for what it was, like a Mystery Science Theater 3000 film. The art is definitely good for this issue and the entire series in general but the writing could have definitely used some help although this issue was one of the more well written in the 7 issue series. Next week we have the first week without a new Deadpool which is pretty surprising, bust rest assured a new weekly series will likely start up soon. – Jacob

Original Sins #5 – C-

This series which has covered certain characters during the Original Sin story line, has at its heart been enjoyable, but the Young Avengers storyline that was in every book was pretty bad and the conclusion was a definitely a facepalm moment for me. This issue also covers “Everyone Else” and has some very minor characters (Frog-Man!!!) confessing their worst sin, although Nick Fury says none of what they say is canon. The art of each story – other than Young Avengers – is top quality and the writing especially for Nick Fury’s story is good. If you have followed Original Sin closely, then this is a great book, but ultimately it can be missed and the Original Sin storyline would still work. – Jacob

 

Funniest Panel:

Storm #2 Panel of the Week

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

starwars

 

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

 

Comic Book Reviews 07-23-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

 

Pick of the Week:

tmnt tit2 cool july 23

TMNT: Turtles in Time #2 A

The second issue in this mini series is definitely much better as far as story goes, and the artwork in this issue is great as well. We see the Turtles travel forward in time from their last destination but it is still the past to them. This time they are in Japan and almost immediately after they get there and get clothes they help out a familiar man as he is getting attacked. We still don’t know much about Renet who is the cause of the time travel until later in this series or we may have to wait for the TMNT Annual coming out later this year where she is said to be introduced as a official character for the series.- Jacob

 

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo:

Batman #33A

The end of Zero Year is finally here. The showdown with Edward Nygma comes to a close, and one of the best Batman stories of all time is over. The finale is every bit the culmination it was supposed to be, as Batman and Nygma engage in mental warfare, the fate of the city in Batman’s hands. The arrogance of Nygma is perfectly in sync with The Riddler mythos and it makes him a character that you love to hate. The main story is great, highlighted by some great panels that will define the arc, but the real prize are the subtle callbacks to minor Batman details. These range from past Zero Year issues to new aspects of Batman’s past, to the appearance of a newly-designed (and sexy) love interest of Batman’s past. When the debris clears, there’s no denying that Zero Year‘s decision to tackle uncharted territory pays off in a big way. – Sherif

Batman and Robin #33A-

Although Robin Rises didn’t give us the result I wanted, it led to a much more epic journey. The “new” Robin is going to be Damian, and if the picture I’ve seen floating around the internet are any indication, Damian will be returning, but as a reanimated corpse. The issue even pokes fun at the ridiculousness of what is soon to come. As Batman fights the League when they try to stop him from going to Apokolips to recapture Robin’s body. To do so, writer Peter Tomasi reveals the Hellbat armor, which already deserve a spot on our Top Batsuits list. With the League not allowing him to go, what do you think he’s going to do? Whatever the hell he wants. I’m all in on this epic tale. – Sherif

Superman #33B-

Batman has been hogging up much of the New52 spotlight, so it’s about due time that some of the biggest names in comic books saved the book. Writer Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. have instant chemistry, and this new hero (?) is an instantly appealing character, and the mystery surrounding him drives the story without dragging on at all. The major issue I have with the tory so far is that there is a LOT of dialogue. The first few pages are almost half-way filled with words, which was hard to get through when there was no momentum to warrant such long story-telling. The use of the medium succeeds with good art and word chemistry, not pages of talking heads. It doesn’t last forever though; once the book progresses to show our new guest, we get an enthralling story that I look forward to reading again. – Sherif

Wonder Woman #33– C+

By now, word of Wonder Woman‘s new creative team has swept the internet. After this one, we only get two more issues of the amazing Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang before the reins are handed off to the Finchs. Until then, we get to live out the rest of this bittersweet journey knowing that it will be over soon. First born has captured Wonder Woman and has begun his assault on Themyscira. We have all the tellings of a good war tale, but this issue plays out kind of like a bad The Walking Dead issue, with not much development throughout the issue, and one cliff-hanger at the end. In the grand scheme of the finale, this was just collateral damage – the issue isn’t unenjoyable. – Sherif

 

IDW Comics:

X-Files #14 B+

This issue reminds me so much of classic X-Files, I felt like I was watching the show. Again, with a lot of these TV to comic adaptations, I get a bit frustrated that I am reading a comic instead of watching these stories.  However, this was a good moment for this series as it really connected to me as a fan with the writing and the art. Seeing Skinner, Krychek, Mulder, Scully, and the Cigarette Smoking Man all active and all involved in some huge conspiracy was amazing.  I am sure it will all tie into a lot of the big events from the TV series.  They have made references to a ton of cases and things that may come into play at some point. Although a lot has happened up to this point in the series, you should definitely try and pick this up if you are just getting started in the series or if you were a big fan of the show.-Jacob

Super Secret Crisis War Johnny Bravo One-Shot B

This event at IDW has the child inside me having a brain aneurism because of over-excitement. This issue focuses on one of the robots from the previous Super Secret Crisis War #1 who invades Aron City, the home of Johnny Bravo, who is the famous Elvis looking and sounding, Zapp Branigann type of guy from his own cartoon. Johnny’s mom is missing and other various characters from the show, but ultimately it was a good story for the character development of Mr. Bravo and shows why he was not chosen as one of the main heroes kidnapped by Aku. If you have ever watched the Cartoon Network classics this is a must have, but since it is just a one shot, I am sure not getting it won’t effect you understanding of the main story. -Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Saga #21 B

As much as I enjoy this book, it’s actually painful to watch Marko and Alana continue to drive a wedge between themselves. Alana is busy at work, but has taken on way more than a bigger role – she is on her way to becoming a drug addict. Meanwhile, Marko is rubbing elbows with a fellow stay-at-home parent and they seem to be getting uncomfortably close. There’s also the signature sex scene, which promptly follows the signature murder scene. I love the crazy robot janitor. His character is causing going to put a huge hole in everybody’s plan, and with no motive or backstory to understand what he is doing, he is even more frightening to watch. Saga remains my favorite book from Image, so to say that this issue didn’t strike me as amazing is still saying it’s one of the best books out. – Sherif

 

Marvel:

Deadpool Vs. X-Force #2 B+

This monthly series of Deadpool is kicking the pants off of the Dracula’s Gauntlet weekly series and the main series at the moment! This issue has some pretty good writing and it is wonderful seeing Cable and Deadpool get to know each other during Civil War times. This series has definitely been enjoyable and has been a good break in the overdone and often story lacking series Deadpool has been involved in this year. – Jacob

Storm #1 – B-
 
This week, Marvel debuted its latest solo X-Men character, with Storm.  To give you some background on my love affair with Ororo, when I was a child and all the other little girls were putting toilet paper on their heads to make a veil for Kindergarten weddings, I was using toilet paper to create tornadoes, and then I would control them while I was in the sky, a.k.a. the top of the stairs, and scream “I am STORM!”.  With that being said,  I was a little disappointed in this issue.  The story gave some background into Storm, her capabilities, and where she is now.  However, there was no background for the island she saves or the young defiant mutant who Storm takes back home to Mexico.  I never felt connected with any character, including Storm or Beast.  My predetermined bias forced me to give a high score on this book, but I won’t knock it until there has been more content. – Adrian

 Original Sins #4 – C+

This miniseries and by connection the main series of Original Sin are about to come to a close. In this second to last issue of Original Sins we get to see stories about Doctor Doom, a overweight man playing Captain America in a parade ad of course the Young Avengers Story that has come with each issue. This series has been odd and I tend to be most excited for the stories that last two pages, which is usually something like Howard the Duck (whom I love). It was nice to at least kind of see what Doctor Doom is up to during Original Sin, but ultimately his story was about just some random loser who saw Doctor Dooms secrets. Overall this is definitely not a must have comic even for an Original Sin story line. -Jacob

Deadpool Dracula’s Gauntlet #3 C-

We see the final battle between Blade and Deadpool and more story behind how Deadpool and Shiklah fell in love and got married. But although some of that may sound entertaining the way they dispatch of Blade is a very “No duh!” moment and the rest of the story just seems like it is a very unneeded prequel to Deadpool’s wedding and, of course, extra stuff to add to the whole Deadpool Gauntlet story.  I will continue to read this series as I always find Deadpool entertaining, but maybe the constant barrage of stories for him has made him a predictable and boring character when not written in the right way. -Jacob

 

Funniest Panel:

ww 33 funny july 23

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

zero year punch

 

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

 

Comic Book Reviews 06-25-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

 

Pick of the Week:

 

Superman #32 – A

No, this is not Bizzaro World; Superman actually got a higher score than Snyder and Capullo’s Batman. This is proof that DC’s poster-child, Clark Kent, is not washed up. All it takes is a phenomenal creative team, and the Man of Steel is returned to his former glory. Thanks to writer Geoff Johns, I’m ready to start following Superman for the first time since George Pérez left at the beginning of The New52. He did have a little help from DC Comics’ rookie, JOHN ROMITA JR. That’s right – legendary Spider-Man artist and Kick-Ass co-creator is drawing the most iconic character in comic book history now. The best part about this book is that it is a perfect jumping-on point for new or estranged readers. Not that I can solicit this book any harder, but the story had me humming the John Williams theme song. The Big Blue Boy Scout is back! – Sherif

 

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse:

Dream Thief: Escape #1 – B+

Dream Thief is a new comic out this week and it is pretty cool, I gotta say.  The story is a nice twist on revenge and possession, both major factors in main character Johnny Lincoln’s life.  Johnny gets possessed by murdered ghosts sometimes.  Those ghosts then go find their murders and use Johnny to kill their murderers.  While it sounds very creepy, it is a pretty funny book because it has a lot of quips to keep the story just light enough to not be so disturbing.  The story takes place in the mid 80’s in Florida, which makes a for a very beautiful and colorful backdrop.  The book ends with Johnny meeting another person, a very special person (no spoilers, I promise) who also gets possessed by ghosts, allowing the story to end on a pretty major cliffhanger, and making me want to pick up this book immediately next month! – Adrian

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #6 – B+

Another series that has come to an end and after six months, Serenity and its crew finally get everything, well almost everything resolved.  The series ends on a great note and one that I really wish I could see done with the cast and crew of the show. This last issue makes any Serenity fan tear up by just looking at the cover with Wash being so prevalent so seeing that image going into the last issue it sets you up to have so much of what happened to Wash get resolved and have everyone on the track to healing after the insane events of the film Serenity. – Jacob

 

DC/Vertigo:

Batman #32 – A-

Zero Year is really heating up as we approach the climax – the showdown between Batman and Nygma is heating up… kinda. There is a constant back and forth between the two to see who has the statistic advantage. Even though both are so young in their respective masked careers, they are both supremely sharp and the battle of wits is a site to see. The issue ends on yet another cliff-hanger, and this one makes a little less sense than I would have liked, but that’s the nature of a story centered around The Riddler. Batman has been the most consistently great book in the DC staple, so if you’re on the fence, definitely read this arc. – Sherif

Justice League #31 – A

The idea of Lex Luthor being a valued member of the League is ridiculous, and writer Geoff Johns is not afraid to show it. Since a very dreary Forever Evil arc, Justice League is enjoying a nice little break before the next Big Bad comes along. Unlike other books, there’s no filler here. We get to see the new Power Ring, as it begins to corrupt a poor young woman in Portland. Meanwhile, Lex comes to Bruce Wayne with that shocking discovery, and it’s interesting to see Lex get the upper-hand of the detective who’s always thinking six steps ahead. Mostly though, it’s Shazam and Cyborg that steal the show with their hilarious banter at the Watchtower. – Sherif

 

IDW Comics:

Super Secret Crisis War #1 – A

Here we have an ultimate team up of all of our favorite Cartoon Network characters joining together because all of their villains are planning to take over multiple worlds together. For this issue I love how each character is done in their distinctive style and yet they all feel like they belong together which makes this issue so much more than just pictures of my favorite cartoons together. Hopefully with all the main issues and one shots included in this series we will get to a point where it all is explained a little bit better than what we got in this issue, but it is all leading up to a series that will have anyone who watched Cartoon Network freaking out because of happiness by the end. – Jacob

X-Files: Season 10 #13 – B

Thins are getting real! More of The Lone Gunmen, more Krycek,, and everyone is crazy! This issue is definitely one of the better ones as part 3 of this current story arc, and we get a couple answers but just like X-Files, we get more questions. The art in this series can be a little hit or miss, as it is not very detailed and at times it can be hard to tell who is who. The writing of this series though is what makes it good and it gives me so much hope for another movie that could be awesome. Although this issue was great for me, I have not missed an issue so for anyone trying to start here it would likely be rather confusing. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Saga #20 – A

If I had a dollar for every time I screamed “Holy S***!” while reading this issue, I would have $3. Seriously, follow through the pages and tell me if you can spot them. I may still be a little punch-drunk off meeting Fiona Staples at Denver Comic Con, but I’m in love with her art, and with the beautiful writing of Brian K Vaughan. The range of story goes from “trouble in paradise” to straight up disturbing by the end of the issue. How long can Alana and Marko stay hidden? What the hell is going on with Prince Robot IV? Mostly, though, I wonder how many more times can we tell you how amazing Saga is before you go read it?? – Sherif

Deadly Class #6 – A

A “sadistic, twit redneck who likes to f*** sheep” sounds like the most terrifying villain of all time. This book is so ludicrous; I love it. The kids’ trip to vacation has been no vacation, but they band together over a common enemy – the way everything plays out had my eyes wide and my heart racing. At the end of the day, every issue of Deadly Class has been beautiful and brutal, and this issue is no exception. This is a great read if you think need something to make you feel better about your own high school experience. Each issue uncovers more and more of the students’ pasts. This was a perfect way to close out the arc. – Sherif

Outcast #1 – B-

Robert Kirkman is at it… still. I can’t really say “again” because well, The Walking Dead is still happening.  Anyway, Outcast is Kirkman’s answer to the Horror genre. We follow main character Kyle Barnes and his really bad luck with the women who are closest to him getting possessed by demons, and then he has to exorcize them.  I’m not sure if this is a comment on women or not, but I’ll tell you this, for the first 20 pages of the 48 page issue, I had no clue what was going on.  But don’t let this turn you off.  By the end of the story, it all kind of makes sense.  And leaves enough unsaid that makes the reader want to know more about Kyle, our new demon hunter hero, or should I say Outcast? – Adrian

 

Marvel:

Amazing Spider-Man #3 – B

The return of Peter Parker has been a solid one so far. While he was “away,” Otto Octavius made quite the mess of his life: pissing off frenemies, chasing off close friends, and falling in love with another woman. The story with Black Cat is getting very interesting, as she is reborn with a lot more moxie this time around. Peter, meanwhile, is learning the joys of owning your own business. It’s quirky and fun, but is lacking of any real substance right now. The story is still building, so I’m sure that will change in the next couple issues. – Sherif

Ms. Marvel #5 – C+

I don’t know what happened between the end of issue #3 and this one, but somewhere along the line, the book lost a lot of momentum. I’m still really excited to see where Ms. Marvel is going, but it seems to have lost a bit of the flare and the social relevance that catapulted it to the top of my reading list each issue. I’m still interested in the story, and the dynamic characters are a lot of fun in themselves, but it still needs something to push it back over the hump. – Sherif

Original Sins #2 – C+

This series obviously is a way to connect lesser character of the marvel universe to the Original Sin storyline going on now. All of the stories so far don’t really show much connection but a small mention of the events in Original Sin. Each issue is going to contain a large Young Avengers story and then two other stories one being a medium size and the other usually just two pages. It does make me happy that Howard the Duck got to be the small story in this issue, but other than that novelty, I don’t see too much of a connection between these stories to warrant purchasing this issue unless you are a completest. – Jacob

Deadpool vs Carnage #4 – C-

Although this series has been dull, and left you wondering why is it happening (which is actually quite strange considering the other things Deadpool has done). In this last issue we finally get everything resolved, absolute insanity is brought down to a little bit crazy, and we can all finally take a nap and forget it all ever happened. But seriously this series has been entertaining for what it is, the artwork has definitely been good throughout the series and this last issue. Ultimately this series will have its fans but mostly it is just a series to read on a boring day, and there are much worse things to readout there. – Jacob

 

Funniest Panel

Shazam and Cyborg discuss additions to the Watchtower in Justice League #31
Shazam and Cyborg discuss additions to the Watchtower in Justice League #31

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

awesome panel 6.24
Superman and his mystery buddy tag team this robot in Superman #32

 

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

 

“Respect My Craft” – Neal Adams

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

 

dcc font

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 “Respect My Craft” articles

 

Name: Neal Adams

Profession: Comic Book Artist

Notable WorkBatman, Green Lantern, Superman vs. Muhammad Ali

“That’s the difference between DC and Marvel comics: all the characters at DC, because of their history, were all all sparkly-tooth Americans; they smiled, they had good jobs, they had secret identities. At Marvel, Jack [Kirby] convinced Stan [Lee] that the four characters who would go off into specae, be bombarded by cosmic rays, and come back as monsters. All [the Marvel stars] were essentially monsters turned into superheroes. Over at DC we had golden-toothed heroes. Even the new guys: test pilot, lab scientist. It’s still the difference between the two companies. When people talk about Spider-Man and his personality problems, it’s all part of the monster side of the superhero genre as opposed to DC. Batman is the closest to the Marvel characters that DC has.” – Neal Adams

 

Neal Adams is still a juggernaut in the comic book industry for nearly 60 years. The amazing artist may not have gotten to Batman until over thirty years into his inception, but he and Denny O’Neil’s portrayal has shaped the way the character has been portrayed since. His story started with being initially rejected when he tried to get with DC Comics. Adams ended up working at Johnstone & Cushing, doing comic book advertising (something he’s continued to do with his company Continuity Associates). After that, Adams found some work pencilling for Archie, then drew the Ben Casey comic strip with creator Jerry Capp, based off the medical drama TV series.

BenCasey_1stcomicstrip_web

This experience, and his connections with Capp, helped serve him as ghost-artist for a few different series, including Peter Scratch, written by Jerry’s brother, Elliot Caplin. He was eventually offered a gig on The Green Berets, a war story, but turned the book down because it was set in Vietnam, during a time when he and many Americans were opposed to the war in Vietnam. This was more a political statement about the Vietnam War specifically, as Adams was a fan of war books, in general. A lot of DC’s books were war-related at the time, and it was something that Adams enjoyed. His gritty and rough action sequences made him a great fit.

21

From there, he did covers and mini-segments for various late Silver Age titles like Action Comics and Detective Comics, which gave him a reputation for doing a lot of covers. Eventually, he was given his first full superhero issue, World’s Finest #175. Adams was even asked to redraw a Teen Titans story, where creator Marv Wolfman was planning to create DC’s first black superhero, Jericho. The idea was shot down by Carmine Infantino, and Neal Adams came in to clear the air. DC was notoriously conservative at the time, whereas Marvel already several black superheroes. Adams decided to try his hand at Marvel, while still freelancing at DC. He found the company “more friendly, a lot more real” and enjoyed that they executives there “were not as oppressed as the people at National were.”

DC wasn’t about to let their All-Star walk to Marvel, so they gave Adams the opportunity to work with writer Denny O’Neil. The two would go on as one of the greatest tag teams in comic books. Their work on The Avengers, X-MenGreen LanternThe Flash and, of course, Batman. Their portrayal of the Dark Knight made a sharp turn from light and campy to dark and grave. The Batman we know today is a direct descendant of the work those two men did.

adams5

One of my favorite stories they did  was the Green Lantern/Green Arrow arc. After being the artist that gave Oliver Queen his patented facial hair, the superhero duo tackled real issues and ushered in an era of more humanizing characters. Drug addiction was explored in the shocking Green Lanern #85, where it was revealed that Speedy (Green Arrow’s sidekick) was a drug addict. Adams and O’Neil also wrote from everything from pollution to racism, making it a highly-relatable book – but not necessarily a high-selling book. After the Green Lantern/Green Arrow series was cut, Neal Adams moved onto some big projects. He worked on the very first inter-company book, Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man in 1976. Another crossover of his that was very well-received was Superman vs. Muhammad Ali. The book took the hero out of the pages at put him against a real life icon, humanizing him even more, which is ironic for an alien. To really put him in the realm of real-life heroes, Adams gave the intricate cover a personal touch, including celebrities, superheroes and political figures adorning the background. The cover was so iconic that it was altered to include Michael Jordan vs. Muhammad Ali in 2000.

superman-vs-muhammad-ali-wraparound

Following this book, Adams formed Continuity Comics, an independent publisher where he could really flex his creative muscle. The company lasted over a decade, and created dozens of titles. Having his own company meant that Adams and his team weren’t held back by censorship, so violence and eroticism were a staple in the series. Continuity also got caught up in the variant craze of the early 90’s, packaging issues with glow-in-the-dark, chrome-plated, and hologram covers. Some of the issues contained posters, trading cards or stickers. Awesome for fans, bad for business. Continuity didn’t make quite the splash some of the other independent published did in the 90’s, but it was still a dream come true for Adams.

Recently, Adams has been working on Batman mini-series. In 2011, he wrote and pencilled Batman: Odyssey, a twelve-issue run that took the Dark Knight back to his early 70’s roots. He also was featured in the newest Batman: Black & White, a compilation of short stories. Neal’s story was about an awesome-looking zombie Batman. It’s even getting its own Black and White statue.

Adams-Zombie

Comic books aren’t Neal Adam’s only passion. He is also a huge science buff, and has a website and YouTube channel dedicated to his thoughts and research, attributed to the work of geologist Samuel Warren Carey and his theory of an expanding Earth. There’s some really heavy stuff in there, and even if you don’t agree with the theory, there’s some certified science in there, and it took Adams 30 years to grasp the concept on a scientific level. There’s a lot to learn from this man, at and away from the drawing table.

Neal Adams is a legend. He’s won multiple awards for his art, and has been inducted into the Will Eisner and Jack Kirby halls of fame. With Denny O’Neil, he helped create the modern ethos of Batman, and helped initiate comic books into the Bronze era. On top of all that, he’s a pretty swell guy! He’s been to every comic book convention we’ve attended, and he always has a great story to tell, not to mention one of the coolest merchandise tables of any artist attending. Lucky for us, Mile High Comics will be hosting a pre-Denver Comic Con party in just over a week, and Neal Adams will be there.

Neal-Adams-Wonder-Woman-Painting-20_15

None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties. Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with Star Trek: The Next Generation star and Fact or Fiction: Beyond Belief host, Jonathan Frakes.

“Respect My Craft” – Kevin J. Anderson

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

 

dcc font

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 “Respect My Craft” articles

 

Name: Kevin J. Anderson

Profession: Author

Notable WorkDune Prequel trilogy, Legends of Dune series, Heroes of Dune series, The Saga of Seven Suns series, Jedi Academy trilogy

“You can’t just hide in a hole and write books; I believe you need to give something back.” – Kevin J Anderson

 

I was introduced to Kevin J. Anderson through his novelized works in the Star Wars universe.  Author to one of my favorite series of books, The Jedi Academy trilogy, Anderson has a special place in my heart.  And even though Star Wars is the coolest thing to grace this side of the universe, Anderson’s real claim to fame lies outside of the galaxy far, far away.  Better known for his work on this independent series The Saga of Seven Sons and his collaborations with Brian Herbert on the Dune sequels and prequels, Anderson garners a large following.

KJA1
KJA @ a signing – LEFTY!!

Out of the womb with a pen and notepad practically in hand, KJA (cool acronym-name!) is as true a writer as I or many have seen.  Referencing inspiration from as early as when he was 5 year old Kevin has always loved to write.  He was strongly impressed by the War of the Worlds film (the 1953 version… just to be clear to all you young whippersnappers out there) based on the famous H.G. Well’s novel.  Anderson wrote his first novel when he was 8 years old, titled The Injection – a story about an evil scientist that created a serum that could bring anything to life.  I don’t know about you, but the best idea I had when I was eight involved putting potato chips INSIDE my PB&J sandwiches.  He became so enthralled with fantasy and sci-fi that he opted to buy his own typewriter instead of a bicycle when he was ten!

Do you think he's read all those books?... Nah - he probably wrote 'em
Do you think he’s read all those books?… Nah – he probably wrote ’em

Before delving into his more renowned works I have to pay homage to Anderson’s involvement in the Star Wars universe.  Having only published four adult novels and a series of young adult books with his wife, Anderson tends to be written off as fairly influential in light of the other heavy hitters on the Star Wars novel scene.  For those of you that doubt let me remind you of two very important points: Admiral Natasi Daala and Kyp Durron.  Two reoccurring and very developed characters that still play pivotal roles in novels being released today were introduced by Anderson.  Kyp is one of the most charismatic character on the page and he is an expanded universe fan favorite I’ll never forget Admiral Daala’s cut throat and totally bad ass moment at Tsoss Beacon with the Imperial Warlords.

 

Anderson’s done more with SW than just the novels.  He also had heavy involvement with the Tales of the Jedi comic series.  “I love writing comics…it uses a different part of my creativity, and there’s something very exciting about seeing the pencil sketches, seeing the specific images in my mind come to life from the talents of a great artist,” says Anderson.  George Lucas felt so comfortable with Kevin’s creative ability that he allowed him to write the comic detailing the invention and first time use of the double-bladed lightsaber.  Without a doubt, The Force is strong with KJA.

 

With a bibliography extending back to adolescence it’d come as no surprise to learn that Anderson isn’t a one trick pony.  Having such masterful ideas in the realms of fantasy and science-fiction Anderson has had the opportunity to write for DC Comics (The Last Days of KryptonEnemies and Allies), StarCraft, Titan A.E., the X-Files, Dune and several of his own projects.  He’s written over 100 novels and has put out numerous short stories – all spanning multiple universes and exploring new concepts, worlds and creations.  Anderson’s won several awards for his sci-fi & fantasy novels and almost 50 of his publications have made the Best Sellers list!  He even held a Guinness World Record for the single largest author signing at one point in time.

Anderson winning a Scribe Award at SDCC
Anderson winning a Scribe Award at SDCC

Anderson’s novels have a lot of character (10 PUN POINTS TO GRYFINDOR!!).  Great care and thought goes into every aspect of Anderson’s writing.  On one of his more recent works involving the first meeting between Batman and Superman in a novel titled Enemies & Allies, Anderson states, “The challenge was to make icons (that you see on a comic page) into real characters. And that’s the advantage of a novel over the comics page, because you can really get into the thoughts, emotions, and backstory of Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and even the villain Lex Luthor.”

 

Arguably his most popular works are the prequel/sequel stories of the highly acclaimed Dune novel written by Frank Herbert.  KJA can attest to the challenges of writing new adventures in another creator’s universe that will appeal to what fans of the original series loved and cherished.  Brian Herbert, son of Frank Herbert and original heir to the Dune legacy, released several sequel novels on his own initially, but struggled to bolster popularity like his father had with just one book.  Bringing in KJA as a collaborator and fan the tag team was able to publish several more books and continue to do so.  They’ve do so well as a team that many of the Best Seller accolades earned by Anderson are due to his stories in the Dune universe.  You better believe that after writing this piece, each one of Anderson’s Dune novels hit my “need-to-read” list.

 

A man that loves his craft as dearly as Kevin J. Anderson does can’t help but share his passion with the sci-fi/fantasy/nerd community at large.  From making YouTube videos to hosting forums to “answering all [his] fan mail,” KJA loves interacting with fans and enthusiasts.  The introductory quote to this article sums up his disposition towards his love for what he does.  He’s even gone so far as to marry a fellow author/enthusiast.  Partner in crime Rebecca Moesta was a direct collaborator on the Young Jedi series with Anderson.  Moesta has also written pieces in the Star Trek and Buffyverse.

Anderson and wife/fellow author Rebecca Moesta
Anderson and wife/fellow author Rebecca Moesta

 

Kevin J. Anderson is an incredibly talented and endlessly creative author.  After learning more about this great name in sci-fi and fantasy I’m ashamed that I haven’t read more of his works.  Anderson has a pure and true respect for his craft and the genre.  Hush can’t wait to welcome him to DCC is just a few weeks!!

 

None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties. Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con as we spotlight Batman: The Long Halloween and Spiderman: Blue artist, Tim Sale

“Respect My Craft” – George Pérez

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

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Name: George Pérez

Profession: Comic book artist

Notable WorkWonder Woman V2 (1987-1992), The New Teen Titans (1980-1984), The Avengers (1975-1980)

“While I have enjoyed considerable professional and personal success with both Marvel and DC, it was becoming all too evident that many of the books being produced by both companies seem to be getting more and more corporate driven. Many of the characters I grew up with were turning into strangers whose adventures were determined by factors that had less and less to do with what made a good comic story and more to do with how these properties can be exploited for other purposes.” – George Pérez

 

The term legend is thrown around a lot in comic books, but trust me when I say that this gentleman, George Pérez, is in that club. A career spanning over forty-years, Pérez has had his hand in just about every corner of DC and Marvel. This forefather’s road to fame wasn’t an overnight one, though. George Pérez comes from humble beginnings; he was born in the Bronx as a second generation (mainland) American, born of blue collar Puerto Ricans, George knew he was going to be an artist from an early age, drawing his own characters and stories since he was five years old.

Pérez is a self-taught student of art, helping him get a position with Marvel Comics as an assistant to Fantastic Four artist Rich Buckler after networking at a convention. At the time of Buckler’s call, Pérez was working as a bank teller (I know how that feels…). He wasn’t handed great projects right away; Pérez had to work his way up to the big titles. He began his career writing a few pages for various small books, and ended up gaining experience from pencilling hand-me-down titles and books that were expected to die soon. Back in the mid-70’s, team books weren’t all the rage like they are today. This stemmed from the fact that artists were not being paid royalties yet (that wouldn’t begin until the early 80’s), so the appeal of making the same amount of money for drawing ten characters just wasn’t there.

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Enter George Pérez, the man with the unmatched work ethic. In 1975, he started drawing Avengers and Fantastic Four, both of which he would draw in stints until his departure to DC Comics in 1980. Team books became not just a way to keep work, but turned into a trademark of his. He gained a reputation for doing great group panels, with an unprecedented level of detail – much before the digital age made it a less strenuous process. Pérez insists that he does not have a favorite superhero, which really has drawn him to do more team-oriented books. His ability to fit so much into a panel, and not distract readers’ attention from the story, is a quality that can get lost at times today – thanks to the use of over-scripted scenes.

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The role of the penciller isn’t just to draw out the writer’s instructions. Both are on the cover and both are credited as creators because the comic book medium calls for a written story that is built upon the illustrated world the penciller creates – and the colorist and inker accentuate. When Pérez drew Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds with Geoff Johns, who was a huge fan of Pérez, he showed Pérez the amount of scripting that has to go into a “George Pérez panel,” which was a thick stack. Pérez refuted that a script gives him nothing to do, and that the relationship between writer and artist should be a symbiotic one, where they build off each others’ ideas.

Pérez has been the penciller for some of the industry’s most iconic book stories. Among his most renowned work is: Crisis on Infinite EarthsInfinity Gauntlet, War of the Gods and the Wonder Woman reboot. He was also the penciller for the crossover event, JLA/Avengers – which took almost fifteen years to see the light of day. The iconic JLA/Avengers #3 cover is home to a ridiculous amount of DC and Marvel characters in a Who’s Who of superheroes. Pérez’s best working relationship was with Marv Wolfman, with whom he created the Teen Titans, an idea that Pérez was certain would fail. While they struggled to dissociate team from the X-Men, the book was a huge success. The New Teen Titans isn’t the only contribution Pérez has made to comics; he’s also attributed to creating (or co-creating): Cheetah, Deathstroke, Ravager, Cyborg, Raven, Starfire, Nightwing (not Dick Grayson), and a LOT more.

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In the New52, Pérez gave his hand at writing Superman after he has promised creative freedom. Unbeknownst to him, his book was slaved to Grant Morrison’s Action Comics. As amazing as Morrison is, he is very vague and not forthcoming when it comes to his approach to writing. Frustrated, Perez was glad to get off the series after the first arc. After leaving his last DC Comics book, World’s Finest, Pérez joined BOOM! Studios, a smaller company, as an exclusive writer and penciller, given actual creative control over his own books. Left on bad terms but harbors no ill will, just didn’t like direction DC & Marvel were going. He is currently happy writing his own creation, Sirens, and touring the country for various cons, where he has a great rapport with fans.

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Outside of the comic book work, Pérez has been known to work for organized charities such as: The Charlotte Firefighter’s Burned Children Fund, The Muscular Dystrophy Association, Make-A-Wish, as well as the Florida Hospital Diabetes Association and The Juvenile Diabetes Association. He is a founding member of The Hero Initiative, a non-profit designed to help comic book creators in need.

For charity, The Hero Initiative sells "100 Project" books, a collection of artist covers
For charity, The Hero Initiative sells “100 Project” books, a collection of artist covers

None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties (DC Comics). Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with Arrow star, Stephen Amell.