All posts filed under: Commentary

Analysis, Criticism, Flagrant Opinions and Reviews

Marvel’s FANTASTIC FOUR #1 (LGY #646)

FANTASTIC FOUR #1 (legacy #646) by writer Dan Slott and artist Sara Pichelli was a real treat to read! I’m very excited for #2. It is pretty cool and interesting to note that Marvel put this issue out on exactly the 57th anniversary of the original Fantastic Four #1 which was back on August 8, 1961 (cover-dated November) — similar to another publishing milestone earlier this year when DC Comics released ACTION COMICS #1000 on its exact 80th anniversary date this past April. Now if I know Marvel, they’ll time things just right so that FF legacy #700 will come out on the title’s 60th anniversary in three short years, although I’m not exactly sure how since this series is not currently shipping twice-monthly. Then again, before the 2x monthly frequency of many of its titles in recent years, Marvel used to have several key titles (like the main X-MEN books) shipping at an accelerated clip of 18 issues per year. Well, I’ve done the math and that’s actually all it would take to line up …

DC = Diversified Comics, And We All Benefit

I have always respected DC Comics for its ability to compartmentalize comics in the smaller sub-categories that are needed for a vast library. The lines and imprints they currently have include: DC Universe DC Year One OGNs DC Super Hero Girls DC Ink (Young adult readers) DC Zoom (Middle-grade readers) Young Animal The New Age of Heroes Black Label The Sandman Universe Vertigo (relaunch) Bendis’ upcoming curated line Back in the day they had Helix for science fiction, Minx for YA girls/women and other now defunct ones like Elseworlds, Paradox Press, Johnny DC, and Wildstorm (which had its own various imprints within). As a lifelong comics fan and constant observer, I must say DC has been killing it these last two years beginning with REBIRTH and considering all kinds of new imprints and series covering so many different genres and niches. People tend to give mad props to Marvel for the MCU movies and Netflix TV shows, and rightfully so. But that’s an expansion into other media. In terms of just the COMICS, which is where this …

Fetish Fix: ISOLA #2 (Image Comics)

After just two issues in, ISOLA from Image Comics might just be the next SAGA. I’d definitely recommend it to SAGA fans, maybe EXTREMITY and MONSTRESS (also from Image Comics) fans as well. A sufficient amount of positive word-of-mouth could help push this promising new fantasy series to the heights it deserves already. Certain manga fans could dig this as well. #Isola #FetishFix #FetishFav

Lazarus #27: Jonah Carlyle . . . Long Lost and Found

After a long layoff of a full year (and some change), I am so happy to finally have  LAZARUS proper back into my hands, gracing my eyeballs! When last we received an issue of LAZARUS written solely by co-creator/author Greg Rucka and artist exclusively by co-creator/artist Michael Lark, it was March 2017’s LAZARUS #26, the conclusion of the “Cull” storyline which saw the Russian family Vassalovka — a deadly new piece on the LAZARUS chessboard — make their devastating assault. Well, with a presumably recharged Lark back in the groove of producing awesome pages again, issue #27 arrives as the first of a 2-part prelude to “Fracture”, the next multi-part storyline which promises to bring major changes as this wonderfully intricate and progressive story moves forward. In the intervening months between issues #26 & 27 there was a 6-issue miniseries, LAZARUS: X+66 (co-written and drawn by various creators) that served to chronicle some key side-characters and events that get us from year X+64 to where we’ll eventually arrive in year X+67 when “Fracture” starts. Thankfully issues #27 & …

SAGA #51: Middle-Aged, Poised and Graceful

At just past the would-be half-way mark of what’s speculated to likely be a 100-issue epic creator-owned series, SAGA is that comfortable, reliable favorite series that you come to simply expect to deliver exactly what you need from a series — not unlike a favorite TV showing deliver the goods each and every week of the season. That’s exactly what I experienced reading Chapter Fifty One. Saga’s vast cast of characters never fail to be compelling from scene to scene, issue to issue. The plots never meander and rarely fail to surprise and thrill. A relatively “quiet” issue, this one opens with Squire and his father Prince Robot discussing the suspiciously missing Princess Robot. Longtime readers know the truth behind that story. Next we find young Hazel in the ocean, not-quite being babysat by Ghüs, Friendo and Doff. A “mustached kingfish” leads photojournalist Doff off to this chapter’s climax at the end, but not before we discover Hazel’s dad Marko writing a novella that gets lovingly criticized (not too harshly) by his wife and Hazel’s …

Action Comics #1000: A Rather Fine Anniversary Issue

I really enjoyed DC Comics’ 80-page ACTION COMICS #1000 Anniversary issue, which also, coincidentally, marks the 80-year anniversary of Superman in printed comic form, having debuted on the stands in ACTION COMICS #1 on April 18, 1938 with a June cover date. I bought, in my opinion, the best looking available cover left on the shelf — the Joshua Middleton 1980s era variant (see below). An anthology of assorted stories honoring Superman, I would have to say the Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason story probably was the best of the bunch, but really all the stories contributed well to the overall product, I think. The contents could have maybe been sequenced differently, but really that’s a minor thing. Dan Jurgens’ lead-off story was very clever. “The Car” by Geoff Johns, Richard Donner & Olivier Coipel, and “Of Tomorrow” by Tom King & Clay Mann, were especially fine little vignettes, as was Brad Meltzer and John Cassaday’s “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet”. As for the closing story with Brian Michael Bendis making his debut on …

Fetish Fix: ANALOG, ISOLA, SKYWARD & OBLIVION SONG

A few reads from April’s Fetish Fix. So ANALOG #1 was an excellent start. So good I’m very tempted to get it monthly. I will get the $10 trade in October. I’ve been transitioning away from monthlies in my creator-owned comics since last fall, and this is a series I know will be so rewarding in book form. I’m happy to wait a few months for this first arc. ISOLA #1 was also an excellent start and so gorgeous. I’m in for this one as well. And like the aforementioned ANALOG, I’ll trade-wait this one also. This one will clearly be a better reading experience in book form, not because the first chapter wasn’t satisfying, just that as beautiful and immersive as it is, it will be a breathtaking experience in book form. Come on October! And there was yet another fine start in SKYWARD #1. Image is 3 for 3 on new series for me this month, hitting it out of the park as usual on high concepts. This one particularly could be really …

Image Comics: So Much Damage | SYFY Documentary

Aside from not getting a lot of new information (for those of us who’ve been around since then), the one bad thing about these kinds of documentaries is how they tend to get the chronology all wonky. You don’t cover the start of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (October 2003) and say THEN Powers (April 2000) came out and Brian Michael Bendis was fired by Todd McFarlane off of Sam & Twitch (series debuted in August 1999) and also say he then went on to write Marvel’s Ultimate Spider (also started in 2000) and Alias – Jessica Jones (later in 2001). Or how about toward the end when they had a footnote saying that Kirkman’s Outcast TV show debuted in the year 2010, the same year as TWD TV show? Smh. There were a couple of other examples. I believe it’s important to get that kind of minutiae as precise and accurate as possible when presenting a historical documentary. That’s often compromised when things are edited for bite-sized consumption. [end nerd rant]. At any rate, it’s always …

Comic Book Fetish #1: Skybound’s SLOTS, Marvel’s LEGACY and more!

It should probably go without saying that if it’s a Skybound book it’s going to read well. I currently read Skybound titles such as Redneck, Extremity and I’ve read Gasolina and Green Valley, I have a Ghosted trade paperback on my shelf yet to read, and I’m now trade-waiting Birthright after reading it in floppies for the first 20 issues or so. Skybound Entertainment founder/CEO Robert Kirkman and company have a lot to be proud of these days. They’re one of the best comics lines around, a line that also includes Manifest Destiny, Kill the Minotaur, Outcast, Invincible, and of course The Walking Dead. And I have no doubt the Image Comics remaining founders/partners are glad they made Mr. Kirkman a partner nine years ago. 1st Issue Fetish The newest Skybound title Slots by creator/writer/artist Dan Panosian – the first issue was yet another fine Skybound read. It takes place in Vegas and features a middle-aged guy trying to get back in the game – of gambling and boxing – and make a big score. Is …

Top Comic Book Sales for April 2017 | Comic Spectrum

If you’re Marvel, then yes, shipping 93 comics, many of which are $4.99, when your biggest competitor is shipping 78 comics, at least half of which are $2.99, will always help your chances in being the market leader — especially when you’re playing the 1st issue onslaught game that retailers have absolutely no choice in playing if they want to continue to generate revenue. — Comic Book Fetish NEW TITLES SHIPPED PUBLISHER COMICS SHIPPED GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED MAGAZINES SHIPPED TOTALSHIPPED MARVEL COMICS 93 41 0 134 DC ENTERTAINMENT 78 33 1 112 IMAGE COMICS 57 11 1 69 IDW PUBLISHING 47 15 0 62 DARK HORSE COMICS 20 21 0 41 BOOM ENTERTAINMENT 26 12 0 38 VIZ MEDIA 0 30 0 30 TITAN COMICS 23 2 1 26 DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 15 6 0 21 ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS 12 3 0 15 OTHER NON-TOP 10 108 112 31 251 Event & Batman on Top…Nothing New! X-Men Back on Top? Will it Last? Is Digital Behind the Drop in Print Sales? It should be no surprise …