Reviews

Reviews of comic books, graphic novels, books on comics, and other comic-related media.

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11785998-chronicle-ver3Chronicle Reaction

I’ve just returned from watching the new film Chronicle, a superhero found footage movie from director Josh Trank and writer Max Landis.

Space Adventures 35Musings over Space Adventures #35

When I was a kid, I remember asking my dad which superhero was his favorite.

Green_Lantern_Vol_2_9The Power Ring and the Comic Book (Part 2)

Green Lantern #3 makes the Weaponers of Qward the hero’s first repeat villains, as the extra-dimensional villains create an illusion to aid them in stealing Green Lantern’s power battery.

12-6-11 CoverIdentifying the Complete Story: Diablo #1

In my last article, I discussed how Watchmen #2 was successful as an individual comic book issue by satisfying the reader with a complete chunk of story. 

1537155-zur_en_arrh_graffiti_superBuilding a Better Batman: An Introduction to Morrison’s Batman

From the first few pages of Batman #655, “Building a Better Batmobile,” Grant Morrison makes it abundantly clear to his readers that this is not your typical Batman story, nor should it be read like… [more]

Nerd_Hulk_(Earth-1610)_0002Mark Millar’s The Ultimates, Part 7: The One About Vampires

With the release of each new issue of Ultimate Comics Avengers 3, I would call up my friend Caleb (fellow contributor to Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide) and we would laugh about how far… [more]

Punisher-89The Greatest Movie in the World – Punisher (1989)

Movie audiences today take super-hero films for granted. This year alone saw the release of five super-hero films, but in 1989, they were far more rare. Yet, here is the little film that could.

dodolaHabibi: What Works and What Doesn’t

Since alternative comics creator Craig Thompson released critically acclaimed Blankets in 2003, little work has been seen from the artist until the recent Pantheon publication of Habibi this past September.

bookcover_tempeModeration: Malkasian’s Temperance

There are few works out there like Cathy Malkasian’s Temperance. A wild story about a town held together by fear of an invading, unnamed, enemy army. Blessedbowl, the society formed around this central lie/plot, is… [more]

Thor Movie picWhy Thor Soared and the Lantern Failed

Movie theaters in the summer of 2011, like most summers for the past 30-something years, were dominated by films heavy on crowd-pleasing elements, with particular attention to heavy FX content.

The Big Lie #1 coverOn The Big Lie, by Rich Veitch and Gary Erskine

Before addressing this controversial comic, let’s establish one thing: anything by Rick Veitch is newsworthy and deserving of better than being written off. Veitch is one of the legends who renewed American comics in the… [more]

Green Lantern Corps scan 6On Green Lantern Corps #1: Of the People, By the People, For the People, Screw the People

I don’t know how to write about this, and I’m extremely nervous about trying to do so. Truthfully, I can’t deny that I’m tempted not to try.

Aquaman #1 image 5On Aquaman #1, by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

It seems that Geoff Johns isn’t writing scripts anymore so much as lists. And after the fashion of the unassimilable tourist abroad, who believes that the folks around him will understand what he’s saying if… [more]

from Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 3 #1, page 11Eight Thoughts on Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 3 #1-2

The right-wing media went apeshit over Peter Parker being replaced by Miles Morales, based on a single seven-page sequence (really its own short story) in Ultimate Fallout #4. Lots of people were perfectly prepared to… [more]

Deathstroke #1 - Page 1Back to Basics: Deathstroke and the Unintentional Satire

Satires can often times be complicated affairs. Every nuance and hiccup is pondered for its dual meanings. But not all satires are like carnival mirrors, some are accidental and in a manner more revealing than… [more]

Ultimates (2011) #1On Hickman and Ribic’s The Ultimates #1: Yet More Stories for Boys

On the evidence of Messrs. Hickman and Ribic’s The Ultimates #1, the fundamental concerns of feminism haven’t yet become a matter of public concern and debate on Earth 1610, or (it needs to be said) in… [more]

Legion Lost (2011) #1On Legion Lost #1, by Fabian Nicieza and Pete Woods

Even putting the context of DC’s “New 52″ initiative aside, it’s difficult to imagine a situation in which Legion Lost might qualify as even a barely-adequate comic. For it’s such an awkwardly and unhelpfully written book… [more]

The Living and the Dead - Page 1Something to Dream About: Jason’s The Living and the Dead

Somewhere in your comic shop there is a small section left orphaned.  It sits alone, dying like the character Cerebus was fated to: unloved, unmourned and alone.  This is the section that is often scary… [more]

Nothing is happening on this pagePut Your Money Where Your Panel Is: On Action Comics #1

Action Comics #1 is a simple story with a simple premise – introduce the character Superman, make the readers care about him, and put him in a dangerous test to set up for the next… [more]

211_batman_mask_of_the_phantasm_1024Rosebuds and Grim Reapers: Why Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is the Citizen Kane of Animated Films

From the deputized FBI agent of the 1940’s movie serials to the gritty, realistic vigilante of Christopher Nolan’s films, Hollywood has portrayed Batman in a variety of ways, but none of the live-action films have… [more]

Justice League International (2011) #1Justice League International #1 Review

It’s hard to put into words how silly Justice League International #1 is. On the one hand, it’s written in a style that’s a throwback to the very early 1990s. That shouldn’t be a total surprise:… [more]

Action Comics #1, top of page 9Not Your Daddy’s Superman: How Grant Morrison’s Action Comics #1 Works

Having slammed Justice League #1 so severely in the last week, I feel as if I’d be remiss not to point out how excellent Action Comics #1 is and how it gets right virtually everything… [more]

UA 2Mark Millar’s The Ultimates, Part 6: And Now for Something Completely Different

If Ultimate Comics Avengers was a departure from Millar’s previous Ultimates work, then its sequel goes completely off the rails.

Justice League #1, top of page 4How Not to Relaunch a Universe: A Negative Review of Justice League #1

How bad is Justice League #1, written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Jim Lee? It’s virtually a road map for how not to write super-hero comics.

Justice-League-1How to Launch a Universe in 52 Easy Steps: A Positive Review of Justice League #1

Though I typically skew toward hyperbole when I discuss anything, I will do my best to avoid such in this review. So let’s get this out of the way right now: is Justice League the best… [more]