Wednesday 19 August 2020

True Believer: Empyre - Hulkling #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you some Romeo and Romeo family feud as the Kree and Skrull fight over Hulkling to bring some rule realness. Let's dive in!
It jumps right into the history of the Hulkling's heritage which I'm no stranger to when it comes to Marvel history 101. It's pretty interesting to see that the Kree are, shall we say, a bit more forceful in bringing Hulkling in by stunning him so that they could do so. Umm... talk about treating the next heir with such dignity. The Skrulls, on the other hand, seems more humane in their approach in that they ask that they come with them. There's a sense of urgency as both sides close in on Hulkling and ring the alarm - the Avengers are called in to assist. This creates a perfect pace for the balance of history, action, and storytelling as they a strung together neatly. 
The standout characters for me would be the Super Skull and Hulkling. It's nice to see a different side to the Super Skrull who always seemed hellbent on bringing the Fantastic Four down so it's nice to see a touching moment between Hulkling and Super Skrull. Hulkling. Wiccan's another great character with his witty, quick jibes which brings great humour to the issue. 
The art styling is clean-cut with standout moments as the New Avengers enter the fray and a beautifully drawn double-page spread of a battle sequence taking place with a tragic moment centred smack down in the middle. There are distinct speech bubbles that I love such as ones used for flashbacks, Skrulls and Vision's speeches which create a memorable finish to the issue.

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There's so much left hanging with the ultimate cliffhanger and what will become of the Hulkling.

True Believer: Empyre - Hulkling #1 (originally printed as Young Avengers #11)
Allan Heinberg - writer
Jim Cheung - penciler
Livesay, Jay Leisten, Dave Meikis, Matt Ryan and Jaime Mendoza - inkers
Justin Ponsor - colourist
VC's Cory Petit - letterer
Marvel  - publisher

Monday 17 August 2020

True Believers: Empyre - Quoi #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you a family affair realness as Mantis returns to the planet of their former love and their son as Thanos works up a storm in the background. Let's dive in!
This is part 3 of Celestial Quest but I could kind of get the gist of what's going on... Scarlet Witch is so "over" Vision, Vision gets jiggy jiggy with Mantis and Thanos gets their freak on. It's a mellow storyline that blends Star Wars action with high galactic storytelling rooting into Mantis's past as they try and mend her relationship with her child. It's a nice departure from the clap-bang action and brings it back to a subtleness in the quiet pace of the family drama.

Vision "envisions" (hey? Uh... I'll see myself out) life in space as he tantalises on the relationship formed with Mantis and a fresh outlook in life. He talks sex ed with Scarlet Witch (the words s-e-x was said - shock, horror!) and gives no chill when describing the details to his former bar. I just don't understand in this world where android display such human emotion as Vision does (jealousy above all) that they're still so discriminated in the current stage of the world but hey ho.
Mantis is the main staple and to be honest, I've never known about her much in the Marvel Universe (which comes to show how rich the universe is I guess!) that she has such wondrous powers in that she can call upon the stars to strike down spaceships with ma-hoo-sive concussive energy blasts. Who'd that funk it?! It's nice to see the character fledged out as she catches up with her former bae the Swordsman and reconciles with her son. A gentle reminder of the very human (or alien) nature of storytelling which is beautifully done. It's kind of funny as there was an Avengers issue where both the Vision's and Mantis's origin are done in the same issue. Get that full circle!
Thanos is another character imbued with incredible powers to grant other powers. Their story fits in that I'm sure is going to collide in Mantis's path in proportionate ways especially when Death comes knocking on their door.

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It's a refreshing departure with the constant crash, clang, bang of actions as it takes it back to family drama realness.

True Believers: Empyre - Quoi #1 (originally printed as Avengers Celestial Quest #3)
Stainless Steve Englehart - author
Jorge Santamaría - pencil artist
Scott Hanna - colourist
Sharpefont's Paul Tutrone - letterer

Friday 14 August 2020

Dollar Comics: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you some creepy Arkham goodness gracious me as we explore a disturbing look into Arkham Asylum. Let's dive in!
The issue explores the character of Jeremiah Arkham as they follow in the footsteps of his uncle in taking over the Asylum. It seems more of a character study than a comic book issue with moments of when I can see that Arkham becomes one with one of a "lunatic" as they try to rob someplace. Arkham pulls a psychological play on him which ultimately causes the person to pull the trigger on them. Oh, what's the saying? Takes one to know one - disturbing stuff! It does set up the rest of the issue.
Arkham's are umm... unconventional to say the least with practices that are completely inhumane. It does send complete shivers to see how disturbing their actions and how remorseless it seems in the actions in that they see no consequence of their action from forced medication or forcing someone awake just as they hit the dream state. It's nice to see some familiar faces with more of a cameo appearance from the Joker and the Scarecrow being subjected to Arkham's torments. 

And then bam! There's no Batman comic without some Robin action (excuse the pun) which is beautifully drawn but fills a kind of out of place without context which is then topped up with an appearance from Nightwing. It's quite the zinger nonetheless. I'm sure this will fit in the grand scheme of things.
The questions I had in mind was when is Batman turning up and when is Batman turning up? It's quite interesting to see Batman so powerless and a prisoner of Arkham as Arkham tries to break Batman down. It's most certainly different to the gloss comics I've come accustomed to but I welcome this to the fold with open arms. 

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It'll be interesting to see how Batman overcomes such an adversary as they are subjected to such cruel practices of Arkham.

Dollar Comics: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1 (originally printed as Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1)
Alan Grant - writer
Norm Breyfogle - artist
Todd Klein - letterer
Adrienne Roy - colourist
Brian Stelfreeze - cover

Wednesday 12 August 2020

True Believers: Fantastic Four - Klaw #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! Klaw makes his Marvel debut as they take on the might of the Black Panther and Fantastic Four. Let's dive in!
Black Panther gets that side hustle when he relays his story to the Fantastic Four and of course, the Thing has no chill with butting in and saying they've heard it a gazillion times in countless stories like the Jungle Book or whatnot. I mean hun, take a down a notch will ya! BP is trying to tell their story of injustice, loss and death of their father and people. 

It's kind of weird that Susan still seems like a secondary character in this issue like when they start running towards the trouble, Suzie exclaims for Reed to slow down (which is a bit weird considering that Susan has had SHIELD training during these times too according to the recent Invisible Woman run). 
Klaw is working some high fashion as he returns from BP's story sporting a new uh... claw that converts sound into physical kinetic energy which makes for high fun. Just the power to create instant runways or a dance troupe is good in my books. It's quite the nifty power to have the ability to use your imagination to create physical sound. All that for some ka-ching in getting that vibranium realness.

What I don't understand is that Black Panther could have replicated the device from Klaw after obtaining it and created defences for Wakanda. I guess it could be that Black Panther did want to replicate a device that killed their father and a lot of their people in protecting their land and people. 

The technology has most certainly come far when Susan is impressed by Black Panther's massive music system that is sporting a tape recorder. It's also nice to see the culture there too with all the fashion and dance displays (they actually get credit but a confusing one at that as "ballet" is in the title of the troupe). 
The ending got me... the Fantastic Four could be the reason why the Black Panther exists in the Marvel universe after they persuaded BP to continue on the mantle of the Black Panther after questioning whether they should continue after - spoiler alert - defeating Klaw. 

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It's nice to see a new setting for the Fantastic Four and Black Panther's story is quite the compelling one.

True Believers: Fantastic Four - Klaw #1 (originally printed as Fantastic Four volume 1 #53)
Stan Lee - scripter
Jack Kirby - art
Joe Sinnot - inker
Artie Simek - letterer
The Ballet Forbush Terpsichorean Troupe - native dance

Monday 10 August 2020

Dollar Comics: Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you some Teen Titans realness as they are captured, bounded and powerless. Let's dive in!
I'm not too clued up with this issue but read another issue which seems to form as a precursor helps to jump right in (would say it's required reading for this issue) which helps to introduce the HIVE organisation. This is actually the finale issue of The Judas Contract but the story itself is very easy to pick up even with my first introduction into the character of Terra, which - ohmigosh - is a character that is B-E-A-U-tifully written.

The character of Slade Wilson gets that side hustle with his back story explored how he became the "Terminator". Despite being the mega supervillain, it does add so much depth to the character on how they became to be and why they do what they do. There's some nobility in their action despite not being of the best of interest of the good. It fits in nicely with the main story as the issue reaches its climax. 
Terra like... OHMIGOSH! She just owns this issue. I find her so disturbing in so many ways especially it's been revealed in the issue she is just 16 years old. They're in a relationship with a mature gentleman Slade (if I do say so myself) and doesn't shy away from being uh... sexually intimate with the said gentleman. Gosh, this character is really unhinged with a strong appetite for killing, lacks empathy and can mask her true intentions with fake emotions. What's not to love about them. Coming up to the climax, I'll describe them as pure evil with utmost beauty in the way its described (ironically) in the way that Terra's powers can benefit the world so great but instead it's used to bring forth destruction. She has absolutely no credence for good.

I love the minute storytelling elements like Nightwing's uneasiness of Joseph who actually turns out to be - spoiler alert - Slade's son who we previously thought to be dead. 

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Terra alone owns this issue!

Dollar Comics: Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3 (originally printed as Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3)
Marv Wolfman and George Pérez - creators and editors
DeCarlo and Giordano - finishers
Ben Oda - letterer
Adrienee Roy - colourist
DC Comics - publisher

Friday 7 August 2020

True Believers: Star Wars - Hutt Run #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! It's an elaborate ruse (not really - just wanted to say that) as Han Solo and Chewbacca smuggled Grakkus the Hutt past the Imperial Fleet to his new I'm-so-fancy prison. Let's dive in!
The story's straightforward, Han and Chewie are both tasked with getting Grakkus from point A to point B - boom, mike drop. Of course, it's NEVER that easy! If I imagined a snippet adventure between Han and Chewie, it'd probably resemble this. It's quite a short one but with bang bang, I shot you down action which I live for having previously read a Boba Fett comic before and living for it. 
It's not the traditional shooty shooty adventure I'm accustomed to seeing again and again in the films but it does have it's moments in both action and sweet tender luvin' moments, which provide a beautiful layer of storytelling. It does provide a very intimate setting as it's fitted into confined spaces on the Millenium Falcon so that in itself gives an idea of the scale of the comic and does allow for more well-crafted humour to come through.

The art is absolutely fantabulosa with high realism as if it's leaping from the reels of the film. The panels consist mainly of 3 to 4 on each page which offers a higher cinematic experience to the comic.

There's a sort of chemistry that plays off Han and Grakkus like a loving rapport and the admiration Grakkus has for Han which is great as deserves a lot of appreciation! Grakkus is frightening with his huge domineering figure and lightning-quick movements creates a whirlwind of trouble and not the good kind of trouble for Han. It's quite cool to see him make the moves! Of course, Han has a few magic tricks up his sleeves to get the upper hand.
There was one light that got me in the comic when Han says the following: "Never stopped being me." Oh boy, tears to my snatched eyes!

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Bring on the epic space adventures!

True Believers: Star Wars - Hutt Run #1 (originally printed as Star Wars (2015) #35)
Jason Aaron - writer
Salvador Larroca - artist
Edgar Delgado - colourist
VC's Clayton Cowles - letterer
Mike Mayhew - cover
Heather Antos - assistant editor 
Jordan D. White - editor

Wednesday 5 August 2020

Dollar Comics: Amethyst #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you gem-realness as the Amethyst is sending your wig into Gemworld. Let's dive in!
There is soooooo much going on this comic book and it's kind of like an explosion of plots but I guess that it'll just tie in neatly with each other. Bang! I like that already from the first page we are thrown into a world of colours, monsters and magic. It reminds me of the type of adventures that Doctor Strange would have which I'm absolutely live for so on the offset loving it already. 

And there's Prince Topaz's illusionary turmoils and rendezvous with Fire Jade, strife amongst the council of Gemworld, Amethyst's possible archnemsis moving in next door on Earth world and Fire Jade's planned takeover of Gemworld... woof! A lot to digest but it deliciously taken in with colours and design of a world that is very rich enveloped and gathered in gorgeous mystical art and then there's Earth world.
The art style's light and it reminds me of the style of Archie's comics. The colours aren't as pronounced but I guess if you live in a Gemworld, the shade of light will be ummm... lighter?

For the most part, it follows like a traditional style of panelling but then there's moments I would say is transformative panelling in using panels to fabulously transition the setting or when Amethyst changes from Amy Winston (the person they are on Earth). It effectively tells the story in a few panels especially if you're fitting so much into one issue!
The standout character for me would be Amethyst with her no-nonsense attitude towards their mother throwing some shade at Gemworld or their unwillingness to give up when overcoming new challenges. A character that seeks to inspire - get it, girl!

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Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

Dollar Comics: Amethyst #1 (originally printed as Amethyst #1)
Dan Mishkin & Gar Cohn - writers
Ric Estrada & Ernie Colón - artists
John Costanza - letterer
Carl Gafford - colourist
Karen Berger - editor

Monday 3 August 2020

Dollar Comics: Batman #386 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing some Black Mask as he is literally birthed into the world to bring you some origin realness. Let's dive in!
The story is pretty much a character study of the character. From the offset, he is dropped as a child but their eyes are blackened like you can't read it and you know what they say... the eyes are the window to the soul. Thematically that's what plays throughout the whole comic: the idea of the face and losing yourself to it. This strongly strings the comic to be a really strong standing issue and introduction of Black Mask. 

The issue is like a metamorphosis of the character of Black Mask as a young child they are raised to a figurative mask and he adjourns throughout his childhood. Interestingly enough, he is at a similar age to Bruce Wayne I guess but instead of learning from his fear, he succumbs to it which drives him further down the rabbit hole or should I say a bandit hole. 
His character does have charisma and a certain charm to him which wins over the woman that he employs immediately and ummm... murders his parents so that their "face" is not tarnished. It's really disturbing at how far he can turn at a switch of a button which is further elevated by his controlling manner which ultimately would become his downfall in turning his business upside down. This is further empathised by him "losing face" which will actually lead him to even despise his own name, eventual breakdown and rise of the Black Mask crime syndicate. 

The art styling is quite dark, I guess if it's Batman of course it would be! There are moments of such horror especially the reveal of Black Mask's decaying face of his father or the formulation used to dissolve the face of his victims.

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Quite the strong offering! It reads more like a character study than a comic I'm used to reading as it explores the surface of the psyche of a disturbed character.

Dollar Comics: Batman #386 (reprint of Batman volume 1 #386)
Doug Moench - writer
Tom Mandrake - artist
John Costanza - letterer
Adrienne Roy - colourist
Len Wein - editor

Friday 31 July 2020

True Believers: The Criminally Insane - Green Goblin #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! I'm bringing you an introduction of the Green Goblin with Spidey and co. Let's dive in!
We're going to Hollywood baby! Hollywood film aficionado wants to make stars out of Spidey and co. He is like my spirit animal! I never felt more connected to anyone else in the Marvel universe! He simply lives for the drama of his art to find the next big thing. His visions are so blinded though which might be due to the fact he's surrounded himself with yes men. His main staple is to cast a big star and have hundreds of dancing girls which sounds like my type of musical - werk!
GG plays off with his scheming ways and methodical thinking which nicely sets up that ending of mystery (but we know all know who he is!). His flying mechanical broomstick which doubles up helpful on many occasions as you don't want to be riding a one-trick pony. Who imagine he would become such a tour-de-force in the universe! Poor Spidey - he asks for no trouble yet the first new supervillain on the block goes directly for him. 

You know Peter Parker is such a play-ah with Liz and Betty on-the-go. I guess he did pave the way for other such characters like Nova who forms part of the side of teenage underdog but starts to win at life (kinda). It's nice that you see him stand up to the bullies and in a way when Spidey stands up to the Enforcers that form Green Goblin's posse in the issue. 
Hulk is brought in to boost the ratings literally and figuratively in that the cave that they fight in "coincidentally" is the hideout for the Hulk... Guaranteed thump-fest galore with no room to disappoint! Spidey can't catch a break!

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It's a fun issue with a lot of action sets with a guest star from the Hulk and the introduction to the nefarious Green Goblin - what's not to love?

True Believers: The Criminally Insane - Green Goblin #1 (reprint of Amazing Spider-Man volume 1 #14)
Stan Lee - writer
Steve Ditko - illustrator 
Art Simek - letterer