Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dusting off the old stuff: my first review

So I was searching for A Thousand Faces content and I discovered this site which reviewed A Thousand Faces #2, which featured my first published work, "For What Purpose." And the review itself, while brief, was scathing.

"For What Purpose is the generic superhero monologue every fan’s already read."

And while the reviewer was pretty negative on the issue as a whole, I felt a little shorted in that I got a whole sentence to sum up my story. Although, I have to admit, she was right. If you don't believe me, click on the above link to read the story.

I'm now looking forward to scathing reviews for "The Nature of the Job." Oh, professional writing! The adventures you hold!

Comic Book Day, Hooray Hooray

Yep, that's what day it is. Wednesday. Comic book day. I'm a little less than two hours away from getting my books and writing reviews, which will be up this evening. In the meantime, I've been experimenting with Photoshop---expect to see some awesome crap from that as well.

I'm currently working on a story about a different type of superhero, but I keep getting stuck on the costume. So for the first time ever, I'm trusting an artist who is NOT my brother to design the suit I need to continue. At this stage, she's really excited to bust out something awesome, and I'm hugely looking forward to see what she comes up with.

Sigh. Two hours. Bored now. Game time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Thousand Faces #6: Fall 2008

If you haven't checked out A Thousand Faces: The Quarterly Journal of Superhuman Fiction, then this is your chance now. Issue #6 debuts online this week, and I have a story published within its pages. "The Nature of the Job" is a little story I worked on early last year, and passed it to Frank Byrns, the editor of ATF. He'd published a story of mine in issue #2, so I crossed my fingers and sent him a piece that was slightly longer than what submission guidelines called for. Thankfully, he's a prince, and said he'd fit it in a future issue. The future is this week, and my second official published story hits the internet (although, I make money if you buy a paperback copy...y'know, just sayin). Give it a look, hope you find it enjoyable.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Reviews Plus: HULK #7

Written by Jeph Loeb
Art by Art Adams and Frank Cho

There's a reason why I don't buy Jeph Loeb comic books.

Case in point: HULK, a rediculously over-the-top action romp starring "Rulk," a red-skinned homicidal version of the Hulk. He's not actually Bruce Banner, because Banner is out attempting to track down the Rulk while staying out of trouble himself. In the middle of all this, She-Hulk has gathered together a group of female strongarms dubbed "The Lady Liberators" who are out to stop Rulk after Rulk beat the shit out of Shulkie. HULK has been divided into two half-comics: the first half is HULK, the second is RULK, and you can guess who stars in which.

In HULK: So Rulk killed a Wendigo, of which there used to be only one but now (somehow) there's more, and what's even worse is that the original was mystically bound to Canadian soil, but these new ones are not. Banner, tracking Rulk, runs into the Wendigos in Las Vegas, and in the fray he transforms into the GREY Hulk, referred to in narration as "Grulk." But then he runs afoul of Moon Knight during his attempt to beat down the Wendigos, and as he turns his attention to beating the shit out of Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel and Sentry arrive to beat the shit out of Grulk. To be continued.

In RULK: Shulkie makes a few phone calls to some of her superheroine gal pals, until she gets Valkyrie and Thundra to join her on a hunt for Rulk. Somehow SHIELD already knows where he is within a few panels, and the Liberators are off to "spank some red ass." <----(this is actual dialogue.) They show up, and between the three of them they're unable to hold off Rulk as he makes short work of the Liberators and holds Shulkie over a cliff, threatening to drop her unless Valkyrie and Thundra agree to come back to his place, have a beer, and play spin the bottle. To be continued.

In short: are you fucking kidding me?

Okay, let's ignore the writing for a moment. Art Adams and Frank Cho draw two things like nobody's business: monsters and really hot babes. This book has plenty of both, and the artwork is phenomenal. Adams provides the art for HULK and Cho does the chores on RULK, so Cho gets the load of the Lady Liberators, which, thank god, provides lots of ass shots. There's just nothing short of beautiful artwork on display, with women, beasts, action, explosions, and lots of great, epic action in the style of Michael Bay.

But then Jeph Loeb puts his pen to paper.

Hulk? Rulk? GRULK? Shulk? Bulk. The story is all filler, no killer, complete with trademark bad dialogue and horrible plot twists. I really [sarcasm] love how the Grulk stops fighting the Wendigoes to battle Moon Knight, and then Ms. Marvel and Sentry bypass the Wendigoes to face off with Grulk. [/sarcasm] So, er, the heroes just need to fight each other? Granted, when the Hulk shows up people get nervous, but he was obviously battling BLOODTHIRSTY MONSTERS who were tearing up a casino. Aaaaaaand, the problem there is? Meanwhile, in one of the most painful scenes ever, Shulkie calls up female heroes on the phone and gets turned down for joining the Liberators. Her response to Tigra: "No, it's alright. It takes a while to wash hair. Especially yours." Ha. Ha. Oh, Loeb! You comedian, you! And then there's the "Let's go spank some red ass" line. That wins for worst line I've ever read in a comic anywhere. I was alternating between "I could write better than this!" and "Why does this man have a job writing comics and I don't?!" when reading HULK.

There's so many question to ask: why is the Grey Hulk suddenly appearing out of nowhere? How the hell can SHIELD track Rulk with no problem, but Banner, a certified GENIUS, can't find his way out of Las Vegas? Why is the Grey Hulk fighting what is essentially the Marvel version of DC's "Big Three" (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman=Sentry, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel)? And if Loeb did that on purpose, does that make Grulk the Marvel version of Solomon Grundy? And if you enjoy this book, does that mean that there's no world for tomorrow?

Some people cite this as a guilty pleasure. Well, if the art is this stellar all the time, I can see why. Me, I saw right through the pretty coat of paint straight to the wonky engine underneath, and as much as I want to rate this higher simply for the art, I just can't.

Overall: 1/5

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reviews: 10.22.08 (er, posted 10.23)

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by J.G. Jones and Carlos Pacheco

If you've not been following FINAL CRISIS thus far, here's a quick recap: the New Gods have died, leaving only their Apokolipian bretheren, who are all becoming "reborn" within human bodies. As this is happening, a man named Libra has assembled the villains of the universe to unite together to serve a greater purpose, and any villains not going along are shunted aside. Libra systematically removed the Martian Manhunter and Superman from the game board, while the Dark Side club has captured Batman and Detective Dan Turpin, who houses the spirit of Darkseid himself. To top it all off, once-dead Barry Allen has returned from particle vaporization, and he and Wally West have leapt forward in time a month to discover that the Dark Side club has unleashed the Anti-Life Equation through every communication device on Earth, subjugating the populace who have viewed it. Anyone who's turned away from it is hunted down, and on top of that humans and metahumans alike are being transformed into "justifiers" and are policing the world. Among them is Wonder Woman, who leads a team of furies, of which are Batwoman, Catwoman, and Giganta, and are currently facing down Barry and Wally.

Okay. That's summing it up as simply as possible.

Holy shit.

FINAL CRISIS #4 opens with the Ray beaming the Tattooed Man into the Hall of Justice, pulling him away from Justifiers outside, led by Black Lightning. Green Arrow isn't happy about a villain in the hall, but it turns out that T-Man was working undercover for Black Lightning before the hero was turned. Meanwhile, the Ray uses his power to connect the seven safehouses around the world to communicate one last time before they're shut down permanently. There's a strike force preparing to attack Bludhaven, where the Dark Side club is located, and now they just need the resources. Back to the Flashes, Barry and Wally make quick work of the Furies before taking off to search for their families. And finally, Dan Turpin, who's been fighting off the influence of Darkseid for a whole month appears to be finally losing his will, and Darkseid is coming to power.

Holy shit.

A lot of flack has been given to the series for unintelligible content and metaphysical references. Hell, some people have been hating on it simply because Grant Morrison is writing it or because DC is the house of evil. Whatever reasons given, there can be no doubt about one thing: the DCU is clearly fucked. Darkseid's presence is being felt everywhere, from Earth to the cosmos (where one of the Gods, Granny Goodness, has infiltrated the Green Lantern Corps), and it seems that there's literally no way out of this. No Superman, no Batman, and Wonder Woman's a Fury. That spells doom. And Darkseid hasn't even appeared yet! Morrison is truly ramping up the idea that there's nothing, not a single thing the heroes could do to save the day, and I'm beginning to believe it. Aside from the fact that DC's released solicitations into the new year, I have doubts that the world will survive. How could it? With this much planning, execution, and complete sadistic force, evil has already won.

There were a couple of scenes that stood out to me. One was Green Arrow's sacrifice. No, he's not dead, but possibly worse than that, as he stays behind as Black Canary and the others escape the Hall of Justice and Arrow holds back the Justifiers. Bad ass scene, one that elevates Ollie a little bit in my book. It was very much an Armageddon scene in that the main character stays behind to save the others. While cliche in a sense, the way Morrison went about it made it so cool and so bittersweet. And the other scene was where Iris Allen, Barry's wife, is seen under the influence of the Anti-Life, but Barry arrives, and with a kiss he pulls her out of the trance. That was romantic in the classical and literal sense; the white knight saves the princess with a simple kiss. Of course, there were Flash lighning bolts in the background, so maybe more was at work. Either way, it made my heart hurt, which is something that Morrison is getting good at. Finally, the last page (standard in the series thus far) provided the chilling cliffhanger of the month, and next issue stands poised to deliver nothing but the total annihilation of Earth.

The art was on fire, Jones' best stuff since the first issue, and Pacheco's art blended in almost seamlessly. I had to go back and forth multiple times after the first read to identify who drew what, and you can tell that they both worked really hard to match their styles as best as possible, a labor considering how different their work really looks in other books. One poster on Newsarama, BlindMessiah, noted that the only different he could tell was the coloring was brighter in Pacheco's sections, and he's on the money. Otherwise the book was solid with the art. Very, very solid considering how messy it might have looked.

So Earth is doomed, the Multiverse is doomed, and everyone's just screwed in general. Great. THIS is the kind of situation where I just can't figure out how the hell it's going to go, regardless of soliciations, and that's exactly the reason I'm loving this book. High concept, high quality, high fives all around. This is the kind of product DC needs to raise their stars in the industry, however, with all the currently controversy surrounding J.G. Jones, FINAL CRISIS, and Dan DiDio, one has to wonder if this book will help DC or hurt it in the long run.

Either way, this is the best event book from the past three years.

Overall: 5/5

Written by Geoff Johns, James Robinson, and Sterling Gates
Art by Gary Frank and Jon Sibal, Renato Guedes and Wilson Magalháes, and Pete Woods

Oh. My. God.

Oh my god.


This is what you will be saying when you hit the final page of NEW KRYPTON SPECIAL (henceforth known as NKS). It's shocking, amazing, and revelatory. But there's pages before it, so let's get to looking.

The comic opens with Jonathan Kent's funeral in Smallville, direct from the events of ACTION COMICS. Clark Kent delivers a eulogy, then daydreams of breaking into the prison where Brainiac is being held and beating the alien despot to death. He's angry, Clark Kent is, he's angry and despondent and unsure of what to do or where to go from here. Cue flashback montage of some of Pa Kent's wisdom over the years, and Superman fills himself with a little more hope. Then, in a mysterious underground bunker, a group of scientists find out the hard way that Brainiac is still dangerous, even while inert, and a character named Assassin takes out Brainiac temporarily while a shadowy figure must find more scientists to examine Brainiac. Then, in Kandor, Superman has a hard time dealing with the Kryptonians and getting them to understand that Earth isn't just New Krypton, it's a planet that they all have to share and learn to co-exist on. Kara shows up and is reunited with her parents, a Kandorian shows off a blue whale he's killed because it "threatened" him, and Superman is beginning to have doubts about introducing the Kryptonians to Earth. Finally, a certain super-scientist whose name rhymes with "Sex Suthor" receives the call to examine a certain alien super-computer despot. And it's who contacts Luthor that's the big surprise of the big.

Johns, Robinson, and Gates set up the main beats of the coming Superfamily stories. Dealing with Pa's death, Jimmy Olsen knowing too much about a certain government project, Supergirl getting to know her parents again, and the Brainiac resolution. Someone is hiding something from Lois Lane, and it just might be her sister. Something is clearly wrong with Ma Kent, and it just might be that it's her husband's death taking the life out of her. And out of all of this, Zor-El makes mention that the Kryptonians of Kandor might just be wandering out on their own to meet Earth, not vice versa. Considering what happened to the blue whale, a scary thought indeed. Each of those writers clearly has set goals and thoughts for their own books and the story as a whole, especially Johns, whose work on last year's SINESTRO CORPS WAR set the standard for the mini-event along with Marvel's MESSIAH COMPLEX. If the one-shot is any indicator, NEW KRYPTON will end up being the Superman story of the decade. The artwork fluctuates between the artists, but I must admit that I'm a huge fan of Gary Frank, and wished he'd have done the whole book. That's no slight against Guedes and Woods, both artists are excellent, as showcased in the trade SUPERMAN: UP, UP, AND AWAY! If Guedes stays on SUPERMAN, and Woods does more Super-work, this is going to be nothing if not a pretty storyarc.

As a stand-alone, NKS is a must-buy. As a lead-in, it's essential. For that final page alone, this is the book of the week. Buy it or die, but if you die, come back as a zombie and buy it anyway. There's life in this one, folks.

Overall: 5/5

EDIT: Eagle-eyed readers will noticed that, yes, that's BRUCE WAYNE at Pa Kent's funeral, standing off to the side in the shadows, coat whipping in the wind. Took me two reads to realize who that was, as no one states exactly who it is. Am I reading into it? Maybe. But it makes sense. Johns FTW!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Reviews (or, lack thereof)

I swear I'm going to do reviews this week, but I've stopped and started multiple times because...well, to be gentle, some gastrointestinal issues.

Tomorrow! I swear, tomorrow reviews will be up!

UPDATE: More on J.G. Jones vs. FINAL CRISIS

As much as I hate to continue to spread the libel that's being published on Blogger, this particular blog post came to my attention today.

Here's a Flash Fact: if that's true, that's nobody's business. Nobody needs to hear about these things, especially considering that Jones himself offered a stern "no comment" as to why he was not finishing FINAL CRISIS, and then a quick apology for the delays and unfinished work.

The user writing that blog has apparently gone through a number of aliases already. Whoever they are, hopefully someone will track them down quickly and get this character assassination bullshit off the internet.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

J.G. Jones Apologizes for Final Crisis Delays, Unfinished Work

Over at Comic Book Resources, reknowned artist J.G. Jones has issued an apology for the delays to and his unfinished work on DC Comics' FINAL CRISIS. Jones has drawn the first three issues of the event title, and with tomorrow's issue number four, is joined by Carlos Pacheco on art to help keep the title on time. Recently it was announced that Doug Mahnke would be the sole artist on issue seven, the final issue in the series, confirming rumors that Jones was running late on his art chores. While the book itself had skipped a month in shipping, this was a planned break for story purposes, but then release dates continued to slide. Jones's apology comes after a stern "no comment" from the artist; clearly the guy isn't happy with his own work.

Meanwhile, over at Newsarama and at CBR's own forums, there have been a number of anonymous posters continually spewing vitriol in the artist's direction, as comic book artists in general have been producing artwork at a generally slower pace. To see this example as well only fuels the fire, and Mr. Jones has unfortunately felt the heat.

This is a call to all comic book fans: listen, guys, if we can't enjoy solid, detailed artwork in an EVENT TITLE that isn't a continuing series, then when can we enjoy it? Look at All-Star Superman: 12 issues over two and a half years. Quality artwork and writing. Jones probably would have had the final issue done in time for a February release, but instead we're getting Mahnke's pencils, which isn't a bad thing at all. I don't feel a need to call out Jones for a slow production when his work was as solid as it was.

Somebody, anybody go give Mr. Jones a hug and tell him it's all right. From what I read in his apology, he's taken this pretty hard.

Assholes are to the internet like moths are to the flame. It can get pretty harsh sometimes, but now is not the time for this guy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Best Damn DVD Ever

So, without gushing too much, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has one of the best damn 2-Disc packages ever. Simply put, the DVD case doubles as a pictographic journal of the filming of the movie. You open it up, read the intros from Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford, and on to the pictures. It's really beautifully amazing, and when a DVD package makes me smile from the word go, I get my hopes up for the special features.

There's a great, two hour documentary on the filming of the movie, plus extras on special effects, props, locations and makeup. What I wish I could have seen were deleted scenes, because the documentary shows off some interesting footage that didn't make the final cut, but would have been interesting to see as extras.

The film doc is a monster: seriously in-depth reveals as to how some of the stunts were performed, especially in Harrison Ford's case. There were a lot of times in the film where I thought it was a stunt double, but it turns out it was, in fact, Ford jumping and swinging wildly away. For a sixty-something, he's pretty spry. I know I probably couldn't do half of the stunts he did for this film.

As for the movie itself, it plays better on the small screen than on the silver screen; something about watching it on TV makes it feel, for me, like more of an Indiana Jones film than it did in the theater. It's still just as entertaining, but something about watching it from the couch makes me go "Oh yeah, this feels familiar."

So pop yer popcorn, shield yer eyes from the aliens, and enjoy the sometimes-unintentionally-hilarious action thrill ride known as Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Not as good as Temple of Doom, but better than Last Crusade.

Overall 4/5 (-1 for the horrible dialogue; who writes this shit?)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008



Chapter Three is up and running, and just in time for me to go to work.

Ahh, sweet victory.

I hate teh internetz

I've been trying to post Chapter Three of ULTIMATE BATMAN for the better part of an hour and a half. Newsarama is doing some kind of maintenance and is lagging greatly.


Reviews (or lack thereof) 10.15.08

I only have one book coming out this week, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, and as much as I love that book, I'm too lazy to go to the local comic shop (henceforth known as the LCS) for just one book. I'll review it next Wednesday when I pick up my other books.

Lazy reviewers? Next thing you know we'll have lying politicians.

Anyways, to make up for this, I'm working on a little piece called UNDERSTANDING MORRISON'S BATMAN, which is designed to bring everyone up to speed on what's been happening in BATMAN since Grant Morrison took over. It's pretty heady stuff, and I hope to have the walkthrough to part one, BATMAN AND SON, done by the end of the day.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lose Yourself to Mambo Number Five

This defies description.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Tuesday. I just have to make it to Tuesday.

Two-disc special edition, here I come!

Grant Morrison Moderates a Presidential Debate

"When the superluminal dimensional barrier shatters, leaking Bleed ubermenstruum into our world, and other worlds of the multiverse, how will you handle the shadow demons, and quite possibly a further collapse of other alternate parallel realities into this one? And secondly, will you endorse the use of fictionsuits for gay couples to at least pretend they can be married?"

"To be honest, Grant, I'm a maverick. And I don't believe in pulling out of anything I'm in the middle of, you understand what I'm saying? That said, my running partner, Sarah Palin, she lives in Alaska. She can see the Bleed from her house. And if anyone knows how to handle a leaking Bleed, it's a woman. That's why Sarah Palin and myself know that in order to keep America the shining light of the world, of freedom and democracy, we need to be prepared to handle any ubermenstuum spillage with the soft, gentle lining of America's army. America must always be at the forefront of the battle to protect our nations, to maintain that shining light for the rest of the world to see. Sarah Palin raised two children on her own, she's more than capable of keeping that sweet ass of hers at my side for a little interdimensional battle with Shadow Demons.

"As for those gay people, we'll feed them to the Demons first."

"There's a change coming, Grant. And we need to understand that in order to embrace this change, we're going to have to learn to erase the lines that divide the dimensions. There's no black, white, Earth-2 or 616. We're all in this together.

"That being said, any attacks on our borders must be met with equal force. And while our intentions will be diplomatic, the best offense is a good defense. We need to keep the peace at all costs, but sometimes the dark side will come calling, and when they do, we will be prepared for them. Senator Biden and myself have had lengthy discussions as to the very situation you've described, and while an interdimensional war is not good for anyone, there are times where it cannot be avoided. The Bleed will run rampant, and we will have to repair it for the good of our people, and for the good of all America.

"On the subject of gays, I have no problems with gay marriage. But if I had my way, I'd have the world's lesbians hit the TrimSpa hard, get some fake boobies, and make out on the White House lawn in red, white and blue thongs. That's the American way."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ultimate Batman

I've been working on what is, essentially, a fan fiction work with my good friend Alex "Salieri" Nuan over at Newsarama. What we've done is we've taken the concept of Batman and brought him into the 21st Century, a crazy revisioning of the whole franchise. It's no Batman Begins, but we're proud of it. The title of the work is ULTIMATE BATMAN and it's appearing in bi-weekly installments. Chapter One and Chapter Two are up, and Chapter Three bows next Wednesday. Here's a little preview artwork (drawn by myself) to draw you guys in.

From Chapter One

From Chapter Two

From Chapter Three

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank


If you've been on the web today, then maybe you've stumbled across's review of this very issue. Turns out this is one of those landmark comics where something BIG happens, something big enough to affect the "real" world. Well, here it is: Jonathan "Pa" Kent dies at the end of the issue. And it's pretty hard-hitting.

This is the end of the 5-part "Brainiac" story that's been in ACTION as of late, and we open with Superman and Supergirl incapacitated, the city of Metropolis shrunk to miniature size, and a warhead is on its way to the sun to vaporize the Milky Way. Inside the bottle that Metropolis is contained in, Lois gives her last farewells to Superman, which is incentive enough for him to make one last ditch effort to break free and beat Brainiac. He beats the villain, grabs Metropolis and Kandor, then grabs Supergirl and tells her to get the warhead before it hits the sun. Then he proceeds to place Metropolis back where it goes, and Kandor in a place where it will have room to grow back to normal size.

Johns keeps the tension tight and the issue flowing, and Frank's artwork is spot on. For some reason it isn't as dynamic as it normally is, but that could just be my opinion. When it comes around to Pa Kent's death, it's really tense. Supergirl is diverting the warhead while Superman tries to get Kandor to Antarctica before it grows while Brainiac is making one last attempt to defeat Superman: by killing his parents. See, Brainaic was able to "download" Superman's memories, and as such knows where they live. Pa goes out like a hero, running to tackle Ma out of the way of Brainiac's incoming ship, and in saving her strains himself into a heart attack. It's the next couple of pages, which I will not spoil, which are some of the most heartrending pages I've seen in a comic. Not to be missed.

Overall: 5/5

Written by Andrew Kreisberg
Art by Scott McDaniel

I normally loathe and avoid "Stories from (character)'s past!!" comics, but this one I made an exception on for two reasons: Stephane Roux's cover art, and Scott McDaniel's interior art. I love both artists, and thought, "What the hell!"

What the hell, indeed.

The story's kind of a mess. A lot happens for a single issue, and it feels rather forced. We start with two officers discussing how one of them has had personal issues in the past, but his new wife Holly makes him feel like a new man. Then Batman storms in and drops off the Joker. The story being told is the Joker's "first time" in the Gotham PD, so no one's sure what to do with him. One thing leads to another, Joker cracks jokes, burns some of the bums in the slammer with acid, then in the scuffle picks the pocket of Officer Rage Issues, and calls dear Holly, informing her that he's her doctor blah blah blah she has a horrible disease blah blah and she ought to just hang herself and get it out of the way. So then Officer Anger Management runs to his apartment to find poor Holly has done just that. Cut to Batman's shocked expression that the Joker pulled this off.

Cut to me going "What the hell?!"

The Joker is a mad bastard, right, we get that. He's got a morbid sense of humor, yeah, we got that too. But once we were introduced to the stereotypical "angry police officer who's so boring I can't even remember his name" with the wife of gold, I knew we were going to see the Joker kill her at some point; I just didn't think it would be the same issue. In such. A lame. Way. "Hi, I'm your doctor, no really, I am, and guess what, got your blood work done. Hoo hah, you, uh, you might want to sit down for this. Or maybe just hang yourself. Because, as your doctor, I would seriously recommend harming yourself." Even though they don't show us Holly's dead body, I have to assume that she was a blonde.

The story is a stereotypical cliche mess, but the art? If you're a McDaniel fan, look no further than to whet your appetite with some great work (especially in the sequence where the Joker poses for his mug shot). As for me, this one issue is enough for me to leave the rest of this four-part tale at the comic shop.

Overall: 3/5 (+1 for the art)

Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen


This is "Heart of Hush" Part 4 of 5. Previously, in part 3, we saw that Hush had kidnapped Catwoman and removed her heart while keeping her body alive. So in this issue Batman goes after the Scarecrow, who in part 3 had kidnapped a young boy to distract Batman from Catwoman's plight. Now in Arkham, Scarecrow has no idea what Hush is up to, even though Batman electrifies the Scarecrow to pry the info out of him.


Look, I'm no Batman expert, but I'm working on it. Does Batman doling out electric shocks to criminals seem a tad violent to anyone else? The same problem arises later when Batman finally corners Hush, and Batman says "I should break your neck!" Batman is a violent guy, but murderously, torturously violent? Maybe I'm opinionating here.

Anyways, Batman tracks down Hush, Hush explains that he's using Mister Freeze's cryo-technology to keep Selina and her still-beating heart alive, and then Hush hits Batman with a neuro-compound to incapacitate him. Now, before I get to the MAJOR SPOILER, previously in DETECTIVE #848, Selina slashed the bandages on Hush's face, then exclaimed "What? But you're not---" Couple in the fact that Hush, aka Tommy Elliot, is obsessed with Bruce Wayne, and I'm sure you can guess where Paul Dini is taking this.

You got it. Hush's master plan is that he's changed his face so that he looks like Bruce Wayne and is now going to pretend to be Bruce and collapse Wayne Manor and tell everyone he's giving up being Batman.

Overthinking this, much? Can't just kill the guy? Gotta go change your face and then go see his friends (who're gonna know, trust me) and say "Fuck this, I'm done being Batman, I give up!" I mean, seriously, just kill Batman. Then there will be no more Batman. It's less convoluted and it actually makes sense. Instead, you've kidnapped Catwoman, got her and her heart on life support, you've got Batman incapacitated so that he'll watch her heart beat its last just before HE dies, and then you're going to assume his identity in order to get rid of the Batman? I mean, shoot, double-tap to the back of the skull. But that's just me, personally. He's right there. Just shoot him and say "Fuck it, I'll head out now."

Paul Dini. He's a smart writer.

What saves this comic is Dustin Nguyen's slick, stylistic linework and awesome cover. Scroll up and look at it again; man, that's some impressionistic nightmare imagery.

I'll keep picking this book up because DETECTIVE is my favorite comic title of all time, and mostly because it's been hinted at that Dini won't be on the title much longer.

Overall 3/5 (+2 for the art)

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis

Aaaaaaand "Secret Origin" ends it's seven-part saga. Good. Now we can get back to what Hal Jordan is doing right now instead of in the past.

Oh? Did you want a real review?

The short: Hal questions the Guardians, Sinestro questions the Guardians, and the Guardians say "You guys are right, we'll go along with what you suggest." The end. I love Johns' work in total, but to capstone the whole story with an entire issue of that seems a bit padded to me. Granted, we've just seen six parts of AWESOME, so padding is okay at this point, but it's basically giving us GREEN LANTERN: YEAR ONE according to Johns. After the recent SINESTRO CORPS WAR, this feels incredibly dull, but I digress; it's necessary info in light of the coming BLACKEST NIGHT storyarc, which kicks off this month with RAGE OF THE RED LANTERNS, and boy I can't wait to get into that. Once again, Ivan Reis delivers sturdy lines and great action, elevating the bland story above the semi-tedious end of the arc. Not THE BEST GL issue ever, but hey, it's been worse, and considering where it's going, it's a nice little break.

Overall 4/5 (+1 for art)

Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason

GLC has been my fix for all things Green Lantern with the GL title proper being stuck in flashback mode for the last seven months, and this issue delivers again. Tomasi keeps it smart, showing us exactly what we need to know and leaves us hanging for more.

The Zamarons have just built their Star Sapphire power battery and are recruiting. A young woman whose husband was killed in front of her is the first (seen) recruit, and the effect is awesome. That's her on the cover. Anyways, the Guardians are a little concerned that the Zamarons are showing off as much as they are, considering that the Zamarons used to cohabitate with the Oans back in the day. What are the Guardians to do about this rising source of power?

Well, Guy Gardner has his own problems: basically being a dick like he always is and ignoring what Ice is trying to tell him. She likes him and all, but she's not ready to move in with him, especially since he's living on Oa, and she doesn't want to leave Earth yet. While this is going on, Kyle and Natu are on their way to track down a Sinestro Corps officer named Kryb, who steals Lantern babies. And finally, as revealed last issue, Lantern Saarek is using his ability to speak with the dead to track down the Anti-Monitor's corpse, which we know is the energy source for the Black Lantern battery. He gets a lead and takes off. Then Guy gets the call as Ice leaves for Earth to escort the Guardians on a diplomatic mission to Zamaron.

Tomasi is setting up the pieces for what's to come: Kyle and Natu doing their thing, Guy and Ice doing their thing, and Zamarons. Word and solicits state that the Guardians are going to put a ban on Lanterns feeling love, so should that come about there's going to be some interesting ramifications. As it is, Tomasi as me wanting to know what's gonna happen at this Zamaron conference, and what Saarek is going to run into.

Overall 4/5

Written by Steve Niles
Art by Scott Hampton

The solicits describe this as a special "stand-alone" issue to introduce you to Simon and his world. Come on in, everyone! Meet Simon Dark!

Truth be told, I didn't feel that this was strong enough story-wise to warrant a good introduction to Simon Dark (and I LOOOOOVE Steve Niles). Do yourself a favor: go out, buy SIMON DARK: WHAT SIMON DOES, the first trade, and read that. It's a much better intro. It's $14.99, but you get your money's worth. I love Steve Niles, I like Scott Hampton, I reeeeeeally like Simon Dark, but this issue was really bland, and aside from telling us a little backstory about one of the characters, it's just....there. I wish I could gush on the flaws or something, but it's just....there.

Go buy WHAT SIMON DOES. You'll thank me for it later.

Overall 2/5


Hi everyone, I'm Christopher. Let's get into a little bit about who I am, what I do, and what I want to do.

First off, I'm a published writer. My shorts have appeared in A Thousand Faces quarterly journal, which publishes superhuman fiction. I don't try to write any genre in particular, but lately I've been focusing my work more and more on superheroes and comic books in general. I've got a couple of projects in the works, but you know, daily "reality" has to come first. Reality like kids and work and trying to go to sleep at night. I do artwork here and there, but nothing sequential. My god, how anyone can make a living off of sequential art, man, props to those guys. Those are the hardest working men in comics, let me tell you. Writing, well, it's easy to me, so I guess I can't really make generalizations, but I'd rather do the writing than the drawing, lemme tell ya. I make coffee for a living and write for a hobby at the moment, but I'd like to change that. Who wouldn't?

(well, I dunno. Working in coffee means huge discounts on coffee; be envious)

What I want to do with this blog is a bunch of things. I like to offer my opinion (a LOT) so I want to use this as a review blog about comic books. I don't buy everything, so if you want me to review Scott Pilgrim or something independent like that, well, if it doesn't catch my interest enough to warrant spending money, I ain't buying it. I'm mostly purchasing DC Comics stuff, so that's what you'll be seeing here. What I also want to do here is highlight my work and the works of others, so if I find something interesting I'll provide links. Lots of links. I'll also show off a little bit here and there. I like to do that more than I like to give my opinion. :)

First and foremost, I'm all about getting my name out there. Second, I'm all about giving you a piece of my mind, dammit. And thirdly, I'm all about entertaining. So expect that, expect fun, expect the unexpected.

Let's get it on!