Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

About the graphic novels in the library

Ever since I registered to be a member of Queens Borough Public Library back on Tuesday, June 24, 2008, I’ve borrowed many volumes of different types of books.

However, I will have to say that I enjoyed reading the graphic novels and trade paperbacks more so than the regular text only books. After all, visual sequential art is enjoyable and can keep your attention, more so when the story is well done.

I have read the following graphic novels:

Stephen King’s Dark Tower by Peter David
The Flash: Rogues by Geoff Johns
Runaways Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
Phoenix Endsong by Greg Pak
JLA: Crisis of Conscience by Geoff Johns & Allan Heinberg
Batman Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb
Batman Hush Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
Daredevil: Hell to Pay Vol.1 by Ed Brubaker
Y: The Last Man Vol. 1, Vol.4, Vol. 5, & Vol.6

And I’ll probably talk about some of the reading materials above in the future, as well as some of the items below.

And I have a lot more reading material from the library. I cannot believe the amount of material available to borrow from the library.

I have the following at home to read:

Liberty Meadows (three volumes) by Frank Cho
Daredevil (three volumes) by Brian Bendis
JLA (one volume) by Grant Morrison
Y: The Last Man (one volume) by Brian K. Vaughan

There are many more items on request as well. The maximum you can borrow is 50 items on your card. Each item has a term of 3 weeks per borrowing time. They can be renewed 5 more times with 3 weeks each renewal time, with the exception if the item is on request by another registered member.

Boy I could really have saved some money on some of the items if I rediscovered the library sooner. But it’s better late than never.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Volume Two Issue #1









Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Volume Two Issue #1 written by Terry Moore hits the stands this week. Terry takes over for Sean McKeever, and I'll review it sometime after purchasing and reading it. In the meantime, here the cover page and six images inside the comic book. Klik on the image to enlarge the picture.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Batman Confidential #17 and #18



Here's the cover page for both of these. I will review them on a later date.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Need to update here

Looks like need to post some updates here. Going to post regular updates.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Amazing Spider-Man #275




Amazing Spider-Man #275
April 1986
Writer: Tom DeFalco; Artist: Ron Frenz
Title: "The Choice and the Challenge"

I rate this issue 4 out of 5 stars.

Synopsis:

I came across this old Spider-Man comic book while moving and discarding some old boxes in the closet. I wasn't a regular reader of Spider-Man at the time, but the cover with Spidey in his black costume and Hobgoblin battling while riding Hobgoblin's glider was a great cover. At the same time, the issue showcased Spidey's origin.

Hobgoblin is in a warehouse testing his new arsenal of weapons provided by his new partner, The Rose. They have joined forces to take over the criminal underworld and build a bigger criminal empire than The Kingpin.

There's a get together at the Parker household, holding a surprise get together for May parker's friend wheelchairbound Nathan who was just released from the hospital. Mary Jane Watson finds a Peter Parker in deep thought by the window. She asks him what's troubling him, and he tells her it was his fault as Spidey that Nathan got hurt in the first place. And repeating oh so many times in the past, Peter tells MJ that he is quitting and will never be Spider-Man again.

Meanwhile in another part of town, Hobgoblin takes down two crooks and flies away with their briefcase. He has warned the crooks that the city now belongs to him and The Rose, and that all criminals "working" in the area gives a 10% cut to The Rose and The Hobgoblin.

On another part of town, at Flash Thompson's apartment...Flash's girlfriend Sha-Shan calls the Daily Bugle asking for Peter Parker. He's not in, so she hangs up. An enraged Flash Thompson appears and grabs her, yells, and accusing her of seeing Peter Parker. Sha-Shan in tears says she is not, and that she knows about Flash and Betty Brant-Leeds have been seeing each other. Flash yells at her to shut up and then "KRAKK" punches Sha-Shan in the face with a roundhouse right! She goes down to the floor. Flash then runs out of the apartment.

Going down the subway station Peter and Mary Jane are having a talk about his quitting being Spider-Man. He tells her that his run-ins with the Beyonder and a lot of other weirdos lately has made him think about his place in the grand scheme of things. She then asks Peter how he became Spider-Man in the first place ? An enraged Peter, tells her because she never asked, that she never wanted to know about that part of his life, and walks away from her. MJ goes over to the subway platform and held Peter's hand and tells him she is sorry and that she is asking now.

Long story short...the origin of Spider-Man. Everyone made fun of Parker. He was bitten by a readioactive spider. He doesn't stop the gunman. The gunman kills Uncle Ben. And with great power comes great responsibility...is born.

So Peter and MJ keep talking about why he was quitting as Spider-Man. Peter saying that he does a lousy job of being a superhero. He couldn't save Gwen. He didn't keep an eye on Nathan, leading him to get hurt. He was pursuing the criminal called Sin-Eater who murdered police captain Jean DeWolf because she was too soft of crime. He caught up with Sin-Eater and dodges his shotgun blast, but he couldn't prevent him from shooting at the crowd. Anguish covering Peter's face, he continues that one man died and several were severely injured because he was too slow to save them. That he was trying to stop Sin-Eater while trading puns. He was making jokes stopping a villain while people were dying.

Meanwhile, in the Daily Bugle, Betty Brant-Leeds could not reach either Flash or her husband Ned. Robbie talks to Betty, and she breaks down telling him that Ned never has any time for her, and to stop giving Ned Leeds all those undercover assignments that keep him away from her for weeks. Robbie subconsciously tells himself, what undercover assignments?

At Flash Thompson’s apartment Need Leeds knocks on the door and was answered by Sha-Shan. He asks about Flash’s whereabouts and to tell him that Flash and him have deadly serious business to discuss.

At the Kingpin’s HQ, criminals are complaining about the Hobgoblin’s use of muscle against them. Wilson Fisk deduces if the man beneath The Rose’s mask is the man he thinks, then he fears this gang war.

Flash Thompson deep in thought arrives back in his apartment. An angry Need Leeds confronts him in front of the building accusing Flash of being a housewrecker. Flash retorts that Betty is a grown woman and can make her own decisions. Ned grabs Flash shoulder and Flash responds with a roundhouse right sending Need to the ground. Ned vows vengeance, that Flash will pay for this. Flash enters his apartment and finds Sha-Shan gone along with her belongings. An enraged Flash says that miserable little wench, wait til he gets his hands on her.

Hobgoblin flies to the sky trying to lure Spider-Man in the open. A policeman tries to stop him to no avail. He wants the media involved so he can be televised and have Spider-Man show up. He grabs a bystander and flies up. It’s Sha-Shan.

MY and Peter arrive in his apartment. They watch the news and see that Hobgoblin has a hostage. Peter tells MJ there are other costumed jerks in the city that can take care of this…The Avengers, Fantastic Four, etc. MJ tells him he’s got some amazing powers that he owes it to himself to use them to help others and to use them properly. What has happened to him? Where is his sense of responsibility?

Above the city, Hobgoblin makes fun of Sha Shan, that he learned from past experience that it isn’t easy to menace someone he fins so appealing. Out of nowhere some tells Hobgoblin that he is a fright face and isn’t it bad enough that he threatened the woman’s life, that he has to insult her too.

Yup interactive banter from the Amazing Spider-Man.

The battle above the city. Hobgoblin with woman in tow throws conventional explosive at Spider-Man, who avoids them with ease. Spidey suddenly realizes that there are people below who would get hurt when the explosives hit them. He shoots a web after the explosive and hurls them to explode up in the air hurting no one. He jams Hobgoblins finger blaster with webbing and it explodes, rattling Hobgoblin. Trying to escape Spider-Man…Hobgoblins throws Sha Shan to the ground way down below. Spidey sees a flashback of Gwen Stacy falling from the bridge and chases after Sha Shan. He reaches her in time and shoots a web to grab onto a side of a building to prevent them from splattering to the ground. But the momentum’s sudden stop hurt his arm and shoulder.

A ticked off Spider-Man goes after Hobgoblin. He catches up with him and Hobgoblins lets loose a barrage of finger blasters. Spider-Man avoids each blast, with great art displaying movement from Ron Frenz. While dodging the blasts, Spidey lands on the injured shoulder and just keeps him off balanced long enough for one of the blasters to hit him. An unconscious Spider-Man lies on the roof with the Hobgoblin hovering just above him ready to finish the job. And the issue ends.

Commentary:

This classic issue is full of conflicts. That is the strength of this issue. The core theme of the Spider-Man mythology is “With great powers comes great responsibility.” Peter knows he can’t abandon being Spider-Man. But on top of that there are other conflicts throughout this issue that grabs the reader’s attention. Flash and Ned’s conflict resulting over Ned’s wife Betty. Flash and Sha-Shan’ conflict resulting in break-up. MJ and Peter. Peter against himself. Peter against the Hobgoblin. There is always something standing in the way of a character’s objective. And these move the story forward.

Tom DeFalco has more than one plot going on at the same time. And he magically weaves them together to synchronize magnificently. He uses brilliant foreshadowing in The Kingpin’s headquarters about a future gang war between The Rose and The Kingpin, who is very powerful yet might know the man behind The Rose’s mask, and fears him.

Peter Parker is well-written here covering the superhero with self-doubts and making him more human than any other superhero. The best part is how the supporting cast comes to life and have problems real people encounter in their life. A reader can empathize with the problems associated with them as it deals with personal relationships. What woman cannot empathize with Betty Brant-Leeds who just wants extra time with her husband. And characters readers can grow to hate but yet are captivated by them. How about the jealous husband in Ned Leeds ? Or the enraged jealous violent boyfriend in Flash Thompson.

As far as art goes, Ron Frenz captures Spider-Man’s fluid movements. During the battle against Hobgoblin, Spider-Man was avoiding his finger blasts and Ron’s drawing of Spidey’s movements captures the fluid movements of a gymnast gracefully avoiding blasts with ease. He has great understanding of body movements almost as if he’s Spider-Man himself.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Birds of Prey #108 Review




Birds of Prey #108

Posted: Tuesday, July 24
By: Ken
Rating: 4.5

"Swan Song" (Whitewater Epilogue)

Writer: Gail Simone
Artists: Nicola Scott (p), Doug Hazlewood (i), Hi-Fi Designs (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics

Finally, the original Batgirl graces Birds of Prey!

It was fun and enjoyable while it lasted. Before moving on to her regular gig writing the Wonder Woman series, Gail Simone leaves on a positive note. This issue is one of the best, if not THE best, in her 50+ consecutive run on Birds of Prey. I am sure fans of the series want to thank her for creating a stellar run that makes the reader care about the characters in this series.

Plot: The BoP field team are on their way back to Oracle's HQ in Metropolis. Katarina versus Barbara. One fight to a finish. The prize is complete control of Oracle's operation. The loser gets to leave town with smeared mascara and a bloody nose.

Comment: The prologue sets up an interesting and possible relationship in the future. Gail Simone understands her characters well. They have been transformed into a tight group of "sisters" intensely loyalty to each other. The banter between the girls near the end of the issue genuinely captures how girls act and talk during their last time together before going their separate ways. People will miss Gail's portrayal of these women. At the same time the humor in the dialogue will be missed as well. When a former BoP member threatens to break someone's ankles, Huntress tells her she's bluffing. At which the former BoP responds that Huntress was right, she won't break the ankles; instead she will most likely start with the fingers. This way there is less bending over for her. I started laughing as T & A art from former series artist Ed Benes came to mind.

Aside from the core group, there is good foreshadowing on a new core member: The Manhunter who is smart, silent, and deadly in the way Gail shows her in this issue. The Manhunter's silence shows exactly why the silent ones are the deadliest. Huntress has grown into the mantle of field leader rather smoothly. It was a nice progression since Black Canary's departure from the team, and one can look forward to some violent chemistry and friendship between Huntress and Manhunter in future issues. One can only hope that the permanent writer can take Gail's baton and have a successful run for this series as well.

The classic "hard worker puts one over the boss" scene was done well. BoP fans and readers of the current arc have been sick to their stomach watching Spy Smasher's portrayal as the bullying boss. I am sure those same fans want to pummel or see someone give her the beating she rightfully deserves.

Rightfully deserving praise is Nicola Scott's art. I wish Nicola Scott had a long tenure on Birds of Prey. Her work on this issue is nothing short of phenomenal. From the cover page, she captures the intensity of what is waiting for the readers inside the book. She captures Huntress and Manhunter's intelligence and level of danger. In the plane ride back to Metropolis, their silent discussion in the tail end along with their verbal confrontation with Spy Smasher at the cockpit planted seeds of just how dangerous these two can be. Scott's art portrays the whole sequence perfectly conveying Manhunter as a silent dangerous enforcer to Huntress's defiance to authority. Readers of the Manhunter series know she is not beyond maiming or even possibly killing an enemy. Huntress at one time was open about killing an enemy as well. The seeds they planted saw fruition at Oracle's Maiden Tower Headquarters by blatantly dishing out a "Pearl Harbor job from the blind side" to Spy Smasher. This sets up one of the greatest confrontations of all time in Birds of Prey history: Oracle, and her vendetta against Spy Smasher. This time the playing field is even after the assault from Huntress and Manhunter. The fight sequence was paced perfectly. Nicola Scott's art presents the battle like an acclaimed Broadway marathon. The reader will just want to flip the pages back and forth and view the fight sequence over and over and over. The art conveys Barabara's rage as if jumping out of the paper. The reader can feel her justified raging emotions. Furthermore, with Katrina bullying Barbara the previous BoP issues, the readers cannot help but cheer for Oracle and savor each blow she lands on the wicked witch from the DEO. On top of this deliciously baked cake that is Nicola Scott's art, she wins the Blue Ribbon with that 5 page sequence. The gathering of those close metahumans just shows the friendship and loyalty that Oracle inspires. Those five pages alone are worth the price on this issue. Finally, the arts work better showing empowerment instead of exploitation.

Final Word: Last summer I purchased an issue of Birds of Prey. After reading that issue, I was hooked and proceeded to acquire back issues written by Gail Simone on this series. One rarely comes across a writer who genuinely understands the characters. From the sincere sister-like interaction between Oracle and Black Canary to Huntress's razor-sharp edgy superhero style, Gail has imprinted her mark on this series. For many readers, the mere mention of the series title is followed immediately by the name Gail Simone. This was not caused by accident. Gail earned this distinction by constantly producing quality work from her debut on the title up to her finale in issue #108. I daresay this might very well be the best issue of this whole run. Don't miss out. BoP fans will miss Gail's work. It is always best to depart at your best, reminding fans how much their support for the series was very much respected.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Superman/Batman #37 review



Superman/Batman #37

By Ken
Rating: 1.5

"Torment"

Writer: Alan Burnett
Artist: Dustin Nguyen (p), Derek Fridolfs (i), Randy Mayor ( c)

Synopsis: Killer Croc steals a kryptonian artifact from Lex Corp. His beneficiary is a generic monster villain named Schrocken, who turns on Croc. Clark and Lois’s lunch with their friend is interrupted by Batman summoning Superman via the communicator. Croc is found on a boat and battles Batman once the boat reaches shore. Superman then feels some tremors and flies outside the Daily Planet just to see he is not in Kansas anymore. Okay, he's not in Metropolis anymore.

Comment:
Being part of a creative team blessed to work on DC's two flagship characters’ team-up book should be an honor, which is rarely received by creative teams. This honor should have the creative team produce their best work, whether it is their monthly routine or a fill-in issue. Why? To work on Superman/Batman is not just for money. It is not just for glory. It is for honor. You bring out your very best, and you put it down to show respect to these icon. Giving nothing but your best is how these defining characters of DC and comics in general should be handled. Unfortunately, the work on this issue puts a stain on that honor.

I read through the whole comic book and re-read it a second time. I dropped a quarter on the floor and the sound can be heard blocks away. I am still at a loss for words. Superman/Batman has been suffering from a lethargic effort from its creative teams lately. The negative comments towards this series will not affect it's selling power. Having a strong hunch the story and art will be below standard, I still purchased the book on the basis of The Man of Steel and The Caped Crusader being the central characters on this premiere team-up book.

Dustin Nguyen's art started with a lackluster cover. The generic monster villain is something concocted without much creative installment. The characters were drawn with a lack of details. The faces come across as if they were unaware of how they were supposed to look like. In a book showcasing DC's Big Two, that is a travesty of justice. If the art was a meal, the reader just had a couple of slices of lima beans pizza. It doesn't sound appetizing, the same can be said of the art on this book. I know Dustin Nguyen is talented. The scenes where Batman fought Killer Croc were cutting edge pencils. His creative juices must have been 100 percent from concentrate instead of all natural, when it came to drawing civilians. On page nine, the rendition of Lois and Clark seemed to come from an amateur with a lack of penciling experience who just self-published an independent comic book. Sometimes the art can carry the book, even with a lackadaisical story. But the art in this issue is very spotty.

Alan Burnett's script could have used more tweaking to bring it to average. The first mistake was Lois and Clark having lunch with an old friend which took up two pages wasted forced dialogue. Those two pages could have been summed up in two panels. One panel with lunch and simple dialogue, and the next panel Batman summoning Superman. Then Alan could have added two more pages worth of tweaking other parts of the story that could have used those space to move the story forward or develop plots from mediocre and transforming them to above average. Superman/Batman is not about little moments with friends hardly seen in their alter ego's life. Superman/Batman is about dynamic action, and unearthly plots that shows the gravity of the situation where only the World’s Finest can save the day. Quiet moments are limited to loved ones the readers are familiar with, who can appreciate the feel good moments. These are Bruce's wards, Alfred, and Lois. Other non-entity civilians can go visit Superman's or Batman's individual series titles. The plot could put Rip Van Winkle to sleep. The monster acquired the kryptonian artifact, the reader will infer it will head towards Metropolis to use it on Superman. Okay no problem. The big problem is he gets there by car? Come on, that has been done hundreds of times in the past. Alan could have made the entrance to Metropolis more sinister. Dangle a carrot to the reader. Create something that will suck the reader in, not have him or her close the book and toss it in the plastic bag and backboard within five to ten minutes. Now if the reader does that, the only honorable thing to do, is to have exerted 110 percent effort for Superman/Batman #38.

Final Words: I can only recommend this issue to diehard Superman/Batman collectors. Notice, I did not type "readers". Purchase this if you are collecting this series. If you want to read and be entertained, wait until the next creative team takes the helm on Superman/Batman.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #21 review



Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #21

By Ken
Rating: 2.5

"Consuming Passion"

Writer: Peter David
Artist: Todd Nauck (p), Robert Campanella (i), John Calisz ( c)

Synopsis: Previously on FNSM #20, Eros, The Other kidnapped Flash Thompson from the bowling alley while he was on his date. After a little heart to heart talk with Betty Brant in Flash's apartment, Peter leaves her to go find Flash after concluding Midtown High Nurse Arrow is really The Other who I will call “Tee-Oh” for easy reference. Then Spidey crashes the bowling alley and does battle with Tee-Oh. Flash escapes with his date to a truck only to be thwarted by Tee-Oh and her legions of cannibalistic spiders. Spider-Man saves Flash's date, but upon reaching the truck, Flash was nowhere to be seen along with any of Tee-Oh and her horde.

Now on FNSM #21, while on the truck, Spider-Man ponders what could've happened to Flash and Eros, Tee-Oh's real name. In deep thought, Spider-Man is harassed by a law enforcement official, who has an armory in his car’s trunk that would make Frank Castle urinate in his Kevlar. Spider-Man's chit-chat with the police officer was filmed unbeknownst to the web slinger. This film will have ramifications later in the book, as it leads to Robbie Robertson yell at J. Jonah Jameson in front of the Daily Bugle staff. Spidey finds Tee-Oh and a webbed up Flash Thompson in a warehouse where Peter and Tee-Oh have a battle. Guess who won this round?

Comments: I would have given FNSM #21 a 3-bullet rating. I had to deduct a bullet point, because of a certain nuisance in the art. Now don't get me wrong. In respect to Amazing Spider-Man and Sensational Spider-Man, FNSM is supposed to be lighter in tone whether it is story or art. Todd Nauck did a good job with the pencils, and Robert Campanella's ink accentuates Nauck's pencils nicely. However, it is the drawing of the noses of every character in this issue that made me deduct a bullet point. I was tempted to deduct a bullet point and a half, but Peter David's writing offset that temptation. All the noses came out like a shortened horizontal boot with a spiky toe. Every time I looked at the panels depicting Tee-Oh, a picture of The Iron Sheik's pointed boots would pop up in my mind. I can understand rendering Tee-Oh's, nose that way to reflect her non-human status. But Betty Brant's nose on pages 3 and 4 are rendered the same way which made her face look annoying.

It is easier to find negative things to say about the art than the positive ones. However, in my mind I have a valid reason. On positive notes, the battle scenes between Spider-Man and Tee-Oh was great. You can tell her determination with her intense eyes. Nauck’s art conveys her between intensity and insanity, making her more dangerous. After all, Tee-Oh's eyes switch from rage to complete confidence almost knowing that she will win. By fighting with their stingers, the battle reminded me of the vicious ballet between Sabretooth and Wolverine. You can’t be more dynamic in that sequence. The only difference was the sound when Spider-Man's stinger came out, "SNAK". Next is the presentation of the creepiness all the thousands of spiders and that disgusting “special egg”. It makes one shiver and look underneath to make sure there are no spiders around. All in all Todd Nauck fits well with Peter David's witty-serious writing. Now, perhaps a "nose job" can be done by Todd Nauck.

Have you ever encountered a dangerous animal that was funny? Peter David's writing on this issue reminded me of the laughing hyena. This is actual praise. The story moves forward, and each new setting, results with greater danger for Spider-Man. Also, the reader cannot help but laugh with the witty dialogue that is de facto Peter David. Spider-Man's "Back in Black" storylines have supposedly darkened our superhero. However, FNSM helmed by Peter David, the fans get the classic witty-banter from Spidey during his battle with Tee-Oh, and from his encounter with the police officer earlier. Peter is the definite writer for FNSM. He fits the tone perfectly. Whether it is “red and blue” or “back in black”, Peter David captures the essence of Spidey's crackling dialogue. This is a rare benefit seldom seen by readers of Spidey today, as his dialogue by other writers fail to capture this defining characteristic of our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.

Final Words:
This book is for you if you are a Spider-Man fan, and want some of Spidey's other stories tie up its loose ends. If not, it is still a good book to pick up if you just want to be entertained with a genuine Spider-Man character who is witty and entertaining.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Wolverine Origins #15



Wolverine Origins #15

Posted: Friday, June 29
By: Ken
Rating: 3.5

"Swift and Terrible" (Conclusion)

Writer: Daniel Way
Artists: Steve Dillon (p), Matt Milla (colors)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

I dropped Wolverine Origins from my monthly buy list a few months ago because the series did not live up to my expectations. After the first couple of issues, the series seemed like a red delicious apple tasting like a grapefruit. You expected one thing and received something completely different. It was a letdown. Nonetheless, I picked this issue up from the rack and wanted to see if Daniel Way made a 180 degree turn, perhaps gave the returning fans something worthwhile to look forward to again.

Plot: Wolverine brings Cyber to the Tinkerer to be patched up. Cyber gives Wolverine a revelation behind the deaths of the lovers throughout his life. A caged Daken is being disciplined with corporal punishment. And the Tinkerer's guest appearance in this issue results in Wolverine smiling at the end of the issue.

Comment:
I would have given this book a higher rating, but I seem to be suffering apprehension from previous issues. Let's see if the series can now maintain a "must buy" status. But all in all, this book was solid. I am still wondering if I actually read a Wolverine Origins book. The plot moved forward. The art was good. Daniel Way wrote a serious and funny story at the same time by providing an interesting flashback in Wolverine's life. The guest appearance by a deceased Canadian group leader in the flashback made me lose sympathy for his death years back. The man makes Tony Stark (after Civil War) appear like a genuine boy scout. However, I am still astonished reading this issue completely without placing it in the shelf half-way through the story as I did with previous issues.

The revelations in this book were so immense that I did not even notice the ads in this issue. Cyber's explanation on Wolverine's predatory-wild-animal-side in connection to the death of his lovers in itself is worth half the price. I tip my hat off to Daniel Way for bringing us this explanation. The third to last page with Wolverine's genuine smile captured brilliantly by Steve Dillon is worth the other half of the price. What made Wolverine smile? Go purchase the book now. You will be satisfied with the answer to that question.

I also want to point out the fact that Steve Dillon's pencils on the flashback portion was outstanding in its simplicity. It's clean cut, just like the soldiers in that flashback. Add Matt Milla's colors and that flashback just adds that nostalgic feeling of yesteryears. Back in the current timeline, look at the rims on the Tinkerer's wheelchair on page 6. Professor X's rims should have that "X" look.

Final words:
Wolverine's genuine smile at the end. I never came across a comic book with a genuine smile on Wolverine. It did not feel forced. And the revelations regarding the death of the women in Logan's life captured the tragedy that is Logan's life. I highly recommend this issue.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps #1



Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1

By Ken
Rating: 4.5 Bullets

"The Second Rebirth" (prologue)
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver (p), Moose Bauman ( c )

"The Greatest Once, The Greatest Again" (Tales of the Sinestro Corps)
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Dave Gibbons (p), Rodney Ramos (i), Moose Baumann ( c )

Publisher: DC

Plot: In the anti-matter universe, Sinestro vows vengeance against the Green Lanterns and the universe. He guarantees everything will change. He recites his oath, "In blackest day, in brightest night, beware your fears made into light, let those who try to stop what's right, burn like my power, Sinestro's might !" The scene then shifts to Earth where the JLA is battling Zoom. After that brief tussle with Zoom, Green Lantern has a little chit chat with the JLA with Batman giving information that he was chosen by a yellow power-ring because he had the ability to instill great fear. Hal Jordan lets the JLA know that the Sinestro Corps is not Earth's problem prior to departing for space. Jump to space sector 424, and a pair of Green Lanterns are having problems catching an elusive yellow power-ring darting towards another space sector. Add Kyle Rayner into the picture. As Ion, one of the most powerful beings in the universe, he easily catches the yellow power-ring and accompanies the two Green Lanterns back at Oa. In Oa, Guy Gardner leaves Superboy Prime sentry duty to have lunch with his fellow Earthmen Green Lanterns, but not before teasing Superboy Prime. There is a look on Superboy Prime that makes the gives the reader a little trepidation and make the stomach feel uneasy. Then the Guardians of the Universe discuss amongst themselves about what Cyborg-Superman, Hank Henshaw discovered while bonded to the source wall, which is the end of the known universe for the Guardians. The four earthmen sit in the same table with the yellow power-ring encased in sphere preventing it from escaping. Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner together in one table. When these guys are together, there is usually a big crisis happening. The yellow power-ring burst out of the encasing and moves all over the cafeteria amongst the hundreds of Green Lanterns and acquires its target and rushes to the target and teleports the target to the other side of the universe, and he is surrounded by the entire Sinestro Corps. Oa is then attacked by another group of the Sinestro Corps. The Green Lantern Corps counter-attacks. Meanwhile there was a large explosion. And then green lantern-rings start scurrying towards their sectors as each ring reports that the ring bearer of that particular ring is deceased. The look of concern on the Green Lanterns from Earth sums up the catastrophe. Guy Gardner will learn not to tease people. Beyond the known universe, the captured Green Lantern. And the least expected Green Lantern is entered by the embodiment of fear, and thus Parallax is reborn. And Parallax and Sinestro enter a hall. And you won't believe your eyes is the being responsible for the essence of Fear. Frightening indeed.

Comments: For Green Lantern fans worldwide, the anticipation of the Sinestro Corps crashing the Green Lantern Corp's peace and order has been building up for the last several months. I have been looking forward to this storyline for quite some time. Congratulations are in order to Geoff Johns and Dave Gibbons for increasing the interest on the Sinestro Corps by carefully placing parts of its genesis in the Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps books leading up to Sinestro Corps Special #1.

The battle between both sides is epic in scope. You can sense the urgency and the level of danger as many perish in this issue. There is a feeling that the crisis the DC Universe encountered is almost miniscule in contrast to the ending of this issue. The status quo definitely is out the back door as can be interpreted from the final double-splash page.

That double-splash page at the end made my heart stop for just a second. Which superheroes are you going to put together to beat that fearsome group? I have never seen such an ensemble cast, heroes or villains, put together that just reverberates power. Then there's the two individuals included in that double-splash page that puts the stamp of approval to the word "unbeatable". There will be a lot of deaths. Not just Green Lantern Corpsmen deaths, but mainstream DC Universe superheroes deaths. Those two augments the danger of the Sinestro Corps to great heights.

It's great to see that bringing back the Multiverse comes at a price. A very deadly price by just looking at that double-splash page at the end. I have never scene a more fearsome picture in any DC Universe art I have ever seen in my life. That double-splash page at the end truly defines the most fearsome image ever produced in DC. The two definitely shifts the balance of power over to the villains.

Gibbons has been doing solid work over at Green Lantern Corps. He has brought back respectability and life to the title, while adding his own spin to the Green Lantern Corps mythology. In fact, GLC is epic in scale since the beginning. His added tale at the end of the book capturing Sinestro's days as the greatest Green Lantern at the time is a great insight into Sinestro to those readers who are unfamiliar with Sinestro's life as a Green Lantern. At the same time his portrayal of Hal Jordan and Sinestro comes out as genuine friends. Gibbons captures their handshake perfectly.

Geoff Johns increases the epic scale exponentially by escalating the danger levels to unlimited proportions. Johns who brought back the GLC renaissance with Green Lantern Rebirth just keeps adding more to the myth of Green Lantern by disturbing "the quiet peace" in this universe. And readers are wide-opened in excitement and pumped up for the upcoming destruction all over the universe. You have to give the creative team high praise for bringing capturing that dreaded helpless feeling for the readers who are cheering for the good guys. Forget about the Crisis, that looks minor to what is brewing here. I'll bet Hal Jordan is eating his words now about the Sinestro Corps not being Earth's problem.

On another note, Geoff John's respect for continuity never ceases to amaze me. The Guardians of Oa discuss Abin Sur's prophecy from the planet Ysmault from back in the Tales of the Green Lantern Corps annual #2, which was written by Alan Moore back in the mid 80s. Basically, the Guardians imprisoned their enemies from the Empire of Tears as demons on the planet Ysmault. One of the demons of that planet prophesized to Abin Sur that in the end, the enemies of the Guardians of the Universe and Green Lantern Corps will rise and unite against them. This was "The Final Catastrophe". But one of the Guardians called it "The Blackest Night." Johns captures the Oans' arrogance, citing it was not a prophecy, but just a fable to instill fear. The problem are the villains amassing with the Oans unfamiliar with the villains' leader. That was the best surprise. And their visuals are outstanding.

Ethan Van Sciver brings his immense talents to this book. One can only love how he makes the Green Lantern logos come to life with his art. He captures the emotions of the characters the way they are supposed to be portrayed. For example that look on Guy Gardner's face near the end of the book upon seeing a hole on the side of "The Box" is real. He looks pale, and that's the best rendition of a glassy-eyed look of someone who knows something really terrible will happen to him soon. And there is a real sense of trepidation clearly visible on each Green Lantern's face upon seeing that hole in "the box". The double-splash pages are the best at capturing awe. The reader's jaw will drop especially with the last double-splash page. He captures the magnitude of destruction about to visit the DC Universe. Those two "franchise players" are just so menacing. It's like capturing the essence of the lawn mower about to cut fresh grass. How does grass stop a lawnmower ? Care to ponder on that question ? Exactly.

Final Word: Looking back at both major publishers and their big events promising danger in epic scale each time, it pales in comparison to what kind of danger Sinestro Corps bring up to the plate. It makes all big events look miniscule. Readers will devour this story and especially how will the two "Franchise Players" be stopped by our heroes ? I mean these guys make Parallax and Sinestro look like junior varsity players in a professional ball game. I definitely highly recommend this to all readers. Don't miss Sinestro Corps Special #1. You will find yourself opening the book over and over and just shake your head in utter disbelief at the level of power of the villains. Unbelievable! At 64 pages total, of which only 8 pages are ads, the price of $ 4.99 is a steal. The quality of this book speaks for itself.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Amazing Spider-Man #541



Amazing Spider-Man #541
By: Ken

"Back in Black" (Part 3 of 5)

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artists: Ron Garney (p), Bill Reinhold (i), Matt Milla (colors)
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Summary: Spider-Man interrogates Jim (accessory to Aunt May's murder by killing the actual hired assassin responsible for Aunt May's comatose state) basically to have him spread to the Underworld Community that Spidey's family is off limits and that there is a very different and dangerous Spider-Man these days. At the hospital Aunt May is still comatose, but Mary Jane and Peter are running out of finances but are drawing suspicion by paying the expensive hospital bills by cash. This leads Peter to try a long shot personal procedure to save Aunt May. This sequence shows that underneath all that newly acquired "Frank Miller's, Batman Dark Knight" persona, there lies a scientist with a brilliant mind.

Meanwhile, The Kingpin makes his bid for better scenery. Money talks and honor walks as Wilson Fisk bribes the correction officer which will also lead to include other law enforcement officials in the correction facility. The way the bribe money was accessed by The Kingpin and shown to the correction officer just shows how prepared The Kingpin is in almost all facets of emergencies. I wonder, did George Washington really have wooden teeth? And if so, was there a gold coin inside that teeth? I wonder.

Needless to say, The Kingpin in all his regalness will walk out of the facility with no problem. Of course, there's the last page that just might not allow him to leave the premises.

Comments: Ron Garney is a perfect fit for this title. Partner that with Bill Reinhold's inks and they create the mood of a dark reality. The reader can visually infer that Spider-Man's current world is not peopled by idealistic good people. Instead, it is populated mostly by people who are corruptible and whose primary motivation in life is material. And in this setting, it draws out the worst in Spider-Man. Losing a dearly beloved can have a person embrace his dark side. Perhaps it is a defense mechanism of the mind to help the person cope with the pain and hopelessness of the situation. The tunnel scene brilliantly conveys the mood and character of Peter Parker. The menacing picture of predator and a helpless prey captures the mood of this story arc. Indeed. This is not your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Garney and Reinhold captures Peter's rage both unmasked and in the black Spider-Man costume. By having most of Peter's face fall into blackness, Garney and Reinhold makes Spider-Man more sinister. Visually disturbing in this tunnel scene, Ron Garney gets his chance to shine.

Wilson Fisk has always been a sinister figure in the Marvel Universe. Ron Garney's pencils brings out the power in The Kingpin in terms of control. His eyes both convey a sense of impeccable confidence and guile. He is larger than life, drawn as a hulking figure. Near the end of the book, Ron Garney shows that The Kingpin indeed has total control. He shows this with a simple drawing of a jeweled ring in the middle finger while holding the diamond-tipped scepter, and a pair of correction officers with their backs turned away from the video screens and the corridor leading to the jail cells.

In the hospital scene at Aunt May's room, the general feeling of sadness is excellently portrayed by Mary Jane's gloomy face. Mary Jane is a stunning model and actress. But here in the hospital, helplessness and desperation takes its toll on her. There is no twinkle in her eyes. She looks more tired with a glazed look in her eyes. The essence of helplessness experienced by family members watching over a comatose family member in bed is portrayed simply and captured perfectly. Great job by Ron Garney. Every reader who has been to a hospital overnight watching over a terminally ill loved one cannot help but be drawn in and feel the emotions running through both Mary Jane and Peter Parker.

Straczynski keys into what makes The Kingpin so dangerous. The Kingpin is shown as more prepared than a majestic King. I have never seen so much money in a jail cell. He has more control of outcomes than an elected public servant. Regular working people with families are nothing but measly insects when compared to The Kingpin.

Spider-Man, though more violent by nature now, is still shown as a hero. He does not kill the captured criminal. Straczynski makes a point to show Peter's personality changes reflecting his surrounding. Straczynski also uses one of Spider-Man's defining characteristics, that of the cognitive scientist by having him a conduct a risky scientific procedure that just might save Aunt May's life or perhaps make it worse. This side of Peter Parker is seldom used. One of the most interesting aspects of Peter Parker is the classic Parker luck which returned in a unique twist. Peter, always portrayed most of his life with almost no cash available at his disposal, is shown here having the capacity to pay the hospital bills by cash with no problem should the current cash flow run out. However, continually doing so would draw attention to them and bring in the negative elements of the criminal society at their midst.

However, Straczynski crafts The Kingpin and Spider-Man in their separate journey towards their inevitable encounter where I look forward to some intense gratification for Spider-Man, finally quenching his thirst for revenge. And perhaps bring back the Red and Blue heroic Spider-Man, replacing the current Black-clad anti-hero by the upcoming weekly Amazing Spider-Man. After all, Peter Parker is the Amazing Spider-Man. He is not Spider-Man, The Dark Knight.

Final Word: The "Back in Black" storyline is basically having Spider-Man return to his black costume to reflect his mood. This comic book captures the darkness of that mood. When some element tries to hurt a person's loved one, that person's dark side is brought out, which results in anger. As Spider-Man's universe shifts into a darker reality, the result is an anti-hero Wallcrawler. The scene where Spider-Man interrogates the criminal in the tunnels reminds me of a scene in which Indiana Jones was trapped in a tunnel full of snakes, rats, insects, etc. Those pages alone made me pick up this book. It was an entertaining spin on Peter's anger. The Kingpin's scenes almost stole the show.

I always wanted to read a story that reflects Peter's darker side, showing no inhibitions in escalating his violence towards those who deserved it. Straczynski's portrayal of Peter is genuine of a person motivated by anger and revenge towards those who are responsible for hurting his loved ones.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #18



Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #18
Rating: 3

Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Barry Kitson & Adam DeKraker
Inker: Mick Gray & Drew Geraci
Publisher: DC

Synopsis: 31st century Metropolis is divided between the upper world and the under city world below, which is primarily inhabited by maintenance workers. S.P.'s patrol the area but are ambushed by robots. We find out that several centuries before that A.I.'s (Artificial Intelligence) threatened all human life, and mankind banished all the datasouls of every A.I. robots to an electrochemical dimension never to return. S.P. HQ has been alerted and they scramble to send back-up help. An S.P. named Daggle disappears and in the background as the S.P.s mobilize and "pumped up" with leader talk, you see a Legionnaire fly outside their window.

The scene switches over to Brainiac 5's lab, where microscopic Imskians work on Lemnos (villain responsible for Dream Girl's death as alluded by Timber Wolf's dialogue with Brainiac 5) temple area. Timberwolf brings in a sealed box to Brainiac 5, which according to Brainiac 5 is for protection. Perhaps the contents of the sealed box is something similar to Brainiac 5's skin color. He has enough trust to show Timber Wolf the body of Dream Girl in stasis state, which catches Timber Wolf by surprise.

Meanwhile, Dream Girl's people, the Naltorians who can foresee the future is disappointed with the LSH for not delivering Dream Girl's body to her people, as attested by the Naltorians' high seer on the video screen at LSH HQ. In another location at LSH HQ, Saturn Girl is linked with Cosmic Boy and Supergirl trying to extract memories from her mind. As Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl talk about failing to pick up any information to explain Supergirl's appearance in their timeline, Kara has been playing with her Legionnaire ring. Ring on and she's Supergirl dressed in the red and blue. Ring off and she's dressed as a civilian with dirty blonde hair. Ring on and she's Supergirl once more. Ring off and she's a civilian looking like a librarian with glasses and dark jet black hair. Ring on and she's Supergirl again. Cosmic Boy finally annoyed with Kara yells at Supergirl, "Will you stop that? Your flight ring is not a toy!" They are interrupted by the rest of the LSH in the HQ, with Phantom Girl citing they have a situation ugly one. They need to find Brainy ASAP! But before they can discuss a plan about the Brainiac 5 problem, Supergirl flies off.

Outside in Metropolis the LSH follows Supergirl. And Supergirl above a building points and says there's a problem underneath, and dives down. The LSH follows her. What they see is the S.P. being mauled by legions of robot A.I.s. Combat ensues. And the LSH proves they are the powerhouse that keeps the public safe and not the less powerful S.P.s. Cosmic Boy is the leader of the LSH, but he is communicating with the lead S.P. trying to figure out what happened. At the same time, Saturn Girl takes the initiative and orders Supergirl and Ultra Boy to initiate the beginning of an action. The action finishes up, and Supergirl scans the head of one of the robot's and with her x-ray vision see's Atom Girl fly off from the palm of her hand. She pursues Atom Girl with the LSH behind her.

Atom Girl arrives at Brainiac 5's HQ. It's ceiling bursts as Supergirl and the LSH breaks in. Brainiac 5 explains to his LSH team mates that he sealed Dream Girl within a force field upon the cessation of Dream Girl's corporeal functions. Basically, he did this to prevent her soul from escaping. Brainiac 5 adds also that a soul is nothing but a specific configuration of data. It is information. Information according to the laws of the universe cannot be destroyed, but it can be reconstituted. The LSH does not buy into Brainiac 5's sales pitch. They order him to stand aside, but another person enters the area accompanied by Timber Wolf. It is Dream Boy, the new Naltorian there to replace Dream Girl as member of the LSH. The book ends with Cosmic Boy confronting Dream Boy.

Comments: There are 22 pages out of 32 pages worth of story, with 9 ads and the last page concerning the DC Nation news. We finished last issue with Supegirl becoming an official member of the LSH. This issue finally brings the LSH confronting their estranged team mate Brainiac 5. Mark Waid brings a little religious-science fiction dialogue in this issue. Brainiac 5 captured a soul by surrounding Dream Girl's body with a force field.

The mark of a good comic is when some part of the comic book makes the reader think. Now Brainiac 5 must be just as fast as The Flash if not faster. How so ? I have been thinking about a speed that can be theoretically be faster than the speed of light. Now couldn't the ascension of the spirit from the body be faster than the speed of light. The moment the physical body dies, the spirit departs the host body at unbelievable speed. It is not slow motion. Of course I cannot prove this until I am dead to just see how fast that phenomenon actually is.

Mark Waid brings his humor into play a little bit more than usual in this book. Supergirl playing with her ring was a classic. It's like a kid with a new toy. And how about when Ultra Boy along with the other LSH flying behind Supergirl, tells Element Lad to "Shut up and enjoy the view." He even receives a jaw dropping punch from a robot A.I. as a result of carelessness during the battle. He was busy showboating with Supergirl instead of concentrating on the fight. Saturn Girl was shown as one of the led characters as seen in the battle with the robots when she was ordering Supergirl and Ultra Boy. For the smart aleck reader they will enjoy Brainiac 5's sarcastic dry humor. And is that a jaded colored rock perhaps inside the stolen sealed box given to him by Timber Wolf.

The lack of Light Lass and Shadow Lass in this book, along with the non-presence of the mystery man of the previous issue made me subtract one more bullet in this issue. The last two issues have Light Lass and Shadow Lass as the two primary female members of the LSH which is shown with disdain towards Supergirl. And that makes the book more interesting as the reader would like to have seen when and where will Mark Waid have those girls have a confrontation with Supergirl. At the same time the mystery man introduced last issue seemed to be gathering a team, which allows the reader to get excited on something bad is brewing. But nothing is shown here, so that was a let down as well.

The artwork was okay. The book was drawn well. But I had to remove a bullet for some of the panels where Supergirl's face seemed out of proportion. On page 22 the top panel has Supergirl's face somewhat distorted. The left jaw line looks to be too long and with the placement of the eyes and nose, combined with the long jaw line somehow reminded me of the distorted "monster" in the movie "The Goonies". It was a good middle panel side view of Supergirl's face on the same page. But then on the bottom panel, Supergirl's face looks distorted once more. He face is too narrow shaped like "The Impossible Man" in the Marvel Universe. There were two pencillers on this issue. Perhaps those Supergirl were drawn by DeKraker. Perhaps he was rushed and was not really familiar with drawing Supergirl's face as it is in the LSH books.

Final Word:
Overall it was an okay issue. There are a lot of sub plots working together, which is the drawback. There seems to be a lot going on at the same time, that a mere 22-page book cannot handle all the loose threads together in one issue. But it still done that keeps the interest of the reader. The group interaction is great. You have immature and mature beyond their years types of Legion of Super-Heroes. It's a solid book with ideas that have been seen before but used in a refreshing light. This is definitely still a must read book.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #17



Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #17
Rating: 3.5

Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Barry Kitson
Inker: Mick Gray
Publisher: DC

Synopsis: The story starts at a robot creation facility with a gathering of robots themselves in the midst of the completion of their "leader robot". The S.P. (Science Police) bursts in conducting a surprise raid with elements of the LSH (Legion of Super-Heroes). A battle ensues between the S.P., LSH, and the robots. During the battle, Supergirl pulls the giant electronic vertebrae and helmet from the "leader robot" which is left out of action for the remainder of the battle. Supergirl asks her team if they need any help, which Timberwolf says no as they are done and wanted to have some pride left. One of the S.P.s asked for Supergirl's autograph, which she politely does in her own Supergirl way.

Back at the LSH HQ still under construction, Cosmic Boy, Light Lass, Triplet Girl ( I think her name was), and Star Boy were talking about Supergirl's story from Krypton's destruction to her life as a superhero guided by Superman and Batman. She became a living legend and then suddenly disappeared. So at least now they know where she disappeared to as she materialized in the LSH's future. And Cosmic Boy theorizes that Supergirl sees the her current life in the future with the LSH as part of a dream she is having.

The story shifts outside where Supergirl is with Element Lad and Shadow Lass. The three have a conversation while in flight. You can tell Shadow Lass dislikes Supergirl with her bad jokes with reference that she should have called Supergirl, Dream Girl instead. Dream Girl is the recently deceased member of the LSH. Element Lad gets in the middle of them immediately citing it was a bad joke on Shadow Lass's part, and that they miss her. Supergirl suddenly hears a disturbance and zooms off to the problem. She arrives at a Legion Plaza where there was an earthquake and falling debris was about to crush civilian, with teenagers in particular. She destroys the falling debris preventing it from landing on the person who caused the earthquake. Supergirl whistles and the earthquake stops. A new super power. Cosmic Boy and a handful of LSH appear. As members of the LSH clean up the debris, a huge crowd gathers towards Supergirl, with some asking her if she is part of the LSH. Meanwhile, the person that caused the earthquake walked away disbelieving he has a super power. As he walks towards an empty space a stranger approaches him to "come to me.".

Invisible Boy and Light Lass are watching a video screen apparently monitoring S.P. HQ. From their conversation you can tell that there is perhaps an LSH spy amongst the S.P. Invisible Boy drops his drink as Supergirl materializes like a ghost. She catches his drink and hands it over to him, and they discuss her membership. Supergirl tells him that she has decided she wants to be a Legionnaire. An upset Light Lass, who was monitoring their conversation, turns around and by the exclamation marks on her dialogue was telling Invisible Boy that Supergirl can’t just be a Legionnaire with a snap of the finger and that this is reality and not a dream. Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy suddenly appear on the video and communicated, " The charter members have been talking it over, and we'd like to formally invite you to join the LSH!" And excited Supergirl and Invisible Boy in the background does not see Light Lass just smack herself on the face as if Homer Simpson just yelled, " Towrk! Bart!!!"

The scene shifts to an alien world where islands with an egg-like shaped base is resting on each one in the middle of an ocean. And there are Dominators. I am not familiar with Dominators except that in the modern DC Universe, they were supposed to be at the very end of the known universe where the Guardians of Oa cannot monitor their activity. The two Dominators must be leaders of that race. Their discussion is on turning their attention towards Earth and the native virus of that planet called "humanity". They mention the fifffdee-tu, perhaps referencing the "52" weekly series event of DC Comics. Okay maybe something else.

Back to Earth outside of LSH HQ. Supergirl and Invisible Boy arrive greeted by the LSH. They bestow honorary membership to Supergirl. She asks for her LSH ring. And a smirking Light Lass who is happy to tell her that there are no ring available therefore Supergirl is not a full member. Supergirl closes her eyes disappointed and whispers she wishes she had a ring. Atom Girl maximizes to her human size delivering a Legionnaire ring from Brainiac 5. Supergirl has an LSH ring and puts it on. Meanwhile, Cosmic Boy looked like his world just disappeared, and a distraught Lightning Lad looked towards Cosmic Boy as if there is something terribly wrong. Supergirl and the LSH fly off into the sunset. And Lightning Lad was thinking it was Brainiac 5's resignation while Cosmic Boy does not want to dwell on the fact…Element Lad finishes Cosmic Boy's dialogue, "…is that he took it off Dream Girl's corpse." And upon hearing this, Light Lass's eyes closes with the back of Supergirl in the background flying in front of her.

Comments: There are nine pages of ads as opposed to the previous issue's ten pages of ads. That's better. The first thing I have to praise is Barry Kitson's great use of silent dialogue through his art. This superhero team is composed of teenagers. And those eye communications between Legionnaires is fantastic. It captures the essence of teenagers. The reader understands those eye dialogue between teenagers, when instead of saying something not nice or something that should be kept amongst themselves, they just turn to each other and gives each other "That Look". When Supergirl said something weird, Lightning Kid and Phantom Girl looked at each other silently with "DUH !" written all over their forehead. How about that look of sadness and concern between Lightning Kid and Cosmic Boy upon seeing Atom Girl hand Supergirl a Legionnaire ring from Brainiac 5. But the look on Light Lass's face eyes closed hearing from Element Lad that the ring given to Super Girl might have been taken by Brainiac 5 from their deceased team mate, Dream Girl. That was priceless. You could tell the strength of Light Lass at the same time saddened by the memory of her dead friend. Capturing those character defining moments is what makes a book about teenagers add extra spice on a delicious plate called Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes. And Barry Kitson delivers an appetizing five-course meal. And finally, I would like to add that once again Supergirl is the most dynamically drawn female in the book. Her hair is drawn dynamically, which is always in constant movement. Phantom Girl who is drawn with the same hair, does not have her hair move. Where as Kara's hair is in constant movement even when standing up. It makes her stand out amongst the Legionnaires.

Mark Waid does a good job moving the story. He brings Supergirl to the LSH's timeline. Now he makes marries her up to being a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Most of the guys appear dazzled by her presence. And some of the women resent her presence, especially when she let's them know that it's all part of her dream. Now you know how girls are when they have a common hatred towards a girl, they gang up on her like a queen bee and her royal subjects. I can sense this happening soon. Supergirl acting aloof as if she's in dreamland will acquire the ire of most of these female LSH members. After all teenage girls are very sadistic in their ways of getting even with another girl who has dissed them. Mark Waid has a good understanding of teenage psychology and has conveyed it well here in terms of the future and amongst superheroes. He has funny moments as well, with Invisible Boy's "crush-like" attitude towards Supergirl. Waid and Kitson combined the funniest moment of the book with Light Lass turning to Invisible Boy and Supergirl that SG cannot just become a Legionnaire and there are rules and SG cannot just wish it. After which, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl appear on the video extending an invitation to Supergirl to become an LSH. And Light Lass smacking her face with a jubilant SG and Invisible Boy in the background was a classic

He also foreshadows something bad will surely happen in the future issues by having the Dominators appear and talking about Earth. And at the same time, there is a mysterious stranger who reached out to the kid that caused the earthquake. Who is this guy ? And what group ? It feels like a villain group, but then shouldn't Saturn Girl have sensed his presence that close to LSH's HQ.

And finally, did Mark Waid just create a new super power for Supergirl ? I know I haven't been up to date with comic books after a long hiatus, but I never knew that SG could stop an earthquake created by subsonic waves with a whistle. Supergirl was able to dampen the effect subsonic waves with a supersonic counter frequency. Now that is creative writing.

Final words:
It was a good issue. You expected Kara to become a Legionnaire and here it happens. And there are suspense added for the upcoming issues which draws the reader. What are the Dominators up to ? Who was that mysterious fellow that approached "Earthquake Boy". And why did Brainiac 5 remove Dream Girl's LSH ring from her corpse. He cannot have created an LSH ring within the same day. Will Shadow Lass or Light Lass finally have a verbal confrontation with Supergirl. I would buy the next issue, I am hooked.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #16



Extended Summary and Review

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #16
Rating: 3.5

Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Barry Kitson
Inker: Mick Gray
Publisher: DC

Synopsis: The initial scene has the LSH apprehending a criminal in a fun manner. Think of beach volleyball. Since they are teenagers with various super powers, this could happen. Then one of the residents of the area acts like a wiener and confronts the group of LSH, thereby causing a loud raucous that have the rest of the residents go outside. A brief verbal dialogue between the residents and the LSH results in the superheroes leaving the old people. Albeit not before Ultra Boy obnoxiously suggesting the new LSH Headquarters be built in that residential area so that the complaining old people can hang out with them more often. By old, the comic book shows civilians in their 30s and 40s.

The scene then shifts to Earth. United Planet Headquarters to be more precise. Ambassador Arden lets Lightning Lad know of an Unidentified Celestial Object (U.C.O.) heading towards Earth. They have been monitoring this UCO for the last three days. The UCO barely missed Neptune, but caused severe damage in Neptune on its near miss. Here's the best part, there's less than four light hours before the UCO hits Earth. An advanced tachyon image shows that the UCO is an "S" inside a triangle with the probable size of a human being.

The scene goes to Science Police Station in Metropolis. The criminal, a Jardonian terrorist impersonating an S.P. (Science Police) crashes into the lobby area. Ultra Boy did not know his own strength. The SPs told the LSH to get lost and they'll take care of the criminal. The LSH fly off but not before Chameleon Boy addressing his concern about something strange about the SP's defensiveness towards the LSH.

The next scene is at the Legion Plaza where construction of the new LSH headquarters is taking place. You have Cosmic Boy and Colossal Boy are having a discussion on LSH leadership, while moving oversized construction pieces of the headquarters. There are nice bits of information in the dialogue between the two. We learn from Cosmic Boy that there is 127,000 members of the Legion of Super Heroes, and that he suggest holding an open election for a new leader citing it is the fairest and most democratic way of giving everyone a voice. Of course Colossal Boy counters that no one is looking to replace Cosmic Boy as leader of the LSH. At the same time Colossal Boy thinks very little good results of a solution to something that is not a problem. Just leave it as status quo. They are interrupted by Light Lass communicating a "situation" and for Cosmic Boy to assemble a team ASAP.

An assembly of nine LSH are in Earth's space. Each LSH has a thin force field around them. And according to Light Lass's short talk with Karate Kid, the flight ring will protect the wearer from the vacuum and cold. The team was expecting a humanoid to encounter. Instead, they are surprised to see a gigantic UCO hurtling towards them. There was confusion on the team's part, but Cosmic Boy just ordered to attack. Cosmic Boy tries to break down the hurtling object by using his power over magnetism. Star Boy and Light Lass tear part of the UCO. Ultra Boy pours in the flash vision. Element Lad tries to turn as many parts of the UCO to gas as he touches those parts. Lightning Lad has sheared off half of the ports side. Karate Kid is well, karate chopping parts of the UCO. Chameleon Boy has turned to a yellow horned bird-faced thing and munching on some parts. But they cannot stop the UCO. Needless to say, the UCO flies past them. Colossal Boy is the last resort. Now think of Bill Goldberg of WCW and WWE fame "spearing" a jabroni. In this case, Colossal Boy was the jabroni, and he hurt his shoulder and there was damage done to his LSH flight ring. The thing is speeding and crashing in a couple of seconds to Earth. Metropolis to be exact.

Another problem arises as Colossal Boy is affected by the vacuum and coldness of space due to his damaged flight ring. Element Lad could not fix Colossal Boy's flight ring in time due to the complex alloy, it will take too much time. Colossal Boy suddenly disappears. Traces of something Blue, red, and yellow-orange streaks by so fast only a comic book reader could see it.

The scene is now on Metropolis and the populace panic. It seems two missiles are heading towards them, one big and another smaller one. Colossal Boy materializes out of nowhere in Metropolis by the people who are panicking. Or so it seems, there's that blue, red, and yellow-orange streak again. The people focus on Colossal Boy, then simultaneously everyone looks up. And you can almost picture it in different scenarios … look in the sky … it's

And a great splash page Supergirl destroys the missile with a punch. And the missile splinters into pieces and cause a visual fireworks display. The people rejoice. Supergirl lands and the people cheer. Then the LSH appears in the horizon and lands by Supergirl. Cosmic Boy talks to Supergirl. And the people are cheering. Then some start to get annoyed. And then there's arguments among people that this was staged by the LSH. It seems in the 31st century Earth, the Legion of Super Heroes aren't the most popular group around. Cosmic Boy asks Supergirl if she is indeed the genuine article. She whisks him away to a top of an infrastructure of a building. Supergirl confirms to Cosmic Boy that she is indeed the real deal. But she adds that she he is not. The LSH does not exist, she is merely dreaming them.

Comments: There are 32 pages in this comic book excluding the cover and back pages of course. Ten pages are ads. The most distracting ad is on page 27 which is a Batman: Secrets splash page ad penciled by that book's illustrator, Sam Kieth. If you really want to spoil a reading experience that was it. The page before had Supergirl just saving Metropolis and its citizens and having a dialogue with Cosmic Boy inquiring where she is. The art by Barry Kitson is a nice dynamic art and smooth. And you turn the page to follow the story, and you get the rough demonic art with Batman strangling and preparing to overhand power-punch a bloodied and laughing Joker. So you go from ice cream to sour grapes. It turns off the eye candy image inside the reader's mind. Therefore this distraction can make the reader somewhat let down from the good mood that was happening before. There's nothing wrong with ads, just bunch them up together at the last 10 pages of the comic book. That way reading experience from the audience can fully absorb the material with no distraction. The way these ads were systematically placed is like watching a really great movie in network television, and being distracted and annoyed by the abundance of commercial throughout the movie. You do not concentrate on all the parts. You kind of walk away a little annoyed.

Mark Waid wrote a good piece here. It's not really as good as it could have been. The first five pages could have been shortened to one page or two. I know that Mark probably wanted to convey a mood that Metropolis is against the LSH. But that could've been limited to a brief page or so, and then use up the remaining 3 to 4 pages on interaction amongst the LSH. Or better yet, those 3 to 4 pages could have been used to extend the scene in the United Planet HQ to show the gravity of the situation. That one page where a glowing fiery-like UCO could have been shown multiple angles and then a splash page with eye candy from Kitson on some destruction instead of a near miss off-Neptune. It could have brought it over the top with a sort of impending doom. It could have increased the tension and make the reader eager for more.

At the same time, this ensemble group of nine LSH could not stop a speeding meteor. This reminds me of the time a jabroni jobber in the WWF days would take on and get crushed by a name superstar WWF heel on network television. Or better yet three jabronis would take on Andre the Giant and he crushes them. This is not the best way to show the Legion of Super-Heroes to a new reader. It shows they are lacking the firepower to meet a take care of a threat of unearthly proportion. I kind of wished that perhaps the LSH could have somehow really slowed down the threat. Okay they did slow it down somewhat. What I meant was if only the threat did not go past them. It's like they were still in front of the threat and not handling it from the side or from behind it. It would make the reader care more for these characters. Reckless endangerment of their self to save the people. Instead of being a jabroni and taking on the problem from the side or behind. Even though Colossal Boy looked like he was the recipient of a concussion-causing tackle, he was in front of the problem and took the brunt. You kind of care for him, because he even suffered a near fatal experience with his flight ring being damaged.

Enough negatives. On to what was good about the book. Kitson shows that Supergirl is The Franchise Player of this comic book and group. She is the only superhero with a Splash Page. At the same time he draws Supergirl as the only female in the whole comic book who actually seems and feels to be flying and moving. Her hair is the only one that is waving through every movement. Supergirl comes out alive. All the females civilian and superhero alike either have short hair or hair that is in place. My guess is in the 31st century, all the girls use industrial strength gel or hairspray. Supergirl's face has that girl next door feeling. It's definitely not a type that rhymes with witch. Kitson draws Kara with an engaging look. It's not like a look that conveys a pushing-away look. It's an inviting look that wants to propel the reader to lean closer and find out more. On page 29, the bottom left panel has Cos asking Supergirl if she is the genuine article, and Kara looking at the reader with a slight grin as if she is saying "Duh!" and about to do something mischievous at the same time. And she whisks Cosmic Boy away. And once again Kitson gives Kara the main event status as she flies and all faces in the area look up.

I like the way Mark Waid would throw bits of information about the LSH through various interaction amongst its members. I never knew that their number reached six figures. It's epic in scale if you really think about it. No matter where there is a problem, there will be a Legionnaire around to save the day. The scene in space where Karate Kid was assured by Light Lass that Karate Kid's flight ring would protect him from the space elements. And he in turn asked Lass who was the first to test the flight ring's protection in space. What made the scene funny was the combination interaction and Kitson's drawing of a serious look on Karate Kid's face. The ending was a feel good ending. You expected Supergirl to save the day. After all her introduction had to deal with something of an impending doom kind of magnitude. The prevailing attitude of the time was conveyed well.

Final Words: I have just read an occasional LSH story or comic book here and there. And perhaps that is why I call Cos, Cosmic Boy, and not Cosmic Kid. This is 1001 years later from the beginning of the 52 series. It's not too bad. You get a heroic and cool Supergirl to join a group of LSH and see how they would mesh together. At the same time, seeing Supergirl only interact with Cosmic Boy and the look he got from the rest of the group of LSH foreshadows that perhaps she's not wholly accepted by the group. See the frowns on two or three LSH members towards her. All in all a good starting point for new readers.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Synopsis & Review Immortal Iron Fist # 1


The Immortal Iron Fist # 1

By: Ken
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 [Almost Perfect]

Writer: Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Artists on pp 1 to 3: Travel Foreman & Derek Fridolfs
Publisher: Marvel Comics

First off, there are 48 pages total to this comic book. For a cover price of $ 2.99 that is a pretty good price for a comic book. Unfortunately, 24 pages are commercials and dispersed throughout, which cuts in to the reading experience of the audience, as sometimes the commercial pages distract the reader. It's like watching a quality movie on the television network, and because of a higher number of viewing audience is anticipated, there will be more commercials than usual. It gets annoying. It would help if the commercials were just bundled up together and placed together as 24 pages at the second half of the comic book.

The first three pages shows the legacy of The Iron Fist. In the K'un-Lun Mountain Range of 1227 AD, Bei Ming-Tan, The Iron Fist walks past several rice planters through a rice paddy. His right hand moving back-and-forth so fast like the wings of a bee. As far as the eyes can see, a horde of the Khan's horsemen are approaching with swords drawn. As he reached the dry grounds surrounded by short grass, he raises his arms in a stance. He is The Iron Fist. He stands before the unstoppable hordes and holds them back. That is what he does. It is what he has always done.

The art on the first three pages gets the legacy down just right. As the upper half of the face of the Iron Fist is covered, the bottom half is seen. You can see Bei Ming-Tan serious with no smile, perhaps understanding the gravity of the situation. But the last panel, he is smiling as his fist glows and his chest is shown with the Dragon Tatoo. This last panel on page 3 shows that The Iron Fist is very confident as if he knows he cannot be defeated.

There is a good transition brought by page 4 and 5 showing a Splash Page that brings the reader to the current timeline showing the story as it is unfolding. Daniel Rand, the modern day Iron Fist is attacking a group of Hydra agents in what looks like on rooftops. The art goes from a sunset to dark night. The dark mood is prevalent from here until the last page. David Aja captures the darker feeling of the story. You can tell the gravity of the situation on the Splash pages as it is raining and the automatic weapons of the Hydra agents are shooting off. The Hydra agents blending with the night and their eyes are an apparent night vision goggles attached to their masks bring a menacing presence in them. The Iron Fist attacks the danger. He holds back the storm, when nothing else can.

There are two simultaneous stories happening in the next two pages (6 & 7). The first is the continued assault of Danny Rand against the Hydra agents in the 8 panels above in horizontal order. Then in larger panels below those 8 small panels above is an unfloding origin story. A family hike turns tragic as Daniel Rand's father slips and falls from a cliff off the side of the K'un-Lun Mountains. Then a wolfpack hunted him along with his mother. The wolves' hunger are satisfied by his mother. Daniel Rand saved by his mother ends up in the footsteps of the mystical City of K'un-Lun. After fighting for the honor of facing certain death, Daniel Rand, standing in the caves of Shou-Lao the Undying was the champion of K'un-Lun. He plunged his hands in the molten heart of the dragon. Thus securing The Iron Fist Legacy.

Back in the story The Iron Fist disposes of this group of Hydra agents. However, he is unaware of another group of Hydra agents approaching from behind. In many ways, he is still the same careless and impatient boy that his parents left behind. The next thing you know is that other group of Hydra agents are falling off the roof top on a rainy night. And in the background you can see Rand Industries, the building owned by Daniel Rand, The Iron Fist of 2006.

The story then moves on to a conference meeting at Rand Industries. This was earlier in the day before the battle with the Hydra agents. Jeryn Hogarth runs the company owned by Daniel Rand. They are in a meeting with a corporate executive from Wai-Go Industries from the People's Republic of China, who is offering 10.6 billion U.S. Dollars for a 2,500 kilometers of Rand Track type II halbach array lines stretching from Beijing to Hong Kong and back, along with 10 Randrapid Trains which are capable of speeds over 580 kilometers per hour. Rand Industries will be handing over this technology to the People's Republic of China's national Maglev Transportation Technology research center. All it will need to make it official is Daniel Rand's autograph on the appropriate line. All men are jovial and in a good mood, as if a bird just had finished eating the juciest worm. All but one. Daniel Rand, who throughout the meeting had one hand in his chin covering his mouth, as if in deep thought through the whole meeting.

Daniel uttered no deal to the representative of Wai-Go Industries, citing he cannot just hand over this technology to the People's Republic of China who has a long record of commiting atrocities. Daniel Rand said it perfectly, "I'm not so poor tht I don't care about China's human rights record." The CEO of Rand Industries was utterly surprised and aghast. The representative of Wai-Go Industries comments on the lovely office and leaves accompanied by his bodyguards all in dark suits and dark tinted glasses. Danny loosens his tie, and was immediately smacked in the back of his head by Jeryn, the CEO. Jeryn mouths off that he spent three and a half years of his life on this deal, only for Danny to throw it away because Danny thinks their business associates were bad guys. Either he lets Jeryn fix things with Wai-Go Industries or he is gone. Jeryn Hogarth who everseas Rand Corporation's day-to-day business thinks Danny is throwing away his company's future.

Later that evening, The Iron Fist breaks through Wai-Go's security, looking for evidence inside their office to prove they are bad guys indeed. What he finds are rows upon rows of desks and chairs perfectly manicured. Productivity. Perhaps. But it all fels false to The Iron Fist who is dripping wet from the rain outside. Upon closer inspection The Iron Fist realizes all the desks are new. There are no paperwork or any semblance that anyone has been working in the office. The desk cabinets are empty and the purchase tags are still attached inside the file cabinets. He sees Wai-Go Industries painted on the side of a wall. What does that mean ? The Iron Fist realizes the answer. He is surrounded by hordes of Hydra agents in full uniform and arms. He wasn't expecting that. You suddenly have weapons blazing and the bullets smash the windows and The Iron Fist curled like a ball smashes out through the window. The legions of Hydra agents chasing The Iron Fist from rooftop to rooftop.

The Mechagorgon is summoned by one of the Hydra agents. It is a metallic ruby-eyed bug with six legs ending in a razor sharp scythe. And you see the images of The Iron Fist's friends, Luke Cage, Colleen Wing, and Misty Knight. Misty of course is his one time lover. One of the scythes slash The Iron Fist's thighs and blood spurts out. One strike from The Iron Fist's right hand obliterates the leg that inflicted the wound. Anotehr scythe slashes his side. Then two more simultaneous slashes in the back and The Iron Fist is down with blood all over mixing with the rain. The monstrous Mechagorgon looming menacingly a few feet in front of him sensing the kill. Sensing death is imminent The Iron Fist gets slashed one more time and falls over the side of the building to his apparent demise.

The story shifts to another part of the world. We see a man in Bangkok, Thailand. A man leaves a sort of opium den in a slum area a few hours before dawn. A woman asks the caretaker of the opium den if it's him. And the caretaker confirmed yes. The woman goes back to the alley and talks to the man waiting for her that it is the man they were looking for. The man grabs her face and doesn't take the word from drug peddlers. The woman advised him that she will confirm herself. After she leaves, the man agonizes in pain and holds his head with both hands. He hears voices along with the pain. The voices come from far away using a medium to talk and send pain to the man in pain, who is called Davos. Meanwhile at a hall of an apartment two women knock on the door. It is the woman talking to the drug peddler earlier along with another acquaintance. And the man still high from all the drugs earlier stumbles drunkenly towards the door to open. He opens the door and was met with a slash from a sword which cut through his shirt but not far enough to reach his flesh. The woman takes another swipe with her sword which meets the man's fist. Her sword shatters. He hits the sword of the other woman. It breaks in half as well. Both women simultaneously say, "It is he." They found who they were looking for. He asks them who sent them. Their dresses fall to the floor. The two women suddenly disappeared and turned to swans. They both fly out the window into the incoming dawn.

The man in a look of total disbelief has his hands on his side with a Dragon Tatoo on his chest similar to that of the Iron Fist. He says, "This isn't supposed to be my life anymore, it was supposed to be over. He is Orson Randall. The Iron Fist of 1915. He was last seen in 1933. … to be continued.

David Aja's art puts you in a dark mood. You can sense from his art that there is something bad is going to happen. It conveys a foreboding doom. At the same time he captures the little funny moments of Daniel Rand's look on his face when he realizes there is something wrong. He captures the quirky look just riht. It adds a little comedy to cut through the seriousness of the story. It's that little comedy relief that gives the reader a little mixture to add to dark experience. It makes it interesting like a surprise gift.

Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction captures the essence of The Iron Fist. There's overwhelming sense of doom but the character holds his ground. At the same time, they are exploring the Iron Fist legacy, which dates back to the middle ages in ancient China. And they leave your mouths watering with the ending that there is another Iron Fist alive in modern times. They capture the scenery nicely. And their transition is almost flawless. The interior monologue of Daniel Rand is great. It shows that here is a man with billions of dollars and at the same time can still grasp the concept of justice. And even if he is a superhero, he has flaws. And in some ways, he almost wishes that this Iron Fist legacy was not passed on to him. And that perhaps, his father should have inherited it. I am looking forward to reading Issue number 2 of this outstanding story.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Supergirl 14



Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) vs Supergirl (Kara Zor-El). This comic book showed why Batgirl is the most dangerous perosn on planet Earth, next to Batman. In this issue, Batgirl was wicked dangerous. She prepared to take on the Kyrptonian teenager. She fought on her turf. And ...

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Back in Black Amazing Spider Man 539




Amazing Spider Man Issue 539

Okay, Aunt May has just been shot by a sniper who was trying to kill Peter Parker. Pete goes nuts and goes outside the motel and throws a car towards the killer's building. And Peter brings the dying Aunt May to the hospital. But she's lost too much blood and may die.

He goes back to the area of the sniper's position and finds a part of a rifle scope and goes looking for the criminals who would know of such information. He crashes a gun smugglers warehouse. The gunrunners start shooting. Peter, without his Spider Man costume on, starts taking out the gunrunners one-by-one. No rules, no punches held, he goes all out. In one panel you just see Peter's fist and blood spurting out near his fist. Everyone is taken out except for one guy. Peter asks this jabronni where has he seen the rifle scope before and who and where can Peter find him. The jabronni gives him the run around. Peter snaps his hand, it breaks like dried wood. The guy answers and gives him th einformation.

Meanwhile in a prison cell, Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime receives messages that although Spider Man was not killed, one of the other two targets was hit. And here you can see how dangerous The Kingpin still is. As he is behind bars in jail, you can obviously see the man is still powerful and in control of things outside.

Peter finds his old black costume. He puts it on, basically saying he will go find who did this. And then he will kill him. The black costume is back, basically according to the comics, it symbolizes how Peter Parker feels and how he will conduct business form now on. It was like reading a Batman comic book for its darkness in character and atmosphere. No happy or witty retort from Peter. But let's see the obvious, it's Back in Black because Spider Man 3 the movie is coming out and this is part of Marvel's marketing for the movie.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Balance between the ridiculous and the sublime


This is the cover to issue # 4 of Heroes for Hire, published by Marvel Comics. From the big event Civil War (heroes for or against the Heroes Registration Act) comes a team of second tier characters in the Marvel Universe. This is basically a rather very successful update of Marvel's melding of old school blaxploitation film and old school kung fu film archetypes of the 1970s. Plus visual artist Billy Tucci just draws awesome bad-girl women. These are not your girl next door type of girls mind you. These are ass-licking beat the crap out of you, put the man down bad ass girls. The cover by artist Billy Tucci features The Black Cat, Misty, Coleen, and the new femal Tarantula. Oh not in the picture are the guy members Shang Chi and Orca.

This is now up to issue number 6. And Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man, the billionaire superhero leader of the Pro Heroes Registration side of the Civil War, has just financed a new headquarters for the Heroes for Hire group. This is complete with state of the art defenseive mechanisms.

The best part about this book is the slapstick comedy just comes out of nowhere in this action adventure comics featuring kick ass girl power...with Humbug, Shang Chi and Orca. Black Cat, Misty, Colleen, and Tarantula aren't your girl next door type of girls.