“Comic News & Reviews #1”

July 5, 2010

Dang did I pick a busy time to jump into comic book collecting or what?  There has been a lot more news develop over the past few weeks than I expected.  So I have decided that when I write about comic books from now on, it will be bundled up into entries with the "Comic News and Reviews" title.  So let's get going.

First up is something I have been waiting for since April when I first got my iPad.  On June 23rd, DC Comics finally announced that they had created an App for the iPad.  The second I read the news headline, I rushed to the App store on my iPad, got the free App and started browsing through it.  I have read a few of the free comics on it and I must say it really is enjoyable.  It is very easy to use and it's great how you can either view one page at a time, or one panel at a time.  Another plus is that no matter how you access the Comixology Database, you'll always have access to all the comics you have downloaded.  Thus far the selection of comics is not that large, but since it has only been online for a week and a half, that is to be expected.  I do hope from here on they will add the normal monthly Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman comics to the store.  I have looked through some of the other comics available for purchase and am considering getting into the Superman/Batman comics, so if anyone can give me some opinions on this comic, I would appreciate it.

Now let's move onto some reviews.  For now we'll stray from DC, but I will come back to their comics.  First on the review board is IDW's Ghostbusters "Con-Volution" one shot comic.  The premise of the comic is simple, and perhaps in that way too simple.  The story is that the guys are on vacation for the fourth of July and Ray got to pick the destination.  So the busters end up at a comic convention where the late comic artist, "Frank Bancroft" is being celebrated.  The guys have left all of their equipment at the firehouse, except Egon's PKE Meter.  So soon a demon named D'orka (yeah we get it, it's name is based off of DORK, very subtle) shows up to enslave the attendees.  Ray gets put under the demons power and the others have to figure out a way to beat the demon.  Peter and Winston borrow some GB cosplayers gear to look like they are ready to fight.  Meanwhile Egon manages to get the spirit of Frank Bancroft to come forth and fight the demon with the artist's own characters.  So yes, instead of seeing the Ghostbuters themselves fight and beat the demon, we get the spirit of some old fictitious comic book artist doing so.  Really, why would I want to see the Ghostbusters fight off the paranormal?  I mean it's only a GHOSTBUSTERS COMIC!  There is a one funny segment when Peter first sees the GB cosplayers, but other than that, this comic gets my BAD rating. 

Honestly, IDW has not impressed me with much of their work.  Besides the four issue "Displaced Aggression" mini series, much of their releases have been out right boring or useless. I am very hopeful that with the October GB comic, with artwork being done by Dapper Dan, that the story will be worthwhile.  Judging by the cover art alone it should be better than most of the IDW stories, since it appears that Janine will be strapping on a Proton Pack and joining in on the busting.

Now to the terror that flaps in the night, the long goodbye that lasts too long. . . DARKWING DUCK!  Yes I was a huge Darkwing Duck fan back in the early 90's.  It was the small in between time after The Real Ghostbusters and before Power Rangers.  So when I first saw the promos for Darkwing, I was hooked.  The masked mallard only lasted three seasons, but it proved to be one of the best Disney Afternoon series. 

So now after about 18 years, DW has retuned in comic book form.  I found out about this new comic series two weeks after the first issue had been released by Boom Studios.  This led to a bit of a difficult hunt for the first issue.  Luckily I managed to find a copy at a small comic shop.  This comic book is awesome.  The first issue basically sets everything up.  I guess the 18 years in our time has only translated to about a year or more in the Disney Duckverse.  Since we last saw our hero, he has put up his costume due to a company called Quackwerks coming into Saint Conard, and Launchpad seems to have gone back to Duckberg.  This new company specializes in robots that are programmed to fight crime and keep the city safe.  So now Drake Mallard is forced to get a normal job working for said company.  And whom does he have to work with, why none other than Elmo, otherwise known as the once electrifying super villain MEGAVOLT!  Seems the Quackwerks company not only has former law enforcement working for them, but also "reformed" wrong doers.  Well soon it is revealed that these robots are not all as they seem.  A squad of them attack Drake Mallard's house to arrest Honker Muddlefoot for downloading music.  Then Gosalyn jumps in with the old Darkwing suit suggesting it's time for her dad to get back in the game.  Meanwhile, Elmo has been kidnapped by the city's three other infamous villains; Liquidator, Quackerjack and Bushroot!  They are getting the evil band back together.

Again, this comic is simply awesome.  It does a great job of filling in the gap of what has happened since we last saw our hero and allies.  It sets up this new story very well.  Finally, it really gets me back in that old Disney Afternoon feeling, something that Disney themselves has lost over the years.  So it should be no surprise that Darkwing Duck #1, "The Duck Knight Returns" gets my GOOD rating.

Going back to the DC Universe with the Batman Beyond #1.  This comic does a good job of getting back into that Batman Beyond feeling and setting. Granted the artwork isn't that solid Bruce Timm style, but it is still nice and gets the mode right.  It does a good job of setting up this mystery in Neo Gotham.  There are quick mentions of the Justice League, as well as Cadmus, so those are nice touches.  The action scenes are well done and it all captures the right feeling for the Batman Beyond story.  So I give the Batman Beyond "History Repeats" #1 a GOOD rating.

I guess the next comic takes us back in time from the Batman Beyond time.  Heck the comic story itself involves time travel.  Batman #700 involves Batman and Robin being captured by a team of villains, strapped to a machine that can alter time and then things start to get a bit confusing, well at least for me.  It is still a decent story, but for someone just jumping into comics like myself, it can be a bit puzzling.  But whenever a great deal of time travel is involved, things are bound to get confusing.  The comic also has a bit of a "behind the scenes" kind of feature that shows the bat cave and most of what all it holds.  Overall this is an OKAY comic, but I hope to get a better feeling of a Batman comic with issue #701.

Now to the man of steel, Superman #700.  This comic features three different Superman stories, each done by different writers and artists.  First up is "The Comeback".  This is an excellent piece that shows Superman's return from the ordeals of the hundred minute war.  Its primary focus is the relationship between Superman and Lois.  It captures the feelings and tender moments perfectly, but the action scenes as our hero fights Parasite are well done too.  The next story is "Geometry", dealing much with Robin sneaking out one night to try and fight crime his own, only to have to be rescued by Superman.  There really isn't that much more to the story.  While it has a nice ending with Bruce knowing that Superman covered for Robin, it still seemed too much like an old kind of "golly gee Superman, you're neato" kind of story.  Finally we have the ten page J. Michael Straczynski story entitled "Grounded".  This story joins Superman after he has returned from the battle of New Krypton.  Some of the world's citizens are questioning where Superman's loyalties lie.  Plus due to an incident by an emotional woman, Superman himself starts to wonder where he fits in on Earth.  It has some good moments between our hero and Batman, as well as a scene with The Flash.  He flashes back to his youth to a lesson Johnathan Kent taught him, how one needs to always kinda reset themselves to keep oneself fresh.  So the comic ends with Superman landing on the ground and walking off to begin his own personal quest. 

This is a really good comic and is a good jumping in point for new comic readers.  It gives you enough information on the previous events so that you do not feel entirely lost.  It is a really good read and so gets my GOOD rating.

Finally we will now review and discuss the woman whom has had the Internet buzzing this past week.  I am talking about Wonder Woman #600.  Like the Superman issue, this comic has short stories in it, but this issue has four tales  First up is "Valedictorian".  It is a nice story showing Wonder Woman leading a ton of the female heroes of the DC Universe in a battle against Ivo's Cyber-Sirens.  She does a good job as leader and then has to make it back to a graduation ceremony of her step sister.  It's an okay story, though nothing really outstanding.  Next is "Fuzzy Logic" that has Wonder Woman, Power Girl and Batgirl fighting a egg tentacle being called Chang Tsu.  After beating the creature, there is a nice scene with Wonder Woman and Power Girl.  Also this story has a nice joke as Power Girl calls the creature a certain type of monster.  The third story is "Fire Power" and it suffers from the same "gee golly" format as Superman's "Geometry".  This time Wonder Woman and Superman have to fight Niko Aegeus.  This villain almost makes Superman appear useless and powerless, thus giving the appearance that Wonder Woman is the bees knees.  So it's just an okay story.

Okay so now we arrive at Mr. Straczynski's dive into the Wonder Woman world with his story "Odyssey: Prologue Couture Shock". Now I will talk about Wonder Woman's new look and story approach later, but first I will just cover this story.  We learn that the Greek Gods have messed with the time stream and thus altered Wonder Woman's origins, as well as her suit.  So we find Wondy on the run from some group of suited gunmen who are out to kill her.  After she manages to beat them and escape, she makes her way back to the sewers were the remaining Amazonian Elders tell her she should stay hidden, but Diana refuses and wants to she the Oracle.  So she goes to the Oracle who then proceeds to try to explain that what Diana sees is not as it once was.  The comic ended with the Oracle using her powers to show Diana the damaged remains of Themyscira. The action scene is done okay, and the moments with the Oracle are okay, but there is nothing outstanding about the story.  So Wonder Woman #600 gets an OKAY rating from me.

Now to the new look and story for Wonder Woman. The new look is difficult for me. In one way I like when character's looks and suits are updated. Yet with Wonder Woman I just don't feel it was necessary to change her.  As has been stated by Linkara, when artists draw women's clothing like it has been spray painted onto them, that is inexcusable.  This is the case with Diana's pants.  I counted six or seven butt and breast shots in just the short prologue story.  That I feel is making costume changes just to add sex appeal to her.  For me Wonder Woman always looked like great hero for truth in her classic outfit.  Then you add in the fact that her new bracelets leave a W mark on whomever she hits?  That screams more vigilante than hero to me.  So this whole new look to me just seems unnecessary.  

Moving onto the story change.  I am one who believes that you do not go messing with the time stream.  You alter just one tiny thing in time, and you end up changing a sorts of things.  So when I learned that Mr. Straczynski decided to take this route, I must admit I do have my doubts.  I just feel that this alteration would not only screw with Wonder Woman, but also all the other DC Universe heroes whom she has teamed up with.  Granted the story is a bit intriguing, but I feel it would be better placed in it's own unique short run comic, and not in the main on going series.  I will continue to read more of this new Wonder Woman story and approach, but I do hope that we can soon have a return to a normal Wonder Woman suit, and the normal story.

Have a Nice Day


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