Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hey Gang,

I have recently been watching some awesome cartoons, based on comic books, on Netflix Streaming, and my next post will expand on some of these, but this one is a little more involved than the other posts I have done, please bear with me while I put this post together, and enjoy the above sneek peek!

Also, if you want to read some awesome new comics this week, I would strongly urge you to check out Mudman number one by Paul Grist. Grist has wowed me with his Jack Staff series and Kane, he mixes superhero fun with classic style cartooning, below is a link to a preview:

The Avengers number 19 was another one I really enjoyed this week. Daniel Acuna turns out a fantastic looking book, and I really enjoy the camaraderie  that Bendis writes so well between these characters. I also really like the flirty banter that is happening with Hawkeye and Spider-Woman. Also the new line up of the Avengers is revealed!  Below is a link to a preview:

There you have it, more coming soon!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Secret Avengers #18 Mixes Superheroes, Inception and Kung Fu!

Cue the Scooby Doo sneaking music!
On a whim I decided to pick up issue number 18 of Secret Avengers (written by Warren Ellis, with art by David Aja and Raul Allen) and my friend prompted me to pick up the variant cover, which is an amazing image! (Thanks Brian!That is good customer service!) The explosive action continues into the pages past the cover.

So the basic concept of Secret Avengers as I gather, is that there is a group of Avengers that take on deadly missions that no one can know about, foiling plots too terrible to imagine (kind of like Uncanny X-Force?). The mission in number 18 involves Steve Rogers (formerly Captain America) Sharon Carter, and Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu, invading an enemy base in the Multiverse, to prevent them from bringing a chemical from the Multiverse to Earth that will transform it into a sun.

Our Heroes
The entire mission takes place inside of an enemy base in another dimension, that has it's own physics. For one thing, the station floating in the Multiverse has a hull too thin for gun use, and has the dimensions of an M.C.  Escher drawing. Think Inception, but with ninja bad guys and superheroes.  Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter bring Shang-Chi in to 'Incapacitate all comers', and incapacitate he does. The action here is paced amazingly, is clear, and uses every possible angle you could to show just how unstoppable these three are when it comes to a bear knuckle brawl. Action depicted this cleanly, clearly and pulse-poundingly is more rare than it should be in superhero books, Aja uses the crazy physics of the setting for all it is worth.

I love the use of color and space here.

Ellis writes a done-in-one story here, he introduces about a dozen awesome concepts, and writes likable, capable characters and fun dialogue.One of my favorite bits was Beast's explanation of the Multiverse, more specifically 'Bad Continuum' which are broken offshoots of the Multiverse:

" They are notable for flaws in the laws of physics. A bad continuum might have gravity, for instance, but water will boil there at ten degrees, or frozen water will turn into music instead of ice."

If that ain't an awesome piece of science fiction style goodness, I don't know what is. The enemy the three come up against is Arnim Zola 4.2.3., who is a man who can broadcast his mind into robot bodies, but apparently 4.2.3. is a broken copy trapped inside a robot body...who plans to kill Steve Rogers and become Arnim Zola OS X! 

If you don't like villains like this comics are not for you.
All in all, this single issue of Secret Avengers has everything I look for in a superhero comic. Cool action, interesting/far out settings and concepts, kooky bad guys, fun banter and awesome artwork. I am going to be checking out issues in the future, thanks a lot Marvel....yeesh (my poor wallet). Oh and I thought that the page below was aweeesome.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Drawing the line at 2.99? How 'bout a buck?

In the past two weeks I've picked up two great comics, not for $3.99, or even $2.99...but one dollar. A buck!

 The first I will write about here is my first ever digital comics purchase, which I bought yesterday on Halloween, entitled Dracula The Unconquered, number one! Written by Chris Sims, with art by Steve Downer and letters by Josh Krach, Dracula is a fun for everyone adventure romp. The first thing you will notice, or at least the first thing I noticed, was that this comic is absolutely gorgeous. Goodness knows how long it took Downer to to draw AND color all of this awesomeness, but he does a stellar job. The action is clear and energetic, the characters are lively and fun,  I love the design of Dracula (and the entire cast) but I think one of my favorite things in particular here is how he integrates the sound effects into the panels. Too often have mainstream comics been resorting to digital fonts for their sound effects, plopped all hurly burly over the artwork. In Drac, the sound effects are etched in stone, engulfed in flames, and sliced through the air. It is something only comics do, and it is outstanding. The backgrounds, colors, lettering, everything here in fact, is top notch.

 Sims writes a confident and ready-for-anything Dracula, who isn't quite at his peak right now, but will not let momentary weakness stand in his way. The story opens with Dracula emerging from a coffin, a young woman standing over him with a stake, booming "WHO DARES RAISE DRACULA FROM THE DEAD?" An old acquaintance and rival it seems, who seeks to use Dracula as a tool to unite the world of the vampire. Dracula of course will have no part in this, but it seems those that resurrected him will not take 'no' for an answer. But why was Dracula locked away? What lead to his downfall? I really can't wait to find out. For a first issue, this baby moves, too! We have Dracula using spells, swinging chains, and battling giant magic spirits. This is well worth my one dollar payment! Sims, Downer and Krach should be very pleased with this first issue, and I will most definitely be back for issue number two.

Here is a six page preview! The website also has a lot of great process stuff!

The second book for a buck I got was Spaceman, by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso. I have not read their most famous work, 100 Bullets, but I really enjoyed their mini series Batman: Knight of Vengeance in the Flashpoint crossover fact it was the ONLY Flashpoint tie in book I really liked! Keeping that in mind I decided to try out Spaceman, and there is something very interesting cooking here.

Our hero in Spaceman is an ape-like creature named Orson who was created in a lab to explore Mars, but seems to have never gotten there...or perhaps he was there and is back? Orson is experiencing a nightmare at the opening of the story, on a dangerous mission to fix a breach in the Greenhouse at the base on Mars. He awakens, on Earth, in a seemingly post-apocalyptic landscape. This comic reminds me a bit of the book Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban, which also takes place in a less than ideal future where everyone speaks a strange hodgepodge of English. An example from Spaceman:

"This Batch,..I came across some primo CHEM--
tweaked the playlist. Strong like bull, so go eez. 
LITTLE tastes, or your HEAD'LL come off"

The whole comic is filled with dialogue like this, and makes for a more attentive read. The plot has some hints of the film Children of Men mixed in, it seems like this is a future that got away from humanity a little bit, and is just trying to catch up with the train-wreck it has become. 

I am a big fan of Eduaro Risso's artwork, to me he is a modern day practitioner of Herge's Ligne claire style, with a dash of Frank Quitely, especially in his use of negative space on the page. This is a Vertigo book, and as such is basically the exact opposite of Dracula the Unconquered, which is more of an all ages book. Spaceman features, among other things, weird future phone/skype sex (with diodes and suction cups) drug use, cursing and murder...but that is to be expected with a Vertigo book. I am very interested to see more of the world that Azzarello and Risso are building here.

So there ya have it chumps, two great comics for a dollar each (Spaceman has sales tax in PA though so it is a little more that that) what could be better?!