Posted on March 9, 2010 by shnetka
First Wave #1
(w) Brian Azzarello
(a) Rags Morales
FC 32 pgs w/ ads $3.99 US / Higher in Canada
After completing one hundred issues of his creator owned 100 Bullets, the first new series writer Brian Azzarello has decided to work on is this project called First Wave. Azarello has taken licensed legendary pulp novel character Doc Savage and mixed him in a world with a gun toting Batman (who is standing in for The Shadow), Will Eisner’s The Spirit, Rima the Jungle Girl, The Black Hawks, and Black Canary.
The time seems to be a few years after WWII and Doc Savage’s father has just died. Doc missed the funeral while away on business and has just recently returned. Meanwhile, a corrupt Chief Dolan tips off The Spirit about something going down at the docks. This Spirit is different than Eisner’s and the recent comic and movie reincarnations. He’s still closer to Eisner’s version than he has been of late. The main plot seems to be about some evil scientist doing some sort of experiments on a jungle island. The mystery is intriguing and it will even more interesting to see how everybody fits into the story.
Rags Morales’ art is perfect for this story and it has nice clean look to it. It’s good to see Doc Savage back in comics form and it’s also good to see The Spirit return, especially after his crappy movie bombed. This series looks promising and I can’t wait to see what the Doc Savage and new The Spirit series are going to be like, which are spinning out of this mini-series. (Shane Hnetka)
Filed under: Mainstream, Reviews | Tagged: Batman, Brian Azzarello, DC Comics, Doc Savage, First Wave, Rags Morales, Spirit | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 30, 2009 by caperaway
The seed for this article was planted during a conversation I was having during which I made an off-hand comment about the best Batman stories. It began life as the “Top Ten Batman Stories of All Time”, but after Dark Knight Returns and “Year One” I had trouble ranking my other picks in any kind of order. It stuck in my head until I had to write it.
However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized my best of isn’t going to be someone else’s best (and some of my choices are a bit wonky and even wonkier is what DIDN’T make the list). So, I settled for the Batman stories (single issues or multi-issue storylines) that I personally find the most memorable.
With sixty plus years of Batman stories to choose from here is what I whittled it down to:
1. Batman: Dark Knight Returns
Writer: Frank Miller
Art: Frank Miller & Klaus Janson
Date of Publication: June 1986
Best. Batman. Story. Ever.
While I don’t like Frank Miller’s take on Bats in general, this story is my all time favourite. Inside you’ll find warped humour, iconic imagery, and apocalyptic battles. There has been forests of appreciation dedicated to Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, and I don’t think I can add anything to the mountains of words already written. (more…)
Filed under: Top 10 Lists | Tagged: Batman, Classic comic covers, DC Comics, Frank Miller, Neal Adams | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 2, 2009 by tillusz
Batman: The Complete Hush
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Pencils: Jim Lee
Inks: Scott Williams
FC, 320 pgs
$24.99 US / Higher in Canada
In 2003, comic book veterans Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee took Batman to the top of the sales charts with “Hush”, a 12-issue storyline pitting the Dark Knight against an unseen villain with a score to settle, amidst a backdrop of almost every major supporting character in the series’ continuity. Though the series was a financial success, fan reaction was polarized by the time the series ended. Now that the entire series has been collected in paperback trade format, the question remains – does “Hush” deliver?
First things first–- Jeph Loeb delivers a well-written Batman. He strips the character down to the essentials, writing him as a solemn, efficient and brutal vigilante. This is a Batman who glides through the shadows, an intimidating and unstoppable hero who has studied his enemy and will let nothing stand in his way. The story is told not through painfully forced word balloons, but through concise narratives detailing the detective’s intricate thought processes. He is a man of few words, one who shoots first and asks questions later, and under Loeb’s direction, Batman is a force to be reckoned with. (more…)
Filed under: Mainstream | Tagged: Batman, Hush, Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 22, 2009 by tillusz
Batman and Robin #1
Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Frank Quitely
FC, 32 pgs w/ ads
$2.99 US / Higher in Canada
I went into this one with great trepidation. For me, it had everything going against it.
Grant Morrison had two major strikeouts with his Final Crisis and Batman: RIP. I’ll give him credit though; he ALMOST redeemed RIP with the last issue revealing that Bruce was in control of the situation the whole time. Lame ending though with the helicopter crash. Final Crisis was basically a WTF? I hated this storyline when it ran as “Prodigal”. The lead-in storyline, Battle for the Cowl, was a bit weak as well– it needed two more pages at the end to set up the new status quo for all the main characters (i.e. TIM!).
The big surprise though is Damien as Robin. I hate the little creep but I’m intrigued to see where this goes- a light Batman and Dark Robin, talk about turning a book on its head!
Cards on the table time. I liked it! It wasn’t the plodding, dull, pretension I’ve come to expect from Morrison lately. It was actually fun! The flying Batmobile. A hopelessly lame villain (Toady) that the new Dynamic Duo makes short work of. Not sure what to make of the guy in the pig mask. Lots of good character bits with Dick, Alfred, and the little creep. Quitely is Quitely- ’nuff said. Too bad he’s only around for the first three.
The twist of moving back to the cave under the Wayne building came as a surprise- something else I never saw coming. (Complete with cut-away floor plan, which I missed on the first read.) Two minor quibbles- I REALLY wanted to see Gordon and Bats come face to face here. (And where was Tim! They at least mentioned him in passing.) The other quibble is a bit more intangible- knowing that Bruce is still out there waiting to come back colors my reading of this. We know he’s coming back but the characters don’t. I can’t put my finger on whether or not it’s a feeling of futility for the temporary-ness of it or dread for what happens when Bruce comes back. I guess we’ll see in 2010 in the 6-part Batman: Reborn Again…… I debated whether or not I was even going to pick this up but I’m glad I did.
I’m looking forward to the next year- after reading Morrison’s interview on CBR it looks like some cool stuff is coming. Hopefully he can continue to deliver on the promise of this first issue. This was a good, fun, Batman book. After years of unrelentingly grim Bruce this is a bit of fresh air. Looking forward to what’s coming next. (Ken Boechler)
Filed under: Mainstream | Tagged: Batman, DC Comics, Frank Quitely, Grant Morrison | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 19, 2009 by caperaway
Writer: Judd Winick
Pencils: Ed Benes
Inks: Rob Hunter
FC, 40 pgs w/ ads
$3.99 US / More in Canda
Last week Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely kicked off the Dick Grayson/Little Creep era of Batman in great form and this week the other creators involved got their say in the new direction.
Batman #687 was packed with plot– a nice little Bruce/Dick flashback, backtracking a bit and showing the aftermath of Final Crisis with Dick, Supes, and Diana discussing Bruce’s death, and someone finally showing Alfred’s response to the death. VERY effective stuff.
Following this, we see a little bit more of Dick’s decision making in taking up the mantle of the bat and all that entails (i.e. the move from Wayne Manor into Gotham among other things).
This issue by Judd Winick and Ed Benes got into the heads of the characters more than Morrison did and fills in the gaps between Battle For the Cowl #3 and Batman and Robin #1. We see what leads to Dick putting the little creep in the Robin suit in a sequence with a well known Villain. Like I said– this thing was PACKED with story!
Batman #687 did everything Batman and Robin #1 didn’t do in setting the stage for the new status quo. This should actually have come out BEFORE Batman and Robin #1 because it obviously takes place first. The final page with the new Bats coming face to face with an A-List Bat-villain just whets my appetite for the next book.
(This actually surprises me as when I first heard that DC was going to go this direction again I was contemplating dropping all the Bat-books. They’ve managed to hook me, whether or not they can keep me is another story. I like what I’m seeing though.)
I’ve always like Judd Winick’s storytelling; lots of people don’t, but anyone who can up with the classic line “Wow- the Joker and a naked President. That isn’t something you see every day” is someone whose books I will always give a look.
I’m not so enthused with Ed Benes. I liked his JLA but this doesn’t seem quite as detailed to me. (Ken Boechler)
Filed under: Mainstream | Tagged: Batman, DC Comics, Ed Benes, Judd Winick | Leave a Comment »