Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Geek Gets 9/24/08

OK, so this was a small two weeks. But that is not a bad thing when one of the books was a $3.50 cost. It was a small but satisfying week of comics for this reader. A variety of reads were present as well. Seems to be a Girl Power theme going on with these books. There is a bit of telling of an old Marvel story that has been placed on hold. Wanted to have it up before now, but things have held it up. For now just enjoy reading about the buys the Comic Book Ghost absconded with today.

The best read was a hard decision with this group. Really all had their strong points, BUT, if forced to pick I would say Birds of Prey #122 was the one I enjoyed the most.
Tony Bedard has always been a writer that I really liked and here he just gives a great story that is a build up to a long waited for one on one fight in the DCU. In case you are clueless the Birds have been restructuring. Manhunter has been present and here we have a cool cameo by Zatanna. Kate got her head scrambled pretty bad when the Birds came to roost in Platinum Flats. So she is part of the team but not I guess since she commutes.

Infinity is a character that I am not sure if she is new or some obscure character that is being used now. Either way, she is so cool. We get a Misfit impressing Oracle and a big look at the newest player in the town, Joker. That is correct. He is in the town and now on a collision course with the woman he crippled. I can say no more but it really did make me think of the now gone CrossGen book The Negation. Bedard rocked the intensity there and has carried into this comic. The last few pages are the best set up I have seen in a long while.

Wildstorm has been running a little gem that might have slipped under many people's
radar screens. Casey Blue Beyond Tomorrow #5 is the next to last issue of the series that started around the time of the Convention Season. It is the basic invasion scenario, well, except the element of time travel and an infection that creates hybrids is involved. Casey is the typical high school student who is now a secret weapon against these seeded agents from the future to destroy mankind. She is just really learning about her abilities and how they work. A nice woman from the future is now training and explaining things to her. Her family doesn't know and she is settling into her new duality.

Did I mention she can kill with her bare hands? She can take down full grown men with their own weapons and really only look like she was rolling on the ground. Well, this has and is a good read. I can tell you that the last page is absolutely unbelievable. A true hook into the last part of this story. So I guess now you either track them down or ask
for the Trade. I like it.

I never read Strangers in Paradise but after hearing a bit of a trade recap on Just Bill:
Comic Drawer Box I am interested in getting the trades. Terry Moore has finished that comics work and now is on Issue #6 of Echo. It is a strange bit of fiction about a woman who basically was in the wrong part of the desert at the wrong time. She witnesses what really is a murder of a woman testing an experimental battle suit and then radioactive fallout of the metal rained down upon her.

Julie now has a shiny metal cover over her breast and part of her shoulders. Threaten her and touch it a person gets zapped in a bad way. She is joined by a Park Ranger who it seems was the murdered woman's fiancee. They have had a rough go of it and the first five issues have been collected and should be on sale now. I believe they are calling it Moon Lake. So this is a good story with that soap opera feel. Conspiracies and stuff abound as the tale of Julie rolls on.

The last book is my only Marvel read of the moment and I must say I was not really
looking forward to this story as SECRET INVASION had infected Nova. So here I looked at Nova #17 and see Darkhawk included on the cover. I thought he was part of a group of recovering superheroes? So what? Well seems Rich finds Mom And Dad OK and his little Brother stuck at work. Oh, he works at Project: Pegasus the energy research place of the Marvel U.

It was alright. I think I see how when all this is over Earth will have Skrulls living among humans in some way, shape, or form. That will be the next big thing about the ever stupid conflagration that is Marvel these days. They did a good story despite the cross seeding of the latest gimmick massive event. I big return is present and the Worldmind is still around it appears. So that is about it though for Nova.

Really all there was for me. Did grab a copy of Matt Fraction's The Invincible Iron Man #2 for the awesome price of $1.00. Picked the Brandon Peterson cover as well. So hopefully I can get the special look back at some of the magical Marvel of yesterday. It is a great and important tale of one of fiction's greatest evils and how the Marvel U. was rid of him.

Comic Book Ghost

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Geek Gets 9/10/08

The First and always top of the list read when it comes home is Buffy The Vampire Slayer. This time it is Issue #18. Now, those wanting to complain might think the fan fiction writers on the Net have taken control of the subject matter. In reality it is just the standard layered plot that fans have come to understand. More goes on than just Willow having a friend that she feels guilty letting Kennedy know about. Seems that access comes through means that reading between the lines shows how Kennedy was being intimate with Willow, but really giving this being access. Even this is complicated as we can read the creature has betrayed Willow, to uhm, future Dark Willow, but she also cares. It is this excellent characterization that makes this a top read for me.

The idea of Dawn as a centaur is so funny. Her innocent remark and Xander's mind in the gutter is just good Whedon dialogue. This is Whedon by the way. Who else could do such a good job with the future Slayer Meleka Fray? Well, maybe Christopher Golden. Still this story is lite in many ways, but so much is shown that leads from and to the meat of the story. A great continuing story Time of Your Life is becoming.

Thanks to the awesome podcast About Heroes I was alerted to an awesome chase scene between Catwoman and Batgirl from early in Batgirl's career. It happened in Issue #17 of Batman Confidential. That kicked off a Five Part story The Cat and the Bat. Fabian Nicieza penned this excellent story of a stolen notebook that belongs to Commissioner Gordon. Issue # 21 is the concluding part of the tale. It ends with Batgirl running a gauntlet through Arkham Asylum. Her cotume is in tatters and she faces the Batman family of freaks as the Riddler sits in a control room playing maze guide. The ways and characters she faces is just priceless. The twist at the end is nice as well.

Issue #18 is worth mentioning. After that excellent chase that kicks this adventure off, Catwoman enters a club where masks are OK, but clothes are not. This was a hilarious bit of action. Later on we get the reason Catwoman wanted the notebook. Batman gets involved and Batgirl just has one very long night. The wrap up between Batman and Catwoman is very well done and has a cute bit of dialogue.

Rolling right along we have Witchblade #120. It feels good being able to speak about this title. It started as a clear book of scantily clad women. That is a far cry from the book now. Amazing that a fully clothed painted woman can be hot and sexy in a book dealing with supernatural stuff. This is a female driven story that has more to do with feelings than the powers of the Witchblade. It is these excellent moments that make the battles and outlandish mystical stuff seem so important. The two bearers have an important heart to heart. Sara gets to punch a guys teeth out, literally. What is most amazing is the art.

Stjepan Sejic is the artist and will be for the next few years. That is right, years. His style is a painted look that has softness and and beauty. Dani looks especially awesome in this issue. Her dancing poses are very well done. The idea to frame her movements while dancing was a stroke of genius really. It brings that to life. This is now a book you both enjoy the art AND read for the suspense and story.

Geoff Johns is arguably one of the best ever comic book writers. He has a grasp and respect for continuity even as he basically writes a new history for long time hero Hal Jordan. Green Lantern Issue #34 is the sixth and next to the last part of the Secret Origin story that has been running through the book. It basically shows us the inbetweens of what happened as Abin Sur crashed and died on Earth and Hal being trained by a fellow we know as Sinestro. Little nuggets about the upcoming Blackest Night have been sprinkled throughout the story. It will be neat when all these that have not understood this story have to go back and reread to see how the events to come have been laid bare. It is not obvious, yet somehow things just seem to have an importance that we cannot understand.

Green Lantern was a favorite character growing up and it feels good to reconnect. This has been nostalgic in a way as I read the story. It provided a reminder of the early Hal and why he was so cocky. Moments of what will happen are there and you can just feel sad that each character will have to endure the journey we know they will take. Seeing a young Hal come to terms with his father's death and finding Carol Ferris in the process was a nice scene. Really nice.

OK, I will admit I am totally confused with Gail Simone's story. I will not abandon her though. She has something she is building to and I see how she is trying to incorporate all that has come before with the restart of Wonder Woman. Here is Issue #24 we get to see an Amazon mating ritual of sorts. Nemesis is now an Amazon and free to be Diana's mate. Some weird stuff happens in Hollywood. Even the Gorillas could not provide a break from the confusion. I am unfamiliar with this Queen of Fables. that is adding to my confusion.

Still, it is Simone and it is better than the stuff that caused me to drop Supergirl. I guess Simone would have to write Diana making a deal with the devil to erase her love and all to really stop me reading. I am confused though. My hope is that clears as this story progresses.

Well that ends the report of my Geek Retreat today. Did you pick up anything neat. Tell me about it. What are you reading?

Comic Book Ghost

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hawkgirl by Renae De Liz

The Ghost is busy haunting some people currently. I thought I would share this snagged bit of art from Comicspace by the awesome Renae De Liz. She rocks the art side of comics. Her work can be seen in the IDW book Rogue Angel The Teller of Tall Tales and other places. One could just check out her Comicspace page for more of her links and work.

The Comic Book Ghost

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Trades & Graphic Novels: JLA A League Of One

What if an Oracle of Old foretold that your friends, those as close to you as family, would die in a battle? What if the only choice was to betray them and fight alone? That is the main theme behind JLA A LEAGUE OF ONE. Wonder Woman has been told of the return of an ancient evil. A dragon of old has been awakened deep within the Earth. Wonder Woman is told that if the Justice League fights as a team they will all die. So Diana makes a decision.

In this Graphic Novel we see the character of Wonder Woman in a variety of ways. She is the devoted spiritual Princess of the Amazons and a powerful member of The Justice League. We see a fun loving Diana who is friend of nymphs and mere maidens. It is also a book that shows the Warrior who will do what she must to protect those she loves and honor her duty to the Earth. It has heart and emotion displayed in the wonderful character of Diana.

The artwork is outstanding. A true vision of painted images. Christopher Moeller is artist and writer of this Graphic Novel. the dragon is beautiful as a horrific evil being that is ruthless and cruel. The backgrounds are just amazing and the balance between both fairy tale type stuff and real world creations are expertly melded. Just a great synthesis of word and pictures.

In the tale Diana, to protect her teammates, must take them down. Her strategic mind is displayed and only Batman catches on to what is happening. One by one she dismantles each member of the Justice League while hurting from having to betray them. The pain is written without ever really saying she is right or wrong. At times we even are lead to question the actions she is taking. That is a sign of great writing.

The battle with the Dragon is what really takes the action up a notch. There are moments the reader my even question if Wonder Woman can accomplish this
feat. One might think the League will assemble and we would learn the team is strongest. The way her lasso and the Dragon's flame represent different things is an interesting way to contrast her main strength as a heroine.

A LEAGUE OF ONE is worth the price. it may be able to be found a bit cheaper
than the original $14.95 price for the Softcover. A Hardcover was produced as well. Seek it out, it is a great book for any collection.

Comic Book Ghost

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Casey Blue Beyond Tomorrow

So Casey Blue is an enjoyable read. It reminds one of the animated TV movie Invasion USA. It had a male alien raised as a human who finds he is more than it appears and soon is the only hope in an interstellar war. Seems close to what Casey Blue is showing its self to be. Casey is a young girl who is a volleyball player, sister, and loving daughter. Thing is she is starting to be able to do amazing feats of strength and agility. She also is waking up covered in blood, not her own blood either.

The art is typical male fantasy. Casey and all the women defy the bounds of normal physical realities. That becoming a given, the art is really nice and clean. The subtle combing of a stylish animated look for the settings compliments the human figures well. We get a mystery and a sharp sci fi feel to this almost horrific tale. Casey herself lends humanity to the story as she feels the remorse a normal human would at killing and doing so in a manner that defies conventional wisdom. She also describes the feelings of not caring, a primal responds that the ones she killed were just for lack of a better word, deserving of it. They did attack and try and do her harm. Or they posed a threat she perceives yet doesn't quite understand . So or heroine is a figure of a human losing control of herself and trying to hold to her morality and humanity.
This is a series that has been running a bit late. It is four issues into a six issue run. The series is to be the first chapter of the longer story. The problem may be that Casey Blue will start out and we may never have any conclusion to the mystery laid out. Hopefully, that will not be the case and we will get a long run of chapter series to enjoy as the tale is worthy of attention to those with a love of alien invasion tales. The secret invasion genre is not reinventing wheel. It happens many times like this book does. Take young person, have them discover alien heritage, have them stop Earth from being taken over or destroyed, and save home race from the evil aliens that are fighting the good aliens. It is a formula.
What can be fun and enjoyable is the journey of the characters. The little interactions that make up the larger framework of the story. These are what makes or breaks this genre. In Casey we have a heroine that has a family and friends that anchor her and will be of great use to add emotion to a sci fi tale of death and alien invasion. This is a book that might be hard to find. It probably flew under the radar of many readers. Seek it out if you like this type of story. You just might find a gem worth reading.
The Ghost