Category Archives: Comic Books

GRAPHIC NOVELS: The Spirit of Chuck Jones Lives On In PATH!

Doppler is a bipedal rabbit with the worst luck – and he has two rabbit’s feet! So, there he is, stuck in a pit and about to become a crocidog’s breakfast when out of the sky comes hurtling… an elephant! Sucker lands right on the crocidog! Unfortunately, Doppler’s luck, being what it is, things don’t quite work out – even as he and his new bestest pal scramble out of the pit. Right into more trouble…

PATH

PATH is an energetic, sepia-toned ride. For most of its eighty pages [not including covers], Gregory S. Baldwin’s odd couple race or one problem to another, generating shocks, surprises and most of all, laughs. Then, just when you finally twig to the whole Road Runner/Wiley Coyote vibe, he pulls a fast one and lays on an effective bit of poignancy.

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GRAPHIC NOVELS: CLA$$WAR – Series One: Collected Edition – Conspiracies: Superheroes – Part of the Problem and Part of the Solution!

In CLA$$WAR: The Collected Edition Rob Williams’ spins the tale of superhero patsies helping to prop up a corrupt American government [and the powers behind the scenes] – and one hero, American, who dares to let the country know what’s really going on. It’s a remarkably mature work for a first-time writer [Note: CLA$$WAR was produced 2002 – and was written earlier than that: Williams has since written for Marvel, Dark Horse and others]. The hardcover edition being reviewed came out late last year].

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It’s not a happy America. Civilians are fed rah, rah stuff that seems to go against what they’re seeing with their own eyes. Cover-ups abound. American – aided by an elderly black man named Isaac – has already uncovered some of the stuff that’s been swept under the carpet and he’s not ready to stop. So, President Bush [this was written before Dubya had become POTUS] orders his former team members [Code Name: Enola Gay – some of this stuff ain’t hard to figure out] to take him out – even if they have to nuke the country of Genada [the dictatorship being one they helped set up].

Continue reading GRAPHIC NOVELS: CLA$$WAR – Series One: Collected Edition – Conspiracies: Superheroes – Part of the Problem and Part of the Solution!

MANGA: Continuing Series: Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Vol. 3 and Oishinbo A la Carte: Sake, Ramen & Gyoza

Pluto 3

This is the first of an irregular series of reviews that will follow a number of titles through their runs – or at least, as far as the publishers allow. This review will cover two manga that are practically polar opposites: Pluto, Vol. 3 – a series that reworks a classic Astro Boy/Mighty Atom tale in a darker, more dramatic manner [think Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns as opposed to the Adam West Batman TV series], and Oishinbo A la Carte: Sake and Ramen & Gyoza – a series about the creation of an ultimate menu of Japanese cuisine.

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GRAPHIC NOVEL: Razorjack: Collected Edition – Watchmen Colorist John Higgins Produces Harrowing Horror Tale!

GRAPHIC NOVEL: Razorjack: Collected Edition – Watchmen Colorist John Higgins Produces Harrowing Horror Tale!

John Higgins is best known as the colorist of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons classic graphic novel, Watchmen. With Razorjack, he bounds onto that rarefied level of creativity as writer/creator, artist and colorist.

RJ_COLLECTED_COVER

In simple terms, Razorjack is the tale of a horrific creature – the titular Razorjack – who lives to destroy [and by destroy, I mean the universe] and the all-too human cops who stumble into her path. Allow me to quote from the back cover blurb:

“Three college kids inadvertently create the opening from the alternate universe of The Twist Universe and become a focus for the evil that is Razorjack.

Continue reading GRAPHIC NOVEL: Razorjack: Collected Edition – Watchmen Colorist John Higgins Produces Harrowing Horror Tale!

GRAPHIC NOVEL: With Century: 1910 Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill Bring The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Into a Frightening New Century!

Following some, yes, extraordinary adventures, The League of Extraordinary Gentleman [still led by Mina Murray – no thanks to Sean Connery…] have moved with the times in this, the first chapter of a six-part graphic novel. Captain Nemo is dying and his rebellious daughter, Janni, has run off to find a life for herself on land; Murray and Allan Quartermain have been joined in their unusual pursuits by gentleman thief A.J. Raffles, the omnisexual immortal, Orlando and Thomas Carnacki, Ghost Finder.

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Carnacki’s frequently clairvoyant nightmares have the group on edge because of an apocalypse that may – or may not – be centered on Kings Crossing. Apparently a dead man and a suspected Jack [the Jack!] could play a role. And what is a Moonchild – and how do you make one? As Mina and her team of adventurers seek aid from a man bound to London, but not to time, and Sherlock Holmes’ smarter, fatter brother, a Brechtian lyric winds through the tale adding its own macabre mood as it springs from the lips of several different people – but always in sequence.

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COMICS: Secret Identities: The Asian-American Superhero Anthology – It’s About Time!

Secret Identities: The Asian-American Superhero Anthology may represent something of a breakthrough. As an ethnicity that both has a rich and powerful tradition and is greatly under-represented in comics [of all genres – not just the superhero one], a number of very talented Asian-American writers, artists and writer/artists have banded together to produce a volume of superhero stories that range from the straightforward superhero yearn to biting satire. If they can’t find superheroes to relate to, they’ll just go ahead and make their own!

Cover

The brains behind the anthology, Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, Keith Chow and Jerry Ma have collected material from comics pros like Bernard Chang [Wonder Woman], Hellen Jo [Jin & Jan], Greg LaRocque [Legion of Superheroes, The Flash], Dustin Nguyen [Batman: Detective Comics] and Greg Pak [Hulk, the film Robot Stories] and; actors Kelly Hu [The Scorpion King, X2] and Dustin Tri Nguyen [V.I.P., Saigon Eclipse]; members of the filmmaking industry like Benton Jew [formerly with Industrial Light & Magic] and Michael Kang [The Motel, West 32nd], and more than four dozen other contributors [including themselves, of course].

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COMICS: Steve Rogers Returns in Captain America 600

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In one of those rare, leaked free, Pop Culture surprises, Marvel Comics killed off one of it’s icons Captain America a few years ago. Not only that, but it’s amazing the Death of Steve Rogers has stuck this long and many say the book has been better for it. As a matter of fact Bucky Barnes has become a fan favorite. A story that captured international attention, Captain America #25 polarized shocked audiences by starkly depicting the murder the cultural icon.  On that fateful day when shots rang out on the courthouse steps, Cap’s greatest enemy—the Red Skull– achieved his greatest ambition—or so it seemed. Since that time, the Marvel Universe has been in chaos, as as the Red Skull has worked towards his true endgame.  But now there is a ray of hope in the form of Steve Rogers!

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How can Steve Rogers return from the dead, and will his rebirth be enough to stop the global threat of his sworn enemy? Hitting shelves on July 1st, the special five part series Captain America Reborn finally reveals the true scope of the Red Skull’s nefarious plan, and begins Captain America’s triumphant return. For fans of Captain America and those wanting to own a part of this historic moment in Marvel history, visit your local comic book retailer on July 1, 2009 to purchase Captain America Reborn #1.  To learn more about this landmark event, go to www.marvel.com/reborn! To find a comic book retailer near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com/ or call 888-COMICBOOK.  And be sure to pick up Captain America #600, on sale this week, as the road to Reborn begins!

MOVIE NEWS: Fan Made Green Lantern Trailer, Rocks!

This is one of the greatest fan trailers ever. I found it at the Ifanboy.com website, someone put a lot of thought and effort into this, Warner Brothers should hire whoever did this to be involved in their rumored Green Lantern movie. You would think Green Lantern would be one of the easiest characters to bring to the big screen. But whoever created this trailer, bravo!

COMIC BOOKS: X-Men: Magneto Testament Hard Cover

X Men Magneto Testament

On May 28, Marvel Comics will release the highly anticipated X-Men: Magneto Testament  hard cover, a collection of the five-issue critically acclaimed limited series from the fan favorite team of New York Times Best-Selling Author Greg Pak (Incredible Hulk, Incredible Hercules) and Carmine Di Giandomenico. This collector’s edition hard cover will be jam-packed with amazingly powerful extras, including a story never before published, and arrives with a suggested retail price of $24.99.

Today, the whole world knows him as Magneto, the most radical champion of mutant rights that mankind has ever seen. But in 1935, he was just another schoolboy — who happened to be Jewish in Nazi Germany. The definitive origin story for one of Marvel’s greatest icons begins with a silver chain and a crush on a girl — then quickly turns into a harrowing struggle for survival against the inexorable machinery of Hitler’s Final Solution.

COMIC BOOK NEWS: Captain America #600 Images!

Captain America 600

It’s the historic Captain America issue you’ve been waiting for as Eisner-winning writer Ed Brubaker teams up with a group of red hot artists like Butch Guice, Steve Epting, and many more to bring you the extra-sized Captain America #600! It’s the anniversary of the day Captain America died, as the Marvel Universe reflects—and the next jaw dropping chapter in the Captain America mythos begins! Plus, writers Mark Waid and Roger Stern join Brubaker to bring you over 60 pages of all new stories, plus select reprints featuring the work of Stan Lee and a Captain America cover gallery! And just who is the girl without a world? What’s her connection to Captain America? With covers by superstars Alex Ross and Steve Epting, no Captain America fan can miss this issue!

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MANGA: Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit – Congratulations! You Have Been Randomly Selected By The Government… To DIE In 24 Hours!

The population was beginning a slow descent into decadence. No one seemed to care about the important things in life: honor, integrity, even life itself. So, the government began a new program to make life precious once more. When vaccinations were given to every child, a certain percentage was, instead, randomly injected with a capsule that would activate at a random time, resulting in that person’s death. Through a complex set of procedures, these capsules were tracked in such a way that, without anyone knowing the particulars, an Ikigami – a death paper – would be sent to each of those selected twenty-four hours before the capsule activated. The uncertainty this caused would make people value their lives more, and increase social productivity.

Ikigami 1

Volume One of Motoro Mase’s Ikigami contains two episodes – each dealing with different aspects of the process. Episode One, The End of Vengeance, is concerned with Fujimoto, a young man who gets work delivering Ikigami, and the story of one of the people to whom he delivers them – a bullied youth who uses his last day for actions both heroic and evil. Episode Two, The Last Song, deals with a young man in a busking duo who tries to achieve pop stardom even though it means deserting his partner.

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