Tagged: Alex Maleev

Review: Batman Volume 6: Graveyard Shift

51hNXab4FEL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Batman Volume 6: Graveyard Shift

Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo/ Marguerite Bennett/Andy Kubert/James Tynion IV/Alex Maleev/Andy Clarke/Dustin Nguyen/ Wes Craig/Matteo Scalera/Gerry Duggan

DC Comics, $24.99

With the first 5 volumes of the Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo run on Batman, we the reader got a series of cohesive and quite excellent stories by the same team of creators. Those who have been reading the book monthly have had a different experience, as there has been several issues that have interrupted this run with some guest creative teams. Volume 6 is a collection of those issues, which range back to as far back as 2012 and as recent as 2014. Needless to say, this book is a bit disjointed,  with some of the material dated already.

One of the biggest things to occur during the Snyder/Capullo era was the death of Damian Wayne, which occurred over in the Grant Morrison/Chris Burnham Batman Inc. title. With it not happening in Batman proper, trade waiters now finally get to see that event addressed by Snyder and several other creators in a few different stories. The downside of that is that Damian was already revived earlier this year (with an ongoing set to debut soon), so said stories kind of lose their impact. It’s even worse if you’ve only been reading this incarnation in trade, as there’s zero explanation as to how Damian passed. There are also 2 Year Zero-era tales included, which is odd for several reasons. The biggest one being that Year Zero was already collected in Volumes 4 & 5, and would have made more sense being included there than in this volume. Finally, the last story collected is tied into the recently concluded Batman: Eternal, which I feel would have been suited for one of those trades more so than this one.

BM_19_300-005_HD.480x480-75So while this book feels scatterbrained and uneven, it also looks fairly sharp. Greg Capullo is joined by a ton of talented artists. Andy Kubert, Dustin Nguyen, Alex Maleev, Andy Clarke and Matteo Scalera are some of the more notable contributors and while their styles are all wildly different, they all bring their A game. It’s a little jarring to see different artists tackle the Gotham envisioned by Greg Capullo at first, but these veteran artists contributions are great none the less. It helps that Scott Snyder oversees if not straight up writes a lot of the guest stories, so the tone feels consistent throughout the collection.

Joining Snyder on writing duties are two of his former students, James Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennett. The Snyder penned material is obviously the strongest, and Tylion and Bennet aren’t exactly slouches either. Similar to Snyder, both writers mix horror and action scenes well, although none of their dialogue ever hits as hard as Synder’s does. It’s almost a bit of a unfair comparison, as neither of those two have Greg Capullo to work with. The story written by Gerry Duggan is antiquate: not the best Batman story in this volume, but nothing wrong with it, and it looks great. Matteo Scalera was a perfect fit to draw a Batman story, and his stylistic take on the character is fantastic.

Batman Volume 6: The Graveyard Shift is a weird anthology of sorts. The Snyder/Capullo issues are great, and anyone who’s dug their work in the past won’t be disappointed. The other issues require some knowledge of the going-ons in other DC comics, but are enjoyable none the less. It’s not the best collection of Bat-Material in this run, but it’s a fun little collection of stories that will hold you over until Endgame is reprinted. A shame it’s not as accessible as the past collections have, but that’s not really on the creators as it is on whoever decide to collect the book like this.

 

 

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Don’t Hate, Just Read #1: This Week in Comics.

Superman Secret Origin covers 1-4

Wednesday means new comics, anyone reading this blog knows that.  So, with that in mind I’d like to point you in the direction of a couple of books I’m looking forward to.

From DC Comics today, we have the Geoff Johns/Gary Frank interpretation of Superman’s modern origin in Superman: Secret Origin #1.  Think of it as Geoff Johns’s way of doing Smallville. We also have the final issue of Wednesday Comics, DC’s brilliant effort at distributing comics the old fashioned way, in newspaper form. There were some beautiful stories in this including Paul Pope’s Adam Strange, Karl Kerschl’s The Flash, and the 100 Bullets team on Batman. I’m looking forward to seeing how they collect this astounding collection.

At Marvel we have the comic book form of Spider-Woman. Like I mentioned in my review of the motion comic, I think I like this book better in its natural format than  this motion comic business.

The other book I really like is Immortal Weapons #3 featuring a story by Rick Spears.  Frankly, one cannot get enough of a Rick Spears story, and I love anything involving the Iron Fist universe these days.

Other than that,  its all I got.   Happy Reading!

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REVIEW: Spider-Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D Motion Comic.

Spider-Woman by Alex Maleev

Marvel’s first motion comic arrived earlier this week, and I just viewed it.  Written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Alex Maleev this stripped down if not disconcerting 10 minute static animation was enjoyable, but weird to look at.

We follow Jessica Drew, recovering from post-Skrull Invasion and has been contracted by Agent Brand of S.W.O.R.D. to hunt down the remaining Skrulls on Earth and deep six ’em. This is the key sequence in the motion comic that was disconcerting and actually kind of gave me motion sickness, but I attribute that more to last night than the viewing itself.  During Jessica’s discussion with Brand on a London double decker bus, the bus moves and you can see traffic going by outside, their fancy schmancy iPhones do all the things an iPhone does, but the characters talk and their lips are not moving.  See what I’m saying? Disconcerting.  The entire thing is like that.

However, that does not make this a bad thing at all, actually I really really enjoyed it.  Alex Maleev’s restrained paintings bring life to this exceptionally dark piece of animation, and Bendis restrains himself from the wordy chatter he’s known for, but still retains the attitude that is Jessica Drew.  However, I am with Graeme McMillan over at io9.com, that I would rather read it than watch it. However, for .99 cents its cheaper than buying the comic, so really, its worth downloading.

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Tuesday Morning Cartoons.

Marvel and DC Comics have released their latest animation endeavors with the “Spider-Woman” motion comic, and the first four minutes of “Green Lantern: First Flight”.  We would embed the clips to the body of this article, but they’ve crashed my browser four times since this morning. So, apologies.

The Spider-Woman “motion comic” which still just sounds like a classed up version of saying cartoon, much in the same way that “graphic novel” pertains to comics looks pretty fantastic.  Written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by his “Daredevil” partner Alex Maleev, this is something that looks patently gorgeous.  The entire movie will be shown at the”Marvel Digital Comics” panel Friday, July 25th at 5:30pm in room 6DE of the San Diego Convention Center.

Though it wouldn’t be Con if the other half of the Big Two didn’t have something premiering as well to conflict with that.  That is “Green Lantern: First Flight” which our friend Rick Marshall over at MTV’s Splash Page has the first four-minute clip of the film.  The movie premieres Thursday night at 8pm in Ballroom 20. For those of us not attending the convention, we’re just going to have to wait for the DVD to come out July 28th.

Coming up, we’ll give you our guide to surviving the San Diego Comic Con and what we think you’d like to check out.

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Back to School

by Jeff Ayers

“Bring us a pitcher of beer every seven minutes until somebody passes out.  And then bring one every ten minutes.”

This past Saturday I was struck by a sudden, sharp, and sobering realization, with lasting ramifications for the next nine months or so.  Y’see, my lady and I had brunch at Petite Abeille in sleepy Tribeca, checked out the Moscow Cats Theatre (featuring 35 cats, 5 clowns, death defying balancing acts and acrobatics, and yes, I’m comfortable admitting that, and yes, moms and dads should take your progeny and everybody you know to see this asap) and braved the amassed hordes of the Canal Street subway to head back uptown for a stroll before my closing shift at the FP.  All on what normally would be a calm, bucolic late summer afternoon in my beloved East Village.  Friendly confines and all that.

The neighborhood was steeped in a kind of pandemonium.

From Houston to 14th, from Ave. B to Broadway, the area surrounding our store was abuzz with so much activity and cacophony so as to only, perhaps, be rivalled by the beach scene in Apocalypse Now.

Now sometimes I can be pretty dense, so I didn’t notice til much later that I’d passed dozens of families carrying furniture, computers, mini-fridges and other such accoutrements on every block.  Didn’t notice the sudden influx of 18-24 year-olds in the neighborhood. Nor the copious amount of hello and farewell hugs. And why the hell we were selling so many posters?  Only later, at work, did it dawn on me…  Of course!  It’s Back to School!

Whether it be NYU, SVA, Pratt, Columbia, New School, Cooper Union, whatever… Welcome back, ladies and gents.  Welcome here, freshmen.  If this is your first visit to the store or FPNYC on the web, know that Forbidden Planet is one of the premiere sellers of comics, collectibles, and Science Fiction stores in the world and has been since 1981.  We ain’t going anywhere, your college student ID nabs you 10% OFF everything in the store [ed. note: we no longer offer this at FP], and we’re in the most happenin’ location in the city.  We also offer a snazzy subscription service for comics, wherein we’ll hold your books for you until you dig up the scratch to buy them.

And sell posters for your dorm.

And that goes for the rest of ya!

New Release Highlights:

Halo Uprising #1- The Eisner Award-winning team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist extraordinaire Alex Maleev (Daredevil- 2001-2006) pull a “Dude, we’re gettin’ the band back together!”  for a sequel story to video gaming’s biggest franchise of the early 21st Century, Halo.

Ultimate Spider-Man 100 Project TP– brought to you by The Hero Initiative, a deserving non-profit that bails out comic creators in need; creators who can’t pay medical bills, buy groceries, what have you.  This book collects the fruits of one of the organization’s most creative and successful fund-raising endeavors- a print run of 100 blank-covered Ultimate Spider-Man #100, wherein prominent creators of today would draw their take version of old webhead. Sold as one of a kind collectibles online and at New York Comic-Con and Wizard World Chicago- for up to $6700 apiece- this fabulous, limited artbook collects all 100 covers, featuring Mark Bagley, J. Scott Campbell, Frank Cho, Neil Gaiman, Adam and Andy Kubert, George Pérez, Joe Quesada, John Romita Sr. and Jr., Frank Quitely, JG Jones, and dozens more and features a forward by Stan Lee, who is by no means a creator in need.  Just sayin.

I’m a Lebowski You’re a Lebowski: Life The Big Lebowski and What Have You–  The ultimate fan’s guide to the Coen Brothers cult phenomenon “The Big Lebowski,” with a Foreword by the Dude himself, Jeff Bridges.  I’ve waited for this book for nearly a decade, convinced that no such thing would ever be released.  But thanks to the film’s insatiable fanbase, of which I am an unashamed and rabid member, goodies such as this book and and events like Lebowski Fest (the Star Trek Convention of the 21st Century) are possible. “If you will it, dude, it is no dream.”

Bunnies & Bees– by Mark Ryden.  Beautiful boxed portfolio from Ryden features thirteen 8″ x 10″ prints from the Bunnies & Bees gallery show.  Images include all the paintings, plus some details and drawings from the show. It is a limited numbered edition of 10,000, and includes a certificate of authenticity in addition.  Also in stock: Fushigi Circus, a survey of 55 of Ryden’s most impressive works from past to present.

And to all you wide-eyed freshmen? All you new New Yorkers? My sincerest welcome once again! I hope you enjoy your stay in our fantastic City! Just leave some polite room on the crowded streets for us “townies,” okay? And walk, bike, or use mass transit.

“Now that’s what I call Marine Biology!”
-Jeffy

jeff(AT)fpnyc.com

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