Tagged: Adrian Alphona

Chris’ Comics: New Avengers #1 and Ms Marvel #19

New-Avengers-1-Cover-06a5aNew Avengers #1

Al Ewing, Gerardo Sandoval, Dono Sanchez Almara

Marvel $3.99

Ever since Infinity, writer Al Ewing has been pumping out some damn fine Avengers comics for Marvel. Mighty Avengers has been constantly entertaining, and now that it’s kinda sorta post Secret Wars, he’s been given the chance to write not one but 2 Avengers series. The first of these debuted last Wednesday in the shape of New Avengers, with a fan favorite roster and a bold new direction.

New Avengers #1 kicks off with a number of fan favorite characters: Squirrel Girl, Wiccan, Hulking, Songbird and from Ewing’s Mighty Avengers run White Tiger and Powerman. They’re assembled by Sunspot, who now owns A.I.M. thanks to the events of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers run. They’re operating by their own rules, which doesn’t sit well with SHIELD, so they have Hawkeye (the Clint Barton flavored one) join the roster as a spy, ensuring my spending money. It’s a fun line up, and Al brings in a number of his Might Avengers co-stars to act as the team’s supporting characters, and build a bridge between his sister book The Ultimates.

29addcd4d60c46f931da5afb255a89b7._SX640_QL80_TTD_Drawing New Avengers is Gerado Sandoval , whose work I’m familiar with from the absolutely insane Marvel Vs Attack on Titan. His style is very much in the mold of Joe Madueria, which explains why Wiccan looks straight up Naruto. He’s bombastic enough for the fight scenes, but struggles a bit when it comes to the talking head bits. I’m sure there’s a number of people who are turned off by Sandoval’s manga style, but I dug it for the most part. The coloring by Dono Sanchez Almara is a perfect fit for Sandoval’s, giving the book a bright, animated look, which perfectly matches the fun art and Ewing’s delightful dialogue.

New Avengers #1 hits the floor running, with some unique art, a solid premise, and some great dialogue. It’s an incredibly fun book with a lot to like, and I can’t recommend it enough if you’re a fan of these characters, or just want a fun, over the top Marvel team book

tumblr_nvxtooYwUq1t0cxrao1_1280Ms. Marvel #1

 

Marvel $2.99

RIP $3 Marvel comics.

ALSO SECRET WARS AND MS MARVEL SPOILERS BELOW

And here I was thinking this would be a tears free weak, silly me.

The final issue of Ms. Marvel “Season One” is upon us, and man, it’s a fantastic read, but also an assault on my emotions. This arc wraps at where Secret Wars #1 ends, so the ending of this issue is a bit of a downer, despite the overall quality. Well sort of. We all know Kamala has a bright future as an Avenger starting in a few weeks, so the ending kinda loses some impact by being tied into the larger Marvel Universe. Not to mention the solicit for Ms Marvel volume 2, issue 3 going live today. Good timing there Marvel.

tumblr_nvxtooYwUq1t0cxrao5_1280Mad spoilers aside, G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and Ian Herring craft one hell of an ending. The finale sees Kamala as Kamala, not her costumed alter ego, talk to her mother about her double life in an amazing scene, reunite her several of her peers and face the final incursion head on. Everything about this issue is incredible, as it blends a number of emotional beats with some expressive line work and gorgeous colosr. We really get a sense of how  Kamala has grown over the course of 19 issues, and how the evens of this arc has affected her. Wilson and Alphona have created something special with this character, and this issue serves of proof of that.

Ms Marvel 19 is a tear jerker of a finale. One with gorgeous, detailed art, that’s super expressive, with amazing acting, and a fantastic use of color during the final pages. In a world where super hero books are constantly relaunched and rebooted, this “final” issue gets is as perfect as it can be, technicalities aside. It”s a testament on how special a character like Ms. Marvel is in the marketplace, and how stellar this creative team is. I can’t wait for more.

 

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Chris’ Comics: Ms Marvel #18

Just a head’s up everyone: After this review, expect some radio science for a week or two. You’re truly and his wife are taking a trip to the Pacific Northwest, and won’t be back until the last week of the month. We’ll be hitting up Rose City Comic Comic in Portland, and be taking in the sights in Seattle. You can follow my nonsense on Twitter and Instagram ( @theanarchris), and if you’re at RCC or a native or either city, let me know, I’m always up for saying hi and giving out fresh high fives!

 

4791321-18Ms Marvel #18

G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring

Marvel $2.99

I want to hug this comic.

Ms Marvel #17 is a surprisingly upbeat comic that takes place at the end of the world. We get to see the young Ms Marvel continue to work alongside her idol Carol Danvers (who is THE BEST in this issue) as the final Incursion (remember, SECRET WARS) draws near, all while dealing with the fact that she may not be the only Inhuman in her family. The creative team throws a lot of content at readers, but all of it is so good, it’s hard to mind so much info and drama to process.

This creative team has displayed the fact that their very talented a number of times throughout the book’s lifespan, but it’s the little things in that issue that really shined through to me. For example, there’s some fantastic facial expressions drawn by  Adrian Alphona in this issue. The slightly exaggerated look of frustration when Kamala is talked down to twice is hilarious to look at, which I included in this review (Source: Tumblr) And there’s a scene dealing with super powers (sort of) that’s a twist on Kamala’s origin story, but plays out in a completely different manner. Writer G Willow Wilson gives the scene some really intense and smart ms-marvel-18-2-carol-danversdialogue that fleshes out a supporting cast member in fascinating way, making the character all the more likable than they’ve been portrayed in the past. It give the chance to relate to Kamala and see this character in a whole new light, which I appreciate.  The bombshell cliffhanger ending, something the series has done a lot with this arc, is also pretty great, hitting a major emotional note and will definitely change how Kamala interacts with an important cast member in the future. And colorist’s Ian Herring muted colors give the book an nice dark look, reminding us that this whole thing is going down in the middle of the night. There’s really not much to complain about in this issue, aside from Alphona’s sort of lanky Captain Marvel. I like my Carol Danver looking she can lay out dinosaurs with a single bunch, sorry dude.

tumblr_nufpnxW26C1ufs2h7o1_r1_1280The next issue should wrap up this volume of Ms Marvel before a 1 month break that will see the book get a new number one and bump in price. I have zero problem with having to pay $4 for this book in the future, because issues like this are common for Wilson, Alphona and Herring. They’re arguably one of the most consistent teams in comics, let alone at Marvel, and they’ve make this new character super endearing and ultra-relatable in less than 2 years. Ms Marvel #18 may not be my favorite issue of the series to date, but it damn may be the best one.

 

 

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Chris Comics: Ms Marvel #17

Last-Days-of-Ms.-MarvelMs Marvel #17

G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona & Ian Herring

Marvel $2.99

On the left we have cover artist Kris Anka , who cover may qualify as the best thing. But while this gives us everything we ever wanted from Ms Marvel, it worth noting the content are not as happy.

Given who’s on the cover, and that this book is tied into Secret Wars, Ms. Marvel #17 can be best described as an issue that’s a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Captain Marvel’s presence is something the fans have been demanding since the book dropped, and Wilson, Alphona and Herring deliver when it comes to this team in spades. But it’s not exactly  the feel good issue I was hoping for, given the whole end of the world thing, but it is an incredibly smart comics that has some really good emotional moments as well.

3577e735844c9f972469b12814ecd674What  I like about this issue is that we get to see that Kamala has come a long way since issue once, but a lot of key characteristics are still intact for the character. Writer G Willow Wilson has Ms Marvel freak out when she meets Carol Danvers, which as a super fan, is something that makes a ton of sense, not to mention completely adorable. I enjoyed watching the two Marvels bounce off of each other, and I REALLY dug the brief mention of Kamala’s faith when Captain Marvel gives her a pep talk early in the book,( as well as Carol’s advice for our you lead when faced with a difficult kitten-related matter). I also dug Wilson’s take on Carol Danvers, who’s a lovable & playful badass who manages to also be a solid mentor to Ms. Khan when she’s not busting her chops. There’s also several moments that will tug at your heart, giving the book a sense of sadness and desperation. There’s plenty of high, lows and even a few laughs, which says a lot given the fact that this is only 20 pages of content.

On the art side of things, gosh I love Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring. Jersey City may be facing the apocalypse, but Alphona crazy detailed  panels manage to maintain this book’s excellent sense of humor. His backgrounds are chock full of MAD magazine-esque hidden jokes, and not to mention some bizarre and hilarious looking characters. His Kamala will have her facial expression exaggerated for humor’s sake, and he’s capable of drawing some extremely derpy looking animals, ramping up the book’s cute factor. That being said, he also manages to capture the more serious and emotional moments with the gravitas needed to sell the scene, and his Captain Marvel has just the right amount of swagger worthy of Carol Danvers. Colorists Ian Herring’s colors are perfect for every scene, giving the day scenes the proper sense of end of the world times, and using some interesting colors choices for the scene heavy on the super hero-type effects.

As someone who gave up on reading Secret Wars proper and already has a sense on how this will end thanks to upcoming solicits, it’s worth noting how good this creative teams on making this Incursion feel like a real threat. The sense of danger and emotional strain of Last Days is there and feels real, even though we’re due for a new Ms Marvel #1 come this fall. Ms Marvel continues to be the best thing coming out of Marvel these days, even when it’s tied into a massive crossover. This book is definitely worth your time if you’re a regular reader scared who’s not reading Secret Wars, or a Secret Wars fan looking for an amazing tie in.

 

 

 

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Troy’s Toys But with Comics: First and Last Days Editions

Hey look, it’s  2 books that actually came out recently! Let me review them!

ms-marel-124127Ms. Marvel #16

G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring

Marvel $2.99

Let’s get this review started  by talking about how good Ms. Marvel and it’s creators are. Solicitations for this issue spoiled the last page of Ms Marvel 16 3-4 months ago, depending on what websites you read, especially if you saw what’s on the cover for 17. It’s something we’ve yet to get on this title yet, wanted forever, and have finally gotten a taste of it. Even knowing it was coming didn’t diminish the moment, and if anything, only made me hungry for more.

Ms Marvel 16 is the first issue of the “Last Days” arc, which ties into Secret Wars. G Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring has put Khamala Khan through a lot over these last 16 issues, but how does Ms Marvel stop the end of the world? Knowing what we know from Secret Wars, it seems impossible, even though that Free Comic Book Day let us know that she’ll be fine when all is said and done. Still, Wilson and Alphona make the stakes feel real, without having to sacrifice all of the charm and humor this book is known for.

Then we get to the last two pages. This is comics at it’s finest, and the opposite of the bad feels Kieron Gillen and BKV have given me in the previous weeks. We see our hero doubt herself, but refusing to give up and accept oblivion. It’s inspiring, and it’s hard not to get excited when you reach the previously mentioned final page of this book. It’s a super important moment for the character, and the creative team nail it on every level, from the layout, to the dialogue and choice of colors.

Ms Marvel continues to be stellar, and this issue is no different. It may be the best, which says a lot given the fact it’s a tie-in issue. It super hero comics at it’s finest, fully embracing the legacy set by Jack, Steve and Stan, and taking it to the next level.

 

black-canary-1-promo-121636Black Canary #1

Brenden Fletcher/Annie Wu/Lee Loughridge

DC $2.99

I’ve seen a few comic blogger types refer to this new DC You (#killme) initiative as “The Batgirl effect”, which I think is a fair description. The Fletcher/Stewart/Tarr/Wicks Batgirl got DC attention and praise it hadn’t seen in a while, and it was only a matter of time before would attempt to recapture that magic with some of their other properties. With Black Canary, we see a one of the Batgirl writers teamed with a fan favorite artist, resulting in another strong DC Debut.

Black Canary is a kung-fu rock and roll comic, which is all sorts of my type of premise. Dinah Lance was given a cool new direction in the pages of Batgirl, and now we get to see Black Canary on the road, wrecking venue after venue while keeping her past a secret from her bandmates. However, she’s not the only person in her crew with a secret or two, which leads to violent hitting times  . It’s a fun premise that feels like a natural and much needed  evolution of this incarnation of the character.

I’ve been a fan of artist Annie Wu since her run on the often mentioned Hawkeye. Her take on Black Canary is great, giving her a slick punk rock meets MMA make over. It’s a cool take of the character’s iconic look, giving it a much needed update. Wu’s line work a little harsher and simplistic than her work on Hawkeye, which is fitting for the new status quo. Lee Loughridge‘s colors and Steve Wands letters give the book a cool vibe that can be best described as Sex Pistol ‘Zine meets DC comics. The whole thing feels very Image esque is terms of design, which I’m sure to intentional as to draw in a larger audience. And even if it isn’t, it’s still cool as hell.

On the script side of things, we have Batgirl/Gotham Academy’s Brenden Fletcher, who’s quickly carved out his little corner of the DCU. This is the first exposure to Fletcher’s solo writing duties, and it’s solid. The issue quickly establishes Dinah current M.O. in a cool bit of exposition via a number of new age media. It’s a neat narrative device, and it’s a cool way to catch readers up on Dinah if they haven’t been reading Batgirl. His dialogue is solid, and while there’s nothing that particularly stand out, it’s more than serviceable.

Between this and Starfire, DC “You” is off to a strong start with this new slate of diverse female lead books. Black Canary is another fun and good looking book with a fun premise. DC is finally beginning to fight back after Marvel‘s barrage of great quirky hits from earlier in the year, and I’m curious to see what else the company can produce on this sort of level of quality.

 

 

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Troy’s Toys but with Comics: Young and the Restless edition

This week’s unintentional theme for reviews is #Teens. It would have been #JamieMcKelviecovers, but Kris Anka did the cover to Ms Marvel, also, that hashtag would be crazy long.

STK655085Ms Marvel #10

G Willow Wilson/Adrian Alphona/Ian Herring

Marvel $2.99

After an unexpected hiatus, Ms. Marvel returns to deal with troubled teens and murderous robots via a mad scientist cockatiel. Also yes, I was giggling in delight as I typed those last 3 words, I am an adult.

With issue 9 revealing Ms Marvel’s roots (hint/spoiler: Inhuman), issue 10 is a return to form for the series, using the generational gap in America as a source of inspiration for the issue’s plot. It’s something I haven’t seen done as well since Brian K Vaughn and series artist Adrian Alphona were on Runaways,  mixing actual TEEN issues with comic book super villains. Is it a hoot.

G Willow Wilson was recently signed to an exclusive contract with Marvel, and the dialogue for this issue is all the proof why that was a smart movie. Everything that comes out of Kamala Khan’s mouth sounds genuine for a teenager in the Marvel universe, even when it’s calling for her teleporting pet doggie. Kamala as a  representation of the modern teenager works as well as Hawkeye as the 3o yr old uncomfortable in his own skin, cough cough me.

Alphona and colorist Ian Herring continue to be brilliant on this book. It’s trippy, colorful and so expressive, making it a unique looking book even in Marvel’s wonderfully diverse art styles. Each panel is crammed with details that contain fun little sight gags, Easter eggs or just some funny looking stuff.

Ms Marvel continues to be the best comics to debut from Marvel this year, with the most likable lead to be introduced into the MU in some time. Any and all the success and praise the title has received is warranted, and it’s well worth picking up, as per usual.

wickeddivine_06_2The Wicked + the Divine #6

Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson, Clayton Cowles

Image $3.50

It’s weird to have an Image book go on hiatus for only a month, but it’s certainly welcomed.

I believe in the concept of a multiverse. Somewhere, I’m sure artist Jamie McKelvie didn’t get into comics, but fashion instead, and is brilliant. Luckily we live in the universe where McKelvie draws pretty people who are insanely well-dressed.

The Wicked+The Divine #6 takes place one month after the events of issue 5, and sees our lead still in mourning. I reminds me a lot of the beginning of the recently conclude Legend of Korra season, only with less bending and more…British? Anywho, Laura’s a hot mess, we’re introduced into a rad new character, and the subject of fandoms and conventions are woven into the narrative.

It’s hard to picture a creative team more “With it” then Mckelvie and Kieron Gillen. Despite WickedDivine being urban fantasy, everything feels so realistic and modern, from the dialogue to the use of certain technology. Even Laura’s cracked iphone will make you take notice and give you a sense of familiarity.

Matthew Wilson is arguably my favorite colorist in comics at the moment, and reading his stuff digitally is the best way to experience his talents. His work really makes McKelvie’s art look as good as it does, as his choice in colors ultimately unit McKelvie’s pictures and Gillen words, making for a beautiful package, not to mention a terrific looking book.

This volume of The Wicked + The Divine is off to a smart start, and I’m super curious as to how the subject of fandoms will tie into the story. Their gods murder mystery book is somehow the most human book on the market, and a testament of how talented this team is.

 

 

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Troy’s Toys but with Comics: Girls and their dogs

ms-marvel-8-cover1Ms. Marvel #8

G. Willow Wilson/Adrian Alphona/Ian Herring

Marvel $2.99

Look at that cover. It is a cover that is made of 100% pure joy, as well as paper and probably some chemicals.

Ms. Marvel has been a delight since day 1, but issue 8 may just be my favorite issue to date. As you can tell from the cover, Lockjaw of the Inhumans shows up, possibly in the most amazing and adorable fashion. Which I think is ultimately why I liked this issue so much, because it is the cutest thing to ever cute a cute. G Willow Wilson has done a lot to make Kamala not a stereotypical teenage girl character, so seeing the new Ms Marvel actually go head over feet for her new pet is more of a delight than it is insulting. Her Ms Marvel is a character that’s very 3 dimensional, so seeing her a different side of her every so often is fun.

Issue 8 also sees the return of artist Adrian Alphona, who absolutely owns his return. The book’s art certainly didn’t suffer during his break, especially with master colorist Ian Herring on colors but Alphona’s style is unique, so having him back just feels right. And we as readers are rewarded to some great art that’s beautifully weird, and packed full of small details and hidden jokes. It’s also great to see how Adrian illustrates the use of Ms Marvel’s powers, leading to some cool and hilarious visuals.

Ms Marvel continues to be one of the best books on the stands today, and it’s mostly due to the level of talent and dedication the creative team brings to this book. From cover to cover, the book is a refreshing alternative to most super hero books and is a ton of fun.

hawkeye-020-001Hawkeye #20

Matt Fraction/Annie Wu. Matt Hollingsworth

Marvel $3.99

🙁 🙁 🙁

With the release of issue 20, we only have 2 issues of Hawkeye left. I am the saddest of Chris’ over this fact. The 3 sad faces above prove that.

Issue 20 is artist Annie Wu‘s final issue on the series, and ultimately wraps up Kate Bishop’s California adventure. A lot of questions are resolved and a few reveals are had, making for a satisfying, but not necessarily the happiest of endings.

While the book is a bit of a downer at times, the creators do a fantastic job on this comic. Annie Wu’s art is super expressive, and the range of emotions she can put into her characters and environments is impressive. Poor Kate Bishop takes a beating in this issue, and Wu does a bang up job of showing it, with some nasty bruises, bandages and messed up hair. But her Hawkeye is a warrior, and the final 2 pages show how much of a bad ass Katie-Kate can be when push comes to shove. Matt Hollingsworth’s colors really do Annie Wu pencils justice, mixing a lot of bright colors you’d associate with California with the traditional Hawkeye purple. It’s the same flat coloring style you see when David Aja is drawing the book, but it’s different enough to compliment Annie Wu’s style in all the right ways.

Matt Fraction‘s script of course brings the entire package together. His dialogue is sharp,  the reveals he drops land and nothing feels out of place. It’s impressive to see how much he got out of Kate’s “new” supporting cast in such a brief period of time spent with them, but they all feel so fleshed out. And his Kate also remains a fun character that you can help but cheer for, especially when some of the shit hits the fans. He’s done wonders for the character, and I consider him the definitive voice of Kate, despite having nothing to do with her creation.

With this and Superior Foes of Spider-Man wrapping up soon, I’m really bummed to see 2 of my favorite books come to an end. However much like SUP FOES, Hawkeye’s ending seems like it’s coming to a natural ending point, and I’m sure the creators will stick the landing. The Kate Bishop California adventure does suffer a bit due to countless delays, but ultimately it does it’s job of ending one story and setting up the final story. I don’t want this book to end y’all, but I’m eager to see what Fraction, Hollingsworth and David Aja do with the final 2 issues after this issue.

 

 

 

 

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Troy’s Toys But With Comics: On time for a change

8435Outcast #1

Robert Kirkman/ Paul Azaceta

Image $2.99

Severe lack of Andre 3000 & Big Boi, despite being set in the dirty south. -11/10.

 

Now that my mandatory Outkast joke is made, I’ll attempt to be serious about Outcast, aka that new Robert Kirkman joint. I’ll be honest, despite KIRKMAN being arguably one, if not THE, most powerful man in comics, his books have done nothing for me as of late. The Walking Dead is misery porn, and Invincible, despite looking great, has hit Mark Millar levels of misogyny. That being said, artist Paul Azaceta is the dude who drew one of my favorite modern Spider-Man stories, $2.99 for 48 pages is a mega bargain, and worst comes to worse I can probably sell this book for double or triple digits once/if the TV adaption hits Showtime.

That being said, I dug Outcast #1. Despite it feeling KIRKMAN wrote this book straight for  a TV  adaption ( again, not unlike Millar), it’s a solid first issue. The script is fairly straight forward (our lead Kyle is an accidental exorcist, but there’s a twist!), and Azaceta draws the hell out of it. Paul, with Elizabeth Bretweiser‘s amazing colors, really do a great job setting up the book realistic yet creepy scenes well, doing  West Virginia proud. And when this book needs to be spooky and brutal, they really get the job done. There’s a bunch of stuff that may make more squeamish readers cringe,  pushing that Mature Only rating. It’s a gorgeous book, and I’m glad Kirkman’s level of success is giving another great artist some major exposure.

While Outcast is not my type of comic, it’s one that may appeal to you. And again, $3 for 48 pages is definitely worth it ( Oppose to Marvel’s bullshit $5 20 page comics). Hopefully the quality of the scripts match the quality of the art sooner than later.

 

download Saga #20

Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples

Image $2.99

 

Vaughn and Staples continues to twist that dagger they planted in their readers hearts after that last issue reveal. The book adds another tragedy to the current arc, and man, it’s bad times for everyone.

 

That being said, it’s misery handled well. Much like Sex Criminals #6 there’s some humor and general cuteness sprinkled throughout the book, which kinda cushions the blow when the bad times happen. And the half of dozen new characters BKV & Staples introduced last issue continue to get fleshed out, even though most of them are gonna lead to more BAD TIMES.christears in the near future.

So yeah, Saga continues to be a modern masterpiece despite destroying the emotions of its’ readers. Good job team Saga 🙁

 

portrait_incredible (3)Ms Marvel #5

G Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring

Marvel, $2.99

 

There’s a bit of dialogue in this issue that reminds me that Hurricane Sandy issue of Hawkeye. Since it was delivered by Kate Bishop, I now desperately want Lady Hawkguy & Ms Marvel to be BFFs and have awesome ward adventures.

 

Now that I’ve pitched my fan fiction, let me talk the actual issue. First off, holy crap, the final page of this issue may have just introduced my new favorite ridiculous Marvel villain. And I think this is the first Marvel comic of the last 5-10 years that actually had a training montage. Wilson, Alphonsa and Herring haven’t deliver a mediocre issue of Ms Marvel yet, and the streak Continues with issue 6. It’s a solid ending for the first major arc and it sets up the future of the book quite nicely.

And man, this book continues to look amazing. It’s bright, crazy expressive and just a fun comic. It’s perfect for both new readers and jaded Marvel readers looking for a lighter fun read. It’s literally the perfect all ages Marvel book that takes place in the main 616.

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: Mall Rabbit edition

Happy Day Before Left Over Easter Candy Goes on sale, FPNYC Faithful! May you not be struck with the diabetes until you deem your own life meaningless.

Jesus Christ, that was a dark intro.

Anywho, Awesomecon & Wondercon are currently going down in Washington DC and Somewhere, CA, and I’m just tired looking at other people’s photos. I am getting old, and am  possibly still winded from PAX East. I suggest that you never get old dear reader, it is the worst.

Happy Fun Comics Review Time:

 

Uncanny_X-Men_Vol_3_20Uncanny X-men #20

Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo, Tim Towsend and others.

Marvel, $3.99

Let’s start this discussion by pointing out how sharp that cover it!  Oh sure it’s vaguely reminiscent of 3 Marvel Universe hand guide images overlapping each other, but it’s simplistic enough to work. Good job by Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend on it.

The interior is also pretty great. After a false start, the X-Men vs SHEILD throw down we’ve been promised begins, with Scott Summers and friends firing off the first few rounds. The “renegade” X-Men finally begin to live up to their rep, but not in a way that makes them undesirable leads (Unless you’re one of those weirdos who’ve never liked Cyke, shame on you).

And props to Brian Michael Bendis for being able to juggle so many plot lines in this issue without it becoming overbearing.  Seeds planted from earlier arc begins to blossom, and hopefully this is the arc where we finally get some answers.

I was kind of worried that the hot streak that Uncanny X-men has been one would come to an end once a multi-chapter arc started up, but I am happy to report that my concerns were for naught (so far). Chris Bachalo and his team of inkers continue to provide excellent art, much to the surprise of no one. And Bendis’ scripts continue to be the perfect blend of humor, action and drama. Ending this book on a Saga-worthy cliffhanger only makes this issue of Uncanny X-men more of a can’t miss, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for Cyclops and the others next month.

 

portrait_incredible (2)Ms. Marvel #3

G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring

Marvel, $2.99

Years of sub par events and multi-chapter storylines have left me burnt out on decompressed comics for the most parts. Especially when it comes to origins stories that could be told in 1 or 2 chapters. But like Bendis, Bagely and Ultimate Spider-Man before them, Team Ms Marvel continues to deliver with the 3rd chapter of this 5 part  origin story.

 

There’s a lot of similar story beats between Spider-Man and Ms Marvel, and I mean that in the best sort of way. G. Willow Wilson and  Adrian Alphona are doing an excellent job building up both Kamala Khan and the world around her. They’ve realized that giving the new Ms. Marvel a good supporting cast and dynamic locale to operate in is crucial to good story telling, and Ian Harring‘s color art make it a vibrant setting . Much like Manhattan and Spidey, Jersey City and Ms Marvel compliment each other, and the comic is stronger because of it.

The incredibly diverse supporting cast consisting of Kamala’s family, friends and peers is not unlike Spidey’s various colleagues, but are very much their own characters. They come across as fresh faces, opposed being the archetype that Stan Lee & Steve Dikto established back when they redefined super hero comics in the early 60s.

With Kelly Sue Deconnick doing wonderful things with Carol Danvers over the last few years, it seemed difficult to think Marvel would be able to strike oil twice with characters titled Ms Marvel. But after 3 issues, it seems that team Ms Marvel are willing to defy everyone’s expectations, possibly surpassing the book it spun out of it. Which is great for both the creators and readers in the end.

 

All-New_Ultimates_1_Nakayama_Cover-600x899All New Ultimates #1

Michel Fiffe, Amilca Pinna, Nolan Woodward

Marvel $3.99

With the ol’ pull list looking a little thin over the new few weeks ( all my Image books are on hiatus, Hawkeye’s been delayed a month), I decided to revisit the Ultimate Universe this week. I haven’t purchased a Ultimate title in forever ( I have been following Miles over in USM via the Marvel Digital Unlimited thingie though), but when I heard Michel Fiffe of COPRA fame was penning an Ultimates relaunch, I was more than willing to give this book a shot.

 

Fefe, along with Amilcar Pinna and Nolan Woodard don’t do anything ground breaking with their debut issue, but there’s a ton of interesting ideas and concepts dropped within 20 pages. For example, there’s exactly 0 white dudes on this team, which says a lot, given how Caucasian heavy the 616 Avengers roster issue is. And the Ultimatization of several more obscure Dwayne McDuffie/Mark Gruenwald -created characters is welcomed, as there’s some potential for cool things to be done with them.

The surprisingly dense script is accompanied by some good visuals. Pinna’s art’s good for the most part, but there’s some off-looking panels here and there (like the 2 pages Kitty Pryde shows up on). Fortunately, Nolan Woodard’s colors are exceptionally strong and do a lot for the penciled and ink art. It’s very neon for a lack of better word, but not in a 80s revival way, and works for the “Warriors meets Taiyo Matsumoto” vibe Fife is going for.

Minor art issues aside, I really dug this book. While I’m not expecting the 2nd coming of COPRA or anything, I have high hopes for this series, and am excited to see what the creators have in store.

 

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics : Uncanny Sex Marvels

Once again, I am extremely too proud of that title.

Books what shipped this week that you may dig!:

Buffy the Vampire Slays Season 10 #1

Witcher #1

Animal Man #29

Superman Unchained #6

Wonder Woman #29

American Vampire Second Cycle #1

Bad Ass #3

Samurai Jack #6

Fuse #2

Lazarus #7

Rocket Girl #4

Daredevil Vol 4 #1

Iron Man #23.Now

Thor God of Thunder #20

Adventure Time #26

Sixth Gun #39

WWE Superstars #3

Shadowman #15

X-O Manowar #23

REVIEWS!

 

 

Uncanny_X-Men_Vol_3_19.NOW_TextlessUncanny X-Men 19.NOW

Brian Michael Bendis/ Chris Bachalo/ Tim Townsend

Marvel $3.99

FACT: That pet variant is both frightening and terrifying, stay the fresh hell away from it.

It’s UMX Vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. (part 1), despite the fact that neither group appear on panel together at any given point. THAT BENDIS DECOMPRESSION LYFE Y’ALL!

What we get is the reveal of Dazzler’s fate (it’s super icky!), S.H.I.E.L.D. grilling a former X-man, and Scott’s team versus a whole bunch of new Sentinels! Which is still a fun read, don’t get me wrong, but has nothing to do with that cover. Chris Bachalo and his army of inkers are all in fine form, with some really cool Sentinel redesigns, some sick looking spells from Magik, and what is probably an intentional horrible new costume for Goldballs. Yes he’s a thing. Yes, that name is definitely intentionally horrible.

Bendis and company don’t do anything ground-breaking with this issue, but they seem to be setting up a fun little story that will hopefully wrap up several yet to be addressed plot points the book has set up in it’s first year. It’s off to a good start, I just hope it delivers, as this book has been on a hot streak as of late and I’d hate to see it end with this arc.

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-10.09.55-PM-424x400Sex Criminals #5

Matt Fraction/Chip Zdarsky

Image, $3.50

This issue starts off with a MATURE READERS ONLY recap poem. And with that, I officially forgive Matt and Chip for the delays the book has been facing.

Issue 5 officially wraps up the first volume of Sex Crim, changing the book’s status quo a bit. Nothing too big though, as this book is called Sex Criminals for a reason after all.

Also the whole “pooping in the plant thing” is explained, which I was surprised that it would be at all. Had it pegged as a one-note gag at best, but there’s a deeper meaning behind it. “Deeper” is a relative term by the way.

Something I really like about Sex Crim is that is requires re-reads. These are due to Chip Zdarsky putting a ton of work into his panels, and hiding all sorts of disgusting and awesome jokes everywhere. Do they further the narrative? No. Did I laugh out loud several times reading this issue? Yes. Maus this book ain’t, and it never claimed to be. Issue 5 feels a little slow in terms of development, but it’s definitely a book worth buying. The hiatus until June may kill me (HYPERBOLE!)

portrait_incredible (1)Captain Marvel #2

G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring

Marvel $2.99

On paper, this opening pages of Ms Marvel sound like a horror book. A mysterious fog blows into Jersey City and a young girl becomes a shape shifting freak as black helicopters circle Manhattan. It’s not until a transformation gag kicks in 4 pages deep does the book remind us this is a spandex affair.

That’s not a bad thing by the way. After an incredibly strong debut issue, Wilson, Alphona and friends deliver a great follow up issue, as Kamala tries to figure out what exactly she’s turned into, and springs into action for the first time. Also family drama. It’s an fun read, with some really clever use of faith interwoven into the narrative. Plus some “be careful for what you wish for” type stuff, going back to my opening statement about how this book feels kind of feels like a horror title in the beginning.

With gorgeous visuals from Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring and some incredibly endearing dialogue from G. Willow Wilson (and a sharp cover by Jamie McKelve), Ms Marvel is shaping up to be a can’t miss title from the House of Ideas.  With Saga on hiatus on May, this may be THE book to be reading in 2014.

 

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: Rumor has it.

The new hotness in comic book movies journalism is click baiting via casting rumors without any sort of source. Granted it’s nothing really new, late 2013/earl 2014 has already made me sick of it thanks to “OMG THE ROCK SAID SOMETHING ABOUT GREEN LANTERN IN A HASH TAG” or “YEAH MISS MARVEL’S TOTES GONNA BE IN AVENGERS 2, TRUST US, DESPITE US BEING WRONG ABOUT THESE SORT OF THINGS MOST OF THE TIME!”

(( Yes I too find this a tad hypercritical coming from the guy who’s written for Bleeding Cool. But at least that site’s track record is pretty good)).

Back on topic, if it’s not on Variety, Entertainment Weekly or any site of that nature and pedigree, chances are it’s fake. Believe it or not, Batmans-news-movie-geeks.com is probably not your best best for valid movie news, nor is any site, that doesn’t think Marvel’s going to call Carol Danvers Captain Marvel when she makes her debut. //rant over

Here’s some quality picks that dropped this week:

Baltimore Chapter of Bones #2

Lobster Johnson Get the Lobster #1

Action Comics #28

Batman Black and White #6

Trillium #6

Turok Dinosaur Hunter #1

Lazarus #6

Loki Agent of Asgard #1

Punisher #1

Fox #4

Regular Show #9

Archer & Armstrong #0.2014

Reviews:

comics-ms-marvel-1Ms Marvel #1

G. Willow Wilson/Adrian Alphona/Ian Herring

Marvel, $2.99, 20 pages

Yeah,  this is very much the comic I was referring to last week when I called it “The most important release by the Big 2 in 2014”

Not to get all SOCIAL JUSTICE BLOGGER on y’all, but while Marvel’s definitely doing better at getting more female lead titles out there, they ( as well as a lot of companies) could be doing better with book by female creators, and with minority leads. So Ms. Marvel fits that demand. Now the question remains, is said comics any good?

Of course it is, don’t be stupid, did you see who’s attached to this title?!

tumblr_n0jho2DAJO1s4k95yo1_500G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona were not the names I was expecting to hear when the book was formerly announced, but I’m glad it’s them. Wilson, who you may remember from Vertigo’sAir“, is a great female comics writer who should have been given a book of this caliber and hype years ago if there was any SOCIAL JUSTICE in this world (#sorrynotsorr). She’s a proven talent, as is Alphona, who you SHOULD know from his amazing run on Marvel’s Runaways with Brain K Vaughn. No it’s no surprise that they deliver with this more-than-solid-debut.

Granted the teenager getting super powers story has been told over and over again, going back to a nerd getting bit by a spider, there’s enough fresh ideas tossed into this story to make it work. Wilson does an excellent fleshing out young Kamala Khan in a debut story that does an excellent job of showing off Muslim Culture without pandering or being too preachy. Alphona’s, with Ian Herring’s colors, art is also great. It’s bright, clean, and while it doesn’t stylistically look like your traditional Marvel book, continues that theme of nontraditional  art in a Marvel Super Hero, like Hawkeye before it.

There’s no reason not to but this book honestly. It’s fun, and it introduces another cool toy in Marvel’s already massive and awesome toy box. It’s also a nice warm up for fan waiting for Carol Danver’s return next month in Captain Marvel volume 2. I wish nothing but the best for the book, and am eagerly looking forward to issue 2 already.

Also rest in peace Rainbow Toots (2014-2014). We hardly knew ye.

 

background (1)Superior Foes of Spider-Man #8

Nick Spencer/Steve Lieber/ Rachelle Rosenberg

Marvel, $2.99, 20 pages

I never thought I’d laugh that hard at a “Thanks Obama” joke in 2014 (this is probably a lie btw), but #SUPFOES, has gone and proven me wrong. Also I will now refer to this book as #SUPFOES because that is easier to type than 4 words (Thank you based Nick Spencer).

Steve Lieber returns to  the book after taking an issue off and everything is okay. Well in terms of quality of the book, not so much for the actual members of the Sinister Six.  But Lieber’s panel work is fantastic, especially in the early pages of the issue, crammed with all sort of fun visual gags and great art.

3623026-the+superior+foes+of+spider-man+008+(2014)+(digital)+(darkness-empire)+004Spencer and Lieber have the Six in an odd situation and it’s great. 3 of the members want 1 of the them dead. Said one of is celebrating the biggest success in his recent history, and one of them is dealing with…..well it’s Shocker and hilarious, I’ll leave it at that. The issue is great, and the ending is crazy, especially if you’ve been keeping up what with’s going on in Daredevil.

There’s a rumor (UGH) floating around that #SUPFOES is ending at issue 15 based on an Amazon listing (again, Bleeding Cool so it’s a little more believable). Nick Spencer has stated on Twitter that this book has always skated the thin line between hit and cancelled. Either way, there’s plenty of time to “Save” this book, which you should be reading because IT IS GREAT, which I’ll continue to say until it stops being be. Which is hopefully a few year from now.

 

Chris Troy, local boomerang enthuiast, writes weekly for Forbidden Planet NYC, and can be found on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr @theanarchris

 

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Troy’s Toys, But With Comics- The Sexy Start of the New Year

So the Image Expo 2014 has come and gone and man, screw them. I have a limited budget for comics stuff because living in  New York isn’t cheap, and they go and announce like 3 or 4 books I don’t have the budget for, but from creators I REALLY like. So that sucks for my bank account, but great for me…..spiritually I suppose? I dunno, but if you want to get caught up on what went down, go check our friends at Bleeding Cool and Comics Alliance for details, interviews and pictures.

Now that the holidays (and MAGfest 2014, wooo) has passed, comics have began shipping normally once again. Which means no more waxing poetically over books I really liked in 2013, and back to discussing new comics.

sex-criminals-4-web-72Sex Criminals #4

Matt Fraction/Chip Zdarsky

Image, $3.50, 20 pages, plus letters from pervs

Haha, J/K, I’m just going to talk more about Matt Fraction comics to start off the year!

I want to say this is the issue where guff gets real, but this also a comic where Chip Zdarsky draws a pizza vagina in the letters section. Another fine reason as to why this book is Time’s Comic Book of 2013.

sex-criminals1-fourth-printingBut yeah, shit gets real in this surprising dense 4th issue. Fraction and Zdarsky get a lot done in the span of 20 pages, and not all of it are butt sex jokes and funny named pornos. I mean yeah, those are there, but there are also times of serious business too. It’s a lot more like the first issue where tragedy and humor are perfectly mixed, only there’s more drama and action ( like there was any shortage of that in this book, HIYYOOOOOO) this time around. And hey, we even get some questions answered! And no worries, the intro page remains hilarious (good luck trying to read that one out loud), and the letter page….well like I said, pizza vagina, so the same as usual.

Sex Criminals was one of the most refreshing reads of 2013, also known as the year of Luigi,  and it starts off 2014 strong. I’m super excited for the conclusion of the first arc next month, and you all can look forward to me suffering from withdrawal as the book goes on a brief hiatus after that.

Also hey, we got that 4th printing cover in stock (pictured above), which I’m still laughing about. There’s also the upcoming 4th printing, but for a 2nd time cover coming in a few weeks, because people are dumb and didn’t pre-order this book the first time around, or just really like odd-photoshopped covers. I’m obviously in the later category.

 

STK629100All New Marvel Now Point One

A lot of people. No serious, a lot of people worked on this comic, look at the credits page, it’s the last page in the book and see how right I am!

Marvel, $5.99, 52 pages

Marvel did one of these last year that I didn’t care much for, with the exception of the Mike Allred Ant-Man story ….written by Matt Fraction (whomp whomp whompppp).

Marvel was definitely aiming for the Tumblr crowd with this book, which is fine, because it’s still good without pandering for “Likes”/”Faves”/”Reblogs”.  My personal highlight is the G. Willow Wilson/Adrian Alphona Ms. Marvel story. While the character was announced a few months back, the only appearance she’s made so far was at the end of the the first volume of the current Captain Marvel book. Here we get to see what she’s made of, and it’s a very fun read, as it’s a fresh take on the super powered teenager story, that’s a tad self aware, careful not to cater to stereotypes, and shows some cool uses of the lead’s power set. Additional props to Ian Herring’s colors which really make the story pop.

Allred’s back this year, with Dan Slott with a Silver Surfer story that’s all sorts of great. Mike Allred is at his best when he’s channeling Jack Kirby, so seeing him take to the cosmos is a real delight for me. Also it’s been some time since I’ve seen Dan Slott write something not Spider-Man-related, so seeing him flex those muscles again is fun. And speaking of good looking books, Phil Noto’s Black Widow story is a visual tour de force. Nate Edmondson and Clayton Cowles are great on words and colors, don’t get me wrong, but this story is Noto’s show, and he excels are delivering some fantastic visuals. The  Al Ewing/Lee Garbett Loki story that bookends this title is fun and the James Robinson/Steve Pugh All New Invaders story shows potential. The Avengers story wasn’t that bad either, but I’ve seen better from Rags Morale, although Nick Spencer delivers on the script end. . But for $7 bucks, I can’t complain, as the title served it’s purpose. It’s successfully gotten me excited about a bunch of titles Marvel’s publishing, although I’ll probably only be only buying one of them monthly.

Alright I talked about 2 comics for a long time today. I’ll be back to review the first volume of The Wake real soon!

 

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