Fanboyninja Weekly Comics Review (Oct. 27): Action Comics#894, Green Arrow#5, Time Masters Vanishing Point#4


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Action Comics #894

Lex Luthor and Death. This. Is Happening. Right now. In this issue. Many people say that Death from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman gracing the pages of Action Comics is just one big marketing ploy. Whether that’s true or not, I honestly don’t care. Apart from the cover, the crunchy storyline makes this issue a good read. Besides, who wouldn’t want to see Lex Luthor feeling vulnerable as he comes face to face with Death. I gotta tell you, the conversations—even if touching on the philosophical—are captivating, especially if you think like Luthor. The question is can Luthor talk his way out of Death’s grasp?

Action Comics #894

Green Arrow #5

Green Arrow #5This is one of the Brightest Day tie-ins that definitely hit the spot. Green Arrow faces off against a masked female assassin right on the streets of Star City which resulted in one of the bystanders getting killed. To save the man, our archer hero brings the dead body to the forest in an attempt to resurrect the man. But far from what Green Arrow expected, his noble act brought to life a horde of zombies, which include Oliver McQueen’s own father. Green Arrow fights side by side with Galahad to drive back the Black Lantern abomination. Again, I would also like to mention that the cover art by Mauro Cascioli for this issue is downright awesome!

Justice League Generation Lost #12

Justice League Generation Lost #12At first glance, you’d think that this issue is about a big clash between Fire and Ice. Well, no. It’s actually a retelling of the origin of Ice. Sure, there’s a lot of fight scenes between the two. But the meat of the issue is Tora Olafsdotter’s history and how her childhood experiences made her the Ice Goddess that we know today. The retcon portion makes this comic book issue enjoyable.

Time Masters Vanishing Point #4

I know what you’re going to say. You think that this story arc should have been titled Bonding Time with Rip Hunter and Booster Gold. Perhaps, somewhere in the series you even thought that Time Masters Vanishing Point is half-baked—no offense to Dan Jurgens—and has nothing to do at all with finding Batman who’s been lost in the time stream. But if you can only hang on to this issue for a bit longer, you’ll see the error of dismissing the whole series as rubbish.

Time Masters Vanishing Point #4

As for me, I say that this issue is the turning point of the Vanishing Point arc. There are a handful of revelations that will literally open your eyes to why Darkseid sent Batman to the past. You’re wondering why the Vanishing Point was destroyed? It’s right here in this ish. Want to know why the heroes who are trying to find the Dark Knight are themselves lost in time? Well, grab a copy now. Also, cover art by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund is very impressive. It gives me that vertigo effect…in a good kind of way. Definitely, 10-over-10.

Fanboyninja Weekly Comics Review (Oct. 20): JLA #50, GL Corps, and a Vampire Roman Senator

Green Lantern Corps #53

Kyle Rayner and Sinestro are headed for a big showdown one of these days. Well, it’s not that these poozers haven’t already pulled at each other’s hairs before. But this time around, a woman is going to be caught between the crossfire. It’s Soranik Natu, Sinestro’s daughter and now Kyle’s object of affection. Worse still, the grudge match between Kyle and Sinestro (to be played by Mark Strong in the upcoming Green Lantern movie) does not even come close to the brutality of The Weaponer’s vendetta against Sinestro.

Green Lantern Corps #53

We all know The Weaponer from planet Qward. He built Sinestro’s power ring. But somewhere down the line, the two had a falling out. And comic book readers will know why in this issue, which incidentally marks the debut of Tyler Kirkman as artist for the Green Lantern Corps series.

Brightest Day #12

Brightest Day #12Many issues in the Brightest Day series can be a bit dragging. But number 12 is definitely not one of them. In fact, I’d even say that this is a hit issue, especially if you’re a fan of the Martian Manhunter. Don’t let the Firestorm cover fool you. Our green shape-shifting alien hero takes center stage here as he fights another Martian survivor named D’kay D’razz. Needless to say, when a Martian is out thumping another Martian, all hell breaks loose. That’s right, this issue is action-packed with several helpings of horror and insanity! Can J’onn J’onzz come out unscathed from this turmoil? Definitely not.

Doctor Solar Man of Atom #3

Doctor Solar #3What I love about this week’s comic book review is the fact that many of the issues are action-packed. Here we find Doctor Solar locked in battle against an equally powerful character named Moloch—another creature from the mind of Whitmore Pickerel. Well, you don’t need rocket science to know that Doctor Solar ultimately wins. I mean, he’s a guy who can form, un-form, generate, and degenerate anything that fancies his whims. The question is would this be the last time that we see Moloch? ‘Course not.

The great cover, impressive overall art inside, plus a slick storyline make this issue a must-have for comic book readers who follow the Man of Atom.

Ides of Blood #3

Ides of Blood #3I’ll go straight to the point. Valens, our erstwhile Roman vampire senator, got caught and Antony is having a fun time torturing him. Roman barbarity is at its worst, as Antony torments Valens. What kind of a beast can think of peeling off a man’s face? Good thing, our hero is a vampire and he’s got incredible healing powers sans adamantium. The best part is that Valens somehow found an ally from the inside and they instantly plot an escape. The bad news is that the golden ticket to freedom can only be attained with the help of the vampire Ione, whom Valens wrongfully accused earlier as the bloodsucking murderer known as Pluto’s Kiss. Convincing Ione was no easy task, but no sooner than when she said yes did they find themselves in the middle of a gladiatorial match against four beastly undead.

Thor: First Thunder #2

Thor: First Thunder #2I like this issue for a reason and one reason only—the cover. Awesome cover art by Filipino artist Jay Anacleto. Reminds me of a statue released by Bowen Designs where we see Loki sitting on a throne in a very imposing form. It makes one wonder whether the Trickster God is only good for naughtiness or unrivaled viciousness.

The story itself is not bad. Here we find Thor going to Asgard only to be denied entry by Heimdall acting on Odin’s orders. The sequence of events that transpired between Thor and Heimdall on the Bifrost accidentally broke the chains that held Loki, who’s now out for revenge against the God of Thunder.

Justice League of America #50

Justice League of America #50It’s the big five-o and for comic book readers, this issue is a milestone. A female Green Lantern from another world or dimension comes to Earth-1 or the primary Earth. Apparently, her home world has been destroyed, courtesy of Doctor Impossible and the Crime Syndicate of America. The bad news is that the syndicate is hot on her heels and now poised to annihilate the Justice League’s world.

As one would expect, fighting ensues (told ya, this week is full of action) between the Justice League and their respective counterparts from Crime Syndicate. We see Jesse Quick against Johnny Quick, Jade facing Power Ring, Donna Try versus Superwoman, Supergirl exchanging blows with Ultraman, and Batman matching wits with Owlman. But it leaves little to imagination for us to know that the big clash is just a charade for a bigger and more sinister plan. A plan that involves bringing back Darkseid (is it really him?).

Fanboyninja Weekly Comics Review (Oct. 13): Return of Bruce Wayne, Victorian Undead Special


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Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #5

Time-traveling Bruce Wayne comes closer to the present as he finds himself in a Gotham City that very much brings to mind classic Hollywood noir-era crime dramas in the 1940’s. This issue reminds me a lot of Batman: The Animated Series back in the 1990’s. But apart from the period setting, I really like the idea of Bruce investigating his mother’s death. Hired by Marsha Lamarr, a close friend of his mother’s, Bruce is about to find out if his father was indeed responsible for his mother’s murder. All the detective work that he does brings out the Batman in him, minus the cowl.Return Of Bruce Wayne #5

I would also like to mention that both Ryan Sook and Pere Pérez did a great job in the drawings. I’d go as far as saying that the art, in itself, can hook any die-hard DC Comics fanboy.

Untold Tales of Blackest Night

Untold Tales of Blackest NightIndeed, the Blackest Night series is just like the Black Lanterns – it just won’t die down. I know, you probably thought that this issue is a cheap shot at scraping the bottom of the Blackest Night mythos barrel. But reading the untold tales of the Ragman, Donna Troy, and Sinestro Corps member Karu-Sil only rekindled my fondness for last year’s biggest event from DC comics. The other tales in the issue may have been included only to serve as fillers, but the stories about the three characters I mentioned above make this comic book a worthy read.

Victorian Undead Special #1

Victorian Undead Special #1The hit series from Wildstorm Comics returns. Just as everyone is reeling from the recent attack of the undead (courtesy of the diabolical genius we all know as Prof. Moriarty), a new menace has been set loose in the streets of London. It’s up to Sherlock Holmes and his loyal associate, Dr. Watson, to uncover the one responsible for the grisly murders in the city. If you love Sherlock or you simply enjoy detective stories, this issue will surely give you a good fixing. If you love the classics like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, then this comic book written by Ian Edginton, with art by Horacio Domingues, will hit that little lover of literature inside you.

Justice League Generation Lost #11

Justice League Generation Lost #11It’s Justice League International versus the Metal Men. If you ask me, that’s reason enough to get hold of this comic book. The action packed panels make this a good ish. However, a number of my friends say that they find this issue a bit unexciting because the big skirmish against the Metal Men only involves Rocket Red, Fire and Ice spread across 90% of the comic book. If you’re wondering where he other JLI members are, well they sort of stumbled upon Maxwell Lord’s OMAC assembly area and they are only shown in a handful of panels. Still, all the punching, kicking, flying and throwing in this book provide a welcome relief to the series. Plus, someone in the Justice League will undergo a big change that will most probably affect that character’s storyline permanently.

Magnus Robot Fighter #2

Magnus Robot Fighter #2I just love comic book stories that are set in a future (specifically, 4000 AD) filled with things that may well be described as ‘retro’ in our current space-time continuum. Think of The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) or Star Trek: The Original Series. Magnus comes from that same retro-future where heroes wear nothing but boots and a really chunky belt over a very short shift dress…with scales(?). Oh, it is also a future where women are dressed in really skimpy clothes that Victoria’s Secret will truly be proud of. In this issue, our hero rescues Leeja and other humans from a black market empire that sells humans to aliens who have developed a taste for human flesh. Magnus Robot Fighter is old school sci-fi comics at its best.

Fanboyninja Weekly Comics Review (Oct. 6): Batman, Brightest Day and More


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Brightest Day #11

While writing this comic book review, I committed one awful mistake. I wrote Blackest Night instead of Brightest Day on the subheading. Good thing, I saw the blunder before I published this piece. Well, this little oversight is not without reason. It stems from the fact that I’m starting to feel that the whole series has become a bit dragging. Maybe it’s just me and my tendency to look back and compare Brightest Day with Blackest Night.Brightest Day #11

So why the heck should I include Brightest Day #11 in my weekly rundown when I’m getting bored with the series? Well, part of the reason is the mano-a-mano scene between Aquaman and Black Manta. The King of the Seven Seas got off the hook (literally) this time. But where is he heading now that he found the new Aqualad?

Not to be missed in this issue is the return of the Black Lantern Firestorm aka Deathstorm. This guy knows the ABCs of villainy as he taunts Ronnie and Jason (the real Firestorm). Incidentally, Deathstorm gave me the biggest reason to like this comic book as he utters the words – “Let me tell you the secret of the universe. There is no good or evil. Only life and death”.

‘Nuff said.

American Vampire #7

American Vampire #7I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. I hate vampires. Not because they suck blood from their victims, but because they have become too commercialized nowadays. But once again, I’ll make an exception. American Vampire is one of the best comic book series to come out in recent times and a big reason for that is the American history highlights sprinkled in each issue. Now on its seventh installment and on its second story arc, we see more characters being developed.

Unlike the first six comic book issues, there is not much action and gore in American Vampire #7. However, I’m just thrilled about the idea of vampires running around Sin City. Here, we see our beloved bloodsucker Skinner Sweet, who now owns a brothel and wears a coat and tie. But don’t let his looks fool you, he’s still that savage we have come to know and love. The only difference now is that a new character, Chief McCogan, may finally get the chance to snip the fangs off our hero, or villain (depends on which side you’re on.).

Batman Confidential #49

Batman Confidential #49If you’re a fan of Night Shift Supervisor Dr. Gil Grissom, Detective Mac Taylor, and Lieutenant Horatio Caine, then you’ll definitely love this Batman comic book. Bruce Wayne’s detective skills are finally put to the test. You heard that right, it’s Bruce Wayne. This issue is apparently set before the Final Crisis. Hence, the one wearing the cowl is still Bruce and not Dick Grayson.

For the most part of the book, we get inside Bruce’s brain as he monologues his way to solve a crime. Here, we see why Batman is the greatest detective of them all. His detection skills truly are amazing. And that makes this thriller of an issue all the more fantastic.

Batman Hidden Treasures #1

Batman Hidden Treasures #1If you’ve been a loyal Dark Knight fan ever since you were a kid, you’d definitely heard of the legendary Batman tales illustrated by Bernie Wrightson. Well, those are exactly what you get in this comic one-shot. The first part of the issue, written by Ron Marz, is a never-been-released story starring Batman and Solomon Grundy. It has puzzled legions of fans why this story was left for 13 years to gather dust in some office drawer. But all that indiscretion is now under the bridge as the story finally gets to see the light of day.

The second part, entitled Night of the Bat, is another Batman story drawn by Bernie Wrightson and written by Len Wein. This story first appeared in Swamp Thing #7 and here we see the Dark Knight trading punches with the Swamp Thing. All in all, in this comic book we see that there are other characters—horrible as they may seem at first glance—who have a more straightforward sense of justice compared to Batman, if you know what I mean.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #4

S.H.I.E.L.D. #4Let me get this straight. Reading this comic book series can give you some headaches. It’s just damn hard to comprehend. Imagine Isaac Newton being a despotic supreme ruler of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Leonardo da Vinci as the righteous former leader who’s now returned to help prevent the world from being totally f*cked up. Think of Newton and da Vinci as two great generals on a showdown for control. Not to be missed is da Vinci’s flight to the sun, using only what would seem to be a 15th century space suit—with wings! Oh, and did you know that Nostradamus is still alive? Thanks to the infinity serum injected by Newton, the world’s greatest clairvoyant has been imprisoned in some dungeon for the last 500 years.

iZombie #6

iZombie #6In this issue, we focus on Spot. As a matter fact, this installment has been re-titled I, Were-Terrier. So, if you include iZombie #6 in your buy comic book list for the week hoping to see Gwen eat some dead guy’s brains, you’ll be a bit disappointed. But hey, a one-off story about Scott (or Spot, for when he turns into a were-terrier) is not at all that bad. If you’re a geek, you could even relate to this fellow’s story. A glimpse on unassuming Scott’s hobbies and favorite activities would make any fanboy geek nostalgic. By the way, the paper they used for this issue would make you reminisce about the good old days of non-glossy comics pages.