4 Must-Read Comics for the Week (January 6, 2011)

Here’s my top pick comics list for the week. I must admit the start of January 2011 was a bit slow. The harsh weather condition in the US has yet again caused delays in comic book deliveries. Overall, I’m still lucky because a couple of my favorite tiles came out this week.

Full action in Iron Man Thor #3. iZombie #9 turns into a love story, without the usual cheesiness. Great artwork in Brightest Day #17. And lastly, Ozma of Oz #3 brings Dorothy closer to her friends from Oz.

Here are the 4 comic books in my top pick comics list for this week:

1. iZombie #9 – Playing Games
2. Iron Man Thor #3 – God Complex, Chapter Three
3. Brightest Day #17 – Homecoming
4. Ozma of Oz #3

For your comments about my top pick comics, please feel free to add them below and they will be deeply appreciated.

Comic Book Review: Ozma of Oz #3

Cover Art for Ozma of Oz #3

Story: Eric Shanower
Drawings: Skottie Young
Colors: Jean-Francois Beaulieu

In a Nutshell

Dorothy Gale and Billina, the talking hen, found a mechanical man named Tik-Tok who now serves as their protector. Tik-Tok tells them stories about what happened in the Land of Ev and about the revolution in the Land of Oz. In this issue, the trio faces the wicked wheelers, creatures with wheels for hands and feet. Thanks to Tik-Tok, they were able to capture one wheeler, who now accompanies them to the palace to meet Princess Langwidere.

The Princess is not exactly the ruler. She is only the caretaker of the Land of Ev. Still, she is a very mysterious character because her looks, moods and disposition are mainly dictated by the head that she wears. Yes, my friends, Princess Langwidere can literally change her head and she has a roomful of spare heads.

Unfortunately for Dorothy, Billina and Tik-Tok, the princess was wearing a bad head when she met them. And so, the three adventurers have been locked up in the palace. But just when everything seemed hopeless, Dorothy’s friends from the Land of Oz arrive.

What's Cool

  • Script-wise, Ozma of Oz #3 delivers. I love the sharp and witty words from Tik-Tok, the mechanical man.
  • The concept of a Princess that can literally change her head on a whim is just amazing. I’m not sure if I’ve seen this before in other stories.
  • Marvel’s run based on the classic adventures written by L. Frank Baum is definitely great for young comic book readers. But even so, the art in each page is not childishly dull. Even mature readers can enjoy the ‘dirty’, almost sketch-like artwork.

What's Crap

  • In some pages, the artwork has that overcast color – like green or pink – which, for me, ruins the color work altogether. I don’t know if this is really part of the artwork or a printing problem

The Bottom Line

If you’re wondering how on earth will Dorothy ever get to her friends in Oz, well Ozma of Oz #3 has solved that problem. The Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow – along with Ozma and her Army – have arrived in the Land of Ev. For what purpose? We’ll have to find out next issue. But at least, Dorothy is as good as rescued.

Comic Book Review: iZombie #9 – Playing Games

Cover Art for iZombie #9

Story: Chris Roberson
Art and Cover: Michael Allred
Colors: Laura Allred

In a Nutshell

In iZombie #9, our main characters go on with their lives. You’d think there’s nothing wrong with the world. We see Scott playing Strider board game with his friends Ashok and Vincent. Diogenes, the vampire hunter, goes back to the motel-slash-safehouse to rest. And Gwen and Horatio are on a date. If there’s someone who’s pretty occupied right now, it’s Amon. He’s tailing Professor Galatea who, in turn, has some sinister agenda all her own.

What's Cool

  • Gwen and Horatio sitting on a bench… K.I.S.S.I.N.G!
  • Ever since I started following iZombie, I have been very impressed by the artwork. This issue is no different.
  • Colors pop out of the page even more in this issue, despite the non-glossy classic comic book paper.

What's Crap

  • Well, I feel that iZombie #9 is a filler issue, nothing really happened except for Gwen and Horatio finally going on a date. The little investigation being conducted by Amon on Professor Galatea is the only thing that for me is worth giving one’s attention to.
  • Despite the little mystery about Professor Galatea, I find her having a secret room in the basement of her school lab to be such a cliché. By now, one would think that big universities should have already checked all their buildings for secret rooms, in case some evil professor uses the school as a secret hideout.

The Bottom Line

If you think that there’s a new knife-wielding, green-haired character fighting four-armed or fork-tongued evil monsters in iZombie #9, then you’d be mistaken. I mean, the cover art is eye-popping and all, but really there are no new characters in the story. All this issue does is set the stage for a showdown between Amon and Galatea. The romantic scene between Gwen and Horatio has long been expected in the last couple of issues.

Comic Book Review: Iron Man Thor #3 – God Complex, Chapter Three

Cover Art for Iron Man Thor #3

Script: Dan Abrett, Andy Lanning
Pencils: Scot Eaton
Inks: Jaime Mendoza, Jeff Huet, Lorenzo Ruggiero
Letters: Veronica Gandini

In a Nutshell

Iron Man Thor #3 bares the tricky relationship between Diablo and the High Evolutionary. Meanwhile, Crimson Dynamo puts up a good fight in stopping Thor from breaking into Diablo’s Secret Hermitica… but not for long. A surprise character helps the Thunder God neutralize Crimson Dynamo.

But even after Thor finally penetrates the nerve center of the High Evolutionary’s diabolical plans, his problems are from over. Using an alchemical substance, Diablo holds Iron Man and Thor in a trance, making them fight each other. The ultimate twist comes when, in an act of treachery, Diablo switches minds and appearances with the High Evolutionary. Now, with the body of The Destroyer, Diablo possesses the perfect vessel to attain godhood.

What's Cool

  • Thor with facial hair
  • Thor fighting with Iron Man
  • “Change is conflict. Someone must fail so that someone else may win” – From the mind of Diablo
  • Diablo fooling the High Evolutionary, switching their minds and appearances.
  • Very impressive cover art.

What's Crap

  • I feel that the back story about Herbert Wyndham – who would later on become the High Evolutionary – can be a bit complicated, especially for new Marvel Comics readers.
  • In this comic book issue, I just can’t believe that Thor couldn’t take down the Crimson Dynamo without any help.

The Bottom Line

This is it, we’re one issue shy of completing this storyline. With Thor and Iron Man weakened and held inside Diablo’s Secret Hermetica, we can only speculate on how they will defeat Diablo, who has grown more powerful by integrating himself into the body of The Destroyer and maybe even absorbing some of the High Evolutionary’s superhuman powers. Iron Man Thor #3 has but held me in high suspense.

Comic Book Review: Brightest Day #17 – Homecoming

Cover Art for Brightest Day #17

Writers: Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Ivan Reis, Ardian Syaf
Inkers: Vicente Cifuentes, David Beaty

In a Nutshell

In this issue of Brightest Day, we find Firestorm (powered by the integrated identities of Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch) in a dark vacuum. But it’s not just any darkness that surrounds them. It’s actually a hive of shadow demons – Anti-monitors personal army. The scene happens close to Planet Qward.

Back on Earth, Boston Brand is persuaded over by Dawn Granger aka Dove to visit his last surviving relative, his grandfather. That little visit allows Boston to feel what it’s like to have a family again. But as Boston and his grandfather went for one last adventure, the white ring on Boston’s hand begins recharging. For what purpose? Nobody knows. One thing’s for sure, there’s gonna be no rest for Deadman.

Meanwhile, in Zamaron (the home planet of the Star Sapphires), Carter and Shiera Hall get help from Star Sapphire (aka Carol Ferris) and other members of the violet lantern corps as they fight the Manhawks. Apparently, the love between Carter and Shiera has drawn the attention of the violet lanterns, which represent the emotional spectrum of love. But things have taken for the worse in this comic book as The Predator, the emotional entity of love, chose to merge with Shiera’s evil mother, Queen Khea. We can only ask what’s next for the Star Sapphires, Hawkman, and Hawkgirl?

What's Cool

  • Boston Brand taking his grandpa for one last wild ride. Grandpa Brand was a daredevil back in the day. Boston made a stunt ramp construct using his white ring.
  • Just like in previous Brightest Day issues, this one has eye-popping artwork.
    Character facial expressions and anatomical proportions are totally impressive.
  • Minimalist cover art is just super.

What's Crap

  • Well, I can’t really think of anything, except for the fact that the plot for most issues of the Brightest Day has been moving in a very slow pace. And bringing it up every time is like talking to a wall. I just hope that Geoff Johns has a very good ending for this series.

The Bottom Line

Reading Brightest Day #17 has left me hanging, but I can hardly describe this comic book as a filler issue. For the most part, this storyline has moved at a snail’s pace, but at the very least, this ish has the story moving forward. No, this is not a jumping on point if you are new to Brightest Day, but if you are a completist who’s been following this storyline, you definitely need to get this one.