The Flash #6: The Dastardly Death of the Rogues, Part Six

The Dastardly Death of the Rogues comes to a close, wrapping up the first five issues of The Flash written by Geoff Johns. Previously… the Reverse-Flash Task Force (RTFF), a police force from the 25th century, is hot on the trail of Barry Allen aka Flash. Later on in the series, an RTFF member known as The Top befriended our hero and things looked a little brighter for the beleaguered Flash. But the twist came in The Flash #5 where it was revealed that Top was the one who actually set up the Scarlet Speedster.

The Flash #6

Well, if you are looking for an explosive conclusion to this series, you might be quite disappointed with this issue. However, if you love crime drama or mystery series and you wouldn’t mind having a more worldly approach to superheroes, then this comic book will definitely hit you on the spot. In the opening pages, we see Flash finally getting caught, restrained, and facing the The Judge from the 25th century. Of course, Barry Allen escaped and went back to the present to clear his name and apprehend the real criminal—none other than the double-crossing Top—who’s about to kill Barry’s wife, Iris.

This issue is packed with crucial revelations and events that will be forever etched in the life of the Scarlet Speedster. Plus, the artwork by Francis Manapul is definitely a masterpiece. From character expressions to blow-up scenes, Manapul has, yet again, did a great job. And loyal comic readers shouldn’t even be surprised by it.

Brightest Day #14: Acrobats

“I just hope there’s more to life than a good cheeseburger.” — Boston Brand/Deadman

This Brightest Day chapter focuses on one character—Deadman. Not only will comic book readers know what happens to Boston Brand’s quest to find someone who will replace him as the bearer of the White Lantern ring, but more interestingly we get to see the origins of the ghost in the red acrobatic suit.

Brightest Day #14

Thinking that Batman is the worthy guardian of the Earth–and hence the perfect bearer of the White Lantern ring–Deadman goes to Gotham City. But things turned bad, when he finds himself right in the middle of a heist masterminded by Mr. Freeze. While Batman will definitely be in the pages of this issue, I believe the cover art is a bit misleading. Still, fans will definitely find themselves thunderstruck after reading this ish.

Again, Geoff Johns delivers a great story. Now that Brightest Day is halfway through to its conclusion and the main characters have been fully developed and set, I’m sure that readers can expect more energetic installments from Johns. It is also worth mentioning that right from the start, the art by Ivan Reis perfectly captures the strength of Johns’ writing. For this issue in particular, Reis did an amazing job in Deadman’s movements and facial expressions.

Batman #704: Eye of the Beholder

“That was a total Bruce move. And now, the Grayson finish!”— Dick Grayson/Batman

This issue bursts with mysteries, right from the opening pages and all thru the end. First, there’s a gruesome murder of a member of some secret organization. Then, we see Batman, Robin and Catgirl exchanging blows with the Reaper. What’s more intriguing is that a wealthy organization, represented by a woman named Sasha Lo, is bent on buying a few blocks off Crime Alley, which is owned by Bruce Wayne.

Batman #704

But the thing that really stirred up the hornet’s nest in this issue is seeing Batman hot on the heels of a character known as Peacock, who’s actually Ms. Sasha Lo clad in some colorful outfit that mimics the appearance of, well, a peacock. The only problem is a group of well-trained Oriental assassins are also on the hunt for Ms. Lo. Well, it does not matter anymore if Peacock a friend or foe. Sure enough, Batman will be caught in the crossfire.

With the numerous Batman storylines right now, you would think that this issue is yet another huge piece of the puzzle for fans who want to stay informed with what’s happening with the Dark Knight right now. But surprisingly, Batman #704 actually signifies a fresh chapter in the lives of Dick Grayson as the Caped Crusader, Damian Wayne as Robin, and the citizens of Gotham City. After the return of Bruce Wayne, who now has bigger plans in his head, this book—I believe—will be Dick Grayson’s domain. So far, the storyline has got me hooked, but let me tell you right off the bat that the art work is very impressive as well. Tony Daniel returns as writer and artist.

Batman Incorporated #1: Mr. Unkown is Dead

Speaking of perfect jumping-on points in the world of Batman, well this comic book is another issue written by Grant Morrison that new and old fans of the Dark Knight will find to be straightforward and painless to read. A whole new story is presented here, in which the globe-spanning mission to fight crime that Bruce Wayne has set in motion begins. This issue is brisk, vigorous, action-packed and a bit macabre in the opening scenes. When compared to Batman: The Return #1, also written by Morrison and out this week, this issue definitely has a bigger oomph! For one, this first issue of Batman Incorporated digs deeper into Bruce Wayne’s global agenda.

Batman Incorporated #1

The opening pages take us to Japan, where Mr. Unknown—the erstwhile Batman of Japan (more like The Question for me)—has been murdered by the crazy villain known as Lord Death Man. No doubt, Mr. Unkown would have been the first international recruit for Batman Incorporated. Meanwhile, Batman and Catwoman break into one of the laboratories run by Dr. Sivana. Apart from the action, comic book readers can look forward to the prominent part that Catwoman plays here and definitely in later issues. The chitchats between Batman and Catwoman while they work are amusing, even hilarious at times.

Yanick Paquette provides the artwork for the series. His work is amazing, with lots of dark lines and detailed character expressions.

Green Lantern #59: Lorek Tarr Lok


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Members of the Green Lantern Corps take the backseat in this issue as the Indigo Tribe take the spotlight. While the hunt for the remaining super emotional entities continues, a new host for the indigo super entity known as Proselyte has been found. But more than that, many readers will be surprised, if not totally troubled by the fact that a new member of the tribe used be the second baddest ass (after Nekron) in the universe during the Blackest Night war. Plus, a disturbing truth about how the indigo rings work on their bearers’ emotions will be uncovered.

Green Lantern #59

Another scene to watch out for is the big debate between Hal Jordan and Barry Allen (aka The Flash) which actually began in the last issue. Hal’s latest selection of team mates has been criticized by Barry. The fact that Hal continues to work with Larfleeze and Blue Lantern Saint Walker—and previously with Atrocitus and Sinestro—has become too hard to swallow not only for The Flash, but apparently even for Batman and Superman.

To make things worse, one of the most vicious super entities in the universe takes control of Barry Allen. Needless to say, the situation between Green Lantern and Flash has taken a dreadful turn and everyone’s guess as to what will happen next is as good as mine.

All in all, this is another remarkable issue written by Geoff Johns. The recent ethical conflict between Green Lantern and Flash is a classic in the making. I’m hoping that the next issue will continue to surprise us readers. Special mention goes to artist Doug Mahnke whose work in the Green Lantern series has tremendously improved. I personally like the dark lines and spaces, along with the very expressive faces of the character.

Batman: The Return #1 — Planet Gotham


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“Starting today, we fight ideas with better ideas. The idea of crime with the idea of Batman.” – Batman/Bruce Wayne

Bruce Wayne is finally back. And he’s not only ready to suit up as Batman, but he’s also taking the Dark Knight’s brand of crime fighting to a whole new level. This comes as a result of something that Bruce has seen while he was lost in the timestream. This one-shot issue lays down the groundwork for how the Bat Family will operate in the years to come.

Batman: The Return #1

Here, we see Bruce Wayne setting into motion his grand master plan called Batman Incorporated, which basically creates an empire of Bat-men who will operate all around the world. Bruce also sets down the new roles that will be played by Dick Grayson (Batman 2), Damian Wayne (Robin), Stephanie Brown (Batgirl), Tim Drake (Red Robin) and Barbara Gordon (Oracle) in this new evolution for the Bat Family. Apart from the bigger mission, Batman and his friends will meet new allies and face new foes. And that’s what makes this issue all the more electrifying.

Well, this could be another fantastic new idea from writer Grant Morrison. My only concern is that, if other crime fighters across the globe are given the Bat-franchise and are then literally allowed to wear the exact same Bat suit, some fans may see the Dark Knight mythos being diluted, if not totally weakened. Are we seeing the transformation of Batman’s story into something similar to that of Iron Man, whose armor designs have been acquired or stolen by other individuals besides Tony Stark?

True, many comic book fans find Grant Morrison’s work on Batman to be overly cerebral. Well, this issue is quite different. As it defines a new Bruce Wayne, this comic book is the perfect jump-on point for Batman fans, especially those who were not able to keep up with the major Dark Knight story arcs written by Morrison in the last four years or so. This one-shot comic book has tons of action. The art by David Finch offers dynamic and magnificent details that complement the intensity and rapid pacing of Morrison’s story. I particularly like the first pages that tell the story of a bat that’s just not that eager to die even if it’s already staring at the end of its 40-year old life.

Green Lantern Movie Trailer Launched


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Green Lantern movie trailer debuted this week and marks the coming out party for the Emerald Warriors on the big screen. Ryan Reynolds plays the role of Hal Jordan, a test pilot who would later on become Green Lantern, with jurisdiction mainly in and around Space Sector 2814 (where Earth belongs). Hal Jordan received his power ring from an ill-fated alien Green Lantern named Abin Sur, whose spaceship crash landed on Earth. Green Lantern is based on a comic book published by DC Comics.

Entertainment Tonight aired the official first showing of the Green Lantern movie trailer. Fans can view the official trailer on iTunes Movie Trailers.

Apart from Hal Jordan, other favorite Green Lanterns who will make their first appearances include Sinestro (played by Mark Strong), Kilowog, and Tomar-Re. It would appear that the first scenes of the movie involving the transformation of Hal Jordan into the Green Lantern share strong similarities with the 2009 full-length animated feature film Green Lantern: First Flight. But any comparison between the two stops at Hal Jordan receiving his power ring from the dying Abin Sur. For one, the movie’s main scoundrel who receives the business end of the Emerald Warrior’s fist or boot is Hector Hammond (played by Peter Sarsgaard).

The Green Lantern movie is directed by Martin Campbell, who also directed the Mask of Zorro and Casino Royale. Starting Wednesday this week, movie theaters will show the Green Lantern Movie trailer right before the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I preview, also distributed by Warner Bros.

Weekly Comic Book Review (Nov. 11): Comic Book Guy Saga Ends, Return of Bruce Wayne Finale

This week’s comic book review really drained my wallet. It’s one of those weeks where most of my favorite titles come out simultaneously. What did me in was the deluge of Thor comics, which have steadily increased in number recently, owing to the fact that a Thor movie adaptation is scheduled for release in 2011. Anyway, here are the titles that made my top list for this week:

American Vampire #8

Writer Scott Snyder never ceases to amaze me. In this issue, he presents a new take on vampires by letting it slip that they actually have several breeds (not just covens). Each breed has its own unique weakness that hunters can use to their advantage. But more than that, I believe that future issues will be jam-packed with battles not just among vampire families, but among different breeds.

American Vampire #8

Many characters in the comic book have already appeared previously, but new ones are also coming into play. Issue #8 is biting (no pun intended) and interlaced with new revelations that American Vampire fans should not miss. Pencil work by Rafael Albuquerque and colors by Dave McCaig add more vibrancy to an already intense storyline.

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #6

Return Of Bruce Wayne #6

This is an epic end to an epic series and just what fans can expect from the great Grant Morrison. This is the story of how Batman finally arrives in the here-and-now, which we’ve seen in Batman and Robin #16. As a whole, the issue is an analysis of what makes the Dark Knight the greatest superhero in DC Universe. Here we see Batman, yet again and singlehandedly, getting ahead of the Justice League and rendering them defenseless. And with everything that exists depending on him, Batman fights Darkseid in a contest of intelligence and wits. Of course the Dark Knight wins. Indeed, for as long as Gotham City still needs him…and the night’s not over, Batman’s here to stay.

Ultimate Comics Thor #2

Ultimate Thor #2

Impressive pacing, great art, and intense revelations are packed in this issue. First, Dr. Donald Blake conducts a thorough examination of a man who believes he’s Thor. Our good doctor—who’s actually the real Thor—finds out that the man’s claims are actually coming out from memories and not from some schizophrenic episode. The question is, if the man’s recollections are valid, what would that make Dr. Blake?

Next, we see Thor, Balder, Loki and The Warriors Three in a friendly gladiatorial match among themselves. It happened ages ago as the Asgardians celebrated their victory against the Frost Giants. Even Loki was such a good sport and it would seem that peace ruled the home of the gods in those days.

Finally, the comic book pages transport readers to scenes during World War II. We see Baron Zemo successfully harnessing the power of the Norn stones and opening the gates that allowed the Frost Giants to cross the time stream into the 1940’s. Together, the Nazi war machine and the Frost Giants launch an attack on Asgard, even killing one of its bravest citizens. Again, the question is who’s the guy wearing the hood of Baron Zemo?

Victorian Undead II: Holmes vs. Dracula #1

Victorian Undead: Sherlock Holmes Vs Dracula #1

Professor Moriarty and his zombies are done for. The destruction that they brought upon London has been cleared away and life in the city slowly gets back to normal. But a new menace has been washed ashore. As Sherlock Holmes and his loyal friend Dr. Watson have been commissioned to look into the mystery behind what remains of the ship Demeter, a bad moon is rising. Count Dracula is at large, not only in the streets, but also in the highest rungs of the British monarchy. This is a new arc in the Victorian Undead saga and a perfect starting point for new readers of the series.

Chaos War Thor #1

Chaos War Thor #1

This special tie-in to the Chaos War saga gives Thor fans a deeper, even a bit philosophical look into the God of Thunder. A cosmic battle with a demon-god named Glory hurls Thor back to earth, landing in his mortal form known to us as Dr. Donald Blake. For me, the battle scenes are actually the best part of the issue. But there’s more to the story.

Being cared for by Becca Steinhardt, a widow and polytheist, we see the amnesiac Dr. Blake locked in a discussion about faith in the eyes of an average believer. To a certain extent, the drama in this comic book can be profound as two individuals try to heal themselves – Thor trying to get his memories back and Becca looking for comfort and hope after her family perished in an accident years ago.

Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book #5

Comic Book Guy #5

It’s another finale of epic proportions. Comic Book Guy’s saga has come to an end and the revelations that occurred will definitely shock fans. By far, this is the grittiest issue in the series, featuring a history of Comic Book Guy that spells out what makes him THE Comic Book Guy. Well, at the very least, Springfield gets its famous comic book store back under old management. But this is not to say that the characters in The Simpsons will drift down into normal lives. I hope not.

Let Me In: Evil is Good… Sometimes

Let Me In is one helluva vampire movie – minus the body glitters and the smooching. Directed by Matt Reeves, the film debuted in Philippine cinemas this week and is definitely a treat for fans who have been yearning for a bloodsucker story done right, with all the darkness, horror and gore that only the REAL spawns of Count Vlad can bring. The film is a remake of Let the Right One In, a hit 2008 Swedish film directed by Tomas Alfredson which in turn is based on a novel of the same title written by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

Let The Right One In

Set in 1983, Let Me In tells the story of a 12-year old boy named Owen growing up in a small town in New Mexico. Bullied in school and coming to grips with his parents’ impending divorce, Owen is the archetypal scrawny boy who’s disturbed and got no friends. Kodi Smit-McPhee, who earlier gained prominence as Viggo Mortensen’s son in The Road, plays the role.

Let Me In Poster

Things would change for our boy when he befriends a 12-year old—more or less—girl who has just moved in the apartment complex where Owen lives with his mom. The girl’s name is Abby and she’s accompanied by a limping middle-aged man (played by Richard Jenkins) who goes on a killing spree every night to get the blood for his charge to drink. Abby is portrayed by Chloë Moretz, who’s more popularly known for playing Hit Girl in Kick-Ass.

At first glance, you’d think that Let Me In is just another one of those flicks where a mortal gets help from a seemingly monstrous being who can stop a skidding van with one bare hand. Well, no. For me, the film’s theme is about friendship at its purest, most innocent level and how it can inspire one to take control of his life. In the movie, Abby tells Owen to defend himself from the bullies, to hit harder if need be and that she will help him if necessary.

Let Me In has received rave reviews and is well on its way to becoming a classic. If you loved the Swedish version, you’d be delighted to know that Matt Reeves’ version stuck to the original for the most part. Even the scenes have that gloomy, haunting feel commonly seen in art films and rightly so. For fanboys and girls who have the time this weekend, you definitely can’t go wrong with Let Me In.

Have fun and let me know what you think. By the way, the tapping that Abby did while inside the trunk on the train is a Morse code for k-i-s-s.

The Walking Dead (TV Series) Premieres in Asia on November 5th


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We’ve all heard how The Walking Dead (TV series) invaded the US when it premiered last October 31. The 90-minute pilot episode overswarmed 5.3 million viewers on Halloween night, which is definitely a record for AMC Network, the cable channel that airs the series in the US. Frank Darabont is at the helm as series writer and director.

For many fans of the reanimated corpse genre, this highly-acclaimed AMC series is a sign that zombies are breaking out and finally catching up with bloodsuckers and werewolves in making their presence felt in mainstream media and also in sinking their teeth into our wallets.

The Walking Dead Compendium One

As early as now, the entire series is getting rave reviews primarily due to the realistic cinematic effects that puts viewers right in the middle of zombieland—minus the smell of course. But let’s not forget that The Walking Dead started out in comic book format from Image Comics, created by Robert Kirkman with art by Tony Moore and later on by Charlie Adlard. In 2010, it won the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series.

The epic mythos of the comics series stems from the in-depth storytelling and the well-(and often slowly)-developed characters that just about anyone who’s still living and breathing can relate to. Comic book readers saw how apocalyptic events can change one’s personality. The story revolves around former police officer Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln in the television series), his family and other fellow survivors who all have to fight and be on their toes everyday just to survive. For me, the story is all about the essential facts of life that most of us in the here and now have taken for granted or forgotten altogether.

The good news is that at 11:00 pm on November 5th (that’s tonight), our anticipation for this comic-to-television series reaches its climax as The Walking Dead (TV series) premieres in Asia on Fox. Indeed, now is a good time not only for comic book fans, but also for the dead… just don’t put glitters all over your body.