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

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.

Fanboyninja Weekly Comics Review (Sept. 30): Action Comics, First Wave #4

Action Comics #893

What would happen if two megalomaniac intellectuals come face to face? In this issue, Grodd the super ape plans to eat Lex Luthor’s brain. But really, who will outsmart who? Here, we are shown how brilliant and clever Lex truly is. I can’t help but wonder if the almost comical Lex played by Gene Hackman in the 80’s can ever match the Lex presented in this Action Comics series. Rating: 9 out of 10.

Action Comics #893

Jimmy Olsen will also be in the co-feature. Although, I have to admit that I found Jimmy’s story to be a bit dragging. The part about Jimmy’s botched relationship with his girlfriend and love for the Superman video game can be wearisome. Still, I hope that the impending alien invasion will make things better next issue. Rating: 5 out of 10.

First Wave #4

First Wave #4So far, the only thing that keeps me hanging on to this story arc is the art by Rags Morales. Brian Azzarello is a great writer and he has done some awesome stories on Batman. This time, though, I’m afraid that First Wave is a bit too crammed with characters, what with Batman, the Spirit, Doc Savage, and the Blackhawks fighting for panels. However, in this issue, the story now goes to Hidalgo and the real adventure is set. I believe that Issue #4 is that part where all the main characters start to come together like chess pieces on the board. Here’s hoping for a great ending.

Machete #0

Robert Rodriguez' Machete #0It’s no secret that Machete gets his own film to be released later this year, thanks to film producer and director Robert Rodriguez. But before you go to the movies, you owe it to yourself to first get acquainted with former Mexican Federale officer Daniel Lopez who’s now out for vengeance against the people who betrayed him. This series reveals the events that led this big deadly Mexican to bring out the blades. The art may not be that awesome, but the storyline itself is an offer you can’t refuse.

Star Wars: Blood Ties – A Tale of Jango and Boba Fett #2

Star Wars: Blood Ties #2“Can you shoot yourself?” That’s Jango asking another Jango. This issue shows us how ruthless Boba’s old man was. We will also witness how Jedi Mace Windu played an important part in shaping the distinctive nature of Boba Fett, the greatest bounty hunter in the entire galaxy. More than that, the story takes us deeper into the Fett clan. Is Boba really Jango’s only son? Who is Boba’s new prey and why is our bounty hunter willing to help this guy?

Fanboyninja Weekly Comics Review (Sept. 23): Millar’s Nemesis plus GL Corps

Nemesis #3

You’d be crazy if you don’t like this series written by Mark Millar, with art by Steve McNiven. Think Batman/Bruce Wayne, except that Nemesis is on the other side of the law. Yep, a billionaire gadget-totting masked character who wants to destroy the status quo that we all have come to know. Nemesis #3 In this latest issue, we see Nemesis in a fantastic and bloody fight scene against prison guards—97 in all. His unbelievable escape is definitely one of a kind and a very expensive one at that. It shouldn’t to be missed. To top it all, McNiven also dishes out an awesome and very energetic art.

Thor #615

Thor #615In this issue, we find Agardians and Broxton citizens busy rebuilding their lives after the Siege. Thor is about to jump on a new course. Where would that lead him? We don’t know. If you have been a longtime fan of the series, this issue signals the turning of a new chapter in the life and adventures of the God of Thunder and his friends.

Green Lantern Corps #52

Green Lantern Corps #52Let’s face it. Blackest Night was one hell of a series. After that, it’s just hard to find another great story about the Green Lanterns. I have to admit, I am slowly getting bored with Brightest Day as a whole. But this latest issue of Green Lantern Corps has given me the jolt that I needed. Here, we find two great lanterns from our very own Space Sector 2814—Kyle Rayner and John Stewart—on center stage as they save the day in Planet Grenda. This issue is made more relevant as it shows us the sad end of Hank Henshaw (aka Cyborg Superman) in the hands of Lantern Boodikka. Moreover, Alpha Lanterns have been changed back and reinstated into the Corps. For many Green Lantern fans, the team pose at the end is reason enough to get this issue.

Flash #5

Flash #5Previously… Flash is being arrested by the time-traveling Renegades from the 25th century for a crime that our hero is supposed to have committed in the future.

Now…Flash gets support from Top, one of the Renegades from the 25th century. But any help from Top is offset by the fact that the other Renegades and both present and future Rogues are hot on our duo’s tails. The plot also thickens as the mirror containing the Mirror Lords is also about to crack. Will things get better or worse for the Flash? Well, writer Geoff Johns hangs us in suspense till the next issue.

Justice League Generation Lost #10

Justice League Generation Lost #10Magog and Maxwell Lord have joined hands and we see the kind of future that this alliance could bring. Make no mistake, Maxwell Lord simply wants to corrupt the future. That’s why it is imperative that our Justice League heroes uncover Max’s plans. This issue also features Batman and Power Girl inquiring about Max. Did these two finally break free of the global mind wipe performed by Max? If so, will they be able to join the Justice League in the hunt for Max? Let’s all stay tuned.

Fanboyninja Weekly Comics Review (Sept. 16): Aliens Vs. Predators, Emerald Warriors

AVP Three World War #6

In this issue, the Colonial Marines and their Hunter Predator ‘allies’ are on the offensive against the Killer Predators. The conclusion to this 6-issue series from Dark Horse Comics reveals how the Killer Predators were able to subjugate their Alien pets. And with that piece of information—thanks to the android David Sereda— the allies now have a chance to defeat the Killer Predators.

AVPThreeWorldWar6

With a Queen Alien in their ship, the Hunter Predators provides the much needed boost to help them and their human comrades win the war. As the series ends, what will happen to Machiko and her team? Rating: 8 out of 10.

Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #2

Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #2The Emerald Warriors—consist of Guy Gardner, Arisia, Kilowog, and a Red Lantern named Bleez—visit Odym, the home base of the Blue Lantern Corps. In this issue, Guy discovers that the violent energy of the Red Lantern still rages inside him. What would this visit to the Blue Lanterns do for Guy? Can the team really work with a Red Lantern? This issue brings us a step closer to the Guy’s mysterious mission in the outskirts of the galaxy.

Thor First Thunder #1

Thor First Thunder #1Basically, this is a retelling of the very first Thor story as featured in Journey Into Mystery #83, which has also been reprinted as a special feature here in this issue. If you have read the first Thor appearance, you surely have met the Stone Men from Saturn. Well, they are back along with the classic moments leading to where Dr. Donald Blake found a misshapen but mysterious piece of wood that he would later use as cane and emergency lifeline to the God of Thunder. But make no mistake, this issue is not just a recapitulation of how Thor came to be. Rather, it presents how the story of the Son of Odin fits in modern times. Rating: 9 out of 10.

Thor For Asgard #2

Thor For Asgard #2Everything’s wrong in Asgard nowadays. This issue presents a very depressing time in the city of the Norse Gods. The gloomy mood stems from Thor being alone and saddled with the responsibilities of an Asgard’s ruler. To make matters worse, some young and rebellious Asgardians have banded together to attempt to demolish the Rainbow Bridge. How long can Thor put up with all the problems that beset Asgard? So far, I find this arc very interesting both in terms of story and art.

Brightest Day #10

Brightest Day  #10Don’t be fooled by the amazing cover art by David Finch. Aqualad will not beat the crap out of Deadman, at least not in this issue. What you will see though is the ongoing changes and new theories that will redefine Firestorm. Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch still find it hard to agree on anything even as they are fused to become Firestorm. The other highlight of the issue is Jackson Hyde, the new Aqualad. Here, we will see the events that will ultimately lead him to his destiny. Brightest Day #10 is one of the most engaging issues in the series.

Ides of Blood #2

Ides Of Blood #2I admit it. I’m not a big Vampire fan. Besides American Vampire, I have not come across a refreshing vampire story arc lately. But I’m afraid I have to make another exception with Ides of Blood. Sure, many fans find this new take on Roman history a bit boring, but the pacing of the story in each issue has been first-rate for me. After all, if you can imagine a vampire being involved in one of the most vicious assassination plots in history, you would get hooked to this series too.

Fanboyninja Weekly Comics Review (Sept. 8): God of Thunder and The Dark Knight

Thor #614

Thor #614

This is the final issue on Kieron Gillen’s run on Thor. We find the God of Thunder finally drawing out the sword Eir-Gram, the only weapon that can defeat the Disir, the evil shield maidens cursed by Odin. Meanwhile, Fortress Hela and God of War Tyr are running out of time defending the souls of the Asgardian dead. Towards the end, Thor also discovers something about Kelda. And is Mephisto really not preoccupied by what is happening with the Asgardians? Blood, gore, and almighty-ness are the high points of this issue.   Also, the bold penciling makes the evil hordes of Hel and Hell look more terrifying.

Batman #703

This is the prelude to “Bruce Wayne: The Road Home”. We find Dick Grayson’s Batman, Damian Wayne’s Robin, and Tim Drake’s Red Robin on the trail of a master thief who turns out to be Getaway Genius. Damian will learn that his father Bruce is not always the uncompassionate caped crusader that we all know him to be, that Bruce actually has a heart.

Green Lantern #57

Green Lantern #57This issue of Green Lantern made me cry. You know how some long-running comics provide us fans with filler issues every now and then. Well, issue #57 is definitely not a filler. Thanks again to Geoff Johns’ craft. Here, Larfleeze—the wielder of the Light of Avarice—comes to Las Vegas (do I hear uh-ohs?). Readers will get a deeper insight into the world of the Star Sapphires and the nature of love. And did I mention that Carol Ferris will fill in the shoes of someone very important?

American Vampire #6

American Vampire #6I am beginning to hate Vampire stories. Nowadays, those bloodsuckers have become too commercialized and full of cr_p. But not American Vampire. Surprisingly, this series presents a fresh look at vampires. In this latest issue, the story shifts from Hollywood to Las Vegas circa 1935. The local Vegas police, headed by Chief Cash McCogan, are on their toes as prominent businessmen have turned out dead and drained of blood. If our main characters Skinner Sweet and Pearl come to Las Vegas, they will definitely find themselves in a darker, more violent place.

Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book #3

Comic Book Guy #3The death of Jeff Albertson, popularly known as Comic Book Guy and owner of The Android’s Dungeon (Springfield’s most popular comic book store), has brought upon a civil war of sorts. No, it’s not North versus South. It’s Geeks versus Nerds! Comic Book Guy’s death also forces Bart to look for an alternative hobby as Marge (who now owns The Android’s Dungeon) would only sell wholesome kids’ stuff. Meanwhile, Lisa takes it upon herself to find out what really happened to Comic Book Guy. ‘Nuff said.

Justice League Generation Lost #9

Justice League Generation Lost #9When I bought the first issue, I have to admit that I did it simply because I was curious. But as Generation Lost slowly comes to its ending, I am quite surprised about the twists and the cat and mouse game between the Justice League International (JLI) and Max Lord.

In this issue, JLI has finally found Max. Well, not just found–they actually had to fight it out inside the JLI headquarters. Aside from the fight scenes, a personal conflict between Ice and Captain Atom has also come up to the surface. Max’s mental powers allowed him to command Fire to fight her teammates against her will. But is Max really invulnerable? We’ll leave it to Booster Gold to handle the man who wiped out the world’s memory of him.

Doctor Solar #2

Doctor Solar #2You think having the power of the sun makes you a God? How about having the power to give life to entities that came straight out of your imagination? Whitmore Pickerel, the writer who can create living and breathing beings from the characters that he writes about, has become more selfish since the last issue. His first two creations, Leviathan and Glow, have left him to run their own lives. So, Pickerel decides to create more entities to pursue his own plans. The problem is that Pickerel’s creations are not always what we real world folks can consider as virtuous. And Doctor Solar may be the only one that can convince Pickerel to stop his foolish agenda. The dialogues are also worth sinking your teeth into.

Batman Odyssey #3

Batman Odyssey #3I’m a big Batman fan. But storywise, this series does not really impress me. In the previous issues, I even find some scenes to be comedic. The thing is that Odyssey is written by Neal Adams. And I thought that being known for the art that he did for Batman, he could also deliver a great storyline. Still, the completist in me has decided to, well, complete this series. Hey, the art is not at all that bad.