Weekly Comic Book Review (Nov. 4): Batman Confidential #50, Iron Man Thor #1, IZombie #7 and More

This week, Batman Confidential hits issue #50. Iron Man and Thor are set for a team-up. plus, IZombie and Marvel Comics mini-series on the Wizard of Oz start a new arc. Here are my top comic book picks for the week.

Batman Confidential #50

A fellow fan asked me why I’m adding this issue in my weekly comic book review list. Well, first of all, this is an anniversary issue of a long-running Batman comic series. Here, we see a young Bruce Wayne right on the tail of a serial killer in an obscure village in China, where he will eventually find an adversary that once fought the Justice League. The main story also brings readers back to that scene in Identity Crisis where the Dark Knight was mindwiped.

Batman Confidential #50

Secondly, it features a bonus Silver Age material where readers can see Batman and the Justice League facing off with an alien vampire who sucks moisture, rather than blood from victims. I love classic comics and the co-feature really made my day.

Iron Man Thor #1

Iron Man Thor #1

In this issue, we find Thor and his fellow Asgardians cleaning up the ruins of their home city in the aftermath of Siege. Iron Man and, along with other mortals, were also there to help the citizens of Asgard. All of a sudden, Commander Rogers— formerly known as Captain America—called on Iron Man to investigate an incident in Russia, which turned out to be a trap set by Crimson Dynamo. However, the most interesting part of the issue becomes apparent when Ulik of the Trolls appears right in the middle of Asgard and challenges the God of Thunder.

So far, the opening round for the storyline scripted by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning is very impressive. An Iron Man-Thor team up versus two of the oldest villains in Marvel Comics is definitely something to look forward to. Plus, pencil work by Scott Eaton is simply fantastic.

Ozma of Oz #1

Ozma of Oz #1

This is the third Marvel Comics mini-series based on the classic novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. In Ozma of Oz, Dorothy Gale—the lead character in the classic novel—is back. But this time, she’s not using tornado-express to get to Oz (like in the classic version), rather her trip back is set off by an ill-fated ocean voyage. While hopelessly stuck at sea, Dorothy befriends Bill, a talking hen, and their adventures are just about to start.

Just like in the first two series, comic book readers can expect Ozma of Oz to be replete with sharp and witty dialogue. Apart from the enjoyable storyline, the striking art by Skottie Young is also a treat.

IZombie #7

iZombie #7

This is the starting issue for the Vampires Suck story arc. Life for our beloved characters Gwen, Ellie, and Spot seemed to have dwindled down to normal. Gwen is busy digging holes with her cemetery buddies, Ellie is taking some pointers from Amon, and Spot is shopping around in a comic book shop. But things get complicated when the brain that Gwen munched on belonged to someone who knew her in the past. Plus, the two monster hunters find themselves in a big mess this time. Cover and interior art by Michael Allred is marvelous as usual.

Namor First Mutant #3

Namor First Mutant #3

Atlantis is under siege by ocean-dwelling vampires. As ruler, Namor has but one chance to drive their foes away. But there’s a catch—the powerful spell that will be used against the bloodsuckers requires blood of an Atlantean king to be sacrificed if it were to work. Accompanied by elite guards of Atlantis, Namor leads an attack into the hidden vampire lair, where the spell must be casted. But something that lurks in the darkest regions of the deep has been waiting for the raiding party. The big surprise could be a big blow to the young Atlantean ruler, not only in terms of their battle plan, but maybe more so for Namor’s personal resolve.

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.

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


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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.