Comic Book Review: iZombie #10 – Next of Kin

Cover Art for iZombie #10

Story: Chris Roberson
Art: Michael Allred
Colors: Laura Allred
Letters: Todd Klein

In a Nutshell

It doesn’t take long for this American comicbook series to turn in a new issue. It seems only yesterday I was reading iZombie #9. Now, I have in my hands iZombie #10 where my favorite zombie Gwen pays a visit to the University of Oregon where she once came too close to earning her BFA degree. Gwen’s mission: to talk to her childhood friend Tricia Nakagawa. But this is no ordinary social call. On top of being a friend, Tricia is the daughter of the dead woman whose brain became Gwen’s latest meal ticket. So, needless to say, someone else is pulling the strings at the back of Gwen’s mind.

Meanwhile, Ellie the ghost pulls a prank on Scott the were-terrier. Ellie takes over the body of a fat middle-aged man who then asks a kiss from Scott. Ellie learned this trick from Amon.

On a more sinister note, the vampire vixens have captured and tortured Diogenes. And Galatea and her assistant Claire are preparing something that can only be described as, well, beastly.

What's Cool

  • Big revelations about Gwen in iZombie #10. The world’s hottest zombie apparently has a lot of stories to tell, and some of them she doesn’t even know yet.
  • Issue after issue, iZombie offers vivid color work on every page.
  • Witty lines from characters.
  • I love it when Gwen’s face becomes all twisted whenever the memory from the latest brain she’s eaten interrupts her own consciousness. In this issue, she experiences such interruption twice.

What's Crap

  • Despite the new revelations about Gwen in this comicbook, I feel that all the subplots have been left hanging. Nothing has been resolved in this issue.

The Bottom Line

As one of the freshest American comicbook series in the market, iZombie continues to impress a lot of comic book fans. Even if this issue has, for me, achieved nothing but dangle all the new information about the characters, I think I will continue to stick around. The things that were left hanging only serve to tickle my eagerness to wait for issue #11.

Comic Book Review: iZombie #9 – Playing Games

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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.

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. 6): Batman, Brightest Day and More

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.