Action Comics 961 Review

Action Comics 961 Cover

Path of Doom, Part Five

I never thought Action Comics was ever going to be on my pull list again, but then DC Comics threw me a curve ball and put writer Dan Jurgens on the title. I couldn’t have been happier because this was the same writer that got me into Superman during the ‘90s. Dan’s story has been good so far even though the last issue was a bit of a hiccup (you can read why here). This issue got things back on track and added a bit more heart (something that had been missing in recent issues).

Interestingly, Action Comics 961 was drawn by Stephen Segovia, the third artist assigned to the series. I thought Stephen’s art was a lot closer to Patrick Zircher’ art style, which is a good thing because it gives the book a bit more consistency. Colorist Arif Prianto does a commendable job of keeping the color scheme that was established back in Action Comics 957. 

Issue Summary

Superman and Wonder Woman have a tough time of keeping Doomsday in check with Lois and Jon nearby. Doomsday was a total beast (no pun intended) in this issue as he warded off two of the most power heroes in the DC Universe. We get a touching moment between Superman and his family about how much he loves them before facing off against Doomsday alone – that’s what I love about Superman – the dude is willing to go against the monster that killed him in order to keep his family and humanity safe. In order to ensure the safty of Lois and Jon, Wonder Woman transported them to the Justice League satillite.

Action 961 Superman and Lois Kissing

Remember in my last article when I said the series needed to bring something new because things were starting to get a bit stale? Well, Dan did just that. It turns out the green cloaked guy has some kind of devise that, I think, has the capabilities to capture Doomsday. It will be interesting to see if Doomsday actually gets captured and for what purposes he is being capture.

ROTTING BRAINS gives Action Comics 961…3 1/2 out of 5 rotten brains.

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Avatarex Destroyer of Darkness 1 Review

Grant Morrison’s Avatarax Destroyer of Darkness Variant Cover

“A colorful, sleek-looking comic mixed with religious depth”

I like to read comics from publishers that don’t get a lot of play in the public. To be perfectly honest, I never heard of the publisher called Graphic India. I checked out their page and it seems like they specialize in publishing works developed by individuals with ties to India. Now I don’t know how Grant Morrison or Stan Lee (both contributors to the publisher) have ties to India, but what better why to get your brand into mainstream comics by using well-known creators like those two.

Grant Morrison’s Avatarax Destroyer of Darkness is a colorful, sleek-looking comic that has some religious depth to it. I found the art to be powerful, and adaptive to the story. It looks as though artist Jeevan J. Kang intentionally changed his art style throughout the issue based upon which panel of the comic is meant to drive a point home. After seeing what Jeevan can do with a splash page, I think Grant needs to write more splash pages for Jeevan to draw – the dude is a splash page beast. Also noteworthy is the color in this issue, Jeevan and Ns Sathish Kumar laid down some bold color choices adding to the eye-catching appeal of this issue.

Avatarex
Avatarex Art by Jeevan J. Kang

Issue Summary

So what’s this book all about? It’s a Grant Morrison book so you know it’s going to be all kinds of trippy and hard to understand, right? Well, not exactly. I could actually follow what was happening, a rarity for me when I read Grant’s stuff. Basically, this issue is about how an out-of-touch god, Avatarex, tries to reconnect with the human race in order to save it. It is believed that if Avatarex merges with a good-natured human the god will be able to save humanity from “a darkness.” As Avatarex comes closer to merging with Rishi, the good-natured human, he’s prevented from doing so by an entiy known as the Hydra Void. Trippy, but not too trippy.

ROTTEN BRAINS gives Avatarex #1…drum roll…a solid 3 1/2 out of 5 rotten brains.

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Action Comics 960 Review

Action Comics 960 Cover
Action Comics 960 Cover – Supes is Pissed

 

 “I Believe in Dan Jurgens, but we need some answers” 

The cracks are starting to show and I’m beginning to wonder how much story there is to be told regarding the return of Doomsday. I say that because the majority of this issue didn’t interject anything new into the overall storyline. It was nice to see Wonder Woman giving Supes a hand and the threat of Doomsday reaching Lois and Jon, but the issue had the same story beats as the previous three issues.

The ratings I gave the previous issues (#957, #958, and #959) were all positive. This being the fourth issue in the story, I wanted to see some kind of progression regarding the questions that were raised back in issue #957. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and we are left with a lot more questions than answers. We still don’t know who the green-cloaked guy is; what the deal is with the dude claiming to be Clark Kent; Lex is still pretending to be Super-Lex; and Superman and Doomsday are still throwing punches at each other – over 3,000 punches to be exact (read the story and you’ll see what I mean).

Issue Summary

All you really need to know about this issue is that Diana saves Clark Kent from getting pulverized by Doomsday; Jon ends up making too much “super” noise while watching his dad fight Doomsday on TV which results in Doomsday tracking down Jon and Lois; and the issue ends with Wonder Woman and Superman fighting Doomsday. Like I said, not a lot of meat in this issue.

I’m still not entirely sold on Tyler Kirkham’s art – it’s scratchy and has an anime look to it. Not that it’s bad art, but to me, the art is too much of a deviation from Patrick Zircher. Maybe I’m too old school, but I like my books to maintain a certain look to them. For example, I don’t want my issue of Spawn to look like it was drawn by someone from Pixar.

Wonder Woman Saves Clark Kent from Doomsday
Tyler Kirkham’s Interior Art in Action 960

Writer Dan Jurgens and company better give us some answers in the next issue, or else, or, else, nothing I guess. Even though this wasn’t my favorite issue, I’ll keep buying to see how everything plays out – I believe in Dan Jurgens.

ROTTING BRAINS gives Action Comics #960…drum roll…2 ½ out of 5 rotten brains.

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Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Rebirth

 

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Rebirth

I have to tip my hat to DC Comics because they have definitely pulled in a lapsed reader (me) with yet another Rebirth issue. It’s not easy to get me to buy into something – mostly because I’m a skeptical kind of person, and…well…because I’m cheap. That being said, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Rebirth issue got me interested in Ol’ Greenie again. I’ll be honest; I haven’t read a Green Lantern comic since the early ‘90s, but I was looking for a space adventure book and I thought, “What the hell, I’ll give it a try.” I’m glad I did because this issue was impressive, most impressive.

This issue did a great job of bringing me up to speed as to what’s been going on with Hal Jordan as of recent. So here is what I (and maybe you) missed. OA has been totally destroyed and replaced by a Death Star looking thing called Warworld.

Warworld

Warworld is powered by a jailed Parallax under the control of an aged Sinestro who now looks like Vincent Price. Sinestro is of the belief that Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps are no more and ponders what life will bring now that he is victorious.

Vincent Price

Old Sinestro

While Sinestro has been ruling the universe (or parts of it), Green Lantern took the fall for every wrong the Green Lantern Corps has ever been blamed for, which resulted in Hal being labeled a criminal. Hal had to give up his ring because of all that, but he stole Krona’s Gauntlet so that he could have a similar power that the ring provided him.

The gauntlet somehow messed with Hal causing him to forget his humanity and wanting to wear a trenchcoat. Why a trenchcoat and not a raincoat is never explained. Regardless, Hal knows the gauntlet is trouble because it’s causing his body is fade away resulting in Hal becoming the emotion of will, and nothing more. Hal decides to forge himself his own ring by willing it, and as he does, his human form returns.

Hal Jordan Forging Ring

The issue then ends with Hal returning to his classic costume. Whoo Hoo!

Green Lantern

This issue not only told us what is currently going on in Hal’s life but what came before. Several panels of the issue were dedicated to explaining Hal’s origin story and important aspects of the Green Lantern Corps. These quick explanations were helpful to get me up to speed on the character and the corps (who are mysteriously missing).

A big, big, BIG thumbs up to all involved in this issue. Robert Venditti (writer) put together a story that combined Hal’s past and present in a way that flowed naturally and was understandable. Ethan Van Sciver (artist) knocked it out of the park – just breathtaking art. Jason Wright (colorist) absolutely nailed it by making the art leap off the page and come to life. Dave Sharpe (letterer) did an amazing job of delivering emotion through the letters in ways that didn’t distract from the story and actually added to it.

ROTTING BRAINS gives Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps…drum roll…4 1/2 out of 5 rotten brains.

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Superman #4

Superman #4 2016 Cover

The Superman creative team is doing something that I didn’t think could be possible – making Superman relatable, and entertaining. If you had told me that Superman was going to be at the top of my read pile three months ago, I would have laughed in your face devilishly (as I twirled my villainous mustache).

I got to give a standing ovation to Peter J. Tomasic (writer), Patrick Gleason (writer/artist), Mick Gray (inker), and John Kalisz (colorist) for putting together another solid issue. Tomasic and Gleason are doing a good job of balancing a story that has emotional beats, as well as, entertaining action. Gleason, Gray, and Kalisz are doing their part by delivering art that pops off the page. The story and art have enough power to deliver a one-two punch that makes you wanting more by the end of each issue.

In this issue, Big Blue is still in combat with the Eradicator (who still thinks Hulk Hogan shades are still cool to wear). Realizing that dad needs a helping hand, Jon suits up to deliver a punch with his old man that causes Eradicator to unravel, for a moment.

Superman and Jon punching Eradicator

 

The above panel is what I was talking about when I said the story and art is delivering a one-two punch (no pun intended, of course). In all seriousness, a perfect example of the art making you feel the story.

Unfortunately for our heroes, the punch from Supes and Jon releases the Kyrptonian souls that were trapped inside their foe. The hundreds of displaced souls immediately seek their homeland which results in them (and the Super Family) ending up in Ace o’ Clubs, the bar run by Sooperman’s unwavering admirer Bibbo Bibowski. That’s right folks, old Bibbo is back, and he’s never looked better. 

Why did everyone end up in Bibbo’s bar? Simple, Bibbo won a “moon rock” (actually a piece of Kryptonite) from a patron after beating that patron in an arm wrestling match, and the Kryptonians seeked it out to reconnect with their homeland. Couincidence? No, just good old fashion storytelling that’s fun to read.

The Eradicator ends up reforming his body, but with the help of the Kryptonian souls (that Sups is able to communicate with) the Eradicator is put out of commission, for a moment, ending the issue on a cliffhanger.

Rotting Brains gives Superman #4…drum roll…4 out of 5 rotten brains!

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F*** Marvel Comment Creates a Divide That’s Not Needed

SuicideSquadWalk-1
Suicide Squad (2016)

Suicide Squad movie director David Ayers showed just how out of touch he is with the comic book community when he said, “F@&# MARVEL” at the world premiere of his movie. Ayers quickly apologized via Twitter after making the statement after comic book fans replied negatively, but what was said, was said. You don’t have to be Mr. Fantastic to realize that Warner Bros. isn’t happy with how their comic book movie properties are doing. On top of that, WB now has to worry about one of their loud mouth directors sounding like an envious juvenile.

What Mr. Ayers doesn’t understand is that taking a shot at Marvel is, in a way, like taking a shot at comic book fandom. Comic book lovers have come a long way from being synonymous with pimply, geeky, nerds that live in basements. It wasn’t that long ago that this was Captain America on the big screen.

YIKES!

Over the years, comic book fandom has risen in popularity and become cool due in part to the movies that Marvel has put out since Iron Man (2008). I’m not taking anything away from WB, but Marvel has been more successful at unifying the comic book, and non-comic book, masses.

Getting back to Mr. Ayers’ comment, it was divisive and tried to encourage a DC vs Marvel attitude – an attitude that has been declining. I’m sure that there are still Marvel Zombies and DC Drones out there, but the comic book market has become so diverse that if you restrict yourself to only one of those two properties you are limiting yourself from some other really good comics.

Marvel Zombies
Marvel Zombies Written by Robert Kirkman

For example, if you like DC’s Batman you would probably like Marvel’s Daredevil, and even Frank Miller’s Sin City (a comic published by neither DC nor Marvel). Interestingly, Frank Miller wrote stories for all three of those separate properties.

As a comic book fan, I don’t care if a Marvel movie or a DC movie makes more money than the other – I just want to watch a good comic book movie. I want the comic book medium to flourish, and good comic book movies help it to do just that. What I don’t want is for actors, directors, writers, etc. to push the mentality that fans have to choose one company over the other – that’s crazy talk and it hurts general comic book fandom.

 

Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 2 #2 Review

JupitersLegacy_vol2_02-1

Last issue didn’t necessarily convince me that this was the Jupiter’s Legacy story I needed to read; however, after reading this issue, I believe in Mark Millar. This was a perfectly crafted story by double M (Mark Millar).

In this issue we get to see Chloe and her son, Jason, do battle against Raikou as Hutch works to release Repo. The majority of this issue is dedicated to the battle between Raikou and Team Chloe, and that’s ok with me because we get to see some great art by Frank Quitely, which was colored masterfully by Sunny Gho.

Jupiters Legacy #2 internal.png During the battle, we get some awesome action sequences as we see Raikou’s power-sets featured. By the end of the battle, it’s not hard to figure out who is Raikou’s father.

This issue had a bit more laughs in it than the last one, and that’s the joy of reading a Millar book – you never know what to expect when you turn the page.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 10.58.09 PM

This issue ends with a BOOM (literally) whenever a crazed Baptist tries to assassinate U.S. President Brandon by setting off a nuclear bomb at one of his speaking engagements. It seems like the failed assassination, wrongly blamed on China by Brandon, triggers Hutch’s father to continue his fight against way-ward superheroes like Brandon.

ROTTING BRAINS gives Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 2 #2…drum roll…4 out of 5 rotten brains.

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