Ok, so I dig Grant Morrison, and I dig his dense, trippy style of writing which this volume has in the spades. When this was coming out, I remember evOk, so I dig Grant Morrison, and I dig his dense, trippy style of writing which this volume has in the spades. When this was coming out, I remember everyone talking about how confusing and unconnected the books were (as was the lead up and tie ins) and I have to agree. This is a mess. What is good? As usual, Grant pulls out some really fun characters for his sandbox (the Atomic Knights! OMAC! Tawky Tawny!), but unlike his past work, he fails to provide any lucid background or characterizations to even get the reader to care about them. This comes back to the fundamental issue here, Morrison had 7 issues to get all of his ideas out which might have worked much better as a novel or as a longer series which might have been more effective. Overall though, this comic is soaked in too much continuity, obscure references, and dense lyricism that it fails to congeal. So what else is good? The JH Williams and Doug Mahnke art is rock solid, and I did enjoy Dan Turpin's slow and horrific metamorphosis to Darkseid, which was the tale's most effective character. Also fun is the Superman Beyond tie in reprinted here which does not make a lick of sense, but is uncluttered enough to be enjoyable. Recommended for die-hard comics nerds with insane knowledge of Silver Age comics or interested parties prepared with aspirin....more
This was a lot of fun; the plot in a nutshell is during WW II, a special division is created consisting of science fiction authors led by Robert HeinlThis was a lot of fun; the plot in a nutshell is during WW II, a special division is created consisting of science fiction authors led by Robert Heinlein (and a team including Issac Asimov, Sprague de Camp, and L Ron Hubbard) is charged with creating weapons and devices from their imagination to help defeat the Nazis. But wait there is more! Secret electric death towers made by Tesla! A mysterious underground bunker below the NYC subway! Deadly danger on exploding volcanoes!
Malmont does a great job of giving two-fisted adventure and letting the reader know each author as fleshed out people with very real (and dysfunctional) relationships and personality traits. I think I would have gotten more of the numerous Easter Eggs that are laid in for the fans of the characters (lots of references to the Robot books, and tons of great and very funny pointing towards Hubbard's creation of Scientology), but there are so many fun cameos (Kurt Vonnegut! Albert Einstein! Jimmy Stewart!) I did catch, it was not a big deal. This is a seriously fun book! Big thanks to Dan for the recommendation!...more
A book completely out of left field from Marvel, a publisher not really known for edgy indie-styled books (unlike DC's Vertigo line) remixing a long fA book completely out of left field from Marvel, a publisher not really known for edgy indie-styled books (unlike DC's Vertigo line) remixing a long forgotten 1970s series by the legendary Steve Gerber. The plot is pretty dense, an odd boy, Alex, is taken to his first day of school but is attacked by robots. His parents get killed, and are revealed to also be robots; meanwhile, a mysterious superhero lurks in the background, springing into action to help smash more robots. There is a few main ideas in play here, the first one is franchises, the main villains use fast food to start a world invasion scheme while aliens also create a franchise of superheroes to combat said robots/fast food vendors. There is also a ton about robots, and super heroics targeted for media attention.
Lethem has some fun plot ideas going down, but his dialogue is pretty clunky...ok, extremely clunky in many spots which hurts this rating. I also felt like Lethem was trying a bit hard in a few of the plot twists which did not really add to the plot or characters (i.e. the whole arc with Fonzie which was so friggin' random). Farel Dalrymple's art is really great, which is in that more indie mode, but manages to satisfy a lot of the super heroic stuff too. Also interesting is a cameo appearance by Gary Panter doing some of the art in issue 7 which is really intense. The back matter in the hardcover is nice too, with Lethem and Dalrymple talking about the original iteration of Omega and why it made such an impact (which I'll also pick up). Really nice change of pace for a Marvel title, it is not perfect, but I am really glad that this was made!...more
An fictional account of over four decades in the life of a rock band, which references and parallels many of the notable British bands of the late 60sAn fictional account of over four decades in the life of a rock band, which references and parallels many of the notable British bands of the late 60s (notably folks like the Yardbirds and Eric Clapton). What sets this book apart is the perspective of the manager of the band, who sacrifices so much in their name (also, profits). I think Flanagan did a good job of doing the evolution of the business of rock and roll very interestingly. There is a lot about how music is packaged and resold which serve as a nice primer on the music business and how musicians can make gobs of money even when they fail to record successful albums. There is a bit of a predictable rise and fall of each band member which dips into some cliche, but there are also some nice weird and dark side avenues that show up, notably the bit with shooting a MTV with a little person that goes off the rails is hilarious. Recommended for fans of late 60s music, as you'll get most of the references, and those who don't mind seeing celebrity lives go to ruin....more
This lived up to the hype; Yang tells the story of a Chinese American youth which is conflated with the tale of Monkey King. This had a lot of interesThis lived up to the hype; Yang tells the story of a Chinese American youth which is conflated with the tale of Monkey King. This had a lot of interesting things to say about racial identity and self perception, and I also really loved the art. Highly recommended....more
Morrison revamps and remixes the 1950s era Club of Heroes, which features the Batman from around the world. There is a bit of ye old deconstruction ofMorrison revamps and remixes the 1950s era Club of Heroes, which features the Batman from around the world. There is a bit of ye old deconstruction of the good old days, but the set up (the Club is invited to a mysterious island where one member is picking them off one by one) is so tasty, it didn't annoy me to much. Also, the JH Williams art is AMAZING in the Black Glove trio; really beautiful. The final issues in the tale features more of the 3 Ghosts of Batman arc that showed up in the last collection which has a really nifty connection to another classic 50s tale, Robin Dies at Dawn. I loved this part, but I think your milage will vary if you are aware of the original tale. Overall, a very enjoyable and surreal set of issues, just the way I like it!...more
This is a pretty unique item; Art Spiegelman recounts the genesis for his towering achievement, Maus. Via extended interview (brilliantly done by HillThis is a pretty unique item; Art Spiegelman recounts the genesis for his towering achievement, Maus. Via extended interview (brilliantly done by Hillary Chute who reviewed his archive of notes and drawings), we are walked back through the process and aftermath of the book which is heavily illustrated with tons of ephemera. This really does act as Spiegelman's final word on the project, which looms large. His success was incredible, but it has also haunted him (not to mention the brutal Holocaust research he had to do over the course of decades) keeping him from letting him enjoy it. This is really only recommended for fans of Maus, or for folks who want a deep insight into the creation of a graphic novel. One minor quibble, I have to say I am disappointed that Chute's credit was buried at the end of the book, I feel like she deserved some co-authorship maybe. That aside, this book is fantastic!...more
This is a nice love letter to all of the previous major EVENTS (all caps required) in the DC Universe, and now sort of works as a last hurrah for thisThis is a nice love letter to all of the previous major EVENTS (all caps required) in the DC Universe, and now sort of works as a last hurrah for this history with the new 52 mostly wiping the slate clean. Much like Kurt Busiek & Alex Ross' Marvels, we get a POV character in the form of Paul Lincoln, who we see grow up on the hard streets of Metropolis (pre-Superman) into his later years as a police officer. Wein does a great job hitting a lot of the highs of the last 80 odd years of DC Comics, and does a nice job articulating why superheroes are just so dang neat.
Also a big attraction here is the STELLAR artists that have been assembled for this work: Joe Kubert, Brian Bolland, George Perez, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, and Dave Gibbons to just name a handful. Just lots of wonderful art to be found.
I also really loved the short Snapshot stories that end this collection, especially the New Gods installment with fantastic Frank Quitely art. Darkseid chilling on your couch! Amazing!...more
This got nudged up a star just for the central concept of the book being so dang fascinating; the idea of the brighter, simpler superheroes of the pasThis got nudged up a star just for the central concept of the book being so dang fascinating; the idea of the brighter, simpler superheroes of the past actively trying to save/destroy the grim and gritty heroes of the present. I really dug this conceit, and Johns did a good job giving moments to the Trinity (Superman, Batman, & Wonder Woman) who are in a reflective mood after some devastating collective failures.
This worked as a nice homage to the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, but it is going to be incomprehensible to readers who are new to these characters, and boy, there are TONS of characters in this book. Also, I do really dislike the level of violence and gore in this book, most of which just seemed like cheap attempts to amp up the reader. This book is also a giant series of references to other stories, and events, so you mileage is going to vary based on how that sounds to you!
I will take a moment to say you should check out the series 52, which spun out of this event, great stuff!...more
The core idea of the second half of this book is compelling; what if the Supermen of Earths 1 & 2 got a cosmic do-over to right everything that haThe core idea of the second half of this book is compelling; what if the Supermen of Earths 1 & 2 got a cosmic do-over to right everything that has gone wrong? If you have read any time travel stories, I think you can probably guess the outcome, but it fun to see the alternative histories all the same. What is not so good is that this collection barely stands on its own since it is intrinsically plugged into the Infinite Crisis series, and it helps to have 70+ years of Superman history in your skull for this to make sense!...more
Other reviewers have mentioned elsewhere that this book is a romp, and I happily agree. This is by far one of the breeziest, and more carefree LOEG inOther reviewers have mentioned elsewhere that this book is a romp, and I happily agree. This is by far one of the breeziest, and more carefree LOEG installments probably since it is the one most tangential to the core plot of the other volumes. Anyway, we get a daring adventure in Antarctica, villainous pursuers trying to kill the crew of the Nautilus, now under the command of Nemo's daughter. Even though most of the characters here die horribly, this volume maintains a fun subversive vibe throughout. O'Neill's art excels as usual in the volume; I especially liked the design of the book itself. The text piece in the back is a good laugh too. Recommended!...more
Phase 3 of Morrison's Batman epic starts here, with Batman going around the world to recruit heroes to join Batman, Inc. I know that a lot of people fPhase 3 of Morrison's Batman epic starts here, with Batman going around the world to recruit heroes to join Batman, Inc. I know that a lot of people found this concept goofy as hell, but there is something pretty fascinating of running crime-fighting as an corporate entity (superheroic franchises if you will). The first story set in Japan channels both Batman '66 with its audacious death-traps and the wonderful Batman manga tales created by Jiro Kuwata (collected in Bat-Manga!). I was especially happy to see Morrison put Lord Death Man into the pantheon of Batman's Rouges Gallery as he is a hoot (and scary as hell!)! Other standouts are the issue devoted to Man-of-Bats and Little Raven, and the trippy, spectacular Grand Guignol finale that is Leviathan Strikes!
I am totally in the tank for this vision of Batman that keeps his Silver Age history roots, while continuing to maintain the edge that modern Bat-fans demand. Also, I need to praise Chris Burnham and Yanick Paquette, for their beautiful artwork in this volume too. Highly recommended....more