Any reader of Sherlock Holmes pastiches knows getting the right mix of tone and plot is a tricky thing indeed for the great detective. I think Moore a...moreAny reader of Sherlock Holmes pastiches knows getting the right mix of tone and plot is a tricky thing indeed for the great detective. I think Moore and Reppion nail the tone (and the character's voices), but don't quite ace the plot. The beginning of the tale works perfectly, with an indelible set up of both a locked room mystery and Holmes himself being the chief suspect. The finale of the tale works well too (the solution to the crime is very nifty indeed), but the middle part of the tale feels like a lot of vamping and extraneous plot. Moore in the afterwards speaks to the difficulty of using Holmes as a writer simply because he is too dang perceptive, so their trick was to sideline him from the action, which was very clever. The other thing to note too is that the art is just ok for the story. Aaron Campbell's art is solid, but mixed with so-so coloring made it hard at points to recognize characters and required re-reading a few parts constantly (seemed like everyone had a brown suit and a mustache!). Anyway, there is a lot to enjoy here, and I look forward to future installments from Moore and Reppion!(less)
I recall having read issue 60 when it came out ages ago and being impressed by Waid's fresh take on Marvel's favorite family. So after dragging my fee...moreI recall having read issue 60 when it came out ages ago and being impressed by Waid's fresh take on Marvel's favorite family. So after dragging my feet all these years, I've finally got my hands on this collection. Waid in the his essay in the back speaks to how so many writers and fans feel that FF are boring or predictable, and how Waid himself did not feel as deep of a connection to the comic as other classic Marvel properties. Waid found a way to not only honor the characters as written, but as he hoped, found a way to experiment and put the group into challenges never before seen, just like the classic tales back with Lee & Kirby.
The first issue of the run is a dozy, day in the life tale that works as a nice summation of Waid's mission on the comic, followed my a threat from living math(!?), Johnny having to grow up and help the FF's company, and finally a spectacular throwdown with Doctor Doom. I love Dr. Doom, and I am really happy that Waid found a fresh approach for him to take against the FF (in a nutshell, him fully leaning on his magical abilities rather than technology). The collection wraps up a few quieter issues, which I appreciated. I can't believe that I've gone this long without mentioning the late, great Mike Wieringo's art, which is beautiful. What a comic!(less)
The big thing I enjoy with any Loeb/Sale Batman tale is the atmosphere, and this collection's tale have style to burn. Of the three stories, I thought...moreThe big thing I enjoy with any Loeb/Sale Batman tale is the atmosphere, and this collection's tale have style to burn. Of the three stories, I thought Fear (the Scarecrow one) was much stronger than the other two, and had the best Halloween vibe of the bunch. The last story, a riff on Christmas Carol, did not really work for me, and seemed a little too cheesy especially compared to the other two stories. A decent collection for the Halloween season.(less)
Excellent collection of short stories in the Hellboy universe, including the Corpse, which is arguably the best tale Mignola handed in. Along with tha...moreExcellent collection of short stories in the Hellboy universe, including the Corpse, which is arguably the best tale Mignola handed in. Along with that tale, I also loved The Wolves of St. August, A Christmas Underground and Almost Colossus. Funny enough, I think the title tale, The Chained Coffin was not as effective since Hellboy is sidelined for the tale (don't get me wrong, it is still great), and both Baba Yaga and Iron Shoes are fun, but inconsequential.
I picked this up for the Halloween season for some appropriate reading, and this did not disappoint. I would also recommend this volume for anyone interested in trying Hellboy out, since the short stories help encapsulate the one-two punch of fun and horror that the comic excels at.(less)
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 f...morePhase 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.(less)
At this point it is pretty well know the difficulties that McDuffie had on his Justice League run, but I thought this was by far the best collection....moreAt this point it is pretty well know the difficulties that McDuffie had on his Justice League run, but I thought this was by far the best collection. I enjoyed meeting the Milestone Heroes (the only one I do know is Static, who does not appear here), and I thought that the interactions with the League were entertaining (esp. the stuff with Icon and Supes). Hardware was probably the MVP here just for being such a smartass about everything. Again, the story is slightly uneven, and I did not really feel the stakes of the final fight, but I still enjoyed the volume overall.(less)
An interesting crossover that tries, and somewhat succeeds, in altering the status quo not just for Supes, for the DCU as a whole. Like any crossover,...moreAn interesting crossover that tries, and somewhat succeeds, in altering the status quo not just for Supes, for the DCU as a whole. Like any crossover, this phonebook of a collection suffers from some incoherence from part to part (especially when shifting from the Superman titles, to the outside ones like Wonder Woman and Young Justice), and many of the big climax fights where poorly paced and vague. What is fun, is we get a big throwdown all of the best Superman heavies: Darkseid, Braniac, Luthor (who is fascinatingly on the side of the angels nearly the entire fight), and the ur-villian of the week, Imperix. There are some interesting elements too with Superman really breaking down emotionally, but it fails to really go anywhere interesting.
I nudged up the rating a bit since I did enjoy a lot of the art here; there is good stuff from Mike Wieringo, Doug Mahnke, and Ed McGuinness.(less)
Got to be honest upfront here, this is a 3 star book bumped up by a combo of Alan Davis' beautiful art, and the inclusion of Madbombs. If you all are...moreGot to be honest upfront here, this is a 3 star book bumped up by a combo of Alan Davis' beautiful art, and the inclusion of Madbombs. If you all are not familiar with the old-school Madbomb arc by Jack Kirby, please track it down, it is amazing!
That aside this is a fun arc from Brubaker; yes, I agree with most it is not as great as the darker, espionage fueled Bucky-Cap run, but is fun in a decidedly old-school way. Since this is Brubaker's victory lap on the title too, I know that he is trying to get to a few of the Cap concepts that he loves the most (Ameridroid last arc, Madbomb this time around). Fun!(less)
This reads as the first book of a series, which is both a good a bad thing. The core concepts are solid (I especially enjoyed the social media flavore...moreThis reads as the first book of a series, which is both a good a bad thing. The core concepts are solid (I especially enjoyed the social media flavored antagonist), and remind me a bit of a bit of Sailor Moon and Power Rangers mashed up. Larson and Pantoja keep it very grounded and created some nice characters. I also like that is a volume that would be good to hand to a newcomer to the superhero genre (especially for girls), that did not pander or simplify the ideas for the audience.
The only thing that lacks here is so much of the dangling plot lines are getting left to future volumes. That is fine, but this book does not really resolve anything in a concrete way. That said, I am looking forward to the next installment!(less)
Not the most auspicious start for DC's New 52 line, this comic is all substance with minimal content. Heroes are boiled down to the narrowest of chara...moreNot the most auspicious start for DC's New 52 line, this comic is all substance with minimal content. Heroes are boiled down to the narrowest of characterizations (Superman is ANGRY, Wonder Woman wants to FIGHT, Aquaman is BADASS, Flash restates the obvious, Green Lantern likes the LADIES, etc.), and Darkseid, one of the most fascinating and nebulous villains of all time is transmuted into a hulk that shoots sweet lasers.
I fully admit that I am the wrong audience for this, which seems solely targeted for pre-teens, but I feel like Johns (who is a better writer than this) and Lee could have really done a much better job with this. Ah well! (less)
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 ha...moreThe 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!(less)
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 pas...moreThis 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!(less)
I really enjoyed this book, amplified by the great Wil Wheaton performance on the audiobook version. As someone obsessed with old school arcade games...moreI really enjoyed this book, amplified by the great Wil Wheaton performance on the audiobook version. As someone obsessed with old school arcade games and frequent basement dwelling player of Dungeons and Dragons, this book was practically built for my insane amounts of random knowledge name checked through out the book. For those of you this does not apply too, this book is not for you (probably).
Also, there is constant references to random 80's movies, TV, and music, most of which I was aware of thanks to my general background in nerdery. If you are a child/fan of the era, there will a lot of appeal for you here.
This is Cline's first book, and there are certainly some pacing issues, especially with the huge chunks of exposition and background flying at the reader constantly. Again, if you like the topics, you will dig it, otherwise it might be a slog. Cline did a good job imagining a future step forward in technology paired with a believable dystopia that could easily be around the corner. I also thought Cline nailed the ending, I am a sucker for a good love story!
Even though we have this in the adult fiction area at my library system (maybe for the profanity?), I think this is a good recommendation for the YA audience. Especially for the gamers! (less)
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 this...moreThis 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!(less)