The FF plan to bring the Fanastic Four back to earth in time to stop Doctor Doom, Kang, and Annihilus from becoming Doom the Annhilating Conqueror. ThThe FF plan to bring the Fanastic Four back to earth in time to stop Doctor Doom, Kang, and Annihilus from becoming Doom the Annhilating Conqueror. Things don't go as planned...
Matt Fraction and Michael Allred's run on FF ends with a bang. The FF take in Impossible Man's son Adolph, try to bring back the Fantastic Four, and go to war with Doctor Doom. Fraction does a lot to elevate Scott Lang in this volume and goes a long way toward dragging him out of Hank Pym's size-changing shadow.
The battle with Doom was very well done and Doom was true to his scene-chewing self. Fraction's portrayal of The Watcher was also pretty great and I loved the stuff on the blue area of the moon. Ahura stepping up for the war was also a nice touch.
Much like the last volume, this book reads like a modern day love letter to the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby days of the Fantastic Four. It's a damn shame this is the last of Matt Fraction and Mike Allred on FF. It's been a lot of fun. Four out of five stars....more
The new FF are struggling to hold down the fort. Bentley gets up to some mischief. The future Human Torch awakens and the future he's predicted drawsThe new FF are struggling to hold down the fort. Bentley gets up to some mischief. The future Human Torch awakens and the future he's predicted draws nearer.
Ant-Man and company continue trying to fill the shoes of the Fantastic Four and go up against a leviathan, The Wizard, Blastaar, and The Inhumans but their biggest enemies seem to be themselves.
That might be stretching it a little but Matt Fraction and Mike Allred have created a throwback to the Fantastic Four of the 1960's, a bickering team that still feels like a family.
I dig Matt Fraction's writing. Maybe not as much as Dan Slott's on the Silver Surfer but he does a good job of writing something that works to Mike Allred's strengths and fits his art style. He also gets some mileage out of The Wizard and the Inhumans, something I don't think many writers do a good job of. I also like how he's planting seeds for the next volume while doing some good character development within the FF cast.
I really like what Matt Fraction is doing here and I'm keen to start the next volume. Four out of five stars....more
Reed Richards is dying and plans an expedition through all of space-time to find a cure with the rest of the Fantastic Four and the two Richards kids.Reed Richards is dying and plans an expedition through all of space-time to find a cure with the rest of the Fantastic Four and the two Richards kids. Before they leave, the FF recruit their substitutes; Ant-Man, She-Hulk, Medusa, and some chick the Torch was boning. The FF is only planning on being gone for four minutes of Earth time. What could go wrong?
Confession time: I have over 100 issues of Fantastic Four scattered in the various comic boxes in the Dan Cave. When I saw Marvel was doing a non-standard Fantastic Four series with Mike Allred doing the art chores, I waited patiently for this very volume to fall into my clutches.
This volume is split into two threads. The iconic Fantastic Four lineup preparing to leave earth for parts unknown, and the subs, Ant-Man, She-Hulk, Medusa, and Miss Thing. I pretty much only picked up this volume for the second thread.
While the stuff with the iconic lineup is pretty good, I found the storyline of the subs trying to fill the shoes of the real deal to be far more interesting. I love future Human Torch coming back to warn the new team of a menace and the homage to Fantastic Four #1 from way back in 1961 in the form of Mole Man attacking the surface world.
Matt Fraction's storyline is very intriguing but I'd be lying if I didn't say Mike Allred's art is the main reason I was up for it. I've been a fan of his pop art style since Madman and love what he does with the Fantastic Four here.
Even though this volume is short, it stands alone pretty well on its own while leaving enough unanswered questions to get me to read the next one. Four out of five stars....more
Down and out ex-cop Andy Destra uncovers a decades old conspiracy that will shake Auction City to its core. Who really runs the city and how does it cDown and out ex-cop Andy Destra uncovers a decades old conspiracy that will shake Auction City to its core. Who really runs the city and how does it connect to how Andy was booted off the force?
I got this from Netgalley.
New Johnny Shaw books don't fall out of the sky every day and I jumped at this one the instant Shelby tipped me to it being on Netgalley and dropped what I was doing to read it.
However, things were off to a rocky start. I was discouraged for the first 10%. The plot moved slowly and gone was the trademark Johnny Shaw wit. My motivation flagged. My lady friend urged me to continue despite my misgivings, noting that I'm a crabby bastard when I don't get my reading time. As in most things, she was right. I stuck with it and things really took off.
Floodgate is the story of the people behind the curtain, the people that keep Auction City's various factions from killing one another and destroying the city. In a way, Auction City reminds me of a modern version of Deadwood and the people called Floodgate are Al Swearengen.
Andy Destra isn't too far from the usual Johnny Shaw leading man, a guy that many would consider a loser. However, he stands up for what he believes in despite being in way over his head. While I was bored by the book initially, Johnny Shaw really did a hefty amount of world building, with Rocco, The Flood, Kate, and the rest.
One of my favorite lines was "The last time he masturbated, he fantasized about a previous time he masturbated." Pure Shaw.
Anyway, the book was a slower build than Shaw's other work but had a bigger payoff in the form of the orgy of violence that was the last 30% of the book. While I wouldn't recommend this be anyone's first Johnny Shaw, it's a very solid book. Four out of five stars....more
The Silver Surfer and Dawn get trapped in a time loop, get stuck on a paradise planet, and try to rebuild the universe.
Here we are, the final volume,The Silver Surfer and Dawn get trapped in a time loop, get stuck on a paradise planet, and try to rebuild the universe.
Here we are, the final volume, as of now, of Dan Slott and Michael Allred's run on The Silver Surfer. Honestly, it's kind of a mixed bag, though I can't lay the blame solely on the Surfer's gleaming shoulders.
The first story is a time loop that's depicted in a creative way, the panels forming a Moebius strip. First off, I thought this was very clever and pertinent to the story, not as gimmicky as I originally thought. I loved that the story featured Space French-speaking aliens and the area the Surfer and Dawn traveled through was called The Giraud expanse, a nice reference to noted French comic artist Moebius, aka Jean Giraud.
The second story was also pretty good. It turns out Surfer and Dawn never left the paradise planet they found in the first story. Paradise wasn't what it was cracked up to be.
The third story featured Dawn and Surfer taking the long way back to Earth, visiting everyone they met in the previous two volumes. It reminded me of the 10th Doctor's swan song before his regeneration and made me think I wouldn't be pleased with the final story in the collection.
The fourth story is what sucked half a star of enjoyment out of the book. It's a shame that this title's revolutionary run was derailed by Secret Wars. Still, it was cool seeing The Silver Surfer and Dawn attempting to rebuild the universe.
While I didn't like the abrupt ending to the series due to Secret Wars, Slott and Allred did a good job making chicken salad with the chicken parts they were given. I hear the series is coming back and I'll be ready when it does. 3.5 out of 5 stars....more
The Silver Surfer and Earth girl Dawn Greenwood soar the spaceways, encountering Planet Prime, space hillbillies, and the graveyard of worlds. What wiThe Silver Surfer and Earth girl Dawn Greenwood soar the spaceways, encountering Planet Prime, space hillbillies, and the graveyard of worlds. What will the Surfer do when Dawn finds out about his past with Galactus, with a hungry Galactus on the prowl?
The Doctor Who-flavored adventures of The Silver Surfer and Dawn Greenwood continue. The Surfer takes Dawn out for the greatest ice cream in the universe, reminisces about instances when he had to save Dawn from peril, and accidentally leads Galactus to a planet full of the survivors of worlds he lead the planet devourer to during his centuries of servitude.
It's not as dire as it sounds, though. It's actually pretty funny at times and has some charming moments. Allred and Slott did a good job conveying the emotion when Dawn found out about the Surfer's past and his role in Galactus consuming trillions of innocent lives. The ending was pretty great and left me chomping at the bit for the next volume. I'm eager to see where Slott and Allred take the Surfer and Dawn from here.
Any gripes? Not a damn one unless a craving for more Silver Surfer the way Galactus craves planets is a gripe. Dan Slott and Michael Allred continue to make the Silver Surfer a character I'm dying to read more about. Four out of five stars....more
Weird Shit is a short book of weird facts, organized into sections like Animales,Weird Shit is a book of interesting facts.
I got this from Netgalley.
Weird Shit is a short book of weird facts, organized into sections like Animales, Religion, Sex, Celebrities and Art. If you're into that sort of thing, it's pretty entertaining.
Did you know the barnacle has the largest penis to body ratio? Or that Winston Churchill started smoking cigars at 15? Or the average person poops 350 pounds worth over the course of his or her lifetime? Those are just a sampling of the facts within.
It isn't all poop and penises, though. I tipped to a bogus fact early on. Charles Manson didn't audition for the Monkees. He was too busy being a prison inmate at the time. That soured me on the collection a bit but not enough that I couldn't enjoy the rest of the book.
As someone who regularly seeks out interesting facts, I found this book to be average. For someone who isn't such a nerd, it would probably rate higher....more
Aliens come looking for Miracleman. Winter, Miracleman's daughter, begins speaking before she's a month old. Miraclewoman makes her presence known. KiAliens come looking for Miracleman. Winter, Miracleman's daughter, begins speaking before she's a month old. Miraclewoman makes her presence known. Kid Miracleman returns. A utopia is created.
The third Miracleman volume is kind of a disappointment. Firstly, it's a wordy son of a bitch, huge blocks of purple prose on every page. Secondly, apart from Kid Miracleman returning, it's pretty damn boring. Utopia is just as uninteresting as it sounds. Not only that, Miracleman went from being a revisionist Captain Marvel character that was bursting with potential to looking more like his ancestor, Superman.
All that being said, it's still an interesting piece of comic book history and asks the same question as the Squadron Supreme miniseries that came out shortly after this. What would happen if the superheroes took over the world? Too bad what Miracleman, Miraclewoman, and the Warpsmiths cook up is on the bland side. Two out of five stars....more
When his pregnant wife is kidnapped by Dr. Gargunza, Miracleman and Evelyn Cream go looking for her. But what is the sinister connection between GarguWhen his pregnant wife is kidnapped by Dr. Gargunza, Miracleman and Evelyn Cream go looking for her. But what is the sinister connection between Gargunza and Miracleman and what plans does Gargunza have for his wife?
The Red King Syndrome collections issues 5-10 of Miracleman, some of which I have vague recollections of reading at some point.
Book Two further deconstructs Miracleman's origins as Captain Marvel's bastard son of sorts. In this case, Doctor Sivana is a short Mexican scientist with thatch of black hair and much more practical plans. Miracleman's origin is further explored. Meanwhile, it seems that Johnny Bates might not be the vegetable we all thought he was.
Back in the day, I bought comics from Mile High Comics whenever I could scrape together enough money for an order. My twelve year old self was puzzled why I would need to be over eighteen to buy Miracleman #9. After reading it, I'm not so puzzled. That was one graphic childbirth scene!
The brutality in Miracleman surprises me. In the last decade or so, we've seen Black Adam and Superboy Prime punch the heads off of more Teen Titans members than I can count and Hyperion inflict mass destruction in the pages of Supreme Power. Pfft! Miracleman was doing that shit in the early days of the Reagan administration. Miracleman does a fantastic job of showing what would happen if Superman-level beings existed in the real world.
People like to point to Watchmen and The Dark Knight as the comics that made everyone go darker. After reading the first two volumes, I contend that Miracleman was that comic instead. Four out of five stars....more
Jack, Grace, and Steve leave the Drive-In behind for the open road in a bus. On their quest for answers, they encounter a catfish of enormous size andJack, Grace, and Steve leave the Drive-In behind for the open road in a bus. On their quest for answers, they encounter a catfish of enormous size and find things leading them to question the nature of their existence.
The third volume in the Drive-In series takes everything in a whole other direction. It keeps the lost world flavor of the second book but sends the gang on an odyssey to parts unknown. The first half is straight up Lansdale but the second half moves into Phillip Jose Farmer territory.
I didn't enjoy most of this book as much as the previous two, mostly because of the lengthy section inside Ed the giant catfish. Once they escaped the catfish, the book felt like a Twlight Zone episode written by Richard Matheson collaborating with the previously mentioned Phillip Jose Farmer. Either I read that Lansdale liked PJF in the past or just inferred it from some of his stranger writings.
The Lansdale flavor is in full effect here. I read a few lines out loud to my special lady, interrupting her Harry Potter read. Lansdale can wax philosophically with the best of them, in his trademark front porch style.
Anyway, the ending was fantastic, a stew of World of Tiers, Wizard of Oz, and The Dark Tower, in my opinion. While this is the final Drive-In volume, as far as I know, I'd eagerly read a fourth. 3.5 out of five stars....more
Jack, Bob, and Crier leave the Orbit Drive-In behind for the open road, encountering dinosaurs, slithering strips of film, and a martial artist namedJack, Bob, and Crier leave the Orbit Drive-In behind for the open road, encountering dinosaurs, slithering strips of film, and a martial artist named Grace. Will they find the end of the road before Popalong Cassidy finds them?
As you might be able to tell from the synopsis, the second Drive-In book is stranger than a fever dream. While in recovery from their crucifixion, Bob and Jack, with Crier, venture out into the wasteland the Earth became while they were trapped in The Orbit. A woman named Grace shows up and suddenly Jack decides they're heroes. As a man who has gone titty-blind (as Lansdale calls it) on occasion, it wasn't hard to relate to the guys in this one.
As with the last book, I read this book shortly after the dawn of time so I remembered very little about it. Much like the first book, it's a fun book full of gore, cursing, cannibals, and funny dialogue. The Lansdale wit, while still in its adolescence, was present in droves.
It's a pretty slim tale but a lot of interesting and often times hilarious shit happens. I liked it a little less than the previous one, though. It didn't feel like a retread in any way, unlike most sequels. Popalong Cassidy had big shoes to fill after the Popcorn King and left the shoes empty enough to leave blisters. Still, the aftermath was quite bizarre and I'll be taking my third trip to the Drive-In shortly. 3.5 out of 5 stars....more
Jack and his friends live for one thing: the Friday all night horror show at the Orbit Drive-In. When a comet with an eye visits, the drive-in is cutJack and his friends live for one thing: the Friday all night horror show at the Orbit Drive-In. When a comet with an eye visits, the drive-in is cut off from the rest of the world and things quickly degenerate to a no-man's land of cannibals...
Confession time: I read this way back in the Stone Age, pre-Goodreads and early in my Lansdale love affair. When I saw how cheap the trilogy was on the Kindle, I figured it was time for a reread.
The Drive-In is Bizarro fiction from back before such fiction had a name. Jack, Bob, Willard, and Randy are horror nuts who have the misfortune of being trapped at the Orbit when the shit goes down. Imagine being in eternal darkness with the only light coming from the drive-in screens and the only food coming from the concession stand. It's not hard to see how things degenerated, is it?
The Drive-In is a really fun book, full of gore, weirdness, and laughs. While it's an early Lansdale and not as slick as his later work, the beer and tailgate style is still there. Since it had been over a decade since I read it, it was pretty much a new book. Ah, the magic of getting older.
It's a pretty short tale, but like a good punk rock song, it's as long as it needs to be. When you have cannibals, motorcycle gangs, and crazy religious nuts, all trapped in the confines of a Drive-In parking lot, how long can you expect people to survive anyway? The Popcorn King was pretty damn creepy and I liked how Lansdale explained his origin, making it make logical sense, to a degree.
The Drive-In was a lot of gorey good fun packed into a pretty slim book. Four out of five stars....more
After an almost 20 year absence, Miracleman reappears, throwing his alter ego Mike Moran's life into chaos...
Back in the day, before he was Alan MooreAfter an almost 20 year absence, Miracleman reappears, throwing his alter ego Mike Moran's life into chaos...
Back in the day, before he was Alan Moore: Supreme Curmudgeon and Master of Beards, Alan Moore was simply a cutting edge comic book writer. Miracleman was his ticket to the big time, before Swamp Thing, before Watchmen, before whatever it is he's doing these days besides seemingly being pissed off all the time.
Miracleman started life as Marvelman, a 1950s British Captain Marvel homage/ripoff. Moore, Alan Davis, and some others brought him back in the pages of Warrior, a UK comic magazine. How does one revive a ripoff character from the 50s and make him relevant?
Spectacularly! That's how. Moore takes essentially a kid's comic, breaks it down, and shows what superheroes might be like in real life. I love how he deconstructs the Captain Marvel-like hero and actually makes it believable. Also, this volume nicely illustrates the carnage super heroes would create in the real world.
I do have a couple gripes, though. This volume is super thin for what it costs. Also, I'd much rather have a couple more issues included instead of the Warpsmith material and the sketches, especially considering I still have a couple issues of Warrior and Miracleman lying in some dark corner of the Dan Cave. The story itself is a little dated, more by the writing style than the cultural references. For a comic, it was pretty wordy.
All things considered, Miracleman is still pretty damn good and a cool piece of 1980s comic book history. Four out of five stars....more