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Showing posts from September, 2018

THE FLASH ISSUE 275 (1979) REVIEW WITH SPOILERS

Warning of Spoilers!

There is a bit of odd characterization when one of Barry's cop friends is assaulted by Clive Yorkin. While the lettering on the cover gives away that Iris Allen is fated to die at the party. Said death is definitely a "women In refrigerators" moment due to how she is treated throughout the issue. Also because Cary Bates writes a bit of dialogue of the Allens agreeing to try for kids. Finally the coloring and art are still high quality (in my opinion).

  Recommended mostly for its historical importance. Though I do not recommend it for those who have experienced horrific events at parties.

FAITH DREAMSIDE (2018) ISSUE 1 REVIEW WITH SPOILERS

Warning Of Spoilers!

This issue has some smart writing. Though a bit of it feels awkward during the rescue scene. Also the cliffhanger has a minor feel of "made for the trade." As for the color palette, it is wonderfully bright while allowing for proper hints of lighting. And while the art could be better on the noses (specifically Officer Campos) the consistency of proportions is good. Finally the lettering is done in a way that works well with each page layout.

  Recommended!

RECOMMENDED COMICS LIST OF 4 THE INCREDIBLE FANFARE EDITION

1. The Incredible Hulk #460 (1998) is a good example of how to re-establish a status quo while creating new developments. Also the art works well at differentiating both segments of this story.

2. Marvel Fanfare #27 (1986) has two decent stories featuring Spider-Man and Daredevil. Though neither is great in terms of plot they are at least amazing in art. Also the main problems the heroes face are very relatable. I also think the pin-up gallery is also nice.

3. Superman #353 (1980) has some narrative flaws in both stories. However, both stories have more fun qualities than flaws. Also based on the quality standards of the time these stories were made they are pretty great.

4. The Incredible Hulk #263 (1981) has a few bits of text that are unnecessary. Also there are one or two facial expressions that just look off. However, the cover is almost epic. Finally the story is entertaining with obvious actual effort applied to the quality work.

X-O MANOWAR (2017) ISSUE 19 REVIEW WITH SPOILERS

Warning Of Spoilers!

There seems to be a bit of a distant connect between the art and story in two places of this issue. The first is the argument between Aric and his ex being too reliant on visuals to be fully understood. While the latter is that the "alien" ship is rather generic despite Aric being amazed by it. However, the main flaw this issue is the cliffhanger ending having a rather unnecessarily explicit depiction. It just looks like Colonel Capshaw's pants are painted on.

   That all said this issue is very high quality compared to the last several issues of the series. It also presents more character development for Capshaw. Plus I have to give kudos to the creative and editorial teams for not sexualizing the shower scene. Said scene is one of the most relatable moments I have seen from Valiant Entertainment.

   In conclusion, this is not a great jumping on point, but it is a recommended issue. Also I think this is a one worth studying for those looking to learn…

HARBINGER WARS 2: AFTERMATH REVIEW WITH SPOILERS

Warning of Potential Spoilers!

This issue feel less focused on showing consequences and more on showing off current statuses. Thus this feels like a bit of a cash grab versus an actual narrative. As for the art we see a few odd design choices. Said art makes Peter Stanchek looking famine victim thin and Ninjak appear to have a change to his ethnic background. There is a missing background in one panel that has so much blank space it is jarring. Finally the lettering of the summary is not properly spaced out, and results in an overly long text block.

   Just barely not recommended!

GOLDEN HARMONY ROBOTECH EPISODE 21 OPINION PIECE

Warning of Spoilers!

I think the writing of Robotech fails when it comes to Lynn Kyle being Lynn Minmei's cousin. It is very much a predecessor to the original English dub relationship of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. However, since I haven't watched the original animes Robotech takes visuals from I can't say much more on this element. What I can say is that it is still weird how we are given an age for Minmei, but no one else.

  As for the whole episode I think this is one of the best in terms of developments. We get over-arcing plot and sub-plot developments without deviating to action scenes. It is like a breath of fresh air to have quiet moments like these in such a tension-filled story. Personally I feel the best moments are the ones between Lisa and Rick. Though the moments that develop Sammy into more of a character are good too.

  Question! Do I have a defective DVD, or is the audio screwed up for a bit in every version of this episode?

NOT RECOMMENDED COMICS LIST OF 4 IN THY MONSTER POCKETS EDITION

1. Monster In My Pocket #3 (1991) has a very generic narrative with the thinnest veiled versions of Swamp Thing and Godzilla fighting. Also the colors are rather disgusting. Finally there are some lettering mistakes.

2. Forager: The Graphic Novel (2015) has the magical autistic trope. As someone on the Autism Spectrum I find this offensive.

3. Marvel Fanfare #11 (1983) has too much exposition in both stories. Although the art is good.

4. Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #60 (1965) features three obviously padded narratives. Also all three have misogynistic elements to them.

QUANTUM + WOODY! ISSUE 10 (2018) REVIEW WITH SPOILERS

Warning of Spoilers!

There is some hidden depth to be found in Joe Eisma's art. Though he needs to continue to improve his consistency of proportions. For example the weapons during Agent Vulch's speech. Also there are one or two questionable facial expressions. As for the colors they are fine. However, the lettering could be improved with a thicker font choice. Finally the story seems to be headed to an interesting conclusion at the expense of Doc Cooper and Millie Henderson. (Personally hoping Valiant at least keeps Cooper around.)

  Very Recommended!

RECOMMENDED COMICS LIST OF 4 INJECTION OF ELLIS VISION EDITION

1. Injection Vol. 3 (2017) is a good story arc that fans of both science fiction, technology, and fantasy should find entertaining, or at least interesting.

2. The Vision and The Scarlet Witch #9 (1986) is not spectacular, but for those looking for a comic about a couple having an adventure it is fine.

3. Superman #118 (1996) has some areas of art that could be better. However, the narrative as a whole is good enough that I am recommending this issue.

4. Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse And His Sky Adventure (1978) features three reprinted stories. Each one has a few questionable bits that parents should be advising kids against mimicking. Yet, all three are otherwise good narratives.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 12 ISSUE 4 REVIEW WITH SPOILERS

Warning Of Spoilers!

   This is (arguably) the worst issue and season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer ever! One problem is that character designs are either inconsistent or unrecognizable. Another problem is that suddenly males have existed with Slayer powers and memories, but go nuts and die when it happens. This rushed revelation goes against all of the established rules, and the idea of this franchise being about female empowerment. Finally none of the plot threads from the prior seasons are addressed or resolved. Instead we just get a "to be continued" and "everything is going to be okay" type ending.

    Not Recommended!

BRITANNIA: LOST EAGLES OF ROME ISSUE 3 (2018) REVIEW WITH SPOILERS

Warning of Minor Spoilers!

  There is a decent amount of texture for everything. Not to mention some negative space apparently being used in a strategic way. Also the consistency of the art is good in-spite of the numerous visual creatives. Though some of the toes could be better in detail. As for the color palette it has a nice range of brights and darks. While the lettering shows an exemplary moment of Antonius's "vocal volume" increasing. Finally the script is very logical in character actions and reactions.

  Very Recommended!

SHADOWMAN (2018) ISSUE 7 REVIEW

Renato Guedes uses a lot of detailed line work to create rich texture. Also his art has nice dusky hues that are varied according to how lighting would actually work. While Andy Diggle's script could have used a better last scene, it is still a strong story. Together Renato Guedes and Andy Diggle create a narrative that works with or without the ability to read text. Finally Simon Bowland's choice of font, and word balloon placement, really allows the text to pop.

  Very Recommended!

NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE TPB (2018) MINI-REVIEW

The supplemental material for this collected edition is mostly a cover gallery and some advertising of Valiant's other works. Also Fred Pierce's essay from issue 1 is oddly not included in this collection. Though I do think this collection could have been put together better it is reasonably priced for those wanting a one-off Valiant story.

  Barely recommended!

NOT RECOMMENDED COMICS LIST OF 4 POWER THANOS RANGER EDITION

1. Thanos #1 (2016) has some quality about it, but it feels too decompressed. Not to mention that it feels like there is a bit too much reliance on prior knowledge.

2. Free Comic Book Day 2018 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has a majority of art that looks rushed. Also the original cast of characters use some 21st century terms which make them seem out of character. Finally nothing really happens except a recap and a brief set-up via exposition.

3. Daredevil #192 (1983) has some odd uses of shading and a rather poor use of color. Also it is trying to be a character study yet ends as more of a "talking heads" story. Finally Daredevil is used less as a character and more as a plot device in this issue.

4. DC Comics Presents Annual #4 (1985) is a massively overwritten and very convoluted story. Not to mention the plot is not fully resolved, or properly explained. Also there is one moment of unnecessary fan service.

GOLDEN HARMONY ROBOTECH EPISODE 20 OPINION PIECE

Warning Of Spoilers!

This episode shows a more competent side to the Zentraedi spy team Blue Wind. In fact I daresay that this shows a lot of nice moments, including showing Lynn Kyle as something other than a jerk. Also it feels like a lot of important universe building happens during the expositional narration. I really like all of these elements. However, I think it odd how quick to judgement Dolza is when he is supposed to be a leader.

   Questions! How did the Blue Wind team successfully steal so many things? For example the piano alone should have been very hard to get back to their ship. How is Earth's united government explaining away the alien attacks and the destruction of a city? I mean shouldn't there be at least one phone call that got out about the last battle before the city's destruction.

NOT RECOMMENDED COMICS LIST OF 4 HUT OF RODIER EDITION

Warning of Spoilers In Entry 4!

1. Action Comics #710 (1995) despite an epic cover the story feels too much like a bridge between issues. Meaning if one doesn't know what has been happening they will be lost.

2. Wonder Woman #60 (1953) feels like it is talking down to readers in the non-Wonder Woman stories. While two of the three Wonder Woman tales are rather poorly written. Thus I can't recommend this issue.

3. Mickey And Goofy Explore Energy (1976) has interesting information and is kind of entertaining. However, it is outdated, and it is written in a very uneven way.

4. Marvel Two-In-One #29 (1977) is not a decent team-up story. Rather it is written as if the two characters (Shang-Chi and The Thing) were starring in separate scripts, and the scripts got edited together. Therefore the story is very uneven in how it is reads. Not to mention there are very stupid moments (For example Alicia Masters taste-testing an unknown liquid at a crime scene).

CENTURIONS ISSUE 2 (1987) REVIEW WITH SPOILERS

Warning of Spoilers!

This issue has arguably the oddest executed origin story for an adaptation of a toy commercial type cartoon. Its main problems are characterization and the plot. In the case of characterization Ace McCloud is rendered unlikable due to clearly being a sexual harasser. While the other two guys are guilty of not really discouraging his behavior. As for the plot it seems to stop and start up in different directions at a few points. Not to mention The entire premise could be avoided/stopped by removing the villain's diplomatic immunity.

  As for the art it is slightly better than the last issue. However it fails during the montages of the protagonists' pasts due to how the pages are set-up. Though the color palette is fine it is not really doing anything interesting. Finally the letterer apparently did it by hand and in doing so made some spacing mistakes with punctuation.

  Not recommended!

THUNDERSTRIKE: YOUTH IN REVOLT SOFTCOVER (2011) REVIEW WITH SPOILERS

Warning Of Spoilers!

  The art is mostly great, but some of the panels are missing backgrounds. There is good character growth in this origin story for Kevin Masterson (the new Thunderstrike, and son of the original). However, the characterization of Captain America, Sharon Carter/Agent 13, and other heroic characters is off. Yes, they still act heroic, but they start out as unfairly treating Kevin like he is the worst possible hero. As for the coloring, it is good, but it fails when it comes to the panels missing backgrounds. Finally the lettering is really pops.

  Recommended.

NOT RECOMMENDED COMICS LIST OF 4 REMO'S SECRET MARVEL EDITION

1. The Destroyer #2 (1992) is not recommended due to the racist elements (Though I did find this issue funny in a Blazing Saddles (1974) kind of way). Not to mention there is one artistic mistake that gets pointed out in another issue.

2. Secret Avengers #2 (2013) has an overly complicated narrative. Also the color palette is way too dark.

3. Marvel Two-In-One #28 (1977) has some odd choices for panel composition. Also the design of characters is at times weak or off-model. While the lettering seems a bit shaky in some of the latter pages. Finally there are some moments that really shouldn't have dialogue or internal monologuing.

Spoilers! found int the next entry

4. The Flash #247 (1977) is almost worthy of the recommended listings. However, there are pages and panels that get repeated in a way that feels like padding. Also this issue is a little too reliant on exposition for scene transitions. I also think the ending panel makes Abra Kadabra seem less intelligent than usual. Thi…

NINJA-K ISSUE 11 REVIEW WITH SPOILERS

Warning Of Spoilers!

There is an interesting use of negative space. Also the panel compositions are great, particularly in terms of the color palette and positioning of characters. While the font choice allows the text to standout, but not in an intrusive way. As for the dialogue itself it is believable, and writer Christos Gage uses ellipses masterfully. Finally the Faustian pact Ninjak has made shows both a lack of character growth and how he has grown as a character.

  Very recommended as a jumping on point and for those already planning on buying it.

RECOMMENDED COMICS LIST OF 4 FLASH OF SABERTOOTH EDITION

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey #9 (1977) is a good view into Jack Kirby's opinions on what makes one human.

2. The Flash #350 (1985) has too much dialogue, but it still is a decent issue. Though I am mainly recommending it as an example of why the Rogues are awesome.

3. Weapon X (2017) has a great set-up. Also it is a high-quality issue in nearly every way.

4. 2001: A Space Odyssey #4 (1977) is recommended for those who don't believe that the Monolith is infallible. Also it is another great Jack Kirby narrative.

VALIANT HIGH COLLECTED EDITION (2018) Mini-Review

This physical collected edition is something I think high school libraries should add to their stocks. The main reason for this is the relatable nature of the work. As for why individual fans should check it out well there is good supplementary material in it. Also there is a slightly better flow to the collected edition versus just reading this story in single issue form. Overall no matter how one reads Valiant High it is a delightful read.

   Recommended!

GOLDEN HARMONY ROBOTECH EPISODE 19 OPINION PIECE

Warning Of Spoilers!

Arguably this is the most interesting episode of the Macross Saga so far. For example Max's future love interest becoming micronian is good character development. Also Captain Gloval attempting to force the issue of relocating the civilians is brilliant. There is even a nice comparison that can be made between the Blue Wind Zentraedi spies and Lisa Hayes regarding Kyles speech. Lastly I love that Claudia agrees with Rick getting Roy's position as Skull Leader.

  However, I think that though Ben's death reinforces the horrors of war it otherwise seems rather pointless. Also I believe Lynn Kyle's speech is very close to a straw man argument due to his lack of knowledge. Not to mention Lynn Kyle appears to be more of a narrow-minded jerk now. Therefore I feel there are still narrative weaknesses to this episode.

  Question! Is anyone reading this in disagreement with my view of Lynn Kyle? Cause I really do believe he is a jerk for taking over Minmei…

SOLARMAN ISSUE 1 (1989) REVIEW

The script goes from being a somewhat serious science fiction superhero story to a bad promotional for a goofy cartoon. Also the story introduces a supporting cast of characters that are all one-dimensional. While the cover by Mike Zeck is eye-catching and exciting the interiors by comparison are rather generic. (At least they are generic for 1980s Marvel comics.) Not to mention the interiors lack backgrounds in several of the later pages. As for the color palette, and lettering, they are nice but nothing spectacular.

  Not Recommended!

RECOMMENDED COMICS LIST OF 4 POCKET ODYSSEY EDITION

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey #3 (1977) is Jack Kirby doing some of great creation myth.

2. Merlin #3 (1991) is a nice interpretation of the various Merlin mythology. It has very realistic looking art.

3. Green Arrow Vol. 4 The Rise Of Star City (2017) has some great tackling of social issues while telling awesome superhero tales. Also it is a long read due to all the detail involved.

4. Green Arrow Vol. 5 Hard Travelin' Hero (2018) is a bit repetitive in places, and it has a few artistic flaws, but it is overall a great read.

CENTURIONS ISSUE 1 (1987) REVIEW WITH SPOILERS

Warning of Spoilers!

This first issue expects readers to know about the 80s cartoon and/or its toy line. Meaning there is no set-up in the actual story. Though there is some supplemental material about the series where the letter pages would be. Also the characterization and plot are very weak. For example the villain having diplomatic immunity, despite his apparently constant threats, to the world is ridiculous. Not to mention the racist term "eskimo" being used constantly by the heroes. As for the plot it is just overly convoluted.

   In terms of the art the panels go between standard and experimental shapes in a vain attempt to be engaging. There is just no suggestion of motion in the art. Finally the colors are mostly okay, but look weird during the teleporting moments.

  Not Recommended!

NOT RECOMMENDED COMICS LIST OF 4 UNCANNY FLASH VISION EDITION

1. The Flash #201 (1970) has two stories that really could have used some rewrites and edits. Also the cover and main story have some language and moments that are cringe-inducing.

2. Uncanny X-Men #1 (2016) has a rather weak set-up. Also it is rather inconsistent with the premise presented on the first page. Not to mention Greg Land's work ranges from obvious tracing to believable art. Though Psylocke's apparent lack of waist during fight scenes is just inexcusable.

3. The Vision And The Scarlet Witch #1 (1986) would have been recommended if not for a bit of racism that I believe is unintentional.

4. Superman: The Doomsday Wars Book One (1998) has three flaws. The first is that Doomsday is mostly shown in silhouette as if he is a mystery villain. Also Superman is unnaturally posed in some panels. Finally one of the plot lines is initiated in a way that should make it easy for other characters to figure out Clark is Superman.

THE FLASH ISSUE 349 (1985) REVIEW WITH SPOILERS

Warning Of Spoilers!

This script is mostly a dumping of information. However, most of the information is given in a somewhat interesting way. As for the art it is confident if a little bit questionable in terms of fashion. Also the panel layouts are a little too experimental on some pages. Yet the visuals are still easy enough to follow, and they tell the narrative in a decent way. Finally the ways the lettering and color palette are executed are relatively amazing for the time period.

  Recommended.