Saturday, December 31, 2005
BEST #1: Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis.
DC has redefined itself this past year and become the big kahuna on the block. No longer content to play it safe, old reliable became new and improved. Identity Crisis changed the course of history by revealing a dangerous secret. Our heroes weren't the squeaky clean warriors of justice we had thought they were. They had a dirty secret that threatens to tear apart the DCU.
The reaction of the big three, and the subsequent loss of nerve therein has been staggering to watch as well. Where Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman had been the cohesive unit of trust before, there is now doubt. Wonder Woman killed to protect Superman and he can't handle it. The rub? Wonder Woman might not have had to if Batman had not put spy sattelites in place. The three are at personal war, and it is creating a chasm so deep that we don't know for sure how they will ever climb out.
My vote for the best of 2005 easily goes to DC and the revitalizing of an industry. I am excited about comic books again and eagerly await the weekly trip to the comic book shop, especially if Infinite Crisis is coming out. Thank you DC for making it fun again.
WORST: Rob Liefeld Draws Teen Titans, Scars Me For Life.
I haven't been shy about my feelings on this issue before, so I won't be now. The work done on Teen Titans 27 and 28 almost made me quit reading comics out of shame.
The usually wonderful Gail Simone tripped along with Liefeld in this endeavor. The script was not up to her usual standards, and the villains were horrendous.
The worst part of the book was the art. It was horrible from start to finish. Every panel had some exagerated image that was so out of proportion it hurt my eyes. Cyborg had the same stoned expression on his face every panel. Wonder Girl looked like Wonder Ho. It was that bad.
I haven't completely forgiven DC for this travesty yet, but Infinite Crisis is helping me to heal. Just promise me you won't do this to me again, okay?
BEST #2: Vertigo Titles Top My List.
100 Bullets. Y The Last Man. Swamp Thing. Hellblazer. Fables. Loveless. These are all names of insanely great Vertigo books that were published during 2005. I can't stress enough the high quality presentation of these books. When I want a sure thing this year, it seems Vertigo is always there to fulfill my needs.
100 Bullets tops my list of sensational Vertigo titles. I have been going back through and re-reading the title from the last year, and I am blown away. If you haven't read the book yet, grab a trade and hop on board. 100 Bullets is the best crime noir thriller I have ever witnessed, and creators Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso just keep upping the ante.
Adult readers out there: go read some Vertigo. For a great read with a focus on creative freedom, it can't be beat.
WORST: Superman/Batman Ships Late or Not At All.
Firstly, I would like to offer my sympathies to Jeph Loeb on the loss of his son Sam and make clear that my opinion here is not meant to emphasize this tragedy. From what I understand, Loeb's script has been handed in for quite some time and the hold up here is the art and production.
Superman/Batman was one of my favorite titles in 2004. Unfortunately it has been plagued by such lateness that I have lost complete interest in the title. With so many other great choices out there, this title has become obsolete to me. The only thing I can see getting me back on the bandwagon is an infusion of new blood and a tight shipping schedule. Otherwise, I can live without it. DC has trumped the formerly great title by eclipsing it with other magnificent work.
Superman/Batman fell of my radar and my pull list this year.
Friday, December 30, 2005
BEST #3: Seven Soldiers by Grant Morrison Amaze and Impress!
I will admit it upfront: I am a huge fan of Grant Morrison's writing. I still go back and read his Invisibles run and think that his JLA and New X-Men runs are benchmarks of both series. This in mind, I had no qualms in making a year long commitment to Morrison and his ambitious project "Seven Soldiers".
From the first page of Shining Knight, I have been hooked. With four issue series on said Knight, Zatanna, Klarion, and The Guardian in the can, I am more committed then ever to seeing this through to the end. Each mini has redefined the character and left clues leading up to the final bookend this Spring 2006.
Currently Morrison has The Bulleteer, Frankenstein, and Mister Miracle in play. As much as I like the first four mini's, I can see that Morrison has saved the best for last. There are more clues, and the characters are as compelling as they come.
Where Seven Soldiers fits into DC Continuity, I am not quite certain yet, but knowing that Morrison is one of the architects of the post-crisis universe is the icing on the cake.
WORST #3: Scarlet Witch Becomes Most Hated Female in the Marvel Universe.
Back in September, Scarlet Witch made my list of Most Hated Female Characters. It surprised me as much as it surprised anyone else, believe me.
For years, I have loved the Scarlet Witch. I would go so far as to say she was my favorite Avenger. Then Avengers Dissembled happened and I hated her for her weakness.
The great thing Scarlet Witch did this year was whisper "no more mutants". It will bring a new status quo to the Marvel mutants, and allow for some great story telling (hopefully). Whispering that was also the worst thing she could have done. She has irrevocably changed things she had no business to change. Her character has become extremely unlikable and she is now a villain of the highest order.
While the story itself was good, the damage has been done. I want Scarlet Witch to suffer.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Here I am, finally back today with number four on my list! Jim and I share a computer so we have to take turns. Ah, marital bliss. On to the countdown!
BEST #4: The Luna Brothers.
They caught my attention with the incredible Image mini-series Ultra. From then on they have done nothing but impress. Girls is the title of their new series and it fits, but not in the way you would suspect. Part Horror, part thriller, Girls is a fresh, compelling book that I eagerly await month after month.
To top it off, the Luna Brothers have upped the ante with a job at Marvel. They are working on Spider-Woman Origin with Brian Michael Bendis, and issue one (that just came out) is a revelation.
With a commitment to teamwork and sharing equal credit, I see a great future for Jonathan and Joshua Luna. Great talent and a friendly, agressive attitude will take them far. I am greatly looking forward to getting in line to meet them at the Emerald City Con this April 1 and 2.
WORST #4: Alias Enterprises Fails to Impress.
When I first saw Alias' entries in Previews, I was really thrilled. With Mike S. Miller as creative director, and such great solicitations, it had to be the next great thing, right?
Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. I saw the Alias booth at a Portland Con in 2004, and bought Lullaby and Lions, Tigers, and Bears. I really liked both. That is the last time I had a good Alias experience.
The first slew of comics came out late and in a big spurt so it was hectic. I thought 10th Muse was okay, but was underwhelmed by Killer Stunts, Deal with the Devil, Pakkins Land, Judo Girl, Isis, Lethal Instinct, and especially Penny & Aggie. Yes, I really bought and read them all, and because Preview is a couple of months ahead, I bought them for months after. My pocket book and my sense of disapointment both shrieked for release.
The final straw for me was the breaking of Lions, Tigers, and Bears creator Mike Bullock with Alias. If a great guy like Mike leaves, what does that say about the inner workings of the situation?
When I see Alias books at the comic book shop, I walk on by. My comic shop lady quit ordering the new stuff to boot, based on the fact that not a SINGLE customer stuck with any titles, except 10th Muse. She also ordered one copy of Lullaby II and that was for a customer. Too bad.
At any rate, I am sorely disapointed at the reality of the situation based on how excited I was initially. I wrote an e-mail to Alias, but never heard back, so I will have to rely on them maybe reading it here. You let me down and I won't forget all the money I spent easily.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
BEST #5: Ron Marz gets Witchblade back on track.
As someone who has followed Witchblade from the beginning, the comic book has been a nightmare to follow. Every time there was a creative team switch, continuity was forgotten for the new writer's vision. There were times that I would be so mad after reading an issue that I would vow never again. This time I meant it.
Then Ron Marz came on board and actually read the series before he took over. Since issue #80, Marz has taken great steps to correct continuity gaffes and has brought the book back to a place it makes sense. I never thought I would see it, but Witchblade is making sense again, and there are cool things coming up in the comic's future.
Many kudos to Marz for realizing that what the fans were craving was a sense of order amongst the chaos that is Witchblade. Since editorial couldn't keep things intact, I give Marz props for bringing things together.
WORST: Dreamwave Productions Tanks
The amount of mismanagement at Dreamwaves staggers. Not content to just lose a bit of money, Dreamwaves went into serious debt. Rumors floated like mad until a press release from the studio came out. A portion of the original letter from Pat Lee read like this:
"President of Dreamwave Productions, Pat Lee stated “there are a number of reasons for my decision to close Dreamwave”, citing that “the shrinking comic book market combined with a weak U.S. dollar and unsustainable monetary commitments has finally proven to be too financially taxing.”
As the only Canadian independent comics publisher, Dreamwave Productions has struggled in recent years to maintain its status within a relentlessly shrinking comic book market. Unfortunately, consistently diminishing sales totals over the last several years have taken their toll on the small publisher and made it impossible to continue."
The sad part of this is that a company who gets the Transformers licensing has such an opportunity, and to see it blamed on market shrinkage blows my mind. After the demise of Dreamwave early this year, it will be interesting to see if IDW does the job.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Until then, here is my list for the week.
Revelations #5 (of 6)
All Star Batman and Robin #3
Catwoman #50 (pictured at right)
JLA Classified #15
Superman Batman #23
Wonder Woman #224
Amazing Spider-Man #527
Black Panther #11
Black Widow 2 #4 (of 6)
New Avengers #14
Sentry #4 (of 8)
Ultimate Fantastic Four #26
Ultimate Spider-Man #88
Young Avengers Special #1
Cannon Hawke #4
Take care and have a safe and happy week!
BEST #6: New Captain America series by Brubaker and Epting
I always thought that bringing back Bucky would be lame. Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting proved me wrong in a big way. Full of superior scripting and eye-popping art, I clammer each month to get my hands on a copy of the newest issue. If you haven't been checking out Captain America, pick up the trade or find the back issues. It is truly some of the best writing this year.
WORST #6: Nightwing Series From DC
I want to qualify that I like Devin Grayson as a writer. When she worked on Batman: Gotham Knights, I was very impressed. Since she has taken over Nightwing, it has all changed for the worse. Dick Grayson lost his X Factor- that something special that made women love him and men want to be him. In my mind's eye, Dick was always the IT guy because he wasn't as scary as Batman but he was also very fit and had the sweetest crush on Barbara Gordon. In the past year, Dick has gotten badly hurt, his life destroyed, and has gotten in with the mob. It might have a point, but I am missing it. I want the daring boy on the flying trapeze back, dammit! What happened to his chivalry and level-head?
Devin and Dick may share a last name, but they don't seem to have the symbiotic bond I had hoped for. I don't know what changes 2006 and the "One Year Later" will bring, but it can hopefully only improve things.
Monday, December 26, 2005
BEST #7: She-Hulk by Dan Slott
There was no female character that captured my imagination this year like She-Hulk. Writer Dan Slott brings a sense of joy and excitement to a formerly second tier character. From getting kicked out of Avengers Mansion to her adventures with a new career at a specialist law firm, She-Hulk has never been more compelling. When the series took a brief hiatus after Avenges Dissembled I was angry, so it was the best present on earth when the series came back this Winter. I can hardly wait to see what happens next with Jen and her rich cast of supporting characters.
WORST: No Liberty Meadows This Year.
As I have earlier whined about in a previous blog entry, I am heartbroken that there hasn't been any new Liberty Meadows this year. Brandy, Frank, and the lively critters at Liberty Meadows always made my day. I hope to see them back in comic book form soon, but for now will have to put the lack of availability down in the worst column.
Friday, December 23, 2005
From us to you, Happy Holidays!
BEST #8: New Red Sonja Series!
When Marvel launched it's Red Sonja series back in the 1970's I was a big fan. Here was this strong, incredibly beautiful woman who made her way through the world with nothing between her but a metal bikini and a sword. It was mind-boggling to watch her overcome the sexism so easily thrown her way and defeat her detractors. To me as a young girl, Red Sonja was it.
I am thrilled to see the return of Red Sonja in comic book form. To me she and Conan fill a gap in fantasy books we have been lacking for awhile. Dynamite Entertainment has muddied the water with variant covers, but I forgive them because the quality of the story being told is A+.
WORST #8: Elektra Movie
I like Jennifer Garner. She does a fine job on Alias kicking butt. I also like Elektra and have bought any issue pertaining to her I can in the past two decades. What's the problem here?
Jennifer Garner is not exotic. She is not Greek. She is in outstanding physical shape and does an amazing job on the stunts, but she just isn't Elektra. It doesn't help that the script is so far from what we are used to seeing in comic book land that the power of the character lost it's punch.
To me the film focused more on the little girl who Elektra wanted to protect her. I also didn't buy that Elektra would fall for the girl's father. What put it over the top for me was the sheer cheesiness of the villains. The overacting was extreme and horrid.
Bottom line- while we saw a few great comic book movies this year, Elektra just didn't make the cut. If the script would have been a bit darker, and if Monica Bellucci would have put on the red outfit, we might have had something to talk about.
BEST #9: Sin City and Batman Begins.
It was nice to have some success in the box office and DVD market with quality comic book movie fare. Sin City stayed true to the original vision of Frank Miller, and while it caught flack for that, it also melted the hard hearts of fervent fanboys everywhere. I loved every minute, and of course held out for the special edition DVD set.
Batman Begins was a triumph on many levels. It brought credibility back to the Batman franchise and started up DC's quest to get in the comic book movie game again. Christian Bale and Michael Caine wowed me with truthful, classy performances. The vision and the pacing, and of course lack of Bat Nipples, brought fans back after a long dry spell of alienation.
WORST #9: Fanboy Stereotyping.
No matter what your passion is, there is always some rotten egg out to ruin it for the rest of the bunch. In this case it is the general population that cannot get past the fact that not all comic book fans are drooling, stinky, virginal idiots. My friends cannot believe I read comics because I don't match their vision of what a fan should be. "You're always clean and you have a great job," I hear. "You and Jim seem so normal" is another one.
Cynical fanboys of the world, help me out here. I am not going back in the reader closet. General population- give me a break. We're here to stay.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Without further ado, here is number 10 on my list, both best and worst.
BEST #10: Greg Rucka's new Queen & Country Novel Private Wars.
God knows how Rucka did it, but he not only helmed several comic book titles, but wrote a heart wrenching and compelling novel in Private Wars. Tara Chace is a favorite character of mine, and it feels as if Rucka inhabits her as he writes. Rucka is a diverse, talented writer who can cross genres but chooses to stay in comic book territory. Kudos to him.
WORST #10: Price Increases on Most Books.
The hike to $2.99 on most comic books is killing me. My comic bill is so high anymore, that it almost makes me physically ill. Infinite Crisis is $3.50. The Image Christmas Special was $9.99. What the hell is going on here? If publishers aren't careful, readers won't be able to afford the enjoyment of their labors anymore.
Yes, I know the price of living is going up, but there has got to be some middle ground. My non-comic book friends cringe at the price of a comic and wonder why I don't just buy a paperback novel instead. Those days may be here sooner then I want if there is another price increase like this next year.
That is it for the number 10 best and worst of 2005. Stay tuned in as I head towards the number one slot.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Pictured is the Cover for Infinity Inc. #7. Parts of the interiors and the front remind me of the new Crisis brewing. I always loved this issue, and this story line in Infinity Inc. as I feel it set the stage for Earth 2's next generation of super heroes.
It will be interesting to see if there are similarities, or aftershocks of sorts. I can't wait to read Infinite Crisis #3 and am planning to do so before the end of the day.
Have a great Comic Book Day!
Monday, December 19, 2005
This week brings lots of comics- it is almost like an early present! Here is my list.
Adventures of Superman #647
Batman Gotham Knights #72
Birds of Prey #89
Green Lantern Corps Recharge #3 (of 7)
Infinite Crisis #3 (of 7)
JSA Classified #6
Justice #3 (of 12)
Seven Soldiers Bulleteer #2 (of 4)
Top 10 Beyond the Farthest Precinct #5 (of 5)
Wraithborn #4 (of 6)
Captain America #13
Fantastic Four #533
Generation M #2 (of 5)
Punisher Vs. Bullseye #2 (of 5)
Spider-Woman Origin #1 (of 5)
Ultimate X-Men Fantastic Four Special
Wizard "crappy" goodness
That's it for today. Have a wonderful one!
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I know that Frank Cho is a seriously busy guy, with a wonderful wife, two young children and some major jobs with Marvel, but I miss being able to go to the comic book shop on a bi-monthly basis and picking up the latest adventures of Brandy, Frank, Leslie, Ralph, Truman, Dean, and Oscar. Those characters have a life of their own, and never cease to entertain. Liberty Meadows is an intriguing, fun place that I like to visit.
At last count, issue 36 was the most recent issue of Liberty Meadows. Published in early 2004, it finished Frank's news strip material and opened a new world of creativity for him. Unfortunately, Marvel also saw his great talent and signed him up for Shanna: The She-Devil, fill-in issues of Marvel Knights Spider-Man, and numerous covers. His latest project is an arc of New Avengers focusing on Spider-Woman and a new, not yet revealed, project.
I am really happy for Frank's success. Jim and I were privileged enough to meet him at the Seattle Comicard Show three years ago and spend some time with him. He is a wonderful guy who puts his family first as it should be. He has an interesting background, and is so talented it is unreal. I have nothing but respect for him.
I miss Liberty Meadows, dammit!
Jim and I were joking last night that we should start a petition to get Liberty Meadows rolling again. While this idea entices me greatly, I just can't bring myself to do that to Frank. I have to respect his creative wishes and wait until he is ready.
What I want for Christmas is Liberty Meadows. I can always dream, can't I?
Friday, December 16, 2005
While I appreciate that Randal wanted to be the sole winner, he had a great opportunity to show what a team player he could be by allowing Rebecca to come into the Trump fold. He was the WINNER already- having Rebecca on board didn't change that. What Randal did was cost Rebecca a great opportunity for her future, and in my eyes that isn't right.
My hope is that Trump hires Rebecca anyway. After the show, with the lights off, on the way to the after-party, I hope he took her aside and offered her a position in his organization.
Both Randal and Rebecca were outstanding players. I was pretty sure that Randal was going to win because of his age and experience, but was hoping for the concession at the end for Rebecca, the most level-headed 24 year old on earth. Too bad Randal couldn't see that as well.
I don't think I will bother to watch The Apprentice next season, if for no other reason then to not have to be bitterly disapointed by a final calculated maneuver. I also will never look at Randal the same way. He lost a lot of respect in my eyes by not being able to share a bit of the moment with a fellow human being.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
The first book I looked at was 100 Bullets #67. This issue focused on Dizzy, my favorite character in the title, and the aftermath of her killing of Graves. I eagerly read it, and was not disapointed. Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso are taking us on the ride of our lives.
In Infinite Crisis tie-in news, I checked out Hawkman #47 and JLA #123. I was happy to see Hawkman catching up to continuity with this issue. Hawkman is as ruthless as ever, and Hawkgirl is in the thick of things kicking major ass. Adam Strange has always been a favorite guest star of mine, so it was nice to see him as well.
Unfortunately, JLA has left me cold. Since the pre-Infinite Crisis arc done by Johns and Heinberg, any follow up would have likely flopped, and this is no exception. The team is splintering as expected, but with none of the drama or emotion I was hoping for. With the series ending in a couple of months, I will pick up the book until the end, but with a sense of disapointment.
The Marvel books I looked at first were Son of M #1 and Marvel Knights Spider-Man #21. Son of M intrigued me because I was really wanting to find out what happened to Pietro after his outrageous betrayal of his kind. After one issue, I am a bit interested, but it wasn't as much of a slam dunk as I thought it would be.
MK Spider-Man was the aftermath of the big "death" issue. I am not a fan of Pat Lee, so it was hard to deal with the issue to begin with, but sad to say, it left me cold.
That is as far as I have gotten into the books, but I am loving every minute. I finally feel good enough to sit upright for longer periods of time, and am feeling more lucid as I am down to just ibuprofen for pain support.
Take care and enjoy this week's haul!
Monday, December 12, 2005
It is going to be a good week for comics this week, especially with my good friend The Punisher's Holiday Special "Silent Night" hitting newstands this week. See the picture at right for clarification. I always like a good Punisher holiday book, and this is no exception.
Without further ado, here is my list.
Samurai Heaven & Earth #5 (of 5) FINALLY!!
100 Bullets #67
Action Comics #834
Green Arrow #57
Teen Titans #30
Wildcats Nemesis #4 (0f 9)
Noble Causes #15
Ghost Rider #4 (of 6)
Marvel Knights 4 $25
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #21
New Thunderbolts #16
New X-Men #21
Secret War #5 (of 5) - A DOUBLE FINALLY ON THIS ONE
Son of M #1 (of 6)
Ultimate Iron Man #5 (of 5)
Uncanny X-Men #467
I am still finding it a bit painful to sit and check the internet for long periods of time, so that is it for today. Take care and have a wonderful week!
Saturday, December 10, 2005
This just lets me know that I have to remember to take time to heal, and not try and come back too quickly. Jim was very supportive, and knew I was tired before I did, so he shut me down. What a guy!
In bedside reading news, I finished the Eric Luke run on Wonder Woman last night. I was surprised how focused his run was on the godwave and the impact that Diana's dieties have on her life. I think that Luke's focus has continued to the current storyline, which is a tribute of sorts to him. Of course, the Greek Gods have always played a large role in Diana's world, but to see the gods and their godwave play such a pivotal role was a jolting reminder of how he played out his tenure. The downside in his run is the character Devastation. In my mind, she was a great idea, but a lot of the things she brought to the table were attributes Wonder Woman had fought in Circe. It is interesting to note that since Luke left, Deva hasn't played any type of role. I wonder if she will pop up again or if her time is done.
I just started the Phil Jimenez run, and am on issue 166, pictured at right. Phil's art is so astounding to me, that I tend to get lost in the pretty pictures very easily. I do have to say that the "Gods Of Gotham" story to me is one of his weakest, but it did start his run off with a bang. My favorite, if memory serves, is the "Day in the Life" story with Lois Lane that is up and coming. We shall see if my memory is correct very soon.
Thank you again for the well-wishes. I am so thankful to have such a great group of people to interact with on the 'net. You are positive, intelligent, wonderful people, and I feel fortunate for the heartfeltness of your replies.
Have a wonderful Saturday evening and take care!
Friday, December 09, 2005
It has been a tough week, but the good news, is I feel better each day. Hopefully that means that soon I will be able to be more self-sufficient and not drive Jim so crazy.
Interestingly, I have been reading the entire run of the current Wonder Woman series during my recovery, and just finished the John Byrne run tonight. For the first time reading through his run in a long time, I found myself really enjoying the cohesiveness of it. Jim attributes this to the pain medication I am on, of course.
I am going to continue on into the Eric Luke run of the series and see how it resonates with me. Hopefully my "altered state" will give me new insight there as well. Otherwise, it is back to napping and generally just walking a lot and trying not to overdo lifting.
Take care and thank you again for the wonderful sentiments. It really made my day.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Today was an all day liquid diet, so it wasn't pretty. There were numerous other things that are too much information to mention, suffice to say that this takes some prep work!
Take care and happy reading! I hope to be back very soon so I can start my list of top male heroes from a female perspective.
Thank you again!
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
At any rate, we made it home alive, and started to look at a few new comics. Here are some thoughts.
The new Wonder Woman #223 was an action packed fight fest from beginning to end. The Amazons are in their most dire peril and it doesn't look to end anytime soon or end well. I loved it and give it a "high five".
I also looked at New Avengers #13 and found out who Ronin is. I am not surprised at all, as the identity fits Bendis' M.O. of keeping it in the family so to speak. I also enjoyed the interaction between Spider-Woman and Captain America. It should make for great story telling down the road.
I looked at Adventures of Superman #646 and found another major spoiler- the identity of Ruin! What a week for reveals, huh? What did you all think about the character behind it?
I haven't had much of a chance to glance at anything else but am hell-bent to do so tonight. With my surgery being Friday a.m. I am running short on time.
For those that asked, I will go ahead and just spill it- I am having an abdominal hysterectomy. Fun, huh? Hopefully it will go well, and I will be back soon enough. It is hard to believe that I am still young but having this procedure, but those are the breaks!
Take care and have a wonderful new comics day!
Monday, November 28, 2005
Revelations #4 (of 6)
Adventures of Superman #646
JLA Classified #14
Legion of Super Heroes #12
Wonder Woman #223
Black Panther #10
Generation M #1 (see pic at right)
Sentry #3 (of 6)
Ultimate Fantastic Four #25
Cannon Hawke #3
Take care and have a great week!
Friday, November 18, 2005
Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving! Jim and my thoughts are with you!
In current issues of Batgirl, Cassandra is on a search to learn the identity of her mother. Lady Shiva and Nyssa Al Ghul are two suspects, and as we get closer to finding out that identity, Cassandra is going through a journey of sorts. She is methodically working through issues in her life, and has found the den of the League of Assasins. Because of her extraordinary fighting skills, she can hold her own in any situation. In that respect, she rivals Batman and the other great fighters of the DCU.
As part of the Bat family, Cassandra's role is that of a surrogate sister. She and Tim Drake, the current Robin, don't agree on much, but there is a mutual respect. Cassandra is one of the few to have Batman's full consent and approval in what she does, and their relationship is at times like that of a father and daughter. I really enjoy her relationship with Barbara Gordon, the first Batgirl. They have a bond that not many people achieve because of a mutual quest for justice, and a "been there" attitude. Though Barbara and Cassandra have had their differences, they will always like each other.
If you have avoided Batgirl out of respect to Barbara Gordon, don't worry about it anymore. Cassandra has her full approval, and she brings a great new energy to the Bat titles. I have really enjoyed her series, and am looking forward to growing with her as a character. Of course, if Crisis screws things up, I spoke too soon, but I am hoping for a relatively pain free ride there.
For her fighting spirit and her incredible skills, Batgirl is number one on my list of up and coming females.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Stuck in the Weapon X facility, and forced to go on suicidal killing missions, X-23 really didn't have a childhood. She is relatively devoid of a conscience so far, and is as lethal as Wolverine in all respects but his experience level. Her instincts are incredible, and her personality is an enigma. There is so much left as a mystery to the X-23 character, that one can't help but be fascinated.
X-23 is evidently going to be a member of the New X-Men team. From issue 20 of that series, it seems that there is a surprise in store for readers with regard to X-23. She has been putting on an act of sorts to throw her fellow mutants of her trail but evidently Wolverine is wise to her. I can't wait to see where this story line goes.
I love the potential in X-23. She can go a whole different direction then Wolverine in the fact that she is aware of her origins. She is a stone cold killer, and it seems to me that she has unfinished business. For that alone, X-23 is number two on my list of up and coming females.
With Dynamite Entertainment's revival of Red Sonja, new readers are getting an opportunity to give the sword wielding she-devil a try. So far, the series has been late, which has caused some problems, but the overall content has been pretty good. Mel Rubi's art concentrates on the ferocity underneath the hot bod. Her intentions seem slightly noble, but her solitary ways are well in place.
Biggest complaint: multiple variant covers that are irritating because of the transparent marketing gimmick. Look, it's a hot chick on the cover- let's buy one of each! Argh!! I hate that.
Otherwise, I am happy to see Red Sonja back in the present. I first encountered her back in the 1970's as part of "The Superhero Women" trade paperback by Marvel. From that moment on, Red Sonja was cool to me. I even kind of liked the Brigitte Nielson movie, for God's sake.
Red Sonja rates on my list of up and comers for being back and as bad-ass as ever. She may be all bad girl on the outside, but she is sheer survivor on the inside. You gotta like that- she's a crowd pleaser.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Magdelena first showed up in The Darkness to fight Jackie Estracado and rid him and the planet of his existence. Back then, it was a different woman in the outfit then in the current books she is being seen in. The first Magdelena that was seen was roundly defeated by The Darkness, and unfortunately, killed by Vampires.
Our new Magdelena is a young girl named Patience. Coming from the closely held genetics that make the Magdelena a truth revealer, Patience is rebelling against the church at this time. She doesn't follow blindly, but chooses her own cases, guided by a priest who is also a friend.
Magdelena is a character with incredible potential. I would love to see a series of minis that highlight the history of the character through out the ages, and her role in historic events. I am not real thrilled about her whore/nun outfit, but like the concept of this heroine and her genetic background.
For potential and a sense of the otherworldy, I vote Magdelena as #4 on my list of up and coming females.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Imagine having a character that is raised believing she is a normal girl, only to find that she is the product of two rival underwater races. Throw in the fact that she has unlimited power but isn't sure of how to harness it. Aspen has a college degree in marine biology and studies, so she is a intelligent lady with an academic background to boot.
All the potential is there in Aspen. She has a great back story and incredible depth to explore. I am waiting to see where her current series takes her. It is nice in a way that someone other then "superstar" artist and creator Michael Turner is drawing her so that the focus can be put on the tale being told rather then hyping the art. No offense to Turner, but there is always so much focus put on the character's appearance that sometimes the tale being told doesn't mesh because it isn't the priority. Aspen is a character whose story deserves top billing.
Her first adventures were published by Top Cow. The series lasted around 14 issues and then Turner took his creation and started his own company. Her adventures there have totaled three issues so far, and I am anxiously awaiting the fourth as things are really getting interesting.
If you haven't gotten past the art or the sexy appearance of Aspen, now is your chance to reevaluate the character on her back story. Take the time and see if you come up with a new appreciation.
Aspen deserves a spot on my list for future payoff. I am crossing my fingers that her company thinks so too. After all, she is their namesake.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Zephyr is one of a high profiled, super powered family. Her father is a genius inventor and her mother has elemental powers. Her brother Rusty was critically injured and maintains a robotic body, while his ex-wife Celeste fooled around with bad half brother Frost. Celeste is currently in a woman to woman relationship that is still top secret and could cause problems down the road. The only seemingly normal sibling is Race, who married a "regular" wife, Liz Donnelly.
Noble Causes is a fun, gossipy comic book. It recalls the old school soap operas, like Dynasty and Dallas. Creator Jay Faerber is at the top of his game on this book, as you can tell he loves the characters.
I have to vote for Zephyr as #6 on my list for no other reason then her sheer potential. She is turning from a cookie cutter shrew into a three dimensional character with feelings and a sense of maturity. Two thumbs up!
Here we go!
All Star Superman #1
Birds of Prey #88
Green Arrow #56
Top Ten Beyond The Farthest Precinct #4 (of 5)
Wonder Woman Mini Statue!!
PVP #20- check out #9 up and coming female Jade Fontaine!!
Fantastic Four #532
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #20
Mutopia #5 (of 5)
X-Men #177- the carnage from House of M continues!
Take care all! I will try and keep up my list of females and not get behind as well!
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Atom Eve is one of those female characters who resonates right away. Eve is a down to earth girl who welcomes Mark as Invincible when he makes his heroic debut. When he finds that she attends his school, they further build an actual freaking friendship. Since both have other romantic interests, the readers get to know Eve as the uneasy heroine who is so spectacular, but so ill at ease in her own skin. When her boyfriend cheats on her, our hearts break right there with her.
I know that Invincible is in the middle of another series changing story arc, so it may be awhile before Kirkman gets back to Eve, but my hope is that he does. Atom Eve is a great character who has been sorely underused as of late. I would even push so far as to see a mini-series for this great female.
Atom Eve is a character with oodles of potential. Let's hope that we can learn more about her then the brief origin story that was told in issue #25.
You heard it hear loudly and proudly: Bring back Atom Eve!!
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Powers is an interesting comic book. In it's origins is the fact that there are several heroes who are immortal and have lived throughout the ages. Some have retained their memories throughout time, and others have had their memories fade as time goes by. Christian is one such individual. He can remember his life for a couple of normal lifetimes, but can remember no further back.
With Calista, she was a normal 9 year old who has grown into a 14 year old with powers like those of Retro Girl. Because super heroes are not allowed in current society, she faces a challenge like no other. Her instincts are good, but her maturity is not up to par with where Christian wants it to be. She also has foggy memories of how to use her gifts, but not a specific cue. For cute little smart ass Calista, life has become very confusing. She is being as courageous as possible and trying to be the best hero she can be.
I would like to see creator Brian Michael Bendis put the spotlight on Calista in an upcoming story arc in Powers. I think there is a great deal of untapped potential that could take her very far and make her as popular a character as Christian or Detective Deena Pilgrim. It does remain to be seen.
Unfortunately, my scanner is on the fritz and I couldn't find a good picture of Calista as Retro Girl on the internet. If you get a chance, take a look at issues 1, 2, or 3 of Volume two of Powers that is being published by Marvel and you will see what I mean.
Calista definitely gets my vote as an up and comer simply for the potential she has to be such a great character.
The female staffer amongst a group of males, Jade is a writer for PVP, a gaming magazine. She is the ultimate girl geek, hopelessly hot but into gaming as much as any hardcore guy. Dubiously, she dates Brent Sienna, one of her fellow employees.
Creator Scott Kurtz brings a great sense of humor amongst realistic situations. His portrayal of Jade is both flattering and true. I especially like that Jade's reactions mirror mine many times. She is given a persona that female readers can relate to and empathise with.
I see great things ahead for Jade. She is one of the female characters to watch. If you haven't checked out PVP yet, give it a look. Amongst the RPG's and newest video game releases there is a sense of humanity. Kurtz has nailed it, and his way with the readers only serves to enhance my opinion of the book.
Jade definitely is a character to watch.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Robyn has the dubious honor of being a friend and former partner to Smax, the department's grouch. Robyn accompanied Smax to his home planet and discovered the truth behind his oddness and distant behavior in the "Smax" Mini-seres. Robyn also gained experience and confidence in herself during this time.
Robyn has gotten to know her fellow team members and doesn't seem to carry any beefs. She is professional and mature beyond her years. In the first Top Ten maxi-series, Robyn proved her prowess with her army of toys and common sense approach to the strangest of events. Of all the characters in the Top Ten world, Robyn stands out and brings a common thread to the reader because of her inherent normalcy. She also deals with her father's alzheimers, and cares for him when she gets home at night.
In the current Top Ten mini-series "Beyond the Farthest Precinct", Robyn has a boyfriend that we don't know much about, and she isn't partnered with Smax anymore. Robyn also brought her father to the Top Ten picnic, and seems more comfortable with his illness. What the rest of the mini stands to bring to the Toybox character, I can only guess, but can hardly wait to find out.
If you had been curious about Top Ten but hadn't picked it up, grab the trade if you have a chance. Alan Moore and original artist Gene Ha bring a vivid picture of the fantastic, mixing the mundane with the extraordinary. Toybox is a great character, and I hope that the current creative team maintains her "every woman" essence while continuing her growth.
For her grace under pressure and outstanding sense of edgy fashion, Robyn Slinger is my #10 Up and Comer!
Thursday, November 10, 2005
As someone who has done reviews for a “comic book review site”, I do realize that there is a difference between composition and free flow. When I have prepared my reviews for the review site, I have gone more in depth and made sure to comment on the book’s creators. Here at my blog I sometimes do prior composition on Word, but other times I just want to point out a cool book. I hope I am not judged on my wording and superior grasp of the English language. I always just assumed that as fellow comic bloggers we are trying to give a heads up, not impress the crap out of each other with our grammar.
Enough of that rant. What are your thoughts?
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
On a personal note, today is the first anniversary of Jim's blog, The Comic Asylum, so if you get a chance, go over and check it out!
Not as much bad news today, as the biggest event was my assistant resigning. I am sad about this because it makes me stressed about who will handle my work during my surgery, but there isn't much I can do but role with the punches!
Take care and have a great evening! I am going to sit in front of the television tonight and rot my brain watching "The Biggest Loser", "My Name is Earl", and "The Office". It won't solve my problems, but it will give me some escape!
I really do promise I am trying to get back on track and do my up and coming female character list before the week is out!
Monday, November 07, 2005
The positive is that there are new comics coming out this week. Here is a sampling of what I am planning to pick up.
100 Bullets #66
Gotham Central #37
Hawkman #46 (pictured at right)
Infinite Crisis #2 (of 7)
Teen Titans #29
Y The Last Man #39
Fantastic Four Wedding Special
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #2
Ghost Rider #3 (of 6)
Marvel Knights 4 #24
New Excalbur #1
Taking a hit this week due to financial constraints is:
Action Comics #833
Cable Deadpool #22
Incredible Hulk #88
New Thunderbolts #15
That's the breaks!!
Have a great week!! Take care!
Thursday, November 03, 2005
If you haven't been following Morrison's epic event, don't worry about trying to catch up. Bulleteer stands on it's own, as Morrison and DC promised at the beginning of this project.
Personally, I have bought and read each issue of the Seven Soldiers saga with mixed emotions. My favorite has been the Shining Knight mini-series, while Guardian left me a bit cold. Klarion The Witch Boy just ended, and I loved Morrison's take on him. Disapointingly, the Zatanna mini is running seriously late, so it has lost a great deal of luster in my eyes.
At any rate, if you have a spare $2.99, go out and grab a copy of Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #1. It is definitely the book of the week for me.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
In the Meeley house reality, so many things have happened in the last two weeks that it feels like we are living out a movie. Twists and turns galore, I want my boring existence back!!
Thank you for all the great comments, by the way. I have been piss poor at responding for reasons beyond my control, but am trying to claw my way back as we speak.
Take care and have a lovely evening!
Monday, October 31, 2005
Desolation Jones #4
Jonah Hex #1 (pictured at right)
Swamp Thing #21
House of M #8 (of 8)
Ultimate Spider-Man #85
Thank God it's a light one! Have a great week!
Sunday, October 30, 2005
If you get a chance, go take a look.
Also, Jim and I went and got a costume for me today. We caved, and I am now the great and powerful Oz. Too funny.
Take care and have a wonderful Halloween!
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Pretty much all the swag I picked up was older stuff, befitting my age. Hee hee! Here is a rundown!
Adventure Comics #420 (starring Super Girl): I love the old school Super Girl comics. The resurgence of interest in her character has sparked my interest as well. I have most of her series issues, so it is fun to pick up her issues in the Adventure run. Kara Danvers was one of a kind, and still hasn't been fully duplicated in the later incarnations.
Detective Comics #399, 481, 482, 485, 486, 487, 489, 490, 491, 492, 493, and 494: Whew! What list, huh? With the exceptio of issue 399, all these issues are Batman Family style, which absolutely rules. If you have never checked out the series during this period, give it a gander. It is one of the best periods of Batgirl lore in my humble opinion, and the Dick Grayson stories are a joy.
Justice League of America Volume 1 #52 and 54: In my search to fill in my JLA issues, I have from issue 84 on up, and half of the issues before that. My ultimate goal is to get the entire run, even though I know it is spendy. I always go for "reader" copies when in doubt. I love the older JLA issues. They molded a lot of my expectations of comic books today, and that means a great deal to me.
Shanna The She Devil #1: This is the bronze age version, not the naughty Frank Cho rendering. I wanted to check out Shanna's roots and wasn't disapointed. It is a whole different point of view, and she is definitely savage back in the day.
I am thrilled with the books I picked up at the con, and am looking forward to having a chance to take my time reading them.
I still have no clue what to dress up as for Monday. My co-workers are going for a Wizard of Oz theme, but my choice is The Wizard or Cowardly Lion, and neither excite me. Maybe I will just go in my pajamas. No clue here.
Bad news- I found out I have to have major surgery on December 2. I am in a funk, so humor me please. In the meantime, I will endeavor to get through my list of up and coming female characters starting tomorrow.
Jim and I are going to see a movie of some sort tonight. Not sure which one, but it will beat sitting around the house being depressed, so I am on it!! We have narrowed it down to Zorro or Weather Man. While neither really inspires, it is better then nothing.
Hopefully things are going well for you! Have a wonderful weekend! I will be back with some thoughts on this week's comics and my last female list.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Back in 2003, I was a amalgam of my favorite super heroines. In 2004, I was She-Hulk. How can I top that?
I am open to suggestions as long as they are constructive. Saying "Hey go as a whale, Fat Ass" doesn't cut it.
Have a great evening! Happy comic book reading!
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Thank you to Mr. Hahn for such a wonderful rendering! I put it with my other sketches of DC Heroines.
Check out David Hahn's website at:
Monday, October 24, 2005
Revelations #3 (of 6)
Adventures of Superman #645
Jack Cross #3
JLA Classified #13
JSA Classified #4
Legion of Super Heroes #11
Wonder Woman #222
Wraithborn #2 (of 6)
Age of Bronze #21
Noble Causes #14
Amazing Spider-Man #525
Black Panther #9
Black Widow 2 #2 (of 6)
Captain America #11
Defenders #4 (of 5)
Hulk Destruction #4 (of 5)
New Avengers #12
New Thunderbolts #14
New X-Men #19
Sentry #2 (of 8)
Ultimate Secret #4 (of 4)
Young Avengers #8
Strangers in Paradise #77 (pictured)
One comic book I will NOT be picking up is Teen Titans #28. It is part two of the story done by Gail Simone and Rob Liefeld. Not only is it a month late, but the first part was sheer crap. I don't care how part two goes, I refuse to spend my money on garbage.
Otherwise, the week looks promising. I hope to have more information on the Seattle Show and get back to my final list of female characters.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Jim and I were in line by 9 a.m., so consequently we were at the front. We had a great conversation with a couple of other people in line while waiting for 10 a.m. to come around. There was no pushing or rushing in at the door, so the day was off to a pleasant start.
We wandered over to the creator's area right off the bat to get comics signed and possible sketched. We hit up Matthew Clark first, and Jim bought a page of his Adventures of Superman art. Matt is a nice guy, and was willing to chat with us for a few minutes. He is presently drawing Outsiders, and his tenure has been extended to a year and a half. He just finished issue 31 in two and a half weeks, and is jumping into character designs for the "Jump ahead" period of the title during Infinite Crisis. We are really excited for Matt and wish him all the success in the world.
Next stop was Matt's partners in Mercury Studios Paul Guinan and David Hahn. What nice guys! I bought a trade paperback from Paul that I will hopefully review soon. It is called "Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate" and was written by his wife Anina Bennett. Paul drew a sketch for Jim that I am sure he will be posting over at his site soon.
Lucky for me, David Hahn did a sketch of Mera for me. I will hopefully post it later this week. I also bought a trade paperback entitled "Private Beach" that I hope to review here as well. Many thanks to both David and Paul for their great kindness.
We had quite the shopping day. I bought several old school Detective Comics, and a few others. I will run through that list this week. I didn't spend all my money, but I was able to find some wonderful deals at our friends Randy and John's table. Talk about nice guys- Randy and John are the best.
I wasn't feeling great- the old fibroids were acting up, and Randy let me sit in a chair in his booth. A really big thanks to him for that. I can't express how much that helped me, as I was really hurting.
Jim and I ran into Jim Demonakos, Image's marketing guy, and one of the organizers of the Emerald City Comicon. He has a great sense of humor, and works his ass off. He is pictured at right talking to David Hahn.
Okay, I think I am done name dropping now. I hate myself for that, but the damage is done. As long as I am being a total blow hard, let me say how much Jim and I like Randy Emberlin. He and his wife are the nicest people around, and he always treats Jim and I with great kindness. If you get a chance, check out his work on the new Mr. T. mini series. His website is Randyemberlin.com.
Jim and I hope to have exciting news for you in the near future. We are making plans to have a fantastic 2006, and have made a big play for April to have a bit of a coming out party. More details to come.
Thank you to Steve Miner and all the wonderful people who make the Seattle Comicard Show such a fun experience for Jim and I every time. We appreciated it and look forward to it.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Hey there! Happy Friday! If you get a chance, wander over to Kung Fu Rodeo (old schoolers know it as 4 Color Review) and take a look at the review I did on She-Hulk Volume 2 #1. I had a lot of fun with it, and hope you enjoy it as well!
Take care! Have a great weekend!
Come take a gander! Jim and I will be wandering around checking out the deals and pestering artists for sketches. It will be a fun time! See you there!
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
If you get a chance, check out Jim's blog. Current topics include his "cover of the week", a Frank Cho news story, and a couple of great opinion pieces on drama and the end of the Rampage. Jim's blog has a different tone then mine, and he isn't afraid to tackle the tough issues. I love to go to his blog and see what he is up to, and it isn't just because I sleep next to him at night.
If you get a chance, click the link and go visit The Comic Asylum. It is a lot of fun, and thought provoking to boot. I am proud of my hubby's work, and think it only right to share the word.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
There will also be some great creators there as well. They are as follows:
Ben Hansen- artist: Dark Powers
Chad Du Lac- artist: The Gifted
David Hahn- creator/artist/writer: Private Beach
John Lustig- creator: Last Kiss, writer: Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge
Liriel McMahon- creator/writer/artist: Bad Blood
Matthew Clark- artist: Outsiders, Teen Titans, Adventures of Superman, Wonder Woman
Paul Guinan- co-creator/artist: Chronos, Heartbreakers, Boiler Plate
Randy Emberlin- artist/inker: Amazing Spider-man, Ghost, The Man with the Screaming Brain, Mr. T
Tiana Tampico- artist: pix
Committed Comics, Mocktales, QEW Publishing, and Rorshach Entertainment will all have tables as well. If you have a chance, come and check out their wares!
If you are going to be in the Seattle area on Sunday, make an appearance. Admission is just $4 or $3 with a can of food. It is worth every penny plus some!!
Monday, October 17, 2005
Astro City The Dark Age #4 (of 16)
Authority Revolution #12 (of 12)
Batman Gotham Knights #70
Birds of Prey #87
Captain Atom Armageddon #1 (of 9) - see pic at right for cover
Green Lantern Recharge #2 (of 6)
Justice #2 (of 12)
Top Ten Beyond The Farthest Precinct #3 (of 5)
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #19
She-Hulk 2 #1 - YAY!!!
Ultimate Fantastic Four #24
Ultimate Spider-Man #84
It should be a good week for comics, and for fun as the Seattle Comicard Show is this Sunday. I hope to see you there!
Have a great week!
Sunday, October 16, 2005
I have been feeling yucky, so I have took a few days off from blogging. Hopefully, I should be back up to speed tomorrow.
In the meantime, if I might direct your attention to the link at the right titled "Seattle Comicard". There will be a Seattle Comicon next Sunday, October 23. Jim and I will be there, and we hope to see you as well!