Comics

Comic books and graphic novels

Sun
13
Jan

Captain Marvel: Better Than All The Avengers Together

Captain Marvel #1

Captain Marvel -- Carol Danvers -- is back from outer space, just in time for the debut of her appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

No sooner does she arrive than she has to battle a groping Kraken (tentacles=symbolism), prove herself the equal of not just any Avenger but all of them, and take on misogyny personified in the form of Nuclear Man.

Heavy handed? A little bit. There's some nice dialogue, however, and it's pretty to look at in places. We're already putting bets down on how the 'shipping is going to go.

For our full review, here's the video livestream from our YouTube channel. (Be sure to subscribe and ring the bell.)

 

Fri
11
Jan

Young Justice #1 a Gorgeous, Lazy Mess

Young Justice 1

When DC rebranded it's teen sidekick group as Young Justice (as opposed to Teen Titans, which is really what the group was), it became a fan favorite. All the action of the Teen Titans comics with the mix of humor that made it something apart from that, unique to itself. Consisting primarily of Robin II (Tim Drake), Superboy (Conner Kent, the clone from Reign of the Supermen), Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark), and Impulse (Bart Allen), the group soon expanded to include many other young characters, all with distinct personalities and fan followings.

Thu
10
Jan

Blatant Extortion: Blogger Promises More Favorable Write-ups in Exchange for Payout from Ethan Van Sciver

A UK blogger may have taken social media relations a step too far today when she offered to write about comic book artist Ethan Van Sciver "more favourably in the future" in exchange for him making "reparations by donating to my bigotry box."

Going by the name "This Girl Roars," the blogger maintains a blog hosted from which she roars in anonymity (her website is registered by Identity Protection Limited in Guildford, Surrey, UK), publishing her dissertation that meanders from one media personality to another, from Paul Joseph Watson to Professor Jordan Peterson. Along the way, she makes mention of "Ethan Van Skyler" (sic) and Jeremy Griggs of Geeks + Gamers for the explosive growth of their YouTube channels, which she attributes to practiced and preached misogyny.

Sat
05
Jan

Heroes in Crisis: $%@# This

HiC 4

The mystery of who massacred literally dozens of metahumans -- some of them very high profile -- at the therapy retreat known as Sanctuary continues, without a single clue (maybe) coming to light in this fourth issue. The readers may get a clue, but it's a very slight one, and it has to do with why Harley was able to get past Booster Gold's shield when she hit him.

Other than that, what we really learn is just how $%@#'ed up our heroes are. And how much they all like to say "$%@#" in this issue. Which is understandable -- they should all be more distraught, angry... hell, they should be pissed off. But they're inhumanly restrained.

Tue
01
Jan

Wanted: Man Who Stole $100,000 in Comics in Las Vegas

Comic Book Thief

It's like a scene from COMIC BOOK VILLAINS -- but it's sadly all too real.

A collector in Las Vegas, Nevada, was robbed last night when thieves sawed into his storage unit and made off with over $100,000 in collectible comic books -- some of which had been earmarked for a charity, Critical Care Comics.

Surveillance footage captured the face of the driver as he made his getaway with the longboxes sticking out of his trunk, which must surely have him making number two in his skivvies, so let's get his face out there a little bit more, okay, and help bring justice for one of our own.

Tue
01
Jan

Voting Open for Best of 2018 Awards

2018 Award Voting

Another year has come and gone. 2018 is officially in the rear-view mirror, and we've gone hurtling into 2019 like the Sweet Meteor o' Death.

But before we get too deep into the New Year, we've reached that point where we reflect on all that happened in the previous year that was good and notable, and cast our votes as to what was the best of the best ("of the best, sir!")

So here we go again! It's time to pick the Critical Blast Best of the Year for Movies, Television, Actors, Books, and Comics -- and, of course, to pick our CRITICAL BLAST BOMBSHELL OF THE YEAR! So use the handy form below to pick from this year's nominees -- or suggest one that you think is deserving that we missed (so long as the work happened during 2018). Voting is open through the end of January, and on February 1 we'll start tabulating the results and announcing the winners!

So long, 2018! You gave us some great entertainment!

Sat
29
Dec

Conspiracy: Doppelganger Adds New Chapter to Zenescope Series

Conspiracy Doppelganger

CONSPIRACY: DOPPELGANGER is an offshoot of Zenescope's CONSPIRACY: THE ILLUMINATI. The nut of this story arc is that The Illuminati replace people with exact duplicates.

This first issue follows two plot threads. The first pertains to the reunion of two high school friends at the funeral of a third -- a funeral brought about because this former friend going off on a shooting rampage after a lifetime of being a peacenik. According to Taylor, this is because the dead man decided to listen to someone who advocated for the Second Amendment. Apparently this means he's programming people for The Illuminati, and it's enough evidence to nearly convince her friend Drew, who remains skeptical of the group's existence.

Tue
25
Dec

Dynamite's Project: Superpowers Built on What Makes Superhero Comics Great

Project Superpowers 5 2018

P:andora has arrived on Earth, and worldwide people ask two questions: Is the combined might of Project: Superpowers enough to stop him? And how the heck do you pronounce a name with a colon in it?

Rob Williams and Sergio Davila weave an action-packed and dynamically-presented superhero yarn that pulls out all the stops and includes all the things we love about the classic comic book story. Where else can you see an 80-story giant get swatted down by The Might Samson by using a skyscraper as a baseball bat? Where else can you find an American Flag with a life of its own that seeks to bind with a human host and become an entity powerful enough to stand against evil? 

Sun
23
Dec

Cyko KO Third Issue Wraps Up Current Mini

Cyko 3

Rob Feldman's miniseries, CYKO KO, from Alterna Comics, finishes its three-issue arc with the titular hero facing off against the fiendish foe who killed his father -- the Devil Spider!

CYKO KO is a hero that's part Madman, part Ambush Bug, part Freakazoid, and completely all-ages friendly. The art and coloring are done in a flattened style reminescent of 1970s comics that adapted cartoons from television like SUPER FRIENDS. This actually broadens the appeal to younger readers who will fall in love with the antics and interactions of Cyko, Peachy, and Karate Bot -- and the newly introduced interdimensional uber-fan of Cyko, Blipso Facto aka Cyko Jr, a being from a dimension where everyone has modeled their lives after the adventures of Cyko KO.

Here's more of what you need to know:

Fri
21
Dec

DC's Super Team Fights Real Nazis in Freedom Fighters 1

Freedom Fighters 1 2018

I was a huge fan of the FREEDOM FIGHTERS comics in the late 1970s. These books featured the Quality Comics characters acquired by DC -- Uncle Sam, Phantom Lady, Black Condor, Doll Man, The Ray, The Human Bomb, and The Red Bee -- and formed them into a team of heroes, banded together to fight the Nazis on Earth X, a parallel dimension where Germany won World War II and conquered the United States.

There have been various attempts to revive the team with a more modern angle to them. This newest version from Robert Venditti and Eddy Barrows, however, succeeds by sticking the closest to its roots. The book opens in 1963 with what remains of the Freedom Fighters planning an assault on a Nazi robot-making factory. However, their plans are foiled by an infiltration of Plastic Men (or PlaSStic Men, with the SS done in the Nazi SS style), and they are captured and summarily executed. Only Uncle Sam remains, barely escaping the Plasstic Men by pulling a Jedi death.

Thu
13
Dec

Mitch Breitweiser: Red Rooster and the State of the Comics Industry

Red Rooster

There's a new hero on the horizon, a mythic figure of folk legend who fights for justice for the common man--the flyover man. His name is Red Rooster, and his is a mantle that passes from generation to generation.

The Red Rooster is the creation of comic book creator Mitch Breitweiser, who, along with his wife, colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser (SKYBOUND), is driving hype for one of the most hotly anticipated crowdfunded comics to come down the pike.

We sat down to talk to Mitch about this project, and what it's like using the crowdfunding vehicle to bring a dream to reality, complete with its triumphs--as well as its surprising adversities.

Click below to listen to the Critical Blast Podblast.

Wed
12
Dec

Notable Comic Book Writer Calls Female Journalist "Caravan of Diseases"

There are all kinds of things that the comic book industry is arguing about right now, (looking at you #comicsgate) but hopefully, they can all agree that insulting women is not okay.

In today's industry, many professionals are looking to fund their own titles to show that readers just want good books; without being inundated with political opinions. There are artists who want to draw "sexy" protagonists and those who feel that style just demeans women. There are writers who want to focus on plot-driven stories and others that want to drive a political narrative. And the only wrong answers are the books that don't sell.

Sales determine who's right and who's wrong as the consumers vote with their dollars.

Tue
11
Dec

Writer of DC Vertigo's Border Town Implicated in Sexual Assault

On Monday, December 10, 2018, Cynthia Naugle took to Twitter to announce she had sent a letter to a man she claimed had sexually abused her on multiple occasions.

While Naugle never went so far as to mention the name of her abuser, she was very clear that they worked together at the same comic shop where he was a manager, and that the abuser went on to become a current writer at DC Vertigo. With that information, coupled with the fact that the evens she described occurred in Tucson, Arizona, it did not take much detective work for the Internet to work out that the mysterious “X” of Naugle’s story was Eric M. Esquivel, currently the writer of DC Vertigo’s much-discussed comic series, BORDER TOWN.

Tue
11
Dec

NCBD Pull or No Pull? December 12, 2018

Pull or No Pull Dec 12 2018

No matter how fastidious you are in maintaining your comic shop pull list in your never-ending battle to make sure you don't miss anything good (or accidentally waste your money on something not so much), it never hurts to do a last minute check on what's coming out this week so you can make those fine-tuned adjustments.

Here are our looks at this week's upcoming comics, and our hot takes on whether they're a pick or a pan. Your mileage may vary.

The Batman Who Laughs #1 (DC)

If there's one thing DC fans like, it's Batman-gone-bad. From Owlman to The Wrath to Prometheus, the idea of someone capably playing the other side is of perpetual interest. And now that Scott Snyder has brought us a Dark Multiverse Batman infected with Joker toxin, fans can't get enough.

Mon
03
Dec

Tap Dance Killer #3 Puts the Crazy Back into Comics

Tap Dance Killer 3

The Vaude-villains are a group of criminals unlike anything existing in comics. Created by a person or persons unknown in TAP DANCE KILLER #1, they were an innocent group of actors hired to play roles in a horror musical, transformed through chemical means into being psychologically traped in their roles. While on-stage, they performed the deed they were programmed to -- the elimination of members of the Vitalli mob family.

Sun
02
Dec

NCBD Pull or No Pull? December 5, 2018

No matter how fastidious you are in maintaining your comic shop pull list in your never-ending battle to make sure you don't miss anything good (or accidentally waste your money on something not so much), it never hurts to do a last minute check on what's coming out this week so you can make those fine-tuned adjustments.

Here are our looks at this week's upcoming comics, and our hot takes on whether they're a pick or a pan. Your mileage may vary.

Archie Meets Batman '66 #5 (Archie Comics)

The generation gap becomes a battleground in Riverdale, when the teenagers go up against their parents and teachers who have all been enslaved by the Siren and the rest of the Gotham City rogues. Fortunately, Batman is there to help save the day (finally).

Fri
30
Nov

Heroes in Crisis #3 Returns to the Scene of the Crime and Offers Clues

Heroes in Crisis 3

The schedule must be getting tight on the 20-page comic (remember when they were 22 pages?) HEROES IN CRISIS, because the former lead artist, Clay Mann, was only able to turn in the first page and the last page of this issue, which were basically the confidential confessional pages. Lee Weeks picks up the rest of the in-between, where Tom King's plot doesn't move the action forward from the previous issue (or even the issue before that).

That's because this issue is done entirely in flashback, to fill in the gaps and answer some of the questions about what Sanctuary was and how it operated.

Fri
30
Nov

Batman Beyond 26 Heralds Return of the Joker

Batman Beyond 26

I’ve gotta say, the Joker of the future is looking pretty spry for a (very) white guy.

The Clown Prince of Crime has been hinted to still be alive during the time of the BATMAN BEYOND comic book series, which has this reviewer questioning whether or not the animated movie BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER has any bearing on the comic book canon, which seems to be an anchor-point in actual DC Comics future history. At the end of the previous issue, he brought down a high-rise owned by Bruce Wayne, although nobody as yet knows he’s responsible. He only took credit for it when he confronted Barbara Gordon, surprising her in her office and narrowly missing her with a bullet.

Fri
30
Nov

Yule Hate Yourself for Missing Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #113

Tarot WoBR 113

My first exposure to the tradition of Krampus came through Brom's exquisite horror novel, KRAMPUS: THE YULE LORD. Since then, I've seen Krampus headline a film and appear in a few other media outlets.

The horned devil appears in this issue of TAROT, WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE, doing that thing he does: kidnapping naughty children to be taken away and whipped with a switch. But he stands opposed by Tarot, who seeks him out each year in her attempts to stop him. Unfortunately, he is more powerful than most magical-based entities she battles. Her magic doesn't affect him, but his magic -- a very unusual magic for the task he has at hand -- certainly has an impact on Tarot. (Take the plot of Milo Manara's SWITCH and instill it into a magic bell, and you'll figure it out.)

Sun
25
Nov

NCBD Pull or No Pull: November 28, 2018

Pull or No Pull November 28, 2018

No matter how fastidious you are in maintaining your comic shop pull list in your never-ending battle to make sure you don't miss anything good (or accidentally waste your money on something not so much), it never hurts to do a last minute check on what's coming out this week so you can make those fine-tuned adjustments.

Here are our looks at this week's upcoming comics, and our hot takes on whether they're a pick or a pan. Your mileage may vary.

Aquaman: The Search for Mera (Deluxe Edition) (DC)

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