Comics

Comic books and graphic novels

Tue
21
Aug

The Longbox Short-List - Week of August 22, 2018

Welcome back to Critical Blast’s long-running weekly look at what new comics you should check out each week.   Just a warning, I make these picks pretty much a week BEFORE I actually get to read any of these comics, so if something is a stinker, I take no blame on that.  Let's get to it!

Comics shipping this week


Sorry for the brief column this week, but I am just getting back from vacation and dealing with a severe injury. Hopefully will be back to normal next week,

Fri
10
Aug

The World's Greatest Comic Magazine Relaunches. In a Word: Fantastic!

Fantastic Four 1 2018

I'll be honest with you, dear readers. I don't read that much Marvel. I love the characters, I've seen all the movies (even the Nicholas Hammond Spider-man films and the Roger Corman Fantastic Four!), I know the origins -- and I used to read a lot more of them, back in the 70s and 80s. But these days, reading the Marvel line seems less like an escape and more like a chore, what with all the Spider-men, X-People, and Avenger teams, all coming from different universes and timelines.

But a number one issue relaunch of a book we haven't seen for a little while, that's enough of an event to convince me to take a peek under the covers and see what's what. Which is how I ended up with one of the many variant covers of FANTASTIC FOUR #1 by Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli.

In a word? It's fantastic!

Thu
09
Aug

Suicide Squad Sent to Sink Sea King's Sovereign State

Suicide Squad 45

SUICIDE SQUAD #45 kicks off the adventure that will cross over with AQUAMAN. Following the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, there's been a little bit of fallout, the most globally noticeable being the arrival of a new continent in the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and Europe: from the murky depths of the sea, Atlantis has risen once more, triggered by a thought from Aquaman and creating unrest all across the world. 

And when there's unrest, there's bound to be a small-minded musclehead with a modicum of power who knows better than the rest of us and decides to "fix" things. In this case, it's Admiral Meddinghouse, who sees the arrival of the new continent -- an arrival that triggered tidal waves off the eastern seaboard -- as nothing less than an act of war. So he calls in his chips with Amanda Waller to have Task Force X sent in via submarine to meet up with an Atlantean contingent who also feel that the fabled city should remain under the sea.

Wed
08
Aug

Chandra Nalaar Headlines New Magic: The Gathering Comic Book

It's been 25 years since Magic: The Gathering was introduced and it's been 4 years since the last comic book based on the IP hit the stands. Now, Wizards of the Coast is teaming with IDW to bring Planeswalker, Chandra Nalaar to the forefront.

The new series is touted as introducing "an all-new approach to storytelling". The series will be written by Vita Ayala (Supergirl, The Wilds) with interior art by Harvey Tolibao (X-Men, Green Arrow).

Tue
07
Aug

The Longbox Short-List - Week of August 8, 2018

Welcome back to Critical Blast’s long-running weekly look at what new comics you should check out each week.   Just a warning, I make these picks pretty much a week BEFORE I actually get to read any of these comics, so if something is a stinker, I take no blame on that.  Let's get to it!

Comics shipping this week


Some really big returning series this week!

Fri
03
Aug

Wonderland's Revenge Takes Shape with Second Issue from Zenescope

Revenge of Wonderland 2

When we reunited with Calie Liddle and her daughter, Violet, in REVENGE OF WONDERLAND #1, Raven Gregory had only gotten around to teasing about the new threat coming from the realm of madness. With this second issue, the throttle goes full bore, as The Duchess makes her appearance and adds yet another human to her growing group of faceless slaves, The Clubs.

Calie has been self-medicating to keep the madness at bay, denying that it could ever return, leaving Violet to be on guard for any incursions from the ruins of Wonderland, keeping watch for news stories of mysterious disappearances or weird sightings. When she comes across the story about the daycare incident from the first issue, she goes to investigate and sees things only visible to her eyes, clear indications that Wonderland has made its move and claimed more victims.

Thu
02
Aug

Death of Superman Surprisingly Fresh, Emotionally Deep

Death of Superman

When I first heard that the next DC Universe animated movie was going to be THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN, I was not thrilled. I was already feeling a downward trend in the storytelling as the animated films tried to form a more cohesive universe, and the stand-alones like BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT weren't all that super of late, either. Seeing this story retold, so soon after having it already retold on the big screen in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, was underscored by the fact that the story was also the very first DCU animated film, under the name SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY.

To say the least, my expectations were low.

Thu
02
Aug

The Longbox Short-List - Week of August 1, 2018

Welcome back to Critical Blast’s long-running weekly look at what new comics you should check out each week.   Just a warning, I make these picks pretty much a week BEFORE I actually get to read any of these comics, so if something is a stinker, I take no blame on that.  Let's get to it!

Mon
30
Jul

Post Infinity War: Does Stan Lee Hold the Key to the Post-Fox Merger MCU?

Stan Lee's role in MCU

First and foremost: If you haven't seen AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and/or ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, you're probably not even reading this article, so the whole "Spoiler Warning" thing should be a moot point. However, on the microscopic chance that you've just stepped in from Taured and are thus unaware of these MCU events, we'll say it anyway: We're going to talk as though we've all been to the films here. So there, you've been warned.

Mon
30
Jul

Hero Tomorrow's Tap Dance Killer Injects Comics with Fresh Ideas

Tap Dance Killer 1

I was heavy into comics when Vertigo cut its teeth, bringing to comics weirdness for weirdness' sake. It was fun at first, but after a while many of the titles got to where I simply needed to be on the same drugs as the writer to get the context and narrative, and I wasn't willing to go that far.

TAP DANCE KILLER, however, brings a weirdness of a different kind. With a Troma-style plotline and an outrageous cast of characters, TAP DANCE KILLER manages to bring the readers a weirdness that doesn't lose them, posing a series of unanswered questions that don't require immediate answers to understand what's going on.

Thu
26
Jul

Deconstructing the Doomsday Clock #6

Doomsday Clock 6

There are a lot of dominoes toppling in DOOMSDAY CLOCK #6 -- small ones, but ones that are sure to cascade forward and have a greater impact further into the series.

With TRULY LAUGH, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank delve into the backstory of our dollfaced duo, Marionette and Mime, taking us back once more into that horrid world of The Watchmen where nearly every one is cruel and innocence is lost early in life. Through these flashbacks, we meet Erika as a young girl, and the mute Marcos whose family opens the glassware store across the street from her father's puppet shop. Erika's father is beholden to the police, who use his store as a front for dropping off and picking up payoffs, while Marcos' mother defends him against his step-father. As events cosnpire together, Johns paints a truly sympathetic origin story for this pair.

Tue
24
Jul

The Longbox Short-List - Week of July 25, 2018

Welcome back to Critical Blast’s long-running weekly look at what new comics you should check out each week.   Just a warning, I make these picks pretty much a week BEFORE I actually get to read any of these comics, so if something is a stinker, I take no blame on that.  Let's get to it!

Comics shipping this week


Quite a few new series coming out this week.

Thu
19
Jul

Holy Teen Hijinks! Archie Meets Batman '66

Archie Meets Batman '66 #1

It's a lovely summer day in Gotham City, as citizens throng the World's Science Fair, eager to see the technology of tomorrow!

But wait!

What's this?!?

Poison Ivy -- airborne aboard a flying snapdragon?

It's a good thing the Caped Crusaders are on hand to put an end to this botany gone bad! But the perfidious plant plunderer was merely a cover for another of Gotham's most dastardly villains to commit a crime, as that larcenous librarian, the Bookworm, uses the distraction to steal the world's first electronic book, capable of storing over twenty different books in their entirety! As Batman, Robin, and Batgirl wrap up the sultry siren of shrubbery, he makes his getaway, but he won't be free for long. Because crime doesn't pay in Gotham City.

Thu
19
Jul

DC announces details for DC Universe online platform

Titans

DC has opened up a website for their DC Universe web platform for pre-orders!  It doesn't actually launch until the fall, but if you subscribe now, you will get an additional three months free when it launches.  The pricing they announced is $7.99 a month of $74.99 for a year.  DC Universe works on desktop and all your iOS and Android devices. It’s also compatible with Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Google Chromecast.  No mention of Roku at the moment.

So what do you get for your $75?  Looks like quite a bit...

 

Tue
17
Jul

The Longbox Short-List - Week of July 18, 2018

Welcome back to Critical Blast’s long-running weekly look at what new comics you should check out each week.   Just a warning, I make these picks pretty much a week BEFORE I actually get to read any of these comics, so if something is a stinker, I take no blame on that.  Let's get to it!

Tue
10
Jul

The Longbox Short-List - Week of July 11, 2018

Welcome back to Critical Blast’s long-running weekly look at what new comics you should check out each week.   Just a warning, I make these picks pretty much a week BEFORE I actually get to read any of these comics, so if something is a stinker, I take no blame on that.  Let's get to it!

Comics shipping this week


Quite a few series getting relaunched this week...

Thu
05
Jul

Zenescope's Wonderland Returns with a Vengeance

Revenge of Wonderland 1

WONDERLAND rears its ugly head once more in the Grimm Fairy Tales universe, with Raven Gregory at the helm of the crazy train.

A new madness is coming, and it begins in the form of Mr. Monarch -- a.k.a. Caterpillar. I don't know what evil he's about just yet, but I know it's vile because he begins his plans at a day care center.

That's the first of many hooks that are being set in this first issue, that finds Calie Liddle and her daughter, Violet, estranged from each other. Calie is doing the book tour thing as a famous fiction author, retelling her Wonderland story as a work of the imagination rather than a horrifying reality, and Violet is purposefully ignoring all her calls.

Tue
03
Jul

The Switch: Electricia a Kick-Ass Kickstarter Graphic Novel

The Switch: Electricia

From the pen of Keith Champagne and the pencils of Tom Nguyen comes THE SWITCH: ELECTRICIA, a superheroes and supervillains saga in the tradition of KICK-ASS and THE AUTHORITY and made possible through the use of Kickstarter.

Electricia is a bad girl. Very bad. She controls electricity and uses it to commit crimes with her fellow criminals, collectively known as Murderer's Row. They have a satellite and everything, and an array of powers that dwarf Electricia's own. Like their leader, Lover Boy -- a mullet sporting tub who controls you with his voice, Dr. Hate -- an evil genius trapped in the body of a purple cat, Interstellar -- a boy possessed by an alien space god, and... Vladimir Putin? Yes!

Tue
03
Jul

The Longbox Short-List - Week of July 4, 2018

Welcome back to Critical Blast’s long-running weekly look at what new comics you should check out each week.   Just a warning, I make these picks pretty much a week BEFORE I actually get to read any of these comics, so if something is a stinker, I take no blame on that.  Let's get to it!

Fri
29
Jun

Grimm Fairy Tales 2018 Cosplay Special

GFT 2018 Cosplay Edition

Ah, the comic art pin-up. What once used to be a one or two page bit in KATY KEENE grew into full-blown books in the 1990s from Image and Marvel when they turned pen and ink to ride the popularity of the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT issues.

Zenescope is continuing that tradition, but with a fan twist. Instead of a swimsuit issue, their pin-ups are dedicated to cosplay. It's something that's become a bit of a trend. And to make sure you're not just plunking down coin for a collection of art pages, Zenescope includes a short story to serve as the lead-in, with Skye Mathers costume shopping and then  having to take out a demon while wearing a LEGEND OF ZELDA costume. (Spoiler alert: Shang prefers Poison Ivy to Harley Quinn!)

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