Comics

Comic books and graphic novels

Wed
31
Jan

Take a Sneak Peek at Art from Action Comics #1000

Action Comics #1000 will be the biggest single comic book to hit stands since Superman #75 (Death of Superman).

As information is slowly revealed to build up hype for the highly anticipated book, writer Tom King revealed a page of art from the issue.

Drawn by artists Clay Mann and Jordie Bellaire, the page depicts Superman bathed in golden light, holding what appears to be a crystal of some kind. While there's no context or text included, the page displays some truly iconic imagery.

Tue
30
Jan

The Longbox Short-List - Week of January 31, 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
29
Jan

Mort Walker: Fifty Years of Beetle Bailey

Mort Walker

EDIT: January 29, 2018

It is with great sadness that we report on the passing of comic strip legend Mort Walker, who passed away on January 27, 2018 at the age of 94.

To remember his achievements, we are republishing this interview with Mort, as we talked about his most famous character, Beetle Bailey, on the 50th anniversary of the strip.

* * *

In 1938, while comic books were just entering the Golden Age, Mort Walker staked his claim on the newspaper comic strip pages. He was 14 years old. The most notable of Mort's creations is undoubtedly Beetle Bailey, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year.

I was privileged to speak with Mort about Beetle's comic and real-life misadventures, as well as a few other interesting tidbits you may not know about.

Fri
26
Jan

Justice League face No Justice in the post-Metal DCU

From IGN:

The conclusion of DC Comics event Dark Nights: Metal will bring about some big changes for the Justice League comic line, IGN has learned from DC.

Following the events of Metal, which ends on March 14 with Issue #6, there will be a four-issue weekly miniseries that kicks off on May 9 called Justice League: No Justice co-written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Joshua Williamson with art by Francis Manapul.

Fri
26
Jan

Business picks up in Avengers #677 (No Surrender Part 3)

Avengers #677 - No Surrender Part 3

Written by: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub
Art by: Pepe Larraz
Colored by: David Curiel
Lettered by: VC’s Cory Petiit
Cover by: Mark Brooks

Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99


Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Thu
25
Jan

For the 700th Issue of The Flash, It's Origin Recaps and Anticlimactic Villain Appearances

You can't judge a comic by its cover -- but you can certainly have the story spoiled by it.

Case in point: FLASH #39 -- or FLASH #700, if you are a purist and eschew all this "Let's start over from number 1 again" business. I opted for the variant cover by Tony Daniel, with the granite 700 behind Barry, because it goes so well with all those other variant milestone issue covers he's done. The other cover was certainly attractive, showing Flash recoiling from an attack by Gorilla Grodd with the explosive caption, "Grodd Is Back!"

Wed
24
Jan

Hal and Kyle Alone Against Zod -- and His Family -- in HJ&GLC #37

GL vs Zod

The first part of "Zod's Will" takes place here, as Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner investigate a planet that should be at a stone-age level but which has been observed being targeted by high-tech miners. However, what they didn't expect to find was the renegade Kryptonian, General Zod. And he's not alone: with him is the Eradicator, Ursa, and his son, Lor. That's four Superman-level beings against two Green Lanterns.

The good news? Both Hal and Kyle are equipped with the most powerful weapon in the universe.

The bad news? That's not even nearly enough. Hal attacks Zod on sight, and the battle is quickly engaged. The end result is that both Lanterns get their hind quarters handed to them and are taken captive, as Zod determines that whatever plans he had in mind must now be accelerated before the rest of the Green Lantern Corps arrive.

Wed
24
Jan

Deconstructing the Doomsday Clock #3

Doomsday Clock 3

Where we are:

Gotham City, after Ozymandias and Rorschach II have taken Earth-Watchmen villains Mime and Marionette on board the Owlship to seek out Doctor Manhattan. Looking to confide with the two smartest men on this new Earth, Ozymandias went to consult with Lex Luthor while Rorschach II went to see Bruce Wayne. While at Lexcorp, Ozymandias is confronted by the deceased Comedian, who shoots Lex. And Rorschach II finds the Batcave after having eaten Bruce's pancakes.

Now:

It would appear that when Ozymandias threw Edward Blake, aka The Comedian, through his apartment window, his body was teleported before the impact with the sidewalk and replaced with an exact duplicate -- both things within Doctor Manhattan's capabilities. Blake's actual body landed in the water outside of Metropolis, where Doctor Manhattan gave him instructions.

Tue
23
Jan

The Longbox Short-List - Week of January 24, 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
23
Jan

Herokillers a Violent Parody of Dynamite's Project Superpowers

Herokillers TP

PROJECT: SUPERPOWERS was one of those cool ideas that had tons of potential: take all those superheroes who've been allowed to lapse into the public domain and pile them together into one cohesive universe. So you'd have the Black Terror, Captain Batle, The Owl -- even Blue Beetle and Daredevil, carefully referred to as "Big Blue" and "Death-Defying Devil" because other companies now hold the trademark on those names if not the characters, and why court a lawsuit, right?

In HERO KILLERS, the PROECT: SUPERPOWERS universe gets satirized in an over-the-top gross-out comedic way. The setting is that the city is overpopulated with supeheroes, having been put on the payroll to put a stop to crime. It worked, but now the heroes have little to do, and are in strained competition with each other for the bounties they collect.

Mon
22
Jan

How Scary Can an Ice Cream Man Be? (Image's Ice Cream Man #1 Review)

I actually had no plans on picking up ICE CREAM MAN.  Image does put out a lot of cool, quirky books, but my comic budget is already stretched to its limit.  Plus, this book flew completely under my radar.  But, they had put a preview after last week’s YOUNGBLOOD, and I ended up reading it.  We see a young kid buying ice cream from an ice cream truck, while the narration starts talking about the world’s most deadly spider.  The kid gets home, puts a clothespin on his nose and the preview stops abruptly.

Mon
22
Jan

Voyager's back story and the bad guys arrive in Avengers #676 (No Surrender part 2)

Avengers #676 - No Surrender Part 2

Written by: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub
Art by: Pepe Larraz
Colored by: David Curiel
Lettered by: VC’s Cory Petiit

Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Fri
19
Jan

DAMAGE #1 Breaks Free From the Chains of Expectation

Starting off with unknown voices and shackled wrists, DAMAGE #1 breaks free from the chains of whats expected from a powerhouse rage monster.

Without being provided with too much backstory, DAMAGE #1 gives us insight into the major players with a few hints at the story which will develop in later issues. It's easy to look at this book on the surface and assume DC is ripping off its marvelous rival, in an attempt to have their own character whose strength comes from rage.

Throw those thoughts in the trash, because it's so much more than that.

Tue
16
Jan

The Longbox Short-List - Week of January 17, 2018

THE SPIRIT: THE CORPSE-MAKERS #5 – Yikes this issue was ridiculously late. I really like Dynamite’s SPIRIT books, but I always hate when a mini-series has a massive delay. Just seems like bad business, get the mini-series done before you solicit it. Hopefully this isn’t the last we see of SPIRIT in Dynamite…but next time, I hope it comes out in a reasonable time frame.

Sun
14
Jan

There's Something There That Wasn't There Before in Zenescope's GFT Universe: Belle, Beast Hunter

Belle: Beast Hunter #1

There've been a ton of fairy tales reimagined in the Grimm Fairy Tales universe from Zenescope Entertainment. So many, that it's hard to believe they've gone this long without tapping the iconic Beauty and the Beast for inclusion.

Meet Belle: a girl who's strange but special, and most peculiar. She's the latest caretaker in the family business, which happens to be monster hunting. Assisted by her mentor and director, Candlestick, we watch as this lithesome masked beauty takes out a minotaur before hopping onto a tricked out cycle to take it to a centaur appearing elsewhere the same night. And on the ride, we get treated to Belle's thoughts, which help explains her world and her place in it.

Sat
13
Jan

Who is Voyager? (Avengers: No Surrender)

In Marvel Legacy and Avengers: No Surrender, we are led to believe that a character named Voyager has retconned herself into Marvel history.  But unlike Sentry or Blue Marvel, it seems that everyone in comics' memories have been rewritten to believe that Voyager was there all along (Blue Marvel and Sentry were written as if they were always there).

Sat
13
Jan

Avengers: No Surrender is off to an awesome start

 

​Avengers #675 - No Surrender Part 1

Written by: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub
Art by: Pepe Larraz
Colored by: David Curiel
Lettered by: VC’s Cory Petiit

Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $4.99

Fri
12
Jan

Conan the Barbarian returns to Marvel

From Marvel:

Today, Marvel Entertainment and Conan Properties International are excited to announce the iconic CONAN franchise will make its grand return to Marvel next year.

With over 650 issues from 1970 to 2000, Marvel brought fans the adventures of Conan The Barbarian, Conan the Adventurer, Conan the Savage, and Savage Sword of Conan, among other popular titles.

Fri
12
Jan

Tom King and Mitch Gerads Engage Readers with the Marvelous Mundanity of Mister Miracle

Mister Miracle 6

Mister Miracle -- Scott Free -- is a character that has had me puzzling over him ever since I first encountered him in Jack Kirby's Fourth World comics. Oh, I got his schtick: world's greatest escape artist, so naturally anyone he fought would try to trap him rather than just shoot him or fight him hand-to-hand. And I got that he was in love with this amazon-like Big Barda who used to work for the bad guys. And I even got that he was supposed to be a god -- one of the new ones -- even though he seemed to be the least godlike, relying on tools and technology rather than exhibiting anything remotely deific.

But what I never understood was, how does his mask conform to his face so perfectly? I mean, look at that thing! It curves to his lips, and goes right inside his mouth! He can eat, he can smile, he can shout -- the mask never slips! I have a ski mask. I can tell you, that's not natural.

Eh, it's comics. Go with it.

Wed
10
Jan

Zenescope's Deadly Twist in Pitting Van Helsing vs Robyn Hood

Van Helsing vs Robyn Hood is a 4-part mini-series that has the vampire hunter crossing paths with the "otherworldly fixer-for-hire".

The story starts off with an action sequence as Van Helsing quickly dispatches a few low-level vampires. Business as usual for her, as she almost appears to be enjoying herself. Until one vampire in particular seems to be trying to send her a message:

"Find Von."

He seems to be struggling to fight "the hunger" but fights it long enough to give Liesel (Van Helsing) a clue as to who infected him. After killing him, she notices a crown tatoo on the side of his neck.

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