Comics

Comic books and graphic novels

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!)

Wed
27
Jun

Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp Big on Superhero Goodness

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Where AVENGERS INFINITY WAR was a great action movie filled with moments of comedy, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is a great comedy movie filled to the gills with lots of action and adventure.

Ever since the events of INFINITY WAR, people have been asking: Where was Ant-Man?

Well it turns out that Scott Lang (PAUL RUDD), after choosing to side with Captain America in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, was apprehended for his participation in the events and placed under house arrest for two years. And he's learned a lot while attached to his ankle bracelet -- like drumming, and up-close card tricks.

Wed
27
Jun

Max Allan Collins Delivers Top Shelf Pulp with Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer #1

Mike Hammer 1 B cover

It was going to be a good day. Wednesday's always were. Far enough away from last weekend to be over my hangover, and close enough to the next weekend I could start anticipating my next drunk.

Since I was going to be lucid for a little while, I thought it would be a good idea to find something to distract my brain from the glitz and glamour of the grafitti-spattered heroin houses and hoopties that doubled as homeless shelters. It being a Wednesday, my local comic shop had just the ticket: new comic books.

But like any mind-numbing drug, the longer you use them the more you need the good stuff to get the same high. Fortunately, I had a hookup with connections and an eye for quality.

Tue
26
Jun

The Longbox Short-List - Week of June 27, 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
26
Jun

Project: Superpowers Launches Thrilling New Storyline with #0

Project Super Powers 0

Perhaps the brightest star in Dynamite's publishing sky has been PROJECT: SUPERPOWERS, a world populated by superhero characters who have fallen into the public domain and repurposed to work in the modern era -- no mean feat, since so may of them were created to oppose the Nazi forces during World War II.

To explain the disappearance of the heroes, and how they return to active duty still in the prime of their lives, we were given a tale of Hitler discovering Pandora's Box, and the heroes voluntarily sealing themselves up within it to save the world, only to be released decades later.

That epic is retold in part in these pages, written by Rob Williams and drawn by Sergio Davila, as Dynamite prepares to relaunch the series with a new #1 issue next month on the heels of this #0 introductory chapter, designed and priced to hook in new readers.

Fri
22
Jun

Less Than Heavenly Charlie's Angels from Dynamite

Charlie's Angels cover by Finch

Ah, the 70s. When we thought bell-bottoms and corduroy were comfortable fashions, and our thick, pile carpets were called "shag" for a reason I was too young to know.

One of the many, many highlights of the decade, however, was the television series CHARLIE'S ANGELS, a trio of former police women who went freelance to work for Charles Townsend, who was never seen but whose name was on the detective agency. They were tough, they were smart, and they were sexy, at a time when the feminist movement meant something.

Thu
21
Jun

Sam Kieth Makes Long-Awaited Return to Maxx and The Outback in Batman / The Maxx: Arkham Dreams

From IDW:

Wed
20
Jun

Justice League #2: Adventure Beyond Human Comprehension

Justice League #1 2018

When we concluded JUSTICE LEAGUE #1, an entity called "The Totality" was on a collision course with the Earth, with less than a minute to go.

With the advent of JUSTICE LEAGUE #2, that minute has passed, The Totality has landed, and it's a big, giant head of a corpse, sending out some sort of universal code. Waylon Jones -- aka Killer Croc -- has already gone into it, and came out changed into a cross between Doomsday and Godzilla, his genetics totally rewritten. What Croc was doing there, we don't know. Let's assume it was part of a Suicide Squad mission, because otherwise he really had no business being there other than to provide us a really cool "New Killer Croc" image.

Tue
19
Jun

The Longbox Short-List - Week of June 20, 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
15
Jun

Plastic Man #1 Lays Path to Doomsday Clock

Plastic Man #1

I love me some good Plastic Man. And while I have some questions stemming from this first issue from Gail Simone and Adriana Melo, this is still some good Plastic Man.

As any first issue should go, PLASTIC MAN #1 introduces us to the character and gets into his origin story. Simone does this with a flashback sequence while Plastic Man -- Eel O'Brian -- comes to terms with being told that he shot and killed a guard during a robbery during the criminal past he's trying to make up for. Of course, he has limited memory of the robbery, and he's told he was the shooter by one of the other crooks involved -- information which conflicts with the flashback panels Melo provides -- so there's a chance that Eel isn't the killer after all.

Fri
15
Jun

Brian Michael Bendis Shatters Superman's World

I have good news and bad news for you: Superman's world will never be the same.

Eisner award-winning writer, Brian Michael Bendis, has hardly scratched the surface on his time as Superman writer. Yet that small scratch has turned out to be a deep gouge of which will scar the Man of Steel going forward for many years to come.

Bendis is a tireless writer who can balance many projects at once, as proven during his time at Marvel. He doesn't often bounce around from story to story as he's able to balance so many at a time. While we have no idea how long his reign on Superman will go, his story that launched his tenure has been nothing short of game-changing.

Tue
12
Jun

The Longbox Short-List - Week of June 13, 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


 

Mon
11
Jun

Image Writer Triggered over Pride Parade Flag Burner Arrest

Pride Parade Philly Flag Burning

June is LGBT Pride Month. If you've not turned on your Internet in the past 12 days, this may be something that has escaped you. Nationwide, the LGBTQ community has gathered in cities to throw parties, hold parades, and declare their personal independence.

But apparently it's just not a party until someone masks up and starts a fire.

Fri
08
Jun

Little Girl, Big Scare: Devil's Due Comics Debuts New Horror Title

Little Girl #1

I've watched more than my share of horror titles over the years, and the most terrifying ones weren't the ones with slashers or monsters, but where the source of fear was a child. And not necessarily the ones involving Damien or Regan or Rosemary's baby (although they absolutely scared!), but just evil children. MacCauley Culkin's THE GOOD SON was chilling in that respect.

Abby May might just qualify for that special class of frighteners, although her ghostly status certainly gives her an advantage.

Pat Shand (ROBYN HOOD) and Olivia Pelaez (THE KITCHEN WITCH) team up to tell the story of a haunted stuffed penguin.

No, come back. I'm being serious!

Thu
07
Jun

The Best Man Gives Joker Spotlight in Batman #48

A funny thing happened on the way to writing this review.

Sure, I read it. I was enthralled by it, captivated by it, and completely drawn into what was largely a soliliquy from the Joker, in one of his "less manic but just as mad" moments. I mean, he's almost lucid in his insanity through most of this book.

But then it came time to actually write the review. And like most journalists, I rely less on my own means and more on Google's. I mean, I needed to have an image to go with the review, right? And that's when things got funny.

Because I asked for images from BATMAN #48. Because that's this issue, right? And naturally I'm expecting to see Joker. And I do see Joker. And it is BATMAN 48. But it's the previous incarnation of the BATMAN series, where Bruce is trying to have a normal life and finds himself talking civilly with a stranger who could only be a remade Joker talking about the futility of his life.

Thu
07
Jun

Dazzler #1 Doesn't Dazzle, Doesn't Fizzle in Inclusivity-Themed Story

Dazzler 1 2018

Alison Blaire, aka Dazzler, was one of my favorite mutants, in an era where all of the mutants were my favorite mutants. Sure, she was a product of her disco-ball times, but the concept of being able to convert sound into light was a quantum theory twist I hadn't seen done before. I used to imagine the damage she could do teamed up with Songbird or (gulp!) Black Bolt. I even collected that less-than-stellar BEAUTY AND THE BEAST miniseries that teamed her pseudo-romantically with Hank McCoy.

So I was willing to see what Dazzler was up to in the twenty-teens, and the answer is: not much. Just chillin', just hangin' with the band, not being super and trying to stay out of trouble.

Wed
06
Jun

Justice League #1 a Return to Grand Morrisonian Opera

Justice League 1 2018

If you haven't been paying attention to what Scott Snyder has been doing, you've been missing out. There's a reason why Snyder snagged our Best Comics Writer of 2015, and helmed what our readers selected as the Best Comics Storyline of 2017.

Tue
05
Jun

The Longbox Short-List - Week of June 6, 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


 

Fri
01
Jun

Aquaman and Jabberjaw Cross Time, Dimensions

Aquaman and Jabberjaw

Aquaman can talk to sea creatures. Even he admits it's something of a standing joke. But when a great white shark shows up in the waters of Amnesty Bay, he finds his so-called super power to be superfluous -- because this shark can talk! And talk! And talk!

He's definitely the most futuristic shark Aquaman has ever saw...er...seen. And he's lost. He can't find his bandmates, The Neptunes, anywhere.

Yes, he's in a band. Yes, he's the drummer.

Leading Aquaman to where he arrived, Jabberjaw shows him a portal that leads back to Aqualand -- a future world actually named after the hero, Aquaman, and a society based upon his principals of humans and sea creatures living in harmony. There's even an Aquaman cartoon show in Jabberjaw's world.

Fri
01
Jun

Speed Buggy Gets an Origin in this DC / Hanna-Barbera Crossover Featuring The Flash

Flash Speed Buggy

From MY MOTHER THE CAR to TURBO TEEN, the idea of the human/automobile hybrid has been an inconsistent and, honestly, weird trope that nevertheless pops up now and again.

And while the Hanna-Barbera series SPEED BUGGY had a sentient, anthropomorphic car, Speed Buggy himself wasn't a person trapped in the vehicle so much as he simply was the vehicle.

That story gets a revamp with THE FLASH / SPEED BUGGY #1, one of the many pairings of DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera heroes hitting shelves this week. When The Flash -- Wally West -- stops Kilg%re at S.T.A.R. Labs, he gets an assist from a man in a racing car -- Dr. M. Blanc. (Editors Note: Mel Blanc, the inimitable voice actor, provided the vocals for Speed Buggy in the cartoon series.) Blanc has been building a device that taps into the speed force and channels it into his vehicle. Flash is very concerned about this, because whenever people try to harness the Speed Force, things go very badly.

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