Comics

Comic books and graphic novels

Thu
29
Jan

If you have an extra $350 to spend, might I suggest a LEGO Helicarrier?

LEGO SHIELD Helicarrier Marvel Super Heroes CriticalBlast.com

Over at Newsarama, I saw this:

The phrase "Avengers Assemble!" may never be more apt than when talking about products like these. On Thursday Marvel and LEGO Group announced new products on two fronts -- a new console video game and a lush new S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier playset.

Tue
27
Jan

Why We're Nonplussed Over the Fantastic Four Trailer

The Fantastic Four

With all the hoopla over the assured blockbuster status of Marvel's upcoming THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, it's easy to forget that another Marvel property is coming to theaters this year as well. Granted, it's a franchise tainted by two previous lackluster releases (three for the purists who pretend the Roger Corman version counts), but Hulk's first two films weren't exactly critical accomplishments, and the big green guy is doing alright for himself in Avengers.

I'd like to say that the Fantastic Four could follow in Hulk's crater-like footsteps, but my confidence level hasn't been high, and this trailer has done little to change that.

Before we discuss that, though, let's take a quick look at the trailer, released today, for FANTASTIC FOUR:

Okay, now, all the non-comics fans only please: What is this movie about?

Tue
27
Jan

The Longbox Short-List - Week of January 28, 2015

Quantum and Woody Longbox Short List Critical Blast

Welcome back to Critical Blast’s 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
26
Jan

David Tennant Goes Purple for A.K.A. Jessica Jones

Kilgrave the Purple Man David Tennant Critical Blast

Entertainment Weekly has announced:

A Time Lord is coming to the Marvel universe. The studio has cast David Tennant as the major villain in its upcoming Netflix series A.K.A. Jessica Jones. The Doctor Who and Gracepoint star will play Zebediah Killgrave (aka The Purple Man).

The official series description: “After a tragic ending to her short-lived super hero stint, Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23) is rebuilding her personal life and career as a detective who gets pulled into cases involving people with extraordinary abilities in New York City. An enigmatic figure from Jessica’s past, Kilgrave’s reappearance will send shockwaves through the former super hero’s world.”

Mon
26
Jan

Malice for Malice's Sake Drives Zenescope's The White Queen: Age of Darkness Mini

The White Queen: Age of Darkness #1 Cover by Sean Chen

In the Realms-meshed world that lays the landscape for Zenescope's AGE OF DARKNESS, ordinary humans are completely out of their depth. And when a roving band of survivors make it into Wonderland, now ruled over by the benevolent White Queen, Calie Liddle, the Dark Queen sets a task for Calie: kill the humans while they are lost in Wonderland.

Calie's not one for taking innocent lives, but she's left with little choice in the matter. The Dark Queen has a hold over Calie's daughter Violet (Wonderland's Mad Hatter), and Calie is never out of the gaze of the Dark Queen's minion, Joy the Trickster. Will she do what she's told? Will she stand up to the Dark Queen? Calie and the Cat are left without choices in this first of a three-issue miniseries.

Mon
26
Jan

Pre-release Review for Quantum and Woody Must Die #1

Quantum and Woody Must Die #1

Written by: James Asmus

Art by: Steve Lieber

Colored by: Dace McCaig

Lettered by: Dave Lanphear

Cover by: Mike Hawthorne with Jordie Bellaire

Published by: Valiant

Cover Price: $3.99

Note: This is a review of the digital version which can be found on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Summary (contains spoilers): This issue starts in the docks of Baltimore, Maryland.  Two female criminals named the Dominos and their crew attack an FDA truck.  Quantum and Woody arrive on the scene to try and stop them.

Sun
25
Jan

Powers is back...for the 5th time.

Powers (2015-) 1

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis

Art by: Michael Avon Oeming

Colored by: Nick Filardi

Lettered by: Chris Eliopoulos

Cover by: Michael Avon Oeming

Published by: Marvel (Icon)

Cover Price: $3.99

Note: This is a review of the digital version which can be found on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Sat
24
Jan

More info on Marvel's Secret Wars

Newsarama has posted the three types of titles that will be part of Secret Wars -  Battleworld, War Zones, and Last Days.  Here's some info on each:

Last Days - 

“What would you do if you learned today was your last day on Earth?” added Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso is a press release. “That’s the question your favorite Marvel heroes are going to ask themselves in their Last Days story lines as they brace for Secret Wars and the end of the Marvel Universe.” 

Fri
23
Jan

DC: Detective Comics or Death Circumvented? Robin's Resurrection

Faster than a speeding bullet.

So, a while back, Robin died, and I bitched about it. I bitched about him dying, even though I had also bitched about comic book characters not staying dead.

Damian Wayne didn't stay dead. And here I am to bitch about it.

Don't misunderstand. Of all the characters in comics to die, Robin -- that is to say, the Damian Wayne incarnation of that character, not the Jason Todd one -- had the best chances for a "Get out of Death Free" card. His mother, after all, was Talia al Ghul, which makes his grandfather Ras al Ghul, who's total "thing" is his regular resurrections via the Lazarus Pit. A dip, a dunk, and voila: Robin Reborn, no muss, no fuss.

But that would have been too easy.

Fri
23
Jan

Open Mike Night - Groo: Friends and Foes #1/ The Tick - The Naked City

By Mike Weaver and Mike Maillaro

Maillaro:  This week’s column we are going to focus on two “funny” books: The Tick and Groo.  Personally, I think comedy is much harder to write than drama.  Comedy is real hard to find the right balance between clever and silly.  

Thu
22
Jan

New Disney Line of Comics...FROM IDW?

Uncle Scrooge McDuck

I saw the following news story over at Newsarama:

Mickey Mouse is returning to comics - and we don't mean Marvel.

IDW Publishing announced Wednesday that the California-based company is launching Disney Comics, a new line of comics featuring Disney's anthromorphic animal characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. It all begins in April with Uncle Scrooge #1, with a Donald Duck series in May and Mickey Mouse in June. September will see IDW resume publication of the long-running Walt Disney's Comics and Stories series with issue #723.

Asked by Newsarama Wednesday afternoon why a Disney Comics line is licensed out to another publisher and is not kept under the Marvel/Disney roof, Marvel declined to coment.

Wed
21
Jan

Say Goodbye to the Marvel Universe!

Lots of big happens from the House of Ideas today.  After months of teasers, this afternoon Marvel Editors Tom Brevoort and Alex Alonso had a press conference at Midtown Comics in New York City to spill the beans on Secret Wars.

Some of the highlights of the Press Conference included:

- Some background on the Secret Wars events.  Apparently, Jonathan Hickman had pitched it to Marvel even before he had started working on Fantastic Four.  So everything Marvel has done in the last few years has been done through the intent of moving towards Secret Wars (including Avengers Vs X-Men, Age of Ultron, Axis, and Original Sins).

- They also called this the most coordinated event Marvel has ever done...though I am not sure how much of a ringing endorsement that is.  Original Sins had a major plot point happen off panel...

Tue
20
Jan

The Longbox Short-List - Week of January 21, 2015

Sergio Aragones' Groo the Wanderer (not a 'marginal' character)

Welcome to the first edition of The Longbox Short-List.  Each week, I am going to be posting my recommendations for the best comics to buy each week.  Just a warning, I make these picks BEFORE I actually read any of these comics, so if something is a stinker, I take no blame on that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find the comics shipping next week at this link.

Sun
18
Jan

Marvel Launches $1 "Best of" Line

I'll buy THAT for a dollar!

From Newsarama:

Press Release

What can you get for a dollar? How about the Marvel Universe? Today, Marvel is proud to present TRUE BELIEVERS – a new line of comics debuting exclusively in comic shops this April. Printing the first chapter of popular series for the suggested retail price of $1 – TRUE BELIEVERS is the perfect way for readers interested in trying out some of Marvel’s most popular titles in history without breaking the bank.

Sun
18
Jan

Throne of Atlantis Gives DC Fans Violent Origin of Aquaman

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

JUSTICE LEAGUE: THRONE OF ATLANTIS is the direct follow-up to JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR, hinting that there may start being some continuity to the DC Universe Original Movie universe (and yes, I know that's a redundant use of 'universe'). With Darkseid's forces turned back, the world was introduced to a superhero team. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to tell the team that they were a team -- and as a result, when Steve Trevor (George Newbern) comes to Cyborg (Shemar Moore) with a mission to find a missing submarine carrying nuclear missiles, he is set up for a sore disappointment.

Meanwhile, on the coastal New England town of Mercy Reef, Arthur Curry (Matt Lanter) is getting drunk over the recent death of his father. He gets into a brawl with a group of heavies, and displays just how strong he is -- and is observed by an Atlantean bodyguard to Queen Atlanna.

Fri
16
Jan

Open Mike Night - Star Wars Double Feature

Open Mike Night

Maillaro: Welcome to Open Mike Night.  Although, since this is a relaunch (new home…same creative team), maybe we should call it Ultimate All-New 52 Open Mike Night Now!  Okay, maybe not.

Just a quick introduction.  My name is Mike Maillaro.  I am a newcomer to Critical Blast, but I’ve been writing reviews and columns for various sites for a long time.  Actually, the first comic review I ever wrote was for Crossgen’s Way of the Rat #1 way back in June 2002.   

I have been reading comics regularly since my mom used to buy me Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventure issues at our local taxi stand.   

Wed
14
Jan

Amazing X-Men #15 by Christopher Yost and Jorge Fornes

Amazing X-Men #15

Written by: Christopher Yost 

Art by: Jorge Fornes 

Colored by: Rachelle Rosenberg

Lettered by: VC's Joe Caramagna 

Cover by: Kris Anka

Published by: Marvel

Cover Price: $3.99

Note: This is a review of the digital version which can be found on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Tue
13
Jan

How Dynamite's Twilight Zone #11 Took Me Back to Childhood

Twilight Zone #11

Twilight Zone #11

J. Michael Straczynski (writer)

Guiu Vilanova (artist)

Francesco Francavilla ©

Dynamite Entertainment

(Rod Serling voiceover): “A busy day. A man sits at a desk. With too much to do, and not enough time to do it in the previous weeks, he finally has time to relax for a moment and ponder what he should have for lunch. Also, in the subconscious of his mind, the question of how he should spend the money he received for Christmas gnaws on him without him realizing it. What should he finally spend his cash on? The answer lies in an unexpected email...”

I remember when I was a kid. I remember snap shots of my childhood. I remember some great memories, and some that were not so great. But sometimes, memories fell into both categories, and I’ve always been kind of conflicted on how to feel about them.

Wed
07
Jan

Little Guy, Big Movie: Ant-Man Joins Marvel Movie Universe

Ant-Man Movie Poster

For those who know their AVENGERS lore, you already know that the movie team roster isn't quite the one shown in the team's comic book origin story. Someone's missing. Someone... big.

That someone would be Hank Pym, also known as Giant Man. But Pym had another superhero identity as well. (Let's face it, he's had several, but he can never escape the fact that he smacked his wife around.) Among those identities was Ant-Man, who could not only reduce himself to ant-size, but he could also telepathically communicate with ants; which, to the unimaginative, might make him the equivalent in power to Aquaman.

Tue
06
Jan

Grimm Tales of Terror Delivers Twist, But Not Surprise

Grimm Tales of Terror #6, Cover Art by Giuseppe Cafaro, Simone Di Meo and Ylenia Di Napoli

Monster Underneath
Writer: Shane McKenzie
Artwork: Claudia Balboni

 

The notion of a monster under the bed is, perhaps, one of the oldest bogeyman tropes in horror -- specifically because it's one of the most prevalent childhood fears.

Young Mindy is an orphan who is convinced that her bed harbors a slathering creature, and the other boys in the orphanage take advantage of her fears to torment her. But when Mindy's paradigm is challenged by her older foster sister, Rose, it puts a twist into the story that changes the dynamics of the relationship between Mindy and her monster.

Shane McKenzie's story has its ups and downs. It's established as a framework, with the adult Mindy having a first date. We immediately know the guy is a boor, so his intentions are quickly telegraphed to the reader.

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