Comics

Comic books and graphic novels

Fri
13
Feb

Open Mike Night: All-New X-Men 36 and Uncanny X-Men 250

Maillaro: We decided to double it up with some X-Men this week. 

You might wonder why exactly we picked Uncanny 250.  There is literally NOTHING special about that issue other than the number.  Something we started doing in this column a long time ago was that we made a commitment to review every fifty issues of Uncanny X-Men.  It's take some time, as it just tends to happen when we feel like it, but this is our fifth entry in the series.  1, 50, 100, 150, 200, and now 250. 

On with the reviews!


All-New X-Men #36

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis

Thu
12
Feb

LEGO Wins Again With Justice League vs Bizarro League

LEGO DC SUPER HEROES JUSTICE LEAGUE VS BIZARRO LEAGUE CRITICAL BLAST

LEGO does it again with this humorous treatment of our favorite super heroes.

JUSTICE LEAGUE VS BIZARRO LEAGUE opens with an introduction to who Bizarro is and what his motivations are, as well as how Superman thought he had dealt with the simple-minded creature for good. But a year later, the Justice League -- Superman (Nolan North), Batman (Troy Baker), Wonder Woman (Kari Wahlgren), Cyborg (Khary Payton), Guy Gardner (Diedrich Bader), Plastic Man (Tom Kenny), Flash (James Arnold Taylor), Hawkman and Green Arrow (both voiced by Phil Morris) -- are up against Gorilla Grodd (Kevin Michael Richardson) and his mind-controlled crew of Giganta (April Winchell), Penguin, Deathstroke, and Captain Cold. This was a fun melee battle scene that brings in characters we've never seen in LEGO minifig version before, creating an immediate want in the market for some figures that don't exist yet. Genius! (Because I want my Plastic Man minifig!)

Wed
11
Feb

Shannon Maer Brings Fantasies to Life Through Art

Shannon Maer Big Dog Ink Oz Wicked West Comic Book

To say that the Internet has revolutionized society is a saying so commonly obvious that even the television gecko and camel sneer at me for saying it. But for fans of comics and fantasy, it truly is a whole new world -- or rather a doorway to whole new worlds -- as it allows new artists to have their material seen by millions of people at once. I've seen my share of struggling artists showing off their talents (and, sometimes, lack thereof), but I was particularly taken with the work I started to see from a name I hadn't encountered.

Wed
11
Feb

Girl Power Focus of Ame-Comi Girls: Earth in Crisis

DC Comics Ame-Comi Girls Earth in Crisis Volume 3

The Ame-Comi vision of DC's super heroines in statue form was so popular that DC brought the characters to the comics. Whether the Ami-Comi girls exist on one of the reserved 52 worlds of the DC multiverse isn't made clear, but the changes are more than simply aesthetic. Almost all of the male characters have been represented as females, including Darkseid. It's similar to the conceit of the gender-swapped reality of Earth 11, but also radically different in regards to the relationships of the characters to each other and their world.

Tue
10
Feb

Internet Officially Blows-up! Spider-Man to debut in Marvel Cinematic Universe

You know, being a comic journalist is always a pretty fun gig...but then there are days you get to announce things like this, and it becomes the best job in the world:

 

Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios announced today that Sony is bringing Marvel into the amazing world of Spider-Man.

Under the deal, the new Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel's Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger. Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.

Tue
10
Feb

Jim Butcher takes The Dresden Files Downtown

I've been a fan of The Dresden Files for a while.  Mike Weaver (my co-writer on Open Mike Night) introduced me to the books years ago.  I even liked the short-lived TV series on Sci-Fi.  All that said, this is my first time reading any of the comic series.  

According to Dynamite, this series takes place a few months after the events in the book White Night.


The Dresden Files: Down Town #1 

Written by: Jim Butcher & Mark Powers
Pencilled by: Carlos Gomez
Cover by: Stjepan Sejic
Colored by: Mohan
Lettered by: Bill Tortolini

Published by: Dynamite
Cover Price: $3.99

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Mon
09
Feb

The Longbox Short-List - Week of February 11, 2015

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!

Comics Shipping This Week

Amazing Spider-Man #14 - The end of Spiderverse!  I've really enjoyed this crossover, and I can't wait to see how this changes the status quo for the Spider-Man titles.  I especially wonder what's going to happen to Spider-Ock, since he seems to have a sense that he is working on borrowed time.

Sun
08
Feb

Early Look at Valiant's Divine New Series

Divinity is the first new Valiant series in a while that doesn't seem to have any direct connection to the rest of the "Valiant-verse." I think that is a huge strength for this book. Don't get me wrong, I love the Valiant universe, but this book felt very unique and distinctive, standing out even among the rest of the terrific comics that Valiant puts out every month.


Divinity #1

Written by: Matt Kindt

Pencilled by: Trevor Hairsine

Inked by: Ryan Winn

Colored by: David Baron

Lettered by: Dave Lanphear

Published by: Valiant

Cover Price: $3.99

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Sat
07
Feb

Spawn Celebrates Huge Milestone - 250 issues!

This might sound strange, but I only recently became a Spawn fan. I couldn't even tell you what made me decide to check out Spawn, but after doing some marathon reading over the last several months, #246 was the first issue I bought new. Which was a real hassle, because Spawn is one of the few mainstream comics that was not available digitally. I've mentioned in the past, I really don't have a regular comic shop, and it seemed like most stores don't order much Spawn at this point. I also don't have a lot of room to store comics right now, but I was really invested in Spawn, so I would make the effort to get these issues. 

Fri
06
Feb

Superman: Earth One Focused on Action and Interaction

Superman Earth One Volume 3 Critical Blast

The third volume in the worlds most expensive series with the greatest publishing interval is finally here -- and it's worth it on both counts.

SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE's third volume picks up right where the second volume left off -- with the world leaders aghast at this new Superman's brashness at deposing a despotic leader, and the United States military complex hiring the two most brilliant minds on Earth to devise a way to stop him: Lex and Alexandra Luthor.

Oh, and it introduces us to: The Superman Signal! But more about that later.

Fri
06
Feb

DC's Announces New New 52 (well, 49 this time)

From DC:

This summer, DC Entertainment launches a bold new direction for the DC Universe (DCU) that is even more inclusive and accessible to a wider group of readers as the publisher continues to evolve comic storytelling for its next generation of fans.  Award-winning, critically acclaimed writers are headlining the June 2015 slate of DC Comics’ new periodicals and graphic novels, including Gene Luen Yang, Bryan Hitch, Garth Ennis and Ming Doyle. 

Beginning June 3rd, the DC Comics line of comic books will consist of 24 brand-new series that will begin at issue number one, as well as 25 on-going, bestselling fan favorite series that will continue without a break in the issue numbering.  The total number of periodicals in the DCU will be 49, with additional new titles debuting throughout the year.

Fri
06
Feb

Open Mike Night: It's a Hank Pym World, And We're All Living in It...

Maillaro: Hank Pym is Weaver’s favorite character, and with the movie coming up (plus two Ant-Man comics came out this week), we decided to throw a spotlight on him.


Marvel’s Ant-Man Prelude

Written by: Will Corona Pilgrim

Pencilled by:  Miguel Sepulveda

Inked by: BIT

Thu
05
Feb

Spider-Man 2099 Gets a Secret Wars Makeover

From Newsarama:

 The Avengers may be ending in April, but Marvel's already got a new group on deck to stand in -- and they're from the future.

Marvel has announced a new Secret Wars 2099 series with the never-seen Avengers of the year 2099 stepping forward into what's left of their universe, according to IGN. The book is by the Spider-Man 2099 creative team of Peter David and Will Sliney, and that series will end in April with their storylines carried on in Secret Wars 2099.

David says the Avengers of Secret Wars 2099 will be a corporate-sponsored team under the watch of Alchemax, with the writer noting that it's similiar to his recent All-New X-Factor run but that Alchemax is "more or less running the United States in 2099."

One thing this won't tie into David says is Secret Wars, interestingly enough.

Wed
04
Feb

Check out the trailer for Netflix's Daredevil series

They still haven't shown us Daredevil in costume, but this show really seems to have the tone and feel of the character and Hell's Kitchen perfectly. The more I see of the Marvel shows that will be airing on Netflix, the more impressed I am. They seem to be well cast and put together. At this point, you really come to expect nothing less from Marvel Cinematic Universe.  

All the episodes for Daredevil will be posted up on April 10, 2015, and I am definitely planning to marathon watch them.   

Tue
03
Feb

WB releases a "small" hint of things to come in Arrow Season 3

DC posted up a first look at Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer in the Atom (technically A.T.O.M. in the show) costume from upcoming episodes of Arrow.  Honestly, I wasn't sure how this would look on the screen, but they really have made it work!  I really like how all the characters have looked in the Arrow/Flash universe so far, but this might be the best one yet.

I wasn't a huge fan of Brandon Routh in Superman Returns,but so far he's been great as Ray Palmer in Arrow.   He has a little more personality than he ever did in the comics.  It seems like whenever DC wanted to give personality to Ray Palmer, they made him crazy.  But this version is much more nuanced, and he's been a great addition to the Arrow cast this year.   

Tue
03
Feb

The Longbox Short-List - Week of February 4, 2015

Will you die for Spawn over this Longbox Shortlist?

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

Spawn #250 – Over the last few months, I’ve become a huge Spawn fan.  I know, I know…REAL LATE TO THE PARTY.  Issue 250 marks some dramatic changes to the series, including the return of Al Simmons (Al Simmons basically killed himself back in issue 185 and the series has been about his replacement).  Issue 250 will also be the first issue of Spawn to be available digitally!  This is a huge relief.  I’ve had to drive all over the place for the last few issues.  Lack of a local comic shop, plus a fairly niche title.  Not a good combination.

Mon
02
Feb

Valiant Announces Dead-Drop #1 for May

Valiant dropped us a line today to tell us about a pretty awesome upcoming mini-series:

Mon
02
Feb

Hitchhiker's Guide to the DC Multiverse

When Multiversity Guidebook came out, I immediately thought it would be cool if someone had taken all the information in it and created a online handbook people could use to identify the various universes that made up DC's Multiverse.  Then it occurred to me, we should do it here on Critical Blast!

Thanks to Chris, Patti, and RJ for coming up with the name.  I wanted to give it some kind of name like "Visiting The DC Multiverse for a Dollar a Day" or "DC Travelouge," but we ended up settling with Hitchhiker's Guide to the DC Multiverse. Don't forget to bring your towel!

You will see there are seven universes below listed as Unknown.  I wasn't just being lazy, DC seems to have left these blank for now.  I'm not sure if they were just leaving themselves some leeway if they wanted to add something later or if they were holding back some surprises. My guesses for some of them are:

 

 

Fri
30
Jan

Spider-Man 2099 and Lady Spider Confront the Six Men of Sinistry (Spider-Man 2099 #8)

Spider-Verse Spider-Man 2099 #8 Lady Spider Steampunk

Spider-Man 2099 #8

Written by: Peter David 

Art by: Will Sliney 

Colored by: Antonio Fabela

Lettered by: VC's Joe Caramagna 

Cover by: Francesco Mattina

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!

Fri
30
Jan

Open Mike Night - Thor (2014) #4 / Green Lantern (1960) #7

By Mike Weaver and Mike Maillaro


thor 4 cover.PNGThor (2014) #4

Written by: Jason Aaron

Art by:  Russell Dauterman

Cover by: Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson

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