Comics

Comic books and graphic novels

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.

Fri
01
Jun

Cirsova, Little Rocket Team Up to Publish WILD STARS III: WARMAGEDDON

Wild Stars III Time Warmageddon

Cirsova Publishing has teamed up with Little Rocket Publications on the eve of the 35th anniversary of Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars® to publish a special edition of WILD STARS III: TIME WARMAGEDDON.

Faster-than-light scouts are arriving at distant suns to discover that they have been “replaced” by white dwarfs and their planets have gone missing… Terraformers find a world that shows signs of previous human colonization: who were those people and where did they go? The saga of the Wild Stars continues as former-President Bully Bravo seeks to solve these mysteries while pursued by an evil pirate queen and a rogue time-traveler trying to create a god.

Thu
31
May

Super Sons Join Forces with Dynomutt and Blue Falcon

Super Sons Dynomutt

Blue Falcon and Dynomutt were two of my favorite Saturday Morning cartoon characters. Granted, almost every Hanna-Barbera product in the 70s qualified, it was the supeheroes who always had the greater appeal, even if the sidekick was a klutzy talking dog who preceded Inspector Gadget with his array of built-in technological blunders.

With SUPER SONS / DYNOMUTT AND THE BLUE FALCON, writer Peter J Tomasi and artists Fernando Pasarin and Oclair Albert have done an outstanding job. The dynamics of Blue Falcon and Batman have been blended together seamlessly in a way that it's conceivable both properties could have existed alongside each other all along. Tomasi even retroactively places Blue Falcon into the ranks of Batman, Incorporated, and Damian makes a vague reference to Dynomutt having saved him once in a Mystery Machine, which has to be a Scooby-Doo reference we need to see told.

Thu
31
May

Marvel to release new digital CCG called Marvel Battle Lines

From Marvel:

Nexon, a worldwide leader in online and mobile games, in collaboration with Marvel Entertainment has announced MARVEL Battle Lines, a new strategic card battle game featuring hundreds of iconic Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains. In MARVEL Battle Lines, players collect and build the ultimate deck of Super Heroes and Super Villains to take into battle across an expansive single-player campaign with an original story written by Marvel writer Alex Irvine and a real-time turn-based competitive player vs. player (PvP) mode. MARVEL Battle Lines will be released in 2018 as a free-to-download experience on the App Store® for iPhone and iPad and on Google Play for Android devices.

Thu
31
May

Deconstructing the Doomsday Clock #5

Doomsday Clock #5

It's been two months since DOOMSDAY CLOCK #4, when we learned the back story of the new Rorschach and saw him meet up with another Arkham Asylum inmate, Saturn Girl (of the future Legion of Super-Heroes). After reading issue #5, it's going to be a long wait for the next two months...because the next two months are actually three months. I've said before, Geoff Johns and company are mirroring the original WATCHMEN run so closely with this that they're even copying the production delays. At this rate, I expect we'll have the horrible six-month-gap between issues 11 and 12.

Tue
29
May

The Longbox Short-List - Week of May 30, 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


We got a fifth week, and a lot of specials and first issues this week.

Fri
25
May

Adversity & Comics: A Civil War Brews Among Creators and Publishers

Jawbreakers Lost Souls

Forget Marvel's CIVIL WAR. The real comics civil war is happening in real life. But instead of costumed heroes, the combatants are creators and publishers of those heroes.

A few weeks back, I wrote about the Indiegogo success of the graphic novel JAWBREAKERS: LOST SOULS, and how it had crowdfunded over $200 thousand, but was encountering pushback from retailers who had opted not to carry the title before it was even solicited in Diamond. To be clear, this is the version of the title that was to be published by Antarctic Press, not the version that would go to the Indiegogo contributors -- who have now pushed their pledges to the point that it's now flirting with the $330 thousand mark.

Tue
22
May

The Longbox Short-List - Week of May 23, 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!

Thu
17
May

DC announces 4 more Looney Tunes Crossovers!

From DC:

Following the sales and critical success of titles like Batman/Elmer Fudd, more of Warner Bros classic cartoon characters will get the DC Universe treatment this August as DC revealed new quartet of DC/Looney Tunes special one-shot issues, written and drawn by some of the top names in the DC talent family. Each 48-page issue hits comic book retailers on Wednesday, August 29, includes both a main and bonus story featuring the title characters and will sell for $4.99.

This zany title lineup includes:

CATWOMAN/TWEETY AND SYLVESTER SPECIAL #1
Written by GAIL SIMONE, with art by INAKI MIRANDA
Backup story written by SHEA FONTANA, with art by WALTER CARZON
Cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO

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