Friday, May 18, 2018

Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden #3 (of 7)


   You might not expect a ronin (a masterless samurai) to find himself involved with solving murders - but Usagi Yojimbo often finds himself in that position, especially when he encounters his old friend Inspector Ishida.

   When two corpses are found - one bearing a cross, the symbol of the (then) forbidden Kirishitan religion - Usagi and Ishida must try to track down the mysterious item stolen from a dead man.

   Like any great character, Usagi lends himself well to almost any story format, even a detective story - and here he makes a great assistant for Ishida, right down to an entertaining bit of comic clumsiness that forces a suspect to talk.

   As always, writer / artist Stan Sakai builds an amazing world and a powerful story.

   How I love this series! Highly recommended!

Grade: A

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Avengers #2

   Two issues in and the latest version of The Avengers is off to a solid cosmic-flavored start.

   This story arc is, of course, all about putting the team together, and they have a massive problem to face.

   To be exact, something is killing the titanic, incredibly powerful space aliens known as the Celestials - and now that "something" is threatening the Earth!

   That brings the "Big Three" back together - Captain America, Iron Man and Thor - adds in some former Avengers - Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel and She-Hulk - and a new fiery addition, the Ghost Rider.

   The focus is on action and adventure, and it's a great jumping-on spot for fans of the team. 

   The script by Jason Aaron is sharp and funny, and the art by Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales and Jay Leisten is big and bold and a blast throughout.

   Highly recommended!

Grade: A-

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

New Comic Day

     Here's what I picked up at the comics shop this week:

- NEIL GAIMAN AMERICAN GODS MY AINSEL #3 - On the road again!

- AVENGERS #2 - Fight against titanic foes!

- BARRIER #3 (OF 5) - Silence is golden!

- BRAVE & THE BOLD BATMAN & WONDER WOMAN #4 (OF 6) - A mystery unfolds!

- CAPTAIN AMERICA #702 - Promised Land continues.

- DAREDEVIL #602 - The fight for New York!

- MIGHTY THOR GATES OF VALHALLA #1 (OF 1) - Final farewell!

- USAGI YOJIMBO #3 (OF 7) THE HIDDEN - Assassins are afoot!

- WILD STORM #13 - John Lynch is on the move!


     And I received these review copies:

- ASSASSINS CREED ORIGINS #3 (OF 4)
- ATHENA VOLTAIRE 2018 ONGOING #4 - Nazis and hidden temples!

- BLOODSHOT SALVATION #9 - The origin of Bloodhound!

- DANGER DOLL SQUAD GALACTIC GLADIATORS #2 - It's a mash-up!

- HARBINGER WARS COMPENDIUM - Collecting the original war!

- JIRNI VOL. 3 #3 - Fantasy and swords, oh my!

- NINJA-K #7 - What is the Coalition?

- RUIN OF THIEVES BRIGANDS #1 - A comet brings disaster!

- VAMPBLADE VOL. 6 WORLD WAR DETROIT - Danger at the comics shop!

     And that's it!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Farewell to Margot


   Sad to hear today of the passing of actress Margot Kidder, 69, who had a distinguished career as an actor in movies and television, but is best known to comics fans as Lois Lane, paired with Christopher Reeve in four Superman films in the '70s and '80s.

   She was an excellent choice for the role, playing Lois as a tough, no-nonsense reporter who knew what she wanted and had the determination to overcome any obstacle. (I wasn't crazy about the "Lois can't spell" gag.)

   With her unique, sandy voice and an undeniable sex appeal (and great chemistry with Reeve), she was a lot of fun to watch, and she brought an original approach to the character.

   Sad to realize that we've now lost both stars of that classic film - and they were among the youngest actors in the cast! 

   Margot gave us lots of terrific performances along the way - sad to lose her far too soon.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Charismagic Vol. 3 #4 (of 6)

  
   As the third volume of Charismagic continues to roll towards its incendiary conclusion and a cosmic battle for universal control, I must point out the thing about this issue that makes it a "must buy" for me.

   Easter Island.

   That's right, part of the story takes us to Easter Island and a magic spell that affects the statues there.

   I'll say no more (lest I spoil any key story bits), but any comic that wants my hard-earned change need only include those giant marvels of stone - and I'll pony up.

   The issue is all about revealing cosmic secrets, fighting a powerful sorceress and a jail break - but I still want more about the island.

   Judging by the cover of the next issue, there's more where that came from. To which I say: Yay!

Grade: B+

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Warhammer 40,000 Deathwatch #1


   In the depths of space, a handful for warriors try to hold the line against the forces of evil.

   Warhammer 40,000 is a stunning world of exotic weapons, massive armored suits, monstrous aliens and fierce battles.

   You get all that and more as a squad faces a deadly mission - but what started as training becomes something much more threatening.

   This is a terrific series (and I should admit that I know almost nothing about the Warhammer games). The art by Tazio Bettin is lush, with powerful layouts and impressive character and environment designs. 

   The story by Aaron Dempski-Bowden is clear and easy to follow, despite the dense backstory.

   This Deathwatch series is off to a great start - very impressive!

Grade: A-

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Friday, May 11, 2018

The Immortal Men #2


   This series seems to be determined to get on my nerves.

   That's because The Immortal Men is shaping up to be just another team comic.

   It's well concealed because - well, just about everything about the book is hidden.

   It focuses on a young man who finds himself the target for some powerful creatures, and he's surprised when a bunch of powerful characters turn up to fight the bad guys.

   So you have the big strong one (hey, a female!), the feral wild child, and the brutally efficient assassin (who has a truly unusual and completely improbable power) fighting their way through the story, but we never really find out why.

   Nor do we find out what motivates the bad guys, other than a delight in death and destruction (and there's lots of pointless death here).

   A book about immortal characters should be so much more than this. An examination of how history affects the modern world! The sights they've seen! The people they've met! 

   Instead, it's just lots of explosions and car crashes. 

   Yawn.

Grade: C

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