Foilball’s Review Roundup #30 – EXTRA Long Edition!

The Boys #19 (****)

Finally! Answers! I, like many others, was beginning to wonder if Ennis had completely bamboozled us. Maybe The Boys wasn’t really about anything? Maybe it’s just about normal folks getting juiced up and beating on super folks, like in some twisted revenge fantasy? No, no, no… oh ye of little faith. Ennis, that bastard, had a plan all along; he just took his sweet old time getting to it. Like most of his books, this one is really about the corrupt military-industrial complex and their abuse of power. But, unlike in most of his books (of any of his books?), Ennis fucking spells out the entire scheme in this issue. No, not just the plot. He’s talking about the real world. He’s talking about America. He’s talking about us. This entire issue reads like a post on some “Aliens Killed JFK” blog. And I loved it (mostly because I agree with everything being said). Politics and spandex! I want more. Besides those bits, which take up the majority of this issue, we’re also treated to a scene where The Homelander and Butcher have a quiet little chat. The Homelander… what an asshole. Okay, so for all the haters… come back. This book is worth it.

Doktor Sleepless #7 (****)

I finally understand what this book is about: “Where’s my jetpack?” It really is that simple, and really that brilliant. Special thanks to this issue’s back matter. Without it, fumbling around on my own in the dark, I don’t think I would have ever discovered it. I’ve spent a great deal of time over the last three years researching new technologies and “futurism” that I became blinded by the obvious. Which is not to say AT ALL that I am a futurist, I just enjoy its study. Anyway, for months I couldn’t fathom what the hell it was Ellis was talking about, but not because I didn’t understand the technologies he was using in this book. I mean, usually the ideas he uses are so far ahead of the curve a reader literally assumes they’re pure science fiction. That is, unless… unless that reader has been doing the same kind of research. I had thought Ellis had lost his touch. I read about nanotech clouds and thought to myself, “Jeez, Ellis, this stuff isn’t bleeding edge anymore… you getting lazy?” But that’s the point. It’s not bleeding edge anymore. It’s not part of some far away future with beings barely recognizable as humans. It’s here. The future is here and we don’t even know it. We are the bleeding edge. “Where’s my jetpack?” could be summed up as the complaint of our generation, but it also serves to display our collective ignorance, or… is that arrogance? Where’s your fucking jetpack? It’s been on your back this whole time!

Number of the Beast #5 (****1/2)

I am really enjoying this book. This may be my guilty favorite of the three “WWII heroes frozen in time” events running right now. I love that it plays with dozens of strands of Wildstorm continuity and yet still manages to be daring enough to create a whole new world of characters and subplots that could stand on their own for readers that haven’t a clue about the almost 15 year history of the Wildstorm universe. And I love The High. I love that he’s feeling betrayed by his own people. Superman is one bad day away from being The High. You know what? Forget comparing this to Project Superpowers or The Twelve, this mini-series event is as good as or better than Secret Invasion or Final Crisis. I sincerely recommend this book. It’s 8 issues long and runs bi-weekly so it is quite an investment. But, the bi-weekly schedule means you don’t have to wait as long for your next fix. Maybe that’s why I find it so satisfying?

Young Liars #4 (*****)

The plot is so insane, it literally changes from issue to issue, that I have no clue where Lapham will take us next. Bravo, sir. So much shit happened in this issue:

Danny takes off his shirt.
Big C finds out the truth about her friendship with Sadie.
• Danny and Sadie have lots and lots of sex. And blood.
Sadie takes over a cruise liner at gunpoint… in the nude.
Lapham tops it all off with the best cliffhanger yet!

This is quickly becoming my favorite Vertigo title. Better even than Jack of Fables? Hmm…

Quick Hits:
Amazing Spider-Man #551 (*****): A million stars! Please, when this whole “brain trust” idea inevitably falls apart… please, please, PLEASE give Dan Slott his own Spidey title to work on.
Amazing Spider-Man #552 (****): This is closer to three stars, but the glow of the last issue has colored me biased. Oh, wells!
Angel: After the Fall #8 (***): These, I like these. Why didn’t they start with these? Also, Lynch isn’t as bad as I thought. It’s the artist that sucks. Why do they continue to employ this guy? His pencils are some of the worst I’ve ever seen.
Brit #6 (***1/2): There was a really fun issue in this first arc, and now the book has kind of leveled off. This last one was good enough to grant the stay of execution.
Cable #4 (**): Slowing dooooowwwwwnnnnn… inject plot developments ASAP!!!
Criminal 2 #3 (****): What a depressing story… my favorite kind!
Green Arrow/Black Canary #9 (***): It’s not bad. It’s not good. It’s just forgettable. Like the entire run.
Green Lantern Corps #25 (**): Tomasi’s writing is wearing thin. The issue wasn’t terrible, but then it took a turn for the cheesy once the Mother Mercy creature started spinning her life story. Lame. More Mongul, please? Oh, good. He’s back next issue.
The Invincible Iron Man #2 (****): Despite how annoyed I am at the forced movie continuity, Matt Fraction is writing a pretty decent Sci-Fi book. Now that I’ve read Casanova, it reminds me of that book. I’ll stick with it for now.
• Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #3 (****): Much better than the last issue. I like the giant interdimensional eye on the last page… so fruity!
• The Last Defenders #4 (***1/2): The reason I like this book: it appears to be the only Marvel book that is actually dealing with the political ramifications of the Superhero Registration Act and the Initiative. That’s cool.
Moon Knight #19 (*): Whatever. I’m canceling this shit.
New Universal: Shockfront #2 (***): This book is really, really slow. It feels like a relaunch and not the next chapter.
Nightwing # 145 (**): Enough with the stupid glider! It looks stupid! It’s a stupid idea! I don’t want to see it anymore! Stupid!
Punisher War Journal #20 (*): Can’t wait for Remender to take over solo.
Robin/Spoiler #1 (*): Huge, huge, HUGE disappointment. Nothing happened that I wanted to happen. Definitely a fumble. Second and inches turned into fourth and punt. UGH.
Spawn #179 (*****): I know hardly anyone is still reading this comic, and once McFarlane comes back actual anyone won’t be reading it, but David Hine is doing a superb job of fleshing out the Spawn mythology. This issue is really, really good. I thought about putting it in the spotlight, but what good would it do? Everyone has their preconceived notions about Spawn. Bah.
Titans #3 (-): Last issue for me. Thank God. I read a review where the reviewer said they really liked this book. They are a liar.
Trinity #1 (**): Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman sitting around in public talking about superhero stuffs… WTF? What worked as an epilogue for Kingdom Come does not work here. Not at all. And what the hell is Wonder Woman wearing? White on white on white? I’m blind! Yes, this is a setup issue, but what happens when the setup sucks? Also, the backup was terrible.
Trinity #2 (***): More of the same terrible from the first issue, with a slight improvement… the villain here is the lamest looking character since Busiek’s failed Power Company book. I give you two months Trinity… two months then I’m out.
• The Twelve #6 (*****): The plot is thickening quite a bit now, almost ready to serve. I feel like this is what Rising Stars should have been. We all know Thor is great, but The Twelve has single-handedly restored my faith in JMS.
Ultimate Origins #1 (***): Not the best idea ever, but I’ll go with it. Of course, I’m speaking of the “Wolverine is mutant zero” idea. I’m interested, that should be enough for now.
Wonder Woman #21 (***): I’m so confused. I feel like a missed an issue. This arc is just not doing it for me, I suppose.
Young X-Men #3 (*): I gave this book three issues and in three issues Guggenheim proved that he can’t write an X-Men book. So, I’m done.

Man, that’s a ton of Quick Hits. I’m in Ohio this week so I didn’t have time to split this up into separate posts. Sorry for the long read, and any and all spelling or grammatical errors.

Foilball’s Review Roundup #29

Avengers/Invaders #2 (***1/2)

Ok, Carol is definitely a Skrull. Shoot, how the heck did you expect them to react when you come charging out of the sun with your team, shouting about surrender? Ditzy broad! Obviously, there will be a fight! Moving on, was anyone else as intrigued by the Steve and Tony scenes as I was? You could smell Ross and Kruger’s outrage over the events of the last couple of years:

+WWII Steve Rogers is a master at (unintentionally) rubbing it.
+DAMN! …also, did Cap just kick Stark in the junk?
+Déjà vu much?

And then, Tony hesitates… The “I do, Widow” was the perfect response to Black Widow telling him that Cap is a reasonable guy and that they should be able to explain everything once the Invaders are in custody. This is such a fanboy moment. If you only read it from the angle that Widow is right, that Cap is a reasonable guy, then you totally miss that Tony is really saying, “I do know that he’s Captain America, the same Captain America whose trust I bitterly betrayed. Oh, the humanity!” JOYGASM!

Heh, did you guys notice Namor in the background tossing Wonder Man into Ares? Heh. Also, the New Avengers ain’t taking this shit lying down!

…oh, we got a problem! Space-time damage imminent!

Batman: Detective Comics #845 (****)

Since when does Batman get so much action? Zatanna, Catwoman and Jezebel Jet? How does one man choose?

Paul Dini is such a great writer when he’s left alone to do his own thing, but alas, this issue semi-firmly establishes a continuity between this book and Morrison’s Batman. Why? Why is this necessary at all? Oh, so we can have yet another crappy crossover like The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul. I hate you DC editorial. You make good writers do bad things. I wonder how Badly Dini is chafing under Morrison’s manifesto? First he had to try and build up to the Morrison penned Final Crisis with Countdown, and now, he has to tie-in to the “bad trip” that is Batman: RIP. Poor bastard. Still, each issue of Detective has been a wonderful distraction and I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed Dini’s series of one-shot tales more than Morrison’s conspiracy laden Batman.

Justice Society of America #16 (*****)

A pause for awesome…


Midnighter #20 (*****)

Why did they wait till the very last issue to give us this? Wow. I bet if each issue of Midnighter was this psychotic, it wouldn’t have been cancelled. What a waste. I feel like this book never really got off the ground, even with the fun Hitler story Ennis wrote to open the series. My take on Midnighter is that he’s basically Batman if Batman actually acted the way a man like Batman would actually act. Get me? He’s Batman from the Bob Kane era with a modern S&M twist. We’ve seen hints of this before, in Authority, and I expected that version of the character to receive further exploration in this ongoing. But unfortunately, it doesn’t really happen till this, the final issue. As I said, what a waste.

Quick Hits:
100 Bullets #92 (****): Wow, everything we thought we knew is slowly falling apart. Minuteman betrays Minuteman. Graves is playing a new game. Very exciting.
Captain Britain and MI13 #2 (*****): Even better than the first issue and the best looking Super Skrull to date on the last page. AH! Why can’t SI be like this?
Eternals #1 (***): I’m in the camp that Neil Gaiman’s Eternals was a bit overrated… I still enjoyed this “relaunch” well enough, but I’m not sure I’ll be picking it up past the first arc. It just didn’t grab me.
Invincible #50 (***): Anti-Climactic describes it well I think. Overpirced and under-storied is another way to put it. Shit, that cover screams ultra-violent mayhem. What we actually get doesn’t even come close. Also, I hate Science Dog… and is it just me, or is Science Dog purposefully stealing from Tom Strong?
Nova #14 (***1/2): The fight was really cool, but then halfway through the issue we’re forced back to the planet to deal with the lame-ass Harrow. Ugh.
The Punisher: Little Black Book #1 (***): I was fooled by the Dave Johnson cover. It was a fine read, but why was this story necessary.
Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? #1 (****1/2): This was really, REALLY good. Even the Agents of Atlas story. My only complaint is that this book should have released the week of or after issue #2 of the main mini. Most of these stories deal with the subplots of #1 and #2 of SI, so it was kind of annoying to have to wait so long to get some development. It was only a month, by time is of the essence with these event books. Losing momentum sucks.

Bruce Castle Quickies 2

4 stars = Stop reading review and go buy now!!!!
3 and a half stars = Great issue and make room on your trade shelf someday soon
3 stars = Recommended and maybe even trade worthy
2 and a half stars = Recommended
2 stars= Not the best, not the worst, not recommended
1 and a half star = Terrible issue and vocalize your disgust at your next social event
1 star = Awful awful awful and you may want to consider dropping this title
0 stars = Next con you attend where the writer and/or artist are present you should throw this issue in their face


Kick-Ass #3– I’m pretty sure this book isn’t for everyone, but man do I love it! It’s intriguing that for a book that references pop culture so much and seems to almost be an autobiography for Millar (only you know, without the gore), the book seems so fresh and original! There is lots of good stuff in this issue, including a cool and bloody twist. I’ve always been a big JR JR fan, these images please as well. It’s nice to see his art in a new environment. Lots of gore and even some boobs in this issue! 4 stars

Punisher War Journal #20-Fraction said that this was the arc he was most proud of in his work on this book. It’s also supposed to be his last. It isn’t as good in my opinion as his earlier work on this book. I’m still not enjoying Chaykin’s art. It’s not even close to as good as Ennis’ current run on Punisher Max. It’s still an entertaining book though. There are some cool action sequences for sure. I just wish it was as good as the first 12 issues or so. Fraction started co-writing this with Rick Remender a few issues back, I think that combined with the crappy art is what’s  dragging the book down. A reluctant 2 stars

Secret Invasion #3-This is probably the best issue in the series so far. The story progressed nicely, we got some nice Bendis dialogue and a cool last page reveal. It seemed to be too quick of a read which is surprising considering it’s a Bendis book. I’m still under the impression that this is another example of a great idea mishandled. It doesn’t seem to be as great as it should be. Oh well, still 5 issues to go, I’ll pass judgment at the end of the series. 3 stars

 The Boys #19-Another solid issue from this series. This is the start of a new arc and in typical Ennis fashion there isn’t a lot of action but it is still an interesting story and some good art from Robertson. If you like conspiracy theories this issue is for you. 3 stars

Brit #6-This has been a decent book. It reads like Kirkman, it looks like the art featured in Kirkman books, it features a Kirkman character, but brother it aint Kirkman. Basically, if you like Kirkman books like Invincible, Astounding Wolf-Man, and Tech Jacket (they make a brief appearance in this issue), then this book is probably for you. If you don’t like those books well….. 2 stars

Invincible Iron Man #2-This is another good issue. Fraction gives Iron Man a fun, snappy and intelligent narrative laced throughout the book. There is some action, some laughs and some good art from Larroca. This book features a new take on an old villain, a guest appearance by Thor(handled much better here than in Thor#3 in my opinion) and some more Stane! If you’re looking for a book that has the feel of the movie, this is as close as you can get. Much better than Viva Las Vegas for sure. 3 stars

Foilball’s Review Roundup #24: The Independent Edition!

Atomic Robo: Free Comic Book Day Edition (***1/2)

I was really surprised how much I liked this book. Why? The first few pages didn’t really hook me. It reminded me too much of Hellboy or the early issues of Savage Dragon, you know, before Erik Larsen completely lost his shit and just started aping the Lee/Kirby style down to the chromosomal pairs. Anyway, once I got to the part where Robo fights the Soviet robots, the editor’s note gag hooked me. And then I just loved the full page with the evil scientist guy delivering all the expository goodness. Also, I don’t comment on this nearly enough (save for when it’s terrible), but the art was really good. Overall, I like Mr. Robo a lot, but I don’t know if I like him enough to pick up the first trade and subscribe to the monthly. Question: was this a brand new story or a reprint? Hmm, the more I reflect on this book, the more interested I am in picking up the first trade. Has anyone read it? Is it worth the trouble?

Black Summer #6 (****)

The plot picked back up in this issue, which was nice since the action didn’t let up either. Super looking forward to the end of this re-imagining of that old JLA one-shot, Superpower. Heh, anyone else remember that one?

Dan Dare #6 (*****)

Dan Dare is the action hero we didn’t know we were missing. He’s the kind of guy we used to look up to. The guy we used to want to be, when it was okay for guys to be macho, manly and pompous. Before women’s lib and emasculation of the rougher sex in the late 90’s and the 21st century. There’s nothing emo about him. Nothing feminine. Dan Dare tells you like it is, simplifies the issues and then takes action. Dan Dare also never lies. He is a man of his word, but also a man of action. A man of honor. I know I keep saying it, but that’s not going to stop me from saying it again. I love this book. Why aren’t you reading it? This week’s pull list had this book marked as #6 (of 7)… when did this become a mini-series? Man, this makes The Bill a very sad panda.

Number of the Beast #3 (***1/2)

Slow to start, but boy is it picking up steam. To me, this book feels like COIE for the Wildstorm Universe. Everything I’ve been hoping for in regards to The High paid off in this issue. Is Beatty going to reference the “Change or Die” arc from the Ellis run on Stormwatch? Yes. Oh, hell yes. And now it’s all got me thinking, is The High’s escape from the “simulated world” that all the Golden Age heroes are stuck in the catalyst for Armageddon? If yes, then awesome! The pacing, in my eyes, has totally redeemed itself. Hopefully, it’s the kind of trick Morrison can pull off with Final Crisis. I’d say the same for Bendis on Secret Invasion, but I don’t hold the man’s writing ability in as high regard as Morrison’s. I’m starting to get the sneaking suspicion that by the end of the year, this sleeper summer event will outdo both Final Crisis and Secret Invasion in terms of storytelling. And really, I’m okay with that.

Quick Hits:
Conan #50 (**1/2): Great series that ended on a very low note. Series really should have ended when Busiek left the book. Sad face.
Midnighter #19 (**): I don’t know what happened, but I’m no longer enjoying this book.
Project Superpowers #3 (*): Issue 3 was nigh on unreadable. I feel like the story isn’t really going to start until Kruger and Ross introduce the entire cast of characters… a cast that grows by about 3-6 new superheroes per issue, all from the Golden Age and all randoms that I’ve never heard of before. At this rate, I don’t think 12 issues is gonna be enough. UGH.
Young Liars #3 (*****): WOW. Seriously, WOW. This fucker gets better and better every month! What a fucking reveal! Holy shit! I was all set to like Danny and now… FUCK!!!

Review: The Man With No Name #1

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is in my Top 5 movies of all-time, so I came in with some seriously serious reservations about this book. But, I like Christos Gage, he’s the new “Matt Fraction!”, and I thought I’d give it a shot. What I found inside was a mixed bag. The art was adequate but not mind-blowing. The writing wasn’t mush better.

It’s very obvious that Gage is trying to connect this book to “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. When I say connect, I mean that the first issue takes place somewhere between three days and three weeks after the credits roll. This could be interesting, but right now it’s just clunky. The connections: the Union is after Clint for blowing up that bridge right before the climax of GBU. Hmm, kind of weak, but I’ll go with ya’ Gage. Next, one of the padres from Tuco’s brother’s mission shows up dying of his wounds. The dying father begs Clint to save his mission from bandits. After giving it the due amount of consideration, Clint agrees… and I can here the “Kung Fu” music playing in my head.

This may be too much coincidence for me to handle. The problem with this is, there really is no continuity between the three “The Man With No Name” movies, save for Eastwood himself. The movies exist in their own worlds. Each new movie brings a new adventure with new characters. And now, in the span of a single issue, you want me to believe that Clint just happens to run into a character from one of those movies in the middle of the desert? If recycling old characters and plots from the GBU is all this series is really about, then why not just call it “The Gooder, the Badder and the Uglier”?

The Good: The dialogue was perfect when it was quick and snappy. I could actually hear Eastwood’s voice in my head when I read this. That was cool. Complaints about coincidence aside, I’m more than a little excited at the idea of seeing Tuco again, one of the most quotable movie characters of all-time.

The Bad: Here’s some other stuff that bothered me… Clint shooting up Union troops is something the movie character wouldn’t do. He’s an anti-hero, no doubt, but I don’t see him killing honest soldiers. There’s also way too much dialogue from Eastwood. But I understand Gage’s intent. Gage has Eastwood explain himself to a dead man in order for the reader to understand the thought process that went into Clint’s decision to help the padre’s mission. But you know, I think this page would read fine without the cheesy word balloons. We get it. We don’t need to be told…

The Ugly: And that brings me back to the art. If the art was better, Gage wouldn’t need to compensate with unnecessary dialogue. He could let the art breathe and speak for itself. The reader would still feel like he got his money’s worth and the writer wouldn’t have to cover boring art with balloons.

Please Gage, I hope this series doesn’t turn into some weird version of the “A Team” or “Kung Fu” with Eastwood traveling from town to town doing good deeds. What made Clint’s nameless character so special was that even when he was playing “The Good” he wasn’t the superficial white hat. He was a downright bastard at least half the time, just as “The Bad” and “The Ugly”, like Angle Eyes and Tuco, had their altruistic moments. The key to this series is balancing the “good” with the “bastard”. If Gage can do that, I’ll be quite surprised.

Foilball’s Review Roundup #15

Rating System:

5 Stars: WARNING: Vandal Savage Badass
4 Stars: Gog Badass
3 Stars: Degaton Badass
2 Stars: Captain Nazi Badass
1 Star: Gentleman Ghost Badass

Brit #5 (***1/2)

This issue actually had me thinking twice about canceling my subscription. All of a sudden, it inexplicably became more interesting. Not better, just goofier, but for a comic with a goofy tone that’s obviously a good thing. Was that the problem, the first four issues weren’t goofy enough? Maybe that’s all it was, and knowing that, I think I’ll cut this Bruce Brown guy some slack. Anyway, I like Cliff Rathburn’s art so whatever. Okay, so what happened this issue: Dr. Doom showed up and made some threats. Later, Britney (the female Brit (such a stupid idea, btw)) gets her ass kicked by some blatantly derivative “Merc with a Mouth” rip-off. Sure, it was stupid banter, but you know you laughed, and if you didn’t you’re just lying to yourself. Please, stop the lies. Next up, Britney wrestles with Japanese porn. I’m not sure in what context we’re supposed to take rip-off Deadpool’s “saved by an unwholesome cephalopod” line. Is it a reference to the tentacle prons as I suspect, or is he merely insinuating that the tentacle is unwholesome on account of its murderous tendencies? Who cares. THEN! Brit blows the mother of all snot bubbles out his nose. GROSSSSSSSSS. Oh, and some random hand eye coordination. Get it? GET IT!!! And then giant spiders out of no where! WTF indeed. Seriously, if every issue is this randomly goofy, count me in forever. Word.

Justice Society of America #14 (*****)

This is good comics. Good, solid comics boys and girls. How the hell does Johns do it? HOW?!? And this two page spread, how does he keep all these characters straight? And he adds like 2-3 new members each issue… NO JOKES! Anyway, the story is pretty straight forward this month. The JSA are having a meeting about this new god-type dude by the name of Gog. Long time DC fans with recognize the name from the Mark Waid/Alex Ross Kingdom Come Elseworlds tale. You know, the story this older Superman that joined the JSA is from. So they’re talking and shit and then BOOM. Gog shows up with Sand in tow. Is Sand dead? He takes on everyone from that two page spread and whoops all their asses. Well, not every ass. The issue ends with this BIG old splash page teaser.

The Twelve #4 (****)

It wasn’t Rising Stars. It wasn’t. That thing, in my eyes, was almost a complete failure. No, this book right here, this is JMS’s “Watchmen.” And dare I also say, Chris Weston, though he may be of the Dave Gibbons school, is the superior artist? Yes, I DARE! Now, of course I’m not implying this book is anywhere near as profound or groundbreaking as Alan Moore’s magnum opus, I’m just saying they’re very similar is all. As for the story, what we’ve got so far is a neat little murder mystery. It’s too early to say for sure, and getting into the minutia of the plot would take more time than I’m willing to spend now, but I do want to give you sideliners a taste of what you’ve been missing… because that’s what I do. In these next few pages, the purple panted Phantom Reporter guy is trying to bed the Black Widow spider chick… why would you try to sleep who fashions her costumes after one of the deadliest spiders on earth, I’ll never know. Here we go: The Wind-UpDENIED!!! The look on her face right before she leaves can only echo EPIC FAIL.

Young Liars #2 (****)

I’m so glad this book came along. I was wondering what was going to take the place of Y (ended) and 100 Bullets (ending soon), and now I wonder no more. Since the story is still getting off the ground, there’s not much to say: The entire second issue was set to song lyrics, Danny is more likable in this flashback story than he was in the first issue and Sadie is more hateable, and damn, Sadie’s family is crazy!
Damn, her family I crazy

Quick Hits:

• Criminal #2 (****): Another great stand alone from Brubaker and Phillips, which is completely “alone”, as its plots weaves its way through sections of the first issue. Kind of like how Frank Miller, when he was still awesome, used to weave his Sin City yarns. Love this book.
• Dead of Night #3 (*): Just bad.
Doktor Sleepless #6 (***): Ellis finally gets to the point. The first question that popped into my head: “Was it worth the wait?” Sadly, the answer is no. I just expected more from Ellis, something more earth shattering than secret bunkers and stolen futures. I guess it’s because my own research has been leading me in similar directions. I guess I was expecting Ellis to be three steps ahead of us. I wanted answers not the same questions I’m already asking myself. Hell, I would have settled for different questions.
• Fantastic Four #556 (**): Part 3 was barely readable. Why? Too much with the fucking snow effects! I couldn’t see what was going on. Also, Millar is trying to damn hard. Relax dude, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
• Ghost Rider #22 (*): As good as the first issue was, I can’t believe how quickly this thing went downhill. It’s just so unreadable. It’s so stupid. Like, all of a sudden there’s an “Angel Stink” on Ghost Rider? Why haven’t the demons smelled this bullshit before now? Don’t call attention to your retcon, idiots!
• G.I. Joe #10 (****): Shame it took them almost 8 years to get it right and now that it is, it’s almost over.
• Green Arrow/Black Canary # 7 (*): Another book I want to drop. I love Black Canary… I wish Dixon or Simone were writing this book. I hate you Judd Winick.
• The Last Defenders #2 (****): This book is really fun! How is Joe Casey so much fun again all of a sudden? Should I be reading Godland? His Youngblood blows, should I trust him?
• Moon Knight #17 (*): Man did I love this comic when it first came out. It was so good! It was how I’ve always wanted to see the Batman archetype. Now… garbage. I think I’m dropping all the one star books.
• Nightwing #143 (***): I know Tomasi loves his history, but I think this book reads better without all that extraneous exposition. The best part of this one was watching the brotherly give and take between Dick and Tim. The one annoyance: Why is it that Tim can handle his business in his own book, but as soon as he jumps into somebody else’s he turns into the damsel in distress?
• Powers Annual #1 (***): NEW FORMAT!! MORE PAGES!! Yet, it still read too quickly for my $4.95. Stop phoning it in, Bendis. This used to be your best book.
• The Programme #10 (-): I’m done.
• The Punisher #56 (*****): Ennis’ final act continues… OH shit, Punisher is so smart! But… so are his enemies this time. When #60 comes out, I may cry.
• Punisher War Journal #18 (**): I’m done with this version of Punisher and I think I may be done with solo Fraction books. Maybe Ennis spoiled me? But it’s also just as likely that Matt Fraction’s run out of good ideas for this character.
• Superman #675 (*): As anniversary books go, this was boring and completely forgettable. Goodbye, Busiek. You will not be missed… but I’ll see you over on Trinity!
• The Trials of Shazam #12 (*****): YAY, it’s over! And it was awesome! Best part: Captain Marvel’s name isn’t Captain Marvel anymore… it’s Shazam. YAY!
• War is Hell #2 (**): I still don’t know about this book. The main character is so hateable. Ennis better get with the revealing soon or I may lose my mind.
• Wolverine Origins #24 (**): The issue where Deadpool psychoanalyzes Wolverine. Oh, god… how cliché. WTF happened Way? I believed in you!
• Wonder Woman #19 (***): This was a misstep for Simone. There wasn’t much here to like. I thought we’d get a better answer to the question: Why does wonder Woman need to go off into space? Unfortunately, the answer was: Why not? You’re better than this, Gail. Try harder.
• Young X-Men #1 (**): It’s a first issue and it didn’t hook me. It was interesting, but not great. And FUCK, enough with Cyclops acting like an R-tard! Would the former leader of a group of persecuted teenagers really destroy that much public property… like, all the time!!!

I know that was more Quick Hits than usual, but my next shipment comes in tomorrow and I wanted to get the last batch of comics out of the way to make room for the new. So, you have my apologies.

Foilball’s Review Roundup #14

Rating System:

5 Stars: WARNING: Christopher Reeve
4 Stars: Tim Daly
3 Stars: George Reeves
2 Stars: Tom Welling
1 Star: Brandon Routh

Action Comics #863 (*****)

Finally, we reach the end of this Legion saga… is it lame if I say I miss it already? That feels extremely weird to write since I used to hate the Legion so much (and probably still do). It’s just Johns, man. That boy can write. Anything! He can make anything good! No jokes. Even in this panel, a panel filled with no-name Legion dudes and dudettes, I still laughed out loudly. Gary Frank deserves a lot of credit here as well. Without those facial expressions he draws so well, I may not have enjoyed this book as much. So, the story ends how you’d expect, and a little too much like Superman Returns, but that’s okay. I still loved it. And then Superman is like, “These are my bitches, fool!” And then the Legion proceeds to kick the crap out of Earth-Man, the same way the GLC kicked the crap out of Superboy Prime… but that’s okay, I still loved it! I see Johns sort of repeating himself, and I know I’m cutting him slack because I enjoy his work so much, but you know… that’s okay! The fight ends spectacularly with a Superman sized KO. KRRAAKK!!!

Annihilation Conquest #6 (****)

So much shit happened here I don’t even know where to begin. The dominoes begin falling on page one and we don’t ever get a chance to catch out breath; save for the special moment Quasar has with her dead lover, Moondragon. Anyway, everything goes awesomely, especially the part where Ultron takes over Praxagora and blows her ass up. BOOOOOOOM!!! Stupid robot chick. Good riddance. Although, the coolest moment by far happened on this page. Shit, I really wish we were doing another cosmic set for Vs., this would be the most awesome of cards. Sigh. Anyway, this was a great end to a series whose build up was a lot slower than its predecessor. The finale may not have been as earth shattering, I’d rate Annihilation #6 at 5 stars, but it was still satisfying and better than 90% of the recent crossover events. Bravo cosmic Marvel!

The Boys #17 (****)

Not much to say here, I just wanted to point out that Hughie and his lady friend finally get it on. Oh, Hughie, you master! But where’s the comedy here? Oh, it’s on this page. Bloody hell. I also loved the intentionally misleading cover art. It makes you think something terribly violent is about to happen to these lovers. I was worried!!!

Detective Comics #843 (****)

Speaking of getting it on… no jokes, when are Zatanna and Batman going to get it on? The tension Dini’s created is killing me. The door is open Bats, get in there!!! Is it terrible that the only exciting thing about Dini’s Batman run is the unresolved sexual tension in their relationship? Seriously, what happened to Paul Dini? First Countdown and now this… sad times.

Quick Hits:

100 Bullets #90 (****): Lono tells Loop to shoot Cole!?! WTF is going on!?! I love it!!!
Angel After the Fall # 6 (*): A couple of partial stories!?! WTF is going on!?! I hate it!!!
Anna Mercury #1 (**1/2): This book is all about exploring the ideas put forward in Planetary #9. What would happen if you created a fictional world and then traveled into it? It’s kind of disappointing Ellis didn’t do more with this in Planetary; I’m hoping we learn about the fate of the “fiction-naut” in the final issue. Anyways, this ish was fun although the character seems derivative of Ellis’ previous work. Actually, the entire thing feels that way.
Batman and the Outsiders #6 (****): What’s not to love about this book? I’m even starting to appreciate Geo-Force as a character. Also, I hope they torture the shit out of Ollie. He can take it.
Green Lantern Corps #23 (***): The new Mongul is SCARY. I want to hate the new Ion, but I can’t. He’s actually cool. Giving Mongul a bunch of rings was a good idea, why haven’t they done this before? It was the best part of Emerald Twilight. DUH!!!
• The Incredible Hercules #116 (***1/2): New art team already? This book just keeps getting better. It’s gonna make me a real sad panda when they finally bring Banner back. Oh, MORE ETERNALS!!! These guys really get no respect. The “God Squad”… to Riddick!
• Iron Man #28 (*****): I feel like Kooning has been completely redeemed in death. That was impressive. The Knaufs impress every issue though. The most impressive thing about this ish? SILVER & RED CENTURION armor!!! Non-Skrull Dum-Dum is a badass, btw. “Hey Stark, let’s take out the UN!” GROSS. Tony ripped the Mandarin’s rings out of his spine! And then he lasers off his own foot? Spectacular ending to an epic run. Wow.
• Kick-Ass #2 (****): Ok, I was wrong about this book. It’s really good.
• Logan #2 (***): OK, this is getting kind of cool. So the flaming dead guy is actually an immortal/mutant like Wolverine that got A-bombed? Cool, I guess. Is this the origin of Wolverine getting blown to bits? Did that story need to be told? Stupid.
• Midnighter #18 (*): A little tired of random dudes taking out the Authority, aren’t you? I mean, Giffen did a better job of it than most, talking about the bad guy’s inner monologue, but it was still old new man. And next issue he’s just gonna fight Midnighter again. Part 1, fight Midnighter. Part 2, fight the Authority. Part 3, fight Midnighter again. Boring.
• Robin #173 (****): Is this the real Spoiler? I don’t know how he’ll explain it, but I kind of hope it is. Even if it’s the result of another stupid Superboy continuity punch.
• X-Factor #30 (*): This was the worst kind of fill-in story. I have no idea what’s going on or why David thought this idea was cool.
• X-Men: Divided We Stand #1 (***1/2): This was tons better than I expected it to be. Usually, these anthology type deals have one good story and 3 or 4 stainers. This one was 100% stains free.
• Young X-Men #1 (**): It’s a first issue and it didn’t hook me. It was interesting, but not great. And FUCK, enough with Cyclops acting like an R-tard! Would the former leader of a group of persecuted teenagers really destroy that much public property… like, all the time!!!


Triple Review +1



Booster Gold #8

Blue and Gold chapter 3: Freedom Fighters

Geoff Johns revitalization of the Booster Gold book has been nothing short of miraculous, and barring a few slip-ups here and there – the Barbara Gordon issue, for example –  the series has also been fairly critically popular.  This, however, seems to be one of the slip-ups.  The issue is just a little bit bland.  It’s still fairly well-written, the art is still some of Jurgens’ best, and the overall story is still interesting, but the issue is just a little bit too predictable. Continue reading

Foilball’s Review Roundup #2

Rating System:

5 Stars: WARNING: May Cause Head Explosion.
4 Stars: A first read!
3 Stars: Read it when you can.
2 Stars: Give it away when you’re done.
1 Star: BURN IT!

Gravel #1 (***1/2)


Gravel is the story of William Gravel, Combat Magician. His previous exploits can be found in the various Strange Kiss/Killings trades by Warren Ellis and Mike Wolfer. The basic premise of the character and the ongoing series is this: There are 7 Major Magicians in England and there are 7 Minor Magician Detectives. Gravel is one of the Minor ones. Believing Gravel to be dead, a new magician was promoted to the Minor 7. Now, a rogue element within this fraternity is causing all kinds of havoc and conjuring up some nasty shit, like this. Is that a lizard penis? Anyway, I wanted to do a full review of this issue, but it’s basically just a lot of set-up and new reader stuff. This is fine. I’ve always loved the Gravel character, but hated what Ellis has done with him previously. Hated is a strong word, I guess I was disappointed that he hasn’t come up with anything more interesting than zombies and deep throat alien women. Okay, the body orchard idea was pretty cool. Anyway again, I’m super excited that we’re finally getting an ongoing Gravel book and Mike Wolfer isn’t doing the art (apologies to Wolfer). The first issue holds a ton of promise and I love the new artist. If you like SAS badasses mixed with magic, or you’re just an Ellis whore like me, Gravel may be right up your alley. Continue reading