Nov 012014
 
Four-Color Bullet

Four-Color Bullet

Welcome to another Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column not afraid to give out comics on Halloween. Thanks for joining me on Saturday as I race through the best comics in the Multiverse. Two more weeks, and we’ll be back to our regular Thursday slot. For now, though: COMICS!

From Marvel this week, the new Deathlok is here, in Deathlok #1; Steve Rogers and Deadpool team up to keep Logan’s DNA from falling into the wrong hands, in Death of Wolverine: Deadpool and Captain America #1; and the final chapter of what really happened in the Cancerverse, in Guardians of the Galaxy #20.

From DC Comics this week, the last time Deacon Blackfire took control of Gotham, it was almost the end of Batman. What happens now that he’s wielding unspeakable power? The answer, in Batman: Eternal  #30. The House of Mystery and the House of Secrets take human form, and the team is hard-pressed to contain the chaos, in Justice League Dark Annual #2; and it’s changes aplenty for the Amazonian Warrior in the grand finale of Brian Azzarello’s epic run on Wonder Woman in issue 35.

From IDW this week, the fate of the multiverse lies in the hands of Samurai Jack, the Powerpuff Girls, Dexter, and Ben 10. And if they can’t beat Aku and his League of Extraordinary Villains, hope may yet be found in the unlikely team up of Mojo Jojo and Ed, Edd, and Eddy, in the fifth chapter of Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War! 

And the folks at Dark Horse Comics proudly presents Mike Mignola’s Baltimore: The Wolf and the Apostle #1

 

Students with mysterious powers. Mythical monsters lurking in the shadows. Enemies poised to make their move. Welcome to Weird Japan.

Writer: Jim Zub Artist: Steve Cummings Colorists: John Rauch, Jim Zub, and Tamra Bonvillain IMAGE

Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Steve Cummings
Colorists: John Rauch, Jim Zub, and Tamra Bonvillain
IMAGE

Wayward just continues to freaking chug right along on the tracks of awesomeness,and I am almost ready to name it as Four-Color Bullet’s Book of the Year, and it’s still just November. We’re on issue three, now, and there’s no sign of slowing down. Every month, writer Jim Zub reveals a little more of the mystery. There’s no getting buried in plot details, no stumbling over character introductions … at least not in this issue. Everything is seamless and happens naturally.

Rori continues to deal with her powers, on top of being gaijin, and trying to figure out where she fits in the puzzle. We meet a new character named Nikaido, who will likely join our intrepid band of teenage monster hunters, after a quite accidental introduction. And we get a glimpse of the villains of the story. Not too much though. Just enough to give us a taste and how they’re going to get tangled up in the lives of our intrepid young heroes. And toss in a wicked cliffhanger of an ending, and readers will have little doubt that Wayward is going to deliver some pretty good things.

Steve Cummings’ art and his intimate knowledge of Tokyo makes Wayward more believable, and his action scenes are just fantastic. And with John Rauch and Tamra Bonvillain as part of the artistic team, the pages are eye-popping and visually pleasing, Regular readers of this column know how much I loved IDW’s Ghostbusters. Wayward is the replacement for that book. It’s just a really, well-done, can’t-wait-to-read-every-month book.

And that will wrap up the best comic book review column in the Multiverse for this week. Email and comment, if you choose. I hope everyone had a safe and scary Halloween.

It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See you next Saturday!

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Oct 252014
 
fourColorBullet1

fourColorBullet1

Welcome to another week of Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column that kicks butt and doesn’t need the Super-Soldier Serum to do it. As you may have noticed, it’s Saturday, and the best comic book review column in the Multiverse will be coming to you on Saturday instead of Thursday for the next four weeks. So bear with me, and we’ll back to our regularly scheduled day soon. The reason for the move is classified, but stay tuned to Krypton Radio for hints as to my whereabouts.

And now  … COMICS!

On the DC comics side of the fence, catastrophe strikes Arkham Asylum, and the inmates have to be housed somewhere else, plunging Batman into an eerie murder mystery, in the first issue of Arkham Manor; Slade Wilson a.k.a. Deathstroke kicks off his new solo book by being hunted by someone who may have the skills to actually bring him down, in Deathstroke #1; and after an amnesia-stricken Power Girl crashes into Coney Island from space, it’s Harley Quinn to the rescue, and she’s only too happy to remind PG that they are best friends, and a crime-fighting team, in Harley Quinn #11.

From Marvel this week, the hate hits the fan as Axis continues with its third issue; X-23 reflects on the life and death of the man who gave her purpose, in Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #2; and Kamala Khan a.k.a. the new Ms. Marvel helps Spider-Man take on a powerful and angry Kree warrior, and a backup story features Mayday Parker in a fight unlike anything she’s ever been in before, as Spider-Verse inches closer, in Amazing Spider-Man #8.

From IDW, Mulder and Scully’s investigation of an abortion clinic bombing leads them to a teenage girl who claims to talk to God, but whose actions are far from heavenly, in Part Two of Immaculate, in The X-Files Season 10 #17; and Cow and Chicken join the multi-dimensional cartoon fracas known as the Super Secret Crisis War, in Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War!: Cow and Chicken #1.

 

The most famous enemies of the paranormal have just been killed on live television. Their kids are next.

Writer: Jacob Semahn Artist: Jorge Corona Colorist: Gabriel Cassata IMAGE

Writer: Jacob Semahn
Artist: Jorge Corona
Colorist: Gabriel Cassata
IMAGE

So let’s say that your parents are famous hunters of the paranormal, in a world where the paranormal is known and feared. And let’s say that you’re watching your famous parents live on television as they’re working on a case. Then, let’s just say that you watch your parents get killed on live TV by the beasties they’re hunting. And then the beasties come for you. That’s the premise behind Image’s new horror comic, The Goners. Zoe and Josiah Latimer are watching their famous parents in action when they’re killed on live television. Now, with the most powerful paranormal hunters out of the way, the things that go bump in the night are targeting their children.

This first issue by Jacob Semahn and Jorge Corona is all about mystery, intrigue, and thrills as we see the kids try to survive, and we the readers are wondering what the heck just happened. Was it in inside job? Did someone set the Latimers up? There are a lot of questions and few answers by the time we get to the end of the issue, leaving us waiting for next month.

Artist Jorge Corona and his colorist comrade Gabriel Cassata provide some great visuals, and is probably the best part about the book. It’s got a Saturday morning vibe that seems to work well in this story of kids, creepy creatures, and spellslinging/powers.

Not much bad to say, except the book moves quickly, and you have a brief instant to get emotionally attached to the characters before all heck breaks loose.

Image just keeps churning out hits, and this one I’ll keep checking on. It’s obvious that Semahn has a story to tell about the end of the Latimer family and what happens next in the vacuum, and he wants to tell it. This is definitely one to watch.

 

Something strange in the neighborhood. Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters! And the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Writers: Erik Burnham and Tom Waltz Artists: Charles Paul Wilson III, Cory Smith, and Dan Schoening. Colors: Luis Antonio Delgado and Ronda Patterson IDW

Writers: Erik Burnham and Tom Waltz
Artists: Charles Paul Wilson III, Cory Smith, and Dan Schoening.
Colors: Luis Antonio Delgado and Ronda Patterson
IDW

Finally. Two of the most popular franchises of the ’80s are teaming up. Erik Burnham of Ghostbusters (which sadly ended its series, a fact I’m still lamenting) and Tom Waltz of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are collaborating to bring readers the team-up of the millennium. Well … at least for me. But this first issue was still really good and worth the wait. As most team-ups tend to be, this isn’t a day-in-the-life story. Both sides are just doing something on a Saturday morning, then, team-up occurs. It feels more like a TMNT story because what’s going on in the current series has a lot to do with what happens here, but not so much that you have to be a reader of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to get it. It’s very easy and accessible for new readers, thanks to a well-done introduction that gives you all the info you need.

It also happens to be drawn by three different art teams: something I usually can’t stand. But as a friend of mine and I were discussing earlier, it works well in this case because each creative team deals with a different time, dimension, etc. Charles Paul Wilson III handles the first five pages, which is our  dark and spooky intro that takes place in ancient Japan; Cory Smith and Ronda Patterson take the next four, which takes place in the New York of the Turtles; and finally, Dan Schoening and Luis Antonio Delgado, who impressed me every month with their work on the Ghostbusters ongoing, handle the last 10 pages, after the Turtles end up in the Ghostbusters’ New York and do some ghostbusting of a different sort.

Everybody gets time in this issue, from Venkman and crew on the job, to Leo and the gang doing their thing, until the end when the awesome happens.

Burnham and Waltz have done amazing jobs on their respective titles, and to see them come together for the first time for this crossover is nothing short of exciting. I had very high expectations coming into it, and I was not disappointed. From the outside looking in, it’s easy to see where this could be nothing more than a chance to make money with flashing dollar signs in the eyes of all concerned. But once you read it, or if you’re reading (or have read, in the case of Ghostbusters) either of the titles, you’re going to see how much the writers and artists care about the characters they’re writing about. While it’s very satisfying if you’ve been following along with either series, new fans will be able to read with minimal being-in-the-dark. This was my pick of the week. Seriously. You’re going to love it.

And that wraps Four-Color Bullet for this week. Don’t forget to find it on Saturdays for the next three weeks, then we’re back on Thursday. Thanks for checking in!

It’s a great time to be a comics fan. Really. It is. Did you see that Avengers 2: Age of Ultron trailer? See? It is.

See ya next Saturday!

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Oct 222014
 
marvel-tv-special-age-of-ultron-trailer-age-of-ultron (1)
At San Diego Comic Con, attendees were treated to a sneak peak of Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it’s very different from what you’re about to see. Marvel announced that they’d be premiering the first movie trailer during Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. next Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. After a version of the trailer was leaked earlier today, Marvel has now officially released the trailer on its own YouTube channel.

The new movie is very, very dark. Tony Stark has tried to restart a dormant civil defense program, but it goes bad quickly. Now they have to deal with Ultron, who seems to have the Avengers in a very bad place. There are a lot of flash frames of collateral damage, plus an amazing short sequence featuring Stark’s “Hulkbuster” armor – the very existence of which raises all sorts of questions.

Will humanity survive Ultron?  Will the Avengers?  This trailer does what trailers are meant to do.  It whets the appetite.

Avengers: Age of Ultron will star Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, James Spader as the voice of Ultron, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver.  It’s due out May 2015.

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Oct 172014
 
fourColorBullet1

fourColorBullet1

[We apologize for the late posting of this week’s Four-Color Bullet. Our editor ran away from home. She has since been located in a remote town in northern California, and put back to work. Thank you for your patience.]

 

Welcome to this week’s Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column not rebooting with an all-female cast.

This week in the comicsverse, those guys at Marvel bring us the second issue of Avengers vs. X-Men: AXIS, wherein our heroes learn the horrible secret of the Red Skull’s Genoshan Re-education camps; Edge of Spider-Verse #5 introduces us to another player in the upcoming Spider-Verse saga: SP//dr; and Wolverine is dead, but who will be shaped more by his legacy? His allies or his enemies?, in Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy.

From DC this week, Part One of The Amazo Virus begins in Justice League #35; Huntress and Power Girl return home to defend it from the forces of Apokolips, in Earth 2: World’s End #2; and Raven’s night out lands the Titans in trouble, in Teen Titans #5.

 

Writer: Charles Soule Artists: Steve McNiven and Justin Ponsor MARVEL

Writer: Charles Soule
Artists: Steve McNiven and Justin Ponsor
MARVEL

“Death of …” issues in comics are almost always gimmicky. Ask those of us who were around when Superman died, or even when they retconned Jean Grey’s death in X-Men. The death of Wolverine, while assuredly not permanent, was handled in a very non-gimmick way. Fans knew for some time that this was coming. It wasn’t like the good old days when if a character died, you didn’t know about it until you read the issue. Death of Wolverine #4, and the entire series for that matter, has been great. Charles Soule, who is one of Marvel’s best writers, did a fantastic job at writing a well-paced story no one had done before. Aside from his death, which does happen, we see many favorite allies and enemies, reminding us what a long and storied life Logan had. Throw some Steve McNiven and Justin Ponsor art, this series was just about as good as it could have been. I have a gripe … one solitary gripe … but we’ll get to that in a minute.

I’m not coming out with spoilers of any sort. If you were a Wolverine fan of any caliber, you need to read this series. This comic book nerd thought it was a heroic and touching send off that was very Shakespearean to me and honored one of Comicdom’s most iconic characters. For decades, fans read Wolverine’s famous dialogue: “I’m the best there is at what I do,” often followed by, “and what I do ain’t very nice. Bub.” What Wolverine does this issue confirms his being the best. If that last page doesn’t stir something, I’d almost say you’re not a fan of literature.

My only real gripe, is that I felt that it didn’t have to take four issues to tell this story. Sometimes it felt like Soule wanted to add more but didn’t have the time.

This was just a great series, and the final issue was powerful, and just one of the best Wolverine stories I’ve read in a long time. And now that Wolverine is dead, his legacy will live on. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Because it looks like Marvel’s 2015 Secret Wars reboot … well … I wouldn’t count the old Canuck out for long.

And that wraps up this week’s Four-Color Bullet. For the next four weeks, I’ll be … busy, so you can catch your favorite comic book review column on Saturdays during that time. As for my whereabouts, stay tuned to Krypton Radio for that info. They’ll have interesting pics.

It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See you next Saturday!

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Oct 112014
 
Poster for the animated Guardians of the Galaxy to premiere in 2015.
Poster for the animated Guardians of the Galaxy to premiere in 2015.

Poster for the animated Guardians of the Galaxy to premiere in 2015.

by Nur Hussein, staff writer

Yesterday, at New York Comic Con, Marvel told audiences that the Guardians of the Galaxy animated series (announced last August at San Diego Comic Con) is now in production, with a slated release date of 2015 on Disney XD. Attendees at both cons saw some test footage of the show, and Disney/Marvel has released said footage on the internet. The clip reveals a stylized, almost anime-like approach to the art and animation, and it works pretty well.

We see Rocket pursued by a robot drone across the rainy rooftops of a futuristic cityscape in the rain, before he finally vanquishes it with a freakily large gun. Then we see Star-Lord, who then proceeds tells him “you definitely need bigger blasters.” Make no mistake, Marvel is cashing in on the popularity of this summer’s hottest comic book movie; this is the smart-alec version of Star-Lord we saw in the film, complete with disappearing helmet. We can see all the characters in the poster for the show, and they’re all dressed in their movie outfits.

Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen animated versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy. They’ve also appeared on two Avengers cartoons (Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Avengers: Assemble) as well as Ultimate Spider-Man. All of these were released before the Guardians movie, thus the character designs were more based on the comics. On Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Guardians’ roster was different too; instead of Gamora and Drax we had Phyla-Vell/Quasar and Adam Warlock. It is unknown whether the new cartoon’s roster will incorporate other Guardians from the comics, but let’s hope so! It’s a very richly detailed world and it’d be nice to meet these ‘fringe’ characters from the Marvel universe.

The cartoon will be produced by Marvel Animation, with Alan Fine, Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, and Jeph Loeb named as producers. So if you miss the Guardians, you won’t have to wait for the 2017 sequel before we see them again!

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Oct 092014
 
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fourColorBullet1

Welcome to another Four-Color Bullet. I am proud to say that we are the only comic-book review column not responsible for the destruction of an entire universe. So let’s talk about comics.

From Marvel, it’s time for yet another company-wide event as the Avengers and the X-Men team up again, this time to take down the Red Skull, armed with Xavier’s brain, in Axis #1;  Ms. Marvel teams up with the Amazing Spider-Man, and the Spider-Verse event draws near, in The Amazing Spider-Man #7; and it’s Halloween in Brooklyn, and the bad guys are dressing up as good guys and Hawkeye and Deadpool team up to stop the mess, in Hawkeye and Deadpool #1.

From DC this week,  it’s the beginning of the end of Earth 2 in Earth 2: World’s End #1; Klarion the Witchboy is bored and Earth is his new playground, in Klarion #1; and a new era of Batgirl begins, in Batgirl #35.

And Jack Burton’s quest to save Wang Chi may be over, but Lo Pan still has his eyes on Miao Yin, in Big Trouble in Little China #5 by BOOM! Studios.

 

Joshua Williamson: Writer Andrei Bressan: Artist IMAGE COMICS

Joshua Williamson: Writer
Andrei Bressan: Artist
IMAGE COMICS

Only one comic this week made it this far, but it’s a doozy. Joshua Williamson has another smash hit on his hands with Birthright. After Ghosted, and Nailbiter, how much more can this guy top himself? It seems like everything Image has put out lately is becoming a favorite, but that’s just the quality of Image Comics.

Birthright #1 starts out as a missing-child story. Williamson brilliantly depicts the emotional turmoil of a family losing their child. Desperate fathers, grieving mothers, and the destruction of a family. We see some time pass, and how this family copes with the loss of a child. And then the crazy comes. Honestly, I think the less you know about this comic, the better. Just when you think you know where the story is taking you, it throws a sack over your head, spins you around 40 times, then pushes you down a hill. Now, twists happen all the time in comics, and they’re getting so frequent that comics readers are getting kind of cynical. This month’s issue of DC’s Batman throws a big twist at you.

But Williamson pulls this one off smashingly. And even if the twist doesn’t impress you, that last page will have you screaming and looking for the rest of the comic, and you’re going to get angry when you realize you have to wait until next month. As if this book couldn’t get better, you’re hit with the amazing art of Andrei Bressan. Artists have the tough job, especially with a first issue, of establishing the looks of the characters when you first meet them. Bressan does it like a pro.

I have nothing negative to say about this book. Nothing. It’s a fun first issue that throws you a curve and has you gasping for the next issue. Loved it. Go get it. And in 10 years, you can hold up your first issue proudly.

And this wraps a very short Four-Color Bullet. Always feel free to email or comment on anything. Anything at all.

It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See you next Thursday!

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