Showing posts with label dynamite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dynamite. Show all posts

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Invaders Now! HC


I picked this one up from the library, and it’s odd, I like the Invaders, I like Christos Gage, but this series left me fairly cold. In fact, other than the excellent Torch trade, I haven’t loved any of the Invaders material that Dynamite put out over the last few months.

And really, I should have liked this a lot more. This story features Arnim Zola, Shuma Gorath, and zombies. I mean, those are three of my favorite things, right? But the whole time lost element of the story never totally works. I just don’t feel bad for Bucky Cap or Toro, not as much as I guess I should. It’s also hard to get riled up about the repercussions of a story we never heard about before now.

Gage does a nice job with Union Jack, giving the character a pretty great batting average. Has anyone actually read a bad story featuring the current Union Jack? I can’t think of one. Steve Rogers is fine, as is Toro, but Namor, Spitfire, and the Torch don’t get a ton to do. The Golden Age Vision is somewhat interesting, but I don’t know much of anything about the character.

Arnim Zola isn’t much of a mastermind, leaving the main scheming up to the Lovecraftian Shuma Gorath. Shuma doesn’t have any dialogue, so it’s up to Zola and a weird WWII survivor to give the Invaders someone to play off. The dramatics never fully coalesced for me.

Caio Reis is a new name for me, and his art is decent. It’s tough going up against those Alex Ross covers. Reis’ faces were a bit lumpy and sometimes the battle scenes were too sketchy.

Average

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kirby: Genesis #0


I didn't appreciate Kirby's stuff when I was a kid, but boy, do I ever love it now. There isn't a ton of material in this $1.00 sampler from Dynamite, but there is enough to get me interested. Some of the designs in this thing are killer. Tiger 20 is one of the best designs I've seen, and I have to love Ember and Silver Star. These concepts have a lot of similarity with the New Gods and Eternals, but if you are looking for classic Kirby, then that certainly fits the bill.

Kurt Busiek has some of his normal POV characters in some kids (and one parent) who will guide us around this new Genesis universe of Kirby characters. I hope we don't get too much of them, I want high concepts and sci-fi action. It looks like there should be plenty of both.

Alex Ross' re-designs and updates to Kirby's sketches look wonderful, and it seems regular series artist Jack Herbert can keep up the pace. I'm not usually out to pick up Dynamite books, but I think this creative team is going to force me to make an exception.

Good

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dan Dare Omnibus

Garth Ennis is a man of his principles. He doesn't seem to be a big fan of government, but he loves the soldiers that make that government run. That's true in his WWII War Stories and it is true in this sci-fi tale of alien invasion. I haven't had any exposure to Dan Dare before this hardcover, but I found myself really enjoying it.

Britain is the last super-power on Earth and Dan Dare is in well-deserved retirement. Dare spends his days wandering around a holographic world of old England when he's called back into service to battle his old foe the Mekon. I guess these guys have a long history, with the Mekon leading an alien race into attacking Earth, only to be repelled by Dare. There's a great line in this collection about how the Mekon's major motivation for everything he does now is to humiliate and defeat Dan Dare "the man who taught me to hate."

The story is made in the smaller moments, not in the overall story. Dan Dare's former teammate taking over the government in small doses is entertaining and shows off the "waiting" part of war nicely. I love how Britain's space fleet still feels like a Navy. The company of marines that follows Dare around on a few harrowing missions were tremendous. The squad leader even claims to have had worse down at the pub when his arm is ripped off!

And Ennis nails the cost of war as he always does, with Dare's new protege having to go up against overwhelming odds to give the mission a chance of success. This holds up nicely against Ennis' other war stories, and I recommend it. It's refreshing seeing he still tells riveting stories in addition to the fairly offensive stuff in The Boys and Herogasm.

Gary Erskine makes space ships and armored suits look mundane. And that's a compliment. The sci-fi elements look functional and working, nothing too sleek or crazy. The personal elements of this story would only work with grounded art, and Erskine delivers.

Good

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Green Hornet #1

So maybe it's me. I just don't see anything that cool or original about the Green Hornet. I read this first issue to see if I was missing something, but it doesn't seem like I am. I like the banter between the Hornet and Kato, but that isn't really unique. The criminals were pretty generic. I was intrigued that the Hornet's wife knew about his secret ID, but I'm totally confused on the story structure. Two-thirds of the way through the book it says "Today" and I had to go back to see what the earlier sections were about. I don't know who anyone is well enough to care that Brit is getting walked out on. Or maybe that's the original Hornet's son at the end? I'm obviously confused. (Upon a re-read, yes, that is the son of the original Hornet, but man, talk about unclear!)

Kevin Smith's screenplay might have been a fun little actioner, and to be honest, I do like the way Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau lay out the action, but I'm really confused. Why is Kato a girl on that cover? I'd say this isn't my cup of tea.

Average

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Buck Rogers #2-5

Wow. I knew I liked Scott Beatty, his stories always have a good mix of characterization with brisk plotting, but I didn't expect to like Buck Rogers this much. This is a really fun, retro take on Buck Rogers. The sci-fi world Buck finds himself catapulted to is fascinating. Centuries ago, Earth launched DNA samples of the animals of Earth into space and in the intervening years, those samples have been used to genetically engineer intelligent animals that are out to harvest humans. For food. Not only that, their spaceships are gigantic floating abbattoirs powered by nuclear worms that eat liquefied flesh. That's gross, but also awesome. Buck is thrust into this mad future and he responds by taking charge, flirting with Wilma Deering, and shooting things with his atomizer pistol. There are some interesting politics going on with a few human traitors, and both of them survive this first arc by disguising their intentions. I'm also quite pleased at the mastermind species that leads the animal army. Let's just say the hulking, robotic form they wear does a good job making them more impressive than they normally are. I'm digging that Buck seems to have a soft touch too, when making his escape, he rescues some intelligent animal prisoners. I'm hoping that means we'll get some neat animal men joining the cast as good guys. I highly recommend this book to anyone who digs sci-fi action flicks.

Carlos Rafael is a real find. The futuristic space-ranger suits worn by Buck and Wilma look awesome, but he does just as fine a job on the retro suits they find in the trash. He does a nice job making the animal faces expressive too, which can be tough. Naturally, that means his humans are even more effective. This is a very professional package. Pick this up.

Good

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Buck Rogers #1

I know very little about Buck Rogers. I don't know about the future he lives in or the character himself. But I do know one thing, bears with backpacks and laser guns are awesome. That's why although Scott Beatty didn't really win me over on the core concept, I do have faith that he's including some cool stuff in this new sci-fi title.

It seems "Buck" Rogers is an independent-minded test pilot who has been shunted off into the future. From what we see of Buck here, it really looks like another comic featuring Hal Jordan. At the least, these two would really get along. Aside from some quick background to show how brave and independent Buck is, the rest of the issue is setup, giving us glimpses of a future world of black jumpsuits, jet packs, and laser pistols. It seems interesting enough, but until that laser-bear showed up on the last page, I wasn't sold. Now I absolutely must see what Ursinius is up to, and if he is as awesome as he seems. Perhaps a spin-off limited series?

Carlos Rafael has a nice clean style that works well with both the current and future tech. I like the design on the future-lady and her gear, and he does a nice job with faces and realistic poses. He also draws one hell of a laser bear.

Did I mention I like the bear?

comic - Fair
Laser Bear - Excellent

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Battlefields: Dear Billy #1-3


Garth Ennis, you bastard. No one can write more moving war comics than Ennis and he does it again here. Carrie and Billy's story ends logically, I'll give it that. This series is fantastic and a worthy descendant of the War Stories Ennis penned for DC a few years ago. I never know if the facts in these are adapted truths or if Ennis is making things up, but either way he does a fantastic job. I'll be grabbing this trade for certain. The story has wartime action, interpersonal drama, humor, and of course moments of crushing heartbreak too. I won't go into detail since this is at heart a simple story, and I don't want to ruin it. But if you've been steering clear of these Dynamite Battlefields books, make an exception. This is a fantastic genre story by a man who seems to understand it better than anyone else. I honestly can't believe this is the same guy who write The Boys.

Peter Snejbjerg's art has an emotional resonance on every page. The difficult subject matter could be wrecked by a less skilled artist, but in Snejbjerg's hands this is a story that will stay with you for a long time.

Excellent

Monday, March 23, 2009

Super-Zombies #1

Wow. I have no idea what I just read. I understand the concept of starting a story in media res, but man, if you are going to know that, I need to know the players, you know? These are all new characters fighting other all new characters. Some of whom might be zombies, but I can't really tell from the art. Are all the heroes in this issue zombies? The flashbacks confused me, I couldn't tell when some pages took place if they didn't have something clearly cluing me in on when it was happening. Again, I get the feeling that Guggenheim and Gonzales were going for, things are moving fast, there are a lot of established relationships, etc. But I have absolutely no idea what happened in this issue! There is just way too much happening here, no point of view characters for the reader to identify with. Heck, I don't even know if there are any main characters? I should have a better concept of what the book is about after reading issue 1 of a 6 part series. I mean, I like super-heroes. Even the obscure new ones like Joe Phillips' Heretic, or Jonathan Peterson's Strikeback. I love zombies. But I don't like this.

Mel Rubi's art is nice in some pin-upy type shots, but his storytelling was pretty confusing. The designs for the heroes vary wildly, some seemed cool, while others were 90s-Image at its worst.

Poor