Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ratings and Rantings

It's that time again, the weekly review of comics by yours truly, so allow me to welcome you back to my Red Hood with another edition of Ratings and Rantings! Before we jump into the groove of things I want to make a few announcements.

The first announcement is this weekend I'll debut a new article called "The Top Five", and that will include five categories along with the top five choices for that category. So, I figure it may be boring if it's just my top five, so if anyone wants to participate in listing your top five, I'm going to name the categories at the bottom of the article. Then I'll have you guys send me your top five for each category, and we'll see how everything adds up. It's just something I figured would be fun to see how everyone thinks. The deadline for that will be Saturday at Noon Eastern time, so make sure if you want to take part, to send me what you think before Saturday afternoon since it'll be up that day.

The second announcement, This Sunday you guys can look forward to an Animated Movie Review. Which one? I haven't decided yet, but you guys will, because I'll allow you to vote for it, in this column at the bottom. So yeah, I'm turning up the heat on the blog, just trying to make it more enjoyable for everyone. Man this is a LONG opener, so let's get to some comics!


Action Comics #890

Action Comics is now about the former President of the United States and our favorite alien  hating bald man, Alexander "Lex" Luthor. Funny thing is it's not under the Brightest Day banner but the Blackest Night Aftermath banner. We start off seeing Lex hanging off of a building... well hanging by a building, yet he isn't worried at all about being dropped by the person who's holding him there, he just wants to know what their goal is. He then thinks about how this all started. Lex of course is being Lex and fired a dude then says spread rumors so he never works in this field again, and he does this right in front of the man. I'd say Lex had some hair on his boys if I didn't know he had alopecia. (That's loss of hair from the body FYI.) The guy attacks Lex and lets just say that doesn't work in his favor. Later Lex has dinner with a woman he calls Lois... It's damn sure not Lois Lane and if it is it'd gotta be a robot or something because come on dude. Lois would NEVER leave Clark for Lex. I'm going with a clone or a robot. So it turns out Lex wants a power ring, not just one but one of each if possible. It's funny seeing Lex's thoughts and he pictures everyone bowing to him from Supes, Batman, and Wonder Woman to Darkseid, The Joker and even Brainiac. The end was underwhelming only because of the reveal but other than that it was a very solid issue, I love Lex's character so I'm loving him taking over this comic, it should be interesting. This issue gets a 7.5/10.

Lex Luthor: I've made up my mind about the former employee who assaulted me. Would you kill him now, please?
 

The Flash #3

Isit just me or is this series going by REALLY slow? Especially when Gen Lost is bi-weekly this seems like it's taking forever. We jump in with Boomer getting checked out by the doctors after the guards beat the hell out of him in the previous issue. They beat him up some more after he fights back, then he magically forms a Boomerang, I'm guessing due to his "MYSTICAL RETURN FROM THE DEAD!!!!!" Or some crap. Anyway Barry lucks off because they believe he contaminated the scene like an amateur, because sure, he's THAT stupid.  Later, he meets with Iris and then he's attacked again by the Renegades. who show that their pretty awesome. They also allude to Iris West possibly committing some crime in the near future, around Flashpoint maybe? Dun dun dunnnn! Anyway this issue ends with a bit of a surprise, I'm just happy it didn't end the exact same way it did with one and two, with someone telling Barry Allen he was guilty for killing someone. It was an okay issue but nothing special, I'll give it a 5/10.

Captain Boomerang: Well now gents, looks like I got me some Get out of Jail free cards!


Batman Beyond #1 of 6

So the return of Terry McGinnis at last. After seeing him pop up in Superman/Batman Annual #4 as well as Batman #700 I gotta say I have pretty high expectations for this mini-series. This issue starts with Amanda Waller walking around Cadmus labs which was recently broken out of by someone, we aren't told who yet though. Those who watched Batman Beyond of the Justice League Unlimited cartoons will recall Terry and Waller have an amicable relationship after she announced to him that Bruce is genetically his biological father. Anywho we finally see Terry, with Bruce in ear of course, fighting crime, including the Spellbinder. Turns out Terry's been fighting crime in Gotham for 12 hours straight but can't catch a break. Our newer Batman is once again offered a spot in the JLA (referring to Batman Beyond Season 3) but turns it down, he's told the door is always open as he takes off in his Bat-Plane. The escaped man goes on to kill former Batman Villain, Signalman, and he's killed by being stabbed in the heart Twice, and the Throat Twice with Two different knives. Got any ideas yet? Well... I won't ruin it for you but I loved the ending. It was one of those things that's in your face and you don't even realize it. I thought this was a fantastic opening issue and although not perfect it was very close. I'll give it a 9/10.

Terry: Ace, Tell me he's not upstairs watching that Zorro DiGi again...
Bruce: I only watch that move once a year. Once.


Gotham City Sirens #13

Maggie Kyle gives a whole new meaning to the term "The Flying Nun" on this issue of Gotham City Sirens! That's be the solicitation if I were working for DC. Anyway, Selina tries to talk her crazy ass sister out of a fight but it doesn't work, so Selina and Harley both attack but are thwarted by the crazy nun chick that has the power of a demon or something. Yeah, it's not the easiest storyline to follow. The page that had Batman's Rogue gallery was very awesome to look at and was very well done. Harley's written very well, a few of her lines were hilarious but for a lot of this issue I just couldn't get into it. I mean as fast as that Nun chick was moving she could've cut Selina's throat twenty times. And the ending really... annoyed me. So I don't know where the Sirens go from here, but I'm not sure I'll be sticking around much longer to see if it doesn't improve. 4/10 rating for this issue.

Harley Quinn: Hey Sister Psycho! Here's something I owe ya!

Green Lantern #55

The return of Lobo. Oh hell's yeah Bastiches! I'm a fan of Lobo, and he's usually fun when he's around, minus that crap in 52 with him. And if the cover is right and he's fighting Atrocitus then this should be awesome. And... it has begun! Turns out an anonymous person has put out a bounty on Atrocitus and had "The Main Man" Lobo go after him. The two big men duke it out and the White Lantern tells Hal to help Atrocitus so he does. Hal makes the mistake of riding Lobo's "Fraggin" bike and hits Lobo with it. Lobo then gets beat up by Sinestro, so that's Sinestro, Hal, Carol and Atrocitus, man Lobo has some guts. Lobo breaks out of Carol's Hallucination Crystal, he then tells her what he really loves, which leads to her constructing a HUGE hand and slapping him. Eventually the four Corps members band together and Lobo takes off. We later find off why, and boy is it a good reason. All I'm gonna say is I can't wait to see what happens with The Main Man. Say what ya want about Geoff but this continues to be a solid series. The mini with Dex-Starr made this comic even better, I love his motivation for being with the Red Lantern Corps. I'll give this issue of Green Lantern a well deserved 10/10.

Sinestro: You sealed Lobo in your Hallucination Inducing Chrystal?
Carol: I thought it may sedate him. You've been encased in the Sapphire crystal before. It shows you your greatest love, which in your case I'd guess was a mirror.
Sinestro: Yes. A Mirror. How Humorous.


The Joker's Asylum: Clayface

This is the last issue of the second Joker's Asylum run. This time we get to see a story about Basil Karlo a.k.a. Clayface, called Mudnight Madness. Pretty nice title compared to some of the others. He attacks a kid at the movie theater who insults his work, because the kid was unaware that he was Karlo.  Afterwards we see a flashback to before Clayface became the mud monster he is today. He has an argument with his co-star who tells him no one remembers the guy who plays the monster, they just remember the star. Basil tells him that he disagrees and he'll prove it. Back in the present timeline Clayface is pissed off about his movie being used in a "shlockfest" so he rampages the movie theater until he comes upon someone dressed like his character. Clayface's description of how he was going to kill this guy was excellent. It was so chilling and descriptive that it really makes you think about how a guy like Clayface is the last person you wanna run into. The smoke shot of Batman was amazing, and his return to the theater after it's closed down was pretty cleverly written. This is the first Joker's Asylum of his run to heavily feature Batman instead of just having him in one or two pages and it really works here. The Joker's dialogue on the last page really comes off like The Clown Prince of Crime should be written. As you can see from all the text I thoroughly enjoyed this issue, while not as good as the Killer Croc or Penguin issues its still very well done and definitely made me want to see more Clayface in the future. I'll give this an 8.5/10.

Newspaper Headline: "Clayface Kills at The Box Office!" (Much like the Joker, I also love a good pun.)


Teen Titans Rant

I'm really starting to dread this comic now. There's no cohesiveness to the team, there's far too many members (TEN?!) and the storyline is so rehashed. They've been searching for Raven since Dick Grayson was a Teen Titan, now he's Batman. How do you justify her being SO powerful yet always getting kidnapped? And Beast Boy's boring as hell, with or without Raven now. I'd say the team needs to be Superboy, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Static, Ravager, Aquagirl and Miss Martian. There's a perfectly well-rounded team. Anyway, due to all of those reasons, I've decided to drop this comic. Maybe I'll pick it up after this Raven arc ends to see where it goes from there but right now I'd rather just avoid it all than sit here and review a comic that I know I'll most likely dislike. So until they find Raven for the hundredth time, consider be dropping this comic. 

That's it for the reviews this week, hope you enjoyed it. As always comments and such are appreciated. So now, like I mentioned up top if anyone want's their selections to be included in this weekend's post, just send me your picks via email. I say email so we can keep it secret and have people surprised about the picks this weekend, but if you're lazy then you can post it in the comments. :P Alright then, remember to pick your top five (doesn't have to be in order) for each category and email me at











22 comments:

  1. Nice post as usual, JT.

    I've been reading a lot of "it was better than I thought it would be" type reviews about Batman Beyond. I figured it would be garbage, but it's good to know DC might not go that route.

    That Gotham City Sirens plot sounds terrible, but your flying nun joke had me laughing.

    It seems like the comic community as a whole is giving up on Teen Titans. I had read that JT Krul is taking over the book at some point, which may give it a shot in the arm, at least interest wise. If you think 10 is a lot of team members, I suggest you avoid the Legion of Super Heroes and Geoff Johns' run on the current volume of Justice Society. It got to the point when they would recruit a member and you wouldn't see them again for 3 issues, because everyone else needed a chance to say one line of dialouge first. I think Johns made it work though...

    So you want the 5 choices for ALL categories, correct? These questions usually cause me to ponder for quite a while. I of course will reserve a slot for Speedball in each category except best writer.

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  2. Thanks Kello. I appreciate it :) Yeah, I was a big fan of the cartoon so you know I'd blast it if it wasn't good but I thought it was pretty good as well as the surprise villain reveal at the end.

    Lol I'm glad someone got that Flying Nun joke! Weird thing is the last issue was the first part of the storyline and it was really good, and this one just crumbled into a million incoherent pieces.

    Yeah I saw JT is taking over, and I liked his Blackest Night Titans with the Wilson family. I don't see how any team would function with SO many people... Hell didn't they make like two separate JSA's for that reason?

    Yep five for each category so 25 picks in all. I forgot make sure ya let me know who ya are so I can list whose pics are whose or who's or however that is. I'll know yours because of your Speedball picks.

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  3. That was a total joke by the way. Let's just say, I actually liked Speedball as Penance.

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  4. Lol I was so gonna ask about that :P I'm such a Schmoe I didn't even realize you said ever category and one if for women! I'll blame it on being sleepy haha.

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  5. Really great reviews! I'm enjoying Flash, but you're right it doesn't seem to be moving along as quickly as Johns' Wally stories. Have to disagree about the Action Comics ending though, I loved that reveal!

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  6. For Teen Titans, they need to tick off the basic criteria, which is obviously to have a Supes, Bats, and Wondes teen character in there, to keep it somewhat light hearted, and to stop rehashing old plots. Now, since Steph has her own book, that gives Cassandra an opening. Let's have Wonder Girl as team leader, Superboy and Cassandra (in a non-speaking roll thankyouverymuch) as 'lieutenants', Kid Flash (cause you always need a Flash), Miss Martian, Aquagirl, Ravager (when written well she's a damn funny snark) - that's seven, and enough. Though I do feel Static and Blue Beetle deserve a place (and of course none of you guys seem to like him). That makes nine, which seems quite a lot. But of course a competent writer could do that well - instead of using them all at once, do a rota of 4 or 5 at once.
    Oh, and if JT Krul is doing Teen Titans, that's gonna be terrible - I hate what he's doing to the Arrow Clan, and I haven't been impressed with his writing at all. Urgh...

    I have no opinion on Batman Beyond, Gotham City Sirens, Green Lantern and Joker's Asylum, as I haven't got them yet…

    I voted for Ultimate Avengers, as I have no interest in Hulk vs anyone, I've seen the two DC ones, so that leaves it pretty much a given vote ;)

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  7. Finally!!! Seems like it's taking forever for your weekly reviews, I'm so impatient. But anyways on to my babbling about this weeks comics.

    I LOVED Action Comics, hell I love Lex. He's just the biggest jerk ever to live. Lol. He is just after that power, he wants it BAD, such a greedy man! And the twist with "Lois" had me laughing once I found out what was really going. I was too confused as to Why Lois Lane was with Lex. Nice comic, nice review on this as well.

    The Flash is really, really boring me. I mean it's the same thing each issue, blaming Barry for a murder. You were generous with a 5 JT. Lol, I'm like one issue away from dropping this comic from my list. If some things don't get going, its curtains for this. :)

    I'll get back to you about the rest of the comics sir. That score you gave Sirens has me a bit nervous about reading it.

    But as always, great review. Definitely can't wait for next weeks review and can't wait for the Animated Movie review as well. Especially if Wonder Woman wins. :) (That's who I voted for!!!) lol.

    And I'll be e-mailing you about the top five categories, sometime today actually. :)

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  8. Oh, and I've sent the email - let me know if ya got it

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  9. Paul - Thanks for commenting dude. The only reason the Action Comics reveal didn't do it for me is I've kind gotten my fill of that character after 52 and Joker's Last Laugh. Just so ya know I got your email so I'll lis your picks this Saturday along with everyone elses. I really liked the first two issues as well as the battle scene of this one, but yah it does seem like not much is happening. All we know is Barry apparently killed this guy and that's what we learned in issue one.

    Nagash - I agree, a competent writer could do a great job with the team listed and I don't mind Cass joining the team. Seems like we just haven't gottn the right writer and the write team in about 25 issues though. And yeah I got your email bro.

    Falisha - Thanks for the kind words. :D I'll try to post more so the wait isn't as long :P I agree, Action Comics has a ton of potential now and I'm loving it. Maybe you can pull something good from Sirens but I found it VERY disappointing haha.

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  10. Yeah, a competent writer. Not whatsername. And they need to choose a team and stick to it. Not keep changing it round. That's why the rota thing works - it gives you a bit of expansion, but let's you keep it character focused. Do backup features with the non-on-mission characters doing their normal lives and having a laugh. Mishmash, have some fun.

    Excellent, never sure with that mail client. Not a fan of googlemail

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  11. Good show old chap! A 10 for GL? Interesting... I'm hoping it was a very Lobo-ific comic, although with the way GEOFFY writes, Hal'll probably beat Lobo in two panels... Anywho, the 8.5 for Clayface has me a bit intrigued... If I stop by the CB shop on Saturday, I'll see if I can find a copy.

    As for dropping the Teen Titans, I can completely understand that. I still feel the best bet is to just cancel the series. There's a Superboy series starting up towards the end of the year, right? Just toss some of the Teen Titans(Wonder Girl, Kid Flash & Ravager)into that series as co-stars, and leave it at that. I def wouldn't be shocked if I drop that series too in the very near future...

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  12. Hey JT, for your top 5 lists, do you want our all-time favorite male/female characters, or our current ones?

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  13. Thanks buddy ol pal! Lol nah, Lobo was around for most if not all of the comic and he even got a nice chunk of offense in. You love saying stopping by the comic shop now don't ya? :P Yeah I'd definitely check it out buddy.

    I would like that idea to be honest. And apparently the Young Justice people are gonna be making appearances in Teen Titans due to the new show, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Arrowette or the new Aqualad join the team... so now the team will have even MORE people. :|

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  14. Lets go with.... current I guess X. Yeah current, sorry for the confusion everyone.

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  15. Sweet! So long as Hal doesn't squash Lobo, I'm happy!

    Ugh great, EVEN more deadwood!

    Cool, I'll be sending my list out asap.

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  16. Yeah you should be happy, the ending... you're gonna LOVE the ending. Lobo will never be squashed again... lets just say that.

    My sentiments exactly bro.

    Sweet, just got it in my email.

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  17. Good reviews as always, JT. Sorry I didn't have a chance to comment sooner, I've actually been out of town this week. In fact, the review I "posted" today was actually automated and went up before I got back!

    I've been hearing nothing but horrible things about Titans lately. Sounds like they either need to totally gut it and start over again or just take it out back and give it the Old Yeller treatment.

    I also think it's interesting that they're doing a Batman Beyond series, after going to such lengths to keep it at arm's length from DC's publishing arm for so long. Do you think it would lend itself to an ongoing series? And speaking of animated superheroics, I voted for the Wonder Woman movie. I've had several people tell me it was excellent, though I haven't seen it yet. I have seen Ultimate Avengers though, and it's okay...maybe slightly above average.

    Ultimate Avengers 2, on the other hand, is an utter train wreck and I encourage you to avoid it. Unless of course you're the sort of person (like me) who actually enjoys watching bad movies, just so you can make fun of them...it'd be perfect for that.

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  18. Wait.... Wait. You can make AUTOMATED posts?! Are you serious?! That's ten types of awesome. And before I black out from awesome overdose, thanks dude. And hope ya had a good vacation, if it wasn't work related or anything. And of course, welcome back.

    Lol I love the idea of the Old Yeller treatment because I pictured the Teen Titans lining up in a row with blindfolds and a dude walking down the row wit a shotgun. Yeah... I know I'm odd haha.

    I also was kinda shocked but after being in Batman #700 and Superman/Batman Annual #4 it looks like DC has faith in the Batman Beyond franchise, so hopefully the Mini does well. I like the fact their bringing back older villains of Bruce Wayne besides The Joker, and apparently they'll be a new futuristic Catwoman as well.

    I am a fan of making fun of Bad movies so I may find it cheap just for that. Of all the movies listed I have only seen Wonder Woman. The other three I never watched, I was going to use stuff like Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Batman Beyond Return of The Joker and some other stuff I'd already watched but I figured watching it for the first time minus WW) would be interesting for the reviewing process.

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  19. Well you can schedule a post to automatically post itself at a certain time on a certain day, so it's automated in that sense. It's a nice feature in the event that you finish writing a post but don't want to publish it just yet.

    My vacation (although it was only a couple of days, so I don't know if I can really call it that) was fun, I went to a music festival in Milwaukee and stayed with friends there. Saw Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey (from The Who), and others, and I'm actually going back again tomorrow to see Rush. I'm really excited!

    Ripping on bad movies is fun, although every once in a while you come across one that's so bad it's not even funny, it just sucks the life out of you with its sheer awfulness. Luckily I haven't seen one of those in a long time.

    I love Mask of the Phantasm...honestly, other than The Dark Knight I think it may be the best feature-length Batman film ever made. I'd probably even put it somewhere in my top five favorite comic book movies of all time.

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  20. Wow, I'd never noticed that, well I've seen it but I never really thought about it enough to put two and two together ya know?

    We'll call it a Mini-Vacation. Sounds pretty cool though, especially seeing Clapton. Hell you're making me wish I could've went now :P

    Oh man, I know exactly what you mean. Last one I saw was Land of The Lost with Will Ferrell which was horrendously bad, I laughed maybe twice throughout the entire thing. Which is weird cause I like Step Brothers, Anchorman, Talladega Nights and etc.

    I agree there, that's partly why I didn't wanna review them because I know with that and Return of the Joker it's like a guaranteed nine or ten rating so I'd probably just type up stuff without even watching the movie. With those I haven't seen them recently or even at all so I know I HAVE to sit down and watch them closely.

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  21. Mark Waid recently posted "Annnnd today was the day I stopped reading super-hero comics. One that I won't name finally broke me. Collection stops as of now. No joke." on his twitter. I think he was referring to Flash #3.

    RAGE!

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  22. Mark Waid seems like such an ass... wonder why he's so vocal with his hate now.

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