Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ratings and Rantings

Hey everyone, it's that time again for the weekly phenomenon that's taking the nation by storm! Well, not really, but I'm sure it's giving someone a pretty big gust in the right direction. That's right, Jason Todd here, once again welcoming you to my Red Hood. Today we've only got four comics to run through but we'll also have a new poll, the poll results from last week, and a sneak peek of what I'll be reviewing next week. So without any further stalling on my part, let's jump into our first review, Dark Wolverine!

Dark Wolverine #90

As a few of you know, I was late to the party with Dark Wolverine. After trading for a bunch of issues of Wolverine Origins, X-Man75 talked me into checking out Dark Wolverine, which I don't regret because it's a hell of a series. I'd highly recommend Dark Wolverine or Wolverine Origins to anyone reading this, because they are two series that took characters I knew nothing about and made me into big fans of them. Now, I only mention this because this is the final issue of Dark Wolverine. So where does Daken go from here? Let's find out right now. We kick things off for the final time with Daken, at a peace rally against Mutants, thinking how everyone would easily settle their argument if they beat the hell out of each other with their signs. Oh that Daken, when will he learn? From there we see Daken on a bus or subway or something helping an old woman take a picture. That's what kills me about Daken, he's this ruthless killing machine yet he does things you'd never see Wolverine do, who's supposedly a hero. When Daken is near a tarot card reader, she predicts that an Emperor is coming, and may take the throne, but taking this throne will lead to death, and not just for the Emperor. As Daken walks around the city he thinks to himself how easy it would be to kill people, but how it would grant him no joy, it'd just be an action, and he has better things to do with his time. From there we see Daken walk around town, commenting on many things, one in particular is Happy Hour at a bar, where he seems to touch the neck of a woman, a woman who is out with Wolverine. That woman is Wolverine's newest love interest, Melita Garner. This issue was genius, because it's in your face the whole time and yet you never realize (highlight for spoilers) that for the entire issue Daken's been following Melita around the city. It was so genius in the sense that it was unexpected. The issue ends with Daken saying it would be easy to become Wolverine, but he wants more. This was a great ending to a really great series, I don't know what will come from Daken in the future, but I for one will definitely be watching. I'd give this issue an 8.5/10 rating.

Daken: I've always known what I am. Does she? Does Wolverine? Do you?

Brightest Day #9

Brightest Day kicks off this week with Aquaman and Mera together, discussing the White Light telling Arthur to find a young man with an Eel tattoo. When Mera speaks up as if she may know who the young man may be, Deadman and Dove magically appear underwater in front of them. After complaining about being Dumped in the water, Deadman is asked, "Remember Cap Brighton, you used to love swimming." That ring is one hell of an Intergalactic Stalker, I'll tell you that much! Pretty soon our four heroes are sitting around a campfire, (Just like the good ol Camp Brighton days, right Deadman?), discussing what the Ring wants them to do, and how the new Protector can't step up until everyone accomplishes their missions. Arthur steps up and tells Deadman to tell the other returned superstars about their missions, and how the world needs all the heroes it can get. After his speech, Mera tells Arthur she knows who the kid is they have to find. From there we cut to the mystery kid, standing on his porch in the rain, he makes the rain form around him, and he sprouts gills on his neck while his tattoo and eyes glow blue. When he finally submerges himself in his powers, his dad yells his name, and tells him they can't take risks in someone finding out about Jackson's powers and taking him from them. His dad then says it's time they tell him the truth. Meanwhile, Martian Manhunter goes to the Star City forest and marvels in it's beauty. He notes how his vision told him he has to burn it down, and he doesn't see why he should have to, before he shoots a powerful beam out of his eyes and obliterates his hands. And would you believe I'm only on page ten?! From there we see the other Green Martian, in her normal form, strolling around the store with a buggy, walking through blood of people she's obviously murdered. Well that was refreshing. Martian Manhunter turns into some big Green Blob for some reason, and it's not long before Green Arrow stumbles upon him and attacks. The White Light tells him not to burn this forest for some reason, and J'onn and the Martian scream in pain, all the while leaving me thoroughly confused. MM is killing the big White Lantern Tree and changing into all these different forms before Ollie smashes the Martian Manhunter with two huge tree trunks. From there, the two escape the forest and we see that MM destroyed it not purposely, but as a side effect since being brought back to life, and he's still killing surrounding plant life. After some talking, Martian Manhunter tells Ollie he's going back home. We then jump to Black Manta, destroy the grave of Thomas Curry, asking "Where is your son?", before being attacked by a group of men. The fight is finally stopped when we find something out many have been speculating for a while, but I'll leave that answer until you get a chance to read it, or ask me personally. Overall this was an interesting issue, we learned a lot of stuff and it wasn't bad, I'd give it an 7/10.

Martian Manhunter: I have been given a second chance at life... and I hardly believe it was so that I could hide away from the rest of the world.

Shadowland #3

Shadowland, which has been consistently good so far, I'm hoping this issue makes the main series three for three. We start off with Moon Knight doing the "People wonder why my costume is....blah blah blah" that every superhero in the history of the world has done. From there he talks with Ghost Rider, and we find out someone, who we saw last issue, is controlling the Spirit of Vengeance. After Ghost Rider leaves, Moon Knight gets ready to suit up for a fight. We then jump over to Daredevil, who raises his band on killing, telling his men to slay them all, them being Spider-Man, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and the rest. In the midst of fighting, Iron Fist and Shang-Chi try to talk Daredevil out of the fight, but he's adamant about fighting his former allies. When Matt leaps into the air like Superman then punches the ground causing it to shatter, Iron Fist proclaims "That's impossible, you're not Matt!" before getting a kick in the head that would make Shawn Michaels wince. (Wrestling reference.) Daredevil then makes quick work of Shang-Chi before jumping back towards Iron Fist, ready to land a huge punch and says "You should have joined me Danny, now you have to die." before Danny is saved by our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. Spidery discovers that Daredevil is even quicker than Spidey now, and has a few tricks up his sleeve. When our heroes start to lose the fight their "Ace in the hole" steps in, which caught me by surprise. From there we see Lady Bullseye and The Kingpin having a conversation, she tells him that by summoning Ghost Rider, he will take revenge and come for Kingpin, who replies that's exactly what he wants. Back at his main base, Daredevil discusses what he thinks was a distraction plan so Ghost Rider could free all of his prisoners, and discusses with Typhoid Mary that next time his former friends will be back to get him. Tarantula tries to tell Daredevil their going to far, Daredevil claims they need better fighters and tells Mary to follow him and bring a shovel, while unbeknown to them, Moon Knight is watching from above. If Matt's doing what I think, me and X called this one. And yep, we rule. While going about his plan, Daredevil is interrupted and we finally get a face to face with him and Elektra. Back with our heroes, Iron Fist explains to everyone how different DD's fighting style is and how he doesn't think that's actually Matt Murdock. After he says that, Master Izo arrives drops a bombshell of an announcement on our heroes. This was a REALLY good issue, probably my favorite one so far, definitely a tie between this one and issue one. So much happened over the course of this issue, and it was written with such a great pace that it never felt stalled or rushed. I'll give this issue a perfect 10/10. This is clearly the best story out today, in Marvel or DC.

Daredevil: Consider my ban on killing hereby lifted! SLAY THEM ALL!

Red Hood: The Lost Days #4

In this issue we start things off with Jason on a bike, getting away from a bunch of Somalian boy soldiers after he ratted out his team of Mercenaries. The Mercenary Driver named Rip, is one that's been training Jason on how to use any vehicle in a combat situations. Next we see Jason learning how to use timing and explosions, something we know by now he's very good at doing. We also see Jason laugh and smile for the first time in a while, and we can visually see the aging process as he starts to grow a beard. When Jason mentions that his bomb experts teacher has a problem with another guy, she remarks that Jason's "investigations" are becoming a habit. She says that usually she finds him a teacher, he learns their skills, then half of them wind up dead. He tells Talia it's not without reason, before naming all the crimes his former teachers either were doing or were planning on committing. Talia mentions how he's starting to pick up old habits on his road to revenge before Jason interrupts saying that he's not like Batman, he would throw criminals in jail and Jason is ridding the world of them. After this conversation, she shows Jason a picture of Batman and his new Robin, Tim Drake. Jason doesn't show any emotional problems at first, but later back in his room he stares at the pictures of his replacement before breaking down. After that scene we see Jason has bugged his bombs teacher, and we see him meet with someone else, telling him that they need to move everything up three weeks. Jason finds out that these two criminals plan to detonate a bomb in the middle of an afternoon, killing 700 people, and blame it on on an Arab terrorist cell. Jason decides to stop this and finds where his teacher keeps the bombs he made, before replacing the wires making them duds, but sadly for Jason he's caught by a few henchmen while doing this. I won't ruin this as usual but this was another great issue, I didn't enjoy it as much as the previous three but I still thought it was really good. I'll give it a 8.5/10 rating.

Russian Guy: Yah! She was one of those-- you American! What's the expression you use? She's a "What-a-face?"
Jason Todd: Butta Face.
Russian Guy: Yes! She had everything but a face! Yes!

Well that's all for the review end of this week's Ratings and Rantings. I wanna thank you guys for stopping by and reading, and remind you once again to vote on the new poll over on the right side of the page. Below is the results of last week's poll question. So that's it for me, I'll see you guys next week for more Ratings and Rantings, until then, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, JT!

Last Week's poll asked "Who do you think will be the new White Lantern Hero?"

Last Place with 16.7% - a tie between A Current Mainstream and a Second Tier hero.
Second Place with 25.5% - Someone we've never seen before.
Winner with 41.7% - A currently Dead character like Blue Beetle or Don Hall.

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Adventure Comics #518 (Atom Comic), Batgirl #14, Batman #703, Booster Gold #36, Green Lantern #57, Generation Lost #9, Red Robin #16, Amazing Spider-Man #641, Daken Dark Wolverine #1 (That was fast...) and Daredevil #510


  1. Sweet new red hood lost days going to have to go to the comic shop

  2. Good reviews, JT! I definitely wasn't expecting them this early in the week.

    I find it really interesting that you and X-Man are both enjoying Shadowland so much, since almost everyone else I've talked to about it absolutely hates it. I can't wait to read it for myself and see where I fall on the spectrum.

    Glad you warmed up to Brightest Day as well. After the last few issues, I was fully expecting you to give it another thrashing!

  3. Thanks Marc, glad you enjoyed them. I'm more shocked that people aren't liking Shadowland. I know X and Falisha are enjoying it after the first two issues and this has really clenched it for me, plus comparing it to Brightest Day, It's better by so much,

    Yeah, I think if I'm reading a Martian Manhunter and Hawks heavy issue I'm more likely to dislike it since the other stories interest me a lot more, I'm hoping they get back to the Firestorm boys sooner than later.

  4. So I just read Shadowland #3...and I'm sorry to say it, but I didn't like it at all, lol.

  5. Lmao... really?! You read one and two? Or are you messing with me? Do I have to grab a pair a Children's Skates Marc?!

  6. Well, I couldn't read your Dark Wolvie(waiting for it in the mail still)or Brightest Day(don't want to read it!)reviews, but it looks like we are pretty simpatico with Red Hood and Shadowland. We had the same score for RH #4, and were pretty close with Shadowland #3(although there were a few things about it that bugged me). And yeah, DD's decision in that issue about a certain character was something we've been calling for a while now.

    Hmm, if Marc only read Shadowland #3 and not the prior two issues, I can fully understand not enjoying it. It'd be too much to take in without background info. I mean I know a lot of what I love about it is that it's taking stuff that was going on in the DD series from back when Ed Brubaker was still the writer and continuing/concluding it. If you haven't read issues #1 and 2 yet Marc, I'd def recommend trying to get a hold of 'em too. If you still don't like the mini, well then you're insane! :D

  7. Yeah I commented over on your blog for those two issues and saw we were on the same train of thought. I figured that's what he was gonna do, much like we called, I wonder if now they'll switch places in the hero world. That could be interesting.

    I also read that and wondered why the hell Punisher wasn't all Franken-castle'd, maybe your Daken Cross-over stuff will reveal that for us.

  8. I suppose I am insane then! :)

  9. HA!!! Well, I always had my suspicions regarding Marc's sanity! :D

    Seriously though, I am pretty surprised. JT and I are really loving this mini! Different strokes for different folks and all that jazz I guess.

    Oh, and I think I'll either read those 4 Daken/Franken-Castle issues tonight or I'll take 'em to school with me tomorrow and read 'em during my 1 hour break, JT. Reviews should follow soon there after... Maybe!

  10. That blows my mind, I can't believe you're not enjoying it Marc. I gotta ask, what is it you don't like?

    Sounds good to me X, if ya don't feel like reviewing them just give me the gist of it or something, I', curious but not SUPER curious.

  11. The last few years have seen some really excellent Daredevil stories, and they were excellent because they deconstructed Matt's character and put it back together in ways that were novel and intriguing. They were subtle, nuanced, street-level magic or mysticism or anything like that.

    Shadowland is to the last few years of Daredevil stories what Michael Bay is to any legitimate director (Martin Scorsese, for example). It's brainless action for action's sake, and while there's a time and place for that, I don't think it's with Daredevil because he's come to represent so much more than that. What's more, Matt Murdock is totally absent from Shadowland, and as the last few years have shown us, Matt is integral to telling a good Daredevil story.

    He's been possessed by a what? It would have been much more interesting if Matt's questionable actions had actually been because he thought through them rationally and believed they were the best way of doing things. With the possession angle, they've given themselves a clichéd escape clause from everything they've been building in Daredevil over the last few years. In that sense, Shadowland isn't much unlike One More Day.

    As for Shadowland #3 specifically, it has a lot of issues. The dialogue is bad (more than one character says "Damn it all to hell," which isn't exactly a common phrase) and the characters speak as though they know more information than they possibly could.

    For example, when they see people looting in the streets, Iron Fist says, "Isn't it obvious? Whatever dark power Matt's tapped into up there - it's spreading!" No, Danny, it's not obvious at all. These could just be normal people doing some looting, as many people tend to do after rioting or natural disasters or whatever. This was obviously just a way for Diggle to try to slip in more plot details, but he does it in a way that doesn't make any sense, by giving characters access to information they couldn't possibly know. He does the same thing earlier in Moon Knight's conversation with Ghost Rider.

    I don't care for the art either. Tan is a really inconsistent artist, and half the time it looks like the characters have had their muscles surgically removed from their legs and then pumped into their torsos and necks.

    If you guys like this, then you really need to go back and read Bendis's Daredevil and Brubaker's run because you will LOVE it. The art is better, it makes narrative sense, and it's much more true to what Daredevil is all about.

    Rant over! :)

  12. Oh, anyone want to chat tonight? I thought I was going to be doing stuff with friends but I guess I'm not. So I'll be around, just let me know.

  13. Well, I WILL agree about the demon possession thing... That left a bad taste in my mouth. I liked thinking it was Matt who truly felt he was doing right by Hell's Kitchen, but now the demon swerve seems like a way to have Matt come out of the whole thing squeaky clean. Having Matt straddle the line between good and evil, even if the entire super-hero community felt he was in the wrong made for an excellent story. As for the mindless action complaint, I think that HELPS this story since it's so different then the way DD's series has been for the last few years. It gives it that big match sort of feel for me. Plus with the DD series ending after Shadowland, it leaves the fate of so many characters up in the air, giving the whole mini a feeling of desperation/finality. The demon thing hurts this storyline a bit, but I still say it's heads and shoulders better then any other x-over I've read this year.

    Man, I wish I could, but I've got an 8:00 class tomorrow morning, so after I post here and check back at my blog, I'm going to sleep! I should be good to go tomorrow or Saturday though.

  14. I honestly can't comment too much having just jumped into the story with these issues but I like it, like you guys say the blame is now off Matt which is pretty lame but I still think it's been very interesting, and action packed. Blackest Night was the same way yet they did too much stalling whereas Shadowland doing it quick and throwing such much at you resonates better with me.

    And yeah, I actually got up pretty early today and hung out with Falisha and a buddy, so I was gonna hit the hay soon. But I'd be up for tomorrow and/or Saturday.

  15. I can't believe you gave Red Hood an 8/10. I think you're being harsh on purpose -- so as not to seem biased! LOL! :D

  16. Lol :P Come on, why did Judd end it on a cliffhanger when we ALL know Jason doesn't die?! Haha

  17. OK, OK, that is true, that's true. I can't help but love this mini series to death! (such a bad pun, so bad, so bad...) I was really sad when I saw the December solicits today and saw no Red Hood. :(
    Also, do you read much Marvel? I picked up Alias because I've fallen in love with Luke Cage + Jessica Jones (and his bromance with Danny, of course) and it is so freaking good. I highly recommend it! Falisha might really like it too, because Jessica is awesome and hilarious and is kind of like a normal woman in a lot of ways. :D

  18. Ah I also saw those, I didn't even think about it, so the last issue is in November right? Maybe someone who's talented will use Jason soon... I'd rather he doesn't get used for a minute than them turn him into the anti-Grayson.

    I read a little Marvel and I know of the Luke/Jess love but I've never read it, I'll definitely check it out though since you're such a fan. I do like his Bromance with Iron Fist though, probably more than I should haha.

  19. Yep, the last one is in early November, I'll be crying inside. I totally agree with you, I'd rather have him in limbo than being used poorly or the anti-Grayson. He's such a unique and interesting character already! I hate the idea of "let's turn him into Dick's Joker!" I don't like the idea of having to change a character to make him into something he's not. (That's why I have never really been a big fan of all of his costume changes and all these re-inventions. /rant)

    Hahah, speaking of their bromance, someone commented and said: "What's a good Superhero porn name?" And the reply was: "You mean Power Man and Iron Fist isn't?" LOL!!!

  20. I agree with you, especially because it'll feel so forced, Jason isn't a bad guy as we all know, it's not like he kills good guys or anything, I mean he shot some cops but that could easily be self defense, hell Bats has beaten up plenty of cops.

    Lol I'm not gonna lie, Power Man alone sounds like a very good porn name but Iron Fist takes the cake.

  21. Hahah yes, Danny and Luke are an awesome couple... er, duo. ;) They'd make a great buddy-cop kind of movie.

    Oh and totally pimped your blog on fyeahjasontodd! :)

  22. Haha I'd watch that! "Two Men, Danny Rand, Luke Cage.... Iron Power, coming to a theater near you, Summer 2012!"

    You are awesome! Haha and thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it :D

  23. You guys suck, some idiot went and shot up the local comic shop here. Now I have to go find this stuff online!
    Of course, that's after I kick the morons butt.. When will people learn not to mess with a chick who knows how to kill you with a popsicle stick? No, I won't kill them.. It's just a comic book shop.. Just the ONLY comic book shop in the entire freaking city.
    Oh yeah, JT.. Be nice about Dick.. After you kick his ass for stealing the cookies.. You know what I'm talking about..

  24. Lol I actually have NO idea what you're talking about. Wanna elaborate? :)