Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wolverine: Get Mystique Review

Hey everyone, Jason Todd here, once again welcoming you to my Red Hood. I need a nickname for you guys... Red Readers? Yeah I like that, if anyone has a better idea let me know. So anyway, this is another comic I'm reviewing from my recent Wolverine kick. After Enemy of the State (Review here), and reading the fantastic and HIGHLY recommended ongoing comics Wolverine Origins and Dark Wolverine (and I'm not even a big Wolverine fan) I've decided to review "Get Mystique", another comic recommended by fellow bloggers. Also, there's something weird at the bottom of this review, feel free to speculate. But for now, let's see if Wolverine can "Get Mystique." Hey, don't you judge my bad segue's!

This four issue story begins with our hero, the Canucklehead himself, facing a Mexican firing squad in 1921. He's blindfolded, side by side with the woman we know as Mystique. After some small talk, she notes that Wolverine doesn't seem worried, and must have an ace up his sleeve. Jump to present day, Big bad Wolverine pulls his claws out on some kid, grabs him by the collar and says "GET ME A WHOPPER!!!!"....nah I'm kidding, he asks where the hell Mystique is. Great opening to draw in the reader, right off the bat. Wolverine also manages to kill a woman for no reason, so... that's always fun I guess. We see that Wolverine's mission was encouraged by Cyclops as well, meaning Wolverine isn't the only one that wants Mystique dead. Holy hell... I did not see the swerve coming with the murdered woman, so I knew from then on this would be an interesting read. The first issue ends with Wolverine in a predicament he won't be able to talk himself out of, and left me extremely interested in the rest of the arc.

Wolverine gets shot a lot in his comics, because the guy is damn near unable to be killed, so reading the description of how it feels, the toll it takes on him and how much pain he's in was great. Bullets don't just bounce off of Logan like Superman, he takes them, feels them inside his body, grating against his bones (or metal skeleton?) and it's not an easy thing. The description is so good I actually felt bad for this killing machine known as Wolverine, so I commend the writing. Also the irony of him playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers was not lost on me.

This game of cat and mouse between Wolverine and the Blue Bombshell known as Mystique goes on for a while and claims many people's lives in the balance but it's always interesting. Usually stories with this much tale and definition need about six issues and this is accomplished in only four, which is pretty amazing. Another thing I loved was seeing Wolverine grow his skin back, that was so awesome to see, in each panel he slowly has more skin covering his muscles and blood, and it looks very well done, and doesn't come off as cheesy. The final fight and dialogue are well done and well delivered, it was almost like watching a movie at that point, because it draws you in.

As for what I thought, I won't lie, I loved this comic from beginning to end. The things I thought I didn't like were rectified mere pages later. I feel like I should stop getting recommendations because I never have anything bad to say because the stories are so good. My only complaint is I wish it had lasted longer. But, this was definitely a great four issue story, and I enjoyed it all. The ending was phenomenal, I could've gone without the face barfing but, I'll give Get Mystique a solid 10/10 rating.

Now that that's over and done with I'll be back (G.B.C.) with another Ratings and Rantings (G.B.C.) and hopefully it's a good one. Also, take (G.B.C.) note of the new poll on the side of the page, be sure (G.B.C.) to vote. And the results from last weeks poll is below. Until next time, (G.B.C.) You've just been Gobsmacked!

-Jason (G.B.C.) Todd

The results to last weeks poll, which asked "Which of the following was your favorite series?" are:

Last place with 0% - Titans: Villains for Hire - Guess killing off someone isn't a good way to start a series?
Third Place with 9.1% - JL Generation Lost - Shocking, I expected first or second, I liked it.
Second Place with 36.4% - Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne - I...have no comment haha.
Winner with 54.5% - Birds of Prey - The Birds fly in with a first place victory. Welcome back Ladies!... and Hawk.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Ratings and Rantings

It's that time again, for this weeks edition of Ratings and Rantings! *crickets* Welcome back to my Red Hood, this week's a big one as I'll be reviewing not one, not two, and not three, but EIGHT DC Comics, also for the Marvel fans, this weekend I plan on reviewing "Wolverine: Get Mystique." Why the big Wolverine kick? Blame Marc and X-Man for getting me hooked with Enemy of The State, then I finally started reading the Wolverine Origins collection I got in a trade with someone (for three Nintendo DS Games!!!) and I picked up Dark Wolverine yesterday which I'm loving so far. So blame those two, also blame Falisha, Kello, Nagash, and Benicio127 because... I just wanted to plug their blogs. So, this weekend expect a new poll, which has been great lately, so thanks everyone for making them so fun to post, and Wolverine: Get Mystique. But enough about the future, here's my present, to you, yeah that was lame, so what? Let's get into this review with the lovely ladies known as the Gotham City Sirens.

Gotham City Sirens #12

The very well done cover by Guillem March deserves praise, Harley's mouth looks oddly big but it's a very good looking cover either way. The comic starts off interesting, as it promises to follow up to Blackest Night Catwoman which I enjoyed a lot. Seeing Harley jump across rooftops while holding an enormous mallet is kind of... weird but who am I to judge? Ivy's line confused me because she said the chick almost succeeded where Batman failed. Really? Batman tried to kill you with a big plant oven thing? (Patent Pending) Where the hell was I when this happened? I've seen him retain you but never has he said "Now I can kill Ivy with this big tube that'll wilt her like an old rose! Hahahahaha!!!" Man oh man, the scene with Maggie and the Nun lady was gruesome but I can't say I didn't like it, that was awesome in showing us who Maggie is and what she'll do. The remaining story focused on Maggie, Harley and Catwoman and was very good. I'm pretty anxious to read the next issue and I think if the writing remains this well Sirens could become one of the best comics out, now that they have a threat instead of running around the city fighting an old man or something. I'll give this a 8.5/10 rating.

Maggie: I'm glad she's in her work clothes, it'll make it easier to remember that I'm fighting the Cat, not my sister.

Detective Comics #865

The conclusion to last month's Detective Comics and last years Arkham Reborn mini is here, and I'm anxious to jump into it. We finally find out about Arkham's Black Mask persona as well as his "Beauties", plus seeing Aaron Cash always lightens my mood as he's one of my favorite Arkham employee's. Seeing Hugo Strange with his huge beard sticking out of his Batman mask always makes me laugh, for reasons unknown to me. It's just so asinine. So without giving too much away, we discover the truth about the Beauties, find out who replaces Arkham as the head of Arkham Asylum and we see appearances by Jim Gordon, Zsasz and of course The Dark Knight himself. I loved the ending and we see things are just getting started here. I really really liked this comic, and the 9/10 rating should reflect that. I don't know where Detective Comics will go from here but if the writing is as good as this was I'll be happy.

Dr. Arkham: He wanted to remember me... So I carved my initials inside his eyelid.

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #2

Can't say I'm anxious to read this after that horrible first issue but let's get into it, maybe Grant was saving everything for this one? I love how Bruce can't talk in one issue, then in the next the guy is randomly fighting a Kraken. Man this artwork was annoyingly bad. It was so simple that there was like no definition, Supes should look larger than life and he looks like a mailman in Superman tights. Rip Hunter doesn't even LOOK LIKE Rip Hunter! If I didn't know he's with them I'd have no idea who the hell it was! Then I read...and read...and got so bored that I couldn't finish it. That's right, this comic was SO bad that I stopped reading it and don't plan to finish it. I'm done with it. Unless someone who's opinion I value highly, and I mean highly recommends this maybe I'll pick up the trade but I'm done with this story, this arc, and everything else. I may follow Time Masters but I'm done with Return of Bruce Wayne. Rating: N/A

Me: I'm not reading this crap!

Green Lantern Corps #48

Dude.... if that's not a sweet cover I don't know what is. Ganthet, Kyle and John all look real, that's amazing. Great job. So, I'm going into this comic knowing hardly anything except that "If Gardner does this he an' Jordan are done bein' Friends. For Good." So anyway, Ganthet drops a bomb a few pages in that was pretty awesome. Seeing a power ring being created was a pretty epic thing, and definitely showed how such a little ring can wield so much power. We find out that Green Lantern Stel is missing so John Stewart and Boodikka go off to look for him. Also there's an abundance of new Alpha Lanterns but I won't spoil that for you. We never do see Guy again after the first couple pages, which leads me to believe Ganthet has something up his sleeve. This was a great way to start the arc and I'm happy it looks like GLC is still in good hands even with Tomasi moving on. I'll give GLC #48 an 7/10 rating, here's hoping the next issue bumps it up.

Ganthet: I, Ganthet of Oa, do hereby resign my status as a Guardian of the Universe.

Green Lantern #54

Big bad Atrocitus riding the subway, now I've seen everything! His line about the rage was awesome and a good way to start the issue and pull us right in. The artwork is magnificent, I'm not a big art guy as I've always cared more about the story than how good the art is, but just the little touches like how the veins pop out of Hal's neck when trying to lift the White Lantern is what makes it good. Also, Geoff makes a lot of mistakes as we've discussed lately, (replacing Wally with Barry, new Boomer with old Boomer) but the dude writes a hell of a Sinestro. Whether he's supposed to be feared, a hero, or has funny lines, the smarmy attitude of his shines through. And the scene where all three Lanterns (Hal, Carol and Sinestro) touch the White Lantern was an awesome visual. The stuff with Sodam Yat was amazingly good, seeing the Daxamites fall from the sky... was chilling. As well as the Ion chained next to Parallax. Add in the surprise return of someone I've had a soft spot for since Superman: The Animated Series, and you've got a good comic with great art and a good mystery brewing up. I give this month's Green Lantern a 9/10 rating.

Sinestro: While you two are once again fanning the flames of a romantic fire destined to be doomed, we are standing in front of the single most powerful weapon in the universe.

The Rise and Fall of Arsenal #3

I have no idea what to expect from Rise and Fall of Arsenal, I gave the first issue a 4/10 and the second an 8.5/10 so maybe this will show us how this mini is going. I don't know what it is with this week but these covers have been amazing. One page in and we find out that next to Kendra/Shayera/Hawkgirl, Cheshire was the best in bed. Awesome, thanks for that information Roy. Roy and Cheshire do what's expected of them, then Roy goes out to fight crime because he's pissed he came to the field without a Bat, if you catch my drift. Anyway, Roy see's Lian after some... things he does that I won't say, but turns out like always it was a hallucination. A still hallucinating Arsenal blames Batman (Roy's former Teen Titan/Titans buddy Dick Grayson) for Lian's death, thinking he's The Electrocutioner. The fight with Roy and Dick was very well done, as was the scene that followed with Dinah. The last scene was a little too, grim for my tastes, I mean she's a little girl. But eh, whatever, all in all this was a good comic, and I'm enjoying it. Some will say it's a step back for Roy, which it is, but with everything he's been through it's expected of him. I'll give this issue a 9/10 and I'm eagerly awaiting the fourth and final issue of this mini.

Roy: I'm glad she's here, I needed an outlet--Something to take out my frustration on. Might as well be Jade. She likes it rough anyway.

Teen Titans # 83

I love how Cass, Superboy, Kid Flash, and more are on the cover, no Static, yet Blue Beetle is on the cover. And by love I mean hate, because I'm not a fan of Blue Beetle at all... anyway this is the start of a new arc called "The Hunt for Raven" which I'm hoping is exciting. I'm already annoyed with Beast Boy, he's been trying to lead a group when he can barely lead himself now every word out of his mouth is "Raven." We've gotta find Raven, Where's Raven, Let's look for Raven blah blah blah, how many times has she been kidnapped, turned evil or died and came back?! She's fine, go turn into a something and make yourself useful. And the comic hops around like it's taking a Brightest Day class in story telling etiquette. We also see the backlash or Cassie and Connor which is weird because they seemed just fine in Adventure Comics #2 (I believe) so them arguing now seems unnecessary. Can someone explain to me how turning into a monkey can allow Beast Boy to fix a computer that just short circuited? I mean if a Monkey can do it, why not just do it as a human... can Monkeys harness electricity or something because I didn't see that on Animal Planet. Also there's a page where it looks like Cassie is saying Miss Martian's words because they were placed in a weird place, then it continues in the next panel, making me think someone screwed up. Besides all that it was interesting, they wrote Jamie out so he could ruin, I mean be in, Generation Lost. But this wasn't a bad read despite the faults, It gets a 6/10.

Superboy: Want me to carry her, Bombshell?
Bombshell: I've got her. Could carry Miss Martian, You, and your enormous ego, if I had to.

Justice League: Generation Lost #2

I like Chess, I like Comics so I loved this cover. I hate Blue Beetle (Jamie Reyes) though, but whatever. Anyway, this starts off genius. Supes is staring at a picture of Wonder Woman holding a sword, well to him anyway, when actually it's a pic of her snapping Max Lord's neck! That alone shows that Max Lord is awesome as hell, I mean when this is over dude will be in my top five villains list because that's freaking awesome. Captain Atom saying Booster got "his ass whumped with a pipe" was awesome, I mean I don't know who says "whumped" but yeah, that was funny. During Booster's conversation with "The New Dark Knight" (Man I'm using a lot of quotes!) I loved hearing how Max has changed up history, and seeing classic Batsuits in the background. Once again the artwork is pretty good, this is one of the best drawn Wonder Woman's I've seen in a while, she looks powerful and like a woman and not one or the other. There's a lot in this issue, so much that I've barely touched upon it, but enough that I know that this comic deserves the rating it's getting. Seeing as how it'll probably drop now that Jaime Reyes is in it, makes it even better that It has a 10/10 rating. I really loved this and it seems Max has all his bases covered so what can the former JLI do? Only time will tell, but I'll definitely be waiting.

Skeets: I can only assume that the implication is that Booster's life needs no discrediting. Therefore making anything Mister Lord might do... redundant.

And now... More ranting. In all the comics I read this week there was a preview of the upcoming Batman: Odyssey. Between this and First Wave, what the hell is up with Batman using guns?! My Batman doesn't use guns, okay? Jason Todd does, and that's fine, but Batman doesn't. He did in the 1940's and even Geoff Johns doesn't want that Batman back, so that's saying something! Sure he used one on Darkseid, but he's a friggin New God. Just cause he used one on Darkseid doesn't mean he's gonna roam Gotham with a shotgun.... anyway, I have a question before I leave.

If Booster Gold had a movie, who would you like to see play him? My pick is Ashton Kutcher, cause he's a funny guy but could make Booster look serious, I wanna hear what you guys think though.

Well, that's it for me, like I said up top I'll be back with a new poll and a review for Get Mystique this weekend. Until then, You've just been Gobsmacked!

- Jason Todd

Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Brightest Day #3 , The Joker's Asylum: The Riddler, Superman/Batman Annual #4, Red Robin #13, and Red Hood: Lost Days #1 (Woooooooooooooo!!!!!)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ratings and Rantings

Welcome back to my Red Hood for another edition of Ratings & Rantings. This week was supposed to be a low pull with Brightest Day, Streets of Gotham and Deadpool, but I'll also be reviewing this month's issue of Superman/Batman. Also there's a new poll for everyone to vote on, along with the results from last weeks poll. So no more small talk, lets get right into it.

 Superman/Batman #72

I'm a big fan of the Superman/Batman series but the last few arcs have looked blah, but I picked up this one hoping to jump back into the fray. The artwork by Jerry Ordway has a way of looking polished, and amazing as well as just drawing you in. His Superman isn't the best I've seen but it's definitely the most captivating I've seen in a while, and I've got to attribute that to colorist Pete Patazis because the colors just jump off the page. And not just Superman, as both Batman and a surprising appearance by Lex Luthor look wonderful in this comic. The story is pretty good too, it's not amazing but the art makes up for it. The story does heat up *no pun intended* near the end and It got me more excited for next month's issue which I'll be sure to pick up. As for the issue, a nice story with strong artwork, I'll give it a 7.5/10 rating. A good read but nothing worth going out of your way for.

Crazy Cult Guy: You should have been a holy vessel to bear a child of Krypton and Earth, but you spurned Superman to marry a human! (Lol who the hell says spurned anymore?)

Deadpool #23

Deadpool #23 starts with a news report of a party where people are celebrating the Avengers reuniting, and all is going well until the Club owner says, "Who are our kids supposed to look up to? Dirtbags like Deadpool?" Little does he know our Crimson Comedian is watching that news report, and next thing ya know, Deadpool is on a trip to Las Vegas to pay the club owner a visit. And man oh man, did we get a BIG Surprise when Deadpool goes one on one with The House (A Vegas hero with the Card Suits painted onto his big robotic suit.) I of course won't ruin the ending but the fact "The Box" popped up as well as an old Deadpool alumni made this a good read. It's not as good as some of the other Deadpool issues but it did entertain, I'll give it a 7/10.

The House: "Welcome to Vegas. Where the House always wins." ... genius right?

Streets of Gotham #12

This issue of Streets starts with a lovely Gotham lady hustling to suckers in a pool hall, at first glance I thought it was Harley Quinn but it's Paul Dini faithful, The Carpenter. She runs into some trouble while hustling and Batman shows up, and even notices her without her Carpenter gear which made for a pretty funny image. I'm not a fan of the cheesy one liners she used, they work for certain people like Dick Grayson, Deadpool, Static, but they just came off kind of dumb when The Carpenter used them. Also can we get some... creativity? Come on with these damn names... The Carpenter, The Director, so if I was a villain would I be The Reviewer or The Blogger? Anyway, the stuff with Damien and Colin (Abuse) was also cool, I like to see other sides of Damien and he came off alright here. Reading a comic about The Carpenter wasn't on my list but I was pleasantly surprised, I mean I really enjoyed this comic. Batman barely showed up, just like the last issue but this was a good story and Streets of Gotham continues to make me want to read the next issue very badly. My rating for this issue is an 8/10.

Colin: Is this your way of thanking me for saving your life from Zsasz?
Damian: No. It's because you look like an idiot walking around town in that trench coat.

Brightest Day #2

The second issue of Brightest day starts off with us finding out what the bad news for Firestorm is from Ray Palmer. Then we jump to some crazy lady who's not a lady.... Then we jump to Martian Manhunter, Then we jump to the Hawks, and so on and so forth. Recently X and Falisha have both expressed that this jumping around to tell all these stories is annoying, by now I have to agree. I know they have a lot of people to tell us about but two pages per person is hurting the story more than it's helping. Why not two people per issue or something so I can get into something before being yanked away to follow someone else? And really? The Hawks are premeditating murder even though that's what Ollie did and everyone got pissed? Consistency is all I ask for. We had no reason to see Aquaman who's on the cover yet was only one ONE PAGE! And the ending was more bleh than anything else. I don't know where their going from here but I'm no anxious for the next issue at all, especially with the extremely boring Martian Manhunter stuff, I'll give it a 3/10

Firestorm: If he doesn't answer I'm transmuting this door into Jello shots and getting the hell out of here. What's your favorite flavor, Jason?

And that's it for this week, four issues, pretty average except for the abomination that is Brightest Day #2. I was looking forward to that but oh well. Onto the Poll results. I asked you guys who you would like to see join Deathstroke's Titans?

Last Place with 0% - Ravager and Cassandra Cain, no one wants to see the former Teen Titan and the former Batgirl join Deathstroke.
Second Place with 11.1% - Arsenal, comes in second for Deathstroke's new recruit.
First Place with 88.9% aka 8 votes - Jason Todd dominates, so let's see it. I say Jason joins the Titans as Deathstroke's number two, and either gets kicked out for disagreement and goes for revenge against them or Kicks Deathstroke out and turns his Titans against him. What do you guys think? Well that's all for me, I'll be back next time with more Ratings and Rantings, have a good one.

- Jason Todd

Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #2, Detective Comics #865, Gotham City Sirens #12, Green Lantern #54, Green Lantern Corps #48, JL Generation Lost #2, Rise and Fall of Arsenal #3. and Teen Titans #83.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wolverine: Enemy of The State/Agent of Shield

Hey, hey, hey, Mutha'lovers! (It's from 40 Year Old Virgin) Welcome once again to My Red Hood. This time I'm here for a review of Wolverine: Enemy of The State. This comic was recommended to me by my good buddy's Marc & X-Man75, so I wanna thank them for recommending it to me. This article was also requested by Marc, so remember if anyone wants to recommend me something or request and interview of something I have read or seen, please feel free to do so. So without further adieu, let's do this!

Wolverine: EOTS was written by Mark Millar (writer of Wanted, Kick-Ass and more) so that, along with the Canuckle Head himself, Wolverine, attracted me to this comic. This comic begins with the kidnapping of a young man in Japan. It's believed to be a mix-up, a poor kid snatched while being mistaken for a rich kid. The man's father can't afford the ransom, Ten Million U.S. Dollars, so he calls in Wolverine. Turns out the father is a cousin of Wolverine's deceased wife, so Wolvie comes to help save his boy. When Wolverine goes looking for the kid, he's quickly attacked, he destroys his attackers, but is attacked from behind by The Gorgon, a man who's look can turn people into stone. He slices through Wolverine with a blade that won't allow Logan to heal, before seemingly killing the man known as Wolverine. A month later we see Nick Fury and Elektra having a conversation when they hear that Wolverine has been found, badly injured. As Wolverine recuperates, he has voices in his head, one telling him to kill, the other telling him to ignore the violent voices. Next thing we know, Wolverine is gutting people ad trying to escape, when he's face to face with one of the most Lethal and dangerous people in the Marvel Universe... Elektra.

Oh, and that's just the FIRST ISSUE!!! Throughout this comic we find out that Wolverine was killed and Resurrected by The Hand, who have brainwashed him and are using him as the weapon he was intended to be. We see Wolverine face a who's who of Marvel characters, including Elektra, Daredevil, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men and more. This comic is not for the light-hearted as there's a ton of bloodshed and grisly deaths. And just when things couldn't get worse, The Hand even adds some new recruits! I won't say who and spoil it for those who haven't read but that was a definite bonus. This story spans twelve issues, that kept me on the edge of my seat, hooking me from the first issue. There's everything you could want from a Wolverine comic, fighting, a great story, X-Men, Sentinels, Betrayal, Murder, and of course even a few jokes are thrown in.

So, Wolverine, Elektra, Daredevil, The Hand, The Gorgon, S.H.I.E.L.D., The X-Men, Nick Fury, Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, with all those appearances it's gotta hurt the story right? Wrong. The writing was phenomenal, each fight made sense, it never looked like Wolverine has the edge just because it's his comic. I gained a new respect for Elektra and Daredevil. A good comic doesn't make just one guy look good, it makes everyone look good. When Wolverine was tense, I was tense. When he was sad or nervous so was I, and that's a damn good story. Would I recommend this to anyone? Damn right, even a non-Wolverine fan. This story had everything that you need for a good memorable comic book, and I can honestly say it's one of the best I've read. That being said I'll give Wolverine: Enemy of the State & Agent of Shield a solid 10/10 rating. So thanks for the recommendation Marc & X.

And now the results from last week's polls!

Poll Number One - Which is the Best Marvel Animated Series?

Last Place - The Incredible Hulk, Gamma Rays and Green Monsters don't make a good cartoon.
Second Place - Tie between Spider-Man: TAS and Spectacular Spider-man
Winner - X-Men: The Animated Series, The show that spawned the phrase "I'm The Juggernaut, Bitch!"

Poll Number Two - Which is the Best DC Animated Series?

Last Place - Tie Between Teen Titans & Superman: TAS, Man that's a shocker.
Second Place - Justice League, the Team of heroes is second best to...
Winner - Batman: The Animated Series, one hell of an amazing show.

So, with that over and done with, I wanna thank you guys for reading and don't forget to vote for this weeks new poll, I'm very interested in seeing how this one turns out. That's it for me, I'll be back next time for more Ratings and Rantings!

- Jason Todd

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ratings and Rantings

Hey everybody, Jason Todd here welcoming you, once again, to my Red Hood. It's that time again where I read and review comics, give them what I think is an accurate rating and discuss them with any and everyone who'd like to talk comics. This week is a HUGE haul from DC Comics with a bunch of things I've been waiting for, including The Return of Bruce Wayne and Gail Simone's Birds of Prey, as well as the always entertaining Batgirl series. So with no time to waste let's get things started.

Batman #699

Nothing like seeing an ad for IronMan 2 in a DC Comic...anyway, this issue picks up after our last Batman/Riddler encounter. Riddler's been gassed by some Joker-Toxin rip off that keeps him laughing like he's watching Dave Chappelle stand up comedy. Before I go on, I wanna commend Tony Daniel, he keeps flipping and flopping with his writing but his art has been pretty good, I felt it was especially good in this issue so I just wanted to address that. The story on the other hand, confused the hell out of me. I felt like there was FAR too much going on. And to even think of the whole dual identity thing right after revealing that Arkham had a dual Identity as Black Mask just seemed stupid. I don't know where Tony gets these ideas but it just seemed like a very...unnecessary arc. I hope issue 700 isn't as confusing and forgetful as this one though, I just really wish the main Batman title kept me as interested as Streets of Gotham and Batgirl do. I'll give this issue a 4/10 and hope that someone else can tell me what the hell was accomplished in this comic book.

The Ridder: Paranoid much? I'm clean, Batman! I've been a hero to Gotham. You KNOW that!

The Flash #02

So heroes dressed as the Rogues from the 25th century are arresting Barry Allen because he'll apparently kill one in eighty days. All caught up? Sweet. So the fight scene with our Crimson Crimefighter and the um... Renegades was pretty awesome. During that, some collateral damage happened and The Flash took it upon himself to rebuild a freaking apartment building, better than new which was awesome. Being a comic fan for only about Two and a half years, I still mark out over seeing The Flash do stuff super quickly so that was an awesome moment in my eyes. Seeing the Rogues and Cap. Boomerang together was pretty interesting too, including the test they gave him to prove he's worthy of being a rogue. I'm hoping something interesting happens and his return wasn't pointless. The ending was pretty obvious but works for the story at hand. I'm really starting to like this Flash series, I may be a Wally and Bart fan first but I don't mind Barry being back as long as it's entertaining, and so far it has been. I wish we saw more of Wally but oh well, either way I liked this comic, I'll give it a 8/10.

Barry: At least pretend to give a damn about this job.
Singh: EXCUSE ME?!
Barry: Pretend that this job means more to you guys than a pension, a paycheck or a political favor!

Justice League Generation Lost #01

Dear God this is one ugly cover. Well mainly Booster and Fire, they look hideous. Maxwell, Ice and Cap look pretty good but Booster and Fire look horrendous. Anyway, Maxwell Lord is back, we know it after reading Blackest Night. So like myself I'm sure everyone is wondering, why doesn't Wonder Woman go and snap his neck again then go grab a cup of coffee? We find that out in this issue. But before we get to that, I gotta say I love that they treat Maxwell like the threat he is because I thought he may be ignored, but having the JLA, The JSA and everyone else on the streets looking for him is smart and I'm glad it was written that way because someone like Maxwell Lord is too dangerous to ignore. The run in with Booster and our Busty Bombshell Power Girl was also necessary because I've seen Booster as a hero and Time cop so long, I'd forgotten that everyone else looks at Booster Gold as a screw up. This ending was genius, it made so much sense and I loved the quote attributed it to it because it fit so well. This started off so strong, if it continues it will definitely be one of my favorite series. Some of it was slow, like the desert scenes with Fire, Ice and Captain Atom but I'll give it a 9/10.

The Greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing he world he doesn't exist. - Charles Baudelaire.

Birds of Prey #01

After months of waiting, Gail Simone and the true Gotham City Sirens return, with the new Birds of Prey series. As a fan of Oracle, Black Canary and Huntress I couldn't wait for this comic to drop, and rightfully so. I've never cared about Hawk and Dove but I LOVE the way Gail writes Hawk, he's such an asshole I can't help but to cheer for the big guy. Also the little banter and made up words between Oracle and Dinah that comes off funny, lets you know she knows these characters and she's glad to be writing for them again. I figured this would be a recruitment issue like many first issues but it was so much more, especially the debut of a new villain at he end that will keep me curious until the next issue. To say this was a great issue would be an understatement, I loved to see Gail return to the pages of Birds of Prey and this is another series that will quickly become one of my favorites if it stays this entertaining. I'm giving the first issue of Birds of Prey a solid 10/10 rating. Keep up the good work girls.

Hawk: And Molly, aside from the sex, I don't know a damn thing about you, either. Except one thing. You could do a hell of a lot better.

Booster Gold #32

Can Giffen & Dematteis reunite to bring the Bwahaha back to Booster Gold? Wouldn't that mean bringing back Ted Kord? Well...okay, anyway that's what their going with. The opening scene was hectic and pretty cool, I've never seen Booster's suit start to tear and seeing the mechanisms inside it was pretty cool. The line with Keith and J.M.'s intro was pretty awesome too and makes me think Booster will be pretty funny yet still taken seriously which is awesome. I really loved the way this story was written, everything shone through in one issue that you'd expect from an entire Booster Gold Arc. He made jokes, he played the cocky hero, he made sexual jokes, he made mistakes, he learned a lesson, and vowed to be safer. That's what makes Booster Gold a hero, he's not perfect, he's not always going to save everyone like Superman or Batman, but he's going to try his best, and that makes him a damn interesting character. Also the ending showed us Booster's reaction to a recent returned from the dead guy that seems to be EVERYWHERE this week. I can't be the only one who was confused. They argue about April 8th, then say the seventh when Booster should've went on the why are they mentioning three different days?! Can Anyone explain that? I reread that page like seven times, and I wanted to give this a perfect score but that just bothered me, so I'll give it a 8.5/10.

Emerald Empress: What is that? A Legion Flight ring?
Booster Gold: This? It's not the real deal... Just a cheap knockoff that I bought from Wal-Mart.

Batgirl #10

Calculator's evil plan continues in this month's Batgirl. Nice drop of the Birds of Prey name, and seeing Oracle's shadow with Bat ears is cool since that's usually Bruce's thing. I like the little love triangle with Batgirl/Gage/Oracle, and the first official meeting between Stephanie Brown and Nick Gage. And Stephanie's um... girlish charm? Comes off pretty well, it's always fun to see how awkward she is around guys, especially saying her inner monologue out loud. I thought the story started off kinda slow but "Woo Baby!" (I owe you a coffee, X!) did this story pick up. The ending was epic, in a superhero zombie yet not like Blackest Night kinda way, and seeing Batgirl's last page in this issue leaves me wondering what out Blonde Bat Bombshell is gonna do in the next issue. Batgirl continues to be entertaining each month and is solidifying itself as one of my favorite series and Batgirl as one of my favorite characters. Batgirl #10 gets a 9/10.

Batgirl: So what you're saying is...
Oracle: We're about as screwed as you can get.

The Return of Bruce Wayne #1

Bruce Wayne, returns a year and a half after his "death", and I missed the bat loving maniac so let's get right to the good stuff. Some of the caveman talk comes across as more annoying than anything, it's hard to understand when you're used to English and coherent sentences. The appearance of "Robin" was pretty awesome though, I liked that pleasant surprise, as well as Batman pulling a Scorpion. Guess he learned that in MK vs. DC. Another was the appearance of three of my favorites as well as the bomb that was dropped on us by him, so now it's literally a race against time. The ending was random but that's what happens when you try to throw a full story into six issues. For what it was I guess I enjoyed the first issue, but Bruce barely spoke, I was interested in seeing what he was thinking. It was alright but I wanted more, and there was a lot I didn't care for, I could probably sum up the whole issue in two sentences. But at least Bruce is on his way back... ah well, I'll give this a 6.5/10.

Superman: You are joking, right? He can survive anywhere. Anytime. Surviving is what he does.

Titans: Villains for Hire Special

First things first, the art in this comic, especially the first page with Deathstroke, is phenomenal. Just had to say that, so great work Fabrizio Fiorentino. Man, I love seeing Ryan Choi in action, say what you want about Palmer but Choi is the Atom to me, and I loved to see him go all out, the action was perfect and seeing him grow and shrink during the fight to his advantage was pretty awesome. Also seeing Deathstroke allow Ryan a break while his girlfriend was at the door was really... humane of him, I like seeing other sides of Slade than just kill, kill, kill! By the way, Deathstroke may have the best damn team around by now, and Cinder is hot. (No pun intended.) That being said, what happened in this comic was to send a message, I get that, but I hate that it had to be at the expense of someone who doesn't fit in the so called "Modern age." X-Man75 has mentioned that guys like Palmer, Ollie, Hal and Barry have reclaimed their mantles from people who had taken them, and If that's gonna happen oh well I guess, I agree but what can you do? But if it's going to lead to this, and Wally, Kyle, Connor and others have this to look forward to then it's a real mistake. This really bothered me, hell, this is almost as absurd as what happened to Lian. That being said, outside of that travesty I liked this comic... I wanna give it a ten but after that I can't, I'll give it a 8/10.

Deathstroke: Think about it, kid. I fought Ray Palmer. Which means I know moves you haven't even though of.

So, that's it for this weeks Ratings and Rantings. I think out of eight comics this was a pretty good pull, most of them left me excited for the next issue, especially Batgirl, Titans, Birds of Prey, and Generation Lost. I'll be back probably Sunday since I'm going to see IronMan 2 tomorrow with the poll results, a new poll and the review Marc requested, Wolverine: Enemy of The State. So until then, You've just been Gobsmacked!

- Jason Todd

Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Deadpool #23, Batman: Streets of Gotham #12, Brightest Day #2, and Superman/Batman #72.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Red Robin/Batgirl - Collision Review (Spoiler Warning)

Hey, Hello, Hola, and Bienvenidos. Once again I'd like to welcome everyone to my Red Hood. So, if you're like me, last year's Battle For The Cowl started a bunch of interesting things you were looking forward to. Sure Jason turned "evil", and Damian became Robin, and Dick became Bats which we all predicted, but two more things happened. Tim Drake became the Red Robin, and Stephanie Brown became the new Batgirl. Batgirl, written by Bryan Q. Miller quickly became one of the best monthly comics, bringing seriousness and a fun tone, as well as making everyone, even Damian likable. Red Robin written by Christopher Yost quickly became one of the worst monthly comics in my opinion, even to the point some of my fellow bloggers decided to drop the series. So, what happens when you take one of the best and one of the worst series, with two characters who have history comparable to Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon? That's what we find out in Red Robin/Batgirl - Collision. (By the way I'm very happy with this opening paragraph.)

Collision takes place in Batgirl #8, and Red Robin #'s 10, 11, and 12, which is why he gets top billing of course. Our story starts with Batgirl and Red Robin running into one another in the recently abandoned by Batman but re-bandoned (?) by Oracle and Batgirl. Tim is upset to find Steph still "playing dress-up" as he calls it. After some bonding, if you can call it that, Tim lets it spill that Ra's Al Ghul and the League of Assassins are after Bruce Wayne's friends and allies and Doctor Leslie. After kicking some assassin butt and saving the good Doctor, Tim and Steph share a romantic moment on a rooftop while in costume, intil the part is crashed by Prudence a.k.a. Pru, a former member of Ra's League of Assasins. Pru tells Tim that she was hired to kill Stephanie Brown, before pulling a gun out and pointing it right into Stephanie's face. Steph then proceeds to lay down an all-star Smackdown onto Pru that would make Bruce Wayne do a double take. After Steph is done beating Pru senseless, we find out the gun wasn't loaded and Pru came to help Tim, because she owed him one.

Meanwhile, we see that Ra's has come to Gotham, and he's looking for an audience, with Thomas Elliot. Ra's tells Hush, he want's everything Bruce Wayne has. We also see both Vickie Vale and Tamara Fox looking desperately for Timothy Drake/Wayne together, little do they know their being hunted by Ra's Al Ghul's assassins. At the same time, the power in the Batcave is disconnected and we see two more of Ra's assasins jumping down a rope to enter the Batcave and attack Barbara Gordon. After an dodging an explosion back at one of Tim's weapon cache's in Gotham, Red Robin, Batgirl, and Pru come face to face with Ra's best assassins, The Seven Men of Death, which is an odd name because one is a woman. Also, why the hell are the X-Men called that when they have women on the team? But I digress, after an amazing fight scene with the Seven Men of Death and Red Robin, Batgirl and Prudence, the heroes escape on Batgirl's "Ricochet" Motorcycle thing. Tim hooks one of the Seven and drags him away so he and Pru can beat some answers out of him. Steph leaves to make sure Oracle is okay. Right outside of Wayne Manor, Vicki Vale and Tam Fox are running after being shot at by the assassin sent by Ra's.

While Red Robin and Pru interrogate their hostage, Gotham's Finest, Batman and Robin arrive on the scene. Damian makes a hilarious joke about Red Robin having some decency and getting a longer skirt. Damian eventually recognizes Pru as one of his grandfather's assassin's and attacks her before Red Robin SLAMS him harder than necessary, which made this comic worth the price of purchase. Vicki and Tam pull one over on the assassin and Vicki clocks him with a shovel. Vale then grills Tam about Drake and asks what's his big secret? Tam quickly answers, covering for Tim who she knows is Red Robin, "We're engaged!" The assassin wakes up in time to grab Vale from behind and hold a knife to her neck, but she's luckily saved by Batgirl. Red Robin tells Batman to trust him and do as he asks, Batman agrees to do so and Red Robin tells him to wait for his call. Finally we see Ra's assassins ready to strike on each intended target. The targets are all unaware of the danger surrounding them. The targets include Damian Wayne, Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, Lucius Fox, Stephanie Brown, Vicki Vale, Julie Madison, Selina Kyle, and Jim Gordon.

Our final book starts with Ra's wondering why no one can find Red Robin. Maybe that's because he's behind ya big guy. Ra's tells Tim his efforts are futile because even if one person survives the others will die. Red Robin takes a walkie talkie off of a guard he knocked out and says "Report." The Walkie Talkie answers "Hey, Ra's. How's it going?" We see that the intended targets have been saved by allies of Tim Drake, either former Teen Titan partners or other Gotham heroes. Superboy having saved Alfred Pennyworth, Kid Flash helping Catwoman, Mahunter and Jim Gordon, Batgirl who was still with Vale and Tam Fox, Huntress with Lucius Fox, Manbat saving a freaked out Julie Madison, Wonder Girl... attempting to save Oracle who saved herself and Batman and Robin who beat up the Ninjas that attacked them. Prompting Damian to chime in with "Really, Grandfather? Ninja? I'm insulted" as Batman swings off. Ra's is shocked that Red Robin was a step ahead of him, and Tim tells him "Did you think I was going to run all around the city, desperately trying to save everyone all by myself? I'm not Batman. I have friends." Tim shows that he's never trusted Ra's and has been gathering information for a while now. Ra's angrily attacks Tim, and Tim knows he can't beat Ra's. He mentions that Ra's can take Bruce to a stalemate and has been around forever and knows all types of fighting styles, so Tim just tries to survive. It's shown that Tim has been stalling to give Lucius time to prepare the paper work. He tales Ra's today he became an emancipated minor, and as of right now he is the controlling shareholder of Wayne Enterprises. He says Bruce knew that just in case something happened to him, that Hush could steal his Legacy, so left work to Lucius that if he started spending recklessly, to transfer his majority shares to Tim. He knew that Hush was going to transfer everything of Bruce's to Ra's after a simple threat, so he beat him to the punch. After finding this out, Ra's tells Tim, "Well done, Detective." before kicking him out of the building window. As Tim falls, satisfied in stopping Ra's Al Ghul, he is saved by Dick Grayson in mid-air.

Tim wakes up surrounded bt Steph, Dick, Damian and Alfred. Tim tells Dick he knew he'd save him, because he's his brother. Stephanie then asks him if he forgot to tell her anything. Tim looks confused as Damian gives him a newspaper and says "Congratulations, you dog." Tim opens the newspaper to see the headline "Engaged: Teen Wayne Heir Tim Drake to wed older woman" by Vicki Vale. A confused Tim askes, how long was he out for. Tim is later shown swinging around Gotham, with some alterations made to the Red Robin costume, claiming he's redeemed the honor of it, and it's no longer a punishment. Next, we see Ra's talking to a woman with a hood on saying Tim Drake passed every one of his tests, and "He will produce a worthy heir." Lastly, we come across an angered Tim Drake from a year ago after being told Damian was replacing him as Robin. He breaks a portrait on the wall of "Mordecai Wayne" and recognizes him as Bruce. The last thing we see, is Tim saying, "He's Alive." As we finally know what sent him around the world looking for proof that Bruce was lost in time.

Damn that was a long review. You owe me X! But really, I enjoyed reading this crossover, and I thought it did a good job of showing Tim finally come into his own. We also got to see why Tim has been so adamant that Bruce was alive. Sadly, Yost couldn't keep this going since the beginning because I really enjoyed this crossover. Now that Red Robin is getting a new writer I can only hope that Tim continues to grow and show that he definitely belongs to stand side by side with Dick and Bruce.  I very much so enjoyed seeing the growth between Tim and Steph as well, and I hope they get back together and don't get the run-around like Babs and Dick. With that said, I'll give this entire crossover a solid 8/10 rating and I'd recommend it to anyone who's a fan of Tim, Steph or just a good comic.

Also, below you can see the results of last week's poll. This weeks poll is going to be a little different, I had so may picks that I decided this week we'll have two polls so be sure to vote on them both. And below are the results of the last poll which was "Which character would you like to see star in their own Video game?"

Last place with 10% - Once again a Speedster falls behind, The Flash.
3rd Place with 20%  - The Cap falls back as well, Captain America.
2nd Place with 30%  - Our favorite Amazonian, Wonder Woman.
The Winner with 40% - The Emerald Archer, Green Arrow should get his own video game. No Boxing glove arrows!!!!

And that said, looks like I'm done for the day. I'll be back for a huge edition of Ratings and Rantings later this week, and a review of Wolverine: Enemy of The State as requested by Marc, as well as a new poll next weekend. Until then, you've just been Gobsmacked!

- Jason Todd

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ratings and Rantings

Hola everyone, Welcome once again to my Red Hood. It's that time again for our weekly comic-fest known as Ratings and Rantings. Just wanna say, last week I said I'd be reviewing Titans: Villains for Hire but it looks like they pushed it back another week. So this week I'll be reviewing Batman & Robin #12, Brightest Day #1 and Red Robin #12. Speaking of that, this weekend I'll have a full review of the four-part Red Robin/Batgirl Crossover. And by full review that means spoilers, since my good buddy X-Man75 asked and I'm going to happily oblige. So if anyone else has any requests let me know and I'll be happy to do the same. So, lets get straight to it.

Batman & Robin #12

First things first I really hate this cover. It just comes off very ugly to me and kinda amateur for one of the main Batman titles. Secondly I hate that Slade is apparently just back to hating Grayson. I mean doesn't he have better things to do with his time than wanna kill Grayson for pretty much no reason. Hell he pushed Rose into the Titans purposely so this seems kinda counter-productive. Thirdly, Why do they need proof Bruce is stuck in the past?! I put his bones in the Lazarus pits and it wasn't him. He didn't really come back during Blackest Night, Tim Already knows he's lost in time and so does Rip Hunter. How many people do we have to watch find out?! Also... really? There's ANOTHER one of those little bastards? And when did Talia become more crazy than Ra's?! Everything about this comic makes hardly any damn sense. And for who Sexton was, I read back in issue 4 in someone's discussion on a site that it would be him. I thought, that'd make sense, and then I completely forgot about it. So... then we find out it's him. That bumped this comic up a bit in my eyes bit everything else about it I hated. So, final rating? 3/10, just for who Sexton is. Oh and did I mention Dick fighting a big Bat was one of the dumbest things I've ever seen?

Batman: We'll call that a trailer, Slade, for the main feature...

Red Robin #12

Here we are, with the last Yost written issue of Red Robin as well as the last issue of the Batgirl/Red Robin crossover. I loved that Tim relied on his friends because it shows how a Robin is different from Bruce Wayne as Batman. Whereas Bruce will hardly ever as for help someone like Tim or Dick Grayson will call in friends when he needs their help, so I loved that Tim did that. Even Damien's little retort was pretty funny. Tim's cleverness also shone through in this issue, and as a guy who's always been a fan or Jason then Dick then Tim, I really liked seeing Tim hold his own and be shown as a clever guy. That's what I expected when I picked up the first issue of Red Robin, just sucks it took a year for Yost to do that. Hell the man can even give Damien a funny one-liner from time to time, he even has two in this issue. We even see why Tim has believed Bruce to be alive for the past year. This was honestly a great read, and it exceeded my expectations, if Yost has written this well from the beginning I'd be a big fan. Ah well, I'll give Red Robin #12 a solid 9/10.

Dick: How'd you know? How did you know I'd be there to save you?
Tim: You're my brother, Dick. You'll always be there for me.

Brightest Day #1

We start off with Sinestro, Carol and Hal trying to lift the White Lantern although no one can, and it seems the only who can may be Boston Brand. Man, their really putting their stock into Deadman eh? We see Aquaman in action for the first time since returning and see there are some strange side effects to his powers. We also see a guy I can only assume is Black Manta. I for one am also loving this heated relation ship between Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond as well, I love the potential these two have as being complete opposites. Martian Manhunter's (Damn that dude is strong!) visions make me think we may be seeing a little of Miss Martian as well. I know they can't fit everything into the first issue but I was disappointed not to read about Maxwell Lord, as well as a few other of the returning people. But for what it was, this was a very solid issue, it raised questions and it's keeping me wanting more, so I'll give it a 7/10 rating. I'm just glad this is bi-weekly and not monthly like Blackest Night.

Aquaman: It's a giant squid. I could hear it deep below the surface, but it's...
Mera: It's Dead!

And that's it. Well that was really fast, but I promise next week won't be. I'm trying a new thing near the bottom of the columns so let me know what you guys think. Anyway after this short haul which was pretty average besides the let down by Grant Morrison. (Let's see how you explain this one Marc :P) That being said I'll be back this weekend with the Red Robin/Batgirl crossover as well as another weekly poll, so keep up the voting. So until next time, You've just been Gobsmacked!

- Jason Todd
Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Batgirl #10, Batman #699, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1, Birds of Prey #1, Booster Gold #32, The Flash #2, Justice League: Generation Lost #1, and Titans: Villains for Hire. *Whew* It's gonna be a LONG column.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spider-Man Noir: Eyes Without A Face

Once again, I, Jason Todd, welcome you to my Red Hood. This time our favorite arachnid is swinging through again as I tackle Spider-Man Noir: Eyes without a Face. After finding out there was more to the story after last weeks review of Spider-Man Noir (seen here), I decided to seek out this continuation to my new favorite Noir hero. So at the request of Marc and X-Man75 I decided to review this compilation of issues. Like it's predecessor it's a four issue arc, so without any more of my rambling on let's get to it.

Spider-Man Noir: Eyes without a Face takes place after the original Spider-Man: Noir. With Peter Parker already being the web-slinging super hero, the crime rate in New York City has definitely taken a big hit. But it's not all daisies and roses. The true threat lies with a man known as The Crime Master. The Crime Master has been causing trouble left and right, and he's not alone. He has a big muscular powerhouse, known only as The Sandman. The Sandman, seemingly impervious to pain has been called on when The Crime Master needs to "put someone to sleep." Just when things couldn't get any worse, our hero finds out someone has been kidnapping African-American's and conducting experiments to make them into the perfect slaves. Yes, you read that right, The perfect slaves. And also with special appearances by Robbie Robertson, Felicia Hardy, Otto Octavius and more Spider-Man alumni.

Now I thought this was a pretty good comic. The storyline was well done and I thought it was very enjoyable and the characters were very well written. I will say I didn't enjoy this as much as the first for some reason. There was something about it I couldn't really get into it as well as I did with the first arc. I will say if Marvel continued the Spider-Man Noir series I would be a frequent reader, I enjoy how they've made the characters adapt to the times and have made me really sympathize with them. That being said, You won't NEED Eyes without a Face but it doesn't hurt to check it out. I'll give it a 7/10.

I wish I had more to say about this but without ruining Spider-Man Noir I can't discuss it as clearly as I'd like. That being said If anyone is thinking about picking them up, or teetering the fence, I'd definitely recommend you get Spider-Man: Noir and if you like it, I'd recommend Eyes without A Face. So, that's all for me today, quick review but I've been watching Lost from the beginning (NO SPOILERS), already near the end of Season 2 and it's calling my name haha. And of course we have a new weekly poll that everyone can vote on, so feel free to do that. As for last weeks results.

"Which dead DC Character are you disappointed didn't return for Brightest Day?"

Last Place with 0% - Inertia, The Speedster falls into last place.
Fourth Place with 11.1% - Vic Sage, Why didn't he win, That is The Question. (Lmao I love that.)
Tied for Second with 22.2% - Tempest and Prometheus play second string
And The Winner with 44.4%, The True Blue Beetle, Ted Kord!

Thanks again everyone who voted, looking forward to next weeks results as well, now it you'll excuse me, It's time for Lost, because you've just bee Gobsmacked!

- Jason Todd