Archive for November, 2007

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Vol. 1: The Long Way Home

November 25, 2007 | Trades

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Vol. 1: The Long Way Home Joss Whedon, Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens Dark Horse Books $15.95 US (Paperback) **** 1/2 (out of five) Fanboys of the world rejoice: She’s baaaaack! And not only are there new adventures of Buffy The Vampire Slayer being told in comic book form by the creator of the cult-classic TV series, Joss Whedon, but he’s actually calling it Season 8, as in what happens after the series finale back in 2003. When last we saw the Slayer and her friends, they had saved the world by destroying the most powerful evil force that ever existed (along with their hometown of Sunnydale, Calif.) and had created a legion of new Slayers. Season 8 picks up many months later as Buffy and her best friend Xander lead squads of the newly empowered young women into battle against the forces of darkness and they quickly stumble upon a mysterious cult that isn’t so crazy about the Slayer’s new teams. Meanwhile, Buffy’s sister, Dawn, has been turned into a giant, two of the nastiest bad guys from the TV series make a startling return and an old nemesis pops in on Buffy’s (surprisingly saucy) dreams. While it obviously would have been nice to see this series return to the airwaves, or even turn towards the big screen, comic books are an amazing medium for someone with grand ideas like Whedon. Buffy Season 8 has already equaled some of the best story arcs from the TV series and with the unlimited budget (except for the damage all that drawing might do to the hand of talented artist Georges Jeanty), things are only going to get better over the next few years.

Heroes Vol. 1

November 25, 2007 | Trades

Heroes Vol. 1 Aron Eli Coleite, Chuck Kim, Joe Pokaski, Oliver Grigsby, Pierluigi Cothran, Andrew Chambliss, Harrison Wilcox, Jesse Alexander, Christopher Zatta, Mark Warshaw, Tim Sale, Phil Jimenez, Michael Turner, Koi Turnbull, Marcus To, Peter Steigerwald, David Moran, Micah Gunnell, Travis Kotzebue, Jordan Kotzebue, Jason Badower, Staz Johnson, Steve Lejeune, Adam Archer, Mark Roslan Wildstorm/DC Comics $34.99/$29.99 US (Hardcover) **** (out of five) So you tuned in faithfully every Monday to see if Peter Petrelli could: “Save the cheerleader; save the world,” and waited with baited breath to see if New York City would vapourized in a nuclear blast. Oh, sure, you’re a devoted Heroes watcher, but did you get the whole story? Every week that the Emmy-nominated NBC series was on the air, the series’ writers, along with an impressive team of both famous and lesser-known artists, were creating five-to-six page stories online at which supplied back stories, introduced new characters and really helped to round out the Heroes universe. Now all those stories have been collected in one volume, along with all of artist Tim Sale’s artwork from the show (shown as the work of character Isaac Mendez) and an introduction by Hiro himself, Masi Oka. This book is the perfect accompaniment for the Season 1 DVD and may even help ease the pain if the current season is delayed further by the ongoing Hollywood writers’ strike.


November 25, 2007 | Comics

Flink Doug TenNapel Image Comics $13.99 US **** (out of five) Conrad is a boy who’s lost his dad; Flink is a dad who’s lost his boy. Oh, and Flink’s also a Bigfoot. From the wonderful mind of Doug TenNapel, creator of Earthworm Jim, Earthboy Jacobus and Iron West, comes a new tale of survival, compassion and courage. When the plane carrying Conrad and his dad crashes into a lake somewhere in the forests of Washington State, the boy wakes up to find himself alone and scared. After a day of fruitless searching for his dad, Conrad curls up cold and hungry under a tree — only to awaken with a warm animal skin covering him and a trail of fresh berries to sate him. Just when he thinks he’s figured out who’s helping him out, Conrad gets a nasty surprise, gets saved, does some saving of his own and begins down a path to a magical world no human has ever seen before. Funny, fast-paced and heartwarming, Flink is TenNapel at his best.

Army@Love Vol. 1: The Hot Zone Club

November 25, 2007 | Trades

Army@Love Vol. 1: The Hot Zone Club Rick Veitch, Gary Erskine Vertigo/DC Comics $11.99/$9.99 US **** (out of five) War in the desert in unquestionably hot, but never as scorching as in Army@Love. In the not-so-distant future, the U.S. war in the Middle East rages on without end and to keep soldiers willing to come back for more, the military implements the new Motivation and Morale department to make things more interesting. The result is cell phones in combat; wild, orgy-filled furloughs; more women in combat (to heighten the sexual tension) and rewards for creating hot new ideas like the “Hot Zone Club” where two soldiers have sex while under enemy fire. Ready to enlist, yet? Created by Rick Veitch (Swamp Thing, Can’t Get No) and illustrated by Gary Erskine (The Filth), Army@Love is a biting satire, filled with both laughs and gasps.

The Secret

November 25, 2007 | Trades

The Secret Mike Richardson, Jason Shawn Alexander Dark Horse Books $12.95 US **** (out of five) It was just supposed to be a prank. All the cool high school kids, and even the new guy, Tommy Morris, turned out for Pam Sweeny’s party and they were just goofing around when they dialed yet another random local number and uttered the phrase: “I know your secret,” and told the person on the other end to meet them at a nearby park at midnight. But this time it wasn’t just someone with a foolish past. This time it was someone who’d do anything to keep their secret. When Pam goes missing, Tommy begins his search and he won’t stop until he discovers the biggest secret of all — one that may cost him his life. Written by Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson and eerily illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander (Damn Nation), The Secret is a bone-chilling thriller.

Criminal Macabre: Two Red Eyes

November 25, 2007 | Trades

Criminal Macabre: Two Red Eyes Steve Niles, Kyle Hotz, Michelle Madsen Dark Horse Books $12.95 US **** (out of five) Cal McDonald has seen things that would make a lesser man scream under he’s hoarse. The paranormal private eye just lost his only living friend, his girlfriend left him and he’s just received the butt-kicking of a lifetime. Just when things don’t seem like they can get any worse, Cal finds himself… sober? Now with an ancient evil descending upon Los Angeles in search of him and the cops looking for any excuse to bust him, Cal must face sobriety in order to save himself and the woman he loves. Criminal Macabre never disappoints and writer Steve Niles (30 Days Of Night) and artist Kyle Hotz (Incredible Hulk) deliver another wonderfully sick, twisted adventure for Cal.

Batman: Death And The City

November 25, 2007 | Trades

Batman: Death And The City Paul Dini, Stuart Moore, Royal McGraw, Don Kramer, Andy Clarke DC Comics $17.99/$14.99 US **** (out of five) Batman is a master martial artist and has lots of fun technological toys at his disposal, but he’s never as interesting as when he’s simply being the world’s greatest detective. So it’s time to give some love to writer Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series), who has so attentively brought the mystery back into Detective Comics with some outstanding standalone and two-part stories (all, of course, with an underlying and developing subplot that will pay off down the road). Death And The City sees the Dark Knight aiming to prevent the destruction of Bruce Wayne’s corporate headquarters at the hands of a bomb-wielding would-be martyr; try to solve the murder of a childhood friend (with a little help from the reformed Riddler); attempt to figure out how the evil Ventriloquist could have returned from the dead; and why a performance artist might be killing his assistants — on stage! Ably aided by writers Stuart Moore and Royal McGraw and artists Don Kramer and Andy Clarke, Dini is doing something really special right now in Detective Comics that is very much worth picking up.

52 Vol. 4

November 25, 2007 | Trades

52 Vol. 4 Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, Greg Rucka, Grant Morrison, Keith Giffen DC Comics $23.99/$19.99 US *** 1/2 (out of five) The dominoes took 40 weeks to line up — so let’s knock them down with style. The landmark weekly series 52, co-written by some of the hottest creators around — Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, Greg Rucka and Grant Morrison — was full of plot twists and turns and this final arc is packed with payoffs. From the fall of Lex Luthor, to Black Adam’s genocide to avenge his lost family, to the death of Ralph Dibny: The Elongated Man and the revelation of the evil genius behind it all, everything comes together with a pretty satisfying little bow. Better still (if you’re a huge DC Comics fan), the resolution of 52 spun directly into the current weekly series Countdown To Final Crisis. After re-reading 52 in four fat volumes it may not hold together quite as well as it did as a weekly, but there’s no denying the impact it had as a groundbreaking project.

The Spirit Book 1

November 12, 2007 | Trades

The Spirit Book 1 Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone DC Comics $29.99/$24.99 US (Hardcover) **** 1/2 (out of five) Will Eisner was undeniable one of the greatest comic book creators of the 20th century, and while he died in 2005, his Spirit lives on. In the later part of his career, Eisner became renowned for being one of the pioneers of the “graphic novel” — helping elevate sequential illustrated storytelling from the stereotype of being “just for kids” and raising it up to be acknowledged as the art form it is. But back in the 1940s he was drawing in millions of readers with his weekly newspaper comic, The Spirit. The adventures of this masked urban action/mystery/adventure character, filled with quick dialogue and amazing art set the standard that creators strive even today to reach for. And that’s just what Canada’s Darwyn Cooke is doing. This acclaimed Nova Scotian creator, along with his talented collaborator J. Bone, stepped boldly into Eisner’s immense shoes late last year and began an all-new Spirit monthly comic series — one delivered with the same formula that fans of the series are used to, but with a gently modern twist. Cooke’s work on The Spirit has been lauded by fans and critics alike and has already earned him the 2007 Joe Shuster Award for outstanding Canadian cartoonist and a 2007 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for best single issue. And beyond simply creating another great comic (something Cooke, creator of DC: The New Frontier, does with astounding regularity) he is keeping one of comics’ great creations alive and continuing the legacy in a manner that no doubt would have made Will Eisner very proud.

Shazam! The Monster Society Of Evil

November 12, 2007 | Trades

Shazam! The Monster Society Of Evil Jeff Smith DC Comics $36.99/$29.99 US (Hardcover) **** 1/2 (out of five) Jeff Smith’s epic series, Bone, is one of the greatest self-published comics of all time. It took Smith 14 years and 55 issues to tell the sprawling tale of three cousins lost in a strange land and the amazing adventures they have in protecting their new home from the rising forces of darkness. Bone has gone on to sell untold thousands, if not millions, of comics and collected editions. So to say Smith could pretty much call his shot on his next project is an understatement. And so he turned his creative gifts to one of his first loves, DC Comics’ Captain Marvel, taking readers back to the character’s beginnings — to when young orphan boy Billy Batson first met the wizard Merlin and was given the magic word SHAZAM! that would transform him in the world’s mightiest mortal. But more than just regurgitating the hero’s origins, Smith presents a story full of sweeping emotion and epic grandeur and takes this simple concept of boy becomes hero and elevates it to a new level. Fans of Bone won’t want to miss the unmistakable charm of Smith’s work on this new project, nor will any aficionado of great comics.