Archive for March, 2008

Wonder Woman: Who Is Wonder Woman?

March 24, 2008 | Trades

Wonder Woman: Who Is Wonder Woman? Allan Heinberg, Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson DC Comics $23.99/$19.99 US (Hardcover) **** (out of five) Wonder Woman was a hero, an icon and a legend and the world loved her for it. Then she was a murderer and the world was in shock. And then… she was gone. One year later, three super-villains have taken hostages at the Museum of Natural History in Washington and they’ve promised to kill unless they get one thing: Wonder Woman. Enter Donna Troy, former Wonder Girl, now… Wonder Woman? A new era for the lasso-wielding heroine dawns as Princess Diana is forced to decide whether she truly wants to be the icon she’s become over the years or if she’s ready to move on to something new. And if the mantle of Wonder Woman is being passed around, there may be more than one taker for the title — and they don’t all share a common view on how to best use her powers. Allan Heinberg, writer of the hit TV show, Grey’s Anatomy, team ups with the incomparable husband/wife art team of Terry and Rachel Dodson to deliver a fresh new start for a classic hero.


March 24, 2008 | Comics

Hazed Mark Sable, Robbi Rodriguez Image Comics $14.99 US (Paperback) *** 1/2 (out of five) The Sigma Tau Deltas are the most popular sorority at Ileana Silver’s new university. They’re the one with the highest number of pretty girls, who get invited to all the best parties and date all the hunkiest guys. So why, Ileana wonders, does the hottest clique around want an intelligent, outspoken, “plain Jane” like her to become an “STD”? And, perhaps even stranger, why don’t they want her ultra-gorgeous roommate, James Dalton, to join? Packed with biting satire and seething distaste for the “Greek” university system, Hazed is the story of two girls whose university experience is completely turned upside down by a sorority — one by surprisingly joining and the other by a shock rejection. As Ileana, now known as Ill, sets about taking down the system from the inside, she finds herself making compromise after compromise that begin leading her down a very dark road. Meanwhile, James, blacklisted by a vengeful sorority leader, has gone from bombshell to dirty bomb as she can’t even get a date. It may just take an epiphany for the girls to see the real cause of their troubles — and to get a little revenge.

Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War Vol. 1

March 24, 2008 | Trades

Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War Vol. 1 Geoff Johns, Dave Gibbons, Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, Ethan Van Sciver DC Comics $29.99/$24.99 US (Hardcover) **** (out of five) The Green Lantern Corps is made up 7,200 of the bravest, toughest beings in the galaxy. They have overcome great fear before — as a matter of fact that’s how they got their jobs — but not one member of the galaxy’s greatest police force has ever encountered anything as scary as the Sinestro Corps. They will know fear — and there will be a lot less than 7,200 survivors. Led by Sinestro, an alien warrior once hailed as the greatest Green Lantern before being revealed as a despot who maintained control over his sector of space by ruling through intimidation, this new corps has one goal: To make the universe feel fear. To start, they recruit some of the nastiest villains around, including the murderous Superboy-Prime (the ex-hero who went homicidal in the 2006 classic, Infinite Crisis) and the Cyborg Superman (responsible for destroying an entire California city (as seen in the Death And Return Of Superman Omnibus). Next up, they choose some very serious targets: Oa, homeworld of the Guardians of the Galaxy (founders of the GL Corps); Ion, a.k.a. Kyle Rayner, the most powerful member of the green good guys; and Mogo, a living planet and the heart and soul of the Lanterns. The first volume of The Sinestro Corps War, penned by fan-favourite writers Geoff Johns and Dave Gibbons and illustrated by the likes of Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason and Ethan Van Sciver, is as epic and pulse-pounding as any sci-fi film and full of gasp-causing revelations that will have you clamouring for the next book.

The Terminator Omnibus Vol. 1

March 24, 2008 | Trades

The Terminator Omnibus Vol. 1 James Robinson, Matt Wagner, John Arcudi, Paul Gulacy, Ian Edginton, Chris Warner, Vince Giarrano Dark Horse Books $24.95 US (Paperback) *** 1/2 (out of five) It all began with one of the most famous movie catch phrases of all time: “I’ll be back.” And so he was. The Terminator, from marauding cyborg death machine in the 1984 sci-fi classic to hero and guardian in the 1991 sequel and it’s less-beloved third film in 2003 — always gun-toting and quip shooting. Like much great sci-fi, though, the Terminator’s story didn’t just end on the big screen. Long before being adapted for TV in the recently launched Sarah Connor Chronicles, a whole universe of possibilities were taken on by intrepid creators of both novels and comic books alike, including some notable creators such as James Robinson (Starman), Matt Wagner (Grendel), John Arcudi (The Mask) and Paul Gulacy (Shang-Chi: Master Of Kung Fu). The first volume of The Terminator Omnibus contains a trilogy revolving around a team of soldiers sent from the future to eliminate all traces of Terminator technology, only to discover that more of the robotic killers are hot on their trail. Fans of the films (and/or TV show) ought to enjoy this imaginative adventure and will no doubt “be back” for more in volume 2.

Connor Hawke: Dragon’s Blood

March 24, 2008 | Trades

Connor Hawke: Dragon’s Blood Chuck Dixon, Derec Donovan DC Comics $23.99/$19.99 US (Paperback) *** 1/2 (out of five) It’s every young man’s hope to eventually emerge from his father’s shadow and stand alone as his own person — only Connor Hawke’s dad casts a very long shadow, indeed. Connor, son of Oliver Queen, a.k.a. Green Arrow, gets the perfect opportunity to stand on his own after being invited to a competition in Shanghai to decide the world’s greatest archer. Best of all: Dad didn’t even make the short list. However when the competition turns deadly, Connor finds he’s more interested in keeping himself and his allies alive than in any trophy. Chuck Dixon, the writer who penned some of Connor’s most memorable adventures as the second Green Arrow, teams up with talented artist Derec Donovan to deliver a satisfying adventure that doesn’t quite hit the bull’s eye, but comes close enough.

Birds Of Prey: Dead Of Winter

March 24, 2008 | Trades

Birds Of Prey: Dead Of Winter Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, Doug Hazlewood $21.99/$17.99 US (Paperback) *** 1/2 (out of five) She may be confined to a wheelchair, but Oracle is ready to kick some butt. Having recently ceded control of the Birds Of Prey to her old nemesis, Katarina Armstrong, a.k.a. Spy Smasher, Oracle, otherwise known as Barbara Gordon (formerly Batgirl) is forced to watch her friends sent off to a former Soviet state on a mission shrouded in mystery. When it all blows up, as these things so often do, the Birds find themselves locked in battle with the mercenary team, the Secret Six, for control of a very unique prize — a former Justice Leaguer thought dead for years! The fallout of this clash is a full-on brawl between the paraplegic former Batgirl and Spy Smasher — winner take all for control of the team. Longtime writer Gail Simone departs Birds Of Prey, a series she propelled from relative obscurity to great popularity, not with a whimper, but with one heck of a bang.

Catwoman: Catwoman Dies

March 24, 2008 | Trades

Catwoman: Catwoman Dies Will Pfeifer, David Lopez, Alvaro Lopez DC Comics $17.99/$14.99 US (Paperback) *** (out of five) It was the shocker of DC’s One Year Later event: Catwoman had a kitten! A nice idea that definitely had a lot of readers checking back on a monthly basis to find out the mystery of who the baby’s daddy was, but something that kind of grew tired fast. And so, just one year after One Year Later, the Catmommy storyline played itself out and the kitten is gone. The ending is a heart-wrenching, if clichéd, one, but thankfully the character won’t have to have every storyline tied to someone trying to kidnap her kid anymore. Here’s hoping the next volume is that fresh start Catwoman so desperately needs now.

Paul Goes Fishing

March 10, 2008 | Comics

Paul Goes Fishing Michel Rabagliati Drawn & Quarterly $19.95 CAN/US (Paperback) **** 1/2 (out of five) There is a remarkable complexity belied by the simple title of Michel Rabagliati’s Paul Goes Fishing. This entrancing semi-autobiographical book, the fourth in the “Paul” series which was originally published in September 2006 in French by Editions de la Pastèque as Paul à la pêche, is centred around a young Quebecois couple, Paul and Lucie, who leave the hustle and bustle of Montreal behind for a week’s vacation at a fishing camp along with Lucie’s sister and her family. But more than just the expected digression into the wonders (or nightmares) of nature and the thrill (or agony) of angling, Paul Goes Fishing is about some extremely heartfelt reminisces about growing up as a straight-D student, the pitfalls of globalization, the surprising cost of the computer age and, most importantly, family — both having one and starting one. With a clean and increasingly elegant cartooning style that is somewhat reminiscent of Seth (Palookaville), Rabagliati, a 2007 Joe Shuster Award winner for fan-favourite French-language creator, continues to add to his credentials as one of the top creators in Canada. >> Michel Rabagliati will be appearing at the Toronto Public Library, Lillian H. Smith Building, 239 College St. on March 15 at 5 p.m. for a slideshow, Q&A and signing. Admission is free.

Scalped Vol. 2: Casino Boogie

March 10, 2008 | Trades

Scalped Vol. 2: Casino Boogie Jason Aaron, R.M. Guéra Vertigo/DC Comics $17.99/$14.99 US (Paperback) **** (out of five) The opening of the Crazy Horse Casino promised to be one hell of a night on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation — and it delivered on everything expected and more. The night featured a gun battle in a chicken coop, a fistfight in a bullfighting ring, the theft of Merle Haggard’s tour bus and the murder of a key figure on the “rez”. In this second volume of this outstanding Vertigo series, writer Jason Aaron tells the story of opening night at the Crazy Horse six different times from six varied perceptions. How the night went varies from tribal leader Lincoln Red Crow, whose whole life has been building to this day when all his past crimes would be vindicated, to Dashiell Bad Horse, FBI agent undercover back in the place where he was raised and looking to take out Red Crow, to Gina Bad Horse, Dash’s mom, who’s been fighting to keep the casino from ever opening, to Diesel Engine, a 1/16th Kickapoo with something to prove, to Catcher, a former Rhodes scholar who’s been living at the bottom of a bottle for 30 years, to Dino Poor Bear, a young man with big dreams of leaving the “rez” forever. Building on the gripping foundation laid in the first volume, Aaron, with help from the gritty art of R.M. Guéra, has helped Scalped clearly stake a claim to the title of the next great Vertigo series.

Justice League Of America: The Lightning Saga

March 10, 2008 | Trades

Justice League Of America: The Lightning Saga Brad Meltzer, Geoff Johns, Ed Benes, Dale Eaglesham, Gene Ha, Shane Davis, Fernando Pasarin DC Comics $29.99/$24.99 US (Hardcover) **** (out of five) It was the team-up event of year. No, not the Justice League of America and the Justice Society of America. Frankly, those two super-groups get together a little too often for it to be something special anymore. It takes something a little extra to add some sizzle. Something like having two of the world’s top comic book writers collaborate on the story. Having Brad Meltzer (Identity Crisis) and Geoff Johns (Infinite Crisis) working together on a five-part story that blends the JLA, the JSA and the 31st-century Legion of Super-Heroes together in an adventure that is sure to have long-lasting repercussions for the DC Universe is something very special indeed. Mix in some sublime art from the like of Ed Benes and Canadian Dale Eaglesham and it goes up an even higher notch into a book that simply every DC Comics fan should read.