Monthly Archives: October 2014

Shock-tober! Sabrina and Wytches

Shock-tober Continues!

In honor of shock-tober, the spookiest of months, we are going to talk about two brand new horror comics.  Horror isn’t really my thing.  I’ll see a scary movie from time to time but its really not my go to genre in film, books, comics, or TV.  So I didn’t really plan on picking up any horror books in this holiest of the horror months but two books happen to come out the same day that I couldn’t resist picking up.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1

Sabrina issue 1

So this is not something I was planning on picking up.  I had slightly heard that they were doing a adult / teen oriented version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch but I had largely forgotten about it.  It was only recently that I even realized that Sabrina was actually part of the Archie universe.  I like to think I know some stuff about comic books but Archie is an entire corner of that world that I am blissfully unaware of.  I see it on occasion at the grocery store and it looks like the typical “American (fever) Dream” of the Leave it to Beaver 50’s.  I’ve seen these books from as far back as I can remember and have pretty much all ways looked the same back since I was a little kid and I assume that they even look pretty much the same as they did in the 50’s.  Now I do read about comic book news so I am aware enough to know that things have changed in Riverdale with the times.  There was the introduction of a gay character which lead to a gay wedding and there has even been a death of Archie issue recently.  I also remember recently the buzz around the release of Afterlife with Archie that centered around the cast of Archie being killed by zombies.

After life with Archie

I managed to get the first issue for free in some deal on Comixology and it was actually a lot better than I expected.  I don’t honestly know what I even expected but I do know it was better than that.  The series was a (I’m going to say surprise) hit which I assume lead to the release of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Sabrina Promo

When I think of Sabrina the Teenage Witch what comes to my mind is two things, Melissa Joan Heart and a terrible looking animatronic cat.  It wasn’t until I read After Life with Archie and found Sabrina using Necronomicon.

Sabrina Necronomicon

With this new badass Sabrina in mind, when saw a Sabrina horror comic on the shelves I decided what the hell and picked it up.  The first thing about this book is the art is really great.  It has a shaded water color style sort of like what American Vampire’s Rafael Alburquerque or Lil Gotham’s Dustin Nguyen does.

Sabrina Interioir

Story wise I was also pretty impressed with this book.  We get a sense of things to come but largely this is a origin story tale of Sabrina and it manages to break down from her birth to teenage witch years without it getting too annoying.  I again don’t know much about Sabrina but at least from the TV show I know she lives with her aunts and they manage to explain that into this story.  It also stays in the 50’s and 60’s as far as time goes which could be hookey but works well in this book.  She still has her talking cat Salem and we meet her Cousin Ambrose.  The story is mostly set up but it ends with a creepy naked woman in the woods which looks like its the first clue to the main story.  Overall I liked the book a lot more than I thought I would.  It seemed like this is a cash grab for the new audience they found in Afterlife With Archie but they don’t phone this in, the art and story are great and I’ll probably add this to my pull list.  There is also a small introductory back up story that introduces Sabrina and some concept art which were nice.  This is my first Archie comics book I’ve bought but like Image Comics there are no ads.  The book also comes in at 43 pages which for a 3.99 book actually makes the 3.99 price a lot more bearable.

Wytches #1

wytches

I’ve had this book on my pre-order list for a while now and have been pretty eagerly anticipating it.  This book is written by Scott Snyder and has artwork done by Jock.  Scott Snyder if you don’t all ready know is the Golden Goose of DC Comics right now.  He (with Greg Capullo on art) has been writing the flagship Batman title since the launch of the New 52 and has absolutely been killing it.  He also created American Vampire and has been writing Superman Unchained, The Wake, and Swamp Thing as well.  So far every thing I’ve read from him has been fantastic so any new book he has out I am going to give a try.  This book is mostly set up from what I can tell.  We don’t get a ton of information, its mostly groundwork which you expect from an issue one.  There is a pretty messed up scene right in the opening pages which give you an idea of the messed up places we are going to go in this book.

Wytches interior

The art is by Jock and is really fantastic.  It also is this watercolors style that becomes more and less exaggerated based on the tone.  It started off in a frantic scene so the colors bleed a lot into each other but then when it goes into the exposition section its more subtle and the art is clearer.  We are introduced to our main character who is a young witch and during a extreme situation with a bully seems to unlock some of her powers.  She doesn’t understand what happened and her father is keeping quiet but he clearly knows whats going on.  The book ends with some creepy stuff going on and a cliffhanger ending.  I don’t really know whats going on but am pretty excited to see where it goes.

 

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New Comic Book TV Part IV: Arrow

Arrow (TV Series) Logo1

You Have Failed This City

Most of the new comic book related TV that is coming out this year has been from DC comics.  We have The Flash, Gotham, Constantine, and eventually Supergirl.  Each show will be fairly different and have different networks and tones but one thing they all share is that without Arrow they would have never been made.  Arrow was DC Comics first foray into TV in the new modern “Iron Man” age of blockbuster comic book properties.  While there is a explosion of the genre right now it certainly isn’t the first time that DC Comics has made its way into television, hell its not even the first time The CW has entered into comic books.

Batman 66 Logo

While historically it goes all the way back to the live action TV series, The Adventures of Superman with George Reeves in 1952, the most memorable (to me at least), is the 1966 Batman live action television show.  It ran from 1966 to 1968 with a total of 120 episodes and for a long period of time was the definitive take on the character of Batman.  There were a couple more shows such as The Secrets of Isis and Shazam! in the 70’s before the next breakout hit of Wonder Woman in 1975.

Lynda Carter Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman ran for 3 seasons from 1975 to 1979 and a total of 59 episodes.  Besides Batman, Wonder Woman, and the live action Hulk series most of the comic book television since then has been largely forgettable.  There have been some standout successes like the 1993’s Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and 2001’s very successful Smallville.  But looking at a list of shows that were made it largely consists of shows I had no idea existed.  There was Superboy, Swamp Thing, Birds of Prey, and even a 90’s Flash.  Overall there have been 14 shows that have come and gone with maybe three being real successes.  The point of all this is that even though a lot of these are properties we all know very well, its still hard to break out and for a TV show to become a real success.  Arrow, now starting its third season, can not safely add it self to that list of successes.  It is also safe to say had Arrow not been a success there would be no Gotham, Flash, Constantine, or Supergirl.

Arrow Cast

The Calm

The season three premiere brings us back into what is the new status quo for Starling City.  Recouping from the aftermath of the mirakuru Deathstroke army, things appear to have calmed down.  Oliver and and the team back to taking down criminals one by one and are slowly cleaning up the city of organized crime entirely.  The police no longer see the Arrow as a threat and even announce that they will no longer be perusing him for criminal charges.  There are some seeds of deeper plot points to come but it really culminates in a cliff hanger at the end of the episode.

What I Liked

Arrow has really found its groove.  The beginning of the episode they take down some unnamed criminal and you see every one working together as a well oiled machine.  Sure Thea is somewhere unknown and Black Canary isn’t really a part of the core team now but you don’t have the bickering and second guessing as you used to.  Whatever hangups every one seemed to have before are now gone and you get the feeling they are finally really working together as a team.  This of course doesn’t last long, which has something to do with that cliffhanger ending but you do get a sense that every one is on the same page now.  I liked this part probably the most, you get the sense that every one has been through some stuff and that they are better as a team because of it.

What I Didn’t Like

City of Heroes

I love Felicity Smoak.  She is one of, if not my favorite character on the show.  It’s kind of well known at this point that she was only suppose to be on the show for one episode but due to the positive reception by fans she came back for a couple more episodes, and then eventually became part of the main cast.  That being said there is a quick and dumb romance subplot between her and Oliver that was really annoying.  It’s not that I don’t want the characters to get together, but they so clearly are not going to end up together they abandon the subplot as quickly as they introduce it.  People generally don’t stay together forever and if they had decided to do this romance plot for a little while and have it not work out I think that would have been fine.  It just felt very contrived and as an excuse to have some shock and awe and shake up the status quo a bit.  They introduced a new character of Ray Palmer (The Atom) and its pretty obvious they are implying that him and Felicity will get together.  Which again is totally ok.  Just don’t set the groundwork for the next relationship while trying to pretend that her and Oliver are going to get together.  It undercuts the impact and makes the whole thing feel exploitative.

jerry final thought

Besides my annoyance at the Felicity / Oliver love subplot it was a really solid episode and I am excited for the things to come.  I didn’t see the first season of Arrow until the second had started but after a binge watch of it I became a big fan and am now hooked.  The cliffhanger at the end was out of no where and as sad as it is I’m looking forward to seeing what that will mean for the future of the show.


Shock-tober! DC Comics Monster Variant Covers

We may all ready be half way into Shock-tober, the holiest of months, but its never too late to start celebrating.  First thing we have is that all month long DC Comics is going to be releasing Monster Variant covers to a lot of the comics coming out this month.  In the past these line wide variants had been more rare but since March of this year there has been some sort of line wide variant every month.

There was Scribblenauts, Steampunk, Robot Chicken, MAD Magazine, Batman 66, Bombshells, Batman 75th Anniversary, Selfie, and now Monsters.

DC Monster Variants

Here is the complete compilation of all the monster variants coming out this month.

ActionComics-35

Action Comics 35

Aquaman-351

Aquaman 35

Batgirl-35

Batgirl 35

Batman35

Batman 35

Batman-and-Robin-351

Batman and Robin 35

Batmansuperman15

Batman Superman 15

Catwoman35

Catwoman 35

Detective-Comics-35

Detective Comics 35

Earth-2-27

Earth 2 27

Flash35

Flash 35

Grayson3

Grayson 3

Green-Lanten-Corps-35

Green Lantern Corps 35

Green-Lantern-35

Green Lantern 35

HarleyQuinn11

Harley Quinn 11

JL35

Justice League 35

JLD35

Justice League Dark 35

JLU-35

Justice League United 5

NTT3

New Teen Titans 3

Sinestro-6

Sinestro 6

Superman35

Superman 35

SupermanWonderWoman12

Superman Wonder Woman 12

WW35

Wonder Woman 35


New York Comic-Con Powers Trailer

Straight out of New York Comic-Con here is the Trailer for the new show Powers.  It’s going to be released exclusively on the Playstation network which is odd, but it looks pretty good.


New Comic Book TV Part III: The Flash

flash-logo-cw

Spin off City!

After being introduced to Barry Allen in Season 2 of Arrow last year the Flash has spun off it’s to own TV Show.  We have our first shared continuity DC universe! Long live the Arrow-verse!

Flashpoint 1

So before I get into it I have to say that the Flash isn’t a character I’m all that familiar with.  Prior to watching the first episode of the Flash the only Flash comic book I had read was the Flashpoint mini series written by Geoff Johns back in 2011.  I’m a big fan of it, it centers around the Flash but tells an alternative universe story with the entire Justice League.  From it was able to get the quick and dirty version of the Flash’s history, who he is, how he became the Flash, who are some of his major villains and their story.  Again, its a pretty great story, its kinda the reason behind the entire new 52 reboot and if you haven’t read it, you should.

Back to the TV show.  This show definitely knows the mood it is going for and is following suit of its sister show, Arrow.  In fact the Arrow actually shows up half way through the episode.  I don’t want this to sound negative, this is a strong point for the show.  I am a big fan of Arrow and I think of it as the example of how to do comic book television correctly.  It’s dark and edgy, but also funny, and has tons of little DC Easter Eggs and cameos.  Flash follows in Arrow’s lead in the best possible way.  The accident with the Super-Collider that gave Flash his powers has also given powers to dozens of others giving us the real world explanation for all these people with super powers.  Sure it’s a deus ex machina but it feels natural enough and explains not just one person getting powers but all the people to come.  We hear the word “meta-human” for the first time in the Flash and it doesn’t sound near as ridiculous as it did when they introduced it in the 2002 Birds of Prey TV Show.

This was the pilot but it was a pretty strong episode.  They went through his origin story pretty quickly and we go from him discovering his powers to being in the Flash suit by the half way point.  They set up the over all arch of him trying to find how who murdered his mother, while introducing and concluding a mini-arc of him stopping the Weather Wizard, a classic Flash villain.  It was pretty standard origin stuff but moved along quickly and I never felt lost or too overwhelmed with too much information at once.  It probably helped that it is the same style and feel as Arrow so I had an idea what to expect but it was all knew ideas and information so it can’t rely too much on Arrow.

What I Liked

The-Flash-Pilot-Gorilla-Grodd-Easter-Egg

I really liked all the Easter Eggs and cameos.  They were all over the place and even though I felt I caught a lot I didn’t get even half of the list the screenrant.com was able to put together.  It was fun and a nice nod to fans and super fans while never getting to the point where it was muddling the plot for feeling completely shoe horned in.  I like when they do this kind of thing in Arrow and look forward to more in the Flash.  Warner Brothers owns all the rights to DC Comics so there are no characters that are off limits.  The Flash/Arrow-verse has been self contained so far so I suspect that we will not just being seeing the D and E list characters like we do in S.H.I.E.L.D. but suspect we will get some big names in before we know it.

What I Didn’t Like

Flash costume

The costume still looks ridiculous.  I’m sorry but it just does.  I don’t even have a clue of what they could change to make it less so, and honestly I think it looks pretty good.  My first impression was that it looks crazy but it looks the best with what they have to work with, and that’s still how I feel about it.  I think the issue I have is that most costumes look ridiculous in the daytime and the Flash is doing a lot of what he does in the middle of the day.  Maybe more night missions will help?

jerry final thought

My final thought is that its a great show.  My dislikes are nit picky and overall I very much enjoyed the show and look forward for more episodes to come.


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