Category Archives: Comic Books

Comic Block November 2015

Comic Block Box

Another Month another Comic Block!

Comic Block 7

This month had a Star Wars Theme and we got two different Star Wars books.  There is again no sign of the allusive graphic novel this month, however we did get something new.  This box is the first time that the “extra” item has been a exclusive item.

Comic Block - Mjölnir

We got a cool little Mjölnir keychain which was a Comic Block Exclusive.  It looks like they didn’t quite have the rights to just call it Mjölnir though because on the description card it simply says “the hammer of the gods”.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here is the complete run down of what came in the box:

  • Star Wars: Vader Down Issue 1 Comic Block Exclusive Variant
  • Howard the Duck Issue 1
  • Pacific Rim: The Drift Issue 1 Comic Block Exclusive Variant
  • Star Wars Issue 1 Fan Expo Variant
  • “Hammer of the Gods” Keychain
  • Batgirl T-Shirt

Weirdly they didn’t put the Star Wars comic on the insert card of things inside the box.  I actually got copy of the same Star Wars Fan Expo Variant Cover from a Nerd Block box I got several months ago.  My guess is that they still had some extra issues around from that Nerd Block and added them to this box last minute.

Comic Block - Batgirl Shirt

I am a big Batgirl fan so this shirt should be something I really like.  The new Batgirl costume and the Rosie the Riveter homage are both things I would like in theory.  However, Batgirl looks terrible.  I don’t know if I can place it, but her face just looks off.  This is a huge disappointment because I would really like this shirt but because of how messed up Barbara’s face looks I doubt I’ll be wearing it at all.

Pacific Rim: The Drift Issue 1

Pacific Rim Tales From the Drift 1 - Comic Block Exclusive Variant

I really wanted to like this comic but in the end really disliked it.  I loved the 2013 film Pacific Rim so a comic that would take me back into that world actually sounded really interesting even though it was a licensed property.  There are so many aspects of the Pacific Rim world I wanted to know about and this comic managed to explore none of them.  It centered around a married pair of Jaeger pilots that are losing a battle with a Kaiju and getting exposed to radiation.  It goes back and forth between the fight they are in and flashback of with they first met.  That’s pretty much it.  The art is very stylized and looks like Adi Granov’s artwork from Iron Man: Extremis.  It doesn’t look bad but its so stylized that you can’t see any of the detail of the Kaiju or the Jaegar.  If I’m going to read a comic about giant robots fighting monsters I want to see it!  Maybe it gets better later on when the story kicks in but this first issue had me entirely uninterested.

Howard the Duck Issue 1

Howard the Duck 1

Please stop trying to make Howard the Duck a thing. The after credits teaser on Guardians of the Galaxy was perfect. After having a movie starring a talking Raccoon having a small little nod to Marvel’s goofier side was a great way to send off the film. Apparently what Marvel took from this is that people simply love Howard the Duck and want more of him! The fact is new audiences don’t know or care who Howard is, and older audiences who have nostalgia for Howard no longer read comics or care. There simply no audience this book is fulfilling.

Look Howard the Duck has an important history with Marvel. When the character was created in the 70’s it was subversive and edgy (I know that sounds strange but it really was) but that time has passed. Howard was always a comic aimed at older audiences so if you were a fan in the 70’s you were likely in your 20’s which would place you in your 60’s now and most likely not buying comics. If you are in your 20’s to 30’s then you didn’t grow up with Howard the Duck and your only experience is the terrible movie from the 80’s.

What about new audiences you ask? It doesn’t really matter the roots of the character if it is being written well today right? Well that would be correct, but it’s not being written well. Howard the Duck’s shtick is comedy and Marvel has solidly filled that spot with Deadpool. The comedic elements of this comic are just a shallow echo of what it would be if it were Deadpool. But even worse than that this comic just isn’t funny. There were a couple of enjoyable moments but I didn’t laugh once reading it and it felt way more like a chore to read than anything else.

Star Wars Issue 1

Star Wars 1 - Fan Expo Variant

This is a great comic let me say that to start with. It feels fresh and gives us an original adventure with everyone’s favorite space gang. It has plenty to fill your nostalgia void along with a new adventure and story to get you excited to read more.

That said the nostalgia factor of these new Star Wars comics are going to be the death of them.  I am 100% ok with this comic being what it is.  It takes place between A New Hope and Return of the Jedi and centers around the original main gang.  Star Wars is a big world though and it would have been nice to see some of these new Marvel Star Wars comics not center specifically around the characters of the original trilogy.  Again I’m totally cool with there being this Star Wars and the Vader comic but do we really need a Chewbacca and Lando comic too?  The Force Awakens is going to introduce a slew of new characters so hopefully that will push away from the original trilogy which has been done to death.

Star Wars: Vader Down Issue 1

Vader Down 1 - Comic Block Exclusive Variant

First and foremost I really love this variant cover.  It is the best cover I have seen of all these new Marvel Star Wars covers and something worthy of being framed.  The comic itself is the first issue of a Marvel Star Wars Crossover event called Vader Down.  Vader is investigating some intel on the location of some rebels and winds up overwhelmed surrounded by rebel forces.  While he is able to take out a few X-Wings he is overtaken by Luke and crash lands on the planet of Vrogas Vas.  Luke also manages to crash his X-Wing and the two begin searching for each other.

The overall story was good and I enjoyed the book.  The amount of issues involved in this crossover is a lot and honestly it just wasn’t great enough for me to buy in like 10 issues to find out what happens.  I might check it out in 6 months with the issues start appearing on Marvel Comics Unlimited.


Green Arrow / Oliver Queen Playlist

Green Arrow Playlist

I’ve always been hugely into music and Spotify is slowly become my main way of listening to music.  One of the things I love most about Spotify is how easy they make it to create and share playlists that you make.  It got me thinking what would some of our favorite superheroes listen to?  The first person that came to mind was Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow.  This was a lot of fun so I will definitely be making more of these playlists and make them a regular feature of the site.  So please enjoy the following playlist inspired by Starling City’s favorite son.


The Dark Knight Returns Retrospective

The Dark Knight Returns 1 Cover

Wednesday (11/25/15) the first issue of Dark Knight III: The Master Race was released in comic book stores and digitally so you’ve probably seen a flood of articles and podcasts talking about Frank Miller’s Dark Knight series.  This has left me at an impasse, on one hand The Dark Knight Returns is something that has been covered hundreds of times by others more eloquently than myself.  However, the Dark Knight Returns is not only my favorite comic, but also my favorite book of all time so I don’t really want to let the release of it’s newest installment pass without saying something.

I don’t want to recap the story and plot of The Dark Knight Returns.  It is extremely accessible to get the trade paperback, digital, and even as an animated film.  It’s been around since 1986 so if you haven’t read the story already, it’s on you at this point.  So what I would like to do is to break down three of my favorite scenes and themes from the story and try to explain why I like it so much.

Dark Knight Returns 1 - Page 1

That the tragedy of Bruce’s parents dying being the driving force for him to become the Batman is not a new concept.  However, its generally seen as an active driving force in that Batman is actively fighting crime.  Since the threat is current and active we can still assume if things cleaned up in Gotham that Batman could quit.  The Dark Knight Returns shows just how much Bruce needs to be Batman by showing how empty his life is without it.  Bruce has been retired for 10 years and could not be more miserable.  The opening pages has Bruce thrill-seeking at a Formula 1 race contemplating ending it all right then and there.  Bruce hasn’t found anyone to settle down with or tried to start a new life in retirement, he’s isolated himself and allowed himself to stew in his anger at not being Batman.  The biggest reoccurring themes in this story is Bruce looking for a good death.  You get the feeling that he had always intended to die in the line of duty and that retirement was never in his plans.  He is the ultimate career soldier.  He has lived every day of his life since his parents died preparing and being the Batman so when he was forced to give that up there was nothing left for him to go back to.

The Dark Knight 2 - Fight

The inner dialogue in the Dark Knight Returns is one of my favorite aspects of the book.  When Batman fights the Mutant leader (the second time) it looks like a normal brawl brawl on the outside.  But hearing Batman’s thoughts you see just how much planning and thought is put into every action he performs.  Every punch is strategic and executed with surgical precision.  Having the fight in the mud pit, luring the leader out in front of his followers, cutting his forehead right above the eyes.  Every action has a purpose and every contingency is accounted for.  This is Batman at his most Batman.  We love the character because he has plan for everything and back up plans for his back up plans.  The Dark Knight Returns showcases his skills in a way that is smart, entertaining, and practical which set the standard for the character.

The Dark Knight 1 - Jason Todd

I can’t think of another character that has had a rougher treatment than Jason Todd.  A lot of backlash came when Kyle Rainer found his girlfriend’s dead body chopped up and left in a refrigerator, but it pales in comparison to DC Comics setting up a 1-900 call in number to decided the life/death of Jason Todd.  The Dark Knight Returns turned a publicity stunt from DC Comics into one of the defining events of Batman’s life.  My single favorite moment in the story is when Batman is alone in the Batcave looking at Jason’s costume and says never again.  It doesn’t explicitly say what happened but it is able to convoy all the emotion and meaning with a minimal words and a few panels.  It’s hard to say that for certain that the impact of Jason’s death in The Dark Knight Returns was the reason that Jason Todd stayed dead in the comics for as long as he did, but I like to think they are connected.

Dark Knight Sale

If you still haven’t read The Dark Knight Returns Comixology is having a sale and you can get it now for as little as $3.96 (each of the individual issues for $0.99) or collected for $6.99 right now so there are no excuses.  I also highly recommend the DC Comics Original Animated Film.  It is as faithful to the source as humanly possible and more or less uses the comic pages as story boards. You don’t get the inner dialogue as you would with the comic but it is still a fantastic film.


Comic Block October 2015

Comic Block Web Clipping

It’s that time of the month again, well it was three weeks ago but I’m just getting in to writing this now.  Let’s start off with the glamour shot of everything in the box.

Comic Block 6 - Full 2

Here’s the rundown of everything inside:

  • Heroes: Vengeance 1 from Titan Comics (Comic Block Exclusive Variant)
  • Back to the Future 1 from IDW (Nerd Block Exclusive Variant)
  • Lara Croft Frozen Omen 1 from Dark Horse (Comic Block Exclusive Variant)
  • Spawn T-Shirt
  • Venom Art Print

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Still no sign of the allusive graphic novel but every issue in this month’s box was a exclusive variant cover.  Here is a look at the art print, it’s probably my favorite of these types so far, I just wish they had listed who the artist was on the preview card.

Venom Art Print

Heroes: Vengeance 1

Heroes Vengeance 1 - Comic Block Exclusive Variant

My history with Heroes is pretty brief.  I watched the first season probably 7 years ago and never bothered to watch any of the other seasons.  I remember liking the first season but outside of the whole “save the cheerleader, save the world” thing I don’t remember much.  I like the concept of Heroes and with my love of all things comics it seems like it would be right up my ally.

So what was I expecting from Heroes: Vengeance?  Some new Heroes with cool and interesting powers?  The old Heroes gang getting back together?  We got neither, instead we got a story about a vigilante in a luchador mask with no powers at all.  This is a prequel comic so I can only assume it has something to do with the new rebooted show, however as a stand alone comic it was incredibly boring.

Heroes - Pic 3

The only thing of note was there were two different newspapers with headlines about an incident in Odessa TX, which I assume is related to the reboot series.  Outside of that though it was a pretty dull story about a real life vigilante which I’ve seen done better in numerous other stories.  I wasn’t excited for Heroes: Reborn before and this pretty much put the nail in the coffin for me.

Back to the Future 1

Back to the Future 1 - Comic Block Exclusive Variant

This comic actually is two different stories in one.  The first is the telling of the first time that Marty McFly meets Doc Brown.  Some local bullies steal Marty’s guitar and make him get a transducer tube for their amp in order to get it back.  It turns out the town is sold out of tubes and the person who bought them all up was none other than Doc Brown.  Marty outsmarts Doc’s security and gets in to his lab.  Doc is so impressed with Marty that he offers him a job, which Marty immediately accepts.

The second story is of Doc meeting with Robert Oppenheimer where he is joins the Manhattan Project.  I guess this is part of the Back to the Future lore that Doc worked on the Atomic Bomb that I was unaware of.

I didn’t really care for the comic.  The two stories are really different and have completely different art styles to the point that I didn’t initially realize the second story was part of the comic.  I thought it was just a preview of some other comic and almost skipped it entirely.  The first story was really cheesy and didn’t add enough to the mythos to justify telling the story.  The second story was just weird and reading a story about Doc Brown working on the Atomic bomb is not something I have any interest in.

Back to the Future Variants

On the bright side I do really like that IDW puts all the different variant covers inside the comics.  I do have something of a variant cover problem but for the most part I’m more than content just seeing all the different covers.  DC Comics used to keep the variant covers of issues in the back of digital issues when the New 52 started and even updated them as more came out.  However they dropped this practice only a few months in.  I really wish Marvel or DC would pick up on this and start including a preview of all the covers out there for each issue.

Lara Croft Frozen Omen 1

Lara Croft Frozen Omen - Comic Block Exclusive Variant

With Rise of the Tomb Raider coming out this month it is no surprise that Dark Horse is releasing a new Lara Croft series.  The main story is that one of the curators at the British Museum is acting out of character and steals a priceless carving on a piece of Woolly Mammoth tusk.  Lara tracks down the curator to Belize where he appears to be in some sort of trance.  After seeing Lara he snaps out of it and seems to have no memory of traveling to Belize or stealing the artifact.  A weird vine ensnares the both of them and we get a “to be continued”.

Lara Croft - Pic 3 - Crop

There’s also a weird devil guy.

Lara Croft - Pic 1

I really enjoyed this comic.  They usually skimp out on the art for these licensed properties but for this the art was fantastic and reminded me of John Romita Jr.  I thought the story was interesting and overall was a great first issue.

Lara Croft - Pic 2

They gave the reader just enough to set up the story while also keeping enough mystery to leave me wanting more.  I usually don’t like these licensed property comics but I might have to make an exception for Tomb Raider.


Spider-Gwen Sale on Comixology!

Spider-Gwen Sale

Today only there is a one day sale on the first volume of Spider-Gwen which you can get all five issues for $0.99 each ($4.95 for all five).  As of now each issue is still currently selling at $3.99 and the MSRP for the trade paperback is $16.99, so this by far the cheapest option available.  The five issues of Edge of Spider-verse are on sale as well, also for $0.99 each.  Not only that but the first seven issues of Silk are on sale for $0.99 each.  This sale is only valid for today so act fast.

Sandman Sale

If Spider-Gwen is not your thing there are some more sales going on this weekend as well.  There is a across the board sale on Sandman Comics.  Each of the 10 volumes is on sale for $5.99 each.  This also includes other Neil Gaiman series such as Death, The Dream Hunters, and Dead Boy Detectives.  All single issues of Sandman are also on sale for $0.99 each.  This sale will go on until 11/16/15.

The Sandman issues are also on sale on Kindle, Google Play, and iTunes if Comixology isn’t your jam.

Dark Horse Sale

There is also Dark Horse Sale with first volumes of Hellboy, BPRD, Conan and the Goon on sale.  They also have single issues of Buffy, the Strain, Fight Club 2, and The Massive for $0.99 each.  This sale goes on until 11/15.

Last thing, if you want to buy any of these issues and are new to Comixology you can use my referral code here and get a five dollar credit toward your first purchase.


Fame: Britney Spears

Fame Britney Spears Cover

In my blog post for My Top 5 Funko Pop Vinyl Wishlist on my Funko Wishlist was a series on The Legendary Ms. Britney Spears.  Anyone who knows me knows that Britney Spears is one of the staples of my life so it was just a matter of time before she started showing up on my blog.

Before I get into my review of Fame: Britney Spears I want to take a little time to tell my Britney origin story.  I begins back in 2002 on a school trip.  You see back in 2002 the internet was still in its infancy and things like smart phones and digital music didn’t really exist yet.  Basically every one had personal cd players and small CD wallets they would keep their CDs in.  During school trips you’d pass around your CDs and everyone would listen to each others music.  While this was a great way to listen to new music it also exposed the most embarrassing music in your collection to all of your friends.  This lead me to find my girlfriend had a copy of Britney Spears’s …Baby One More Time.

After making fun of her for having a Britney Spears CD I decided to listen to the whole thing start to finish as a joke.  15 year old St. Jason was very much into Punk Rock those days and would never be caught listening to pop or mainstream music.  So listening away it starts of fairly standard, songs 1 through 3 are the album singles, …Baby One More Time, (You Drive Me) Crazy, and Somtimes.  These are songs that I had heard before on the radio or in department stores.  Song 4 is Soda Pop which is a weird reggae influenced song that remains my least favorite song across Britney’s entire catalog.  Thing came song number 5, Born to Make You Happy, and like Scott Glen says in Suckerpunch, I was unprepared.  It’s not that I was surprised and found the song ok or somewhat likable song, I had stumbled upon a song that I immediately loved.  I listened to it 3 to 5 times in a row and knew right away that this would certainly be one of my favorite songs.

Since then I have been a big fan and have followed her career, bought her music, and seen her in concert whenever possible.  So when I found out that there was a Britney Spears comic book I immediately purchased it.

First I think I should note that the Fame series of comics seems to cover any and every one of even remote fame.  It has obvious celebrities like Beyoncé and One Direction but also weird ones like Tom Daley and PSY.  So needless to say I had pretty low expectations going in to this.

Fame Britney Spears 1 (2)

The comic starts with these weird fairy narrators, which really is as odd as it sounds.  It then starts at the beginning of her career through the Mickey Mouse Club days.  It then goes on to Britney getting her record deal and getting overwhelmed with fame.  There is then a small section about her marriage to Keven Federline, her public breakdown, and her 2007 VMA Performance.  It ends with Britney’s 2008 VMA win for Video of the Year and her comeback as the Queen of Pop.

Fame Britney Spears 2

It is a little weird that the comic came out in 2011 (which is when Britney released her 7th Studio Album Femme Fatale) but only covers her career until 2008.  It is a pretty abbreviated version of the events of Britney’s life, but seeing as it is a story the public is fairly familiar I can understand why they skipped portions of it.  I was glad it didn’t just harp on the bad times but was actually a fairly positive look at her life.  If you are interested in a more detailed look at her early life you would have better luck with Britney Spears: Heart to Heart. Being as I am very familiar with her life story I was pleasantly surprised to find a few little information bits in this comic that I didn’t know.  I had no idea she was in a girl group called Innocence or that she wasn’t actually born in Louisiana.

Fame Britney Spears 3

There are a few moments where the art in this comic looks ok.

Fame Britney Spears 4 (2)

However, for the most part the art is terrible.

Fame Britney Spears 5 (2)

If you are a huge Britney Spears fan then I would recommend you pick up the comic digitally (you can get it on Comixology here).  However, I wouldn’t spend more than the 1.99 digital price for it.  There are print versions available but since they are 4 years old now they are actually kind of hard to find and go for 20 dollars on ebay.  The small facts about her life that I didn’t know made it worth the 1.99 price for me but I couldn’t imagine most people caring about those kind of details.  Britney Spears is one of the most well know celebrities on the planet so there are dozens of better sources of information available if you want to find out how she got to where she is now.


Streaky The Supercat Part I: Action Comics 261

Action Comics 261 - Cover

A couple of years ago my wonderful wife qcait bought me three old issues of Action Comics featuring Streaky the Supercat for my birthday.  So I decided to write about them in here!  This will be the first of my three part series going through each of these comics.  The first issue we will look at is Action Comics 261 which is the first appearance, and origin of Streaky the Supercat.  If you are wondering why Streaky doesn’t have top billing on the cover, this comic is old enough that they used to have multiple non-Superman stores in each issue of Action Comics.  “Supergirl’s Super Pet!” is actually the third story in this comic along with “Superman’s Fortresses of Solitude!” and “Congorilla’s Last Stand!”.  I actually didn’t read the other two stories as this comic is pretty old and I didn’t want to be handling it too much.

Action Comics 261 Front

Streaky’s origin begins with Linda Lee aka Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl hanging out at her home, an orphanage.  Her super vision spots a small piece of kryptonite falling from the sky.  She quickly changes into Supergirl to go retrieve the small rock.  Kara takes it back to her orphanage chemistry lab and begins experimenting with it to try find a way to reverse its effects.  After believing her attempts have failed she tosses the Kryptonite out a window.  Just then her new pet kitten happens to find the rock which, through her experiments, has become the new element x-kryptonite.  The x-kryptonite gives Streaky superpowers which he immediately goes out on the town to show off.  Supergirl hears Streaky’s distinct meow magnified over 50x so she goes to investigate and finds her new pet has super powers.  The two go into space to play when suddenly Streaky’s powers are lost and he starts dropping back to earth.  Kara quickly swoops him up and takes him safely back to the orphanage.

Action Comics 261 Chem Lab

Here are my stray thoughts and observations.  I was surprised to find out that Streaky was not actually from Krypton.  I had always assumed with his stripe that he had somehow gotten to earth similar to Krypto the Superdog.  I also did not know that Supergirl had an alter ego named Linda Lee.  I’ve seen the Supergirl movie in which she uses that name, but like most people I immediately blocked the film out of my memory.  I was also surprised that Supergirl wears a brown wig when she is her alter ego Linda Lee.  I mean it makes sense, Superman’s glasses have to be the worse disguise of all time.  I did laugh out loud when it said, “Next day, in a small chemical laboratory in the orphanage”.  You know the small chemical labs that orphanages are all famous for having.

Overall I really liked the story.  It was short (only 8 pages) but tells a nice little complete story.  It also was corny (as the golden / silver age tend to be) but not so corny that it was unreadable.  The art was fantastic, very detailed and able to emote a lot of action.

I don’t really collect a lot of high dollar comics so this is by far the oldest and most valuable comic I own.  So I was a little afraid to handle it and in order to read it winded up scanning the complete Streaky story.  Since I already went to the trouble of scanning the whole thing I figured I mine as well share the whole thing with you guys, so here it is the complete origin of Streaky the Supercat!


Marvel Unlimited Plus 2015 Unboxing

DSC03501

I’ve spoken about Marvel Unlimited before on my Reading Digital Comics post.  But for the uninitiated Marvel Unlimited is a streaming comics service which is basically the Netflix of Marvel Comics.  It has over 17,000 comics spanning the entire back catalog of Marvel’s history.

Marvel Unlimited has three tiers of service.  You can pay monthly for $9.99 per month, yearly for $69.99, or a plus membership for $99.99.  I’d go through the details of which membership gets what but Marvel has already put together the following chart.

Marvel Unlimited Breakdown

I’ve been a member of Marvel Unlimited for the past two years and this year I decided to upgrade from the normal subscription to the Marvel Unlimited Plus subscription.  First let’s start with what came in the box:

  • Welcome Letter and Membership Card
  • Invincible Iron Man 1 Marvel Unlimited Exclusive Variant
  • Agent Carter 1 Marvel Unlimited Exclusive Variant
  • Captain America White 1 Marvel Unlimited Exclusive Variant
  • SHIELD and SSR Pin
  • Marvel Legends Marvel Unlimited Exclusive RESCUE Figure

Here are some full unboxing shots.

Marvel Unlimited Plus - Unboxing 4

Marvel Unlimited Plus - Unboxing 3

Marvel Unlimited Plus - Unboxing 2

Marvel Unlimited Plus - Unboxing 1

Here are close ups of each of the comic books along with a composite of all tree.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Marvel Unlimited Plus Composite

Here is a look at the letter / membership card, Rescue Figure and Pins.

Marvel Unlimited Plus - Membership Letter Skitch

DSC03508

Marvel Unlimited Plus - Rescue

So far I feel pretty good about getting the plus subscription over the normal annual subscription.  In the past the Marvel Unlimited Variant Comics resale for 20 dollars each and last year’s Rocket figure goes for 25 on ebay.  So the three comics and figure alone are worth 85 dollars.  If you were to do well on selling off your Unlimited Plus items you could reasonably pay for your entire Unlimited subscription.


Comic Block September 2015

Comic Block Web Clipping

I am aware that we are half way through October before I am getting this up but I as George Washington famously said, “shit happens”.

Comic Block September - Unboxing 3

First lets get the run down of all the goodies in this months box:

  • Deadpool Vs. Thanos 1 from Marvel Comics
  • Dangergirl 1 Exclusive Comic Block Variant from IDW
  • Mirror’s Edge: Exordium 1 from Dark Horse
  • Mad Max: Fury Road 1 Exclusive Nerd Block Variant from Veritgo
  • Saga T-Shirt with Prince Robot
  • Green Lantern light up ring

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Solid box top to bottom.  Not only did we get a Green Lantern Ring and awesome Saga T-shirt but we got four comics this month instead of our normal three!  I’ve mentioned this before but part of the promise of the Comic Block has been that we will occasionally get exclusive variant covers and graphic novels.  While we have gotten variant covers o’ plenty there has yet to be a single graphic novel.  Perhaps next month?  I did read all the comics in the box and below are is my rundown of each issue.

Mad Max: Fury Road 1

Comic Block September - Mad Max Fury Road 1 Nerd Block Exclusive Variant Stitch

Witness!  From the best I can bet this comic book takes place between Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome and Mad Max: Fury Road.  It starts with a couple page run down summarizing the events of the first three Mad Max movies which feels like way more information then we actually need.  It then has Max go to Gastown to participate in a Battle Royal style Thunderdome situation in hopes to win a V8 engine.  Max is victorious however killing of one of the members of the Buzzards gang attracts their attention.  The Buzzards find where Max has been hiding, steal his engine, stab him, and tie him to the ground to be left for dead.  Max passes out and a mysterious woman frees Max and bandages his wounds.  The comic ends when Max wakes up.  The mysterious woman enlists Max’s service for an unknown job in exchange for saving his life.

The comic was so-so.  It spends too much time recapping the old Mad Max movies and not enough time moving the plot forward.  Very little actually happens.  The art is really inconsistent.  At times it looks great and extremely detailed, but at other times the faces of people look like mushy blobs.  They also go to great links to make Max not look like Mel Gibson or Tom Hardy which is a weird choice and distracting.  This is only an issue 1 so it’s job is really just to set things up but I wished we had gotten a little more.  With so little happening I wasn’t able to form any strong ties to anyone or anything so don’t have a lot of motivation to find out what happens next.

Deadpool Vs. Thanos 1

Comic Block September - Deadpool vs. Thanos 1

Deadpool has been up against a lot.  He’s been up against X-Force, Hawkeye, Carnage, and now Thanos.  I’m a little unsure on the actual plot of what happened in this comic, there were a lot of moving parts.  There was some stuff about Death being kidnapped and so the dead on earth were unable to actually die.  There was a fight between Deadpool and Thanos for the affection of Death.  Thanos kind of killed Deadpool and then brought him back to life so they could team up and find Death.  It was a little confusing, but there were a lot of jokes, breaking the fourth wall and talking about tacos.

I have real mixed feelings about Deadpool.  I like him in theory but I find most of the fourth wall breaking and jokes to be more gimmicky than actually funny.  The comics I have read with Deadpool up to this point have been ok but because of all the jokes and such there never really feels like there are any stakes.  There were some genuinely funny parts in this comic but not funny enough to get me to buy more issues.

Mirror’s Edge: Exordium 1

Comic Block September - Mirror's Edge Exordium 1

If you don’t already know Mirror’s Edge is based on a video game for PS3/Xbox360/PC that came out in 2007.  It was fairly groundbreaking at the time for being a first person shooter that involved little to no actual shooting.  It is based in a futuristic society which “runners” use parkour moves to navigate around the city delivering messages.  If I remember correctly the game sold ok but not stellar.  Everyone loved the aesthetic of the world but the game itself was painfully short (4-6 hours long) so people didn’t want to shell out 60 dollars for it.  I played it back in the day and remember liking it but also it giving me head aches from moving around so fast.  Also, if I can bitch for a moment I really hate when games allow you to have weapons but actively do things to discourage you from using them.  Either take the weapons out or make them usable don’t half ass it.

Anyway, they are finally making a sequel next year after being in some form of development over the last 7 years so this comic is most likely a tie-in or prequel.

The comic begins with Faith (our protagonist) on a mission.  She gets two guards to chase her in order to allow her team access into a building in order to steal data.  While running from the guards she accidentally interrupts some sort of deal between rival gangs and gun fire erupts.  Faith tries to get away but is captured by the gang working for the crime lord Dogen.  She is taken to Dogen who is impressed by her work and offers her a job.  She declines and leaves, trying to steal some of Dogens art on the way out.  Faith returns to her base of operations and their leader Noah is mad at her for the risk she took going on a rogue mission in the first place.  The comic ends with Faith going back to Dogen and accepting his employment.

This was a really great first issue of a comic.  A lot of things happen but they are presented in a controlled manner in which the reader can actually follow along.  They keep talking about this beatlink thing which apparently most of the advanced runners have and Faith does not.  Not having a beatlink is a slight to Faith and a cause of animosity between Noah and Faith.  Call me old, but I actually side with Noah in this when he is angry at Faith for her risky behavior.  He seems fairly reasonable and Faith just seems like a brat for not wanting to listen to him.  Overall I really liked the comic and will probably pick up more of the issues as they come in.  While I didn’t love the original Mirror’s Edge game, I did always like the world it created and liked revisiting it in this comic.

Sidenote I really liked that Dark Horse didn’t have any ads in this comic until the very end.  It was a real pleasant reading experience to be able to go through the story and not be distracted by ads every other page.

Danger Girl: Renegade 1

Comic Block September - Dangergirl 1 Comic Block Exclusive Variant

I don’t know about you but I find this comic is best read while playing Mystikal’s Danger (Been so Long).  So I know nothing about Danger Girl, and as if the comic was reading my mind, it was filled with exposition.  It even took a pause halfway through to explain exactly what the Danger Girls are.

Comic Block September - Dangergirl 1 Comic Block Exclusive Variant Pic 2

It starts off with Danger Girl Abbey Chase at age 12 running through the streets of Egypt.  This scene was amazingly over the top.  At one point she’s literally climbing a stack of woven baskets filled with snakes.

Comic Block September - Dangergirl 1 Comic Block Exclusive Variant Pic 1

Abbey and her handler David move to Norway where there some more exposition about her Dad being on some super secret mission.  The two are ambushed and David dies in the struggle.  Abbey manages to escape and the comic jumps 13 years to a 26 year old Abbey in the Amazon jungle.  Abbey is once again being Chased (see what I did there) and narrowly escapes a villainous woman with a snake eye (literally).  The comic ends with Abbey giving  more exposition and a glimpse of the weird emerald the Snake Lady was trying to steal from Abbey.

This comic was all well and good but nothing in it really grabbed my attention enough to want to read more.  The over the top villains and ominous dark family history was just so typical that it almost felt like a parody.  On the plus side the art was at least good and like Mirror’s Edge there weren’t ads in the interior of the book.


The Quips of A-Force Issue 5

If you aren’t reading the Secret Wars Tie-In, A-Force, you really should.  It’s worth for the banter in issue 5 alone (A-Force Issue 5 on Comixology).

A-Force 5 Quips


%d bloggers like this: