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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”.

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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.

Comic Block July 2015 Unboxing

Comic Block Web Clipping

July’s box came with the following:

  • Star Trek / Green Lantern 1 From IDW
  • Negative Space 1 from Dark Horse
  • Star Wars: Lando 1 from Marvel
  • Arc Reactor Coaster
  • Ant-Man T-Shirt

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Here is a closer picture of the T-Shirt and Coaster

Comic Block July - Arc Reactor Coaster

Comic Block July - Ant-Man T-Shirt

Star Trek / Green Lantern 1

Comic Block July 15 - Star Trek Green Lantern Exclusive Variant

First book on the list is Star Trek / Green Lantern which by the amount of variant covers they are putting out for it, is a flagship book for IDW.  The comic starts out with a little alien dude who looks like he’s from Oa The Living Planet, he is over come by six different corps rings and dies on a remote planet.  Cut to the Star Ship Enterprise discovering said planet and sending a ground crew to investigate.  The crew finds the dead alien and six corp rings and take them back to the ship.  Once back on the ship a cloaked Klingon Bird of Prey appears and threatens the Enterprise.  While this happens Scotty accidentally energizes the rings and they find the nearest person attach to. A Yellow Ring (Fear) to a Klingon named Chang, a Blue Ring (Hope) to Pavel Chekov, a Violet Ring (Love) to Nyota Uhura, a and Indigo Ring (Compassion) to Lenard McCoy.  The comic ends with Hal Jordon showing up and a big “to be continued”.

Overall the story was meh.  I’m not going to buy more issues, but it was entertaining enough to read.  The Star Trek people are based on the JJ Abrams movies which is a little offsetting.  The art is very good, it’s just jarring to see the actors from the movie being portrayed in the comic.  It looks like it could be an interesting story and IDW is really throwing it’s weight behind this series but these movie properties comics just aren’t my bag.

Negative Space 1

Comic Block July 15 - Negative Space

This is a weird ass comic.  First off I will say that it did have excellent artwork.  The art has very detailed pencil work that must have taken the artist a really long time to draw.  As for the book it self, I’m on the fence.  The main premise seems to be this.  What if you had that weird organization from Cabin in the Woods Existed and their mission was to make people commit suicide.  We follow our hero a writer named Guy as he is trying to figure out what to write in his suicide note.  He seems to be taking too long for the mysterious organization so they cause his day to get worse to help him muster out the courage.  Eventually Guy has a change of heart and it ends with him discovering the organization.

It was an ok, although weird, story and the great art really helped, but I’m not going to be pursuing this comic any further.

Star Wars: Lando

Comic Block July 15 - Lando 1

Since Disney bought out Marvel and Star Wars there have been a slew of new Star Wars Comics.  You can tell we are reaching the bottom of the barrel when Lando gets a solo book.  I’ve heard the quality of these Star Wars books was great and although I’ve purchased issue 1 of the Star Wars Main series and Princess Leia solo book I haven’t read them yet (my backlog be crazy right now).

I was actually pleasantly surprised with Lando.  I was a decent, well written book, about a character I truly give two shits about.  If the other Star Wars books are as good as this then I should be in for a real treat.  I won’t be buying more Lando issues individually but I will be reading through some of these new Star Wars books that have just become available on Marvel Comics Digital Unlimited.

Full disclosure I was not paid for this post and bought this comic block with my own money.  I am doing this unboxing for my own entertainment, however, if the people at nerd block wanted to give me free things I would love to take them and review them here.

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