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What's New? POSSIBLE SPOILERS! (Comic Book Forums)

Posted: February 26, 2017 1:35:11 am
One might think that all I have in my collection is a lot of longbox junk. That's not true. I read new stuff too. I support my fine LCS with a pull list. I admit it's not the biggest pull list out there (I like digging through back issues a bit more) but between me and my comic-loving daughter, we do okay by them.

I've actually gotten a few messages asking if I read new stuff, hence this thread (and accompanying blog entries) where I will review and update info on the new books on our pull list. FAIR WARNING: I'm not great at keeping out of spoiler territory. It might not matter as much with decades-old longbox junk, but it might be an issue for some when it comes to recent books. So I'll say it again. . .


Now THAT'S out of the way, before I start in, here's our pull list:

-Batman (DC)
-Batman Beyond (DC)
-Black Widow (Marvel)
-Captain America: Sam Wilson & Steve Rogers (Marvel)
-Conan The Slayer (Dark Horse)
-Detective Comics (DC)
-Green Hornet: Reign of The Demon (Dynamite)
-Hellblazer (DC)
-Mother Panic (DC)
-New Super-Man (DC)
-Punisher (Marvel)
-Scooby Apocalypse (DC)
-The Spirit: The Corpse Makers (Dynamite)
-Star Wars (Marvel)
-Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (Marvel)
-Star Wars: Poe Dameron (Marvel)
-Suicide Squad (DC)
-Teen Titans (DC)
-The Walking Dead (Image)
-War Stories (Avatar)

Batman Beyond, New Super-Man, Scooby Apocalypse, Poe Dameron, Suicide Squad, and Teen Titans are my daughters pulls (I read them, but am not so much a fan as she is). We're not exactly religious members of the LCS church. We tend to go just once or twice a month so we don't make a trip for 3 or 4 books. Hope you enjoy the look at some newer stuff. If anybody else wants to jump in with some reviews of their own or comments, feel free.

Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
Posted: February 26, 2017 2:06:36 am
Let's get this partay started!


This series is probably flying low on most people's radar. It's one of my daughter's pulls because she loves all things Asian, but to my surprise, it's actually pretty solid. If you haven't checked it out, take a look. . .you might be surprised yourself. What it reminds me of a lot, both story and art-wise, is the New 52 Teen Titans. It's pretty light-hearted and just good superhero fun.

Unfortunately, the reality as I see it is that this series doesn't stand a chance in the long run. I expect it to be in the first wave of inevitable Rebirth cancellations. . .so enjoy it while you can!

In this issue, the action is split in two different directions as Super-Man tries to gain the respect of a new tutor (I-Ching) and in the process discovers a new power (super hearing) that he doesn't particularly like. Elsewhere, Bat-Man fights a rival to prove he is worthy of the Cowl of China's New Bat-Man while Wonder-Woman discovers that Bat-Man's sister is one of the villains behind their recent troubles. At the end of the book, two new villains are revealed. . .Super-Man Zero (who seems to be a superman clone from "The Last Days of Superman") and a mysterious, un-named Asian.

There was a lot of action in this issue, as well as some very nice setup for what will surely be some extreme tests of this young new team. The art was pretty sharp and impressive, and I really liked the final page reveal of the (as yet) un-named villain. . .a fantastic homage to the cover of the O.G. Detective Comics #1.

Like I said above, I don't have high hopes for the longevity this series, but it's been a surprisingly solid run so far.

Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
Posted: February 26, 2017 2:33:12 am

Talk about a missed opportunity. When this series first came out, I took one look inside, saw the black and white art, and immediately said "No thanks." I am not a big fan of B&W comics. Now I look at the value of the earlier issues and try not to grit my teeth TOO hard. I started reading it on the regular later in (around issue 60 or so) and I generally like it a lot, but still wish they would do it in color.

ANYWAY. . .in this issue. . .

In the aftermath of the recent "Whisperer War", the residents of Alexandria are dealing with a massive herd of Walkers while other survivors come to their aid.

Although most of this issue was various groups shouting "Lead them this way!" and "Lead them that way!" while splitting up the walker herd, there were some pretty good moments here. Rick realizing he isn't worth a crap in a stand-up fight any more. . .Negan getting emotional and trying to show Rick he's learned how to be a better man. . .Carl really stepping up into a leadership role for the first time. . .and the Saviors waiting for their chance to strike at the end.

All in all, this issue was pretty good, but not great. Like I said, it had some good moments, but overall it felt like filler and setup. . .almost like when you see the trailer for the next episode of The Walking Dead T.V. show and you feel like THAT looks better than the episode you just watched. It was good, but you're more interested in what happens next.

Now that "The Whisperer War" is done, I'm wondering where they can go from here.
Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
Posted: February 26, 2017 3:15:32 am

Here's another one I predict will be part of the inevitable first wave of Rebirth cancellations. A damn shame, because I've been a fan of Hellblazer for a long time. Unfortunately, outside of Vertigo, DC hasn't really done well in finding a good spot for Hellblazer in regular continuity. I wonder when they'll finally figure out that it really can't be done right. . .sort of like with The Punisher at Marvel. Some characters just don't play well with the other kids.

Still, despite my knowing it won't last long, I've been enjoying this new run quite a bit. My big problem with it is that it is NOT new reader friendly. If you don't already like Hellblazer, this series won't make you change your mind. It just assumes you already know all about John Constantine from past series. It sort of flies in the face of everything Rebirth is supposed to be. . .and that will be this title's ultimate downfall.


In this first issue of the new "The Smokeless Fire" story arc, Constantine and Mercury arrive in Paris to find an old man who might have knowledge that will help Constantine fight the growing threat of the Djinn. . .extremely powerful beings that predate mankind, who have been the villains of this new series so far. Unfortunately, the same man is also the target of a gang of thieves working for someone as yet unrevealed.

This issue had a lot of fighting action for a Hellblazer story, and not a lot of information beyond that (told in flashback) the old man in question was part of an expedition in 1936 that encountered the Djinn. Overall, I found this issue a bit weak. . .but that's probably to be expected in the first issue of a new arc.

The art was a bit strange in this one. It's done in an extremely dark anime style where some things are extremely detailed and others are extremely vague. It's very kinetic and great for action scenes, but in a series like Hellblazer with a lot of talking head scenes, I don't think it's a great fit.

That and 3 artists in 7 issues never bodes well for a series.
Enjoy it while you can. It's not going to be around long.
Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
Posted: February 27, 2017 2:03:52 am

This is another of my daughter's pulls. I read it, but every time I do, I feel a bit of my childhood has been chipped away. Did anyone really ASK for a gritty Scooby Doo reboot? Okay. . .maybe I'm being a bit harsh here. To be fair, it's pretty interesting in and of itself, and the art is pretty good. I just wonder if this book could have stood on its own without the Scooby Doo license. . .with new characters. In other words, are people buying this because it's a good story, or are they buying it because it's Scooby Doo?


Nothing makes a child of the 70's such as myself re-examine their love of Scooby Doo like an issue where Velma spends most of her time wearing a chain mail bikini. . .

In this issue, time jumps forward and Velma has embraced her role as architect of the apocalypse, lording it over her mutant creations as they prepare to destroy the last remaining outpost of humanity. Oh, wait. It's all just a dream?


I didn't like this issue much. The dream copout and artist changeup scream "FILLER!" loud and clear. It barely moves the already overly-long story forward, and the fill in artist is okay, but not much more than okay.

Last edited February 27, 2017 2:05:07 am
Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
Posted: February 27, 2017 2:37:04 am

I'm a huge Captain America fan, and was a bit concerned when they handed the shield to the Falcon. . .but this series quickly became one of my favorite takes on Cap. I might be in the minority when I say that Sam Wilson is truly a Captain America for modern times, and I hope he STAYS Captain America. Don't get me wrong, Steve Rogers the original American Super Soldier busting Nazis can NEVER be replaced, but for now, Sam Wilson is filling his boots quite nicely. If you're looking for a surprising departure from standard superhero punchfests in a mainstream Marvel title, give this series a good look.

One of the things I like about this version of Cap is that it is able to tell some pretty politically-charged stories, and this issue is no different. The current storyline is diving deep into the racial bias of the judicial system, with a former Avenger (Rage) being accused of a crime he was actually trying to stop.

Cap tries to keep Rage from trying to prove a point about the judicial system being racially rigged by letting himself be thrown in jail for a crime he didn't commit. Despite his best efforts, Cap discovers that Rage has a point when he is railroaded into a conviction and rioting begins to break out.

I'm really liking the direction this series is going. Some may feel it's a bit too politically heavy handed or uncomfortable, but I find it surprisingly interesting and outside of what I would normally expect in a Captain America comic book. I like the story. I like the art. Nothing to complain about in this issue.

Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
Posted: February 27, 2017 3:04:41 am

Originally, my daughter and I thought that this series was going to be another 4 or 5 issue Star Wars mini like Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and Lando. When we found out it was an ongoing, I was like "Why?" Is there really a demand for a Poe Dameron ongoing series when Han Solo only got a five issue mini? But my daughter is a big fan of the movie pilot hottie hunk, so this is still on her pull list. Personally, I think it would have been better off as a mini because it's been a bit of a hot mess since the start.


Things heat up for Poe as he and C-3P0 try to get the spy droid N1-ZX to the resistance with Agent Terex hot on their trail. Poe thinks he discovers who the traitor in his squadron is, but he's too late. Terex catches up to him and he is shot down on a barren planet.

I like that this series is the canon bridge between the current "Force Awakens" movies, but try as hard as they may, Poe Dameron is no Han Solo. Some of the dialogue seems forced and unnatural, the art is iffy (But the cover is fantastic), and the villain just seems like he's trying too hard to be awesome. The basic problem here is that the story just isn't that interesting.

On the good side of things, C-3P0 has some nice snarky moments and Captain Phasma has more lines in this issue than in the whole Force Awakens movie.

I'm wondering how much longer this series can really last. It seems to be past its "sell by" date as it is. . .
Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
Posted: February 27, 2017 3:41:27 am
BLACK WIDOW #11 (Marvel)

Black Widow has always been one of mine and my daughter's favorite characters. This particular run has been extremely strong so far, with fantastic art and a straightforward superspy tale told with a minimum of crossovers or superpowers. We like the Widow because she's a no-nonsense badass, and this series has (so far) kept a pretty tight focus on that side of her.

But it's Marvel and we're just waiting for the other shoe to drop with the inevitable creative team switchup and the constant crossover parade to come. But for now, this is one of the first titles we grab from the pile to read when we get home from the comic shop.


In this penultimate issue of the current arc, things build up for the big finish as Black Widow discovers Recluse's ultimate target for the Dark Room assassins. . .a secret base that has the ability to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. in case of emergency.

This issue was mostly a running battle with Black Widow trying to keep the child assassins from taking over the secret facility. It ends on a cliffhanger with her beaten, her mission failed, and Recluse taking on the identity of the new headmistress of the Dark Room.

Samnee's art is reliably fantastic, but it seems this storyline has gone on WAY too long and I'm glad it's going to be over soon and we can move on to something else.

Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
Posted: February 28, 2017 1:59:03 am
THE PUNISHER #9 (Marvel)

I'm a long time Punisher fan. It never ceases to amaze me how a seemingly one note character can keep going and going. Unfortunately, I'm sort of on the fence with this newest run. On the one hand, I like that it seems like they are keeping him on the dark edge of Marvel continuity instead of trying to cram him into the latest mega-crossover mess.

On the other hand, the story so far just isn't that interesting, and seems to be split between Punisher and a new character, D.E.A. Agent Ortiz. I hope they aren't going to try the "Female Punisher Sidekick" route again. They've already tried that a couple times. I figure I'll give it a few more issues before I decide whether or not to drop this one.


There's actually very little Punsher in this issue. He's really only on the first and last pages as he buries the woman who gave him shelter and decides to find Olaf in Canada for what will surely be some gun-barrel 'splaining as to why his former commander first helped him, then set him up.

But like I said, the Punisher isn't the focus of this issue. Agent Ortiz and her increasingly personal hunt for Face, the man who killed her partner is where the story is at this time. Face turns the tables and captures Ortiz, but she escapes because the drugs that Face are on begin messing with his mind. At the end of it all, Ortiz is also heading for Canada with Face tied up in the car after telling her D.E.A. supervisors to sit and spin.

This is the first issue with the new artist since Steve Dillon passed away. It really doesn't look bad (except some questionable panels of Punisher's face, where he looks about 60 years old). It's not great, but it's not bad.

As for the story, I'm not sure why they are focusing so much on Agent Ortiz, but I hope to God they aren't going to try to give The Punisher a sidekick. . .AGAIN.
Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
Posted: February 28, 2017 2:42:47 am

When it comes to mainstream "Capes and tights" style superheroics, I basically have two long time favorites. . .Captain America and Batman. Since "Rebirth", I've been a bit on the fence regarding my favorite superhero. I was hoping that since Rebirth advertised itself as getting back to basics, we'd get a leaner, stripped down Batman and less Bat-Family (since Detective seemed to be going in the full-on Bat Family team book direction). Instead, we've gotten a fairly crowded book with some strange characterization of Batman (the "I'm going to break your goddamn back" repeated mantra in the last arc comes to mind. . .as do multiple "Bat" "Cat" exchanges with Catwoman).

I haven't dropped the tentpole Batman title from my pull since Grant Morrison's "Zur-En-Arrh" and Black Glove insanity, but I'm thinking of dumping this title even though I LOVE Finch's art on it. I'll give it a bit more time.


In part 2 of the "I am Bane" arc, there's a lot going on in such a short space. . .

Alfred (in disguise as Jerimiah Arkham) takes Gotham Girl (disguised as Hush) to Psycho Pirate's super-secure Arkham cell to force him to try and cure her mental instability (which was caused by him in the first place). Batman brings Robin, Nightwing, and Red Hood to Superman's Fortress of Solitude in suspended animation to keep them safe from Bane. Catwoman, Bronze Tiger, Commisioner Gordon, and Duke Thomas (AKA politically-correct Robin) are taken down by Bane's henchmen (Trogg, Zombie, and Birdie. . .back from a long absence in the DCU) and it all ends with a dramatic rooftop face-off (no fighting) cliffhanger between Bane and Batman.

The art by Finch is reliably some of the best that's ever been on the Batman title. No complaints there.

The story seems like nothing more than setup and fan service, though. . .and has a few glaring holes in it. FER INSTANCE: Last issue ended on a cliffhanger with Robin, Nightwing, and Red Hood hanging in the Batcave. This issue just sort of swings past Batman's discovery of them and how he managed to get them down, dressed, in suspended animation tubes, and into Superman's Fortress. There are several others as well that just sort of make you go, "Wait. . .what?"

All in all, this one felt like a trailer for upcoming events. Not saying it was bad. . .just not as good as it should be.

Last edited February 28, 2017 2:44:22 am
Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex

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