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atom's Comic Book Blogs

  • atom | Male | Utah

"I have a lot of issues. . ."

I write comic book reviews that NOBODY has ever asked for!

December 2019

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Let's finish this.  Hi-Yo Silver! Away!  

THE LONE RANGER (vol. 3 Dynamite)

ISSUE 13

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The Lone Ranger.  A great American hero and one of my all-time favorite characters. I love ALL things Lone Ranger. So let's get this out in the open right here.  I was one of the few who really liked the Disney reboot that came out a few years ago that seems to be hated by one and all.  Yeah, there was no reason to have Captain Jack Tonto in it, but other than that, I'm a fan.  

So. . .now that everyone knows my opinion can't be trusted, let's review some comics!

THE LONE RANGER (Vol. 3 Dynamite)

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I DO love me some Mass Effect!  With the new game coming out soon, why not revisit some of the characters from the first trilogy?  This "mini-series" came out right before Mass Effect 3 as part of the massive hype behind the game.  It's actually not so much a mini as it is 4 separate one shots. . .

MASS EFFECT: HOMEWORLDS (Dark Horse)

ISSUE 1

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It's not often I find something truly unique in comics.  Don't let your preconceptions of these two properties or memories of the cartoons they are based on fool you.  Dreamwave did something truly out of the box with this series by placing these well-known (and frankly overused) characters in an "Elseworlds" alternate history World War II, and painting the usually bright characters in grim and dark hues for a gritty, violent tale that is like nothing else from these properties that I know of. . .

TRANSFORMERS / G.I. JOE (Dreamwave)

ISSUE 1

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More one shots. . .YAY!  I love 'em.

OUR ARMY AT WAR Featuring Sergeant Rock (DC 2010)

Sergeant Rock is one of my favorite characters. As a Marine Corps veteran, I can appreciate how Rock is actually one of the greatest ANTI war characters ever created. This modern take on Rock is one of the strongest comics I've read in a LONG time.

It is written to perfection with the story flashing back and forth between WWII and either Afghanistan or Iraq (not made clear), with the characters finishing each other's dialogue across time, showing the old soldier's adage "The more things change, the more they stay the same." to be true. The ending of the story, when we find out why the modern character fights, is an emotional punch to the gut, and comes out of nowhere. I won't spoil it, but it's the kind of ending that puts everything before it in a whole new perspective. . .

The art is superb in every way, from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, to the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers, the whole issue is rendered in incredible detail. And then there's that fantastic cover by the legendary Joe Kubert. . .

From the cover to the last page, this one shot delivers on every single panel.  Highly suggested.

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I have a lot of one-shots in my collection.  They're probably my favorite kind of comic book.  Not that I don't like following a character month to month, but there's definitely something to be said for having a complete story in one issue.  No cliffhangers.  No waiting.  Just a single compact piece of comic book goodness.  I decided to throw some one shots into the Longbox Junk mix for the next few entries before I go back to complete runs and mini-series. . .

HELLBOY: 2017 WINTER SPECIAL (Dark Horse)

First off. What an absolutely fantastic cover!

There are three short unconnected stories in this special, let's take a look at them individually. . .

THE GREAT BLIZZARD: This story doesn't feature Hellboy or any of the B.P.R.D. characters, but some characters I'm unfamiliar with who seem to be paranormal investigators in the 1800's (David Grey and Sarah Jewell). The art is very nicely done on this one, and the dialogue between the characters is snappy. The story itself is a little disappointing, but I wouldn't mind finding out more about these new characters.

GOD REST YE MERRY: A tale set at Christmas in the 1950's starring Hellboy and Professor Bruttenholm versus a possessed Santa Claus. It's played for laughs and the art isn't great. . .very cartoony. I got a chuckle out of Hellboy getting an ugly sweater for Christmas, though. Probably the worst of the three, but not terrible.

THE LAST WITCH OF FAIRFIELD: Now HERE'S some good Hellboy. The classic team of Hellboy, Abe Sapien, and Liz Sherman tracking down some lost children and coming in conflict with a witch. The ending is a chilling reminder that when it comes to the supernatural, sometimes when you win, you still lose. The best of the bunch with a great story and great art by the same artist who did that fantastic cover.

All in all, I really enjoyed this one shot. The middle story was pretty light, but that didn't drag the whole thing down.

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And now the big finish!

Okay. . .not really big. And not really a finish. . .

BATMAN AND ROBIN

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Down the Grant Morrison rabbit hole we gooooooooooooooooooo!

BATMAN AND ROBIN 

ISSUE 11

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Welcome to a series with a Robin that has to be restrained from killing people, a substitute Batman who just want to go back to his old job, and a flying Batmobile!

BATMAN AND ROBIN

ISSUE 1

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As a child of the 70's I was a big fan of all things Bionic Man.  Thinking back on it, I actually think he was the ultimate 70's superhero. . .a creation of science with the soul of a man.  I was glad to see that this series kept the story in the 70's.  I have the modern "reboot" series and it just doesn't have the same feel.  Science today is taken for granted.  I don't mean to make myself sound old, but at that time, Astronauts were still the great American Hero.  The moon landings were still fresh in the collective memory.  The world was on the edge of major change in technology.  A modern Bionic man is just one high tech thing among many.  But in the 70's Steve Austin wasn't just some t.v. character. . .he was OUR hero for OUR time.

So. . .did this recent (the last issue came out just a couple months ago, as of this writing) 70's Six Million Dollar Man mini hold up to the memory of that uniquely 70's superhero?

Yes and no.

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