Friday, October 30, 2015

Comic Review: Cyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab #1

Cyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab is kind of difficult to talk about. It's not overly complex, since most of the premise is in the title and first page of the story, but it works as an example of a problem that I often have with comics, and it's hard to tell if the problem is me or not. There is a lot that I like here, similar to my reaction to other comics from Action Lab, and without the way that it ends, it would be something that I absolutely love. The way that it ends gives me pause, and I can't tell if it's a failure of the book or of me.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Comic Review: The Rook #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.

Going off of the synopsis, The Rook sounds like something I would absolutely love. The idea of someone fighting a one-man war against a time-traveling terrorist is the kind of high concept thing that I love to see people do. While I like the concept, this issue doesn't do a lot to give me confidence that the rest of the series is going to match up to its potential.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Comic Review: The Steam Man #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
The Steam Man is a combination of western, steampunk, alien invasion, and vampire story. I love reading stories made up of different elements that feel like they were pulled out of a hat, but end up working together, so of course this was a perfect series for me to try and jump into. It gets started on the right foot, but it's not so outstanding that I'm ready to declare undying love for it quite yet.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Interesting Comics This Week (10-28-15)

Marvel Comics:

Cover of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1, courtesy of Marvel ComicsUnbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 

This comic gave me a hard time even finding it because, as the cover is glad to point out, this is only their second #1 issue this year. It was only reset because of the Secret Wars nonsense, but if it helps get more people reading this again, then we have a very good thing. I reviewed a few issues of this before, and while it sometimes felt a little too much like Ryan North, it was still a lot of fun to read and follow.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Comic Review: Power Cubed #2

I picked up the first issue of Power Cubed just because it was a #1, and it turned out to be a really fun surprise. I've really been looking forward to this second issue, which manages to avoid the slump many second issues fall into. It keeps everything that made me love the first issue and avoids showing the cracks that many stories would by this point.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Comic Review: The Paybacks #2

I loved the first issue of The Paybacks, and that puts the second issue in a bit of a difficult place. Now that the idea is no longer so new, it's time for the book to really get into the story that it will be going forward. This is the problem all second issues have to deal with, and it's hard to contend with. Here, this issue isn't quite as good as the first and starting to show weaknesses, but it's still good enough that I'm not going anywhere.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

TV Review: Goham Season 2, Episode 5 "Scarification"

When I reviewed the Season 2 premiere, I was very mixed on where Gotham seemed to be going. Throughout the first season, it tried to take itself somewhat seriously, and I held it to those standards because of that.

Things seem to have changed. The last few episodes, the show has decided that it wants to have fun with its concept, to embrace the ridiculous. This show has always been a little silly and stupid, but now it's actually embracing that fact, which is not a direction that I was expecting it to go. While that makes for a much more enjoyable show, it also makes it harder to talk about. It's similar to trying to review a comedy, where trying to say what makes it good runs the risk of just repeating the jokes, trying to explain what makes Gotham so much fun runs the risk of just writing a recap of the episode.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #20

Even after reading it a couple times and thinking about it, this issue feels a little strange. Beyond just my completionism, I was drawn into it when I saw that they would be bringing back the ghost of Anya, a character that they seemed to have abandoned after bringing her into the early part of the season. The rest of it didn't strike me as being all that interesting or important, but it took up just as much of the issue as the Anya part of the story.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Comic Review: EVE Valkyrie #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Admittedly, EVE: Valkyrie has an uphill battle to fight as a comic series. It is based on a spinoff of EVE Online, which is a Virtual Reality Space Combat Video Game, a string of words that feels like it's designed to blow your mind with its potential. Even without that to live up to, it looks and feels like a rather generic version of a story about space combat, which is disappointing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Comic Review: Mirror's Edge Exordium #2

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I did not expect to come back to this series. When I reviewed the first issue, I loved the way that it looked, but found the story very lacking. Still, the art was so good that, when I saw this comic come in, I decided that I wanted to give it another shot, just to see more of the art if nothing else.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Interesting Comics This Week (10-21-15)


Cognetic #1
A psychic being that once controlled 1/3 of the world's population returns to take control once again. We're looking at the end of the world through mind control, a hivemind, however you want to think about it. Despite some exhaustion with the end of the world, I like a different kind of apocalypse, and this looks like a pretty interesting one.

Welcome Back #1
Assassins who are locked in an eternal war against each other, across multiple lifetimes, each time they are reincarnated. One of them becomes self-aware, while the other is on the hunt. The funny part is that I'm starting to consider a setup like that to be straightforward, but it's simple enough to draw me in and know exactly what I'm getting into.

Dark Circle Comics:

Shield #1
The original Shield was a WWII hero who predated Captain America, and they're reviving the character again here. The gender-flip of the main character will hopefully be more than a gimmick, which unfortunately happens a little too often. Still, the revival of old characters is always interesting; it's whether it's in a good or bad way that remains to be seen.

Dark Horse Comics:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #20
While we haven't touched on it in a while, having the ghost of Anya be a part of Xander's life was a great little piece to add to this season, and we're going to be exploring that further here. Honestly, that's all I needed to be really interested in what's coming in this issue. The incubus demon is much less interesting to me in comparison.

Dark Horse Presents #15
This book can be a little hit or miss - that's kind of the nature of an anthology series ­- but it's always worth paying some attention to what's being published in Dark Horse Presents. It is essentially a blank check for creators to make whatever they want in a short story format, with the possibility of a trade or new series somewhere down the line. In other words, it's the experimentation arm of Dark Horse, where things are developed before being more fully formed later on.

The Paybacks #2
The first issue of this series was a lot of fun, so of course I'm interested in returning to it. To copy a phrase I used way too many times in the review, it's about superpowered repossessors, which is an idea I'm still not sick of. Now the Batman analogue, Night Knight, is part of The Paybacks, which is going to make an interesting addition, since he can't be taken seriously as a hero, so what is he going to be as part of that team?

Power Cubed #2
This comic is a ridiculous balancing act, throwing a ton of ideas together into a comedic book, and it pulled off the first issue. It could still go terribly wrong, but for now, we have a ridiculous and fun comic with no sense of reverence.

The Rook #1
A time traveler discovers a terrorist that travels through time. He decides to start a one-man war, following him through time to fight back. This is exactly the kind of crazy I want to see in a comic, it's just a question of if it can live up to it.

The Steam Man #1
Wild West steampunk alien invasion fought off by giant mechs, when vampires are added to the mix? This is my kind of insanity - throw absolutely everything you have together into one - and I just hope they can make it work. The crazier the idea, the more fun it is if you pull it off properly.


Back to the Future #1
Look, I am more than sick to death of people talking about Back to the Future. I'm more than ready for the day to pass. However, I have to give it credit for being released on the day from the second movie. There's also the chance it might be an interesting comic.

Danger Girl: Renegade #2
I liked the first issue, and that's exactly why I'm looking forward to this one. Okay, that's a bit simple, but it's true. It's a fun adventure somewhere between spy and adventurer archaeologist, and I'm interested in reading more of that.


Hawkeye Omnibus
The entire run of the Hawkeye series by Fraction and Aja, in a single hardcover omnibus. Yes, it's $100, but it's worth every bit of that. It's one of the best recent series from Marvel, and across comics as a whole.

Shattered Empire #4
The end of this series almost came out of nowhere, seeing as the first issue is in such the recent past. This is the first real glimpse the comics have given us of what happens after Return of the Jedi, and with the timing of coming right after the new trailer, it certainly has a lot of attention.


Clean Room #1
Looking at the description, I'm not 100% sure of the tone of this book, but the description really speaks for itself. Something in a self-help book makes Philip kill himself, and his fiancee, Chloe, is determined to find out what really happened and who the self-help guru really is. There is the danger of this turning too preachy, yes, but the setup sounds like something out of my brain, so I'm definitely interested.

Monday, October 19, 2015

TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 3 A Wanted (Inhu)Man

I didn't review a previous episode of the show this season, even though it's basically appointment TV for me. I tried for the first episode, but a lack of time that week and an inability to figure out where to start held me back. This show has a lot going on, and most of the characters are working on slightly different plotlines, meaning that it's often hard to find a cohesive way to talk about an episode without just listing the things that happened in the episode. It's not a weakness of Agents of SHIELD, just a consequence of how it tells stories that makes it a little more difficult to write a review.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Comic Review: Switch #1

Before reading this, I had no idea that Switch was related to the Witchblade series. It's not the most direct connection, but the Witchblade is in it and the creator worked on Witchblade before, so I'll count it. I've wondered where was a good jumping on point for that series, and this seems as good as any.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Comic Review: The Paybacks #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I don't know for sure, but it feels like The Paybacks is a concept that has been done before. It has to; taking out loans to get the gadgets to become a superhero, then needing superpowered repossessors when you cannot pay feels both original, but is such a great idea that someone has to have tried it before. Unlike the hypothetical version I can see in my head, The Paybacks is not full of 90s grim and gritty, but is bright and colorful and fun, not like I've come to expect from most alternate superhero stories that publishers other than the Big Two love to publish.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Comic Review: I Hate Fairyland #1

There are a few creators that I will be interested in anything that they do, and Skottie Young has become one of those for me. I just had so much fun reading his Rocket Raccoon series, and now he has a series, I Hate Fairyland, with Image? No need to convince me further, just let me have the book.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Comic Review: Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
The first interesting thing I noticed about this comic is the title, Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen. Tomb Raider is not in the title, which is both apt because there are no tombs, and an admission that Lara is well enough known that her name should be able to carry the marketing. With the change in the games to focus more on storytelling and Lara as a character, which the title here is hinting at, it could be a good shift for the series as a whole. The real question is that this is a video game tie-in comic, which don't have a great history, and will they bring that storytelling care here as well?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Comic Review: Dead Vengeance #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
When I previewed upcoming comics, all I needed to be sold on Dead Vengeance was the tagline: Dead Private Investigator Tries to Solve His Own Murder. It's a great start for a high concept story idea, and the opening scenes match that good start. We have John Dover, former radio personality, waking up after he's been dead for 10 years, trying to figure out what happened to him. It's set in 1940 and is really going for a noir tone, so you can probably guess what the story is setting you up for.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

TV Review: Arrow Season 4 Episode 1 "Green Arrow"

First thing being first, I did not hate Season 3 of Arrow. I know that it got a lot of hatred for a lot of things that it did, and while I think that Season 2 was definitely superior, I still liked Season 3 quite a bit. Most of the problems were coming from the logic of the world, not the emotional and character work, and I find that to be a decent trade off to make.

Monday, October 12, 2015

TV Review: The Flash Season 2 Episode 1 "The Man Who Saved Central City"

The Flash ended a surprisingly great season on a surprisingly great episode, with the minor exception of a slightly cheap cliffhanger to end the season: Barry running into a singularity that was threatening to destroy Central City. This ending led to a lot of speculation and expectations for the story to pick up in a particular way at the start of Season 2, and it didn't really go in that direction. Many things that were taken as a given didn't happen or happened differently, and while this is still a strong episode, that and the strength of last season led to a lot of people thinking this is somewhat of a lackluster premiere.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Comic Review: Saints #1

Even though I'm spoiling the rest of the review, I did not like Saints. Looking at this week's preview, I liked the premise. Unfortunately, the synopsis almost felt like it was coming from another story, not being inaccurate, but not the way I would have interpreted the story.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Comic Review: Paper Girls #1

The only thing it took to get me to read Paper Girls was the first credit: Brian K. Vaughan. Saga is my favorite currently running comic, and for that alone I will give everything he writes a shot, even here when I'm a bit shakier on the premise of the book.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Comic Review: Angel and Faith Season 10 #19

Angel and Faith started in a weird place for Season 10. The last season was a lot to live up to, and it started with the title characters separated by the Atlantic Ocean. While it's never been up to the level of last season, it's worked up to a solid part of the Buffyverse this season. Some of the things in this issue and the last arc have made me worry, and I'm hoping it can right itself.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Comic Review: Zodiac Starforce #2

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
As a small warning, it is impossible to talk about Zodiac Starforce without making constant references to Sailor Moon. It's very much based on it, being part of the magical girl genre, but several elements are so specifically and strongly influenced by Sailor Moon that I can't help but reference it all the time. Despite all that, Zodiac Starforce is not a carbon copy, borrowing elements and taking them in its own direction so that it stands alone as a good series in its on right.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Comic Review: Colder Toss The Bones #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I have a bit of a mixed history with Dark Horse and their horror comics. Some of it is that not everything will be great, but horror is also not my favorite genre, so I'm a weird one to be reviewing them. On the whole, Dark Horse horror comics are good, so it's always worth a shot when a new one comes out. Add in that this is part of a longer series with a proven track record, and I had to give it a shot. Turns out, Colder Toss The Bones is a good comic and makes me want to read the next one.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Interesting Comics This Week (10-07-15)

Archie Comic Publications:

Jughead #1
The first issue of the new Archie comics really sold me, and they're looking to go straight into the type of comic line that a lot of other publishers have. What gets me most interested is Erica Henderson drawing the book - I loved her art in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and seeing more of her here, especially since she seems to thrive with the strange and over the top, sounds like the perfect combination.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Comic Review: Butterfly Hardcover

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I first picked up Butterfly after seeing the first issue on the shelf, the cover grabbing my attention. As it came out in single issues, I liked the story, but as with any short miniseries, there's always the feeling that you need to get it all together to really get the full story. Now that the hardcover collected edition is out, this is a good time to go back to Butterfly­ and take a closer look.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Comic Review: Mirror's Edge: Exordium #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I have almost no experience with the Mirror's Edge game, save playing through the demo a few times. It still made enough of an impact that, when I saw this comic was out there, I was interested in seeing what it had to offer. If you don't have experience with the game, don't worry; everything you need to know to jump in is summed up on the first page.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Comic Review: Pixu: The Mark of Evil

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Pixu: The Mark of Evil is not at all a comic made for me. I am usually not a horror fan, and my favorite part of anything usually is the story. Despite that, Pixu does what it does so well that I couldn't help be drawn in, and I ended up liking the book much more than I expected.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Comic Review: Dark Corridor #2

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
  • Story by Rich Tommaso
  • Art by Rich Tommaso
  • Cover by Rich Tommaso
  • Published by Image Comics
  • Release date: September 2, 2015
Last month, I was quite pleasantly surprised by the first issue of Dark Corridor. Many other comics are about crime in dark and depressing worlds, but this one was different. The different style made it stick out from similar comics, something that continues in Dark Corridor #2.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Comic Review: Power Cubed #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I am a sucker for ridiculous concepts for a story. Make it as stupidly over the top as possible, with ideas that seem to have nothing to do with each other and could never work together, and I'm going to be predisposed to wanting to read it. Power Cubed falls right into that category, having a mix of all sorts of elements that don't seem to fit together. If done wrong, however, that makes these comics doubly disappointing - not only bad, but a bad example of something I love. Fortunately for it, Power Cubed is so far a good, if not great example of that kind of insanity, teetering right on the edge of great and disaster, and tipping over towards great.